Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => The Coffee Corner => Topic started by: marvpelkey on December 14, 2012, 06:32:37 PM

Title: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: marvpelkey on December 14, 2012, 06:32:37 PM
As a retired cop, I have been associated in various ways to a number of tragedies and, like a lot of cops, have learned to build a pretty thick skin. This one, however, when I heard the news, literally took my breath away.

I'm not religious but, if there is a heaven, may all the victims rest in peace there. And may the shooter receive no such consideration.

Marv
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: stamper on December 15, 2012, 04:02:23 AM
Despite this being the Coffee Corner I hope this subject is closed before it goes any further. I don't think a discussion on the forum is appropriate, especially as all of the facts aren't known.  :(
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 15, 2012, 04:17:29 AM
Despite this being the Coffee Corner I hope this subject is closed before it goes any further. I don't think a discussion on the forum is appropriate, especially as all of the facts aren't known.  :(


What more's to know?

But yes, you're right: it's one of those endless topics that only breeds anger and creates splits. It's all far too late for the States; we have very strict gun laws in the UK but no thug finds himself challenged in discovering where to acquire a gun. Removing millions of legally-held guns doesn't affect the millions of illegal ones by one iota. And mad people are mad, regardless of the laws. And very mad ones are also very clever in their own ways.

It's now an unavoidable part of the dangers of living.

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 15, 2012, 04:41:42 AM
I think any sane person can sympathize with the families of the slain and feel some of the horror of the event.
As for how to stop things like this happening well there probably isn't an easy solution since the factors that lead to these murder/suicides are complex and appear ingrained in society in some parts of the world.
Every now and then enough of the elements for tragedy combine and another massacre results.
Unfortunately the absence of legally acquired firearms appears to present no hindrance.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: michswiss on December 15, 2012, 05:26:16 AM
...
Unfortunately the absence of legally acquired firearms appears to present no hindrance.

...

From the Washington Post

Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 15, 2012, 05:47:30 AM
These tragedies are not limited to the USA, and by the way I am not in favour of lax gun-control laws.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 15, 2012, 06:27:42 AM
From the Washington Post

Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/)

Not to make this discussion any longer than need be, but there is also the case of the Joker in Belgium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendermonde_nursery_attack) who used a knife. The question probably is not one of gun control, but one of how to keep the psychos away from the save-zones.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: michswiss on December 15, 2012, 07:17:15 AM
Not to make this discussion any longer than need be, but there is also the case of the Joker in Belgium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendermonde_nursery_attack) who used a knife. The question probably is not one of gun control, but one of how to keep the psychos away from the save-zones.



Just so you know, I had a close personal friend impacted by the Belgium attack.  I was in Sydney with family on holiday and picked up an SMH in the morning only to see my friend on the cover hugging his wife and sobbing.  I feel these things deeply.

Yes, some people with mental illnesses have done profoundly horrible things.  In this case, it seems the young man used the weaponry his mom had bought legally.  Would he have found another way?  Unanswerable.

Edited to add:
My friend Rik (http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1210347) is on the left with his wife, child and sister in the rest of the frame.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 15, 2012, 07:57:54 AM
As retired military and with 4 years as a police officer in a large California city.. and one of the officers who responded to the San Ysidro massacre back in the 80's, a few days and nights that ran together which I'll never forget and changed my life  since... this impacted in a big way.

I'm not alone in being totally stunned by what I was hearing and seeing on television.  It hurt.  It hurt because there are things we can do and should do which would be very effective while being as politically neutral as possible.  As I was watching the events unfold I penned an article "What Would Have Prevented The Sandy Hook, CT School Shootings?" (http://www.bangkokimages.com/Articles/Steves-Musings/entryid/1208/What-Would-Have-Prevented-The-Sandy-Hook-CT-School-Shootings.aspx) while knowing, sadly, extremists on both sides will ultimately prevent any real progress. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: ErikKaffehr on December 15, 2012, 10:02:49 AM
Hi,

I feel these are horrible things. On the other hand I guess it is not so much about gun control legislature bud crazy minds. Bad things happen in countries with much more restrictive gun controls that in the US.

My thinking is that we have a lot of folks around with disturbed minds. There is also an excessive amount of violence in entertainment and video games. Most people can tell entertainment and real life apart, but some can't.

We had a couple of shootings here in Sweden. In one case a lower rank military officer broke of with his lady friend, got drunk and shot seven young ladies in women's auxiliary corps. In an other case a criminal was refused entry to one of the famous Stockholm restaurants, so he got a submachine gun and shot several guests. Some people always will have arms accessible and some simply don't care about laws.

Sweden had a pretty decent "secretary of state" living in my home town. She was attacked by a person carrying a knife in one of the shopping centers in Stockholm. A nice lady, met her several times in a grocery store. The only person I met who has been killed in violence.

Best regards
Erik
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 15, 2012, 10:20:38 AM
Firstly - a terrible tragedy.  Secondly - I too am not sure if it is a good topic for a discussion forum on LL.

However let's get real.  Any normal person thinks they would be no risk if they owned a firearm.  Likewise we all think we are good drivers - I happen to be one of the best.
But the number of deaths by firearms is directly linked to the number of firearms in circulation.  Fortunately there are only very few people crazy enough to think about killing a whole lot of innocent bystanders, but when weapons are freely available it makes it much more likely that they will be able to get a firearm to carry out a killing.  This seems so obvious as to be true.
Of course the pro-gun lobby would have you believe that if every citizen had the right to carry a firearm around then they would be able to defend themselves against the crazies.  Yeah right.  Every town would soon be having weekly shootouts.

We have many problems here in the UK, but fortunately gun crime is not one.  Tight gun control laws in the UK mean the the US has 13 times the number of deadly shootings per head of population.

There may be many here who know much more than me about this subject, but I don't think the US has badder people than elsewhere - just more guns in circulation.  A knee-jerk reaction is just what the US needs for a change - tighter gun-control laws.  Sure, the baddies would still get them - but many shootings are not done by your average law-breaker, but by people who have lost the plot.

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Justan on December 15, 2012, 10:40:41 AM
The US will not likely see stricter gun control laws in our lifetimes. The gun selling lobby is overwhelmingly strong and unrelenting. While I doubt there is any wisdom of maintaining the US 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, that isnít going to change any time soon.

What is more likely the outcome of these endless strings of shooting are tighter crowd control laws including the types of things that take place when entering airport concourses and Federal buildings. Before too long this type of screening will occur at schools and shopping malls. Controlling the impulses of a few nut cases is a huge technical challenge that turns into another opportunity for an attempted solution by way of a vast work creating project.

There is nothing wrong with discussing this kind of topic. Doing so helps all. On the other hand suppressing reasonable discussion is nearly always misguided. Freedom of discussion is perhaps the most important element of humanity as it leads to positive change.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 15, 2012, 11:50:43 AM
Some information:

1.  Connecticut has the most restrictive gun control in the nation.

2.  The weapons were legally purchased by the school teacher mom.

3.  They appear to have not been stored in such a way that an under aged (you must be 21 to own a handgun) child/friend/casual thief, or other could gain access to them.\

4.  The school had new safeguard policies in place and active.   The kid had to be identified and buzzed in bas on recognition.

5.  They've learned the kid who did this has mental issues.  There is no way he qualifies to own or have access to firearms with existing laws, though because of privacy advocates fighting which information can be entered in the national database used for gun checks I doubt there is one thing about this guy available to law enforcement.

6.  Be careful of quoted statistics.  More guns equal more gun deaths in the same way more humans equals more humans dying by natural means, or accidents, or in any other way people die.  Statistics are not easy for the average person to understand.


With the information available as of now, none of the popular gun control methods would have prevented this shooting. 

What would have worked in this case is proper storage of firearms thereby limiting access.  If this was a law and it had failed, the only possible way to improve this specific situation was to have trained teachers with their own firearms as a first line defence.  Fortunately the schools new policies are said to have prevented  the shooter getting to even more victims.

Sadly all these recent shooting in the temples, malls, schools.. have very similar circumstances. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: marvpelkey on December 15, 2012, 01:06:11 PM
Not sure why some don't think this is an appropriate subject for Coffee Corner. As Justan so aptly notes, hardly anything good results from suppression of discussion. Although the subject is difficult and emotional, the conversation, so far, has been one of the most civil I have witnessed on Lula. Funny, though, the most disagreement has been over whether the topic is suitable for the forum.

Marv
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Vladimirovich on December 15, 2012, 01:23:23 PM
These tragedies are not limited to the USA, and by the way I am not in favour of lax gun-control laws.

Tony Jay

right, but numbers wise USA is so much ahead of other countries by any measure... I mean - Canada is just across the "border" and unlike Mexico it is more similar society in terms of economics/education/mentality/etc... what is so different though... oh, gun laws nationwide.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Vladimirovich on December 15, 2012, 01:35:52 PM
Some information:

1.  Connecticut has the most restrictive gun control in the nation.


the laws shall be nation wide, limiting laws to a state or a city does not solve the problem

2.  The weapons were legally purchased by the school teacher mom.

and that is the problem - she shall not be able to do that and in such quantity...


3.  They appear to have not been stored in such a way that an under aged (you must be 21 to own a handgun) child/friend/casual thief, or other could gain access to them.\

that is your guess only


5.  They've learned the kid who did this has mental issues.  There is no way he qualifies to own or have access to firearms with existing laws, though because of privacy advocates fighting which information can be entered in the national database used for gun checks I doubt there is one thing about this guy available to law enforcement.

1) they learned

and

2) yet you doubt

so there is a way learn legally, unless they learned that illegally now ?



6.  Be careful of quoted statistics.  More guns equal more gun deaths in the same way more humans equals more humans dying by natural means, or accidents, or in any other way people die.  Statistics are not easy for the average person to understand.

what is to be careful about - more guns more deaths from guns, more people more deaths from natural causes = less people less deaths from natural causes, less guns less deaths from guns... however we can easily make less guns w/o any issues, unlike to make less people... so it is a no brainer...

With the information available as of now, none of the popular gun control methods would have prevented this shooting. 

with the information available as of now, making it impossible for a law complying teacher to get any or so many of them would prevent that kind of massacre.

What would have worked in this case is proper storage of firearms thereby limiting access. 

inability to get or have so many guns will work much better on top of proper storage requirements

If this was a law and it had failed, the only possible way to improve this specific situation was to have trained teachers with their own firearms as a first line defence.  Fortunately the schools new policies are said to have prevented  the shooter getting to even more victims.

the only possible way is to outlaw NRA, tax gun owners a lot, implement mandatory fingerprining and DNA collection, huge waiting period during the sales process, ban on line sales, criminal BC (yearly), drug testing (yearly), limit on how many you can own/limit automatic and semiautomatic weapons, implement mandatory insurance payments from guns manufactureres/dealers/owners to a fund to compensate victims and so on... you have the right, true - but we have the right to make it difficult for you.


Sadly all these recent shooting in the temples, malls, schools.. have very similar circumstances. 

indeed, NRA reign of terror in the country.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 15, 2012, 01:42:15 PM
It doesnít matter whether youíre for or against gun control.  Any proposal for gun control that doesnít specifically take the Second Amendment into account isnít realistic.

The U.S. Supreme Court held, in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al. v. HELLER, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.  There can be restrictions on firearms, but under U.S. law it is not possible to make much of a dent in the number of firearms in the U.S.  It is highly unlikely that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn its opinion in Heller within our lifetime, if ever.  The prospects for amending the U.S. Constitution to change the Second Amendment is also nil.  So, at best, gun control can have only a minor effect. 

Gun control has become a political tool aimed more at riling up voter constituencies than real attempts to solve a problem.  The NRA types are being played for fools by the Republicans.  Nobody is really going to take away their guns, but scaremongering drives political contributions and votes.  The Democrats (to a lesser degree on this issue) use gun control in a similar fashion. When trying to rile up their voter base with talk about gun control, they usually gloss over the fact that, under the Second Amendment, they canít really solve, or even make much a dent, in the problem. 

Most Americans (including gun owners) agree on many sensible, legal gun restrictions.  Reasonable and responsible politicians (oxymoron alert!) could easily adopt such restrictions, but then theyíd lose a political ploy, so it ainít gonna happen.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: JeffKohn on December 15, 2012, 01:49:53 PM
I"m sure there's going to lots of discussion about guns and gun control in the near future, but I think Roger Ebert is onto something (http://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2012/12/15/roger-ebert-on-how-the-press-reports-mass-killings-boing-boing/) when he says that the non-stop, sensationalistic coverage these events get in the media plays a significant role in encouraging disturbed individuals to carry out these acts. The media gives these psychos exactly the attention they're wanting.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 15, 2012, 02:01:57 PM
One of the best proposals I've seen for effective gun control: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuX-nFmL0II   ;)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 15, 2012, 02:04:16 PM
If a dent is possible, then this seems to be the place:WeThePeople (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-address-issue-gun-control-through-introduction-legislation-congress/2tgcXzQC?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl)

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 15, 2012, 05:52:06 PM
right, but numbers wise USA is so much ahead of other countries by any measure... I mean - Canada is just across the "border" and unlike Mexico it is more similar society in terms of economics/education/mentality/etc... what is so different though... oh, gun laws nationwide.
Are you going per capita, or just overall?  I tend to agree we have more here, but we are a nation of over 300 million.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 15, 2012, 09:08:58 PM
Are you going per capita, or just overall?  I tend to agree we have more here, but we are a nation of over 300 million.

Richard Branson posted the poster below on his blog (http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/blog/our-thoughts-go-to-every-family-who-lost-a-loved-one)

And before someone points out unequal population sizes, it shall be noted that the listed countries, taken together, have approximately the same population as the U.S. Yet, their gun deaths are only 2.5 % of the U.S. ones. That would be two point five percent, not twenty five, mind you. And yes, I adjusted for the West Germany.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 15, 2012, 09:13:30 PM
And you conclude?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 15, 2012, 09:31:18 PM
And you conclude?

You really need me to spell it out that the U.S. has 40 times more gun deaths than the equivalent number of the developed world taken together? Or that it is a high time for tighter gun-control laws? Specifically and above all to reinstate a ban on assault weapons?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 15, 2012, 11:18:10 PM
Slobodan, I donít have much problem with an assault weapons ban, other than itís just symbolic rather than an effective response to gun violence.  There are several reasons why such a ban is not effective, but perhaps the main reason is indicated in your last two posts.  Your first post talks about handguns, not assault weapons.  Ordinary handguns are the problem, not assault weapons. 

Iíd rather see the time, money and political capital spent on something that would be more effective than an assault weapons ban.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 01:05:10 AM
You really need me to spell it out that the U.S. has 40 times more gun deaths than the equivalent number of the developed world taken together? Or that it is a high time for tighter gun-control laws? Specifically and above all to reinstate a ban on assault weapons?

Predictably the assault weapons ban did little to nothing to prevent gun deaths.  I know some numbers will show it did, other numbers will show it didn't, but the FBI numbers used to debate in Congress (as I remember them, I haven't looked them up recently) showed it to be pretty much a wash.   

A question:  Other than a total all out ban on weapons of all types, (note no weapons in the assault ban class were used in yesterdays shooting (though one AR class rifle was taken to the scene but left in the car, even the shooter knew he didn't need it for what he had to do) unless the mom had purchased illegal high-capacity magazines for the handguns as CT has a 10 round max and so did the assault ban)what current or proposed gun control method would have prevented yesterdays shooting?

Thank you for your answer on the per capita.. do you know where these numbers were drawn from?  Numbers seem to be in abundance but not many pass the smell test.  As an example this source (http://gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states) shows total gun deaths by suicide and total suicides by guns.  Let's take the most current year: 2005 with 32,559 total suicides.  Suicides by gun were 17,002.. This means 15,557 preferred suicide by other than gun or didn't have a gun handy.  If 15, 557 figured out how to kill themselves without a gun my guess is so could have the 17,002.  Suicide is a choice in all but some pretty odd cases, so should this 17,002 number really count when comparing gun deaths to other countries since they don't have a choice?  At a minimum it shows the overall number to not be equitably comparable and the final number used accurate enough to be that meaningful.  At least imo.  Some other numbers in the referenced report.. homicides by guns, and then total homicides (using the latest year) seems like 5013 people figured out how to kill someone without a gun.. couldn't the 9146 who did also have done the same?  The number that really counts is how many would have killed only if a gun was available.. and I don't see that number listed.  Probably because it's impossible to know. 

Numbers from a symbolic viewpoint are powerful.  Not so much from a practical standpoint.  Numbers in context that separate themselves from the politics of an issue are very rare.. but useful if put in a format the average person can understand.. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 16, 2012, 03:44:40 AM
Unfortunately the human being is the real weapon that needs to be controlled.
This is where the true challenge lies.
Some of the issues pertain to the individual but a whole heap are societal.
Precious little effort has been put into addressing any of these issues.
Politicians like legislation but most of measures are of the knee-jerk variety and more importantly legislation only stops the law-abiding but has no effect on those for whom the penalties are of no consequence.
Simple respect and community-consciousness can never be legislated but it can be inculcated in society.
Schools can be helpful in this respect as long as it is realized that they can only ever be effective in reinforcing attitudes and life philosophy. Trying to introduce concepts like these through schools where the concepts are absent in society will be doomed to failure.

This is not a didactic attempt to solve the problems of the world but I think the thoughts raised deserve some thought.
I have a career treating and resuscitating victims of violence either individually or collectively. I have had to deal not only with the victims but also often the perpetrator as well. I have done this on three continents over twenty years so possibly have a little insight.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 16, 2012, 04:36:50 AM
I really think you Americans should follow the example of Australia. When we had a similar massacre at Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1996, in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded by a 28-year-old guy with intellectual disabilities, wielding an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle, we amended our gun-ownership laws, despite great resistance from the gun lobbly and other groups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)#Community_and_Government_Reaction

Since the right to hold arms is in your Constitution, I presume that you would need a referendum in order to change the Constitution. In which case, hold a referendum. If the majority of American citizens remain in favour of the current, lax rules on gun ownership, then so be it. That's democracy in operation.

Everything comes at a price. If the citizens of a nation decide that the right to bear arms takes precedence over the occasional slaughter of a few innocent school children every few years (and it will no doubt happen again), then so be it. Live with the consequences.  :(
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Chairman Bill on December 16, 2012, 04:41:50 AM
Has anyone from the NRA got up on their hind legs yet, & announced that this tragedy could have been avoided, had those kids been packing Glocks & Sig Sauers, with the teacher carrying a Colt Commando?

Some similar level of gross idiocy usually follows these sorts of things. And then the Westboro Baptist Church might have something to say too - something none too delicate & wholly inappropriate, no doubt.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kencameron on December 16, 2012, 04:45:22 AM
As a warm foreign friend to the USA, and a concerned grandparent of US citizens, I wish I could think that you will find some way of reducing the incidence of massacres of your innocents, but I am not optimistic. The second amendment, the incredible number of guns in circulation already, the value placed on violence in your*  culture, the value placed on celebrity, however brief, in your* culture, the grossly inadequate cultural and institutional response to mental illness, the degree of dysfunction in your political system at the moment - all these and other misfortunes make it seem that the maximum degree of  "gun control" of which you are politically and culturally capable, while desirable in itself, may not have much impact. To be specific, a large-scale mandatory gun buyback, as done in Australia, would seem to be out of the question, but, in some lines of argument, essential if  you wanted to make a real  difference. I fear the next horror will be even more appalling.

Everyone responds from fixed positions - the constitutional fundamentalists won't be able to consider the possibility that the second amendment is simply a problem that needs fixing, the people who value their guns and rightly don't consider themselves dangerous to anyone will desperately nitpick the statistics that show, clearly enough, that more guns mean more deaths, the people who hate guns will think that government can fix it by legislation (in the regrettable absence of a virus that selectively eliminated all those southern rednecks). And so on. It is one of those areas where a meeting of minds is difficult to achieve. Intelligent and decent people will say, for example, that "guns aren't the problem, people are the problem", or suggest that the appropriate response would be to arm teachers and give them weapons training. I would regard both of these positions as ludicrous. To respond only to the first - given the kind of problem that more than enough people are, and are likely to remain, having massive numbers of guns around doesn't seem like a good idea.

How to achieve a starting point for discussion? Maybe with an admission that we (by which I mean I, of course - your mileage may vary) don't have the answer. I was impressed by the 12 facts statistics linked above. They reminded me of RSL's definition of street photography - that it doesn't lend itself to an obvious or simple narrative. They don't give unalloyed comfort to either side in the debate.


*I know it isn't just you - our culture too, in different ways, whoever we are.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 04:59:08 AM
Unfortunately the human being is the real weapon that needs to be controlled.
This is where the true challenge lies.
Some of the issues pertain to the individual but a whole heap are societal.
Precious little effort has been put into addressing any of these issues.
Politicians like legislation but most of measures are of the knee-jerk variety and more importantly legislation only stops the law-abiding but has no effect on those for whom the penalties are of no consequence.
Simple respect and community-consciousness can never be legislated but it can be inculcated in society.
Schools can be helpful in this respect as long as it is realized that they can only ever be effective in reinforcing attitudes and life philosophy. Trying to introduce concepts like these through schools where the concepts are absent in society will be doomed to failure.

This is not a didactic attempt to solve the problems of the world but I think the thoughts raised deserve some thought.
I have a career treating and resuscitating victims of violence either individually or collectively. I have had to deal not only with the victims but also often the perpetrator as well. I have done this on three continents over twenty years so possibly have a little insight.


Tony Jay

First, you are to be admired for your choice of career.  Thank you for taking on this tough profession.

I couldn't agree more it's about the human condition.   Some would have us think that if we had no spoons then we wouldn't be dealing with obesity in our country.  But anyone with common sense knows humans are adaptable and when it comes to fulfilling their urges and instincts.. only another human an stop them.  If left to themselves humans will use technology (from a lever to a machine gun) to fulfil these urges.  Other countries with strict gun control are learning they'll use the next most useful killing tool.  Cricket bats  and even kitchen knives have been subject to sales restrictions and types of registration/record keeping.  We need to learn and understand why certain people are committing these crimes.

I suppose I grew up in good times.  My father used to tell me how he was able to ride his horse to school (Culver City California) and I'd think I could never beat that for a "the way it used to be" story.  Riding a horse to school is so Bonanza.. so cool.  But now I think back to where I tied my .22 Remington 589-1 rifle to the crossbar of my Schwiin Stingray, pedal to school, carry it in and put it my locker, and then after school head to the public range where I'd practice for tournaments.  This was in Santa Monica.  The same school has an old shooting range in the basement I found while performing my AV duties (I was an AV nerd)..   

So we used to be able to take a rifle to school (after getting permission from the Dean), and a Los Angeles school at that.  No one batted an eye.  I did this for three years of Jr. High as I competed each year.  In high school it wasn't necessary because now the range was in another direction.  This was pretty normal.  What in society has made people become to prone to violence?  Why aren't we identifying these reasons and working on them? 

Ideally we want everyone to not have such violent thoughts and solve their issues by talking or seeking help, not reaching for the most available tool of death.

I'm watching Geraldo Rivera interviewing a tv shrink.  So far I've seen two law enforcement personnel say the Bushmaster .223 rifle was left in the car and wasn't used.  Now he's saying it was the primary tool and the handguns were not used.  Geraldo is frustrated because he's trying to get the shrink to say the mom had something wrong with her for "collecting" these types of weapons and not other types.  Basically he's saying ANYONE who would own this tyoe of weapon has a screw loose.  He's frustrated because the shrink won't play along and keeps correcting him.

That's what we're seeing here.  Extremists in that they see either a total and complete ban on guns of all types as the only solution, and the other side that want guns in every pocket as the only solution. Someone tries to broach and discuss a  possible solution, and then they're told by the extremists that only their way will work.  They want to shut down any discussion that doesn't include their agenda.

If we talk about THIS shooting.. what would have prevented it.  During the initial coverage as I sat watching it on the news I penned this article and made a few predictions and offered a very real solution.. "What Would Have Prevented The Sandy Hook, CT Shootings"   (http://www.bangkokimages.com/Articles/Steves-Musings/entryid/1208/What-Would-Have-Prevented-The-Sandy-Hook-CT-School-Shootings.aspx)

I'm curious to hear anyone else's honest well thought out AND realistic solution that would have prevented or helped with THIS shooting.  Considering that the shooting took place in a state with the most restrictive gun control measures, the weapons were legally purchased and registered, the school has an access system in place and working, it's not clear exactly which weapons were used, the two semi-auto handguns or the semi-auto rifle, so far there has been no mention of high-capacity mags (they're not legal there) being used, they now thinks the shooter had mental issues but no one has said exactly what type, and the weapons were either stored where this kid could get access to them or the mom gave him access..  Somehow I don't see them being in a locked safe with a combination only the parent knew. 

Geraldo's solution is to put uniformed armed cops in the schools.  He's finally got to his solution  No mention of working on the human condition.. no thought to healing our society to 40-50 years ago when such things didn't happen..   But he is right in that once all the systems failed.. and they did.. the only thing that would have helped is an armed presence at the school during all school hours.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 16, 2012, 05:03:35 AM
I really think you Americans should follow the example of Australia. When we had a similar massacre at Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1996, in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded by a 28-year-old guy with intellectual disabilities, wielding an AR-10 semi-automatic rifle, we amended our gun-ownership laws, despite great resistance from the gun lobbly and other groups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)#Community_and_Government_Reaction

Sadly, Ray, that legislation will not prevent a similar tragedy.
Considering the availability of weapons in Australia and the almost daily shootings in the major cities (the fact that the weapons are illegally obtained doesn't change the fact that these things are actually happening) it is only a matter time before someone with a serious grudge against society or an individual with a serious psychiatric disorder, such as Martin Bryant, gives us a rerun.

As mentioned in my previous post human beings are the real potential weapons and if there is a will there will be a way.
Family and community in Australia continues to take king-hits, many kids are growing up with no real boundaries and no defined sense of community and responsibility. Some of them have a real grudge. It will only take one individual every few years to take action motivated by that grudge. Perhaps a no lesser problem, suicide, that is a massive issue in Australia may be saving us to a degree because some are directing their anger and dissapointment inwardly by killing themselves rather than outwardly.

As mentioned before I have to deal with the sharp end of this stuff on a daily basis.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 05:19:36 AM
re guns mean more deaths, the people who hate guns will think that government can fix it by legislation (in the regrettable absence of a virus that selectively eliminated all those southern rednecks). And so on. I
Ken, I find this offensive.  You advocate the killing via "a virus" of millions of people simply because they're not like you?  Because they're Southern Rednecks?  Even if joking this is offensive during an era where our armed forces live in fear of biological weapons being used on them, most recently Syria has made such threats.  And it also shows you know very little about the southern folks of our country.  An area of the country where we've pulled a disproportionate number of those who have served and died serving performing military service.   Sir, someone is not less patriotic or deserving of death just because they don't think as we do.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 16, 2012, 06:18:58 AM
Ken, I find this offensive.  You advocate the killing via "a virus" of millions of people simply because they're not like you?  Because they're Southern Rednecks?  Even if joking this is offensive during an era where our armed forces live in fear of biological weapons being used on them, most recently Syria has made such threats.  And it also shows you know very little about the southern folks of our country.  An area of the country where we've pulled a disproportionate number of those who have served and died serving performing military service.   Sir, someone is not less patriotic or deserving of death just because they don't think as we do.



Steve, either you or I have absolutely misunderstood what Ken was writing. I read his line as in no way advocating that action, but highlightig it as a reaction/thought quite common to many people in many countries about many groups, either ethnic or social.

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 16, 2012, 06:32:39 AM
You really need me to spell it out that the U.S. has 40 times more gun deaths than the equivalent number of the developed world taken together? Or that it is a high time for tighter gun-control laws? Specifically and above all to reinstate a ban on assault weapons?

Wow. Please tell me what you think an "assault weapon" is, Slobodan.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 16, 2012, 07:27:37 AM
Sadly, Ray, that legislation will not prevent a similar tragedy.

Can I use the analogy of locking the doors of one's house when one leaves, in order to prevent burglary.

We know that any determined burglar may find a way to defeat your locking system, or simply smash the windows and get into your house. The point of locking your house is not to guarantee there will be no burglary, but to make it less easy and therefore less likely. The insurance companies have calculated the risk.

If you have dead-locks on your doors and security mesh on your windows, you pay less insurance. Likewise, the fewer the guns in circulation, and the greater the difficulties in acquiring a gun for any private purpose, as a result of stringent legislation, the less likely that massacres, such as the recent Connecticut massacre, will occur.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 16, 2012, 08:31:37 AM
Wow. Please tell me what you think an "assault weapon" is, Slobodan.

Do we need to get into the nitty gritty of different types of weapon?  Handguns kill at close range, rifles of all types kill at longer ranges.  The point is that firearms shoot projectiles at high velocity causing death or serious injury and are extremely portable.  There are many ways of killing people available to anyone so inclined, but firearms are by far the most efficient (which is presumably why they replaced knives, swords and axes in the army), allowing the shooter to kill lots of people quickly, and for this reason the fewer in circulation the less likely lots of people will be killed in a similar incident again.  It is so obvious.  All the rest is just politics - as usual.  With the exception of target shooting and hunting, the vast majority of guns are purely designed to kill people.  It is not practical or realistic to take knives out of circulation, but it should be to do so with guns.

Thank goodness I live in a society where I don't live in fear of guns.

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 16, 2012, 09:47:36 AM
Yes, Jim, we really need to get into it. People who talk about "assault weapons" haven't the foggiest idea what they're talking about. If he's going to pontificate on the subject it's worth knowing what Slobodan thinks an assault weapon is.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 16, 2012, 10:39:44 AM
Yes, Jim, we really need to get into it. People who talk about "assault weapons" haven't the foggiest idea what they're talking about. If he's going to pontificate on the subject it's worth knowing what Slobodan thinks an assault weapon is.

Russ,
An assault weapon is clearly any weapon used for the purpose of assault. But guns are considered to be far more efficient and dangerous than knives, axes, bows and arrows, and stones.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 16, 2012, 12:03:15 PM
... People who talk about "assault weapons" haven't the foggiest idea what they're talking about. If he's going to pontificate on the subject it's worth knowing what Slobodan thinks an assault weapon is.

Russ, if I wouldn't know you, I would be tempted to respond with something like this:

"Dear RSL, your contribution to this discussion, otherwise quite serious and reasonable, has been nothing short of flippant so far. Please grow up!"

But since I know you, I would never even dream of saying such a thing, let alone post it.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 16, 2012, 01:33:46 PM
The number that really counts is how many would have killed only if a gun was available...

You understand people -- mostly we're impulsive and we take the easy option.

It is possible to commit suicide in all kinds of ways, but without a quick and easy way the impulse may pass.

It is possible to kill people with our bare hands but it isn't easy -- and I've yet to see a news report of a drive-by knife-attack.

Guns, by design, are a quick and easy way to kill.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Justan on December 16, 2012, 02:02:50 PM
^^There was a knife attack in China at a school a couple of days ago where a reported 22 kids were injured.

The recurrence of kind of horror isnít going to be solved by banning weapons, Iím sorry to say.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 16, 2012, 02:33:29 PM
^^There was a knife attack in China at a school a couple of days ago where a reported 22 kids were injured.

The recurrence of kind of horror isnít going to be solved by banning weapons, Iím sorry to say.


Isn't that an extremely telling example?

Those children, while injured, are still alive, right? A knife attack can kill, of course, but it is much more difficult to inflict mass and deadly casualties with it. It is also much easier to fight off or subdue the assailant with even bare hands.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Chairman Bill on December 16, 2012, 03:05:24 PM
... the Westboro Baptist Church might have something to say too - something none too delicate & wholly inappropriate, no doubt.

Oh dear. Prophetic or what? - Westboro Baptist Church to protest Newtown when Obama visits on Sunday (http://www.examiner.com/article/westboro-baptist-church-to-protest-newtown-when-obama-visits-on-sunday)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 16, 2012, 03:23:39 PM
One thing that tends to get overlooked as a factor in mass murders is the media coverage. We all know who is getting the most of it in cases like this. Their names and mugshots are everywhere, what they wrote, what they said, their life stories, etc. There is no doubt who is the "hero" of the day. And being famous, including infamous, is at the top of the social values in our society.

Now imagine if the media would somehow, miraculously, agree to the one and the same treatment of events like this: no mentioning of the perp's name, no photos, no stories about. Instead, the media would be plastered with stories about those who lost their lives, their most beautiful photographs, etc. So that any idiot out there planning to become famous by copying or outdoing the last one would know that the only fame he would create is for his victims and a total anonymity for himself.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kencameron on December 16, 2012, 03:44:22 PM
Ken, I find this offensive. 
Steve, I sincerely regret offending you, particularly in a context like this, but Rob is right, that part of my post was caricaturing the simplistic reactions of some on the "left wing" of the gun control argument rather than advocating mass murder. Irony is tricky on line - often gets missed - I guess because facial expression and tone of voice are taken out of the equation. I do think, however, that you might have picked up a clue from the fact that I was running an "one the one hand - on the other hand" argument in which both sides were presented as mistaken extremes.

And I certainly have nothing against the American South myself. What you say in praise of it is exactly right.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 03:49:38 PM


Steve, either you or I have absolutely misunderstood what Ken was writing. I read his line as in no way advocating that action, but highlightig it as a reaction/thought quite common to many people in many countries about many groups, either ethnic or social.

Rob C
If that's the case my response was inappropriate and I apologize.  It's a bit hard to read, but when you put it that way I can see that too.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 03:55:13 PM

If you have dead-locks on your doors and security mesh on your windows, you pay less insurance. Likewise, the fewer the guns in circulation, and the greater the difficulties in acquiring a gun for any private purpose, as a result of stringent legislation, the less likely that massacres, such as the recent Connecticut massacre, will occur.

I don't see it.  Locking your doors has a "direct" effect on your own problem.  Making guns difficult to obtain for "any" citizen is more of a shotgun approach (pardon the analogy/pun) with no direct link.

