Senate Gun Control

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    If the statistics for the world were the same as they are for the US, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
    Besides that, KK (like most everybody here) has a way of making statistics say what he thinks.

    "Gun homicide stats? Uh... I'll just talk about rifle homicides - look! Less than 3%!"
    "Ten thousand people killed with guns in one year? Uh... I'll just name the figures for violent crime, and say that not all of those crimes were committed with guns."
    "You say a gun is mainly used as a weapon? I'll just say you that if you start mixing the police and the military in you're padding your statistics."

    But most importantly - what everybody seems to be forgetting - a gun is still a weapon when it's not being fired.
    How often a police man fires his gun is not the point. It's the fact that he's carrying it for all to see.
    V-2 likes this.
  2. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but that's a bit of a disingenuous way to describe hunting. In a discussion like this, the context almost universally suggests that "killing or wounding" is directed at people. Hunting is widely recognized (including by the government) as a sport, and firearms for hunting are considered sporting goods.

    Hunting is also very different because it is so closely related to conservation. In Virginia, the deer population is larger now than it has ever been on record (some postulate since before the founding of Jamestown) because we've essentially eliminated their natural predators. There are thousands of car crashes (many of them fatal) caused by deer in this area, and the only way to keep their population in check is by hunting. By reducing the deer population, hunters help save lives, and they help prevent overpopulation of the deer (which in turn would lead to starvation).
  3. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but that's an unfair characterization of my points.

    If you want to talk about an "assault weapons" ban, then it's valid to look at what portion of homicides are committed with "assault weapons", which is what I was doing.

    The context of our discussion all along has been civilian ownership of firearms. No one has even suggested disarming the police or the military, so it's not appropriate to drag them into the statistics when you want to pad your side.

    I've repeatedly had to respond to your shifting of goalposts when I presented evidence that you didn't like, so you have no room to complain here. If you don't want the goal posts to shift, then define them clearly and provide your justification for using your criteria. Otherwise, don't get irritated at me because I refuse to play by your shifting rules.
  4. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Who do you mean by 'you', in 'if you want to talk about an "assault weapons" ban'? Seems to me that the one who wants to make this thread into a 'rifle control' thread is... you.

    And where did I shift? And what evidence are you talking about? Are you talking about our conversation from yesterday - when you ended with not answering my question about your wacky dead dear/dead people equation?

    It's entirely appropriate to talk about the police if the discussion at hand revolves around the question 'what is a gun mainly used for'. You really shouldn't say 'disingenious this and
    goalpost that', and then out-disingene everybody in one fell swoop.

    Oh, and game conservation can be easily achieved: by never starting the hunt in the first place.
    V-2 likes this.
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Rogue, this is close to what I owned:

    [IMG]

    Not exactly the same; the sights on mine were better, the chin rest was rubber, I had a custom trigger that required very little pressure (to ensure you could discharge without pulling the shot); but you get the idea.

    This fires .22 rounds. So, .22 of an inch in diameter. You put a single round in the breach, push the bolt forward to close it, and the down to prime the firing pin. Once you discharge the round and lift and pull back the bolt, you need to physically load in another round.

    The weight, the style, even the sights (which are not either "hill and valley" style sights, or a cross hair), the whole package is designed to shoot at targets like this:

    [IMG]

    (Though mine were 3 rows, 4 then 3 then 4 (10 targets with scores, one to put 5 rounds in to sight)).

    Also, @V-2, it's a bit dishonest to use human silhouette targets. They are primarily for people who need to discharge a firearm on a live target, so they can hone getting shots on centre mass. It's not something recreational target shooters would use because it's too big a target area. You aren't challenging yourself.

    The targets above, generally, would be smaller than the circumference of a soda can. At 20m this is a very small area to hit with precision.

    So, Rogue - It would be difficult to kill a human with this weapon, or a comparable target pistol. The calibre is too small, unless you are at very close range, and the single shot capacity would be a factor. .22 is a useful calibre for shooting rabbits (which are a pest in Australia), but I wouldn't want a single shot rifle for that (I normally use a 5 round magazine on a bolt action, if I am culling, which admittedly is very, very rare).

