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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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   3101. DA Baracus Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4326161)
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).


I've been to a rifle range multiple times where there was no supervision.
   3102. spike Posted: December 16, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4326163)
SC Man Dies in Shooting Range Accident

And the 8 year old kid who managed to shoot himself in the head test firing an Uzi. I've been to plenty of ranges and seen all sorts of dumbassery. The sheer number of accidental deaths in this country fly in the face of the idea that gun owners are a transcendantly safe lot.

/edit - Just how often do you go to the range, Ray?
   3103. Tripon Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4326171)
(CNN) - U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert said the deadly Connecticut school shooting could have been halted sooner if staff at the school had been equipped with guns.

"I wish to God (the principal) had had an M4 in her office, locked up, so when she heard gunfire she pulls it out … and takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," the Republican from Texas said on "Fox News Sunday."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

The gun control debate has been renewed since 20 students and six adults were killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Many lawmakers and politicians have called for the renewal of the federal assault weapons ban, a piece of legislation that expired in 2004 at the end of its 10-year term but has yet to be renewed.


(CNN) - Violent video games and a "culture of violence" found in the media could be contributing factors to mass shootings, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Sunday.

"There might well be some direct connection between people who have some mental instability and when they go over the edge - they transport themselves, they become part of one of those video games," Hickenlooper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Perhaps that's why all these assault weapons are used."

   3104. tshipman Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4326172)
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.


So why doesn't it happen in Japan?
   3105. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4326176)
Isn't history full of examples of a well-armed citizenry successfully resisting an oppressive, much better armed government?


If you take a highly motivated population with access to military grade weapons (not mere semi-automatic hunting rifles) and put them up against a trained, professionally equipped modern army, and have that army limit its range of engagement to cause as little damage as possible to the population from which the motivated resistance comes, the absolute best you're likely to get is the Taliban/al-Q insurgency against the United States in Afghanistan.
   3106. tshipman Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4326178)
If you take a highly motivated population with access to military grade weapons (not mere semi-automatic hunting rifles) and put them up against a trained, professionally equipped modern army, and have that army limit its range of engagement to cause as little damage as possible to the population from which the motivated resistance comes, the absolute best you're likely to get is the Taliban/al-Q insurgency against the United States in Afghanistan.


Tunisia had one of the lowest rates of gun ownership before the revolution. They overthrew a wealthy, well-armed dictator.
   3107. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4326179)
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).


I suspect your experience is limited to maybe one or two very professionaly run ranges in the NYC metro, Ray. As such, I don't think you really have a range of motion on this issue.
   3108. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4326180)
So why doesn't it happen in Japan?

A more or less identical attack in China occurred on the same day, with non-identical results.
   3109. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4326183)
Tunisia had one of the lowest rates of gun ownership before the revolution. They overthrew a wealthy, well-armed dictator.


Yep. Information is more valuable than bullets in overthrowing tyranny these days. But you know, the internet needs to be regulated, but guns are sacrosanct.
   3110. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4326184)
It doesn't happen in Japan because of gun control and because their culture doesn't counsel people never to feel shame, never to feel inhibited, and never to strive for personal honor governed by external standards and judgments. Within these showy rampages, there's a narcissism and insistence on the act being its own validity -- "I did this, therefore it is worthy" -- that are utterly foreign to the Japanese culture and way of life.

Both of these features are necessary to have Japanese levels of gun violence.
   3111. DA Baracus Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4326185)
"I wish to God (the principal) had had an M4 in her office, locked up, so when she heard gunfire she pulls it out … and takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," the Republican from Texas said on "Fox News Sunday."


This idea sounds foolproof! Arm everybody! Bus drivers, receptionists, Fed Ex drivers!
   3112. Shredder Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4326188)
"I wish to God (the principal) had had an M4 in her office, locked up, so when she heard gunfire she pulls it out … and takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," the Republican from Texas said on "Fox News Sunday."
the best response I've seen to this sort of idiocy was from a commenter at LGM:
So I’m a teacher. According to conservative orthodoxy, I’m a parasite on the public’s dime who is only interested in indoctrinating the precious children of America into communism or atheism or whatever. I can’t be trusted to have any control over the curriculum I teach. I can’t be trusted to fairly and impartially evaluate my students, let alone my colleagues. I can’t be trusted to have collective bargaining rights. I can’t be trusted to have an objective view of governmental policy when it comes to my own profession.

But they’ll trust me to keep a gun in a room filled with children.

Even the cynicism-producing neurons of my prefrontal cortex can’t wrap themselves around this kind of stupid bullshit
.
   3113. tshipman Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4326191)
It doesn't happen in Japan because of gun control and because their culture doesn't counsel people never to feel shame, never to feel inhibited, and never to strive for personal honor governed by external standards and judgments. Within these showy rampages, there's a narcissism and insistence on the act being its own validity -- "I did this, therefore it is worthy" -- that are utterly foreign to the Japanese culture and way of life.


So why is it that other countries with strict gun control, but without Japanese culture also have similar rates of gun violence? Why does Chile, which shares nothing with Japan culturally, but has a restrictive gun licensing program have a similar violent crime with guns rate?

I mean, at some point, don't you guys have to mark your beliefs to market? You can't just blather on about culture endlessly with no justification.
   3114. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4326194)
I mean, at some point, don't you guys have to mark your beliefs to market? You can't just blather on about culture endlessly with no justification.

Don't know why you're arguing with me so much on this, since I agree with you. There should be strict gun control laws enacted and enforced in the United States, and should have been decades ago. The AR-15 should be banned to civilian owners tomorrow, and confiscated from current holders.

