The Big Gun Control Thread

Edwin wrote:

You don't like it. Fine. But for those of us who want that option, I want it to still be there.

Thing is, guns are one of those "options" that don't just effect the person making the choice to own one.

At least, not until someone invents a bullet that will only kill the owner of the gun that fired it. Until then, it seems like an option that a society might be best to avoid.

But clearly this isn't something we'll ever agree upon, so we may as well let it rest for the time being.

ruhk wrote:

Until then, it seems like an option that a society might be best to avoid.

Do you know what it's like to have the police in your home because your dad had to defend himself at work from two bloodshot eye junkies looking to steal the cash in the register at the ice cream shop he worked at?

I know.

Have you ever had to watch your mother crack open the door with her pistol ready to give covering fire to your dad so he can get into the house after work each day?

I have.

Did you have to abandon your homeland because it wasn't safe? To grow up disconnected from your culture and heritage and to be treated as a stranger and alienated when you go back home? To have racism constantly leveled at you verbally, financially, career wise in your new home because you are a minority?

I did.

Do you realize what it's like at 8 years old to survive one of the worst natural disasters in human history and then have to defend what is left of your families fresh drinking water from looters while waiting for the national guard to show up because the police had abandoned us?

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/Ij8SLYf.jpg)

I do.

Do you realize how painful it is to have your fears, worries and life experiences utterly dismissed by someone as if all the things they have experienced are lies? To shake and tear up as the past is brought back very vividly because they have to try and plead their case to a stranger not to make them helpless in defending themselves? That there are some people out there with a legitimate need to defend themselves and a firearm just happens to be one of the best ways to do so in some circumstances?

I am right now.

I'm sorry if you've ever been victimized by someone with a firearm. I know how that is. I don't want to be powerless to do nothing if it ever happens again.

Edwin wrote:

Do you realize how painful it is to have your fears, worries and life experiences utterly dismissed by someone as if all the things they have experienced are lies?

No one's doing that. I'm sorry you've been through some sh*t, but you are mistaking criticism of a political position for criticism of your person. Like I said earlier, there clearly isn't going to be seeing any eye to eye here, especially with a topic that appears to have so much baggage.

Edwin wrote:

It is not hypothetical when I back up my posts with cases, stats, videos and examples.

Choosing a handful of extreme anecdotes does not mean there's such a threat that gun owners need large capacity magazines. It also helps if you pick examples that actually support your position.

Unfortunately, your example from Cincinnati does not. In that incident, the homeowner opened the door and immediately had six people bum rush her. The only way a larger magazine would have helped her was if she answered the door armed and immediately pointed her weapon at the woman who knocked.

An approach that would have kept her safe--and not required a firearm, let alone one with a large magazine--would have been to turn on some lights and look out the window or peephole before deciding to answer the door for a stranger in the middle of the night. Once she saw the other people she could have simply called the police.

The real issue isn't about how many people might be involved in a burglary/forcible entry, it's about the level of threat those criminals actually represent.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics people were only home during burglaries/forcible entry 27% of the time. That's about a million incidents each year. Of those only about 260,000 incidents actually resulted in some violent action taking place--half of which were simple assault (just threatening violence, not actually hurting anyone).

That's because if someone simply wants to steal from you they'd much rather prefer that you (or anyone else) aren't around when they do it. It's why most break-ins occur during the day when it's expected that no one will be home. It's also why 61% burglars who broke into a house when someone was there were completely unarmed. They're looking for sh*t to steal, not to have a gun battle with the residents.

Oddly enough the actual threat people face are their friends and family. Of the 260,000 violent incidents that took place during a burglary/forcible entry, fully 65% were done by people the victim knows, either a current/former intimate partner, a family member, a friend, or a friend of a friend. Only about 27% of the time--about 70,000 incidents a year--involved total strangers and yet that is the scenario the gun industry typically emphasizes.

Edwin wrote:

The 1986 FBI Miami shootout that caused police departments around the nation to abandon revolvers because of their inability to stop attackers is NOT hypothetical. Whether you care to admit it or not, having more than 6 rounds is necessary sometimes.

But that wasn't the only reason, nor likely the most important reason.

You forget that gun manufacturers like Beretta and Glock had dedicated business strategies to get law enforcement agencies to buy their high capacity semi automatics. They were shiny new products desperately looking for a market.

Beretta leveraged it's 1985 contract with the military to break into law enforcement. Glock aggressively discounted the Glock 17 to break in, allowing police departments to buy shiny new Glocks for essentially nothing if they just traded in their old weapons.

