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Some sound governance
Posted: 18 July 2009 04:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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GAD - 18 July 2009 07:03 PM

Perhaps, but isn’t the crux of your argument that more people with guns means less violence?


Not quite, and certainly not as in More Guns, Less Crime. It’s not that simple, though in some sense it could be said some guns [in the hands of citizens rather that just in the hands of police], less crime. That does seem to be the overall effect, but unlike Lott and Mustard (economists rather than criminologists or sociologists) I don’t think the research (as of ten years ago) establishes more than a somewhat insignificant positive effect, it only applies to confrontational crime (i.e. the kind of crime that means violence, which is the important thing), and it takes relatively few concealed carriers for the rest of us to enjoy what’s called the free-rider effect (that’s what the entire Sky Marshal strategy is based upon), so only in a very limited sense does more guns equate to less crime. The conclusion is quite overstated by the book and the research upon which it’s based. I don’t recommend More Guns, Less Crime unless you want to use the data yourself and get into some extremely detailed analyses. Lott and Mustard did provide criminologists and sociologists with a lot of good data, so their research is useful, they just aren’t the people who should be working with it (some economists, it seems, would like to be able to overstep their boundaries with no more ramifications than when medical researchers do).

Byron

[ Edited: 18 July 2009 06:53 PM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 18 July 2009 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 July 2009 07:19 PM
SkepticX - 18 July 2009 06:42 PM
teuchter - 18 July 2009 04:44 PM

I’ve seen a lot of cases where people have been killed or maimed with a firearm, and I’ve seen a lot of young lives wasted by lengthy prison terms because they could do a lot of damage in a split second with a gun, but I honestly have never seen a case where a good citizen saved the day by producing a gun and quelling a violent dispute.  Although some of those violent disputes have been fatal disputes thanks to guns stolen from would be good citizens.


As a lawyer, would you expect to hear about the disputes that were quelled? Would you expect to see them on the news? It happens on occasion, but when an incident is avoided it doesn’t usually make good copy, and lawyers aren’t normally required.

Look into the sociological data, but be a good skeptic (just as if you were looking into the research on a controversial and highly politicized issue).


I’m skeptical of the claims you are making because they sound unreal.


A lot of the results science has produced are counterintuitive, particularly before we understand the underlying issues and the mechanisms that bear upon them. All that’s amplified when we bring assumptions into the mix, particularly if we’re unaware of them and/or we feel strongly about them.

eucaryote - 18 July 2009 07:19 PM

l. That a significant number of otherwise normal people now carry concealed handguns in public. What percentage of the public visiting our shopping malls, libraries, grocery stores, hospitals, college classrooms etc. or just walking down main street are armed. What number are you claiming?


I personally know quite a few who carry, actually, but it depends upon what you consider “significant” and “normal.” (I thought you’d determined they were all mentally ill?)

eucaryote - 18 July 2009 07:19 PM

2. How often are handguns used by otherwise innocent people to quell violence? I think that an event like a gun battle featuring vigilante commando but otherwise innocent shoe salesmen who successfully used their firepower to overwhelm evil predatory bad people would be all over the media. No reporter could turn down a story involving granny and her snub nose teaching the purse snatchers a lesson. wink How is such a story not “good copy”? Why wouldn’t lawyers be some of the very professionals, along with police, paramedics, jailers etc. that would necessarily follow up such an event?


Why don’t you try considering these question without all the baggage? For example, a more objective version of that sentence might read, “I think and event like a gun fight between citizens and criminals would be all over the media.”

Where’s the story when an incident is avoided? In most cases a gun is used in self defense it’s not even fired (~80%, but that’s admittedly a high number—it includes threats to have a gun, so the definition of DGU used is a bit overbroad, I would say). Once it’s presented, as any reasonable person would guess, the problem goes away, so to speak (i.e. the perpetrator quickly becomes very interested in hastily being elsewhere and unasses the AO, as we say in the military). In about half the cases in which the gun is fired the perpetrator is missed (actually I’d say it’s more often than that—the stat is based upon police shooting at perps, and the police fairly rarely shoot innocent by-standers, but I doubt civilians actually do that much worse as far as hitting their targets, and they’re probably a bit more likely to hit innocent by-standers, so maybe it evens out—the error margins are fairly significant on that stat in any case). Stats on criminals who seek medical attention after being shot while committing a crime are somewhat problematic for obvious reasons. Medical professionals are required to immediately inform the PD when they get gunshot wounds in the ER (or anywhere else I suppose, but I doubt many docs operating legally outside of the ER get patients with gunshot wounds), so it’s reasonable to expect they avoid it if they think they can (it’s also backed up by survey data). In any case it should be clear that very few cases would be newsworthy. If there’s some kind of compelling evidence left behind to account for the actual event rather than a fabrication then maybe you have something airworthy (and we do see these stories fairly often on the news here in the South, where it’s not considered outrageous that a gun might be used by a civilian to bring about a positive result because probably most people out here actually have a degree of understanding of firearms).

eucaryote - 18 July 2009 07:19 PM

Your claim is that it happens all the time. Can you point us to even one instance?


My claim?

It’s what the research shows, as I’ve posted and linked to. I’m not arguing my own philosophical position, I’m simply explaining what the data show, though as a good skeptic I do endeavor to match my philosophical positions and my world view to the available data ... even when it’s uncomfortable and/or counterintuitive (I don’t hold my personal perceptions to be more authoritative than science).

Byron

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Posted: 18 July 2009 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 July 2009 07:32 PM

Yes, that’s what I would expect. But is it true society is becoming weaponized? How many people actually carry sidearms around in their daily life? Like so much that sometimes they accidently grab their gun and put it to their ear rather than their cell phone? wink


Why don’t you look into the current data?

I can tell you the local (ATL) news just had a story on the fact that there are a number of cases in which people actually seem to forget they have their gun with them and have them confiscated when they go through the metal detectors heading into courthouses and other government buildings. I personally know at least a few dozen people, more or less perfectly normal, who pretty much always carry a firearm (they have permits). Violent criminals obviously carry guns in public places (which is, again, the actual problem). How else do you think those news stories happen?

teuchter - 18 July 2009 04:44 PM

Here’s what they don’t do—consider the consequences of their actions.  At all.  So if they don’t worry about getting sent to prison for 2 life terms plus 60 years, I guarantee you they aren’t worried that some shoe salesman is going to try to pull out his Glock 9mm in the middle of their fight.


Yes, that’s what I would expect. After all not considering consequences is all part of being a bad guy right?


Failing to consider the consequences when they’re removed from them at least to some degree (as in breaking the law while failing to consider the sentence if caught and convicted) is entirely different from recognizing consequences that are clear and present and up close and personal right here and how, as when the guy who has what a mugger is after is 6’14” and looks like a hairless upright gorilla, or such as when the more apparently easy prey pulls a gun (violent assailants are only armed with guns about 20% of the time though, at least according to the data from ten years ago based upon police reports, which doesn’t include gang violence or lots of other criminal vs. criminal violence, or any other violence not reported to the police).

teuchter - 18 July 2009 04:44 PM

I’ve seen a lot of cases where people have been killed or maimed with a firearm, and I’ve seen a lot of young lives wasted by lengthy prison terms because they could do a lot of damage in a split second with a gun,.....


Yes, too much power and the consequences too severe to come from an act as simple as moving ones finger.


Now there’s a Dirty Harry fantasy (I almost always hear these Dirty Harry notions from anti-gun types, very rarely from gun owners or gun rights activist types). Do you really think it’s that easy, psychologically, for many people to shoot someone (often it’s only criminals can so easily pull the trigger when the issue is how effective guns are for self-defense, but then it’s anyone can when the issue is how dangerous guns are)? Hardened criminals I can believe, at least some of them, but not the vast majority? I don’t think so.

