Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 12/21/2012 14:12:47 MST Print View

249 posts and counting. All the efforts, thoughts, and passions invested... who here changed his or her mind as a result of careful reading and deliberating? Anyone switch from pro gun to pro gun control -- or vice versa?

Don't mean to start a thread just to argue some more. There is already a good thread started -- so please keep adding your arguments there. What I am curious is strictly how many of you have been moved to change your position?

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
A little on 12/21/2012 14:30:37 MST Print View

I can't say I have changed my mind about what response is appropriate. And I am really turned off by talk of guns being our god-given right, etc. But I have taken some new perspectives regarding the difficulties of gun regulation. I do think it will take a long time for regulation to be effective because of the positive (to gun owners anyway) associations with guns. I do think it will change over time, though. Many issues have taken generational shifts (ie old people dieing off), such as same-sex marriage and civil rights in the south. I think I actually did get a different perspective.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 12/22/2012 17:40:57 MST Print View

I like your response, Ben.

But I am still suspicious that precious few have changed their minds, either way.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
The Value of "the last word" on 12/31/2012 15:09:25 MST Print View

I have found the positions taken to be enlightening and eminent, so I have decided that I will adopt the reasoned position of whoever posts "the last word" today, December 31st, 2012. Cut off is midnight and I'll be convinced.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: The Value of "the last word" on 12/31/2012 15:16:26 MST Print View

"today, December 31st, 2012. Cut off is midnight and I'll be convinced."

Which time zone?

Now is already tomorrow in some places. That's the trouble with a global economy.

--B.G.--

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/11/2013 08:17:45 MST Print View

Mass shooters are obviously mentally ill

All of this talk about gun control has unintended consequence

It increases the hysteria that "Obama is going to take your guns away"

This hysteria might push a mentally ill person over the edge and start shooting people

We should spend more time talking about how it's everyone's right to own guns and any regulation is minor and not part of a gradual process to make guns illegal

On the other hand, they should push gun control if they want a polarized electorate with everyone arguing about guns, while they secretly pass special tax breaks for political donors

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
Confused about focus on 01/11/2013 11:24:38 MST Print View

I remain confused about the focus exclusively on guns: Aurora and Sandy Hook are added to this list.
1.Huntsville, Alabama – February 5, 2010: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student Todd Brown. Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression. He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.” He had been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist.
2.Kauhajoki, Finland – September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine. He was also seeing a psychologist.
3.Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system. He had been seeing a psychiatrist.
4.Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
5.Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
6.Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.
7.Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”. He had previously seen a psychiatrist.
8.Wahluke, Washington – April 10, 2001: Sixteen-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. He had been taking the antidepressant Effexor.
9.El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
10.Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
11.Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with the stimulant Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
12.Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed. Both shooters had been in anger-management classes and had undergone counseling. Harris had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
13.Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
14.Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac. Kinkel had been attending “anger control classes” and was under the care of a psychologist.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Grow up. on 01/11/2013 11:59:05 MST Print View

Why doesn't the USA simply grow up, and realise that the days of the wild west are over? Maybe the ego of small men are stoked by carrying a big penis extension, but nobody else is fooled.
Get to grip with your own insecurities, and the world, and the USA, will be a happier place.

George Davis
(nsiderbam) - F - M

Locale: mid-Atlantic
Re: Grow up. on 01/11/2013 13:44:23 MST Print View

Really?

I agree that the US needs to "grow up" in many regards, but most likely not in the ways that you would choose. Our country was founded with the right to own and bear arms given to the citizen so that the government would not have a monopoly on "self-defense". All of the cities in the US with the strictest gun control measures also have the highest rates of violence, and the opposite is true as well -- the safest cities and states tend to have the least-restrictive gun laws. Just because worldwide media says that guns are bad and it's not people that kill people but guns that kill people doesn't mean it's true. The same people that want the defender to be stripped of his ability to defend himself want to pay, with the citizen's money, for the offender to be "rehabilitated" at the local psyche ward. That makes no sense to me. Hold them responsible and get rid of them.

If a bad person wants to do something bad, he will do it; if he can't get ahold of a gun, he'll get a knife, or basesball bat, or lead pipe, or anything else. Hell, he can use his car and drive 90mph through a school crosswalk and take out more kids then than he'd be able to with a gun.

I don't want to get into a gun control debate as obviously no matter what I or anyone else says will sway your mind.

I'd rather have the wild west (and your so-called "penis extension") any day than a politically correct nanny state that punishes its citizens for wanting to protect themselves.

edit: I am not a gun owner.

Edited by nsiderbam on 01/11/2013 13:48:12 MST.

Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Grow up on 01/11/2013 14:24:58 MST Print View

Mike, I'm fairly certain that you know that our Bill of Rights wasn't written for the sake of the "wild west". Our founding as a nation was built upon the understanding of natural law--that is our freedoms and our rights come from our humanity and not from government. Our founders in the US wrote that our rights and freedoms are divine in origin--in other words they are a given. Thinking, speaking, worshiping, self-defense, owning and using personal property, personal privacy, etc. are the rights of all human beings and as such we don't need a government's permission to exercise them.

To assure and guarantee that no government would infringe the natural rights of anyone in the United States our founders wrote into the Declaration and Constitution the Second Amendment--"self-defense". History, even current history is ripe with examples of dictators and despots--Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot, Assad that have disarmed their people. Only because some of those people resisted this effort were they enabled to fight against these dictators for their freedom. Sometimes they lost. Sometimes they won. We don't know yet what is going to happen in Syria.

The Second Amendment is not about keeping alive the "wild west", or hunting--it's about protecting the right to shoot tyrants and despots and protecting one's own life, family and property.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 20:43:57 MST Print View

The second amendment was written at a time when the U.S. did not have a standing military and had to depend on armed citizens in case the U.S. needed to be defended.

We have a standing military now - the most powerful one in the world.

The amendment states "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Note that the first part of the amendment reads "A well-regulated militia." People need to learn the history and context of that amendment. I don't belive it was written to give any lunatic the right to run around with military-style assault weapons. I think "well-regulated" means exactly what it says.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 20:50:09 MST Print View

I think we have been sold a bill of goods of fear; that we have been brainwashed by the gun manufacturers, distributors, and those who depend on the profit from guns, to think that there's an enemy hiding around each corner and behind every bush and so we need to amass a huge personal arsenal of weapons for protection. I think there's a lot of corporate greed involved. Keep the fear going and you keep being buying more and more guns so that the gun manufacturers keep prospering.

Other major industrialized countries don't have this madness at the level that we have it. A mass shooting is a rare thing in those other countries; it's getting to be a commonplace thing here. Why? Why doesn't the U.S. look at what those other countries are doing and learn from them? Problem is, we are so arrogant that we think NO ONE ELSE can do anything better than the U.S. Fact is, many other countries do a lot of things a lot better than the U.S. Health care immediately springs to mind. THose other countries have national health care that provides for mental health, too. Here, if you're lucky to have insurance, the insurance company may cover a few visits a year, if anything. That is about as good as nothing.

I don't know what the answer is. I'm just so tired of people and their guns. I'm tired of the fact that children can no longer go to school and expect to live to see another day. I'm sick of guns being used to solve every problem, every difference.
Sick of it all.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 21:09:16 MST Print View

Well said Kathy, I can understand both sides of the fence but what you posted is an amazing opinion.

I am from Ireland and grew up with shocking news on the Tv every day.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 22:30:24 MST Print View

I can understand our non-US members not grasping the 2nd Amendment or even the Bill of Rights.

When I was in high school, the study of: the philosophers and intellectuals who influenced our founding fathers, The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The US Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and The Federalist [Papers] were required to graduate from high school. You had to study AND pass US History in the 11th grade, and a passing grade was a graduation requirement.

Please don't tell me that all of this is no longer part of the required curriculum in high schools; but it sounds like this maybe the case.

Regarding the original amendments in the Bill of Rights; the only debate was that it was not needed -- the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution guaranteed these. The debate was the Bill of Rights might be misunderstood as the only civil rights guaranteed to every citizen.

Now to the 2nd Amendment. Our forefathers did not trust ANY government. They believed that citizens have the right to overthrow ANY tyrannical government, and the 2nd Amendment would help keep the newly formed government in check, because the armed populace had the right to overthrow it, should it take away any of our individual rights. This is the 2nd Amendmend.

Also, please don't tell me you have never read the following quote by Noah Webster:

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."


No... I do not own a firearm and am not the member of any organization.

Lastly, I typed this on my iPhone so I hope it is somewhat readable.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 23:06:12 MST Print View

Kathy,

I'll paste below an excerpt from one of the Federalist Papers (#29, by Hamilton in 1788). I've trimmed it more for space than meaning; the full text is easy enough to fin.

"....Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.

....if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."

At that time, there was great concern over the balance between State and Federal power, and a standing army was particularly concerning. Having a great body of the citizens armed was therefore seen as a balance against the threat a Federal standing army posed, rather than as a necessary substitute to the absence of such an army. To the "well-regulated" part, I would say that the usage of "regulated" with respect to troops at that time meant properly taught and trained. (While the modern interpretation may feel more comfortable given current debates, it would not have made much sense back then.)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 23:21:11 MST Print View

Nm

Edited by stephenm on 01/12/2013 23:59:56 MST.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Newtown... on 01/12/2013 23:25:55 MST Print View

Re: fear...

I don't really have fear; and I think it can be said that some on both sides are selling the fear of being attacked; one side provides respite by proposing to de-fang the wolf, and the other proposes to add fangs to the sheep.

Some fears are not easily overcome, but not all are rational. Those who fear flying and instead drive are, when considering the statistics, making a clearly irrational decision. We are for the most part able to overcome such situations, but our brains are not shaped to handle many of life's modernities. Large numbers, high speeds, and extremely low probabilities all throw us off.

Speaking of low probabilities, I think nearly every child in this country can expect to live to see another day. A mass shooting focuses attention, but the numbers are lost in sheer size of the school-age population. One should certainly look for solutions to this, but one must also recognize that it is an extreme statistical outlier.

That is why I don't have fear; it makes no sense. I, and nearly everyone in this country, are far more likely to be killed by an accident with machinery, a careless driver, or from exposure, than by a shooter.

Re: other countries...

I wonder sometimes if it's really appropriate to compare us to other industrialized countries. By Gini coefficient (measuring wealth inequality) we should be compared with South America or Africa, certainly not Europe. There seems to be enough contradictions in gun control legislation and crime statistics that one could easily make the case one has no real impact on the other. If one believes that income inequality, poor health care, etc., have a significant affect on crime rates then comparing us to Europe would certainly make use look bad. On the other hand, we look positively saintly compared to many other countries in our Gini category.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
the more things change on 01/13/2013 09:41:47 MST Print View

I went from thinking that we should do nothing re: guns because mass shootings, while psychologically horrific, remain an extremely rare physical hazard, to thinking that we should do nothing because the national "discourse" around this topic has shown that we as a nation go absolutely apeshit and are nakedly incompetent at coming up with solutions that don't actually make things worse.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: the more things change on 01/13/2013 10:21:36 MST Print View

and - as we go absolutely apeshit, it might push some crazy person over the edge into killing people

spend an equal amount of time saying people are entitled to 2nd ammendment rights, and saying some reasonable regulations are in order

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/13/2013 12:09:30 MST Print View

The hysteria is ridiculous. We are witnessing the biggest politically motivated panic buy in the history of the United States. Ammo is cleared out everywhere.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/13/2013 13:53:00 MST Print View

Reducing mass murder to a statistic as a way to dismiss the need for reasonable gun controls is just cold. We know that gun control can limit the carnage. This seems to be a case of the nra not being willing to lift a finger (off the trigger?) in order to save hundreds of lives a year. Everybody who's sane and legal will still be able to get their guns--probably even the murderous assault weapons--but with a little bit more paperwork. Honestly, that's too much to ask? Gee, I have to say, the indifference of the gun people is just shocking to me.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/13/2013 14:02:31 MST Print View

NM

Edited by retropump on 01/13/2013 14:04:43 MST.

George Davis
(nsiderbam) - F - M

Locale: mid-Atlantic
Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/13/2013 16:31:42 MST Print View

___
Everybody who's sane and legal will still be able to get their guns--probably even the murderous assault weapons--but with a little bit more paperwork.
___

Do you understand what the difference is between "murderous assault weapons" and the "regular" guns that you think exist?

Purely cosmetic.

By legal definition, an assault weapon is a semi-automatic weapon that has varying combinations of cosmetic features that make it look similar to an actual "assault rifle" (what the media wants you to think an assault weapon is), such as telescoping stocks, pistol grips, flash suppressors, threaded barrels, etc. Just like "regular" guns, they can have magazines of varying capacities, and fire one shot per trigger pull. Just like "regular" guns, they fire "regular" ammunition that you can find in any walmart, sports store, or gun store. In short, they are "regular" guns. I'm being serious -- just look up the legal definition in the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB).

The term "assault weapon" was created by the media in order to instill fear into the public so that the next step could be taken towards getting rids of guns. If the politicians pushing this legislation forward actually knew what they were talking about or cared about the safety of people rather than enacting their own agenda, they would simply try to ban ALL semi-automatic weapons...why? Because that's all that an assault weapon is. It is not any deadlier than your friend's/dad's/cousin's/brother's hunting rifle or handgun. It cannot shoot 600+ rounds per minute like an assault rifle can (which, btw, I would argue is actually less dangerous than a semi-automatic weapon). It does not shoot grenades. It is not the weapon of choice for psychopaths and is only used in an incredibly small percentage of all gun murders in the US.

I honestly don't have a problem with people wanting to get rid of or impose regulations on guns and gun owners. I do, however, have a problem with how they are going about it.

- 1: The vast majority of people wanting to ban/limit guns have no idea what they're talking about. They simply spout what they hear on the evening news, which is often so disgusting that I can't bear to watch it (I don't only left-wing stations like CNN, but right-wing stations like Fox as well). They need to get informed.
- 2: We have things in this country called "amendments" which were set in place to protect people's rights and not be trifled with by the state or federal government. They are currently being trifled with. There is a process by which amendments can be changed or added, and they need to follow it. If they can't get 3/4 of state legislature/convention votes, then that sucks for them.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/13/2013 17:01:01 MST Print View

An assault rifle is a select fire rifle (select fire means it can fire both fully automatic and semi-automatic) firing an intermediate cartridge with a detachable magazine. There is the United States federal definition of an assault rifle, but that definition is just... stupid, as George just pointed out. I don't consider the federal definition of an assault rifle to be legitimate. It's ridiculous. Anyone proposing an renewable of the assault weapons ban is ignorant of what's in it. Or they are a politician trying to appease the masses with a useless piece of legislation.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/13/2013 17:28:58 MST Print View

I got out and did some skate skiing today. Very poor conditions, a snowmobile track through breakable crust, but it was great!

My11 year old son spent last night in a snow cave with scouts. -6F! He is proud, and so am I.

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/13/2013 17:46:46 MST Print View

The only thing that has changed is my opinion of our primary media sources. It's worse than I suspected. Hey! look over here while we send another 20 F-16s to Egypt courtesy of the american taxpayer. They can add these to the other 200 the Muslim Brotherhood already have under their control. I guess our sympathies for school children doesn't extend to those in Israel. Don't worry we are scheduled to send Egypt another 1.3B later this year. Where is the national discussion on that topic? Yep, all the news they want you to see.


http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/egypt-to-spend-32b-in-updating-f-16cd-fleet-05860/

http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-fighter-jets-egypt-856/

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/13/2013 20:42:59 MST Print View

"Hey! look over here while we send another 20 F-16s to Egypt courtesy of the american taxpayer. They can add these to the other 200 the Muslim Brotherhood already have under their control. I guess our sympathies for school children doesn't extend to those in Israel."

Interesting that you don't extend your sympathies to all the Palestinian kids that have been blown to smithereens by the far greater number of bombs and F-16's we send to Israel.

"Where is the national discussion on that topic?"

That is a discussion I'll be more than happy to have with you any old time. In the meantime, suffice it to say that what little discussion does take place is so heavily slanted in Israel's favor that it does very little to enlighten the American people as to what is really happening over there, and why. Just the way Israel and its American supporters want it to stay.

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/13/2013 20:59:54 MST Print View

"In the meantime, suffice it to say that what little discussion does take place is so heavily slanted in Israel's favor that it does very little to enlighten the American people as to what is really happening over there, and why. Just the way Israel and its American supporters want it to stay."

Tom- Like most people I am interested in hearing the truth or what different factions see as the truth. The point I was trying to make is that we don't get much in the way of real news out of the media mostly just trivial distractions of one sort on another. Feels a lot like propaganda to me.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/13/2013 21:00:39 MST Print View

@Tom:

"Interesting that you don't extend your sympathies to all the Palestinian kids that have been blown to smithereens by the far greater number of bombs and F-16's we send to Israel. .. "Where is the national discussion on that topic?""

I thought of you when I read the thread above. I think there are any number of reasons why American sympathies are overwhelmingly on the side of the Israelis. Some that come to mind:

1. Our Judeo-Christian heritage -- while not implanted into the minds of every individual -- it is nevertheless sewn into the fabric of our society. If God "gave" the land to the Jews, then...

2. The continual perception that the Palestinians/ Muslims provoke and kill indiscriminately -- the full spectrum from hijacking passenger planes (70s) to killing cruise ship passengers to murdering Olympic athletes to....

I think in the American culture -- there's implanted in most of us the notion of "fair play". As well, there is often the classification of people and issues into two overall possibilities: right vs. wrong. Given the two factors above (plus a myriad of unlisted ones) -- most Americans equate Israel with good and the Palestinians with bad. And it's just so hard to feel sorry for bad people.

But the failing is not all on the Palestinians / Muslims. America hasn't fought as an underdog since the War of 1812. As a military power, folks here tend to look at war as either "fighting fair" or "fighting dirty" -- a moralization of wars and tactics. Most Americans fail to realize that the "indiscriminate" tactics of the Palestinians are merely the tactics used by each and every underdog against more powerful foes. Indeed, American "patriots" too were fighting dirty when they shot at bright red British troops from behind logs and atop trees. But our history doesn't teach us to see it that way.

As well, I think the Israelis and the Jewish lobby are just quantum leaps ahead in terms of leveraging our American media and our government.

If the Palestinians wish to win, they really do need to make drastic changes in tactics. But then, they are not even united in their own domestic affairs! Time may not be on Israel's side -- but Palestinian disunity and bumbling have and will continue to buy vast amounts of time for the Israelis.

Do I feel sorry for the Palestinian populace? Yes. But not just because of their Israeli foe. More so because I feel they don't deserve the woefully incompetent, disunited, and corrupt leadership they've got. As mentioned, the Palestinians are their own worst enemies.

Edited by ben2world on 01/13/2013 21:10:06 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/14/2013 16:07:24 MST Print View

No, that thread hasn't changed my mind. I mostly see excuses as to why it is too hard/impractical/not desirable to make changes to guns laws. What is needed IMHO is a) a recognition that guns ARE out of control in the US, and b) a strong will to make changes. Agreed the genie is out of the bag as to already circulating guns in the hands of less than responsible owners, but to dismiss it as "too hard", or to take the stance that the bad guys already have guns, therefor I must have them too is just defeatist. Seems a little like the universal healthcare debate...we've been doing it this way for so long that change is impossible or, for those that can afford good insurance, that the system works just fine so no need for change. I think that those Americans who think things are working just fine need to pull their collective heads out of the sand and acknowledge that there IS a problem, and it needs changes, even if incremental, to solve it.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/14/2013 17:19:32 MST Print View

"Tom- Like most people I am interested in hearing the truth or what different factions see as the truth. The point I was trying to make is that we don't get much in the way of real news out of the media mostly just trivial distractions of one sort on another. Feels a lot like propaganda to me."

