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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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   4801. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4331797)
Australia instituted gun laws and saw gun deaths drop by a huge amount. Which is exactly what what would expect.

Yes, people stopped killing themselves with guns and started hanging themselves instead. Otherwise, the alleged effect has been massively overblown.

You of course think think the weather or illegitimacy rate has something to do with why the US would not experience a drop with similar gun laws. You thoughts on the subject are ridiculous.

Illegitimacy is the strongest predictor of violent crime. I know liberals generally stop being all about science and facts as soon as those facts make them uncomfortable, but the reality here is undeniable.
   4802. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM (#4331802)
Illegitimacy is the strongest predictor of violent crime. ...

Link fixed (I hope) in the quote above (see p. 214). Otherwise, countless other studies have yielded similar findings.
   4803. tshipman Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM (#4331803)
%
Yes, people stopped killing themselves with guns and started hanging themselves instead. Otherwise, the alleged effect has been massively overblown.


It's so trivial to dispatch Joe's arguments when he attempts to deal in the realm of fact.

The Australian Gun Control Laws, including the accompanying buy-back, decreased the firearm homicide rate by 59%, and the suicide rate by 65% (link is to a PDF).

Here's a paper that addresses Joe's "substitution of method" claim:

In any time series analysis of an intervention, researchers will compare what actually happened to what would have happened without the law (the counterfactual). Unfortunately, the counterfactual is never known. In this instance, the researchers made the assumption that the historical trend would have continued unabated. They made no effort to explain why the historical trend had been what it was, nor why they expected it to continue. The trend was downward.
The researchers chose 1979 as the beginning year for the trend analysis. They gave no explanation for this choice, and data were available for each year back to 1915. The Australian firearm suicide and the homicide rates in 1979 were the highest and the third highest, respectively, for any year 1932–1996. Identical analyses using data from 1915 to 2004 found that both firearm suicide and firearm homicide declined significantly after the NFA.

The researchers’ assumed counterfactual was that a linear trend of the actual death rate from 1979 to 1996 would continue forever. In other words, the assumed counterfactual was that if the historical rate fell from 3/100 000 to 2/100 000 in the initial period, it would fall to 1/100 000 in next period, then to 0/100 000, and then to 1/100 000. This assumption meant that the counterfactual predicted an ever-increasing percentage fall in death; indeed, the model predicted that without the NFA, the number of firearm homicides
in Australia would be negative by 2015. Critics labeled this a ‘Resurrection Problem’.

It would be very difficult for an intervention to be an improvement on that counterfactual; indeed, if in 2004, the Australia firearm homicide rate had been zero (and remained
there), that rate would not have been low enough to reject the null hypothesis that the NFA had no effect.


As a matter of fact, gun suicides have dropped precipitously since the law was enacted, as have other forms of suicide.
   4804. GregD Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4331806)
The causes of suicide are complex, and the things society should do in response are also complex, but it's noteworthy that the states with the lowest suicide rates have the most-restrictive gun laws: NY 50th, NJ, Maryland, Mass, Illinois, Connecticut, California. While the states with the highest suicide rates are: Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico. I would not underestimate the Catholic effect playing a role here, as Catholics in the past were believed to commit suicide at lower rates (not sure if this is still true) but access to guns is also a factor in the number of successful suicides.
   4805. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4331809)
The Australian Gun Control Laws, including the accompanying buy-back, decreased the firearm homicide rate by 59%, and the suicide rate by 65% (link is to a PDF).

The homicide rate was already dropping, as it was in the U.S. during the same time.

As for suicides, how did that become the focus? I thought this new push for gun control was intended to stop future crimes like Newtown?

If this is suddenly about suicide, it should be pointed out that unless all guns are banned and confiscated, it won't matter what types of firearms are available to people inclined to commit suicide. Agitating against semi-automatic handguns on account of suicide is pure, unadulterated flimflammery. If a person wants to kill himself, any old revolver will do.
   4806. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4331813)
The Australian Gun Control Laws, including the accompanying buy-back, decreased the firearm homicide rate by 59%, and the suicide rate by 65% (link is to a PDF).

By the way, I'm sure this was just an honest oversight by Shipman, but in all of his many citations of Australia as the model for gun control, he's left out one key fact: According to the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia, "93 percent of those who were forced to surrender a firearm during the buy-backs replaced it with one or more firearms almost immediately" [source].

Thus, the alleged huge reduction in the number of privately owned firearms in Australia appears to be little more than a mirage. 93 percent of Australia's gun owners who were impacted by the new law simply traded one type of gun for another.
   4807. GregD Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4331814)
If this is suddenly about suicide, it should be pointed out that unless all guns are banned and confiscated, it won't matter what types of firearms are available to people inclined to commit suicide. Agitating against semi-automatic handguns on account of suicide is pure, unadulterated flimflammery. If a person wants to kill himself, any old revolver will do.
And yet overall number of guns in circulation has an impact. The choices aren't all or nothing, right? The more guns floating around a state, the more people kill themselves.

But you're right. Anyone who says he is only against the unregulated flow of guns because of Newtown does not have my support; there are many, many reasons to wish to regulate guns, and many people were agitating for this long before Newtown came along. Our present policy is atrocious in many ways, not just in one way.
   4808. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4331815)
Again, from the National Academy of Sciences (bold mine)


Outside the United States there have been a small number of buy-backs of much larger quantities of weapons, in response to high-profile mass murders with firearms. Following a killing of 35 persons in Tasmania in 1996 by a lone gunman, the Australian government prohibited certain categories of long guns and provided funds to buy back all such weapons in private hands (Reuter and Mouzos, 2003). A total of 640,000 weapons were handed in to the government (at an average price of approximately $350), constituting about 20 percent of the estimated stock of weapons. The weapons subject to the buy-back, however, accounted for a modest share of all homicides or violent crimes more generally prior to the buy-back. Unsurprisingly, Reuter and Mouzos (2003) were unable to find evidence of a substantial decline in rates for these crimes. They noted that in the six years following the buy-back, there were no mass murders with firearms and fewer mass murders than in the previous period; these are both weak tests given the small numbers of such incidents annually.
   4809. BrianBrianson Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4331820)
   4810. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:14 AM (#4331821)
They're Republicans who desperately want to look in the mirror and see themselves as Outsiders, but they're still Republicans.

I was at a dinner yesterday with a bunch of righties from all over the country that in the 90's and such would call themselves Republicans. Almost all of them said they were either independent now or were going to consider themselves independent in the future. The problem with that view is that they are all still going to vote republican come hell or high water. It's a meaningless distinction.



Not that there's anything wrong with that, though... I'm a registered Independent but for the forseeable future can't imagine a Republican at the state level being sufficiently aligned on my big 3 of

a) broadening and deepening social insurance
b) limiting police powers, and
c) regulating the financial industry (big in my state)

to get my vote over a generic Dem. I'm not partisan enough that I'd vote for a morally compromised Democrat over a sane Republican, but otherwise I don't see it happening.

For President I could see voting for a Republican for President only if he hit all the high notes of small government conservatism but without all the crazy we've come to expect. He'd have to be suggesting a sea change wrt

a) civil liberties, and
b) national defense (go small and go home)

If he were, I'd forgive a lot on other issues. I think we need to go in the direction entirely opposite where Bush and Obama have been taking us.

they found the supporters to be not "nonpartisan political neophytes" as often described, but largely "overwhelmingly partisan Republicans" who were politically active prior to the Tea Party...


No offense meant, but, isn't this something widely understood? I don't know that more than a few ever really bought into the idea that the original teapers were politically passive, fundamentally nonpartisan folks rallied into a righteous frenzy only because of TARP.

I remember also that more than a passing look showed that a lot of what appeared to be grassroots tea party activism was being bankrolled by far right organizations with strong ties to the GOP.
   4811. DA Baracus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4331822)
Those grapes were probably sour anyhow.


