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July 26, 2012

Comments

McK TX:

I can't tell if you're aware that the US has a *much* higher overall firearms death rate than other first-world countries. It would be surprising if the US mass shootings death rate *wasn't* two or three or five times higher than that in Finland or the UK.

hey look, another average soldier, planning to kill everyone in his workplace.

I can't tell if you're aware that the US has a *much* higher overall firearms death rate than other first-world countries. It would be surprising if the US mass shootings death rate *wasn't* two or three or five times higher than that in Finland or the UK.

Doc--we have to compare like to like. Death rate includes homicide, accident and suicide. The US has a 6X greater rate of homicide by firearms than Finland, but Finland's rate of suicide by firearms is slightly greater than the US' suicide by firearms rate. Finland has less accidental deaths but a decent factor.

*Further*, homicide is different from mass shootings. The proposition was the risk of death by mass shooting per capita. If you have a single mass shooting that takes 77 lives in a country whose population is 4.7mm (about that of Houston) and compare that to all of the mass shootings in the US for the last twenty years and then control for population size, I think the US still comes out ahead in *that* comparison. The country in question is Norway.

Which is kind of a meaningless comparison. The larger points are that strict gun control is no proof against a mass shooting and, as a practical matter, with so many guns in circulation here, it's a moot point anyway.

when is the last time an armed witness stopped a mass murder in action ?

I saw Brett's last just before going to bed, and coming back to this, I think no one has addressed his SUV parallel. I'm not able to google very much now, but the assertion of there being more mass murders by cars seems to be one amenable to some stats, in so far as there is a crime of aggravated vehicular homicide (I think) Unfortunately (for Brett) vehicular homicide doesn't work becaise DUI and texting while driving get prosecuted under that (again I think) Can anyone find the stats to make a US or even a state comparison to the number of shooting deaths and the number of deaths where a car is being used as a weapon?

As for the Hollywood made them do it, I'd note that Hollywood films are popular everywhere, but no country has near the rate of gun death that the US does. In fact, Korean and Chinese cinima has even more paeans to guns (it's where we get all the Yun fact Chow gun holding antics, right?) but I don't believe that they have the kind of gun death rate the US has.

And, just in case anyone is interested, here is how we do it over in the Land of Wa This isn't to argue that this is what I (or any other liberal) wants, just to note that the US seems to have some distance to go before it gets to where Japan is.

Cleek asked:

"when is the last time an armed witness stopped a mass murder in action ?"

http://articles.cnn.com/2007-12-10/us/colorado.shootings_1_gunman-security-guard-casings?_s=PM:US

The armed hero was a security guard at the church, but I believe she was off duty but carrying her weapon at the time of the incident.

Presumably she had some training.

I'm off for the weekend.

Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.

I wonder if this guy was presumed armed and dangerous, given the anti-American, sissified, loudmouthed company he keeps?

You can kill a lot of people with a golf cart.

You might not even need the booze and the concealed carry.

http://entertainment.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/09/12642955-ted-nugents-drummer-flees-police-in-golf-cart?lite

Doc, more on Finland, just as kind of an illustration: three mass shootings, total deaths are 22. Here's one link, that picks up the first two instances: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8913432.stm

Finland's population is 5.3mm and these mass shootings took place over a 5 year period. Mother Jones helpfully has done a summary of mass shootings in the US since 1982 (The first one I recall was Charles Whitman on the tower at UT-Austin in the 60's). My rough math is 851 dead, give or take over a thirty year period and a population of roughly 300mm compared to 22 over a five year period and a population of 5.3mm. You can run the numbers several ways. If you limit the window to 'any five of the last 20 years' in the US to the last 5 years in Finland, Finland comes across as a scary place. If you say, "Well, doesn't Finland get credit for not having any mass shootings for 25 out of the last thirty years?", the response would have to be "Fair point". So, comparing like to like, the rate of death by mass shooting in the US population for the last three decades is 3.5 per 100,000, in Finland, it is 2.4. Finland wins!!!!


when is the last time an armed witness stopped a mass murder in action ?

Cleek, here's a link: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map

In the very first of 56 separate mass shooting/shooting sprees documented by Mother Jones, two witnesses shot the shooter after he'd killed 11 (I think) people while he was trying to escape.

The more interesting statistic would be how many people have defended themselves in their home vs away from home. I don't have that number, nor do I consider it relevant to the 'keep and bear' issue.

McKinney, in answer to cleek's question, the instance you cited was 30 years ago, when the witness, who worked near the mass shooting, got in a car, and followed the fleeing murderer (who was leaving the scene on his bike), and shot him before ramming him with his car against a cement pole. Although they discovered that the gunshot wound was the cause of death, the witness claimed not to have been aiming at the perpetrator, but was firing a warning shot "over his head."

Yes, it's good that the witness stopped the guy but it wasn't quite as straighforward as claimed by those who contend that armed victims would successfully be able to fend off an attacker.

"I've asked, for example, for a left'ish consensus on the highest marginal rate that should be allowed."

Leaving all other public policies as they are currently? Unchanged? Hmmm. Well, then I'd say 99% on anything over $5 million. If we can discuss tweaking some policies that have been adopted to consciously promote wealth concentration, then we could talk about lower rates.

Consensusulally,

Mr. Left, T.H.E.

Finland doesn't have strict gun control laws. You can own as many guns as you want.

It does have stricter gun control laws than the United States, but the United States' gun control laws are a joke that isn't funny in a more.

You can't legally carry weapons in public in Finland, concealed or openly. That will cut down on people turning fistfights into gunfights. It will keep morons who start a fight with a black kid and then start getting their asses kicked from turning the situation into a homicide. But it won't prevent mass shootings.