Besides, this is an argument for lawful citizens to have the right to bear. These young lives being wasted with prison time because they shot someone or used a gun in the commission of a crime are by definition violent criminals (I don’t demonize them in spite of their “infatuation” with guns though, and I certainly wouldn’t like for one of them to put me into a situation in which I’d have to shoot him, but that’s the cold hard fact of the matter just the same—it would be nice if our penal system offered more effective rehabilitation efforts). These are the people who are the problem. They don’t feel constrained by the “social contract” or the law, at least not sufficiently, and they are armed (again, by definition—don’t forget the context here). That means deterrent gun control laws (the ones that make it illegal for people to own or carry guns for various reasons) are ineffective with them. In many cases it may not be beneficial to resist when confronted by one of these people (it’s a tactical issue again, but an overall very simple one, actually—pretty intuitively obvious if you think about it at all realistically), but in many cases (probably most) we’re much better off by doing so, and most of the time so are they (even if they’re shot, statistically speaking, they’re very unlikely to be killed and pretty unlikely to even suffer any permanent injury beyond a scar). Finally, people who do more or less abide by the social contract aren’t somehow turned into these violent criminal types because of some effect caused by having a gun. Guns have no statistical effect on the likelihood that citizens who carry legally (with permits) will become violent. They’re just far more likely to resist violent crime effectively/less likely to be the victim of a completed violent crime (they’re no less likely to be targeted for violent crime than they would be without their guns, but they’re far more likely to stop the violent crime once it’s been initiated).

References already posted.

Byron

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Posted: 18 July 2009 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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I personally know quite a few who carry, actually, but it depends upon what you consider “significant” and “normal.” (I thought you’d determined they were all mentally ill?)

I may comment on the rest later, but I am rather blown away by this admission. These people you know are not police officers, fbi, cia, security guards or otherwise licensed to carry guns, and you personally know several such people? How do you account for the idea that I don’t know anyone, through my entire life who ever even thought about carrying handguns.

These are people who carry guns to shopping malls, museums, little league games etc.?? I’ll have to stay away from you and your friends. Yes, I think you are obsessed, gun nuts. I wouldn’t let you or your friends in my business or in my home. Strangely enough, I support gun rights, I guess it’s just my libertarian streak. If I had my A3/03-30.06 rifle handy when I happened to be assaulted, I would likely bring it to play, (of course it is locked away),but you and your friends, carrying handguns in public, threaten truly innocent people with your stupid ego trip and your gun fantasies. I don’t distinguish between you and the “bad guys”. I don’t trust you, any more than the “bad guys” that you supposed arm yourselves against? Such people need to be marginalized and ostracized as the anti-social, violent creeps that they are. I think they’re nuts, gun nuts. Sorry to see you confirm our stereotypes as to the violent and stupid idiocy of Dickfungus, US. Remind me to stay away.

I think all you are really doing is quoting the NRA bible to us and passing it off as original research. What does your research tell us about the deterrent effects of pepper spray and personal tasers? You really do prefer to wield lethal weaponry don’t you? Mostly you’re into guns and see yourself as a righteous vigilante, right? That’s really rational thinking Byron…..not.

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Posted: 19 July 2009 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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For those who recognize an echo of familiarity in this “discussion”:

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 02:16 AM

I personally know quite a few who carry, actually, but it depends upon what you consider “significant” and “normal.” (I thought you’d determined they were all mentally ill?)

I may comment on the rest later, but I am rather blown away by this admission. These people you know are not police officers, fbi, cia, security guards or otherwise licensed to carry guns, and you personally know several such people? How do you account for the idea that I don’t know anyone, through my entire life who ever even thought about carrying handguns.

These are people who carry guns to shopping malls, museums, little league games etc.?? I’ll have to stay away from you and your friends. Yes, I think you are obsessed, gun nuts. I wouldn’t let you or your friends in my business or in my home. Strangely enough, I support gun rights, I guess it’s just my libertarian streak. If I had my A3/03-30.06 rifle handy when I happened to be assaulted, I would likely bring it to play, (of course it is locked away),but you and your friends, carrying handguns in public, threaten truly innocent people with your stupid ego trip and your gun fantasies. I don’t distinguish between you and the “bad guys”. I don’t trust you, any more than the “bad guys” that you supposed arm yourselves against? Such people need to be marginalized and ostracized as the anti-social, violent creeps that they are. I think they’re nuts, gun nuts. Sorry to see you confirm our stereotypes as to the violent and stupid idiocy of Dickfungus, US. Remind me to stay away.

I think all you are really doing is quoting the NRA bible to us and passing it off as original research. What does your research tell us about the deterrent effects of pepper spray and personal tasers? You really do prefer to wield lethal weaponry don’t you? Mostly you’re into guns and see yourself as a righteous vigilante, right? That’s really rational thinking Byron…..not.

I may comment on the rest later, but I am rather blown away by this admission. How do you account for the fact that I don’t know any atheists, and through my entire life I’ve never known anyone who ever even thought about being an atheist?

These are people who go about their daily lives without a real sense of right or wrong?? I’ll have to stay away from you and your friends. Yes, I think you are obsessed, God-haters. I wouldn’t let you or your friends in my business or in my home. Strangely enough, I support atheist rights, I guess it’s just my libertarian streak. You and your friends, with no true sense of conscience, threaten truly innocent people with your stupid ego trip and your self-deification fantasies. I don’t distinguish between you and the “bad guys”. I don’t trust you, any more than the “bad guys” with whom you supposedly have nothing in common? Such people need to be marginalized and ostracized as the anti-social, immoral creeps that they are. I think they’re nuts, God-hating nuts. Sorry to see you confirm our stereotypes as to the stupid idiocy of Dickfungus, US. Remind me to stay away.

[ Edited: 19 July 2009 04:29 PM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 19 July 2009 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Byron,

That’s ridiculous. You’re just drawing a bizarre equivalence where there is none.
For one, I never claimed to be an atheist, whatever that is. It’s amazing but I gather that you are suggesting that I am unfairly persecuting gun nuts for the beliefs they hold. wink That’s funny.

There is no equivalence. There is a distinction to be made between discrimination because of the beliefs that one may or may not hold and discrimination based on a legitimate fear of someone who deliberately insists on representing themselves to others as threatening or menacing. Especially if they express their antisocial urges by carrying lethal weaponry.

(Imagine two nicely dressed mormon missionary types with bulges under their armpits or the hare krisna’s staking out airports draped in bandoliers carrying automatic weapons. You WILL buy a flower wink )

Put yourself in the shoes of someone that deliberately doesn’t carry weapons simply because they do not want to represent themselves as threatening. From that pov, everyone who carries lethal weapons carries an implicit lethal threat. Why would I let you in my home. That’s not just the book of mormon you’re carrying. wink I’ve had wacko’s flip out in my business before, fortunately they weren’t carrying guns, though they were the kind of self righteous idiots that would.

What constitutes a gun nut? Anyone who is so obsessed with guns and gun violence that they feel that they must carry such weapons to feel secure, especially handguns, with them in public. All the more so if they carry them as a result of post traumatic stress, wouldn’t you think? Paranoid in a clinical sense. The other kind of gun nuts project their paranoia over events that have never occurred to them and project their self righteous vigilantism as we see here. As a matter of mental health, I think that anyone who cannot feel secure unless lethally armed has some real issues. There could be no stronger symptom of such mental issues than to actually carry a gun with you as you go about your daily business.

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Posted: 19 July 2009 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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eucaryote - 19 July 2009 02:16 AM

I personally know quite a few who carry, actually, but it depends upon what you consider “significant” and “normal.” (I thought you’d determined they were all mentally ill?)

