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Thread: The Gun Thread About Guns And Gun Related Gunnery

  1. #51
    Two points:

    A: America doesn't exactly have the best history with confiscation/banning efforts. The first notable attempt was prohibition which resulted in the emergence of sprawling organized crime networks, handed the mafia control of major port cities, and was largely ineffective. The second attempt was the "War on drugs" which turned multiple latin american countries into failed Narco states and war zones, ushered in an era of unchecked police brutality and abuse, led to the era of militarized and violent thugs being "cops", and once again was almost completely ineffective at actually stopping guns.

    The most likely outcome of actual hard bans is that we make gun smugglers rich. It's already much easier to get your hands on things like grenade launchers and machine guns with a felony conviction than without (because the people that sell them won't speak to you unless you're a felon).

    B: There's one huge unspoken problem: The American government's own gun running and arms dealing operations results in a huge flow of arms back onto American streets. Forget fast and furious because that's not what I'm talking about. I'm referring to providing various insurgent and rebel groups weapons all the way back to the Reagan era with Iran Contra being the most famous such event but by no means the most recent nor the most significant.


    ffox's chart says it all; the fact that there's a problem is undeniable. To me, in a situation like this, the responsible thing would be to man up and work towards changing this culture. But all we get is bitching and moaning.
    Then start by boycotting Hollywood movies that glamorize violence and degeneracy. You won't get cultural change until the current media establishment collapses entirely.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by N'Al View Post
    Did xStevieNx post those misleading stats deliberately or cause she didn't know any better, is the question. For lack of anything to the contrary I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    Still, it does illustrate something that I just don't get in this matter:
    There hardly ever seem to be any self-proclaimed responsible gun owners putting forward actual policy suggestions on how to tackle this problem (catbarf is a refreshing exception). Instead, it's always all about false equivalences and "It's not me, it's all the other guys!"

    ffox's chart says it all; the fact that there's a problem is undeniable. To me, in a situation like this, the responsible thing would be to man up and work towards changing this culture. But all we get is bitching and moaning.
    I own a handful of guns, but none of them are for personal protection and I don't carry even though I'm legally allowed to. So when the discussion turns to what you need or don't need for personal protection, I usually don't have much to contribute. I have participated in discussions about gun control from a wider perspective, but I usually find these discussions tend to become bipolar and non-constructive. I think there is a silent majority of gun owners in the US who tend to avoid debating the topic online because of the way the discussions typically go.

    Here are a few pet peeves that dampen my enthusiasm for joining these discussions:

    When considering gun control measures, it's counter-productive to start by offering an opinion about what you think a gun owner needs or what you think the justifiable purposes for owning a gun are. Because gun ownership is a Constitutionally protected civil right in the US, it is not the responsibility of gun owners to convince others why they need certain types of arms. It is the responsibility of gun control advocates to justify gun control measures based on the public safety benefit.

    I think it's a waste of time to continue debating the rate of gun deaths in the US vs. other countries. Everybody knows the US has a higher rate of gun deaths than other developed countries. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the correlation between the number of guns in the US per capita and the number of gun deaths per capita. It is pointless for gun owners to argue that they aren't connected. It is also a pointless fantasy to suggest that the US could model gun control on what other countries do.

    I'm tired of hearing the argument that having civilians carry while they go about their daily business will stop crime. There are a small number of anecdotal stories around, but nothing that will put a dent in crime rates. Carrying a gun does not make you a cop. No matter how much range time you have and how well practiced you are, you're not trained in law enforcement.

    And my #1 pet peeve: there's way too much focus on mass shootings. Discussions usually spring up following a mass shooting and/or center on weapons used by mass shooters. The problem I have with this is that mass shootings are relatively rare and are responsible for a very tiny percentage of US gun deaths. Assuming the goal of gun control is to reduce gun deaths, we should be focusing on the leading causes of gun deaths and the guns and circumstances involved. Most gun deaths are suicides. Most gun homicides happen in inner cities and are connected to gangs and the drug market. Most shootings are done with lower capacity handguns.

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn

    The Gun Thread About Guns And Gun Related Gunnery

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Tarantula View Post
    Then start by boycotting Hollywood movies that glamorize violence and degeneracy. You won't get cultural change until the current media establishment collapses entirely.
    So your response to this is to stop watching movies. Iím glad youíve got your priorities straight.


