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Tales of the ironic....
December 7, 2002 7:06 AM   Subscribe

Son of NRA big wig arrested in road rage shooting. How will Chuck Heston spin this one? The local TV news reported this without a hint of irony, and the post barely covered it. What Happened to the "Liberal Media"? Have they been co-opted? Has anyone seen more extensive coverage of this? I realize that the article I linked does not contain much info, but I guess that is sort of my point. Should this not be a catalyst for discussions about gun control in this country?
posted by buz46 (89 comments total)

 
Was he also driving a huge SUV with one of those obnoxious "Fear This" stickers?
posted by troutfishing at 7:09 AM on December 7, 2002


I have a sticker that reads "Keep Honking - I'm Reloading".
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:11 AM on December 7, 2002


I have one that says "It's fully loaded - that's why I feel like honking."
posted by shoos at 7:14 AM on December 7, 2002


mine says, "Keep Honking And Reloading Ya Hicks, I'm Watching MIB II On My Sweet Visor Screen And Eating Now-and-Laters."

(even I will admit this is a pretty biased fpp, albeit amusingly ironic. I wonder if it will stand the test of time?)
posted by mcsweetie at 7:18 AM on December 7, 2002


I say we shoot people who ask so many leading questions in their front-page posts.
posted by crunchland at 7:18 AM on December 7, 2002


My car's sticker says "This Car is Alarmed - IT MUST BE THE WAY I DRIVE IT!"
posted by dash_slot- at 7:57 AM on December 7, 2002


You know what they say: If you outlaw guns, only the lobbyists' kids will have guns.
posted by samuelad at 8:02 AM on December 7, 2002


I do not see what the big deal is. That is what the death penalty is for.
posted by thirteen at 8:19 AM on December 7, 2002


I say we shoot people who ask so many leading questions in their front-page posts.

Yes ... apparently actually reporting the thing - and spending half the report talking not about the incident, but about the kid's father and his political connections - isn't enough for the poster. Unless it leads to a full out news blitz across all sorts of different media, and a national discussion of gun rights, it is "proof" that there is no liberal bias in the news.
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:23 AM on December 7, 2002


to answer this poster's questio, wouldn't the fact this story was reported be the penultimate and damning evidence for the fact that we've all secretly known all along: that all media outlets exist to push liberal agendas?
posted by mcsweetie at 8:27 AM on December 7, 2002


hey hey - I thought the "How will Chuck Heston spin this one?" Q was rather good - I'd like to see him spin that.
posted by dabitch at 8:27 AM on December 7, 2002


Manditory 10 year sentance, ah. For once I find myself agreeing with right wing lock-up-everybody wackos.

Michael Moore's figured out the trick too I think. If it's one group I seem to have zero sympathy for, it's gun people.
posted by Leonard at 8:31 AM on December 7, 2002


buz46, i note that sonofnrabigwigarrested.com is currently available. if not you, who? if not now, when?
posted by quonsar at 8:37 AM on December 7, 2002


I think the US debate about gun control (if there is such a debate) should be more about the thousands of people shot yearly, or the 2nd? amendment rights for the citizens to bear arms. Not about an incident allegedly involving the son of an NRA member.

I drive a BMW, I don't need stickers to piss people off.
posted by sebas at 8:38 AM on December 7, 2002


I thought the "How will Chuck Heston spin this one?" Q was rather good - I'd like to see him spin that.

"An armed society is a polite society." -NRA President Charlton Heston
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:40 AM on December 7, 2002


I say we shoot people who ask so many leading questions in their front-page posts.

Geez! If you think the answer to the question is no , then say no, or something to that effect. Theres no need to threaten my life for asking a question.

I guess I will stay on my side of the beltway, (beautiful, Takoma Park MD) you Virginians are nuts!!;-)
posted by buz46 at 8:46 AM on December 7, 2002


LOL
For a NRA member, he's a lousy shooter.
I'm sure it will get the same reaction as when a anti-drug warrior's daughter
gets caught with crack cocaine in a drug rehab
house, nothing.
posted by joemeek at 8:46 AM on December 7, 2002


hey hey - I thought the "How will Chuck Heston spin this one?" Q was rather good - I'd like to see him spin that.

There's no need to "spin" anything. The NRA has long maintained that there are plenty of gun laws on the books, and that they should be enforced. Which is exactly what is happening here.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:02 AM on December 7, 2002


I drive a BMW, I don't need stickers to piss people off.

Reminds me of a joke.

Q: What is the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?

A: The porcupine has pricks on the OUTSIDE.
posted by RevGreg at 9:08 AM on December 7, 2002


I think the US debate about gun control (if there is such a debate) should be more about the thousands of people shot yearly, or the 2nd? amendment rights for the citizens to bear arms. Not about an incident allegedly involving the son of an NRA member.

