Survey: 34 Percent Of Americans Want Christianity Made Official Religion

300px-god2-sistine_chapelWhile the North Carolina House of Representatives has finally killed the bill to allow the state to establish a state religion, a new study found that 34 percent of adults would favor establishing Christianity as the official state religion. While 47 percent opposed the establishment of state religion, it was less than a majority.

Another 11 percent thought that the Constitution allowed for the establishment of an official religion. Thus, they are entirely unaware of the workings of the first amendment or the prior rulings of the Supreme Court.

Republicans were the most likely to favor the establishment of a state religion with 55 percent favoring it in their own state and 46 percent favoring a national constitutional amendment.

While the poll reportedly included 1000 people (a sizable group), I still want to believe that it is skewed and that most people recognize the danger of religious-based government in a world torn apart of sectarian violence. Even if these people lack knowledge of the Constitution, they are given a daily lesson on the dangers of state-sponsored religion in their newspapers and news broadcasts. For those advocating such a change, they leave us with the chilling view that, for some, the problem with abusive theocratic regimes like Iran is simply the disagreement with the choice of the religion.

Source: HuffPost

398 thoughts on “Survey: 34 Percent Of Americans Want Christianity Made Official Religion

  1. I think nobody wants religious authority more than politicians and military leaders do; being appointed by God to lead, with papal privileges, is so much easier than having to muck about with elections and objective standards.

  2. I think it would be interesting to find out just which particular “flavor” of Christianity the want to be official and the percentages of choices. Mormonism, Catholicism, Baptist, Episcopal I have seen many not view one another very favorably.

  3. I am surprised that it is that high – I would have assumed 27%

    In his seminal post on the Crazification Factor, John Rogers used the 2004 Obama/Keyes senate race as a measure: “Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.”

  4. Prof.,

    In re: Your Final Paragraph

    I’d like to believe that Rachael Weisz want to make mad passionate love to me.

    That does not make it so.

    I know people around here who not only fall into that 34%, they think Christianity is already the official religion of the United States just like Budweiser is the official beer of NASCAR.

    Which is an odd but possibly not coincidental coincident.

  5. Do the 34% believe that imposing religion by law would somehow make existing criminals stop breaking the laws that already exist?

    I would like to see the following poll: How many people believe, that if we passed a law making it illegal to break other laws, we would reduce crime?

  6. Gee, if we only allow Christians in the “official” religion, what happens to the Jews, the Mormons, the Buddhists, etc., etc., et.?

    What complete IDIOCY ! ! !

    Just another example of the Neanderthals at work, and it should scare the he!! out of all intelligent, caring people.

    ./

  7. Boxer prefers not to puzzle out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself, “Napoleon is always right.” Animal Farm

    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/themes.html

    The Danger of a Naïve Working Class

    One of the novella’s most impressive accomplishments is its portrayal not just of the figures in power but also of the oppressed people themselves.Animal Farm is not told from the perspective of any particular character, though occasionally it does slip into Clover’s consciousness. Rather, the story is told from the perspective of the common animals as a whole. Gullible, loyal, and hardworking, these animals give Orwell a chance to sketch how situations of oppression arise not only from the motives and tactics of the oppressors but also from the naïveté of the oppressed, who are not necessarily in a position to be better educated or informed. When presented with a dilemma, Boxer prefers not to puzzle out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself, “Napoleon is always right.” Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class’s oppression.

    Keep em Dumb, Give em something Dumb to believe in. Then put a ring through it and lead em where you want.

    I am 99.9% atheist, My correctness will be proven at my end, but I will have no ability to acknowledge it.

    Religion is not dumb. Belief that inspires love and equality, value and respect for all Life is truly a valuable philosophy.

    Keeping em Dumb and Down is creating a hell on earth that the sociopaths and psychopaths profit highly from.

    Baa Baa Dumb sheep give me all your wool, come back next year give me another bag full.

  8. I think this survey just proves that we here in the good old USA are no different than the taliban. Those who want a religious based government believe their god is the one and only god so therefore they have the right and duty to subjugate everyone else to their believe. It is just plain right, end of argument. My guess is this will never change. Thus the 47% will have to convince the 19% left that they better get off their duff or their duff will be at the beck and call of the 34%.

  9. What pains me is that typically the most boisterous, loudest chest thumping self proclaimed defenders of the Constitution.

    On the left we have the anti-gun fascists who wish to remove the 2nd amendment and leave us defenseless against Government tyranny. On the right we have the religious zealots who wish to turn us into Jesusland and throw out the 1st Amendment.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov’ & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov’ of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together; [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt]

    An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too carefully guarded against……Every new and successful example therefore of a PERFECT SEPARATION between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance……..religion and government will exist in greater purity, without (rather) than with the aid of government. [James Madison in a letter to Livingston, 1822, from Leonard W. Levy- The Establishment Clause, Religion and the First Amendment,pg 124]

    It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law, was right & necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects, dissenting from the established sect, was safe & even useful. The example of the Colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all Sects might be safely & advantageously put on a footing of equal & entire freedom…. We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Gov. [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt]

    [I]t may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov’t from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others. [James Madison, in a letter to Rev Jasper Adams spring 1832, from James Madison on Religious Liberty, edited by Robert S. Alley, pp. 237-238]

    What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [Pres. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

    Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. [James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

    …Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which prevades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest. [James Madison, spoken at the Virginia convention on ratifying the Constitution, June 1778]

    It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Government could not stand without the prop of a religious establishment; and that the Christian religion itself, would perish if not supported by the legal provision for its clergy. The experience of Virginia conspiciously corroboates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Government, tho’ bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE. [James Madison, as quoted in Robert L. Maddox: Separation of Church and State; Guarantor of Religious Freeedom]

    The Civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, posesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state. [James Madison in a letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819]

    The Civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, posesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state. [James Madison in a letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819]

    To the Baptist Churches on Neal’s Greek on Black Creek, North Carolina I have received, fellow-citizens, your address, approving my objection to the Bill containing a grant of public land to the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, Mississippi Territory. Having always regarded the practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, I could not have otherwise discharged my duty on the occasion which presented itself [James Madison, Letter to Baptist Churches in North Carolina, June 3, 1811]

    and lastly and the most applicable to this article

    The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity. [James Madison, Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821]

  10. Please do not allow the Religious zealots to deter you from defending the 2nd Amendment. You simply must understand the importance of the 2nd and the grave peril that our Bill of Rights currently faces

  11. Dredd, I completely agree.
    I would in fact say that there needs to be a class specifically on the US Constitution that is a requirement for graduation.

    It is simply sad that so many are completely unfamiliar with James Madison, who is truly the Father of the Constitution in all reality.

    Madison made it quite clear that Religion was to be kept very far away from the government and vice versa.

  12. “Please do not allow the Religious zealots to deter you from defending the 2nd Amendment. You simply must understand the importance of the 2nd and the grave peril that our Bill of Rights currently faces”

    G.Mason,

    While I support the right of citizens to bear arms I think your obsession with it is misplaced in that many other far more important Constitutional Rights that are being infringed on today represent a greater danger to us all. I would suppose you believe that an armed citizenry would stave off tyranny coming to our doors. The truth is that given that this country has the largest, most powerful military in the world, if the fascists decide to take over, the citizens won’t be capable of stopping them. By concentrating on the Second Amendment as the most important of them all you remove focus from the other infringements of the First, Fourth, Fifth, etc. It is the slow erosion of these Amendments that will cause the disaster that all the arms of the citizens will be unable to stop.

    When you diminish the threat of the religious zealots, by making it secondary to the Second Amendment you overlook this:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/12/08/west-point-and-religion/

  13. such polls are silly nonsense. They are completely meaningless. You will get the exact result you want.

    If the poll came out differently, then there wouldn’t have been an article which would spread like this one.

    No, the “poll” is without merit

    And of course a poll of 1000 is hardly accurate in regards to what the country thinks.

  14. George Santayana was right. They don’t know or understand history, so they are trying to repeat it. This country was founded by people fleeing theocracies. Now a third of the population wants to impose one?

    And to think they fear Sharia Law.

  15. Matthew Seniff makes a good point when he asks which particular sect of Christianity do these people envision as a State religion? Do they see Christianity as the Federal Religion, if so which version? Do they see each State choosing its own State religion? Utah would be Mormon, Georgia would be Southern Baptist and Rhode Island Catholic? What this poll exposes to me, if indeed it was a well done poll, is that these 34% have o idea at all about the Constitution and our system of government. Their response, to possibly a badly phrased question, was made with no thought at all as to the mechanics involved. As many commentators have said, including Dredd and G.Mason, the problem lies with the erasure of Civics courses from our school curricula. In my opinion this was not done accidentally.

  16. Mike, I do not dismiss any attacks upon the Bill of Rights. They are all crucial. My point was not to diminish the assault upon the first but only to point out that the assault upon the 2nd should not be dismissed in retaliation either. We are playing partisan politics with the Bill of Rights and it is quite frankly, asinine.

    I also disagree with you about the governments ability to stave off a Revolution. In fact I would argue the government would not only lose such a fight, but they would be thoroughly trounced.

    You grossly overestimate the governments power in that hypothetical setting. No less than half the military would instantly defect. There are guns in half the households of the US. The size of the military force is much smaller than you realize. The entire population would revolt if the US government fired upon American people in the streets.

    It would indeed be a slaughter, but not in the way you think.

  17. “That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”

    George Mason

  18. Btw I in no way advocate violence. Egypt proved you do not need violence to overthrow tyranny. But make no mistake. If the people did not have guns at their disposal they would not have been able to force the govt to step down.

  19. “The entire population would revolt if the US government fired upon American people in the streets.”

    ********************

    They didn’t in more liberal times in the 70s:

  20. I also want to add that I do believe we will see a Revolution in this country in the not too distant future. if you do not see it you are not paying attention. We have lost too much already and people on both sides of the aisle are starting to realize it.

  21. mespo, that was a different era and the left other than guys like Bill Ayers were largely peaceful. Hippies. The right was in no rush to defend Hippies. Times are changing. Even now alot of the right, not all but alot were growing upset with how the OWS was treated. Those not blinded by the propaganda by people the likes of Rush Limbaugh that is.

    While the Tea Party certainly has its fair share of religious zealots the same way that the OWS has its share of mouth foaming anti 2nd people, it is still a large group of people who do not want to see Big Brother being put into our lives. That is the common ground.

    If only the rage blinded bigots on both sides could unite to defend our Bill of Rights instead of attack the 1st and 2nd.

    Fascism is by far the greatest threat to this nation at this time. Nothing else comes close. Not even our impending economic crash.

  22. Bill H, I agree. It is sadly ironic that the religious right has hijacked the Conservative movement. Barry Goldwater warned against this very thing.

    It is a shame he died. We could use him about now.

  23. G.Mason: If the people did not have guns at their disposal they would not have been able to force the govt to step down.

    Which people? I do not recall the Egyptian protesters having any pitched gun battles; they didn’t beat the Army.

    They forced the government to step aside by disrupting the economics of the country with their protests, refusing to work and causing businesses to fail. If you cause enough economic damage, the rich people at the top of the economic ladder, that the government really cares about, will demand the government do enough to stop costing them money and to get people back to work. The Egyptian protests were costing Egypt billions of dollars economically, not just in tourist trade but across the business spectrum, and that was being drained from the pockets of some very rich and very influential people.

    Guns do not matter in modern industrialized countries, and do not stand a chance against modern armies with modern tech. Dollars rule these countries, and the way to prevail is not by force of arms, but by costing the rich so much money that “freedom” is suddenly in their best economic interest.

  24. One of the saddest things to me is the fall of the Democratic party.
    It is startling how a faction of it can be so incredibly hostile towards the 2nd Amendment and then in the same breath profess undying loyalty to the dangerous Fascism of Obama. The hypocrisy is unbelievable. I cannot take anyone serious who supports Obama. These are people who spent 8 years of angst and outrage while Bush was in office. Now that Bush is a black man, they love him. Disturbing.

  25. Tony C I agree that their method was effective. However the Egyptian people DO have guns. They did not use them but if they did not have them to defend themselves with, the crackdowns would have been much more severe. Do not delude yourself into believing that it would not have happened.

    If a dog runs up to you snarling and acting as if he is going to bite you, you would be afraid and move. But if you knew that the dog had no teeth you would be much less afraid.

    Another example, the Jews were forbidden to own guns in Nazi Germany. How did that work out for them.

  26. Number of Privately Owned Firearms
    The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in Switzerland is 3,400,0001
    Compare
    Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population
    The rate of private gun ownership in Switzerland is 45.71 firearms per 100 people
    Compare
    Number of Privately Owned Firearms – World Ranking
    In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Switzerland ranked at No. 222
    Compare
    Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population – World Ranking
    In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Switzerland ranked at No. 31

  27. Rafflaw’s comment about the Taliban is right on. I was thinking about that this morning.
    I “like” Mike Huckabee on facebook to see what he writes. He is, to me, a perfect example of the way groups like Taliban work. He has the “authority” of his ministership as well as a good platform to espouse his lies, exaggerations, distortions, and sometimes apparent (outright) hatred of the dems and the president.
    The comments are filled with ‘right ons’ and more hatred expressed, often within the context of G-d and ‘christianity’. Rarely do I not see at least one comment, and rare that it is only one, that We need to being the Lord to America, People must be brought into compliance with G-d’s Law, and so on.
    We have (had I hope) the Jesus camps. Bring them early on into this hogwash of ‘America is a Christian nation and Christians are at war with America to bring them into the “light”.’ Add this to the ignorance of those who hadn’t a scintilla of an idea that the Constitution does not allow for the establishment of an official religion and it seems we are on the way already to having American Taliban for Christianity. Thankfully they may be too ignorant to be able to figure out how to go about it.

  28. I completely agree that the Religious Right is completely irrational and insane on the issue. Its a shame we cannot ship them off the island along with the anti-2nd left. Our country would fare far better without the two groups.

  29. Mike Spindell, this is an article from Alternet with many examples of Christian bias being promulgated and promoted.
    PS. if you’re a Chuck Norris fan…. DON’T read this.

    We at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) pride ourselves on being the decisive bulwark in the fight to safeguard the religious liberties and civil rights of United States armed servicemembers who have encountered a panoply of grotesquely acute abuses visited upon them for their choices of religious preferences (or lack thereof)

    http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/michaelweinstein/chuck-norris-bar-soap-and-box-rocks

  30. G.Mason: I don’t believe you, no matter what the situation is you are going to say guns played a role. They did not. Economic pain is what did in Mubarak, not the threat of physical violence. The Egyptian Army and others did not believe they could kill their way out of people refusing to work.

    I think you prefer to live in an unrealistic fantasy world. If the Egyptians had tried an armed battle, they would have been slaughtered by the helicopter gunships and automatic weapons of the Egyptian Army, which would use the excuse to the world they were putting down a revolution; and that would have worked. To the rest of the world, putting down an armed revolution is much different than slaughtering unarmed civilians engaged in verbal protest and the equivalent of sit-ins and rallies.

    It was economic pain that forced Mubarak out, guns had nothing to do with it. I don’t think you understand how powerful a motivator money is in the real world.

  31. George Mason, Those that favor gun restrictions don’t necessarily love Obama but most prefer him to a bunch of gun toting white christian tea party patriots that would like to overturn the results of the election because they lost big time.

  32. There’s a simple solution: Everyone who wants a theocracy move into the buybull belt, and everyone who doesn’t moves out, then separate into two countries. Let them have exactly what they want.

    Within a decade, the buybull belt would be a third world country with health problems worse than Africa (both disease and obesity) as well as being overpopulated to the point of starvation. Eventually, illegals (christian theocrats from the buybull belt) would start moving into other states, looking for a better life. And Latinos coming up from Central America would stop going there.

  33. Swathmore two questions

    1. What is bad about someone being ‘White’ ?

    2. What is wrong with someone being ‘Christian’ ?

    I get it. You do not like White people and you do not like Christians. Why?

  34. Also its ironic that you spent 8 years trying to overturn elections yourself.
    Yet elected for 8 more years of Bush afterwards

    At some point maybe its time to consider that the problem isnt half the country trying to throw out the President this year or that, but perhaps the problem is the Presidents themselves.

    We are so blinded by partisan politics that we are being used against each other while we keep electing the same crook over and over. Reagan, Bush, Clinton,Bush Jr, Obama are all really the same exact President. But we refuse to see it because it would force people to admit that
    A. They were wrong.
    B. They were hypocrites and
    C. They are being lied to and used by crooks

    It takes a big,humble or beaten man/woman to admit that. Sadly most people lack the integrity to be so honest. You should try it, its refreshing and liberating.

  35. Now Swath that is simply not true.
    You keep using those as adjectives while describing a group you clearly hate with a passion. This implies flaws.

    For example. The filthy, dirty, rotten crook of a President kept raping our rights. I would not say, the black, christian/muslim/athiest/satanist, crook of a president kept raping our rights. Unless I was implying that there are flaws with his race and religion.

    Nor would I use a ‘positive’ in the description of someone I am painting as a scumbag. So clearly you have problems with White People and Christians.

    You are being dishonest.

  36. You know that I am right. I will not let you off of it either. It is time for honesty and accountability within our own parties as well. I am a Liberal. I refuse to allow the fascists to drag the Liberal name into the mud.

  37. Polls such as the one used in this article (HuffPost/YouGov) are significant only when they show movement. In other words is that 34% up or down from a similar poll done last year, five or 10 years ago. If the percentage is up then the threat of movement towards a national religion is increasing; if down the threat is decreasing; if static, no threat at all.

    So lets look at a couple of other polls from Pew to balance it out a bit:

    In 2012 roughly four-in-ten voters were white Protestants – 39%
    In 2008 and 2004 voters who were white Protestants – 42%
    In 2000 voters who were white Protestant – 45%

    Movement is evident and that movement shows decline in white Protestant voters from 45% in 2000 to 39% in 2012.

    The YouGov poll done by HuffPost doesn’t identify either the race or religious preference (Protestant/ Evangelical/Catholic) of the 34% favoring favor establishing Christianity as the official state religion but I’m going to draw some conclusions from outside the poll considerations.

    This is the new non-issue issue the Republican Party is considering as a rallying point for their shrinking base core leading into the 2014 election season and HuffPost is simply helping them to get the ball rolling.

  38. I can just imagine the fighting between various Christian denominations over the implementation of Christianity as the official state religion. What an endless mess this would be.

  39. It would never come to pass. The words of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution would cripple any movement from within. There are many many rightwingers that wish to see the Constitution ‘restored’ as they put it. Once they were enlightened to the words of Madison, along with the left opposing, it would derail any real effort.

  40. Btw, it will be interesting to see the reaction of the country after Bidens NWO speech. Chaos. Link is above ^

  41. I went and looked at that “poll.” It has no documentation with it. Only the sample of “one thousand adults.” The poll is statistically meaningless. The methodology was not explained, sociodemographic and geographical information is not provided, and there is no explanation of how the poll was presented to those who took it. They provide an error of measurement, but that too is suspect without the other information.

    If that were turned in for a weekly assignment in a graduate statistics class, it would earn a grade of “F.”

    Having said all that, I am not saying it is not true. It may very well be. It is just that the report has no documentation to back it up. The sample of 1,000 subjects is sufficiently large to have some power. However, as presented, we do not know the validity and reliability of the poll.

  42. G.Mason 1, April 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Anti-gun folks love Obama.
    They also apparently support this

    *****

    My…you do like to generalize. ..and make stuff up. Do you have statistics/polls that prove that anti-gun people are in favor of drone strikes? Do you consider all people who support some gun control measures to be anti-gun?

  43. Oh great! We don’t have enough government tyranny. Let’s pile on some religious tyranny on top, you know, like a yummy cherry atop ice cream. After that, we’ll go to the carnival.

  44. Yikes.
    I guess if you are for reasonable gun restrictions, repeat restrictions, according to G. Mason, you are anti 2nd amendment. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But don’t let the truth stop you now. Please let us know why the 2nd amendment has no limits, but the First Amendment has limitations, some reasonable, some not so reasonable?
    Mespo,
    Great clip and great song. That day is forever in my memory. I was on campus in Illinois when it happened and my school shut down a few days later due to the protests. Sad day.

  45. Blouise,

    Forgive the poetic license:

    Jack and Jill went up the hill
    And rounded up the infidils.
    They brought them down, built a fire,
    And burned the heretics on a pyre.

  46. The poll is meaningless because the question was improperly framed. Christianity is not a single religion; it is a family of religions. Aside from such trivial concerns as the Constitution, suggesting the adoption of Christianity as our national religion makes as much sense as suggesting the adoption of Kraft as our national food.

  47. Elaine,

    Perfect!

    Considering how hard they all go after SwM, I’m thinking we should require her to wear flame resistant apparel when getting set to post … for her own protection.

  48. Elaine and Swatchmore, I am pretty confident that your outrage at guns and the 2nd amendment/nra pales in comparison to your use of drones.

    I am also pretty confident that you have warm and fuzzy feelings about the phony in the White House shedding crocodile tears for Sandy Hook while he slaughters far more children with his drones.

    Think of the children….Is this where I insert my eyeroll at the hypocrisy?

    In fact I would imagine for every single post you make condemning Obama for murdering children you post 1,000 calling for gun control.

    I can respect the peaceniks who oppose violence of all sorts and condemn Obama and call him for what he is, a lying hypocritical war monger who blows up little kids. Because while they might wrongfully wish to remove the 2nd, at least they do not hide behind the Shield of Hypocrisy while doing it.

    Just as you probably turn the other way on this

  49. Otteray: To reinforce your comment, if I take a poll and first qualify people with the question “Do you attend a Christian church at least twice a week?”

    I think I could get just about any percentage we want!

    Under this protocol, I do not ask the second question if I don’t get a positive answer to the first, so even if I called 25,000 people, I only asked 1000 of them the second question, about making Christianity the national religion.

  50. George M, Why no concern for the children that are slaughtered with guns everyday? I think placing restrictions on drones and guns is a consistent position. Now, why make it about Obama? We need the laws in place for the future. The US will regret not taking the opportunity to regulate the guns and the drones in my opinion.

  51. G.Mason 1, April 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Elaine and Swatchmore, I am pretty confident that your outrage at guns and the 2nd amendment/nra pales in comparison to your use of drones.

    *****

    What outrage at guns and the Second Amendment have I expressed? There you go–making up stuff again. For shame! BTW, I have never used drones for ANYTHING!

  52. “The US will regret not taking the opportunity to regulate the guns and the drones in my opinion.”

    They (as in the citizens) will regret not regulating domestic drone use long before they’ll regret anything else.

  53. Rafflaw, perhaps you can show me where I suggest limits to the 1st.

    I am a Liberal sir. I defend ALL of the Bill of Rights equally.Church and State absolutely should remain separate. But I refuse to allow this repugnant, shallow and pathetic hypocrisy that has destroyed my party, to go unchallenged.

    The left blindly supports Obama and foams at the mouth and howls with rage at the 2nd Amendment while he is out there killing hundreds of little kids with drones and installs Fascism into our lives. Not a GD peep out of them either. They look the other way. It is disgusting Its hypocrisy.

    If you do not have the courage and conviction to stand up to a greater crime than the one you get on your soap box for, then you have no business speaking at all. Shame on you all. Hypocrites.

    You are every bit as pathetic as the Jesusfreaks who want to bomb other countries in the name of Christ. It is sheer lunacy. Keep drinking the cool aid. White Bush Bad, Black Bush good. Got it.

    Btw, everyone knows that I am correct about Swatch using ‘White’ and ‘Christian’ as negatives in her descriptions.

    The rightwingers might not be right on many things but they have the label to the left of ‘arrogant intolerable elitists’ pegged with perfect accuracy. You guys really are a brainwashed cult.

    Democrats used to be against ‘the man’ and now they are working for ‘the man’. Money talks and bull$ hit walks right? What a disgrace.

    Maybe its time you look in the mirror at what you have become.

  54. Btw the 2nd Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights for good reason. It is to protect the other 9. I mourn the death of a child. Whether it be car or gun or drone. But there the comparison ends.

    I am all for taking a murderer who kills a child with a gun, and arresting them and have them go to trial.

    Can you say the same about someone who blows up kids with Drones? I thought not.

    You rage at the NRA working to block gun control laws yet do nothing to stop Obama using drones to kill children. Do you even have the courage to see the victims of Obamas drone war? Highly doubtful.

    Also for the record, If I could snap my fingers and make every weapon on the planet vanish, bombs, guns etc etc,I would do it. That is not a realistic scenario.

    This is however.
    Over 200 years ago and still relevant.

    “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. ” James Madison, June 29th. 1787, Debates in Federal Convention

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Try to have the courage and conviction that you have on guns to watch this video completely. Do not be a hypocritical coward

  55. G.Mason,

    In the video, the questions are logical fallacies; that is, the false dilemma fallacy. That fallacy is also known by other names, such as the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice,fallacy of the excluded middle, fallacy of the false alternative, false dichotomy, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses.

    In short, “gotcha” questions.

