Gun Control - Now Discussing Tucson Shooting

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Dec 3, 2008.

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  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The link from the abstract I found says June, the date on the pdf file says January 2011, although maybe that's some kind of coded date stamp? I imagine the June date from the abstract page link is correct.
  2. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    The ABC report I linked over in the shooting discussion apparently mentions that the people working at the store where he bought the gun weren't comfortable selling it to him, but felt they had to because he passed the background check. Legally speaking, can a store turn someone away for buying a gun if they don't feel comfortable doing so?
  3. Mandalorethe1st Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2010
    a couple things...
    1. a gun, fully automatic, with or with out an extended magazine never killed anybody, just like a switchblade knife never killed anybody. what does the killing is the person behind the gun, therefore, a moderately stricter gun background check would be the answer. I live in New York where it is hard to get a pistol and permit period.
    2. children who kill themselves or friends with guns aren't generally around them that often. thats why you don't hear of kids shooting themselves in rural america.
    3. in the Tuscon shooting, a man with a carry and conceal permit engaged the killer.
    4. if gun control is enacted, the general population is at the disadvantage when criminals don't turn in their firearms and the population does.
    5. that does not mean that certain things should not be outlawed. mentally unstable people should not be able to own guns. automatic weapons should be banned as they serve no purpose (outside military and law enforcement).

    the 2nd ammendment needs to be upheld for two reasons.
    1. so we don't turn into Canada where you can draw your long gun from a police station for one week and return it when your done.
    2. so if the time comes and the government is irrevocably corrupt, it can be overthrown by the will of the people.
  4. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Although, I don't see where the background check process could be improved for this one, as of yet. It seems like anything would likely be overly broad.
  5. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    The ABC report I linked over in the shooting discussion apparently mentions that the people working at the store where he bought the gun weren't comfortable selling it to him, but felt they had to because he passed the background check. Legally speaking, can a store turn someone away for buying a gun if they don't feel comfortable doing so?

    I don't know if AZ contains a specific clause in state law, but in IL, the gun shop could refuse to sell to anyone, as long as the reason isn't based on race, religion or national origin. (which mirrors federal law) And even any of those reasons couldn't be proven unless the store had neo-Nazi memorabilia on the walls, or used ethnic or religious slang while denying the sale. The reason could be as simple as "the buyer made the seller uncomfortable," and therefore, the shop couldn't vouch for the sale, which is a valid reason to deny a firearm transaction.

    But IL also has the FOID requirement, which isn't any more complicated, but offers an additional buffer, because the FOID database is maintained by the state police. (some call it red tape.) But everyone who buys guns or ammo in IL has stories about gun shops refusing the sale because something on the FOID card was smeared from sitting in a wallet, or if you didn't update the address on your driver's license vs the FOID card. For a while, there was a fairly large gun store in Chicago's Western suburbs who would deny a sale if you didn't spell out the full county on the application. (for example, putting DU. Co. instead of writing out "DuPage County." Sometimes they would allow you to simply fill out another one, sometimes, they would deny the sale for 24hrs and you would have to come back the next day to start over. All this would be in addition to passing the federal background check.

    So, I would say it's a matter of the above gun shop employees not being familiar with their own rights as licensed gun dealers.

  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Apologies on the length of time between responses.


    You essentially are arguing that if we got rid of all guns, then my family would be safer. Please correct me if I am wrong about that.

    In the long term, yes.

    The problem can be seen in one little statistic: 270 million. That's the number of privately-owned firearms in the US (i.e. not including police, military, etc). It averages out to 85-90 firearms per 100 people. (Unfortunately, I don't have the breakdown between handguns, rifles, and shotguns. For the sake of argument, let's assume 20% of them are handguns.) That means that there are approximately 50 million handguns in the US.

    Firstly if that's the problem, then by implication haven't we arrived at a few conclusions?

    1. There IS a problem with firearms causing excess deaths that would not otherwise be there.

    2. Firearms in the hands of general society -- at least to the order of 270 million and with current lack of capacity to keep those 270 million firearms away from undesirable elements -- is itself undesirable.

    I am not saying you have agreed to either of these assertions: I am merely saying that if the numbers of firearms is truly the problem we face, then by implication those two points would be true. In other words "if we had to do it all over again, we'd have managed this weapon situation differently".


