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I read the news today (oh boy) - Current world events
21 January 2020
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Starr Shine?
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Honestly if we are talking about sport and protection. Getting a gun should be a hard as getting a car. We force all car owners to learn driving safety yet we don't do the same for guns which are just as deadly.

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21 January 2020
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Starr Shine? said
Honestly if we are talking about sport and protection. Getting a gun should be a hard as getting a car. We force all car owners to learn driving safety yet we don't do the same for guns which are just as deadly.

  

Agreed. I do believe that citizens have a right to carry a gun for self-defense (as much as they have the right to drive), though the means by which they go about getting one and learning how to use one should be regulated so as to help further prevent unnecessary gun violence. There should be a minimum age requirement  (which will actually be somewhat helpful, unlike the bloody nicotine minimum age...stupid government regulating when I can start buying Juul pods.....a-hard-days-night-ringo-12) to prevent teens from using guns irresponsibly, as well as background checks (a touchy subject because people want privacy and blah blah blah other bullshit even though they already surrender all their data over to corporations and the government when they use Google, Facebook/Instagram, TikTok, etc...), and substantial training/safety instruction (much like Drivers Ed but, y'know, for little handguns that can kill someone in seconds.....which a car can also do but you get my point). A person's permit to carry a gun should also be able to be revoked due to "bad behavior" (also similar to driving, as you can get your license revoked due to "bad behavior") 

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22 January 2020
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Apologies for the delay in replying, fighting a cold and feeling lousy.

@Beatlebug said
1) If by "gun lobby" you mean "organizations of concerned citizens..." I mean, yes, that is technically a gun lobby, but you make it sound like it's the evil NRA overlords.

While I accept that there are many "concerned citizens" who are members of the NRA, it is more the political wing of the gun industry. I'm sorry but I think NRA money is far too influential in the American political system.

2) These gun laws do not address the real problems faced by many communities, such as rampant poverty and crime; instead, they seem like a band-aid solution at best, or a power grab at worst. They won't do half as much to prevent criminals from committing crimes as they will to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to arm themselves against criminals, wild animals (much of Virginia is quite rural), or even a hypothetical tyrannical government.

The citizens of Virginia voted for Democrat majorities in the State House of Delegates and Senate, a Democrat party that stood on a manifesto promise to tighten the State's gun control laws. Shouldn't the citizens of Virginia be able to decide which party offers them the reforms on gun ownership they want? The majority of those at the protests were shipped in from across the country and not resident Virginians.

3) Oh no! Those silly gun-toting conservatards won't be able to buy more than 12 guns a year! How tragic. Yes, but what if they need to buy a couple of guns in a short period of time? What if they just want to? Maybe it's Christmas shopping*. At any rate, it's not the government's place to tell them they can't without any reason. It's not like that limit is going to stop one ill-doer from getting one gun and shooting people with it. One gun, or one knife, or even a heavy lead pipe, is all it takes for someone with homicidal intent. Sure, a gun makes it easier to kill more people with less effort, but you can do that with a revolver.

I'll never understand why some individuals feel owning an armoury makes them any safer than owning just two or three guns.

4) I'd like to see where you got this mass shooting/gunshot wound data. The definition of "mass shooting" is incredibly nebulous, and far too many gunshot wounds are self-inflicted.

They were quoted during a BBC News report on the Virginia protests so unsure where they got their figures. Those figures do seem in line with what is reported on the Gun Violence Archive, now up to 2235 gun deaths while remaining at 14 mass shootings.

gun-deaths-January-1-21-USA.jpgImage Enlarger

It gives a full breakdown of the numbers, including the amount of suicides. 1386.

And if you're putting a gun to your head, you've got other issues than just the gun.

But isn't that kind of the point many here make when it comes to gun control laws, that they're about keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them, for the protection of society and/or the individual in question? The amount of suicides by gun are just an example of how many people suffering from mental illnesses have access to firearms, which I'd suggest isn't something to be reassured by.

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22 January 2020
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If guns weren’t so dangerous I’d be all for gun rights, but I happen to prize the individual schoolchild’s constitutional right to life over the right to shoot tin cans in your backyard or whatever non-harmful things people do with guns.

Also, I have a mention but i can’t find the post for some reason...

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23 January 2020
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@Ron Nasty said
Apologies for the delay in replying, fighting a cold and feeling lousy.

Not at all, I hope you feel better!

While I accept that there are many "concerned citizens" who are members of the NRA, it is more the political wing of the gun industry. I'm sorry but I think NRA money is far too influential in the American political system.

