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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   3001. Morty Causa Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4325639)
Yes, but would it be if they were numerically a major religious sect--that's the point that is being made?
   3002. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4325643)
Crosby's assessment would seem to be correct. Evangelical Christians outnumber Jews in the US by about fourteen to one. Evangelical Christian lunatics on TV outnumber Jewish lunatics on TV by about eleventy billion to one. Clearly, there are cultural factors involved.
   3003. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 15, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4325644)
The Mensa Society doesn't have a damn thing on BTF.

This was meant as a joke, but I think it's very likely to be true. IIRC, Mensa's standard is "top two percent." I would not be surprised if the overwhelming majority of posters here met that standard.


I'd tend to doubt if even half the people who post here are in the upper 2% of the human intelligence gene pool, unless barking at Murray Chass pinata posts is considered a sign of a high IQ.

I think there should be two classes of weapons: military-grade and civilian-grade. Nobody outside of the military should have military-grade weapons, including the police. Any weapon the police are able to have should be available to a civilian that demonstrates physical and psychological competency, and passes a reasonable background check. Within those boundaries, I don't much care where the line is.

That's a very good starting point for a sane set of gun laws. Too sane ever to survive the NRA lobby, unfortunately, especially if you set the standards at a level that resulted in many of the tinfoil hat crew being rejected. There's a loudly proclaimed "need" on the part of certain people to have certain types of guns that should clearly raise a red flag in and of itself, but the second anyone tries to raise that not-very-PC point, then that's when the fun really begins.
   3004. CrosbyBird Posted: December 15, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4325652)
How do you do with students who start at the 70th percentile?

It depends on the student. In almost 4 years, I've never had a student that put in the work and didn't improve. I've gotten some of the more dedicated ones with strong natural ability to the mid or high 90s in percentile, but almost all of them break into the 80s even if they don't work very hard just by nature of greater exposure to questions.

For the LSAT, a 70th percentile score is around 157-158, and 90th percentile is around 164. This represents something like 10-12 additional correct answers out of 101 (from ~70 to ~81 correct).

I think the standardized tests I teach (LSAT, GMAT, GRE) have a line around the 85th or 90th percentile where you can't prep your way to success without a certain level of natural ability, but given enough time and a disciplined student, I would come just short of a guarantee that I can get you there or very close (barring some sort of medical condition or language barrier) pretty much no matter where you start.

So much of success on standardized tests comes from knowing what's coming. The LSAT is particularly friendly to students because there are something like 7,000 actual questions that are available to study and the test doesn't really change that much over time. For the GMAT and GRE, it's a bit more complicated because we don't have the pool of questions and the ones we do have are somewhat dated, and because the tests are adaptive (so harder to game with good strategy).
   3005. Manny Coon Posted: December 15, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4325660)
That's a very good starting point for a sane set of gun laws. Too sane ever to survive the NRA lobby, unfortunately, especially if you set the standards at a level that resulted in many of the tinfoil hat crew being rejected. There's a loudly proclaimed "need" on the part of certain people to have certain types of guns that should clearly raise a red flag in and of itself, but the second anyone tries to raise that not-very-PC point, then that's when the fun really begins.


Is it? Actual assault rifles are heavily restricted by the ATF and have been more a long time, same with grenade launchers, flame throwers, heavy machineguns, rpgs, etc...

My personal data point was friends, a married couple, who had guns everywhere. In the glove compartments of their various vehicles, in the night table, on the night table... Something like 50, overall. One night they were drinking, argued, he slapped her, she went for the nearest gun, which just happened to be on the kitchen table, shot, and killed him.


This is why I'm interested in seeing more data about this, to see if there is a significant difference in correlation of violent gun incidents, between people who own lot of guns compared to people with only one or two. To me it seems like people with a lot of guns may be more likely to have an unrealistic or unhealthy relationship with guns.

I'm also curious to see how much these types of people skew the countries gun per capita number upward. The based on the numbers I'm seen the USA has nearly 90 guns per 100 people, Serbia about 60, Switzerland about 45, places like Germany, Canada, France and Scandinavia about 30; how much of this is due to "gun nuts" that own 50 guns? Is our overall percentage of people who own no guns at all very different than those places?
   3006. CrosbyBird Posted: December 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4325664)
I'd tend to doubt if even half the people who post here are in the upper 2% of the human intelligence gene pool, unless barking at Murray Chass pinata posts is considered a sign of a high IQ.

I think we're a pretty exceptional cross-section of the population, especially the world population. Close to 20% of the world's population is illiterate.
   3007. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4325681)
This would likely require that the military confiscate a whole of weapons from the police.


That would be a feature, not a bug. The domestic police forces need to be demilitarized in the worst possible way.
   3008. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4325682)
The practice of Judaism is relatively private, and Jews generally do not proselytize.


It's amazing what behaviors 1000 odd years of pogroms and Holocausts can do to a people.
   3009. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4325683)
Is it? Actual assault rifles are heavily restricted by the ATF and have been more a long time, same with grenade launchers, flame throwers, heavy machineguns, rpgs, etc...


While I agree with Crosby's sentiment on the classification of military v civilian firearms, and esp. the part of the PD having the same civilian issue models; this was my first thought.

I'm not a gun nut, so please anyone feel free to correct me if any of the following is wrong:

I believe the standard issue US army infantry rifles are M16s and M4 carbines, depending on service location and branch. Both guns are based off the same design, with just the carbine being a smaller variant of the M16. Both military issues are fully auto or select fire, fire rates of 700-900 rounds per minute, and mounts for grenade launchers. Both of these actual assault rifles are near impossible for civilians to purchase. The civilian variant is an AR-15, which is semi-auto only. There are also a lot of restrictions on how many extra modifications can be done to these civilian versions. I admit I don't know all the rules on these, but a coworker was trying to explain it to me one day, any well it was fairly confusing as to what could be added and what could not legally.

I do think the standard sidearm issue is a M9 Beretta, which I believe is the same exact firearm that can be purchased by a civilian.

EDIT: I guess the point is, the most terrifying firearm (pistol, rifle, or shotgun) that you can legally purchase from a dealer, is just not efficient enough at killing people for the US military to use.
   3010. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4325691)
I'd tend to doubt if even half the people who post here are in the upper 2% of the human intelligence gene pool, unless barking at Murray Chass pinata posts is considered a sign of a high IQ.

I think we're a pretty exceptional cross-section of the population, especially the world population. Close to 20% of the world's population is illiterate.


I've seen a pretty wide range in the ability of people in these discussions to go beyond easy talking points, to be willing to read and consider evidence that conflicts with those points**, and to be willing to concede the possible legitimacy of more than one set of philosophical premises. IMO those three approaches to engagement would be a minimum standard for someone to be considered in anyone's upper 2% of intelligence. Making unverifiable claims about one's alleged IQ or standardized test scores is something anyone with no shame and no fear of being caught can do.

