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October 05, 2017

Comments

lj, far from objecting -- thank you for adding links. I hope the Count doesn't mind that we're weaving more into his good idea.

I am hoping to expand beyond Las Vegas, but that hope will probably come into conflict with my nerdy wish to be orderly rather than random. And as I've said, I've got visitors for a few days so will only be dropping in for brief moments.

Count don't mind.

Jack Beaton

Like wonkie, I feel very sad about these people whose lives were cut off too soon, and whose loved ones may never recover.

But I feel hopeless too: somebody on twitter linked to some stats from the NYT a couple of days ago showing that more people have died from gun violence in the US since 1966 than the total number of American soldiers who have ever died in any and all wars (also unacceptable, of course, in a better world), I think the numbers were 1.6m to 1.3m.

I'm with cleek: all guns in the US should be banned from private ownership, with very few and very strict exceptions indeed for hunting, and I think he came up with a good and detailed plan for how to do it and how to finance it on the other thread. The 2nd Amendment should be repealed, as a historical anachronism.

I realise not everybody, even here, agrees, but there it is: that's what I think.

I wouldn't go as far as cleek or GftNC.

But I definitely agree that we need a LOT more controls over who owns guns, what kinds of guns, how many guns, and how they are required to be secured.

I can't begin to think what's wrong:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/politicians-holding-guns-photos/317920/

Maybe Americans as a class of humans really are different. Something between angel and beast, an intermediate species of a different caste.

The Gunimal.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/two-strangers-bond-over-country-music-and-beer-then-the-shots-started/2017/10/03/d5d4541a-a846-11e7-b3aa-c0e2e1d41e38_story.html?utm_term=.1b5dbe78d4ca

That's not how pick-ups are supposed to end.

That's not how pick-ups are supposed to end.

the second amendment allows that they can.

more importantly, the second amendment requires that gunfire is a possibility in every situation; likewise it requires that being shot is also a possibility in every situation.

the second amendment mandates this.

and people fight to maintain these possibilities. they get very upset, very indignant when anyone tries to say "no, gunfire will not be a possibility in this situation." they start yelling and screaming and waving their guns, when people try to create situations where gunfire is not a possibility. they are deeply committed to making sure that in every situation in the US that one can find oneself in, gunfire a possibility.

very smart, we are not.

I think the USA is unsuited to gun controls. What it likes is tort. Make gun owners carry third-party insurance in case anyone gets hurt by their gun (including if the gun has been stolen). Make gun manufacturers liable for sudden unintended discharge incidents.

I can't see anything in the second amendment which would stop you.

they get very upset, very indignant when anyone tries to say "no, gunfire will not be a possibility in this situation."

Except in GOP presidential debates and nominating convention.

Each and every attendee should have been issued with a fully auto, fully loaded AR-15 at the door. America deserves, and NEEDS no less, amirite?

@ Pro Bono ...

I like the idea, but as I understand it the reach (and therefore the premiums) of insurance carried by gun owners would be limited by the intentional act exclusion.

In other words, the carrier would only be underwriting for accidental deaths/injuries resulting from gun ownership. That's actually a small (but tragic) percentage compared to intentional deaths/injuries.

Then you have laws like Florida's § 626.9541(1)(g)(4)(a):

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0626/Sections/0626.9541.html

which keeps insurers from charging gun owners extra beyond what is actuarily justified.

more importantly, the second amendment requires that gunfire is a possibility in every situation; likewise it requires that being shot is also a possibility in every situation.

the second amendment mandates this.

This is probably not a widely held view and is accurate only in the sense that every moment a person is alive mandates the possibility of sexual assault or some other heinous crime.

The number of guns in the hands of private citizens has more than doubled in my life time, even while the number of gun crimes has fallen. So, more guns, less crime, despite how others bend the stats. Does the presence of more guns reduce gun crime? I'm agnostic on that. Crime in general is falling for reasons that are hard to identify.

Gun statistics are widely abused. There are way more children killed in swimming pools than accidentally by guns. The vast majority of non-suicide shootings are inner city minority youths, mostly African American.

Tort liability for gun accidents bears no relationship to mass shootings. I'm a tort lawyer. I've done maybe 20 gun cases over the last 37 years, mostly product liability cases in search of a deep pocket with a small number being accidents or suicide. Actually, most of the product liability cases were negligent handling and in once case, suicide.

It is not uncommon here to have someone say there is a better chance of X (some remote contingency) than being killed in a terrorist attack before going off on how we overreact to Islamic terrorism (an unpersuasive argument in my mind, but it's still fairly common here and elsewhere on the left). If you are not a young, male African American living in a depressed inner city neighborhood, or not profoundly depressed, your odds of death or injury by firearm are quite remote, much less than operating a car in an urban environment.

Cleek and a few others are honest enough to declare their agenda and their hostility to one part of the Constitution. At least those of us who see things different know where they stand.

Somewhat related is the ongoing debate over what the 2d means. Pretty much every constitutional scholar who has looked at it agrees that it confers a personal right, i.e. the right of the people. Where the breakdown comes is "a well regulated militia being necessary to a free state." Historically, in Texas anyway, the militia was drawn from the armed population. If the Comanches raided Victoria (they did), the militia (everyone who had a gun) was called out (a whole bunch of folks showed up) and when the two got together, a big battle ensued.

The point is, back in the day, even if there was a state (there was not when the Comanches raided Victoria), it was so remote that the militia was a purely local operation, with very mixed notions of organization and whatnot. The Texans at the Alamo were militia in the sense they were armed citizens who showed up to fight under the command of three self-appointed colonels who were not entirely in agreement as to who was boss.

So, first you have your armed citizens and then you have your militia, if needed. You can't have a militia, as understood back in the day, if you didn't have the underlying armed citizens.

Is all of that business an anachronism today? Under most reasonably foreseeable conditions, yes. Might there be local, short term conditions where civil order breaks down to the point that responsible, armed citizens are deputized to act? Possible. Hopefully it never happens, but it's not impossible.


