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Monday, March 03, 2008

Gun issue triggers attention for Luke Scott

Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke!...Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! (MSG crowd files out…bloody shirts abound)

Orioles manager Dave Trembley knew about the intensity, all-out hustle and powerful uppercut swing. But he still had one question about his new left fielder, so he approached Luke Scott while Scott was shagging fly balls last week.

“Talk to me about the gun situation,” Trembley said to Scott. Trembley, who has never fired a gun and joked that he wouldn’t know the difference between a water pistol and a BB gun, had read about Scott’s thoughts on gun control and about how the player almost always carries a concealed firearm.

...“I think it’s smart, and it’s your constitutional right to be prepared,” Scott said. “If people want to walk around in la la land and say, ‘Nothing will ever happen to me,’ that’s their choice. I choose not to do that. I don’t go around flashing my gun, I don’t go around and say, ‘Oh, look, I’m carrying a piece.’ I carry in case something happens where I can’t avoid trouble and I can’t leave or there’s a risk that I’m going to lose my life or my property.”

Scott told of one situation several years back when he was at a Houston gas station and was confronted by a man carrying a shank.

“I didn’t pull my gun on him,” Scott said. “I would have if he had gotten close enough, and I would have shot him if he wouldn’t have backed off. But all I had to do was lift up my shirt and put my hand on [the gun] and I said, ‘Can I help you?’ He stopped in his tracks. Who knows what that saved me?”

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2008 at 01:36 AM | 337 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:15 PM (#2705175)
The founding fathers also thought highly of flag-burning. How many of those folks citing the founding fathers for lack of gun control are going to do the same for allowing flag-burning?

Let me think: NONE
Uh, lots of people?
Honestly, the "founding fathers"/2nd amendment argument is bogus on so many levels. People being right on a lot of things does not preclude them from ever being wrong.
It's not clear what you mean by "wrong." The issue isn't whether the RKBA is good policy; if it were, then they could be "wrong." The issue is what the RKBA was understood to mean.
   202. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:18 PM (#2705180)
The founding fathers also thought highly of flag-burning. How many of those folks citing the founding fathers for lack of gun control are going to do the same for allowing flag-burning?

Me. It should be legal to burn a flag. However, if someone happens to beat the crap out of said flag burner, I'd say the incitement was definitely a mitigating circumstance.
   203. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:21 PM (#2705183)
Uh, lots of people?

I should have clarified, David. Go out into the non-academic rural world where people aren't discussing higher levels of political theory. Ask them if they are in favor of gun control. All those who cite the 2nd amendment and what the founding fathers wanted, ask them what they think of flag-burning. No matter what you say here and what your libertarian thoughts are, if you think a "lots of" those folks are going to be fine with flag-burning, you are not living in the real world.

Snapper, I'm sorry, I actually don't get your point there. Could you re-state?
   204. The Good Face Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:21 PM (#2705184)
A grenade is a lot less deadly than a hunting rifle. Grenades are mostly a wounding weapon, maybe lethal under 3-4 M range. Grenades are probably considered an "explosive device" and banned under that criteria.


Yep.

Most people who don't know much about guns really underestimate the lethality of hunting rifles. Virtually all assault rifles are chambered in 5.56MM or 7.62x39MM, moderately powerful rifle cartridges at best. Common hunting rifles chambered in the venerable old 30'06 and .308 are way, WAY more powerful. They are more accurate, dangerous at longer ranges and pack significantly more punch. They often have wood stocks, which makes them look less scary, but many of them are semiautomatic and can be fitted with high capacity magazines just like the much maligned assault rifles.

Sorry for the rant, but that's one of my pet peeves.
   205. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:21 PM (#2705185)
#223 - Nieporent re flag burning:
Uh, lots of people?

Exactly. I think people who burn or otherwise desecrate the flag are *ssholes, and UNCREATIVE and UNORIGINAL *ssholes at that (David Cross - nobody's idea of a conservative - parodied these guys brilliantly on Mr. Show back in 1995), but it's their right under the 1st Amendment. Their "speech" speaks for itself: it's auto-discrediting. Let them do what they please.
   206. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:25 PM (#2705189)
Exactly. I think people who burn or otherwise desecrate the flag are *ssholes, and UNCREATIVE and UNORIGINAL *ssholes at that...

Even the flag-burners who founded the country? I never get this stance.

NOTE: Have never burned a flag or even think I will ever have a desire to.
   207. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:40 PM (#2705197)
#228 - Lassus:

The act of flag-burning has taken on a far different meaning in the current era than it ever had back in 1776-1781. Today it is a repudiation of everything the United States - and the political liberties, and the men & women who have fought and died for for it over the last 220 or so years - stands for. Back then the act was freighted with a far less serious meaning.

But again, that's my interpretation. Regardless of whether you agree with me (and do note that I'm right and you're wrong), we still agree that folks have a right to stupid and/or wrong speech, its stupidity and/or wrongness notwithstanding.
   208. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:44 PM (#2705199)
#226 - Good Face:
Most people who don't know much about guns really underestimate the lethality of hunting rifles. Virtually all assault rifles are chambered in 5.56MM or 7.62x39MM, moderately powerful rifle cartridges at best. Common hunting rifles chambered in the venerable old 30'06 and .308 are way, WAY more powerful. They are more accurate, dangerous at longer ranges and pack significantly more punch. They often have wood stocks, which makes them look less scary, but many of them are semiautomatic and can be fitted with high capacity magazines just like the much maligned assault rifles.

100% agreed. It's one of my pet peeves as well, and your post eloquently demonstrates the incoherence of the "assault weapons" ban, which merely bans guns that "look scary" without respect to actual lethality...assuming that's a proper metric to be using in the first place.
   209. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:55 PM (#2705204)
(Re: flag-burning)Today it is a repudiation of everything the United States - and the political liberties, and the men & women who have fought and died for for it over the last 220 or so years - stands for. Back then the act was freighted with a far less serious meaning.

Because no one had ever proudly fought and died for England over it's paltry 1500 year history?

...we still agree that folks have a right to stupid and/or wrong speech, its stupidity and/or wrongness notwithstanding.

I do agree with that, but I have to say, I don't agree with the stupidity of enabling basically anyone who wants to to gun other people down. Catch the news today? Wheee West Palm Beach.

You mentioned something above about the unoriginality of flag-burning above. If we're going to talk about originality, guns do not quite enter into the equation. What the hell could be more common and pathetic than arming oneself with lethal force and then - gasp - shooting someone? Try something new for once that actually requires thought.
   210. CrosbyBird Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:57 PM (#2705206)
   211. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:02 AM (#2705208)
I don't agree with the stupidity of letting basically anyone who wants to gun other people down. Catch the news today? Wheee West Palm Beach.


Gun laws don't "let" or "not let" anyone do anything.

I live in Maryland which has very strict gun laws. So, by your reasoning, they're not "letting" people gun other people down. If you wanna grab a beer if you happen to be in town, I'll be happy to drop you off in West Baltimore afterwards, so you can experience the joys of a well-run city that won't "let" people kill you or "let" people rob you.
   212. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:03 AM (#2705210)
Virtually all assault rifles are chambered in 5.56MM or 7.62x39MM, moderately powerful rifle cartridges at best.

Jeff Cooper, while he may not have coined the term, famously referred to 5.56mm caliber rifles as "poodle shooters" to disparage their lack of lethality.

I thought the main complaint about assault rifles is that they could easily be made to function as fully automatic.

That complaint is incoherent. "Assault rifles", as a class, already have automatic fire capability (either "full auto" or burst fire -- the M16 is safe/semi-auto/three-round burst by default). "Assault weapons", to the degree that that term means anything at all, are no more or less easy to convert to autofire than any other weapon with a similar action -- and action type is not part of the list of characteristics that identify an "assault weapon".
   213. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#2705213)
"Assault weapons", to the degree that that term means anything at all, are no more or less easy to convert to autofire than any other weapon with a similar action -- and action type is not part of the list of characteristics that identify an "assault weapon".