Also, the number of guns in circulation has no "direct" impact on the problem.  The more people we have in the world, the more will die.  So?   Passing legislation TARGETING (again, pardon the analogy/pun) problem areas will directly affect things.  Targeting the problem areas will be far more effective, something we can say with just about any subject.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 03:56:24 PM

Thank goodness I live in a society where I don't live in fear of guns.

Jim

Where is this?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 16, 2012, 03:57:22 PM
Russ, if I wouldn't know you, I would be tempted to respond with something like this:

"Dear RSL, your contribution to this discussion, otherwise quite serious and reasonable, has been nothing short of flippant so far. Please grow up!"

But since I know you, I would never even dream of saying such a thing, let alone post it.

In other words you don't dare answer the question.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 04:08:05 PM
You understand people -- mostly we're impulsive and we take the easy option.

It is possible to commit suicide in all kinds of ways, but without a quick and easy way the impulse may pass.

It is possible to kill people with our bare hands but it isn't easy -- and I've yet to see a news report of a drive-by knife-attack.

Guns, by design, are a quick and easy way to kill.
I don't believe the vast majority of suicides are impulsive.  Studies show most victims of suicide have long considered it and most have family who can now place several to many ideation's once they recognized what they were.. but I do think you would be right a fair number of time..

If you study the UK (something I've had a passing interest in for years, watching how gun control really works in the first year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc, post.. )they've had issues with bats (cricket bats), bows and arrows, kitchen knives, big hammers (all these have either been written into legislation or talked about on the floor), and the list goes on. The society remains extremely violent so they're finding new ways.  Roving gangs attacking now defenceless old people and even the young have become a problem.   If the society is violent in nature evil will find a way.  It always does.

An odd ball emerging weapon of choice they're trying hard not to talk about, popular with young gangs especially.. are battery operated power tools.  Nail guns with battery packs are easily modified to have what is effectively a gun that shoots nails.  Battery powered saws and drills have been used to threaten and in some cases maim.   We need to fix society.. the minute we take one potential weapon off the market, they'll just move on to a new one.  Meanwhile, the one weapon (handguns) which allow the weak, elderly, and infirm protect themselves is the first go.. with the violence still a problem, they're really left in a bad spot.

When will we start addressing violent video games and targeting violence in society as a solution?  We should start soon or it won't be long before all we find to eat with is plastic utensils.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 04:12:23 PM
Isn't that an extremely telling example?

Those children, while injured, are still alive, right? A knife attack can kill, of course, but it is much more difficult to inflict mass and deadly casualties with it. It is also much easier to fight off or subdue the assailant with even bare hands.

I read this article and was happy to see they were still alive.  If you follow it up, this guys goal wasn't to kill, it was to make a point.  Knives are a lot more dangerous than people think.. We recently had several airplanes flown into buildings because they gave in to box knifes with one inch cutting blades.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 04:13:22 PM
One thing that tends to get overlooked as a factor in mass murders is the media coverage. We all know who is getting the most of it in cases like this. Their names and mugshots are everywhere, what they wrote, what they said, their life stories, etc. There is no doubt who is the "hero" of the day. And being famous, including infamous, is at the top of the social values in our society.

Now imagine if the media would somehow, miraculously, agree to the one and the same treatment of events like this: no mentioning of the perp's name, no photos, no stories about. Instead, the media would be plastered with stories about those who lost their lives, their most beautiful photographs, etc. So that any idiot out there planning to become famous by copying or outdoing the last one would know that the only fame he would create is for his victims and a total anonymity for himself.

+1
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 16, 2012, 04:14:15 PM
Steve, I sincerely regret offending you, particularly in a context like this, but Rob is right, that part of my post was caricaturing the simplistic reactions of some on the "left wing" of the gun control argument rather than advocating mass murder. Irony is tricky on line - often gets missed - I guess because facial expression and tone of voice are taken out of the equation. I do think, however, that you might have picked up a clue from the fact that I was running an "one the one hand - on the other hand" argument in which both sides were presented as mistaken extremes.

And I certainly have nothing against the American South myself. What you say in praise of it is exactly right.
I'm so glad I misread this.  I apologize and will be more careful in the future.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 16, 2012, 04:30:41 PM
... have long considered it ...

To have long considered and yet not to have acted -- the impulse to act passed.


If you study the UK... The society remains extremely violent...

Compared to the US?

In any case, as I said -- it is possible to kill people with our bare hands but it isn't easy; while guns, by design, are a quick and easy way to kill.


... the minute we take one potential weapon off the market, they'll just move on to a new one.

Guns are not potential weapons. Guns are actual weapons, by design, a quick and easy way to kill.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Justan on December 16, 2012, 04:32:09 PM
Isn't that an extremely telling example?

Those children, while injured, are still alive, right? A knife attack can kill, of course, but it is much more difficult to inflict mass and deadly casualties with it. It is also much easier to fight off or subdue the assailant with even bare hands.

Extremely telling of what?

Those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks used box cutters.  

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 16, 2012, 05:41:58 PM
... Those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks used box cutters. 

Ok, you are right... apparently, box cutters are more lethal than knifes and guns taken together.

But aren't we forgetting one even more lethal weapon: buttons? You know, like in nuclear-device controlling button? One push and millions go up in the cloud. Take that, guns!

Imagine how much more horrific the school massacre would be if that last idiot walked into the school with (gasp) a box cutter?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 16, 2012, 05:43:54 PM
Here we go again: no discussion, no attempted understanding of the opposing view(s), just the scoring of points.

Stamper's first post on this matter was right.

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: BartvanderWolf on December 16, 2012, 07:40:58 PM
Here we go again: no discussion, no attempted understanding of the opposing view(s), just the scoring of points.

Stamper's first post on this matter was right.

Hi Rob,

Yes, but given the course of the discussion (which seems normal given the fact that photographers are humans with emotions which make them do the things they do well (being passionate about their subject/creation) and despite the horriffic tragedy (or rather because of it) I disagree with many of the pro gun apologists. How many semi-automatic(!) firearms does an individual require to feel safe under the US constitution? There is a clearly disproportionate amount of firearms related homicides in the USA ...

If firearms are needed to feel safe, then more firearms would create a sense of more safety. Apparently that is a flawed concept (not only for the sense of security, but also since apparently the objective security is actually reduced!), despite the huge amounts of money that the pro-gun lobby spends to futher their cause, BTW which is that cause exactly and why are they spending those amounts (is it due to a distrust of the Government, or for monetary gain at a tremendous cost of human life)?

Another aspect that puzzles many people not influenced by pro-firearms lobbies, is that the USA constitution declares the right to keep and bear (fire)arms on a grammatically poorly formulated sentence in the 2nd amendment of said Constitution:
"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 Preamble to The Bill of Rights, mentions that "a number of States expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficient ends of its institution."

The emphasis in bold italics in the above quote is mine, as I see it as the important part that restricts the transfer of power, in this case the exclusive use of (fire)power to "exectute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections". When the Government abuses its powers, the people still have a legal right to oppose, even by the use of firearms. It is not an obligation for the people to keep and bear such arms, let alone use them in other situations, but rather a right to defend against abuse of power by The Government (but not to use against others/civilians or in other situations!).

IMHO, it's that last part that, at least for some, seems unclear. Of course the strange grammar of The Second Amendment doesn't help to make that distinction clear, but its intention should follow from the preable, "in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers", where "its" refers to the Government.

I disagree with any overall conclusion that the 2nd amendment of the Constitution of the United States does not allow the government in any way to prohibit or limit the ownership or carrying of any kind of firearm. It 'just' requires a lot of stamina to oppose the pro-gun lobby and, as for today's rethorical question, which electoral benefit would that bring?

I disagree, based on the expressed intent in the preamble of The Bill of Rights. It only allows the people to legally defend themselves against Government abuse, even by using firearms. That implies that people should be allowed to have them at their disposal in the first place. Nothing more, nothing less. The Government can full well do anything it wants to prevent the use of firearms by civilians against other civilians. The question becomes what can it, or is it willing to, do.

In dreaded anticipation of the next 'incident', waiting to happen ...,
Bart

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 16, 2012, 08:46:34 PM
Bart, like it or not, your interpretation of the Second Amendment is irrelevant.  The U.S. Supreme Courtís interpretation is all that really matters. 

Most of the talk everywhere (including on this forum) about gun control is idealistic, misinformed, and simplistic.  For example, it is undisputed that ordinary handguns account for almost all gun homicides, the last experiment with an assault weapons ban had minimal (at best) effect on gun violence (not surprising since assault weapons are rarely used in homicides), and under the Second Amendment it is not possible to ban or substantially restrict handgun ownership, yet we hear the same old proposals for firearm restrictions as the solution for gun violence.  We hear calls to change the Second Amendment.  Yeah, right; it generally takes a two-thirds supermajority in congress, and three-quarters of the states, to amend the Constitution. You may as well wish for the Tooth Fairy to solve the problem. 

These proposal may be well intentioned, but harmful in that they divert resources from pursuing realistic, effective measures to combat gun violence.  Unfortunately, our politicians and press (with a few exceptions) feed this idealistic, misinformed, and simplistic information to the public, so itís no wonder that we rarely hear informed, rational discussions about what can actually be done to make a real difference.   
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 16, 2012, 09:35:25 PM
I get the impression that the gun culture in America is so strong that asking Americans to give up their right to own arms would be as successful as asking Moslems to become Christians.

Nevertheless, I think there should be a referendum on the issue (or whatever equivalent political process is used in America to amend the Constitution). If the majority of Americans, despite these recurring massacres, still think it's appropriate to have the right to hold arms in this modern age, then so be it. Live with the consequences.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 16, 2012, 09:49:12 PM
... ordinary handguns account for almost all gun homicides, the last experiment with an assault weapons ban had minimal (at best) effect on gun violence (not surprising since assault weapons are rarely used in homicides)...

But assault weapons are often used in mass shootings, which is what we are discussion here, so how about the effect the ban had in that respect? None of us has enough access to the relevant data, but it stands to reason that if assault weapons are used in mass shootings, controlling them might help, no?

Quote
... they divert resources from pursuing realistic, effective measures to combat gun violence...

Such as?

What I find particularly annoying is that attitude coming from gun nuts that "it is what it is, and NOTHING can be done about it." Every attempt is quickly labeled as "idealistic, misinformed, and simplistic" and immediately shot down (pun intended).

As every new shooting becomes more and more tragic, unbelievable and grotesque, it appears that the public is getting more and more desensitized, and our half-life of outrage shorter and shorter.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: BartvanderWolf on December 16, 2012, 09:50:56 PM
Bart, like it or not, your interpretation of the Second Amendment is irrelevant.  The U.S. Supreme Courtís interpretation is all that really matters.

Hi Dean,

Is it? Doesn't the Supreme Court 'just' rule on the 'evidence' they get presented? They do not make laws, I'm sure, because that's what Government is about. It is because it is, is not an argument. What evidence is there, really, that refutes my (so far fundamentally uncontested) interpretation? Any relevant links, quotes?

Regards,
Bart
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 16, 2012, 11:17:59 PM
But assault weapons are often used in mass shootings, which is what we are discussion here, so how about the effect the ban had in that respect?

I wasnít under the impression that we were just talking about mass shootings, but that the recent mass shooting was just the impetus for a more general discussion about gun violence in the U.S.  Moreover, I think it is a mistake to just look at mass shootings.  Such shootings are a miniscule portion of gun related homicides in the U.S.  The U.S. has a very limited attention span.  Efforts to address just mass shootings will mean that little or no real effort will be devoted to the much larger problem.

None of us has enough access to the relevant data Ö
Such as?

Much of the relevant data is freely available via the internet, including the results of various laws and programs instituted in many different places and times in the U.S., and related research into those and other proposals to combat gun violence.  This stuff rarely makes the news, but a lot of serious research and study has been done.

What I find particularly annoying is that attitude coming from gun nuts that "it is what it is, and NOTHING can be done about it." Every attempt is quickly labeled as "idealistic, misinformed, and simplistic" and immediately shot down (pun intended).

I think your generalization is unfounded.  Iím not a gun nut, I never said that nothing can be done (Iíve said quite the opposite), nor have I talked about every attempt.  Iím pragmatic about this issue.  Iím against pursuing proposals that canít be enacted or will be ineffective in combating gun violence generally.  Iíd rather that resources be devoted to proposals than can be enacted and effective against overall gun violence.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 16, 2012, 11:46:42 PM
Doesn't the Supreme Court 'just' rule on the 'evidence' they get presented?

Bart, the Supreme Court doesnít just rule on the evidence.  The court has the final say as to what the words of the U.S. Constitution mean, and how that meaning is to be applied.  For example, as I stated earlier in this thread, the Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.  You may not agree with the Supreme Courtís decision (many people donít agree), but under our system the Supreme Court has the final say.

Bart, if you havenít done so, you may enjoy reading at least part of the Supreme Court opinions (majority as well as dissenting opinions) in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER that can be found here:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html  In fact, anyone who has never read a Supreme Court opinion should read some.  They can be surprisingly interesting reading, very educational about certain issues (like gun control and the Second Amendment), as well as enlightening about how our system works. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 16, 2012, 11:52:32 PM
I get the impression that the gun culture in America is so strong that asking Americans to give up their right to own arms would be as successful as asking Moslems to become Christians.

Nevertheless, I think there should be a referendum on the issue (or whatever equivalent political process is used in America to amend the Constitution). If the majority of Americans, despite these recurring massacres, still think it's appropriate to have the right to hold arms in this modern age, then so be it. Live with the consequences.


Your impression is correct, Ray.  Amending our Constitution, however, is not so easy. As I described earlier, it generally takes a 2/3rds supermajority of congress, and 3/4 of the states, to amend our Constitution. Getting that level of support for changing the Second Amendment is impossible, at least for the foreseeable future.  And, we are living with the consequences.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 12:34:14 AM
... Iíd rather that resources be devoted to proposals than can be enacted and effective against overall gun violence.

Again, such as?

So far I heard you talking only against (no, this won't work, no, that won't work), and not a word about those wonderfully "effective proposals." I think we are all ears for some fresh ideas, so by all means...

As for what we are talking about... I do not know... when we start talking about mass shootings, the counter-argument shifts to gun violence in general, when we start talking about gun deaths in general, the argument shifts to suicides, when we talk about assault weapons, the argument shifts to semantics, when we start talking about guns, the argument shifts to box cutters... you get the idea. I think the operative word would be weaseling out.

And yes, I generalize, thus not necessarily directly addressing you, just so you know.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 17, 2012, 01:56:28 AM
There is a very significant difference between:
1. territorial or drug-related gang-wars,
2. the right to defend yourself, your home, and your family, especially when living in rural areas,
3. psychos entering save-zones.

I don't think that anyone in his right mind will ever consider that gun control will make a thread of difference in cases 1 and 3, regardless of statistics. The "planning attacks" part of the breivik case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik) is very enlighting as to what can happen even in a country with strict gun-control.

For the record, I think that we are discussing option 3 above. Not option 1 or 2 and what gun-control would mean in that respect. At the very least we should be discussing 3, because that is the nature of the problem. And especially the disruption and trauma caused by such attacks. Doesn't particularly matter whether they use guns or knifes. I personally believe it is preposterous to suggest that teachers should somehow need to defend children against these attacks, instead: society should protect teachers and children from any attacks.

As for solutions I am fairly sure that one statistic is pretty consistent: if you could keep the male-human species out of the safe-zones, it would pretty much eliminate 90% of all problems...
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 17, 2012, 04:22:19 AM
I don't believe the vast majority of suicides are impulsive.  Studies show most victims of suicide have long considered it and most have family who can now place several to many ideation's once they recognized what they were.. but I do think you would be right a fair number of time..

If you study the UK (something I've had a passing interest in for years, watching how gun control really works in the first year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc, post.. )they've had issues with bats (cricket bats), bows and arrows, kitchen knives, big hammers (all these have either been written into legislation or talked about on the floor), and the list goes on. The society remains extremely violent so they're finding new ways.  Roving gangs attacking now defenceless old people and even the young have become a problem.   If the society is violent in nature evil will find a way.  It always does.

An odd ball emerging weapon of choice they're trying hard not to talk about, popular with young gangs especially.. are battery operated power tools.  Nail guns with battery packs are easily modified to have what is effectively a gun that shoots nails.  Battery powered saws and drills have been used to threaten and in some cases maim.   We need to fix society.. the minute we take one potential weapon off the market, they'll just move on to a new one.  Meanwhile, the one weapon (handguns) which allow the weak, elderly, and infirm protect themselves is the first go.. with the violence still a problem, they're really left in a bad spot.

When will we start addressing violent video games and targeting violence in society as a solution?  We should start soon or it won't be long before all we find to eat with is plastic utensils.

Steve, in answer to your earlier question I live in the south of England.

In actual fact here in the leafy New Forest we have had two incidents in the past couple of weeks (probably the same perpetrator) where a middle aged man wielding a gun and disguised with swimming goggles, has held up people and made them go to a nearby cash machine to take out money.  This is an extremely rare occurrence and every possibility the 'gun' is a fake anyway.

Your paragraphs above I have to say make no sense in relation to this discussion.  Of course cricket bats, knives etc get used to commit acts of violence and sometimes death.  But the many times greater lethality of guns puts them into a different category.  The motor car is the most lethal weapon in the UK but no one is suggesting we ban them.  The killer in the recent school shooting had access to all four of his mothers guns.  Four guns.  I don't know anyone who owns even one gun.  Like the locality of the shootings, we too live in a quiet, law abiding area.  The difference being that if a 20 year old kid with a grudge here wanted to get a gun he would probably have to go off to a city and get involved with the crime underground to be able to source one.  Not just get the keys to his mum's closet.

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 09:46:28 AM
Pointing out cases of mass shootings "even in areas with stricter gun controls" is like pointing out cases of lung cancer in people who never smoke. It happens, but it doesn't change the fact that smoking significantly raises your chances of getting cancer. Just like the abundance of guns and easy access to them raises the chances of being used.

As for the argument that criminals or gangs will always obtain guns illegally, well... with abundance of legal guns it is certainly easier to obtain them illegally as well. Tighten the access to guns legally, and it will reduce their availability and raise their cost illegally too.

I do not think anybody believes there is a single, simple, and magic-like solution to a complex problem. In that respect, gun control isn't either. But it is a good start and a step in the right direction.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ben Rubinstein on December 17, 2012, 09:58:51 AM
I do not think anybody believes there is a single, simple, and magic-like solution to a complex problem. In that respect, gun control isn't either. But it is a good start and a step in the right direction.

Why?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 10:10:55 AM
To have long considered and yet not to have acted -- the impulse to act passed.


I didn't make myself  clear.  A "suicide" suggests the act was consummated.  Most are well considered over time.  In Oregon (this used to be my home state and I was current and voting during the process when most of these numbers concerning suicide were surprisingly discussed calmly and without the normal extremists on both sides) we have assisted suicide, a legal way to elect to die with the help of a doctor.  Overwhelmingly most are long considered.  But there are some 'impulse' suicides as you mention.  If someone sets their mind to suicide the method becomes immaterial because there re so many easy ways.  Take away one easy way, they'll use another.


Compared to the US?


Compared to anywhere.  A violent society is violent.  Of course I can only go on what I read in the news and a few brief visits, so my take on British society is no more/less accurate than most of the non-USA citizens committing ini this thread.





In any case, as I said -- it is possible to kill people with our bare hands but it isn't easy; while guns, by design, are a quick and easy way to kill.

Guns are not potential weapons. Guns are actual weapons, by design, a quick and easy way to kill.

1.  No, it is very easy to kill with only bare hands.  There are an almost limitless supply of special forces manuals from many countries which can teach someone the techniques in minutes.  And of course throughout the history of man we've killed with our bare hands, purpose built clubs and other blunt objects, knives, swords, explosives, drownings, fire, gas, chemicals, and the list goes on for actual pages.  You can add guns at the end.  Looking at the list you can see virtually all were at one time or another built and used as weapons before guns even existed.

Taking away any single weapon won't change anything to the violent person bent on killing.  But as you say, a gun can be (but isn't always) purpose built for killing.  When they are, they'll have built in safety devices, classes become available, and a general level of education comes to exist making them 'safer' than many other weapons.  And ease of use becomes a decided advantage to the weak, elderly, infirm, or just the lone person being attacked by several.  

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?  This would be the core of the gun debate.  And as evidenced by your responses (and many others in this thread) it appears many who don't see the advantages of having a  guns haven't yet become fully educated on the topic.  

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 17, 2012, 10:17:20 AM
Pointing out cases of mass shootings "even in areas with stricter gun controls" is like pointing out cases of lung cancer in people who never smoke. It happens, but it doesn't change the fact that smoking significantly raises your chances of getting cancer. Just like the abundance of guns and easy access to them raises the chances of being used.

Trying to turn Bayesian logic on me? Well, the argument goes like this:

the chances of a psycho-attack where guns are used are minimal,
the chances of a psycho-attack where any kind of weapon is used is equally minimal,
and either way, that chance should be reduced to nil, however impossible.

Doesn't make a thread of difference whether there is gun-control or not.

This doesn't apply to smoking, because the numbers are of an entirely different order of magnitude.

As for the argument that criminals or gangs will always obtain guns illegally, well... with abundance of legal guns it is certainly easier to obtain them illegally as well. Tighten the access to guns legally, and it will reduce their availability and raise their cost illegally too.

Yeah, so they need to resort to even more violent crimes in safe-zones to obtain those guns illegally?

Perhaps there is some middleground like in the drug-related discussions: where you are allowed electric stun-guns or rubber-bullets, but your not easily allowed lethal weapons? 

I do not think anybody believes there is a single, simple, and magic-like solution to a complex problem. In that respect, gun control isn't either. But it is a good start and a step in the right direction.

Again I would like to point to this link, even though I am not a US citizen, but for those who are: WeThePeople (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-address-issue-gun-control-through-introduction-legislation-congress/2tgcXzQC?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl)

They are already obligated to respond, but the more signatures, the better it represents urgency, which results in more discussion, and discussing the issue is certainly good. To that I agree.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 10:19:21 AM
Why?

Why what? I have explained my reasoning in this and other posts. If you disagree, feel free to elaborate.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 10:23:32 AM
I get the impression that the gun culture in America is so strong that asking Americans to give up their right to own arms would be as successful as asking Moslems to become Christians.

Nevertheless, I think there should be a referendum on the issue (or whatever equivalent political process is used in America to amend the Constitution). If the majority of Americans, despite these recurring massacres, still think it's appropriate to have the right to hold arms in this modern age, then so be it. Live with the consequences.

An amendment process could be introduced at any time on just about any subject.  Gay marriage, abortion, guns, any of hot topic areas.  The founding fathers in their wisdom when completing the constitution require a 2/3's majority to amend this document.  There simply are not the votes.. which is why amendments are so rare.

Should amendments be easier?  About the only time someone says they should be, is when they want to change something they otherwise couldn't change.  Which again shows the wisdom of the founding fathers.

Look at how easily gun control was enacted in Australia..akin to the proverbial knee jerk reaction without adequate representation and due process.  Even now, years later, I'd bet if Australia or even the UK voted concerning gun control the numbers would be split pretty much down the middle.. This tells me the rights of right around half these citizens were severely infringed on.  Sad.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 10:38:32 AM
But assault weapons are often used in mass shootings, which is what we are discussion here, so how about the effect the ban had in that respect? None of us has enough access to the relevant data, but it stands to reason that if assault weapons are used in mass shootings, controlling them might help, no?

As a police officer during this ban, and later as a federal firearms dealer and owner of a business that made custom firearms (1911 handguns used for competitions mostly) I'm familiar with the "assault weapon" ban, so allow me bring current exactly what the assault weapon ban was all about.

1.  It limited magazines to 10 rounds.

2.  It DID NOT ban the AR and AK style of weapons so many think it did.  What it did was define an assault weapon as one with:  a. Collapsible stock  b.  Accepting of a detachable magazine.  c. Having a bayonet lug.  d.  Having a threaded barrel.  e.  Having a pistol grip.   The ban went on to say a weapon would be classified as an assault weapon IF TWO OR MORE of the above were present.

Why the above?  Because "functionally" many time honoured hunting rifles going back to your great-great grandfathers weapons could have been rolled up the definition and that would never pass politically.. so the 3 or more rule.

So.. Manufacturers simply spot welded on the flash suppressors to eliminate the threaded barrel, cut off the bayonet lug, and installed a fixed stock.  Later models were done more cleanly off the assembly line.

When you looked at a assault weapon and a legally obtainable 'semi-automatic' firearm, does anyone think there's a real difference?   And there isn't that much difference between semi-autos and revolvers or bolt actions it comes down to an educated POV.. but it made the anti-gun lobbies feel they won a victory.

Such as?

What I find particularly annoying is that attitude coming from gun nuts that "it is what it is, and NOTHING can be done about it." Every attempt is quickly labeled as "idealistic, misinformed, and simplistic" and immediately shot down (pun intended).

As every new shooting becomes more and more tragic, unbelievable and grotesque, it appears that the public is getting more and more desensitized, and our half-life of outrage shorter and shorter.

It would probably help the debate if we could stop using "gun nuts", Idiots, crazies, and other terms of endearment when discussing a serious subject.

I think there's A LOT we can do to make real differences.. but I don't support any of the feel good measures which have been proven to not work in the past.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 11:07:29 AM
Steve, in answer to your earlier question I live in the south of England.

In actual fact here in the leafy New Forest we have had two incidents in the past couple of weeks (probably the same perpetrator) where a middle aged man wielding a gun and disguised with swimming goggles, has held up people and made them go to a nearby cash machine to take out money.  This is an extremely rare occurrence and every possibility the 'gun' is a fake anyway.

Your paragraphs above I have to say make no sense in relation to this discussion.  Of course cricket bats, knives etc get used to commit acts of violence and sometimes death. But the many times greater lethality of guns puts them into a different category.  The motor car is the most lethal weapon in the UK but no one is suggesting we ban them.  The killer in the recent school shooting had access to all four of his mothers guns.  Four guns.  I don't know anyone who owns even one gun.  Like the locality of the shootings, we too live in a quiet, law abiding area.  The difference being that if a 20 year old kid with a grudge here wanted to get a gun he would probably have to go off to a city and get involved with the crime underground to be able to source one.  Not just get the keys to his mum's closet.

Jim

Hi Jim.  Thanks for the response.

1.  Am I wrong in thinking you live in a pretty nice area?   We have such areas in the states too.  Much more than not.  Areas where we can go 50+ years without a serious incident.

We haven't yet reached the point in the discussion (all such discussions of this type have a very predictable sequence where specific information is entered, people google, we go to the next level, etc, etc.. the best we can hopeful in a thread of this type is to be civil and present information relative to our beliefs. 

One such area we haven't got to yet but you eluded to, is that the vast majority of those handgun numbers and homicides.. are gang related and in truth centered in small specific areas of several big (and failing) cities.  If we erased those numbers we'd find the USA to be as peaceful and non-violent as yo find your little patch of earth.. as compared to if you were living in your worst areas.

2.  I have some experience with weapons as they've been my professional tools for decades before I started carrying cameras instead (no wonder I like the big heavy 1 series bodies..;o), and I think it's a huge mistake to discount the lethality of edged or blunt instruments as weapons.  Spend a few hours watching the shows that analyze midevil or antique weaponry..  Sure, guns are more effective and maybe even in a different class.. but they're hugely lethal and they're what we'll be facing (without a gun to protect ourself) if certain laws pass.   

And I'm not convinced people think that far ahead.  Because they can't see it of feel it, they're not allowing for the deterrent effect certain communities enjoy because the bad guys know it's an armed community.  Or how effective at 50, 60, 70 years of age they'd be protecting their own family while out in public.  Or even if you're young, how effective you'd be against mutiple assailants.  I've familiar because its' been by business to put myself out there.  I've done that in the past, and I know through experience what's out there.  So now as I enter my 50's I've very realistic about how effective I'd be protecting my family without firearms.  The answer is not very.

Everyone agrees that all these proposed measures probably won't stop the next school attack.  But if they go through, how many home attacks, armed assaults, and other violence will normal citizens be during because of this?  The numbers will be high.  We know this, because since we've enacted CCW laws in 49 states, 41 states are use friendly, in almost all of these states violence has decreased.  We have 200% less violent crimes committed than ten years ago.  And few are asking why.

3.  I 100% agree with the access issue.. this kid should never have had access and the guns should never have been secured in a closet, locked or not.  I talk about this here:  "What Would Have Prevented The Sandy Hook, CT School Shootings?" (http://www.bangkokimages.com/Articles/Steves-Musings/entryid/1208/What-Would-Have-Prevented-The-Sandy-Hook-CT-School-Shootings.aspx)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 11:17:26 AM

I do not think anybody believes there is a single, simple, and magic-like solution to a complex problem. In that respect, gun control isn't either. But it is a good start and a step in the right direction.

I agree with the first part.  Not the second.  I've seen nothing that convinces me it would be effective for anything but a feel good measure.  Allow me to offer an alternative I think would do more to help with such shootings than the gun control people are considering, and wouldn't be met with "that much" resistance by the gun lobby.. I think considering.. they might even be supportive.

STORAGE LAWS:  In Florida they enacted a law in the 80's that held owners of guns criminally and civilly responsible if their guns were used in the commission of a crime or were misused in any way. The law said ALL guns must be stored in an approved SAFE and they specified a combination device and not a simple key.  The statistics might still be out there, but the immediate result was a huge decrease in the number of guns on the streets because of burglaries and the such.  And the law included strict "sales" requirements.. the person receiving the gun had to receive it through an FFL dealer, so used sales were covered and people couldn't later say they sold or lost their weapons.. without showing specific sales receipts and/or police reports.

I really feel this one law.. would do more good than all the gun control put together.   And it would have prevented this last shooting, and the shootings before.. because it would have "effectively" done, with the cooperation of the gun lobby.. what is impossible to do without.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 11:26:19 AM
... It would probably help the debate if we could stop using "gun nuts", Idiots, crazies, and other terms of endearment when discussing a serious subject...

Perhaps. Just as it would help if we could stop patronizing those with different opinions:

Quote
And as evidenced by your responses (and many others in this thread) it appears many who don't see the advantages of having a  guns haven't yet become fully educated on the topic.   
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 11:29:53 AM
Steve, as a former police officer yourself, are you aware that the majority of police is in favor of a stricter gun control? Or is my information incorrect?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 17, 2012, 11:54:05 AM
A "suicide" suggests the act was consummated.

In the context of this discussion, Oregon assisted suicide has no relevance.

"An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death." (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml)

The association between changes in household firearm ownership and rates of suicide in the United States, 1981Ė2002 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563517/)

No, it is very easy to kill with only bare hands.

Obviously it is impossible to kill with only bare hands whatever is out of arms reach.

Guns, by design, are a quick and easy way to kill - at distance, through walls, many individuals,...

Taking away any single weapon won't change anything to the violent person bent on killing.

Obviously that violent person would not have that weapon with which to shoot someone dead.

...it appears many who don't see the advantages of having a  guns haven't yet become fully educated on the topic.

Do guns make us safer? (http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/30/opinion/frum-guns-safer/index.html)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 17, 2012, 12:03:55 PM
The law said ALL guns must be stored in an approved SAFE and they specified a combination device and not a simple key. ...And it would have prevented this last shooting, and the shootings before.. because it would have "effectively" done, with the cooperation of the gun lobby.. what is impossible to do without.

Did the law mandate inspections to ensure that guns were in fact stored "in an approved SAFE"?

Without mandatory inspections you go too far when you say what such a law would have prevented; and even with mandatory inspections, guns would be stored in an approved safe except when they were not stored in an approved safe.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 17, 2012, 12:38:51 PM
It doesnít matter whether youíre for or against gun control.  Any proposal for gun control that doesnít specifically take the Second Amendment into account isnít realistic.

Totally agree.  Amend the constitution and stop the insanity.

We don't need all these guns in private hands.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 17, 2012, 12:50:57 PM
a feel good measure. 

Here's a feel good measure ...

... take a month off from arguing that people need 30 round magazines for their AR-15s.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Chairman Bill on December 17, 2012, 01:02:26 PM
Here's a feel good measure ...

... take a month off from arguing that people need 30 round magazines for their AR-15s.

Quite. Seems the Constitution makes mention of a right to bear arms, but says nothing about a right to ammunition.

Personally, I'd make gun ownership limited to flint-lock pistols & muzzle-loading long-arms only. I doubt the Founding Fathers had anything different in mind.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 01:29:12 PM
Pro-gun senator says it's time to talk gun regulations (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/12/17/manchin-gun-regulations-momentum/1774613/)

From the article (bold mine):

Quote
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a longtime gun rights advocate, said Monday that he would be open to a discussion on restricting assault rifles and high-capacity magazines following Friday's mass shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six adults at a Connecticut school.

"We've never been in these waters before Ė we've had horrific crimes throughout our country, but never have we seen so many of our babies put in harm's way and their life taken from them and the grief," Manchin told CNBC. "That's changed me, and it's changed most Americans I would think."

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: AFairley on December 17, 2012, 02:37:07 PM
I think there's A LOT we can do to make real differences.. but I don't support any of the feel good measures which have been proven to not work in the past.

How about a simple ban on private ownership of all gas-operated and recoil-reloading weapons?  Everyone gets to have what we think of traditional firearms, that are perfectly adequate for their traditional purposes. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: AFairley on December 17, 2012, 02:43:37 PM
Quite. Seems the Constitution makes mention of a right to bear arms, but says nothing about a right to ammunition.

Personally, I'd make gun ownership limited to flint-lock pistols & muzzle-loading long-arms only. I doubt the Founding Fathers had anything different in mind.

Actually, since at the time the Constitution was drafted, it effectively gave the cititzen the constitutional right to own military-grade weapons, the current restrictions on private ownership of machine guns, rocket launchers and the like is arguably unconstitutional.   :o
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 17, 2012, 04:34:50 PM
An amendment process could be introduced at any time on just about any subject.  Gay marriage, abortion, guns, any of hot topic areas.  The founding fathers in their wisdom when completing the constitution require a 2/3's majority to amend this document.  There simply are not the votes.. which is why amendments are so rare.

