Another mass shooting in America

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by fps, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Yes, I do realize what it represents, but if we look at the GDP, average income, life expectancy, etc. of countries we consider first world nations it does reflect good things (and a trend of sorts) despite the title having nothing to do with that. So it isn't just irrelevant, but yes the title itself is meaningless.

    Nope, even in our worst people still have great faith in the american dollar. Talk doesn't mean anything unless they act on it and nothing has changed in that regard for the most part.

    Why the Dollar Will Remain the Global Currency - Businessweek

    It refers to 2009, but that was just after the recession so I imagine it still stands.

    I have no idea what you are implying here. Did you go to private school? If you went to public then it was organized and funded by the government (my education was great and so is my Uni). In any case, to ignore anything good the government has done or is capable of doing is looking at the world through some very pessimistic lenses (and does not reflect the whole story).

    GDP - per capita (PPP) - Country Comparison

    I'm very sorry about your current situation, but it isn't a reflection of quite literally the majority of this country. Hell, even if unemployment were say 20% that still means 80% have jobs. Point being that even if your situation sucks that doesn't mean this country is in the toilet; It means you are a part of the fringe that is getting the grunt of our nations current problems. In any case, you were dealt some rough cards and sorry for coming off rash. It isn't so much rose colored glasses, but opportunities, location and timing. Where I live it isn't all that hard to find work. Where you live it is clearly different.

    What other collapse are you speaking of?


    As for mental illness, I think that a full workup by a physician should include mental health. I also think things like talk therapy should be covered by insurance (it's rather expensive and currently insurance forces doctors to prescribe rather than treat). Sometimes all these people need are someone to talk to who won't judge them. At the very least if they make a threatening gesture to the therapist they can then warn the police before it happens. So I guess that would just be mandated check ups and more overall health coverage. That'd be a lot easier to do with a single payer system though.

    We can't force people to get help unless they are committing a crime and doing much else would be walking the line of what people consider acceptable.

    On top of that some of the various suggestions for gun legislation to make it more difficult for those who still slip through the cracks.
     
  2. YngwieJ

    YngwieJ SS.org Regular

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    Ok, I plotted the data for gun ownership (Gallup 2011 poll) and gun-related deaths (Violence Policy Center 2009) and I created the following graph. Since I suck with OpenOffice Calc the states are not labelled, but the trend is obvious.
    [​IMG]

    Additionally, I found a study by Douglas J Wiebe that has very similar data. The graphs look slightly different because of the scale used and different sources of data from a decade apart. But considering all that, I'm surprised the two graphs look as similar as they do.
    [​IMG]
    Wiebe, Douglas J. PhD. “Homicide and Suicide Risks Associated With Firearms in the Home: A National Case-Control Study.” Annals of Emergency Medicine 41 (2003): 771-82.
     
  3. fps

    fps Kit

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    So you're saying there's evidence that more guns means more gun crime? I'm sorry but half the people in this thread will find some way to refute this.
     
  4. Painhawg

    Painhawg Well-Known Member

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    And the population of wyoming is?


    I own guns. Handguns and long guns. I have no assault weapons. I don't need one. Folks also don't need 15/30/50 round clips for their weapons either. It's never taken me more than one or tries to bag a deer, turkey or rabbit. Which I then consume in the form of dinner. I have had the guns long enough, and the rifle has taken enough game, that's it's cheaper to shoot a deer than buy ground beef.

    So if an idea to take away all guns went through, it would cost me money. I don't like that.

    I have no intention of randomly shooting anyone. I go to work, I pay taxes, I have days when I am an asshole, but no-one has the right to take anything from me that's legal and responsibly used because others use those things to kill.

    In response to another post,

    Yeah, the numbers killed at one time means nothing. Each one is as dead as the other, and each family left behnds grieves as greatly. By saying that more is worse, you minimize those that were lost in less newsworthy fashion.

    At this point in our society taking all guns away is not going to happen, we can't put mentally ill people away in cages, and we can't lock up our kids in schools with armed gaurds and fire doors. So what can we do?

    Not much room left there. I wish I had the answer.

    I do know that emotional knee jerk reactions won't help in the long term.
     
