TED Conversations

Rob Freda

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Solving gun violence in the US in today's insane political climate requires a solution that makes it painless for everyone.

First that this idea even needs to be broached in the first place is ridiculous especially given the lack of clarity in the second amendment (eg it does not specify types of arms so that should be handled by laws not as a "do what you will free for all").

That said it seems there are some major elements that would be necessary to reduce gun deaths in the US and there are some obfuscating interests embodied in the NRA that must be sidestepped or accommodated in the solution.

Four main areas of focus jump out to reduce gun deaths:

1) "mass killings" (included in this would be the 2 or 3 person shootings as well as as Newtown or Aurora types)
2) Accidental shootings
3) Non-owner shootings (eg the shooter is not the owner of the gun)
4) "black market" trading

Added to these I would say the parameter that makes gun control legislation difficult is gun manufacturer revenue stream protection using the second amendment as a shill.

So what are the necessary parameters to make something happen vs. the absurdity of what is going to happen over the next few months in Washington:

1) Figure out a way that shifting policy creates more revenue for gun manufacturers so they get the NRA on board
2) Make sure that guns cannot be used in public places or by someone other than their owner

The Idea - Mandatory gun locks and universal kill switches.

On locks, all responsible gun owners have gun safes. Why not move the lock to the gun's trigger mechanism either with a combination code or biometric locks. That would prevent unauthorized use of the gun by anyone but the owner.

On kill switches, in the same locking mechanism put a chip and actuator that freezes the locking mechanism mentioned above when it receives a certain modulated radio signal.

If mandatory then all existing guns will have to be refitted with the new bolt mechanism creating revenue streams for the gun manufacturers and on all new guns they can charge more creating more revenue.

Thoughts?

+2
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Jan 17 2013: I saw this the other day and it sums it up better than I can:

    You beat someone to death? What is wrong with you?
    You strangle someone to death? What is wrong with you?
    You stabbed someone to death? What is wrong with you?
    You shot someone to death? We better do something about guns.

    It's not about guns. It's about violence.
    • Jan 17 2013: ahhh...no actually killing 20 people inside of a minute or accidentally shooting your cousin in the head is about guns!!! Ever heard of someone accidentally strangling or stabbing someone to death? or mass stranglings and stabbings?

      "wait, hold on! don;t run away. I haven't finished strangling the first person yet."

      pithy, amusing, but basically an ridiculous (happy?) perspective.

      humans are violent. as evidenced by the way we continue to find more and more efficient ways to kill each other. How are you going to solve that? Put thorizine in the water?
      • thumb
        Jan 17 2013: Right. What you don't seem to understand is that guns are just a tool. If somehow we could take guns away from the violent and mentally ill, they would simply find another tool. Guns are not the problem. Talk about imbecilic.

        Guns don't kill 20 people in a minute. Mental illness does. There are many many guns out there that have that capacity owned by normal people living in normal America. People are NOT running around shooting 20 people a minute just because they can.

        Maybe we should find out the cause of violence and address that. Then it would not matter if every house had a gun like every house has knives. (In my neighborhood, every house DOES have a gun-usually several)

        We already know how to begin to address mental illness. We know that people are violent when they are not safe, or there are not enough resources, or when there are too many people located in too small of a geographic area. How about we fix some of those things instead of getting rid of tools.

        About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year. Let's get rid of cellphones. That would have a bigger impact than getting rid of guns.
        • Jan 17 2013: OK. let's try this really slowly. What are guns? Guns are force multipliers. Modern military hardware is specifically designed for area suppression which means given a nice tight grouping, like say a mall or concert, you can kill a hell of a lot more than 20 people in a minute.

          Force multipliers are generally nasty pieces of work. Some more advanced ones - fuel-air explosives, nukes, neutron bombs, mustard gas, VX, which if they get nasty enough everyone agrees to outlaw, eg the Geneva convention, especially if they are easy to use.

          No force multiplier = less dead people. (I noticed you also neatly avoided dealing with stabbing and strangling this time around which are not all that easy to do if you do not know what you are doing). See how fast someone goes down from a single knife wound.

          What you are calling the "cause of violence" is the natural state of all animal life. you see a lot of chummy interaction between sharks and seals? The cause is competition for and acquisition of resources specifically to produce calories (for muscles or cars, computers, etc.) so you can reproduce and create more mini-yous to go out and kill more stuff for more calories. The "mental" illness you are focused on is a small extreme microcosm of the systemically violent state of all life.

          Like I said (which you also neatly avoided answering) how are you going to stop violence?

          Also just curious - who said anything about getting rid of guns? (Restricting types of tools and their use is done all the time. Try using dynamite to dig a hole for your pool in the back yard and see what happens)

          I just said use technology to temporarily disable them where they are very dangerous. Your reaction is a typical knee jerk response that has little to do with what I said.
      • thumb
        Jan 17 2013: Get over it Your car is a force multiplier. A hammer or wrench is a force multiplier. My Cuisinart is a force multiplier. And they are dangerous. You don't have an argument unless you want to ban (oh sorry, I mean 'control') cars, hammers, wrenches, food processors...

        I already posited what the cause of the violence is. You are the one that connected it to wildlife. If you really think that violence culls the herd, maybe we should arm people to get rid of the problems that cause violence simply by decreasing the population numbers. Like my neighborhood.

        And if that is what you think mental illness is, you need to learn a lot more before you expose any more of your ignorance.

        (By the by, I know exactly where to place the knife wound so the person goes down and does not get up again.)

        Violence is merely a symptom. You can't 'stop' violence. You can only address the underlying cause of the symptom. Or all you are doing is applying a bandaid (or administering Thorazine)
      • thumb
        Jan 17 2013: Worn argument? Force multiplier came from your brain but I have an old argument?

        "Why exactly would you have a problem with a kill switch in a biometrically coded gun that temporarily deactivated the gun in a heavily trafficked or sensitive public place?" Who controls the kill switch, under whose authority and for what purpose? How do I prevent the rapist from buying one at Home Depot or from the DIY video on raping website? You can bet if the feds have it, so will the bad guys.

        You really should look stuff up once in a while. From Wiki "Culling is the process of removing breeding animals from a group based on specific criteria. This is done either to reinforce certain desirable characteristics or to remove certain undesirable characteristics from the group." From you, "The cause is competition for and acquisition of resources specifically to produce calories (for muscles or cars, computers, etc.) so you can reproduce and create more mini-yous to go out and kill more stuff for more calories." You will note that culling does not necessarily mean a process from without the herd itself.

        It is not always easier to put someone down with a gun than it is with a knife. You have less strike accuracy with a gun than you do with a knife. Depends on your purpose and choice of tool.

        Like I said. Do your homework on mental illness or do not attempt to argue. The ignorance is more blatant by the second. Violence is not mental illness but people with mental illness can manifest with violence as a symptom. I never said the underlying cause was violence. I said we need to find the underlying cause of violence. Please do your homework or expect to get called on it.
        • Jan 18 2013: worn argument is saying that there is no confluence between the individual and the tool and to only look at the tool, eg guns don't kill people, people kill people. a wrench kills people. really. rocks kill people too. that is your basic argument and it is a non-starter as it basically excludes an entire area of the solution space of the bat for no benefit other than your opinion of the constitution.

          the difference on the items you mentioned is guns are designed to kill. the other items were not. unless gun designers are really really bad at their jobs the premise you are starting with is a non-sequitur.

          Same tech as server encryption keys. It would require sophisticated signal matching and coding in the damper which would be extremely difficult for anyone to duplicate or crack, so unless you happen to have an Anonymous desk at Home Depot that is a non-concern, unless of course you are so far off the rails that you are actually worried about the US gov using it to deny second amendment "remedies" because all that weaponary would be really useful against a predator or a M1, right?

          I know what culling is. culling indicates the interaction between predator and prey or in husbandry removing undesirable traits. same result either way.

          No one except you is arguing about mental illness. If you really think that you are going to be able to put system in place to identify the "bad" people and only have the "good" people have guns you would need to find specific genetic markers in individuals to "predict" their behavior. Which is the greater affront to liberty? Being able to disable weapons in certain instances or universal genetic testing?

          By the way that would not have prevented Newtown since his mother owned the guns.
      • thumb
        Jan 17 2013: OK here is what I think we should do. If you create a square and look at all the steakholders (this is a little simple but illustration purposes) Imagine two lines creating four boxes.

        ...............Good People | Bad people
        guns.............................. |
        ------------------------------|----------------
        no guns..........................|

        and imagine that we can move both the (somewhat) vertical and horizontal line. We want to maximize good people with guns and maximize bad people with no guns. So you see, there is only way to strike a balance. To favor one or the other will take guns away from good people or give guns to bad people.

        So one way to address this would be to make sure that only good people can purchase weapons and that each and every person who purchases a weapon is trained and has the proper ability to keep the weapon out of the hands of the bad guys. So I think every gun owner should go through training with documentation of secure storage before being allowed to own a gun. And be liable for misuse or loss if not reported.

        Of course the bad guys can ship them in, but that would mean law enforcement would have to be adequately manned and supported.

        This is where regulation becomes important. But the regulation should not be about whether or not people should have guns but how to keep guns out of the hands of bad people.

        Think about it. In all cases where there were mass killings the perpetrators had ACCESS to weapons. They did not always own them.

        The guns at Sandyhook belonged to the guys mother. What was she thinking? She knew her boy was struggling yet she kept that kind of firepower in the house. She needs to be in jail.

        There should be at LEAST two levels of security for each weapon and three levels of security for ammunition. My kids could pick trigger locks in grade school.
        • Jan 18 2013: she's dead.

          so every argument you just made argues for moving the lock onto the gun either biometric or punch code. So what is your problem with the original idea?

          good people. bad people. so no good person ever becomes bad? what is the rate of relicensing for training and confirmation of secure lock-up and how have you satisfied those who want to make sure this does not happen again?

          your solution really only satisfies one set of stakeholders, the "good" gun owners...you. it ignores the messy donnybrook reality is.

          What you are ignoring is 50% of the country does not own a gun and does not want to own one or to get shot by one. They do not want to take yours away. They just want to make sure that a disaffected individual (which mat or may not be mentally ill) cannot take an assault rifle into a mall or office building and fire away.

          you really need to let the mentally ill thing go. many mass killers have not fit any of the recognized sociopathic disorders. this is not just about mental illness. it might make you feel better to constrain the problem in these ways because it fits your desired solution but things are not that simple and clear cut.
      • thumb
        Jan 18 2013: You can always override a killswitch. Either from the beacon or from the receiver. Just a matter of blocking a signal. Simple.
        • Jan 18 2013: no. signal jamming in modern DSP requires matching the frequency hopping (which, weird factoid, Heady Lamar invented during the war) which in any sophisticated system has had in place since the 40's. that is not an insignificant task with civilian equipment. also since I think the 70's systems pick up the frequency jamming and change the inputs to their "random" hopping algorithm so you basically need a system that matches and jams and then does it all over again second by second.