Steve,
In Australia, when we see the need to change the constitution, we hold a referendum which requires every person on the electoral roll to vote 'yes' or 'no' to the proposed amendment.

We also require every voter on the electoral roll to vote, or he/she gets fined.  If a majority of individual citizens, nation-wide, are in favour of the proposed amendment (ie. 50% plus 1 vote), and, if that majority also applies to the majority of the six states in Australia (a process known as a double majority), then the amendment gets passed.

I get the impression that in America the individual citizens do not get the opportunity to vote directly on an amendment proposal and that the entire matter is handled by the existing elected politicians at a federal and state level. Is that correct?

If this is the case, then Australia would appear to be more democratic than America, at least in respect of constitutional amendments. But this is not my area of expertise.

Quote
Look at how easily gun control was enacted in Australia..akin to the proverbial knee jerk reaction without adequate representation and due process. Even now, years later, I'd bet if Australia or even the UK voted concerning gun control the numbers would be split pretty much down the middle.. This tells me the rights of right around half these citizens were severely infringed on. Sad.

Are you aware, Steve, that not even policemen carry guns in the U.K? I originate from the U.K. When arriving in Australia, I was surprised to see policemen with guns strapped around their waist.

It's true that whenever a policeman gets shot in the U.K, the issue of arming the police force with guns is raised. However, the majority of the police in the U.K. are against carrying guns, and I'm pretty sure the majority of U.K. citizens would be against it.

The problem with America is that you have a 'gun culture', and cultural influences tend to be deeply embedded at an early age. I recall as a very young kid being rather impressed by the typical American Western movies of the times when two adults, with guns strapped around their waist, would stand facing each other at a distance. The first to draw would kill the other, provided his shot was accurate. How exciting! I also recall re-enacting such scenes with my playmates, at the age of 5 or 6.

What I find difficult to understand, Steve, is your general line of reasoning that guns are okay and we shouldn't ban them, but rather we should address the social issues that cause people to go bonkers.

Surely we should be doing both. When people lose it, and go on a rampage of violence and killing, they will no doubt use whatever weapons are available. If only knives or baseball bats are available, they may decide it is too difficult. A gun really empowers a person. One could be a physical coward in terms of fighting with one's fists, or a knife, but a gun may overcome such reservations.

My own psychological interpretation of such events as the Connecticut massacre, is that here is an individual who feels disempowered and worthless, for whatever reasons, such as a domineering mother perhaps, a divorce, an existing mental abnormality, bullying at school, all sorts of discrimination that he may have experienced. They all add up and contribute to a certain state of mind that causes a flip, and a desire to end it all.

Now ask yourself, Steve, if this individual had lived in the U.K where guns are not nearly so readily available as in America, would this tragedy have occurred on the same scale?



Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 17, 2012, 04:39:03 PM
Most of the talk everywhere (including on this forum) about gun control is idealistic, misinformed, and simplistic. 

I regret my choice of words.  It sounds much more aggressive than I intended.  I should have written something like ďwell intentioned but unrealisticĒ.  I apologize for not being more careful in my wording.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 04:45:27 PM
I regret my choice of words.  It sounds much more aggressive than I intended.  I should have written something like ďwell intentioned but unrealisticĒ.  I apologize for not being more careful in my wording.

Tip of the hat to you, Sir!
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 04:53:50 PM
Perhaps. Just as it would help if we could stop patronizing those with different opinions:

If you feel patronized then tell me when and where and I'll correct it, or whoever it was.  And despite of others behaviour you would be well served to refrain from name calling in a thread with potentially volatile subject matter.  Throwing gas on the file is not helpful, you don't need to anything but caring to know this.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 04:56:22 PM
Perhaps. Just as it would help if we could stop patronizing those with different opinions:
And as evidenced by your responses (and many others in this thread) it appears many who don't see the advantages of having a  guns haven't yet become fully educated on the topic.   

This is often the case.   We could say responses have shown the lack of education but we'd have to take them one by one.  But poor behaviour, in I think in this case perceived poor behaviour, does not make name calling helpful. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: michael on December 17, 2012, 04:59:45 PM
This tread will only remain open if civility prevails.

Michael
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 05:06:48 PM
Steve, as a former police officer yourself, are you aware that the majority of police is in favor of a stricter gun control? Or is my information incorrect?
I'm in favour of stricter gun control.  This is nothing new and we need to use this fact in context.  I don't support bans.  I support stricter control in ways that really pisses of the NRA and I've been told is "not in keeping with an endowment member or someone who benefits from our instructor programs..", but in ways I think will work based on my experience.

Also, if you take most of those "most police officers believe" comments, they're either taken out of content, or taken by representation.  For instance, it doesn't take much research to see that police chiefs and commissions who serve at the pleasure of an elected official.. closely follows that elected officials politics.  This is most often what we're seeing when such things are quoted.

I'm not aware of a single survey asking rank and file police officers what they think about gun control.  Not one.  I'm sure they're out there, but if there were many we're probably have noticed more than a few when you consider how many departments are out there.

And it was rare I went through an entire shift without hearing a partner say "we can't protect you 100% of the time, you might want to get a gun" in cases where someone is being threatened.  I never did.. too many variables and I'm a huge proponent of proper training..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 17, 2012, 05:11:35 PM
STORAGE LAWS:  In Florida ... The law said ALL guns must be stored in an approved SAFE and they specified a combination device and not a simple key. 

Here is a quote from the Supreme Courtís opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller: ďIn sum, we hold that the Districtís ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.Ē  In that case the District required that all guns be unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.  A gun safe or other similar storage requirement wasnít before the court, but it appears that such a requirement would also violate the Second Amendment to the same extent as trigger locks.   
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 17, 2012, 05:18:39 PM
Seems the Constitution makes mention of a right to bear arms, but says nothing about a right to ammunition.

Chairman Bill, you're not the first one with this idea.  I posted this link before, but here it is again since it fits your idea so well. Besides, this is such a sad topic, maybe a little humor wouldn't hurt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuX-nFmL0II
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 05:26:00 PM
In the context of this discussion, Oregon assisted suicide has no relevance.

I think it does in that it shows people consider suicide long before they do it.  It's an example and there are more, but it is certainly relevant.

Your title says it all.. "attempted suicides.."  Those are the calls for help.  Most people are intelligent enough to get suicide right the first time.  When they don't it's a cry for help, for attention. Not all the time, but most of the time.  I've been on the response end of a few suicides and a lot more attempted suicides and remain convinced of this.

 
Obviously it is impossible to kill with only bare hands whatever is out of arms reach.

Assuming the person is incapable of movement you would be correct.  Most are capable of movement.

 
Guns, by design, are a quick and easy way to kill - at distance, through walls, many individuals,...

Some guns.  Some ammo is frangible, or designed to become inert when it hits a wall.  Other guns are designed for target shooting or competition, but as a by product can kill.  Like many other household items.

I don't disagree guns are dangerous and can kill.  I do disagree all are designed that way or that it's their primary purpose (for all of them).  I know better because I've been involved with the subject matter my entire life.

 
Obviously that violent person would not have that weapon with which to shoot someone dead.

You're an intelligent guy.  If you wanted to kill someone, or a group of someone's, could you not come up with an alternative within just a few hours by visiting your local hardware store?  No other training, no internet, nothing but your intelligence, products of a hardware store, and desire?

Not everyone can, and not everyone can as well as others, which is why SF training includes such methods.. but I think you could.  I don't think you would need a gun at all if you wanted to kill.

Is anyone on this thread going to try and tell me they also couldn't do this?  I think working a cameras controls, the theories, etc.. takes a certain intelligence level which is more/less the same required to kill using readily available supplies/tools/items..

[/quote]
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 05:34:42 PM
Did the law mandate inspections to ensure that guns were in fact stored "in an approved SAFE"?

Without mandatory inspections you go too far when you say what such a law would have prevented; and even with mandatory inspections, guns would be stored in an approved safe except when they were not stored in an approved safe.

Like scheduled periodic inspections?  No.  But someone else saying they saw them out, a sighting by a police officer, etc.. would bring the charges.

Your' tying yourself up in knots trying to make a point that didn't need to be made Isaac.  It's obvious someone can choose to ignore the law.  But few people choose to risk their freedom and everything they've worked for simply to flaunt the law.  And the resulting drop in incidents showed the law to work.

A funny thing happened in Florida when this law passed and people learned they could sacrifice their freedom if their guns weren't locked up..  MANY decided it was too much responsibility for them and they got rid of their guns.  There were stories in the papers of people turning in collections of all sizes. 

The risk of going to jail.. it's the same deterrent that reduces drunk driving and other crimes "non-criminal" types sometimes commit. 

If there was such a law and you owned guns, would you lock yours up?  This answer for all of us here I'm sure is evident.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 05:41:27 PM
If you feel patronized then tell me when and where...

Well, I quoted you directly and even put in bold what I consider patronizing: you treat those disagree with you and "who don't see the advantages of having a gun" as simply ignorant (ok, "not fully educated").
 
Quote
you would be well served to refrain from name calling...

Sorry, but when exactly I resorted to calling anyone on this thread names? Yes, I used the term "gun nuts" in its generic meaning, not directed at anyone here in particular.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 05:49:15 PM
Totally agree.  Amend the constitution and stop the insanity.

We don't need all these guns in private hands.

Your opinion.  But not the majority.  Even today, just days after a terrible shooting, only 54% (some gallup I just read) would consider tighter measures.  Well within the margin of error.  And for sure not the super majority required.

But let's pretend such a law gets passed.   How many DECADES will it take before all the guns not voluntarily turned in..  somehow get turned in?  How man decades, centuries, etc.. will we have women, the elderly, the infirm, without a viable method of self defense both in their homes, and outside their homes.   A period in which brawn and lower IQ's rule our streets, schools, homes..

The violence does not go away with the guns.  And in our case, over 300 million guns.. the guns won't go away with the guns for possibly hundreds of years.

And now we'll have a "War on guns" as we fund border checkpoints, and whatever we do for drugs now.. criminals importing guns for profit.  Of course this will happen.

And here's a fun bit of information and please don't shoot the messenger.  Are you familiar with CNC machining?  Computer numerically controlled machines that can make just about anything you've a plan for.  3D printing?  Yep, within a decade or so I wouldn't be surprised if we can shoot out polymers like we use for Glocks and Springfield XD's and the like.. and build a gun during our lunchtime on the company printer..

Guns will never not be available to the average guy in one form or the other, the same way other tools used for killing won't be available.

So instead of backing a losing proposition.. how about a winning one?   Let's address the violence.. let's get to the acknowledged root of the problem..  Violence.   If we could do this we wouldn't have dangerous by products like when we try to get rid of guns.. instead we'll have surprising and refreshing positive by products.. Maybe we'll even learn what front porches are for and start using them instead of televisions..

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 06:00:14 PM
I'm in favour of stricter gun control....

Then what exactly are we arguing about!? Isn't that what I openly stated I am for earlier in this thread? I never said I am for a total ban. First, it is very unrealistic, given the culture and the Constitution. And second, I, as a pragmatic person, can see the need for guns for self protection under certain circumstances.

Also, I am not the faint of heart when it comes to guns and weapons. I shot from rifles and AK-47s during my military service (target practice) and was good at it. I would even entertain the idea of going to a shooting range and shooting from a gun. But I have no intention of actually owning a gun.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 06:02:24 PM
How about a simple ban on private ownership of all gas-operated and recoil-reloading weapons?  Everyone gets to have what we think of traditional firearms, that are perfectly adequate for their traditional purposes. 

You're assuming revolvers, pump, lever fed type firearms are inherently slower than semi-automatic weapons?  It's a good thought but watch some IPSC and IDPA competitions sometimes.. or even the old fashioned cowboy shooing comps where they exclusively use dated and period correct weapons.  It's stunning to see how fast they can be deployed.  Anyone remember the Rifleman?  Stunning rate of fire from his 1870 lever action.  Pumps are just as fast.  Even single shot mechanisms have devices sold which speeds them up quite a bit.

Guns by their very nature have the potential to be deadly.  Guns in one form or the other will always be available either in stores for sale legally, illegally, make your own, whatever.  So will other items which can be used as weapons.

So why not address the violence, the shooting video games, and the very core of what makes someone pick up a deadly whatever.. or even using their bare hands.. and do someone harm?

Here's a thought..  I think to some extent we're all guilty of not having enough skill with our keyboards to not somehow piss off our neighbour.  Really, I'm trying my very best to not do that.. yet judging by some of the responses I've failed.  Why don't we teach this sort of skills, skills that help us get along, so we'll rarely if ever get to the point of violence.

We're missing basic skills in how not to piss people off.. 50 years ago the frequency such things happened was way less.   We had much more dangerous weapons for sale, but no one felt the need to buy them.  Heck, the most dangerous thing the average guy used to think of owning was a 55 Chevy.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 17, 2012, 06:03:00 PM
Here is a timely article about the effect on crime rates due to fewer gun restrictions.  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/do-concealed-weapon-laws-result-in-less-crime/2012/12/16/e80a5d7e-47c9-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_blog.html

The gist of the article is that allowing more guns, much as Steve Weldon has proposed, didn't result in more crime, may have contributed somewhat to less crime, but most likely didn't have much effect at all.  This is just my quick summary.  Read the article for the full story if you're interested.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 17, 2012, 06:09:12 PM
... So instead of backing a losing proposition.. how about a winning one?   Let's address the violence...

Good luck with that. And how many decades or even centuries it might take to change a nation's culture of violence?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 07:01:40 PM
Steve,
In Australia, when we see the need to change the constitution, we hold a referendum which requires every person on the electoral roll to vote 'yes' or 'no' to the proposed amendment.


Yes, our countries are different.  Whether one way is better than the other would be hard to say..  When not on the military or the short time (4 years) I was a cop, I spent a lot of time overseas and I've seen it done many ways.  Usually what's being used in the way of policies fits..   I had friends from many countries, but more than a few from the UK, Oz, and even kiwis.. I find the people of Oz to be the most "American like", but that's only my opinion.  But yet, I'm very familiar with guns laws and policies in other countries because they interest me, I contrast and compare..  More than a few of my Aussie friends don't agree with what happened with gun control there.. and they have personal stories about how it's impacted them.  


The problem with America is that you have a 'gun culture', and cultural influences tend to be deeply embedded at an early age. I recall as a very young kid being rather impressed by the typical American Western movies of the times when two adults, with guns strapped around their waist, would stand facing each other at a distance. The first to draw would kill the other, provided his shot was accurate. How exciting! I also recall re-enacting such scenes with my playmates, at the age of 5 or 6.

As much as I've learned about other countries, I know America better.. and sometimes it's surprising how little one knows about their own country.  

We do have a gun culture though I find the term misused, typically to make political points.  We've had western movies, played with toy guns and all of that type of thing far before we've had serious issues with guns.  The cowboy movies of the past were far from realistic and the topical part not really something you could relate to popular culture.. or in other words we knew "it was just a movie.."   So despite the grand era of spaghetti westerns we never had gun problems.

But not we do.  We also have tons of ultra realistic shooting games that take place in modern scenarios and they're so real you can even think the spurting blood with get your fingers wet.  We also have gang culture, a drug culture, and other forms of violent behaviours we should be dealing with.  

So I really don't think the likes of Bonanza and Gun smoke are responsible.. but I do think a lot of the music culture (gansta rap and other violent rap), movies, video games.. these are real problems.



What I find difficult to understand, Steve, is your general line of reasoning that guns are okay and we shouldn't ban them, but rather we should address the social issues that cause people to go bonkers.

Surely we should be doing both.


Maybe I can help you understand where I'm coming from here.

First, it should be obvious to everyone that addressing the core issues of violence is something we should do regardless of anything else.  Violence is bad.  Violence gets men, women, and children hurt.. it ruins families.   It's just bad.  And as a society (and from what I've read observed from UK tourists, the UK is even worse in this regard) we stand only to benefit from addressing these issues.  

A violent individual determined to cause harm will find a means to kill.  Evil will find a way.  Whether its a gun, a hammer, or a battery operated nail gun as mentioned earlier..   and as mentioned earlier the average person can kill and individual or a group using just what they find in an ordinary hardware store.  If they need help google will help you kill.  For some reason we're discussing gun control when bomb and choline gas instructions abound with a few simple keyboard strokes.  

Guns have many legit uses other than for killing.  Many of us grew up using guns as tools and still do.  They're used to hunt, to protect livestock from dangerous wildlife (does the UK still have grizzlies, brown bears, cougars, mountain lions, alligators, and other dangerous wildlife?  People that live in certain areas actually need firearms to be safe from the such), rodent eradication, and so much more.  There are also scores of competitions I've been competing in since I was a child.  To think that someone would take these things away from me because we've been negligent with our society is confounding.

But perhaps the biggest reason is self-defense.. and it's also the reason I'm really big on training.  You need to reach a certain level of competency when using/carrying firearms to not be a danger to others. With even more training you benefit others.  As our society (and yours) grows more violent the need for the average person to defend themselves becomes greater.

Also, with CCW (carry concealed weapon) permits MOST states show a marked decrease in violent crime.  Criminals tend to be bullies and do not want to invade a home or attack someone unless they're sure they're not armed (schools, malls, bars, temples, churches are other easy targets for the violent)  States that don't, given time I think will.

So in our violent times I think guns are the lesser of the two evils assuming proper training.

Can I ask you something?  Don't you feel a responsibility to protect yourself?  How about your family and home?    Wouldn't you just feel plain negligent (and terrible) if a member of your family was hurt/killed/raped when you had it within your power to have protected them?  

And no, that really isn't what the police are for.  Ask them.  They are incapable of protecting you.  Do you know the response time for police in your area?  You should.  In my area it's 8-11 minutes but "could be significantly longer depending on circumstances."  Not terribly encouraging.   I need to be able to ward of ahome invasion, a home intruder, etc,, for 8-11 minutes. And if we leave our home.. then too.

Great discussion so far!  Thanks  :)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 07:14:00 PM
Then what exactly are we arguing about!? Isn't that what I openly stated I am for earlier in this thread? I never said I am for a total ban. First, it is very unrealistic, given the culture and the Constitution. And second, I, as a pragmatic person, can see the need for guns for self protection under certain circumstances.

Also, I am not the faint of heart when it comes to guns and weapons. I shot from rifles and AK-47s during my military service (target practice) and was good at it. I would even entertain the idea of going to a shooting range and shooting from a gun. But I have no intention of actually owning a gun.
I thought we were discussing.  But do note, I'm in favour of greatly tightening the mental health rules for access to include physical health (certain types of drugs), I support mandatory training in a huge way, laws mandating storage requirements, and as part of our current crisis training qualified teachers to carry CCW in the same way we now have air marshals.  Other stuff too.  I'm also a big supporter of physical storage and laws that hold those who allow others their weapons both civil (take everything they've got) and criminal (serve jail time)..     

But I see no sense in banning anything physical.. I know as sure as I'm sitting here there would be zero difference in a shooting outcome if the shooter was restricted to 10 round magazines vs. 30 round. Or a AR classified as a hunting rifle vs. one as an assault weapon.

I'm greatly in favour of CCW's.. but to be honest the average CCW holder scares me to death knowing he's got a loaded weapon in public or around my children.  So I would make mandatory training like we've never had.. if you want a CCW you'll go through near level police training and you'll requalify as police do, every quarter.  Now, we end up with an asset I want sitting next to me when some out of control mentally deranged rambo becomes an issue.

We could do this smart and set a standard never before seen.. and at the same time address our issues of violence.  Or we could continue to be stupid..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 07:22:28 PM
Here is a quote from the Supreme Courtís opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller: ďIn sum, we hold that the Districtís ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.Ē  In that case the District required that all guns be unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device.  A gun safe or other similar storage requirement wasnít before the court, but it appears that such a requirement would also violate the Second Amendment to the same extent as trigger locks.   

This is going to be a bit tricky and will have to be spelled out in the laws.  Storage is for when you're not there.  If you're home and want to put your gun under your pillow or practice your draw in front of the tv then fine.. you're keeping it out of the hands of others.  But when you leave, take it out from under the pillow and lock it up.

I came home from patrol each day and placed my loaded weapon in a combination safe.  Now I have installed "GunVaults" in my vehicle bolted in.. so if there's a place my CCW doesn't cover I can lock it safely. 

There's also a host of biometric models though I like the hand shaped finger combo method GunVault uses..Fingerprint readers haven't progressed enough to make be feel good using one.  Yet.

I think with a few simple guidelines the responsible gun owner can work out storage okay.. sure hope so.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 07:30:38 PM
Well, I quoted you directly and even put in bold what I consider patronizing: you treat those disagree with you and "who don't see the advantages of having a gun" as simply ignorant (ok, "not fully educated").
 
Sorry, but when exactly I resorted to calling anyone on this thread names? Yes, I used the term "gun nuts" in its generic meaning, not directed at anyone here in particular.

All I'm really trying to say is we should try and keep a volatile subject under our best behaviour.  I'm sorry if I came off as patronizing and I'd appreciate if if those attaching labels would cease doing so.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 17, 2012, 07:34:24 PM
Good luck with that. And how many decades or even centuries it might take to change a nation's culture of violence?

I think a lot quicker than we can actually be free of guns.. As I see it, we've seen drastic changes in violence in the last 40 years, but especially in the last 20.  I never even allowed my kids to have toy guns or pretend they were shooting someone.. so those, violent shooting games, movies.. we have a lot of room to change.   Formal instruction for the sake of awareness in our schools would be great.  It's a long road for sure.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: marvpelkey on December 17, 2012, 09:20:26 PM
Some of my thoughts on the matter (I'm a Canadian and a recently retired 30 year cop, so am looking at this thing from the outside in, although have a bit more association to the matters than the average citizen):

The vast majority of Canadian cops do not advocate putting guns into the hands of citizens. The vast majority of American cops I have spoken to, do not advocate guns for citizens (as long as they get to keep theirs).

Gun control in the US is one of the most contentious issues and will likely never be resolved.

Stats can be used to support anything. And often ignore many other things that contribute to certain results.

Both opponents and proponents often resort to fear-mongering to sell their point (similar to some of Steve Weldon's points - "brawn and lower IQ's rule our streets, schools, homes"  and having a family member hurt, killed or raped while, because you didn't have gun, you were incapable of doing anything - really, really?).

I just can't comprehend a society which relies so heavily on the proliferation of guns to ensure a peaceful existence.

As part of a solution, having (even well trained) teachers carrying a concealed weapon while on duty, with the expectation that they will stand up to someone intent in causing death to others is so foreign to me and scares the heck out of me.

Although many citizens would/do take gun security seriously, a great many would/do not (in this case, it appeared it was not). To expect the answer to be more/better training and gun security is naive and unrealistic. If it takes time and commitment and a whole bunch of money, it is either not going to get done or get done but not very well.

I think the US is too far down the path it has chosen and see no real change in sight, certainly not in my life or the lives of my children or grandchildren. However, incidents such as this cause a whole bunch of people to do a whole bunch of talking and soul searching, then after awhile everyone goes on as before (except those directly affected). Until the next time.

My 2 cents.

Marv
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 18, 2012, 04:08:21 AM

Maybe I can help you understand where I'm coming from here.

First, it should be obvious to everyone that addressing the core issues of violence is something we should do regardless of anything else.  Violence is bad.  Violence gets men, women, and children hurt.. it ruins families.   It's just bad.  And as a society (and from what I've read observed from UK tourists, the UK is even worse in this regard) we stand only to benefit from addressing these issues.  

A violent individual determined to cause harm will find a means to kill.  Evil will find a way.  Whether its a gun, a hammer, or a battery operated nail gun as mentioned earlier..   and as mentioned earlier the average person can kill and individual or a group using just what they find in an ordinary hardware store.  If they need help google will help you kill.  For some reason we're discussing gun control when bomb and choline gas instructions abound with a few simple keyboard strokes.  

Guns have many legit uses other than for killing.  Many of us grew up using guns as tools and still do.  They're used to hunt, to protect livestock from dangerous wildlife (does the UK still have grizzlies, brown bears, cougars, mountain lions, alligators, and other dangerous wildlife?  People that live in certain areas actually need firearms to be safe from the such), rodent eradication, and so much more.  There are also scores of competitions I've been competing in since I was a child.  To think that someone would take these things away from me because we've been negligent with our society is confounding.

But perhaps the biggest reason is self-defense.. and it's also the reason I'm really big on training.  You need to reach a certain level of competency when using/carrying firearms to not be a danger to others. With even more training you benefit others.  As our society (and yours) grows more violent the need for the average person to defend themselves becomes greater.

Also, with CCW (carry concealed weapon) permits MOST states show a marked decrease in violent crime.  Criminals tend to be bullies and do not want to invade a home or attack someone unless they're sure they're not armed (schools, malls, bars, temples, churches are other easy targets for the violent)  States that don't, given time I think will.

So in our violent times I think guns are the lesser of the two evils assuming proper training.

Can I ask you something?  Don't you feel a responsibility to protect yourself?  How about your family and home?    Wouldn't you just feel plain negligent (and terrible) if a member of your family was hurt/killed/raped when you had it within your power to have protected them?  

And no, that really isn't what the police are for.  Ask them.  They are incapable of protecting you.  Do you know the response time for police in your area?  You should.  In my area it's 8-11 minutes but "could be significantly longer depending on circumstances."  Not terribly encouraging.   I need to be able to ward of ahome invasion, a home intruder, etc,, for 8-11 minutes. And if we leave our home.. then too.

Great discussion so far!  Thanks  :)

Steve, with respect, I think you are missing the point here.  Those of us from outside the US can mostly see the pragmatic side of your argument - that in reality very little will change because of the 300 million guns in circulation, and because of your constitution.  But can you honestly not realise that the solution is so simple in concept, if not in execution, that to get rid of guns in your society will reduce the numbers of violent deaths in general and mass killings in particular by a huge percentage.  All the training in the world will not alter the fact that a disillusioned man who does not own a gun, can just walk into his mother's room and pick up no less than FOUR legally held guns and ammunition, and go on a killing spree.
Unfortunately even well trained and well balanced ex policemen can flip mentally and suddenly decide to become killers.  Just don't give them access to guns. And the logical progression of the self defence concept is that every citizen would need to be armed, trained, and carry a weapon at all times - just in case.....

I am sure most US citizens are good people, so no reason why what works in other countries cannot work there too.

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 18, 2012, 05:28:18 AM
All the training in the world will not alter the fact that a disillusioned man who does not own a gun, can just walk into his mother's room and pick up no less than FOUR legally held guns and ammunition, and go on a killing spree.

- Get rid of guns, and the number of gun-related incidents in general will decrease.
- Get rid of guns, and the number of psycho-attacks in general will NOT decrease.

Period. Don't confuse the two.

You can subsequently argue whether the number of victims per psycho-attack will reduce if guns aren't readily available, but that is a statistically moot point. At least I hope we agree on that.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 18, 2012, 05:32:35 AM
The gun was, in some book that I read as a chld in the 40s, referred to as the Ďequalizerí. That stuck in my mind because of the problems associated with being thin Ė still am Ė and not particularly given to sport or to horseplay by nature. Groups of small children inevitably sense out those less capable of hitting them flat, and for absolutely no reason other than that they can will, therefore, go ahead and knock them flat. Itís how the male human, in a group, feels safe to operate, and anyone who denies this is lying or hiding his own character and experiences from himself. I have seen this characteristic displayed over and over again in many different situations and ways, both physically as well as mentally. What did you imagine office bullying was if not the very same violence with a civilized smile on its face?

In the adult world, or at least that where the adult can think and speak and express himself other than by grunt, even if not immediately visible, violence is still only under the surface. If you doubt that, just how long does it take to get you riled up in traffic? And just how sane do you imagine all those faceless guys driving around in those vehicles might be? I can remember an experience on the motorway near Manchester (England) one year when my wife and I were driving our Spanish-plated car there en route north up to Scotland. Out of nowhere came this white van (yes, it was white!) that proceeded to tailgate us, cut out and then begin to force us towards the edge of the motorway. I thought of accelerating away then decided to give way instead, in the hope that I was mistaken and was just the victim of someone with poor driving sense or eyesight. It made no difference. The damned thing continued to harass us for several miles. A cellphone would have been nice, but I donít remember having one in those days, nor if they even existed in Europe. Had I a gun, would that have helped the situation? Not in the car, but at least I would have known that if we had been forced to stop, the thing wouldnít have become any worse Ė for the two of us. And yes, I would certainly have used it if required. Similar things were happening in France at the time: drivers were being bumped from behind, and when they stopped, thinking it was an accident, the people were robbed. Barcelona, just outside its ferry terminal, also has a reputation for crime against car owners. The trick is for motorbikes to come up beside you at the inevitable lights and jams and puncture your tyre. A few minutes later they drive up beside you again, indicating you have a flat. When you stop, you get mugged. I have neighbours here who faced this very thing there, and other people have reported the same experince in various local newspapers here as well. I know persons who have driven up the mountain route along the northern coast of Mallorca, stopped at ĎKodakí points (not signed as such, of course) and found themselves at knife-point. You donít need guns to get violated. But guns can save you from violation. Iíd have absolutely no compunction at the thought of ending such violations with a shot. People who do those things to people do so because they donít give a shit about others; why care about them?

Maybe in Europe we just pretend that we are safe; at least in the States they play it upfront. On my first trip to Miami we picked up the car from the Avis lot at the airport and I shall never forget the advice from the guy letting us through the barrier: whatever you see on the motorway, an accident or whatever, donít stop: it might well be a trick.

Welcome to the real world.

Yes, I do see that itís obvious that a gun allows the sort of school tragedy we grieve to happen, that otherwise it would probably be on a far smaller scale; but tragedies like that will always happen, one way or the other, and I believe that the balance between the visible bodycount of such incidents and the potential bodycounts through robberies and assaults that do not happen because the perps know they will be met with the same violence that they would deliver, should not be dismissed or discounted for no better reason than that it isnít quantifiable.

Really, itís the microcosmic version of the military arms race: if we donít have the weapons, the opposite side will certainly use the ones that they do have either practically or as intimidation; that this is so is already plain to see in the localized skirmishes that exist on pracically every continent. Iím afraid that itís part of Manís makeup, as I indicated when I came in.

There are no effective legal remedies, nor fresh laws created because it isnít about law but about humanity.

Rob C

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Bryan Conner on December 18, 2012, 05:51:46 AM
One thing that tends to get overlooked as a factor in mass murders is the media coverage. We all know who is getting the most of it in cases like this. Their names and mugshots are everywhere, what they wrote, what they said, their life stories, etc. There is no doubt who is the "hero" of the day. And being famous, including infamous, is at the top of the social values in our society.

Now imagine if the media would somehow, miraculously, agree to the one and the same treatment of events like this: no mentioning of the perp's name, no photos, no stories about. Instead, the media would be plastered with stories about those who lost their lives, their most beautiful photographs, etc. So that any idiot out there planning to become famous by copying or outdoing the last one would know that the only fame he would create is for his victims and a total anonymity for himself.


I 100% agree with you on this one Slobodan.  I would not be surprised if the real underlying motive for this horrible deed was simply "I bet everyone will know who I am after I do this!"
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 18, 2012, 08:16:07 AM
- Get rid of guns, and the number of gun-related incidents in general will decrease.
- Get rid of guns, and the number of psycho-attacks in general will NOT decrease.

Period. Don't confuse the two.

You can subsequently argue whether the number of victims per psycho-attack will reduce if guns aren't readily available, but that is a statistically moot point. At least I hope we agree on that.

I thinks it's totally reasonable to argue that the number of victims per psycho-attack will reduce if that very efficient killing tool, the gun, is not readily available.

I simply can't understand why you would think otherwise.

However, I don't think we should exaggerate the situation. By world standards, if we include all the undeveloped and underdeveloped countries, and the basket-case countries and the trouble spots, including Africa, the US doesn't fare too badly on the homicide scale. It's got a significantly lower rate than the Russian Federation, for example, so maybe that's something to be proud of.

I've just done an internet search to see if I could find any fully developed, established democracy with strict gun-ownership controls that has a homicide rate approaching that of the USA. I couldn't find any.

I'll just quote a few homicide figures, per 100,000 of population, gleaned from the linked websites below, to give you an idea of the differences.

The figures vary from year to year, but the following figures seem to be fairly typical.

United States...4.2
United Kingdom....1.2
France.................1.1
Netherlands ........1.1
Australia ............1.0
Italy...................0.9
New Zealand .......0.9
Germany ............0.8
Spain .................0.8
Switzerland..........0.7
Austria ...............0.6
Japan .............0.3

Is it really a coincidence that the country with by far the most guns in circulation has by far the highest homicide rate, and the country where it's most difficult to own a gun of any sort has by far the lowest homicide rate, despite the notoriety of the Yakuza?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/oct/13/homicide-rates-country-murder-data

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

http://chartsbin.com/view/1454

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate_by_decade
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Robert Roaldi on December 18, 2012, 08:42:01 AM
Some of my thoughts on the matter (I'm a Canadian and a recently retired 30 year cop, so am looking at this thing from the outside in, although have a bit more association to the matters than the average citizen):

The vast majority of Canadian cops do not advocate putting guns into the hands of citizens. The vast majority of American cops I have spoken to, do not advocate guns for citizens (as long as they get to keep theirs).

Gun control in the US is one of the most contentious issues and will likely never be resolved.

Stats can be used to support anything. And often ignore many other things that contribute to certain results.

Both opponents and proponents often resort to fear-mongering to sell their point (similar to some of Steve Weldon's points - "brawn and lower IQ's rule our streets, schools, homes"  and having a family member hurt, killed or raped while, because you didn't have gun, you were incapable of doing anything - really, really?).

I just can't comprehend a society which relies so heavily on the proliferation of guns to ensure a peaceful existence.

As part of a solution, having (even well trained) teachers carrying a concealed weapon while on duty, with the expectation that they will stand up to someone intent in causing death to others is so foreign to me and scares the heck out of me.