    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    I think it's a waste of time to continue debating the rate of gun deaths in the US vs. other countries. Everybody knows the US has a higher rate of gun deaths than other developed countries. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the correlation between the number of guns in the US per capita and the number of gun deaths per capita. It is pointless for gun owners to argue that they aren't connected.
    I absolutely agree. Yet that does still seem to happen far too often.

    Or, at the very least, an attempt at relativisation of the numbers (again, usually through the use of spurious statistics or false equivalences).


    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    It is also a pointless fantasy to suggest that the US could model gun control on what other countries do.
    What makes you say that? Because itís a constitutional issue?

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Mostly because of the cultural differences regarding gun ownership.

    Although the US has become more socially democratic over its history, especially through the Progressive Era and Great Depression.WWII era, there is still an element of "frontier spirit". Individual liberty and self-reliance are very important to most Americans, and owning a gun is an expression of that.

    Another big cultural difference is that most Americans distrust the state. Aside from the cold war, I think it's always been that way. There is certainly the hope that if the government starts to turn towards real authoritarianism, a well armed citizenry will make them think twice before bringing down the jack boots on us.
    Last edited by heywood; 23rd Jan 2018 at 10:16. Reason: Further explanation

  5. #55
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    As recent events have shown, if our government were to make a more authoritarian turn, it'd likely happen after some great catastrophe, and would have fairly wide support from certain segments of the voting public.

    The best defense against this isn't guns, because, honestly, if it came right down to the worst case scenario imaginable, how much damage could the militias do against the US military were it ever loosed upon them and us? The best defense against it is an educated populace who can recognize when the shit's hitting the fan.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Seems to me that the gun nuts and the authoritarians get along just fine.

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    As recent events have shown, if our government were to make a more authoritarian turn, it'd likely happen after some great catastrophe, and would have fairly wide support from certain segments of the voting public.

    The best defense against this isn't guns, because, honestly, if it came right down to the worst case scenario imaginable, how much damage could the militias do against the US military were it ever loosed upon them and us? The best defense against it is an educated populace who can recognize when the shit's hitting the fan.
    Yeah, I think recent events have shown that the demographic that clings to their guns is pretty okay with authoritarianism if it suits them.

    That said, if we want to put on our total hypothetical speculation caps, I don't think the 'a bunch of rednecks could never beat the US military' thing is really valid. There's an article I remember reading- I can dig it up if you'd like, it's kind of tangential to this thread- that basically argued that the point of civilian armament isn't to win through direct force of arms, but to escalate the costs of government action. Sending riot cops to pacify unarmed protesters is politically easy, but sending in the military to open fire on armed protesters will make worldwide news and spur further opposition. The goal isn't to duke it out with US Army regulars so much as to get things to the point where the regulars are defecting of their own accord and the international community intervenes. The premise has some historical basis. I mean, a bunch of goat herders with no chance of ever winning a knock-down drag-out fight successfully influenced our policy in a way beneficial to their goals.

    At this point I think it's really all academic, though.

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Meanwhile in Kentucky, Mass Shooting #13 for 2018 has nothing to do with the easy, under-regulated access to firearms. . . . . . .
    Last edited by Nicker; 23rd Jan 2018 at 21:51.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Mostly because of the cultural differences regarding gun ownership.
    Iím sorry, heywood, that sounds like a cop out to me. Culture should not be a crutch to justify accepting the status quo.

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    As recent events have shown, if our government were to make a more authoritarian turn, it'd likely happen after some great catastrophe, and would have fairly wide support from certain segments of the voting public.
    What do you mean, if? It has been happening for well over a decade now. And like the Snowden leaks show, people are overwhelmingly okay with it or at least apathetic enough to not raise a fuss. Not to mention things like the Guantanamo, the use of torture and extrajudicial killings. If it was a movie, you'd be Bond villains.

    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Sending riot cops to pacify unarmed protesters is politically easy, but sending in the military to open fire on armed protesters will make worldwide news and spur further opposition.
    Not as much as sending in the military to open fire on unarmed protesters would. Kent State was a huge deal. If the protesters are armed, at least the state has some justification.
    Last edited by Starker; 24th Jan 2018 at 02:31.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by N'Al View Post
    I’m sorry, heywood, that sounds like a cop out to me. Culture should not be a crutch to justify accepting the status quo.
    I don't think it's a cop out. The point I was trying to make is that most American's don't see UK-style gun regulation as a desirable end goal. The reason is cultural.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    ...... most American's don't see UK-style gun regulation as a desirable end goal.
    That's your opinion, but proving it is tricky. I suggest that one of the reasons is lack of knowledge about other places in the world. To get valid statistics would require all the population to be made aware of comparisons with other countries, and then a nationwide poll to be held.

