Gun control

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skirtedMarine
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Gun control

Post by skirtedMarine »

According to the CDC,
Theres roughly 32, 000 deaths in the U.S. from gun violence per year.
60% are Suicides (thats 19, 200)
(This is indeed a damb shame!)
3% are accidental, ( thats 960)
4% are justified ( thats 1280)
33% are Homicides ( thats 10,560)
80% of the homicides are gang related ( thats 8,448)
That leaves 1,712 in a society of 312 million people, or...a 0.0001025641056 chance of death by a gun
Or, 0.0000010256410256 chance if you don't hang out in the hood, are not planning to commit suicide, and you're not planning a crime. As soon as a muslim jihadist kills innocent people in Orlando the current administration tells the sheep we have a problem with gun control? :roll:
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Re: Gun control

Post by Caultron »

It's still hard to accept that felons, suspected terrorists, the mentally ill, and non-citizens should have full access to guns, let alone near-military-grade assault weapons.
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Re: Gun control

Post by skirtedMarine »

Caultron wrote:It's still hard to accept that felons, suspected terrorists, the mentally ill, and non-citizens should have full access to guns, let alone near-military-grade assault weapons.
Thanks for your input, I'm not sure of your state laws, but as I understand Federal laws , Fellons, and the insane are not allowed to buy firarms, but if youre a muslim , come on over!
"Near military assault weapons? " dont get me started! I know you're a good guy, and possibly misinformed.
Scott
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Re: Gun control

Post by Fred in Skirts »

If gun control is what is needed to stop the violence, why do the cities that have the strictest gun control laws have the highest gun violence?

Chicago, Washington DC, New York, New Orleans just to name the most prominent in the news. :hmmm:

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skirtedMarine
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Re: Gun control

Post by skirtedMarine »

skirtedMarine wrote:
Caultron wrote:It's still hard to accept that felons, suspected terrorists, the mentally ill, and non-citizens should have full access to guns, let alone near-military-grade assault weapons.
Thanks for your input, I'm not sure of your state laws, but as I understand Federal laws , Fellons, and the insane are not allowed to buy firarms, but if youre a muslim , come on over!
"Near military assault weapons? " dont get me started! I know you're a good guy, just misinformed
Disaffected.citizen
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Re: Gun control

Post by Disaffected.citizen »

I'd like to weigh in here. Being from the UK where (I think) we have some of the most restrictive firearms controls in the world, it is illegal for a civilian to own/possess a handgun. Rifles and shotguns are permissable, subject to police checks.

Since we banned handguns, in the wake of a couple of mass shootings (Dunblane and Hungerford) where the guns were legally held, we have not seen any real change in gun crime. It is relatively rare over here but it still happens. The weapons are illegally held, but I suspect that most of the weapons used prior to the banning were also illegally held.

As regards the USA, compared to some parts of the world, gun crime is low; I think I'd rather take my chances in an Orlando gay club than urban Columbia!

So, why is there so much controversy surrounding gun crime and laws? I suspect that the press coverage of "mass shootings" skews perceptions that lawlessness pervades your society. But the fact that such incidents garner media attention in the way they do heads up that they are rare and isolated. It wouldn't be so scandalous if it was an everyday occurrence.

But I cannot understand why there is so much friction surrounding having a sensible debate on the issue. If doing so prevented a tragic loss of an innocent life, surely it would be worthwhile? There's no way to prove that something has been prevented in such context, so it's all just rhetoric.

If different States have differing laws on regulation and control, yet movement around the country as a whole is unrestricted, surely that makes such regulation and control pointless? Or are there restrictions on carrying a firearm into another state? Maybe a federally mandated set of regulations, setting out a national standard of control wouldn't be a bad idea. If the same checks were made everywhere, you'd know how to measure the risk. But then what do you do about any firearms that are legally held, which might become illegal as a result of legislation?

I don't envy your politicians!

Of note were the statistics from Scott. In the scheme of things, the proportions seem small. The only thing I'd challenge is the notion that there is an intrinsic danger from Muslims. If you obtained statistics of the ethnicity and creed of the perpetrators, I doubt they'd support the notion that there was widespread danger from your Muslim community. Orlando was carried out by an individual who claimed it in the name of a "radical Islamist" group but, if I read correctly somewhere, the perpetrator was a regular at such clubs, drinking alcohol (not permitted by Islam) so I'd argue that he was attempting justify his actions by reference to a faith and religion to which he did not adhere. Unless an act is carried out by several perpetrators (NYC, London, Paris, Belgium) it is unlikely to be an "organised" act of terror; more likely it is just one individual who has either mental health problems or a hatred of a group.