    The questions being asked of the witness ignore the fact those identical situations come up every day in clinics and hospitals. To frame the question as a “living breathing child” does not address other questions. For example, is the newborn anencephalic, have kyle mccabe syndrome or gastroschisis?

    Families and their doctors must address these questions all the time. My grandson discussed stopping his chemo and radiation with me. As a legal minor, his parents could have forced him to continue. Under the reasoning by the questioners in the video, the doctors and his parents acted unethically when they ceased treatment and consulted Hospice. Same for my wife. The doctors asked me what I wanted to do. I told them to consult hospice. Not what I wanted to do, of course, but what I had to do.

    The answer to all those questions is, “It depends.” However, in South Dakota, there have been propositions put forth repeatedly that would take the choice to treat or not to treat out of the hands of parents and doctors.

    Here is the last version of Proposition 11 in South Dakota. It has been voted down a couple of times, but it keeps coming back.
    http://www.opposingviews.com/arguments/no-exception-for-fatal-anomalies

  56. GMason, “Everyone knows that I am correct about Swatch using ‘White’ and ‘Christian’ as negatives in her descriptions. ” okay “Everyone knows” that is a legitimate response, as legitimate as a lot of the rest of what you write..

    Tony C.

    Otteray: To reinforce your comment, if I take a poll and first qualify people with the question “Do you attend a Christian church at least twice a week?”

    I think I could get just about any percentage we want!

    Under this protocol, I do not ask the second question if I don’t get a positive answer to the first, so even if I called 25,000 people, I only asked 1000 of them the second question, about making Christianity the national religion.

    It gets even more specific then that. I attend Church 2x a week for choir so I would still not give them the answer they want.
    I wondered when I read 1000, tat did ot see like a big enough sample. Having written that, when I read what commenters write to news articles, FB posts, etc I am appalled at how many write this is a ‘Christian country” and we all need to come to Jesus.
    They have no notion apparently that, as noted earlier, there is more then one denomination (I am UCC, we gladly are open to all including LGBT. I think a lot of those “Christians would be appalled if it was UCC (some UCC is not open so even within UCC there would be a fight of which branch of belief should be the one we have to accept) and a whole, whole lot of versions of the Bible. Which one of that sould be the right one for the right denomination of the right religion?

  57. G. Mason,
    I didn’t suggest that you said that there should be limits to the first amendment. I was merely pointing out that even the First Amendment can be reasonably restricted under according to the Supremes. Why shouldn’t the 2nd Amendment also be subject to reasonable restrictions? The Heller decision seems to indicate that. You suggest that anyone who backs gun controls is trying to take away all guns. Far from the truth.
    If you think that all of us who backed Obama believe in every action he has taken, you haven’t read much of what is written on Professor Turley’s blog.
    No, not everyone knows that Swarthmore Mom was using Whites and Christians as a negative. Their actions is what is the negative.
    The left is still against the “man” as you put it, but the “man” comes in many forms.
    The “man” can be corporations that hide money from being taxed and pay millions to try to steer elections.
    The “man” can be representatives of the NRA who pour money into campaigns to stop common sense restrictions on guns that the vast majority of gun owners agree with.
    The “man” can even be Barack Obama when he continues drone policies that kill innocent civilians and target and kills American citizens without due process.
    The “man” can be Christians who want to make their particular religion the law of the land.
    The ‘man” can be Jews who get in the way of reasonable progress in trying to obtain peace in the Middle East.
    The “man” can be RC priests who abuse kids and their bishops and cardinals and Popes that stand in the way of justice. The “man” can be Republican Senators who obstruct judicial nominations in order to make sure that “liberal” judges don’t get on the bench.
    The “man” can be Democratic Senators who are bought and paid employees of special interests and corporations. Those are just a few of the “men” that liberals and progressives go after, every day on this blog and elsewhere.
    Just which “man” are your referring to?

  58. By the way G. Mason, when I look in the mirror these days I see the same face that I saw in the 70’s, except a lot grayer and many more lines.

  59. Otteray I am truly sorry to hear about your grandson. I do not wish to pry further only to convey the proper address on that situation

    I do disagree in sorts because being a Liberal who is pro choice to an extent, I have been privy to many discussions with other pro choice people regarding abortion. Many or perhaps even most pro choice people, are very opposed to restrictions of any sort. They see it as a slippery slope. Any concessions will give ground to further restrictions.

  60. rafflaw, you have to remember, I am a Liberal So most of the issues you quoted I completely agree with.

    However as Michael Moore put it, Obama gets a pass because of his assumed liberal sheen. That is, Democrats are utterly blind when it comes to him as he continues on with his horrible presidency.

    If you hated Bush you should hate Obama. They are completely the same president.

    We will have to disagree on the 2nd. It should not be restricted.
    the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

    To be quite honest I an getting seasick from the left to right shifting of government distrust every 8 years. It took me long enough but I finally realized that being outraged only when the Republicans were in office was allowing the Democratic presidents political capital to rape our rights, which they promptly did so.

    I do not understand how anyone who has distrusted the government at anytime, can want any sort of limits on the 2nd Amendment.

    J Edgar Hoover is proof enough that we must keep that yoke upon them.

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”- Patrick Henry

  61. ps- I have no doubt that the Founding Fathers, somehow for some strange reason, were far more brilliant, educated and wiser than all of our government combined today.

    We truly are descending into an Idiocracy

  62. G. Mason,

    The problem with slippery slope arguments is that 1) they are often misapplied and 2) they often descend into another more egregious fallacy; the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc aka correlation without causation. In fact, the reasonable restriction of rights is the entire premise of basing the law on reason instead of theocratic or imperial fiat under the social compact model of government. This is not to say slippery slope arguments are always facially invalid, but they are when they lack any form of real causation. Citizens aren’t allowed to own rocket launchers – a reasonable restriction – and society hasn’t collapsed although by every reasonable definition of the word “arms” a rocket launcher qualifies. A perfect example of a reasonable restriction currently being proposed is universal background checks. The right to bear arms was intended to protect the rights of otherwise law abiding citizens, not criminals. I’ve even gone so far as to propose a blind mental health screen be adopted to keep guns out of the hands of dangerously crazy people. It could be done in a way that does not violate HIPPA and allows for challenge if the person denied thinks their denial is wrongful. It’s also a reasonable restriction although it is predicated on our having some kind of universal access to mental health services.

    The nature of erosion of rights is mostly gradual and we as citizens are wise to be on the watch for it, but the 2nd absolutists are as wrong as most absolutists when it comes to rights. Your rights end where the rights of others begin. People certainly have – and should have – the right to bear arms under the Constitution, but conversely society has a right to minimize the risk of people misusing the tools for nefarious or insane ends.

  63. Weren’t there some reason why we didn’t want to be ruled by the Churches of England back in them there revelooshun days?

  64. Gene the problem isnt guns, its the people. The criminals in particular.
    Switzerland has an enormous amount of guns in their homes and no real issues.

    America does not have a gun problem. It has a government and a people problem.

    To be honest if we had a full open carry society, we would probably have alot less problems.

  65. Correct Darren. You will note that earlier in this thread I quoted James Madison, the father of the constitution, many times.

    Now is it not interesting that he was able to foresee this as a problematic issue all the way back in the 1780s?
    Why is it we do not trust the word of a man who was pretty much able to predict the future on so many things politically? A man who has proven to have far greater informed and insightful opinion on politics than any of us.

    He was also a man that was absolutely firm in his belief that the people be able to have the physical means to remove Tyranny from the govt. I think its safe to say that he had good reason.

    James Madison was writing a Constitution and a Bill of Rights to last us for eons. We only have to defend it.

  66. G. Mason,

    While I agree that we have a people problem versus a tool problem, we already have a full open carry society. Only seven states ban outright open carry: New York, Illinois, S. Carolina, Florida, Texas and California. All other states have varied degrees of open carry from requiring a permit to completely unrestricted. You can carry an open weapon, but you’d better know your Constitutional and state specific law before going out in public because we have another people problem – the cops are going to harass you because a great many of them are ignorant of the laws they are supposed to enforcing.

  67. Darren,

    I grew up near Salem, Massachusetts. I wonder if many people really know much about the witch hysteria and trials of 1692.

    Here’s some interesting information from the First Church in Salem (Unitarian);

    http://www.firstchurchinsalem.org/faq-salem-witch-hysteria-17.html

    Excerpt:
    FAQ & Salem Witch Hysteria

    Was your church involved in the witch hysteria of Salem Village in 1692?

    Yes, but the tragic series of events actually began in Danvers. The First Church in Salem was one of two churches directly involved with the Witch Trials. The church where the hysteria began was the Church of Salem Village, which had split off from the First Church in Salem in 1678. Salem Village was located four miles inland in what is now the town of Danvers and the Salem Village parish is now the First Congregational Church of Danvers.

    As we like to tell people, while the witch hysteria began in Danvers, it was finished here in Salem. Two of our full members were excommunicated and executed in the ensuing events of that year, Giles Corey and Rebecca Nurse. In addition, many members of our church participated in and supported the witch-hunt that quickly consumed the entire area. Many of these people later recanted and publicly apologized.

    There were no real witches executed in 1692. There were only innocent women and men falsely accused in a mass hysteria that underneath had as much to do with personal vendettas, grudges and greedy land grabs. The real evil that existed in Salem did not reside in the 136 people who were imprisoned and the 20 more who were executed. Rather it lay in the religious fervor of the accusers and judges who believed that what they were doing was righteous and holy.

    In addition, it should be pointed out that the Salem Witch Hysteria was part of a larger phenomenon that had wracked Europe from 1450 through 1700. While the hysteria of Salem has become the most infamous, it should be pointed out that witch hysterias broke out all over Europe during this period of time, with the largest number occurring in Scotland. Indeed, the most popular book in Europe – other than the Bible – during this period was a volume titled Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches), first published by two Dominican monks (and Inquisitors) in 1486. This work, characterized by a distinct anti-feminine tenor, vividly describes the satanic and sexual abominations of witches. The book was translated into many languages and went through many editions in both Catholic and Protestant countries, outselling all other books except the Bible. Thus, to understand the larger context for witch hunts involves being aware of the extreme anxiety and tensions that existed across Europe and later the English Colonies and to heed the human impulse to scapegoat the other during times of social turmoil and conflict…

    What is your opinion about other forms of christianity?

    The First Church in Salem has a long history of welcoming many differing religious communities to Salem. We have long tried to encourage religious tolerance and interfaith understanding.

    We assert that there are alternative Christian perspectives that do not carry the baggage of exclusivism, prejudice, and rigid dogma that many people in this country who don’t go to church have come to associate with the Christian religion.

    For ourselves, we do not believe that everyone has to have had a born-again experience in order to be a Christian. We believe that the way we treat one another and other people is more important than the way we express our beliefs and encounter God.

    We believe there is ample evidence in the Bible that true religion is manifested in our behavior and in our lives – and not exclusively in subjective reports of personal transformation.

    Those experiences are all well and good and we affirm that they are many times real. However, Jesus said that you will know those who serve him by the fruit of their actions – not the theological rigor and emotion of their professions.

  68. G.Mason,
    This article is about a poll of some sort, involving 1000 people. 34% seemed to think a national religion would be OK. Could be true.
    What does this have to do with the second amendment, drones, Obama, Sandy Hook, pro choice, on and on?
    In case you haven’t been reading: nothing.

    Please leave your “liberal” (relative to Attila the Hun?) rants on your second amendment fantasies, for threads concerned with gun control. There are many opportunities.
    To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
    To a second amendment freak, everything looks like a firearms issue.

  69. Gene, I could not agree more. on your last sentence- “because we have another people problem – the cops are going to harass you because a great many of them are ignorant of the laws they are supposed to enforcing.”

    It is insane how little our police officers know about law in this country. Truly disturbing.

  70. Ah Bob the foaming at the mouth anti-gun fascist. If you were younger you would surely be a member of the Obama Youth I am quite sure. HEIL OBAMA.

    As for guns, I was merely pointing out that many people will not defend the 2nd Amendment because most of the Religious zealots do so.From there is took a life of its own. I am merely responding to the anti gun people chiming in. Which of course I notice you did not admonish, typical of your ilk.

  71. G.Mason: Gene the problem isnt guns, its the people. The criminals in particular.

    No, the problem is the guns. A kid playing with a knife seldom blows his head off, or kills himself at all, or his playmate. The issue with guns, versus other weaponry, is that guns unleash more lethal force with less effort than almost any other form of weaponry.

    I speak as a person that owns guns, including handguns, for self-defense, and I was trained by the military in gun safety and operation.

    It is true you can kill somebody with a knife, or wire, or ice-pick, or pillow, or by strangling them with your hands, but it requires greater intent to kill than using a gun. You do not accidentally drop a knife and kill somebody across the room, you do not get surprised by your child climbing in a bedroom window and kill them. It is just easier to kill with a gun, and therefore easier to unintentionally kill with a gun, and easier to impulsively kill with a gun. You are not going to be accidentally killed by a five year old playing with your hunting knife.

    In fact, that is the whole point of owning a gun, instead of just owning a good hunting knife: Ease of use.

    America does have a gun problem. I believe people should be allowed to own guns for self-defense, I believe they should be allowed to carry, but you do your argument damage with your implied pretense that guns are no different than any other weapons. They are very different, and the differences are precisely why we own them.

  72. Tony,

    Fallacies of incomplete comparison, false equivalence and appeal to emotion. You are comparing a misuse of the tool by a minor to every other legal use. If the kid cut off his hand with a circular saw and bled to death, would you say we have a circular saw problem? No. Tools don’t have intent Tony even when they are designed to kill. Users have intent (or negligence). Bad tool users get bad results.

  73. I have to agree that we have both a gun problem and a problem with some of the people owning guns and some of the guns people own. The Heller decision discusses reasonable restrictions and as Gene noted, not allowing everyone to own rocket launchers and 50 caliber machine guns and Squad assault weapons has not harmed the 2nd amendment. Neither will reasonable restrictions like the background check for any and all purchases or transfers of guns.

  74. Gene: I think you are wrong, and it is not a fallacy to say a gun is easier to kill with than a knife, or by strangling. You can claim all the “fallacy” you want, but you are ignoring the valid points. I am not appealing to emotion, I am stating a fact: A child can kill with a gun (themselves or others) far more easily than they can kill with a circular saw, hunting knife, or thrown spear. I use a child not to appeal to emotion but to illustrate the differential in the ease of use: A five year old is pretty strong if he can pull the trigger on my circular saw; that is not true for many guns. If you dropped my circular saw, or any of the forty odd tools in my workshop, none of them will fire and kill somebody in the next room. You might break a foot or toe, that’s about it.

    Tools do not have intent, but we outlaw rocket launchers, high explosives and other weapons precisely because they are more dangerous than other weapons; handguns are also more dangerous than other weapons and make it easier to kill other people.

    I am not comparing a misuse of the tool by a minor to every other legal use, either. Being a minor is one aspect; it is also true that spousal homicide is higher in households with guns than in households without them, I do not think that is because people without guns get less angry, I think it is because it is easier to kill out of anger when a gun is handy than when one is not.

    The point, which you seem to miss in your rush to judgment, is that guns are easier to kill with (and that is why we own them). And yes, if ten thousand people every year were being killed by circular saws, I definitely would say we have a circular saw problem.

  75. Gene: And btw, you engage in the fallacy of the single cause; namely in saying it is people, not guns, that are the problem, or tool users, not the tools they have to work with. If, hypothetically, guns were just as difficult to kill with and took just as much intent to kill with and had to be just as close up as killing with a knife, we would have more knife murders than gun murders: After all, knives are easier to get and cheaper than guns. Gun murders exceed knife murders because that isn’t true, the majority of gun murders are due precisely to the ease of killing with a gun.

  76. Gene H.,
    Actually, if thousands of minors bled to death from cutting off their hands with circular saws, there’d be all sorts of safety laws proposed. The manufacturers would be sued. Circular saws are regulated, and they’d be withdrawn from the market, if there were safety issues. You can’t sue gun manufacturers for the damage they cause. The CDC can’t even compile gun injury statistics. Thank the NRA for that.

    Firearms are not innocent tools. They are designed by gun manufacturers to appeal to violent, mostly male, fantasies. The second amendment wasn’t much of a problem, decades ago, when gun-owners were relatively rational.
    The amendment has been abused by a paranoid, gun-worshiping, minority, egged on by the NRA. Time for an adjustment, in law and attitude.

    I mean, as long as you are intent on turning this into a discussion of murder weapons. I feel very macho, now. Was it good for you?

  77. According to the CDC 10,228 DUI related homicides happened in the United States in 2010. According to the FBI there were 8,306 murders involving firearms in the same year.

    Both causes of death involved the felonious misuse of an object that caused the death of an idividual. If guns are to be banned, should motor vehicles be banned as well? After all, motor vehicles were involved in more homicidal deaths than firearms were.

  78. Bob Kauten,

    In your statement, “The amendment has been abused by a paranoid, gun-worshiping, minority, egged on by the NRA.” you left out one very important entity, although you mention it in the body of the post … so I would edited you words with this small addition: “The amendment has been abused by a paranoid, gun-worshiping, minority, egged on by the NRA acting on behalf of the corporate America gun manufacturers.”

    In 1968, as a reaction to JFK’s assassination but before the assassinations of MLK Jr and RFK, the Gun Control Act of 1968 was introduced. It was stalled in both the House and the Senate until wording was included that effectively added a “sporting purpose” test which barred imports of military surplus rifles (a goal of many domestic gun makers) and a “points system” for imported handguns which barred from importation handguns based on penalizing features (short barrels, small caliber, short overall length or height, non-adjustable sights, etc.) believed to define the Saturday night special class of handgun.

    The dirty little fingers of corporate America’s gun manufactures were all over that Act … if you’re gonna assassinate an American politician, we’ll supply the gun, thank you very much. No imports, buy American!

  79. Darren: If statistics is your game; there are 190 million drivers in the USA, and one fourth as many gun owners.

    But your comparison is deeply misleading in another way: A DUI “homicide” is almost never an intentional homicide, a gun homicide is almost always an intentional homicide.

    Besides, the point isn’t to ban guns, the point is to regulate them. Cars are registered, you have to pass an actual test (that some people fail) to use one, you have to prove you know how to operate one safely and according to the law. You can be prohibited from driving if you do not. If you own a car and drive it, the government knows it, and you have to display your license prominently; you cannot conceal it.

    Further, I would be in favor of a lock on the car that prevented drunks from driving at all. A right to drive is not a right to drive on the sidewalk or to drive at a hundred miles per hour. A right to own guns does not imply a right to be an idiot with guns.

  80. Not to mention that cars are not marketed as “get your accurate killing machine” here. I wonder how many consumers, when contemplating which vehicle to purchase, are concerned with how effective it would be in thwarting a home invasion or defending against an invading Canadian, or taking down a 10 point buck.

  81. Bob/Tony,

    You fellas can engage in all the faulty logic you wish. I’m just pointing it out. Until a gun can kill of its own accord, the fault still lies with the human pulling the trigger.

    As for the inherent safety aspect? A large part of that is human behavior as well although elsewhere on this blog I have proposed that the gun industry be required to make an inherently safer product.

    Also, and this is for you Tony, something like 87% of all handgun crimes? Are suicides, not fatal marital disputes or even robberies. Doesn’t the fact that most handgun crimes occurs in poor neighborhoods too tell you something about the nature of the problem being societal ergo people related? Or are acts carried out by the manifestly insane? Yeah, we have a gun problem in this country. A gun problem created by people – like a vast number of other social problems we face. That’s not simple cause. That’s proper causation.

    You mistake my support of the 2nd being based in some kind of abject love of the gun culture – or even stupider – a sense of “macho”. I have very good martial arts training. I understand better than many the consequences of violence. That is why I always prefer the non-violent solution although I do realize that sometimes the violent solution is the only option left and it should only be considered when it is indeed the last and only option left no matter if that violence takes the form of trigger or a joint lock or mobilizing an army. My support of the 2nd is based in sound Constitutional principle set in the intent of the Founders to bolster and protect the right of self-defense (including against a government run amok). I’m all for reasonable restrictions as I said above, but the bottom line is that prohibitions will not only not fix the problem, they are likely to make some aspects of the gun trade worse when they are simply not going to be futile considering the ease of building guns. I think the extremists at both ends of the spectrum – full ban to open season – not only miss the legal points but the reality of the situation as well. One wants to put the toothpaste back in the tube and the other wants to rub it all over their faces like war paint. Neither extremes are exercising proper logic or a clear grasp of the facts.

    And all of this relates to the Constitution and the ignorance of the would be theocrats in re the 1st Amendment and the Constitution as a whole. The Constitution is the tool we use to anchor our definitions of law and ergo society. Bad tool users get bad results no matter what part of the Constitution they are trying to misapply (incidentally or deliberately).

    An ounce of protection beats a pound of cure and the ounce of protection that would go farthest in both the “state religion” and the gun control debates (as well as other rights relevant issues) is a healthy dose of civics classes in junior high and high school.

  82. G. Mason:

    “I also want to add that I do believe we will see a Revolution in this country in the not too distant future. if you do not see it you are not paying attention.”

    **************************

    Oh, I do love a good ol’ Prophet of Doom story. But here’s the better analysis”:

    What they discovered, and described in their classic book, “When Prophecy Fails,” is that the failure of a prophecy does not cause true believers – people who have committed themselves to a belief – to reconsider. On the contrary, they become even more fervent, and proselytize even harder.

    This insight seems highly relevant as 2012 draws to a close. After all, a lot of people came to believe that we were on the brink of catastrophe – and these views were given extraordinary reach by the mass media. As it turned out, of course, the predicted catastrophe failed to materialize. But we can be sure that the cultists won’t admit to having been wrong. No, the people who told us that a fiscal crisis was imminent will just keep at it, more convinced than ever.”

    http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Let-s-stop-listening-to-the-prophets-of-doom-4144018.php

  83. Gene H:

    Right you are. A gun is a tool and unless it’s wielded by a tool it’s safe and reliable. Everyone agrees to some gun restrictions like no bazookas or only heavily regulated folks owning automatic weapons, or even no guns in courthouses. We’re just deciding where to draw the lines on the issue. It’s not really a fight of good versus evil.

  84. G.Mason,

    “On the left we have the anti-gun fascists who wish to remove the 2nd amendment and leave us defenseless against Government tyranny. ”

    It’s worth pointing out that fascist regimes have a history of coming to power in part by using violence and intimidation carried out by paramilitary groups made up of civilians. Like you know, the Italian facists with the Black Shirts, the Nazis with the Brown Shirt, the Iron Guard of Romania, etc.

    Even setting aside that history, one of the defining characteristics of fascism is it’s aggressive militarism. Fascist like guns, they like violence, they like war. Anti-gun fascist is just an absurd contradiction.

    Fascism isn’t just “any political movement I don’t like.” So please, stop using it like that. It’s lazy thinking, ineffective rhetoric, and shuts down conversation.

    Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

  85. The Catholic Church has a HUGE advocate on the Supreme Court. It’s that old Sicilian Scalia who makes his judgments from the pulpit, not the Constitution as his job description dictates the latter. But hell, he has never let the Constitution get in the way of his personal Papal religion.

  86. Gene: You mistake my support of the 2nd being based in some kind of abject love of the gun culture – or even stupider – a sense of “macho”.

    No I don’t. As I said, I support the 2nd too (and own guns). I just do not believe it conveys an absolute, zero regulation, zero restriction right to any weaponry a citizen desires (and I do not believe you think that either).

    As for your “not a simple cause,” the point is you claim people are the ONLY problem. They are not. The ease of use and ability to accidentally or impulsively use the gun is a problem too, and that is a problem with the product, not the consumer.

    I can trace every problem everywhere to “a problem with the people,” the financial meltdown is a “problem with the people, not the tools (credit default swaps), alcoholism is a problem with the people, not the tools (alcohol), drug addiction is a problem with the people, not the product, date rape is a problem with the people, not the drugs used to accomplish it, I can tie climate change to a problem with the people, not their tools.

    Claiming it is a “problem with the people” is such an over-generalization that it renders itself meaningless; I can go one ridiculous step further and say it is a problem with oxygen; because if it weren’t for oxygen we wouldn’t have these problems.

    We cannot change the emotional, impulsive, self-destructive nature of people with a law. The problem is with the product, and a product and how it is used (and what it can do) is something we can regulate, because manufacturers are at heart coldly rational profit seekers that will certainly try to thwart or dilute laws, but won’t break laws that pass if there are criminal consequences.

  87. Although I disagree with Gene’s interpretation of the 2nd or, perhaps more accurately, he disagrees with mine … I can not agree with anyone who characterizes his opinion on the 2nd as macho. That is simply not true.

    There are many on this blog who would fit into that macho characterization but Gene is not one of them.

  88. However as Michael Moore put it, Obama gets a pass because of his assumed liberal sheen. That is, Democrats are utterly blind when it comes to him as he continues on with his horrible presidency.

    You have not read a lot of this blog and the comments or you would realize you are wrong on this as well. You don’t seen have to read this blog or the news. Just listen to the stories on how dems and progressives are and have spoken out about the things we believe Mr, Obama has/is done wrong.

