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Author Topic: Gun Control  (Read 6548 times)

SmartyPants

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Gun Control
« on: December 21, 2012, 05:55:26 PM »

After the tragic death of 20 children, many people petitioned the white house to have more gun control.  Like usual, the federal government's response to a tragedy would be to take away Americans' rights under the pretense of security. (Just think back to how the government passed the Patriot Act after 9/11.)  The demands for gun control are based on emotions and naivety.

When crazy or evil people want to kill, gun control isn't going to stop them:
*In 1996, Timmy McVeigh killed 168 people, including 19 children age 5 or younger, in Oklahoma City with a home-made bomb he and Terry Nichols made from easily accessible material.
*Derrick Bird killed 12 people and injured 11 others in Cumbria, England, in 2010, a nation with some of the tightest gun control laws in the world.
*In 2011, a gunman in Norway killed 92 people in a rampage. Again, a nation with stringent gun control laws

There are benefits of widespread gun ownership such as detering criminals. Burglars are less likely to target occupied homes or businesses in countries with high rates of gun ownership than they are in countries with low rates of gun ownership, probably because they donít want to get shot.  Europe, with their strict gun control, has a much greater crime rate than the US.  Guns are also the great equalier.  My fell better that my 5'4 mother can face a man of any size who breaks into her home, because her ninemillimeter would stop any criminal in his tracks.

Gun control only limits citizens from legally having guns to protect themselves.  On the other hand, criminals will continue to carry and use guns despite the law.  For example, Virginia Tech's gun free zone didn't prevent a crazed man from killing 32 people and wounding 17 others, while it did stop the victims from having a means to protect themselves.

There are also rumors that Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are to blame for killing sprees.  If that was true, then based on sales of those games to young people, every American school should be a warzone akin to Syria. Yes, there are some rare, isolated incidents where a schizophrenic blames media violence for their rampage, yet schizos don't need video games to motivate them to crazy things. Just look at Robert Bardo, John Hinckley, and Mark Chapman. They were all motivated to kill by The Catcher in the Rye.

Ertxiem

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 06:12:10 PM »

I don't agree with you when you state that "When crazy or evil people want to kill, gun control isn't going to stop them." In my opinion, limiting access to guns is positive if it makes harder to a perturbed (momentarily or permanently) individual that wants to kill to accomplish it.

You said "Europe, with their strict gun control, has a much greater crime rate than the US." and quoted a paper by Buonnano et al. that I took the time to take a look at. Their definition of violent crime includes: homicide, serious or aggravated assault, robbery and sexual offences. I don't see a distinction between violent crime using a fire weapon and a violent crime not using a fire weapon. Furthermore, it's not the objective of that paper (and hence, they don't mention it) to study the deaths and injuries caused by fire weapons in the US and in the EU and to link it with the laws in there (or in any other place on Earth).
Furthermore, the paper by Buonnano et al. does not link the decrease in crime rate in the US and the increase in the EU with the laws regarding gun control. So, I'm unable to see any relevance to the point you're trying to make when you cited that paper.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 07:16:20 PM by Ertxiem »
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ArtDrake

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 06:49:11 PM »

[Thank you. I was going to say most of that, because it annoys me when he uses dubious and unconvincing statistical comparisons without controls and constants for comparison, but I figured I might show him even more effectively my dislike by refusing to answer at all. However, since you've broken the ice... I suppose the horrible sham of a debate shall begin again.]
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 02:58:39 PM by Duckling »
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Steelfist

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 01:33:25 PM »

Frankly, I don't really care what the U.S. does in regards to gun control; I do not, after all, live there.

Still you've brought up the UK - my country - as an example of gun control not working. So, either you are gravely misinformed or you are attempting to misrepresent the truth - and the truth is, our gun controls have worked; the Cumbria shootings are essentially the only major incident since the gun controls were created, in the wake of the Dunblane massacre. In 1997. Compare U.S. statistics?

You can argue, if you wish, about the benefits of not having gun control, but it is simply untrue to claim gun control is ineffective.

'When crazy or evil people want to kill, gun control isn't going to stop them'

True. However, in addition to Ertxiem's statement, I would add: a person armed with a gun can kill many more people much faster than one armed with a blade.

