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As Brazil votes to ban guns, NRA joins the fight.
October 23, 2005 12:00 PM   Subscribe

As Brazil Votes to Ban Guns, NRA Joins the Fight. Today an estimated 122 million Brazilians will vote in a national referendum on whether to ban the sale of guns and ammunition to private citizens.
posted by furtive (89 comments total)

 
As a non-gun owning Second Amendment supporter, I'll say this: the NRA ceased being about gun rights years ago. They're simply a Republican party front organization at this point.
posted by jonmc at 12:04 PM on October 23, 2005


According to UNESCO, Brazil ranks second in deaths by guns, with 21.72 per 100,000 people a year. Venezuela has 34.3 gun deaths per 100,000. But in shantytowns like Vila do Joao, the rate rises to around 150 per 100,000. And for males between 17 and 24, the death rate is closer to 250 per 100,000.
posted by furtive at 12:09 PM on October 23, 2005


The National Rifle Association of America argues that gun control shifts the balance of power from the noncriminal to the criminal. ("If guns are outlawed, only outlaws..") It is interesting to me that they are so eager to stop what would be a natural experiment that could ultimately support their position. Gun control advocates argue that Brazil will have fewer gun crimes after a ban. The NRA position is that there will be more. Why is the NRA afraid to let this experiment play out? Hmmm?
posted by found missing at 12:11 PM on October 23, 2005


I wouldn't go quite that far, jonmc. The NRA gave Howard Dean an excellent rating, IIRC. That said - culturally speaking, you're probably more right than wrong in practice.

I'm likewise a non-gun owning Second Amendment supporter, but it seems like Brazil has a horrible cultural violence problem begging for a solution. Banning gun sales isn't going to cure it - those who specifically want guns for committing violence will have them regardless, and those that were going to commit violence with anything handy will simply reach for knives. So what would cure it?
posted by Ryvar at 12:12 PM on October 23, 2005


It is interesting to me that they are so eager to stop what would be a natural experiment that could ultimately support their position.

Because they already have one in the UK. Violent crime skyrocketed, but it's impossible to definitively say whether this was a direct result because narcotics gangs and their associated violence became established in England at roughly the same time.

Why is the NRA afraid to let this experiment play out? Hmmm?

Well, it's clear you've already reached your conclusion. Rock on with your open-mindedness there, chief.
posted by Ryvar at 12:16 PM on October 23, 2005


Sorry to express an opinion in a metafilter thread, chief.
posted by found missing at 12:19 PM on October 23, 2005


Why is an anti-gun-control group against a gun ban? Hmmm?

Well, it was a pretty stupid opinion, chief.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:26 PM on October 23, 2005


Why is the NRA afraid to let this experiment play out? Hmmm?

Because if they're right, more people will die, and they don't want that?
posted by Harald74 at 12:27 PM on October 23, 2005


Wrong. But, thanks for playing.
posted by found missing at 12:28 PM on October 23, 2005


Are you willing to try banning the internet to find out if it will reduce the amount of pron available to the children?
Yeah, I know. Bad analogy.
posted by notreally at 12:28 PM on October 23, 2005


Yeah, I know. Bad analogy.

Not really, it's all about fetishes, after all.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:34 PM on October 23, 2005


There's a difference between expressing an opinion and imparting that you possess knowledge of another party's hidden, malignant intent. You ascribed internal states to the NRA that you invented entirely on your own - namely that they were somehow "afraid" of the truth. That isn't "an opinion."
posted by Ryvar at 12:35 PM on October 23, 2005


As a non-gun owning Second Amendment supporter, I'll say this: the NRA ceased being about gun rights years ago. They're simply a Republican party front organization at this point.
You're right on the money jonmc. I took a couple of NRA training courses a year ago and they didn't even try to hide their political bias, Howard Dean's rating aside. This was in May 2004, the class was basically told to vote for Bush because Democrats will take your guns away and parallels were drawn with the Nazi party. Democrats also wouldn't have invaded Iraq and they're trying to make the bible illegal. incidentally Canada is a communist state - as an expatriate Canadian I was quite surprised! The course itself was good but shrill. The most telling part was the story telling session where the instructors all described their scary encounters. These include: Being FOLLOWED in Borders and high tailing it before they were robbed. Suspicious noises outside a hotel room (which turned out to be her husband returning with ice) and being followed on the interstate (but the followers got bored, or something, and left her alone) With their encouragement most of the class also volunteered their scary encounters with people who most likely were just going about their business.

