Gun control after Sept. 11th

Archive of the Sojourn3 General Discussion Forum.
Jhorr
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Postby Jhorr » Wed Nov 07, 2001 6:11 am

Corth:

You are correct that there is a publication bias but correcting for that doesn't ameliorate the increased risk to nonsmokers from passive smoke:

Cops, J and Shi, J. Reanalysis of epidemiological evidence on lung cancer and passive smoking. British Medical Journal, Volume 320(7232), 2000, pp 417-418

Abstract
Objective: To assess the epidemiological evidence for an increase in the risk of lung cancer resulting from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

Design: Reanalysis of 37 published epidemiological studies previously included in a meta-analysis allowing for the possibility of publication bias.

Main outcome measure: Relative risk of lung cancer among female lifelong non-smokers, according to whether her partner was a current smoker or a lifelong non-smoker.

Results: If it is assumed that all studies that have ever been carried out are included, or that those selected for review are truly representative of all such studies, then the estimated excess risk of lung cancer is 24%, as previously reported (95% confidence interval 13% to 36%, P<0.001). However, a significant correlation between study outcome and study size suggests the presence of publication bias. Adjustment for such bias implies that the risk has been overestimated. For example, if only 60% of studies have been included, the estimate of excess risk falls from 24% to 15%.

Conclusion: A modest degree of publication bias leads to a substantial reduction in the relative risk and to a weaker level of significance, suggesting that the published estimate of the increased risk of lung cancer associated with environmental tobacco smoke needs to be interpreted with caution.

Similar results were also found in children:

The adverse health effects of tobacco and tobacco-related products. Mitchell BE - Prim Care - 1999 Sep; 26(3): 463-98

Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Children

Environmental tobacco smoke is known to be hazardous to health, especially in children, and has been extensively documented. [258] In an article by Barnes et al, [14] it was noted that of 106 reviews, 37% concluded that passive smoking is not harmful to health; 74% (29 of 39) of these were written by authors with tobacco industry affiliations. Multiple logistic regression analyses controlling for article quality, peer review status, article topic, and year of publication, revealed that the only factor affiliated with concluding that passive smoking is not harmful was whether an author was affiliated with the tobacco industry. [14] A meta-analysis of 29 studies found the relation between bronchial hyper-responsiveness to be unclear. Although the odds ratio was 1.3 (95% CI 1.1 to 1.5), several of the studies found no effect and the authors argue that the effects were overestimated by publication bias. [68] The literature, however, is replete with other studies showing worsened asthma and other respiratory effects, including increased health care use, among children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. [1] [63] [88] [104] [150] [170] [260] [263] In addition, environmental tobacco smoke increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections, otitis media, pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (as measured by higher cotinine levels), and pulmonary complications after general anesthesia. [2] [18] [249] [259]
Corth
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Postby Corth » Wed Nov 07, 2001 8:04 am

Jhorr:

Thanks for posting that, very intersting stuff, and seems credible since it takes into account the politicization of the subject. I would conclude after reading it that although the danger of second-hand smoke has been overstated, the danger exists, particularly for children.

So I would ask you if it would be a legitimate governmental action to make it illegal for parents to smoke in their own homes, considering this deletrious effect on their children.

Corth
Jhorr
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Postby Jhorr » Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:43 am

My home is my sanctuary. No cops allowed Image
Nare
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Postby Nare » Wed Nov 07, 2001 1:19 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ShaylaRose:
<B>
As for the Nare's views, the idea that reporting rapes are a "fad" speaks of horrifying indifference to a real tragedy. That I simply can't understand. Sorry for clumping you in with that sentiment.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Umm...I never said that. I think that was Nida (ooh...we got somebody confused! I KNEW both of us taking "N" names was a great idea Image j/k). And, besides, I'm sure it wasn't what she meant; she was probably referring to women who report that they were raped just to get somebody they don't like in trouble. Yes, it happens. Some people take advantage of anything and everything.

Hmm...maybe we should start a new thread if people want to keep talking about this.

Nare
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Postby Yasden » Wed Nov 07, 2001 4:10 pm

Let's ban boxcutters and cans of mace while we're at it! Or wait...how about all knives, gardening tools, axes, shovels, frying pans, cars, trucks, motorcycles, poisonous snakes and spiders too!

These things can all be used to kill someone....you could kill someone with your bare hands. The problem was never the gun, and it never will be....it's the people who have them. I support *some* means of gun control, as in very thorough background checks in purchasing one....but you're not going to stop those who are intent on doing malice.

The problem with the United States is the lack of education on guns, the lack of discipline on children, the lack of anger management, the lack of common sense, and the overabundance of bad attitudes and violent tendencies.

Ok I'll stop before I get going on a rant...

:P
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Postby cherzra » Wed Nov 07, 2001 4:47 pm

Yes, and combine that with guns and you see exactly what the problem is.

Exactly, guns. Without them there would be not even a 100th of the current deaths. Try killing someone in a fit of rage with your bare hands. Both sides will end up bruised but nobody will die.

There is no need for guns. Ever. Permanently. Just because your great-great-great-great-great grandfather needed one to shoot some Englishmen and Indians, doesn't mean the same reasons why he needed one still apply today, and it's a real cheap excuse to claim to need one.

The amount of stupid people is on the increase, educational standards are lower than ever, crime is rising every year, morals and standards are indeed disappearing. These things are irreversible so the idea that every problem can be solved by correcting these faults (as opposed to just banning guns to cease deaths resulting from this stupidity) is a failure before even beginning. Or maybe stupid people just shouldn't be allowed to breed - but that is another subject.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:20 pm

Cherzra, can you honestly believe that? How can you think that people can't or won't kill people without guns? 6,000 people were killed 2 months ago by a few guys with box cutters.