I don't really have much interest in debating this, but gun control has been demonstrably effective and the UK has benefited from it - without any real ill effects.
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SmartyPants

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 05:59:02 PM »

There is some irony in the fact that people in the UK criticize American gun laws, because the American founding fathers created the 2nd Amendment so the American populace could overthrow any unjust government that acted like the British Crown.

The United Kingdom's strick gun control, major censorship, and centralization of power make the country one coup away from emulating Nineteen Eighty-Four.  I rather power stay with the people instead of trusting the government to use it responsibly.

Also, gun control wouldn't work in the United States like it would for the uk.  Only the UK and Japan have been able to effectively control the flow of guns because it more difficult to smuggle into an island nation.  The United States on the other hand has the world's longest border with Canada and a large border with Mexico that is known for effectively smuggling over drugs and people.  Ignoring the fact that is would unconstitutional to seize people's guns; it would be nearly impossible to collect the estimated 310 million firearms already in citizen's hands.  There are so many guns already on the market that a motivated criminal will find a way to get a hold of a firearm, while gun control will stop law abiding citizen from getting firearms to protect themselves.

The only applicable solution would be to have responsible citizens have firearms to protect themselves, and to have more peace officers to protect schools.  It works for the president's kids.

Steelfist

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 08:00:31 AM »

There is some irony in the fact that people in the UK criticize American gun laws, because the American founding fathers created the 2nd Amendment so the American populace could overthrow any unjust government that acted like the British Crown.

The United Kingdom's strick gun control, major censorship, and centralization of power make the country one coup away from emulating Nineteen Eighty-Four.  I rather power stay with the people instead of trusting the government to use it responsibly.

Not arguing that guns wouldn't be useful for people trying to overthrow a tyranny. Though a military would have bigger guns, better organisation and co-ordination, so they would
probably still win.

The government is a bit further from a dystopia than you imply, as the only censored thing is hate speech - and most have no objection to this. Power is centralized in Parliament, and I assure you, virtually nobody has any issue with gun control. I don't agree with everything about my country, but that is another topic. Congratulations on the use of meaningless, fear mongering rhetoric, by the way.


Also, gun control wouldn't work in the United States like it would for the UK.  Only the UK and Japan have been able to effectively control the flow of guns because it more difficult to smuggle into an island nation.  The United States on the other hand has the world's longest border with Canada and a large border with Mexico that is known for effectively smuggling over drugs and people. 

A good point, though we still have a problem with illegal immigration - so it's evidently not impossible to smuggle. And other nations with land borders have demonstrated success - so gun control might be difficult to implement, but not impossible.

Ignoring the fact that is would unconstitutional to seize people's guns; it would be nearly impossible to collect the estimated 310 million firearms already in citizen's hands.  There are so many guns already on the market that a motivated criminal will find a way to get a hold of a firearm, while gun control will stop law abiding citizen from getting firearms to protect themselves.

So, you are saying it would be difficult to implement? Yes. But that was true of every gun control implementation. As far as I know, the UK gradually increased gun control over a period of many years - and it seems to have worked.

The only applicable solution would be to have responsible citizens have firearms to protect themselves, and to have more peace officers to protect schools.  It works for the president's kids.

It being the only one you agree with does not make it the only possible one, and I sincerely doubt you have systematically eliminated every other possibility. Also, who decides who is a responsible citizen? The government? Isn't that even more open to abuse?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 01:54:59 PM by SteelFist »
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ArtDrake

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 11:45:21 PM »

@ SmartyPants: you do realize that you're suggesting that the way to reduce gun violence is to promote the use of guns, right?

Look, guns are never going to be a significant part of my life, unless I end up shot. I find the whole idea of a device designed purely for the purpose of terminating the life of another human being utterly repulsive, and I want nothing to do with it. That said, I'd really rather keep such devices out of the hands of all people -- not just criminals. No good comes of guns.

You can make the case of a little old lady who must protect herself against the big bad robber -- when we introduce guns into the equation, this scenario just becomes a whole lot more deadly. A life is a whole lot more likely to be taken. This is a horrible thing. There are not good guys and bad guys in the world, Smarty Pants. There are merely people who are driven to do desperate things, and no life is to be taken lightly. Guns make it so lives are taken with just the flex of a finger.