    However, neither my freedom nor safety have been compromised by not being allowed to own more guns, or bigger guns. I do, however, love my British overlords.
  6. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The current proposals that have been put forward all deal with restricting "assault rifles", not handguns. As I pointed out before, because of the Heller ruling, there's no way that a handgun ban could stand if it were passed (as there has been an explicit ruling that such a ban violates the Second Amendment).

    You mean when I went offline so I could spend time with family when we all had a day off? Shocking! I have a life away from the boards. Please, get over yourself.

    As for your question, it's clear that you are again misrepresenting my point in an attempt to shift the goalposts. The point about how many deer are killed with firearms is to demonstrate the scope of lawful firearm use compared to criminal uses (hence the use of violent crime and homicides). I specifically chose statistics that were as favorable to your position as I could (including all violent crimes instead of just limiting it to ones involving a firearm), and yet hunting alone dwarfs those numbers for legal gun uses.

    Except this discussion has been focused on civilian gun ownership and civilian gun use. When it comes to civilian gun use and ownership, the vast, vast majority is for sporting purposes, which include hunting and target shooting.

    By contrast, there are about 8 million concealed handgun permits that are currently valid in the US. Not all of them carry on a regular basis, and some of them are duplicates (from people who have them from multiple states). That provides a reasonable upper limit for how many civilians are carrying a gun on a regular basis. Even if you consider some people carry more than one gun (commonly called a "BUG - Back Up Gun"), that means that there are no more than 16 million handguns being carried for personal defense. The other 80+ million handguns are mostly for target shooting, or other lawful purposes.

    Even if you add the 700000 police in the US to that count, it still doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of firearms are still used primarily for sporting purposes (i.e. hunting and target shooting).

    If you are going to claim otherwise, then you need to provide evidence that backs it up. You have yet to do that.

    That's simply not an option. Again, because deer no longer have any significant natural predators (and reintroducing those predators would also be dangerous to people), mankind has become their primary predator, and the only way to keep their population in check. Hunting is the primary means to do that. In fact, it is such an issue, especially in suburban areas like Northern Virginia, that there are often extended deer seasons in those areas to increase the ability to thin the herds. (For example, deer season in Northern Virginia goes from September through March, while in the rest of the state it goes from October through February.)

    Hunting is very much a conservation activity.
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Yeah in Australia we have a huge issue with rabbits. Not because of the same reason, but because they breed like themselves and tend to ruin the landscape. Plus their burrows tend to cause cattle to fall and break their legs.. they're just censored. Culling's good for everyone.

    They also have official culls of kangaroos and wombats too. They're also jerk animals.
    Last edited by Jedi Merkurian, Jan 3, 2013
  8. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Pffft. Can you ever keep it short, KK?
    I have a life too, you know.
    Well, then the current proposals suck, don't they?
    Then both the Heller ruling and the Second Amendment suck, don't they?

    No, I mean when you returned this morning for more textwalling, but apparantly not to answer my question.
    Again, what goalposts?
    Right, so I wasn't misrepresenting, was I? Talk about goalposting... This is what you said, and what I reacted to: "the harm caused by these weapons is minor compared to their vast number of benefits". Benefits. And now it's suddenly about what's lawful. Handy.
    Yeah, but when certain gun enthusiasts here start claiming that the main purpose of all guns is punching holes in paper, obviously those people are widening the scope.
    That wasn't my claim, KK. I merely said it makes sense to include police and military in the equation. But the fact you cite isn't a fact, in fact: you're only talking about the US. And I don't think the US is a particularly good example for this.

