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"From my cold dead hands."
April 28, 2002 2:18 PM   Subscribe

"From my cold dead hands." A vice-president of the National Rifle Association took credit for President Bush's election Saturday, saying that those who would restrict gun rights are engaged in "political terrorism." Hyperbole aside, is gun control a failure in the USA?
posted by tranquileye (32 comments total)

 
see? NRA freaks are insane. imagine someone wanting to take credit for that.
posted by quonsar at 2:26 PM on April 28, 2002


is gun control a failure in the USA?

that sorta implies that "gun control" means no guns for anyone, which is not generally what americans think of that term. it also implies that any political movement has seriously made an attempt at that and failed, which has not happened. lots of people think we should have the right to have guns, the nra is extreme, but it's not like all the people not in the nra are ready to make guns illegal.
posted by rhyax at 2:42 PM on April 28, 2002


Is he insinuating that the NRA held the supreme court at gunpoint?

As a side, keep 'em peeled for Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. I'd imagine a fairly wide release come the end of summer.
posted by crasspastor at 2:52 PM on April 28, 2002


The other day I caught the end of an NPR program on a shooting on a German school. The report mentioned that Germany has very strict Gun control laws. It is a country of 82 millions. 10 million guns are owned legally by the people. The police estimate that there are around 20 million unregistered guns out there. Yet, they seemed reasonably happy with their gun control legislation and enforcement.

So, control doesnt mean no guns or even no abuse. To me, it means rigorous creening procedures that are actually enforceable by the state. It mean making it difficult to own guns illegally and making it tough for those who are caught with illegal firearms. Measured by those yeardsticks, I feel gun control is USA to be lax. Also, the political will to enforce gun control in USA seems to have waned. Its a matter of votes. The 'silent majority' - if such a thing exists - will not turn up to vote in droves ...
posted by justlooking at 3:05 PM on April 28, 2002


an armed society is a polite society. end of discussion.
posted by billybob at 3:18 PM on April 28, 2002


politeness is overrated.
posted by quonsar at 3:21 PM on April 28, 2002


billybob: than how do you explain texas drivers?
posted by shagoth at 4:14 PM on April 28, 2002


or rather: then how do you explain Texas drivers?
posted by shagoth at 4:15 PM on April 28, 2002


The NRA patting themselves on the back? You don't say.

The fact that anyone wants to take credit for what happened in the last presidential election shows how off the deep end these people are. Cold dead hands indeed.
posted by skallas at 4:33 PM on April 28, 2002


Tale credit for? I'm not sure about that. It's not like the NRA was some sort of very incredibly large percentage of the Bush voters.

However, Bush could NOT have been elected without the support of the NRA; and Al Gore could have been President if he had made it clear he would support protection of the right to bear arms and to defend oneself.

I think gun control is (mostly) dead on a national level - now it is time to teach that lesson on a local level.

It's nice to see that GA has some decent Senatorial representation WRT the 2nd Amendment.
posted by hadashi at 4:38 PM on April 28, 2002


*grin* Shagoth, you got nothin' to complain about. I live in Oregon... The drivers here are sheep, just like their ancestors. (sheepfsckers!)

They gather in the left lane and just sit there, cruising blithely along at 55mph. All the while, at the end of these huge three-lane-wide traffic loogies, there are the good drivers like me who are steaming at the ears because we actually have places to -go-!!! In NYC or LA, someone would've gotten a cap bust into them for drivin like that...
posted by SpecialK at 5:02 PM on April 28, 2002


purple is green, end of discussion.
posted by y2karl at 5:57 PM on April 28, 2002


It's cold dead fingers, not hands.
posted by bingo at 5:59 PM on April 28, 2002


Rwanda 1994 proved the stupidity of gun control once and for all i would think. As there was a relative paucity of guns in the country, the genocidists used mainly machetes and ubuhiris, i.e. nail studded clubs. Does anyone really think serious machete control could have prevented the violence?
posted by quercus at 6:38 PM on April 28, 2002


"serious machete control"
BAN THE GRINDERS!
(or a sharpening stone buy back program)
posted by clavdivs at 7:53 PM on April 28, 2002


Does anyone really think serious machete control could have prevented the violence?


No, but I'm certain someone armed with a firearm can do much more damage than someone with a large knife or a stick. Not to mention its easier to have a standoff, injure innocents, accidental discharge, etc.
posted by skallas at 9:06 PM on April 28, 2002


No, but I'm certain someone armed with a firearm can do much more damage than someone with a large knife or a stick. Not to mention its easier to have a standoff, injure innocents, accidental discharge, etc.

It's not just weapons, but it's numbers, and how well armed the victims are. In Rwanda, the Tutsis had their machetes taken away, the UN had sworn to defend them, essentially. The Hutus still had their machetes, and they were in control of the government. As a result, most of the 800,000 deaths were committed with machetes being used as the weapon of choice. So the issue isn't as simple as gun control, it's weapons control, and balance of power. For example, I would be perfectly willing to give up my guns if the state(I don't own any guns, btw) would give up theirs, but as long as there are arms, there will be arms races.