    I am a true dem but Michael Moore does not speak for me, or for many of us.

  89. To the person blabbering at 426 pm, does your family know what you do? If not, I would suggest a mental health evaluation. That is the craziest thing I have ever seen anyone post.

  90. The gun rights groups, or whatever they are called, view registration and regulation as a pretext to further erode ownership rights. The concern also is a death by a thousand cuts to ownership rights, an example would be banning the assault rifle today, then the autoloading shotgun, then the pump action shotgun and eventually large bored shotguns all together. This is one of the reasons why they are against new regulations or restrictions, essentially it is they distrust federal and some state elected officials’ intentions. In a nutshell that is where they are coming from.

    Politicians and pundits that make statements such as “Reasonable Gun Control” are viewed with at best skeptacism by the gun rights groups, because in addition to the above paragraph, they look at such statements as double-speak or being euphamistic. So this causes the problem.

    Because both sides of the issue totally do not trust each other just bringing up the issues causes the other to react as if their interests are being threatened. The gun rights groups have more political concerns than just firearms. They tend to believe that removal of firearms is a sign of the onset of a repressive government that will take away other rights that are more easily destroyed. They tend also to associate gun confiscation with tyrrany. It is a very strong litmus test with these folks. Culturally, they view firearm restrictions as a sign of the deterioration of their American Culture and a challenge to their way of life. That can be a powerful motivator of people in general.

    It really is more of an issue than just the firearms itself, just as much the troubles in Northern Ireland is not just about Catholic vs Protestant. You may not agree with their position, but it might be helpful to understand how they feel about the issue.

  91. If you insist, Crazy it is. Do you ever write coherently? I see a lot of blabbering, but really, yours is basically insane and delusional at times.

  92. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a straight up insulting troll. It’s a classic for a reason.

    In honor of the occasion, allow me to present Mose Allison

  93. Tony,

    A tool without a user is inert, especially machines. Then again, I was raised to believe people were responsible for their actions. Besides, I’ve already stipulated that the gun manufacturers should make an inherently safer product. None of which changes the fact that triggers don’t pull themselves. And keep your straw men to yourself. I never ascribed sole cause (only). I ascribed prime cause. Two different things. You can make the safest gun in the world and someone will still choose to kill someone with it at some point. It’s our nature. If we lived in a world full of enlightened Buddha and Bodhisattva, there would be no need for weapons of any sort, but we don’t. So until human nature evolves to the point that we as a species collectively realize the true nature of violence and refrains from it, the problem will always be people when the lines of causation are traced. The prime cause of all violence is people. If you want to get worked up over easy? I don’t think you appreciate how easy fatal violence is to commit without any weapon at all. As long as people have necks they will be easy to kill. That’s just basic physiology. But it takes the will to kill or harm before any action, tool enhanced or not.

    Tools don’t have will.

    Have you ever read any of “The Dark Tower” by Stephen King, Tony? The prime lesson of the Gunslinger’s as relayed by the character Roland Deschain sums up the nature of violence:

    “‘Say your lesson.’

    ‘I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.

    I aim with my eyes.

    I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.

    I shoot with my mind.

    I do not kill with my hand; he who kills with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.

    I kill with my heart.”

    And so it goes.

  94. I mostly got into this teapot tempest because I take issue with the old chestnut “guns are just inanimate objects.” That wasn’t meaningful the first time it was spewed out, and it’s not meaningful, now. “It is what it is.” So? It’s a diversion.

    Almost everything is an inanimate object. As a nominal “civilization,” we have the right and responsibility to ensure our safety and that of others. That’s all anyone is trying to do here. You keep people and certain inanimate objects separated. Not all inanimate objects were manufactured equal. Keep all the rocks you want.
    If you have a gun of some sort, I don’t care. Unless it’s a danger to other people. It’s certainly a danger to you, if you don’t keep it locked up, and unloaded.
    If you have an “assault rifle,” with a large ammunition capacity, I’d be curious about why you think you need one. Are you paranoid? Mentally ill? Feel the need to kill a large number of people? Sure looks that way. Need to assassinate law-enforcement officials, like in CO and TX?

    If you like wielding assault rifles and other weapons of war, I invite you to take advantage of your 2nd amendment Constitutional right to join the National Guard. No, you don’t take the weapons home with you, that would be stupid.
    And no, don’t bother diverting the conversation into “what’s an assault rifle?” I know what they are, and so does anyone reading this.

    If we were talking to the NRA of, say, 30 years ago, it would be unnecessary to have this conversation. Now the NRA is owned by gun manufacturers. Selling guns to criminals, Mexican cartels, and nutcases (at gun shows, for example) is just as lucrative as selling them to non-criminals. Background checks are just another slide down the slippery slope of Federal tyranny (oh, yeah, the Federal tyranny that the people of your country elected. Look up “tyranny,” some time). If you don’t like the laws, put your fetish inanimate objects of mass murder away, and vote.

  95. You mostly get into the teapot tempest because you like to frame things in an emotional way because it has appeal to the non-rational, Bob.

    I understand the value of loaded language as well as I understand the value of loaded weapons so don’t try to sugarcoat the technique.

    It’s people like that on both extremes of the argument that cause me to be very careful to not use loaded language or other propaganda techniques when discussing the topic. Reason works just fine as does a knowledge of the law.

    Speaking of which, the whole “It’s for a well regulated militia” argument is a load of crap. The 2nd reads, “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 militia is a reason for the right, not a conditional clause. The right as stated is clear: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Being in the National Guard hasn’t got squat to do with it. As it sits, the 2nd is already limited by reasonable exceptions just like other fundamental rights found in the Bill of Rights.

    Outlawing assault rifles? Will only make for a black market in them worse than already exists. Unlike things like rocket launchers, they are too easy to build and made from common materials. Outlaw them tomorrow and someone will be selling them out of their machine shop/garage before nightfall. It’s your right to express your opinion on the matter, just so, I have the right to point out its a futile if not exacerbating strategy to accomplish an end: a reduction of gun violence. Speaking of which – how’s that whole prohibition on drugs thing working out? But I digress. It’s already illegal in most states for felons to own fire arms. Does it stop them or recidivist gun crime? Nope. Violent criminals tend to be violent criminals. They’re largely sociopaths and psychopaths. It’s their nature. None of which changes the fact that long guns – including assault rifles – are used in a very small minority of all gun violence crimes. 4%. That’s a fact and it’s devoid of emotion. Statistically, long guns are a non-issue in looking at gun crime objectively.

    Gun shows? You should only be able to buy firearms from licensed dealers, preferably ones required to keep inventory and sales records. Gun shows are traveling sales shows for illegal and semi-legal gun runners. I used to know an illegal arms dealer that made a big chunk of his money through gun shows. Outlawing gun shows? That’s a reasonable restriction.

    Mandated and monitored destruction of guns taken as evidence? You bet. Good idea.

    You also have a point about the past versus the present NRA though. It’s a gun manufacturer’s lobby group now without a question. I also know a lot of gun owners who absolutely hate the NRA because of it. And they are at the pinnacle of the 2nd absolutists.

    Stick to workable (as in practical) solutions.
    Avoid loaded language and emotionalism.
    It’ll get you a lot further in convincing people to adopt reasonable mitigations that have a real chance of working than blatantly pushing or trying to push their buttons so they’ll opt for a less reasonable solution with no chance of working.

  96. Much of my problem with the gun control issue is the lack of knowledge of those proposing laws. It is not unlike the story I wrote yesterday, regarding news media not having a clue as to what they were writing about. A few days ago, a woman member of congress was asked what some gun part was. She replied that she did not know, but was going to vote against it anyway. This is not an isolated problem. Lawmakers are given their talking points by lobbyists and big money donors. Not just about guns, it is a much larger problem than that.

    They forget the Law of Unintended Consequences. Take for example 15-year-old Sarah Merkle, a member of the Maryland Rifle Club and Maryland State Rifle Club. She is is a talented competitive shooter, and has been offered scholarships. I looked up her history, and would not be surprised to see her as part of the American Olympic shooting team one day. Sarah has a problem. Under the proposed legislation, if she takes her competition rifles out of the state of Maryland, she cannot bring it home with her. A YouTube video of her testimony before the legislature has gone viral in the past two days.

  97. I am not a fan of the NRA as it is presently constituted. I had a lifetime membership back in the 1970s, but cancelled it when the the wingers took it over from sportsmen and hunters in 1977. That was the year of “The Cincinnati Revolution,” and Harlan Carter was elected Executive Director of the NRA.

    Having said that, and after wading through all the propaganda, there are a few voices that still make sense. One of them is Colion Noir, who was speaking out in this fashion long before the NRA asked him to be a commentator.

  98. OS,

    Thank you for your valuable input….. Training is the valuable key…. Not restricting…. Moderate regulation….is essential….

  99. raff,
    That observation cuts across many lines and situations. If you can find a way to implement it, you will never have to work again.

    There was this local guy arrested on 13th DUI, revoked license, and numerous other charges. When they wreck their car or have it confiscated, they go find an old $500 beater and are back on the road as soon as they get out of jail. The car wrecks here in the mountains look like plane crashes. Just recently, a woman was apparently angry with her husband. After an argument, she took off down the road at over 100 miles an hour, lost control, crossed the median and hit a couple in a van head on. Her two kids, 2 and 7 years old, were killed. She died five days later. It happened almost directly in front of my house. I have not looked at the statistics, but just from reading the news, we seem to have more motor vehicle fatalities around here than firearm deaths.

  100. Raff,

    Sir, I will not disagree with your position….. Like anything else it can and will be misused if it can….. None of the most recent shooting were lacking in ability to purchase or obtain the same….

  101. OS and AY,
    If you don’t try to prevent these mass murders, we are lost as a nation. This country has an illness with guns and we need a cure.

  102. raff,

    Ask yourself who is responsible for mass murders committed for non-political reasons?

    Crazy people.

    That loon in Newtown could have killed just as many if not more people with some gasoline, a lighter and one of the hundreds of ways he could have secured the doors to the building available at any hardware store. Burned? Shot? Dead is dead. He was determined to kill and he’d have found another way if he hadn’t had the guns.

    You can’t legislate away the danger of crazy people.

    Can we make it harder for crazies to get guns? Sure we can. But we’ll never stop spree killers or serial killers or any other kind of deranged violent person bent on killing others. Lucky for us, they are a distinct minority in our species. Even if we had a system of universal high quality mental health care in this country and it was blind indexed to gun purchases? We’d still miss some of them as treatment is generally voluntary. Also, the nature of some psychotic behavior is the people aren’t a danger . . . until they are set off by some triggering event.

    We cannot build all our laws around what crazy people might do.

  103. Gene,
    You can legislate that mentally ill people can’t own guns. You can regulate what tyes of guns and/or ammo can be owned to prevent large disasters. Doing nothing is not the answer.

  104. raff,
    Over my career I have seen every conceivable way for people to kill each other and some that aren’t conceivable by any rational being. As Gene said, you cannot legislate craziness. A friend of mine just died recently. He was a biochemist who used to work for the Army. He knew more ways to kill people than you can imagine, using only stuff you might have under your kitchen sink, in the garage or garden shed, plus a few herbs and spices he might gather on a short walk in the woods.

    Did you know that black powder is an explosive, while modern smokeless powder is considered a propellant? Explosives and propellants are similar, but different in critical ways. Almost anyone can make black powder. It only has thee ingredients, sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal. Saltpeter is potassium nitrate (KNO3, a common and inexpensive fertilizer. Charcoal made from Willow works best.

    Bombs and chemicals are much more efficient than guns. Look at the IEDs and suicide vests being used against our troops. As Gene pointed out, any of the mass murderers in the past few years would have done a lot more damage with a couple of milk cartons full of gasoline than they did with guns. The “Happy Land” arson killed 87 people.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/jealous-ex-boyfriend-fury-killed-87-happy-land-fire-20-years-article-1.173625

    You cannot legislate either mental illness or criminals. There are those for whom laws are irrelevant.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/jealous-ex-boyfriend-fury-killed-87-happy-land-fire-20-years-article-1.173625

  105. OS,
    You can legislate that people who are not stable from having guns. You can legislate to make it harder for criminals to get guns. A simple and common sense background checks on all gun sales and transfers would help prevent illegal guns from getting in the wrong hands. Most gun owners favor background checks, but the minority says no it won’t help. It will never help if it is never implemented. This country is a disgrace to the world when it comes to gun violence and much of it can be avoided without harming the second amendment. Here is a great Mother Jones article that dismisses 10 pro gun myths and details just how lax gun laws increase gun violence. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check
    See you in the morning!

  106. raff,

    I think you miss the point. I’m not against background checks. The point was the best practical solutions we have that don’t step all over the 2nd are simply mitigation, not remedy, to the kind of thing that happened at Sandy Hook. If some crazy person is determined to kill a bunch of people, there’s really not much we can do about it in the preventative sense.

    On the MJ chart for gun deaths, did you notice as the numbers go up that most of those states have severe poverty problems too?

    #5 is blatantly skewed in presentation.

    “Owning a gun has been linked to higher risks of homicide, suicide, and accidental death by gun.
    • For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.” – This is statistically meaningless as the murder number has no context and it is in line with the total number of murders in the BJS data – not just those in the home. Suicide and accidents? Changing gun laws isn’t going to change those. Better mental health care might though. And as the saying goes, accidents will happen. The last two point in the section?

    “• 43% of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked firearm.”

    Human behavior. Even making gun locks and/or gun safes mandatory wouldn’t stop that. They’re only effective if used.

    “• In one experiment, one third of 8-to-12-year-old boys who found a handgun pulled the trigger.”

    I bet I can design one experiment to give any result I want not to mention that one is not a valid sample space to determine what is typical. This is meaningless from an objective data validity standpoint.

    The rest of the story is just as biased. The numbers are cherry picked from a zany array of sources, some probably valid and some probably not, and what data that is presumably valid – the chart attributed to CRS data for example (which I’m sure is accurate knowing what Vince has told us about CRS methodology) – is skewed as it shows only a representation of handguns and assault rifles owned by the military and we both know they’re armed with a helluva lot more than that if you count mounted guns alone let alone other ordinance.

    I usually enjoy MJ, they often have some really good reporting. This story isn’t it though. Their numbers and their presentation are just as skewed as the NRAs they complain about. The raw BJS numbers give a far better picture that is far less clouded by either end of the argument’s polar agendas. Yeah, interpretation is one thing, but on some issues seeing raw data is simply a truer picture. It requires a bit more work to understand it, but it has the benefit of not being filtered through someone else and whatever bias they bring to the data. I don’t ask for much, the truth would do just fine. I can make up my own mind from there.

    Do we need to take steps to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the insane? Yes. But we need to do so based on both reason and real numbers, not propaganda from either end of the spectrum or purposefully skewed data from otherwise reliable sources that tries to exaggerate or underestimate the problem based on a particular group’s agenda. And speaking as a self-declared small L liberal, it’s not exactly a secret that MJ has as much a big L Liberal bias and the WSJ has a big C Conservative bias. I’m not slamming them for it either, it often leads them to stories otherwise ignored in the mostly money (and therefore conservative) dominated media, but I am recognizing it for what it is. Which in this case is spun.

    What I’d like to see is new updated BJS numbers. Just data. No interpretation. No agenda. No commentary except exposition on methodology.

    That would be the way to start the debate properly – a common, mutually acceptable unified data set so all sides are working from an accurate a picture as possible with no spin at all from either side.

  107. People like Bob Kauten are how people like Hitler and Stalin came to power.

    I am not speaking of ‘commie etc etc’ either. I am speaking of mindless well intentioned sheep who blindly follow and obey the pied piper. Well the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

    What I do not understand is, if they are so unhappy here with all of the guns, why do they not simply leave, move to another country where there are stricter gun control laws. Mexico comes to mind.

  108. Study: States with more gun laws have less gun violence
    Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAY1
    March 7, 2013
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/07/gun-violence-study-chicago/1969227/

    New study by Boston Children’s Hospital finds that tougher laws on guns can have an effect on homicide and suicide rates

    Excerpt:
    States with more gun laws have fewer gun-related deaths, according to a new study released Wednesday by Boston Children’s Hospital.

    The leader investigator behind the research hopes the findings will drive legislators to pass gun reform across the country and increase federal funding to research on gun laws and violence. However, at least one critic argues that the study fails to take into account several important factors such as the types of laws, enforcement of laws, and gun ownership rates in states.

    “Our research gives clear evidence that laws have a role in preventing firearms deaths,” said Eric Fleegler, the study’s lead investigator and a pediatric emergency doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Legislators should take that into consideration.”

    Fleegler and researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health studied information from all 50 states between 2007 to 2010, analyzing all firearm-related deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and data on firearm laws compiled by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

    States with the most laws had a mortality rate 42% lower than those states with the fewest laws, they found. The strong law states’ firearm-related homicide rate was also 40% lower and their firearm-related suicide rate was 37% lower.

    Specifically, Fleeger pointed to states with many gun laws like Massachusetts, which had 3.4 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, and New Jersey, which had 4.9 gun-deaths per 100,000 people. Conversely, he focused on states with less laws like Louisiana, which had 18 deaths per 100,000 individuals and Alaska, which had 17.5 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

    The study also found that laws requiring universal background checks and permits to purchase firearms were most clearly associated with decreasing rates of gun-related homicides and suicides.

  109. To be frank, I could give a damn less about what states have more gun violence etc etc.
    Typically the stats can be skewed one way or another anyways.

    Fact is, its my 2nd Amendment right and you are not touching it. Gun grabbers are picking a fight that will end up costing them dearly in the end.

  110. Raff sez:
    “You can legislate that people who are not stable from having guns”
    *******************************************.

    This is a slippery slope. A veteran who is having trouble getting her conceal carry permit renewed because she takes anxiety medications (Xanax) to help her sleep, sent me this item:

    “John Doe, an upstanding professional with no outstanding criminal convictions and no history of violent action received a letter from the Pistol Permit Department informing him that his license was immediately revoked upon information that he was seeing a therapist for anxiety and had been prescribed an anxiety drug. He was never suicidal, never violent, and has no criminal history. The New York State Department of Health is apparently conducting a search of medical records to determine who is being treated for anxiety drugs and using this as a basis for handgun license revocation.

    What is stable? A substantial number of police officers I know take some sort of psychiatric medication. The most common is Xanax, but Ambien for sleep is also common. I would much rather see someone take a low dose of an anxiolytic to help unwind after work than several stiff drinks.

    Predicting dangerousness is a tricky business. People pay me to evaluate dangerousness, and it is not as simple as asking if they have had counseling or take a psychiatric medication. Mike Spindell may wish to weigh in here, but I have discovered the average psychologist, psychiatrist or clinical social worker has no idea how to sort out whether a person is a genuine danger or not.

    As I said above, way too much of the time such legislation is a matter of throwing out the baby with the bathwater as Sarah Merkle pointed out in her testimony. In case you did not watch it, I suggest you take a look at the video by Colion Noir, above. He has some fact and numbers, but more important, he puts the data into context. Nearly four hundred black youngsters dead in Chicago alone, and no one notices. A couple of dozen white kids dead and all of a sudden it is a national emergency. I am not minimizing the tragedy. I have lost a son and grandson to death, so I know the pain of losing a child. I would just like people to step back, take a deep breath and try to figure out what might actually work.

  111. Raff,

    I respect your views…. Do I think guns should be as available as can soda…. No…. Do I think that something more can be done to assure that every reasonable measure is being utilized, but for total banning…. Yes…. Where do you stop……

    I read something that Obama stated this proposed legislation is not about me….. If we could get more info rather than a sketchy sketch…. It might get more support…. But come on… The man says one thing and does another….. I do not trust a word he has to say….

  112. OS,

    I’ll add to the list…. You can’t legislate crazy, criminals or politicians for whom the laws are irrelevant….

  113. “The nation might be in a better position to act if medical and public health researchers had continued to study these issues as diligently as some of us did between 1985 and 1997. But in 1996, pro-gun members of Congress mounted an all-out effort to eliminate the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although they failed to defund the center, the House of Representatives removed $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget—precisely the amount the agency had spent on firearm injury research the previous year. Funding was restored in joint conference committee, but the money was earmarked for traumatic brain injury. The effect was sharply reduced support for firearm injury research.

    To ensure that the CDC and its grantees got the message, the following language was added to the final appropriation: “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

    “…. When other agencies funded high-quality research, similar action was taken. In 2009, Branas et al published the results of a case-control study that examined whether carrying a gun increases or decreases the risk of firearm assault. In contrast to earlier research, this particular study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Two years later, Congress extended the restrictive language it had previously applied to the CDC to all Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the National Institutes of Health.”

    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1487470

    JAMA is the Journal of the American Medical Association

    It appears that Congress has over the 17 years made sure that gun studies weren’t done which explains the dearth of available statistics. Wonder who lobbied them to do that.

  114. Elaine,
    I tried to look up the article referenced in your comment above. You link to a news page, but the study was done by Eric Fleegler, and will not be published until May in JAMA. The study is already coming under criticism by other academics as being flawed. They must have pre-publicaiton copies.

    Just from reading the news article and the critiques that are already coming out, it appears the research design is flawed. I just read a critique of Fleegler’s research methodology from the University of California. I won’t know for sure until I see the original journal article. Frankly, I don’t see how they can control for all the variables without a monumental effort. There is a good reason that my favorite statistical method for studies like this is the multiple regression technique. Too many researchers fall into the cum hoc ergo propter hoc trap of conflating correlation with causation.

  115. Blouise, I see that McConnell is coming to the gun lobby’s rescue with his filibuster. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and many other southern republicans have signed on.

  116. Blouise just put her finger on a very large part of the problem. This is one reason all the research to date is flawed. There is no reason whatsoever to restrict government research unless it has to do with national security, and even then, the classification process for that should be damn difficult.

    The CDC and NIH should be free to publish any and all studies they do without political interference. There is no way to enact meaningful legislation without good data.

    Of course, this is a big problem. The senator or representative who wants a big road project in their district doesn’t want to know the only traffic on it will be a dozen pickup trucks and two farm tractors a day.

  117. Other day on a youtube video I watched a gun grabber get worked up into a frenzy arguing with someone and then posted that “members of the NRA should be lined up against a wall and shot”. I do not jest.

    People like that are why the 2nd Amendment will always exist.

    The interesting thing to note is, that most gun grabbers are cowards who are unwilling to pick up a gun themselves and go to war. Yet they hide behind others in uniform that they think they can control. Rather telling.

    Also I must admit that I too was once a gun grabber.
    I do not believe in dishonesty and feel that should be disclosed. I now realize how foolish and Pollyanna that stance is. It is also why I understand exactly how the leftists gun grabbing mindset is.

    When a leftist(usually not always) tells someone that they only want stricter gun laws and they do not want to take away rights, they are almost always lying straight through their teeth.

    They have every intention of getting rid of the 2nd. They are dishonest about it. Liars. I guess it goes with their hypocrisy as well. I have more respect for those who outright admit they want ALL guns gone. At least they are being upfront and not lying as they aim for the slippery slope attack.

    I wonder how many older people here feared the Nixon Administration. Yet you want to trust the government? OH wait I get it, you think that the voting tide has turned and now that you have ‘control’ THAT TOGETHER WE CAN TAKE OVER THE WORLD. Tsk tsk.

    Fascism of any party is bad bad BAD. I am not sure which party I would trust less with absolute power. Both would end up pretty evil and oppressive.

    Michael Bloomberg is a perfect example of a Fascist running wild. I know some of the left like to distance themselves from him but lets be honest here. He is a shining example of the bizarre corporate fascism that has taken over the Democratic Party. Hell you might as well take in Lindsey Graham too.

    Btw I am not the only Liberal waking up to what is going on. You mouth foaming crazies that have hijacked the party are looking more insane by the day.

    This country needs a political enema. Flush both parties.

  118. OS,

    Exactly. Further info from the same:

    “These are not the only efforts to keep important health information from the public and patients. For example, in 1997, Cummings et al used state-level data from Washington to study the association between purchase of a handgun and the subsequent risk of homicide or suicide. Similar studies could not be conducted today because Washington State’s firearm registration files are no longer accessible.

    In 2011, Florida’s legislature passed and Governor Scott signed HB 155, which subjects the state’s health care practitioners to possible sanctions, including loss of license, if they discuss or record information about firearm safety that a medical board later determines was not “relevant” or was “unnecessarily harassing.” A US district judge has since issued a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of this law, but the matter is still in litigation. Similar bills have been proposed in 7 other states.

    The US military is grappling with an increase in suicides within its ranks. Earlier this month, an article by 2 retired generals—a former chief and a vice chief of staff of the US Army— asked Congress to lift a little-noticed provision in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act that prevents military commanders and noncommissioned officers from being able to talk to service members about their private weapons, even in cases in which a leader believes that a service member may be suicidal.9

    Health researchers are ethically bound to conduct, analyze, and report studies as objectively as possible and communicate the findings in a transparent manner. Policy makers, health care practitioners, and the public have the final decision regarding whether they will accept, much less act on, those data. Criticizing research is fair game; suppressing research by targeting its sources of funding is not.”

