Mark Steel on NRA reaction to Boston bomb. Genius

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Jacoby
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29 Apr 2013, 2:17 pm

Actual statistically relevant gun violence isn't talked about in this country. We obsess over tragedies like Sandy Hook and Aurora but ignore the slaughter that happens every day in our inner cities. Lone nut jobs will fall thru the cracks sometimes and it will happen whether or not guns are restricted The biggest and most obvious driver of violent crime in this country is drug prohibition and it's completely preventable yet have we heard anyone talk about it? With this push for gun control, you don't hear anybody talking about any cities, it doesn't matter to them because it doesn't fit the narrative.



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29 Apr 2013, 3:17 pm

While I think that drug prohibition is largely pointless, I don't agree that it's either the biggest or the most obvious driver of violent crime. I suggest that income inequality is the biggest driver of violent crime.

So far, the economic studies have suggested that there is a correlation between a country's gini coefficient and it's rate of violent crime. At least one study in the US and Canada ( https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/ ... ?id=189183 ) demonstrated that inequality was a stronger predictor of homicide than absolute levels of income. Similar findings have been found in studies across multiple countries.

While this does not demonstrate causation, I believe that it does provide us with a reasonable basis on which to investigate that possibility.


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29 Apr 2013, 4:01 pm

visagrunt wrote:
I have yet to see an rational argument presented from either of the poles of this argument.

Then you haven't looked hard enough.

visagrunt wrote:
From the regulation crowd, we get, "We have to do something!" But there is no critical thought that goes into what should be done. If you are going to make law, the first question should be, "what's wrong," the second question should be, "what do we want to achieve," and the third should be, "how does this law get us from what's wrong to what we want to achieve." If you can't put that together, all you are doing is playing politics, rather than making law.

No, it goes beyond "we have to do something".
The arguments I’ve seen from the anti-gun side are:
• Guns have no place in civilized society.
• More violence isn’t the answer.
• You don’t have the right to be judge, jury, and executioner.
• You’ll be more likely to shoot yourself or the wrong person.
• Guns are icky.
• Etc…..

visagrunt wrote:
Meanwhile, from the anti-regulation crowd, we get the uncritical, "shall not be infringed," rhetoric. Not every regulation is an infringement of freedom.

We’ve made arguments that are technically, legally, and sociologically sound in the real world with a secondary emphasis on The Second Amendment itself even though the amendment is a very good rationalization itself. The other side has only come up with the above bulleted points which are nonsensical.
Regulation should have an actual purpose other than just making a minority of hand-wringers feel good.
We already have gun control in THIS country. Yes, as tough as it is to believe here in the U.S. of A you can’t just run into Wal-Mart and buy a “machine gun”.
What measurable success has gun regulation had in the US and what would further regulation gain us? Again, warm fuzzies don’t count.

visagrunt wrote:
"But neither side is engaged in a process of asking some critical questions.

I think plenty of questions have been asked and answered. Some have had rational answers and some have not been.

visagrunt wrote:
"Is firearms violence a problem?" I tend to the view that it is, but the case has to be made, nonetheless.

Violence itself is the problem.
The questions we should be asking are:
• How to stop it real-time.
• How to curb the growth of future violence.

Neither side could ever come to anything close to a bipartisan agreement on either of the above. I doubt we could even agree on what questions we should be asking.


visagrunt wrote:
"What are the root causes of firearms violence?" I think that if you are going to take steps--whether legally, politically or culturally to mitigate firearms violence, then you are going to have to ask the question of what causes it before you can ask the question about how to diminish it.

Again, it’s a violence problem alone.
Is obesity a fork and spoon question?
Is pyromania a cigarette lighter question?
By insisting on throwing firearms in there you’re either taking sides or not being rational.

visagrunt wrote:
And once you have some constructive proposals about what you might do about it, you have to ask the question, "How will this work?"
And last, but certainly not least, you have to ask the question, "Is this worth doing?"

But first let's ask what the success of current gun laws has been.

visagrunt wrote:
To my way of thinking, neither arming the general citizenry, or regulating away their ability to be armed is going to meet the third test. Neither will work. They are both the products of blinkered, extremist thinking that simply will not work when the rubber hits the road. But unfortunately, these are the only ideas out there, and I'm fresh out of creativity.