There is a requirement in Finland that you need to state a purpose for getting a permit ("defense" is not normally allowed), and that might have slowed down someone like the Aurora nut case, but he probably would have found a way around it.

There are some newly passed gun control laws in Finland, but I don't see anything that would be likely to have deterred the Aurora shooter, unless his mental health issues were known by his doctor.

If you want to drastically reduce mass shootings, you need laws that ban public ownership of firearms. Japan has 0.6 privately owned guns per 100 people. In a country with 130 million people, there are, according to GunPolicy.org 77 civilian-owned handguns. Not 77 thousand or 77 million, 77. And Japan has a gun homicide rate of, to one decimal of precision, 0.0.

And even if the Japanese aren't elected Democrats, or "credible", I think it would be wise to adopt their gun control policies.

One underlying point is that even very strict gun control doesn't prevent this kind of thing.

Has there been a mass shooting in Australia since the Port Arthur massacre?

I gotta say, though, I appreciate -- appreciate? Is that the word I want? Sure, appreciate -- someone who looks at a firearm homicide rate that makes the rest of the first world look like amateurs and says, "Nah, I don't support more laws, this is just something we live with, no big deal"; but casually remarks that he supports Voter ID laws despite the laws' own architects being able to point to a single instance of wrongdoing, ever.

s/able/unable

And even if the Japanese aren't elected Democrats, or "credible", I think it would be wise to adopt their gun control policies.

Right, understood. This is the actual default position of many on the left. They just don't say so. Which is why Brett isn't completely off base and Doc S somewhat overstates her case. It is one of the factors that makes running as a Democrat problematic outside large urban areas.

I am headed home now. My last bit of googling seemed to be leading toward this: if you don't compare homicide by firearms but instead compare all homicides, it looks like the US has a homicide rate that is around 4 times higher than other western countries, rather than 8 to 10 times higher, which is what you get when you limit the comparison to firearms-related.

Has there been a mass shooting in Australia since the Port Arthur massacre?

No, but there has in Norway.

ok.ok...

a man in Utah just answered my question with "today"

Actually, my argument is that both voting and gun ownership are civil liberties, and the overlap between those whining about voter ID and those demanding hugely greater burdens on gun ownership is conspicuous.

Object to burdens on gun ownership, or don't expect me to care about burdens on voting, because if the former doesn't bother you, I will never admit you have a principled objection to civil liberties being burdened.

Let me return to a point I made earlier: The rate of homicide, by guns and other tools, varies from place to place by several orders of magnitude, even within jurisdictions having the same gun laws. Let me repeat that, because it's really important: THE HOMICIDE RATE VARIES BY SEVERAL ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE FROM PLACE TO PLACE WITHIN JURISDICTIONS HAVING THE SAME GUN LAWS.

Do you understand the implications of this? Homicide rates are driven almost entirely by factors other than gun laws! By a factor of a hundred or more, gun laws are NOT the driving variable here!

And here you are trying to deduce something from a correlation between gun laws and homicide rates between countries, where the correlation is minute compared to the variation manifestly not driven by such laws?

Does the phrase "confounding variables" mean nothing to you?

Is that the word I want? Sure, appreciate -- someone who looks at a firearm homicide rate that makes the rest of the first world look like amateurs and says, "Nah, I don't support more laws, this is just something we live with, no big deal"; but casually remarks that he supports Voter ID laws despite the laws' own architects being able to point to a single instance of wrongdoing, ever.

Phil, your persistently contentious, miscasting of what I say and what you claim to be your support makes useful exchange not impossible, but far more difficult than I have time for or interest in. So, you win. Have a nice weekend.

the overlap between those whining about voter ID and those demanding hugely greater burdens on gun ownership is conspicuous.

but one big difference is that nobody wants to restrict gun access simply because it will help elect more Democrats.

Do I care why they want to violate a civil liberty? No, I do not. I simply note that they have one standard for what constitutes an unconscionable burden for one liberty, and a remarkably different standard for another liberty, and refuse to take the double standard seriously.

In reality, both the push to make voting easier, and the push to make voting harder, are driven by partisan concerns. Roles would instantly swap if the presumed effects of the policies were found to be opposite.

Well, I don't care, because the whole argument is taking place at a level of "burden" so much lower than I experience trying to buy a gun, that it doesn't even begin to register as a burden. You want me to recalibrate my idea of what constituents a "burden"?

Stop burdening gun ownership so much.

You want me to recalibrate my idea of what constituents a "burden"?
nope. don't care a whit.

Stop burdening gun ownership so much.

stop burdening voting so much.

Similarly, I don't give a fig about people who whine about having to prove you're John Doe before casting John Doe's vote, but are eager to subject me to burdens a hundred times worse.

Hypocrites all, and I don't care about their complaints.

You can't have democracy without voting, but you can without everyone being armed to the teeth. The only reason gun ownership is a civil liberty at all is because it's in the consititution, but we could change that without fundamentally changing our system of government.

McT, I think Phil has done pretty well, given that Brett started out invoking SS prison guards dreaming of genocide (which suggests that he really doesn't know anything about the Holocaust).

At any rate, I believe that you caught the ire that was probably aimed at Brett, though I think that this is a situation that isn't completely unknown to you. I do want to say that I appreciate you coming in here and trying to add the voice of a sane conservative, though I fear that Brett's return, this time with "the civil rights for me but not for thee", is going to have you lumped in with him again.

Are you ever going to get to any of this mental health stuff, Brett? Or was that the baloney that I expect it was?

McK, your entire comment was "Good points on voter ID (which I support, but that's for another day." If that means something other than what it says, by all means enlighten me. And if you have evidence that the problem which it purports to solve actually exists, enlighten me on that, too. I suspect you will have trouble doing the latter for reasons which are obvious, but if I'm wrong, it wouldn't be the first time.

