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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #38
80. Good questions
More intelligent than are usually asked. I'll make an attempt to answer in an equally good manner.

1. The term "assault weapon" is arbitrary. As originally defined under Federal law in 1993, it included certain types of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Basically, a firearm was an "assault weapon" if it was semi-automatic, had a detachable magazine (rifle or handgun only) and had more than two items from a list of features. Such features included protruding pistol grips, bayonet lugs, telescoping/folding buttstocks, flash surpressors, and rifle-grenade launchers. Since the features were largely cosmetic or ergonomic, it was fairly easy to modify firearms to fit the ban. Grind off a bayonet lug or weld a folding metal stock in the extended position and *blammo*, now it's not an assault weapon anymore. Observe, please, current-production California-legal AR-15s.

However, let's go with what people generally think of when they hear "assault weapon". They think of a semiautomatic version of an AK-47 or AR-15. Okay, then, both of those guns are rifles. Rifles account for less than 3% of homicides a year in this country. With 17,000 a year in America (a historically low figures, by the way), that's less than 500 per year. And this includes all rifles... semiautos, bolts, levers, etc.

So, assuming that 0% of murders of which an AK-47 or AR-15 was used were not simply done by another weapon (handgun, shotgun, knife, blunt object) then you're talking about maybe a 2% homicide reduction.

2. Media hype to the contrary, high-body-count shootings are very uncommon, although I freely admit that it seems to have been ramping up a bit in the past 18 months or so. Regardless, 95% of all dead bodies are from single-victim homicide incidents. 30 years ago, when the homicide rate was twice what it is now, it was 97%.

I made this chart from DoJ statistics.

3. The style of argument that you make is similar to the ones the reich-wing did in the wake of the Sept. 11th attacks, and that we still find to this day rife in the media. "How many bodies will it take before you realize that we have to curtail _________ rights?" I don't buy it for warrantless domestic wiretapping, or "enemy combatant" classifications, or indefinate detentions, or torture... and I don't buy it here either.

4. Republicans would LOVE Dems to try to ban certain types of guns again. I'm pretty sure the idea makes people like Karl Rove all hot and bothered down in the codpiece area.

5. It's been tried overseas. In 1988, after a mass shooting, the UK banned and confiscated what we would commonly call "assault weapons". In 1997, after another mass shooting, the UK banned and confiscated handguns. They also added 4.4 million public-area police-monitored surveillence cameras. Here's the result:

The UK rate has about doubled, while ours is a bit more than half. It used to be about 12 US murders to 1 UK murder (on a per-capita basis), now it's about 4:1. We're getting better, they're getting worse. However, GUN homicides are at a very low rate... less than 60 people shot to death in the UK last year.

Banning the owership of green-painted automobiles in the US would definately eliminate green-painted-automobile-related deaths and injuries. But any politician who said that the ban made the streets safer would be laughed off the stage.

6. Most crime, especially street crime, is driven by social and economic conditions. Treating it as a hardware problem instead of a problem of insane puritanical laws or the destruction of the New Deal is a cop-out way of avoiding the real issues.

7. If the Dems are going to go down in flames in 2010 for passing a sweeping federal law, I'd much rather it be for liberalizing our drug laws or universal single-payer healthcare. Those would actually do far more, IMO, to quell violent crime and poverty than cosmetic restrictions on guns.