And when you bring up illiteracy, while that may correlate with low IQ test scores, it's not necessarily a sign of low native intelligence per se, when you consider all the environmental factors that can cloud the issue. One can disagree with some of the implications of the Flynn effect, but while raw intelligence may be constant throughout human history, the sort of intelligence measured by IQ tests is certainly influenced by non-genetic factors.

**I don't consider it much of a sign of intelligence to boast that you (not meaning you, C-Bird) never read links, and yet that seems to be a point of pride among certain people here. This in spite of the fact that the information contained in many of those links would, if taken into consideration, elevate the level of many (or most) of these discussions immensely.
   3011. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4325694)
Full automatics are illegal for civilians, yes. Semi-automatics are legal, as are extended round magazines and clips. The difference is that military grade weapons you can hold the trigger down and it fires until you let go of the trigger. (This is why you will occasionally see an actor in military movies tell the civilian who just picked up the big gun "short bursts" as a sop to realism; holding the trigger down for long, extended rounds of spray fire is bad news all around.)

A semi-automatic rifle or handgun is limited by 1) how quickly the automated mechanism can eject a cartridge and reload (milliseconds) and how quickly the wielder can squeeze the trigger (usually seconds.)
   3012. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4325698)
I think we're a pretty exceptional cross-section of the population, especially the world population. Close to 20% of the world's population is illiterate.


Is the conversation here about intelligence or literacy? There was an article a while back where a charity organization dropped Androids into an African village with no instructions, and the illiterate children who lived their entire lives in the bush had hacked them and jailbroke them in a month.
   3013. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4325702)
Not being a fan of that Chosen People stuff, or whatever other form of superiority is implied by the above, I figure it's in the numbers, baby. Put as many Jews as there are Christians on the planet and you'll hear an equal amount of unbelievably stupid stuff.

I highly doubt it. The practice of Judaism is relatively private, and Jews generally do not proselytize. I think it's absolutely true that there are unbelievably stupid opinions within Judaism, but culturally, expressing those opinions to outsiders is frowned upon, at least in my experience.
Well, the original question had to do specifically with Fischer and Huckabee treating the slaughter of children as a moment of God's justice working in the world.

Within modern Jewish thought - I can't speak for any or all Jews, but I have a reasonable amount of knowledge of the contemporary intellectual traditions - there is a near-universal rejection of the idea that God's justice working in the world can be perceived in any simple way (or perhaps even at all). The understanding of the problem of evil and divine justice which underlies Fischer's and Huckabee's comments is one that is roundly rejected in the contemporary Jewish intellectual tradition.
   3014. bobm Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4325715)
The practice of Judaism is relatively private, and Jews generally do not proselytize.

It's amazing what behaviors 1000 odd years of pogroms and Holocausts can do to a people


Tonight's holiday commemorates overcoming such events from c. 165 BCE.
   3015. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4325718)
Tonight's holiday commemorates overcoming such events from c. 165 BCE.


I thought about that after posting. In my defense, my people only took over the task of ethnically cleansing the Jews some 1000 years ago. I don't think it's right that I might be held responsible morally for the actions of Antiochus III. But yes; there's plenty of pre-my people killing and slaughtering of the Jews to make the "we're a private people who like to stay out of the limelight with our beliefs" thing even more obvious, too.
   3016. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4325730)
Getting closer to the 21st, of course the History Channel and everything are recycling every Apocolyptic show they can. Having done the child equivalent of watching Chariots of the Gods 5 times in a row...I have to wonder if all this political will being bandied about for stricter gun laws would be better applied to climate change. Of course there's room for both but....

...ahh well, political change will come sooner or later. Miami may be under 5 feet of water, but it'll come sooner or later.
   3017. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4325739)
I have to wonder if all this political will being bandied about for stricter gun laws would be better applied to climate change. Of course there's room for both but....


You remember how, right as Sandy hit and lower Manhattan was dark and underwater, there was this spate of "this is the event that will change the course of the climate change debate!" op-eds? That's where we are in the spin-cycle for the CT shootings.

You remember how now everyone's like "climate change? What are you, some sort of tree hugging hippie?" We're 2 weeks away from the NRA pulling that on CT. K Street money will have the final say.
   3018. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4325744)
This would likely require that the military confiscate a whole of weapons from the police.

That would be a feature, not a bug. The domestic police forces need to be demilitarized in the worst possible way.


I was intending to speak only to the practicalities, not to the politics.
   3019. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4325745)
In re climate change:

Aggressive rejection of science by wide swaths of the population, including the "educated" population?

Yep, another marker of cultural decline.
   3020. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4325746)
Yep, another marker of cultural decline.


Yes, remember back in the golden era of the 1950s when everyone accepted evolution as obvious science and no one was wildly inconsistent in their religious dogmas?
   3021. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4325747)
Yes, remember back in the golden era of the 1950s when everyone accepted evolution as obvious science and no one was wildly inconsistent in their religious dogmas?

The 1950s weren't a golden era.
   3022. DKDC Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4325755)
Full automatics are illegal for civilians, yes. Semi-automatics are legal, as are extended round magazines and clips. The difference is that military grade weapons you can hold the trigger down and it fires until you let go of the trigger. (This is why you will occasionally see an actor in military movies tell the civilian who just picked up the big gun "short bursts" as a sop to realism; holding the trigger down for long, extended rounds of spray fire is bad news all around.)


Full automatic mode is not particularly useful for most rifles (let alone handguns) because the recoil makes it impossible to aim and you waste ammo firing above your target. Military versions have a selector that also allows for single shot or three round burst. Most mass shooters are going to be more deadly in single shot mode anyways, so banning three round burst and fully automatic in civilian weapons probably hasn't make a meaningful difference. Eradicating all automatic weapons (including semi-automatics) would almost certainly reduce the deadliness of mass shooters, but good luck reclaiming all those semi-automatic guns, which make up the vast majority of handguns and rifles in America.

A semi-automatic rifle or handgun is limited by 1) how quickly the automated mechanism can eject a cartridge and reload (milliseconds) and how quickly the wielder can squeeze the trigger (usually seconds.)


#2 is closer to a round per second. For non automatic weapons (bolt-action, pump action, revolvers), sustained rate of fire is much much lower.
   3023. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4325756)
Why would a mother take her son target shooting with guns? Why is that an activity American parents participate in? What is the purpose of doing such a thing?
   3024. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4325765)
The 1950s weren't a golden era.


I'm pretty sure that was his point.

What is the purpose of doing such a thing?


To get better at it?
   3025. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4325769)
#2 is closer to a round per second. For non automatic weapons (bolt-action, pump action, revolvers), sustained rate of fire is much much lower.


A friend of mine sent me this NY Daily News article early today to illustrate the lack of knowledge (or intentional misleading - Joe K) in describing the firearms used. While yes I'm sure the Sig Sauer, Glock, and other 9mm handguns can technically fire at a rate of 5 rounds per second, no human being is going to be able to achieve that rate, or anything close to that while maintaining any sort of concept of accuracy.
   3026. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4325770)
I'm pretty sure that was his point.

