kerravonsen: Jack O'Neill holding a gun: "security blanket" (gun)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
Buying a gun to protect yourself from guns is like buying a butane torch to protect yourself from arsonists. If you want protection, wear kevlar.

Date: 2016-04-30 10:30 am (UTC)
kalypso: (Bang)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
You won't get any argument from me there.

Date: 2016-04-30 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nocturnus33.livejournal.com
For me, it is an expression of barbarism.

Date: 2016-04-30 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaxomsride.livejournal.com
Buying a gun is no protection - unless the bullet strikes the holster.

Date: 2016-04-30 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aadler.livejournal.com
Body armor has its uses, and I spent several years in locales where I was glad to have it. During that same time period, though, the basic rule was, If you shoot him and he doesn’t fall down, shoot him again in a different place. Meaning, kevlar was (and was recognized as) a tool rather than a cure-all.

There are no easy answers. Pat answers and slogans don’t even come close.

Date: 2016-05-01 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aadler.livejournal.com
A nation with a revolution that started when its citizenry resisted the Crown’s attempt to seize their arms is, indeed, going to have a particular cultural perspective. That’s certainly borne out by ownership statistics: there are more privately owned firearms in the U.S. than there are people.

The funny thing is, almost all those weapons — more than 300 million of them — have one thing in common: they have never been used to commit any kind of criminal act. And the private gun owners, likewise, are almost all innocent of any wrongdoing. If guns were the problem, wouldn’t we have millions of violent criminals shooting up every neighborhood in the country? Thousands of deaths daily? The capacity is certainly there; what seems to be missing is any kind of evil intent.

Which is what it always comes down to. The greatest non-military killing in the U.S. (September 11th) was done without the use of firearms. The greatest non-terrorist mass murder in the U.S. (arson in a retirement building) was done without firearms. The most famous serial killer in American history (Ted Bundy) never used a firearm. The greatest mass school killing in America (a disgruntled former school board member using dynamite) was carried out without firearms.

Guns aren’t the problem. Evil intent is the problem. If someone wants to kill large numbers of people, he can always find a way, especially if (as in most of the cases described above) he doesn’t care whether or not he survives the process.

Disarm everybody — which can’t be done anyway — and those bent on murder won’t really be handicapped. The non-criminal members of the population, however, will be severely handicapped in their ability to spontaneously defend against unexpected assault. Whenever some city (or even state) passes laws allowing or liberalizing concealed carry, violent crime rates go down … because those persons unswayed by conscience will hesitate when they know any prospective target could very well be capable of immediate and lethal response.

Going back to body armor versus firearms: if I could afford it, I would own both. Usually, though, it’s more practical just to get more guns.

Date: 2016-05-01 04:36 pm (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (Default)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
Ah, the old "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" bumper sticker argument.

It's true. People have been killing people for thousands of years with many sorts of weapons which are not guns, including their bare hands.

But there's a huge difference between guns and other weapons of destruction and murder. But the majority of them can only be used on one person at a time! A sword, a knife, a bow-and-arrow can kill a person, even more than one person if a group of people are completely unarmed, but it is highly unlikely that one madman with a machete could take out dozens of people in only a few seconds, the way a madman with an automatic weapon could (and did) do in a crowded theater.

Of course, there are bombs and other weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps, when the NRA has managed to get rid of all of the laws regulating guns, they can turn their attention to making explosives and poison gas available to anyone at their local Walmart.

Date: 2016-05-01 01:43 am (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (Default)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
The problem here in the US is that Second Amendment plus the gun lobby (especially the NRA) and the business of weapons.

The country is divided into three camps: a tiny minority who would like to see all guns banned, a rather large, but impotent majority who would like to see some common sense laws passed to limit what types of guns can be owned, and what circumstances in which they may be used, and a very vocal and large minority (and in some states, including the one where I live they ARE the majority) who do not want any sort of restrictions at all of any kind, because if a government would like to see a few sensible safety precautions in place, that means that it is planning on becoming some sort of dictatorship.

Honestly, there is legislation in some states to allow open carry WITHOUT any need for precautions such as the need for a license or a safety class or age restrictions, much less background checks. It's not just guns for hunting or sport shooting or even for someone to protect themselves from a criminal. It's the right to walk around like it's the Old West with a six-shooter on their hips. These people are NUTS on the subject of their "gun rights".

I don't like guns. I would never want to shoot one, or to have one in my house.