Just some thoughts.

Over here, we're supposedly exiting the EU as a result of a referendum that played on "migration" and xenophobia. Our political system is in a state of turmoil. I'm hoping I'm not being niaive saying things will sort themselves out but, our Prime Minister has resigned and will be replaced sometime before October, the leader of the opposition is threatened from his party, Scotland may seek another referendum on independence, the EU wants us to start our exit sooner rather than later, the "Leave" campaign doesn't want us to rush, Northern Ireland wants to remain in the EU so they'll be discussing unification with Eire again that may stir up old frictions. Financial markets are jittery.

Currently, the UK is not a stable country, economically or politically. There is unrest. If we didn't have the strict gun controls over here I'd be more worried that an "unhinged" individual might crack.
Last edited by Disaffected.citizen on Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gun control

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skirtedMarine wrote:
Caultron wrote:It's still hard to accept that felons, suspected terrorists, the mentally ill, and non-citizens should have full access to guns, let alone near-military-grade assault weapons.
Thanks for your input, I'm not sure of your state laws, but as I understand Federal laws , Fellons, and the insane are not allowed to buy firarms, but if youre a muslim , come on over!
"Near military assault weapons? " dont get me started! I know you're a good guy, and possibly misinformed.
Scott
Anyone can buy guns without a background check simply by going to a gun show.

Muslims deserve the same gun rights as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Bhuddists, or any other religion. You go after the errant individuals and not the group.

Most mass murders recently have been comitted with assault rifles. Now, I realize that only a tiny percentage of all assault rifles are ever used that way, and that killers can still use pistols, shotguns, bombs, pressure cookers, and so on. But perhaps some further control over assault weapons would result in some decrease in mass shootings.
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Re: Gun control

Post by Judah14 »

Caultron wrote: Anyone can buy guns without a background check simply by going to a gun show.

Muslims deserve the same gun rights as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Bhuddists, or any other religion. You go after the errant individuals and not the group.

Most mass murders recently have been comitted with assault rifles. Now, I realize that only a tiny percentage of all assault rifles are ever used that way, and that killers can still use pistols, shotguns, bombs, pressure cookers, and so on. But perhaps some further control over assault weapons would result in some decrease in mass shootings.
Based on my experience, I don't think such regulations on assault rifles will decrease mass shootings, as select-fire (capable of full auto) rifles are already restricted for civilian sales pretty much everywhere and criminals get their guns illegally (as they will fail the background checks). And such shootings here were done with guns stolen from police/military (as done by rebel groups), acquired illegally (as done by criminals) or are perpetrated by rouge police/military personnel with service firearms (such as with the Maguindanao Massacre, caused by a political dispute between two clans).
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Re: Gun control

Post by crfriend »

Caultron wrote:Muslims deserve the same gun rights as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Bhuddists, or any other religion. You go after the errant individuals and not the group.
I'd strike the word "gun" from that sentiment; everyone should enjoy the same rights (and responsibilities) as everyone else -- irrespective of religion or anything else.
But perhaps some further control over assault weapons would result in some decrease in mass shootings.
I remain unconvinced on this. The gun, recall, is nothing more than a tool in this regard -- a tool that's wielded by someone who is committing a barbaric act. That act could be committed with any other device, and likely would be.
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Re: Gun control

Post by rick401r »

Caultron wrote:Anyone can buy guns without a background check simply by going to a gun show.
My experience at gun shows was the same as buying at a store. Except when buying from individuals who bring their own guns to sell. They do not have a booth, they walk around, displaying the weapon they want to sell and make a deal on the side. No backround checks needed.
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Caultron
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Re: Gun control

Post by Caultron »

crfriend wrote:
Caultron wrote:Muslims deserve the same gun rights as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Bhuddists, or any other religion. You go after the errant individuals and not the group.
I'd strike the word "gun" from that sentiment; everyone should enjoy the same rights (and responsibilities) as everyone else -- irrespective of religion or anything else.
Yes, of course, all,rights and not just gun rights. But gun rights are the topic of this thread.
But perhaps some further control over assault weapons would result in some decrease in mass shootings.
I remain unconvinced on this. The gun, recall, is nothing more than a tool in this regard -- a tool that's wielded by someone who is committing a barbaric act. That act could be committed with any other device, and likely would be.
Yes on other devices, whether letter bombs or trucks loaded with farm fertilizer or whatever. And there are too many assault weapons already in circulation to ever ban and collect them. And there will always be a black market.

