Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gun Rights - More Important Than Life

The fourth in my series of Facebook gun control discussions. The longest. And the last.

For now.

In every discussion I’ve ever had, the anti-regulation side always equates the limiting of magazine capacity or having mandatory trigger locks with ‘taking away my guns.’ And they stick to this argument no matter what. I do not understand how blind devotion (to any topic, really) causes facts to disappear.

No one wants to take away your guns.

I am for the Second Amendment. I believe in the right to own guns. I do not believe everyone should be able to have and do anything they want at any time and any place without any regulations or background checks – basically our current gun ownership system.

And I do not believe that whenever someone goes on a shooting spree, it is the fault of people without guns.


This post was in response to the Sikh Temple shooting.

...and here we go again. When are people going to realize that banning guns to prevent gun crimes makes about as much sense as banning sex to prevent sex crimes. People WILL find a way if they want to do it. You want to prevent crimes? Teach your children TOLERANCE. Teach your children to LOVE despite differences. Teach your children to RESPECT other people's choices, even if they are not your own. And CHILDREN, TEACH your PARENTS these things too!!! We are all family... learn to LOVE more and to discover understanding. THAT is the path to reducing crime.

Well put.

And pray for common sense for people to reduce accidents with guns.

While I agree with what you say we should teach, I can't agree with "...and here we go again". Gun control (making it more difficult or heaven forbid, banning automatic weapons) does not infringe on anybody’s rights. That argument just doesn't hold water. The 2nd amendment says "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The last I looked most people are not part of an organized militia. I whole-heartedly agree with you that taking guns out of the hands of "the people" will not change anything tomorrow. Those who want to attain these weapons will. But 5 years...10 years...20 years down the road it WILL make difference. We must look at the long haul and what we want our country to look like in the future. Unfortunately the way it's looking now is that we all have to arm ourselves NOT to protect ourselves from the government but rather from each other. This is not the vision of our country that I want my grandchildren to grow up in.
Zed, the "People" ARE the Militia. To quote a friend:

"And I will counter your comment about the "Well-regulated militia"... the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right for a militia to have guns. Militias were made up of everyday commoners, that could be assembled if the need were to arise. That said, the 2AM provides for the right of the INDIVIDUAL to keep and bear arms. In order for there to even be the basis to have a militia, the people have to be armed from the outset. Were a need to arise, you cannot then tell the people, :ok, go out and procuse weapons, become proficient in their usage and then come assemble."

The Bill of Rights deals *exclusively* with the rights of individuals, not groups or a collective. It has ever been so, both in the Founding Fathers stated intent, as well as numerous USSC rulings over the years.

The word "militia" throws a lot of people off, but the reality is that the 2am merely provides for the PEOPLE to be armed and able to defend themselves(from a variety of threats, a tyrannical government being merely one of them), so that the ability to even form a militia exists.

But a lot of people try to interpret that to mean that the sole purpose of the 2AM is to form militias, or that only militia members should have the right to have weapons, but that has never been the case. The Founding Father’s regarded the ability to defend yourself, or your country, as a critical item to being Free. They ranked it right up there behind Free Speech, to be able to say what you believe, and defend it if need be. But it is more than that, and has ever been an individual freedom, as are the rest of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

[A lot of people try to interpret the Second Amendment to mean what they want it to mean, regardless of what it means.]

Additionally, “Well-Regulated”, at the time of the writing, had a different meaning:

And you can find many other references to support that. Well-Regulated, at that time didn’t have anything to do with legislation or control by a government body.

Ultimately, if you want to ban automatic weapons or ANY weapon for that matter, it will have to be a "cease fire" the world over. As long as they are in existence - period - people will have access to them. Until we shut down the "War Industry" altogether, there is no way around this.

[I do not understand how we leap from “banning automatic weapons” in America to the extreme notion of a “cease fire the world over.” These extreme, unrealistic examples are always given when there is no real defense to an argument. See: Gays getting married will inevitably lead to people marrying animals.]

So then lets begin to shut down the "War Industry".It has to start somewhere and sometime

[Farcical ‘extreme, unrealistic example’ alert!]
LOL! Sure. And how do you propose to go against a heavily armed government who thrives on the profitability of war? We KNOW November isn't going to change anything, no matter WHO wins. But I am willing to entertain this: let's say the US DID announce that they are done fighting, and they disarm the military and dismantle the entire program... Soldiers return home... borders are now open and we are able to go anywhere we please, provided we do not infringe on anyone else's rights to opt out. Obviously this would be a leap of faith, as we cannot FORCE any other country to do the same. It would have to be of their own volition. How do you stop lawlessness and impress upon other countries to put down the weapons? Desire for control is natural and inherent... somewhere, SOMEONE is going to test you...

Bill Mancuso
Unfortunately, Peter, worldwide statistics support Zed’s argument. Even if you break the statistics down in America alone, states with stricter gun control laws like banning assault weapons, mandatory trigger locks and safe storage laws, have far fewer gun deaths. It's not really about taking away anyone's guns, as the militant, profit-driven at the expense of limitless innocent lives NRA would falsely have you believe. It's mostly about limiting magazine capacity, getting weapons off the market that no one outside the military or SWAT would need, getting rid of the massive 'no background check' loophole and enacting stricter safety and storage laws.

I'm also getting tired of the Constitution being used as a bludgeon to support the ludicrous 'Bruce Willis action hero' fantasies that people have. How many rocket launchers did the Founding Fathers believe one person should be allowed to own? Times have changed. 200 year-old living documents must change to reflect modernity. 200 years ago, there weren't even any organized police forces to speak of. Back then, one of the townsfolk would be selected to be put on guard duty at night to detain any suspicious persons. There was no organized US military to speak of. Regular citizens were expected to be called up in time of need. 200 years ago, England trying to take back their seceded colonies was an actual threat. And no militia was even close to "well-regulated" back then - using the definition of the time. Not even Washington's army. So, I don't know how a random bunch of citizens banding together to take over the government could ever be considered "well-regulated," so I'm not quite sure why that term is even used. I guess just so the document sounds more lofty and official. Also, let’s not forget what originally influenced the addition of the Second Amendment to the Constitution – The English Bill of Rights of 1689. It protected Protestants from being disarmed by Catholic King James II who was trying to rule without consent from Parliament. I guess these days, since Christians are trying to take over America, all the other religions should have their gun rights protected in case of a religious battle royale. (It may have saved those Sikhs from the stupid bigot who thought they were Muslims. And it could save the Muslims from the next stupid bigot who gets his religions correct.)