          Matching and jamming an encrypted system with frequency hopping response is...well I know quite a few EE's and I doubt any of them could do it. I guess you could try broad spectrum jamming, but again the chip can be programmed to go into auto shutdown in that circumstance.

          the easiest way around it would be to custom build the whole firing mechanism and replace it.

          no solution is perfect, but hopefully each one incrementally improves the results. the point of this one is to make it more difficult to go from a standing start to killing people. nothing is solved in one step. I am merely suggesting that as first step we can buy ourselves some space and time by getting a market-solution band-aid in place that accommodates primary stakeholders/power brokers while we try and see how to solve the problems you mention.

          if you try and tackle this with a "silver bullet" (pun intended) or by only satisfying one set of stakeholders it is just going to go nowhere fast.
      • thumb
        Jan 18 2013: Let me explain it slowly. Guns are not electronic. They are mechanical. With no chips anywhere. So that means that you would have to have some type of kill switch that interfered with a mechanical device.

        This would require the switch to have some type of power source to move something. The usual power source for some type of electronic kill switch (encrypted system with frequency hopping response) is a battery. Even if you weld the battery into the gun somehow, you can bet any smith worth his weight will be able to override or disengage it or simply swap out the part. Or the gun owner can drain the battery or short out the system so the battery just dies. The cheap and easy way to block the receiver would be to wrap the part of the gun containing the switch in some type of heavy metal shielding. Oh wait, guns ARE heavy metal.
        • Jan 18 2013: did you bother to read the idea?

          yes a smith can swap out the firing mechanism. my bet is there is a way to design it that would make the tolerances such that it would not be easy to do. regardless how many gunsmiths do you know that are batty enough to shoot people?

          the point at this stage it to block and tackle. buy some room and time. just make it more difficult to decrease the rate of incidence until a real solution can be put it place. this has to be done in a phased approach. trying to solve it in one shot is biting off too much to chew.

          even if as you suggest you can somehow separate the good from the bad the amount of time it would take to have an effect would be on the order of a decade. there is no quick fix because there are too many vectors affecting the outcome. a serious misstep at this stage could derail any solution. therefore short term solution must be put in place to reduce the rate of incidence and then mid-term solutions until the long term solution can be found. that is how complex issues get resolved positively. other approaches generally result in less than optimal outcomes.

          it is an electronic locking system. cutting the power source automatically locks it.
      • thumb
        Jan 19 2013: I know perhaps in your part of the world power is not an issue. I know a lot of people who don't have electricity who hunt for food. I guess you could power it from a cigarette lighter but some people don't make it through the winter if the hunt is unsuccessful;. There are enough problems with guns jamming from poor design let alone some electronic chip malfunction out in the woods. Or heaven forbid your batteries run out!

        It doesn't solve anything and complicates the heck out of what is already in place. It won't buy time but a bunch of smiths would make a lot of money overriding chips. I do know a few who would do it in a heartbeat. They understand real life.
        • Jan 19 2013: you are inverting how such a switch would function. power would be required to activate the gun not deactivate the gun. deactivated would be the basis state. power requirements would very low on the mW scale. regarding maintaining it, you clean your, you charge your battery. also maybe you only do it with certain weapons and leave single shot hunting rifles or revolvers out of it. (actually realistically you would have to target high-priority weapons anyway given the range of product out there. maybe mental health or public health solution solve something before it becomes fully universal)

          as noted point is not whether it works universally but whether it reduces the rate of incidence over the short term.

          one question on gunsmiths though. advanced glocks have biometric safeties. are any of the gunsmiths you know able to bypass those? if not or not easily then there is no argument on your end. a kill switch would be integrated directly into the lock. I think your idea of what can and cannot be done with modern DSP and encryption is a bit out of date. the biometric locks are already to this stage anyway so any new gun could easily have this.

          one other thing is this would take a big smart team about a year or 2 to solve. the biggest design issue is refitting. If your gunsmiths are making a lot of money from refitting guns with such systems what is their incentive to disable it other than being paid more to do so which if it were illegal would make disabling riskier. if you are making 100K off refits why would you risk jail time and penalties to do something that might end in someone being killed?

          as a noted to another commenter these systems have already existed for quite some time on defense systems we sell to other countries. this is not an unachievable technology.

          also just think about this like the finger in the dike. are you also opposed to owner locks on the guns in general?
        • Jan 19 2013: also am not sure that it would be worth the time to institute refitting in ex-urban areas. majority of deaths are in urban areas. only about 16% of the population lives outside urban areas and by 2020 that will be less than 10%. Right now 40% of the US population lives in the ten top urban areas.

          think most of the people you know could simply be left out of it through exemptions, no?
    • thumb
      Jan 20 2013: Rob, your proposal to "refit" all weapons is as ridiculous as your responce to Linda who has among others outlined the REAL issue. You and so many others are way too eager, as usual when ever there is an incident of extreme violence involving a weapon, to grab at a detail as obscure as what the severely mentally disturbed person was wearing. Infact, refitting all weapons is impossible especially as an effort to stop or even curtail violence commited WITH firearms not by firearms. The enormous amount of money required to accomplish this and the incredible amount of faith you put in the systems and people required to put this measure in place is at face value absurd. Restricting who gets access to weapons as well as what type of weapons are available to the public at large is the best first step in support of other measures like comprehensive mental health care. Additionally, we need to take a very close look at the pharmaceutical companies and their products when gathering the information needed to make any reasonable proposals in an effort to bring these horrible crimes to an end.
    • thumb
      Jan 24 2013: The first three you mentioned are a lot harder to actually commit, I'd say. This shows that there may be some belief that guns are easier to use to hurt people. Perhaps actually less violent? It may have some significance in our discussions even though we ought not to lose sight of the violence involved, like you said.
  • thumb
    Feb 14 2013: What I have learned so far:

    Gun Violence !
    Gun violence, most all violence seems to be concentrated in the large metropolitan areas. Gun control measures seem to have little effect. Compare Chicago, IL with Houston, TX
    Political Climate !
    It has been said that the USA is more politically polarized then ever. Not sure about ever, but if we look historically, the split is between Federalist and Antifederalist. In the beginning, the Federalist believed in strong central governance and even offered Washington a crown. The Federalist were from the big cities and the Antifederalists from rural areas. The Antifederalists believed in limited government with strong individual rights. Hence the Bill of rights. Yes, the Antifederalist were concerned that a strong central government could become tyrannical.
    Painless Compromise !
    An oxymoron.
    Technological additions to firearms !
    I think there is a need here. Gun accidents, many by children finding Dad's gun. Some device to limit use of gun by others has promise.
    Long Distance Opinionated Evaluations !
    TED is a world wide forum. This subject is most focused on problems within the.USA. Helpful suggestions from far away can be appreciated. The forest from the trees axiom. But, so many comments were a venomous harangue pointed at the USA and Americans. Most Americans would be loathe to criticize other great democratic nations that
    we call friends and allies. However, that feeling is not reciprocated on these pages. So many comments were presented with contempt and arrogance and usually with little or misguided facts. So, I have learned that TED is truly an open forum, even to the braying of pompous asses.
  • thumb
    Feb 13 2013: I think you folks forget that the purpose of the 2nd amendment is to defend yourself against tyranny. The sort of thing that has happened in many countries where the citizens were subsequently enslaved. Or in 92 in LA where the Korean shop keepers were able to keep their stores and inventory because they had automatic weapons. The police were severely out manned by the rioters. This is sort of tough to do with a single shot against an automatic weapon.
    • Feb 13 2013: Pat I agree with your assessment but the shop keepers didn't have automatic weapons, they had semi automatic weapons at most. The president wants to take away the option of owning semi automatic weapons.
      • thumb
        Feb 13 2013: My understanding was they had SK47s which are easily made full auto
        • Feb 14 2013: That part is wrong, sk's are not easy to make full auto without destrying the characteristics of the weapon. Such a weapon would be almost un-usable.
    • Feb 13 2013: have you actually read the second amendment? There is no mention whatsoever of tyranny.

      Those "many countries" you mention had no tradition of freedom or democracy so whether they had guns or not made absolutely no difference. After the fall of the Czar the Russians were armed to the teeth. Did that stop small group of radical leftist from imposing a totalitarian regime? The reason that was so easy was because Russia was a totalitarian regime under the Czars for 1000 years. Romans were armed to the teeth. That did not prevent the suborning of the republic. Every case of totalitarian governments is history is preceded by a totalitarian government so what exactly are you even talking about?

      Your premise is ignorant and absurd. try reading some actual history vs. the fantasies you are being feb by your news and pundit sources..
      • thumb
        Feb 13 2013: I thought I was obnoxious but you win the prize and then hide your profile..., but why would I expect anything else from a progressive?

        Actually the 2nd amendment was exactly about the citizen defending himself against tyranny through a militia and to underline his natural right to defend himself, as stated in the Bill of Rights and the federalist papers and the anti federalist papers.
        • Feb 14 2013: hide what profile? Not a progressive. basically apolitical. Just know some actual history, political theory, and logic. If an adherence rationality and empiricism vs. fantasy makes me a "progressive" then feel free to use the moniker.

          Actually you are completely wrong. there is no mention of individual defense in the amendment. so you basically have two choices. 1) ignore the care and thought the framers of the constitution took in writing the actual words of the amendment which is basically like spitting in the framer's eye (and I am guessing you adulate them to a degree they themselves would find disturbing) and obviating their attempt to as Mike put it create a "living document" 2) Accept the actual amendment as written and learn some actual history.

          And yes I was obnoxious because after a certain amount of absurdity I reach my litmus point. Your absurd comments about tyranny reflect and abject lack of historical knowledge which is a bit odd for someone how worships a document from 200 years ago.

          Personally I find it more obnoxious to constantly spout opinions that are based on a lack knowledge and rigor with regard to the subject.
        • Feb 14 2013: To Rob,Why do you constantly attack anyone that doesn't think the way you do? You talk as if you and you alone know history. The russians [general citizens] were not armed after the revolution, it would be those pesky communists that were armed, and they quickly disarmed any not believing their way. And for you to say that the second didn't say this, or that, and then not let people defend their view because it really doesn't matter what the founders said, ........that is what your argument to me was......... it is you that is pushing this argument in one direction, and not allowing others to have a say. Why should any gun owners wish to have a discussion with people that only want their way presented?
      • thumb
        Feb 14 2013: Right back at you, but the 1st amendment allows you to state your opinion, you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.
        • Feb 14 2013: which one right back at me? ignoring what the framers actually wrote because it inconveniently does not support your argument.

          you have not put out a single fact. all you have done is repeat a bunch of pablum and platitudes that have nothing to do with facts.

          what facts are there in your opinions exactly?

          1) Name a country that first disarmed its citizens and then became totalitarian.

          2) Name a western democracy that has turned into a dictatorship (and please do not throw out the Wiemar republic).

