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Posted: 14 July 2009 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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You are sitting in a watering hole in Dickfungus, Tennessee, nursing your Old Fashioned and ‘minding your own’ as the saying goes.
While trying to decipher the faded tattoo on the large and flabby arm of the proprietress who is wearing a halter top with a Monster Truck Extravaganza advertisement on it, you suddenly get the feeling that someone is staring at you.

You turn to your right and to your great consternation you find that the person whom Monster Truck lady refers to as either ‘ol’ Billy-Bob-Zeek’ or ‘ugly-ass son’f a bitch’ has his bleary, bloodshot eyes somewhat steadily aimed at you.

It could be that the ninth Jack and Coke he just tossed back has upset his equilibrium somewhat.

He seems particularly interested in your fine, polished Italian shoes and your tailored Armani suit and you are beginning to suspect that perhaps a less conspicuous attire would have been a better choice for this venue.

Billy-Bob starts to mumble something that sounds vaguely like ‘homo’ and ‘ferner’, and he emits a large stream of tobacco juice mixed with saliva which lands mere inches from your shoe.

Normally you would start to feel a bit uncomfortable in a situation such as this one but fortunately the wise and benevolent leaders of the great state of Tennessee have now made it legal for fine citizens like Billy-Bob to carry a loaded firearm into a bar or restaurant.

Yes folks, the evidence is complete and overwhelming; The United States is now officially the most insane country on the planet.

Let’s get a bunch of drunken yahoos together and to make sure no one will get hurt we will allow them to all be heavily armed.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/14/arizona-tennessee-gun-law-debate


Up to 375,000 registered gun owners in Arizona and Tennessee were today given the right to carry concealed guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, in the latest example of loosening gun laws in a country already renowned for its lax approach to firearms.
The change of the two states’ gun laws marks a trend across the US towards increased rights for gun owners despite a spate of bloody rampages in recent months that have seen scores of Americans die. Advocates of the second amendment’s right to bear arms argue that in the wake such shooting sprees, citizens should be able to defend themselves by carrying guns in public places.
But opponents say this is the logic of the mad house. Groups calling for greater regulation of gun ownership are opposing a move at the federal level to extend the right to carry concealed weapons to all 50 states.
Today, Tennessee granted its 250,000 citizens with gun licences the right to carry handguns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Restaurant owners made a last-minute attempt to block the change, saying it was bad for business, but their appeal was rejected by the courts.
Randy Rayburn, one of the restaurant owner plaintiffs, told a local TV network: “I’m not worried about the 99% of gun owners who are permit holders. I’m worried about the 1 or 2% of would-be Dirty Harrys who are going to carry out their attempts at vigilante justice.”
The governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, signed a similar rule change yesterday allowing the 125,000 people in possession of a permit to carry concealed weapons to bring their guns into bars and restaurants.
At the federal level, a bill currently before the Senate would dramatically reduce gun controls at state level by extending the right of anyone with a local permit to carry a concealed weapon in public to do so anywhere in the 50 states. Opponents say that would diminish controls to the lowest common denominator.
“This is ridiculously stupid and a horrible idea. It’s bad public policy though as we all know good public policy has little to do with America’s gun laws,” said Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
The campaign points out that this year alone there have been three mass shootings carried out by men with licences to carry concealed guns. In February, Frank Garcia killed four people “execution-style” in upstate New York; in March, Michael McLendon killed 11 people before committing suicide in Alabama; and in April, Richard Poplawski ambushed four police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing three.
The only area in which calls for greater rights for gun owners are being rebuffed at local level is the right to carry concealed weapons on university campuses.
In the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre in which 32 people were killed on the campus in April 2007, the National Rifle Association has tried in several states to pass laws allowing students to carry loaded guns into classrooms.
Such was the public revulsion over the massacre, however, that all attempts have so far failed.