Sarvis

PS. There are a lot of ways to kill people with your bare hands. They aren't that difficult to do either. I recently learned of a pressure point that will knock a guy out when you use it, but causes a major artery to rub up against a bone and get scratched. After a couple years that scratch will break open and the guy will bleed to death.
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Postby Ssarra » Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:23 pm

Can't stand it anymore. For all you people that say it's the gun's fault, BS. Several of my friends and I have grown up around guns. We've been shooting shotguns and rifles since we were big enough to hold one. And you wanna know who taught me gun safety? My parents. Their parents. They taught us how to safely handle guns, shoot them and clean them. We use guns to hunt and for sport. And when we're done shooting, we use gun locks. Never had one accident. Never seen an accident happen. We were taught, therefore we were safe. If a parent is going to have a gun in the house, they need to lock up the gun, and teach the child gun safety. You will Never be able to keep people from getting guns, no matter what the laws are changed to. So fighting about that point is ridiculous. Making laws to ban things because people are to stupid to properly handle said things is idiotic. Teach people how not to use them, and the consequences of what happens when they are misused.
azzixxenae
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Postby azzixxenae » Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:37 pm

Oh my...

So by reading all this am I to make the correlation that Guns kill people like spoons and forks make people fat?
cherzra
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Postby cherzra » Wed Nov 07, 2001 6:39 pm

Hahahaha... let them live with their guns, let them merrily kill each other. Just keep it on that side of the ocean.
Ssarra
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Postby Ssarra » Wed Nov 07, 2001 7:52 pm

Spoons and forks don't make people get fat, people do it to themselves. Spoons and forks are just the utensils, same as guns. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
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Postby Nida » Wed Nov 07, 2001 8:25 pm

As much as I'm all for guns, I still don't think it's safe to say that "guns don't kill people, people kill people". Yeah, it's somebody pulling the trigger that's the ultimate cause, but there's more than that to the fear of guns people have. Many of the same people who would sneer at a guy with a knife would tremble with fear if that same guy leveled a nine at their heads. I can think of no other personal weapon (well, maybe bows) that has no utility other than inflicting damage specialized against living targets. A knife is possibly the most versatile tool in the world; I doubt the first use of a sharp edge was to cut somebody up. Knives have not evolved into better and better killing machines over the years. Anyone who knows anything about polearms (and we're all D&Ders here to some extent, right? ^_^) knows that they all pretty much started with farm implements. I think that solitude of purpose inherent in guns is what causes so much more screaming about "control" than any other weapons besides nuclear warheads. Please keep that in mind as you share your views-- it makes it a lot easier to see where the other guy's coming from. Even if he's letting fear override his sense of judgement. Image And it lends more credence to your responses than a catchphrase, no matter how true that catchphrase may be.

-Nida
Ragorn
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 07, 2001 9:02 pm

A gun is an inherently dangerous device.

Education is a tool which gives people the option to choose between right and wrong when presented with a choice.

The man that shot Kennedy learned how to fire a gun in the Marine Corps, under expert training and education. He was aware of the decision between right and wrong, and in spite of his education, killed the President of the United States.

Education and respect for his gun didn't prevent him from shooting the President.

- Ragorn
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Postby Elseenas » Wed Nov 07, 2001 9:36 pm

Ragorn:

Logical Fallacy, implying causality where none exists, five yard penalty.

Lets look at some other examples...

A knife is an inherently dangerous device.
Education and respect didn't keep terrorists from hijacking the planes.

Amonia Nitrate is an inherently dangerous chemical (both toxic and explosive).
Education and respect didn't prevent McVeigh from committing his act of terrorism using it.

Out of the famous assassins in history only the most recent have even had access to guns. Claiming that without guns an assassination would not have occured is specious.

Further, no one has claimed that training absolutely precludes the possiability of the gun being used improperly--just as training with demolitions does not preclude improper use or how training in medicine does not absolutely guaruntee that there will be no misuse of those skills. Once again a specious argument.

What is being claimed is that training HELPS TO PREVENT such abuses and accidents of knowledge, which is absolutely true.

------------------

Elseenas of No House Worth Mentioning

[This message has been edited by Elseenas (edited 11-07-2001).]
Nida
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Postby Nida » Wed Nov 07, 2001 9:43 pm

Nobody's saying that education prevents mental instability. Education is there for people who can benefit from it-- for instance, kids who play with their parents' guns without being taught that it random procs. Image
cherzra
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Postby cherzra » Wed Nov 07, 2001 9:54 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Elseenas:
<B>What is being claimed is that training HELPS TO PREVENT such abuses and accidents of knowledge, which is absolutely true.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Seems to me that without guns there wouldn't be a need for any of this... but that seems to be a very, very difficult concept for many people.
azzixxenae
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Postby azzixxenae » Wed Nov 07, 2001 9:55 pm

Ssarra..my point exactly.

better to have a gun and NEVER use it than NOT have a gun and really wish you had.

I've lived both sides of this arguement as I have guns, my son (6 yrs old) has a .410 that he shoots with me, so owning guns isn't a big deal.

On the flip side I've lived in Germany for 5 years and have traveled extensively throughout Europe on business. I've never ONCE in Europe felt like I was walking into a "bad area" or felt that "damn, wish I had my Glock".

It's hard to describe, but it's like if you're from a small town in northern Ca and get lost in La and wind up in Compton..most peeps would shit bricks (especially the fair skinned ones) but in Europe it isn't like that..flip it, I can't describe it.

[This message has been edited by azzixxenae (edited 11-07-2001).]
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Postby Mplor » Wed Nov 07, 2001 10:44 pm

Nuclear weapons don't kill people; people kill people.