          3) where in the 2nd amendment is it even implied that the US government is the entity against which individuals should bear arms. that pesky first clause of the amendment is a bit of a problem isn't it.

          4) Please elucidate the factual basis for the 2nd amendment guaranteeing your right to bear arms to for self-defense. Where exactly are the words "self-defense" in the amendment.

          Oh, I forgot, your position is one where facts should never ruin a good story. your arguments are based on selective reading or completely inaccurate representations of history.
        • Feb 14 2013: Rob Freda,

          Brother you need to go read some books. The answers you're seeking are in the Federalist Papers which outline the reasoning for each amendment in the US Constitutions - Bill of Rights.

          I'll give you an example. The First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

          Some folks (leftists, progressives and idiots in general) think this means that the US Federal government cannot engage in acts of prayer or religious service. When in fact within days of the signing of the US Constitution, the Congress established the Office of the Chaplain for the House and the Senate. The reason why is explained in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Federalist Papers. All of which are the basis and reasoning for the US Constitution.

          The Second Amendment is even more straight forward. It was enacted so that every able man that was not prohibited by physical condition or religious beliefs could be ready to fight if a need to form a militia was present. The second part of the amendment affirms that the "states" are free and that they have the right to defend themselves. For those who believe that the 2nd Amendment has something to do with hunting and fishing. That's just stupid because back then if you did not hunt and fish then you did not eat. Notice carefully that it does not say the right of the militia or the government or the church. It says the "PEOPLE" have a right to bear arms and that this right shall not be infringed. This is basic 6th grade civics and American History.

          "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."

          If you're serious about learning about the why and what's of the founders intent. Then I recommend the aforementioned which talk in great detail about how and why America came to be these United States.
      • Feb 15 2013: Rob: you recommend that we all read History to understand what it takes to fight off a "Tyranny". Is that not what the American Revolution, fought by the men who wrote the Constitution were doing?! And the very first skirmish in it was an attempt by the Government of the day to seize private weapons. And that pattern is very consistent . In 1936 some Fascist generals in Spain though they could easily overthrow an elected government , thanks to a foreign mercenary army . Government defenders were basically civilians given guns by the government that enabled them to hang on for 3 years, almost win, but they were only defeated by Fascist and Nazi troops brought in to help the Generals. And incidently, a refusal by the rest of the world to allow the Spanish Loyalist government to buy weapons. What typannical movement did NOT try to deny weapons to ordinary people?
    • Feb 13 2013: Pat the second amendment does guarantee the right to bear arms , however it does not guarantee which sort of arms citizens have a right to bear. This has been tested many times since the first case in 1930. The Supreme Court then and since then has upheld the right to own arms but it has also ruled that Government can determine which arms you can and cannot own.
      • thumb
        Feb 13 2013: But a hunting rifle is irrelevant for arming/defending oneself
  • Jan 22 2013: If you want to improve the world by reducing violence, might I recommend beginning a discussion on mitigating the social darwinian nature of human interactions. It is the fundamental problem and far more pertinent.

    Consider the data:

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

    Twice as many people are murdered by some body part as are from rifles. Four to five times as many people are murdered from knives. One and a half times as many people are murdered from blunt objects. Where's the outcry for fist control, knife control, and hammer control? Apparently we should all be brains in a vat, living in a virtual reality. Where oh where is the Matrix when you need it? You aren't going to solve anything by outlawing further sales on "assault" rifles or reducing magazine capacity to say 10 rounds, as is Obama's current proposal. It doesn't take long to reload a Smith & Wesson .45 caliber, 10 round capacity pistol or some similar model. In which case, you aren't going to resolve mass killings. Handguns aren't even the consideration. Ironically, those who seek to reduce gun violence ought to be focusing their efforts on such (perhaps by insisting on revolvers only; still, a few revolvers with a large enough caliber is 15 murder victims), but there isn't a canary's chance in an offgasing coal mine the United States will outlaw handguns. And the reason is simple; as much as they are used in unjustified violence, they also save lives:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/20/oklahoma-girl-shoots-home-intruder_n_1992381.html

    My firearm has deescalated violence more than once. I know of a couple whose home was broken into in the middle of the night, and after a 30 minute fist fight witht the assailant, although they won, they wish they had a firearm (and carry them religiously now).

    Focus on what matters; accountability and justice. Less dog eat dog, more honor & fairness.

    In the meantime, I'm cleaning my gun.
    • Jan 22 2013: good point. would actually say that is the misunderstanding of evolutionary environments as embodied by social darwinism and that misunderstandings influence on attitudes and our culture. it is a bit splitting hairs, but the idea that evolutionary environments produce "optimal" solutions has infected our zeitgeist and is in a word completely wrong. highly efficient species can "optimize" into extinction so the whole underpinning of the modern form of social darwinism per Ann Rand, Paul Ryan, etc. just displays a basic ignorance of how dynamical systems actually work.

      wish we could go back to the classic western ideals you espouse.
      • Jan 22 2013: Indeed. In my observation, not everyone is wired to make decisions leading to peace. We aren't going to persuade lions to live in perfect harmony. Perhaps working toward genetically reengineering humans to pursue healthier relationships, and we might have real peace. In our circumstances, the goal is to find a way to minimize unjustified violence of whatever form. This is a function of many variables, justice and accountability being central.
        • Jan 22 2013: hmmm. think we might need to reengineer more than just the genetics but interesting idea.

          there does seem to be a lack of what I would call "personal philosophy" in our society, eg an ethical code which one adheres to such as stoicism in the ancient world. it seems that you have one. Out of the people I know I would say maybe 20% do. This is a bit counterintuitive since we have educated at least to a minimal level large portions of the population.

          I think that what you are talking about requires that a large portion of the population in a democracy holds themselves to a standard of action and behavior. That means the values and standards have to be shared. It is also requires that the society in general apply pressure to those whose behavior strays to far from acceptable ethical behavior.

          Not sure that is doable right now. Too many people thinking (or not thinking as the case may be) left or right, liberal or conservative. Many of the western ideals have been torn down and associated with the negative effects of colonialism. Political correctness prevents people on both sides from pointing out the obvious. etc. etc.

          I have a friend that notes if you always come down on the same side of every issue, you are not principled, you are not thinking.
    • Jan 22 2013: one other point. guns are the only object you mentioned specifically designed to kill something. can you openly carry a sword or morningstar legally? (honest question as I do not know the answer)
      • Jan 22 2013: From what I gather, you aren't concerned with a firearm being designed with the ability to kill any'ole thing (I don't gather this conversation is on the merits of hunting), you are concerned with a gun being utilized against a human target in the commission of a homicide. Almost never is the motive of the creator/designer/manufacturer to produce a firearm to be employed in such a manner. In which case, although firearms generally are designed to have the ability to kill something (a fact they share in common with many knives, bow and arrows, swords, battle axes, etc.), I'm missing the relevance of this fact to your concern. Isn't your interest in reducing murders?
        • Jan 22 2013: yes on point one. on two homicide or accidental shooting.

          on point three "Almost never is the motive of the creator/designer/manufacturer to produce a firearm to be employed in such a manner." WHAT? A bullet traveling a 3000 ft per sec that kills with hydrostatic shock is not designed to kill a person if you hit them anywhere but the hand or foot? 50 cal rifles were not designed specifically to punch through armored vehicles and bounce around inside? I think the US DoD has been wasting a lot of R&D dollars if a better killing machines is not the primary motive in the design of guns.

          the point is all guns are designed specifically to kill something. whether it is a mammal or whatever. that cannot be said universally of the other items you mentioned previously (they can be used to kill but that is not generally their specific purpose, eg blunt objects). that is why I asked about the sword which is designed for no other purpose. was just pointing out a logical inconsistency in your original grouping.
        • Jan 29 2013: Rob: you are extrapolating unjustifiablly, Guns really are tools, and can be used for many different things . If they are exclusively to "Kill people" as you say, may I ask why Police are allowed to carry them? They are not authorized to "kill people", though they may be forced to occasionallly, but that is not the purpose of the gun.
      • Jan 22 2013: For whatever idiosyncratic reason to TED discussion boards, I cannot reply to your most recent comment directly, so I'm sending my reply to your previous comment to address your most recent thoughts. If you read the sentence prior, I indicated guns are not manufactured for the purpose of murder. Context, friend, context.

        Many knives, bow and arrows, and so on are expressly created with the ability to kill something consistent with firearms. My comments were entirely consistent.
        • Jan 22 2013: It is weird. You have to go into the reply on the comment specifically not just the window that pops up. makes no sense.

          "Twice as many people are murdered by some body part as are from rifles. Four to five times as many people are murdered from knives. One and a half times as many people are murdered from blunt objects. Where's the outcry for fist control, knife control, and hammer control?"

          knives - dual purpose
          blunt objects/hammers - not designed to kill
          Fists/body parts - not designed to kill

          guns, sword, bow and arrow, >>> all weapons - specifically designed to kill

          I was just saying the relative to the quote above guns were the only thing you mentioned that was exclusively designed to kill although there was a brief vogue in the military when they were designed to maim badly to stress the enemies infrastructure.

          you asked why guns should be treated differently. that is why. swords, bows, etc should be treated differently too.

          I generally agree with the gist of your post and would say what you are pointing out is systemically becoming more problematic in our society.

          One point though I did not say ban the assault rifle, I said make it safer. your post does not really address why that is not a potential solution over the short term while we work on the things that humans have failed to fix in any society yet.
    • Jan 23 2013: I have some counter research with opposite results (guns kill the most people). Not that I think anything need discussing, I think the point should be made that research results are variable. And since we now have two conflicting data, we can't say anything intelligent about it yet. To be forward, I am against additional gun control, but really don't care either way because I already own the guns I want to own.


      source = http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004888.html
      • Jan 23 2013: The data you posted does not conflict with the data I referenced from the FBI. Without meaning to sound rude, you didn't read my comments carefully enough. If you look more closely, I think your error will be evident.
        • Jan 24 2013: You're not rude, and I was lazy for not completely reading your post. Cheers (I might clean my gun today as well).
      • Jan 25 2013: ;-) Always appreciate an honest man. Cheers to you! And don't forget the oil!
  • Feb 14 2013: Here's a couple of questions:

    Let me predicate by saying that I am American. I am against all forms of slavery including Marxism. I am trained marksman, a vet as well as a family man.

    First question I have is: If a criminal broke the law to obtain possession of a firearm(s.) And then subsequently used that firearm to commit murder(s) like in the Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora and V-Tech then why are some of you talking about totalitarian measures and the infliction of criminal consequences on law abiding citizens that have done nothing wrong?

    Second question is: Would it be more logical and effective to first look at the failures in the enforcement of the current laws before we discuss the implementation of new laws?

    The USA is a free country. We are not subjects or slaves. We do not bow to any monarchy nor do we adorn our currency with the images of royalty or dictators. Our freedom is only predicated on our ability and willingness to defend ourselves. Our Constitution, like every other constitution means nothing if the people have no way to defend their rights.