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Posted: 14 July 2009 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Bad Rabbit - 14 July 2009 05:50 PM

Normally you would start to feel a bit uncomfortable in a situation such as this one but fortunately the wise and benevolent leaders of the great state of Tennessee have now made it legal for fine citizens like Billy-Bob to carry a loaded firearm into a bar or restaurant.


Do you believe this law will mean the kind of person who wouldn’t be deterred by the laws against shooting a “faggot” or “ferner” will suddenly feel free to carry a firearm when and where they wouldn’t have when it was illegal?

Do you believe anti drug laws keep people from taking drugs? I’m guessing the answer is no. If I’m right, what’s so fundamentally different about carrying guns?

Guns, drugs and religion are all paradigms in which the vast majority of discourse is mostly on an emotional level, and in which the rhetoric rarely meets reality.

Byron

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Posted: 14 July 2009 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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SkepticX - 14 July 2009 08:35 PM

Do you believe this law will mean the kind of person who wouldn’t be deterred by the laws against shooting a “faggot” or “ferner” will suddenly feel free to carry a firearm when and where they wouldn’t have when it was illegal?

What I believe, Byron, is that a sizable swath of humanity is too stupid to burn, and that without an abundance of deadly weaponry laying around, for any moron to acquire, we have enough problems due to our over-sized adrenaline glands and under-sized frontal lobes.

That you seem to find it even debatable that adding alcohol to this already volatile mix is problematic makes me rethink my previous assumption that you are among the more rational posters on this forum.

 

 

SkepticX - 14 July 2009 08:35 PM

Guns, drugs and religion are all paradigms in which the vast majority of discourse is mostly on an emotional level, and in which the rhetoric rarely meets reality.

The only think that doesn’t meet reality is your inability to comprehend the bleeding (pun intended) obvious.

Shall I spell it out for you in the form of a science experiment ?

Why not.

Put some poorly evolved, violence-prone primates in a room together.
Equip them with murder weapons and add large amounts of alcohol.

What do you think the outcome of our little experiment will be ?

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From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 14 July 2009 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Maybe you should re-read my post. A lot of baggage seems to be bleeding in from your end.

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Posted: 15 July 2009 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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SkepticX - 14 July 2009 08:35 PM
Bad Rabbit - 14 July 2009 05:50 PM

Normally you would start to feel a bit uncomfortable in a situation such as this one but fortunately the wise and benevolent leaders of the great state of Tennessee have now made it legal for fine citizens like Billy-Bob to carry a loaded firearm into a bar or restaurant.


Do you believe this law will mean the kind of person who wouldn’t be deterred by the laws against shooting a “faggot” or “ferner” will suddenly feel free to carry a firearm when and where they wouldn’t have when it was illegal?

Do you believe anti drug laws keep people from taking drugs? I’m guessing the answer is no. If I’m right, what’s so fundamentally different about carrying guns?

Guns, drugs and religion are all paradigms in which the vast majority of discourse is mostly on an emotional level, and in which the rhetoric rarely meets reality.

Byron

I take your point Byron, but officially legalizing the behavior is the same as providing social sanction. In this case gun violence. Should we remove drunk driving laws using the same reasoning? Billy Bob is also used to leaving the bar drunk but otherwise armed with a 2 ton pickup so we might as well legalize it?

Bad Rabbit should not wear his armani to a war zone or to a monster truck rally. wink

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Posted: 15 July 2009 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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eucaryote - 15 July 2009 04:05 PM

I take your point Byron, but officially legalizing the behavior is the same as providing social sanction. In this case gun violence. Should we remove drunk driving laws using the same reasoning? Billy Bob is also used to leaving the bar drunk but otherwise armed with a 2 ton pickup so we might as well legalize it?


Nope ... solid point, but that’s the next natural issue in this line of reasoning, not the one I posed (just pointing that out, not to suggest there’s anything wrong with moving to the next natural point). I brought that up because sometimes such laws are actually counterproductive (the fundamental problem being a false sense of security, particularly where the law or policy in question actually reduces security, such as with “Gun Free Zone” signs). Where guns and violence are concerned these counterproductive laws and policies are typically minimally so, but the myopic thinking behind them can be quite problematic (the distraction from productive thinking and analysis toward presumed quick, easy fixes and worse, emotional satisfaction over responsible analyses—form over substance).