Hence, the United States should drop its campaign to prevent nuclear proliferation world-wide.

It would take a blind man to argue that. How is that different from the gun debate?
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Postby Nare » Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:11 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mplor:
<B>Nuclear weapons don't kill people; people kill people.

Hence, the United States should drop its campaign to prevent nuclear proliferation world-wide.

It would take a blind man to argue that. How is that different from the gun debate?</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Easy - I believe it's generally agreed that there are better ways to protect a nation than through the use of nuclear technology, which in general is dangerous, imprecise, and has a great many negative long-term effects.

I can't think of many better ways to protect myself, however, than with a gun...or at least, with the threat that I MIGHT have a gun.

Besides all that, the US's stance on nuclear disarmament is a whole kettle of political wormy-fish...and not all of it, IMHO, is altruistic. There really is no good comparison to make with guns unless you want to talk about...oh, the right to an attorney or something. A lot of guilty people have gotten off because they could be defended by a knowledgable attourney. But...a lot of innocent people have been saved from jail-time, too.

Nare
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Postby Corth » Wed Nov 07, 2001 11:17 pm

Mplor:

If you have a gun, you would very much hope that a person who threatens you doesn't. On the same note, if a government posseses nuclear capabalities, its in their interest to prevent other countries from obtaining that capability. I don't see how your analogy between guns and nukes furthers your case.

Corth
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Postby Ssarra » Thu Nov 08, 2001 12:21 am

Ragorn, you are definitely right in what you say. But Nida is too. I guess I shoulda have written that more clearly. It's those people who are mentally unstable that use the weapons for the wrong ends. If someone like the JKF assassin is dead set on killing someone else, his lack of having a gun will not stop him from at least trying to accomplish his goal. Bombs, knives, poisons, hell, you can kill someone with a battery and two long sewing needles. Eliminating guns will not eliminate some unstable person from doing bad things. It doesn't work like that.
I'll try to state my thoughts more clearly from now on, although work sucks so bad it's hard to think at all. But I enjoy debates such as this, so i like to get into the discussions.

Image
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:32 am

Nukes are, in fact, a spectacularly bad example for the gun control movement. The only thing that really kept the US and Russia from nuking each other is the fear of getting nuked back. Both countries knew that if they launched even a single nuclear missile, every missile in the other country would come straight back at them. This is, in fact, exactly the same thing we have been saying about guns. Criminals will not try to mug someone if they know a gun will be pointed back at them. Furthermore, weapons grade plutonium is available on the black market. Anyone with a little knowledge of physics can turn that into a nuclear bomb. If a country can't even keep plutonium from being obtained illegally how can they keep guns from being obtained illegally?

Sarvis
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Postby kiryan » Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:34 am

i think turxx said it best, dont protect me from possibilities. people spend way too much time and energy trying to protect us from possibilities. They take something good and pervert it by taking it to the extreme. I think the government has already intruded into people's lives way too much already. Theres a difference between keeping the peace and trying to regulate what substances you can consume, where you can build your house, when you can get married, who you can hire, ect...

I don't care whether your high on crack, just got divored, out for some kicks, or what, if you steal from me you go to jail for theft, you kill someone you go to jail for murder. Is it really that hard? why we got to be protected from a bunch of shit thats marginal? why do we have a bunch of laws for stupid shit that two people should be able to take care of between themselves? Back to being real american men and women instead of a bunch of pussy fucks who cant settle any kind of issue unless its accompanied by a 50 page contract or written down as a law somewhere.

the big change after sept 11 is that instead of being a bunch of passive cant think for ourselves go to the back of the plane pussies, americans are starting to step up. We're getting back to their roots and be strong rely on ourselves to forge our own paths. Thats what it is to be an american imo, not to be a really progrsesive legal or social or government body. I hope this feeling will extend for some time, past whatever comes of al qaeda. I hope americans get their fighting spirit back and apply themselves intelligently. I hope this doesn't result in a bunch of new stupid ass laws that can't protect us from anything.

Last rant. you really think that a bunch of metal detectors and people screening bags are going to keep planes from crashing? bullshit. they aint going to catch everything/anything, all they going to do is hold up a bunch of innocent people. the next one will just end up being an inside job or just slipping through. think marshals are going to keep our planes safe? bullshit. he/she will get jumped then they'll have a fukin gun. cockpit doors wont keep us safe either. 80 people against 4 highjackers will keep us safe. crashing and firing on our own planes into the ground will keep us safe. people knowing that they going to be persecuted to the ends of the earth by an effective cohesive unit will keep us safe.

passing a bunch of laws and running commercials and getting new metal detectors and bag searchers might make us feel safe, but its an illusion that only the intellectuals and the sheep believe. the real american men and women already know how to handle this situation, and its not a bunch of words.
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Postby Mplor » Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:45 am

Now you've done it. Now I get pedantic on your ass. Image

The argument that violent crime would be as bad or worse without guns, is specious.

The argument that violent crime would be as bad or worse without guns first assumes that the violent impulses of the citizenry will remain the same regardless of the availability of guns: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." That is an assumption I will grant, and in fact agree with. That first assumption is the only one cited by those who use this argument however.

The unstated second assumption of that argument is that the scale of violence is only affected by the degree of violence in the man, and is not scaled by the instruments through which he acts. In other words, those who use this argument are also saying that a man with empty hands can cause as much violence as a man with a weapon, ie. a gun. On a small scale, mano a mano, this argument might duck a cursory examination. However, on a large scale, its flaws are glaring.

For example, if you want to kill one man and are able to get close to him, you could use a knife. If you want to kill a room full of people in a short amount of time, an increase in the violence of your impulse alone will not to enable you to do it. You are limited by your instrument and your skill. If you choose to use a handgun instead, with little training you could shoot more people more quickly than you could stab them.

