Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 53 (9179 total)
2 online now:
Newest Member: Anig
Upcoming Birthdays: Theodoric
Post Volume: Total: 918,057 Year: 5,314/9,624 Month: 339/323 Week: 183/160 Day: 0/19 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   gun control
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5926 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 38 of 72 (33627)
03-04-2003 12:03 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by mark24
03-03-2003 8:32 PM


quote:
Sometimes small freedoms must be given up so that lives can be saved.
While I am not a gun fanatic, I cannot agree with this statement and the horrific precedent such an idea sets. To me there is no such thing as a "small freedom."
My line of thinking--- and this may be an "american value" type thing mentioned earlier--- was best stated by Benjamin Franklin...
"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety."
--Benjamin Franklin
Abolitionist gun laws will not remove the problem, even if it may lessen the numbers (or shift the stats of weapon used to other categories).
And unfortunately such laws create a whole other set of problems if a government begins to turn on its population. At that point only criminals and the government would have guns, and decent people would have to go to criminals (and become criminals) to get what they need to defend themselves.
Anyone that thinks this would not happen with "my government", or "in this day and age", is simply being naive. It can happen at any time, and in any place. What's worse is it tends to sneak up on a country and before everyone knows it a witchhunt is on.
Ashcroft's vision of america is a good example of a country I would want to have a gun (when the jackboots come calling). Thankfully his vision does allow for guns, as most nonfundamentalists like myself would need them. At least he'd give us a sporting chance, eh?
Franklin had something to say about this situation as well.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
--Benjamin Franklin
It's easy to point to lives that are lost during times of peace when jackasses use weapons improperly. But how many lives are saved in times of conflict, when arms are used properly?
What I find interesting is that the stated line of thinking has already led to lunacy as bullet-proof jackets are treated as weapons in some states. Like a bullet-proof jacket could ever kill anyone? Oh yeah, but it could allow a criminal to kill more people (just like a weapon). Absurd.
holmes

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by mark24, posted 03-03-2003 8:32 PM mark24 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by mark24, posted 03-04-2003 12:43 PM Silent H has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5926 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 48 of 72 (33667)
03-04-2003 9:16 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by mark24
03-04-2003 12:43 PM


quote:
I'm sorry, Holmes, but there are clearly "freedoms" that have a greater or lesser effect on yours, or anyone elses lives if removed.
Clear to who?
Ashcroft, Bush, and Rumsfeld have claimed they are pretty good at delineating what are greater and lesser freedoms. I can't believe you agree with any of the "lesser" freedoms they have stripped away in the name of their war on terror.
While it is clear that any particular freedom has a greater or lesser impact on your life (at any given moment) than another freedom, one equivocates when jumping from that temporal assessment to a judgement of "lesser or greater freedom".
To my mind, and to many of the founding fathers, freedoms are inalienable and to be preserved regardless their rank in use (or importance) at any particular moment.
quote:
Removing your freedom to own a gun is as nothing compared to removing your freedom travel outside the town of your birth, for example.
Interesting example. And when a government suddenly says you can't leave your town, how will you defend your right to leave your town?
Suddenly the right to own a weapon would become a lot more important.
As I said, the impact a certain freedom has on your life may not be much now, yet become very important at other times.
quote:
Of course, you could campaign to allow rocket launchers to be owned by the public, or would that be a "small freedom" that is best left withdrawn?
This reductio is kind of a cheap shot. You say I should be able to discern between lesser and greater freedoms, yet in making this argument you pretend being unable to discern between handguns and rocket launchers.
The level of danger posed (to user as much as to target) and the necessary sophistication (necessary for proper storage and use) make this comparison highly inaccurate... at least with regards to the topic of gun control.
However, I recognize it does act as a proper reductio against my theoretical argument and deserves a response on that level.
I have not argued that freedom to own weapons means they should be handed out like candy, massmarketed (especially as solutions to problems), or free from practical regulation and increased responsibilities for anyone who owns them.
I have only argued that blanket prohibition is not the proper answer.
Weapons like rocket launchers would necessitate much greater regulation (than simple firearms) to ensure a user is unlikely to use them outside of armed conflict, proper knowledge of how to use such devices during training (or in times of conflict), not to mention following proper storage regulations for high explosive munitions.
One's access to rocket launchers would by necessity be less "free" than to a handgun or rifle, even if one is free to own them.
Someone else brought up chemical and biological agents, one could also add radiological weapons. Let me anticipate this reductio.
These weapons are entirely different than firearms and I do not believe people have a right to own them. They are not designed to help an individual defend him or herself, only as strategic instruments for use in mass conflicts. Their care and use (or at least their "safe" use) involves organizations.
Frankly I don't think governments should have the freedom to own such weapons either, as their "safe use" is more illusionary than the security they supposedly provide.
For what it's worth I don't like guns and would rather face an opponent with a melee weapon than a firearm. But one should keep in mind it was a small group of men armed with knives and boxcutters that managed to kill more people in one morning than an army which launched a sneak attack on the US using highgrade munitions.
Violence and the will toward violent action is the problem, not the weapon.
holmes
[This message has been edited by holmes, 03-04-2003]
[This message has been edited by holmes, 03-04-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by mark24, posted 03-04-2003 12:43 PM mark24 has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Minnemooseus, posted 03-04-2003 11:51 PM Silent H has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5926 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 49 of 72 (33668)
03-04-2003 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by mark24
03-04-2003 8:33 PM