Ah, McKinney, excellent to see you - I was just thinking about you today when I saw the latest stuff exempting any employer, "regardless of whether they are religious, to refuse to include the coverage [of contraception] in their health insurance plans for moral reasons". You told me recently, when I was loosely characterising the aims of "the left" versus "the right", that it was not a project of the right to aid employers in avoiding having to cover contraception in their employees' health coverage, just a view that people should not have to act (or pay for things) contrary to their conscience. Tell me, would you still say this? And if so, what would the wording/effect have to be before you agreed that this seems to be their aim?

Sorry, a) OT and b) bad grammar, typos etc. Hopefully the sense is clear though...

You told me recently, when I was loosely characterising the aims of "the left" versus "the right", that it was not a project of the right to aid employers in avoiding having to cover contraception in their employees' health coverage, just a view that people should not have to act (or pay for things) contrary to their conscience. Tell me, would you still say this?

I recall the conversation but like a lot of other things at my age, the recollection isn't particularly precise. I don't speak for righties but am loosely associated with that side of the divide. I think it is clear that there is no consensus on the right to outlaw or limit access to birth control. For myself, I support an exception to employer-mandated health policies for birth control if there is a bona fide religious objection by the funding employer. The idea that any employer can opt out of BC coverage for any "moral" reason is well beyond my view. To me, it's analogous to being a conscientious objector. US law respects CO's but the burden is on the objector to establish his/her status.

I don't speak for righties but am loosely associated with that side of the divide.

Hmm, I hope you will grant us all the same exemption, i.e. that we don't speak for the left! However, interesting (and good) to hear that you think it is clear that there is no consensus on the right to outlaw or limit access to birth control., but if so it is certainly strange that attempts to limit such access seem to surface so often from your side of the divide.

Again, apologies to everyone for going OT in this way.

it is clear that there is no consensus on the right to outlaw or limit access to birth control.

This is indeed true. But while a majority of Republicans are in favor of access to birth control (including the access that the administration has just acted to limit), somehow it is always Republican legislators who are pushing for limiting access. Which definitely gives the entirely understandable impression that the right opposes allowing birth control.

It may be only a subset of the right, consisting of the religious fundamentalist right. But it still looks the same.

"...somehow it is always Republican legislators who are pushing for limiting access. [to BC]"

When the GOP 'big tent' covers theocrats, Nazis, Klansmen and Russian-suborned traitors, that tent is too damned big.

Not my job to fix it, though. Unless by 'fix it', you mean 'burn it down'.

When the GOP 'big tent' covers theocrats, Nazis, Klansmen and Russian-suborned traitors, that tent is too damned big.

When the chips are down, Snarki, your snark is just so ... so ... Yeah, that's why I'm not you.

Yeah, that's why I'm not you.

I meant that in a good way! Keep it going, Snarki.

Pretty much every constitutional scholar who has looked at it agrees that it confers a personal right, i.e. the right of the people.

meh.

also, too: we're no longer back in the day.

last but not least: when the 2nd A was drafted, TX didn't exist.

when the constitution was under discussion, states were leery of surrendering sovereignty to the feds. among other things, they did not want the feds to be able to impose it's will on them through military force.

so they insisted on retaining the institution of of the citizen militia, operating under the control of local civil government, per the direction of congress.

what that looked like, exactly, was codified in the militia acts of 1792. able bodied men of suitable age were not only permitted, but were in fact required, to equip themselves with a firearm, ammunition, and powder, and participate in a local, organized militia.

by 'organized' the statute meant under the direction and authority of local civil government.

that institution was basically mothballed by the dick act, because as a system of national defense it was utter bollocks. to the degree that it persists, it persists as the national guard.

if we want to go back to what the founders intended, we need to get rid of a professional standing army, replace it with citizen militia with almost universal participation, and everyone between the ages of 18 and 50 or 60 needs to roll out of bed on weekend mornings and haul their asses down to the local training ground for drills.

we don't do that. so what the founders intended by the 2nd A is kind of a dead letter.

i recognize that the US has an entrenched gun culture, and that's fine with me. not my thing, personally, but different strokes. there are many legitimate reasons to have a gun, including no particular reason other than you like to shoot and they are interesting to you. most folks that own guns use them responsibly.

want a gun? have a gun. have ten. just don't be an idiot, and don't hurt yourself or anyone else.

but what the 2nd A was talking about no longer exists.

oh yeah, wait, one other thing...

i seriously want to sign up for the thing where we can claim to be exempt from federal regulations and requirements because of religious, moral, or ethical beliefs.

i got a list as long as your arm. i want in.

if anyone gets to play by those rules, we all get to play. otherwise we are in establishment of religion territory.

i want in on that one. sign me up.

"i got a list as long as your arm. i want in."


Well there are two places this plays and I think you can play.

From a government standpoint you can convince a majority if congresspeople that your tax dollars should not be spent on anything on your list. Or taxes period.

As a private person or entity you can refuse to pay for pretty much anything you decide not to pay for.

The discussion starts when government requires a private entity to pay for something that isn't a tax or fee, in fact it is a payment from one person or company to another company or person. Not to mention when the government requires you to provide your labor to another person or company.

Then, I guess, you get to object on moral grounds.

Just get rid of the income tax on wages, jack up the rate on capital gains, and tax stock transactions (at the exchange level). Moral objectors can avoid all that stuff with ease.

And stop pretending that the US government can't make as many "money-bits" as they want.

responsible, armed citizens

"Responsible" motorized citizens register their automobiles, obtain driver's licenses, and carry insurance -- by guvmint mandate in most places.

A person who refuses to do the above is not considered a "responsible" citizen.

But "responsible" means something different when it comes to firearms. It seems to mean "any citizen with cash or credit", to many people.

And I'm still waiting for "responsible, armed citizens" to even brandish their weapons in defense of anyone's rights but their own. I don't remember "responsible, armed citizens" rising up to oppose Jim Crow, or Japanese internment, or minority voter suppression.