I may comment on the rest later, but I am rather blown away by this admission. These people you know are not police officers, fbi, cia, security guards or otherwise licensed to carry guns, and you personally know several such people? How do you account for the idea that I don’t know anyone, through my entire life who ever even thought about carrying handguns.

If you live in the US, probably just like many believers who think they’ve gone through their entire lives without ever even meeting an atheist.

Have you asked anyone about this? How often does the issue come up? If it has come up, have you asked using a phrase anything like; “You’re not one of those insanely violence-prone threats to decent society who don’t loathe and fear guns like rational people are you?”

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 02:16 AM

These are people who carry guns to shopping malls, museums, little league games etc.?? I’ll have to stay away from you and your friends. Yes, I think you are obsessed, gun nuts. I wouldn’t let you or your friends in my business or in my home. Strangely enough, I support gun rights, I guess it’s just my libertarian streak. If I had my A3/03-30.06 rifle handy when I happened to be assaulted, I would likely bring it to play, (of course it is locked away),but you and your friends, carrying handguns in public, threaten truly innocent people with your stupid ego trip and your gun fantasies.

Those are your fantasies, not ours.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 02:16 AM

I don’t distinguish between you and the “bad guys”. I don’t trust you, any more than the “bad guys” that you supposed arm yourselves against? Such people need to be marginalized and ostracized as the anti-social, violent creeps that they are. I think they’re nuts, gun nuts. Sorry to see you confirm our stereotypes as to the violent and stupid idiocy of Dickfungus, US. Remind me to stay away.

It’s best not to persist in baseless assumptions that compromise your capacity to think rationally about a given issue. You’ve been repeating these pure assumptions as if they’re true, but I’ve done the research and have the personal experience that bears on the issue, and as such I know you’re just making emotional presumptions devoid of any information, experience or actual knowledge. You seem to feel absolutely no need to see if your clearly strong emotional reaction to the idea of someone carrying a gun has any basis in fact rather than purely in your own imagination. You’ve also been repeatedly casting the issue in a pretty much cartoonish light—you’re thinking in terms of the cartoon in your mind, not even close to reality (your John Wayne etc. characterizations).

I’d say your presumptuous, hateful reaction is the only thing that suggests any kind of character flaw here. These are the very issues that we as non-believers often run into with fundamentalist believers.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 02:16 AM

I think all you are really doing is quoting the NRA bible to us and passing it off as original research.

That’s because you’re operating from emotional presumptions and from a void of any actual knowledge or experience. You apparently think you know these things without having to bother with any actual homework (just as believers know there’s a god because they have a personal relationship with it). You’ve been hurling vitriolic ignorance as if it were fact from the start, while at the same time claiming not to have any emotional stake in the matter. If you can’t be more honest and intellectually responsible than you’ve been thus far then you go squarely into the category of fundamentalist/faith-based believer when it comes to this issue.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 02:16 AM

What does your research tell us about the deterrent effects of pepper spray and personal tasers? You really do prefer to wield lethal weaponry don’t you? Mostly you’re into guns and see yourself as a righteous vigilante, right? That’s really rational thinking Byron…..not.

A fine example how fear and loathing, arrogance and ignorance produce utter nonsense.

I don’t carry a gun, personally. I haven’t stated my own personal behavior or choices here because they should be irrelevant (I’ve also pointed out more than once that the main people who need to have the right to bear in self-defense are those who are more likely targets of violence due to no fault of their own, not the people your fear and loathing have you fixated upon). You sure felt free to assume that I do and to demonize and dehumanize me along with concealed carriers though. Many of those I know who carry are firemen and my fellow medics, people who have chosen to get into work that requires them to risk their lives for the sake of others as a matter of course. How does that fit in with your fear and ignorance-based fantasy about “gun nuts”?

When I did my research on guns and violence it was because I was going back into the military as a medic and I wanted to continue qualifying with my primary weapon as an expert (a matter of military pride, and promotion points). I was concerned about how to achieve this degree of skill with a handgun (i.e. how to practice) because I had very little experience with them. Would it be safest/cost effective to rent the handgun at the range where I’d practice? Could I safely keep a handgun locked up at my house? Etc. When I looked into the issue I found out my notions about guns and violence in civilian society were mostly pretty baseless, many based upon very poorly done research, but as a good skeptic I’ve never been prone toward forming strong opinions without having done any homework, so I’ve never had much trouble recovering from error (it’s why I’m a religious apostate, and why I changed my mind regarding gun control—that’s all I meant when I called myself a gun control “apostate”, hence the quotation marks). At any rate, when I did this research, after I’d corrected my false notions about guns and violence and gun control, I was also very interested in finding a non-lethal option for actual self-defense. I’d have my handgun for practice that I’d keep locked up, and I’d have my non-lethal weapon for self-defense. There just aren’t any as yet that are anywhere near sufficiently functional, unfortunately. I keep my eye out for them, though (metaphorically/online). They may not be far away from being realized.

Most people who carry guns (all who I know) carry and hope to never have to use them, just like you hope to never use your fire extinguisher or 911 or the more serious items in a complete (medic jump bag) first aid kit. As I said, some are medical professionals and firefighters who care a great deal for people and save lives on a regular basis. If you weren’t operating under such an arrogant degree of presumption and fear and loathing and with so little of your pertinent foundation in reality rather than firmly grounded in your personal dogma you’d see at least some of the obvious realities that make several of the positions you’ve posted here plainly absurd (very much like religious nuts). Most obviously, if you’re in a situation in which using a gun would be appropriate your life is in jeopardy. People don’t generally feel very good about situations in which their lives are in jeopardy (that’s why some of those who think responsibly like adults about the realities of violence take serious measures to avoid such situations, and failing that defense measure, so have as much potential to effect a positive outcome as possible and practical). In reality, as these people are aware and you don’t seem to be at all (again the absurd John Wayne mentality you keep presuming as the basis for your position on these people), if you’re in such a situation the success of your efforts is by no means guaranteed, but the ability to bring a gun to bear increases your odds dramatically (see previously linked references). This is not an attractive scenario, regardless, however. These people aren’t violent or hateful or in any way interested in shooting someone, they’re just far less interested in they or theirs being killed (and they don’t have the irrational fears and misconceptions under which you’re operating). They would have to deal with the same psychological trauma if they shot someone most people would, particularly if they killed the perpetrator. I don’t know if you can conceive of this because it seems pretty clear you’ve made up your mind and have no interest in the facts or in taking any actual intellectual responsibility for your strong opinions on the matter or before passing judgment on others’ character and mental health, and you seem prone to dehumanize and demonize them. That’s a nasty character flaw.

As I said initially, this is why I really hate this topic—a fine example, in fact, sadly. The Dark Side of humanity comes out both inherently because the issue is about violence, but also the tendency many people have to very harshly judge and marginalize and even dehumanize others without even feeling the slightest sense of responsibility to get their facts or attitudes straight. It’s a very ugly character flaw in a great many people, mostly seen in the more deeply religious, but it’s also alive and well amongst “my” people as well. I don’t like to see that. It’s repulsive. It’s one of the few realities I’ve found very difficult to come to terms with. If I see too much of this form of fear and hatred and disregard for others it can be downright depressing. I tend to think very highly of my fellow humans, personally, and like no other this topic exposes and often brightly illuminates the nasty, dirty, ugly Dark Side of humanity, both regarding the violence inherent to the topic, and in this deplorable, hateful, destructive mentality—makes it just a bit harder to be such a fan of my own species.