I'm merely suggesting that I wouldn't necessarily expect those laws to reduce gun violence here to Japanese levels. Obviously, they'd reduce gun violence dramatically.
   3115. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4326195)
EDIT: ahh, screw it.
   3116. Manny Coon Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4326196)
The particular guns aren't really the problem here, these types of guns are legal other places, for example you can get a .223 semi-automatic rifle in Canada or Germany for hunting, they are dangerous weapons, but all guns are, they aren't really all that special or actually military grade firepower.

I saw on the news somewhere today Democrats are now pushing to ban these "military style assault weapons", but the last assault weapon ban in this country didn't ban these weapons, so I doubt any new legislation will either. People serious about gun control really need to push harder for laws that aren't bans; storage and transport laws, better background checks, registration and perhaps licensing, more promotion of responsibility and safety with the guns already out there, perhaps psychological screening. If you want to limit firepower perhaps more restrictive limits to magazine and clip size or limits to how many total guns someone can have would be a better place to start than banning particular weapons. It seems when something happens gun control advocates' thoughts go straight to bans, but in the context American politics and culture that doesn't seem like the best place to start.
   3117. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4326197)
Isn't history full of examples of a well-armed citizenry successfully resisting an oppressive, much better armed government?


If you take a highly motivated population with access to military grade weapons (not mere semi-automatic hunting rifles) and put them up against a trained, professionally equipped modern army, and have that army limit its range of engagement to cause as little damage as possible to the population from which the motivated resistance comes, the absolute best you're likely to get is the Taliban/al-Q insurgency against the United States in Afghanistan.


Ah, okay. The error was mine, in including the word "successfully", which is it's own, long discussion, not part of the point I wanted to make earlier, and loaded in the wrong direction. I wasn't wanting to claim that armed resistance to an oppressive government, where the resistance is thoroughly overmatched, is likely to be successful in any kind of military sense.

I'm thinking more of the deterrent effect a well-armed citizenry has on inevitable government overreach; that an opponent who can badly bloody your nose before you finish him off, and whose resistance and martyrdom might serve as a rallying point, can give real pause, such that violence is avoided. There's a difference between moving into and occupying territory and in the process confiscating a handful of 50 year old bolt action rifles, and trying to do the same against a group of citizens, 80% of whom own effective. modern weapons.

In very isolated cases, the level of armament (the Branch Davidians, for example) of the citizenry won't matter, but I'm thinking of larger scale situations where a government never gets to the point of initiating violence.

In short, I meant 'successfully' as in 'successfully deterred' government action in the first place, but that wasn't remotely clear.

(CNN) - Violent video games and a "culture of violence" found in the media could be contributing factors to mass shootings, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Sunday.

"There might well be some direct connection between people who have some mental instability and when they go over the edge - they transport themselves, they become part of one of those video games," Hickenlooper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Perhaps that's why all these assault weapons are used."


So, the lesson must be,

"Assault weapons don't kill people. Violent video games kill people."

Interesting thesis.

re 3103, Louis Gohmert is the kind of guy the right elects from time to time that make you despair for democracy. I wonder at the lack of shame involved in voting for Gohmert, Bachmann, West, and the like.
   3118. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4326199)

Tunisia had one of the lowest rates of gun ownership before the revolution. They overthrew a wealthy, well-armed dictator.
So, you're saying, that when it comes to overthrowing a wealthy, well-armed dictator, it's better to not have weaponry than to have weaponry, or that the level of armament is irrelevant when it comes to otherthrowing an oppressive government?

I feel like I'm missing your point...
   3119. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4326203)
I wonder at the lack of shame involved in voting for Gohmert, Bachmann, West, and the like.


Oh, come on. Gohmert makes Bachmann look like a hybrid of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Theresa.
   3120. tshipman Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4326212)
So, you're saying, that when it comes to overthrowing a wealthy, well-armed dictator, it's better to not have weaponry than to have weaponry, or that the level of armament is irrelevant when it comes to otherthrowing an oppressive government?


The latter. When conducting a revolution, the level of armament is much less important than the will of the populace. It's easier to run a coup with high powered weaponry, but not any more difficult to conduct a popular overthrow.

Don't know why you're arguing with me so much on this, since I agree with you.


Because your argument provides a dodge for people like Ray or Kehoskie. I want them to realize and own that they value the ability to have cheap and lower-hassle guns over the lives of the 27K people who die by guns each year.
   3121. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4326217)
@3120--I may end up in the cell next to you, but are the White House walls bulletproof? And isn't it vulnerable to someone setting up a half mile away and shelling the joint? It would take an 18 wheeler (two might be better), a spotter, a crew to fire and then adjust fire, but it seems dangerously straightforward.

I've also wondered how effective air defense really is against a plane capable of flying at Mach 1, designed simply to explode on impact, and that takes off from an airport 100 miles away and at the appropriate moment aims for the White House, or the Capitol Building.

If the no fly zone around the White House is three miles, that gives your guys all of a 15 seconds to notice and shoot down a dedicated kamikazee pilot.
   3122. Gotham Dave Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4326224)
It doesn't happen in Japan because of gun control and because their culture doesn't counsel people never to feel shame, never to feel inhibited, and never to strive for personal honor governed by external standards and judgments. Within these showy rampages, there's a narcissism and insistence on the act being its own validity -- "I did this, therefore it is worthy" -- that are utterly foreign to the Japanese culture and way of life.
Yeah, I'm sure that Adam Lanza's problem is that he never felt enough shame. He probably lived every moment of his life with deep, oppressive shame. I'm generally pretty sympathetic to your idea of cultural decay, but I really don't think "everyone gets a trophy!" has even kind of a lick of anything to do with it. I guarantee you, every last kid in America feels very shitty about themselves, very often.