But I do know that the idea of banning private gun ownership is a long way from becoming a reality in this country. Our only hope is to begin being sensible about some restrictions: the same restrictions on owning a gun should exist as there are on operating a car--training, passing a test, getting a license that has to be renewed every so often. There should be laws about how guns may be stored and where they may be taken. And even people with either open or concealed carry permits should have to check them in public places like schools and churches and to allow private businesses the right to ask people not to carry guns on their premises.

Certain types of guns should be banned as well, such as assault rifles.

But the NRA and the rest of the gun lobby treat any attempt at putting any of these sensible rules into place as an assault on their "second amendment rights". They have the entire Republican Party in their pockets.

If a Republican is elected this year, any hope of common sense in regards to guns will be set back for generations.

Date: 2016-05-01 03:59 am (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (Default)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
The sad truth is that if a Democrat does not win the White House this year, the US is royally screwed, and in less than a generation will be worse off than the so-called Third World countries.

And if Donald Trump gets elected *shudder* then the whole world is in trouble. He does not care what he says or does, whether it's true or just made up on the spur of the moment, as long as he can stroke his own ego. He'd probably go to war over a personal insult which in his case appears to be anything even mildly critical of him.

Of course, someone could lock him and Vladimir Putin in the same room and see which one's head exploded first in the ego contest.

Date: 2016-05-01 06:56 am (UTC)
ext_12572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinanju.livejournal.com
And this is a big part of the problem, right here.

There are laws in every state and at the federal level, making it a crime to shoot someone, except in self-defense or defense of another. There are laws making it a crime to _threaten_ to shoot someone, except in self-defense or defense of another. There are laws making it a crime to point a gun at someone else, except in self-defense or defense of another. There are laws making it a crime to discharge a firearm in public, except in specific places (gun ranges, mostly) or in self-defense or defense of another. There are laws prohibiting the carrying of guns except in specific circumstances in most states, such as possession of a valid carry permit. There are laws controlling who may buy a gun, and what kinds of guns, and (in some jurisdictions) how many. In some jurisdictions "assault weapons" (functionally identical to non-assault weapons, but scarier-looking) are outlawed. In many jurisdictions there ARE laws about how guns must be secured and where they can be taken.

There are _thousands_ of laws, regulations and rules...and yet, somehow, it's never enough. There's always just one more "reasonable restriction" being demanded. Sure, nobody _today_ is demanding a complete ban, but a death of a thousands cuts is still death. If a complete ban is off the table, it's because gun owners have wised up and begun fighting even the most reasonable-sounding suggestion since it won't be the end of the argument. It never is.

The next "reasonable restriction" won't be enough. We've danced this dance for decades. Before the ink is dry on that new law, there will be people out there demanding further concessions.

Why is open carry a thing? In part, because believers in the right to go armed think it's the right thing to do. "Shall not be infringed" is pretty clear language. And in part because they've learned from their opponents that being polite and "reasonable" (in the view of people whose fundamental values are opposed to your own) achieves nothing. So they've pushed, and pushed hard, and moved the middle ground in their favor.

You want car-equivalent gun ownership? I'd like to be able to buy any gun I want and can afford, as many as I can afford, with no background check, from a dealer or another individual, in any state, with no waiting period and with my state license good for carrying it in any of the 50 states. How about that?

Date: 2016-05-01 04:06 pm (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (Default)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
I am going to make some nice assumptions about you. I am going to assume that you actually know how to take care of a firearm safely, so that you are able to take care of it without accidentally harming yourself or others. I am going to assume that you are reasonable about keeping your firearms in a place safe from being randomly found by young children or the ignorant. I am going to assume that you are of sound mind and do not have anger management issues so that when you are angry, you would rather smash the china than reach for your firearm to use on the person or persons you are angry with. I am going to assume that you are trained in the use of your firearm so that you will usually hit what you aim at rather than what you do not. I am going to assume that you purchased your firearms for the purpose of hunting, sport shooting and/or true self-defense, and not for the purpose of using it to commit a crime. I am going to assume that you are a loyal citizen of the USA, and do not intend to use your weapon in an act of treason or terrorism.

It's true that many gunowners fit these assumptions (I know those who do), and so it is safe to believe that these assumptions are not out of line in thinking that you fall into the category of a responsible gunowner.

Do you REALLY want those who fit none or few of those assumptions to have an easy and unfettered access to these weapons?

It's true that criminals will find a way to get their hands on guns illegally. Why make it easy for them by allowing them to buy them anywhere they wish with no penalty?