In this case, even though the actor's impulse has remained constant, the scale of potential violence has increased because a more efficient tool has been introduced. The introduction of a handgun has increased the potential scale of violent action. More people are hurt because the man who wants to kill them has a gun instead of a knife.

Enter the nuclear weapon: an example of the scaling effect of an extremely efficient instrument of violence. A violent nation armed with AK 47s can do less harm less quickly than a violent nation armed with nuclear warheads mounted on ballistic missiles.

The argument that guns are irrelevant factors in the enormous murder rate in this nation is as outrageous and irreponsible as it is ignorant.

Turxx made the only sound argument for the ready availability of guns I've yet read:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Turxx wrote:
"Isn't it worth not owning a gun to have thousands of people less having to die in meaningless altercations?"

no, no its not </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The real reason why America does not have stricter gun control is because its citizens/voters find the current level of violence acceptable. Straight up. We, as a whole, would rather live with the murder rate than give up our own instruments of violence.

Well that is changing, oh so slowly. I am quite confident that a time will come when Americans will decide to value human life above a perceived 'god-given right' to own a hand gun. I harbor no illusions that I will change anyone's mind by any demonstration of the obvious, but I do hope that standing up for the cause will let others of similar mind know that there are many of us out there, and our numbers are growing.
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Postby Mplor » Thu Nov 08, 2001 2:51 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sarvis:
Nukes are, in fact, a spectacularly bad example for the gun control movement. The only thing that really kept the US and Russia from nuking each other is the fear of getting nuked back. Both countries knew that if they launched even a single nuclear missile, every missile in the other country would come straight back at them. This is, in fact, exactly the same thing we have been saying about guns. Criminals will not try to mug someone if they know a gun will be pointed back at them. Furthermore, weapons grade plutonium [b]is available on the black market. Anyone with a little knowledge of physics can turn that into a nuclear bomb. If a country can't even keep plutonium from being obtained illegally how can they keep guns from being obtained illegally?

Sarvis[/B]</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If nuclear weapons promote the peace, as you say, then should we not sell them to Al Qaeda?

Your use of Mutually Assured Destruction as an argument for the proliferation of guns is truly the spectacularly bad example.
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Postby Nare » Thu Nov 08, 2001 3:11 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mplor:
<B>
The real reason why America does not have stricter gun control is because its citizens/voters find the current level of violence acceptable. Straight up. We, as a whole, would rather live with the murder rate than give up our own instruments of violence.

Well that is changing, oh so slowly. I am quite confident that a time will come when Americans will decide to value human life above a perceived 'god-given right' to own a hand gun. I harbor no illusions that I will change anyone's mind by any demonstration of the obvious, but I do hope that standing up for the cause will let others of similar mind know that there are many of us out there, and our numbers are growing.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

However, there have been plenty of arguments made that gun availability will protect people from harm, as well.

I think there are a lot of other issues as to why the United States has a higher number of murders and violent crimes per year than various other countries, including Canada and most of Europe. There are issues of settlement patterns and population density, demographics (including what percentage of the population is in the 15-30 year old age bracket), wealth distribution, as well as various social and cultural influences. It isn't a simple matter of "guns are illegal in Britain and consequently they have fewer murders" or "guns are more prevalent in the US so we have more muggings." This isn't a cause/effect situation here; there are far too many variables for accurate comparisons.

I think that Americans DO value human life - probably a lot more than other countries tend to give us credit for, since our gov't's foreign policy has given us such a crappy reputation. However, I don't think that wanting the right to bear arms is a selfish motive. First off, protection of yourself and loved ones isn't selfish. Secondly, if my government has become dictatorial or overstepped its bounds, what more selfless and patriotic action could I take than to rise up in arms against it? Revolution is my duty as a citizen of this country.

Actually, Mplor, this is probably off-topic but your phrasing has made me wonder...are you pro-choice or anti-abortion?

Nare

[This message has been edited by Nare (edited 11-07-2001).]
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Postby Mplor » Thu Nov 08, 2001 3:38 am

Let's not even go there.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2001 3:51 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mplor:
<B> If nuclear weapons promote the peace, as you say, then should we not sell them to Al Qaeda?

Your use of Mutually Assured Destruction as an argument for the proliferation of guns is truly the spectacularly bad example.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I didn't say they promoted peace. I said that everyone was afraid to use them for fear of the retribution. Osama, however, has already proven that he would not fear the retribution. His simple attack on 9/11 proved he has no concern for his own life or that of his followers. Only an idiot would think America wouldn't go after him for something like that. There have been reports recently of Osama trying to obtain nuclear weapons, and he might feel ok about using them for one simple reason. He knows that we will not use ours on Afghanistan for fear of killing innocent civilians. We are, in his eyes, disarmed, and therefore a target.

Think about it Mplor, would you walk into a liqour store and rob it at gunpoint if you knew everyone inside had a gun? How about if you knew everyone had a gun but was afraid to use it? How about if you knew no one had a gun? I certainly wouldn't in case 1, I might in case 2, and there would be no reason not to in case 3.

Your example with using a knife to kill 8 people in a room doesn't hold up either. It's been recently shown that all it takes is a box cutter to subdue 40+ people. Yet even with guns there are more efficient ways to kill 8 people in a room. Anyone with a 6th grade education and internet access can build pipe bombs.

It's been said several times in this thread, but no one seems to want to listen. So here it is again: The only way to eliminate the threat that guns pose is for people to move beyond the point where there is any desire to kill one another. You said it yourself Mplor. "I am quite confident that a time will come when Americans will decide to value human life above a perceived 'god-given right' to own a hand gun. " When American's value human life more than their rights, they will no longer be trying to kill each other in any way, rendering the need for handguns obsolete.

