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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 02:31 PM
Original message
Guns and climate change...
Many years ago political scientists came up with a theory that elites lead public opinion. And on some issues they clearly do. But on some issues they dont. Two examples of the latter phenomenon are conspicuous at a time when Barack Obama enjoys the approval of more than 60 percent of Americans and Democrats have won thumping majorities in two elections in a row. One is global warming.

The other is gun control. On both issues, the elites of academe, the media and big business have been solidly on one side for years. But on both, the American public has been moving in the other direction.


Some of these shifts in opinion may be responses to events that liberal elites have not deigned to notice. Forty of the 50 states now have concealed weapons laws that allow law-abiding citizens to get permits to carry guns. Gun controllers predicted these would result in traffic shootouts and general mayhem. They havent. It turns out that criminals are deterred from attacks less by gun control laws than by the possibility that their intended victims may be armed. As for global warming, many Americans may have noticed that temperatures actually havent been rising over the last decade as global warming alarmists predicted. The elites are able to hire armed security guards and jet off on private jets, so they are less likely to notice these things.

I think theres something else at work here. For liberal elites, belief in gun control and global warming has taken on the character of religious faith. We have sinned (by hoarding guns or driving sport utility vehicles), we must atone (by turning in our guns or recycling), we must repent (by supporting gun control or cap-and-trade schemes). You may notice that the we in question is usually the great mass of ordinary American citizens.

I personally believe that even if climate change is not caused by fossil fuels and SUVs, the effort to reduce pollution is extremely important. Pollution kills. Energy independence is vital to the future of our nation.

Gun control should focus more on taking the weapons out of criminal hands and insuring that only honest sane individuals can legally purchase them.

The article paints a negative picture of many of the people that run our party and insinuates that they are out of touch. This is unfair, but it does point out a weakness in the position of some of our leaders who would attempt to ban or restrict the most popular rifles and handguns (semi-automatics) in our country. Also, any attempt to force automotive companies to produce small underpowered economy toy cars rather than vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks fails to understand the basic needs of most American families.

Our party can remain in the dominate role for years to come if we are careful to pass laws that work rather than "feel good" laws which meet the approval of the very liberal portion of the party.

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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have to wonder
what the carbon footprint of your gun range might look like...
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Interesting question...
I currently shoot on either private property or a local range used by the police (I have to shoot with an active police officer). The impact would probably be negligible. The range doesn't see a lot of use as the local police force only has a handful of officers.

When I lived in Tampa, I shot at an indoor range which was monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency. They had placed an air monitor just outside the building. The range had an enormous air filter system and the filters were changed on a regular basis. It's possible that the shooters might have been exposed to a higher risk of lead exposure and I followed a basic rule of washing my hands and face after shooting and changing my clothes and washing them. I don't believe the range caused any significant damage to the environment.

The major problem with shooting range is lead contamination. Before it closed, I shot at the Tampa Police Pistol range which was used for the NRA midwinter pistol competition. The berm of the range was periodically "mined" to remove lead.

Overall I would estimate that firearm ranges cause little environment problems, but they do need to be carefully monitored and regulated.
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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I was being a dick
Just messing around with you. Hope I didn't offend.

BTW, there is frangible bronze ammunition available to avoid lead deposits. You might find it interesting:
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. It was a very good question...
so I took no offense.

There was one range in the Tampa Bay area that required ammo similar to that on the link to be used. The major problem many shooters had with that range was that reloaded ammo was forbidden and many shooters use their own reloads.

Another problem is that when choosing self defense ammo for a semi-auto handgun, it's a good idea to fire one hundred rounds of the ammo through the weapon to insure reliability. While firearms produced in the last few years are far less ammo sensitive than older semi-autos, you can still encounter problems. I bought 100 rounds of factory 40 cal ammo for a Beretta handgun and had two case separations in 30 rounds. I chose a different brand and never had any further problems for several thousand rounds and eventually sold the weapon. Revolvers are less sensitive to ammo variations but I own a fairly rare S&W 9mm revolver. I purchased some hot factory ammo that was highly recommended and found that after firing a cylinder full, I couldn't extract the rounds. No other ammo caused the same problem.

After six months, I would fire the self defense ammo in my carry weapon and replace it with fresh ammo. While this is a good idea, especially for a weapon that might be stored in a car while at work and consequently exposed to temperature variations, I never encountered any problem with the older ammo. However, I would have been unable to shoot this ammo on a range that required me to use only environmentally safe ammo. I would have had to journey to another range and pay a range fee to test self defense ammo or shoot the six month old ammo.

Thanks for the link. Possibly others may read your post and purchase this ammo for practice.

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Howzit Donating Member (918 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. We keep hearing about "common sense regulations" and the "scientific consensus"
Any questioning of the idea that global warming is a problem that must be dealt with by reducing fossil fuel consumption is labeled the regurgitation of Republican talking points; any hint that gun ownership is not shameful is labeled right wing propaganda.

These political comebacks suggest that the panic over global warming and the drive to reduce civilian gun ownership are indeed motivated more by politics than science.

Any politician that starts a speech with "we must act now before it is too late" is suspect, in my opinion. The last time the US "acted now" got us into Iraq, with a legacy that will go on forever.

Signing international treaties, be-it to control guns or gasses must not be entered into lightly because there will be no going back once the horse has left the barn.

It is interesting to me that politicians who are eager to sign gun control laws that limit and punish law abiding gun owners without any hope of reducing crime are also eager to sign laws into being that would raise the cost of energy for the average person in the name of saving the planet. Even if the Kyoto protocol had been fully implemented as originally written, it would have reduced global temperatures by only a fraction of one degree. Why so much cost and effort to achieve so little; both with guns and gasses? I smell a rat.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Which is why we have to avoid "feel good" laws...
as they accomplish little and all to often work to the benefit of big corporations with their own agenda.

However, improving our gun laws and enforcing existing firearm laws is very important as is reducing pollution. If we can reduce the criminal use of firearms we can make this country a safer place to live. If we can improve the criminal background check system to identify and restrict sales for those with serious mental problems, we may reduce senseless mass murders.

If we can develop new technologies to produce clean energy worldwide, we will reduce the number of people who develop serious illness from pollution.

Worthwhile goals, but we have to be careful to only implement legislation that works.
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Hear hear! n/t
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Howzit Donating Member (918 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Labeling CO2 a pollutant is similar to calling a semi-auto gun an assault weapon
Inflammatory language intended to persuade the public that regulations are intended for their benefit; meanwhile lawmakers are just creating new ways to empower and enrich their friends.
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