David - Your perceptions are quite accurate. The media is very much one sided in their presentations, in no small part due to the highly influential Israel lobby. They can make life pretty miserable for any politician, academician, or business that does not hew to the pro Israel line. Since there is no countervailing Palestinian lobby of any significance, the decision is easy. Ben explains the prevailing situation here in America very well, IMO. I will take you at your word when you say you are interested in hearing the truth, but you are going to have to do a little reading to ground yourself in the history and politics of Palestine, Palestinians, and Jews. Once you have a basic understanding of how things came to this sad state of affairs, you will be in a better position to sort the wheat from the chaff in media reporting of current events. To that end, here is my recommended short list:

1) A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples by Ilan Pappe, a noted Israeli historian;

2) Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in The Middle East from 1776 to the Present by Michael Oren, another noted Israeli historian and currently Israeli ambassador to the US;

3) Transforming the Israeli Lobby by Daniel Fleshler, an American media and public affairs specialist and proponent of a more balanced US policy toward the Palestinian problem;

4) The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy by John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt, two eminent US academicians occupying endowed chairs at the University of Chicago and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, respectively. This is a controversial book that cost them dearly to author and publish, but it gives a pretty accurate analysis of just how powerful the Israeli lobby is in this country.

5) If you want to dig a little deeper and understand the roots of Palestinina rage and their apparently irrational, brutal behavior, order and read: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by the above cited Ilan Pappe. This is not an easy read, and it has made Pappe extremely unpopular in both Israel and among pro Zionist Jews everywhere. Nevertheless, it will give you insight into an atrocity that has been very effectively concealed from the public for 65 years now. You are unlikely to find this book in any library, so Amazon is your best bet.

I hope this will help you to gain a better understanding of things over there, and I commend you for being interested in the first place and realizing that you are being fed a steady diet of unadulterated BS by the media. Would that more of your fellow citizens were as interested because, if they were, this problem would have been resolved long ago.

Edited for content and punctuation.

Edited by ouzel on 01/14/2013 17:50:45 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/14/2013 17:44:28 MST Print View

Excellent post, Ben.

By way of elaboration:

"America hasn't fought as an underdog since the War of 1812. As a military power, folks here tend to look at war as either "fighting fair" or "fighting dirty" -- a moralization of wars and tactics."

Just for emphasis, I'll bring it up to date. Let's start with WW II and the fire bombing of Tokyo and Dresden. Fast forward to Viet Nam, where it was necessary to destroy villages in order to save them. Moving right along, there is the levelling of Falluja in the Iraq war and the illegal use of phosphorus munitions in the softening up phase. In none of these incidents could we be considered the underdog. War sucks, and nobody fights fair. The only thing that really disturbs me about our attitude in particular is when we habitually point the finger at others and consider ourselves morally superior.

"If the Palestinians wish to win, they really do need to make drastic changes in tactics."

They are, to wit the campaign for observer state in the UN, and Abbas's much reviled policy of non violence in the West Bank. It will not do much good though, as long as we maintain our unquestioning support for every egregious act the Israelis commit to further weaken the Palestininas and ultimately destroy the possibility of a two state solution. However, if we continue to destroy ourselves from within, the Israelis will find themselves alone against the world, in an untenable position akin to that of apartheid South Africa in a couple of decades. If they keep the West Bank, the Jews will be a minority ruling by military force over an occupied majority by 2025 according to the consensus of demographers. By 2050, they will be a minority within Israel proper, and face the choice of being a democratic state or a Jewish state, for they will not be able to be both. That is a big reason why I have said on many occasions that time is not on their side. Time is also not on their side due to recent events in the Arab World and Iran. It is not that the Arabs at large, much less the non Arab Iranians have any great love for the Palestinians but, rather, that Palestine is a metaphor for the treatment of all of them by the Western colonial powers during the 20th century. The seething rage at that treatment has festered for decades and is now boiling to the surface with potentially disastrous consequences for Israel, the Arabs, Iran, and the US as well. Afghanistan and Iraq are just the beginning if we do not settle the Palestinian problem soon and address their other legitimate grievances as well.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/15/2013 02:05:57 MST Print View

Feinstein will call for a ban on civilian possession of ballistic helmets, tactical vests, riot gear, or "clothing of a SWAT or military appearance".
There will be a fresh hubbub about "assault pants".
"no civilian NEEDS to own pants made of rip-stop fabric, with 12 pockets and reinforced seat and knees!"

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/16/2013 01:04:12 MST Print View

Lynn wrote, " I think that those Americans who think things are working just fine need to pull their collective heads out of the sand and acknowledge that there IS a problem, and it needs changes, even if incremental, to solve it".

Recognition of a problem is the first step to solving it. The great difficulty is that people who believe things are fine also feel no need to pull their heads out of the sand. Indeed, they see no sand at all.

It's been a "me" society for a long time now. Too many people are more concerned with guarding their own rights and safety then to sacrifice for the safety of all. So I think we will continue to find a deficit of empathy here. People just aren't going to be moved until it's their kids or they themselves who get shot. Gabrielle Giffords is all about stricter gun controls now. Where was she before she personally got shot? Busy defending "gun rights"!!

In a somewhat twisted way, it seems the hallmark of those grown accustomed to success is a combination of both haughtiness and insecurity! It's why many 'exclusive' communities are also gated communities. It's why the world's richest and most powerful nation is also the one that feels exceedingly insecure! Add this fear to the general lack of empathy -- and there's little chance for meaningful, effective gun control.

Anyway, my two cents. Just like the hundreds of posts on the gun thread... we all recognize we have a problem... but we each hold different views as to the real cause(s) and solutions.

I started this thread expecting that few have changed their minds. I must admit I haven't changed mine either. I started out not being a gun advocate, and I still am the same.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/16/2013 01:10:34 MST Print View

@Tom - thanks! God willing, I hope to visit the Gulf States and Iran in March/April.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/16/2013 10:17:12 MST Print View

Just to return to the op's topic: I haven't changed my mind, but I really think that millions of women and mothers in this country probably have. This is a big demographic. I've spoken to a number of mothers who've been particularly devastated by Newtown and all the rest of it. En masse this could be a game changer. I hope so.

Edited by book on 01/16/2013 19:02:15 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Israel versus Palestine on 01/16/2013 13:22:48 MST Print View

It's strange how threads can drift!!

To me it is disheartening to see any country (or observer state) define their identity by their religious background. I really don't see how Israel can continue to exist long term as long as long as it sees itself as a "Jewish state". But it is hardly the only country that does this. It is merely the only country that does this with the backing of the world's biggest economy and military force. The separation of church and state has always been a founding principal of America...I am neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Palestinian, but I DO see the Palestinians as being one of the most ill-treated and ignored peoples in recent American history.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/16/2013 17:05:57 MST Print View

"@Tom - thanks! God willing, I hope to visit the Gulf States and Iran in March/April."

Insha' allah. Best of luck, Ben. I'll look forward to hearing all about your adventures upon your return.

Allah wiyaak, as they say in Iraq. Vaya con Dios a little closer to home.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/16/2013 22:38:26 MST Print View

I know this probably will not change any minds, but this opinion piece recently published in the New York Times by a former Australian Prime minister who in 1996 changed our gun laws is worth a read.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/opinion/australia-banned-assault-weapons-america-can-too.html?_r=2&

Tony

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/17/2013 11:35:43 MST Print View

Tony,

That's a pretty good article. It seems Mr. Howard had a less bumpy road to passing his legislation than a president here would have. Having the will of the people could allow similar bans here, but even with multiple massacres & shootings, many people are rightly or wrongly unwilling to budge on gun control. I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this complex issue as I certainly don't have a good solution to all this.

Ryan

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
Newtown on 01/17/2013 12:33:56 MST Print View

While the thread itself did't change my opinion, I decided not to apply for an advertized position in the USA, and this decision was reinforced and consolidated by contributions and opinions expressed in the thread.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/17/2013 18:18:41 MST Print View

I pick up my handgun permits tomorrow.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Newtown on 01/17/2013 20:07:07 MST Print View

I guess I am still wanting to hear from someone who owns a semi-automatic gun with high capacity clips as to why they feel a need for such a weapon as a law-abiding responsible gun owner. I will never understand why so many Americans interpret "the right to bear arms" with the "right to bear any arms I desire". There are already plenty of weapons that an ordinary citizen is not allowed to own, and you are kidding yourself if you think that the arms that you can legally own (even semi-autos) could ever help if the US government went rogue and decided to become a military dictatorship. When the second amendment was created, I think weapons were a pretty even playing field in government versus citizen weaponry. Now there is no level playing field, but you are still stuck with that poorly worded second amendment and many, many more innocent people will die because of it.

How about his for a re-worded second amendment:

You have a right to own certain types of weapons, once you have demonstrated you have adequate knowledge and training to use the weapons safely. This right does not include firearms that are automatic or recoil semi-automatic, and you also do not have the right to own high capacity ammo clips. This right also does not include armor, tank or aircraft piercing weapons and ammo, nor does it cover biological and chemical weapons, and it certainly does not include nuclear weapons. You do not have the right to own long-range missiles.

Your right to bear weapons only extends to the use of weapons for self-defense, hunting food or humane euthanasia of wounded non-human animals. You may also use your weapon for practice to gain proficiency in it's use.

Any rights to own the above weapons can be revoked if you are a) convicted of violent offenses, or b) deemed to be of an emotionally unstable or impulsive character by a team of professional assessors. Since most adolescent males are naturally of an emotional and impulsive character, these rights do not extend to you until such time as you can demonstrate maturity, stability, and of course suitable know-how.

I'm sure I could go on, but what's the point really? No one is looking to take away all your toys, just to limit what toys you can own, and who cannot own them. Rifle, pistol, shotgun, knife, nunchakas, spear, bow and arrow, cross-bow? Fine. Everything else..pretty dubious as to why you would want anything else.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Newtown on 01/17/2013 20:22:48 MST Print View

+26 to Lynn's post.

Edited by T.L. on 01/17/2013 20:24:22 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Newtown on 01/17/2013 20:30:36 MST Print View

"+26 to Lynn's post."

+1 to Travis' post.

Lynn for President!!!

BTW, Lynn, you forgot a particularly nasty little toy that is legal. Google up Barrett Rifle. It's a real winner.

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Re: Re: Newtown on 01/17/2013 20:37:20 MST Print View

Here read this. Serious nap risk though!

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Newtown on 01/17/2013 21:24:53 MST Print View

Barret Rifles?

C'mon Tom, you've gone soft. Barrets are for farmgirls and overweight safari hunters that couldn't find a cape buffalo in their own backyard without a $6000 guide.

When the $hit hits the fan and the United Nations rolls in to take our guns away and escort us off to F.E.M.A. deathcamps, you're going to need a man's gun.
I personally won't be satisfied with my Second Ammendment Rights until I can get my hands on a 30mm Bushmaster MK 44 with depleted uranium based armor piercing rounds to mount in the bed of my camoflaged 4x4 Ford F350 Dually. AND a thermal targeting system.

Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein are the only damn things standing between me and a fully functional Tomahawk missile system in my garage.

If we cannot be AT LEAST as well armed as the Government, we'll never taste true Freedom.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/17/2013 22:43:50 MST Print View

nm

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 01/18/2013 00:22:58 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Newtown on 01/18/2013 00:58:07 MST Print View

>High capacity clips.
There is no such thing as a high capacity clip. It's called a magazine. A clip is something else. No gun owner is going to take your opinion on controlling specific firearms seriously if you can't get that right. I know that sounds rude, but it's the truth. The "high capacity magazines" that people love to refer to are not high capacity, they are normal capacity. Most rifle magazines are 30 rounds. You are calling for low capacity magazines. A magazine larger than 30 rounds isn't very practical. It would make the rifle heavy and tiresome to carry around. It would make far more sense to carry extra magazines on a vest than to carry one excessively large magazine.

Watch this video and then try to explain to me why banning high capacity magazines would make firearms less deadly or reduce the deaths in a mass shooting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GsmUzSBaUQ&feature=youtu.be
A ban on high capacity magazines would put someone defending their home at a disadvantage. If you were going to invade someones home, you could pocket several magazines or attach them to a vest. If you had to grab your firearm to defend your home, you wouldn't have time to grab extra magazines.

In response to banning semi automatic rifles, you should watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8d9k6pHqYw
I realize there is still a significant speed disadvantage with a bolt action, but it's probably a lot less than you were thinking!



"Need"
Not needing something is not a reason to ban it. You should have a logical reason for banning it. Tom mentioned a Barret, which is a .50 caliber sniper rifle. I have heard some say that we should ban .50 caliber rifles because it's a huge caliber with no practical use for hunting or self defense. It also has no practical use for criminal activities either. It's an anti-material rifle used to stop vehicles or penetrate through a wall at long distances. So why ban it? There is no recorded event of a .50 caliber rifle being used in a crime. So let people waste their money and shoot stuff with ridiculously large bullets. It's not hurting anyone.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Newtown on 01/18/2013 17:14:26 MST Print View

"If we cannot be AT LEAST as well armed as the Government, we'll never taste true Freedom."

Thanks for setting me straight, Craig. I knew something was missing, but I just couldn't quite articulate it. Assuming your Ford 350 Dually has a decent sound system, here's some music to get you in the proper mood as you tool down the highway
thru those amber waves of grain, bound for those far off purple mountains to defend freedom. ;0)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-cb0IIWQa4

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Newtown on 01/18/2013 17:41:03 MST Print View

"Most rifle magazines are 30 rounds."

Aren't we forgetting an adjective here, as in most "military" rifle magazines....? I used to hunt, and I never saw a deer rifle with anything near a 30 round magazine, or should I say clip, because that is what we used to call them. I did a cursory Google search on the round capacity of a Remington 30/06 semi automatic rifle, just to get a feel for what's out there these days, and it comes off the shelf with a 4 round clip. Now this is undoubtedly for hunting situations, where 4 rounds and one in the chamber should be enough to bring an animal down, or at least give the hunter an adrenaline pump if he can't hit the animal. When you say most rifle magazines are 30 rounds, what type of use are you thinking of?

"It also has no practical use for criminal activities either. It's an anti-material rifle used to stop vehicles or penetrate through a wall at long distances. So why ban it? There is no recorded event of a .50 caliber rifle being used in a crime."

It has very practical potential use as a means of shooting down a large aircraft as it takes off, if one happens to be a terrorist. Equally bad, it has enormous potential as a means of assassinating a high official. As you said, it's a sniper rifle. I'll bet it gives the Secret Service nightmares thinking about the possible scenarios. With a range of well over a mile, how can they possibly cover all the potential shooting positions in an urban environment? That .50 cal round could penetrate an agent, the official, and another agent behind him with ease, not to mention bullet proof glass.

"There is no recorded event of a .50 caliber rifle being used in a crime. So let people waste their money and shoot stuff with ridiculously large bullets. It's not hurting anyone."

Yet, but the first time is liable to be a real disaster. How you can support allowing these things to be legal is simply beyond me. They have no place in a civilized society. Period.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Newtown on 01/18/2013 18:07:22 MST Print View

"There is no recorded event of a .50 caliber rifle being used in a crime."

I'm not convinced that's true....

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/581569/posts

and

http://www.vpc.org/snipercrime.htm

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: Re: Newtown on 01/18/2013 18:35:25 MST Print View

-----------"There is no recorded event of a .50 caliber rifle being used in a crime."

I'm not convinced that's true....

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/581569/posts

and

http://www.vpc.org/snipercrime.htm


that probably should have read "killed". But nearly all of those "crimes" are people illegally possessing the .50 gun. Which isn't want is meant.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Newtown on 01/18/2013 20:38:58 MST Print View

"http://www.vpc.org/snipercrime.htm"

What I found of particular interest was the reference to some moron firing an armor piercing incendiary round into a tree stump, thereby starting a fire that lasted several days. Now, back to my earlier comment about targeting a large passenger airplane, a 747 or A-380 perhaps.... How can anyone in their right mind try to justify making this type of weapon legal?

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 12:28:14 MST Print View

"No gun owner is going to take your opinion on controlling specific firearms seriously if you can't get that right. I know that sounds rude, but it's the truth."

You are right Justin. I don't know a heck of a lot about specific gun configurations. I don't need to. I don't own a gun, and never will. I DO own an illegal stash of pepper spray (illegal in NZ anyway). I have used it twice against vicious dogs. I grew up in the US, and my parents had a pistol in the house. I spent summers at my grandparents house where we got paid to shoot birds in the orchard. We got paid per bird, but never got paid fairly as their spaniel would often retrieve the birds and scamper off before we could collect the evidence. Of course, that would make me a poor choice to be making policy on weapons control, but I'm fine stepping back and letting someone with more knowledge decide on policy. I guess you could say I willing gave away my second amendment rights when I moved to NZ. I have to say I feel much safer, even though there is still a chance that I might one day come across a criminal who flaunts the law and possesses an illegal weapon (or even a legal weapon, hunting here is HUGE in popularity and there are plenty of legally owned rifles). It is clearly not enough to make changes to US laws limiting who can own what. There also needs to be a concerted effort to get illegal weapons off the street. So a change to search and seize laws as well?? I don't have a glib answer, I just recognise that there IS a problem, and the lack of will to make changes really upsets me.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 15:53:54 MST Print View

It is clearly not enough to make changes to US laws limiting who can own what. There also needs to be a concerted effort to get illegal weapons off the street. So a change to search and seize laws as well??

This.

Ironically, many anti-2nd amendment progressives are strong proponents of 4th amendment rights. Oakland has been considering hiring Bill Bratton, a proponent of policies including "stop and frisk", and the recent city council meeting discussing it was packed with raucous protesters. The anti-police movements don't help either; here's a piece on the topic from NPR's All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102353811

If you're willing to have a stash of pepper spray because dogs are a problem, consider how well people will respond to gun laws in places like Oakland. Those who do comply only shift the balance of arms more in favor of the thug side. That's why I'm very much in favor of programs that are effective against gangs; those are the groups doing most of the killing.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 19:06:47 MST Print View

Gentlemen, gentlemen...

Long ago and far away, I was one of those guys dressed in green who attempted to defend freedom. Actually, it was one of those wars that came out right. But I digress.

My personal weapon was the M-16A2 rifle. Obviously that is a purely military weapon, and it is really only good for a fast action firefight, but it is relevant in that it was the ancestor of the AR-15 civilian weapon that has gotten a lot of bad press lately. The major difference is that the military version was full automatic and semi-automatic, whereas the civilian version is semi-automatic only. In full auto mode, ours used to get rid of 18 rounds in about 1.25 seconds.

When we went through basic training, we learned that a "clip" is slang terminology, and "magazine" is a little more formal. Sometimes the drill sergeants would use the term "clip," but when we used the term we got corrected. Oh, well. It is the metal thingie that holds the rounds that are fed up into the receiver to be chambered. Back in the day, all we had were 20-round magazines, and we were taught never to put more than 18 rounds in it, because #19 & #20 tended to ruin some of the spring action which led to increased jamming. That is kind of bad in a firefight. Over the years, I believe that they worked out some of those bugs, so that led to 30-round magazines, etc. I walked with it, fired with it, and slept with it. Such is the nature of a personal weapon in a combat zone.

My opinion is that there is no practicality at all for any homeowner to have a magazine holding more than ten rounds or so. Well, maybe if you live in Nairobi. If your neighborhood is that bad, then you better move to someplace safer.

If anybody tries to break down my front door, he will first get hit in the face with bear spray. Then he will wish that he was dead.

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 19:33:16 MST Print View

"Actually, it was one of those wars that came out right."

They had M-16s in World War 2? Huh, learn something new every day....

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 19:49:15 MST Print View

"They had M-16s in World War 2? Huh, learn something new every day...."

"The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is the United States military version of the AR-15 rifle. The rifle was adapted for semi-automatic, three-round burst, and full-automatic fire.[6] Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963,[7] becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969,[8] replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. Since the Vietnam War, the M16 rifle family has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M16_rifle

Nah, I think Bob was probably referring to Grenada, or Panama maybe. Unless he thinks Viet Nam came out right??? Bob....?

Edited by ouzel on 01/20/2013 19:52:14 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 19:54:45 MST Print View

"They had M-16s in World War 2?"

Ah-ha! You didn't know those things because you couldn't find any YouTube video of it.

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 20:02:25 MST Print View

"Ah-ha! You didn't know those things because you couldn't find any YouTube video of it."

LOL. Isn't that the truth!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 20:02:29 MST Print View

Technically, it was a police action, not a war. But when that many thousands of military and civilians die, it deserves to be called a war, at least in my opinion. I was just a peacekeeper after it was mostly over.

Historically, my basic training unit was the very first that went all the way through with the M-16 and we never even touched the M-14.

Like I said, that was a long time ago in some godforsaken rice paddy.