It gets better (read: more ridiculous) in the original article:

Rich Beeson, the Romney political director who co­authored the now-discredited Ohio memo, said that only after the election did he realize what Obama was doing with so much manpower on the ground. Obama had more than 3,000 paid workers nationwide, compared with 500 for Romney, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers.

“Now I know what they were doing with all the staffs and ­offices,” Beeson said. “They were literally creating a one-to-one contact with voters,” something that Romney did not have the staff to match.


We were surprised to know that people did work!
   4812. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:54 AM (#4331824)
“They were literally creating a one-to-one contact with voters,” something that Romney did not have the staff to match.

Poor Mitt, if only he had more money!
   4813. GregD Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:50 AM (#4331831)
I love the idea that Mitt wanted to be president less than anyone Tagg has ever met. Tagg must know nothing but ########
   4814. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 24, 2012 at 07:01 AM (#4331837)
We were surprised to know that people did work!


I wouldn't be surprised to find out the Romney campaign assumed that Obama was just trying to reward supporters. A few would be paid workers, but most would just be getting free food to pretend to work.
   4815. Lassus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4331839)
This data war in the thread regarding the guns is growing disheartening. Lies, damn lies, and statistics starts to sound more and more true.
   4816. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4331857)
for general amusement alleged teetotaler senator mike crapo of idaho got cited for a dwi last night
   4817. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4331858)
even though a gop voter i have a long history of disdain for hypocrites and especially those who look askance at people who drink alcohol. my aunts were advocates of the temperance movement of the 20's and they drove my dad nuts. now they were not hypocrites by all accounts but they were annoying as h8ll. and many of those who joined their chorus also took a swig now and then

so folks like the senator get little latitude with me.
   4818. Poulanc Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4331862)
As for suicides, how did that become the focus?



Really?

Yes, people stopped killing themselves with guns and started hanging themselves instead
   4819. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4331863)
ya'know i was in the service and saw gruesome stuff but one of the worst things i ever saw was finding my farm buddy on his kitchen floor having blown his head off with his shotgun



   4820. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4331869)
There are also Americans – some misguided, some ideologues – who work every day of the week in the cause of compromising our liberties. They are just as dangerous and criminal as those who would stifle any of the liberties contained in the Bill of Rights.

I suppose suggesting that we shoot them wouldn’t be taken very well – although that is precisely what it came down to 236 years ago.
   4821. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4331882)
I suppose suggesting that we shoot them wouldn’t be taken very well – although that is precisely what it came down to 236 years ago.


Who is this "we"?
   4822. Greg K Posted: December 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4331883)
I suppose suggesting that we shoot them wouldn’t be taken very well – although that is precisely what it came down to 236 years ago.

This is comforting considering those people were my ancestors! (Though perhaps not the specific ones who were shot as that would make my existence less likely).
   4823. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4331893)
When Joe says the US is distinctly diverse what he means is "ain't nobody else got to deal with them black folk like we do."

Of course that's what he means, which is why he continues to interject irrelevancies like illegitimacy (*) and inner-city teacher salaries into the discussion. And of course, the "suspicions" of backwoods whites necessitating their armaments reduce to the very same thing.

For those confused by his stops and starts, here's what Joe's saying: No other countries' experience with gun control applies to the United States because no country has as many blacks and ghettos as the United States. Full stop.

(*) Earth to Joe: Adam Lanza was an upper-class white suburbanite from, until very recently, a two-parent home. The Columbine killers were well-off suburban kids. These mass killers aren't "illegitimate." (Nor are they typically black.)
   4824. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4331896)
Oh, one more thing -- the term "arms" used in the Second Amendment is typically used to refer to weaponry as potent as nuclear weapons. Thus, the "Strategic Arms Limitation (SALT) Treaty," and the like.

There's still no answer from the gun freaks to the question, "Why don't we have a 2A right to bear nuclear weapons?" other than, "Well, um, just because."
   4825. Lassus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4331899)
(*) Earth to Joe: Adam Lanza was an upper-class white suburbanite from, until very recently, a two-parent home. The Columbine killers were well-off suburban kids. These mass killers aren't "illegitimate." (Nor are they typically black.)

I hate to answer for Joe, but this argument is not compelling for him (or Ray). This is an outlier, and not to be concerned with for the sake of crafting policy. The things that SHOULD cause concern are the inner cities, and the violence there. And to stop that, Joe and Ray would like them all to live like Joe and Ray, or they'll keep dying.
   4826. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4331905)

Two firefighters were shot and killed and two others injured while responding to an early morning fire in Webster, N.Y.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said shots were fired at West Webster firefighters when they arrived to battle the blaze along Lake Road in Webster, which is about 10 miles west of Rochester.

According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, there are no active shooters at the scene and firefighters have resumed battling the blazes, according to Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn.

The two injured firefighters are in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds, a hospital spokeswoman told the Democrat & Chronicle. The newspaper reported firefighters made their way across a bridge to get to safety.

The morning scene was described as chaotic as police and firefighters dealt with an immense blaze as well as gunshots, local news station WHAM-TV reports. The station also reports the firefighters who are involved are volunteer firefighters.


Obviously, this never would have happened if our firefighters were armed ...
   4827. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4331908)
Unsurprisingly, Reuter and Mouzos (2003) were unable to find evidence of a substantial decline in rates for these crimes.

Their study is ten years old, and covered only a five year period of the new regulatory environment. Has this thing been updated?
   4828. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4331910)
Speaking of societies and their madnesses ...

New Delhi (CNN) -- Bhavyaa Sharma feels vulnerable in the Indian capital.

The 19-year-old student at a leading women's college in New Delhi fears for her safety when she leaves the campus. Sexual assaults on women in the city have horrified her and her female friends.

On Sunday, a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped and beaten to near death on a moving bus in New Delhi, police say. She is in intensive care at a city hospital, battling for her life.

The attack sparked furious protests across India, where official data show that rape cases have jumped almost 875% over the past 40 years -- from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011.

New Delhi alone reported 572 rapes last year and more than 600 in 2012.


   4829. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4331911)
The simple fact is you can't reliably separate the gold from the dross that torture yields. "He [Khalid Shaikh Mohammed] had us chasing the ####### geese in Central Park because he said some of them had explosives stuffed up their ass," one FBI counter-terrorism agent said in frustration

Link -- some folks really don't like Zero Dark Thirty.
   4830. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4331912)
I hate to answer for Joe, but this argument is not compelling for him (or Ray). This is an outlier, and not to be concerned with for the sake of crafting policy.

When guns are outliers, outliers only have guns.
   4831. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4331914)
(*) Earth to Joe: Adam Lanza was an upper-class white suburbanite from, until very recently, a two-parent home. The Columbine killers were well-off suburban kids. These mass killers aren't "illegitimate." (Nor are they typically black.)

If you guys want to talk about mass killers, then talk about mass killers. But don't use Newtown as your excuse for gun control and then immediately (and dishonestly) shift to talking about all gun deaths, the vast majority of which are suicides or homicides in the inner cities. Adam Lanza is a typical killer like Barry Bonds was a typical hitter.

There's still no answer from the gun freaks to the question, "Why don't we have a 2A right to bear nuclear weapons?" other than, "Well, um, just because."

"Still no answer"? It's been answered a hundred times here. How does one "bear" a nuclear weapon? Unless one is a suicide bomber, one doesn't.
   4832. DA Baracus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4331919)
If you like feeding trolls, Christmas came a day early.
   4833. CrosbyBird Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4331920)
Oh, one more thing -- the term "arms" used in the Second Amendment is typically used to refer to weaponry as potent as nuclear weapons. Thus, the "Strategic Arms Limitation (SALT) Treaty," and the like.

