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I loved this blog post by Alan Berks on Minnesota Playlist. The topic of the blog was the MN Fringe Festival. This is just one excerpt.

I understand why horrifying stories get lots of publicity. I'm not suggesting we ignore ugly truths. But dwelling solely on them, to the exclusion of the goodness and joy and creation in the world gives you an unbalanced sense of reality (and blood pressure problems, I'd imagine).

I'll let Alan say it:

http://minnesotaplaylist.com/magazine/article/2009/07/30/my-first-fringified-moment
Quote:

Why are people trying to destroy something always more newsworthy than people trying to build something?

Even with the Fringe going on, you can’t avoid the news that there are angry mobs around the country disrupting town hall meetings with elected representatives who are trying to talk to their constituents about health care reform. There has been a little violence (so far only a little, thankfully), and a few arrests, and a lot of just ugliness. If you’ve looked at the news at all in the last week, you see this everywhere.

Meanwhile in something like 22 different places across the metro area, at the same time, 20-200 people a shot are sitting together and sharing stories and theater and dance and artistry with other people. Some of what they’re watching and reacting to may be considered offensive by some people, some of it is obnoxious, some of it is bad – and some of it is transformative, and you can feel the sense of elevation in the audience as you sit with them. (I just saw Scream Blue Murmur's The Morning After the Summer of Love. I'm bleeding the idealism right now, I suspect.)

And this isn’t particular to the Fringe, after all. This happens in theaters across the state and the country every weekend. Only its even more people, 50-1000 people for each show then. This happens in movie theaters too, and in music clubs, and even in people’s living rooms when they gather together to hang out.

These mobbed town hall meetings usually involve 70 to maybe 300 people total, from what I can tell from the news reports. They’re not a bigger cross-section of society than the fringe festival or the theater or music communities. Actually, they’re a lot smaller if you do some simple aggregating. They’re just louder, and uglier, and they want to break things. . . Why is this more newsworthy? I don’t mean to say that the media should report more “good” news instead of “bad” news. They should report what’s news, I think. I’m just asking, why is it more newsworthy always, it seems, to report on what gets destroyed instead of what’s getting built?

My wife, Leah Cooper, has spent the last month out in Eureka, CA with the Cornerstone Theatre at their “Cornerstone Institute.” Cornerstone Theatre builds plays collaboratively with communities under stress, places that have perhaps been forgotten by the rest of the country, places in need of attention. They cast community members from business owners to army vets to the disabled to teenagers to whoever they can get involved, and they bring professional artists in to work them on creating a production that both tells a good, entertaining story and represents the stories of the community.

They just opened their show in Eureka on Thursday, and when I talked to her on the phone, she couldn’t stop talking about – she didn’t even have time to tell me all about – the ways in which this type of theater has literally transformed the town, the community’s attitude toward their town, as well as the individual lives of some of the participants. She says she didn’t know she could cry from joy so much. When you see her, ask her about the homeless kid who suddenly knew he had to call his family finally, or the. . . There are too many stories to tell.

Again, I ask, why are people trying to destroy something more newsworthy than all the people – the larger number of people – who work in groups with others to build things?

. . . Give me a blog, and I’m afraid that I reveal that underneath, I’m just a ridiculous and naïve idealist at heart. You kind of have to be to still be doing theater, don’t you?


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Post Sheesh 


Why is this more newsworthy?

Why are efforts to thwart national healthcare more newsworthy than a bunch of performing fringe artists? How stupid would you have to be for the answer to not be obvious?

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Good news doesn't get the ratings. "Flesh eating bacteria infest some Minnesota lakes. We'll tell you which lakes...after this commercial break." Syndicated news for the lose.

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Post Re: Sheesh 


OdinofAzgard wrote:
Why is this more newsworthy?

Why are efforts to thwart national healthcare more newsworthy than a bunch of performing fringe artists? How stupid would you have to be for the answer to not be obvious?


It's one example, Odin. Obviously anything having to do with the national health care debate is going to be more newsworthy right now, and rightfully so. But his overall point is an interesting one. It would be very easy to get a very distorted view of the ratio of bad things happening in the world to the good things, by reading a newspaper or watching TV. Even by visiting this site. I just wish a fraction of the energy that goes into convincing people the world is populated by evil criminal masterminds hellbent on destruction and we should all be very, very afraid went in to illuminating the daily, beautiful work of creation, celebration, community, and progress. Who knows, might make you a bit more cheerful. Wink

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Post I'm almost always cheerful, sweetie 


Perhaps his overall point is a useful one, but he makes it stupidly, particularly when he cites numbers. I see good news every day. (And too much fluff.) Most people are probably bright enough to know "if it bleeds it leads" news isn't an accurate depiction of reality even without your blogger opening a vein to tell them so.