Yet, there seems to be a fascination with holding a military-style weapon at the hip and mowing people down. I guess making a bomb out of a pressure cooker just isn't as much fun, or at least as satisfying.

And if there were stiff enough penalties against potential shooters just having weapons in their possession, maybe that would deter them or at least provide grounds for imprisonment.

It's tempting to put metal detectors at every school, theater, shop, public building, and portable toilet, but that's expensive and you have to hire and train all those guards too. And who wants to empty their pockets and get metal-detected and wanted ten times a day?
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Re: Gun control

Post by Judah14 »

Caultron wrote: It's tempting to put metal detectors at every school, theater, shop, public building, and portable toilet, but that's expensive and you have to hire and train all those guards too. And who wants to empty their pockets and get metal-detected and wanted ten times a day?
You may say that is impractical but many malls, train stations and other similar places here in the Philippines have metal detectors, and package inspection before entering such places and depositing your firearms at the guard's desk (if you are carrying one) is the norm. Not to mention security guards here are heavily armed as well. You just have to get used to it.
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Re: Gun control

Post by dillon »

skirtedMarine wrote:According to the CDC,
Theres roughly 32, 000 deaths in the U.S. from gun violence per year.
60% are Suicides (thats 19, 200)
(This is indeed a damb shame!)
3% are accidental, ( thats 960)
4% are justified ( thats 1280)
33% are Homicides ( thats 10,560)
80% of the homicides are gang related ( thats 8,448)
That leaves 1,712 in a society of 312 million people, or...a 0.0001025641056 chance of death by a gun
Or, 0.0000010256410256 chance if you don't hang out in the hood, are not planning to commit suicide, and you're not planning a crime. As soon as a muslim jihadist kills innocent people in Orlando the current administration tells the sheep we have a problem with gun control? :roll:
I don't dispute all your statistics...because I checked themand found just one misrepresentation...and while statistics are important tools in telling a story, they do not tell a complete story unless one provides complete statistics. However, the point you seem to be making, which, I presume, is the minuscule risk of dying in a mass shooting, is already obvious. But I am curious why you dismiss all other gunshot death and injury? Is that a conservative thing? Are they not also tragic? Do those lives not also matter? From your seeming elimination of suicide and "gang violence" as matters of concern regarding gunshot injury, I sort of get the impression that you somehow find those deaths morally acceptable or within some margin of social tolerance. I don't think that way and don't really understand why anyone might.

First point...not all gunshot wounds are lethal, and your data only account for fatal gunshot wounds. So what percentage of gunshot wounds are lethal? The best study was run by U. Penn Medical School over 4 years in Philadelphia...a town that I am sure would qualify as "the hood" in your description. The study involved violent bodily penetration wounds...both shootings and puncture stabbings. It found that 33% of gunshot wounds were fatal, and this was in a city with state of the art medicine available in minutes from the scene of most of the violence. We might logically expect the death rate to be higher in states where the travel time to medical help is considerably farther. Comparably, only 7% of stab wounds were lethal.

So, if we look at the 33,636 gun deaths in 2013, and use the Penn study to adjust, the rate of gunshot injury, lethal and non-lethal, goes over 100,000. I'm curious as to whether you think a gunshot wound only matters if it results in the death of the victim?

Second point...why would you dismiss suicide as a matter of concern regarding guns? A study by Harvard's T. H. Chan School of Public Health found the success rate for suicide attempts by gunshot is 85%, and gunshot suicides are 55% of all suicide deaths in the US. The next highest success rate was via suffocation (hanging) at 69%...but that only accounted for 20% of suicide deaths. Jumpers have a 31% success rate, but, accounted for 2% of suicide deaths. No other single method had a lethality rate above 3%. Nine out of ten people who attempt suicide and survive will not die by their own hand in the future.

The takeaway from this is that gunshot suicides succeed 85% of the time, and attempts by all other methods succeeded only 5% of the time. That is in keeping with data from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons which shows that gunshot head wounds are fatal 90% of the time; a similar study from the Univ. of Maryland of gunshot wounds in Baltimore - also, as you might define it, "the hood" - found a survival rate of only 7% for head shots. A study of gunshot suicide survivors, mostly young men, found that all used guns found in the home, and, when asked why that method was chosen, the most common answer was "Availability." Also, the data in the Harvard study is from 2001; it does not reflect the spike in suicides among war veterans.