I don’t care to arm everyone but I think everyone should have the right to make that call on their own. Are there people out there that shouldn't have a firearm? YES but sorting them out fairly and accurately is not only a question of constitutional law but sure to be complicated and messy by nature and, of course, abused.


visagrunt wrote:
I truly believe that culture is by far the largest contributor to firearms violence, and that a cultural paradigm shift is going to have to take place before any mitigation of that violence is possible. But how that paradigm shift can be brought about is beyond me still.

Both sides would never agree on what the cultural problems are let alone how to fix them.


I've once again come to the conclusion that you are not neutral on this topic so why not just go ahead and fully take the side you yearn to.


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Last edited by Raptor on 29 Apr 2013, 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jacoby
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29 Apr 2013, 4:32 pm

visagrunt wrote:
While I think that drug prohibition is largely pointless, I don't agree that it's either the biggest or the most obvious driver of violent crime. I suggest that income inequality is the biggest driver of violent crime.

So far, the economic studies have suggested that there is a correlation between a country's gini coefficient and it's rate of violent crime. At least one study in the US and Canada (https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/ ... ?id=189183) demonstrated that inequality was a stronger predictor of homicide than absolute levels of income. Similar findings have been found in studies across multiple countries.

While this does not demonstrate causation, I believe that it does provide us with a reasonable basis on which to investigate that possibility.


The most easily preventable at the very least. Drug crime plays into poverty, our inner cities would be much safer and better off in general without prohibition although I agree it would not solve all the issues of poverty.



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29 Apr 2013, 6:09 pm

Your responses to my critiques of the extremes in this argument seem to me to be an exercise that neither contradicts nor complements my thesis. You're agreeing with me that regulation is not the answer and by saying "We already have gun control in THIS country," you are agreeing with my thesis that not all regulation is an infringement. If we cannot identify the common ground that actually exists between us, then what possibility is there for any kind of a meeting of the minds?

It seems to me like you're plugging in "real-time" as a self-serving rationale for your political position. That sort of circular argument won't fly with me. Further, "stoppping" violence is a pipe dream. We cannot now, nor could we ever "stop" violence. You can stop it in the instant case, but government doesn't work in the instant case, it works in the aggregate, where absolute solutions almost never present themselves. As for bipartisanship, I don't disagree, but that is a question of the practical politics, rather than the search for a policy solution. Now, it may be that a policy solution is the pursuit of wonks who could never get their policy enacted, and I will willingly concede that the discussion may be nothing more than academic. But I don't think that it is a valueless discussion for that.

I'm happy to see this discussion move beyond firearms into violent crime generally. Realistically, other violence is a statistical drop in the bucket, but I feel fairly sure that root causes will be comparable. I have used, as my starting point, the studies that economists have done about the linkages between homicides and income inequality, and about firearms violence. If there are studies on violence more generally, I am happy to spread the thesis beyond firearms into crime prevention generally.

I will also readily concede that current firearms regulation has been a failure. Remember, I'm not suggesting that regulation is the answer. I'm suggesting that some other approach to violence is required, and whatever approach that is must still be evaluated against those policy questions.

Regardless of how much or how little regulation you believe is appropriate, at some point, there are messy and complex questions that cannot be entrusted to anyone but government. Individuals who should not have a firearm are unlikely to self-identify as such. So who else will identify them? You may not trust government, but is there anyone who can be trusted more when the individual cannot be?

Cultural changes don't happen by mutual consent. They happen slowly, and generally against the vocal and violent opposition of the reactionary side of the question. But eventually, their numbers become so diminished that they are dismissed as the fringe. The United States has demonstrated time and again the fluidity with which it can adjust to cultural change. Significant advancements in areas of women's rights, the rights of racial minorities, the rights of LGBT people have all demonstrated significant cultural shifts without bringing the edifice crashing down. These have not been accomplished by agreement. Far from it. They have been accomplished over the objections of significant majorities, who have been eroded down.

Raptor wrote:
I've once again come to the conclusion that you are not neutral on this topic so why not just go ahead and fully take the side you yearn to.


When did I ever claim to be neutral? I'm a centrist, and that's a very different thing from being neutral. There are more that two opinions on responses to violence, you advance nothing by being reductionist.

So let's reset our mutual antipathy, and approach the question, "What are the root causes of violence?" and see where that gets us in terms of a constructive conversation.


