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Kimberly

School shooting in CT on 14-12-2012

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so it seems that social norms have a stronger effect on use then legality?

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Hard to say. Most people who are trying to make a point don't need to kill tens or hundreds of thousands of people to do it, not when there are much easier methods that are more than enough to get peoples attention. So it could just be a matter of convenience and simplicity as well.

 

In terms of gaining support for a cause, yes, social norms would become more important. Few people are going to side with the guys using nuclear weapons, VX, or anthrax as their weapon of choice. They aren't the weapons of a cause, they are the weapons you use when you want to commit genocide.

 

There is also my theory of time. Making a nerve agent takes a long time. You don't decide you want to kill a thousand people and cook up some nerve gas in an afternoon. You need time to plan, and set up the manufacture and aquire the resources. This is where I think making it much harder to aquire certain weapons would reduce their use. If something is really difficult to get hold of, and you really want to kill someone right now, your probably going to go with the most lethal object that is immediately available to you, be it an M-16, a 9mm pistol, a 6 inch hunting knife or a baseball bat. If your a bit more patient, that you can scale up the time to what you can get your hands on in say 2 days.

 

 

Interesting side note, I was listening to a bit of a debate the local news station was holding last night, about whether Canada should disarm all private citizens. It wouldn't get rid of all the guns, you'd still have hunting rifles, and the illegal weapons on the street, but it makes it very difficult for the kid getting bullied to snap, take dads gun to school, and start shooting the place up. Thought is was kind of an interesting idea myself.

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Responsible gun ownership also can help prevent incidents like that. Children should not have access to guns even if the parents own them - in fact the canadian firearms training course (which is mandatory for anyone wanting a PAL) has an entire section on socially responsible gun ownership.

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Well, firstly I'm not really sure how you arrived at that conclusion from what I wrote, but perhaps I should be more clear in the future.

Ah, my mistake. I think I took the comment about not discussing immediately being disrespectful and another about not being able to have a rational discussion immediately and came to the wrong conclusion.

 

Do you think it's appropriate for a single organisation to essentially stifle any talk of gun control because they have that much influence over the political system? I'd say that's no better a situation than settling for knee-jerk reactions. In both cases, a proper, rational debate is impossible.

I don't think it's appropriate, but I certainly prefer it to passing legislation which interferes with my hobbies without properly addressing the stated goals of said legislation. That said, the NRA isn't the only organization with influence.

 

Nyoshut, I have no problem with someone owning guns (although, why anyone would need or even want more than one is beyond me) or teaching their children how to handle or shoot them. Education removes the mystery and lessens the chance of accidents. It's how she handled the rest of his life that became the problem.

No, I hadn't gotten the idea that you had. I think my post was as much in reply to the article as to your comments.

 

seriously, who keeps enough food to last longer than between paychecks? who can afford to?

When I was growing up, there was almost always enough food to last for a good long time. It wasn't a matter of the world ending or horrible things happening. If you kill an 800lb pig, the whole thing needs to be processed and stored, and it lasts a while... especially if you do several at a time. There were always (canned or fresh, depending on the season) vegetables from the garden, meat in the freezers from the animals, eggs from the chickens and ducks.

 

I live in town now, so animals are out and a garden would be pitiful at best, but I probably have enough food to last about a month. It's something that is just so obvious to me that I don't understand how it could be pointed to in that article as something bizarre, used to allow the reader to distance himself from Mr. Lanza.

 

A watertight solution is not on the table, so we need to move on to the next best thing. I say the most cost-effective thing for the US to do right now is to ban assault rifles.

Do you mean the select-fire/full auto rifles that are already heavily regulated, or semi-automatic rifles with certain cosmetic/usability feature as were restricted with the 1994 "assault weapons" ban?

A complete removal of all violent crimes committed with either class of weapon would be negligible.

 

As for gun control laws, at least part of the problem would seem to be access. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I have yet to hear about a mass shooting that didn't involve someone who didn't have immediate access to guns (involving those too young buy them legally), or ready access to them (of age to buy them). It just seems...so easy.

It may be worth noting that a very large majority of "mass shootings" occur in places where possession of firearms is forbidden, giving violent actors easy access to a large group of unarmed victims. The only exception I can think of is the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

 

So why are they needed for self-defence, then, if there's little threat to human life from them? You're not honestly suggesting that citizens should have a right to bear assault rifles when they have no good reason to possess them, are you?