    How is it even remotely feasible to eliminate all 50 million handguns from the US? You can't just confiscate them all, because there's no current record of who owns them (gun registration is not required on the federal level, and only a handful of states require it). If you ask people to turn them in, you'll only be taking them from the law abiding citizens who respect a ban. The criminals aren't going to hand over their guns.

    So, how would you do it?



    Well, next, we have to consider that the other alternative -- coming up with a system by which only desriable people will own firearms -- is even LESS feasible, and an ongoing and indefinate problem that never gets easier.

    On the other hand, removing 270 million firearms from the population is not impossible: it is without a doubt a very arduous task that requires a lot of time. Time on the order of at least a generation. But, as a crude proposal without too much finesse, given time I think the problem can be removed gradually with 3 points:

    1. Ban the sale of all new firearms -- or at least, automatic weapons through to handguns. If someone wants to buy a new bolt-action hunting rifle, at that point we may be splitting hairs.

    2. Ban all means of REPAIRING rifles. Or rather, all means on the open marketplace: if you have to do maitenance on your firearm, you have to do it all yourself.

    3. All weapons confiscated by police are destroyed.

    I think these 3 elements are essential. More essential than actually requiring citizens to hand over thier current guns. We can still do that, but I think the key is stopping new guns from entering society, and stopping the maintenance and reloads of current weapons.

    Let's take an average criminal. Let us say he is going to invade your home... 15 years from today's date. Let us say the above 3 points go into action today, and that he currently owns a handgun.

    He being a criminal, although it is not a foregone conclusion, it's probably likely he doesn't upkeep his weapon very well. If it jams or breaks or suffers wear and tear... right now he can just go and buy a new one on the street or steal a new one.

    But if bans like the above are in place, in the next 15 years if he runs into problems with his weapon... as time goes on he's got less and less recurse. Does he know how to fix the problem himself? Probably not. He can't really take it to someone to get it fixed either... at least not above-board. He will have to get it fixed or buy a new weapon from other shady dealers.

    But this becomes his problem: the further along in time this is, the more this is going to cost. As other weapons break down with nothing replenishing them, the costs go up. Now
  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Another approach would be taxation. Try to choke off gun ownership through taxation and regulation the way we try to choke off smoking. Gun ownership is dangerous to your health and the health of your family. That much is certain. We have the statistics of accidental shootings and the number of shootings that take place in the home that are not self defense incidents.

    Like smoking, gunshot wounds carry a national social cost for healthcare, and these result directly from the number of guns out in the society.

    having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and suicide in the home (Dahlberg, Ikeda and Kresnow, 2004). Persons who own a gun and who engage in abuse of intimate partners such as a spouse are more likely to use a gun to threaten their intimate partner. (Rothman et al, 2005). Individuals in possession of a gun at the time of an assault are 4.46 times more likely to be shot in the assault than persons not in possession (Branas et al, 2009). It would appear that, rather than being used for defense, most of these weapons inflict injuries on the owners and their families.

    Gun owners should be required to pay the annual healthcare costs of the 200,000 gunshot wounds, 16k gun suicides, 12k homicides, 1,000 accidental deaths, divided by the number of legal guns in the form of an annual license. It should only be a few hundred dollars per year per gun, at most.

    Hunting accidents are much rare than home gun accidents. I believe that someday a more responsible supreme court will recognize that permitting people to own reasonable hunting rifles/shotguns with appropriate designs for the task fulfills the textual requirements of the second amendment. Incorporating the ability to keep a loaded handgun in the home for the purposes of self defense into the second amendment will prove to be a terrible social mistake, indeed the proof is already widely available, as well as an unfortunate misreading of the constitution.

    Carrying or owning a gun for self defense is the result of flawed reasoning and a lack of understanding for most people in most situations. I actually agree with master sweetpea about the value of owning varmint rifles/shotguns on farms.

    But if you live in an urban or suburban area and keep a loaded handgun in the home to protect yourself, your family and your children, chances are you've made a very poor choice and should rethink your decision. You have taken a very significant step toward exposing your family to an increased net danger.

  8. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm not going to quote everything, because the same points address multiple comments from your post.
    That would be taking my statement out of context. I did not state that the existence of 270 million firearms in the US (including approximately 50 million handguns) is a problem that causes excessive deaths. I stated that the existence of those firearms is a problem with your suggestion.

    The problem with your suggestion is that there are on the order of 50 million privately-owned handguns in the US, and it is completely unrealistic to eliminate the existence of those handguns.

