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Gun control the smart way.
March 14, 2001 6:24 AM   Subscribe

Gun control the smart way. I abhor the idea of people taking away my right to own guns or impinge on said freedom. However, this approach is much better than a nation-wide movement. We Texans get to keep our guns and you Californians can get rid of yours.
posted by CRS (49 comments total)

 
CRS,

I was wondering if you have ever read the entire text of the second amendment. If you haven't read it, please do. I would love to hear you explain, to me, how it has any relevance in today's society.

IMHO, the American gun lobby has the blood of countless thousands on its collective shoulders.
posted by saturn5 at 6:41 AM on March 14, 2001


CRS: troll.
posted by Karl at 6:44 AM on March 14, 2001


Only national gun control measure can really control things, unless you want to have guarded borders at the edge of states. Over 90% of the guns used in crimes in NY state come from other states, often fairly distant ones like Florida where gun laws are lax. It's practically an import business.

As much as I believe that responsible people should be allowed to own guns, as a nation we have not shown the same kind of responsibility as European nations where each house has a rifle (for military service.) It's fairly obvious that our culture and society do not safely support widespread gun ownership. An armed society is either a civil society (as some would believe) or a warring one.
posted by tomkarlo at 6:47 AM on March 14, 2001


I was wondering if you have ever read the entire text of the second amendment. If you haven't read it, please do.
You can do so here. There's a whole bunch of other source info on the second amendment as well.
Other options: (1) Talk to an expert at your local (or not so local) university. (2) Read some fun and helpful review articles.
Either way you feel about the gun control debate, you'll probably find that knowledge is a pretty powerful weapon too. (Of course, you may also find that things aren't always simply black and white. But that's the risk you take.)
posted by iceberg273 at 6:57 AM on March 14, 2001


Wow. This was never meant as a troll, just to bring up an alternative to the national gun control initiative which seems to be at a standstill.

Saturn5: I have read the 2nd Amendment along with the rest of the Constitution. Whether you agree or disagree that it is currently relevant has no weight. It's the law until legally changed with a constitutional amendment.

Karl: How is this a troll?


posted by CRS at 6:59 AM on March 14, 2001


Hey! Fuck you Karl! Troll off, won't you?
posted by tiaka at 7:13 AM on March 14, 2001


I think that CRS may have a point. Although the second amendment discusses the right of people to bear arms in the context of a militia, some state constitutions include the right to bear arms in the context of individual defense (e.g. CT and KY). Others only include the right to bear arms in the context of a militia (and in place of a standing army - see VA and NC). (info from the first link I posted above). So it looks like the right to bear arms was, at least to some degree, a state issue to begin with. Thus, it would seem to me that the states should be responsible to some degree for their gun laws. In light of state constitutions, how much power does the federal government have to enforce a national gun control policy? How do federal - state governments interact here in the US?
Caveats: IANACS (I am not a constitutional scholar) and this iceberg hails from Canada (but lives in gun lovin' Michigan (Michigan State Constitution (1963) Article 1. Sec. 6. Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state). I'll refrain from stating my own views on gun control as of yet. I do however, believe in the right to bare arms.)
posted by iceberg273 at 7:23 AM on March 14, 2001


I thought the language of "We Texans" and "You Californians" was a little troll-y, especially on the subject of gun control, and especially when measured against CRS's usual conservative rhetoric. I thought the article was indeed interesting, but the way it was presented here seemed confrontational. But not as confrontational as Tiaka's trigger happy, crochety and lame response.
posted by Karl at 7:32 AM on March 14, 2001


<staff development inservice #1000023004> Guys, I think we should all start using 'I' statements......"When you call me a troll, I feeel...."
posted by eckeric at 7:33 AM on March 14, 2001


> We Texans get to keep our guns and you
> Californians can get rid of yours.