Byron

[ Edited: 19 July 2009 04:14 PM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 19 July 2009 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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Why would a firefighter or a medic carry a handgun? Why do you throw a handgun into a medical kit? What sense does that make? What kind of medicine do you practice? What equivalence is there between a fire extinguisher and a handgun? Is there something special about firefighting or medicine that calls for use of a gun? Are such people specially trained to use guns in their work, or are these professions just most likely to indulge vigilante fantasies? (it’s hard to think that about doctors) It’s not like we live in a war zone. Just as a policeman would likely yield the firefighting and the medicine to firefighters and doctors, so might real professionals leave police work to the police. Does it make any difference whether the people you know who carry weapons are firefighters or vacuum cleaner repairmen? I used to fight fire, for the USFS, nothing about the job entailed marksmanship, except with a pulaski. wink

What’s hateful about being afraid of people who are so obsessed with guns that they carry them around in their daily lives? That is what you are promoting, right? That and vigilantism. I’m afraid of drunk drivers too but I don’t hate them, I just avoid them. I don’t have to do any research to decide where I draw the line as to who I trust. It’s like you deny that we live in a world of gun violence where the cartoons collide with reality and where it is only healthy to avoid people who carry guns and to be very skeptical of their motives for doing so.

Please note, I’m not arguing the laws regarding carrying weaponry. I am arguing the sanity of weapons carriers. There is no reason why I should “do the research” to rationally determine whether any particular gun carrier who is not a cop has any good reason to carry a weapon. If it’s not your job to carry a weapon, but you choose to do so anyway, then I really question your judgment, mindset, reasoning. It seems to me that you are having a hard time getting out of a military mindset.

Why do you find my fear people who carry guns so hateful, deplorable, destructive etc. I’m not the one doing the threatening. What I deplore is the insistence that guns represent any answers. Seriously, don’t you find your suggestion that the elderly and gay people, (even elderly gay people) pack heat because they are likely targets just a little ludicrous? A little “cartoon-like”.

Why do you say these tasers are not effective? These look pretty nasty. I note they also spray an identifying rfid tag. Only an innocent person who was forced to use one of these would have an interest in this feature. Because the rfid tag identifies their attacker. They also sell a variety of pepper spray products, some the size of small fire extinguishers. grin

http://www.officerstore.com/store/category.cfm/cid_20123_taser_civilian/?gclid=CJa0vPz_4psCFRFMagodETN4-w

[ Edited: 19 July 2009 05:46 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 19 July 2009 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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If we’re going to actually transition this into a genuine discussion, you’re going to need to read more carefully. You’re asking me why I wrote a lot of things I didn’t write, and you’re attributing a lot of positions to me that I don’t hold. We also need to face a few facts—well, okay, you need to.

You’ve stated you don’t know much about guns and that you know no gun carriers at all. You’ve admitted this many more times than you’ve stated it by making it crystal clear in your comments (just as when believers make absurd claims about the character and motives and behaviors of atheists). You need to accept those realities rather than acting as if your opinion on such matters has sufficient validity that you don’t have any responsibility to substantiate it, but that contrary positions are under that burden of proof (you shouldn’t really even have much in the way of an opinion if you were operating in a well disciplined, logical manner and reserving judgment until/unless you have some valid and sound basic in evidence and epistemology to do otherwise). You need to change from the fundamentalist mindset, in other words. If you can do that then this may yet turn out to be a productive discussion (that is to say it may turn into a discussion).

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

Why would a firefighter or a medic carry a handgun? Why do you throw a handgun into a medical kit? What sense does that make?

I never said they carry on the job, though many do, actually, and I certainly never even hinted at the idea of packing a gun in a med kit. Medics go into dangerous places fairly often though (we’re called to deal with things like knife and gunshot wounds, for example). You can’t forget that defensive handguns are strictly for cases in which your life is being threatened. If you don’t keep that in mind most likely you’re going to start making serious judgment errors—making impertinent judgments, conflating less mortal issues with defense against mortal threats, considering lesser concerns than those that are the actual issue, just as you’ve been doing as a matter of course so far. But a little Tactics 101, sort of ... you can’t very effectively treat a patient if you’re being shot or knifed or otherwise attacked, and if you face an assailant the fact that you’re a medic trying to treat a patient isn’t going to make a magical shield appear over you (you’re failing to consider the nature of the situation in which a gun is called upon). Firefighters don’t carry to calls for reasons that I hope are pretty obvious. I doubt many carry at the firehouse either, but I expect some do, because most who carry do so partly as a matter of habit (it’s a tactical error to be unarmed—I’ll repeat that with emphasis to hopefully avoid the misconception/misreading I half expect to see—it’s a tactical error to be unarmed).

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

What kind of medicine do you practice?

I’m a part time EMT ... currently without a gig, unfortunately.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

What equivalence is there between a fire extinguisher and a handgun?

Sorry, but I’ve already explained that, I think at least twice. If you have questions about that explanation/those explanations I’ll be glad to answer them, but I’m not going to restate explanations I’ve already given that were apparently unread or didn’t get through a cognitive filter or were stopped by a mental block (or whatever). Go back and read what I’ve already posted on that, and as I said I’ll be happy to answer any questions that aren’t more or less; “What did you just explain?”.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

Is there something special about firefighting or medicine that calls for use of a gun?

I went over that above, but there’s a valid reason for pretty much anyone to carry—self-defense. I’ll get more into that when I address why the idea that’s the purview of the police makes no sense.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

Are such people specially trained to use guns in their work, or are these professions just most likely to indulge vigilante fantasies?

You need to get past trying to saddle gun carriers with your vigilante fantasies. It’s not going to become true if you keep stating it enough times. I explained that earlier, so from here on if you just ignore my explanations I’ll return the favor by ignoring your subsequent reiterations of the same error. Since those reiterations give me every indication you haven’t read or you filtered out the explanation already, there’s no motivation for me to offer it again (that’s precisely why I generally ignore those kinds of things from fundamentalists, unless they serve to illustrate something about those same fundamentalists or fundamentalist types in general).

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

(it’s hard to think that about doctors) It’s not like we live in a war zone. Just as a policeman would likely yield the firefighting and the medicine to firefighters and doctors, so might real professionals leave police work to the police.

Yet again you’re demonstrating a total failure to maintain any sense of the proper context. Everyone is individually responsible for their own self-defense. The police also chase bad guys. I haven’t said firefighters or medics are chasing bad guys, only keeping the best tool for self-defense available if it’s called for, just as anyone keeps any emergency equipment available (and hopes not to have to use it). You seem to be unaware that the police can’t and shouldn’t be expected to act as our personal body guards, and you seem oblivious to some very obvious pertinent tactical matters, namely that if a violent criminal is going to carry out an assault, that violent criminal will pointedly avoid doing so when there’s a police presence. The fact this apparently hasn’t occurred to you as a pertinent issue here should tell you something about how much you should rely on your own tactical assessments. Again, police chase bad guys, the chase them after a crime has been committed (they’re not legally bad guys until that happens, after all). Would you rely on a firefighter to the point that you’d feel no need to keep a fire extinguisher, or a medic to the point that you don’t need a first aid kit? That’s the position you’re arguing from, though I’m pretty sure this will be the first time that fact has come to your attention. Don’t feel bad though, sincerely. As I said at the outset ... most people; pretty much security/tactically retarded.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

Does it make any difference whether the people you know who carry weapons are firefighters or vacuum cleaner repairmen?

Nope. As I said, every individual has the right and responsibility for their own self-defense. I pointed that out in response to your demonization of gun carriers, attributing your vigilante fantasies to them, clearly implying they’re violent and want to shoot people, etc, etc, etc.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

What’s hateful about being afraid of people who are so obsessed with guns that they carry them around in their daily lives?

