Gun Control and Mass Murder

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Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#1  Postby UniversalAlien » December 14th, 2012, 7:21 pm

First the Second:

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


I could not watch the news this morning save for only one story: 27 people, 20 of which were children between 5-10 years old were gunned down by a lone gunman who also killed his mother who was teaching the children at the time. Gun control advocates can now celebrate {cynicism intentional}. Again they will start to call for more draconian anti-gun laws to protect the public - But will this really protect the public? Australia after a similar incident some years ago outlawed all guns. And then the crime rate went up so high they had to rescind the law. In the USA with many millions of guns already in the hands of the public a gun ban would cause, to use an old saying: "When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns".

So how can 'we the people' be protected from the lone mad gunman determined to kill? We can not be protected completely, both guns and for that matter life itself is dangerous. Recently a lone swordsman dispatched a bunch of people in Japan and don't forget terrorist bombers who kill many more with no guns at all. So what do we do? If we took the Second Amendment literally and allowed the the right of the people to bear arms, this mass murder scenario would end. If enough of the 'well armed militia' was in fact armed the public would no longer be subjected to mass murderers; they could be stopped before their carnage was complete. To quote a somewhat controversial politician of years past" "A well armed society is a polite society" -G. Gordon Liddy
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#2  Postby Scott » December 15th, 2012, 1:55 am

Intriguing post, UniversalAlien!

UniversalAlien wrote:If we [...] allowed the the right of the people to bear arms, this mass murder scenario would end. If enough of the 'well armed militia' was in fact armed the public would no longer be subjected to mass murderers; they could be stopped before their carnage was complete.

Is this your conclusion? I don't think it follows from the rest of your post. What evidence/argument do you have to support this claim?

Do you think the suicidal gunman who surprise attacked an elementary school would have killed nobody -- no kids -- before being gunned down in defense by some quick bystander? Surely you aren't suggesting the elementary school kids would have guns that they would use to save themselves, and yet most of the people in the school were kids -- unarmed in real life and in the hypothetical. It seems to me some nut with an urge to murder his mother, some children and himself will be able to do it whether the adults around town happen to have guns on them or not.

Sure, it goes both ways, though. Eliminating guns wouldn't eliminate murder. Someone could poison to death the whole class with antifreeze in the juice at lunch.

I don't see much of a logical relation between gun control and one instance of a nut wanting to kill his mother and some kids. What amount if any of gun control is preferred surely isn't going to be decided simply by whether or not it will prevent a certain specific type of school shooting but rather by a more holistic measure of its overall effect on violence and safety in society. Somewhere in-between the ludicrous extremes of extreme weapon control and a complete individual right to unregulated armament is perhaps the perfect equilibrium or something at least close enough to be agreeable among the reasonable people, but within that vast gray area I'm sure there is a lot of complicated debate to be had that I bet will need to call a lot on scientific evidence and statistical analysis.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#3  Postby Naughtorious » December 15th, 2012, 3:38 am

For once. I agree with UA. Check up on the facts behind Swiss culture. You will see it gave home to a gun capital that has many guns and very little activity in crime. However. I will place something on the table for healthy controversy:

Is it the guns themselves? Or is it the control of the guns that assures safety?

Is it the culture in the people of Switzerland that pays great heed to firearms and the responsibilities behind it? Or is it the people, the strict gun laws and the ownership of the guns that gives us these statistics on comparing Switzerland to other countries with less guns and higher crime rates?

Is other countries more incompetent than Switzerland? Many subjects in other countries are neglected for superfluous reasons whereas Switzerland teaches gun control right in their schools because they have the balls to get past their irrational fears and misplaced morals.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#4  Postby Supine » December 15th, 2012, 4:49 am

U.A. I'm pro-gun ownership but not for any of the reasons many gun advocate provide.

#1. Rifles and pistols are obsolete - or by that I mean no longer sufficient - to successfully combat modern nation-states military forces like the United States. War now is extremely technological and battle in or from the air is becoming ever more crucial. This gap is so wide now that developing nations can not successfully war with developed nations. Even local governments have helicopters and light armored vehicles (police forces). The combination of local, state, and and federal forces can and will smash any rebellion within the United States. The L.A. rioters gave L.A. police hell but when the Marines came in they knew any war was futile.

#2. The rare anomaly of mass murders in foreign nations - sword, knife, or firearm - is not statistically equivalent or analogous to the problems and prevalence of mass murders in the United States. A single nation on the globe holds a virtual monopoly on all mass shootings on earth: The United States of America.

