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