Wonder what scintillating insight he'll share with us next.

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Post Re: I'm almost always cheerful, sweetie 


OdinofAzgard wrote:
Most people are probably bright enough to know "if it bleeds it leads" news isn't an accurate depiction of reality even without your blogger opening a vein to tell them so.


The fact that the gun control movement in this country is as rabidly strong as it is without much actual intelligence backing it means that on the whole, people are dumb enough to believe whatever is fed to them. Show people a demon, then show them a group of people who are trying to smite the demon. A person is smart. People are dumb, irrational animals.

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You think the gun control movement is "rabidly strong"? Seems to me the NRA gets just about everything it wants. Didn't the ban on assault rifles just end? And didn't the USSC declare the DC ban on handguns unconstitutional? Isn't the national trend toward allowing law-abiding citizens to legally carry handguns?

What's the evidence of a rabidly strong gun control movement? Do you think the right to bear arms should include machine guns? Bazookas? H-bombs?

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The trend in this country is pointing towards people understanding their 2nd amendment rights, yes. But that doesn't say anything about the movement for gun control. In fact it says more about the uncontrolled jihad pro-gun control movements have declared on guns. More and more we're finding that people in the general public aren't afraid to discuss gun ownership with people who own guns. Case in point, I just had a discussion yesterday with a nurse at a hospital about guns. She didn't own any, but was curious about people who owned more than "just" hunting rifles.

The point is that the people of this nation are becoming more educated about firearms and less afraid of them. Yet the gun control movement has not calmed down in the slightest. This tells me that they are driven by something other than the will of the people. Pro-gun groups are driven by the desire to retain our rights. What drives pro-gun control groups?

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praecorloth wrote:
What drives pro-gun control groups?


Being sick of watching the death-by-gunshot rate soar far above that for any other country in the world. Being sick of watching our citizens die violent deaths. Columbine. The L.A. Fitness psycho. The Virginia Tech psycho. I could go on.

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dorajar wrote:
praecorloth wrote:
What drives pro-gun control groups?


Being sick of watching the death-by-gunshot rate soar far above that for any other country in the world. Being sick of watching our citizens die violent deaths. Columbine. The L.A. Fitness psycho. The Virginia Tech psycho. I could go on.


You could, but so far you're not doing very well. Death-by-gunshot is a tragedy if we're talking about an innocent victim being killed. Death-by-gunshot is just-as-well when we're talking gang violence.

Then there's also the fact that our country compared to other countries is hardly a fair comparison given that we have nearly half the population that all of the countries in Europe combined have.

And finally of the three examples you listed, we know for a fact that in two of them, the offenders broke through (or wandered through) current gun control law. How will more laws stop them in the future?


But all that aside, stop and think. These people are saying, "I'm willing to throw other peoples' rights away for my cause." In what world is something like that said by people you want to be associated with?

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http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

Actually our homicide rate ranks a measly 24th among industrialized countries, but why let mere facts stand in the way of progressive political dogma?

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OdinofAzgard wrote:
You think the gun control movement is "rabidly strong"? Seems to me the NRA gets just about everything it wants. Didn't the ban on assault rifles just end? And didn't the USSC declare the DC ban on handguns unconstitutional? Isn't the national trend toward allowing law-abiding citizens to legally carry handguns?

What's the evidence of a rabidly strong gun control movement? Do you think the right to bear arms should include machine guns? Bazookas? H-bombs?


Absolutely machine guns. And perhaps arguably, Bazookas. Probably not H-bombs.

The 2nd ammendment is not about hunting or shooting trap. It's about people having military style small arms.

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Actually our homicide rate ranks a measly 24th among industrialized countries, but why let mere facts stand in the way of progressive political dogma?

Actually the rankings you linked to were for 1998-2000, so "ranks" is a misnomer. And "homicide rate" doesn't necessarily correspond to gun violence rates. If the homicide rates for 1994 were compared, Rwanda would probably be high on the list, many of those homicides committed with machetes.

