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July 26, 2012

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As for longevity, the very strict German gun laws have a loophole that exempts firearms made and acquired before 1871. One can own those legally without a permit (provided they were in the family and not sold once since the founding of the Prussian led German Empire).
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I'd have some modest but highly indecent propopsals that would violate the posting rules, so I'll keep them to myself.
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Btw, can anyone here tell me, whether rifle grenades are covered by the current 2nd amendment jurisprudence (early models were known when the US were founded, so there would be even an originalist argument)?

"In reality-land, we know that no elected Democrat, anywhere, is planning "to take them all away"."

At this point, given the political realities, it's more like a wistful day-dream, rather than a "plan". Like a retired SS guard dreaming of genocide... It's not paranoid to think he'd like to turn you into a lamp shade, perhaps paranoid to think he's got a shot at it. But why hasn't he got a shot at it? Only because you won't let him. If you ever relaxed for too long, who knows? You might end up wrapped around a light bulb.

"Never again" is not the same as paranoia. A close relative, perhaps, but not the same. And eternal vigilance IS the price of liberty.

And the kind of efforts you deny were taking place, within the memory of way too many gun owners for your denials to have any effect.

Oh, and he didn't have "tactical armor". He had a "tactical vest". Which is to say, a shirt with a lot of pockets, and the all the bullet stopping potential of a regular t-shirt.

Finally, "One consequence, I deduce, is that there is a growing number of firearms owners who are building *arsenals*: collections of weapons and ammunition that have no sane, legal use."

This is the kind of "reasoning", and I use the word loosely, that sets the teeth of gun owners on edge. Millions of guns people like you insist have no sane, legal use, and yet, somehow, defying all laws of nature, virtually none of their owners put them to insane, illegal uses.

The purpose here? To inspire paranoia on YOUR side, of course. To imply that people whose behavior, aside from owning more guns than you like, is perfectly innocuous, are threats to the community. To suggest that it's perfectly reasonable to bring the jack booted heel of the government down on people who are minding their own business.

To make "take them all away" a little bit more possible.

So you're doing your part in keeping up the paranoia. Colt thanks you.

Nice start of the conversation. Must be something of a record around here for the first 'discussing gun control is equal to advocating for the Holocaust' insinuation to occur in the second (non-spam) post already. Couldn't it be Stalin for a change?
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I think, I'll get out of this before I go ALL CAPS again and start to quote actual German laws and regulations in the (non-NRA edited) original to no effect whatsoever.

See you next thread.

To suggest that it's perfectly reasonable to bring the jack booted heel of the government down on people who are minding their own business.

paranoia: you're dripping with it.

At this point, given the political realities, it's more like a wistful day-dream, rather than a "plan". Like a retired SS guard dreaming of genocide

And to think, sometimes we treat you seriously and try to discuss things with you.

I really can't draw the conclusion you draw. One chart talks about percentages, the other about absolute numbers of guns. The text and chart shows a change in preference from long guns to hand guns. So less assault weapons?

In a country of 365M people the chart tracks about 3M guns per annum(so 1% of people or maybe 2% of those over 20?) could account for all of the sales with no one buying 2 in any year. That, of course, doesn't count the new popularity of ranges where they provide guns to people who enjoy target shooting, so they have to buy some.

I just can't get to a large number of fanatical hoarders from the information provided.

And I don't own a gun, no guns were allowed in my house, even toy ones, until my children were old enough to recognize the difference, then they got to have toy guns as long as they didn't remotely resemble a real one.

But the facts just don't support the histrionics. Except that more people probably did buy guns when Obama was elected because he made it clear he would outlaw them given the opportunity. Or maybe other people heard "clinging to their guns and religion" differently.

Well, think about it. Pointing out the use of paranoia in gun marketing and its apparent success as evidenced by increased gun sales makes liberals feel paranoid, thereby making them more likely to advocate the confiscation of guns, thereby validating the fears of those who buy guns out of paranoia.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Furthermore, since your paranoia makes them paranoid, they're more likely to be out to get you, because you're paranoid, which means you aren't paranoid at all, since you have good reason to believe they're out to get you.

But if you aren't paranoid, they have nothing to be paranoid about, so they might not really be out to get you, which makes you paranoid for thinking they are out to get you.

Oh, crap. Catch-22 infinite loop. Way to go, Brett. You crashed the thread.

he made it clear he would outlaw them given the opportunity

What is the basis for this claim, Marty?

After watching things like Waco play out, Holocaust analogies seem kind of natural, but I suppose nobody likes being on the recieving end of a Holocaust analogy. Being cast as Bull Connor doesn't sit well, either, I expect. Though it's natural when you're opposing enforcement of a civil liberty.

It is a cycle of paranoia, on both sides, and I'd say the way out is to just Drop The Topic. STFU about it for a decade or two. Crime rates are dropping, mass murders are rare, would probably be rarer still if they weren't a sure route to fame.

Just drop it, and let the next generation revisit the topic after tempers have settled, and memories of past attacks on this liberty have faded. My side will stop being suspicious of your side, if your side stops trying to use everything that comes along as an excuse to pass new legislation.

Aren't there any other urgent causes that need addressing, that you have to spend your time hitting this hot button?

Well, on the basis of the "clinging to their guns and religion" remark, which led directly to the banning of all religious practice and the closing and raising of all churches and synagogues in the United States in 2009, owners of 100-bullet barrel clips can't be too careful.

Mosques, natch, have proliferated deterred.

Regarding lampshades:

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1930650/pg1

Ack, comment eaten. Just as well. It's like talking to a (Godwinized) wall.

More lampshades:

http://www.prothink.org/2012/07/22/aurora-colorado-movie-theatre-shooter-james-holmes-was-most-certainly-jewish/

If Holmes is Jewish, though he strikes me as more of a Presbyterian, maybe he confused the people in that particular theater (five miles from my apartment; Columbine High School was one mile from my former house and a one-half mile from my son's elementary school) with the hopeless dim bulbs in the these two links, who were plotting to turn him into a lampshade and melt down the gold in his teeth, though it's more likely to be porcelain these days, no?

Thus the justifiable stockpiling of guns and ammo and the preventative action.

It's just like the Warsaw Ghetto. Isn't it?

The re-creation of which is the ultimate goal of sneaky Obama's nefarious plans, which we would take action against, were we not lulled to sleep.

There's a lampshade alright, and someone's wearing it on his head.

Last one to leave, turn out the light.

...mass murders are rare, would probably be rarer still if they weren't a sure route to fame.

I have to think that mass murders would be a sure route to fame (or infamy) whether gun control was a controversial topic or not. It might change the nature of some of the conversations in the aftermath of a mass murder, but I think, well, all those dead people would still attract the same amount of attention.