A good start.
posted by pracowity at 7:44 AM on March 14, 2001


Mea culpa. I am very sorry for any perceived slight against any Californians. It seems I am guilty of attributing all liberal ideas to Californians (due to their rather kooky reputation here in the Lone Star State). I really try not to insult people as it takes attention away from my arguments. I am not always successful. I throw myself on the mercy of the court.
posted by CRS at 7:47 AM on March 14, 2001


I'm a Liberal (one of the New York variety), but I consider myself a supporter of the second ammendment. However, I just can't see why the NRA fights every bit of legislation that even MENTIONS guns. Why are they against trigger locks?
posted by Doug at 8:05 AM on March 14, 2001


The last I checked, the Supreme Court had twice ruled the second amendment did not give us a right to own guns, and those rulings have not been revised with later rulings. Please produce the Supreme Court ruling that says we have a right to own guns.
posted by fleener at 8:07 AM on March 14, 2001


Here's why the NRA is against trigger locks.
posted by iceberg273 at 8:13 AM on March 14, 2001


fleener is referring to United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) and United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 551 (1876), among others.
In United State v. Cruikshank, the Court states: The second and tenth counts are equally defective. The right there specified is that of "bearing arms for a lawful purpose." This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government, leaving the people to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow-citizens of the rights it recognizes, to what is called, in The City of New York v. Miln, the "powers which relate to merely municipal legislation, or what was, perhaps, more properly called internal police," "not surrendered or restrained" by the Constitution of the United States.
'Course, the Militia Act of 1792 was also supposed to supplant a standing army . . .
posted by iceberg273 at 8:24 AM on March 14, 2001


Now, the article actually said nothing about banning guns. It talked about improving gun safety standards -- presumably meaning things like trigger locks and the holy grail of this political cipher, the single-user smart gun.

I can understand, though, that a Texan would read "gun safety" as "gun confiscation". It's just a few letters different.
posted by dhartung at 8:35 AM on March 14, 2001


Hey, dhartung, I resemble that remark. I mean I assemble that . . . nevermind. If you read my initial post, you'll see that I didn't say anything about confiscation. But maybe you're talking about another article or another Texan?
posted by CRS at 8:43 AM on March 14, 2001


Why set the level of granulation at the state level? Seems a bit arbitrary. Why not at the county (or equivalent) level? Why not at the level of individual people?
posted by dithered at 8:50 AM on March 14, 2001


The constitution argument is a tedious and inappropriate distraction.

I think most gun lovers would say they want guns so they can:
• have fun (collecting, shooting, polishing, etc.)
• kill animals (presumably for food, though also for fun)
• defend themselves

Fun:
Decide whether private gun ownership as a hobby -- as fun for the sort who like shooting things and as a substitute for stamp collecting -- is worth the high number of injuries and deaths they cause. If not, then work to control or eliminate the hobby aspect of them (gun collections, strange and unnecessary gun models, etc.).

Food:
Decide whether private gun ownership for hunting is necessary and is worth the high number of injuries and deaths they cause. If not, then work to control or eliminate the hunting aspect of gun ownership (shot guns, hunting rifles, etc.).

Foe:
Decide whether private gun ownership makes the owner and family more or less likely to be wounded or killed by a gun shot. If more likely, then work to control or eliminate the supposed self-defense aspect of gun ownership (pistols in the glove compartment, in the night table, etc.).

And if your constitution goes the wrong way on these issues, fix the damned constitution. If you can't fix it, defy it. It's a piece of paper that's supposed to reflect what is right, not a piece of paper that magically makes things right.
posted by pracowity at 8:51 AM on March 14, 2001


And if your constitution goes the wrong way on these issues, fix the damned constitution. If you can't fix it, defy it. It's a piece of paper that's supposed to reflect what is right, not a piece of paper that magically makes things right.

Defy it? There's a mature attitude. What you mean is, if you can't convince 2/3rds of your fellow countrymen that your way is the right way, disregard the rule of law and do whatever you fucking please. No, thanks.

(Oh, and by the way, the Constitution is NOT "supposed to reflect what is right"; the Constitution is right unless and until it is amended.)
posted by m.polo at 9:09 AM on March 14, 2001


Food:
Decide whether private gun ownership for hunting is necessary and is worth the high number of injuries and deaths they cause. If not, then work to control or eliminate the hunting aspect of gun ownership (shot guns, hunting rifles, etc.).