I agree, I just found it interesting that the idea of teaching children respect for fire arms, (one of the NRA's philosophical sticking points) seemed to fail so miserably in this case. If this lesson cannot be imparted to their own children, how is little Johnny Columbine gonna learn it?

On preview: Enforcing laws, after the fact, does not bring back victims of gun violence.
posted by buz46 at 9:09 AM on December 7, 2002


There's no need to "spin" anything. The NRA has long maintained that there are plenty of gun laws on the books, and that they should be enforced. Which is exactly what is happening here.

This is the funniest, saddest thing I've read all week.
posted by four panels at 9:10 AM on December 7, 2002


There's no need to "spin" anything.

I totally agree. What his son being a irresponsible moron has to do with him and his profession is beyond me, the questions posed by the FPP are definately strawman arguments.
posted by RevGreg at 9:11 AM on December 7, 2002


What his son being a irresponsible moron has to do with him and his profession is beyond me

His profession is promoting the cause of "safe", "responsible" gun ownership in the United States. If his own son cannot control his urge to shoot people on the freeway, then his argument is seriously compromised.

Imagine a tobacco lobbyist's son developing lung cancer, at a relatively young age, as the result of smoking, that would certainly require some spin control IMHO.
posted by buz46 at 9:21 AM on December 7, 2002


control his urge to shoot people on the freeway
you been on the freeway lately, man?! :-)
posted by quonsar at 9:27 AM on December 7, 2002


buz46 Yes I agree the spin it needs is interesting, however I think that is only thing interesting about this story. Fun as an anecdote but no value beyond that.

I also think this thread will derail in a flame war about gun control, which is always fun to watch but in my mind doesn't add much value to my saturday afternoon.
posted by sebas at 9:29 AM on December 7, 2002


I also think this thread will derail in a flame war about gun control

It could just as easily devolve into a flame war between pissed-off anti-BMW folks and rival bumper sticker users.
posted by samuelad at 9:34 AM on December 7, 2002


samuelad:

what about "guns don't kill people: NRA lobbyists' kids kill people"
posted by matteo at 9:34 AM on December 7, 2002


It could just as easily devolve into a flame war between pissed-off anti-BMW folks and rival bumper sticker users.

LOL, I'm ready for that one, no worries!
posted by sebas at 9:37 AM on December 7, 2002


That this NRA guy's son has a bad temper has no bearing on the "argument" over gun control anymore than the stories about environmental group leaders driving SUVs has on warnings over the global warming trend, financial advisers running up excessive credit card debt has on principles of sound money management, or some so-called followers of Islam being terrorists has on a legitimate religion. Just because people are inherently flawed, it doesn't follow that their beliefs necessarily are. . .
posted by BrandonAbell at 9:49 AM on December 7, 2002


control his urge to shoot people on the freeway
you been on the freeway lately, man?! :-)


Quonsar:
I am getting in the car now, hopping for the best. If you do not here from me in the next two hours call 911 ;-)
posted by buz46 at 9:52 AM on December 7, 2002


this NRA guy's son has a bad temper

Yes, and if he did not have easy access to a fire arm we would all be allot safer.
posted by buz46 at 9:57 AM on December 7, 2002


Well, I can't find anything about this on CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews... seems like all other news is being overshadowed by another gun-toting lunatic.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 10:12 AM on December 7, 2002


Yes, and if he did not have easy access to a fire arm we would all be allot safer.

because you can't kill someone with your car or anything...
posted by techgnollogic at 10:14 AM on December 7, 2002


Yes, and if he did not have easy access to a fire arm we would all be allot safer.

The price we pay for having freedoms is that some wackos will occasionally abuse them. After you've banned firearms and there are still people dying, what freedom will you go after next?

It's a bit unwise to start picking and choosing from freedoms to find the ones you think are convenient to you and just toss aside the ones you think are bad. That sort of elitism leads to tyranny in short order.

Punish the people who have actually harmed you or are about to harm you. Leave everyone else alone. And before you ask, that should apply to the current Administration too.
posted by BrandonAbell at 10:22 AM on December 7, 2002


His profession is promoting the cause of "safe", "responsible" gun ownership in the United States. If his own son cannot control his urge to shoot people on the freeway, then his argument is seriously compromised.

Really? I think I remember, a couple of years ago, the son of one of MADD's founders got a DUI. Does that mean MADD's argument is "seriously compromised"? If a peace activist's son joins the army, or a feminist's daughter becomes a supermodel, does that mean the orghanizations they belong to have lost intellectual credibility? Need to provide "spin control"?

I'm not certain whether you have children or not - but the strange thing about them is that they have the damndest habit of actually believing they are completely seperate people and, oddly enough, as adults, will even occasionally believe they can act in ways their parents wouldn't approve of. Go figure.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:32 AM on December 7, 2002


because you can't kill someone with your car or anything...