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 20:06:14 MST Print View

"I think Bob was probably referring to Grenada"

I did Grenada with the 82nd. My brother jumped in, he was in the 2/75th. Beautiful country, truly. I've got a couple of cool stories from my time there.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 20:21:55 MST Print View

Grenada? That was just a brief street fight.

Besides, Grenada wasn't any godforsaken rice paddy. Do they grow spices in a paddy?

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/20/2013 20:57:51 MST Print View

Some of us still call our pants trousers.

And I still remember this from basic traing...

"This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for shooting, and this is for fun."

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/21/2013 13:58:15 MST Print View

"If you're willing to have a stash of pepper spray because dogs are a problem, consider how well people will respond to gun laws in places like Oakland. Those who do comply only shift the balance of arms more in favor of the thug side. That's why I'm very much in favor of programs that are effective against gangs; those are the groups doing most of the killing."

Jeremy, gangs seem to be the main source of thuggery in this country too. I wouldn't count on my pepper spray being much defense against them if the decided to target me, but most gang related violence in this country seems to be aimed at other gang members. Occasionally an innocent bystander gets in the crossfire, but it's rare enough that I don't feel very threatened. I am also not convinced that my owning a gun would make any difference. Most of the victims don't even see the violence coming. But at the heart of it, gangs here just don't have easy access to lots of guns. So yes, do something about gangs (without infringing on the individual rights of people to associate with whoever they choose), but also do something about gang members (and other thugs) being able to carry weapons illegally. If this means giving the police more power to search and frisk, so be it IMHO. Law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear from this, right? Of course, if I were searched and frisked while out walking my dogs, I would get in some trouble for carrying pepper spray, but it would not be a major felony, probably just a confiscation and slap on the wrist. Plus, I look every bit like an unsuspicious law-abiding citizen, so chances of me getting frisked are not great. Actually, the average pro-second amendment American would be horrified to learn that pretty much all weapons are forbidden from being carried on your person, unless you are a cop or a hunter. So knives are out too. And even cops and hunters have to carry their weapons in a locker in their vehicle until they think they will use it. It doesn't stop me from grabbing my rock-hammer and pepper spray when I hear or see something that worries me (if I'm at home). It also doesn't stop violence of all sorts. But it does limit it to more savoury violence like domestic and child abuse, which our country is very good at (sarcasm).

Also, as far as I know (which isn't very far), gangs don't usually seem to be involved in mass shootings of innocents...that's usually done by a lone looney, and that happens here too, as in China, as in pretty much everywhere. All changes to gun laws can do is to possibly reduce the number of people killed and injured. As Miguel would say, how do you know if you don't at least give it a try and see if it helps? Again, law abiding citizens should have nothing to fear from these changes...

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/21/2013 16:43:36 MST Print View

Lynn, I admire your valiant effort and very reasonable and well-thought out arguments, but personally I've given up trying to discuss this topic with Americans. My conclusion is that they don't want to do anything, don't want to change perspective or way of thinking, don't want outsiders' experience and practical knowledge, don't want to give up their toys, don't want to stop arguing, and don't really care enough to make a change. They'd prefer to quibble about differences in guns, try to rationalize it all to "crazies", dig up statistics, and watch all the excitement on TV. I can't explain it any other way. The whole country, including both sides of the debate, is off its rocker. That's how it comes across to me. Not much anyone can do to try and reason with them.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/21/2013 17:20:56 MST Print View

"I've given up trying to discuss this topic with Americans."

Hey Miguel, don't forget I, and probably you too, are also Americans!

Green Thumb
(greenthumb)
Accuracy on 01/21/2013 18:41:43 MST Print View

Considering most police only hit with less than 20% of shots fired(reference.) I imagine that a lesser trained individual would be somewhere south of that. Given a ten round magazine in a home defense situation facing two intruders, pray that you do better than the police and a single round will stop your attacker. The point being that you usually only realize you need something once it is too late. You don't need an emergency savings until you need it. You don't need your seat belt until you need it. You don't need a weapon with more than ten rounds in the magazine and more stopping power than a pistol until the police are 10 minutes away.


Excellent argument against gun control. A bit long, but worth reading

Edited by greenthumb on 01/21/2013 18:43:11 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Magazine versus clip on 01/21/2013 18:56:32 MST Print View

> "I did Grenada with the 82nd."

Then, as someone who has personally benefitted from (a very competitive student) going to medical school (my wife), thank you for saving all those second-rate medical students from theoretical capture.

Seriously - thank you for your service, Doug.

But in an era of going after overseas med students, marauding fishing boats, and zit-faced drug dealers, I often questioned if the event really rose to the level of requiring putting troops in harm's way.

What are your stories?

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/21/2013 19:06:37 MST Print View

>They'd prefer to quibble about differences in guns, try to rationalize it all to "crazies", dig up statistics,

This is an interesting article about how the NRA and pro-gun Americans abuse Australian crime stats.

http://theconversation.edu.au/faking-waves-how-the-nra-and-pro-gun-americans-abuse-australian-crime-stats-11678

Tony

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/21/2013 19:27:18 MST Print View

Lynn, I think you're correct on that last point; mass shootings and gang violence are two distinct problems that in my opinion require separate approaches; rifles tend to appear only in the first, and the overall murder rate is driven almost entirely by handguns. We tend to quibble, as Miguel notes, over some differences because they are largely cosmetic and thus affect the law-abiding but not the criminal; it's window dressing to avoid talking about other uncomfortable issues. We've already effectively banned fully-automatic weapons; in practical terms the only further legislation likely to have a significant impact on the criminal element would require a constitutional amendment.

In terms of stop and frisk, I am somewhat divided. There's a good story arguing against the policy here, in which a rights group claims the data from NY's implementation shows abuse along racial lines. As a 6'+ white male, my genetic lottery ticket largely exempts me from such problems, but I'm sure others have stories that went a bit differently. (Miguel, I somewhat remember you posting a good one some time ago.) For those that didn't pull a winning lottery ticket, the phrase "law abiding citizens have nothing to fear" takes on a rather more sinister meaning. I think such a program can work if carefully implemented, and that a clearly-written policy delineating where and when it may be used would be a key part of getting it past the courts.

Miguel, yes, there is definitely a difference in perspective. I'll mention an article in The Atlantic on the history of the issue in the US that is interesting reading. As you know, the Civil War didn't automatically bring equality; if it did, we wouldn't be celebrating Dr. King's birthday today. For much of that time, the average black had more to fear from the police and others than from the usual criminal element. For them, just as for those fighting the British or isolated on the frontier, the gun was not an instrument of violence so much as an guarantor of equality. Seen from that perspective, a gun need not be fired in order to serve its purpose.

Note: I think we do look at outsiders' experiences, but come to different conclusions. For example, the conclusion I'd draw from Australia is that their changes after '96 had no real impact on the homicide rate, but possibly decreased the suicide rate. (Other methods increased, of course, but not enough to compensate.)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Accuracy on 01/21/2013 20:26:16 MST Print View

"Given a ten round magazine in a home defense situation facing two intruders, pray that you do better than the police and a single round will stop your attacker."

If it's home defense that you're concerned with, I think you'd be hard put to do better than a 12 gauge shotgun, either pump or semi auto(they're very reliable these days, I'm told).

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Grenada on 01/21/2013 20:47:58 MST Print View

"But in an era of going after overseas med students, marauding fishing boats, and zit-faced drug dealers, I often questioned if the event really rose to the level of requiring putting troops in harm's way."

Hard to say, I'm one of those folks (like you) who doesn't see the world in black and white. I know that some simple folks there really appreciated us being there.


"What are your stories?"

Ah, take me backpacking in Alaska and I'll gladly tell you my stories around the campfire! I'll even bring the single malt!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/21/2013 21:11:31 MST Print View

Hey Miguel, don't forget I, and probably you too, are also Americans!

Heh, yeah, but no one else seems to think so. And every time I try to hold up my index finger and lean forward to make a point, I'm painfully aware that I usually seem to say things not in line with most other Americans. Maybe I've been outside too long and "gone native", as if that is a bad thing.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Gangs and other Thugs on 01/21/2013 21:25:05 MST Print View

Miguel lets lay aside guns for a moment. Could you compare the gang situation in different countries for us? What factors other then guns make the situation different in different countries?

Edit - One of the reasons I wanted to focus this question on gangs not guns was a theory I have. Most gangs are connected to the illegal drug trade and/or smuggling in some way. So they could probably smuggle in guns if they wanted too but they don't seem to be doing it on a large scale in countries like the UK and Australia. Why?

Culture?
Obviously their are cultural problems in all countries but no mainstream culture approves of robbery and murder so there has to be more going on. Saying we are a "violent" culture doesn't work. The vast majority of Americans, British etc. want nothing to do with violence.

Law Enforcement?
I noticed an article about illegal guns in England. They are a problem but criminals don't carry them much and they often keep the guns and ammunition in separate places because the penalty for having both together is harsher. So lets compare the US and UK

UK - Criminals can get illegal guns but are afraid to carry them regularly.
USA - Criminals can get guns (usually illegally) but they are not afraid to carry them.

Are criminals in the UK more scared of being caught?

Edited by Cameron on 01/21/2013 22:06:15 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Gangs and other Thugs on 01/21/2013 23:01:16 MST Print View

The vast majority of Americans, British etc. want nothing to do with violence.

Some strong and valid questions have been asked that I need to sit down, think about, and pen a proper response to, so give me a little while.

But let me address the statement above, briefly:

That's not at all how America is perceived outside. America is perceived as extremely violent. All the TV shows, movies, and computer games show it. The preference for guns shows it. The way the police on the streets deal with suspects, and immigration, every time someone flies into the country, shows it. The number of people in prisons shows it. The almost crazed honoring of the military shows it (more so by the non-military people than the military, in my person experience living with Vietnam vets). The way people talk about important social issues, constantly at odds with one another and forming huge, opposing and often vehement camps, shows it. And most of all the unthinking, knee-jerk reaction in marching off to war and bombing a people half a world away with whom they have no quibble with, shows it. Even the insane amount of money spent on the military budget shows it. The country seems intent on violence. Won't even consider another way of looking at things. Nearly ALL your leaders of peace have been violently killed.

I know a lot of Americans who despise violence and are pacifist or promoters of calm and reason. But too many others simply are not like that.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 10:38:42 MST Print View

"I can't explain it any other way. The whole country, including both sides of the debate, is off its rocker. That's how it comes across to me. Not much anyone can do to try and reason with them."

Miguel and Lynn,

I respect your views and opinions, but why is it if someone has a differing opinion than you they are stupid or off their rocker. We are all entitled to our own views and opinions. I surely don't have all the answers and neither do you. Why do you get so frustrated because someone has a different views?

Brad

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:05:56 MST Print View

I agree with Miguel and Lynn

We're hyper-polarized about guns and other things

Some people imagine that the government is going to take your guns and enslave them

Some people think that there are guns everywhere killing people and we need to eliminate the guns. None of my friends or family have ever been hurt by a gun - don't worry about it.

The politicians stoke this fire for political advantage

The best thing the politicans could do is quit stoking this fire. People are entitled to their guns. We should do some regulation, but it will have a small effect on gun violence.

Quit saying "Obama is going to take your guns away" just to generate huge guns sales and to get people to vote for you because it may have an unintended consequence of driving some mentally ill person over the edge and killing himself or others

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:12:30 MST Print View

"Some people imagine that the government is going to take your guns and enslave them"

True, the list of people would include Thomas Jefferson and James Madison among others.

The fact that many of us work 4 1/2 months (or more) and all the money we earn during this time goes to the government is not what Jefferson and Madison had in mind.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:32:30 MST Print View

"Some people imagine that the government is going to take your guns and enslave them"

Actually some do want to take guns away from law abiding citizens. However I think the number is small and nothing that I really worry about.

What I think gets overlooked is doing something meaningful that will help the situation. All we get is two parties seizing the opportunity to use the issue for political gain. It is how they view every single issue facing our country. If you believe either party is really out to solve problems in the best interest of the US citizens you are just fooled in my opinion.

I think if I see one more press conference by either party discussing a topic I will puke.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 11:50:03 MST Print View

But of course, Nick, the idea of enslaving people didn't sound so far-fetched to people who owned actual slaves. They lived in a different time-so different that the ownership of slaves seemed moral. And if we need to arm ourselves to protect us from our own government, I don't think any of the weapons we are talking about will do much good. The military has drones, bombs, grenades, tanks, gunships, and plenty of other weapons of mass destruction of which I have little knowledge. We're going to have to go bigger than assault weapons to have a chance against the army, navy, marines, air force, or even the coast guard.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:57:49 MST Print View

Nick, I think you're misinterpreting Jefferson and Madison a little

I spent some time on beach of Olympic Peninsula listening to U.S. historian on Canadian Public Radio

They were concerned about having a professional army ("standing army") take over the country. They wanted to have a "well regulated militia" that could be called up to prevent any standing army from taking over the country or defend against external enemies.

After the bill of rights was passed, they passed a law that every white male in a certain age range had to own a gun and certain amount of ammunition and be part of the militia. The second ammendment says you can't take away these people's guns. There's also a responsibility to train with the militia.

There were several rebellions of individuals with guns. They called up the militia to put these rebellions down. The second ammendment did not guarantee that these individuals could have guns.

Regardless, the supreme's have ruled that individuals have a right to own guns. If you own a gun, statistically you will be more likely to be killed or injured but that's your decision.

If you want to protect the country, spend some time understanding things, calling your political representatives, talking to others, and voting.

If you think that guns will protect you from the government, look at Waco Texas - they have you outgunned and you will just look like a nut.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 11:59:40 MST Print View

Brad - we agree again - "All we get is two parties seizing the opportunity to use the issue for political gain."

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 12:18:37 MST Print View

"But of course, Nick, the idea of enslaving people didn't sound so far-fetched to people who owned actual slaves. They lived in a different time-so different that the ownership of slaves seemed moral"

Oh Ben, you sure have more faith than I do when it comes to lessons learned and history repeating itself.
Until we teach our kids all the perils that come with an economic crisis, the dangers that come with dehumanizing ANY group of people ( read Muslims, Mexicans , gays, people of faith) and easily we give up personal responsibility when acting in a group/mob.....Not until we are aware of how as humans we are vulnerable to rationalizing the most horrible of actions, until we learn the recognize the signs, not until then would I say that those are things of the past.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
As the debate rages on, so do the shootings. on 01/22/2013 12:19:37 MST Print View

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/22/lone-star-community-college-houston-lockdown-shot/1855707/

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 12:26:26 MST Print View

"Nick, I think you're misinterpreting Jefferson and Madison a little"

Please re-read this post :)

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Education on 01/22/2013 12:41:30 MST Print View

Nick's original post is worth rereading:
---------
I can understand our non-US members not grasping the 2nd Amendment or even the Bill of Rights.

When I was in high school, the study of: the philosophers and intellectuals who influenced our founding fathers, The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The US Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and The Federalist [Papers] were required to graduate from high school. You had to study AND pass US History in the 11th grade, and a passing grade was a graduation requirement.

Please don't tell me that all of this is no longer part of the required curriculum in high schools; but it sounds like this maybe the case.

Regarding the original amendments in the Bill of Rights; the only debate was that it was not needed -- the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution guaranteed these. The debate was the Bill of Rights might be misunderstood as the only civil rights guaranteed to every citizen.

Now to the 2nd Amendment. Our forefathers did not trust ANY government. They believed that citizens have the right to overthrow ANY tyrannical government, and the 2nd Amendment would help keep the newly formed government in check, because the armed populace had the right to overthrow it, should it take away any of our individual rights. This is the 2nd Amendmend.

Also, please don't tell me you have never read the following quote by Noah Webster:

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."


No... I do not own a firearm and am not the member of any organization.

Lastly, I typed this on my iPhone so I hope it is somewhat readable.
-----------------------

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 13:04:16 MST Print View

Yeah, I read Nick's post initially

But it's not individuals with guns, it's the militia of citizens with guns that are guaranteed by 2nd ammendment

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 13:11:17 MST Print View

"The military has drones, bombs, grenades, tanks, gunships, and plenty of other weapons of mass destruction of which I have little knowledge. We're going to have to go bigger than assault weapons to have a chance against the army, navy, marines, air force, or even the coast guard."

And with all this fire power, what police actions (wars) have we truly won in the past 60 years? Why can't we win wars against these small and poorly armed countries? Guerrilla warfare is pretty effective, especially when those fighters have a cause.
----------------------------------------

To me the gist of this problem is a philosophical one. The founding documents are derived from several philosophers that had huge influence on our founding fathers. Although there was not 100% agreement on everything, individual rights were first and foremost the center piece of the American Revolution. The founding fathers also tried to put together a government that would be flexible to meet the needs of future generations. But we must keep in mind that our founding fathers did not trust any government -- but they knew a government was needed to protect the rights of every individual (e.g., life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- the first draft of the Declaration of Independence included property, which was removed as a compromised although the 3 principles would imply that property rights are included). We have moved from "individual rights" to "the common good." The common good has diluted the rights of individuals. As I posted earlier, everyone should read Dave Chenault's post on his blog.

Again... I don't own any firearms. I don't feel the need to own any at this point in time. However, I am concerned about diluting our individual rights. Gun control isn't going to stop this carnage, and mental health care isn't either. The root cause, IMO, is the breakdown of the family unit in our society. As a country we need to fix the problem person-by-person. If parents don't do their job we are doomed. The government can't fix that. As a parent I want my children and future generations to live in a safe place. As to Miguel's mention of the violence on TV, video games, etc.; he is right. But those things exist because the people vote for them with their money -- they buy this stuff. It is what they want -- sure you can regulate and outlaw them, but the fact remains people want them -- which to me means a failure of good parenting. I know sounds pretty pessimistic.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Commonwealth club debate. on 01/22/2013 13:41:43 MST Print View

Check out this debate. Gentle-personly.

Nancy Skinner, Member, California State Assembly
Benjamin Van Houten, Managing Attorney, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Sgt. Kelly Dunn, SFPD Special Victims and Psychiatric Liaison Units
Gene Hoffman, Chairman, The Calguns Foundation; Member, Board of Trustees, Second Amendment Foundation
John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor, San Francisco Chronicle - Moderator

http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2013-01-17/gun-laws-california-and-nation-what-should-be-done
Download the podcast on the right.

I like the quote from Gene Hoffman of Calguns

"Tyranny isn't the president going off the rails, tyranny is being gay in South Dakota"

Edited by oware on 01/22/2013 13:57:26 MST.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Am I the only one... on 01/22/2013 13:44:23 MST Print View

who finds it a little scary when people talk about how we need guns to repel our government. Armed mobs aren't know for making good judgements. In that scenario, those with the guns make the decisions, and those of us without are left out. Maybe I need a gun to prevent crazy armed mobs. Who's to say which armed mob is right? Around here, armed activists sometimes talk about overthrowing the Obama government, and it has little to do with the debt ceiling. If the armed mobs take control of the government, I think you can expect to see some pretty ugly times.

And I really think the "common good" is an important concept, especially in reference to parenting. Parenting so often deals with teaching kids to do things that there are some things they need to do even if they don't want to. Its for the common good. I think a good argument can be made that the biggest flaw in parenting today is the failure to teach "common good" principles enough. Our military fights for the common good of our country. Same for our police, teachers, etc. Obviously individual rights are important, but kids pick up on those as any naturally selfish being does.

In the end, our society will usually balance the common good and individual rights. We do it in our families, our lawmakers do it. Even our Supreme Court regularly makes these balancing decisions when dealing with our constitutional rights.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Jefferson and Madison on 01/22/2013 14:12:55 MST Print View

"The root cause, IMO, is the breakdown of the family unit in our society. As a country we need to fix the problem person-by-person. If parents don't do their job we are doomed. The government can't fix that..."

No, the root problem is that big corporations and super rich have bought our government.