    Statistics don't bear you out on that. Of those 270 million firearms (or even the 50 million handguns), there were only 31224 firearms-related deaths in 2007 (the most recent year with data). If we assume that each firearm-related death counted (which includes accidents, suicides, homicides, and justifiable shootings) was committed with a different firearm, we get an upper limit of what percentage of guns are in the "wrong hands" and caused death. That upper limit is only about 0.01% of all firearms in the US, or approximately 0.06% of handguns (using the numbers above). (source: CDC

    If you prefer to focus on people rather than the firearms, a variety of source suggest that there are between 45-80 million gun owners in the US. (The lower number is an estimate of households, the latter estimates individuals.) Using the lower end of that estimate, we still get that in 2007, no more than 0.07% of gun owners are involved in a fatal shooting. Because we know that some of those are suicides (17352 in 2007 according to the CDC), and that there are also multiple murders committed by the same individual and firearm, we are really talking about a percentage at least half of that, or on the order of 0.03%.

    That comes down to roughly 3 in every 10000 gun owners each year uses a firearm to kill someone else. (I am neglecting suicides, because the primary concern is harming others. A person willing to commit suicide in reality has issues other than firearm ownership, and likely has access to other options to carry it out.) I would hardly claim that the current processes that have a 99.97% success rate right now indicate a "lack of capacity to keep those 270 million firearms away from undesirable elements".

    Fully-automatic firearms (which fire more than 1 found per trigger pull) have been heavily regulated since 1935, and it is illegal for a civilian to own one manufactured after 1986. In that time, there have been exactly 1 homicides committed using a legally-owned fully automatic firearm, and that was committed by a police officer, with a police-owned weapon.

    As far as limiting it to only bolt-action rifles, there is really no functional difference between a bolt-action and a semi-automatic rifle, nor between a pump-action and semi-automatic firearm. Each one fires only one round for each pull of the trigger. What
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think for a parent, if it is remotely possible that by keeping a loaded handgun in the house I am facing higher odds of my child getting shot by that gun than the odds of needing the gun to defend the people in the house from an outside intruder, then it would be a foolish and irrational decision to keep the loaded gun.

    Following the DC v Heller logic, efforts to secure a handgun from an accidental shooting in the home (keep it unloaded, locked away, with a trigger lock, etc.) make it less useful for self defense. So, faced with a choice between having a handgun at the ready for defensive use posing a greater danger to my child statistically than the actual odds of my needing it for defensive use on the one hand, or having a gun safely locked away where I won't be able to fire it in a self defense emergency, why bother having it in the house at all?

    The issue for me is putting responsible family behavior ahead of 2nd amendment ideology. D.C. v Heller co-opts the second amendment to excuse and even promote criminally negligent parenting.

    Remember too that the number of non fatal gun injuries is many times higher than the number of deaths, and those shootings all come at a social cost. At the very least, the public health cost of guns should be taxed into gun ownership.

  10. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    That would be taking my statement out of context. I did not state that the existence of 270 million firearms in the US (including approximately 50 million handguns) is a problem that causes excessive deaths. I stated that the existence of those firearms is a problem with your suggestion.

    The problem with your suggestion is that there are on the order of 50 million privately-owned handguns in the US, and it is completely unrealistic to eliminate the existence of those handguns.


    Yeah, but I said afterwards that more or less it could be taking that statement out of context. If you want to concentrate on the problem with the proposal, that's fine.


    Statistics don't bear you out on that. Of those 270 million firearms (or even the 50 million handguns), there were only 31224 firearms-related deaths in 2007 (the most recent year with data). If we assume that each firearm-related death counted (which includes accidents, suicides, homicides, and justifiable shootings) was committed with a different firearm, we get an upper limit of what percentage of guns are in the "wrong hands" and caused death. That upper limit is only about 0.01% of all firearms in the US, or approximately 0.06% of handguns (using the numbers above). (source: CDC

    If you prefer to focus on people rather than the firearms, a variety of source suggest that there are between 45-80 million gun owners in the US. (The lower number is an estimate of households, the latter estimates individuals.) Using the lower end of that estimate, we still get that in 2007, no more than 0.07% of gun owners are involved in a fatal shooting. Because we know that some of those are suicides (17352 in 2007 according to the CDC), and that there are also multiple murders committed by the same individual and firearm, we are really talking about a percentage at least half of that, or on the order of 0.03%.

