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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Hitchens wrote a good piece on gun control.

http://www.hoboes.com/pub/Firearms/Essa ... 20Control/


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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"When homes get broken into, one of the main prizes criminals look for are guns. Should we ban guns based on this premise? No, but perhaps much more severe punishments should be in order for people who allow their guns to be taken and have shown no steps or almost negligence in doing so." - Rucifer

I keep mine in safes, but at best that's only a deterant. With enough time and the right tools any safe can be broken into. Meanwhile, it's not realistic to expect every person who owns a firearm to have a bank vault installed in his/her house or appartment.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:32 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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"Although I will point out- after 9/11 for instance, the conservative "gun side" (which I mean in a more general sense, there are always exceptions) was perfectly willing to let acts like the patriot act into existence and other measures to combat terrorism which reduced their rights and scoffed at those arguing against it as "you must have something to hide". - Rucifer

I was actually against the Patriot Act. Still am.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:37 pm 
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"I was once a teen who bought drugs. The only "criminal connections" I had were other white kids who liked to smoke pot." - xshawnxearthx

Unless they were growing their own, they had to buy it from someone.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Every major drug dealer I knew when I was younger either had a gun or could get easy access to one. I live in Canada by the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Interesting news story: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_ ... to-3904003

This has been going out on Facebook, etc is slightly modified form. This was the original story.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:57 pm 
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The debate is kind of stupid anyhow.

Americans are safer than they pretty much ever have been. The homicide rate in 2010 was the lowest it had been since it started being recorded, with 2009 levels equivalent to 1964. While mass killings are relatively new, the homicide rate is not soaring, and as a closed system things in the US look like they're continually trending towards "safer." Consider other developed nations and the homicide rate is comparatively very high (and mass killings off the charts, but they account for a relatively small percentage of the total homicide rate), but so are your medical costs so maybe consider other things first?

That said, the level of intellectual dishonesty on both sides of the aisle on this is kind of absurd.

If you're against gun control, you're saying that your freedom to own firearms is worth paying a price in blood, some of it innocent. Don't you pay a price for all freedom? Lowering the speed limit would save lives numbering in the tens of thousands, and yet it remains the same. Society assesses and assumes risks against freedoms. Own it.

If you're for gun control, you're saying that you want to restrict a fundamental freedom that's been a cornerstone of the United States since 1791. You also want to take away a huge part of the idea of "States rights" and delegate new power to the Federal government. You're changing a fundamental part of the American story. Stop pretending otherwise and own it.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:50 pm 
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"If you're against gun control, you're saying that your freedom to own firearms is worth paying a price in blood, some of it innocent. Don't you pay a price for all freedom? Lowering the speed limit would save lives numbering in the tens of thousands, and yet it remains the same. Society assesses and assumes risks against freedoms. Own it." - JasonJones

This is only valid if one accepts the idea that the gun control measures being proposed would actually make us any safer.

Supporters of gun control will argue that it does. Opponents will often argue that gun control actually increases crime. ... In fact, there's little evidence that gun control has any effect at all on crime (positive or negative).

Personally, I suspect that gun control has little or no effect on crime. That's reason enough for me to oppose most gun control measures, since giving up my freedoms for zero gain isn't very appealing to me. Meanwhile, I can think or other more effective and less controversial ways to reduce crime.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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I also believe that my owning firearms makes me and my family safer. However, I would hesitate to say that it makes society as a whole signifigantly safer. Frankly, I doubt that there are enough people like me to have a strong, widespread deterant effect.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:
This is only valid if one accepts the idea that the gun control measures being proposed would actually make us any safer.

Supporters of gun control will argue that it does. Opponents will often argue that gun control actually increases crime. ... In fact, there's little evidence that gun control has any effect at all on crime (positive or negative).


International data shows an enormous correlation between restricted access to firearms and a reduced homicide rate. In the developed world, nations that more carefully restrict firearms enjoy a much higher degree of safety from homicide, and the US occupies a decidedly opposite position on the spectrum. That doesn't necessarily mean that gun control works, and I think it asks a far more interesting question: is it that gun control effectively reigns in violence in a nation, or that a nation that has effectively reigned in violence is more likely to implement gun control measures? Assuming the former, you'd then have to ask which forms of gun control are effective, as there are so many approaches. The buyback in Australia is lauded as a huge success (caveat: 22 million people, effectively no borders) meanwhile the long gun registry in Canada is considered an unmitigated disaster.

