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 Post subject: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:51 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Thoughts on this? I'm surprised its not being dicussed here honestly!

http://mic.com/articles/131809/a-tearfu ... .WmESr6Rfi

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:06 am 
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not something I would recommend
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I suspect it's not being discussed because unless hal or CG suddenly show up, there will be pretty much no disagreement on this board about the move. But I guess I could be wrong.
(I personally have no strong opinion on the general subject one way or the other.)

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:55 am 
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Unfortunately, these actions will have little or no effect in practical terms (with legal challenges they may never even go into effect during Obama's presidency. But I think the actions and the speech do have the effect of keeping the issue on the front burner, and there are strong signals that Obama plans to continue to push on this issue even after he leaves office.

I was interested to see a parade of conservative commentators suggest that his emotional reaction was not authentic (even Meghan McCain, whose father, John, Obama cited in his speech for his support of reasonable controls, made this comment). I thought it was quite genuine.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:41 am 
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There could be an interesting discussion even here around, not "Should we or shouldn't we?" but "How can we?"

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:16 pm 
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Maybe calling it Gun Safety would be a good start. That line of thought could be very productive.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:52 pm 
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I have no objection to more extensive background checks.
I can pass any background check, I imagine.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:32 am 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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I have been breaking ranks here at home on this issue for quite a long time, actually. I totally support closing the gun show loophole and fixing the issues between the mental health system, law enforcement, and guns. I think that Freddy might even be in support of these measures by now, and I recently heard him say that he might not renew his membership in the NRA. That's pretty significant.

Laws already exist that attempt to remedy some of these issues, but they need to be strengthened. So I didn't listen to Obama's speech, but, from what I've read, I can say that I support these measures.

Nicholas Kristoff has been discussing this issue, and I think his suggestions are right on. They are commonsense and can be a middle way between the extremes that exist on gun control.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/31/opini ... pan-region

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:07 pm 
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That is pretty significant. Really, I think that people like Freddy, who are responsible citizens who believe strongly in gun rights, are the key. If the NRA's influence over such people is weakened, I think there is a chance that significant progress can be made.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:45 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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So do I. We can hope!

I mean, I honestly don't want the government telling me I can't have a gun either. I enjoy shooting when I get the chance. But I don't mind if they tell me, "Hey, you can't own a military caliber gun or a machine gun" or something like that. However, when you add mental illness into the equation, then I definitely think a person shouldn't have access to guns. I don't mind reasonable expectations of safety either and regulations that might help with those things. (Like I said, Kristoff's approach to this really resonated with me. We have safety regulations on all kinds of other things; it is only common sense to have regulations on deadly weapons.) The NRA has been so dead set against any kind of regulation I think their position is now untenable. I can remember saying that to Freddy a very long time ago [that the NRA needed to be more reasonable], and it was always the position that, "If we give an inch, they'll take a mile." So it's a position based in fear.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:37 pm 
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While I say that "I personally have no strong opinion on the general subject one way or the other", I will say - IMO the 2nd amendment is silly and obsolete and should be repealed.

If I'm not mistaken, when that was written, firearms still had to be loaded and shot one shot at a time. They were over a century away from the existence of machine guns and farther still for something like a sniper rifle; never mind the tanks and missiles and, for goodness sake's, nukes that I've seen some say are covered by the 2nd amendment. IMO, the vast advances in technology have made the founding father's opinions totally irrelevant.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:58 am 
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The thing that I find interesting about the Second Amendment is that it was written on the assumption that America would not have a standing army. “A well-regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state…”. Why is a well-regulated militia necessary for the security of a free state? Because if a free state had a standing army, it would cease to be free, as standing armies were viewed as instruments of oppression by eighteenth-century liberals. Compare the Second Amendment with its predecessor from the 1689 English Bill of Rights:

Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom […] By raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law; By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law [Parliament therefore declares] That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law; That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.

