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Senate Gun Control

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

  1. Aytee-Aytee

    Aytee-Aytee Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Not a gun nut. I shoot primarily as a hobby and have done local competitions in the past. I do not see my pistol as a phallic symbol, nor do I pose for "gangsta" Facebook pictures with it. I only halfway believe in God, know that Appomattox Courthouse settled the issue of states rights, and realize that we are all on this damn rock together so we might as well try to work with each other instead of cutting each other down.

    Anything else?
     
  2. V-2

    V-2 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2012
    In England that would make you a gun-nut. ;)

    No offence intended, sorry!
     
  3. harpua

    harpua Chosen One star 9

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    Mar 12, 2005
    Hindsight bias... everyone knew it after the fact.
     
  4. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

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    May 4, 2003
    KK: I know you're being inundated here, but one brief question. Ender commented that gun enthusiasts have often shown an irresponsibly defensive attitude and been resistant to sensible reforms. You made a post that detailed of many oft-proposed reforms. Fair enough. But if I could, does that really address his concern. In particular:

    1. So closing the gun show loophole wouldn't have stopped any of the historic mass killings. Fine. But is there a reason this loophole should exist? If you agree that background checks for gun purchases are a good thing, what reason is there to keep a rule in place that allows people to purchase firearms without them? Even if we have managed to escape disastrous consequences so far, isn't it still sensible to put a system in place where all firearm purchases require a background check? What is your reason for opposing this?

    2. You have criticized the automatic weapons ban as poorly targeted. Fine. I don't know much about firearms, so I wouldn't want to be the one that has to write the legislation. How does one actually target automatic weapons that have a higher than normal firing rate? Is there a sensible reason to oppose such legislation, as certainly one only needs to fire so fast for either hunting or "self-defense" in any realistic scenario?

    I guess overall, you gave us reasons not to support proposals on the table. But you still declined to put forward anything that you would actually support as gun control legislation. The only parameter you've put forth is an incredibly narrow contrapositive that if something doesn't influence the rate of mass killings, you won't support it. In your view, are there no other legitimate reasons to limit access to firearms except these sorts of events?
     
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  5. Aytee-Aytee

    Aytee-Aytee Jedi Master star 5

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Most definitely not in the case of Aurora. The University psychiatrist working with him knew he was nutty, but washed her hands of it when he was expelled from the university.
     
  6. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

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    May 4, 2003
    What do you mean, "washed her hands of it?" He had no more access to her as a client. What would you have had her do, exactly? Break into his house at night wearing a giant bat costume and try to force counseling sessions on him with a fake Christian Bale growling voice that a few people on the JCC are convinced come from a special absurd voice distorter machine?
     
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  7. harpua

    harpua Chosen One star 9

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    Mar 12, 2005
    Yeah, okay, but you are assuming that mental illness predicts violent behavior, and it often doesn't. He was seen by a psychiatrist, sure, but that person had no way of predicting that he'd do what he did. Hindsight bias is attempting to apply facts learned after the event to the event and claim that it could have been predicted and prevented, and that simply isn't true.

    I do agree that mental illness should be taken into account when issuing permits for firearms. I've said this before, I think psychological evaluations and background checks should be mandatory for people who are attempting to acquire firearms.
     
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  8. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 21, 2002

    And this is a valid point. The problem is that there has to be rational discussion on both sides. The problem with gun control specifically, is that nearly all the instances of recent gun control legislation has been based on emotion, not rationality.

    For example, The US has a car crash fatality rate that is +/- 35x more than the firearm fatality rate. So let's say someone wanted to prevent deaths from car crashes by making "hot rods" illegal. Such legislation might have good intentions, but 1)what's the legal definition of a hot rod? 2)What effect would banning hot rods have on reducing car crashes? 3)Are there specific risk-behaviors relating to driving that could be targeted (such as texting, street racing, etc...) instead of a blanket ban? But lets say the law went ahead and was passed, and so all cars that looked like hot rods suddenly became illegal to drive. So, Mustangs are out because they look fast, but under the law, anyone could supercharge a Honda Accord and get 400HP, but it would be legal because an Accord isn't a "hot rod." But which behavior is actually more risky-buying a factory produced car like a Mustang, or adding speed to a car that happened to be legal to drive?

