Skip

Gun Control might have become obsolete yesterday.
February 26, 2013 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Defense Distributed of Austin, TX caused quite a stir a short time ago by creating a 3d printed gun and releasing the CAD files for it for free online. But people were less alarmed after learning that the gun had failed after 6 shots. The new version is still intact and functional after firing 600 rounds. They have also created a fully functional 3d printed high capacity magazine for the AR-15 and released CAD files for it, free online. Defense Distributed's founder, Cody Wilson, also succeeded recently in eating Diane Feinstein's lunch, and also in blowing Glenn Beck's mind, while apparently trying to convert Beck to Anarchism.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch (464 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Perhaps bullet control is the answer.
posted by onya at 10:27 AM on February 26, 2013 [20 favorites]


Wild.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:27 AM on February 26, 2013


Rarely have I wanted to punch someone in the face so badly.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:28 AM on February 26, 2013 [25 favorites]


I'm completely ignorant about guns, so maybe this is a stupid question. But they're only printing the white portion of it, right? You still have to purchase the rest of the body, and the bullets?
posted by jbickers at 10:29 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "lower receiver" is the part that legally makes a collection of parts a functioning gun.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:30 AM on February 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


"How's that national conversation going?"


Fine, I guess. Thanks for asking?
posted by coolxcool=rad at 10:30 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And bullets are trivial to manufacture at home, sadly.
posted by butterstick at 10:30 AM on February 26, 2013


I'm completely ignorant about guns, so maybe this is a stupid question. But they're only printing the white portion of it, right? You still have to purchase the rest of the body, and the bullets?

Yes. I don't think any budget range 3D printers are capable of creating a full gun that survives the stress of a firing. Of course, due to weird laws, the part they can manufacture is the part that makes a gun "a gun", so they are technically correct.

Still, wake me up when they can print bullets.
posted by ymgve at 10:31 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love that Glenn's fear is that the 3D printed guns might fall into the hands of Occupy Wall Street because obviously 1) they have no other way to get guns and 2) the likely outcome of them getting their hands on one is something other than briefly interrupting the drum circle while they dispose of it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:32 AM on February 26, 2013 [34 favorites]


Glenn Beck: "It's frightening because Occupy Wall Street could take over the world..."

Yeah, and that shows how ignorant you are: you think OWS would have use for an AR.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 10:32 AM on February 26, 2013 [25 favorites]


jbickers: "I'm completely ignorant about guns, so maybe this is a stupid question. But they're only printing the white portion of it, right? You still have to purchase the rest of the body, and the bullets"

Yeah, the problem here is that the "lower receiver" (the part of the gun that contains the trigger mechanism, generally speaking) is what the US government regulates, it's where the serial number is, and it's what makes the rest of the collection of parts a gun, legally speaking.

So they're making only this part because the rest of the parts can be legally and easily bought, with no regulation.

It strikes me that the government might change what they regulate as a result of this. The chamber and barrel, for instance, are not really suitable for 3D printing...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:33 AM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Still, wake me up when they can print bullets.

As butterstick points out, you can make bullets with cheaper, far more rudimentary equipment than a 3D printer.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:33 AM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Perhaps bullet control is the answer.

Yup. If someone takes the time and effort to synthesize modern smokeless powder and primers, cast the bullets, machine the casings, load the rounds, they're likely harmless nerds enjoying their time in the machine shop - unless they're manufacturing, in which case there's an issue.

Everyone else needs to be limited to 12 rounds, with serial number on the casing and microdot on the projectile, and a severe fine for losing track of your spent brass. Exceptions easily and readily made, but documented by the police. No problem at all to reserve a hundred shells for a hunting trip or a weekend at the range, some questions asked if you want a few hundred 5.56 rounds by this afternoon.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:34 AM on February 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


Given that it would be easy enough to change the law to make the barrel (rather than the receiver) the part of the gun that requires a background check, so I'm not so sure this means much. There was a guy not too long ago who made a receiver for an AK-47 out of an old shovel using a hammer and a Dremmel tool.

When you can print a durable gun barrel that doesn't require broaching to be made useful, call me. I need help with my Von Neuman machine.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:34 AM on February 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Making bullets is a pretty inconsequential process for somebody with the right tools.

I used to hang out with an ex-SEAL who made them as a side-business. This is back in 2002, when bullets were still cheap. I'd imagine there are a lot of people doing it now as bullet prices have gone sky high.
posted by lattiboy at 10:34 AM on February 26, 2013


And bullets are trivial to manufacture at home, sadly.

Are they? Admittedly I am not a Gun Person, but everything I've read about home-made explosives/ammunition indicates that a) it's really, really easy to fuck it up and either blow your hand off or fuck up the casing and b) purchasing the supplies gets you put on the (possibly non-existent) list of people who are buying supplies to make explosives.
posted by griphus at 10:34 AM on February 26, 2013


Also, if you answer the question "are you a hero or a villain?" with "good question" you're a villain.

Following up with what some high school level anarchism doesn't change that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:35 AM on February 26, 2013 [14 favorites]


28th Ammendment -- Protects an individual's right to 3D printers
posted by mazola at 10:35 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


WTH? Easy access to guns has worked so well so far for you USA /sarcasm
posted by arcticseal at 10:36 AM on February 26, 2013


Bullets are easy. Brass and powder are tricky.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:36 AM on February 26, 2013


Maker's gonna make.
posted by BurntHombre at 10:37 AM on February 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


Still, wake me up when they can print bullets.


wake me up when they can print a fully functional moral compass.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:38 AM on February 26, 2013 [69 favorites]


I'm completely ignorant about guns, so maybe this is a stupid question. But they're only printing the white portion of it, right? You still have to purchase the rest of the body, and the bullets?

Right, but the high-capacity magazine is the part most in danger of being banned. A gun magazine is easy to make in a range of sizes though, because it's just a box with a spring in it, and does not have to be particularly robust.
posted by w0mbat at 10:38 AM on February 26, 2013


Reloading your own bullets is easy. Making your own brass casings is less so (but some people have done it for antique firearms). I don't know that anyone is DIYing their own primers.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:38 AM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Our national conversation is going better thanks to people who think guns=liberty.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2013


Kid Charlemagne: "There was a guy not too long ago who made a receiver for an AK-47 out of an old shovel using a hammer and a Dremmel tool."

Metafilter thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess America can keep destroying itself from within.
posted by hellojed at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Welcome to the future.

When aerial drones are illegal, only criminals will print out illegal aerial drones.
posted by Freen at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Again, Stephenson gets pretty close. His concern was the barrel, and that is a big concern here, also. Rifling is hard.

I didn't think it was a good idea in the book, when it was put forth by compassionate, thoughtful, honorable people. These guys, well, haven't changed my mind.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ah, it turns out I was thinking of the cartridge, not the bullet. Yeah, I can see how machining bullets wouldn't be particularly difficult with the right tools.
posted by griphus at 10:39 AM on February 26, 2013


You know, it's awfully hard to prevent fraud. People always figure out ways around preventative laws. Yet we still have laws against fraud, and laws about transparency that help prevent some amount of fraud, such as requiring SEC filings.

A law doesn't have to be 100% easily enforceable to be a just and fair law. New technology doesn't make gun control obsolete. Gun control isn't about stopping 100% of every gun crime, and it never will. It's about preventing some fraction of gun crimes.

If your entire representation of the world is first-order logic and simple binary propositions, you're going to have an awfully difficult time understanding it.
posted by Llama-Lime at 10:40 AM on February 26, 2013 [42 favorites]


Also, if you answer the question "are you a hero or a villain?" with "good question" you're a villain.

This, in block caps, at the top of the list of questions to ask yourself if you think you might be a villain. (Other questions: "Is this a hideout, or a lair?" "Is that guy a sidekick, or a henchman?")
posted by The Bellman at 10:41 AM on February 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


Also, if you answer the question "are you a hero or a villain?" with "good question" you're a villain.

Disagree. Moreover, an answer of "hero" is meaningless. Witness: LaPierre, "good guy with a gun".
posted by gurple at 10:43 AM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


It strikes me that the government might change what they regulate as a result of this. The chamber and barrel, for instance, are not really suitable for 3D printing...

Seems like this is gun control current manufacturers could get behind. For once, let's harness an existing industry's desire to suppress innovation which disrupts its business model as a force for good.
posted by stevis23 at 10:43 AM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'll worry about this once any numb-nut can buy a 3-D printer from Office Depot.
posted by Renoroc at 10:44 AM on February 26, 2013


Making bullets would certainly be no harder than making meth. As far as working with black powder and all that, lots of people who shoot skeet reload their shotgun shells.


Maybe this'll take food out of the mouths of the gun industry?
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:44 AM on February 26, 2013


Conjuring physical objects of arbitrary shape? I think we should follow the guidance of the founding fathers, who would have undoubtedly condemned this as witchcraft. How long before our children find themselves kidnapped and boiling alive inside one of these "3D" cauldrons?

The D stands for Devil.
posted by Behemoth at 10:44 AM on February 26, 2013 [13 favorites]


The questions this raises won't be answered by something as simple as regulating barrels.

As 3d printing, CNC machining and other disruptive manufacturing technologies progress, centralist, state-mandated controls on almost any kind of contraband are threatened.

What does that mean for society? In novels by William Gibson and others, nanotech assemblers are envisioned as the ultimate contraband, because they can build any contraband. We're nowhere near achieving that kind of technology, but as we move in that direction steadily, what civil liberties will be put at risk by new fears.

As for Mr. Wilson's moral compass, he's currently doing something that is not a real threat, but a theoretical threat. Barack Obama and Joe Biden on the other hand, are bombing children in Pakistan and telling the Senate they have the right to kill certain American citizens without trial if they feel like it. I kinda think Wilson has the moral high ground, if only for the moment.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 10:45 AM on February 26, 2013 [22 favorites]


:(
posted by Going To Maine at 10:45 AM on February 26, 2013


Renoroc, any numbnut with $3K?
posted by butterstick at 10:46 AM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I kinda think Wilson has the moral high ground, if only for the moment.

This particular moral high ground is unfortunately still below sea level.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:46 AM on February 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


In the US, this development is really not such a big deal. You can already buy any gun you want, legally or illegally. Now you can print it, too. Probably it is still going to be easier to just buy it.

But I imagine this will cause a lot of consternation in countries that have pretty strict controls on who can buy and own guns. While those universal regulations have also served to keep guns out of "the wrong hands" and minimize gun death rates, now the criminals and subversives can print themselves guns.
posted by beagle at 10:46 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


This made me worry a little but then I thought "Well, why can't people just stop shooting each other?" So I asked around and, apparently, shooting people is fun. What we should probably focus on in regards to gun laws and stricter enforcements is making the act of shooting people less fun.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 10:47 AM on February 26, 2013


The point of gun control has never been to make it impossible to produce or acquire a firearm.

Making is difficult should suffice 99% of the time. As far as I can tell, it's still going to be pretty darn difficult to create a gun with a 3D printer, due to the materials involved.

The problem with guns in the US is that they're just so ridiculously easy to acquire, that there are a ton of them simply lying around, and they often fall into the hands of crazy people.

If somebody has the time, patience, stealth, and wherewithal to build a gun from scratch to go on a killing spree, they're probably not going to build a gun at all, as they've clearly got the resources necessary to build something a whole lot more destructive.
posted by schmod at 10:47 AM on February 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'll worry about this once any numb-nut can buy a 3-D printer from Office Depot.

I'll wager that we are not far from a world where a 3D printer is easier to get than an AR-15. If it can make an AR-15, will that still be true?

Boy the future is fucked and weird.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:47 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, and that shows how ignorant you are: you think OWS would have use for an AR.

Luckily for humanity, this is far from the only thing that shows ignorance in the creature that goes by the name 'Glenn Beck'.
posted by item at 10:48 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Regarding the legality of producing ammunition:

In the United States of America, handloading is not only legal and requires no permit, but is also quite popular.

Handloading is legal in Canada. The Explosives Act places limits on the amount of powder (either smokeless or black) that may be stored in a building, on the manner in which it is stored, and on how much powder may be available for use at any time. [75kg]
- Handloading (wikipedia)
posted by nTeleKy at 10:49 AM on February 26, 2013


Given that it would be easy enough to change the law to make the barrel (rather than the receiver) the part of the gun that requires a background check, so I'm not so sure this means much.

Nothing involving the law and guns is easy.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:50 AM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, to be perfectly clear: These people did not build a gun.

They built one part of a gun, which is coincidentally the one part that is able to be made out of plastic (by far the easiest material to use with a 3D printer), and also happens to be the one part that the federal government happens to regulate.
posted by schmod at 10:51 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fun fact to add: the number of guns in the US has doubled since 1980, the homicide rate has halved.

I do not propose causality between the increase in the number of guns and the drop in murder. That would be ridiculous. But would it be more or less ridiculous than proposing that the guns caused an increase in murder when there was no increase?

Isn't it time we took a look at the cultural factors in American violence instead of the mechanical factors?

America is mostly run by white men who are prone to committing acts of mass violence when they don't get their needs met.

Why then, is it a surprise when Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Dylan Klebold: white males who didn't get their needs met and then committed acts of mass violence?
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 10:54 AM on February 26, 2013 [10 favorites]


Another question for the gun experts: Leaving aside for a moment the machine gun, could a 3D printer theoretically be used to make all the parts needed to make a pistol? Because it seems like one of the bigger safety aspects of that would be that it could slip through a metal detector undetected.
posted by jbickers at 10:54 AM on February 26, 2013


does this mean sans universal checks, and with this method, I could give up dealing dope and instead deal in guns to crooks and gangs?
posted by Postroad at 10:56 AM on February 26, 2013


@jbickers

Currently, the slide, barrel, and trigger assembly of a semi-automatic pistol could not feasibly be 3d printed. However, because the barrel of a pistol is shorter and all the metal parts are smaller, they could conceivably be machined on home CNC mills and lathes that cost about the same or less than the 3d printer used by defense distributed.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 10:58 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another question for the gun experts: Leaving aside for a moment the machine gun, could a 3D printer theoretically be used to make all the parts needed to make a pistol? Because it seems like one of the bigger safety aspects of that would be that it could slip through a metal detector undetected.

Possibly, but it would be pretty fragile, maybe good for a few shots.

You'd still have the problem of the bullets, though, which are metallic. I don't even know if you can make effective plastic bullets.
posted by ymgve at 10:58 AM on February 26, 2013


Isn't it time we took a look at the cultural factors in American violence instead of the mechanical factors?

False dichotomy.
posted by gurple at 10:58 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


jbickers, it isn't currently possible to make a barrel, the part that must withstand the force of the gunpowder exploding, out of plastic.

There are many new techniques for desktop fabrication that may allow such a thing someday, such as laser sintering.
posted by butterstick at 10:58 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why then, is it a surprise when Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Dylan Klebold: white males who didn't get their needs met and then committed acts of mass violence?

Then how do you explain Colin Ferguson and John Allen Mohammed? Cute theory, but it's kinda offensive and worse, falls apart in the details.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:59 AM on February 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


But people were less alarmed after learning that the gun had failed after 6 shots.

Because think how few people cowboys and bandits killed with six-shooters.
posted by DU at 11:00 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


As for Mr. Wilson's moral compass, he's currently doing something that is not a real threat, but a theoretical threat. Barack Obama and Joe Biden on the other hand, are bombing children in Pakistan and telling the Senate they have the right to kill certain American citizens without trial if they feel like it.

Part of the reason this country is having such a goddamn problem sitting down and actually talking about gun control is shit like this. The American government has always, is now, and will always be killing people without enough justification to satisfy everyone. It's practically a guarantee and it's a real and serious problem. But we've also got too many guns in too many hands, and that's a real and serious problem too, and anything that could put more guns in more hands is certainly not helping matters. The American people can keep more than one thing in their head at a time, and there's a lot of dangerous and powerful organizations out there with vested interest in telling them they cannot and they certainly don't need any help.
posted by griphus at 11:00 AM on February 26, 2013 [22 favorites]


3D printing is going to be interesting. It could lead to a bunch of truly neat things, but also some potentially really nasty things as well. I totally get that this isn't "making a gun" right now, in that it only is one particular part. But, as mentioned above, really how far away would it be to make a drone, a smallish drone say, with a 10 mile range that could deliver an explosive or chemical package. Make a few hundred of those and unleash them on a stadium, or an inauguration or...
Yeah, that might be a bit alarmist, but on the other hand I think just as the machine gun "democratized" the battlefield for the occupied colonies vs the colonists I can envision the 3D printer, at some point if not currently, making it a lot easier to wreck large scale havoc. Ah humanity.
posted by edgeways at 11:01 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Leaving aside for a moment the machine gun, could a 3D printer theoretically be used to make all the parts needed to make a pistol?

Barrel, rifling, etc can't be printed yet. Glocks don't have plastic barrels. Anything you made via printing would be the equalivent of what we're talking about here. I'm still surprised the receiver is 'printable' but I'm not in the loop on all this jazz.

That's not to say that you couldn't make something that would fire a bullet. You don't even need 3D printing for that. You could cobble something together out of pieces of metal but I wouldn't call it a pistol per se. I mean it wouldn't be hard to make something like this in someone's garage. Case + spring + simple release mechanism + pointy thing for a hammer + cartridge = bullet moving towards something else. Range would be very short and you've only got one shot but it'll still hurt or kill someone dead within a few feet.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:02 AM on February 26, 2013


Bullets are easy. Brass and powder are tricky.

Brass and powder are unnecessary, especially if you have easy access to disposable unorthodox mechanisms, which is becoming increasingly possible with emerging manufacturing techniques. Liquid fuels have higher energy density than smokeless powder for example. Guns traditionally use powder for many reasons, but it's not really a requirement.
posted by anonymisc at 11:02 AM on February 26, 2013


I love how a 6 shot gun is ignored because it isn't good enough; we need a gun that can fire at least 600 rounds. For self defense.
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:05 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


@gurple

Does it need to be a dichotomy at all? Perhaps a better question is not either/or, but "which factor is more significant?"

Also, the mass killers are a small portion of our murderers. Most are poor young men of color living in urban areas. But is that violence driven more by access to guns or more by how poorly these young men are treated by society?

That's a much more testable hypothesis: there are millions of young men in America who testosterone, poorly developed impulse control, and access to guns, but do not kill very often. The differing variable: they also don't get treated like shit the way young urban men of color do.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:05 AM on February 26, 2013


This guy is a bullshitting troll. Just ignore him and move along. If gun nuts want to subsidize the market for high quality 3d printers, I say let them. Consider this. You decide to start printing high and selling illegal gun magazines on your 3d printer. You could also build a still in your backyard and sell illegal alcohol or cook meth in your kitchen. Pretty much the same shit is going to happen to you. The feds will come and bust your ass. What's worse is that your 3d printer has all kinds of subtle unique variances in its output which will enable the boys at the crime lab to tie your printer to the crime. If you sold an illegal magazine that was used in a crime and prosecutor can identify you, then you are in a world of shit. Get busted selling these items, also in a world of shit.

The market isn't even there for your product. Guns are easily obtained and even if the feds try to confiscate high capacity mags, there is an unknown quantity of untraced product out there. You can manufacture them in a metal shop today without a high tech printer.
posted by humanfont at 11:05 AM on February 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


Guns traditionally use powder for many reasons, but it's not really a requirement.

Yeah, but then we're at the point where we're engineering, from scratch, an electric ignition, fuel injected combustion engine with a mechanism to feed it a fresh piston every cycle while maintaining compression. We're probably closer to practical laser weapons.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:06 AM on February 26, 2013


@slap*happy Look at the demography of mass killers, not at the few outliers that show that mass killers are not 100% white.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:07 AM on February 26, 2013


it isn't currently possible to make a barrel, the part that must withstand the force of the gunpowder exploding, out of plastic.

It's quite possible to make a functioning barrel out of plastic. But 1. It's going to be very bulky, and 2. You'll get at least one good shot out of it... :-)
posted by anonymisc at 11:07 AM on February 26, 2013


Someone who really, really knows: isn't it the upper receiver that is monitored/tracked?

Maybe that's just the case for Class 3 type weapons/transfers and for normal firearms that don't require a class 3 license/stamp to buy/own/sell it's the lower receiver that matters but I'm a bit confused on that specific of this issue.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:07 AM on February 26, 2013


I love how a 6 shot gun is ignored because it isn't good enough; we need a gun that can fire at least 600 rounds. For self defense.

I think it was ignored because not that many people are going to take the time and effort to create a gun that fails after six shots. A six shooter is one thing, that fires six shots before reloading, but should last a lot longer than that. A gun that fails after six shots is defective.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Didn't John Malkovic act in a movie where he made a gun out of wood?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2013


Didn't John Malkovic act in a movie where he made a gun out of wood?

The movie was In the Line of Fire, and the gun was made of ceramic so it could get through a metal detector.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:11 AM on February 26, 2013


In the case of the AR-15, the lower receiver is what's monitored and tracked, and in any case where it's a two part assembly, that holds true. M14s, I believe, use a one-piece receiver so the whole thing is what's legally considered the gun.

As for In The Line of Fire, and also one of the Die Hard movies: there was a scare in the early 90s when Glock introduced a polymer-framed pistol. That lead to the Undetectable Firearms act, which bans guns that can't be picked up by metal detectors. But it was totally premature, because, as noted above, pistols still need a lot of metal parts to work.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:13 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Then how do you explain Colin Ferguson and John Allen Mohammed?
Or a few months ago in my area. Or the Virginia Tech massacre, or...
posted by anonymisc at 11:15 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The lower receiver is that part the ATF considers a firearm on AR-15s. For different guns it is different things. For example on the Browning 1919 this side plate counts as the firearm.
posted by the_artificer at 11:17 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


A six shooter is one thing, that fires six shots before reloading, but should last a lot longer than that. A gun that fails after six shots is defective.

Is this that "focusing on the murderer's problems, not the victim" thing I've been hearing about? I'm pretty sure 6 people are still dead in this "caveat emptor" scenario you've laid out.
posted by DU at 11:17 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, VA Tech, Oikos both had asian male shooters. The vast majority of American mass shooters are still white men.

And the majority of American murder victims are still people of color living in poor urban areas, shot by other poor people of color living in the same areas, and most are men.

There are three broad profiles here:

1. Folks in the 'hood who've lost their appreciation for the value of human life because America doesn't value their lives.

2. Weak suburban men, mostly white, mostly young who've been told by society that they're supposed to be on top, and who can't deal with not being on top.

2b. People who are fucking batshit insane. (One Goh, the Oikos murdered and James Holmes might both be schizophrenic)
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:19 AM on February 26, 2013


Isn't it time we took a look at the cultural factors in American violence instead of the mechanical factors?

The Samurai, The Mountie, and the Cowboy is a good book to read if you want to delve into that sort of thing. It also examines other countries besides the 3 referenced in the title by the way. Oh, and you may consider it a bit dated, I used it as a source when I was in high school but really liked the way he approached the question mentioned in the title....

posted by RolandOfEld at 11:20 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


* Yes it's written by Kopel but, and I have no other reference on his work, I wasn't put off by any batshit crazy bias, the book mostly leaves you (Spoiler Warning I guess) with an impression of "It's complicated and every country is different."
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:23 AM on February 26, 2013


There are three broad profiles here:

No, there are not. You've completely failed to prove #2 is any kind of motive.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:24 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Instructions for making your own guns and bombs have been readily available in the U.S. since 1969 from a wacky anarchist publisher called the Government Printing Office.
posted by Zed at 11:25 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch
I think focusing on (1) is likely to return the biggest payoff per unit of effort. But it seems to me that policymakers are focused much more intently on the breakdowns like your 2 and 2b.
The conversation is only happening at all because it was kids that got killed; lives which America values more.
posted by anonymisc at 11:26 AM on February 26, 2013


printing a lower receiver doesn't change the fundamentals of gun control any more than growing a pot plant in your closet changes the war on drugs.

people are ruled by context and convenience, even when committing suicide. it seems likely to me that homicides are the same way. it doesn't matter what's possible, what matters is what's probable. if you make guns slightly harder to get, slightly fewer people will acquire them. less availability corresponds to a decrease in gun fatalities. the only question is which, if any, of the restrictions are worth the trouble.

MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch: the number of households with guns has dropped from 54% in 1977 to 32% in 2010. fewer people are hoarding more guns.
posted by Ictus at 11:28 AM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I absolutely agree. (1) is the big problem.

Also America values white kids, not just any kids. Mass shootings of non-whites: Oikos and the Sikh Temple shooting, have gotten significantly less media coverage than mass shootings of whites. Hell, when Obama met with "mayors of mass shooting cities" he didn't invite the Mayor of Oakland at all. (admittedly, this may be just be because she's dumb as a rock)
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:30 AM on February 26, 2013


Ictus

True, the number of households that say they have guns dropped. And accessibility of guns has been restricted more too. But in America's urban killing fields, most of the guns aren't legally possessed. The bans have done nothing to reduce access. California has one of the strongest bans in the nation, and yet it's murder rate has stayed in the top half of all the states, consistently (currently 18th).
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:33 AM on February 26, 2013


Listen to the latest This American Life podcast. Guns are pretty much free in America as it is.
posted by srboisvert at 11:38 AM on February 26, 2013


Perhaps bullet control is the answer.

Yes, I'm familiar with the Chris Rock routine, but I honestly don't know why this isn't taken seriously.

Sure, you can make reloads in a garage. But smokeless powder is an explosive that can't be easily homemade (and certainly not to the high tolerances required -- required -- to make a direct impingement* AR-15 even work in the first place).

So, why can I buy smokeless powder by the can?

If I have to go to an Indian reservation to buy fireworks, certainly we can easily control the sale of powder.

* a gas/mechanical method of cycling ammo
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:38 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


people are ruled by context and convenience, even when committing suicide. it seems likely to me that homicides are the same way. it doesn't matter what's possible, what matters is what's probable.

This is very true. I was going to snicker at the idea of making bullets more expensive, but it worked for cigarettes, when you can buy the "parts" of a cigarette and roll your own for a significant savings. Or the convenience of pre-washed salad in a bag, sold right next to heads of lettuce, but for 4 times the cost of the "raw elements" of a salad.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:39 AM on February 26, 2013


The bans have done nothing to reduce access.

I don't think even the advocates ever really expected them to do much. I think most gun control advocates consider ridiculous US-style porous patchworks of semi-bans to be next to useless, but until traction can be gained at the federal level for restrictions that aren't shot full of loopholes and sabotaged before having a chance to work, then doing porous patchwork is still laying some kind of groundwork for building something effective in the future. (For many years, that backfired.)
posted by anonymisc at 11:39 AM on February 26, 2013


Oh man, that interview with Glenn Beck is worth watching all the way through. I don't think I've ever seen him so afraid and so desperately trying to figure out on the spot if this guy sitting across from him is on his side or not.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 11:44 AM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch, racial profiling is okay for mass shooters, but not okay for airport security?

Gotcha.
posted by Ghost Mode at 11:45 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man, that interview with Glenn Beck is worth watching all the way through. I don't think I've ever seen him so afraid and so desperately trying to figure out on the spot if this guy sitting across from him is on his side or not.

Watching him try to redirect the conversation to the Articles on Confederation instead of Foucault was quite a sight; it's like he's never been confronted with a person who didn't, ultimately, want to talk about politics in the context of American history.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:47 AM on February 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch: “I do not propose causality between the increase in the number of guns and the drop in murder. That would be ridiculous. But would it be more or less ridiculous than proposing that the guns caused an increase in murder when there was no increase? Isn't it time we took a look at the cultural factors in American violence instead of the mechanical factors?”

I think we shouldn't give up on the mechanical factors so easily. The facts are pretty clear: the poorer areas of cities still see the largest amount of gun violence and gun murder. That's almost exclusively because of handguns.

AR-15s are a tiny blip on the problem of gun violence in this country. Worrying about them is a waste of time and resources. Making their manufacture easier doesn't seem like a great thing, but as it is now AR-15 violence would have to increase a hundredfold for it to be a problem worth worrying about before we worry about handgun violence.

“America is mostly run by white men who are prone to committing acts of mass violence when they don't get their needs met. Why then, is it a surprise when Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Dylan Klebold: white males who didn't get their needs met and then committed acts of mass violence?”

Mass violence is not great, but it is not the epidemic people seem to think it is. We pay attention to it because the victims are proportionally more often white. There are more pressing gun control problems.

“But in America's urban killing fields, most of the guns aren't legally possessed. The bans have done nothing to reduce access. California has one of the strongest bans in the nation, and yet it's murder rate has stayed in the top half of all the states, consistently (currently 18th).”

First of all, this is not a rational syllogism. You can't compare states to each other and expect to get valid results across the board. California's gun control laws have corresponded with a drop in gun violence there, full stop. The fact that there's more violence in California than in Vermont means absolutely nothing in this equation, because Vermont and California are completely different states with completely different factors which would be hell to control for if we really wanted to do valid statistical analysis. To choose the hugest factor, we know very well that gun violence is associated with urban areas. There's no Los Angeles in Vermont.

