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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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   3301. Ron J2 Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4326752)
there was this spate of "this is the event that will change the course of the climate change debate!


Interestingly there was a study released last week that appears to show this is exactly what's happening. Things like the pictures of the ice melt up north or Sandy have convinced a pretty fair number of people -- and the people most responsive to this appear to be those who were not convinced by the scientific evidence.
   3302. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4326754)
Last I checked worldviews are not included in background checks when guns are purchased.

Why are you surprised? Andy believes in strict government controls on speech and expression that he doesn't personally approve of. All he's missing is a cool nickname like "Tail-Gunner Joe."
   3303. bobm Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4326755)
[3291]
You have to wonder the logic people are using to conclude that this is a "gotcha!" in favor of stricter gun control laws. Here, the laws in place worked exactly as intended: they prevented the madman from buying a weapon right away. 

And yet, he gained fast access to a weaponry anyway, thereby shattering the gun control argument. He was intent on doing harm, and he did it.


I did not intend it as a gotcha. The gun control law worked, but the shooter's mother did not secure her weapons. She trained and armed the shooter, despite knowing better. She is partly to blame here.
   3304. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4326757)
You have to wonder the logic people are using to conclude that this is a "gotcha!" in favor of stricter gun control laws. Here, the laws in place worked exactly as intended: they prevented the madman from buying a weapon right away.

And yet, he gained fast access to a weaponry anyway, thereby shattering the gun control argument. He was intent on doing harm, and he did it.


I'm in favor of restrictive gun control, which must preclude any BS "grandfathered" exceptions. The fact that you owned something before a law banned it should not give you some sort of magical exemption. I know a lot of people are not going to like that, but tough - its evident to me that too many Americans can't handle the personal responsibility of owning guns.

   3305. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4326760)
And yet, he gained fast access to a weaponry anyway, thereby shattering the gun control argument. He was intent on doing harm, and he did it.


The gun control argument includes the thought (backed up by actual statistical data) that fewer guns in circulation would result in fewer gun deaths. If there were fewer guns in circulation then it might not have been so easy for him to gain such fast access once he was denied a gun.

Just because gun control laws don't magically remove guns does not mean it is not worthwhile, it just means it does not do magic. If magic is what you insist on from gun control then yes it will be a failure. If you want to treat it like a public health issue (which was your analogy, btw) and work on it over time by doing things like (for example) reducing the pool of available guns in our society then you will see a statistical decrease in gun violence.

Even once that happens though I am positive gundeaths will occur and you will ignore the statistics and point out how useless it all is.
   3306. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4326761)
I wouldn't be concerned with her owning guns. I'd be concern with her living with her son who had regular access.
   3307. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4326765)
I don't think it's impossible that events were like this:

The mom is a prepper, the boy bought into it, spared his mother the anguish of the coming days and decided to do the same for some kids.
   3308. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4326766)
The gun control argument includes the thought (backed up by actual statistical data) that fewer guns in circulation would result in fewer gun deaths.


The issue is not whether fewer guns would result in fewer gun deaths; it's whether fewer guns would result in fewer deaths. Who cares what the weapon of choice was, if the result is the same? And you first need to establish that gun laws do an adequate job of preventing maniacs from getting guns.
   3309. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4326767)
I try very stringently not to agree with any fellow liberals because of the imbecilic "high-five" crap, but I think #3305 was excellent in its simplicity.


The issue is not whether fewer guns would result in fewer gun deaths; it's whether fewer guns would result in fewer deaths. Who cares what the weapon of choice was, if the result is the same?

We're back to you relying on the outliers of steak knives, cars, and home-made bombs. I still don't understand why you are doing that.
   3310. hokieneer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4326770)
I wouldn't be concerned with her owning guns. I'd be concern with her living with her son who had regular access.


I'm starting to wonder how much access he did have. Why go to Dick's to purchase a rifle, when there is an arsenal at your disposal in your house?
   3311. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4326773)
Just because gun control laws don't magically remove guns does not mean it is not worthwhile, it just means it does not do magic.

I'm very confused because this is the argument that liberals railed against about voter ID laws.

So, as a fig leaf, I'll fully agree with liberals on that point, that to be a legitimate gun control law, a gun control law must be applicable to every type of gun crime possible, absolutely prevent a gun crime from happening any other way, and not pose the slightest inconvenience, impose the most minimal effort or the slightest whiff of even a penny of cost, on any person whatsoever not intending to commit a gun crime.

   3312. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4326774)
The young man who killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school Friday suffered from a condition where he could literally feel no pain, according to a faculty member at his old high school.
Richard Novia, the advisor for the tech club at Newton High, said that if Adam Lanza cut or hurt himself, "he would not know it or feel it."
Novia's words are the latest from a series of former acquaintances of Lanza's to paint him as bright but obviously troubled.
"Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old," wrote a neighbor and former classmate Timothy Dalton on Twitter. "As horrible as this was, I can't say I am surprised."


   3313. Ron J2 Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4326780)
Tunisia had one of the lowest rates of gun ownership before the revolution. They overthrew a wealthy, well-armed dictator.


Right. The issue is whether the armed forces are willing to kill to keep the regime in charge. Iran's another good example of a case where the armed forces had the power but not the will to keep the status quo.
   3314. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4326781)
again, as a long-time gun owner i have no issue with a process that reduces the ability of crazy or angry people from gaining access to guns.

i screen people who try and buy beagle pups from me. i get gripes about that all the time. my pups, my rules.
   3315. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4326782)
I don't think it's impossible that events were like this:

The mom is a prepper, the boy bought into it, spared his mother the anguish of the coming days and decided to do the same for some kids.


And I don't think it's impossible that events were like this:

The kid's brain was not wired correctly and unfortunately it mis-fired at just the wrong time. End of story.
   3316. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4326783)
I'm very confused because this is the argument that liberals railed against about voter ID laws.

So, as a fig leaf, I'll fully agree with liberals on that point, that to be a legitimate gun control law, a gun control law must be applicable to every type of gun crime possible, absolutely prevent a gun crime from happening any other way, and not pose the slightest inconvenience, impose the most minimal effort or the slightest whiff of even a penny of cost, on any person whatsoever not intending to commit a gun crime.


