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The Thoughtful and Considered Gun Thread

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  • The Thoughtful and Considered Gun Thread

    Sadly, once again there's been a mass killing, this time at a grade school in Connecticut. Almost immediately I saw many posts crying out "Can we have the discussion about guns NOW?!?"

    So...if anybody wants to, let's discuss it. But let's also keep it excruciatingly civil, shall we? In other words:

    - No sweeping lables. No derogatory use of designations at all, preferably no designations at all. "People who believe...." works just fine and I don't care if it takes longer to type than Reps, Dems, libs cons or anything else.

    - Similarly, no personal remarks of any kind for any reason. I'll warn once and after that, there'll be a 3-day suspension. This is a hot-button topic and I can't be here 24-7.

    - Opinions should be identified as such and any statistics need to include sources and links.

    - And finally, let's restict it (for now) to the following considerations:
    - What, if any guns should be allowed and which banned
    and
    - What can be done to help prevent such massacres in the future? What needs to change in both the long- and short- term?

    I'm still putting my thoughts together so I'll be back to post them later on.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jan View Post
    - What, if any guns should be allowed and which banned
    I think anything that shoots more than 6 to 10 bullets should be restricted to people in the military, either active or reserve. Face it, if you've got a gun for protection and you haven't eliminated the threat by the time you need to reload, you're probably dead.

    I've never seen a good reason presented for semi-and/or automatic weapons in the hands of individuals and I don't buy into most 'slippery slope' type of arguments.

    - What can be done to help prevent such massacres in the future? What needs to change in both the long- and short- term?
    Three things, that could be done almost immediately.

    1) *Mandatory* minimum wait periods to be determined but no less than 14 days.

    2) *Mandatory* training on safety but also including exposure to what happens when people are shot. Ensure that the prospective owner knows on no uncertain terms the damage s/he'll be inflicting if/when that trigger ever gets pulled. Said training should automatically have to cover anybody old enough or strong enough to fire the weapon.

    3) *Mandatory* required liability insurance with the same reporting requirments that insurance companies have for drivers - they report to the state if and when coverage is dropped or lapses and the gun owner has 14 dyas to prove that they no longer own a gun or face fines and/or imprisonment.

    What I'd also like very much to see is easy and affordable access to mental health care. I wouldn't mind it if somebody could come up with a way for certain types of mental issues to preclude gun ownership - but that isn't really something I'm competent to have an informed opinion on.

    Thoughts?

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll just say this one thing: this conversation strikes most people from the rest of the world as completely bizarre. To many Americans it seems to be a real conundrum: do we have guns or not? How much do we regulate? Can you live in a society without guns?

      Most of the rest of us do live in societies without guns, and we don't have any problems with that. We don't have a lot of debates about it; we also don't have a lot of massacres.

      My main point being... do have the debate. I understand that culturally speaking, the idea of gun ownership - no matter how odd it seems to the rest of the world - is deeply anchored in American everyday life. But please do be aware that there are alternatives, and that the idea of a god-given right to own guns is not something that the rest of the world (with a few exceptions) really understands. (And no, no-one's hating anyone's freedoms.)
      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

      Comment


      • #4
        Yesterday was just damn sick. And in my hometown, a cop was killed leaving behind 4 kids (14, 13, 12, and 2). So...yeah.

        Originally posted by Jan
        What, if any guns should be allowed and which banned
        I have no problem with individuals obtaining through legal means: firearms necessary for personal protection, defense from home invasions, or for recreational shooting/hunting. I also have no problem with family members passing on "war souvenirs" that Grandpa obtained during wartime overseas.

        Other than that, I don't see a convincing need for semi-automatics or full autos. Even if some people subscribe to the view that the United States government will turn full-on tyrannical against the citizens and start rounding people up into interment camps and there would be a need for an armed resistance, that resistance group will be facing the United States military armed not only with M16s, M4s, M27s, but M40 rifles, the M82 sniper rifle, fragmentary grenades, incendiary grenades, flash bangs, night vision goggles, rifle-mounted grenade launchers, mortars. And I haven't even mentioned the heavy artillery, missile launchers, and vehicles and their mounted weaponry (land and air). Best of luck against that. Though I doubt the government will take that route or that everyone in the military would go along. Apologies for the long sentence.

        I also don't see the need for high-capacity ammunition clips.

        Originally posted by Jan
        What can be done to help prevent such massacres in the future? What needs to change in both the long- and short- term?
        I don't know if another week of background check would work, but I do think a background check should occur with every legal gun sale. Having worked at Wal-Mart in college, I thought the waiting period would have been longer than getting a phone call from the TBI 5 minutes after sending the information via computer. Edit: And then there's the loophole with firearms obtained at gun shows. If private sales of cars still requires the necesary paperwork being handled, why should there be an exemption with private sales of firearms?

        I'm also in favor of mandatory gun safety courses for obtaining gun licenses. To me, that makes just as much sense as having courses to obtain a driver's license. I would also like a refresher course every few years, both for gun licenses as well as drivers licenses.

        I'm also not an expert in mental health, but I agree in having mental health being covered by insurance and also affordable. Perhaps it could help.