"We need to keep and bear arms to defend our right to keep and bear arms" is airtight logic, though.

As for McKinney's "bending the stats" comment: yeah, crime has been going down since the Baby Boom aged out of its rambunctious late teens and early twenties. It has been going down in NYC, where guns are rare, and it has been going down in rural TX, where I take it they are not. For all I know, Texans would be killing each other a lot more if they had fewer guns, and New Yorkers would be killing each other more if they didn't have so few. Statistics, bah!

Traffic deaths have been going down, too. Safety mandates like requiring motorized citizens to pay automobile makers for seat belts, airbags, crumple zones and such may have something to do with that. But so what? Here in America, owning a gun is a Constitutional right; driving is merely a privilege. Safety mandates can't "infringe" a mere privilege.

One last question: if The People have the right to vote in elections, do individual persons have the individual right to vote, e.g. whether there's an election on or not? This is a question for the Consitutional scholars here. In 18th-century American English, when literate, articulate persons like our revered Founders referred to "persons" in some cases and to "the people" in others, were they making some sort of distinction or just alternating for the sake of variety?

--TP

IIRC, Marty's previously stated policy preferences WRT firearms are sensible and rational. So the people with which we have a big argument *aren't here*.

It does require some effort to move past Cleek's Law to get to the 'rational' stuff, though.

I don't remember "responsible, armed citizens" rising up to oppose Jim Crow, or Japanese internment, or minority voter suppression.

No "rising up," but there is this:

"I'm alive today because of the Second Amendment and the natural right to keep and bear arms," declared John R. Salter Jr., the civil rights leader who helped to organize the famous sit-ins against segregated lunch counters in Jackson, Mississippi. "Like a martyred friend of mine, NAACP staffer Medgar W. Evers, I, too, was on many Klan death lists and I, too, traveled armed: a .38 special Smith and Wesson revolver and a 44/40 Winchester carbine," Salter recalled. "The knowledge that I had these weapons and was willing to use them kept enemies at bay."
How the Second Amendment Helped Civil Rights Activists Resist Jim Crow: A response to New York Times columnist Bret Stephens and his call to “repeal the Second Amendment.”

This is probably not a widely held view and is accurate only in the sense that every moment a person is alive mandates the possibility of sexual assault or some other heinous crime...

That seems pretty specious too.
You're honestly making a comparison with the cost/benefits of being alive, and having guns - whose only function is to shoot lumps of metal at lethal speeds ?

Cleek's formulation seems pretty accurate to me.

My thoughts on guns …

You can have anything short of a tactical nuke to defend your home, but you need a hell of lot more training than most states require for a carry permit.

Hyperbole aside, I think urban areas should be allowed to restrict weapons/ammo based on how close people live next to one another. When we had a crime spree in our downtown neighborhood (daylight smash and grabs), my wife wanted a gun (when she isn’t traveling for work, she’s home alone working). We restricted our choices to guns/ammo that would pose less potential harm if a stray shot went through a window.

For several years, I have volunteered at an elementary school in an economically distressed part of town (almost exclusively black and Hispanic). I teach 5th graders the basic rights guaranteed under the Constitution. As distrust of the police increases, the desire to exercise 2nd Amendment rights increases in this population. It’s sky high these days. I volunteer at a rural, economically poor, white school with the same Constitutional rights program. Support for the second amendment is unsurprisingly high there as well.

I feel like some of my well-off liberal white friends occasionally demonstrate a lack of empathy when it comes to firearm ownership.

Not that I’m an NRA supporter; far from it. On a truth-in-advertising level, they are an industry lobby masquerading as a champion of individual rights. On a public policy level, Florida’s legislature is deeper in the NRA tank than any other state that I know of (even TX). The combination of “stand your ground”, “shall issue”, no duty to inform, “take your gun to work” and permissive concealed carry is toxic.

I have no problem with registration. I have no problem with ending unregulated private sales and gun show sales. I think that the level of “proficiency” needed for a carry license should be *much* higher than a quick NRA class; periodic practical training should be required. “Stand your ground” should burn in fire … I’m a big believer in the castle doctrine, but when you step off your property, your rights vis a vis others should change considerably.

With all rights afforded by the Constitution, my exercise of freedom is limited by its impact on others (e.g., I have freedom of speech, but can't falsely yell "fire" in a crowded theater). Somewhere along the line, this natural limiting factor has almost been erased when it comes to gun ownership. My right to own and carry a gun should not unduly impact someone else's desire not to own a gun or not to be exposed to someone carrying a gun in public with minimal training.

Check out @nxthompson’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/nxthompson/status/916436542377381889?s=09

If I had skills I would tag each bullet with a link.

"I feel like some of my well-off liberal white friends occasionally demonstrate a lack of empathy when it comes to firearm ownership.

Not that I’m an NRA supporter; far from it. On a truth-in-advertising level, they are an industry lobby masquerading as a champion of individual rights. On a public policy level, Florida’s legislature is deeper in the NRA tank than any other state that I know of (even TX). The combination of “stand your ground”, “shall issue”, no duty to inform, “take your gun to work” and permissive concealed carry is toxic."

Reverse the order of those two paragraphs, with the first now becoming the consequence of the second and some sense would be made of the growing lack of empathy for firearm ownership and the Second Amendment.

As to Jim Crow, please.

I might be convinced of the efficacy of widespread gun ownership by the black population if we could read in today's history books that entire state and local governments throughout the United States, perhaps even the federal government had been violently overthrown by highly organized and armed black militias (the Klan and their local Klan police forces butchered in their beds) as Reconstruction went "south" so to speak and as Jim Crow unfolded.

And then of course the requisite "it's too soon to talk about it waiting period" of decades before Civil Rights legislation guaranteeing all of the other rights in the Constitution could get through the hard heads of the armed Democratic and Republican Parties.

And now backsliding on that, even as blacks may own weapons.