Under your solution, you would have all "responsible citizens" wielding these instruments of death in the hopes that perhaps this might dissuade criminals, or allow people to protect themselves in the event that they should be attacked. You fail to consider this: the desperate become no less desperate in the face of death. The starving man will still steal to pay for food, the addict will still steal to feed her addiction, and the only thing guns bring to the table is tragedy to compound upon the woes that already would afflict the involved parties in the crime with which you seem to think the world is so replete.

[oh, and the last eighteen syllables of that were iambs]

[I can do rhetoric, too. Without distorting data.]
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Deagonx

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 05:56:19 AM »

I believe the saying goes "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them." There is no more reason now to restrict gun use than their was at any other time in American history. What happened in Sandy Hook was a tragedy, without a doubt, but the kind of people using that to promote gun control already supported gun control.

It's essentially people using 9/11 to promote the idea that we shouldn't have planes or that we should strip search everybody at an airport. It's an invasion of rights, and privacy. There is no plausible way that we can keep guns out of the hands of criminals. I know this sounds like the classic "it'll happen anyway so legalize it" but with guns it goes a bit deeper than that.

Guns already exist. They are already there, the knowledge to make them by hand are readily available. No gun control law will keep deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals. There are hundreds upon hundreds already in circulation and the only people willing to give them up are the people who WON'T be doing reckless and criminal things with them.

All in all, my opinion on the subject is that although what happened in Sandy Hook is awful, it has little to no relevance when discussing the topic of "should guns be legal." Unless you want to look at it as a catalyst of some sort.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 05:59:43 AM by Deagonx »
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ArtDrake

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 02:57:10 PM »

I would like to point out for the record that I never mentioned Sandy Hook.

You can argue that, yes, if you were to outlaw guns today, criminals would still get their hands on guns. But a large portion of gun crime isn't done by people that are "criminals" [by which I presume you mean people who have committed crimes] -- they're just ordinary people who are driven to do desperate things for various reasons. These are otherwise upstanding citizens who don't know street contacts, who don't have ties with gang members. The only way they have of getting their hands on guns is to legally obtain one, or to obtain one from someone else they know that already got theirs legally.

In this hypothetical scenario of guns being outlawed and taken out of the hands of citizens, your average citizen-turned-felon just wouldn't have the means to get a gun -- they'd still be driven to desperate acts, but it wouldn't be with a gun. A knife, a can of mace, a pair of brass knuckles, maybe. All of these things are less deadly than a gun, and require more willful action. I can fire a shot into a man's head, and regret it in an instant; it won't matter, since the man is dead. But if I run at a bloke with a knife, and cut into his arm, I can instantly regret it at the sight of the blood on my hands... and the man will live.

Furthermore, if we go the opposite extreme of "arming the responsible citizen", everyone has guns, right? Our criminal-to-be knows this, and thinks, what can I do to get the advantage? It just so happens that he knows a guy that has an MP5 assault rifle, since he's a bit of an enthusiast, and that's perfectly legal. Well, now the armed responsible citizen is met in their home by a housebreaker who does not have just a pistol, but a fully automatic rifle! Guess who's going to die today.

My point is that no matter how well-equipped the average citizen is to deal with a certain level of threat, a desperate individual seeking to commit a crime can always find a way to surpass that level of equipment. Furthermore, the stronger the weaponry we use in this arms race against the common criminal, the more deadly the encounters get -- you can survive a blow to the head, or a cut to the arm, but try a machine-gun burst to the gut. You aren't walking away.

So, I insist that instead of trying to up the ante to the point where we're all a bunch of soldiers with no war but the one we've made for ourselves, we should instead accept that criminals are going to come prepared to wield force in excess of that of the average citizen, so instead of trying to get everyone holding a gun, we should be aiming for nobody holding a gun -- crime will still happen, but at least we all live to see another day, eh?
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SmartyPants

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 09:34:25 PM »

Not arguing that guns wouldn't be useful for people trying to overthrow a tyranny. Though a military would have bigger guns, better organisation and co-ordination, so they would probably still win.
And yet NATO forces are still unable to beat a bunch of backwater tribesmen after a decade in Afghanistan.

Look, guns are never going to be a significant part of my life, unless I end up shot. I find the whole idea of a device designed purely for the purpose of terminating the life of another human being utterly repulsive, and I want nothing to do with it. That said, I'd really rather keep such devices out of the hands of all people -- not just criminals. No good comes of guns.
Most of the time guns are used for self defence, they aren't even fired.  Simply brandishing a gun will get people to stop a criminal long enough for the police to arrive.  Also, good can come from guns.  A seventy-year-old woman was able to protect herself from a home intruder with a gun and she never had to fire it.

