Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

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Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Equality: I want citizens to have the same access to guns as cops under the same general conditions for each (e.g. similar safety training, background checks, minimum age requirements, etc.)
1
17%
Cops Armed; Citizens Disarmed: I want cops and government agents to have access to more powerful guns than similarly trained and similarly qualified citizens.
4
67%
Cops Disarmed; Citizens Armed: I want trained citizens to have have access to more powerful guns than similarly trained cops.
1
17%
 
Total votes: 6

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Scott
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Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Scott »

Recently, Daunte Wright was added to a list of names that include, among many others, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Ronell Foster, Walter Scott, Willie McCoy, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

One police officer named Ryan McMahon shot and killed two of the people on the above list, about one year apart. McMahon wasn't criminally charged with either killing, but after the second killing he was fired for "engaging in unsafe conduct and neglect for basic firearm safety" (source).

Even an unarmed pacifist can be shot to death by police, especially considered the majority of inmates in the United States are only charged with nonviolent crimes, such as marijuana possession, consensual adult prostitution, or pacifistic tax protesting.

Dr. Martin Luther King was arrested 29 times. Dr. King was a repeat criminal. One could even argue that Dr. Martin Luther King was a career criminal.

Arnold Abbott was repeatedly arrested for illegally feeding the homeless. Had Arnold Abbott not been elderly and white, or had he been more willing and able to run away when the police came to nab him for illegally feeding the homeless, perhaps he would have been shot during his arrest.

Of course, one does not need to even commit a crime to to be stopped by police and potentially shot to death. For instance, merely the alleged smell of marijuana is enough of a legal basis to forceably detain a suspect with probable cause, an altercation can quickly turn deadly for even an unarmed innocent suspect.

I absolutely don't mean to pick on police. If I have a problem with police at all, it is simply that they are human. If I even have a problem, my problem isn't with police but rather with humans. For more on the that, you can read my topic Man is Not Fit to Govern Man, or my first reply in the topic Covid and Flu highlight the difficulty of placing an economic value on human lives. The tl;dr is this: Humans are irrational. Humans also all tend to display varying degrees of selfishness and addiction. I believe no human is perfectly unselfish, and I believe every human is on the addiction spectrum. Money and power are especially enticing addictions. Some would say money and power corrupt, but I think that gives too much credit to the natural state of humans, in that a selfish power-hungry money-addicted human is not corrupted but totally normal and uncorrupted, and that's okay. As with anything, it is what it is. A government that violently robs the hard working taxpayers by the millions, billions, or trillions to sneak money into the hands of wealthy special interests is not corrupted; it is doing what governments always do, and always have done for thousands of years. It is what it is.

I have no strong opinions about gun control, for a few reasons, which include:

1. The word 'guns' is very vague. My opinion regarding someone with a functioning 18th century musket is very different than my opinion regarding someone having a rocket launcher with a mini-nuke capable of blowing up an entire football stadium. One benchmark I would recommend using to measure and contrast the danger of various kinds of guns or other weapons would be to statistically compare each to the danger of the average car, a process that could easily be delegated to private insurance companies that can nail it down so well that the color of a car might affect your liability insurance by a few dollars per month one way or the other. If I had to bet, I would bet pink guns would be statistically the safest color of guns. Humans are an interesting bunch, indeed.

2. I am much more interested in the fairness and equality of gun laws than what the laws happen to be in a given town, state, or country. For very cliché instance, when the Nazis gained power in Germany they systemically disarmed Jewish people and certain other "unreliable" groups (source) but actually loosened gun laws for Nazi party members and the military. That kind of inequality is what would concern me the most. In this way, we can look at guns like we might look at anything such as marijuana, alcohol, cyanide, automobiles, access to voting, college educations, or bank accounts. We can look at it like we might look at Wall Street getting away with market manipulation and short squeezes but retailer investors getting unequal treatment if they organize a short squeeze, which surely wouldn't be fair.

3. When it comes to my mostly impotent support or opposition to any given law, I am less interested in what the law is and more interested in whether it represents (1) localism and the freedom that is self-government or (2) big expensive national, federal, or global governments that extremely centralize power over unimaginably vast lands into the hands of very few privileged rich humans via large-scale non-defensive violence. Such centralization hinders the choice and beautiful diversity that otherwise naturally emerge. For instance, if some small town government or condo community governing board bans marijuana or alcohol, I really don't care, and I don't see it as a noteworthy infringement of anyone's political freedom. But if a few millionaires or billionaires at the UN suddenly ban alcohol or marijuana across the entire Earth at the behest of some rich lobbyists, that would be extremely disturbing to me, regardless of whether the globally banned thing is alcohol or marijuana or public nudity or any number of countless things that a small local group of people might understandably ban at a very local level. If someone hates motorcycles or small pistols or loud noises after 10pm, I am more than happy for them to have the option of moving to a town that bans those things. If someone loves motorcycles or pistols or loud noises at night, I am more than happy for them to have the option to move to a town or state that allows those things. I'd be disappointed to see either banned across the whole Earth. Self-government is the antitheses of big expensive non-defensively violent national or global governments.