Third point...your statement that "80% of the homicides are gang related" is data from ONE CITY - Chicago, which carefully tracks this data despite doing less than enough to abate the problem; or perhaps two, since the city of Baltimore says 80% of its homicides are "drug-related", and one might reasonably extrapolate that most of that is also gang related. Since homicide rates and causes are recorded differently state to state and locality to locality, not even the FBI had a hard number for gang homicide rates nationally. In fact the organization usconservatives.about.com, a site that is not typically on my "leftie" viewing list, states "It is unclear what percentage of gun deaths are gang-related nationally and even from one city to the next." So, that 80% figure is not a nationwide number and not applicable to the national homicide rate.

And in your haste to dismiss black-on-black violence as something that white America can rightfully ignore, I'd just remind you that many of the victims of gang shootings are innocent bystanders, especially children. A child is a child, no matter his race.

So, are state gun laws correlated to the rates of all homicides? No. Income levels and education levels are more strongly correlated. But the level of gun ownership, state by state, is absolutely correlated to gun violence and gun deaths. The Harvard Chan School found this; that "a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide." That same relationship is true for both accidental and suicidal gun death.

So, what's the answer? I can now give only my personal opinion. Prohibition of guns is NOT THE ANSWER; America is a country, not founded on guns (that assertion is total ********; the 18th Century frontiersman was lucky to own even a single firearm) but deeply enamored with gun ownership, far to much to be reversed. Perhaps I am biased in that statement, being the effective "owner" of multiple sporting weapons. But that statement is in keeping with the rebellious nature of what it is to be American. Our history has demonstrated the failure of prohibitions: alcohol and gambling prohibitions failed; drugs and pornography prohibitions are failing dramatically; prohibition of guns, tobacco, and abortion are also unquestionable doomed to failure.

So lets examine the past success we have had. In the 1920's we had gangsters with legal access to the exceptionally designed and produced Thompson submachinegun; they wrought havoc in the hands of gangsters and other criminals. Not even J. Edgar Hoover could persuade Congress to prohibit fully automatic weapons; even at that date, the Second Amendment was waved about as protecting the Gun Industry. But what Congress did was to TAX those weapons so heavily that no one could afford them; thus the manufacturing for private sale was shut down except for the sales to the US Army, and to overseas customers, including the Brits, who widely used those guns in WWII, despite their affection for the mediocre Sten guns. Meaning no insult, but the Sten was a "cookie-cutter" weapon made for mass production by Europe's anti-Nazi undergrounds, but as a front-line weapon for trained troops, they were poor choices. They didn't hold a candle to either the Thompson or the German MP38/40 weapons. Anyway, Congress agreed to not prohibit full auto weapons, but rather to TAX them so heavily that there could not be a realistic market for them. Since then, however, legal interpretations have changed, and those changes challenge the Second Amendment.

I think that Congress has a lot of latitude, considering the vaguery of the Second Amendment. It states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." But what does that mean? I tend to side with conservatives on this matter, sadly, if only because of the term "regulated". And, I am, admittedly, the "effective" owner of six sporting arms (two belong to my son away at college); but I also understand the vocabulary of the times. "Regulated"...what does that mean, exactly? In the history of the Mid-Atlantic colonies and even the early states, particularly in NC, the "Regulators" were a group of armed insurgents who resisted the authority of Colonial governance, and even persisted to resist the rule of the Continental Congress, albeit it briefly. UNC describes the rag-tag "Regulators" as this:

"The Regulator Movement in mid-eighteenth-century North Carolina was a rebellion initiated by residents of the colony's inland region, or backcountry, who believed that royal government officials were charging them excessive fees, falsifying records, and engaging in other mistreatments. The movement's name refers to the desire of these citizens to regulate their own affairs. An unfair system of taxation prevailed under which less productive land, such as that in the western and Mountain regions, was taxed at the same rate as the more fertile, level soil of the Coastal Plain. These and other hardships contributed to the Regulators' feelings of sectional discrimination and deep distrust of authorities rooted in eastern North Carolina. Led by men such as Rednap Howell, James Hunter, and Herman Husband—considered the movement's chief spokesman—the Regulators organized a resistance to these abuses, first through protest and ultimately through violence."