There's still no answer from the gun freaks to the question, "Why don't we have a 2A right to bear nuclear weapons?" other than, "Well, um, just because."


In the English language, the same word can sometimes have different meanings in different contexts. The right is to "bear arms," so the most common sense interpretation is personal use weapons that can be carried and used by individuals.

Still, you could avoid the semantic nonsense argument by talking about rocket launchers and grenades, which are personal use weapons that almost everyone concedes are not protected. In my opinion, the plain text reading of the Second Amendment would protect such weapons in the same way that the plain text reading of the First Amendment would protect even incitement to violence.

But that is unimportant, because like it or not, the position that our government must and does defer precisely to the literal text of the Constitution has been soundly rejected by legal precedent. A literal interpretation runs counter to political reality. So we have to recognize that no matter what, we'll be drawing a line somewhere.

That means that we have to consider what right is meant to be protected by the Amendment, and craft policy accordingly. The text of the Second Amendment doesn't exist in a vacuum, and there's clear historical evidence that at least part of the motivation behind the protection it offers is to prevent the citizens from being disarmed by a tyrannical government. I don't consider myself a gun nut, nor do I consider myself "black-helicopter-crazy," but I do think this is still a very legitimate concern in modern-day America. The point is not to possess arms sufficient to overthrow the government or even win a defensive war, but to stand against tyranny for long enough and to resist with such volume that the rest of the citizens are made properly aware of the infringement on rights. I don't know that we're obligated to have assault weapons in order to do that, but I do know that it's not some some of archaic concern that we should simply ignore.

If we've really come far enough in civility so as not to fear a tyrannical government, then we should repeal the Second Amendment. Until then, at least there's a significant portion of Americans that believe it protects something important.
   4834. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4331921)
But don't use Newtown as your excuse for gun control and then immediately (and dishonestly) shift to talking about all gun deaths, the vast majority of which are suicides or homicides in the inner cities.

It's not an "excuse." Those kind of guns should have been outlawed for civilian use decades ago. Newtown didn't change the calculus of risk and reward; it merely showed how ridiculous it's always been.


It's been answered a hundred times here. How does one "bear" a nuclear weapon? Unless one is a suicide bomber, one doesn't.


To bear typically means to carry about and/or display. How does a suicide bomber not bear his arms? Are you suggesting that a suicide bomber isn't bearing arms when he explodes himself?

Not to mention the fact that the 2A applies to keeping and bearing arms. A nuclear device can be both kept and borne and it's absurd to suggest otherwise.

   4835. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4331925)
In my opinion, the plain text reading of the Second Amendment would protect such weapons in the same way that the plain text reading of the First Amendment would protect even incitement to violence.

Well, yeah -- that's what everyone's been saying. If the 2A doesn't mean all arms, there's no reason the line can't be drawn so as to ban things like the AR-15.


If we've really come far enough in civility so as not to fear a tyrannical government, then we should repeal the Second Amendment. Until then, at least there's a significant portion of Americans that believe it protects something important.

The OMG TEH TYRANNY!!! argument plainly supports a definition of arms that encompasses things like nuclear arms, which are necessary to and make more effective the right to resist a tyrannical, nuclear-armed government.
   4836. GregD Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4331931)
On the 2nd Amendment and resistance to tyranny, people don't seem to recognize that militias were used to put down rebellions, not incite them. The Founders wanted militias so they could call out people to suppress insurrections without keeping a standing army. It may well be that guns help people resist government tyranny, and that may be an argument for their retention (though I doubt it) but it is not the use the 2nd Amendment envisioned.
   4837. Mefisto Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4331934)
The text of the Second Amendment doesn't exist in a vacuum, and there's clear historical evidence that at least part of the motivation behind the protection it offers is to prevent the citizens from being disarmed by a tyrannical government.


This is commonly stated, but the historical evidence for it is thin, to say the least. What the 2A did in the understanding of the time was prevent the federal government from using its power to control the militia (granted in Art. I, Sec. 8) to eliminate one of the protections for "states rights". The colonies/states had always controlled the milita, and this gave them a counter-balance to the new federal power to create an army. That's exactly what the 1A did in the sphere of religion: it prevented the federal government from making laws regarding any establishment of religion, but it left the states free to do so (and they did).

One feature that always gets omitted from the individual rights interpretations of the 2A is just how hierarchical society was in 1791. That changed quickly thereafter for various reasons, but it had always been true in the colonies and it was still true then. The upper classes who favored the Constitution and expected to run the new government didn't write in the power to overthrow themselves. The idea that the "people" would act outside the control of their social superiors was completely at odds with British and colonial practice. Yes there would be a militia, but the states and/or the upper classes would control it.

Edit: Coke to GregD for his similar point.
   4838. CrosbyBird Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4331936)
Well, yeah -- that's what everyone's been saying. If the 2A doesn't mean all arms, there's no reason the line can't be drawn so as to ban things like the AR-15.

That really is a slippery slope. You can't say "some things are allowed, therefore this specific thing is allowed by default." To follow the same logic: if the First Amendment doesn't mean "all speech," there's no reason the line can't be drawn so as to ban speech that criticizes the president. Obviously, "not binary" doesn't mean "anything goes."

he OMG TEH TYRANNY!!! argument plainly supports a definition of arms that encompasses things like nuclear arms, which are necessary to and make more effective the right to resist a tyrannical, nuclear-armed government.

First of all, characterizing the argument as "OMG TEH TYRANNY" means you're not interested in arguing in good faith. There's something between complete trust and tinfoil hats.

Secondly, it's not about matching arms with equal force, but about mounting an effective and worthwhile resistance. The point is not to possess arms sufficient to overthrow the government or even win a defensive war, but to stand against tyranny for long enough and to resist with such volume that the rest of the citizens are made properly aware of the infringement on rights.

The citizens don't need tanks to mount such a resistance. They need enough force to compel the government either to yield to resistance or to respond with noise that reverberates throughout the nation. That means that the government is obligated to pick its battles carefully, in order to maintain the support of the people.
   4839. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4331938)
If you like feeding trolls, Christmas came a day early.

As if the word "troll" wasn't already massively overused at BBTF, it now apparently applies when a person answers questions that were directed to him by name.

***
To bear typically means to carry about and/or display. How does a suicide bomber not bear his arms? Are you suggesting that a suicide bomber isn't bearing arms when he explodes himself?

I specifically said otherwise.

The OMG TEH TYRANNY!!! argument plainly supports a definition of arms that encompasses things like nuclear arms, which are necessary to and make more effective the right to resist a tyrannical, nuclear-armed government.

Do you actually think about this stuff before you hit "submit"? In what scenario would a U.S. citizen have reason to detonate a tactical nuclear device on U.S. soil? The entire concept is absurd.
   4840. Lassus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4331940)
Obviously, this never would have happened if our firefighters were armed ...

This one was actually rather terrifying this morning when I saw it, because I have a cousin who is a volunteer firefighter in suburban Rochester, and there were no names attached.
   4841. Tripon Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4331943)
In Internet slang, a troll (pron.: /?tro?l/, /?tr?l/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[3] The noun troll may also refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted."


   4842. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4331944)
The regime of embattled Syrian president Bashar Assad gassed rebel forces in the battleground city of Homs, anti-government activists told Al Jazeera on Sunday. If the unconfirmed report is true — and that’s a huge if — the chemical attack could signal the biggest escalation yet of 20-month-old Syrian civil war, with serious implications for the rest of the world.

Danger Room first reported in early December that the Assad regime was preparing some of its nerve weapons for possible use against rebel forces. Washington and its allies have repeatedly said they would not tolerate such an attack. “This would cross a red line and those responsible would be held to account,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned previously.

Even Sergei Lavrov — foreign minister of Assad’s ally, Russia — called the use of chemical weapons “political suicide.”

