Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby You, sir, name? » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

Also, the thing about home improvised bombs is that it is not merely illegal to use them to kill people, they are illegal to make and own. Even though you could hypothetically use a pipe bomb for hunting or defending your home, the law has concluded that they are so destructive that the threat of their use in unlawfully killing people weighs heavier. So they're not legal. The materials required for making them are restricted. You end up on government lists if you buy them.

The same can be argued for assault rifles. There is no circumstance you need one, where a handgun or a hunting rifle would not suffice. And their ease in killing people makes them a menace.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Jave D » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:59 pm UTC

Impeach wrote:
Jave D wrote:I think your tendency to at once laud and praise the success of the government (in the form of the second amendment) as well as harp on about the "clearly rogue government" has an overall confusing and distorted message which is hard to take seriously even without the other tiresome lines you haul out after it.


I don't have the faintest clue what you are talking about. Whatever it is about your logic that lead you to say this is obviously fucked. You are extrapolating or projecting or doing something but you sure aren't paying attention.


Ah yes, that "your logic is fucked" argument. Very compelling.

I thought I was pretty clear what I was referring to, and don't know how to dumb it down to make it clearer, so, uh, sorry?

I mean, it's all very well and good for you to declare how stoically you accept "shit will happen" to you when with regards to this act, it hasn't. You haven't been gunned down in a movie theater. I would assume none of your family has either. It's a meaningless statement. And ranting with barely-concealed frothing anger about the evil government trying to steal your right to defend yourself, while coldly, casually dismissing mass murders because well, they're a price you'll gladly have other people pay with their lives in order for you to (theoretically) be able to defend yourself is, in the context of this discussion, pretty damn tasteless.


First of all, I am not ranting with barely concealed frothing anger. I am not ranting, my anger is not frothing, and I made no effort to conceal it because it didn't factor into my argument. But then, why shouldn't I be angry?


"clearly rogue government" is a pretty self-righteously angry kind of statement, made twice in your case. And you clearly think anger is justified here, whether you admit to having it or not, which kind of makes my point.

Are you so egocentric that you think I making my choice in the context of YOUR life? I worry that my basic rights, which I do not use improperly, will be taken away from me in I way I have no control over. Can't you see that that is real for me? Why are you judging me so harshly for that?


You *are* making the choice in the context of other people's lives. Specifically, those people whose lives were lost in Denver.

You are trying to take away my right one of a free societies most important tools and all you can come up with is that sadistic criminals misuse them?


I am trying to take away your right now? Interesting. How long have you had this feeling of paranoia towards anyone who expresses disgust at your statements on the internet?

You made no attempt to actually look at what I was saying, you mentioned nothing about the fact that guns save more people from violent crimes than they cause, you extrapolated and deluded yourself to the point where your opening statement was about as true as 1=2, accused me of being callous and apathetic about the mass murders (I'm to lazy to go back and read but the exact gist of what I said is "this was horribly tragedy and we all must take great efforts to make sure it doesn't happen," and you call me tasteless?


My opening statement was rather true. You do laud the government's success re: 2nd amendment (you continue to do so; "one of a free society's most important tools"), and you did criticize that same government as "clearly rogue" (whatever that's supposed to mean). And it's all rather tasteless because you're spinning this event into an opportunity to bang the "you're trying to take away my rights" drum and make it all about you. To the point where you can't even address the killing spree except to coldly say that "shit happens." Pretty damned tasteless.

Everyone's got their own opinion on what taste is. For example, I think it is tasteless to tell someone that they are a bad person because they do not want their rights removed only by force just because your vision of government is different from theirs.


You clearly don't seem to have read what I wrote.

This isn't about taste though, so "it's a meaningless statement," this is about logic, history, and an IQ greater than 50. If you have something that you think might influence what I think about the second amendment


This topic isn't about you, it's not about the second amendment. That you try to make it about both is rather part of my point. Gun rights advocates turn everything into an excuse to rant about free societies as if gun bans would just murder freedom. Some people are mourning the deaths of human beings; you're saying, "shit happens." You're mourning the death of your personal freedoms because that's the real victim here, apparently.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:34 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:The same can be argued for assault rifles. There is no circumstance you need one, where a handgun or a hunting rifle would not suffice.


'Assault rifles' in the U.S. fall under the NFA, they can't be purchased or transferred without paying a $200 tax and must be registered on a federal registry which has not been open to new entries since 1986, limiting the supply of legal assault rifles and driving the price up.

A typical assault rifle that sold new for a few hundred dollars pre-1986 now sells for closer to twenty thousand dollars.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby buddy431 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:02 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:The same can be argued for assault rifles. There is no circumstance you need one, where a handgun or a hunting rifle would not suffice.


'Assault rifles' in the U.S. fall under the NFA, they can't be purchased or transferred without paying a $200 tax and must be registered on a federal registry which has not been open to new entries since 1986, limiting the supply of legal assault rifles and driving the price up.

A typical assault rifle that sold new for a few hundred dollars pre-1986 now sells for closer to twenty thousand dollars.


He was using an AR-15, certain varients of which do not fall under the NFA. That's something I'd call pretty close to an assault rifle, and indeed it is being described as one in the news articles I have read. No, it's not automatic, but it's still not the type of thing that any civilian would have a legitimate use for that couldn't be fulfilled by a less destructive weapon.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Guns are a lazy yet sexy way to get firepower. This particular case if James Holmes wanted to cause damage without access to firearms its entirely possible that he could have cooked up some other means, possibly involving toxic chemical mixes or homemade explosives.

I'm -not- saying that the availability of guns saved lives by catering to lazyness. What I am saying is that I sincerely doubt that any level of gun control would have averted the tragedy, it would have at best changed the nature of the attack and I'm not sure that changing the nature of the attack would have had preferable outcomes.

Others have already responded on a similar note, but I feel it's important to reiterate and put my own take on. The problem that arises from guns is that they take relatively little expertise to acquire and use to cause significant harm to others. If you limit access to guns, then people need to rely entirely on homemade explosives, knives, or similar other tools. There is nothing we can do to make murder impossible -- you can kill people with your bare hands or any number of household objects if serious about it -- but to make it take more skill and expertise, more time, more patience and more specific materials.

If guns could be removed from the equation (not necessarily saying a 100% removal is practical or desirable) then the number of people that can potentially cause these tragedies goes down significantly. To add to that, it changes the scenarios where it's easier to stop the person, it's easier and more likely for the authorities to catch them beforehand, and the person has more chances to stop and think "wait, what am I doing?". Just because something isn't a perfect solution doesn't mean that it can't help -- the question is if it does help, and if it does if the amount it helps is worth the cost.

EdgarJPublius wrote:'Assault rifles' in the U.S. fall under the NFA, they can't be purchased or transferred without paying a $200 tax and must be registered on a federal registry which has not been open to new entries since 1986, limiting the supply of legal assault rifles and driving the price up.

A typical assault rifle that sold new for a few hundred dollars pre-1986 now sells for closer to twenty thousand dollars.

In this case, I think they just confused the frequent mention of "assault weapon" as including "assault rifles". It's currently legal in the US to buy semi-auto variants of assault rifles, which is (by my understanding) a good shorthand definition for "assault weapon"*. Under that definition, I would stand by the revised form of the original statement: these are guns designed to kill people, they are not the best options for hunting, nor are they really much improved over pistols/shotguns for the purpose of self defense.