    It seems absurd, doesn't it? This reality is precisely why any gun control legislation after the 1968 gun control act (which actually applied reasonable restrictions to firearm ownership in the US along with the previously mentioned 1934 law) has utterly failed to prevent any actual gun violence. If you have a crap law, you get crap results, or garbage in, garbage out. All I know is that there are those who actually think you can just walk into a gun store and buy and AK-47 or M16-you can't. I forget who mentioned it but someone also said that they thought it was way too easy to convert a rifle to automatic-it isn't. Sure, technically it can be done if you have a machine shop, and a metal lathe, and the capability to fabricate metal parts. But regardless, such manufacturing is already illegal. And people mention closing the "gun loophole" without mentioning what the loophole is supposed to be. It's like wanting to close the "drunk driving" loophole because drinking alcohol is legal, but driving while intoxicated is against the law. What would be more effective instead would be to sit down and have a dialog on why people turn to gun violence, and why it's such a revered panacea on the far right, but why the far left has such an irrational fear over them....

    If anyone had any doubt, in the first page of the other school shooting thread, someone posted an image of a target rifle with the caption, "this is what the shooter used." Except the shooter didn't use that actual rifle, that image is a semi-auto target rifle that has a scope and folding bipod on it. But more importantly, and ultimately ironic, the rifle in that image is what is known as a "post ban" rifle, because in its configuration, it would be completely legal to own under the previous assault weapons ban.
     
  9. LostOnHoth

    LostOnHoth Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2000
    The main argument for focusing on mental illness is simply the potential for a person to be diagnosed and then treated before their illness manifests in violent behaviour. With the right medication, a person with a disorder of the mind might not offend at all. It's all speculation of course but it seems that there is something of a worldwide pattern of mentally disturbed people going on shooting sprees - it's not a phenomena limited to the United States.
     
  10. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

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    May 21, 2002
    Stop the 'but we don't ban cars!' argument - you're embarrassing yourself.
     
  11. harpua

    harpua Chosen One star 9

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    Mar 12, 2005
    I agree with you. I'm not arguing that mental illness is not a factor in violence--it often is. I'm saying that it shouldn't be so black and white... so "either this or that." A lot of people argue that instead of gun control, focus should be put on mental health. I agree that we need to do a hell of a lot more in the area of mental health. I also believe that the mental health of people who attempt to acquire firearms needs to be assessed... it's not either/or, it's both.
     
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  12. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 21, 2002
    I apologize that this might be a double post (hopefully someone will get a post in between mine) but JW just asked a lot of questions that my above post just covered while I was writing it.

    1)The "loophole" isn't a loophole at all, it's the limitations of private transactions between private citizens. The reality exists because under the law, if you have a license to sell firearms (which all gun stores, target shops, commercial enterprises, etc.. have to have to sell firearms) you have to conduct a background check prior to the sale. However, once someone buys a gun, what they do with them really can't be regulated. For example, if I legally buy a handgun from a dealer, I can then sell it to my neighbor. Who will find out? Technically, private citizens aren't supposed to sell guns to others who they know will use them illegally, and it could fall under what is called a "straw man" purchase. But the core of your question goes to privacy rights of people. For example, it's already illegal to sell cocaine to someone in the US, would it make sense to write a law which requires a background check be conducted between drug dealer and buyer? How would it be enforced?

    But yeah, the loophole is the easiest to close-just require that any public transactions like at a gun show require a background check. Practically, this happens 99% of the time, but it still wouldn't be able to cover those that occur between people. It's just that the media likes to paint a picture that the "loophole" was some some thing that fell through the cracks.

    2)Again, though, what's a "higher than normal" firing rate? All semi-auto, lever action, pump, revolvers, etc.. work on the same principle. You have to pull the trigger to operate a mechanical mechanism every time you want it to fire. You can't change physics. An elderly person with arthritis would fire a rifle slower than someone who didn't. A younger, athletic person would be able to manipulate the action more quickly. Are you familiar with an old tv show called "the Rifleman?" It's a western from the 50's or 60's which starred Chuck Connors. I mention it because the opening title had the main character rapidly fire his .44 Winchester rifle off of camera. It showed that the "rifleman" had a higher than normal firing rate because of training (which is how he got his name-sake) but that's nothing that the firearm itself can control. An automatic weapon or machine gun artificially increases the rate of fire by its own mechanical operation, but automatic weapons are already prohibited.