Repeating that it’s an obsession over and over won’t make it true. If you have any substantiation then you need to present it (I know you don’t though) or drop the charge ... and ideally be intellectually responsible and revise your position on the matter due to the lack of it.

I said your casual and irresponsible and harsh judgmentalism is hateful, not your fear of guns. I actually have no problem with the fear of guns and I even sympathize with it—I don’t judge those who fear guns at all, much less harshly. What I loathe is the mentality of demonization, a characteristic you’re demonstrating, and that you share with the most flawed fundamentalist types.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

That is what you are promoting, right?

Promoting? No. I’m trying to explain that it’s perfectly rational to do so, and that your fear and loathing are dependent upon your ignorance and obvious comfort with presumption.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

That and vigilantism.

In fact I pointedly argued against vigilantism. My point has always been strictly about self-defense.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

I don’t have to do any research to decide where I draw the line as to who I trust.

Nope. Absolutely not ... only if you want that decision to be reasonable, rational and respectable.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

It’s like you deny that we live in a world of gun violence ...

Quite the contrary. That’s basically an admission you’re not paying attention, or you’re just having major reading comprehension issues, for whatever reason.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

... where the cartoons collide with reality and where it is only healthy to avoid people who carry guns and to be very skeptical of their motives for doing so.

Except for the avoidance, not at all, and I even understand the fear-based avoidance. It’s based upon ignorance, but we’re all ignorant of many things.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

Please note, I’m not arguing the laws regarding carrying weaponry. I am arguing the sanity of weapons carriers.

Yes, from an admitted void of any data, much less data that are sufficient to establish any opinion, much less still such a strong one.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

There is no reason why I should “do the research” to rationally determine whether any particular gun carrier who is not a cop has any good reason to carry a weapon.

Absolutely not. Not unless you want your opinion to have any validity or credibility anyway. Well, technically though, it’s not rational to think you’ve “determined” anything from ignorance. Opinion based upon nothing epistemically valid necessarily falls under the heading “presumption”.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

If it’s not your job to carry a weapon, but you choose to do so anyway, then I really question your judgment, mindset, reasoning.

Actually it’s pretty obvious you impugn the judgment of those who do so, out of the very same void from which you’ve pulled your other opinions.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

It seems to me that you are having a hard time getting out of a military mindset.

Do you have the first clue as to what that actually means ... what you just actually stated?

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

What I deplore is the insistence that guns represent any answers.

Answers to what? I’ve repeatedly argued the guns at issue here are tools for self-defense, period.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

Seriously, don’t you find your suggestion that the elderly and gay people, (even elderly gay people) pack heat because they are likely targets just a little ludicrous? A little “cartoon-like”.

I’ve made no such argument. I’ve argued they should have the right. Actually I think I’ve mostly just been explaining that your positions are baseless and wrong.

eucaryote - 19 July 2009 09:43 PM

Why do you say these tasers are not effective? These look pretty nasty.

I’ll deal with the tactics of non-lethals later ... I don’t have many characters left, and I’ve already put more time than I’d like into this (hoping it becomes a genuine discussion).

[ Edited: 19 July 2009 08:23 PM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 19 July 2009 10:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Byron,

I also think that you go out of your way to fail to take my points. That always causes me to express them more strongly and that is my fault. I’ve always enjoyed your posts and have no need to argue with you. At the same time, you’re smart and express yourself well and the polemic in me is drawn to the “discussion”.

Those of us who don’t carry guns, despite our fears, are those who are truly innocent and who would not or could not be any other way. This is the reasoning behind a polite society. What makes the world go around is not mutual assured destruction but scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, aka reciprocal altruism. This is where you have your Darwinism wrong. You say “most people; pretty much security/tactically retarded”. Don’t you get it? “most people”, are not cops or soldiers and don’t want to be. Moreover, we would have to change ourselves in some seriously negative ways to adopt the paranoid stance that you seem to think we should adopt.

Your continued comparisons of guns with life preservers, fire extinguishers, seat belts, fireaxes, building alarms, condoms, 911 etc, ad nauseum is completely disingenuous. I realize that you want to see the carrying of guns as a “safety measure”, that you only employ “at last resort”, but this denies a real and rich reality of the enormous difference between guns and life preservers as real things. Would it bother you to see an assault rifle behind glass in building, labeled “break in case of bad guy attack”? It should, as fire axes and assault rifles are in no way the same thing. I implore you to invoke your love of nuance and rational thinking skills to explore this thought. If I were to inappropriately break the glass and pull the fire alarm, the consequences of my actions are rather unimportant compared with breaking the glass and hosing down anyone who looked suspicious..or…who looked suspicious to me. Guns are not life preservers and you should stop referring to them as such. The responsible gun carrier, the professional police officer, carries an enormous amount of responsibility, on his hip, for everyone to see. I am to understand that they can be held dearly accountable for the misuse of that responsibility, likely far so more than the vigilante, who everyone understands is simply nuts.

Vigilantism is only rational in an anarchistic, or purely libertarian sense. If you really feel that you live and work in a war zone, then perhaps carrying a weapon is justified. (I’m curious, doctors take an oath to do no harm….do MD carry weapons on the battlefield?)

I suggested that you seem to “have a hard time getting out of the military mindset”, and you responded with a question as to whether I knew what kind of question I had asked, (in terms of its “significance”)? Maybe not. Apparently I touched a nerve, why don’t you elaborate? Your attitude really only makes any sense in a war zone, and of course, even in a war zone, the innocent remain innocent, why? it’s who they are. Anyway, your attitude makes much more sense coming out of context, that of an ex-military person who may confuse the war zone with the normal life we innocent people are trying to achieve.
It’s even true that I associate gun nuts more with the one’s I am more familiar with, violent nutcases like the Montana freemen, not so much the gun nut variety that have confederate flags tattooed on their foreheads, or American flags tattooed on….whatever.

I know you hate it when I fail to carefully identify the white hats through careful research, but truthfully, when it comes to protecting myself against crazy people, I’m ready to draw the line when it comes to those who want to carry weapons into public places. Call it demonizing, a failure to do sufficient research on said individuals, intolerance or whatever. I call it safe and smart. The world is full of people that I don’t need to know. If you carry a gun in public places, you don’t make the first cut.
Yes, I impugn them and their reasoning, and I consider them a threat. If anyone shows me the disrespect to secretly carry a gun into my home, then I will be forced to show them my gun, and the door. Is that too difficult to understand? Why is that so “hateful”.

You say that I have no data regarding weapons carriers, yet is it not true that weapons carriers present a real and persistent problem? Is it not true that self righteous weapons carriers create all of the carnage that we are concerned with in this conversation? I’m afraid enough of licensed police officers. Why should I have to fear vigilantes as well?

You make it sound like you are sergeant rock, valiantly treating the wounded while single handedly battling the bad guys with your side arm. I gather this is a normal EMT experience? And of course firemen have the same problem, battling their way through squads of bad guys while they pull babies out of burning infernos…..please give us a break. Again, civil society is not (supposed to be) a war zone. If you want to make the case that it is, then that’s a separate converstion.

Again, MY definition of obsession is to be so “concerned” that one feels that one’s security or some other’s security is dependent on one’s carrying a firearm with them in their normal lives, especially if they are in no way associated with law enforcement. Again, firearms are not life preservers, here we are concerned with being attacked by human beings, not mother nature or chance. Whether you are a vigilante or just plain personally paranoid makes no difference, obsession is obsession. (though vigilantes get their own special self righteous fantasy involving spandex superhero suits as required). These people are obsessed. They are to be feared just as criminals bearing guns are to be feared. For the innocent, there’s no point in splitting hairs.