I was also trained in how to behave to the police if I ever were to kill somebody in self defense: I was in fear for my life. Self defense could include the situation where a burglar is fleeing and you yell at him to get him to turn around.
posted by substrate at 12:37 PM on October 23, 2005


From the article:
"Brazil's gun makers have sweated bullets in recent years..."
Did they really have to make that pun?
posted by JohannStrauss at 12:39 PM on October 23, 2005


Let me put this more clearly for you, Ryvar. I'm suspicious that NRA is afraid to be proven wrong about one of their bedrock positions. My suspicion is only an opinion. I expressed that opinion. You attacked me for expressing that opinion, and some other dickhead said it was a stupid opinion. Fine, but if you weren't armed right now, I'd come over knock your two heads together.
posted by found missing at 12:43 PM on October 23, 2005


Banning guns just means that there will be a rise in hatchetings and machetteings. But, you know, at least it brings both sides of a conflict closer together.
posted by Balisong at 12:43 PM on October 23, 2005


I took a couple of NRA training courses a year ago and they didn't even try to hide their political bias, Howard Dean's rating aside.

Dean's high rating was probably a red herring to keep them from looking ridiculous. But, think about it: I imagine left-leaning folks in rural areas probably enjoy hunting as much as their conservative brethren*. But the NRA ceased to be about hunters a long time ago. Pips dad, a lifelong Democrat, had a nice .38 special he kept in his desk drawer. I don't own a a gun because I listened to my dad's answer when I asked him why we didn't own a gun-"If I did I would've shot you all by now."

*I've always been interested in hunting and enjoyed fishing when I've gotten the chance. And anyone who eats meat and looks down on hunters is the worst kind of hypocrite. But that's a whole other discussion.
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on October 23, 2005


So I'm assuming that all the rival gangs, drug lords, and corrupt police officers are shooting it out with legally bought firearms?
posted by enamon at 12:47 PM on October 23, 2005


Without guns, where would they get cultural material for movies like City of God? As an American who appreciates brilliant Brazilian movies, I'm afraid that this sort of thing could have a detrimental effect on their film industry, which I can appreciate from the safety of the middle of the United States.
posted by delmoi at 12:47 PM on October 23, 2005


I have no idea about the NRA's political leanings, other then that they seem to support republicans in general, while the ACLU mostly supports Democrats.

To me, civil liberties are civil liberties, and I think Americans should be able to own guns. Brazil seems to have a far worse gun violence problem, and it might be a good idea to restrict weapons for their people.
posted by delmoi at 12:52 PM on October 23, 2005


I have no idea about the NRA's political leanings, other then that they seem to support republicans in general, while the ACLU mostly supports Democrats.

Two of my cultural heroes, James McMurtry and David Mamet (NTM my old anarchist hunter buddy Jody) are cross-enrolled in both. (McMurtry has quit the NRA over their Republican boosterism).
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on October 23, 2005


Yeah I gotta agree that banning legal gun sales will have little affect on the gun violence rate. In South Africa (a country with the same problem with violence) the government has made it much more difficult to purchase a gun, but it has had little affect on violence. Criminals who want guns don't care that they're legally bought. South America.
posted by PenDevil at 1:02 PM on October 23, 2005


which I can appreciate from the safety of the middle of the United States.

I can hear a dozen smug Canadian pinkos laughing at this one already. Bastards.

Brazil seems to have a far worse gun violence problem, and it might be a good idea to restrict weapons for their people.

Even if we assume a major cultural proclivity for criminal violence, I don't understand how the ban is supposed to solve anything. Generally speaking one would assume gun violence arises from two sources - those who are established criminals and are already in possession of a firearm due to it being a tool of their 'trade,' and those who use a gun to commit violence in a crime of passion. The former are simply going to go border-hopping, and the latter will simply use knives. I don't understand how this ban improves the situation. Maybe they need to ban Grand Theft Auto games (kidding, obviously).
posted by Ryvar at 1:05 PM on October 23, 2005


It is interesting to me that they are so eager to stop what would be a natural experiment that could ultimately support their position.

So we should ban abortion just show them Pro-Lifers we were right about all the teenage girls dying as a result of using back-alley abortions and coat hangers? Pretty fucked up logic.
posted by tkchrist at 1:08 PM on October 23, 2005


Wrong. But, thanks for playing.

Well, that was certainly enlightening...
posted by Harald74 at 1:09 PM on October 23, 2005


I'll say this: the NRA ceased being about gun rights years ago.
posted by jonmc at 12:04 PM PST on October 23 [!]


Agreed.

I'm unclear what business is it of the NRA's what Brazil does.

I really couldn't care less if they have oodles of guns and the right to bear arms or their policies on private ownership of weaponry are tighter than any other country in the world. Were I still paying dues to the NRA I'd be upset they were using my money for that.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:15 PM on October 23, 2005


Even if we assume a major cultural proclivity for criminal violence, I don't understand how the ban is supposed to solve anything. Generally speaking one would assume gun violence arises from two sources - those who are established criminals and are already in possession of a firearm due to it being a tool of their 'trade,' and those who use a gun to commit violence in a crime of passion. The former are simply going to go border-hopping, and the latter will simply use knives. I don't understand how this ban improves the situation.

It will only slightly. For a while.

