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