Assuming for the moment that you aren't on about something that's already regulated largely to the point of impracticality, what about "assault weapons" makes them any more dangerous than "hunting rifles?" The point made wasn't that they are ineffective against aggressors, but that they are used in the commission of crime at a nearly negligible rate. It should be fairly obvious that the concealability of a handgun is far preferable for the commission of crime over more capable options. Of course, handguns are also a common choice for home/self defense and police. They're just more convenient all the way around.

 

My concern is not a handgun, but more your semi- and fully-automatic assault rifles. Why the hell, honestly, would anyone need one for any other reason than to do damage.

Select fire and full auto weapons are already regulated to the point of impracticality, although there were so few crimes committed with them prior to the regulation that it would be difficult to claim that any crime has been prevented.

 

Statistics show that you're far more likely to find yourself on the wrong end of a handgun held by an aggressor than a rifle or shotgun, much less a full auto.

 

Worrying about someone using a select-fire or full auto rifle against you is a bit like worrying about being run over by an F1 car. It's ridiculously rare, and you've probably worked fairly hard to put yourself into that position of it does happen.


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There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. ~Daniel Webster; 15 March, 1837

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It's also quite feasible to need own more than one gun. Most avid hunters will probably have at least one shotgun and a rifle, for instance.


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Guest Rob
It may be worth noting that a very large majority of "mass shootings" occur in places where possession of firearms is forbidden, giving violent actors easy access to a large group of unarmed victims. The only exception I can think of is the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

 

I would argue that this occurs because it is still easy to get guns to the place where they are forbidden because they're legal in other states. You can buy a gun in one state, smuggle it easily to a gun-free state and then commit the crime there. If it was illegal nation wide, however, obtaining the gun would be much more difficult, as it can be hard to smuggle guns across country borders.

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That really depends on the countries involved. It happens quite regularly across the US/Canada border.


 

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It may be worth noting that a very large majority of "mass shootings" occur in places where possession of firearms is forbidden, giving violent actors easy access to a large group of unarmed victims. The only exception I can think of is the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

 

I would argue that this occurs because it is still easy to get guns to the place where they are forbidden because they're legal in other states. You can buy a gun in one state, smuggle it easily to a gun-free state and then commit the crime there. If it was illegal nation wide, however, obtaining the gun would be much more difficult, as it can be hard to smuggle guns across country borders.

I was referring to "gun free school zones" and sites with "no weapons" signs rather than crossing any borders.

 

I'm not sure where a scenario like yours might happen, as there is no such thing as a "gun-free state" in the US even if we ignore illegally-owned weapons. Even DC's handgun ban was found unconstitutional and overturned, although some states do restrict possession based on a number of classifications.


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In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. ~Samuel Adams; 1 August, 1776
There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. ~Daniel Webster; 15 March, 1837

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Guest Rob
It may be worth noting that a very large majority of "mass shootings" occur in places where possession of firearms is forbidden, giving violent actors easy access to a large group of unarmed victims. The only exception I can think of is the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

 

I would argue that this occurs because it is still easy to get guns to the place where they are forbidden because they're legal in other states. You can buy a gun in one state, smuggle it easily to a gun-free state and then commit the crime there. If it was illegal nation wide, however, obtaining the gun would be much more difficult, as it can be hard to smuggle guns across country borders.

I was referring to "gun free school zones" and sites with "no weapons" signs rather than crossing any borders.

 

I'm not sure where a scenario like yours might even happen, as there is no such thing as a "gun-free state" in the US even if we ignore illegally-owned weapons. Even DC's handgun ban was found unconstitutional and overturned, although some states do restrict or prohibit the possession of a number of classifications.

 

Sorry, "Gun-free state" was a poor choice of words. I meant states that allow civilians to legally obtain/fire guns.

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Sorry, "Gun-free state" was a poor choice of words. I meant states that allow civilians to legally obtain/fire guns.

No, I get that. There's no state in the US that doesn't.

 

Are you referring to some other states?


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In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. ~Samuel Adams; 1 August, 1776
There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. ~Daniel Webster; 15 March, 1837

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I think guns are legal to some degree in every jurisdiction in North America....