Now, if we all were simply to STFU about guns, would the cycle (or circle jerk) of paranoia end? Probably, yes. Would that have much of an effect on the number of mass murders or crime rates? Who knows? Probably not.

So how would it help victims of mass murders and people who live in places where rates of gun violence are high (and maybe getting higher, despite the overall rates going down)? You can argue that stricter gun laws wouldn't help, either, but then you wouldn't be shutting TFU about it anymore than anyone else.

That, and no one's going to STFU about it in these United States of America, so why bother considering that as an option?

Godwin is dead.

If your going to the movies tonight, you might want to take one of these with you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnrfq7nix-I

Drum (barrel) clip ... which until the other day I thought was a short video regarding Keith Moon's drum fills:

You never know when a wag in the back row is going stand up and start chucking spears over the heads of the moviegoers with an atlatl.

If you don't mind, I don't feel like shutting up and waiting to discuss arms control in the U.S. Everyone was told to shut up after the Giffords shooting too, but I noticed we were never given the green light by the usual suspects to resume discussion.

It always "Shh!" with Doctor Evil. Zip it.

What, we need a waiting period for discussion of these matters, but no waiting period to purchase weapons at gun shows?

Have things settled down sufficiently yet to permit First Amendment commentary on the Second Amendment?

I can very well hold the position that weapons for hunting and maybe even (on a good day) concealed carry pistols are good to go (leaving aside the fact that politically, banning them would be impossible), but that drum clips, as one example, should be banned.

Or, are they already, and the shooters (law-abiding right up until they are not; being law-abiding doesn't seem to be a predictor of whether a guy's going to shoot up a theater or not) are going to get them anyway, so what's the use?

In which case, the Federal Government should call in an airstrike on the factories that manufacture this lunacy, with appropriate leafleting beforehand to give the workers and neighbors time to evacuate.

Wait, but then I'd become paranoid and need to start stockpiling portable personal anti-aircraft weaponry.

Concealed carry permits issued last weekend in Colorado doubled to 3000 from the 1500 issued the previous weekend, before the shooting.

O.K. but I notice none of the 1500 ever seem to be on hand when the shooting starts.

Of course, the crossfire in a dark crowded theater simultaneous with the conflagration on the screen and the Dolby surround sound could severely strain the ducking reflex.

My strategy vis a vis movie-going is the $50 five-gallon armored popcorn container which protects my lap and chest, although is it difficult to see the screen. I set up the 120-oz Pepsis to either side in the cup holders, like sentries in watchtowers and I'm good to go.

A happy camper in Texas (I found out last night that Texans appreciate some good fois gras, so the State might be salvagable ... though I hear tell the wine produced in Texas tastes like urine %-) ) the other day accidentally let slip his only-partially concealed carry pistol in the grocery store checkout line and the thing went off, and the bullet bounced off his a@s (he was a hard-a@s), and the shards ricocheted around only to wound a baby and its mother nearby.

But don't talk about it yet.

In fact, wait long enough for the next incidence of blind screaming all-American insanity to occur until you open your mouths, you tasteless people, have you no respect for the dead?

It won't be long.

"Aren't there any other urgent causes that need addressing, that you have to spend your time hitting this hot button? "

Yeah, would you keep it down with the gunfire and the tear gas. We're trying to watch the movie here!

I propose that healthcare in the U.S. ....

Shh! Unconstitutional!

Well then global warming' link to weather events and drought on the ground may be ...

Llalaalalala! I said zip it. Would you like a little zip from my zipple inside my tactical vest and necktie set?

I did this routine over at TIO the other day, and it was predictive.

"you're", not "your, and vice versa, wherever it applies.

Holmes could just as well have murdered 12 and wounded scores of others in that theater by stabbing them with a butter knife.

Still, the folks with permits to carry concealed butter knifes stay home and watch Netflix, being paranoid that someone's going to steal their home theaters and ban butter.

When they take away our butter knives, only take away restaurants will have butter.

When they take away our guns, only criminals on the bug screen will have guns, and we can watch the movie in peace.

Have a good weekend, friends.

Stay in and keep all of this under your hat until the dust settles.

"bug screen"

I like it.

Leave it.

Well, if you don't want to rationally discuss a topic, shutting up probably is the best contribution you can make, as Countme-In demonstrates.

Let us discuss this rationally: We live in a technological society, where individuals have easy access to large quantities of energy, to technology beyond what their efforts alone could produce. This has numerous positive consequences for our lives, it has one rather unfortunate consequence: Anybody, if they are so inclined, is capable of causing death on a large scale.

Forget butter knives or guns. He could have driven an SUV through a crowd, and racked up as big of a death toll. As a man of more than moderate intellect, the ways he could have dealt death are numerous. Bombs, poison, fire...

Squeezing jello, that's all you're proposing. Short of a return to the cave, the capacity to deal out death is unavoidable.

So, why not attack the real problem, that he was apparently an undiagnosed nutcase? That does appear to have been the root cause here, not the means he used, available to millions who conspicuously do not use it for mass murder.

As long as he was free on the street, he could have killed, even if you denied every non-murderous person in the world a gun. Institutionalized or effectively treated, he's harmless.

So why aren't we discussing mental health, instead of gun control? Because you want an excuse to deny guns to people who aren't going to go on rampages, I would have to assume...

I believe in what the NRA says: Guns don't kill people, gun owners kill people.

Because libertarians like you also don't want to allow for adequate public funding for mental health treatment because it's YOUR TAX MONEY AND NOT YOUR PROBLEM WAAAAAAAAAAH, that's why.

Also, the dude who led with the Holocaust and got more offensive from there might not want to try to be the poster boy for rational discussion.

The Holocaust happened. That means it's going to come up in even rational discussions occasionally.

I'd say this discussion started out failing a rather low bar, given the declaration that articles owned by millions of people have no sane or legal use.

So why aren't we discussing mental health, instead of gun control?

WTF?

discuss away.

I'd say this discussion started out failing a rather low bar, given the declaration that articles owned by millions of people have no sane or legal use.

Or when you mischaracterized what declaration was actually made - that it appears that some subset of gun owners are amassing arsenals with no sane or legal use. The arsenals in question may be sanely and/or legally useless because of the quantity or quality of the articles constituting them, but that doesn't mean that no gun has a sane or legal use. And whether or not someone has actually used them insanely or illegally doesn't change that.

But the point was that people who amass such arsenals appear to be a bit paranoid about highly unlikely events, which doesn't at all apply to a guy with a few hunting rifles for shooting deer or someone who owns a few handguns and enjoys target shooting as a hobby.

(Maybe I should change my handle to "Captain Obvious.")

WTF?

You probably don't know about all of Brett's comments on mental health on this thread, which were deleted by the administrators of the site because such comments are forbidden.