See. What it WILL do is drive up the price of black-market guns so gun running becomes so highly profitable that an entire new criminal class will evolve. But other crime gangs will get priced out of the automatic weapon market and have to rely on plain 'ol battery and thuggery.

Low-level street criminals will then have to increase their rate of crime in order to maximize profit to afford guns.

Rich people will STILL have all the guns. And honest poor people will get fucked. Again.
posted by tkchrist at 1:16 PM on October 23, 2005


Eh, I don't see the ALCU telling you to vote for a canidate. They may have pointed out that one canidate's stance on civil liberties is better than another, but it isn't nearly as blatant as the NRA's promotion of their pet canidates. Plus the ALCU doesn't have nearly the amount of money and influence in congress that the NRA does. Most of the ALCU's power comes from their dedication to overturning bad laws.
posted by Talanvor at 1:23 PM on October 23, 2005


Pretty fucked up logic.

No, false analogies are fucked up logic. By definition.
posted by found missing at 1:24 PM on October 23, 2005


"...So what would cure it?"
posted by Ryvar at 3:12 PM EST on October 23 [!]


I don't know that I would agree with you, Ryvar, that a ban on guns and ammo won't have a big impact on the cultural violence problem. For one thing, a ban will cause the price of ammo to go up sharply and perhaps the reduce its availability, and maybe kids in the favelas above Rio [link warning: 180 page .pdf file of an academic study from 2002] won't be shooting off full-auto AK-47 bursts with the frequency they do now. With fewer stray rounds down on the beaches, it might be safer to play soccer down there, and maybe the girls will come back to Ipanema.
posted by paulsc at 1:24 PM on October 23, 2005


Violent crime skyrocketed since the UK handgun ban, did it, Ryvar? Not according to the British Crime Survey statistics for violent crime. According to the BCS, violent crime peaked in 1995, and is back down to early-1980s levels.

Gun violence needs three things: assholes, guns, bullets. Remove any one of the three, and the problem goes away.
posted by scruss at 1:27 PM on October 23, 2005


Gun violence needs three things: assholes, guns, bullets.

I agree with your premise, but too bad outlawing doesn't help. Brazil might as well try to outlaw assholes...
posted by Harald74 at 1:29 PM on October 23, 2005


If the NRA is going international, shouldn't they change the name to the IRA?
posted by scottreynen at 1:31 PM on October 23, 2005


Ryvar - "...in the UK. Violent crime skyrocketed, but it's impossible to definitively say whether this was a direct result because narcotics gangs and their associated violence became established in England at roughly the same time."

Violent crime in England is super high because we an awful lot of people getting shitfaced and violent 3 days of the week. Gun crimes have certainly increased by a huge percentage in the past 10-15 years but are still a tiny percentage of the total "violent" crimes reported in the UK. Certain cities like London, Manchester and Nottingham have reputations for gun crime but you'd have to be living in some pretty specific places doing pretty specific activities to become a victim. I would be very interested in seeing how many victims of violence in the UK end up dead in comparison to US victims as my personal opinion is that it's better to get a smack in the mouth or a knife in the gut than shot anywhere. A gun's comparative lethality and simplicity in allowing the user to kill at a distance mean it's easier to end someone's life than it is with a blade. If you take guns from citizens, yes, hardcore criminals will still have them but your citizens will have less chance to kill each other with such ease.

Strangely, despite this attitude I do support private gun ownership and when I move to the US in the next 5 years or so I will purchase my own firearms. I believe it to be a perfectly acceptable thing to own a gun, I just think some people are too immature (for want of a better word) to do so. If you're a wife beating shit and you have a gun in the house there's a good chance one of you is likely to get shot one day.
posted by longbaugh at 1:35 PM on October 23, 2005


Ryvar: "they will simply use knives" doesn't cut it, pardon the expression.

The point of guns is that gunshot wounds are more likely to be fatal, and guns are more likely to be used than knives, all other things being equal. Guns make it too easy, basically.

Also, what paulsc said.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:35 PM on October 23, 2005


scruss: VIOLENT crime. Not necessarily firearm related crime. The US had a massive drop in crime rate over the past 10 years too but did not go through any major firearm legislation changes. Yes, the UK passed a bill banning handguns and yes violent crime went down but are those two causes related?

You state that violent crime peaked in the UK during 1995 and then started dropping afterwards. However, the handgun ban was only instated in 1997. Also there was a major rise in violent crime in 1991. Could this be attributed to some sort of legislation being passed favoring firearm ownership? Or could it be that other factors play a much bigger role in the rate of violent crime?
posted by enamon at 1:38 PM on October 23, 2005


Well, Canada restrictions on handgun and concealed carry yet it's hardly a dangerous society. I grew up in Windsor ON, population approximately 300000 people. The murder rate is about 0.96/100000 people. I now live in Eau Claire WI, population around 80000 with a murder rate of 2.8/100000 people.