* Though I'll note that a lot of the legal definition in the now expired ban was based on cosmetic instead of functional aspects, which I would say is a rather unwise set of criteria to use. We shouldn't care if something looks like an AK-47 if it's functionally identical to a bb gun, while we should care if something looks like a bb gun but is functionally identical to an AK-47.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

I really didn't want to get involved in this discussion, but in terms of "assault weapons" - there is no difference between an AR-15 (assault weapon) and a Ruger Mini-14 (not an assault weapon) other than cosmetics and ergonomics. "Assault Weapon" is a term used by politicians and the media to further their agenda and increase ratings. People love to talk about how we should ban things because "You don't need them" - why does that matter? What actual effect are you going to have? Rifles in general, not just assault rifles, are used to commit only a small percentage of homicides:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/cr ... 0tbl20.xls

For every person that is killed with a rifle, two are killed with "hands, fists, feet, etc.", four are killed with knives, and four with other (non-firearm) weapons.

Rifles are not a problem in general, and regulating them because of the occasional incident (which would have probably still occurred with a different rifle, had he not used that one) is simply a waste of time.

As for "They are designed to kill" - most people buy AR-15s as target rifles because they are easy to customize, accurate, reliable, the synthetic material means they hold up to all sorts of weather without much required care, it's a small caliber and therefore less expensive to shoot, and a lot of fun at the range (and, let's face it, because they look cool). They are also a great rifle for varmint hunting for a lot of the aforementioned reasons.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
* Though I'll note that a lot of the legal definition in the now expired ban was based on cosmetic instead of functional aspects, which I would say is a rather unwise set of criteria to use.


What Criteria would you suggest to distinguish between semi-automatic firearms?

The thing is, there is no functional difference between an 'assault weapon' and any other semi-automatic rifle. As defined in the FAWB and elsewhere, the term is purely cosmetic, used to identify only guns that look scary.

To illustrate the problem:

Image
Rifle 1

Image
Rifle 2

One of these rifles is a popular semi-automatic target and hunting rifle. And one of these rifles is the same type that was used to kill 14 people in the École Polytechnique massacre.

Can you guess which is which?

Ok. In context, it's pretty obvious that what I'm getting is that Rifle 1 is both, while Rifle 2 is an 'assault weapon' as defined by the Federal Assault Weapon Ban.

But it's trickier even than that, because both rifles are actually *the same rifle*, a Ruger Mini-14 with different cosmetic accessories installed.

So with that in mind, please try to explain the difference between an 'assault weapon' and a non-assault-weapon a way that actually makes sense.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Impeach » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:29 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Impeach wrote:I don't feel that I should have to justify my rights.
I've decided that I have a right to all your money. Do you feel as if that right requires justification? If not, would you prefer to pay me with a check, or in cash?

Of course we need to justify our rights. Rights exist because they leave us better off. When rights don't leave us better off, we change them, get rid of them, or make new ones. Just as one example: Women didn't have the right to vote in the US. This turned out to be a bad move, so the US expanded voting rights. Another example: At some point, we decided no one had a right to sell certain types of alcohol. Eventually, we couldn't justify this, so we got rid of that right.


Hmm I can see how someone might misunderstand what I meant by not having to justify my rights. You asked whether or not owning a gun would make me happier and all I really meant was that people shouldn't have to demonstrate what practical uses they plan to get out of a right. We have to justify reasons for saying why something IS a right but we don't have to justify our exercising of our rights.

This is how rights work. If they're good, we keep them. If they're bad, we dump them. So...
Impeach wrote:We may differ (or in the end me might not) on whether or not it is a right to own a personal firearm but it makes no difference what I plan to get out of my rights. The whole point is that your rights cannot be challenged and if they are, you can strait up KILL whoever is trying to remove them. Dictators, the ones who are usually the culprits where rights are attacked, will have a pretty hard time controlling a populace that is armed to the teeth.


We also seem to be using different definitions of the word "right." My definition of a right hardly includes ANYTHING and applies to all people, government and civilian. Drawing on some of the philosophy of John Locke, I think of a right as something that you can do without permission or help from an outside party. Our most basic right is that of self ownership and after that we have the right to our labor and to property. Our rights are basic and unchangeable. They are the bare minimum, not what we want to be able to do. So, according to this definition, we do not actually have the right to BUY guns because this requires someone to agree to sell us a gun. Both the buyer and the seller have the right to agree to this transfer of ownership and once it happens, the buyer OWNS the gun.

You do not have the right to my money, because that right already belongs to someone, ME.


Are you sincerely afraid of a dictator rising in the US?


Yes, I am afraid that either a dictator or a foreign power will attempt to usurp control of this country from the legitimate government and use it in dictatorial and oppressive ways. Whether or not this fear is legitimate does not affect whether or not it is a right to simply own a firearm. That is what I meant by saying we don't have to justify our rights. But the fear is legitimate, in fact, this has already happened. When congress stated in no uncertain terms that they didn't authorize any military action in Libya (congress alone has the power to do this), Obama said that since his permission to go to war comes from the UN, "I don't even have to GET TO the constitutional question. The same UN that is trying to establish dominance over our sovereign system of government is very close to succeeding pushing their small arms treaty on this country. This treaty would make it possible for all semi-automatic guns to be confiscated and destroyed. The UN's own website makes it very clear that their goal is to preserve the "legitimate power monopoly" of the state. They even go so far as to talk about the importance of maintaining a monopoly on "violence." This is the exact thing that the second amendment is supposed to protect against. Monopolies of power.

Impeach wrote:As for why you should care about this right as much as freedom of speech and safety against unlawful arrest, at the end of the day, how do you think you retain these rights? If you think that these rights do not need protection, you are mistaken. If I am unlawfully arrested, it happened and whether or not it is legal, my rights were violated. The struggle here is not to get people to verbally agree that these are rights, but to make sure that is how things really work. I should not have to really on a federal government to ensure that this doesn't happen to me. The whole point of a right is that you don't have to ask anyone. You don't need permission to exercise these rights. Someone attempts to keep you from exercising the right to not be indefinitely detained without a trial, you justifiably kill them.
Does having a gun somehow protect you from being unlawfully arrested? If you use a gun to resist an unlawful arrest, how do you think that will work out for you? Do you think the end result will be positive for you?
Impeach wrote:I mentioned earlier about the NDAA, which is an executive order signed early this January. Executive orders are issued by the executive branch without any congressional oversight or input from the courts. This particular executive order says that American citizens, if suspected to be a domestic threat, can be taken by force, detained indefinitely and never have to be given a free trial or even told what they are being accused of. This demonstrates why citizens may very well have to take the enforcement of their rights into their own hands and that is why I support the right to bear arms. It has nothing to do with organizing a militia against foreign invasion, it's just an added bonus that the hundreds of millions of guns in this country would scare the shit out of anyone who even thought about invading.
Do you think that having a gun will somehow protect you if the US government decided to break into your home, arrest you, and take you away to never be seen again? Assuming you don't live in a compound surrounded by armed and trained militia willing to die protecting you.


No, I do not think that having a gun will necessarily protect me from unlawful arrest but it could help and I have the right to try. Since that right is not only one all people can agree on, it is specifically enumerated in the bill of rights, citizens should be able to enforce it. The government is not the only legitimate purveyor of violence for the purpose of protection. We all have the right to the last line of defense because all have the right, PERIOD, to be safe from unlawful arrest (aka kidnapping).

Impeach wrote:Accusations of mental instability aside, what moral objection do you to have with AJ?
If he discovers sincerely troubling decisions made by the government, it won't matter, because it's lost in the haze of nonsense he's constantly spewing. He actually makes it harder to find out what bad things the government is up to--because if he says it, people assume it's nonsense (because 99% of it probably is).


He is a terrible journalist in that his style creates obvious barriers that keep some people from absorbing his information but you would be shocked at how much of what he reports is true. The fact that the leader of the Libyan rebel group, who Hilary Clinton declared as Libya's "only illegitimate governing body" said in a interview with the associated press (and others) that he and his rebels are members of al queda, that they killed Americans in Iraq and plan to kill more Americans, but that first they want to go after Gaddafi is pretty crazy, but that doesn't make it not true. I think decades of full time dirt digging into some disgusting and unbelievable, yet true things has left AJ with some degree of paranoia and a predisposition to conformation bais he reports stuff that is infinitely more important and relevant that what fox and CNN report. Tune in sometime, you don't have to take anything for granted but I promise you will hear something that you are glad to have heard. But for now let us not endanger what has so far been a healthy and respectful discussion with a topic that can be so..... high tension.