  5. fps

    fps Kit

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    It really isn't a question of what you do as an individual. Lots of people use guns to hurt other people. This thread was not a knee-jerk reaction to one event, it came about because I am just so greatly saddened by seeing this happen again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again in your country, and every time the answer from a significant proportion of the population appears to be *well people get shot, it happens, I'm not willing to do anything that might help prevent that. I like my guns, I want my guns, if people get shot because I'm not willing to support tighter gun controls, well I just don't care about that at all*. All evidence points to tightening up on who is allowed weapons and who is allowed access to weapons. That's not an emotional response, it's a statistical conclusion based on the facts relating to gun crime/ population ratios across different countries cross-referenced with their gun policies.

    If there's a main emotional response here, it's from people who have guns and don't want to risk any change in their access to guns.
     
  6. Painhawg

    Painhawg Well-Known Member

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    You are right, because I would like to beleive the people posting here are not, and have not been people of the type to go around shooting people. Why should the actions of cracked individuals cause me to lose things that I have never caused harm with? So someone else can be saved. maybe?

    If it were 100%, oh hell, I'll be generous, if it were 10% possible that random gun killing would stop if everyone that obeyed the law gave up their guns, I would support that.

    You can see what I did there. I did not include the crimial element giving theirs up. Because they wouldn't, and gun violence would continue. But on a lesser scale, which to some is ok, because less death is ok.

    So that's it then, we normal folk give ours up, and less death happens. Because 1 is ok, 10 isn't. Am I straight with that?.

    How much bolder would the criminal element be, if they knew with certainty that I was unarmed in my home? If everyone on the block had no guns? Would you be willing to test your families safety with that? Given the ferocity and brutality of the drug cartels and gangs in this country, would you be willing to test the no gun theory in your town first?

    Yes I know criminals kill armed people too and that they kill each other. With guns. And knives. Chainsaws, axes,machetes and whatever else is nearby.

    So tell me truly, if a criminal was threatening you or your family, what would you rather have, a gun or kind words?
     
  7. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    I get what you mean by minimizing the damage that has been done (although I doubt that is what ANY victims are concerned with), but to say it means nothing is far more heartless. It isn't about what gets more news coverage or who grieved better, it is the simple fact that if one person died instead of 20 that is a better result. Still terrible, still deserves the same amount of care, affection and grieving, but it is not equally as bad. What you are doing is minimizing those who survived, saying that it makes no difference that they survived because it came at the cost of your guns.

    The rest I pretty much agreed with.

    The following post though you pretty much lost me. :lol:

    It isn't that one is okay and ten isn't. If less death occurs, in your scenario nine survived, that is a positive impact. One death is still terrible, but ten is worse. You here again are saying that it makes no difference that they survived because it came at the cost of your guns. You keep pointing out how 'silly' we sound for saying the opposite of you, but can you not see just how ridiculous your perspective sounds here? It isn't a matter of how many we lost, it is how many we can save.

    I'm not armed and do not have weapons in my home and neither does a fairly significant portion of the population. I am not robbed daily, my car is not stolen frequently and my house has not been burglarized. I live a lot closer to the 'cartels' than you do and see no problem.

    People, with the exception of muggings (which is a surprise element where even if you had a gun, pulling it would be retarded), typically rob your things when you aren't around. In the store parking lot, while you are at work, while you are grocery shopping, etc. They want to take as much stuff as they can with the least possible risk. You being there armed or not is a huge risk. Unless the idea is kidnapping, which doesn't happen a lot (typically by family as well) and there is usually a reason behind it which means it isn't just a random occurrence either.

    I also go to school in one of the worst areas of Houston. Do you know why I'm fairly safe? It is because without me being armed I'm not an idiot who feels so safe I quit looking over my shoulder, start parking in the furthest parking spots, walk down dark alleys, etc. I'm safe because I make it so. I make sure I park in smart places, stay in the light, make sure my vision is not impaired, I know all of my exits, etc. What I see from a lot of people who buy guns on a whim and never properly trained, is they have this false sense of security and accidentally end up taking more risks than they should have or probably would have if they actually let the fear in a bit.