Kids aren't stupid, they know that participation trophies are bullshit. Kids know what it means to win. Participation awards are for the parents, not the kids.
   3123. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4326233)
Googling "how is the white house defended?" will probably land you in Gitmo.


I'll say my final word before the door gets kicked in:

Obviously an assault on a public appearance is the way to go. I don't even think they erect concrete barriers.
   3124. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 16, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4326251)
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.

I was being half-flippant in my reply above, but I stand by the general point. If people have the Second Amendment right to own firearms, but they can't take them everywhere (i.e., they must be separated from them at times for practical and/or legal reasons), and they're subject to strict liability if someone breaks into their home or car and steals said weapon(s), that looks like little more than a backdoor attempt to gut if not nullify Second Amendment rights.
   3125. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4326255)
Because your argument provides a dodge for people like Ray or Kehoskie. I want them to realize and own that they value the ability to have cheap and lower-hassle guns over the lives of the 27K people who die by guns each year.

This is somewhat of a straw man, but for the sake of expediency, consider it owned.

In a similar spirit of helping people with awareness, I want you and your fellow lefties to realize that the problem isn't the guns or the laws but the people/criminals. It's absurd to tell hundreds of millions of people that they no longer have the right to self-defense (or to resist a tyrannical government) because a few nutjobs commit crimes like these and/or because members of the underclass — who commit the overwhelming majority of gun crimes — have a propensity to illegally possess and use guns.

In a world in which people face threats, guns serve not only a useful purpose but a vital purpose. No one talks about banning cars after traffic fatalities; no one talks about banning backyard swimming pools when little kids accidentally fall in and drown. As horrific as Friday's crime was, the knee-jerk demands to ban guns and disarm the populace are little more than self-righteous performance art by people who hold a naive view of both the world and humanity.

If liberals really want to put a big dent in gun crime, they'd flood the inner cities with police and lock up offenders for longer periods of time. But I won't be holding my breath.
   3126. Jim Furtado Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4326256)
I'm going to end the "what if" scenario right here. I don't need the hassle of a visit from government agents. I'm closing all the related comments.
   3127. Manny Coon Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4326259)
I was being half-flippant in my reply above, but I stand by the general point. If people have the Second Amendment right to own firearms, but they can't take them everywhere (i.e., they must be separated from them at times for practical and/or legal reasons), and they're subject to strict liability if someone breaks into their home or car and steals said weapon(s), that looks like little more than a backdoor attempt to gut if not nullify Second Amendment rights.


Strict liability is probably a bit much, but both this most recent shooting and the Oregon shooting involved weapons that weren't stored securely and incidents of children hurting or killing themselves after finding improperly stored guns happen more than they should. More strict laws related to storage could save a lot of lives without preventing people from owning guns for hunting, sport shooting or personal defense.
   3128. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4326260)
If liberals really want to put a dent in gun crime, they'd flood the inner cities with police and lock up offenders for longer periods of time.
Awesome. Of course, that'd require tax dollars, so before we fight the criminals, we have to fight the wingers.
   3129. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4326261)
Yikes.

Would that really happen? I thought people churned this stuff from time to time as one of a thousand things people talk about.
   3130. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4326262)
If liberals really want to put a dent in gun crime, they'd flood the inner cities with police and lock up offenders for longer periods of time.

Awesome. Of course, that'd require tax dollars, so before we fight the criminals, we have to fight the wingers.


That was so ridiculous it had to be a Kehoskie.

Yes, what America needs is more prisons! You and Lous Gohmert, Joe.
We also have vastly longer sentences than just about anywhere else. Most people care about facts and evidence, at least a little. Try them sometime.
   3131. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4326264)
I'm going to end the "what if" scenario right here. I don't need the hassle of a visit from government agents. I'm closing all the related comments.


Speaking of tyrannical government! ;-)
   3132. Tilden Katz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4326265)
If liberals really want to put a dent in gun crime, they'd flood the inner cities with police and lock up offenders for longer periods of time. But I won't be holding my breath.


So double down on the war on drugs?
   3133. zenbitz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4326267)

Horrible thing happens.

Summary of responses (not specifically BBTF)

* This occurred because of something I was already opposed to.
* This could be stopped by increasing activities that I approve of and/or decreasing activities that I don't.

   3134. villageidiom Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4326272)
If people have the Second Amendment right to own firearms, but they can't take them everywhere (i.e., they must be separated from them at times for practical and/or legal reasons), and they're subject to strict liability if someone breaks into their home or car and steals said weapon(s), that looks like little more than a backdoor attempt to gut if not nullify Second Amendment rights.
The same rationale, applied to the First Amendment, would suggest you have a Constitutional right to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater when no danger exists. And if you do, that suggests the Constitution, as currently written, is in need of improvement.

Establish justice.
Secure domestic tranquility.
Provide for the common defense.
Promote the general welfare.
Secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

Everything else is just details of making that happen. If the details as written aren't getting the job done, let's fix them.
   3135. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4326274)
I'm thinking more of the deterrent effect a well-armed citizenry has on inevitable government overreach; that an opponent who can badly bloody your nose before you finish him off, and whose resistance and martyrdom might serve as a rallying point, can give real pause, such that violence is avoided. There's a difference between moving into and occupying territory and in the process confiscating a handful of 50 year old bolt action rifles, and trying to do the same against a group of citizens, 80% of whom own effective. modern weapons.

In very isolated cases, the level of armament (the Branch Davidians, for example) of the citizenry won't matter, but I'm thinking of larger scale situations where a government never gets to the point of initiating violence.


I'm not sure how the specific case of the Branch Davidians isn't proof negative for your general theory. There are very few places in American more well armed than the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. Those arms neither deterred nor defended against the government imposing its will on the Branch Davidians. Neither did it become a "martyrdom" for any cause outside of the already committed fringe right wingers that were holing up already. The cause the Davidians inspired resulted in Oklahoma City.