[ Edited: 19 July 2009 10:31 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 20 July 2009 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

Those of us who don’t carry guns, despite our fears, are those who are truly innocent and who would not or could not be any other way. This is the reasoning behind a polite society. What makes the world go around is not mutual assured destruction but scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, aka reciprocal altruism. This is where you have your Darwinism wrong.

Why would you assume I disagree with that point (though I think you’re overestimating the depth and stability of individual innocence—the right circumstances could make pretty much any of us act far less innocent)? Why would you assume my position on self-defense applies to any situation outside of self-defense? This is part of failing to appreciate the nature of real violence and the value/wisdom of being prepared for it.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

You say “most people; pretty much security/tactically retarded”. Don’t you get it? “most people”, are not cops or soldiers and don’t want to be. Moreover, we would have to change ourselves in some seriously negative ways to adopt the paranoid stance that you seem to think we should adopt.

I also said it’s nothing to feel bad about. I meant that. Besides, it’s not like I’m some sort of elite Special Forces type. I’ve had some training, but it wouldn’t be unfair to describe my “tactical nature” as nothing more than being observant and aware of my surroundings, actively engaging my environment perceptually and intellectually ... paying attention. There’s more to it, but that much would probably take most people most of the way toward avoiding the more painfully obvious errors that are so popular (is it really that hard to figure out that perpetrators avoid the police when committing violent crimes? for example).

What I’ve said you shouldn’t do is to form strong opinions from a vacuum. But if most people could simply even think somewhat realistically about the nature of violence and crime it seems they’d get past a lot of the utter nonsense I repeatedly hear regarding guns. It really is very much like the mental blocks we constantly encounter from the deeply religiofied, such as those who just can’t get past the idea that non-believers must be more or less amoral because we’re not synced up with their presumed god-dude.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

Your continued comparisons of guns with life preservers, fire extinguishers, seat belts, fireaxes, building alarms, condoms, 911 etc, ad nauseum is completely disingenuous.

Well, I’ve used fire extinguishers and first aid kits, but I guess the others more or less apply as well.

But re: your comment, not at all. Pay attention to the manner in which I’m comparing them. They’re all emergency gear—for emergencies. As I’ve pointed out each time I’ve made that comparison, these are pieces of equipment kept in case of emergency and the hope is that they never need to be used. That is in fact the way the carriers I know conceive of them.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

I realize that you want to see the carrying of guns as a “safety measure”, that you only employ “at last resort”, but this denies a real and rich reality of the enormous difference between guns and life preservers as real things.

Frankly I think this another example of your fear and loathing hampering your capacity to perceive this very basic fact of reality. A first aid kit won’t be much help in any effort to put out a fire, and a fire extinguisher isn’t going to help you very much in treating a laceration. Life preservers aren’t designed to help you deal with a violent assault. In just what ways do you expect these things to be the same, other than the way in which I’ve been describing they are?

The way life preservers are designed and maintained isn’t very useful in dealing with a violent assault. Guns are designed for combat (well, many are anyway, and most others are also at least somewhat useful in combat), and the way they’re kept and maintained by responsible people who are good neighbors and abide by the social contract (i.e. not the bad guys) make them very useful in the unlikely event of a violent assault. You don’t want to face a violent assailant with a first aid kit, even if you have a really good one, trust me.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

Would it bother you to see an assault rifle behind glass in building, labeled “break in case of bad guy attack”? It should, as fire axes and assault rifles are in no way the same thing.

Do you keep a red phone encased in glass that’s strictly for 911? How about a first aid kit? Do you keep one strictly in case of cardiopulmonary arrest? You’re ignoring the vast differences between recreational use (target shooting/hunting, though I don’t like to think of hunting as recreation it’s an area for which I diverge from most of my gun toting friends ad acquaintances—I don’t impose my perception of the activity upon their motives and such), practice (responsibility/recreation), and the primary/design function. Life preservers are another piece of emergency equipment that has a secondary/recreational use, and you also need to study/practice first aid skills in order to get the full use out of your first aid kit. That’s very analogous to a gun because it’s quite useful even without practice or much in the way of pertinent education, but could possibly lead to problems if it’s too complete (too powerful) and you don’t.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

I implore you to invoke your love of nuance and rational thinking skills to explore this thought.

Done.

Now you give it a try ... eh?

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

If I were to inappropriately break the glass and pull the fire alarm, the consequences of my actions are rather unimportant compared with breaking the glass and hosing down anyone who looked suspicious..or…who looked suspicious to me.

Huh? In that scenario wouldn’t you be hosing down anyone who looked suspiciously on fire? If you hose someone down, just in case, they’ll get over it. If you’re talking about hosing people down for the hell of it, as a joke, then you’re again demonstrating the disconnect between your conceptualization and the reality of this issue (self-defense, remember?).

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

Guns are not life preservers and you should stop referring to them as such.

Actually you should make more effort to understand in what sense they are life preservers (clearly not the kind you find on boats, but life preservers if used defensively non-the-less), because this is a key concept in understanding the whole armed self-defense schtick.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

The responsible gun carrier, the professional police officer, carries an enormous amount of responsibility, on his hip, for everyone to see.

You’re absolutely right about the responsibility, but concealed carriers carry their guns concealed, not on their hips (that’s why the stats on guns being taken away from the police don’t apply so well to armed civilians, but that’s another issue). This is why if you live in the US you’ve more than likely dealt with a carrier but wouldn’t have had the first clue.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

I am to understand that they can be held dearly accountable for the misuse of that responsibility, likely far so more than the vigilante, who everyone understands is simply nuts.

Brandishing a weapon without cause is an assault. Shooting someone without cause is battery at minimum, and potentially murder. As far as I’m aware there’s no legal difference between a civilian and a police officer, it’s just that the police officer has both increased trust (warranted or not), and can suffer additional penalties from the PD. It’s very much like the military in that sense.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

Vigilantism is only rational in an anarchistic, or purely libertarian sense.

And it’s still not the issue here. It’s a valid separate issue, but vigilantism is not self-defense, by definition. You need to stop conflating the two.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

If you really feel that you live and work in a war zone, then perhaps carrying a weapon is justified. (I’m curious, doctors take an oath to do no harm….do MD carry weapons on the battlefield?)

Yup. Medics do too. In fact combat units have medics who function as a part of the combat team. The oath to do no harm isn’t a simple black and white kind of thing, though that depends heavily on who’s doing the interpreting of course. It would paralyze docs in many medical situations if they couldn’t harm anyone at all, in fact. How would you perform an amputation or even any invasive procedure at all if you interpret the Hippocratic Oath basically like a fundamentalist? “Do no harm” doesn’t/shouldn’t suggest that MDs have forfeit the basic right of self-defense. Society is harmed incomparably more if a doc is killed by a violent criminal than if that doc, in the worst case scenario of a successful DGU, kills the predator rather than being killed. This is why pacifism isn’t quite so pure and perfectly peaceful. I do respect pacifism and pacifists, I’m just skeptical of them. Most of the time, I suspect, their pacifism is a philosophy of convenience, and their self-preservation is still 100% intact. When a true pacifist actually demonstrates his or her sincerity it’s very powerful and tragic—words are inadequate.

eucaryote - 20 July 2009 02:27 AM

I suggested that you seem to “have a hard time getting out of the military mindset”, and you responded with a question as to whether I knew what kind of question I had asked, (in terms of its “significance”)? Maybe not. Apparently I touched a nerve, why don’t you elaborate.

Why do you think that touched a nerve? I was making the point that you’re using language you don’t really understand very well or appreciate, and you’re dealing in an issue with which you’re admittedly unfamiliar. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of that, unless you’ve also formed strong opinions from within that vacuum. You don’t understand the military mindset and you don’t seem to really even have any idea of what that even means, yet you’ve decided somehow that it’s the source of why you think I’m mistaken on all of this stuff that you don’t really understand.