    My Uncle got his car stolen about a year ago. What did he do? Got a gun to stick in his truck. Well that is useful since they stole his truck while he wasn't in it. Now they won't just steal his truck (statistically unlikely a second time), but if they did they'd also have his brand new gun. Not the only issue there either. He has a baby and a toddler and he has the gun placed where his kid can easily reach it. Responsible gun ownership and parenting right there.
     
  8. Painhawg

    Painhawg Well-Known Member

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    My exact point on the death is that they are both equal in scope, whether it's one or ten, and the number being bigger doesn't make it worse. They are both equally terrible.

    I don't live near cartels, I live in the largest meth state. And I lived near the border in San Diego for 12 years. I choose to be safe. I don't tote my guns around and feel all tough-guy, they are at home, put away. I don't go into bad neighborhoods that I have no business in, or hang out in areas where I have to particulary worry about getting mugged.

    But as we can see, even the best places can go sour right away. I am in agreement that some guns don't belong in the populace, no-one really needs an AR15, or aK-74 or Fn-Fal, those could go away, and I wouldn't care, even if i owned one. As I said in my first post, large capacity magazines aren't needed. Shotguns have had a 3-5 round legal limit for as long as I remember.

    To veer off the track for a second, don't you think it's odd that you have to do all those things to feel safe?

    Back on track now.

    The whole number of dead feeds into a distaste I have for vultures in the media. I am positive a Grandmother, Uncle, father of 3 got killed on the same day as the shooting somewhere in the country.

    Yet, all the attention is given to the more "sensational and interesting" shooting. Most certainly made larger simply because it fits neatly into an agenda that has been going on for a long time. It allowed people on both sides to start poking fingers at each other. How many gun related killings happened in Chicago this year? Over 4000. Where is the outrage against gun violence there? or LA, or DC and detroit? Are those dead somehow worth less because the weren't children killed by the scary assault weapon? Children being killed is beyond anything I can put words to.

    Short version, every life taken is a tragic thing, everything is taken away from them, and they will never be back. But to say this death is more tragic than that one because of numbers, to me, is heartless. The family in Houston that last thir son or daughter grieves no less than Newtown, even though only one died. Does that make sense?


    Now, back to my guns, I am saying that I should not be punished because others fuck it up. Mine are legally bought, taken care of, registered and put away. My guns are not going to kill anyone. So why take mine away, or make it where I can't get one at all. I've done nothing wrong.

    That's where the rub is. People who obey the law and take care of their business doesn't want others who do not own guns to say they should be gotten rid of entirely. It's lumps the honest folk in with the criminal, only because of having a gun.

    I hope that made sense.
     
  9. YngwieJ

    YngwieJ SS.org Regular

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    568,158 as of July 2011. Your point is? All my figures were in per capita numbers. As I showed, and as the other research study I quoted showed, is that while homicides may not be directly correlated with gun ownership, the risk of death by a gun is statistically much higher among those that have a gun in their home. Therefore, there are many common sense laws we could implement to reduce this risk.
    Who is proposing that? There isn't a single Congressman (that I'm aware of, and I've been looking), Supreme Court Justice, or current or recent President or Vice President who supports a ban on all guns. So this is just plain paranoia and an attempt to steer the conversation into unintelligible banter about your Second Amendment right, when nobody is attacking the Second Amendment.

    Many people don't have an intention to kill, but accidents happen, and people act on impulse. If you look back at my numbers on gun deaths and gun ownership, there's something very odd going on. We mentioned that Wyoming has one of the lowest gun homicide rates, but they have the HIGHEST suicide rate. And as I've pointed out earlier in this thread, higher gun ownership has been linked to higher suicide rates. Here's a few interesting quotes from their research:
    Additional research suggests that having a gun in the home not only increases suicide risk, it increases homicide and accidental risk. From Guns in the Home and Risk of a Violent Death in the Home
    So let me reiterate, none of our elected officials are suggesting that we entirely repeal the Second Amendment and take everyone's guns by force. But I think it's important that we warn people of the dangers of owning a firearm and the danger of improper storage of firearms. I really like Eric Holder's idea that someone linked to earlier in this thread to run ad campaigns about the dangers of gun ownership. We do it for all kinds of other dangerous activities, such as smoking, drinking and driving, texting and driving, not wearing seatbelts--the risk of death in a vehicle has been dropping significantly, and the number of people with lung cancer is dropping significantly. But it seems like the words "gun control" have become associated with a fascist attempt to steal everyone's guns, and that's just not the case.