That is as it may be, and I've heard gun owners who would in fact agree with you – I haven't yet done a lot of research on the NRA specifically myself so I'm not going to speak on them. However – we were not discussing the NRA, we are discussing the Virginia protests, and the Virginia protests were primarily organized by the Virginia Civil Defense League, which in fact hosts a lobby day on MLK Jr day every year. Other groups/organizations/persons in attendance included various militia groups, the Black Panthers, plus lots and lots of other random people.) The NRA actually distanced itself from the Virginia protests.

The citizens of Virginia voted for Democrat majorities in the State House of Delegates and Senate, a Democrat party that stood on a manifesto promise to tighten the State's gun control laws. Shouldn't the citizens of Virginia be able to decide which party offers them the reforms on gun ownership they want? The majority of those at the protests were shipped in from across the country and not resident Virginians.

1) Indeed they did, and indeed they should. This is a prime example of two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner, because a majority of counties in Virginia have declared themselves to be 2nd amendment sanctuaries so they clearly don't support this legistaltion, but unfortunately for them, they are less populous than the few counties which happen to contain major cities.

2) The way you say 'shipped in' makes it sound like it was some kind of organized conspiracy to bolster attendance numbers, and that it wasn't grassroots or local. I hardly think that's the case. Sure, many people did come from out of state, but they came of their own free will. I can't get any specific data on how many attendees were Virginians and how many were from out-of-state, so if you'd like to provide a source for your data, I'd appreciate it. (Not being snarky. I'm genuinely curious.)

3) Speaking of the NRA of having their sticky money-grubbing fingers too deep in American politic, and out-of-state interests being interested in Virginia, it looks like according to the Washington Post, Democrats in the state received considerable funding from national (not state) gun-control groups, including 2.5 million from a New York-based organization (I looked it up) called Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, whereas the NRA gave a measly-by-comparison $200,000 to Republicans. Looks like both sides have their sticky money-grubbing hands in VA politics, and one seems to have been a lot louder (in the loudest-speaking language of all) than the other. Funny, that.

I'll never understand why some individuals feel owning an armoury makes them any safer than owning just two or three guns.

It might have something to do with the fact that many citizens of a country that literally fought tooth and nail to gain their independence feel a certain kind of way about overbearing government, and think of their 'armoury'* as a balance or safeguard against the day that ever became necessary again. Call them crazy if you like, I'm sure most of them believe in free speech. mccartney-shrug_01_gif

They were quoted during a BBC News report on the Virginia protests so unsure where they got their figures. Those figures do seem in line with what is reported on the Gun Violence Archive, now up to 2235 gun deaths while remaining at 14 mass shootings.

It gives a full breakdown of the numbers, including the amount of suicides. 1386.

Excellent, thank you. john-lennon-salute_gif

But isn't that kind of the point many here make when it comes to gun control laws, that they're about keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them, for the protection of society and/or the individual in question? The amount of suicides by gun are just an example of how many people suffering from mental illnesses have access to firearms, which I'd suggest isn't something to be reassured by.  

No, it's not reassuring at all. In fact, what I mean to suggest is that it's a far bigger problem than access to firearms.

I hear that Virginia has passed red-flag laws. I don't think it's constitutional or ethical to confiscate the firearms, and therefore infringe upon the rights of those, who have been accused of some kind of propensity or instability or potential for action – and let me explain why. The keyword here is potential for action – no action has been taken to warrant the removal of the firearms. It is essentially an erosion of innocence until proven guilty.

People who are ill enough to want to off themselves are going to off themselves, regardless of whether they can easily access firearms or not. It just so happens that guns are a particularly efficient way to do it. Yes, the efficiency of shooting oneself does make it less likely that the person could be rescued from a suicide attempt than from other means, but what we as a country and a society need to be doing is addressing the problems that lead up to someone making such a terrible drastic and final decision. Gun control in America is simply a band-aid solution, which, like a band-aid left on too long, will likely cause more problems than it will solve.

*Especially with that Olde Countrye Spellinge, I'm just picturing a patriotic American gun-owner who also keeps, like, medieval battle-axes and beautifully-wrought swords and ancient breastplates in his Virginia rec room next to his gun rack. I think that would be really epic. A bit of elegance to balance out the more utilitarian firearms. a-hard-days-night-john-6

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23 January 2020
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dammit my @tt to @Ron Nasty didn't go through, my keyboard's been a bit sticky today paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

@50yearslate said
If guns weren’t so dangerous I’d be all for gun rights, but I happen to prize the individual schoolchild’s constitutional right to life over the right to shoot tin cans in your backyard or whatever non-harmful things people do with guns.