In other words, the main complain about "assault rifles" is that they look super scary and some probably-white upper-middle-class do-gooders saw the bad guys use them in an action movie.
   214. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:07 AM (#2705214)
Dan - "Let" was a poor choice of words, so I edited. And I do not think that the city or the state or the government should be sued or are responsible when someone is shot. Persons are absolutely responsible for their own actions.

But, I do believe that less people would be slaughtered in malls and schools if it were a little harder to get the guns. Is that really such a reprehensible stance?
   215. JPWF13 Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:10 AM (#2705216)
Re: flag-burning)Today it is a repudiation of everything the United States - and the political liberties, and the men & women who have fought and died for for it over the last 220 or so years - stands for.


I think a part of the stupidity of flag burning is that the message the burners seek to convey is oftentimes not quite the message that is received.


Personally I think it would be fine and dandy to take an old confederate battleflag and burn the sucker to convey my disgust of its use as a racist symbol and rallying point the last half century.

Southerners would not get that message, what they would see would merely be a northerner pissing on their entire culture and heritage-

ergo flag burning is generally* dumb as "speech".


*Burning a Nazi flag is fine- if they think I'm pissing on them- so be it
   216. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:14 AM (#2705218)
#238 - JPWF:

Well said all around, especially the Nazi flag argument...at some point, I don't give a flying frig if I'm "misinterpreted."
   217. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:15 AM (#2705219)
In other words, the main complain about "assault rifles" is that they look super scary and some probably-white upper-middle-class do-gooders saw the bad guys use them in an action movie.

To underline this point a little, this is an "assault weapon": Bushmaster XM15.

This is not an assault weapon: Ruger Mini-14.

But both of these are semi-automatic, .223/5.56mm caliber, magazine-fed rifles, and the latter is in fact derived from the fully automatic M14.
   218. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:24 AM (#2705225)
Speaking of guns, perhaps we should be keeping them away from Noah Lowry:

Noah Lowry, P, San Francisco Giants Monday 3/3, 3:54 PM CT

Noah Lowry had... um, a little problem finding the plate on Monday. In the first inning, the southpaw walked seven batters and threw two wild pitches, the Chicago Tribune reports. Lowry came back out in the second inning, walked two more hitters, and tossed a pick-off attempt into the stands. All told, he allowed four runs and no hits over one inning.
   219. rr Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:25 AM (#2705228)
Today it is a repudiation of everything the United States - and the political liberties, and the men & women who have fought and died for for it over the last 220 or so years - stands for.


I am not in favor of people burning the flag, because I think it is seen as dissing the sacrifices of military personnel, which of course we should not ever do, regardless of political preferences. But I think it is generally done, at least domestically, as a symbolic protest of specific policies. What you said is sort of like saying if you fly the flag, you automatically support everything the US has ever done. This kind of binarism based on sweeping generalities--you are with us or against us--is tiresome. I found the quote below on the net; who knows if the writer is sincere about his identity--might be a fake-job--but I thought it was interesting. YMMV.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I see the Congress has lost another battle to make it against the law for a US citizen to burn our flag in protest.

First of all, let me tell you that I am a 59 year old combat vetern of Vietnam. I was in the 9th Infantry Division stationed in the Delta. I was not drafted, I joined. I thank God every day because I was born an American. I come from a long line of combat experienced relatives; father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncles etc. I am about as patriotic as one can get. I fully believe I went into harms way to defend the American way of life. To defend our rights under the Constitution of the United Sates of America. I fully endorse the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America (aka The Declaration of Independance). So when I say this you will know that I love America. If someone wants to burn our flag in protest, I say, "Give tham a match". That's right. I fought for thier right to express themselves through protest. If burning a cloth symbol means that much to the, let them go.



***
   220. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:28 AM (#2705230)
Any difference in muzzle velocity?

According to Wikipedia, there is a small difference: 975 m/s for the XM15, 945 for the Mini-14. This is probably due to the slightly shorter Mini-14 barrel -- 18.5", versus 20" for the standard XM15. I'd be willing to bet that the 16" barrelled XM15 is slightly slower than the Mini-14.

Muzzle velocity, however, is also not one of the characteristics used to classify "assault weapons". The M4 (a fully automatic weapon) is listed at 884 m/s.
   221. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:31 AM (#2705231)
Noah Lowry had... um, a little problem finding the plate on Monday.


Since you veered off topic, I'll continue: I wonder if Lowry's injured. 87 walks and 87 Ks last year, continuing an ugly trend he started in 2006.

Adam Loewen went through something similar last year, and his BB/K ratio stood at 26/22 right before being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his elbow.
   222. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:33 AM (#2705233)
I think #243 conveys how I feel about the issue, yet better, both robinred and whomever he quotes, even if the quote is nothing more than an idea instead of reality.
   223. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:38 AM (#2705234)

But, I do believe that less people would be slaughtered in malls and schools if it were a little harder to get the guns. Is that really such a reprehensible stance?


If it really worked out that way, no. But people are getting slaughtered in Baltimore and in other inner cities where all these wonderful gun control laws are in effect. Hundreds of people a year are slaughtered in Baltimore. Baltimore's enjoyed the gun control renaissaince to become the birthplace of the whole "Stop Snitchin'" campaign, where residents, in a city with a murder rate 6 times that of New York, are completely helpless at the hands of people who don't care if they're breaking a gun control law while they're murdering someone for drugs or money.

"Guns are bad!" is a pretty easy thing to say if, like most of the people on this site, you're white, educated, middle-class or above, and live in a safe area. But when you're not, "Gun Control is good!" is no more effective than George Bush saying "Democracy Good, Terrorists Bad!" is in Iraq. We live in a violent society and while I don't have a gun or any desire to own one, I think it would be reprehensible of me to stop anyone from exercising their desire to defend their life and liberty, especially those for whom both are at far more risk on a daily basis than mine.
   224. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:46 AM (#2705237)
Ah, the old saw about how the guns in question are "too weak".

A hunting rifle is designed for hunting large mammals.

The others are lightweight, easily assembled/disassembled garbage intended to inflict harm at close range. Note I wrote harm. Because these crude devices are conceived more to maim than to kill efficiently.

A legitimate hunter isn't interested in seeing game stagger off to bleed to death.

That does seem to be the MO of the worthless c#cksuckers who use such things.

But do provide excuses for their existence. Every dumb#ss with a grudge against society nods in assent.

From their parents basement of course.
   225. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:53 AM (#2705239)
By the way, my experience with these things begin and end with my experiences at the shooting range. My collection is primarily shotguns, hunting rifles, a few antiques and some assorted pieces.
   226. Mark R. Garber Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:54 AM (#2705240)
OK, I have a question.

Based on rape rates and murder rates, a penis is far, far more likely to be used in the commission of a violent crime than a gun is. Should every male be forced to register a semen sample with the government after fighting red tape and getting approved for a sexual intercourse license, without which every man would have to wear a government-installed chastity belt?
   227. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 12:59 AM (#2705242)
The others are lightweight, easily assembled/disassembled garbage intended to inflict harm at close range. Note I wrote harm. Because these crude devices are conceived more to maim than to kill efficiently.

That is correct, b/c for the military a wound can be more valuable than a kill, since it takes 3-4 healthy soldiers to evac each wounded. That was part of the logic behind the M-16.

The individual rifleman may feel differently if, as in Mogadishu, they shoot a badguy 3-4 times with their M-16 and he keeps shooting back. Or, if the rifle round won't penetrate body armor.

One of your hunting rifles in 30-06 or .308 is WAY more dangerous in trained hands than any scary looking AK-47.
   228. Boots Day Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:00 AM (#2705243)
I am not in favor of people burning the flag, because I think it is seen as dissing the sacrifices of military personnel, which of course we should not ever do, regardless of political preferences.

I don't understand this at all. The flag stands for this great nation as a whole, not simply its military personnel. The greatness of America inheres in many other things besides our armed forces.
   229. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:00 AM (#2705244)
A legitimate hunter isn't interested in seeing game stagger off to bleed to death.