Has there been a mass shooting in Australia since the Port Arthur massacre?

No, but there has in Norway.

Firearms policy in Australia fails to prevent shooting in country half a planet away, film at 11!

"I don't care."

Was that written by Plato? Hume? Locke? JS Mill? that cur Rousseau? Dewey? Some minor Enlightenment philosoph? Maybe Madison, or Jefferson in one of his spats with Hamilton?

More importantly, is it constitutional? Some wonder.

One thing I've never understood about the Second Amendment is this:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

Of course IANAL, but aside from the argument that "militia" today means the National Guard, it does say "well regulated." As in, with regulations. So why is it unconstitutional to have some of those? And what about "people"? Does that mean people as a collective? I think it does because it doesn't say something like "right of all persons."

Note that its the militia that's to be well regulated, but its the people who have the right guaranteed to them. Two different words, because they are two different things.

And do you really want to claim that "the people" refers to individuals in the 1st amendment, a collective in the 2nd, and then goes back to meaning individuals by the 4th amendment?

Nothing about mental health policy, then? I mean, it's OK if you just make something up.

"..., it does say "well regulated." As in, with regulations."

[...]
The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

The meaning of the phrase "well-regulated" in the 2nd amendment

Well, I guess that settles it.

Was it the original intent of the Founders that citizens be capable of walking into a room and shooting 70 innocent people, killing a dozen of them?

Brett:

"And do you really want to claim that "the people" refers to individuals in the 1st amendment, a collective in the 2nd, and then goes back to meaning individuals by the 4th amendment?"

and, CharlesWT, quoting:

"Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected."

I'm not an attorney, but I dined with one recently, so aren't things a little muddier than these two statements imply?

To some extent, now, though I don't pretend to know precisely, Citizens United gives collective corporate money the legal status of individual free speech.

In the second case, the 14th Amendment, if I'm not mistaken because I haven't finished law school, and neither have I started, permits the government to regulate individuals and the collective, including the militia, as specified in the Second Amendment.

Also, I'm suspicious of passive voiced constructions like "something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected".

It seems there is a noun, an "agency", in the sense of an actor which does this calibration and has expectations of proper functioning, missing in that formulation.

My car is at present calibrated correctly and functioning correctly, but when it is not (and I'm sorry I've brought it up because knock on wood and all of that), what then?

I'll required a noun, probably a proper one, to curse at it (my job) and then another (probably a collective of head-scratching mechanics) to fix it.

The noun is probably an individual "I", or "he", or "she", but I'm suspicious that when the repair is botched, the "agency" in question will fall back on circumlocutions like "I'm sorry, but 'we' (the corporate collective) can't give refunds", and I'll walk around saying, "I could strangle 'them'"

Mr. Holmes, the shooter, may well have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, so he might well be a collective of personalities.

Does that make him a militia?

In closing, Mr. Franklin, what have you wrought?

Ben: I don't know. I'd wait until the movie version comes out.

I'm also wondering about the reference to gun possession as an inalienable right rather than a privilege.

If so, why were Mr. Holmes weapons taken from him before he was judged guilty of these crimes?

Who knew an event could threadjack:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/07/a_shot_in_the_dark.html#more

A taste:

"Catie and Caleb Medley went to the doomed midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." It was a movie they'd been looking forward to for a year, her father said. Gunfire rang out. The bullets missed Catie, who was pregnant. Caleb was shot in the eye. On Tuesday, their son Hugo was born. Caleb is listed in critical condition, and the cost of emergency treatment for his head wound has already reached $2 million. The Medleys were uninsured."

Hypocrites all, and I don't care about their complaints.

there's a redwood in your eye

"Caleb was shot in the eye. On Tuesday, their son Hugo was born. Caleb is listed in critical condition, and the cost of emergency treatment for his head wound has already reached $2 million. The Medleys were uninsured."

Even Drudge appears to be troubled by that. I am astonished.

http://www.drudge.com/news/159240/aurora-shooting-victim-uninsured

In point of fact, it IS a mote and beam sort of situation. My complaint is that voter ID is the mote, and the impositions on gun owners is the beam. And I flatly refuse to go along with being outraged over a mote in your eye, while you're grinding the redwood in mine.

a reason to doubt the SUV=gun equivalency

. The assailants allegedly tore through the camp in a pickup truck, "narrowly missing several campers and staff," while damaging fences, fields, and buildings, reports CNN. ... The harassment took place over three occasions at Camp Bonim on July 14 and 15

Oh, gee. You mean you can miss with an SUV, not just with guns? Particularly when you're not trying to kill? Who'd have thunk it?

Dodging a bullet from a .223 m4 at 3600 feet per second is like dodging a SUV at 2400 mph. I am reasonably sure I would prefer to try and dodge the SUV, which at worst might be 100mph, and is really big and obvious coming at me. This seems like a nonsense argument. Sure, SUVs can be dangerous, but they really are not as dangerous as guns. If they were, we would be training our Soldiers in the use of SUV assault, rather than the rifle range.

The difference between the ownership of an SUV and the ownership of an automatic or semiautomatice weapon is that one is desiged for transportation of people and the others are designed for the killing quickly of large numbers of people.

That's why the restrictions on to the ownership of the latter should be tigher than on the ownership of the former.

As I believe I've remarked before, purpose is an attribute of conscious beings, not inanimate objects. The pathetic fallacy is particularly pathetic when it attributes to an object a purpose it is mostly NOT used for.

The pathetic fallacy is particularly pathetic when it attributes to an object a purpose it is mostly NOT used for.

What are assault rifles used for? What use do they have that does good? Are they like hammers, which people mostly use to build things, but also very rarely use to bash someone's head in?

To begin with, an "assault rifle" is a select fire rifle of intermediate caliber. Their ownership is already very strictly regulated, so we're not talking about them.