Although many citizens would/do take gun security seriously, a great many would/do not (in this case, it appeared it was not). To expect the answer to be more/better training and gun security is naive and unrealistic. If it takes time and commitment and a whole bunch of money, it is either not going to get done or get done but not very well.

I think the US is too far down the path it has chosen and see no real change in sight, certainly not in my life or the lives of my children or grandchildren. However, incidents such as this cause a whole bunch of people to do a whole bunch of talking and soul searching, then after awhile everyone goes on as before (except those directly affected). Until the next time.

My 2 cents.

Marv


+1

I also wonder about this idea that the presence of so many firearms in the U.S. contributes to safety. It sure doesn't look like it from here (Ottawa). If so many people feel that their safety is threatened so much that vast numbers of citizens feel the need to arm themselves, well, that doesn't sound like a safe place to me.

I don't get the whole "right" to bear arms idea, I admit. I don't understand the fetish of adhering to a 200 year-old idea. I know it's difficult to make constitutional amendments, but using that technicality to promote paralysis seems a little too lawyerly to me. Laws should serve society.

Do people really think it's a good idea to put multi-round firing weapons in the hands of everyday citizens who aren't hunters? Why is that a good idea?

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 18, 2012, 09:02:52 AM
Rob, I don't think your points would in any way validate arming a nation to protect themselves against White Van Man, muggers on motorbikes or at picture stops.  The fact is that in all these case at worst the assailant is likely to be armed with a knife and only going to threaten you for money.  Give them your money and they will be off.  Nobody needs to get killed.  Now if like in the US the chances are Joe public could be armed, then of course the robbers are likely to have guns too.  If you pull a gun on them you will probably get shot because they might well have more practise in using the gun and will certainly value life lower than you would.  You can run from a knife, you can run from a stick, but try outrunning a bullet.
In the UK it is mainly gangs involved in drugs who use guns, and they usually use them on each other.  They don't need them for other crime because they know they're highly unlikely to meet anyone else with a gun and so just the threat of physical violence is enough to get what they want.

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 18, 2012, 09:23:59 AM
Rob, I don't think your points would in any way validate arming a nation to protect themselves against White Van Man, muggers on motorbikes or at picture stops.  The fact is that in all these case at worst the assailant is likely to be armed with a knife and only going to threaten you for money.  Give them your money and they will be off.  Nobody needs to get killed.  Now if like in the US the chances are Joe public could be armed, then of course the robbers are likely to have guns too.  If you pull a gun on them you will probably get shot because they might well have more practise in using the gun and will certainly value life lower than you would.  You can run from a knife, you can run from a stick, but try outrunning a bullet.
In the UK it is mainly gangs involved in drugs who use guns, and they usually use them on each other.  They don't need them for other crime because they know they're highly unlikely to meet anyone else with a gun and so just the threat of physical violence is enough to get what they want.Jim



I see, so that's all right then.

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 09:44:00 AM
... At least I hope we agree on that.

No.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 18, 2012, 09:57:48 AM
I've been reluctant to get into this one, but since Slobodan's made it clear he hasn't a clue what an "assault weapon" is, even though he's sure that banning them will bring about at least a partial cure for this thing everyone seems to agree "we need to do something about," here are a few points that might be considered:

(1) Even though Slobodan's Chicago has had the strictest anti-gun laws in the US, it's become the murder capital of the world. It's followed closely by New York, with nearly equivalent gun laws. Detroit is trying hard to compete.

(2) Though the number of random shootings like the one in Newtown has been increasing over recent years, the overall number of gun deaths has been decreasing.

Don't ask me to make sense out of those data. There isn't any. But it does demonstrate that restrictive gun laws don't necessarily correlate with less shootings.

Regarding "assault weapons." I don't remember who, above, opined that knives could be assault weapons, but it's worth pointing out that knives and swords haven't been considered assault weapons since the invention of the English longbow in the 1300s.

The AR 15 isn't an assault weapon. Even though it has a flash suppressor and a bayonet lug, it's still a semi-automatic weapon, identical in firepower to about half of the less aggressive-looking hunting rifles out there. And if you've practiced enough with a pump or lever-action rifle you can come close to the rate of fire of a semi-automatic. If you ever fire a full-automatic weapon like the M-16 or the AK-47 you'll know the difference. Back in 1934, at the height of Al Capone's depredations (here we are back in Chicago, Slobodan) the US outlawed full-automatic weapons in the hands of civilians, so we don't need to outlaw assault weapons. It's already been done.

Things that might actually have an effect:

(1) Forcibly evaluate and institutionalize people like Lanza, who showed clear signs of being unbalanced long before his rampage. This isn't going to weed out all the nuts who might go on a shooting spree, but it's something we used to do routinely before a deluge of bleeding-hearts took that option away.

(2) Get our TV people to stop immortalizing people like Lanza with day after day of coverage. Unbalanced copycats learn that they can become famous (if dead) by doing what others have done. Actually, what they become is notorious, but they don't know the difference and couldn't care less.

(3) Give a reasonable number of teachers in every school an additional duty: Pay them extra, require them to carry concealed weapons, and require them to show up periodically at a locally designated shooting range and re-qualify -- same way our cops have to.

I keep thinking about that professor at Virginia Tech who held the door against the shooter while his students got out of the room. There should be a huge memorial statue on the Virginia Tech campus for that guy who gave his life for his students. Had he been armed, the shooting would have stopped right there.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 10:29:59 AM
I've been reluctant to get into this one, but since Slobodan's made it clear he hasn't a clue ...

Ain't I proud that my humble opinion can bring the mighty to the debate?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 18, 2012, 11:12:29 AM
I thinks it's totally reasonable to argue that the number of victims per psycho-attack will reduce if that very efficient killing tool, the gun, is not readily available.

I simply can't understand why you would think otherwise.

Uhmmm, guns apparently are overrated. It takes another 40 or so schoolshootings before they level out victim count due to the mcveigh drama alone. And bombs are not readily available i might add. I don't find it useful though to make such a comparison in the same way that arguing about the term "assault" is in any way relevant.

I think it is very reasonable to assume that a psycho attacker will find a gun if so desired, i do not believe psycho attacks happen frequent enough so that the purely random impulse cases that might somehow be affected by gun-control make a jota of difference on victim count in general or the severity and impact of these attacks. Most schoolshootings sofar btw don't seem to classify at all as random-impuls cases.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 18, 2012, 11:44:33 AM
The U.S. is a safe country generally.  The number of gun related crimes looks very scary, especially when compared to other countries, but most of those gun crimes occur in inner city, crime ridden, minority neighborhoods.  A lot of the shootings are drug related, but drug related crime breeds even more other crime and violence.  It creates a culture where violence is normal.  There are a lot of poor, good, law abiding people who are effectively trapped in those neighborhoods.  Itís a shame and tragic that they have to live, and raise children, in such circumstances, and such circumstances just continue the cycle of violence.

I hope that all this talk about gun violence in the U.S. doesnít give a wrong impression about how dangerous life is in the U.S.  Sure, everyone needs to be aware of areas to avoid, if possible, but overall people are pretty safe from violence in the U.S.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 12:11:03 PM
... I keep thinking about that professor at Virginia Tech who held the door against the shooter while his students got out of the room. Had he been armed, the shooting would have stopped right there.

Retrofitting higher probabilities to desired outcomes is a national pastime, otherwise known as monday-morning-quarterbacking, or, to bring it to Russ' domain, where it is known as (paraphrased) "all generals are smart after the battle."

So, lets do some retrofitting of our own, on the subject of "had he been armed":

- he might have had a bad burrito the night before and is spending the day in and out of school's restrooms
- he might have been preparing for his class in his cabinet or school's library
- he might have stepped out for a smoke
- he might have been making out with a colleague or student in a discrete corner of the school

In all those, and many other scenarios, somebody else might have held the door against the shooter, and unless that other is also armed, the outcome would have been the same. Unless, of course, every teacher is both armed and carrying it on him at all times. This includes female teachers as well. By extension, we shall then arm every doctor and every nurse, every shopkeeper in the mall, every usher in movie theaters, every bank teller, etc.

In all fairness, I must admit that Steve Weldon's idea of selected teachers as air-marshalls sounds a bit more seductive. The difference is that air-marshals operate in a very random environment, while students would be able to detect a teacher-marshal relatively quickly. The anonymity of an air-marshal is his key asset.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 18, 2012, 01:38:57 PM
Guns have many legit uses other than for killing.  ... They're used to hunt, to protect livestock from dangerous wildlife ...

The "legit uses" in this example actually are examples of guns being used, as designed, for killing -- killing game animals and killing dangerous wildlife.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 01:49:48 PM
... the problems associated with being thin Ė still am Ė and not particularly given to sport or to horseplay by nature. Groups of small children inevitably sense out those less capable of hitting them flat, and for absolutely no reason other than that they can will, therefore, go ahead and knock them flat. Itís how the male human, in a group, feels safe to operate, and anyone who denies this is lying or hiding his own character and experiences from himself...

Hmmm... I must be lying then. Or deluding myself. Or maybe I am not a man enough.

I would not say I am thin, but I am certainly of an average, i.e., non-impressive or threatening physique. And yet, in my whole life, I have never, ever (knock the wood), been bullied, mugged, attacked or engaged in any kind of physical or even verbal altercation. And I lived in some rather dangerous environments (Moscow, post-communism, eight years), Barcelona (four years), and (gasp) the "murder capital of the world" - Chicago - according to Russ (the last eight years).

My wife was a victim of a petty crime twice in Barcelona, though. Once pick-pocketing, done so skillfully (i.e., non-violently) that she did not even notice. And the second time her purse was snatched off her shoulder (again, no other harm to her). I do not see how a gun would have helped. In the second case, it would have been inside the purse, and thus gone as well.

So, what's my "secret," how on Earth I've been able to protect myself and my family from "murder and rape" without a gun, to paraphrase Steve Weldon's question in another post? At least so far (knock the wood again).

- I simply try to avoid situations or environments where I would need a gun
- I choose to live in safe neighborhoods (I do realize that not everybody can afford that)
- I try to stay away from seedy parts of town, bars, events
- I try not to provoke a situation or confrontation
- I will try to remove myself from a situation before it escalates (not to run away mind you, just anticipate well in advance so that I can avoid it)
- If inevitable, I'd try to defuse it

Now, if I had a gun, I would probably be in the position that economists and risk analysts call "moral hazard," i.e., engaging in riskier behavior knowing that I am "protected." Which then becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy: by owning the gun you actually attract the situations where owning and using it is justifiable. Or you can call it a vicious circle.

Also, by owning the gun I might be tempted to use it. I generally consider myself a calm and composed individual. Yet, everyone has his breaking point. Sometimes the trigger (pardon the pun) might be a sense of injustice, wounded pride, moral outrage, or simply hurt feelings (like when Oscar insulted my daughter ;)). If (or when) it happens to me, if I ever reach my breaking point, I certainly don't wish to have a gun in my hands.

But lets now assume i do have a gun and I ended up in a situation where it might be needed. If I brandish it as a deterrence, and the assailant runs away screaming in horror, that would be a Hollywood happy ending, wouldn't it? In reality, I am more likely to face another individual with a gun. And here is the catch: that individual will be more accustomed to the situation, more experienced, quicker, more determined and with far less moral scruples to use it than I would. Although I am not afraid to use it in self-defense, I would probably deliberate for a SPLIT-SECOND longer, whether the situation warrants killing, than the other guy.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 18, 2012, 02:06:15 PM
Most people are intelligent enough to get suicide right the first time. When they don't it's a cry for help, for attention. Not all the time, but most of the time.

"Our finding that the magnitude of association between household firearm ownership and suicide is particularly high for children is consistent with previous empirical work, and with the hypothesis that suicide acts by youth are more likely to be impulsive and therefore more likely to be affected by the means at hand (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563517/)."


Assuming the person is incapable of movement you would be correct.  Most are capable of movement.

Be charitable, allow that both parties would be capable of movement, and someone would run away and call the cops on their cell phone -- or try to run away and be shot in the back.

 
I don't disagree guns are dangerous and can kill.  I do disagree all are designed that way or that it's their primary purpose (for all of them).  I know better because I've been involved with the subject matter my entire life.

In the context of this discussion, when there's so much else that you could choose to disagree about, this seems to be quarrelling for its own sake.

You choose to focus on a fraction of a fraction of a percent of firearms, when you understand the overwhelming majority of guns are designed to kill and that is the primary purpose.


If you wanted to kill someone, or a group of someone's, could you not come up with an alternative within just a few hours by visiting your local hardware store?

It seems that you very much do not wish to accept that what actually happened is that guns were used as designed -- to kill.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 18, 2012, 02:08:12 PM

(1) Even though Slobodan's Chicago has had the strictest anti-gun laws in the US, it's become the murder capital of the world. It's followed closely by New York, with nearly equivalent gun laws. Detroit is trying hard to compete.

(2) Though the number of random shootings like the one in Newtown has been increasing over recent years, the overall number of gun deaths has been decreasing.

Don't ask me to make sense out of those data. There isn't any. But it does demonstrate that restrictive gun laws don't necessarily correlate with less shootings.


That's an interesting statistic, Russ, that Chicago's crime rate has been recently increasing despite its crackdown on handgun ownership. I did a bit of research, and according to Wikipedia the homicide rate in Chicago had been steadily decreasing from 1992 to 2011. This year, however, it's on the rise again. Here are the figures.

Homicides in Chicago 1990-2012

1990: 851
1991: 927
1992: 943
1993: 855
1994: 931
1995: 828
1996: 796
1997: 761
1998: 704
1999: 643
2000: 633
2001: 667
2002: 656
2003: 601
2004: 453
2005: 451
2006: 471
2007: 448
2008: 513
2009: 459
2010: 436
2011: 433
2012: 488(to date)

Chicago is not an island with it's own custom's control. It's a part of mainland America where there are about 200 million guns already in circulation, from estimates I've seen. I imagine that criminals and delinquents would have little difficulty in sneaking guns into the area from outside of Chicago.

Another interesting statistic I came across is that in 2005, 76% of the victims of murders in Chicago were African Americans, and 77.4% of the perpetrators of such murders were also African Americans. Only 5.65% were white.

That sounds to me like there are huge problems of social inequality in Chicago which may outweigh any poorly enforced restrictions on gun ownership.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Chicago
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 18, 2012, 02:11:50 PM


I see, so that's all right then.

Rob C

No Rob, not all right - but at least it doesn't turn into a shoot-out.  I have a brother who engaged in some petty criminal burglary when he was around 15 years old.  In the US setup he might have been shot if caught by an angry property owner.  Here, he was caught, and after a few months detention has carried on a crime free life.  I don't want to see anyone's brother or son shot because some self-righteous person thinks they have the power of god in the form of a gun.

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 18, 2012, 02:34:44 PM
Chicago is not an island with it's own custom's control. It's a part of mainland America where there are about 200 million guns already in circulation, from estimates I've seen. I imagine that criminals and delinquents would have little difficulty in sneaking guns into the area from outside of Chicago.

As you imagine, and it's just the same in NYC --

Quote
But Mayor Michael Bloomberg pointed out: ďWe have now had eight ó thatís correct, eight ó members of the department shot in the last four months and this is the second time in the last 24 hours police have been fired upon by armed assailants.Ē

He added: ďAll the shootings have a disgraceful fact in common: all were committed with illegal guns that came from out of state. (http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/out-of-state-guns/) And that is the case with nearly every shooting in our city.Ē
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 18, 2012, 02:43:41 PM
I would not say I am thin, but I am certainly of an average, i.e., non-impressive or threatening physique. And yet, in my whole life, I have never, ever (nock the wood), been bullied, mugged, attacked or engaged in any kind of physical or even verbal altercation. And I lived in some rather dangerous environments (Moscow, post-communism, eight years), Barcelona (four years), and (gasp) the "murder capital of the world" - Chicago - according to Russ (the last eight years).



Why do you assume that you need to dip into the seedy areas of life to be threatened?

My own grim experiences were in an expensive boarding school in India; I'd guess that there is as much bullying in your US Ivy League, even of a far more subtle and painful manner, than in a simply rough'n'tumble neighbourhood where you might receive some physical scars (I'm speaking of kids here). There was no suggestion in my particular sentence that a gun, knife or baseball bat is relevant; my point was, and is that being vicious is a part of the human makeup. It exists within everybody and requires but the right circumstances for it to bloom forth in all its horror. Who can tell how far one would go given the provocation, the means and the requirement? You have but to read some of the writings on this very site to see how unpleasant people can be, one to the other, and there's absolutely nothing at stake here other than a cyber position. How more hurtful the same people could be in reality, did they but choose...

That you have avoided personal physical conflict/harm all your life says not so much about you, but your good fortune: you don't have to go looking for trouble; it usually comes looking for you. Owning a gun would certainly not make me go looking for life on the dark side; I have no interest in it. I must admit, I did have a giggle when I read Jim P advise that I might run away from a knife or club attack; yes, two heart-attacks and many years into my pension... the last time I remember running was about 25 years ago when I tried to outpace the wind that was blowing my hat into the sea; I didn't make it - the wind and the sea won the hat.

I suppose I should just roll over and surrender all I've got. Maybe give them the keys to the apartment, the card code. Yeah, that would be kind and save them all a lot of effort. Unarmed, what other choice would I have? As I am unarmed, I have none.

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Isaac on December 18, 2012, 02:49:58 PM
Uhmmm, guns apparently are overrated. It takes another 40 or so schoolshootings before they level out victim count due to the mcveigh drama alone.

In 2009, 31,347 persons died from firearm injuries in the United States...


Quote
National Vital Statistics Report (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf) pdf

Deaths: Final Data for 2009

FirearmóIn 2009, 31,347 persons died from firearm injuries in the United States (Tables 18 and 19), accounting for 17.7% of all injury deaths that year. The two major component causes of all firearm injury deaths in 2009 were suicide (59.8%) and homicide (36.7%). Firearm injuries (all intents) decreased 1.9% from 2008 to 2009. The age-adjusted death rate for firearm suicide did not change from 2008, whereas the death rate for firearm homicide decreased 5.0% in 2009 from 2008.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 18, 2012, 03:02:54 PM
No Rob, not all right - but at least it doesn't turn into a shoot-out.  I have a brother who engaged in some petty criminal burglary when he was around 15 years old.  In the US setup he might have been shot if caught by an angry property owner.  Here, he was caught, and after a few months detention has carried on a crime free life. I don't want to see anyone's brother or son shot because some self-righteous person thinks they have the power of god in the form of a gun.Jim


Self-righteous? Where does that come from? Isn't the right to self-defence a natural one?

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't think I'd be tempted to shoot a kid doing a burglary; I would certainly be tempted to hold him at gunpoint until the fuzz arrived. Why assume that shooting to kill is the only alternative, and that the sight of the gun itself and all that it represents isn't sufficient to solve the problem in such a case? I sure as hell wouldn't run away from somebody holding a gun at me; I'd sit quietly where I was told and pray the guy didn't get angrier than I'd already made him.

However, should an adult guy attack me or threaten attack, and I had the time available to get my own gun ready, then yes, I'd go for it. Or so it seems, sitting here in the office.

Rob C

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 03:41:35 PM

Self-righteous? Where does that come from? Isn't the right to self-defence a natural one?...

To protect your life, not your stereo.

In similar scenarios, there were several cases here recently, where parents killed their teenage children, mistaking their late-night sneaking in for burglary.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 03:47:50 PM
... That you have avoided personal physical conflict/harm all your life says not so much about you, but your good fortune...

Luck favors the prepared, right?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 04:16:09 PM
Here is a timely article about the effect on crime rates due to fewer gun restrictions.  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/do-concealed-weapon-laws-result-in-less-crime/2012/12/16/e80a5d7e-47c9-11e2-ad54-580638ede391_blog.html

The gist of the article is that allowing more guns, much as Steve Weldon has proposed, didn't result in more crime, may have contributed somewhat to less crime, but most likely didn't have much effect at all.  This is just my quick summary.  Read the article for the full story if you're interested.

Ya, dealing with statistics and peoples interpretation of them is a giant bag of worms.. I've spent some time reading through the stats in the years post CCW because it interests me and my take is that it "almost always" results in lower crime.. but sometimes not.  For instance there are many other external factors, laws targeting gangs and a lot of resources for the same purpose was in one state I was studying.. so was the 40% drop in violent crime due to CCW's, the targeting of crime, or some aggregate? 

Every "journalist" who writes a piece has statistics available to support whatever bent he/she wants to take..and they write it up as such, convince some, and their job is done.  They've filled up today's column space.  And of course someone who wants to believe that same way.. they google those peoples and there you go again..

There are studies that show Australians gun control ban saved thousands, and other studies saying its resulted in thousands killed..

All I can say, is that based on the time I've spent reading such studies and looking for their flaws.. is I believe CCW's result in a negative turn in violence in 'most all' cases. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 18, 2012, 04:49:14 PM
Chicago is not an island with it's own custom's control. It's a part of mainland America where there are about 200 million guns already in circulation, from estimates I've seen. I imagine that criminals and delinquents would have little difficulty in sneaking guns into the area from outside of Chicago.

Exactly, Ray! The guns used in almost all those shootings were illegal guns. Just passing laws never solves problems. You need to enforce them, and most gun laws are unenforceable, except against law-abiding citizens.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 04:51:58 PM
Some of my thoughts on the matter (I'm a Canadian and a recently retired 30 year cop, so am looking at this thing from the outside in, although have a bit more association to the matters than the average citizen):

The vast majority of Canadian cops do not advocate putting guns into the hands of citizens. The vast majority of American cops I have spoken to, do not advocate guns for citizens (as long as they get to keep theirs).


I find this very hard to believe.   And it certainly hasn't been my experience with American police officers.  You'll hear them all voice such opinions "I wish we could keep guns from.."  But what they're talking about are the bottom 2-3% of society they deal with, not your average citizen.  


Gun control in the US is one of the most contentious issues and will likely never be resolved.

Stats can be used to support anything. And often ignore many other things that contribute to certain results.

Both opponents and proponents often resort to fear-mongering to sell their point (similar to some of Steve Weldon's points - "brawn and lower IQ's rule our streets, schools, homes"  and having a family member hurt, killed or raped while, because you didn't have gun, you were incapable of doing anything - really, really?).



Yes, and yes to the gun control issue and statistics.  But I find it offensive when you take ten words out of perhaps thousands I've written in this thread and call them fear mongering.  The Supreme Court Of The United States recently ruled we have the right to protect our homes from exactly these types of threats.  And they cited them.  Read the opinion and tell me SCOTUS is fear mongering.  Better yet, go to the FBI website and look up the MILLIONS of rapes, home invasions, killings, beatings, and other violent crimes which have been reported and prosecuted.. and tell me again I'm fear mongering.  

Fear mongering sir is when you use unrealistic fears in the minds of people to support a point of view.  Putting the truth up for examination is not.  I'm not sure where you worked, but such violent crimes were things I saw on virtually every shift.  Every shift.  I had a lot of shifts.

I just can't comprehend a society which relies so heavily on the proliferation of guns to ensure a peaceful existence.

30 years on the job and you can't see this?  Really, where did you work?    Can you tell me a single country that does not depend on a "proliferation of arms" to defend itself?   Does it surprise you that subsets of those countries end up living in the same image?  It doesn't me.   It's sad, it's terrible, but I can certain comprehend it.. because I've lived it.  As we all have.

As part of a solution, having (even well trained) teachers carrying a concealed weapon while on duty, with the expectation that they will stand up to someone intent in causing death to others is so foreign to me and scares the heck out of me.

So.. well trained teachers 'scares the heck' out of you.  Question.  Did you carry a gun during your 30 years of service?  Were you aware it frightened people?  Every cop I knew was acutely aware of this and we'd take steps to use this fear (we'd make it more, or make it less) as the job dictated.  It scares me when someone else drives.  But all that means is I'm a control freak who unrealistically thinks I'm the only one who knows how to drive.  

Does the "well trained" air marshal on your flight scare you?  It scares me they might be needed and a mistake might happen.  But it scares me a lot more when they're not on the flight.

As a cop with 30 years I'm surprised you think all they could do is "stand up to someone intent on causing death."  Was this required of you as a police officer?  Seriously, a cop gets paid about the same as a teacher.. do you feel you were required to stand up to people intent on killing people?   My answer to this question is "as a last resort."  Once I've exhausted every other tactic and option available, yes.. it was my job and I did it without reservation.  But not one just expected me to stand up and shoot it out with them.  As a cop I was expected to use my good judgement, perhaps isolate the intruder, talk to him, confuse him, communicate with the next responders as they arrived on scene (very important to get someone in their in a short amount of time)..   And even when all that was exhausted I wouldn't through my life away.  I would (and did) weigh my chances for success against what would happen if I didn't.. 20+ kids.. I have a hard time thinking a career teacher would have trouble with a choice you and I would have made in a millisecond.

Although many citizens would/do take gun security seriously, a great many would/do not (in this case, it appeared it was not). To expect the answer to be more/better training and gun security is naive and unrealistic. If it takes time and commitment and a whole bunch of money, it is either not going to get done or get done but not very well.

I agree 100% there would be those who don't take their duties seriously.. but I'm a big believer in training.  I've seen in work over the course of a long military career and a short police stint.. time and again.  Training works.  It's not foolproof.. but when the alternative is a room full of dead.. it's the best we could hope to have.

A question:  Assuming all other methods failed.. and they did.  Connecticut has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and they failed.  The school had new policies put recently into effect to restrict access from just this sort of thing.  It failed.  Assume the same, everything fails and the gunmen is now in the school with the kids and the teachers.  What is your solution?   Please answer this.  What happens at this point of failures in the system?  We asked for teachers to be trained after Virgina Tech, after Columbine (Columbine btw took place at the height of the assault weapons band.. yet so many still think that's a workable solution), and we asked after other tragedies.. and were denied.  What could it have hurt.. even if everything you say came true and the teacher chose to not confront the gunman, or did and missed.. what would we have lost?   I'd much rather have 10-15 trained teachers in a school of that size with the option and the means to respond.. than not.  Who do you or any of our lawmakers think they are to strip that last chance for life from these kids?

We'll see this question in the Supreme Court soon when they decide if the right to self defence, and the defence of your family, extends outside of the home.


I think the US is too far down the path it has chosen and see no real change in sight, certainly not in my life or the lives of my children or grandchildren. However, incidents such as this cause a whole bunch of people to do a whole bunch of talking and soul searching, then after awhile everyone goes on as before (except those directly affected). Until the next time.

My 2 cents.

Marv
[/quote]
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 04:59:28 PM
Steve, with respect, I think you are missing the point here.  Those of us from outside the US can mostly see the pragmatic side of your argument - that in reality very little will change because of the 300 million guns in circulation, and because of your constitution.  But can you honestly not realise that the solution is so simple in concept, if not in execution, that to get rid of guns in your society will reduce the numbers of violent deaths in general and mass killings in particular by a huge percentage.  All the training in the world will not alter the fact that a disillusioned man who does not own a gun, can just walk into his mother's room and pick up no less than FOUR legally held guns and ammunition, and go on a killing spree.
Unfortunately even well trained and well balanced ex policemen can flip mentally and suddenly decide to become killers.  Just don't give them access to guns. And the logical progression of the self defence concept is that every citizen would need to be armed, trained, and carry a weapon at all times - just in case.....

I am sure most US citizens are good people, so no reason why what works in other countries cannot work there too.

Jim

Jim -  With all due respect I feel you've also missed the points.  And failed to respond to my questions which after I answered yours so carefully is telling me you don't think they're worth answering.  Jim, a DISCUSSION requires we consider each others viewpoint, not simply report our own over and over.  I've considered your viewpoint and responded.  You're ignored my responses.  A discussion cannot continue this way and if you want to keep 'discussing' this subject with me I urge you to go to my last response where you'll  find the answers to the questions you asked.   All the answers are there.  You only have to read them.. and give them fair consideration.  You don't have to agree with me.

I hope that after you go back and read my answers you won't feel it necessary to ask them again, but instead will have new questions.

Thank you Jim.

Steve
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Vladimirovich on December 18, 2012, 05:00:10 PM
"The National Rifle Association of America is made up of 4 million moms and dads, sons and daughters Ė and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown."... dr Goebbels 'd be proud.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 18, 2012, 05:03:17 PM
Ya, dealing with statistics and peoples interpretation of them is a giant bag of worms. ...

Every "journalist" who writes a piece has statistics available to support whatever bent he/she wants to take..and they write it up as such, convince some, and their job is done.  They've filled up today's column space.  And of course someone who wants to believe that same way.. they google those peoples and there you go again.. 

Very true.  It's always necessary to be wary.  By the way, I did not intend to endorse the article I linked.  I just thought it was timely and at least worth reading.  If nothing else, it would be useful as a springboard for further research if anyone was so inclined.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 05:04:38 PM
... The guns used in almost all those shootings were illegal guns...

The source of those illegal guns were... legal guns. Reduce access to legal guns and you'll reduce the number of illegal ones (in due time).
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 05:05:24 PM
Rob, I don't think your points would in any way validate arming a nation to protect themselves against White Van Man, muggers on motorbikes or at picture stops.  The fact is that in all these case at worst the assailant is likely to be armed with a knife and only going to threaten you for money.  Give them your money and they will be off.  Nobody needs to get killed.  Now if like in the US the chances are Joe public could be armed, then of course the robbers are likely to have guns too.  If you pull a gun on them you will probably get shot because they might well have more practise in using the gun and will certainly value life lower than you would.  You can run from a knife, you can run from a stick, but try outrunning a bullet.
In the UK it is mainly gangs involved in drugs who use guns, and they usually use them on each other.  They don't need them for other crime because they know they're highly unlikely to meet anyone else with a gun and so just the threat of physical violence is enough to get what they want.

Jim

Jim -

The overwhelming majority of gun crimes listed in that loose list of statistics you just posted ARE GANG RELATED.  Remove the the gang related numbers from the statistics and magically, by the numbers, we go from the top of that list to somewhere in the middle.

Gangs are part of my wish to address violence.. to address what in society makes people so violent and in many cases join gangs..

Do spoons make people fat?

Steve
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Vladimirovich on December 18, 2012, 05:06:24 PM
I've been reluctant to get into this one, but since Slobodan's made it clear he hasn't a clue what an "assault weapon" is, even though he's sure that banning them will bring about at least a partial cure for this thing everyone seems to agree "we need to do something about," here are a few points that might be considered:

(1) Even though Slobodan's Chicago has had the strictest anti-gun laws in the US, it's become the murder capital of the world. It's followed closely by New York, with nearly equivalent gun laws. Detroit is trying hard to compete.

it just because you still have lax laws elsewhere.

(2) Though the number of random shootings like the one in Newtown has been increasing over recent years, the overall number of gun deaths has been decreasing.

and in countries w/ stricter laws properly shielded from influx of guns from outside the overall number of gun deaths is way lower than here

Don't ask me to make sense out of those data. There isn't any. But it does demonstrate that restrictive gun laws don't necessarily correlate with less shootings.

they do

Had he been armed, the shooting would have stopped right there.

then you probably can give us an example of armed NRA card carrying civilian who ever stopped a mass shooting ?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Vladimirovich on December 18, 2012, 05:07:55 PM
The overwhelming majority of gun crimes listed in that loose list of statistics you just posted ARE GANG RELATED.  Remove the the gang related numbers from the statistics and magically, by the numbers, we go from the top of that list to somewhere in the middle.

and if we remove gang crimes from others we will be back on top...
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Vladimirovich on December 18, 2012, 05:08:47 PM
The source of those illegal guns were... legal guns. Reduce access to legal guns and you'll reduce the number of illegal ones (in due time).
and tax those that are not reduced into a very expensive luxury.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 05:09:09 PM
... Do spoons make people fat?...

The purpose of spoons is neutral, to feed people. The purpose of guns is single-minded, to kill.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 18, 2012, 05:12:07 PM
But can you honestly not realise that the solution is so simple in concept, if not in execution, that to get rid of guns in your society will reduce the numbers of violent deaths in general and mass killings in particular by a huge percentage. 

Your proposed solution may indeed work, but the problem is that your solution is impossible to implement in the U.S. now or anytime in the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 05:16:55 PM
Rob, I don't think your points would in any way validate arming a nation to protect themselves against White Van Man, muggers on motorbikes or at picture stops.  The fact is that in all these case at worst the assailant is likely to be armed with a knife and only going to threaten you for money.  Give them your money and they will be off.  Nobody needs to get killed.  Now if like in the US the chances are Joe public could be armed, then of course the robbers are likely to have guns too.  If you pull a gun on them you will probably get shot because they might well have more practise in using the gun and will certainly value life lower than you would.  You can run from a knife, you can run from a stick, but try outrunning a bullet.
In the UK it is mainly gangs involved in drugs who use guns, and they usually use them on each other.  They don't need them for other crime because they know they're highly unlikely to meet anyone else with a gun and so just the threat of physical violence is enough to get what they want.

Jim

1.  You're speaking of your own country in the first 5-6 sentences?  

2.   No.  If you go by the stats they will rape, kill, car jack, and much more.  Consider signing up for a ride-along with your local PD..

3.   Your entire post centers around "robbers."  I've never worried about robbers.  Never.    I worry about killers, rapists, gang members, etc..   We have very few "robbers" going around trying to get a few bucks.  There are far more profitable low risk ways to make money.  Like selling drugs for the gangs.   Does your country have a problem rounding up robbers?

4.  What makes you think a criminal will have more skill with a gun than a private citizen?  Private citizens can take their legal guns and go to legal gun ranges and/or gun clubs and practice all the time.  And many do.  Criminals RARELY practice with a gun that will bring attention to them.

5.  Oh my.. your country again?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 05:30:10 PM

The AR 15 isn't an assault weapon. Even though it has a flash suppressor and a bayonet lug, it's still a semi-automatic weapon, identical in firepower to about half of the less aggressive-looking hunting rifles out there. And if you've practiced enough with a pump or lever-action rifle you can come close to the rate of fire of a semi-automatic. If you ever fire a full-automatic weapon like the M-16 or the AK-47 you'll know the difference.

