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Gun control solution.
Posted: 20 December 2012 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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New Rule:
Guns you are allowed to own - only those that were available in 1791.

That was easy.

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Posted: 21 December 2012 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Funny.


I’d sure like to hear more, though.  Here’s a bit of a story.  It’s known only to my family and a few close friends.  And it’s a bit of a confession, for an open-minded, liberal leaning guy such as myself.


10 years ago, I was about to enjoy my 50th birthday.  Somehow, I convinced my wife, since ex- which is an extension of the story, that I deserved to buy a Bushmaster AR-15 from Sportsman’s Warehouse.  We had a cabin in the south Cascade Mountain woods where we played and hunted and shot cans and targets for fun.  My two children, a girl and a boy, were teenagers, and as I had grown up learning to handle guns safely and respectfully, I believed it would be better under my supervision than by accident or unforeseen circumstance.  I just wanted to pass on to my kids what I had experienced in my own life.  And I wanted one of those cool, pistol-gripped, modeled after the military M-16 semi-automatic rifles in .223 caliber. 
I actually enjoyed shooting that gun more than any other I’d ever held.  I’m moderately ashamed to say that I killed quite a few what we called “diggers,” a California ground squirrel that’s an awful, destructive pest, and reliable source of food for the rattlesnakes native to the area.

It was the most accurate, fun to handle weapon I ever owned….past tense.

 

It was stolen from the cabin one afternoon while I was drinking with my wife, and the “friend” she left me for, in one of the two bars in the little town nearest the cabin.  I’d left it hanging by the sling over a chair by the table when my son, along with a few local kids, stopped by for who knows what reason.  They’d been floating and enjoying themselves in the river, and just took a break.  They stayed only a short while, apparently attracted to and fascinated by a real, true to life, Bushmaster AR-15.  So much so that I got home to the sight of a screen pulled from the window, the door ajar, and the rifle gone.  I reported it stolen to no effect other than drawing unwelcome attention to myself by the local sheriff’s dept.  I later even came across information that told me who’d taken it.  Too late to matter.


I couldn’t blame anyone but myself.  I had always put it away upstairs and out of sight, until that day.


I tell the story because it’s true, and because I can understand why even in the light of the latest tragedy, there are people flocking to gun shops to get their hands on the weapon that did the deed.  And I wish there was a way to change their minds or just make it not so.


My thoughts about all this are a little muddled.  It could be so easy to cavalierly cast off the issue of gun control by going back to an earlier century…but it just isn’t so.


I do not see our society/culture truly looking at the pernicious extent to which our capacity for violence reaches.  I partly see our dilemma of the second amendment having to do with a perception of freedom from the “alien” domination of any governmental power.  Then throw in own current militarization, and the almost incoherent position we must project to the rest of the world, and cope with ourselves, where we are in an unchecked arms race against our own imaginations, since we seem to be so far out in front as to have no worthy competition.  But then I am one who recognizing the benefit of drone warfare, secretly despises the whole business.

 

In terms of cold-bloodedness, I consider our own military to be on a path to having no eventual equal, with drone strikes and a romantic fondness for the efficiency of the uniformed sniper being so in vogue.

 

I can not bring myself to watch a Discovery Channel or National Geographic program about a US sniper.  (my apologies if it’s some other media source, and not the two I pulled out of my camo-hatted head)  I will not watch and enjoy a program about the proliferation of drone killing machines.  I question, whenever I see it, the dispersal of drone technology into our domestic environment for any reason other than firefighting and rescue.  I do watch programs recalling the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan, with a sort of deep and private regret.


So many questions come to mind about guns and violence in our day and age that I’m befuddled as to how I am to think by myself, let alone how the cultural discussion can proceed.

 

 

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Posted: 23 December 2012 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Heh, yeah, as a few reasoned minds assert from time to time during the aftermath of unfortunate events like this one, the Second Amendment was about muskets.


Yes, muskets, people, not civilian versions of M16’s.