I understand it isn't even legal to use .223 for deer in a lot of states because it's too underpowered. 7.62x39 is supposed to be a passable deer cartridge, about equal to .30-30, and 7.62x51 should enough to take care of anything in North America.

The right tools for the right purpose. I think an M14 (or an M1A, the civilian variant) would make for a decent hunting rifle in a pinch, though I'd rather have a nice, slick bolt-action. Anyone hunting anything larger than a squirrel with an AR-15 should be horsewhipped.
   230. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:04 AM (#2705245)
Dan, that is a reasonable stance (#247). I have no idea of the gun control laws in place in MD at large or Baltimore specifically, but I can't imagine they actually are particularly strict given the gun lobby. If they are the strictest in the nation - which I doubt - even THEN they probably simply are terribly cursory. Isn't it possible that the laws in place simply are not written well? It's as if that stance isn't possible to conceive of for many people.

I've NEVER SAID that guns should be outlawed. I also think criminality is not punished harshly enough, a completely different debate. My main stance in this whole debate is that gun control is not an evil thing and could be exercised intelligently with regards to various factors. But none of these factors will EVER be explored, because of the perceived loss of freedom to shoot people.

As an aside, the many and various mall and school shootings, colloquially, don't seem to be committed by members of low-income areas trying to protect themselves.

By the way, I am white and lower-middle-class and currently live in Queens, currently fitting your description to a "T". However, I lived for 2 years teaching in south central Los Angeles, in the early 90's, post-riot. I also did social work and lived in some similar areas of Seattle. I was robbed, mugged, and had a gun and a knife pulled on me on separate occasions. It didn't change my view, and I never had a gun of my own. It's not the same as Baltimore now - I have no idea what it is like there. It doesn't make your point any less valid, as I had mobility many residents of the area did not have.

There are always other solutions, and I know that even some residents of the areas of Baltimore you speak of would agree. I am not entirely without frame of reference. The families I worked with didn't want their own guns to shoot back. They wanted every damn gun out of their neighborhood, bar none. EVERY SINGLE GUN. They would have been happy to see gun control that would make David and everyone else here howl with rage.
   231. AROM Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:13 AM (#2705250)
Me. It should be legal to burn a flag. However, if someone happens to beat the crap out of said flag burner, I'd say the incitement was definitely a mitigating circumstance.


I have no problem if you want to burn your flag. Just keep your lighter away from my flag (and keep your flaming flag away from any of my property, or we gonna have a problem).

I thought the main complaint about assault rifles is that they could easily be made to function as fully automatic.


That would be semi-automatic weapons. Not necessarily the same thing.

Based on rape rates and murder rates, a penis is far, far more likely to be used in the commission of a violent crime than a gun is. Should every male be forced to register a semen sample with the government after fighting red tape and getting approved for a sexual intercourse license, without which every man would have to wear a government-installed chastity belt?


Careful. Don't give the feminists any ideas.
   232. AROM Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:20 AM (#2705252)
I don't agree with the stupidity of letting basically anyone who wants to gun other people down. Catch the news today? Wheee West Palm Beach.


Are you OK with letting anyone who wants to own a car to drive over crowds of people on the sidewalk?

I'd be careful using the word "stupidity" if I were you. At least until you comprehend the difference between letting people own an object and letting people use that object to cause harm.
   233. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:29 AM (#2705257)
Ack, BTF Monster ate my reply! I'll repost it when I'm at the other computer - I'm sure you're all waiting with bated breath!
   234. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:31 AM (#2705258)
#213 - Andy:

I'm referring to the last one you linked, with Teddy carrying a Big Stick of gov't and business-minded reform ("punishment of grafters," "honest & efficiency throughout the public service," and trustbusting) whilst gesturing to a sign made by the Howling Democratic Press. No question about it, the GOP eventually disgraced these principles once they got comfortable in power during the late '90s and '00s, but I believe that principled conservatism stands for these things in the interest of promoting the free market and small government. Here's to the Bull Moose.


E-mail me your address and I'll mail you a copy. That was always one of our most popular posters back in the days of the shop.
   235. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:34 AM (#2705259)
Also, anyone can burn their flags so long as it's not in an area where public burning of stuff isn't banned. I'll be damned if flag-burners get to have open flames while I have either spend forever sticking leaves in bags or dragging them all the way to the curb to wait for the leafvaccumomatic guys to come every other week in the fall instead of simply burning them.
   236. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:36 AM (#2705261)
No question about it, the GOP eventually disgraced these principles once they got comfortable in power during the late '90s and '00s, but I believe that principled conservatism stands for these things in the interest of promoting the free market and small government.

This is one reason that I'm voting for Obama (though I also like him) even though I'm probably closer to McCain politically - the Republicans need to spend some time in the wilderness to get back to these roots, just like the Democrats really needed to spend some time in the wilderness in the 90s.
   237. BeanoCook Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:52 AM (#2705270)
This is one reason that I'm voting for Obama (though I also like him) even though I'm probably closer to McCain politically - the Republicans need to spend some time in the wilderness to get back to these roots, just like the Democrats really needed to spend some time in the wilderness in the 90s.


Maybe true. But absolutely no reason to vote Obama because of this.
   238. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 04, 2008 at 01:54 AM (#2705271)
The Swiss are rude. The ones I encountered made the Germans look polite.
   239. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 02:04 AM (#2705278)
I guess I'm not a conservative, based on this thread. Damn.

Second Amendment be damned. Just because something's in the constitution doesn't make it a good idea, that's why they put in amendments in the first place. If you give universal access to lethal force, people will use lethal force a lot. And we don't want people using lethal force. The conclusion is quite clear.

I doubt you can ever get rid of all guns, but you can have a society where guns are vanishingly rare. All current guns confiscated, except where the owner has good reason, and must apply for a licence, only to be given after stringent tests, and must be regularly reviewed. Farmers who need to keep pests off their land I suppose could have a single gun. Self-defence, recreation, these aren't good reasons to get a licence. Hunting I'm torn on. In principle I'm not opposed to it, but in practice I think people might abuse this as a loophole. Not sure.

Once the general population had been disarmed, I would want all police disarmed, except for special gun teams who could be called upon in emergencies where the offender had a gun.

It wouldn't be a panacea, it wouldn't end all crime, it wouldn't end all violent crime. But it would help.
   240. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 02:41 AM (#2705290)
I know the most about Britain. Virtually all private gun ownership is banned. They are also moving to criminalize self defense. People have been jailed for shooting at/beating burglars. Violent crime is rising dramatically. They now have a higher rate of violent crime than the U.S
.

The Guardian disagrees--no, that's too kind--your assertion is patently false. See "Crime rate falling ever faster, but drug and gun offences increase": http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jan/25/politics.ukguns

I particularly enjoyed this nightmarish, rampant citizen fear:

About a third of the public say that there are severe problems of antisocial behaviour in their area, particularly concerning rubbish on the streets and teenagers "hanging around".


Also from the article:

The number of gun-related deaths went down from 55 to 49 in the year to September 2007. Incidents involving serious injury also fell, by 16%.



To compare this unfavorably to gun violence and gun death (or violent crime generally) in the United States is at least a stretch, Snap.

Here's more, from http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF01.htm

Gun Deaths - International Comparisons
Gun deaths per 100,000 population (for the year indicated):

Homicide Suicide Other (inc Accident)

USA (2001) 3.98 5.92 0.36
Italy (1997) 0.81 1.1 0.07
Switzerland (1998) 0.50 5.8 0.10
Canada (2002) 0.4 2.0 0.04
Finland (2003) 0.35 4.45 0.10
Australia (2001) 0.24 1.34 0.10
France (2001) 0.21 3.4 0.49
England/Wales (2002) 0.15 0.2 0.03
Scotland (2002) 0.06 0.2 0.02
Japan (2002) 0.02 0.04 0

Data taken from Cukier and Sidel (2006) The Global Gun Epidemic. Praeger Security International. Westport.
   241. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 02:48 AM (#2705295)
The Guardian disagrees--no, that's too kind--your assertion is patently false.