Second of all, this isn't a rational way to approach legislation, either. If urban gun control didn't work, the solution would not be to abandon gun control; it would be to fix the law so it does work. Law and order is important, and preserving it is important, too; we can't just throw up our hands and give up when it becomes difficult.
posted by koeselitz at 11:49 AM on February 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


It seems you can buy gun parts kits (everything but the receiver) for cash, with no paperwork or registration.

Pair a few hundred of those with a $3k 3D printer and these plans, and now you've just armed your gang with inexpensive, untraceable guns.

Maybe I'm being alarmist but that seems like a big deal to me.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:49 AM on February 26, 2013


Weak suburban men, mostly white, mostly young who've been told by society that they're supposed to be on top, and who can't deal with not being on top.

Asserted without evidence. Really, you understand the psychology behind what Adam Lanza did?
posted by leopard at 11:53 AM on February 26, 2013


Joakim Ziegler: It strikes me that the government might change what they regulate as a result of this. The chamber and barrel, for instance, are not really suitable for 3D printing...
Which is why I didn't twitch after I looked at this news story yesterday.
"WTF? 3D printing that can withstand the explosive forces of... oh, just the low-energy part. Never mind. Boring."

It's the equivalent of claiming to have made a working "paper V8 engine" - because the spark plug leads are held in place with paper mache plugs.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:57 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch, this is a thread about 3D printing and its effects on gun control. Maybe you should take the crude racial theories elsewhere.
posted by Ghost Mode at 11:57 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


now you've just armed your gang with inexpensive, untraceable guns.

Just to expand on that a bit, they're also reliable guns that you know the history of, and don't need to deal with the black market to acquire.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:59 AM on February 26, 2013


With where this technology is, I am not at all worried about being shot with a 3D printed gun in the near/far future. It's not like a drug dealer/bad guy is going to be able to hit "print" on his iPhone 84 and out comes a Glock 19.

A 3D printer capable of making this part is about $40,000-$400,000. (based on Stratasys prices). The lower-end Desktop and Design models (in the 3k and up range) are primarily for product concept and prototyping only, and it is highly unlikely that these would be able to make a functional receiver. Even if the price drops significantly on the top end models as the tech advances, if the printer retails for more than $300, it's worth buying a real manufactured gun (illegally or otherwise), versus trying to partially print, purchase the other required components, and then assemble one at home.

The major debate on 3D printing is probably going to occur in the copyright/design patent arena as the technology becomes more prevalent. Considering they're built on the same chassis, I would totally "print" myself a Lexus ES350 body and slap it on my Camry, thank you very much.
posted by Debaser626 at 11:59 AM on February 26, 2013


As for the debate about DIY bullets, I'm pretty damned sure I can make them. Paper packet of gunpowder, round ball molded of tin or lead, cotton wadding. Plenty lethal at the ranges DIY handguns are useful for.

This is a complete red herring. No meaningful part of the discussion of safety versus Constitutional rights is impacted.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:01 PM on February 26, 2013


I would totally "print" myself a Lexus ES350 body and slap it on my Camry, thank you very much.

Oh man, this would rule... imagine having enough money to be able to buy a Camry.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:03 PM on February 26, 2013 [24 favorites]


DU: "But people were less alarmed after learning that the gun had failed after 6 shots.

Because think how few people cowboys and bandits killed with six-shooters.
"

Yeah, but, you know, they could reload after 6 shots. They didn't need to find a new gun after six shots.
posted by Samizdata at 12:04 PM on February 26, 2013


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch: America is mostly run by white men who are prone to committing acts of mass violence when they don't get their needs met.

Why then, is it a surprise when Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Dylan Klebold: white males who didn't get their needs met and then committed acts of mass violence?
What parts of America did Adam Lanza, James Holmes, and Dylan Klebold run? Or are you conflating three individuals with an entire race? There's a word for that, I bet...
posted by IAmBroom at 12:05 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


ceribus peribus: "I love how a 6 shot gun is ignored because it isn't good enough; we need a gun that can fire at least 600 rounds. For self defense."

I don't so much think they are worried about ripping a clip or not, but, moreso, having a reliable gun when you need it, instead of losing track of how many shots you fired over the gun's life and having it explode/fail at a bad moment.
posted by Samizdata at 12:07 PM on February 26, 2013


But in America's urban killing fields, most of the guns aren't legally possessed. The bans have done nothing to reduce access.

That's because the bans are local. The vast majority of the guns used for murders in, say, Chicago, are brought in from out of state, usually from those with very loose gun laws.

Odd how this is never mentioned by those who claim that bans are never effective.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:10 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


What does this mean for international arms sales?
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:13 PM on February 26, 2013


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch: "Fun fact to add: the number of guns in the US has doubled since 1980, the homicide rate has halved. "

That's a little too much post hoc ergo propter hoc for this epidemiologist to swallow. Your fun fact fails to account for three strike laws, increased police presence, and increased rates of incarcaration (among other things) since the 1980s. You're also cherry-picking 1980 as your reference year, the year with the highest homicide rate on record.

A poor debater would link to more contextless and unadjusted statistics, but, being an epidemiologist, I prefer my ideologically-driven statistics to at least adjust for possible confounders. It is in this spirit that I present the immortal words of Dr. Linda Dahlberg:
"Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4)."
Whatever the source of manufacture, whatever the magazine size, the most important fact here is that they are emphatically not doing their job of keeping people safe. In clinical medicine, we do our best to throw away the tools that do not serve us. What do you do?
posted by The White Hat at 12:15 PM on February 26, 2013 [20 favorites]


Pair a few hundred of those with a $3k 3D printer and these plans, and now you've just armed your gang with inexpensive, untraceable guns.
Maybe I'm being alarmist but that seems like a big deal to me.


I'm not so sure. To me this seems similar to terrorist bombs in developed nations - anyone with a fair dose of knowledge and skill and education can make a very effective bomb. But you wouldn't think so judging from the bombs that actually get made. The key is that people with knowledge, skill, and education, engineers for example, generally aren't interested in terrorism. In a civil warzone like Iraq, that holds less and less. Eg. I wouldn't be surprised to see internal-industry weapons manufacture from a Mexican drug cartel (though, I don't even know what they could do that would surprise me now).
But arsenals for gang crimes?
People generally engage in crime because it's more profitable or more accessible than their other options. Right now, with the skills and resources to build an untraceable arsenal, it's generally going to be more profitable and much safer to cash in that skill on more mundane enterprises.

This may change in time, but it might take longer than you're thinking, and gives time to change the playing field accordingly.
posted by anonymisc at 12:15 PM on February 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


I know nothing about making guns, but couldn't you just use the 3D printer as a mold-creation device and then carbon-fiber the parts that need to be strong? Don't carbon barrels already exist? I doubt you'd even need the 3D printer, but it might be easier than carving a mold out of foam if you're less handy with sculpting tools.

3D printer has certainly raised some very interesting debates and not just about firearms.
posted by misterpatrick at 12:15 PM on February 26, 2013


What does this mean for international arms sales?
Absolutely nothing, TwelveTwo. No more than the ability to make switchblades out of sheet steel and springs has ever meant for commercial switchblade sales.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:16 PM on February 26, 2013


I purchase only locally-sourced, hand-crafted artisanal bullets for my killing.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 12:18 PM on February 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


I don't so much think they are worried about ripping a clip or not, but, moreso, having a reliable gun when you need it, instead of losing track of how many shots you fired over the gun's life and having it explode/fail at a bad moment.

Yes, but compare to things that are really used for personal safety, like fire extinguishers, safety airbags, and crash helmets. They're basically one use only, to help us survive an emergency situation, and then they need replacement or a major overhaul. We don't demand crash helmets that can endure three accidents every day each way during our daily commute. Football players want those kind of helmets - because they intentionally go out and smash their heads into each other.

If the cliche "in case of emergency, break glass for home defense gun" justification for gun ownership had real credibility, then single shot guns, or a rifle with a dozen shells perhaps, would be more than enough. It's telling that the true demand for guns are for the ones with high capacity clips and endless durability.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:25 PM on February 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Whatever the source of manufacture, whatever the magazine size, the most important fact here is that they are emphatically not doing their job of keeping people safe. In clinical medicine, we do our best to throw away the tools that do not serve us. What do you do?

You can't reason gun owners out of a position they didn't reason themselves into, but what's worse is that their lobbyists own the discussion in Washington, to the point where they can block research funding to prevent others from reasoning through these questions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:32 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


A large proportion of gun-related deaths involve domestic violence. Another large proportion involves accidents. I have no stats to cite but I would guess that, outside the inner city at least, those two categories make up the vast majority of gun deaths.

And I would guess reducing easy access to guns could significantly reduce these types of gun deaths.
posted by tommyD at 12:34 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


ceribus peribus: If the cliche "in case of emergency, break glass for home defense gun" justification for gun ownership had real credibility, then single shot guns, or a rifle with a dozen shells perhaps, would be more than enough. It's telling that the true demand for guns are for the ones with high capacity clips and endless durability.
While I agree in principle, the fact is that one doesn't need a lot of practice with a fire extinguisher to put out a stovetop fire. Shooting a human being at 3-20' is trickier than it seems, due to the psychology.

Anyway, that still doesn't make high-capacity clips needful.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:34 PM on February 26, 2013


I can print money in my basement, also. That hasn't made the crime of counterfeiting obsolete. Speaking of which, I see Cody Wilson just sold 100.0 #bitcoin!
posted by octobersurprise at 12:36 PM on February 26, 2013


Fundamentally, it appears that Wilson's motivation for pursuing printable guns is that he doesn't think the government should have a monopoly on lethal force.

Considering that the US government has killed many more people than American civilians have, I tend to agree with him.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 12:41 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch: " And the majority of American murder victims are still people of color living in poor urban areas, shot by other poor people of color living in the same areas, and most are men."

Despite this, you're apparently trying to use a mass murder statistic, -- which, let's face it, happens a lot less frequently than one-on-one homicide -- to skew your argument? This makes no sense to me.

From the Bureau of Justic Statistics: Trends by race
Blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders

* In 2008, the homicide victimization rate for blacks (19.6 homicides per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (3.3 homicides per 100,000).
* The victimization rate for blacks peaked in the early 1990s, reaching a high of 39.4 homicides per 100,000 in 1991.
* After 1991, the victimization rate for blacks fell until 1999, when it stabilized near 20 homicides per 100,000.
* In 2008, the offending rate for blacks (24.7 offenders per 100,000) was 7 times higher than the rate for whites (3.4 offenders per 100,000).
* The offending rate for blacks showed a similar pattern to the victimization rate, peaking in the early 1990s at a high of 51.1 offenders per 100,000 in 1991.
* After 1991, the offending rate for blacks declined until it reached 24 per 100,000 in 2004. Th e rate has since fluctuated, increasing to 28.4 offenders per 100,000 in 2006 before falling again to 24.7 offenders per 100,000 in 2008
If you're looking for American cultural factors that should be addressed to reduce gun violence, these statistics would be the best place to start. The numbers listed above are appalling. We should be focusing on who is dying in the greatest numbers and trying to stop that from happening. Polls of non-whites show an increasing desire for stricter gun control laws. Those are the communities that need them the most.
posted by zarq at 12:50 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


A large proportion of gun-related deaths involve domestic violence. Another large proportion involves accidents. I have no stats to cite but I would guess that, outside the inner city at least, those two categories make up the vast majority of gun deaths.

The missing element here (which absolutely does not go against your point about easy access) is suicides. All these numbers are approximate, but there were 32,000 firearms deaths in the US in 2011. 19,000 of those were suicides. Accidents accounted for less than 900. There were 11,000 homicides. It's also pretty clear that decreasing access to firearms will lower suicide rates.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:52 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


1. Going to print unregistered lower receivers and illegally sized mags? To sell to people? Good luck with that, enjoy extended prison time.
2. Going to print unregistered receivers to give your gang members? Enjoy extended prison time.
3. Going to print an unregistered receiver or extended mag for personal home protection? Might not be the best investment, but who am I to judge how you spend your money? Also, hope the cops never catch you with the contraband.
4. Going to print plastic gun parts to take on the oppressive government? I'm sure your extended mag will do wonders against the drones.
5. ???

I'm not even sure this is a thing that needs extra attention. Buying/Selling/Using unregistered guns is illegal. Should the large mags become illegal, then same deal. Why am I worried that some dude figured out a new way to do an illegal thing? Am I missing the obvious application of this technology which is significantly game changing?

Bonus: if this becomes a big enough thing, you'll have the government after you, as well as major gun manufacturers and, by extension, the NRA! Way to have no one in your corner!
posted by jermsplan at 12:54 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fundamentally, it appears that Wilson's motivation for pursuing printable guns is that he doesn't think the government should have a monopoly on lethal force.

Considering that the US government has killed many more people than American civilians have, I tend to agree with him.


Right, justice will be achieved when the civilians are able to catch up.
posted by leopard at 1:03 PM on February 26, 2013


Fundamentally, it appears that Wilson's motivation for pursuing printable guns is that he doesn't think the government should have a monopoly on lethal force.

Great! How soon will I be able to print me up a hydrogen bomb?
posted by jabo at 1:13 PM on February 26, 2013


Hollywood Upstairs Medical College: "I purchase only locally-sourced, hand-crafted artisanal bullets for my killing."

Yeah, but are they ogranic, vegan, and gluten-free? I don't want the people I shoot to have to deal with nutritional issues that can harm them in the future...
posted by Samizdata at 1:13 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


ceribus peribus: "I don't so much think they are worried about ripping a clip or not, but, moreso, having a reliable gun when you need it, instead of losing track of how many shots you fired over the gun's life and having it explode/fail at a bad moment.

Yes, but compare to things that are really used for personal safety, like fire extinguishers, safety airbags, and crash helmets. They're basically one use only, to help us survive an emergency situation, and then they need replacement or a major overhaul. We don't demand crash helmets that can endure three accidents every day each way during our daily commute. Football players want those kind of helmets - because they intentionally go out and smash their heads into each other.

If the cliche "in case of emergency, break glass for home defense gun" justification for gun ownership had real credibility, then single shot guns, or a rifle with a dozen shells perhaps, would be more than enough. It's telling that the true demand for guns are for the ones with high capacity clips and endless durability.
"

But, obversely, crash helmets and air bags don't really need much practice to use correctly, whereas a gun does.
posted by Samizdata at 1:15 PM on February 26, 2013


OK, so it's not actually possible for individuals to 3D-print guns yet, even if they have access to a 3D printer, which most people still don't. But it'll be interesting to watch the reactions of 2nd-Amendment advocates when it comes closer to reality. Bear in mind that the gun lobby consists of gun manufacturers. Right now, they're all in favor of unfettered access to firearms, but they're definitely not going to be in favor of letting gun enthusiasts cut them out of the loop. The question is, how much of the anti-gun-control crowd will follow their lead when they suddenly declare that 3D-printed guns are a unique danger?
posted by baf at 1:22 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why am I worried that some dude figured out a new way to do an illegal thing?

That's about right. This technology pushes enough sci-fi buttons that WIRED can pitch it as a controversial tech story, but it's mostly unremarkable. 3D printing is not likely to significantly impact the market or culture of firearms in the United States, and manufacturing gun parts is one of the more fringe and unimaginative ways that 3D printing will likely be used.
posted by cribcage at 1:22 PM on February 26, 2013


It's telling that the true demand for guns are for the ones with high capacity clips and endless durability.

Can you tell me why anyone in their right mind would prefer a low quality anything to a high quality thing? People want endless durability in their firearms so they can pass them on to their children and their children's children.

And actually, people don't want high capacity clips. They want medium capacity clips - clips the size of the gun, which in a handgun is about 12-19 these days, and in a rifle, 20. Any larger than that and they start jamming and seizing up, not to mention they're unwieldy. I support peoples' right to own ridiculous drum magazines, but they suck and they're mallcoppy. I don't know a single shooter who actually uses them.

Bear in mind that the gun lobby consists of gun manufacturers. Right now, they're all in favor of unfettered access to firearms, but they're definitely not going to be in favor of letting gun enthusiasts cut them out of the loop.

I don't think that's necessarily the case - note the bullet manufacturers not going after reloaders.
posted by corb at 1:25 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


And bullets are trivial to manufacture at home, sadly.

Really?

While lead to go into muskets and black powder muzzleloaders need nothing more than measured amounts of hot lead dropped from a high place, do show how the typical "home" is able to make copper-jacketed bullets along with the brass for the cartages.

And during this time of "national debate" on the idea of guns/ammunition, can you find web links explaining WHY various Government departments have RFP's for the kind of volume of ammunition noted here.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:26 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fundamentally, it appears that Wilson's motivation for pursuing printable guns is that he doesn't think the government should have a monopoly on lethal force.

Having looked at Wilson's website and his twitter feed, I think his motivation is more that he doesn't believe anyone should have a monopoly on lethal trolling.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:26 PM on February 26, 2013


Rarely have I wanted to punch someone in the face so badly.

What a wonderful comment and answer to Gun based violence.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:30 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


In the interview with Beck, Wilson says the file necessary to print off the part has been downloaded 50 000 times. This got me thinking... can, or indeed should, the government put legal restrictions on information? It‘s the Anarchist‘s Cookbook all over again, isn‘t it? I knew a few people who had copies, and they never blew anything up...

Just throwing that out there...
posted by Jughead at 1:30 PM on February 26, 2013


What a wonderful comment and answer to Gun based violence.

Admit that if everyone merely punched instead of shooting, we'd all live in a much more peaceful world.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:33 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


The chamber and barrel, for instance, are not really suitable for 3D printing...

And yet all the other parts can be made with a lathe and CNC machine.

Wake me up when the politically correct US citizens answer to state sponsored violence isn't "thank you for your service".

(my memory is the US and Brittish Governments in WWII printed out design plans and measurements to make guns for the various resistance efforts. Alas, I didn't find links to copies of those source materials so perhaps someone with better search-foo can post a link to show how long "make your own" gun plans have existed.)
posted by rough ashlar at 1:36 PM on February 26, 2013


beagle: "But I imagine this will cause a lot of consternation in countries that have pretty strict controls on who can buy and own guns. While those universal regulations have also served to keep guns out of "the wrong hands" and minimize gun death rates, now the criminals and subversives can print themselves guns."
I live in a high-gun-control country and come from another country with even more gun control. I am not worried about criminals having guns, as they mostly use them on each other and at any rate, they don't seem to have any problem getting them already. I am worried about proliferation of guns to everybody, US style, with all the killings that follow.
posted by brokkr at 1:39 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


As butterstick points out, you can make bullets with cheaper, far more rudimentary equipment than a 3D printer.

ASSEMBLY of already made copper-jacket lead (the bullet), brass cartages, primers, and smokeless powder is rather simple.

But go ahead - show how easy the 'typical' homeowner can make the above items.

("Regular" black powder is going to need piles of high Carbon leaves that you spend 5+ years peeing and pooping on to get the white powder that is salt-peter if you want to go old-school on making your own black powder.)
posted by rough ashlar at 1:43 PM on February 26, 2013


Fundamentally, it appears that Wilson's motivation for pursuing printable guns is that he doesn't think the government should have a monopoly on lethal force.

The US government fails to properly deploy force despite tons of oversight, planning, and the best available experts in the field soberly considering the issues. I don't trust every random American dumbass to do a better job trying that out.

The fantasies about resisting government power (murdering police officers) are far more likely to play out in the real world in a time of violent conflict in America as roving bands of really terrible people terrorizing local communities. It's what happens when society breaks down. Murder, rape, and intimidation. When people live like that for a while, they crave the order the government can bring, not the freedom to be ruled by local thugs.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:51 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


People want endless durability in their firearms so they can pass them on to their children and their children's children.

"Son, that 600-round mag has killed a few deer, winged a couple cousins, fatally wounded my great-aunt, and kept our family safe from the combined might of the US government for generations. I hope it will treat you as good."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:52 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


its easy to make bullets
Barrel, rifling, etc can't be printed yet.


Considering the level of typical ignorance displayed by Congress in making laws that address technical issues along with the Ignorance displayed when a claim that an empty space can't be 3D printed - exactly how is "good law" going to be made?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:52 PM on February 26, 2013


piles of high Carbon leaves that you spend 5+ years peeing and pooping on to get the white powder that is salt-peter

If only that was Cody Wilson's next Youtube.
posted by Mid at 1:52 PM on February 26, 2013


Glenn Beck: "It's frightening because Occupy Wall Street could take over the world..."

Yeah, and that shows how ignorant you are: you think OWS would have use for an AR.


Maybe they'd make more impact if they did, or at least had the threat of force. The conditions in America are past that which would traditionally trigger a revolt.

I assume anyone printing out a gun in Australia will be arrested, and the plans will be banned (like certain material about euthanasia). I'm okay with that.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:53 PM on February 26, 2013


I think we shouldn't give up on the mechanical factors so easily. The facts are pretty clear: the poorer areas of cities still see the largest amount of gun violence and gun murder. That's almost exclusively because of handguns.

Gosh and here I was thinking that without access to a fair manner of conflict resolution (like an uncorrupted Court system that could accept disputes over "illegal" things) alternative conflict resolution methods will be used.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:58 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Rarely have I wanted to punch someone in the face so badly.

What a wonderful comment and answer to Gun based violence.

It is, actually. It's because I know how easy it is to slip into a mental posture of violence when responding to frightening or disturbing circumstances that I am so concerned about the ready availability of guns, which are extraordinarily effective at accelerating and magnifying that response.
posted by bjrubble at 1:59 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


now you've just armed your gang with inexpensive, untraceable guns. Maybe I'm being alarmist

I'd say "your gang" is doing it wrong when members of the US government are willing to help others sell you guns outright.

(See Fast and Furious along with the parts of the International gun trade the US Government encourages.)
posted by rough ashlar at 2:04 PM on February 26, 2013


"Considering the level of typical ignorance displayed by Congress in making laws that address technical issues along with the Ignorance displayed when a claim that an empty space can't be 3D printed - exactly how is "good law" going to be made?"

Describing rifling as empty space is fairly misleading — good rifling is a non-trivial problem for printing (though a rather trivial problem for drilling).
posted by klangklangston at 2:05 PM on February 26, 2013


me: “I think we shouldn't give up on the mechanical factors so easily. The facts are pretty clear: the poorer areas of cities still see the largest amount of gun violence and gun murder. That's almost exclusively because of handguns.”

rough ashlar: “Gosh and here I was thinking that without access to a fair manner of conflict resolution (like an uncorrupted Court system that could accept disputes over "illegal" things) alternative conflict resolution methods will be used.”

Is the suggestion here that gun murders usually take place in circumstances where there are conflicts over some legal issue that could be solved in a court of law? I'm not sure about that. It seems to me that most of these cases are cases that are entirely extralegal. And moreover it seems as though gun murder is high in poor urban areas regardless of the quality of the judicial system involved in that area.

In other words: simply fixing the judicial system would not be enough. There's a reason why urban police departments and district courts across the country ask legislatures on bended knee to enact handgun bans – because they work. Or at least – they worked, until an activist Supreme Court outlawed them.
posted by koeselitz at 2:06 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I'd say "your gang" is doing it wrong when members of the US government are willing to help others sell you guns outright.

(See Fast and Furious along with the parts of the International gun trade the US Government encourages.)
"

That's kind of a bizarre misreading of what actually happened with the Fast and Furious program. They didn't interdict folks they suspected of being straw buyers because there was no law against what they were doing at that exact moment. The tubthumping over Fast and Furious is some deeply hypocritical bullshit from GOP lawmakers, and it's weird to see you buying into it.
posted by klangklangston at 2:06 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


engineers for example, generally aren't interested in terrorism

And yet, when one normalises the data, that is the largest ex-profession of 'terrorist leaders'.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:10 PM on February 26, 2013


Is the suggestion here that gun murders usually take place in circumstances where there are conflicts over some legal issue that could be solved in a court of law?

How, exactly, is the 'typical' illegal drug trade issue solved with an illegal murder fit into the above?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:14 PM on February 26, 2013


…which doesn't disprove the point at all, because the vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of engineers are not terrorists.
posted by klangklangston at 2:15 PM on February 26, 2013


Can you tell me why anyone in their right mind would prefer a low quality anything to a high quality thing?

Price differential.
posted by achrise at 2:15 PM on February 26, 2013


They didn't interdict folks they suspected of being straw buyers because there was no law against what they were doing at that exact moment. The tubthumping over Fast and Furious is some deeply hypocritical bullshit from GOP lawmakers, and it's weird to see you buying into it.

The attempts to make it about Obama rather than the mistakes made lower down the totem poll were wrong, but there was a real scandal there.

...the DOJ inspector General concluded: "We did not find persuasive evidence that agents sought to seize firearms or make arrests during the investigative stage of the case and were rebuffed by the prosecutor.... We found that the lack of seizures and arrests was primarily attributable to the pursuit of a strategic goal shared by both the [Phoenix] ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office -- to eliminate a trafficking organization -- and the belief that confronting subjects and seizing firearms could compromise that goal."
posted by Drinky Die at 2:17 PM on February 26, 2013


rough ashlar: “How, exactly, is the 'typical' illegal drug trade issue solved with an illegal murder fit into the above?”

Er – I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean here. What I meant is that illegal drug trade issues are not typically solved in a courtroom, nor are those involved with illegal drug trade issues very likely to take up those issues in a courtroom, even if they had the option.
posted by koeselitz at 2:18 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


They didn't interdict folks they suspected of being straw buyers because there was no law against what they were doing at that exact moment.

ATF was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchasers.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:19 PM on February 26, 2013


(And John Dodson, an agent of the US, did in fact directly facilitate at least one purchase)
posted by Drinky Die at 2:20 PM on February 26, 2013


Son, that 600-round mag has killed a few deer, winged a couple cousins, fatally wounded my great-aunt, and kept our family safe from the combined might of the US government for generations. I hope it will treat you as good."

I think you have a fundamental lack of knowledge about guns, not least in that you refer to a 600 round magazine as something that could conceivably have existed usefully, and been passed down. The 600 figure above was not meant to refer to a useful magazine, but rather the amount of rounds that could go through the weapon without the lower receiver breaking.

That lack of knowledge shows in the idea that a family educated in guns would have that many accidents, as well. It is people who don't use guns frequently who are most at risk of accidents.
posted by corb at 2:20 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


rough ashlar: “ATF was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchasers.”

... because the Arizona Attorney General pretty much has forbidden even investigating illegal gun purchases.
posted by koeselitz at 2:21 PM on February 26, 2013


(corb: I'm pretty sure octobersurprise was joking.)
posted by koeselitz at 2:22 PM on February 26, 2013


Er – I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean here.

And how was I unclear - If one has a dispute with someone that is not able to be adjudicated in a uncorrupted Court of Law what other outcome is expected other than an extra-judicial attempt to address the dispute?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:26 PM on February 26, 2013


Glenn Beck: "It's frightening because Occupy Wall Street could take over the world..."

Yeah, and that shows how ignorant you are: you think OWS would have use for an AR.

Maybe they'd make more impact if they did, or at least had the threat of force.


The "more impact" would be police openly killing protestors on the grounds that they [looked like they] were "brandishing". In many areas the police barely restrained from indiscriminately killing occupy protesters as it was.

Police in the USA are not like police in Australia.
posted by anonymisc at 2:32 PM on February 26, 2013


the Arizona Attorney General pretty much has forbidden even investigating illegal gun purchases.

Next time instead of "members of the US government" I'll be sure to state "members of the Governmental apparatus which have been placed in some form of charge with the enforcement of the laws, rules, regulations and court decisions of the political body commonly referred to as the United States of America" just so a State functionary who's doing something is covered which was obviously not covered by a statement of "US Government".



Unless someone has a better phrase to cover the range of President to dog catcher and building code enforcer.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:34 PM on February 26, 2013


And yet, when one normalises the data, that is the largest ex-profession of 'terrorist leaders'.

I'd also think it supports the point - it implies that terrorists are so unable to attract capable people, that when such a person does get in the fold, they are top of the pecking order.
I'm assuming some data here, such as that all the people at the bottom are not mostly engineers too, but I think we're ok with those kind of safe assumptions
posted by anonymisc at 2:40 PM on February 26, 2013


Reminds me of the story a few months ago about the store in California that let you make the lower receiver at their shop anonymously and thereby have an untraceable gun.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:42 PM on February 26, 2013


Also, I think you'll find that the data actually shows that the largest prior-profession of 'terrorist leaders' is 'undercover FBI'.

In the USA anyway :-)
posted by anonymisc at 2:43 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is people who don't use guns frequently who are most at risk of accidents.

If this is true, then people who don't use guns at all must be lucky to escape with their lives!
posted by octobersurprise at 2:45 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


And yet, when one normalises the data, that is the largest ex-profession of 'terrorist leaders'.

I'd like to see that data.

The "more impact" would be police openly killing protestors on the grounds that they [looked like they] were "brandishing".

Unless they are protesting Gun Control.
posted by achrise at 2:47 PM on February 26, 2013


I'd also suggest that guns in the USA are already effectively all untraceable. Without a national (or all-states) registry that for every gun, holds a person legally accountable for everything that happens with that gun, then tracing a weapon is largely an exercise in dumb luck or statistics research.
posted by anonymisc at 2:51 PM on February 26, 2013


"Unless someone has a better phrase to cover the range of President to dog catcher and building code enforcer."