  119. Blouse,

    You bring up an excellent points…the issue is special interest…. I do not support any infringements of the right to bear arms until we know where they are going with this….. So many other rights have been given up with out our knowledge….. All in the support of anti terror …..

    Maybe Genes article the 100 mile rule should be renamed the 100 years to dismantle the US…..

  120. And as much as I disagree with Mitch on many levels…. He has the right to do what he does …..

  121. When the GOP had control and the Democrats were filibustering and the GOP threatened to remove it, the Democrats howled with anger and outrage. Now that they have control, they consider it a good idea.
    We are the Democrats, we love hypocrisy.

  122. Can’t make informed decisions if the data is purposely kept underwraps and the studying of the data is defunded or discourged with threats of sanctions and fines.

    “Injury prevention research can have real and lasting effects. Over the last 20 years, the number of Americans dying in motor vehicle crashes has decreased by 31%. Deaths from fires and drowning have been reduced even more, by 38% and 52%, respectively. This progress was achieved without banning automobiles, swimming pools, or matches. Instead, it came from translating research findings into effective interventions.

    Given the chance, could researchers achieve similar progress with firearm violence?”

    I

  123. Blouse,

    As has been stated, fire arm safety, training, geneal background checks…. But, to say we need more control….. And I’m from the government and here to help you…. Brings chills down my spine…..

  124. You gotta hand it to the American Gun corporatist. They effectively removed the threat of imports back in ’68, built their constituency coupled with the 2nd and then effectively removed any threat of data or studies on gun violence that would threaten their product. No Ralph Nader “Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile” for them.

    It’s been a beautifully run con.

  125. AY,
    every time the gun control issue is discussed every gun proponent starts responding that they are not in favor of banning all guns. No one is suggesting that all guns should be banned. Regulate who can own guns and which guns should not be sold, like the so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Background checks on all weapons transfers and sales is not banning all guns.
    How many more school shootings alone must we suffer through before anything substantive is done to try to prevent more needless deaths?
    G. Mason,
    Respectfully, Your comment that leftists want to get rid of the 2nd amendment is just unsupported hyperbole. An idiot on You Tube is your evidence?
    Do I want to get rid of the so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines? Yes. Do I want to have full background checks on all gun sales and transfers with no gun show loopholes? Yes. Do I want straw man purchases to be restricted? Yes. That is it. You can buy as many rounds and as many guns, rifles, and shotguns as the NRA scares you into buying.

  126. Otteray,

    Studies about gun violence/gun control have to start somewhere. This study may be flawed. Does that mean that the researcher’s findings have no validity?

    *****

    Could the US learn from Australia’s gun-control laws?
    As the US debates its gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, some Australians are urging the US to consider modeling its laws after Australia’s.
    By Helen Clark, Contributor
    Christian Science Monitor
    December 24, 2012
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2012/1224/Could-the-US-learn-from-Australia-s-gun-control-laws

    Excerpt:
    Melbourne, Australia

    Almost two weeks after a shooting spree stunned Australia in 1996, leaving 35 people dead at the Port Arthur tourist spot in Tasmania, the government issued sweeping reforms of the country’s gun laws.

    There hasn’t been a mass shooting since.

    Now, after the recent shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, Australia’s National Firearms Agreement (NFA), which saw hundreds of thousands of automatic and semiautomatic weapons bought back then destroyed, is being examined as a possible example for the United States, to mixed reaction in Australia.

    Australians have been following the Connecticut tragedy closely, and many say the US solution lies in following Australia’s path, or at least reforming current laws. But a small but vocal number of Australia’s gun supporters are urging caution.

    Just 12 days after the 1996 shooting in Port Arthur, then-Prime Minister John Howard – a conservative who had just been elected with the help of gun owners – pushed through not only new gun control laws, but also the most ambitious gun buyback program Australia had ever seen. Some 650,000 automatic and semiautomatic rifles were handed in and destroyed under the program.

    Though gun-related deaths did not suddenly end in Australia, gun-related homicides dropped 59 percent between 1995 and 2006, with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides. Suicides by gun plummeted by 65 percent, and robberies at gunpoint also dropped significantly. Many said there was a close correlation between the sharp declines and the buyback program.

    A paper for the American Law and Economics Review by Andrew Leigh of the Australian National University and Christine Neill of the Wilfrid Laurier University reports that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80 percent, “with no significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The effect on firearm homicides is of similar magnitude but is less precise.”

    Perhaps the most convincing statistic for many, though, is that in the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there were 11 mass shootings in the country. Since the new law, there hasn’t been one shooting spree.

    In the wake of the shooting, polls indicated that up to 85 percent of Australians supported the measures taken by the government.

  127. Gene: I don’t think you appreciate how easy fatal violence is to commit without any weapon at all.

    I trained in Wing Tsun Kung Fu, I think I do appreciate that.

    You still miss the point; however, and saying it is the “prime” cause does not mitigate your error, when in the same paragraph you reject anything other than your “prime” cause (i.e. people); you have made a de facto claim of “sole” cause.

    The inertness of tools is immaterial, there are three dimensions of danger to consider.

    1) some tools are inherently less dangerous than others, even when used correctly. In particular weapons with their own energy source (electricity for a taser, gunpowder for a gun, string tension in a bow, compressed springs or air in other weapons), or are capable of inflicting harm at a distance, generally carry greater danger.

    2) Conflated with inherent danger, but with its own component, is the danger of accident, or creating unintentional harm. This is the inverse of safety, and the conflation is due to the stored energy and effective range aspect. The independent aspect is how easy it is to trigger: A long range missile is very unlikely to be accidentally triggered, so is a traditional bow and arrow, but some guns are very likely to be accidentally triggered.

    3) Separate from both of those points is the level of intent required to commit harm; tools or weapons occupy a spectrum of how much human effort and time it takes to act upon an intent of harm.

    I suppose (but do not know) that the law may consider all intent to harm that results in harm equal in measure, but that is not the reality of how the human mind works. A moment of rage can pass in a moment, and even the time it takes to cross the room with a knife may be enough time to reconsider and reject an intent of murder.

    An intent to murder is seldom a permanent state of mind; but rage can temporarily blind one to the consequences, and when all that stands between murder and a wiser course of action is the 50 millisecond twitch of a finger, the possibility of taking an intentional action that one regrets within seconds is greatly magnified.

    For example, recently Oscar Pistorius (the Olympian) shot and killed his girlfriend through a closed bathroom door. That is an impulsive murder in anger I think would not have happened without the gun, or would be less likely to happen if, for example, the gun required two independent actions to fire (e.g. it had to be fully cocked by hand and could then only be fired by pulling, say, a six pound trigger, which requires clear intent to fire.)

    Murders by gun outnumber murders by knife about 15 to 2 (13,000 vs 1700 in 2010). With knives, I agree the problem is the people, or more specifically their persistent intent to inflict harm, and that is intractable. But the ratio suggests (along with stats in other countries with stricter controls) that much of the problem is in the gun, not the person, because the gun permits (successfully) acting in a moment of extreme irrational rage far more readily than does a knife.

    Intent is not a constant. The argument that if somebody wants to kill, they will find a way, makes the presumption that “wanting to kill” is a permanent or at least very long lasting state of mind, and it seldom is (perhaps 15% of the time, comparing knife murders to gun murders).

    The problem is the gun because the gun (as currently constituted and regulated) removes all barriers to successful impulsive murder. The problem is not in the people for having these impulses, those are a natural result of evolutionary pressures in our psychology. The problem is in removing the time and action barriers that would give rationality time to dissuade the shooter from murder. If somebody commits considered murder (as the crazies and criminals do), THEN the problem is in the person.

  128. States with strict gun laws found to have fewer shooting deaths
    BOSTON | Thu Mar 7, 2013
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/07/us-usa-guns-study-idUSBRE92617D20130307

    (Reuters) – States that have more laws restricting gun ownership have lower rates of death from shootings, both suicides and homicides, a study by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University found.

    States with the most laws on gun ownership, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, have 42 percent lower rates of death from guns than those with the least restrictions, including Utah and Oklahoma, according to the study, published on Wednesday in the online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

    The study was released as a Senate committee approved new gun-control measures backed by President Barack Obama to crack down on illegal trafficking in firearms in the wake of the December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

    Based on data from 2007 through 2010, the study looked at the relationship between the number of restrictions states placed on gun ownership — from background checks on gun buyers to bans on military-style assault weapons — and the number of gun-related homicides and suicides reported.

    The most likely link between the strictness of a state’s gun regulations and the number of shootings was that in states with more restrictive gun control laws, fewer households own guns, the study’s lead author, Dr. Eric Fleeger, said on Thursday.

    “One of the questions that is always raised in this debate is, ‘Do laws make a difference?’ There are many people who will try to argue that laws don’t make a difference, don’t bother passing them, let people do what they want,” Fleeger said.

    “Our study really suggests the opposite. The states that have taken the time and thought to pass this legislation, we see lower rates of firearms fatalities.”

    The study determined the strictness of a state’s gun regulations by assigning a point value to different rules — from one point for rules against guns in the workplace to six points for rules regulating how gun dealers may operate. The points for each state were totaled to determine which had the most restrictive gun-control regimes.

    The data was compared with federal figures on the number of deaths caused by guns, both homicides and suicides, in each state.

    Noting that little academic research is done on the link between firearms and public health in the United States, largely due to restrictions on federal funding for such research, Fleeger said he hoped the findings would influence debate on gun-control laws.

    The authors cautioned that their methods did not prove any cause and effect connection between firearms laws and deaths, and that factors including how effectively the laws were enforced could undermine their conclusions.

    Proponents of gun control argue that restricting access to weapons and ammunition could lower the number of shootings the United States experiences each year, while gun-rights advocates note that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to possess weaponry and contend that laws restricting gun ownership do little to deter the criminal use of guns.

    (Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Bob Burgdorfer and Leslie Adler)

  129. gmason

    It should be impossible for any conscionable person to view the photos of those young innocent children who were so tragically shot to pieces in CT and not conclude that restrictions on weapons are necessary.

    The American gun culture is an outgrowth of the frontier heritage when defense against enemies, Indians,Europeans, and outlaws, was a real consideration. Teachers in Israel need to carry assault weapons around because that country actually is under siege. But now that our frontier has vanished and the rule of law has been established here, there is no longer any real need for American society to consider itself under threat, yet a segment of the populace remains weaponized and, fueled on suspicion and hysteria, is only too willing to turn its weapons on fellow citizens, to say nothing of the mentally unstable who are able get ahold of guns. The underemphasis on education has allowed the media and entertainment industry to become the informational base for too many, and it’s creating a sector of pathological citizens, and the demand for an armed society means that they be given access to weapons, too. That must end; we can’t create a crazy, suspicious society, and then pass out the guns and think everything will turn out ok.

    Then there are those, like yourself, that insist on that right to bear arms is somehow essential to defend against a government takeover. This nation was founded on the principle that the right to suffrage was the surest guarantee of freedom, and that ballots, and not bullets, were the hallmark of a civilization. This ain’t Somalia. If you think for one minute that the weapons in you possess, no matter the size of your arsenal, will enable you to hold off a local police or sheriffs dept., let alone any military unit, then you’re delusional, g.

    Look again at the pictures of those children. I’d hope you’d reconsider your position.

  130. U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons
    Author: Jonathan Masters, Deputy Editor
    Council on Foreign relations
    December 21, 2012
    http://www.cfr.org/united-states/us-gun-policy-global-comparisons/p29735

    Excerpt:
    Introduction

    The debate over gun control in the United States has waxed and waned over the years, stirred by a series of incidents involving mass killings by gunmen in civilian settings. The killing of twenty schoolchildren in Newtown, Ct. in December 2012 prompted a national discussion over gun laws and initial calls by the Obama administration to limit the availability of military-style assault weapons. Gun ownership in the United States far surpasses other countries, and the recent mass shootings, in particular, have raised comparisons with policies abroad. Democracies that have experienced similar traumatic shooting incidents, for instance, have taken significant steps to regulate gun ownership and restrict assault weapons. They generally experience far fewer incidents of gun violence than the United States.

    United States

    The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: “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.” Supreme Court rulings, citing this amendment, have upheld the right of states to regulate firearms. However, in a 2008 decision confirming an individual right to keep and bear arms, the court struck down Washington DC laws that banned handguns and required those in the home to be locked or disassembled.

    A number of gun ownership advocates consider it a birthright and an essential part of the nation’s heritage. The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, has about 35-50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns, according to a 2007 report by the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey. It ranks number one in firearms per capita. The U.S. also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world’s most developed nations (OECD), though some analysts say these statistics do not necessarily have a cause-and-effect relationship.

    Federal law sets the minimum standards for firearm regulation in the United States; however individual states have their own laws, some of which provide further restrictions, others which have more lenient guidelines.

    The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited the sale of firearms to several categories of individuals, including persons under eighteen-years of age, those with criminal records, the mentally disabled, unlawful aliens, dishonorably discharged military personnel, and others. In 1993, the law was amended by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which mandated background checks for all unlicensed persons purchasing a firearm from a federally licensed dealer.

    However, critics maintain that a so-called “gun show loophole,” codified in the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, effectively allows anyone, including convicted felons, to purchase firearms without a background check.

  131. Elaine, regarding validity. I have no idea at this time. I do not subscribe to online JAMA, so will have to get a copy of the article from someone who does. We have to ask ourselves, would the study withstand a Daubert challenge?

    If validity of any study is questionable due to flawed design, it is not helpful and may be harmful. If the researcher has a hidden agenda, we start getting into ecological validity issues. I will try to find out. In the meantime, news articles by reporters who do not know how to analyze a study are not much different than those who reported the nonexistent “no-fly” zone around Mayflower, Arkansas.

  132. The Case for Gun Policy Reforms in America
    Johns Hopkins
    http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/publications/WhitePaper102512_CGPR.pdf

    Excerpt;
    The Burden of Gun Violence in the United States

    More than 31,000 people a year in the United States die from gunshot wounds. Because victims are disproportionately young, gun violence is one of the leading causes of premature mortality in the U.S. In addition to these deaths, in 2010, there were an estimated 337,960 non-fatal violent crimes committed with guns, and 73,505 persons treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds.

    Gun violence in the United States is unusually high for a nation of such wealth. Although there is little difference in the overall crime rates between the United States and other high-income countries, the homicide rate in the U.S. is seven times higher than the combined homicide rate of 22 other high-income countries. This is because the
    firearm homicide rate in the U.S. is twenty times greater than in these other high-income countries. The higher prevalence of gun ownership and much less restrictive gun laws are important reasons why violent crime in the U
    .S. is so much more lethal than in countries of similar income levels.

    There are enormous economic costs associated with gun violence in the U.S. Firearm-related deaths and injuries resulted in medical and lost productivity expenses of about $32 billion in 2005. But the overall cost of gun violence goes well beyond these figures. When lost quality of life, psychological and emotional trauma, decline in property values, and other legal and societal consequences are included, the cost of gun violence in the U.S. was estimated to be about $100 billion annually in 1998. A new study has examined the direct and indirect costs of violent crime in eight geographically-diverse U.S. cities, and estimated the average annual cost
    of violent crime was more than $1,300 for every adult and child. Because much of these costs are due to lowering residential property values, violent crime greatly reduces tax revenues that local governments need to address a broad array of citizens’ needs. The direct annual cost of violent
    crime to all levels of government was estimated to be $325 per resident.

  133. SwM,

    The corporatists on Wall Street and banks could learn a lot from the gun corporatists … compared to the gun corporatists the Wall Street bunch are amateurs.

  134. This report posted on the University of California, essentially says what I said. This is commentary and analysis of the study by Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency medicine physician and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Wintermute says, in part:

    “The main finding is that having more laws on the books is associated with having lower rates of firearm-related homicide and suicide,” Wintemute wrote in his commentary. “This would be an important finding — if it were robust and if its meaning were clear. Ecological studies of association are inherently weak, however, and correlation does not imply causation.”

    “In the end, Fleegler and colleagues provide no firm guidance and leave us with more questions than answers. Do the laws work, and if so, which ones? Should policymakers enact the entire package, or just some of the measures?” he said.

    Source:
    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/29158#content

  135. tony c:

    have you trained in fung shui kung fu? It is very deadly, my wife kills me every time she moves the furniture.

  136. Elaine,

    It’s a classic Catch-22 … one must provide more info but can’t get more info ’cause all info has been censored … too bad, one must provide more info but can’t get more info ’cause all info has been censored … too bad, one must provide more info but can’t get ……………………

    A truly brilliant con

  137. AY,

    I wasn’t implying that more information isn’t needed–just adding more information/fodder for discussion. I do believe we Americans need to address/examine the issue of guns and gun violence in this country–and why we appear to have such a high homicide/gun-violence rate compared to other industrialized/wealthy countries.

  138. Elaine,

    Your unbiased thoroughness is always appreciated…. Check out Switzerland …. They have some amazing studies….

  139. AY,

    Mythbusting: Israel and Switzerland are not gun-toting utopias
    Posted by Ezra Klein
    December 14, 2012
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/mythbusting-israel-and-switzerland-are-not-gun-toting-utopias/

    Excerpt:
    My post “12 facts about guns and mass shootings” included a mention of Israel and Switzerland, societies where guns are reputed to be widely available, but where gun violence is rare. Janet Rosenbaum, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center School, has actually researched this question, and she wrote to tell me I had it wrong. We spoke shortly thereafter on the phone. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

    Ezra Klein: Israel and Switzerland are often mentioned as countries that prove that high rates of gun ownership don’t necessarily lead to high rates of gun crime. In fact, I wrote that on Friday. But you say your research shows that’s not true.

    Janet Rosenbaum: First of all, because they don’t have high levels of gun ownership. The gun ownership in Israel and Switzerland has decreased.

    For instance, in Israel, they’re very limited in who is able to own a gun. There are only a few tens of thousands of legal guns in Israel, and the only people allowed to own them legally live in the settlements, do business in the settlements, or are in professions at risk of violence.

    Both countries require you to have a reason to have a gun. There isn’t this idea that you have a right to a gun. You need a reason. And then you need to go back to the permitting authority every six months or so to assure them the reason is still valid.

    The second thing is that there’s this widespread misunderstanding that Israel and Switzerland promote gun ownership. They don’t. Ten years ago, when Israel had the outbreak of violence, there was an expansion of gun ownership, but only to people above a certain rank in the military. There was no sense that having ordinary citizens [carry guns] would make anything safer.

    Switzerland has also been moving away from having widespread guns. The laws are done canton by canton, which is like a province. Everyone in Switzerland serves in the army, and the cantons used to let you have the guns at home. They’ve been moving to keeping the guns in depots. That means they’re not in the household, which makes sense because the literature shows us that if the gun is in the household, the risk goes up for everyone in the household.

    EK: As I understand it, there’s a stronger link between guns and suicide than between guns and homicide. And one of the really interesting parts of your paper is your recounting of the Israeli military’s effort to cut suicides among soldiers by restricting access to guns.

    JR: Yes, it’s very striking. In Israel, it used to be that all soldiers would take the guns home with them. Now they have to leave them on base. Over the years they’ve done this — it began, I think, in 2006 — there’s been a 60 percent decrease in suicide on weekends among IDS soldiers. And it did not correspond to an increase in weekday suicide. People think suicide is an impulse that exists and builds. This shows that doesn’t happen. The impulse to suicide is transitory. Someone with access to a gun at that moment may commit suicide, but if not, they may not.

  140. 2 Shootings Involve 4-Year-Olds In 3 Days
    AP/The Huffington Post
    Posted: 04/09/2013
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/gun-violence-children-shooters_n_3044642.html

    Excerpt:
    As the debate around gun control raged in Washington, 2 4-year-olds were involved in horrific shooting incidents over the past 3 days.

    In Tennessee, a 4-year old boy shot and killed the wife of a state sheriff’s deputy on Saturday, according to police.

    In Toms River, New Jersey, on Monday night, a 4-year-old shot a 6-year old in the head with a .22 caliber rifle, authorities say.

  141. Harry Reid Cites Father’s Suicide In Gun Control Plea (VIDEO)
    The Huffington Post
    By Mollie Reilly
    Posted: 04/09/2013
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/harry-reid-father-suicide_n_3045105.html

    Excerpt:
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to urge his colleagues to vote on gun control legislation, citing his own father’s suicide while making the case for tougher gun laws.

    “In Nevada, if you purchase a handgun you have to wait three days to pick it up,” Reid said, referencing a bill he authored as a state lawmaker. “And it’s believed that alone has saved the lives of many people. Sometimes people in a fit of passion will purchase a handgun to do bad things with it, Mr. President, even as my dad did, killed himself. Waiting a few days helps.”

    Reid’s father committed suicide in 1972.

    On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced his plans to join some of his Republican colleagues in filibustering the gun control package Reid is attempting to bring to a vote. McConnell is the 14th Republican to join the effort, which was first announced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

    While the filibuster has gained steam, some Republicans are urging the senators to drop the plan.

  142. G.Mason

    “Fascism of any party is bad bad BAD. I am not sure which party I would trust less with absolute power. Both would end up pretty evil and oppressive. ”

    Care to explain what exactly fascism has to do with regulating access to firearms? Because, I’ve looked and I’ve looked… and I’ve looked, and well I guess it’s mildly authoritarian, but only in the same way that say enforcing traffic laws is.

    On the other hand, i doubt very much that you are a liberal, or progressive. Your wording gives you away, “leftist,” “gun grabber,” lumping Hitler in as a “commie,” all point to you as someone who frequents right wing organizations and websites. The fact that you came in here and disrupted the flow of conversation, rerouting the stream from a (mainly) right wing issue (Wanting to establish a state religion) to one that is used as an attack on liberals (those leftists want to steal your guns), is also telling. I mean, it’s a great play, way more sophisticated than just coming in and insulting people. “yeah, this is really bad, but look at this bad thing that we’re doing…” followed by ONLY addressing the second bad thing.

    But hey, that’s just suspicion based on a few phrases, and a pattern of behavior that pretty well matches a known trolling strategy. I have no way of knowing how sincere you are. So, I’ll say the following assuming you’re being absolutely sincere, that you used to be a “gun grabber” and then decided that everybody who favors stronger gun control would change their mind if they only saw the light the way YOU saw it. Converts are often the most evengelical about their new found philosophy, hobby, religion, etc. The fact is, it just doesn’t matter. The results are the same regardless of your intentions. You’re still using words that are meant to belittle or demonize your opposition, You’re still steering the conversation towards what YOU want to talk about, which is how bad people who want stronger regulations than you are. You’re still doing things in a way that upsets people who disagree with you and puts them on the defensive. That’s a very poor tactic to bring people to your side.

  143. AY,
    Regarding Switzerland.

    Social science researchers have known for more than a hundred years you cannot transpose studies that have controlling cultural elements. Those kinds of studies introduce what are called “intervening variables” into the data. Intervening variables cannot be quantified, because of the problem of false equivalence. For example, Margaret Mead’s studies of the sexual culture of south Pacific islanders cannot be generalized to Kansas.

  144. Today In Responsible Gun Ownership
    By Charles P. Pierce
    4/9/13
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/today-in-gun-ownership-040913

    Holy mother of god.

    “Investigators say Wilson County Deputy Daniel Fanning on Saturday was showing his weapons to a relative in a bedroom of his Lebanon home when the toddler came in and picked up a gun off the bed. Sheriff Robert Bryan says the weapon discharged, hitting 48-year-old Josephine Fanning. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The child is not related to her or her husband. Bryan says the shooting was a terrible accident and that within seconds of Fanning placing the gun on the bed, the toddler picked it up.”

    Really? And I thought he might be a tiny hit man, a juicebox button man. A gun is big and shiny and looks interesting to toddlers. If you put a lug wrench down on the bed, the toddler would pick that up, too. It’s just that a lug wrench can’t go off and actually kill somebody standing across the room. And this guy was a deputy sheriff. I certainly have great faith in the NRA’s plan to arm Waldo, the Middle School Janitor to the teeth and send him out into the halls some Monday morning when he’s had a rough weekend at deer camp.

  145. OS,

    And I agree…. That’s why gun control in the US will be utterly impossible without flashback…… And I think I mean major ones….. There are some areas of this country that would readily embrace such measures…. They are populated and rural….. But at the same breath there are areas populated and rural that would as soon shoot you as let you take their hand gun or rifle….

    You make a valuable point as well as Elaine’s on the thread today…..

  146. G. Mason may have already been written but NRA and repubs were for background checks before they were against them but that would deflate your arguments if you actually were to vilify both sides instead of just the one side you are against.

  147. Gene said:

    “That loon in Newtown could have killed just as many if not more people with some gasoline, a lighter and one of the hundreds of ways he could have secured the doors to the building available at any hardware store. Burned? Shot? Dead is dead. He was determined to kill and he’d have found another way if he hadn’t had the guns.”