I didn't say murder or gun crime, i said violent crime. Murder is still higher in the U.S., as is rape, but bulglary, robbery, assault etc. are much higher in the U.K. The OVERALL rate of violent crime is higher in the U.K., as shown by the higher victimization rates, but the most serious categories are lower.

I'll try and find a definitive source.

EDIT: Here's a NYTimes article

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0CE2DD163AF931A25753C1A96E958260

Here's an Daily Mail article

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=25671&in_page_id=1770

The victimization rates (% of population that suffers violent crime) are 4.1% for Australia, 3.6% for UK and 2% fo U.S.
   242. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 03:30 AM (#2705307)
Thanks for the links in 265. I'll try to narrow it down some--while I'm looking would we agree that burglary and car theft (not carjacking) are not "violent crimes"?

edit: "car theft" added
   243. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 03:57 AM (#2705322)
There are some real problems with getting to useful numbers, in that:

“Crime in England and Wales 2001/2002? discusses the difference between the BCS and police statistics. The increase in the police recorded violent crime was caused by changes in the crimes counted and increased recording. The underlying violent crime rate, as measured by the BCS, declined significantly.


http://timlambert.org/2002/10/malcolm/

I honestly don't know what to make of it yet, though I may have some time to do some more digging later this evening. There's a link in the above to Crime in England and Wales 2001/2002 which I believe is the official government report, fwiw, at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hosb702.pdf
   244. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 04:27 AM (#2705340)
I liked this gem:

"You can use crime statistics to 'prove' just about anything you want about crime," says Ken Pease, Professor of Crime Science at University College London and Loughborough University.
   245. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:00 AM (#2705351)
On page 10 of the 199 page Crime in England and Wales 2001/2002

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hosb702.pdf,

the graph shows the BCS (British Crime Survery) results: violent crime from 1995 to 2001/2002 dropped steadily and significantly downward. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the report, but those are the numbers.

edit: added the specific years covered by the graph
   246. AROM Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:34 AM (#2705363)
Once the general population had been disarmed, I would want all police disarmed, except for special gun teams who could be called upon in emergencies where the offender had a gun.

It wouldn't be a panacea, it wouldn't end all crime, it wouldn't end all violent crime. But it would help.


Ever heard the phrase "from my cold dead hands"? You really think the gun-owning population would allow them to be confiscated without a fight?

If this were tried, you'd probably have to kill more Americans in a year than would kill each other in the next century of gun ownership.
   247. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:23 AM (#2705375)
A hunting rifle is designed for hunting large mammals.

The others are lightweight, easily assembled/disassembled garbage intended to inflict harm at close range. Note I wrote harm. Because these crude devices are conceived more to maim than to kill efficiently.

A legitimate hunter isn't interested in seeing game stagger off to bleed to death.

That does seem to be the MO of the worthless c#cksuckers who use such things.

But do provide excuses for their existence. Every dumb#ss with a grudge against society nods in assent.


Hey, I agree with Chris Rock, any punk can shoot somebody, but it takes a real man to stab.
   248. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:36 AM (#2705383)
On a completely different hey-it's-11:32-in-Hyde-Park-and-I'm-buzzed note, I wholeheartedly and emphatically recommend the Talk Talk albums Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock to you all. If you are cheap or (like me) unwilling to download music illegally out of principle, you can go to YouTube and sample the complete contents of each album. Just search under "Talk Talk The Rainbow" for the first song from Spirit Of Eden. After that, click on to "Eden," "Desire," "Inheritance," "I Believe In You," and "Wealth." Figure out the second album by yourself.

They are two of the all-time great meditation/studying/making out with hot chicks albums. Among their lesser qualities, that is. (Their larger significance is in prefiguring post-rock and late '90s/early '00s art-rock a decade before the fact...Radiohead and Tortoise eat your hearts out.) If "I Believe In You" isn't one of the most hypnotically consolatory songs of the decade, I'll eat my shoe. Check this out, and I want at least one report back.

[Yes, that's right...before Esoteric was a "better dead than Red" conservative law student Nationals fanatic, he was a hipster muso rock critic...je ne regrete rien!]
   249. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#2705464)
We've got a lot of New Englanders and citifolk on this forum. Lassus in Queens, if he's ever been out to the midwest does not understand how we view guns. I grew up in Western KY, though I no longer live there. West KY has a lot more in common with Kansas and Missouri than Tennessee or Georgia. I come from generations and generations of hunters. Whenever I go home, I either target shoot or shoot skeet. We don't worship guns, we really don't even think about them very often, until someone decideds they're going to tell us what to do with our guns. Then we care. Midwesterns, as a rule, just want to be left alone, not just talking about guns in this instance. About the only people who want anything (or seem to get anything) from the government are the farmers and their subsidies and most smaller farmers recieve so little in subsidies they would be happy to see them go away.

Lassus, I put kevin on ignore for randomly insulting people on this board, and you might come next if you make a statement like this again:

I should have clarified, David. Go out into the non-academic rural world where people aren't discussing higher levels of political theory. Ask them if they are in favor of gun control. All those who cite the 2nd amendment and what the founding fathers wanted, ask them what they think of flag-burning. No matter what you say here and what your libertarian thoughts are, if you think a "lots of" those folks are going to be fine with flag-burning, you are not living in the real world.

I'm really tired of people from the city deciding that they are superior to those of us living in fly-over country. New York, California, and Texas don't decide presidential elections, midwesterners do. Non-academic rural counties? I'll give you a chance to apologize for pretending that such places exist outside of Hollywood hickdom. Or perhaps you should explain it to my cousin from Appalachia with a college degree about the non-academic rural world. If you think Queens has a higher level of academic discourse than Marshall Co, KY (pop ~5,000), you're a fool. Just because people don't agree with you worldview doesn't make them nonacademic hillbillies who don't know nothin' 'bout 'nothin. Perhaps you didn't mean it that way. But its the way I took it, and I'm pretty sure that's they way most people I know from that area would take it. By the way, I've never burned a flag, but if they make it a criminal offense, I'm building a bon fire and burning every flag I can find at the stores around here, jail time or not.

[On taking away gun by Alougoodbye] Try banning guns, and then you'll see gun violence. Some people might give them up, but I promise you'd see a lot of violence, some approaching the level of the violence in Iraq. Andsince my dad, sister, and brother-in-law are gun owners of everyone should be required to have a gun by law, they'd be some of the ones fighting. And they've got a pretty good aim. Since I stand with my family above all, well, I've got a pretty good aim, too. Add to the fact that local law enforcement wouldn't try it, and the local National Guard Armory would be highly unlikely to turn on their families, I think you underestimate what would happen. If you've ever been to the midwest or the south, then you should already no that.
   250. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 03:23 PM (#2705490)
Arva - you misunderstood what I was saying. And I'll thank you not to make assumptions about my origins.

I grew up in a smaller rural town than you, 1,400 and shrinking in the Mohawk Valley. Oneida County, which is not New England but marked on the maps I studied in elementary school as the northern tip of Appalachia. (In the interim, I admit that many have said that's a load of crap. If you've seen Brother's Keeper, I would have to disagree. But it is a bit of a stretch, even I can see.) I've also lived in the mountains of CO. I don't fly over fly-over country, and am happy to say I've taken the Greyhound from LA to NY, and from Seattle to Miami. Not figuratively, but literally, and numerous times. Plus countless driving and some working tours. So please save your "he doesn't know anything about the midwest" for someone else. If you think that "non-academic rural world" was an insult, that's your problem, not mine. I was trying to get Nieporent out INTO that world a little bit, and perhaps that was as presumptuous of ME as I find your personal blast to me. So, for that I would apologize. Not to you, but to David.