Do you think that he only used a gun because it happened to be on hand? If he hadn't had a gun, there likely wouldn't have been an incident. When all you've got is a hammer...
posted by Hildago at 10:37 AM on December 7, 2002


If the son of a MADD founder gets a DUI, the founder can say "See? It's a real problem." If an NRA nut's kid shoots out someone's window, he should say "See? It's a real problem". But he won't.
posted by jragon at 10:40 AM on December 7, 2002


Really? I think I remember, a couple of years ago, the son of one of MADD's founders got a DUI. Does that mean MADD's argument is "seriously compromised"?

Of course not. MADD's argument is "you shouldn't drink and drive." The NRA's argument is "the right to bear arms should be protected." If a MADD-member's son drinks and drives, it only adds evidence to their argument. If an NRA-member's son uses a gun irresponsibly, it adds at least a little bit of evidence that more people should be restricted from owning a gun.
posted by Hildago at 10:42 AM on December 7, 2002


Police believe Keene and the driver of the Mercedes were involved in a road rage incident along the George Washington Parkway just before the shooting happened.

Gun or no gun, there was an incident. If he hadn't had a gun, there wouldn't have been a shot fired. Having a gun in one's possession does not necessarily predispose one to road rage.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 10:42 AM on December 7, 2002


Whoops, jragon beat me.
posted by Hildago at 10:43 AM on December 7, 2002


Of course not. MADD's argument is "you shouldn't drink and drive." The NRA's argument is "the right to bear arms should be protected." If a MADD-member's son drinks and drives, it only adds evidence to their argument. If an NRA-member's son uses a gun irresponsibly, it adds at least a little bit of evidence that more people should be restricted from owning a gun.

It's still an example of a parent saying "you should do this" and then the (adult) child doing something else. Are you saying a parents' viewpoint should lose credibility if they can't get their offspring to follow their views?
posted by stifford at 10:56 AM on December 7, 2002


Are you saying a parents' viewpoint should lose credibility if they can't get their offspring to follow their views?

If the rhetoric they espouse, (that teaching children to "respect" fire arms will create a utopian, gun-toting society) is proven faulty by their own offspring, it should at least cause them to re-think their position. I mean, that's the crux of their whole philosophy, "guns are safe in the hands of those who have the proper training and respect for them". I'm sure that Ford Pinto's are perfectly safe, as long as you avoid being rear-ended. Unfortunately, that is sometimes unavoidable, so the safe thing to do is to take them off the road.
posted by buz46 at 11:30 AM on December 7, 2002


I'm sure that Ford Pinto's are perfectly safe, as long as you avoid being rear-ended. Unfortunately, that is sometimes unavoidable, so the safe thing to do is to take them off the road.

But in that situation, you would take Pintos off the road, not all automobiles. I'm all for letting people hang by their own rhetoric, so I'm not trying to defend the NRA in particular. I'm just philosophically against not letting responsible people do something because there are stupid/and or crazy people who will do it wrong (but I'm all for rules and standards of who does get those responsibilities ofcourse...)
posted by stifford at 11:43 AM on December 7, 2002


Stifford, MADD's position is different than the NRA's, is what I'm saying. The NRA's viewpoint only loses credibility because they make the claim that guns are safe in the hands of people who are educated in how to use them and are not criminals. You would expect the son of an NRA member to have been instructed in gun safety, and the article mentioned nothing about a criminal record. Ergo, it's reasonable to conclude that the NRA's position may not describe reality in every case.

As for MADD, their position is not that drinking and driving isn't a problem for people who have been properly educated, it's that you shouldn't drink and drive period. So, if a presumably educated child of a MADD member drinks and drives, it only shows that anyone can make that mistake, which I'm sure is something MADD would agree with.
posted by Hildago at 11:56 AM on December 7, 2002


Should this not be a catalyst for discussions about gun control in this country?

Someone shoots someone else, and suddenly it's a "catalyst for discussion" just because he's a conveniently awkward relative of a member of an organization that promotes the right to own firearms?

Banning cars would prevent accidents, banning public speech would prevent offensive speech, banning sex would prevent the spread of AIDS, banning children would prevent child abuse, banning airplanes would prevent hijackings, and banning firearms would prevent people from getting shot -- but that doesn't mean these are logical solutions.

Society will always have stupid people doing stupid things. However, rendering society impotent is not a logical solution.
posted by oissubke at 12:05 PM on December 7, 2002


(but I'm all for rules and standards of who does get those responsibilities of course...)

I guess that's what I'm getting at. This incident should cause gun lobbyists to re-think their "pry it from my cold dead hand's" attitude, and work towards a more reasonable and sane fire arms policy. I'm not saying " ban all guns across the board", but changes, particularly regarding handguns, need to be made. Whether these changes should be made on the federal level or by individual state legislatures, is a hole nuther box of ammo...
posted by buz46 at 12:13 PM on December 7, 2002


You would expect the son of an NRA member to have been instructed in gun safety

If someone is in a rage, I don't necessarily expect them to act rationally (not that it excuses it...). I wasn't really trying to compare MADD to the NRA, I was just agreeing with Midas' point that I dont think a parent's viewpoints are automatically suspect just becuase their children don't share their views ( because sometimes kids can just be dumbassess...).
posted by stifford at 12:14 PM on December 7, 2002


rendering society impotent is not a logical solution

gun control -> impotence ???