quote:
You accept the argument that a 6 shooter is going to fend of the best equipped army in the world? You're kidding yourself. If not, I'll pay to be in one of the M1 Abrams as your community gets rolled over, or in an f-22 as it drops a gps 2,000lb HE warhead guided weapon on your 6-shooter.
Get real! This is a spurious argument.
Yours is also a spurious argument (or at least a strawman). You do not see the army giving up on regular infantry units (or not giving an individual soldier firearms) just because an opposing force may have tanks and larger weapons.
The freedom to own weapons is not based on the idea that one person or community can fend off an entire army, but that if an entire population is armed they may have a chance.
Without question an armed populace is better able to defend its rights against a tyrannical government (foreign or domestic), than an unarmed populace.
One might note that the colonies had much less armament than the British at the time they began their revolution. I agree the disparity in firepower was less than than now. Does that really matter? Would you have advocated the same position?
It is obvious that a larger (or more powerful) force will likely crush a weaker one. Does that mean every other nation should surrender its weapons to the US right now? I mean what chance do THEY have?
Your statement only underscores the public's need to reassert control over the military-industrial complex, before the military (or leaders using the military) are truly unstoppable.
I might also note that weapons may be used to defend onesself in times of mass riots and other civil disorders, when the government loses control.
holmes
[This message has been edited by holmes, 03-04-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by mark24, posted 03-04-2003 8:33 PM mark24 has not replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5926 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 54 of 72 (33712)
03-05-2003 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Minnemooseus
03-04-2003 11:51 PM


This is going to be tricky as I agree with most of your assessment, but disagree on some minor points. I'm not sure about the conclusion (you left your post sort of open ended).
quote:
I think the essential problem is, is that what constituted "arms", at the time of the creation of the 2nd ammendment, was pretty limited.... A single person with a today modern day assault rifle could probably defeat a fair sized army of 200 years ago.
If everyone was forced to stand out in an open field and close in from the range of the assault weapon, then I agree. But combat generally doesn't happen like that (as the British sorely complained about during the Rev War). Without those preconditions I'd put my money on the army.
That said, it is totally true that a raving maniac with an assault rifle is going to do more damage than if armed with a musket.
Welllll... Unless it was Rambo. All he needed was a big knife!
quote:
As I see it, the 2nd ammendment permits no restrictions what so ever, on a U.S. citizens rights to possess any weapon. 200 years ago, this was no problem; Today it's a significant problem.
I totally agree with this. But I don't believe the answer to the resulting problem is to throw out the 2nd Amendment.
Rather it is to find a realistic border between self-protection (the inalienable right under consideration)and gratuitous casaulty infliction (not a right but a possibility made real by advancing technology) and draw the line there.
quote:
Does the 2nd ammendment permit anyone to have their own personal H-bomb? As I see it, yes.
I agree and this is a perfect example of where one has to address the spirit of the law, when technology has made the letter impractical.
Well to be honest I don't see any individual making an H-bomb, or "delivering" it in any practical self-defense way. It really has to be done by an organization with raw materials and proper lab conditions. But let's pretend some weapons company starts testmarketing a home nuke device, to make such a scenario possible.
The problem is that an H-bomb (just like any chemical or biological agent) does not act as a defense at all. It is almost inconceivable that an individual could use one without injuring themselves, and it's ultimate effect (even if used properly) is to inflict mass casualties... horrific mass casualties. Such things destroy life in the given area, sometimes for years.
This is hardly the same scenario as a weapon designed to kill another man or select group of people (or animals) so that one can continue living in peace.
Obviously the "realistic border" I was talking about would start well before the strategic level weapon category. It seems the real debate should be where to back that border down to.
And even on the "legal" side of the border, there is no reason why a certain amount of regulation regarding ownership of weapons, or increased responsibility for gun owners/manufacturers would be unconstitutional.
Yes, there are alot of tragic and unnecessary gun related deaths. But why is it that our only choices to solve that issue are making ownership of all guns illegal, or letting madmen run through the streets with rocket launchers?
I guess what I'm finding hard to understand in this thread is why people are buying into that stock dilemma.
holmes