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29 Apr 2013, 7:39 pm

visagrunt wrote:
Your responses to my critiques of the extremes in this argument seem to me to be an exercise that neither contradicts nor complements my thesis. You're agreeing with me that regulation is not the answer and by saying "We already have gun control in THIS country," you are agreeing with my thesis that not all regulation is an infringement. If we cannot identify the common ground that actually exists between us, then what possibility is there for any kind of a meeting of the minds?

I don’t agree with gun control. Gun control of any kind is an infringement. We gun culture people grudgingly put up with what we've been saddled with at the time but it cannot be proven that the laws we have to live with now are effective.

visagrunt wrote:
It seems to me like you're plugging in "real-time" as a self-serving rationale for your political position. That sort of circular argument won't fly with me. Further, "stoppping" violence is a pipe dream. We cannot now, nor could we ever "stop" violence. You can stop it in the instant case, but government doesn't work in the instant case, it works in the aggregate, where absolute solutions almost never present themselves. As for bipartisanship, I don't disagree, but that is a question of the practical politics, rather than the search for a policy solution. Now, it may be that a policy solution is the pursuit of wonks who could never get their policy enacted, and I will willingly concede that the discussion may be nothing more than academic. But I don't think that it is a valueless discussion for that.

“Real-time” is what it is and I have no desire to “fly” with you. I have literally flown over you unless you were out of town that day so that’ll have to suffice for your flying with me fantasies.
By stopping violence real-time I meant individual acts of violence by directly;y and personally neutralizing the threat on the spot as it happens by whatever means necessary.
For long term we have to figure out what the root cause is (we’ll never agree) and what should and can be done to curb (not end) it long term (we’d never agree on that, either).

visagrunt wrote:
I'm happy to see this discussion move beyond firearms into violent crime generally. Realistically, other violence is a statistical drop in the bucket, but I feel fairly sure that root causes will be comparable. I have used, as my starting point, the studies that economists have done about the linkages between homicides and income inequality, and about firearms violence. If there are studies on violence more generally, I am happy to spread the thesis beyond firearms into crime prevention generally.

I see self-control as the root cause.
You see it as an income disparity but income depends on what you do, where you do it, and who you do it for. It will never be equal.
No point delving further into either because you know and I know we won’t agree with each other.

visagrunt wrote:
I will also readily concede that current firearms regulation has been a failure. Remember, I'm not suggesting that regulation is the answer. I'm suggesting that some other approach to violence is required, and whatever approach that is must still be evaluated against those policy questions.

Regardless of how much or how little regulation you believe is appropriate, at some point, there are messy and complex questions that cannot be entrusted to anyone but government. Individuals who should not have a firearm are unlikely to self-identify as such. So who else will identify them? You may not trust government, but is there anyone who can be trusted more when the individual cannot be?

The idea is to not give government any more tasks to make a bureaucratic mess of than it already has. As it stands now a NICS check at point of transfer is about all government can competently handle and they cannot always handle that well.

visagrunt wrote:
Cultural changes don't happen by mutual consent. They happen slowly, and generally against the vocal and violent opposition of the reactionary side of the question. But eventually, their numbers become so diminished that they are dismissed as the fringe. The United States has demonstrated time and again the fluidity with which it can adjust to cultural change. Significant advancements in areas of women's rights, the rights of racial minorities, the rights of LGBT people have all demonstrated significant cultural shifts without bringing the edifice crashing down. These have not been accomplished by agreement. Far from it. They have been accomplished over the objections of significant majorities, who have been eroded down.

The question isn’t a need of cultural change but what exactly is broken and how to fix it.
Neither side will agree on either since right and left are as much cultural as anything.

Raptor wrote:
visagrunt wrote:
I've once again come to the conclusion that you are not neutral on this topic so why not just go ahead and fully take the side you yearn to.


When did I ever claim to be neutral? I'm a centrist, and that's a very different thing from being neutral. There are more that two opinions on responses to violence, you advance nothing by being reductionist.

Nice try. :roll:

visagrunt wrote:
So let's reset our mutual antipathy, and approach the question, "What are the root causes of violence?" and see where that gets us in terms of a constructive conversation.

/\Already been addressed above. The bottom line is that deep down you think guns are icky and an armed society is a cowardly society. With that I can't see much hope of progress being made here.