For our rationalist/secularist/atheist community, I am extremely worried about the, well, deafening silence.  I’m not hearing enough gun control support.  Sam is silent, too, and needs to take a hit here (sorry, Sam, if you’re knee-deep in your latest book effort…we need your cutting, brilliant wit to surface ASAP).  We CANNOT allow religious leaders to be the loudest voice of gun control, and the only “soldiers” on the social front line confronting NRA unreason and madness.  Gun nuts are actually arguing for arming kindergarten staff.  You cannot make this nonsense up.


Where are our beloved atheist leaders?  Sam, Daniel, Richard, and Ayaan.  I’d really like to hear Ayaan’s take on American gun violence.


Let’s go, people.  You know Wyatt Earp’s strict “no guns in town” ordinance is a large part of the national answer.  Start expressing it in a strong, reasoned manner.

[ Edited: 23 December 2012 03:32 PM by JamesEvans]
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Posted: 28 December 2012 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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JamesEvans - 23 December 2012 03:28 PM

Heh, yeah, as a few reasoned minds assert from time to time during the aftermath of unfortunate events like this one, the Second Amendment was about muskets.

Yes, muskets, people, not civilian versions of M16’s.


Would you be consistent, then, and also limit the freedom of the press to 16th century technology?

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Posted: 28 December 2012 10:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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SkepticX - 28 December 2012 07:53 PM
JamesEvans - 23 December 2012 03:28 PM

Heh, yeah, as a few reasoned minds assert from time to time during the aftermath of unfortunate events like this one, the Second Amendment was about muskets.

Yes, muskets, people, not civilian versions of M16’s.


Would you be consistent, then, and also limit the freedom of the press to 16th century technology?

If that’s what it would take for the morons south of me to get their shit together, sure.  I think it’s worth a shot, though I think you’re comparing apples and rutabagas.  Removing the new horseless carriages from the roads might have some positive effects, too.

Not as immediately as recognizing that no citizen needs an assault rifle, but what the hell.  People with small penises will just have to find something else to over-compensate with, once the guns and Hummers are banned.  ; P

[ Edited: 28 December 2012 10:07 PM by Ice Monkey]
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I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people
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Posted: 31 December 2012 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Ice Monkey - 28 December 2012 10:04 PM
SkepticX - 28 December 2012 07:53 PM
JamesEvans - 23 December 2012 03:28 PM

Heh, yeah, as a few reasoned minds assert from time to time during the aftermath of unfortunate events like this one, the Second Amendment was about muskets.

Yes, muskets, people, not civilian versions of M16’s.

Would you be consistent, then, and also limit the freedom of the press to 16th century technology?

I think it’s worth a shot, though I think you’re comparing apples and rutabagas.

Nope. I’m not.

The argument to which I responded was that we should assume an item listed in the Bill of Rights was only referring to contemporary technologies, and that it therefore doesn’t apply to modern technologies.

 

Ice Monkey - 28 December 2012 10:04 PM

Removing the new horseless carriages from the roads might have some positive effects, too.

Do you think that’s a reasonable way to interpret the Bill of Rights?

 

Ice Monkey - 28 December 2012 10:04 PM

Not as immediately as recognizing that no citizen needs an assault rifle, but what the hell.

It’s arguable, but it would be a serious mistake to base civil liberties on what some people think or the majority thinks we need and don’t need.

If the SCOTUS had gone a different route with the 2nd Amendment it could very well now mean we have the right to keep and bear a specific defensive sidearm and/or a specific hunting rifle. I think that’s within the range of reasonable interpretations. But that’s not the route they have gone.

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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: 01 January 2013 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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mm hmm

It wasn’t an “argument”, it was a tongue in cheek statement, a la Bill Maher.

[ Edited: 01 January 2013 09:53 AM by Ice Monkey]
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What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
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I prefer the full-on embrace of reality to the spiritual masturbation that is religion.
~ S.A. Ladoucier

I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people
~ M. Teresa, Fruitcake of Calcutta

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Posted: 01 January 2013 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Ice Monkey - 01 January 2013 09:45 AM

mm hmm

It wasn’t an “argument”, it was a tongue in cheek statement, a la Bill Maher.