Personally I don't have a horse in this race. On one hand, a not insignificant number of gun crimes in Canada are committed with firearms obtained from the US and smuggled up the reserves. On the other hand, I love visiting ranges in America. I think the Canadian system, despite some of it's flaws, represents a good middle ground in that mandatory education is required to purchase a gun, but I could still buy a handgun if I wanted to, and our ranges are pretty good too. But even if it were a one-size-fits-all solution, it'd mean a fundamental change to the fabric of your nation, and TBH you guys would be better served by laying off the sweets.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:49 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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I've actually heard the oposite about the Australian buyback ... That while it succeeded in confiscating and destroying a large number of legally owned weapons (at great expense) it seemingly had little or no effect on the crime rate.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:55 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Personally, I think the decline in crime rates across much of the developed world has a lot to do with technology. If young people spend most of their free time sitting on their butts in front of computers, video games and TVs (with hundreds of channels and on-demand programming) then they aren't out getting into trouble. The downside however is that kids today get a lot less exercise and miss out on some of the social aspects of growing up.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:36 am 
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The reduction in violence has to do with becoming more civilized, so to speak. It's a mainly to do with changing attitudes and progress in the majority's sense of ethics and morality. It will continue to improve the way it always has, more liberal ideas in this regard become mainstream. That's what has always happened and will continue to happen.

Gun control measures would be largely ineffective in the US. There are studies showing gun control is very effective, but there is a little caveat. Those studies are in places where there are not many guns. In the US there are LOTS of guns. So the genie is out of the bottle, and there is no putting it back without instituting fascist dictatorial policies that would make the patriot act look...well....patriotic.

I really hate being on the same side with a bunch nitwits that make some of the dumbest arguments I have ever heard though. Like the "lets ban forks" argument. Problem 1 is how a fork rampage compares with a gun rampage. The next problem is that if we must ban forks to ban guns, then that means we shouldn't allow either because we can't have 50 cal machine guns, hand grenades, rocket launchers, and land mines. After all what better home defense than a mine field encased in concertina wire, and a machine gun nest?

Then what about the "the bushmaster is less powerful than a typical hunting rifle" argument, while combined with the "I need a bushmaster in case the government needs to be overthrown argument". That's dumb too. Which is it? Nobody is overthrowing $h1t here. Most Americans can't be bothered to exercise or stop eating junk food, an insurgency ain't happening. The other issue is that power and capacity are opposing forces, one is better for fighting, the other is more humane for hunting. It's different, not better.

The issues are not the bull$h1t propaganda people are spouting off. The issues are doing something about tragic events, like the one we recently had, and gun enthusiasts continuing to pursue their hobbies. But nobody wants to talk about either of those things. Each wants to make their side look more critical and important, and the other side a threat to our very existence. Nobody wants to have an honest discussion, and nobody wants to consider that they might be wrong. No they just want to cobble together lame excuses to support their preconceived ideas. Nobody can get it through their thick heads that neither misapplying studies, nor spouting off platitudinous "arguments" which are an obvious failure in logic, are in the slightest bit convincing.

The way the thought process seems to go:
I like guns -> I see the consequences but I like guns -> find anything possible to support idea
I don't have guns, they just aren't my thing -> guns have little value to me therefore no consequence is worth it and anything is worth a try regardless of impact or efficacy -> find anything possible to support idea

The way I do it:
What are the root issues? What does the evidence show? Use logic and reason to come up with some conclusions and ideas for action. What would result of these actions be? Do the conclusions have any flaws? Have other people thought of something I haven't? etc.
Not necessarily in that order, and not JUST those things, but you get the idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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I'm much more concerned with preserving the right to armed self defense than twarting some theoretical future dictator. I'm also cynical. I've been around long enough to see that people who talk about "honest discussion" and "compromise" are usually talking about me giving up some of my freedoms, while they concede nothing. Even the most restrictive gun bans are presented as "common sense" gun control.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:37 pm 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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"I don't have guns, they just aren't my thing -> guns have little value to me therefore no consequence is worth it and anything is worth a try regardless of impact or efficacy -> find anything possible to support idea" - Ironman

I think it goes well beyond this. There seem to be a lot of otherwise rational people who are extremely uncomfortable around firearms to the extent that it could be described as a phobia.


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