Al Jazeera reported that seven people died after inhaling a gas sprayed by government forces in a part of Homs held by the rebel Free Syrian Army. “We don’t know what this gas is but medics are saying it’s something similar to sarin,” rebel Raji Rahmet Rabbou told the Qatar-based news organization


Ginormous if, but a bad, bad thing if true ...

Link
   4843. CrosbyBird Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4331947)
It may well be that guns help people resist government tyranny, and that may be an argument for their retention (though I doubt it) but it is not the use the 2nd Amendment envisioned.

Check out this law review article, which makes a persuasive case for exactly the opposite position. There are plenty of quotes and citations.

The History of the Second Amendment.

It's dangerous to attempt to pretend to know definitively what someone meant by what he said five minutes ago, let alone hundreds of years ago, but something like this George Mason quote is fairly unambiguous:

Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them;


As is this quote from Sam Adams:
And that the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…


The founding of our country was itself a heated debate, and there certainly was nothing close to agreement on an individual right to possess guns, but it is falsehood to say that pro-gun people are simply creating the idea out of whole cloth.
   4844. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4331959)
If you like feeding trolls, Christmas came a day early.

As if the word "troll" wasn't already massively overused at BBTF, it now apparently applies when a person answers questions that were directed to him by name.

Asking a troll questions is a perfect example of "feeding the troll".
   4845. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4331964)
Asking a troll questions is a perfect example of "feeding the troll".

Ah, right. I forgot that having non-liberal opinions constitutes "trolling" here at BBTF.
   4846. Tripon Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4331967)
Hey Joe, why do you consider liberal to be a slur?
   4847. Tripon Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4331970)
LONDON (AP) — Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported from the U.S. over his gun control views.
Morgan has taken an aggressive stand for tighter U.S. gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting. Last week, he called a gun advocate appearing on his "Piers Morgan Tonight" show an "unbelievably stupid man."
Now, gun rights activists are fighting back. A petition created Dec. 21 on the White House e-petition website by a user in Texas accuses Morgan of engaging in a "hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution" by targeting the Second Amendment. It demands he be deported immediately for "exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens."
The petition has already hit the 25,000 signature threshold to get a White House response. By Monday, it had 31,813 signatures.
   4848. Greg K Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4331971)
I'm largely ignorant of American history, so I'd be curious to know more about the roots of the 2nd ammendment within British political culture. The founding fathers didn't come up with the idea of "gun rights" out of whole cloth either, and I'm sure the century-plus long tradition of guns and liberty in British political culture informed the American attitudes towards them.

The mention of the right to guns in the 1689 Bill of Rights was more a reaction to James II's move to ban Protestant citizens from having guns, and played into A) long-running Anti-Catholic paranoia and B) long-running disputes over whether King or parliament had the authority to make decisions about internal military matters...as far as I know neither are particularly transferable to the American Revolution (apparently there's some parallel drawn between States and parliament on one side and Federal Government and the Crown on the other...but I'm not sure that's a comparison that's particularly accurate or useful).

I think in the British tradition the debate over guns amounted to "whoever has the ability to determine who has a legitimate claim to guns has the power". So parliament claimed they had the right to say who had guns and who didn't. And because (Colonial paranoia aside) parliament pretty much called the shots from the 1640s, that's the way it went.

As I say, I'm fairly ignorant of American history, but as products of the British political tradition I'd assume that what the writers of the second ammendment were arguing was that they needed protection against some group taking power and limiting gun ownership in order to further their tyrannical agenda. (Ie. in the tradtion of James II getting guns out of Protestant hands in order to further the Catholic interest in Britain...not sure what the equivalent fear would be in late 18th century America.)
   4849. Greg K Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4331973)
Judging by how much he's used as a punching bag on Mock the Week, QI, and Have I Got News For You, I'm not sure the UK would accept Piers Morgan back.
   4850. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4331974)
The citizens don't need tanks to mount such a resistance.

I'd argue, purely from a theoretical standpoint, that even if citizens needed to obtain tanks, having guns makes it easier to assist in the acquisition of some tanks.

Realistically, in a serious rebellion (rather than just a few dozen kooks in the middle of nowhere), it's likely the country's structure and military will have significantly broken down, which would make it more likely that some percentage of the armed forces defect.
   4851. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4331975)
Hey Joe, why do you consider liberal to be a slur?

I don't recall saying that I consider "liberal" to be a slur. I'm not a big fan of liberal ideology and I use "liberal" semi-derisively at times, but mostly I use it because it's an accurate descriptor of the person(s) of whom I'm speaking and/or with whom I'm debating.

I've always found it interesting how liberals seem to hate being called liberals, complain the word is used too much, and/or often infer malice when none was intended. In a quarter-century of being a conservative, I've never heard a single conservative complain about the use or overuse of the word "conservative" (or "right-winger" or the like), and most of us are more than happy to hear (and wear) such labels.
   4852. Tripon Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4331976)

I don't recall saying that I consider "liberal" to be a slur. I'm not a big fan of liberal ideology and I use "liberal" semi-derisively at times, but mostly I use it because it's an accurate descriptor of the people with whom I'm debating.

I've always found it interesting how liberals seem to hate being called liberals, complain the word is used too much, and/or often infer malice when none was intended. In a quarter-century of being a conservative, I've never heard a single conservative complain about the use or overuse of the word "conservative" (or "right-winger" or the like), and most of us are more than happy to hear (and wear) such labels.



From Merriam-Webster:

Description: a : an act of describing; specifically : discourse intended to give a mental image of something experienced
b : a descriptive statement or account


Slur: a : an insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo : aspersion
b : a shaming or degrading effect : stain, stigma


You're using it as a slur, Joe. Might as well own up to it.

BTW, I don't mind being called a liberal. But I do mind the hateful connotations you're trying to connect the word to it. In other words, you're a jackass. And yes I am using the word jackass as a slur.

   4853. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4331977)
You're using it as a slur, Joe. Might as well own up to it.

It appears you don't grasp the definition of "slur" any better than you grasp the definition of "troll."

BTW, I don't mind being called a liberal. But I do mind the hateful connotations you're trying to connect the word to it. In other words, you're a jackass. And yes I am using the word jackass as a slur.

At least I'm not a liberal.
   4854. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4331982)
Ah, right. I forgot that having non-liberal opinions constitutes "trolling" here at BBTF.

I'm not a liberal, you are still a troll.
   4855. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4331983)
There's a fine case for deporting Piers Morgan, but it has nothing to do with 2A.
   4856. Tripon Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4331989)
We talked about Day Z and War Z here before.

Here's a recap about War Z. Basically, the developers of War Z tried to make a quick buck and screwed up by not offering what they promised. And then decided to blame its users and the media for 'misinformation.' The part where the War Z employees start banning steam accounts from the War Z forums on steam would be hilarious if it wasn't so disturbing that Steam and Valve shown that an independent company could sucker them so badly.
   4857. DA Baracus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4331990)
Ah, right. I forgot that having non-liberal opinions constitutes "trolling" here at BBTF.


Your political position is not why I called you a troll.
   4858. Tripon Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4331993)
Joe's just trying to get a rise, and whatever denials he wants to make, he's clearly trying to turn the word 'liberal' into a bad word. Just wish he would own up to it.
   4859. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4331994)
Your political position is not why I called you a troll.

If that's the case, what in #4831 constituted "trolling"? Comments were directed at me by name, I replied, and nothing in my reply was "inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic."

***
Joe's just trying to get a rise, and whatever denials he wants to make, he's clearly trying to turn the word 'liberal' into a bad word. Just wish he would own up to it.