    PS. How in the hell are people still defending the idea that the number of deaths is irrelevant? In 2007 there were 31,224 deaths by firearms in the United States. It's completely ignorant to state that that number is unimportant.
     
  10. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    For the sake of clarity, are you arguing that point against someone here, or a general "they" represented by the hardline anti-gun crowd? If the former, I don't think anyone here has actually suggested that the solution is to take everyone's guns away. If the latter, well, carry on, my wayward son.
     
  11. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    I disagree, they are not the same scope at all, but I see we will probably not agree there.

    The implication is unchanged however. You are still discounting the relevance of those who survived just because someone died. Frankly, given your position on guns I'm not even sure why you are even arguing this point. The guns and mag size you'd be okay with getting banned are the weapons typically used in these slaughters. The advantage to them being banned is in fact that the amount of casualties in an incident would go down.

    No one is arguing whether one is more terrible. We are arguing that more survivors equals better. Yes, that also means I'm implying less deaths equal better, but that isn't the main focus or even the point. You are taking a very impersonal stance towards this and ironically the reason for doing so is you don't want guns being taken away just to save one life, yet that is exactly what you are okay with. :scratch: If it is because you don't want them to take all your guns you can rest easy because no one intends to do so.

    I agree with the second paragragh.

    As for the first I wasn't actually talking about you. I was speaking generally and also about my personal experiences. Good to here nonetheless. It is always better to avoid a situation in the first place and it seems you do take measures to do so. :yesway:

    Not really. I take those measures everywhere I go even if it is in a place I should feel rather safe. It is something people should just do IMO. I'm not in a state of panic, tension or stress because of it, it is just a part of my routine (I'm a tad OCD to begin with :lol:). I probably don't 'have to' all the time, but I do anyways. If I had a CHL I'd still do the same. Just because I have a gun doesn't mean I should put myself in a position to need it, so nothing in my behavior should change simply because I have one. I'm aware and alert, not stressed and panicked.

    Again, never said one death was more tragic than another and it does make sense. You are just missing my point entirely.

    I personally am outraged 24/7 about the amount of death that occurs in this country, whether anyone else is I don't know. I wouldn't assume just because someone is pro gun reform that they aren't though. Or that they are only outraged because of the media.

    It goes both ways and the only reason I use the word 'better' is not because it is good, but because it isn't as bad as it could have been. To say that less death is better isn't heartless because what I'm saying is the more people that can survive to live another day is better (preventable deaths). How is that wrong? I'm not discounting anyone else's death by saying so. That is just how you are taking my perception. You are too busy comparing tragedies. I'm not saying the guy who broke into a house and shot a girl is better than the Newtown tragedy because it was just one. The one girls death is unavoidable in the example you give whereas if the gunman at Newtown were unable to commit the same level of violence as he did, some more children may have survived. Not that one is by definition better than any other tragedy that has ever occurred, but that potentially avoidable death is a good thing. You may still not understand what I'm saying, but just know we are more in agreement than you think and you are twisting what I'm saying to an extent.

    Nobody is saying, "take them all". When we are setting up examples and scenarios it comes across that way, but in the policy portion of this debate no one is advocating outright removal. Not only for the reasons you give, but because it is just simply infeasible to begin with. Bringing up the gun statistics is to show pro gunners that your guns do not make the world a better place which is what some people have been advocating. It isn't the setup for a punchline.

    You are advocating the removal of some weapons and ammo however. To people who own the weapons you described, they'd probably have the same gripe you are having with us. That should put things in a bit of perspective for you I think. :2c:
     
  12. Painhawg

    Painhawg Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that number thing really lit some folks up. Again each and every damn death is as tragic as another. whether it's one or ten. What part of that is so hard to grab onto? Why does no one seem to care at the child that died in car accident, but they sure as hell act sad and hurt when a child is thrown into a dryer for punishment and dies. They are both dead!

    To the families it means their loved one is dead. Because is was one does not make them less dead. Just less interesting to hear about and get all ragey over.