A world-wide cease-fire is not necessary. That's a false argument only used to support no gun legislation. Like I said, it is a fact that gun deaths even greatly vary from state to state, according to their level of gun control laws.

And we don't need to shut down the war industry. We just need to not fund it 30% more than the next 10 highest countries' defense budgets all put together. Who exactly are we fighting around the world (that we don't unnecessarily want to)? Our defense budget is $740B. China's is $90B. The next 9 countries' budgets are all around $50B.

To need a stockpile of guns to protect yourself from the government is a ridiculously silly argument. To want a gun or two - or even three - to protect your family from an intruder is completely valid. But no one needs a 100-round magazine to do it. Not to protect your family. Not to go deer hunting. Not to go skeet shooting. Not to defend yourself from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

The second amendment applies to the citizens and it has been established as an "individual" right by the supreme court. Same as free speech or right to vote. Furthermore the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It was the founding father's intent that the common man have arms equal enough to defend against any tyrannical government. Just so happens the Kentucky Long Rifle today is an AR-15. Although you may not need a AR or AK, it's everyone’s right to own one. I'm keeping mine as long as it's legal to have.

Bill Mancuso
And that is exactly what I was talking about. Your argument about the Founding Fathers’ intent - it is not realistic. Stop using it as a club to beat your version of the 2AM into reality. How exactly are you going to fend off a tyrannical government with your AR-15? Is your AR-15 equal to all the military branches of the government? One battleship could take out your whole town. That argument is silly and out of date. I didn't say the 2AM had anything to do with hunting. All the gun enthusiasts and the NRA say that - and that that's why they need their AR-15's. Really? The AR-15 is not today's Kentucky Long Rifle. The Kentucky Long Rifle is today's Kentucky Long Rifle. And through all that selfish justification, statistics still show that places with stricter gun control laws have far fewer gun deaths.

Bill, while normally I agree with you, I have to fight you tooth and nail on this. Stricter laws may equal fewer deaths, but it is in direct proportion to a more oppressive government. [Not in any way does that make even the slightest bit of sense. Nothing is being oppressed except needless death.] I do not own a gun, but I FULLY support those who do, and if I ever decide to purchase one, I am glad that I have the freedom and ability to do so. Stricter laws NEVER stop those who want to commit a crime with a gun [Except for statistical facts.]; they just keep those who are "well regulated" law abiding citizens from obtaining one [Not true. No one has prevented people from buying guns. This is the false argument continually being made.]. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

The reason why the 2am is included was to preserve this nation not just for the here and now, but for hundreds of years to come. We can be thankful that in recent history there has been no threat of foreign invasion or political uprising, but who's to say this can't happen? Just because everything is hunky-dory right now we should repeal the 2am? [No one at all ever is or has suggested to repeal the Second Amendment. Another false, extreme argument. I’ve said it before: If you have to lie to make your case, then you don’t have a case.] WW2 was not that long ago and the Japanese did invade Alaska. NYC, DC, and Chicago have the toughest gun laws on the books, and there are shootings almost on a daily basis, so you can't believe stricter gun laws deter crime. [Except for statistics. Stricter gun laws will not and cannot eradicate all gun crime. No one claims they will. Another false argument.] Even after the 94' assault weapons ban, our own government did a study that showed the ban did nothing to prevent gun crimes. It's just one of those arguments where I think most people can just agree to disagree.

AND, it is BECAUSE the US spends "30 percent more than the next 10 highest countries defense budgets put together" that we SHOULD invest in the personal security of a weapon and ammo... because history ALWAYS repeats itself, and when the snake turns its head to bite you, you are either going to bend over and take it on the ass, or your are going to fight back. If I have said it once, I have said it a million times. Weapons are an insurance policy. You have the freedom to buy as much or as little insurance as you want or can afford, OR you can opt out... but it is better to have more than you need when you need it, than to have too little and be caught in an uncompromising situation without coverage... [No one will ever be able to overthrow the US government. No matter how many weapons they own. False argument.]

Bill Mancuso
No one is arguing to take away the right to own guns. I fully support the Second Amendment. It is not in proportion to a more oppressive government. For a fact, again, states with stricter gun control laws have far fewer gun deaths. This idea that anybody wants to repeal the 2AM is a false extreme reactionary (lie) argument pushed by the profit-driven NRA and its shill, Wayne LaPierre, who skims a cool million off of NRA dues each year for his salary.


It is not real. It is not happening. No one wants to take away your guns. What people want is: mandatory trigger locks, limiting magazine capacity, getting weapons off the market that no one outside the military or SWAT would need, getting rid of the massive 'no background check' loophole and enacting stricter safety and storage laws. Even almost 75% of NRA members want these things, according to right-wing pollster, Frank Luntz. Just Wayne and the congressmen he bought or intimidated are against those measures. No one wants to take away your guns. The Second Amendment is completely safe. And yes, the '94 assault weapons ban was completely stupid because it only banned guns that had a certain "assaulty look" to them as opposed to guns that actually fire lots of bullets in a short amount of time. But that just brings to light that we have no real federal gun control laws of any effect in America. Nobody has done anything substantial to regulate guns in decades - except when Obama relaxed gun laws to allow people to open carry in national parks.

I don't understand why the US spending a ludicrous amount on defense means people should buy guns. No matter how many guns people own, it will NEVER EVER be enough to fend off the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and all their planes, tanks, rockets, missiles, bombs, rocket launchers, helicopters, aircraft carriers, battleships, etc, etc, etc. I've heard the argument by gun lovers that the military would never fire upon American citizens. Two things: 1.) This is a notion you would count on? 2.) If it can be counted on, then that means you don't need guns.