8. The highest body counts in mass shootings seem to be from handguns. Virginia Polytech, for example, was done with handguns. Columbine was done with shotguns and handguns. The Northern Illinios shooting was with a shotgun. The church shooting in Tennessee (I think) was with a shotgun. The shooting at Macy's last year in Chicago was done with a handgun.
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  -Shootings leave 4 Oakland police officers in critical condition - UPDATE, officers may have died Liberal_in_LA  Mar-21-09 09:21 PM   #0 
  - tidbit  MichaelHarris   Mar-21-09 09:23 PM   #1 
  - Tragic. Best wishes to the heroes in blue.  MrSlayer   Mar-21-09 09:23 PM   #2 
  - Me too. I love the cops., If anyone runs over me while I'm riding my bicycle  cliffordu   Mar-21-09 11:09 PM   #12 
  - Have you ever actually met an Oakland motorcycle cop?  LooseWilly   Mar-22-09 02:30 PM   #88 
  - Sad  XemaSab   Mar-21-09 09:24 PM   #3 
  - CBS News scrolled across the screen that all four were dead.  kansasblue   Mar-21-09 09:28 PM   #4 
  - News is reporting that all 4 are 'critical' but also say waiting to notify families.  Liberal_in_LA   Mar-21-09 09:30 PM   #5 
     - Yes, CNN just said "critical" at 10:30 p.m.  femmocrat   Mar-21-09 09:33 PM   #6 
        - Update. CNN says critical, other news outlets say they died.  Liberal_in_LA   Mar-21-09 09:52 PM   #7 
  - Really quiet in my Oakland neighborhood tonight  11cents   Mar-21-09 10:48 PM   #8 
  - That's what I was afraid of. I hope everyone stays safe.  EFerrari   Mar-21-09 11:02 PM   #11 
  - Oakland radio reported that there was some celebrating tonight, as 'payback' over that BART shooting  Liberal_in_LA   Mar-21-09 11:11 PM   #13 
     - The Oakland police don't have much capital in the community.  EFerrari   Mar-22-09 12:01 AM   #14 
     - Don't try to turn this psycho into some sort of vigilante hero  XemaSab   Mar-22-09 12:32 AM   #18 
        - Excuse me? It things were better, you have to ask yourself  EFerrari   Mar-22-09 12:42 AM   #21 
        - I hear what you're saying  XemaSab   Mar-22-09 12:50 AM   #22 
        - I know.  EFerrari   Mar-22-09 12:55 AM   #23 
        - That was my impression.  Why Syzygy   Mar-22-09 04:39 AM   #82 
        - Well, you'll never know, will you, since the cops executed him before anyone could ask him. (NT)  Tesha   Mar-22-09 06:20 PM   #98 
           - Maybe they should have asked him nicely to stop firing at them?  varkam   Mar-22-09 06:38 PM   #100 
           - There are other ways to arrest a suspect than via SWAT teams that insist on killing the "cop-killer"  Tesha   Mar-22-09 07:33 PM   #107 
              - He killed two of the SWAT officers.  varkam   Mar-22-09 08:19 PM   #111 
                 - He killed the SWAT officers because they put themselves into a position to be killed.  Tesha   Mar-23-09 07:52 AM   #130 
                    - Here is one, would have done the job  Pavulon   Mar-23-09 05:20 PM   #135 
                    - You joke now, but when things ratchet up a few more notches... (NT)  Tesha   Mar-23-09 06:42 PM   #142 
                    - So it was the SWAT officers' fault that they died?  varkam   Mar-24-09 06:16 PM   #149 
           - My guess is you have never been in a life or death  Retired AF Dem   Mar-23-09 08:14 PM   #145 
     - That's really awful  Mz Pip   Mar-22-09 12:13 AM   #15 
     - Why hijack a thread with something that has nothing to do with this tragedy...  HardWorkingDem   Mar-22-09 01:10 AM   #27 
        - what the heck? I started this thread. Was just reporting what I heard.  Liberal_in_LA   Mar-22-09 01:38 AM   #37 
  - Yup. Look for cops going on a rampage now.  BlooInBloo   Mar-22-09 12:33 AM   #19 
     - Oh, BS...  HardWorkingDem   Mar-22-09 01:12 AM   #28 
     - that's a crock of shit  merh   Mar-22-09 02:39 AM   #72 
     - merh is probably right in his/her wrongness  LooseWilly   Mar-22-09 03:03 PM   #90 
  - I think "most" cop's  whatdoyouthink   Mar-21-09 10:52 PM   #9 
  - Yes... this story is heart breaking...  hlthe2b   Mar-21-09 11:01 PM   #10 
  - First, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families  OmahaBlueDog   Mar-22-09 12:18 AM   #16 
  - Justified?  Why Syzygy   Mar-22-09 04:45 AM   #83 
     - It was a poorly chosen word  OmahaBlueDog   Mar-22-09 01:44 PM   #87 
        - Thanks for the clarification.  Why Syzygy   Mar-22-09 06:46 PM   #103 
  - So very sad.  donheld   Mar-22-09 12:20 AM   #17 
  - This is horrible  Uzybone   Mar-22-09 12:42 AM   #20 
  - Their bosses were stupid.  LooseWilly   Mar-22-09 03:11 PM   #91 
  - "the gunman and burst into the apartment, he shot two more officers with an assault rifle"  depakid   Mar-22-09 12:56 AM   #24 
  - How is that possible assault weapons are illegal in California?  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:15 AM   #29 
  - may not be "possible" anymore Dave  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:28 AM   #30 
  - You mean to tell me that criminals don't obey gun laws, I'm truly shocked.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:31 AM   #32 
     - nope they don't  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:36 AM   #36 
  - They're plenty legal elsewhere  depakid   Mar-22-09 01:29 AM   #31 
     - I guess we should ban mass shootings.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:33 AM   #33 
     - Dave how many is unacceptable?  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:44 AM   #39 
        - No criminal activity is acceptable, duh.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:45 AM   #40 