Meanwhile, three to five days, is it, has been the maximum it's too soon to talk about it waiting period for taking possession of the guaranteed Second Amendment right to possessing a weapon, or the ones waiting might just have to shoot us.

We could test this gun ownership secures all of the other rights thesis, I suppose, by issuing firearms to 800,000 Dreamers.

The current killer f*cks in charge would be happy to deport corpses and confiscate their weapons.

I suppose too the same lesson that Salter and company (and good on them) learned has gone unlearned to this day as unarmed blacks are shot in the back by law enforcement.

I didn't see any fewer bullets piercing the armed flesh of the Black Panthers and in the end, Malcolm X, in the 1960s, than I saw taking out Martin Luther King, little black kids in churches, and civil rights demonstrators.

Armed or not, they were fucked.

I'd like to see much fewer weapons in the hands of law enforcement too, including the ATF.

I grew up around guns and have fired them after training and with supervision.

Target only. I've never hunted.

I have been known to go long periods without locking the doors to my castle let alone setting up machine gun nests to protect it.

Nothing has happened. Yet that is proof of nothing.

I could, at this point in my anger about this issue, learn to appreciate gun ownership again, but it wouldn't be for personal defensive reasons.

Happily, thus far my intense dislike for firearms, especially the weapons of war, has vetoed my political and ideological demons.

And strangling those who need it takes too long.

Keri Galvan

"Reverse the order of those two paragraphs, with the first now becoming the consequence of the second and some sense would be made of the growing lack of empathy for firearm ownership and the Second Amendment."

Poor urban blacks are not the target demo for the NRA.

NRA ≠ all gun owners.

The discussion starts when government requires a private entity to pay for something that isn't a tax or fee

that's a good point, and noted.

i still got a very long list.

I feel like some of my well-off liberal white friends occasionally demonstrate a lack of empathy when it comes to firearm ownership.

hey, i guess that's me!

i have no problem with people owning firearms for personal self defense.

and, I have no problem with communities setting the bar for the conditions under which folks can and can't carry a firearm around with them in public.

i don't care if people have guns per se. i care about idiots, paranoids, and violent assholes having guns.

as should we all.

Somewhere along the line, this natural limiting factor has almost been erased when it comes to gun ownership.

this. thank you.

NRA ≠ all gun owners.

yes, but they are the public face of all gun owners.

if "all gun owners" don't want that to be so, they need to start speaking up. loudly, early and often. not just on a blog post.

you say "advocate for gun ownership", i think wayne lapierre and dana loesch. there is no conversation available to me to have with them. i don't like them very much. in fact, i despise them.

if "responsible gun owners" feel like they are being unfairly characterized as blood thirsty nutjobs, maybe they need to give the rest of us someone else to talk to.

the problem here is not all of us non-gun-owners. we don't care if you hunt, or shoot target, or keep a gun in the house for self-defense.

we aren't the problem. the people that keep shooting other people, or themselves for that matter, are the problem.

and responding to people like lapierre and loesch as if they are freaking insane death zombies is not unreasonable.

russell-

I don't have anything to say to Lapierre or Loesch either. You can add Marion Hammer to the list as well.

I'm fine with acknowledging that responsible gun owners need to speak out against NRA-gun industry craziness if you'll acknowledge that not every non-gun owner is willing to stop at not caring if we "hunt, or shoot target, or keep a gun in the house for self-defense".

Slippery slope arguments are generally lazy extrapolations, except when one side admits that they are trying to create a slippery slope.

I feel like some of my well-off liberal white friends occasionally demonstrate a lack of empathy when it comes to firearm ownership.

sorry. the ever-present state of fear in which i'm required to live has worn my empathy center down to a tiny .22-sized nub (and then scooped-out its center, just for maximum ka-blooey!).

if only i wasn't always so busy wondering if i'm going to get shot by a formerly-responsible gun owner! alas.

i'm sure you can empathize.

I'm fine with acknowledging that responsible gun owners need to speak out against NRA-gun industry craziness

in general, all gun owners are responsible gun owners, right up until the second that they do the deed that brings their last-known grainy photo into our lives.

until you can guarantee that a responsible gun owner will always be a responsible gun owner, the label says much less than you want it to. pointing out that that this particular responsible gun owner hasn't murdered a dozen strangers is just a reminder of the potential; there's always a silent "yet" at the end of the statement.

this responsible gun owner hasn't murdered a dozen strangers yet.

until then, we all have to wonder if he's going to snap at the next traffic stop, at work, in a hotel, in an elementary school, at a night club, a party, an overpass, from the truck of his car, etc..

guarantee me that responsibility is immutable and i'll start worrying about the feelings of gun owners.

Actually I can empathize as is evident from the rest of my post above, but if the snark makes you feel better then go right ahead.

Actually I can empathize...

and yet you say i'm just being snarky.

"and yet you say i'm just being snarky."

Everybody here just keeps horning into my gig, SHEESH!

True situation as yet unclear, but it seems a car has driven into pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum in London. Motor vehicles now seem the weapon of choice for terrorist attacks in Europe....

Well you know what they say, everone is a little bit Snarki.

"and yet you say i'm just being snarky."

Posted by: formerly known as cleek

I guess I was hoping it was snark because the alternative doesn't cast you in a favorable light.

Yeah, let's stick with snarky.

It has become a standard ISIS advice: If in the US, use a gun; if in another Western country, use a vehicle. I wonder why (no, I actually don't).

remember, folks, the right to have guns in order to protect yourself from gun owners is the cornerstone of freedom.

The discussion starts when government requires a private entity to pay for something that isn't a tax or fee, in fact it is a payment from one person or company to another company or person. Not to mention when the government requires you to provide your labor to another person or company.

Then, I guess, you get to object on moral grounds.


