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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:50 PM

If it's about guns, cool. If it's about people, count me out.

Last edited Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:26 PM - Edit history (10)

There is an ugliness running through some of the more self-righteous anti-gun positions that suggests that to some people gun control is not a serious policy issue about guns, but rather a cudgel with which to gain supremacy over people who are considered enemies.

Any serious discussion of gun violence would have a lot to say about guns in cities, for instance. Big cities have the toughest gun control laws for a reason. Extreme population density and entrenched poverty are a dangerous mix. But guns are sometimes discussed as if they were a uniquely rural southern white male christian republican problem.

And among those southern christian republican white males, there is great emphasis on gun enthusiasts and NRA members. But I find ten people with one gun a lot scarier than one person with ten guns. (That's ten families worth of kids that can find a gun. Ten families of people that can commit impulsive suicide, shoot an unfaithful spouse in a moment of passionate turmoil, shoot an 'intruder' that is trying to deliver a pizza to the neighbor's house, etc..

Most people who shoot other people are poor and working class people who do not have a vast arsenal. Most people who shoot other people don't vote, or belong to dues collecting interest groups.

If encountering a person with a gun, hearing the the person was a member of the NRA should be a relative relief. It would make it liklier that the person voted for Romney, but would also mean the person was probably not going to shoot you. (Similarly, I fear everyone having concealed weapons, but if I saw a guy at the mall with a gun in his pocket, knowing that he had a concealed carry permit would suggest that he was somewhat less likely to shoot me than a guy packing without a permit. But having said that, my overall preference is that the people at the mall not have a gun at all. I am not a fan of an armed populace in the world of everyday life. More guns does not make us safer.)


An uncomfortable amount of gun control rhetoric is in the form of revenge fantasy and humiliation fantasy and dominance fantasy... pretty much the same mind-set being pathologized as the presumptive reason the gun fanciers fancy guns.

Notice how much is about people, personalities, cultural factors.

Note the reliance on infantile slur names (the use of which is a badge, to indicate what 'side' one is on.). To claims of the enemies sexual inadequacy and cowardice. A personalized dehumanization of 'the other.'

The NRA say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. If that is wrong, then what's with the endless posts about the personal failings of people who own guns?


I am NOT saying that the average gun control advocate thinks in these counter-productive terms. It is that the loudest voices that drown out more nuanced discussion do so.


If controlling guns is about achieving a humiliating victory against well-heeled rednecks as part of an overarching idealogical/sociological/regional conflict then it is not an effort worth diminishing anyone's existing rights.

One can say Americans should not have that constitutional right. One can say, as I do, that Heller was probably an error that potentially opens a can of governmet grab-ass on other rights that do matter a lot to me.

But there is no question as to whether the US system of government holds, in 2013 AD, that there is a constitutional right for individuals to own guns. It does.

And that means that a lot of what anyone says about guns could, as a matter of LAW, be said about speech or religion. This is a serious issue with complex legal implications.

And any approach that starts with, "I prefer to ignore US law in this discussion of changes to US law," is not a serious discussion of anything. It is just sophomoric alternative history... what if Germany won WWII... what if the Heller decision didn't exist...



If controlling guns is about reducing the real number of real pointless shooting deaths in the real world (which I support as a legitimate balancing test in the case of weaponry) then the debate would be about the entire spectrum of real-life shootings.

Whenever somebody starts talking about banning assault weapons it suggests that they are more interested in attacking gun hobbyists than in reducing the number of actual shootings.

A gun control discussion that does not start with handguns is mere theater.


I would suggest that we make people register all existing guns, within a window of 2 years, and at the end of that period any unregistered firearm is legally defined as contraband. (Contraband is something the police can confiscate and keep. You have no right of possession of contraband.)

Similar to the old idea of calling in currency (where you have to trade in your old bills for the new bills) to wring untaxed black market money out of the system.

What I suggested there is sweeping and dictatorial and is the nightmare of the black helicopter set. It is also an effective method to greatly reduce, over time, the number of guns out there in the hands of people who are likely to shoot you.


I am quite willing to consider measures that would do a lot of real good. (Easy for me to consider them since I have never owned a gun.)


But if the point is to discomfit ones political/sociological enemies, then I am not on board. The diminution of rights, even the rights of those one hates (actually, especially the rights of those one hates) is a somber and weighty thing.

Whenever any government bans anything it is an admission of a failure. It's nothing to be proud of. It may, in some circumstances, be a grim necessity but it is a last resort.