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There were thirteen mass shootings in the eighteen years leading up to Australian gun control laws. There have been no mass shootings in the fourteen years since.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monash_University_shooting

 

Comparing crime statistics across countries is immensely difficult because of each country's differences on what defines crime, and there appears to have been no attempt by that article to appreciate those differences. India's one of the safest places in the world as far as rape is concerned but that's simply because their law enforcement and record-keeping on the issue is tragically poor, and not because less women are being raped. South Africa would have the world believe no one at all is sexually assaulted there; they publish no figures for it. Hong Kong does publish figures on rape: apparently there were zero cases reported. Incredible.

Oh, there's no doubt about the difficulty in creating a fair comparison, and there are more differences than just the legal definition of a crime.

 

Looking at just Australian numbers, I'm not sure how one could conclude that even heavy-handed restrictions reduce violent crime.

http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/violent%20crime.html

 

I think guns are legal to some degree in every jurisdiction in North America....

Even outside North America, I'm aware of places with heavy restrictions or a mandatory license, but I don't think I could name one with an outright ban on civilian possession.

 

Romania and China seem to nearly prohibit firearms, but apparently have exceptions for hunting. How close they are to prohibition, I could not say.


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In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. ~Samuel Adams; 1 August, 1776
There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. ~Daniel Webster; 15 March, 1837

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There were thirteen mass shootings in the eighteen years leading up to Australian gun control laws. There have been no mass shootings in the fourteen years since.

http://en.wikipedia....ersity_shooting

If we're counting two deaths as a mass shooting, I'd hate to think how many America is had in the last fourteen years. I'd also note that that shooting led to more restrictions on gun possession, not less, and was a major catalyst for the payback scheme in that state. Very weak point.

 

Oh, there's no doubt about the difficulty in creating a fair comparison, and there are more differences than just the legal definition of a crime.

 

Looking at just Australian numbers, I'm not sure how one could conclude that even heavy-handed restrictions reduce violent crime.

http://www.aic.gov.a...lent crime.html

Looking at just American numbers versus every other country in the developed world, I'm not sure how one could conclude that gun possession reduces it either.

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There were thirteen mass shootings in the eighteen years leading up to Australian gun control laws. There have been no mass shootings in the fourteen years since.

http://en.wikipedia....ersity_shooting

If we're counting two deaths as a mass shooting, I'd hate to think how many America is had in the last fourteen years. I'd also note that that shooting led to more restrictions on gun possession, not less. Very weak point.

 

What is a mass shooting then? Is a drive-by shooting by a gang a mass shooting? Or does that not count? Seems to me that your point was factually incorrect, or you're simply using semantics to paint an unrealistic picture of the effectiveness of gun control.


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If we're counting two deaths as a mass shooting, I'd hate to think how many America is had in the last fourteen years. I'd also note that that shooting led to more restrictions on gun possession, not less, and was a major catalyst for the payback scheme in that state. Very weak point.

There were seven victims in a school shooting, before the violent actor was subdued by a practitioner of martial art.

I'm not really sure where to draw the lines on a "mass" shooting; it seems to be somewhere between "more than one" and "small truckload." Much like "assault weapon," I suspect the definition will change depending on who you ask.

 

ETA: Measures were put in place as a response, but it doesn't follow that those measures have had a significant positive impact on violent crime or that they could prevent similar incidents.

 

Looking at just American numbers versus every other country in the developed world, I'm not sure how one could conclude that gun possession reduces it either.

As you said, it's quite difficult to compare international figures and come to any meaningful conclusion. My point was not that a higher rate of possession would reduce violent crime, just that heavy restrictions don't necessarily reduce it.

 

My take is that violent crime (in fact, crime in general) has far more to do with social issues than the regulation of firearms.


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In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. ~Samuel Adams; 1 August, 1776
There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. ~Daniel Webster; 15 March, 1837

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They found him not guilty of murder if I recall correctly meaning that the mass shootings weren't premeditated. He had some paranoia with the guy he murdered first didn't he? He was packed off to the proverbial loony bin anyway.

 

I think that violent crime is a result of many factors, mental health wellbeing obviously one of them. When you look at the rate of violent crime in the Moss Side area of Manchester it was a combination of many factors which eventually lead a drop in the rate of violent crime, which had previously spiked during the 1990s. There was closer working with the police and community, more cooperation between the two, more focus on the factors leading to crime, but yes, also the restriction and subsequent decrease in availability of firearms.

 

It's not the only factor in violent crime but it is a factor, and I don't think it's wise to conveniently ignore that reality because you find the other factors a bit more sexy. You need to address all the issues behind violent crime, not some of them.