But it's a frivolous one. We improved from the 50s to the peak, and have since declined.

To get better at it?

To what end? Are we defending the country against invaders or something? Were she or her kids needed in the military?

He had at least six high-powered guns he stole from her. What the #### was she doing with that many guns?

Pure insanity.
   3027. flournoy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4325771)
To what end? Are we defending the country against invaders or something? Were she or her kids needed in the military?


Maybe they enjoy it. Maybe the kids want to join the military. Maybe they like to go hunting. Maybe they live in a dangerous neighborhood.

Rest assured they don't give a rat's ass what you think.
   3028. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4325773)
So ####### what if they enjoy it? It's an inane and pointless activity, undertaken with weapons used to kill a schoolful of 5 year olds.

Rest assured they don't give a rat's ass what you think.

No doubt, what with them being dead and all.

   3029. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4325774)
To what end? Are we defending the country against invaders or something? Were she or her kids needed in the military?


Some people like to shoot firearms SBB, even just for the "fun" or "sport" of it.
   3030. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4325778)
Then they can go to shooting ranges and rent guns, which can be kept by the range under strict lock and key.
   3031. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4325780)
To what end?


Target shooting is enjoyable. Especially if you get good at it through practice. It gives one a sense of accomplishment to master a difficult skill through hard work. I've never hunted, I've never fired a weapon in self-defense or in defense of others, and I've certainly never fired one in anger, but I used to really like shooting little pieces of paper with a rifle and clay pigeons with a shotgun.

EDIT:
Then they can go to shooting ranges and rent guns, which can be kept by the range under strict lock and key.


OK. I guess you didn't phrase your initial question very well then, if you meant to ask why a parent would own multiple firearms and keep them in her home just to take the family target-shooting on occasion.
   3032. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4325781)
This is why I'm interested in seeing more data about this, to see if there is a significant difference in correlation of violent gun incidents, between people who own lot of guns compared to people with only one or two. To me it seems like people with a lot of guns may be more likely to have an unrealistic or unhealthy relationship with guns.

I'm also curious to see how much these types of people skew the countries gun per capita number upward. The based on the numbers I'm seen the USA has nearly 90 guns per 100 people, Serbia about 60, Switzerland about 45, places like Germany, Canada, France and Scandinavia about 30; how much of this is due to "gun nuts" that own 50 guns? Is our overall percentage of people who own no guns at all very different than those places?


This is a huge point. Without that data, any conclusions about who is killing might be very badly skewed. I'm sure someone's done the study somewhere, but it would be fascinating to learn, say, that the vast majority of shooters had parents who owned three of more guns, or (a different survey) that 90% had learned to shoot at a very young age.

What say you all about magazine/clip size?

I understand the arguments, even if I'm mostly agnostic towards a position on the matter.

In this particular case, didn't the shooter use 3 different firearms? I admit I stopped following the details early on because as mrams said, there was just a #### ton of speculating, but I could have swore that I heard he used a .223 cal rifle and 2 handguns. Limiting the mag size sounds great, but if someone has multiple firearms, in particular a rifle and a side arm, I just wonder how much damage is it going to limit? Plus the standard mag size on a standard 9mm glock is 15 rounds, and it's fairly easy and quick to swap mags. I'm talking 1-2 sec for a glock and it's ready to fire again.


Sound points, but once you have 250 million firearms in circulation, you take the incremental gains you can get. I think the approach has to be (largely because it's the only alternative to doing nothing) to make progress where we can.

If eliminating extended magazines saves two lives in March and three lives in October, that's something; to the five families involved, it's an irreplaceable something, even if when we look at the number of deaths at the end of the year that number seems just as dreadful.

Crosby's assessment would seem to be correct. Evangelical Christians outnumber Jews in the US by about fourteen to one. Evangelical Christian lunatics on TV outnumber Jewish lunatics on TV by about eleventy billion to one. Clearly, there are cultural factors involved.


I'm not wedded to the point I made, which was entirely about numbers, but it was fair to make it.

I suppose Israel is a better testing ground. When someone is in the majority religion, do they tend to be less restrained? Is anyone familiar with religious shows and religious speakers that get broadcast in Israel? Do they have their share of loons and villains?

In any case, my point wasn't a theological one, It was only that people, ANY people, when there are hundreds of millions of them*** and they're the dominant majority, are going to have ignorant, loudmouthed extremists among them, Jews not excepted.

Matt makes a fair point, that it may be the nature of their belief system that specifically discourages Jews from sounding like idiots (though Jews for Jesus might be tough to account for) in the matter of divine justice; still, the idea that any group of, say, 200 million people of a any given stripe isn't going to have some noxious outliers goes against everything I know of human beings. Make Israel a mulitcultural nation of 300 million people, 220 million of whom are Jewish, and it seems unlikely it won't have it's versions of Huckabee.

I've seen a pretty wide range in the ability of people in these discussions to go beyond easy talking points, to be willing to read and consider evidence that conflicts with those points**, and to be willing to concede the possible legitimacy of more than one set of philosophical premises. IMO those three approaches to engagement would be a minimum standard for someone to be considered in anyone's upper 2% of intelligence.


Hmm. Who in these political threads are the most egregious offenders? Who is most unable to follow or even consider those approaches?

In any case, agreed. Real intelligence is fluid, open to the great variety of thought, and always open to new information. That's one reason I appreciate the extreme about face Bruce Bartlett was able to make over time, as his cherished beliefs collapsed in the face of facts that showed how terribly wrong he and his party had been in so many ways. That's rare.


***Wiki sez 73% of Americans in the US identify themselves as Christians. I'm not sure that separating out Evangelicals for the purposes of this discussion is entirely legit, since we didn't start out by talking specifically about Evangelicals, but only (iirc) about two crazy hucksters who can also be described as Evangelicals.
   3033. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4325783)
The range can keep guns. There's no relationship between enjoyment of skeet shooting and the like, and maintaining a personal arsenal of attack weapons.

I guess you didn't phrase your initial question very well then, if you meant to ask why a parent would own multiple firearms and keep them in her home just to take the family target-shooting on occasion.

I guess that's right.

   3034. spike Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4325788)
#2 is closer to a round per second

Even that is low. 2-3 rounds per second is easily achievable.
   3035. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4325792)
I'm not sure that separating out Evangelicals for the purposes of this discussion is entirely legit, since we didn't start out by talking specifically about Evangelicals, but only (iirc) about two crazy hucksters who can also be described as Evangelicals.


Perhaps, but I don't think the correlation between Evangelism and crazy-hucksterism should be ignored either.
   3036. DKDC Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4325800)
Even that is low. 2-3 rounds per second is easily achievable.


I should've been more clear. 1 round per second is about as fast as you can shoot accurately at multiple targets over a sustained period of time (including ejecting and loading full magazines). You can definitely squeeze out more rounds in short bursts.
   3037. Howie Menckel Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4325801)
This whole conversation would get a lot more interesting if we ever start to conclude that:

- childen playing video games where they indiscriminately "kill people"

- who then grow into teenagers who openly laugh at torture scenes portrayed in lucrative horror films

- which winds up desensitizing many/most of them to violence

- leads a small number of them to madness.

not at all claiming we have the evidence for this.