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Reply If it's about guns, cool. If it's about people, count me out. (Original post)
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 OP
samsingh Jan 2013 #1
Recursion Jan 2013 #2
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #3
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #7
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #25
Bake Jan 2013 #60
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #64
Bake Jan 2013 #73
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #30
montanto Jan 2013 #4
Scuba Jan 2013 #5
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #32
Scuba Jan 2013 #37
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #41
Erose999 Jan 2013 #6
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #9
Erose999 Jan 2013 #11
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #20
sarisataka Jan 2013 #12
Daemonaquila Jan 2013 #48
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #8
Erose999 Jan 2013 #13
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #16
Erose999 Jan 2013 #22
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #27
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #34
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #44
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #52
bvar22 Jan 2013 #38
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #40
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #70
DanTex Jan 2013 #10
davidn3600 Jan 2013 #14
bettyellen Jan 2013 #18
DanTex Jan 2013 #24
Ashgrey77 Jan 2013 #29
DanTex Jan 2013 #33
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #43
DanTex Jan 2013 #50
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #53
DanTex Jan 2013 #58
krispos42 Jan 2013 #65
DanTex Jan 2013 #66
bunnies Jan 2013 #15
Recursion Jan 2013 #17
bunnies Jan 2013 #19
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #23
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #28
99Forever Jan 2013 #21
Ashgrey77 Jan 2013 #26
Kalidurga Jan 2013 #31
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #42
Kalidurga Jan 2013 #45
Daemonaquila Jan 2013 #49
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #55
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #61
DanTex Jan 2013 #69
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #75
DanTex Jan 2013 #68
hootinholler Jan 2013 #35
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #39
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #46
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #47
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #51
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #36
REP Jan 2013 #54
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #56
REP Jan 2013 #57
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #62
REP Jan 2013 #63
hootinholler Jan 2013 #59
GeorgeGist Jan 2013 #67
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #71
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #74
HappyMe Jan 2013 #72
Hoyt Jan 2013 #76

Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:50 PM

1. kick

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:56 PM

2. "A gun control discussion that does not start with handguns is mere theater."

That needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:59 PM

3. It also needs to be done without insults

and insulting labels, for everyone.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:09 PM

7. I do not defend taunting by gungeoneers

The taunting and name-calling and such are a problem on both sides.

But, based on my DU experience (everyone has their own DU experience, since none of us read everything) the most puerile behavior that is designed to block discussion rather than facilitate it, comes from a (probably small and unrepresentative) segment of the anti-gun side who wants to ban a point of view on a website as if that would somehow make the world a safer place.

And since I do favor gun control, but am deeply ambivalent about it because of the weighty issues of autonomy and rights involved, I am personally most offended by un-nuanced and, to my eyes, ugly arguments made by people who are on "my side."

I think we all feel a special pang when we see our own general views distorted into something nasty.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:59 PM

25. Oh, I know!

I was commenting on "both sides," and it is mainly the extremes at either end that do that. I don't think they want any real discussion or policy changes.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:42 PM

60. False equivalency

Both sides do it to some extent (name-calling) but it's far worse on one side.

On the "pro-gun" side: The only name I've seen used (and yes, I've used it a time or two myself) is "gun grabber."

On the "gun control" side: The terms used include gun nuts, gun cretins, murderers, PUSSIES (and that one doesn't even get a post hidden here!!), Delicate Flowers (along with the obligatory Lord of the Rings reference to "The Precious"). And I'm pretty sure I've left a few off.

And this is just in GD. I don't even go into the Gungeon.

Excellent post, by the way! Bravo!

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #60)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:46 AM

64. I agree with you

the really nasty anti-gun spammers—not everyone anti-gun—are as bad as Free Republic, as bad as Stormfront... they are actually the worst people I have ever seen on the internet. (Okay... except for the completely illiterate people who post racist comments on youtube, who are in a class by themselves.)

The gun people have practice with the arguments and run circles around the spammers, who are mostly idiots. The spammers realize they can't answer any of the questions posed and pitch a fit.

That is not to say the gun people's arguments are unassailable. They are just not assailable by reactive idiots.

And that is much of the frustration in the OP... any possible discussion has been shouted down, and not by the "gun nuts."

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #64)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:12 AM

73. I keep waiting for Skinner et al. to shut down some of this but so far ... nothing.

When calling someone a PUSSY won't even get a post hidden????? Really???

So apparently our opinions are not valued. The extremists on the other side win, as far as DU is concerned. But they won't win in the larger scheme of things, and they are simply alienating people, like me and perhaps you, who would otherwise be open to rational discusion. And this includes some long-time repsected DUers. And that's a damn shame.

Bake

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:18 PM

30. Yes. nt

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:02 PM

4. Nice! Well said. A ray of sanity in the darkness.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:04 PM

5. "... there is great emphasis on gun enthusiasts and NRA members. "

That's because it's the NRA, and a few other gun "enthusiasts" who are fighting so bitterly against ANY regulation of firearms.

Did you think DU was going to take on duck hunters?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:19 PM

32. I believe only a small portion of gun owners belong to the nra. nt

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:30 PM

37. That's correct. The emphasis is on them, not your average duck or deer hunter.

The NRA is a paper tiger.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:08 PM

41. 4.3 million NRA members vs. 300 million guns

Even if everyone in the NRA has ten guns they are just a splinter of gun owners.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:08 PM

6. Sorry, but the culture is as much a part of it as the guns themselves. Yesterday I got called a


"america hating liberal Democrat" and a "Nazi koolaid drinker" and worse by some "delicate flower" yesterday.