This was the point I was alluding to with my reference to conscientious objectors. As private citizens outside the economic sphere, there are few affirmative, individual requirements: paying taxes, buying health insurance, jury duty and military service if drafted. Jehovah's Witnesses are routinely excused from jury duty in Texas because they refuse to sit in judgment of others. If one is a pacifist or conscientious objector, one can avoid compulsory military service. The insurance/BC nexus is new and its the product of a federal mandate that all must adhere to. There is no long list of other gov't mandated actions one can avoid on grounds of conscience.


I have no problem with ending unregulated private sales and gun show sales. I think that the level of “proficiency” needed for a carry license should be *much* higher than a quick NRA class; periodic practical training should be required. “Stand your ground” should burn in fire … I’m a big believer in the castle doctrine, but when you step off your property, your rights vis a vis others should change considerably.

I'm not a fan of open carry for several reasons. First, walking around visibly armed is an implied threat. Second, people who think they need to walk around visibly armed probably should not be issued a license in the first place.

As far as concealed carry is concerned, the complaints about that from the gun control quarter are unsupported by evidence. Licensed fire arm carriers are one of the most if not the most law abiding cohort in society.

the people that keep shooting other people, or themselves for that matter, are the problem.

Then your problem is primarily with depressed people, secondarily with young African American inner city males and third, with young men raised in single parent households.

in general, all gun owners are responsible gun owners, right up until the second that they do the deed that brings their last-known grainy photo into our lives.

This is true for every human being. Everyone of us is a law abiding citizen until we are not. Take out "gun" and insert "vehicle" and read GFTNC's quote.

guarantee me that responsibility is immutable and i'll start worrying about the feelings of gun owners.

There is a lot of unintended irony packed into this sentence.

yes, but they are the public face of all gun owners.

the people who grab their guns and commit our daily mass-shootings get a lot more air time than the NRA ghouls who work to guarantee them their guns.

when i think of gun owners, i don't think about the NRA. the NRA are just cheerleaders. the murderers are the real stars of gun ownership.

in general, all gun owners are responsible gun owners, right up until the second that they do the deed that brings their last-known grainy photo into our lives.

This is true for every human being. Everyone of us is a law abiding citizen until we are not. Take out "gun" and insert "vehicle" and read GFTNC's quote.

I do see that this doesn't change the principle, but with the exception of Nice it seems very hard to kill the same numbers with vehicles as with, for example, bump-stocked semi-automatics. However, I don't want to tempt fate....

I do see that this doesn't change the principle, but with the exception of Nice it seems very hard to kill the same numbers with vehicles as with, for example, bump-stocked semi-automatics. However, I don't want to tempt fate....

Actually, car bombs do the most damage.

Do they, McKinney? This is a serious question, not snark. Do you mean the sort that used to be driven into e.g. the US Embassy in Beirut? But the point about driving a vehicle into a crowd versus acquiring a load of semi-automatics is that neither of them requires any specialist knowledge, unlike making a bomb that actually goes off.

Take out "gun" and insert "vehicle" and read GFTNC's quote.

yes, we've done this one before. the list of things that can kill people is a very long and sometimes humorous list (water! harhar).

but, as always, guns are designed to kill. that's their purpose. it's why they're made. and it's what they do. people get guns and use them to kill. quite often, they kill other people.

but most importantly - and again, as always, unlike a vehicle - i can buy a gun right now and nobody will know. i won't have to register it, prove i know what i'm doing before i can use it, purchase insurance on it, get my name on countless government lists, etc. etc. etc.

because gun owners refuse to let us treat the ownership of guns like the ownership vehicles, i'm going to refuse to put them in the same category when it comes to talking about casualty statistics.

also, see Hartmut's 12:29.

when i think of gun owners, i don't think about the NRA. the NRA are just cheerleaders. the murderers are the real stars of gun ownership.

Given the vehemence of your views, maybe the issue here is projection.

As far as concealed carry is concerned, the complaints about that from the gun control quarter are unsupported by evidence. Licensed fire arm carriers are one of the most if not the most law abiding cohort in society.

Posted by: McKinneyTexas | October 07, 2017 at 12:42 PM

I'm not talking about the statistics as much as a respect for the rights of non-gun owners when in public. I don't carry a weapon but I'm OK with the concept of concealed carry *if* the demonstration of proficiency required was not a joke. I should not need to worry that person next to me is carrying a hand cannon that has not been fired since they completed their afternoon NRA training session two years ago.

In other words, I'm not really concerned with people randomly going crazy like cleek seems to be, but if shit hits the fan, I want to know that if someone pulls a weapon with good intentions, they have a chance in hell of not making matters worse.

My issues with cleek's comments are the same I have with the law and order crowd: a divergence between the data and the policy response.

The law and order types see massive crime that requires suspension or erosion of the fourth and fifth amendments. They don't blink at ridiculous incarceration rates. They see all of this as a reasonable policy response.

Likewise, some gun control advocates put too high of a bar on, to use cleek's phrasing, "guaranteed" results. Like the law and order types they probably mock, they seem to be acting on irrational fear (unless you live somewhere like the projects in Chicago).

Do they, McKinney?

Yes, I believe the highest body counts are the result of car bombs. The shooter in Norway may be the exception.

but most importantly - and again, as always, unlike a vehicle - i can buy a gun right now and nobody will know. i won't have to register it, prove i know what i'm doing before i can use it, purchase insurance on it, get my name on countless government lists, etc. etc. etc.

because gun owners refuse to let us treat the ownership of guns like the ownership vehicles, i'm going to refuse to put them in the same category when it comes to talking about casualty statistics.

Every gun purchased from a gun dealer is registered at the time of purchase. The one exception is gun sales by one private citizen to another. So, here you are simply mistaken. But, don't let that stop you.

In other words, I'm not really concerned with people randomly going crazy like cleek seems to be, but if shit hits the fan, I want to know that if someone pulls a weapon with good intentions, they have a chance in hell of not making matters worse.

Well, if there is a full on gunfight, chances are good that someone will get caught in the crossfire. We aren't seeing a lot of that AFAIK. When something like this becomes a problem, we can look at it then.

