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Senate Gun Control

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

  1. V-2

    V-2 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Thanks for that, I had no idea.

    I'll edit my older post FWIW.

    Edit: Looks like I'm out of time to do that. [face_sigh]
     
  2. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Kimball_Kinnison, since you love your statistics, can you comment on these?

    1) 11 of the 20 worst mass shootings in the last 50 years happened in the US. Finland was second on the list, with 2.
    2) Mother Jones reported that since 1982, there have been 61 mass killings in 30 states in the US. In most instances, firearms were obtained legally.
    3) Israel, Switzerland and Canada both have proportionally high rates of firearm ownership. But their gun crime rates are drastically less than the US. This is not surprising in Canada or Switzerland, which have high standards of living and relative security. Israel you would expect more acts of gun crime given their situation. Why is the US worse?
    4) Of the 12 deadliest shootings in the US, six have happened since 2006.
    5) States with stricter gun laws have lower gun-related deaths

    Keen to hear your thoughts.
     
  3. MarcusP2

    MarcusP2 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 10, 2004
    And surely the sophisticated criminal organisations could just head over the border to Arizona and get whatever guns they want?
     
  4. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Possibly. It wouldn't be the first time Americans supplied guns to terrorists.
     
    V-2 likes this.
  5. V-2

    V-2 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2012
    How are the sales of guns taxed in the US? Could the federal government levy an oppressively high sales tax on guns and ammo? Is this something that's been tried before?
     
  6. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    You're only looking at mass shootings, not overall gun violence. I'm almost positive that waiting periods reduce suicide rates, as it gives a "cool off" period and I believe it had (not as sure on this one) a positive effect on murders, etc.

    Similar to waiting periods is buying more than one gun in a short amount of time. The Aurora shooter and the VA Tech shooter both bought multiple weapons in a short amount of time (not sure about VA, the Aurora bought 4 in a 1.5 month period).

    I can tell you that in my hometown of Pittsburgh there was one several years ago where a man killed a couple of women in a gym and he had a concealed carry permit. If you're only using the criteria of Columbine, VA Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Sandy Hook to determine if gun control would work then you're using the most narrow sample size possible.

    I'm not sure how effective they would be, but I don't see anything wrong with severely strict background examinations. Rumors are that Adam Lanza attempted to buy a gun several days ago, but he was denied because of his age (you have to be 21 in CT). What would be so burdensome about a law that alerts the mother or father when this happens? Another one we could debate: everyone in your household has to pass a background check for mental sanity. How about in-depth background checks on mental health with evaluations from friends & relatives? From what I do know, the VA Tech and Aurora shooters would likely have been blocked from this.
     
  7. V-2

    V-2 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2012
    I don't think a household mental health check could be practicable. Even if a committee could ever agree on the criteria, it would be open to abuse and accusations of prejudice in its application....
     
  8. Aytee-Aytee

    Aytee-Aytee Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2008
    That really does not matter. The bottom line is that if someone has murder on their mind, whether they are a cartel thug or a strung out psychopath who wants to "punish" a society that they think wronged them, even the most strict of laws are not going to stop them.

    Not without the BATF knowing about it.

    Every firearm sale in the United States is mandated to have a Form 4473, which logs the sale and registers the firearm with the federal government. Name, address, photograph (from drivers license or state-issued ID), serial number of the weapon, etc.
    The master form is kept by BATF, while copies of all 4473s must be on file with the gun shop for a minimum of twenty years.

    Either the government just doesn't give a crap or actively exports the weapons to Mexico (Bush's Operation Wide Receiver, Obama's Operation Fast and Furious) or the gun dealers who made the sale did so illegally and need to be shut down.


    My own theory is that we have become an immature entitlement-minded society who can't wrap our heads around the notion that we can't get everything we want when we want it. We get fed this "American Dream" mentality that when have one off day or one setback, we fly off the handle.
    Next time you are driving and stop at a red light, when the light turns green, do not go. Count to 8 before you let off the brake, and see how the person behind you royally flips out.

    Combine that immature mentality with the fact that we've become immune to violence through our entertainment, and it's a ticking bomb.
     