Are you referring to prior events or are you just imagining things from the past few days? I haven't used the word "liberal" in a derogatory way today and I didn't do so yesterday. Your #4783 was an odd rant that had no discernible connection to the comment to which it purportedly responded.
   4860. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4331999)
Weak, weak stuff. The key to good trolling is subtlety.
   4861. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 24, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4332006)
I don't recall saying that I consider "liberal" to be a slur. I'm not a big fan of liberal ideology and I use "liberal" semi-derisively at times, but mostly I use it because it's an accurate descriptor of the person(s) of whom I'm speaking and/or with whom I'm debating.
Joe uses the word "liberal" the way missionaries use the word "heathen" or the way old segregationists used the word "n!gger."
   4862. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 24, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4332018)
Joe's just trying to get a rise, and whatever denials he wants to make, he's clearly trying to turn the word 'liberal' into a bad word. Just wish he would own up to it.


Are you referring to prior events or are you just imagining things from the past few days? I haven't used the word "liberal" in a derogatory way today and I didn't do so yesterday.

That's the most poetic dodge I've seen since Bill Clinton's take on the word "is". I suppose what it means is that you went to see your local parish priest sometime before midnight on Saturday and got absolution for everything you've written before that.
   4863. jayjay Posted: December 24, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4332032)
@4826: Congress and the NRA should arrange for armed guards on every firetruck.
   4864. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4332044)
Coke to GregD for his similar point.


Once again, Mark, you're choosing to play the part of being a liberal who interprets the Constitution in the most fascist way possible. Hamilton might have seen the second amendment solely as a means of using a militia to murder any future enemies of the state because that's how he rolled, but don't even tell me a majority of the other Framers thought so nastily.

Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them;


Thank you thank you thank you, Crosbybird. My ability to use the Force is seriously diminished so you or someone else is gonna have to do the heavy lifting. Mark's a worthy opponent on all non-steroids issues.
   4865. Mefisto Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4332050)
Once again, Mark, you're choosing to play the part of being a liberal who interprets the Constitution in the most fascist way possible. Hamilton might have seen the second amendment solely as a means of using a militia to murder any future enemies of the state because that's how he rolled, but don't even tell me a majority of the other Framers thought so nastily.


Again, I'm just pointing out the actual history. There is a good originalist argument for an individual right to bear arms, but it comes from the ratification of the 14th A. In 1868 guns were seen as an individual right and their use in self-defense perfectly justified. Even then, and not surprisingly given the context, there was no right to revolt against the government.

For obscure reasons, conservative originalist interpreters of the Constitution insist on using 1791 alone. That makes no sense if you want to establish a private right to guns.

As for me, I'm not an originalist of any sort, and what Hamilton or anyone else said isn't authority. It's just an argument and only as good as any other argument.
   4866. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4332057)
I've always found it interesting how liberals seem to hate being called liberals,


As a Canadian, I have no idea what you are talking about.
   4867. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4332085)
When Joe says the US is distinctly diverse what he means is "ain't nobody else got to deal with them black folk like we do."

Of course that's what he means, which is why he continues to interject irrelevancies like illegitimacy (*) and inner-city teacher salaries into the discussion. And of course, the "suspicions" of backwoods whites necessitating their armaments reduce to the very same thing.

For those confused by his stops and starts, here's what Joe's saying: No other countries' experience with gun control applies to the United States because no country has as many blacks and ghettos as the United States. Full stop.


Has anyone remarked on how contemporary gun control laws got their impetus from attempts by righties to control gun ownership once the Black Panthers especially on the west coast started taking seriously their 'constitutionally protected' right to keep and bear arms independent of membership in a well-regulated militia? The right got serious particularly after the Panthers began armed monitoring of Oakland police patrol cars, and were bearing arms around the state capitol building in Sacramento?

I believe Reagan was among the early signers-on to gun control legislation in California.

   4868. Lassus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4332086)
I've always found it interesting how liberals seem to hate being called liberals,

WTF are you talking about?
   4869. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4332096)
truly awful people like Ray and Nieosporin and Spierdalajski

I have to admit that the reference is lost on me. Am I Albert Speer? While I enjoy dal -- my nearby Indian place has an amazing buffet -- I don't think I've ever mentioned it, let alone to the extent that I would be associated strongly with it.
   4870. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 24, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4332099)
Australia instituted gun laws and saw gun deaths drop by a huge amount.

Yet again, from the NAS's National Research Council's Committee on Law and Justice's publication "Firearms and Violence" with the bold still mine.


Outside the United States there have been a small number of buy-backs of much larger quantities of weapons, in response to high-profile mass murders with firearms. Following a killing of 35 persons in Tasmania in 1996 by a lone gunman, the Australian government prohibited certain categories of long guns and provided funds to buy back all such weapons in private hands (Reuter and Mouzos, 2003). A total of 640,000 weapons were handed in to the government (at an average price of approximately $350), constituting about 20 percent of the estimated stock of weapons. The weapons subject to the buy-back, however, accounted for a modest share of all homicides or violent crimes more generally prior to the buy-back. Unsurprisingly, Reuter and Mouzos (2003) were unable to find evidence of a substantial decline in rates for these crimes. They noted that in the six years following the buy-back, there were no mass murders with firearms and fewer mass murders than in the previous period; these are both weak tests given the small numbers of such incidents annually.


   4871. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4332109)
If you guys want to talk about mass killers, then talk about mass killers. But don't use Newtown as your excuse for gun control and then immediately (and dishonestly) shift to talking about all gun deaths, the vast majority of which are suicides or homicides in the inner cities. Adam Lanza is a typical killer like Barry Bonds was a typical hitter.


So dropping in briefly and then back to x-mas stuff, but really? Joe I have almost exclusively talked about gun violence. Not mass killers, but overall systemic gun violence and it is that violence self inflicted and against others that I would like to address.

A mass killing sparked the discussion, but so what? Many times an event will cause legislation to pass for political reasons, but I am interested in the politics, the legislation and not the gruesome mass killing.

I am also interested in enhancing how our society looks at mental illness because more effective identification and treatment of mental illness (specifically that which leads to violence) can make out society a better and safer place. And no I am making no claims specific to the recent mass killing by an obvious nutbar, because i don't know how any specific legislation around guns or mental illness might have impacted what happened.

I do believe that our society can be safer, healthier, and better. And I would be open to any positive ideas folks have, however "more guns to make us safe from guns" is far too Orwell for me so I'll be ignoring those suggestions.
   4872. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4332110)
More from the NAS's National Research Council's Committee on Law and Justice's publication "Firearms and Violence"
Nevertheless, many of the shortcomings described in this report stem from the lack of reliable data itself rather than the weakness of methods.
The executive summary's pretty explicit on the scarcity and unreliability of the data available. The section on defensive gun use stats is outright hysterical.

Because of the pervasiveness of guns and the variety of legal and illegal means of acquiring them, it is difficult to keep firearms from people barred by law from possessing them. The key question is substitution. In the absence of the pathways currently used for gun acquisition, could individuals have obtained alternative weapons with which they could have wrought equivalent harm? Substitution can occur in many dimensions: offenders can obtain different guns, they can get them from different places, and they can get them at different times.

Arguments for and against a market-based approach are now largely based on speculation, not on evidence from research. It is simply not known whether it is actually possible to shut down illegal pipelines of guns to criminals nor the costs of doing so.
Any sort of gun buy-back program or other programs attempting to reduce the number of guns has to be coupled with programs aimed at reducing the sale of guns.

Perhaps there are no more mass killings in Australia because they're just better people.
   4873. Greg K Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4332113)
Perhaps there are no more mass killings in Australia because they're just better people.

I suppose that's the question raised by the "some people will just always be evil" argument. If incidence of these sorts of mass killings vary from culture to culture that would seem to suggest that cultural factors at least somewhat impact the percentage of people who are just plain evil.

That's neither here nor there when it comes to gun control, but an interesting element of this discussion I'm sure.