The present issue is psychopaths getting guns and committing mass murder and what, if anything, can be done about that.

I don't know.

A related issue is what can be done about the high levels of inner city gun crime.

I read somewhere, maybe a year or two back, that most inner city weapons are acquired illegally through straw purchases but that the Feds don't prosecute straw purchases. I suspect that if a bunch of people started going to jail for brokering straw purchases, that might make some difference, but probably not a huge difference. More likely, it would drive the cost of illegal weapons higher producing more crime to raise the money to buy the guns.

It has become a standard ISIS advice: If in the US, use a gun; if in another Western country, use a vehicle. I wonder why (no, I actually don't).

Something like this is usually accompanied with a link.

Given the vehemence of your views, maybe the issue here is projection

maybe the issue is that i don't want to get shot.

Like the law and order types they probably mock, they seem to be acting on irrational fear

my wife's employer is doing "active shooter training" next week. shall i tell her to skip it because it's irrational?

it's telling that never, ever, has anyone made a positive case as to why i should have to live in fear of being randomly shot. all that's on offer are attempts at distraction, hand-waving, vigilante fantasies and, of course, insults.

it's telling that never, ever, has anyone made a positive case as to why i should have to live in fear of being randomly shot. all that's on offer are attempts at distraction, hand-waving, vigilante fantasies and, of course, insults.

If you feel that strongly about it--and I have reservations on that point--you probably should move to the UK or someplace like that. Your best/worst chance of being shot is to shoot yourself. That is by far and away the leading cause of gunshot deaths. If you are worried about being the victim of gun crime, stay out of the inner city and do not consort with criminals. If you do those things, you are much more at risk from driving than gunfire, which at that point raises the issue of whether your fears are rational. Here's a link that I hope helps with perspective: https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-mortality-risk

The latest (good) news is the London incident is not being treated as terrorist-related, but as a traffic accident.

McTX: The present issue is psychopaths getting guns and committing mass murder and what, if anything, can be done about that.

Ban psychopaths or ban guns. Take your pick. Or keep doing nothing, of course.

If you are worried about being the victim of gun crime, stay out of the inner city and do not consort with criminals.

Is the Las Vegas Strip "inner city"? Was whatshisname a "criminal"?

I read somewhere, maybe a year or two back, that most inner city weapons are acquired illegally through straw purchases but that the Feds don't prosecute straw purchases.

"The Feds" are all Republicans now. Think they'll start?

BTW, McKinney, YOU could move to some country that's more congenial to your attitude on guns just as easily as cleek could move to the UK.

--TP


It seems to me that the US is already pretty congenial to McKinney's attitude to guns, no?

As for cleek moving to the UK, as Hunter Thompson said about John Belushi after he died "He's the real thing. He's welcome here anytime, alive or dead." (Preferably alive).But honestly, why should he have to? The US is, increasingly, in a mass-psychosis about guns, and surely, surely it will have to come to its senses sometime. At least, that's how it seems as the rest of the developed world looks on aghast.

I don't know, GftNC -- it depends on what "the US" means. "The US" includes city-dwellers as well as honest yeoman sons of the soil, FDR liberals as well as Trump troglodytes, men who are disgusted by guns as well as women who are disgusted by abortion, atheists as well as god-botherers, golfers who don't drink as well as drinkers who don't golf. This nation's laws are surely more congenial to McKinney's POV than to cleek's, but laws can change. The nation's "culture" may be a different story.

I think, myself, that McKinney is more justified in worrying that "the culture" will eventually turn against guns than cleek is that he will be shot by one. Statistically speaking.

--TP

and i need to stay away from concerts, workplaces, night clubs, elementary schools, overpasses, sidewalks, libraries, baseball practice, malls, etc, etc, etc.

and "meh, that's just the way it is" is a cowardly cop-out.

and still, there's not even the slightest hint of a positive case for guns. you might think on why that is and what makes you defend the situation despite not being able to say why it should persist.

McKinneyTX @ 1:25: Every gun purchased from a gun dealer is registered at the time of purchase. The one exception is gun sales by one private citizen to another. So, here you are simply mistaken. But, don't let that stop you.

I believe that the set that cleek references contains ALL gun purchases, while your set ONLY contains that subset of gun purchases made at registered dealers (who are by law required by law to report the transaction). Eliding this loophole with the phraseology "the one exception" seems, um..disengenuous to me. Venn-speaking, your circle is completely overlapped by cleek's, but the opposite is not true.

A more accurate version of your sentence might read:

"For every gun purchase in which the buyer opts to make the purchase through a gun dealer, the gun is registered at the time of purchase."

And so the certainty with which you declare him wrong is rather humorous in light of the fact that he is not. But, don't let that stop you.

Every gun purchased from a gun dealer is registered at the time of purchase

LOL.

everyone is encouraged to read this link that Count dropped off at my place:

https://www.gq.com/story/inside-federal-bureau-of-way-too-many-guns

what 'dealer registration' amounts to is this: when a sale is made, the dealer fills out a form. the dealer holds that form. if the dealer goes out of business, the form is sent to a place in WV where it is photographed into microfilm. they get millions of records per month. there are no computers to help them locate any particular registration.

and that only accounts for the first sale from the dealer. it doesn't track the gun after that. and they don't even have records from dealers that haven't turned over the forms.

and even this was fought tooth and nail by the perpetual fear lobby.

it's not even close to being comparable to the car registration system.