  9. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    I doubt it would pass or be practical but it should be at least brought to the table and argued. It does seem, though, that if a lot of these guns are stolen from family members then maybe you shouldn't be allowed to own a gun if your child has mental health issues. The sad and frustrating part about the whole gun debate conversation is the NRA won't even allow it to happen.
     
    Juliet316 likes this.
  10. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    I did ask that we not make silly arguments in favour of current gun laws or in favour of repealing current gun laws. You didn't listen did you, Lee?
     
  11. Aytee-Aytee

    Aytee-Aytee Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Define "silly argument".

    Would that be "any point of view that I do not agree with"?
     
  12. harpua

    harpua Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Example of a silly argument

     
  13. Aytee-Aytee

    Aytee-Aytee Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Once again, "Silly argument" being defined as "any point of view that I do not agree with".
     
  14. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    No. It would be saying that Mexico, which is gripped by a war between drug cartels and the government , can be used to illustrate a point about gun ownership and violence. It's patently disingenuous and if you believe it's valid I'm not really sure you should be allowed near a computer.

    Especially considering the mass shootings - a practice for which the US holds a near monopoly - were largely done with legally obtained weapons. The ones in Mexico almost exclusively, were not.
     
  15. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    To anyone that thinks there isn't a problem to address, these headlines have all occurred since Friday.

    Oklahoma HS student arrested for plotting massacre
    Man Fires Some 50 Shots at Calif. Mall Parking Lot
    Indiana man who owned 47 guns arrested after elementary school threat
    Gunman killed in Alabama hospital shooting

    Limiting the discussion of what gun control can prevent to the major incidents (Sandy Hook, VA Tech, Tucson, Columbine, Aurora, etc.) is offensive to the thousands of people murdered every year by suicide or single homicide and the hundreds of other incidents, like the one above, that were either foiled plots or non-lethal incidents.
     
  16. Juliet316

    Juliet316 9X Hangman Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Apr 27, 2005
    I heard about all but the Indiana one, good grief....
     
  17. Aytee-Aytee

    Aytee-Aytee Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2008
    The point I was trying to make is that violence is a problem that runs much deeper than any guns or gun control legislation. American society has become one that celebrates violence, and it's getting sicker every day.
     
  18. LWSwann

    LWSwann Jedi Padawan

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2012
    It's common sense, statistics are a clear indicator of what needs to be done. Introduce new gun-laws. Yes, we will always have "nut jobs" but when it is easier for that "nut job" to get a gun then it is to get help, there is something seriously wrong on a higher level. And yes, people will always find other things to use to cause chaos.. knives, tools etc.. but I assure you that more people will escape a knife attack than a gun attack.
     
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  19. Kimball_Kinnison

    Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2001
    1) The US is the third most populous nation in the world. It only stands to reason that a more populous nation would have a greater likelihood of any sort of tragedy.
    2) That comes out to roughly 2 "mass killings" per year. Again, when you are looking at a population as large as the US, it's not an unreasonable rate. It's essentially comparable to some incidents from the EU.
    3) There are a number of factors, chief among them are gang and drug issues in the US, as well as mental health issues.
    4) I would attribute a large portion of that to increased attention from the news media acting as an encouragement for people to "go big".
    5) There is no strict correlation between the severity of gun laws and crime rates. Vermont has very permissive gun laws, and a low crime rate. Maryland has strict gun laws and a high crime rate. Across the river, Virginia's gun laws are less strict, and yet our crime rate drops significantly (with similar demographics to Maryland).

    As I said before, I personally am not concerned about suicide rates (with or without firearms). I believe that the right to life inherently includes the right to end your life. As long as you do not endanger others in doing so, it's your right to commit suicide if you want to.

    And I say that as someone who saw the effects of my grandfather's suicide on my mother, something that was brought up again a few months ago when we rediscovered his suicide tape. I think suicide is a selfish act, but it should ultimately be up to the individual.

    Virginia had a 1-handgun-a-month law (which is what gun control advocates have repeatedly called for as the limit) at the time of the Virginia Tech shooting. It did nothing to stop Cho.