What constitutes an assault weapon depends on content. In most political discussions an assault weapon is one which was defined for the purposes of the assault weapon ban which was recognized (even by those who voted for it, it was purely symbolic in nature) as an abject failure.   And now that the country is talking about about another assault weapon ban.. at the risk of Slob feeling patronized.. I'll go over it once more.

An assault weapon is an weapon that has three of more of the following:

1.  Pistol grip

2.  Collapsible stock

3.  Threaded barrel

4.  Can accept a magazine

5.  Bayonet lug


If a weapon has three of more of those things.. it's an assault weapon.  Or any weapon with a magazine greater than 10 rounds.

What the gun industry did, was take an AR-15 assault weapon, cut off the bayonet lug, replace the collapsible stock with a fixed stock, and welded the flash hider to the barrel threads.. thereby eliminating useful barrel threads.

That's it.  Same black gun, same semi-auto action, same mean looking accessories can be mounted on it, fires the same .223 cartridge..  Same same.. 

Anyone ever used a bayonet lug outside of Marine Corp Boot camp? 


This is why the assault weapon bad was ineffective.  And will be again.

One more thing.  ALL the existing guns were grandfathered.  And they will be again.  It will be legal to own and sell them.. All that changes is the new supply.

So we'll be safe from bayonets some day in the future.. something to look forward to that will solve all our problems and prevent more school shootings.

When will we address the violence? 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 05:32:40 PM
The "legit uses" in this example actually are examples of guns being used, as designed, for killing -- killing game animals and killing dangerous wildlife.

You are quite right sir.   And all this time I thought you were concerned with killing people..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 05:43:50 PM
Hmmm... I must be lying then. Or deluding myself. Or maybe I am not a man enough.

I would not say I am thin, but I am certainly of an average, i.e., non-impressive or threatening physique. And yet, in my whole life, I have never, ever (knock the wood), been bullied, mugged, attacked or engaged in any kind of physical or even verbal altercation. And I lived in some rather dangerous environments (Moscow, post-communism, eight years), Barcelona (four years), and (gasp) the "murder capital of the world" - Chicago - according to Russ (the last eight years).

My wife was a victim of a petty crime twice in Barcelona, though. Once pick-pocketing, done so skillfully (i.e., non-violently) that she did not even notice. And the second time her purse was snatched off her shoulder (again, no other harm to her). I do not see how a gun would have helped. In the second case, it would have been inside the purse, and thus gone as well.

So, what's my "secret," how on Earth I've been able to protect myself and my family from "murder and rape" without a gun, to paraphrase Steve Weldon's question in another post? At least so far (knock the wood again).

- I simply try to avoid situations or environments where I would need a gun
- I choose to live in safe neighborhoods (I do realize that not everybody can afford that)
- I try to stay away from seedy parts of town, bars, events
- I try not to provoke a situation or confrontation
- I will try to remove myself from a situation before it escalates (not to run away mind you, just anticipate well in advance so that I can avoid it)
- If inevitable, I'd try to defuse it

Now, if I had a gun, I would probably be in the position that economists and risk analysts call "moral hazard," i.e., engaging in riskier behavior knowing that I am "protected." Which then becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy: by owning the gun you actually attract the situations where owning and using it is justifiable. Or you can call it a vicious circle.

Also, by owning the gun I might be tempted to use it. I generally consider myself a calm and composed individual. Yet, everyone has his breaking point. Sometimes the trigger (pardon the pun) might be a sense of injustice, wounded pride, moral outrage, or simply hurt feelings (like when Oscar insulted my daughter ;)). If (or when) it happens to me, if I ever reach my breaking point, I certainly don't wish to have a gun in my hands.

But lets now assume i do have a gun and I ended up in a situation where it might be needed. If I brandish it as a deterrence, and the assailant runs away screaming in horror, that would be a Hollywood happy ending, wouldn't it? In reality, I am more likely to face another individual with a gun. And here is the catch: that individual will be more accustomed to the situation, more experienced, quicker, more determined and with far less moral scruples to use it than I would. Although I am not afraid to use it in self-defense, I would probably deliberate for a SPLIT-SECOND longer, whether the situation warrants killing, than the other guy.

Interesting post.

1.  It would have been inappropriate to use a gun in this circumstance.

2.  Every time I see someone joking like this I worry for them.  So I worry for you as well.  Even if you don't choose to carry a weapon you should take your safety and the safety of your family seriously.

3.  All good points..  Not everyone can stay away from seedy areas or live in better areas.. but it's a good thing to aspire to.  And you're right, taking precautions and thinking things out in advance is much better than just depending on a gun.  Though, it doesn't negate the need for a gun should one present itself.

4.  This is case by case but I don't think you've be "more" likely.  Most depend on their size, numbers, etc.. and even so, you having a gun should work to your advantage through surprise.  And if you practiced more than once or twice, you'd be more skilled with a gun than the average bad guy.  I've arrested a fair number of bad guns and this bears out repeatedly.

5.  If owning a gun would make you feel more apt to use a gun.. then please go through training.  And pick your instructors very carefully so your beliefs are well aligned.   What I teach is a gun is your absolute last tool.. you never "brandish", you'll use it only as a last resort.  And I teach to recogize the last resort.     No matter what you believe the legal aspects of a shooting are something you want to avoid at all costs.. not getting in a shooting is the best way to do that.   
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 05:47:58 PM
... at the risk of Slob feeling patronized...

I do not feel patronized when you provide useful facts. I do when you consider those who disagree with you (thus a matter of opinion, not facts) ignorant. I do not appreciate when you mock my name, though (slob = a lazy and slovenly person)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 18, 2012, 05:52:26 PM
Gangs

More than 500 children die each year in the US because they accidentally fired a gun they found in their homes.

Guess they could have all accidentally done something else to themselves ... like accidentally spooning themselves.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: marvpelkey on December 18, 2012, 05:55:12 PM
Steve,

I can't say any more about the conversations with US cops, other than, when firearms entered the subject, the vast majority of those US officers were not in favour of guns in the hands of anyone - criminals, lawful citizens etc. I can only describe what I have heard and am not expecting I will convince you that I am relating this correctly. We'll have to let that aspect stand as it is.

When you suggest that, if US citizens were not allowed to carry guns, that brawn and lower IQs would rule the streets, homes, schools etc is, in my opinion, fear  mongering. The majority of your posts have been well set out and reasonable, however, this (and the other quote) are way out there and serve no purpose other than to scare people.

Yes, 30 years on the job and I just can't see this. I presumed we were talking about civilian guns, not military, as your response perhaps suggests.

Well trained teachers do not scare me. The idea that a solution that uses armed teachers scares me. As you know, marshals and cops are chosen through serious scrutiny of their abilities and thought processes, and are trained to make the best out of those attributes. A teacher is hired because they can teach.

Marv

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 05:59:08 PM
"Our finding that the magnitude of association between household firearm ownership and suicide is particularly high for children is consistent with previous empirical work, and with the hypothesis that suicide acts by youth are more likely to be impulsive and therefore more likely to be affected by the means at hand (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563517/)."


This isn't borne out by my experience.  Sorry, it just isn't.  Children cry out and ideate much more than adults do.  You only have to be listening.

Be charitable, allow that both parties would be capable of movement, and someone would run away and call the cops on their cell phone -- or try to run away and be shot in the back.

I can't think of a single case of someone being shot in the back in such a circumstance.. sure it happens sometimes but I think it works much better for effect in your sentence above.

If you assume both parties are capable of movement, then you can assume killing with bare hands is an option well considered.
 
In the context of this discussion, when there's so much else that you could choose to disagree about, this seems to be quarrelling for its own sake.

Of course.  But you felt it important enough to bring up.. and again at the end of this post.  So I assume it's an important point to you and deserves a response.  NOT ALL GUNS ARE DESIGNED FOR KILLING..  There is a very large industry out there catering to hobbyists, hunters, competitors of all types, pest control, and so forth.

You choose to focus on a fraction of a fraction of a percent of firearms, when you understand the overwhelming majority of guns are designed to kill and that is the primary purpose.

Just because you have no experience with the HUGE competition industry, hunting industry, and so forth.. doesn't make them "a tiny fraction" of the number of firearms.  IN fact, I think if you asked the owners of firearms they would say their PRIMARY purpose is competition, recreational, hunting, etc..   Even a shovel has a secondary purpose..


It seems that you very much do not wish to accept that what actually happened is that guns were used as designed -- to kill.

Please don't insult me sir.  As mentioned already I was a first responder to a massacre of equal size and it I ended up throwing my uniform and boots away because I couldn't scrub away the smell.   I spent four years as a police officer picking up the pieces of the bad decisions of others including the pie in the sky theory (you're more likely to get shot by your dog if you own a firearm) and others.. and I've served and become disabled in countries OUR country sent me to in our behalf.  So please don't tell me I don't recognize that guns kill just because I'm not accepting your arguments.

To be very honest your questions come from a position that shows you know very little about the subject.  But that's okay.  I think it helps us all if you gain more knowledge.  So I'll answer your questions and listen to your slights.. but please don't insult me.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:04:29 PM
The two major component causes of all firearm injury deaths in 2009 were suicide (59.8%) and homicide (36.7%).


I strongly believe in a persons right to suicide.  I don't care if they're sick and have a disease, or if they're just chronically depressed..  I think they have the right to make that decision.  And yes, I know this hurts a great many people, but it's still their right and I support it.

So your numbers are encouraging.. if 60% of 'gun deaths' are suicides.. then we should ignore that number.  They'll find a way sooner or later.  And it's messy.  Better to have a doctor help.

So right away I'm not worried about 60% of those numbers.  So.. see if you can find some numbers about how many of them are gang violence and we can subtract those too.  I support their right to kill each other.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:10:31 PM
To protect your life, not your stereo.

In similar scenarios, there were several cases here recently, where parents killed their teenage children, mistaking their late-night sneaking in for burglary.
This is tragic..   

When the laser shootemup games first came out we had a cop on my shift shoot a teenager with a laser gun who jumped out from behind a tree and aimed what looked like a sub machine gun at  him with red light pulses coming out of it..  Killing him.  I'm not sure what was worse.. watching him bawl his head off like a baby and start talking about killing himself.. or the ordeal the civilian shooting board put him through.

In the case of firearms.. a decent training class would have prevented the parents shooting their kids.  It's well known that kids sneak in/out all the time.. and just shooting a guy because he enters your house is wrong headed imo.. We teach to try and retreat to a safe room gathering the kids as you go.. and only shoot when they try and enter that.  Some floor plans make that impossible so it isn't fool proof.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:15:01 PM
The source of those illegal guns were... legal guns. Reduce access to legal guns and you'll reduce the number of illegal ones (in due time).
What's your estimate?  Say.. we outlaw ALL guns today..  When can we get down to a reasonably safe number since we can't get them all.. say we get 90%   That leaves 300,000+ firearms in the hands of criminals.  Feel safer?    Somehow I don't.

So lets say 1%..  How many years?  I've thought about this a lot.  And if it's even possible.  At least a hundred years?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:17:12 PM

then you probably can give us an example of armed NRA card carrying civilian who ever stopped a mass shooting ?
Well.. if we assume the armed NRA card carrying member stopped them before they could kill a second person.?  I could show you thousands.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 06:17:24 PM
... How many years?  I've thought about this a lot.  And if it's even possible.  At least a hundred years?

As a Chinese saying goes: "even a thousand miles journey starts with the first step"  ;)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:21:13 PM
The purpose of spoons is neutral, to feed people. The purpose of guns is single-minded, to kill.
No.. the purpose of guns it to protect life.. or take life.  Offence/Defence    So I suppose neutral too.  If you doubt me ask for the doctrine of any police force.. it's mindset.  When the cop shoots the person who is shooting innocents is he thinking "I'm killing that SOB" or is he thinking "I'm saving those poor folks "

Guns provide choices we wouldn't otherwise have.  For the overwhelming majority of us..  our choices are honourable.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:24:48 PM
I do not feel patronized when you provide useful facts. I do when you consider those who disagree with you (thus a matter of opinion, not facts) ignorant. I do not appreciate when you mock my name, though (slob = a lazy and slovenly person)

I still don't understand where you felt that.. but I'm trying to anticipate repeat offences.

I didn't mean to knock your name either.. just couldn't recall how to spell it.. :)  I'll improve this too.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:31:20 PM
Your proposed solution may indeed work, but the problem is that your solution is impossible to implement in the U.S. now or anytime in the foreseeable future.

It's impossible to say at all.  First, "mass killings" as he's referring to happen extremely rarely.  Probably more people are killed by falling objects (I tried to google the answer and you'd be surprised by the number of lawyers who popped up who specialize in this area.. geez.. but with hail, workplaces, trees, etc, there are a fair number) than mass shootings (in America)..    Chicken Little was smarter than we gave him credit for..    My point being that mass killing are very rare and infrequent, most are planned well, and who says we can eliminate them just by removing one tool out of many which they can use?


Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:32:27 PM
and if we remove gang crimes from others we will be back on top...

Don't think so.. but you're welcome to show us.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:34:02 PM
More than 500 children die each year in the US because they accidentally fired a gun they found in their homes.

Guess they could have all accidentally done something else to themselves ... like accidentally spooning themselves.

There's a disconnect somewhere.. didn't understand that at all.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:47:45 PM
Steve,

I can't say any more about the conversations with US cops, other than, when firearms entered the subject, the vast majority of those US officers were not in favour of guns in the hands of anyone - criminals, lawful citizens etc. I can only describe what I have heard and am not expecting I will convince you that I am relating this correctly. We'll have to let that aspect stand as it is.


Interesting and I'm not doubting your word.. only the context. 

When you suggest that, if US citizens were not allowed to carry guns, that brawn and lower IQs would rule the streets, homes, schools etc is, in my opinion, fear  mongering. The majority of your posts have been well set out and reasonable, however, this (and the other quote) are way out there and serve no purpose other than to scare people.

Are you saying that this isn't true and is in fact not happening now?  Who have you been arresting? 
I disagree.  It's the truth.  But if you think it's fear mongering to warn people of dangerous situations to influence action then all it what you will.  But it would be far more productive if you either agreed or disagreed and didn't try to label it for effect.


Yes, 30 years on the job and I just can't see this. I presumed we were talking about civilian guns, not military, as your response perhaps suggests.

It would help if you quoted.. I've answered a lot of posts in this thread and I'm afraid I can't remember this one well enough to respond.


Well trained teachers do not scare me. The idea that a solution that uses armed teachers scares me. As you know, marshals and cops are chosen through serious scrutiny of their abilities and thought processes, and are trained to make the best out of those attributes. A teacher is hired because they can teach.
So.. you're scared because someone accepted and is trained for a job they didn't initially sign up for?  I still don't understand.  What part of this "scares" you?  That society has to go there?  If that's the case I agree.


Marv


[/quote]
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 18, 2012, 06:50:49 PM
As a Chinese saying goes: "even a thousand miles journey starts with the first step"  ;)

I've lived overseas nearly 25 years of my adult life.. and during all that time I've never found a country I felt was better or more desirable to live in then the USA..   I have no desire to make America like other countries.. especially when their failures from certain actions (like gun control) are so apparent.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: WalterEG on December 18, 2012, 07:06:28 PM
I've lived overseas nearly 25 years of my adult life.. and during all that time I've never found a country I felt was better or more desirable to live in then the USA.

Then why deny yourself at this advanced stage of life ..... go back home.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: marvpelkey on December 18, 2012, 07:54:26 PM
Steve,

I fear we will go on with this forever, with no real resolution. I don't think it matters who I have arrested or whether I carried a gun.

I think the bottom line is we've had a different upbringing and have lived in different countries with some great differences in perspectives, even though our countries are side by side. I happen to be uncomfortable with a proliferation of firearms and have been lucky to live in a society where they are not as central to things as in your country. And you have been quite eloquent and clear on your thoughts and position.

Let's just leave it at that and agree to disagree.

Marv
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 18, 2012, 07:54:48 PM
No.. the purpose of guns it to protect life.. or take life.  Offence/Defence    So I suppose neutral too.  If you doubt me ask for the doctrine of any police force.. it's mindset.  When the cop shoots the person who is shooting innocents is he thinking "I'm killing that SOB" or is he thinking "I'm saving those poor folks "

Guns provide choices we wouldn't otherwise have.  For the overwhelming majority of us..  our choices are honourable.

You are trying to spin this. "To protect life" is a just a euphemism for killing. The first and foremost purpose is to kill. If that results in saving something more valuable, or is otherwise justifiable, that is secondary. You first have to kill, in order to protect.

As for what cops think, they are trained to shoot to kill, right? Two pops in the chest, just to be sure (because one may not be enough). And, for the sake of mine and the rest of the public safety, I hope they don't get too poetic and teary-eyed about it (as in "I'm saving those poor folks "), but coldly efficient (as in  "I'm killing that SOB").
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 19, 2012, 04:24:41 AM
1.  You're speaking of your own country in the first 5-6 sentences?  

2.   No.  If you go by the stats they will rape, kill, car jack, and much more.  Consider signing up for a ride-along with your local PD..

3.   Your entire post centers around "robbers."  I've never worried about robbers.  Never.    I worry about killers, rapists, gang members, etc..   We have very few "robbers" going around trying to get a few bucks.  There are far more profitable low risk ways to make money.  Like selling drugs for the gangs.   Does your country have a problem rounding up robbers?

4.  What makes you think a criminal will have more skill with a gun than a private citizen?  Private citizens can take their legal guns and go to legal gun ranges and/or gun clubs and practice all the time.  And many do.  Criminals RARELY practice with a gun that will bring attention to them.

5.  Oh my.. your country again?

Steve, I think this is where I leave this discussion.  You make many valid points but I fear it is like having a discussion with a deeply religious person ( I'm not) in that we are just never going to agree on any of this.  Yes I live in the UK where we have a very different experience of guns.  But that was the point I was trying to make.  Are you Americans so very different from us Europeans.  We who have managed to have some of the bloodiest wars in history and yet somehow now get by with the strictest gun laws.  Whenever I meet US citizens they seem to be the most decent of people.  And yet it would seem that lying just beneath the surface is a pathological fear that a stranger is going to come and steal their possessions or rape or murder them.  This means that everyone needs to be armed, and yet the very fact that so many arms are around means that they are freely available to almost anyone on a whim to pick one up and use it on their neighbour.  I hope you do not speak for the majority of US citizens because it leaves me very sad.

Yes we have crime here.  My grandfather used to sleep with a wooden hammer shaft next to his bed and he had been a shipbuilder so new how to use it.  We were burgled two years ago and had around £15000 of stuff taken.  I cannot tell you the rage I felt about some low-life coming into my home and taken things that we owned and treasured.  All I could think was I wish I'd been here and caught the perpetrator because I would have given them a good kicking.  But the last thing I would have feared would be that the burglar would have a gun with him.  Because he wouldn't have.  If home owners all have guns, the burglars would have them too.

The US may well be a great country, but if you all live in that fear then you cannot be that happy.  I hope the population rises up and says enough is enough, and forces the politicians to act.  As Slobodan says, you have to start somewhere, and perhaps the first steps need to be taken now.  The received wisdom may well be that it just won't happen because of your constitution, but as much as I hate the phrase, have you heard 'Thinking outside the box'.

And as this seems to have become a Steve versus almost everyone else debate, and I'm sure we can agree to disagree, I will bow out and get back to printing some lovely baby pictures for a customers Christmas!

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Ray on December 19, 2012, 06:14:43 AM
It's certainly been an interesting and informative discussion. Ultimately, I guess, America has to follow that pragmatic advice expressed by Otto von Bismarck, "Politics is the art of the possible." There's no point in spending valuable resources attempting the impossible.

In a society where there are already so many guns in circulation, I can understand the psychological insecurity that would be felt if law-abiding citizens were asked to surrender their weapons knowing that many others, including all the criminals and potential criminals, would do their utmost to keep and hide their own weapons.

It did occur to me that a multi-faceted approach might work. Amend the Constitution to remove the right of citizens to hold arms; retrieve all the guns already in circulation, through a buy-back scheme or whatever, and bring in the army to perform thorough searches to forcibly retrieve guns from those who insist on keeping them.

Those found in possession of a gun after the deadline for surrender would face a jail sentence.

However, this idea did not seem so great when I came across some statistics relating to the current incarceration rates in US prisons. Whilst the homicide rates in the US are not even nearly the highest in the world, only the highest amongst all the other fully developed democratic nations, your prison incarceration rates actually are the highest in the world.

I'll just quote a few stats from following New York Times article, which I found quite astonishing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/us/23prison.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Quote
The United States ...... has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. (If you count only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.)

The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. Englandís rate is 151; Germanyís is 88; and Japanís is 63.

The median among all nations is about 125, roughly a sixth of the American rate.

It seems that for the past few decades you've already been getting tough on crime, locking people up for much longer periods, and getting particularly tough on drug use.

It seems that in 1980, there were about 40,000 people in American jails and prisons for drug crimes. These days, there are around 500,000.

If you were to start jailing people for refusing to surrender their firearms, you'd not only have to build more prisons, but the annual cost of housing the additional prisoners would significantly add to the current ridiculously high estimates of $65-80 billion per year.

Gosh! You sure do have problems, America.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri_per_cap-crime-prisoners-per-capita
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 19, 2012, 07:03:23 AM
Okay, Ray, you forced me to say what I didnít want to say.  Our war on drugs has had some devastating consequences.  Itís largely responsible for our gun violence (and a lot of other non-drug crime), our high rate if incarceration, corruption, devastation of other countries (such as Mexico), and general disrespect for the law.  After a generation of the drug war, however, drugs are cheaper and more plentiful than ever.  And, weíve spent trillions of dollars for this outcome, with no end in sight.

Ending the war on drugs is such a contentious issue that I didnít want to add fuel to the fire of the gun control debate, but I donít believe that we can ever solve our gun violence problem as long as our war on drugs continues.   
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Robert Roaldi on December 19, 2012, 09:19:27 AM
As others have suggested, this discussion may have run its course. Positions seems to have become entrenched and the debate is acquiring religious overtones, in the sense that positions come down to belief. Once you hit that point, "negotiation" seems pointless, although I believe that just hearing other positions has value.

But I just want to add one thing. If you live in a society where you're convinced that you are in so much danger that regular citizens need to arm themselves and take firearms training, isn't that a red flag that things have gone sort of wrong and that what you're doing to fix it isn't working? Once you reach the point where you advocate the arming of primary school teachers, isn't that a sign that you need to rethink things, that maybe the series of decisions that you made that got you to this point may have led you in the wrong direction?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 19, 2012, 09:23:26 AM
- he might have had a bad burrito the night before and is spending the day in and out of school's restrooms
- he might have been preparing for his class in his cabinet or school's library
- he might have stepped out for a smoke
- he might have been making out with a colleague or student in a discrete corner of the school

But he wasn't doing any of those things, Slobodan. He was holding the door and saving the kids' lives at the expense of his own. "No greater love hath any man. . ." And if a man as resolute as this man had been armed the shooting spree would have ended.

It strikes me that those in this thread convinced that passing a couple laws will solve this kind of violence never have been exposed to serious violence. But even in the absence of that kind of unpleasant experience a bit of research, or better yet research going all the way back to the beginning of recorded history should penetrate even the most resistant mind with the fact that humans know of no way to prevent this kind of evil -- never have. . . never will.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 19, 2012, 10:01:27 AM
The purpose of spoons is neutral, to feed people. The purpose of guns is single-minded, to kill.


That's ridiculous; guns are a deterrent, first of all, and a final arbiter if and when that primary function or a lower-grade use of the available gun-use choices might fail. To bring in your magical spoons, Slobodan, one could indeed say that the purpose of the spoon is to feed; what, then, of the spoon that heats the fix that drives the addict to get the money to continue the cycle? Do you condemn the spoon, too, banish it to the cupboard and permit only knives and forks the priviledge of survival? Speaking of knives...

It's all too easy to make sweeping statements, emotional claims and use figures to promote whichever point of view one chooses to support.

All in all, I wish that I had the legal right to own a pistol here, in my home. As it is, I enjoy little security that would keep any determined thug out of my place. I live on the ground floor; day or night, I never go into the rooms out of sight of my terrace which leads to the garden without closing and turning the key in the french windows. When the occasional gale starts to blow my terrace furniture around at night, my first thought when the noise wakens me is Christ! who's trying to get in? And that's not based on indigestion; it comes from repeated break-ins in the neighbourhood, including my own car in the carpark some years ago, when  both doors were gripped at the top and pulled downwards and out, with the perp's foot planted in the middle to provide a fulcrum. It cost the insurance company two new doors; it cost me a pair of Polaroids. The Guardia Civil? They cheefully informed me that I was the fifth victim of that night. In all honesty, what else can they do? As with other countries, the jails are full - who needs more guests?

Yes, I should get another alsabrador or even a baby pitbull; but at my age and life-expectancy that would be cruel for the animal, not to mention the possibility of danger when family comes to visit. Dogs are as possessive as are people.

Rob C

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: BartvanderWolf on December 19, 2012, 10:03:00 AM
Okay, Ray, you forced me to say what I didnít want to say.  Our war on drugs has had some devastating consequences.  Itís largely responsible for our gun violence (and a lot of other non-drug crime), our high rate if incarceration, corruption, devastation of other countries (such as Mexico), and general disrespect for the law.  After a generation of the drug war, however, drugs are cheaper and more plentiful than ever.  And, weíve spent trillions of dollars for this outcome, with no end in sight.

Ending the war on drugs is such a contentious issue that I didnít want to add fuel to the fire of the gun control debate, but I donít believe that we can ever solve our gun violence problem as long as our war on drugs continues.

Hi Dean,

You are correct, is is demonstrably not the way to handle the issues.

And I've been holding back my comments because it is very hard to convince people of concepts that they have little recognition with, not you, but rather the general public. However, how long does it take to recognize a pattern? The underlying problem is a cultural one, and that's a hard one to change!

The US (legal) system is quite good at setting boundaries and limitations, and (huge) penalties, but the root cause of the issues is not addressed adequately, so the problems do not go away. The 'solutions' used, are symptomatic reactions, not etiological cures. That is a very obvious difference with most other countries that use a more pragmatical approach, addressing the root cause.

Stricter penalties do not reduce crime. The US system is the living proof of that, look at the growing number of the prison populations. For instance the death penalty doesn't prevent individuals to do what they do, because many of them have mental issues and suffer from a reduced sense of empathy. Others just have inadequate legal support, and are killed unjustly anyway in the name of the people.

Long term imprisonment (getting them off the street) creates a false sense of security, because when they come back they're better criminals than before, and with even less of a prospect of making something of their lives. Besides it's a very costly proposition having to house and feed an increasing number of people, especially when it doesn't really solve anything. It's a symptomatic reaction, as usual, not a solution.

More guns does not improve safety, how many times needs that to be proven. How many firearms does a person need to even 'feel' safer anyway? And why does an individual need a semi-automatic assault weapon, or a clip that holds huge numbers of rounds, in the first place? Ludicrous, and the numbers prove it. Guns are a symptomatic reaction, not a solution.

Drinking alcohol in public spaces is prohibited, but I've seen plenty people drinking out of a brown paper bag, so that prohibition doesn't prevent abuse, because it's a symptomatic reaction, not a solution.

Prostitution is not allowed, but that just reminds me of of a decrete by the former president of Uganda, Idi Amin, who declare unemployment illegal. It's a symptomatic reaction, not a solution.

The US system is quite good at setting boundaries and limitations, and penalties, but the root cause of the issues is not addressed adequately. For some (cultural) reason people seem to have a problem understanding the difference between symptomatic reactions, and etiological cures. It goes much deeper than just violence. Look at the reaction to fuel shortages. Not reducing the need for oil or coal is a priority, but pumping more oil from environmentally dangerous environments, and using part of the food production potential to produce biofuels. Symptomatic reactions, not etiological cures.

These shooting sprees are the symptom of a larger issue, and it's unlikely that a cure is going to be put in place any time soon. Changing a culture takes time, but one does have to start sometime, now seems not a bad moment, but I'm not holding my breath.

There are of course also many parties that benefit from that situation, (gun) lobbyists, defense industry, politicians (not touching sensitive issues is easier than addressing them, and better for re-election). Governing by the FUD principle is easier to get things done, even if they are no solution (remember Iraq, WMDs and all lies at a huge (personal and collective) cost to so many Americans and others, good for Halliburton and the defence industry though). Symptomatic reactions ...

How many lives have to be wasted, before people start to understand the real issue ..., and address it at its core.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 10:09:23 AM
...  My point being that mass killing are very rare and infrequent, most are planned well, and who says we can eliminate them just by removing one tool out of many which they can use?

Like... Spoons? ;)

EDIT: But seriously, does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass murder?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 10:28:35 AM
Rob, ever thought of an alarm system for your house? Or even motion-sensor lights outside/inside? Much simpler than fiddling with a gun in the dark (and risking shooting yourself in the process).
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 10:35:10 AM
Russ and Steve, as for armed teachers... How many armed guards managed to stop a bank robbery?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 19, 2012, 11:04:36 AM
Rob, ever thought of an alarm system for your house? Or even motion-sensor lights outside/inside? Much simpler than fiddling with a gun in the dark (and risking shooting yourself in the process).

How about a rundown on your extensive experience with firearms, Slobodan?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 19, 2012, 11:21:26 AM
Bart, I appreciate your thoughtful reply.  I canít say I agree 100% with everything you wrote, but almost. Iíd just like to add another category of people with a vested interest in continuing the war on drugs Ė drug dealers.  If drugs were ever decriminalized, the drug dealers would be out of an extremely lucrative business.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 19, 2012, 11:27:21 AM
Rob, ever thought of an alarm system for your house? Or even motion-sensor lights outside/inside? Much simpler than fiddling with a gun in the dark (and risking shooting yourself in the process).



Taking you seriously on the first point: what service would the alarm render me? I'd still have to face whoever came in. Alarms go off here all over the place; it's the dampness and nobody pays them any heed. Most folks I know who had them disconnected them in the end.

As for motion sensors: we are in the country just outside the town; cats, rats, God alone knows what else march their merry march over the terrace each night and spend part of it leaping up onto the tables and/or chairs, which I have to wipe down each and every morning should I even think of eating at home... the alarm would be going off all night! (Thank goodness the neighbours don't have guns! ;-) )

I wouldn't imagine that your second fear for me would happen: I'd opt for a 9mm Paulo B. and not have something with a long barrel, such as with a shotgun or rife, over which to trip!

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 19, 2012, 11:40:10 AM
There's a disconnect somewhere.. didn't understand that at all.

Oh there's a disconnect ... for sure.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 11:48:52 AM
Legalize drugs and kill two birds with one stone*: drug trade and gun violence.

* Sorry bird lovers for the politically incorrect metaphor
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 11:55:08 AM
How about a rundown on your extensive experience with firearms, Slobodan?

Russ, I already provided it: extensive it isn't, but I said earlier that I was shooting with an AK-47 and military rifles, and quite successfully so, both in target practice and disassembling/assembling it.

I just do not see the need to keep an AK-47 under my pillow as a civilian, thus my gun skills are probably getting rusty.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Robert Roaldi on December 19, 2012, 12:02:00 PM


Stricter penalties do not reduce crime. The US system is the living proof of that, look at the growing number of the prison populations. For instance the death penalty doesn't prevent individuals to do what they do, because many of them have mental issues and suffer from a reduced sense of empathy. Others just have inadequate legal support, and are killed unjustly anyway in the name of the people.

Long term imprisonment (getting them off the street) creates a false sense of security, because when they come back they're better criminals than before, and with even less of a prospect of making something of their lives. Besides it's a very costly proposition having to house and feed an increasing number of people, especially when it doesn't really solve anything. It's a symptomatic reaction, as usual, not a solution.

...

There are of course also many parties that benefit from that situation, (gun) lobbyists, defense industry, politicians (not touching sensitive issues is easier than addressing them, and better for re-election). Governing by the FUD principle is easier to get things done, even if they are no solution (remember Iraq, WMDs and all lies at a huge (personal and collective) cost to so many Americans and others, good for Halliburton and the defence industry though). Symptomatic reactions ...



There's another constituency who benefits that seems to fly below the radar (so far) and that's the private prison industry: "http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/06/23/251363/cca-geogroup-prison-industry". I have no info on the credibility of that site, it's simply the first one I found and seemed to illustrate my suspicions about this industry. Knowing how "money talks", I am extremely cynical about their participation. It seems like such a convenient set-up, bury people in the system, the longer you keep them there the more money you make, and since the place is a private business, you can easily avoid the public eye.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 12:02:22 PM


Taking you seriously on the first point: what service would the alarm render me? I'd still have to face whoever came in. Alarms go off here all over the place; it's the dampness and nobody pays them any heed. Most folks I know who had them disconnected them in the end...

Are you saying that a burglar would calmly continue while alarms are blaring and all lights inside and outside go on!? Seriously?

Good alarm systems (at least here) are connected directly to a monitoring center which would then alert the police. It would take some balls on the burglar side to wait to see if the police shows up.

Additionally, given that you consider guns to be primarily a deterrent, how about acquiring a plastic one? I am sure that at today's stage of technology, they might even come with a cocking sound built-in.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 12:06:41 PM
There's another constituency who benefits that seems to fly below the radar (so far) and that's the private prison industry...

There was that one judge who was sending juvenile offenders to long prison sentences for extremely minor offenses, like peeing in public. Turns out it was his little side business, generating hundreds of thousands [wrong, see below] for him over the years in bribes from... well, prison industry. Was caught and sentenced.

EDIT: I edited what I first wrote above: millions of dollars in bribes... not wanting to believe it was that lucrative. Then I checked, and it turns out my initial memory was right: 2.8 million! He was also sentenced to... 28 years. I guess the other judge had a sense of humor (like ten years for every million).
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 19, 2012, 12:37:45 PM
Slobodan, I was also going to comment on that terrible judge.  28 years seem much too lenient of a sentence. 