    People who are against guns often forget that criminals by nature don't care about laws and consequences. And they also forget that 99.9% of the time when a crime is committed the police show after the crime. So if you disarm people or limit their ability to defend themselves. Doesn't that put you in the same spectrum of evil as the people that commit murders and rape women? An unwitting accomplice?

    Some of the ideas about gun control in the USA are forged in ignorance by people that don't even own a weapon or have never used one. It's like taking driving tips from someone that neither drives nor owns a car.
    • Feb 15 2013: Roman,

      Where in the idea did it suggest any of what you have in your comment? The idea did not restrict gun ownership. it was not against guns. it merely applied the idea that maybe the product should include some basic safety measures and that applying those safety measures would accommodate any concerns that gun manufacturers might have to be inspired to fight it because they would make more revenue which is really the whole reason for the La Pierre positioning. At this moment the gun manufacturers are laughing their way to the bank and it has nothing to do with freedom or being an american. If they were the type of citizens or people you admire they would try some of this themselves without any laws.
      • Feb 15 2013: Mr. Freda,

        You were badgering people with your comments. Challenging them to produce evidence to support and underpin their opinions. And when they did and they certainly did, you chose to ignore the reality and then produced the above nonsensical drivel that you just posted ten minutes ago.

        Consider yourself schooled.

        And your biometric idea is not your idea. It was already tried with police weapons years ago. It won't work because when a people need their weapons to defend their lives the last thing in the world they want to happen is for their weapon to fail. If a weapon is required to be wound up like a camping flashlight or required to take power from a battery then that weapon will fail and people will die. Nice idea you had there buddy.

        Your idea of as "little pain" as possible is laughable because you only want the gun owners to give up something. How about this. I would happy to trade my large capacity magazines and have universal background checks if non-gun owners would be willing to pay a 50% income tax to fund the needed extra security to keep every American safe. As well as fully funding a Victims Medical Insurance Program. How is that for a painless idea?
  • Feb 14 2013: LMAO ! you are 2490% more likely to get killed by your doctor than a gun. Why is everyone under the false assumption that a gun will make them safe ? I work with dept of corrections and I look at all the studies. I am also a counselor and I know that the average person has no conception of what they are up against when they own a gun.
    • Feb 15 2013: please gont make wild and ludicrous generalization that are pointless in your comments ...

      ie the average person has no conception of what they are up against when they own a gun.

      You have NO evidence for that.
  • Feb 13 2013: Nope , Combinations are nice if your intruder gives you advance notice . In my case we have several hunting guns because we have bears and mountain lions on the property and I sure don't want to be fooling with a combination if I have one of those at my door.I don't like biometrics because they can be troublesome at times, I have a biometric time clock at work and half the time it doesn't work properly. I also don't want to have to find my husband who is farming down the road because his biometrics are the only one on a gun.
    • Feb 13 2013: am assuming you live in an ex-urban area, no? probably would have to exclude ex-urban anyway. Only 18% of the population is ex-urban. If the tech or any other solution proved out where the population is then could always do ex-urban later.

      a consumer biometric clock is probably not an accurate idea of reliability. anything including the gun is going to malfunction at some point. that is just a question of price:quality and the pro's and con's. If they used US components then I would bet the problem would not be bad. chinese components....

      any type of chip based lock could be programmed to multiple users. think the main point of a lock is you do not want a kid or stranger to be able to fire the weapon.
      • Feb 14 2013: Not everyone could use Biometrics there are those who actually have no fingerprints. There is nothing wrong with stronger laws about registration, after all I am a counselor and even I have to have my name in a data base when I go and buy sudafed for my cold. If I buy to much then I get investigated.
        I work with Criminal offenders and they have told me that buying a gun without a background check is easy , just go to the newspaper .
        • Feb 15 2013: I was thinking the system that reads the heat in your palm's vein pattern. basically a thermal thin film grip.
  • thumb
    Feb 13 2013: How about just making possession of guns without a well considered reason, illegal? Say through an n-th amendment? That seems way simpler.
    Or alternately, why not abolish police and let the citizens protect and defend themselves. Much saving for tax-payers.
    • Feb 13 2013: Who decides what, "a well considered reason" is? Why not address the issue of mental helath that is the common thread in all of the recent mass murders? We used to confine mentally unstable people with demonstarted violent tendencies. Now they self medicate and walk the streets.

      315 million people, 270 million firearms, 11 thousand firearm homicides on average annually. Thats .00004% of the total number of firearms used to kill .00003% of my countries population. I think the issue is tremendously exagerated. Drug overdose kills more people every year and has no national spotlight nor international debate, no weeks of coverage in the media, no presidential proclamations, no celelebrity campaigns, no Ted conversation.

      While the loss of a loved one is painful regardless of how it occurs, we don't advocate the banning of every legally obtainable thing that accidently or intentionally results in a fatality.

      Keep the big picture in mind.
      • Feb 13 2013: Who determines what is Mental Health ? There are 297 mental health diagnoses in my DSM IV , . You aren't going to find any counselor wanting to put his license on the line by saying this person or that person shouldn't own a gun. Unless a client specifically states he is going to harm someone you can't predict who is going to do harm.

        Only about 5% of all cases involve mental health issues , Most cases involve anger at a person or institution. There is no diagnosis for revenge shootings . You can't predict or diagnosis who is going to do it.
        • Feb 15 2013: Really??? You need to watch a few TED videos, the hard work is already done.

          You aren't going to find any counselor wanting to put his license on the line by saying this person or that person shouldn't own a gun.

          Of course they are not, it's a shameful profession, where they wont make any commitment, yet they are only too happy to commit others.
  • Feb 13 2013: I'm actually confused as to why everyone is talking about Gun Control even though we have the second amendment. It's simple:
    Right to bear Arms shall not be infringed.
    So, what people are saying: "It doesn't say what arms!" yet when someone says: "Cats have claws naturally" no one goes and says: "Which cats!"
    It's quite that it means in general. Sadly, people think assault rifles being around now and not back then change something. Think about it- Back then we had Muskets- Back then British had muskets. Military all over the world has assault rifles, why can't we? Cause you think people kill other people? Well, the police are people too. In reality- criminals kill people, not people. After all, killing in a crime. :) Now, people think that guns are for hunting or something yet the right to bear arms was really meant for when tyranny comes so that the Americans could fight against it.
    Also, there is the excuse: "The constitution is out of date/invalidated!". My response is: Kool story bro. Just kidding, but seriously: Man has not changed, thus Tyranny has not changed, thus the validation of the constitution has not changed. It's really, really simple. How can you have any right to say the reason you are free in invalidated.
    Also, remember: If people give up freedom for security, you end up losing both. It's true. Look at things. You think the government will do something for you when a guy is breaking into your home with a illegal gun? 20mins late maybe. Guns will always exist in America. This is not England(I mean UK) where there is no land connecting to other countries. We have a drug cartel to the south decapitating ppl. We have much larger country then England. We would have to have a police state for it to work, and that would lead to the need of a revolution-- Wait, there's no guns at that point-- I guess that would be irony, wouldn't it?
    Anyways, it's pathetic to even discuss gun controls. It's contradicting to the rights of Americans AND the security too.
    • Feb 13 2013: try reading the first part of the amendment and then look up the last 200 years of SC decisions excepting the last 2. infringed and regulated are not synonyms by the way. the constitution is a document that defines the foundation of the laws and then the law itself clarifies the specifics. If the framers meant that arms should not be regulated they would have said "infringed or regulated". Basic political theory should tell you that no framer thought that you could just have an arbitrary right without attendant laws and regulation. that is not a society. that is a disaster.

      so do you have an actual point?
      • Feb 15 2013: Rob: you really follow your own good advice and read up on US history. The meaning of "infringement" has not changed in 200 years, but "regulated" has. The Constitution was in no way supposed to be a program for the Feds to micromanage what States and Localities had been doing all along. "Regulating" a Militia unit meant making sure that they could shoot straight, and know how to do the somewhat complex manual of arms required for massed volley shooting. In a society mostly concerned with avoiding British Imperiialism, how can you suppose that they were worried about preventing Drug Gang-Bangers obtain pistols, or some such stuff as that?! Most people lived on isolated farms, subject to Indian attacks, or various wild animal threats, and you tlhink the Founders were concerned with disarming them?!
  • thumb
    Feb 11 2013: The percentage of people who die from mass shootings is way less than that who die from lightning.

    All of the mass shootings were associated with Psychiatric drugs

    The culture has adopted the meme that the solution is violence.

    The more gun control is implemented the more gun violence goes up, E. G. in Chicago or Washington DC
    • Feb 11 2013: Mass shootings account for less than 5% of all gun homicides in America. And although it is true that gun crime will spike after gun controls are implemented the overall homicide and gun homicide rates would eventually drop.
      The last couple of generations have grown up in a drive-thru fast food mentality where we expect results in 5 minutes or less. The gun issue would take years to resolve.
      And here is the problem. Handguns account for 98% of all gun homicides in America and gun crime in general. They are small, concealable and convenient to the criminal who wishes to use it. Because there are severe restrictions on law enforcement, it emboldens those criminals even more.
      Countries that have strict handgun laws also experience much lower gun and overall homicide rates.
      When Great Britain implemented the handgun ban gun crime spiked but after 2 years started to drop dramatically as the guns were picked off of the streets. In fact since that ban, the overall homicide rate in GB dropped 75% with guns accounting for only 8% of all homicides. In American, guns account for 68.3% of all homicides.
      Canada, whose society experiences a great influence of American culture has strict handgun possession laws. As such, guns account for only 28.3% of all homicides. In comparing gun homicides per capita, you have a 7x greater chance of dying from a gun homicide in the US than in Canada.
      Then we look at a nation like Switzerland who has mandatory gun possession laws. Their gun homicide rate is 11x that of Great Britain where 72% of all homicides in that nation come from an end of a bullet.
      Cleaning up the gun problem will be a long and arduous effort.
      For me I liken the gun problem like this.
      If you walk into a room and see glass smashed all over the floor.
      Do you sweep it up knowing that you might not get all the pieces but at least the floor is safer to cross??
      Or do you smash more onto the floor??
      • Feb 11 2013: Where are you getting any of this? I've heard quite the contrary to nearly everything you assert.
        • Feb 11 2013: I research sources from the CIA, FBI, CDC, OECD and various government healthcare sites that accumulate statistics on cause of death.
      • Feb 13 2013: Dwayne you are making up numbers. The firearm homicide rate in the United States is approximately three times that of Canada and the United states has slightly more than nine times the population. Canadian census report shows the population to be approximatelt 34 million while the United States has approximately 314 million. The state of California has more citizens than the enitre nation of Canada. Furthermore the number of people killed without the use of firearms is nearly equal 100,000 citizens. Please stop making up numbers to support you argument that we the citizens of America shouldn't be allowed to own firearms because you can't. Here are a few references. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.htmlhttp://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-581-x/2012000/pop-eng.htm#t01http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2011/03/us-vs-canada-homicide-modi-operandi.html Hello Peter, percentages are not per capita, "75% decline" is not per capita, " In American, X95account for 68.3% of all homicides." is not a per capita number, "28.3% of all homicides" is not a percapita number. These are percentages of something other than 100,000 people.
    • thumb
      Feb 11 2013: Pat you watched a video on the meme of violence and came away enlightened,could you please restate the talk...I failed to watched it when it was offered.To keep my commenting relevant..Drones and ammendments have taken place,so if you have issue with your government attacking a country you will become arrested if you attempt to organize a group(with or without weapons) so your guns are now entirely for shooting eachother
      • thumb
        Feb 11 2013: It is the idea that celebrities try to influence the dangers of guns yet make their living from violent entertainment. Which creates the meme that when you are in a tight spot the solution is always violence. This is the ultimate in hypocrisy.

        http://rubinoworld.com/2013/01/07/exposing-commie-celebrities-gun-control-hypocrisy-video/
        • thumb
          Feb 11 2013: thanks for the link Pat...a definite hypocrasy event in the making,not sure about the commie label..the second label weakens the point for me....so why does the gun industry allow this mockery of violence to occur is beyond me. and obviously people who act for a living are also drawn to violence,whilst talking about preventing it.this deeply saddens me I really see massive confusion on this topic on all sides ,thankyou
  • Feb 7 2013: Looked at the question, looked at the answers; both of them deal with the minutia of the situation. That itself is not a issue, but it's also not a solution.

