Observations of the gun control debate

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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby spongebob » Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:13 pm

Keep The Reason wrote:"Not wanting to do X" doesn't mean the solution isn't good, right, and workable. When people do not want to adopt a solution that is good, right, and workable, that doesn't say a thing about the solution. It speaks volumes about the people. So maybe the real "solution" is, as terrible as it sounds, that Americans reap the right to be murdered in the tens of thousands and it will continue to escalate because that is what they actually want.


I think this is the most accurate description of the problem. Americans are, for the most part, choosing the "right" to be murdered by guns.

But the flip side of the coin is the real, hard core, gun-porn lovers. To them every gun death is just a call to buy another gun to protect themselves. San Bernardino just makes their case for them; they only wish there were more gun carriers there to take down the bad guys.

I don't know if anyone heard this today, but on the radio I heard a professor from a Texas college responding to the passage of a bill to allow guns on college campuses. His words were something to the effect of this: how free and open can he be in his classroom when he knows that there might be an armed student in his class. That student could at any time decide that he hates his professors words and just take him out. That's exactly the kind of America we are choosing to have, one in which we must fear for every word and every act in any public place. Hey, the good news is there will no longer be any need for political correctness; we'll have gun correctness.
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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby Keep The Reason » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:24 pm

spongebob wrote:
Keep The Reason wrote:"Not wanting to do X" doesn't mean the solution isn't good, right, and workable. When people do not want to adopt a solution that is good, right, and workable, that doesn't say a thing about the solution. It speaks volumes about the people. So maybe the real "solution" is, as terrible as it sounds, that Americans reap the right to be murdered in the tens of thousands and it will continue to escalate because that is what they actually want.


I think this is the most accurate description of the problem. Americans are, for the most part, choosing the "right" to be murdered by guns.

But the flip side of the coin is the real, hard core, gun-porn lovers. To them every gun death is just a call to buy another gun to protect themselves. San Bernardino just makes their case for them; they only wish there were more gun carriers there to take down the bad guys.

I don't know if anyone heard this today, but on the radio I heard a professor from a Texas college responding to the passage of a bill to allow guns on college campuses. His words were something to the effect of this: how free and open can he be in his classroom when he knows that there might be an armed student in his class. That student could at any time decide that he hates his professors words and just take him out. That's exactly the kind of America we are choosing to have, one in which we must fear for every word and every act in any public place. Hey, the good news is there will no longer be any need for political correctness; we'll have gun correctness.



Oh, easily solved. The prof can just arm himself and if he thinks the student is going to blow him away when the kid reaches into his pocket for a pen, he can just shoot first. Then other armed students can fire at the rogue prof, bringing him down. Then, of course, the revenge killings can begin. Hell, they could grade students on this as they ready them for the kind of society these people are insisting we must all live in.

And while I didn't bring it up in the overall debate, what I really don't get is the gun lover/Christian connection (actually I do get it, I'm just saying it as a figure of speech). The hardest people to convince that we should do away with guns are the people who insist they worship, worship, no less! a guy they think is the all perfect god, who told them they should love their enemies, turn the other cheek, and put up thy swords, else die by their swords.

I think we can very comfortably conclude that the marketing campaign on those tenets have not only not been very effective, they actually have created the exact reverse of what they were intended.

Just astonishing... But not particularly a new story.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby kuwano » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:23 am

Keep The Reason wrote:And while I didn't bring it up in the overall debate, what I really don't get is the gun lover/Christian connection (actually I do get it, I'm just saying it as a figure of speech). The hardest people to convince that we should do away with guns are the people who insist they worship, worship, no less! a guy they think is the all perfect god, who told them they should love their enemies, turn the other cheek, and put up thy swords, else die by their swords.


I think the connection between gunloving and being a Christian is primarily a product of the US cultural context. I don't observe that at all in the places I know well in Europe and in Japan.