Well, at least I suspect that's what happened. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

Mr. Bellmore, you say you want to discuss this rationally. I'll take you at your word, despite my misgivings based on your posts. So, let's start from the other angle - why, despite the wildly relaxed gun-ownership laws in the US, is the death toll by gunshot, and the incidence of 'massacres' (multiple, apparently random victims) so extraordinarily high here? Where else in the world do you see any numbers even approaching this level? Is there any world-wide correlation (screw causation at this point) between ownership laws and these numbers?
Incidentally, why is it that the NRA allows the government to restrict gun ownership in _clear defiance_ of the 2nd Amendment? After all, I may not own a variety of 'arms', and some 'arms' I may only own after going through a very onerous and uncertain application effort. All I hear is this constant drumbeat that right to bear arms must not be infringed [upon], and yet it already is, has been and presumably will continue to be. If the existing infringements are acceptable, why not others? Where does the line get drawn, and by whom? Is it based on public safety? Surely not. Is it based on desperate testosterone fantasies of men uncertain about their masculinity? Perish the thought! Please enlighten me - what are your considered opinions?

Brett's comments so far have been a very useful illustration of how paranoid delusion has soaked into gun culture. The idea that gun control led to the Holocaust is an urban legend, aka a lie. One might even call it a Big Lie.

CCDG wrote:

he made it clear he would outlaw them given the opportunity. Or maybe other people heard "clinging to their guns and religion" differently.
I sure *did* hear it differently, and I think your leap from "clinging" to "outlaw them" is another illustration of what I mean by "paranoid" and "delusional".

Obama was talking about people who try to make themselves feel better by clinging to security blankets, instead of working to change their situation or the things that are actually hurting them. Twisting that into a plan to "outlaw guns" is willful mis-reading: paranoid. illogical. delusional.

your leap from "clinging" to "outlaw them" is another illustration of what I mean by "paranoid" and "delusional".

I think it would be best to stick with correction of misconceptions and the like. Psychoanalysis at a distance should be considered off-limits, IMHO.

I think that's a bit much, I can assure you it is neither illogical nor delusional. Nor a willful misreading of the implications of the statement Jumping all the way to outlawing guns period is only a little paranoid due to the unlikelihood.(?)

Your facts still don't support your conclusion all name calling aside.

"Psychoanalysis at a distance should be considered off-limits, IMHO"

Some professionals disagree, though I wonder if the psychiatrist in question sits facing away from the patient on the other end of SKYPE.

http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/weekly/aa120798.htm

Doctor, I'm concerned about my brother. He thinks he's a chicken.

Dr. Quackenschvantz: That's a common and harmless delusion. Why does it worry you?

Because he also carries an AK-47 with a drum clip around the hen house.

Dr. Q: Why don't you turn him in?

Well, I could use the protection. Also, shut up.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/07/26/nugent-doubles-down-claims-aurora-shooter-could/187343

I propose a federal mandate that mentally ill individuals who stockpile weaponry and ammo also be forced to carry a watermelon at all times, the better to improve the aim of tough guys.

If you're Vince Foster, make like a cantaloup.

It's always melons with these guys.

Ted Nugent and Glenn Beck lament that they weren't in the theater that sad day.

I'm sorry they weren't there too.

Call me crazy, but I think Glenn Beck is a chicken.

I'm sorry I wasn't in the theater the day Nugent stalked around stage with a machine gun on either hip and threatened HRC and BHO to "suck on these, motherf*ckers!".

I would have had maybe just a few paranoid seconds to squeeze a few jello shots off.

Brett, keep track of your hat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9OUIk4Oaq4&feature=fvsr

work watchable and listenable.

In fact, invite everyone from the cubicles to watch too and then take the rest of the day off.

"So, let's start from the other angle - why, despite the wildly relaxed gun-ownership laws in the US, is the death toll by gunshot, and the incidence of 'massacres' (multiple, apparently random victims) so extraordinarily high here?"

So, why does the death toll by gun-shot, if it's supposedly driven by said "wildly relaxed" gun ownership laws, not more visibly correlate with those laws? Why do we have states with relaxed laws and low death rates, strict laws and high death rates? Why do the murder rates vary by several orders of magnitude between locations with the same gun laws?

And, what makes you think the US has a particular problem with mass killings? Just because we have, in some parts of the country, a problem with shootings, and a mass shooting occurs here every few years?

Maybe you want to find some statistics on this particular problem before assuming it's worse here?

And, what makes you think the US has a particular problem with mass killings?

all the dead people

But other than that, let's wait until the dust settles and all of the conclusions get laid end to end, so we won't be surprised.

he made it clear he would outlaw them given the opportunity. Or maybe other people heard "clinging to their guns and religion" differently.

If it is logical to infer that Obama meant "I'm planning on confiscating private guns" when he talked about people clinging to guns and religion, isn't it just as logical to infer that Obama plans on eliminating religious practice in the US? If that is not a rational inference, why is it rational to infer that Obama plans on confiscating all guns?

So, CCDG, do you believe that Obama is planning on eliminating all religious practice in the US? If not, why not?

If I had 20 minutes to do it (instead of the 2 minutes I really had), I could write more words with a quill and an ink well than I could type out on a keyboard. You know, because 20 minutes to just too much time for keyboard use, but just the right amount of time for using a quill and ink well. Or something.

The Nuge is supposedly one of the few 70's rock stars that didn't use drugs. A lot of good that did him.

Tom Tomorrow often has useful and amusing things to say, including about this issue. It's from the Gabby Gifford massacre, but these things do tend to run together in one's mind.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j244/ColoradoGuy/TomTomorrowGuns.jpg

(You'll have to copy and paste the url because I can't get the link to work.)

Plans to or given the real opportunity would? I would guess yes on the second. For both. Anyone who can express such disdain for them so casually is quite suspect in my book.

delusion and paranoia and guns. what a great political movement!

A certain amount of paranoia is as American as apple pie, which is why I have a taste tester standing by when I'm in the mood for pie, but what I like is how America can leverage paranoia with the big political talk radio bucks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMv7XvOYPLs&feature=related

Allow me to engage my paranoia. The Colorado shooting was brought to you by Sturm and Ruger and other gun manufacturers, given the sales pop over the last couple of years and their fast and furious gun-running in the U.S.

hat tip ABL

Anyone who can express such disdain for them so casually is quite suspect in my book.

Er...where is the disdain? If I say, "miserable people often eat ice cream to feel better", would you assume that I will eliminate all the ice cream in the world as soon as I get the opportunity?

The mass shooting thing is really a red herring. The numbers are tiny. It's a tragedy, of course, but the real worry is the overall rate of violent assault and how guns play into that.