Everyone should be allowed to own guns. That is not the issue. It's about safety and preventative measures. If that asshole who shot up the Batman theater could only get his hands on a 10 or 15 round magazine, he would have been able to shoot 85 or 90 less bullets into the crowd before needing to stop and change the magazine - which opened a window to tackle him.

We can't agree to disagree because your argument is against something that is not happening. The 2AM is completely safe. It's like someone fighting against Barack Obama's health care death panels and someone pointing out that there's no such thing. The only thing being disagreed upon is reality.

Number one: stricter gun control laws do NOT have fewer gun deaths. Look at Illinois. Look at Mexico. Then look at Texas. BIG difference. Second, are you HONESTLY supporting the argument that if EVERYONE in the US owned a gun, you believe that the government would still outgun us? [Yes.] History has PROVEN that this is not true time and time again. Granted, there would be A LOT of bloodshed on both sides, but if the people wanted to overpower the government, not only CAN they do so, they would be successful. Third, you say that you have heard the notion that the military would never fire upon American citizens? Baloney, Hooey and absolute Malarkey! [I agree.] That is ridiculous... not only DOES it happen every day, there are a whole LOT of American "concentration camps" in the event that things DO come to a head. If you have THAT MUCH blind trust in your government, then by all means, disarm yourself. DO NOT tell anyone else how to live their life however... because I for one am NOT that trusting. Fourth, you are referencing the minority and making them out to be FAR bigger than they really are. One lone madman does not make me want to disarm any less, OR wish to diminish me or anyone's capacity to buy as many bullets and magazines as will make me / them feel secure. This would not change if even my own family was involved. I will repeat and rephrase, banning guns and bullets to prevent gun crimes makes as much sense as banning sex or penises or vaginas to prevent sex crimes. [Um…] If the desire is there, it will happen, and history has proven this in the most strict of gun control places and in the least strict. It always comes down to education, TOLERANCE, and respect. It starts in the classroom. Teach LOVE and the bullets will never need to be fired. Teach respect and the bullets will never need to fire. Never light a match and you never have to worry about burning your house down. It does not mean that you ban matches or make the matchboxes smaller. You buy an insurance policy in hopes that you never HAVE to use it.

Bill Mancuso
Yes. Stricter gun control laws DO mean fewer gun deaths. For a calculable fact.

If everyone in the US owned a gun, how would any of them defend against a cruise missile launched from a battleship 30 miles out in the ocean? The Founding Fathers couldn't conceive of the weaponry we have now.

I did not make the "military won't fire on US citizens" argument. It was made by a gun nut. I said it was a stupid notion.

I have told no one how to live their life. Where did you get that from?

I am not for disarming people. I have quite clearly said I am all for the 2AM.

One madman has made no one want to disarm. Stop making that false argument.

No one wants to ban guns and bullets. Stop making that false argument.

Actually, if a woman had a gun or mace or was learned in self defense, that would be more likely to stop sex crimes. Your comparison between banning guns and bullets (which again, no one wants) to prevent gun deaths = banning sex/penises/vaginas to prevent rape is a wildly false equivalency. A more accurate one would be: You are advocating there should be no condoms because that wouldn't prevent unwanted pregnancy = there should be no background checks, limiting magazine capacity, getting weapons off the market that no one outside the military or SWAT would need and enacting stricter safety and storage laws because that wouldn't prevent gun deaths.

If the desire to kill is there, it will be much more difficult for them to make it happen. It may not COMPLETELY stop it, but why are you against making it more difficult for madmen to get their hands on guns? Even if it only stops 1 out of 10 madmen, is that not a good thing? If the theater mass murderer couldn't purchase a 100-round ammo drum (what possible reason could anyone ever need that for?) and instead had to purchase ten 10-round magazines (same amount of bullets - no rights infringed upon) he would have had to reload after 10 shots instead of 100. He would have been stopped during the magazine switch at 90 less bullets fired into people. [The drum jammed before firing all 100 rounds. This was just an example.]

And yes, we should educate. Tolerance and respect. I thought we already were. How's it working out? Do people still not know what guns are made for?

And one last time - No one wants to take away guns. Please stop making that false argument. Please.

“NEVER EVER be enough to fend off the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and all their planes, tanks, rockets, missiles, bombs, rocket launchers, helicopters, aircraft carriers, battleships, etc, etc, etc." How did that theory work out for us in Vietnam, or the Russians in 1980 in Afghanistan? The 94' ban did impose a 10 round magazine capacity and any person with practice can switch out mags in about 2-3 seconds. To say that this horrible tragedy would have been stopped because he was limited to only 10 shots is foolish. In fact, I think the evidence was that his magazine in fact jammed during the shooting. Anyone who knows anything about the AR system knows that drum magazines almost always jam. Also it has been shown that in all gun related incidents only about less than 2% was an assault rifle used. [Why bother trying to possibly prevent even 2% of murders? Is this what you’re saying?] Say what you want about the NRA, but it does do a lot of positive, like education and training programs [And get a whole lot of people murdered.] and I am all for restricting guns of any kind to the mentally ill, or persons with a criminal record. The problem with the CO tragedy is that he had no criminal record or history of mental illness. I'm not sure how to restrict someone from buying a firearm and knowing their intent. [Which is where reducing magazine capacity comes in. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t practiced enough to switch out a magazine in 2 seconds as in your ludicrously oversimplified example of why no one should ever even try to prevent any gun murders ever.] His intent was obviously to harm people, but that is like saying you can't buy a car because I don't know if you will drink and drive and kill someone. [No, it fucking isn’t. At all. Not even goddamn close.] If you are going to ban guns, then why not ban them all? [Sing it with me: No one is trying to ban all guns. Just full auto weapons that even the police can’t use. Keep your fucking hand guns and rifles.] The argument that we should ban some guns, but not others is not logical. [The argument that “the argument that we should ban some guns, but not others is not logical” is not logical. There is quite a noticeable difference in the amount of damage able to be done between a gun that fires 100 rounds per second and one that fires 5 rounds per second.] Finally, I do respect your opinion Bill, all I was saying was that I don't think we can really say anything on this forum that will change each others perspective. [Agreed. I write for the readers, not my discussion-mates.]