So this implies that it was not necessarily the gun owners being regulated, but rather they who were regulating the power of government, which was viewed, even then, with as much distrust as it is today. Naturally, of course, and as it is today, the so called Regulators had no legitimate proof of any of their beliefs, but were deeply engaged in conspiracy theorizing, rumor-mongering, outright fabrication, and deeply flawed intelligence. That, however, did not make their sentiment any less valid to the Founding Fathers. As one who has watched the abuses of police against minorities, I honestly think that if the collective "Law" gets any more authority, we will all need guns to defend ourselves, spoken in the spirit of Malcom X.

And, IMHO, if you want to take the wind out of the sails of the lily-white NRA, let some rich guy start arming black people, and teaching them to shoot straight, and getting them the required concealed-carry permits. You'll see white men drop the NRA like a hot rock, running so fast to the gun-control side it will be laughable.

So all that being said, let's get back to the Second Amendment, and the NRA propaganda that has seeped in thorough the cracks in the skulls of so many men...

The Second Amendment is out of date and needs to either be replaced or ignored. Conditions have changed, technologies have changed. if anyone still believes in a "Constructionist" interpretation, let him go back to pre-rifle-bore muzzle-loaders. Do any of you actually believe the men of 1781 foresaw semi-auto weapons? They did not even conceive of an integrated charge and ball...what we call a cartridge...let alone a machine that could fire them faster than a round per second. We have a real problem on our hands and to ignore that fact is just chickenshit, and being less than a man, and far less than a decent citizen.

I'll repeat what I've said before: The NRA DOES NOT represent gun owners; they represent the GUN INDUSTRY. How can any sentient, moral, rational individual not recognize the problem here? Here is the simple fact: GUN SALES SPIKE AFTER MASS SHOOTINGS! http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/D ... ight-think It really doesn't matter why; the cash flow tells the story. And NRA mass mailings also spike every time...you guys who belong to the NRA try to deny it...I know you'll be lying because I get their mailings and phone calls; even though I am not a member and never will be, they got my name and info when I bought a Ruger .22 for my son. Despite my never contributing to them or returning their obviously biased surveys (the "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" type) they still solicit me. Any way you'd answer their idiotic questions, you'd end agreeing with their position.

So what would I do about gun control? First I'd acknowledge that most guns are here to stay; no matter what is regulated, it won't work. Prohibitions, in the US, always fail; they failed for alcohol and gambling; they are failing for drugs and pornography; they would ultimately fail for guns, tobacco and abortion; so give up that stupid idea. We are a rebellious people; we won't accept dictatorial governance, be it oligarchy, plutocracy, or theocracy; all will fail. We aren't British any more. But we can agree what law-abiding citizens need and what will inhibit criminals. A normal citizen is mature enough to accept deferred gratification; only an adolescent needs to have instant gratification. So a waiting period and a thorough background check for buying a gun should be no problem; you are an adult; plan around it!

First, I don't use the term "assault weapon"; that is an idiotic term. Any weapon used in aggression is an assault weapon. What it looks like doesn't matter; it could look like an AR15 or a like a blunderbuss; all that matters is its capabilities and capacities, so that's what has to be addressed.

We need to take a commonsense look at the capacities of the weapons we sell if we want to reduce the threat from mass-shooters, many of whom obtained their weapons legally and in a short period before their acts of violence. Chief among those is magazine capacity and the ability to reload swiftly. I'd ban all interchangeable clips, except for law enforcement weapons, and make all future weapons have fixed magazines with a maximum capacity of six rounds, such that they must be reloaded bullet by bullet. That gives time for victim flight or fight. Skirtedmarine, I don't know the qualifications for Marine Infantry, but I'd guess they'd have to be able to change clips on a M4 in about 4 seconds or less. Even if an untrained mass shooter took 10 seconds, it doesn't diminish his firepower against children or other civilians. but reducing that reload time gives them a chance for fighting or getting kids out of danger. It doesn't in any way impact the legal sporting use of a weapon. We are presumably mature men; we should be able to handle a bit of hand work. And if someone's idea of "sport" with a weapon is firing as many rounds as possible, as fast as possible, maybe he isn't really mature enough to be trusted with one.

So, what of all the hundreds ot thousands of weapons already out there with interchangeable magazines? Even I own one, albeit WWII vintage with a barrel so worn that I sometimes think the bullets come out sideways. My proposal is that they be required to be registered; those would be the only weapons required to be registered, but the clips also would need to be registered. There would be no enforcement for weapons remaining in an individual's possession; however, if he tried to sell it, or transfer it, or leave it to an heir, it would be a criminal offense if it was not registered, and the weapon would be subject to penalties, and perhaps seizure. But compliant weapons would not be registered or subject to seizure, nor could registered weapons be seized. There is NOTHING SPECIFIC OR IMPLIED IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT PREVENTING MANDATORY GUN REGISTRATION.