        I do agree with the point that there will be those who will simply ignore gun laws in obtaining a firearm. However, there will be those who will ignore the law with regard to kidnapping, fraud, arson, theft, rape, assault, battery, sexual harassment as well. Just because there will always be criminals doesn't mean we as a society stop enforcing laws against criminal behavior.
        Last edited by David Panzer; 12-15-2012, 02:23 PM. Reason: Forgot about gun show loophole re: background checks
        RIP Coach Larry Finch
        Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
        Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

        Comment


        • #5
          Fascinating article from the post on the effect of restrictive gun control following a massacre in Tasmania in 1996

          http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wo...-in-australia/

          Alan
          "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

          Comment


          • #6
            A rather amazing thread on JMS' page beginning with statistics on child and teen gun deaths.

            https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p..._comment_reply

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jan View Post
              A rather amazing thread on JMS' page beginning with statistics on child and teen gun deaths.

              https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p..._comment_reply

              Jan
              That is the best discussion about guns I have ever seen.
              RIP Coach Larry Finch
              Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
              Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                My main point being... do have the debate. I understand that culturally speaking, the idea of gun ownership - no matter how odd it seems to the rest of the world - is deeply anchored in American everyday life. But please do be aware that there are alternatives, and that the idea of a god-given right to own guns is not something that the rest of the world (with a few exceptions) really understands. (And no, no-one's hating anyone's freedoms.)
                Realistically, Jonas, no there aren't alternatives - not here in the States. The right to bear arms is written into the Constitution and that's pretty much that. The only discussion that can be had is what mitigation by law and custom can be brought about.

                Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow View Post
                Even if some people subscribe to the view that the United States government will turn full-on tyrannical against the citizens and start rounding people up into interment camps and there would be a need for an armed resistance, that resistance group will be facing the United States military armed not only with M16s, M4s, M27s, but M40 rifles, the M82 sniper rifle, fragmentary grenades, incendiary grenades, flash bangs, night vision goggles, rifle-mounted grenade launchers, mortars. And I haven't even mentioned the heavy artillery, missile launchers, and vehicles and their mounted weaponry (land and air). Best of luck against that. Though I doubt the government will take that route or that everyone in the military would go along. Apologies for the long sentence.
                Good point. Frankly, I've often felt that the ones so afraid should concentrate their efforts more on hiding out than armed resistance. There's still plenty of places where that would be possible. Of course, that's not nearly so romantic.

                I don't know if another week of background check would work, but I do think a background check should occur with every legal gun sale. Having worked at Wal-Mart in college, I thought the waiting period would have been longer than getting a phone call from the TBI 5 minutes after sending the information via computer. Edit: And then there's the loophole with firearms obtained at gun shows. If private sales of cars still requires the necesary paperwork being handled, why should there be an exemption with private sales of firearms?
                The paperwork for cars has a 30-day time-frame where I live. And even then, when I had trouble getting the title changed there was no fine even though it was almost six months before I changed the registration.

                But somebody made a point that made sense - if they can get credit cards approved at a gun show, it shouldn't be that hard for the proper check to be made at the gun show or by a private seller.

                I'm also in favor of mandatory gun safety courses for obtaining gun licenses. To me, that makes just as much sense as having courses to obtain a driver's license. I would also like a refresher course every few years, both for gun licenses as well as drivers licenses.
                Agreed. The last time I took anything but an eye test for my driver's license I was 23 and it was five states ago. Heck, my state license for association management requires 10 hours of continuing education per license period, why shouldn't there be required safety and marksman education for gun owners?

                I'm also not an expert in mental health, but I agree in having mental health being covered by insurance and also affordable. Perhaps it could help.
                I'm no expert either but the last time I was aware, my insurance was good for a certain amount of help for substance abuse and little else - maybe a total of 6 visits to a mental health practitioner. Sadly, it seems that many or most 'safety net' programs have been budget-cut into oblivion.

                Just because there will always be criminals doesn't mean we as a society stop enforcing laws against criminal behavior.
                Exactly. Just because a plan won't prevent everything doesn't make it useless.

                Jan
                Last edited by Jan; 12-16-2012, 01:04 PM.
                "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan View Post
                  Realistically, Jonas, no there aren't alternatives - not here in the States. The right to bear arms is written into the Constitution and that's pretty much that. The only discussion that can be had is what mitigation by law and custom can be brought about.
                  America got rid of slavery. It got rid of segregation. That didn't make things perfect, but I think it's a shame to believe that fundamental changes cannot occur if people want them and fight for them.

                  I see that this isn't exactly the point of this conversation, but it's nevertheless worth keeping in mind.
                  Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't see the comparison with slavery/segregation and legally obtained firearms.

                    Outright banning every single kind of firearm will never occur. But as I said, I'm for no semi-autos or full autos. No extended clips. JMS' facebook discussion which Jan provided the link has some excellent proposals of their own. Responsible and reasonable gun policies could work, but I doubt anyone currently in office has the backbone to propose any.
                    Last edited by David Panzer; 12-16-2012, 10:33 PM.
                    RIP Coach Larry Finch
                    Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
                    Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow View Post
                      I don't see the comparison with slavery/segregation and legally obtained firearms.
                      I'm not comparing them morally. I'm just pointing out that the United States made radical changes on deeply rooted issues. The kind of issues where people were saying "it will never change, and it's crazy to suggest that it will."