Bill Mancuso
Yes, Vietnam and Afghanistan would be the same exact situation as in America. (?)

The NRA leaders are against what its members want.

If the CO shooter only had a 10-round mag, he potentially could have been stopped then. He was not an expert magazine switcher. He was a nut-job. Being the opposite of foolish, your argument actually proves my point.

If the CO shooter could only buy a 10-round mag, it wouldn't matter his intent. And no one's Constitutional rights would be infringed upon. You could buy a million 10-round mags if you could afford it. 100-round magazines are not Constitutionally protected.

It is not like saying you can't buy a car. Cars are manufactured for transportation. Guns are manufactured for killing. You are making a false argument. You could make that false argument about anything. Cans of peas should be illegal because we don't know if someone will use it to beat someone to death with. Scissors. Frying pans. 2x4's. Desk lamps.

Why ban all guns? That extremist suggestion would be against the Constitution. Do people need MAC-10's for any reason? How about M249 SAW's? Should there be no restrictions on M2 Brownings? Maybe those weapons should be banned and leave the shotguns, rifles and hand guns alone. That is logical.

I respect your opinion as well. I guess I just don't understand why anyone would advocate for status quo gun control when clearly it is costing lives needlessly. People can own guns and live easily with restrictions and not have their rights infringed upon all at the same time. If that stops a few nuts along the way, then some more people will get to go home to their families.

I did not say that you told anyone how to live their life. I said that if you choose to disarm yourself, fine, but if I feel that I need 50 guns and 5000 rounds of ammo, that is my choice and no one has a right to quell that. [No one is trying to. Just put them in a 10-round clip, not a 5000-round clip. No rights infringed.]

You said, "One madman has made no one want to disarm. Stop making that false argument." -- You are misinterpreting me. I repeat: One lone madman does not make ME want to disarm any less, OR wish to diminish anyone's capacity to buy as many bullets and magazines as to make me / them feel secure. Nothing false about it. There are plenty of people that would want to prevent others of these abilities. I am not one of them. [I did misinterpret this. Apologies. However, there are still no people that want to prevent others from these abilities. Like I said in the last post – the left-wing extremists are ignored by the left-wing normals, whereas the right-wing extremists have been embraced and now run the show over there.]

You said, "No one wants to ban guns and bullets. Stop making that false argument." I am not MAKING that argument. I am however supporting the right of any law abiding citizen to be able to aquire and maintain any weapon they choose, provided they are responsible and "well-regulated" individuals. [He said, “I will repeat and rephrase, banning guns and bullets to prevent gun crimes makes as much sense as banning sex or penises or vaginas to prevent sex crimes.” That statement only works if he believes people want to ban guns and bullets. The false notion that people want to ban guns and bullets is a main theme of his argument. Or am I misinterpreting again?]

You said "If everyone in the US owned a gun, how would any of them defend against a cruise missile launched from a battleship 30 miles out in the ocean? The Founding Fathers couldn't conceive of the weaponry we have now." THAT is a ridiculous argument, and one that has no context in this discussion. We are not talking about long-range battles here. There ARE ways to counter that, but WE are talking about guns, and moreso, about firepower. Keep to the topic. [Don’t worry. I’ll get to this.]

You asked me " why are you against making it more difficult for madmen to get their hands on guns?" I am not against keeping guns out of madmen's hands; I am against reducing liberty for assumed safety. Owning a 100 round ammo drum does not make one a madman, nor does using one. It all depends on the context of the use. You said "(same amount of bullets - no rights infringed upon)"... not true. If you are denying someone the ability to defend themself against another person with that capability, you are infringing upon their rights to liberty. Again, rocket launchers, grenades, nukes, etc. do not apply here. We are talking guns. [This sentiment ignores the point of making these high-capacity magazines difficult to obtain for everybody and falsely makes it seem like robbers or rapists are showing up with 100-round magazines. More false extremes. Does this mean people should walk around the mall with their 100-round AR-15’s slung on their backs in case the next spree killer shows up? You know, so they can equally defend themselves?]

You said "Do people need MAC-10's for any reason? How about M249 SAW's?" - Obviously people do, otherwise why are they in existence? [Obviously people need to shoot heroin, otherwise why is it in existence?]

From a friend:

I own a gun because:
a.) It is my right.
b.) Not because I don't trust the police or our military to always do the right thing but, because I don't trust our politicians to do the right thing.
c.) Because I don't trust the police to be there when I need them. The average response time is 12 minutes. The time it would take somebody to break into my house, kill my loved ones and leave is FAR less than that. [Every time I hear this argument, the average response time is different. It’s a fair point, I just wish the “facts” were consistent.]

These [cherry-picked] numbers are from:

a) The CDC and FBI (2007-2009 homicide statistics, latest available)

b) Violence Policy Center for the numbers of 'concealed carry killers' (2007-present, including Aurora, CO shooting)

c) Various state law enforcement agencies for the permit numbers, though it is actually higher as some of those are about three years old.

Close to 300M legally-owned guns in US

40 – 45% of Americans (138M-ish) own guns.

Approximately 20% of Americans (61M-ish) own handguns.

2007-2009 – 28759 gun homicides in US

2007 – current: 462 criminal homicides by those with legal carry permits using their legally-obtained firearms.

Number of shooters in those incidents: 343

Number of carry permit holders in US: 8,588,305 (based on latest data from the states, does not include Illinois, Washington DC)

The [cherry-picked] math:

1.6% of total criminal homicides involving firearms were conducted by those with legal permits. (This number is likely too high, as the VPC has numbers for 2010, 2011 and 2012 while the latest information from CDC and FBI goes through 2009. Some of these instances may have been legitimate cases of self-defense but the victim may not have had the legal portion of firearms training that would have helped him in court.)

Percentage of permit holders using their guns to commit criminal homicide: 0.00004%.

Even if you assume 900 (which is grossly inflated, but makes the math easier) legally owned firearms were used by those people to commit criminal homicide, that means of the 300000000 firearms, 0.000003% were used in such a way.