    It's as much a solution as putting metal detectors in school, they temporarily work, they dont address the bigger picture of "why is this happening". Nor, does the well "it does it not happen in my country"

    That today, is what I'll pose some interesting very large vista issues.

    Please if you reply, stay away from minutia, that always just distracts from having a larger understanding of why this is happening, the psychology of it's people, and what can be done about it.

    Lets begin

    The mother of the shooter was said to have an arms cache.
    The president has a hidden base in Saudi Arabia containing predator drones.

    The shooter 'executed' children, no court, no justice, no reason, just execution.
    People in Yemen, Pakistan, are targeted by the president who with, no court, no trial, no presentation of evidence, no un sanction, bombs these people in their homes with their families. Simply put they are executed. (source ny times)

    Now give both of those scenarios, I hope you can see the similarities, in these two circumstances. I'm NOT getting emotional about either, NOR moral.

    Just posing these questions.

    1) How can people be outraged at one, and be talking and doing something about it, and not the other.

    2) How can we ask for mental health checks against citizens and not it's presidents?

    3) How can we ask for weapons to be taken away from Citizens yet not governments.

    4) If you just look at the numbers only, with no emotion, then the government kills more than anyone.

    5) What correlation between one set of actions by the president and it's impact on it's citizens psych? (hint look at any waring county - Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland, Burma, Libya, Egypt for example)

    6) Old adages tend to be true, as they have stood the test of time, one that comes to mind for ANY president - Lead by example.
    • Feb 7 2013: Very welll said!
    • Feb 7 2013: 1) People can be outraged about the former because we don't see a moral equivalency between these killings. One is done as part of a war, the other is murder. The only way you can equate the two examples is if you do not believe that war is justified in any circumstance. I disagree, but that's a whole other debate.

      2) The President is assumed to be sane. We don't generally elect insane people to that office.

      3) We shouldn't. Since the government will always have weapons to arm it's military and protect itself, the citizens must have the same right (with reasonable limits). Both should be armed, hence the Second Amendment in the US Constitution. Otherwise, the people are rendered powerless.

      4) Which government? The Nazi government under Hitler? Stalin's government? Pol Pot's government? Milosevic's government? Absolutely true. The question is not who, but why? and do you agree with their rationale? Is killing at any time justified? I don't think you find any justification for killing, which is why you make this statement. I disagree, in that I feel there is a huge difference between murdering civilians convicted of no crime and killing soldiers of an enemy nation who want to do the same to you.

      5) You can hardly make this statement. George Bush had a set of actions and the psyche of his citizens was far from compliant. He was criticized vehemently for his position. The citizens in Libya and Egypt rose up against their "president"/dictators and overthrew them. Unless you're a sheep, you don't let your President do your thinking for you.
      • Feb 7 2013: Lets be honest, the only reason the people don't see a moral equivalency, is that it isn't happening to them. If another country at war with terrorists in our country was taking them out with drones, that also hit our children, you would quickly see the relavance, you would even call them terrorists, it's all relavant.
    • thumb
      Feb 7 2013: Hi Tify
      You seem to have a theme that Government is most responsible for death and destruction.
      You seem have given some thought to that premise. But, to end that source of death and destruction would that be to end of government?

      There have been incidents of societies without government that didn't do well. There was even a book I read about some children caught on a desert island without adults and no form of order. Not a happy story. So, no government and no death and destruction? Or are we talking about scale?
    • thumb
      Feb 9 2013: People voted for the President that started the war in the first place if he had a mental health problem why was he allowed to stand.

      At least the current President is getting America out.
      • thumb
        Feb 9 2013: Hi Morgan,
        I am not sure which President you speak of when you say "started the war" and "mental health problems" ... The USA has had presidents with "colorful personalities", not sure of mental health problems. Of the 47 presidents, can't think of an election that was clearly defined by going to war or not. Although, some candidates have been characterized as "hawkish" .

        The current President is is not really getting American out of war. In some respects, he is more "hawkish" then most. Of all the Presidents, his talent is best described as a political illusionist.
        And he is very good. He implies great things, does the mundane, blames others for failures and convinces the American public that he is one of their greatest leaders.

        For example, He is ending a war, then the cost of that operation could logically be deducted from
        the budget of the Department of Defense? No, that bureaucracy has asked for a greater budget to meet new contingencies. I could give many examples such inconsistencies in his administration but, What he has actually accomplished is something he said in a speech given in Europe about America's attitude and it's position in the world. America is too superior in it's attitude and should be more attuned and sharing with other countries.

        So, In his four years, America has become less certain, flat-lined economically, it's on the way to becoming the largest 3rd world nation. While that may give some satisfaction to those who feel the USA deserves it, it begs the question, who steps up to be the next alpha dog in this pack of human nations.
  • thumb
    Feb 3 2013: There is no gun violence problem to solve.
    • thumb
      Feb 3 2013: Gary,
      There are shootings every day in our big cities, usually it is gang members against drug dealers, but innocents are often in the way. Then there is the various and sundry robbers, muggers and hot heads. Once in a awhile, we get some maniacal hot head(s) who go into schools, movie houses, etc and shoot the place up. I could make an argument for gun violence. But, what we are trying to solve is is not the gun violence, but the best way to remove the tools of the gang bangers, drug dealers, and the assorted malevolent who commit the vast majority of gun crimes and focus on those maniacs who go after schools. Not to say that say that to end this heinous behavior is wrong, but the focus has been on the tools, not the nut. To make matters worse, the tools of these nuts are legal. So, the question begs, we have bad people using legal tools to do bad things to people. And we go after the tools. Many blame the tools not the man..
      That just mystifies my logic. Should I honor the brick for the great wall of China? Should I condemn the atom for splitting and destroying huge cities? And in any other comparison, it is always the man.
      BUT, these tools were meant to kill and maim!!! OK, it still takes a man to use it. Worse, if we remove every tool that could kill or maim, man will be back living in caves. So, let us figure a way to address the violence in man, address the corruption in political systems, how do we change the vision of some that greed, and power are not goal of mankind.
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2013: Tell that to the family of the highly decorated Navy seal who survived 4 tours of Iraq and Afganistan only to be shot and killed on firing range at home, by trying to help ex vets.

      Actually tell that to any one who has actually been shot and survived ,see what reaction you get to that.
      • thumb
        Feb 4 2013: Hi Morgan, happy to hear from you again,
        As tragic as this was. Cris Kyle and a friend was murdered by a former vet that was suffering from mental illness.
        In a review of this horrific act, it will likely be shown that the vet found himself surround by gunfire flashed back to his combat experiences and seeing himself with two armed men, fired to protect himself.
        Of course, the violent loss of a father, husband, friend is an unspeakable sorrow.
        So, to your question to those who have been shot and survived.
        I, if you are religious, had a overworked guardian angel,... if you're atheist, had extraordinary dumb luck, can not address the question
        " When you were shot, did you think about the gun or the man behind the trigger? And by extension. if you were wounded by an IED, the bomb or the man who set it.
        To those who were shot not in a combat situation, who or what was at the core of your focus? How about those that were knifed or beaten, who/what do you blame for your injury?
        So Morgan, you are still convinced that if there were no guns legal or otherwise, there would be less gun violence, and right you are. and you have your nation's numbers to to support that statement.
        BUT:
        The USA has about 10 times the population of Australia in about the same amount of area.Ten times the number of overcrowded cities, ten times the number of mentally ill, things in multiple of ten.
        There is one differing cultural background. The USA came from a revolution where the victors had a very strong distrust of central government and left in their heritage a mechanism to defend them selves and your founding fathers didn't. Will this ability for defense of our nations ever be needed?
        If I knew that....
        PS did I mention the worst school tragedy in the USA was a school destroyed by ANFO in the 1920s, by a disgruntled farmer. Nearly 50 killed and many more wounded. Yes, the government cracked down on ANFO but then ANFO was not constitutionally protected.
        • thumb
          Feb 4 2013: G'day Mike, thanks for the welcome back,,

          the ban all guns universally comment was just for hypotheticals.

          and I realise that the Vet involved is probably suffering from PTSD but still if he had been diagnosed with that why was he allowed access to firearms??? who's responsibility does that become????

          still unfortunately another two people are necessarily dead when they really didn't need to be.

          So the question remains what d we need to do to make things safer???
      • thumb
        Feb 4 2013: Morgan, I know people who have been shot at and survived. I've never heard them ask for a gun ban or blame the guns. The usual response is to arm themselves.
        • thumb
          Feb 4 2013: Why what's the use they arm themselves out of fear do they make sure they know how to use it properly do they keep it safely?? nope probably sitting in the dresser draw next to the bed or under the pillow. Scared people with guns are dangerous people with guns.(Love the peace sign in your photo by the way )


          ((Need a new secretary too mine has major spelling proof reading and grammatical issues))
      • thumb
        Feb 4 2013: They do not arm themselves out of fear. They want to give themselves the option to retaliate if necessary... I personally know people that were armed in dangerous situations and had the self control to not pull their gun. They understand the consequences of what a gun can bring.

        Where they keep their guns varies. I will say this, I and everyone i've been around knew better than to grab an adults gun.
        • thumb
          Feb 4 2013: I guess the question remains even though they did not pull their gun could they of pulled the trigger???
        • Feb 5 2013: Gary, I couldn't agree with you more. Bad things happen to good people. I don't understand anyone that feels it's there responsibility or duty to fix every issue that they feel is a problem in the world.

