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Thread: A Question For the Gun Control Crowd

  1. #1
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    A Question For the Gun Control Crowd

    I came across this article a little while back, and so far there has not been one person who could come up with a cohesive answer. So for all those in favor of more gun control, what is your response to this article?

    Some questions can never truly be settled. The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the Star Wars movies. But some people prefer Return of the Jedi. As this is a question of taste, there will never be a final answer (although I think we can all agree that, objectively speaking, The Phantom Menace sucks). Similarly, no religion can ever be “proven” to be the correct answer to life’s spiritual questions. Such questions rest on faith. There’s no way to draw an objective conclusion. But on matters of public policy people can and should be able to negotiate in good faith and draw conclusions based on evidence . . .

    I love evidence. As a skeptic what I want on any issue is for someone to convince me. Like all people, I approach any question with my own biases and assumptions. But if someone can give me reliable evidence that contradicts my beliefs I’m willing to modify or even abandon my opinions to make them fit reality. That’s the only reasonable choice.

    I joined the NRA when I was 12 and ever since then I can honestly say that no proponent of gun control has ever spoken to me. They have only spoken at me (often to tell me how little I care about dead children). I’d like to change that. In the interest of honest, reasonable debate I’d like to ask some questions of people who are in favor of stricter gun laws. I’d love for anyone on the other side of the divide to offer some answers, offer me some evidence or point out if any of my premises are flawed.

    For the sake of this argument, I’m going to avoid Constitutional issues. I’d like to examine gun control strictly from the perspective of someone interested in the pragmatic public good. Right. Q&A time . . .

    The first premise for more gun control: it’s too easy for too many people to buy guns. Legal gun sales are currently prohibited for minors, the mentally ill, felons and those guilty of certain misdemeanors.

    Whom would you add to that list?
    Why would you add them?
    What public good is served by adding them?
    How will your law succeed in keeping guns out of prohibited hands where others have failed?

    The second premise: we should be keeping guns out of the hands of felons. Agreed. Keeping weapons away from felons is an obvious public good. However… it is already illegal for felons to own guns. So . . .

    On what do you base the belief that the next law we pass will be the one the felons obey?
    Do you take into account the various nations with absolute gun prohibitions that are nonetheless awash in armed criminals? Why do you think that the experience here would be different if we further restricted guns?
    How do you account for the fact that across America, without exception, areas with stricter gun control have more violent crime?

    Related to the second premise: some types of guns are suitable only for crime and should be banned. These are generally referred to as “assault weapons”.

    What features make a gun particularly desirable for criminals but not for citizens?
    Are you aware that these so-called “assault weapons” are functionally identical to so-called “sporting arms”? Are you aware that such rifles are used in crime extremely rarely?
    Knowing that would you still want to ban them? Why?
    If we banned these weapons and criminals did want them do you think that the same organizations that smuggle cocaine by the ton would be unable to smuggle weapons? If so, why do you think that?

    The third premise: guns are designed to kill things, and as such their very presence promotes and encourages violence. It is this rationale that informs the idea of “gun free zones”.

    If that’s the case then why do all the high-profile mass shootings happen in “gun free zones”?
    If guns encourage violence shouldn’t schools be peaceful oases while gun shops, police precincts and military bases are knee-deep in blood on a daily basis? Do you make any inference from the fact that they aren’t?
    Are you expecting someone who intends murder to respect a sign that says “no guns allowed”? If not, why pass such laws?
    Is it because you distrust your fellow honest citizens? If so, why? Do you have a rational basis for your distrust or is it an emotional reaction? If it’s emotional, should we really be making laws based on emotion?

    Fourth premise: guns are inherently dangerous and fewer guns means a safer society. But for decades now gun ownership has been increasing while negligent discharges and criminal activity have decreased.

    Does that matter to you? If not, why not?
    If your answer is “one death is too many” then are you also advocating that we ban other non-essential items and activities that “cause” accidental deaths? Swimming pools, trampolines, fireplaces, and all kinds of sports are involved in many injuries and deaths every year, often with children as victims. Does the “one death is too many” logic apply to them? If not, why not?

    All of the above can really be summed up in these four questions:

    What public good is your new gun control law intended to accomplish?
    Is it the same good some prior law was supposed to accomplish?
    Why do you think your new law will succeed where hundreds, if not thousands, have failed before?
    If you have no reason to think it will accomplish anything, then why do you want to pass it?