I'm not sure where you're going with that.
   3136. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4326277)
Awesome. Of course, that'd require tax dollars, so before we fight the criminals, we have to fight the wingers.

Since when do right-wingers oppose spending money on police and/or prisons?

***
Yes, what America needs is more prisons! You and Lous Gohmert, Joe.
We also have vastly longer sentences than just about anywhere else. ...

To the extent the U.S. locks up more criminals than other countries and keeps them locked up longer, that's a feature, not a bug. (We can debate non-violent drug users, but there aren't millions of people in jail simply because they got caught with a little marijuana in their pocket.)

***
So double down on the war on drugs?

If those drug users and/or dealers are illegally in possession of firearms, yes. Or do you only support disarming law-abiding citizens?
   3137. Morty Causa Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4326280)
Who does this seem like?

While Newtown residents say that "there are many gun enthusiasts" in the area, the origins of Nancy's interest was a bit troubling. Her former sister-in-law, Marsha Lanza, told reporters that Nancy was part of the Doomsday Preppers movement, whose members believe they need to prepare for the end of the world.

Marsha said [Nancy] had turned her home ‘into a fortress’. She added: ‘Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense.

‘She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.’
   3138. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4326281)
Since when do right-wingers oppose spending money on police and/or prisons?
You're right. For all the talk of small-government, right-wingers are strangely comfortable with a police state, and raising taxes to pay for it.
   3139. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4326282)
The same rationale, applied to the First Amendment, would suggest you have a Constitutional right to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater when no danger exists. And if you do, that suggests the Constitution, as currently written, is in need of improvement.

Not the same rationale, and absurd.
   3140. Lassus Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4326284)
Horrible thing happens.
Summary of responses (not specifically BBTF)
* This occurred because of something I was already opposed to.
* This could be stopped by increasing activities that I approve of and/or decreasing activities that I don't.


And... your conclusion based on this observation?
   3141. Tilden Katz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4326285)
If those drug users and/or dealers are illegally in possession of firearms, yes. Or do you only support disarming law-abiding citizens?


Please provide evidence where I advocated for disarming law-abiding citizens. Thanks in advance.
   3142. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4326288)
Please provide evidence where I advocated for disarming law-abiding citizens. Thanks in advance.

Please provide evidence where I advocated for "doubling down on the war on drugs" (#3132).
   3143. zenbitz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4326289)
And... your conclusion based on this observation?


People are a problem.
   3144. DA Baracus Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4326290)
Please provide evidence where I advocated for "doubling down on the war on drugs" (#3132). Thanks in advance.


FYI, when he asked you that question, you could have said "no."
   3145. zonk Posted: December 16, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4326292)

To the extent the U.S. locks up more criminals than other countries and keeps them locked up longer, it's a feature, not a bug. (We can debate non-violent drug users, but there aren't millions of people in jail simply because they got caught with a little marijuana in their pocket.)



According to numbers compiled for a column in Reason -- while it's not "millions" --

America’s enormously high incarceration rate is a relatively recent phenomenon. According to a 2010 report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), U.S. incarceration rates between 1880 and 1970 ranged from about 100 to 200 prisoners per 100,000 people. After 1980, however, the inmate population began to grow much more rapidly than the overall population, climbing from about 220 per 100,000 in 1980 to 458 in 1990, 683 in 2000, and 753 in 2008.

* * *
The simplest explanation would be that the rise in the incarceration rate reflects a commensurate rise in crime. But according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the total number of violent crimes was only about 3 percent higher in 2008 than it was in 1980, while the violent crime rate was much lower: 19 per 1,000 people in 2008 vs. 49.4 in 1980. Meanwhile, the BJS data shows that the total number of property crimes dropped to 134.7 per 1,000 people in 2008 from 496.1 in 1980.

* * *
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws enacted in the 1980s played an important role. According to the CEPR study, nonviolent offenders make up more than 60 percent of the prison and jail population. Nonviolent drug offenders now account for about one-fourth of all inmates, up from less than 10 percent in 1980.
   3146. Tilden Katz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4326293)
But how can we trust a left-wing rag like Reason?
   3147. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4326294)
You're right. For all the talk of small-government, right-wingers are strangely comfortable with a police state, and raising taxes to pay for it.


This talking point is out of date. There is a very real movement in GOP/conservative state governments to real in the prison-industrial complex and the police-prison complex for fiscal reasons. (They haven't glommed on to the moral reasons yet, though there is a growing movement of evangelical Christians who do oppose the police state apparatus and the WOD for moral reasons.)
   3148. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4326296)
According to numbers compiled for a column in Reason -- while it's not "millions" --

That article doesn't help much. There simply aren't huge numbers of people locked up simply for smoking or possessing small amounts of marijuana, and as much as I like Reason, it has a bad habit of lumping drug users in with drug dealers for statistical purposes.
   3149. Tilden Katz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4326297)
There is a very real movement in GOP/conservative state governments to real in the prison-industrial complex and the police-prison complex for fiscal reasons


At the same time, they've also realized that private prison owners have deep pockets and are willing to donate generously with the right motivation.
   3150. hokieneer Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4326301)
But how can we trust a left-wing rag like Reason?


You kid, but with every 3rd article being about pot, gay marriage, or anti-war; I could imagine some real confusion.
   3151. McCoy Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4326302)
Armed citizens would last about 3 hours less than non-armed citizens should there be a clash between the government and its citizens. People who use the argument that a well armed citizenry is protection against the overreach of the government are pretty much in the same boat as those who want to legalize marijuana so they can make hemp rope.
   3152. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4326303)
At the same time, they've also realized that private prison owners have deep pockets and are willing to donate generously with the right motivation.