    That comes down to roughly 3 in every 10000 gun owners each year uses a firearm to kill someone else. (I am neglecting suicides, because the primary concern is harming others. A person willing to commit suicide in reality has issues other than firearm ownership, and likely has access to other options to carry it out.) I would hardly claim that the current processes that have a 99.97% success rate right now indicate a "lack of capacity to keep those 270 million firearms away from undesirable elements".


    My statement was not to compare the number of unlawful uses of firearms as is compared to unlawful uses. It would be to compare the number of unlawful uses of firearms with a society in which there is no ban versus the number of unlawful uses of fireamrs in a society where one exists.

    We could give everyone a tank and find that 99.95% of tanks were used lawfully. But someone trying to go over to the UK would probably have a hard time convincing them why they should let a common person own a tank on the basis that 99.95% are used correctly. The question is going to always be "what about that .05%?

    Now you could come into this session of Parliament and say "well what about the percentage of knives used unlawfully then? What about the percentage of fists? Will you ban those too?

    And I think the response would be: if you can show that the average incident involving the use of a fist or a knife is as commonly lethal as the average incident involving the use of a tank, we will consider that argument."

    As for counting firearm deaths, btw, in terms of one nation that has a ban against one that does not, I would include all firearm deaths that are NOT justified shootings in which the justification is not particularly debatable. If you were walking down the street and got shot at, returned fire, and killed only your attacker, I do not count that against an argument for someone opposing a ban. I DO count just about everything else: homicides, accidents, suicides, etc. I consider justified shootings (again, where it's not really debatable that you're not using excessive force) to be an example of the "system" working in a gun-owning society.



    As far a
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Because Jabba, honestly, there are numerous options besides the binary choices you just outlined. It just takes a little research, which would apply to anything.

    There have been reactive pistol lock boxes on the market for a good 10-15 years now. "Reactive boxes" are those which are operated by a combination of finger plate presses (on the more expensive models) to tapping numbered buttons in order (on the basic models). You can buy a standard aluminum box for about $30.00, and it fits nicely in a night stand. Or if you have younger kids, a simple level 3 holster, where you have to flip a strap or manipulate a button would certainly work as well. Some trigger locks also have a coded tumbler to open. The point is that they can be opened in seconds if need be, but only the owner knows which combination works.

    There are also "Jr. safety courses" which cover this very thing. Because an alternative idea, used in conjunction with any of the above, would be to simply talk with your family and discuss the do's and don'ts of firearms and remove the mystique. Honestly, it's the "coiled cobra" all or nothing mentality that puzzles me. How any rational adult can sit there and think that it's a foregone conclusion that something like a firearm will cause harm on its own is strange to me. If someone wants to own a gun, fine. If they don't, then that's fine too. But the key to making either decision is to be informed.

    What you described above is basic irresponsibility, and that's not limited to firearms. Why do so many teenagers die in car crashes? Because their parents give them the keys to the Lexus SUV without care or interest. There are literally dozens of topics where this could apply to.
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    If we're not going to ban keeping loading handguns in a home with small children, then those security devices you describe need to be mandated and required along with a gun regulatory structure, just as we mandate car seats for small children. Because a certain significant percentage of parents actually are too stupid to be entrusted with children.

    Even in the case of adults who are not too dumb to parent properly, human error creeps into the equation. Someone forgets to close the security box or lock the trigger lock properly, or their attention gets diverted while in the process of securing a weapon, etc.

    The point is, if I were a parent, I would want to know the relative likelihood of an in home accidental shooting (or heaven forbid I have an older child in the home who suffers from depression) vs. the likelihood of needing a gun for defense, if indeed self defense is my real rationale for having a loaded handgun in the home. I would want to know the facts free of political ideology. And if it turned out that my child was more likely to be injured by my own gun than by an intruder, I would look for an alternative, like better locks and stronger doors and a neighborhood support system, etc.

    For some people, because that is the country we live in, desire to possess the gun is going to outweigh interest in safety of the child, no matter what. That's where we need to step in wherever possible to enact the right kinds of regulation. Maybe require people to pay for and attend a gun safety for parents class as a condition of obtaining a license to own a gun, as well as purchase the appropriate trigger locks or cases, etc.
  13. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but your argument is a bit ridiculous. You are talking about implementing a ban that would affect roughly 45% of the households in the US because of the actions of less than a twentieth of a percent of firearm owners.

    There is a very big difference between the sort of argument you would make to ban something on the basis of the behavior of a tiny fraction of the population and the argument you would make to legalize something you anticipate only a tiny fraction of the population would abuse.