          I was taught the responsibility and safety of weapons as a very young age. I think I was about six when my grandpa gave me my first pocket knife. My dad owned and still owns various guns and is responsible for/with them. You want an issue to discuss? How about the growing failure of parents in the USA?
  • Feb 2 2013: Actually, Violent crime has decreased over time.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime

    That is the official FBI website.

    Also, there is the fact that UK has twice the amount of knife killings(total gun ban by the way)than there are gun killings in America: http://sob.apotheon.org/?p=1323 --- Which has it's own sources so I don't have to say much.

    Of course, I think the best example for guns beings in the hands of civilians is Switzerland.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1566715.stm

    I think that is more than enough to show that Gun Control is stupid.

    By the way, it's illegal. See, the second admendment was talking about right to bear arms. Guns are arms. Thus assault rifles are under that too. Also, the constitution is not out-of-date by the way. Cause man has not changed, thus tyranny has not change, and thus the constitution is not out of date. It was so tyranny will not gain the upper hand on people. If you think otherwise- then you should go Chicago, New York, or UK. Good luck with that. :)

    P.S. I think you're going a bit crazy with the gun lock and such. I think you should go to a place usually referred to as a "Mental Hospital". Good luck with that too.
    • thumb
      Feb 3 2013: http://sob.apotheon.org/?p=1323This link actually refers to knife crime not killings. There are more people per capita murdered by guns in the US than the entire murder rate in the UK. 3 vs 1.4.
      As to the Swiss, do you think maybe the low crime rates are related to very low unemployment and very high social security rates? ie 3% unemployment and social security based on 80% of your previous pay rate.
      • Feb 5 2013: In the end, people having guns lower the crime rate.
        Criminals are going to get guns anyways so it would be best to arm civilians so they can defend themselves. Just cause you have a gun doesn't mean you have to shoot the person in the head. You can simply shooter him in the shoulder.
        Plus, since Swiss had guns they were able to scare off the Nazis during WWII. Not to forget anyone else for 100 years or so. The Nazi(German) General talks with one of the Swiss Generals and the Swiss General said: "I can have Million(s) of soldiers within 24 hours if you attack us." The German General went around them cause even though he thought he could take it over, he said that he would: "Lose too many men."
        We have oceans all around us and no one of worth(Military-wise) connected to us. We could easily handle a lot of people with arms civilians. Though you might think guns kill people, it's not the case. That's like saying spoons cause obesity, it is just a tool. Put a gun on the table, it will not shoot on it's own. It's simply people's behavior, Not guns.
        In the end, the second amendment is clear-- We have the right to bear arms. It doesn't do details to what arms cause it's arms entirely. I don't agree with some things like tanks cause you don't have that in your arms, but that can be for state militias in case a dictator(American) starts killing millions of people in our country due to communism/fascism or something. Doubt that will happen yet. It's actually not for hunting, by the way. It's known that it's more for when the government starts to get corrupt, and is not for the people that we need guns for when the government starts doing things beyond their power. I know people now-a-days have not even seen a real war, and I know they haven't seen a revolution(At least in our country) either. I'm assuming that's why you seem to like the idea of Gun Controls. Unless, you -actually- think that it will save people by banning it from people that actually use it for defense.
        • thumb
          Feb 11 2013: I went and did the research and was surprised to find that the death rate from gun shot in Switzerland is more than 3 times what it is in Australia, even though their murder rate is lower.
  • thumb
    Jan 31 2013: Here's a thought, why not require pre approval for gun sales, instead of back ground checks and waiting periods. The purchase of a firearm is not an impulse purchase.
    Selling a gun privately, or at gun shows, with pre approval of the seller limits the liability to the seller.
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2013: I have been outed. I am a member of the silent generation. We didn't have a lot of gun problems, unlike the previous generation under prohibition. During that time, laws were made to prohibit automatic weapons. No problem for Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde. The other thing that was inherent was the sense of civility in society. People were very moral, what is referred to today as right wing christian zealots, children went to Sunday school and learned about the Thou Shalt Don'ts. People had manners ie. consideration for others. If times got hard and it did during the depression, it was unmanly to accept charity. When my father lost his job, he join the CCC who provided him work to support his family. My mother dug up the back yard to grow vegetables and we had a couple of chickens for eggs and rabbits too. No HOA rules in our neighborhood.. Why this trip down memory lane... to show a contrast. It started in the 60s. The age of the dawning of Aquarius. A hundred things happened. Church was no longer cool.. Politeness was out. Self indulgence was in. Do it if it feels good. New government programs made taking charity a right. We deserved charity.. We became entitled.. No more Thou Shalt Don'ts. No stealing? Ripping off is good, the insurance companies will cover loses of the dummy we scammed. Education? The new band of educators took the education I enjoyed, rated no. 1 in the world to... thirty today.
    Instead of prohibition booze we have prohibition drugs. Instead of Al Capone, we have the cartels and street gangs.
    Instead of Elliot Ness, we have gated communities. Instead of Dad working and Mom home keeping the family in line with Grandma and Grandpa down the street, We have both Mom and Dad working to keep up the Mc mansion with the grandparents living in Florida. Instead of draconian mental asylums, we got psycho topic drugs and let the ill out on the streets. But if we just get rid of those rifles all will be right with the world.
    • Jan 29 2013: Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era. People that are trying to regulate other people's lives do not realize the true cost of the freedoms you are describing. Thank you for trying to spread morality in any form.
    • Jan 29 2013: would that it were a different world today. am afraid that "halcyon" time was in large part an anomaly in human history.

      seems that both the 20's and boomers have similar psychographics and that both followed large scale societal landscape shifts. it is quite amazing when you write it out like that that there are so many analogies.

      i would note on some of the charity stuff that the charity on the corporate side is far greater than on the low-income side.
    • thumb
      Jan 31 2013: This is romanticism at its finest. I understand what you are saying, but this is dramatized. People have been looking back fondly since the dawn of man and wishing things were like they were before. Humans did this with the feudal ages, and the great empires, but they were not better. Do you really want to go that far backward where times were that tough and people were starving to death because of the depression and most people scooped human waste onto fields for nickles a day while the lucky few who had jobs were worried the whole time anout losing everything. We live in the greatest, most productive era in human history and we need to move forward and not go back. We need to put laws in place that help us do that not go back to the 20s and 30s. The morals are still there in most people, but the evil is more publicized now than it was then. We need to change law to benefit the future not relive the past.
      • Feb 1 2013: Nothing is free, something people in the 20's understood much better than people today. I agree that we should not be moving backwards to go into the future. However, we should be looking at the past and wonder "Why did that work so well for them?"
        • thumb
          Feb 1 2013: I agree Jazz. But we also need to realize that things worked well in those times and our society dynamic is different now. That needs to be taken inot account along with the fact that we are looking at values and not policy. Most people today do not know the value of money and hard work like they had back then, you are absolutely right, but this is because of the great advances our society has taken in technology safety and economy so it is kind of a good thing in a way.
  • Jan 28 2013: You are trying to unring a bell. It is our attitude towards violence that is the problem, not the way we express that violence. Criminals are not going to retrofit their guns. Brazil has some of the toughest gun laws anywhere and the highest per capita firearm murder rate. What's going to happen is that we're going to get a law that will make us feel better and which does nothing to alleviate the problem because it's easier than actually solving the problem. I'm not a gun owner. I'm not interested in owning a gun, but I fail to see the benefit in another imaginary solution to a real problem.
  • Jan 26 2013: A gun can kill many people in a minute, can any other weapon that is legal do the same, if yes I am sure they are heavy to carry...., why not ban guns altogether and experiment to see how that works out, if it makes little difference then take back the guns and let that be it. All the intellectual arguments in the world will not change a thing.
    • Jan 29 2013: A car may be heavy to carry, however it has proven time and time again that people can kill with it very easily.

      Also, Mexico did ban guns all together. We are seeing how that worked. Not Well.
      • Feb 10 2013: A gun ban, a change in bullying laws whereby bullying would be made illegal and probably therapy for the psychotic....... all these together can make a huge difference and also see a reduction in the # of crime deaths. Lets all be part of the solution, if we as a society were to solve this issue then we would need to get together and get it done once and for all.
  • thumb
    Jan 23 2013: More
    The federalists were concerned among other issues was the survival of 13 little "states" in a world of huge monarchies.
    they wanted a strong "federal government" to bring the states together into a formidable force to face the future.. My words, not Madison's. Of course, there was an opposing point of view. Patrick Henry was concerned that since the colonies went through hell fighting a great central government was very skeptical of the federalist. He was concerned that a powerful central government could turn the people in the colonies like the people in England. He was a spokesman for the Anti-federalists. End of the story was that the constitution would not be ratified unless the 12 amendments guaranteeing individual and states rights where incorporated. Actually, only the first ten were added then and the 11th was passed as the 27th amendment.
    So, the 2nd says exactly what it says, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Washington DC cannot infringe (do anything) on the matter of armed citizenry by the constitution. Further, on the off chance that someone manages to seize control of DC, the now fifty states will form militias to defend themselves.
    Now, some will say how can a bunch of farmers defeat the US Army... I've heard that. But, every soldier takes a solemn oath the defend the constitution and obey lawful orders. Orders violating the constitution are not lawful.
    Now about violence. We need to catch and punish the perpetrators. We spend all this time and effort on talking about tools and not about the perpetrators.
    Perpetrators. In college, we used to experiment with mice. the one thing I remember was when you put too many mice in a small box, there was violence. Another class taught that cities should be limited to 100 K population and have a green belt 30 miles wide around it. Environmental stuff. Chicago, LA, New York, small boxes, a lot of mice. A lot of violence. Greens may have something.
    • Jan 23 2013: So oddly enough here is a trend from the energy conversation. Urban population density is projected to increase to above 90% for the US. 65% globally but they are not subject of this conversation. NY is already 126K per km^2 vs. Chicago as 56K per km^2. NY has the lower murder rate and lower absolute figure in 2012. So the density/violence correlation can be controlled.

      Interestingly if you have a look at the rate of deaths per 100K due to guns and you look at the density of guns state by state. there is a very clear correlation to the rate of ownership and the rate of death.

      Northeast has the lowest rate of ownership and the lowest rate of death. south has the highest of qwnership and the highest rate of death.

      Mike let me ask you something since from the energy thing I think you might actually answer this. How come every time someone who believes in unfettered firearm rights quotes the constitution they leave out the modifier?

      In the second amendment in either version the whole reason the right is guaranteed is very clearly stated and it is not some inherent right as many others in the bill of rights are. It is a dependent right for the defense of a free state. Further it is clearly stated that the right to "keep and bear" be well-regulated within the context of a militia. "keep and bear" is not defined outside of the context of the militia so there is a reasonable argument to be made in the courts that that right is not to universally applied to home use.

      The courts are pretty clear on the ability to regulate guns and the larger set of which guns are a part - weapons. It is constitutional.