Voter fraud only affect one vote, and can only be effective on one day, and there's little evidence that the United States suffers from widespread voter fraud. Gun control aims at getting rid of weapons that just this year alone we have documented cases of weapons being used on a mass scale against innocent parties.
   3317. Shredder Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4326787)
“I could ask you why should anyone want a Ferrari?” Van Cleave said Sunday. “[Bushmasters] are absolutely a blast to shoot with. They’re fast. They’re accurate.”
I'm pretty sure for most people, the answer to the questions "why would anyone want a Ferrari" and "why would anyone want a Bushmaster" is "Because they have a very small penis". Though I'm a little more willing to give the Ferrari owners the benefit of the doubt.
   3318. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4326788)

Right. The issue is whether the armed forces are willing to kill to keep the regime in charge. Iran's another good example of a case where the armed forces had the power but not the will to keep the status quo.


Iran? They curbed stomped the opposition in 2009. Zimbabwe's another example of the people in power willing to kill and murder its own citizens to rig an election.
   3319. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4326790)
I'm very confused because this is the argument that liberals railed against about voter ID laws.


Except there were no cases of fraud the voter id laws were attempting to fix in some of the places the laws were enacted. It was a purely hypothetical situation which oh-by-the-way may limit some of the other party's voters.
   3320. Chicago Joe Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4326792)
The number I cited (36 percent) is in the headline, the subtitle, the story, and in the sidebar chart.


18,000?
   3321. Morty Causa Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4326796)
He was intent on doing harm, and he did it.

So, why have any laws, Ray?

Property rights; recourse against people harming you in various ways (assault; fraud; breach of contract); etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

I presume the question was non-serious.


No, it's quite serious. (And I'm not just ragging you.)

You seem to be arguing against those who favor laws restricting the ownership, possession, nad use of guns by claiming that if someone is really intent on doing harm, they can't be stopped. Is that right? If so, that can be said about a lot of laws. Many jurisdicitions have laws against carrying in saloons and bars, yet it's probably fairly easy to do so. So, does that make athe laws futile? Don't you think some people are deterred?

Just because some people won't be deterred doesn't mean others can't be. And you don't know which is which, so why should the assumption be that you can't thwart or frustrate some possible would-be killers?
   3322. BDC Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4326797)
I find myself nodding in agreement with every comment Ray makes, but also finding the whole argument to be something of a red herring. The gun problem in the US is not particularly the 26 people killed in Newtown, utterly tragic, concentrated, and horrific as the events there were. The gun problem is the 260 people killed every year in Philadelphia – or fill in the violent city of your choice; Philly is just notoriously bad. If the cops in Philadelphia (reforming their own department and mission in the process) had a green light to confiscate handguns – let's say, via civil forfeiture; commit any offense, have your handguns seized because you really shouldn't have them around if you're a troublemaker – I really do think that the gun-violence rate in that city would go down and down; neighborhoods and lives and economies would improve. And you'd probably hear that Obama really was coming to take our guns this time, and there'd be legislative outrage; the NRA will cheerfully sacrifice hundreds of lives and the concomitant blighting of whole communities in North and West Philadelphia because, well, they're intransigent (and perhaps because they don't have many members there). That's the exigent problem; but conversation gets distracted onto these rare and bizarre and fairly unpreventable events, and becomes a haggling over how much ammunition we should allow lunatics to carry.

But gun control can't be a bad thing even when applied to the rare lunatic. Let's say some troubled person attracts the attention of the law for some non-lethal aberrant behavior: sorry, fellow, we are going to seize your weapons, because you're not responsible. Of course this would not deter law-abiding madmen whose massacre is their first offense. But let's say (along the lines of Mouse's #3305) it reduces the rolls of school shootings by one every five years or so. I'll take that as a tradeoff against the putative right of some deranged person to have lots of guns around.


   3323. Shredder Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4326799)
I'm very confused because this is the argument that liberals railed against about voter ID laws.
Mass murders, regular murders, and accidental deaths occur with guns all the time. These are actual problems that exist. In person voter fraud is essentially non-existent, and voter ID laws were pushed by people whose sole intention was to dissuade people from voting who are likely to vote against the type of people pushing voter ID laws. That stricter gun control won't eliminate all murders tomorrow is not an argument against stricter gun laws. Stricter gun laws are proposed as a partial solution to a problem that actually exists. Voter IDs are pushed (disingenuously) as a solution to a problem that does not exist.
   3324. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4326807)
Mass murders, regular murders, and accidental deaths occur with guns all the time. These are actual problems that exist. In person voter fraud is essentially non-existent, and voter ID laws were pushed by people whose sole intention was to dissuade people from voting who are likely to vote against the type of people pushing voter ID laws. That stricter gun control won't eliminate all murders tomorrow is not an argument against stricter gun laws. Stricter gun laws are proposed as a partial solution to a problem that actually exists. Voter IDs are pushed (disingenuously) as a solution to a problem that does not exist.


I'll put it this way. Americans in general are not interested in committing voter fraud. A large subset of Americans however are interested in owning guns. And guns are an efficient weapon in committing harm against another person. That's why they should be 'well regulated'.

Its putting your resources against the issues of your time.
   3325. CrosbyBird Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4326809)
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.

The culture argument is much simpler. American culture is one of fierce individuality that simply doesn't exist in other nations. No other culture places as much emphasis on individual autonomy and freedom from government. It is not only the source of our gun laws, but our speech laws and our privacy laws. Things that are normal and expected in other countries (your papers please, for example), are outright rejected here. While it is my opinion that this is a very good thing, it carries with it consequences that do not exist in other cultures, and that's why gun control isn't the right answer even if it would, with certainty, reduce gun-related fatalities.

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.

Putting aside that this is a terrible analogy:

You should have the right to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. You may have to pay the price for the damage you cause while doing so, but the speech itself should be perfectly legal. We can criminalize acts of reckless endangerment without infringing on speech. This is not a matter of a problem with the text of the Constitution as the interpretation of that text. (Not to mention the specifics of that phrase, used to quash political speech as "too dangerous." "Fire in a crowded theater" was a vast overreach of government power to restrict speech, and frankly, the very sort of abuse of power that the First Amendment was clearly intended to prevent.)
   3326. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4326811)
i screen people who try and buy beagle pups from me. i get gripes about that all the time. my pups, my rules.