See the problem? Pardon my candor here, but you’ve demonstrated that you don’t know what you’re talking about when you get into these particular matters, and that you also feel free to make presumptions for which you expect others to answer, so I have only a very vague sense of what you might mean by “the military mindset.” Quite frankly that’s probably been the defining pattern of your side of this discussion, but I think we’ve turned the corner now, which is very rare in my own experience. Usually any actual discussion breaks down very quickly into emotional hijackings on both sides (intellects hijacked by under disciplined passions), and that usually takes only one mention of either a clear pro- or anti-gun control notion. But in most cases there never is any real discussion at all ... not even a single round.

So I’d say we’re doing extremely well here!

Byron

[ Edited: 20 July 2009 09:30 AM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 20 July 2009 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Some points.

-About Darwinism

You said,

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.

I think that you are stretching a very shallow and uniformed argument to justify your support guns as a natural “defense mechanism”. A gun would be a very “unnatural” un-“built-in” defense system.

-When I said “hose them down” I meant with the terrorists with the assault rifle behind glass, not with a fire hose. My bad. I didn’t explain myself well. I was trying to say that the consequences of in appropriately pulling a fire alarm are different from inappropriate gun use.

-I did mistake you to say that you would throw a gun in your medic bag. My bad, poor reading.  You can understand how this would make no sense.
I did think that medics and corpsmen could carry weapons but I would imagine they have enough to carry just to be a good medic. Isn’t the medic on both sides have some kind of special protective status, Big identifying red cross on the helmets and tents and all. Are doctors officially non-combatants? Are not doctors on either side professionally obliged to treat enemy captured & wounded etc. Maybe legally obliged by the laws of war.

You seem entirely bent on missing single most salient and obvious difference between a gun and a life preserver. You’re too smart for that, which is why I say your being disingenuous.

Guns are not a piece safety equipment. I reject this notion out of hand.

Guns are lethal weapons. There is a chasm of very relevant distinction to be made between guns and life preservers. Even considered a piece of “emergency equipment”, (which they are not), the consequences of gun use are very different than for any of the other, almost completely benign, pieces of such equipment you may name.

Guns are not used against some thing, or in some natural event, event or to mitigate an accident. Deciding to put out a fire or to throw a life preserver to a drowning person are very different than pulling a trigger and deciding to kill someone. Throwing a life preserver by mistake or otherwise inappropriately is virtually without consequence. The lethality of guns puts them in a class by themselves even compared with closer relatives, like tasers, flak jackets, etc.

You have a huge blind spot in your most nuanced and detailed understanding of the difference between guns and safety equipment. It’s why guns belong to the class of things we call weapons and life preservers belong to the class of things called safety equipment. If you can’t acknowledge this, then it is hard to have a discussion. For you to suggest that I only make these distinctions because of my fear and loathing of those who choose to carry guns in public is absurd. I don’t have to base this reasoning on anything but the clear meaning of words.

At best, a gun is a piece of safety equipment in a very, very limited sense. Otherwise the two terms are actually completely contradictory. Weapon does not equal Safety.

-Conflicts between people are a very special class of emergency calling for an extended definitive list of appropriate “safety” measures, especially deterrence, and avoidance, (what the military mindset call’s “tactics”), which may culminate in the carrying of a gun and the legal use of a gun as the most risky, expensive and potentially consequential measure of last resort. Moreover, bringing gun into a potentially violent conflict with people endangers anyone else in the vicinity, (aka range). That is why it is fundamentally unfair to vulnerable others, to whom the gun carrier gives no choice over the decision to insure that lethal force is introduced into a conflict.

As you noted, that most gun conflicts are solved by brandishing the weapon, using more military terminology I’m unfamiliar with. Presumably, brandishing the weapon would only be useful in a conflict with another person without a weapon. Brandishing the weapon to an armed “bad guy” would be counter productive if it led to a gun battle, would it not? And it would be difficult for the gun carrier to predict the attackers response, though, they are the bad guy, right?

Yet you also noted that brandishing a gun can be and should be considered assault, if not done for good reason…....It would seem that what constitutes “good reason”, becomes a very filmy concept when we consider an instance of the gun carrier brandishing his firearm to an unarmed person, however threatening. But this might be the only situation in which brandishing is effective????....

I think the gun carrier will want to think this through. I could imagine a realistic situation in which by the time the police arrive, the tables have been turned and the attacker is interpreted as the innocent one, simply because he wasn’t brandishing or threatening “assault with a deadly weapon”, as was the gun carrier. Very different from assault with an innocent safety measure. wink I imagine the Teucher could fill us in on how distorted some of these cases can be.

Another difference is that like other safety measures, guns can be fail to yield success in some variety of ways. The fact is that the use of a gun escalates conflict and exacerbates the negative consequences of failure. The worst case I can imagine being that the gun carriers gun was the only one brought to the conflict, it’s attempted use was unsuccessful, and it is used against him, and possibly others, aka innocent bystanders. I think the military calls these faceless people, “collateral”.

So we may grant to guns the status of a safety measure, but only under the most extremely limited conditions. If you are in a war zone, whether Baghdad or Dickfungus TN, or Methlab IA, or Crackhouse CA, carrying a gun might be a good idea. It might help keep you safe, or it might just make them, (the bad guys), stake you out, which is what I would do if I were a bad guy and had to deal with vigilantes.

-I only brought up military mindset because you mentioned the military several times in these posts as related to the evolution of your position on guns. So you made the connection several times. It’s a fallacy to think that one must, for example, have been in the military to know anything about the military. But, one does not have to have been in a military to understand that they recruit large numbers of young men, (mostly, historically), and train them to use guns. Apparently concepts like, “guns are really safety instruments”, like you express here, are also inculcated into the recruits. These are just simple observations that I don’t have to be in the military to know. What’s more important, is that you don’t acknowledge the POV of someone who never received what they call “training”. Obviously you are taking concepts for granted that other, untrained people, like myself, may question. I distinguish between training and education. You’ve made several references to my religion, even though I claim no group, not even atheists. One of the groups that operate with clear religious overtones is the military. Everything from worshiping icons to secret handshakes. Worldover, historically. But I digress…

-You also conflated vigilantism and personal defense. On the one hand you gave us the bizarre suggestion the elderly should carry guns for self defense, but on the other you suggested that the people you knew who carried weapons are firemen and medics and people who save lives on a regular basis and are necessarily competent, etc. yadda yadda.

I don’t really think you can divide vigilantism from personal defense. Certainly in the real world, in practice so to speak, the two ideas are always conflated. Unless you are suggesting that the gun carrier who carries for personal defense would NOT come to the aid of some other afflicted individual?? The gun nuts I’m afraid of conflate them always as part of their raison d’être. The rhetoric is full of a self righteous,self defense posture, i.e. if only the college students were armed, then we wouldn’t have college shootings etc. etc.

-I’m not a pacifist, I can easily justify lethal violence to defend myself or others. I don’t think that having such experiences is healthy. It seems clear that having them could bias one to paranoia. I interpret our rights to bear arms more in a political sense. So that the government and it’s military could not take over the people. It’s hard to know what choices are the correct ones and often we may never know the path we don’t follow. As Teucher noted of his clients, use of a gun could make it a one way trip, a self fulfilling prophesy.

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Posted: 21 July 2009 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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eucaryote - 20 July 2009 10:13 PM

-Conflicts between people are a very special class of emergency calling for an extended definitive list of appropriate “safety” measures, especially deterrence, and avoidance, (what the military mindset call’s “tactics”), which may culminate in the carrying of a gun and the legal use of a gun as the most risky, expensive and potentially consequential measure of last resort.