I'm proud of where I'm from. I also know that your view of burning every flag you can find if it's outlawed is not the PREVAILING view of rural Kentucky, urban Kentucky, suburban Kentucky, rural Colorado, suburban TX, or anywhere else.

I understand also that flag-burning is NOT against the law, and that if a majority of people wanted it so, it wouldn't get thankfully shot down as an amendment every time it comes up. Accepting that, I still stand by my statement that a majority of god-fearing gun-owning Americans are against flag burning. It doesn't make them ignorant, it simply makes them conflicted in my opinion if they are also using the founding fathers to stand both against gun control and, AS AN EXAMPLE, against burning the flag.

I may have spoken out of turn and expressed my point poorly, but there was no insult intended.
   251. The Good Face Posted: March 04, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2705497)
That is correct, b/c for the military a wound can be more valuable than a kill, since it takes 3-4 healthy soldiers to evac each wounded. That was part of the logic behind the M-16.


There is some truth to this, but a bigger justification is weight and training. The M-16 & M-4 are lightweight and the .223 cartridge is easy to learn to shoot with due to its low recoil. A combat weapon chambered in .308 would almost certainly be heavier and longer. Also, a soldier can carry significantly more rounds of .223 into battle than .308 due to the size/weight difference.

As another poster pointed out, no sensible person would hunt any animal larger than a coyote or groundhog with a .223 rifle. They are fun to target shoot with though, and the ammo is relatively cheap. (another reason the military favors the cartridge)

I should have clarified, David. Go out into the non-academic rural world where people aren't discussing higher levels of political theory. Ask them if they are in favor of gun control. All those who cite the 2nd amendment and what the founding fathers wanted, ask them what they think of flag-burning. No matter what you say here and what your libertarian thoughts are, if you think a "lots of" those folks are going to be fine with flag-burning, you are not living in the real world.


This sounds a lot like east/west coast bigotry towards "those hillbillies out in flyover country." Have you actually talked to many (any?) people in rural areas about flag burning?
   252. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 03:35 PM (#2705502)
This sounds a lot like east/west coast bigotry towards "those hillbillies out in flyover country." Have you actually talked to many (any?) people in rural areas about flag burning?

Yes, I have. Jesus. How can so many people take "non-academic rural" as an insult? Those were the only words I used. Where is the insult or negativity or pejorative I used? Please point it out and I'll retract and apologize. I'm sorry if people have felt put upon by the coasts.
   253. The Good Face Posted: March 04, 2008 at 03:41 PM (#2705506)
Yes, I have. Jesus. How can so many people take "non-academic rural" as an insult? I'm sorry if people have felt put upon by the coasts.


Hey, I live on the east coast myself. I just think it's bad form to treat, or appear to treat, people who don't live in my geographic area as though I'm pissing on them from a great height. Anyway, I posted before your #274 was up, so I have a better idea where you're coming from. In my experience, most people may be against flag burning, but don't necessarily think it should be illegal. Much like abortion and adultery.
   254. JPWF13 Posted: March 04, 2008 at 03:49 PM (#2705517)
This is not an assault weapon: Ruger Mini-14.

But both of these are semi-automatic, .223/5.56mm caliber, magazine-fed rifles, and the latter is in fact derived from the fully automatic M14.


Well if you stick the magazine in the Mini-14 it'll look like an "assault weapon"
:-)
   255. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 04:22 PM (#2705578)
Lassus: I took nonacademic rural to mean: Stupid rednecked hillbillies. Go talk to some one from Pikeville, or even Bristol, TN (hardly a small town) about someone from Queens (even if thats not where you're from previously, its where you're from now) making that statement, and they would make that same assumption. I'm not even the only one on this thread that took it as an insult. Also, just because someone thinks that gun-control is bad and they want flag burning illegal doesn't make them non-academic or stupid, which is something else I felt you were implying. If you weren't, I apologize, but don't expect em to be the only taking offense, Lassus.

I don't take non-stop trips across the south and midwest, because my family lives all over it, I have to stop alot. Every single one of them has different opinions about gun control and flag burning. My mother-in-law (from Bristol, TN via Waco, KY) hates guns, would see them all banned, but would love to see a anti-flag burning amendment passed. My father-in-law is indifferent towards guns, but rails against anti-flag burning amendments. My sister, father, and brother-in-law would never let anyone take away their guns, but wouold be very much against an amedment making flag burning illegal. Of my family, which numbers in the hundreds that I personally know, you'll find their opinions on the subject as varied as any group in the country, and that's just the three-quarters of it that's from the south and midwest.. My mom's family is from New England (she's orginally from Yonkers, NY, but has lived in KY for thirty years, and all but one member of her family live in the south now) and their opinions are just as varied as my dad's family and my wifes, all of which are from the south or midwest. You're assumptions about the opinions are wrong. As I said before, some would willing give up the right to bear arms. The ones that wouldn't though, REALLY wouldn't.
   256. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 04:38 PM (#2705613)
As I said above, I neither have a gun nor a particular desire to own one, but I guarantee that if the government decided to disarm the populace, that would change pretty quickly.
   257. rr Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:03 PM (#2705653)
...before Esoteric was a "better dead than Red" conservative law student Nationals fanatic, he was a hipster muso rock critic...


And a sex machine of Clooneyesque proportions

I grew up in Western KY, though I no longer live there. West KY has a lot more in common with Kansas and Missouri than Tennessee or Georgia. I come from generations and generations of hunters. Whenever I go home, I either target shoot or shoot skeet. We don't worship guns, we really don't even think about them very often, until someone decideds they're going to tell us what to do with our guns.


My roots are in KY as well, although in the north and east. And yes, most of my male relatives have guns. Most of them are Democrats. While I have a few strong core beliefs that make me vote Democratic almost all of the time and self-label as a liberal, I am agnostic on many of the hot button issues, such as gun control, since I think there are many variables and most legislation will have cost/benefit issues. And, as Andy said, with a few exceptions, I don't think all that many liberals are fired up to kick in your door or Harvey's or snapper's and take your guns away. We are, as I assume you are, interested in ways to keep guns out of the hands of violent kids, street criminals, and West Palm beach postal types. The discussion should start there, and I am interested in the conservative take on how or if we can do that.
   258. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#2705679)
I took nonacademic rural to mean: Stupid rednecked hillbillies.

Also, just because someone thinks that gun-control is bad and they want flag burning illegal doesn't make them non-academic or stupid, which is something else I felt you were implying.

Once again: non-academic is not an insult, or I'd be insulting nearly every living member of both my immediate and extended family and people I love and respect quite a bit. And political opinions are not stupid, they are opinions. "Conflicted" was how I described a few very specific opinions I was referring to, and that's not a synonym for stupid.

I also never said the opinions weren't varied or that the opinions were unanimous. We're not even disagreeing here. I'm perfectly willing to think that it is indeed possible that I've overstated the number of folk who are against flag-burning (#277 has it right, many are against, but a LAW is something else), although I simply think you're being defensive because you refuse to believe that I'm not calling those same people ignorant monsters. Again, that is your problem, not mine.

I'm sorry you took all of what I said as such; feel free to point out where I made that implication in my words and I'll apologize. Again. But you have warped various other things I've said to suit your mood of who I am. Non-stop trips? Where's that in my description? I have family all over the midwest that I didn't simply wave to as I drove by. I have to say I didn't HIDE IN MY CAR IN TENNESSEE or anywhere else. My reports on the opinions and moods of the country as as valid as your own, Arva.

EDIT: And of all the people who get to keep their guns, Harvey is at the head of my list. Even if he wants to shoot the emo coffee waitstaff in San Francisco. ;-) Or maybe because he does.
   259. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2705686)
I think you'll find that I agreed with 99% of what Andy said earlier, and said as such. I have no problem with the ban on automatics and multi-burst rounds. I have no problem with a ban on arms that fire explosive ammunition. I feel strongly that education is the key to lowering gun violence, which I've stated multiple times. You want to buy a gun, you have to take a class about gun safety, gun use, and the consequences of using guns. I had to take just such a course here in KY, and can find very few people opposed to such measures (maybe libertarians, maybe).