Sarvis
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Postby Corth » Thu Nov 08, 2001 3:52 am

Mplor:

I'm against gun control and yet i readily admit that if all guns were removed from the hands of private citizens, the murder rate would drop substantially. You, for some reason, assume that I feel this way because I am comfortable living in a violent society. I would disagree with that assumption. Basically what you are doing is mis-stating the other side's argument so as to make it easier to knock it down. Its the classic "straw man" phalacy.

You haven't addressed the most basic reason someone would be against gun-control:

A)The belief that an individual has a fundamental right to defend themself and their family against violence, by any means necessary under the circumstances, and

B)a corresponding belief that it is immoral for any government to deprive an individual of this fundamental right.

You will of course notice that these are just beliefs. Most people would probably agree with A. As for B, if you agree with it, your against gun control. If you disagree with it, you probably are in favor of gun control (but not necessarily).

I dont enjoy living in a violent society.. I'm just not prepared to sacrifice my deeply held moral values and beliefs in exchange for more security. A & B are just beliefs, but they are absolute. You either agree with them or disagree with them. If you agree with both, then gun control is abhorrent, regardless of its social benefits.

--------------

My question for those of you that agree with A, and disagree with B, is how could someone "defend themself by any means neccessary under the circumstances", when the most effective means of defending oneself in a truly dangerous situation is withheld from you by the government?

Under typical circumstances, a person will defend themselves by calling the police. This would be the appropriate response under most circumstances.

However, when a person reasonbly believes that they are in iminent danger of serious bodily harm or loss of life, calling the police might be very impractical. Under these circumstances, an appropriate response may very well be to kill the person putting you in such danger (any means necessary under the circumstances). A gun may well be the most effective way to accomplish this. However, if it is against the law for a person to carry a gun, then it is impossible to use "any means necessary" to defend yourself, since the most effective means of protecting yourself is not available.


Thus, when government refuses to allow an individual to possess a gun, the right to protect oneself described in Prop A is eviscerated. Gun control changes Prop A to the following:

C) An individual has the fundamental right to defend themself and their family from violence, by any means necessary under the circumstances, but not with a firearm.

Corth
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Postby Mplor » Thu Nov 08, 2001 4:38 pm

Corth: I disagree with the phrase "by any means necessary under the circumstances." Do you really mean what these words imply? For example, a man's home may be his castle, but what if he turns it into an armed camp, a la Waco? I draw the line well before that. A suburbia of armed camps is not an American dream I share.

I do believe that we citizens do have the right to self-defense, but I believe it makes for a safer society when that right is lent to a proxy, which acts on behalf of all citizens, is trained in the art, and appointed by elected officials: the police. I believe this is known as "providing for the common defense," a phrase you strict constructionists will find familiar. Of course this phrase has been interpreted, in part, as a justification for the federal armed forces, but is also justification for the FBI, an internal police force. Clearly, the "common defense" includes internal policing, and I believe it is well within the limits marked by the constitution for the government (elected by us, you will remember) to outlaw vigilanteeism and consolidate the right of security - if a majority of the governed so decrees/votes. I do vote for that.

I hold up the ideal of gun-less society, but I realize that cannot be instantly made reality simply by gun control laws. I think a good first step - and one well within the rights granted to the government by the voters and the constitution - is the strict licensing of hand guns and assault rifles. Hand guns, after all, are designed to shoot people. The FBI currently does background checks on farmers who purchase ammonium nitrate fertilizer because it has a secondary use as an explosive, but there are legal avenues through which a person can currently buy a hand gun with no red tape, and a hand gun is first and foremost a weapon.

It is wholly constitutional to argue for hand gun licensing. I would like to see every hand gun's fingerprint (the unique scoring on a fired bullet from a particular gun) be registered federally. When a crime is committed with a gun, bullets may be left behind, and often they are whole enough to match the bullet to the unique gun that fired it. The licensed owner of a gun used in a crime would be the first place for a criminal investigation to begin. Certainly guns can be stolen or re-bored, bit it is a place to start - considering that few criminals have access to machine tools.

Edit: I realize that the original constitutional argument for the FBI was the regulation of interstate commerce, not the common defense. However, the FBI all but abandoned that pretense long ago, and is now a major player in state security.

[This message has been edited by Mplor (edited 11-08-2001).]
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2001 6:14 pm

I worked as a security guard for a couple years. When I first started they put me on a site where someone had driven by and took a couple shots. They decided they needed more security guards at the building (me) and that we should have personal alarms where we could push a button and the cops would come running to our rescue. Nothing ever happened while I was there, but once in a while we'd drop the alarms or accidentally pus the button and the cops would show up... eventually. I think their fastest response time was about 10 minutes, their slowest 20. In other words, if someone had attacked me they would have been there just about in time to start drawing a chalk outline around my body.

There is also this to consider: http://www.maximonline.com/articles/default.asp?article_id=3755

It describes an elite group of cops who became corrupt and often acted more violently than the gangs they had been recruited to stop.

Lending your defense to a proxy isn't always a resonable solution, and in some cases can even be more dangerous.

Sarvis
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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Nov 08, 2001 6:54 pm

A handful of people subdued 40+ others with boxcutters alone... NOT!!!

Those terrorists subdued 40+ people with the idea that they might still walk off of that airplane alive when the ordeal was over. They intimated that they had bombs and would set them off. They did not brandish boxcutters and tell the passengers they were going to crash the plane and everybody would die, so they'd best remain seated. Or didn't you hear that when one planeload of people actually discovered that airplanes were being hijacked as weapons of mass destruction and that they would NOT live, they took the means they had to in order to subdue their attackers.