Now you’re expressing absolute agreement with me and even making my points ... (although it’s in the shooting, not the carrying—one can carry a gun for life without shooting it and never suffer any consequences at all).

So why have you been trying to argue with me all this time, particularly so vehemently?

(Methinks it’s because you don’t so much understand what you’re saying, or what the actual parameters are re: this particular subject—all those vigilantism fantasies getting in the way of facts and sound thinking.)

More later ... I suppose.

[ Edited: 21 July 2009 07:47 AM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 21 July 2009 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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SkepticX - 21 July 2009 10:03 AM
eucaryote - 20 July 2009 10:13 PM

-Conflicts between people are a very special class of emergency calling for an extended definitive list of appropriate “safety” measures, especially deterrence, and avoidance, (what the military mindset call’s “tactics”), which may culminate in the carrying of a gun and the legal use of a gun as the most risky, expensive and potentially consequential measure of last resort.

Now you’re expressing absolute agreement with me and even making my points ... (although it’s in the shooting, not the carrying—one can carry a gun for life without shooting it and never suffer any consequences at all).

So why have you been trying to argue with me all this time, particularly so vehemently?

(Methinks it’s because you don’t so much understand what you’re saying, or what the actual parameters are re: this particular subject—all those vigilantism fantasies getting in the way of facts and sound thinking.)

More later ... I suppose.

Screw you! You take that quote out of a sea of preceding context describing in some detail, why carrying guns is at best a fringe exercise, and at worst disasterous, and claim it to be an absolute opinion of mine. One of the consequences that you will suffer from carrying a weapon is that normal, mentally healthy people will shun you and think you’re nuts.
Don’t bother replying, you demonstrate that you’re really not capable of detailed or nuanced thought, at least not if it runs counter to your “training”. Which makes sense. It seems to be a good example how how effective such training is. Makes me think of the Milgram experiments. One can be trained to simultaneously hold contradictory beliefs as long as someone in authority provides justification. Lethal weapons are really pieces of safety equipment. You’re nuts.

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Posted: 21 July 2009 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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eucaryote - 21 July 2009 02:49 PM
SkepticX - 21 July 2009 10:03 AM
eucaryote - 20 July 2009 10:13 PM

-Conflicts between people are a very special class of emergency calling for an extended definitive list of appropriate “safety” measures, especially deterrence, and avoidance, (what the military mindset call’s “tactics”), which may culminate in the carrying of a gun and the legal use of a gun as the most risky, expensive and potentially consequential measure of last resort.

Now you’re expressing absolute agreement with me and even making my points ... (although it’s in the shooting, not the carrying—one can carry a gun for life without shooting it and never suffer any consequences at all).

So why have you been trying to argue with me all this time, particularly so vehemently?

(Methinks it’s because you don’t so much understand what you’re saying, or what the actual parameters are re: this particular subject—all those vigilantism fantasies getting in the way of facts and sound thinking.)

More later ... I suppose.

Screw you! You take that quote out of a sea of preceding context describing in some detail, why carrying guns is at best a fringe exercise, and at worst disasterous, and claim it to be an absolute opinion of mine.

Looks pretty straightforward to me. It’s a pretty self contained comment, and I don’t think I took anything out of context. I don’t see any statements in there that are terribly dependent upon any external context, and I clarified the distinction between carrying and actually shooting, which looks like the only disparity of any significance between my position and what you wrote in that bullet comment. I think you just have far too little understanding of the position you’re actually arguing against here. You’re consistently confusing my position with your own inventions and embellishing it all with your John Wayne/vigilantism fantasies (attributing them to me and those who carry, of course). The problem that I’m pretty sure is actually frustrating you is the disconnect between reality, as I’m trying to explain, and your rather more passionate than you seem to want to admit imagination. You have pretty much no experience or knowledge to work from, so this disconnect isn’t surprising—it’s also not really the problem here. The proper, disciplined attitude is to reserve judgment when all you have to work from is this sort of vacuum. It’s most certainly not disciplined to establish much of an opinion, if any at all, much less a strong one.

I misspoke earlier, by the way. I posted previously that my real problem is with people forming opinions from a vacuum, and that is certainly a problem (it comes from a lack of self-discipline, and added to that underlying problem the hasty conclusions hamper sound thinking a great deal more), but what I actually have the biggest problem with is the hasty, irresponsible judgmentalism—the willingness and even eagerness to dehumanize and demonize people who are deemed “outsiders” in regard to whatever ideological “tribe” currently resides in the homestead, so to speak—operating under the principle of the liability of the doubt, and being as generous as possible in assessing the level and extent of that doubt. I mentioned this before I misspoke in that previous post, pointing out that it’s a truly dark and repulsive aspect of human nature, one of the definitive traits the nastier fundamentalist religious types display in regard to their religious dogmas (rather than guns and violence, as in this case). It’s kind of the festering, pustulant wound that can result from the nastiness that gets into the compromises to intellectual structural integrity which are created by the tendency to form hasty opinions and the underlying causes.

eucaryote - 21 July 2009 02:49 PM

One of the consequences that you will suffer from carrying a weapon is that normal, mentally healthy people will shun you and think you’re nuts.

Well, as I said I don’t carry, but in any case quite frankly I don’t think your psychological assessment is terribly sound or credible, and it’s clearly far from objective.

eucaryote - 21 July 2009 02:49 PM

Don’t bother replying, you demonstrate that you’re really not capable of detailed or nuanced thought, at least not if it runs counter to your “training”. Which makes sense. It seems to be a good example how how effective such training is. Makes me think of the Milgram experiments. One can be trained to simultaneously hold contradictory beliefs as long as someone in authority provides justification. Lethal weapons are really pieces of safety equipment. You’re nuts.

That would be a potentially valid point, actually—one worthy of pursuing, if not for the timing. I got out of the Regular Army in ‘90 (having already done all of the military tactical training I’ve ever done to this day). I went into the Guard as a medic in ‘98, which is when I did my research and learned my gun control notions (pretty standard issue liberal) were for the most part pure nonsense. So my tactical training couldn’t be what made me the crazy, violent type I clearly am today. There was also very little emotional investment in the way my research went, and any that was there would have favored gun control—as I explained I was considering how to safely and economically get practice with a standard issue Army sidearm (under a pro-gun control mentality), and I wasn’t under any economic stress. The economics were completely secondary to safety. The only fiscal question was about whether it would cost significantly more to rent or to buy, if I could safely store the thing. The cost of the gun wasn’t a hardship at all. So the reality of the matter isn’t exactly the picture you’re working with, to put it quite mildly, just as with the rest of this “discussion”.

—-

I’ll still post my responses to the previous eucaryote comments a bit later, but I’m afraid this may have never really been an actual discussion. In any case it appears anyone who is still interested in this is a lurker ... or I suppose Bad Rabbit may chime back in at some point (he’s likely lost interest ... I certainly wouldn’t blame him). I’ve already written most of that response though, so I’ll go ahead and finish it up, though I’m not sure there’s anything in that last exchange that hadn’t already been covered (for the most part I think I could have replied “re-read, re-consider, don’t forget, go back and see why ... etc.”).

I do hope, though, that if anyone else comes to the fore and decides to take up the “discussion”, that we can avoid the problems we’ve already seen so far. I probably won’t be willing to continue plodding through all the chaff and random mental detritus if not. I would welcome a good, genuine discussion, but as I expect isn’t difficult to imagine this manner of “discussion” gets very tiresome, and as I pointed out earlier, it’s particularly distasteful to me when “my people” display these most deplorable attributes of fundamentalist types.

Byron

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