But if we ever get there, then what do we do?

Do we really think gun control laws would solve the whole conundrum?

   3038. OCF Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4325803)
All I've got to say is "holy crap" to this story. Since that is the high school I attended. (More or less. After a consolidation after I left from two high schools to one school that used two widely separated buildings, I don't know which building they're talking about. But for sure, I've been in that auditorium, whichever one it is.)
   3039. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4325804)
The range can keep guns. There's no relationship between enjoyment of skeet shooting and the like, and maintaining a personal arsenal of attack weapons.

The middle ground, though, is easy to occupy. I enjoyed target shooting when I was a kid. Knowing the weapon, breaking it down, keeping it clean, improving its accuracy, filing the sight; those are all interesting and worthwhile part of the experience. Having a variety of weapons because they handle very differently, shoot differently, are useful at different distances is a reasonable approach to take to the sport, and those weapons require maintenance and care. Doing that work at home makes much more sense than doing it at the range, if you're serious about it.

Shooting is an Olympic sport. It's no less different or detailed or engaging than archery. There's the challenge of making your own ammunition, of shooting while in motion, of... well, you get the idea. There's a lot to it, and being involved in it in no way makes you automatically crazy or dangerous. Anyway, what's the difference between keeping guns locked up at the range, and keeping them locked up in your gun cabinet?

All the above makes sense, of course, unless you're crazy and shoot people. In which case, I suppose you could just go to the range, sign out your guns, and go kill a bunch of people.

You've found a bunch of ways to say you don't like guns, but aren't going any further than that, afaict.
   3040. hokieneer Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4325807)
The range can keep guns. There's no relationship between enjoyment of skeet shooting and the like, and maintaining a personal arsenal of attack weapons.

I guess you didn't phrase your initial question very well then, if you meant to ask why a parent would own multiple firearms and keep them in her home just to take the family target-shooting on occasion.

I guess that's right.


Yeah the personal arsenal serves no practical purpose for well anything. Even in the case of self defense, you can only fire one gun at a time.


But are you opposed to any firearms stored away from range/militias/clubs? In your opinion, is it ok for a person to keep a shotgun and/or a handgun around the house for personal defense use? Do you draw that line when somebody starts building a mini arsenal?
   3041. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4325809)
@3037--Gee, thanks for showing up and telling us how to make the conversation 'a lot more interesting'.

Do we really think gun control laws would solve the whole conundrum?
Who the hell suggested anything like this?
   3042. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4325811)
In your opinion, is it ok for a person to keep a shotgun and/or a handgun around the house for personal defense use? Do you draw that line when somebody starts building a mini arsenal?

Basically, yes.

The killer here used very lethal weapons that should not be permitted to be possessed by private civilians. He stole six guns, even though he used only three. It's beyond ridiculous that his mother had that kind of weaponry in a suburban home.
   3043. Tripon Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4325812)
This whole conversation would get a lot more interesting if we ever start to conclude that:

- childen playing video games where they indiscriminately "kill people"

- who then grow into teenagers who openly laugh at torture scenes portrayed in lucrative horror films

- which winds up desensitizing many/most of them to violence

- leads a small number of them to madness.

not at all claiming we have the evidence for this.

But if we ever get there, then what do we do?

Do we really think gun control laws would solve the whole conundrum?


We can never conclude that because it simply does not happen?
   3044. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4325813)
- childen playing video games where they indiscriminately "kill people"


Given that the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises have sold over 100million copies over the past 8 years, it would be a VERY small correlation between kids who play them (and remember, most of them were rated 18+) and future mass murdering. It might be equal to the correlation of those that like Christmas fruitcake and become serial killers.
   3045. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4325815)
Since that is the high school I attended


Oh yeah? I went to BTW.
   3046. OCF Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4325826)
Oh yeah? I went to BTW.

I don't recognize that acronym - not in use in my time.
   3047. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4325837)
- childen playing video games where they indiscriminately "kill people"

Given that the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises have sold over 100million copies over the past 8 years, it would be a VERY small correlation between kids who play them (and remember, most of them were rated 18+) and future mass murdering. It might be equal to the correlation of those that like Christmas fruitcake and become serial killers.


I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out there was a very small correlation between violent crime and playing violent video games, but I'm not sure how I'd even set up an experiment that could prove it. How would you isolate the variables?

Still and all, if I had to guess I'd guess, sure. If five million teen boys are regularly playing very violent video games that involve slaughter on a massive scale day after day after day, every day of the year or near enough, that probably does desensitize a few of them enough to push them from being just barely able to control themselves to... not. No idea how to argue it convincingly or demonstrate it, though. Doesn't the increase in violence, if there is an increase in violence, correlate just as well to the rise of Evangelical Protestantism, or American adventurism abroad?
   3048. Dale Sams Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4325841)
I don't recognize that acronym - not in use in my time.


Booker T. Washington. Tulsa Washington.

I quite liked Jerhico


Am I too late for this?

I wanted to like it, and lasted right up til discovering there was a beautiful deaf girl. So...30 seconds.

Sorry, remember when Walter Matthau did a couple of movies where he was an irresistable man? I miss true character actors.
   3049. OCF Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4325849)
Booker T. Washington. Tulsa Washington.

Ah, now I recognize it. Built under de jure school segregation, and in my time, still de facto segregated. Best attended and most exciting football game of my high school years involved my school and a Washington team that featured Reuben Gant and John Winesberry.
   3050. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4325850)
Why would a mother take her son target shooting with guns? Why is that an activity American parents participate in? What is the purpose of doing such a thing?


I'm guessing if this didn't happen in my childhood, I wouldn't be a hunter at all, or at all interested in gun ownership. I fired a shotgun at 11, rifle at 13 and handgun at 15 and did shoot with parents (mostly Dad) during this time. It isn't that unusual, at all, especially in states with strong hunting cultures. My mother joined us from time to time, and frankly it feels no different than a week 'up north' at a cabin fishing for a week.

This is very much a common experience for millions of youth in America.
   3051. OCF Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4325861)
This morning I helped play some music at the memorial service for a woman who had been a member until a few years ago of our community orchestra. (Not someone I knew well.) She died of natural causes at the age of 78. The church was full. The printed program had a densely packed tale of remembrances, associations, and accomplishments. There was sadness in that room, but there was, and could be, a sense of celebration of a life lived. I cannot comprehend how anyone is supposed to react to the murder of a six year old, let alone a classroom full of children.
   3052. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4325874)
I've seen a pretty wide range in the ability of people in these discussions to go beyond easy talking points, to be willing to read and consider evidence that conflicts with those points**, and to be willing to concede the possible legitimacy of more than one set of philosophical premises. IMO those three approaches to engagement would be a minimum standard for someone to be considered in anyone's upper 2% of intelligence.