                      Responsible gun ownership laws would be a good start. I don't doubt that.
                      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just to have it here in the thread:

                        As passed by the Congress:


                        A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

                        As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:


                        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
                        There has always been a lot of room with the Second Amendment to debate what it means, and what the original intention was. My take on it has always been that the right was guaranteed to provide a check against the Federal government's ability to raise a standing army. In the context of the time, there was concern that an oppressive government would form and use the standing army to subjugate the population. I think there was an additional desire to make sure that armies could be quickly raised to defend against a foreign enemy as well.

                        That being said, I don't think it serves that purpose any longer. Let's face it, if the US armed forces were turned against the population, the guns in the hands of private citizens would not make a significant difference in the eventual outcome. Likewise, I'm not convinced that those arms would play a significant role in the event of a foreign invasion. That's not to say that a few individuals here and there might not offer resistance for a while. I just think ultimately the impact would be negligible.

                        So where does that leave us? I have no problem with hunting, and I think it is necessary in some areas since the predators that would keep certain populations in check have been eliminated by our civilization and development. But hunting doesn't require rapid fire capability or large capacity clips.

                        I get the whole target shooting aspect, too. I've shot on a gun range and enjoyed the thrill of trying to be the high score. I've known people who compete, and they use semi-automatic guns with large clips. I don't know the right answer for them. It is a sport with awards, prizes and prestige, and I don't know what argument to make for limiting them. Special licenses with higher scrutiny and regular renewal?

                        Even though it doesn't seem to be the intent behind the Second Amendment, the other argument brought up is "self defense." Maybe I just don't know enough about it, but I question the premise of self defense except in very specific cases. Anecdotally, I don't recall ever hearing of many cases where a gun was employed in self defense and it worked. Does anybody have any figures on that? I've heard at least as many stories about a relative being killed because a homeowner thought they were a prowler as I've heard about a homeowner scaring off an actual invader in their home. And how many kids have been accidentally injured or killed by a defensive weapon kept in the home? If the gun is safely stored, how useful is it for defense?

                        I know this is rambling and doesn't have a lot of answers. It reflects the mixed feelings I have on a lot of fronts. I guess the things I'd look at to start would be: required background check and safety certification (no exceptions for gun shows or private sales); no fully automatic weapons; limited capacity clips; and a greater sentence enhancement for criminal acts committed with a gun.

                        Of course, I'm not sure there's sufficient political will for even that.
                        "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          None of this or any gun-grabbing discussion anywhere has anything to do with the massacre. A sick person in need of existential termination found a way to hurt innocents. That's what happened.

                          There has always been a lot of room with the Second Amendment to debate what it means, and what the original intention was. My take on it has always been that the right was guaranteed to provide a check against the Federal government's ability to raise a standing army. In the context of the time, there was concern that an oppressive government would form and use the standing army to subjugate the population. I think there was an additional desire to make sure that armies could be quickly raised to defend against a foreign enemy as well.

                          That being said, I don't think it serves that purpose any longer.
                          I don't think the military would follow orders if an attempted subjugation were to occur. However, it is my belief that law enforcement officials would. These days, they are as heavily armed as the military when it comes to small arms. I don't know about you, but I am not comfortable with cops having guns if I am not allowed to.

                          America got rid of slavery. It got rid of segregation. That didn't make things perfect, but I think it's a shame to believe that fundamental changes cannot occur if people want them and fight for them.
                          Those who believe it is unwise to fight for giving up rights to the state would fight back. I am among them.
                          Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dr Maturin View Post
                            Those who believe it is unwise to fight for giving up rights to the state would fight back. I am among them.
                            Which I find understandable. But how encompassing should those rights be? What can be done to help reduce the loss of life? If you read the JMS thread at all, he made a good point - when people don't insist on all-or-nothing, at least some progress can be made (as when the auto industry added seat belts and other safety features to cars).

                            Jan
                            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dr Maturin View Post
                              None of this or any gun-grabbing discussion anywhere has anything to do with the massacre. A sick person in need of existential termination found a way to hurt innocents. That's what happened.
                              To a great extent, I agree. We do need to place greater emphasis on personal responsibility, and the danger can never be eliminated because a person who wants to do harm will find a way. However, the amount of harm done can be mitigated. The more bullets and the faster they can be dispatched, the more harm that can be done. To conduct a mass killing, you need an appropriate weapon.

                              I don't think the military would follow orders if an attempted subjugation were to occur. However, it is my belief that law enforcement officials would. These days, they are as heavily armed as the military when it comes to small arms. I don't know about you, but I am not comfortable with cops having guns if I am not allowed to.
                              I'm not sure why you think the people in law enforcement would be more prone to this than those in the military, but even with heavily armed SWAT teams, the police do not have enough personel to subjugate the US. Especially if you believe the armed forces will do what's right.
                              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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