Windsor is about 5 minutes from Detroit MI. I've never tried but I doubt it'd take more than 15 minutes to find a gun in Detroit.

I grew up with handguns in the house and most people I knew had at least one shotgun or rifle so I don't think that the concentration of firearms is the problem. I also don't think that suppression of firearms causes a problem either. Canada's most murderous city, Sudbury ON has a murder rate of 3.2/100000 people. The national average for the US is 5.6/100000, so if a relatively handgun free society really is at the mercy of the armed thugs then Canada should be a dangerous place.

Race isn't the issue either. Windsor was far more ethnically diverse than Eau Claire is.

Statistics are from 2001, links are:

Canada
United States

I'm not at all against the 2nd amendment incidentally. I'm just pointing out that the NRA is dishonest as far as cause and effect goes.
posted by substrate at 1:40 PM on October 23, 2005


Because they already have one in the UK. Violent crime skyrocketed

Pardon? Guns are incredibly rare in the UK and always have been. There's no reason to think banning them had any effect on crime rates. Gun crime is also very rare - a person being shot still makes the national news.
posted by cillit bang at 1:41 PM on October 23, 2005


I'm just wondering what is holding back the NRA from changing it's name to the IRA. Anyone? Anyone?
posted by furtive at 1:45 PM on October 23, 2005


scruss: VIOLENT crime. Not necessarily firearm related crime.

Thank you.
posted by Ryvar at 1:50 PM on October 23, 2005


Let's try a different tack. If people are easily smuggled into this country and grass is smuggled in by the ton, why wouldn't guns and ammo be smuggled in?
People like me would then be reluctant to purchase a firearm because we are intrinsically law abiding. Yet the people presently using guns to commit crime would have a tendency to buy in the black market and continue shooting people like me if I attempt to resist them.
Oh, wait. I get it. It is my own fault if I attempt to resist some thug. It's only my material property. I shouldn't risk my life trying to keep it.
Got it. Sorry. Silly me. I almost forgot what Koch used to preach to me about the hoodlums snatching gold chains from us in the 70's-80's.
posted by notreally at 1:53 PM on October 23, 2005


Ah you Americans and your guns. So funny. So fucking pathetic. We can throw around statistics all day about relative amounts of gun deaths in different countries versus gun laws, and the gun advocates will never accept the simple relationship between owning guns, and killing innocent people instantly with the very same fucking guns.

As for whether the NRA are worried about being proven wrong - well they're already making shit up to try and prove their point. Here in Australia, following a horriffic mass murder about a decade ago, the government banned automatic and semi-automatic weapons and introduced a gun buy-back scheme. The NRA released a video, using Australia as an example, claiming that since the gun ban, violence had skyrocketed, crime had skyrocketed, old age pensioners were scared in their homes because their guns had been taken away.

Absolute bullshit. The crime rate hadn't increased. No-one was scared. Their whole argument was based on a false premise. Australians, apparently being a lot braver than gun-toting Yanks, didn't even own guns for self defense. We don't. Really. I know a total of three people who own guns. Two have air-rifles, and the third is a farmer who has a shotgun for shooting rabbits and foxes. The idea that Australians were now living in fear because their semi-automatics had been taken away was not only a lie, but was based on the false premise that Australians owned guns in the first place. The NRA are assholes.
posted by Jimbob at 2:00 PM on October 23, 2005


Violent crime skyrocketed since the UK handgun ban, did it, Ryvar? Not according to the British Crime Survey statistics for violent crime. According to the BCS, violent crime peaked in 1995, and is back down to early-1980s levels.

Not only that, but it isn't like any significant number of Brits ran around with guns before the ban. While the gun rights changed indeed, the actual number of guns in private hands did not.
posted by uncle harold at 2:20 PM on October 23, 2005


The NRA's basic position rests on a single mythic vision: the shootout, the exchange of gunfire, mano a mano or womano a womano, noncriminal against criminal. At the core of the thought process is a vision of two people resolving serious conflict by standing firm and pumping lead at each other until one or the other ceases to breathe. Now obviously since, somehow someplace, this deadly scenario may well be played out in anyones life, well - everyone needs to be armed. It's pretty simple really and the only possible argument against the NRA's basic position is to argue against that vision, put it in perspective likelihoodwise.

However, unlike in Australia or Canada it's too late for this to work out in the U.S anyway. There are already so many weapons floating around it would take generations before any kind of ban of any description would have any discernable effect.
posted by scheptech at 2:24 PM on October 23, 2005


It is interesting to me that they are so eager to stop what would be a natural experiment that could ultimately support their position.

Good point.
posted by j-urb at 2:50 PM on October 23, 2005


It is interesting to me that they [the NRA] are so eager to stop what would be a natural experiment that could ultimately support their position.

No need for such an experiment. The correlation between gun deaths and the relative ease to buy guns is well-established.