    Statistically speaking, CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) holders are more law-abiding than police officers. For example, in Kansas, only 0.09% of CCP holders have been charged with a crime involving firearms in the last 5 years. Do some commit crimes? Yes, but as a body they are far more law-abiding than almost any other segment of the population.

    That then starts getting into some serious privacy issues. A person who is 20 years old (as Adam Lanza was) is legally an adult. His parents no longer have legal responsibility for him, and so there is no legal justification for notifying them of an attempt to purchase a gun any more than any other private citizen should be notified.
     
  20. Aytee-Aytee

    Aytee-Aytee Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Then reinstate waiting periods and the full-auto ban. Those two measures should not affect regular hobby shooters like myself.

    And please stop referring to tac rifles as "Assault Weapons" just because they look scary.


    Also, how about scrapping the "Mental Health Patient's Bill of Rights", and just letting their family send them to a hospital when they go off their meds?
     
  21. shinjo_jedi

    shinjo_jedi Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    I also believe in a right to end's one own life, but a waiting period has shown to decrease the suicide rate. If someone is determined to end their life, they'll wait, but I can't fathom how anything that reduces it is a bad thing. Many suicides are done irrationally, where if given the time to "cool down" they won't attempt to do it at a later point.

    Again it won't stop every act, but I don't understand on how time limits are a bad thing.

    Do you have them on a national scale, not just Kansas? I'm more curious than contesting the finding, but Kansas could be cherry-picked. And I'm not inherently against concealed carry, although I don't think it's the solution, but I think there need to be severely strict requirements as to who's entitled to one.

    There are definitely some obstacles, and I do admit the legal justification would be delicate, but I don't see why an exception couldn't at least attempt to be made. We're talking about stopping mentally ill people from getting guns, not that their son tried to buy alcohol. And I'm not trying to start a legal debate, but just throwing ideas out there as to what could be done.
     
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  22. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    So KK, if your reasoning was any damn good, India and China should have greater representation in the list of countries where the worst mass shootings took place. Yet, you have 11/20 or 55%, followed with a 2nd place who has 10% in Finland. So, I don't agree it stands to reason by any measure. China and India have a statistically insignificant contributions to the list and Finland's population is a mere 5-and-a-bit million.
     
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  23. Narutakikun

    Narutakikun Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2012
    One more thought, and a general one:

    I hate to be Heartless Harry in this situation, but age has taught me a few things, and one of them is that it's both highly tempting and highly unwise to push for sweeping new laws in the emotionally-charged atmosphere that exists in the aftermath of a tragedy.

    And yes, both sides of the political fence do this. That, for example, is how we ended up with the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq War in the wake of the sadness and anger that existed in the couple of years after 9/11. These were ill-considered, but we weren't in a place as a nation to consider certain things as carefully and dispassionately as we should have.

    All of us should learn from mistakes like this.
     
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  24. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Australia. Port Arthur.

    EDIT: Also, hard to take seriously anyway who talks about the wisdom accrued with age yet has an anime theme to their username/avatar...
     
  25. Kimball_Kinnison

    Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Again, what purpose do waiting periods serve? Their justification was always one of two things: either to perform background checks (which no longer require the time), or to provide a "cooling off" period (which has also gotten people killed waiting for a gun to defend themselves from a threat).

    As for a full-auto ban, there's no need. Only one lawfully-owned full-automatic firearm has been used in a crime since the National Firearms Act was passed in 1934, and that was committed by a police officer killing an informant.

    I'm still waiting for someone to provide me with a definition of an "Assault Weapon" that is based on something functional about a gun, rather than how it looks.

    And no, being a semi-automatic firearm doesn't make something an "Assault Weapon". The only difference between a semi-automatic handgun and a revolver is that one uses the explosive force of the cartridge to ready the gun to fire again while the other uses the mechanical action of pulling the trigger. They both fire about the same rate.

    This has some very significant civil rights implications, because of how subjective some mental health diagnostic tests can be. It's easy to point to the more extreme cases and say "that person needs to be committed", but it's a lot harder to deal with criteria for the edge cases, and that's where the law ultimately has to work.

    As I said before, there are no quick, easy, and clean answers.