Sure. They're not on the side of the angels as of yet, but there is a real acknowledgement in some red states (Mitch Daniels in IN, some noise in GA) about the prison problem as a fiscal problem.
   3153. Dale Sams Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4326305)
Speaking of tyrannical government! ;-)


With absolutely full respect to Jim...it says volumes about our society that he in all seriousness feels it nessecery to do that.*

*Again, not for one second do I question his right to do so.
   3154. Tripon Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4326310)


You kid, but with every 3rd article being about pot, gay marriage, or anti-war; I could imagine some real confusion.


Then you read their comment sections and its like a liberal's extreme parody of libertarian would be. Some of the people on Reason are nuts.
   3155. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4326315)
I'm thinking more of the deterrent effect a well-armed citizenry has on inevitable government overreach; that an opponent who can badly bloody your nose before you finish him off, and whose resistance and martyrdom might serve as a rallying point, can give real pause, such that violence is avoided. There's a difference between moving into and occupying territory and in the process confiscating a handful of 50 year old bolt action rifles, and trying to do the same against a group of citizens, 80% of whom own effective. modern weapons.

In very isolated cases, the level of armament (the Branch Davidians, for example) of the citizenry won't matter, but I'm thinking of larger scale situations where a government never gets to the point of initiating violence.


The problem is that 99% of the time, the surrounding communities have a lot more to fear from a bunch of gun-hoarding, paranoid wackos than they do from any government.

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

While Newtown residents say that "there are many gun enthusiasts" in the area, the origins of Nancy's interest was a bit troubling. Her former sister-in-law, Marsha Lanza, told reporters that Nancy was part of the Doomsday Preppers movement, whose members believe they need to prepare for the end of the world.

Marsha said [Nancy] had turned her home ‘into a fortress’. She added: ‘Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense.

‘She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.’


From that same article:

As has been previously reported, the weapon Adam used to carry out the massacre — a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle — was legally purchased by and registered to Nancy, as were the Glock and Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistols found near his body. "


How any sane government can allow people like that to purchase firearms is beyond me.

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

But how can we trust a left-wing rag like Reason?


You kid, but with every 3rd article being about pot, gay marriage, or anti-war; I could imagine some real confusion.

Not to mention that not that long ago they ran a long cover article supporting open borders. Obviously this is a job for one of Sheriff Joe's well-armed citizen posses.
   3156. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4326316)
The prison problem is driven by the idiotic "war on drugs" and the mandatory sentencing laws passed by "tough on crime" pols in the 1980s. Of course, "conservatives" love centralized, federally regulated, one-size-fits-all statutes that remove all local judgement and localized understanding of an issue from the smaller institutions of state and local governments, when it's "tough on crime."
   3157. Tilden Katz Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4326317)
Obviously this is a job for one of Sheriff Joe's well-armed citizen posses.


Gonna have to wait until they finish investigating the President's birth certificate. Those geniuses are in high demand, you know.
   3158. hokieneer Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4326319)
Then you read their comment sections and its like a liberal's extreme parody of libertarian would be.


I thought that was Ron Swanson.

Some of the people on Reason are nuts.


I refrain from commenting on Reason, even though I read the articles. I save my limited internet political commentary for here. I mean, you are all nuts, but just harmless statists.
   3159. hokieneer Posted: December 16, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4326327)
How any sane government can allow people like that to purchase firearms is beyond me.


Not sure I follow. Are (overly) paranoid people not allowed to own firearms? Who makes that decision?
   3160. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4326342)
Guys, if Jim has already gone in an closed previous comments on a subject, it's just rude and stupid to make more comments on the same subject.
   3161. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4326358)
How any sane government can allow people like that to purchase firearms is beyond me.

Not sure I follow. Are (overly) paranoid people not allowed to own firearms?


Obviously they are, but just as obviously they shouldn't be allowed to.

Who makes that decision?

A court, based on credible information about that person's paranoid state.

Two distinct issues: The right of an openly paranoid person to remain at large within the community; and the right of such a person to possess firearms. If a background check can't screen out people like the late Nancy Lanza, I'm not sure what purpose they're supposed to be serving. The bar for gun ownership should certainly be higher than merely not having been qualified for a certified funny farm.
   3162. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4326360)

Not sure I follow. Are (overly) paranoid people not allowed to own firearms? Who makes that decision?


Insurance. If gun ownership was managed like car ownership is, your insurance would place a rate to insure you and the liability that you owning a gun cause. In particular, if its known that you live with or somebody with a prior history of violence or mental illness, your insurance would reflect that.
   3163. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4326366)
The idea that violent video games have anything to do with this is bizarre.

The problem is that the people are crazy.

Just like:

7 Die In Horror Lake Where Susan Smith Drowned Her 2 Sons

BY HELEN KENNEDY WITH NEWS WIRE SERVICES

Monday, September 02, 1996

The murky South Carolina lake where Susan Smith drowned her two young sons swallowed seven people including four children who had come to gawk at the night-shrouded waters Saturday.

In a creepy but accidental reenactment of a crime that horrified the world, the four children went to their deaths trapped in a van that rolled down the same steep boat ramp that Smith used to push her Mazda into John D. Long Lake two years ago.

"It seems like that lake is cursed," said a woman at the Lil Cricket Food Store on Main St. in Union, S.C.

"It's like it's haunted or something. It keeps taking lives," said local resident Tommy Vinson, 46.


As Bill Maher observed, the problem is not that the lake is haunted. The problem is that the people are stupid.
   3164. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4326367)
Insurance. If gun ownership was managed like car ownership is, your insurance would place a rate to insure you and the liability that you owning a gun cause. ...