And, of course, all this was happening during the crack cocaine epidemic and the exploding violence it brought that made the police think they needed to tool up.

Considering that we're no longer in the grip of the crack cocaine epidemic and that violent crime rates have been falling for decades it really doesn't make sense that everyone needs 15, 17 or more rounds. Those large magazine sizes were more of a side effect of the weapons' design rather than an actual requirement based on the level of threat people faced.

ruhk wrote:
Edwin wrote:

Do you realize how painful it is to have your fears, worries and life experiences utterly dismissed by someone as if all the things they have experienced are lies?

No one's doing that. I'm sorry you've been through some sh*t, but you are mistaking criticism of a political position for criticism of your person. Like I said earlier, there clearly isn't going to be seeing any eye to eye here, especially with a topic that appears to have so much baggage.

Ruhk, you were doing exactly that. You just didn't know that the things you were making fun of and dismissing outright were similar to things that happened to Edwin personally.

ruhk wrote:

Omg what if her house was invaded by aliens?! We should legalize private ownership of high energy plasma rifles to ensure the public's safety from the armies of Galactic Overlord Drolggg!

ruhk wrote:

Devolving into increasingly unlikely hypothetical situations trying to revalidate a countered argument is hardly a serious discussion. Even Galactic Overlord Drolggg knows that.

ruhk wrote:
Edwin wrote:

It is not hypothetical when I back up my posts with cases, stats, videos and examples. The 1986 FBI Miami shootout that caused police departments around the nation to abandon revolvers because of their inability to stop attackers is NOT hypothetical. Whether you care to admit it or not, having more than 6 rounds is necessary sometimes. There are plenty of times when it isn't, but the NYPD numbers I posted in an earlier post clearly show that more often than not, a semi-auto is the better choice, if we are strictly talking about handguns.

Any situation is possible, but what matters is how probable something is, which is why people were satirizing the argument. Yeah, tonight a group of criminals might break into my house and kill me... Am I worried that will actually happen? Should I go buy a gun "just in case?" Of course not, and it's ridiculous to suggest it.

I've also got to question whether you really want your probability argument to be used, because if it was applied equally we would just ignore events like Newton (mass shooting at a school) due their rarity. Both mass shootings and having to defend your home with a gun have a disproportionate emotional impact, and that's important to remember when trying to come up with a workable, effective solution to gun violence.

Stengah wrote:
ruhk wrote:
Edwin wrote:

Do you realize how painful it is to have your fears, worries and life experiences utterly dismissed by someone as if all the things they have experienced are lies?

No one's doing that. I'm sorry you've been through some sh*t, but you are mistaking criticism of a political position for criticism of your person. Like I said earlier, there clearly isn't going to be seeing any eye to eye here, especially with a topic that appears to have so much baggage.

Ruhk, you were doing exactly that. You just didn't know that the things you were making fun of and dismissing outright were similar to things that happened to Edwin personally.

So if someone makes a flawed argument no one should call them out on it in case they may have some emotional attachment to it and can't distinguish between counterargument and personal attack? At that point the argument just becomes special pleading an there isn't any point in having a discussion in the first place.

Stengah wrote:
ruhk wrote:

Any situation is possible, but what matters is how probable something is, which is why people were satirizing the argument. Yeah, tonight a group of criminals might break into my house and kill me... Am I worried that will actually happen? Should I go buy a gun "just in case?" Of course not, and it's ridiculous to suggest it.

I've also got to question whether you really want your probability argument to be used, because if it was applied equally we would just ignore events like Newton (mass shooting at a school) due their rarity. Both mass shootings and having to defend your home with a gun have a disproportionate emotional impact, and that's important to remember when trying to come up with a workable, effective solution to gun violence.

I'm totally cool with discounting Newton in the discussion, I've opposed guns and argued against them long before Newton or Columbine or any of the other mass shootings that have occurred recently.
What little data that has escaped the prohibition on gun research, data which has been cited numerous times in this thread, shows that guns make pretty sh*tty defensive weapons because they greatly increase the threat of gun violence rather than lessening it.

ruhk wrote:
Stengah wrote:
ruhk wrote:
Edwin wrote:

Do you realize how painful it is to have your fears, worries and life experiences utterly dismissed by someone as if all the things they have experienced are lies?

No one's doing that. I'm sorry you've been through some sh*t, but you are mistaking criticism of a political position for criticism of your person. Like I said earlier, there clearly isn't going to be seeing any eye to eye here, especially with a topic that appears to have so much baggage.