The arms we're talking about here are semi-automatic, and they are mostly used for hunting and target shooting.

I think it's a strange question to ask, whether they can be put to good purposes. Millions of people own them, and almost all of those people do NOT use them for evil purposes. How could you rationally doubt that they have some good purposes to which they can be put, when they're almost exclusively put to such purposes?

I think it's a strange question to ask, whether they can be put to good purposes.

I think that's a strange thing to say, since no one asked such a question, if "we're" not talking about assault rifles.

Speaking of assault rifles, which I was, they used to be banned. They aren't anymore, which means they aren't as strictly regulated as they once were.

What about 100-round drums? What do you do with them?

" The pathetic fallacy is particularly pathetic when it attributes to an object a purpose it is mostly NOT used for."

This misses the point, although your statement is true in the abstract.

In this discussion, all that is being said is that more killers use a gun to kill than use an SUV.

More killers have attributed the purpose of killing other human beings to semi-automatic weapons, to observe your narrowing of the discussion, than to SUVs and reel lawn-mowers, although there's a campy horror film in which the purpose of killing great numbers of people is attributed to the latter, and what a mess!

Inside the house and on the carpet no less.

It's also true that jrudikis' bullet from the .223 m4 at 3600 feet per second gets far superior gas mileage than an SUV traveling 2400 mph.

But neither Laura nor I are about to attribute the purpose of car-pooling and reducing greenhouse gases to the bullet.

The "particularly pathetic" rip at Laura also puts the lie to the tendentious concept that a well-armed citizenry fosters a polite, well-mannered discourse among said citizenry.

I'm pretty sure, however, that Laura will not be getting behind the wheel of an SUV any time soon and backing over the wise guys.

When I was a young man with a temper, I was not above flipping the bird at male drivers who attributed their dick size, or lack thereof, to their annoying driving habit of cutting me off in traffic.

That was pathetic of me.

I have to admit I stopped that behavior because it occurred to me that some of these guys might also be attributing and sublimating their pathetic inadequacies in the dick department, not that anyone is counting, to whatever weapon they might be carrying.

Two ways of looking at that: the threat of being shot has coerced me into teeth-grinding, well-mannered discourse -- or -- my first amendment rights, right down to sign language, have been stymied and trumped by their second amendment rights.

Anyway, Brett, I'm sure you are a responsible gun owner.

Although, if I was the IRS and you owed me money, I might put a boot on your SUV, just in case.

Smile emoticon.


"Speaking of assault rifles, which I was, they used to be banned. They aren't anymore, which means they aren't as strictly regulated as they once were."

No, assault rifles are still banned. You're confusing, as was intended, "assault rifles", (A technical term for select fire rifles of intermediate caliber, the usual standard arm for soldiers.) with "assault weapon", a PR term invented by the gun control movement, which has no objective definition beyond "we'd like to ban this".

"http://www.vpc.org/studies/awaconc.htm> The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons, (anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun) can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons."

Basically, the gun control movement created the term, "assault weapon", around 1988, with the aim of confusing the public into thinking the guns they were attempting to ban were "assault rifles". But none of the guns banned by the 1994 "assault weapon ban were assault rifles, not one was fully automatic.

IOW, you're merely demonstrating that you fell for a lie.

The lawnmower was a rotary and the movie was "Dead Alive", Peter Jackson's first go at it.

The "protagonist" is trimming back the zombies, so who can blame the guy.

Don't watch at work. Don't watch at home. There's even a gruesome political ad up front:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC1d7dw24Gg

____________________

A nominal list of methods of dispatch attributed to a panoply of implements:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jooler/List_of_films_by_gory_death_scene

______________________

Never bring a lawnmower to a gun fight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-xQtdu6aOg

______________________

Some people prefer the atlatl, but this would be my weapon of choice, the bio-whip, I like to call it, from the movie "Slither". The bio-whip has been used in killings roughly as many times as the SUV and the atlatl.

Not a great recording of the video clip, so rent the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWRZsvxbLBI

The nice thing about special effects is that you don't need good health insurance to clean up the mess.

Note to self:

Going forward, place the descriptive adjective "assault" before the following nouns: global warming, Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, Bush tax cuts, quant, broccoli, Republican, conservative, (these two not to be confused with RINOs, who by Erick Erickson's definition, just to do a little deer hunting, leaving the big two-legged game for him), SUV, Vespa, blog, FOX news, and guitar (for the benefit of Ted Nugent).

Nugent wants to replace "assault" with the descriptive "pheasant", to describe the Colorado shooter's weapon, which I'm willing to go along with, as long as we also replace the phrase "12 people dead and 40-some wounded" with "pheasant under glass".

My complaint is that voter ID is the mote, and the impositions on gun owners is the beam.

point to the place on the Constitution where it says that impositions on rights are to be judged on a curve.

So, Brett, do you support an outright ban on fully automatic assault rifles, or even current restrictions on them? Do you acknowledge that the assault weapons ban did not ban all semi-automatic weapons?

Do you believe you have a constitutional right to target shoot or hunt specifically with a semi-automatic AK-47, or can your right to do those things be satisfied with the use of another semi-automatic that wasn't subject to the now-defunct ban?

Given your criterion of parity with members of the military, I have to assume you don't support any restrictions on fully automatic assault rifles with high-capacity magazines or any of the restrictions in the assault weapons ban.

If I'm right about that, is it just a matter of how you read the constitution as currently written, or is it also what you believe to be good policy? Do you think it's a good idea to let people walk around with fully automatic assault rifles?

Also, sadly, "assault" coyote:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/07/rip-inkblot

Not to be confused with Rick Perry's formulation --- Barack Hussein Coyote.

Too bad Inkblot wasn't driving an SUV.