Hmm. Who in these political threads are the most egregious offenders? Who is most unable to follow or even consider those approaches?


I don't think I need to name names, since it's pretty obvious who the most egregious offenders are, even if they're apparently unaware of it themselves. The worst offender out there is the one who's boasted about how he never reads links---which is a great sign of an open mind.

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

Why would a mother take her son target shooting with guns? Why is that an activity American parents participate in? What is the purpose of doing such a thing?

It's not the target shooting that's creepy, it's the number of guns that woman kept in her house. If a parent wants to teach a kid how to hunt and handle a gun properly once he's old enough to understand the danger, I don't see anything particularly wrong with that. It's the implicit paranoia that shows itself in accumulating large numbers of weapons that should set off all kinds of alarms. And again, a prime example of that paranoid state of mind is the spike in gun sales that occurred after both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
   3053. RollingWave Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4325881)
So why do places like Japan, Switzerland and so on not have a problem with deranged people killing their citizens?


In the cases of Japan, it a good deal to do with because all their deranged people either draw / act / watch deranged anime / managa / hentai / movies I'd presume.... (at least half serious)

   3054. bobm Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:01 AM (#4325890)
So why do places like Japan, Switzerland and so on not have a problem with deranged people killing their citizens?

In the cases of Japan, it a good deal to do with because all their deranged people either draw / act / watch deranged anime / managa / hentai / movies I'd presume.... (at least half serious)


or attack people in the subway with sarin gas...
   3055. zenbitz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4325899)
What if we just RFID tagged all registered guns? I guess it could suck if the elementary school was right near the shooting range prime buck hunting grounds... but maybe it would improve response time. Obviously you could probably break or shield the RFID device, but that in itself send a signal.

I also am of the opinion that if YOUR guns kill someone, you are responsible. No matter if they were stolen, or borrowed, or involved in a friendly fire incident. I am all about the freedom of having deadly items around - but with great freedom comes great responsibility.

   3056. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4325900)
Sorry, remember when Walter Matthau did a couple of movies where he was an irresistable man? I miss true character actors.
Charley Varrick, Last of the Independents !!. He also played nicely a sexed up version of Herman Kahn, Dealer of Death, in Fail-Safe. Don't know if that's what you meant, but Matthau was a star for a decade and a half, maybe two, from A Face in The Crowd in 1957 through Fail-Safe in 1964, and The Odd Couple in 1968. Charley Varrick came out in 1973 and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 came out in 1974. He was the star of Bad News Bears (1976), so he was a star at least as far as that, after which he made smaller films that were still pretty successful. He was also the male lead in Hello, Dolly! and Cactus Flower, both of which were pushed relentlessly by the studios at the time.

Why would a mother take her son target shooting with guns? Why is that an activity American parents participate in? What is the purpose of doing such a thing?

It's not the target shooting that's creepy, it's the number of guns that woman kept in her house.
Was it more than the three the shooter took with him? Those are the only ones I've heard about.

Speaking of the debt 'crisis', once again the US is dealing with an essentially fictional event and treating it as real, much to the detriment of the country. Kind of like Mitt Romney, Presidential candidate. Paul Krugman has a sharp take on it:



We are not having a debt crisis.

Paul Krugman


It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t. The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit. In fact, its borrowing costs are near historic lows. And even the confrontation over the debt ceiling that looms a few months from now if we do somehow manage to avoid going over the fiscal cliff isn’t really about debt.

No, what we’re having is a political crisis, born of the fact that one of our two great political parties has reached the end of a 30-year road. The modern Republican Party’s grand, radical agenda lies in ruins — but the party doesn’t know how to deal with that failure, and it retains enough power to do immense damage as it strikes out in frustration.

Before I talk about that reality, a word about the current state of budget “negotiations.”

Why the scare quotes? Because these aren’t normal negotiations in which each side presents specific proposals, and horse-trading proceeds until the two sides converge. By all accounts, Republicans have, so far, offered almost no specifics. They claim that they’re willing to raise $800 billion in revenue by closing loopholes, but they refuse to specify which loopholes they would close; they are demanding large cuts in spending, but the specific cuts they have been willing to lay out wouldn’t come close to delivering the savings they demand.

It’s a very peculiar situation. In effect, Republicans are saying to President Obama, “Come up with something that will make us happy.” He is, understandably, not willing to play that game. And so the talks are stuck.

Why won’t the Republicans get specific? Because they don’t know how. The truth is that, when it comes to spending, they’ve been faking it all along — not just in this election, but for decades. Which brings me to the nature of the current G.O.P. crisis.

.....................


The rest is a very interesting take on what ails the GOP and, therefore, us. Krugman also makes the point that in a very real sense this election marked the end of the conservative project in America. They'll continue to hamstring us for years to come, fomenting phony crises, damaging the economy, hurting working families because the fact that those at the top have been doing vastly better than everyone else just isn't enough.

So Republicans have suffered more than an election defeat, they’ve seen the collapse of a decades-long project. And with their grandiose goals now out of reach, they literally have no idea what they want — hence their inability to make specific demands.


It seems to get said about either party after a losing election, but is really possible we're truly seeing the death of the Southern Strategy GOP--the contemporary Republican Party born in the hate and paranoia and division exploited by Nixon, and sustained by the menu inspired by Lewis Powell's famous memo, but finally expiring under the weight of the black and brown people its contempt drove to the polls in record numbers?

As Krugman notes, there's no way of knowing how long the death throes will last, and how much damage those will do, but it's wonderful to see the very things the party was able to so successfully exploit (such as homosexuality, in the 2004 election, immigration, and tax policy catering to the American unwillingness to pay as we go) turn around and help put the possibility of success in national elections ever further out of reach.

   3057. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:49 AM (#4325902)
Given that the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises have sold over 100million copies over the past 8 years, it would be a VERY small correlation between kids who play them (and remember, most of them were rated 18+) and future mass murdering. It might be equal to the correlation of those that like Christmas fruitcake and become serial killers.


Then again a lot of those games spawn off into so -called "sports" where teams of players compete either online or in larger tournaments for cash prizes. There are even leagues for this type of competition. To be fair, there are other games that have big followings because of the muti-player aspect such as Starcraft and Starcraft 2 which is big in South Korea. But the most popular games are the first person shooters. Its not a far step to take someone who is good in that type of game and turn him into a drone operator.
   3058. tshipman Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:13 AM (#4325906)
Do we really think gun control laws would solve the whole conundrum?


Yes.
   3059. hokieneer Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:32 AM (#4325909)
Its not a far step to take someone who is good in that type of game and turn him into a drone operator.


Ya know, other than the little fact of, actually killing a person(s).
   3060. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:48 AM (#4325911)
I also am of the opinion that if YOUR guns kill someone, you are responsible. No matter if they were stolen, or borrowed, or involved in a friendly fire incident. I am all about the freedom of having deadly items around - but with great freedom comes great responsibility.

Do you feel the same about stolen cars and stolen steak knives?