By the way, just had a little Canadian version of an OTP thread at an inter-family Christmas Eve gift exchange tonight. As we're Canadian the debate mostly revolved around the role/point of the Governor-General. Though happily we ended on a note of accord as we all agreed the Jays have the best chance to compete in almost twenty years, and (also mandatory for all Canadian political discussions) that American political culture is wacky.
   4874. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4332114)
I am also interested in enhancing how our society looks at mental illness because more effective identification and treatment of mental illness (specifically that which leads to violence) can make out society a better and safer place. And no I am making no claims specific to the recent mass killing by an obvious nutbar, because i don't know how any specific legislation around guns or mental illness might have impacted what happened.


Mouseman, I'm interested in how you see the following: I think laws following from Newtown and other massacres aimed at identifying and treating those particularly at risk for committing those massacres is probably something we as a society don't want to do.

The symptoms of those killers seem remarkably common. I'd be glad to be wrong, but depression and paranoia seem to be the identifiers, and not a history of physical violence. I have no idea how you'd then funnel the millions of Americans suffering from those things into meaningful treatment programs without creating an overweening and overbearing government program forcing them to do so--the most at-risk individuals do seem to be the most resistant to mere suggestions they get help.

On the other hand, I'm all for spending huge sums of money to make talk therapy widely and abundantly available to people. I'll use that as one more good reason to push universal health care--that one side effect of society-wide mental health therapy is the likelihood that excellent, easily obtainable care that carries without no stigma, will decrease both homicidal and suicidal gun violence and decrease violence by gun massacres. I much prefer this approach to one wherewith the government attempts to identify particularly at-risk individuals, then compels them to seek certain kinds of treatment.

Btw, a return tip of the hat for your appreciation of the Sims' A Christmas Carol. It's clear you're a man of distinction.

   4875. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4332116)
Fwiw (and not related to your post, but it's an important part of the overall discussion), I could not agree more with CrosbyBird's #4838:

First of all, characterizing the argument as "OMG TEH TYRANNY" means you're not interested in arguing in good faith. There's something between complete trust and tinfoil hats.

Secondly, it's not about matching arms with equal force, but about mounting an effective and worthwhile resistance. The point is not to possess arms sufficient to overthrow the government or even win a defensive war, but to stand against tyranny for long enough and to resist with such volume that the rest of the citizens are made properly aware of the infringement on rights.

The citizens don't need tanks to mount such a resistance. They need enough force to compel the government either to yield to resistance or to respond with noise that reverberates throughout the nation. That means that the government is obligated to pick its battles carefully, in order to maintain the support of the people.


And THAT is the real deterrent here; not that people need a fleet of F-22s in order to successfully deter government oppression. It's the argument that those of us on the left side of the spectrum wrt gun control need to acknowledge as reasonable, and one we need to counter with examples from history.

It's also something I'd encourage thinkers on the right part of the spectrum to research and publish; say, a dozen usefully recent examples from history (even a century back could be effective if other parallels are there) of a well-armed citizenry successfully deterring an oppressive government would do wonders for the argument in favor of more expansive gun rights. It would certainly serve the cause vastly better than claims that FEMA is on the way.

edit: I don't find convincing by themselves arguments that we don't have a government close to oppressive enough to warrant the consequences of the level of gun ownership current in the US.

Our government has become significantly more intrusive over the last several decades. Even the left accepts an unacceptable level of intrusion, and it's easy to see without giving in to unreasonable fears a government continuing to overreach and simply ignore the Constitution.

As a further aside, decriminalizing marijuana in CO and WA was a useful step in beginning to limit some government powers. The 'War on Drugs' was a terrific pretext to investigate and control undesirable types, just as urban renewal was a terrific excuse to plow under blocks of politically active, middle class black neighborhoods in the 60s and 70s. The WoD was also a convenient excuse for militarizing our police forces, granting them obscene powers of confiscation, and so forth. Any step back, even a small one, is to be cherished and championed.

   4876. Dale Sams Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4332117)
OFF-TOPIC from political stuff:

It's A Wonderful Life:

1) Why does it stop snowing when George ceases to exist (and start again when he comes back)? Does God hate him that much?

2) I wasn't sure if Pottersville was a worse place than Bedford Falls. Business sure is booming. But then I just realized...it's Christmas Eve, and all those people are out at bars and strip joints? Makes sense in Pottersville.

3) Mary leaves the kids by themselves when she goes to look for George??? She didn't leave them with the bank examiner, reporters and the guy serving an arrest warrant, cause she's surprised to see them. Different times I guess.
   4877. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4332118)
The executive summary's pretty explicit on the scarcity and unreliability of the data available.

Which is why we fail to reject the null hypothesis of no effect.
   4878. Jay Z Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4332120)
That means that we have to consider what right is meant to be protected by the Amendment, and craft policy accordingly. The text of the Second Amendment doesn't exist in a vacuum, and there's clear historical evidence that at least part of the motivation behind the protection it offers is to prevent the citizens from being disarmed by a tyrannical government. I don't consider myself a gun nut, nor do I consider myself "black-helicopter-crazy," but I do think this is still a very legitimate concern in modern-day America. The point is not to possess arms sufficient to overthrow the government or even win a defensive war, but to stand against tyranny for long enough and to resist with such volume that the rest of the citizens are made properly aware of the infringement on rights. I don't know that we're obligated to have assault weapons in order to do that, but I do know that it's not some some of archaic concern that we should simply ignore.


Could you please provide an incident in US history where armed citizens, independent of the government, prevented the government from doing something that the government wanted to do, and also that in retrospect, the armed citizens were seen as acting more justly than the government.

There are many counterexamples. The US Civil War is a pretty big "whoops" against your view. Whoops, the insurgency group was actually more tyrannical than the federal government, and many lives were lost forcing the insurgents to give up their policy of enslaving others. Whoops.

This is not to say the government cannot do bad things. But even when the government does bad things, most of the time armed citizens seem not to care. Where were armed citizens when Jim Crow was in force? Where were armed citizens when women wanted to vote? Where were armed citizens when the WWII Japanese interment camps were set up? Where were armed citizens when the government puts people to death using poor criteria, as it used to do in Illinois and it still does in Texas?

In most cases armed citizens either want to ramp up the level of violence already put in play by the existing government, or apply it in an area the government is currently benign. Whoops.
   4879. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4332125)
In most cases armed citizens either want to ramp up the level of violence already put in play by the existing government, or apply it in an area the government is currently benign. Whoops.


This (and all the rest of 4878) is a particularly painful and compelling counterargument. If I'm going to be blunt, the citizens wanting guns for defense against tyranny (at least, the ones we hear most often and volubly from) are, by and large, assholes with no interest in or even understanding of actual liberty.

I get the sense that Wayne LaPierre's idea of a 'free country' is one dramatically more tyrannical than even the wettest of Obama's dreams of a black planet.

At the same time, if 70% of a group espousing an argument are ########, and 30% are well-intentioned, don't we have to pay just as much attention to the argument as if everyone in favor of it was on the side of the angels?

What you do as policy should probably depend on who is doing the arguing, because in the political arena to win the argument often means to win power, but we should acknowledge, imo, the validity of an argument on its merits. I think we should also recognize that what we're asking is, in some cases, that a negative be proved, the negative being, 'show me where the government did NOT use force due to a well-armed citizenry'.
   4880. Dale Sams Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4332127)
Could you please provide an incident in US history where armed citizens, independent of the government, prevented the government from doing something that the government wanted to do, and also that in retrospect, the armed citizens were seen as acting more justly than the government.