    As I said in the beginning, I’m a skeptic. But I want to be convinced. If you have plausible, provable answers to my questions I’m willing to change my opinion. On the other hand, if you can’t answer my questions, maybe you should think about changing yours.
    Used with permission from thetruthaboutguns.com

  2. #2
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    Well, first, there is an outright untruth in that article: mass killings do not happen just in "gun free zones" I will cite the shooting of Gabby Giffords in Arizona and the Fort Hood mass shooting: Horror at Fort Hood: Gunman Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13, wounds 31 in rampage on Texas Army base - New York Daily News

    A place full of trained weapons handlers and defences: go figure . . .

    Secondly, functional similarites of hunting rifles is a bit of a misrepresentation of the fact that designs coveted by criminals, are best described as "bush guns" and are used for close in fighting; the AR15 and AK47 come immediately to mind, as does the Mac10. Hunting rifles are made quite differently and have more akin to sniper rifles with long barrels for farther effective range. That type of weapon would not be something a "fast shooter" in close range to their targate would desire.

    Now, as for gun control perse', I think that tighter regulations are the best way to separate the social wheat from the chaff and personally I have a very hard time wondering why NRA people don't see the gain in more responsibility. As for bannings: who needs a .50 caliber machine gun or sniper rifle; and why? There was an attempt to ban the Thompson sub machine gun for ciminals in 1934 through a tax and tighter regulations known as the National Firearms Act: ATF Online - Firearms - National Firearms Act (NFA) so this kind of thing has been around for a long time, and is not therefore a liberal gun control idea at all. In fact, the state of Georgia in 1837 attempted to ban pistols and this coming just 51 years after the last battle of the American Revolution. Facts like this are continuously left out of the gun crowds arguments against gun control and that is of course very misleading.

    Most gun crimes and "gun free zones" are in major cities with very dense populations and many with very high crime rates and drug mob activity. This also gets left out of gun advocate arguments against tighter controls and is also very misleading.

    I think that the gun advocates need a more repsonsible and objective perspective if they expect to be taken seriously on this subject. They present a very narrow world view and cut off their noses to spite their faces.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    Well, first, there is an outright untruth in that article: mass killings do not happen just in "gun free zones" I will cite the shooting of Gabby Giffords in Arizona and the Fort Hood mass shooting: Horror at Fort Hood: Gunman Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13, wounds 31 in rampage on Texas Army base - New York Daily News

    A place full of trained weapons handlers and defences: go figure . . .
    None of the soldiers on the base were armed except for Hasan and the MPs. The victims had no way to fight back.

    Hunting rifles are made quite differently and have more akin to sniper rifles with long barrels for farther effective range. That type of weapon would not be something a "fast shooter" in close range to their targate would desire.
    That is only one recognized version of what qualifies as a hunting rifle. The definition has changed with the technology to incorporate modern advances. There are variants of the AR-15 suited for hunting better than fighting, due to longer barrels, free float tubes and more potent calibers.

    Now, as for gun control perse', I think that tighter regulations are the best way to separate the social wheat from the chaff and personally I have a very hard time wondering why NRA people don't see the gain in more responsibility.
    You are not arguing responsibility. You are arguing that modern firearms are not needed and have no place in society and should be banned. However this argument has been rejected by the Supreme Court and is not valid.

    As for bannings: who needs a .50 caliber machine gun or sniper rifle; and why? There was an attempt to ban the Thompson sub machine gun for ciminals in 1934 through a tax and tighter regulations known as the National Firearms Act: ATF Online - Firearms - National Firearms Act (NFA) so this kind of thing has been around for a long time, and is not therefore a liberal gun control idea at all. In fact, the state of Georgia in 1837 attempted to ban pistols and this coming just 51 years after the last battle of the American Revolution. Facts like this are continuously left out of the gun crowds arguments against gun control and that is of course very misleading.
    The concept of need possesses no legitimate place in the discussion of constitutional rights. You may never need an attorney, but the constitution says you have the right to one regardless.

    Most gun crimes and "gun free zones" are in major cities with very dense populations and many with very high crime rates and drug mob activity. This also gets left out of gun advocate arguments against tighter controls and is also very misleading.
    The constitution does not cease to apply simply because of an increase in population density. Constitutional rights cannot be interpreted to one set of standards for rural communities, and another set of standards for urban communities.

    I think that the gun advocates need a more repsonsible and objective perspective if they expect to be taken seriously on this subject. They present a very narrow world view and cut off their noses to spite their faces.
    You have yet to show a lack of responsibility when presenting your arguments.
    If one cannot have an argument without resorting to hyperbole, name calling and emotional rhetoric, then they have lost the argument from their first post.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenamnes View Post
    None of the soldiers on the base were armed except for Hasan and the MPs. The victims had no way to fight back.
    It wasn't a "gun free zone" either was it . . . read and stay on topic.