Also, the comparison between concealed carry and drunk driving is telling. Can you come up with even any theoretical benefits associated with drunk driving (without stretching pretty far)? How about carrying a concealed handgun? How are these two things similar and how are they distinct? Is there a functional or even applicable basis for comparing them?

This illuminates one of the fundamental reasons the guns and violence “debate” and even a great deal of the research (most done well outside of the researchers’ fields of expertise, such as pretty much all medical research on the social effects). In my experience most people utterly fail to consider the issue from within the proper context (researchers included to a large extent), and most also fail to consider but one side of the equation at all rationally (if they manage to be rational about even the one).

Very few people seem able to come even close to adequately separating the emotional and philosophical baggage from the analytical process (what’s real vs. what I feel). So we get counterproductive policy pretty much randomly advocated and actually implemented along with some of the very few policies that are at all productive ... because a lot of people feel better, never mind that if we consider them responsibly like adults we discover that, if anything, they’re counterproductive or just hamper others’ civil liberties needlessly, albeit marginally so for the vast majority.

Another key component to all of this deeply flawed thinking is that the majority of Westerners (and probably others as well) are basically retarded when it comes to security and the realities of actual violence (street/functional violence rather than sport). This causes a lot of the above problem with people utterly failing to consider the issue from within the proper context.

So no, I actually have no problem with the no guns in bars restriction itself, my opposition is to the idea that it actually accomplishes anything and the deeply flawed thinking that goes along with that fantasy, and I’m especially opposed to creating the false security such laws seem to generate in some people, seemingly many people (as if a person who isn’t deterred by the laws against shooting someone would be deterred by the laws against carrying a gun into a bar ... or a school, or a church, etc).

Byron

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Posted: 15 July 2009 10:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

I brought that up because sometimes such laws are actually counterproductive (the fundamental problem being a false sense of security, particularly where the law or policy in question actually reduces security, such as with “Gun Free Zone” signs).

I’m sorry Byron but I’m just not following you. How is such a sign counterproductive or reduce security? Most of us know better than to bring a gun into an airport, or into any public place. Banks and government buildings have long been gun free zones. Signs don’t stop bank robbers from carrying guns but penalties for using a gun in a robbery are typically more severe than for robbery.

SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Where guns and violence are concerned these counterproductive laws and policies are typically minimally so, but the myopic thinking behind them can be quite problematic (the distraction from productive thinking and analysis toward presumed quick, easy fixes and worse, emotional satisfaction over responsible analyses—form over substance).

I don’t see where anyone expects that the purpose of law is to necessarily prevent crime, but to express the intent of civil society. It seems to me that you comments are somewhat over-nuanced.

SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Also, the comparison between concealed carry and drunk driving is telling. Can you come up with even any theoretical benefits associated with drunk driving (without stretching pretty far)? How about carrying a concealed handgun? How are these two things similar and how are they distinct? Is there a functional or even applicable basis for comparing them?

The two things are similar in that they both involve drunk rednecks in a self imposed position of power that should not be encouraged, much less legal. I don’t see a responsible handgun owner walking into a bar packing heat. Only twisted/idiot gun owners would do that, the kind we want to protect society from. Again, over-nuanced.

SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

This illuminates one of the fundamental reasons the guns and violence “debate” and even a great deal of the research (most done well outside of the researchers’ fields of expertise, such as pretty much all medical research on the social effects). In my experience most people utterly fail to consider the issue from within the proper context (researchers included to a large extent), and most also fail to consider but one side of the equation at all rationally (if they manage to be rational about even the one).

I’m sorry again Byron, I just don’t understand what you are saying.

SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Very few people seem able to come even close to adequately separating the emotional and philosophical baggage from the analytical process (what’s real vs. what I feel). So we get counterproductive policy pretty much randomly advocated and actually implemented along with some of the very few policies that are at all productive ... because a lot of people feel better, never mind that if we consider them responsibly like adults we discover that, if anything, they’re counterproductive or just hamper others’ civil liberties needlessly, albeit marginally so for the vast majority.

I’m not hampering anyone’s civil liberties by suggesting that they become the problem as soon as they bring the potential for fatal violence into a public place. I don’t carry weaponry, those that do become the ones to avoid and to marginalize, at least to the point of passing laws against their behavior.

SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Another key component to all of this deeply flawed thinking is that the majority of Westerners (and probably others as well) are basically retarded when it comes to security and the realities of actual violence (street/functional violence rather than sport). This causes a lot of the above problem with people utterly failing to consider the issue from within the proper context.

So what do you suggest? A return to the old west? Should we all invest in having the biggest gun? Again, no one expects that the law prevents violence from those inclined. That’s not the point of the law. The point of the law is express the civil will of society. Bad rabbit is right, a society where it is legal to carry weaponry in public places, especially redneck bars, is not unlike a society where it is legal to drive drunk….an insane society.

SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

So no, I actually have no problem with the no guns in bars restriction itself, my opposition is to the idea that it actually accomplishes anything and the deeply flawed thinking that goes along with that fantasy, and I’m especially opposed to creating the false security such laws seem to generate in some people, seemingly many people (as if a person who isn’t deterred by the laws against shooting someone would be deterred by the laws against carrying a gun into a bar ... or a school, or a church, etc).

I think that a “no guns in bars” law does a great deal. I would not want to live in a society without one, especially if it were not effective.  Think about it. Laws like this are often suggested by law enforcement, simply because guns in bars had been a problem in the past. How would you like to be a cop with no tool to bust violent people from bringing potentially fatal violence into a public place?

Again, I don’t think that any such laws against such violence would inhibit any specific instance of such violence. But it does not follow that the failure to condemn and punish, or failure to marginalize or rationalize such violence does anything to promote it. People who carry guns all belong to the same class…potentially, fatally violent people. As soon as a gun is brought into a “situation”, the potential for fatal violence, however wrought, is introduced.
I would hope, (but do not know), that a professional, licensed gun carrier, would know when to check his gun at the door.
Calling Billy Shears….

[ Edited: 15 July 2009 10:04 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 16 July 2009 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I can’t claim to be without bias when it comes to ‘the gun debate’ as I grew up in Europe where citizens don’t have the right to carry firearms and if they do it is very restricted.
Most Europeans, myself included, are of the opinion that guns do not belong in a civilized society and that only the enforcers of the law and the military should have them.

Nor am I devoid of a visceral reaction when the subject of guns comes up, and I think there is nothing wrong with that either.
Yes, I dislike guns (at least when I am not playing Halo 3) and I immediately distrust the soundness of someone’s personality who declares a fondness for them. 

However, I am becoming more ‘Americanized’ the longer I live in this country and I can now understand the stance of some of the people on the other side of the argument.

I think Byron is making a crucial mistake by oversimplifying the situation and perhaps my caricature of a drunken redneck didn’t help matters either.

Let me put it this way; when I was young I had an acquaintance who had spend some time in jail and I asked him what type of people he met there. He replied that many inmates (although some were definitely people that needed to be locked up) were fairly regular people who made a bad decision and more often than not alcohol or narcotics were involved.

Here in Chicago we witness the murder of school children (by other school children) almost on a weekly basis. Invariably these kids are killed with the use of firearms.

Kids are insecure and a lot of them aren’t particularly well-raised. That is always going to be the case.
Just as there will always be drunken yahoos who will mistake a compliment about their girlfriend for an insult worthy of a violent retort.

The argument that ‘responsible’ gun-owners and deranged thugs from which we need to protect ourselves (with more guns) are the only type of people involved in gun violence is stale and stupid.

Of course, this harangue is about as useful as the pope’s balls, as this is a country in which most people think that we are fallen angels as supposed to the risen apes that we really are.