"Freedom hating liberal democrats who support keeping up murderers in jail and keeping up dead beats too sorry to work by stealing from the working people. Hell Hoss .62 cents of every dollar ain't enough for y'all yellow bellied buzzards??? Now Washington is wanting to raise taxes more! Let me guess Egypt needs a few more fighter jets, let's raise taxes! Y'all are a disgrace to America!"

"Dang good point on the cigarettes! Companies can kill, no problem, a lunatic kills, oh hell let's ban guns ban ammo ban knifes ban hammers ban axes ban tomahawks ban crossbows ban bow and arrows ban every damn thing. It's like you said, these ignoramus idiots can't think for themselves and they believe every thing they hear from the government. Here's the best reason I can give y'all liberal freedom hating Americans on why I should be able to have an AR15 with a millions rounds. Because I want to have it. Case closed. If that's a problem then they need to ban BMWs, Mercedes, Lexus and all the other luxurious cars that people WANT not NEED

"It's the democrats that want to take God out of the pledge, it's the democrats who want to take guns away from citizens, it's the democrats who'd rather keep up foreign countries than America, it's te democrats who want to tax working citizens by half of what the bring in, it's the democrats who want to give hand outs to dead beats, it's the democrats who's still at war abroad, it's the democrats who wants to repeal some amendments so Obama can run for a third term, its the democrats who wants me to pay more taxes so a dead beat can have free health care so you tell me who hates freedom and liberty? Liberal Democrats"


And I got all this just for saying that it was an apples/oranges comparrison to compare an AR-15 with a 30 round mag to a hammer or a steak knife because hammers and steak knives have purposes other than shooting people.

Gun culture is the biggest thing driving these mass shootings, and these fucknuts who spend 23 hours a day fantasizing about the Turner Diaries and a race war, and the other hour beating off to the centerfold in this month's Guns and Ammo, while using Hoppes no. 9 as a lubricant.... they need to be taken down a peg.

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:14 PM

9. Your use of "delicate flower" proves the point

You think this is about arguing with people on the internet, and who called you what names. You think it is about scoring points ad increasing hostility between dueling sociological groups.

I really do not favor any legislation to prevent you being called names. I don't really care what names people call each other on the internet.

And I don't care about which side has the beast zingers to counter the other sides talking points.

It is a serious topic.

But you think you are on a mission to take somebody "down a peg."

That's your deal. It's your right. It is your chosen recreation. Go for it.


But don't pretend you are making the world a better place. You are playing your version of World of Warcraft.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:29 PM

11. Maybe "taken down a peg" wasn't the right word. I don't care about "scoring points" because honestly


you can't argue with that kind of crazy. But what I was getting at is that the macho, alpha-male mentality that gun nuts have is as much a part of the problem as the guns.

I honestly don't care about being called names, I left those insecurities behind a long time ago. But the thing is, gun culture needs to be pushed against.

For some reason people clutch their pearls when Westboro Baptist comes to town to protest a funeral, but when the gun nuts leave comments like "blow his head off" on the comments section of the local newspaper, no one bats an eye. When parents make it a point of open-carrying weapons to their kids' sports games, nobody speaks out.

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:46 PM

20. I agree that gun culture contributes greatly to American gun violence

But if we are talking about gun control, we cannot outlaw the attitudes of assholes.

I am not disagreeing with you about the creepiness or hostility or stupidity of internet gun nuts.

They are often horrible.

But they are not persuadable.


Meanwhile, on DU we have this building, very nasty schism that is driven by rhetorically extreme people on both sides in such a way that positions are hardened, and the matter becomes personal, and having a position that is not maximalist... that is not extreme, is a sign of weakness or lack of purity.

I am not a purist on this at all. I am quite alienated by both sides. I take the gun control side to task here because it is supposed to be the sane side. It is, broadly speaking, my side.

The gun control case should be, and needs to be, better than this. IMO.


I apologize for the tone of my first reply to you.

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:32 PM

12. Exactly cthulhu's point

Gun culture is the biggest thing driving these mass shootings, and these fucknuts who spend 23 hours a day fantasizing about the Turner Diaries and a race war, and the other hour beating off to the centerfold in this month's Guns and Ammo, while using Hoppes no. 9 as a lubricant.... they need to be taken down a peg.


This is what powers the NRA to say we need to resist all gun control, and increases their membership.

I do not support name calling in either direction but pissing contests will just reinforce the status quo; give that some thought please.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:36 PM

48. Hear, hear.

The pure nastiness directed at gun owners around here is no better than the crazy vitriol spewed by the far right wing extremist gun hobbyists.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:11 PM

8. I had a 30-06 deer rifle casually pointed at me some time after Thanksgiving

Not a deliberate act, just a deer hunter letting the barrel of his rifle point at a being I hope he didn't intend to kill. I have no idea if the gun was loaded, cocked, safety conditions or whatever, I took off in the opposite direction when I figured out the hunter wasn't paying attention to his rifle. The deer with a hole blown in it laying the pickup bed didn't help my peace of mind at all.

I are a redneck, or at least I can pass for one with no effort at all and these rednecks with their guns scare me because so many of them don't take the responsibility seriously.

We just had the guy with the first person shooter Youtube channel found dead of gunshot wounds in the last day or so, that wasn't so far away from me.