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29 Apr 2013, 10:37 pm

Raptor wrote:
thomas81 wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
it is virtualy impossable to get a gun permit in boston.boston has its own set of gun statutes as separate from massachusetts as a whole.a standard mass fid card is semi meaningless in boston.by boston i mean only the proper city itself,in the suburbs regular mass gun laws apply.

it no wonder a terrorists felt safe in boston.think about the mattapan masacare that killed 4 children last year and the record number of cops killed in the last couple years.

bostonians are defensless against terror and crime


they didnt look so defenceless when they had an entire battalion of SWAT cops hunting down a teenager curled up in someone's garden bleeding to death.



I think (know) he was talking about citizens of Boston, not on-duty cops.
You're obvious sympathy for a poor teenage terrorist curled up in someones garden I'm sure is appreciated by all terrorists.
:roll: :roll:
both citizens and cops have been defensless the last couple years.but yes mostly citizens.and the state trooper who was killed in boston was hit by a drunk driver at a construction site.so only three cops were actualy killed by depraved violence.


three cops have been killed in the line of by violent criminal and one by drunk driver.

one of the cops was killed a by a recent parolee and govenor patrick fired the whole parole board after


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29 Apr 2013, 11:03 pm

Raptor wrote:
visagrunt wrote:
Your responses to my critiques of the extremes in this argument seem to me to be an exercise that neither contradicts nor complements my thesis. You're agreeing with me that regulation is not the answer and by saying "We already have gun control in THIS country," you are agreeing with my thesis that not all regulation is an infringement. If we cannot identify the common ground that actually exists between us, then what possibility is there for any kind of a meeting of the minds?

I don’t agree with gun control. Gun control of any kind is an infringement. We gun culture people grudgingly put up with what we've been saddled with at the time but it cannot be proven that the laws we have to live with now are effective.


Sorry, but you're wrong. You can make the argument all day long that gun control is ineffective, but you *cannot* make the argument that any regulation is an infringement of the second amendment - because it has no basis in law. Rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution are not unlimited (DC v. Heller), which is the entire point behind the judicial system. My right to swing my arms freely stops where my fist meets your face.


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30 Apr 2013, 3:37 am

sliqua-jcooter wrote:
My right to swing my arms freely stops where my fist meets your face.


How does mere ownership of a firearm infringe upon anyone else in any way? Your analogy would make sense if someone here were arguing that they should be allowed to fire off their guns in public whenever they felt like it or something to that effect, but no one is arguing for a right to be negligent.


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30 Apr 2013, 4:10 am

visagrunt wrote:
I have yet to see an rational argument presented from either of the poles of this argument.


Ahem. I repeatedly advanced the very same argument that violence is less a product of firearms availability than of socioeconomic factors that you later put up, so unless you consider your own argument to be irrational... :lol:

Also, much of this thread has been beating back ignorant smears on the NRA rather than arguing the nuts and bolts of gun policy and violence, but I think you know full well how those threads tend to go, i.e. not so good for the gun haters.


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30 Apr 2013, 4:49 am

thomas81 wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
it is virtualy impossable to get a gun permit in boston.boston has its own set of gun statutes as separate from massachusetts as a whole.a standard mass fid card is semi meaningless in boston.by boston i mean only the proper city itself,in the suburbs regular mass gun laws apply.

it no wonder a terrorists felt safe in boston.think about the mattapan masacare that killed 4 children last year and the record number of cops killed in the last couple years.

bostonians are defensless against terror and crime


they didnt look so defenceless when they had an entire battalion of SWAT cops hunting down a teenager curled up in someone's garden bleeding to death.
\
Bump for later.


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30 Apr 2013, 6:44 am

Dox47 wrote:
sliqua-jcooter wrote:
My right to swing my arms freely stops where my fist meets your face.


How does mere ownership of a firearm infringe upon anyone else in any way? Your analogy would make sense if someone here were arguing that they should be allowed to fire off their guns in public whenever they felt like it or something to that effect, but no one is arguing for a right to be negligent.


The test for determining whether restrictions on the first amendment are constitutional or not is the "clear and present danger" test, which is a balancing test that pits the interests of an individual right against the collective rights of others. "In each case, [courts] must ask whether the gravity of the "evil", discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free speech as is necessary to avoid the danger."