    That is only one recognized version of what qualifies as a hunting rifle. The definition has changed with the technology to incorporate modern advances. There are variants of the AR-15 suited for hunting better than fighting, due to longer barrels, free float tubes and more potent calibers.
    Irrelevant., and wrong anyway.


    You are not arguing responsibility. You are arguing that modern firearms are not needed and have no place in society and should be banned. However this argument has been rejected by the Supreme Court and is not valid.
    You are back in another thead somewhere. And, you're wrong again anyway.


    The concept of need possesses no legitimate place in the discussion of constitutional rights. You may never need an attorney, but the constitution says you have the right to one regardless.
    The Constitution was specifically ommitted form this discussion: stay on topic.


    The constitution does not cease to apply simply because of an increase in population density. Constitutional rights cannot be interpreted to one set of standards for rural communities, and another set of standards for urban communities.
    Ditto

    You have yet to show a lack of responsibility when presenting your arguments.
    Yes thank you; I do make very responsible arguments. Nice of you to notice.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    It wasn't a "gun free zone" either was it . . . read and stay on topic.
    Indeed it was. Morally sound to leave Fort Hood soldiers unarmed? - National spiritual life | Examiner.com

    Circulating reports from Israel, where Muslim terrorists have, sadly enough, repeatedly opened fire on civilians and soldiers over many years, reveal the following perplexity: Why didn’t the US soldiers in Fort Hood who were suddenly and indiscriminately attacked by the major-turned-terrorist return fire and thus reduce the tragic toll of 13 dead and scores wounded?

    Why did ten full, disastrous, and bloody minutes transpire before civilian police officers were able to intercede and shoot Army psychiatrist and Major Nidal Malik Hasan? Why did our young men and women, our flowering youth, die like sheep without the means to even defend themselves and each other?

    Even as we first honor the dead and tend to the wounded, we must then consider a remarkable paradox: By federal law, Fort Hood, a US military installation, is a “gun-free” zone. This is due to one of the first regulations signed into law by President Bill Clinton in March, 1993. In other words, our service-people, though dispatched to Iraq and Afghanistan (often undersupplied and without sufficient armor), are nonetheless forbidden to carry firearms on base.

    The astonishing reality is that the victims were unarmed. Published reports are that US soldiers are not permitted to carry guns for personal protection. This is true even on a 340-acre base quartering some 50,000 troops who, it turns out, are obviously vulnerable.

    This strange ban applied to men and women who are being taught to use the most sophisticated weaponry ever developed in the history of humanity has nonetheless failed to reduce an alarming suicide rate among American soldiers, as well as a burgeoning crime and drug culture within our beleaguered military community.
    Irrelevant., and wrong anyway.
    Wrong on both counts. The AR-15 series of rifle has picked up in popularity as a hunting rifle. The AR-15 Platform As A Hunting Rifle | The Shooter's Log

    This site specifically mentioned it being legal to hunt in most areas with this particularly rifle. And they are a company that has long been in the business of constructing hunting rifles. Centerfire Rifle - Model R-15 - Remington Centerfire Rifles

    Your claim of irrelevancy is not recognized. Semi-automatic firearms were first marketed to hunters in the year 1902 with the introduction of the Browning A-5 shotgun, nine years before the military adopted a semi-automatic sidearm, and 34 years before the adoption of a semi-automatic rifle.

    Browning Auto-5: Information from Answers.com

    Semi-automatic rifles have been used for hunting long before the military ever adopted them. It was the Remington Model 8 released in 1906. That is three decades before the M1 Garand entered military service.

    Remington Model 8: Information from Answers.com

    You are back in another thead somewhere. And, you're wrong again anyway.
    Your definition of responsibility does not match up with the recognized definition of the term. Banning firearms from the general public simply because criminals may make use of them is in no way an act of responsibility.

    The Constitution was specifically ommitted form this discussion: stay on topic.
    Very well. The firearms you claim people do not need are those best suited for enabling personal defense against others. You cannot disprove this claim without arguing the basic mechanics of the firearm.

    Ditto
    It is truthful nonetheless.