There are other equally distressing reports of abuse of the private, for profit, prison system, where the prisons get paid a flat rate, so they try some despicable methods to cut costs, including denying even basic medical care resulting in needless deaths.  Unfortunately, U.S. federal, state and local governments increasingly are turning over traditional government services to private, for profit, companies.  This trend has resulted in corruption, bloated costs, and poor services in too many cases.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 01:14:17 PM
... The underlying problem is a cultural one, and that's a hard one to change!...

Bart, not at all disagreeing with you, just adding a few thoughts:

There were many things that were culturally thought of as American as apple pie AT SOME POINT:

- slavery
- segregation
- lynching
- inter-racial marriage ban
- women's voting
- white presidents

to list just a few. They are gone. Hopefully, clinging to guns might as well, sooner than expected.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Robert Roaldi on December 19, 2012, 01:43:16 PM
Slobodan, I was also going to comment on that terrible judge.  28 years seem much too lenient of a sentence.  

There are other equally distressing reports of abuse of the private, for profit, prison system, where the prisons get paid a flat rate, so they try some despicable methods to cut costs, including denying even basic medical care resulting in needless deaths.  Unfortunately, U.S. federal, state and local governments increasingly are turning over traditional government services to private, for profit, companies.  This trend has resulted in corruption, bloated costs, and poor services in too many cases.

...bloated costs...

The irony is too much. Private/public "partnerships" are supposed reduce costs, be more efficient, cut taxes, blah, blah. What, is there another private prison next door that "competes" with it so as to keep prices low? How can people keep falling for the same snake oil, the bs isn't even subtle.

Last year, the federal government here in Canada floated some press releases (or leaked some documents, can't remember) about looking into private prisons for Canada. There was no media interest that I detected. But at the time, I remember thinking, there's lobbiests at work here. I was right. Some weeks/months later a journalist had uncovered some data about how much the prison lobby was spending in Canada. It's all as predictable as sunrise.

My apologies, I'm getting way off topic, I'll stop.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 19, 2012, 02:29:45 PM
How can people keep falling for the same snake oil, the bs isn't even subtle.

One tactic is to price the initial contract low so it appears to save the government money, but lo and behold, it's not long before "unexpected" costs require a significant price increase.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 19, 2012, 04:17:24 PM
Seems at least someone is taking Russ' and Steve's advice (on arming schools) seriously:

An 11-year-old Utah boy brought a gun to school to protect himself from a Newtown-style attack (http://news.yahoo.com/utah-boy-charged-bringing-gun-school-cites-fears-023430546.html)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:08:53 AM
Then why deny yourself at this advanced stage of life ..... go back home.


Thank you for your concern.  I did return home about 18-20 months ago and an readjusting.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:14:31 AM
Steve,

I fear we will go on with this forever, with no real resolution. I don't think it matters who I have arrested or whether I carried a gun.

I think the bottom line is we've had a different upbringing and have lived in different countries with some great differences in perspectives, even though our countries are side by side. I happen to be uncomfortable with a proliferation of firearms and have been lucky to live in a society where they are not as central to things as in your country. And you have been quite eloquent and clear on your thoughts and position.

Let's just leave it at that and agree to disagree.

Marv
Marv -

I agree with all of this.  It's startling how different our countries can be when as you say they're side by side, but historically there are many such examples.  North/South Korea, East/West Germany, USA/Mexico, the list is long.  I still like to think Canada is our closest cousin who we do the most trade with and we try the most with.  Australia in my mind is like our distant cousin.. I find Australians have many of the core characteristics of Americans and during my time overseas my best friends were Aussies and not Americans..

I fear the biggest difference between us is Canada's closer association with the UK and France.. but we'd welcome you back to the fold any time.. ;o)

Thanks for the discussion Marv.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:27:54 AM
You are trying to spin this. "To protect life" is a just a euphemism for killing. The first and foremost purpose is to kill. If that results in saving something more valuable, or is otherwise justifiable, that is secondary. You first have to kill, in order to protect.

As for what cops think, they are trained to shoot to kill, right? Two pops in the chest, just to be sure (because one may not be enough). And, for the sake of mine and the rest of the public safety, I hope they don't get too poetic and teary-eyed about it (as in "I'm saving those poor folks "), but coldly efficient (as in  "I'm killing that SOB").

1.  No, it really is not.  Sometimes it turns out that way which is one of the terrible truths those who choose a law enforcement of military career must deal with.  Without such experience you might not be able to fully understand our mindset.  But as a member of the human race I can only tell you that killing is the absolute last choice.

2.  No, we are not trained to kill.  Not as law enforcement.  We're trained to stop.  This is what's in our head when acting. Another mindset, but "stopping" someone who is doing others harm can take many different forms.  We're given great discretion and we're selected for our ability to take in detail, process information, and effect a solution.   Not everyone can do it.  The academy was a big surprise for me, I assumed everyone could do what I regarded as relatively simple tasks.  But I watched guys wash out who I really admired because they could not, or would not make the required choices.  To be honest, from experience and talking to those who have killed.. it came as a surprise.  Most felt they let the departmen down.  There's a process of thought that happens milliseconds after you pull the trigger  which takes you from extreme guilt and self-doubt, through the reporting, through the review board, and in a way thank god for these processes because they help to remove that doubt or at least help you feel okay with your truth..

Those who don't like law enforcement.. and most of those assume the worst mindset.. probably will never understand because understanding is not in the best interest of their beliefs.  But contrary what you might want to believe. "stopping" is what we're thinking while "killing" is the absolute last thing we want to do  If you ever spoke in depth with someone who has, you'll soon learn it takes more out of the average guy than they're capable of giving.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:33:04 AM
The "legit uses" in this example actually are examples of guns being used, as designed, for killing -- killing game animals and killing dangerous wildlife.
You are quite right sir.   And all this time I thought you were concerned with killing people.

Guns, by design, are a quick and easy way to kill -- both deer and people (http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/sports/outdoors/deer-hunter-apparently-killed-by-friends-shot).

Some are.  Most I think are designed around recreational shooting and little thought goes into them as killing devices.  The entire design is about the class of competition they're built for, the type of recreation (plinking, shooting clays, cans, rocks, etc.. there's nothing like a finely made .22 semi-auto on a nice fall day as you plink away at whatever you can find.. the ends of twigs, stones, big leaves..

Can I ask, you haven't been exposed to shooting as a child and beyond?  You never went out with your father and enjoyed an afternoon together shooting targets?   Your mindset is that of someone who's greater experience with firearms comes from the television set of movie house..   Sad.

I'll tell you what.  If you're in the area lets get together for an afternoon and lets have some fun?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:36:10 AM
Like... Spoons? ;)

EDIT: But seriously, does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass murder?

At the very worst certain types of weapons were initially designed for war.  War is normally not consiered mass murder.  And virtually every type of personal weapon (M1 Garand, M14, M16 (AR-15), M4 (AR-15)) built for war has taken on new life and personality as recreational competition guns.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:41:00 AM
Russ and Steve, as for armed teachers... How many armed guards managed to stop a bank robbery?
Not all banks have armed guards these days.. can't remember the last time I've seen one.  The risk for banks to be robbed is extremely remote.  But when they did use them the bad guys knew where they were stationed, where they stood, etc.  IN other words they could and did plan their robbery with them in the equation.  This would be quite different with teachers carrying concealed.  Though, just like banks, the bad guys will end up going somewhere where they don't have to deal with guards at all.  Mass Murderers already pick a gun free zone by design, if we enable the teachers they'll just pick the next gun free zone.. too bad we're so stupid as to provide them and then tell them where they are.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:43:18 AM
Russ, I already provided it: extensive it isn't, but I said earlier that I was shooting with an AK-47 and military rifles, and quite successfully so, both in target practice and disassembling/assembling it.

I just do not see the need to keep an AK-47 under my pillow as a civilian, thus my gun skills are probably getting rusty.


I could care less about what type of weapon.. children shoot AK-47's all the time.  I'm interested in what training and exposure to mindset other than the television you've been exposed to?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:49:48 AM
Are you saying that a burglar would calmly continue while alarms are blaring and all lights inside and outside go on!? Seriously?

Good alarm systems (at least here) are connected directly to a monitoring center which would then alert the police. It would take some balls on the burglar side to wait to see if the police shows up.

Additionally, given that you consider guns to be primarily a deterrent, how about acquiring a plastic one? I am sure that at today's stage of technology, they might even come with a cocking sound built-in.
1.  Yes, they often do depending on their goal.  Not everyone is out to steal the family toaster.  Some re there for the kill.  Or kidnapping.  Or retaliation (something cops often have to live with for a very long time)..

2.  Virtually all private security companies are private and have relationships/agreements with the police.   If you're not giving out specific information to the monitors expect another 10-15 added on to whatever the police response time normally is.  Btw.. this is something you should ask your realtor when buying a home.. Where is the closest police station, response time, and crime rates..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kencameron on December 20, 2012, 05:29:23 AM
STORAGE LAWS:  In Florida they enacted a law in the 80's that held owners of guns criminally and civilly responsible if their guns were used in the commission of a crime or were misused in any way. The law said ALL guns must be stored in an approved SAFE and they specified a combination device and not a simple key...
I really feel this one law.. would do more good than all the gun control put together. 
To an outsider, storage laws like that look like "gun control" in the plain meaning of the words - controlling how you use your gun. I guess in the context of the US debate, "gun control" means something narrower. Steve, would you favour strict policing of such laws, or the withdrawal of ownership rights as a penalty for breaking them?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kencameron on December 20, 2012, 06:01:22 AM
Look at how easily gun control was enacted in Australia..akin to the proverbial knee jerk reaction without adequate representation and due process.  Even now, years later, I'd bet if Australia or even the UK voted concerning gun control the numbers would be split pretty much down the middle.. This tells me the rights of right around half these citizens were severely infringed on.  Sad.
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, Steve. Gun control in Australia is embodied in legislation enacted over many years by democratically elected Governments following constitutional and parliamentary processes. The changes to that legislation made after the Port Arthur massacre had overwhelming public support. I am not sure exactly what you mean by "if Australia voted...concerning gun control" but you would be throwing away your money if you bet that anywhere near half of the population would support substantial reversal of those changes, although some fine tuning might be on the cards and I would personally support it. If we could agree on some way of settling the bet, I would be happy to offer you attractive odds. And I suspect that, on reflection, you might not want to maintain the argument that the rights of people who don't happen to agree with the decisions of democratically elected Governments are ipso facto infringed by those decisions. We don't have a right to make our own laws, and unrestricted gun ownership isn't a human right. In Australia we don't have a second amendment and I would bet that only a very few of us regret it.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 20, 2012, 06:33:35 AM
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, Steve. Gun control in Australia is embodied in legislation enacted over many years by democratically elected Governments following constitutional and parliamentary processes. The changes to that legislation made after the Port Arthur massacre had overwhelming public support. I am not sure exactly what you mean by "if Australia voted...concerning gun control" but you would be throwing away your money if you bet that anywhere near half of the population would support substantial reversal of those changes, although some fine tuning might be on the cards and I would personally support it. If we could agree on some way of settling the bet, I would be happy to offer you attractive odds. And I suspect that, on reflection, you might not want to maintain the argument that the rights of people who don't happen to agree with the decisions of democratically elected Governments are ipso facto infringed by those decisions. We don't have a right to make our own laws, and unrestricted gun ownership isn't a human right. In Australia we don't have a second amendment and I would bet that only a very few of us regret it.

I have to agree with Ken here with regard to Australia - other places: who knows.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 11:38:17 AM
...  War is normally not consiered mass murder...

Steve, in this debate you said many interesting things, and quite a few "interesting" things, but with this one you've outdone yourself.

What's the euphemism this time: "stopping" the enemy? Pacifying, neutralizing, bringing the peace? Killing them softly?

Oh, wait, this must be it: I made a mistake, shouldn't have used "murder" instead of "killing." So, my sentence should now read:

"Does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass killing?"

Wait, another edit:

"Does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass RECREATION?"
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 02:47:24 PM
To an outsider, storage laws like that look like "gun control" in the plain meaning of the words - controlling how you use your gun. I guess in the context of the US debate, "gun control" means something narrower. Steve, would you favour strict policing of such laws, or the withdrawal of ownership rights as a penalty for breaking them?
I fully support the law as written.  As written it is a felony to not store your guns properly.  A felony instantly disqualifies you from gun ownership.  Ever.  Or living in a house where guns are kept.  Ever.


"Gun Control" to law makers I think does include storage, mental health checks, background checks, basically anything related to a person obtaining, keeping, using, firearms.  It does not include a big one.. "carrying" afaik..


To be clear, I favour strict policing of all gun laws.. but unfortunately such enforcement is rare.  Many of the experts on both sides acknowledge this as  a problem and think we could make big changes.  I agree, jail time is an effective deterrent for the average gun owner.. albeit not so much fo the career criminal.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 03:18:37 PM
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense, Steve. Gun control in Australia is embodied in legislation enacted over many years by democratically elected Governments following constitutional and parliamentary processes. The changes to that legislation made after the Port Arthur massacre had overwhelming public support. I am not sure exactly what you mean by "if Australia voted...concerning gun control" but you would be throwing away your money if you bet that anywhere near half of the population would support substantial reversal of those changes, although some fine tuning might be on the cards and I would personally support it. If we could agree on some way of settling the bet, I would be happy to offer you attractive odds. And I suspect that, on reflection, you might not want to maintain the argument that the rights of people who don't happen to agree with the decisions of democratically elected Governments are ipso facto infringed by those decisions. We don't have a right to make our own laws, and unrestricted gun ownership isn't a human right. In Australia we don't have a second amendment and I would bet that only a very few of us regret it.

1.  ANY TIME you take away rights (assuming you considered them rights) quickly based on such a horrid act such as your country suffered.. that's pretty much knee jerk and imo poor government.  Did anyone really think there were mass murderers lining up waiting their turn?  Or might the people have been better served by adequate studies vetted by peer based review?  And not old mostly outdated studies used. 

2.  I mean by referendum of course, where the electorate either by representation (how we do it here because of the size of our country) or directly.  I'm sure you know Australia much better than I do, but based on my access to Australia the people I know regret the governments actions concerning gun control.  Most agree they would have been better served if they weren't in a hurry to make major changes.. and indeed there was no reason to hurry other than those who favoured gun control knew their chances are better to strike while emotions are high.  Like they're doing here.  I'm sure everyone will agree the most important decisions should not be hurried.  They should be studied, debated, reflected.. but not hurried.

3.  Yes, unfortunately your constitution comes from a different place than ours.  Considering your influences of origin, asking yourselves why you have no rights concerning firearms.  There are several parties lobbying for a new constitution in Australia..  I wish them luck.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 20, 2012, 03:57:16 PM
Steve, in this debate you said many interesting things, and quite a few "interesting" things, but with this one you've outdone yourself.

What's the euphemism this time: "stopping" the enemy? Pacifying, neutralizing, bringing the peace? Killing them softly?



Slobodan, what the hell are you doing?

You must know perfetly well that war is a legal situation whose conduct is bound with all manner of internationally accepted conventions, the abuse of which leads to prosecution in the aftermath, whereas murder is an outlaw act which is always headed for prosecution.

That death in great numbers can be, and usually is the outcome of war, the intention behind a declaration of war is something entirely different to someone indulging in a personal act of illegal killing.

The two are so far apart as to begger belief that anyone could draw a parallel.

You have got to be arguing for the simple reason that you enjoy it.

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 04:15:17 PM
Steve, in this debate you said many interesting things, and quite a few "interesting" things, but with this one you've outdone yourself.

What's the euphemism this time: "stopping" the enemy? Pacifying, neutralizing, bringing the peace? Killing them softly?

Oh, wait, this must be it: I made a mistake, shouldn't have used "murder" instead of "killing." So, my sentence should now read:

"Does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass killing?"

Wait, another edit:

"Does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass RECREATION?"

1.  I always answer your questions, yet you ignore mine.  I had asked you about your background with firearms.. perhaps it's further down in thread.. I hope so because you exhibit a certain ignorance (I don't intended the use of this word as a put down,. but simply a description of fact) of the subject which to those who don't make you see a bit funny.  You are always welcome to ask when you don't know something.   I recommend doing so before further response.   Allow me to give you a professionals view on why we call it "stopping" vs. "killing" and why it's a mindset.

First, it is not in a police officers job description to kill.  We never want to kill.  We really don't want to even hurt someone.  I used to address all the people I arrested, took down, tazed, etc.. as "Sir" and with strong politeness.  Why?  Two reasons.  You gained a lot more cooperation by being polite and it tended to defuse even the most violent  situations.  Even after I'd have them in cuffs I'd continue.  Why? Because there was a point in the process where you had to remove them from the cuffs and they had the chance to even the score if they thought they could.  And career criminals were often big brawny guys.  Why was I polite?  The job description said I had to detain, arrest, search, incarcerate them.. it said nothing about pissing them off.  My job was MUCH easier if we had a professional but fun rapport.  I'd much rather make them laugh, than make them broken.    Gow jai mak?

Remember now, I call it a mindset for a reason.  Not for a funny.  Let us continue.  A call comes in a strung out speed addict is holding several children at knife point.  This is a gun free zone, hence the knife (that was a funny).   I walk in, try to reason with a strung out junkie (usually not a productivei feat) , and he gets a crazed look in his eyes, tells me he's going to kill the girl he points to fifteen feet way.

To the untrained individual 15 feet seems a long ways off, giving the police professional more than enough time to over take the junkie and arrest him.  But the trained police professional knows it could take well under 2 seconds for the junkie to span the fifteen feet and KILL his victim.  Not acceptable.

What's left?  You scream "kill him, kill him!"  I ask "method?"  You scream "shoot him in the chest, in the head, KILL him.."   If I did this a bullet to chest and one to the head would certainly KILL him.  But it probably wouldn't prevent the girl from being killed too.   EH?  Seriously.  A junkie, even a jonsing junkie high on speed can often take several bullets to the vitals and keep on going until loss of blood kills them.  In such cases they tend to get tunnel vision of purpose and you can almost bet that would e the outcome.  A dead girl, possibly two.   Not acceptable.  

Not to worry, I have training and I'm not thinking about killing him.  Remember, I'd prefer not to.  My goal is to stop him and that is all.  There's a difference?  Yes, there is.  I would draw my service pistol and shoot him in the pelvis until he crumples.  A pelvis shattered by a bullet crumbles.  A man cannot stand, leap, jump, travel with a shattered pelvis.  It's impossible.  I could them relieve him of his knife (nasty things, we should outlaw them) and say "Sir, you have the right to remain..."  Though, a shattered pelvis is extremely painful.

Can you see now why we train with this mindset?   It wasn't always this way, but it has been for at least 35 years that I know of.  A point of interest.  Many police officers who get shot and die.. get shot AFTER shooting the other guy.  They were probably shooting to kill.


2.  From a journalistic standpoint.. I'd use "designed for war" if they indeed were that type of weapon.  Or "designed for competition" , or "designed for cowboy action shooting", or "the make and model.. "  Whatever is most relevant..

3.   Irony.. maybe there's better things to say..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 04:24:47 PM


You have got to be arguing for the simple reason that you enjoy it.

Rob C

They have simply ran out of steam having failed to support their argument, which is mostly made up of quips and quotes they've heard somewhere else, and obviously spent little time thinking about.

This is a serious subject well served by discipline, reasoned thought, and factual knowledge.  Jokes are what he has left.

Even the President isn't serious about gun control.  If he was he wouldn't have been put Biden in charge.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 04:25:46 PM
Rob, we are not talking about philosophical or moral distinctions between mass murders and (presumably justifiable) war killings. We are talking about weapons. Military weapons, which sole purpose is to inflict mass casualties, i.e., killings.

I really do not get why is it so difficult to accept that military weapons are designed to kill??? Spin it however you want, use whatever euphemism you want, the sole purpose of military weapons is to kill. Justifiably or not, legally or not, by the right side or the wrong side, it is design to KILL for god's sake!!! The more the better, the faster the better.

And, no I do not argue for the sake of arguing. I believe that military weapon ownership by civilians is dangerous and I argue against it.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 20, 2012, 04:39:45 PM
military weapons

Slobodan ... I have learned the correct euphemism.

Modern Sporting Rifles.

(never knew it was "sporty" to kill anything ... generally, in all of the sports in which I participate, everyone leaves the field alive ...)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 20, 2012, 04:40:41 PM
Rob, we are not talking about philosophical or moral distinctions between mass murders and (presumably justifiable) war killings. We are talking about weapons. Military weapons, which sole purpose is to inflict mass casualties, i.e., killings.

I really do not get why is it so difficult to accept that military weapons are designed to kill??? Spin it however you want, use whatever euphemism you want, the sole purpose of military weapons is to kill. Justifiably or not, legally or not, by the right side or the wrong side, it is design to KILL for god's sake!!! The more the better, the faster the better.

And, no I do not argue for the sake of arguing. I believe that military weapon ownership by civilians is dangerous and I argue against it.

Slobodan, What "military" weapons are we talking about? I thought you were referring to the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle which was used in the Connecticut shootings. You told me you'd fired the M-16 and AK-47 on full automatic. That being the case it's damned sure you know that the Bushmaster isn't an "assault weapon" or a "military weapon." Civilians aren't allowed to own full automatic weapons in the US. It's different in most Middle Eastern countries.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 05:27:25 PM
... Jokes are what he has left...

No, Steve, I see jokes as my weapon of choice (pardon the pun) that is perfectly suited to expose utter ridiculousness of some of your statements and concepts.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 05:35:08 PM
... Bushmaster isn't an "assault weapon" or a "military weapon."...

Ok, lets see what the Bushmaster .223 is:

From a Times Magazine article:

Quote
... turned up in the hands perpetrators of mass murder. A Bushmaster .223 was used by Jacob Tyler Roberts to kill two people and then himself at an Oregon shopping mall last week. It was also one of the weapons allegedly brandished by James Holmes, charged with killing 12 people and wounding 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., earlier this summer. And itís similar to the weapon used in the Beltway Sniper shootings, in which John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo used it to kill 10 and wound three others.

Quote
... the weapon was adapted for military use as the M16; it went in to service in Vietnam in 1963. The modern AR-15 is a demilitarized version of the M16...

Quote
Because it falls under the federal definition of the term ďassault weapon,Ē the AR-15 has long been a target of anti-gun legislation. ďIt was one of the weapons [specifically] banned by the Assault Weapons Ban legislation in 1994

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/12/19/bushmaster-223-weapon-used-in-newtown-shooting-a-lightning-rod-in-gun-debate/#ixzz2FdNi01vR

I mean, just take a look at that cutie. Isn't it obvious it is made for purely recreational purposes?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 05:51:29 PM
... Civilians aren't allowed to own full automatic weapons in the US...

Hmmm... why not? If the mighty 2nd Amendment says "the right to bear arms," without limiting or defining it, why then not automatic weapons as well? If it was possible to ban automatic weapons, why not then ban sami-automatic as well? Looks like the 2nd Amendment isn't such an obstacle as gun proponents would like us to believe.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 06:29:33 PM
Rob, we are not talking about philosophical or moral distinctions between mass murders and (presumably justifiable) war killings. We are talking about weapons. Military weapons, which sole purpose is to inflict mass casualties, i.e., killings.

I really do not get why is it so difficult to accept that military weapons are designed to kill??? Spin it however you want, use whatever euphemism you want, the sole purpose of military weapons is to kill. Justifiably or not, legally or not, by the right side or the wrong side, it is design to KILL for god's sake!!! The more the better, the faster the better.

And, no I do not argue for the sake of arguing. I believe that military weapon ownership by civilians is dangerous and I argue against it.
So far you haven't been talking about military weapons.   What you said is military weapons are designed for MASS MURDER.   They are not.  Not one gun manufacturer sells a gun designed to murder.  This is a politically hyped up term and it's not funny when discussing a serious subject. 

Have you ever been to war?  I didn't think so.  You certainly wouldn't want someone implying you were a mass murderer.  You have no idea how offensive this is.  You are wrong to say this and wrong not to retract what you said.  I've been sensitive to you feeling patronized with no argument at all.. or that your shortened name offended you.  But now you call me and our veterans mass murderers by attaching this term to the weapons we carried.   

Meanwhile, you're mislabeling an AR-15 which WAS NOT made to kill..  Sorry, but you're way off base.   The only way you could express your lack of knowledge on the subject would be to classify a weapon by the way it looks..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 06:34:06 PM
Slobodan, What "military" weapons are we talking about? I thought you were referring to the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle which was used in the Connecticut shootings. You told me you'd fired the M-16 and AK-47 on full automatic. That being the case it's damned sure you know that the Bushmaster isn't an "assault weapon" or a "military weapon." Civilians aren't allowed to own full automatic weapons in the US. It's different in most Middle Eastern countries.

Yes we are depending on the state.  And these weapons have never been part of the assault weapon ban of the past, nor will they be considered part of any bans of the future.. they numbers are small, TAXES are charged ($200 per weapon) and they're tightly controlled.  Owning a Class III weapon basically gives the BATF the right to inspect it's licensed address any time they please.

Machine gun shooting is a huge draw at many events.. crowds love it.. and they pay big for a turn shooting water melons or whatever.  But there are many hobbyists who get together with various machine guns of the past and some of the present.. and enjoy them.   

AFAIK not one has ever been involved in a robbery or killing.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 06:35:45 PM
No, Steve, I see jokes as my weapon of choice (pardon the pun) that is perfectly suited to expose utter ridiculousness of some of your statements and concepts.
No.  You are doing nothing but exposing your ignorance of the subject and taking away from what would be a serious subject. 

I can wait until the children are put to bed if you prefer.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 06:40:49 PM
Ok, lets see what the Bushmaster .223 is:

From a Times Magazine article:

I mean, just take a look at that cutie. Isn't it obvious it is made for purely recreational purposes?

1.  A screwdriver has been used to murder.  This does not make the screwdriver an "assault screwdriver."  I've taken the time to TWICE list what constitutes an "assault weapon" under the last assault weapons ban.. this is what the BATF uses and the government uses.    Refer to it if in doubt.

2.  A M16 IS NOT an AR-15.   There are huge differences, namely one shoots automatic and the other is semi-auto.  But lighter weight barrels and the such wouldn't stand up to full auto fire.

Once again, your ignorance of the subject is showing as you mix and match and laughably classify guns by the way they look and not function.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 06:42:42 PM
Hmmm... why not? If the mighty 2nd Amendment says "the right to bear arms," without limiting or defining it, why then not automatic weapons as well? If it was possible to ban automatic weapons, why not then ban sami-automatic as well? Looks like the 2nd Amendment isn't such an obstacle as gun proponents would like us to believe.

They're not banned.  They're taxed.   It's been that way for decades through many assault weapon bans..  This explains the NFA act..  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 20, 2012, 06:56:53 PM
It's funny..  A mother who thought the world was coming to an end bought a handful of guns.. not unlike millions of others.  She couldn't control her son, saw danger signs.. and probably still didn't have them locked up.. so far there's been no mention of the kid using a torch or cutter to get into a safe.    So, she leaves her weapons and ammo unsecured and gets killed by her loony kid because as the media describes it "he was pissed off."

The kid claimed she loved the school more than him.. so he goes to a school and kills 20 kids and 6 adults.  The school had a brand new security system and protocol in place designed to protect them for guys like this.  It failed.


The kid had an AR simply because it's the Honda or Toyota of rifles.   It's cheap and it works well.  That's why we see them everywhere this sort of thing happens.. not because they're weapons of war or any of that nonsense.. Only because they're a decent rifle at a good price and the mags and parts are interchangeable..


So now all of a sudden we "need to do something" that will target stripping constitutional rights..  Because the mom didn't store her weapons correctly and the kid got pissed off.   

Not one person who's advocating gun control really believes it has anything to do with this event..  Not one.  Other than it's one of three hundred MILLION other guns.. there is no link.

It's obvious.. guns should be locked up.   It's obvious we cant trust people to do it themselves.. so we'll need to jail a few people until they get the message..

But it's more obvious our children are not well protected while at school.  In fact, because it's a "gun free" zone they're targets for the crazies.   Who in their right mind will spend time quibbling over what type of rifle someone uses.. while totally ignoring the kids are not protected.. they're the proverbial sitting ducks.

We should be finding ways to protect them.  I had an idea, but I don't expect everyone to like it.. or for it to be the only idea.. But at least I was talking about the right subject and offered up an solution.   We have retired law enforcement personnel of all types (marshals, cops, ATF, DEA, FBI, etc,e tc, etc) who would take such a job.. but I don't think putting some old out of shape guy at the front of every school door as an effective solution.  I see the younger more fit teachers being highly trained and protecting what they love.. We need to teach them strategy,. how not to shoot, when we must shoot.. and a shooter will never know what teacher will be his end.

Focus on the problems.. stop putting valuable resources and time into things which aren't problems or worse..will further divide our country.  It's not worth it.  We need to bring people together to do what we need done.. protecting our children in the classroom.  Everything else is secondary.

Thank you Texas for being way ahead of me.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 06:57:13 PM
1.  A screwdriver has been used to murder.  This does not make the screwdriver an "assault screwdriver."  I've taken the time to TWICE list what constitutes an "assault weapon" under the last assault weapons ban.. this is what the BATF uses and the government uses.    Refer to it if in doubt...

Are you disputing the accuracy of the Times article I quoted?

Quote
ďIt was one of the weapons [specifically] banned by the Assault Weapons Ban legislation in 1994

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 07:03:04 PM
... Civilians aren't allowed to own full automatic weapons in the US...

Yes we are...

Will you two experts agree on this one before turning again against my "ignorance"?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 20, 2012, 07:29:33 PM
Ok, lets see what the Bushmaster .223 is:

From a Times Magazine article:

I mean, just take a look at that cutie. Isn't it obvious it is made for purely recreational purposes?

Slobodan, have you or have you not fired full-automatic weapons? If so you must know that the appearance of the damned gun has nothing to do with its effectiveness. There are toy guns that look just like the Bushmaster. Are they "assault weapons" too?

And, as usual, Time magazine has its facts wrong. The Bushmaster is a takeoff made to look like the M-16, not the other way around. When I was mayor and our cops confiscated one from a local "citizen" I thought at first it was an M-16. It isn't. Compared with the M-16 it's a toy.

As far as the "federal definition of the term 'assault weapon'" is concerned, the "definition" was made by people who hadn't a clue what they were talking about. They were anti gun nuts looking for a way to emasculate the second amendment without going for a Constitutional amendment they realized they had a snowball's chance in hell of passing. They were politicians, not people who knew anything about firearms.

Yes, "take a look at that cutie." What about it? It's toy twin looks essentially the same, and it's made for purely recreational purposes. Neither of them is an "assault weapon."
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 09:05:08 PM
...There are toy guns that look just like the Bushmaster. Are they "assault weapons" too?

They can surely be mistaken for one. Just ask Steve's colleague who killed a boy with a toy weapon.

Quote
... And, as usual, Time magazine has its facts wrong....

Journalists are wrong, politicians are wrong, the Congress is wrong, the laws of the U.S. were wrong ... just Russ and Steve are right. Well, if you two are the experts, and everyone else is ignorant, I do not mind being considered ignorant either.

Quote
... Compared with the M-16 it's a toy...made for purely recreational purposes...

And mass murders committed with that "toy" are just recreational games. Kind of video games live.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 09:15:20 PM
... laughably classify guns by the way they look...

Why not? That's a legitimate legal doctrine, just ask Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart  in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964)

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 09:31:00 PM
...you're mislabeling an AR-15 which WAS NOT made to kill.. 

Let's see... the huge mistake I've been accused of is mistaking an AR-15, which is apparently "just a recreational toy," with an assault weapon.

Ok... let's then see what experts say on that subject (highlights mine):

Quote
What the gun industry did, was take an AR-15 assault weapon, cut off the bayonet lug, replace the collapsible stock with a fixed stock, and welded the flash hider to the barrel threads.. thereby eliminating useful barrel threads.

That's it.  Same black gun, same semi-auto action, same mean looking accessories can be mounted on it, fires the same .223 cartridge..  Same same.. 

It would not be fair not to give credit for the above expertise where credit is due: the author of the quote above is... Steve Weldon.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 20, 2012, 09:55:48 PM
...  A M16 IS NOT an AR-15.   There are huge differences, namely one shoots automatic and the other is semi-auto...

Ok.. huge difference... one is semi-auto the other is auto. The difference being, you'd have to pull the trigger every time on semi-auto, and just keep it pressed on auto. The difference being the speed of fire. I see. So, how fast you can pull the trigger repeatedly on a semi-auto? Certainly not as fast as on auto, I agree. But is the difference significant (from the standpoint of a mass murderer)? Could that speed be increased with practice?

Again, let's turn to an expert* for answer. Though he talks about a difference between regular guns (even slower) and sami-auto, it is still relevant (again, highlights mine):

Quote
You're assuming revolvers, pump, lever fed type firearms are inherently slower than semi-automatic weapons?  It's a good thought but watch some IPSC and IDPA competitions sometimes.. or even the old fashioned cowboy shooing comps where they exclusively use dated and period correct weapons.  It's stunning to see how fast they can be deployed.  Anyone remember the Rifleman?  Stunning rate of fire from his 1870 lever action.  Pumps are just as fast.  Even single shot mechanisms have devices sold which speeds them up quite a bit.

* Steve Weldon
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 21, 2012, 02:49:25 AM
Ok.. huge difference... one is semi-auto the other is auto. The difference being, you'd have to pull the trigger every time on semi-auto, and just keep it pressed on auto. The difference being the speed of fire. I see. So, how fast you can pull the trigger repeatedly on a semi-auto? Certainly not as fast as on auto, I agree. But is the difference significant (from the standpoint of a mass murderer)? Could that speed be increased with practice?