Were we nice, cuddly wombats we wouldn’t have made it to the top of the food chain.
People possess an enormous potential for violence and to have 200 million guns laying around this country is just asking for trouble.

Every scrawny 12 year-old little dickwad can pick one up, point his hand at me and curve his index finger.
Let the same kid try to kill me in any other way and chances are he wouldn’t succeed nor survive.

The irrationality in ‘the gun debate’ that Byron is alluding to is heavily tilted towards the other side where we find the nimrods in Tennessee and Arizona who passed these laws and the Freudian nightmare commonly known as the NRA.

[ Edited: 16 July 2009 06:52 AM by Lapin Diabolique]
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Posted: 16 July 2009 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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I’m going to deal with your points directly later, eucaryote. Because of the nature of the discourse on this issue they need to be dealt with sensitively, so I’ll need to put some time into it. In the mean time I’ll recommend a couple of books and offer the following:

Targeting Guns: Contents/Preface/Chapter 1
Targeting Guns: Chapter 2
Targeting Guns: References
(Provided with permission)
Password: skeptic

A bit about the medical research
Arthur Kellermann’s stuff comes up a lot because he’s notoriously bad about results-oriented “research” on guns and violence (the sociological and criminological aspects of guns and violence are beyond the proper purview of medical research to begin with).

I don’t think we’ve made the turn to head this particular discussion South just yet, and I want to keep it that way, which in my experience isn’t easy, to put it rather mildly. I really dislike this topic because it puts me at odds with My People and aligns me, sort of, with Those People (not really, it’s just that their utterly vapid, fallacy-ridden thinking happens to land them much closer to the truth of the matter on this one—it’s an accident of probability, as in even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then).

So for now, that’s it, but I’ll start working on the replies to the point eucaryote raised (some good, some not so much) ad leave you with this for the time being.

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Posted: 16 July 2009 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Bad Rabbit - 16 July 2009 10:48 AM

I can’t claim to be without bias when it comes to ‘the gun debate’ as I grew up in Europe where citizens don’t have the right to carry firearms and if they do it is very restricted.

...

The irrationality in ‘the gun debate’ that Byron is alluding to is heavily tilted towards the other side where we find the nimrods in Tennessee and Arizona who passed these laws and the Freudian nightmare commonly known as the NRA.


And in Georgia, where it’s been legal to carry in bars since last year ...

I’m no fan of the NRA, but in some ways even less so of groups like the Brady Campaign (though I think the Brady Law is a good gun control policy, such as they are) and the Violence Policy Center. This is an accident of probability, I think, as I mentioned in my last post ... the NRA’s position happens to align much better with reality than the Brady Campaign(et al)‘s, even though I’m personally far more overall philosophically inclined toward the Brady Campaigners than the NRA types.

—-

I’ll go ahead and lay out the minimal basics of my position on guns and violence now, since I think we’ve probably pretty much shaken the histrionics out (which is extremely impressive to me, having been put in this dirty, muddy, bloody goddamn trench along with the “wrong” people far too much). It would be a good idea, I think, so hopefully when I start to sound a little like an NRA type anyone who’s read this will know I’m probably not going there.

First, I’m not remotely worried about anyone going around to take everyone’s guns away. That’s just not gonna happen in the US any time soon. I’m all for effective gun control measures, even if they’re as restrictive as in England, as long as they’re effective and responsible, and for as long as they’re effective and responsible. The overarching problem in a given society comes when the available illegal stock reaches the point at which society is actually better off if the law abiding have the capacity to resist the lawless and violent (if not for violence this wouldn’t be much of an issue for me at all—I totally disagree with laws that allow property owners to shoot someone to protect property, like the one that went into effect a few years back that says in Georgia you’re legally protected if you shoot someone who is on your property uninvited, more or less). Unfortunately I’m all but certain that in most societies that’s a matter of time, but the longer a given society can hold it off the better. I also think defensive guns/weapons are strictly for self-defense, when your life is being threatened right here, right now, up close and personal. That means for me this is far more about women, the elderly, homosexuals and any other more popular targets of violent fuckwads.