Oh, Christ, noting that an engineered object has a particular function is not an example, by itself, of the pathetic fallacy. If someone asks you what a fork is for, you don't respond "OBJECTS DON'T HAVE PURPOSES YOU'RE COMMITTING THE PATHETIC FALLACY," you respond, "It's for picking up pieces of food." Can it do other things? Yes. Does that negate what it was designed for? No.

Just the same, guns are for killing other living things. Everything else is practice. Skeet shooting is for practicing killing flying things. Target shooting is for practicing killing things on the ground. People wouldn't even own firearms if not for the expectation, fear or -- in Bellmore's case -- hope that they will eventually have to kill something, be it a person or an animal.

It's ASTOUNDING the rabbit holes you all let yourself be led down by this sophist. Note that, having established at the outset that the important factor to discuss vis a vis mass murderers and spree killers is mental health, he has gone on to say NOT A SINGLE WORD ABOUT IT. Not one. Unless he is engaging in some second level work by being or pretending to be an insane person, he threw a smoke grenade out to distract everyone, proceeded to ignore it, and now he's got you all sitting on the heads of pins arguing about the merits of SUVs versus guns as murder weapons and whether it's OK to grade civil rights on a curve. (Without noting that prohibiting ownership of a particular class of weapon no more negates the right to bear arms than prohibiting a particular class of speech [e.g., libel] negates one's first amendment rights.)

Rather than being the man of principle that he imagines or pretends himself to be, he states outright that voter ID laws that are going to prevent as many as 43% of registered voters in Philadelphia from voting are not important because Y'all are brutalizin' me!. He's Ronnie Dobbs with an engineering degree.

And you fall for it every. Single. Time.

The only thing I think I'm falling for is my own (likely false) hope that I can get Brett to make a definitive statement in response to very specific questions I think are very much on point. The wisdom of spending my time that way is questionable, I will readily admit.

I don't think I've fallen for any of the SUV/purpose/mental health diversions.

FWIW, Brett is apparently to the right of Scalia(!) on this issue. I didn't see the show, but Scalia was on Fox this morning and was asked by Chris Wallace about his views on limiting 2nd amendment rights in some fashion by specifying what constituted "arms" (quote from HuffPo).

"Wallace asks how far the right to bear arms extends, in the wake of the Colorado shooting -- does it absolutely allow for semi-automatic weapons and extended magazines? Scalia says Heller left open the possibility that future cases might proscribe limits on those rights. Here, Scalia allows that those limits will be dictated by whatever "society feels is appropriate at the time." "My starting point and my ending point will be what limitations society felt were appropriate at the time," he says."

So Brett -- do you think Scalia is another one of those progressives out to get your guns?

This wabbit says it's duck season:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8uDGbRcQ1E

Shh, places everyone.

Here comes Elmer Fudd.

Don't say mental health. Say "Looney Tunes".

"So, Brett, do you support an outright ban on fully automatic assault rifles, or even current restrictions on them?"

No, I do not, and I am very much aware that this is a minority viewpoint. I am also aware that the gun control movement makes a point of confusing people into thinking that the guns they are going after now are the guns they've already had success in banning. And this is dishonest of them, even if I don't like either sort of ban.

But lying is, and has been, central to the gun control movement's strategy. They have no hope of persuading the majority in America without lying.

Likely, neither do I. Difference is, that hasn't led me to lie about what I believe in, so I'm probably not going to get my way.


Do I acknowledge that the '94 ban didn't ban all semi-automatic arms? Sure, It was a start, not a finish. The people pushing it said it was a starting point! An arbitrary list which could have been extended, had it not had such catastrophic political consequences for them.

Now, do you care to admit it wasn't a ban of automatic rifles AT ALL, that you were wrong? That, in fact, you were wrong because you believed the people on your side of this issue? Who routinely lie to you?


"Oh, Christ, noting that an engineered object has a particular function is not an example, by itself, of the pathetic fallacy."

That's true. And if one wants to assert that the function of a gun is to propel small projectiles, repeatedly and accurately, with great force, I have no problem with that. If one wants to assert that the purpose is to propel small projectiles through the bodies of other people, when most are used to propel them through pieces of paper or food animals, then I've got a problem. Function and purpose aren't the same thing.

Short of minor things like bayonets, the characteristics which make a good tool for propelling small projectiles through paper targets or food animals are identical to the characteristics which make a good tool for propelling them through people. Because the difference between the uses happens after the bullet leaves the barrel, as a result of where it was pointed! What it takes to kill a human or a deer is pretty much the same, a tool to do one will be well suited to doing the other.

Finally, yes, I've said not a word about mental health, beyond noting that, if you really want to prevent mass murders, that's where you'll direct your attention. This is because most of the people here are still trying to use this incident as an excuse to attack my civil liberties, instead of dealing with the problem. I am far more concerned with fending off a renewed attack on my civil liberties, than doing something about a cause of death more rare than lightning strikes. More difficult to do anything about, too, because lightning can't reason it's way around lightning rods, while the murderous are perfectly capable of finding different tools with which to commit murder.

Now, do you care to admit it wasn't a ban of automatic rifles AT ALL, that you were wrong? That, in fact, you were wrong because you believed the people on your side of this issue? Who routinely lie to you?

Honestly, the distiction between an assault rifle and an assault weapon was lost on me, but not at all critical to my potential support for the ban. I don't really have much of an opinion on whether or not it was worthwhile, except maybe for the ban on higher-capacity magazines. But if I had really cared at the time, I would have found out that assault rifles weren't subject to the ban. I don't think it was a secret.

What I do have an opinion on is that there's nothing unconstitutional about banning specific classes of weapons, provided that people still have reasonable access to a reasonably broad range of firearms with legitimate uses. We obviously differ on that point, given your minority of a minority opinion.