    I have no problem with you counting homicides and accidents, but what is your rational basis for including suicides? Do you have any evidence that shows a causal relationship between the firearms and the attempt to commit suicide? Suicide itself is an extremely complicated issue, and a good sized proportion of people who are in such a mindset would attempt suicide with or without a firearm available, they'd just use a different method.

    Of course, even including suicides, you are still only talking about numbers on the order of a hundredth of a percent. Where is your statistical evidence to show that any such problems are widespread enough to demand going after 45% of the households in the US?

    Such firearms are classified as full-automatics. Semi-automatic means that it will automatically load the next round, but it will not automatically fire it. Hence it is only semi (partially) automatic.

    You actually said that you would ban all means of repairing rifles on the open
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But Jabba, if your points are true, I just think it's unfair to limit such protections to only areas that the person making the call for agrees with.

    Many more lives are taken by abortion than are taken by guns every year, but the abortion debate isn't even framed under that focus, it's framed under the issue of "choice of the mother.." If someone wants say "can't we protect the children!?!" then why wouldn't they want to enact as many limiting factors as they can cram in with regard to abortion? To remain consistent, you should be calling for as many restrictions as possible, equally, across this spectrum.

    Why don't we have speed limiters on cars which prevents them from going more than 55MPH, especially if someone younger than 18 is driving? Why don't we mandate that all cheese and dairy products be made from low fat milk only? Why do we still have high school (and younger) football, when such sports injuries have a real chance of negatively impacting bone and/or brain development in youth? Why don't we just make every video game rated Y7 or under, and make every movie rated PG, so to ensure that harmful ideas are protected against?

    Now, I'm being overly snarky, and intentionally making these broad connections between topics.. But the bottom line is it's not as simple as saying something like "oh, we'll just tax ammo so no one can afford to use firearms because guns are bad," when there are many more areas where such a mentality would actually bring greater, more immediate results, but also be more intrusive than people are comfortable with.

  15. Mandalorethe1st Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Using lock boxes will not add to child safety. Those who will use the boxes use them now, and those who leave their guns out now will still do so. a child shot his friend with his father's pistol recently. The father did everything he could without useing a lock box. He unloaded the gun, and the magazine was in a different drawer. the kid still found the gun, loaded and unloaded it multiple times and shot his friend. This could have easily been fixed by simple education. That would be the easiest way to stop accidental child deaths.
    According to studies, most homicides are not committed with firearms.
    Bad people will kill people with firearms regardless of regulations. They will steal new ones and pay people to secretively repair them. So Gonk, you would be willing to sacrifice many law abiding citizens to stop criminals maby as much as 100 years down the road? Taxing the weapons excessively comes to a point where to have any hope of changing people's mind the taxes are outrageously exorbitant. take soda in New York, it is 5 cents more per bottle in a bottle return fee. most places water and soda sell for the same, and if you wanted soda, 5 cents won't stop you.
    football and boxing are a lot like guns, many people play football and box, but relatively few adolescents get permanently injured (pro players are different, they are getting paid to play), and in both cases it is a personal choice.
  16. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The examples you give: abortion, cars, food and sports entertainment are instructive.

    Abortion is a tricky one and boils down to differences of opinion on the definition of human life vis a vis non-viable fetuses vs. the social consequences of forcing people who are not economically or mentally ready to become parents. Do we need more poor, dumb parents than we already have? An argument that a majority of Americans seem to accept is that non viable fetuses are not children.

    Cars - here we're weighing the practical utility and economic benefits for an economy built around driving vs. human lives on a daily basis. There's no question, driving costs thousands of lives a year. As a society we've made the decision to weigh the relative benefits and costs of unlike things: economic benefits and social utility vs. cost in human life.

    Hopefully you can see the difference between that and weighing the costs and benefits of handguns for home protection where you're directly weighing the odds of saving your child's life vs. the odds of endangering your child's life with the same thing. The unfortunate reality is that many Americans are too stupid to make the correct choice.

    Even if we were weighing the benefits of motor vehicles solely in terms of lives saved vs. lives lost, it's likely that cars come out way ahead. Think about life-saving ambulance rides, life-saving car rides to the doctors and hospitals for medical treatment. Clearly, no one bothers making that winning argument. We're content to accept motor vehicle deaths in return for wide-ranging economic benefits and social utility.