I’ve been around guns, somewhat minimally, from my late pre-teens (actually all my life, I just wasn’t very cognizant of them and never had any personal experience with them until then). I’m a decent shot (an expert marksman with the M16 and M60 according to the US Army) and I’ve trained to use a handgun pretty effectively and to think tactically, which is my nature anyway.

Details/responses to follow ... it’s looking like we can probably do this without the discussion deteriorating and erupting into counterproductive verbal violence. It will be a nice change!

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Posted: 16 July 2009 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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SkepticX - 16 July 2009 12:46 PM

[it’s looking like we can probably do this without the discussion deteriorating and erupting into counterproductive verbal violence. It will be a nice change!

What ?

And break a habit of knee-jerk vitriol, carefully nursed and practiced for over a decade ?

Oh well, I ‘ll give it a go, but only this one time.

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Posted: 16 July 2009 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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SkepticX - 16 July 2009 12:46 PM

Unfortunately I’m all but certain that in most societies that’s a matter of time, but the longer a given society can hold it off the better. I also think defensive guns/weapons are strictly for self-defense, when your life is being threatened right here, right now, up close and personal. That means for me this is far more about women, the elderly, homosexuals and any other more popular targets of violent fuckwads.

Byron, apparently you have covered this ground before, I haven’t. I don’t have any reason to get worked up over the subject. It’s not an argument I have a stake in, but when a society reaches the point you describe above, it’s not time to start carrying, it’s time to leave. I fundamentally distrust those who would claim, as you do above, that guns can be used for “self defense”. Carrying a weapon that provides one with the power to instantly kill is offensive in and of itself. Those who carry guns, for any reason, are not to be trusted. To feel the need to carry a gun, is to succumb to some kind of mental illness.

I realize that most gun carriers, possibly like yourself, see themselves in the mirror wearing a big white hat and fantasize about emerging as heroes in some “legitimate self defense” scenarios just as you describe above.  I don’t think that they realize that to normal, civilized and otherwise non-paranoid people, (aka, the “innocent”), they come across not as the sheriff in the white hat but as just another paranoid, self deluded, thug with a gun. Fear and loathing is the appropriate and healthy reaction for the innocent to have to such people.

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Posted: 16 July 2009 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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So, does that mean you found the information in the links useful?

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Posted: 16 July 2009 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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SkepticX - 16 July 2009 03:17 PM

So, does that mean you found the information in the links useful?

No, I didn’t find the links useful but haven’t taken the time to read all that through. I gather however, that you are very into this gun debate, apparently promoting the common, unfortunate but necessary, use of personal firearms as a means of self defense. Maybe you could enlighten us as to what we are supposed to learn from the material in your links?

My own possibly newly minted opinion is that those who feel a need to carry lethal arms into public places suffer from some kind of mental illness. They should be marginalized and not encouraged.

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Posted: 17 July 2009 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM

I’m sorry Byron but I’m just not following you. How is such a sign counterproductive or reduce security? Most of us know better than to bring a gun into an airport, or into any public place. Banks and government buildings have long been gun free zones. Signs don’t stop bank robbers from carrying guns but penalties for using a gun in a robbery are typically more severe than for robbery.

The most obvious problem is that it announces to violent criminals it’s a zone in which they can more safely operate as predators. It’s why this is precisely the opposite of what we see in nature. I don’t think there are any examples of natural peace signs or white flags, so to speak, or rather, white flags that aren’t traps for prey. On the contrary, creatures in nature always have some sort of defense mechanism built in.

Such is the nature of life on Planet Earth.

But you’re right that the effect is negligible and such signs don’t actually accomplish anything functional at all. They serve no more purpose than the equivalent of dogma bumper stickers. They can make people feel better, perhaps, but based upon an illusion, which is the problem—the same mentality brings us larger scale manifestations, like the TSA. This is a form of ignorance and dogmatism, just as with dogma bumper stickers.