The weaponry in fact does matter. The police and U.S. military does not go into battle simply with swords. They bring assault rifles for a reason. Squads carry at least one medium sized machine gun (with a high rate of fire) for a reason.

And plenty of people in U.S. inner cities have fire arms. That does not reduce the homicide rates or more importantly the number of people shot but that live. In Milwaukee alone on average 600 people are shot each year (out of 365 days within a year). That's just one city. American cities are so violent that the trauma surgery in U.S. hospitals post-Vietnam war surpassed military battle trauma care, in which case our civilian hospitals have taught out military medics how to better treat bullet injuries. For all of U.S. history the reverse was true in direction of education for trauma care. It is estimated that if our trauma care had not improved so greatly over the last several decades, that the U.S. would have 30,000 to 50,000 more homicides a year. And I'm a testament to the quality of trauma care in the U.S. - I was shot 3 times with .40 caliber rounds. One in the chest, one in the abdomen, and one in the arm. I lost one or more organs and had two or three seriously damaged.

The physical recovery from bullet injuries - which becomes mental as well due to the pain - is excruciating. I feel very saddened for any small child that has to go through that. It is something in my mind no child ought have to endure.


Sources cited:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/29192834.html (article date: 2006)

***********

Having said all that, I think the root of the problem is less to do with firearms than with a severe cultural decay in the United States. That decay combined with fairly easy access to firearms makes for a volatile mixture I believe. Many people in the U.S. had firearms for decades and you did not have all these mass shootings (in frequency).

I personally want an assault rifle, sniper rifle, and multiple hand guns. I also want to get my concealed carry and carry one or more pistols on me in public. I'm not worried about the U.S. Government. My concern is the typical American.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#5  Postby Steve3007 » December 15th, 2012, 4:55 am

It seems to me that the American people will always want to protect their right to own guns, no matter what the cost. But I do think it should be clearly realized that, as a general rule, owning a gun makes you more likely to be shot. That is the cost of gun ownership. At a basic level, it does not protect you.

In a country with less of an historic gun culture, the UK, your likelihood of being shot dead, whether you're an inlaw or an outlaw, is a tiny fraction of what it is in the US. There are still occasional outrages and there are still outlaws with guns. But they don't seem to happen with the astonishingly frequent regularity that they do in the US, and the ownership and use of a gun by anybody, outlaw or inlaw, is the rare exception rather than the norm. This is why the British police themselves resist the call for them to be universally armed with guns. They recognize the fact that this will make them more likely to be shot dead, not less, because it will fuel an arms race.

Having said that, I don't think this fact can be simply transferred over to a different country with a different culture, like the US. I think, given the historic gun culture, the genie is already out of the bottle. The outlaws already have the guns, which adds more credence to the saying "if you outlaw the guns only the outlaws will have guns" than it would have in other countries.

---

From a UK perspective, whenever yet another of these tragic stories comes in from the US, most people shake their heads in a sort of "when will they ever learn?" disbelief. And seeing the kinds of weaponary that it's possible to walk into a store and arm yourself with in some states I can see why. From a British perspective, it seems utterly almost unbelievably bizzare that an average middle-aged suburban mother (for example) would own a gun for self protection.

But I also recognize the fact that it's not as simple as that. It's a different culture.

---

Supine: Your experiences are very interesting because they seem to me so alien, like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Supine:
I personally want an assault rifle, sniper rifle, and multiple hand guns. I also want to get my concealed carry and carry one or more pistols on me in public. I'm not worried about the U.S. Government. My concern is the typical American.


Are you acknowledging here that you are protecting yourself against other people who want similar things? Do you think the only answer is to keep ratcheting up the arms race until (reduction to absurdity) every citizen has the capability to instantly kill anybody who looks as though they might be about to attack them? (Best to kill them first before they have a chance?) Do you think it is not possible at all to gradually move things in the other direction?

Remember, you are still living in a rich society with plenty of food and shelter for most people. Imagine adding mass hunger and desperation to the situation. As you've rightly suggested, the original reason for gun ownership was a fierce sense of independence from central government and the right of individual citizens to protect themselves against tyrrany. But the reason in practice to exercise your right to own a gun is to protect yourself against others who are also exercising that right.
Last edited by Steve3007 on December 15th, 2012, 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#6  Postby UniversalAlien » December 15th, 2012, 5:21 am

Good responses. Now here is mine.

As stated Switzerland, a nation armed to the teeth, has very little crime of any sort including gun crime. England which has outlawed and/or restricted the ownership of most guns has a higher crime rate than the US. Australia which outlawed all private gun ownership experienced such a high rate of crime that they had to rescind the law and once again allow private gun ownership.