In South Africa, Brazil, Russia, the U.S. etc. it is comparatively easy to get hold of a gun, hence there are many gun deaths.
In most parts of Europe and Asia (e.g. Japan, Korea) it is very difficult to buy guns, and there are much fewer or virtually no gun deaths.

This general correlation is so blatantly obvious that it boggles the mind that there are people out there disputing it. Surely someone will point to Canada in a minute, but that's just the exception that proves the rule.
posted by sour cream at 2:59 PM on October 23, 2005


If Canada is the "exception that proves the rule" (a mindless phrase if there ever was one), how does one explain Switerland?
posted by Kwantsar at 3:16 PM on October 23, 2005



In South Africa, Brazil, Russia, the U.S. etc. it is comparatively easy to get hold of a gun, hence there are many gun deaths.
In most parts of Europe and Asia (e.g. Japan, Korea) it is very difficult to buy guns, and there are much fewer or virtually no gun deaths.


Sure. And it's very hard to buy gay porno in Iran, and sure enough there are not very many people who claim to be gay. Hmm...
posted by delmoi at 3:24 PM on October 23, 2005


Kwantsar, you mean the rifles that every soldier in the Swiss national reserve keeps under their bed?

I don't think it is particularly surprising that this causes little violence. A) They are being trained on those guns (i.e. taught how dangerous they are) and B) there are probably stiff fines on using them for anything but protection of the motherland.

Secondly, don't forget that most Swiss men don't want to own a gun, but are just doing as they need to under their constitution. This is in opposition to places where you actively need to go out to buy a gun if you want to own one. So you can't really compare ownership levels in Switzerland with those in less developed places of the world.

delmoi, I don't understand your point.
posted by sour cream at 3:28 PM on October 23, 2005


delmoi: Does gay porn cause gayness? I'm actually a 2nd Ammendment supporter, but I'm having trouble with your comparison here...
posted by brundlefly at 3:33 PM on October 23, 2005


While I support gun control and regulation, I do not believe it is a good idea to make the owning of guns by citizens illegal; I do believe that citizens deserve the right to arm themselves when the need arises. What this has to do with the 2nd Admendment I'm not sure, since the admendment doesn't mention guns or citizens.
posted by spira at 3:51 PM on October 23, 2005


Okay, so some people did not like the question asking why the NRA would not want to see Brazil ban handguns to test out their own theory.

But how about this one: Why do Second Amendment advocates (NRA, for example) not file suit that their rights under the Second Amendment have been violated when there is some sort of gun control law passed? Why would they not want a definitive Supreme Court decision explaining what the hell the Second Amendment even means? Is the right restricted to a state militia? What does "arms" mean? What kinds of guns can we own? Who can own them? Are the Second Amendment advocates perhaps uncertain as to what the Supreme Court might say about those alleged rights?
posted by flarbuse at 4:03 PM on October 23, 2005


In an NPR story I heard this weekend, most of people against the ban said they were more scared of the police than the criminal gangs and didn't want the police to be the only ones armed. Fear of government is talked about by the NRA, but recent history gives people in South America a lot of examples.
posted by 445supermag at 4:04 PM on October 23, 2005


I'm unclear what business is it of the NRA's what Brazil does.

Huh? They're American. Sticking their noses in other countries' business is their business.
posted by dobbs at 4:19 PM on October 23, 2005


The Brazillian problem is cultural, its not the guns which are killing people, its th people who are killing other people.
re gun control:
1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
3. Glock: The original point and click interface.
4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.
5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
8. If you don't know your rights you don't have any.
9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights reserved.
11. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?
12. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.
13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and liberals.
15. Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.
16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
17. 911 - government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
19. Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer.
20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.
21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them..
22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
23. Enforce the "gun control laws" we have, don't make more.
24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.
25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.
posted by garficher at 4:44 PM on October 23, 2005


Kwantsar writes "If Canada is the 'exception that proves the rule' (a mindless phrase if there ever was one), how does one explain Switerland?"

Well Sour Cream explained the obvious, but the other point is that the Swiss control access to ammunition to a greater degree than the US. There was a thread a while back talking about this, and if I remember when a Swiss male travels to and from the range with their rifle (not handguns btw) they must have their weapon unloaded. As well, they are issued x amount of bullets to keep at their residence, and that ammo is sealed and checked on a yearly basis.