    Typo: American's > US citizens. Hey, that is almost worth another thread!

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    We've had endless gun control polls here. Americans are well aware that the 2nd Amendment is relatively unique and gun control is much tighter elsewhere. I don't think that going over the specifics of gun regulation in the UK or other countries is going to change any poll results. You'll just be preaching to the choir of people who already want to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

  14. #64

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    I don't think it's a cop out. The point I was trying to make is that most American's don't see UK-style gun regulation as a desirable end goal. The reason is cultural.
    Personally, I don't see "It's the culture!" to be much different from "It's not me, it's all the other guys!"

    Leaving that aside though...

    Would you not agree that reducing the numbers in ffox's chart is a desirable end goal? Do you think Americans would agree that reducing the numbers in ffox's chart is a desirable end goal?*

    Would it therefore not make sense to attempt to adopt a system closer to that of other developed nations who - for all intents and purposes - have proven it is possible to achieve lower per capita death rates? Even if the system wasn't adopted wholesale, and even if the rate of reduction was lower than it otherwise would be in other countries, it would still guarantee a reduction, I'm certain of it.

    * Quite frankly, if not American gun culture'd be even more fucked up than I thought.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    OF COURSE reducing gun deaths is a desirable end goal.

    The question is, how much are we willing to sacrifice our gun ownership rights for how much of a reduction in gun deaths? That's where the cultural differences come in. Over here, we have a view that gun ownership is a civil right (not everybody agrees with that, but it's the prevailing view). Where you live, it's a privilege, and not a very important one to most people. That's probably the biggest cultural difference.

    One could say to hell with gun ownership rights, we need to stop people from getting killed. I expect that in your country, if you suffered a wave of shootings, an overwhelming majority of people would go along with that. Over here it's a minority, and there are just as many people on the opposite side here who think current gun regulation already infringes too much on their rights and are trying to move things in the other direction.

    Personally, I think there are a lot of improvements we can make to our patchwork of gun regulations, and I'm OK with taking on more restrictions if there is a good case to be made that they will reduce gun deaths. But there's no way I would accept UK rules where only manual loading sport hunting weapons are allowed and you have to provide the police with a good reason why they should let you have a gun. And the majority of people here wouldn't accept that either. It's just a non-starter.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    They way it seems to me, gun control is a paradox in the US, like health care. Most people support the individual measures of gun control, but not gun control.



    There certainly is a huge cultural difference. To me, gun control seems just common sense. I think it's a good idea to require people to go through weapons training and background checks before they are allowed to have a gun. It may seem like tyranny to a lot of Americans, but it also helps concentrate guns into the hands of responsible owners.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    The question is, how much are we willing to sacrifice our gun ownership rights for how much of a reduction in gun deaths?
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    we need to stop people from getting killed.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    there are just as many people on the opposite side here who think current gun regulation already infringes too much on their rights and are trying to move things in the other direction.
    Given both of the above this is bona fide insane, there's no other way of putting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    But there's no way I would accept UK rules where only manual loading sport hunting weapons are allowed and you have to provide the police with a good reason why they should let you have a gun.
    Note that I advocated a system closer to that of other developed countries, not necessarily the same. Countries should have sensible ways of dealing with guns, the US's currently is batshit bananas.

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by N'Al View Post
    Would you not agree that reducing the numbers in ffox's chart is a desirable end goal? Do you think Americans would agree that reducing the numbers in ffox's chart is a desirable end goal?
    Let me just throw something out there:

    ffox's chart compares just gun murders. If you look at overall homicide rates, the US has 4.88 homicides per 100,000 people. The UK has 0.92. Australia has 0.98. Germany has 0.85. Per the FBI's stats for 2014, 68% of homicides in the US are committed with firearms. That gives a 3.3 gun homicides per 100,000 people, pretty close to ffox's chart showing 3.2. But that also means that our non-firearm homicide rate is about 1.6 per 100,000 people.

    Suppose all of our guns suddenly disappeared, and no murder that would have been committed with a gun would happen. Absolutely no substitution with other methods or weapons whatsoever, those murders just never happen. Well, our homicide rate would still be double that of other first-world countries. In a best-case-scenario hypothesis, 100% perfect gun control with the absurd premise that nobody who would default to a gun would instead use other methods, we'd still have the rest of the first-world looking at us and wondering what's wrong with our country.