Street Criminals are going to get guns anyway you look at it, so the solution is to have less street criminals, something proper education can reduce, but never fully get rid of. West Palm beach postal types are an exception, and there is very, very little you can do about exceptions. If the person has passed the background check (which I agree with), passed the education course (which is almost impossible to fail), has seen the consequences of gun violence from that course, and STILL wants to kill people, there's just not a whole lot you can do about it. In IMO, if he hadn't had a gun, he would have made a bomb, and same goes for most massacres. As for violent kids, parents are the key. I grew up with guns, but my parents didn't leave them where I could get them, and I knew the consequences of playing with them. I don't believe that many people are out to get my guns, and gun control is one of the last things I look at on a candidate because its very unlikely any candidate could take away anyones guns of any type.

I recoil at the idea that because someone is against gun control, they are automatically for something else and vica versa. That's where my anger has come from. Unlike esoteric, I don't think an opinion on gun control is a very good bellweather for beliefs. Only on the far out there whackos on both sides of the politcal specturm do you find that kind of unity of opinion. People closer to the center tend to be fractured in their opinions, which is a good thing. I don't think you're out to take my guns, robinred, maybe 2% of the population cares one way or the other about gun control. Most people just want to be left alone about most things, and gun control is one of them. You won't find me supporting the NRA, either. I think thier nuts as well. If you ever vote for a candidate just because of the opinions on gun control, then I think thats a bad thing as well.

My posts tend to be way to long, BTW.

Lassus, I believe that you aren't calling those people ignorant monsters. I wa not trying to say you hid in you car in TN. Wearen't disagreeing at this point, and I can be touchy on this subject. I have encounter many a person who heard that I was from KY and made assumptions. I apologize for making assumptions about you. as I said, this is a very touchy subjct for me (that is, the opinion on people form rural areas, nogun control isn't actually one of them). I read too much into your comment and got it wrong. I'm sorry.
   260. JPWF13 Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:28 PM (#2705698)
My posts tend to be way to long, BTW.


Hadn't noticed
   261. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:32 PM (#2705704)
The M-16 & M-4 are lightweight and the .223 cartridge is easy to learn to shoot with due to its low recoil.

Additionally, even for a .223, the AR-15 family is extremely low recoil. It's very easy-shooting. For all this, I think it's indefensible as a general-issue infantry weapon -- the thing is an enormous pain in the ### to clean, and you'd better clean it every time you use it if you expect it to work. I can't even imagine trying to keep one of them functioning in, say, Iraq.

Well if you stick the magazine in the Mini-14 it'll look like an "assault weapon"
:-)


Not if it's the factory-standard five-round magazine. :)
   262. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#2705725)
My posts tend to be way to long, BTW.

You've got a long way to go before you're in Andy territory, Arva. :-)
   263. JPWF13 Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#2705727)
Not if it's the factory-standard five-round magazine. :)


Well it can't be an assault weapon with only five rounds
   264. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:42 PM (#2705734)
If the person has passed the background check (which I agree with), passed the education course (which is almost impossible to fail), has seen the consequences of gun violence from that course, and STILL wants to kill people, there's just not a whole lot you can do about it. In IMO, if he hadn't had a gun, he would have made a bomb, and same goes for most massacres.

I'm not sure about that specific point of fact, but the larger question is this:

Do we want to take away the rights of tens of millions of mentally balanced gun owners because of what a tiny handful of psychos might do with guns?

I just can't see it; it's way too much of an overreaction that affects far too many innocent people. It also shows a profound and gratuitous cultural disrespect for too many people who have nothing more in common with criminal gun use than the average car owner does with a guy who runs his car onto a crowded sidewalk.
   265. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#2705739)
My posts tend to be way to long, BTW.

You've got a long way to go before you're in Andy territory, Arva. :-)


TFYTA,Mf?
   266. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2705768)
Andy - I hope that acronym is in as good a humor as I meant mine. I'm still trying to decipher it. I'm as wordy as anyone. Well, not as you, but I try. :D
   267. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#2705789)
Well it can't be an assault weapon with only five rounds

I'm in danger of over-generalizing from living in California, but out here, an "assault weapon" is partially defined by its ability to accept a detachable magazine, regardless of how many rounds the actual magazine being used at the moment has.

This list summarizes the definition. In short, any rifle with a detachable magazine is an "assault weapon" if it has a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, folding stock, flash suppressor, or vertical foregrip. That is, if I understand correctly, you could take an unaltered AR-15 action, fit it into a Mini-14 style stock, and it would no longer constitute an "assault weapon".
   268. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:18 PM (#2705813)
Andy - I hope that acronym is in as good a humor as I meant mine. I'm still trying to decipher it.

Well, we were just coming off the 6th season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, if that's enough of a hint. But you ought to know by now that I seldom take anything on BTF personally.

And yes, I'm well aware of my logorrheic tendencies. I've long since forgiven myself for them....
   269. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:19 PM (#2705814)
I feel strongly that education is the key to lowering gun violence, which I've stated multiple times. You want to buy a gun, you have to take a class about gun safety, gun use, and the consequences of using guns. I had to take just such a course here in KY, and can find very few people opposed to such measures (maybe libertarians, maybe).
Yes, libertarians would oppose the government requiring you to take a class before buying a gun -- but setting that aside, we have no objection to education per se. But I doubt that has much of anything to do with "lowering gun violence." (It may lower accidental shootings.)
   270. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#2705829)
I thought you'd object David, as libertarians don't think the government should get involved in such things (a position I understand). I think part of the problem with the US and violence in general is that our taboos are all screwed up. Violence is acceptable, but sex is not. I'm willing to bet that a portion of people who commit gun violence, non-repeat offenders, never had any concrete realization of what happens when you use a gun. I think education could curb that portion of gun violence if people had a better understanding of the consequences.
   271. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#2705830)
You want to buy a gun, you have to take a class about gun safety, gun use, and the consequences of using guns.


The consequences? Aren't they self evident?
   272. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:33 PM (#2705839)
Additionally, even for a .223, the AR-15 family is extremely low recoil. It's very easy-shooting. For all this, I think it's indefensible as a general-issue infantry weapon -- the thing is an enormous pain in the ### to clean, and you'd better clean it every time you use it if you expect it to work. I can't even imagine trying to keep one of them functioning in, say, Iraq.

Amen to that. There are several parts you can assemble backwards and not know until the F-ing think won't function. They also have this annoying tendancy to break. I had a brand new AR-15 go full-auto on me and jam within the first 100 rounds. I also saw this wierd Discovery channel show where military and SWAT guys competed in battle tactics. A Navy Seal had a magazine fail to seat on a new M-4, his attempts to chamber rounds drew brass shavings into the chamber and it irreparably (w/o an armorer) failed.

Total P.O.S. The AK family has issues (accuracy) but at least it always functions.

You really can't beat the M-1/M-1A/M-14 family. Absolutely reliable, devasting round, great accuracy. Infantry in Iraq have been buying their own and using captured Iraqi M-14s.
   273. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:34 PM (#2705841)
Self-evident, but most people are visual learners. Or, you know how a pig is slaughtered and can still eat bacon. Many people, after SEEING how the pig is slaughtered, can't. Seeing brings it home better than hearing about it or simply getting an example. Videos, pictures, perhaps actually hunting or shootng a mock-up brings the point home harder.
   274. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:53 PM (#2705866)
Self-evident, but most people are visual learners. Or, you know how a pig is slaughtered and can still eat bacon. Many people, after SEEING how the pig is slaughtered, can't. Seeing brings it home better than hearing about it or simply getting an example. Videos, pictures, perhaps actually hunting or shootng a mock-up brings the point home harder.