Although I am in favor of sensible gun control, I would posit that the guns that are used mainly for this purpose are the least likely to be the cause of deaths and violence. I say this because this segment of the population is very very aware of the consequences. "I pull trigger, something dies."

I recall reading a study some years back that supported this notion (which many thought surprising), but after a fruitless net search, I was unable to locate it in the thousands of documents that turned up.
posted by trox at 9:15 AM on March 14, 2001


I wish we did not have so many gun control arguments here. I really do try and put myself in the mind of those whose opinions oppose my own, but it is difficult. I cannot think of anything I would deny any of my fellow citizens, so long as they do not affect others. It is aristocratic and unAmerican to decide what people are smart enough/entitled to own, or do with their bodies. How come so many of us embrace this contridiction?
posted by thirteen at 9:32 AM on March 14, 2001


Doesn't everybody know that crime is reduced if everybody is required to own a gun? At least, it worked for Kennesaw City. I'm thinking of moving to there as soon as the wise city fathers institute mandatory gun shows every weekend.
posted by sj at 10:09 AM on March 14, 2001


And just think, in Kennesaw you have the honor of being represented by Bob Barr in congress! But the guns are just for fun. Everyone in Kennesaw knows that crime is really all liberal Atlanta's fault anyway!
posted by trox at 10:11 AM on March 14, 2001


thirteen: We get loads of gun control arguments here because it's such an important social issue, e.g.
the rate of firearm deaths among children 14 years and younger is nearly 12 times more than in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
Personally i find that a terrifying statistic, that's 274 times the average of those 25 countries...
Admittedly though the 'gun problem' in the states is really one instance of the social problems most western countries face. High crime, poverty, poor education, social exclusion etc combine to produce a section of the populace who; unlike those mentioned by trox; are willing to 'mis-use' guns in pursuit of their own ends. Switzerland has a very high proportion of it's population owning guns, and also a low murder rate, so it is possible to have lots of guns without their 'mis-use'.
That leaves you with a few options, two of which are a) control the guns, or b) Solve the social problems.
a is definitely easier than b, and going for b seems impossible for western countries. The social problems are the root of so much of the worst of our societies that if we could solve themm we would have by now. Alas there's no money to be made directly from solving them, and for a government to try would require both a long time and lots of money... that all makes it difficult for a capitalist democracy...
Still, solving b would be better...
posted by iain at 10:28 AM on March 14, 2001


the Constitution is right unless and until it is amended.

Does revolution count as an amendment?
posted by holgate at 10:32 AM on March 14, 2001


I would think revolution would be one hell of an amendment, but will the revolutionaries be armed?

Never really thought about it too much, what is your obligation to the new government after a revolution? Assuming some sort of hippie action goes down, they certainly have no authority to tax me if I did not support them. I guess that is what the Bonsentration Bamps are for.

We did not have an income tax after the revolution (at least that is my understanding), so I guess the Tories who remained didn't have to sweat it much.
posted by thirteen at 11:30 AM on March 14, 2001


I think most of them left the country.
I just had early american history last semester. I should able to remember this stuff!
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:01 PM on March 14, 2001


Blame the progressives. Lousy sixteenth amendment.
posted by norm at 12:16 PM on March 14, 2001


There's a long tradition of punitive property seizure from the "other side" after a revolution or civil war, Thirteen. Look at Castro nationalizing Cuban industry or, for a more immediate example, Robert E. Lee's house.
posted by snarkout at 1:14 PM on March 14, 2001


The way I look at is that the 2nd amendment should be done away with. I can understand that one wants to have a gun, or that one may need a gun to hunt or defend livestock. But does that right need to be protected by the government? No. Is the King of England going to bust into your house and oppress you? No. The Constitution was created in a era when the US did not have a large standing army or a trained professional police force to defend the masses, so back then citizens needed the right to have guns to defend themselves. Folks, times have changed. Hence, no one has a compelling reason to have his or her right to have a gun protected. Or at least the times have change to make the justification of the 2nd invalid or at least totally outdated.
You know, no one that supports gun control thinks that no one should have guns at all nor would anyone support taking ones guns away form people without provocation. At least I don't think so. I think that the 2ned amendment is antiquated, in addition to feeling that guns are so dangerous they should regulated like other things that are so destructive.
posted by Bag Man at 2:22 PM on March 14, 2001


You know, no one that supports gun control thinks that no one should have guns at all nor would anyone support taking ones guns away form people without provocation

No, they think that only normal, stable people should be able to have them. Then they decide that if you want to own a gun, you must be abnormal and unstable, because they are normal and stable and have no desire to own one.