Why, it's almost like imputing responsibility to everyone from dog catcher to president isn't very helpful and can actually be misleading! Whodathunkit?
posted by klangklangston at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yet, when one normalises the data, that is the largest ex-profession of 'terrorist leaders'.
I'd like to see that data.


http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2009/12/buildabomber.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/magazine/12FOB-IdeaLab-t.html?_r=0
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/05/brain-food-terrorists-engineering

The above authors got the idea from somewhere - ask them.

Why, it's almost like imputing responsibility to everyone from dog catcher to president isn't very helpful and can actually be misleading! Whodathunkit?

And without being able to cover cover some kind of range you have people who complain you end up with the 'not the US Government fault! blame the State attorney general'. So what's the agreeable term to cover the whole range of the 'government' involved in Federal Law enforcement?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:25 PM on February 26, 2013


Police in the USA are not like police in Australia.

Considering a part of police recruitment starts with having been a state-sponsorered killer in the Military that is going to impact the culture and end result.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:31 PM on February 26, 2013




That's because the bans are local. The vast majority of the guns used for murders in, say, Chicago, are brought in from out of state, usually from those with very loose gun laws.

Odd how this is never mentioned by those who claim that bans are never effective.


This is true, guns are fungible. But if gun control laws were effective at reducing violent crime rates (or even gun crime rates), wouldn't it stand to reason that areas with stringent gun control laws would have lower violent crime rates?


I live in a high-gun-control country and come from another country with even more gun control. I am not worried about criminals having guns, as they mostly use them on each other and at any rate, they don't seem to have any problem getting them already. I am worried about proliferation of guns to everybody, US style, with all the killings that follow.

actually that is pretty much true in the US despite an increase in the number of guns and the way a law abiding citizen can legally carry one. Almost all states have at least some kind of concealed gun license, the number of guns (and gun owners) increasing and that most of the increase was in either handguns or semi-auto rifles there has been a decrease in violent crime rates (and this includes homicide). Outside of inner city areas and especially if you are not part of the criminal world your chances of being deliberately killed (whether by a gun or some other tool) are about the same as Europe (or much of the rest of the developed world).

That's kind of a bizarre misreading of what actually happened with the Fast and Furious program. They didn't interdict folks they suspected of being straw buyers because there was no law against what they were doing at that exact moment. The tubthumping over Fast and Furious is some deeply hypocritical bullshit from GOP lawmakers, and it's weird to see you buying into it.

NO, what happened was the ATF told gun store owners who were refusing to sell guns to obvious straw buyers to sell them the guns anyway in violation of the law and then the ATF attempted to track them, to the tune of several thousand firearms (mostly semi-auto rifles and pistols). Some of which have turned up in crime scenes, one notably at the murder scene of a border patrol agent. This is something EVERYONE should be outraged by. And even more recently the ATF did the same thing in Milwaukee I believe. (I am at work and don't have access to my library of links about all this).

And no law abiding citizen is going to print out illegal items (or if they do they are going to jail for no other reason than they own something you don't like and think is BAD despite regardless of any ill intentions), but it sure isn't going to stop criminals from using them to increase their firepower if they can. Right now it isn't feasible for the common criminal to do this (and maybe never will be) but then the common criminal doesn't use any type of gun that is going to be touched by the ANY of the recent gun control bills. They usually obtain them on the street as a result of theft from law abiding gun owners(good luck on getting them to comply with a background check), the most common type is a 38 special revolver (not an 'assault' weapon or taking any kind of magazine) with the next most common type being a semi automatic pistol, most of which have a magazine size of less than 10 anyway, and from the only account I have read on it (admittedly anecdotal) a cop talking about the type of firearms seized he remarked that almost none of them had a full magazine.

And the final thought for the day on this topic, During the Warsaw uprising in the closing days of WWII the Jews in the Ghetto managed to make/obtain several firearms (less than 10 if I remember right). They used these to obtain (meaning kill and then take the German's weapons) several more and then held off the might of the Wehrmacht for several days. With homemade guns, stolen rifles and willpower. Just food for thought.
posted by bartonlong at 4:22 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


But if gun control laws were effective at reducing violent crime rates (or even gun crime rates), wouldn't it stand to reason that areas with stringent gun control laws would have lower violent crime rates?

Singapore has very strict gun control and a far lower violent crime rate.
posted by humanfont at 4:31 PM on February 26, 2013


Singapore has very strict gun control and a far lower violent crime rate.

And how much training do they do of their citizens to go into other countries to kill people?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:37 PM on February 26, 2013


You could make an entire gun with a small lathe. Always could.

If anything, the 3d printer is less functional than a cnc lathe. I don't see what the big deal is.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 4:38 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


rough ashlar: "
Considering a part of police recruitment starts with having been a state-sponsorered killer in the Military that is going to impact the culture and end result.
"

Police being ex-military is extremely common in most parts of the world, including places like Scandinavia. In fact, in Norway, you can't go to the police academy without having served your obligatory (not really all that obligatory if you don't want it) tour of duty in the armed forces.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:38 PM on February 26, 2013


Singapore has very strict gun control and a far lower violent crime rate.

And how much training do they do of their citizens to go into other countries to kill people?
In Singapore, the NS (Amendment) Act was passed on 14 March 1967, under which all able-bodied male citizens of 18 – 21 years of age were required to serve 24 months of compulsory national service in the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force, or the Singapore Civil Defence Force. Upon completion of full-time NS, they undergo reservist training cycles of up to forty days to a year for the next ten years.

The majority of conscripts serve in the Singapore Armed Forces due to its larger manpower requirements. Almost all conscripts undergo basic military training before being deployed to the various services, the police, or Civil Defence; conscripts do not have the opportunity to choose their assignment. Conscripts, known as National Servicemen, hold leadership positions as Specialists or commissioned officers.

Singapore used to have one of the longest mandatory military service periods for males, at thirty months prior to 2005.
posted by DaDaDaDave at 4:52 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Police being ex-military is extremely common in most parts of the world

Wonderful, got number on that?

(and being ex-military doesn't mean they are in active combat reinforcing the kill-training)
posted by rough ashlar at 4:54 PM on February 26, 2013


And yet, when one normalises the data, [engineer] is the largest ex-profession of 'terrorist leaders'.

It's a damn shame how the humanities just aren't preparing people for the real world.
posted by Zed at 5:03 PM on February 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is true, guns are fungible. But if gun control laws were effective at reducing violent crime rates (or even gun crime rates), wouldn't it stand to reason that areas with stringent gun control laws would have lower violent crime rates?

Not if those laws are easily circumvented due to extreme mismatches in laws nearby under an umbrella jurisdiction (federal in this case), no. That's like asking if quarantine procedures were effective at reducing illness rates when any sick person can open the door and sneeze or vomit all over the patients inside.

Almost all states have at least some kind of concealed gun license, the number of guns (and gun owners) increasing and that most of the increase was in either handguns or semi-auto rifles there has been a decrease in violent crime rates (and this includes homicide).

There is absolutely zero evidence that concealed licenses or the number of guns has anything to do with the crime rate. There's far more evidence and even near to direct correlation with a number of other factors, particularly lead content in paint and gasoline.

And the final thought for the day on this topic, During the Warsaw uprising in the closing days of WWII the Jews in the Ghetto managed to make/obtain several firearms (less than 10 if I remember right). They used these to obtain (meaning kill and then take the German's weapons) several more and then held off the might of the Wehrmacht for several days. With homemade guns, stolen rifles and willpower. Just food for thought.

What is it with 2A dead enders and the Jews? Seriously, just stop the whole "if Jews had guns the Holocaust wouldn't have happened" bullshit. It's factually inaccurate, to say nothing of the grotesque victim-blaming and paternalistic lack of agency it implies, and most Jewish people think it's really fucked up that a group of mostly white and Protestant people are trying to appropriate this for a cause that they don't have a lot of support for.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:11 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And the final thought for the day on this topic, During the Warsaw uprising in the closing days of WWII the Jews in the Ghetto managed to make/obtain several firearms (less than 10 if I remember right). They used these to obtain (meaning kill and then take the German's weapons) several more and then held off the might of the Wehrmacht for several days. With homemade guns, stolen rifles and willpower. Just food for thought.

If only France and Poland had some armed men!
posted by Drinky Die at 5:14 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


What is it with 2A dead enders

If the 2nd amendment is a dead end, why not nut up and get an amendment to nullify that part of the Constitution?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:18 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because that's not what dead-enders means.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:54 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


To clarify: a dead-ender is someone who believes that there's little or nothing that should be changed about a process (or law), no matter what the evidence.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:56 PM on February 26, 2013


I respect everyone's choice to not own a weapon and I have way too many reasons not to give up mine. I find it interesting that somehow it is acceptable for anyone to dictate what I can and cannot own regardless of whether I am guilty of an actual crime or not. This pre-crime obsession with banning large capacity magazine, semi or even fully automatic weapons is simply fascinating for me. For context, I am an immigrant thriving on the opportunities provided to me by the United States and thoroughly enjoy all the freedoms accorded to me. I find it alarming that these freedoms are eroding right in front of my eyes and my children won't be able to enjoy the full potential of this fantastic country (By the way, I include the first, second, fourth and fifth amendments in the freedoms that I see as slipping away so understand that I am not focused or obsessed with just guns).
posted by trol at 6:00 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


If I'm a gun manufacturer, a system that makes it easy for people to make their own guns is going to scare the shit out of me. Watch for lobbying efforts from the NRA to make this illegal "for the sake of the children" within the decade.

To whit: they don't want people to have guns. They want people to buy guns.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:04 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am an immigrant thriving on the opportunities provided to me by the United States and thoroughly enjoy all the freedoms accorded to me. I find it alarming that these freedoms are eroding right in front of my eyes and my children won't be able to enjoy the full potential of this fantastic country (By the way, I include the first, second, fourth and fifth amendments in the freedoms that I see as slipping away so understand that I am not focused or obsessed with just guns).

And what, exactly are the 2A rights that are being eroded before your eyes? We're at a time of near-peak gun rights at the moment, thanks to repealed or expired gun laws and decisions like Heller. The only serious legislation right now (it's generally accepted in Congress that the AWB is a decoy) is stuff like universal background checks, improved mental health legislation, and improving the effectiveness of the various purchasing and notification systems. You know, the same stuff that's wildly popular with both gun owners and the population at large, and that the NRA and its members believed were excellent ideas until a black man was elected President twice lobbying money stopped being so effective.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:28 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


What is it with 2A dead enders and the Jews? Seriously, just stop the whole "if Jews had guns the Holocaust wouldn't have happened" bullshit.

Here ya go then - No Guns for Negroes
A non Jewish argument.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:29 PM on February 26, 2013


I find it interesting that somehow it is acceptable for anyone to dictate what I can and cannot own regardless of whether I am guilty of an actual crime or not.

You are likely no different. You're probably quite happy that people a few blocks over from you are not allowed to have nuclear weapons, despite the fact that they have not yet committed a crime (or not been caught yet).

Your focus on pre-crime I think is also missing a lot of the nuance of the issue. Consider crime instead as a something-we-all-agree-is-bad common ground for a dispute in which there is less common ground than everyone would like. And to some extent, focus on crime is legal necessity here - the 2nd Amendment rules out a lot of avenues that this kind of discussion would take in other countries. Crime is something not protected by the 2nd Amendment

You mention large capacity magazines. The view is that large capacity magazines do not offer an advantage to legal uses of firearms (sports, home defense, etc), but have offered a significant advantage to criminal usage, such as the guy in 2011 who was immediately overpowered as soon as he needed to reload, but was able to shoot 18 people before needing to reload.

People are trying to find ways to diminish gun violence without diminishing the rights of people to own guns, or to do so as little as possible, and that is why there is so much searching for possible win-win solutions like large magazines - things where restrictions could potentially reduce gun violence without hurting gun owners.
posted by anonymisc at 6:30 PM on February 26, 2013


I hope the printed gun debate doesn't end up affecting my ability to copy Warhammer minis.
posted by fraxil at 6:40 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


People are trying to find ways to diminish gun violence without diminishing the rights of people to own guns, or to do so as little as possible, and that is why there is so much searching for possible win-win solutions like large magazines - things where restrictions could potentially reduce gun violence without hurting gun owners.

Why are 'gun owners' a protected class? I like playing violent videogames, but if studied showed that they actually murdered 10% of the people playing them I'd be all in favor of banning them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:41 PM on February 26, 2013


Here ya go then - No Guns for Negroes
A non Jewish argument.


So the overwhelming majority of African-Americans (70%+) that support gun control are just self-hating Uncle Toms with no idea of history? Wow.

And it's not as if the anti-gun control group's consciense is...well, lily-white. From the same article:
In 1990, NRA Board Member Ted Nugent told the Detroit Free Press magazine that:
…apartheid isn’t that cut and dry. All men are not created equal. The preponderance of South Africa is a different breed of man. I mean that with no disrespect. I say that with great respect. I love them because I’m one of them. They are still people of the earth, but they are different. They still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands … These are different people. You give ‘em toothpaste, they f***ing eat it.
One year later, another NRA Board Member, Jeff Cooper, commented on gun homicides in Los Angeles in Guns & Ammo magazine:
The consensus is that no more than five to ten people in a hundred who die by gunfire in Los Angeles are any loss to society. These people fight small wars amongst themselves. It would seem a valid social service to keep them well supplied with ammunition.
NRA Director of Research Paul Blackman agreed with Cooper, writing that since young homicide victims “are frequently criminals themselves and/or drug abusers,” their deaths offer “net gains” to society.

In December 1997, former NRA President Charlton Heston made the following remarks at a Free Congress Foundation event:
Why is ‘Hispanic pride’ or ‘black pride’ a good thing, while ‘white pride’ conjures up shaved heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated in the media as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I’ll tell you why: cultural warfare … Mainstream America is depending on you, counting on you to draw your sword and fight for them. These people have precious little time or resources to battle misguided Cinderella attitudes, the fringe propaganda of the homosexual coalition, the feminists who preach that it’s a divine duty for women to hate men, blacks who raise a militant fist with one hand while they seek preference with the other.
Then there was the bizarre, insulting 2003 editorial by Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt, entitled, “Why Blacks Tend to Support Gun Control.” “Hatred is the ‘glue’ that has been used by many black leaders—preachers and politicians alike—to keep blacks on the plantation,” wrote Pratt. “Not surprisingly, one of the elements of the liberal worldview supported by many blacks is opposition to self-defense. Indeed, most black politicians are gun-bashing anti-Second Amendment zealots … Dependence on the state for food and shelter includes depending on the state for protection. That the state provides none of these things well has not shaken the firmly held commitment to restricting firearms. Regarding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), [Rev. Lee] Peterson says this: ‘These are radical socialists who have little respect for individual responsibility or the Second Amendment.’”

Finally, you have to wonder how African-Americans feel when they hear a gun extremist like Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League describing efforts to legalize the carrying of guns in bars by saying, “We tried to throw off the bonds that have tied down gun owners unconstitutionally for years.”
posted by zombieflanders at 6:44 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why are 'gun owners' a protected class? I like playing violent videogames, but if studied showed that they actually murdered 10% of the people playing them I'd be all in favor of banning them.

Because the Second Amendment protects that right. If enough people are in favor of altering the 2nd amendment, then that's the way to change that. Until then, gun ownership is protected in the USA.
posted by anonymisc at 6:48 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, gun violence is a social problem. Crystalizing into Them VS Us camps, and may the stronger camp batter the other into submission - that makes for weak, fractured society. Solutions that find ways for both camps to get what they want are far more preferable, if they can be devised.
posted by anonymisc at 6:51 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


actually that is pretty much true in the US despite an increase in the number of guns and the way a law abiding citizen can legally carry one. Almost all states have at least some kind of concealed gun license, the number of guns (and gun owners) increasing and that most of the increase was in either handguns or semi-auto rifles there has been a decrease in violent crime rates (and this includes homicide).

I forgot to point this out earlier, but gun ownership has actually been declining for the better part of 30 years, with more guns being bought by less people, so we can also stop perpetuating the "more people owning guns is responsible for lowering the crime rate" myth, too.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:55 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


University of California at Davis Law Review: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT (Carl T Bogus)
"Slavery was not only an economic and industrial system," one scholar noted, "but more than that, it was a gigantic police system."[123] Over time the South had developed an elaborate system of slave control. The basic instrument of control was the slave patrol, armed groups of white men who made regular rounds.
[...]
By the mid-eighteenth century, the patrols had become the responsibility of the militia.
[...]
After the war, the militia remained the principal means of protecting the social order and preserving white control over an enormous black population. Anything that might weaken this system presented the gravest of threats.
[...]
The Federalists did their best to respond to the suggestions that the federal government would, in one way or another, render the militia impotent as a slave control device.
[...]
The evidence that the Second Amendment was written to assure the South that the federal government would not disarm its militia is, I suggest, considerable. However, the evidence is almost entirely circumstantial.
[...]
Mason and Henry fanned the flames of Southern paranoia to manipulate the ratifying Convention, and Madison later became a fire fighter to protect both the Constitution and his own political career. These were games of masquerade and innuendo. No one's purpose was served by laying cards upon the table. The history of the Second Amendment was hidden by design.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:29 PM on February 26, 2013


I am not very technically savvy as far as quoting stuff is concerned but I would like to address the nuclear reactor point first and then the mag capacity thing. While the nuclear thing is not really in the same ball park idealogically and logistically but technically if you spend sufficient money acquiring all the components, you can build whatever you want in the United States (this is the beauty of this country!). Thankfully it is not the most profitable venue for most people to invest their time and resources in and so we don't have a proliferation of nuclear materials everywhere but know that most of the weapons of mass destruction are in fact researched, designed and built by private enterprise.

As to magazine capacity, it is your opinion that large capacity magazines serve no practical purpose. I assure you that firing a 100 rounds from a fully automatic MP5 sub-machine gun is a fantastic experience and a worthwhile use of 30 dollars (for me) and the ability to do this in a safe and controlled manner is very dear to me and millions like me. Trying to ban magazines of any capacity is a red-herring and something that makes arbitrary demands on what I can and cannot do without showing any data or evidence that this actually helps reduce crime.

I am all for data driven decision making, gun control arguments however are being driven by emotions like fear and lack of real understanding of where law abiding gun owners are coming from.
posted by trol at 7:30 PM on February 26, 2013


If enough people are in favor of altering the 2nd amendment, then that's the way to change that.

Which is why I stated the people who believe that second amendment matters are 'dead enders', they should nut up and get the 2nd amendment repealed.

Also, gun violence is a social problem.

And that culture of violence starts at the top in a nation that has been in one 'kinetic action' after another for over 1/2 a century.

Other than Quakers, who else is asking for that to change?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:35 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yet, when one normalises the data, that is the largest ex-profession of 'terrorist leaders'.
I'd like to see that data.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2009/12/buildabomber.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/magazine/12FOB-IdeaLab-t.html?_r=0
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/05/brain-food-terrorists-engineering


All three refer to the same paper by Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog, which says this in the summary:
This article demonstrates that among violent Islamists engineers with a degree,individuals with an engineering education are three to four times more frequent than we would expect given the share of engineers among university students in Islamic countries.
So the data seem to say that among violent terrorists in the Islamic world that "engaged in higher education at some point" that the most numerous group studied engineering. This is not the same as saying "the largest ex-profession of terrorist leaders is engineering".
posted by achrise at 7:36 PM on February 26, 2013


but technically if you spend sufficient money acquiring all the components, you can build whatever you want in the United States

You are mistaken. Possession of processed radiologicals is strictly regulated. You are given an exemption from licensing requirements for the possession a naturally-occurring uranium-bearing mineral. You can't go from there to anything even close to fission fuel. Even seemingly harmless processes as might be used for an art project can violate your exemption. You are romanticizing a country that does not exist, and never did exist.
posted by anonymisc at 7:41 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is not the same as saying "the largest ex-profession of terrorist leaders is engineering".

Fair enough.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:43 PM on February 26, 2013


Trying to ban magazines of any capacity is a red-herring and something that makes arbitrary demands on what I can and cannot do without showing any data or evidence that this actually helps reduce crime.

Fewer people would have been shot in 2011 if there were fewer bullets in that guy's clip. That's a simple fact. You can argue that cases like that are exceptions and uncommon, and I agree with you, but the fact remains, more people got shot because the clip was extended.

If you genuinely want to dismiss their right to not have a bullet in their brain, because of the importance of your right to get a thrill from firing a machine-gun, you'll be the guy that the other side loves to let talk, because you'll make their case for them.

If you think the current demands on what you can and can't do are too "arbitrary", then you need to put your nose to the grindstone and come up with less arbitrary ways to enshrine the rights of your fellow citizens to not get shot. You're in a democracy (or what's left of one). If you let people who don't like guns do all the heavy lifting in finding ways to prevent gun violence, then it's your fault if they come up with solutions that don't consider your interests as much as they would be considered if you were doing some of the heavy lifting.
posted by anonymisc at 7:51 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You are mistaken. Possession of processed radiologicals is strictly regulated. You are given an exemption from licensing requirements for the possession a naturally-occurring uranium-bearing mineral. You can't go from there to anything even close to fission fuel. Even seemingly harmless processes as might be used for an art project can violate your exemption. You are romanticizing a country that does not exist, and never did exist.

Hmm, who do you think manufactures the next generation power plants? Who builds the next generation nuclear weapons? Do you think it is full time employees of federal government? It is regulated, difficult, cumbersome and not very profitable - yes. But impossible? No.

Regardless, the issue is freedom and free will. Collective punishment or revocation of ability to exercise my free will for the sins of deranged individuals is not something I relate to.
posted by trol at 7:53 PM on February 26, 2013


The claim wasn't whether that it's impossible to do it illegally (you can extend a magazine illegally too!), but whether it's legal. Citizens do not have the freedom to own nuclear weapons in the USA and building those weapons yourself does not circumvent that.
posted by anonymisc at 8:02 PM on February 26, 2013


Fewer people would have been shot in 2011 if there were fewer bullets in that guy's clip. That's a simple fact. You can argue that cases like that are exceptions and uncommon, and I agree with you, but the fact remains, more people got shot because the clip was extended.

That seems like an arbitrary argument, no? What would be an acceptable body count? Would 7 bullets in a magazine be an acceptable number? But surely fewer people would die if the limit were 5, or 3 or even 1. In reality the only thing that can make a real difference is people with sufficient training who choose to arm themselves.

Besides, how deranged do you think these people really are if they are choosing their targets carefully ensuring no one would be armed to stop them from piling on the body count. You can't legislate evil or insanity away, why handicap people like me from being able to stop such people when they target me or my family.
posted by trol at 8:05 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The claim wasn't whether that it's impossible to do it illegally (you can extend a magazine illegally too!), but whether it's legal. Citizens do not have the freedom to own nuclear weapons in the USA and building those weapons yourself does not circumvent that.

Not talking about doing it illegally. Talking about doing it as a defense contractor. With sufficient resources, it is possible.
posted by trol at 8:06 PM on February 26, 2013


who do you think manufactures the next generation power plants? Who builds the next generation nuclear weapons?

If firearms and related materials were controlled even a fraction as closely as radiologicals, it would be a staggering success.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:07 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


But impossible? No.

Given the radiation detectors looking for terrorists, exactly how are you going to do this without detection?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:09 PM on February 26, 2013


zombieflanders: There is absolutely zero evidence that concealed licenses or the number of guns has anything to do with the crime rate.

I'm sure you didn't mean to say exactly this, but I'm still glad to see it in writing (from you).

anonymisc: The view is that large capacity magazines do not offer an advantage to legal uses of firearms (sports, home defense, etc), but have offered a significant advantage to criminal usage

Define large capacity. It varies from state to state. I'm also curious whose view this is...Biden, who thinks that a shotgun is an appropriate defense? (box o' truth)

Charlemagne In Sweatpants: Why are 'gun owners' a protected class?

It's been said, but since pretty much all Americans can legally buy whichever guns they want, it follows that they are protected by law.

anonymisc (again): Solutions that find ways for both camps to get what they want are far more preferable, if they can be devised.

Maybe stop comparing guns to nuclear bombs and I'll listen to what your camp has to say.

zombieflanders (again): I forgot to point this out earlier, but gun ownership has actually been declining for the better part of 30 years

Yes, indeed. Gary Kleck was wrong about the results of self-defense because of the flaws of self-reporting. At the same time, Gallup is completely reliable because it's self-reporting.
posted by timfinnie at 8:10 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


What do terrorist have to do with a defense contractor building stuff for uncle sam?
posted by trol at 8:11 PM on February 26, 2013


That seems like an arbitrary argument, no? What would be an acceptable body count? Would 7 bullets in a magazine be an acceptable number? But surely fewer people would die if the limit were 5, or 3 or even 1.

You're only looking at half the picture. The acceptable number of bullets is not being defined based on crime, but based on finding a minimum that does not reduce the sports and defense effectiveness of guns to their owners. Deer hunting, target shooting, self-defense, etc, in all these cases if it is found that more than ~10 rounds does little or nothing to increase effectiveness of the gun in real-world situations, then little or nothing is lost through restrictions above that number. Your worry about the right to fire machine-guns for thrills is protected by special facilities where you are free to go do this, even though you cannot take that machine-gun home with you afterwards. But your worry is also irrelevant - machine-guns were already not for private ownership, and clip limits apply to private ownership. Clip limits are completely irrelevant to your ability to fire machine-guns for thrills.
posted by anonymisc at 8:17 PM on February 26, 2013


Talking about doing it as a defense contractor. With sufficient resources, it is possible.

No, it isn't. Doing it as a defense contractor, you may work on these components, you may not take them home and keep them. You do not have the freedom to own nuclear weapons in this country.
posted by anonymisc at 8:19 PM on February 26, 2013


If corporations are people does that make work their home?
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:27 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe stop comparing guns to nuclear bombs and I'll listen to what your camp has to say.

Maybe if you listened to what people had to say, you would find that guns aren't being compared to nuclear bombs. Bombs were an illustration that we don't have a camp saying restrict everything vs a camp saying restrict nothing. We have more common ground than that.
posted by anonymisc at 8:30 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe if you listened to what people had to say, you would find that guns aren't being compared to nuclear bombs. Bombs were an illustration that we don't have a camp saying restrict everything vs a camp saying restrict nothing. We have more common ground than that.

In Australia, we DO have a camp restricting all nuclear power, and everyone agrees with it. So you can have these kind of wide-ranging agreements.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:33 PM on February 26, 2013


Maybe if you listened to what people had to say

You've given an example of nuclear weapons twice here. I'm listening. I hear raspberries being blown.

If the example is merely a prop, perhaps you could consider a more appropriate prop -- maybe fully-automatic weapons, which are already highly regulated under rules in place for quite a few years?

The nuke thing is hyperbolic and unnecessary.
posted by timfinnie at 8:36 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The nuke thing is hyperbolic and unnecessary.

I disagree - it's precisely that hyperbol which makes it obvious that we're all on the same page that restricting extremely dangerous weapons is not a sin- that what we have to do is figure out what "dangerous" is, not argue over "is it ever ok to restrict anything?"

An automatic weapon is a far less appropriate prop to make the point, because there are plenty of people for whom it is not clearly too dangerous for home ownership (I'm one of them), and thus the point would be lost. High risk of someone chiming in with "I think automatic weapons should be legal".
posted by anonymisc at 8:46 PM on February 26, 2013


An automatic weapon is a far less appropriate prop to make the point, because there are plenty of people for whom it is not clearly too dangerous for home ownership (I'm one of them), and thus the point would be lost.

Except that for most people in the world, owning an automatic weapon is as unimaginable as owning a home nuke.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:48 PM on February 26, 2013


True. But... this* is America!

*where I am. Not necessarily where you are. :-)
posted by anonymisc at 8:51 PM on February 26, 2013


True. But... this* is America!

*where I am. Not necessarily where you are. :-)


I've been in both countries, and society requires a trade-off between communal safety and individual freedom. I think Australia errs too much on the 'communal safety' side in some cases, but I don't think that the arguments for the utility of guns are compelling enough to outweigh their dangers. Australians can still shoot a gun clubs or own shotguns to defend their farms (and soon they can hunt in national park). They just can't privately own powerful weapons.

To head off another argument - yes, since they're illegal, outlaws do use them. They mostly use them to kill other outlaws, so gun crime is more Sons of Anarchy than Columbine.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:55 PM on February 26, 2013


Gun crime here in the US is also overwhelmingly more Sons of Anarchy than Columbine, really.
posted by MoTLD at 9:01 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


there are plenty of people for whom it is not clearly too dangerous for home ownership (I'm one of them)

Then, you see, this is where I would disagree with you. I will fully admit to owning more guns than I have fingers and toes, but none of them are fully automatic.

Having had the opportunity and some training to fire both semi- and fully-automatic weapons, I feel the fully-automatic ones are not 'arms' as described in the 2nd. They are more like cannons of that age, which were specialized and (by cost) restricted. Normal people should not have these things just because they can afford them (for comparison, I feel the same about large trucks and SUVs).