    [IMG]
    V-2 likes this.
  9. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    lol, reintroducing deer's natural predators (mainly wolves and mountain lions) wouldn't be much of a threat to humans as long as we don't continue to clear out their habitat and drive the poor things into the ever-expanding suburbs looking for food. But that's a moot point anyway 'cause hunters clamor for licenses the minute a predator population climbs slightly above critically endangered in a given state and idiot ranchers like to shoot the animals for being "threats" (not really) to their livestock.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Jan 2, 2013
    V-2 likes this.
  10. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Guns are manufactured for a variety of reasons, but even those guns which are manufactured for 'killing and wounding' serve a legitimate purpose in society. For centuries the law has allowed citizens to kill and wound one another in particular circumstances, namely, in self defence. The circumstances which allow the use of a gun as a deadly weapon are quite specific and are limited primarily to defensive actions when life and liberty is threatened. The problem in the US is the use of guns for unlawful purposes, that is the use of guns for offensive actions such as settling disputes and vengeance etc etc. This problem is compounded by the availability of guns in terms of both acquisition and ease of access due to weak regulations relating to safe storage. If guns were used solely for their legal purpose clearly there would be very little gun related deaths in the US. Gun control reform needs to focus on the unlawful use of guns rather than painting all gun owners as deviants and villains.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Jan 2, 2013
  11. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    V-2 and Blithe like this.
  12. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    It's not disingenuous at all. We were talking about what percentage of guns are used for target shooting and what percentage are used as "weapons." If you're killing something or wounding something with an object, you are using that object as a weapon. If I remember my Webster. It's a gun being used as a weapon.

    And like I said I'm not getting into the morality or immorality or amorality of hunting. It is what it is; which is to say, it involves using a gun as a weapon. No one is trying to equate hunting to mass murder or say that hunting statistics should be seriously considered when it comes to a gun ban. I'm just trying to battle the ridiculous assertion that guns were never intended primarily as a weapon.

    I never said guns don't serve a legitimate purpose. The assertion was made that the vast majority of guns should not be considered "weapons" because they were not intended to be used for that purpose. I'm battling that assertion with all the logic I can muster. Over the years of history, guns have been used overwhelmingly as weapons, they were first invented to be used as weapons and I still think that a massive percentage of the people who obtain a gun today are planning to use it as a weapon and not as a target gun. I never said gun owners were deviants or villains. I have many friends who own guns. But this assertion that guns are weapons only secondarily is ridiculous.


    Also, in relation to the stand your ground laws in a lot of states, the bar for being within the law to kill someone is significantly less than "life and liberty." You are now perfectly within your rights to shoot someone who steps on your lawn, even if they are completely unarmed. You not even required to retreat into your house and lock the door as a first response. You can also shoot a panhandler at your local coffee shop for asking for change too aggressively. In other words, it is about to get easier to just outline the times when you can't shoot someone else than to outline when you can. You may fire when ready, Gridley.
    Last edited by Rogue1-and-a-half, Jan 2, 2013
    V-2 likes this.
  13. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5

    Stuff > life in this situation. He sounded like he went late night hunting just because he could.

    That's not self defense.
  14. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    But it is legal in Texas.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Jan 2, 2013
  15. FatBurt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Well, that's alright then

    He used a shotgun too so we don't have to worry about those pesky semi automatic guns either as they're clearly not dangerous as they are only used to shoot holes in paper etc...
    V-2 and Rogue1-and-a-half like this.
  16. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    The fact that iPhones are more important than someone's life these days shows how little value for it there is in this country. I'm not going to rail against a culture of death like some pro-lifer who only values potential life, but we do treat someone's life as less important than what we own.
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    It harkens back to the point I made about the error made in making firearm ownership a right. The US' founding fathers were idiots, frankly. Sure, they couldn't have forseen just how bad it would get but nobody else, before or since, made the same mistake...

    The transcript makes it abundantly clear that guy valued his 2nd amendment rights over someone else's right to life. And please, nobody suggest he didn't intend to kill them. I know how a shotgun works and assuming he's not got solid slugs loaded (because you encounter a lot of pesky pachyderms in suburbia) he'll have bird or buckshot loaded. Which means that at range, it's useless and up close, devastating. I don't know if he's put a duck bill on the barrel but that would speak more to an intent to use lethal force than against it.