A lot of people take the idea seriously. I guess you didn’t know that. In any case “That was just a joke.” and particularly “That was just a joke someone else told.” is most often a form of thought-terminating cliche. Seems to be the case here, since you were arguing the sentiment of the joke (the “morons South of [you]”, “apples and rutabagas” and all that), but have suddenly chosen not to any more for some reason—perhaps because it’s been too clearly shown to be nonsensical.

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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: 01 January 2013 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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lol.  Ya, I hate it when a thread peaks in the OP.  Apology accepted.

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What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
~ Hitch

I prefer the full-on embrace of reality to the spiritual masturbation that is religion.
~ S.A. Ladoucier

I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people
~ M. Teresa, Fruitcake of Calcutta

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Posted: 01 January 2013 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Ice Monkey - 01 January 2013 11:06 AM

lol.  Ya, I hate it when a thread peaks in the OP.

That’s entirely on you, man. I’ve ignored a significant chunk of the nonsense too. You’ve consistently been posting in a manner counterproductive to genuine dialogue, choosing instead to attempt provocation (and failing, pretty miserably—you have to establish at least some credibility before anyone will likely take you seriously enough for that kind of thing to work on anyone who maintains any degree of decorum at all). In fact all of that’s been so clear it’s really not a good idea for you to bring attention to it.

You’d think that if nothing else Newtown would have taught us all we need to do much better about that.

Guess not.

 

Ice Monkey - 01 January 2013 11:06 AM

Apology accepted.

How old are you?

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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: 01 January 2013 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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SkepticX - 01 January 2013 11:58 AM
Ice Monkey - 01 January 2013 11:06 AM

lol.  Ya, I hate it when a thread peaks in the OP.

That’s entirely on you, man. I’ve ignored a significant chunk of the nonsense too. You’ve consistently been posting in a manner counterproductive to genuine dialogue, choosing instead to attempt provocation (and failing, pretty miserably—you have to establish at least some credibility before anyone will likely take you seriously enough for that kind of thing to work on anyone who maintains any degree of decorum at all). In fact all of that’s been so clear it’s really not a good idea for you to bring attention to it.

You’d think that if nothing else Newtown would have taught us all we need to do much better about that.

Guess not.

 

Ice Monkey - 01 January 2013 11:06 AM

Apology accepted.

How old are you?

Did the shop give you an eta on your new Mirth Regulator?

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What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
~ Hitch

I prefer the full-on embrace of reality to the spiritual masturbation that is religion.
~ S.A. Ladoucier

I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people
~ M. Teresa, Fruitcake of Calcutta

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Posted: 02 January 2013 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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SkepticX - 28 December 2012 07:53 PM
JamesEvans - 23 December 2012 03:28 PM

Heh, yeah, as a few reasoned minds assert from time to time during the aftermath of unfortunate events like this one, the Second Amendment was about muskets.

Yes, muskets, people, not civilian versions of M16’s.


Would you be consistent, then, and also limit the freedom of the press to 16th century technology?

If you could enter a public space, unload twenty rounds of…uh, Internet…in a second, and rack up a disturbing, instantaneous body count, then, yes, you’d find me pretty consistently calling for control/regulation/limitations, like with civilian versions of M16’s.


Funny thing about speech, however, is it doesn’t quite change much over the centuries.  It remains the simple, harmless expression of ideas, despite advances in the technologies that deliver it.


Until you can aim speech at a crowd of people and drop half of them in a heartbeat, your comparison remains specious.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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JamesEvans - 02 January 2013 06:16 PM
SkepticX - 28 December 2012 07:53 PM
JamesEvans - 23 December 2012 03:28 PM

Heh, yeah, as a few reasoned minds assert from time to time during the aftermath of unfortunate events like this one, the Second Amendment was about muskets.

Yes, muskets, people, not civilian versions of M16’s.

Would you be consistent, then, and also limit the freedom of the press to 16th century technology?

If you could enter a public space, unload twenty rounds of…uh, Internet…in a second, and rack up a disturbing, instantaneous body count, then, yes, you’d find me pretty consistently calling for control/regulation/limitations, like with civilian versions of M16’s.