I believe this test is just as applicable to the second amendment: each proposed regulation must a) counteract a specific problem AND b) the problem must be statistically significant. Most of the gun control measures being talked about today fail to meet one or both of these criteria: mag capacity limits supposedly limit the number of rounds one can carry, but there are very seldom few crimes that are committed with that many rounds - thus the event itself is very improbable; "assault weapons ban" neither solves a specific problem, nor is a significant threat to anyone.

However, on the topic of the NICS check, it meets both criteria: it solves the specific problem of criminals gaining access to weapons, and that problem is significant because, on average, 61.7% of violent offenders are re-arrested. I'd also point out that this issue was already adjudicated by the Supreme Court in Printz v. United States.

Moreover, the second amendment doesn't just guarantee the right to keep arms, but also to bear arms. Taken literally and absolutely, that would mean that "shooting whenever they felt like it" *would* be protected under the Constitution, and that laws against brandishing and assault with a deadly weapon would be infringements on that right. Obviously, this is insane.


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30 Apr 2013, 11:55 am

Raptor wrote:
I don’t agree with gun control. Gun control of any kind is an infringement. We gun culture people grudgingly put up with what we've been saddled with at the time but it cannot be proven that the laws we have to live with now are effective.


Politically, that may be a fair statement. But you're on the wrong side of the law. The United States Supreme Court--which is the only body capable of rendering a final decision on the meaning of the Constitution--has already said that not all regulation is infringement. You don't have to like it, but you have to accept that this is the state of the law. Whether regulations are effective or not, is irrelevant. The relevant issue is whether they are constitutional.

Quote:
“Real-time” is what it is and I have no desire to “fly” with you. I have literally flown over you unless you were out of town that day so that’ll have to suffice for your flying with me fantasies.
By stopping violence real-time I meant individual acts of violence by directly;y and personally neutralizing the threat on the spot as it happens by whatever means necessary.
For long term we have to figure out what the root cause is (we’ll never agree) and what should and can be done to curb (not end) it long term (we’d never agree on that, either).


So what of my argument that government does deal in the instant case, but deals in the aggregate? If you can't address my whole argument, you're not even airborne.

Quote:
I see self-control as the root cause.
You see it as an income disparity but income depends on what you do, where you do it, and who you do it for. It will never be equal.
No point delving further into either because you know and I know we won’t agree with each other.


There is every point, because neither of us know if the other is right, and both of us can nonetheless evaluate policy choices in the framework of alternative theories of causation.

Now, for my part, I have academic studies to back up my argument that inequality and violence are correlated. Have you got academic studies on self-control? That is not meant to be a snide question. I am asking whether your view of causation is based on an intuitive understanding of violence, or whether this has, in fact been studied. If it has, I would like to read up on it.

Quote:
The idea is to not give government any more tasks to make a bureaucratic mess of than it already has. As it stands now a NICS check at point of transfer is about all government can competently handle and they cannot always handle that well.


But that doesn't answer the question. If firearms need to be kept out of the hands of certain classes of people, and if those people will not self-identify, then who will perform that necessary task? Who can be trusted to do it? Whether government is overloaded or not, that does not permit government to abdicate its responsibility for the safety and security of the citizenry. And if government isn't doing its job properly, then it is incumbent upon citizens and the legislature to inquire as to the reasons for that, and provide government with the resources and remove the impediments to that job being done properly.

Quote:
The question isn’t a need of cultural change but what exactly is broken and how to fix it.
Neither side will agree on either since right and left are as much cultural as anything.


What is broken is a social concensus that it is appropriate to rely upon violence to enforce affronts to personal rights, and that it is appropriate for individuals to appropriate the enforcement jurisdiction of government. Sides don't have to agree on anything where cultural change is concerned. All it takes is one citizen at a time, coming around to a different way of seeing and understanding things.

Quote:
Nice try. :roll:


But interestingly, you can't actually rebut what I said.

You have projected opinions and positions on to me that are not grounded in what I have said. You say I'm not neutral. I'm not. I never have been. I am fully taking the side I want to, which is that neither of the polar extremes in this debate are right. I can back up my claim. Can you?

Quote:
Already been addressed above. The bottom line is that deep down you think guns are icky and an armed society is a cowardly society. With that I can't see much hope of progress being made here.


I think nothing of the kind. You appear to make the assumption that everyone who disagrees with you in substance can automatically be lumped together into one political category. Your thinking is polarized and uncritical.