    If we accept the reality that some percentage of those firearm homicides would instead be carried out through other methods, that number would be higher. Definitely not as high as it is with firearms all over the place, but higher than the thought experiment. Then if we accept that our enforcement of prohibition-type measures has never been very effective, especially where guns are concerned, the realistic homicide rate would be higher still.

    Suppose we could cut our gun murders in half, with no associated rise in other methods. I'd call that a pretty amazing accomplishment in gun control. We'd still have a murder rate of 3.2 per 100,000, still between three times and four times the rate of first-world countries.

    I'm not saying this to make the claim that strong legislation would have no impact at all, or regurgitate that 'criminals will always find a way' soundbite, which I consider tediously dumb and demonstrably false. I'm sure adopting UK-style or Australian-style gun control would have some impact over a long enough period of time. But it would be outright impossible for it to have anywhere near enough impact to result in what we would call 'fixing the problem'.

    That's not even touching on secondary effects, like how the war on drugs has empowered cartels, or what might happen to crime after the 200k-3mil (depending on whose stats you trust) defensive gun uses per year are vastly diminished. Both the UK and Australia saw rises in violent crime following their major firearm bans, and I imagine the impact on us would be greater still. And call me pessimistic, but in terms of social conditions I can't help but feel like the UK and Australia are less apt as comparisons than Jamaica or Mexico, both of which have suffered out-of-control homicide rates in spite of extraordinarily strict firearm regulation.

    Now throw in a culture extremely emotionally invested in the idea of armed self-defense (not wholly irrationally- this is a country where police response times are as high as 8 hours in some cities, and courts have declared that the police have no obligation to protect you), and as heywood says it just seems like a non-starter. Barring some very weird demographic changes in the US it wouldn't have any real public support, and if it were enacted I would be dubious as to its efficacy as a means of curbing crime.

    Doing something to address the underlying causes of suicides, gang violence, and spree shootings, plus taking measures to address the gaps in our current laws that arm criminals to begin with, both seem more palatable to the public and more likely to result in the social effects we want. I would gladly pay additional taxes to go towards combating the decay of our urban populations and empowering federal agencies to enforce the gun laws on the books, but it seems like one side only cares about banning guns and the other side wants to do nothing whatsoever.
    Last edited by catbarf; 24th Jan 2018 at 16:34.

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn

    The Gun Thread About Guns And Gun Related Gunnery

    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    I'm sure adopting UK-style or Australian-style gun control would have [i]some[i] impact. But it would be outright impossible for it to have anywhere near enough impact to result in what we would call 'fixing the problem'.
    Iíll try and respond to some of the other stuff later, but for now Iíd say this alone makes it worth it even if doesnít fix all of the problems (thereís no such thing as a silver bullet, olololol).

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    They way it seems to me, gun control is a paradox in the US, like health care. Most people support the individual measures of gun control, but not gun control.



    There certainly is a huge cultural difference. To me, gun control seems just common sense. I think it's a good idea to require people to go through weapons training and background checks before they are allowed to have a gun. It may seem like tyranny to a lot of Americans, but it also helps concentrate guns into the hands of responsible owners.
    One thing I've noticed is that the way people react to specific measures depends a lot on how it's presented. 'Close the gun show loophole', more positive. 'Ban friends and family members being able to sell each other guns', more negative. Same law (banning private sale), expressed differently. 'Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns', overwhelmingly positive. 'Allow the government to suspend Constitutional rights without due process', overwhelmingly negative. Again, same law (barring gun purchases by those on the no-fly list).

    Same goes for the details of those proposals. Anecdotally, I've spoken with a couple of people who supported assault weapons bans, but didn't know exactly what constitutes an 'assault weapon', and after learning what it means in practice changed their minds. As with many political issues, people recognize specific phrases without necessarily understanding the whole of what's being proposed. So you get a lot of these soundbites that people buy into for partisan reasons or because they sound good on the surface, but then when they actually make it to a bill and each side starts drumming up the nitty gritty details, then the public sentiment is totally different from what the polling predicted. Like healthcare, I think you see this tendency on subjects where most of the populace agrees that something needs to be done, but they don't like the terms of any specific measure.