    I think these folk who use guns may do so because it carries less of a risk to themselves of being horribly injured, disfigured, or having an exceedingly painful death (even if they decide to suicide I doubt they think about the possibility of failing.) For those who would do it from afar, using say fire, it may give too much distance: They want to see the faces frozen in fear or the bodies as they fall.

    It would be a very interesting study to ask those who did not suicide if they would have chosen another method had they not access to the guns

  148. OS:

    “For example, Margaret Mead’s studies of the sexual culture of south Pacific islanders cannot be generalized to Kansas.”

    I dont know, I went to school in the midwest and there was plenty of free love.

  149. AY:

    I dont know how the women in Texas look, but the ones in Columbia were mighty fine and not at all beast like.

  150. Bron,

    I’m funna ya…. Now if you were the sheriff from Georgia…. Or Rick Perry’s uncle….different story…. They do like their mules….

  151. AY,
    The only guns that would be illegal would be the so-called assault weapons and high capacity magazines. There is already flashback. Except the flashback is on the victims. The kids in Newtown were flashback for doing nothing. As were the kids in Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and the scores of school shootings in the last 20 years.

  152. Tony,

    You can continue to build all the straw men you want and ignore that tools don’t use themselves until the cows come home. No sweat off my back. Degree of inherent danger is only slightly relevant in this instance as a single shot derringer can kill you dead just as well as .50 cal. machine gun. One is just a lot messier than the other. As to your point in 2), I’ve already stipulated that the industry should be required to make safer firearms as a reasonable restriction so that’s a moot point unless you just want to argue it for the sake of seeing it again. As for intent, intent is only material (in the case of killings) to the charge and the possible penalty, but there is no such thing as a mens rea only crime (unless the theocrats get their way). Actus reus is required. That the mens rea might be fleeting is immaterial to an action taken. Even crimes with a substantive mens rea component like conspiracy require that an action be taken in furtherance. Even attempted murder means you tried. We don’t punish people for what they think about doing or for how long they think about doing it, only for what they do.

  153. The issue of gun violence is a complicated one, but if the dumbing down of society is going to continue (and we’ve seen attacks on education from public figures like Robertson and Limbaugh recently) irrational thought is going to become more widespread and lead to an increase in antisocial behavior. Add to that the fetishism surrounding guns and violence in the entertainment media and it’s bad policy to allow essentially unfettered access to anyone guns. It’s positively insane to allow access, open or otherwise, to high-powered, large capacity weapons, for which the only appropriate use is on a battlefield

  154. “It’s positively insane to allow access, open or otherwise, to high-powered, large capacity weapons, for which the only appropriate use is on a battlefield.”

    Which completely ignores the facts about gun violence by gun type or that banning such things is technologically futile because of their ease of manufacture, but does a wonderful job of demonizing the opposition by dismissing them as insane.

    First rate propaganda.

    Not helpful to the debate in the slightest.

  155. G.Mason,
    You know, you could just quit while you’re only paranoid and delusional, without dragging my name into your psychotic rants. You were doing just fine, displaying your paranoia dump. But, no:

    “People like Bob Kauten are how people like Hitler and Stalin came to power.

    I am not speaking of ‘commie etc etc’ either. I am speaking of mindless well intentioned sheep who blindly follow and obey the pied piper. Well the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

    What I do not understand is, if they are so unhappy here with all of the guns, why do they not simply leave, move to another country where there are stricter gun control laws. Mexico comes to mind.”

    G.Mason,
    Ewe wooldn’t even have felt bleating sheepish, when I herd what ewe said?

    Sorry, I would’ve loved to help you put Hitler and Stalin into power, but I wasn’t around then, yet. You could’ve asked ’em what “fascism” is, and for a demonstration.

    Mmmm…no…actually, there is a great deal that you don’t understand, about most things, not just guns. You don’t understand that you have no business telling others to leave the country because they don’t agree with you. That’s in the superfluous amendment that comes before your all-defining super-god-amendment. Just run your eye up to the text before, “A well regulated militia…” It’s in there, really!

  156. Gene H.,
    Yes, yes, yes…most of us were in some generation that was fascinated by martial arts, and James Bond, and learned all these cute ways of killing without using firearms. Of course, you can kill someone without using a firearm. Run over ’em with your car. Tell them an interminable, boring story, until they commit suicide, a la Airplane.
    Killing with your bare hands? Vulcan death grip? Choking? Cervical dislocation? Vibrating palm of death? A pencil? An ashtray? My logic?
    It ain’t like in the movies or on TV, or on the dojo floor. If someone perceives that you’re trying to harm them, they might fight back. They might just beat the hell out of you. You’re scaring them!
    A firearm is a different matter. You don’t need much nerve, or much determination, to injure someone, particularly if you’re not standing close to them. Even if you miss the first shot, the detonation will likely cause the victim to freeze. Not a brave way to kill, but easy.
    OK, I know my terms are loaded, it’s a straw man, it’s ad hominem, it’s ex post facto, it’s coitus interruptus, it’s all mea culpa.
    I don’t really care what Julius Caesar or Cato woulda said about my argument. I’m just stating my opinion.

  157. Gene: You can continue to build all the straw men you want and ignore that tools don’t use themselves

    No, that is YOUR straw man; I have not ignored that at all, I addressed it specifically.

    I shall again: Fleeting mens rea are an intractable fact of the physiology of the brain; so are the nervous system signals that ready muscles to act and sometimes trigger subconscious preparatory movement or muscle stiffening. Therefore the problem is in the energized “tool” that too easily senses and converts small movements into major energetic actions; in the natural world in which we evolved, the clenching of a fist in anger never blew anybody apart, nor did any other small two or three pound movement.

    The problem is not in the people, the problem is in the tool, and specifically the “unnatural” sensitivity and power of the tool that preempts the natural (slower) mental and physical mechanisms that would normally prevent the shooting or murder.

    The “fleeting guilty mind” or urge to commit violence is at the heart of the issue, just about everybody will naturally have such fleeting urges at some time in life. Knowing that, and that such states are normally fleeting and in the natural world would usually have to be non-fleeting in order to commit a violent murder, a “tool” that is so sensitive it bypasses our normal biological processes of self-restraint (which take time, we do not think infinitely fast) is an irresponsibly unsafe product.

    Yes, guilt requires a guilty act; but the tool is at fault if, so to speak, it “jumps the gun.”

  158. There are two kinds of opinions, Bob. Founded and unfounded. There are two kinds of argument. Honest and dishonest. If you wish to use a quite frankly embarrassingly thin propaganda technique (and both you and G. Mason are actively engaging is a rather amateurish display of such techniques), then your embrace of dishonest argumentation is – like your opinion – your choice. Neither of you are helping the debate as you try to make each other “the bad guy”. Making enough hot air to pop popcorn, but doing nothing productive at all past that. A perfect illustration of the unreasonableness inherent in the polar extreme positions on this issue.

    But please, react like a child some more when your bullshit weak tactics are pointed out. At least you tacitly admit that you don’t care about either logic or evidence in formulating your opinion. That is, of course, in addition to expressly admitting you’re engaging in a dishonest argument by using loaded terms which is inherently the fallacy of appeal to emotion.

    It’s funny.

    In the 80’s bad open mic standup kinda way.

    Propaganda techniques are a tool.

    And like all tools, poor tool users ensure poor results.

    Carry on.

  159. Oh…I’m so slow. I finally got the connection…guns ARE intimately connected with the establishment of an official religion, the original topic of this thread.

    Guns are the official religion of the United States of America. This also explains why no facts, no reasoning, can budge the faithful. It’s not a matter of reality, it’s a matter of theology.

    Sorry, I’m just slow on the uptake. As you were.

  160. Tony,

    Show where I specified sole cause?

    You can’t, but good luck selling that . . . again. That you cannot differentiate between prime cause and sole cause is your failing. That’s what you get for building a straw man. I’d think you’d have learned the risks of trying to make my arguments for me by now.

    As for the rest of your gibberish? I specifically answered about how intent operates at law and “fleeting intent” hasn’t got squat to do with it nor does ease of action – only action taken. That a killer may regret the action after the fact is immaterial to taking the action to kill no matter how easy it is for that specific killer. That actus reus requirement is a b*tch, but it is a requirement and as I said, there is no such thing as a mens rea only crime. That you don’t like the answer is irrelevant.

    Try again.

  161. Bob,

    Really, you should stop while you’re . . . whatever you are. Your buddy in bad propaganda, G.Mason, introduced the 2nd here.

    And then there was a dogpile.

    I was perfectly content to discuss the dangers of theocracy and I still am. Quite frankly, the gun debate in general – as it has in this very thread – has degenerated into a bunch of extremists name calling instead of addressing practical solutions. But if you think I’m going to standby and let either of you engage in what is essentially propaganda “concern” trolling without pointing it out, eh, you’d be wrong. You have a right to express your opinions. You don’t have a right to not have them criticised – and on any grounds the critic might choose whether you approve or not.

    Now, have you got anything to say about theocracy and the 1st or do you want to continue to fling poo in the name of the 2nd?

    I’m fine with it either way.

  162. I think that there might be only one way to settle the “gun” argument. Enact strict gun laws. Then, wait about a decade…do some research…and see if the number of gun homicides, gun suicides, and gun violence drops in this country. Otherwise, nobody will have proof of anything–and we’ll just continue to argue the issue till the cows come home.

  163. Gene H.,
    By your request. Is that a barnyard epithet you used to describe my argument?
    How childish. Please, lead us by example.

    Mmmm…no, I didn’t say I was engaging in a dishonest argument. I also didn’t tacitly admit anything.You did, for me. Thanks for that.
    How childish.

    You can’t think of a comeback, so I’m arguing dishonestly? Emotion is dishonest? That all you’ve got?
    That’s a dishonest means of negating my arguments, don’t you think?

    You have been out-argued, out-reasoned, and you’re out-of-ammo.

    Please, tell me that my assertions are unfounded, dishonest, and childish. Actually, they can’t be. They’re just inanimate objects, right?

    Maybe pick a fight with someone you can out-argue, like G.Mason.

  164. Gene H/Bob Kauten:

    we will settle this the only honorable way, with pistols at 20 paces. Single shot, no more than 0.177 cal., air only. No aiming above or below the belt and heads are off limits.

    Choose your seconds.

    Its the only manly way. All this rhetoric is like 2 silver backs beating their chests.

  165. Bob,

    It’s cute you think you’re the victor in a situation where there isn’t a winner, just two people using poor argumentation and propaganda techniques neither understands well enough to pull off and one of them chooses to throw a fit when their – here’s that word again – bullshit tactic is called on the carpet.

    “Mmmm…no, I didn’t say I was engaging in a dishonest argument.”

    Yeah, you did. “OK, I know my terms are loaded,” – your words. You admitted your language was loaded. An inherently dishonest technique.

    “I also didn’t tacitly admit anything.You did, for me. Thanks for that.”

    Oh, but you did in your rambling gibberish about Julius Caesar and Cato. The implication was that formal logic was not important to your reasoning. If you’d care to walk that back? Be my guest.

    As Gyges noted to G. Mason, the same applies to you Bob. “You’re still using words that are meant to belittle or demonize your opposition, You’re still steering the conversation towards what YOU want to talk about, which is how bad people who want stronger regulations than you are. You’re still doing things in a way that upsets people who disagree with you and puts them on the defensive. That’s a very poor tactic to bring people to your side.”

    You aren’t winning any converts, Bob. If anything, you’re demonstrating that you can’t make your arguments without resorting to trickery like appeals to emotion (and not very well either I might add).

    BTW, you keep telling yourself you’re a master of argumentation if that helps you sleep at night.

    I think it’s adorable.

  166. There are other factors that can be looked at besides strictly speaking anti-gun laws. There is some evidence to suggest that economic factors influence crime which influences homicide rates in general.

    If you look at the crime statistics the rate of crime is relative to the unemployment rate, but lags slightly behind. There is an upward trend in homicides that peaks around 1982, 1992, and a smaller trend that begins in 2001 and then tapers in the mid 2000s. The direct correlation is is controversial as to whether the two are directly tied, but the trends do coincide.

  167. Bob, when you assault one of the Bill of Rights you forfeit your right to any of the others. Quite frankly you can kiss my ass and leave the country if you do not like the Bill of Rights. Which is MY right to tell you.

    Paranoid delusional and psychotic?
    No Bob, I am just capable of rational trains of logical thought. I am capable of seeing past the end of my nose but that is because unlike you I do not have my head lodged firmly up the ass of either myself or anyone else.

    To be quite frank, arrogant fascist tunnel visioned morons such as yourself, are the greatest threat to this country.

    So on that note Mr Tory, I leave you with this

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” … Benjamin Franklin

    You sir, deserve neither and eventually… you shall have neither

  168. Elaine,

    Since funding for studies has been restricted through legislation, that may be the only way to do it since the gun merchants have cut off the more reasonable approach which would be conducting the study first then writing the law.

  169. And as if on cue . . .

    Easy on the ad hominem there, G. Mason. That kind of stuff is discouraged strongly. Stick to attacking arguments, not people.

  170. Darren,

    I not sure it’s much of a cognitive leap to find causation in the proposition that desperate times breed desperate people and ergo desperate acts. It would be useful to see such data broken down to a more granular level to see if the rises in violence corresponds with locality for rises in unemployment and whether or not those were proportionate.

  171. Elaine,
    I like that idea. We should try it for awhile. But I am guessing the NRA will still be against any research into its effectiveness.

  172. My apologies. I simply have no patience for lemmings anymore.
    This country is on a one way path to hell. The Bill of Rights has been under assault from both parties and the judicial. The 2nd is all that stands between the Bill and the corporate fascism that has been taking over both parties.

    Now some of you may disagree that is the case. All I need to do is merely point to J Edgar Hoover and show you the power of what someone like he and/or Nixon could do in todays technology. Though I feel as if Holder and Obama/Bush are not far off from that.

    What is truly sad is how quickly people are to trust the government solely based upon what party is in the White House. It is completely and utterly asinine. It is like clockwork as well. Every 4 to 8 years, 50% of the country flips out and screams tyranny when the entire time it should be 100%.

    We have become so divided as a nation by petty partisan politics that we can no longer make rational decisions politically. The entire time both parties are royally screwing us.

    I am a Liberal. i am no longer so blind as to trust the Democratic party. While I still see the Republican for what they are, I now see the democrats for what they are. Anyone who believes in either party is the one who is delusional. I am neither an anarchist, nor a violent person, I am not psychotic nor delusional. I am however fully aware of how close we are to becoming indentured servants to Wall Street.

    It is a tragedy that we allow social issues to now dictate who we vote for. What is even sadder is when the President you vote for is nothing but a lying hypocrite. Obama lies to your face every single time he opens your mouth. How can you not see it.

    As I said earlier, I have np guessing that people like Bob probably rant and rave far more about gun control then he does holding the President accountable for killing little innocent kids with Drone strikes. That is sheer hypocrisy. When you can say truly and honestly state that you spend more time complaining about Obama blowing up little kids, then you can complain about gun control without being a hypocrite.

  173. Gene: That you don’t like the answer is irrelevant.

    Yet another straw man from you; because you assume your ‘answer’ is right, when it isn’t even an answer to my argument.

    I never claimed you said “sole” cause: I said, “…when in the same paragraph you reject anything other than your “prime” cause (i.e. people); you have made a de facto claim of “sole” cause.”

    I know you don’t need to look up “de facto,” Gene.

    Gene says: I specifically answered about how intent operates at law and “fleeting intent” hasn’t got squat to do with it nor does ease of action – only action taken.

    And thus you ignore my argument entirely, preferring instead to argue what I never disputed. Isn’t that the very definition of a straw man?

    In fact, I said earlier that I presumed this was the case. So again you purposely avoid the actual point, preferring to invent fictions to vehemently defend against instead. I am not the one throwing up straw men, here, you are, one after another. My argument is not with the existing law or existing second amendment; so your arguments are irrelevant. My argument is with what should be the law and regulation based upon the best we know of how human brains and emotions work; because what we know is that guns, as currently manufactured and regulated, defeat the natural mental mechanisms that would otherwise drastically reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by guns.

    My argument is to reject the simplistic idea that guns are just tools like any other tool and people are the problem, because that implicitly makes the ridiculous assumption that people have infinitely fine control over their actions in any emotional state. They do not; there are biological limits to self control that are stressed when a product allows the instantaneous translation of thought into lethal action. I do not care if the law recognizes that fact or not; it remains a fact, and I am not trying to argue what is in the law, but what is in the brain.

    I believe if simple modifications to a product would effect large changes in the death rate due to that product, both intentional and unintentional, then it is fair to say the problem was in the product, not the people.

    You can disagree, but then you would be wrong.

  174. rafflaw

    Elaine,
    I like that idea. We should try it for awhile. But I am guessing the NRA will still be against any research into its effectiveness.

    ———————————————————————————

    The realization of how much of our freedom to explore and investigate has been taken from us by the gun merchants is staggering.

  175. Btw allow me to relate a story that reflects the mindset that is now pervasive through the democratic party.

    My mother-in-law is like some of you here. A anti-gun, progressive democrat always complaining about the Republicans, the plight of the illegals and the worlds woes etc etc. She is well-to-do and lives in a nice area.

    A few years back when the local city was doing revitalization in its downtown it was looking to move the housing projects there. Their first target area? On the edge of the city in an empty field…right near my in-laws development. Oh how she complained then. It was absolutely unacceptable. No way she was going to have the crime ridden projects move next to her and destroy the home values of her and her neighbors. They spent alot of money on their homes and this wasnt right yadda yadda yadda queue violins.

    Well her and her neighbors, most of whom are exactly like her in political thought, basically organized and hounded some local government guys that one of them was connected with behind the scenes until they got the projects relocated. Yeah. Hypocrites. All about the poor until they live near them. It amuses me every time she complains about how alot of local places have poor english speaking workers. Then she sits at her pool party along with her progressive friends complaining how the big bad evil GOP blocks immigration.

    I love my mother-in-law but I have no tolerance for her hypocrisy. She and her friends are typical progressive democrats of today. Btw, the thought of her and her friends dictating policy in our government scares the crap out of me and that is coming from a Liberal who is typically along side them on many issues.

  176. Gene: It would be useful to see such data broken down to a more granular level to see if the rises in violence corresponds with locality for rises in unemployment and whether or not those were proportionate.

    I believe Steven Levitt has studied this; here are his papers on crime (scroll down to ‘Crime’).

    In general, there is a strong correlation between unemployment and property crimes, in many studies a 1% increase in unemployment produces a 1% to 2% increase in property crimes. However, there is little correlation or evidence of unemployment increasing violent crimes; those two series are not strongly correlated. He uses state-by-state data, typically, which is reported with fairly consistent definitions from 1950-(latest available year).

  177. G.Mason: It is not hypocritical to believe that society should help those in need, and also believe that one’s personal assets should not be selectively damaged to help those in need.

    I can believe the minimum wage should be $10 an hour, and I can be willing to pay the higher prices that would result from that across the board increase, without being the only one to pay those wages to my employees.

    There is a difference, and it isn’t hypocrisy: If my competitors have to pay $10 an hour, the same as me, then we can both charge higher prices to cover the greater expense. If my competitor is not forced by law to pay the higher wage, then I am soon out of business if I try to pay the higher wage.

    Your mother in law is not a hypocrite to want to protect her personal property values, she can still be sincere about her support (both in words and willingness to pay higher taxes) for aide programs, health programs, job training programs, public school and other education programs, and crime protection for the economically disadvantaged.

    Our belief is that society as a whole should strive to level the playing field and develop its human resources instead of wasting them. We believe in a collective shared contributions of those doing better than average to help those doing worse than the average; not individual sacrifice.

  178. If only you were not so stupid you would see what has already been taken away you foolish woman. You blabber about such nonsense.

  179. Tony,

    “My argument is with what should be the law and regulation based upon the best we know of how human brains and emotions work; because what we know is that guns, as currently manufactured and regulated, defeat the natural mental mechanisms that would otherwise drastically reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by guns.”

    There you go arguing for what you want rather than what is and engaging in correlation without causation. Where’s your proof that “guns, as currently manufactured and regulated, defeat the natural mental mechanisms that would otherwise drastically reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by guns”? You have a supposition that by making it more difficult to kill in the heat of the moment that you’ll accomplish anything substantive. People get bludgeoned to death with furniture and accessories in the heat of passion and their still dead. You act as if crimes of passion didn’t exist before guns. I think Othello, Iago and Desdemona would like to have a word with you about that. Even if what you assert is true, do you have proof that it would save a statistically significant number of people? Or would people still get pissed off and emotionally hurt and kill people with whatever is at hand? Sure, you might see a drop in gun deaths (I’ll omit for now that handguns, not any kind of long gun, are used in the vast majority of these crimes), but you might see a corresponding rise in “deaths by other weapons”. Just because a premise may flow logically doesn’t mean it will create the desired effect in reality.

    “And thus you ignore my argument entirely, preferring instead to argue what I never disputed. Isn’t that the very definition of a straw man?”

    No. A straw man is deliberately misrepresenting an argument, like you did when you asserted I was working from sole cause instead of prime cause. If you knew what one actually was, maybe you’d stop using them. I ignore your argument because its irrationally based on the idea that tools use themselves.

    “My argument is to reject the simplistic idea that guns are just tools like any other tool and people are the problem, because that implicitly makes the ridiculous assumption that people have infinitely fine control over their actions in any emotional state.”

    And your argument fails because tools still don’t use themselves. The only implicit ridiculous assumption is that anyone said “that people have infinitely fine control over their actions in any emotional state.” The degree of control is irrelevant once action is taken (unless you are arguing to a lesser charge of some form of manslaughter). Your lips move, but you really don’t seem to grasp the difference between mens rea and actus reus. FACT: You cannot legislate mental states. Your assumption is that “if they have a chance to cool down, maybe the won’t kill”. Maybe the won’t. Or maybe they’ll pick up a lamp and go to town. Intent is largely irrelevant. Action is always relevant. Your premise is that by creating some kind of barrier you will create a substantive change in mental states that will result in fewer deaths. You have no proof of this, only logic, and you certainly have no evidence of correlative causation.

    “I do not care if the law recognizes that fact or not; it remains a fact, and I am not trying to argue what is in the law, but what is in the brain.”

    Just like you tried to argue that the social compact isn’t a valid theory of government? Good luck with that. You weight intent far too much when the law doesn’t generally care about intent except as mitigation, but the law always cares about action. Intent is the sideshow. The play is the thing.

    “I believe if simple modifications to a product would effect large changes in the death rate due to that product, both intentional and unintentional, then it is fair to say the problem was in the product, not the people.”

    You naively assume that people will not modify their tools to do what the law prohibits. Again, the prime problem is people. Making a safer product is a mitigation, not a remedy. I’ve already said that safer designs is a reasonable step, but it is purely mediation and then it applies primarily to accidental deaths, not homicides of any sort. The only cure for violence is changing people. You can take away all the tools and they’d still want to and actually kill one another.

    You can disagree, but then you would be wrong.

    I know this because history tells me so.

    We’re a violent primitive species. Chimps with science. Any solution that doesn’t address our primal violent nature directly is always going to be mitigation and not remedy.

    And I’m not saying mitigation is bad. In this instance, I’m saying it’s futile. Guns are simple technology. Too easy to make. This combined with the fact that long guns of all sorts only account for 4% of all violent crimes involving guns makes an effort to control long guns not only futile, but seeking to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist in a statistically significant manner.

    All because some kids got shot with an AR-15 by one lone freak.

    Your argument, like a lot of the arguments around this issue, are ultimately grounded in emotion. Something horrible happened and it got a lot of attention so you feel compelled to do something – anything. It’s a normal reaction. It’s also a irrational and a sure fire way to get talked into going too far with limitations on liberties. Limitations that take away liberties are rarely restored. So is it better to proceed with caution, facts and solutions and mitigations that are practical rather than sacrifice more of the already besieged and tattered Bill of Rights. Sandy Hook was horrific and it defies explanation. But we should no more critically impair the 2nd as a solution than we should have abandoned the 4th Amendment in the name of “the War on Terror” by adopting (read: being force fed) the manifestly unconstitutional Patriot Act.

    The Constitution is a good blue print.

    We should be careful about how we disregard it.

  180. Tony,

    “In general, there is a strong correlation between unemployment and property crimes, in many studies a 1% increase in unemployment produces a 1% to 2% increase in property crimes. However, there is little correlation or evidence of unemployment increasing violent crimes; those two series are not strongly correlated.”

    That is not too surprising either, but I’d want to take a closer look at the data and the methodology still. I’m assuming you’re referring to his paper “Alternative Strategies for Identifying the Link Between Unemployment and Crime”?

  181. Guardian of Truth
    1, February 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Some deserve beating. The scripture says that it is justifiable. The word is more important than what any woman has to offer.

    ———————————————————————————-

    Wanna beat me, sweetheart?

  182. Blouise, I am glad you found that. It is one of the sockpuppets that has directed negative comments in my direction. We will keep on fighting the fight.

  183. TonyC.:

    “You can disagree, but then you would be wrong.”

    Wish I’d said that. I probably will, when you’re out of earshot.