Allowing the government to severely limit the ability of people to defend themselves probably does much more harm than good, in the long run, because one group usually uses this power as a tool to do harm to a minority.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:31 PM on April 28, 2002


Nukes for everyone! Bring the negotiating power of mutually assured destruction into your very own home or office! When tactical nuclear weapons are outlawed, only outlaws will have tactical nuclear weapons!
This message brought to you by the Fair Play for Nukes Committee
posted by ook at 10:26 PM on April 28, 2002


Let me reiterate. How the hell does the NRA declare for themselves the credit for getting Bush elected when popularly, Bush lost? Anybody at all, giving themselves all-too public pats on the back for getting a president elected, when the most unlikely of ways to be elected were employed, is an absolute buffoon. Or a peddler of propaganda that has an agenda far removed from Constitutional rights. I think, with organizations like the NRA or the variegated anti-abortion movements (for instance), that we and their members must remember to keep our our eye on the fabled pea. It's becoming more and more clear, at least to me, that getting citizens "up in arms" about one, sole, particular, hot issue is to keep them distracted from the real issues that affects us most as Americans. Directly into the pocket of the right as it were.
posted by crasspastor at 10:41 PM on April 28, 2002


Or, to be less flippant: that argument only really holds up if the reason you want guns available is for armed resistance against the government. In which case, fine (and the constitutional argument, whether one agrees with it or not, implicitly follows this premise as well: you don't need a "well-regulated militia" if you're only going up against a mugger or two.)

But if you're reasonably happy with the government -- enough so that you're not going to head down to the capitol with a rifle anytime soon -- and trust it to be competent enough to enforce its own laws, then why wouldn't gun control work even if the state keeps its weapons?

Governments exist specifically to limit the abilities of their citizens: good governments limit their ability to go on twelve-state murder sprees, bad governments limit their ability to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of that other thing.

I personally feel it's way too late to turn back the clock in the US and outlaw guns, but that's more of a pandora's box kind of thing than any sort of belief that I -- or anyone -- has some basic right to own a portable machine that exists solely to kill things.
posted by ook at 10:42 PM on April 28, 2002


Let me reiterate. How the hell does the NRA declare for themselves the credit for getting Bush elected when popularly, Bush lost? Anybody at all, giving themselves all-too public pats on the back for getting a president elected, when the most unlikely of ways to be elected were employed, is an absolute buffoon. Or a peddler of propaganda that has an agenda far removed from Constitutional rights. I think, with organizations like the NRA or the variegated anti-abortion movements (for instance), that we and their members must remember to keep our our eye on the fabled pea. It's becoming more and more clear, at least to me, that getting citizens "up in arms" about one, sole, particular, hot issue is to keep them distracted from the real issues that affects us most as Americans. Directly into the pocket of the right as it were.
posted by crasspastor at 10:42 PM on April 28, 2002


that sorta implies that "gun control" means no guns for anyone, which is not generally what americans think of that term.

Exactly...everyone in this thread uses the word gun control, but no one mentions their perception of the term. If we're talking about zero guns for any civilian, obviously gun control failed because THAT would be unconstitutional. OTOH, if we are talking about registering firearms and mandatory instructional courses, I think the movement still has a large head of steam.

Take the Assault Weapons Ban. Here are a couple of facts to chew on:

According to polls, 76% of America would like to keep the Assault Weapons Ban in place. - source

When the law when enacted in 1995, crime levels related to Assault Weapons was reduced by 18%. - see above

Of 122 analyzed fatal law enforcement shootings between Jan. 1, 1994 and Sept. 30, 1995, at least 13% of officers shot were by assault weapons. In fact, of the 93 cases that the gun could be identified, 17.4% were by assault weapons. In another 18.5% of those guns identified, the magazine held more than 10 rounds, a number specifically mentioned by the Assault Weapons ban. - source

Criminals have admitted to using and owning assault weapons. According to one study, 35% of inmates claimed to own assault weapons, and to make matters worse, 53% of those involved with gangs made similar claims. During the years 1988-91, although assault weapons amount to only 1% of all guns owned, they account for 8.9% of all guns used in criminal activity. Further, during the years 1986-91, 20,526 assault weapons were traced to crimes, 1,349 were specifically traced to murders and 4,031 were traced to drug traffickers. - see above

For example, I would be perfectly willing to give up my guns if the state(I don't own any guns, btw) would give up theirs, but as long as there are arms, there will be arms races.