Jave D wrote:
Impeach wrote:
Jave D wrote:I think your tendency to at once laud and praise the success of the government (in the form of the second amendment) as well as harp on about the "clearly rogue government" has an overall confusing and distorted message which is hard to take seriously even without the other tiresome lines you haul out after it.


I don't have the faintest clue what you are talking about. Whatever it is about your logic that lead you to say this is obviously fucked. You are extrapolating or projecting or doing something but you sure aren't paying attention.


Ah yes, that "your logic is fucked" argument. Very compelling.

I thought I was pretty clear what I was referring to, and don't know how to dumb it down to make it clearer, so, uh, sorry?


It isn't an argument, it's a statement. I did not praise and laud the success of the government. Whatever logical methods you used to decide that I did are flawed because they led you to a conclusion that isn't true. You made it clear that you were referring to my statement that guns are one of the most important tools in a free society. That's how I KNOW your logic is fucked.


I mean, it's all very well and good for you to declare how stoically you accept "shit will happen" to you when with regards to this act, it hasn't. You haven't been gunned down in a movie theater. I would assume none of your family has either. It's a meaningless statement. And ranting with barely-concealed frothing anger about the evil government trying to steal your right to defend yourself, while coldly, casually dismissing mass murders because well, they're a price you'll gladly have other people pay with their lives in order for you to (theoretically) be able to defend yourself is, in the context of this discussion, pretty damn tasteless.


First of all, I am not ranting with barely concealed frothing anger. I am not ranting, my anger is not frothing, and I made no effort to conceal it because it didn't factor into my argument. But then, why shouldn't I be angry?

"clearly rogue government" is a pretty self-righteously angry kind of statement, made twice in your case. And you clearly think anger is justified here, whether you admit to having it or not, which kind of makes my point.


What do you mean when you say "clearly rouge government is a self-righteously angry statement?" You think I woke up angry one day and decided to spout that the government is rouge? Uhhh, the federal government IS rouge. Especially the executive branch. Maybe you would like to read up on the national resources preparedness act? It is, after all, a sweeping executive order passed by the current administration, making it relevant for anyone who want's an educated opinion on federal government today, but I doubt that is really what you want.

Are you so egocentric that you think I making my choice in the context of YOUR life? I worry that my basic rights, which I do not use improperly, will be taken away from me in I way I have no control over. Can't you see that that is real for me? Why are you judging me so harshly for that?


You *are* making the choice in the context of other people's lives. Specifically, those people whose lives were lost in Denver.


No, no I am not. I am still making my decisions in the context of my life. That context includes this event, the people involved, and my empathy towards them. But the context is still my life.

You are trying to take away my right one of a free societies most important tools and all you can come up with is that sadistic criminals misuse them?


I am trying to take away your right now? Interesting. How long have you had this feeling of paranoia towards anyone who expresses disgust at your statements on the internet?


Well I assume you have some problem with the second amendment in which case you would rather see it destroyed than preserved. If this is not the case, you are being angry for no reason and you should lay off the adderall. If it is the case, then don't call me paranoid for thinking wish to remove this right.

You made no attempt to actually look at what I was saying, you mentioned nothing about the fact that guns save more people from violent crimes than they cause, you extrapolated and deluded yourself to the point where your opening statement was about as true as 1=2, accused me of being callous and apathetic about the mass murders (I'm to lazy to go back and read but the exact gist of what I said is "this was horribly tragedy and we all must take great efforts to make sure it doesn't happen," and you call me tasteless?


My opening statement was rather true. You do laud the government's success re: 2nd amendment (you continue to do so; "one of a free society's most important tools"), and you did criticize that same government as "clearly rogue" (whatever that's supposed to mean). And it's all rather tasteless because you're spinning this event into an opportunity to bang the "you're trying to take away my rights" drum and make it all about you. To the point where you can't even address the killing spree except to coldly say that "shit happens." Pretty damned tasteless.


No, it simply was not. I am the highest authority on my own opinion of the government and I am telling you what it is. Are you seriously arguing with me on that? And once again, "shit happens" was not the one thing I said to coldly dismiss this murder. I said it was a horrible tragedy and we must take great effort to keep it from happening again. Why are you still confused about that?

I am not banging the "you're trying to take away my rights" drum because there is no "the". I am saying that the second amendment is my right and that some people are trying to take that away, which I don't want to happen. I didn't make this about me, you did. I was engaging in a perfectly respectful conversation with someone about individual rights. You barged in and started pissing on yourself and trying to make this about my own personal flaws. You haven't said a single word about the subject at hand, only about me.

Everyone's got their own opinion on what taste is. For example, I think it is tasteless to tell someone that they are a bad person because they do not want their rights removed only by force just because your vision of government is different from theirs.


You clearly don't seem to have read what I wrote.

[/quote]
This isn't about taste though, so "it's a meaningless statement," this is about logic, history, and an IQ greater than 50. If you have something that you think might influence what I think about the second amendment


This topic isn't about you, it's not about the second amendment. That you try to make it about both is rather part of my point. Gun rights advocates turn everything into an excuse to rant about free societies as if gun bans would just murder freedom. Some people are mourning the deaths of human beings; you're saying, "shit happens." You're mourning the death of your personal freedoms because that's the real victim here, apparently.[/quote]

I agree, this topic isn't about me, so stop making it about me. However the past posts between me and hippo have been about the subject of the second amendment. This is about a mass shooting so you should be able to conceive of why this is relevant.

I've run out of my limited patience for crap like this. People like you are the reason why information degrades and get's lost. Either keep it relevant and grounded in reality or piss off. Any more posts whose sole purpose is to attack me personally will fall on deaf ears. Feel free to take this as a sign that you've "won" at something.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:59 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:For every person that is killed with a rifle, two are killed with "hands, fists, feet, etc.", four are killed with knives, and four with other (non-firearm) weapons.

Rifles are not a problem in general, and regulating them because of the occasional incident (which would have probably still occurred with a different rifle, had he not used that one) is simply a waste of time.

This returns to the issue I highlighted in my prior post: just because something isn't a perfect solution doesn't mean it can't be a solution. There's no practical way to reduce deaths by hand attacks or knives by preventing access to the objects in question. There are practical ways to prevent deaths by guns by preventing access to some guns. Pointing out that it won't stop all or even most deaths is pointless -- I'd gladly remove 1/11 (or even half that, 1/22, since nothing will work 100%) of those deaths you listed. The most pertinent issue here is that mass shootings like this one are made much easier by certain kinds of guns. Someone with just a revolver or bolt action rifle in this scenario would have caused far less harm.

EdgarJPublius wrote:What Criteria would you suggest to distinguish between semi-automatic firearms?
[...]
But it's trickier even than that, because both rifles are actually *the same rifle*, a Ruger Mini-14 with different cosmetic accessories installed.

Which is exactly why I was highlighting that cosmetics are not a good way to distinguish between them. I already highlighted the criteria that I think should be used: functionality. If two guns are functionally identical, they should either both be banned or both be allowed.

impeach wrote:Any more posts whose sole purpose is to attack me personally will fall on deaf ears.

I find this an interesting bit of indignation from you, considering your prior implication of them having an IQ of less than 50 and of being illogical.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:00 pm UTC

Bassoon wrote:
While that is certainly interpreted in many ways, the fact that it is in the constitution is justification enough.


This is perhaps the single greatest fallacy alive in American politics but also the country generally today. The Founding Fathers were not demi/gods who alone knew what Americans true rights were or what was the correct way to write a Constitution (whether you think they allowed for re-interpretation or not). They could be wrong. They were wrong. Quite frankly militias are a terrible way to defend a State at any period after 1820 (and still weren't before) and there are more people with rights than just property-owning, white males. Also John Locke is an ass.