    Yes thank you; I do make very responsible arguments. Nice of you to notice.
    A clerical error. The statement was to mean that you have not yet shown any evidence of a lack of responsibility on the part of anyone who can legally own a firearm.
    Last edited by Xenamnes; 12-14-2011 at 11:51 AM.
    If one cannot have an argument without resorting to hyperbole, name calling and emotional rhetoric, then they have lost the argument from their first post.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    Well, first, there is an outright untruth in that article: mass killings do not happen just in "gun free zones" I will cite the shooting of Gabby Giffords in Arizona and the Fort Hood mass shooting
    So you've been able to show just 1 example of a non gun free zone. As to Fort Hood- if its got no gun signs posted and the only people legally armed are the police (military or civilian)-its a gun free zone.

    Secondly, functional similarites of hunting rifles is a bit of a misrepresentation of the fact that designs coveted by criminals, are best described as "bush guns" and are used for close in fighting; the AR15 and AK47 come immediately to mind, as does the Mac10. Hunting rifles are made quite differently and have more akin to sniper rifles with long barrels for farther effective range. That type of weapon would not be something a "fast shooter" in close range to their targate would desire.
    What about the long barrel hunting versions of both the AK and AR? Do those also fall into your category of 'bush guns'? You also missed the point of the question- there is no difference (besides looks) between California ban legal AR-15 and one available in Nevada. Why do you keep pushing for the ban?

    Now, as for gun control perse', I think that tighter regulations are the best way to separate the social wheat from the chaff and personally I have a very hard time wondering why NRA people don't see the gain in more responsibility. As for bannings: who needs a .50 caliber machine gun or sniper rifle; and why? There was an attempt to ban the Thompson sub machine gun for ciminals in 1934 through a tax and tighter regulations known as the National Firearms Act: so this kind of thing has been around for a long time, and is not therefore a liberal gun control idea at all.
    As for bannings, who needs an M1 machine gun or sniper rifle; and why?

    Also, we are all aware that the NFA places taxes on many different weapons, machine guns included. But the question above does not mention them anywhere. Why bring it up?

    In fact, the state of Georgia in 1837 attempted to ban pistols and this coming just 51 years after the last battle of the American Revolution. Facts like this are continuously left out of the gun crowds arguments against gun control and that is of course very misleading.
    Georgia Supreme Court 1845: “The right of the whole people, old and young, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not merely such as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in on, in the slightest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying of a well regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free state.”

    Most gun crimes and "gun free zones" are in major cities with very dense populations and many with very high crime rates and drug mob activity. This also gets left out of gun advocate arguments against tighter controls and is also very misleading.
    You're killing your own argument. If major cities are as violent as you say, why do the majority of shootings still take place in a "gun free zone" and not all around the city?

    So far you haven't been able to answer a single question-your entire argument is that these questions are somehow invalid. Once again, no actual cohesive answer given.

  7. #7
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    Good luck trying to talk sense into these people. They are sheltered people with no sense of reality. They will never get it until some tyrant forces them into a camp, or on a trail of tears, etc.... then suddenly they will want a firearm - and wish they took the time to understand them.

    "First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."
    "He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security." - Ben Franklin
    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy” - James Madison
    "Those who believe absurdities can be made to commit atrocities" - Voltaire
    "What if the people wake up?" - Ron Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by USAMP1980 View Post
    Good luck trying to talk sense into these people. They are sheltered people with no sense of reality. They will never get it until some tyrant forces them into a camp, or on a trail of tears, etc.... then suddenly they will want a firearm - and wish they took the time to understand them.

    "First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."
    You are so fixated on what some tyrant could in a hypothetical situation that you are blind to the reality of people being gunned down in cold blood everyday.
    "Indeed, not a word in the constitutional text even arguably supports the Court’s overwrought and novel description of the Second Amendment as 'elevat[ing] above all other interests' 'the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.' Ante,at 63."
    -Justice Stevens on the Heller ruling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrenhammer View Post
    If major cities are as violent as you say, why do the majority of shootings still take place in a "gun free zone" and not all around the city?
    I live in Los Angeles where the "majority of shootings" are distributed "all around the city"
    and are not concentrated in "gun free zones" as you assert.
    "They asked if I had found Jesus and I didn't even know He was missing."

  10. #10
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    As for the claim about mass shootings happening only in gun free zones, how do you explain Australia?

    "The risk of dying by gunshot has halved since Australia destroyed 700,000 privately owned firearms....

    "After 112 people were shot dead in 11 mass shootings* in a decade, Australia collected and destroyed categories of firearms designed to kill many people quickly....

