The Big Gun Control Thread

Funkenpants wrote:
Stengah wrote:

While true, the last several weeks of this thread have focused on gun related homicides, mass shootings specifically. Using numbers comprised mainly of suicides as an argument that VT has a gun problem and is need of regulation falls apart when you actually look at the numbers.

I said that they have the highest rate of gun-related deaths in the region, and I think it's possible to see reduced suicides with lower rates of gun ownership. Suicide is an issue that's been talked about in the thread. You want to disagree with the goal of reducing suicide rates via gun control? Fine. That's what the thread is about: gun control and it's utility and purpose. People have different views on the issue.

You're saying that now, but originally you were originally arguing against the point Josh Marshall was making in the quote you posted (that VT doesn't have a lot of violent gun crime, yet has no gun laws, suggesting that it's a cultural problem more than simply the fact that guns are available). I was just pointing out that the numbers actually back up Marshall's claim, not yours.

Read the quote. The guy didn't say anything about violent crime specifically. He used the term 'gun deaths,' which is the term people typically use to refer to all deaths caused by firearms.

Hey Edwin,

Would you mind posting a copy of the letter you are sending to your rep's? It doesn't have to be the exact one but, it would be nice to see how you worded it (for those of us that don't write so well).

Funkenpants wrote:

Regarding the whole "culture" argument, I saw this quote from one of Talking Points Memo readers to Josh Marshall about gun control:

In VT, during hunting season last fall, one saw pickups with gun racks on the side of the roads. Many of the trucks had Obama bumper stickers on them. So VT is different. It has no gun laws at all, yet it is way down the list in terms of gun deaths, but not near the bottom. VT has a hunting season for mothers and daughters and fathers and sons. It also has a bow and arrow season. I suspect that we will get some gun legislation here as CT is too close to be ignored. Why is VT different? I suspect we don’t have a culture of resentment which fuels the gun culture, the tea party and the Republican party.

I trace it back to the first thing VT ever did - it banned slavery. It was a full democracy for all men from the very first. It, per capita, had the largest presence in the Civil War. My guess is that up here guns are as they are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. I don’t have a gun. I’m not a gun person, but this is not a divide between friends and neighbors.

It sounds good, right? The problem I have with it is that Vermont's rate of gun-related deaths is slightly higher than Ohio, Washington, and Delaware (2010 rates). It's more than twice than Connecticut's and three times Massachusetts, despite the latter two states having major urban centers. Both CT and Mass have more gun control and lower rates of gun ownership, which I think it likely to be more significant than culture or the history of slavery in VT.

I don't know why our ownership rates are lower here in CT. It's not a supply issue, because I can buy a handgun here with a bit of paperwork and there are no restrictions on long guns.

It might be because in much of the state it's hard to find a place to shoot. It can be hard to find a place to hunt, too, from what I'm told. So guns have less of a presence here than elsewhere.

According to the CDC (you'll have to narrow it down to firearm deaths in specific states), VT had a 8.4 per 100,000 firearm death rate in 2009, however, 7.2 of that was suicides, leaving 1.2 for homicide, accident, and undetermined. For the same year, Mass had an overall rate of 3.3, 1.6 for suicide and 1.7 for homicide. If I had to guess why the ownership rates are different, I'd guess the lack of urban centers and rural nature of VT, and the % of the population that hunts would be the main factor. I'd put money on most of those guns being hunting rifles.

Edit - fixed link

Jayhawker wrote:
MaverickDago wrote:

You're not going to get any traction with gun people when you use suicide as a reason to restrict gun ownership, that cuts to the core of personal responsibility.

Having a gun in the household dramatically increases the odds a suicide will happen, regardless of how.
A gun is just a nice easy way out that is highly effective.

And while you call depression personal responsibility, there are plenty of people that see it differently.

To reframe further, consider it an existential version of "going Galt."

Funkenpants wrote:

Read the quote. The guy didn't say anything about violent crime specifically. He used the term 'gun deaths,' which is the term people typically use to refer to all deaths caused by firearms.

I did and "I suspect we don’t have a culture of resentment which fuels the gun culture, the tea party and the Republican party," and "My guess is that up here guns are as they are in Norway, Sweden and Finland. I don’t have a gun. I’m not a gun person, but this is not a divide between friends and neighbors" indicate to me that the types of gun deaths he's talking about are homicides.

IMAGE(http://www.adamrb.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/mat.png)

Yep, someone went full retard.