      What I find amazing it that despite a pretty good body of supreme and lower court precedence the gun lobby has managed to execute a strategy where they have moved the constitutionality ahead of the regulation thereby contravening the role of the court

      If you leave out the modifier then the second amendment is very clear. if you don't not so clear cut
      • Jan 23 2013: You talk of the militia as if it was a standing army, yet the founding fathers were asked this same question as to what was meant by militia, and who they were, and the answer was every law abiding citizen. How can you construe that to not mean an inherent right of the people? The right of the people to bear arms isn't even American, as it can be found in many European documents abd it is clearly stated at the time to mean two things, that the people have a right to own weapons, and they have the right to form a militia. I don't know where you are getting this interpretation of this verse, but history clearly states that you are mistaken.
        • Jan 29 2013: most framers were against a standing army. I know a militia is not a standing army. that alone should tell you how out of date their thinking is. this whole "founding father's" thing has a dogmatic quality to it that is almost disturbing. What I find interesting is most of the very men you are talking about would find it just as disturbing.

          their thinking was great for its time but it is pretty much useless today, and they knew except for the basic structure that it would be. like I said somewhere else in all this, if you think Plato's ideas still hold the same weight as they did 2000 years ago, you are simply not thinking.
      • thumb
        Jan 23 2013: Hi Rob,
        Several good points.
        Violence can be controlled, New York vs. Chicago. When Gulianne (sp) is elected mayor of Chicago, I would expect a turn around. Seriously, police intensity is a function of crime rate.
        I checked your numbers with the FBI lists, some differentials, some differing qualifiers, lets leave that aside.
        The Second Amendment. I am really confused by all this talk. Read Henry. Read Madison. Read Franklin. Colonies had no standing Armies. Their governors had militias. Some not even certified in law, just an understanding. If the colony was under attack by outside forces, that all able bodied men would bring their arms, whatever they had, and come together to defend the colony. Militias.
        Henry was adamant about the protection of individual rights. Now, I would be the most surprised of all if anyone could usurp the power of the federal Government in Washington and try to void the constitution for all of America. I am more incline to believe the scenario as described by the Nazis and Japanese in discussing the capture of the US and the Germans concern because of the guns in the hands of the civilians.
        If the citizenry want to amend the constitution to change the 2nd. Fine. We have amended it before.
        What I am annoyed about is all the pussy footing around it.
        The other thing that annoys me is this reliance on case law. Lazy judges who say the case before me is sort of, kinda of like this old case, so I'll use that judge's decisions.... but that is another conversation.
        • Jan 23 2013: Gun presence and use in death comments were predicated on per capita, In absolute numbers i would doubt the northeast would be lower given is far higher population density. general crime rates are probably pretty different. what is the link to the FBI site?

          would agree with everything you said above. only proviso I might throw in is that I would focus first on the framers writings on governance and their thinking on their place in history. they knew and understood that their personal opinions would become outdated. They could not possibly know how outdated but they understood that history does not stand still. for this reason I think they tried to build a framework that was sufficiently flexible to not require constant amendment. they tried to isolate very broad parameters that successful societies shared and codify them as the basis of their new government. I would say Madison understood this and in addition to the mechanism of amendments they were careful in their wording. I actually have a problem bringing in external writing for a number of reasons because it opens the debates on a number of unproductive fronts some of which you pointed out. I think it is often ignored just how vast the knowledge gap between the late 1700's and today is. The framers were geniuses for their time and they may well not be as out of date as say Plato but there are definitely anachronisms in the constitution and the primary amendments. how they would have reacted to the current situation is unknowable so personally I do not think that bringing in their personal external opinions is particularly useful.

          think we are talking at cross purposes. my main point is guns should be classified as a hazardous product and be regulated accordingly with exception of banning ownership of any given type. That basically means the regulation would have to be safety regulation relating to their keeping and bearing. That is not unconstitutional per the very wording of the amendment.
      • Jan 24 2013: Less than 5 minutes ago: "Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People."
        — Tench Coxe, 1788.
        This speach was given during meetings that were held regarding rattifacation of the amendments.
        This speach was recieved with a standing ovation.
        "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from
        time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take
        arms...the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood
        of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
        -- Thomas Jefferson
        "Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared
        to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic
        purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice
        for that freedom."
        -- John F. Kennedy

        Or if you would rather, take a look at the actual legal definition of the militia as set forth in the United States Code:
        Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, "Militia: composition and classes" in its entirety:
        "(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
        b) The classes of the militia are —
        (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
        (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
        • Jan 29 2013: and so which one is the well-regulated one?
        • Jan 29 2013: Are you so sure of what happened 2000 years ago? Everyday life was just as cheap as it is today, Not much has changed really, except that violence for profit is now only to the death in accident. Other than that, The advances mean nothing, people of the time would undoubtably be just as outraged as people of this time, and some would be just as likely to want to "do something". That does not mean that the ones I refer to would. In my opinion, they would see tragedy, and loss, and realise it for what it is, and that you cannot change the human responsible.
      • Jan 29 2013: Impressive that you would dismiss an idea just because of it's age. Imagine i wasted my time reading all the great philosphers, including Plato. This tells me just how much you are actually thinking, and also tells me you think you are a psychic if you say that you know what they would of thought.
        • Jan 29 2013: so you would say that Plato's ideal republic formulated on urban populaces that were around 50,000 is as incisive today as 2000 years ago?

          come on.

          I am not being dismissive. I am being realistic. The likelihood that nothing we have learned in 2000 years furthers our understanding of human societal dynamics is roughly 0.

          correlate their (Plato or the framers) level of intelligence to similar people today and you have a rough idea of what they would have thought if they grew up in a similar societal circumstances. that is not psychic. that is extrapolation. if you have an instance of human thought rising above the conditions of the time to some core truth please expound.

          One would not expect a 13th century scientist or even a 19th century physicist to be able to predict any of the scientific advances that have occurred in the last century. why would any other field of human endeavor be different?
    • Jan 29 2013: Mike: a "bunch of farmers" have ALREADY defeated the US Army. i.e in Vietnam, Afghanistan , and Iraq. But that is no disgrace, any more than Britain was disgraced by our Revolutionary War. The only way the "natives" can be defeated is by Genocide.
  • Feb 16 2013: If you are looking for a win-win that everyone will accept, Stephen R. Covey points to a method that really successful companies and societies employ. His 2011 book “The 3rd Alternative” describes how Think-Tank groups employ people with widely different viewpoints and ideas to develop amazing products and social solutions. They welcome conflicting ideas, because those conflicts point out where the biggest improvements can be made. Instead of my way or your way, they strive collaboratively for our way. Unless everyone agrees that the results are excellent, the team keeps on trying for improvements that everyone can support. The big gun violence question may be: will both sides work together for a mutually acceptable solution, or does some serious pressure need to be applied to certain players who are happily benefitting from the status quo? Will 3rd Alternative thinking help America reduce gun violence? New York City has been using 3rd Alternative strategies for 20 years and has reduced violent crime by 80% during that time, Scientific American August 2011. Can any other city in America say that?
  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: This video has a good point on how the 3rd amendment further enforces the reason for the second.

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/F584p5kJL-U?rel=0****
  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: Today, the POTUS visited his home town of Chicago. Chicago has one of the most strict gun control laws and the highest rate of gun violence in the USA. In his speech, he spoke of more gun control for legal firearms. He did not address the problem of Chicago, where whole areas are totally lawless war zones ruled by gangs. And yes, they use guns... and knives and bats, and .... There is little to none police activity and if one of those gang members does stray and is caught. Little punishment. Gangs will have juveniles carry the weapons and commit most of the violent crimes. No jail time for those little kids. Remember Dicken's " Oliver " It's at a whole new level in Chicago.

    What I have been crusading about in this whole conversation is that politicians can not or will not address the problems. There are huge social issues that must be addressed and these politicians will pass some meaningless gun control laws, that will not violate the 2nd amendment and tell the world they took action to resolve the problems. Next year Chicago will have 500 violent murders and some insane person will shoot up a school and we'll dance to this tune again.
    • thumb
      Feb 16 2013: It might be the only way for your country, funny that.....They did say 2012 was a year of choices. Many things are on the agenda that is set to rock our worlds, gun violence, the choice of full citizen militia to gay marriage or the choice to give up the gun.

      In your countries case, militarize the nation, if things go belly up for your nation economically then no other world power will think about invading a country that is armed to the teeth.

      Choices.
      • thumb
        Feb 16 2013: Let's see, you have mentioned a number of social issues and a few legal issues on the political agenda of the USA. Further if the economy goes belly up, the USA will be armed to the teeth and no one would dare to invade us. OK, so what's the problem? If that all comes to pass, the worse scenario for other countries is... there is a loss of tourist destinations? If your country has put all it's eggs in the USA basket, and that basket falls, it would seem that that is a problem for your country. I am not aware of any country who is forced to hold it's destiny to the USA. You are right, it is a matter of choices.
    • Feb 16 2013: Mike I couldn't agree more. The reason the media and politicians are spouting off about banning firearms is because its can be carried out against the legal and law abiding citizens. All the comments from international contributors show a failure to comprehend that laws only work on the law adibing. These laws will have a negative effect on the safety of our citzens as demonstrated in England following the ban.

      A governments power doesn't stem from the support of law abiding citizens but from the power to punish law breakers. They continue to pass legislation making more things illegal until everyone is a criminal, all in the name of the greater good.
  • Feb 15 2013: Yes, thats true Mike, but don't think it's only America.

    The problem is the point was made, where the person was solely acting only the emotionality, or what "you feel" about a situation, that involves neither, logic, nor rationale, not education. ie "I'll do it so the children dont suffer"

    If you say yes, no guns, and Obama wouldn't lie, not like Bush did. As Obama, is the "new improved" and "cleans up", (yea just like soap powder), so I'll vote for it because it "feels right", and "I dont want the children to suffer", then you as far as I am concerned have no place voting at all.

    If your decision is based like that on the "emotionality of a situation", be that how the person looks, speaks, if you can't comprehend the logic and experience of their conversation, then you run the risk of making a decision that later on your child hold against you, as later on, as and when they challenge you on your decision, you'll have no basis, no argument, nor rationalization that you will able to give on why you made it.

    And -they- will pay the cost of that decision.

    That's the problem with people today, and some of the posts on here, no argument, no facts, no reading, no rationale, just "it feels right".

    Well let me point out to them, that the people that wrote the constitution, luckily didn't believe in "emotionality", even though they just had a battle, they like me, believe in looking at the facts, and rationale of any given situation. That more than anything has served the children well for the last few hundred years.

    Such things includes reading, the new york times, the London times, and articles such as in vanity fair and uk's Guardian about the export, or lack of, yellowcake uranium powder from Niger.

    But that nowadays is for many is just too hard to comprehend, so it's easier to say, "i feel".

    And we see, "the dumbing down of civilization", some realize that the old saying is now more true than ever...