  184. G.Mason:
    Your argument was elegant, and quite persuasive. Until the point where you mentioned lemmings. Lemmings do not actually commit suicide. A Disney film crew made the whole thing up.
    Your argument collapsed at that point, sorry. You could perhaps try reconstructing, with fact-based references. Just a thought.

  185. Guardian of Truth,

    Physical threats against others are not acceptable here.

    Do so again at your own risk.

  186. No threats have been made. If it makes you feel good to threaten one its between you and your God.

  187. Blouise/Smom,

    I’ve captured the original comment and logged it. If GoT makes any more threatening comments, be sure to let me or one of the other GBs know.

  188. Gene H.,
    These are words on a computer monitor. I see no reason why you should feel so threatened, that you lash out at TonyC. and me.
    No one’s going to hurt you.

    If your lack of confidence leads you to frantically refer to my arguments as “bullshit” and “dishonest,” I’ll be, first, surprised (which I was; “What, no self-control?”), then amused, and I’ll probably make fun of you. You’re feeding it.

    Whatever happened to, “OK, we don’t agree. That’s how you feel about it”?
    If, on the other hand, you keep casting aspersions, you’ll probably just get more and more frustrated, until I get bored with it.

    You could just relax, and take a nap. Works well, for me.

    I have no preference. How you spend your time and energy is your call.

  189. GoT,

    We do have a very few rules. Physical threats are not acceptable here. If you don’t like being told you’re in danger of violating one of the rules, that would be your problem. If you wish to cross it and learn the consequences of breaking that rule, that’s a risk you assume now that you’ve been put on notice such behavior is unacceptable.

  190. Bob,

    You mistake amusement at your crap deployment of weak argumentation and even worse deployment of inherently dishonest propaganda techniques as me somehow feeling threatened.

    That’s doubly adorable.

    I’ll tell ya what: you keep making dishonest arguments with logical errors and (poorly) using propaganda techniques and I’ll keep pointing it out. M’kay? Not because I’m “threatened”. Because I find it funny.

    You keep telling yourself you’re some kind of argumentation juggernaut that has me quaking in my boots.

    That’s just hysterical.

  191. Gene,
    Don’t act like a panicked person, and I won’t think you are one. You can’t stop, can you? Try letting go.
    You’re pretty damned cute, yourself, you know.

  192. I don’t think you understand the word “panicked” either, Bob. However, if you keep trying to make this about me personally (“threatened” “panicked” – pure ad hominem -as deflection another propaganda technique) instead of about my criticism of your sh*t argumentation and inability to effectively deploy propaganda techniques without being painfully transparent (including your really weak attempt at deflection you’re currently engaging in), I’m going to hurt myself.

    Laughing.

    I don’t panic over jokes and so far you’ve proven your argument on this matter to be a humorously awful exercise in logical fallacies.

    But you keep telling yourself you’re all big and bad on the argumentation front.

    That just gets funnier every time you mention it.

    To be clear, I don’t care about your opinion of me. I do care that you’re engaging in dishonest methodology for arguing for your case. Again:

    “You’re still using words that are meant to belittle or demonize your opposition, You’re still steering the conversation towards what YOU want to talk about, which is how bad people who want [weaker] regulations than you are. You’re still doing things in a way that upsets people who disagree with you and puts them on the defensive. That’s a very poor tactic to bring people to your side.”

    You aren’t winning any converts, Bob. If anything, you’re demonstrating that you can’t make your arguments without resorting to trickery like appeals to emotion (and not very well either I might add).

    And I find that really, really funny.

    Between you and G.Mason you’re illustrating my precise points that the gun debate in general – as it has in this very thread – has degenerated into a bunch of extremists name calling instead of addressing practical solutions.

    Napoleon famously said, “I never stand in the way of an opponent making a mistake.”

    Neither do I.

    Carry on.

  193. Guardian of Truth apparently has unmet needs that are causing him to have an attitude problem. I have it on good authority that misogynists make lousy lovers.

    Sorry old chap. Unfortunately, your attitude will not help you get laid. Or truly loved by a woman. On the contrary, you are doomed to a sad lonely life to go along with your empty soul.

  194. Apparently someone upset the applecart so to say….. It’s great when ones where about s can be verified by 10 others…. Then again some will go out of their way to make misery where no exists….. Just for attention….

  195. raff,

    They’re so cute at that age, but the fun and games is over when they’re full grown and knocking down city walls and turning people’s wives into pillars of salt.

  196. Elaine,

    Only if the kitchen was a kite … which is possible if one is baking a certain type of brownies.

  197. Blouise,

    No…a kitten is a little kite–if I follow rafflaw’s reasoning. Now, I’d like to know more about that “certain type of brownies.”

  198. Elaine,

    Yes, but, raf’s sound reasoning doesn’t hold up when baking brownies. I’ll email you the recipe. ;)

  199. Guardian of Truth:

    Women do not deserve to be beaten. And a guy that advocates such a position is more like a craven dog than a real man. Don’t expect to be respected by decent people after statements such as that.

  200. Darren,
    I always get a kick out of the macho guy who manages to try and abuse the wrong woman. I have a dear friend who lives out your way. Her first husband was abusive. She was young at the time, but she finally had enough. This is a Celtic lass, who had learned to shoot at an early age. One does not mess with women who have the DNA of Boudicca running in their veins. One day she told him, in all seriousness, “You know, I can take you out with a head shot at a hundred yards if you ever touch me again.”

    She says his whole demeanor toward her changed overnight. A short time later he wanted a divorce.

    Being married to her was no fun anymore.

  201. Chuck;

    Good for her. I have a close friend who has a daughter who is just starting her second year of college. She’s probably the most headstrong and independent young gal I know.

    On prom night, she borrowed her dad’s Plymouth Road Runner muscle car and SHE picked up her boyfriend to take him to prom. One time I asked her about how her boyfriend was doing and she said she broke up with him. I told her that I was sorry that happened and she replied “It’s ok, I only went out with him because I could get hunting rights on his dad’s land.”

    Now that’s a daughter a father will never worry about.

  202. Raff,

    I think you’re right…. About Guardian of Truth or GoT…. I think I know a thread killer…. This has been a good thread…. Now lets see where it goes….

  203. BobK: Gene has not lashed out at me, you do not recognize friendly argument. I can take care of myself.

    Gene: People get bludgeoned to death with furniture and accessories in the heat of passion and their still dead.

    As I mentioned, at about one seventh of the rate that guns are used for murder (yes, primarily handgun murders). You claim I have no proof, but you have no proof I am wrong, all you have on your side is supposition. Absent any proof, why should the presumption be that I am wrong?

    That lower rate is one element of the evidence I am right. Knives (and other means of murder) are cheaper, more readily available, and more difficult to forensically identify as the murder weapon or link to the murderer, they leave no gunpowder residue on the murderer, they can be disposed of easily, and if found, are far less likely to be reported to the police than finding a gun. You can buy a good sharp carving knife at many department stores for cash, without ID.

    So what is the reason guns are used seven times as often as knives? The only plausible reason (I think) is that guns are so much easier to use and so much more lethal, and that brings with it the ease of impulsive use that results in murder. To some extent knives and blunt objects are used impulsively as well, but when they are, they are also less lethal; as you know from your martial arts training it is possible to deflect bats and knives, or even to take the hit (or cut) without being killed or disabled. But we are not going to dodge bullets.

    The other pieces of evidence come from the studies in countries where guns are less available; the per capita murder rates are reduced. I would quote, but I think Elaine already has, and I have read enough recently to believer the evidence is on my side.

    I posit that the murder rate in high-income countries where guns are much less available will better reflect the incidence of our (meaning humans) persistent intent to murder, while the difference between those countries and the USA will be due primarily to fleeting intents to murder that get realized only because the gun is so easy to use and so energetic that it allows fleeting intent to be realized. That makes murderers out of people that, in these other countries, would not have been murderers, and would not have damaged all the lives impacted by their murder, and would not have cost society all the expenses of dealing with a murder.

    You claim a state of mind goes to mitigation, well fleeting intent is definitely a state of mind different from persistent intent. But I am not advocating that fleeting intent be encoded into the law in any way, not even as a mitigating factor in sentencing or the definition of the crime committed.

    What I am advocating is that a recognition of fleeting intent should be recognized as the justification for making the laws and regulations that would make guns require more persistent intent to kill. For examples, I can see requiring a double-trigger pull; something easily accomplished purely mechanically; or a timed safety disengagement (again just spring mechanics) that only allows the safety to be disengaged for 15 seconds. Given the task, somebody can invent something that makes the gun take a full second to fire instead of 50 milliseconds to fire.

    It is true that such mechanisms can be defeated, or guns can be made in a home garage shop, but we can make those actions both illegal and also to carry the presumption of premeditation; they would be guilty acts.

    People that buy guns for self-defense would not modify them; the four year olds mentioned earlier on this thread would not have killed anybody.

    Further, if “state of mind” before a guilty act were not considered in making law, why in the world would we outlaw, say, owning surface to air missiles with a rocket launcher? Or control the purchase of highly energetic explosives, or radioactive materials? I believe we do that because we know there exist people with states of mind that would use such products to kill hundreds of people, or equivalently, because those devices are too dangerous and lethal, and pose a greater threat to society than any benefit gained by being in the hands of citizens. Whatever rationale is used to outlaw S2A missiles (which are ‘arms’) can be equally applied to other weapons that are too dangerous and lethal and pose a threat to society; including guns, and making them more difficult to buy, and / or make them require more persistent intent to use.

    You are correct, I have no proof, but I have psychological studies and sociological studies of differences in gun control that produce reductions in gun deaths that support my view. That is called “science,” we seldom prove anything unless we can reduce it to equations on paper; and almost nothing about human thought fits into that category. What we do is develop a preponderance of evidence that makes alternative explanations unlikely.

    You have no proof either, and no evidence on your side, all you have is a petulant insistence that I must be wrong.

  204. Darren: “It’s ok, I only went out with him because I could get hunting rights on his dad’s land.”

    I would be deeply disappointed in my daughter if she were sleeping with a guy for access to his assets, or even just dating them for that purpose. I raised her better than that.

  205. “You have no proof either, and no evidence on your side, all you have is a petulant insistence that I must be wrong.”

    Right back at ya, Tony. And we come to a crucial problem with this issue once again – lack of good, unbiased, up to date statistical data. Absent good data, both positions are relegated to supposition and supposition is not the best way to make decisions. Still, the action is key. Impulse is meaningless without action whether it is by gun or other method. As you alluded to earlier, not all people have equal levels of self-control. While ease of an action may make an action more attractive on impulse, we don’t really care about motive until action is taken. Five seconds or five days, the duration of intent is not relevant until the decision to kill is acted upon. We aren’t punishing people for their thoughts. We’re punishing people who kill and their state of mind may mitigate or exacerbate the charge.

    “You claim a state of mind goes to mitigation, well fleeting intent is definitely a state of mind different from persistent intent. But I am not advocating that fleeting intent be encoded into the law in any way, not even as a mitigating factor in sentencing or the definition of the crime committed.”

    But it already is, Tony. That’s the difference between 1st degree murder and other forms of homicide. Premeditation is treated differently from a crime of passion or negligence for both charging and sentencing. In the end though, it’s the actus reus that defines the chargeable offense and intent only factors in as mitigation.

  206. Tony,

    Also, in the absence of determinative evidence of causation, I’m always going to err of the side of retaining rights over sacrificing them as a matter of principle. Rights abrogated are rarely restored. That is the creeping nature of tyranny.

  207. In Blow To NRA, Senators Reach Bipartisan Agreement Expanding Background Checks
    By Igor Volsky
    Apr 10, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/04/10/1844301/in-blow-to-nra-bipartisan-duo-of-senators-to-announce-agreement-to-expand-background-checks/

    Excerpt:
    A bipartisan duo of senators with A ratings from the National Rifle Associated have reached a deal to expand background checks to private gun purchases that occur in commercial settings.

    Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) will announce the details of the plan during a press conference Wednesday morning. Currently, only federally licensed gun dealers are required to conduct background screenings.

  208. Gene: On Levitt: Yes, that is one. Here is an excerpt from his page 6, journal page 382:

    *********** BEGIN QUOTE

    Panel-data analyses using states, counties, metropolitan statistical
    areas, or cities in the United States have generally obtained relatively con-
    sistent estimates of the impact of unemployment on crime. A 1% change in
    the unemployment rate is typically found to increase property crime by 1–
    2% contemporaneously but often has no systematic impact on violent crime
    rates (Lee, 1993; Levitt, 1996, 1997; Raphael and Winter-Ebmer, 2000)[7]
    Studies that substitute other measures of the labor market conditions at the
    bottom of the distribution reach similar conclusions (Gould et al., 1998;
    Machin and Meghir, 2000). The consistency of these results across data sets,
    included covariates, and degree of aggregation is encouraging, as the
    national time series data yield results that are much more sensitive to the
    particulars of the estimation.

    (7) See Freeman (1995) for a survey of this literature.

    *********** Back to Tony

    You can see by the references it is not just his own study (although he does reference his own peer-reviewed work in there). The specifics of the references will be in the bibliography at the back; in particular, here is the Freeman reference:

    Freeman, R. (1995). The labor market. In Wilson, J. Q., and Petersilia, J. (eds.), Crime, ICS Press, San Francisco.

    Unfortunately, my university library does not have that publication in digital form, or I’d go look and see what it says. I will say that other papers I have read dispute the link between unemployment and property crime; it is not a universally accepted link in sociology.

  209. Gene: Five seconds or five days, the duration of intent is not relevant until the decision to kill is acted upon. We aren’t punishing people for their thoughts.

    I believe you are doing precisely that; because we are not talking about five seconds, we are taking about one one-hundredth of that time, 50 milliseconds; 1/20th of a second. The gun allows intent of that duration to be acted upon, and I believe (based on other reaction-time experiments done without any lethal consequences, just winning or losing a game) that if the gun did not allow that, most such impulsive murders would not occur.

    Suppose instead the gun could read your neurons and turn the imagining of pulling the trigger into actually pulling the trigger. Because an overly sensitive gun is doing that; a person’s motor cortex is not completely under their conscious control, and under emotional stress (including fear and anger) it is (demonstrably) even less under their control.

    A tool that translates a muscle twitch into a lethal event is not something we are evolved to “choose,” you can claim that act was under their conscious control all you want, that does not make it true. In the lab, people begin muscular actions and suppress them all the time in the sub-second time frame; the mind may appear seamless but it is composed of independently acting modules, some taking action and others suppressing it; and that competition becomes apparent under stress at sub-second time intervals.

    If the gun, like more natural human powered weapons, did not respond with lethal force to a 50 ms impulse, I believe it would kill fewer people.

    I do not believe there would be much difference for increasing the delay beyond one second, motor cortex activation and repression are resolved by then, and at that point I believe a trigger pull after that point really is the result of persistent intent.

    But I also do not believe that is something we can distinguish after the fact, so I don’t think it is a good idea to even try after the trigger has been pulled.

    Thus the point of intervention is the tool itself; with a latency of less than half a second, I think the problem is in the tool, it is grossly mismatched to the much slower human scale speed of decision making.

    Just as I would not want my computer to read my mind and post my unedited thoughts on this blog, I do not want my gun to read my mind and kill somebody without my persistent intent to do so.

  210. I have not been paying close attention to the background check negotiations. However, the background check will have to be reasonable. I see no way they can accomplish it without grandparenting those firearms already out there. If they do that, the background check becomes more or less meaningless. Also, where will they get their data? The no-fly list? We have already seen what a SNAFU that is. Senator Ted Kennedy was stopped at the gate and was subjected to the usual bureaucratic BS because somebody put him on the ‘no fly’ list. And how about all those pre-school age kids on the no-fly list. HIPAA makes medication and doctor visits off limits; however, I do know the DEA tracks sales of controlled drugs.

    If you look on packaging for a controlled drug, there will be a letter C with a Roman numeral in the center. It looks almost like a copyright symbol. Here is the list of what each schedule means.

    http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ds.shtml

    The drugs listed in each schedule is not comprehensive, but examples. New meds are coming on the market all the time, and some of them will be scheduled as well.

    I don’t know how far down the list the DEA monitors and keeps data, but I suspect all of them. Otherwise they would not call them “controlled” or “schedule.” I am wondering if you have been taking anything on the schedule, for any reason, you might be prohibited from passing a background check. That would be a backdoor attempt to shut down the firearms industry.

    I know a lot of people, including police officers, who take some of those medications. As Darren can tell you, law enforcement is one of the most stressful jobs out there. Many officers take medications to help them sleep. Hypnotics, such as Ambien and Lunesta, are controlled. Or if one has been on pain medication, how about them?

    Finally, who pays for it? Will this be another one of those unfunded mandates? Small town police departments and sheriff’s offices simply don’t have the resources. Some have already said they would like the fee for a background check to be prohibitively expensive. I don’t have any problem with a waiting period of a few days. However, a waiting period is not going to deter the person determined to commit suicide.

  211. Senate aides: Bipartisan deal reached on gun background checks
    By Ed O’Keefe and Tom Hamburger
    4/10/13
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-aides-bipartisan-deal-reached-on-gun-background-checks/2013/04/10/fa4fe9a6-a1db-11e2-be47-b44febada3a8_story.html

    Excerpt:
    A bipartisan group of senators has struck a deal to expand gun background checks to all commercial sales — whether at gun shows, via the Internet or in any circumstance involving paid advertising, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks.

    The law would not cover private transactions between individuals, unless there was advertising or an online service involved.

    The agreement forged by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) would be more stringent than current law, which requires checks only when purchases are made through a licensed dealer, but less strict than the requirements originally sought by President Obama and congressional Democrats, who were seeking to expand background checks to nearly every kind of sale.

    The agreement should secure enough bipartisan support to allow the Senate to launch debate on an overarching bill that would expand background checks, make gun trafficking a federal crime for the first time and bolster federal funding for school security plans. Senate Democratic leaders have said they will permit senators of both parties to introduce amendments to the measure.

  212. Gene: “It was my autonomous nervous system that shot him” isn’t a valid defense.

    Of course not, because then nobody would ever be responsible. Thus we should not allow the use of tools that respond so easily, with lethal force, to any glitch in the autonomous nervous system.

  213. ‘ “It was my autonomous nervous system that shot him” isn’t a valid defense. ‘ (Gene)

    Perhaps only because an exceptionally skilled attorney hasn’t taken the data available and used it on a jury.

    I can see it in a Grisham novel. Just picture the lowly paid assistant in shirtsleeves and the equally lowly paid but beautiful secretary with her note pad both shaking their heads, “No boss, it’ll never work. No jury’s going to buy that. Why are we taking this case anyway?”

    On a more serious note, this is exactly the kind of thing that could be proven or disproven if the gun merchants would allow proper studies and research to be conducted. But like the religious bigots now taking control of so many governments, the gun merchants don’t want any possible avenue that might lead to the defaming of guns left open to researchers … how dare you question the Prophets … how dare you threaten the Profits!

  214. I don’t understand the “advertising” part. If I run a classified that I want to sell grandpa’s shotgun how is that handled? Fees? We have a local “Trading Post” paper that is nothing but ads. Some commercial services are offered, such as home repair, portable buildings, roofing and the like. However, there are personal ads for everything from baby cribs, to musical instruments, and guns.

    Gun registration is not enacted in a number of states. If the Feds told local law enforcement in most rural areas to go out and register guns, they would get a big belly laugh. A few days ago I tried to explain this to someone on Daily Kos. The person told me he bet the sheriff would if a federal agent came and ordered him to.

    My reply to him was that the sheriff would point to the big map of the county on the wall and tell the agent, ‘”There it is. We have 350 square miles of land, much of it nearly vertical, with about a thousand miles of mountain roads. The population of the county is 60,000. There may be as many as two or three guns for every man, woman and child in the county. So be my guest and have at it.

    We cannot stamp out meth or pot growing, so how are they going to locate all the guns? This incident may give a sense of the magnitude of the problem. A National Guard helicopter took off from the local airport a few years ago. Radio contact was lost abruptly just a few minutes after they took off. The military and local law enforcement searched for the crash for a week before the downed helicopter was found. They even called in specialized equipment to search the bottom of a nearby TVA lake. It had hit the mountain right next to the airport. If it took them a week to find a Blackhawk helicopter only a couple of miles from the airport, how are they going to locate all those guns and register them?

  215. Blouise,

    It probably wouldn’t fly. The best you could argue is mitigation to some form of manslaughter or negligent homicide. No judge (or jury) is going to buy that when you are conscious and otherwise unimpaired that you had no control or reduced control over your actions. For that, you have to argue diminished capacity, but that’s a different tack. For example, I recall a story a few years ago where a guy taking some prescription sleep aid shot his wife while sleepwalking and was charged with murder. They sold diminished capacity because sleepwalking was a known side effect of the drug and medically speaking he literally wasn’t conscious so there was no intent. I don’t recall though what the verdict was, acquittal or guilty of a lesser charge. Again, the action is the thing. Merely being “quick on the draw” isn’t going to be mitigating absent other factors.

  216. Blouise,
    Here is a rhetorical reply to your rhetorical question. If I am a law abiding citizen, why should there be a need for me to register it?

    What I want to see is legislation that will make criminals register their guns. No exceptions. :mrgreen:

    I can wait.

  217. How many law abiding citizens decided to take the law into their own hands and shoot someone? Just because I am law abiding today doesn’t mean I will be so tomorrow,
    Registration also lets those who are in the midst of a snit or psychological distress have the time to calm down/rethink/get help.

  218. leejcaroll,
    You have some good points, but they all go toward mental health care issues, not registration. Registering what you already own will prevent nothing. It simply means you are in a computer database somewhere, same as your auto tag.

  219. leejcarroll, I see Allison Schwartz is running for governor in Pa. There is a good chance that she will be the first woman governor of Pennsylvania. The gender gap is huge on the gun control issue.

  220. I think there is an irreducible part of mental illness murders, and simple criminally motivated murders. In Newtown, wasn’t the killer’s mother a law abiding citizen? He stole the guns from her, then killed her with one of them. A criminal could steal a registered gun, a drug addict (like my sister) that knew of a gun could steal it to trade it for a fix.

  221. Blouise: Why would any law abiding person with a gun not want to register it?

    They might worry it creates a legal hazard, that if their gun was stolen and they didn’t report it, or didn’t notice it missing due to lack of use, they might be held liable in some way if the gun was used in a crime.

    Particularly in today’s climate of surveillance of citizens without a warrant, they might worry that if they did register it, they might be subjected to an invasion of privacy by law enforcement; reading of their emails, getting put on a no-fly list, or otherwise scrutinized just for owning a gun, thereby increasing the chances of being caught or prosecuted for some technicality of which they were not aware.

    Along those lines, they might worry that by registering as a gun owner, they would be subjected to questioning or heightened suspicion by those investigating shootings or gunpoint crimes in their neighborhood (which may be why they bought it in the first place).

    I think there are many reasons to not volunteer information you think serves no purpose other than to put you under suspicion or surveillance.

    What benefit do you think accrues to the law abiding citizen for registering his gun, that outweighs the perceived negatives?

  222. OS,

    Nice evasion but evasion never-the-less which is why the question is rhetorical. The point was in the asking, not in the response because the response is expected based on past behavior.

    Non-paranoid, law abiding citizens have no reasonable fear of registration … criminals do and well they should.

  223. Tony C.

    “What benefit do you think accrues to the law abiding citizen for registering his gun, that outweighs the perceived negatives?”

    Same answer … your perceived negatives lie within the ownership, not the registration.

  224. Registration simply means taking full responsibility for the ownership and use of a gun. Society as a whole benefits when those who choose to own guns take full responsibility and accept full accountability for that ownership.

  225. Blouise,
    Not evading at all. Since law-abiding citizens usually obey the law, my question is how do we get the crooks to obey it? Short answer is, they don’t. It is the one with the criminal mind we have to worry about.

    Have you seen this from Colorado? It has been in the works several days, but this article is from one of the Denver, CO TV stations.

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/colorado-sheriffs-consider-lawsuit-over-new-gun-control-laws

    Colorado officers are not the only ones.

    In a national survey of members of one of the largest groups for law enforcement professionals, an overwhelming majority of active duty and retired officers said that the Obama administration’s gun control proposals will either have no effect or will make things significantly worse.

    Source (PDF of survey results are at an embedded link in the story:
    http://marketdailynews.com/2013/04/10/85-of-cops-say-gun-control-is-useless-detrimental/

  226. Blouise,
    When one owns a firearm, or any other weapon, they are responsible. Yesterday a guy was arrested for slicing another man open with a katana (Samurai sword). One of our local TV personalities was shot in the chest with a crossbow bolt, and it was not an accident. No matter what it is, we are responsible for it. Registering one’s firearms does not make one more, or less, responsible.

    My question is, what is the purpose of registration, anyway? It is a “feel good” gesture that has no effect in the real world, is impossible to implement, and will add another layer of bureaucracy.

  227. OS,

    Crooks? That’s your thing, not mine.

