Mass Shootings

Discussion in 'Water Cooler' started by OROD, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. OROD

    OROD Podium

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    Will America ever accept that we have a gun and mass shooting problem, or is it hopeless and we're doomed to this for the rest of time?

    Or, do you think it's not a gun problem at all? If so, what do you think the real problem is? Why does the US have so many mass shootings and gun violence in general, while the rest of the civilized countries dont?
     
  2. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    No, yes and yes. No. People. People.
     
  3. enyapj18

    enyapj18 Rookie

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    The sad truth is there has not been a mass shooting on such a scale as to motivate my fellow American to do anything about it. The really scary part is thinking about what would that look like.
     
  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    There is little that "can be done about it".

    I cannot think of any law or measure which would have prevented the Las Vegas mass killing.
     
  5. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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  6. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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  7. downunder

    downunder Podium

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    It's impossible to prove or disprove a negative, but I'd say if you had a total semiautomatic weapons and ammunition ban around 10 years ago it would have made it a lot harder to acquire 20+ of those firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and slowed/stopped the development of those commercial modifications to simulate automatic fire.

    Politically that could never happen in your country though.

    Firearms ban has worked well in Australia. We still have gang violence, sure, but it's made it a lot harder/impossible for mentally ill people or terrorists to get a hold of anything resembling a modern gun.
     
  8. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Yeah. It's statistically correct to say that it's hard to draw conclusions about UK/Australia gun bans because the rates of gun crimes before the bans were so low, but that kind of begs the question. The rates of gun crimes are low because the numbers of guns are low. But she correctly says that the sheer number of guns in the US, and the 1st Amendment protections, make the US a different problem. Small movements towards restrictions seem to just spur people on to buying more guns out of a sense of panic, like the whole Obama coming to take your guns thing which I'm sure he's going to get around to just any day now.
     
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  9. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Harder, perhaps. Impossible, no. Just as even total prohibitions on alcohol could not and did not stop all drinking, and total prohibitions on controlled substances has not prevented widespread availability and use of all sorts of illicit drugs, even a total prohibition on firearms would not prevent a determined ( and mad ) person from acquiring firearms and using them.

    And I do not think that a total ban would go over as easily as in the UK and Australia. In the UK at worst people buried or otherwise hid guns. In Australia people for the most part mildly turned their weapons in. The US, with its different history and culture, would experience some of each, but there would be an element which would resist, violently if pushed to it. This would be made worse by the fact that in the US it is not possible to know who has the weapons and where they are, as the records of sales are spotty, incomplete and in some cases lost, and of course do not account for later transfers, sales and thefts. It would probably be necessary to conduct house-to-house searches, a massive, difficult and expensive undertaking, even if civil protections against search and seizure were set aside and the police and military did not balk at doing it.


    Well, I would argue that it's more that its people have simply accepted the ban, the laws and the situation. The reason for that is to be found more in the character and culture of the people than in simple prohibitory law. One need only look at other countries around the world to see that there have been other, quite different "solutions" to arms control by determined malefactors, from basement manufacture of weapons in places like Brazil to the emergence of flourishing black markets in Europe to acquisition from police and military in countries like Mexico.

    It may "work well" in Australia ( at least thus far; history has not come to a halt ). That does not mean that it would work even poorly in the US.
     
  10. Alex_Paul

    Alex_Paul Podium

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    What is the justification for allowing the sale of semi automatic rifles?

    I appreciate that the constitution allows it but I don't understand why people should be allowed to purchase tools whose sole purpose is to assist people in killing other people.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  11. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    The rationale that I've heard is our country was founded on the principle that a government afraid of its people will behave. Letting the people have the same type of weapons that the military have, will keep things balanced in case the government needs reminding.
    One 2ndAm person I know pointed to Catalonia and said that (national police using force) wouldn't happen here. I laughed because yes it could, depending on the state's laws. We have additional laws which block federal troops from acting as law enforcement, but that's another topic.
     
  12. Gav

    Gav Moderator!!

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    I think everyone would be more open to you retaining your outdated 2nd Amendment rights if you had to use 17th century weapons. It would at least be a start.

    Also any fool trotting out the Catalonia argument needs to get a fricking clue and read some history books.
     
  13. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    There's no functional difference between a rifle that will kill a deer and a rifle that will kill a person. I know someone with what can only be described as a sniper rifle; big scope, silencer, the whole thing. If you saw it on the news you'd wonder why someone needed a freakin' sniper rifle in a suburb of Houston, and what kind of redneck idiot would own such a thing.

    He's a fencer with a PhD in math. He uses it to hunt pigs. If we did manage to curtail gun ownership in the US, while it would have undoubted benefits to people, it would be an ecological disaster. Large parts of the US are quite rural. Deer populations and especially pig populations would explode, which would be quite damaging.

    It really is quite an intractable problem. There are far too many guns in the US. There are good reasons for people to own guns in rural areas. Small adjustments seem to generate so much backlash and spur so much frenetic, idiotic gun buying they do more harm than good. It's hard to imagine a feasible restriction that actually has a good effect. And yet, undoubtedly, there are far too many guns in the US. I don't know what the answer is.
     