Ruhk, you were doing exactly that. You just didn't know that the things you were making fun of and dismissing outright were similar to things that happened to Edwin personally.

So if someone makes a flawed argument no one should call them out on it in case they may have some emotional attachment to it and can't distinguish between counterargument and personal attack? At that point the argument just becomes special pleading an there isn't any point in having a discussion in the first place.

Perhaps try to make your counterargument without insulting or making fun of the person you're arguing with?

Stengah wrote:
ruhk wrote:
Stengah wrote:

Ruhk, you were doing exactly that. You just didn't know that the things you were making fun of and dismissing outright were similar to things that happened to Edwin personally.

So if someone makes a flawed argument no one should call them out on it in case they may have some emotional attachment to it and can't distinguish between counterargument and personal attack? At that point the argument just becomes special pleading an there isn't any point in having a discussion in the first place.

Perhaps try to make your counterargument without insulting or making fun of the person you're arguing with?

If someone has so much baggage they can't take a Terminator joke about a guy who got shot in the face multiple times, was not stopped by being shot in the face a bunch of times, and then drove away? I feel for them, but I also think it's their responsibility to steer clear of stuff that's going to trigger them. No pun intended.

Sorry, but jokes about The Terminator in response to a story about a guy with a bullet sponge for a face is not insulting or making fun of the person you're arguing with. At least to any greater degree than is normal around here.

Stengah wrote:

Perhaps try to make your counterargument without insulting or making fun of the person you're arguing with?

I didn't, I was satirizing the argument, not the person. There is a vast and distinct divide between what constitutes a person and what constitutes a formulated argument.

Geez, let's just get back to talking about how evil guns are.

If you haven't listened to it, I recommend catching the two latest This American Life episodes. It's actually getting some coverage in cable news (it's not every day you see Ira Glass on TVs at the gym), and is a pretty remarkable story. Aside from the broken lives these kids are living, and the tremendous courage and sacrifice the adults in these schools are making, it also reports on just how easy it is to get guns into the hands of these kids. It's a direct result of our gun culture. Be sure to catch the last segment of the second part, where they go a little bit beyond Harper High School.

Harper High School, Part One

Harper High School, Part Two

Cheeze, that was spaceppoliceman, not ruhk, and I agree that it wasn't insulting or out of the ordinary for a GWJ thread.
Ruhk however took an argument to have more than a revolver (multiple home invaders), cranked up the hyperbole by comparing it to fears about alien invasion, then dismissed Edwin's example as hypothetical, despite the fact that Edwin posted a video in which it actually happened.

But I guess Edwin has the answer to his question about whether he's wasting his time on ruhk at least.

Stengah wrote:

Cheeze, that was spaceppoliceman, not ruhk, and I agree that it wasn't insulting or out of the ordinary for a GWJ thread.
Ruhk however took an argument to have more than a revolver (multiple home invaders), cranked up the hyperbole by comparing it to fears about alien invasion, then dismissed Edwin's example as hypothetical, despite the fact that Edwin posted a video in which it actually happened.

But I guess Edwin has the answer to his question about whether he's wasting his time on ruhk at least.

"Hypothetical" was just poor word choice, but you are consistently ignoring the entire point I was trying to make: that a single extreme set of circumstances, like the one he provided, is a statistical outlier and doesn't justify a need for "heavy weaponry" in the hands of anyone who can afford it. It's the same reason I oppose people trying to arm teachers or post constant security in the wake of Newton. It's an inherently ludicrous argument to make.

Just because multiple assailants is more likely than aliens or Terminators doesn't make it less hypothetical. Straw Dogs is as much a movie as The Terminator. Again, the Game of What If is silly, because there's always a trump. "What if there were six guys?" Then she should go to the range until she could get six head shots. "What if there were seven?" She should wait for two to line up right. "I shot you!" Did not, I have a bulletproof vest. "I shot you with a bulletproof vest piercing gun!" My bulletproof vest has a magnet shield too. While I was joking with the Terminator vid, I was joking with a very specific point.

Now, let us resume the lecture about how the naive, deluded, fascist, Constitution-shredders are being big, disrespectful meanies.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Just because multiple assailants is more likely than aliens or Terminators doesn't make it less hypothetical. Straw Dogs is as much a movie as The Terminator. Again, the Game of What If is silly, because there's always a trump. "What if there were six guys?" Then she should go to the range until she could get six head shots. "What if there were seven?" She should wait for two to line up right. "I shot you!" Did not, I have a bulletproof vest. "I shot you with a bulletproof vest piercing gun!" My bulletproof vest has a magnet shield too. While I was joking with the Terminator vid, I was joking with a very specific point.