Would there be a program — "Hestoncare," perhaps — for people who can't afford such insurance?
   3165. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4326375)
Would there be Hestoncare for people who can't afford such insurance?

Oh, I'm sure that the NRA would be glad to cough up the dough, just to keep the Nancy Lanzas of the world safe from the clutches of our murderous government.
   3166. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4326377)
Would there be a program — "Hestoncare," perhaps — for people who can't afford such insurance?

They'll just be shot.
   3167. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4326379)
So why doesn't it happen in Japan?

A more or less identical attack in China occurred on the same day, with non-identical results.


We had a nanny knife two little kids to death on the upper west side of Manhattan a few weeks ago.

A kindergarten teacher could take a knife into class one day intent on doing harm. Timothy McVeigh committed mass murder without a gun. I don't know what Japan has to do with anything since the issue is a crazy person intent on committing heinous crimes. It seems bizarre to focus on guns.
   3168. tshipman Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:40 AM (#4326382)
It seems bizarre to focus on guns.


Here's the thing: the attacks with guns kill a lot more people. There's some evidence that having the guns makes the attacks more likely also. That's why people focus on the guns.
   3169. hokieneer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4326384)
A court, based on credible information about that person's paranoid state.

Two distinct issues: The right of an openly paranoid person to remain at large within the community; and the right of such a person to possess firearms. If a background check can't screen out people like the late Nancy Lanza, I'm not sure what purpose they're supposed to be serving. The bar for gun ownership should certainly be higher than merely not having been qualified for a certified funny farm.


I"m wondering about the devil in the details about how you determine if someone is too paranoid to own a gun. A "survivalist philosophy" is pretty common around these parts. I know plenty of people that have months worth of food, a dozen or more firearms, gallons of gas and generators, overly secured homes, etc. Hell I've heard Harvey's talk about his property, and he's right there with some of these preparations. To some people this could be rampant paranoia, to others it's just an exercise in being prepared for the worse. How do you accurately separate a potentially dangerous paranoid person, who otherwise has no mental illness, from some average John Doe who is a little paranoid of an economic collapse and skeptical of the guvment?
   3170. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4326386)
A kindergarten teacher could take a knife into class one day intent on doing harm. Timothy McVeigh committed mass murder without a gun. I don't know what Japan has to do with anything since the issue is a crazy person intent on committing heinous crimes. It seems bizarre to focus on guns.

Yes, why bother with raw cumulative data when conditionals and outliers are so much more telling? Jonathan Sanchez is the greatest pitcher of the last ten years, did you see that no-hitter?
   3171. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4326391)
The "we shouldn't talk about guns and how they facilitate violence because we'll never be able to eliminate evil from the world" is the biggest, most idiotic strawman on the planet.
   3172. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4326392)
Yes, why bother with raw cumulative data when conditionals and outliers are so much more telling? Jonathan Sanchez is the greatest pitcher of the last ten years, did you see that no-hitter?

Actually, the lefties are the ones citing outliers while ignoring the "raw cumulative data," the latter of which is both highly inconvenient to the liberals' cause and makes liberals uncomfortable for ideological reasons (just like in the IQ debate).
   3173. DA Baracus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4326398)
Oh, I'm sure that the NRA would be glad to cough up the dough, just to keep the Nancy Lanzas of the world safe from the clutches of our murderous government.


She was apparently a doomsday prepper. This story just keeps getting sadder.
   3174. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4326401)
[The "we shouldn't talk about guns and how they facilitate violence because we'll never be able to eliminate evil from the world" is the biggest, most idiotic strawman on the planet.


Talk about guns all you want. Hell, put in stricter gun control laws. I don't care. The arguments for it are bad, but I suppose it can't hurt.

But the second part of your statement is undeniable, and that's the real problem here. It's not a strawman; it's reality. This kind of crime is virtually unstoppable by policymaking. The only chance is for someone on the ground to stop it at the time. We can lock the murderer up after the fact - though often they kill themselves anyway - but we can do nothing before the fact.

The guy was so crazy that he decided to take out a class full of kids/teachers with the intent to go out in a blaze of glory after doing as much damage as he could. But yes, let's obsess over gun control.

The arguments are just bad.
   3175. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4326404)
Actually, the lefties are the ones citing outliers while ignoring the "raw cumulative data," the latter of which is both highly inconvenient to the liberals' cause and makes liberals uncomfortable for ideological reasons

Which? Elaborate.

Ray thinks there is no reason to focus on guns when attacks happen all the times with knives and bombs. That's what you agree with?

Also, find where I argued for gun control before you go off on HOW FUNNY THIS LIBERAL please. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the validity of the conversation.
   3176. tshipman Posted: December 17, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4326405)
This kind of crime is virtually unstoppable by policymaking.


How do you reconcile this belief with the fact that it does not occur in countries with more stringent gun control policies?
   3177. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4326414)
And now, a collection of people spewing racial epithets because they pre-empted football with Obama's speech at the shooting memorial.
   3178. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4326415)
So maybe Nancy Lanza was a bit of a loonie, but we shouldn't forget that she's not the one who shot up an elementary school. She was a victim here. I'm not exactly following the logical progression from her survivalist bent and irrational fears to the conclusion that she should not be allowed to possess firearms because her nerdy Aspergerish son might go off.
   3179. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4326417)
#### gun control; we need strict tweet control.
   3180. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4326422)
Which? Elaborate.

Attacks like Friday's are the"outliers," while the "raw cumulative data" tells us (1) the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law-abiding, and (2) the overwhelming majority of gun crimes are committed within a couple demographics.

***
How do you reconcile this belief with the fact that it does not occur in countries with more stringent gun control policies?