Again, let's turn to an expert* for answer. Though he talks about a difference between regular guns (even slower) and sami-auto, it is still relevant (again, highlights mine):

* Steve Weldon

Slobodan, I think you might as well give up here.  Let's face it, the two pro-choice posters here are not going to change their minds.  Steve will just keep you going around in circles because he thinks there's a difference between a recreational gun and a killing machine, and he and Russ think that unless you have extensive experience with a variety of automatic weapons then you have no idea what you are talking about.  The fact that you and many other members on this thread have had a lot of life experience, have seen life and death, and can see quite plainly that the good old US way with guns is seriously flawed, is of much less importance than the RIGHT to have a gun handy just in case one wants to use it.  The simple idea that the more guns that are taken out of circulation, the less chance disaffected young men will have their chance to get hold of them passes them by.  

Steve quotes at length the sequence of events leading to the killer in the latest incident getting hold of his mother's guns, and then blames her for not locking them safely away.  So she is fallible.  Under my scheme she would not have been able to own four guns in the first place and neither would the guy next door, or anyone else in the street.  Perhaps the boy would then have strangled his mother or stabbed her to death with a knife.  Tragic, but at least he would not have gunned down a whole class of children in addition.

The idea that a load of old men (and women) are sitting around with such weapons leaves me chilled to the bone.  We have a lot of old people around us, and a lot of them are our friends and I have huge respect for the older generation.  However many of those in their 80's and above should not be in charge of a car let alone a gun or rifle.  Just to watch them trying to get out of a car park would make you realise that they would not be able to hit anyone with a bullet unless they had a machine gun (ah, I see the flaw in my argument).

The semantics about what constitutes an assault rifle and whether the Bushmaster (makes it sound quite tame compared to the Terminator or similar) or whatever is less dangerous/effective than an M16 is just ridiculous.  It might make a difference against a trained and motivated enemy soldier, but against a class of children would make no difference whatsoever.  It makes me think of the idiots who bang on about how a Canon 1Ds is a 'professional' camera and a 350D is strictly for 'amateurs', as if it makes the slightest difference to the pictures.  True, one is a professional build and a better long term camera, but the end result from both is basically the same.

Isn't it nice to talk about photography again.

Regards

Jim

And as a postscript before anyone questions my credentials, I do have extensive experience with a range of weapons.  My time in the Royal Navy allowed me one full clip from a Stirling sub-machine gun, one clip from a 9mm pistol, and several magazines from a 7.62mm SLR.  Now that last one made me realise that I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end.  
And lastly, I do have a .22 Relum Tornado air-rifle.  A couple of Magpies were harassing our pet rabbit the other day and I fired a shot over their heads to scare them off - couldn't bring myself to kill them even though I am a great shot!

It's good that this has been a civilised discussion despite the fact that we have such polarised views - let's face it, there are no easy answers.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 21, 2012, 06:15:38 AM
There are toy guns that look just like the Bushmaster.

Yup.  Toys can get you in serious trouble  ... When everyone has real ones ...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1855490/posts

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/28/nyregion/officer-shoots-boy-holding-a-toy-gun.html

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/11/local/me-palmdale11





Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kers on December 21, 2012, 06:33:42 AM
...
 I am glad to live in a country where i never even considered i needed a gun...

Here in Europe we shoot jpegs

( trying to connect guns and photography)

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 21, 2012, 06:50:39 AM
The fact that you and many other members on this thread have had a lot of life experience, have seen life and death, and can see quite plainly that the good old US way with guns is seriously flawed, is of much less importance than the RIGHT to have a gun handy just in case one wants to use it.  

It isn't simply the right to have a gun.  Most of us in the US are ok with people having a gun.

What is astonishing is the ferocity with which these folks assert their "right" to own military-style semi-automatic "modern sporting rifles" with 30 round magazines full of bullets intended to shred humans ... And must be able to walk into a store and walk out armed to the teeth with no background check.

What is even more astonishing is the insensitive need to ferociously defend such "rights" even as these children are being buried.

For god's sake ... Just give it a rest for one month.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 21, 2012, 06:57:12 AM
where i never even considered i needed a gun...

Let's make one thing crystal clear ... They don't NEED these guns.  They WANT them.

The US is a very, very safe place.  People with guns in their home are MUCH less safe than people without.  Your odds of being murdered by gun go through the roof if you, your spouse or loved one owns or has access to a gun.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 21, 2012, 07:16:21 AM
They can surely be mistaken for one. Just ask Steve's colleague who killed a boy with a toy weapon.

No doubt we'd all be a lot safer if we banned toys.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 21, 2012, 09:24:20 AM
. . . their "right" to own military-style semi-automatic "modern sporting rifles". . .

. . .their "right" to own military-style semi-automatic "modern sporting rifles"

Jeremy, the world might be better off if sporting rifles were all bolt action, lever action, or pump action rather than semi-automatic. But nobody owns "military-style semi-automatic" arms. Semi-automatic weapons are not military -- at least now nowadays. You and Slobodan would be more believable if you'd stop using that "military" terminology. It makes it clear to anybody who's been in the service and in a combat zone that you guys haven't a clue what you're talking about.

But, let's face it, Chicago, New York, DC, Detroit, Los Angeles, among other cities, demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that strict gun laws, rather than having a positive effect, probably have a negative effect.

Yes, I know you're going to argue that places like New York are at the mercy of surrounding areas where guns are legal. Yes, criminals always can get guns. Unfortunately, with strict gun laws law-abiding people can't. That makes things a lot safer for criminals, a fact they take full advantage of.

But let's imagine we've banned firearms in the US and managed to find and destroy all the previously legal guns in the country. What a terrific subsidy for gun producers in places like North Korea or the Middle East, who'd smuggle guns into the country to illegal dealers at extremely high prices. We've done the same thing with the subsidy we've given drug producers and dealers by having a "war on drugs."

The point is that if people like Lanza really want guns they're going to find a way to get them, and in a completely disarmed country those guns are going to be unusually effective. I've been really busy lately so I haven't had time to plow all the way through this absurd thread, but I know that somebody from Britain pointed out how few gun crimes they have in England. He didn't mention the fact that gun crimes have climbed by 89% in the past decade and their cops have reached the point where they need to carry full-automatic weapons ("assault weapons" Slobodan) rather than billy- clubs.

It's clear that the problem isn't the guns; the problem is the society. I'm old enough to have witnessed the change and the difference. If I had to put the blame on one thing I'd point my finger at TV. I've been around through the whole development of television, and in the beginning it looked as if TV had the ability to lift up our society by helping to expand our horizons and educate the uneducated. But it hasn't worked that way. Instead, it's convinced the ignorant that violence is a game and that violence can make you famous or notorious, no matter how stupid and worthless you may be.

That's the bottom line. That's what people like Lanza are being taught: If you want to go out in a blaze of glory, get a gun and shoot up a (pretend) gun-free school.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Chris Sanderson on December 21, 2012, 09:31:34 AM
http://www.economist.com/news/world-week/21568739-kals-cartoon
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 21, 2012, 09:32:20 AM
You and Slobodan would be more believable

Huh?  

I used the term "military-style".  WTF do you think that means?  It means it LOOKS like a military weapon.

Does the AR-15 look like an M-16?  It does.  Case closed.  You may now "believe" me.   Jeezusss H.

Your "arguments" would be a lot more palatable if you got off your high horse and stopped acting like you were the only person who had something to say.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 21, 2012, 09:57:49 AM
http://www.economist.com/news/world-week/21568739-kals-cartoon

Amen, brother! ;D
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 21, 2012, 10:13:50 AM
... But let's imagine we've banned firearms in the US and managed to find and destroy all the previously legal guns in the country. What a terrific subsidy for gun producers in places like North Korea or the Middle East, who'd smuggle guns into the country to illegal dealers at extremely high prices. We've done the same thing with the subsidy we've given drug producers and dealers by having a "war on drugs."...

Is this your way of admitting that a love affair with guns is just as addictive? Goes through the same cycle: I want you - I need you - can't live without you - died for/from you?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Jim Pascoe on December 21, 2012, 12:12:29 PM

But let's imagine we've banned firearms in the US and managed to find and destroy all the previously legal guns in the country. What a terrific subsidy for gun producers in places like North Korea or the Middle East, who'd smuggle guns into the country to illegal dealers at extremely high prices. We've done the same thing with the subsidy we've given drug producers and dealers by having a "war on drugs."

The point is that if people like Lanza really want guns they're going to find a way to get them, and in a completely disarmed country those guns are going to be unusually effective. I've been really busy lately so I haven't had time to plow all the way through this absurd thread, but I know that somebody from Britain pointed out how few gun crimes they have in England. He didn't mention the fact that gun crimes have climbed by 89% in the past decade and their cops have reached the point where they need to carry full-automatic weapons ("assault weapons" Slobodan) rather than billy- clubs.


But Russ, that first paragraph obviously is not going to come true, because it has not happened in Europe, particularly not the UK.  And our Police are not routinely armed unless they are called out to an incident involving firearms.  Just a few months ago two police officers were gunned down by a lunatic with a gun who had deliberately lured them to their deaths with a hoax call.  But thinking they were just attending a domestic incident even if they had been armed they would not have had their guns drawn and would still have been shot because there was absolutely no warning.  Even after that incident there is no call by either the public or the police for officers to be armed.  And as for gun crime in the UK having climbed by 89% in the last ten years.  If it has then the figure of 139 gun related deaths in 2009, of which 109 were suicides, so 30 homicides by guns of all types, is still rather small compared to the US total for the same year of 31,000 gun deaths of which 12,000 were homicides.  I know the US has a population five times the size but one doesn't need to be a mathematician to see the glaring distinction.

Ok, so we need to allow for the fact that of course in the UK we murder people with other means (like cricket bats etc) and in fact our murder rate, like that in the US is going down and is running at 550 a year of which 30 are by gun.  In the US the respective figures are 15,000 and 12,000.  The murder rate per head of population is 1.4 per 100,000 in the UK and 4.8 in the US.  Does it not seem possible that the huge difference is related to the number of guns in circulation?

Jim
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: RSL on December 21, 2012, 12:23:13 PM
If it has then the figure of 139 gun related deaths in 2009, of which 109 were suicides, so 30 homicides by guns of all types.

Thanks, Jim, for a less than hysterical post. And you've hit the nail on the head. When you take away the suicides and gang wars between drug dealers, the threat of guns in the society shrinks to a very low level. Unfortunately such cleaned-up statistics about gun violence in the US seem hard to come by.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 21, 2012, 12:24:57 PM
No doubt we'd all be a lot safer if we banned toys.

No doubt the children and parents of children that have been shot and/or killed while holding overly-realistic toys might favor some regulation.

NYC has had toy gun regulations since 1955.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/pdf/govpub/838toyguns.pdf
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Rob C on December 21, 2012, 03:02:44 PM
No doubt the children and parents of children that have been shot and/or killed while holding overly-realistic toys might favor some regulation.

NYC has had toy gun regulations since 1955.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/pdf/govpub/838toyguns.pdf




I sort of remember doing a fashion shoot in a Glasgow alley with a couple of guys with very realistic machine gun thinggies: I think that not long afterwards, replicas were banned in the UK. I don't suggest any connection.

Someone here on LuLa advised the keeping of such a 'weapon' for my personal self-defence; my immediate thought was that it would obviously become an interesting, bonus-like acquisition for anyone already holding me up. The moment that I would be found incapable of shoting the thing, the game would be up and the perp even more mad at yours truly. Not a good idea. You shouldn't make a bet you can't cover.

Rob C
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 03:08:47 PM
Until you retract and apologize for your implication our veterans are mass murderers.. I will cease to educate you and point our the multiple errors you've made over your last few posts.  Sir, only your personal ethics score lower than your reading comprehension scores.  Regardless of the shootings, our school systems have failed.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: jeremypayne on December 21, 2012, 03:12:46 PM
your implication our veterans are mass murderers

Get over yourself. 

He didn't say that at all and your indignation is petty and trite.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Chairman Bill on December 21, 2012, 03:19:15 PM
OK, as you were. That nice man from the NRA has solved the issue - armed guards at every school. Of course, the mad gunman now simply has to take out the armed guard, & then go on a killing spree. So the revised guidance is to have a company of infantry, with armoured support, Apache helicopters & a Predator drone on stand-by. At each school. Just to be safe.

Having the Predator drones here does two things. 1) makes US school-kids safer, and 2) makes Afghan & Pakistani school-kids safer too. Win-win.


BTW, does that NRA guy sound suspiciously French to you? Does George Dubya know?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 03:30:24 PM
Slobodan, I think you might as well give up here.  Let's face it, the two pro-choice posters here are not going to change their minds.  Steve will just keep you going around in circles because he thinks there's a difference between a recreational gun and a killing machine, and he and Russ think that unless you have extensive experience with a variety of automatic weapons then you have no idea what you are talking about.  The fact that you and many other members on this thread have had a lot of life experience, have seen life and death, and can see quite plainly that the good old US way with guns is seriously flawed, is of much less importance than the RIGHT to have a gun handy just in case one wants to use it.  The simple idea that the more guns that are taken out of circulation, the less chance disaffected young men will have their chance to get hold of them passes them by.  

Steve quotes at length the sequence of events leading to the killer in the latest incident getting hold of his mother's guns, and then blames her for not locking them safely away.  So she is fallible.  Under my scheme she would not have been able to own four guns in the first place and neither would the guy next door, or anyone else in the street.  Perhaps the boy would then have strangled his mother or stabbed her to death with a knife.  Tragic, but at least he would not have gunned down a whole class of children in addition.

The idea that a load of old men (and women) are sitting around with such weapons leaves me chilled to the bone.
 We have a lot of old people around us, and a lot of them are our friends and I have huge respect for the older generation.  However many of those in their 80's and above should not be in charge of a car let alone a gun or rifle.  Just to watch them trying to get out of a car park would make you realise that they would not be able to hit anyone with a bullet unless they had a machine gun (ah, I see the flaw in my argument).

The semantics about what constitutes an assault rifle and whether the Bushmaster (makes it sound quite tame compared to the Terminator or similar) or whatever is less dangerous/effective than an M16 is just ridiculous.  It might make a difference against a trained and motivated enemy soldier, but against a class of children would make no difference whatsoever.  It makes me think of the idiots who bang on about how a Canon 1Ds is a 'professional' camera and a 350D is strictly for 'amateurs', as if it makes the slightest difference to the pictures.  True, one is a professional build and a better long term camera, but the end result from both is basically the same.

Isn't it nice to talk about photography again.

Regards

Jim

And as a postscript before anyone questions my credentials, I do have extensive experience with a range of weapons.  My time in the Royal Navy allowed me one full clip from a Stirling sub-machine gun, one clip from a 9mm pistol, and several magazines from a 7.62mm SLR.  Now that last one made me realise that I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end.  
And lastly, I do have a .22 Relum Tornado air-rifle.  A couple of Magpies were harassing our pet rabbit the other day and I fired a shot over their heads to scare them off - couldn't bring myself to kill them even though I am a great shot!

It's good that this has been a civilised discussion despite the fact that we have such polarised views - let's face it, there are no easy answers.

1.  There is not a difference between an assault weapon and a recreational weapon?   That would be news to all our politicians and would settle this mess a lot faster.  We have the right to keep and bear arms, if there are no differences between the weapons then gun control is not possible.  Thank you.  You should work for the NRA sir.

But there are differences, functional differences, practical differences, and legal differences.   If you refuse to educate yourself and recognize these differences then discussion becomes pointless.


2.  Under your scheme we wouldn't have the second amendment.. and we'd be as defenceless shall our neighbours choose to attack us as you are.  But that would never happen.  Right?  Eh?  They have?  Multiple times?  And who came to your rescue?   Ahem then.. yes... those gun crazy Americans.  Wait another half century and you could ask the Aussies for help.. by then they'll forget which end the gun the bullet comes out of, but they'll now how to hold it sideways thanks to Hollywood.


3.  Shall I remind you that those "old people" who you think shouldn't be driving are of a generation who fought and died do you would have the freedom to have the viewpoint you do?  Many things are inherently dangerous.. chain saws, hot air balloons, horses, it appears we can through the average spoon into the mix these days.. and gasp.. cars.  Until someone becomes a danger using these things they are still allowed to own them.

4.  You haven't been to a gun range lately have you?  The old guys are good.. and they know what they're doing.  No, not all of them.  Not all go to the range and practice.   Either do young gun owners.  Young or old, if you plan on using a firearm for protection you should practice (a lot) to maintain efficiency.  

5.   No differences in the final product?   Really?   Shall we assume you know as much about photography as you do guns?


6.  Absolutely.  Other than Slobagon insinuating our veterans are mass murderers I think we've done very well.  


Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 03:37:01 PM
Yup.  Toys can get you in serious trouble  ... When everyone has real ones ...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1855490/posts

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/28/nyregion/officer-shoots-boy-holding-a-toy-gun.html

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/11/local/me-palmdale11



Tragic don't you think?  Lives ended, and lives that will never be the same.  My three boys have never owned a toy gun in their lives.. I recognized early on that in a child's mind, expecting them to know the difference and even appropriate use of toy guns wasn't possible, much less expect every law enforcement officer to face such choices.   I've never seen a place for toy guns.

You noticed these were all law enforcement officers with training and the like.. ?  It's sad.  But until you walk down that dark alley at night you can't know.. you can think you know, you can imagine, but you can't.


Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 21, 2012, 03:43:48 PM
.. I will cease to educate you...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Quote
Until you retract and apologize for your implication our veterans are mass murderers..

To check your own reading comprehension, please see again what I wrote:

Quote
... I made a mistake, shouldn't have used "murder" instead of "killing." So, my sentence should now read:

"Does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass killing?"

You see, wars have two sides: bad guys and good guys. Thus fatalities are either murders or killings, depending which side you are on and which side ultimately wins. In either case, weapons are designed to kill, legitimately or not, and military weapons are designed to inflict mass fatalities.

Since were are talking about wars, military weapons and school shootings, this reminded me of an event in the history of my country: in 1941, Germans executed, using machine guns, around 2,800 men and children. There were more than 200 children, and among them two whole 5th-grade classes (60 kids). They were taken right out of school, during school classes, together with their teachers.

So, according to you and Rob, given that it was war, the killings were legitimate, not murders? I mean, Rob, if Germans won, you think they would prosecute their own army? Btw, what I described was not a wanton act of drunken soldiers, or an isolated order of a deranged commander, but the official German policy of retaliation against civilians.

EDIT: Correction: around 2,800 plus one - that one was a German soldier who refused the order to shoot at school boys
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 21, 2012, 03:44:48 PM
That nice man from the NRA has solved the issue - armed guards at every school.

The Republican mantra has been smaller government, less spending, no new taxes.  Now this nice Republican wants to add tens of thousands of new government workers at a staggering cost.  I assume he'd not want to raise tax revenue to pay for it, but instead to put the cost on our credit card, again.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 03:45:38 PM
It isn't simply the right to have a gun.  Most of us in the US are ok with people having a gun.

What is astonishing is the ferocity with which these folks assert their "right" to own military-style semi-automatic "modern sporting rifles" with 30 round magazines full of bullets intended to shred humans ... And must be able to walk into a store and walk out armed to the teeth with no background check.

What is even more astonishing is the insensitive need to ferociously defend such "rights" even as these children are being buried.

For god's sake ... Just give it a rest for one month.



Their speed was only matched by those who sought to get the upper hand in the gun control debate.. The President on down. Shameful behaviour.  As many times as that man put his foot far in his mouth you'd think he'd learn.

Look, we had a 10 year assault weapons ban that did zero good.. didn't save a single life or take a single gun off the streets.  Your side of the aisle was fooled into thinking a bayonet lug, collapsible stock, threaded barrels, etc, were the real dangers.. and you didn't know better because you were ignorant on the facts.  It worked out great for gun owners.  Heck, now we have a ten year assault weapons ban to point to as non-effective.. And if we have another one they still won't learn and will just ban the same things.. which means we really have nothing to fear.  Because of ignorance.

And your side still resists learning..   If you want laws that do what you intend for them to do, then pay attention and try to understand.. or we'll just pull the ol' wool over your eyes again.  And again.  

I'm opposed to this because it does nothing to protect the kids everyone claims to really be concerned about.  Another assault weapons ban will surely make some people 'feel' safer.. but they won't be.  And the kids will still be at risk.  

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 21, 2012, 03:48:04 PM
Ö A [teacher] who thought the world was coming to an end bought a handful of guns..

sanity prevails obv...
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 03:50:37 PM
Get over yourself. 

He didn't say that at all and your indignation is petty and trite.
What I said is he insinuated it.  And he did.  That's enough. 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 03:54:49 PM
The Republican mantra has been smaller government, less spending, no new taxes.  Now this nice Republican wants to add tens of thousands of new government workers at a staggering cost.  I assume he'd not want to raise tax revenue to pay for it, but instead to put the cost on our credit card, again.

I think somehow the NRA thinks the public would think this better than arming teachers.  But perhaps they'll work their way to that.

I see by the mornings papers that many Texas counties already do this and five more states are considering it.. so not all hope is lost.  There are still good people out there.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Justinr on December 21, 2012, 04:08:06 PM
The Republican mantra has been smaller government, less spending, no new taxes.  Now this nice Republican wants to add tens of thousands of new government workers at a staggering cost.  I assume he'd not want to raise tax revenue to pay for it, but instead to put the cost on our credit card, again.

I must admit the rushing to hire a load of armed guards for schools seems terminally insane for various reasons, not least of which is that poorly trained and inadequately vetted guards might pose a larger risk to children than the occasional deranged nutter. How many students will be 'accidentally' shot through mistaken identity, trigger happy guards, high school pranks etc before it is realised just what a bad idea it is? The guard will be the first to be sought out and shot by gun toting weirdos anyway, so what are you going to arm him with, another assault rifle so the two can have fun sniping at each other across the playground?

Answering guns with more guns just doesn't seem to be the answer but it's not my country so I'll pipe down again.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 21, 2012, 04:14:54 PM
We have about 150,000 schools in the U.S.  At just two armed guards per school (which is probably a low estimate), heís talking about 300,000 new government employees.  Say the average cost per employee, including benefits, is $50,000 per year, thatís $15,000,000,000 per year.  $15 Billion!

Of course, what about all the day care centers, movie theaters, malls etc?  Donít the poor young children at day care deserve protection, too?  And the others? 

Of course there is an obvious solution.  Once we hire hundreds of thousands new guards for all these places, we wonít be able to afford public schools any longer, so we could then fire hundreds of thousands of teachers and guards, swell our unemployment ranks, and unemployment payments, and Ö

Damn, I guess armed guards isnít such an easy solution after all.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Chairman Bill on December 21, 2012, 04:29:47 PM
Your basic error is thinking this through. Thinking implies education, which in turn suggests something slightly left of Genghis Khan, therefore communist. That puts you slightly to the right of Obama, who is the anti-christ, obviously. Therefore you're wrong, on every issue, and the NRA are correct.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: opgr on December 21, 2012, 04:35:01 PM
the official White House response (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/message-president-obama-about-your-petition-reducing-gun-violence)

I would also suggest everyone directs their further meaningful thoughts here: White House link for suggestions (http://www.whitehouse.gov/share-your-thoughts-reducing-gun-violence).

End-of-Thread, plz
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 05:33:54 PM

To check your own reading comprehension, please see again what I wrote:


My reading comprehension is obviously better than your memory.  These are your words:

"Like... Spoons? Wink

EDIT: But seriously, does anyone finds it surprising that idiots bent on mass murder come to the party with weapons intended for... well, mass murder?"


The rest of what you said is blather to obfuscate..

There is no other way to read this other than you believe inanimate objects were designed to be used for murder.. an action which can only be specified and effected by the people who carry them.   Soldiers.   

How many men in your family tree did you just call a murderer for simply following the orders of their civilian leadership as they fought and died for wars past?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 05:51:14 PM
I must admit the rushing to hire a load of armed guards for schools seems terminally insane for various reasons, not least of which is that poorly trained and inadequately vetted guards might pose a larger risk to children than the occasional deranged nutter. How many students will be 'accidentally' shot through mistaken identity, trigger happy guards, high school pranks etc before it is realised just what a bad idea it is? The guard will be the first to be sought out and shot by gun toting weirdos anyway, so what are you going to arm him with, another assault rifle so the two can have fun sniping at each other across the playground?

Answering guns with more guns just doesn't seem to be the answer but it's not my country so I'll pipe down again.

I read some numbers earlier I'll quote here.. 131.  That's the number of people who died at schools since Columbine.. which happened at the height of our assault weapon ban which disgustingly is the primary vehicle to prevent further shootings being called for by our politicians to prevent future shootings.   131..   I doubt we'd have that many "accidents" of trained guards accidentally shooting anyone.. other than the occasional police shooting gone bad, none of the.. must be a million of them in our country?.. are accidentally shooting kids.  And police and other law enforcement work in much more stressful situations.  So no, I don't at all think we need worry about accidental shootings. 

You're entire scenario was meant to be provocative.. but it did bring up an area of merit.  Answering guns with guns.. has been deemed by all of our societies to be appropriate at times.  But you're right, it cannot be our only or even primary response.  We didn't have these problems 50 years ago.. or 30.  Mass shootings are a fairly new phenomenon which my guess is done because the person is crying out..  Crying out for the 100-200 million viewers of the news shows which talk about THEM, discuss THEIR life, and airs their grievances fro them.  The more the news gives such attention, the more we'll see of this.

The most obvious answer and the answer which will take the most work and affect the most people.. is to determine the cause of violence.  We have to address the violence.  Even if we wanted to outlaw guns and did it yesterday, it would be 100 years or more before there was any effect.. And keep in mind, not a single politician is calling for guns to be entirely outlawed as per the UK or even Australia model.  What they're calling for is a repeat of a failed assault weapons ban.. which doesn't bad assault weapons but instead bans bayonet lugs, collapsible stocks, threaded barrels, etc.

The NRA response we KNOW will have some effect on school shooters.  Most likely they'll go to a mall, or a ballgame, or a church of some other gun free zone.   The gun control opposition is only talking about repeating a failed assault weapons ban.  Why?  Because that's their priority.  Not the kids.  Or in the case of the good folks of opposition on this forum, perhaps the kids are their priority.. but they're not educating themselves and will ultimately let the kids down until they do.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on December 21, 2012, 05:57:02 PM
... failed assault weapons ban.. which doesn't ba[n] assault weapons but instead bans bayonet lugs, collapsible stocks, threaded barrels, etc...

So, they are assault weapons after all?
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 05:57:56 PM

Damn, I guess armed guards isnít such an easy solution after all.

You're right.  It's hugely expensive.  I doubt it will happen.

Training and arming teachers who carry concealed is a much cheaper program.  I'd guess most would pay for their training themselves and we wouldn't have to pay extra salaries, but I would recommend a bonus pay of some type.  Every city already has a place they train police.. they can/should go through the shooting, ethics, and legal portions of the academy for much less.. perhaps the largest recurring expense would be quarterly qualifications, something they could do with the police.   I read several places that teachers and law enforcement are having trouble talking to each other.. this would be a good way to get them together.  Task them with training the teachers.

The beauty of this.. is it's already being done.  And working.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 06:40:08 PM
So, they are assault weapons after all?
I'm assuming you haven't had a chance to read my past.. so I'll answer this.  Mostly because it's a very good question.


If we go back 20-25 years ago.. can you guess where the term "assault weapons" came from?  Politicians.  There was a long standing ban on importing surplus military weapons from other countries.. and I forget who it was, but it was lifted.  I want to say Bush Sr.. but not sure.   All of a sudden we had boatloads, hundreds of thousands of AK-47's converted to meet the few restrictions they'd left intact.. Semi-auto only was the big one.  So all these guns, cheap ammo, parts kids.. they flooded our country.   At this time the AR was only sold by a few companies as the licensing was restricted.. so they were more expensive then (over $1000) they are now.

I remember going to gun shows (at the time I was running my own gun business so I'd advertise there) and watching some pretty sketchy looking guys.. they fit the "bubba" or "redneck" stereotypes which btw I don't believe in using stereotypes..  these guys were loading pallet loads of AK's and ammo into trucks.  Every gun show, which at the time had no background checks or registration.. because they were used guns don'tcha know.. was offloading tens of thousands of these.  I bought several of historical significance (AK's are made in many countries, some makes are better than others, some have history behind them) myself for I think $75 and $60 each.  1000 rounds of 7.62x39mm was going for less than $60..   The glory days of the AK..

A ban was put back in effect.. supplies dried up.. but the streets were full of cheap weapons designed for war.   Assault Weapon became the term of choice during the politics of dealing with this mess.

Interesting side note.  There are estimated to be between 5-10 million of these and much more ammo.. in enclaves, camps, and other militia encampments all over this country.. most buried and protected..  It wouldn't be hard for any low-rent militia to flood the streets of any big city with enough AK's to cause major problems.. and such tactics have been found in manifestos and doctrines since discovered.

So that's where the term assault weapon came from.

Today it's used to discuss any of the almost 100 weapons banned during the assault weapons ban, and of course any "black or military" looking gun...

The democrats weren't serious about gun control when they voted in the last ban.. who in their right mind thinks bayonet lugs, threaded barrels, or collapsible stocks change the basic function of a weapon?   It doesn't.   Meanwhile, we have million of legit sporting arms which "function" identically to the so called "assault weapon" and are just as dangerous in the wrong hands.   As I've been saying all along, most modern guns are functionally so close together they don't warrant any real distinction when it comes to killing.   It's ironic that the same minor features (such as collapsible stocks, detachable mags, etc) that make a weapon ideal for self-defence.. also makes them ideal for offence.  The most dangerous "weapon" in existence is the human mind.. and that's the only thing that makes a gun be used legally and for legit purposes.. or not.

We also had a rash of "designer" weapon companies.. some made the infamous Tec-9's made popular in 1990ish gangster movies with drug dealers, armed body guards with gold chains, and the like. For $125 you could have a semi-auto that looked a lot like a machine pistol.. where in actual function it was a real piece of shi* and wasn't as useful as Barny Fife's revolver.  Lorican is another.. there I think were 25 of these companies.  The NRA and supporters put them down by refusing to buy cheap inferior projects.. bad for business..

So there you have it.  "Assault Weapon" is a political term and currently defines one of the banned weapons of the last bans bill.. it will change if we have another ban.. unless they haven't learned..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 21, 2012, 07:45:04 PM
I read some numbers earlier I'll quote here.. 131.  That's the number of people who died at schools since Columbine.. 

There are 10,000 to 12,000 gun homicides per year in the U.S. Everyone seems to be fixated on your 10 per year average, while ignoring the other 10,000 to 12,000 yearly gun homicides.  Why?  Don't the other 100,000 plus lives also warrant some attention? 
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 07:49:08 PM
Stick to what you know, Steve. Guns are a long way from being "entirely outlawed" in Australia. Check the details here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Australia) . We have rules about who can own what kind of gun, with precise definitions - nothing wobbly like "assault weapon" - but if I wanted to hunt or target shoot I could get hold of a suitable gun without much difficulty provided I joined a gun club and installed secure storage.
Ken.. notice I put "or even the Australia model.."  Prefaced by "entirely banned?"  

I've spent a lot of time studying the gun laws, gun control, circumstances, history, of many countries.. it sometimes helps to step out of a specific environment and look at others.

Can you get an AR-15 style rifle?  How about a Ruger Mini-14?  (Ar style rifle in sheeps clothing)  Armalite AR-10?  Or a M14?    And can you shoot it on your own property without owning a gun club?    And can you get handguns?  

Tell us more about the secure storage..

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 07:51:52 PM
There are 10,000 to 12,000 gun homicides per year in the U.S. Everyone seems to be fixated on your 10 per year average, while ignoring the other 10,000 to 12,000 yearly gun homicides.  Why?  Don't the other 100,000 plus lives also warrant some attention? 

A good question.  Over half that figure as we've referenced in this thread elsewhere was from suicides.. and no one really wants to get involved with the choice of suicide where gun control is concerned.. the obvious answer is they push for my medical induced suicides which is another bag of worms.. so they hide in the gun stats.  Almost all the other half is gang related which is directly tied to the war on drugs.. something else politicians don't want to talk about.

Start breaking down the numbers and you'll get really pissed off..
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kencameron on December 21, 2012, 08:43:29 PM
Ken.. notice I put "or even the Australia model.."  Prefaced by "entirely banned?"  

Can you get an AR-15 style rifle?  How about a Ruger Mini-14?  (Ar style rifle in sheeps clothing)  Armalite AR-10?  Or a M14?    And can you shoot it on your own property without owning a gun club?    And can you get handguns?  

Tell us more about the secure storage..
What you wrote is what I quoted. You referred to guns being "entirely outlawed" under the "UK or even the Australia model". Not sure where you get the word "banned".

I am not sure about the purpose of your questions. If you know the answers, why ask the questions? If you don't, you will have to do your own research. The link I provided will be a good starting point - complemented by your detailed knowledge of different makes of gun, which I don't share and which I don't consider necessary to participate in the discussion. What you can get depends on who you are, what kind of weapon it is, and how you propose to use it.  I didn't suggest there are no restrictions in Australia - only that guns are not "entirely outlawed".

OTOH, your intent is to demonstrate the extent of your knowledge, then I would have been more than happy to take that as read if you hadn't implied you thought that guns were entirely outlawed in Australia, which is not the case.

Here (http://www.fga.net.au/storage/w3/i1028158/) is a starting point for research on your question about storage requirements. They vary by State, which is not ideal, but we do have a federal system.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: BartvanderWolf on December 21, 2012, 09:33:34 PM
A good question.  Over half that figure as we've referenced in this thread elsewhere was from suicides.. and no one really wants to get involved with the choice of suicide where gun control is concerned.. the obvious answer is they push for my medical induced suicides which is another bag of worms.. so they hide in the gun stats.  Almost all the other half is gang related which is directly tied to the war on drugs.. something else politicians don't want to talk about.

Start breaking down the numbers and you'll get really pissed off..

Hi Steve,

So what you seem to be suggesting is that, when it involves gangs and desperate people, guns are a good thing ...?
Just asking, because I'm puzzled by your defence of rampant (leading to inappropriately used) proliveration of guns, which would rather be, recreation?