    Food - everyone needs to eat. Controlling obesity through the regulation of food is problematic because no one has the slightest idea of how to do it successfully. No need for any kind of comparison here. The cost in human life from banning all food vs. the cost of allowing food is I think overwhelmingly one sided.

    If we're discussing banning only certain kinds of food that impose a specific danger of obesity, again there's no evidence that if I only allow my child to drink skim milk that he will never become obese. Compare that to the assessment that if I don't keep a gun in the house, I'm 100% certain that my child will never be killed with that gun. I give up a statistically insignificant benefit in return for an absolute certainty.

    Finally, sports. Should we let high school kids play football despite the risk of debilitating injury or death? This is tough. Honestly, American football and boxing and similarly cruelly punishing sports should probably be outlawed. But again, society has made the choice to weigh economic benefits vs. the cost in human life.

    Perhaps the argument you're trying to make is that guns as a plausible option for self defense is so absurd when you compare it to the statistical cost in life of keeping handguns in the home that the whole thing is likely just a smokescreen to cover the real reason guns are so prevalent: the success of the gun industry in perpetuating the sale of guns. This makes gun ownership much more like your other examples, in which the real comparison is the vast economic benefits to the gun industry of lots and lots of gun sales vs. the cost in human life.
  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, my point was that guns are probably the most instructive device out there. The point is that the justifications any single person will give is dependent on how "extreme" they view the topic. Go review each "bullet paragraph" that you rationally applied to every other issue. All I'm saying is that guns are no different-no better, nor worse, than any of dozens of examples. But as much as you used rational discourse to examine other topics, a near irrationality is used to frame this one.

    My only problem with your summary of firearms is the determinism that you apply to them- "Oh,it's a foregone conclusion that your family will be killed by any gun you own," as if the mere presence of a firearm is no different than the movie Exorcist, where a gun sitting in a room will possess people and force them to engage in horrible acts of violence or compel them to discard good judgment. But that makes as much sense as saying "oh, it's a foregone conclusion that you will have an abortion if you have a vagina," while ignoring judgment, practice, upbringing, and the like. I guess what stands out to me is your willingness to accept risk in other areas, even as you casually throw out all sorts of mandates for this specific topic.

    Doing nothing but a factual breakdown, gun violence is exceeding low in relation to the amount of firearms owned- much more so than auto ownership, or alcohol sales, homes with swimming pools, etc..A Vulcan-esque logical conclusion would be that guns are one of the most safest tools out there. If any homeowner is doing a cost analysis, they should buy a shotgun before they buy a swimming pool. But these decisions don't exist solely as stats in a study, and as I said above, this is no different than anything other topic.
  18. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    I can only say that any politician who uses violent metaphors like "don't retreat, reload" should be on trial. That's the kind of thing that leads to this stuff.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I don't see how it's possible to be more rational about the decision to keep a handgun in the home. You are characterizing an argument that I did not make. I never said keeping a handgun in the home is a certain path to the death of a child in the home.

    My point is that, if you own a handgun, far and away the most likely person ever to be shot with it is someone in your household.

    Children add a measure of chaos and uncertainty to life that is impossible to completely control. They are clever and resourceful and curious on the one hand, but on the other hand have underdeveloped brains that make them compulsive and prone to make bad choices.

    That's why I don't believe it's possible to rationally and correctly choose to have a handgun in the house when young children are present. As a parent, you cannot fully control for the range of their behavior. Having a gun will in almost all conceivable cases create a net increase in endangerment.

    All I'm saying is that having guns to protect the lives of children doesn't fly. If there are other reasons, people should make an effort to be honest about them. "I just like having guns more than I worry about a gun death in the home" is a simple, honest, straightforward answer that comes with no penalty whatsoever in the U.S.
  20. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but you are claiming a causal relationship here without providing evidence that use of such metaphors actually leads to "this stuff".

    For one thing, you don't specify what "stuff" you are referring to. For another, if we assume that you are referring to the Arizona shootings, you haven't presented any evidence linking the accused assailant (Jared Lee Loughner) with any politicians who used violent metaphors. The evidence released in the media so far hasn't demonstrated any such link. Do you have some evidence that the rest of us don't?

    Kimball Kinnison
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I never said keeping a handgun in the home is a certain path to the death of a child in the home....My point is that, if you own a handgun, far and away the most likely person ever to be shot with it is someone in your household.

    Honestly, I don't see the difference, but I'll let this one go.