Well, I have more ideas, but this ia a long enough treatise for now. I respect your feelings about guns, but no one is served by telling only half the truth.
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Re: Gun control

Post by skirtedMarine »

dillon wrote:
skirtedMarine wrote:According to the CDC,
Theres roughly 32, 000 deaths in the U.S. from gun violence per year.
60% are Suicides (thats 19, 200)
(This is indeed a damb shame!)
3% are accidental, ( thats 960)
4% are justified ( thats 1280)
33% are Homicides ( thats 10,560)
80% of the homicides are gang related ( thats 8,448)
That leaves 1,712 in a society of 312 million people, or...a 0.0001025641056 chance of death by a gun
Or, 0.0000010256410256 chance if you don't hang out in the hood, are not planning to commit suicide, and you're not planning a crime. As soon as a muslim jihadist kills innocent people in Orlando the current administration tells the sheep we have a problem with gun control? :roll:
I don't dispute all your statistics...because I checked themand found just one misrepresentation...and while statistics are important tools in telling a story, they do not tell a complete story unless one provides complete statistics. However, the point you seem to be making, which, I presume, is the minuscule risk of dying in a mass shooting, is already obvious. But I am curious why you dismiss all other gunshot death and injury? Is that a conservative thing? Are they not also tragic? Do those lives not also matter? From your seeming elimination of suicide and "gang violence" as matters of concern regarding gunshot injury, I sort of get the impression that you somehow find those deaths morally acceptable or within some margin of social tolerance. I don't think that way and don't really understand why anyone might.

First point...not all gunshot wounds are lethal, and your data only account for fatal gunshot wounds. So what percentage of gunshot wounds are lethal? The best study was run by U. Penn Medical School over 4 years in Philadelphia...a town that I am sure would qualify as "the hood" in your description. The study involved violent bodily penetration wounds...both shootings and puncture stabbings. It found that 33% of gunshot wounds were fatal, and this was in a city with state of the art medicine available in minutes from the scene of most of the violence. We might logically expect the death rate to be higher in states where the travel time to medical help is considerably farther. Comparably, only 7% of stab wounds were lethal.

So, if we look at the 33,636 gun deaths in 2013, and use the Penn study to adjust, the rate of gunshot injury, lethal and non-lethal, goes over 100,000. I'm curious as to whether you think a gunshot wound only matters if it results in the death of the victim?

Second point...why would you dismiss suicide as a matter of concern regarding guns? A study by Harvard's T. H. Chan School of Public Health found the success rate for suicide attempts by gunshot is 85%, and gunshot suicides are 55% of all suicide deaths in the US. The next highest success rate was via suffocation (hanging) at 69%...but that only accounted for 20% of suicide deaths. Jumpers have a 31% success rate, but, accounted for 2% of suicide deaths. No other single method had a lethality rate above 3%. Nine out of ten people who attempt suicide and survive will not die by their own hand in the future.

The takeaway from this is that gunshot suicides succeed 85% of the time, and attempts by all other methods succeeded only 5% of the time. That is in keeping with data from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons which shows that gunshot head wounds are fatal 90% of the time; a similar study from the Univ. of Maryland of gunshot wounds in Baltimore - also, as you might define it, "the hood" - found a survival rate of only 7% for head shots. A study of gunshot suicide survivors, mostly young men, found that all used guns found in the home, and, when asked why that method was chosen, the most common answer was "Availability." Also, the data in the Harvard study is from 2001; it does not reflect the spike in suicides among war veterans.

Third point...your statement that "80% of the homicides are gang related" is data from ONE CITY - Chicago, which carefully tracks this data despite doing less than enough to abate the problem; or perhaps two, since the city of Baltimore says 80% of its homicides are "drug-related", and one might reasonably extrapolate that most of that is also gang related. Since homicide rates and causes are recorded differently state to state and locality to locality, not even the FBI had a hard number for gang homicide rates nationally. In fact the organization usconservatives.about.com, a site that is not typically on my "leftie" viewing list, states "It is unclear what percentage of gun deaths are gang-related nationally and even from one city to the next." So, that 80% figure is not a nationwide number and not applicable to the national homicide rate.

And in your haste to dismiss black-on-black violence as something that white America can rightfully ignore, I'd just remind you that many of the victims of gang shootings are innocent bystanders, especially children. A child is a child, no matter his race.