If gun manufacturers can scare people into buying more guns, fine, even if as a consequence it causes more kooks to kill people

It's okay if big pharmaceuticals fake data and make huge profits even if it bankrupts the government, other companies, and individuals

Corporations pay less and less tax over time

corpeff

The analogy to the founding fathers is that the British gave tax breaks to the East India company that was making huge profits and buying off the British government

Hopefully, the pendulum will swing again, away from the big companies and super rich

Edited by retiredjerry on 01/22/2013 14:16:12 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 14:51:38 MST Print View

I think the question of "why" certain types of violence prosper in different societies is hugely interesting, and relevant. I don't think you can blame it on any one thing. Drugs, and the war on drugs that makes gangs so pervasive and prison population soar is one problem. Poor parenting (lack of a community approach to raising children) is another. Wide gaps in wealth is a huge one too. Too much focus on individual rights at the cost of a healthy society for sure. But gun violence is clearly increased in a society that makes guns easily available and macho instead of cowardly to use. I also had American history shoved down my throat at high school. It was only after I left the US that I realised how impoverished my history education was. Lots and lots of US history, very little of the rest of the world. So I, at least, hope that HAS changed. Sure, it is important to know your own country's history, but world history (including religious history) is even more important. Maybe, like Miguel, I have just lived too long outside the US. I visit it often enough to remind me how US-centric Americans tend to be, and how US-centric the news inevitably is. But I guess America is big enough to have enough of it's own problems that it leaves little time to look at the problems in the rest of the world.

But the polarisation of American's opinions seems to be the biggest wedge preventing the evil government from fixing any of it's biggest problems. To people like Nick that see the government as essentially stealing his hard-earned money I would say that is not a situation unique to America. I only see it as stealing if the money is not put to good use for public good. To me, I don't mind paying tax in NZ, as I see a lot of it put back in as public good...social welfare, education, universal healthcare, and even a little bit of military. The allocation of tax revenue in the US appears, by my pretty socialistic standards, to be upside down. Too much military, too much imprisonment, not enough social security, education and healthcare. So I would be pretty pissed too if I were in Nicks situation, not because I pay taxes but because of how those taxes are used.

Ben Smith
(bsmith_90) - M

Locale: Epping Forest
but umm.. on 01/22/2013 15:20:46 MST Print View

I still don't get why American civilians need guns...

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Jerry, its always the corporations on 01/22/2013 15:35:47 MST Print View

I am going to surprise you. I abhor the corporations that get special breaks, special franchises, and influence government via political pull. The same goes for any special interest groups; unions, trade associations, non-profits, etc.

But the bottom line is people. When only 50%-60% vote in national elections, and even less for state and local elections, what do we expect to happen? And many of those who do vote do not study the issues, campaigns, candidates, ballot issues, etc. -- and then just vote the party line, or vote the way Michael Moore or Rush Limbaugh tell them to vote. The people need to take their government back and send a mandate to those who want to run for office.

Edited for grammar.

Edited by ngatel on 01/22/2013 15:52:47 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 15:39:13 MST Print View

U.S. spending from some recent year:

USSpending

Almost half is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

Only less than one quarter is military.

I think the problem is not that we spend too much on military and too little for social programs,

It's that all of the pie pieces of the budget are riddled with special programs for big companies that make large political contributions

For example, Medicair has a provision to not negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, and the process for developing new drugs and "testing them" in a manner that shows they're effective even though it's marginal, then they have huge advertising programs and make huge profits.

Take any of our problems - gun violence, budget deficit, obesity, not enough good jobs - they all go back to we have "the best government money can buy" so it doesn't address any of these problems very good

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 15:43:53 MST Print View

Lynn,

Good post. Again, a healthy society starts at home. That goes for healthy foods, exercise for children, teaching of morals and ethics, monitoring TV, movies, games, friends, etc.

Regarding the war on drugs... drugs are a problem because there is a big demand for them. You can't fight that. And the need for individuals to alter their state of mind is something I can't understand. Movies and music that glorify drug use, and children watching and listening -- where are their parents?

Prisons in the US are filled with people who committed victim-less crimes. A prison population that is mostly minorities. Laws passed based on someone's religious belief.

And it goes on and on. Only individuals can fix this, and it is going to take a large majority of the population to become accountable for what they do and who they raise their kids. I am not hopeful.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: but umm.. on 01/22/2013 15:48:20 MST Print View

"I still don't get why American civilians need guns..."

Because if someone like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Lenin, Franco, Amin, Mao, Castro, or Diaz takes over we can get rid of them.

We wouldn't want to ask the Brits or French to come over here and save our collective butts.

;)

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/22/2013 15:51:39 MST Print View

Maximum short term profit at the expense of the health of our society, and a prevention of any safety net.

I look forward to some generations accepting responsibility for what they have done.

Gun violence is a symptom, gun control won't fix the problem any more than a pain killer fixes a broken bone.

Edited by redmonk on 01/22/2013 16:08:11 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 15:54:06 MST Print View

I respect your views and opinions, but why is it if someone has a differing opinion than you they are stupid or off their rocker. We are all entitled to our own views and opinions. I surely don't have all the answers and neither do you. Why do you get so frustrated because someone has a different views?

(still haven't replied to the other questions asked, so I'll keep this brief, too)

Brad, I didn't say people giving other opinions were off their rocker. Look at my words again. I specifically wrote "including both sides of the debate". That includes your opinions, Brad, and my own opinions. Speaking within the debate itself, when the debate is shared the way people have been sharing it like this in this thread, is healthy. I respect your opinions, too, and listen to them and respond calmly and with as much thoughtfulness as I can put into it. But that doesn't do anything about the actual subject and purpose of the debate. What I was saying was that the inability to get anything done at all about important, and often tragic, social problems is what makes the whole society seem off its rocker. There are social problems in the States, like gun control and health care, that really shouldn't be moral problems, and shouldn't elicit such polarized opinions. It's more than just a little absurd. Sometimes I wonder if Americans are so bent on finding ways to fight that they will rationalize anything just to get a rise.

Edited by butuki on 01/22/2013 15:56:51 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Gangs and other thugs on 01/22/2013 16:04:11 MST Print View

Jerry, though America spends a lot on welfare, healthcare and education, it is not spent efficiently. This is IMHO basically ripping off tax payers. Your point about the government being in bed with Big Pharma is a case and point.

Nick, I agree that only individuals can 'fix' a lot of the problems in most societies, but those individuals need to recognise that, for instance with children, it takes a village to raise a child. So individual responsibility is not always enough. As for the war on drugs and you not understanding peoples desire to alter their mind, I understand this fully. In every animal model of human addiction that I study as part of my job, we find that animals will, given the free choice, choose mind-altering drugs every time. It is not just the human condition, it spans all of the higher animal kingdom. Creating criminals of victimless crimes just doesn't seem productive. I agree it is better for parents, and 'villages' to educate and steer youth away from these drugs (including alcohol and tobacco), but to make prisoners out of people for doing what really comes naturally for many just tears apart families and communities, and creates a large population of 'criminals'. It also creates the culture in which their is a lot of profit for gangs and other thugs to wreak social havoc. Obviously I am not a fan of the war on drugs. I see drug use as just part of a person's individual freedom to screw up their own life, just like obesity and many other poor choices made by adults. However, children are so vulnerable to the choices made by their parents that I DO see a need for some kind of educational intervention, whether it be at community level, school district level, state level, or failing all that, even federal level. Although it is easy to see it as an individual's failing, when you live in a country that has universal healthcare, it also becomes a tax-payer's business. I guess this is one argument against universal healthcare, but really any society, no matter what healthcare system they use, can't afford the majority of their people to be unhealthy.

Green Thumb
(greenthumb)
Re: Re: Accuracy on 01/22/2013 16:33:37 MST Print View

Tom-

It all depends. A 12 gauge can be a great tool for home defense in the case that the individual using it can handle the weapon properly. A shotgun typically has much more recoil than the typical carbine rifle. The AR-15 has almost no recoil. This can be a huge factor in putting more than a single round on target. Personally, i'd take a carbine like the AR-15 for home defense as the rifle round packs way more energy(thus stopping power) than a handgun and is better than a shotgun for firing more than one round. A firearm is a tool, nothing more. Choose the correct tool for the job.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 16:41:33 MST Print View

"Because if someone like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Lenin, Franco, Amin, Mao, Castro, or Diaz takes over we can get rid of them."

Maybe its just where I live, but its very common for people here to compare Obama to Hitler and sometimes Stalin. They do it in conversations. They make facebook posts about it. They are truly convinced that he is that bad of a person. Are they justified in taking action with their guns to get rid of him? What if 100 people feel that way? 1000? More? Are there any rules for this? Who decides?

That just sounds like treason to me. Its no way to run a civilized country. I don't think its a valid reason for keeping guns unregulated.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind on 01/22/2013 16:46:11 MST Print View

The second has the word regulated in it.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Education on 01/22/2013 16:54:31 MST Print View

""Now to the 2nd Amendment. Our forefathers did not trust ANY government. They believed that citizens have the right to overthrow ANY tyrannical government, and the 2nd Amendment would help keep the newly formed government in check, because the armed populace had the right to overthrow it, should it take away any of our individual rights. This is the 2nd Amendmend."

Also, please don't tell me you have never read the following quote by Noah Webster:

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.""

Now fast forward 237 years, to a time when the government has highly sophisticated means of surveillance. If turned inward, these means would very quickly identify any leaders of an incipient rebellion, who would equally shortly disappear in the middle of the night, leaving a disorganized rabble to face a battle hardened, professional army whose members have frequently expressed their contempt and alienation for a soft, decadent civilian population. As a means of keeping the government from oppressing the people, the 2nd Amendment is worthless. Is it any wonder Jefferson felt that the Constitution should be rewritten every generation? Times change, and so should anachronisms like the 2nd Amendment.

Edited for grammar.

Edited by ouzel on 01/22/2013 17:08:08 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 17:01:00 MST Print View

Ben C,

You forgot the rest of my post....


We wouldn't want to ask the Brits or French to come over here and save our collective butts.

;)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind on 01/22/2013 17:06:41 MST Print View

"The second has the word regulated in it."

The gentleman who wrote the article in the link, below, has given considerable thought to precisely that idea.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/01/21/gun-violence-proposal-militias-second-amendment-nra-obama/

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 17:10:14 MST Print View

"We wouldn't want to ask the Brits or French to come over here and save our collective butts."

Oh, why not. At least then I wouldn't have to feel unpatriotic every time I ordered French fries.

;)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Education on 01/22/2013 17:15:47 MST Print View

"Now fast forward 237 years, to a time when the government has highly sophisticated means of surveillance which. If turned inward, these means would very quickly identify any leaders of an incipient rebellion, who would equally shortly disappear in the middle of the night, leaving a disorganized rabble to face a battle hardened, professional army whose members have frequently expressed their contempt and alienation for a soft, decadent civilian population."

Tom,

I think it is important why we have the 2nd amendment. As to the practicality of a revolt, that is debatable. But we have around 3 million active and reserve military personnel versus 140 million men and women who are between the ages of 17-62. Libya and Syria had a well armed military (compared to the general population). So I wouldn't assume it would be a simple blood-bath.

Of course, I hope it never happens. Disagreements should be resolved by reason, not violence.

Once we take away the 2nd, it becomes easier to take away the rest of the rights. Where do we stop?

Again... I don't own any weapons -- well I do have a Classic Swiss Army Knife :)

Green Thumb
(greenthumb)
Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 17:25:53 MST Print View

Ben,

I'm curious, have you honestly considered a threshold for revolution? What actions taken by government would merit an insurrection?I hear too many opinions and comments that seem to indicate overthrow of government is not acceptable. At what point does supporting an overreaching government become a treasonous act? One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter...

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 17:28:55 MST Print View

Tom,

Have you ever eaten French Fries with a Frenchman or a Brit? They dip them in mustard or mayonnaise. Totally unpatriotic in my opinion.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Why would we need them on 01/22/2013 17:32:19 MST Print View

My understanding is "regulated" means well trained and organized. I don't believe the Federal Government exercised any regulatory authority over the local militias back then.

I think the founders saw that people who are responsible for their own safety and welfare would be less likely to surrender their rights to the government. Remember in the Dark Ages serfs surrendered their rights to the nobility in exchange for security.

Since 9/11 we've put up with government activities that would have been unthinkable before. What if we just put a tazer under every seat of the plane and made that part of the pre flight briefing... "In the event of a hijacking pull the tazer from under your seat and taze the nearest hijacker."

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 17:33:28 MST Print View

I think there is a clear difference between a 'terrorist' and someone who commits treason. A terrorist wantonly kills innocent civilians versus treason which is plotting against a government. I would hope that a true terrorist/terrorists would be dealt with swiftly by a 'well regulated militia', be it civilian or otherwise. Treason to me is less clear cut. If enough Americans decided to act together to over-throw the government, it is not clear where the line between treason and democratically supported rebellion should be drawn. America should, first and foremost, be a democracy. How would disgruntled Americans go about deciding that the majority of of civilians supported a rebellion? If a majority of Americans could be mobilised like this, then surely a democratic election would accomplish the same thing...or am I missing something obvious?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Education on 01/22/2013 17:34:34 MST Print View

"I think it is important why we have the 2nd amendment. As to the practicality of a revolt, that is debatable. But we have around 3 million active and reserve military personnel versus 140 million men and women who are between the ages of 17-62. Libya and Syria had a well armed military (compared to the general population). So I wouldn't assume it would be a simple blood-bath."

Debatable, to be sure, but while it might not be simple, I have little doubt as to the outcome. Bloody and futile, IMO, if it were simply a mass uprising a la the Revolutionary War, as apparently envisioned by most of the pro 2nd Amendment folks. A much better bet, IMO again, would be the National Guard units of the different states. They are also battle hardened, well trained, equipped, and organized, and well led in most cases. It would also be more difficult to completely eliminate their command structures if their governors alerted them, and called them up to oppose the Feds. Actually, the National Guard is my own personal interpretation of what the Founding Fathers probably envisioned when they wrote the 2nd Amendment. Why else would they have used the words "well regulated militia", AND made them the heart of the first clause in that amendment?

For the record, neither do I own any weapon more formidable than a kitchen knife. But I have to admit it's a WMD compared to my beloved Swiss Army Classic. ;0)

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Brits and Frenchies on 01/22/2013 17:37:15 MST Print View

They owe us. We saved their butts in WWII. Then again, the Feenchies save our butts in the American Revolution. So I guess we're even with them. I'm counting on the Brits.
I didn't respond to that part, Nick, because that was the only part that made any sense :)

Edited by alexdrewreed on 01/22/2013 17:45:19 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Education on 01/22/2013 17:41:07 MST Print View

"Of course, I hope it never happens. Disagreements should be resolved by reason, not violence."

+100 Violence is self perpetuating. Just look at The Middle East. Santayana once wrote that those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it. I think he only got it half right. Those who cannot forget history are also doomed to repeat it. What is a reasonable person to do? :(

"Once we take away the 2nd, it becomes easier to take away the rest of the rights. Where do we stop?"

All of them have been curtailed to some extent as a result of the war on drugs and 9/11, but I haven't seen any evidence to date that the 2nd Amendment has been of any use in arresting that process. Oh yes, people howl and gnash their teeth. AND buy more guns, but to no effect. The erosion continues, executive order by executive order, and law by law. Simply look at the FISA courts, the right of the military to hold US CITIZENS indefinitely without a trial, simply because the state has "evidence", secret of course, that they might be a terrorist. So much for habeas corpus, the bedrock principle of our legal system. If ever there were a time for all you 2nd Amendment-ers to grab your guns and march on Washington... Not that I am any better, for here I sit.

Edited for content.

Edited by ouzel on 01/22/2013 17:46:55 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 17:43:40 MST Print View

"then surely a democratic election would accomplish the same thing...or am I missing something obvious?"

Well, technically the US is a Republic not a Democracy. Founding fathers did not like democracies. But I digress...

In the 1930's there was this European country that had a "democratic" post WWI government. Then rights were restricted and the Government adopted an "Enabling Act" in 1933. The rest, as we say, is history.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Euro democeacy on 01/22/2013 17:49:03 MST Print View

If my history is correct, he was actually pretty popular among his own people. I'm not sure they wanted to take up guns against him for the most part, especially early on.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 17:53:27 MST Print View

"Have you ever eaten French Fries with a Frenchman"

No, but I in indulged in pommes frites on occasion when I was over there. Mustard ain't bad. Mayonnaise? Now that IS unpatriotic. Or should I say British? ;0)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Euro Democracy on 01/22/2013 18:00:02 MST Print View

My father used to shock students by saying a lynch mob is the perfect example of democracy in motion. "Hey they all voted to hang the guy so it must be okay right?" The point of course was pure democracy without something like the Bill of Rights wasn't such a good thing.

Edited because I realized the first draft could be read way wrong.

Edited by Cameron on 01/22/2013 18:12:17 MST.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Overthrow on 01/22/2013 18:04:00 MST Print View

GT, do you live in Kentucky? :)
And no, I do not think our gubmint needs overthrown. Maybe if they make it mandatory that I carry a firearm then I will consider it. But I'd probably just see if New Zealand would adopt me I'm getting too old to overthrow a government anymore.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Education on 01/22/2013 18:05:26 MST Print View

"The erosion continues, executive order by executive order, and law by law."

Tom,

All of this is good for debate and the discussion of principles and ideas. And we need not argue (this is not towards you and me). I doubt these discussions change anyone's mind.

To be honest, I hope Newtown did not change anyone's mind.

Now, I need to explain that last sentence. I hope anyone who had an opinion on gun control, made that decision based on firm philosophical principles.

Whenever I see these kinds of posts, especially when it concerns the Middle East, I always look to your insight. Now, our founding fathers believed the militias/standing armies should only be to protect us from foreign invaders and to protect the population from tyranny. These were principles, and I am a black & white kind of guy, principles trump practicalism. So this nation-building and protecting business interests with force has no place in our society. It does not surprise me at all that so many people in the Middle East hate us and that terrorists target us. We lost our moral compass with these "police actions," and they have lead to the erosion you mentioned.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Lynch mobs on 01/22/2013 18:07:13 MST Print View

Luke, I'm assuming you dad was not a black man of the south.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 18:08:19 MST Print View

"Founding fathers did not like democracies. But I digress..."

True. Our founding fathers wanted to keep control of the government in the hands of the rich, white, landed gentry, and this still seems to be the case in practice (hey, Obama IS half white after all). All the amendments to the constitution were an attempt at changing this balance of power, but there are few, if any, true democracies, AKA mob-rule in the world. I think it is mostly a good thing that mob-rule is not the norm in America, but I still feel public referendums are a useful way of setting change in motion that reflects the desires of the majority of voters. Of course referendums cost money, and are not popular with those that are already in power who risk losing some of that power...

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Lynch Mobs on 01/22/2013 18:09:39 MST Print View

Maybe that came off wrong the first time. His point was democracy can be horrible for the little guy. Just because 51% vote for it doesn't automatically make it right.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 18:10:04 MST Print View

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that a good deal of people need them simply to protect their right to have them from those that they believe would take them away.

Anyone notice how every time "they" are going to take all the guns away "they" never do, but sales of arms and ammo shoot through the roof? Wish I could come up with a business model that good. I'm sure The Freedom Group is laughing all the way to the bank.

I'll be damned if Zero Dark Thirty didn't make me want to put on my tactical vest, load the AR15, and pose in front of the mirror for a few hours. I bet that movie alone was responsible for a few million in .223 sales.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
The Media - Interesting on 01/22/2013 18:12:21 MST Print View

I just saw that there was a shooting today in Texas.

So I turned on the TV. Well... it seems the big news story today is that Beyonce did not sing the National Anthem yesterday, it was pre-recorded.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: The Media - Interesting on 01/22/2013 18:14:44 MST Print View

I must say she did a very good job of lip-synching!

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: The Media , MUCH more relevant on 01/22/2013 18:18:54 MST Print View

OK, so near the top of our headlines at the moment is this:

German soldiers are growing breasts

Three quarters of the Wachbataillon have been diagnosed with the embarrassing condition.

It sounds like a joke from 'Allo, 'Allo: soldiers from a German elite fighting force are growing breasts.

According to a medical report, soldiers in the Wachbataillon unit have been slapping their rifles a bit too hard on the left side of their chests during drills.

The repeated slapping has stimulated the soldiers' glands, giving them breasts.

The condition is called one-sided gynecomastia and has affected three quarters of the battalion.

Professor Bjorn Krapohl, director of plastic surgery at the German Armed Forces Hospital of Berlin, told the German Herald: "There is a very significant link between the activity in the Guard Battalion and the development of the breast on the left side.