Then only people who are willing to break serious laws can own guns, and if they're willing to break some laws, why not break a few others? Maybe start doing some holdups, a few carjackings. Maybe some kidnapping just for kicks. No risk, because there's no chance you'll run into a non-criminal that's equipped to defend themselves.

That leaves you with a few options, two of which are a) control the guns, or b) Solve the social problems.
a is definitely easier than b, and going for b seems impossible for western countries


This a is easier than b route leads to the same thing as above. Why not work on the social problems? Legislate the way guns can be used in popular media. Teach responsible firearm use in schools. Develop ways for threatened children to escape situations where they are picked on until they snap.

I think that's a much easier proposition than controlling all the guns in America. Guns are out there, and they'll always be out there, laws or no. Even if I didn't own my own guns, I would take solace in the knowledge that my neighbor who does is more of a deterrent to violent crime than a small percentage chance of going to prison.

In the meantime, I'll keep my guns, thank you very much.
posted by OneBallJay at 3:07 PM on March 14, 2001


[Bag Man] Is the King of England going to bust into your house and oppress you? No.

Surely you don't think the King of England is the only person who might attempt to oppress you. Good example of a straw man though.

[iain] [solving "social problems"] seems impossible for western countries.

I'm curious as to which non-"western" countries have solved these problems ("High crime, poverty, poor education, social exclusion etc") and how exactly they went about it?

[iain] Alas there's no money to be made directly from solving them, and for a government to try would require both a long time and lots of money... that all makes it difficult for a capitalist democracy...

Is it easier in a communist dictatorship? Has it ever worked?

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, iain, but your argument is too vague for me to lend my support, either.
posted by daveadams at 3:19 PM on March 14, 2001


Gun Control (warning: flash4 animation)
posted by samsara at 3:23 PM on March 14, 2001


I was wondering if you have ever read the entire text of the second amendment. If you haven't read it, please do. I would love to hear you explain, to me, how it has any relevance in today's society.

One could spend hours proving how it has relevance today, but there's no need to bother as your assertion, whether true or not, is utterly meaningless. We do not "outgrow" the United States Constitution. The rules therein remain the rules until the day they are repealed by other Constitutional amendments. Slavery would still be legal today if the 13th Amendment had not been enacted, even though we'd all be just as aware of how evil slavery is.

IMHO, the American gun lobby has the blood of countless thousands on its collective shoulders.

This is nothing but inflammatory rhetoric, and adds nothing to any logical debate.

I can understand, though, that a Texan would read "gun safety" as "gun confiscation". It's just a few letters different.

In·cre·men·tal·ism n. Social or political gradualism. The whole idea is to do it a little bit at a time. First gun safety locks. Then what that is "proven" not to reduce gun deaths, more stringent "safety" laws will be enacted. When those are shown not to have worked, more limitations. Etc. Until they finally get around to forcing national gun registration. And in every country that has instituted gun registration, those registration rolls were eventually used to to easily institute national gun confiscation. Except for Canada, anyway, and they're only just now starting the forced registrations. It'll be a few years yet in their case. (Many gun control groups admit that this is their general plan of action, though of course they don't go out of their way to publicize that fact.)

And if your constitution goes the wrong way on these issues, fix the damned constitution. If you can't fix it, defy it. It's a piece of paper that's supposed to reflect what is right, not a piece of paper that magically makes things right.

This is exactly why liberalism is so dangerous. Don't like the law, even the ones that form the most basic rules of our society? Don't think it fits your own personal desires on what ought to be? IGNORE IT! Taken to its logical conclusion, this is an argument for anarchy, or at least ochlocracy.