So...if you want to promote gun control you are doing so because 0.000003% of those guns were used illegally. If you want to promote greater restrictions on carry permits, you are doing so because 0.00004% of those permit holders used their guns to illegally kill someone.


The other 99.99996% of legal permit/license holders are statistically more law abiding than non-gun-carrying citizens. And we, contrary to (un)popular belief, own and carry guns because we recognize that protecting our families, friends and country is an inherently strong thing to do.

There is nothing wrong with using any and all means necessary to stop a threat to the life of myself or people I love. If using a gun as an equalizer is what it takes then so be it. Guns are like fire extinguishers. I'd rather have one and never need it than not have one and wish I did.

crime rates/gun shots has other reasons, I hope these policy makers understand, banning something has never showed any statistical downfall of crimes or people dying of gun shots. I think, the smartest thing will be, to control the types of things you show through television, through selling toy guns to your children. owning a gun is not the problem, using that gun, is the problem. [Guns don’t kill people, television kills people.]

Hmmm... interesting when compared to other weapons:  

Bill Mancuso
“DO NOT tell anyone else how to live their life however... because I for one am NOT that trusting." I guess I just misinterpret this sentence.

Nobody wants to "disarm" anyone. Or prevent them from buying bullets.

People are talking about defending themselves from a tyrannical government. I said no amount of guns could protect from the extremely far superior firepower of the government. You called my argument ridiculous and contextless and off-topic. My argument is completely on-topic, in context and valid. Unless there is some special rule about how the "tyrannical" government is allowed to quash a rebellion that I don't know about? If the US Government wanted to stop a rebellion, they could. And they would - by any means necessary. You can't just say things don't count if they go against your argument.

Not being able to buy a 100-round magazine does not even remotely in any way infringe upon anyone's rights or liberty. THAT is a ridiculous argument.

No. Nobody needs an M249 SAW or any of those other weapons outside of the military. They're in existence for fighting war. Not home defense - that is, if you still want your walls and the neighbor across the street's walls left standing after you've defended your home from a burglar.

From your friend:
I'm glad he owns a gun. He is correct, it is his right. It's what I've been saying all along. The Gabrielle Giffords shooting, the Colorado Batman movie shooting and the Sikh temple shooting (most mass murders, for that matter) were all done by people with legal guns. That tells me the laws we have now are so weak that even enforcing them is useless. That's why we need stricter ones - just like 75% of the NRA members advocate.

Guns don't kill, television and toys kill? Stricter gun control has, for a fact that everybody here is consciously ignoring, shows a statistical downfall of crimes and people dying of gunshots. Nobody [fucking] wants to ban guns. Why is this [fucking] fact continually being [fucking] ignored as well?

Peter, you might want to take a closer look at those Wiki Gun Violence statistics again. Guns are about an average of 60-75% of all homicides. Look at the percentage of homicides that are from guns. In the first one, Louisiana, 10.1 out of 12.7 homicides (per 100,000), are from guns. That's 79.5% of homicides from guns. All the states (mostly southern) with the laxest gun laws are the highest on the gun homicide percentage levels. You've just reinforced my point.

Great stats Peter [?] and to note that CA, IL, MD all have some sort of state regulated assault weapon ban they are near the top of the list. [!] In VT you don't even need any type of weapons permit to carry a handgun and that state is second to last. [Nobody lives in Vermont. Fucking context.]

There is no legitimate need to own a Ferrari that goes 200 mph either, but I can own one. Although the AR was designed as a military weapon, it does have other practical applications, regardless of what opponents will tell you. [Examples. Why never any examples to statements of purported fact?]

I think Peter and Sasha are on the right track.. with tolerance, respect and education. […because I don’t care about facts, either.] I grew up around guns and was well informed about them. Most importantly to respect any firearm and how to handle it properly. The first thing they tell you in FA education is that there are no second chances, once that trigger is pulled, that is it. I think that most people fail to recognize that fact and with so much on TV and video games people have become desensitized. I have taken friends to a range before who have had no prior experience with a FA. Almost everyone walked away with a greater appreciation of what a FA is capable of and the sheer power of it. I would be for some sort of at least mandatory basic safety class, hunter education class, or otherwise, but to ban certain weapons all together simply wouldn't do it. IMHO.

Bill Mancuso
Great stats? I guess you see murder differently than I do.

The "assault" weapons that are banned in CA, IL & MD are all those inconsequential "assaulty looking" guns like in the '94 Brady Bill that are just normal rifles like the semi-auto AR-15 that you own, not what rational people would consider actual assault weapons like a full-auto SAW. And those bans are completely pointless anyway because weapons manufacturers have circumvented them with minor weapons design changes. Ever hear of the "bullet button?" As for VT, there were 16 people total murdered in a state with less people in it than Essex County, NJ, and 1/5 of them were by gun. That's hardly an endorsement for wanting no real gun control legislation. Aside from that, some states with more lax laws can have fewer gun murders and some states with more strict laws can have more gun murders. It's an overall statistic. Your choosing of a few random states is equivalent to people saying, "It was cold this winter. That proves climate change is a hoax!"

Over 60% of all homicides in the US are committed with guns. That doesn't include accidental killings and suicides.

Gun-related death rates are 8 times higher in the US than economically similar countries. The US is on par with politically unstable third-world countries regarding gun murder levels.

In 2009, the US had 3 intentional gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. The UK, with their very restrictive gun laws, had .07. That's 40 times lower.

And I accept that you WANT an AR-15 "Ferrari," but what do you NEED an AR-15 for? It's not used for hunting. It's too impractical for home defense, a hand gun would fit a little better in the nightstand. And when I want to shoot one for target practice, I just rent one at the range. Gun people seem to generally confuse 'infringement of rights' with 'wants.'

I admit Peter and Sasha are not on the wrong track - respect and tolerance should absolutely be taught - but we are already taught tolerance and respect. It's obviously not enough for Americans. Blaming TV, toys and a lack of respect is irresponsible and tries to divert attention from what is really killing people - guns. I played with guns that looked real when I was a kid. Today, they're painted fluorescent. I watched GI Joe, A-Team, Rambo, Cobra, Die Hard, Commando, Raw Deal, Miami Vice, Crime Story, Hunter, Wanted Dead or Alive and a whole bunch more violent, gun shooting TV and movies when I was a kid. I still love violent TV and movies. I was never taught to respect guns. But, yet, I still do. Somehow, I don't think it is TV and lack of respect of guns that makes mass murderers do mass murdering.