    " 'In the 10½ years since the gun buy-back announcement, no mass shootings have occurred in Australia.' "
    News | The University of Sydney

    So in the decade before Australia's gun buyback: 112 people died in mass shootings.

    In the decade after Australia's gun buyback: 0 people died in mass shootings.
    "Indeed, not a word in the constitutional text even arguably supports the Court’s overwrought and novel description of the Second Amendment as 'elevat[ing] above all other interests' 'the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.' Ante,at 63."
    -Justice Stevens on the Heller ruling

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinjin View Post
    I live in Los Angeles where the "majority of shootings" are distributed "all around the city"
    and are not concentrated in "gun free zones" as you assert.
    You'd think that with all the gun control passed your state that LA would be an oasis of peace and brotherhood....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galileo View Post
    As for the claim about mass shootings happening only in gun free zones, how do you explain Australia?

    In the decade after Australia's gun buyback: 0 people died in mass shootings.
    Conveniently forget the Monash University shooting in '02?

    You are so fixated on what some tyrant could in a hypothetical situation that you are blind to the reality of people being gunned down in cold blood everyday.
    You are so fixated on holding the majority of the population accountable for crimes they did not commit that you still haven't been able to answer one aspect of the question presented.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrenhammer View Post
    You'd think that with all the gun control passed your state that LA would be an oasis of peace and brotherhood....
    No, I wouldn't but:

    LA Sees Major Decline In Violent Crime CBS Los Angeles

    Now I wouldn't attribute that to firearm regulations but neither would I make the inference that because large urban areas have stricter gun regulations and high crime rates that the former might actually cause the latter.

    "How do you account for the fact that across America, without exception, areas with stricter gun control have more violent crime?"

    Isn't it more likely that the strict regulation of firearms in big cities is in response to high crime rates that are a common feature of big cities?
    Last edited by sinjin; 12-14-2011 at 01:02 PM.
    "They asked if I had found Jesus and I didn't even know He was missing."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrenhammer View Post
    You are so fixated on holding the majority of the population accountable for crimes they did not commit...
    A "majority of the population" do not keep firearms at all.

    http://www.tscm.com/165476.pdf
    "They asked if I had found Jesus and I didn't even know He was missing."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenamnes View Post
    Indeed it was. Morally sound to leave Fort Hood soldiers unarmed? - National spiritual life | Examiner.com

    Wrong on both counts. The AR-15 series of rifle has picked up in popularity as a hunting rifle. The AR-15 Platform As A Hunting Rifle | The Shooter's Log

    This site specifically mentioned it being legal to hunt in most areas with this particularly rifle. And they are a company that has long been in the business of constructing hunting rifles. Centerfire Rifle - Model R-15 - Remington Centerfire Rifles

    Your claim of irrelevancy is not recognized. Semi-automatic firearms were first marketed to hunters in the year 1902 with the introduction of the Browning A-5 shotgun, nine years before the military adopted a semi-automatic sidearm, and 34 years before the adoption of a semi-automatic rifle.

    Browning Auto-5: Information from Answers.com

    Semi-automatic rifles have been used for hunting long before the military ever adopted them. It was the Remington Model 8 released in 1906. That is three decades before the M1 Garand entered military service.

    Remington Model 8: Information from Answers.com

    Your definition of responsibility does not match up with the recognized definition of the term. Banning firearms from the general public simply because criminals may make use of them is in no way an act of responsibility.

    Very well. The firearms you claim people do not need are those best suited for enabling personal defense against others. You cannot disprove this claim without arguing the basic mechanics of the firearm.

    It is truthful nonetheless.

    A clerical error. The statement was to mean that you have not yet shown any evidence of a lack of responsibility on the part of anyone who can legally own a firearm.
    Fort Hood was not a marked “gun free zone”, so knock it off: you’re wrong.

    As for hunting rifles vs bush guns; I never entered into AR15 hunting rifles; that wasn’t the point in the article and it wasn’t my point. You’re not reading the article.

    Your semi auto firearms comment of 1902 s again irrelevant to the topic and my response.

    And when did I say that semi automatic rifles weren’t made for the public? I named certain firearm models. You’re making this up as you go along.

    Your definition of responsibility does not match up with the recognized definition of the term.
    (chuckle) What? My definition of responsibility? You’re diggin’ for something: you have to make me wrong. What a scream.

    Then you admit the omission of the constitution from the discussion; and you make your constitutional point anyway. Jeeez

    Your post is off topic and I’m not going that way with you. Stick with the article.
    Last edited by jet57; 12-14-2011 at 01:56 PM.

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