Impeach, you (and really whoever) should take a look at this short, excellent [ur=http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/07/gun-controll]piece[/url] on the strange confusion that is Natural Rights especially in regard to Gun Law.

The Economist wrote:Perhaps American supporters of gun rights would say that in fact people in every country do have a natural right to bear arms, but their enjoyment of that natural right is denied them by oppressive governments in countries like Britain, France, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and Japan. Meanwhile, the so-called "right" to health insurance enjoyed by citizens of those countries is presumably only a fake right which they do not in fact possess. This just doesn't seem to be a satisfactory explanation. Is the problem that we use the word "right" in two ways, meaning in one sense an inalienable moral consideration which we believe all humans possess regardless of the context of government in which they live, and in another sense an enforceable claim within a country's legal system which commands government and other persons to guarantee certain kinds of treatment to every citizen? Which kind of right would the right to health insurance be? Which kind is the right to bear arms?


It concludes in stating that the cultural and legal entrenchment of "Gun Rights" within America makes it implausible that there will be any meaningful change on the matter in the future, it is not to early to have a mature discussion about Gun Rights in America, it is almost certainly too late.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:17 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:This returns to the issue I highlighted in my prior post: just because something isn't a perfect solution doesn't mean it can't be a solution. There's no practical way to reduce deaths by hand attacks or knives by preventing access to the objects in question. There are practical ways to prevent deaths by guns by preventing access to some guns. Pointing out that it won't stop all or even most deaths is pointless -- I'd gladly remove 1/11 (or even half that, 1/22, since nothing will work 100%) of those deaths you listed. The most pertinent issue here is that mass shootings like this one are made much easier by certain kinds of guns. Someone with just a revolver or bolt action rifle in this scenario would have caused far less harm.


The number of deaths reduced would be statistically insignificant, if it reduces any deaths at all since they will most likely just get replaced by something else. The result of this legislation you are proposing, is that you are forcing hundreds of thousands of law abiding citizens to give up their property which is used completely legally. All because you want to call something an "Assault Weapon", when you don't seem to be able to define what an assault weapon is.

The only way you will be able to make a statistically significant dent in the number of firearms deaths through firearms legislation is a complete ban on firearms, and that's just not going to happen so the only thing you will be able to do is pass gun laws like the ones we have been passing which have had no noticeable effect on the number of homicides/firearms crimes.

If we don't actually work on solving the root causes of violence (e.g. we need to work on reducing poverty, fixing social issues, improving quality of life, reducing crime, reducing unemployment, reducing stress, improving treatment and diagnoses of mental illness), then the homicide rate won't actually be reduced, just the rights of law abiding citizens.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:25 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
If we don't actually work on solving the root causes of violence (e.g. we need to work on reducing poverty, fixing social issues, improving quality of life, reducing crime, reducing unemployment, reducing stress, improving treatment and diagnoses of mental illness), then the homicide rate won't actually be reduced, just the rights of law abiding citizens.


Not that I completely disagree with you, but do you really think the ease with which someone is able to kill doesn't affect the incidence of it?
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:29 pm UTC

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:
Thesh wrote:
If we don't actually work on solving the root causes of violence (e.g. we need to work on reducing poverty, fixing social issues, improving quality of life, reducing crime, reducing unemployment, reducing stress, improving treatment and diagnoses of mental illness), then the homicide rate won't actually be reduced, just the rights of law abiding citizens.


Not that I completely disagree with you, but do you really think the ease with which someone is able to kill doesn't affect the incidence of it?


See:

Thesh wrote:The only way you will be able to make a statistically significant dent in the number of firearms deaths through firearms legislation is a complete ban on firearms, and that's just not going to happen so the only thing you will be able to do is pass gun laws like the ones we have been passing which have had no noticeable effect on the number of homicides/firearms crimes.


Unless you are making the assumption that firearms classified with "assault weapons" are deadlier than firearms not classified as "assault weapons". If so, that's just not true.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:36 pm UTC

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:Impeach, you (and really whoever) should take a look at this short, excellent [ur=http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/07/gun-controll]piece[/url] on the strange confusion that is Natural Rights especially in regard to Gun Law.


I would say that both self defense and healthcare are 'natural' rights, along with the right to have a relationship with whoever you want (including multi-partner, as long as everyone is competent and willing) and a whole host of other rights that are denied in one or another country.

Ghostbear wrote:
Thesh wrote:For every person that is killed with a rifle, two are killed with "hands, fists, feet, etc.", four are killed with knives, and four with other (non-firearm) weapons.

Rifles are not a problem in general, and regulating them because of the occasional incident (which would have probably still occurred with a different rifle, had he not used that one) is simply a waste of time.

This returns to the issue I highlighted in my prior post: just because something isn't a perfect solution doesn't mean it can't be a solution. There's no practical way to reduce deaths by hand attacks or knives by preventing access to the objects in question. There are practical ways to prevent deaths by guns by preventing access to some guns. Pointing out that it won't stop all or even most deaths is pointless -- I'd gladly remove 1/11 (or even half that, 1/22, since nothing will work 100%) of those deaths you listed. The most pertinent issue here is that mass shootings like this one are made much easier by certain kinds of guns. Someone with just a revolver or bolt action rifle in this scenario would have caused far less harm.


from "The Impact of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban on Gun Violence Outcomes: An Assessment of Multiple Outcome Measures and Some Lessons for Policy Evaluation"

We found no evidence of reductions in multiple-victim gun homicides or multiple-gunshot wound victimizations
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Tirian » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:48 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:The number of deaths reduced would be statistically insignificant, if it reduces any deaths at all since they will most likely just get replaced by something else. The result of this legislation you are proposing, is that you are forcing hundreds of thousands of law abiding citizens to give up their property which is used completely legally. All because you want to call something an "Assault Weapon", when you don't seem to be able to define what an assault weapon is.


Yet this is a strategy that we'll use for plenty of other things. The Founders didn't think to enumerate the right to buy Sudafed over the counter without federal infringement, so the many suffer so that the criminals have to work a little harder to cook their meth. Billions of people around the world can't bring a nail file onto an airplane for completely legal use. But we roll the dice and let a citizen buy hundred-round clips and enough body armor to ensure that that citizen would be able to empty them without interruption and shake our heads sadly when some folk don't use them for pro-social purposes.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:48 pm UTC

Impeach wrote:Yes, I am afraid that either a dictator or a foreign power will attempt to usurp control of this country from the legitimate government and use it in dictatorial and oppressive ways. Whether or not this fear is legitimate does not affect whether or not it is a right to simply own a firearm. That is what I meant by saying we don't have to justify our rights. But the fear is legitimate, in fact, this has already happened. When congress stated in no uncertain terms that they didn't authorize any military action in Libya (congress alone has the power to do this), Obama said that since his permission to go to war comes from the UN, "I don't even have to GET TO the constitutional question. The same UN that is trying to establish dominance over our sovereign system of government is very close to succeeding pushing their small arms treaty on this country. This treaty would make it possible for all semi-automatic guns to be confiscated and destroyed. The UN's own website makes it very clear that their goal is to preserve the "legitimate power monopoly" of the state. They even go so far as to talk about the importance of maintaining a monopoly on "violence." This is the exact thing that the second amendment is supposed to protect against. Monopolies of power.
Let me put this another way: Do you think that your right to a firearm is what's standing between us and a government take-over? Do you think that any government--our own, or governments abroad--have significantly modified their behavior out of fear of an armed American public?
Impeach wrote:No, I do not think that having a gun will necessarily protect me from unlawful arrest but it could help and I have the right to try. Since that right is not only one all people can agree on, it is specifically enumerated in the bill of rights, citizens should be able to enforce it. The government is not the only legitimate purveyor of violence for the purpose of protection. We all have the right to the last line of defense because all have the right, PERIOD, to be safe from unlawful arrest (aka kidnapping).
I'm not terribly interested in your right to resist--I'm more interested in your right to never have to resist in the first place. Securing a right that provides you the means to better engage your potential oppressors in a hopeless battle you cannot win doesn't strike me as particularly important. I'd rather concentrate on securing and protecting rights that prevent your oppressors from oppressing you in the first place, or make those acts of oppression clear and obvious (government transparency) so we can better develop a plan of action.