"They need to change the way they drill. The constant slamming of the rifles against the left hand side of the chest is clearly a significant factor."

Clearly something any well-regulated militia needs to be wary of!!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Poking on 01/22/2013 18:18:56 MST Print View

Luke, I hope you can tell that I'm mostly having fun at the expense of the gunners tonight.
But for the record, I am FULLY in favor of your state's natural right to secede. I think you've earned it

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
More media today from NZ on the topic on 01/22/2013 18:25:13 MST Print View

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/8208745/Why-America-embarrasses-us-all

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
1800s-Militia being called up by the Federal government on 01/22/2013 18:25:20 MST Print View

I don't believe the Federal Government exercised any regulatory authority over the local militias back then.

Luke, actually the federal government has always had the power to mobilize militias; I've been reading up on the first militia engagement Harmar's campaign and St. Clair's Defeat during the Northwest Indian War of the late 1780s-1790's (our present day US Midwest). Seems a lot of militia were massacred outright. In response to this loss, the US reluctantly raised a standing army called the "Legion of the US" and won a decisive campaign against those tribes and their supporters ("Battle of Fallen Timbers"). Of course the Natives lost way more during the ensuring"Indian Wars". The US Civil War had militia called out to support national armies on both sides but what what really brought our modern National Guard/Reserve system were equipment standardization problems during the Spanish-American War (amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics). Now Reserve and NG units can easily merge with active units (think Britain has something similar with the Home Guard). Interestingly, many states have an independent, organized "State Guard" but they weren't allowed assault weapons last I checked. That concludes what I remember from my required Military History class and subsequent reading, though who might have actually been there can set the record straight ;-)

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Edited by hknewman on 01/22/2013 18:30:19 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Poking and 1800s on 01/22/2013 19:04:10 MST Print View

I try to be fair to everyone Ben:) I like the rest of the country but if Texas wants to succeed I don't think I'd leave. It would be perfect if it had more mountains.

HK I had not heard about the Northwest wars but I had heard about problems during the Spanish American War. It was well known that Washington's regulars fought better then local militia (Daniel Morgan even took this into consideration at the Battle of the Cowpens and planned on having the militia break and run).

I think the move to professionalize and standardize the Guard was a good thing but we lost the original purpose of the militia in my opinion. I think the original idea was that the citizen militia would be the first line of defense. Since citizens are not going to oppress themselves that eliminated the problem of a tyrant using the army to oppress.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/22/2013 19:06:36 MST Print View

"Mayonnaise? Now that IS unpatriotic. Or should I say British?"

Actually, very German. I fell in love with dipping fries in mayo while living in Germany. Their mayo is a bit different than ours, as well.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Poking and 1800s on 01/22/2013 19:14:36 MST Print View

"I like the rest of the country but if Texas wants to succeed I don't think I'd leave. It would be perfect if it had more mountains."

Texas might just succeed if people can get over wanting it to secede...

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: modern NG as militia on 01/22/2013 19:23:43 MST Print View

Luke, they still respond to local disasters (and/or riots too) and I've actually have had some experience in this as an active commander of one of these reserve forces centers about 5-6 years ago. Example: In the case of the flood, the local NG troops (but not Reserves) get called in and put on a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet goes to the state payroll office and the state pays them - though not nearly as much as when federalized. Pretty simple and it's meant to be since it's an emergency. States and federal can call up NG but only federal can call up the Reserves. There's a little wiggle room in there since Katrina but more minutia than anything else - everyone has a rank regardless of status. Now those states with an additional state guard cannot have them called up by the feds, but they aren't supported by fed $$ in anyway either, it's purely state and often out of their own pockets. Unlike NG or Reserves who get a partial paycheck/bennies and fully equipped through the regular military.

State mobilized troops are then put under control of the sheriff or supervising state trooper (varies by state). Again this happens very quickly but the state pays for the fuel, food, etc.. (though using equipment given to them by the feds).

When they get deployed and federalized as part of the regular military, it is now a well-planned process where the payroll goes to the federal base, they get a proper train-up even before leaving home, re-swearing in, more training, full fed pay/bennies (as required), and in the case of NG, leave a sizable contingent back at the home state, etc....

It's no longer, "hey you in the green!!!" ... usually.

Edited by hknewman on 01/22/2013 19:37:12 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
We don't need or want the French on 01/22/2013 19:25:10 MST Print View

The French are well remembered in this part of the world for detonating nuclear weapons on little Pacific Island atolls and blowing up Green Peace vessels. So we try not to call them French Fries. We call them 'chips' (as in fish and chips) or 'fries', and dip them in whatever we feel like. Ketchup, mayo, sour cream, aioli or sometimes just sprinkle them with vinegar. Or just plain old salt. My eldest son prefers BBQ sauce!

Of course, we also got off-side with the Americans for a couple of decades when we decided to ban nuclear powered or armed ships from entering our waters. I think we have kind of patched things up now though. We also try to use terms like 'Traditional Method' instead of 'Champagne', Fish eggs or roe instead of caviar and a few other name changes to play the same game as the French.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/22/2013 19:26:49 MST Print View

Thousands of people are shot each year in this country because the nra types are worried that pol pot is going to take over the country. Or hitler. Or some such tyrannical boogeyman. Hasn't ever happened; isn't in our tradition; don't see it on the horizon; but this is the fearsome claim. So, by this logic of "possible Martian takeover" we can't try to rein in weapons that murder thousands of civilians every year out of "respect" for the paranoid fantasies of a very few people. Sure, mad scientists could bring back the dinosaurs, and wouldn't you want your assault weapon then? Meanwhile, there's just been another shooting in Texas; but it's a daily occurrence so who's counting? Basically, the nra's position boils down to, "in the face of reality, I have a right to my madness." "Philosophy" trumps the reality of Newtown and all of our towns. It's the constitution of Murderville.

During the civil rights era there were millions of (white)people who "defended to the death" (not their own, but black peoples' death) the same kind of Lordly Constitutional Principles that enshrined Their Kind of Democracy. Blacks were definitely not welcome.

I bring this up to point out that people's attitudes change over time. Women get to vote! They couldn't during the Holy Founders' days. That changed; democracy didn't end as people screamed it would: rather it advanced. Our society is always evolving; it must if it's vital; and this always freaks people out.

Compared to the great struggles towards freedom in our society this gun laws issue is a footnote or less. We will restrict access to assault weapons and other types of guns because the majority of people are already sickened by the result of current policy and will grow more so as the inevitable carnage continues.

And yes the Common Good and Individual Rights will always be in tension. This may be a case where responsible people on the Libertarian end of the spectrum take a hit because too many irresponsible people overwhelm in a bad way the common good.

Edited by book on 01/22/2013 19:36:04 MST.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: We don't need or want the French on 01/22/2013 19:29:45 MST Print View

I think I will start a Kickstarter to develop a video series about how to dip french fries in different condiments. I will need a few volunteers to help. Anyone interested.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: We don't need or want the French on 01/22/2013 19:38:04 MST Print View

"I will need a few volunteers to help. Anyone interested."

I'm in!

Ben Smith
(bsmith_90) - M

Locale: Epping Forest
Yeah but on 01/22/2013 19:39:26 MST Print View

I'm still not convinced that any civilian needs a gun.

If you want to defend your town from a tyrannical invader, try playing Homefront. The North Koreans invade!

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: We don't need or want the French on 01/22/2013 19:46:55 MST Print View

I would be keen to help, as long as you don't call them "French fries".

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re We don't need the French on 01/22/2013 19:49:33 MST Print View

Anyone with a long memory find the current situation ironic? France just went to war rather then America. And I'm hearing American commentators asking "Is that really a good idea." Talk about role reversal.

By the way I'm liking the Federalist idea of devolving as much power as possible to the states. If California wants gun control have fun. If Texas wants guns for all fine. We'll see which one works better.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Yeah but on 01/22/2013 20:03:57 MST Print View

"I'm still not convinced that any civilian needs a gun. "

So your are more comfortable with criminals, law enforcement and military being the only ones with guns? I'm personally not worried about law enforcement or military with guns. However I like my odds against a criminal when we both have handguns or at least he thinks I might have a gun. If he is the only one that brings a gun to the fight my odds are pretty slim.

Brad

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Maybe You'all should ask California to sucede on 01/22/2013 20:18:20 MST Print View

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System calSTRS is the 2nd largest pension fund in the US. They hold stock of several arms companies including the one that manufactured the gun and ammo used at Newtown.

calSTRS


Also, California has:
34% of the welfare recipients in the entire US but only...
12% of entire population.

The Great Welfare State of California

But hey, its for the common good, right?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: We don't need or want the French on 01/22/2013 20:22:04 MST Print View

"I think I will start a Kickstarter to develop a video series about how to dip french fries in different condiments"

Where you been the last 10 years, Brad? They're FREEDOM FRIES!!!!!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Education on 01/22/2013 20:25:53 MST Print View

Agreed. It just fun to bat ideas around every once in a while, and occasionally twist someone's tail. ;0] And, believe it or not, occasionally I do change my mind.
But not about this particular subject.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: We don't need or want the French on 01/22/2013 20:38:56 MST Print View

Ok. Lynn and Tom are in charge of marketing and branding.

Brad

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Maybe You'all should ask California to sucede on 01/22/2013 20:52:25 MST Print View

"Maybe You'all should ask California to sucede"

Nick, do you mean succeed, or secede?

--B.G.--

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re on 01/22/2013 20:53:17 MST Print View

What about the fascination that the country has with mass murderers, serial killers and any crime inflicted upon children? The media feeds us what we want and clearly we cannot get enough of it. We are horrified and yet we end glorifying the criminals.
That to me is something to be looked at.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Maybe Ya'll should ask California to Secede on 01/22/2013 21:08:44 MST Print View

I think Texas should make the following demand "Either force California to Secede or we will secede ourselves and take our booming economy, oil and natural gas with us."

The way I see it Texas would be in a win-win situation. Either they get rid of California and its liberal votes and Senators, or Texas gets to do its own thing with no more Washington meddling.

This would create some fascinating dilemmas in DC.

Obama - Lose Texas and all its NRA/Republican votes = good. Lose Texas economy = bad
Lose California votes = bad. Keep CA economy = bad.

Republicans - Lose Texas NRA/Republican votes=bad. Lose Texas economy = bad. Lose Califoria votes = good. Keep CA economy = bad.

Could we have a "fantasy politics" sort of like fantasy football and see what would happen?

Actually come to think of it the only ones who benefit from keeping CA are democrats. So as compromise we make CA independent but allow Californians to keep voting but votes are only counted as half a vote.

Anyway its been fun but I gotta go to bed.

Edit - Nothing above is meant to be taken seriously.

Edited by Cameron on 01/22/2013 21:14:01 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Maybe You'all should ask California to sucede on 01/22/2013 21:08:48 MST Print View

Bob,

You are correct. It should be secede. However the sales associates at my local super market pronounce it sucede. I'll leave it as it is. I like the sales associates.

:)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re on 01/22/2013 21:17:05 MST Print View

"What about the fascination that the country has with mass murderers, serial killers and any crime inflicted upon children? The media feeds us what we want and clearly we cannot get enough of it. We are horrified and yet we end glorifying the criminals.
That to me is something to be looked at."

Kat,

If the media feeds us what we want, then it is "who designed Michelle's gown?"

R K
(oiboyroi)

Locale: South West US
Re: Re Re Maybe Ya'll should ask California to Secede on 01/22/2013 21:31:38 MST Print View

California is expects to have a surplus this year. Of course, economically speaking, a surplus is not really a good thing.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Maybe You'all should ask California to sucede on 01/22/2013 22:06:55 MST Print View

"However the sales associates at my local super market pronounce it sucede."

Nick, at least yours apparently speak English.

--B.G.--

Ben Smith
(bsmith_90) - M

Locale: Epping Forest
Re: Yeah but on 01/22/2013 22:50:36 MST Print View

Brad I'm a lover not a fighter!

That's a catch 22. If there aren't many guns in the country the chances of ever seeing one are pretty damn slim. I guess I just don't see the sense in fighting fire with fire. Or in your argument carrying fire just in case there's a fire. I just confused myself ;D

If you need any input from the UK on dipping fries into condiments I'm more than happy to help. We have some very weird "dips" here that might fit nicely into your piece. How much backing are we looking for? Something extortionate I hope :D

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Maybe You'all should ask California to sucede on 01/22/2013 22:59:06 MST Print View

"Nick, at least yours apparently speak English."

At the super market, yes. At Walmart, no. I don't go to Walmart any more.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Maybe You'all should ask California to sucede on 01/22/2013 23:08:19 MST Print View

"I don't go to Walmart any more."

What? They don't stock your brand of ammo anymore?

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Yeah but on 01/22/2013 23:11:00 MST Print View

"If you need any input from the UK on dipping fries into condiments I'm more than happy to help."

I don't know. If Brad asks you to show up with a bonnet and boot, he means he wants to go hiking. You are going to show up in a Morris Minor. We are separated by a common language.

:-)

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re on 01/23/2013 06:08:12 MST Print View

Kat,

If the media feeds us what we want, then it is "who designed Michelle's gown?"


Nick, I will have to look that up?? Have not had a tv in 22 years. When I visit someone with a tv, or listen to commercial radio I am befuddled by what we as a society want to see and hear and buy.
Was is a yummy gown?

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/23/2013 08:00:12 MST Print View

Not really

ed:brev

Edited by hknewman on 01/28/2013 19:09:51 MST.

Green Thumb
(greenthumb)
Re: Re: Re: Why do we need them? on 01/23/2013 10:01:03 MST Print View

Guess I used the wrong word, but the idea is the same. I should have said "One man's traitor is another man's freedom fighter." It comes down to perspective.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Some apparently need them on 01/23/2013 10:10:19 MST Print View

“It’s unfortunate that we have to have that, but it’s the best message we can send to anybody that thinks to harm our children,” said Jones. “The message we’re sending is…not here, not now, we’re prepared for you. And if you seek to harm our children, we will neutralize that threat and you will most likely be killed.”


http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/01/22/fontana-school-pd-purchases-14-ar-15-assault-weapons-to-protect-students/

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Not fries on 01/23/2013 12:42:19 MST Print View

They aren't called 'fries', they're called chips. The best sauce with chips is HP Brown Sauce. :-)

And you never saved our butts in WWII. The Soviets defeated Hitler. ;-)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Not fries on 01/23/2013 13:16:59 MST Print View

Call them anything you lie as long as it doesn't have the word French it in. And don't forget good old gravy for dipping your chips ;)

Nick, I hear what you're saying about having states on board that take more than they give back to the economy. It is a problem world-wide. You only have to look at the EU to see the effects of a downturn in world economy on member states. None of the options are very appealing for dealing with such a situation. One option is for those who still have jobs to pay ever increasing taxes, which the tax payer is naturally not happy about. Other options for government to increase the qualification requirements for welfare, whether that be increasing the age of retirement, reducing health benefits, reducing the amount paid for each welfare subsidy, and of course cracking down on free-loaders who just don't want to find tax-paying employment. Of course, the US could try to kick California out of the union too. I guess this would mean California would run as it's own country, with it's own currency, passports, etc...The problem with most of the schemes that decrease benefits is that it also increases the already very wide gap in socio-economic inequality. This inevitably leads to more violence of all sorts (burglary, domestic and child abuse, drug abuse, fraud, and generally poorer parenting), thus also more guns and more gun violence. Of course, the best solution is to find ways to stimulate the economy, give everyone a job that pays the bills AND taxes to keep those that truly still need welfare (sick, injured, elderly folks) in a reasonable position. Maybe California could secede and then turn into a world supplier of arms of all sorts to boost it's economy. I think, given the current economic situation, it could make quite a good living out of supplying Texas, Israel and the middle east with with arms.

Edited by retropump on 01/23/2013 13:18:52 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Not fries on 01/23/2013 13:21:26 MST Print View

Mike, it sounds like you need a history lesson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siBX0i1EIWk

(strong language)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Is California really that big of a burden on 01/23/2013 14:10:17 MST Print View

Sorry for asking the question, my understanding of economics is not great, but according to Wikipedia "In 2008, when measured as a percentage of GDP, California had the 6th highest tax burden of the fifty states and has contributed on average well over 3.65 billion dollars per year for the last twenty years into the federal treasury than it has received in Federal services in return."

I guess it is now having a bit of a crisis, but is that good enough reason to grumble that it is now putting it's hand out for assistance? Or is our idea of social welfare that, like insurance companies, we only pay out when revenue still exceeds profits?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Is California really that big of a burden? on 01/23/2013 14:20:00 MST Print View

"I guess it is now having a bit of a crisis, but is that good enough reason to grumble that it is now putting it's hand out for assistance?"

I'm not sure that crisis is the correct term for it. Media-inflated crisis might be better. Too many politicians are playing their silly games. The state could end its financial headaches almost overnight if the politicians put their cooperative will into it.

--B.G.--

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden? on 01/23/2013 14:27:55 MST Print View

Why is California having a financial crisis?

Too many liberal spending programs?

Too many people avoiding paying taxes with loopholes?

Too many illegal immigrants?

???

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Cali on 01/23/2013 14:37:41 MST Print View

Or too much of their taxes going to red states?

There is a really cool map I have seen that shows which states receive different levels of federal welfare money. It was interesting to see that the politically red states overwhelmingly receive more government assistance and pay less taxes.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 14:57:06 MST Print View

Usually how you spin the numbers. Goes both ways. I would like to see the map and what they defined as government assistance and how they defined taxes.

CA, IL and NY are blue state with very large populations. I would assume they receive more Social Security and Medicare than most other states. Seems logical that they would have more people on food stamps, welfare, medicaid, etc given the large population. If just looking at percentages maybe that's not the case, but in raw dollars would be hard to imagine. I don't know the answer.

The blue states I mentioned are all high tax states and that's even after ignoring the very large unfunded pension liabilities that will have to be paid someday. I'm always amazed at how businesses have to record a liability on their balance sheet for future pension liabilities. They have to record an expense each year on the income statement for any unfunded amount. They also have to use realistic investment returns. However state and federal governments are not required to do the same.

Illinois has around 96 billion in unfunded future pension liabilities. They calculate based on 8% return (they just dropped from 8.5%) which is crazy.

CA is has around 160 billion in UFPL. They us 7.5%, so a little better. However last year the return was like 1-1.8% for some of the largest funds. A more conservative rate would be 4-5% which would put the unfunded portion at around 500 billion. Wow. If the tax payers had to pay that things would get real interesting.

Funny how the government calls businesses unethical. I'm telling you our political system is just made up of a bunch of crooks...


Deep breath, deep breath...step off the soap box....

Brad

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Cali on 01/23/2013 15:06:35 MST Print View

Brad, it was, of course, on a per capita basis. When you look at that data, the southern states are in trouble if they ever really get what they think they want: less taxes and less government spending. The winners would be the urban areas. They tend to to get much less of their money back in federal gov't benefits. So I'm not sure why they want to keep supporting the rural areas.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 15:07:23 MST Print View

Incidentally, Cali is a large city in Colombia, South America. Cali has never been an abbreviation for the state California. Cali is slang that is used mostly by people who can't correctly spell California.

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 15:11:34 MST Print View

"Cali is slang that is used mostly by people who can't correctly spell California."

I thought it was what everyone called Calista Flockhart. At least that's what I called her when we were on speaking terms.....

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 15:22:33 MST Print View

Hmmm, the per capita federal aid that I've drummed up is interesting indeed:

1) D.C $4,656.06 per person
2) Vermont $2,873.67
3) ALaska $2,574.68
4) New York $2,301.14
5)Massachusetts 2,122.33
6)Louisiana $2,028.70
7) Tennessee $1,975.93
8) Maine $1,923.61
9) New Mexico $1,917.11
10) Mississippi $1,900.24

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Going Back to Cali on 01/23/2013 15:23:36 MST Print View

"Cali has never been an abbreviation for the state California. Cali is slang that is used mostly by people who can't correctly spell California."

You obviously don't know LL Cool J.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdizL4on-Rc

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 15:53:35 MST Print View

They assumed 8.5%??? I assume 4% for myself.

In the 1990s, there was a record bull market so 8.5% was achievable. All the (Deomocratic) politicians and labor people had to have known that the 8.5% number was not achievable long term

They have to go back and renegotiate all those pensions. If responsible politicians present the numbers to labor officials, maybe they can reach an agreement, share the burden.