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM
SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Where guns and violence are concerned these counterproductive laws and policies are typically minimally so, but the myopic thinking behind them can be quite problematic (the distraction from productive thinking and analysis toward presumed quick, easy fixes and worse, emotional satisfaction over responsible analyses—form over substance).

I don’t see where anyone expects that the purpose of law is to necessarily prevent crime, but to express the intent of civil society. It seems to me that you comments are somewhat over-nuanced.

I’m sure they do. I wonder if you feel this way about the same thing in regard to religion though? ... that there’s nothing wrong with laws or policies that have no real function other than expressing the intent of “civil society” according to the Bible, which is precisely how this idea translates in many bodies politic and for many people. Consider this ideology on a larger and a smaller scale. Would announcing to the world that we have no nuclear arsenal produce positive results? How about “posting” (wearing) some kind of identifier that says you’re anti-weapon—consider that in terms of both friendly environments and more dangerous areas (many people don’t have as many choices in that regard)?

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM
SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Also, the comparison between concealed carry and drunk driving is telling. Can you come up with even any theoretical benefits associated with drunk driving (without stretching pretty far)? How about carrying a concealed handgun? How are these two things similar and how are they distinct? Is there a functional or even applicable basis for comparing them?

The two things are similar in that they both involve drunk rednecks in a self imposed position of power that should not be encouraged, much less legal. I don’t see a responsible handgun owner walking into a bar packing heat. Only twisted/idiot gun owners would do that, the kind we want to protect society from. Again, over-nuanced.

And again, I’m sure it seems that way to you. I specified concealed carry in general, pointedly not concealed carry (or possession, period) in a bar. I made it pretty damn clear I agree it’s not a good idea to make it legal to carry guns in a bar. Since I’ve looked critically into the research in some detail, however, I know it’s not as bad an idea as it might seem to many (admittedly it’s been about ten years now—oddly enough the same exact time for which I’ve been a “gun control apostate”).

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM
SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

This illuminates one of the fundamental reasons the guns and violence “debate” and even a great deal of the research (most done well outside of the researchers’ fields of expertise, such as pretty much all medical research on the social effects). In my experience most people utterly fail to consider the issue from within the proper context (researchers included to a large extent), and most also fail to consider but one side of the equation at all rationally (if they manage to be rational about even the one).

I’m sorry again Byron, I just don’t understand what you are saying.

Well, I chopped the first sentence off in editing (or failing to edit), so I guess I didn’t make it very easy to follow what I was saying. The rest of that comment is what’s important anyway, though.

The point was that in my experience very few people consider this issue from a reasonable perspective. They utterly fail to appreciate the realities of violence. Instead they just presume all violence must inherently be offensive, or that using a potentially lethal weapon is (and guns are far less lethal than the unwashed usually think). They forget about the victims of violence—the despised, marginalized targets of ridicule and sometimes violence, sometimes mortal violence. A great many women can appreciate this, as can many ethnic minorities, homosexuals. There are also those just targeted as easy marks for predation. Women again, also many minorities, but more so the elderly.

The “no one needs a gun [i.e. a serious form of self-defense from people who may very well kill you and/or yours]” mindset is usually a mentality bred from convenience, which is good for the most part. It means the people who hold it more than likely haven’t been put into the situation of true fight or flight (though sometimes the trauma of a particularly nasty violent event also causes this same mindset). They usually haven’t actually had to face someone who may very well kill them in the next moment if they don’t do something to prevent it. It’s good, but it tends to hamper understanding, and it often seems to create a very strong emotional undercurrent when such issues arise.

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM
SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Very few people seem able to come even close to adequately separating the emotional and philosophical baggage from the analytical process (what’s real vs. what I feel). So we get counterproductive policy pretty much randomly advocated and actually implemented along with some of the very few policies that are at all productive ... because a lot of people feel better, never mind that if we consider them responsibly like adults we discover that, if anything, they’re counterproductive or just hamper others’ civil liberties needlessly, albeit marginally so for the vast majority.