***
Do we really think gun control laws would solve the whole conundrum?
Yes.

Come on. "Yes" is a sillier and less realistic response than the positions for which you bashed Gary Johnson.
   3061. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:25 AM (#4325925)
Do you feel the same about stolen cars and stolen steak knives?
No, but then, cars and steak knives weren't constructed for the explicit purpose of killing people.
   3062. Morty Causa Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4325944)
Charley Varrick, Last of the Independents !!. He also played nicely a sexed up version of Herman Kahn, Dealer of Death, in Fail-Safe. Don't know if that's what you meant, but Matthau was a star for a decade and a half, maybe two, from A Face in The Crowd in 1957 through Fail-Safe in 1964, and The Odd Couple in 1968. Charley Varrick came out in 1973 and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 came out in 1974. He was the star of Bad News Bears (1976), so he was a star at least as far as that, after which he made smaller films that were still pretty successful. He was also the male lead in Hello, Dolly! and Cactus Flower, both of which were pushed relentlessly by the studios at the time.


Matthau was super as the bankrupt upperclass guy on the make in Elaine May's A New Leaf, which is technically kind of a mess but still should be better remembered. My take, though, is that Billy Wilder's 1966 The Fortune Cookie made him a star. Many reviews noted he stole the movie from Lemmojn. And he did win an Oscar for Whiplash Willie Gingrich. Before that he was a second-lead or strong supporting player with considerable versatility (Onionhead, Strangers When We Meet, Lonely Are The Brave, Charade, Fail Safe). He pretty much stayed a star until he died--although in those starring roles were restricted to type roles he had done with Lemmon and Wilder before, and, true, in some instances he was relegated back to strong supporting player.
   3063. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4325948)
Jack, Charley Varrick and Fail-Safe were the exact two I had in mind. Well done.
   3064. Jay Z Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4325955)
I also am of the opinion that if YOUR guns kill someone, you are responsible. No matter if they were stolen, or borrowed, or involved in a friendly fire incident. I am all about the freedom of having deadly items around - but with great freedom comes great responsibility.


I agree that there is responsibility. But that situation raises the liability for all gun owners, and it does nothing for the Belcher incident, or the Lanza incident, since the owners are dead anyway.

I have sympathy towards hunters, and someone who may own a single firearm for perceived protection needs. Don't have sympathy to people who need multiple weapons to pursue shooting range hobbies or have some sort of affection for weapons. Of course it will be argued that the arsenal is needed in case of tyranny. Never mind that the arsenals are doing more killing than the tyrannies.
   3065. Randy Jones Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4325956)
Then again a lot of those games spawn off into so -called "sports" where teams of players compete either online or in larger tournaments for cash prizes. There are even leagues for this type of competition. To be fair, there are other games that have big followings because of the muti-player aspect such as Starcraft and Starcraft 2 which is big in South Korea. But the most popular games are the first person shooters. Its not a far step to take someone who is good in that type of game and turn him into a drone operator.


The bolded part is not quite true. Starcraft and other RTS games are almost certainly played more than FPS games online. And League of Legends is the most played game in the world(by hours played per month). Hell, LoL has surpassed SC as the most popular game in South Korea, and if you know anything about South Koreans and Starcraft, you know that is saying something.
   3066. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4325978)
Throw in games for the smart phones, puzzle games on the PC, and World of Warcraft (11 million monthly subscribers), and first person shooters probably only take up a small portion of the market (10-15%)?

   3067. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4325984)
Of course it will be argued that the arsenal is needed in case of tyranny.


Of course, if the tyrants decide that they want your arsenal, your choices are basically going to be: a) give them your arsenal, or b) die trying to keep them from taking your arsenal. The fact that some would doubtless choose "b" does not make the argument any less ludicrous.
   3068. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4325985)
Watching Fandango now*, in line with what I was talking about with character actors: The only notable actress roles, Suzy Amis and Glenn Headly look like real people. Costner is the only one in the bunch with movie-star looks.

If that film were remade today, it would be a bunch of vapid models...and maybe Seth Green.

*LOVE that film. Today the fireworks scene would be cgi, watching it today, it really looks like the actors are shooting at each other with roman candles. Crazy.
   3069. hokieneer Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4325986)
Throw in games for the smart phones, puzzle games on the PC, and World of Warcraft (11 million monthly subscribers), and first person shooters probably only take up a small portion of the market (10-15%)?


There has been a huge increase in the number of people who play games with the Wii, browser games, phones, tablets, etc

If we want to talk about the % of market that plays FPS, we have to be consistent. FPS are really only a dominate force in the US/NA market, not worldwide.

The 100+ million total CoD units that have been sold is largely irrelevant. The game has become Madden-like. Every year a new one comes out, so the players go and update their copy. From this article, the newest CoD game has sold 7.4 million console units (compared to 8.8 million with last year's title at this point in time, a 14% decrease). Even given that there is a partition of people playing the older and newer titles, I would say the amount of people that "actively" play CoD is less than the monthly World of Warcraft subscription numbers.
   3070. Randy Jones Posted: December 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4325987)
FPS are really only a dominate force in the US/NA market, not worldwide.


This is also not true. FPS games are very popular in Europe and do very well in Asia now too. Still certainly not the most popular genre in any market though.
   3071. Jay Z Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4325988)
One thing that would play into the Belcher and Lanza situations is requiring gun owners to insure.

I own a car and a license to drive it. I have to pay to do this beyond the mechanical cost, because cars can cause damage. It's appropriate to require pooling of risk because too many uninsured can claim empty pockets, and the bringer of the tort is not appropriately compensated. So if you want to own a car and drive it, you need to pay into the pool for damages created by the group of car owners.

I do not own a gun. If I wanted to own a gun, or many guns, I should be required to insure against the damage that guns cause. Perhaps the varying groups of gun owners can group themselves into low risk or high risk categories based on their arsenals or usage patterns. But they should not free ride on the backs of non gun owners.
   3072. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4325989)
I have no idea what is typical, but my own teenage son lost interest in FPS games pretty quickly. Gets the new Maddon, MLB, NBA, NCAA football and basketball games every year, but hasn't updated CoD in quite a while. This may very well be simply a reflection of the fact that he never got very good at it. Also, while I can't say that I monitored his play all that closely, I don't recall seeing much in the way of indiscriminately shooting up defenseless civilians.

As an aside to my aside, his favorite part of CoD was playing online with some UVA baseball players who were even worse at it than he was.
   3073. tshipman Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4325991)
Come on. "Yes" is a sillier and less realistic response than the positions for which you bashed Gary Johnson.


Okay. I admit that I get annoyed by Menkel parachuting in and telling us that the real problem is violent video games. If I ignore the messenger:

Politically feasible gun reforms are not likely to move the needle. Limiting magazine size and closing the gun show loophole (which are the only two reforms I can see feasibly happening) are unlikely to do much to improve the situation. Those reforms are good ideas in and of themselves, though. I would also push the news media to reform how these tragedies are reported (not as government, but as a private citizen). Sociology research has helped determine that the way these things are reported, where the identity of the shooter is much discussed, is part of the issue. Obviously, I don't believe in censoring the press, but I think a campaign by private citizens would be helpful. I do think that expanding mental health care options are a good thing, but are unlikely to seriously affect the situation.