Funny thing about speech, however, is it doesn’t quite change much over the centuries.  It remains the simple, harmless expression of ideas, despite advances in the technologies that deliver it.

Until you can aim speech at a crowd of people and drop half of them in a heartbeat, your comparison remains specious.


There you go!

That’s a rational argument (though the hyperbole and ignoring the actual issue in order to make a better one certainly don’t help it to appear so—gotta address the actual point and then present the more important one rather than just indroducing the new one as if it were addressing the the issue presented). But it’s in there ... more or less anyway.

The problem is that it’s rare for anyone on either side of the guns/violence issue to offer both a rational and non-histrionic argument or point.

We need to do better and maybe have some genuine dialogue that’s actually productive.

[ Edited: 02 January 2013 06:46 PM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 02 January 2013 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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  Pundits on the media have been repeating all the usual unrealistic arguments for restricting gun ownership.  They say hunters don’t need semi-automatic guns with big magazines.  True.  They say that statistically you’re in more danger from a gun you own than from some criminal.  True.  They say these guns result in more fatalities in mass shootings. True.  But all that’s beside the point.  First, there’s the 2nd Amendment.  It’s not there for hunters or self protection.  It’s there for citizens to oppose armies - and for that, military type rifles are exactly what is needed.  Now one can argue that such weapons aren’t needed. Many recent revolutions against oppressive governments have succeeded without armed revolt: India, South Africa, Poland, Russia, the civil rights movement,...  It seems likely that non-violent revolt would be successful in the U.S. and the 2nd Amendment is outdated - but that’s an argument that needs to be made in order to ban military type weapons.  Anything short of repealing the 2nd amendment so that almost all guns can be confiscated (as Australia did after the Port Arthur massacre) will be completely ineffective.
  So we need to think about what can be done within the Constitutional context.  One thing we could do is treat guns more like automobiles.  “License” gun owners; except it wouldn’t be a license because you have a right to it unless a court takes away that right on some reasonable basis (mental instability, felonies,...).  But the ‘license’ could require some training consistent with “a well regulated militia” and even some periodic refresher training and some public service.  Like automobiles, require liability insurance on each gun.  Then insurance companies will incentivize locking up guns and not having them around 20yr old loners living at home.  They’ll give you a lot lower rate on a Winchester 94 than an AR-15.  Insurance companies are good at statistics and evaluating them and they can do nuance where the government can’t.  This keeps the letter and the spirit of the 2nd amendment and it will actually be effective in reducing not only mass shootings by crazies but also one-on-one homicides by intimates, because insurance companies will red-line areas and consider married vs living-together, children vs no-children drinkers, smokers,... and any other relevant factors without having to involve the government.
  Of course this won’t eliminate all shootings or even all mass shootings, the point is to do something Constitutional and effective.  Mass shootings are actually a very small part of gun related deaths.  The biggest segment in suicides and I’d argue that society and the government really have no business trying to prevent a specific method of suicide.  Second is one-on-one homicides and accidents.  Liability insurance and required training would certainly reduce the accidents and probably reduce the homicides too.
  As for mass shootings, schools and theaters are favored by nuts because they are places where it’s easy to kill a lot of people.  The answer is to let teachers and theater goers be armed.  The guy who tried to mass shooting in a Texas theater the day after Newtown, was stopped by an off-duty cop shooting him (non-fatally, so no one was killed).  I wouldn’t say force teachers to be armed, but just allow it and provide training the way we do for airline pilots.  This would be a lot better than having armed guards at schools.  It’s psychologically better because we already trust teachers and they won’t make the place look like an armed camp.  It’s functionally better because a crazy shooter can easily identify armed guards and shoot them first by surprise; but he can’t know which teacher or principal may be armed.

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Posted: 03 January 2013 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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The Riddle of the Gun

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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: 03 January 2013 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Just read the article.  Couldn’t agree more with Sam’s position on the issue.
And, for the record, I’m a liberal with a carry permit.

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