Yes, but I haven't heard of any such videos or classes for when people buy a set of steak knives from Target. Or a sledge hammer. Or a million other products that can be used as weapons. Somehow the laws on the books are able to deal with people who use, say, a baseball bat to commit a crime. We don't ban baseball bats above a certain size, or limit the number of bats that can be purchased, or require background checks before people purchase them. (Although I have no real problem with background checks for people purchasing guns.)
   275. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 06:59 PM (#2705870)
Also, just because someone thinks that gun-control is bad and they want flag burning illegal doesn't make them non-academic or stupid, which is something else I felt you were implying.

I'm pretty sure that what Lassus meant by "non-academic" was "outside of university campuses or college towns." I don't think he meant anything else by it; just that those places tend to have more liberals than other rural areas. It wasn't a comment on intelligence.
   276. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:16 PM (#2705902)
I'm willing to bet that a portion of people who commit gun violence, non-repeat offenders, never had any concrete realization of what happens when you use a gun. I think education could curb that portion of gun violence if people had a better understanding of the consequences.
Obviously that's an empirical question, so it may be silly for me to debate it, but I just don't see it.

I can only think of two groups who might benefit from learning more about guns firsthand: children and anti-gun people. Neither one would seem to be a significant source of gun violence. (Again, as I said above, you may reduce accidental shootings with education.) And the anti-gun people, in my experience, suffer from the opposite problem from the one you're describing: they overestimate "what happens when you use a gun." (Which is not to say that the consequences aren't serious, of course.)

Other than children
   277. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#2705915)
Do we want to take away the rights of tens of millions of mentally balanced gun owners because of what a tiny handful of psychos might do with guns?
But what good reason can there be to own a gun? Why do you just assume that people have the "right" to acquire deadly force? No-one has seen fit to demonstrate how such a right might inhere*.

So we have the following potential arguments for gun ownership:

1. People like owning guns.
2. Resistance to tyranny.
3. Self-defence.
4. Hunting, etc
5. Alleged crime prevention

And the big one against - allowing lots of people to own guns results in lots of people getting killed.

2, 3 and 5 are, frankly, pretty bogus. 4 might speak to some people being licenced to have guns, but only after stringent checks - and at any rate it's by no means clear that hunting is something sacred that needs to be protected in this way. The only serious argument is that people like owning guns, which is an argument I resepct. But that kind of libertarian position has to give way to the real world, where widespread gun ownership leads inexorably to widespread gun use.

So the only conclusion is that the possession of a gun (or cannon, or hand grenade, or whatever else has been discussed in this thread) should depend on having a damn good reason to do so, and the strength of that reason needs to be proportional to the potential lethality of the force.

As for the difficulties that may be involved in removing the huge number of these evil things from general society - sure, you may be right. But that just speaks to a gradualist approach. One which I'd want to take anyway, because guns are a species of property, and I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of lawfully acquired property.

*I am speaking policy-wise. Yes, the Second Amendment grants a right, but the Second Amendment should (IMO) be repealed.
   278. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#2705932)
2, 3 and 5 are, frankly, pretty bogus.

How is self-defense/crime prevention bogus? You do know why burglars in the U.S. enter when no one's home, as opposed to Britain, where home invasion is much more common?
   279. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#2705937)
Alou, things can't be evil. Evil has to have a motivational force. You or I, for instance, can be evil. A gun cannot. Gun use, even widespread gun use, is not evil. Killing someone with a gun for no reason, is evil. You wish to come to my home, take away my ability to resist you, my ability to defend my self, my ability and my ability to take up hunting if I haven't already. You wouldn't want to take away lawfully acquired property, but you'll do it for the greater good. Most evil things are done for the greater good. You have an entire thread that speaks to why people own guns. You choose to ignore it.
   280. Hal Chase Headley Lamarr Hoyt Wilhelm (ACE1242) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:41 PM (#2705944)
non-academic rural world

I don't speak for Lassus, but I'm willing to throw gasoline on this particular fire.

Plenty of smart people are born in the "non-academic rural world." To find convincing examples, I don't have to look any further than the autobiographical descriptions of several people in this very thread.

But the fact remains: you didn't stay there, did you?
   281. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:43 PM (#2705946)
2, 3 and 5 are, frankly, pretty bogus.
In what way is self-defense "bogus"?

EDIT: Even if one ignores Lott as unreliable, Kleck is very well respected and found more than 2 million defensive gun uses annually.
   282. The Good Face Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:54 PM (#2705962)
But what good reason can there be to own a gun?


The ineffable awesomeness of freedom lies in the fact that we don't need a good reason to own a gun or do anything else.
   283. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 07:54 PM (#2705963)
But what good reason can there be to own a gun? Why do you just assume that people have the "right" to acquire deadly force? No-one has seen fit to demonstrate how such a right might inhere*.

Men living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth, with authority to judge between them, is properly the state of nature. But force, or a declared design of force, upon the person of another, where there is no common superior on earth to appeal to for relief, is the state of war: and it is the want of such an appeal gives a man the right of war even against an aggressor, tho' he be in society and a fellow subject. Thus a thief, whom I cannot harm, but by appeal to the law, for having stolen all that I am worth, I may kill, when he sets on me to rob me but of my horse or coat; because the law, which was made for my preservation, where it cannot interpose to secure my life from present force, which, if lost, is capable of no reparation, permits me my own defence, and the right of war, a liberty to kill the aggressor, because the aggressor allows not time to appeal to our common judge, nor the decision of the law, for remedy in a case where the mischief may be irreparable. Want of a common judge with authority, puts all men in a state of nature: force without right, upon a man's person, makes a state of war, both where there is, and is not, a common judge.


You have, of course, no obligation to agree with the theories advanced by John Locke, or for that matter those theories espoused by any other philosopher who's treated on the subject (and there are many). But if you don't accept the right to defend one's life with deadly force, then we really need to step back and have this discussion on that macro level, because arguing about minutiae of gun control with that kind of elephant in the room isn't very productive, IMO.

But the fact remains: you didn't stay there, did you?

Speaking just for myself, I can't wait to get back there.
   284. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:01 PM (#2705973)
As for why 3 and 5 are bogus:

Obviously guns can be used for self defence. But lots of things can be used for self defence - it's up to you to show why you need something deadly. The idea of self-defence is minimum necessary force. Why use lethal force for self-defence, when you could use non-lethal force, e.g. mace, pepper spray, etc. Moreover I don't see this argument being applied to other kinds of objects usable for self-defence. Should I be able to carry around a machete? And what good is a gun for self-defence if I can't carry it around with me, openly and loaded?

As for why crime prevention is a bogus argument - because you're trading in burglaries for murders.

Arva - yeah, things can't be evil, lazy language. But I haven't ignored the thread. People have said why they own guns - I just don't think they are good enough reasons, for the most part.

MH#1F - sure you have the right do defend your life, even with deadly force if necessary. Doesn't follow that there is a right to universal gun ownership.
   285. flournoy Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:14 PM (#2705988)
The idea of self-defence is minimum necessary force. Why use lethal force for self-defence, when you could use non-lethal force, e.g. mace, pepper spray, etc.


Non-lethal force is often inadequate when those against whom you are defending yourself possess lethal force. Moreover, a gunshot to the leg or shoulder is generally not lethal.

And what good is a gun for self-defence if I can't carry it around with me, openly and loaded?


You can carry it loaded. You might be able to carry it openly depending on who you are and where you live, but probably not.

As for why crime prevention is a bogus argument - because you're trading in burglaries for murders.


If someone breaks into my place, I will shoot him. I doubt that I'd aim to kill, but that might depend on the situation. I would gladly trade the life of any burglar for the prevention of the burglary. Once you invade someone else's home, your life is no longer in your own hands. You deserve whatever fate befalls you.
   286. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:19 PM (#2705995)
Non-lethal force is often inadequate when those against whom you are defending yourself possess lethal force. Moreover, a gunshot to the leg or shoulder is generally not lethal.