Jayhawker wrote:

Yep, someone went full retard.

Larry Wilmore does a pretty good job with that one (Jon Stewart picked it up on Thursday's show as well).

OMFG. That guy is an unmitigated douchebag.

Farscry wrote:

OMFG. That guy is an unmitigated douchebag.

I like Larry.
/

Not even 10 seconds of talking, and he managed to pile drive that far into the ground?

I picture him at home.

"Honey, do these..."

"Shut up cow" "MOOOO!"

"I was going to say sheets need changing."

Up next, explosive appreciation day in Oklahoma City, Atomic Appreciation day in Japan, Bomber Plane appreciation day in Dresden.

Rezzy wrote:
Farscry wrote:

OMFG. That guy is an unmitigated douchebag.

I like Larry.
/ :)

D'oh!

I should've specified WHO the unmitigated douchebag was. I was meaning, of course, the gun appreciation committee leader guy on that outrageous CNN interview.

And yeah, I know you acknowledged that, but in retrospect I figured it'd be better for me to clarify.

I was reading about one of the legal cases on the second amendment on a forum, and I saw someone ask about people with criminal records and the right to bear arms. Assuming that an offender has completed his or her sentence, the person asked, how does the government justify disqualifications from gun ownership if the Second Amendment is a fundamental right?

It sounds like an easy question to answer, but fundamental rights typically apply to everyone, even ex-convicts. Freedom of speech and worship. Freedom from illegal search and seizure. Freedom from cruel or unusual punishment. The right against self-incrimination. The right to marry. The right to have children. The right against slavery. The right to have an abortion. The modern view is that all these rights apply even to people with criminal records.

Under the Miller view of the Second Amendment, excluding ex-convicts from gun ownership wasn't a problem because the Second Amendment wasn't held to relate to an individual right of self-defense. But now that the court has recognized one, how can it deny ex-felons their right to armed self-defense? We wouldn't, for example, allow these people to be sterilized because they had "forfeited" their right to have children because they broke the law.

(to be honest, all this is just legal theory stuff- as a practical matter the federal courts can just invent a reason and say, BAM, the Second Amendment doesn't apply- but I thought it was an interesting argument)

No, I think you're on to something, Funken. There are probably other major areas of law that are affected by that change in interpretation as well. We just haven't seen them come up in cases yet.

Felony disenfranchisement laws have been ruled constitutional, so I don't see how one could expect a different ruling on gun ownership.

LouZiffer wrote:

Felony disenfranchisement laws have been ruled constitutional, so I don't see how one could expect a different ruling on gun ownership.

True, but in that case the Supreme Court cited the 14th Amendment, which specifically lists rebellion or crimes as exemptions to the right to vote. There's no similar exception listed in the Second Amendment. How does Scalia and his strict constructionists allies ignore that?

Nothing personally to add besides this news

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/stephen-king-ebook-guns-_n_2551128.html

Stephen King's eBook 'Guns' Attacks NRA, Gun Owners, Politicians Over Inaction And Hypocrisy

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/UZpevFjl.png)

Very interesting video on how the government can sway the people. This man had an amazing life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qkf...

The NY Times on how, in the face of a shrinking market, the industry is pushing for, among other things, lowering age restrictions

The Conformist wrote:

Very interesting video on how the government can sway the people. This man had an amazing life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qkf...

Hoo boy, John Birch Society interview? Wow.

The more I read about the "pro-gun" rallies, the more I have come to believe that the majority of gun owners are children who are screaming about losing some of their toys. Not all of their toys, but just some of them.

I guess heckling the father of a slain child is within bounds for these intellectual giants.

http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Newtown-dad-to-lawmakers-Change-gun-laws-4228992.php

Most amazing, from that article:

"In the 45 days since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 3,600 people have died because of gun violence," said Lefkowitz, who demonstrated in Washington 12 years ago during the "Million Mom March."

Since then, 360,000 have died.

Gun violence isn't a problem in this country, it's an outright epidemic.

I don't think it's a majority of gun owners that act like that. The most visible gun owners are the ones screaming about the Second Amendment, and those guys complain that the hunting/sportsman gun owners aren't willing to stand up and protest for someone's right to have 30-round magazines or own handguns. So there is a group of gun owners out there who are against bans of all guns, but aren't necessarily against legislation that doesn't affect them.