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Minnemooseus, posted 03-04-2003 11:51 PM Minnemooseus has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Minnemooseus, posted 03-05-2003 4:55 PM Silent H has not replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5926 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 55 of 72 (33713)
03-05-2003 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Minnemooseus
03-04-2003 11:51 PM


I'm not sure why, but my post appeared twice. Nevermind this post.
[This message has been edited by holmes, 03-05-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Minnemooseus, posted 03-04-2003 11:51 PM Minnemooseus has not replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5926 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 69 of 72 (34206)
03-12-2003 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by nator
03-12-2003 8:24 AM


shraf writes:
If we have this problem with violence, WHY in the world do we make the things that make it easy to do violence to ourselves or each other so ridiculously easy to get?
It's like making an alcoholic sit in a room surrounded by dozens of bottles of liquor, and then saying, "Alcohol doesn't cause alcoholism, alcoholics do."
While I agree with tight and efficient regulations on gun manufacturing and ownership, as well as increased responsibility for gun owners, I wholly reject your analogy as a reason to support this position.
First of all WE don't have a problem with violence. Blanket statements like that are always problematic for me.
In our (that is American) society there are many who are prone to violence, more so than in other countries.
Such stats do not mean that (in the US) there are more people prone to violence than not, or that guns made anyone more prone to violence.
Given the generally peaceful daily routine in america (violence is not the norm), it should be obvious there are many more people with self control in the US than without.
Thus WE don't have a problem with violence, only a certain selection within the population does. One group casts no shadow of guilt upon the other.
And this may be the closest your alcoholism analogy comes to the violence problem. Some people have problems, while others do not. They are sufficient in number that we are concerned (regardless of whether they use guns). What then should be done?
The actual history of our solution to the "alcohol problem" indicates why we should NOT base legislation of this issue on "our problem" style reasonings.
The last time we did this (blaming crime and intoxication on alcohol) we got prohibition which didn't solve anything.
In this day and age, due to the lessens we learned during prohibition, we do not keep everyone separate from alcohol until they prove they CAN handle it.
Instead, we separate particular individuals from alcohol when they prove they CANNOT handle it. If their problem is sufficiently great, we may remove these individuals from society until their problem is addressed.
The emphasis is on an individual's responsibility and not on the alcohol, no matter how seductive and delicious that nectar may seem to some, or to the culture as a whole.
Much to the contrary of your conclusion, alcoholics (or perhaps their genes)DO cause alcoholism and not the other way around. The onus is rightly placed on the individual to control their own problem.
Your reference to suicides falls apart along these same lines. The use of guns by suicide victims is interesting as a statistic on method of choice, but does not mean that people are seduced into suicide by the "ease" of gun use, or wouldn't have accomplished their goal otherwise.
In fact, if we use the latter statement's logic, are we going to say sleeping pills are "better" than guns because they are one of the least effective methods?
Personally if I knew a friend was suicidal I wouldn't want them close to shoestrings, neckties, knives (even butter knives), razor blades, alcohol and a zillion other things just as much as a gun.
Realistically, if a person truly wishes to kill themselves they will do so, guns or no guns. Firearms do not make that choice any "easier" or "attractive", only faster in execution. To think otherwise is to shift responsibility from a thinking individual to an inanimate object.
Arguments for firearm regulation must not be based on appeals to the weakest members of society, or condemnations of cultural trends, or passing the buck from human users to the existence of inanimate objects.
Arguments must be based on realistic and practical assessments of the inherent safety issues regarding the storage and use of a particular device.
Simply put...
Ball and powder weapons, by their very nature, required a measure of responsibility in the user that modern firearms do not. They were also limited in their capacity for accidental discharge, and amount of damage done.
The second amendment was written in the era of ball and musket and its broad acceptance of weapons ownership made sense because of the nature of weapons at that time.
It is the changing nature of weapons themselves, which has come to necessitate proper training and greater responsibility for users of our modern, ADVANCED WEAPONS.
Just as cars and planes differ so vastly from human legs and horses that they require more responsibility and education to use, modern weapons require much more than ball and powder muskets.
This is the only argument which needs to be made. It is sufficient.
The rest are neither sufficient nor accurate, and unfortunately act as an unneeded distraction in the overall discussion of necessary change.
holmes

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by nator, posted 03-12-2003 8:24 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by nator, posted 03-13-2003 9:11 AM Silent H has replied

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 5926 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 72 of 72 (34300)
03-13-2003 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by nator
03-13-2003 9:11 AM