    Children add a measure of chaos and uncertainty to life that is impossible to completely control. They are clever and resourceful and curious on the one hand, but on the other hand have underdeveloped brains that make them compulsive and prone to make bad choices. That's why I don't believe it's possible to rationally and correctly choose to have a handgun in the house when young children are present. As a parent, you cannot fully control for the range of their behavior. Having a gun will in almost all conceivable cases be a net increase in endangerment.

    And that's why I don't understand your point here, but maybe it's because we're talking past each other. Children add a measure of chaos and uncertainty to everything. It's not limited to "gun ownership." Following that logic, then no child should drive before they are an adult. No child should visit the beach and swim in the ocean. No child should go to parties without supervision. I realize that there is a continuum here. Falling off a skateboard isn't as deadly as getting in a car crash, for example. But it's wrong to switch blame from the example to the actual practice.

    Guns themselves aren't any more dangerous than all of the other things that you do justify. It's physically impossible for a child to open a reactive gun safe unless the adult owner gives them the touch combo. It simply can't happen. Even without such devices, there are millions of gun owners who have children and use them responsibly. So like anything, the actual practice is determined by the individual maturity, responsibility, and cognitive ability of the person in question.

    Maybe a good portion of this is because of unfamiliarity. Someone can look at all the stats that say a 16 year old is 100x more likely to die in a car crash (which also significantly jumps up if the inexperienced driver is out driving past 10:00PM) than they are to die from a firearm. Again, from a logical analysis, a parent should take their child shooting before they allow them to drive. But cars are familiar, and guns aren't except to those who consider them to be mundane. So cars don't have a mystique, while the gun mystique is a very real social phenomenon. I don't know.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The decision to let children drive before adulthood would be considered much more controversial outside the U.S., but again I don't think it's sensible to compare cars where we're comparing the utility of all the benefits cars provide vs. vehicular deaths and guns where we're comparing it solely on the basis of its ability to protect the life of a child in the home vs. the risk it poses to the child in the home.

    On a simple basis of likelihood of actually ever getting the intended benefit (successfully defending against a home intruder and so saving the life of a child within the home) vs. the likelihood of an accidental or, worse, intentional home shooting, it makes the most sense to simply not have the handgun in the home.

    The benefits of car ownership are realized day after day after day. No one who owns or drives a car ever waits in vain for the opportunity to use it for the purpose for which it is intended.

    It's not about the mystique of guns, it's the emptiness and absurdity of the family defense justification in a household with children.

    For people who are uninterested in self defense and keep guns purely for recreational purposes such as target shooting and hunting, I think it's fair for them to decide that the utility they get out of recreational use outweighs the added dangers to their children. I'd add that it's much easier to secure a hunting weapon that doesn't have to be kept loaded and ready for rapid use.

    It's just the people who delude themselves about the self-defense value of handguns that worry me. I fear for their children. Obviously, it's not my problem. It's just a shame that children will die purely because their parents were unable to make a simple risk assessment.
  23. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    My firearms stay in one of four places: locked in my safe, locked in their case (in the case of my handguns), in a lock box near my bed, or on my hip. The only firearms in the house that are stored in any way loaded are those used for daily carry, and occasionally my brother's shotgun has been pulled out and stored loaded overnight (as was the case for a few days after the prowler incident). The daily carry firearm is still stored in my holster, and is locked up when I'm not wearing it (which is usually only as I'm getting ready for bed).

    Oh yes, and I have a safe for my daily carry gun in my car, for those occasions when I might have to disarm without going home.

    Tell me, how will my children be at risk from any of those storage locations? (The keys for all of those are only on my or my wife's key rings.)

    Kimball Kinnison
  24. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    That all sounds pretty secure on paper, Kimball. A newborn infant or toddler isn't going to breach your security, that's for sure. Hard to say about a slightly older child. I'm sure you're extremely diligent about making sure you follow all your own safety procedures precisely and consistently, without any mistakes. Ever. Now is the time to drill it before your baby goes mobile. If anyone can pull off the level of regimentation necessary to avoid any possibility of an accident, I sure hope it's you, with your wife's help of course. Teamwork is the name of the game in successful parenting, for those lucky enough to be part of a team.

    Also, don't forget the toilet seat lock. I didn't believe it either when they first told me toddlers drown in toilets.
  25. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/opinion/13kristof.html


    This sounds reasonable. I particularly like the one-gun-per-month idea.
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