        - well  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:51 AM   # 
           - The intelligence of the answer matched the intelligence of the question.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:53 AM   #43 
              - So  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:55 AM   #46 
                 - Again no level of criminal activity is acceptable, 1 death is not acceptable.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:58 AM   #49 
        - FBI crime stats put the number of annual rifle murders at around 500-ish,  benEzra   Mar-22-09 05:22 PM   #92 
     - Here's the question  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:42 AM   #38 
     - No criminal activity is acceptable, duh.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:46 AM   #41 
     - Assault weapons advocates don't care one iota about the consequences to society  depakid   Mar-22-09 01:51 AM   #42 
     - I totally agree  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:54 AM   #44 
     - Since "assault weapons" aren't forceful weapons in the grand scheme of things...  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:56 AM   #47 
        - my point is  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:00 AM   #51 
           - My sympathies to the victims of these criminals.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:01 AM   #53 
              - have any for these people also?  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:05 AM   #56 
                 - Of course I sympathize with all victims of crime.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:07 AM   #58 
                 - It is probably  Why Syzygy   Mar-22-09 04:58 AM   #84 
     - My ownership of a semi automatic rifle costs society nothing.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:54 AM   #45 
     - and that's where you're wrong  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 01:56 AM   #48 
        - See what I mean?  depakid   Mar-22-09 01:59 AM   #50 
        - Educate yourself please.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:02 AM   #54 
        - I just keep posting  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:08 AM   #59 
           - I'll keep posting the defensive use articles, it will be a lot of fun.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:12 AM   #62 
           - at the end of the year  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:57 AM   #75 
              - You think I'm keeping score?  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 03:06 AM   #78 
                 - Even if  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 06:40 PM   #102 
                    - I think that's what I said.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 07:03 PM   #104 
           - Give it up, Michael  Skittles   Mar-22-09 10:01 PM   #119 
        - My weapons haven't been used in a crime, so you are wrong again.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:00 AM   #52 
        - You still don't get it  depakid   Mar-22-09 02:06 AM   #57 
           - I said my weapons cost society nothing, no one addressed that point.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:10 AM   #60 
              - I did  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:12 AM   #61 
                 - Your quote, "Every time an assault weapon is used in a crime we pay."  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:16 AM   #63 
                    - just because  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:24 AM   #64 
                       - I've never sold an assault weapon.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:27 AM   #65 
                          - and you've bought  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:28 AM   #66 
                             - The one I bought was bought new by a friend.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:31 AM   # 
                             - That makes you  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:36 AM   #70 
                                - It does appear that crimes using assault weapons are on the rise.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:43 AM   #73 
                                   - they prefer what they can get  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 02:56 AM   #74 
                                   - The 3% number is rifles used in murders and the FBI keeps the statistics.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:58 AM   #76 
                                   - I've seen that said also  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 03:00 AM   #77 
                                   - Here you go.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 03:09 AM   #79 
                                   - 10th amendment  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 06:37 PM   #99 
                                   - They have every states numbers, look around the site.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 07:06 PM   #105 
                                   - you're missing the point  MichaelHarris   Mar-22-09 11:47 PM   #120 
                                   - At that time they didn't carry those weapons in their vehicles.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 12:21 AM   #121 
                                   - Well  MichaelHarris   Mar-23-09 12:26 AM   #122 
                                   - Did you read my post?  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 12:29 AM   #123 