So, are state gun laws correlated to the rates of all homicides? No. Income levels and education levels are more strongly correlated. But the level of gun ownership, state by state, is absolutely correlated to gun violence and gun deaths. The Harvard Chan School found this; that "a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide." That same relationship is true for both accidental and suicidal gun death.

So, what's the answer? I can now give only my personal opinion. Prohibition of guns is NOT THE ANSWER; America is a country, not founded on guns (that assertion is total ********; the 18th Century frontiersman was lucky to own even a single firearm) but deeply enamored with gun ownership, far to much to be reversed. Perhaps I am biased in that statement, being the effective "owner" of multiple sporting weapons. But that statement is in keeping with the rebellious nature of what it is to be American. Our history has demonstrated the failure of prohibitions: alcohol and gambling prohibitions failed; drugs and pornography prohibitions are failing dramatically; prohibition of guns, tobacco, and abortion are also unquestionable doomed to failure.

So lets examine the past success we have had. In the 1920's we had gangsters with legal access to the exceptionally designed and produced Thompson submachinegun; they wrought havoc in the hands of gangsters and other criminals. Not even J. Edgar Hoover could persuade Congress to prohibit fully automatic weapons; even at that date, the Second Amendment was waved about as protecting the Gun Industry. But what Congress did was to TAX those weapons so heavily that no one could afford them; thus the manufacturing for private sale was shut down except for the sales to the US Army, and to overseas customers, including the Brits, who widely used those guns in WWII, despite their affection for the mediocre Sten guns. Meaning no insult, but the Sten was a "cookie-cutter" weapon made for mass production by Europe's anti-Nazi undergrounds, but as a front-line weapon for trained troops, they were poor choices. They didn't hold a candle to either the Thompson or the German MP38/40 weapons. Anyway, Congress agreed to not prohibit full auto weapons, but rather to TAX them so heavily that there could not be a realistic market for them. Since then, however, legal interpretations have changed, and those changes challenge the Second Amendment.

I think that Congress has a lot of latitude, considering the vaguery of the Second Amendment. It states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." But what does that mean? I tend to side with conservatives on this matter, sadly, if only because of the term "regulated". And, I am, admittedly, the "effective" owner of six sporting arms (two belong to my son away at college); but I also understand the vocabulary of the times. "Regulated"...what does that mean, exactly? In the history of the Mid-Atlantic colonies and even the early states, particularly in NC, the "Regulators" were a group of armed insurgents who resisted the authority of Colonial governance, and even persisted to resist the rule of the Continental Congress, albeit it briefly. UNC describes the rag-tag "Regulators" as this:

"The Regulator Movement in mid-eighteenth-century North Carolina was a rebellion initiated by residents of the colony's inland region, or backcountry, who believed that royal government officials were charging them excessive fees, falsifying records, and engaging in other mistreatments. The movement's name refers to the desire of these citizens to regulate their own affairs. An unfair system of taxation prevailed under which less productive land, such as that in the western and Mountain regions, was taxed at the same rate as the more fertile, level soil of the Coastal Plain. These and other hardships contributed to the Regulators' feelings of sectional discrimination and deep distrust of authorities rooted in eastern North Carolina. Led by men such as Rednap Howell, James Hunter, and Herman Husband—considered the movement's chief spokesman—the Regulators organized a resistance to these abuses, first through protest and ultimately through violence."

So this implies that it was not necessarily the gun owners being regulated, but rather they who were regulating the power of government, which was viewed, even then, with as much distrust as it is today. Naturally, of course, and as it is today, the so called Regulators had no legitimate proof of any of their beliefs, but were deeply engaged in conspiracy theorizing, rumor-mongering, outright fabrication, and deeply flawed intelligence. That, however, did not make their sentiment any less valid to the Founding Fathers. As one who has watched the abuses of police against minorities, I honestly think that if the collective "Law" gets any more authority, we will all need guns to defend ourselves, spoken in the spirit of Malcom X.

And, IMHO, if you want to take the wind out of the sails of the lily-white NRA, let some rich guy start arming black people, and teaching them to shoot straight, and getting them the required concealed-carry permits. You'll see white men drop the NRA like a hot rock, running so fast to the gun-control side it will be laughable.

So all that being said, let's get back to the Second Amendment, and the NRA propaganda that has seeped in thorough the cracks in the skulls of so many men...