I'm not for banning guns. Really, I'm not. However, I cannot for the life of me understand how limits on, say, magazine size or requiring background checks and some training are liberty-destroying jackbooted fascism.

Brett: why not fully automatic weapons? Why not RPGs? Shoulder-launched surface-to-air missles?

Where can the line be drawn?

What objective information we have indicates that Obama is a religious person.

No lunatic carrying a pair of muskets and a beltful of flintlock pistols was ever likely to take out more than 2 or 3 people before being rushed and overwhelmed. The invention of repeating pistols and rifles 150 years ago changed that.
The dangerousness of firearms is based on three things: (1) rate of fire; (2) concealability; and (3) ammunition capacity. Let's see if we can come to some reasonable common ground here.
(1) Rate of Fire: Under current law, automatic-fire weapons are illegal for civilian use, with exceptions not worth talking about. Anybody aganst that? Nothing more than that is feasible. Semi-automatic fire (one pull of trigger, one round fired, no working a bolt, pump, lever, or hammer for the next shot) is a technology more than a hundred years old with obvious utility, and I can't see any support for anything that would restrict civilians to bolt action, lever action, or pump action rifles and shotguns, or single-action pistols. (I know, Old Slabsides, the 1911 "automatic" pistol is technically single-action, but if carried "cocked and locked" it is functionally indistinguishable from a double-action.)
(2) Concealability: Any objection to barrel-length restrictions and folding-stock restrictions on long guns for civilian use? (Let me add here that restrictions on things like bayonet lugs and flash suppressors, though they have no legitimate civilian use, are silly. Are we really worried that thugs will slap bayonets on their daddies's WWI or WWII surplus rifles, often used unmodified as hunting guns, and lead bayonet charges?)Handguns are, pretty much by definition, concealable, and I don't know how you would regulate that short of outright bans, which few support.
(3) Ammunition capacity: Can we agree that 100-round drum magazines have no legitimate civilian use and ought not to be available? In civilian self-defense situations, you almost never see a firefight for which large ammunition capacities are relevant. Usually the job gets done (or it doesn't get done at all) either by brandishing the gun without firing a shot, or by putting a round or two -- or maybe three -- into or near the attacker. Six-shooters and 7+1 shot Army issue pistols have been around for over a century, and aren't going anywhere. Although in principle I could support magazine limits, once you get past those numbers, the choice among feasible alternatives for handguns is essentially arbitrary. (I often suspected that the 10-round limit in the now-lapsed federal law was a sop to Colt Industries, competing with 13-14-shot 9mm. pistols from Europe.) We've probably hit the limit for ammo capacity in pistols without extended magazines (which sort of defeats the prurpose of a handgun), and I don't see any value in fighting over 10 v. 12 v. 14. As for long guns, why extended magazines at all?
That brings us to background checks, training requirements (at least as rigorous as those required to drive a car), registration, and insurance. Can we work something out here?

"Plans to or given the real opportunity would? I would guess yes on the second. For both. Anyone who can express such disdain for them so casually is quite suspect in my book."

Yes, and everybody complains about the weather but they never do anything about it.

Man, Dobe, and I thought I, Maynard, was the far-out one.

I think you misheard the President's words. I guess he gets no credit for subtlety.

Listen to the tape again. I don't think he said "They'd kill US if they could", with the emphasis on "US", which would imply intent on the part of the President to take action of some kind.

I think he said "They'd kill us if they could", which is merely an accurate observation, to my mind, by a guy who noticed some fairly heavy gunning up among the usual suspects coincident and follwing the election of the first black liberal President, without any noticeable inclination on his part to do anything about it.

Although I admit to stockpiling broccoli after BUSH I threatened with obvious disdain to ban the bitter vegetable.

I figured I could sell it later into a captive market but now Judge Scalia wants to put the kibosh on that.

"So, why does the death toll by gun-shot, if it's supposedly driven by said "wildly relaxed" gun ownership laws, not more visibly correlate with those laws?"

There is, in fact, a statistically significant correlation.

There is, in fact, a statistically significant correlation.

Anyone making either end of that argument (Brett, looking at you, here) should have cites. I mean, "in fact" sort of states outright that there's data to support it. Why not point to that data?

If you regularly go to the firing range, buying a couple thousand rounds in bulk actually makes sense. I am told you can go through that much in a couple of weekends.

If the Aurora killer was wearing only plate holders, its only because he didn't bother buying the armor plates since best I can tell they're easily bought over the internet.

Short of banning all guns, AFAIK something no one credible advocates, I'm not sure there's a gun law that can stop mass shootings. Generally these guys have no criminal or mental health record as their first criminal act is the mass shooting. Without a record there's no reason to not sell them a gun.

That said, there definitely are ways to mitigate the damage done by these bozos. Magazine size limits for a start; while 1 is too small I'd definitely say 100 is too large. Restricting body armor seems like a good idea, Beefing up funding for mental health services sounds like a good idea too. This is not an exclusive list of ideas of course.

"That brings us to background checks, training requirements (at least as rigorous as those required to drive a car), registration, and insurance. Can we work something out here?"

Not if your starting point here is treating an explicitly guaranteed civil liberty like a mere privilege.

So you support a constitutional amendment explicitly limiting gun ownership rights so that we can enact a sensible policy, Brett?

"Not if your starting point here is treating an explicitly guaranteed civil liberty like a mere privilege."

The second amendment protects the right of people to keep and bear arms (I'll leave aside the issue of what the "well regulated militia part means). I think a key issue for most people is what "arms" means. The right to have a fully automatic weapon, for example, is already limited. As many posters have pointed out upthread, assault weapons and large magazines can legitimately be limited in the same way. The issue to me is the right to bear which arms?

No, I severely disagree with you about what constitutes "sensible" policy.

As I've repeatedly said, the dude could have hopped into an SUV, and racked up the same death toll by driving through a crowd. Might even have found it easier! He wouldn't have had to park and walk into the theater, and getting the SUV would have been easier.

Why didn't he? I suppose because Hollywood doesn't endlessly spin off movies glorifying killing people with cars.

Doesn't matter, he could have. So why endlessly obsess about his means, when the problem was his end?

"That brings us to background checks, training requirements (at least as rigorous as those required to drive a car), registration, and insurance."

That's what I was responding to.

To respond to you, the 2nd amendment is supposed to put American citizens at parity with American soldiers. To guarantee Americans "Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier", in the words of Tench Coxe.

He could have driven an SUV through a crowd, and racked up as big of a death toll.

Brett, there is not doubt that this is true. So why is it that we have so many more cases of individuals deliberately using guns to kill lots of people than we have of individuals deliberately using SUVs to do it? There must be something behind so consistent a selection.

I have my own theories, of course. But I'd be really interested in your take on why this is so.