If we face a situation where violence is our only recourse, then we've already lost--it's too late. Let's concentrate on solutions that don't focus on violence.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:51 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:The Founders didn't think to enumerate the right to buy Sudafed over the counter without federal infringement, so the many suffer so that the criminals have to work a little harder to cook their meth.


And meth production appears to be unhindered.

Tirian wrote:Billions of people around the world can't bring a nail file onto an airplane for completely legal use.


And the number of nail files used as weapons on airplanes has remained unchanged.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Tirian » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

And when the number of gun massacres didn't go down from gun control laws, the laws were allowed to expire. What's your point?

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:18 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:And when the number of gun massacres didn't go down from gun control laws, the laws were allowed to expire. What's your point?


Thesh wrote:The only way you will be able to make a statistically significant dent in the number of firearms deaths through firearms legislation is a complete ban on firearms, and that's just not going to happen so the only thing you will be able to do is pass gun laws like the ones we have been passing which have had no noticeable effect on the number of homicides/firearms crimes.

If we don't actually work on solving the root causes of violence (e.g. we need to work on reducing poverty, fixing social issues, improving quality of life, reducing crime, reducing unemployment, reducing stress, improving treatment and diagnoses of mental illness), then the homicide rate won't actually be reduced, just the rights of law abiding citizens.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:48 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:The number of deaths reduced would be statistically insignificant, if it reduces any deaths at all since they will most likely just get replaced by something else. The result of this legislation you are proposing, is that you are forcing hundreds of thousands of law abiding citizens to give up their property which is used completely legally. All because you want to call something an "Assault Weapon", when you don't seem to be able to define what an assault weapon is.

I'll thank you to note that I specifically pointed out that the legal definition of 'assault weapon' was a poor one; why do you keep hounding me with it like it's some flaw in my argument? I don't want to re-use the old shitty definition, I never said I did, and I'm not arguing for the return of that flawed language. Why are we assuming that the firearms would just be replaced with something else? Just because the rates for other items is greater does not mean that all gun homicide would switch over to something else -- it's just an empty claim on your behalf.

Thesh wrote:The only way you will be able to make a statistically significant dent in the number of firearms deaths through firearms legislation is a complete ban on firearms, and that's just not going to happen so the only thing you will be able to do is pass gun laws like the ones we have been passing which have had no noticeable effect on the number of homicides/firearms crimes.

Is this where I say citation needed? It's hard to get good, applicable statistics here, but at least back up your statement with an argument; why would only a complete ban on firearms be effective? I have argued that removing access to the best weapons for killing people would reduce that rate because it would increase the difficulty, threshold, and effort required to kill people, effectively lowering the number of people capable and likely to do so. Do you have a counter argument or are you just going to make unsupported claims? As point of comparison, Canada has a very high gun ownership rate, but also has some fairly strong restrictions on those guns, through registration, outright banning of many models, and an apparent non-access to concealed carry. As a result (warning, pdf), far fewer (~1/3 compared to ~2/3) of Canada's homicides involved a firearm compared to the US, with Canada also have a homicide rate that is ~1/3 that of the US. Why are you assuming that only a total ban on firearms would have any success? I see absolutely no reason to believe such.

EdgarJPublius wrote:from "The Impact of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban on Gun Violence Outcomes: An Assessment of Multiple Outcome Measures and Some Lessons for Policy Evaluation"
We found no evidence of reductions in multiple-victim gun homicides or multiple-gunshot wound victimizations

Which is exactly what I would expect when the definition of 'assault weapons' was entirely cosmetic and not based on functionality. That is part of why I bothered to point it out in the first place; to point out that effective legislation would need a proper, useful and logical definition for what was banned.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Impeach » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:01 am UTC

Criminals make their decisions based on factors other then whether or not something is against the law. Prohibition has never worked on ANYTHING. Back when our government cared about doing things in a legal way, the constitution was amended to ban alcohol. Because of this the mafia exists. People quickly learned that the law failed to keep alcohol from harming people and instead relegated it to the sole realm of criminals and the black market. The same thing has happened with many drugs, although without the proper constitutional amendment this law is not legitimate, and has been entirely unsuccessful in keeping these drugs out of the environment. Because the federal government banned these drugs, people now need to go to criminals to get them, instead of going to CVS. All that this has achieved is ensuring that people who are willing to break the law i.e. criminals will make all the money here.

So what makes guns different? Criminals, especially the mass murderer type, aren't going to give a crap whether or not the federal government claims it is legal for them to own guns, nor will they listen to any statements that it is illegal to manufacture and sell guns. You've all heard the saying "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns," right? Well it's not just a catchy slogan, it is true. If guns were banned, the only civilians who would have them would be criminals. If the purpose of a gun ban is to make sure that guns were taken out of the hands of criminals then it will fail at this.

Ok now, there is no use beating around the bush just to seem more aligned with people here but the purpose of the second amendment is to ensure that the citizens have the power to overthrow their government. The constitution as a whole is not supposed to outline a perfect government under which a utopia will inevitably be achieved. The purpose is to severely limit what laws the government is allowed to decide for us, thus keeping us safe from the threat that our government may not be magically and uniquely immune to corruption. If a government usurps power over us that we never granted to it and begins unilaterally deciding our laws for us, say perhaps creating a "law" stating that we can legally be arrested and indefinitely detain in a military prison without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom (which they have), the second amendment ensures we will never be the victims of government violence. If the Japanese americans who were literally rounded up and put in prison camps by the government all had guns, they would not have been put in the camps.

When the next so called 'terrorist attack' happens and, as per the course, the blame get's thrown at american 'domestic' extremists who cite the constitution and support the Ronpaul, (the DHS's MIAC report ACTUALLY lists these people as the most potential terrorist threat), I will feel much safer owning a gun.

The Great Hippo wrote:
Impeach wrote:Yes, I am afraid that either a dictator or a foreign power will attempt to usurp control of this country from the legitimate government and use it in dictatorial and oppressive ways. Whether or not this fear is legitimate does not affect whether or not it is a right to simply own a firearm. That is what I meant by saying we don't have to justify our rights. But the fear is legitimate, in fact, this has already happened. When congress stated in no uncertain terms that they didn't authorize any military action in Libya (congress alone has the power to do this), Obama said that since his permission to go to war comes from the UN, "I don't even have to GET TO the constitutional question. The same UN that is trying to establish dominance over our sovereign system of government is very close to succeeding pushing their small arms treaty on this country. This treaty would make it possible for all semi-automatic guns to be confiscated and destroyed. The UN's own website makes it very clear that their goal is to preserve the "legitimate power monopoly" of the state. They even go so far as to talk about the importance of maintaining a monopoly on "violence." This is the exact thing that the second amendment is supposed to protect against. Monopolies of power.
Let me put this another way: Do you think that your right to a firearm is what's standing between us and a government take-over? Do you think that any government--our own, or governments abroad--have significantly modified their behavior out of fear of an armed American public?
Impeach wrote:No, I do not think that having a gun will necessarily protect me from unlawful arrest but it could help and I have the right to try. Since that right is not only one all people can agree on, it is specifically enumerated in the bill of rights, citizens should be able to enforce it. The government is not the only legitimate purveyor of violence for the purpose of protection. We all have the right to the last line of defense because all have the right, PERIOD, to be safe from unlawful arrest (aka kidnapping).
I'm not terribly interested in your right to resist--I'm more interested in your right to never have to resist in the first place. Securing a right that provides you the means to better engage your potential oppressors in a hopeless battle you cannot win doesn't strike me as particularly important. I'd rather concentrate on securing and protecting rights that prevent your oppressors from oppressing you in the first place, or make those acts of oppression clear and obvious (government transparency) so we can better develop a plan of action.