Personally i find that a terrifying statistic, that's 274 times the average of those 25 countries...

The number also includes gang members, kids selling illegal drugs, all sorts of inner-city violence by kids intent on committing violent acts, etc. ... all kids who, unfortunately, almost certainly would have been killed by some other means if a gun hadn't been handy at the time. And if the other industrialized countries have confiscated all their citizens guns and have taken away enough of their citizens' privacy rights to allow the police to rampage anywhere anytime looking for stuff they don't like, then the sample is bad and the stats meaningless. I mean, I'll bet the number of US women who die in car accidents is astronomically higher than the number of Afghani women that suffer the same fate. But that's because women in Afghanistan are barely allowed to leave their homes, and usually aren't allowed to drive anyway. (And, just to show you that every action has consequences, even though Afghan women no longer have to worry about auto accidents much since the Taliban came to power, more of them are dying now that ever because they're all so depressed they're committing suicide. Likewise, draconian gun control here would only mean more people would start being killed in other ways.)

I would think revolution would be one hell of an amendment, but will the revolutionaries be armed?

Exactly. You can forget about there ever being any revolution in the UK, unless somebody gets hold of a number of nuclear bombs, because the people have no means of fighting against those who do have guns, lots and lots and lots of guns: the government. No matter how tyrannical the UK may someday become, the citizens are screwed because they willing gave up all their weapons a long time ago. By the time any such real tyanny evolved, most UK citizens will have completely forgotten that they ever had such a right at any point in their history. Likewise, note well Tienanmen Square. No guns? Then no democracy for you, kids. ::insert sound of tank squashing student here::

Remember: There's no such thing as a gun-free society, only gun-free-except-for-the-rulers societies.

Is the King of England going to bust into your house and oppress you? No ... Folks, times have changed.

Yes. And they will change again. Which means there's zilch of a guarantee that the King of England will never ever again try to bust into your house and oppress you. Or, more likely, your own leaders. People laugh at the idea of guns as protection against tyranny, because they think the human race has somehow wiped that possibility off the face of the earth forever. Which, of course, is crap. It will come up again eventually, somehow, somewhere. And when it does, the only hope the citizens of that place will have to overthrow the corrupt government is mass gun ownership.

WRT United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875): Left out of the above is that the SC ruled the right to bear arms was not itself granted by the 2nd Amendment because the right to bear arms is an inalienable right, and thus the 2nd is only making it clear that Congress can't screw with that right. None of this matters much anyway since Cruikshank has only the faintest relevance to constitutional law these days; it's been supplanted by newer case law many many times over the years for a myriad of non-2nd-related reasons.

As for Miller, which is the only time the Court has ever really taken on the actual question of whether the 2nd prevents the Feds from regulating guns in any fashion: That case was a slam dunk for anti-gun judicial activism, because Miller and his codefendent had long since disappeared (many think they were already dead), and the Feds just shoved the case all the way up the line with ease because there was nobody playing defense. The Supremes thus just gave them what they wanted. However, those who live by judicial activism die by judicial activism, as liberals have seen in the last few years as they've lost power and more conservative judges have come on board. They created a monster, and now they're coming to regret it, since laws that exist only because of the courts can be taken away in an instant by a new decision. And, amusingly, Democrats are now, very slowly as always, investigating whether or not to drop judicial activism as their main political tool because it created such a house of cards that's about to fall down.

One last thing: As I brought up in another thread recently, 48% of those who voted in November personally own at least one gun. And a significant number of those people do treat gun control as the one issue they'll look at when deciding who to vote for. That's why that huge gun-control movement that sprang up after Columbine completely collapsed in the last few months of the campaign. Any politician who brings it up now is signing the death warrant on his political career. Further reductions of gun owners' rights in the United States is a dead concept for the foreseeable future. They finally pushed the gun owners too far.
posted by aaron at 11:48 PM on March 14, 2001



daveadams: Sorry to mislead, i was simply speaking from the viewpoint as a westerner, can't comment on non-western countries. You have to admit though, we don't exactly live in a wonderful safe society.
Still, at least living in Scotland, i don't have to worry about being shot...
posted by iain at 1:24 AM on March 15, 2001