Oh, is that so? Are you pro-life now? Because I happen to prize the individual child's constitutional right to life over the right of its mother to prioritize her career or bodily convenience over the consequences of her sexual habits, but that's another subject altogether, which I seem to recall we've already delved into a-hard-days-night-john-6

Joking aside, addressing your argument in good faith, you don't realize how many individuals' constitutional right to life are actually protected by guns. Self-defense isn't just some fairy tale that macho rednecks use as an excuse to collect dangerous toys to play with in their backyards – it's a legitimate motivating concern for many people, especially those of the smaller, weaker sex. Guns are the great equalizer between man and woman, tall and short, black and white, those with great physical prowess and klutzy string-beans. You may not even need to pull the trigger – just the threat of its existence in your hands alone is enough to be a deterrent, just like those 'This house is protected by someone-or-other's Home Security Alarm System" signs people put in their front lawns to ward off burglars. Guns aren't just dangerous but usually harmless toys ("shooty sticks" as I heard someone say), they often prevent harm. Sometimes, when you're under threat of imminent bodily harm, the only thing you can do is harm the other before they harm you and maybe your entire family, perhaps including a couple of schoolchildren you might have peacefully sleeping upstairs. Guns are used for this purpose far, far more than they are used to directly threaten the lives of those schoolchildren as they attend school. I can't remember where I saw the statistic, but I've cited it before, that the majority of gun deaths in the United States are caused by people defending themselves and their property.

The point I'm trying to make here, mostly, is that it's complicated. I highly recommend this presentation (although he mis-states "assault weapons," which aren't legally a thing, as "assault rifles," which are).

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24 January 2020
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I strongly agree with @Beatlebug on the principle of self defence and the right to own a gun here, but I'm stuck since I don't know what solution could be offered to America's gun violence epidemic without at least significant regulation mccartney-shrug_01_gif

I don't, however, agree on the abortion thing. It's a whole other debate, and we don't have to get into it if y'all wanna focus on the gun issue, but surely the libertarian action isn't to allow the state to force women to continue their pregnancies against their will?

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24 January 2020
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Beatlebug said
dammit my @tt to @Ron Nasty didn't go through, my keyboard's been a bit sticky today paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

@50yearslate said

If guns weren’t so dangerous I’d be all for gun rights, but I happen to prize the individual schoolchild’s constitutional right to life over the right to shoot tin cans in your backyard or whatever non-harmful things people do with guns.

Oh, is that so? Are you pro-life now? Because I happen to prize the individual child's constitutional right to life over the right of its mother to prioritize her career or bodily convenience over the consequences of her sexual habits, but that's another subject altogether, which I seem to recall we've already delved into a-hard-days-night-john-6

No, I’m not, and yes, we have. Although to be totally clear, I don’t personally know how I feel about abortions, but just because I haven’t made my mind up doesn’t mean I should attempt to deny others the right to choose.

Joking aside, addressing your argument in good faith, you don't realize how many individuals' constitutional right to life are actually protected by guns. Self-defense isn't just some fairy tale that macho rednecks use as an excuse to collect dangerous toys to play with in their backyards – it's a legitimate motivating concern for many people, especially those of the smaller, weaker sex.

The what? Excuse me?

Guns are the great equalizer between man and woman, tall and short, black and white, those with great physical prowess and klutzy string-beans. You may not even need to pull the trigger – just the threat of its existence in your hands alone is enough to be a deterrent, just like those 'This house is protected by someone-or-other's Home Security Alarm System" signs people put in their front lawns to ward off burglars. Guns aren't just dangerous but usually harmless toys ("shooty sticks" as I heard someone say), they often prevent harm. Sometimes, when you're under threat of imminent bodily harm, the only thing you can do is harm the other before they harm you and maybe your entire family, perhaps including a couple of schoolchildren you might have peacefully sleeping upstairs. Guns are used for this purpose far, far more than they are used to directly threaten the lives of those schoolchildren as they attend school. I can't remember where I saw the statistic, but I've cited it before, that the majority of gun deaths in the United States are caused by people defending themselves and their property.

But seriously, what is the chance that you’ll be able to get to your dresser drawer or your safe or your air-conditioned walk-in gun closet in time to actually harm an intruder? And if you keep the gun with you at all times, isn’t the probability of having an accident greater than the probability of actually having the chance to use it on a home intruder? By the way, I don’t know about this “LET’S SHOOT AND KILL ALL THE HOME INTRUDERS” thing. I understand if they’re trying to cause you bodily harm, but what if they’re there for another reason, like thievery? I wasn’t aware stealing warranted a death sentence, and even if it did, a judge and jury should decide that.

The point I'm trying to make here, mostly, is that it's complicated. I highly recommend this presentation (although he mis-states "assault weapons," which aren't legally a thing, as "assault rifles," which are).