Wow. Suddenly things start to make a lot more sense than they used to.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:27 PM on December 7, 2002


( because sometimes kids can just be dumbassess...).

Therefore, no matter how much training one receives as a child, they can still grow up to be idiots, rendering the whole training /respect philosophy unsound and unsafe.
I need more than your word that your kid wont shoot me b/c you "trained" him not to. I need regulations to protect me and mine. Perhaps a psych. evaluation as prerequisite for handgun ownership. Too intrusive? Tough shit! They don't let Blind people drive, so they shouldn't let whack jobs own guns.
posted by buz46 at 12:30 PM on December 7, 2002


The NRA's viewpoint only loses credibility because they make the claim that guns are safe in the hands of people who are educated in how to use them and are not criminals.

I think their main argument is actually that responsible, law-abiding people should not be prevented by the government from possessing a firearm. They use the Second Amendment as backup for that, but they also make the more solid appeal to the basic importance of personal liberties in a free society. An irresponsible person, no matter their parentage, in no way invalidates that argument.

I doubt the NRA would have much problem with a law making using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol though.

Ergo, it's reasonable to conclude that the NRA's position may not describe reality in every case.

Please tell me how many political groups' arguments or laws for that matter, apply in every case? We try to meet that standard, but don't you think that it's just a little unreasonable to expect perfection from an imperfect system run by imperfect people?

For example, just because a few psychos use the internet to distribute abusive images of children, it doesn't follow that the internet should be regulated for everybody. Yes, it *can* be dangerous, but that is not a reason in and of itself for regulation of people who have not yet injured somebody else.
posted by BrandonAbell at 12:34 PM on December 7, 2002


I think I remember, a couple of years ago, the son of one of MADD's founders got a DUI. Does that mean MADD's argument is "seriously compromised"?

In some ways yes, in some ways no. Yes in the sense that MADD's methods are obviously flawed-- they're not getting their message across effectively, it would seem.

They are uncompromised in the sense that their platform does not claim, "alcohol and driving can be mixed responsibly by law-abiding citizens," in which case their cause would be hurt by the example of the founders son obviously being unable to do mix the two responsibly. Rather, their message is "absolutely do not drink and drive, ever," which doesn't even allow for minor, "harmless" infractions on the part of the son.
posted by deanc at 12:37 PM on December 7, 2002


Perhaps a psych. evaluation as prerequisite for handgun ownership. Too intrusive? Tough shit! They don't let Blind people drive, so they shouldn't let whack jobs own guns.

If you can come up with a quantitative as opposed to a qualitative means of determining that, then fine. To determine blindness, the DMV just cares that you can either read their chart or not. How does somebody determine sanity in a way fair enough and repeatable enough to be put into law? I'm not trying to be sarcastic here. . .

What other rights should we have these kinds of tests for though? Voting? Free speech? All rights are potentially dangerous to somebody, the only difference is the object and the immediacy.
posted by BrandonAbell at 12:57 PM on December 7, 2002


the only difference is the object and the immediacy.

To me, that makes all the difference in the world. A device which allows me to snuff out a human life in a split second should have, at least, as many regulations attached to it as an automobile, (another device suitable for split second snuffing). Why not a learners permit, a probationary period , and renewal every 2-4 years? Perhaps liability insurance, any objections there? I simply think it should be treated as a privilege not a right.
posted by buz46 at 1:09 PM on December 7, 2002


What other rights should we have these kinds of tests for though? Voting? Free speech?

I don't think thats a fair comparison as you can't exactly cause instant and potentially grievous bodily harm to someone by voting or communicating.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:09 PM on December 7, 2002


I simply think it should be treated as a privilege not a right.

Before anyone hits me with the Second amendment, yes I think it should be re-evaluated.
posted by buz46 at 1:28 PM on December 7, 2002


I don't think thats a fair comparison as you can't exactly cause instant and potentially grievous bodily harm to someone by voting or communicating.

It's fair because it's accurate. I am comparing liberties that for various reasons our society has said individuals are entitled to pursue. The right to vote can lead to tyrants in office who can then use their power to end the lives of millions. Free speech can be used by people to incite others to violence, thereby killing people.

I can compare apples to oranges and it would be fair if I was making a point questioning your favoritism of one fruit over another. Would you then say it's an unfair comparison because you can only make apple juice out of one and orange juice out of the other? Or that one is citrus and the other one isn't?