    Let me try to put it another way:

    I own a car. I bought that car for transportation. My car has airbags wherever airbags will fit. My car has a backup camera. My car has seat belts. My car has this very irritating alarm that warns me when I am exceeding a set speed limit, getting too close to the car in front of me, crossing a median line. I follow all traffic laws because I am law abiding.

    Should someone steal my car (one of your crooks) and use it as a killing machine, I’m investigated. If I have left it unlocked, the investigation deepens. If I’ve loaned it to the known drunk down the street, the investigation turns really ugly for me. The registration of that vehicle has made all that accountability possible because the registration assigned responsibility of ownership to me.

    For these reasons I secure the car, report it as missing if I can’t find it, and never loan it to the drunk down the street. That’s responsible behavior from which society as a whole benefits. Could my car, despite all my precautions be stolen and used as a killing machine by one of your crooks? Sure, and the investigation will start with me, as it should.

  228. Blouise,
    Any responsible owner will keep a record of serial numbers. If anything of mine is stolen, I will be down at the sheriff’s department as soon as I discover it, with a list of what was taken and all relevant serial numbers, whether it was registered or not. Anytime anything is stolen or lost, it is a good idea to have that information on file so it can be entered into a law enforcement database. I will also need it to file an insurance claim.

    If your car is stolen, you give them the tag number, make and model. They won’t know unless you tell them.

  229. Blouise: your perceived negatives lie within the ownership, not the registration.

    No, the benefit of owning the gun is protection against crime. My perceived negatives are about persecution by authorities for owning a gun. If you believe registering is the responsible thing to do, then wanting to avoid responsibility is obviously the benefit of not wanting to register, if that is a choice.

    Responsibility is a burden with potentially negative consequences, it should not be accepted unless it comes with offsetting potentially positive consequences (and in the workplace, with reasonable authority to control the outcomes for that which you will be held responsible), otherwise you are just getting set up to be the fall guy.

  230. OS,

    For crying out loud, OS, I’m 68 years old, spare me the patronizingly obvious.

    BTW … you can do the same with your registered gun can’t you? Rhetorical again.

  231. Tony C.,

    “My perceived negatives are about persecution by authorities for owning a gun.”

    Sounds a tad paranoid but I suppose worrying about persecution by authorities and worrying about protection against possible crimes go hand in hand. Both stem from a concentration on negatives?

    “If you believe registering is the responsible thing to do, then wanting to avoid responsibility is obviously the benefit of not wanting to register, if that is a choice.”

    Could you reword that? I’m having difficulty grasping your thought.

  232. We are having some rather violent thunderstorms here and my DSL keeps going out. If I don’t respond immediately, I will later.

  233. OS,

    Thanks…. Guess a veteran can sue to opt out of the check…. But they are already there by former association….. No federal firearm registry….. Oh yeah…. Guess SSN/FEIN being attached to your drivers license will be worth its weight in Gold to the LEO….. we know how much private information they can already ascertain……. Just another brick in the wall….

  234. “Family transfers and some private sales (friends, neighbors, other individuals) are exempt from background checks” – like the mother and her crazy son at Sandy Hook?

    But, there is a very big penalty to pay if:

    “The bill explicitly bans the federal government from creating a national firearms registry, and imposes serious criminal penalties (a felony with up to 15 years in prison) on any person who misuses or illegally retains firearms records.” Three cheers for the corporatist Gun manufacturers!

    Oh well, it’s a start and all things considered, better than nothing.

  235. Blouise, It is a start. The Sandy Hook families have started a movement. I don’t think it will stop with this piece of legislation. Much needed gun restrictions have been on the back burner for too long.

  236. Blouise: Your question was, Why would any law abiding person with a gun not want to register it? [emphasis mine]

    You then went on to say it was the “responsible” thing to do. In my mind, when I was a division manager, department manager, or had other positions of responsibility, and as a business person responsible for liability issues with customers, I regard “responsibility” as a cost; being the person responsible for product safety means I am to blame if a product harms a customer; being responsible for meeting a deadline means I am to blame if we do not meet it, being responsible for scheduling the tech support team means I am to blame if our biggest customer has a problem at 3 AM and we failed to answer his calls or meet our contractual obligation to support him.

    I learned early in my career (by being burned) that “responsibility” better come with more than just a title, it better come with some income AND with some control over whatever I am managing.

    There are benefits to avoiding responsibility; primarily, not getting blamed for things that were outside your control. Being responsible means risking something. In the workplace, your job or your reputation if you fail in your objectives.

    In this case, the benefit of being irresponsible is not getting blamed, not having to answer questions about your gun, not having to produce your gun on demand, and not having to report if your gun was lost, stolen, or taken by your kid and never returned, or whatever.

    You ask why a law-abiding citizen would not want to register, those are the reasons. They can be law-abiding and lazy, law-abiding and fearful, law-abiding and paranoid about an over-reaching authoritarian government that they know is recording their phone calls, emails, and Internet access. They can be law-abiding but ignorant of what gun laws entail and afraid of the unknown (to them) responsibilities they might incur by registering their gun.

    I think if registration was the law, then by definition they are law-abiding and would do it, but they also might not buy the gun out of these fears. I do not think they would want to register.

  237. Elaine,
    I took a break to take a nap. I have been going since four o’clock this morning. I won’t let my youngest leave for work without talking with her and giving her a hug, so getting up early is a routine.

    Police One is part of the Praetorian Group Inc. The Praetorian Group is an online media company catering to first responders, correctional personnel and the military.

    Police One is a combination blog, newspaper, training academy and supply store for law enforcement officers. Here is the Police One web page. P-1 also has a Facebook Page and Twitter account.
    http://www.policeone.com/

    The link below has clickable links to each of the Praetorian Group dedicated web sites.
    http://www.praetoriangroup.com/network/

  238. Otteray,

    I had looked at the group’s website. I just wondered whether the group leaned a certain way politically like some think tanks. I always like to check out the messenger after I hear the message. Was it an online survey? Did PoliceOne survey only its own members?

  239. Blouise, Thank you for answering OS much, much better then I could have.
    As for Schwartz it is important in the sense of gender but I am not as happy a camper with her as I once was. (Of course anything not tea party, right wing would be better then Corbett)

  240. Elaine,
    The Praetorian Group does surveys for its membership as one of their services. I waded through several of their pages and do not detect any particular political bias one way or the other. The thing I did get is they push safety for all their member groups. Some police organizations have a specific agenda, mostly right wing, but the web page does not have that feel. There are a few anti-police blogs who don’t like them, but that is to be expected.

    I looked at the home site, and did not get any kind of political agenda feel. They do custom surveys, and say they get statistically significant results. If I were a client ordering a survey, I would be sorely ticked off if they tried to skew it. No matter what one is selling, they need accurate information or it is money wasted. We saw some of that just before the last election when groups hired by Republicans had them convinced the election was going to be a Romney landslide.

  241. Tony C.,

    “Your question was, Why would any law abiding person with a gun not want to register it? [emphasis mine]

    You then went on to say it was the “responsible” thing to do. ”

    No, Tony, that is not what I said and you built your whole argument around a clever misinterpretation.

    What I said was “Registration simply means taking full responsibility for the ownership and use of a gun. ” Taking responsibility for the ownership and use of a gun is much deeper than merely remembering to fill out the paperwork.

  242. While I’m all for record keeping at the sales level, I don’t think a Federal gun registry is a good idea in the slightest. As OS points out, compliance would be at best problematic. The benefit as opposed to tracking sales is only a minimal gain and the potential risk for misuse of such a registry I think makes that gain not worth the cost. In the words of Ōsensei Morihei Ueshiba, “The best way to avoid trouble is not to be there when it starts.”

  243. There is already a national data base that stolen articles, firearms, vehicles, aircraft, securities, etc can be entered into. It is called NCIC (National Crime Information Center). Access to this is provided by NLETS (National Law Enforcement Telecommunication System) to federal, state, and local agencies and dispatching centers. Firearms can be entered into this system by a local agency and whenever a LEO needs to check a serial number for a stolen report anywhere in the US. It is a regular occurrence to do this daily.

    Any stolen article can be entered into NCIC, by serial number (preferrably) but it also includes MaKE/ MODel/ and OIN/ (Owner Inscribed Number) for those who wish to put identification on items that do not necessarily have serial numbers. It is a part of the Operation Identification program that was used during the 1980s.

    The system is very large and versatile. It is the same system that is used to track wanted persons and wanted vehicles.

    Someone mentioned social security numbers tacked to driver licenses. The requirement for this was forced on the states by congress in order to qualify for highway funding grants. State and local law enforcement agencies do not, without a court order, have access to social security records. But in my view this was used to make it easier for the federal gov’t to track individuals for investigative purposes. Oddly, Montana formerly used (I believe) Social Security Numbers for their driver license number but after a lot of fraud was used they changed it to a different format, As far as I know all states require drivers to provide SSN when applying for a DL but the states are not allowed to put SSN on driver license cards but it is available in the databases.

  244. Darren,
    At one time, a number of states used SS numbers as DL numbers. As fraud became more of a problem, they abandoned it.

  245. Darren, a number of states do not require a person who does not have a SSN assigned to get a driver license on stating under oath that the federal government has never assigned a SSN to his/her name. That is, no one has to get a SSN to get a DL. In fact, the SSA says that they will not issue a SSN just for getting a DL. A CDL is another matter. SSN is mandated.
    Kentucky and Illinois provide a religious exemption to providing a SSN when applying for a DL. The Illini Gestapo, though, refuses to honor (obey) this law.
    Foreigners whose visas permit them to stay (generally 6 months) are required by most if not all states to get a DL if they want to drive for longer. They do not have to get a SSN simply to get a DL.

  246. Yes, bobtrent you are correct….

    OS,

    That is correct in that some States used to use you SSN for ID as well as place them on pay checks…. Can’t anymore…. But does not mean thy don’t have immediate access to that same prohibited information….

    Question for you… If a soldier is discharged other than with honor…. Will they be able to get an exception….

    Gene,

    One right at a time is being stripped…. Soon… If you stop and think about it…. Every paper currency has a number on them…. When will they have to be registered….. Too much information is being collected already…..

    If you stop md think before 911…. You could bank without the credit reporting agency’s knowing when you used your bank card…. Today…. If you use it for a pay toilet…. It’s reported…. All drinks on a commercial flight must be paid for by credit or debit card….

    Darren,

    You are correct about that…. But it’s misused over and over again…. I know a judges wife that uses it to obtain info about the other sides clients….

  247. I read with amusement part of he presidents plan is to attack SS benefits for those having gross income above a certain amount in retirement…… I need to read a little more…. But thought its funny….

  248. And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. – Thomas Jefferson

  249. OS,

    Part of the veteran exception to the gun registry game, gives veterans a way out of having to comply… So the question is still the same….

  250. the baby boomers are determined to take away all our rights and run the country into the ground before they die. Worst generation ever

  251. Blouise: Taking responsibility for the ownership and use of a gun is much deeper than merely remembering to fill out the paperwork.

    That doesn’t refute my argument, it supports it. Taking responsibility is a risk or chore, not a joy. It is often a necessity to enjoy other rewards; those rewards may be financial or emotional. A better paying job; or raising children. But absent some reward, I do not see people wanting responsibility for its own sake.

    Perhaps you invest more in the term “law abiding” than I do, I do not think it implies volunteerism, which is what I think I am hearing, an idea that they should want to take on a chore because they should believe it is the right thing to do. In other words, that the responsibility risk has a reward of ideological satisfaction in making the world a better place.

    But I think it is common to be law abiding and neutral, to do what is demanded of you, without fudging, and nothing more. You don’t have to want it or like it, you just have to do it. (Like a chore in my current job I am avoiding by writing here!)

    How is my argument a misinterpretation of what you said? In what way is “taking responsibility” different from “the responsible thing to do?”

    Are we talking about mandatory registration, or voluntary registration?

  252. Gene, OS: Although it may not be linked to a specific gun, isn’t a background check on gun buyers going to act as a pseudo-registry of gun ownership?

    I do not see how those records cannot be kept if background checks become law, without a record of them being performed as part of every sale, the law is toothless. Isn’t it? (If the information is erased or the result is just Go/NoGo with no record kept, how could we know the merchant didn’t just put a fake ID in for the check, or his own ID?)

    I’ve never seen what is provided for a background check, but I imagine the information might include a description of the gun(s) being purchased, or even the serial numbers. Then presto, it is not just a sales record, it is a list of specific customers (and perhaps to some degree what they bought).

  253. Tony,

    Stop and think…. There will be a list kept someplace…. On the background check….. Think of it in terms as a notch on the credit score….. There will be an inverse implication someplace….. Just because of an inquiry….

  254. AY, I did not understand your question at first. AFAIK, the proposed bill has not been written yet. As they say, the devil is in the details, we will have to see if that issue is addressed.

    Tony C., what will be in such a background check is not known, but good question. I will do some research. An idea for a story this weekend is percolating in my mind. I had a conversation last night with my son, who is is the medical director of the emergency department at a regional hospital and former Aviation Medical Examiner (aka flight surgeon) for the FAA. He had some ideas. I also had a conversation yesterday with my favorite pharmacist about it. I am taking a continuing education ethics seminar on Friday, and plan to get some updates on the latest HIPAA regulations. Gotta get my facts straight and up-to-date before I publish anything.

  255. AY: I did stop and think, that is why I wrote the post! Because I can’t think of a way to perform an effective background check without, at minimum, revealing to the government exactly who a customer is (with some proof like a Driver’s License or picture ID), with enough ID to tell if the customer is a convicted criminal or charged with a crime or on probation or is currently on trial or has been prohibited by the court from purchasing weapons, along with where he is shopping. Perhaps also with a record of purchase, since the objective (for the government) would be to ensure every sale was accompanied by a background check, how else can they know that is true if each sale is not tied to a specific background check?

    If sales are not tied to specific background checks (to prove the sale was legal), then all we have is the merchant’s assurance that “oh yes, we sure did perform a background check on every sale,” and we cannot prove any different. (Well, the government could recruit felons to try and buy guns, I suppose, but that might be entrapment…)

    So I agree, if the background check is going to be effective it has to tie sales to customers, in a permanent record, which to me constitutes a back door “registry.”

  256. P.S: plus, corrupt merchants might go ahead and perform background checks on strangers, so they cannot be entrapped, but skip them for those they personally know are criminals that couldn’t pass. So the “mystery shopper” solution is easily defeated, if no record of who bought what is kept.

  257. Tony C.,

    How is my argument a misinterpretation of what you said? In what way is “taking responsibility” different from “the responsible thing to do?”

    The entire phrase in both instances was “taking responsibility for the ownership and use of a gun “or “take full responsibility and accept full accountability for that ownership.” You ask me to accept your words and argue them as my own or to accept an editing of those words and argue a meaning that your editing has imposed.

    If you can’t refute the assertion without the editing, then say so.

    I am in favor of registration. I have asserted that law-abiding citizens should have no problem with registration because they have accepted the full responsibility and accountability for ownership. Questioning what I mean by accepted full responsibility and accountability for ownership would have led to the deeper meaning that I am asserting which would be the responsibility and accountability for one’s gun being used to wound or kill another individual and the responsibility and accountability a gun owner has to society in general for the use to which his/her gun has been put within or upon members of society. Registration is the manner in which society knows who has legal ownership of the gun and thus where the accountability begins.

    The responsibility in filling out the paperwork for registration or the irresponsibility in not doing so is your conundrum, not mine. I suppose if I were to make it my conundrum I would suggest a fine, similar to fine one is charged if it is discovered one’s vehicle’s plates or registration are not up to date.

  258. Blouise: I have asserted that law-abiding citizens should have no problem with registration because they have accepted the full responsibility and accountability for ownership.

    I do dispute that, currently a law-abiding citizen has legally purchased a gun, and by law their responsibility ends there. They have not accepted any additional responsibility or accountability, and doing so is above and beyond the current law. So your assertion is that they should not mind a law that imposes upon them additional responsibility and accountability.

    Now that depends on what you mean by “should,” but the fact is obeying current laws does not automatically imply they will welcome additional laws. Outside of gun control, I am pretty sure there are potential new laws you would not welcome either, law-abiding as you may be.

    Questioning what I mean by accepted full responsibility and accountability for ownership would have led to the deeper meaning that I am asserting which would be the responsibility and accountability for one’s gun being used to wound or kill another individual and the responsibility and accountability a gun owner has to society in general for the use to which his/her gun has been put within or upon members of society.

    I did not have to ask that, I assumed that, and it is precisely why I think many people would not want to register, or would not want registration to become law. Registration carries a risk, the very “accountability” you mention.

    Registration is the manner in which society knows who has legal ownership of the gun and thus where the accountability begins.

    And many law-abiding people that want to own guns because it makes them feel safer, also do not want to be held accountable for something they feel is beyond their control, or would require an excessive amount of additional caution on their part.

    I have known people, for example, that believed locking a gun up defeated much of the purpose of the gun, as did leaving it unloaded. If you had to get it out of a gun safe to defend against an intruder, or load it to use it, the intruder could have killed you already, or could be blocking the path to your gun safe or ammunition. So they kept a handgun in their bedside night table, or in a sideboard drawer close to the front door.

    If their home was burglarized while they were not home, those guns could be stolen, used in a murder, and then they would be “accountable.”

    I don’t think summarizing your claim changed the meaning at all or affected my argument, but there you go; I refute your statement in its original form. Your assertion is wrong, until the law is changed, a gun purchase does not entail “full responsibility or full accountability,” and that is certainly not a reason to “want” registration, or “have no problem with” registration. For somebody that wants to own guns the prospect of increased responsibility and accountability, above and beyond the current law, is a reason to not want registration to become law.

  259. If the government cannot keep a record of who sold dangerous weapons to whom, why in the hell can they keep records of who I sell my car to? Aren’t IRS records kept on all taxpayers by the government? They seem pretty secure. Why would a record of guns sales be any more of an intrusion?

  260. rafflaw: I think your right to own and drive a car is not Constitutionally protected. At least, it isn’t an enumerated right.

  261. Tony,

    Cars weren’t around back in the 1700s. What do you think of one’s constitutional right to own a home? Do you think if a right to own something is not enumerated in the Bill of Rights that it is not constitutionally protected?

  262. Elaine: I think you interpreted my comment backwards. Which may be my fault. What I mean to say is that because guns (and arms) were around in the 1700s they received special Constitutional protection in the Bill of Rights restricting government’s ability to regulate them.

    Cars were not, and have received no special protections, so the government is free to regulate them as they see fit.

    The founders argued precisely this point about enumerating rights, and whether enumeration would actually do harm to freedom by acting as a presumed laundry list of what the government was not allowed to do. That is what happened in this case, logically Rafflaw is right, what applies to gun ownership should apply to ownership in general, but because the Amendment was written about “arms” the government has felt free to regulate, register, tax, and restrict ownership of many things that are not “arms.”

    So that gives me an idea on gun control: Establish a national sales tax on all gun and ammunition sales, public or private, of $500 per gun sold, and $10 per bullet sold. Make violation a felony.

    If property taxes do not inhibit property ownership, and sales taxes do not inhibit car, boat or power tool ownership, then it isn’t reasonable to think that gun sale taxes would run afoul of the Constitution, either.

  263. New Research Confirms Gun Rampages Are Rising—and Armed Civilians Don’t Stop Them
    Data on 84 attacks echoes MoJo’s investigation and further debunks the NRA’s “good guys with guns” myth.
    By Mark Follman
    Thu Apr. 11, 2013
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/mass-shootings-rampages-rising-data

    Excerpt:
    By the time the nation confronted the unthinkable school massacre in Connecticut last December, Mother Jones’ groundbreaking investigation of mass shootings, launched the prior summer, had shown that mass gun violence in America was on the rise. The trend appeared to be no coincidence in light of the proliferation of guns and looser gun laws nationwide. One leading criminologist took issue with our criteria, arguing that mass shootings had not become more common. But now, research from an expert on criminal justice at Texas State University further shows that gun rampages in the United States have escalated.

    The research, to be published in a book in July, further confirms that:

    – Public shooting rampages have spiked in particular over the last few years

    – Many of the attackers were heavily armed

    – None of the shootings was stopped by an ordinary citizen using a gun

    The author of the study, Pete Blair, advises law enforcement officials and has conducted extensive research on gun rampages in workplaces, schools, and other public locations. He gathered data on 84 “active shooter events” (ASEs) between 2000 and 2010 in which the killer’s primary motive appeared to be mass murder.

  264. Tony C.,

    “Your assertion is wrong, until the law is changed, a gun purchase does not entail “full responsibility or full accountability,” and that is certainly not a reason to “want” registration, or “have no problem with” registration.”

    Now we’re cookin’ with gas.

    “And many law-abiding people that want to own guns because it makes them feel safer, also do not want to be held accountable for something they feel is beyond their control, or would require an excessive amount of additional caution on their part.”

    Exactly! That is the problem with the gun culture … I want my gun but don’t you dare hold me responsible for any damage done because I am not accountable. It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it?

    Well, let’s give registration a shot (pun fully intended) and see what happens when accountability meets the gun culture.

    Now, do I have any reasonable expectation that registration will become law? Of course not. I’m a realist. But it is more fun than a barrel full of monkeys to force gun lovers to admit out loud that accountability is not something they want nor choose to accept. For it is in that admission that the guarantee of more Sandy Hooks comfortably resides.

  265. Blouise: To play devil’s advocate, would it be your fault if your car was stolen and used to kill somebody? How about your carving knife? Why should a gun invite any more scrutiny than that?

  266. Tony C.:

    “To play devil’s advocate, would it be your fault if your car was stolen and used to kill somebody? How about your carving knife? Why should a gun invite any more scrutiny than that?”

    Cars aren’t designed to kill, though they admittedly do.

    Kitchen knives serve purpose in everyday use.

    Guns are designed and manufactured for an express purpose. Your argument should reflect this fact to have any validity.

  267. Matthew Warren Bought Unregistered Gun Online To Use In Suicide, Rick Warren Says
    By Jaweed Kaleem
    Posted: 04/11/2013
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/matthew-warren-unregistered-gun-bought-online_n_3064359.html

    Excerpt:
    Matthew Warren, the son of evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren who committed suicide last week, killed himself with an unregistered gun he had bought online, the pastor said on Thursday.

    “Someone on the Internet sold Matthew an unregistered gun. I pray he seeks God’s forgiveness. I forgive him. #MATTHEW 6:15,” the pastor tweeted, referencing a Biblical passage about the forgiveness of sins.

    “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you don’t…,” Warren then tweeted, quoting the verse.

    Since Matthew Warren, 27, died in his Mission Viejo, Calif., home on Friday, Rick Warren has taken to Twitter and Facebook to publicly grieve his son’s death and spread awareness about mental illness. In an emotional letter he wrote to his Lake Forest, Calif.-based Saddleback Church community last week, Warren revealed that Matthew had been through years of “mental illness resulting in deep depression and suicidal thoughts.”

  268. Tony C.,

    Certainly, I will play applying saint to your devil’s advocate for the questions are appropriate and lead to further exploration of the subject. Some of this has been discussed up thread so I’m going to save myself some typing by using cut/paste.

    Bear with me as I spend a couple of paragraphs building my case.

    I begin by stressing the difference between a vehicle made for transportation and a gun made for killing. Don’t you find it interesting that the thing made for transportation requires registration yet the thing made for killing does not?

    I then stress the point that over the last 20 years, the number of Americans dying in motor vehicle crashes has decreased by 31%. Deaths from fires and drowning have been reduced even more, by 38% and 52%, respectively. This progress through injury prevention research was achieved without banning automobiles, swimming pools, or matches. Instead, it came from translating research findings into effective interventions. Yet thanks to legislation, this kind of injury prevention research cannot be done on firearm violence and continues to be part of the present gun bill now making its way through congress.

    Now my sainthood application, to which you are playing devil’s advocate (I’m referring to the original purpose of the Devil’s Advocate in the Catholic Church which was to challenge applications for sainthood): Should someone steal my car and use it as a killing machine, I’m investigated. If I have left it unlocked, the investigation deepens. If I’ve loaned it to the known drunk down the street, the investigation turns ugly for me. The registration of that vehicle has made all that accountability possible because the registration assigned ownership to me.

    For these reasons, I secure the car, report it as missing if I can’t find it, and never loan it to the drunk down the street. Could my car, despite all my precautions be stolen and used as a killing machine? Sure, and the investigation would start with me, as it should and based on my arrangements in securing that vehicle some action either criminal or civil could come my way. Interestingly enough those who own an actual killing machine, a gun, don’t want that sort of scrutiny because they don’t want that sort of accountability.

    Now for carving knives. I’m chuckling as I write this because I used to own a catering business. You would not believe the number of laws, regulations, and inspections that have to do with knives, slicing machines and the like. Everything is registered and there are regulations and restrictions about where such implements are located, stored, cleaned, the ages workers have to be before they are allowed to handle such tools coupled with constant inspections from Health Boards and workman’s comp people and if any of the big knives are missing, I better be able to find them or I will be paying fines and going to court. Not to mention what happens when someone cuts himself or herself and needs stiches.