I love going to the shooting range. I'm actually quite good with guns. Would I trust myself to start firing back at someone shooting up a crowd? Not on your life. Emphasis: YOUR life. Because that's who I'll hit, more innocent bystanders. Highly trained police have about an average of a 15% accurate hit ratio in a firefight. Is the average citizen better? No. Not even close. But if the madman has to reload after his 10-round mag is empty, if anyone is alive and close enough, that at least gives a brave soul an attempt at a tackle. And when you're at the shooting range, you can reload your 10-round mag and keep firing - no rights infringed. And if you're home is invaded, I'm pretty sure a 10-round mag will do the trick (and no one is stopping you from having 10 more mags ready to go). No burglar is ever going to stick around to risk his life in a protracted firefight just to see if you have anything worth stealing. The first or second shot will send him running - if you miss him. Home protected - no rights infringed. And if hunters can't get that buck with 10 rounds (he’s bolted after the first miss anyway), he should try fishing. No rights infringed.

It's too bad that you're inconvenienced by having to pause and reload at the range. But your personal inconvenience shouldn't trump the potential safety of others' lives.

It seems to me that the main thing we are disagreeing on are the acceptance of statistical facts. I agree that you don't like the facts. But that doesn't make the facts wrong.

You keep going back to the arguments "Why do you need it" and "No rights infringed". [Gun people keep saying they need every gun and option ever available and their rights are infringed if they are forced to have a 10-round magazine, but I can’t counter the argument?] The first is irrelevant and the second is just wrong. You also said “And when I want to shoot one for target practice, I just rent one at the range.” So it is acceptable for businesses and corporations to own them but not citizens?
First off: Why does anyone "need" anything? I knew someone once who collected newspapers... or I should say hoarded them. He had stacks of them throughout his house and an entire garage FULL of them- a couple paths in between stacks and no room for anything else. Why did he need them? They weren’t hurting anything, or affecting ME, [Right. Guns don’t kill, newspaper stacks kill?] but anyone would agree that it is excessive by anybody's definition, and we can probably agree that hoarders have underlying issues that go beyond their "stuff", but it doesn't change the fact that asking them why they need it is a moot point. As for "no right's infringed", let me paint this example: Your castle is invaded by an angry mob. [Happens all the time. Not just in false, extreme examples.] Your neighbor had several different cannons installed in his castle along with a stockpile of grapeshot, canister shot and shrapnel. You mocked him for such excessive protection of such few treasures and question his intentions. You yourself do not have many treasures either, and your house is just as grand as his, but you figure that you do not need anything more than one single cannon and a few cannonballs to defend it; that should do the trick. So one night an angry mob is heard in the distance; they go to your neighbor's castle first, who fires his cannons full of little projectiles, and though his “castle” did suffer a little at their hands, he is successful in thwarting the invading party. The invaders decide that he is no match, so they turn on your castle and begin their assault. You fire your first shot, then take time reloading while they scale the walls. You may get a second shot out, but not until they are already in and your castle is breached. [Apparently, my neighbor has his whole family reloading but only I live at my castle.]

Now do I think that my house will be invaded? I hope not, but according to the Department of Justice, there is a 1 in 5 chance. 38% of home invasions include assault and 60% escalate to rape. My family had our hotel room invaded while we were out at dinner, and they were still in the room when we got back. We sensed something was wrong and got out fast, going across the lot to report the problem. They were fortunately scared off when they heard us come through the door, but not without taking all we had with them. The response time of police to the scene: over 20 minutes. And they sent one car. We never retrieved a thing. [If you had a gun, you could have killed the robbers in this anecdote.]

Another time, a gunfight happened in the street just outside my house in NJ, footsteps away from my front door. A gang of over 20 were screaming and yelling, and flashing their weapons. Now they only had pistols, but when you have a gang of pistol-toting pissed off people, it is not something you want to be around for, but there was no way out. Police were called (again over 15 minutes response time, but they sent several cars) and the crowd quickly scattered. Thankfully again, no innocent bystanders were hurt, but this wasn’t the first or the last time it occurred. [Why didn’t you cut them all down with your cannons and stockpile of grapeshot?]

There is a legal term, "disparity of force." If there is one man violently attacking one woman there is a disparity of force in which case a firearm is recognized as an equalizer. If TWO men violently attack one woman there is a much greater disparity of force. So one untrained, non-criminal, 110 pound female armed with a fireplace poker against two 170+ pound male criminals (who may or may not have been armed) isn’t going to be much of an equalizer. Sometimes you need a stronger insurance policy. [I don’t even know where this is going. It just seems like talking for talk’s sake.]

Again, I am not saying that the zombie apocalypse is going to be knocking down our doors anytime soon. [Every fear-mongered scenario you present seems to.] But if you do not have ample insurance coverage and you find yourself in any similar situation, you have a problem, and you better reconsider having a disparity of force to cover yourself and your loved ones. Everyone should have an “apocalypse now” fund in the bank, an exit strategy and a “Plan B” in an emergency, a “GO bag” packed and a healthy supply of food and water to last at least 1-2 months. And that is recommended in case of Natural Disaster. Why does that not apply when the “natural disaster” is human aggression? [What the fuck is happening? He must watch the Glenn Beck end-of-the-world commercials where he sells this crap. It’s the type of fear-mongering nonsense that goes on over there. Emergency “Plan B” two-month Natural Disaster GO bag, indeed.]

Owning a gun, learning how to use it, when to shoot it and when not to shoot it is about responsibility and empowerment. Education and training are key, and so are options. It's about "NOT being a victim" and saving yourself when you're a victim. And it's not about taking a life, vigilante justice or punishment. It is about having the right tool for the job. And size DOES matter. I own a chainsaw. I have only needed it once. But I am glad to have had it when I did. Try chopping down a tree with a butter knife or hammering in a nail with a shoe. [Totally comparable situations. Not exaggerated for effect at all.] Again, you may feel it is excessive for you. That is you, and that is your right. Then don’t get one. But if I want to stockpile newspapers or chainsaws or AK47s, it isn’t hurting you… unless and until you become the aggressor.