How do you propose we have a logical discussion without comparing objects that have differences? The similarities are at issue and are valid to illustrate the point. You are favoring one thing over another and are trying to rebut my argument by saying basically, "that's different." Nice.

I respectfully disagree with you.
posted by BrandonAbell at 1:48 PM on December 7, 2002


Voting and freespeech obviously have beneficial uses besides the "potential" - if you can even call it that - to cause bodily harm, but what use does a gun have besides this? I'm (maybe because I'm Canadian) just not understanding why people would even need a gun unless it was to cause bodily harm to someone...
posted by sip at 2:57 PM on December 7, 2002


You are favoring one thing over another and are trying to rebut my argument by saying basically, "that's different." Nice.

I must be dumb as hell! nonetheless, I will carry that weight...

The right to vote can lead to tyrants in office who can then use their power to end the lives of millions. Free speech can be used by people to incite others to violence, thereby killing people.

the first is prevented by checks and balances, the second by law. you can equate both of those to gun control, but the ordinary exercise of voting and free speech (like what we're doing now) is harmless whereas shooting a gun always has the potential to be harmful.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:59 PM on December 7, 2002


So anyway, back to the BMW thread, which I found far more interesting. Let me take this oppurtunity to say to all you anti-BMW-ites out there... Piss off. If you can't appreciate cars like this little guy, this beauty, and of course this asphalt chewing, torque breathing monster, then you don't know enough about cars to comment on them, or the people that drive them, for that matter.
posted by saladin at 3:01 PM on December 7, 2002


I think a lot of the NRA rhetoric about teaching children respect for guns is about preventing people from shooting themselves or other through a careless accident, not about preventing them from becoming murderers when they grow up. That's what normal morals and ethics (i.e. don't murder people) are for.

I also agree that if the person hadn't had a gun, he would have gone after his victim with a baseball bat, rammed him with his car, or something else. Violence was around before guns.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:32 PM on December 7, 2002


I also agree that if the person hadn't had a gun, he would have gone after his victim with a baseball bat, rammed him with his car, or something else. Violence was around before guns.

intercontinental travel was around before airplanes, but a lot more people do it now. It's a lot easier than it used to be. Beating someone to death with a baseball bat would take energy, strength, stamina, perserverence - and the victim would have a better chance at escaping or surviving or restraining the attacker.

Guns are machines; like other machines they are designed to make a particular thing easier, faster or more affordable to do. In the case of handguns, that thing is killing other human beings.

Cars are machines designed to make travel easier; being powerful machines they can also cause death or injury, and for this reason, people who want to drive must take lessons, take tests in use and in rules regarding said use, get a valid license, register their machine, pay insurance on possible negative consequences of using that machine, and have keys so that only the licensed owner of the vehicle may provide access to it. Why not have similar rules for firearms? Do people think the rules regarding cars are overly intrusive?
posted by mdn at 4:00 PM on December 7, 2002


I think their main argument is actually that responsible, law-abiding people should not be prevented by the government from possessing a firearm...An irresponsible person, no matter their parentage, in no way invalidates that argument.

Sure it does. It points out a problem inherent in it. All criminals are responsible citizens until they commit a crime. Due in large part to anti-gun control lobbying by the NRA, this irresponsible person was deemed responsible enough to have a gun.

Please tell me how many political groups' arguments or laws for that matter, apply in every case? We try to meet that standard, but don't you think that it's just a little unreasonable to expect perfection from an imperfect system run by imperfect people?

Not if the proponents of that system argue against all gun control. It seems to me that if they are doing that, they are claiming an infallible system, and should be held to account for it.

What other rights should we have these kinds of tests for though? Voting? Free speech? All rights are potentially dangerous to somebody, the only difference is the object and the immediacy.

Reductio ad absurdum. The universe doesn't grind to a halt if we call for tests to own a gun but not to speak freely. And if you can't see why it's more useful to gauge whether people are fit to have a deadly weapon than it is to test if they are fit to say what's on their mind, then I'm really sorry but I just can't go on with this.
posted by Hildago at 4:36 PM on December 7, 2002


I also agree that if the person hadn't had a gun, he would have gone after his victim with a baseball bat, rammed him with his car, or something else. Violence was around before guns.

I'm not so sure. owning a gun is far more empowering than owning a baseball bat.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:02 PM on December 7, 2002


I just commented on this front page post, over at MetaTalk, if anyone is interested.
posted by Beholder at 5:15 PM on December 7, 2002


Actually, saladin, most of the anti-BMW crowd you speak of don't hate the cars, they hate the people who drive them. It's part loathing of shallow American yuppie values, part envy.
posted by deadcowdan at 8:16 PM on December 7, 2002


Banning cars would prevent accidents, banning public speech would prevent offensive speech, banning sex would prevent the spread of AIDS, banning children would prevent child abuse, banning airplanes would prevent hijackings, and banning firearms would prevent people from getting shot

The difference being that when used correctly, cars, public speech, sex, children, and airplanes are all fairly useful and beneficial things.