    That's why it does matter when you ask about things like "higher than normal firing rate." I can't give you a more specific answer until you describe in more detail what you think the idea is supposed to mean, and how it is supposed to be legislated.
     
  13. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

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    May 4, 2003
    So then, would you oppose a law requiring all public transactions to have a background check?

    As to your second point, certainly different people will be ready to fire a second time at different speeds. But is also not outside the realm of plausibility to calculate some sort of "average" firing rate for a given weapon, and use that as a baseline, accepting that some people will be able to achieve better than average results and some will do worse than average. Which is pretty much how we make rules about all other tools and mechanical devices.
     
  14. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 21, 2002
    That's only because I didn't mention any kind of overall "we don't ban cars" argument, and you actually have to read the points contained within the post. That's fine, I certainly can't force comprehension.

    But yeah, if that's all you want to get out of the post. I agree with you that any kind of knee-jerk "we have to ban anything" argument is rather embarrassing.
     
  15. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 21, 2002
    I wouldn't, no.
     
  16. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 5, 2011


    I hate to be a fly in the ointment (just kidding, I love it), but aren't hot rods sorta illegal, or at least restricted and requiring special registration? There are definitely defined regulations for cars at the federal level (safety and emissions), while most regulations come from the state.


    So yeah, already done and not that absurd. Maybe I'm missing the point here.
     
  17. Juliet316

    Juliet316 9X Wacky Wed/ 16X Hangman Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Apr 27, 2005
    Hot Rod's are legal, it's drag racing on public roads that's illegal.
     
  18. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

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    May 21, 2002
    I understood perfectly well, I just fail to see what you accomplished form that example. Highlighting the absurdity of trying to regulate cars because they cause fatalities is not comparable, however absurd, at all so I guess I can't comprehend why you brought it up to prove anything.
     
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  19. LostOnHoth

    LostOnHoth Chosen One star 5

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    Feb 15, 2000
    We are definitely on the same page - the only reason why I singled out the mental health issue in the first place is because the global public debate seems to be overwhelming focused solely on gun control, when clearly there are more issues at play.
     
  20. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 5, 2011
    I can't speak for every state, but my state has a list of illegal car modifications a mile long. You can't just go all Fast and Furious on your car, it's illegal.
     
  21. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 21, 2002
    No, you're not the fly in the ointment at all, you precisely illustrated the point of the example.

    First, off, show me where there is any law which makes "hot rods" illegal or have special registration...No such law exists. Now, there are specific emissions and/or traffic laws which cover defined concepts. Almost all, if not all, states have laws which say a vehicle owner can't modify their exhaust beyond specs. Or maybe something like you have to have minimum tread depth on your tires to drive on the street(no racing slicks) or the back tires can't be X inches wider than the front tires. Those laws cover legally specific and defined actions. Why does anyone need a car that can go 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and travel at 180MPH? But perhaps what is even more important is that right now, I can type into my computer-" modified exhaust, racing computer chip, unrestricted air filter," or any of dozens of extra equipment to turn my car into something from Fast and Furious and have a company deliver them right to my door. I suppose being able to buy a Mazdaspeed cat-back exhaust system is what is known as an "emissions loophole?" I don't know.

    Now take a term that is as undefined as "hot rod" or "going Fast and Furious" and replace it with "assault weapon," and you get a picture on why gun laws based on nothing but the term itself absolutely fail to accomplish what their original purpose might be.
     
  22. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

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    May 21, 2002
    So do you think the so-called "loophole" should be closed?
     
  23. Juliet316

    Juliet316 9X Wacky Wed/ 16X Hangman Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

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    Apr 27, 2005
    Still doesn't mean the cars themselves are illegal.
     
  24. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    May 21, 2002
    I already answered Wocky, are you referring to the same loophole I replied to him or a different one?
     
  25. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

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    May 21, 2002
    I guess I should say do you think there's a problem in the loophole and would you say that background checks need to be done at them?