Exactly what I was originally getting at, though more eloquent perhaps.

Whether or not your logic is good, when someone bares their heart, does it really behoove you to stake it? Take a step back from the debate, because right now, it seems like Edwin's getting Paleoconned in this thread, despite being pretty damn pro-gun control.

OG_slinger wrote:

Considering that we're no longer in the grip of the crack cocaine epidemic and that violent crime rates have been falling for decades it really doesn't make sense that everyone needs 15, 17 or more rounds. Those large magazine sizes were more of a side effect of the weapons' design rather than an actual requirement based on the level of threat people faced.

Really? I'll let my grandparents and cousins know that what they have to see and deal with everyday isn't a big deal because you say so. While I'm at it, let me tell the Justice department that we're not in the grip of the same f*cking crack cocaine epidemic for the past thirty years that caused my parents to leave.

I mean, it's not like we just lost one of the best boxers in the world due to low violence and the 80% of murders related to drugs is a sure sign of the non-existent crack cocaine epidemic.

ruhk wrote:

"Hypothetical" was just poor word choice, but you are consistently ignoring the entire point I was trying to make: that a single extreme set of circumstances, like the one he provided, is a statistical outlier and doesn't justify a need for "heavy weaponry" in the hands of anyone who can afford it. It's the same reason I oppose people trying to arm teachers or post constant security in the wake of Newton. It's an inherently ludicrous argument to make.

A) They're not statistical outliers or extreme circumstances. They're certainly not as common as the NRA would like people to think, but they happen a lot more often than you seem to be aware of. Edwin's personal experience with them is all the more relevant since the NRA is blocking research that could tell us just how often they actually occur. The emotional impact of having to use a gun to protect yourself or your family is incredibly disproportionate to their frequency, whatever it is. We should take them as seriously as we take school shootings, which happen far less frequently. The "hypotheticals" you are dismissing are informed by actual events. Unlike alien invasions and terminators, people getting attacked by multiple assailants actually happens. So while it was hypothetical in that particular situation, it is not an imaginary event that only happens in movies. His "what-ifs" about multiple attackers are no more ludicrous than "what-ifs" about people misusing guns. Both happen, and both sides need to be taken into account when trying to figure out what to do.

B) A semi-automatic handgun is not "heavy weaponry" by any stretch.

Edwin wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Considering that we're no longer in the grip of the crack cocaine epidemic and that violent crime rates have been falling for decades it really doesn't make sense that everyone needs 15, 17 or more rounds. Those large magazine sizes were more of a side effect of the weapons' design rather than an actual requirement based on the level of threat people faced.

Really? I'll let my grandparents and cousins know that what they have to see and deal with everyday isn't a big deal because you say so. While I'm at it, let me tell the Justice department that we're not in the grip of the same f*cking crack cocaine epidemic for the past thirty years that caused my parents to leave.

I mean, it's not like we just lost one of the best boxers in the world due to low violence and the 80% of murders related to drugs is a sure sign of the non-existent crack cocaine epidemic.

Edwin, don't feed the trolls.

While OG is not always as tactful as he could be, I don't think he's a troll. And his point is valid. Edwin's examples notwithstanding, crime rates *have* been going down. That's not to say crime doesn't happen, but it is a point against the NRA's myth about how everyone needs guns to defend themselves from coked-up criminals intent on robbing and killing law-abiding citizens.

Edwin wrote:

Really? I'll let my grandparents and cousins know that what they have to see and deal with everyday isn't a big deal because you say so. While I'm at it, let me tell the Justice department that we're not in the grip of the same f*cking crack cocaine epidemic for the past thirty years that caused my parents to leave.

I mean, it's not like we just lost one of the best boxers in the world due to low violence and the 80% of murders related to drugs is a sure sign of the non-existent crack cocaine epidemic.

What are you saying, Edwin? That the United State's national policy on firearms should be driven by what's happening in a US territory? That because Puerto Rico has an extremely high murder rate firearms with large capacity magazines should continued to be sold throughout the entire country (even though there's absolutely no data out there that shows that firearms make people safer--and firearms with large capacity magazines even safer)?

And Puerto Rico isn't in the midst of a crack cocaine epidemic like New York, LA, and the rest of country faced in the late 80s and early 90s. It's in the midst of a gang war to control the drug pipeline--primarily weed, coke, and heroin--from South America to the continental US. The Justice Department report you linked to made that very clear.