If we face a situation where violence is our only recourse, then we've already lost--it's too late. Let's concentrate on solutions that don't focus on violence.


I agree, a best case scenario is one in which we will never have to defend ourselves from murder but I still MUST be able to do this. Right now I think that the sheer number or armed citizens in this country is one of the only things keeping our government and the foreign powers to which our sovereignty is being transferred from making use of the almost comically oppressive laws and precedents they have set. The executive branch has declared that congress is obsolete and the control of our military belongs to the UN who in their own words say they want this small arms treaty to be ratified because it will protect their own monopoly of power. If they manage to disarm us, what is to stop them from pulling the same kind of shit that they have in so many third world countries? What is to stop them from declaring, like was done in Libya, what our 'only legitimate governing body' is and supplying them with weapons that nobody else has? This 'only legitimate governing body' was a rebel minority group whose leader told associated press is largely made of al-queda members, not the actual Libyan government which although heavy handed, earned support from a majority of it's citizens for pulling the country from the dust and making it a second world country. Whatever side of THAT you are on, my point is that the UN's power monopoly was used to dismantle the Libyan government against the wishes of it's supporters, who were called TERRORISTS for simply not wanting these things decided for them. The rebel's NATO supported power monopoly was used to commit, well.... genocide.

Humans have really not undergone a great deal of social evolution. Wars, massacres, genocide, dictatorships, they are all still alive and well. People who posses the ability defend their lives and homes when that kind of shit hits the fan, will greatly reduce the number of people that future history books will say fell victim to whatever maniacal campaign of genocide is going to occur next..... and one is going to.
doogly wrote:Silly France, you can't just make up your own definitions for what fundamental human rights are, those are self evident and endowed within humanity by our creator god. Listen to America on this one, we got this shit on lock.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:40 am UTC

Impeach wrote:I agree, a best case scenario is one in which we will never have to defend ourselves from murder but I still MUST be able to do this. Right now I think that the sheer number or armed citizens in this country is one of the only things keeping our government and the foreign powers to which our sovereignty is being transferred from making use of the almost comically oppressive laws and precedents they have set.
In that case, why hasn't this happened to other countries with much smaller ratios of armed to unarmed citizens? Canada, for example.

The government isn't afraid of people with guns. They have more money, more training, more weapons, more people then all the militias in all the compounds could ever hope to counter. The government has tanks. They've got jets. They've got nuclear bombs. They've got aerial drones, biological weapons, shit that will melt your eyes and turn your tongue into a withered stump. And that's just the stuff they've told us about. They are not afraid of a bunch of dudes hiding in a bunker with a couple of home-made flash grenades and automatic rifles. In a fight between these two groups, who the hell do you think is going to win? More importantly: Who do you think the American people will side with?

The government hasn't turned the US into China because the government doesn't want to live in China. Because the government isn't some monolithic entity with a single overarching goal; it's a very complex entity, made up of very complex people with very complex motives, precious few of which include the phrase 'Overturn all property rights, turn US into a dictatorship'. Yeah, some of the decisions the government has made have been shitty ones--they've engaged in tyranny both here and abroad. But those aren't signs of a greater plan--that's just assholes making decisions that benefited them.

On this particular subject, I rely on the bizarre drug-fueled wisdom of William Burroughs:
Ah Pook Is Here wrote:The Leaders of this most insecure of all Worlds are Leaders by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand. Calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:44 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Is this where I say citation needed? It's hard to get good, applicable statistics here, but at least back up your statement with an argument; why would only a complete ban on firearms be effective? I have argued that removing access to the best weapons for killing people would reduce that rate because it would increase the difficulty, threshold, and effort required to kill people, effectively lowering the number of people capable and likely to do so. Do you have a counter argument or are you just going to make unsupported claims? As point of comparison, Canada has a very high gun ownership rate, but also has some fairly strong restrictions on those guns, through registration, outright banning of many models, and an apparent non-access to concealed carry. As a result (warning, pdf), far fewer (~1/3 compared to ~2/3) of Canada's homicides involved a firearm compared to the US, with Canada also have a homicide rate that is ~1/3 that of the US. Why are you assuming that only a total ban on firearms would have any success? I see absolutely no reason to believe such.


Considering the US and Canada homicide trends have been roughly the same over the last 20 years, I doubt that the firearms legislation passed by Canada is the cause:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2 ... 01-eng.htm
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

When I say roughly the same, I mean they increased and decreased around the same time (peaks in the early 80s and mid 90s, fairly steady in the 2000s - although the US has declined a bit over the last decade it's not a huge drop and Canada's homicide rates haven't changed since 1998). The gun legislation on the Wikipedia page for Canada doesn't seem to coincide with any change in homicide rates.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:57 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Considering the US and Canada homicide trends have been roughly the same over the last 20 years, I doubt that the firearms legislation passed by Canada is the cause.

I went ahead and plotted the data, because I thought visualizing it would be easier (spoilered for size):
Spoiler:
Image
You can see that while they do both follow the same basic trend, that Canada's path is much more stable, with the deviations being much less significant. During a single drop in the 80s, the US' rate changed by almost as much as the entire rate of Canada. Beyond that, you're missing the point -- your argument was that "The only way you will be able to make a statistically significant dent in the number of firearms deaths through firearms legislation is a complete ban on firearms [...]". Yet Canada has a fairly strong gun ownership rate and has a deaths from firearms rate of 1/2 that of the US, with the principal difference being their regulation differences. Your basic premise still remains completely and 100% unsubstantiated.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:33 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:with the principal difference being their regulation differences.


The principal difference is that the US and Canada are two completely different countries. The only thing you can do is look for a country with similar trends in homicide rate and see if legislation made any difference in the trends. Canada didn't start banning certain types of firearms until 1969, and judging by those charts, it appears to have had no effect. My conclusion is the reason for the different homicide rates are entirely social and cultural.

For example, Canada never had a high black population that was segregated and kept in poverty through systematic racism. In the US in the 50's, 60's, and 70's police just didn't give a shit about black neighborhoods. So the only thing these neighborhoods could do was form street gangs to protect them from other neighborhoods. Of course, these turned into criminal organizations themselves, and when they realized how profitable drugs were, they started killing each other over drug turf. See huge plateau in the mid 60's to mid 90's.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:43 am UTC

Thesh wrote:The principal difference is that the US and Canada are two completely different countries. The only thing you can do is look for a country with similar trends in homicide rate and see if legislation made any difference in the trends. Canada didn't start banning certain types of firearms until 1969, and judging by those charts, it appears to have had no effect. My conclusion is the reason for the different homicide rates are entirely social and cultural.

I am adding emphasis because you appear to have missed, despite my reiteration, what I was trying to point out in my earlier post "As a result [...] far fewer (~1/3 compared to ~2/3) of Canada's homicides involved a firearm compared to the US [...] " You are looking at the wrong data. The homicide rate difference was used in conjunction with the data of having a lower rate of firearms in homicide; it was not evidence by itself.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:47 am UTC

Frankly, I'm unsure if anyone here will agree on the assault rifle thing. But I haven't seen this before:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nati ... 2661.story
The defunct Federal Assault Weapons Ban limited most clip sizes to 10 rounds; police say the theater shooter had a .223-caliber Smith & Wesson AR-15 assault-style rifle with a drum clip that could hold up to 100 rounds and shoot as many as 60 times in a minute.