    So, this "grandfatherly" type, from the transcript, is eager to exercise his 2nd amendment right to the exclusion of all other considerations. Ohhhhh say can you seeeeeeeeee... [face_flag]
    Rogue1-and-a-half likes this.
  18. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    So, how is it self-defense to leave the safety of your own house to go and confront two guys with a crowbar? Self-defense would be staying in the house. Purposely leaving the house, confronting two men armed only with a crowbar, and then shooting them down when they "stepped on my lawn," is pure vigilantism. And I'm not even referencing the fact that he literally shouted, "Boom, you're dead." I mean, that's just juvenile. Like he's a five year old playing cowboy. Except he wasn't playing and two people are dead.
    Healer_Leona, V-2, Juliet316 and 2 others like this.
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    It's not even that; he wanted to confront them and likely knew it would result in lethal force being applied.

    If that does not speak to systemic rot within the US, I don't know what does.
    Jedi Merkurian and Valairy Scot like this.
  20. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    It's not self defence. I agree with you that those kinds of examples are utterly ridiculous. That is clearly another area for reform. In my view deadly force should only be allowable in circumstances where there is a clear threat to life, ie, there has to be an element of proportionality to the defence. Anything less is murder.
  21. Tim Battershell Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 5
    Firstly, when did that incident actually take place? The article is datelined 2009, but there's a comment referencing it, down-page, that is datelined 2007!

    Secondly, where were the police? IMHO, prompt police attendance at the scene would have prevented the shooting from happening. There does seem to be (as experienced, in person, by a former night-Security Guard) something of a disinclination on the part of police to attend crimes against property in my country; but I don’t know if that is a worldwide phenomenon or not. What is certain is that every burglary increases the cost of Home Contents Insurance (whether the victims have Insurance, or not); it is, I believe, calculated on the basis of risk per neighbourhood. Are you all content to see your hard-earned money squandered on compensating your neighbours for the consequences of other peoples’ drug habits (because that’s mainly what triggers burglaries these days)? And if you are the victim and the thieves nick something of irreplaceable sentimental value, would you rather have the money or that item?

    The legality or otherwise of the shooter’s act isn’t ours to judge; that duty belonged to a Jury (the Grand Jury, in the first instance). One factor they would probably have considered is if (on the evidence of the thieves having broken into the house next door and then one of them having been seen looking over at the shooter’s house) that house was next on the list. The Jury or Juries would probably also have heard if the burglars were high on drugs at time of death, and whether those possible drugs were of the type that render the user incapable of being reasoned with and/or virtually impervious to injury and/or pain.

    Finally, has the ‘Castle Law’ been repealed or amended since the incident?
  22. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    And I fully agree with that.

    I don't agree with using lethal force to protect property (unless that property is necessary to preserve life). People like that guy give those of us who are responsible gun owners a bad name.

    But, I also know that he is by far in the minority of gun owners, and you don't want to restrict everyone's rights because of the misbehavior of a few.

    And yes, it is a right, not a privilege. The US didn't create the idea that being armed for self-defense defense is a right. We got that from British law, dating back to the time of the first English settlements in the New World. (Don't believe me? I'd be more than happy to give you all the citations you need. For one example, look to the Bill of Rights of 1689.) What we did is create a government that was limited, and set apart those rights that we felt the British had violated as outside the domain of that limited government.

    Just because the British later decided that they didn't want being armed for self-defense to be a right any more doesn't mean that the US suddenly made the idea up all by itself.
  23. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    But just because the U.S. didn't suddenly make it up doesn't mean it is something we should continue to hold so dearly.
    V-2 likes this.
  24. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
  25. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    It was enshrined in the highest level of our law, as a fundamental right. If you think that should be changed, then start the amendment process.

    You only need to convince 2/3 of each house of Congress and the legislatures of 3/4 of the states to agree with you. Alternately, you can get 2/3 of the states to call for a convention to amend the Constitution, and then the results of that convention would require ratification by 3/4 of the states.

    The probability of reaching that threshold is essentially zero. As such, we have to deal with the law as it is now, and that means that the Second Amendment is a major constraint that any proposed measure has to deal with.