While guns are really only good at killing.

Also, what mdn said.
posted by dogmatic at 8:22 PM on December 7, 2002


While guns are really only good at killing.

Incorrect. Guns are very good at credibly threatening bodily harm as a means of influencing other people's behaviour (to prevent them from taking your wallet, raping you, or otherwise doing you harm). Indeed, if you compare the number of times guns are used to kill someone vs. the number of times they're used as a means of defense, you'll find that the latter happens far more frequently.
posted by jaek at 9:18 PM on December 7, 2002


-Contrast gun ownership with the life work of Phillip Berrigan (WW2 vet), todays Mefi link re: obituary.
posted by troutfishing at 10:17 PM on December 7, 2002


Indeed, if you compare the number of times guns are used to kill someone vs. the number of times they're used as a means of defense, you'll find that the latter happens far more frequently.

Well, it's pretty hard to do that without maybe a link to some primary sources that back up that assertion. And of course by primary, I mean not from a pro-gun website that makes crazy spurious claims without backing themselves up.
posted by Hildago at 11:09 PM on December 7, 2002


Hildago - If you are actually interested in learning something about the beneficial uses of privately owned firearms, you might want to start with Lott's More Guns, Less Crime. A brief interview with the author that nicely summarizes the work can be found here.
posted by tcskeptic at 11:39 PM on December 7, 2002


Do people think the rules regarding cars are overly intrusive?
I do. Not a huge fan of cars or anything, (would like to see far less of them), but I do resent the intrusion required of someone who wants to operate a machine. Hell, If I was forced to choose something to ban in America, it would be the car, and about a hundred other things before I even considered removing guns.
posted by thirteen at 11:45 PM on December 7, 2002


don't hate the cars, they hate the people who drive them

I never got that. Why would people generalize that much? I once got into a little brawl on a parking lot when somebody cut me off and I showed him one of my fingers. He said that was 'typical bmw behavior'. Conveniently forgetting the fact that I would have smashed a ton of steel into his little citroen if it wasn't for quick reactionspeed. Do I hate citroen drivers now? No I don't. I do hate little pricks who cut me off.

Also if you know the anything about cars you'd know that the average 'family car' is more expensive than the standard bmw 3 series.
posted by sebas at 2:30 AM on December 8, 2002


Hildago - If you are actually interested in learning something about the beneficial uses of privately owned firearms, you might want to start with Lott's More Guns, Less Crime

Thanks for the link tcskeptic, but like I said I'd rather see the reports themselves rather than an analysis by someone like Trent Lott, who with all due respect is not one of the sources I'd look to for an objective take on the 2nd amendment. Just from doing my own research on the net, it's very easy to find sources that claim certain statistical evidence for their position, and others that try to refute those statistics in various ways.

For instance, it's so easy to find a number that says you're more likely to get killed by a gun than save someone with one if that's what you want to find, and on the other hand if you're looking for it you can very easily find a site that deconstructs that statistic and offerrs its own as a replacement. I'm getting jaded about the whole debate, so at this point all I want to see is a table of numbers collected by independent researches.
posted by Hildago at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2002


Thanks for the link tcskeptic, but like I said I'd rather see the reports themselves rather than an analysis by someone like Trent Lott, who with all due respect is not one of the sources I'd look to for an objective take on the 2nd amendment.
Youu got the wrong Lott. The book is by a John Lott.
posted by thirteen at 10:55 AM on December 8, 2002


Whoops, sorry.. I assumed it was Trent Lott and then googled this, so I assumed I was right. Then I ignored the header on the interview (and most of the interview). My bad.
posted by Hildago at 11:42 AM on December 8, 2002


... But the rest of it is true. Some dude talking about how other people's statistics are wrong and his are right isn't awfully persuasive.
posted by Hildago at 11:43 AM on December 8, 2002


I guess the US will never realise how weird their pro-gun 'rights' seem to the rest of the world. Surely it's fucked up to have people having a right to have the means of killing someone instantly to hand? Freedom by tyranny seems a bit two-faced to me.
posted by boneybaloney at 1:56 PM on December 8, 2002


Incorrect. Guns are very good at credibly threatening bodily harm as a means of influencing other people's behaviour

because it's capable of killing them. The machine is made to kill people. You can use it as a threat,

(to prevent them from taking your wallet, raping you, or otherwise doing you harm).

and so can they (the attackers)

Indeed, if you compare the number of times guns are used to kill someone vs. the number of times they're used as a means of defense, you'll find that the latter happens far more frequently.