I am a firearms owner and user. I have a Possession and Acquisition License. I support a general freedom to possess and use firearms, within a reasonable and transparent regulatory framework. I believe that there is nothing inherently wrong with firearms possession and use, provided that their possession and use is responsible, and I believe that government has a role to play in ensuring that possession and use are responsible.

Now, my beliefs may be misguided, and it may be that your government is so dysfunctional that it can never play such a role. But I do not believe either of those things to be the case.

But I'm willing to have an adult conversation about it. Are you?


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30 Apr 2013, 11:59 am

Dox47 wrote:
visagrunt wrote:
I have yet to see an rational argument presented from either of the poles of this argument.


Ahem. I repeatedly advanced the very same argument that violence is less a product of firearms availability than of socioeconomic factors that you later put up, so unless you consider your own argument to be irrational... :lol:

Also, much of this thread has been beating back ignorant smears on the NRA rather than arguing the nuts and bolts of gun policy and violence, but I think you know full well how those threads tend to go, i.e. not so good for the gun haters.


Ah, but Dox47, you aren't arguing from either of the poles. My whole point is that there are not only two sides to this question. I venture to say that you and I are probably the only people who are arguing from the centre.

I am somewhat left of centre, in that I take the view that government can and should have a role to play in addressing violence; and I suspect (but stand to be corrected) that you take a view that government attempts to do that are doomed to become unreasonable exercises.

But in essence, I believe that our thinking is roughly aligned.


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30 Apr 2013, 1:37 pm

Dox47 wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
This is your standard line, and I know as well as you do that no country has ever seen that. You are deliberately asking for very specific proof of a very general point.


You know why it's my standard line? Because no one has yet been able to answer the question, and it refutes the idea that gun control is common sense or a sure thing. Gun controllers, among other people, have this nasty habit of assuming their opinions are common sense or self evidently the right course, and my "standard line" forces them to actually examine the facts, at which point they usually claim I cheated.

Remember, you're the one who said " In every other developed country which has had the problems America is having with people shooting other people en masse, guns have been severely restricted and the problem has gone away- Australia being the best example, mass shootings just aren't a problem there any more.", to which I said "back your sh*t up". If it was such a great idea and worked so well, why is it that no one can prove it? Why is it that no one can even give me one example. Even if I give you that Australia has not had a *mass* shooting since they enacted strict gun control, I'll point to the infrequency of those events vs infringing upon the rights of millions, and that the overall violent crime rate was not affected like the gun control advocates claimed.

I deliberately didn't say "gun control reduces the murder rate", because of that lack of evidence. I said it would help to cut out mass shootings, as it has in Australia. I don't think it is clear by any means, and I often get lambasted by fellow liberals for saying the evidence isn't clear cut and it might not reduce violent crime at all. I do think it will reduce accidents and suicides, and may cut out a few murders. I also think it could (but might well not) be the beginning of the end for the gun culture in America and would consequently cause long term reductions in crime.

You can cry all you like about rates of violence not actually falling in Australia, but that shows a lack of interest in saving any lives whatsoever.
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
I have a few counter points. Firstly, surely we should factor in other things? What if violence stays the same, but a few people get stabbed or punched instead of shot and so survive? Murders down, assaults up? Look at that lunatic who ran around a Chinese school with a knife and killed... nobody. A great success for gun control.


Okay, limit it to murder, and show me a country that had successfully and unambiguously used gun control to slash their murder rate. Again, no cheating by grouping gun murders separately, or by picking a country that enacted gun control on the heels of a massive economic boom or something.

I would also point out that you're focusing too much on the symptoms and not the disease; people don't commit violence against each other because they own a gun or some other weapon, there's a whole host of cultural and socioeconomic factors at work, many of which would be easier to address than trying to limit access to firearms. I call your approach "strapping down the patient", so they can do less harm, where as mine is "administer epilepsy medication", so they stop lashing out, without having to resort to restraint. Follow me?

Finally, I could just as easily point to every victim of violence who was legally unable to defend themselves and suffered for it and call that a "triumph of gun control", or point to every would be victim who thwarted their attacker and lay the consequences had they not been armed at the feet of gun control advocates. It's what they do to me.