The Second Amendment is out of date and needs to either be replaced or ignored. Conditions have changed, technologies have changed. if anyone still believes in a "Constructionist" interpretation, let him go back to pre-rifle-bore muzzle-loaders. Do any of you actually believe the men of 1781 foresaw semi-auto weapons? They did not even conceive of an integrated charge and ball...what we call a cartridge...let alone a machine that could fire them faster than a round per second. We have a real problem on our hands and to ignore that fact is just chickenshit, and being less than a man, and far less than a decent citizen.

I'll repeat what I've said before: The NRA DOES NOT represent gun owners; they represent the GUN INDUSTRY. How can any sentient, moral, rational individual not recognize the problem here? Here is the simple fact: GUN SALES SPIKE AFTER MASS SHOOTINGS! http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/D ... ight-think It really doesn't matter why; the cash flow tells the story. And NRA mass mailings also spike every time...you guys who belong to the NRA try to deny it...I know you'll be lying because I get their mailings and phone calls; even though I am not a member and never will be, they got my name and info when I bought a Ruger .22 for my son. Despite my never contributing to them or returning their obviously biased surveys (the "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" type) they still solicit me. Any way you'd answer their idiotic questions, you'd end agreeing with their position.

So what would I do about gun control? First I'd acknowledge that most guns are here to stay; no matter what is regulated, it won't work. Prohibitions, in the US, always fail; they failed for alcohol and gambling; they are failing for drugs and pornography; they would ultimately fail for guns, tobacco and abortion; so give up that stupid idea. We are a rebellious people; we won't accept dictatorial governance, be it oligarchy, plutocracy, or theocracy; all will fail. We aren't British any more. But we can agree what law-abiding citizens need and what will inhibit criminals. A normal citizen is mature enough to accept deferred gratification; only an adolescent needs to have instant gratification. So a waiting period and a thorough background check for buying a gun should be no problem; you are an adult; plan around it!

First, I don't use the term "assault weapon"; that is an idiotic term. Any weapon used in aggression is an assault weapon. What it looks like doesn't matter; it could look like an AR15 or a like a blunderbuss; all that matters is its capabilities and capacities, so that's what has to be addressed.

We need to take a commonsense look at the capacities of the weapons we sell if we want to reduce the threat from mass-shooters, many of whom obtained their weapons legally and in a short period before their acts of violence. Chief among those is magazine capacity and the ability to reload swiftly. I'd ban all interchangeable clips, except for law enforcement weapons, and make all future weapons have fixed magazines with a maximum capacity of six rounds, such that they must be reloaded bullet by bullet. That gives time for victim flight or fight. Skirtedmarine, I don't know the qualifications for Marine Infantry, but I'd guess they'd have to be able to change clips on a M4 in about 4 seconds or less. Even if an untrained mass shooter took 10 seconds, it doesn't diminish his firepower against children or other civilians. but reducing that reload time gives them a chance for fighting or getting kids out of danger. It doesn't in any way impact the legal sporting use of a weapon. We are presumably mature men; we should be able to handle a bit of hand work. And if someone's idea of "sport" with a weapon is firing as many rounds as possible, as fast as possible, maybe he isn't really mature enough to be trusted with one.

So, what of all the hundreds ot thousands of weapons already out there with interchangeable magazines? Even I own one, albeit WWII vintage with a barrel so worn that I sometimes think the bullets come out sideways. My proposal is that they be required to be registered; those would be the only weapons required to be registered, but the clips also would need to be registered. There would be no enforcement for weapons remaining in an individual's possession; however, if he tried to sell it, or transfer it, or leave it to an heir, it would be a criminal offense if it was not registered, and the weapon would be subject to penalties, and perhaps seizure. But compliant weapons would not be registered or subject to seizure, nor could registered weapons be seized. There is NOTHING SPECIFIC OR IMPLIED IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT PREVENTING MANDATORY GUN REGISTRATION.

Well, I have more ideas, but this ia a long enough treatise for now. I respect your feelings about guns, but no one is served by telling only half the truth.
Damb! DILLON That's a heck of a rant! Thanks ! And Yes I learned something!
Ray
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Location: West Midlands, England, UK

Re: Gun control

Post by Ray »

Dillon, that's about the most balanced commentary on the issue I have ever seen. I'm impressed.

I'm from the UK, a country which abhors gun ownership and gun fetishisation. Yet I remain impressed by many of the points you make. I still think the USA's obsession with guns is sick, but if more like you stood up and said similar, some form of accommodation might be found.
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