P.S. I'm not finding "blame Hollywood" particularly convincing.

But I realize you just sort of tossed that off. Surely you have a more solid reason than that.

I see no answer to the questions about fully automatic machine guns, rockets, missles, etc. Those are "every terrible implement of the soldier." So are high explosives, artillery pieces and fully operational main battle tanks for that matter (though expense would limit the last two).

Where is the line for you, Brett, and why?

Then the soldiers who bought it in the theater were vastly outgunned.

Who were the smart guys who told them to leave their firepower at the base?

They ought to have rolled up to the theater in a convoy with air cover and swept the joint with grenades and mortar fire before approaching the popcorn stand, or in the sailors' case, arrived in a carrier task force.

Whaddaya mean you're out of Skittles? Geez, first there are no chemical weapons in Iraq and now this. Can somebody pu-lllease get some decent intelligence?

"Static .... Roger, snackboydown, the target is out of Skittles -static- awaiting orders .. over ...

Holmes' firepower was indeed "tremendous and irresistible".

Mission accomplished.

And given Coxe's dictum, the kid should have forgone any thought of an SUV, if that was a tactic he considered and rejected, and gone directly to a tank.

Let's come at it another way, then.

Disarm the military and other government paramilitary units, including the FBI.

Then a slingshot will do ya in a pinch.

Or were you depending on them for protecting property rights.

Hell of a bind it's put us in, that Constitution.

Regarding violence in movies, you may have a point, though I notice the weapons used in the movie the screen didn't actually hurt anyone, or maybe they jammed.

Solution: Less violence and more sex, and then we'd have guys lubed up and ready for action down at the local 16-plex, sans murder.

More fun, less death.

Self-inflicted wounds, maybe, like Fred Willard, but that was a victimless crime, the poor sod.

I can do this all day.

Keep providing the material, though a guy's gotta eat at some point, and I'm hungry, what about you?

What were Tench Coxe's views regarding fractional banking, the I-PAD, and the quality of the weaponry available to the American Indian tribes to fend off the U.S. Cavalry, since he studied history all the way up to 3000 A.D.?

Was he up on the Higgs boson since he possesseds 20/20 malice aforesight?

However, just to show how open-minded I am about this subject and given to turning on a dime, I think the voters disenfranchised by Governor Corbett and his cronies in the Pennsylvania Statehouse ought to show up at the latter's homes with all of the terrible implements they can muster, because I have no doubt Corbett would be happy to do a Kent State on the swarthy, liberal citizenry using the Pennsylvania National Guard.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/07/26/making-it-up-as-they-go-along-2/

"I have my own theories, of course. But I'd be really interested in your take on why this is so."

I expressed my theory: Hollywood endlessly glorifies shooting people. The music industry has made celebrities of hoods. Our mass media are full of images of people shooting people.

The dude is now a celebrity. Shooting people got him the fame he probably craved. Would running people over have accomplished it? Hard to say, the occasional vehicular homicide doesn't get pushed so hard by the media, no political salience.

And to point out it IS political salience driving this, look at reportage of incidents where somebody uses a gun to save lives. Or rather, non-reportage... Doesn't deliver the "right" message, reporting on positive uses of guns.

Why obesess about his means? Because there is no reason why it should be legal for a private party to have the means he had. Saying that he could have used an SUV instead (which is not in a practical sense very realistic) dodges the issue: why is the means he used legal when there is not other purpose for a private person to have access to those means except to do what he did?

Cars are for transportation. The huge amount of ammo he bought was for killing large numbers of people.

Brett, how can you disagree with me about what constitutes sensible policy when I haven't proposed a policy? Beyond that, do you have a sensible policy of your own in mind, or do you think it's okay for people to have unfettered access to whatever manner of personal weaponry they desire?

And why are you so hung up on those who lose it and gun down a bunch of random strangers, as though this is the only problem with gun possession? There are plenty of crimes committed with guns, including murders, of an entirely different nature than random mass shootings. I don't think I should have to tell you that random mass killings constitute a small percentage of crimes committed with guns, even if you limit it to murders. (And we can leave aside accidents for the moment.)

At any rate, do you think there could be any sort of legislation that might reduce the number of people killed or injured by guns, leaving aside for the sake of argument the current language in the US Constitution?

Well done, Doc. Perhaps there is another industry that employs the same marketing model?

As for gun control: Liberals must arm.

"Saying that he could have used an SUV instead (which is not in a practical sense very realistic)"

Oh, really? I invite you to go stand in front of a moving SUV, and demonstrate how it leaves you intact as it bounces off you. No, killing mass numbers of people by the simple expedient of driving a car through a crowd is entirely "practical", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lxvF9ZndY0>it's been done multiple times. (I could provide many examples, just don't want to trigger the spam filter.) Doesn't get a lot of press coverage when it happens, compared to shooting people, perhaps because few people in the media want cars banned.

What would have stopped him? Couldn't get over the curb? Can't find locales where large numbers of people congregate within reach of cars? The first body would bring the car to a stop? Tell me, since you're so sure about this, why it's not very realistic. (Even though it happens, and most people have the means readily at hand.)

"Brett, how can you disagree with me about what constitutes sensible policy when I haven't proposed a policy?"

Because you've proposed amending the Constitution, and I believe the current one represents sensible policy.

"There are plenty of crimes committed with guns, including murders, of an entirely different nature than random mass shootings. I don't think I should have to tell you that random mass killings constitute a small percentage of crimes committed with guns, even if you limit it to murders."

And people who commit crimes with guns represent a tiny fraction of people who own those guns. I am generally opposed to laws which impact enormous numbers of people per actual problematic incident averted, and even more opposed to laws which in practice can't actually avert the incidents, because gun control laws are about as effective at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, as drug laws are at keeping drugs out of the hands of users.

All gun control laws manage to do is alter the ratio of gun ownership between criminals and the law abiding in an unfavorable direction, making criminals more secure. They have practically no effect on the ability of criminals to arm themselves.

It's all pain, and no gain, IOW. Unless you're irrationally opposed to gun ownership by the decent and law abiding, leading you to put it all on the gain side.

Still nothing about where the line can be drawn. Automatic weapons (yes, no?, why?), RPGs (yes/no, why), shoulder-launched surface to air missles (yes, no, why)?

This is not an unreasonable question, Brett. Yet you keep ducking it. Why?

As for your media theory, I don't think it checks out. I happen to agree that our movies & TV are terribly violent and that this is bad. But I think that's the symptom, not the disease. The violence came first, then the entertainment, in other words.

Because you've proposed amending the Constitution, and I believe the current one represents sensible policy.

The second amendment isn't a policy, but a statement of general principle. Amending the constitution isn't a policy, either. We have existing gun laws, which do constitute policy. Do you agree with all of them, since they've thus far been allowed to stand as being constitutional?