Bill Mancuso 
People don't need full-auto weapons. They want them. And not being able to buy full-auto weapons infringes no one's rights. Those are facts that are relevant and right. There are hundreds of thousands of other guns you can purchase. How is your right to buy guns infringed upon? It is not. It's like religious people claiming their ability to practice their religion is infringed upon because they have to provide birth-control to women. How is their ability to practice their religion infringed upon? It is not.

Newspapers don't kill people. That is a false comparison.

Cannonballs and angry mobs invading castles? Talk about irrelevant.

I said having several guns to defend your home is completely valid, so why do you keep arguing with me on this?

If any of that screaming that gang of 20 people tried to enter your house, are you suggesting owning a full-auto machine gun would solve that problem? I think if any of them entered your home and you started shooting a handgun, they would not stick around.

I have already said a woman carrying a gun to protect herself from rape was valid, so I don't know what your argument is against me here.

As for your "Plan B," "Go Bag," "Natural Disaster" scenario, I agree, owning guns is completely valid, so why do you keep arguing with me on this?

People keep saying that we shouldn't punish the lawful gun owners for what criminals do. All these mass murderers keep purchasing guns lawfully. How many times do people have to be executed by mass murderers with lawfully purchased guns before we are allowed to consider the possibility that we need some new gun legislation that actually might protect people since the current laws that make it easy for these mass murderers to lawfully purchase guns are obviously not effective? Even 75% of NRA members are with me and against their highly paid corporate lobbyist leaders on this issue.

People don't "need" anything but food. They WANT everything else. And rights ARE infringed when you say that one party can have something but another party cannot. [When did anybody ever say that?]

You are correct, Newspapers don't kill people. People kill people. Newspapers are a fire hazard. Fire kills people. So does gunfire. Again, people kill people. It still comes down to responsibility and culpability. [Right. My bad. A pile of newspapers sitting in the corner of a room is just as dangerous as a 100-round magazine on a fully automatic machine gun purchased without a background check. I used to think that was a wildly false and inaccurate comparison, but I’ve seen the light.]

You say "People keep saying that we shouldn't punish the lawful gun owners for what criminals do. All these mass murderers keep purchasing guns lawfully." The act of purchasing a gun lawfully does not make it a crime or mean the gun should be banned, and it CERTAINLY does not make every law abiding gun owner and purchaser a mass murderer. [No one has said any of those things.] The moment a law abiding citizen strikes out at an unsuspecting party, they are no longer law abiding. We do not need gun legislation. We need PEOPLE legislation. People do not need to prove "why" they want it or need it, but should be able to prove they are responsible, "well regulated" individuals. As for "mass murderers lawfully purchasing guns" - you just described every military the world over. [Yes. The military. Exactly like mass murderers.]

Bill Mancuso
If you're going to make the extreme argument that nobody needs anything except food, then nobody should be allowed to have any guns at all. Or anything else. But that's not my argument. It is the opposite, actually. I am for the 2AM. People should be able to protect themselves. However, nobody needs a SAW except military personnel. And that doesn't infringe anyone's right to buy the thousands of other gun varieties available. No party is allowed to have something that another party isn't. I'm not sure what you mean by that. Unless you feel mentally insane people should not be restricted from purchasing guns (Yes, I know that's not what you mean. I'm just busting your balls.).

Guns are specifically designed and built to kill. Newspapers are specifically designed and built to be read. We have gone over this false comparison before. People can also use a can of peas to bludgeon someone to death. Your extreme argument would have pea cans banned.

I have not said every law abiding gun purchaser is a mass murderer. Please stop extremely overreacting to everything I say. All I said was that the laws we have now are obviously ineffectual. I think we need better laws. Rabid gun owners seem to think that the solution is that everybody should have guns. Yay for 1880.

I have posted statistics showing tighter gun regulation reduces gun deaths. You posted a link to Wikipedia gun death statistics that completely backs up those regulation statistics. We are starting to go in circles.

How about them Olympics?

You are funny! Round and round the hamster wheel we go! Nobody NEEDS a LOT of things... and yet, we have lots of inessentials, but Guns are not one of them. Guns are a tool; designed and built to project something with great force. Some tools are used every day; some tools rarely, and some I have NEVER used. But I HAVE them if the need arises. Like ANY tool, they CAN be used to kill, but often times the mere PRESENCE of a gun will suspend any act of aggression one may have. This is the REASON they are referred to as the Great Equalizer. Anything can be used as a weapon; I am not negating that. But a GUN is nothing more than a tool for defense; an insurance policy in the event of necessity. I am not accusing you of saying every law abiding gun purchaser is a mass murderer, nor am I overreacting. But you DO use very colorful language (Rabid Gun Owners, etc) I agree, we need better laws. But I disagree that if a qualified individual wants to keep a SAW or a saw, they should be allowed, as BOTH serve a purpose... and the laws should be based around that.

Bill Mancuso
No. There is absolutely no reason you need to fire 5.56x45mm NATO shells at 750 rpm with a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet per second in a sustained firefight. You are not a soldier in a war. And that "Free Speech Unit" picture is photoshopped.

[He posted this picture on Facebook not related to this post…]

LOL! I figured that the "free speech unit" pic is a probable fake, as there is no substantiated evidence otherwise that it is authentic. My "WTF!" was not stated as an acceptance of truth. For all I know, that pic could be a set prop. SPEAKING OF ASSUMPTIONS: As for the first part of your post, YOU may not have an "absolute reason" to, but you cannot assume that someone else will NOT have a reason... I may not be a "soldier in a war" but I AM a part of a "well-regulated militia"...albeit a dormant one.


Bill Mancuso
I am well-regulated, too. Every morning like clockwork.

Exactly where do we reach the point that the "militia" is armed? Should grenades, rockets, tanks, missiles, etc be legal to own? I mean, those could mean the difference if China invades, right? I'm not actually advocating ownership of those items, but I'd like to know exactly what the standard is supposed to be.