  14. Alex_Paul

    Alex_Paul Podium

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    I am not sure that the best way to control the
    You don't need a semi automatic rifle to hunt pigs and deer though. In the UK you can get a firearms licence if you can show a need to own one, there isn't a blanket ban.

    All rifles are bolt action other than sub 22. which you can buy in semi auto. Shotguns are much easier to get a certificate for but can only hold three rounds unless you can demonstrate a need for one that can hold more. Pistols are completely illegal.

    This allows those that have a legitimate need for pest control or sport to buy what the need to get the job done.

    If this guy had been using bolt action weapons he would not have been able to kill so many people.

    I agree that it is tricky as there are already so many guns out there but that doesn't seem like a good reason to do nothing. Its a bit like saying that we have released so much CO2 that we may as well continue. As gav said do people really think the founding fathers intend civilians to be able to amass weaponry capable of what happened this weekend? It seems unlikely to me.
     
  15. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    A start would be to have licensing involving mandatory safety training. You can have one, or more, but we (the rest of society) want to make sure you know what you are doing, and will be safe with it. We do it with cars, why not guns.

    And yes, the LV shooter knew exactly how to operate one safely. And the people who intentionally drive into crowds also know how to drive safely. In both cases, they chose not to do it.
     
  16. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    In a free society, "justifications" for the ownership of property are not necessary.

    Not "sole purpose".

    http://time.com/4390506/gun-control-ar-15-semiautomatic-rifles/

    The fact that they are not specialized for hunting is immaterial. There is something to be said for a rifle which is versatile enough to be used for hunting, target shooting, and defense---especially given the expenses of firearms. ( According to one study the sole reason given by 1/3 of Americans who do not own firearms for not doing so is not fear or dislike of them, but affordability. )

    And that might be possible is the Constitution was meant to capture a static moment in time. But the Constitution and its Amendments are not so written.

    I wonder whether you would also recommend that our "outdated" First Amendment only protect free speech delivered in person, or written down on paper with quill pens. ( Everyone please turn in your assault computers and cell phones. )

    It isn't about "need" any more than it is about "justification".

    No one "needs" fencing equipment. Therefore no one should be permitted to have it?

    And if you adjust your criteria to "no one needs things that can kill people", why then we should all be driving little smart cars and no one should be permitted to own an SUV or a sports car or a convertible. Workmen could own vans and pickups, but no one else.
     
  17. downunder

    downunder Podium

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  18. Alex_Paul

    Alex_Paul Podium

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    I understand this point but a line has already been drawn.

    You are presumably not allowed to own books on bomb making and enough materials to build a colossal IED?

    As I understand it without special permissions you are not allowed to own automatic weapons.

    Assuming that it is the case then it isn't really a "free society".

    There is a scale of acceptable potential lethality imposed by government.

    In the USA this would seem to be:

    IED - unacceptable
    Fully automatic weapon - unacceptable
    ______________________________
    Semi automatic weapon - acceptable
    Bolt action hunting rifle - acceptable
    Etc...

    I would argue that the current government imposed line of acceptable lethality could be in the wrong place.
     
  19. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Actually, we are.

    Certain explosives are restricted, some ingredients of explosive restricted or tracked in large amounts, some have identifying taggants in them, but they are available.

    Yes, but it's more a matter of cost than anything else.

    If one insists on absolutes there is no true anything. Your standard implies that there could not be government at all in a free society---that only anarchy qualifies. But of course in those circumstances probably there wouldn't be a society.

    As I said, neither is "unacceptable", merely not widely available.

    You know what they say about opinions. ;)

    At present the highest law of the land draws the line. Clamoring voices in the media and opinion polls are not going to redraw it.
     
  20. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    Regardless of specifics, there are in fact limits. Automatic weapons (post 1986 or whatever) are restricted. Nuclear weapons are not allowed. Possessing an explosive device capable of distributing biological agents over a large area would be sufficient to get you arrested. So somewhere, there's a line.

    And I think what Alex is arguing (feel free to correct me, Alex) is that yes, all member of a society give up some amount of freedom as part of joining/staying with that society. We agree (explicitly or otherwise) to not perform certain behaviors at risk of punishment. Whether that's theft, murder, jaywalking, driving without a seatbelt, whatever, again, there's a line. We can discuss where that line belongs, but it's there somewhere.

    For the record, I think the gun control line is wrong; I don't think ANYONE should be able to own a gun with less paperwork than it takes to drive a car (or vote, get a library card, etc.). And I don't find any need for automatic weapons in my life. And yes, I own two guns; I've fired guns, I've gone hunting, I've shot mistletoe out a tree. It's fine. I don't think those are things that necessarily need to go away. But if I have to do paperwork to sell a $500 car (or buy one), I should have to do paperwork to sell (or buy) a gun, as well. And yes, that's only my opinion.
     
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