I’m not hampering anyone’s civil liberties by suggesting that they become the problem as soon as they bring the potential for fatal violence into a public place.

Not at all. You’re not hampering anyone’s civil liberties by suggesting anything.

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM

I don’t carry weaponry, those that do become the ones to avoid and to marginalize, at least to the point of passing laws against their behavior.

And why do you think that’s different for the police ... or do you? What makes that a special situation in terms of the way you’re thinking about people who carry weaponry? In other words, what is it about guns that makes people with them inherently threatening, whereas it makes the police able to better handle violent criminals? Why do guns help police who face violent people, but not civilians? You seem to be suggesting the weapon has some magical property, and that someone who’s non-violent might suddenly become so if armed.

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM
SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

Another key component to all of this deeply flawed thinking is that the majority of Westerners (and probably others as well) are basically retarded when it comes to security and the realities of actual violence (street/functional violence rather than sport). This causes a lot of the above problem with people utterly failing to consider the issue from within the proper context.

So what do you suggest? A return to the old west? Should we all invest in having the biggest gun?

What does any of that have to do with understanding security and tactics?

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM
SkepticX - 15 July 2009 05:22 PM

So no, I actually have no problem with the no guns in bars restriction itself, my opposition is to the idea that it actually accomplishes anything and the deeply flawed thinking that goes along with that fantasy, and I’m especially opposed to creating the false security such laws seem to generate in some people, seemingly many people (as if a person who isn’t deterred by the laws against shooting someone would be deterred by the laws against carrying a gun into a bar ... or a school, or a church, etc).

I think that a “no guns in bars” law does a great deal. I would not want to live in a society without one, especially if it were not effective.  Think about it. Laws like this are often suggested by law enforcement, simply because guns in bars had been a problem in the past. How would you like to be a cop with no tool to bust violent people from bringing potentially fatal violence into a public place?

There’s a lot of conflation and unstated premises in that paragraph (perhaps premises you’re not even aware of). I thought you said the “no guns in bars” law really just extolled the virtues of civil society? Now it’s a benchmark for whether of not a society is civil? Most of the law enforcement officers I’ve known are generally against gun control. I’m not sure about this law in particular though.

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM

Again, I don’t think that any such laws against such violence would inhibit any specific instance of such violence ...

Telling.

This isn’t a law against violence, it’s a law against carrying a weapon. There are, of course, laws against shooting people and other forms of violence (whether they’re in bars or not), but the law in question isn’t one of them.

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM

... But it does not follow that the failure to condemn and punish, or failure to marginalize or rationalize such violence does anything to promote it.

Mostly true, but I think you got some terms mixed up there ... ?

eucaryote - 16 July 2009 02:02 AM

People who carry guns all belong to the same class…potentially, fatally violent people. As soon as a gun is brought into a “situation”, the potential for fatal violence, however wrought, is introduced.

I’d say that’s true of any potentially fatal weaponry in general, which include hands and feet (do you also oppose martial arts training, or maybe just the more offensively oriented martial arts, like jujitsu and mui tai), but if you know many of these people and if you look into the research critically you’ll find the potential violence is mostly just theoretical, unless someone else introduces a weapon, gun or otherwise, and forces them into a situation in which they have to respond with resistant force or trust the good will of someone who is demonstrating they’re willing to prey on their fellow humans by threatening their lives. The notion that gun carriers are inherently violent types just doesn’t pan out according to the data. Neither does the idea that people carry guns out of fear or paranoia.

Byron

[ Edited: 17 July 2009 12:07 PM by SkepticX]
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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 17 July 2009 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Kill them all and let god sort them out. Or more precisely to this thread-let them shoot each other and let god sort them out?

Just think, if a substantial amount of those peckerwood hillbilies in Dickfungus Tennessee start killing each other with Colt Peacemakers in bars….won’t the south, and the world, indeed be a better place?

I sure will miss some of them thar fellers.

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‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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