    I'm with you in a lot of ways. I fully support background checks, and I strongly advocate for both universal background checks and doing a better job than we currently do of tying the background check system into both state criminal records and psychiatric/medical records. But there are partisan issues getting in the way of progress- for example, a few years ago a Republican senator by the name of Coburn proposed a universal background check law based on how it works in Switzerland. Basically, you apply to the government and say you want to buy a gun, they run the background check on you and give you a token with a one-month expiration, you present this token to the seller to verify that you can own a gun.

    The system didn't convey the identity of the seller, what was being exchanged, or even whether an exchange actually took place after the token was procured, so it could not be used to build a registry of who owns what. Explicitly on that basis, Democrats rejected it, both killing the possibility of a bipartisan universal background check bill, and seemingly validating gun owners' worst fears that the Democrats want to build a registry to take their guns. Conversely, the Republicans have a continuous tendency to throw unrelated riders onto any gun control compromise they put forward, and then blame Democrats for being unreasonable when they're not willing to accept it. It's not a recipe for progress.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK
    I strongly agree with N'al. Anything is better than nothing if it saves lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    I've spoken with a couple of people who supported assault weapons bans, but didn't know exactly what constitutes an 'assault weapon', and after learning what it means in practice changed their minds
    I don't understand what you are getting at. The link doesn't help.

    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    I'm with you in a lot of ways. I fully support background checks, and I strongly advocate for both universal background checks and doing a better job than we currently do of tying the background check system into both state criminal records and psychiatric/medical records.
    So far so good.

    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    But there are partisan issues getting in the way of progress- for example, a few years ago a Republican senator by the name of Coburn proposed a universal background check law based on how it works in Switzerland.
    Then you go on to explain why it wouldn't work. Why mention it at all?

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by ffox View Post
    I strongly agree with N'al. Anything is better than nothing if it saves lives.
    I agree. But expending political capital on unpopular measures that are unlikely to have major impact is illogical when there are things we could be doing that address the root causes and are less likely to be opposed. If we're going to have to address the social problems that underlie gun violence sooner or later regardless of what we do with guns, and when taking a stab at those social problems is less likely to be vocally opposed, why not start there? We can enact further restrictions on guns if needed, but focusing exclusively on guns isn't a productive strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffox View Post
    I don't understand what you are getting at. The link doesn't help.
    Simply that people have the idea of an assault weapon being something distinct and readily identifiable as a military weapon, when in reality it's a purely aesthetic classification that is easily circumvented. I can explain more if you want but it was just a minor example.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffox View Post
    Then you go on to explain why it wouldn't work. Why mention it at all?
    Huh? It would have worked fine for the goal of ensuring that everyone who buys a gun receives a background check, which is the stated purpose of universal background checks. It would have provided a system where private sellers can ensure that someone they're selling to isn't a felon or otherwise prohibited, whereas today ordinary citizens have no access to the NICS and can't run background checks. In Switzerland, the model has been demonstrated to work quite effectively. It simply would not have been useful as a stepping-stone to building a registry, a completely separate thing that has much less public support, is currently prohibited by federal law, and historically (using Canada as reference) has had no utility besides confiscation.

    In rejecting the proposal, Democrats sent a message to gun owners that their interest in universal background checks is purely a smokescreen for building a registry. It's the kind of thing that kills any trust gun owners might have that compromise measures won't be later exploited. Without that trust, gun owners are incentivized to dig their heels in the dirt and oppose any new regulation, no matter how reasonable, and that's not going to help things.
    Last edited by catbarf; 25th Jan 2018 at 09:31.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Simply that people have the idea of an assault weapon being something distinct and readily identifiable as a military weapon
    It means "black and scary looking" doesn't it? Surely that's a perfectly sensible way to decide whether to ban something

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Quote Originally Posted by caffeinatedzombeh View Post
    It means "black and scary looking" doesn't it? Surely that's a perfectly sensible way to decide whether to ban something
    Ah yes, the you got the technical language wrong so you can't participate in this debate argument.

    It's not about it being black and scary looking, it's about the ability of certain firearm designs and modifications to deliver more lead into more bodies faster than others. Faster, might I suggest, than any sane person in a civilised society should reasonable require.

    It's the difference between a single shot, bolt action and a fucking semi-demi-quasi-automatic.

    Bang! Click-click...clicik click... Bang! vs Brrrrrrrrrtttttttttt!!!!!

    Did I get the technical language right?

    And here we are again with the gun enthusiasts refusing to contribute anything meaningful to a discussion about public safety, because Muh Gunz!

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