Good GOD that's the most ridiculous thing I've read in this thread. What are you suggesting? That police have no guns, or that we have no formal military?
posted by BlueTrain at 10:46 PM on April 28, 2002


Only Ralph Nader can take credit for bush's Election.
posted by benh57 at 12:21 AM on April 29, 2002


ook, a plot device in Avram Davidson's--he's right up there with Jack Vance in my esteem--The Enemy of My Enemy involves a solution to the nuclear weapons dilemma that has all war heads broken down into sub kiloton hand grenades, one for each adult. Talk about a polite society. Or rather, a glowingly-in-the-dark polite society.
posted by y2karl at 12:46 AM on April 29, 2002


Good GOD that's the most ridiculous thing I've read in this thread. What are you suggesting? That police have no guns, or that we have no formal military?
If we turn in our guns the police shouldn't need them either, if the police still need them, then why should an honest citizen not be allowed the same right? Would it be fair to be able to sue the police for failing to stop all gun related crime if we give up our Constitutional rights? I wonder what sort of good stuff the government would give us for giving up free speech, or the right to vote. They really have the potential to be kind masters.
posted by thirteen at 12:48 AM on April 29, 2002


Good GOD that's the most ridiculous thing I've read in this thread. What are you suggesting? That police have no guns, or that we have no formal military?

It doesn't sound ridiculous if you're as cynical as I am. By the way BlueTrain, I have this vaguely unsettling feeling that you just follow me around this place posting after me so that you can inform me as to how much of an idiot I am.
If this playground isn't big enough for both of us I think I'll just take my toys and go home
posted by insomnyuk at 12:57 AM on April 29, 2002


Only Ralph Nader can take credit for bush's Election.

Good god! That is perhaps the singlemost prescient comment I've read lo these many months. The thread needed some grounding. Thanks for that benh57!
posted by crasspastor at 1:08 AM on April 29, 2002


If we turn in our guns the police shouldn't need them either, if the police still need them, then why should an honest citizen not be allowed the same right?

The police need them to defend the citizenry, be it from domestic criminals or international terrorists. And again, no one is advocating that we give up our guns, because as you've noted, we would essentially be giving up our 2nd Amendment right.

By the way BlueTrain, I have this vaguely unsettling feeling that you just follow me around this place posting after me so that you can inform me as to how much of an idiot I am.

I don't think you're an idiot. I simply believe that you aren't expressing your ideas based on fact or sense, but a stereotypical Libertarian attitude. In the past, all of your responses have been textbook blurbs that know-nothing Libs use to woo the masses.

In the past thread, for instance, you state that the US should not have been involved with WWI or WWII, but give no evidence to support your claim. Here, you write that unless the state has no guns, you refuse to give up your guns, a point that is irrelevant considering the nature of gun control in this country.

My problem is quite simple: I don't like your comments because they provide no factual evidence or remote intelligence (which is not to be taken personally). If you think I'm stalking you, cool...I'll back off, but know that I'm attacking your ideas, not you.
posted by BlueTrain at 6:46 PM on April 29, 2002


know that I'm attacking your ideas, not you.
Then leave antagonistic personal snipes ("congratulations, you've mastered multi-syllable words") out of it. These, likewise, are neither evidence nor intelligence, and they add nothing of value to any discussion.
posted by Dean King at 8:10 PM on April 29, 2002


Uh, excuse me guys, but didn't you hear billybob? END OF DISCUSSION.
posted by rodii at 9:10 PM on April 29, 2002


In the past thread, for instance, you state that the US should not have been involved with WWI or WWII, but give no evidence to support your claim. Here, you write that unless the state has no guns, you refuse to give up your guns, a point that is irrelevant considering the nature of gun control in this country.
Is that one directed to me?
posted by thirteen at 9:34 PM on April 29, 2002


According to polls, 76% of America would like to keep the Assault Weapons Ban in place.

This poll is 3 years old. Polls are not facts, as opinions change, and people can be wrong. And all of your other evidence points to one specific issue, about assault weapons.

I am talking about weapons control in general, balance of power, and how if one group has weapons, and another group does not, the armed group tends to abuse its power. This is a fairly simple concept. Rwanda would be good evidence of this concept in action.

I guess, unlike you, I prefer to dwell on theoreticals and only provide evidence when it actually applies to the discussion, rather than misread what people say and spout tautologies which are unrelated to what is being discussed.

Instead you say things like this:

When the law when enacted in 1995, crime levels related to Assault Weapons was reduced by 18%

Then, you fail to mention or explain if crime levels went up or down, just that crimes committed with assault weapons did. You failed to prove that violent crime went down. One would wonder what your point is.

My problem is quite simple: I don't like your comments because they provide no factual evidence or remote intelligence

"Facts" as you call them are not the only qualification for an argument, and 'remote intelligence' is certainly a subjective pronouncement on your part.

One more thing:
Good GOD that's the most ridiculous thing I've read in this thread. What are you suggesting? That police have no guns, or that we have no formal military?

What I said was that if the police was unarmed, I would be willing to be unarmed. I was not positively suggesting a course of action, I was talking about what I would do. It is incoherent to request some sort of data which would prove why I feel this way.

Then, by the tone of your statement, you imply that an unarmed police force is 'ridiculous' without providing evidence or reasons why. Why is this ridiculous? Aren't a lot of British police officers unarmed? Is it a false statement to say that if other people did not own guns, I would not need to own guns? Instead, you dismiss everything I say out of hand as 'ridiculous' or 'text-book'.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:25 PM on April 29, 2002


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