All you're really saying here is that guns are taken out but not shot more often than they're actually used. Fine. But we don't really have a way to tell whether the gun was useful in defense. If the attacker doesn't have a weapon a good knee to the groin could be plenty. And in cases where something goes wrong - is it really better that someone is shot than that someone gets their wallet stolen? Sure, the latter sucks, but - well, I wouldn't vote for bernie goetz. I'm not saying that guns should be outlawed but just that gun owners should be held to the same sort of rules to which we hold car owners. Why not?
posted by mdn at 3:58 PM on December 8, 2002


I guess the US will never realize how weird their pro-gun 'rights' seem to the rest of the world.

The US is not exactly alone in holding this position. Several first world countries allow this freedom. My problem is that those who seek to ban access to these machines, only want to prevent some from owning them. No one seeks to disarm the police, or the army. I find them less trustworthy than my neighbors, and would feel much safer if they did not have them. The only time I ever see a gun is on a cop's hip, and it hardly makes me feel good.

Freedom by tyranny seems a bit two-faced to me.

As does tyranny for freedom. I do not ceed any authority to my fellow citizens to make my decisions for me. I do not accept your judgement on this, any more than I would seek out your advice on whether or not to have an abortion, or worry over your disapproval of my faith. Who are you anyway? If I misuse anything, and harm others, you have a point, but until then where is anyone getting their permission to decide what I can own? These arguments are circular. someone will say that this is "special" because it can only harm, someone will counter with one of the variations. My basic point is that it is wrong to punish the innocent, which the vast majority are.

is it really better that someone is shot than that someone gets their wallet stolen?

Without a doubt. Someone stole my DVD player 2 years ago, and I wish death on them all the time. If I could choose right now between having it back, and them being able to continue breathing I could decide in without any debate. If violence comes to them, they have no one else to blame.
posted by thirteen at 10:16 PM on December 8, 2002


You're kidding, right? You'd kill someone for something worth, at best, a couple hundred dollars? I mean, I understand the awful feeling of being violated when you're robbed, but, man, it's only STUFF, after all.
posted by crunchland at 10:39 PM on December 8, 2002


You could easily say "It is just stuff, not worth dying over" too. I do not wanna kill anyone, it is the last thing I wanna do, but I would have felt better about them being dead than I did about the fact that they came into my house and took my stuff, including a set of my keys. If I had to spend a couple of hours cleaning their blood off my walls I would have slept a great deal better than I did for a weeks after it all happened.
posted by thirteen at 11:01 PM on December 8, 2002


Blimey. That's fucked. I rest my case! I must be missing some irony, surely? Oh yeah, and by the way, it's okay for Iraq to have Weapons Of Mass Destruction, as long as they don't use them for bad stuff. It's their right, isn't it?
posted by boneybaloney at 11:58 PM on December 8, 2002


Blimey?

I thank geography that we do not share a country. My compliments on your ad hominem, first rate. Still, I will bite. I would think Iraq has as much right to them as your country or mine. Does your country have any "weapons of mass destruction"? Bet my country could take them away from you if the wind blows right. Must make you feel pretty good.

I am interested in peace, and I think there are better ways of governing that would not give anyone reason to use those weapons. Trying to make Iraq bend to our will, seems like a pretty good way to get them to use some of those weapons. Brilliant.
posted by thirteen at 12:30 AM on December 9, 2002


Someone stole my DVD player 2 years ago, and I wish death on them all the time.

.

keep typing and deleting, keep typing and deleting, keep typing and...
posted by Dick Paris at 2:49 AM on December 9, 2002


but I would have felt better about them being dead than I did about the fact that they came into my house and took my stuff, including a set of my keys. If I had to spend a couple of hours cleaning their blood off my walls I would have slept a great deal better than I did for a weeks after it all happened.

you probably should not own a gun.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:17 AM on December 9, 2002


you probably should not own a gun.

I do not own a gun, and am not in a big hurry to get one. I am sure if we knew each other I might be able to figure out something you should not be doing either, I just would not figure I had any right to tell you how to live your life.

Is there an noble history in banning things? You guys run with an ugly crowd.
posted by thirteen at 1:11 PM on December 9, 2002


Some people should not own guns 'for their own good'. A gun can do a hell of a lot of harm a lot easier than most things. Hell - guns are dangerous. They can kill in a second. This to me suggests that they need to be carefully treated by society and the individual.

Guns can make good people bad. Dammit, thirteen, you've just said :

" I would have felt better about them being dead than I did about the fact that they came into my house and took my stuff "

This is why people have insurance for God's sake. My house has been burgled 'nuff times and I know I can replace whatever and hell, I value my life and freedom more than my VCR.

It's not a question of imposing on your freedom. It's about creating a safe(r) society and show me a model of Utopia where everyone has guns. Second thoughts, I'm sure some jackass must've come up with one so don't bother.
posted by boneybaloney at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2002


I do not wanna kill anyone, it is the last thing I wanna do, but I would have felt better about them being dead than I did about the fact that they came into my house and took my stuff,

it is obviously not the last thing you want to do - it's ahead of getting robbed & calling the police on your list. Killing for a DVD player seems like a dangerous disregard for human life in my opinion. But really my point was, if the robber didn't have a gun, you could probably stop him without one yourself, and if he did have a gun, taking yours out would just up the probability that he would use it. So I don't know how much guns help in defense in the end.