Bear wrote:

The more I read about the "pro-gun" rallies, the more I have come to believe that the majority of gun owners are children who are screaming about losing some of their toys. Not all of their toys, but just some of them.

I think they're a very vocal minority (though not as small a minority as I'd like), but I agree with your assumption of their motives. Pro-gun rallies and the idiots who think wandering around the neighborhood with a semi-automatic rifle is a sensible idea are morons. Guns are dangerous, and need to be treated as such. I just think that bans on the ones that look scary is going too far in the other direction.

Bear wrote:

Most amazing, from that article:

"In the 45 days since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 3,600 people have died because of gun violence," said Lefkowitz, who demonstrated in Washington 12 years ago during the "Million Mom March."

Since then, 360,000 have died.

Gun violence isn't a problem in this country, it's an outright epidemic.

Most amazing, but almost certainly incorrect. If that rate were to hold steady, it'd mean there would be ~29,200 violent gun deaths in the year.
In 2011, a total of 11,101 people were murdered using firearms. Assuming the rate in 2012 was similar to that in 2011, that would make the 45 day number 1,369. Still much higher than is acceptable, but about 1/2 what she claims. For the 360,000 number to be true, the rate would need to be 30,000 per year, yet the highest it's ever been was 18,253 in 1993 and hasn't been close to that high in the 12 year period they're looking at (2000-2012). The only way they get those numbers is to include suicides, which don't exactly fall under the category of "death due to gun violence." It's not that surprising though, as the people behind the Million Mom March are known to have used horribly inflated and misleading numbers to promote gun-control. Using misleading numbers for emotional impact is as dishonest and unproductive as trying to ignore the disproportionate emotional impact mass shootings have compared to their frequency.

Bear wrote:

The more I read about the "pro-gun" rallies, the more I have come to believe that the majority of gun owners are children who are screaming about losing some of their toys. Not all of their toys, but just some of them.

I guess heckling the father of a slain child is within bounds for these intellectual giants.

http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Newtown-dad-to-lawmakers-Change-gun-laws-4228992.php

Most amazing, from that article:

"In the 45 days since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 3,600 people have died because of gun violence," said Lefkowitz, who demonstrated in Washington 12 years ago during the "Million Mom March."

Since then, 360,000 have died.

Gun violence isn't a problem in this country, it's an outright epidemic.

That's a bit emotional isnt it?

Heart desease causes 2,200 deaths a day...

And again. More people are beaten to death than killed with long arms of any type.

Stengah wrote:

The only way they get those numbers is to include suicides, which don't exactly fall under the category of "death due to gun violence."

Why not? Suicide is a type of violence--violence against oneself, but still violence. And gun control has the potential to greatly impact the suicide rate:

The Boston Globe wrote:

At a summit on gun violence held at Johns Hopkins this past week, Harvard professor Matthew Miller presented a comparison of people living in “high-gun states,” where there are firearms in approximately 50 percent of homes, with those living in “low-gun states,” where that number is around 15 percent. Looking at these two groups of people side by side, Miller showed that they had similar rates of depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as similar rates of suicide that did not involve firearms, like hanging and poisoning. But the number of people who died by shooting themselves was almost four times greater in the high-gun states. In total, there were almost twice as many suicides among people living in high-gun states as there were in low-gun states.

Paleocon wrote:

And again. More people are beaten to death than killed with long arms of any type.

And more people die from shootings in a day than have died from weaponized anthrax in the last decade, but that doesn't mean I can saunter down to Wal-Mart and legally purchase some anthrax like I could a semi-auto rifle. What about my right to bear anthrax, huh?!

ranalin wrote:

Heart desease causes 2,200 deaths a day...

True, and we spend a huge amount of money and effort to avoid those deaths. So it's not surprising that people are advocating for some kind of policy response to try and lower the murder rate.

Gun homicides are a much bigger problem in the black community than in the white community because a disproportionate number of victims are young black males. When black guys are killing each other, it's a problem that's affecting only about 13% of the country, and it's easier to keep it contained, politically-speaking. The middle class can just put it down to inner city crime and largely ignore it as a problem that affects them.

The political change in the past year or two is that you see these mass shooters coming into suburban theaters, schools, and malls. These are supposed to be safe areas, not like those distant urban battlegrounds. These guys with assault rifles are hurting people's sense of security, and so there is going to be some kind of political response in some locations.

Nationally nothing is going to change. The votes just aren't there.