But that doesn't explain today's financial problem.

And I don't think the inequitable Federal distributions are enough to resolve California's problems.

One problem is Proposition 13 that limited property taxes. Over the long term I think businesses pay less and less property tax and now you're feeling it.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: California on 01/23/2013 16:00:19 MST Print View

"If responsible politicians present the numbers ..."

That's an oxymoron.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: California on 01/23/2013 16:01:43 MST Print View

"Calista Flockhart. At least that's what I called her when we were on speaking terms....."

In your dreams, Douglas.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/23/2013 16:05:35 MST Print View

"I guess it is now having a bit of a crisis, but is that good enough reason to grumble that it is now putting it's hand out for assistance? Or is our idea of social welfare that, like insurance companies, we only pay out when revenue still exceeds profits?"

Many of our cities, counties, and the state are struggling with employee pension funds. Instead of being self-funded, they are going to have to take monies out of the general funds. That is looming as the number one problem.

Sales taxes (local and state) are among the highest in the country. This really impacts lower income citizens.

Gasoline taxes are outrageous. We can drive to Arizona or Nevada and gas can be up to $0.50 cheaper. Recently because of our special winter blend of gasoline (only required in this state) gasoline shot up to over $1 a gallon more than any state. This impacts lower income people the most.

State income tax is among the highest in the country. Wealthy individuals and companies are fleeing to other states. That means less income for the state and fewer jobs for the people who live here.

Lets do it the simple way. When people lose their jobs or their income is reduced, they cut expenses at home. Here, the government spends more money when their income is reduced.

-----------
An Example
-----------

A while back my city spent $1.8 million dollars of Federal TARP money, during the height of the economic downturn, to build a bocce court along a street and "improve" the intersection. They city calls this small piece of land a "park." These improvements included the elimination of ingress/egress on the largest street to a strip mall that has been there for over 40 years, resulting in all the businesses going broke, to include the property owner who had operated a small grocery market/convenience store for all these years. Today there is one new business operating, a mattress store. Traffic could not get into the shopping area easily, after the "improvements." But hey, we have nice landscaping... or we did. Apparently there is no money to properly keep up the improvements and remove the weeds that are growing. I don't know anyone who plays bocce -- I never even heard of the sport until this was built. But it is my understanding that elderly people play bocce. That won't work here... there is no parking for the "park." Oh, and I have never seen a single person playing bocce here. and no one walks on the sidewalks, because the only place someone would want to walk to is the small shopping mall, which is now mostly vacant. Plus a lot of the area around here is zoned industrial.

And this goes on and on across the state :(


Gateway Park Sign

$1.8 Million



Dead Center

The shopping mall is all but dead. But, there is nice landscaping along the street.


Landscaping

I think someone forgot to tell the city they would need money to maintain the landscaping.


bocce courts

The bocce courts are ALWAYS empty when I drive by. My wife drives by twice a day and has never seen anyone there either.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/23/2013 16:13:25 MST Print View

Nick, there is one way to avoid paying such big income taxes to the state.

Don't owe any income tax.

I've got that licked.

If I ever have to pay any income tax, I can pay it out of my pocket change.

--B.G.--

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/23/2013 17:23:02 MST Print View

Nick, it sounds to me like California is the biggest burden on itself. That stinks of inept state government, and a reason to begrudge paying taxes at many levels. This does not make the idea of taxation for public good a bad idea, just the decisions made by those higher up. Again, this comes down to 'responsible' government, which requires that oxymoron of 'responsible' politicians, or a lynch mob to hold them responsible. Good luck with that!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Cali on 01/23/2013 17:36:04 MST Print View

I wish those rich folks would hurry up and leave to make room for me. I want to load up the truck and move to Beverly ... and play me some of that bocce

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 17:39:24 MST Print View

Good idea Ben. I have some beach front property in mind myself. Should be able to pick it up for a song soon!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/23/2013 17:45:36 MST Print View

"Nick, it sounds to me like California is the biggest burden on itself."

It is happening in most states. Government bureaucrats and politicians think tax money is a cookie jar. And when it runs empty they just raise taxes and fees.

As to what government should provide, I'll leave that to another thread. I think everyone knows how I feel about that anyway.

Any idea where I can buy the equipment needed to play bocce? Oh, and I'll need some instructions on how the game is played too.

R K
(oiboyroi)

Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/23/2013 18:20:45 MST Print View

Cookie jar? No. Officials don't have any incentive to reduce their budgets. That park does have a very useful purpose.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 18:35:11 MST Print View

"When you look at that data, the southern states are in trouble if they ever really get what they think they want: less taxes and less government spending."

Why are they in trouble? Controlling government spending and lower taxes is not a bad thing. Why is being in a state with high taxes, large deficit and large unfunded future liabilities the place to be? You can look at about any study and you will see the states like CA, IL, MA, SC among the worst run states. My state of NC is not perfect, but we have had a AAA rating for 46 straight years. We also have a lower debt per capita and low cost of living. Guess I don't understand how you define success. What states would you say are the model state?

It's really very simple. The more expensive the cost for individuals and corporations will eventually result in people leaving. To make matters worse the ones you would like to stay are the only ones who can really afford to leave.

Brad

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 18:41:09 MST Print View

"Guess I don't understand how you define success."

Brad,

Obviously you do not understand accounting or philosophy. You can have your cake AND eat it too.

;)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
California vs. World east of I-5 on 01/23/2013 18:50:45 MST Print View

Climate, natural beauty, and being oceanfront will always make California popular. Sure we get paid in "Sunshine Dollars" and costs are high. Everywhere has a compromise. I would not move back east if you gave me a house. Been there, done that.

The gun issue will resolve itself when the collective conscience of our society shakes off the grogginess of a long slumber.


Or not.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: California vs. World east of I-5 on 01/23/2013 19:06:09 MST Print View

I understand how you feel Ken. Just don't ask me to pay for it with more federal tax dollars because you guys can't pay your bills. Illinois tried that trick last year and it didn't work.

Brad

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Cali on 01/23/2013 20:40:38 MST Print View

"Obviously you do not understand accounting or philosophy. You can have your cake AND eat it too."

Question to accountant: what's 2 + 2?
Answer: What do you want it to be?

We're run by a bunch of political accountants these days.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Philosophy and accounting on 01/24/2013 13:00:49 MST Print View

I must confess, accounting is not my strong point. I basically try to stay out of debt and keep food, shelter and health at the top of my priorities. Although I pay taxes, they are removed from my pay each pay day before I ever see them, so I never end up owing taxes. If I think I am owed a tax rebate, I am free to apply, but in practice I never do anything that would either make me owe more taxes, or deserve a rebate. So I guess you could say I keep my personal accounts very simple.

I know a lot more about philosophy, but I don't have a lot of respect for it as a 'do or die' principal. I am 100% a practical person and would rather do what works than what looks good philosophically. For instance, I am a vegetarian in philosophy and practice, but if times ever got tough, food wise, I would eat meat to survive. I am a socialist in philosophy, but if social order collapsed around me I would do whatever I needed to ensure me and my family's survival. To me the philosophy of the US constitution has out-lived itself. American society has mostly moved on. Many of the things that the framers of the constitution knew were needed for the constitution and republic to work as intended just didn't pan out. The amendments to the constitution are an aknowledgement of this. The second amendment reflects this, as do all of the others that reflect that changes or clarification of the constitution are necessary and desirable. Why is it that hard to accept that, for instance, voting rights and eligibility needed to be changed or clarified, but the second amendment can't be altered? Agreed, it won't solve all, or even most social problems and violence, but it could clarify exactly what those the right to bear arms entails to reflect modern culture and technology. The pro- second amendment people feel this could threaten their rights to the extend that all guns could be taken out of their hands. Do they also worry that their voting rights could be taken away? Given about the number of people eligible to vote but who don't is similar to the number of people who could own guns but don't, I just can't understand why 'arms' in particular are so sacrosanct.

As I understand it, the ideals of a republic eschewed by the forefathers, by their own recognition, required a thriving middle class of people who were engaged in political education and philosophy, and who were generally civic minded. They recognised that factions, especially by wealthy and powerfully groups, were detrimental. They recognised so many things that needed to be in place for it to work...many of these things do not exist now, or in the case of powerful factions, exist in the extreme now. Surely it's time to move forward!

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Philosophy and accounting on 01/24/2013 13:43:09 MST Print View

"Many of the things that the framers of the constitution knew were needed for the constitution and republic to work as intended just didn't pan out. The amendments to the constitution are an aknowledgement of this. The second amendment reflects this, as do all of the others that reflect that changes or clarification of the constitution are necessary and desirable. Why is it that hard to accept that, for instance, voting rights and eligibility needed to be changed or clarified, but the second amendment can't be altered?"

How would you alter the 2nd amendment? I think once you start trying to clarify things you just open up a can of worms. We would constantly be changing the amendment for changes in technology, etc. I don't think that is the answer either. Not say we don't need to make some adjustments, but changing the 2nd amendment just doesn't seem like the right thing to do.

Interesting that you brought up gun rights and voting rights. Just guessing, but I think the majority that are for tightening up the gun laws are adamantly opposed to tightening up the voting rights. Funny how we take positions..

Brad

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/24/2013 13:44:22 MST Print View

"which requires that oxymoron of 'responsible' politicians, or a lynch mob to hold them responsible. Good luck with that!"

No luck needed, Lynn. Our farsighted Founding Fathers foresaw exactly such a contingency and bequeathed us the 2nd amendment to deal with it. ';0]

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/24/2013 13:53:14 MST Print View

"Any idea where I can buy the equipment needed to play bocce?"

At your local gun shop.

"Oh, and I'll need some instructions on how the game is played too."

It's a real easy game to learn. A person from one team throws the ball up in the air, and a player from the other team tries to blow it to smithereens with his AR-15. The game ends after 30 rounds for each player on each team, and the winner is the team who hits the ball the most times. Any player who hits the thrower is automatically disqualified and his team penalized 30 rounds. 4 members on each team. Simple as that.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Philosophy and accounting on 01/24/2013 14:11:01 MST Print View

"How would you alter the 2nd amendment? I think once you start trying to clarify things you just open up a can of worms. We would constantly be changing the amendment for changes in technology, etc. I don't think that is the answer either. Not say we don't need to make some adjustments, but changing the 2nd amendment just doesn't seem like the right thing to do."

I don't know that changing the second amendment would help, or not. Just puzzled why this amendment in particular is so adamantly defended by some as being carved in stone. Changes in technology, changes in what is considered 'right' or 'wrong'? How can clarifying things be bad in itself? Other amendments have clarified who has the right to vote as our sense of right and wrong have changed. Though I'm sure there are still some people who think that minorities, women, and people who don't pay poll taxes shouldn't be able to vote, the consensus seems to be that these clarifications were not a bad thing and merely reflect changes in societal attitudes. Prohibition seemed a good amendment to some when it was introduced, its repeal seemed an even better idea when it wasn't working.

But I mostly agree that what needs to change most is not gun law or amendments, but the rather schizophrenic apathy that says 'terrosists' must be tracked down and dealt with at all costs, yet feels that criminal behaviour from within is just too hard to solve. To me this is just accepting internal terrorism as something you have to live with, or arm yourself ever more and more to feel safe against such terrorists...

As someone with both an inside view and an outside view of constitutional law, I see the US constitution's biggest flaw as being treated as if it were carved in stone. This attitude seems to limit the flexibility of societies that need to change to adapt. But hey, I am living in a constitutional monarchy, at least in theory and philosophy. What's important to me is 'does it work'? Something like 60% of Kiwis seem to think it works just fine, and don't (yet) see a need for change. There will one day be a transition to an independent republic, but as long as it works, why fix it? The other side of that is to ask, if it's not working, by all means take up arms and fix it if there is no diplomatic/political solution to the problems...

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/24/2013 14:13:03 MST Print View

Tom,

When we play those gun games in the south they usually begin with "Ya'll watch this...."

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Tightening up the voting rights on 01/24/2013 14:22:07 MST Print View

Brad, I appreciate the way you phrased this issue. Several states did tighten up the voting rights. This has been done in several states recently to try to disqualify or or run off minority voters. It was a pure political ploy to try to keep Rs in power since minority voter tend to vote D. With this tightening of the voting rights, I think the Rs can expect to get even less of the minority vote. Anyone trying to keep people away from the polls should be ashamed.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is California really that big of a burden on 01/24/2013 14:30:12 MST Print View

"When we play those gun games in the south they usually begin with "Ya'll watch this....""

LOL Regional dialects are fascinating. Out here where we have real mountains with lots of snow, they say, "Dude, watch this...." Also known as a snowboarder's last words. ;)

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Right to bear arms on 01/24/2013 14:31:58 MST Print View

The Supreme Court only recently recognized that that the Second Amendment gave individuals a right to bear arms. And it was only a 5-4 decision of a Roberts Supreme Court then. Lynn, I don't think the individual right to bear arms is written in stone. The ink is still wet.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Philosophy and accounting on 01/24/2013 14:35:25 MST Print View

Lynn,

I think you will find a lot of us are open to change, but we don't trust the politicians. They are not out to development solution and improve our country. They are out for power and votes. it's pathetic to watch it in action and many of us are more comfortable with less government intervention.

I think you would find the vast majority of the gun owners don't worry one bit regulations or the government taking our guns away. This is just media hype from the extreme to gain media attention. If you think the government is going to take guns away you are just not thinking logical. First off how would they do that:
1. Local law enforcement doesn't have the man power to round up guns nor would they ever agree to it regardless of the law.
2. Military doesn't have the resources and they would never agree to it either
3. Vast majority of gun owners would never turn their guns in

I know some say their is no way citizens can compete with military if they decided to take guns away. Can you imagine how that would work. The vast majority of the military weapons would be useless given the collateral damage, so it would be door to door combat. You really thing our law enforcement or military are going to go into our neighborhoods across American and enforce this.

My personal opinion is our leadership is once again wasting tax payer dollars on an issue for political gain and should be working on a budget and the economy.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Buckwild on 01/24/2013 14:36:57 MST Print View

Brad and I will be teaming up for the next season of "Buckwild." If you haven't seen it, its the Appalachian version of Jersey Shore. Tom, you will will really enjoy the language. They provide subtitles so others can understand. But, regretably, no "real" mountains.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Tightening up the voting rights on 01/24/2013 14:37:30 MST Print View

+Ben

There is no huge problem of people voting that aren't supposed to

The reason for laws like requiring a driver's license to vote, is because that will disqualify a bunch of voters that are more likely to vote for Democrats

Or reducing the number of voting machines in precincts that have more Democrats registered

Or taking the names of felons from Texas and challenging voters with similar names in Florida which means they weren't counted in the 2000 election

Or sending registered mail to people in Democratic districts, and if the mail is returned undeliverable, then challenge them in the next election as no longer living in that district so they're not entitled to vote - it's called "caging" - it's illegal and the Republicans were convicted of doing it and the court told them to stop but they keep doing it

etc... look at "voter supression" in wikipedia

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Fear of losing my guns on 01/24/2013 14:43:39 MST Print View

"I think you would find the vast majority of the gun owners don't worry one bit regulations or the government taking our guns away." I don't think that's a true statement around here anyway. I think gun owners around here really have that concern. I think that's why gun sales have suddenly increased. Folks around here are scared of "Obamer" taking there guns. This was true in his first term too despite the fact that he took no action as president adverse to gun rights.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Buckwild on 01/24/2013 14:45:51 MST Print View

"Tom, you will will really enjoy the language. They provide subtitles so others can understand."

I'm psyched, Ben. I can hardly wait for the first installment. Are they going to play the theme from Deliverance while the credits roll? Now, what did they call it....? Darn, but my memory is getting bad. Ah, got it, Drooling Banjos! ;)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Fear of losing my guns on 01/24/2013 14:48:12 MST Print View

No one's taking anyone's gun away

It's all just a publicity campaign by the NRA and others to sell more guns so gun manufacturers make more money

And liberals play into it

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Tightening up the voting rights on 01/24/2013 14:49:16 MST Print View

Ben,

I'm fine with requiring people to have some type of ID to vote. However the rep agenda was to keep people from voting and not equality of voting. Dem on the other hand wanted no part in requiring ID's because it would have cost them votes. See it's both parties playing the game. Let's call it like it is and move on. Every issue the battle over is about the vote and power.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Buckwild on 01/24/2013 14:51:18 MST Print View

"Many of the things that the framers of the constitution knew were needed for the constitution and republic to work as intended just didn't pan out. The amendments to the constitution are an aknowledgement of this. The second amendment reflects this, as do all of the others that reflect that changes or clarification of the constitution are necessary and desirable. Why is it that hard to accept that, for instance, voting rights and eligibility needed to be changed or clarified, but the second amendment can't be altered?"

I just BAG=Busted a gut
"subtitle for Tom"= LOL.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Tightening up the voting rights on 01/24/2013 14:56:33 MST Print View

"I'm fine with requiring people to have some type of ID to vote. However the rep agenda was to keep people from voting and not equality of voting. Dem on the other hand wanted no part in requiring ID's because it would have cost them votes. See it's both parties playing the game."

Darned if you aren't about the most reasonable Republican I've ever come across, Brad. Gives me hope we can meet somewhere in the center someday and at least talk things over.

Only problem is where do we get the money for interpreters? ;)

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Tightening up the voting rights on 01/24/2013 15:00:35 MST Print View

Maybe it was pure luck, but the Ds sure were on the right side of that.
I do have a healthy cynicism of political power, but not as strong as yours, Brad. I suspect I have a stronger sense of cynicism of financial powers.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Tightening up the voting rights on 01/24/2013 15:02:37 MST Print View

"I'm fine with requiring people to have some type of ID to vote. However the rep agenda was to keep people from voting and not equality of voting. Dem on the other hand wanted no part in requiring ID's because it would have cost them votes. See it's both parties playing the game."

Yes - it's in Rs interest to require photo ID but not the Ds

that's obviously why they are arguing their positions


but, there's a bunch of people that don't have photo ID that are entitled to vote

and there aren't a bunch of people voting that would be prevented if they required photo ID


maybe the merits of the case should determine it, not who would benefit

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Tightening up the voting rights on 01/24/2013 15:07:47 MST Print View

I have to agree with Tom on this one Brad. You are, in my experience of Republicans (which includes pretty much all my family) very reasonable. Gives me hope too ;)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Fear of losing my guns on 01/24/2013 15:09:37 MST Print View

Gun sales have shot through the roof because of the threat of an assault weapons ban. Gun owners assume that they will be able to keep banned weapons if they buy them before a new ban. It's the same thing with a magazine capacity limit. A lot of firearm manufactures have ceased production until the political climate around firearms works itself out.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Voter ID? on 01/24/2013 15:16:48 MST Print View

This one puzzles me a little, and I tend to agree that this should be judged on its merits rather than political motivation. Seems to me you need ID to get into a bar or buy alcohol, and as I recall there used to be a handful of Mexican Americans (actual Americans, not illegals) who would get rounded up and deported to Mexico if they DIDN'T have ID on them (at a restaurant I worked in in SoCal). So mostly these guys used to make sure they had photo ID on them. Why should voting be any less stringent? Are there big impediments to getting photo ID by legal citizens who are over 18? If so, maybe better to remove those impediments?

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Voter ID on 01/24/2013 15:30:56 MST Print View

Lynn, I definitely had the same question when the issue first arose. I think the idea is that the people who don't have a photo ID, typically a drivers license, are disproportionately old, poor, or minorities. If they don't have the ID, they will be prevented from voting. I don't really think that its impossible for those people to get them if they have the time and money to do it. Its an extra hoop for a largely disenfranchised group to have to jump through. From a practical and statistical standpoint, they are much less likely to already have the ID. The rest of us who has IDs have no extra hoops since already have an ID.

The backdrop of this is important, though. Voter fraud is believed to be very low. R politicians have been clear that the rational for the requirement is to reduce voter turnout in a way that is good for them.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: Fear of losing my guns on 01/24/2013 15:41:26 MST Print View

"No one's taking anyone's gun away

It's all just a publicity campaign by the NRA and others to sell more guns so gun manufacturers make more money

And liberals play into it"
Says Jerry-


Many people may feel like that, but yes Jerry there are those who think it would be better to disarm. It is now
a law to do so in New York state according to Gov. Cuomo.