BTW, a few clicks in Google reveals that a little over half of the gang related assaults and homicides in the USA are inter-racial, so I'm not sure which race and business activity statistics bracket you belong to that would explain your need to use a firearm for self-defence..., unless you only 'need' it for recreation. Annoying indeed.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 09:48:37 PM
I am not sure about the purpose of your questions.
Ken -  

It's quite clear that I differentiated between the UK and Australia when I said  "calling for guns to be entirely outlawed as per the UK or even the Australia model."  For the sake of this discussion I see absolutely zero difference between "outlawed" and "banned."  It's the same thing.   So to help you with the reading:  outlawed as per the UK OR EVEN the Australia model.  Which means outlawed or severely restricted.   Why you quibble to the point of distraction about a sentence whose meaning is clear to most anybody is something I don't wish to speculate.

But I do find your OTOH remark not well written because I don't understand what the heck you mean.   You start off with a 100% wrong assumption "your intent is to demonstrate your knowledge" (my intent was to answer a question directly asked and whose answer benefits everyone participating in the discussion. It's a key point, oft misunderstood) but the rest of your sentence is scrambled no?   Clear it up for us.

"which I don't share and which I don't consider necessary to participate in the discussion."

Sure, detailed knowledge of firearms isn't required to participate in this discussion..  heck, some have insulted, baited, name called, and been quite rude based on no knowledge whatsoever, which is why it's so easy to let it go.   But you stated earlier "but if I wanted to hunt or target shoot I could get hold of a suitable gun without much difficulty provided I joined a gun club and installed secure storage."


So you won't mind telling me how one develops a "need" for hunting or target shooting, something according to your link you MUST be able to provide?   And what does a "gun club" cost in Australia?   Is a need satisfied by "I'd like to take a hunting trip up north" or must you show you need the meat to subsist?  Who decides your.. well.. we can't call it a 'right", so lets call change that to "who gives you permission or allows you to own a firearm by acceptance, or not, of your "need?"

My point here is you might not be able to do as you say if you have someone making the decision that doesn't believe hin hunting, doesn't like you, doesn't like the color of your car..   Because you no longer have a right.  You're only conditionally allowed on the whim of some official..  Perhaps that suits you, but it doesn't suit the majority of Americans.  When you take the "right" out of the constitution which admittedly yours never had.. then you become the subject of whoever holds that power over you.  A different way of doing government.  A way we had a little fracas over called The Revolutionary War.. So you can understand that those of us with a strong sense of history value our rights.

But yes, "the Australian model" as I eluded is not that guns are totally outlawed.  They are only subject.  Subject to the opinion of someone not you.. without clear guidelines they must act under.  Or at least the guidelines were not listed in your otherwise complete reference.

I find something interesting though.  If one shows a need of target shooting or hunting they can obtain a centerfire rifle.. bolt action.. holds ten or less rounds.   The basic function of a sniper rifle.  There are some restrictions on cartridges though, .338 Lapua, .416 Barrett, and .50 BMG.. are restricted.  Those are three fine sniper rifle calibers, but there are dozens of other ones equally effective.  In the custom realm tens of thousands.   And sniper rifles have the potential to do far more damage than assault rifles.   So why push for control of one so heavily and not the other?  I think two reasons. 1.  Sniper rifles take far more skill to use effectively.   2.  Sniper rifles also FUNCTIONALLY are the same as hunting rifles.. in the same way "assault rifles" are the same as recreational rifles.  A gun is a gun.  I suppose politicians don't want to touch that one.

Well, if you don't want to answer questions showing your knowledge of firearms.. how about a more open question.  John Howard as stated in his autobiography "hates" guns.. a very strong emotion.  Ever wonder where he developed this hate?  And he states he "seized the opportunity with the Port Author massacre" to push through your restrictive gun control   So one man with hate of the subject of a law.. admittedly took advantage of the people in writing new laws.  Interesting.  Our laws get their power from our constitution and our constitution is written to prevent one man from having such control over laws (something our President often needs reminding of).. As a people American's reject such power.  My question:  Do you think Australia's "conditioning" as "subjects" of the Queen is responsible for their.. well.. being okay with being controlled like that?  Personally I haven't seen this trait in the Australians I've come to call friends.. but they don't belong to that vast majority who are okay with the current gun laws.  In all seriousness, if you read through this thread I've become quite impressed with Australians.  I'd hate to think they haven't outgrown the antiquated concept of a monarchy..




Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 21, 2012, 10:17:08 PM
Ken.. notice I put "or even the Australia model.."  Prefaced by "entirely banned?"   

I've spent a lot of time studying the gun laws, gun control, circumstances, history, of many countries.. it sometimes helps to step out of a specific environment and look at others.

Can you get an AR-15 style rifle?  How about a Ruger Mini-14?  (Ar style rifle in sheeps clothing)  Armalite AR-10?  Or a M14?    And can you shoot it on your own property without owning a gun club?    And can you get handguns? 

Tell us more about the secure storage..

If you want to talk about "gun control" in Australia Steve, then your questions are barking entirely up the wrong tree.
The truth is that there is an entirely different ethos in play in Australia (stuff entirely seperate from legislation) when it comes to guns.
There is an entirely utilitarian approach to gun ownership in Australia.

If one is a stock farmer in Australia then it is expected, and accepted, that you will own several firearms for the purpose of putting down animals that are terminally ill or injured.
In addition these stock farmers also need to control feral animals on their properties such as pigs.
Individuals are also employed specifically to hunt pigs and also kangaroos (when in plague proportions) to reduce their impact on grazing.
So the rural parts of Australia (90% by land surface area) are full of guns.
However, on visiting towns in these areas one will never see individuals carrying guns of any sort - it is just not part of the culture.

In general in urban areas of Australia (where 90% plus of the population of Australia live) it is neither expected nor accepted that law-abiding citizens would own a gun, never mind carry one around on their persons. In Australia if you are carrying a gun on your person you are either a policeman or a criminal.

One can also own weapons for the purpose of sport.
Australia has many Olympic-medal winning marksmen.
Major cities and largish towns will all have ranges and clubs.
Hunting is also accepted both for sport and for the reasons elucidated above.

Nonetheless, there is absolutely no culture in Australia currently that regards gun ownership in general, never mind the right to bear arms, as constitutionally important. Guns are in widespread use in Australia yet there is no culture of owning and carrying guns as an extension of our personalities.
The burning issues and questions that you are posing are just non things here in Australia.
(If you want answers to the technical aspects of your questions then one or more government websites - that are excellent by the way - will almost certainly state the situation in plain English. I personally have no particular interest in checking.)

The only reason these issues are topical in Australia at all is because of the concern that we have for our American brethren and our outrage that yet another American community has been torn apart by another mass shooting.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 10:19:04 PM
Hi Steve,

So what you seem to be suggesting is that, when it involves gangs and desperate people, guns are a good thing ...?
Just asking, because I'm puzzled by your defence of rampant (leading to inappropriately used) proliveration of guns, which would rather be, recreation?

BTW, a few clicks in Google reveals that a little over half of the gang related assaults and homicides in the USA are inter-racial, so I'm not sure which race and business activity statistics bracket you belong to that would explain your need to use a firearm for self-defence..., unless you only 'need' it for recreation. Annoying indeed.

Cheers,
Bart

Hi Bart.  A fine cold evening here..  Let's get you some answers, wouldn't want you to lose sleep wondering.. :)

1.  I think they're a good thing for our politicians in that it allows them to avoid facing a difficult subject.   For instance, from the link Ken quoted:  "from 1985Ė2000, 78% of firearm deaths in Australia were suicides" and "A 2010 study asserted that the gun buyback scheme cut firearm suicides 74%, thus saving 200 lives a year."

You think WOW right?  First, a really large portion of those terrible numbers being misused so often are from suicides.. a choice a free citizen should be allowed to make.. and in fact are.  I've never heard of someone being charged for committing suicide.  I'm a strong believer that any adult should have 100% free control over their own demise.  There are many reasons someone might want to die that neither of us has any way of understanding.  And I don't see it as our business.   The second thing is "so sad, now 200 people a year either had to find a less convenient way to kill themselves.. or even more sad.. heartbreaking even.. is that they're still alive and unable to do so.

All I'm saying Bart is that depending how presented, some things can be either good or bad.. and politicians are not above taking advantage of the numbers.  Heck, if not counting suicides in gun deaths any more would half of better the "killed by a mean looking gun" figure.. they might have to show more or better reasons to accomplish their agenda..


2.  I no longer need to "defend" the right to self-defence.  The Supreme Court of these United States has done that for us.  Short of an amendment which SCOTUS would then be be obligated to defend.. the right to self-defence is a done deal.  Personally I feel this is a natural right.  I'm disappointed Australia doesn't recognize this as a "need" for owning a gun.  I suppose then everyone would need one.   You too.  Do you think this means there is no right to self defence in Australia?  How sad would that be.  But to be clear, if you're comfortable with your hands, your camera, or your ability to talk your way out of harm then I fully support your choice to do so.

But yes, I enjoy the recreational aspects of owning firearms.. I have since I was a small boy.  And my father and grandfather before me, and my three sons after.    Absolutely.  And for anything who has some unnatural fear of firearms or wants to try the recreational aspects.. contact a range or club near you and you'll find many willing to help.  I'm more afraid of real threats.  Spiders for example.  

3.  Sir, I don't need to justify my need for self-defence and either do you!  You're free from that burden.  Rejoice.  But I'll share it with you anyway.  I retired from the military and spent four years as a police officer in a big California city where I was directly involved with drug and gang control.  I won't go into it further than that.. but there are some out of jail already, some still in it.. who present a direct threat to me and my family.  Is that okay with you?   But what's your bugaboo with recreational shooting?  I still do some of that.. love it.  Have you ever tried?  Most love it right way, it's almost addictive.  Give it a try.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: dmerger on December 21, 2012, 10:21:37 PM
A good question.  Over half that figure as we've referenced in this thread elsewhere was from suicides.. and no one really wants to get involved with the choice of suicide where gun control is concerned.. the obvious answer is they push for my medical induced suicides which is another bag of worms.. so they hide in the gun stats.  Almost all the other half is gang related which is directly tied to the war on drugs.. something else politicians don't want to talk about.

Start breaking down the numbers and you'll get really pissed off..

The 10,000 to 12,000 number is homicides.  Suicides are not included in that number. 

Guns are used for suicides more often than for homicides. I've refrained from discussing gun suicides in the context of gun control because I doubt that even the most strict gun control imaginable, that would be constitutional under the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court, would be effective in reducing suicides significantly.  Even a single bullet gun, especially a caliber larger than a 22, is sufficient for a suicide.  It appears that the possession of ordinary revolvers, shotguns and rifles (not including semi-automatics) is protected by the Second Amendment.  (Semi-automatics may well be protected, too, but I'm taking the best case scenario for gun control.)
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 10:45:18 PM
If you want to talk about "gun control" in Australia Steve, then your questions are barking entirely up the wrong tree.


Hi Tony -

Sure, let's explore your questions.

1.  America has farmers and about the same 90% live in urban areas.  We have the same needs..  

2.  "In Australia if you are carrying a gun on your person you are either a policeman or a criminal."  No worries, some here would like that to be the case too.   But it's not.  Why it makes you either is kind sad.

3.  "Neither expected or accepted."  Why do you care so much about what other people expect or accept?  I see self-defence as a personal right and a personal responsibility.  I see what I carry on my person the same way.

4.  "there is absolutely no culture in Australia that regards gun ownership in general, never mind the right to bear arms, as constitutionally important."  Is this because it's not in your constitution and you've not had this right in such a long time that you've just accepted your fate?

5.  "extension of our personalities.."  I've never experienced such a thing here.. but then I tend not to think along those terms.  I drive powerful cars and I've never bought the "extension of your penis" argument either.  I simply love fast cars, my penis is fine thank you.  I wonder if it's the same for those who accuse us of such?

6.  "concern for our American brethen"  I love this about you guys!  You are so caring that it makes me feel warm all over.  Thank you so much for your concern.  Would you feel the same way if we got involved and started denigrating you personally, your way of life, your government, penis size, etc?   I'm sure you would, I mean why take offence to someone so misguided right?


This "American community torn apart" stuff.. Let's get real.  They're already asking the media to go home and have been for days.  More trouble than they're worth.  

    We had a team bus crash a while ago and 30 something kids died.. ever hear about it?  

    A tornado wiped out town after town, tore them to the ground, killed dozens.. ever hear about them?  

    Car crashes and even doctors mistakes are killing far more people every year.  "Doctors are the 3rd Leading Cause of Death (not guns) in the US, causing 224,000 deaths every year (http://www.healingdaily.com/Doctors-Are-The-Third-Leading-Cause-of-Death-in-the-US.htm).  Wow.. 225,000 doctor related deaths!!!

Shall I go on?  Anyway, where's your concern for these?  Why is all the concern about guns?  

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 21, 2012, 11:25:47 PM
Steve you are making my argument very well.
I put those observations down to show that there appears to be a massive gulf in thinking about gun ownership in Australia versus the USA.
Your thinking personifies that gulf.

As for some of the other issues that your last post dragged into the debate well you asked for this.
I happen to be an Intensive Care doctor (you didn't know that did you) who knows far better that you about iatrogenic (doctor-caused) harm because I deal with it in my ICU on a daily basis. I do regular battle with collegues about this issue (to the point where some of them wish they could put a bullet in me) and so am sometimes regarded as a polecat.

Also, although traffic-related injuries and deaths, in global terms are minimal in Australia - even one is too many.
Additionally, my medical career started in South Africa where traffic-related injury and death is appallingly, obscenely, and criminally, high.
That is not all.
I witnessed, in battlefield-like conditions, the appalling carnage made possible by unrestricted access to weapons of any sort never mind those currently accepted as military grade weaponry.
I have several late and lamented friends from South Africa who were trained Special Forces soldiers ("reccies") and policemen who carried guns all the time (especially when in civvies - and quite legally) who are all dead, killed by criminals, and had no chance despite their immense training and capabilities. Sadly them bearing arms contributed to their deaths since they all went for their weapons when caution would have been the better option or they were killed because they were found to be carrying weapons by the criminals despite their caution.

Unlike you, I will not speculate about your experiences, expertise, interests, and concerns, I will, however, put forward observations and opinions based on direct, and unfortunately very unpleasant, experience.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 21, 2012, 11:33:15 PM
The 10,000 to 12,000 number is homicides.  Suicides are not included in that number. 

Guns are used for suicides more often than for homicides. I've refrained from discussing gun suicides in the context of gun control because I doubt that even the most strict gun control imaginable, that would be constitutional under the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court, would be effective in reducing suicides significantly.  Even a single bullet gun, especially a caliber larger than a 22, is sufficient for a suicide.  It appears that the possession of ordinary revolvers, shotguns and rifles (not including semi-automatics) is protected by the Second Amendment.  (Semi-automatics may well be protected, too, but I'm taking the best case scenario for gun control.)
You're right.  I should have  picked up on that.

I typically refrain as well, unless I think they're using the overall number.  And yep, it's hard to shoot yourself in the head twice.

The Supreme's did note there is room for local restrictions on certain firearms, but more than half of all firearms out there are semi-auto.. so I think some may try, but will fail to get exclusions.  

IMO and others.. the reason the assault weapons ban only really banned bayonet lugs, collapsible stocks, etc.. and not semi-auto as a function.. is because of the raw numbers of semi-autos out there.  And because police departments have approved them for 20-30 years for personal weapons (I switched from my S&W Model 686 six shot revolver to my Sig 226 as one of the first semi-auto approved classes on my department.. I think in 1983.  There was a lot of resistance to them as duty guns mostly because of reliability, and some still thought the police would empty 19 rounds into the crowd like the police seem to do all too often in New York..   So far they've been proven to be highly reliable if properly maintained and gripped..), and even the military considers them safer and more effective for the lightest duties..  

To outlaw a type of gun that comprises roughly 50%+ of the 300 million+ guns in America.. that would be the mass hysteria response they're trying to avoid.  It's just not doable.  So they outlawed bayonet lugs.  Great.  And some people lost sleep over the ban expiring.. like they were worried about being bayoneted to death..  Geeze..

But the anti-gunners are falling for it again.  They don't want real change or improvement... if they did we'd have police or armed teachers in every school.   What they want is symbolic.  From a purely functional standpoint (the ability to put a round on target in a given time period) I'd estimate 90% of gun control measures are symbolic.   This is why I'm trying to hard in this thread.  If the people really want gun control, the they should get it, no matter how misguided I think they are.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kencameron on December 21, 2012, 11:44:55 PM
It's quite clear that I differentiated between the UK and Australia when I said  "calling for guns to be entirely outlawed as per the UK or even the Australia model."  For the sake of this discussion I see absolutely zero difference between "outlawed" and "banned."  It's the same thing.   So to help you with the reading:  outlawed as per the UK OR EVEN the Australia model.  Which means outlawed or severely restricted.   Why you quibble to the point of distraction about a sentence whose meaning is clear to most anybody is something I don't wish to speculate.
We will have to disagree about the plain meaning of your sentence as written. I now know that you meant it to mean "outlawed as per the UK or severely restricted as per the Australian".

But I do find your OTOH remark not well written because I don't understand what the heck you mean.   You start off with a 100% wrong assumption "your intent is to demonstrate your knowledge" (my intent was to answer a question directly asked and whose answer benefits everyone participating in the discussion. It's a key point, oft misunderstood) but the rest of your sentence is scrambled no?   Clear it up for us.

Well - as in the case of my understanding of what you wrote, the problem could be your understanding, or what I wrote. We are unlikely to agree as to which it was. I am a bit puzzled, however as to what question you thought you were answering by asking me questions about various makes of gun. And I can only assume you are using some kind of royal plural when you refer to "us", as I have no evidence that anyone else is in need of clarification.


orage."[/b]
So you won't mind telling me how one develops a "need" for hunting or target shooting, something according to your link you MUST be able to provide?   And what does a "gun club" cost in Australia?   Is a need satisfied by "I'd like to take a hunting trip up north" or must you show you need the meat to subsist?  Who decides your.. well.. we can't call it a 'right", so lets call change that to "who gives you permission or allows you to own a firearm by acceptance, or not, of your "need?"

The police decide, in the first instance, in accordance with their interpretation of the law, as they decide lots of other things, in your country and mine. If their decision is arbitrary you can appeal.  Read Tony's post for an account of how and why all that doesn't matter to us in the way it apparently does to you. In the real world, the situation is as I described it - anyone who wants to hunt or target shoot and doesn't have a criminal record can do so with minimal impediment, except in relation to what kind of gun they can buy. The cost of joining a gun club is insignificant compared to the cost of the guns and the ammunition.

orage."[/b]
My point here is you might not be able to do as you say if you have someone making the decision that doesn't believe hin hunting, doesn't like you, doesn't like the color of your car..   Because you no longer have a right.  You're only conditionally allowed on the whim of some official.

As I explained above, our officials don't get to make decisions based on whims, whether the decisions are about guns or about any of the other thousands of things officials make decisions about, in your country and mine. They have to make them accordance with the law and if you don't like their decision you can appeal it.

orage."[/b]
But yes, "the Australian model" as I eluded is not that guns are totally outlawed.  They are only subject.  Subject to the opinion of someone not you.. without clear guidelines they must act under.  Or at least the guidelines were not listed in your otherwise complete reference.
Oh come on. This is getting silly. Surely you don't really think it is safe to assume that there are no guidelines because the guidelines don't happen to be listed in a Wikipedia article.

orage."[/b]
  A gun is a gun.  I suppose politicians don't want to touch that one.
Here we are getting closer to an area of agreement. Bureaucratic distinctions between different kinds of gun are always going to be open to criticism and politicians are always going to go for what sounds good.

orage."[/b]
Well, if you don't want to answer questions showing your knowledge of firearms.. how about a more open question.  John Howard as stated in his autobiography "hates" guns.. a very strong emotion.  Ever wonder where he developed this hate?  And he states he "seized the opportunity with the Port Author massacre" to push through your restrictive gun control   So one man with hate of the subject of a law.. admittedly took advantage of the people in writing new laws.  Interesting.  Our laws get their power from our constitution and our constitution is written to prevent one man from having such control over laws (something our President often needs reminding of).. As a people American's reject such power.  My question:  Do you think Australia's "conditioning" as "subjects" of the Queen is responsible for their.. well.. being okay with being controlled like that?  Personally I haven't seen this trait in the Australians I've come to call friends.. but they don't belong to that vast majority who are okay with the current gun laws.  In all seriousness, if you read through this thread I've become quite impressed with Australians.  I'd hate to think they haven't outgrown the antiquated concept of a monarchy.
.

John Howard was able to legislate for changes to the gun law regime because almost everyone strongly agreed with him - almost all the people and almost all the elected politicians of all parties. The changes were made by people's elected representatives voting in Parliament, not by personal fiat of John Howard.  If almost everyone, Democrat and Republican,  strongly agreed with your President on something, it would probably happen, at least in the first instance, no?  Those who disagreed could of course challenge the constitutionality of changes to the law, as they could in Australia. If the people and their elected representatives had disagreed with John Howard he wouldn't have been able to do anything. You are making a distinction with little substance in it. In fact I suspect - I am open to correction on this - that your President can do rather more by executive order than our Prime Minister can by issuing any kind of personal instruction.


orage."[/b]
I've become quite impressed with Australians.  I'd hate to think they haven't outgrown the antiquated concept of a monarchy.
We have differing views on how best to select our purely ceremonial Head of State. I would personally prefer some kind of Republic, as would almost all of our gun control advocates, while almost all Australians who would agree with you about gun control would prefer to stick with the Queen.









Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 22, 2012, 01:45:05 AM
Steve you are making my argument very well.
I put those observations down to show that there appears to be a massive gulf in thinking about gun ownership in Australia versus the USA.
Your thinking personifies that gulf.

As for some of the other issues that your last post dragged into the debate well you asked for this.
I happen to be an Intensive Care doctor (you didn't know that did you) who knows far better that you about iatrogenic (doctor-caused) harm because I deal with it in my ICU on a daily basis. I do regular battle with collegues about this issue (to the point where some of them wish they could put a bullet in me) and so am sometimes regarded as a polecat.

Also, although traffic-related injuries and deaths, in global terms are minimal in Australia - even one is too many.
Additionally, my medical career started in South Africa where traffic-related injury and death is appallingly, obscenely, and criminally, high.
That is not all.
I witnessed, in battlefield-like conditions, the appalling carnage made possible by unrestricted access to weapons of any sort never mind those currently accepted as military grade weaponry.
I have several late and lamented friends from South Africa who were trained Special Forces soldiers ("reccies") and policemen who carried guns all the time (especially when in civvies - and quite legally) who are all dead, killed by criminals, and had no chance despite their immense training and capabilities. Sadly them bearing arms contributed to their deaths since they all went for their weapons when caution would have been the better option or they were killed because they were found to be carrying weapons by the criminals despite their caution.

Unlike you, I will not speculate about your experiences, expertise, interests, and concerns,
I will, however, put forward observations and opinions based on direct, and unfortunately very unpleasant, experience.

Tony Jay


1.  What argument was that Tony?  Other than your claim there's some big gulf?  Was that it?

2.   Tony, there is no more gulf between the way you think and the way gun control advocates feel in the USA.. But there is a huge gulf between what you say and Australians I've known for years.  The biggest one is they've never purported to speak for their entire country, only themselves.

3.  My personality.. wow.  I didn't know we've even kissed yet and there you go knowing all about me.    I think you're merely hearing what you were pre-disposed to hear.  So far I think there is only one person in this thread who has actually "heard" what I've been saying.

4.   Asked for what?  I never asked for your resume though big surprise a doctor doesn't like guns.  Not an entirely new concept.

5.  I didn't know and I don't see how you can consider it any big surprise.  First it needs to be relevant.  Second, someone needs to care.  I haven't asked anyone what their primary job is.  All I've cared about is if they actually understand the topic, and then what they think about the topic.  You seem to think its' a big deal you're a doctor.  Congratulations, but what does it have to do with the topic at hand?

6.   Too bad you couldn't have got in a better school.  Did you think you're the only one who's lived overseas in third world countries?  Welcome to my world Jay.. welcome to my world..

7.  You witnessed battlefield "like" conditions.  I'm sorry, I've been in the battlefield and in more than a few third world countries.  There is nothing "like" an actual battlefield though you can be forgiven for thinking so.  Btw  -  The US is not a battlefield or even "like" one.

8.   Such is war.  I'm sorry for your friends.  But people die in war, they die falling off a ladder.  Despite their training.  Sad but true.  Why, did someone tell you if you carried a gun for self defence it would save you 100% of the time?  That it was magic?  Or are you going to tell us them having a weapon is the reason they're dead?  I'm listening.


9.  Hehe.. that's exactly what you were trying to do.  These "immensely" trained special ops guys went for their guns and that's why they died.  It's almost too good to be true from your POV, without it you wouldn't have had this winning example.  Tony, I know something about the subject.  I've been around such men my entire adult life.   I've never heard of a more unlikely set of circumstances.

10.  Go ahead, guess away.  I don't get this "unlike you" part, did I let it slip out I didn't think you were a photographer?   I don't think I did.

11.  Boy, that's good to know.  Now the people here won't have to listen to the stuff I've been making up based on no experience, training, or opinions either..

Tony.  No offence digger, but you're let yourself down in a terrible way.  Rarely do I see someone shoot themselves in the foot with such a large caliber  bullet (pardon the metaphor), in public.. Such a treat.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Steve Weldon on December 22, 2012, 02:49:30 AM
We will have to disagree about the plain meaning of your sentence as written. I now know that you meant it to mean "outlawed as per the UK or severely restricted as per the Australian".

Thank you for this.  You wouldn't believe the people who continue to tell you what you were saying even after they explained to you, you were saying something different.

Well - as in the case of my understanding of what you wrote, the problem could be your understanding, or what I wrote. We are unlikely to agree as to which it was. I am a bit puzzled, however as to what question you thought you were answering by asking me questions about various makes of gun. And I can only assume you are using some kind of royal plural when you refer to "us", as I have no evidence that anyone else is in need of clarification.



The makes of guns were the "black gun" look, and the more soft versions.  Exactly the same function.  Like what we have here when they ban the other just because of the looks.   I was curious on the finer details to see if this was being repeated.   Us?  Sorry.. when Caesar sits with me it's almost like he becomes human.

(http://www.bangkokdigitalimaging.com/photos/Caesar1.jpg)

That's his best Clint Eastwood "Make my day" pose.  What do you think?



The police decide, in the first instance, in accordance with their interpretation of the law, as they decide lots of other things, in your country and mine. If their decision is arbitrary you can appeal.  Read Tony's post for an account of how and why all that doesn't matter to us in the way it apparently does to you. In the real world, the situation is as I described it - anyone who wants to hunt or target shoot and doesn't have a criminal record can do so with minimal impediment, except in relation to what kind of gun they can buy. The cost of joining a gun club is insignificant compared to the cost of the guns and the ammunition.

As I explained above, our officials don't get to make decisions based on whims, whether the decisions are about guns or about any of the other thousands of things officials make decisions about, in your country and mine. They have to make them accordance with the law and if you don't like their decision you can appeal it.

Oh come on. This is getting silly. Surely you don't really think it is safe to assume that there are no guidelines because the guidelines don't happen to be listed in a Wikipedia article.
Here we are getting closer to an area of agreement. Bureaucratic distinctions between different kinds of gun are always going to be open to criticism and politicians are always going to go for what sounds good.
.

Police don't "regulate" in our country, especially areas such as rights.  But to be fair this is why many states have the "Shall Carry" laws, because they did exactly that.  Thanks for reminding me.   Because police initially were given the discretion to determine 'need' for concealed carry permits.  This entire thing got rather corrupt, not surprisingly not everyone agreed on need, some considered it a special favour or traded favours, and so forth.  So now the laws in many states say they shall or must issue the CCW if they meet certain requirements and fail to meet others.  It is now a very black and white process in most states.  Yet, in our most corrupt states, with the highest murder rates (by a great amount), it's still this old way and CCW's are very hard to get if you don't know someone.   

So yes, my questions were if there are strict guidelines and if so what they are or at least a reference to where they are.. like I said, I have an interest in this subject.  I spend a fair amount of time in self-education.  Your wiki link gave me nothing to think there were a set of guidelines..

We all want to hope the police will be fair and impartial.. and while I worked very hard at it, every day, it was too easy to be less.  It's like you develop a sixth sense about people and you let that make rule your decisions instead of the guidelines.  It's a tough one.

John Howard was able to legislate for changes to the gun law regime because almost everyone strongly agreed with him - almost all the people and almost all the elected politicians of all parties. The changes were made by people's elected representatives voting in Parliament, not by personal fiat of John Howard.  If almost everyone, Democrat and Republican,  strongly agreed with your President on something, it would probably happen, at least in the first instance, no?  Those who disagreed could of course challenge the constitutionality of changes to the law, as they could in Australia. If the people and their elected representatives had disagreed with John Howard he wouldn't have been able to do anything. You are making a distinction with little substance in it. In fact I suspect - I am open to correction on this - that your President can do rather more by executive order than our Prime Minister can by issuing any kind of personal instruction.

You're missing the point.  He used their emotions (just as our President is trying to do now, which is extremely unpresidential) to rally then towards changing a law.  I understand this part.  His hatred of guns was not yet known from what I understood.. and it doesn't take a shrink to know people are predisposed to be negative about anything about a particularly bad experience.. (like 54% of American's were yesterday).   But we teach our children not to act in the heat of the moment, and we endeavour to follow our own device in our day to day lives.   Yet, your PM didn't do ths  He took advantage of the tragedy which is a low act by a low person.   If it's true what you said, then the vote could have been taken six months later or after studies were conducted and it still would have passed.  But he took advantage of the moment (and the people of his country) precisely because he didn't think the votes would be there otherwise.

We have differing views on how best to select our purely ceremonial Head of State. I would personally prefer some kind of Republic, as would almost all of our gun control advocates, while almost all Australians who would agree with you about gun control would prefer to stick with the Queen.


You're yanking my chain right?  This is the opposite of what I've talked about often with my Aussie friends.

Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 22, 2012, 05:26:04 AM
You've got a pretty aggressive style there Steve.

I made an observation about differences between Australia and the USA about gun control but actually much more just about the culture in Australia.
I don't claim to speak for all Australians and that accusation that you make does say more about you than me.
I understand full well that there are outliers of opinion in Australia on the issue of gun control.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the weight of public opinion in Australia is roughly as I outlined.
Your disrespectful dismissal of John Howard and the legislation that he introduced following the incident with Martin Bryant completely fails to take into account that there was overwhelming public support for what he did.
You also fail to take into account that Australians did not have an epiphany as a result of Martin Brant's crimes because the attitudes of which I elaborated were already well represented in society.
The culture that you seem so earnestly to believe must exist in Australia and that John Howard must have unjustly suppressed just does not exist.
Nothing I am aware of in the history of Australia remotely parallels the gun culture that develops in the USA nor the current emotions that this subject elicits in the USA.

Your dismissal of the deaths of my friends as victims of war is shamefully wide of the mark. Not one them died in the line of duty. They died going to work, going to top up on fuel, or playing sport, or in their homes. Some of them died in front of their wives and children, and some of their wives and children were executed with them. They were merely attempting to protect themselves and their families.

I have entered this debate on a few occasions to make a point or two or an observation.
I was unaware, obviously incorrectly, that this issue, to you, is a fight to the death.
The triumphal tone of your apparent destruction of my observations is sad.
I accept that what I say on this issue is not the beginning and the end of the debate.
What I am seeing from you, on the other hand, is a brute force attempt to shoot down any perceived threat to your point of view.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: stamper on December 22, 2012, 05:51:35 AM
By my count Steve has had 86 posts on this subject.The thread has gone steadily downhill without a satisfactory conclusion. I think it is time to draw a line under it. :o
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: Tony Jay on December 22, 2012, 05:54:47 AM
Steve I have gone back through this thread from the beginning.
I have noticed that you are by far and away the biggest contributor to this particular thread.
I have also noticed that the tone of your posts has changed through the thread from relatively respectful and constructively interactive to aggressive and disrespectful.
Several other individuals have suffered the same sort of backhanders that you have attempted to dish out to me.
So, I think that a deep breath and a step back is in order.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: kencameron on December 22, 2012, 06:41:49 AM
You're yanking my chain right?  This is the opposite of what I've talked about often with my Aussie friends.

Broadly speaking, opposition to gun control and support of the Monarchy are shared right wing attitudes in Australia, while dislike of guns and opposition to the Monarchy go together on the left. Of course there are exceptions - John Howard is one, and actually, I am another (not in quite the same way). Some of your Aussie friends may also be exceptions - although I rather think that  if those same Aussie friends are the source of your understanding of the Australian political system, well - that may explain a lot.

I am actually no fan of John Howard - I loathe many of his policies and I don't warm to him personally - but on gun control, you are the one who is missing the point. There he did what almost all of us (maybe not your friends) wanted, lawfully and constitutionally, and six months would have made no difference to the outcome. The level of support for those changes is as high now as it was then. It was democracy in action in a pure form. The reason he did it so quickly wasn't so much to sneak it through before people changed their minds (they didn't) as to maximize the political capital he was getting from it. He also needed the States to fall into line, and riding the wave of public opinion was helpful there. Those things are what politicians do - all of them, particularly the effective ones - and do we want our politicians to be ineffective, or to wait around for six months before taking decisive action in accordance with the clear wishes of the people and their elected representatives?

As Tony keeps trying to explain, our culture is different from yours as far as guns are concerned. Better or worse? That would be a long argument, although the body count seems higher on your side of the ocean and for some of us, that is a consideration. Our political system is also different, but not in the way you seem to think. As you haven't responded to my previous attempts to explain that, I see no point in repeating them. Your american exceptionalism seems deeply ingrained and I wouldn't try to shift it.

Pretty bird.

I am out of here.
Title: Re: Connecticut Tragedy
Post by: michael on December 22, 2012, 06:59:45 AM
Time to close up.

Michael