"Lisa I want to buy your rock".


edit: Besides, arguably Birmingham....oh, independent, nvm.
   4881. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: December 25, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4332128)
Could you please provide an incident in US history where armed citizens, independent of the government, prevented the government from doing something that the government wanted to do, and also that in retrospect, the armed citizens were seen as acting more justly than the government.
stonewall?
   4882. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 25, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4332129)

Could you please provide an incident in US history where armed citizens, independent of the government, prevented the government from doing something that the government wanted to do, and also that in retrospect, the armed citizens were seen as acting more justly than the government.


Irrelevant and this specious reasoning borders on being insulting. You're essentially arguing that because a rebellion that was both successful and just has not happened in the last 225 years in this specific country, that they can not possibly occur in this specific country. What magic does the United States possess that renders it immune from what has happened, sooner or later, to every empire in recorded history?
   4883. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 01:03 AM (#4332130)
.

Merry Christmas, All.

.
   4884. tshipman Posted: December 25, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4332136)
The problems with the study Dan is posting is in the second post of this page.

Also, a study was done where the buy-back effect was examined throughout different provinces. The provinces which had higher rates of buy-back had lower levels of suicide/homicide.

I linked all this.

Of course, Syzmborski doesn't care about facts anymore than Kehoskie does.
   4885. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 01:56 AM (#4332146)
.

With regard to method, examining the deterrence a well-armed citizenry exerts against governmental oppression would go something like...

a) list all examples of government oppression in the last century against its own citizens (go further back if useful, or make the cut off more recent if the relative lack of disparity in arms a century ago makes comparison less meaningful).

b) look at the level of the citizenry's arms, and compare that to what is available to the government under scrutiny.

c) note the extent of government action, and at what point it ceased, while objectively noting why it ceased.

d) try to correlate the level of force used by governments with the level of arms held by the citizenry.

e) note also examples where it seemed that oppression was deterred, and note the particulars of the deterrence. Is it at all reasonable to believe that government force was deterred before any force was exerted specifically because of the arms held by citizens?

f) note examples where citizens successfully resisted government oppression without recourse to arms, or without the threat of arms being particularly relevant to deterrence. A couple of interesting and important examples were made backthread, where a government appears to have been resisted without citizens have much in the way of arms, or having much in the way of arms that it chose to exercise (I don't know which was the case in the examples given backthread).

g) note examples where it seems that a citizenry was oppressed due to lack of arms (or at least that it is reasonable to so argue).

h) however many things not covered by a) through g).

.
From all of the above it seems to me that this isn't an issue that can be dismissed in short order, by either side.

Not having studied the issue as a historian I have nothing to offer besides intuition and the suggestion of an obvious method. It does seem extremely counterintuitive to me, that a government is in no meaningful way checked by a citizenry that owns a hell of a lot of guns that fire a hell of a lot of bullets extremely quickly.

There is also a less obvious possibility, that a fascistic government, knowing that one segment of its citizenry is well-armed and also possessing similarly fascistic leanings, becomes more likely to become oppressive, knowing that a paramilitary, nongovernmental force is present to support its overreach.

I'm also willing to cede the possibility that if a well-armed citizenry offers only slight deterrence to a much better armed government, we're better off risking much stricter gun control laws than we currently have, given the high price we pay relative to other modern democracies for our lax gun control laws.

It might also be the case that arms at a level substantially less than citizens currently own in this country are necessary for deterrence. It does not seem like that the difference between unlimited and limited magazines will be the deciding factor with regard to deterrence. It might be, though, that 'only pistols' is much less of a deterrent than 'all guns up through semi-auto rifles' that can fire three rounds in quick succession, from magazines of ten rounds or less.' I have no idea, though.

A casual scrutiny of Western and industrialized democracies gives little evidence since WWII that arms are needed to deter internal governmental overreach. A handful of examples occurring in countries at all similar to the US would be a big help, and I don't mean that sarcastically.

.
   4886. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 25, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4332148)
Which is why we fail to reject the null hypothesis of no effect.
Which is why it's important to continue to have the conversation despite the bolded part of your quote.
   4887. CrosbyBird Posted: December 25, 2012 at 05:18 AM (#4332176)
I do believe that our society can be safer, healthier, and better. And I would be open to any positive ideas folks have, however "more guns to make us safe from guns" is far too Orwell for me so I'll be ignoring those suggestions.

It's a tough problem. I think we are better off addressing some of the root causes of social unrest than we are trying to change the law specifically to avoid rare events like mass killings. I also think we're better off encouraging people and government to avoid making policy on the basis of isolated incidents. It's a very natural human condition, probably required for survival hundreds of years ago, but we grossly exaggerate extreme but rare events and grossly underestimate common but still significant events, and that is likely to lead to bad policy.

Could you please provide an incident in US history where armed citizens, independent of the government, prevented the government from doing something that the government wanted to do, and also that in retrospect, the armed citizens were seen as acting more justly than the government.

The American Revolution comes to mind.

There are many counterexamples. The US Civil War is a pretty big "whoops" against your view.

Since I don't think all rebellions are morally justifiable, I don't see how it's a "whoops" at all. It's an acknowledged consequence, similar to the way we tolerate hate speech even though it's almost always harmful to society.

I also don't know that the Civil War really counts as "armed citizens in rebellion" so much as "government schism." Individual southerners didn't secede; their state governments seceded from the federal government.

This is not to say the government cannot do bad things. But even when the government does bad things, most of the time armed citizens seem not to care.

It is true that most of the time, people don't do anything until the tyranny is directed at them personally. Things have to get pretty bad for you before you'll actually risk your life and freedom fighting the government in a battle that you'll almost certainly lose but hope attracts attention to your cause, unless you're remarkably principled (or insane).
   4888. RollingWave Posted: December 25, 2012 at 07:07 AM (#4332184)
If guns positively correlates with safety, then the USA, which has the highest gun circulation per capita in the world, more than even countries in civil war, should long have been the safest place on earth, given that the factor of gun circulation and ownership in the US is by all accounts so much wider compare to the rest of the world that it should override any other potential negative safety negatives and then some.

I can accept guns in society, but I think Ron Paul's latest comment is the most sound (not surprisingly). the pro gun people need to stop pretending that guns is an all benefit no risk thing, just as the USA (and most country elsewhere as well) need to stop pretending that the modern states is all rights with no duty thing.

The REASONABLE pro gun stance that I can accept (though it wouldn't be my choice ) would be that guns exist as a part of our pack with society, and we know and accept the possible risk it will entail (such as the recent spat of shootings). but we feel that it is a painful but acceptable trade off.

In all honestly, a much more responsible proposal to a gun society would be the revival of the militia draft, all men must train and serve in the local milita (starting from no later than 13 years old, gradually with a full service period around 18-22). with basic gun / military training, and be responsible to report the status of their gun, and also part take in regional / national emergency (not necceasrily military, it could be disaster relieve for example.)

   4889. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4332187)
@4888--I'm not so sure I see a revival of militias and the draft as the most measured and useful response to gun violence. Without removing some guns from circulation, or limiting the firing power of guns currently in circulation, simply training young men and women to better handle weaponry sounds like a recipe to, if anything, make the situation worse.

If the purpose is to instill a sense of duty, why not look at a mandatory national service obligation, one that could including teaching, the peace corps, military service, or any other worthwhile endeavor that goes to strengthening the nation and our sense of shared purpose?

I suspect giving especially young men more of a sense of belonging will help reduce gun violence, though I'm skeptical that either my proposal or yours is the best response specifically TO gun violence. I also imagine that many marginal young men, the ones who might benefit most from national service, are also the ones most likely to be able to avoid it, through a doctor's excuse or other medical reason.

In any case, I'd probably want to separate instilling a sense of duty from the specific problem of gun violence. While the former might indeed affect the latter, it's a mighty tenuous link on which to base instituting a national service obligation or military conscription, especially in the way the latter seems to respond to the pervasive arming of society by further militarizing that same society.