You may think the rednecks with their guns are not a threat but "hold my beer n' watch this" becomes a lot less funny when there's a high powered weapon involved.



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:34 PM

13. I had a gun pointed at me by a family member who was also a convicted felon and had mental issues...


the gun was given to him by another family member who let him use it for deer hunting.

And this wasn't a question of him being careless, this was the guy pointing the barrel at my head and threatening to shoot.

And the guy who lent him the gun was given it back by the police. And the guys always ranting about how Obama shouldn't take guns away from "responsible gun owners" like himself.

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:38 PM

16. I think I've read your story before

You point out part of the problem, a lot of cops just don't take it seriously when certain people do things with guns that they have no business doing.

They gave back a gun to someone who had given it to a felon who then used it to threaten someone. That gun should never have seen the street again.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:47 PM

22. That same sherrifs office got into trouble shortly after that because guns that had been slated to


be destroyed started turning up at pawn shops etc. I assume they've tightened up since, if only because of being caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:08 PM

27. No doubt! Everyone holding a gun is a potential threat, redneck or yuppie

And when people are discharging firearms I don't want to be around.

And people probably do discharge more firearms in the south and west. But lower population density does ameliorate the problem.

Conduct deer season in Central Park and... well, there's a Charles Addams cartoon in there somewhere.

Having lived in Washington DC during the 1980s I can attest that the gun problem is not merely about Republican survivalists reading The Turner Diaries. It was really scary! (And I have also lived through the sniper thing, which was with an M-16 variant, I think. So I have been afraid of most kinds of guns at some point or another, but I never felt the gun caused the sniper shootings because plenty of deer rifles would have been just as effective. He was killing with single shots and was using the quasi-military weapon because that was what the US Army had trained him to shoot with.)

I consider guns an issue that cannot be well defined in terms of the arbitrary dichotomies that naturally arise in a two-party political system. It is a terrible "us versus them" because there are 300 million non-symbolic guns out there.


An incredible number of people have a handgun somewhere in their bedroom. And frequently one bought from a friend that itself came from a burglary and so one.

I see assault weapons as a target of opportunity, a windfall for the NRA and all-around distraction from the problem of 300 million guns, not one of which would you or I care to be shot with.

I wish there was a way to turn the PR boon of these mass-shootings into something other than "how can we prevent these very atypical incidents?"

Because the AWB is way down any list of regulations to decrease the number of shootings. In the debate, I see it as a net loser. Galvanize the "take our guns" crowd, let the mushy middle think 'something' has been done, and all without meaningfully taking the guns.

The whole thing frustrates me, obviously.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:22 PM

34. Beautifully said nt

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:18 PM

44. Oh, you're right, military styled rifles are just a convenient scapegoat du jour.

Probably a net loser too.

You might recall what Erasmus said about the one eyed man, that's not the way societies actually work.

I've heard it said that being right too soon is socially unacceptable, that seems pretty accurate to me.



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #44)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:18 PM

52. "prematurely anti-fascist"

One of the things 1950s red-scare reds were charged with.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:32 PM

38. My experience has been different.

In 2006, my Wife & I chose to move to The Woods of rural Arkansas.
Initially, I was concerned about the "rednecks with guns" stereotype.
We found something completely different.

Most of our "neighbors" (those living within a mile) have been here for generations,
raised families here, and all have lived with loaded guns in their homes, and
hunting has been a way of life.
I have found them to be some of the safest and most respectful gun owners I have ever met.

While I have never been invited to Go Hunting with any of them,
I have been invited into their homes, and been invited several times to "shoot their deer rifle out back".
This is not an invitation to take lightly. It is a sign of respect,
and an invitation that is foolish to decline.
Never has the barrel of a gun, loaded or unloaded, crossed my body,
and never has any of these redneck gun owners done anything to make me feel unsafe.
They have demonstrated consideration of what is downrange, and a respect for how FAR a bullet travels.

The ones I fear are the suburban Rambo wannabes
who hit the woods once a year pretending to be the Great White Hunter,
get drunk, and shoot at anything that moves with High Powered Rifles,
and zero knowledge or respect for what is downrange.
"Accidental Discharges" (pun intended) are frequent with THAT group,
but not so common among my "redneck with guns" neighbors.

Your mileage will vary.






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Response to bvar22 (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:44 PM

40. Country music listening, skoal dipping, camo wearing, Baptist church going, Repub voting fireman

A family member by marriage actually, not really a bad guy but when I see the gun now I make myself scarce.

I learned a long time ago trying to say anything will generate far more heat than light, pretty much like here on DU.

And the type you describe are out buying up "assault rifles" by the damn boxcar load, yeah they are a major problem but not the biggest one.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:23 AM

70. I agree, completely, my fellow Minnesotan!

It ain't us rural gun owners, it's the suburban wannabes with fantasies of being macho tough guys who need to take a gun safety class. Where I grew up screwing around with a gun doing dumb shit = you will get punished by your parents. And you needed to take a gun safety class before your parents trusted you even to just hold a gun.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:16 PM

10. The reason there is emphasis on NRA members is because they are the ones

standing in the way of sane gun laws.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:35 PM

14. Well the Constitution is what's standing in the way

Whether you consider it obsolete or not, the second amendment still remains part of the constitution. And that must change before you can realistically implement the gun control ideas you want to talk about.