What I still would like to know is if your opposition to, say, restrictions on fully automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines is strictly a constitutional matter, or if you also think it's good policy to allow the general public to have unrestricted access to such weapons, and, if so, why?

Good policy, because it is a general good to let people do whatever the freak they want, as long as the doing does not involve harm to other people. As owning a firearm can not harm another person, as the firearms in question do have perfectly legitimate uses, a ban can not be justified.

Letting people do what they want is a good in and of itself, the good called "liberty".

I understand it is claimed that there's a countervailing good to be gotten from restricting that liberty. The arguments for this are generally only found persuasive by people who already are inclined to deny people liberty in this area.

The government has proven incompetent to deny millions of people drugs. It cannot, (It claims!) prevent millions from sneaking across the border each year. And you think the government can keep somebody intent on crime from arming themselves? What a joke!

The only people gun control is effective at disarming are those who weren't going to do anything wrong with the guns in the first place.

Further, and peculiar to America, is that so many people understand gun ownership to be a civil right, and gun control to be illegitimate, that any effort to ban guns is automatically subject to massive civil disobedience.

So, what do you want? Laws which are widely violated? Or some kind of massive enforcement effort, verging, (Optimistically!) on civil war? Maybe more Wacos, as the government tries to compel by fear obedience it can't win by appeals to legitimacy?

I am tired of these specious international comparisons. America is, culturally, an outlier nation in many ways, some good, some bad. In my opinion our high homicide rate is driven by cultural factors, which a war on gun ownership can not change.

We differ from other nations on so many dimensions besides our gun laws, how can you sensibly be confident that the international differences in homicide are driven by this factor? So confident that you'd set out on a crusade that tears the nation apart?

I'm not really sure what sort of crusade or war you think I'd be willing to start over gun ownership, but it's good to finally know in full where you stand, Brett. It's pretty friggin' weird, but at least I know.

It's weird in a "millions of people agree with me" kind of way, just try to recall that.

Phil, a bit late in responding, apologies. I haven't been able to follow this comment thread closely, but I think that everyone who has addressed something to Brett is well aware of where he is coming from and what's up. Speaking for myself, I find myself interested in how far he's willing to take whatever line he picks up, such as that he's for all civil liberties (until he's not) and the campfire story of the killer SUV, so I'll ask a few questions, follow them up a bit and then leave it there and it seems like everyone else (other than the millions of (obviously American) lurkers who agree with him) treats him the same way, so don't blow up at everyone, unless that's what you want to do.

As a guy who does not own a gun and has probably fired maybe a couple of boxes of 9mm, tops, I'd like to weigh in.

I support reasonable regulation of weapons. I do not support unrestricted ownership of fully automatic weapons, nor do I support general ownership of other items such as grenades, RPGs, MANPADS, etc. I think semi-automatic rifles can be problematic but I don't see that there is much to be done about that, as was amply (IMO) demonstrated by the feckless/uselessness of the assault weapons ban.

On carry laws, I am kind of keeping my own counsel. On one hand, the Beyond This Horizon armed-society-is-a-polite-society is a nice idea and all, but weeding the drunks and crazies out of the courtesy pool will be a long, bloody process with almost certain collateral damage, and may well not asymptote out to the libertarian paradise that Brett has envisioned. On the other hand, though, it might be handy to have some responsible armed subset of the public present in numbers that the police cannot supply. I don't know how you'd do that in some organized (dare I say regulated?) fashion without presenting the spectre of ohmigodtheyaretrackingme.

There's some middle ground between preparing for the zombie apocalypse/Mad Max postapocalyptic world and complete disarmament that I am likely going to explore personally, without really trying to push this conversation in one direction or another.

Maybe I should just call all of you Nazis for trying to harsh my mellow.

It's weird in a "millions of people agree with me" kind of way, just try to recall that.

What's weird about what you wrote, among other things, is your belief that I would advocate restrictions so strict as to cause a civil war (or that whatever restrictions I might advocate, strict or not so strict, would cause a civil war, despite the lack of a civil war over the AWB or the long-standing restrictions on fully automatic weapons - not entirely sure which it is).

You seem to react to anything short of your absolutist position as though it were the opposite absolutist position, as though I want to confiscate and ban all weapons not in the hands of the police or the military. Meanwhile, I could say I support, at least in theory, strict regulation of fully automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.

If that's a crusade worthy of a civil war in this country, I'd better start looking seriously at Canada, because that would be, in technical terminology, just plain nuts.

Don't worry, HSH, these guys tend to not be much good at organizing much beyond backyard turkey shoots. The one guy who actually was able to pull something off, McVeigh, they kicked out of their little club.

Phil, I don't think for an instant you mean to start a civil war. Then again, I don't think Janet Reno woke up one morning, and said to herself, "Think I'll burn a bunch of people to death." But she still did.

My real fear is that gun controllers will see their chance, go for it, and provoke a reaction they never expected, because they don't take people who disagree with them seriously. And then the usual "Government can never back down" dynamic kicks in, and next thing you know you've got a shooting war.

All because you never took the opposition seriously.

next thing you know you've got a shooting war.

and next thing the clown with his AR15 knows, he has no gas, no electricity, no water, and there's a Predator circling his suburban stronghold lobbing hellfire into his living room, while the 40 guys in SWAT attire lurking around the perimeter wait patiently for the screaming to stop.

good luck with your little revolution.

All because you never took the opposition seriously.

But you're opposed to existing restrictions, Brett - all of them AFAICT. There is no shooting war going on now.

What I can't take seriously is the idea that anything short of your preferred policy, which what we already have is, will result in a revolt, or that there's a realistic possibility that anyone will enact something that amounts to much more than nibbling at the edges of what we have now.