They were able to overwhelm a group of men who were wielding boxcutters. Perhaps they were not able to save their own lives, but how many did they save? And they weren't wielding guns.

You're right, a handful of men without guns managed to kill thousands. McVeigh killed hundreds with easy to obtain chemicals.

How many people who pull their guns in anger set out to kill that many? They usually intend to kill only one, or perhaps they only intend to kill themselves, but get carried away with the spectacle. Drain cleaner can be deadly if ingested. You think that nutcase in Luby's cafeteria would have stood in the middle of the diner and threatened everybody with a bottle of Drano if he didn't have a firearm handy?

There was a woman in Luby's who was licensed to carry a concealed weapon, but she had left it in her car because it made her mother nervous. Her mother died in that massacre along with her father.

If guns were illegal in this country that nut might have been able to get ahold of one. Maybe. I'd say it's a long shot, argue it as you will, guns are not as easy to smuggle as marijuana is.

If that woman had carried her gun into Luby's, maybe fewer people would have died. Maybe. Or maybe she would have been put down as she tried to fire on him, who knows?

You could all argue this point with your own statistics until the end of time and never get anywhere. The wild thing is, fairly often I see people who are pro-gun legislation step to the other side of the fence and argue why they won't step on the toes of other Americans in this issue, but I don't see NRA supporters exploring the reasons why people think guns should be restricted, or admitting that there might be justifiable reasons for some restrictions, which there are.

All statistics are fallable, and open to biased interpretation. Those arguing the loudest for or against an issue are usually those who know they have the least ground to stand on.
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Postby Corth » Thu Nov 08, 2001 8:27 pm

Mplor:

Err, I can't think of many circumstances when it would be necessary to turn your home into an armced camp in order to protect yourself from iminent death or bodily harm. David Koresh built his compound to avoid arrest, not to keep himself physically safe from his enemies.

The term "necessary under the circumstances", limits the right to self defense to the level appropriate in a specific situation.

If you get into an accident and the other driver gets out of the car and pushes you, the appropriate response is probably to call the police on your cell phone, or ask someone who has witnessed the accident to do so. If the other driver, however, gets out of his car holding a crow bar and walks up to you holding the crowbar in the air threateningly, you are probably justified to pull out your gun and tell him to back off. If he continues coming toward you, and begins to swing the crowbar at you, then you are probably justified under those circumstances to shoot him.

The only justification I can think of for creating a so-called "armed-camp", is if you are literally threatened by the government itself or live in such a dangerous area that one can conclude that government has failed in its duty to protect you. There have not been many domestic situations in which someone had a genuine reason (prior to being convicted) to fear the U.S. government would threaten their safety or life. Likewise, though there are definately some bad neighborhoods, I don't think there are any in this country that are completely unpoliced.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2001 8:41 pm

So you are saying that a woman had a gun and couldn't use it, thus her mother and father died in a massacre at Ludy's? And that's a _pro_ gun control argument? Yes, she might have been shot as she puylled her gun, or missed. But at least with it she would have been more than just a target. And no, he probably wouldn't walk in waving around a bottle of drano. He certainly might have built some pipe bombs or chemical weapons like McVeigh used though.

You are right in that they were able to overwhelm the hijackers. Although we don't know how many people died attempting it. Nor do we know how many of them were trained fighters. I know at least one guy had a black belt in Kung-Fu, which would give him a much greater chance in a knife fight than your average businessman. But either way, perhaps if they had had guns they could have saved their own lives, as well as the lives of whoever that plane was targetting.

Also, most of us have no problem with restrictions. Waiting a week or even a month to buy your gun isn't a problem. But many of the pro gun control people are arguing that guns should be banned altogether. This we cannot accept for various reasons. Some simply because they see it as a violation of basic human rights, others because they want to be able to defend themselves. I just think it won't work.

Sarvis
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Postby Turxx » Thu Nov 08, 2001 10:26 pm

talk about stirring up a bees nest lyt
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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Nov 08, 2001 10:43 pm

Nope, never said it was a *pro* gun control argument. I see it as a very valid reason to carry a weapon. Just like I saw a valid reason for the couple who were both licensed to carry concealed weapons, got into an altercation on the freeway and had a gun pulled on them while their son was sleeping in the back seat of their car, and pulled their weapons and returned fire.

I see good reasons to carry a weapon in the society we live in. I'm also pro gun control. My point was that those who seem to want to hang onto their guns the hardest seem to be the least willing to analyze the other side of the story.
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Postby Turxx » Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:29 pm

where to begin....

"When American's value human life more than their rights........."

i for one thank god that the thousands of Americans who died in wars for this country didnt value their life above my rights.
does anyone here think its coincidence America has never been invaded and we have the right to bare arms?
what does the NRA have against gun control? its the first step for prohibition, they are looking at the big picture. but certainly they make a lot of poor arguments and are not some all mighty organization i am willing to follow blindly. BUT they are unwavering in their stance, and that is why i pay my dues.
are guns dangerous? absolutely, this is not in question.
would removing all guns prevent a lot of tragedies? im sure, but at what cost? is what we gain going to outweigh what we lose? i doubt it.
there are a lot of extreme arguments on this issue.
but the fact remains that 99.9%(my own estimation) of the gun owners in this country are law abiding people. they do not stock weapons in their home in anticipation of some war at their front door. they do not rob people. they do not carry guns with them when they go to the store. they own their guns to hunt, for piece of mind in the security of their home, for the enjoyment and challenge of target shooting. they see their guns as a tool, a part of history, or as an investment as guns rarely depreciate in value.
we have an undeniable problem with violence in this country, guns make this problem worse no question, but they are not the root cause.
to say if we ban guns that will solve the problem of gun violence is like saying if we forget about it it will go away. the problem isnt guns its violence.
im all for stiffer penalties for violent offenders.
im all for the need to present a firearms certification before you are aloud to buy a gun or even ammunition retail or are issued a hunting license.
i am all for holding wrong doers accountable.
i dont like passing the buck or finding a scapegoat to make you feel better.