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I imagine the insanity defense is reasonable for most people who decide it's a good choice to go on a killing spree. If an insanity defense invalidates a mass shooting I wonder whether that might have applied to Adam Lanza were he still alive.


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Isn't gun ownership simply a massively snowballing situation?

 

People own guns. Because of this, others want guns to defend themselves. More people want guns to defend themselves from these people. More people want guns etc etc.

 

I'm not going to get fully involved in this debate as it could go on forever and I don't have time for people who can't see the obvious things getting people killed and won't even try to solve the problem. All I'll say is that to the outside world, north America seems like an incredibly unsafe place to be.


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Isn't gun ownership simply a massively snowballing situation?

 

People own guns. Because of this, others want guns to defend themselves. More people want guns to defend themselves from these people. More people want guns etc etc.

 

I'm not going to get fully involved in this debate as it could go on forever and I don't have time for people who can't see the obvious things getting people killed and won't even try to solve the problem. All I'll say is that to the outside world, north America seems like an incredibly unsafe place to be.

It depends on the place and the culture of that place I guess. I live in Panama and there are no limitations to the amount of guns you can have, the only limitation is that you can't have automatic weapons, and that's just being general, given that you pay certain fees and pass certain exams, you're allowed to have one. When you buy a gun here for the first time, they start a "page" that can have up to 10 guns registered, if you exceed that limit, they'll just start another page, and so on.

 

Thing is, unlike the U.S., to get a gun here, you have to pass psychiatric exams (which vary depending on the type of gun, automatic ones being the "hardest" to pass), then you can go and purchase a gun (they are a bit more expensive here so best thing to do, is to order them through an aproved seller/distributor, who will just resell it to you for its original price + a small gain porcentage + shipping fees), then the gun is registered, sample dna is taken if it's your first gun (if not, they'll just add it to your page), can take a couple of days-weeks.

 

Yet, you don't see mass shootings in here, most gun-related incidents are related to guns obtained illegaly and most of the time are hermetic incidents, meaning they only happen in certain places and only if you're part of certain people, aka, drug dealers and such; it's very rare that an incident of this type goes beyond that class frontier, so most of these incidents actually go unnoticed for the rest of the population.

 

Another thing, knives and overall non-firearm weapons require no permit, so you can actually go around carrying a big ass knife if you want, of course, it has to be concealed (ofc, same applies to guns), and yet again, incidents with these weapons are actually rare. I think this is probably the worst country to be a thief, most people carry AT LEAST pepper spray, I go around with a beretta 96 and a folding karambit.

 

My point is, it depends a lot on the country. Switzerland is another good example of almost everyone being armed, in fact, technically, their whole country is a militia, yet their crime rates are ridiculously low, so low, that they aren't even registered internationally, actually, there are more suicides related to fire arms than actual fire arm crimes...

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"Last year, the Supreme Court, with a majority of eight to one, ruled that the church should be allowed to picket funerals by relying on their First Amendment rights to free speech.

 

In 2009, the British Government placed a ban on members of the church entering the UK due to their attitude to homosexuality."

 

Things like that make me proud to be British. No human right should be unlimited in scope.

That group is disgusting. If they do (did?) protest at those children's funerals regarding homosexuality, they deserve jail sentences as far as I'm concerned.

 

As far as gun laws go, it's too late for America. They'd be better off focusing on how to improve security at vulnerable public sites such as schools.


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All I'll say is that to the outside world, north America seems like an incredibly unsafe place to be.

Wait, what about us Canadians :? ? You think we're gonna murder you guys with our polar bear-mounted cannons that everyone can legally have?


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All I'll say is that to the outside world, north America seems like an incredibly unsafe place to be.

Wait, what about us Canadians :? ? You think we're gonna murder you guys with our polar bear-mounted cannons that everyone can legally have?

As an American, I just have to say yes.

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Any background on these? they keep showing up on every gun site I visit (which is weird, considering most of them actually hate conspiracy theories). Not really into tinfoil hat nuts and their conspiracies but these caught my attention... (meant for discussion, sorry if it offends anyone)

 

 

 

Edit: seems like some people can't post without being a jerk, spoiler'd.


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Well if you look real closely, you'll see Obama has a very distinct eye shape and colour, normally only seen in reptiles and amphibians. This only furthers my theory that Barack Obama is indeed a lizard person.

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