True situation as yet unclear, but it seems a car has driven into pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum in London

on a brighter note, this is now being called a "road traffic collision", not terror-related. and, everybody who was injured is expected to live.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41538762

There is no long list of other gov't mandated actions one can avoid on grounds of conscience.

marty wants to confine the discussion to things that aren't taxes or fees. you want to confine the discussion to individual affirmative requirements outside the economic sphere.

fortunately for me, i'm not obliged to tailor my point of view to fit the turf you'd prefer to play on. i'm free to simply object to things that i'm required to pay for, participate in, or not pay for or participate in, that various levels of government require of me, and which i find morally objectionable.

whether they fit into your requirements or not.

at the moment the feds require employers above a certain size to provide health insurance that includes birth control as part of empoye compensation. some folks object to that because they feel thatit makes them complicit if some employee uses that coverage to obtain an abortion, or use birth control methods that are, in their view, equivalent to abortion.

all good. suffice it to say that lots and lots and lots of people find themselves in positions that involve at least that level of association with things they find objectionable.

i'll start with: i'm obliged to pay for a hell of a lot of stuff that makes me puke. stuff that i think is profoundly evil.

you want an exemption for the stuff you don't like. i want the same consideration. i probably won't get it.

feel free to dismiss my point of view. i'll bear it in mind when you call for consideration of yours.

I didn't dismiss your point of view, I pointed out that there were mechanisms to protect or lobby for your point of view in most cases. Same as me.

In one set of cases I can simply object to making x payment to y entity on moral grounds because it is a discreet identifiable private transaction. It isn't federal budget dollars, it isn't a fee for use, it's an imposed private transaction. Which I think you have a right to object to purely on moral grounds.

I agree with Marty: it doesn't make sense to pay for contraception, or medical advice about it, through employer-provided 'insurance' (quote marks because insurance is a strange word to use for payment for a routine expense). It's generally desirable that women should be protected from unwanted pregnancy, so contraception should be paid for through general taxation.

Which I think you have a right to object to purely on moral grounds.

first, i don't really see how having to provide a certain level of health insurance as part of compensation is an "imposed private transaction" any different in kind than having to, for instance, pay a minimum wage, or time and a half for overtime.

an employee could use their health insurance to obtain an IUD. an employee could take their pay and buy an IUD. it's their compensation to use as they wish. they earned it, it's theirs. not your money, not your business.

as far as i can see.

second, i don't see how an "imposed private transaction" is fair game for moral objection, but other requirements are not.

it's hair-splitting, IMO.

lastly, i didn't think you were dismissing my point of view, that was directed to mck.

I've been abstaining from commenting lately, for the most part. We've been through guns, insurance, blah blah blah, so many times before. Contraception, oh no! But Viagra and penile implants, definitely necessary!

Please. Let's just allow people to go to the doctor, get their medical services, and have it insured.

Likewise, some gun control advocates put too high of a bar on, to use cleek's phrasing, "guaranteed" results.

Except polities and/or cultures that ban or heavily restrict the private ownership of firearms do get results as revealed by the data.

gun control in Japan

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/01/06/national/media-national/even-gangsters-live-in-fear-of-japans-gun-laws/#.WdlZJdMjFgi

hesitate a bit as the writer has some quirks, but the stuff in the article is correct, I think.

Except polities and/or cultures that ban or heavily restrict the private ownership of firearms do get results as revealed by the data.

Yeah, forgot to mention that, of course, this has been pointed out over and over, Thanks, bobbyp for doing the necessary stuff all over again.

I went canvassing today for "Ralph Northam for Governor". Most people "weren't home". One person (with dogs!) shut the door in my face without comment, Out of 40 people, 2 copped to hoping the D would win.

Thanks, all you anti-establishment folks! Why are we even worrying about this?

...it doesn't make sense to pay for contraception, or medical advice about it, through employer-provided 'insurance' (quote marks because insurance is a strange word to use for payment for a routine expense).

As policy, it makes sense to have widespread access to relatively easily obtained and somewhat low cost health care. Feel free to put quote marks around those terms.

As a society, we have (for a variety of reasons-some not so wise) used employer provided health insurance as the vehicle to provide this widespread access.

Contraception is a women's health issue. It is an important aspect of women's health. If you are not sure on this point, you might ask a couple of them what they think.

Thus access to this 'routine expense' should be covered as part of a public health policy.

I think I said exactly that, except that since it's a matter of public health policy, it should be funded by government.

That way, Marty will have no objection to paying for it through taxation.

Contraception is a women's health issue. It is an important aspect of women's health. If you are not sure on this point, you might ask a couple of them what they think.

Yes. Also abortion.

Contraception is a women's health issue. It is an important aspect of women's health. If you are not sure on this point, you might ask a couple of them what they think.

Yes. Also abortion.

Seconded (thirded, even, as Snagglepuss used to say).

That way, Marty will have no objection to paying for it through taxation.

Insofar as Marty shares the view that taxes "pay" for federal government spending, I feel he would object, but that is for Marty to say.

Federal spending is not "paid for" by federal taxes, but that is another discussion.

:)

Gun control....an interesting take.

I will point you to a bunch of countries who have created way too much "new" money and paid the price. Each of these ridiculous articles is worse than the last.

These are like reading the justifications of climate change deniers.

list them.

Marty is clearly stuck in the 19th century worldview, that 'money' consists of a pile of shiny metal, while those of us who inhabit the 21st century know that it's just bits on a computer.

There really are only a couple of reasons for taxation, in these modern times: social engineering (pull money from A, give it to B), and macroeconomic stability.

Leaving aside the social engineering, that is why I have been saying HEAVY TAXATION ON CAPITAL GAINS AND A TAX ON SUPER-FAST STOCK TRANSACTIONS: two of the biggest causes of 'bubbles' and 'crashes'.

If one re-prioritizes tax policy toward macroeconomic stability (without the 'shiny metal' delusions), I think you get something that looks rather different from the current (and proposed) schemes.

The problem is, there is very little difference in those things. The cost of printing us the same, the balance sheet reflects the entries is the same. The floating relative currency rates just increase risk.

Other than that, sure, it's a brave new world.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_American_debt_crisis.

The latin american debt crisis does nothing to support your contention. The loans were denominated in dollars, not the currency of the borrowers.

They basically mortgaged their economies to the big banks.

"The loans were denominated in dollars, not the currency of the borrowers."

That's the problem, right there. They were tied to a "shiny metal" standard, and if they couldn't cough up the right stuff, they had problems.