And you also need to understand that it is a regional issue as well. People in rural areas are not the problem when it comes to violence. Vast majority of gun violence occurs in the inner-cities. Most rural people therefore do not see the violence. They don't see a need for gun control. They think the problem is the urban population.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:41 PM

18. people in rural areas are the ones that accidentally shoot their children and threaten to overthrow

the government. So... there's that.
ANd the constitution is NOT standing in the way of sensible regulation. That's a pile of NRA horseshit, and the reason they are becoming so unpopular with the majority of americans.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:58 PM

24. First of all, it's not the constitution.

It's Antonin Scalia and the other four right-wing justices. Second, even under the right-wing interpretation of the second amendment, none of the gun control measures under discussion would be unconstitutional. It rules out handgun bans. It doesn't rule out universal background checks, or licensing and registration, or bans on high-capacity magazines, or one-gun-per-month laws, or anything like that.

Yes, I get that it's partly a regional issue, although according to polls the split between liberals and conservatives on gun control is greater than the split between urban and rural. Yes, it makes sense that there would be stricter gun laws in NYC versus, say, Montana. But still, there needs to be some uniform national baseline, because frequently illegal guns are trafficked from red states with lax gun laws into blue states with stricter gun laws.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:11 PM

29. Prove it. Put your money where your mouth is.

Lets see real statistics and real cases of "illegal guns" being bought and then smuggled into states that outlaw them.

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Response to Ashgrey77 (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:19 PM

33. My money? So are you going to be challenging me to a $10,000 bet?

As for the statistics, here's a study on the flow of illegal guns, which found that illegal guns "tend to flow from states with weak gun laws to states with strict gun laws".

This paper provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of cross-state externalities associated with gun regulations in the context of the gun trafficking market. Using gun tracing data, which identify the source state for crime guns recovered in destination states, we find that firearms in this market tend to flow from states with weak gun laws to states with strict gun laws, satisfying a necessary condition for the existence of cross-state externalities in the theoretical model. We also find an important role for transportation costs in this market, with gun flows more significant between nearby states; this finding suggests that externalities are spatial in nature. Finally, we present evidence that criminal possession of guns is higher in states exposed to weak gun laws in nearby states.


http://www.ieb.ub.edu/aplicacio/fitxers/WS11Knight.pdf

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Response to DanTex (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:14 PM

43. It is functionally in the constitution

The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is. That is the case even when the Supreme Court is wrong.

If the states and the people got together to add the entirety of the Heller decision to the Constitution through Amendment it wouldn't change anything except reduce, somewhat, the likelihood of Heller being overturned down the road.

So there is no meaningful, no practical, substantial, effective, real-world, sense in which the right, as described by SCOTUS in Heller, is not "in the Constitution."

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #43)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:42 PM

50. But what policies does Heller stand in the way of?

Sure, a handgun ban is, as of right now, unconstitutional. But that was never under consideration at the national level. None of the policies that are being discussed come anywhere close to violating Heller.

The impediments are political, not constitutional.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #50)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:21 PM

53. What's being discussed in Washington or on DU?

I assume that everyone in DC is considering things that do not conflict with Heller.

But on the internet Heller is sometimes treated as if we don't need to count it because it was a RW decision... which suggests an utter lack of seriousness on a policy level.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #53)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:48 PM

58. I don't see the problem with discussing a wide range of policies on the internet.

Citizens United doesn't stop people from discussing the need for campaign finance laws, nor should it. Frankly, the whole idea of limiting discussion to policies that Scalia approves of strikes me as a bit silly.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:07 AM

65. Not really, but "sane" gun laws can't be discussed.

Because here's how it goes:


The gun-control side has idea for a gun-control law. Let's say, for example, microstamping, the process of having a handgun's serial number pressed into a shell's body or primer each time the gun is fired. The idea is that at a murder scene, the police recover an errant brass casing, read the number off of it, and trace the gun to the owner.

The other side points out problems with the technology.

The pro-control side then accuses the pro-gun side of spewing NRA talking points, and the pro-gun members of being long-term, deep-cover RW trolls.

Rinse and repeat.


Notice that damn few people are asking the pro-gun side of the argument what they think are sane gun laws. But the default reaction to disagreement with what the pro-control side proclaims as "sane and reasonable gun-control laws" is treated with immediate accusations of NRA trolldom.

Oh, and also blame for every single gun death in America. And for the actions of every single shooter. You know how Faux News hosts like to tell individual Muslims that they'd better take care of the Muslim terrorists in their midst? Yeah, I've personally been told that about gun owners.

Hey, it's possible you're latching onto ideas being promoted by self-serving politicians who are very concerned with the appearance of doing something great and grand without actually doing anything.

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:09 AM

66. I haven't seen any discussion of microstamping at all in the wake of Sandy Hook.

The most frequent arguments made by the pro-gun side are arguments are basically impossible for honest and rational people to believe.