TURXX -gun owner-




[This message has been edited by Turxx (edited 11-09-2001).]
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Postby Turxx » Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:37 pm

one more thing, Cherzra, this doesnt concern you, not even a little, we here in America decided we didnt like the way you people over there did things a long time ago. ill thank you to keep your opinion of America and American values to yourself.
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Postby Nida » Fri Nov 09, 2001 12:13 am

Just in the interest of fairness (and to show at least some ability for our side of the argument to play devil's advocate-- you have a point, Ashiwi), I'd like to ask when the last time a major western European nation was invaded... Most of the reason we haven't been invaded is that our military is humongous and we've demonstrated quite ruthlessly what happens when someone barely scratches a base on one of our territories, let alone true home soil. If anyone invaded us, home gun owners would likely not be using nines and 45s to defend themselves-- they'd be using assault rifles with underslung grenade launchers, as you can bet that they'd be drafted (if they didn't join up in outrage first).

-Nida
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Postby Turxx » Fri Nov 09, 2001 1:02 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Freedom1:
<B>A few quotes that have some significance on this subject.

"The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."
- Samuel Adams

"To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them..."
- George Mason

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
- Thomas Jefferson

"Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
- George Washington

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
- Mahatma Ghandi

"It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Parker, Chief Prosecutor for the United States of America at the Nuremberg Trials

"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
- George Washington

"A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
- George Mason

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
- Thomas Jefferson

"Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!"
- Thomas Jefferson

"The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves."
- Dresden James

"The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.
- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed--unlike citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust people with arms."
- James Madison

And this last one is especially for Ragorn and people like him.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety...."
- Benjamin Franklin

And to whomever said that American citizens wouldn't last against the weapons of the U.S. Military....might want to read up on the Viet Cong and Afghan rebels.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

i just felt this is about the best post made here yet and want to make sure everyone reads and understands these things.
alot of you people seem to think the government should take control here. this is exactly opposite the ideas this country started with.
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Postby Kegor » Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:26 am

Such an insignificant issue this is in the grand scheme of things. Preservation of human life is the very last thing this world should be worried about at this point in time.

Limiting its population is the real issue. There are two ways to go about this.
1- Allow people and countries to keep reproducing exponentialy until there are world wars over food and resources amongst humankind within its seperate factions.
2- People will open thier eyes to this growing problem as it is just beggining to be one.

In my opinion it is already a big problem. I for one would not want to bring a child into this world for that reason, and I live in the united states of america, where this is not an extreme problem. Bottom line of all of this is... no matter how smart we think we are (humans in general), we are still stupid animals, destined to destroy the planet that supports us.

Guns.. whatever... killing people and preservation of human life? Hah.. try preserving the planet that supports that life.. before it is too late. I personlly hope there is a massive war in which half of the human population is devastated, and the earth remains unscathed (besides its massive defacement as it is today). Why? I see it as the only way, as people are too stupid to grasp the issue itself.

-Jaznolg
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Postby web » Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:36 am

My point, from history's stand as well as my teachings under the criminal justice school and psychology. Add some logic, and there ya go. Image

History has shown crime to be rampant, regardless of situations. Crime is a behavior based upon several major emotions: Greed, Envy, Jealous, Anger, and Lust. Crime is impulsinve in nature. Rapes are committed impulsively. Many murders, while being "planned" (a legal standpoint), are also this way. Even in ancient history, crime was common. Thievery, murder, and assassinations are what created today's society.

True, the forefathers said to arm ourselves against invading armies. True, America hasn't been invaded in almost 180 years (if my memory serves me well). But today's society deals with a new invader, terrorism and malice. Anger, envy, and lust are so rampant and prominent that even our great governments have been shown to commit acts of violence. The Crusades were nothing more than a bloody version of what Jehova's Witnesses do to this day.

You want to stop crime? Remove emotions from all thought.
You want to remove guns? You can, the weapons will still come from someplace that doesn't ban guns (Columbia is a major assualt rifle importer, btw). And even with NO guns, crime will still occur. Garote Wires are still used. Bow and Arrow (poor guy with the 5 year old.) And yes, even the chunk of brick broken from a building. People who want something bad enough to commit an act of violence to get it will use any means nescessary.

I ask this of the protesters of the current situation with the military. If a man walked into your home, brutally murdered your family, desicrated your home, and made it so public and graphic that you had no idea of what to respond, would you want that man dead?

Silar the talkative cleric
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Postby Mplor » Fri Nov 09, 2001 2:51 am

Nobody is saying that guns cause violence. That's silly, so stop defending yourself against it.

The right to self defense is not a God-given right, it's an extrapolation on the Rights of Man, which name the Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Property. Consider that, in a humanistic society, the inalienable rights of man are only those he gives himself. If you've given yourself the idea that you have some right to a hand-gun, you can unlearn that notion.

Still think that a right to defend oneself with a gun is God-given? If you are Christian, look in your New Testament. Then come back and let us know what you learned about God's opinion on the issue of defending oneself. What's that you say? You don't believe in the part where he said said to turn the other cheek? In that case, I will refer you to the preceding paragraph.