    Let me put it this way. People should clamor as much for one as the many. But truly, who really gives a rat's ass about a hobo or a banger, right? It's not really an issue until someone kills kids, then it's like OMG DO SOMETHING NOW! OMG WHAT A TERRIBLE BASTARD. What about a drunk that took out 5 after a long night of drinking? Where's the outrage and call for change on that? Where are the cries to ban fucking alcohol and cell phones cause they kill people too. Go tell the family their loss was worth less because is was humdrum and fucking boring. Sorry your family died, but look over here, lots died, so we'll get with you later. That's my point no-one gives a crap until it gets big. But the small is JUST AS DEAD.

    How many media vultures have interviewed the parents of dead African child soldiers? They were kids pressed into service, what, they don't count?

    Take the assualt weapons ,I am good with that. But it.won't.stop.there.

    I can guarantee that my house with guns in it, is as safe as anyone's without. They don't sit in the gun safe, randomly jump out and shoot people. I don't get in fits of rage and kill people, my wife is not suicidal.


    The highest suicide rate speaks more to why than how.

    Lung cancer has dropped, true. Many have died, and new smokers have not replaced the losses.

    Cars are generally safer, and seat belts do save lives.

    I have issue with the drinking and driving. It is illegal to do it. People continue to drunkenly kill people with cars. So the thing should be, we need to ban certain types of alcohol, or limit alcohol content. In this way, no-one would drive drunk and kill others.

    Gun Control has been portrayed as a liberal leftist conpiracy to allow the people to be enslaved by the govt. Some people believe that. I see "Gun Control" as rather well intentioned, misguided attempt to "make it all better"

    Again, it's not the loss of weapons that irks me, it's the gall of others to suggest that I, as a gun owner, am somehow unsafe compared to a non gun owner, and that I present a threat and therefore should be controlled before I do anything stupid because I have no choice, since I am a neanderthal for owning a gun.
     
  13. Painhawg

    Painhawg Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Less is so much better. I think the choice of words I used was not as carefully thought out.

    Short version.

    To me, all death is equally tragic.
    Something needs to be done.
    I believe assault weapons/extended magazines are not needed
    There is a underlying problem with mental health that needs looked at.

    And I need to leave the thread before I piss someone off with my confusing dribble.
     
  14. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Okay, glad we cleared that up. It is really hard to phrase things in such a way to say exactly what we mean without someone getting confused. Things get lost in translation.

    100% agree with you as well.


    [EDIT]

    The media is terrible. With that I also agree, but that is nothing new. As long as people click on the articles, watch the news, and talk about it they are going to continue to do it. No death is better than any other and they all deserve equal amounts of attention and resolution. It seems we do take measures to attempt fixing the things you mentioned. We make cars safer every year, police are out in full force every holiday season, drunk driving is taught in drivers education, law is fairly strict on it as well though there is a little too much leniency there IMO, the government tries very hard to get the amount of smokers down (and it has worked), they don't sell liquor after a certain hour to prevent too much drinking, etc. We could probably do more and people should probably be out doing more, that I have no doubt. All death is without a doubt tragic especially when avoidable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  15. The Atomic Ass

    The Atomic Ass Redefining Sound

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    Ehm, we're still going downhill. The "rebound", such as it is, is a product of temporary government spending. That is the subject of this fiscal cliff that everybody's in a tizzy about these days. The excess spending that has already occurred has guaranteed us a rather nasty inflation in the next few years, and if the spending is continued, we see more inflation. If it is cut off, we get another recession. There is no fine line to tread.

    Home schooled. What I meant is that the curriculum my parents selected was influenced by federal policy. Which, generally most curricula is.

    The great depression was only 22% unemployment at it's peak. I think most people agreed that the country was in the toilet in the 30's.

    And get your info on unemployment from the U6 measurement, not the U3 numbers the White House releases. (U6 includes underemployment, which is just as bad for the economy as unemployment).

    Collapse of society when the checks stop pouring forth to those on government stipends. :)


    I won't disagree with any but the final sentence.
     