As for those thousands of laws and regulations, the problem with them is that they are scattered, inconsistent, and often made difficult to enforce. And that the most reasonable of them are under attack by people who only care about their OWN ability to purchase any gun I want and can afford, as many as I can afford, with no background check, from a dealer or another individual, in any state, with no waiting period and with my state license good for carrying it in any of the 50 states
without considering just who ELSE then has that same ability.

Edited Date: 2016-05-01 04:07 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-05-01 04:59 pm (UTC)
ext_12572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinanju.livejournal.com
Perhaps I should clarify that "the ability to purchase any gun I want and can afford, as many as I can afford, with no background check, from a dealer or another individual, in any state, with no waiting period and with my state license good for carrying it in any of the 50 states" was a direct response to the notion that guns should be regulated like automobiles.

Anyone 16 or older (and possibly younger) can _own_ a car.
Anyone (felon or otherwise) can buy and sell as many cars as they like, from dealers or individual car owners, without any permission needed from the government. Those cars can be as powerful and fast as they like. They can buy a car in any of the 50 states regardless of where they live. There's no waiting period when buying a car. A driver's license from any state is legally valid in every other state. For that matter, a driver's license is only necessary to operate the vehicle on public streets. If it remains on private property (like a farm), it doesn't require a license.

In short, "regulate cars like guns" is a silly notion. Regulation of the purchase, possession, carry and operation of firearms is already far more onerous than similar restrictions on vehicles. In some ways, it would be a vast improvement on the current status quo as far as I'm concerned.

So which of those ineffective gun laws currently existing are you prepared to REPEAL in exchange for some new regulation? If they're not working, why keep them around? Barter them for something gun owners might be willing to accept IN EXCHANGE, rather than IN ADDITION TO. Because it's not "compromise" when the incremental steps toward a total ban never, ever go away and only accumulate through time.

And that, by the way, is one of the reasons gun owners are so adamant about refusing any further "reasonable" restrictions. We've got decades of evidence that no additional restriction will ever be enough for some people, and that previous attempts at regulation never get repealed. They just accumulate.

I have no objection to prohibiting felons* from buying or possessing firearms. I have a huge objection to making it difficult or impossible for anyone else to do so. And any kind of registry of who owns which guns is an absolute non-starter for good historical reasons. When and if the authorities can prove to a judge that they have good reason to suspect me, personally, of criminal behavior, they can demand to search my home and my person. Until then, how many guns I own, and what kind, is none of their business. Ditto for everyone else who isn't a convicted felon or the subject of a search/arrest warrant.

*Violent felons, that is. Someone who is a "felon" for any of countless paperwork crimes is another matter. The explosion of "felonies" on the books is another argument.

Date: 2016-05-01 06:47 pm (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (bag end 2 by <lj user="danae_b">)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
Yep, it's true that just about anyone can buy a car. But they are not allowed to operate that car without following a lot of regulations.

First, the car must be registered, tagged and in most states, also insured. In many states it must undergo a safety inspection to be certain it is safe to be on the road. If it is a new car, it is subject to state and federal regulations for certain safety and environmental features.

Second, the driver must be of a certain age, and must pass both a practical test of skill and a written test on the rules of the road in order to obtain a license to drive. The license has to be renewed every few years.

Third, if a driver ignores the laws while driving, then he/she could lose the license or even be subjected to jail time.

Sooo...would you be willing to compromise? You could buy all the guns you want, if guns and gunowners were all subject to similar regulations on your USE of guns? That might be a pretty good deal.

Date: 2016-05-02 02:03 am (UTC)
ext_12572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinanju.livejournal.com
As I mentioned in my first post on this topic:

It's unlawful in every state and under federal law to:

Shoot someone except in self-defense or defense of another (or to prevent a few other felonies in a few other states, such as arson of an occupied building).

Threaten to shoot someone except in self-defense or defense of another.

Point a gun at someone except in self-defense or defense of another.

To discharge a firearm in most municipalities except a) at designated places (like shooting ranges) or in defense of oneself or another.

To carry a firearm (concealed or openly) except with the proper licensing (with a few exceptions in certain states for "Vermont carry" i.e, unlicensed carry, assuming you're not legally prohibited from doing so).

Even where licensed carry is legal, there are many places where you still may not carry a firearm (courthouses, Post Offices and most government buildings).

Even when it is legal to carry concealed, failure to keep the weapon concealed (even unintentionallly) can be cause for arrest and loss of the permit.

Even when a shooting is in self-defense, you are still vulnerable to arrest and investigation (as is only reasonable, as the government has a legitimate interest in determining whether it was, in fact, a legally justified use of force), and to civil suit by the victim (if any), his family, bystanders, pretty much anyone even peripherally involved.