You can make the case of a little old lady who must protect herself against the big bad robber -- when we introduce guns into the equation, this scenario just becomes a whole lot more deadly. A life is a whole lot more likely to be taken. This is a horrible thing. There are not good guys and bad guys in the world. Guns make it so lives are taken with just the flex of a finger.
An armed old lady can scare off several big bad robbers without having to kill anyone.  One can easly argue that the greedy criminals who rob people at gun point are the bad guys in this situation.

ArtDrake

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 07:20:15 PM »

Look, guns are never going to be a significant part of my life, unless I end up shot. I find the whole idea of a device designed purely for the purpose of terminating the life of another human being utterly repulsive, and I want nothing to do with it. That said, I'd really rather keep such devices out of the hands of all people -- not just criminals. No good comes of guns.
Most of the time guns are used for self defence, they aren't even fired.  Simply brandishing a gun will get people to stop a criminal long enough for the police to arrive.  Also, good can come from guns.  A seventy-year-old woman was able to protect herself from a home intruder with a gun and she never had to fire it.

You can make the case of a little old lady who must protect herself against the big bad robber -- when we introduce guns into the equation, this scenario just becomes a whole lot more deadly. A life is a whole lot more likely to be taken. This is a horrible thing. There are not good guys and bad guys in the world. Guns make it so lives are taken with just the flex of a finger.
An armed old lady can scare off several big bad robbers without having to kill anyone.  One can easly argue that the greedy criminals who rob people at gun point are the bad guys in this situation.

As soon as you draw a distinction between "those greedy criminals" and the common citizen, you're missing the point. 100% of first-time offenders, by definition, are people who have never committed a crime before in their life. So, if you arm the common man, you arm the common criminal. The states in which the incidents you linked to took place are Indiana and California, respectively, neither being states with particularly high gun ownership rates -- studies show that in locations with higher gun ownership, gun crime is more prevalent and less preventable simply by presenting a firearm. This makes sense, ja?

Furthermore, who's to say that crimes prevented by firearms could not have been just as easily deterred by other nonlethal agents, like chemical Mace? In that case, one could argue that introducing guns merely increases the risk of death on the part of either the victim or perpetrator of the crime in question. Mace has some more advantages over lethal weaponry as well -- accuracy is not a problem, as it come out in a spray. One does not simply "miss" with Mace. Also, it doesn't produce standoffs -- if you know for sure someone wishes to hurt you, you don't have to be afraid of accidentally killing them with a bit of phenacyl chloride.

Even if this weren't all the case [which is certainly is], my argument that putting guns into everyone's hands leads to an arms race remains valid -- what we do that we think is protecting the everyday man or woman might actually be hurting him or her.

[Yes, that's a link to a comic. It's funny.]
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SmartyPants

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 10:21:54 AM »

If you learned anything from the recent tragedy in Boston, then it is that people don't need guns to hurt people.  Since the terrorist used bombs made from pressure cookers, we clearly need to ban pressure cookers alongside guns.

ArtDrake

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 05:00:55 PM »

Nah, we mostly need to just ban those assault pressure cookers that are good for nothing but hurting people in large numbers.
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Deagonx

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2013, 11:29:11 PM »

The issue cannot logically come down to stricter gun laws, because the man in the Sandy Hook shooting was using guns that were not his, and that he was not legally allowed to own. If the law was followed (it was a damn school shooting of course it wasnt) then this would not have taken place. The law was broken in many ways, no reasonable person can look at this event and decide we need to change laws.

The laws are working. He shouldn't have had those guns legally, but that's his private business and there was no way of knowing he would take them or use them.



Sorry for the necro.
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ArtDrake

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Re: Gun Control
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 01:39:58 AM »

...

The point of gun control laws isn't solely to have less people owning firearms legally. The secondary desired effect is to make it harder for people to obtain them illegally, either by simply making guns less available, reducing the market at large [and thus increasing the cost], or by ensuring that gun owners must follow certain procedures that might make the weapons harder to steal [and also thus increase the cost of the guns on the black market].

No necropost apology required.
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