The US of today is so threatened by outlaws who own guns, especially in the inner cities and including gangs, who are not in the least bit interested in any laws, let alone gun laws, that to restrict gun ownership to the law abiding citizen would be an act of government supporting crime. Remember New York famous for the Sullivan Law controlling guns has always been home for the famous 5 Families of the Mafia who, if anything were helped along by having a dis-armed population to extort money from {Mafia members don't pay attention to gun laws}. And your street gangs and international gangs of today pay little attention to gun laws.

The sad truth is the world is still under the gun and unless you would suppose that all guns be outlawed, in which case only the outlaws will have guns, there is no safe solution. This was true in 1776 when the Constitution with the Second Amendment went into effect and is still true today. What the Constitution of the United States did do is assure that no citizen of the United States should be denied the right to protect themselves from the malicious intent of criminals.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#7  Postby Steve3007 » December 15th, 2012, 5:28 am

UniversalAlien:
England which has outlawed and/or restricted the ownership of most guns has a higher crime rate than the US.


Could you be more specific. Are you talking about all crimes? Do you think this has a bearing on gun ownership?

I agree with you that if you suddenly removed the guns only from the people who are willing to give them up (i.e. not the outlaws), you would create a massively unequal situation. You would destabilize the arms race. That is why, in a different context, I am not in favour of any kind of unilateral nuclear disarmament, but still recognize that it is not healthy for every country on Earth to have the ability to quickly, efficiently, impersonally wipe out every other country. So measured, careful, equal arms reduction negotiations are, on the whole, a good thing.

Arms races need to be de-escalated gradually. If I were a criminal living in a society where I know that every one of my potential victims, and the police, were armed to the teeth, would I opt to arm myself more or less? More of course. As I said before, maybe it's too late. Maybe the only option is to ratchet up the weaponary on both sides more and more and more. Is that how you want to live?

---

There's a table here showing, among other things, the rate of gun ownership and the rate of homicide in various countries:

guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/2 ... world-list

You can sort the table by clicking on the head of any column. It's interesting that the US stands out as being the number one country for gun ownership per head of population, but is by no means at the top of the list when it comes to gun homicides per head of population. And, although it is generally the case that more gun ownership means more gun homicide (as you'd expect) there are many interesting exceptions. Clearly, bald statistics are misleading. People own guns for different reasons. Note, though, that Switzerland, often held up as the exemplar or peaceful gun ownership, is by no means near the bottom of the list when it comes to gun homicide rates per head of population. France seems to be a more clear example of that. I guess that's because they all love so much to go out on the "chasse" in the woods, shooting wild boar. Maybe.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#8  Postby Maia » December 15th, 2012, 8:20 am

The UK has pretty strict gun control laws and I don't believe it has ever had a school shooting. Gun crime, and murder in general, are extremely low compared to the USA. I don't regard it as an affront to my "freedom" not to be able to carry or own a gun, I couldn't even use one anyway. Any society has rules, otherwise there would be complete anarchy. My freedom not to get gunned down in some random shooting is a far more valuable freedom to me than and fredom to own a gun would be.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#9  Postby Steve3007 » December 15th, 2012, 8:40 am

Dunblane
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#10  Postby Maia » December 15th, 2012, 8:46 am

Steve3007 wrote:Dunblane


Was that a school shooting?

I'm not saying things like that don't happen, just that they happen considerably less often. In the view of the gun lobby in the USA, having guns is good because it means that everyone can defend themselves against gun attacks. But that's just ridiculous. It would mean arming all those primary school kids.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#11  Postby Steve3007 » December 15th, 2012, 9:00 am

It was a primary school shooting. Terrible. But, yes, very rare. I basically agree with you.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#12  Postby Scott » December 15th, 2012, 11:18 am

Interesting points from all. One theme I see is the idea that -- in certain countries at least -- the outlaws own a lot of guns. This leaves open debate about which is worse: the outlaws themselves, the guns, the arms race between outlaws and inlaws, or the control of gunownership among inlaws leaving them arguably relatively defenseless against outlaws. However, I suspect much of these potential debates are red herrings in regards to the question of actual political solutions to safety and gun policies. Namely, it seems to me that if the problem is that outlaws have guns, then the agreeable focus of increased gun control and regulation would be to prevent outlaws from getting and having guns. That doesn't mean creating some simple ban on guns for all but improving the systems that prevent convicts, children and the mentally ill from buying, smuggling or stumbling upon guns which would mean increased regulation of people who are still allowed to have guns such as registering serial numbers, undergoing waiting periods and following safety precautions such as using a childproof gun safe and so forth. Perhaps we could increase the civil liability to a gunowner for crimes committed with that gunowner's guns by an outlaw, since the outlaw -- unless recently converted -- presumably can't legally own a gun but found it on the black-market -- especially if the gun-owner failed to report the stolen/missing gun quick enough. In any case, I would find it odd if even an otherwise law abiding citizen suddenly decided to murder someone could more quickly buy a gun and shoot the victim than get a driver's license and then buy, insure, and register a car to run the victim over. :?