And following that, I still think that using a hyperbolic example to make a point of universal agreement isn't for the best, because it establishes the boundary for what is 'too much' at the most extreme edge. Most people can agree to less than a nuke for an example of 'too much'.
posted by timfinnie at 9:02 PM on February 26, 2013


timfinnie, I'm glad you clarified that you are against private ownership of large vehicles, as it makes your views on machine guns consistent, since you own guns and, presumably, a car?

I don't mean that in a snarky way, you didn't advocate outlawing large vehicles, I'm just using it as an example of reasonable people disagreeing and why we must be extremely careful about forcing our beliefs on others through laws. Personally, I ride a bike or walk and I consider most use of automobiles of any size to be reprehensibly wasteful, but I respect others' right to be wasteful.

On another note, keep in mind that, while cost was prohibitive, cannon and even warships could be and were privately owned in the early US. The 2a, confusingly as it's worded, definitely doesn't seem to restrict itself to small arms.
posted by MoTLD at 9:21 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


MoTLD,

I am not against private ownership of anything. I would oppose private ownership of 'anything' where the sole factor in ownership is the ability to pay for it. We, in the gun-lovin', free-wheeling US, have regulations on weapons (ATF), and vehicles (NHTSA), and electronic products (FCC), and unsafe drugs (FDA).

Not snarky as you may be, I'm not advocating my ideas as better than the majority's, because I know how the bread is buttered. I just have preferences, like anyone else.

As to the ownership of dangerous weapons in Colonial or post-Revolutionary times, these were still regulated, in my understanding, by the fledgling US government as a protection where today's nationalized forces serve. We used to have privateers, but they were not ordinary people. We have no need for privateers today.
posted by timfinnie at 9:34 PM on February 26, 2013


You're only looking at half the picture. The acceptable number of bullets is not being defined based on crime, but based on finding a minimum that does not reduce the sports and defense effectiveness of guns to their owners.

To what end though? You have not established any reason or grounds for encroaching upon my legally valid desire to own a magazine of any size I choose. Just because you think 10 is the maximum number of bullets I should be able to own because in your opinion it is sufficient for defense and sport alike, is not a valid and acceptable reason for me to give up my liberty.

Some of us actually own weapons that accept belts of consisting of thousands of bullets and we have family outings with belt fed machine gun shoots and bbq. Why does that need to be regulated just because someone chooses to ignore the existing laws against murder.
posted by trol at 9:57 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry to have derailed into privateers (who I thought were pretty much ordinary, if wealthy, people) and other heavily armed early US citizens, interesting as that discussion would be.

To get closer to the matter at hand, those various regulatory agencies you mentioned raises an interesting point. Post-scarcity economics implies that anyone can print or otherwise easily manufacture at home any of those restricted classes of devices. For now, they all require specialized skills and equipment. For instance, I could build illegal-to-operate electronics, but only because I have an electronics background. A machinist could very easily make illegal weapons, or a chemist, drugs.

What do we do when just anyone can make virtually anything, and it's not even cost- nor skill-prohibitive?
posted by MoTLD at 9:57 PM on February 26, 2013



To what end though? You have not established any reason or grounds for encroaching upon my legally valid desire to own a magazine of any size I choose. Just because you think 10 is the maximum number of bullets I should be able to own because in your opinion it is sufficient for defense and sport alike, is not a valid and acceptable reason for me to give up my liberty.

Some of us actually own weapons that accept belts of consisting of thousands of bullets and we have family outings with belt fed machine gun shoots and bbq. Why does that need to be regulated just because someone chooses to ignore the existing laws against murder.


Because the experience you get from that is not unique. You could get it from an outing without the belt-fed machine guns, or you could have the machine guns only be accessed at a shooting range and not privately owned, or you could play paintball or do extreme sports or something. Why does your right to a bit of leisure outweigh the harm caused by gun deaths?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:59 PM on February 26, 2013


Are you blaming me for the actions of deranged or evil people? These people are already choosing to break the laws and such not affected by any limits on magazine size or types of guns.

And besides when did we establish the relationship between my actions and the gun deaths? Why do I need to change any of my behaviors if I am not a part of either cause or effect in this equation?
posted by trol at 10:08 PM on February 26, 2013


trol, for the same reason that everyone is deprived recreational and even medicinal drugs because of the actions of a deranged minority.

Prohibition of anything is the restriction on the rights of the innocent in an attempt to keep dangerous things out of the hands of dangerous folks.
posted by MoTLD at 10:11 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


" You have not established any reason or grounds for encroaching upon my legally valid desire to own a magazine of any size I choose."

… except public health being more important than the individual right to bear arms, especially outside of a militia.

And part of the problem is that opponents of gun control reject every decent idea for mitigating health risks, so when a solution finally does get passed, it's often the dumbest, broadest one. You stand on top of a hill yelling "Freedom!" but all that means is that we get knee-jerk, reactive legislation because it's only in the wake of a tragedy that we can get anything done.
posted by klangklangston at 10:13 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And for the record, I am opposed to limitations on free speech, ability to self harm through overeating foods, overdosing on drugs or smoking (as long as you are not charging your healthcare consequences to the tax payer).
posted by trol at 10:16 PM on February 26, 2013


What we might all want to be a bit more concerned about is the entrenched powers deciding to try and prohibit anything-printers! It won't be long before they can print drugs, explosives, or perefect knockoffs of copyrighted Disney paraphernalia.
posted by MoTLD at 10:17 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And for the record, I am opposed to limitations on free speech, ability to self harm through overeating foods, overdosing on drugs or smoking (as long as you are not charging your healthcare consequences to the tax payer).

So am I! But all those things only directly harm the people doing them. I can't take a crack pipe and easily kill 20 people.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:19 PM on February 26, 2013


public health?

Again, unless you can prove that my ownership of a .50 cal or mp5 submachine gun or magazine of whatever size I choose has a direct (or even indirect) relationship to deaths caused by deranged or evil individuals, this is nothing more than a logical fallacy.
posted by trol at 10:19 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"These people are already choosing to break the laws and such not affected by any limits on magazine size or types of guns."

Arrrrrg!

YES BUT THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE LAWS THAN WILL BREAK THEM. WE HAVE LAWS AGAINST MURDER AND RUNNING RED LIGHTS.
posted by klangklangston at 10:20 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not just about breaking laws. It's about convenience. Everybody jaywalks and smokes pot because it's easy. If laws against them were strict, you wouldn't do them. Around here, guns are hard to get, so the only people who use them are hardened criminals using them against other hardened criminals - they're not used by random nuts or people getting into arguments (they use their fists) or suicidal teenagers (they jump off things). The severity of violence goes down, because when somebody is randomly angry they get drunk and, at worst, punch somebody so hard they get a concussion before being stopped.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:25 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Arrrrrg?

The people that decide to murder other people are not affected by laws against murder. Same applies to people that use guns to commit violence. Laws don't prevent crime, never have, never will. Crime is a symptom of wider problems within society, problems that I currently don't have the means to solve - but taking guns or magazines away from people that were not going to break any laws to begin with is not going to have any impact on people that disregard laws against murder to begin with.
posted by trol at 10:25 PM on February 26, 2013


"public health?

Again, unless you can prove that my ownership of a .50 cal or mp5 submachine gun or magazine of whatever size I choose has a direct (or even indirect) relationship to deaths caused by deranged or evil individuals, this is nothing more than a logical fallacy.


Well, no, it's not a logical fallacy to infer that access to guns — which are designed to make killing much easier — increases the number gun deaths. And that's pretty big swagger from someone who was just making the perfect the enemy of the good.

As for public health, if you need a constitutional basis, see "general welfare" in the preamble. It's also pretty reasonable to argue that "common defense" can include being protected from our fellow citizens. Gun ownership can be the proverbial fist swung in faces.
posted by klangklangston at 10:26 PM on February 26, 2013


I can't take a crack pipe and easily kill 20 people.

I can't take a gun and easily kill 20 people.

Most folks couldn't.

Until we can somehow weed out the folks who can, psychologically, we're unlikely to solve the problem by depriving everyone of their rights universally.

Unless you really think most people are mass murderers just waiting to be handed a loaded gun?
posted by MoTLD at 10:26 PM on February 26, 2013


they're not used by random nuts or people getting into arguments

Is that what you think is happening in US? You are seriously mistaken my friend. We don't live in the wild west anymore. The only time guns are used by law abiding citizens is during self defense situations. There were 600+ justifiable homicides in US last year alone - that is 600 people who would have been murdered or raped if they didn't have a gun on them at right time. Other than this, the most common use of guns in US just like Australia is criminals using them on criminals and other innocent citizens.
posted by trol at 10:28 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The people that decide to murder other people are not affected by laws against murder."

Cite please.

"Same applies to people that use guns to commit violence."

This does not follow.

Laws don't prevent crime, never have, never will."

This self-evidently false. Laws do not prevent all crime, but it's really just anarchist masturbation to assert that they prevent no crime.

"Crime is a symptom of wider problems within society,"

They can be, but that is irrelevant to whether gun laws are an effective method of reducing gun deaths.

"problems that I currently don't have the means to solve - but taking guns or magazines away from people that were not going to break any laws to begin with is not going to have any impact on people that disregard laws against murder to begin with."

That's another circular assertion.

You've done an excellent job proving to yourself that you're right, but you've done a really poor job at presenting any sort of coherent argument.
posted by klangklangston at 10:31 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I can't take a gun and easily kill 20 people.

Most folks couldn't.
"

Now, how about we ask ourselves the obvious question: Could you kill 20 people with a gun much easier than you could with a crack pipe? Why, then, doesn't it make sense to have more regulation on the gun?
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


"The people that decide to murder other people are not affected by laws against murder."

Cite please.

"Same applies to people that use guns to commit violence."

This does not follow.

Laws don't prevent crime, never have, never will."

This self-evidently false. Laws do not prevent all crime, but it's really just anarchist masturbation to assert that they prevent no crime.


The fact they commit murder despite laws on the books saying they can't? That is not sufficient evidence for you? I mean who murders people anyway? Think about that? Do you or anyone else really wake up in the morning and say, aww shucks!! murder is fucking illegal man! I wish it wasn't so I could murder someone.

Laws are reactionary by nature and deeply rooted in human psychology and not very effective at actually preventing crimes.
posted by trol at 10:37 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, klangklangston, I could not.

I'm not sure if you just missed my point, but please re-read my post.
posted by MoTLD at 10:37 PM on February 26, 2013


"The only time guns are used by law abiding citizens is during self defense situations."

You're wrong for two reasons here: First, that's just nonsense on its face. Law abiding citizens shoot for sport all the time. Second, it doesn't support your contention, because you've written it as a tautology — you define law-abiding as excluding people who were previously law abiding up until the instant that they fired a weapon illegally.

There were 600+ justifiable homicides in US last year alone - that is 600 people who would have been murdered or raped if they didn't have a gun on them at right time. Other than this, the most common use of guns in US just like Australia is criminals using them on criminals and other innocent citizens.

And in 2010, there were about 30,000 total gun deaths. So, that's 2 percent of all gun deaths. You think that two percent of anything is a good representation of that thing?
posted by klangklangston at 10:39 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, how many deaths could be averted if cars were outlawed and folks were forced to take public transportation, which is much, much safer by virtue of professional drivers/engineers/pilots.

Would it be worth depriving everyone of their freedom to save 40,000 lives in the US yearly?

Freedom is worth some blood, sadly.
posted by MoTLD at 10:43 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]



There were 600+ justifiable homicides in US last year alone - that is 600 people who would have been murdered or raped if they didn't have a gun on them at right time.


Where's the proof that this is true? And again, if guns were less common, they wouldn't be used by common criminals against random people.

The thing with the rage murders is this: If I'm feeling fucked up and angry, more angry than I've ever been in my life, my options right now are a. play videogames, b. punch a pillow or c. get drunk and start a bar fight (bar fights are very common here). I don't have easy access to high powered weaponry.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:43 PM on February 26, 2013


"The fact they commit murder despite laws on the books saying they can't? That is not sufficient evidence for you?"

So, the number of murders is always constant? Laws have no effect?

I mean who murders people anyway? Think about that? Do you or anyone else really wake up in the morning and say, aww shucks!! murder is fucking illegal man! I wish it wasn't so I could murder someone."

That's your evidence? That you don't know anyone who's killed anyone else?

Laws are reactionary by nature and deeply rooted in human psychology and not very effective at actually preventing crimes."

Cite please.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 PM on February 26, 2013


"Well, how many deaths could be averted if cars were outlawed and folks were forced to take public transportation, which is much, much safer by virtue of professional drivers/engineers/pilots."

Well, how many deaths have we prevented by requiring seat belt usage? Quite a few, actually. BUT LAWS CAN'T CHANGE ANYTHING ANARCHY FOREVER.
posted by klangklangston at 10:45 PM on February 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


If you think you are capable of a rage murder, please don't buy a gun!
posted by MoTLD at 10:45 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those who would like a handful of facts to season their fancy: WaPo gives a salient nine.
posted by klangklangston at 10:45 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Freedom forever. Anarchy...is not synonymous.
posted by MoTLD at 10:46 PM on February 26, 2013


"If you think you are capable of a rage murder, please don't buy a gun!"

… If only someone had thought of requiring waiting periods prior to firearm sales and background checks to weed out as many people with records of rage.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Freedom forever. Anarchy...is not synonymous."

It is in the reductive bizarro-libertarian formulation you're using.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


That sounds almost ad hominem to me. I win! ;)
posted by MoTLD at 10:50 PM on February 26, 2013


No, sorry. Fallacies aren't magic. You can't just name one and claim its power.
posted by klangklangston at 10:51 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And in 2010, there were about 30,000 total gun deaths. So, that's 2 percent of all gun deaths. You think that two percent of anything is a good representation of that thing?

Incorrect stats. According to: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/violent-crime/murdermain

A total of 14748, of which about 8775 were committed by firearm (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/violent-crime/murdermain)
posted by trol at 10:51 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyway, g'nite all, hopefully if this thread survives until I awake it'll have veered back to printing a post-scarcity society from the comfort of our living rooms, and not just this one scary result of all that personal freedom...
posted by MoTLD at 10:53 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not just rage murders, though. I had this revelation last night. I was watching a program about alcohol fueled violence, and wondering why Australia has such a problem with drunken punch-ups. But I realized that maybe what would become drunken punch-ups are, in America, actually firearms murders. I don't have any statistics for that, but most criminals aren't sociopathic masterminds. They're just people who really want money or drugs or revenge or something, and if if it's almost impossible to get a gun they'll use their fists or a knife, both of which are much less lethal.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:54 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean who murders people anyway? Think about that? Do you or anyone else really wake up in the morning and say, aww shucks!! murder is fucking illegal man! I wish it wasn't so I could murder someone."

That's your evidence? That you don't know anyone who's killed anyone else?


Are you serious? Let me break it down for you:

There are people who are normal and not really into murder and stuff. You know, majority of people that you and I know.

Then there people who either through criminal inclinations, social pressures, psychological reasons are into murder. Now these people, they don't really give two shits about what law says. They will commit felonies, kill people, just be total motherfuckers. These people don't really care if it is not legal to own a large magazine or a semi-auto gun made illegal by a clueless politician. They have already crossed the threshold of caring about anything the law says.

Neither of these groups are impacted by existence or non-existence of the law. The only impact laws have is how much of a book can be thrown at these people during a trial if we catch them alive. Is that not sufficient evidence for you? Or are you going to ask me to cite the evidence for a logical argument?
posted by trol at 11:08 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, I'm going to point out that you're engaging in the fallacy of the excluded middle and also that by claiming that laws prevent zero crimes, you're making an extraordinary claim, and that the burden of proof is on you.

Neither facts nor logic are on your side. See you in the morning.
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The British coal-gas story seems worth mentioning here. Back when ovens were powered with coal-gas, you could kill yourself by sticking your head in the oven, & the British did - 50% of English suicides back in the '50s. As the country switched to natural gas, the suicide rate went down correspondingly. Denied of a way to kill themselves when struck by a sharp momentary impulse to do so, the British stopped.

There is a good amount of evidence that having a gun in the home has a causal link to suicide.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:48 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't take a crack pipe and easily kill 20 people.

I can't take a gun and easily kill 20 people.

Most folks couldn't.

Until we can somehow weed out the folks who can, psychologically, we're unlikely to solve the problem by depriving everyone of their rights universally.

Unless you really think most people are mass murderers just waiting to be handed a loaded gun?


You and trol are running an intentionally dense tag team right now. It is much easier to kill 20 people with a gun than with a small glass tube if you had the desire to. Just about anybody could have an unpredictable mental break and do something they normally would not. The availability of guns enables this situation to become much, much worse for everyone around the individual.

And in 2010, there were about 30,000 total gun deaths. So, that's 2 percent of all gun deaths. You think that two percent of anything is a good representation of that thing?

Incorrect stats. According to: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/violent-crime/murdermain

A total of 14748, of which about 8775 were committed by firearm (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/violent-crime/murdermain)


The correct stats for the category "total gun deaths" are the stats for "total gun deaths", not the stats for the sub-category "gun murder."

You guys don't strike me as having an honest engagement with the discussion right now, this doesn't seem like it should need to be explained. I think a good case can made made against gun contro and gun bans even if I fall on the other side of the argument, you aren't making it right now, you are making your side look stupid.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:08 AM on February 27, 2013


rough ashlar: "to get the white powder that is salt-peter if you want to go old-school on making your own black powder."

Saltpeter (potassium nitrate) is available at garden shops or even online. Years ago, in my pyro youth, I even bought from a local pharmacy, and I was a kid.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:16 AM on February 27, 2013


I used to buy Sudafed without controls from the pharmacy.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:20 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only time guns are used by law abiding citizens is during self defense situations. There were 600+ justifiable homicides in US last year alone - that is 600 people who would have been murdered or raped if they didn't have a gun on them at right time.

This is so false, I don't know where to begin. Guns are used by "law-abiding citizens" until they're not abiding by the law or are just plain idiots. There were something like 30 gun accidents this weekend alone, 15 times as many as your alleged justifiable homicides would average, and that's just what made the papers. Among them was:

*a shooting at a a gun range where a 12-year-old either was allowed to fire a weapon without any idea of her proficiency or was incapable of handling the recoil
* a SWAT officer was shot during training
* a man traveling with a loaded gun (which he didn't know) of a caliber he was unfamiliar with was shot by his dog
* a drunk man shot his girlfriend while trying to show off a quick draw
* a guy shot and killed his friend because of a case of mistaken identity
* a skeet shooter shot another skeet shooter because of an "accidental discharge"
* a gun range went up in flames because someone was firing illegal tracer ammo
* a 4-year-old shot and killed himself playing with an unsecured gun
* a 9-year-old shot himself while hanging out with his grandfather
* another 9-year-old was injured by people apparently just shooting off guns for kicks nearby
* a licensed CCW holder accidentally shot himself while at a gun show

Other than this, the most common use of guns in US just like Australia is criminals using them on criminals and other innocent citizens.

In 2009, there were around 37,000 confirmed gun deaths or injuries due to accidental discharge. So, no, 600 alleged cases of justifiable homicide is about as far from the "other" common use of guns as you can get.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:34 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Drinky Die: "I used to buy Sudafed without controls from the pharmacy."

You should read each post in its entirety rather than just the last sentence of each one.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:39 AM on February 27, 2013


And the final thought for the day on this topic, During the Warsaw uprising in the closing days of WWII the Jews in the Ghetto managed to make/obtain several firearms (less than 10 if I remember right). They used these to obtain (meaning kill and then take the German's weapons) several more and then held off the might of the Wehrmacht for several days. With homemade guns, stolen rifles and willpower. Just food for thought.

Yes, this is one of the most exciting aspects of being able to print your own firearms. No government, anywhere, will be able to completely disarm its citizens, if they are equipped with printers. (Which I imagine they will be soon, the price point is dropping all the time.) No government will be able to know which of its citizens is armed when it wants to come and invade their rights. This is an incredibly beautiful thing.

You mention large capacity magazines. The view is that large capacity magazines do not offer an advantage to legal uses of firearms (sports, home defense, etc), but have offered a significant advantage to criminal usage, such as the guy in 2011 who was immediately overpowered as soon as he needed to reload, but was able to shoot 18 people before needing to reload.

Whose view is that? Because among most gun owners I know, the prevailing view is that 10+ magazines - or what most of us call normal magazines - are in fact extremely necessary for home defense. What people call "large capacity" magazines are often the magazine that fits inside the gun. Many handguns take from 12-19 shots in their magazine as a natural function of the gun, without anything extra.
posted by corb at 4:55 AM on February 27, 2013


The thing with the rage murders is this: If I'm feeling fucked up and angry, more angry than I've ever been in my life, my options right now are a. play videogames, b. punch a pillow or c. get drunk and start a bar fight (bar fights are very common here). I don't have easy access to high powered weaponry.

I've spent a lot of time around people (and been a person) who both had easy access to high powered weaponry and some of the highest rage I've ever known in my life. I still associate with people who have absolute, blood-boiling rage like you may not be able to imagine.

None of them have committed homicide. They are still extremely well armed. If they feel the need to shoot something, they will go out to the quarry or the range, put up a target, and shoot it - just as you have the option of punching the wall or pillow instead of another person.

There is a good amount of evidence that having a gun in the home has a causal link to suicide.

See, this is the biggest frustration for a lot of people. Suicides get included in gun-death stats as evidence of "gun violence." But a suicide is not actually "gun violence." A suicide is a personal choice that doesn't harm anyone other than the person making the choice. If someone wants to kill themselves, let them. Don't try to legislate away other people's freedoms because some people want to opt out.
posted by corb at 5:10 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I see, so we are going to include suicide and accidental deaths into this discussion. How the hell is limiting size of magazines or reducing the rate of fire or any kind of limitations on the guns except totally banning them outright is going to have any impact on those two? Does this show the hand of gun banners? That in reality they don't want a compromise but a total ban?

Besides, during the year 2010 (I have been using this year for my stats, but pick one of your choice), over 5600 british people committed suicide. If you normalize this data for population, that is on par with any other western country, including the United States. So, please, stay focused on actual crime instead of conflating this discussion with accidental discharges and suicides because those two things simply cannot be controlled without a complete ban on even a single bullet gun or handgun.
posted by trol at 5:47 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why larger magazines are necessary for self defense: an analysis by law officers of a law-officer incident:
Palmer took an astonishing 22 hits, seventeen of which were to center mass, before succumbing to his wounds, and Officer Soulis was shot four times without suffering any serious adverse effects on his performance. These facts point out why it is so vitally important to understand that bullets don’t always stop their target, even when they strike vital areas in large numbers.
posted by corb at 5:57 AM on February 27, 2013


Yes, this is one of the most exciting aspects of being able to print your own firearms. No government, anywhere, will be able to completely disarm its citizens, if they are equipped with printers. (Which I imagine they will be soon, the price point is dropping all the time.) No government will be able to know which of its citizens is armed when it wants to come and invade their rights. This is an incredibly beautiful thing.

So interesting that your Beautiful And Glorious Libertarian Revolution as pictured here omits the many things that are a million times more likely to happen. For instance, the least exciting aspects of being able to print your own firearms is that anyone will be able to commit gun violence regardless of criminal history, mental illness, lack of impulse control, or altered mental state; or that criminals will be able to create entirely untraceable weapons that allow them to commit even more gun violence with almost no ability for law enforcement to tie them to their crimes. It will be easier and easier for criminals to create otherwise expensive weapons and ammunition that allows them to commit further gun violence (which I imagine they will be soon, the price point is dropping all the time). No government will be able to know which of its citizens is armed when said citizens want go and deprive other citizens of their rights both individually and as an organization (see also: Mississippi et al, 1861-1968.

Whose view is that? Because among most gun owners I know, the prevailing view is that 10+ magazines - or what most of us call normal magazines - are in fact extremely necessary for home defense.

Apparently, it's the view of a majority of those with guns in the household (60%) and a near-majority of gun owners who aren't members of the NRA (46%). Which, I should note, is a large majority--about 3.5:1 ratio of non-NRA to NRA--of them.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:59 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The view of those with guns in the household but do not own them personally - who are still not gun owners. Thus, among all gun owners in the cited survey, a majority do believe - 54% of gun-owning non-NRA members, and a staggering 89% of NRA members that magazines with more than 10+ rounds are needed.

There is nothing equating having a gun in the house with personal familiarity with firearms and magazine sizes. Only owning or using a gun gives you that familiarity, not mere physical proximity.
posted by corb at 6:55 AM on February 27, 2013



See, this is the biggest frustration for a lot of people. Suicides get included in gun-death stats as evidence of "gun violence." But a suicide is not actually "gun violence." A suicide is a personal choice that doesn't harm anyone other than the person making the choice. If someone wants to kill themselves, let them. Don't try to legislate away other people's freedoms because some people want to opt out.


While suicide is a personal choice, the evidence of the coal-gas study suggests that it's a choice that's often less a product of rational thought & more a product of irrational whim. (Jon Ronson has a nice article on the Right To Die movement that touches on their problematic relationship with one particular member who sometimes seems to push people over the edge.) While (I believe) the state should support the ability to commit suicide, it should create constraints on the ability of people to suicide without premeditation.

It's true that limiting access to large capacity magazines would be unlikely to impact this problem. I personally believe that other gun control measures are necessary. One option would be limiting access to handguns. Another would be to guarantee (technologically, with rigorous government supervision, culturally) that people keep their guns stored somewhere where they can't be retrieved without deliberate, thought out effort. However, I'm dubious that this latter proposal would be anywhere near as effective as the former.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:56 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Saltpeter (potassium nitrate) is available at garden shops or even online. Years ago, in my pyro youth, I even bought from a local pharmacy, and I was a kid.

The 'argument' was "at home". I was channelling Civil War knowledge about the strategic value of outhouses to show what one needs to do to "make" fouling black powder at home.

And, to be fair, most homes lack Sulfur and Lead.

Along with lathes.

Or even 3D printers.

The point still stands - its beyond most people's ability to "make" copper-jacketed bullets at home. And I'm not sure exactly how one would go about and make new primers other than with some kind of mulit-step hydraulic press+die action.

The best a typical person can do is reload spent rounds with purchased copper-jacketed bullets, cleaned up brass, and new primers.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:58 AM on February 27, 2013


We don't live in Mogadishu. There is absolutely no reason from a health and public safety standpoint for any private citizen in the United States to own a gun. I'm fine with letting people own bolt-action rifles and pump-action shotguns for hunting, and maybe I guess home defense if you're nuts, but handguns and all semiautomatic firearms should be illegal.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:59 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's true that limiting access to large capacity magazines would be unlikely to impact this problem. I personally believe that other gun control measures are necessary

Say what? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate#List

Notice how suicide rates are not correlated at all with gun ownership or availability on a country by country basis? Please stick to facts instead of using emotion and reactionary tactics. You are talking about taking away handguns to prevent suicides without understanding that this has no effect on someone who has decided to checkout.
posted by trol at 7:00 AM on February 27, 2013


We don't live in Mogadishu. There is absolutely no reason from a health and public safety standpoint for any private citizen in the United States to own a gun. I'm fine with letting people own bolt-action rifles and pump-action shotguns for hunting, and maybe I guess home defense if you're nuts, but handguns and all semiautomatic firearms should be illegal.

And we are done. This is your personal opinion and preference and has no bearing on this discussion. In fact this is what prevents any rational discussion on merits of additional legislation. At least you are candid and open with your motivations, we (the gun owners) suspect this sort of thinking is indeed the driving force of most liberals and it is pointless trying to explain our viewpoint to anyone being guided from opinion, fear and unfamiliarity alone.
posted by trol at 7:05 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


You should read each post in its entirety rather than just the last sentence of each one.

I have no idea what you possibly could think I may have missed.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:26 AM on February 27, 2013


Say what? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate#List

That list includes no ownership about the rates of gun ownership in each country, so I don't really feel able to address your claims. As I said, I don't think that limiting handgun ownership is the only way to address this problem, just that I believe it would be effective. I don't believe that 100% of American suicides by gun are inflicted because a person has access to a gun, but that a non-trivial portion are. I'm also speaking from a US centric perspective here.

You are talking about taking away handguns to prevent suicides without understanding that this has no effect on someone who has decided to checkout.

Again, not all suicides are committed by "someone who has decided to check out" in a committed & rational way. To quote from the article in the New England Journal of Medicine that I linked to above:

"[M]any suicidal crises are self-limiting. Such crises are often caused by an immediate stressor, such as the breakup of a romantic relationship, the loss of a job, or a run-in with police. As the acute phase of the crisis passes, so does the urge to attempt suicide. The temporary nature and fleeting sway of many suicidal crises is evident in the fact that more than 90% of people who survive a suicide attempt, including attempts that were expected to be lethal (such as shooting oneself in the head or jumping in front of a train), do not go on to die by suicide. Indeed, recognizing the self-limiting nature of suicidal crises, penal and psychiatric institutions restrict access to lethal means for persons identified as potentially suicidal.
...
The empirical evidence linking suicide risk in the United States to the presence of firearms in the home is compelling. There are at least a dozen U.S. case–control studies in the peer-reviewed literature, all of which have found that a gun in the home is associated with an increased risk of suicide. The increase in risk is large, typically 2 to 10 times that in homes without guns, depending on the sample population (e.g., adolescents vs. older adults) and on the way in which the firearms were stored. The association between guns in the home and the risk of suicide is due entirely to a large increase in the risk of suicide by firearm that is not counterbalanced by a reduced risk of nonfirearm suicide. Moreover, the increased risk of suicide is not explained by increased psychopathologic characteristics, suicidal ideation, or suicide attempts among members of gun-owning households."