Here's a Wiki article on it.
posted by smcniven at 4:53 PM on October 23, 2005


This post brought to you by your friend in the NRA under the awesome title "How to argue with libruls want to take your guns". I personally hope it was comedy.
posted by longbaugh at 5:02 PM on October 23, 2005


Nope, True gun control can only be acheived with a keen eye and a steady hand. Its called hitting your target
posted by garficher at 5:17 PM on October 23, 2005


How can you keep a steady hand with your knee jerking like that?
posted by found missing at 5:25 PM on October 23, 2005


Its easy, my gov't trained me to keep a steady hand thirty years ago, I came back. It must have stayed steady enough to get me home.
posted by garficher at 5:27 PM on October 23, 2005


Fuck me, that's retarded.
posted by longbaugh at 5:49 PM on October 23, 2005


This government you speak of, garfincher, is it the same one you're now apparently deathly afraid of?
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:03 PM on October 23, 2005


How very consice you appear longbaugh.
Afraid of my gov't. schoolgirl? No, not really. I am not a subject, I am a citizen. (re: my earlier post)
posted by garficher at 6:11 PM on October 23, 2005


Sour Cream:

In South Africa, Brazil, Russia, the U.S. etc. it is comparatively easy to get hold of a gun, hence there are many gun deaths.
In most parts of Europe and Asia (e.g. Japan, Korea) it is very difficult to buy guns, and there are much fewer or virtually no gun deaths.


You're kidding me, right? South Africa, Brazil (disarmament law passed in 2003), and Russia have the most stringent gun control laws on the books. Most firearm related deaths in those areas are due to illegal weapons.

Face it, making guns illegal has very little, if any, effect on the crime rate. Also, high rates of legal firearm ownership do not result in high firearm-related crime rates. I think Finland is a very good example of this. It has some of the most lenient firearm legislation in the world yet it also has a very low firearm-related crime rate.
posted by enamon at 6:16 PM on October 23, 2005


Well initially I wrote a massive long post shooting (hah!) down each point in that tragic emailed circular you posted but then I figured "why bother?" and just cut out everything after the bit I did leave. Sorry if you feel let down about that but if you can't see the total crap in what you posted there I am afraid that I just cannot help you.
posted by longbaugh at 6:19 PM on October 23, 2005


OTOH, making guns illegal on an island might work out ok.
posted by smackfu at 6:20 PM on October 23, 2005


longbaugh: Not to wory- not bothered, and I didn't ask for help with my viewpoint.
Even though most of my viewpoints are open for a second look at times.
posted by garficher at 6:30 PM on October 23, 2005


Must be a shame to have given up on learning completely.
posted by longbaugh at 6:33 PM on October 23, 2005


...Even though most of my viewpoints are open for a second look at times.
it didn't compute?
posted by garficher at 6:55 PM on October 23, 2005


garficher: You transcribed a bunch of bumper stickers. Do you expect people to take that seriously?
posted by brundlefly at 7:00 PM on October 23, 2005


My apologies for not being clear. I certainly didn't mean to indicate that you had given up learning anything at all, just in regards to some of them "at times".

As a matter of interest would you accomodate an alternate viewpoint on the matter of firearms ownership?
posted by longbaugh at 7:06 PM on October 23, 2005


Of course, when it can be shown that every criminal who might care to show up at my front door has nothing more than a club in his hand. AND I still have the right to bear a club in defense.
As to the concept of a violent overthrow of the current gov't. Not a real possibility as I see it, and not really needed until the ballot box is taken away from us, or if the ballot box is irrelavant, such as was the case in Iraq
My reason for being armed is twofold:
a] The concept of personal defense.
b] The logisitics of placing a small chunk of lead into a one inch circle at varying distances is fun.
as a side note, if i can't get that little piece of sushi under the 'e' out of my keyboard I may shoot this keyboard
posted by garficher at 7:16 PM on October 23, 2005


Face it, making guns illegal has very little, if any, effect on the crime rate.

On the gun related crime rate? Sure it does. But. Once guns are ALREADY prevalent in a society it doesn't do much. Well. Not for decades, anyway.

If the Brazilians want to outlaw guns. Who cares? It's none of an American lobbying groups business.

But the fact is the Oligarchies down in south America has been able to throw weight around because they have had a lock on wealth and weaponry for a centuries. And then over the last forty years the poor started arming themselves and talking Leftist, talking union, talking revolution.

So the rich people brought in goons and drugs and the poor predictably turned on themselves. Sound familiar?

The question is: Without guns you think those people will ever turn things around? Probably not. Though they didn't do too well WITH guns.

As for the NRA. Fuck them. I'm a gun owner. A second amendment advocate. And I have no use for them. What they want is a ready-made lapdog goon squad at the beck and call of the far right. Free thinkers need not apply.

But the modern gooey left is so fucking reactionary about guns - I don't get it. They essentially fall for the elitist Aristocratic "disarm the unwashed" meme - only dressed up as concern for our safety of the poor silly dears. Y'all need to get over that.
posted by tkchrist at 7:17 PM on October 23, 2005


Man... I didn't read that before I posted. It made sense in my head. I swear. Sorry.
posted by tkchrist at 7:20 PM on October 23, 2005


Update: Reuters says the gun ban failed.

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Oct 23 (Reuters) - From sprawling cities plagued by violence to the backwaters of the Amazon, Brazilians voted decisively on Sunday to keep gun sales legal in the country with the world's highest death toll from firearms.