Gun control is a lot easier on an island. This argument also ignores that Japan had a sarin gas attack that killed 13 and injured a thousand others.
   3181. DA Baracus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4326423)
And now, a collection of people spewing racial epithets because they pre-empted football with Obama's speech at the shooting memorial.


The University of North Alabama player that has the first tweet has been kicked off the team for it.
   3182. Manny Coon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4326430)
So maybe Nancy Lanza was a bit of a loonie, but we shouldn't forget that she's not the one who shot up an elementary school. She was a victim here.


She was a victim but she was largely responsible due to negligence. If she wasn't careless with her guns, he never would have had access to them to commit the crime. There a lot of deaths causes by people being negligent with their guns. Just last week there was a story about a guy who left a loaded gun in the back seat of his car and his boy shot himself in his car seat. The Oregon shooter was using a stolen gun. People in this country absolutely need to be more responsible with how they secure their weapons.
   3183. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4326434)
I don't dispute any of that, but I'm still not seeing how her negligence was supposed to have been predicted a priori.

EDIT: to clarify further, I'm responding to the idea that people like her should be specifically prevented from owning guns; what exactly should have popped up on her background check?
   3184. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4326437)
It's not a strawman; it's reality.


It's both, actually. It is a reality that we will never eliminate evil from the world. It is a strawman to argue that the inability to eliminate evil from the world means we can't more rationally regulate firearms in America in a rational attempt to reduce the effectiveness of potential mass murderers.
   3185. tshipman Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4326439)
Gun control is a lot easier on an island. This argument also ignores that Japan had a sarin gas attack that killed 13 and injured a thousand others.


Sure, there was a sarin attack. That is roughly analogous to the OKC bombings--an act of domestic terrorism. That is something that is very difficult to stop, and requires law enforcement.

The island issue is a total red herring, as numerous other states like Chile and Azerbaijan have similar rates without being on an island.
   3186. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4326446)
Sure, there was a sarin attack. That is roughly analogous to the OKC bombings--an act of domestic terrorism. That is something that is very difficult to stop, and requires law enforcement.

Yes, "very difficult to stop" — just like Friday's attack, when a deranged person was hellbent on killing people.

The island issue is a total red herring, as numerous other states like Chile and Azerbaijan have similar rates without being on an island.

Japan is an island nation with almost 130 million people. Azerbaijan has 9 million and Chile 17 million.

If the U.S has 310 million people and three or four of these incidents per year, that comes out to 1 in 100 million people. Even assuming that there are no cultural differences, it shouldn't be surprising that Azerbaijan (pop. 9,000,000) has fewer such incidents. (And re: gun deaths in general, I'd guess that Chile and Azerbaijan don't have large underclasses prone to violence.)
   3187. tshipman Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4326451)
Japan is an island nation with almost 130 million people. Azerbaijan has 9 million and Chile 17 million.

If the U.S has 310 million people and three or four of these incidents per year, that comes out to 1 in 100 million people. Even assuming that there are no cultural differences, it shouldn't be surprising that Azerbaijan (pop. 9,000,000) has fewer such incidents.


Chile and Azerbaijan are similar to Japan in their gun control and gun deaths per capita. Obviously I'm not comparing raw numbers to raw numbers. The USA, btw, is comparable to South Africa, the Philippines, Mexico, Montenegro and Paraguay.
   3188. Jay Z Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:53 AM (#4326453)
Insurance. If gun ownership was managed like car ownership is, your insurance would place a rate to insure you and the liability that you owning a gun cause. In particular, if its known that you live with or somebody with a prior history of violence or mental illness, your insurance would reflect that.


I have mentioned this as well. In this case the Lanzas can't be held to any liability since they are dead. So gun owners need to pay for the liability ahead of time. Decide what's appropriate for wrongful death via gun, in Connecticut you now have 26 cases. 100 mil, 500 mil maybe would cover it. Remaining gun owners can pay the premiums sufficient to cover those claims.

This creates economic incentives to alter behavior, which conservatives should like.
   3189. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4326457)
Chile and Azerbaijan are similar to Japan in their gun control and gun deaths per capita. Obviously I'm not comparing raw numbers to raw numbers. The USA, btw, is comparable to South Africa, the Philippines, Mexico, Montenegro and Paraguay.

I'm not sure what these nation-to-nation comparisons are supposed to tell us, unless we're supposed to assume the countries have similar demographics and similar cultures. If the argument is that the U.S. has more deranged people per capita, that could be true, although basic odds tell us that rare events like Friday are statistically more likely to happen in a country with 310 million people than in a country with 9 million people. Otherwise, if we're talking about gun crimes in general, we already know who commits the vast majority of those crimes and where they're committed. There's no further study needed.
   3190. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:04 AM (#4326467)
As massacre or spree-type shootings have become more prominent in the news, are Ted Bundy-type serial killers receiving less coverage? Or are there fewer serial killers active than in previous years? I ask out of curiosity, because the last couple of major serial killers I remember were John Allen Muhammad (Beltway sniper) and Ángel Maturino Reséndiz (the Railroad Killer). Have I simply forgotten/overlooked others?
   3191. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:10 AM (#4326468)
Steal your votes! Steal your votes here!

I'm not sure how the specific case of the Branch Davidians isn't proof negative for your general theory. There are very few places in American more well armed than the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. Those arms neither deterred nor defended against the government imposing its will on the Branch Davidians. Neither did it become a "martyrdom" for any cause outside of the already committed fringe right wingers that were holing up already. The cause the Davidians inspired resulted in Oklahoma City.