" “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option."

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Voter ID on 01/24/2013 15:57:16 MST Print View

Thanks Ben for clarifying the problems with ID. I wasn't sure because I have been living a long time outside the US, in a country where you need only go to a post office and apply (no charge). You need a witnessed passport style photograph to present (or passport etc...) and they just send it to you in the mail when its finished. Is it much harder in the US? I guess not everyone lives close to a PO, but I'll bet these people don't live close to polling booths either???

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Fear of losing my guns on 01/24/2013 15:59:02 MST Print View

" “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option.""

David, does this apply to legally owned guns, or only illegal ones? Surely you can still own a gun in New York?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Fear of losing my guns on 01/24/2013 16:10:10 MST Print View

David

Yes, just my opinion : )

There are many liberals that would like all guns taken away, but there are many liberals that don't. There's no way there will ever be a majority. Maybe there will be enough votes to ban assault weapons, require all people be approved, and/or high capacity clips

So it makes sense to buy assault weapons and high capacity clips or any gun if you're a felon - but probably not necesary.

But there's a run on all guns and ammunition which is just hysteria

During the first term of Obama, all he did was make a few changes that allow people to take guns into National Parks and such, yet people were saying "Obama's going to take your guns away" and there were huge arms sales

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 16:52:12 MST Print View

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:23:./list/bss/d113SN.lst::
A bill to prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices, and for other purposes.

(This would mean the majority of pistol and many rifles being sold today would have illegal magazines).


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.236:
This Act may be cited as the `Crackdown on Deadbeat Gun Dealers Act of 2013'.


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.404:|/bss/|
To enhance criminal penalties for straw purchasers of firearms.


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:72:./list/bss/d113SN.lst::
A bill to provide that any executive action infringing on the Second Amendment has no force or effect, and to prohibit the use of funds for certain purposes.


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.339:|/bss/|
To require the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to make video recordings of the examination and testing of firearms and ammunition, and for other purposes.


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.332:|/bss/|
To provide victims of gun violence access to means.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 17:07:44 MST Print View

I thought the bill would prohibit clips with more than 10 rounds

and that's bigger than most sold

There was a recent mass shooting where the guy had to stop and reload, during which time bystanders jumped on him and the shooting was over

so, limiting to 10 rounds might be effective at limiting shootings

although it seems pretty pathetic if that's the solution, to limit mass shootings to 10 rounds per gun plus maybe the shooter will get in one or two reloads before being jumped

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 18:44:48 MST Print View

Call me an independent. Being labeled as D or R is really offensive.

Voter Rights:
- Jerry is right not really a big issue
- Being a big deal to get an ID is nonsense. Same people are able to signup for government assistance, social security, medicare.
- We could certainly create a system to photo ID everyone, but as Jerry says is it really worth the dollars and effort
- I can promise you if it benefited the D's they would be screaming for it and passing bills to fund the effort.

Again, isn't it interesting how D's fight against a system for voter rights, but have no problem saying we can build a system to track all the guns, gun owners, gun manufacturers, etc.

Liberals are fighting tooth and nail for more gun control, but not a peep about the lacking of enforcing existing gun laws. Thousands of felons apply for gun permits every year using false information. Yet we only prosecutes 1%. Really. Don't you think that would be a good place to stop potential gun violence. But not a peep in the news because it make the liberals look bad.

See I equally slammed both parties.

Bonus observation. No excuse for US not having a BALANCED budget each year. If you say we have to use the Keynesian model and spend more I will simply point to the 16 trillion in debt hasn't worked. The model doesn't work, sorry. But for the interesting part: The D's will not go on the record with a budget because they know it will require cutting entitlements which is bad for their voting block. The R's strut around saying see the D's will not create a budget that are being irresponsible. When in fact they don't want a budget either because it would require defense cuts and more taxes. Which is bad for their voting block. It is both hilarious and nauseating at the same time.

Edited by wufpackfn on 01/24/2013 18:46:14 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 19:06:06 MST Print View

I'm a little slow in the head. What's the "Keynesian model?"

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 19:14:34 MST Print View

Keynesian economic, theory. Google it. Basically during recessionary periods government should prop up the economy by spending.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 19:24:41 MST Print View

"Call me an independent. Being labeled as D or R is really offensive."

Glad to hear it!

And totally, 100% agree that not enforcing the gun laws already in place makes introducing more gun laws pretty meaningless.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 19:29:29 MST Print View

Basically during recessionary periods government should prop up the economy by spending.

And during expansionary periods it should cut spending and raise taxes, such that the peaks and the troughs of the business cycle are smoothed out.

Of course, in practice only the half Brad mentioned is done, because when times are good no-one wants to take away the punchbowl.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 20:17:31 MST Print View

"And totally, 100% agree that not enforcing the gun laws already in place makes introducing more gun laws pretty meaningless."

Well, not quite so fast. Want your head to explode? Watch both videos at this link - in short, congress critters have passed legislation preventing ATF from fully enforcing all gun laws. Just makes you shake your head.

http://www.businessinsider.com/jon-stewart-nra-atf-gun-control-obama-2013-1

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Keynsian economics on 01/24/2013 20:43:24 MST Print View

Keynsian economics says when the economy is bad, the government runs a deficit and spends the money to stimulate the economy.

But when the economy is good you pay back the money you borrowed.

We've been running deficits when the economy was good which is the opposite of Keynsian.

Then we have huge debt so it's difficult to increase government spending to stimulate the economy.

Plus, the deficits have been going to capital gains tax cuts which doesn't stimulate the economy - most of the tax cuts are invested not spent which would stimulate the economy more.

And for military spending which doesn't produce anything that can be used - you just blow up bombs, if we made roads or hospitals we'de have something that would help the economy going forward.

What we have been doing is the opposite of Keynsian and just supports greed of a few super wealthy people

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bills just introduced at the Federal Level on 01/24/2013 20:59:14 MST Print View

Good one Doug

The NRA has pushed through laws that make it impossible to enforce gun laws

Because they are funded by gun manufacturers who just want to make more money selling more guns

Look at any problem facing the government right now and you have the same problem - we have "the best government money can buy"

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Keynsian economics on 01/24/2013 21:14:19 MST Print View

Friedrich von Hayek warned that this was going to happen when everyone started worshiping John Manyard Keyhole's crazy ideas.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/24/2013 21:57:35 MST Print View

Phew! The thread has doubled in size since I last checked in. No way I can hope to address everything talked about since then.

So let me just reply to the questions that were asked of me. Keep in mind that though I am an American culturally and family-wise, I don't have American citizenship and haven't lived in the States for a long time. I am neither "Republican" nor "Democrat", and am completely disengaged from the whole two-tone American view of politics, namely "liberal/conservative". The way I personally see it all, and have been exposed to in the places that I've lived, follows much more of a middle ground view of society and how things ought to be dealt with. I'm much like Lynn in that I look at the spectrum and pick what I feel benefits people, including myself, best, and does a good job ensuring that society is a benefit to itself. I'm philosophical until immediate reality forces me to make a practical judgement.

For much of that time, the average black had more to fear from the police and others than from the usual criminal element. For them, just as for those fighting the British or isolated on the frontier, the gun was not an instrument of violence so much as an guarantor of equality. Seen from that perspective, a gun need not be fired in order to serve its purpose.

For most of black history in America blacks had to be extremely careful how they handled guns. Get a white hurt or worse killed would have had disastrous consequences for any black. No trial. Lots of lynchings or plain getting shot dead. So the whole "guarantor of equality" just didn't figure into the black mindset until very recently. The Second Amendment meant just about nothing to blacks and other non-whites. The mere possession of a gun could have very easily gotten them killed. Certainly whites didn't take into account the Second Amendment when blacks and Indians and Mexicans were concerned.

Miguel lets lay aside guns for a moment. Could you compare the gang situation in different countries for us? What factors other then guns make the situation different in different countries?

To be honest I really don't know enough about the gang situation in countries outside the States to make much comment on them. There are gangs here in Japan, for instance, like motorcycle gangs, inner city street gangs, high school gangs (some really wild schools here), yakuza gangs, and even young women gangs now. When they become big enough and dangerous enough most of them eventually become connected to the Yakuza somehow. That's Mafia level domestic terror. But, for the most part a situation almost completely detached from everyday society. You rarely see any violence of any kind, and guns are non-existent. In part it's a healthy fear of a government that takes regulating anything that threatens society and people's safety very seriously, but it's also an attitude that people carry around everyday. People for the most part don't think, even privately in their hearts, about taking things from other people or causing violence to them. You can leave your wallet, filled with $1,000 cash, in any major train station in the country, and can almost be assured that it either will still be where you left it five hours earlier, or someone has turned it in to the lost and found or the police station. This is something taught since a very young age, here. It is something not just logical, but felt, by a majority of the people. You feel safe because others make it a priority, plus people don't allow half-measures for regulations. Punishment for harming other people is dealt with extremely seriously. Absolutely none of it is allowed to be made into entertainment purposes, as so much of American dealing with use of guns and committing crimes is (TV court, following O.J. Simpson's car chase by camera, TV shows allowing footage of police rounds, videos of shootings, etc). Harming others is considered something that goes against the whole idea behind creating a society, so people take it seriously and don't even make jokes about it... not because they aren't allowed to, but because it is considered by everyone to be in extremely bad taste. Here, as a fundamentally Buddhist country, holding negative thoughts of others in your mind is the ingredient for suffering. Even sarcasm doesn't work among Japanese... they just won't understand it, because it is fundamentally a putting down of others and holding yourself above them.

Banning guns and having very serious regulations for them is considered the logical step for society to take. There was little protest when it was implemented, except by the samurai, who at first objected to having their swords taken away (the Japanese gun ban was simultaneously implemented with the ban on swords). No one, and I mean NO ONE, argues about anyone's right to own guns here. It isn't even a controversy.

That's only what I see of Japan. Germany has always had strong regulations of guns, though it was long a gun culture, long before it became a unified nation. The Hitler era aside (it was an aberration of German society and history... Germans have been among the most socially progressive people in history. Just read the plethora of books on social commentary and philosophy from before Hitler's time), Germany understood the need to have regulations concerning such dangerous tools. I guess societies like Germany and Japan recognize that human error and judgement can lead to big problems if not carefully watched.

But again, I am not qualified to answer questions about gangs. I see gangs as symptoms of societies that have gotten sick. Having grown up among low-income blacks in my earlier years in Brooklyn and the Bronx during the 60's and 70's, and later living in Roxbury in Boston, I have a fairly good idea how and why gangs form in areas where people are at society's worst receiving end. You don't see gangs in rich neighborhoods because gangs form out of a social need for something. Rich kids don't lack for homes, jobs, families, money, education, dignity.

One of the reasons I wanted to focus this question on gangs not guns was a theory I have. Most gangs are connected to the illegal drug trade and/or smuggling in some way. So they could probably smuggle in guns if they wanted too but they don't seem to be doing it on a large scale in countries like the UK and Australia. Why?

Could it be because those countries have social programs provided by the government that help address the needs of all people, like proper health care for all, housing for all, education for all, jobs for all, and less discrepancy between the haves and have-nots? (Oh wait, that's "socialism"!!! Oh HORROR!!!) There is far less desperate need to get the money that selling drugs brings in. Drugs are about money, don't forget.

UK - Criminals can get illegal guns but are afraid to carry them regularly.
USA - Criminals can get guns (usually illegally) but they are not afraid to carry them.

Are criminals in the UK more scared of being caught?


I don't think American gangs are "tougher" or "braver" than gangs anywhere else. Young men are pretty much the same everywhere you go in the world. Stupid and reckless. But there is far less celebration of it in places outside the States. Especially not with senseless violence. Maybe young men have better outlets for their "energy" and frustration elsewhere? I don't really know. All I know is that Americans seem awfully angry about a lot of things. All the time.

Some people think that there are guns everywhere killing people and we need to eliminate the guns. None of my friends or family have ever been hurt by a gun - don't worry about it.

Depends hugely on where you live and who lives around you. Nearly every member of my family and many of my friends in New York and Boston have been hurt or threatened by guns. I've personally been held up with a pistol to my forehead while working the nightshift in Boston. One of my closest friends had his entire family gunned down in upstate New York. Another friend in Maine was shot dead in Maine in a hunting incident. A Yemeni friend of mine, a woman, was shot at repeatedly while walking along a highway in Alaska, a year after the New York tragedy. And I don't know how many times I've witnessed police pull out guns on black guys walking on the street, and then beating them to a pulp. I myself have several times been pulled over by gun-bearing policemen, and then violently thrown up against the patrol cars and interrogated for hours, simply because I was a non-white driving a beat up old car in a white neighborhood. And so many of my non-white male friends have the same stories.

A lot of this many of you will never, ever see. It happens outside of your world, because you are white, and live among other whites.

But then again, I've seen things with guns elsewhere in the world, too. I once saw two cars that had been racing along a road in Karachi, Pakistan, screech to a halt at an intersection, one guy stepped out of the car and shot the man in the other car in the head.

In the Philippines I was escorted everywhere by a machine gun (not sure if it was a machine gun... it was a huge titanium gun) toting bodyguard because a week earlier my cousin had been hijacked on the Manila street by armed gunmen and nearly shot dead before his car was stolen. And I am a nobody! With no money!

In Egypt I saw five soldiers wrench one of the passengers on my plane to the ground and stand there pointing their rifles at her and threatening to kill her if she didn't tell them what they wanted to know. (this was during the midst of the Egypt/Israel War).

And Yosemite Sam had no problem at all shooting off his guns whenever he felt threatened by Bugs Bunny. That's forever etched in my mind! (^ J ^)/"

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Gun Control comes from racism on 01/25/2013 03:36:42 MST Print View

Miguel

As you pointed out, gun control comes from the desire to keep arms out of the hands of "Those People", In the US former, slaves,
Native Americans, etc.

the earliest Supreme Court rulings for gun control were related to keeping guns from blacks just after the Civil War. The
Henry repeating rifle was a favorite, like todays semi autos, for dealing with a gang of attackers.

The Black Panthers carrying loaded weapons into the California capital brought on some of the big bans. Ronald Reagan was part of those restrictions.

Owning firearms was critical in preventing lynchings for southern blacks. Also very important for the civil rights movement.

"The African-American community felt that a response of action was crucial in curbing this terrorism given the lack of support and protection by State and Federal authorities. A group of African-American men in Jonesboro in Jackson Parish in north Louisiana, led by Earnest "Chilly Willy" Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick, founded the group in November 1964 to protect civil rights workers, their communities and their families against the Klan. Most of the Deacons were war veterans with combat experience from the Korean War and World War II. The Jonesboro chapter later organized a Deacons chapter in Bogalusa, Louisiana, led by Charles Sims, A. Z. Young and Robert Hicks. The Jonesboro chapter initiated a regional organizing campaign and eventually formed 21 chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The militant Deacons' confrontation with the Klan in Bogalusa was instrumental in forcing the federal government to invervene on behalf of the black community and enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act and neutralize the Klan."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deacons_for_Defense_and_Justice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPGnBbhV_Ko Trailer for movie, Deacons for Defense
Movie segments are on youtube.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/25/2013 17:09:42 MST Print View

"You rarely see any violence of any kind, and guns are non-existent. In part it's a healthy fear of a government that takes regulating anything that threatens society and people's safety very seriously, but it's also an attitude that people carry around everyday. People for the most part don't think, even privately in their hearts, about taking things from other people or causing violence to them. You can leave your wallet, filled with $1,000 cash, in any major train station in the country, and can almost be assured that it either will still be where you left it five hours earlier, or someone has turned it in to the lost and found or the police station. This is something taught since a very young age, here. It is something not just logical, but felt, by a majority of the people. You feel safe because others make it a priority, plus people don't allow half-measures for regulations. Punishment for harming other people is dealt with extremely seriously. Absolutely none of it is allowed to be made into entertainment purposes, as so much of American dealing with use of guns and committing crimes is (TV court, following O.J. Simpson's car chase by camera, TV shows allowing footage of police rounds, videos of shootings, etc). Harming others is considered something that goes against the whole idea behind creating a society, so people take it seriously and don't even make jokes about it... not because they aren't allowed to, but because it is considered by everyone to be in extremely bad taste. Here, as a fundamentally Buddhist country, holding negative thoughts of others in your mind is the ingredient for suffering. Even sarcasm doesn't work among Japanese... they just won't understand it, because it is fundamentally a putting down of others and holding yourself above them.

Banning guns and having very serious regulations for them is considered the logical step for society to take. There was little protest when it was implemented, except by the samurai, who at first objected to having their swords taken away (the Japanese gun ban was simultaneously implemented with the ban on swords). No one, and I mean NO ONE, argues about anyone's right to own guns here. It isn't even a controversy.

That's only what I see of Japan. Germany has always had strong regulations of guns, though it was long a gun culture, long before it became a unified nation. The Hitler era aside (it was an aberration of German society and history... Germans have been among the most socially progressive people in history. Just read the plethora of books on social commentary and philosophy from before Hitler's time), Germany understood the need to have regulations concerning such dangerous tools. I guess societies like Germany and Japan recognize that human error and judgement can lead to big problems if not carefully watched."

What an eloquent exposition of some of the most basic requirements for a civilized society. Thank you for posting.

Now I shall sit back and observe the responses with more than passing interest. ;)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Angry Americans on 01/25/2013 18:43:55 MST Print View

Okay I was hoping you'd have some different insight on gangs in other countries but thanks for trying Miguel.

Somehow we went from their to bashing whole countries.

Miguel you seem to have had lots of horrible experiences in America and for that I'm truly sorry. But you do seem to have spent most of your time in the worst areas of America and in a tumultuous time in our history to boot. I don't doubt your experiences but America has changed a lot in 40 years.

I've lived and worked in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, California and Colorado. I've rubbed shoulders with everyone from homeless to millioneers and of all races. The overwhelming majority of these experiences have been positive both for me and my non-white friends.

We aren't perfect but neither is any other country. Since Japan gave us WWII within living memory I think comparing countries and saying "Mine is better." is a discussion we will all lose.

By some measures Americans are actually more law abiding compared to other western countries. We are safer from rape, burglary, and assault then Australians and UK citizens. We are also more likely to feel safe walking in the dark, more likely to trust the police, and less likely to use illegal drugs. These are not NRA talking points they are from official studies.

We also have more rights to personal privacy and more rights if we are detained by the police then in most other countries (certainly compared to Japan).

So is America perfect? No it certainly isn't, but it isn't as bad as you think Miguel. You should come back and hike again someday.

Edit - I'm having some questions about the drug stat but the overall point stands. We have crime at similar rates to other developed western countries. I would guess that differences have more to do with law enforcement and economics then what movies we watch.

Edited by Cameron on 01/25/2013 21:27:52 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Angry Americans on 01/25/2013 19:58:13 MST Print View

"and less likely to use illegal drugs."

Uh, could you provide a source for this one?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Drugs? on 01/25/2013 20:15:42 MST Print View

That surprised me too so I went back and checked the footnotes. That was from the from "The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends." Technically they list "offenses" not actual drug use, not sure what difference that makes.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Drugs? on 01/25/2013 20:29:32 MST Print View

"That surprised me too so I went back and checked the footnotes. That was from the from "The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends." Technically they list "offenses" not actual drug use, not sure what difference that makes."

Me, too, Luke. Especially since we've supposedly got the biggest per capita prison population in the Western World, if not the entire world, and about half of them are in for drug related crimes. We're also supposedly the largest drug market in the world. I'm experiencing a severe attack of cognitive dissonance, so I guess I'd better go do some googling and report back.

Here's what a cursory search turned up:

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/21/us/study-finds-teenage-drug-use-higher-in-us-than-in-europe.html

http://www.unodc.org/youthnet/en/youthnet_youth_drugs_trends_drug_trends_eur_us.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-4222322.html

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Drugs? on 01/25/2013 21:25:37 MST Print View

Hum you might be onto something Tom. I would be interested to know where that static came from but right now I don't have the time to track down an in depth explanation.

My reason for looking at the statics was the argument that America is "violent." The claim seemed a bit weird so I wanted to compare to see what similar western countries experience. The main point I wanted to make was that America fairs better in many statistics. Gun violence is the big exception but in the big picture America is not radically more or less criminal then similar countries.