I am generally opposed to laws which impact enormous numbers of people per actual problematic incident averted, and even more opposed to laws which in practice can't actually avert the incidents, because gun control laws are about as effective at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, as drug laws are at keeping drugs out of the hands of users.

Do you think more people would do heroin if you could walk into CVS and buy it over the counter? Do you think fewer people would take percocet if it were banned? Well, never mind that. It's probably not relevant.

So you believe there should be no restrictions on gun ownership whatsoever, as a practical matter of effectiveness, even without the second amendment? Is that it?

i'd probably be OK with regulating access and ownership of guns as strictly as we regulate access and ownership of SUVs.

All gun control laws manage to do is alter the ratio of gun ownership between criminals and the law abiding in an unfavorable direction, making criminals more secure.

sheer nonsense.

stricter gun access laws could have stopped Psycho Sideshow Bob from ever becoming a criminal - since, you know, he wasn't a criminal until the moment he walked into that theater.

I'm working on an updated version of the board game "Clue" to reflect weaponry absolutism.

Colonel Mustard is in the billiard room with the gatling gun and a glass of sherry, struggling with his tactical cummerbund.

Mrs. Peacock is in the breezeway behind the wheel of the biggest SUV in the world.

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+biggest+suv+in+the+world&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=dJgSUNDyBYno9ASM9YDQAQ&ved=0CIcBELAE&biw=800&bih=461

Professor Plum is in the kitchen testing the Brushed Stainless Prep 10 Food Processor with a carrot to prepare for his next victim.

Miss Scarlet is sitting in the conservatory lifting one cheek at intervals and issuing forth with absolutely deadly killer farts.

The butler is greeting Inspector Poncybritches, who is waving a single shot pistol around, at the front door and explaining: "Really, Inspector, you don't expect us to be fooled by that thing do you. Be a good fella and just draw your chalk outline around the entire house and be done with it."

I was in Colorado yesterday (where the company was more than agreeable) and missed the early stages of this.

1. Line drawing--I've done this before: "To KEEP and BEAR arms", when written referred to a weapon that could be carried by one person and fired once with a single trigger pull. That's where I would draw the line. Portable, one trigger pull, one shot. No grenades, missiles, F-16's.

2. Would Obama and Democrats severely restrict gun sales and ownership if politically feasible? Sure, in a heart beat. He and they won't because it's political suicide, and not for any other reason. They say otherwise, but they don't mean it. Kind of like Obama saying he believed marriage was between a man and a woman. Sure, that's what he believed.

3. Paranoid gun owners? Maybe, some. In the early Clinton years, the first round of actual limitations on single trigger pull, single shot firearms was passed. The effect: the firearms industry did huge volumes of business before the law came into effect. I bought a dozen pistols myself, mostly for resale. One of my firearms clients had the best year, sales-wise, in company history as a result of that round of legislation (feel good legislation is often perverse: as a part of the anti-drunk driving campaign, many states, Texas included, passed a law making it illegal to serve a drunk. What happens when you quit serving a drunk? He/she hops in the car and drives to the next bar. Result? You've put a drunk on the road.)

Back then, it wasn't paranoia that drove gun sales, it was reality. That was the first move toward true gun control. It was real and people reacted.

Which is not to say the NRA isn't above waving the bloody shirt to raise funds and energize its base. Everyone plays hot button politics these days.

4. Assault-style weapons? I have friends who own these. I get it, but it's not my deal. They lack the accuracy of a scoped-hunting rifle and I've never had the need to lay down a field of fire even at a rifle range. The analogy is a fast car or motorcycle. It's fun, apparently, to fire off a bunch of shots at a target. There are competitions where this is precisely the goal. I've known Class II (or is it Class III) firearms dealers who collected functioning machine guns. Odd guys, everyone of them, but not a risk to the public or anyone else.

5. Owning large numbers of guns = paranoia? Ok, I was paranoid at one time, apparently, but have out-grown it. In the late 90's, my gun collection (rifles, pistols and shotguns--mostly shotguns) was at or above 60. I hunted avidly then and would often shoot a dozen different rifles, pistols and shotguns over a single three day weekend. Now I golf and my gun collection is down to a dozen or so and I've used only a couple of shotguns sporadically the last 5 years. If I have a disorder, it's OCD--whatever I do, I do a lot.

6. Self defense? When I was twelve and taking care of my younger brother and sister (at night, parents were out), someone kicked and banged on our back door. Our dogs when nuts in a way I'd never seen before. I loaded my single shot 20 gauge, scared out of my mind, while my brother called a neighbor. Whatever was going on that night, if it had been something really awful, I had a weapon, it was the right weapon for the situation, I knew how to use it and we were better off with it than without it.

Assault weapons are sh*tty home defense weapons. Shotguns or pistols are the ticket. The need comes up very rarely, but when it does, there is no substitute for a gun.

7. The 2nd Amendment--fortunately, has been construed to mean what I've always thought it said, that the right to keep and bear is a personal and not a collective right. Many on the left would have it otherwise, which is in keeping with my general view that that quarter of the left doesn't think much of the constitution when it gets in the way of preferred policy solutions. I am with Brett on this, up to a point. The 2nd Amendment is not a constitutional guarantee that every citizen can match the military weapon-for-weapon.

8. The gun control debate--both sides are right. The ready availability of firearms includes ready availability to mass murderers. The flip side--the vast majority, millions and millions of adult Americans, own and use guns legally and responsibly. The practical side: the genie is out of the bottle. The number of guns in circulation is so large, not a damn thing can or should be done about it. It's life in America.

the left doesn't think much of the constitution when it gets in the way of preferred policy solutions

many on the left think the Constitution doesn't say what you think it says. that doesn't mean they don't think much of the Constitution, they just think you're wrong about what it says.

and many would be happy to change the Constitution to accommodate their particular policy preferences. but again, that's different from not thinking much of it.

but, i suppose your fantasy left is probably easier to defeat in the little skirmishes you set it to.

1. Line drawing--I've done this before: "To KEEP and BEAR arms", when written referred to a weapon that could be carried by one person and fired once with a single trigger pull. That's where I would draw the line. Portable, one trigger pull, one shot. No grenades, missiles, F-16's.

(...)

7. The 2nd Amendment--fortunately, has been construed to mean what I've always thought it said, that the right to keep and bear is a personal and not a collective right.

As someone who could easily be characterized as being on "the left," I'd like to express my agreement on these interpretations, leaving aside the practical matter of the genie being out bottle expressed later in your comment.

Welcome back MckT. You've been missed.

"I am with Brett on this, up to a point."

Pretty much everyone here is.

Sussing his precise demarcation point is the elusive game afoot.