You cannot legally purchase (or possess) a handgun until you're 21 years of age. Or if you're a felon. Or if you're otherwise specifically prohibited.

It's a crime to provide a gun to a prohibited person.

There are PLENTY of regulations on the purchase, sale, possession, carry and use of a firearm already. And there have been for decades.

"Sooo...would you be willing to compromise?"

I asked you first, and you didn't answer. What existing controls are you prepared to repeal in exchange for new restrictions?

Date: 2016-05-02 05:00 am (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (bag end 2 by <lj user="danae_b">)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
Hmm...what I would say is that I would not object to seeing contradictory or inconsistent regulations removed, since it seems to me that a part of the problem is that the rules are different from one locale to another. Whether such differences should be resolved by federal authorities or by collaboration between state and municipal governments, some sort of standardization should help solve the problems of one set of laws in one place and totally different ones elsewhere.

For example, you mentioned that a license to carry should be recognized in all 50 states. If said license included such safeguards as tests for skill and safety and a background check, I don't see why not, since our society is so mobile.

But the rest of what you describe ARE sensible rules. You say those who are in favor of sensible regulation are never satisfied, but most of what I see is gun advocates trying to eliminate what laws we already have in place. There has been legislation introduced in my own state to make it illegal to BAN guns from any public places! So if someone has a carry permit, they can take their gun anywhere. A restaurant owner, for example would have no right to ask a customer not to bring a gun into his property. Churches could not ask that guns be checked before attending, and so forth. It 's ridiculous!


Date: 2016-05-02 02:09 am (UTC)
ext_12572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinanju.livejournal.com
I agree, changing a country requires changing the culture.

The slow but relentless switch in (I think it's 43) states from "may issue" to "shall issue" concealed carry is the result of precisely that. The pro-rkba side has worked hard to change the culture, and to overcome the bias and misinformation that prevented such changes. Ditto for the open carry push. Every time such changes are proposed, hysterical arguments about fender-bender shootouts and vigilantism were thrown around, and none of it happened. Ever.

Guns in the hands of decent people have never been the problem. And trying to solve the violence problem by attacking the people who aren't violent is like looking for your keys under the streetlight instead of in the dark where you lost them.

Date: 2016-05-02 07:31 pm (UTC)
ext_12572: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sinanju.livejournal.com
Well, I can't argue with your personal experience, but I do wonder how much of your not feeling safe had to do with your views about the USA and the gun culture here, rather than with any actual threat.

As for "a country where you have to arm yourself to defend yourself against your fellow man", I'd say rather, "a country where you MAY arm yourself..." Many millions of people in the US own guns, and many of them have carry permits. Many of them may or may not ever actually carry a weapon, and even of those who do, only a tiny fraction will ever need to use it.

It seems to me that a country where your fellow citizens (or the government) don't trust you to behave like a civilized person has a lot less trust than one where they do, and demonstrate it by recognizing your right to carry the means of defending yourself and relying on the law to punish you if you misuse it.

I don't distrust my fellow citizens. I've never been attacked or robbed. I _don't_ trust the government with all the guns. Nor should anyone, in my opinion. "Political power flows from the barrel of a gun," Mao said, and in this--if nothing else--he was correct. How can one justify servants (the government, which in theory answers to the people) telling their masters (the people) "WE can have guns, but YOU can't."

And yes, it's a lot easier to kill someone with a gun. That's the point. The bad guys (which can and historically often has included the government) will always have guns. I want to see that the good guys are capable of fighting back effectively.

I don't expect to convince you, any more than I suspect you expect me to change my mind. But this has been a more civil argument on the subject than many (and the first time I've engaged on the topic online in a long while because of that).

Date: 2016-05-02 01:53 am (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (bag end 2 by <lj user="danae_b">)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
Yep, it's true that just about anyone can buy a car. But they are not allowed to operate that car without following a lot of regulations.

First, the car must be registered, tagged and in most states, also insured. In many states it must undergo a safety inspection to be certain it is safe to be on the road. If it is a new car, it is subject to state and federal regulations for certain safety and environmental features.

Second, the driver must be of a certain age, and must pass both a practical test of skill and a written test on the rules of the road in order to obtain a license to drive. The license has to be renewed every few years.

Third, if a driver ignores the laws while driving, then he/she could lose the license or even be subjected to jail time.

Sooo...would you be willing to compromise? You could buy all the guns you want, if guns and gunowners were all subject to similar regulations on your USE of guns? That might be a pretty good deal.

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kerravonsen: (Default)
Kathryn A.

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