Newtown -- Who Here Changed His (or Her) Mind?
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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 B.
(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.