We've flushed out intimations of limits on movie genres, but that's neither a trophy nor a substantive meal.

I once brained a rattlesnake with a three iron on a golf course.

No, I didn't.

But I've laid down a field of fire on the golf course with a series of unlimited rapid fire mulligans, so I'm not above stretching the rules, but I look around sheepishly when I kick the golf ball out of the rough, being paranoid that I'm going to be caught out.

On my rare golf outings, I stick a baseball bat in my bag and when my aim is off with the clubs and mass murder is right around the corner, I've been known to throw the golf ball up and whack it straight towards the green with a Louisville Slugger.

Any weapon in a pinch.


Sussing his precise demarcation point is the elusive game afoot.

I sometimes question my own sanity, given my efforts at such. Should I really care? Might I spend this time reading a good book, playing the guitar, exercising or, heck, working?

the left doesn't think much of the constitution when it gets in the way of preferred policy solutions

You've edited my qualifiers.

Welcome back MckT. You've been missed.

Thanks. Been out and about.

I sometimes question my own sanity, given my efforts at such. Should I really care?

Yes, you should. I often want to know what limits lefties would put on X or Y because it helps define the debate.

Brett, it's a fair question: where is the line, if there is a line, on what weapons a private citizen might keep and bear?

Objection, asked and answered. He's answered in other forums, too. Every American should have access to anything a US foot soldier might carry on his person into the field, including grenades.

"Brett, it's a fair question: where is the line, if there is a line, on what weapons a private citizen might keep and bear?"

As in most purely political negotiations this question is never answered by either side. The line is never where either side would like so any discussion of moving it gets the circular answers, or the extreme positioning.

Sure, it's a great question. But any move to say "well guns are basically ok within limits" smashes the emotional lever for the left and any move to say "yes it's obvious some significant limits are ok" does the same to the right.

Any hint of compromise gets interpreted as capitulation to the "logic" of the others argument.

So we get endless negotiation FUD.

Phil: Objection, asked and answered.

Brett: To respond to you, the 2nd amendment is supposed to put American citizens at parity with American soldiers. To guarantee Americans "Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier", in the words of Tench Coxe.

This isn't a line, or even an answer. It's a vague allusion that avoids the question.

Soldiers have M-1 Tanks. How about citizens? Tactical nukes? Gas? Bunker busters? There's a line out there somewhere, even if both soldiers and civilians are on the same side of it.

Yes, he's answered in a forum where the theoretical is the hill we die on.

But I'll bet you that if he's walking through the parking lot at the local 8-plex with his family, licking his chops in anticipation of the latest 3-D extravaganza of violence and he see's a guy in a tactical vest with a couple of wicked looking killing machines hotfooting it to the ticket counter, Brett's dialing the government for back-up on his cell phone.

The 121 SUVs in arrayed in the parking lot like a phalanx of murderous potentiality, on the other hand, don't phase him.

"But I'll bet you that if he's walking through the parking lot at the local 8-plex with his family, licking his chops in anticipation of the latest 3-D extravaganza of violence and he see's a guy in a tactical vest with a couple of wicked looking killing machines hotfooting it to the ticket counter, Brett's dialing the government for back-up on his cell phone."

You'd lose that bet. I grew up going to science fiction conventions where people carried naked blades a yard long, and have mourned the cultural changes that ended that. I'm comfortable with open carry of firearms. I may have irrational fears, but they're not yours.

I am comfortable with the knowledge that those about me are capable of killing me a hundred different ways, if they should chose to do so, but that they're extremely unlikely to chose to do so. You're apparently either comfortable with 99 of the hundred, or in denial about it.

Or, who knows, maybe you spend your days shivering in fear...

This isn't a line, or even an answer.

Not only that, but it's only a response, AFAICT, to the question of how he interprets the 2nd amendment. One could agree with his interpretation and still think it doesn't allow for effective policy, which is why I asked him if he thought there was any potential policy that would be effective in reducing gun violence, putting aside the current language of the 2nd amendment, or allowing for further amending the constitution to accommodate such policy.

These are two separate, if related, questions - How do you interpret the constitution? and - What policy do you think would be effective, if any (constitutional considerations aside)?

So far, it seems Brett's answers are: The constitution guarantees a free-for-all regarding personal arsenals and a free-for-all regarding personal arsenals is the only possible effective policy, anyway.

Perhaps he'd like to offer corrections on those points in the event that I'm wrong about his positions.

Or, who knows, maybe you spend your days shivering in fear...

I don't personally, but there are people who do (perhaps not literally) for good reason, because they live or work in dangerous places, dangerous in no small part because of gun violence. But fnck them, right?

Sure, it's a great question. But any move to say "well guns are basically ok within limits" smashes the emotional lever for the left and any move to say "yes it's obvious some significant limits are ok" does the same to the right.

Fair point. It's hard to get more than general agreement with this or that premise. I've asked, for example, for a left'ish consensus on the highest marginal rate that should be allowed. The response is pretty much in line with Brett's, which I take to mean 'some number less than 100%'.

Still, to stay on topic, saying 'anything a soldier can carry' implies that the purpose of the 2nd A is to put civilians on an equal firepower footing with the military. If that is the case, then either I can have an arsenal of tactical nukes and an aircraft carrier or the interpretation is wrong.

The 2nd A is a bit of an historical accident. The 'well regulated militia' language injects ambiguity. I think I have a decent sense of the drafter's general intent, which included a personal right, but the larger purpose of the 2nd A has been rendered historically moot--secession was tried once and it isn't going to happen again and we've put paid to Indian raids, so no need to call out the militia on that account. There just isn't much call these days for a local defense force to act before the feds can arrive.

Now, with that said, in some quarters on the right, the 'well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State' has as its subtext the right to rebel or to secede. That's quite a reach.

I'm comfortable with open carry of firearms.

Brett, can you give us the line? Is there a line? Can I own a nuke?

Are you comfortable with just anyone owning and openly carrying a nuke?

Thanks.

"If that is the case, then either I can have an arsenal of tactical nukes and an aircraft carrier or the interpretation is wrong."

Or maybe the average soldier carries a select fire rifle, but not a tactical nuke.

"That brings us to background checks, training requirements (at least as rigorous as those required to drive a car), registration, and insurance. Can we work something out here?"

Not if your starting point here is treating an explicitly guaranteed civil liberty like a mere privilege.

I have an explicitly guaranteed right to free speech, but I can be required, sometimes, to get a permit to exercise it. That doesn't make it a mere privilege. If you don't actually want to have a good-faith discussion of these topics, or if you think that stating your actual position on anything specific would be scary or embarassing or both, that's your right. Thanks for playing.