I chose that example because it was being used by the likes of yourself and Jacoby and Raptor (not necessarily those individuals) as evidence that lunatics will be lunatics regardless of whether they have access to guns, around the time of the Sandy Hook shootings.

The lack of weapon may well not suppress violent urges, but it will make it harder to inflict serious damage.

I would suggest that the UK's weapons control will be an unambiguous case of weapons control successfully cutting the murder rate in a few years, once we have enough data points for studies to be done, but obviously that is speculation. The reduction in murders has come despite the socio-economic problems in this country (such as poverty, unemployment and inequality) getting steadily worse as the economy flatlines, police budgets being slashed, and crime reporting falling by a less than statistically significant amount.
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
What about gun accidents and suicides? Australia showed a reduction in gun related deaths, with no substitution of suicides and no increase in the murder rate. Unless you want to claim that suicides and accidents count less than murders.


I would also point out that the US, despite our position atop the civilian gun possession pyramid, does not lead the world in suicides, not even close. The Japanese, for example, manage to off themselves in greater numbers than we do, despite their nearly complete lack of firearms.

This is argument is comparable to me saying "America leads the developed world in murders and gun ownership, therefore if they cut out guns there would be a reduction in murders".
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
What about just cutting out the mass shootings, even if the reduction is too small to be statistically significant?


Take the bold as my answer.

See my earlier answer.
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
The UK has seen a giant reduction in violent crime. We cracked down on guns, knife crime went up. We cracked down on knives, violent crime went down, despite other factors associated with violent crime (like poverty) increasing. The lesson is that the US should crack down on other weapons along with


You never had guns like we do, you never had violent crime like we do. This is why I keep harping on showing me a place that had a real violent crime problem and dealt with it through gun control; England never really had a violent crime problem. Neither did Japan, the other country most often held up as a triumph of gun control. You've also blanketed your country in surveillance cameras and steadily eroded the civil liberties of your citizens; not an approach worth emulating even if you could prove it reduced violent crime. I'd rather be at slightly higher risk from my fellow citizens than further under the thumb of my government.

We haven't really blanketed our country in surveillance cameras. Shop owners blanket their shops in surveillance cameras. And seriously, you need to sort your priorities out if you think that's worse than violent crime.
Dox47 wrote:
I beg to differ, the anti gun people are trying to use the power of the state to restrict my ability to own and operate firearms, a right codified in the Constitution but existing naturally even without that enumeration.

Sorry, but that's ridiculous. Firearms don't exist naturally, so it seems a stretch to say that the right to own and operate firearms exists naturally, if indeed rights exist naturally at all.



sliqua-jcooter
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30 Apr 2013, 9:13 pm

visagrunt wrote:
Dox47 wrote:
visagrunt wrote:
I have yet to see an rational argument presented from either of the poles of this argument.


Ahem. I repeatedly advanced the very same argument that violence is less a product of firearms availability than of socioeconomic factors that you later put up, so unless you consider your own argument to be irrational... :lol:

Also, much of this thread has been beating back ignorant smears on the NRA rather than arguing the nuts and bolts of gun policy and violence, but I think you know full well how those threads tend to go, i.e. not so good for the gun haters.


Ah, but Dox47, you aren't arguing from either of the poles. My whole point is that there are not only two sides to this question. I venture to say that you and I are probably the only people who are arguing from the centre.

I am somewhat left of centre, in that I take the view that government can and should have a role to play in addressing violence; and I suspect (but stand to be corrected) that you take a view that government attempts to do that are doomed to become unreasonable exercises.

But in essence, I believe that our thinking is roughly aligned.


Yes - I agree, there are definitely people on the extremes of this issue, both on here and out in the world - and I generally hate having discussions with them because they go either one of two ways:

"no one should ever need a gun for any reason" - to wit I respond something to the effect of "have fun living in whatever dream world you live in"

-OR-

"it is my god given right to have guns to combat the liberals and the homosexuals" - to wit I respond...actually, I usually just nod politely until I can get out of that conversation as quickly as possible.

From my perspective, it's clear to me that as members of a society we give up some measure of freedom in exchange for the benefits the society gives us - that's the essence of John Locke's social contract. So we have certain natural rights, and we give up some measure of them for the betterment of society - so the interesting question to me is where the line is drawn to balance the very real interest of decreasing crime and maintaining individual liberty (including gun rights, but also other rights).


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