I fully support this plan.
   3327. BrianBrianson Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4326814)
The issue is not whether fewer guns would result in fewer gun deaths; it's whether fewer guns would result in fewer deaths. Who cares what the weapon of choice was, if the result is the same? And you first need to establish that gun laws do an adequate job of preventing maniacs from getting guns.


It's all in the first point - does gun control result in fewer deaths, or not? Whether it results in fewer gundeaths is double plus immaterial. How it does is probably also not the point, whether it's preventing people who're inclined to go on killing sprees away from guns, or weakening the cultural fascination with guns, or .... whatever else.
   3328. Shredder Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4326818)
i screen people who try and buy beagle pups from me. i get gripes about that all the time. my pups, my rules.
I've toyed with the idea of adopting a racing greyhound. I haven't done it yet for a number of reasons, good lord, the process for doing so is like going through a background check for a job at the CIA.
   3329. Ron J2 Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4326821)
or that the level of armament is irrelevant when it comes to otherthrowing an oppressive government?


Pretty close to irrelevant I'd say. The key is getting the armed forces either onside or willing to stand aside (Egypt for instance).

I guess Rhodesia would be a counter-example. They were in fact willing to kill to keep the regime in charge and eventually (after about 2 decades) it became clear that the rebel forces were growing faster than the Rhodesian armed forces could kill them.
   3330. Manny Coon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4326823)
I did not intend it as a gotcha. The gun control law worked, but the shooter's mother did not secure her weapons. She trained and armed the shooter, despite knowing better. She is partly to blame here.


If there is a type of gun control relevant to this part of the discussion it is more strict rules related to storage of weapons. If she had her weapons in a safe or something similar there is a chance he never gets these weapons. Maybe it wouldn't have stopped this particular instance, but there are plenty of other incidents where it would prevent people getting harmed.

"His mom Nancy had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times, never turn my back or even go to the bathroom or anything like that. Which I found odd but I really didn't ask; it wasn't any of my business," said Kraft, who lives in Hermosa Beach. "But looking back at it now, I guess there was something else going on."


This makes it sound like he almost certainly had something more going on than Asperger's, I've also seen reports (don't know if they are true are like half this story) that he was involved in self destructive behavior like burning himself. He also may or may not have been on medication, many of which often have side effects related to violent behavior. Many other countries include psychological screening as part of buying weapons and depending what was actually going on with him, this may have relevant to him or someone like James Holmes, but probably not his mother, so it would still her responsibility to keep the weapons away from him. Perhaps even more strict storage guidelines could be recommended to anyone living with someone with disqualifying mental conditions.

"West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — who has an “A” rating from the NRA and is a lifetime member of the pro-gun rights group — said Monday that it was time to “move beyond rhetoric” on gun control.
“I just came with my family from deer hunting,” Manchin said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don’t get more than one shot anyway at a deer. It’s common sense. It’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common sense discussion and move in a reasonable way.”


Magazine size is definitely more related to many of these recent mass shooting than the types of guns themselves. In other countries where .223 semi-automatics are legal as hunting weapons, they usually have much more restrictive magazine sizes. These guns are good hunting weapons, the bigger magazines aren't really needed for that or target shooting. Individual states have already passed laws related to this and so it's likely more reasonable to pass laws related to this than to ban a few very popular types of guns.
   3331. Shredder Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4326830)
The issue is not whether fewer guns would result in fewer gun deaths; it's whether fewer guns would result in fewer deaths.
I'm pretty sure there would have been fewer deaths in this instance if the perpetrator didn't have easy access to a legal tool designed strictly for the killing of a large number of people in a short period of time. There's really no other reason that gun exists, and there's really no reason that such a weapon should be in the hands of any person who isn't actively serving in the military. I'd prefer a world with no guns, but I'm willing to acquiesce to those who feel they need handguns for defense and shotguns/rifles for hunting. But the only reason a semi-automatic or automatic weapon exists is to kill large numbers of humans very quickly.

I'm a page late or so, but the response of "What about the Sarin attacks, or the Oklahoma City Boming!!!!" are absolutely ridiculous. We can't stop every attack, but I like our chances a lot better when the attacks we're trying to stop take a great dealing of planning and fairly flawless execution. Timothy McVeigh didn't just get pissed off one day and drive to OKC to kill a bunch of people. The longer the planning stage, the more people involved, the more moving parts, the better chance we have to stop it. There's no indication (yet, obviously) that Newtown was a coordinated and planned attack so much as it was a kid who snapped, and who had easy access to a tool with no useful purpose outside of the killing of a lot of people very quickly.
   3332. Srul Itza Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4326832)
I'm very confused because this is the argument that liberals railed against about voter ID laws.


Except, of course, for the fact that there has been pretty much NO evidence to support any need for voter ID laws, but tons of evidence that the easy availability of guns leads to incidents like this.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your ideological world-view. If you believe something, Dan, it must be true, so why bother with facts.
   3333. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4326837)
I have a second grader who the other day wanted me to stop and rewind a program we were watching so he could view a body (It was a Star Trek episode, lest someone here thinks we were watching Helter Skelter). I asked him why and he said, "I like murder".*

He's always had a problem with empathy, and had NO sense of 'tribe' as a baby/toddler. Meaning whenever we went to the park, I had to stay 2 feet behind him at all times because he would have just wandered off and never looked back. You know those women you see at stores whose kids know to follow like baby ducks? Yeah, that wasn't my kid. If we lived in caveman times, he wouldn't have lived more than two weeks after he could walk.

So let's just say the events of the last week are very interesting to me.

*I suspect he meant he was interested by the events, but made sure to let him know, that's not something he should be saying. Especially at school. On the flip side, he will leave the room if a show has blood in it. So I'm not REAL worried about him.
   3334. Ron J2 Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4326843)
#3318 I was thinking of Iran under the Shah. No question in my mind that their armed forces had the power but not the will to keep him in power.
   3335. CrosbyBird Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4326844)
EDIT was broken, but in my prior post, I am referring to "control" as a euphemism for "ban." I'm in favor of gun control laws that allow citizens to possess the same grade of weapons as the police, and prevent them from owning military-grade weapons.
   3336. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4326861)
In combination, the amount of firearms, the type of firearms, the presence in her house of a person with mental issues, and her apocalyptic worldview should have set off multiple alarms. There is simply no way to look at Nancy Lanza and say that a person like that should be allowed to own Bushmasters and Glocks.