Of course, the battle to get guns off the blackmarket probably has more to do with the immigration and border control issues than school shootings and general gun control. Indeed, as I said in my previous post, I struggle to see the connection between elementary school kids being murdered by one lone nuts surprise attack and gun control.

****

Supine, I am very sorry to hear that you were shot and had to go through that trauma. I'm glad that it seems you are relatively okay now.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#13  Postby Supine » December 16th, 2012, 8:24 pm

Steve, I want firearms because I think it would be better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. Maybe I'm just scary but I would prefer to shoot someone coming at me with a knife than wrestle with them.

As for where the line should be drawn for purchasing firearms and use of violence... I don't know. Certain thing like medium machine guns need to remain illegal.

But I always find it interesting - at first it shocked me - when British and Aussies online state my comments or experiences with firearms sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie. To me they are just normal. Not all but many Americans own hand guns and various forms of rifles. I used to own several pistols and a sawed-off shotgun. I used to drive with my 9mm Glock laying in my lap with round chambered. I used to carry concealed when it was illegal in Wisconsin as well. But that was many years ago when I owned firearms.

U.A., the nations you pick as examples only help confirm your views. However, there are other nations one could look at as well. It's kind of like when critics of socialism point to Cubans coming to the United States but ignore that Mexicans from capitalist Mexico are coming to the U.S. as well.

I don't really think life in the U.S. - related to this issue - can be reduced to or simplified to good guys vs bad guys. My view is everyone, or most nearly everyone, are rule breakers to some lesser or greater degree. Furthermore, I think cultural values partly dictate response, be that on Wall Street or some corner of Brooklyn. Responding with violence with firearms, and now mass shootings, might be memes of information now part of American culture.

Scott, thank you for your kind words. But don't feel bad for me. I was shot by a police officer acting in the line of duty. I suppose... I prefer he wouldn't have shot me but he's human and partly operated out of fear. Originally I was intoxicated and armed with a knife. I eventually disarmed myself before moving on the cop. I got 3 bullets for 2 misdemeanors. :lol:
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#14  Postby UniversalAlien » December 16th, 2012, 8:52 pm

Scott wrote:
Of course, the battle to get guns off the blackmarket probably has more to do with the immigration and border control issues than school shootings and general gun control. Indeed, as I said in my previous post, I struggle to see the connection between elementary school kids being murdered by one lone nuts surprise attack and gun control.

I agree with you. But one reason I bought this issue up at this time is anti-gun, gun control groups will jump on this particular school shooting in Connecticut and use it push their gun control agenda. The fact that this same person who just killed all those people could have done a lot worse without guns is not brought up - so I will bring it up. If this same enraged mad man had no guns available how hard would it have been to obtain two empty one gallon containers fill them with gasoline, burn his house down and then go over to the school, barge in to the class throw the gasoline in and ignite it - what would the carnage have been then? Same could be brought up for the nut who killed all those people in the Colorado movie theater not too long ago. How many more would have died had he used a simple gasoline bomb {Molotov Cocktail} - maybe many more.

Guns don't kill people - People kill people.
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post Number:#15  Postby Maia » December 16th, 2012, 8:58 pm

UniversalAlien wrote:(Nested quote removed.)

I agree with you. But one reason I bought this issue up at this time is anti-gun, gun control groups will jump on this particular school shooting in Connecticut and use it push their gun control agenda. The fact that this same person who just killed all those people could have done a lot worse without guns is not brought up - so I will bring it up. If this same enraged mad man had no guns available how hard would it have been to obtain two empty one gallon containers fill them with gasoline, burn his house down and then go over to the school, barge in to the class throw the gasoline in and ignite it - what would the carnage have been then? Same could be brought up for the nut who killed all those people in the Colorado movie theater not too long ago. How many more would have died had he used a simple gasoline bomb {Molotov Cocktail} - maybe many more.

Guns don't kill people - People kill people.


Or maybe, he just wouldn't have done it at all.

As for the gun control groups jumping on this, you're implying they are using it in a cynical way, but in fact this is the very thing they are trying to stop. It's hardly surprising they are going to mention it.

People with guns kill people far easier than if they didn't have them.
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