                                   - Noticed you conveniently skipped the FACTS about the FBI's stats.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 01:07 AM   #126 
                                   - I didn't skip  MichaelHarris   Mar-23-09 01:47 AM   #127 
                                   - Yes and I pointed out that the UCR covers 94.6% of the population.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 11:14 AM   #133 
                                   - I could be wrong  MichaelHarris   Mar-23-09 06:14 PM   #141 
                                   - It's only homicides as has been stated.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 07:48 PM   #143 
                                   - I'm not sure  MichaelHarris   Mar-24-09 01:23 AM   #147 
                                   - I think they supported the NICS.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-24-09 10:11 AM   #148 
                                   - Most departments participate in the Uniform Crime Reports collection process  benEzra   Mar-22-09 05:47 PM   #95 
                                   - You may want to retract some of these statements.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 04:02 AM   #81 
                                   - The 3% number comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation,  benEzra   Mar-22-09 05:41 PM   #94 
                             - The one I bought was bought new by a friend.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 02:31 AM   #67 
        - Actually, I'm not sure I buy your identification of cause or effect.  LooseWilly   Mar-22-09 02:49 PM   #89 
        - What is an "assault weapon?"  derby378   Mar-22-09 05:52 PM   #97 
     - Solution: everyone wears head-to-toe kevlar vests...24/7  hlthe2b   Mar-22-09 08:34 AM   #86 
        - You live in Colorado, yes? Guess how many rifle murders Colorado averages a year.  benEzra   Mar-22-09 05:52 PM   #96 
           - Semi-automated assault rifle deaths? rare when they occur...  hlthe2b   Mar-22-09 07:44 PM   #109 
              - Nope they would not. No AW used there  Pavulon   Mar-22-09 08:22 PM   #113 
              - BS  hlthe2b   Mar-23-09 05:47 PM   #138 
                 - Run away, run away, good tactic when losing an argument.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 10:16 PM   #146 
              - There weren't any military style rifles used at Columbine.  benEzra   Mar-22-09 08:41 PM   #115 
              - re:  hlthe2b   Mar-23-09 05:46 PM   #137 
                 - Here's a picture, if you are open minded enough to look at it:  benEzra   Mar-23-09 06:03 PM   #139 
              - Why would the Columbine parents agree, assault weapons weren't used by the killers?  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 12:31 AM   #124 
                 - Bull shit symantecs  hlthe2b   Mar-23-09 05:46 PM   #136 
                    - The Hi-Point 995 is not a "military style rifle" by any stretch of the imagination,  benEzra   Mar-23-09 06:05 PM   #140 
                    - So proving you wrong is bullshit semantics, just educate yourself before you run your mouth.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-23-09 07:50 PM   #144 
     - Good questions  krispos42   Mar-22-09 03:32 AM   #80 
     - Your view is too utilitarian.  chrisa   Mar-23-09 08:45 AM   #131 
     - Is this considered a "mass shooting"?  krispos42   Mar-22-09 02:37 AM   #71 
  - I wonder why they burst in without throwing tear gas and stun grenades?  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 01:34 AM   #35 
  - Maybe they didn't know if the guy was actually in there.  LisaL   Mar-22-09 07:34 PM   #108 
     - I'd have gone through a lot of tear gas and stun grenades.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-22-09 07:53 PM   #110 
  - SF Chronicle is reporting the guy shot through a closet door  krispos42   Mar-22-09 02:32 AM   #68 
  - delete  Brooklyns_Finest   Mar-22-09 01:00 AM   #25 
  - What does this have to do with the BART incident?  Brooklyns_Finest   Mar-22-09 01:00 AM   #26 
  - You said you live in Albany, the whitest square mile between Richmond and San Jose.  EFerrari   Mar-22-09 02:02 AM   #55 
  - Except maybe for Alameda...  LooseWilly   Mar-22-09 09:32 PM   #118 
     - Piedmont and Alameda don't have that kind of dedication.  EFerrari   Mar-23-09 02:20 AM   #128 
  - I've read four or more  Why Syzygy   Mar-22-09 05:05 AM   #85 
  - Very sad.  FloridaJudy   Mar-22-09 01:34 AM   #34 
  - Tragic.  Naturyl   Mar-22-09 02:32 AM   #69 
  - Tragedies like this could never happen if our society would let us arm policemen...  leftofthedial   Mar-22-09 05:23 PM   #93 
  - Just tragic. Five people lost their lives because of the actions of one.  varkam   Mar-22-09 06:40 PM   #101 
  - Yep, little banger should have manned up and  Pavulon   Mar-22-09 07:08 PM   #106 
     - Presumably he was a real person himself.  varkam   Mar-22-09 08:20 PM   #112 
        - A real person would man up  Pavulon   Mar-22-09 08:23 PM   #114 
           - Whatever you say eom  varkam   Mar-22-09 08:46 PM   #116 
  - Damn shame  Adelante   Mar-22-09 09:03 PM   #117 
  - WTF? Who let him out of prison?  rq4a   Mar-23-09 12:41 AM   #125 
  - Rap Sheet  SoDesuKa   Mar-23-09 02:46 AM   #129 
     - I'm sure details of Mixon's prior convictions will surface soon enough - UPDATED  slackmaster   Mar-23-09 02:56 PM   #134 
        - And people praised this scumbag.  Fire_Medic_Dave   Mar-25-09 12:05 AM   #150 
  - Generally speaking: Poverty and High Crime go hand-in-hand.  olegramps   Mar-23-09 09:31 AM   #132 

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