And how exactly do we legislate this? Last I checked worldviews are not included in background checks when guns are purchased.


Serious question: Why not?

I'm not talking about Climate change deniers or Flat Earthers or Marxists or Randians. But when you've got a person who thinks that the world is coming to an end, and that therefore she needs to arm herself to the teeth (with semiautomatic weapons) to "protect" herself, are you really trying to say that it should be nobody's business but hers if she wants to buy a Bushmaster or a Glock? Is the second amendment compelled to lead us to this stage of denial?

Nor is the presence of other persons in the household, mentally stable or otherwise. What alarms would have been set off? Should the neighbors have barged in and seized her guns?

No.

Reported her to the police?

Absolutely. And it speaks to the prevailing culture of Newtown that such a thought wasn't even considered. IMO it's a variation, however relatively mild, of the Kitty Genovese syndrome. Many neighbors knew that something serious was up with this woman, and yet nobody wanted to get involved, and nobody questioned the wisdom of her little arsenal.

And so this clearly disturbed woman was just allowed to go her merry way. Well, inactions can have consequences, too.

Maybe move beyond some of your hyperbolic statements and make a suggestion of how to actually prevent a situation like this.

First, outlaw weapons of "mass destruction" for civilian use. Second, institute much more stringent background checks for gun ownership. Third, learn to recognize signs of mental instability, and be triple careful about letting people like that obtain weapons that were clearly meant for serious, non-civilian use.

None of the above is foolproof. All of that will find cracks in implementation. And what's really needed is a seismic shift in our entire attitude towards guns. Other countries can tell the difference between gun sports and gun fetishists, and though we'll never get to that point, we might at least begin to recognize the importance of the question.

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

When in reality, her collection of firearms is not atypical for people that own firearms, there for we have a large portion (no idea how many people in USA own 5+ firearms, but I wouldn't be surprised with any number anyone can find) of the population that falls under your blanket statement: "How any sane government can allow people like that to purchase firearms is beyond me."


And to me that simply shows what we're up against. And trust me, I realize that separating the Nancy Lanzas from those with more balanced mental states isn't always easy. But when it comes to the sort of weapons that can be used to kill en masse within a matter of seconds, I can't see why we shouldn't be erring on the side of caution. To narrowcast the often quoted phrase, the Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.

*shrug*

Some people like guns... again, not my cup of tea -- but I have multiple family members who have collections that are 5+. Just off the top of my head, I can think of 6 cousins/uncles who do.


But do those 6 cousins/uncles collect the sort of weapons that are capable of staging massacres of elementary school children?
   3337. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4326862)
I'm in favor of gun control laws that allow citizens to possess the same grade of weapons as the police, and prevent them from owning military-grade weapons.


Of course, that would first mean taking military-grade weapons away from the police ...

(not that that would be a bad thing at all)
   3338. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4326864)
The number I cited (36 percent) is in the headline, the subtitle, the story, and in the sidebar chart.
18,000?

What's the point of this silly pedantry? My original comment was:

"In Chicago, only 36 percent of the ~18,000 homicides from 1980 to 2008 were cleared, and the clearance rates for other felonies are often worse."

The key part of that was the rate, not the number. Without going back to the article, I said "~18,000" from memory, and it turns out the exact number was 20,854. That doesn't change the rate at all, and I don't see how a higher number of homicides makes the situation in Chicago look better than I had represented it.
   3339. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4326867)
I have a second grader who the other day wanted me to stop and rewind a program we were watching so he could view a body (It was a Star Trek episode, lest someone here thinks we were watching Helter Skelter). I asked him why and he said, "I like murder".*


Along these lines this might be the most meaningful and relevant piece that I've read so far.


I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

...

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise -- in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill -- Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal


The whole thing is absolutely worth a read.
   3340. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4326873)
Third, learn to recognize signs of mental instability,


You make it sound like there should be a DHS for guns. And while I can see a lot of people saying, "Why not??"...how far is 'judging prepper mentality as instability' from determining gun ownership based on political beliefs? Take it even further: "Tea Partiers are crazy. Their beliefs are crazy and they shouldn't be allowed to own guns."
   3341. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4326875)
"Tea Partiers are crazy. Their beliefs are crazy and they shouldn't be allowed to own guns."


I, for one, could live with that.
   3342. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4326876)
John Wetland, I read that yesterday and was very intrigued, but I frowned at the notion that the Columbine killers wern't responsible for their actions. There are evil people in the world.
   3343. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4326877)
Except, of course, for the fact that there has been pretty much NO evidence to support any need for voter ID laws, but tons of evidence that the easy availability of guns leads to incidents like this.

Yeah, which is why DC and Chicago are such meccas of gun safety.

I'm also confused. So, after gun massacres is the proper time to talk about gun control and who to blame. But talking about Benghazi right after Benghazi isn't? And apparently, when adding new debt is also the exact wrong time to talk about adding debt.

Regressives really need to give us an Appropriate Discussion Window chart, for future reference.
   3344. zonk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4326881)


Along these lines this might be the most meaningful and relevant piece that I've read so far.


I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

...

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise -- in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill -- Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal



The whole thing is absolutely worth a read.


Amen.
   3345. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4326882)
I'm not talking about Climate change deniers or Flat Earthers or Marxists or Randians. But when you've got a person who thinks that the world is coming to an end, and that therefore she needs to arm herself to the teeth (with semiautomatic weapons) to "protect" herself, are you really trying to say that it should be nobody's business but hers if she wants to buy a Bushmaster or a Glock? Is the second amendment compelled to lead us to this stage of denial?


Andy, I'm not saying I think the world is going to end, but please don't confuse being prepared for a societal collapes with being crazy. We live in a society which is almost totally reliant on "just in time" deliveries to keep grocery stores and gas stations supplied. Have you ever heard of the Carrington Event? It was a massive solar storm in 1859 that took out most of the very limited electrical infrastructure of the day.

"Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases shocking telegraph operators.[5] Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire.[6] Some telegraph systems continued to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies."