Taking away handguns would limit the means by which people can make this choice. It's not the only way, but it is a powerful one. Either way, this is something that the gun industry & gun culture needs to address.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:27 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Notice how suicide rates are not correlated at all with gun ownership or availability on a country by country basis? Please stick to facts instead of using emotion and reactionary tactics.

What does country-to-country basis have anything to do with this? I mean, if we wanted to compare the US with, say, Israel, there does in fact seem to be a direct correlation between the at-hand availability of weapons and suicide rates:
In Israel, it used to be that all soldiers would take the guns home with them. Now they have to leave them on base. Over the years they’ve done this — it began, I think, in 2006 — there’s been a 60 percent decrease in suicide on weekends among IDS soldiers. And it did not correspond to an increase in weekday suicide. People think suicide is an impulse that exists and builds. This shows that doesn’t happen. The impulse to suicide is transitory. Someone with access to a gun at that moment may commit suicide, but if not, they may not.
And here's some more facts showing that at-hand availability has an effect in the US:
Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.
And, let's not forget that, the reason data is so sparse on this is because the NRA had lobbied successfully for politicians to block funding of research at CDC and the Department of Justice into gun violence, including homicide and suicide.

You are talking about taking away handguns to prevent suicides

At no point did Aizkolari mention taking away anything.

This is your personal opinion and preference and has no bearing on this discussion...we (the gun owners) suspect this sort of thinking is indeed the driving force of most liberals and it is pointless trying to explain our viewpoint to anyone being guided from opinion, fear and unfamiliarity alone

One of the best illustrations of hypocrisy in this thread so far. Its OK for you to shut down discussions based on your personal opinion and preferences re: liberals (which there is no evidence for) and to use emotion and reactionary tactics, but heavens forfend someone suggest that perhaps regulating the firearm used in most gun violence (i.e., handguns) might not be a bad idea.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:29 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The view of those with guns in the household but do not own them personally - who are still not gun owners. Thus, among all gun owners in the cited survey, a majority do believe - 54% of gun-owning non-NRA members

Are you deliberately ignoring where I said "near majority"? It's hard to tell. Besides, that's a pretty small majority, very near within the margin of error, and amongst the overwhelming majority of the gun-owning population.

and a staggering 89% of NRA members that magazines with more than 10+ rounds are needed.

What's "staggering" about that? It's been well-established that NRA members are often wildly out of step with non-member gun owners and the general public, and who have shown a willingness to engage in 180s on their own positions on stuff supported by a majority of gun owners on stuff like background checks, mental health records, and security as soon as it's proposed in a an unfavorable climate to them by anyone that they've spent the last 5 years straight-up lying about and demonizing.

There is nothing equating having a gun in the house with personal familiarity with firearms and magazine sizes. Only owning or using a gun gives you that familiarity, not mere physical proximity.

If there was nothing equating having a gun in the house with personal familiarity, I'd expect the numbers between gun owners and households to be much wider.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:42 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thus, among all gun owners in the cited survey, a majority do believe - 54% of gun-owning non-NRA members, and a staggering 89% of NRA members that magazines with more than 10+ rounds are needed.

I'm not terribly surprised to learn that people who like guns and people who really really like guns want more guns with more rounds.

This is your personal opinion and preference and has no bearing on this discussion. In fact this is what prevents any rational discussion

That's just, like, your opinion, man. Look, this discussion is largely opinion and preference already. It's opinion to suggest that 3d printing will make "gun control obsolete" and it's certainly a preference to want to live in a society where everyone has access to the same degree of lethal force as a modern army. And as for rational discussion, that's already been prevented when dudes are like "Laws? I don't need no stinkin' laws!"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:44 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


That list includes no ownership about the rates of gun ownership in each country

That's rich. Just look at countries like Japan and United Kingdom amongst many others and notice how most western rates are comparable to United States. I am willing to remove Korea and Japan from this discussion because they are so high.

One of the best illustrations of hypocrisy in this thread so far. Its OK for you to shut down discussions based on your personal opinion and preferences re: liberals (which there is no evidence for) and to use emotion and reactionary tactics, but heavens forfend someone suggest that perhaps regulating the firearm used in most gun violence (i.e., handguns) might not be a bad idea.

So far I have stuck to data as a basis of my arguments.

I was referring to the absolute position that there is absolutely no need for anyone to have any guns (except bolt actions and shotguns). This is an emotional and reactionary opinion and not really something I am prepared to debate because it is so obviously false. For instance the 600 justifiable homicides in a year are 600 reasons that make my case. You want to use the 8000 murders committed by bad guys to disarm us without giving us an ability to defend ourselves just because you don't think anyone needs a gun today. The whole argument I have been making is that people that commit murder will not follow any laws you make because they are already hellbent on murder (the highest penalty crime) and the comeback I get is oh well, let's just take all guns away. That is an illogical and reactionary response.

And why do I have to spell everything? I am a long time regular here and usually the level of intellect and ability to grasp the logical nuances of arguments and conversations is very high. Are we being dense on purpose? I apologize if it comes off as offensive but I am really trying to show anti-gun crowd that their solutions don't actually achieve the results that they implicitly desire and yet take away my rights and choices.

posted by trol at 7:47 AM on February 27, 2013


Notice how suicide rates are not correlated at all with gun ownership or availability on a country by country basis? Please stick to facts instead of using emotion and reactionary tactics. You are talking about taking away handguns to prevent suicides without understanding that this has no effect on someone who has decided to checkout.

The "this will have no effect on people who've decided to commit suicides" thing is totally wrong. Suicide rates are higher in states with looser gun laws, they are also higher in households that own guns.

Further, people who commit suicide are usually ambivalent about it. They're torn between wanting to die and wanting to be rescued from whatever situation makes them want to die; any barrier to a suicidal individual killing themselves is likely to, in the long run, save quite a few lives as a lot of those people, when confronted with the barrier, change their mind. The person who has "decided to check out" is a red herring, that person, largely, does not exist.

You're also ignoring that guns are, usually, a foolproof way of killing yourself. Even if we assume someone has "decided to check out," an attempted suicide with a gun is basically always a suicide. Other means are far less certain.

Does this mean we should ban handguns because of use in suicides? I would say no, but it is an argument in favor of imposing restrictions on guns. The more hoops you have to jump through to get a gun, the fewer guns people will buy, and fewer guns in circulation will reduce the number of suicide deaths.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:47 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And as for rational discussion, that's already been prevented when dudes are like "Laws? I don't need no stinkin' laws!"

That dude was me, although I did not say we don't need no stinkin laws. What I said was no one wakes up in the morning and decides not to commit murder with their legally acquired gun because, oh snap! murder is illegal. That laws have limited (zero to little) effect on career criminals and psychopaths. The people that are affected by laws, especially laws enacted as an emotional response to tragedy are law abiding citizens that were not going to commit crimes to begin with but are not saddled with ridiculous constraints like bullet buttons and limits on gun ownership - all without any demonstrable impact on crime.
posted by trol at 7:50 AM on February 27, 2013


The "this will have no effect on people who've decided to commit suicides" thing is totally wrong. Suicide rates are higher in states with looser gun laws, they are also higher in households that own guns.

And that explains how closely United States tracks suicide rates with UK?

I wasn't able to read the paper in your link and so I have no data on the methodology and income or demographic distribution used to collect the statistics. As you know, there are other factors like poverty, socioeconomics, demographics and even veteran status that have correlation with suicides and the states with loose gun control have all of these factors at play. I think a fair assessment would be to compare national averages as that data is normalized for all of these factors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate#List
posted by trol at 7:57 AM on February 27, 2013


That laws have limited (zero to little) effect on career criminals and psychopaths.

This claim requires evidence, especially regarding how law impacts peoples' choice to become career criminals.

The people that are affected by laws, especially laws enacted as an emotional response to tragedy are law abiding citizens that were not going to commit crimes to begin with but are not saddled with ridiculous constraints like bullet buttons and limits on gun ownership - all without any demonstrable impact on crime.

I would somewhat agree with this point, mostly because much of the gun violence in this country (& *I* should provide a cite for this) is done not with automatics but with handguns.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:57 AM on February 27, 2013


trol: “That laws have limited (zero to little) effect on career criminals and psychopaths.”

I said something like this above, but: if there is a lack of law and order in this country, the solution is not to give up entirely on law and order. If laws have zero to little effect on career criminals and psychopaths, the answer is: more police, arm them heavily, and make it stop. The law must be made to have an impact on career criminals and psychopaths. That's what maintaining law and order means.
posted by koeselitz at 8:02 AM on February 27, 2013


Japan has a ridiculously high suicide rate. Do you know what would happen if they had as many guns as the US? That ridiculously high suicide rate would be even higher because guns do increase successful suicides. They aren't the only thing that can increase a suicide rate, but they sure contribute.

other factors like poverty, socioeconomics, demographics and even veteran status that have correlation

Calculate them all and get a number of people willing to commit suicide, and then add guns to the equation and the number of suicide deaths will increase when you introduce the guns.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:03 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And why do I have to spell everything? I am a long time regular here and usually the level of intellect and ability to grasp the logical nuances of arguments and conversations is very high. Are we being dense on purpose? I apologize if it comes off as offensive but I am really trying to show anti-gun crowd that their solutions don't actually achieve the results that they implicitly desire and yet take away my rights and choices.

You're coming off as offensive because you've chosen a single viewpoint (all guns should be taken away) and then applied it to most "liberals" without a single fact to back that up, all the while ignoring all of the actual solutions being supported (such as background checks) that don't take away your rights and choices and that do in fact actually achieve desired results and have an demonstrable impact on crime.

You want to have a discussion, then acknowledge those facts rather than just trying to tell everybody what they can say and claiming unsupported correlations are facts. Otherwise, you're engaging in the same emotional reactionary tactics.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:04 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


bartonlong: " And the final thought for the day on this topic, During the Warsaw uprising in the closing days of WWII the Jews in the Ghetto managed to make/obtain several firearms (less than 10 if I remember right). They used these to obtain (meaning kill and then take the German's weapons) several more and then held off the might of the Wehrmacht for several days. With homemade guns, stolen rifles and willpower. Just food for thought."

And? It basically allowed the Jews to inflict a few more casualties, but did nothing to change the end result. We were still murdered en masse. More guns would not have prevented that.

We had been the subject of an intense and ongoing propaganda campaign for decades, which turned our own neighbors and fellow citizens against us. There had been boycotts of Jewish businesses in Germany in the '20s. Many were Aryanized. The German government spent the decades leading up to the Holocaust passing Anti-Jewish laws and using rhetoric and political speeches that were viciously anti-Jew. And the worst of it began not with the uprising in 1943, but in 1933, when Hitler began putting his political enemies and Jewish, Communist and Socialist jobholders in internment camps. That same year, The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service was passed. That was a precursor to The Nuremberg Race Laws, which were passed in 1935.

The idea that more guns would have turned the tide against the Nazis is ludicrous. Meanwhile, it's been used as rhetoric by the NRA in their idiotic, offensive, utterly-devoid-of-logic campaign to blame the victims of the Holocaust for their own slaughter.
But Jewish gun backers also turn to Jewish history for support. “I wish there had been more armed Jews when Hitler came to power,” Gottlieb said. “I think the government should not have a monopoly on owning firearms.” Others argue that had the Jewish community been armed, Nazi SS units would have suffered losses that would have led Hitler to reconsider his plan to exterminate Europe’s Jews.

Michael Berenbaum, an internationally recognized scholar of the Holocaust, labeled this idea “preposterous.”

“The Germans conquered half the Soviet Union, and France and Poland, and the rest of Europe, against massive armies with huge weapons,” said Berenbaum, who was project director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. “Look at what it took to defeat the Germans.”

According to Berenbaum, “The huge disproportion of power held by the Nazis, and their readiness to use their power for total destruction” would not have been changed had Jewish civilians had guns. “The most you could say is, it might have caused the Nazis to have greater casualties, as it did in the Warsaw Ghetto. It would have exacted a cost. But the idea that Jews with guns would have stopped the Holocaust is not in the realm of the conceivable.”
The victims of the Holocaust deserve better than to be used as an historically inaccurate talking point for the gun lobby.
posted by zarq at 8:05 AM on February 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


Calculate them all and get a number of people willing to commit suicide, and then add guns to the equation and the number of suicide deaths will increase when you introduce the guns.

One more thing, in a previous thread someone pointed out you could say the same thing about alcohol, and I agree. That's a good argument. I plead with you to accept the truth about the effect guns have on suicide and argue from there rather than continuing to be willfully dense about it. It's mind numbing.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:07 AM on February 27, 2013


This claim requires evidence, especially regarding how law impacts peoples' choice to become career criminals.

The claim that psychopaths or career criminals disregard laws needs evidence? The fact that a felon even acquires a gun (illegally!) already means they are breaking the laws. The fact that a psychopath is not allowed to own a gun, once again means, logically that they are disregarding existing laws on limitations on gun ownership. This is not rocket science and an obvious logical statement.

Japan has a ridiculously high suicide rate. Do you know what would happen if they had as many guns as the US? That ridiculously high suicide rate would be even higher because guns do increase successful suicides. They aren't the only thing that can increase a suicide rate, but they sure contribute.

I already disregarded Japan. I used United Kingdom as a reasonable comparison. Your claim is not borne out by the data that guns increase suicides considering the countries with tight gun controls and similar demographics (like UK) track the suicide rates in US.

other factors like poverty, socioeconomics, demographics and even veteran status that have correlation

Calculate them all, and then add guns to the equation and the number of suicide deaths will increase when you introduce the guns.

See what I just wrote above. Your claims are not borne out by data.

posted by trol at 8:08 AM on February 27, 2013


Okay, intentionally as dense as a brick wall it is.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:11 AM on February 27, 2013


I did not say we don't need no stinkin laws. ... I said ... laws have limited (zero to little) effect on career criminals and psychopaths. The people that are affected by laws ... are law abiding citizens that were not going to commit crimes to begin with but are not saddled with ridiculous constraints ...

Obviously, if you believe there are only two kinds of people, the violent and the peaceful and if you believe that laws only burden the peaceful and fail to pacify the violent, then you don't have much use for stinkin' laws. I will suggest that's an overly simplistic view of people, crime, violence, and law and it's unprofitable to have a discussion about guns with someone who thinks that peaceful people are never violent and that violent people can't be pacified.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:12 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


trol: “That laws have limited (zero to little) effect on career criminals and psychopaths.”

Going To Maine: “This claim requires evidence, especially regarding how law impacts peoples' choice to become career criminals.”

trol: “The claim that psychopaths or career criminals disregard laws needs evidence?”

The claim that psychopaths or career criminals disregard laws is completely and utterly different from the claim that the law has no effect on them.
posted by koeselitz at 8:12 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thank you, koeselitz. You have stated things more clearly than me.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:14 AM on February 27, 2013


I think a fair assessment would be to compare national averages as that data is normalized for all of these factors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate#List

Why would a comparison of national rates be more relevant than a comparison of state by state rates that controlled for measures of race/ethnicity, income, and urbanization. Why would it be more relevant than a comparison of the rates of suicide death between households with guns and without them within the United States? If you're concerned about similar demographics, which makes sense, then why not use comparison between states? Also, why would ignore that suicides by firearms are overwhelmingly successful? That's definitely a huge factor.

It's also worth pointing out that Wikipedia compares different years for the US and the UK. The US rate is for 2009 and UK rate for 2011(a year that saw a noticeable spike for the UK). The 2010 rate for both countries (which is what I'm quickly able to find for both) is US: 12.4, UK: 11.1. That's a much bigger difference than what you're seeing on the Wikipedia.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:15 AM on February 27, 2013


You're coming off as offensive because you've chosen a single viewpoint (all guns should be taken away) and then applied it to most "liberals" without a single fact to back that up, all the while ignoring all of the actual solutions being supported (such as background checks) that don't take away your rights and choices and that do in fact actually achieve desired results and have an demonstrable impact on crime.

You want to have a discussion, then acknowledge those facts rather than just trying to tell everybody what they can say and claiming unsupported correlations are facts. Otherwise, you're engaging in the same emotional reactionary tactics.


I acknowledge that. That having background checks is important. Did you know that the number of background checks that resulted in a prosecution in 2010 was 22? This is from a set of over 70,000 denials. While a lot (most?) of these denials possibly turned out to be mistakes, do you really believe that only 22 people tried to acquire a gun illegally in United States? https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bjs/grants/239272.pdf clearly shows thousands of denials that should have resulted in prosecutions but did not. The problem then is not the background check system itself, it is how comprehensively the existing system (which I support) is being enforced.
posted by trol at 8:17 AM on February 27, 2013


The NEJM article to which I linked earlier has a nice table that describes the aggregate impact of gun ownership on suicide within the US.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:19 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks, that is an excellent table. It helps simpletons like me to see the evidence for themselves. I really appreciate that. And, so, how do we solve this problem? What is your proposal?
posted by trol at 8:21 AM on February 27, 2013


I already disregarded Japan.

Because...?

I used United Kingdom as a reasonable comparison. Your claim is not borne out by the data that guns increase suicides considering the countries with tight gun controls and similar demographics (like UK) track the suicide rates in US.

The UK is one-fifth the size of the US and very little demographic similarity:

Whites: 93% vs 71%
Blacks: 2% vs 13%
Hispanics: Doesn't even show up in statistics vs 17%
Asian: 5% vs 5%
Mixed-race: 1% vs 3%

The problem then is not the background check system itself, it is how comprehensively the existing system (which I support) is being enforced.

This was covered by 8 of the 23 executive actions signed by Obama, part of the "eroding freedoms" that you never actually enumerated.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:22 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eroding freedoms include freedom of speech, freedom from unreasonable searches and certainly freedom from overzealous reactionary politicians. But I digress. I hope that background checks system can be made more robust without making felons out of law abiding citizens (sensible stuff like lending someone a gun on a range or hunting trip or even helping with moves and so on).

I disregarded Japan because otherwise it is a strong testament to (my) argument that guns or no gun, people will kill themselves. I agree that Japan and Korea are different so I removed them myself from my own argument in good faith. As for UK, I have actually lived in Europe and UK myself. It is a fairly diverse place with some nuances to racial demographics (eastern Europeans doing the labor instead of other minorities for example) but comparable social structure (social welfare, incomes, legal system and so on).
posted by trol at 8:30 AM on February 27, 2013


Thanks, that is an excellent table. It helps simpletons like me to see the evidence for themselves.

Sorry! Not trying to get in anyone's grill here. Just trying to keep on emphasizing the point that studies have shown that suicide rates in the US are very strongly tied to guns in a way that does not impact other factors.

And, so, how do we solve this problem? What is your proposal?

*My* dream would be to severely restrict the sale of handguns. I don't know that that would fly in the US, so now that I have had aired my personal fantasy I will move on.

The NEJM article suggests that requiring people to store their guns better and more securely can have an impact on this. That seems like a starting point. I've also seen other articles (to which I won't link because I don't want to go hunting over the web) that suggest that a difficulty with the laws regarding gun safes & gun storage is that they are often not obeyed; there's little oversight. As such, I would think that severely beefing up the ATF's ability to audit these storage spaces and to fine violators. I also think that any sort of method that slows people down in trying to obtain a gun - background checks, having to get licensed, waiting periods, etc. - would probably help.

But I'm not an expert at this, and what I'd really like is for experts to handle it. For a start, I'd like to see this problem acknowledged by the NRA. I think that a lot of good would come from that.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:39 AM on February 27, 2013


And even more recently the ATF did the same thing in Milwaukee I believe. (I am at work and don't have access to my library of links about all this).

Well, not quite exactly the same thing, but it certainly shared a certain lack of competence. This happened in my neighborhood, actually, so there are now more guns on the street in my immediate area due to the ATF. Thanks, guys! I don't want to derail too heavily, but let's take a quick look:
"They were undercover agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives running a storefront sting aimed at busting criminal operations in the city by purchasing drugs and guns from felons.

But the effort to date has not snared any major dealers or taken down a gang. Instead, it resulted in a string of mistakes and failures, including an ATF military-style machine gun landing on the streets of Milwaukee and the agency having $35,000 in merchandise stolen from its store, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.

When the 10-month operation was shut down after the burglary, agents and Milwaukee police officers who participated in the sting cleared out the store but left behind a sensitive document that listed names, vehicles and phone numbers of undercover agents.

And the agency remains locked in a battle with the building's owner, who says he is owed about $15,000 because of utility bills, holes in the walls, broken doors and damage from an overflowing toilet.

The sting resulted in charges being filed against about 30 people, most for low-level drug sales and gun possession counts. But agents had the wrong person in at least three cases. In one, they charged a man who was in prison - as a result of an earlier ATF case - at the time agents said he was selling drugs to them.

Other cases reveal that the agency's operation was paying such high prices that some defendants bought guns from stores such as Gander Mountain and sold them to the agents for a quick profit."
posted by nTeleKy at 8:43 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The claim that psychopaths or career criminals disregard laws is completely and utterly different from the claim that the law has no effect on them."

Yeah, I pointed out that it was a tautology hours ago. Dude's huffin' his own fumes and is too busy calling for nuance to work out anything but misleading self-evident statements.
posted by klangklangston at 8:55 AM on February 27, 2013


trol: “I find it alarming that these freedoms are eroding right in front of my eyes and my children won't be able to enjoy the full potential of this fantastic country (By the way, I include the first, second, fourth and fifth amendments in the freedoms that I see as slipping away so understand that I am not focused or obsessed with just guns)...

“Eroding freedoms include freedom of speech, freedom from unreasonable searches and certainly freedom from overzealous reactionary politicians. But I digress. I hope that background checks system can be made more robust without making felons out of law abiding citizens (sensible stuff like lending someone a gun on a range or hunting trip or even helping with moves and so on).”


For what it's worth, I don't think anyone can say that a person's right to own a gun has "eroded" in our lifetimes; on the contrary, that right has actually expanded, and in some senses didn't even exist before that time.

Until 2008, for the past two centuries, the Supreme Court consistently held that the Second Amendment applied to militias only, and that as such any potential unqualified right to keep and bear arms is clearly only implied at best. This seems to accord well with the way the amendment is written; and, although it is written in a way that is quite ambiguous, in situations where the Court cannot make a definitive decision on what the text means, it must defer to the states and whatever legislation they choose. In other words, until 2008, the Supreme Court consistently elected to allow states to enact gun control across the board, because they didn't see any clear and decisive text forcing them to avoid doing so. It should be noted that this precedent stretches back to the early 1800s. Gun control is not a new thing.

But all of that changed in 2008, when the Supreme Court decided, in the landmark DC v Heller, that Americans definitively have a right to own and keep a handgun in their own homes for their protection. The case was brought by a former police officer, Heller, who wanted to own a handgun in his home but was prevented by the DC handgun ban; the Court overturned that ban, and had a lot to say in doing so. I'm not a huge fan of that decision, which was written by Antonin Scalia; beyond being fairly activist (since it overturned centuries of precedent) it is confusing and frankly self-contradictory in many places. It advocates a conservative approach, and then overturns a law on constitutional grounds; it advocates originalism, and then ignores the original text of the amendment. And it makes some strange arguments that even gun advocates wouldn't necessarily agree with, I think – for example, it makes the odd claim that specifically only handguns must be allowed because Americans have chosen handguns as the tool of self-defense. However, regardless of my personal feelings about that decision, it is clearly now law. It has acted as precedent for other cases, most notably McDonald v Chicago (which overturned a similar handgun ban in Chicago) and it has never really even been challenged. And legislatures have taken note; handgun bans have been dropped, and gun control legislation now always falls in line with this standard the Supreme Court has set.

All of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights have limits. You mention freedom of speech and freedom from unreasonable searches; I think these have been carefully considered over the centuries, and rational limitations have been placed on them. For example, we have the freedom of speech, but we don't have the freedom to libel or slander another person; and we have freedom from unreasonable searches, but not from reasonable ones. I don't feel as though these freedoms are under threat, either. The fifth amendment is the only one I see threatened, although that's in certain specific cases that I find worrisome.

In any case, I think you can rest assured that, far from being threatened, the second amendment has recently been expanded and clarified by the Court. You now have a definitive right as a private citizen to keep a handgun in your home for protection. That's not something any legislation can take away, barring a repeal of the second amendment.
posted by koeselitz at 8:56 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I disregarded Japan because otherwise it is a strong testament to (my) argument that guns or no gun, people will kill themselves.

If Japan had American-style access to guns, would the suicide rate go up, down, or stay the same? If America had Japan-style restrictions to guns, would our suicide rate go up, down, or stay the same? What is the evidence for your answers? Note that Japan's high suicide rate (or the UK's similar suicide rate) alone is not evidence that restricting gun access would have no effect on suicide rates.

And then we get to the usual argument. "People kill themselves (or others) with anything, so access to guns is irrelevant." Well, if access to guns is so irrelevant for murder or suicide, why is it so necessary for self-defense? If people can just as easily kill others with knives, or baseball bats, or framing hammers, why can't they defend themselves with mace, frying pans, or folding chairs?

Now my disclaimer, because we apparently have to do this: I DON'T WANT TO BAN GUNS. Again, I DON'T WANT TO BAN GUNS. I DON'T WANT TO BAN GUNS. I'm just really tired of people who claim not just the moral, but the logical high ground using the same tired logical flaws every damn time this subject comes up.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:58 AM on February 27, 2013


You now have a definitive right as a private citizen to keep a handgun in your home for protection. That's not something any legislation can take away, barring a repeal of the second amendment.

Unless you didn't pay your traffic tickets, or a host of other reasons for the police not to approve your permit. That's not as definitive as people might think.
posted by corb at 8:59 AM on February 27, 2013


"The claim that psychopaths or career criminals disregard laws is completely and utterly different from the claim that the law has no effect on them."

Yeah, I pointed out that it was a tautology hours ago. Dude's huffin' his own fumes and is too busy calling for nuance to work out anything but misleading self-evident statements.


You are entitled to attack my personal conviction because that is not protected by logic or data. But you are the one asking me to prove a negative. If you believe there is a positive impact of laws on career criminals and psychopaths, I am all ears. Similarly if you have proof that law abiding citizens are waiting for just the right moment to commit crimes, I am all ears. I admit that I am trying to keep accidental discharges, crimes of passion and suicides out of this discussion because you cannot address those without a nearly comprehensive ban of gun ownership of any kind. Now if that is what you (or others) are proposing than I think this whole thing is wasted effort because I don't think of that as a reasonable compromise.
posted by trol at 9:05 AM on February 27, 2013


If Japan had American-style access to guns, would the suicide rate go up, down, or stay the same? If America had Japan-style restrictions to guns, would our suicide rate go up, down, or stay the same? What is the evidence for your answers? Note that Japan's high suicide rate (or the UK's similar suicide rate) alone is not evidence that restricting gun access would have no effect on suicide rates.

You are asking me to speculate? Extrapolate? Guesstimate? How do you propose I arrive at this data in your hypothetical scenarios. And once again, what solutions other than drastic curtailing of liberties exist that would prevent accidental discharges, suicides and crimes of passion?
posted by trol at 9:08 AM on February 27, 2013


You are entitled to attack my personal conviction because that is not protected by logic or data. But you are the one asking me to prove a negative.

You are asking people to prove that a law has an impact on a career criminal. Ok. Here is a hypothetical situation:
1. A career criminal (or someone planning on becoming a career criminal) gets a gun illegally and shoots someone.
2. Because there is a law against shooting people, the police investigate the crime and arrest the criminal.
3. The jury finds the criminal guilty.
4. The judge sentences the criminal.

The law has had an effect on the criminal.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:16 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh wow.

Effect on criminal before they choose to commit a crime. I have already stated earlier that laws are purely reactionary (meaning they react after the fact).
posted by trol at 9:23 AM on February 27, 2013


corb: “Unless you didn't pay your traffic tickets, or a host of other reasons for the police not to approve your permit. That's not as definitive as people might think.”

Is there really any state in the US where police departments are allowed ambiguous leeway to deny permits just because they feel like it? As I said, every right is limited; DC v Heller didn't strike down background checks, for example. But as far as I can tell, background checks are not so stringent that they prevent law-abiding citizens from obtaining weapons; and, as far as I can tell, they aren't likely to any time soon.

(For the record, I think background checks are great, and believe they should be expanded to apply to all purchases of firearms, but I don't think they're a magic bullet. You can't know that someone is going to commit a crime before they do; that's a pipe dream that hopeful people cling to, but I don't think it makes much sense.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:27 AM on February 27, 2013


trol: “Effect on criminal before they choose to commit a crime. I have already stated earlier that laws are purely reactionary (meaning they react after the fact).”