Removing guns from society will reduce the level of violence, even though it doesn't change the hearts of the people. Several posters on both sides of the issue have agreed on this point. People will still want to kill each other, it just won't be as easy to do it, and the murder rate will drop. More fathers will come home to their children. Fewer children will kill their siblings with the gun in Mommy's nightstand drawer.

The issue on which we disagree is whether the cost of giving up our guns is worth the resulting reduction in the murder rate. You say it isn't. I believe it is.

You say there are other ways to address the problems of violent crime. I believe that changing the hearts of all of our citizens is a far less likely (though worthy) proposition than restricting the instruments of violence, human nature being what it is.

It's OK to disagree. I expect that anyone who has posted here has done so because they already have a strong opinion on the subject, one which is unlikely to be shaken by the rhetoric of the opposing side. I respect much the reasoning of Nare and Corth, though I dispute the things they assume as well as the things I think they ignore. I will try to contain my disdain for the arguments citing founding fathers who, in their wisdom, spent more lines of the Constitution guaranteeing the continuation of the slave trade than they did on the right to keep and bear arms. These men also included the procedure for ammending the Constitution. Did they do that because they were writing the Constitution on stone tablets with their fingertips? No. They realized that times change, and the Constitution should be able to adjust to meet the needs of the day. Well, I think that times have changed.

Good discussion. (Except the jingoism.)

Mplor - If I can't convince you with my logic, I'll bludgeon you with the copiousness of my words - Vespasa (Human)
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Postby Grxx » Fri Nov 09, 2001 3:09 am

id like to see you bleeding hearts gun control freaks come take my guns without one of your own. you will get my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands.
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Nov 09, 2001 4:13 am

Actually Mplor, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives us the right to Life, Liberty and Security of Person. Not property. That distinction is relevant here, since we are discussing what many people see as the best means to securing their person. If you claim that right is not valid because only humans gave themselves that right, then no other rights are valid either. In fact, it means that we have no rights whatsoever! Luckily, we have given ourselves rights. Among them being the right to defend ourselves. I will defend myself to the best of my ability with my hands and the bokken I keep in my room. Maybe my roommates swords if I feel really threatened (and can get to them.) But I wouldn't expect a 50 year old businessman who hasn't been to the gym in 10 years to defend himself against burglars with just his fists.

You claim no one is saying that guns are causing violence, yet two paragraphs later you claim that getting rid of guns will reduce violence. Those are mutually exclusive claims. If guns do not cause violence getting rid of them will have no effect. The violence you are attempting to reduce will simply come out in another form.

The issue of intentional murders should also be kept separate from the issue of children accidentally shooting each other or their parents. Yes, getting rid of guns altogether would keep these children safe from themselves. But that can be accomplished much more effectively with responsible parenting and proper education.

It struck me when I was watching <u>The Patriot</u> with Mel Gibson. Near the beginning he hands rifles to each of his sons and goes out to hunt down the British. Each of them knew how to use a rifle, and as I thought about it, that made perfect sense. Throughout much of the past adults thought of children as basically little versions of adults. Farmers would teach their children to use shotguns for hunting, defending the household while they were away, and even probably shooting coyotes that were trying to eat livestock. These children never accidentally shot themselves or their parents, because they knew what guns were for and how to use them. But parents today probably just lock it on a high shelf and tell their kids not to touch it, making it nothing more than a forbidden toy to the child.

As for murder, look at these stats from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_c.htm#violent :

"Homicides are most often committed with guns, especially handguns. In 1999, 51% of homicides were committed with handguns, 14% with other guns, 13% with knives, 6% with blunt objects, and 16% with other weapons. </i>

At first glance it might appear that you are correct. Eliminating guns will reduce murder by about 65%! This, however, is where I think we disagree the most. Taking guns away won't reduce the murder rate by 65%, it will reduce the rate of murderers using guns by 65%. The rates of knife, blunt objects and other weapons will all raise for a combined total of 65%.

Sarvis

PS. How come my reasoning isn't as good as Corth and Nares? *sniff*

PPS. Isn't "Vespasa" Varia's old lastname? *looks confused*

Edit:
Grxx: Statements like that do more for their cause than yours.

[This message has been edited by Sarvis (edited 11-08-2001).]
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Postby Corth » Fri Nov 09, 2001 4:23 am

Mplor:

I am rusty when it comes to philosophy.. but my understanding has always been that the inalienable rights of man are not rights that man gives to himself, but rights that are vested in him by virtue of merely being alive.

Slavery, for instance, is reprehensible in an absolute sense. I don't think slavery became reprehensible because some people decided to put it on their list of reprehensible activities. It has always been wrong, and it always will be, regardless of cultural attitudes towards it. Thus, you are correct to disdain the founding fathers for their promotion of slavery even though at the time, slavery was considered legitimate.

Corth
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Postby Grxx » Fri Nov 09, 2001 4:37 am

i know, i added it for flavor, seriously tho, im not given them up, ban them ill hide mine, as will just about every other gun owner i know, ive never even had so much as an inclination to shoot anouther human being, yet it is within my power. is too bad there are so many freaks in the world, gun control isnt going to change that

[This message has been edited by Grxx (edited 11-09-2001).]
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Postby ShaylaRose » Fri Nov 09, 2001 6:04 am

[This message has been edited by ShaylaRose (edited 11-10-2001).]
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Postby Malacar » Fri Nov 09, 2001 6:35 am

I find it funny that people who are trying to be coherent have the audacity to call others scary and pass judgement on them based on one issue. And call them anarchists too.

Struck me as funny. Had to comment. Tired of other Americans judging each other because of either one incident, or their views happen to contradict yours.
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Postby ShaylaRose » Fri Nov 09, 2001 6:46 am

[This message has been edited by ShaylaRose (edited 11-10-2001).]

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