  

I’ll look at it later but I’m running late again. 

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24 January 2020
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QuarryMan said

I don't, however, agree on the abortion thing. It's a whole other debate, and we don't have to get into it if y'all wanna focus on the gun issue, but surely the libertarian action isn't to allow the state to force women to continue their pregnancies against their will?  

I was being facetious on that point, and I didn't mean to drag abortion into this conversation as I believe we've had this discussion before, but I'll be happy to continue it in the Philosophy thread if you want.

@50yearslate women are smaller and weaker than men on average. Of course outliers do exist, but the majority of women will be at a disadvantage to the majority of men, particularly if it's a man with ill intentions, unless they're armed. It's not misogyny, it's biology. It doesn't mean women are less valuable intellectually or spiritually.

If you keep guns for self-defense, the onus is on you to store them responsibly while still keeping them accessible. Human ingenuity has found all sorts of ways to do this. And if you feel there's a credible threat to your safety, the safety of others, or your hard-earned property, why shouldn't you try to stop this threat from being carried out? I can't say I have had much experience with home invasions, but I seriously doubt that in the heat of the moment you'd be stopping to very politely ask the burglars whether they're there to infringe on your property rights or to threaten your life, and plan your actions accordingly. Chances are, they wouldn't be above doing both, if called for. This would be one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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To add to Beatlebug's point, right now in the USA federal ICE agents are breaking into people's homes, arresting them and deporting them. The whole purpose of the second amendment was originally to give the people means to resist tyrannical government, and I don't think that threat has gone away since the 1770s. 

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While I have my well voiced disagreements over aspects of current US immigration laws, @QuarryMan, are you seriously suggesting that those accused of being in the country illegally should open fire on immigration officers, and that that's a good reason for the second amendment?

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25 January 2020
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Obviously that's the last thing I would want to happen, but if it comes to it, then yes, I believe that the resistance of authoritarian governments through force can sometimes be the moral thing to do, and that the option should be there. 

Law enforcement officers aren't correct simply by virtue of being law enforcement officers; if a law is unjust then I believe it's morally justified to resist it, and I don't think it's a stretch at all to say that policies which are tearing apart families and committing horrendous human rights violations are unjust. 

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25 January 2020
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The situation you're talking about is different because the ICE agents are targeting criminals. I'm not saying their methods are ideal, that's a whole other conversation, but (in most cases) when you break the law, you're infringing on the rights of others and therefore you forfeit some of your own rights. People who come into the country illegally have broken our laws and are infringing on our country's sovereignty. A country is just like a house: you can invite people into your home, but if you didn't invite them in and they come in anyway, then they're entering illegally and you have the right to take action against them. I'm not saying shoot them all in this case since they're not posing an imminent threat*, but you certainly have the right to kick them out.

*speaking about those whose only crime has been to cross the border illegally. If they cross the border illegally and then commit other crimes, especially violent crimes, then that's more analogous to a burglar. Though I'm not saying we should just shoot them all either, since we're more civilized than that, unless of course it is a situation of direct threat/self-defense.

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But the problem is that most illegal immigrants are just Mexicans looking for a better life, raiding their homes and deporting them at gunpoint for hopping a fence is ridiculous. However, while it's technically legal to shoot an ICE officer in self defense, the decision should not be taken lightly as it'll be very difficult to prove in court because in the very biased eyes of the law, he's the cop just doing his job and you're the criminal who resisted arrest by opening fire on this poor cop.

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FFS! Lunacy! In what way, @Dark Overlord, is it "technically legal" for somebody suspected of breaking the law to shoot law enforcement officers with a warrant?

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26 January 2020
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Yeah, I'm not sure it's technically legal, DO. Still, I think the common conflation of what is right and what is legal is extremely dangerous. 

Now, obviously it's important to have the rule of law so that society isn't complete chaos, but personally I think we've seen far too many examples of tyrannical governments abusing their citizens not to think people have the right to empower themselves against authoritarianism.

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https://www.law.cornell.edu/us.....ext/8/1357

Good point but ICE doesn't need a warrant as long as they don't enter your house so you can be walking to Walmart when all of a sudden, an ICE officer pulls out his gun and insists that you will be shot if you make another move because you're a Mexican near the border. But if you have tremors, he's going to kill you if you don't make a run for it and shoot him first.

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BIG NEWS:

After 4 years, Brexit is finally over. In February, the UK will officially leave the EU.

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28 January 2020
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Whoa! That is big news. How many years has it been now?

edit: Definitely not 4... paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif I’m smart

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It's about fecking time.

I don't care if you support Brexit or not. The results of a democratic vote must be implemented, and they dragged it out far too long.

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