I just wanted to add a note about how insightful I'm finding Brett's comments about what to do concerning mental health treatment in this country. Since he brought it up he's been a continuous source of useful information and policy proposals. I'm glad he did so out of a sense of sincerity and not as a distraction.

"but I can be required, sometimes, to get a permit to exercise it."

Yeah, and if the government wants to require a license to use government run target ranges, I'm fine with that. To own, period? No, that's not how civil liberties work.

Like voting, right?

No, that's not how civil liberties work.

So you're opposed to voter registration and photo ID requirements?

Only in America are gun massacres of this kind routine, expectable, and certain to continue.

We're a large country. In the last two decades, per capita, you were more likely to be a victim in a mass shooting in Finland, Norway or Great Britain.

Can you show your math on that one?

for a left'ish consensus on the highest marginal rate that should be allowed

Fair enough. My answer is that it depends on if there are other changes to the code. If we're talking about only changing the marginal rates and leaving everything else just the way it is, I'd say the max I'd go for is 70% (with many others below it instead of our ridiculous current setup. More marginal rates is not complicated. There's a handly little chart the IRS puts out. Not hard.). If I get to make other changes (adjust capital gains to inflation and then tax as normal income, reduce or eliminate various deductions, beef up the inheritance tax...) then my top marginal rate preference would be lower, possibly a lot lower. What I really care about is effective tax rate, and the top marginal rate is only 1 factor among many.

I want the effective tax rate to be progressive. I also think the distribution of income is important context. So, as we know, the past ~30 years has seen major gains made by the top ~5% (mostly concentrated in the top 1%, and most of that concentrated in the top .1%) of earners. In that context, I want the progressivity of the system to be pronounced. I think that's a worrisome trend that warrants some counter-vailing force. If the trend were otherwise, I'd be fine with mild progressivity.

Of course, that's me. Not "The Left."

Now, back to guns:

I agree that the Constitution provides an individual right to keep and bear firearms. I'm less certain that this clearly means single-shot weapons, but I for one am happy that the interpretation even on the Right seems to be semi-auto ok, full auto not. I am not pleased with Brett's idea about "anything an infantryman might carry, including grenades" but I cannot actually point to the text of the 2nd amendment and argue it precludes such. That requires interpretation.

I do not think magazine size restriction is a violation of the 2nd amendment, but I understand the absolutist argument on that (any restriction at all = infringement on the right to bear arms and thus it's unconstitutional).

Hence, I've come 'round to the idea that in order to have some reasonable gun control measures that are actually constitutional, amendment is necessary (this includes, by the way, various restrictions already in existence that arguably run afoul of the 2nd). And yes, I know: this will not happen.

Also, too: if SUVs became the mass murders' weapon of choice, I think you'd start more restrictions on getting a drivers license and purchasing a vehicle (though we already have some restrictions in place). And that, it seems to me, would be reasonable policy. The only reason comparable reasonable policy is not available for guns is, yes, the 2nd amendment.

I do agree that the root problem is not the gun by the violent intent. But the gun helps. A lot.

"Or maybe the average soldier carries a select fire rifle, but not a tactical nuke."

One of his/her selections is fully automatic fire. And then there's the grenade launcher thing. You're really OK with that? I'm only here now and then, but it's really hard not to regard your position as preposterous trolling.

"You'd lose that bet. I grew up going to science fiction conventions where people carried naked blades a yard long, and have mourned the cultural changes that ended that. I'm comfortable with open carry of firearms. I may have irrational fears, but they're not yours."

Do I have to use the word "context"?

Also, "Or maybe the average soldier carries a select fire rifle, but not a tactical nuke.

Maybe? This is not the brand of certainty I've come to expect from you, Brett.

Be specific. What's the most firepower equal to the "terrible implements" the military uses that you are comfortable with in a civilian movie theater. The matinee.

Would you have been comfortable with the Denver shooter standing down front right up until he started strafing the audience, or was there a lag in your response while you decided where the line is?

Regarding science FICTION conferences, I attended a BeatleFest a number of years ago and there were a few John Lennon dead-ringers dressed to a T, but there were no Mark David Chapman ringers stalking them with handguns, that I know of, although come to think of it that would be one hell of an example of performance theater since many of the fest-goers were definitely into exact recreation.

I approached one of the Lennon stunt doubles in the lobby and his Yoko Ono double tackled me and set off on a high-pitched yodel that froze everyone.

Maybe she thought I was Paul McCartney.

At any rate, were there any real aliens, monsters, zombies, or ghosts at your science fiction conferences?

Do you have a problem with Trekkie conferences permitting the faux-Spock's toy light phaser into the Raddisson, but having everyone check their real terrible implements at the door.

And, if you respond that faux-Spock could just as well start killing faux-Klingons willy nilly with the Vulcan Grip, I won't shiver, but I will shake with laughter and go join hairshirthedonist with a book, a guitar, and some pushups.

I draw the line at work.

No work

The U.S. is only 4th?

Never mind.

Let's take a wait and duck attitude.

Or maybe the average soldier carries a select fire rifle, but not a tactical nuke.

Again, Brett, you've thrown down the gauntlet, others have picked it up and now you don't want to fight. "Maybe" is fudging. You are proposing a specific right. Many have asked good faith questions as to the limits, if any, you recognize as defining that right.

(Parenthetically, good points on voter ID [which I support, but that's for another day])

If you can't or won't state your position, (1) you're completely unpersuasive--no rational person will or should accept another's claim of an undefined and therefore umlimited right, (2) you are running terribly afoul of the many instances in which you've challenged others in much the same way and complained of their lack of substantive response, (3) you do a disservice to 2nd A adherents by failing to respond and (4) you impeach your implied position by tacitly recognizing that nukes may be a bridge too far.

We're a large country. In the last two decades, per capita, you were more likely to be a victim in a mass shooting in Finland, Norway or Great Britain.

Can you show your math on that one?

There have been mass shootings in New Zealand, Scotland, Norway, England and Germany that I can recall. Probably other places as well. My guess is that Germany and England have large enough populations that the per capita argument might be a close call. It is mathematically correct applied to NZ, Scotland and especially Norway.

Of course, you'd have to define 'mass shooting' and a bunch of other stuff to get the numbers exactly right. One underlying point is that even very strict gun control doesn't prevent this kind of thing. The flip side being, with strict gun control, you can't say how many instances have been prevented.

Slarti:

I'm using "delusional" and "paranoid" in a non-clinical sense, where "delusion" = "a false belief or opinion" and "paranoia" = "unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others".

CCDG wrote:

I can assure you it is neither illogical nor delusional. Nor a willful misreading of the implications of the statement.
Since I am one of the rank-and-file Democrats you implicitly say wants to "outlaw guns", I'll need more than your assurance to agree that your intepretation of my motives is better than my own.

Lay out the logic, please.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


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