For example, Japanese Christians are considerably more pacifist and less supportive of the use of guns than the general Japanese population - e.g. they were active in opposing the recent change to the Japanese constitution which has led Japan to go from having a Self Defence Agency into an army that can act pre-emptively usually in collaboration with the US and other allies. I know this is a somewhat different question to gun control in the civilian population but I imagine the issues are quite strongly related.

I can't say I've ever met anyone who owns a gun in the UK or other parts of Europe - whether they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist. Its just not an issue that people are passionate about. Among the upper classes they were upset that fox hunting was banned - but this was purely a class issue and had nothing to do with whether people were Christians or atheists.

My experience is that American Christians are generally more conservative (politically) than Christians from other Western and developed countries. What I observe from my American friends (I acknowledge this is purely anecdotal and speaking as an outsider so I may be misinformed) it appears for many American Christians it is unthinkable to not support the Republican party. Whereas, for example, in Japan most of my Christian friends would find it unthinkable to vote for the ruling party in Japan as they are far too right wing. In the UK, most churches I've attended are pretty mixed politically - there's no suggestion that Christian's should only support Conservatives, Labour, or Liberals. For us, political party affiliation is more strongly influenced by class or occupation than religion.
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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby Keep The Reason » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:09 am

Guys, apparently this response pasted below, because it contains my honest appraisal that some arguments are fantasies and paranoid, etc, I got another warning about word usage. Here's what I got:

Hello KTR,

Rian and I were glad to see that your debate with Chapabel was conducted in line with the CL rules. However, your language in the debate observations thread after the formal debate was finished was not in conformance with our standards - insults like "fantasizing", "paranoid", "preening", "smug", "petty" and "trolling" are unacceptable.


Sometimes personalities--in this case the personality of this topic rules and my approach overall -- simply do not mesh. This is one of those times. Irreconcilable differences. So, once again, after giving it yet another chance, I'm out of this topic and this time I promise to hold fast to my decision.

If you want to discuss this gun issue, I'm totally fine with doing it in a place I can express myself freely, and not have to adhere to the standards here, which I find (well, what words am I allowed to use here? No idea because none of them are pleasant.).

sponge, I was going to reply to your other post but if I do it will be over in the other section. kuwao, same to you.

Rian and tirtlegrrl, thanks for locking the other thread. Sorry this didn't work out. Please consider this the response to your pm request. I suppose this is breaking the CL rules too, so if you decide to ban me from here, have at it. I don't need another pm, just pull the trigger.

Anyway, thanks for the fun, albeit brief, hosting of my debate idea.

Keep The Reason wrote:
One16Unashamed wrote:KTR, you favor a limit on guns and ammunition.


Yes. This is clearly the least costly and most widely used solutions around the world. Limit gun ownership to weapons that hold 3-6 rounds. Everything above that is illegal. Simple, cost effective, and works as is demonstrated only everywhere else on the planet.

You also favor that the second amendment is rightly interpreted to be for a "well regulated militia ".


That's what it says. Technically we took that and created the National Guard. That's our well regulated militia in today's world. Unfortunately, it's owned by the government so that won't placate the paranoids.

You also know that no government is immune from becoming tyrannical. If you favor people being able to defend themselves, What is the right number of guns and ammunition for a militia?


I don't make this argument; I consider this "armed against our own government" to be ridiculous, utterly impractical fantasizing, and therefore laughable. People defending themselves means against burglars, criminals, their homes from vandals, etc., that sort of thing.

I already argued that your arsenals will be pretty much useless in a scenario where the USA goes tyrannical on us. I think we had this discussion before in fact. Without some other 1st world military power (that can rival the USA, which we know doesn't exist because we're armed 10-14 times greater than our nearest competitor) feeds insurgents weapons and ammo in a "tyrannical USA" scenario, you're basically dead, you and all the milita-men who fantasize that it's 1776 and their little cadres will do much damage. You'll be cut to ribbons by massive superior arms, tanks, drones, air power you cannot hope to match, and if need be, nukes. you're dead. You and all the Big 5 guns you keep in a locker somewhere.