About 64 percent rejected banning arms sales in the nationwide referendum, the electoral court said, with more than 90 percent of the expected 122 million votes counted.

Only 36 percent supported the ban, even though some 36,000 people were killed by guns last year in Latin America's largest country. Full results were expected on Monday.

"We didn't lose because Brazilians like guns. We lost because people don't have confidence in the government or the police," said Denis Mizne of anti-violence group Sou da Paz.

posted by sbutler at 7:21 PM on October 23, 2005


I often carry a gun, either for work or for hunting and I really think it is a shame that the NRA has choosen to become such a ridiculous paranoid lowest-common-denominator kind of organisation. In a country with such high participation in hunting and recreational shooting gun safety training should be available without partisan/ borderline psychotic fantasies thrown in but it surprisingly hard to find. I say this as someone who has to go through safety training on a regular basis: most people who offer it are nuts with a N. The NRA should be promoting responsible ownership and leading by example, instead this is left up to local or state hunters groups, none of whom deal with handguns and which are variable in quality (though often excellent).

And fwiw, i often openly carry a .44 or a .357 for protection (from bears, it's lighter than a 12 gauge and we have to take one or the other) and I've never found such an effective method of meeting complete and utter tools. They literally come out of the woods, wanting to talk to me about their weird ass conspiracy theories and alternating between jerking off about the current administration and explaining how we should all be ready to overthrow the govt. at any minute. Luckily I'm armed.
posted by fshgrl at 7:29 PM on October 23, 2005


Please don't think I am picking on you at all garfincher. I fully agree that shooting is great fun and we're also agreed that armed resistance against the government is a fantasy but, I've asked this of other gun owners before and never really had a satisfactory answer.

You say
"...when it can be shown that every criminal who might care to show up at my front door has nothing more than a club in his hand AND I still have the right to bear a club in defense..."

To which my question is
Have you ever been a victim of a crime which would have resulted in harm coming to you had you not been armed?

If the answer to that question is positive - if you were in the same situation again without a firearm what do you think would have happened?

p.s. don't shoot the keyboard!
posted by longbaugh at 7:36 PM on October 23, 2005


This general correlation is so blatantly obvious that it boggles the mind that there are people out there disputing it. Surely someone will point to Canada in a minute, but that's just the exception that proves the rule.

Coincidentally, the countries you listed having high gun-ownership and gun-related deaths (South Africa, Brazil, Russia, the U.S. etc.) also have high wealth disparity.

Also coincidentally, the countries you listed as having low gun-ownership and gun-related deaths [most parts of Europe and Asia (e.g. Japan, Korea)] have low wealth disparity, or high enough social welfare to eliminate the need for gun-related crimes among the poor.

Not-so-coincidentally, Canada and Switzerland fit neatly into this "coincidence." But I'm sure you're not really interested in the causes for gun violence, are you? Let's just agree that correlation = causation and be done with it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:11 PM on October 23, 2005


Civil_Disobedient:

I wouldn't even say that there is a correlation.
posted by enamon at 8:17 PM on October 23, 2005


I own about 24 rifles, from pellet guns, .22 - 30-06 (some are over 100 years old), a couple black powder .50 cal's. and a shotgun. I also own about 17 pistols, again from pellet through .45, with some black powder ones thrown in. I even have some totally useless/cool ones like the Tec-9 and Cobray M-11.

I have only ever shot at paper targets, pop cans, and clay pigeons.
I have never owned a hunting license, although I might try that out someday.

I started my collection just before Clinton got into office, and the scare tactic was that the evil lefty democrats were going to ban guns. I figured that if it was that bad for you, I better get one. I began to stock up before Y2K, and I was ready to take care of myself when it passed.
I keep these guns around for the time they will be needed to protect my life and freedom from those that would take those things away.

I find it ironic that the only time in my lifetime that anyone has followed through with the conspiracy theory of; 'they'll go door to door and clean out your guns' has just happened under Bush's reign.
posted by Balisong at 8:28 PM on October 23, 2005


longbaugh: "Guns are used defensively, according to some estimates, more than 2 million times annually – four times more than the estimated use of a gun in commission of a crime." -- San Fran Police Oppose Gun Ban

There are a lot of interesting statistics in that article, recommended read for anyone interested in the topic. However, for me, the bottom line is that the 2nd amendment exists because we believe that people have a fundamental right to protect themselves. Whether they're protecting themselves from crime, gov't, animals, etc, isn't as important as the simple fact that they have the right to do so. No amount of statistics regarding what bad people do with guns will convince me that they should be outlawed, especially when there are so many conflicting statistics. (See the article I linked for statistics that support legality of guns having little impact on gun violence.)
posted by knave at 12:04 AM on October 24, 2005


I just looked up the cite for that statistic - it's from a man named Gary Kleck who is vehemently against gun control. Shall we agree that perhaps he is not the best person to listen to regarding this query?