I'll ask again. What's the evidence of this supposed "rabidly strong" gun control movement? Given its support for ownership of assault rifles and the not-coincidental lapsing of the assault weapons ban, the NRA and gun ownership movement could probably be more accurately characterized as rabidly strong.

The point is that the people of this nation are becoming more educated about firearms and less afraid of them.

And your evidence for this is . . .?

Yet the gun control movement has not calmed down in the slightest.

And your evidence for this is . . .?

The social contract supports limitations or denials of rights when there are compelling reasons for limiting/denying. The compelling reasons for limiting or denying individuals ownership of machine guns and bazookas and (H-bombs) are obvious. What's the argument for society allowing ownership that you think trumps those compelling reasons? Why do your reason(s) for supporting ownership of the first two not also apply to nukes?

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The 2nd ammendment is not about hunting or shooting trap. It's about people having military style small arms.

That may be your interpretation, but it isn't necessarily the correct one. Obviously, military-style small arms when the 2nd Amendment was passed were one hell of a lot less capable of rapid fire killing than military small arms are today. Interpreting the right to bear arms as including technological advancements without due consideration of how the increased lethality affects society is irresponsible and too simplistic.

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[quote="praecorloth"][quote="dorajar"]
praecorloth wrote:
How will more laws stop them in the future?



I don't think they will. Because gun manufacturers are so evil and so greedy, they will keep pumping the things out into the hands of whoever is there to buy them. At this point it's like the war on drugs. Futile. As long as there's money to be made from creating and selling instruments of death, it'll keep happening.

So much for my good news thread.

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OdinofAzgard wrote:
The 2nd ammendment is not about hunting or shooting trap. It's about people having military style small arms.

That may be your interpretation, but it isn't necessarily the correct one. Obviously, military-style small arms when the 2nd Amendment was passed were one hell of a lot less capable of rapid fire killing than military small arms are today. Interpreting the right to bear arms as including technological advancements without due consideration of how the increased lethality affects society is irresponsible and too simplistic.


I don't want to hijack this string for a gun control discussion, but two points need to be made.

First, it's fairly clear that the real purpose of the Second Amendment was to permit the civilian population to retain arms so that if a despotic government established itself, it would not have a monopoly on weapons and there would be some possibility of the oppressed population resisting it. It's a worst case scenario, to be sure, but there are many examples throughout modern history of societies that were essentially disarmed and utterly dominated by a militaristic government which they had no means whatsoever to resist or overthrow.

Secondly, let's abandon once and for all the "technology advancements make 2nd Amendment rights apples-oranges to the 1700's".

Semiautomatic and automatic cartridge feeding technology has been in widespread use since the 19th Century. Virtually all such weapons today operate on basically the same principles with minor technological improvements. 40 odd years ago, you could buy a military assault rifle by mail from a magazine ad with no background check or verification of age or identity. Thousands of military veterans returned home from WWII, Korea and Vietnam with such weapons they took as trophies of war. Large scale attacks with such weapons were virtually unheard of, despite their widespread availability. If you're looking to blame gun violence on increased availability, you're simply not making a fact based argument. Our national epidemic of violence is based on human attitudes and behavior, not the instruments they use to express them. Like it or not, those are the facts.

You can ban guns fairly easily in the legislative process (albiet while facing constitutional objections).

I defy you to eliminate sociopathic personalities by making possession of one illegal.

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[quote="thrice"]
OdinofAzgard wrote:


I defy you to eliminate sociopathic personalities by making possession of one illegal.


You don't eliminate the personality; you eliminate their ability to express it by mowing down handfuls of people in one fell swoop.

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[quote="dorajar"]
thrice wrote:
OdinofAzgard wrote:


I defy you to eliminate sociopathic personalities by making possession of one illegal.


You don't eliminate the personality; you eliminate their ability to express it by mowing down handfuls of people in one fell swoop.



you don't even do that.

you just make the weapon illegal, which is fairly easily purchased or manufactured regardless of its legal status.

gun control works as well as drug laws. plenty of drugs are imported, regardless of the fact they're not legal. plenty of felons have and use weapons in crimes.

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[quote="citizenx"]
dorajar wrote:
thrice wrote:
OdinofAzgard wrote:


I defy you to eliminate sociopathic personalities by making possession of one illegal.


You don't eliminate the personality; you eliminate their ability to express it by mowing down handfuls of people in one fell swoop.



you don't even do that.

you just make the weapon illegal, which is fairly easily purchased or manufactured regardless of its legal status.

gun control works as well as drug laws. plenty of drugs are imported, regardless of the fact they're not legal. plenty of felons have and use weapons in crimes.