The USA does NOT have that problem, and hasn't for a long time.

Yeah, that was the problem. It wasn't all the things it said here,too much debt, recession, rising interest rates, nope they were dollar denominated. Make more money and buy dollars. Oh, yeah, thats what they did until they couldnt.

There is no more frightening thing than people who believe that money literally grows on trees.

However, I knew better than to start down this road so my last word is, you are wrong, Money is not infinite.

And I know you disagree, although I sometimes think you look for someone to have this argument with because you just like the abstract idea of defining the process of adding zeroes to the balance as actually creating something. Those zeroes go on the balance sheet as an obligation, they aren't free.

LOL. suckers.

With the House passing a critical budget resolution this past week, GOP lawmakers are charging forward next week with plans to cut taxes in a way that could add more than $1.5 trillion to the government’s debt over 10 years, with the goal of legislation by early next month. That is on top of an effort to significantly increase military spending. White House officials say their focus is on growing the economy now and dealing with the debt later.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-a-switch-gop-deserts-its-budget-cutting-mantra/2017/10/07/5a62b8be-a943-11e7-850e-2bdd1236be5d_story.html

Yes, cleek, this new tax policy is in aid of the synthetic repeal of the ACA. Helping the people and all.

Marty, I really don't care about the number of zeros in the budget numbers.

My point is simply that the usual arguments about taxes and spending put the cart (deficit) before the horse (macroeconomic stability). If macroeconomic stability requires strictly balanced federal budgets, so that each dollar added to the economy by government spending has to be extracted via taxes, okay. The evidence of the past century shows that is *not* the main driver of instability.

So START with the "need for stability" and work from there, without being a slave to antique ideas that are founded on "a fixed pile of shiny metal" that is complete fiction for the US government.

"Rampant inflation" is "macroeconomic instability", in case it wasn't obvious. Don't want that. Or bubbles and panics either.

So if you have to extract cash from the economy for stability reasons, extract it from things that tend to cause instability themselves: super-fast stock trading, and capital gains. Is that enough? Probably not, but start there. So the usual GOP policy of 'super-low capital gains tax rates' seems completely wrongheaded to me, and not even as a matter of 'soak the rich'. If the rich (who have flexibility, dammit) had to deal with higher capital gains taxes than taxes on income, they would shift to having income. And that's okay!

But realize, Federal spending is what it needs to be to do what needs to be done; the taxes are what is done to keep the economy on an even keel. Those two things are only loosely related to one another.

There is no more frightening thing than people who believe that money literally grows on trees.

Reagan tax cuts-check.
Bush tax cuts-check.
Bush Iraq War-check.
Recent $700 billion DOD appropriation-check.
Trump tax "plan"-check.

Basically nobody is against deficits. It's all about whose side gets to buy their toys. If the GOP House or Senate had killed the recent Defense Bill and kicked it back to committee to die, I would believe the GOP fraudsters and their endless caterwauling about deficits.

They are either fools or liars.

Some thoughts on national debt (after substantial Sunday-Funday-Mimosa consumption) ...

Japan remains the canary in the coal mine. Japanese national debt is roughly 2.5 times GDP. The US has debt equal to GDP. The difference is that that Japan is starting to reduce their debt (-1.5% per year) while we are still piling it on (10% per year).

The US benefits substantially from being the reserve currency of choice. There is an argument that Yellen should hold off on shrinking the Fed's balance sheet:

https://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2017/09/unwinding-qe

It is difficult to overestimate the value of the dollar being a reserve currency. All the more reason for voters to immediately disqualify any Congress critter who even suggests default when the debt ceiling comes up.

We are still dealing with the effects of the housing bubble (10 years is about right for this type of shock). Keynesian and neo-Keynesian types seem to have a short memory when it comes to the inflationary effects fo monetary expansion because no one has been concerned about inflation since 2007. The laws of eco-dyanmics have not been suspended. Snarki's "loose relationship" between spending and revenue does not hold across all debt levels.

Bottom line: we have a fair amount of leeway in terms of adding to the national debt, but it isn't infinite and we need to do a *much* better job of choosing how we spend it (e.g., money spent on foreign military bases doesn't contribute much of anything in terms of a multiplier effect).

My glass is empty, so I'll stop now.

Macroeconomics is to economics what astrology is astronomy...

Yeah, because rational choice theory does *such* a good job of modeling behavior.

Bobby, you left out

Medicare Part D (with no revenue to pay for it): Check!

Everybody talks about the federal government's debt as the "national" debt. That's sloppy. The Government is not The Nation.

You can easily imagine a nation whose government has no debt at all but whose citizens are carrying $100T in private debt. Maybe they had to borrow that much in order to buy services the government doesn't provide; maybe they had to borrow that much in order to pay the taxes needed to keep the government debt-free. Would you celebrate that nation as a paragon of fiscal probity?

Many more people worry about the federal government's deficit than about the nation's trade deficit. That's silly.

Imagine a nation A that produces soybeans and trades them for cellphones produced in nation C. Imagine that after you do the currency conversions the exchange rate boils down to: one bushel of soybeans buys one cellphone. Then imagine that the cellphone makers in nation C are willing to extend credit to the soybean growers in nation A: "We will send you 2M cellphones this year in exchange for 1M bushels, this year, and an IOU for another 1M bushels, next year. Repeat year after year. Eventually, the IOUs come due: the soybean growers have to cough up millions of bushels WITHOUT getting new cellphones in return. They have to work just as hard, but live less well. That's only fair, of course: the cellphone makers were living less well than they could have while pumping out all those cellphones.

Any pretense that the above is literally about "soybeans" or "cellphones" will be treated as deliberate stupidity. The point of it is that whether The Government (of either country) "prints money" or runs deficits or cuts taxes is (to first order) irrelevant to the underlying, and fundamental, process of barter.

Finally, and to return to a long-running gag of mine: I invite anyone who is seriously concerned about the "national" debt to support my call to Privatize the National Debt.

--TP

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