I’ve always wondered why some radical libertarian or anarchist type hasn’t tried to use the Second Amendment to argue that the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are unconstitutional. Of course, they have legislative approval to exist in peacetime, but it is difficult to interpret the Second Amendment in a situation where a well-regulated militia is no longer necessary for national security.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:31 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
I’ve always wondered why some radical libertarian or anarchist type hasn’t tried to use the Second Amendment to argue that the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are unconstitutional.


The US doesn't have traditional radical anarchists (at least, not more than a few). What we have instead is an ideology that is, despite the seeming contradiction, simultaneously anti-government and pro-military.

I think it's been so long since it was a problem here, people forget what tends to happen when the military is stronger than the civilian government.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:32 pm 
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I came across this today, and I thought it was worth posting here. It is an editorial written by the darling of the GOP, Ronald Reagan, in support of the Brady Bill (which, I note, the darling of the left, Bernie Sanders, voted against):

Quote:
LOS ANGELES— "Anniversary" is a word we usually associate with happy events that we like to remember: birthdays, weddings, the first job. March 30, however, marks an anniversary I would just as soon forget, but cannot.

It was on that day 10 years ago that a deranged young man standing among reporters and photographers shot a policeman, a Secret Service agent, my press secretary and me on a Washington sidewalk.

I was lucky. The bullet that hit me bounced off a rib and lodged in my lung, an inch from my heart. It was a very close call. Twice they could not find my pulse. But the bullet's missing my heart, the skill of the doctors and nurses at George Washington University Hospital and the steadfast support of my wife, Nancy, saved my life.

Jim Brady, my press secretary, who was standing next to me, wasn't as lucky. A bullet entered the left side of his forehead, near his eye, and passed through the right side of his brain before it exited. The skills of the George Washington University medical team, plus his amazing determination and the grit and spirit of his wife, Sarah, pulled Jim through. His recovery has been remarkable, but he still lives with physical pain every day and must spend much of his time in a wheelchair.

Thomas Delahanty, a Washington police officer, took a bullet in his neck. It ricocheted off his spinal cord. Nerve damage to his left arm forced his retirement in November 1981.

Tim McCarthy, a Secret Service agent, was shot in the chest and suffered a lacerated liver. He recovered and returned to duty.

Still, four lives were changed forever, and all by a Saturday-night special -- a cheaply made .22 caliber pistol -- purchased in a Dallas pawnshop by a young man with a history of mental disturbance.

This nightmare might never have happened if legislation that is before Congress now -- the Brady bill -- had been law back in 1981.

Named for Jim Brady, this legislation would establish a national seven-day waiting period before a handgun purchaser could take delivery. It would allow local law enforcement officials to do background checks for criminal records or known histories of mental disturbances. Those with such records would be prohibited from buying the handguns.

While there has been a Federal law on the books for more than 20 years that prohibits the sale of firearms to felons, fugitives, drug addicts and the mentally ill, it has no enforcement mechanism and basically works on the honor system, with the purchaser filling out a statement that the gun dealer sticks in a drawer.

The Brady bill would require the handgun dealer to provide a copy of the prospective purchaser's sworn statement to local law enforcement authorities so that background checks could be made. Based upon the evidence in states that already have handgun purchase waiting periods, this bill -- on a nationwide scale -- can't help but stop thousands of illegal handgun purchases.

And, since many handguns are acquired in the heat of passion (to settle a quarrel, for example) or at times of depression brought on by potential suicide, the Brady bill would provide a cooling-off period that would certainly have the effect of reducing the number of handgun deaths.

Critics claim that "waiting period" legislation in the states that have it doesn't work, that criminals just go to nearby states that lack such laws to buy their weapons. True enough, and all the more reason to have a Federal law that fills the gaps. While the Brady bill would not apply to states that already have waiting periods of at least seven days or that already require background checks, it would automatically cover the states that don't. The effect would be a uniform standard across the country.

Even with the current gaps among states, those that have waiting periods report some success. California, which has a 15-day waiting period that I supported and signed into law while Governor, stopped nearly 1,800 prohibited handgun sales in 1989. New Jersey has had a permit-to-purchase system for more than two decades. During that time, according to the state police, more than 10,000 convicted felons have been caught trying to buy handguns.

Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics. This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns.

This level of violence must be stopped. Sarah and Jim Brady are working hard to do that, and I say more power to them. If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land.

And there would be a lot fewer families facing anniversaries such as the Bradys, Delahantys, McCarthys and Reagans face every March 30.


http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/29/opini ... -bill.html

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:07 pm 
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If the massacre of six-year-olds at Newtown couldn't produce action, I am inclined to think that nothing will, until and unless Congress changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:51 pm 
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Túrin Turambar, thanks for pointing those things out. People seem to forget that 'the right to bear arms shall not be infringed' is predicated on the need for a well-regulated militia. Take away the need for a well-regulated militia -- which we have done by creating police forces and a standing army -- and the second part of that sentence has no relevancy. The citizenry at large is no longer tasked with keeping domestic order or repelling foreign attack, and therefore, the right articulated in the second amendment no longer pertains. However, the ignorance and misinformation about the second amendment is so deeply entrenched and fervently promulgated, I have absolutely no hope that this country will ever adopt a sane gun policy.

edit: used wrong screen name

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Last edited by Cerin on Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:38 pm 
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While I understand and to a large extent share your pessimism (addressing with Cerin and Prim), my response is two-fold. First, nothing will change if no one tries to change it, and so we have to keep trying no matter how unlikely it seems at this time. Unless and until the passion and effort of the so-called gun rights lobby is matched, nothing of significance will change. Second, though it looks fairly hopeless right now, things tend to go through cycles and eventually things will change. I truly do believe that.

The second amendment is certainly an example of such ambiguous drafting that it is subject to different interpretations. For decades, no court interpreted it as a guarantee of private gun ownership, but that changes swiftly, culminating in the SCOTUS decision in the Heller case. But even now there is no questions that local, state and federal governments and the right and responsibility to regulate that right in reasonable ways, the limits of that ability continue to be fluid.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:42 am 
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I had many debates with Nel on this topic, but I’ve always argued that putting a bill of rights in your constitution is a bad idea for this reason, among others. It is difficult to have two or three hundred years of foresight when writing these things, let alone a thousand (what problems will America face in 2776, if it still exists?).

My other big criticism, and one that I am surprised that more American conservatives and libertarians don’t agree with me on, is that it hands too much power to the unelected judiciary over the two elected branches of government. The Second Amendment means just what the Supreme Court in Heller says it means, and no-one can change that - ditto for every other controversial decision regarding the Bill of Rights.


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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:37 am 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
It is difficult to have two or three hundred years of foresight when writing these things...


You don't need centuries of foresight - we can amend the constitution.

Túrin Turambar wrote:
... and no-one can change that ....


Except that.....we can amend the constitution.


Sorry, but for some reason people often talk about the constitution like if we can't change it. I don't understand why that is but it's pretty annoying....

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:07 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
If the massacre of six-year-olds at Newtown couldn't produce action, I am inclined to think that nothing will, until and unless Congress changes.


If a Newtown happened every month for two years it would not get the NRA to relax its chokehold on Congress. The result would be no significant change in gun laws.

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 Post subject: Re: Gun Control Debate
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:10 pm 
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I was contemplating all the ways in which I still am not quite assimilated, despite spending all of my adult life in the US. It occurred to me than one of those ways was attitude towards guns.

My impression is that the law-abiding public in the US is basically divided into those for whom guns are part of their life and culture, and those who have no reason to touch a gun in their entire life. In contrast In Soviet Russia most males got drafted into the army shortly after they hit 18. In preparation, every high school had a rifle range. Boys had a pre-military course where they practiced a few times a month, girls only got to shoot a few times a year, and everyone was taught to field strip an AKM. There were little ranges all over the city where you could shoot a pellet out of an air gun and hit targets to make them move. We used to duck into those while we waited for a bus. It was a culture where guns were universally familiar yet gun ownership very low.

I don't actually have a point. :oops: Unless it is maybe that discussing issues of gun ownership with people who've never shot a weapon adds another layer of complication to an already complicated situation.

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