This is a very useful clarification, thanks. However, I don't think it works in this context. If buying a rocket launcher is a crime, then yes, laws don't have any effect on a psychopath or a career criminal until they actually buy that rocket launcher. But once they do, the law has an effect on them – they are arrested for buying the rocket launcher, and prevented from using it on people.

I think you were trying to claim that psychopaths and career criminals aren't effected by laws before they start shooting, so gun control laws don't do anything to stop them between the time they illegally purchase guns and the time they pull the trigger. Sadly, I think you're right; District Attorneys across the US have stood in the way of the ATF and prevented actual enforcement of gun control laws. But again, the solution there is to actually see that gun control laws are enforced. If someone commits a crime by illegally purchasing a weapon, they should be arrested before they can use it, right?
posted by koeselitz at 9:31 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"But you are the one asking me to prove a negative."

No, not really. And, again, you're making the extraordinary claim that laws do not influence behavior. That flies in the face of everything we know about the legal system and about how people respond to economics — it flies in the face of pretty much every public health study done too. For example, Richard Florida's correlation of gun control laws with lower firearm deaths or that the death penalty does reduce crime.

So, yes, laws reduce acts that would otherwise be criminal by altering incentives. If you would like to advance the extraordinary claim that they do not, you're going to have to do better than circular definitions and arguments from emotion. You complained that MetaFilter is usually better than this — denying that law influences behavior means that you're part of the problem.
posted by klangklangston at 9:33 AM on February 27, 2013


" If buying a rocket launcher is a crime, then yes, laws don't have any effect on a psychopath or a career criminal until they actually buy that rocket launcher"

Even that's false on its face. How easy is it to get a rocket launcher? Not easy, right? Isn't it pretty apparent that without laws restricting the sale of rocket launchers, it would be easier and less expensive to buy one? If it was easier to get one, wouldn't more people have one? If more people have one, wouldn't more people be likely to use one?

QED.
posted by klangklangston at 9:35 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


(And we'll ignore elasticity of demand, etc.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:36 AM on February 27, 2013


I admit that I am trying to keep accidental discharges, crimes of passion and suicides out of this discussion because you cannot address those without a nearly comprehensive ban of gun ownership of any kind. Now if that is what you (or others) are proposing than I think this whole thing is wasted effort because I don't think of that as a reasonable compromise.

In the case of suicides and crimes of passion, comprehensive bans may not be necessary. Again, gun storage mechanisms and waiting periods -things that hinder passion- can constrain them. When you talk about keeping these things out of the discussion... they have to be part of the discussion, because they are a significant consquence of owning guns.

While I don't know that it will calm anyone down, I think that Gary Wills' essay Our Moloch, which portrays guns as worshiped objects, speaks to this point.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:37 AM on February 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


In the case of suicides and crimes of passion, comprehensive bans may not be necessary. Again, gun storage mechanisms and waiting periods -things that hinder passion- can constrain them.

So can anything that makes gun more of a hassle to get. If you tell people "you can buy a gun but it's going to be a pain in the ass" fewer people will buy guns, meaning fewer guns around for those accidents, suicides and crimes of passion. As I said earlier about suicides, states with more restrictive gun laws have lower suicide rates; not a single one of those states has a gun ban.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:44 AM on February 27, 2013


Awesome! We are on the same page.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:48 AM on February 27, 2013


The law has had an effect on the criminal.

The law didn't STOP the criminal. It did allow the criminal to be put away from society and thereby not allowed to commit more harm, but the existence of the law did not affect the criminals ability or motive to commit the crime. We already have laws against killing people regardless of the tool used. Yet people still get murdered (sometimes even with bare hands and no tools at all). And MILLIONS of people who own the tools that can be used to kill people yet those people who have ready access to the tools (guns) don't use them in OVERWHELMINGLY large numbers, and, in fact, use those tools (guns) to uphold law and order (guns are used a LOT in self defense by ordinary citizens and by police also to enforce compliance). Guns being available does not make criminals out of the law abiding or stop people from being criminals. People aren't that simple. The one sure way to make criminals out of the law abiding is to make something that a lot of people desire to possess us illegal (such as...marijuana or alcohol say). And most of both the inner city (i am not sure this is the correct term and I am not trying to dog whistle here, I just don't know how else to phrase it) violence that most gun crime is tied to and the erosion of civil liberties can be laid at the foot of the drug war (and the war on terrorism more recently for civil rights).

As far as suicide goes, guns do appear to make suicide attempts more successful (at least in the US). The studies on that seem pretty good and solid. But how many of those who are attempting suicide really want to kill themselves? and if someone DOES want to shouldn't they be allowed to make that decision for themselves? (I am not advocating suicide or think it's ok or anything like that, I am just making the point that shouldn't someone be allowed to do it if they so choose?) By looking at the demographics of successful vs. unsuccessful suicides we might be able to see if the above theory holds any water (say do the terminally ill favor guns vs the depressed favor some other less successful method). I don't know if someone has looked at it or not (the only thing I recall hearing on this is that men favor guns/hanging and women favor non-destructive means but my memory on this could be wrong). I will also admit that I don't know much about the psychology of suicide outside of some minor stuff about (apparently rare and dubious) linkages to anti depressants I ran across when I was going on anti depressants because I wanted to know about the side effects before I went on them.
posted by bartonlong at 9:50 AM on February 27, 2013


ut how many of those who are attempting suicide really want to kill themselves? and if someone DOES want to shouldn't they be allowed to make that decision for themselves?

I am going to point you back up to this comment. Look at the table in the paper! I find it pretty compelling.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:54 AM on February 27, 2013


"Guns being available does not make criminals out of the law abiding or stop people from being criminals. People aren't that simple."

It's odd that you advance a weird tautological binary and then exclaim that people aren't that simple in the next breath. People aren't simply law abiding or criminals, and people break laws when they're less likely to get caught or it's cheap for them to do so.
posted by klangklangston at 10:14 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


But we are not talking about just speeding on the highways. We are talking about murder. Human evolution and psychology makes murder the ultimate crime and requires a huge and explicit leap from things like speeding or even drunk driving. The point that some of us are making is that once someone crosses this very clear boundary/threshold, laws are not a sufficient barrier to actually prevent them from committing murder (in other words, murder is not a crime of convenience).
posted by trol at 10:22 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


We are talking about murder.
Premeditated murder, since you have chosen to omit crimes of passion.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:27 AM on February 27, 2013


Yes sir.
posted by trol at 10:28 AM on February 27, 2013


"But we are not talking about just speeding on the highways. We are talking about murder. Human evolution and psychology makes murder the ultimate crime and requires a huge and explicit leap from things like speeding or even drunk driving."

So, you're going with special pleading as your fallacy of choice here. OK. That premeditated murder is different in severity from drunk driving does not mean that it cannot respond to incentives.

"The point that some of us are making is that once someone crosses this very clear boundary/threshold, laws are not a sufficient barrier to actually prevent them from committing murder (in other words, murder is not a crime of convenience)."

And again, you're basing this on some unprovable gut feeling that contradicts pretty much everything we know about how crime happens. So, you're not providing any evidence and you're cherry picking your examples, while claiming that they're special for some reason.

You're a mess, man.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree that a premeditated, well-thought out murder or mass-murder is not a "crime of convenience". That said, I think that a rational murderer might well choose not to plan a murder because they don't have access to the right tools for an effective killing. A gun can kill more easily than a knife. (Consider the Chinese school stabber vs. Adam Lanza.) More of these hypothetical rational murders will kill people because they know they can get guns than they would if they could only get knives.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:45 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


One point brought up in favor of access to guns is that it lets the physically weak have an equalizer for defense. It has the same power when used for offense. You can win fights you would not otherwise win. They are very, very good tools for what they are designed for. There are rational people who may cross the line into wanting to kill but will not do it if they do not think they can pull off the kill and also evade the legal consequences.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:54 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or alternatively, a rational murderer might choose their targets where they know no one is going to be able to stop them like in virginia tech or sandy hook or a church. People willing to commit mass or even individual murder and make a name for themselves will find tools they need: case in point the norway killer and even timothy mcveigh for that matter.

That premeditated murder is different in severity from drunk driving does not mean that it cannot respond to incentives.

Feel free to provide incentives for psychopaths and murderers not to commit already illegal crimes. Please do so in a manner that does not impact American liberty and has a measurable impact and ability prevent actual crimes.

You're a mess, man

And again, you are entitled to attacking me. You are not going to get a rise out of me. I am going to continue to use cold hard data to make my case and demand you do the same before I give up an inch of my liberty. So far, I have not seen any proposals that will actually prevent crimes or mass murders from occurring let alone do so without impacting my freedoms. All I see is proposals that limit my freedoms without any data or evidence that these will actually prevent crimes (yes, the deliberate ones, not crimes of passion, not suicides and not accidents)
posted by trol at 10:55 AM on February 27, 2013


FBI: Expanded Homicide Data (2010)
Of the homicides for which the FBI received weapons data, most (67.5 percent) involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 68.5 percent of the firearms used in murders and nonnegligent manslaughters in 2010. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 8.)

In 2010, in incidents of murder for which the relationships of murder victims and offenders were known, 53.0 percent were killed by someone they knew (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.); 24.8 percent of victims were slain by family members. The relationship of murder victims and offenders was unknown in 44.0 percent of murder and non-negligent manslaughter incidents in 2010. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 10.)

Of the murders for which the circumstance surrounding the murder was known, 41.8 percent of victims were murdered during arguments (including romantic triangles) in 2010. Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 23.1 percent of murders. Circumstances were unknown for 35.8 percent of reported homicides. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 12.)
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:56 AM on February 27, 2013


It's odd that you advance a weird tautological binary and then exclaim that people aren't that simple in the next breath. People aren't simply law abiding or criminals, and people break laws when they're less likely to get caught or it's cheap for them to do so.

actually that is pretty much my point. The mere existence (or even possession) of an object does not imbue one with a criminal intent. Most of the gun control laws focus very much on the gun as if certain types of guns or even just 'guns' do exactly this. And, to tie this in with the original purpose of this thread, laws that merely treat the object as if it has power do nothing to stop the person who uses that object for destructive means and there is usually a way around the law banning or making the object difficult to obtain. And those laws against speeding don't actually stop speeders, do they? despite enforcement and clear consequences. The only thing that really slows down traffic is either good road design (part of my profession actually) acting on the psychology of the driver or congestion (which is kinda bad road design really...) making it impossible to speed unless you are willing to cause harm to yourself or others...maybe the differences are one of degree not of kind here but I don't think it changes our point. Mere laws that don't treat the underlying causes of the problem do nothing to change the behavior unless you are willing to do truly draconian enforcement and that can have all kinds of unintended consequences far worse than the undesirable behavior. In parts of this country where violence is not productive and their are other opportunities to make ones way in life, violence (gun related or otherwise) isn't really problem (at least no worse than other industrialized nations).

For instance, a lot of people in this country (and on this board probably) use marijuana recreationally (which, not that it matters but trying to avoid a derail, I have NO problem with and have voted my whole life in the direction of making it more readily available despite never having used it myself-can't stand smoking). Does anyone actually have any problem obtaining or using it despite it being BANNED by Federal law? or even more obviously harmful drugs such as Heroin? (like I said, I don't use it but I am pretty sure I could get it by sundown if I was so inclined-not sure i could buy a gun without a background check in the same time period even though that is a legal activity).
posted by bartonlong at 10:57 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


People willing to commit mass or even individual murder and make a name for themselves will find tools they need: case in point the norway killer and even timothy mcveigh for that matter.

Have you heard about the FBI cases where they find people who want to be terrorists and give them fake bombs they otherwise would have no idea how to obtain?

Yes, people can be entirely homicidal but not be driven to take action without being gifted the means. This is stone cold documented fact being willfully ignored.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:58 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Feel free to provide incentives for psychopaths and murderers not to commit already illegal crimes. Please do so in a manner that does not impact American liberty and has a measurable impact and ability prevent actual crimes.

Uh, every law impacts liberty. It's a trade off. So demanding that laws not affect "American liberty" is demanding that they not exist.

And those incentives include making it harder for them to murder people. You know, with gun control.

"And again, you are entitled to attacking me. You are not going to get a rise out of me. I am going to continue to use cold hard data to make my case and demand you do the same before I give up an inch of my liberty.

I'm pointing out that your arguments are incoherent. And you haven't provided any data when you've been challenged — you've resorted to fallacious definitions and a flat denial of the data that has been provided to you.

"So far, I have not seen any proposals that will actually prevent crimes or mass murders from occurring let alone do so without impacting my freedoms. All I see is proposals that limit my freedoms without any data or evidence that these will actually prevent crimes (yes, the deliberate ones, not crimes of passion, not suicides and not accidents)"

See, this is what I mean — you've created articles of faith out of thin air and simply employ special pleading any time you're challenged.

Look, if you want to base your arguments on specious special pleading and appeals to abstract liberties, go found a religion. If you want to be treated like an adult who knows how to construct an argument, conduct yourself like one.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 AM on February 27, 2013


The terrorists you are referring to are usually from the cult of islamic extremism - these are the most gullible, stupid fucking idiots I have ever dealt with (ask me how I know). I consider these morons to be mentally retarded and incapable of reasoning and certainly don't want them acquiring any kind of weapons - their entire existence is based on faith in fairy tales and when their fairy tales say it is cool to kill the infidel, they are good to go. I honestly don't believe these terrorists represent the average population in a western nation.

Remember when I said I am an immigrant? I am from one of these places. I assure you these people are crazy and mentally prepared to take any opportunity to cause mayhem. In other words they have crossed the mental barrier/threshold for murder long time ago.
posted by trol at 11:10 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"And those laws against speeding don't actually stop speeders, do they?"

Yes, they do. What they don't do is prevent all speeders. However, as we're not idiots we can see that speed limits do have an impact on the speed people drive, and that most people do generally obey traffic laws and that tickets are a part of that.

Claiming otherwise requires sophistry.
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 AM on February 27, 2013




Look, if you want to base your arguments on specious special pleading and appeals to abstract liberties, go found a religion. If you want to be treated like an adult who knows how to construct an argument, conduct yourself like one.

Can you deconstruct the issue and address explicit murders separately from the three other categories? The means to address the two classes are different and I think require careful analysis of underlying issues and root causes.

  • The issue of explicit murders cannot be addressed with gun control
  • The issue of psychopaths does need to be addressed and I have said I am fine with more stringent execution of existing laws and refinement of background checks
  • The issue of suicide is a matter of personal choice and mental health that requires a lot more study (I lack the background to deal with it)
  • The issue of accidents needs to be addressed but without penalizing 100% of gun owner population - perhaps training and self regulation, education and so on.

    Does this explain to you why I am trying to decompose the issue? It is a good faith effort to be able to discuss the issues logically.

  • posted by trol at 11:15 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]




    The terrorists you are referring to are usually from the cult of islamic extremism - these are the most gullible, stupid fucking idiots I have ever dealt with (ask me how I know). I consider these morons to be mentally retarded and incapable of reasoning and certainly don't want them acquiring any kind of weapons - their entire existence is based on faith in fairy tales and when their fairy tales say it is cool to kill the infidel, they are good to go.

    I wish Metafilter was a place where I was allowed to fully express in verbose, colorful language my reaction to this post.
    posted by Drinky Die at 11:27 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


    "Can you deconstruct the issue and address explicit murders separately from the three other categories? The means to address the two classes are different and I think require careful analysis of underlying issues and root causes."

    You've provided no real justification for separating premeditated murders, especially since most firearm fatalities aren't premeditated murders.

    The issue of explicit murders cannot be addressed with gun control"

    You have provided no proof of this assertion. When challenged, you have retreated to a tautological definition of criminals.

    The issue of psychopaths does need to be addressed and I have said I am fine with more stringent execution of existing laws and refinement of background checks

    These are impossible to pass while folks, such as yourself, yell FREEEEEDOM every time bills that would do these things are introduced. In fact, they're impossible to make coherent with your demand that laws not impact your liberty. Your position is incoherent.

    The issue of suicide is a matter of personal choice and mental health that requires a lot more study (I lack the background to deal with it)

    There are multiple references in this thread to studies on suicide. You are free to read any of them.

    The issue of accidents needs to be addressed but without penalizing 100% of gun owner population - perhaps training and self regulation, education and so on.

    First off, no one has suggested penalizing 100 percent of gun owners. Second off, describing it as penalizing is weird.

    Does this explain to you why I am trying to decompose the issue? It is a good faith effort to be able to discuss the issues logically.

    It may be a good faith effort, however it is not aiding your ability to discuss these logically and requires making specious distinctions that serve to confuse you on the issue, rather than clarify. Does this explain to you why they're a poor rhetorical and logical strategy?
    posted by klangklangston at 11:27 AM on February 27, 2013


    to tie this in with the original purpose of this thread, [...] there is usually a way around the law banning or making the object difficult to obtain.

    In particular, the technology currently at hand allows a non-expert to make illegal guns. It's just gonna get easier. Gun control in its many and varied forms ain't gonna help in a decade or two when printing plastic evolves into printing anything and becomes ubiquitous.

    The societal choices, as I see them, are either a police state or an embrace of freedom and its inherent dangers and responsibilities. Are there any solutions which fall in between, in regards to cheap, easy home printing of virtually anything, including illegal things like weapons?
    posted by MoTLD at 11:35 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Thanks for your patronizing tone. It does not affect me.

    You've provided no real justification for separating premeditated murders, especially since most firearm fatalities aren't premeditated murders.

    Most firearm fatalities in US are in fact committed using guns acquired illegally. Legally owned guns are mostly involved in crimes of passion, suicides and accidents. I refer you back to multiple links I have posted.

    You have provided no proof of this assertion. When challenged, you have retreated to a tautological definition of criminals.

    For my benefit, can you please explain to me how making guns illegal or reducing the size of magazines or banning specific features on rifles or handguns prevents murders by career criminals or psychopaths (or even an unclassified aggressor).

    There are multiple references in this thread to studies on suicide. You are free to read any of them.

    As I have said, I am of the opinion that if someone wants to commit suicide, we need not be involved. This is in fact an opinion but one that renders me incapable of solving this specific problem

    First off, no one has suggested penalizing 100 percent of gun owners. Second off, describing it as penalizing is weird.

    I am referring to burdensome requirements like fingerprint scanners on all guns, expensive vaults or automatic trigger locks. These restrictions amount to penalizing a large population and if mandated, would apply to 100% of population. Just wanted to clarify what I meant. I think a better approach is education and emphasis on training.
    posted by trol at 11:40 AM on February 27, 2013


    Or alternatively, a rational murderer might choose their targets where they know no one is going to be able to stop them like in virginia tech or sandy hook or a church.

    Several points.

    * I am actually unclear that Sandy Hook was not a crime of passion. Did Adam Lanza plan out his rampage in detail, or did he just do it?

    * Your Sandy Hook example is choice, because it occurred on the same day as a rampage in a Chinese school. The man only had a knife, and no one died.


    The societal choices, as I see them, are either a police state or an embrace of freedom and its inherent dangers and responsibilities. Are there any solutions which fall in between, in regards to cheap, easy home printing of virtually anything, including illegal things like weapons?

    I have no doubt that a middle ground will emerge, since the world largely consists of middle grounds. I'm not yet certain what it will be.
    posted by Going To Maine at 11:41 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


    I am referring to burdensome requirements like fingerprint scanners on all guns, expensive vaults or automatic trigger locks.

    Why is this a "penalty" and not a valid safety concern?
    posted by Going To Maine at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2013


    I am all for middle ground as long as it does not consist of arbitrary limitations on freedom without clear and documented benefit in preventing crimes.
    posted by trol at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2013


    It is a penalty because of costs associated with it. In essence, we are being mandated to pay for the mistakes of others.
    posted by trol at 11:44 AM on February 27, 2013


    The societal choices, as I see them, are either a police state or an embrace of freedom and its inherent dangers and responsibilities. Are there any solutions which fall in between, in regards to cheap, easy home printing of virtually anything, including illegal things like weapons?

    I have no doubt that a middle ground will emerge, since the world largely consists of middle grounds. I'm not yet certain what it will be.


    I'm not either, but I'm pretty sure it'll be whatever we make it. We've got the rare opportunity to look into the crystal ball and craft a response to what we see.

    IOW, what do you think the middle ground should be?
    posted by MoTLD at 11:45 AM on February 27, 2013


    I wish Metafilter was a place where I was allowed to fully express in verbose, colorful language my reaction to this post.

    I assume you disagree with my portrayal of islamic extremists and have first hand experience dealing with them.
    posted by trol at 11:46 AM on February 27, 2013


    "Most firearm fatalities in US are in fact committed using guns acquired illegally. Legally owned guns are mostly involved in crimes of passion, suicides and accidents. I refer you back to multiple links I have posted."

    This does not address either contention, that premeditated murders are important to separate out nor that firearm laws have no effect on gun usage by criminals. It is a non sequitor.

    "For my benefit, can you please explain to me how making guns illegal or reducing the size of magazines or banning specific features on rifles or handguns prevents murders by career criminals or psychopaths (or even an unclassified aggressor)."

    To make the most obvious case: Guns make murder easier. Reducing access to guns makes guns rarer. With fewer guns, murder is harder. QED.

    "I am referring to burdensome requirements like fingerprint scanners on all guns, expensive vaults or automatic trigger locks. These restrictions amount to penalizing a large population and if mandated, would apply to 100% of population. Just wanted to clarify what I meant. I think a better approach is education and emphasis on training."

    As there is literally no proposal to retrofit guns with fingerprint scanners, this is a straw man. Very good, you are against straw men. You wonder why I'm being condescending?

    "I am all for middle ground as long as it does not consist of arbitrary limitations on freedom without clear and documented benefit in preventing crimes.

    And yet, you've denied every single mechanism that has been shown to reduce gun deaths. This is why, again, your position is incoherent. You are not arguing in a way that is consistent with your stated position.
    posted by klangklangston at 11:50 AM on February 27, 2013


    "It is a penalty because of costs associated with it. In essence, we are being mandated to pay for the mistakes of others."

    Welcome to civilization. It actually works out pretty well once you're here.
    posted by klangklangston at 11:51 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Anyway, I've got to take off for a while to get some other work done. Maybe actually take the time to read some of the linked evidence instead of digging in from your bizarro libertarian prejudices?
    posted by klangklangston at 11:52 AM on February 27, 2013


    I assume you disagree with my portrayal of islamic extremists and have first hand experience dealing with them.

    I support gun rights, but I do disagree with your portrayal of islamic extremists and have first hand experience not only in dealing them but in fighting them.
    posted by corb at 11:54 AM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]



    As I have said, I am of the opinion that if someone wants to commit suicide, we need not be involved. This is in fact an opinion but one that renders me incapable of solving this specific problem


    If you have a philosophy
    * which allows you to acknowledge the existence of a particular problem
    * and the existence of solutions to that problem that would not go against said philosophy
    * but still forbids you from addressing that problem

    then I think you have a problem with your philosophy.

    It is a penalty because of costs associated with it. In essence, we are being mandated to pay for the mistakes of others.

    People who commit suicides with guns or who are shot with guns are generally not planning on being shot; this is not something you are likely to rationally assess from the standpoint of the present. If a gun safe makes people less likely to impulsively kill themselves, the government has -I think- a responsibility to care for the public health of its citizens by promoting/mandating their use. (Labeling guns with warnings that they increase your risk of suicide might also be helpful.)
    posted by Going To Maine at 11:54 AM on February 27, 2013


    Homunculus, I think your article about the AR-15's gadgetry is excellent, and also shows why there's such a fierce reaction to limitations on it. Any laws that would prevent it from being adjustable would prevent it from being, essentially, the tinkerer's gun that it is.

    If a gun safe makes people less likely to impulsively kill themselves, the government has -I think- a responsibility to care for the public health of its citizens by promoting/mandating their use.

    Promoting? Certainly. Mandating? Never.

    Look, I believe in gun safes. I actually think you should have all guns locked in safes except for the one physically in your hands or on your person. And if I'm talking to a gun owner, I'll argue vehemently why he should adopt one, not leave guns lying around, etc. But telling someone they must do something is not only paternalistic, but also raises the cost of gun ownership beyond what low-income families can afford.
    posted by corb at 12:00 PM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


    I support gun rights, but I do disagree with your portrayal of islamic extremists and have first hand experience not only in dealing them but in fighting them.

    Fantastic. Me too, except for the fighting part. I grew up in one of the breeding grounds of these assholes (and as a muslim no less), I think the ease with which they are able to recruit and fund their campaigns speaks to the gullibility of the masses at large. I would love to hear your opinions on why you think these people are not complete and blithering idiots and gullible (may be pm me?)
    posted by trol at 12:01 PM on February 27, 2013


    Promoting? Certainly. Mandating? Never.

    Not only does it raise costs, but any sort of realistic enforcement creates a veritable police state. Sure, at first it won't affect non-gun-owners, to have the police regularly inspect gun owners' private dwellings for compliance...

    But it opens the door for police to regularly inspect your computer for copyright infringement, to regularly inspect your blood for drug residue, and, to get back to the point, to regularly inspect your anything-printer to see if it's printed anything illegal lately.
    posted by MoTLD at 12:07 PM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Promoting? Certainly. Mandating? Never.

    Bam! We are going to be across the ideological divide for that one, I suspect - though I also have no ideas about the costs associated with these things. Trigger guards? To me, the argument for mandating would be tied to the idea that guns have a potential to unintentionally harm second parties. (e.g. Kid gets access to gun, accidentally shoots him/herself.) If a better & cheaper means for preventing this kind of incident exists, I am all for it.

    But it opens the door for police to regularly inspect your computer for copyright infringement, to regularly inspect your blood for drug residue, and, to get back to the point, to regularly inspect your anything-printer to see if it's printed anything illegal lately.

    Possibly, but IANAL. It seems to me that guns are a different sort of thing than printers etc. A guy coming around to check your gun safe is more akin to an OSHA inspector coming around to check that your business is compliant with safety codes.
    posted by Going To Maine at 12:13 PM on February 27, 2013


    I don't mean legally, I mean societally.

    When we, as innocent free citizens, accept that the price of our freedom is the loss of our privacy, our freedom is already gone.
    posted by MoTLD at 12:16 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    When we, as innocent free citizens, accept that the price of our freedom is the loss of our privacy, our freedom is already gone.

    Bam! I again think we're going to just end up fundamentally disagreeing here. I see your ownership of a gun & your poor storage of it as a potential health risk to me, your neighbor. But Iunno. I'm no expert on how other countries solve this problem. (The "Control the ammo!" part of this thread is someplace waaaay up above.)

    Taking it back to the original topic, I think that if you wanted to print a gun from your printer, there is a reasonable argument that that should be public information. Of course, keeping track of all the crazy illegal weapons that could be printed is probably long-term infeasible, so we need something better.
    posted by Going To Maine at 12:21 PM on February 27, 2013


    Also, would you allow an OSHA inspector in your home to, for instance, check the safety of your child's bedroom? A business has to answer to the government for the sake of employees or the public, but what you do in the privacy of your home should be your business, IMO.
    posted by MoTLD at 12:21 PM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Oops. Sorry - that post makes it seem like I think you don't have a right to privacy. You absolutely have a right to privacy, but I am not sure that you have a right to privacy in every case.
    posted by Going To Maine at 12:23 PM on February 27, 2013


    Ok, how do we make "who is printing guns" public knowledge without making "who is printing what, in general" public knowledge? It's not all that far from the copyright thing. Are you going to let the government remotely inspect your printer to see what you're printing? How else could it possibly be enforced?
    posted by MoTLD at 12:23 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    MoTLD, why is it government's or anyone's business what I am printing on a printer I own unless I am a criminal?
    posted by trol at 12:27 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Public health risks are very, very difficult to manage without trampling freedom. Personally, I come down on the side of freedom, but I can certainly understand a difference of opinion. My freedom is small comfort to the dead person in the negligent shooting, or in the outbreak that couldn't be quarantined because folks are free to travel, or in the pollution we're all breathing because we're free to get in the car to drive half a mile to the store...
    posted by MoTLD at 12:30 PM on February 27, 2013


    It is a penalty because of costs associated with it. In essence, we are being mandated to pay for the mistakes of others.

    Trol, you are cleary concerned only with the minor monetary costs incurred to you, and not concerned with costs inflicted upon society. And this is consistent with your fantasy that you could or should be shielded from paying for others' mistakes. That is what living with people is about. If you don't want to pay for others' mistakes go live on an island. Oops, sea levels are rising, you're still not safe from others' mistakes. ;-)

    Being here at all is a gift of grace. Who ever promised you a life of no risks, no responsibilities, no shared burden?

    I don't support nuclear power, but others mistakenly put a nuke plant near where I live. In the event of an accident, I will certainly be paying for it.

    Another example—my hobby isn't guns, it's airplanes. Would I be justified in objecting to the current system in which aircraft construction and maintenance are actively regulated, so my airplane could be cheaper and perhaps more prone to mechanical failure and taking innocent lives?

    No, I would not be justified so long as I want to fly over your house. And as a civilized person who partakes of the bounty afforded by human cooperation and association, I accept that.
    posted by maniabug at 12:31 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Also, would you allow an OSHA inspector in your home to, for instance, check the safety of your child's bedroom? A business has to answer to the government for the sake of employees or the public, but what you do in the privacy of your home should be your business, IMO.