Guns don't kill people. It is well documented that guns are more lethal than substitute weapons (knives, hammers, etc.). Gun crimes result in homicide much more often than non-gun crimes. Gunshot wounds result in death much more often that knife wounds. So it is an undeniable statistical fact that if you reduce the number of gun crimes, you will be saving lives, even if every single gun crime still takes place using a different weapon. Likewise, if you reduce the number of gun suicide attempts, again you are saving lives, even if every single instance is substituted with another means of suicide.

Criminals will always get guns/gun control only affects law abiding citizens. First, this assumes a black/white worldview where people either obey all laws or they obey none. Reality is nothing like this. In fact, all people, even those that commit crimes or get into fights, respond to incentives. If you make it more difficult/costly/risky for would-be criminals to get a gun, a certain fraction of those criminals will forgo the gun, which means you are reducing gun violence and thus you are saving lives. There is tons of evidence for this. Criminals in nations with tighter gun laws are much less likely to be armed with a gun. Not because it is impossible to get a gun in, say, the UK, but because it is much more difficult. And even in the US, there are almost no homicides committed with machine guns.

An honest discussion on guns will begin with recognition that, yes, guns are more lethal than other weapons, and yes, some criminals can be prevented from getting guns, so, yes, we can actually save lives, but here are the tradeoffs. But do we see that? Are any pro-gunners willing to concede these obvious facts? In my experience the answer is no. Almost to the person, they will insist that "a gun is just a tool" and that "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws...". Trying to reason with such people is like trying to debate fiscal policy with people who believe that tax cuts increase government revenue.

As far as microstamping, I'm not an expert on the technology, but my guess is that if we can put a rover on Mars, we can stamp a serial number into a shell. Of course, it won't be completely foolproof, but that doesn't mean it will be useless (the NRA crown seems especially prone to black-and-white thinking). I get that the pro-gunners will insist in unison that it is completely unworkable, but until I hear this from a reputable source, I'm not going to take the word of people who believe that "guns don't kill people" or that "criminals will always get guns". Would you?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:36 PM

15. "If confronted with a person with a gun....

hearing the the person was a member of the NRA should be a great relief."

I'm sorry. While Im sure your OP is worth the full read, I had to stop right there at that statement. Am I correct in thinking you've never been forced to stare down the business end of a gun? Because let me just say, based on personal experience, that there is NO relief whatsoever when being held at gunpoint. I dont give a rats ass if the person is NRA member or a Nun. Such knowledge would do nothing to alleviate the fear that comes with knowing that your life is a finger twitch away from ending. If you pull a gun on me, I fully expect that you are prepared to use it. A fucking NRA card doesnt mean shit at that point.

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Response to bunnies (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:39 PM

17. He didn't say "if a gun were pointed at me"

He said "if confonted with a person with a gun".

You see a guy on the street carrying a gun. OP is right that if the person is an NRA member it's generally a good sign that he's not someone who's going to shoot you.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:42 PM

19. "confronted" being the operative word...

con·front (kn-frnt)
v. con·front·ed, con·front·ing, con·fronts
v.tr. 1. To come face to face with, especially with defiance or hostility:

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Response to bunnies (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:48 PM

23. That's the way I took it too, a confrontation with an armed person is not a fun thing

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Response to bunnies (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:09 PM

28. Your point is fair. I edited the OP in light of it.

I have been confronted with a gun, and it is intrinsically unsafe!

A professional in DC pulling a piece from his glove compartment because I wouldn't let him merge after he drove on the shoulder to get by everyone. His wife of girlfriend was grabbing his arm, screaming for him to not shoot me.

I let him merge.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:46 PM

21. Exactly what is it...

.. with people thinking they should decide the nature of the way other people state their personal opinions on a website, when those opinions fall within the rules of that website?

Hey, if you want to control the content of responses, fine, start you very own site and have at it.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:59 PM

26. Well said, K&R

I don't agree with the registration, but I agree with rest. I have no problem discussing things like registration, and might even go for it if done in the right way. Anyhow, it's nice to see someone who is for gun control but wants to have a real rational discussion about it. It is a breath of fresh air compared to the endless insults and hand wringing coming from a certain segment of DU. Thank you sir, you made my day a little brighter.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:19 PM

31. But, this is about people.

It's about the thousands that die every year due to gun violence, accidents, and suicide (another form of violence). It isn't about who has the guns ie rednecks, poor urban people, or some weekend warriors that just think they are cool. But, we should know who has guns, whether or not they are likely to be violent, and we should limit the amount of human casualties a gun can cause in a short amount of time.

I am tired of reading about the slaughter guns cause even if it is one victim at a time and even if it is an accident. Such as the death of a girls brother when she drunkenly shot him at a New Years eve party while they were posing with the gun for Face Book pictures. That is just one kind of tragedy and it was completely avoidable.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:14 PM

42. Some folks insist on hanging on those suicides because it inflates the number to something to go on

about but the reality is gun control has no impact at all (unless it drives the numbers up for some unexplored reason).

You think Japan is too lax on gun control? There suicide rate is damn near twice ours. What about China? Same.

How us France higher?