Which is pretty much exactly what I said in my last post before the one quoted here.

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Post Now And Then 


Minneapolis had 99 homicides in 1995.

As of 8/13/09, the city has 9.

Any evidence that some new gun control law caused that?

Short answer:no.

Not suggesting that there's some magic formula. Just suggesting that focusing on mechanism of injury as a causal factor is self deluding. Why not take off the blinders and do what legal gun owners have been begging the justice system to do for years: yes, indeedy, enforce gun control laws. Drop the freakin house on convicted felons who carry a gun. Hell, yes. Wanna get serious? Yes, get serious.

My proposal remains on the table. 20 years without parole for any felon in possession of a firearm. Any advocate of gun control who doesn't support this is simply cloaking a desire to disarm everyone, including the 99% of legal gun owners who have never harmed anyone, in a cloud of hot air.

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thrice wrote:
Any advocate of gun control who doesn't support this is simply cloaking a desire to disarm everyone, including the 99% of legal gun owners who have never harmed anyone, in a cloud of hot air.


This is a great op-ed from yesterday's Times, on several people who have brought their guns along to angry health care protests. Some of them possessed them legally. Does that make it any more logical to allow loaded guns to be brought to political gatherings where passions run high? This country is gun-crazy, and people get hurt all the time, whether we're talking about felons or not. If you want 26 guns at home, I think you're bonkers, but whatever. But please don't bring them to a political event, and drop them on the floor by accident, creating the possibility of someone being shot in the head because you're paranoid and ridiculous and don't know how to express an opinion without backing it up with the threat of shooting people.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/opinion/13collins.html?_r=1&em

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Point well taken.

Now what do you think about 20 years without parole for a felon in possession of a gun? I can't imagine any discussion of gun control that doesn't take aim (no pun intended) at that segment of the population that has the highest likelihood of using a firearm to harm or kill another human being.

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20 years for a felon with a gun? count me out on that one. who's going to cover the $600,000 or more this ends up costing?

now felon using a gun in a new crime, that's a different story. but just "with a gun" doesn't work for me.

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thrice wrote:
Point well taken.

Now what do you think about 20 years without parole for a felon in possession of a gun? I can't imagine any discussion of gun control that doesn't take aim (no pun intended) at that segment of the population that has the highest likelihood of using a firearm to harm or kill another human being.


Sure, fine. But again that feels like treating a symptom. If people are growing up in and returning to a culture that celebrates and treasures firearms, it seems like sending a prostitute back to her pimp and then giving her 20 years for contracting syphilis. I think we need to change the culture--change whatever it is in the American psyche that idolizes guns so much. Obviously, yes, do what you need to do to keep the most dangerous people away from guns first. But new felons are created every day, and I wish they didn't have guns either (before they became felons).

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I can't say that I'm surprised. The short version of your response suggests that you view the felons who are carrying guns and killing people as actual victims, and that the real bad guys are the guns themselves and the 99% of law abiding gun owners who legally own and use them.
Not to mention, of course, the tyrannical American society and economy that systematically denies people education and jobs and forces them to become criminals, right?

It boggles the mind. Are you really so steeped in the class warfare and social victims theory, Dora, that you would see violent felons as unwitting victims, and the larger culture as the real villains? That really isn't much of a leap from saying that people with money are the real villains when they are robbed and burglarized, because if they didn't selfishly accumulate assets, they wouldn't tempt poor victimized underclass members to prey upon them. That truly is the grass roots equivalent of Marxist violent revolution. No other way to paint it.

Would it at least ease the pain a little to know that if we locked up convicted felons with guns for a long time, at least 50% of them would be white male oppressors?

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thrice wrote:
I can't say that I'm surprised. The short version of your response suggests that you view the felons who are carrying guns and killing people as actual victims, and that the real bad guys are the guns themselves and the 99% of law abiding gun owners who legally own and use them.


This is such a simplistic way to paint my viewpoint. Sorry, it doesn't fit that neatly into conservative ideology. I never said the felons are victims. I'm saying something is wrong in a society and culture that creates felons at the rate that ours does. There is a balance between personal responsibility and an obligation to look at the overall systemic, cultural situation in which individuals develop. You seem to want it to be all just personal responsibility, and paint me as wanting it to be all systemic. My actual beliefs are that there is an interplay between both and just addressing (or punishing) one or the other isn't going to get us anywhere.