  16. fps

    fps Kit

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  17. fps

    fps Kit

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    flint I have a few concerns over the mental health angle and was wondering what your thoughts were.
    I can't imagine that mental health checks for every person who wanted to own a gun would be met with anything other than outrage and massive resistance from a huge proportion of people. I mean, I'd find that very invasive, more invasive than someone coming into my home in fact (a check that you're storing your guns properly is less intrusive than being given a psychological rundown?) while being less conclusive. A common psychopathic trait is to be outwardly charming and friendly. This is something I read based on research reported in Jon Ronson's Psychopath Test. So it would be quite possible to miss a potential killer unless a lot of time was spent with them, even if you were well-trained. It would be very expensive to implement as well. Would there be an appeals process? Would owners be subjected to regular screening, or would it be a one-time thing, if you were advising on implementing this?
     
  18. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, there isn't a solution without any holes sadly. The problem has gotten too big for the truly simple solutions to work, so now we are having to resort to either doing nothing or less efficient methods.

    I don't think it'd be a bad idea for people in general to have a mental health check every so often, but forcing anyone too would be pretty much impossible. I mean look at the reaction for just mandatory health insurance, mandatory doctor visits will definitely infuriate those who already hate the government for whatever reason.

    FWIW there isn't ANYTHING we can implement related to guns that won't be met with a crazy level of resistance. Many see it as the 'slippery slope' which is funny given the lack of gun control today and assault weapons were banned for 10 years. One would think the slippery slope argument would officially be invalid and put to bed.

    I'm a foster parent and when they come to visit they check the med's, doors, closets, etc. and I have to agree it isn't that invasive or a big deal. It is definitely less intrusive than medical examinations. That being said I don't think a medical examination is the wrong thing to do either. Will some slip through the cracks? Sure, but we are bound to stop some. We have to remember that not all mentally ill people have the same symptoms or devious personal traits. I'd argue that even though the people committing these massacres were mentally ill it doesn't eliminate the fact that it still could have been a crime of passion. They don't necessarily have to be as devious as serial killers (charming and friendly, etc.).

    Overall, involving the mentally ill, society needs to change it's tone, offer better coverage, and proactively try and help those who need it. As for guns, it needs to be at the very least more difficult than it is because it is way too easy.

    I think the benefit to forcing a mental examination is that if someone does have a mental illness they may not try, out of fear of being exposed. In any case, we need to work on proper documentation and updating the systems properly. I mean if a doctor anywhere has already diagnosed someone as bipolar, schizophrenic, depressed, etc. there is no reason you should be able to get a gun, but much like the cooperation between the CIA, FBI, etc. people are still able to purchase anyhow in a lot of cases.

    As for your questions, if I were to implement such a plan it would be every 3-5 years probably and there'd be no appeals process, otherwise whats the point.
     
  19. fps

    fps Kit

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    We're not talking about a situation where suddenly all guns are removed from all houses. It actually derails the conversations to suggest that this is the argument being put forward by people who are pro gun control. Gun control means a lot of different thing to different people, noone I've spoken to apart from a coupla morons thinks it means a war on guns. That would be just as stupid as a war on drugs.... which is a different topic. It's a straw man, that's not what anyone here is saying. So you argue against that point instead of the one that is actually being made, which is that it is far too easy for far too many people to gain access to a gun who should not have one.

    I'm also not talking about an immediate removal of guns from every law-abiding gun owner's home either. Again that's a false point you're arguing against and it derails the conversation. I'm just trying to have an honest real conversation about lowering the levels of access to guns for everyone so that there can be less gun crime in the future.

    What you describe is a country in an endless Mexican stand-off with itself. That is not healthy. A change in culture is required. It takes time. It begins with things like stringent checks of who is in a house with guns and whether every person in a house is trained, stable and sensible enough to be around a gun, with minors and people without licences having no access to guns. It continues with efforts to track guns and their movements in the second-hand market. Advertising of guns and ammo becomes restricted and fewer people will want guns.

    It's like the smoking ban here in the UK, smoking is in freefall because of simple changes, and this in turn has saved lives. It takes time, but if a country wants to change, and in this case there is a culture of violence, it has to want to change and also take little steps to make itself anew. And a more responsible approach to the ownership and acquisition of lethal weapons seems a sensible and grown-up thing to have a discussion on.
     
  20. Captain_Awesome

    Captain_Awesome Cloudwalker

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    I've gathered that the main pro gun argument is "I enjoy owning a gun." Good going.
     
    flint757 likes this.

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