If that were to happen again, and there is no reason to think it could not, you will be absolutley ###### if you are in a city. This has nothing to do with politics or worldviews or conspiracies. If the electrical grid were to go down for an extended period of time in any region, the stores would be empty in 2 days, and then people would start getting hungry, and thirsty. When people get hungry and thirsty, they become a little unpredictable, and I wouldn't want to be sitting on any kind of food supply or even a vegetable garden without some form of defense.

Edited for clarity

   3346. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4326892)
. And what's really needed is a seismic shift in our entire attitude towards guns.


* All the normal stuff (closing loopholes, background checks, magazine size)
* Ammunition tax
* Regulations modeled after automobile usage:
* Insurance
* Liscensing/mandatory training/education
* Laws which make not following two points above expensive when ignored

You can have a gun, but it is going to be a bit more expensive and regulated which will cost some time and money.

So the money you raise you do educational efforts (similar to what has been done the last 30+ years around drunk driving) to inform folks what the cost is of promiscuous gun usage in the US.
   3347. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4326895)
Andy, I'm not saying I think the world is going to end, but please don't confuse being prepared for a societal collapes makes you crazy.

Andy, would you like me to go into the archives and find the copious quotes from the leftists here saying that extremely progressive taxation is fair because it keeps the poor from rising up and killing the wealthy? Seems to me that if even the elitist white liberals here see it as a possibility to the extent that they argue it as a justification for policy, someone who has money is simply being smart by preparing for that possible day.

   3348. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4326897)
Australia seems to think that gun control works pretty well
   3349. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4326900)
But talking about Benghazi right after Benghazi isn't? And apparently, when adding new debt is also the exact wrong time to talk about adding debt.


I missed the part about no talking about Benghazi or debt. Of sure there were people wanted actual concrete information and wanting people to stop talking out the rear ends, but that had nothing to do with sensitivity it has to do with get your facts right.

So now is a fine time to talk about generic gun control, mental health or whatever. Talking about how that woman must have been a terrible parent is (I think) not so good because the writer has no idea one way or another orther than speculation and speculation on other peoples speculation.
   3350. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4326903)
Andy, would you like me to go into the archives and find the copious quotes from the leftists here saying that extremely progressive taxation is fair because it keeps the poor from rising up and killing the wealthy?


I would love you to so that research. My memory is terrible, I would have thought I would have remembered using potention actual class war as a justification for progressive taxation.
   3351. hokieneer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4326904)
First, outlaw weapons of "mass destruction" for civilian use. Second, institute much more stringent background checks for gun ownership. Third, learn to recognize signs of mental instability, and be triple careful about letting people like that obtain weapons that were clearly meant for serious, non-civilian use.


1) They are already. This guy didn't use an RPG or an M16

2) That seemed to have worked. The shooter was denied purchase of a rifle 3 days before the shooting.

3) I have yet to see any evidence that this women was mentally unstable, other than your assertions that because she stockpiled food, ammo, guns, etc in the event something catastrophic happens, she's crazy.



But do those 6 cousins/uncles collect the sort of weapons that are capable of staging massacres of elementary school children?


Pretty much all firearms, in the hands of a sociopath, are cable of that. Some are more efficient than others. All firearms are potentially dangerous.
   3352. zonk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4326907)
Andy, I'm not saying I think the world is going to end, but please don't confuse being prepared for a societal collapes makes you crazy.

Andy, would you like me to go into the archives and find the copious quotes from the leftists here saying that extremely progressive taxation is fair because it keeps the poor from rising up and killing the wealthy? Seems to me that if even the elitist white liberals here see it as a possibility to the extent that they argue it as a justification for policy, someone who has money is simply being smart by preparing for this day.


Heh...

Just want to note of the irony record, it's the libertarian who makes the leap from 'societal collapse' to 'government collapse' and implies that the two are one in the same!
   3353. hokieneer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4326912)
Magazine size is definitely more related to many of these recent mass shooting than the types of guns themselves. In other countries where .223 semi-automatics are legal as hunting weapons, they usually have much more restrictive magazine sizes. These guns are good hunting weapons, the bigger magazines aren't really needed for that or target shooting. Individual states have already passed laws related to this and so it's likely more reasonable to pass laws related to this than to ban a few very popular types of guns.


I agree with most of this. Mag size could potentially limited the death % in incidents like these, though I'd imagine it would do little to nothing on the overall gun death and gun crime rate. Again, the only reason for large mags is just for less reloading during target shooting. It's a small inconvenience for the law abiding citizen, but going from a 30 round mag to a 10,12,15 will not prevent a shooter from being able to hunt or defend themselves from an aggressor.

Other similar measures I have seen floating around about more safety in transporting and storage of firearms are probably good ideas, and could easily cut down on a lot of accidental fire arm deaths. Again as long as they can be done reasonably to where a person can still defend themselves, I don't have a problem with them.
   3354. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4326914)
I don't think you are going to get a satisfactory response to this or to any of your other posts directed towards SBB Joe. Some people you can debate with and an understanding can be reached, others its just the equivalent of smashing your head against a brick wall.

Sure -- the only word that fully sums up the mother's role in this is "victim." She's a "victim" in precisely the way the 6-year-olds are, and there are no other salient facts or contexts.

Now, let's get to the real issue -- inner-city schools and teacher salaries. That makes perfect sense on a day when we learn about the unadultrated heroism of many of the Sandy Hook teachers and administrators, who ran into a hail of bullets from the son of the "victim" to try to save the lives of 6-year-olds.
   3355. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4326920)
First, outlaw weapons of "mass destruction" for civilian use. Second, institute much more stringent background checks for gun ownership. Third, learn to recognize signs of mental instability, and be triple careful about letting people like that obtain weapons that were clearly meant for serious, non-civilian use.

1) They are already. This guy didn't use an RPG or an M16


The Bushwacker is the civilian equivalent of the M-16, and unfortunately it's perfectly legal.

2) That seemed to have worked. The shooter was denied purchase of a rifle 3 days before the shooting.

True, and while it didn't prevent this particular tragedy, it might well have prevented others that didn't happen.

3) I have yet to see any evidence that this women was mentally unstable, other than your assertions that because she stockpiled food, ammo, guns, etc in the event something catastrophic happens, she's crazy.

Not crazy in that I'd want her committed, but crazy enough that I wouldn't want to have her stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and ammo. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
   3356. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4326921)
Navy Seal accidentally shoots himself in head.