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dorajar wrote:
Sure, fine. But again that feels like treating a symptom. If people are growing up in and returning to a culture that celebrates and treasures firearms, it seems like sending a prostitute back to her pimp and then giving her 20 years for contracting syphilis. I think we need to change the culture--change whatever it is in the American psyche that idolizes guns so much. Obviously, yes, do what you need to do to keep the most dangerous people away from guns first. But new felons are created every day, and I wish they didn't have guns either (before they became felons).


Couple things here.

First off I want to say that I will be getting back to the rest of the straw man arguments that have been posted in my time away from the thread. I didn't mean to post-and-run. But I want to reply to this post first because it's actually well reasoned.

Second, more to do with the above quote. I agree that adding time on to a criminal's sentence seems like treating a symptom. I also think it's something that needs to happen. But look at gun control under the light of it treating a symptom. As far as I know, all gun control groups believe in "preventative rather than punitive measures." Basically saying make guns more taboo before doing anything harsh to criminals who actually use guns to do the horrible things we all hate. I really don't understand this way of thinking. We don't want people to do bad things with guns, but when they do, we're not going to punish them.

Now think about children here. What's the easiest way to get children obsessively interested in something? Tell them it's bad for them and they can't have it. I firmly believe that making guns more taboo creates an air of awe and irresponsibility, in children and adults. Remember a while back an 8 year old kid blew his head off with a fully automatic UZI sub machine gun at a gun show? Happened under parental supervision. In a state that has some of the most restrictive gun control around. I'd be willing to bet the dad, who was watching the kid at the gun show, was just excited to be doing something he wasn't supposed to be under normal circumstances.

I would say that instead of looking at why Americans idolize guns so much, I would rather understand why Americans tend to resort to violence as quickly as they do. I'm not sure if we resort to violence faster than people from other nations, but it just seems to me like we do. I would want to address that first. Because it's true, with a gun we can mow down people pretty quickly. But if we magically destroyed all guns from within our borders, it wouldn't stop someone from stabbing people, or strangling them, or running them over with cars or whatever else you can (or can't) think of.

And last but not least, I actually don't think it's a bad idea to restrict people from bringing guns to political gatherings. But don't worry about people dropping their guns and the guns firing. Any gun made in the last few decades is drop-safe.

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I totally agree that there needs to be a balance between striving for equal opportunity to achieve and thrive, and dealing with antisocial behavior to try to keep general society safe.

I focus on this particular issue and approach for a very simple reason.

You want to use the criminal law system to deal with the issue of firearms violence. It's a very different mechanism than you would use to approach social/economic justice issues. My proposal is right in line with that, in using severe criminal sanctions to deal with illegal firearm possession. The relief of those issues that might drive someone to crime are handled in a different venue.

Yet you are clearly reluctant to put most of the emphasis on those who are very clearly the perpetrators of the vast majorityof firearms violence in our society, namely convicted felons. Instead you focus on sanctions and regulation for all of society in order to limit access for a very small fraction of it. Not terribly different from Minnesota's approach to fireworks, which bans even small firecrackers for all because some goofballs think it's cool to get drunk and light them up in their mouths.

Your personal revulsion for firearms is perfectly fine. Lots of people feel that way, and that's dandy. But I think we need to put the class victim routine away long enough to acknowledge that violent felons(not necessarily car thieves, streetcorner crackheads, and other relatively undangerous people) are the most prolific and deadly predators in our society. And to recognize that the only reasonthey are not in prison for their crimes is that society decided to give them a second chance to straighten out their lives. When they blow that, by knowingly and deliberately putting a gun in their pockets and stepping outdoors, they are telling you and me clearly that they have no intention of doing so, and continue to represent an ongoing threat to everyone around them. Compare the impact of dealing with that guy, as opposed to the impact of making some mechanic in Grand Marais fill out another form and wait another day for his gun that will never harm anyone. It's a no brainer once you take the socioeconomic politics out of it.

I'd go out on a limb and say that if you could magically and surgically remove every felon with a firearm from the US, our national homicide rate would drop 75%. It would also be accomplished without impacting one single legal firearm owner. Would that be acceptable?



Last edited by thrice on Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:11 pm; edited 4 times in total
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"And last but not least, I actually don't think it's a bad idea to restrict people from bringing guns to political gatherings."