    Good question. Can't the government send inspectors to determine if you are providing an unsafe environment for a child? Some friends just adopted a child, and their case was thoroughly reviewed by government (state-level, I think) social workers to make sure that the environment was stable. It seems that if your choices are going to impact other citizens (or being an unfit custodian of a weapon that would pose harm to a child) the government can step in.

    Relatedly - do houses have to meet building codes? That would seem to be similar, but without the actual inspector showing up.

    Ok, how do we make "who is printing guns" public knowledge without making "who is printing what, in general" public knowledge? It's not all that far from the copyright thing. Are you going to let the government remotely inspect your printer to see what you're printing? How else could it possibly be enforced?

    Alas, I missed the copyright portion of the thread earlier. As I said, I don't really think this method is feasible. Something needs to be done, but I am not the person to decide what it is.


    MoTLD, why is it government's or anyone's business what I am printing on a printer I own unless I am a criminal?


    You are giving MoTLD fire that is meant for me. I would say the government has a right to know what you're doing or printing if it creates a risk for other people. When you print out a gun, it creates a potential that people near you might be shot, thus the government has a right to know. But I've also said that I consider this kind of monitoring to be infeasible, so am dropping it.
    posted by Going To Maine at 12:32 PM on February 27, 2013


    maniabug, you make a good parallel with airplanes. Since I don't know too much about private licensing and such, I must ask you. If you hangar your plane at home, or even build your own plane, what are the regulations and restrictions on flying it?

    All I know is about ultralights, where there are virtually no restrictions except flying during daylight and avoiding densely populated places. No license, no inspections, at least in the US.
    posted by MoTLD at 12:35 PM on February 27, 2013


    Something needs to be done, but I am not the person to decide what it is.

    Sure you are!

    We all are, in fact it is our duty as citizens and members of a society we want to improve.
    posted by MoTLD at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2013


    Going to Maine, it's that "unfit custodian" part I take issue with. Presumption of innocence, and all that. Is every gun owner presumed unfit until they prove otherwise to the government? Is every parent? Every anything-printer owner?
    posted by MoTLD at 12:40 PM on February 27, 2013


    My freedom is small comfort to the dead person in the negligent shooting, or in the outbreak that couldn't be quarantined because folks are free to travel, or in the pollution we're all breathing because we're free to get in the car to drive half a mile to the store...

    Our lack of freedom is probably a large comfort in our ability to eat safe food, drink safe water, live in safe houses, drive safe cars, breath clean-ish air, and blah, blah.

    You are giving MoTLD fire that is meant for me. I would say the government has a right to know what you're doing or printing if it creates a risk for other people.

    Just because there could be laws preventing anyone from "printing" guns for any reason, doesn't mean the government needs to have the right to inspect everyone's house without probably cause.

    In some ways I agree with the libertarians here. You can't legislate or regulate away gun culture. Just the hint that congress might enforce impotent gun laws is increasing gun sales at an alarming rate. And I suspect if we truly understood human behavior (which I doubt anyone does that well) and were able to understand what truly lies behind crime statistics, it would be cultural, societal, economic, and educational factors that have a larger impact on crime than law-making. I suspect a greater awareness of the health risks and cultural changes played a larger role than laws or taxes in reducing smoking in the U.S., but maybe I'm wrong.

    In this sense, maybe pointing out the dangers of gun ownership and advocating gun control is counter-productive. It is actually feeding gun culture rather than dissuading it.
    posted by Golden Eternity at 12:46 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Thank you, Golden Eternity, for your willingness to inspect someone else's point of view, even if you aren't in full agreement. It's refreshing!

    But I have to say, you conflate two very different approaches in your last sentence. Pointing out the dangers of gun ownership is very, very different from advocating gun control. The former is a very positive approach, the latter is, as you said, counterproductive.

    As was eloquently put above, Promoting? Certainly. Mandating? Never.
    posted by MoTLD at 12:55 PM on February 27, 2013


    Doesn't matter where you hangar an airplane, but whether homebuilt or production it must have an airworthiness certificate. That cert is not legally valid unless the aircraft is maintained and inspected according to the full federal aviation regulations. The FAR is a big book that is updated every year. Violate it and the FAA comes after you. They do not like going to court after accidents.

    Some requirements are considered onerous by some pilots, but in general the FAA does a decent job maintaining safety. If an service issue is found and expenditure required, and you're mad and consider it onerous, oh well. You got to pay to play.
    posted by maniabug at 1:00 PM on February 27, 2013


    maniabug, thanks for the answer, and it fits with my previous understanding of the subject.

    However, I specifically mentioned hangaring at home in reference to the earlier discussion of government intrusion of privacy. Does your plane have to be inspected at its hangar, or can you fly it elsewhere for inspection? And who inspects? My understanding is it must be a certified aviation mechanic, but what's to stop you from getting that cert and inspecting your own plane?
    posted by MoTLD at 1:04 PM on February 27, 2013


    I'm pretty sure presumed innocent has a specific legal context, in criminal law I believe. We are not being wronged if some activities are regulated. As a pilot, or a truck driver, or a surgeon, I expect to be presumed incompetent until I prove myself willing and able to live up to some reasonable standard of competence. I do not hold a CDL or medical degree and I don't consider myself oppressed.

    Would I stand behind some basic prerequisite for parenthood? That is an interesting question. On the one hand, wow the potential for regulatory abuse. But then, I read the other day that 90% of American two-year-olds watch television.
    posted by maniabug at 1:05 PM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Going to Maine, it's that "unfit custodian" part I take issue with. Presumption of innocence, and all that. Is every gun owner presumed unfit until they prove otherwise to the government? Is every parent? Every anything-printer owner?

    These are very different categories of things, and the law should treat them differently. That said, in general I believe that if your actions pose some kind of risk to me or some third party, the state has a role to play. I also believe the state has at least a bit of a role in protecting you from your possessions (See: guns & suicide)
    .
    * A gun owner has something that could well harm me or render them at risk of harming themselves in a dark moment. I personally believe the state needs some kind of role in making sure that the risk of harm to me is being minimized. Gun safes? Trigger locks? DNA coding? Proper training before you can purchase a gun? Some mixture of these should be present.

    * At least in the case of adoption, it seems like the state does make the assumption that parents have to show fitness. If you go off and have a baby on your own you don't (parent bias!) but the state can take your children away if the environment isn't healthy enough for them. (I think? I am relying on media representation for this knowledge.) This seems sort of okay, but Iunno. Parenthood is really out of spec for this thread, though.

    * A guy with a 3d printer is relatively innocuous by this standard. I don't think that the government should assume that you're irresponsible, but I think that they should find a way to clamp down on designs that are illegal. For instance - if printable gun guy is intentionally printing gun parts to violate US laws, the government should be able to compel people to destroy these files (maybe?) and should be able to arrest you for printing those parts if you use them to create an illegal weapon.
    posted by Going To Maine at 1:08 PM on February 27, 2013


    MoTLD, that's perhaps not a good analogy. You can keep your airplane hangared in your living room (as long as you are not married to my wife). But you're probably not going to crash it in there.

    People routinely get killed by guns kept insecurely within the home. If you read a bit on gun forums you'll see the more thoughtful among the home defense crowd give careful scrutiny to such matters as the dynamics of invasion scenarios, safe storage versus quick access, and collateral damage such as shooting your sleeping kid through a couple walls.

    Given proper attention, keeping a gun in the home is not a simple matter of being free to keep a gun in your own home however you want, or "giving up your freedom". And I say that as someone who is not categorically opposed to civilian gun ownership.
    posted by maniabug at 1:10 PM on February 27, 2013


    Good question. Can't the government send inspectors to determine if you are providing an unsafe environment for a child?

    Not without cause.

    Under current, existing law, if someone reports you have an unsafe child situation, CPS will come knocking. If someone reports you have an unsafe firearms situation, the ATF or other enforcement agencies will come knocking. Nothing new is needed in this - certainly not warrantless searches of homes.
    posted by corb at 1:11 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    To, abbreviate the above noise: a 3d printer owner shouldn't have to prove that they are responsible, no. But from the standpoint of the state, people who are circulating designs with the intent of violating the law are acting irresponsibly, and the government should make them stop.
    posted by Going To Maine at 1:11 PM on February 27, 2013


    Just the hint that congress might enforce impotent gun laws is increasing gun sales at an alarming rate.

    I wonder how many people understand this. In Massachusetts, the leading firearms retailer was out of stock for several weeks of every single item on its website's front page—roughly twenty different models, rifles and handguns both. Prices on certain types of ammunition (eg, 5.56mm rounds for AR-15s) have skyrocketed. Another retailer sent out an email advertising that it had gotten access to ten AR-15s, but apologizing for the fact that they had to be sold at inflated prices. All ten were sold within minutes.

    And that's Massachusetts.
    posted by cribcage at 1:14 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Driving a truck, flying a plane, or performing surgery are not rights. Parenthood, arguably, is, despite being left out of the US constitution.

    Is there any societal need that trumps a person's right to have sex?

    Sure, we regulate, very lightly, parenting. After there is some reason to believe a parent is abusive or negligent. Despite the fact that, also arguably, many if not most parents are abusive or at least negligent.

    Now, in that last para, replace "parenting" with "gun ownership."
    posted by MoTLD at 1:15 PM on February 27, 2013


    people who are circulating designs with the intent of violating the law are acting irresponsibly, and the government should make them stop.

    And now, the first amendment rears its ugly head.

    Should circulating designs ever violate the law?
    posted by MoTLD at 1:16 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    On inspections—the FARs stop you. An aircraft is by definition not legally airworthy unless required periodic inspections (and in some cases modifications) have been documented in writing by a licensed mechanical inspector. You can bring the mechanic to the plane or plane to the shop, it doesn't matter where.

    You can go get your own license. It is rigorous, and I have real respect for anyone who attains an Airframe and Powerplant certification with Inspection Authorization (A&P/IA).

    Hope this isn't too much of a derail.
    posted by maniabug at 1:18 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    maniabug, I think it's on point.

    So, it is possible, though very difficult, to self-police when you own an aircraft. That's what I was getting at.
    posted by MoTLD at 1:20 PM on February 27, 2013


    I wouldn't say difficult, but sure it is an expense. An airplane is a hole in the sky you pour money into, but nobody's forcing you. Trol's objection to gun regulation on the grounds that it will cost him some coin is baloney in my opinion for the same reason. That's what I was getting at.
    posted by maniabug at 1:23 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    But people were less alarmed after learning that the gun had failed after 6 shots.

    Gun failed? Time for a New York reload, aka a second (third, fourth . . . n) gun!
    posted by Standeck at 1:24 PM on February 27, 2013


    maniabug, that is a fair opinion, if you don't want poor people to have access to airplanes. If limiting their freedom serves the public good, it's an acceptable trade off. However, they are part of the public too, and it doesn't serve their good, except to make it less likely that they kill themselves in a crash. Similar to arguments for building codes and DOT regs, the poor can't afford houses or cars if they are too safe!
    posted by MoTLD at 1:27 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    What won't we do to the world in the effort to make sure every person in the world has access to every product no matter how extravagant?

    The FAA does have a duty to not impose frivolous expenses on aircraft owners, but its first duty is to make sure nobody can ratchet up the risks to the public in order to make some extra bank. I sure wish the NRC worked like that. The difference is that there is a pretty powerful lobby that scrutinizes the FAA and has the mojo to fight back against bad regulatory decisions.

    I'd rather the poor people of the world had that kind of power, than that they had airplanes.
    posted by maniabug at 1:35 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    maniabug, I am in 100% agreement.

    It's good that gun owners have such a powerful lobby, too.
    posted by MoTLD at 2:19 PM on February 27, 2013


    That said, I'm very sure that there is spirited debate amongst pilots as to what constitutes frivolous expenses, and I'm sure the sides of that debate are often drawn along socioeconomic lines.

    Exactly like the gun crowd.
    posted by MoTLD at 2:24 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    So, as a thought experiment, if rapid prototyping were to advance to the point where anyone can print their own plane, how do we regulate that?

    For those who want a plane for legal public use, they will be caught pretty quickly if they don't comply with the laws. But for those who want to print a plane and crash it into a building, nothing short of restricting the act of printing itself will stop them.

    With guns it gets even dicier because it's no longer a thought experiment.
    posted by MoTLD at 2:30 PM on February 27, 2013


    Another thought experiment: What if rapid prototyping were to advance to the point where anyone could build their own UAV - and arm it with eavesdropping equipment and perhaps chemical or biological weapons (or just high explosives to start with)?
    posted by Golden Eternity at 2:51 PM on February 27, 2013


    That's closer to reality than thought experiment too!
    posted by MoTLD at 2:57 PM on February 27, 2013


    It's good that gun owners have such a powerful lobby, too.

    What lobby is that, exactly? The NRA lobbies for the gun industry, not owners. Currently, they're opposed to a number of regulations supported by a majority of gun owners, including universal background checks, improvement of mental health record availability , and research into gun usage and violence.

    To further your "replace parenting with gun ownership" analogy, that would be as if someone was lobbying that adoptive parents (which is slightly more appropriate in the context of the extant WTFery of equating manufactured commodities with human life) should not only never have to undergo any sort of investigation into the fitness of their childrearing abilities, but also that no adoption agency or CPS department can check to see if you have a history of detrimental mental issues, and that there should be no funding of research into domestic violence and child abuse.

    So, as a thought experiment, if rapid prototyping were to advance to the point where anyone can print their own plane, how do we regulate that?

    For those who want a plane for legal public use, they will be caught pretty quickly if they don't comply with the laws. But for those who want to print a plane and crash it into a building, nothing short of restricting the act of printing itself will stop them.


    Planes were not invented for the sole purpose of injuring/killing humans and other living beings and/or to cause destruction of property, that's one huge difference. For another, you have to undergo many hours of training and testing and be licensed by a government agency to fly it, you're required to register it with another governmental agency to own it, and you can have the ability to own or fly a plane revoked for operating it an unsafe manner or being mentally or physically incompetent. All of these are things that are not only inapplicable to guns, but are actively fought against. Same with cars, despite the fact that they were also not invented for the sole purpose of injuring, etc.

    Owning a gun is a right enumerated in the Constitution, but it has never once been held to be an unlimited right.
    posted by zombieflanders at 3:05 PM on February 27, 2013


    Currently, they're opposed to a number of regulations supported by a majority of gun owners, including universal background checks, improvement of mental health record availability , and research into gun usage and violence.

    Please cite: the only survey cited thus far proved no such thing.
    posted by corb at 4:05 PM on February 27, 2013


    corb, just for clarification: are you asking for citations of evidence that the NRA disagrees with the attitudes of gun owners, or for citations of evidenc that the NRA doesn't support universal background checks, mental health records, & research into gun usage and violence?
    posted by Going To Maine at 4:15 PM on February 27, 2013


    Citation that the majority of gun owners support universal background checks expanded to all private sales and transfers (including familial), etc.

    I believe the NRA is not always reflective of the attitudes of gun owners, but I think this is not a place where that is the case.
    posted by corb at 4:20 PM on February 27, 2013


    Please cite: the only survey cited thus far proved no such thing.

    Gladly!

    In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Majority Support
    [M]ajorities of gun owners favor a number of the gun policy proposals tested in this survey: Fully 90% favor laws to prevent mentally ill people from buying guns and 85% favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. By 60% to 37%, gun owners also favor the creation of a federal government database to track all gun sales.
    The 5 Gun Safety Regulations That Even NRA Members Support
    Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees. 82 percent of all gun owners and 74 percent of NRA gun owners support the former, and 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, endorse the latter.
    RC Poll: The opinions of Virginians on Guns, Gun Policy and Gun Violence
    The opinions of gun owners are, not surprisingly, quite different on most of these questions. The only questions on which they are not different are requiring background checks on all transactions at gun shows (84% of owners support; 89% of non-owners support)...A majority of gun owners (65%) support universal background checks, and a majority of non-owners (53%) think that stricter gun laws will make no difference or make them less safe. Comparison of owners and non-owners are available on the questionnaire.
    Poll: 9 Out of 10 Gun Owners Support Background Checks
    A new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News says that one of the most popular initiatives being pushed by gun control advocates is pretty popular among gun owners too. One of the key legislative proposals made by President Obama yesterday—it was the first one he mentioned during his announcement speech—is that background checks should be required for any and all gun purchases, ending loopholes that allow some gun buyers to pick up weapons at shows where checks are currently not required. According to the poll, that particular idea enjoys almost universal support. North, South, Democrat, Republican, gun abolitionists, or even members of the NRA—every groups stood solidly behind it.
    That's just polls conducted within the month or two. There's plenty more from the last 2 years or so.

    I believe the NRA is not always reflective of the attitudes of gun owners, but I think this is not a place where that is the case.

    And you would be wrong.
    posted by zombieflanders at 5:04 PM on February 27, 2013


    I am not challenging your assertion because you clearly seem to have data but is it possible to find out how the questions were framed and how the population were sampled?

    Edit: found the questions on one of the links. Going through them now.
    posted by trol at 5:18 PM on February 27, 2013


    Every one of the links provided either displays the wording and samples or has further links to the survey itself.
    posted by zombieflanders at 5:20 PM on February 27, 2013


    Looking at the nitpicking, (On the 5 commonsense), reading into the poll actually suggests that it does not say what they are trying to say. On the question of whether "gun owners" should have to undergo background checks, statement applied to the statistics is "Requiring a criminal background check of anyone purchasing a gun" in tandem with "Requiring gun retailers to provide background checks on all employees."

    It thus implies that the background checks are occuring at gun shops - and it doesn't say anything about private transfer or trades of guns.

    Another key point is that when they mention the "NRA" statistics, they include gun owners who are current "or lapsed" members of the NRA. Lapsed members of the NRA are not NRA members, and includes people who have moved away from the NRA because they don't agree with it anymore.
    posted by corb at 5:28 PM on February 27, 2013


    Looking at the nitpicking, (On the 5 commonsense), reading into the poll actually suggests that it does not say what they are trying to say. On the question of whether "gun owners" should have to undergo background checks, statement applied to the statistics is "Requiring a criminal background check of anyone purchasing a gun" in tandem with "Requiring gun retailers to provide background checks on all employees."

    It thus implies that the background checks are occuring at gun shops - and it doesn't say anything about private transfer or trades of guns.


    That's your interpretation, one which is not borne out by the other surveys that explicitly mention private gun sales.

    Another key point is that when they mention the "NRA" statistics, they include gun owners who are current "or lapsed" members of the NRA. Lapsed members of the NRA are not NRA members, and includes people who have moved away from the NRA because they don't agree with it anymore.

    How is that a "key point"? You claimed that there had been no studies cited gun owner support, and the poll very clearly identifies gun owners. The NRA membership statistic is (at best) incidental to your assertion and my refutation, let alone key.
    posted by zombieflanders at 5:38 PM on February 27, 2013


    So I just picked one of the links that focused on Virgina (roanoke.edu/Documents/rcpoll/Jan 2013 Part 2 Qs.final.pdf), here are some issues that I found:

    1. Nearly 50% of the respondents were from northern virginia and tidewater. These regions lean towards liberal policies and ideas.
    2. Question 40 addresses the background check. The wordings are very specific: "checks at gun shows including those guns sold by private citizens". A lot of us are fine with checks at gun shows so that answer (85% agree with it) is correct. But this question is not asking if gun owners support checks on everyone.
    3. Next question does ask about private sales and the percentage of gun owners that agree drops to 65%. Note that 50% of respondents are from northern VA.
    4. And #42 is where the northern virginia shows up strong :) 46% gun owners approve of registering all guns with the government. This is preposterous - I don't know of any gun owners that would approve registration.
    5. #47, 48 and 49 also show some strange tendencies for gun owners. Apparently 6% of gun owners want to ban all guns. More importantly 46% gun owners want to ban assault rifles. 23% wish to ban all handguns?

    Clearly when it comes to guns, this data has a strange distribution. I am not saying all of these polls are lies but some of these answers just don't mesh with any gun owners I know and I know a lot of them.
    posted by trol at 5:40 PM on February 27, 2013


    While I'm picking apart the rest, let me also add that I find "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" to have less unbiased reporting, than the Washington Times poll cited above, which has exactly opposite statistics, and I'm curious how you'd explain that without hanky-panky.

    Also, the NYT link (9 out of 10) doesn't link their poll.
    posted by corb at 5:42 PM on February 27, 2013


    1. Nearly 50% of the respondents were from northern virginia and tidewater. These regions lean towards liberal policies and ideas.

    That's because 50% of the population of Virginia is from NVa and the Tidewater. And regardless of their policies or ideas, it still doesn't mitigate the gun owner statistic.

    2. Question 40 addresses the background check. The wordings are very specific: "checks at gun shows including those guns sold by private citizens". A lot of us are fine with checks at gun shows so that answer (85% agree with it) is correct. But this question is not asking if gun owners support checks on everyone.
    3. Next question does ask about private sales and the percentage of gun owners that agree drops to 65%. Note that 50% of respondents are from northern VA.


    Did you miss the part I quoted that specifically memtioned both figures? And do you consider 65% to not be a majority? As for the NVa canard, see above.

    4. And #42 is where the northern virginia shows up strong :) 46% gun owners approve of registering all guns with the government. This is preposterous - I don't know of any gun owners that would approve registration.

    First of all, that's not one of the assertions I was refuting, and second, your anecdata contains absolutely zero weight. Multiple surveys over the years have shown significant minorities of gun owners both nationwide and in individual states support registration.

    5. #47, 48 and 49 also show some strange tendencies for gun owners. Apparently 6% of gun owners want to ban all guns. More importantly 46% gun owners want to ban assault rifles. 23% wish to ban all handguns?

    Again, this doesn't stray too far from historical data that shows similar percentages of gun owners supporting these things.

    Clearly when it comes to guns, this data has a strange distribution.

    No, one or two questions have a strange distribution compared to your relatively infinitesimal personal sample size.

    I am not saying all of these polls are lies but some of these answers just don't mesh with any gun owners I know and I know a lot of them.

    Yeah, no. It's pretty clear you're trying to discredit at least a good portion of them based on cherry-picked data points and unverified personal opinion that is refuted by historical data.
    posted by zombieflanders at 6:01 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    While I'm picking apart the rest, let me also add that I find "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" to have less unbiased reporting, than the Washington Times poll cited above, which has exactly opposite statistics, and I'm curious how you'd explain that without hanky-panky.

    What Washington Times poll are you talking about here? The poll was conducted by Frank Luntz, a noted GOP pollster, not MAIG itself, and was discussed by Luntz in the Washington Times, but I didn't see anyone here cite another poll from the Times, let alone one that shows "exactly opposite statistics."

    Also, the NYT link (9 out of 10) doesn't link their poll.

    It's the first link in the article.
    posted by zombieflanders at 6:15 PM on February 27, 2013


    "Anecdata"! Just learned a new word, and it's a good one.
    posted by Going To Maine at 6:18 PM on February 27, 2013


    Looks like we've veered back into the general gun control debate. Sorry, my fault for the trollish comment about gun owners having a powerful lobby. But y'all did take the bait...hook, line, and sinker. ;)

    I do find it odd that 6% of gun owners could support banning all guns, but I also found it odd when, in younger days, my pot smoking friends all supported prohibition! People are strange.

    Anyway, all that aside, how does gun control solve the anybody-can-print-guns-at-home problem that we are rapidly approaching?
    posted by MoTLD at 6:38 PM on February 27, 2013


    MoTLD, you forgot to clearly qualify your questions. The correct way to ask is how do we do this without establishing a police state. I have learnt not say without affecting my liberties because apparently giving up liberty is the cost of living with other people and if you don't then you are a libertarian trol.
    posted by trol at 6:46 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    MoTLD, you forgot to clearly qualify your questions. The correct way to ask is how do we do this without establishing a police state. I have learnt not say without affecting my liberties because apparently giving up liberty is the cost of living with other people and if you don't then you are a libertarian trol.

    I might bitch and complain about Australia, but it's much less of a police state than America is. In fact, because the police don't assume everybody is armed, they can respond to most disputes and fights by actually talking to the people or simply wrestling or, at the very worst, tasing them. An armed populace leads to an armed police.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:50 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Charlemagne In Sweatpants, I define a police state a bit more broadly as one in which the police intrude into citizens' private lives. Not needing to use guns to do so is irrelevant.

    I don't know enough about Australian life to hazard a guess as to how we compare by that metric.
    posted by MoTLD at 6:57 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Charlemagne In Sweatpants, I define a police state a bit more broadly as one in which the police intrude into citizens' private lives. Not needing to use guns to do so is irrelevant.

    I don't know enough about Australian life to hazard a guess as to how we compare by that metric.


    It's more intrusive than America, and I suspect that once the local press gets wind of this they'll add 'gun plans for 3D printers' to the list of banned items on the Internet and attempt to revive the Internet filter to stop them.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:59 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    It's more intrusive than America, and I suspect that once the local press gets wind of this they'll add 'gun plans for 3D printers' to the list of banned items on the Internet and attempt to revive the Internet filter to stop them.

    The idea of banned items on the Internet in a non-totalitarian country scares the crap outta me!

    What's already on that list?
    posted by MoTLD at 7:10 PM on February 27, 2013


    The idea of banned items on the Internet in a non-totalitarian country scares the crap outta me!

    What's already on that list?


    There was a proposed list that had a whole bunch of crap on it, but that was leaked (Assange is Australian, so no surprise there) and the Internet filter was killed. I think right now it's just explicit instructions on euthanasia.

    But honestly, I'd feel safer knowing people can't print out guns.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:11 PM on February 27, 2013


    But honestly, I'd feel safer knowing people can't print out guns.

    Unfortunately, that genie has already sailed. If the incredibly powerful corporate interests and their purchased laws can't stop copyrighted materials from circulating, plans for anything that can be printed are gonna be available too.

    Our only hope at this point seems to be the social contract. I believe it's been proven that those who copy games and music also buy more games and music. We're honest at heart, and peaceful at heart too. I truly hope that just because we can all print guns, we won't all shoot each other with them.
    posted by MoTLD at 7:20 PM on February 27, 2013


    I believe it's been proven that those who copy games and music also buy more games and music.

    This really isn't comforting in this case (and also impossible in my case, since it's hard for people to buy guns).

    We're honest at heart, and peaceful at heart too.

    Where's the evidence for this? I'm pro-gun control to an extreme degree and I'm going to go home and play a game with millions of guns.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:21 PM on February 27, 2013


    I believe it's been proven that those who copy games and music also buy more games and music.

    This really isn't comforting in this case (and also impossible in my case, since it's hard for people to buy guns).


    Well, that isn't really what I was getting at, but I guess the gun manufacturers can take comfort that despite widespread copying, the entertainment industry hasn't yet imploded (not for lack of trying).

    We're honest at heart, and peaceful at heart too.

    Where's the evidence for this? I'm pro-gun control to an extreme degree and I'm going to go home and play a game with millions of guns.


    Kinda my point. You're not going to go out and shoot anyone, despite enjoying vicarious violence. Part of the social contract. That's not to say that people don't break it, but most don't most of the time or we would have to live in a police state to survive at all.

    But I have no evidence, just my personal experience.
    posted by MoTLD at 7:28 PM on February 27, 2013


    Kinda my point. You're not going to go out and shoot anyone, despite enjoying vicarious violence. Part of the social contract. That's not to say that people don't break it, but most don't most of the time or we would have to live in a police state to survive at all.

    'Part of the social contract' also means trading a bit of liberty for security. In this case, I and my fellow citizens give up our freedom to OWN (not shoot) guns in exchange for the assurance that other citizens wouldn't shoot each other or themselves either intentionally or accidentally. If I want to shoot a real gun, I need to schedule a trip to a gun range, which is fine - why do I need my own gun?
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:31 PM on February 27, 2013


    "MoTLD, you forgot to clearly qualify your questions. The correct way to ask is how do we do this without establishing a police state. I have learnt not say without affecting my liberties because apparently giving up liberty is the cost of living with other people and if you don't then you are a libertarian trol."

    So, there are a couple of problems here: To say we can't do this without establishing police state is saying that there's something worse about America than pretty much every other OECD state, because most of them have done it and we wouldn't consider, say, Belgium a police state. Or Switzerland. Or etc. etc. We can contrast them with actual police states, like East Germany or North Korea. Even China. (And gun control seems to not have any real correlation with "police state.")

    Secondly, the reason why "affecting my liberties" is meaningless to anyone who's ever paid attention in any government class is that it's an incredibly broad statement used maximally. Under that usage, any law "affects liberties." Given that this maximalist language could be applied to literally every law, good or bad, it reduces to absurdity.

    So, if you assert that's bad because… liberties, you're making a meaningless claim. And you're doing it in a libertarian manner (a classical liberal way). That you don't know what you're talking about, don't understand what other people are saying and also making meaningless claims seems all of a piece.
    posted by klangklangston at 7:34 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    why do I need my own gun?

    You don't, and neither do I. At the moment, I don't own a gun.