You don't want there to be a line at all. But there is a line. All I'm talking about is where the line should be, and can't imagine that moving the line somewhat further will result in a bloody revolt. Maybe there's some point at which that would become a possiblity. I just don't see us getting anywhere near that.

So long as people can still hunt, target shoot and protect their homes with a reasonably good range of options, I can't imagine more than a relatively few not-so-well-adjusted people are going to get overly upset about it.

How fundamental is owning, for example, a machine gun to anyone's happiness or well being? If you simply want to make the argument that restrictions don't help, that's one thing. We can probably disagree reasonably about that. But all this shooting war talk is, at best, goofy.

(I probably should have just stopped a number of comments ago, but I'll stop now. The horse is dead, and my foot hurts.)

"and next thing the clown with his AR15 knows, he has no gas, no electricity, no water, and there's a Predator circling his suburban stronghold lobbing hellfire into his living room, while the 40 guys in SWAT attire lurking around the perimeter wait patiently for the screaming to stop."

Ok, maybe some people DO wake up thinking, "Think I'll burn some people alive today."

Since upthread Brett was arguing logical fallacies, his stated position seems to me to be a pretty clear example of the fallacy of the excluded middle.

"and next thing the clown with his AR15 knows, he has no gas, no electricity, no water, and there's a Predator circling his suburban stronghold lobbing hellfire into his living room, while the 40 guys in SWAT attire lurking around the perimeter wait patiently for the screaming to stop."

Ah, and here we have the penultimate liberal fascist's wet dream. An all powerful, unrestricted government ready, willing and able to act against its citizens in such a manner.

This is not a problem for liberal gun control advocates, because, afterall, we, The people, are the problem and govt is the benevolent solution.

I will note that you don't have to be a clown with with an AR15 for this to happen. Just any old clown will do. A "clown", of course, being synonomous with "citizen who doesn't like our agenda" as far as big government fans are concerned.

^^^^ does not know what "penultimate" means.

Or, maybe he does, in which case I wonder what he thinks the ULTIMATE liberal fascist wet dream is?

Ok, maybe some people DO wake up thinking, "Think I'll burn some people alive today."

Maybe some people are paranoid and deluded. I mean, who's to say?

"Ah, and here we have the penultimate liberal fascist's wet dream," he said, pointing at a hastily-constructed man of straw. "An all powerful, unrestricted government ready, willing and able to act against its citizens in such a manner," waving his arm at an army of similar strawmen standing on a nearby hilltop, awaiting orders.

"This is not a problem for liberal gun control advocates, because, afterall, we, The people, are the problem and govt is the benevolent solution," he proclaimed to them. In his mind, they recoiled in horror.

Meanwhile:

Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home.

An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of "HaveBlue" (incidentally, "Have Blue" is the codename that was used for the prototype stealth fighter that became the Lockheed F-117), announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol.

Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.

HaveBlue then decided to push the limits of what was possible and use his printer to make an AR-15 rifle. To do this, he downloaded plans for an AR-15 receiver in the Solidworks file format from a site called CNCGunsmith.com. After some small modifications to the design, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was a functional AR-15 rifle. Early testing shows that it works, although it still has some minor feed and extraction problems to be worked out.

It's hard to say what will happen when the geeks are heavily armed.

Brett:

When you point out that most handguns and semi-automatic weapons are not actually fired at humans, but at targets or wildlife, you're talking about uses that are not 2nd-Am. protected, IMHO.

The purpose of the 2nd Am. isn't to give constitutional protection to target-shooting, or even to shooting your own dinner. These are not *rights*. The purpose is *specifically* to ensure the right to bear *arms* -- weapons for use against humans. Devices designed and intended for murder.

What's interesting is that neither you nor anyone else here has really addressed my point about how firearms are *marketed*. Though in fact what I see you doing is saying that guns are needed to protect civil rights. Which rights? The right to own guns, and that's about it. It's a perfectly circular, self-reinforcing process, and the NRA's job is to push buyers around it as fast as possible.

People who claim to want to restrict abortions *really* are trying to ban them.

discuss...

Firearms should not only be safe and legal, they should be rare.

those who want to limit access to the voting booth, for some people, are really trying to make voting illegal, for some people.

It's hard to say what will happen when the geeks are heavily armed.

I have some experience with 3d-printing and this strikes me as nuts. Guns are precision-engineered machines that contain explosions. A poorly designed or constructed gun can blow up in your face and kill you. 3d-printing part of a gun is a cute novelty. But in terms of safety? It is incredibly stupid.

Nevertheless, people might be interested if there was a real shortage of guns in the US, but...there's not. Guns are plentiful and fairly cheap. Geeks that want guns already have them.

The purpose of the 2nd Am. isn't to give constitutional protection to target-shooting, or even to shooting your own dinner.

"purpose" ! ruh roh.

People who claim to want to restrict abortions *really* are trying to ban them.

discuss...

We already restrict abortions and gun ownership. Outright banning of either will never happen. Neither one would be successful if it did.

These are not *rights*.

Not enumerated rights, at least.

Put the safety on your weapon and the condom on your ..... gun.


"People who claim to want to restrict abortions *really* are trying to ban them.

discuss..."

People who prefer their birth control safe, cheap, and accessible to all ARE trying to restrict abortions. Some of the same people who further limits on weapons that shoot lots of bullets in shorts amounts of time are trying to restrict very late-term abortions, by which I mean the 12 aborted adults in Aurora, Colorado last week.


About the only significance of the stereolithography reciever is that, potentially, running one off doesn't require much in the way of skills. (Assuming the machines get developed further!) Running a milling machine does, even if it's CNC.

The machine shop tools required to turn out top quality firearms from metal stock are remarkably common already.