"Assault Weapons" may be vaguely defined... But can anyone tell me a legitimate use of a 100-bullet Magazine? I mean hell, if the gun didn't jam up (thank god that happened), far far more people would have died. Why is a 100+ Drum Magazine legal? There is no point of such a large magazine outside of killing lots and lots of people. In this case, the shooter could have been shooting for almost two straight minutes without reloading if the gun didn't jam up.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Garm » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:51 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:"Assault Weapons" may be vaguely defined... But can anyone tell me a legitimate use of a 100-bullet Magazine? I mean hell, if the gun didn't jam up (thank god that happened), far far more people would have died. Why is a 100+ Drum Magazine legal? There is no point of such a large magazine outside of killing lots and lots of people. In this case, the shooter could have been shooting for almost two straight minutes without reloading if the gun didn't jam up.


Well, you know... say you're out hunting and you see a whole herd of deer. Seems legit to me.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby lutzj » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:59 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Why is a 100+ Drum Magazine legal?


What would be the point of banning them? They're reasonably easy to fabricate and conceal. They're not radically better at killing people than normal magazines, and are uncommon in military applications for good reason:

Wikipedia wrote:The downside to drum magazines is that they increase the overall weight of the weapon in which they are being used, and they are more prone to jamming.


The drum magazine in this incident probably saved lives.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:00 am UTC

Garm wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:"Assault Weapons" may be vaguely defined... But can anyone tell me a legitimate use of a 100-bullet Magazine? I mean hell, if the gun didn't jam up (thank god that happened), far far more people would have died. Why is a 100+ Drum Magazine legal? There is no point of such a large magazine outside of killing lots and lots of people. In this case, the shooter could have been shooting for almost two straight minutes without reloading if the gun didn't jam up.


Well, you know... say you're out hunting and you see a whole herd of deer. Seems legit to me.


I know you're joking, but just to make sure others know too... you're only allowed to take out like 6 deer per season... and no more than 2 per day. Just as an example of how absurd a 100-round magazine is.

EDIT:
Wikipedia wrote:The downside to drum magazines is that they increase the overall weight of the weapon in which they are being used, and they are more prone to jamming.


The drum magazine in this incident probably saved lives.


A couple of my military friends were talking about how a trained guy should be able to have cleared the weapon quickly. Something about AR-15s jamming relatively often but being easier to clear. Its likely that he didn't practice enough.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:09 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Thesh wrote:The principal difference is that the US and Canada are two completely different countries. The only thing you can do is look for a country with similar trends in homicide rate and see if legislation made any difference in the trends. Canada didn't start banning certain types of firearms until 1969, and judging by those charts, it appears to have had no effect. My conclusion is the reason for the different homicide rates are entirely social and cultural.

I am adding emphasis because you appear to have missed, despite my reiteration, what I was trying to point out in my earlier post "As a result [...] far fewer (~1/3 compared to ~2/3) of Canada's homicides involved a firearm compared to the US [...] " You are looking at the wrong data. The homicide rate difference was used in conjunction with the data of having a lower rate of firearms in homicide; it was not evidence by itself.


I didn't miss it, I ignored it because it is completely irrelevant. Based on the data, firearms legislation in Canada has had no noticeable effect on the amount of people dead - that's the only thing that actually matters. Are firearm deaths worth more points than stabbing deaths?

KnightExemplar wrote:Frankly, I'm unsure if anyone here will agree on the assault rifle thing. But I haven't seen this before:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nati ... 2661.story
The defunct Federal Assault Weapons Ban limited most clip sizes to 10 rounds; police say the theater shooter had a .223-caliber Smith & Wesson AR-15 assault-style rifle with a drum clip that could hold up to 100 rounds and shoot as many as 60 times in a minute.


"Assault Weapons" may be vaguely defined... But can anyone tell me a legitimate use of a 100-bullet Magazine? I mean hell, if the gun didn't jam up (thank god that happened), far far more people would have died. Why is a 100+ Drum Magazine legal? There is no point of such a large magazine outside of killing lots and lots of people. In this case, the shooter could have been shooting for almost two straight minutes without reloading if the gun didn't jam up.


That depends on how you define legitimate. It only takes a two or three seconds to reload an AR-15 for the average user (experienced users can reload in under a second). Although, C-Mags can be horribly unreliable - I wouldn't be surprised if the magazine was responsible for his gun jamming.

This is 60 rounds in under a minute with two reloads (1:35 through 2:30):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVPZUdCg ... re=related
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:27 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Garm wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:"Assault Weapons" may be vaguely defined... But can anyone tell me a legitimate use of a 100-bullet Magazine? I mean hell, if the gun didn't jam up (thank god that happened), far far more people would have died. Why is a 100+ Drum Magazine legal? There is no point of such a large magazine outside of killing lots and lots of people. In this case, the shooter could have been shooting for almost two straight minutes without reloading if the gun didn't jam up.


Well, you know... say you're out hunting and you see a whole herd of deer. Seems legit to me.


I know you're joking, but just to make sure others know too... you're only allowed to take out like 6 deer per season... and no more than 2 per day. Just as an example of how absurd a 100-round magazine is.


A Drum magazine wouldn't be a terrible thing to have for vermin/pest hunting.

Heck, if I was out on a friend's property and ran across a pack of wild hogs, I'd be mighty appreciative of having a hundred rounds at my disposal without needing to reload.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:33 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Frankly, I'm unsure if anyone here will agree on the assault rifle thing. But I haven't seen this before:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nati ... 2661.story
The defunct Federal Assault Weapons Ban limited most clip sizes to 10 rounds; police say the theater shooter had a .223-caliber Smith & Wesson AR-15 assault-style rifle with a drum clip that could hold up to 100 rounds and shoot as many as 60 times in a minute.


"Assault Weapons" may be vaguely defined... But can anyone tell me a legitimate use of a 100-bullet Magazine? I mean hell, if the gun didn't jam up (thank god that happened), far far more people would have died. Why is a 100+ Drum Magazine legal? There is no point of such a large magazine outside of killing lots and lots of people. In this case, the shooter could have been shooting for almost two straight minutes without reloading if the gun didn't jam up.


That depends on how you define legitimate. It only takes a two or three seconds to reload an AR-15 for the average user (experienced users can reload in under a second). Although, C-Mags can be horribly unreliable - I wouldn't be surprised if the magazine was responsible for his gun jamming.

This is 60 rounds in under a minute with two reloads (1:35 through 2:30):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVPZUdCg ... re=related


Thanks for the clip.

It looks like in that example however, a 30-round magazine is still significantly larger than the 10-round maximum in the law under question. Basically, you can only get ~60 shots with one reload if you had more than 10 bullets per magazine. While banning certain kinds of guns may be ineffective, it seems to me that restricting the size of civilian magazines would be a very effective measure to limiting the damage from these kinds of massacres.

And considering that... at least in this case... the guns were all legally purchased. The shooter definitely didn't have to go out of his way to prepare for this sort of event. Granted, he was willing to lace his own apartment with explosives... but I'd like to at least make it a little bit harder for criminals like this guy to get weapons that they need. I mean, even with the Drug War, we know that the price appreciation of drugs goes from like $2000 / kilo to $100,000 / kilo as it enters the USA. If a similar 50x price appreciation happens between guns today vs guns in the black market under a hypothetical gun ban... then yes, we have solved the problem of the lone-wolf assailant.

Lone wolves cannot handle a 50x price increase on their weapons. Sure, gangs may still have weapons, but its not like they're afraid of using them right now anyway. (And if they are afraid of them... they're afraid of the police. Not about their victims shooting back at them)
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Thesh » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:58 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:It looks like in that example however, a 30-round magazine is still significantly larger than the 10-round maximum in the law under question. Basically, you can only get ~60 shots with one reload if you had more than 10 bullets per magazine. While banning certain kinds of guns may be ineffective, it seems to me that restricting the size of civilian magazines would be a very effective measure to limiting the damage from these kinds of massacres.