Outside of it's murder rate (which everyone states is almost entirely driven by drug-related killings), Puerto Rico is actually much safer than most of America. It's violent crime rate is 26% lower than the US average. It's aggravated assault rate is just a third of the US average. It's burglary rate is 36% lower. It's property crime rate is less than half of the US average. It's larceny-theft rate is 60% lower than the US average. It's car theft rate is about a third lower than the US average.

The only other crime stat where Puerto Rico is higher than the US average is robbery (about 50% more robberies are committed). But that only puts it in-line with the robbery rates in California, Illinois, Nevada, and New York. And while Puerto Rico's robbery rate is high, it's still only a third of Washington DC's.

Puerto Rico aside, I notice that you have absolutely nothing to say about the information I provided you about burglaries/home invasions and what that means to your insistence that large numbers of bullets are needed to deal with home invaders who are predominantly unarmed and are essentially only likely to threaten or commit violence against you if they already know you.

Rage kills, mistaken identity kills, negligent discharge kills, assisting suicides of a child or spouse - these are risks that are no different from the risk of a home invasion. It doesn't make sense to think of gun ownership purely in terms of protection against the risk of criminal attack.

Random home invasion is also really rare. More commonly you may see a friend, a family member say with gambling debts, or a substance abuse issue try to break in.

And then we also get into a really dark area of are you protecting people by shooting or killing a home invader; or are you really protecting your things with deadly force.

This popped up on m Facebook feed recently. I tried to google a chart that would disprove it but didn't have any success. (probably due to my poor google-fu skills) I'm not even sure what the numbers to the left of the chart are supposed to represent. Anyone else seen this as well?
IMAGE(http://www.politisite.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/us-historical-homicide-chart.gif)

The chart is very hard to read, but it seems to be based on FBI statistics, Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate per 100.000.

Nomad, it was not until the 30's that our present form of statistical gathering was used by the FBI, and then the states (The Uniform Crime Reports).

And then you have the National Crime Victimization survey. That began in 72. That tends to be a larger reporting sample, simply because it is based on victims. The UCR is based on crimes reported to police agencies, leading to an investigation of some sort. This is why the NCVS tends to have higher rates of larceny and rape than the UCR (these crimes are the most frequent to go unreported).

KingGorilla wrote:

Nomad, it was not until the 30's that our present form of statistical gathering was used by the FBI, and then the states (The Uniform Crime Reports).

And then you have the National Crime Victimization survey. That began in 72. That tends to be a larger reporting sample, simply because it is based on victims. The UCR is based on crimes reported to police agencies, leading to an investigation of some sort. This is why the NCVS tends to have higher rates of larceny and rape than the UCR (these crimes are the most frequent to go unreported).

Even if we do take all that into account, the fact that we currently have about half the homicide rate of 1992 is of non-trivial statistical significance.

Oh it very much is. For whatever reason crime among children has gone down tremendously since then. The big spike in the 90's was crime among boys and girls in middle or high school. I just hope no one wants to trot in the Roe v Wade or lead voodoo to explain it. The researcher who cracks the egg on why crime in the US is so low right now, demonstrably, will be set for life in academia.

I have seen a chart like that before Paleo. The argument is that the wild west was safer with its unregulated gun ownership, not true, than city life in 20th century America. That is wrong on many levels, that I may crash the servers.

I think I may have pasted this earlier, but here's a non-definitive, but interesting discussion on the topic with an author:

Nomad wrote:

This popped up on m Facebook feed recently. I tried to google a chart that would disprove it but didn't have any success. (probably due to my poor google-fu skills) I'm not even sure what the numbers to the left of the chart are supposed to represent. Anyone else seen this as well?
IMAGE(http://www.politisite.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/us-historical-homicide-chart.gif)

So... is that gun-related homicides? Or general homicides? Is this differentiating between homicide victims who owned guns versus those who did not?

Should I continue? I could ask pages of questions that make it clear how silly such an attempt to boil this down to one oversimplified graph is (regardless of which conclusion said graph reaches).

IMAGE(http://statfail.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/graph_pirates_gw.png)

*Edited to illustrate my point with a simple graph

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-w...

The author, does know his stuff, credentials and all that.

Local and territorial gun control was very strict in the 19th and 20th century.

Gun proliferation advocates also often point to private gun ownership in the colonies and early America. These laws went hand in hand with mandatory conscription into the state militia, however. That last part gets glossed over.