Well, I'm not sure where you're going with that.
Well, trying to work my way through the thicket of the relationship between

a) the level of arms a citizenry has and

b) the cooling or deterrent effect a) might have against a government that might want to exert oppressive power of that citizenry

and do so without giving in to my tendency to dismiss arguments in favor of "generally well-armed citizens being necessary to prevent government tyranny" as far right kookery (in part because those arguments are often framed so badly, referring to black helicopters and FEMA camps, as we saw earlier in this very thread).
I thought I had exempted the Davidians from consideration (for the purposes of nudging my broader views along) when I wrote,

In very isolated cases, the level of armament (the Branch Davidians, for example) of the citizenry won't matter, but I'm thinking of larger scale situations where a government never gets to the point of initiating violence.


I used "never" because some of the tougher cases to see into involve inaction. If government doesn't act, is it because it wasn't going to, or because it was deterred? Those are very tricky to divine.

A small compound versus a large region or entire country is a whole nother kettle of fish and I thought I had exempted it from consideration as not being an example of the citzenry of a country.

Think about large Sunni areas within predominantly Shia Iraq. How do you think the Sunni citizenry would fare if the only arms in its possession was the odd flintlock and pistol? We're obviously far from that situation, but I never said I was talking only about the US, and the larger point is worth noting.

Iraq is a particularly valid example of the point that an armed citizenry is useful in preventing oppressive governmental action. There's a spectrum and Irq is near one end, but that doesn't invalidate the example.

Armed citizens would last about 3 hours less than non-armed citizens should there be a clash between the government and its citizens.
I know it's tough, but this isn't the point.

People who use the argument that a well armed citizenry is protection against the overreach of the government are pretty much in the same boat as those who want to legalize marijuana so they can make hemp rope.
I eagerly await the first ten minutes you ever spend actually studying any subject whatever.


Since when do right-wingers oppose spending money on police and/or prisons?

You're right. For all the talk of small-government, right-wingers are strangely comfortable with a police state, and raising taxes to pay for it.

It's very important to re-frame the debate. If not for false advertising, the GOP would run in the low 40%s in national elections (or maybe it's just that I'd rather not believe this many people can be this effing stupid). The difference between what they're selling and what they claim to be selling is enormous. I'm a little surprised that Americans tend to grasp some of the basics of the fiscal curb, even though as a whole they don't seem to grasp that there's no debt crisis.

I've got Notorious in the background while I'm working and posting and, man, is it smart. There's the odd bit, too, as when Grant is in the car with Bergman. They've been pulled over. She's driving and she's drunk. The traffic cop gets a peek at Grant's ID and lets them go. Bergman gets mouthy. Grant wrestles with her but she won't calm down, so he slugs her, knocking her unconscious.



   3192. Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2012 at 06:20 AM (#4326475)
I have closed two more comments and have sent out two warnings.

I have already made myself clear that certain discussions are not allowed on the site. With Google, such discussions are easily found on the Internet.

A similar discussion once took place on the site. Although I didn't see the discussion at the time it was posted, I learned of its existence when an FBI agent delivered a court order to provide records.

I didn't enjoy the experience the last time. I don't intend to repeat the experience. So, to be extremely clear: discussions about killing people, in any form, are not appropriate on BBTF.

Thanks for understanding and respecting this policy.
   3193. Flynn Posted: December 17, 2012 at 06:48 AM (#4326476)
I'm not exactly following the logical progression from her survivalist bent and irrational fears to the conclusion that she should not be allowed to possess firearms because her nerdy Aspergerish son might go off.


Projecting crazy onto crazy and adding guns into the picture seems like a recipe for disaster. Which is exactly what happened.
   3194. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 17, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4326479)
I didn't enjoy the experience the last time. I don't intend to repeat the experience. So, to be extremely clear: discussions about killing people, in any form, are not appropriate on BBTF.


For my part, in case clarification is at all useful, I had no sense that anyone was talking about violence as anything remotely desirable, but rather as a mulling over of precautions people and organizations take in order to be safe in light of what happened in Newtown.

In any case, fair enough, Jim, and thanks for your ongoing hospitality.
   3195. BrianBrianson Posted: December 17, 2012 at 07:33 AM (#4326480)
Damn, I was almost so proud of Joe in #3125 - apart from randomly referring to people as "lefties", he really articulates a valid point; gun control won't make much of a difference in the murder rate, and the real problem is the people interested in committing murders.

He really does an about face when he then suggests that more police and more prisons is the solution; you'd think someone harping on California's budget problems would realise incarcerating the tens of millions of possibly dangerous people is not a plausible idea. Of course, I suppose when he came to the point where he realised the actual solution is preventative social work, with more resources to teachers, social works, making after-school programs more available (and government funded), making mental healthcare available (and typically, funded - people in real need of mental healthcare can rarely afford it), a social safety net that keeps people out of the "nothing left to lose" position, etc - well, perhaps it's a bridge too far.
   3196. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4326483)
Attacks like Friday's are the"outliers," while the "raw cumulative data" tells us (1) the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law-abiding, and (2) the overwhelming majority of gun crimes are committed within a couple demographics.

Why one even bothers is a mystery. We weren't talking about outliers of gun owners, we were talking about outliers of attacks by weapon. Because the question was "Why talk about gun control when you can attack with cars and bombs?" You have answered a question that wasn't asked.
   3197. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4326485)
For my part


That whole thing made me think of a joke:

{Steven Wright voice}: "Shouldn't websites dedicated to Fight Club make the Universe fall in on itself?"


   3198. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:26 AM (#4326487)
Why one even bothers is a mystery. We weren't talking about outliers of gun owners, we were talking about outliers of attacks by weapon. Because the question was "Why talk about gun control when you can attack with cars and bombs?" You have answered a question that wasn't asked.

Maybe not by you, but it has been by others (e.g., Sam in reply to SBB).
   3199. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4326490)
.
   3200. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4326491)
[flip]

(The "Last" link in the sidebar seems to be broken, probably because the deleted comments threw off the comment count.)
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