The cultural angle interested me because if people on both sides of the gun debate have said "We need to change our culture." Really? What part of American culture says its okay to murder little kids? That just seems like an idea that is based more on emotions then facts.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Angry Americans on 01/25/2013 21:33:12 MST Print View

Iraq fatalities, 2007 (Deadliest year for coalition forces):
961

Afghanistan fatalities, 2010 (deadliest year for coalition forces):
711

(Source- http://icasualties.org/)

____________________________________________________________

America, 2010:
11,000+ firearm homicides
(NOT including suicide, wounded, police, or firearm crimes NOT deemed homicide)

(http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm)


______________________________________________________________

In over 10 YEARS coalition forces have sustained fewer casualties in Iraq AND Afghanistan COMBINED than American citizens experience in a SINGLE YEAR.

_______________________________________________________________

Most of us on this site are privileged enough to live in parts of America in which there isn't a war being waged on our streets.

And 99% of this madness won't make it into our collective consciousness or receive a single public mention unless the violence travels UP the socioeconomic ladder or spills across color lines.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Angry Americans on 01/25/2013 23:59:56 MST Print View

Miguel you seem to have had lots of horrible experiences in America and for that I'm truly sorry. But you do seem to have spent most of your time in the worst areas of America and in a tumultuous time in our history to boot. I don't doubt your experiences but America has changed a lot in 40 years.

Luke, I'll let others pitch in before I say too much more, but let me just assure you that most of what I wrote about things I've experienced and seen did not, if you look back at them, occur to me personally. Yes, I've seen a lot of, and experienced some, bad things. Most of what I've seen occurred to others: friends, family, strangers on the street. And I've lived in some very safe and relatively uneventful areas of the States, too, but my family comes from Brooklyn and the Bronx (others in Harlem), so yes, I've necessarily seen the worst of what the States has to offer. Another part is that I am not white... I look like a Chicano and was often stopped, and a few times roughly manhandled, by the police, because I look like a Chicano. That's the reality of not being white in America, especially during the 70's, 80's. and early 90's. You can be a stranger walking into a posh bar in La Jolla, California (which my brother and I did in 1983) and if you're white no one will give you a second glance, but if you're dark, and, heaven help you, black, the reaction will be totally different. My brother and I were clueless at the time as to what our entering that one place would entail, but if it weren't for this middle-aged guy quickly inviting us over for a drink and telling us to lay low, I don't know what would have happened to us. But that is what dark-complexioned men face everyday in America. And guns are often involved. A disproportionate number of blacks and latinos and Indians live in those areas that you call "the worst areas of America". They usually have little choice.

Have most of my experiences and encounters in the States been bad? No, not at all. Most of them were just like you describe above. But we're talking about the gun problem here, right? We're talking about what motivates Americans... the country as a whole... to do what they do and to need guns the way they do. So I made generalized observations about the worst things in the States, since that is what the need for a gun is based on, no?

As to comparing countries... well, I was asked to make the comparison, so I did. I don't see how you can make such comparisons without making big generalizations about one country and the next. The truth is other countries are on the whole much safer than the States, and feel that way, too. Of all the countries I've traveled and lived in (and I've been to a lot of countries), America feels the most dangerous and most prone to violence. That's just my observations, of course, but a lot of other non-Americans will tell you the same thing.

I also wanted to add that statistics don't influence the perception and attitude in a country. Even both of you, Luke and Tom, were shocked by what the statistics showed you. Using and advocating the need for guns for the most part grows out of people's perception of danger and wrongdoings. So if the statistics are true then the need for guns is based almost entirely on paranoia. I do not think paranoia is a proper basis for arguing for the advocacy of guns. In fact, I'd say that the statistics show that then that there is no need for guns. The Newtons still keep happening.

Edited by butuki on 01/26/2013 00:39:17 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 00:45:12 MST Print View

Okay Miguel I need to go to bed but I appreciate the less combative tone, diverse opinions are good, I really don't feel like arguing though. And frankly I'm sick of talking guns, I haven't heard a new argument about guns in years. Countries and cultures though are more intellectually stimulating.

Couple things, not necessarily related to guns

1. What I have been arguing is America "feels" dangerous to a lot of people but the reality is its not that bad. We have some problems but they are relatively localized, avoidable and not all that likely to affect smart travelers.

2. I consider problems to be more based on location then race these days. Living in a bad neighborhood is risky for anyone. My non white friends report no problems but they are mostly college grads who are not living in the "hood."


Later I have some thoughts on how I think American culture is really and truly different from both Europe and Japan in a few key ways. I think its a mix of history, religion, political philosophy and the legal climate. But I can't do justice too it tonight so its off to bed for now.

Edited by Cameron on 01/26/2013 08:27:44 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re Re Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 08:15:00 MST Print View

"Okay Miguel I need to go to bed..."

Funny

Your second item is #3

You can't spell "do"

Maybe you can't do due justice?

I agree - America "feels" dangerous but it's not. I don't know of any gun crimes that have occurred in my neighborhood, but there are areas in Portland that do have gun crime.

One thing is TV networks need more people to watch to get more advertising revenue so they have lots of stories about crime - "if it bleeds, it leads". And video cameras are cheap.

Another thing is that there is a bigger difference between rich and poor - if you're in a poor district you're more likely to have crime.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
An outsider on 01/26/2013 08:29:32 MST Print View

On one of my visits to family in NY State, i noticed a hole in the car of a friend of my cousin. "Someone took a shot at me as i was driving down the motorway", he said with a shrug.
Here, that would be on national TV. Maybe US folk have become desensitivised to gun crime, and don't realise how strange their relationship to guns appears to the rest of the world?

All countries have gangs. Usually they just beat up other gang members. They don't kill them.

Edited by MikefaeDundee on 01/26/2013 08:31:49 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Re Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 08:37:17 MST Print View

Spelling mistakes Jerry? Look again, it must have been your imagination LOL.

Agreed that economics are a problem. That's another reason why I see limited value in comparisons. In Dallas our murder rate is lower then Chicago. Is it culture, economics, police, or something in the water? I don't know that you can definitively prove one way or the other, which means we'll be discussing such things for many years to come.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re Re Re Re Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 08:43:33 MST Print View

Ooops - I must have imagined spelling mistakes - I should have got more sleep : )

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 08:45:18 MST Print View

Luke, well, I wasn't really being combative in my earlier posts. I was merely being direct about things that I find Americans don't want to face or talk about. Those things sound combative to many Americans because they are not comfortable. But I very rarely lose my temper and I, personally, aside from the safety of my family in the States, have just about nothing invested in what Americans decide to do within America. I don't live there. So I have very little reason to get as worked up about it all as people who live there so often do. I see the gun massacre issue as a solvable problem. I'm voicing what I see as the solution, and why. It's one opinion. As are so many other people's here. That's no reason to feel that I dislike or hate America. But I do have a different perspective, and in spite of how much people mouth their belief in diversity and freedom of speech, too often anyone who actually does say something different or contrary are relegated to simply "hating America and Americans."

Kind of difficult to do... I'd have to hate my entire family.

Japan and Germany are different from the U.S? No argument there. Of course they're different! But guns themselves and people getting mass murdered go far beyond the idiosyncrasies of culture. The massacres need to stop. Period. Guns are always involved. Period. Do something about the guns. Period.

Sick of talking guns. Well, probably a lot of people are. I know I am. I'm sick of hearing about them all the time from Americans, too, as if they are something truly important in our lives. And to me it is the lives that are the most important; I couldn't care less about guns. I personally feel that all the guns in America being eliminated totally wouldn't begin to compensate for the lives of all those people lost to them. That is what I get angry about... that guns are considered more important and more discussion worthy than the lives of people. Of children! What exactly does it take to get through to everyone? A bigger, more horrific massacre?

But, as I knew it would, once again it just returns to endless debates about guns and social aberrations, completely losing sight of what is most important: to stop the massacres. That's why I wrote my earlier post to Lynn about giving up talking about it with Americans, because they don't really want to do anything, and, pardon the slam, getting "sick about talking about guns." Then stop talking about them and do something real and concrete! How else is the problem going to be solved?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 08:50:31 MST Print View

Quit talking about massacres - nutty people might do a massacre just for the fame

Quit talking about gun control - either for gun control or shouting "Obama's going to take your guns away" - nutty people might get caught up in the hysteria and massacre a bunch of people

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 11:31:00 MST Print View

"I'm sick of hearing about them all the time from Americans, too, as if they are something truly important in our lives."

Since when do you get to decide what is important to people. Many, many people have guns in the U.S. because they love to hunt or sport shot. What's wrong with that? Sure it's not important to you, but it is to others. How about if they said we are going to ban backpacking because it is too dangerous to send in SARS to rescue a few people a year. To many people they think backpacking is nonsense and wouldn't have any problem with the banning it. You don't make decision because a very, very small fraction of people are irresponsible. It's estimated that 52 millions U.S citizens own guns and we have around 15,000 homicides a year. The vast majority of those are committed by criminals that no gun laws will keep guns our of their hands. So we ban all guns because .00288% use them to kill.

"And to me it is the lives that are the most important; I couldn't care less about guns. I personally feel that all the guns in America being eliminated totally wouldn't begin to compensate for the lives of all those people lost to them"

Right you could care less, so no big deal for you to give up. Makes taking your position easy. Taking your approach we should ban cars because some people drive them drunk and kill other. Probably should also ban cell phones because more and more people are dying in car accidents because they are distracted (ie texting, etc)

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Location, location, location on 01/26/2013 18:10:28 MST Print View

I just googled a few stats, as I was curious about crime as it related to my little town and bigger places in the Nation.

In Washington State an adult can get a permit to carry a concealed handgun as long as they don't have a criminal or mental health record. It costs $60 and you get it from the local law enforcement. Good for 5 years.

In the county I live in, 1 IN 10 adults have a Concealed Pistol license. In other parts of the US they are nearly impossible to get
unless you are a judge, or retired law enforcement.

Here are the crime stats I found. The little town I live in is Colville, The nearest big city is Spokane.

Spokane murder rate per 100,000 people .02
Colville murder rate per 100,000 people .00
National murder rate per 100,00 people .05
Chicago? .16 Detroit? .49!
Spokane rape rate per 100,000 people .40
Colville rape rate per 100,000 people .21
National rape rate per 100,00 people .27
Spokane assault rate per 100,000 people 3.48
Colville assault rate per 100,000 people 1.29
National assault rate per 100,00 people 2.41
You have a 1 in 161 chance of being a victim in Spokane,
but only a 1 in 467 chance in Colville.
Chicago? 1 in 97. Detroit? 1 in 46.
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/wa/spokane/crime/

You would think with everyone being armed, there would be blood in the streets around here.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 18:31:49 MST Print View

"Even both of you, Luke and Tom, were shocked by what the statistics showed you."

My shock was not at the statistics, Miguel, but at Luke's original citation of UN statistics. I lived for 5 years in Chicago just after I returned from the Middle East in 1967, 3 of them in mixed neighborhoods on the edge of very rough neighborhoods, and saw my share of violence, including an incident that very nearly ended my life. I don't want to relive some of my experiences here, so suffice it to say I came close myself, and saw another person die seconds after she was shot in the lobby of a downtown building where I worked. What tends to shock me is the denial of a phenomenon that seems to be worsening year by year against a background of violent themes that permeate our entire culture, from the media and video games, to sports, to how we tend to settle our personal disputes, to our foreign policy, and how the NRA types would have us solve our gun violence problems with, what else, more guns. Like yourself, I haved lived and traveled in enough countries spanning a wide range of cultural traditions to know it doesn't have to be this way. It is the antithesis of what I feel a civilized society should strive for, and it troubles me deeply as one who was born here, raised here, feels a deep sense of place here, and who hopes to die here. Peacefully. We can do so much better.

Edited by ouzel on 01/26/2013 18:33:07 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Angry Americans on 01/26/2013 19:14:19 MST Print View

"And 99% of this madness won't make it into our collective consciousness or receive a single public mention unless the violence travels UP the socioeconomic ladder or spills across color lines."

I think this is already happening, just not with guns quite yet. Give it another 10-15 years for our toxic stew of violent cultural memes to thoroughly take root in the current youngest generation, combined with decreasing economic opportunities, and things are likely to get downright ugly, IMO.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Newtown-Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/26/2013 20:25:59 MST Print View

I haven't changed my mind - the public does not need weapons that fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger. I think the root of the whole gun violence thing is we have been fed a bill of goods of fear in order to keep people buying more and more guns, thus increasing the profit of the gun manufacturers and distributors and increasing the donations to the NRA. Corporate greed, as I see it.

Our entire marketing system is based on fear. Fear of not being beautiful enough? Get Botox injections, or buy this makeup, or try that cream or ointment. Fear of not looking macho enough? Buy a huge truck and be sure to stick those naked woman silhouettes on it and hang the metal testicles from the bumper. Fear of being unsafe? Buy that macho weapon. Fear of being fat? Buy this quick weight-loss pill or that fat-free food. Fear of not looking cool enough? Buy those designer clothes, or that newest electronic gadget. It's all fear - fear being pushed on us in order to increase corporate profits. I now understand what Franklin Delano Roosevelt meant when he said that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. And that so holds true for the gun situation, in which we have been told that there's an enemy hiding behind every bush and around every corner, so you'd better be packin' and the more heat, the better. (And this translates to bigger profits for the gun companies.) Some people have said they need their guns in case to protect themselves if the government becomes tyrannical. But how feasible is that? Our government is in charge of the most powerful military in the world. Do you really think your arsenal can beat that? It's a ridiculous argument.

My father had a deer-hunting rifle. He showed it my brother and me when we were little, he explained what it could do, he let us look at it and hold it and that satisfied our curiosity, and we couldn't care less about it after that. It stood in the front closet and we never went near it or touched or wanted too. Of course, it wasn't loaded either. All the dads in our neighborhood had such rifles. We didn't have the carnage we have now in our society. Why? We weren't being fed fear then.

I don't know - it's just one of the things I see.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Newtown on 01/26/2013 20:41:41 MST Print View

Another thing is that we seem to have been fed the idea that every one of Life's sticky problems can be solved with a gun. We want instant solutions to our problems and some people think that using a gun is the instant solution they've been searching for. Violence seems to be the accepted solution to all problems, in the minds of some people. Look at reality shows on tv: people throwing temper tantrums, throwing things around, fighting, screaming. That behavior is played out every Black Friday.

I'm becoming more and more frightened of our society.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/26/2013 20:42:57 MST Print View

Sorry Brad but I have to say that your comparisons are specious. Backpacking=Newtown etc.? I don't think so. But don't worry: sensible gun regulations aren't the beginning of a secret plot to take away all of our rights, including the right to backpack. I know that you're not one of the paranoids, but I had to throw that out. And of course
no one is talking about taking away hunting rifles or guns for self defense.

As for drunk driving, it IS illegal. Dunk driving laws make the point of gun regulation: the laws don't stop drunk driving entirely but they greatly help and moreover send a social/symbolic message that this behavior is unacceptable to society. Moreover, it's been shown that talking and especially texting on a cellphone while driving impairs drivers' abilities as much as being drunk. We don't ban drunk driving because of authoritarian impulses or moral outrage; we ban it because people other than the drunk driver are killed in great numbers each year. It's a legal decision the public has made for the common good. So yeah, if people in great numbers are killed by people using cell phones while driving, you gotta outlaw cell phone driving.

This doesn't mean that the government is coming to take away your cell phone and enslave you. Drunk driving laws never meant that the government was coming to take away your whiskey.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/26/2013 21:03:06 MST Print View

"Drunk driving laws never meant that the government was coming to take away your whiskey."

However, the 18th Amendment really caused them to wonder about the whisky.

--B.G.--

Eric Johnson
(unimog) - MLife

Locale: Utah
Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind? on 01/26/2013 21:13:27 MST Print View

Kathy wrote:
"I haven't changed my mind - the public does not need weapons that fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger."

FYI. This is a common misunderstanding of gun control advocates. These types of guns have been illegal to own since 1934 without special permission from the government and private ownership of new manufactured automatic guns has been banned since 1986.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/26/2013 21:14:37 MST Print View

Bob: true, but nobody's talking about outlawing guns in the same way that the 18th amendment outlawed all alcohol. My point is that gun regulations are not about outlawing guns, they're about reasonable restrictions on guns, just as drunk driving laws are about reasonable restrictions concerning what you can do when you drink.

Surely this topic always makes me too earnest. And don't call me shirley or earnest!

Edited by book on 01/26/2013 21:20:05 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
What is "reasonable" on 01/26/2013 22:21:49 MST Print View

"My point is that gun regulations are not about outlawing guns, they're about reasonable restrictions on guns, just as drunk driving laws are about reasonable restrictions concerning what you can do when you drink."

How can we be sure laws will be "reasonable" if the people proposing them don't even know how guns work (trust me they don't)? Why should gun owners and the NRA trust people who have said they'd prefer outright confiscation? Why compromise if the other side will just demand more in the feature?

Right now there isn't the trust we need for really big changes to be made.

Edited by Cameron on 01/26/2013 22:23:13 MST.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
most common guns used on 01/26/2013 22:36:20 MST Print View

Jeff-

It is arriving at what "reasonable" is. Right now the focus is on the mid- powered modern sport rifles/ military style weapons.

While used in a few nauseatingly horrible crimes, removing these rifles would do little to hinder overall gun crime. As President Obama says, the vast majority of gun violence involves inexpensive handguns. The 38 special revolver is the type of gun most used. So if we are really going down the road of outlawing guns used in crime, reasonable laws would outlaw those first. None of the proposed legislation talks about revolvers that I know of.

But the 38 is often seen as the choice for a defensive gun. Reliable, cheap, Even Mexico allows it citizens to have a 38.

Background checks for all seem a better place to start. i think you'll find most people will back that, especially if data bases aren't compiled of the transfers. The main objections most have to background checks is the data being collected and later misused.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: "Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?" on 01/27/2013 06:56:51 MST Print View

"Bob: true, but nobody's talking about outlawing guns in the same way that the 18th amendment outlawed all alcohol. My point is that gun regulations are not about outlawing guns, they're about reasonable restrictions on guns, just as drunk driving laws are about reasonable restrictions concerning what you can do when you drink."

Jeffrey,

I realize that the vast majority are not talking about taking away all guns. Some are, but nothing that I worry about yet. However my response was to some aboard who think we are crazy for even allowing guns at all and it makes us lesser of a society.

Eric Johnson
(unimog) - MLife

Locale: Utah
NRA influence on enforcement on 01/30/2013 14:31:26 MST Print View

"The NRA has pushed through laws that make it impossible to enforce gun laws"

I keep hearing this bantered about about every ten posts by some folks here. Does anyone have any actual evidence of this?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: NRA influence on enforcement on 01/30/2013 16:15:24 MST Print View

"Does anyone have any actual evidence of this?"

Somebody posted a link to a story about Jon Stewart. I didn't look at it closely. A comedian might not be the best source of news info. But, sometimes he and Colbert say things that no one else does.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: NRA influence on enforcement on 01/30/2013 17:47:04 MST Print View

""Does anyone have any actual evidence of this?"

Somebody posted a link to a story about Jon Stewart. I didn't look at it closely. A comedian might not be the best source of news info. But, sometimes he and Colbert say things that no one else does."

I did. And I don't know that I'd characterize Stewart as a comedian. Unlike Faux News, he doesn't generally make stuff up, he just informs his audience about various subjects in an often humorous way. I remember when Bush2 was running for reelection, someone (sorry, don't remember who) did a survey to see how correctly informed people were - pitting those who watched Faux News with those who watched Stewart's Daily Show. The folks who watched Stewart were much more correctly informed than those watching Faux.

Anyway, the Stewart piece on gun legislation is pretty enlightening. It should be easy enough to verify his 'facts.'

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: NRA influence on enforcement on 01/30/2013 18:36:15 MST Print View

Jon Stewart and Colbert, you might have noticed, are on the Comedy Network, so I think I could call them comedians : )

Sad that the comedians are better sources than a supposed news network.

I totally agree with you they're pretty good sources of news.

Actually, just because somebody is a comedian doesn't mean they don't say truthful, enlightening stuff. You just get a belly laugh in the process, which is very healthful.