I should add, here, that I don't think treating a gun as a magic self-defense talisman is appropriate practice. Having or carrying a gun needs to be part of your self-defense practices, rather than being the entirety of them. There are a whole host of reasons, moral, legal, and psychological, but having two modes of self defense where one is "no defense" and the other is "shoot someone" is a really, really bad idea.
   287. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:19 PM (#2705996)
Obviously guns can be used for self defence. But lots of things can be used for self defence - it's up to you to show why you need something deadly. The idea of self-defence is minimum necessary force. Why use lethal force for self-defence, when you could use non-lethal force, e.g. mace, pepper spray, etc.
Because mace and pepper spray are comically ineffective. Often anti-gun groups will cite statistics showing that women being attacked/raped are more likely to be injured if they attempt to fight back. But if you dig down further into those studies, you see that this is because "fight back" lumps together all sorts of methods of self-defense from verbal all the way up to firearms; when you separate out firearms, you'll see that victims fare well when they use a firearm and fare badly when they use lesser methods.

The exact reasons why you oppose guns are why guns rather than non-lethal force. It's hard to defend yourself with "non-lethal force." Unless you're Chuck Norris.
Moreover I don't see this argument being applied to other kinds of objects usable for self-defence. Should I be able to carry around a machete? And what good is a gun for self-defence if I can't carry it around with me, openly and loaded?
I agree; there's no justification for banning carry, either.
As for why crime prevention is a bogus argument - because you're trading in burglaries for murders.
Not sure what you mean here. Generally speaking -- Texas is an exception -- you can't shoot someone merely to stop a burglary. (There is a presumption, however, that when someone breaks into your home, that they pose a threat to you, not just to your television set.) You can certainly brandish a gun to scare them away, however, which is not trading a burglary for "murder."

MH#1F - sure you have the right do defend your life, even with deadly force if necessary. Doesn't follow that there is a right to universal gun ownership.
That's like banning paper and then saying, "Yes, there's a right to a free press, but it doesn't follow that you have a right to print your words." If one bans one of the only effective ways of exercising your rights, one is infringing on the right itself.
   288. The Good Face Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:22 PM (#2706005)
Obviously cars can be used for transportation. But lots of things can be used for transportation - bicycles, horses, enchanted trolleys, skateboards, etc. It's up to you to show why you need something so dangerous and polluting.

Obviously meat can be used for food. But lots of things can be used for food - vegetables, fungi, and whatever tempeh is. It's up to you to show why you need something that causes the death and suffering of other animals and leads to weight gain and heart disease.

The whole issue is that it's NOT up to us to make any such showing. In a free society, we don't have to justify why we want things. Society instead needs to justify why it can prevent us from having them. When it comes to guns, that comes in the form of limitations such as background checks, mandatory training for concealed carry, and limitations on the types of weapons we can own, such as rocket launchers and tanks.
   289. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:22 PM (#2706007)
Obviously guns can be used for self defence. But lots of things can be used for self defence - it's up to you to show why you need something deadly. The idea of self-defence is minimum necessary force. Why use lethal force for self-defence, when you could use non-lethal force, e.g. mace, pepper spray, etc. Moreover I don't see this argument being applied to other kinds of objects usable for self-defence. Should I be able to carry around a machete? And what good is a gun for self-defence if I can't carry it around with me, openly and loaded?

If soemone threatens you with bodily injury you are allowed to respond with deadly force. Non-lethal force will generally not stop a potential murderer or rapist. For anyone who is not physically strong, or anyone facing more than one assailant, a gun is the only practical means of self-defense.

If someone breaks into my home, or assaults me or assaults or tries to rape another person, and I am forced to kill them to stop them, that death is on them. They caused it, and it was 100% preventable.

If I or my loved ones are in danger, I'm not going to mess around trying to figure out "minimum force". The law doesn't require it, my religion doesn't require it, and the natural law doesn't require it.
   290. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:32 PM (#2706028)
At least Alou is honest, and thinks the 2nd amendment should be appealed, instead of a kevin like purposeful misunderstanding of the constitution. Wrong as possible, but honest, and I can respect that.
   291. Hal Chase Headley Lamarr Hoyt Wilhelm (ACE1242) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:32 PM (#2706029)
Speaking just for myself, I can't wait to get back there.

A sentiment I've often heard from people with rural origins. Meanwhile, your actions speak volumes.
   292. JC in DC Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#2706032)
DMN:

Did you follow that case involving the African-American man on L.I. who shot that (italian?) kid when he and some friends drove to the man's home and may have threatened his son? I read a long article in the New Yorker about that and immediately wondered about your take.
   293. JPWF13 Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#2706033)
If I or my loved ones are in danger, I'm not going to mess around trying to figure out "minimum force".


reasonable

The law doesn't require it


hmmm... depends upon what jurisdiction you live in, you may be unpleasantly surprised on that one.

my religion doesn't require it


I'll assume you know the tenets of your own religion- but what your religion holds may not be true for others

and the natural law doesn't require it.


I don't believe in "Natural Law" any more than I believe in the tooth fairy.
   294. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:43 PM (#2706042)
hmmm... depends upon what jurisdiction you live in, you may be unpleasantly surprised on that one.

I realize it has to be a realistic fear, not someone looking at you funny.

I'll assume you know the tenets of your own religion- but what your religion holds may not be true for others

I only know Catholicism, and the Cathechism of the Catholic Church states that self-defense is not only a right, but a duty, if you are responsible for others.

I don't believe in "Natural Law" any more than I believe in the tooth fairy.

You should read Thomas Aquinas. Heavy going, but the greatest philosophical mind ever.
   295. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:45 PM (#2706043)
Fine. I have the "right" to own a nuclear weapon. This will keep my house safer, as it will greatly deter all burglars. It will also keep the neighbourhood safer, as it will deter my neighbours from playing their music loud. Sure, my neighbours will get nuclear weapons too, but that will just result in greater safety all round. I should not have to justify why I should possess a nuclear weapon, because in a free society we never have to justify anything.

A nuclear society is a polite society.
   296. Arva Posted: March 04, 2008 at 08:47 PM (#2706044)
ACE, welcome to my ignore list. You're assumtpion that my realtives who live in rural areas lack advanced college degrees is among the stupidest things I've ever encountered.
   297. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 04, 2008 at 09:03 PM (#2706057)
Obviously guns can be used for self defence. But lots of things can be used for self defence - it's up to you to show why you need something deadly. The idea of self-defence is minimum necessary force. Why use lethal force for self-defence, when you could use non-lethal force, e.g. mace, pepper spray, etc.


Because if the intruder is prepared to use lethal force on you, it's not effective to use lesser means of self defense?
   298. JPWF13 Posted: March 04, 2008 at 09:03 PM (#2706058)
hmmm... depends upon what jurisdiction you live in, you may be unpleasantly surprised on that one.

I realize it has to be a realistic fear, not someone looking at you funny.


not that part- some jurisdictions require you to use minimum force or even to retreat
   299. flournoy Posted: March 04, 2008 at 09:09 PM (#2706062)
Fine. I have the "right" to own a nuclear weapon. This will keep my house safer, as it will greatly deter all burglars. It will also keep the neighbourhood safer, as it will deter my neighbours from playing their music loud.


I will ignore:

A.) You have no means by which to use a nuclear weapon.
B.) There is no way to use a nuclear weapon to secure an individual home's safety.
C.) Any burglar who happened to know that you possessed a nuclear weapon would also realize that you are not going to nuke your house to prevent a burglary, and thus would ignore any threat.
D.) Possessing a nuclear weapon would greatly increase the risk to your house for innumerable reasons.

Ignoring those factors, by all means, go acquire a nuclear weapon. If that makes you feel safer, then more power to you. Let me know how the acquisition turns out for you.
   300. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 04, 2008 at 09:12 PM (#2706064)
And the big one against - allowing lots of people to own guns results in lots of people getting killed.

This is a specious argument. The only people who we "let" do anything are ones who abide by the law. DC, by your logic, isn't "letting" people have guns - that's worked out just swimmingly.

This is, of course, is all academic - the US has no legal or even illegal method available to even remove all current guns from people that aren't using guns to kill others.
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