It's possible, but really hard to say whether a 10 round magazine will save any lives over 30 round magazines. The only difference is a 2-3 seconds between reloads, and it might just make you take more time to aim.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:31 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:I mean, even with the Drug War, we know that the price appreciation of drugs goes from like $2000 / kilo to $100,000 / kilo as it enters the USA. If a similar 50x price appreciation happens between guns today vs guns in the black market under a hypothetical gun ban... then yes, we have solved the problem of the lone-wolf assailant.

Lone wolves cannot handle a 50x price increase on their weapons. Sure, gangs may still have weapons, but its not like they're afraid of using them right now anyway. (And if they are afraid of them... they're afraid of the police. Not about their victims shooting back at them)


Wait, are you saying you want -another- black market, much like the black market for drugs, that creates more gangs and cartels and thus more people willing to kill for their livelihoods?

Like I said, occurances like this are because insane people are insane. No laws are going to stop the random INSANE person from gunning down a bunch of innocents. If you want to reduce violent crime, and indeed, violent gun crime... the solution is to not give all the gangs a reason to fight and kill people (ie. make drugs legal so the black market disappears, and don't make a black market out of guns)!
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:54 am UTC

Firearms frequently go *down* in price when entering the black market.

Unlike drugs which have be manufactured illegally and typically smuggled into markets with high demand, firearms are manufactured legally just about everywhere for military and law enforcement use. And even if they aren't being manufactured domestically, they are being legally imported.

Black-marketeers just have to divert or otherwise 'misappropriate' legal shipments, or just steal them from the warehouse. Illegally smuggled or manufactured firearms have to compete on either price or features with those that are just stolen and prices are generally driven down.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:42 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Firearms frequently go *down* in price when entering the black market.

Unlike drugs which have be manufactured illegally and typically smuggled into markets with high demand, firearms are manufactured legally just about everywhere for military and law enforcement use. And even if they aren't being manufactured domestically, they are being legally imported.

Black-marketeers just have to divert or otherwise 'misappropriate' legal shipments, or just steal them from the warehouse. Illegally smuggled or manufactured firearms have to compete on either price or features with those that are just stolen and prices are generally driven down.


Well, empirically, it seems like Beta C-Mags today are $200 to $300... but were closer to $700 during the ban... this website claims they went up to $1000. So I'm going to have to assume that they indeed were more expensive because of the ban. I'm not a gun enthusiast though, so this is outside of my specialty.

Clearly, such a price increase would not have affected the gunman too much. A 5x increase in price is still reasonable to a guy who expects to die anyway. However, the longer a ban is in place, the higher the prices go. Enacting bans and redacting them as soon as the next President enters office is completely counterproductive.

Gelsamel wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:I mean, even with the Drug War, we know that the price appreciation of drugs goes from like $2000 / kilo to $100,000 / kilo as it enters the USA. If a similar 50x price appreciation happens between guns today vs guns in the black market under a hypothetical gun ban... then yes, we have solved the problem of the lone-wolf assailant.

Lone wolves cannot handle a 50x price increase on their weapons. Sure, gangs may still have weapons, but its not like they're afraid of using them right now anyway. (And if they are afraid of them... they're afraid of the police. Not about their victims shooting back at them)


Wait, are you saying you want -another- black market, much like the black market for drugs, that creates more gangs and cartels and thus more people willing to kill for their livelihoods?

Like I said, occurances like this are because insane people are insane. No laws are going to stop the random INSANE person from gunning down a bunch of innocents. If you want to reduce violent crime, and indeed, violent gun crime... the solution is to not give all the gangs a reason to fight and kill people (ie. make drugs legal so the black market disappears, and don't make a black market out of guns)!


Just because a black market exists doesn't mean that gangs will come up and kill for it. I'm sure there's a black market for all of the lost Russian Nukes, but good luck tracing any gang-related violence to it. As long as people steal, there will be a black market for "hot" goods (ie: selling stolen merchandise), money laundering and various other services. I'm not convinced that gang violence will change either way with a large magazine ban.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby mike-l » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:59 pm UTC

I'm incredibly anti-gun, and I find some statistics completely implausible (like the 2.5 million gun defences per year, that number is just shy of the total number of violent crimes per year. And 15% of those supposed 2.5 million defences believe that someone surely would have died without their gun, that suggests without guns the homicide rate would increase by 100 per 100,000, which alone is higher than any country in the world, and 50 times more than any civilized country besides the US)

Anyway, that all aside, I've spent a lot of time looking at gun stats, published by both pro and anti gun groups, and it's hard to find any evidence that gun bans are effective in any way. I feel the best solution is regulation and training. CF Switzerland (wiki), where pretty much every male between 20 and 30 has a gun, but gun violence (and violence in general) is incredibly low (eg the homicide rate is 0.66 vs the US at 5.0, per 100,000). Guns, In my opinion, should be treated like cars, registered to individuals who are then responsible for them, requiring training to operate, etc, but generally available to those who would have them.
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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby iamspen » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:06 pm UTC

Assault weapon bans and limits on rifle mag capacity completely ignore the real problem with firearms in America, and that is the proliferation of handguns. The overwhelming majority of gun violence is perpetrated using handguns because they're easy to use, conceal, and dispose of. Assault weapon bans and other restrictions on rifles may prevent the occasional terrorist attack such as the one in Colorado, but they would have next to zero impact on gun violence statistics. I'm not suggesting handguns be banned, but if we're serious about reducing gun violence, it's time to stop ignoring the elephant in the room.

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Re: Twelve killed by gunman in Denver movie theatre

Postby Bsob » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:24 pm UTC

buddy431 wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Guns are a lazy yet sexy way to get firepower. This particular case if James Holmes wanted to cause damage without access to firearms its entirely possible that he could have cooked up some other means, possibly involving toxic chemical mixes or homemade explosives.

I'm -not- saying that the availability of guns saved lives by catering to lazyness. What I am saying is that I sincerely doubt that any level of gun control would have averted the tragedy, it would have at best changed the nature of the attack and I'm not sure that changing the nature of the attack would have had preferable outcomes.

Gun control is a sexy yet lazy topic to bring up in these cases, and until we know more about Holmes engineering ability with the devices in his apartment it's a distraction to the more difficult topic of treating mental health issues.


I disagree. It wasn't his bombs or other devices that killed 12 people and injured 50, it was his assault rifle. At Columbine, for all the bombs and other devices that were made, it was the guns that killed and injured people. If we look at the Utoeya massacre from a year ago, the perpetrator spent weeks making a car bomb, but in the end it was a hunting rifle that claimed most of his victims.

Guns are an easily available, easily used tool to cause death and severe injury. Bombs (especially living in a country without easy access to military grade munitions, unlike, say, Iraq) require technical knowledge, time, and hard-to-obtain materials to make (especially after the Oklahoma City bombing).

Sure, there will always be people who wish to cause damage. What do they do in societies without easy access to firearms? There's the Osaka school massacre (8 children killed with a knife), and the Akihabara massacre: 3 killed with an automobile and 4 with a knife. Firearms are far and away the easiest way to kill lots of people by a lone, untrained nutcase.

This guy had been planning things for months. If you goal is to reduce incidents like this by making them take more planning; i don't think it will be as effective as you think it will. Besides, if getting bomb parts is so hard, why did it take bomb crews 2 days to clear his apartment?

Why isn't gun control a fair topic to discus when events like these happen? It was events like these that led to the severe restrictions on firearms in the UK today, and while some people might disagree with these types of policies, they have largely been effective in preventing this type of violence.

Because if your goal is to prevent gun deaths, killing sprees are a distraction tactic. In terms of number of people who die from guns, killing sprees are highly visible, but statistically unimportant.


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