Gun Control

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Ironman
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Re: Gun Control

Post by Ironman » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:32 pm

There are a lot of issues at play here. Mental health care is a big one, as is poverty, economic disparity, the drug war, etc. Something definitely needs to be done about those. I hate to say it, but it may be a good idea to ban high capacity magazines, and have some regulations about securing guns. The problem is that guns get stolen by people who shouldn't have them. the price paid for having these things is awfully high.

Take the rampage in China for example. A guy goes into a school with a knife and injures 20+ people including kids. A couple were seriously injured, but nobody died. When a shooter has guns with high capacity magazines, a lot of people end up dying.

Whatever is done, I think a great many things need to be rethought.

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:56 am

you cant legislate evil out of society

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Proper Knob » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:41 am

strathmeyer wrote:People likely to be murdered protect themselves with guns. All I have to ponder about is why people use tragedy to enforce a worldview that makes others unsafe.
Although gun control laws might make you feel unsafe, would it be that way in reality? As i mentioned earlier, here in the UK crime levels are falling and are at their lowest levels for a number of years yet people feel like crime is on the way up.

It would be interesting to look at data comparing gun violence in households with guns and households without guns. Does having a gun in the house make the household safer or does having a gun in the house make it more likely for violence to occur using the same guns?
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Re: Gun Control

Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:54 am

"Take the rampage in China for example. A guy goes into a school with a knife and injures 20+ people including kids. A couple were seriously injured, but nobody died. When a shooter has guns with high capacity magazines, a lot of people end up dying." - Ironman

It's possible the man in China was more intent on injuring than killing. It's hard to say what a crazy person is thinking. Either way I doubt limiting magazine capacity would make much of a difference in crime.

A) It takes very little time to reload a semi-auto rifle or pistol.
B) Pre-ban high capacity magazines remained available throughout the Clinton ban.
C) Mass shootings make up a very small percentage of all murders.
D) The vast majority of all shootings involve only a few shots fired.

PS) Of all the guns used in crimes, semi-auto rifles are among the least common (maybe 1%). Handguns are by far the most common class of firearm used in crime. They're also the most common class of firearm used in lawful self defense.
Last edited by Matt Z on Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:59 am

"It would be interesting to look at data comparing gun violence in households with guns and households without guns. Does having a gun in the house make the household safer or does having a gun in the house make it more likely for violence to occur using the same guns?" - Proper Knob

As far as I know, our government doesn't keep statistics on lawful self defense. Also, gun control advocates rarely make any destinction between illegal and legally owned guns, although it's generally accepted that most guns used in crimes are aquired illegally.

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Jungledoc » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:49 am

We just had a lady die in the ER of our little hospital, murdered with a knife. For her husband crying at the bedside there is no comfort in the fact that she wasn't killed with a gun.

We also see many gun-shot deaths here. Private ownership of guns is illegal.
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Re: Gun Control

Post by Ironman » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:10 am

If someone is crazy they aren't more intent on anything. They're not rational at all. I'm just saying it's a lot easier to kill people with guns.

I'm not saying that any sort of gun restrictions are the answer. I'm just saying we don't really know, and part of the answer MIGHT be in there somewhere. To put it in scientific terms, I would say gun control of any kind would be more of a hypothesis rather than a theory. There are reasons to think various things that fall into that category would work, there are also reasons to think they won't. So no side of this is just presupposing anything. We have data to support various conclusions, so it's a valid hypothesis. To know if it is going to work, you would have to try it, like conducting experiments. That's the only way to get good empirical data on this, and separate guns from all the other issues that come into play here.

I think we are getting to the point where the experiment may be worth doing. Before the data simply wasn't worth doing the experiment, but now it might be worth it.

That said, doing things that reduce violence in general, will proportionally reduce gun violence. That is the main area we need to focus on. I think this is going to involve providing mental healthcare to people. Other social issues need to be addressed, and many of these are unfortunately unlikely to be addressed any time soon, because the collective societal wisdom has not reached that level yet.

Once we handle these other issues, which unfortunately will not be complete in our lifetime, no gun restrictions of any kind will be needed, including what we have in place now.

What I don't want to see, is the status qua where nothing gets done, or any major inconvenience to gun hobbyists and hunters.

I guess it's not surprising though that I am the only one willing to consider that I might be wrong about some points in my longstanding position on guns. I've changed my position on countless issues over the years. Most people it seems stake out their position beforehand, and then find things to support it, and are usually unwilling to consider they might be wrong. I did that too when I was very young. But I realized eventually that the evidence must come first, you can't just presuppose, and then get your other positions and opinions via the confirmation bias of your other presupposed ideas.

Even when you arrive at something logically based on proper evidence, you should be willing to accept new evidence showing that you might be wrong. Sometimes we discover things are a little different than we thought, because we discover something previously unknown.

I do think my position is mostly right, however it might need revising. There could be a couple points where I MIGHT be wrong. I'm not even saying I was for sure wrong about anything, because I don't know. I'm just saying I might have been wrong, and I'm considering that, as you can see from the first part of this post. It would be nice if everyone (not just here) were willing to consider that they might be wrong too, rather than compiling reasons after the fact to convince themselves they are right, while examining nothing that indicates they are wrong.