In the long run, we are pretty much always going to have more shootings than places like Japan or Switzerland. If we adopted Swiss or Japanese style gun laws, that wouldn't have to be the case, but those laws are probably antithetical to founding principles of the country. I think our goals should be to reduce the frequency and lethality of these attacks. We can reduce frequency through less post-hoc focus on the shooters, and reduce the lethality through gun control legislation.
   3074. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4325992)
Randy, just curios, are there any current numbers for WOW since "Mists of Pandora" opened or are they still around 8-9 million subscribers? I played WOW around 2005-2007 but haven't been back since because I got tired of dealing with kids telling me I sucked playing. Of course these kids are probably one step below the same group of ultra-comptetive adults you see on Friday nights on the softball field wearing eyeblack and stirrups while heckling the opposition.
   3075. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4326000)
Randy, just curios, are there any current numbers for WOW since "Mists of Pandora" opened or are they still around 8-9 million subscribers? I played WOW around 2005-2007 but haven't been back since because I got tired of dealing with kids telling me I sucked playing. Of course these kids are probably one step below the same group of ultra-comptetive adults you see on Friday nights on the softball field wearing eyeblack and stirrups while heckling the opposition.


The easy response is "You're right, I'm too busy enjoying myself to get as good at this game as you." Another one is "I play this game to escape life, I don't want to turn it into my life."
   3076. Randy Jones Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4326004)
I haven't seen any numbers on WoW subs since MoP was released. I assume they went up.
   3077. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4326008)
The only notable actress roles, Suzy Amis and Glenn Headly look like real people. Costner is the only one in the bunch with movie-star looks.

If that film were remade today, it would be a bunch of vapid models


I'm pretty sure I'm talking to myself here, but in the interest of puncturing my own hubris..I just found out that Suzy Amis was ...in fact...a model before she did Fandango.
   3078. CrosbyBird Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4326025)
Is the conversation here about intelligence or literacy?

Intelligence as would be measured by MENSA. I think literacy is pretty much a prerequisite.

Given that the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises have sold over 100million copies over the past 8 years, it would be a VERY small correlation between kids who play them (and remember, most of them were rated 18+) and future mass murdering.

I wouldn't be surprised if playing a FPS made you less interested in owning a gun for real.

   3079. spike Posted: December 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4326027)
Indiana man with 47 guns arrested yesterday after threat on school.

Maybe these days will be the tipping point - I doubt it, but hope springs eternal.
   3080. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4326038)
I'm pretty sure people have looked for a connection between "violent video games" and maladjusted behaviors, and that there's not evidence that there's anything vaguely causal there. I do wonder though, if there's an inverse relation between shooters and FPS gamers. I.e, not that FPS games create mass murderers but that mass murderers tend to enjoy FPS type games.
   3081. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4326039)
So apparently that Morgan Freeman statement was a hoax (Big surprise since it was full of holes)...someone with a btter chance of going viral than I please write soemthing terribly wise sounding and place the exact same statement over a Morgan Freeman pic and a Rush Limbaugh pic, and let's see what happens.
   3082. zenbitz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4326040)
I also am of the opinion that if YOUR guns kill someone, you are responsible. No matter if they were stolen, or borrowed, or involved in a friendly fire incident. I am all about the freedom of having deadly items around - but with great freedom comes great responsibility.


Do you feel the same about stolen cars and stolen steak knives?


This is kind of a salient point, Joe. Clearly there is a continuum in "deadlieness" and "non killing utility". A car is probably MORE deadly than bolt action rifle, but obviously has more utility. Sarin nerve gas or Weaponized Anthrax (also grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, etc.) are way down in the quadrant of "high deadlieness" "low utility".

It reasonable to have steak knives unsecured in your home. Furthermore, if one wants to go on a steak knife rampage, steak knives are readily obtainable without B&E. Cars are a little trickier. Legally you are sort of expected to secure your car - at least by not leaving the keys in it. I don't think the penalties are very harsh though. A car is more deadly than a steak knife, but harder to conceal and not all purpose like a gun or other weapon. It does have a built in escape mechanism though.

Isn't it actually easier to get a gun than a car? The price range overlaps a little at the low end vehicle range. It's not illegal to shoot a gun without insurance.

   3083. hokieneer Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4326056)
Isn't it actually easier to get a gun than a car? The price range overlaps a little at the low end vehicle range. It's not illegal to shoot a gun without insurance.


It's not illegal to have a car without insurance either.
   3084. BDC Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4326060)
I find FPS games both boring and in dubious taste, but I can't imagine them having any impact on behavior. I have read about 1,000 murder mysteries in my life, and have watched probably 10,000 hours of crime shows on TV, and I have not come close yet to poisoning anyone or smothering them with pillows. I don't even own an icepick.
   3085. Tripon Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4326066)
Somebody made death threats to a local Catholic church in Newton, Conn.

If there's a decline in humanity, its that trolls can't even recognize that this isn't the time for dumb #### like that. I'm not sure how seriously I would take the threat, its just the fact that somebody could be so unthinking that they think they can get a jolly out of this is sickening to me.
   3086. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4326067)
I have not come close yet to poisoning anyone or smothering them with pillows


But I'll bet you could do the perfect murder...if you wanted to.
   3087. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4326071)
It's really silly that you guys continue to engage the "what about cars and steak knives" arguments as if they're vaguely appropriate.

Cars are tools for moving people and things around easily.

Steak knives are tools for cutting meat at dinner.

Guns are tools for killing people.
   3088. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4326092)
It's not illegal to have a car without insurance either.
It is in some states. All vehicles must be registered, and all registered vehicles must be insured in NY, which stopped believing the 'it's up on blocks in the barn' excuse years ago.

Of course it will be argued that the arsenal is needed in case of tyranny.

Of course, if the tyrants decide that they want your arsenal, your choices are basically going to be: a) give them your arsenal, or b) die trying to keep them from taking your arsenal. The fact that some would doubtless choose "b" does not make the argument any less ludicrous.


I'll continue to make the point from time to time that there's a lot of ground between the 'it's ludicrous' and the 'guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knoocking' arguments. No private arsenal is likely to come close to matching what your local cops could call in inside 24 hours, but in many situations deterrence doesn't have to be a threat to win in order to to be effective; it only has to threaten to be bloody enough or ugly enough to deter.

@3062--Morty, a lot of those films are the gaps in what I know about Matthau's career, including A New Leaf, which years ago I found unengaging, but mean to try again at some point. Thanks for the summary of his work.
   3089. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4326104)
It's not illegal to have a car without insurance either.

It is in some states.


And in some states where it is legal to register a car without insuring it, you have to pay an extra fee -- sorta like Obamacare.