Its also not hard to find cases of trained professionals doing stupid things with guns. Not sure why he felt the need to show off his gun unless he was worried that it would make up for the size of the gun in his pants.
   3357. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4326926)
The issue is not whether fewer guns would result in fewer gun deaths; it's whether fewer guns would result in fewer deaths


Only in your fantasy world where killing with other weapons is as equally easy and effective as killing with guns. You continue to look foolish on this point.
   3358. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4326928)
I'm very confused because this is the argument that liberals railed against about voter ID laws.


Your confusion comes from misapprehending the question at hand. Liberals railed against voter ID laws because they were a "solution" desperately looking for a problem. If you are willing to argue that mass murders with guns are not a problem, then you can have that analogy back. Otherwise, read more better.
   3359. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4326932)
[3356] That's some serious Darwin award action right there:

San Diego police said the sailor had got out several weapons to show the woman and despite her asking him to put them away he insisted they were safe.

He was handling the gun and pointed it at his head to show her it wasn’t loaded when the tragedy happened.
   3360. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4326938)
I missed the part about no talking about Benghazi or debt.


Apparently.
   3361. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4326940)
I'm not talking about Climate change deniers or Flat Earthers or Marxists or Randians. But when you've got a person who thinks that the world is coming to an end, and that therefore she needs to arm herself to the teeth (with semiautomatic weapons) to "protect" herself, are you really trying to say that it should be nobody's business but hers if she wants to buy a Bushmaster or a Glock? Is the second amendment compelled to lead us to this stage of denial?

Andy, I'm not saying I think the world is going to end, but please don't confuse being prepared for a societal collapse with being crazy.


Societies do collapse, and even in the case of containable disasters, it's probably foresightful to stock up on basic provisions.

But automatic weapons and ammo? What good is that going to do anyone once existing supplies of food run out? Do these people plan on invading neighboring fortresses and playing "Up against the wall, mother#######, this is a stickup!"?

And yes, Dan, there are mentally unbalanced leftists, too. For all I know, Nancy Lanza was a member of the Green Party, and gun-toting hippies were a staple of the crazy phase of the New Left.

And then there's this, for snapper's consideration. (smile)
   3362. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4326944)
but crazy enough that I wouldn't want to have her stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and ammo.


You're still basing your crazy diagnosis on the fact that she "stockpiled" weapons and ammo. So basically anyone who has more than 2-3 guns is "stockpiling", which in your few makes them crazy, therefore their weapons should be seized?
   3363. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4326949)
But automatic weapons and ammo? What good is that going to do anyone once existing supplies of food run out? Do these people plan on invading neighboring fortresses and playing "Up against the wall, mother#######, this is a stickup!"?


I don't know anything about this woman, but if she was stockpiling weapons for a catastrophic collapse scenario, she was probably stockpiling food and water too. Are you telling me you wouldn't resort to theft if you were starving? I know your liberal heart believes she should just share all of her food to keep the neighbourhood alive for another 48 hours, but that's not the typical mindset of a prepper. The guns are to defend a person and their family from looters.
   3364. Srul Itza Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4326950)
please don't confuse being prepared for a societal collapse with being crazy.


Why not? This is not some third world country where regime change and roving armies are just around the corner every second.

If you are positing that the collapse of society in America is something that is so likely that we should be preparing for by stocking up on guns & ammo, then yes, I think you are a loon.
   3365. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4326951)
But talking about Benghazi right after Benghazi isn't?

I mentioned this last time this came up here, but in this debate on this board, I do not remember this ever coming up as something people on the left were crying about. I could be wrong, I suppose.
   3366. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4326952)
Societies do collapse, and even in the case of containable disasters, it's probably foresightful to stock up on basic provisions.


Examples, please. Give me an advanced society - say top 5 cultures of its era - that has collapsed so quickly and completely that "preppers" were the smart play?
   3367. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4326956)
I'm also confused. So, after gun massacres is the proper time to talk about gun control and who to blame. But talking about Benghazi right after Benghazi isn't?


I see you're in a "make myself look stupid in public phase." No one outside of Kehoskie's fever dreams made that argument.
   3368. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4326958)
Nazi Germany during the end of WWII. Japan during the end of WWII. The Black Plague throughout Europe caused massive disruption and societal collapse. The Byzantine Empire fell shockingly quickly.

But the problem isn't that the aftermath, its that the actual collapse is likely to kill you.
   3369. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4326959)
If you are positing that the collapse of society in America is something that is so likely that we should be preparing for by stocking up on guns & ammo, then yes, I think you are a loon.


Examples, please. Give me an advanced society - say top 5 cultures of its era - that has collapsed so quickly and completely that "preppers" were the smart play?


Please read the link provided in #3345. As I said, that has nothing to do with conspiracies or unstable governments. I have no idea what the likelihood of it happening would be, but being prepared for something like that does not make one crazy.
   3370. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4326960)
I mentioned this last time this came up here, but in this debate on this board, I do not remember this ever coming up as something people on the left were crying about. I could be wrong, I suppose.


You don't remember the shitstorm about Romney "being so insensitive as to blame Obama for purely political reasons, when PEOPLE DIED!!"
   3371. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4326966)
Not crazy in that I'd want her committed, but crazy enough that I wouldn't want to have her stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and ammo. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.


Statements like this do nothing to further the discussion. Blatant hyperbole and a judgemental attitude just get people frustrated and side tracked.

EDITED FOR CLARITY
   3372. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4326972)
Nazi Germany during the end of WWII. Japan during the end of WWII. The Black Plague throughout Europe caused massive disruption and societal collapse. The Byzantine Empire fell shockingly quickly.


So, are we currently engaged in any sort of WWII type scenario wherein the United States is likely to be obliterated back to, um, the 1970s or something? Are we stockpiling weapons on the off chance that the bird flu goes all Jaws IV: The Revenge on us?
   3373. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4326981)
As unlikely as it is to happen, what if, like, the Cubs won the World Series?