With that said, I feel that whatever the gun laws happen to be at any given local, state, national, federal, or global level, I strongly prefer that those gun laws are applied equally to citizens as well as police and other government agents in that jurisdiction.

I share the view of the vast majority of the respondents to my recent totally unscientific Twitter poll about distrusting the government. Namely, I don't find humans trustworthy in general, but I have even less trust for big governments like the U.S. federal government. Humans have their problems individually, but mobs of humans are even worse.

The U.S. federal budget for the 2020 fiscal year was set at $4.79 trillion. Humans tend to be irrational and selfish even when those traits aren't being fertilized by $4.79 trillion dollars of taxpayer money taken from taxpayers at the threat of violence, but with that $4.79 trillion dollar fertilization I cannot even imagine the level of self-serving shady tyranny happening in the dealings between the various millionaires and billionaires in Washington, including not only the many millionaires in Congress but the paid lobbyists and corporate cronies. Humans are worse around money than cats around catnip.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Alias »

How does the equation become limited to police and citizenry? Where are the criminals? Significantly, the organized, mechanized, heavily armed drug-, gun-, organ- and migrant- runners.
How about setting up a cops vs criminals situation, where the law-abiding citizens are unarmed but respected and protected by the police?
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Scott »

Alias wrote: April 13th, 2021, 11:05 pm How does the equation become limited to police and citizenry? Where are the criminals?
You are welcome to start a new topic with your own different poll question.

Regarding the question asked in the poll for this topic, what is your answer?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Alias
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Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Alias »

My only possible answer is: NOTA
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LuckyR
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by LuckyR »

This question can be looked at many ways. It could be viewed as a "wish", that is to pretend that we have a magic wand that could get rid of currently owned guns without a fight. Or it could be looked at as a legislative plan with unknown ability to be implemented.

You bring up police murders of black men, great subject matter but arming citizens more (to match the guns of the police) contributes nothing to solve that problem.

Perhaps you are trying to ask, whom do you trust more with plain guns: citizens or the police? Another question might be whom do you trust with automatic weapons: citizens or the police?

For me personally, if the vast majority of guns could be removed from the citizenry magically, the citizenry would suffer fewer accidents, fatal suicides and murders. However, I also think there is no practical way of achieving that goal. As to regular guns, I am mistrustful of both citizens and the police. In the special case of assault type weapons, I trust the police much more than citizens, and statistics bears that out. None of the victims you named were killed by an assault type weapon carried by police, whereas numerous citizens and police have been shot by AR15 type weapons carried by citizens.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Sculptor1 »

I would vote for cops have less, AND the public having much less.
There seems to be no category in your poll for that.
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Scott »

Alias wrote: April 14th, 2021, 12:16 am My only possible answer is: NOTA
Your answer seems to me to violate mathematical law.

If A is the powerfulness of the guns/weaponry allowed to cops, and B is the powerfulness of the guns/weaponry allowed to equally trained and qualified citizens, then logically one of the following three things must be true:

A = B

A > B

A < B

Right?


***
LuckyR wrote: April 14th, 2021, 12:45 am Perhaps you are trying to ask, [1]whom do you trust more with plain guns: citizens or the police? Another question might be [2] whom do you trust with automatic weapons: citizens or the police?
Those two questions could probably be broken down into the simpler (albeit vaguer) question, [3] who do you trust more: citizens or the police?

However, none of those three questions are the question I'm trying to ask. The question I am asking is the one I asked, which is: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

If imagining you have a magic wand helps give meaning to the word "want" and the concept of desire for you, then please feel free to imagine such when answering the question.

Regarding the three other questions about trust, I asked a very similar question via this poll on Twitter.

Sculptor1 wrote: April 14th, 2021, 12:59 pm I would vote for cops have less, AND the public having much less.
There seems to be no category in your poll for that.
Assuming in your post above "less" means more than "much less", then you will want to choose the middle option in the poll, which says in part, "I want cops and government agents to have access to more powerful guns than similarly trained and similarly qualified citizens."
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Alias
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Alias »

Scott wrote: April 14th, 2021, 4:11 pm [A: My only possible answer is: NOTA]
Your answer seems to me to violate mathematical law.
I didn't realize that voting one's preference was subject to mathematical laws.
If A is the powerfulness of the guns/weaponry allowed to cops, and B is the powerfulness of the guns/weaponry allowed to equally trained and qualified citizens,
Hold it! Where in mathematics or law is it guaranteed that citizens with access to guns are qualified and trained as well as cops? And that's assuming the cops are adequately trained and psych-vetted in the first place.
then logically one of the following three things must be true:

A = B

A > B

A < B

Right?
If the equation had not been incomplete to begin with, right - but not binding. However, in the circumstance where at least one major element - organized crime - was left out , None of the Above seemed the only valid vote available.
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Scott »

Alias wrote: April 14th, 2021, 5:15 pm
Scott wrote: April 14th, 2021, 4:11 pmIf A is the powerfulness of the guns/weaponry allowed to cops, and B is the powerfulness of the guns/weaponry allowed to equally trained and qualified citizens, then logically one of the following three things must be true:

A = B

A > B

A < B

Right?
If the equation had not been incomplete to begin with, right - but not binding. However, in the circumstance where at least one major element - organized crime - was left out , None of the Above seemed the only valid vote available.
The claim that somehow not considering (C) 'organized crime' would change what I have written above about A and B seems to therefore commit a fallacy related to or similar to ignoring the law of the excluded middle.

In analogy, it would be like I asked if the number of birds is (1) greater than, (2) equal to, or (3) less than the number of giraffes, and then you claimed that the answer is none of those three--which is a logical impossibility--because I didn't ask about (C) bananas and thus allegedly my question is "incomplete" because it leaves out (C) bananas.

You may have many opinions about (C) bananas, and (C) bananas may be worthy of discussion, but C in no way limits the logical requirement that mathematically one of the following must be true:

A = B

A > B

A < B


The exhaustivity of the above three options is true regardless of what C is.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Alias
Posts: 3045
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Alias »

Scott wrote: April 14th, 2021, 6:06 pm The claim that somehow not considering (C) 'organized crime' would change what I have written above about A and B seems to therefore commit a fallacy related to or similar to ignoring the law of the excluded middle.
What you have written is complete and perfect as it stands.
I just can't vote on it.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Dogday33 »

Honestly neither. A highly militarized police force is not the solution and neither full access to guns for private citizens. I truly believe the issues that we are facing need solutions that we never had to explore previously in our history. There are gaps in our evolution and we are not facing the deadly reality.
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by LuckyR »

Scott wrote: April 14th, 2021, 4:11 pm
***
LuckyR wrote: April 14th, 2021, 12:45 am Perhaps you are trying to ask, [1]whom do you trust more with plain guns: citizens or the police? Another question might be [2] whom do you trust with automatic weapons: citizens or the police?
Those two questions could probably be broken down into the simpler (albeit vaguer) question, [3] who do you trust more: citizens or the police?

However, none of those three questions are the question I'm trying to ask. The question I am asking is the one I asked, which is: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

If imagining you have a magic wand helps give meaning to the word "want" and the concept of desire for you, then please feel free to imagine such when answering the question.

Regarding the three other questions about trust, I asked a very similar question via this poll on Twitter.
Well, you were the one who brought up the relative power of guns. Automatic vs semi-auto is a description of power, probably the most important one. Thus as I answered originally, I trust the police more than citizens with military style guns. My reasoning has already been stated.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by QuestionAll+Nothing »

I think the best way to answer this question is. Will you ever know who actually has or owns the more powerful and more accessible weapon and if so, who really will determined which one is more powerful or accessible. All guns can be manipulated by the citizens to become more powerful and accessible. Cops technically, have to use what is issued to them without being able to be modified or manipulating the weapon. So citizen already do have more powerful weapons and accessibility to weapons. So the concept of want can not be applied because cops technically have to follow policy and law. Citizens are more free to do what your asking by obeying the law and breaking the law option without policy governing entities.
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by LuckyR »

QuestionAll+Nothing wrote: April 14th, 2021, 8:57 pm I think the best way to answer this question is. Will you ever know who actually has or owns the more powerful and more accessible weapon and if so, who really will determined which one is more powerful or accessible. All guns can be manipulated by the citizens to become more powerful and accessible. Cops technically, have to use what is issued to them without being able to be modified or manipulating the weapon. So citizen already do have more powerful weapons and accessibility to weapons. So the concept of want can not be applied because cops technically have to follow policy and law. Citizens are more free to do what your asking by obeying the law and breaking the law option without policy governing entities.
You bring up a good point: does "citizen" mean criminal or law abiding citizen?
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Who do you want to have access to significantly more powerful guns and weaponry: cops or citizens?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Scott wrote: April 14th, 2021, 4:11 pm
Sculptor1 wrote: April 14th, 2021, 12:59 pm I would vote for cops have less, AND the public having much less.
There seems to be no category in your poll for that.
Assuming in your post above "less" means more than "much less", then you will want to choose the middle option in the poll, which says in part, "I want cops and government agents to have access to more powerful guns than similarly trained and similarly qualified citizens."
No this simply does not equate with my position in any sense, since this implies that police and citizens have some guns.
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