What a lengthy, and predictable debate. :)

I will say at the outset that I tend to be a firm defender of the SA. I don't particularly care whether or not I can conceive of a reason for why a law-abiding citizen wants or needs X. If you are Joe Law-Abiding-Citizen, and you want to own a M-60 for squirrel hunting, knock yourself out as long as you aren't hunting squirrels in a densely populated neighborhood - good luck.

I don't care at all about that. What I do think is worth examining are situations where unstable mother-f'ers legally get their hands on large numbers of weapons, and then go on rampages with them.

So, what's a guy to do when he wants to preserve the rights of law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously wanting to trample the bejesus out of the rights of unstable mother-f'ers?

The problem is that this topic is completely toxic. It's not possible to have a reasonable policy discussion about it because one side views any attempts at having a discussion as a slippery slope to them living in a forcibly disarmed police state.

And Peter - your philosophy of teaching love and respect doesn't work on unstable mother-f'ers. So if you or Brad have some other way to address unstable mother-f'ers getting their hands on vast stockpiles of weapons legally, I'm all ears. That's all I'd really like to prevent. If Brad needs to buy an M1 Abrams tank for chipmunk hunting, I fully support that (assuming he's not secretly an unstable mother-f'er of course).

Bill Mancuso
I can't say I disagree with you, RB. [Although, I don’t completely agree, either. The problem is, anyone can buy a gun legally at any of the gun shows all over the country or from websites because there are no background checks there. So, technically, anyone can be a “legal” gun owner without being a law-abiding citizen. Even unstable motherfuckers. A statistical loophole the NRA exploits in order to push those manipulated statistics that Brad spewed earlier.]

RB, thank you for responding to this thread. Let me respond by saying that whether my "philosophy of teaching love and respect" works (or not) on the "unstable mother-f'ers" is irrelevant. [No. It was spot-on. It can’t, won’t and doesn’t work on unstable motherfuckers. Teaching them respect for guns is irrelevant. Guns need to not be available to them.] We do not have to try to change them; but to UNDERSTAND them. You cannot change what you do not comprehend and trying to only muddies the water and makes an already confusing and emotional situation even more toxic and harder to correct. Unfortunately human beings have been trying to do so for millennia. If you pardon the pun, we tend to "shoot first and ask questions later." Granted, some accidents have led to very profound and life enhancing/saving things that we continue to enjoy and build upon... but at massive costs to life and liberty. People are always going to die at the hands of other people. To limit the "casualties" we need to start by teaching our children tolerance. Ultimately "love and respect" goes beyond rehabilitation; it teaches compassion, humbleness, reflection and stability. Once we can realize in ourselves that we are no different than the things we fear, we can overcome fear and return to a healthy way of living in harmony with our surroundings.... and that includes death and killing. It takes understanding, love and respect to get there. As for anyone getting their hands on vast stockpiles of weapons; like anything, education is the key. If you want an M1 Abrams tank, then there are going to be checks and balances that go along with that purchase. You need to show that you are responsible and "well regulated" enough to be able to command such an item. Of course, one person's sanity is another person's crazy- so this is a fine line to walk, but there is a common ground. We need to meet there in order to move forward in harmony. In order to fix anything, you need to have a keen understanding of what is wrong, and then keep and hone the right tools for the job... and sometimes that tool will be an M1 or a SAW. A good insurance policy is the one you have and never need, but the best insurance policy is teaching tolerance and respect. I will close with a quote from Sun Tzu: "For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." [That lesson teaches the opposite of everyone owning guns without the slightest bit of regulation, even for mentally unstable people who should just be taught love and respect.]

*** *** ***  *   *  *** *** ***

33 states have no regulations for even a simple background check.

There are approximately 5,000 gun shows per year.

Anyone can buy guns at almost all of these shows without any background check.

Because of NRA lobbying.

The NRA owns Congress.

*** *** ***  *   *  *** *** ***

Now is not the time to talk about gun control, right?
Three things about this story that stick out to me:

1.) “Jacob Tyler Roberts had armed himself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had several fully loaded magazines when he arrived…”

He stole the gun from a neighbor, true. If there had been mandatory trigger locks or mandatory storage in a safe, would he have been able to fire this stolen gun at a mall? I know, I know, mandatory trigger locks or safe storage takes away your freedom and equates to ‘taking away your gun.’

2.) “In response to previous mass shootings elsewhere, the first arriving officers were trained to form teams and go inside instead of waiting for SWAT. Employees at the mall also received training to handle such a situation.”

This is how often mass shootings occur now. It’s standard training for officers and fucking mall employees.

3.) "I figure if he's shooting a gun, he's gonna run out of bullets," DeCosta said, "and I'm gonna take him."

The standard AR-15 magazine holds 30 rounds. He had several. DeCosta’s statement explains the entire point of reducing magazine capacity. Reloading. An opportunity to stop the shooter before continuing his murder spree. I know, I know, reducing magazine capacity takes away your freedom and equates to ‘taking away your gun.’

Mass murder killing spree victims disagree.

*** *** ***  *   *  *** *** ***

Remember what I said about unstable motherfuckers being legally allowed to purchase guns?

From the article:
“Sales conducted over the Internet also have been linked to mass killings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. In 1999 eBay announced it was prohibiting online gun sales, according to the Brady Center lawsuit.

Craigslist did the same in 2007. and Google AdWords also prohibits the listing of firearms for sale, the suit says.

An undercover investigation of online gun sales by New York City last year found that 62 percent of private gun sellers agreed to sell a firearm to a buyer who said he probably could not pass a background check.”

*** *** ***  *   *  *** *** ***

*** *** ***  *   *  *** *** ***

Rachel Maddow attends NRA convention with Meghan McCain

*** *** ***  *   *  *** *** *** 

As I post this, I am currently in another gun control discussion (and have posted a few other non-answered comments). And yet again, more people owning more guns seems to be the answer to prevent gun violence.

Who knows. Maybe it’ll be done in time to include in this series.

No comments:

Post a Comment