I'm pretty sure society would collapse justlikethat.
   3374. Tripon Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4326983)
After the Westboro Baptist Church suggested on Twitter its intention to picket the Newtown, Connecticut site where 26 shooting victims died -- including 20 children -- hackers retaliated.
Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the Westboro church, and daughter of church founder Fred Phelps, posted on Twitter, "Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment."
That unpopular message spurred hacker activists into action.
The church, which has been notorious for protesting military funerals with unwelcome messages,
found itself gagged on Twitter as their website and Twitter accounts were hacked.
Over the weekend, the hacktivist group Anonymous posted what it said was personal information of members of the Westboro Baptist Church. In a video posted on Vimeo, the hacker group accused the organization of "breeding hatred" and adding, "We will destroy you. We are coming."


So Huckabee is on the same side of the Westboro church.
   3375. SteveF Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4326985)
Jaws IV: The Revenge


This reference lessens you.
   3376. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4326986)
You don't remember the shitstorm about Romney "being so insensitive as to blame Obama for purely political reasons, when PEOPLE DIED!!"
No. But I do remember the shitstorm about Romney using half-facts and incorrect assumptions to blame Obama.
   3377. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4326987)
Y'know, if some gun nut wants to expend a few hundred bullets on the Westboro crowd, I'd be OK with that.
   3378. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4326991)
i screen people who try and buy beagle pups from me. i get gripes about that all the time. my pups, my rules.


As you should, because someone who might be denied the ability to buy a gun through tougher gun laws might resort to other methods (deadly beagles) to go on a killing rampage, just like Ray suggests.
   3379. hokieneer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4326995)
Doesn't anyone, ANYONE, give a #### what the Westboro church says besides their members?
   3380. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4326997)
Examples, please. Give me an advanced society - say top 5 cultures of its era - that has collapsed so quickly and completely that "preppers" were the smart play?


The Minoans?
   3381. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4327001)
So nobody remembers when lefties were outraged by using FOUR DEAD AMERICANS as a reason to review the administration's role in the Benghazi situation, but suddenly it's, like, totally cool to use 20 dead children and 6 dead adults to revisit silly gun control arguments.
   3382. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4327005)
You don't remember the shitstorm about Romney "being so insensitive as to blame Obama for purely political reasons, when PEOPLE DIED!!"

So nobody remembers when lefties were outraged by using FOUR DEAD AMERICANS as a reason to review the administration's role in the Benghazi situation, but suddenly it's, like, totally cool to use 20 dead children and 6 dead adults to revisit silly gun control arguments.

On this board in this Benghazi debate, no. My memory isn't photographic, and I'll freely walk back if someone wants to provide.

And as I also said the last time this came up, I don't personally think it's ever wrong to talk about such things in the wake of tragedy. I know why people get upset, and if in a personal IRL discussion someone didn't care to talk about it for that reason, I'd quickly comply. But humans believe things, and discuss them - especially online - in relation to the world around them. I never, like that "exploitive/insensitive/how dare you" argument from either side.
   3383. SteveF Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4327012)
On this board in this Benghazi debate, no.


Sensitivity is probably the last thing you can attribute to people posting in this thread.
   3384. Mefisto Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4327013)
The Byzantine Empire fell shockingly quickly.


Eh. It was in decline after Manzikert (1171), much more so after the Sack in 1204. It held on but never really recovered after that. From 1204 to 1453, it was a pretty gradual decline.
   3385. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4327014)
On this board? No, I don't remember seeing it either. But it was definitly in the public arena. My Fb associates were screeeeaming.
   3386. Shredder Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4327016)
So nobody remembers when lefties were outraged by using FOUR DEAD AMERICANS as a reason to review the administration's role in the Benghazi situation
No, because that didn't happen in real life the way it apparently happened in your head. In real life, there's been a congressional investigation into the Benghazi attacks since early October, to which there hasn't been much objection, except for dickwads like McCain and his huckleberry sidekick calling for EVER MORE BETTER INVESTIGATIONS!!! into what someone said on TV, which was the CIA's best publicly available estimate at the time.

It's like you have some prism in your brain that takes pretty straightforward situations and spreads them out into these colorful arrrays of complete B.S.
   3387. zonk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4327017)
As unlikely as it is to happen, what if, like, the Cubs won the World Series?

I'm pretty sure society would collapse justlikethat.


Now, now... I can drink a lot - and PLAN to do so in that event, but I feel pretty certain the collapse would be confined to a few block radius.

Why not? This is not some third world country where regime change and roving armies are just around the corner every second.

If you are positing that the collapse of society in America is something that is so likely that we should be preparing for by stocking up on guns & ammo, then yes, I think you are a loon.


This is why I was poking Dan in 3522 --

Imperial Russia collapsed, but -- setting aside the fate of those actively taking part in its defense/fomenting its demise, I think it's fair to say based on the literature and recorded history of the period -- 'society' didn't really change for the work-a-day peasant. It was a different sort of agitator that got repressed and a different set of views that would target you for repression... If you didn't really care whether the leadership was called 'comrade' or 'czar' - and we always seem to forget that most people fall into this category - you were still pretty much scratching out a living.

It's the difference between the accouterments of society -- government -- collapsing, and some event (Carrington writ large in the form say... a total grid and electronics destroying EMP; a massive asteroid bringing years of nuclear winter; or actual full scale superpower nuclear exchange that pretty much ensure the 'governments' falling to ash are just a byproduct of a whole lot of #### falling to ash) that actually collapses society

When governments collapse, society tends to survive -- people still need necessities and will still want luxuries... When/if 'society' collapses, all bets are off.

If society collapses -- I'm going to be a lot less concerned than protecting "what's mine"... ultimately, as I don't and have no desire to bunker up with years worth of provisions - my more immediate concern would be forming some sort of civil cooperative for purposes of defense and meeting basic needs.

Living in an urban area - my first course of action would be engaging with my neighbors, suggesting we start thinking about collectively defending our turf, marshaling resources, etc.

If the world turns to crap, I like my chances of surviving a lot better if I've got a 'tribe' than I do on my own... that's not a statement of my own value or preparedness post-collapse -- it's a simple recognition of the numbers game. Mad Max might work in the movies, but in reality -- it's the roving gang that has the upper hand.

The trick would be that I don't think I could ever be the sort of to be a part of a roving an pillaging gang, so it would be a matter of finding the collective that would be willing to maintain some degree of humanity, interested less in hoarding and pillaging and more in stabilizing and rebuilding.

EDIT: In short, I'm more of an Earth Abides guy than I am a Mad Max guy
   3388. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4327018)
The Minoans?


Nice.