No disagreement there, and I fully support the right of any private property owner or administrators of public properties to ban firearms on the facilities they own or manage. No problem at all. Stores, bars, public buildings and courthouses do it all the time, and it's a very prudent policy. No different from bans on gum chewing, cell phones, or going shirtless. My house, my rules.

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not for nothing, but was this a problem that needed solving? I haven't seen the reports of shootings at political events. Not mostly anyway, except for the few cases of assasinations and that's a whole different issue.

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X, I gotta say it.

I've been a big cheerleader for the preservation of the rights of legal gun owners, and I'll continue to be all the rest of my life.

I've had a permit to carry a pistol since I was 18, and intend to keep it until they plant me.

Having said that...

On the occasions that I do happen to carry a handgun, and could find myself in a position where it was legitimately needed to defend myself and/or halt a violent crime, the last thing in the world I would want would be for the criminal to know that I had it on me. The objective of a gunfight is to win it, and you win it by getting the drop on your adversary. Stealth, guile and dirty tricks are not only permissible, but deserve major style points.

In my experience, people who make a big show of letting everyone know that they're packing a gun are insecure, knuckle dragging fools who are trying to show everyone what tough guys they are and intimidate anyone who might doubt that. They're highly unlikely to harm anyone, but they're annoying nonetheless, have zero credibility regarding crime or safety issues, and reflect badly on the mature and responsible gun owning public. I deeply suspect that if you scratched their surface and called their bluff, you'd find a cowardly Barney Fife cowering underneath.

Just my two cents worth, but needs to be said.

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The best way to win a gun fight is to avoid one in the first place.

I haven't bothered to get a permit. First of all, I detest the fact that we're required to obtain permission for our 2nd ammendment rights. Do you go out and apply for a permit to speak?

I live in a very good neighborhood and don't spend much time in the bad parts of St. Paul and Minneapolis. I have enough trouble organizing my cell phone, wallet and car keys. I'd hate to add a pistol to the mix.

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citizenx wrote:


I haven't bothered to get a permit. First of all, I detest the fact that we're required to obtain permission for our 2nd ammendment rights. Do you go out and apply for a permit to speak?



No, because speaking hasn't been known to kill innocent people over and over and over.

Are you kidding?

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no I am not kidding. I'm not sure about the correct phrasing of the quote below - the number could be less than 25 at this point.

"25 States allow anyone to buy a gun, strap it on, and walk down the street with no permit of any kind: some say it's crazy. However, 4 out of 5 US murders are committed in the other half of the country: so who is crazy?"

the bill of rights is not a menu of services you can purchase or apply for. they're called RIGHTS for a reason.

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citizenx wrote:


the bill of rights is not a menu of services you can purchase or apply for. they're called RIGHTS for a reason.


What about my right to not be gunned down by a proven homicidal maniac with prior convictions?

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That could probably be prevented by the timely and appropriate application of "hemp therapy".

See "Saddam Hussein".

Cool

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Indeed. Take care of the trash, don't punish regular citizens.

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"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."


First, it's fairly clear that the real purpose of the Second Amendment was to permit the civilian population to retain arms so that if a despotic government established itself, it would not have a monopoly on weapons and there would be some possibility of the oppressed population resisting it. It's a worst case scenario, to be sure, but there are many examples throughout modern history of societies that were essentially disarmed and utterly dominated by a militaristic government which they had no means whatsoever to resist or overthrow.

Given the first clause, I don't see that your interpretation is "fairly clear." It's been awhile since I studied the late eighteenth century, but IIRC the founders didn't think having a peace-time militia was a good idea, although obviously they would've wanted civilians to be familiar with firearms if the security of the nation was threatened, not necessarily from within but certainly from external threats.

As for the "worst case scenario," there's probably a lot of Southerners who believe the Civil War was an oppressed populace taking up arms against a despotic government. Kinda hard to argue that the U.S. was better off for its government not having a monopoly on violence and having to fight that war, but feel free to give it a shot.

Secondly, let's abandon once and for all the "technology advancements make 2nd Amendment rights apples-oranges to the 1700's".

Let's not.

Semiautomatic and automatic cartridge feeding technology has been in widespread use since the 19th Century.

And that's relevant to an amendment ratified in the 18th Century . . . how exactly?

Virtually all such weapons today operate on basically the same principles with minor technological improvements.