Exactly. You can forget about there ever being any revolution in the UK, unless somebody gets hold of a number of nuclear bombs, because the people have no means of fighting against those who do have guns, lots and lots and lots of guns: the government. No matter how tyrannical the UK may someday become, the citizens are screwed because they willing gave up all their weapons a long time ago. By the time any such real tyanny evolved, most UK citizens will have completely forgotten that they ever had such a right at any point in their history. Likewise, note well Tienanmen Square.

Any particular reason you think the UK is going to be a tyranny??? Or are you just talking rubbish about a country you know nothing about?
And thanks for the comparison to Tienanmen Square, very complimentary. Not insulting at all.
posted by iain at 1:39 AM on March 15, 2001


Still, at least living in Scotland, i don't have to worry about being shot...

You mean you don't have to worry about being shot by a legally-owned gun. Illegally-owned guns, well...

In any case, the primary reason to allow legal ownership is self-defense. In the USA, people use guns in self-defense more than 2 million times a year. Here is a good web page with some more information and references (ignore the ugly design; just try to read what it says). In most of those cases nobody dies, so it's not considered "news", and thus (unfortunately) the media never say much about it. (Note that a study commissioned by the Clinton adminstration with the intent of disproving that statistic actually ended up confirming it; references are on the page I linked to.)

On the other hand, according to this pro-gun-control page, "In 1998 a total of 30,708 people were killed by guns in the U.S.  Of these 17,424 were gun suicides, 12,102 were gun homicides, 886 were unintentional or accidental shootings, and 316 were shooting deaths of undetermined intent."

So that's more than two million instances of self-defense versus just over 12,000 homicides and less than 1000 accidents.

Yes, yes, the statistics are not from the same year, but that's the best data I could find. It would be nice to have more up-to-date information, but it's difficult to get ahold of. Apparently, people are more interested in making emotional arguments than actually studying the issue rationally.
posted by Potsy at 2:19 AM on March 15, 2001


Any particular reason you think the UK is going to be a tyranny???

Tyranny is historically the rule for all nations, not the exception. Democracy is a brand new, possibly fragile experiment. Most people throughout history have lived under a repressive government. Arguably, most people around the world today live under a repressive government. To think that the UK or the USA or any other nation is forever immune from tyranny is to ignore most of human history and a lot of current events.
posted by straight at 8:03 AM on March 15, 2001


This is exactly why liberalism is so dangerous. Don't like the law, even the ones that form the most basic rules of our society? Don't think it fits your own personal desires on what ought to be? IGNORE IT!

aaron, you're hilarious. Flamebait this patently obvious should be given away with fireproof gill nets. Me and my crypto-anarchist pinko buddies anxiously await the next communique from your tinfoil-lined bunker. We could use the laughs, as we've been awfully depressed seeing our friends in Minnetonka squashed under government tanks.
posted by Skot at 8:31 AM on March 15, 2001


> This is exactly why liberalism is so dangerous.

Liberals aren't the ones running around with guns. Maintaining the ability to defy the law and kill law enforcement officers is one of the main reasons the paranoid set wants to keep guns and "maintain militias" and so on.

> > Still, at least living in Scotland, i don't have to worry
> > about being shot...
> You mean you don't have to worry about being shot
> by a legally-owned gun.

No, he means there aren't nearly so many gun-as-penis-substitute boys going about in Scotland.

> Here is a good web page ...

Yes, well, I'm sure he would be happy that you think so. That page was written by the same gun nut who wrote here, for example, "I don't consider what gay men or gay women do to each other to be sex at all because sexual relations -- as we were taught by President Clinton -- involves a penis penetrating a vagina." He also writes "libertarian science-fiction" like this book, in which a militia fights the federal government in the "Final American Revolution." He also wants us to boycott, among others, Toys R Us because they didn't think it would be a good idea to have a toy store next to the NRA. Still like this source?