Is there an noble history in banning things? You guys run with an ugly crowd.

first of all, are individual citizens allowed to own nuclear bombs? Hey, if the government can have them, why can't we? Why isn't it a fundamental human right to own massively destructive radioactive substances? There are plenty of things you're not allowed to have for the sake of a safer society. Maybe you trust your neighbors more than the gov't, but there are some fucked up people out there, and there's really no reason people need access to deadly substances (eg). As a group, a society, we've chosen to disallow things with such potential for harm.

secondly, no one here is saying guns ought to be banned - I think I made it extremely clear that all I'm suggesting is that guns be held to the same standards that cars are. They're dangerous machines & basic registration, licenses, insurance, etc, all seem perfectly reasonable to me. Guns are also only manufactured by a limited number of companies; they aren't a contraband you can grow in your basement, so we should be able to keep better track of them. There are plenty of modern technologies that could be used to make guns safer.

No one seeks to disarm the police, or the army. I find them less trustworthy than my neighbors, and would feel much safer if they did not have them. The only time I ever see a gun is on a cop's hip, and it hardly makes me feel good.

I agree that cops should be held to tighter standards regarding their use of firearms. They should be trained in techniques to disarm people without shooting and should be held fully responsible for whatever use they make of their guns. The amadou diallo case was a disgusting example of what concessions are allowed for cops.
posted by mdn at 3:59 PM on December 9, 2002


Hey Boney: I know I can replace whatever and hell, I value my life and freedom more than my VCR.

I appreciate your position, but I do not believe in Utopia, and I do not think your way will get us there. Guns are illegal where you live, isn't that enough for you?

I value my life highly too. I figure anyone who breaks into my house, and takes my stuff, may not care too much if they take my life while they are at it. Miserable bastards had a set of my keys, and I am supposed to be charitable towards them!? If they were cold and bloodless, I would have nothing to worry about, and it would not be like they did not have it coming. I am not hunting people here, they broke through a wooden door, and looted. I did not make a claim on my insurance, since that would just result in an additional punishment in bill form. I prefer the way where they are dead, and I have what I worked for, that the way where I lose my stuff, and get to pay additional bills forever.

MDN: You are not really engaging my opinions so much as you are dismissing them. I do not really mind, so long as you are in no position to enforce your will. I do accept your point about the order of things, and will freely admit that my DVD player is worth an infinite number of criminal human lives. It has nothing to do with my estimation of the value of human life so much as it is my opinion of right and wrong. I would sacrifice my precious DVD player to save your life, but I do not see why I should care about the life of someone who would violate me. You can disagree, but it should be no more acceptable that telling someone who has been raped that they should forgive their attacker. If you cannot find any useful purpose for a gun, then you certainly should not have one,

A gun vs. a nuclear weapon is a ridiculous comparison, but I am okay with it if that is how you are going to hold up your end. I do not know anyone capable of making a nuclear weapon. Maybe you do. If they are making them, they are probably making them for the government. Regardless, if they can make them, and have the will to do so, how am I going to stop them? People are not exactly asking my permission. I already said that I think cars are over regulated, and very similar to this argument. Claiming that you hold one bit of authority dear, will not convince me to let another freedom fall. Without that concession, you should recognize that you sound no different than a book burner to me.

Why isn't it a fundamental human right to own massively destructive radioactive substances?

As far as I know it is. Where do our rights come from? Certainly not from each other, we are merely acknowledging what we consider to be natural rights. If I can keep a radioactive substance without doing harm, you have no say. If I cause harm, you have a right and a responsibility to stop me, perhaps kill me. It is sad but necessary that we presume each other innocent. I do think you have the right to live as you please. I have no problem with people forming their own communities based on issues like this. If you can convince your neighbors to vote your state or city a gun free zone, more power to you. That gives me the choice to move out or in depending on my belief. handguns are illegal in my city, (this was not voted on however, so I consider it immoral) and I am obeying the law. If it were important to me, I would move.

Guns are also only manufactured by a limited number of companies; they aren't a contraband you can grow in your basement
I would not bet on that.

As a group, a society, we've chosen to disallow things with such potential for harm.

I do not recall a vote on anything like that. That is a wheel that will come back around, and it will steal more freedom later. Using society as weapon just encourages others to do the same. Guns this time, reproductive freedom next time. Wouldn't that be ironic.

Re: cops. I did not talk about a tighter standard, as much as I meant a double standard. I hate cops, but I recognize they have a crummy job. If you are going to give them guns, they are going to use them. Wishing for better cops if not going to make them better. I do not think anything can.
posted by thirteen at 9:41 PM on December 9, 2002


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