Of course, the only part the guy made was one that didn't have to handle high pressures; A peculiarity of firearms law that the "gun" isn't a part which actually contacts the cartridge!

I'm creating a Lockheed-117 stealth fighter in the basement garage of my apartment building via the Stratasys thingamabub.

I keep it under a tarp; the landlord thinks it's a boat.

15,000 pounds of fuel which I'll be lugging in jerry cans for weeks in my car. Can carry a 5000 lb bomb payload; the elevator in my building just happens to have a 5000 lb. capacity, so I know what's going to be happening in my living room over the next few weeks.

This outfit only needs to work after takeoff for maybe 45 minutes to cause some mayhem.

I think I've just figured out what that second comma in the Second Amendment stands for.

Shooting up the movie theater? Heall no! I mean, I COULD take out the 16-plex and the mall with it, not to mention six city blocks.

But I have bigger game in mind.

Here's what I want: Universal healthcare insurance, administered by the Federal Government by, oh, February 1, 2013.

You can choose your own doctors.

Anyone want to f*ck with me?

Because, if you do, you may be starting one of them fights Brett mentioned, you know, that you can't win.

"What's interesting is that neither you nor anyone else here has really addressed my point about how firearms are *marketed*. "

Well, you talked about the reality that anytime people perceive something may be harder to get they buy it now. This includes batteries before a storm, houses when interest rates rise, icandescent light bulbs, etc., and guns when a Democrat is in charge. They buy them simply because it is more likely to get harder to buy them. Expecting a complete ban on ownership is not required.

It is not paranoia or delusion that typically more Democrats would support additional gun control than Republicans.

As for marketing, I haven't seen or read a single gun advertisement since the President was elected so I am not sure how that works.

The "marketing" aspect was hardly worth commenting on. Common gun controler trope, that the whole 2nd amendment thing is driven by the firearms industry, with the NRA an industry front. Per this, if gun owners fear confiscation, it can't be because Democrats have given them cause to fear it, it's got to be diabolical mind control rays eminating from gun manufacturers.

Truth is, the manufacturers are forced by their customers to be politically active. Colt was nearly destroyed by a customer boycott when they tried making a separate peace with the gun controllers.

The machine shop tools required to turn out top quality firearms from metal stock are remarkably common already.

Except the barrel part. If you can make a rifled gun barrel in your machine shop, Brett, I would be quite impressed.

Also, for some numbers, about 35M households owned guns in 1977 based on percentages of households, in 2007 that number was about 37M. Based on your percentage of households and the number of households from here.

So in 2007, with approximately 3.5M guns produced by the numbers above, 10% would have to buy one gun. (The ATF has about a million less manufactured and sold that year)

So even conceding the impact of a Democrat President and potential Democrat Congress, the paranoia may be overstated.

If you can make a usable rifled gun barrel on a 3d printer, I'd be even more impressed.

While the machine needed to manufacture high quality rifled barrels is somewhat specialized, it's nothing you can't build yourself if you have a milling machine and a lathe.

Which in turn you can build yourself, if you have to. Great resource, Linsday Publishing.

it's nothing you can't build yourself if you have a milling machine and a lathe

If it takes a gunsmith with decades of experience to build a precision-rifling setup given relatively common machine tools, I say this is a point without much point to it.

I would tend to pay more attention to such a statement if e.g. you yourself had reproduced such a setup.

See, for instance,

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=8003/Product/BILL-WEBB-S-RIFLE-BARREL-MAKING-MACHINE>Bill Webb with intro and 36 page booklet by Guy Lautard. One DVD (approx. 3 total hours) plus booklet show you how to build and use a machine to make high-quality barrels from a raw steel blank. Webb built his machine from parts, scrap and surplus, using his lathe, mill and drill press. You’ll build the machine, piece by piece, and a barrel, step by step. Speeds, feeds, cutter head geometry, it’s all here. DVD format only.

I'm a mechanical engineer who used to spend half my time running a Haas machining center, among other tools. I think I am fairly acquainted with the difficulty of making specialized machines, even if I did sell my personal machine tools when I moved to SC.

Mitt Romney LOVES Israel's mandatory universal healthcare system, where the costs are relatively low and the health is robust.

Israel's top marginal tax rate is 45%.

Gun laws are stricter than here and the homicide rate per 100,000 is quite a bit lower, maybe because of those terrible military implements all over the place, which the Israeli citizenry don't seem to feel the need to keep up with, though certainly the Palestinians must be visiting the gun range quite often.

Who is Mitt Romney?

Could I vote for him, considering his enthusiasm for Israel's way of doing things.

Well, probably not, because of his attitude about the Palestinians, but one never knows.

Hey, going back to something upthread, someone finally managed to locate someone casting fraudulent ballots for a dead person. If you guessed before clicking the link that it's a Republican politician committing the fraud, award yourself a No-Prize!

For festering paranoid delusion being nurtured on the macro scale, watch the Republican Negro Menace wants to kill the Jew ads in this Sullivan post :

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/ad-war-update-30.html

The second, by an outfit called Secure American Now, has the same policy implications of Hitler's dog's vomiting.

Peruse their website.

This is the right-wing of the Republican Party Mitt Romney kowtows to.

The murderous, expensive security state these killers desire will enslave America, including a prominent ancestor of the first slave.

These people love and worship the images of 9/11, which happened on their watch, the traitorous, pansy vermin.

They wanted it. They want it again. They hope it happens during the Obama Presidency to teach America the lesson that you never hire a slave's ancestor to do a cracker's job.

Heck, they don't even give Obama credit for caving to the fascist Republican security state on the very issues for which liberals and other reasonable people hold him responsible and in contempt.

These people will kill.

Brett's weapons are not the problem.

It's the totalitarian neocon terror state that needs to be combated.

With big f*cking weapons.

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