    So yes, Tony, in the two areas you gave me, vehicles and carving knives neither which were manufactured as killing machines, even if a death results that is not my fault, I am held accountable to some degree or another. How would you like to have that sort of accountability for the actual killing machine that is your gun? Ah, that’s right … you wouldn’t.

  269. gbk, Blouise: It is overblown rhetoric to say a gun is manufactured as a killing machine, it makes it sound as if everybody that buys a gun must want to kill something.

    Are martial arts experts getting years of training in the hope of killing somebody? Perhaps a few, but in my experience that would almost always be a lie; they take years of training because at first they do not want to be helpless in the face of violence, and later because they want to be experts in the face of violence, to themselves or others. Martial artists are taught how to kill, break bones, and cripple, but they use their skill to prevent violence by others, not to increase their kills. The vast majority of black belts have never killed anybody.

    The same is true for the vast majority of gun owners. The gun may be capable of killing, but the reason it is usually owned is for defense, not attack. I own guns but have no desire to kill anybody ever; if I ever point it at anybody (and I haven’t thus far) it will be in the hope it is enough threat to prevent them from doing violence, not in the “Dirty Harry” hope they will give me an excuse to shoot them.

    As for knives; I assure you I can walk into any department store and pay cash with no ID for 50 different kinds of knives and cleavers that are designed to butcher animals, I could walk into a sporting goods store and buy a knife built to gut large animals, and there are many places to buy with cash military-style combat knives, built expressly for killing people, without any ID.

    Blouise says: Ah, that’s right … you wouldn’t.

    Since when is this about me? This is about people, not me specifically, you asked a general question about why “law abiding citizens” would not want to register, I have been answering that question. Both for the purpose of understanding them sociologically and selling them products from various businesses, both of which I have done successfully, I have some working models for why people do what they do, or don’t do what we’d like them to do. I am applying those working models here to answer your question.

    I am not “gun lover,” Blouise, I do not hunt, I do not own a rifle or shotgun, I find no sport in shooting anything, not even targets. I own guns for self defense, I believe they present a threat that can prevent violent victimization even without shooting anybody.

    In general, people do not volunteer to be responsible or accountable unless there is something in it for them. So far, the “benefits” you describe are not in the least attractive to the people you want to register: More investigation, more accountability, more scrutiny by law enforcement with a greater presumption of guilt instead of innocence. To them, that is not a benefit, that is discrimination and persecution because they want to defend themselves and their property.

  270. Tony C.,

    “Since when is this about me? This is about people, not me ”

    You are right … it was an unnecessary remark that served solely to put you on the defensive. I apologize, sincerely. You do realize though that I was responding to your questions as to how I, personally, not people in general, would feel if my car were used to kill somebody or my personal carving knives. ( … would it be your fault if your car was stolen and used to kill somebody? How about your carving knife?) Would you consider it too smarta$$ish on my part to suggest that it is okay for you to make it personal about me but out of line for me to make it personal about you?

    However, guns as killing machines is not hyperbolic. Fire a bullet into a body and you have assumed the risk that the bullet will strike an artery, vital organ or organs and kill. I suppose one could buy a gun to beat a steak with the grip for tenderizing or as an investment to be displayed as part of a collection of period pieces but on the whole, guns are designed, manufactured, and sold as killing machines. But then, again, only if one accessorizes with bullets as the Chris Rock video points out.

    “In general, people do not volunteer to be responsible or accountable unless there is something in it for them. So far, the “benefits” you describe are not in the least attractive to the people you want to register: More investigation, more accountability, more scrutiny by law enforcement with a greater presumption of guilt instead of innocence. To them, that is not a benefit, that is discrimination and persecution because they want to defend themselves and their property.”

    Exactly. People don’t have to register to vote and millions don’t. Many people would not register their cars if they didn’t have to. Many would not register their children for school if they didn’t have to. The list of what people wouldn’t register if they didn’t have to goes on and on. I want to add guns to that list.

  271. Tony C.,

    I’m leaving for the weekend but will check back next week to see if there is anything else you wish to discuss on this matter.

    Thanks for the interaction.

  272. Tony C.

    “It is overblown rhetoric to say a gun is manufactured as a killing machine”

    I didn’t say that, Tony. I was just pointing out that equating guns to cars and kitchen knives because cars and knives can also kill is disingenuous.

  273. Blouise: The truth is I don’t care much about registration either way; because by my nature I focus only on things I think might work, and after consideration I do not believe registration will do anything at all to solve the problem. I guess I am narrow-minded in that sense; I need a plausible story for how it helps.

    It would not have prevented the recent bout of toddlers killing adults; an automatic safety timer could have, a trigger too stiff for a four-year old to pull might have done that, a requirement of two independent mechanical actions to fire the gun (like cocking the gun before pulling the trigger, or requiring a momentary safety-release before pulling the trigger) might have been beyond the ken of a four-year old. I think some of the problem is that a loaded gun is a “critical system,” it is too fast and easy to go from nothing to full lethality, and that leads to both accidents and impulse killings that would not occur with a less critical system (one that took more time and / or more physical or more complex effort).

    Registration doesn’t keep somebody from shooting in anger, or shooting accidentally, or just losing their gun at a campsite or forgetting to put the safety on. Registration doesn’t create responsibility or accountability; we would require new laws to make people guilty of some crime if their gun were used in a homicide: And I think it is unfair to punish somebody because a crime (like burglary, or undetected theft) was committed against them.

    Knowing which law-abiding citizens bought guns doesn’t tell us anything useful. A criminal isn’t going to register his black-market stolen gun, and knowing who it was stolen from doesn’t solve the crime the gun was used to commit. I don’t understand how this “accountability” would work; are we going to make it a crime to have one’s gun stolen?

    Anyway, if we disagree that is fine, I just don’t see the mechanism.

  274. From the Live Free or Die state:

    New Hampshire Stand Your Ground Law Opponents Threatened With Arrest, Removal From Office
    The Huffington Post
    By John Celock
    Posted: 04/12/2013
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/12/new-hampshire-stand-your-ground_n_3071774.html

    Excerpt;
    Tea party Republicans in New Hampshire want to press criminal charges against state legislators who voted to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law and kick them out of office.

    Two Republican members of the state House of Representatives and a former state GOP chairman have filed a petition to remove 189 members of the state House and file criminal charges against them for their March 27 vote to repeal the controversial gun law. The group claims that the vote violates the lawmakers’ oath of office, unconstitutionally challenges the Second Amendment and fails to adhere to state constitutional protections on life.

    The Stand Your Ground law, which allows deadly force when someone believes their life is in danger, was enacted in 2011, during a period of tea party control of the New Hampshire state Legislature. The repeal bill passed the Democratic-controlled House and is pending in the Republican-controlled Senate. Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) has said she will sign it.

    “I want you all to know that Thursday afternoon State Rep. John Hikel and I filed formal criminal complaints against the sponsor of HB135 and all 189 Reps who voted in favor of this bill,” former state Republican Party chairman Jack Kimball posted on Facebook Friday. He said complaints also were filed with county sheriffs by state Rep. J.R. Hoell (R-Dunbarton) and resident Gus Breton, and would be filed on Saturday with the U.S. Marshal’s office. “All of the State Reps (Democrat & Republican) that voted to repeal the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law have violated their oath of office and should be removed,” Kimball added.

  275. gbk: You say, when I talk about cars, Cars aren’t designed to kill. Then you say, Guns are designed and manufactured for an express purpose. Then you say, I didn’t say that [a gun is manufactured as a killing machine], Tony.

    We are adults here, gbk, not children. Adults understand sentences, they do not just parrot them. You are clearly conveying the same idea, saying cars are not the same as guns because guns are designed to kill and cars are not. I reject your protest, I used Blouise’s phrasing instead of yours but you were both clearly pursuing the same line of argument.

    As for knives, combat knives are designed for the express purpose of killing people in hand to hand combat; soldiers and seals are trained for it.

    As for hand guns, they are not sold as killing machines, they are marketed exclusively (to my knowledge) as self defense machines; nobody is marketing the pitch that if you are interested in murdering people, product X does the best job of it. Even the term “stopping power” refers to an attack or assault, the survivalists are not hunting people but defending against imaginary marauders and thieves, the vast majority of handgun owners want to defend themselves, their family, or their property.

    Handguns are designed for defense, if they are designed to kill they are designed to kill potentially violent criminals. So using them to murder an innocent is also subverting the purpose of manufacture, just like using a car to murder an innocent, or a carving knife to murder an innocent.

    If you compare the number of guns owned (270 million USA) to the number of murders in a year (9000 or so) only about one in 30,000 guns was used in a murder, and only 1 in 8000 or so was even involved in a reported gun shot wound.

    I think that is evidence that the vast majority of guns sold are not bought to kill anybody, but to protect somebody or something (or for legal sport). Just as the vast majority of cars are sold for transportation but have been used for intentional murder, and also produce many accidental deaths.

    I think that like cars, guns should be manufactured with mechanisms that prevent as many accidental deaths as possible.

  276. Elaine: Perhaps we should all put together a lawsuit suing the lawmakers for passing the law in the first place; then all the lawmakers would be threatened with arrest and removal over their vote!

    I think it is ludicrous to attempt to criminalize a vote to repeal a law; although politicians are generally sworn to uphold the Constitution, the Constitution does not specify any laws that have to be present, otherwise they would be IN the Constitution.

  277. Tony C,.

    “gbk: You say, when I talk about cars, Cars aren’t designed to kill. Then you say, Guns are designed and manufactured for an express purpose. Then you say, I didn’t say that [a gun is manufactured as a killing machine],”

    That’s right Tony. I didn’t say guns are killing machines. Their express purpose is to kill, but killing machine is something I didn’t say.

    Your comparisons to cars, kitchen knives, and whatever else you might throw on the table ring hollow because cars, kitchen knives, etc., have other purposes as their primary design goal. And stick to your original analogies — you said “carving knife,” now your saying “combat knives.”

    You can use the euphemistic phrase, “guns are for defense,” yet this most likely does not change the outcome if said gun is used.

    There are many valid reasons to own a firearm, but the fact of the matter is that a guns primary purpose is to kill something.

    As you say, we’re not children — take a gun’s design purpose and argue from that, because the analogies have little use.

  278. Tony C.

    “Handguns are designed for defense, if they are designed to kill they are designed to kill potentially violent criminals. So using them to murder an innocent is also subverting the purpose of manufacture, just like using a car to murder an innocent, or a carving knife to murder an innocent.”

    Whether the victim is a crminal, innocent, or an animal, the gun is being used for its express purpose.

  279. gbk: I don’t have to stick to the same analogy; I can add to it if I want. Combat knives are a different analogy, perhaps more pertinent, that you cannot answer. I stick by my analogy to kitchen knives; if 99.99% of people buy handguns for self defense, and 99.99% of people buy kitchen knives for self defense, than intentionally buying and using either product to murder somebody is using the product to commit a crime, for which it was not intended to be used.

    I added combat knives to this mix to answer your claims that only the gun is manufactured expressly to kill; it is not. So is a combat knife. Shall those also be banned or registered or highly controlled?

    It wouldn’t make any difference, would it, since a kitchen knife would suffice for murder if somebody wanted to use it.

    The point is that you are focused on an ineffective approach with a misguided goal. I would like to reduce gun murders and accidental killings with legislation also, but registration isn’t going to stop accidents or hyper-emotionally charged impulse killings. Those deaths and injuries are not going to be prevented, in the moment, by the memory that the police (or somebody) knows the gun being used belongs to you, or can trace the gun.

    Registration would end up being a waste of time and money for virtually no gain on the problem. It won’t prevent rationally planned murders, nobody that rationally plans a murder is going to be using a weapon the police can trace back to them. (At least nobody with an IQ over 80.)

    Likewise, whatever regulations we put on the manufacturing of guns (or combat knives) can be intentionally defeated; people can make their own guns and knives with no safeties built-in.

    If we are talking about, as Blouise put it, “law abiding citizens,” then the laws we can pass to prevent nearly all accidental and a significant share of impulse shootings would be the prohibition of selling guns without certain safety interlocks. Some of which I have proposed here. We can pass laws to make defeating these safety interlocks a crime, and heighten minimum sentencing standards for anybody that commits a murder with a weapon that has these safety interlocks bypassed. We can demand that even “accidental” killings, if the safety interlocks were defeated, shall be charged as murders, not manslaughter or some lesser charge.

    We can do that without passing a Constitutional Amendment (which is far too unlikely) and I think (although I am not a lawyer) that we can do that without running afoul of the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms; under the banner of product safety and ensuring the firearm, when fired, is highly likely to have been fired intentionally.

    There you go, I am arguing from both the gun’s design purpose, and the practicality of what can be addressed: The express purpose of the product is to intentionally kill. The modifications we should make are to the design of the product, to ensure intentionality is both present and persistent.

  280. Tony C.,

    “I added combat knives to this mix to answer your claims that only the gun is manufactured expressly to kill; it is not.”

    My statement was in response to the two examples you provided earlier, cars and kitchen knives . If you want to add other items to the list to buttress your original analogy go ahead, as it helps in exposing its weakness.

    “Handguns are designed for defense, if they are designed to kill they are designed to kill potentially violent criminals. So using them to murder an innocent is also subverting the purpose of manufacture, just like using a car to murder an innocent, or a carving knife to murder an innocent.”

    This might be the most ineffective syllogism for a deductive argument I’ve ever read. Your major premise has no axiomatic quality to it, actually it reads more like the conclusion you want to arrive at. Your minor premise is conditional and contains a sub-conclusion you want to arrive at, and these two premises are meant to logically “prove” that if an innocent is killed the gun’s express manufacturing purpose has been subverted.

    Doesn’t work for me.

    “The point is that you are focused on an ineffective approach with a misguided goal.”

    You assume I have a goal on this issue — I don’t. I haven’t said a thing about registration or any other aspect of this subject. You are making the mistake of putting words in my mouth and ascribing a motivation to my participation in this thread to solely suit your argument.

    I just think your argument, not about registration or constitutional issues, but about a firearm’s purpose is weak, as your expanding analogy list and above quoted syllogism shows.

  281. gbk: Your major premise has no axiomatic quality to it,

    On the contrary, it is inherently axiomatic; guns are not designed to commit crimes; they are not marketed as good for committing crimes, the vast majority of firearms are never used in committing a crime. I provided all that evidence earlier; I will not repeat it every time I use it. I expect you to have a memory.

    The killing of a human is not necessarily a crime, because killing in self defense is legal. It is legal to respond to a lethal threat with lethal force. Guns are marketed to civilians as being for the purpose of protection (or the purpose of legal hunting of game).

    To claim they are manufactured for any other reason is YOU making an axiomatic claim that is unsupported. It is not supported by the marketing campaigns of the gun manufacturers, and it is not supported by the evidence of how over 99.99% of guns in the USA are actually used.

    It doesn’t make a difference if guns are manufactured to kill, so are other products: To add another, consider the injectable drugs veterinarians use to put down animals.

    The product is NOT expressly manufactured to break the law and commit murder. I suspect that would make them illegal, wouldn’t it?

    The purpose of guns is to provide legal self-defense or legal sport, that is how 99.996% of them are used, that is how they are marketed, that is how the vast majority of gun owners perceive them, if not for sport then as a defense against criminals or assailants. The microscopic percentage of them used to commit crimes each year are the exception, not the rule.

  282. Tony C.,

    “guns are not designed to commit crimes; they are not marketed as good for committing crimes,”

    Again you change your argument, now it is, “not designed to commit crimes.”

    It’s not my memory that’s failing, Tony.

  283. Tony C.,

    “To claim they are manufactured for any other reason is YOU making an axiomatic claim that is unsupported.”

    Guns are designed to kill, something.

    If the use is legal and appropiate, so be it.

    You seem to take issue with my use of the word “kill” which you seem to think I reserve strictly for innocent humans. I don’t play the euphamism game, Tony. Call it self-defence, sport, etc., doesen’t matter to me. It does not change the fact that a gun’s primary design goal is to kill – again something – which is why they are used for self- defence, or hunting, etc.

    The fact that many are not used (according to you) is not what I’m arguing against.

  284. tony c:

    I think gbk is right, guns are only made for the purpose of killing living beings. There are other uses but their primary use is to kill.

  285. Bron: Many things are designed to kill “living beings,” such as antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, insecticides, and poisons for rodents and plants. Slaughterhouses are only made for the purpose of killing living beings.

    What does “being designed to kill” have to do with anything, if the killing is legal? What does that matter to a discussion about gun control?

    The context is important, because we have wandered from it. The question is about whether you are more liable for having a gun stolen than having something else stolen; e.g. do you bear more responsibility or liability if your gun is stolen and used to kill somebody, than you would if your car was stolen and used to kill somebody.

    When I said, “Why should a gun invite any more scrutiny than [stolen cars or stolen kitchen knives that can be used to kill somebody],” gbk responded: Cars aren’t designed to kill, though they admittedly do. Kitchen knives serve purpose in everyday use. Guns are designed and manufactured for an express purpose. Your argument should reflect this fact to have any validity.

    So from the beginning the context of this discussion was about the hypothetical killing of people, and specifically the criminal killing of people (accidentally or intentionally).

    GBK is wrong; the argument does not need to be informed by the intent or design of the gun. The argument is about whether an individual should be liable because their stolen property caused the criminal death of another person.

    The fact that the gun is “designed to kill” is immaterial, and singling guns out for liability is incoherent policy, because many, many things I own are dangerous enough to accidentally or intentionally kill somebody. Including my kitchen knives, and my car.

    Which brings me to the broader point: The intended purpose is immaterial as long as the purpose is legal; what I think triggers the need for licensing and product regulation is whether a product presents an unusually destructive danger to the lives and property of users and others. As cars do, guns do, flying machines do, and kitchen knives, combat knives, or many insecticides and herbicides do not.

  286. Tony.,

    “Anyway, if we disagree that is fine, I just don’t see the mechanism.”

    I think that is best as we have little common ground here including the basic definition of a gun, car, or carving knife. If we can’t agree on the basics, there’s little hope we could reach a compromise that would be of benefit to anyone.

    Perhaps the gridlock in Washington is a truer reflection of our society as a whole than we are willing to admit. ;)

  287. Tony C.,

    “GBK is wrong; the argument does not need to be informed by the intent or design of the gun. The argument is about whether an individual should be liable because their stolen property caused the criminal death of another person.”

    Your argument is futile Tony. The design of any tool is the basis for use. I have never in this thread referred to liability because a person’s, “stolen property caused the criminal death of another person.”

    This is your stretching of argument to include: 1) cars, 2) kitchen knives, 3) martial arts practitioners, 4) combat knives, 5) guns not committing crimes, 6) marketing of guns, and 7) drugs used by veterinarians for the purpose of euthanasia.

    Quite a broad swath of bullshit — the ever shifting, and might I note, verbose ramblings of desperate argument.

    As an aside, please have the balls to address me directly in this thread and not use others as a proxy.

  288. Tony C.,

    Well, I have real work to do, contractual obligations that have not allowed any sleep for three days now. But you keep right on building your list of, “things that can kill.” I’ll be back on Thursday.

  289. Tony.,

    I did, however, find your discussion with Gene on gun safety rather elegant but testing of your theories will never be done as we are prohibited from doing same by legislation the gun manufacturers, through their lobbyists, have pushed through Congress.

    {I am referring to the discussion you started off with this:

    “In fact, that is the whole point of owning a gun, instead of just owning a good hunting knife: Ease of use.

    America does have a gun problem. I believe people should be allowed to own guns for self-defense, I believe they should be allowed to carry, but you do your argument damage with your implied pretense that guns are no different than any other weapons. They are very different, and the differences are precisely why we own them.” (Tony)

    You followed with:

    “The problem is the gun because the gun (as currently constituted and regulated) removes all barriers to successful impulsive murder. The problem is not in the people for having these impulses, those are a natural result of evolutionary pressures in our psychology. The problem is in removing the time and action barriers that would give rationality time to dissuade the shooter from murder. If somebody commits considered murder (as the crazies and criminals do), THEN the problem is in the person.” (Tony)

    And finally:

    ” … because what we know is that guns, as currently manufactured and regulated, defeat the natural mental mechanisms that would otherwise drastically reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by guns.

    I believe if simple modifications to a product would effect large changes in the death rate due to that product, both intentional and unintentional, then it is fair to say the problem was in the product, not the people.” (Tony) }

    Although Gene poo-pooed my fantasies that ‘ “It was my autonomous nervous system that shot him” isn’t a valid defense.” ‘, I still think it is something Ava Crowder could use, but then, who am I kidding? Boyd’s just going to shoot someone and all will be well. (referencing FX’s Justified)

  290. gbk: There is little point in addressing you directly; you have proven you will not listen to reason. If I want to talk about you with somebody else, I will. I am not talking to Bron as an indirect method of talking to you, I am talking to Bron to talk to Bron, and I know full well you can read it too, and I have the balls to not give a damn.

    If I have anything further to say to you, I certainly shall. As it stands, my opinion is that you have proven yourself a broken record unworthy of my further attention.

  291. Blouise: “Justified” looks like a good show; unfortunately it conflicts with others my wife and I like, so I will have to wait for a weekend marathon to record and catch up.

    I will note, btw, that those modifications I talk about do not require any electronics or batteries to implement. If you think about something like a five minute kitchen timer that runs on a spring; a safety on the gun could be implemented like that, the human must compress a spring to hold the safety off, and two minutes later the safety clicks back on.

    The same is true for requiring separate actions to chamber a bullet and then fire the weapon; like a thumb-lever that chambers the bullet, and automatically retracts the bullet if not fired within two minutes. Simple springs, simple dumb steel tech, which can all be made very reliable.

  292. Tony C.,

    Justified is a great show! In my opinion, quite possibly one of the best series presently airing. Gene, Bob, and I are great fans of all things Justified. I can not, and thus do not try to, reconcile my enjoyment of Justified with my disdain for guns. Everybody on that show either shoots someone or gets shot by someone … there are a few stabbings, explosions, and poisonings but death by gun is the normal course of events. I suppose if I were psychoanalyzed the unconscious forces of the gun culture would
    be revealed at work in my subconscious.

    But back to the point involving gun safety … Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed” was one of the first steps taken in dragging automobile manufacturing, kicking and screaming all the way, into the realm of producing safer vehicles. To that end I do not believe it to be an exaggeration in opining that Nader can take partial credit for saving several hundred thousand lives. Would that another individual, unafraid of the authority figures arrayed against him/her, produce a work entitled “Unsafe at Any Caliber”

  293. Blouise: No worries, I do not believe in anything supernatural, but several of the fictional shows I enjoy(ed) are distinctly supernatural. “Being Human,” “Merlin,” “Heroes”, “Lost Girl,” “Haven,” etc.

    There is an interesting observation from evolutionary psychology that many of the things we find entertaining and fun to do are essentially practicing survival skills with the danger removed. Beginning with playing “Tag,” “Hide and Seek,” and games of throwing accuracy and puzzle solving. Hiking, fishing, hunting, running and various forms of racing are all fun when nothing but bragging rights are at stake.

    It may be the same with our fiction; we need the high stakes of drastic life consequences (including death) while subconsciously knowing for certain it isn’t really real, in order to enjoy the story. It may be the reason we even have imaginations to allow us to enjoy fiction, the survival advantage of an imagination is that it allows our future lives to be rehearsed.

    The non-survival benefit is that we can also have fun rehearsing scenarios that are impossible in real life.

  294. Tony C.,

    Now I feel better and it didn’t cost me a cent!

    Reminds me of something a comedian told me years and years ago … in order to be funny, a joke must carry an element of truth.

    BTW … Doesn’t look good for the folks in Boston …I just pulled this off of one of the twitter sites (that’s blood on the ground)

  295. SwM,

    I’m listening to ABC and they’re wondering about unconfirmed reports of a bomb found in a nearby hotel and police report that so far 2 are dead and 22 injured. The police report is official … the bomb in the hotel is speculation.

  296. I don’t know if this is accurate:

    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/watch-live-coverage-2-large-explosions-reported-boston-marathon-least-2-dead-23

    WATCH LIVE COVERAGE: Boston Marathon Bombing — Report Claims Suspect Identified, and at Least 12 Dead, 50 Injured

    TV footage showed an explosion sending up a white plume of smoke along the sidelines of the race.

    April 15, 2013

    Update 1:33 PM: From the New York Post — ” A federal law-enforcement source confirmed to The Post there are at least 12 dead and nearly 50 injured. Fox News reported that Massachusetts General Hospital was treating 10 people with amputated limbs and all operating rooms were on hold.

    Authorities have a identified a suspect, who is currently being guarded in a Boston hospital with shrapnel wounds.”

  297. ap,

    I just listened to the local news here. There have been three explosions. Two simultaneous explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two people have been reported dead and twenty-three injured. News reports also say there was an explosion at the JFK Library around 4:30.

  298. One of my daughter’s best friends was in the race. She was about fifteen minutes from the finish line so she was not injured but her mother was waiting for her at the finish line and witnessed the explosions but also was not injured.

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