Atlantis can be added to the list as well.
   3389. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4327021)
If society collapses -- I'm going to be a lot less concerned than protecting "what's mine"... ultimately, as I don't and have no desire to bunker up with years worth of provisions - my more immediate concern would be forming some sort of civil cooperative for purposes of defense and meeting basic needs.


Jesus hippie, go hug a tree or something.

In all seriousness, I don't think anything apocalyptic is going to happen any time soon, and I would probably look down on hardcore 'preppers', but I would never judge them crazy like Andy is doing. I mean, they are way above tea partiers.
   3390. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4327022)
Shredder just google "Romney uses tragedy for political gain", and you'll find a doezen op-ed pieces from REAL publications with headlines saying "Romney shamelessly exploits tragedy"...NOW..

..as Gold says, some of them focus on his half-assed accusations before he learned people had died, but more than a couple also focus on the "How dare you!" aspect.
   3391. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4327023)
Mad Max might work in the movies, but in reality -- it's the roving gang of zombies that has the upper hand.


Fixed.
   3392. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4327028)
In all seriousness, I don't think anything apocalyptic is going to happen any time soon, and I would probably look down on hardcore 'preppers', but I would never judge them crazy like Andy is doing. I mean, they are way above tea partiers.


Being a 'prepper' (never heard that term till this thread today, but maybe I've just not been paying attention) is pretty much part & parcel of Mormonism, at least to a certain extent, no? How are Mormons on gun ownership?

Not trying to bait anyone or anything; I'm genuinely curious.
   3393. Dale Sams Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4327029)
my first course of action


My first course of action if on a clear day all the power goes out and my car (and everyone elses) won't start? Get some cash, walk to the grocery store and bribe a manager to let me walk off with as much as me and my family can carry in shopping carts.
   3394. zonk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4327036)
My first course of action if on a clear day all the power goes out and my car (and everyone elses) won't start? Get some cash, walk to the grocery store and bribe a manager to let me walk off with as much as me and my family can carry in shopping carts.


Well, first thing I'd do is hope my Visa balance was enormous... but that - and the happy dance if it was - wouldn't take long.

Jesus hippie, go hug a tree or something.

In all seriousness, I don't think anything apocalyptic is going to happen any time soon, and I would probably look down on hardcore 'preppers', but I would never judge them crazy like Andy is doing. I mean, they are way above tea partiers.


Heh... hardly - it's a numbers game. I suppose part of it is wrapped up in the idea that I see more good in humanity than I do evil (not that I deny our species has enormous capabilities for the latter), but ultimately -- in a large urban area where I currently prefer t live -- it's simple logic that bunkering in a solitary or semi-solitary way is pointless.

What I'd probably do is try to gather a like-minded group and set up shop somewhere easily defensible... maybe with a patch of green space... there's a ballpark in my neighborhood that I would have in mind for such an endeavor!
   3395. hokieneer Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4327037)
Being a 'prepper' (never heard that term till this thread today, but maybe I've just not been paying attention) is pretty much part & parcel of Mormonism, no? How are Mormons on gun ownership?


Not to paint with broad strokes, but Utah has a firearm ownership rate of 43.9% in 2007.


In all seriousness, I don't think anything apocalyptic is going to happen any time soon, and I would probably look down on hardcore 'preppers', but I would never judge them crazy like Andy is doing.



Honest question, in terms of actual actions not beliefs of the coming end of times, what's different in the preparations of an average Midwest/Southern/Appalachian/country farmer/rancher and a "prepper"?
   3396. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4327039)
Eh. It was in decline after Manzikert (1171), much more so after the Sack in 1204. It held on but never really recovered after that. From 1204 to 1453, it was a pretty gradual decline.


The Byzantine Empire didn't collapse, so much as migrate. Baghdad is to Constantinople as Constantinople is to Rome.
   3397. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4327044)
What I'd probably do is try to gather a like-minded group and set up shop somewhere easily defensible... maybe with a patch of green space... there's a ballpark in my neighborhood that I would have in mind for such an endeavor!


Don't be silly. You'd stay in your mom's basement, just like the rest of us. And with any luck, you'd have enough food & water & such to stay down there for a loooooong time; remember what happened when the last survivor in the house in Night of the Living Dead stuck his head up to see what was going on ...
   3398. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4327045)
Honest question, in terms of actual actions not beliefs of the coming end of times, what's different in the preparations of an average Midwest/Southern/Appalachian/country farmer/rancher and a "prepper"?


This is my first time seeing the term 'prepper' as well, and I instantly (with little background info) equate it to someone who stockpiles #### based on sensationalistic media reports without stockpiling the correct ####, as those experienced with power outages or isolating storms would do.
   3399. zonk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4327049)

Honest question, in terms of actual actions not beliefs of the coming end of times, what's different in the preparations of an average Midwest/Southern/Appalachian/country farmer/rancher and a "prepper"?


I think it's probably whether you have a basement full of preserves -- as my grandparents did/still do simply because when you harvest a lot of ####, if you don't make preserves, you're wasting an awful lot of labor... or a basement full of dried, condensed foods.

I grew up in a rural area - so I'm not at all equating the two... you smoked, preserved, canned, etc an awful lot of meat, fruits, and vegetables for a couple of simple reasons: First, as noted above - if you don't, you really shouldn't be farming/etc. You're just wasting tons of stuff (and the effort that went into growing/raising that stuff). Might as well sell the farm/not hunt/etc. Second, you DO have to be prepared for an inability to get to the store for an extended period of time. It wasn't at all unusual for really bad snowstorms to keep us from getting to the grocery store for a week or more. I can remember occasions where the power lines were down (and thus, so was our heat off) for more than a week.

You keep a relatively decent store of 'provisions' -- food, firewood, etc -- on hand because occasions generally happened as often as annually where this would be pretty necessary.

Preppers are more like the supposedly very popular Doomsday Preppers show on NatGeo...
   3400. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4327050)
Not to paint with broad strokes, but Utah has a firearm ownership rate of 43.9% in 2007.


Figures that of the 4 states I've lived in, 3 -- Arkansas, Louisiana & Alabama -- rank higher than that. The fact that people there/here are probably more likely to own guns than to have 10 or more teeth probably means something.

(Never owned or fired a gun in my life, FWIW, assuming a BB gun doesn't count.)
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