Based on statistics from the CIA Factbook - as of Jun '05 the US Population was ~296 million. If we assume that the the figure of 39% of households owning firearms is correct that means 240 million legal firearms are owned by 115.5 million people that means just over 2% of owners have been involved in a defensive gun use (DGU) incident in the last year.

I find this extremely difficult to believe and would be interested in hearing from MeFi gun owners in the USA who have been involved in a DGU incident. My personal opinion (which I am willing to change) is that the ownership and use of a firearm in most arguments or situations pending danger would escalate the incident.
posted by longbaugh at 7:24 AM on October 24, 2005


Somebody should probably note here that the Brazilian gun ban went down 2 to 1 among voters.
posted by Heminator at 7:46 AM on October 24, 2005


C_D: Not-so-coincidentally, Canada and Switzerland fit neatly into this "coincidence." But I'm sure you're not really interested in the causes for gun violence, are you? Let's just agree that correlation = causation and be done with it.

Actually, I think you are probably right, Civil. But income disparity cannot be the only factor. There are other countries with large income disparity (say, India, Turkey or China), yet you don't hear anything about gun-related crimes being a particular problem in those countries.

So while I agree that income disparity is probably another factor that fits into the equation, my original assertion (i.e. easier access to guns will lead to more gun-related deaths) still stands.
posted by sour cream at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2005


Why do Second Amendment advocates (NRA, for example) not file suit that their rights under the Second Amendment have been violated when there is some sort of gun control law passed?
posted by flarbuse at 4:03 PM PST on October 23 [!]

I don’t think either side wants to fully settle the question. Also I suspect they wouldn’t trust a current ruling on what is considered a foregone conclusion.


I concede the point that easier access to guns will lead to more gun-related deaths.
It’s illogical not to.
However what the nature and character of those deaths would be is debatable.


I don’t need a pistol for self-defense.
All of my firearms are well-locked away. Some folks are lax with locking them up, to me it’s a ritual.
Perhaps when I get older. For now I have my knives. (Gerber MK II and a Cold Steel Peacekeeper - perhaps the finest killing knives invented)

For me, if I engage someone in darkness with a knife, I can tell immediately whether it’s an intruder or someone who is supposed to be there (a kid, grandma, etc.) I don’t have that margin of safety with a firearm.

I will point out that more people die when wounded with a knife than a handgun.
However not everyone can fight with a knife, so I recognize that it’s a useful tool for defense.

My main objections to gun control are that there are rulings on the books that state that the police aren’t obligated to help you; that in the several minutes response time you can be killed/hurt/etc.; and that although it does seem contradictory - the 2nd amendment is there to protect you from the government.

The 2nd amendment, ultimately, forces them to kill you in order to violate your rights. The government cannot decimate large swaths of it’s people without suffering a revolution. So any government pressing it’s powers will ultimately remove the weapon du jour from it’s citizens.


I will favor gun control as soon as they stop making them and the police stop carrying them. Until then I will insist on my right to be as well armed as any individual or group - of cops or what have you, who think they can push me around with impunity because they have the threat of violence or subjugation by numbers on their side.

Inside 15 feet I could probably take 3 or 4 cops with just my knife. But if the black mariahs start showing up I’d want to forsake the advantage of silence and wake the neighbors up to what’s going on in their neighborhoods.


Crime is crime. It sucks.
But there must be some sacrifices for our liberties. You either favor more safety or more liberty. If you favor more safety I would argue that there are better methods to reduce crime than to remove firearms.
Socio-economic equality for starters.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:39 PM on October 24, 2005


Smedleyman, interesting comment, just want to point out that safety vs liberty in this case is a false dichotomy. There is plenty of evidence that indicates an armed populace is simultaneously safe and free. There is little evidence to indicate that gun control measures have made cultures in general any safer, while it is clear that gun control removes freedom.
posted by knave at 3:20 PM on October 24, 2005


longbaugh:
p.s. don't shoot the keyboard!
I accept discourse for what it is - discourse.
The answer is yes twice my .357 has prevented problems.
The THREAT of having a 168 gr. mercury filled slug in there head persuaded the crackheads to leave my front porch (with their hands where I could see them until they were out of sight.
(note: this is not some urban ghetto I live in, the homes run from 350K to 1.2 m.)
The lesson for me was - be prepared.
posted by garficher at 7:26 PM on October 24, 2005


false dichotomy...There is little evidence to indicate that gun control measures have made cultures in general any safer, while it is clear that gun control removes freedom.
posted by knave at 3:20 PM PST on October 24 [!]


Agreed. I just got lazy and rather'd present the general philosophy.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:43 PM on October 24, 2005


Brazilian referendum loses bigtime.

"We didn't lose because Brazilians like guns. We lost because people don't have confidence in the government or the police," said Denis Mizne of anti-violence group Sou da Paz.

posted by jfuller at 3:07 AM on October 25, 2005


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