Again, so what? What does that have to do with an amendment passed when people were armed with single-shot muskets and a nutjob with a gun could perhaps take out one or two people before being disarmed?

40 odd years ago, you could buy a military assault rifle by mail from a magazine ad with no background check or verification of age or identity. Thousands of military veterans returned home from WWII, Korea and Vietnam with such weapons they took as trophies of war. Large scale attacks with such weapons were virtually unheard of, despite their widespread availability.

Unheard of because they didn't occur or unheard of because they weren't widely reported? The SLA and Black Panthers were well-armed, as were the MOVE criminals the cops burned out.

If you're looking to blame gun violence on increased availability, you're simply not making a fact based argument. Our national epidemic of violence is based on human attitudes and behavior, not the instruments they use to express them. Like it or not, those are the facts.

Actually, our current problems with gun violence can be credibly attributed to several factors - increased availability, the glorification of violence, copycat behavior, the increase in numbers of a
criminal underclass, including gun-toting gangbangers and (as I've already said) the increase in the lethality of guns since the Second Amendment was passed.

The military is reportedly developing a laser rifle, which if true probably means sometime in the not too distant future death ray guns will be developed. An individual armed with one could conceivably kill hundreds or thousands of innocent people. What degree of lethality of gun does it take for society to have sufficient compelling reason to deny the right of individuals to own it?

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dorajar wrote:
citizenx wrote:


the bill of rights is not a menu of services you can purchase or apply for. they're called RIGHTS for a reason.


What about my right to not be gunned down by a proven homicidal maniac with prior convictions?


It's a right you should cherish. It's a right that, I for one, don't have a problem with. Which is why generally people don't have a problem with the NICS check.


And Odin, what do any of your arguments have to say when you take in to account that no piece of gun control legislation makes exception for muzzle loaders?

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Not sure what you mean by "legislation," but there are a lot of gun control laws that don't pertain to muzzle loaders, shotguns, etc.

The recently lapsed ban on assault rifles, the limitations on machine gun ownership, the prohibitions on turning semi-automatics into automatics, etc.

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praecorloth wrote:
. Which is why generally people don't have a problem with the NICS check.




Except Citizen X, apparently.

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dorajar wrote:
praecorloth wrote:
. Which is why generally people don't have a problem with the NICS check.




Except Citizen X, apparently.



You're right.

Background checks fail. Anyone who wants a gun - especially criminals - will get one.

Punish the users of guns, when they're being used in a crime.

Background checks and registration schemes just give the government a list of gun owning households, which will be used for various purposes up to and potentially including confiscation.

The gun and access to it do not cause the crime. It's the criminal. He'll use a knife if he has to.

US Citizens need legal and unrestricted access to firearms to protect themselves and their property, and for all the other reasons we have a 2nd ammendment in the first place.

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citizenx wrote:
dorajar wrote:
praecorloth wrote:
. Which is why generally people don't have a problem with the NICS check.




Except Citizen X, apparently.



You're right.

Background checks fail. Anyone who wants a gun - especially criminals - will get one.

Punish the users of guns, when they're being used in a crime.

Background checks and registration schemes just give the government a list of gun owning households, which will be used for various purposes up to and potentially including confiscation.

The gun and access to it do not cause the crime. It's the criminal. He'll use a knife if he has to.

US Citizens need legal and unrestricted access to firearms to protect themselves and their property, and for all the other reasons we have a 2nd ammendment in the first place.


So prevention is useless? Genius.

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OdinofAzgard wrote:
Not sure what you mean by "legislation," but there are a lot of gun control laws that don't pertain to muzzle loaders, shotguns, etc.

The recently lapsed ban on assault rifles, the limitations on machine gun ownership, the prohibitions on turning semi-automatics into automatics, etc.


Well that ban covered some very specific guns. What I'm talking about are more general laws. Put it this way, if my right to keep and bear arms is restricted to muzzle loaders, why is it that I will get arrested for carrying a flint lock pistol down the streets of New York just the same as if I were carrying a Glock?

dorajar wrote:
So prevention is useless? Genius.


I'm right there with you. The NICS check is probably one of the least obtrusive and probably most effective piece of gun control conceived. Not only that, but it specifically avoids the government list of gun owners that X is talking about. True when we have abusive government agencies like the ATF, the government can have a list on pretty short notice. But the fact of the matter is that it was gun control that was built with the privacy and protection of law abiding gun owners in mind. This kind of behavior needs to be encouraged.

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