Second, the culture of the USA citizen is such that I would find it pretty much impossible for our armed forces to go along with some sort of tyrannical take over of the USA. The "government" is only as strong as its military, and does anyone here really think that we have a military filled with people who would agree to turn its guns on its own people in any coup d'etat way? Sure, anything could happen, but I truly doubt this will happen in the modern USA. Why? Because there's far too much comfort, wealth and money to be made as things stand today.

Third, I'm not seditious against my own government because I cannot imagine a scenario wherein our government could have it any better. The top 1% owns everything on the planet. The top 10% owns nearly the entire wealth of the USA's trillions. We're the most powerful nation in the world, with arguably the fattest most content, most pampered, most secure populace in the world. I just find it hard to believe that any real demagogue would come in and "take over" America in any violent way. Why should they? They already run it and own it! In fact, given then right wing demagoguery that goes on in this country, I'd say you and those like you are instrumental in the very take over you think your weapons are going to defend against. In other words, the tyrants already won, and they won thanks to people who long ago supplanted our freedom with doctrine and who don't understand what freedom really means (i.e., that it's to be applied to all citizens equally, and that the citizens are important, not the corporations). I'll let you mull over which side of the fence you stand in that questions.

And who else is going to invade us? If they do, they're crazy. They'd be slaughtered by our military. Or nuked if it got bad enough. Not even China would bother, because they already own so much of the US in terms of debt we'll be paying them off forever. They want us alive and working.

It would be like a landlord killing his own tenets to gain the house he already owns, but would only succeed in losing his primary channel of income.

So I'm not really at all worried about this "we need these guns to defend against the government we already handed over to corporations and who make trillions and have no cause to destroy their own goose who lays a massive golden egg!". It's basically just a paranoiac argument you embrace and not worth the levels of spilled blood that results from it.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby One16Unashamed » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:22 am

I feel bad now for asking a question.
"In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that-and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison-you do not know God." -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby Rian » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:17 pm

:?: No reason for that; you didn't do anything wrong.
"Aurë entuluva! Auta i lómë!" ("Day shall come again! The night is passing!") -- from JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillion

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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby spongebob » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:03 pm

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Observations of the gun control debate

Postby spongebob » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:37 am

I recently listened to a podcast that evaluated a number of different aspects of gun control, including the analysis of data from states and countries where gun control was enacted and where gun buybacks were enacted and the subsequent affect on gun crime. Interestingly, the results are mixed. In some cases the bans and tracking of gun ownership seems to have significantly reduced gun violence, but in other places this doesn't seem to be working at all. It's interesting that in some countries, gun ownership is thriving but violence is low while in others both are high. What was certainly clear were two things, 1) that increasing gun ownership in states had no effect whatsoever on reducing gun crime, but it also didn't appear to increase it. 2) the estimate of 2,000,000 times a gun is used in self defense of person or property is a fictitious number that was derived using flawed statistical techniques, but this number is often bandied about by gun enthusiasts as cannon. The actual number is very difficult to get at, but most experts in the field believe this number is much lower that 2,000,000.

There are three different and unrelated reasons that people claim to need guns. One is that they need to defend themselves from criminals. The other is that they need to defend themselves from the government. The final one is for sport use. Only the second reason should cause an objection to the tracking of gun ownership and that reason is extremely flimsy to start with. Owning guns for self defense and sport should not give people a reason to avoid tracking, just like owning a car for personal transportation is tracked and there's no reason not to do that. The second reason should create more alarm in the general population and the police because there are lots of times when the police are granted warrants to come into someone's home to search for evidence. That's a prime opportunity for some gun toting yahoo to claim the government is oppressing him and open fire, just like what happened in Waco, TX.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
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