While I've got a lot of sympathy for the idea, 'if we're going to do this, let's do this right', I think that idea can be responsibly addressed by instituting a level of licensing and the demonstration of competence that we currently demand of automobile drivers but, for no good reason, don't demand of gun owners.

(Btw, I'm someone who thinks calling driving a privilege is a juridicial blunder. It's no more a privilege than is walking. It's a right one can forfeit [through drunk driving, for example], but the right to keep and bear arms is a right we've long considered subject to forfeit too, as in the case of violent felons.)

edit: "If guns positively correlates with safety, then the USA, which has the highest gun circulation per capita in the world, more than even countries in civil war, should long have been the safest place on earth,... "

You'd think so, wouldn't you? I'd like the next interview with LaPierre to press him on the specifics. How many people need to be armed? Do we need everyone 16 and over to carry concealed weapons? If it's mandatory for teachers, who else is it mandatory for? Are some people exempt?

As you imply, the idea that 250 million guns isn't enough seems absurd on its face. Further, isn't it simply the case that the more people we cause or encourage to be armed, the more people in perilous mental health we're going to be arming?
   4890. Lassus Posted: December 25, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4332188)
What magic does the United States possess that renders it immune from what has happened, sooner or later, to every empire in recorded history?

I'm curious about this phrase. What has happened, sooner or later, to every empire in human history?
   4891. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4332197)
I have to admit that the reference is lost on me.


Nie mowie po polsku?

But even when the government does bad things, most of the time armed citizens seem not to care.


Sadly true. Still, it's not out of bounds to think an armed citizenry is a bit of a deterrent to certain kinds of tyranny. I understand why a lot of urban liberals think a lot of rural gun owners are paranoid, atomic bunker types and certainly there's a kernel of truth to the stereotype of doomsday conspiracy paranoids. But there is also paranoia in the tribalist liberal assumption that rural gun owners would be violent rebels only for unwholesome reasons or worse, become a paramilitary adjunct of a tyrannical rightwing government. Yes, it has happened but it doesn't mean it will or must happen again. I can just as easily imagine a scenario where liberals would be thankful for whatever deterrence gun owners exert.

Going beyond all that, let's say that everyone knows the deterrence factor is an illusion; is it not a useful one for all parties, practically and psychologically?
   4892. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 25, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4332199)
or worse, become a paramilitary adjunct of a tyrannical rightwing government.


I have never once heard this fear expressed. Are you sure it exists somewhere other than on the left fringe?
   4893. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4332205)
This is not to say the government cannot do bad things. But even when the government does bad things, most of the time armed citizens seem not to care. Where were armed citizens when Jim Crow was in force?

Mostly on the side of the tyrannical state and local governments.

Where were armed citizens when women wanted to vote?

Mostly telling their wives to STFU and hurry up with my dinner.

Where were armed citizens when the WWII Japanese interment camps were set up?

Mostly trying to steal their property before they got out of the camps, and in any case certainly not using their guns to protect that property from tyrannical government confiscation. If ever there were a record of a gun being fired in opposition to those relocations, I've yet to see it reported.

Where were armed citizens when the government puts people to death using poor criteria, as it used to do in Illinois and it still does in Texas?

Mostly doing nothing if the victims are no-name blacks, but OTOH mostly acting as if the world has come to an end if the victims are paranoid wingnuts like themselves.

And to that list you might add that very few white gun owners ever raised a peep in defense of the rights of black militant groups like the Nation Of Islam (AKA the Black Muslims), the Deacons for Defense and Justice, and the Black Panthers to openly display their guns in public. In fact whenever there was a showdown between any of these groups and the police, those white gun owners invariably sided with the government.

In most cases armed citizens either want to ramp up the level of violence already put in play by the existing government, or apply it in an area the government is currently benign. Whoops.

Well, in truth 90% of them probably just want their guns for legitimate purposes like hunting, self-defense, or carefully regulated sporting events. But it's the other 10% that are the problem.
   4894. Tripon Posted: December 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4332212)
The video game industry was drawn into the national debate about gun violence last week when the National Rifle Association accused producers of violent games and movies of helping to incite the type of mass shooting that recently left 20 children and six adults dead at a school in Newtown, Conn.

While studies have found no connection between video games and gun violence, the case of Medal of Honor Warfighter illustrates how the firearms and video game industries have quietly forged a mutually beneficial marketing relationship.

Many of the same producers of firearms and related equipment are also financial backers of the N.R.A. McMillan, for example, is a corporate donor to the group, and Magpul recently joined forces with it in a product giveaway featured on Facebook. The gun group also lists Glock, Browning and Remington as corporate sponsors.

Makers of firearms and related gear have come to see video games as a way to promote their brands to millions of potential customers, marketing experts said. Magpul and Electronic Arts made a video posted on YouTube about their partnership.

“It is going to help brand perceptions,” said Stacy Jones, the president of Hollywood Branded, a company that specializes in product placement in movies and television shows.

Assault-style rifles made by Bushmaster Firearms have a roster of credits that any actor would envy, including appearances in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, a part of the popular Activision series.

The gunman in the Connecticut killings, Adam Lanza, used a semiautomatic rifle made by Bushmaster, which is a unit of the Freedom Group.
   4895. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 25, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4332226)
The symptoms of those killers seem remarkably common. I'd be glad to be wrong, but depression and paranoia seem to be the identifiers, and not a history of physical violence. I have no idea how you'd then funnel the millions of Americans suffering from those things into meaningful treatment programs without creating an overweening and overbearing government program forcing them to do so--the most at-risk individuals do seem to be the most resistant to mere suggestions they get help.


Agree, but a couple points. I am not directly going after the random mass killings. I see the mass killings as a symptom of two illnesses in America and I would like to treat those two illnesses. Those are the shameful state of treating mental illness in America and the crazy surplus of guns and bizarre patchwork laws and regulations around them. Both of these problems contribute to much death and unhappiness in the US and both can be addressed and made better without taking away all the guns (as gunpoint I would imagine) and without herding people by force into treatment centers.

You can never make society perfectly safe, can never remove the dangers, but as a society as we progress we need to keep chipping away at issues making things better bit by bit.

I have suggested we use the worlds experience with gun control and learn from it, but I have not argued specific studies. The reason is simple. For years I have argued global warming and spent hours going over studies, but always those in denial would pull out a random study that showed something else. I would read it and point out that it didn't (or wasn't peer reviewed, had been misinterpreted, or whatever) - over the years it became clear to me that people who want to believe something (global warming is false, evolution is false, the polls are skewed, guns don't contribute to gun violence) will believe it and you can spend forever arguing study and counter study.

When you look to what a majority of the experts believe though it becomes clear. Yes global warming is happening, evolution is in fact real, Obama did win the election and so on. And a vast majority of health professionals who study such things believe (based on their research) that increased gun control leads to less death and injury. But hey feel free to find a study that backs up what you want to believe, I am sure the NRA and others have funded plenty of such studies, but don't expect me to believe it or that cave men rode dinosaurs.

---------

But on a better note - MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone. Whether I agree with you or not I do value you all and hope the season, including the New Year, brings all of you nothing but joy and happiness.
   4896. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 25, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4332235)
Happy holidays, everyone!

So who got a firearm as a present?

Anyone?

   4897. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4332248)
Happy holidays, everyone!

So who got a firearm as a present?

Anyone?


My son got a nerf gun. Almost as exciting as the air hockey table.
   4898. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4332250)

Merry Christmas to the BBTF crowd (including my liberal friends and the Canadians). Hope all of you have a great day and are enjoying the holiday season in general.
   4899. Greg K Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4332251)
Christmas treat! Sportsnet is showing Game One of the 1992 World Series this afternoon for some reason.
   4900. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4332252)
My daughter got a bunch of battlin' beyblades. Beyblade-on-beyblade violence has swamped the Peng household.
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