I'll continue to make the point from time to time that there's a lot of ground between the 'it's ludicrous' and the 'guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knoocking' arguments.


Well, the only thing I called ludicrous is the "guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knocking" argument. And I don't see a lot of ground between "guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knocking" and "guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knocking."
   3090. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4326119)
Again, had the last two administrations not wiped their asses with the Constitution...I'd say it's beyond Tin Hat territory to say "Ah need ma guns to fight the gubmint!"

As it is...it's just Ludicrous Speed.
   3091. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4326123)
Again, had the last two administrations not wiped their asses with the Constitution...I'd say it's beyond Tin Hat territory to say "Ah need ma guns to fight the gubmint!"


And I'm not calling people who say that tin-hatters. Just sayin' they're gonna lose.
   3092. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4326128)
I've seen a pretty wide range in the ability of people in these discussions to go beyond easy talking points, to be willing to read and consider evidence that conflicts with those points**, and to be willing to concede the possible legitimacy of more than one set of philosophical premises. IMO those three approaches to engagement would be a minimum standard for someone to be considered in anyone's upper 2% of intelligence.

Hmm. Who in these political threads are the most egregious offenders? Who is most unable to follow or even consider those approaches?

I don't think I need to name names, since it's pretty obvious who the most egregious offenders are, even if they're apparently unaware of it themselves.


Physician, heal thyself.

   3093. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4326135)
I of course stand by my statement that no amount of policymaking can stop a crazy person who has not done anything criminal yet from shooting up a classroom of kids if he is intent on shooting up a classroom of kids. That act is so depraved and evil that no amount of gun control can stop it. It would be like trying to stop someone with no criminal record who just went crazy one day, got in his car, and decided to plow through a stream of pedestrians in an intersection in a city at rush hour.

Indeed, look at what happened here: the school DID have a security system (resulting from a sound policy), which he was able to circumvent, because he was so intent on doing harm that no security system was going to stop him short of the police or military being there and waiting for him.

The only chance of stopping him would have been by someone on the scene who was able to subdue him. And note - I am not making the statement that "If only the principal had had a gun, she would have stopped him." I am not saying anything like that. I am saying that no policy could have stopped this, nothing could have, except for someone on the ground in the right place at the right time making the right move that was lucky enough to work.

Even had the principal had a gun, and training, she has to access the gun first, and has to know how to use it in real world circumstances, and she has to still shoot him before he shoots her -- and he is in armor and is better trained and is more willing to harm people than she might be, etc.



   3094. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4326137)
Well, the only thing I called ludicrous is the "guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knocking" argument. And I don't see a lot of ground between "guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knocking" and "guns are necessary for when FEMA comes knocking."
Wasn't knocking you, ca, just putting the case in terms of the far ends of opinion, where at one end the hypothetical of an intrusive, violent government coming for one is dismissed as sheer crackpottery, and the other end, where FEMA showing up is inevitable.

I may be guilty of taking 'FEMA's coming' as a synecdoche for all violent government overreach, when in fact it is meant literally; in which case, by all means, have at the ridicule.

Again, had the last two administrations not wiped their asses with the Constitution...I'd say it's beyond Tin Hat territory to say "Ah need ma guns to fight the gubmint!"

And I'm not calling people who say that tin-hatters. Just sayin' they're gonna lose.


And I still think history teaches us there's value in an armed citizenry that can put up real if losing opposition to any hypothetical government, such that it discourages government overreach. Is not that discouragement (and not the winning of a hypothetical engagement) of value?

Isn't history full of examples of a well-armed citizenry successfully resisting an oppressive, much better armed government?
   3095. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4326138)
A comment on guns and shooting ranges in particular.

I have to wonder if some of the people making various statements in these threads have ever been at a range before or even have seen firsthand how gun owners handle their guns and the respect they have for safety. I have no interest in owning guns myself, and I have no dog in this fight other than pushing back against bad arguments particularly on the subject of gun control, but if you've ever been at a range you know the respect for safety and for the power of the weapons that everyone there has, from the participants to those running the range (who are very professional and VERY concerned for safety and VERY detail-oriented and not willing to put up with anyone who is joking around or otherwise non-serious).
   3096. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4326145)
@3095: have you?

SC Man Dies in Shooting Range Accident

But hey, it was a decade since the previous accident *at that particular range*. It's like everything else. Many people are very careful. Some mean to be careful but are easily distracted and do stupid things. Some don't understand the concept of care and not only do stupid things but are markedly dangerous, though in well-run ranges those people are booted. In poorly run ranges, sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren't. Then there are the idiots at ranges who are menaces to everyone, and sometime they get booted, and sometimes they don't, and sometimes they're the range owners.

I'm one of those who are skeptical that multiple gun ownership means you're an inch from a rampage, but your idea that 'everyone' at ranges are very respectful of guns and their power is wrong on its face. People are people.
   3097. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4326150)
No argument that people aren't careful at the range. It isn't the range that's the problem; the problem is the guns used at the range being used outside the range, to shoot things other than clay pigeons or paper bullseyes.

A secondary problem is that teaching a kid to shoot makes him better at shooting up a school of 6 year olds. Society didn't want this fount of alienation being an effective shot and otherwise comfortable with guns. It wanted him to be a pathetic novice.
   3098. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4326153)
Isn't history full of examples of a well-armed citizenry successfully resisting an oppressive, much better armed government?


Recent examples? With .223 carbines?
   3099. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4326157)
Again, had the last two administrations not wiped their asses with the Constitution...I'd say it's beyond Tin Hat territory to say "Ah need ma guns to fight the gubmint!"

As it is...it's just Ludicrous Speed.


As it is, it's beyond Tin Hat territory. I sure as hell wouldn't want to be living next to someone who was preparing for some sort of an armed showdown with "the gubmint" or with anyone else. And if I ever ran into anyone like that, I'd want to see them locked up for about the next 200 years. They're precisely the sort of maniacs that gun control laws should be targeting.

NEWS FLASH: This isn't 1776, and we're not living under George III.

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

Physician, heal thyself.

I see I hit home with that remark about never reading links. Nice to see that you at least have that much self-awareness.

I have to wonder if some of the people making various statements in these threads have ever been at a range before or even have seen firsthand how gun owners handle their guns and the respect they have for safety.

I have. They do. So what? It's irrelevant to a discussion about the sort of weapons can can kill many people within a matter of seconds, and have no legitimate civilian purpose. You don't need a ####### Bushmaster rifle or a semiautomatic Glock 9mm handgun to shoot at a target or to hunt a goddam deer.
   3100. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4326160)
Isn't history full of examples of a well-armed citizenry successfully resisting an oppressive, much better armed government?

Well, it might have been emotionally satisfying to see a few Dixiecrat state and local governments toppled by an armed African American insurrection, and a few Talmadges or Thurmonds strung up by their necks or tossed into an open fire, but I'm kind of hard pressed to think of too many actual recent examples that changed things too much for the better.
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