    But it is very important to me to be free to own a gun if I desire, not need, one. Just as I don't need a lawyer but it is very important that I can't be denied one!
    posted by MoTLD at 7:35 PM on February 27, 2013


    But it is very important to me to be free to own a gun if I desire, not need, one. Just as I don't need a lawyer but it is very important that I can't be denied one!

    The difference is that a lawyer is not a luxury item, or a sport item. Taking away a person's right to see a lawyer IS an infringement of their rights since it directly effects their life and liberty. Taking away their right to own a gun does not.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:37 PM on February 27, 2013


    klangklangston, the reason I didn't originally use police state is because there isn't much of a continuum there. But from the sound of it, Australia is closer to it than the US, though I would never call Australia a police state.

    There is, however, a continuum of liberty, and you presume much if you think you know how much liberty I would be willing to sacrifice for the sake of society.
    posted by MoTLD at 7:38 PM on February 27, 2013


    C.I.S., this is where we differ. To those of my persuasion, a gun is not a luxury or sport item either. But I can understand a difference of opinion here, which is why I am not advocating a repeal of Australian gun laws.
    posted by MoTLD at 7:40 PM on February 27, 2013


    "There is, however, a continuum of liberty, and you presume much if you think you know how much liberty I would be willing to sacrifice for the sake of society."

    Yup. Better that people die than you be denied the distant possibility of not getting a gun the instant you want one.
    posted by klangklangston at 7:40 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    There is, however, a continuum of liberty, and you presume much if you think you know how much liberty I would be willing to sacrifice for the sake of society.

    The continuum isn't a straight line, though. There are some rights that are denied me in Australia that I have in America, and rest assured I will protest them in great detail. But on the other hand, the day to day experience of life feels like like a hypothetical 'police state' than America. Our cops aren't militarized, and they're seen as a much more genial presence. They make mistakes, but if I get caught with pot I'll get a warning. If I'm drunk and fighting at a pub, they'll wrestle me to the ground and tell me to cool off. As opposed to visiting New York after 9/11 and seeing armed police everywhere.

    I should also note I grew up in America, quite near the Newtown shooting, and I had no idea guns were so readily avalible. I don' t think I knew anyone who owned them. And I wasn't some enlightened pacifist, who had no interest in guns.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:43 PM on February 27, 2013


    In fact, our armed populace is often used as a justification for increasingly armed police here.
    posted by klangklangston at 7:45 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Do you drive a car, klangklangston? People die every day because you, personally, want to drive.

    Do you use products which result in pollution and oppression of workers? People die making them.

    Yes, people die for others' freedom. It sucks. But taking away freedom won't prevent that.
    posted by MoTLD at 7:46 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Well, New York, especially after 9/11, is hardly representative of the US, but it is probably a lot closer to a police state than Australia is, in general.

    Again, though, armed police are a red herring. Can you do what you please in the privacy of your own home? If you can't without worrying about the police, you aren't free.
    posted by MoTLD at 7:48 PM on February 27, 2013


    But those items have other purposes. We balance their utility with others safety. Again, in Australia, farmers can and do own guns because they need them to protect their farms and presumably to humanely shoot livestock. The risk of accident or crime is balanced against the fact that they're tools, like the other dangerous tools that I assume are on farms. Cars are useful. Gadgets are useful. Guns only real purpose is to shoot things.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:49 PM on February 27, 2013


    Again, though, armed police are a red herring. Can you do what you please in the privacy of your own home? If you can't without worrying about the police, you aren't free.

    I too agree that the drug war should end, but that isn't what we're talking about. 'In the privacy of your own home' includes suicide and accidental death, and can easily escalate when unstable people are involved.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:50 PM on February 27, 2013


    Well, arguing for the right to commit suicide in your own home is getting far from the topic at hand, but what about being able to print whatever you want?

    How are we going to prevent anyone who wants from printing a gun or any other prohibited item without becoming a police state? Gun control doesn't help when guns are replicable any more than copyright is stopping so-called piracy.

    There are more meta issues at stake than the right to own guns, or to drive cars or buy gadgets.
    posted by MoTLD at 7:54 PM on February 27, 2013


    How are we going to prevent anyone who wants from printing a gun or any other prohibited item without becoming a police state? Gun control doesn't help when guns are replicable any more than copyright is stopping so-called piracy.

    No, you won't. But you can put in penalties for downloading those plans and for making the guns and gun parts. It won't really stop dedicated people, but its better than throwing up your hands and abandoning gun control measures.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:55 PM on February 27, 2013


    How do you enforce penalties for downloading plans without spying on everyone's downloads?

    Police state, try again. ;)
    posted by MoTLD at 7:58 PM on February 27, 2013


    "Do you drive a car, klangklangston? People die every day because you, personally, want to drive.

    Do you use products which result in pollution and oppression of workers? People die making them.

    Yes, people die for others' freedom. It sucks. But taking away freedom won't prevent that.
    "

    What, what kind of mish-mosh are you trying to pass off as an argument here? And what public health laws am I arguing against to continue driving a car?

    And when will you quit rubbing on "freedom" like it's a blow-up bacon doll? Taking away some freedoms does result in fewer people dying, and that's in general a good thing, e.g. I don't have the freedom to drive my car through red lights. We can evaluate each instance separately; making a categorical claim like that is yob-mouthed nonsense.
    posted by klangklangston at 7:59 PM on February 27, 2013


    "How do you enforce penalties for downloading plans without spying on everyone's downloads?"

    Uh, how do we enforce penalties for child porn without spying on everyone's downloads?

    Police state, try again. ;)"

    No, that's bullshit.
    posted by klangklangston at 8:01 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Blow-up bacon doll? Yob-mouthed nonsense? I liked it better when you were calling me a bizarro libertarian. Isn't bizarro world where everything is opposite?

    And didn't you yourself say something earlier about acting like grown ups?
    posted by MoTLD at 8:02 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    But child porn is actually an excellent parallel. In this day and age, how do we prevent child porn distribution without a police state? Can we, even, when things like Tor and Bitcoin exist?

    These are just as much privacy-enabling disruptive technologies as an anything-printer, and equally demonstrate the potential dark side of freedom.

    They are also just as unstoppable.

    Again, my only solution is a social contract that evolves to deal with them, and my faith in the innate honesty and peacefulness of adult humans.

    That, or the ol' police state.
    posted by MoTLD at 8:07 PM on February 27, 2013


    MetaFilter: rubbing on "freedom" like it's a blow-up bacon doll.

    Couldn't resist.
    posted by MoTLD at 8:17 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


    "Blow-up bacon doll? Yob-mouthed nonsense? I liked it better when you were calling me a bizarro libertarian. Isn't bizarro world where everything is opposite?

    And didn't you yourself say something earlier about acting like grown ups?
    "

    When you start making grown up arguments, I'll start treating you like you're making grown up arguments.

    "But child porn is actually an excellent parallel. In this day and age, how do we prevent child porn distribution without a police state? Can we, even, when things like Tor and Bitcoin exist?"

    We do a pretty good job now by having people investigate complaints and use warrants to surveille people. We're not going to get all of it, but we don't have to in order to justify having laws against it.

    "These are just as much privacy-enabling disruptive technologies as an anything-printer, and equally demonstrate the potential dark side of freedom."

    Well, yeah, I guess, in that they demonstrate that they're not very significant in the overall scheme of things and that we're pretty well able to adapt them into existing laws.

    "They are also just as unstoppable."

    Man, you should thank your lucky stars every day that you don't live in Syria or Egypt or any place where they have an actual police state, because honestly, Tor is pretty damn stoppable, and if your revolution's supply lines have to come from 3-D printers, you're pretty well fucked.

    "Again, my only solution is a social contract that evolves to deal with them, and my faith in the innate honesty and peacefulness of adult humans."

    Or, instead of doing nothing, we could do things like require every firearm to be registered, including ones printed at home.

    That, or the ol' police state."

    What old police state? I know you mean to contrast doing nothing — sorry, I mean, evolving a social contract which somehow has nothing to do with actual legislation — with a police state, but only an idiot would think those were the two options.
    posted by klangklangston at 8:19 PM on February 27, 2013


    Again, though, armed police are a red herring. Can you do what you please in the privacy of your own home? If you can't without worrying about the police, you aren't free.

    The limits of your ability to swing your arms ends where your fist hits my nose. So yes, there are probably some things you shouldn't be able to do in your own home because by doing them you will damage mine. You can perceive this as a "police state" if you'd like. In the realm of 3D printing, it means that people should be concerned if you are using your printer to manufacture explosives or restricted firearms.


    Again, my only solution is a social contract that evolves to deal with them, and my faith in the innate honesty and peacefulness of adult humans.

    That, or the ol' police state.


    We should strive to avoid false binaries in all conversations, especially when they are false pairings of a utopia and a dystopia. The future is going to be a strange and weird place, but it won't be all one thing or another. By saying that the only thing that exists is a brand new social contract or a police state, you are assuming that both cultural norms and the law won't be evolving concurrently. This has never been true for anything. You will get a little bit of social contract, but you will also get a little bit of whatever you conceive the police state to be in there too.
    posted by Going To Maine at 8:25 PM on February 27, 2013


    Or, instead of doing nothing, we could do things like require every firearm to be registered, including ones printed at home.

    Right, 'cause this works without door to door police (state) inspections...

    The reason child pornographers get busted is because they mention or hint at their proclivities to one of the 99.9999999% of people who find it reprehensible, and said honorable person calls the cops. That's the very definition of social contract.

    If you instead were recommending or claiming that we already carry out indiscriminate surveillance to catch these criminals, well, how many times can I say police state?
    posted by MoTLD at 8:34 PM on February 27, 2013


    I don't have the freedom to drive my car through red lights. We can evaluate each instance separately; making a categorical claim like that is yob-mouthed nonsense.

    I tend not to do that sort of thing. Most sane people don't drive like that. I don't even think this qualifies as a comparable freedom as you pay the consequences of this action with your life and others.

    But my owning a gun does not really harm anyone. Unless you are claiming I am going to eventually. This is the difference between owning a gun vs. driving through a red light. But I am sure you knew this and simply chose to attack MoTLD with a baseless argument while calling him names.

    Oh and MoLTD, I had been happily assuming the libertarian troll label was aimed at me but I guess we can share.
    posted by trol at 8:34 PM on February 27, 2013


    The limits of your ability to swing your arms ends where your fist hits my nose. So yes, there are probably some things you shouldn't be able to do in your own home because by doing them you will damage mine.

    I agree, though we may differ on exactly where the line is drawn.

    However, I don't see any way short of big brother that we can prevent folks from doing things in their own homes, even things that might harm others.

    Well, except when their neighbors catch wind of it and call the cops, which is how a community should work, right? Which gets back to the basic question of what should be illegal to do in one's own home, on which reasonable folks disagree.

    But this also means that in communities where neighbors don't know one another, bad things go unnoticed. Laws aren't going to fix those problems, and that's a price of freedom from surveillance, I guess.
    posted by MoTLD at 8:39 PM on February 27, 2013


    you are assuming that both cultural norms and the law won't be evolving concurrently. This has never been true for anything.

    I agree with this as well, but I have very little faith in the law keeping up. These are unprecedented times of social upheaval, and the law already has a very poor track record when it comes to the Internet and the ease with which things are copied. Now that the same dynamic will soon apply not just to information, but to physical objects, the law will get further and further behind.

    However, this is a feature, not a bug. At least in the US, gridlock seems to be purposely designed in, probably to prevent knee-jerk majority-rules lawmaking or dangerous power grabs.

    Which leaves cultural norms with very little in the way of teeth.

    The future is going to be a strange and weird place

    Truer words have ne'er been spoken! :)
    posted by MoTLD at 8:51 PM on February 27, 2013


    Or, instead of doing nothing, we could do things like require every firearm to be registered, including ones printed at home.

    Right, 'cause this works without door to door police (state) inspections...


    If the state believed that you were printing unregistered firearms, then it would be within the police's rights to search your home & arrest you if they found such contraband material. That's hardly an unwarranted search and seizure. Correspondingly, it would be within the rights of the police to find people distributing plans with the intent that illegal guns be produced. That could take on police state overtones (depending, say, on your attitude about the shutdown of megaupload for taking insufficient steps to limit intellectual property theft), but part of the purpose of the judiciary is to make sure that the government doesn't violate privacy and does not overstep its bounds. Assuming that people are increasingly concerned about privacy, these prohibitions will take on greater force.

    Industry may well have a hand in this too. Bushmaster will want you to purchase their designs, and will want to limit the distribution of illegal designs via lawsuits & commercial dominance. Bushmaster will also want to comply with any government legislation.
    posted by Going To Maine at 9:12 PM on February 27, 2013


    it would be within the rights of the police to find people distributing plans with the intent that illegal guns be produced. That could take on police state overtones

    Could?

    I think of it less like megaupload and more like the folks who printed the DeCSS code on their t-shirts.
    posted by MoTLD at 9:17 PM on February 27, 2013


    Remember when exporting Netscape was a felony?
    posted by MoTLD at 9:19 PM on February 27, 2013


    Remember when exporting Netscape was a felony?
    No? You'll need to expand on that.


    I think we've been here before. Perhaps it would be a first amendment issue, but the first amendment does less well when someone is circulating something with the knowledge that it will be used to break the law with the intent of harming others. Correspondingly, the DeCSS code may be an apt example, but DVDs aren't guns, so I'm not really sure how that distinction would play out in both in law courts and in public opinion.
    posted by Going To Maine at 9:28 PM on February 27, 2013


    The 1a protects the anarchist's cookbook, and it protects hate speech. Both can be very harmful, and the first is a pretty direct parallel to gun-printing plans.

    As far as Netscape export, back when the web was young, it was a federal felony to export encryption algorithms. They were classified as munitions, so a web browser with SSL was illegal to export from the US unless it used watered-down 40-bit encryption. People were actually arrested for this, as I recall, but don't quote me on that.

    The Communications Decency Act, the DMCA and the DeCSS thing, Napster and MegaUpload, ACTA/SOPA/PIPA, this is the law's track record so far, at least in the US.
    posted by MoTLD at 9:55 PM on February 27, 2013


    Lest we forget, you own your phone, right? Unless you want to use it with another carrier, in which case your old carrier owns it, even if you bought it outright or fulfilled your contract. Unlocking your own phone could result in jail time.

    Not really germane to the issue at hand, but another example of an overreaching law proving the disconnect between the powers that be and the right to truly own what you own.
    posted by MoTLD at 10:02 PM on February 27, 2013


    But all these are essential trivial matters - the government infringing on our rights to protect corporate money. It's annoying, sure. But it doesn't compare to the government using its powers to do what it should do - regulate and enforce the regulations on deadly weapons.
    posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:08 PM on February 27, 2013




    The 1a protects the anarchist's cookbook, and it protects hate speech. Both can be very harmful, and the first is a pretty direct parallel to gun-printing plans.

    But being able to instantaneously download and print a gun is substantially different from a book of instructions that requires you to do some labor to create an explosive. The amount of labor needed is a non-trivial difference.

    As I've said, I find this to be a murky first amendment issue, one for which there are good arguments on both sides. The dissemination of such plans might result in some illegal gov't overreach to shut down their circulation.

    That said, you don't seem to have made an argument that the government shouldn't be able to investigate and prosecute people for printing illegal & unlicensed weapons. Such prosecutions -and legal monitoring necessary to obtain such prosecutions- would all be aboveboard and within the realm of good government.
    posted by Going To Maine at 10:19 PM on February 27, 2013


    homunculus, I just read that too, and so wanted to link to it earlier during all the "statistics prove this or that" stuff above, but I couldn't remember where I read it and was too lazy to google it.

    But, anyway, I think the debate on gun control might be a bit moot compared to the debate on freedom of expression. Just like DeCSS, what happens when gun plans are outlawed and we print them on t-shirts? Arrest? Or when we print the plans in OCRable books? How are those different from chemistry textbooks with explosives recipes?

    Or do we do like the phones and lock down the printers? Can't print anything not on the approved list. Would we like it if our computers couldn't display the anarchist's cookbook? The potential for abuse is high, and any kid with script kiddie skills can circumvent it anyway.
    posted by MoTLD at 10:20 PM on February 27, 2013


    The gov't can and will prosecute those they can catch with illegal weapons, which includes unregistered ones in places with registration. They already do, of course, and printing doesn't change that.

    But the legal monitoring you mention (right after mentioning illegal gov't overreach ;) is what has me concerned. The easy printing of gun parts will invite reactionary, overbroad laws which are invasive and easily abused. It takes a long time for the courts to fix such things, and the damage they can do in the meantime is tremendous.
    posted by MoTLD at 10:36 PM on February 27, 2013


    The government is a crazy place where dudes at the NSA will illegally replay recordings of dirty phone calls while, at the very same time, other people are trying to make sure that all of their data is completely anonymous so that no laws are broken. Bureaucracies be totes cray.

    There will be over-reach, sure. It's why I hope some smart, technology minded lawyers and policy makers are working on drafting some regulatory laws now so that the infrastructure isn't a mess when the first printable gun murder takes place. If I am being asked to balance the risk of someone being killed by a printed gun against the risk of someone being wrongfully arrested on suspicion of printing illegal guns, I'm going to end up on the side of person who got shot. I'll be on the side of amending the law and getting our arrested dude out of jail, but I'd rather have a little bit pre-emptive overreach that needs to be cleaned up than death.

    Bedtime for me-time.
    posted by Going To Maine at 10:54 PM on February 27, 2013


    But being able to instantaneously download and print a gun is substantially different from a book of instructions that requires you to do some labor to create an explosive. The amount of labor needed is a non-trivial difference.

    There will be over-reach, sure. It's why I hope some smart, technology minded lawyers and policy makers are working on drafting some regulatory laws now so that the infrastructure isn't a mess when the first printable gun murder takes place.


    I don't think a "3D printer" capable of creating a firearm (including chamber and barrel or whatever) will be available anytime soon. This seems really overboard. I'd be willing to bet one could find instructions for making a homemade shotgun, bombs, etc, with minimal labor very easily today, anyway. And besides, aren't there like 350M guns in the US already? And no real new gun control anywhere in the near future. I'm sure it is easy enough for anyone to buy a gun if they want one without having to "print" one.

    I'm not sharing all of the paranoia of future technology either. The scariest thing to me is what hackers/computer viruses might be capable of and what might be possible for terrorists/mass-shooters. I'm guessing the probability of a black swan terrorist attack using a WMD of some kind is much higher than most people think. Maybe in the future the "government" will to do more monitoring/surveillance for everyone's protection with updated laws on how it can be used. I'm much more worried about how the economy will fair and how easy it will be to find jobs in the future than the government spying on me.
    posted by Golden Eternity at 11:24 PM on February 27, 2013


    I apologise for the length and lack of specific focus of this post but certain gun advocates use the "you don't know about guns so I can discount what you say" argument. The shame of it is that they are often seem just as misinformed as the folks who've never actually held a gun.

    And actually, people don't want high capacity clips. They want medium capacity clips - clips the size of the gun, which in a handgun is about 12-19 these days, and in a rifle, 20. Any larger than that and they start jamming and seizing up, not to mention they're unwieldy. I support peoples' right to own ridiculous drum magazines, but they suck and they're mallcoppy. I don't know a single shooter who actually uses them.

    When gun control advocates say "high-capacity" magazines they normally mean 10+. This is the same whether it relates to handgun or longarms. Anything more than 10 is high capacity. There are very few, if any, circumstances that would require a larger capacity outside of military or certain LE operations.

    I've posted on here before about the magazine rush - as it stands there are still many stores that are completely sold out of 30 and 45 round AR magazines, despite manufacturers working overtime getting them out there. I don't know a single AR user who doesn't own at least a half dozen 30 round magazines (in defence of that anecdata - most AR users I know are ex/current LEO/Military and train regularly at a high level - most of them probably own upwards of 15-20 30 round magazines).

    Handgun magazines are restricted to 10 rounds in many states already and frankly if it comes to the point where you have fired 10 rounds and the target isn't down you should be jogging on as fast as is possible in the other direction. I shoot very well considering my being based in the UK and not getting to train often - whenever I've been shooting in the past I have used 10 round mags in the three most popular calibres 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP and I'll happily post my groupings for perusal. Despite the fact that I can shoot well I don't hold with handguns being a serious defensive weapon and most firearm users agree if pressed. Witness the preponderence of shotguns for home defence.

    Handguns are popular because they are small, light and concealable which makes them essentially pointless for defence but very handy for offence (hence them being the most common type used in firearms related deaths both suicide and homicide). A gun that can be concealed allows the user to get closer to the target before engaging, vastly increasing the lethality of the weapon.

    Jamming and "seizing up" (seriously, what?) happens with poorly manufactured and poorly treated magazines. Most magazine failures are due to bent feed lips, spring failures or dints in the sidewalls. If it happened as often as you suggest then every military around the world would stop issuing 30 rounders. They don't. Clearly this is because what you've stated there is simply untrue.

    30 round Magpul Gen III PMAGs are among the most solid and dependable magazines available for ARs and have been selling at 100% markup over the past months. Magpul have been unable to keep up demand and people are hoarding them in anticipation of a ban (one that is now too late I might add).

    Magpul have also threatened to leave the state if Colorado implements a hicap mag ban, basically throwing their toys out of the pram. This is in addition to several other high profile weapon manufacturing companies threatening to stop selling their kit to LEOs in any state that brings in any sort of AR ban. Mature behaviour there - either we get our toys or we won't let LEOs use the weapons they say they need. Ridiculous.

    The threat of 3D printing is nowhere near as bad as the legal manufacture and distribution of firearms by major manufacturers. Polymer magazines like the PMAGs mentioned above are vastly superior than the ABS plastic used in 3D printed magazines but I think that as the technology progresses we will see the arms manufacturers stepping in to try and control their intellectual property. Witness Colt's shit-fit over Remington manufactured M4s. It's always about money and when manufacturers start seeing an impact on their bottom line, that's when you'll see congress implement restrictions to 3D printing, whatever the product happens to be.
    posted by longbaugh at 4:00 AM on February 28, 2013


    Jamming and "seizing up" (seriously, what?) happens with poorly manufactured and poorly treated magazines. Most magazine failures are due to bent feed lips, spring failures or dints in the sidewalls. If it happened as often as you suggest then every military around the world would stop issuing 30 rounders. They don't. Clearly this is because what you've stated there is simply untrue.

    Longbaugh, I appreciate you coming into the thread. I disagree with you, but I appreciate someone with gun knowledge talking about it.

    Let me clarify: I don't think of a 30 round mag as a "high capacity" magazine. A 30 round mag for an AR is slightly higher than I personally would prefer because it drags in the dirt if you're prone, whereas a 20 round mag will not. However, many people do use 30 rounds happily and safely. My issue was not with 30 round mags.

    While gun control advocates do consider anything over 10 rounds a "high capacity" magazine, they are wrong and misinformed. If a magazine is a normal magazine for the weapon, then it cannot be considered a high capacity magazine.

    Handgun magazines are restricted to 10 rounds in many states already and frankly if it comes to the point where you have fired 10 rounds and the target isn't down you should be jogging on as fast as is possible in the other direction.

    I don't think they're restricted to 10 rounds in "many" states, though I know there are a few: however, I'd ask, what do you propose people do with existing handguns. For example - this 9mm XD naturally holds 16 + 1 rounds as the standard magazine that fits in the gun, or the Glock 17. Both are incredibly common firearms - this isn't special stuff that people are stocking up on.

    My question though, is why you think 10 shots is the magic number, that you should shoot and then run. Running is highly tactically ineffective - it makes you a visible target with no ability to defend yourself.
    posted by corb at 6:03 AM on February 28, 2013


    I prefer 30 round mags because they're easier to manipulate than old USGI 20rounders. Different strokes :) 30 round mags shouldn't be dragging in the dirt or bashing the ground when firing prone although to be fair, most of the high-speed/low-drag shooting methods taught nowadays take into account issues like this and teach the user to tip the weapon whilst maintaining a proper braced frame for support. There are now 50 round magazines the same size as 30 rounders (taking a leaf from the the SITES M4 Spectre quad-stacked magazine from the 1980s) and these have been selling out as well.

    Arguing about the semantics of "high capacity" is not something I've time for right now unfortunately. I'll try and bash out an answer later tonight if I can find the time.

    There are 10 round magazines manufactured for many 10+ capacity handguns - usually swapping double-stacked for single-stacked rounds or retaining the double-stacking but with a spacer at the base of the magazine to fill up the "spare" space. These fit and feed exactly the same as their higher-capacity brethren. The H&K USP .40 S&W I used last time I went shooting used a 10 round single stack mag rather than the normal 13-rounder.

    Off the top of my head, Hawaii, California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey all currently have magazine size restriction laws ranging from 7-12 rounds.

    10 isn't a magic number at all - keeping the magazine size small encourages careful shooting and increases the desire for self-preservation. I personally dislike CCWs and would rather someone had a 12-gauge pump over their shoulder. It's clear they are armed, the longer sighting plane increases accuracy and the weapon's has significantly increased lethality over a handgun.

    Running makes you hard to hit, even if you're not running serpentine ;)
    posted by longbaugh at 8:12 AM on February 28, 2013


    There are 10 round magazines manufactured for many 10+ capacity handguns - usually swapping double-stacked for single-stacked rounds or retaining the double-stacking but with a spacer at the base of the magazine to fill up the "spare" space.

    Yeah, I think part of the frustrating problem is that in states that do have restrictions, many of them have not come out and said whether or not you're allowed to put a spacer in - I suppose the argument is that you could take it out again and reconvert it? Single-stack vs double-stack would be doable, but with so many states having their own, unique restrictions, we are just not going to see the manufacturers making special mags just for, say, New Yorkers. (And back to the OP, interestingly, 3D printing of magazines would actually be /really great/ to deal with constantly changing gun laws, and we'd only be out the plastic.)

    10 isn't a magic number at all - keeping the magazine size small encourages careful shooting and increases the desire for self-preservation. I personally dislike CCWs and would rather someone had a 12-gauge pump over their shoulder. It's clear they are armed, the longer sighting plane increases accuracy and the weapon's has significantly increased lethality over a handgun.

    I see your point. I think I could even agree with you - except that we aren't /allowed/ to open carry in far, far more states than those that allow CCW. In fact, the reason for having so many rounds is often because of the lower lethality - because you are not guaranteed to take someone down even if you hit them with each of, say, 7 shots. Handguns don't have to reduce accuracy too much if you're skilled, but the problem is people who are not skilled who think that handguns are as easy as "point and shoot." Far too many of even LEOs do not engage in careful shooting - see the NYPD accuracy rate of 1 in 6. But that's not the weapon's fault, that's the idjit's fault, if you savvy.

    Running makes you hard to hit, even if you're not running serpentine ;)

    Hah! Well, yes and no. It makes you hard to hit for a casual shooter, harder but not hard for a middling serious shooter. Center mass is a pretty damn big target. Even if you miss, you don't miss, you know?

    Though, I will admit, I'm thinking "never run in a firefight without cover fire," and that may not exactly apply in potential civilian situations. :)
    posted by corb at 1:48 PM on February 28, 2013


    Bulgaroktonos: "A gun that fails after six shots is defective."

    10 years ago you'd think that a phone that stops working after you talk on it for 30 minutes would be defective but attitudes change. Heck what with the ability to trace firearms and hypothetical manufacturing as hard as using a photocopier a non-reloadable burner hand gun may be a popular item if ti was cheap enough.

    octobersurprise: "I can print money in my basement, also. That hasn't made the crime of counterfeiting obsolete. Speaking of which, I see Cody Wilson just sold 100.0 #bitcoin!"

    Money requires special paper that is tightly regulated.

    Going To Maine: " I don't think that the government should assume that you're irresponsible, but I think that they should find a way to clamp down on designs that are illegal. For instance - if printable gun guy is intentionally printing gun parts to violate US laws, the government should be able to compel people to destroy these files (maybe?) and should be able to arrest you for printing those parts if you use them to create an illegal weapon."

    Good luck on making water not wet.

    Charlemagne In Sweatpants: "No, you won't. But you can put in penalties for downloading those plans and for making the guns and gun parts. It won't really stop dedicated people, but its better than throwing up your hands and abandoning gun control measures."

    It won't stop the mildly interested from downloading plans. By exporting PGP out of Canada downloaded from the States I was an international arms trafficker back before the web existed. (Also a patent infringer but personal infringment of a patent isn't going to get you arrested.) This was as easy as clicking a button and resulted in no tangible gain to me. Keeping a gun printer file secret is going to be impossible if the guys who own it want to make it free.
    posted by Mitheral at 2:41 PM on March 3, 2013


    Jughead: "In the interview with Beck, Wilson says the file necessary to print off the part has been downloaded 50 000 times. This got me thinking... can, or indeed should, the government put legal restrictions on information? It‘s the Anarchist‘s Cookbook all over again, isn‘t it? I knew a few people who had copies, and they never blew anything up...

    Just throwing that out there...
    "

    Because, if anyone actually used those recipes, the only person likely to be blown up would be the user.
    posted by Samizdata at 10:03 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


    « Older "My Baby, Not My Child"   |   The Shuls with Sandy Floors Newer »


    This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



    Post