Suicides are a stat stuffer for the prohibitionists.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:19 PM

45. Well suicide by gun is gun violence.

However, when talking about gun deaths I would be clear that suicide is much more common than homicide. And I do think that less suicide by gun is preferable to the ease of which people can kill themselves with a gun. We really don't have enough suicide prevention programs, but that is a whole nuther issue.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:39 PM

49. Beautifully said.

If we're going to talk about gun violence and gun control, we'd better be talking about things people do to EACH OTHER.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:29 PM

55. Nonetheless, some part of (not all) gun suicides ought to be included

Not having an acceptable (to me) means of suicide at hand may have saved my life once or twice.

It is hard to quantify the opportunity contribution of guns to total suicides, be we know it is not zero.

I know someone who killed himself with a gun he found at a house he was staying in, after a long period of disturbance -- inpatient care, halfway house, etc.

Perhaps when he picked up a gun was the first time he felt like committing suicide... but probably not. It was the first time, however, it was that easy, in a way he saw himself doing.

Shooting oneself is easier for most people to imagine than jumping off a building, for instance.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #55)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:14 PM

61. That is on them, their life and their choice.

I wish they didn't come to such a place but it is stat padder in this context.

People that are going to off themselves are going to do it. If they can't handle a bridge then they'll take pills or sit in the running car in the garage, they will cut themselves. They will and do, do something completely regardless of access to guns and it is proven around the world.

My sister worked a scene about twenty years ago where a young man beheaded himself with an electric knife, talk about violent! He made it the most of the way through. Most aren't that dedicated but all of them are making a pretty huge choice. Anyone that would do such a thing on a lark, is probably going to make the same roll again and again and would by definition be so unstable that they would most likely (though not always) present considerable harm to others. Very unbalanced behavior.

I'll grant unacceptable methods but I doubt there are any one method folks of any quantity.

We cannot structure a rational and free society trying to legislate to magically restrain the worst outliers.

It is terribly sad but people do have control of their bodies. Method is a non-issue, it is beyond our realm as a society other than all the help that can be provided to those who seek or survive.

It is what it is.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #61)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:21 AM

69. Why is it that pro-gun advocacy forces people into making bizarre and callous claims

about topics they know nothing about? For example:
People that are going to off themselves are going to do it.

This is categorically not true. A lot of suicidal impulses are temporary, and access to lethal means can be the difference between life and death. Most people who attempt suicide but then survive don't ultimately die from suicide. So if, instead of a gun, a person uses pills (which have a much lower death rate), that's often a life saved.

I get that you love your guns. And you might be an expert on guns. But when it comes to suicide, you don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #69)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:58 AM

75. Most of those folks are ATTENTION SEEKERS rather than being serious about suicide

Folks determined to do it, go on away from here and don't let failure stop them either.

No, I don't have any understanding of suicide, I don't have the wiring but I'm no stranger to it, not even close though I wish I was as ignorant as you'd like to pretend in order to artificially inflate stats up to rounding error territory to strengthen talking points for a ideological crusade of fear and control.

Meanwhile, back in reality we have a significant cross section of countries with different cultures with much more stringent gun control that have higher suicide rates.
Why? Because if folks decide they are turning themselves off they go on out of here.

There are all kinds of people struggling to live facing sickness, poverty, and persecution, my focus is on them not preserving unstable regressive genes in the pool while at the same time alleviating pressures from lives that might potentially make life tough to bear.
Lifting that weight won't save them all though. Many of the seriously suicidal have the most to live for and that I've seen first hand.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #42)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:17 AM

68. Gun availability has a big impact on suicide.

There have been many studies on this, so many in fact, that I would venture to guess that there is not a single expert on suicide that would disagree that gun availability increases likelihood of suicide. The reason Japan has higher suicide rates is for cultural reasons -- guns are the only factor, obviously. But there can be no denying that guns are one factor. If you are actually interested in this topic beyond just the talking points, the Harvard School of Public Health has some resources.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:25 PM

35. This athiest who owns guns

And who is also generally a reasonable person, agrees with you. Every time I see gun nut or some similar statement, I have to stop and think are they talking about me?

When I try to point out the short comings of some proposed solution like ban all semiautomatics, I am called names and accused of spewing NRA talking points.

It's very wearisome.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:34 PM

39. A claim of pride in ignorance is chilling in all cases.

The whole, "I don't need to know anything about guns" thing is creepy when folks are talking about banning speciffic classes of gun.

A lot of it reminds me or pornography debates where one side is proud of being wholly ignorant of the topic because what good person would know anything about pornography?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:21 PM

46. There's heavy duty enthusiasm trolling happening on both sides I think.

As well as the normal sort of trolling.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #46)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:32 PM

47. I have argued that often, but

the enthusiasm troll, if any good at all, always attracts a devoted following.

POE's law sometimes applies to DU.

This is what Vonnegut's MOTHER NIGHT is about. What if the enthusiasm troll functions as an effective advocate for the side he is mocking?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #47)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:51 PM

51. Poe's law applies to DU damn near all the time I think

I've been through the looking glass so many times I should have enough frequent flier miles for a round trip to Shangri La by now.