Awaiting more of your hilarity.
posted by pracowity at 10:36 AM on March 15, 2001


iain:

A (giving up firearms) is indeed easier than B. It doesn't rule out working on B (social problems)
posted by lucien at 2:03 PM on March 15, 2001


pracowity, did the guy get his facts wrong? If so, let's hear about it. His opinions on other subjects are irrelevant.
posted by Potsy at 3:18 PM on March 15, 2001


Yep, pracowity, I have guns for the sole purpose of killing law enforcement officers. Actually, for dual purposes - killing law enforcement officers and helping my mind cope with small penis size. Thanks for reminding me, I need to go home and play with my gun because I'm physically unable to masturbate with a penis this small. Maybe I'll take out a few cops while I'm at it.

Degrading people with insane stereotypes certainly helps us understand where you're coming from and contributes a lot to the discussion. Thanks.

Looks like we all might need to agree to disagree about this one. Once the personal attacks come out, there's usually little new left for either side to say.
posted by OneBallJay at 3:34 PM on March 15, 2001


> Looks like we all might need to agree to disagree
> about this one.

That sounds very nice, but it's not like we're arguing about our favorite ice cream flavors.

> I have guns for the sole purpose of killing law
> enforcement officers. Actually

No, of course you don't. That was sarcasm. I hope. But it's the sort argument many gun-happy people use, only they couch it in Freedom Fighter language. Look at Aaron's statement again:

> there's zilch of a guarantee that the King of England
> will never ever again try to bust into your house and
> oppress you. Or, more likely, your own leaders. People
> laugh at the idea of guns as protection against tyranny,
> because they think the human race has somehow wiped
> that possibility off the face of the earth forever. Which,
> of course, is crap. It will come up again eventually,
> somehow, somewhere. And when it does, the only hope
> the citizens of that place will have to overthrow the
> corrupt government is mass gun ownership.

That's the usual anti-government paranoia used to promote gun ownership. He seems to be worried less about robbers than about the UN and black helicopters, about not being able to shoot the law enforcement officers he thinks are going to try to kick his door in at night.

And this is the same guy who screamed about how dangerous it is to think you should defy a law you believe is unjust. I suspect that he, like so many "They'll take my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hand" boys, would defy any law that asked him to give up guns. After all, that would just be a sign for him of the coming of the helicopters and the splintering doors and the foreign invaders and ...

But. I wonder whether most gun enthusiasts even believe what they say when they are attacking gun control. Sure, there are some gun nuts who are actual nuts. They really believe in the federal conspiracy stuff.

But when anti-gun-control buys go on and on about needing guns to shoot tyrants and other evil guys, they always neglect to mention how much fun they get out of their guns. Most of these guys -- probably almost all of these guys -- like to shoot. They like the feeling of power they get when they hold a gun and aim it and pull the trigger. They like to get outside and blast stuff. They like to go down to the firing range and blam blam blam at paper silhouettes.

posted by pracowity at 1:03 AM on March 16, 2001


Typo fix: change 'buys' to 'boys' above.
posted by pracowity at 2:27 AM on March 16, 2001


pracowity, is it possible for you to argue based on facts and reason, instead of hysteria, name-calling, and male-bashing?
posted by Potsy at 2:55 AM on March 16, 2001


> is it possible ...

Yes, potsy. See above.

> did the guy get his facts wrong? If so, let's hear about it.

You presume that his 'facts' are right and that they mean something in this context. Show significant corroboration from apolitical news sources and then maybe we'll start talking about whether his numbers are credible 'facts' that mean something in this argument or whether they are just manufactured numbers in a propaganda game and whether he purposely avoids half of the picture.

posted by pracowity at 3:41 AM on March 16, 2001


Potsy: In the USA, people use guns in self-defense more than 2 million times a year.

And this is a good thing? In how many of these 2 million times was the use of a firearm required, and out of those, how many times was the firearm required because the intruder/assailant was carrying a gun themselves? if you want to go further, how many would be intruders/assaiants carry guns because those they wish to rob/attack are likely to be armed also?

posted by Markb at 4:41 AM on March 16, 2001


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