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Re: Gun Control

Post by stuward » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:56 pm

The most valid argument against gun control, and I think the main reason for the "Right to bear arms" is to protect the citizenry from it's own government. Facebook is rampant with example lately of genocides coming on the heels of gun restrictions. Turkey, Russia, Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Cambodia are given as examples from the 20th century. It may seem extreme but it happens.
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Re: Gun Control

Post by strathmeyer » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:44 pm

Proper Knob wrote:
strathmeyer wrote:People likely to be murdered protect themselves with guns. All I have to ponder about is why people use tragedy to enforce a worldview that makes others unsafe.
Although gun control laws might make you feel unsafe, would it be that way in reality? As i mentioned earlier, here in the UK crime levels are falling and are at their lowest levels for a number of years yet people feel like crime is on the way up.

It would be interesting to look at data comparing gun violence in households with guns and households without guns. Does having a gun in the house make the household safer or does having a gun in the house make it more likely for violence to occur using the same guns?
You think taking away my gun makes me more safe? Or does it make you feel safe?

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:31 pm

"I'm not saying that any sort of gun restrictions are the answer. I'm just saying we don't really know, and part of the answer MIGHT be in there somewhere. To put it in scientific terms, I would say gun control of any kind would be more of a hypothesis rather than a theory. There are reasons to think various things that fall into that category would work, there are also reasons to think they won't. So no side of this is just presupposing anything. We have data to support various conclusions, so it's a valid hypothesis. To know if it is going to work, you would have to try it, like conducting experiments. That's the only way to get good empirical data on this, and separate guns from all the other issues that come into play here." - Ironman

A) Giving up my constitutional rights in the name of science doesn't sound very attractive to me. Would you feel the same way if we were talking about free speech or due process?
B) Governments in general are quick to seize power and slow to give it up.
c) We've already had an assault weapons ban that included a ban on high-capacity magazines. It failed.
D) If and when gun control laws fail, supporters almost invariably claim that the real problem is that the law(s) didn't go far enough. There answer is nearly always to create new and increasingly restrictive laws.
E) Support for gun rights comes largely from gun owners. Reducing the number of gun owners through restrictive gun laws could erode support for gun rights, whether or not it has any positive effect on crime.

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:45 pm

For the record I'm not opposed to ALL gun control. For example, I support background checks. I'm also open to new ideas. However, I'm deeply skeptical of any law proposed by individuals or groups hostile to gun ownership. I also have little patience for people who know next to nothing about firearms and existing gun laws, but still think they have the answer (Not talking about you Ironman).

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:48 pm

PS) I've also noticed that a lot of "new" ideas are really just old ideas repackaged.

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Rucifer » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:55 am

I have to wonder how successful the people would be if indeed we did need to revolt against the govt, even with assault rifles. I mean, will we ever stand a chance against the govt if things continue the way the are? While the framers of the constitution had the right idea here, where if the govt no long was subservient to the people, we could force them to be, I don't think brute force would ever land the people a victory anymore in the circumstance. The framers had no idea what it would be like when they drafted that part of the bill of rights.

Still, there are examples of people being helpless against a govt without the means to fight back. There is also people being helpless against crime without the means to fight back. Societies laws pretty much tilt that balance to the perpetrator instead of the victim, such as laws where a burglar can sue you for his medical expenses, or you can end up in jail yourself for merely defending yourself, or informing the police only to be brushed aside without much thought or told they can't do much until something actually happens. I am not really here to question the validity of these ways of society. I am just saying the police are not reliable enough to protect, and that's not really their job anyways. Their job is to clean up the mess afterwards. Unless you hire bodyguards, the primary responsibility falls on the individual person. How logical is it to take away that protection, when society ALREADY favors perpetrators committing crimes vs the good person who doesn't?

Now on the other end of this argument, are assault rifles necessary for this? Personally...I'm not really sure. But I do want to point out a couple things-

"Pandora's Box" has already been opened as far as assault rifles go. They are already out there. Unless the govt sends troopers to reclaim all of them, the criminals will get them, whether we like it or not. I have the feeling police or troopers entering people's homes to reclaim all the assault rifles in America would actually start a civil war rather than prevent one.

If we let them stay, the current system is not working, as insane but law abiding citizens are getting their hands on them. So as Matt Z says, I think way more thorough background checks are needed in this instance, as well as accountability, meaning what steps you are going to take to keep anyone's hands but the person buying them from getting the rifles.

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Rucifer » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:02 am

In gun control's defense, I have the feeling this would be a very effective weapon if someone enters my home-

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Indian ... n+war+club" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If someone is holding a handgun, you might assume they are a bad shot or have never been put into a position of defending themselves, and might freeze up. If someone is barreling down on you with an indian war club in their hands, I think its safe to say they are serious about taking a swing at you with it. Just saying :lol:

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Re: Gun Control

Post by Ironman » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:33 pm

stuward wrote:The most valid argument against gun control, and I think the main reason for the "Right to bear arms" is to protect the citizenry from it's own government. Facebook is rampant with example lately of genocides coming on the heels of gun restrictions. Turkey, Russia, Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Cambodia are given as examples from the 20th century. It may seem extreme but it happens.
Nah, I think that's the worst argument. People don't have what it takes to engage in the kind of long brutal insurgency that would be required to overthrow a government. People like to talk tough, but nowadays about 99.99999% are soft and weak. Those that aren't are probably Navy Seals.

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