The point I was trying to make is that the best arguments for regulating the manufacture and ownership of firearms are NOT the ones that involve fearmongering, and blaming weapons for their improper use.
Your arguments involving guns in the hands of a violent culture and suicides do this very thing. Not only do such arguments antagonize gunowners and manufacturers (making them hesitant to accept anything else you have to say), but are inaccurate and so refutable (giving anti-guncontrol advocates "ammo" against your position).
You made it clear that you were talking about regulations rather than prohibition and I totally agree with you on this. My hope was to strengthen your argument for your (our) position on this by constructively criticizing your line of argument.
On violence and guns. I understood your point that violent people with ready access to guns are more likely to use guns than something else. But your argument for guncontrol based on this real point contains other (hidden and explicit) premises which are not real or readily acceptable.
The first and most antagonizing premise is that everyone is violent, or must take on the guilt of the violent, because as a culture we have relatively more violent crimes than other cultures.
schraf writes:
If we have this problem with violence,
That is a blanket statement that WE have a problem with violence. Or at the very least the "if" part of your statement is debatable and rejectable as I argued.
schraf writes:
Do you really know if this is true? How many americans use corporal punishment with their children compared to other countries? How do we compare with other cultures in verbally abusing one another? How many people drive aggressively or are dangerous on the roads? How many people support the death penalty when they wouldn't ever lift a hand to anyone personally?
Absolutely none of these points deflect my argument. When I said violence was not the norm I meant violent criminal behavior was not the norm. This is the only kind of behevior that would involve guns.
That said, how many people do any of the above? I don't know, but it's certainly not "the norm." I can go for weeks without seeing any of this activity. One might note that gun use has no connection to any of this (with the exception of road rage), and your last point only reinforces the fact that violence is not the norm in this country (most people wouldn't raise a hand against others and are only eager to against those that have).
scraf writes:
But we are all part of the culture, and those who aren't prone to violence still live in the culture with those who are.
This only means an individual must react to others within their culture that are violent, and not that they somehow have a violence problem themselves.
I guess what I'm getting at is that you seem to equivocate on the word "problem." A culture may have a problem with rising rates of violent crimes, this does not mean all individuals within the culture have a violence problem (read as violent tendencies).
The latter statement comes off as insulting, and worse still, when used as the basis for solving "problems" puts the onus on everyone in the culture rather than the problem individuals.
That is why it lends itself to prohibition arguments rather than regulation. If WE as a whole have a problem then the solution must be more universal. WE must act as if WE are violence prone and take the guns out of OUR hands.
I wasn't saying that you were advocating prohibition, just that your argument (if used as the basis for legislation) certainly does.
If I can pick up on that vibe, anti-guncontrol advocates will too.
schraf writes:
Also, there is a lot more at stake with gun ownership than with alcoholism.
This is true, in fact the danger of gun misuse is of a completely different nature. That's another reason why your analogy does not work well.
On suicides and guns.
I want to see references proving that guns lead to suicide. There may be greater use of guns in suicides (personally I'd prefer that to poison), and those who own guns may have a greater tendency to choose suicide (clearly such people accept violent action as a solution to problems), but I have not found anything that indicates by buying a gun your likelihood to commit suicide goes up.
Case in point, statistically a woman with breast implants is three times more likely to commit suicide. Are you seriously going to contend that the implants helped them choose suicide because it made the choice easier?
There is a world of difference between causation and correlation. This sounds to me like correlation.
schraf writes:
I very much do think that guns make the choice easier, just as the choice to shoot someone rather than stab or strangle them is made because it is safer and easier to kill from a distance if you can, rather than in a one on one struggle.
This only says that people who are already going to do something are more likely to choose a gun because it is easier (and they are cowardly). I agree.
It does not mean the choice itself is easier to make. At least not to any real extent. Murders and suicides were around before guns and in some cultures with great abandon.
I might note the horrific suicide rates that once existed among young Japanese students. Guns being illegal they tended to jump from buildings.
Hmmmmmmm... This is getting rather personal but it is pertinent. I knew a person that commited suicide. They and their family owned many many guns (avid hunters and skeet shooters)and the guns were readily available in the house. That person chose to hang himself.
I am interested in your position on Euthanasia, or doctor-assisted suicide. If legalized, methods of suicide would advance so that they would be quite painless and quick. Undoubtedly suicide rates would shift to these techniques. Would these techniques be responsible for the suicidal person's choice?
holmes, that's me writes:
This is the only argument which needs to be made. It is sufficient.
in response schraf writes:
The irony in this statement is amazing.
My post essentially said the best arguments for gun control are based on real issues of safety, with analogies to how cars and planes have necessitated greater regulation due to their increased complexity and potential for causing damage.
My end statement meant you should stick to those kinds of arguments, rather than introducing problematic analogies to alcoholics and references to suicides, because the former are sufficient and the extras are counterproductive.
How is that end statement in any way shape or form ironic (especially to an amazing degree)?
Did you mean redundant?
------------------
holmes
[This message has been edited by holmes, 03-13-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by nator, posted 03-13-2003 9:11 AM nator has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024