It's funny watching the noobs, the conversation here gets as stylized and formal as kabuki from time to time and everything has hidden meanings.

There's a similar concept in Biblical thought if I remember correctly, a baptism even by a false minister is valid.








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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:29 PM

36. Sounds eerily akin to how people of...

"There is an ugliness running through some of the more self-righteous anti-gun positions... a cudgel with which to gain supremacy over people who are considered enemies. But I find ten people with one gun a lot scarier than one person with ten guns. Notice how much is about people, personalities, cultural factors... achieving a humiliating victory against well-heeled rednecks... it suggests that they are more interested in attacking..."




Sounds eerily akin to how many people of faith often feel when that sacred cow of religion is being gored. I wonder if we are ever consistent, or if consistency is only demanded when applied to our personal sacred cows.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:21 PM

54. In addition to registering, I think some sort of proficiency testing is a good idea

My idea would involve a written and range test, demonstrating knowledge of local laws, safety procedures, etc and the range test would include dismantling/reassembling the weapon, demonstrating it has been made safe (using dummy, unfireable rounds), proper maintenance and then live fire, demonstrating reasonable (not perfect, not sharp-shooter) aim and handling and then making the gun safe again after firing (safe is empty magazine, no round in chamber, safety on - and only if this has been verified by the person handling the gun and even if you just saw those steps performed). Ideally, weapons would be held until both parts of the test are passed, and would have to be retaken every 2-3 years.

It's not a panacea, but the more people have weapons who are familiar with how they work, how to maintain them, safety and even what it's like to fire their weapon, the less likely carelessness and simple ignorance will contribute to injuries and deaths. Again, it won't cure stupidity but anything that can be done to educate owners and keep them educated is worth doing, I think.

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Response to REP (Reply #54)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:38 PM

56. Mandatory training, perhaps. Proficiency test, probably not.

This is a subtlety, to me, or the unfortunate rights aspect.

I think the government can make you take a class, but cannot limit your gun right because you suck with guns.

Not saying they ought not to in a perfect world, just that the rights thing makes guns a distinct class.

NO is always a problem with rights. The government will jerk people around (you have to protest in this box a mile from the convention) but cannot say NO (You just flat cannot protest)

I think courts *might* find mandatory education to not be "unduly burdensome" but would draw the line at no gun if someone failed a test because at that point the government is saying, NO to a right.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #56)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:47 PM

57. Well, if you suck driving ...

I probably didn't express myself well. My idea wasn't that gun owners demonstrate they shoot at any particular skill level, but can load their gun, know if it's double, single, double-single, etc action, use the sights and attempt to aim and hit a target. Not in the '10' ring but hit the target at all.

I know cars and guns are different in terms of rights, and I could be wrong, but somehow some minimum proficiency/safety testing could be part of maintaining a registered/licensed weapon? Speaking for myself, I'd gladly do that; in California, a written test is required (which is where this idea came from) but I think it should be given more often.

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Response to REP (Reply #57)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:32 AM

62. I don't think we were missing each other

I wasn't really immagining what the test would be. Whatever is was, I think it would be impermissible if someone could fail it with the result that they can't have a gun.

The effects of Heller, however, have not been fully determined in subsequent decisions so we can't know.

I don't know what anyone considers a "reasonable" abridgement of a personal constitutional right these days, but if I was on the bench and had to follow Heller as precedent I would strike down anything that would prevent a law abiding citizen from owning a gun entirely, rather than merely hassling them.

The government authority to hassle people for exercising their rights seems to be well established, as long as they get the right in some form... jump through enough hoops. That's why I think any "no gun for you" would get struck down.

Maybe you'd have to retake the class (which must be entirely free, IMO) up to three times, and after the third fail of the test you'd get a gun anyway.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:38 AM

63. I was thinking the weapon be held at the testing facility until the test is passed

The owner can practice at the range and retains ownership, but until the test is fully passed, they don't have unrestricted access to it, much like a learner's permit for driving. Purchases would not be affected, nor would legal ownership - just full access.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:10 AM

67. People don't count?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:33 AM

71. As Bvar said, this is more of an idiot suburbanite problem

For poor people out in the sticks game is an important source of protein, and guns are used for practical purposes like shooting vermin or scaring away bears.

Most of the true gun nuts are "middle class" suburbanites for whom guns are part of "macho tough guy/gal" fantasies that are a pathological reaction to the boringness and conformity of suburban life and a corporate work environment.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #71)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:35 PM

74. What is "more of an idiot suburbanite problem"?

People being shot and killed or grievously wounded, or people being gun hobbyists?

I have no interest in using law to control people's dumb fantasies.

I have an interest in the number of people being shot.


There is some overlap of the two things, but I really don't care how stupid or weird somebody is, or what they chose to spend their money on.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:57 AM

72. A big rec.

Thank you for one of the calmest, well thought out posts on this subject.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:36 AM

76. I understand the sentiment. Unfortunately where I live, guns and right wing ideology go together

most of time (including extreme racism and bigotry).

Difficult to separate guns form the right wing views at times. Really wish it were different.

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