    The people get the government they deserve.
    • thumb
      Feb 15 2013: Tify,
      Absolutely, too many react emotionally.

      The stories of yellow cake and ball bearings being traded around has led to wars and could lead to future wars among nations. Could it be that people are spreading rumors in hopes of creating world tensions, hoping the desolation of war will allow then to come in and "pick up the pieces" for their own agendas? That has happened several times in the last twenty years. And I am not a "conspiracy theorist", I don't think. Historically, that has been a practice through out history. It seems incredible that the world population hasn't caught on to this manipulation yet. Something about not understanding history and doomed to repeat it.
      I am a student of American History. I have studied the causes and effects in the creation of the US Constitution. I believe I understand the rational behind the document. I have stated it is the best work of political science in human history. Not perfect, but best. Would it work for other nations?
      Not sure, It was uniquely written for our states at that time and situation addressing the promise of the future for the US. We have amended it to reflect emergent cultural changes; some good, some, not so good.
      But, I think the basic premise of a Constitutional Republic is the best form of governance.
      Don't get me started on "dumbing down" the people. The US had one of the best public education system ( by world standards ) 50 years ago. Now, we are behind many " third world nations" who have nowhere near the wealth and resources to educate we have here. Incredible!
    • thumb
      Feb 15 2013: You perception of our Presidents is "cute" (that is a nice way of saying naive.) This one is truthful, that one is not. Anyway, getting elected president is simple, not easy, simple. The one who says the most comforting things to the most people wins. Truth is optional, but not required. What's important is poise, performance, and personality. The ability so say something that sounds important, but is meaningless gets high marks. Make promises that if fail, would not be your fault. One of our presidents was called the Teflon president. A strong sense of self worth is crucial. Arrogance is a must and the ability to harangue is paramount.
      That is why I am so put upon over our public education system. It is their responsibility to educate the citizens to be aware of our politicians
  • Feb 14 2013: As a general comment to all involved in this conversation with a few notable exceptions, I started this TED conversation because it occurred to me that the application of business strategy techniques and the conversation that it would start might yield a solution where a typical political conversation would not. In retrospect perhaps I could have done a better job on the idea and defining the foundation that spawned my suggestion.

    That said I felt I was pretty clear that in order to find a way through the morass of political opinion one must first identify the stakeholders that need to be accommodated, isolate their concerns and needs, and then try to find a strategy that accommodates the major stakeholders concerns with as little "pain" as possible. As a few pointed out it will never be painless, but I was using it euphemistically as it is used sometimes in business.

    After identifying the stakeholder concerns and needs a spectrum of solutions should present themselves that can accommodate various stakeholders to greater or lesser degrees. I expressed one solution that I thought of quickly within the solution space. I expected that for the most part the conversation would pick at that idea in such a way as to improve it or reveal some inherent flaw.

    In addition to that I expected, given this is a TED forum, that there would be other ideas brought forth that used the basic premise and approach but that were hopefully equivalent or better or showed other avenues of approach.

    Unfortunately unless I missed it somewhere I have yet to see an idea broached here that in fact uses the basic approach to try another solution. Again with a few exceptions all I have seen is a bunch of opinions being spat out that have little or nothing to with exploring and enhancing or even finding some viable potential solutions.

    I expected better of this forum and would hope in the last day that perhaps you can all put your politics to the side and try to broach solutions
  • Ross G

    • +1
    Feb 14 2013: People forget that guns themselves are a solution to a problem. Guns are both deliberate & accurate. They are considered humane by the Geneva Convention, and rightfully so.

    A bullet will only hit what the gun is aimed at; but first the bullets must be loaded into the gun, the gun must then be cocked & pointed, and then the trigger must be pulled.

    When you remove guns from the equation, they are immediately replaced with pipe-bombs and other make-shift explosives that are far less humane, and less specific. Explosives and/or fires kill & maim entire buildings, and all that just to get to 1 person. Then of course, there's poison.

    You see, guns have lowered the violent crime fatality rate tremendously. A fact that is easily discovered by researching the numbers of countries where guns are outlawed. Not only have they lowered violent crimes, they are a thoroughly proven deterrent to all other types of crime as well. Again, all of this information is easily found.

    All this and we haven't even come to the issue of tyranny. It's true, the 2nd Amendment doesn't specify types of arms. Think about that. The drafters of the Bill of Rights have heavily documented their positions in both letters and speeches, as well as the sound reasoning behind those positions. According to our founders, we should have access to drones and tomahawk missiles. If that scares you, why? It's not because of the drones or the missiles, it's because of the people who would wield them. And you see, therein lies the problem. The people have been subverted, systematically & deliberately. Just look at yourself.

    Let's be real, guns are one of the lowest causes of death in the country. Why aren't we focused on medical errors or automotive safety? Why isn't the media, who is obviously controlling everything you think, concerned with the bigger fish?

    Seriously, give up TV and take up reading.
  • Feb 13 2013: Laws definately help in advancing our society as a whole. But lets look back at
    those particular laws that have been responsable for advanceing our societies the
    most and individual freedom is one of the ideas that I believe are the most important.
    While we may not like the dangers that these weapons pose when in the hands of those
    who would do those appalling things as in what we term as mass murder. Weapons have
    done as much good as evil.
    Weapons have brought the very freedoms we have at this moment and
    have killed many innocents as well.I don't think there is a viable argument
    against that statement.
    I am of the opinion that as long as others have weapons in this imperfect world
    be it government or idividual I want mine as well as said by others in varying forms
    in this discussion.
    As I have said in another post that I was educated about the use of weapons ie, guns
    at a young age and have been around or onwed them all of my life. I have never pulled
    my weapon on another human though some have been pulled on me without reason and without
    real intent to use them otherwise I may not be here today.
    When I have been violent in this life it has been in defense of myself or a loved one and
    I did not use a gun, not to say I wouldn't if I saw the need.
    Disagreement whether I was justified in my actions at that point would be the discussion.
    whether I used a gun,club,knife or my hands and feet.
    I don't mean to sound as if
    I'm bored with this discussion But in fact I am.
  • Feb 13 2013: The LAPD's choice seems to ignore any constitution requirement, any due press or even what people look like, they seem to just shoot to kill.

    As I said before, if you want to take away people's right to the 2nd amendment, then take away LAPD's etc too.

    Maggie Carranza, 47, and her 71-year-old mother Emma Hernandez in a blue pickup, who were delivering copies of the Los Angeles Times, came under fire by Los Angeles Police Department officers on Thursday morning in what Police Chief Charlie Beck has described as a case of “mistaken identity.” with Dorner ... I counted 30 odd shell casings!!

    Moments later, Torrance Police Department officers responding to the gunfire slammed their cruiser into a black truck being driven by David Perdue (a thin white man who looks nothing like Dorner) and opened fire. Perdue’s attorney described the shooting as “unbridled police lawlessness” in an interview with The Times on Saturday.


    Ask yourself, will all of those police officers involved go to jail for, possession of an automatic weapon? Or assault with a deadly weapon? Or attempted murder?

    What good and what use are biometrics and trigger locks here?
    What good the constitution?


    Sources:
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/dorner-manhunt-torrance-neighborhood-mistaken-identity.html
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-torrance-shooting-20130210,0,3955268.story
    • thumb
      Feb 13 2013: Tify,
      The dark side. LAPD were looking for a fugitive who had admittedly killed and wounded police or their families.
      Most police unlike combat veterans seldom face deadly force and have to respond. I am sure there are some in the LAPD have. In the end of this story, police probably not so experienced who over reacted and mistakenly fired on the innocent could face charges. What charges? Don't know.
      But, police powers do not come from the Constitution. The Constitution created the Federal Republic.
      Police powers evolved from old English common law; whereas freedmen elected a sheriff to enforce the laws of the community.
    • Feb 13 2013: Tify, I am not in anyway excusing the LAPD , however anyone who has studied brain neurology and function is not the least bit surprised or shocked. This should be a warning to those who think they are John Wayne or some sort of Action Hero.
      The LAPD as well as any large police department. has to work on training the brain between perceived and real danger because the brain cannot do that automatically. That is why scary movies make you jump because in that instant your brain perceives the movie to be real. Their Amgydala's were on overload and you see what happens with trained personnel, I shudder every time I think of every idiot waiting to be a hero without the training.
  • Feb 10 2013: If we only could divert our attention from the to the flow of drugs to the flow of guns.
  • Feb 10 2013: The saddest form of a United States of America Is already in the making it involves the willful act of voting away the rights of the American people by the american people themselves out of fear and ignorance. The Police already have too much power and authority. When I was a child we use to see the films of Nazi's using dogs on the Jews to represent the viciousness of the Nazi's.
    Now the American Police regularly do this. they shoot rubber bullets at peaceful demonstrators and create so called "free speech zones" which is a contradiction of the term and the constitution.
    Did you know that a Police dog is a higher citizen than you or I. If you kill a policemen it's a capital crime if you kill another citizen it's murder. If you kill a police dog defending yourself it's a capital crime. I guess that means that our government values the life of a dog that is used to attack it's own people more than it values a common citizens life.
    If you don't fear tyranny you're not realistic and you keep going down the same road that the other victims of tyranny went down.. Only this time you are trying to disarm yourself. I'm not political I'm not an activist but I am a realist. Believing it can't or won't happen again or here is delusional. Take responsibility for yourself and what freedom you have left. because that's the only course to retain it.
    • Feb 10 2013: You try to excuse your beliefs by pointing your fingers at others. When police officers kill 8800 people per year with guns then you have an argument.
      I do not fear tyranny and that makes me far more realistic than yourself as tyranny can be described in many different ways.
      You have an unrealistic fear of your government yet, you are the ones that vote them in to guide you, to represent you.
      And if you were the realist that you claim you are, you would be living in a cave somewhere cowering in the fear of your government, fear of being struck by lightning, fear of being stung by a bee, fear of being murdered by your own citizenry. The last having a greater chance of happening than facing the unimagined tyranny that you live in fear for every day.
      I would suggest that you refrain from singing the last line of your national anthem. Land of the Free? Home of the Brave?? I think not
      • Feb 11 2013: Wow very emotional. I figured I'd get a rise out of someone and lucky you. You're it! I'd really like to read from your post at least one issue mentioned in mine. Then we might have something to discuss. You know like a conversation where ideas are exchanged and debated. So, I'm gonna try for you.
        There are no excuses only reasons, at least that's my view
        I don't know how many people Police kill each year. Do you? Not nearly the whole issue.
        Tyranny? Loss of due process. Free speech zone. Are those unrealistic? Look it up! It's a slippery slope.
        Voting?You have no idea whether I vote or not.
        Fear? That's a big one I'm just gonna say; The White house memo that just came out saying the President has the right to send an armed drone to kill anyone anywhere including you. And, just so you know it's not really a fear on my part that I keep a healthy observation of those who claim to up hold the constitution.
        I'm going out on limb here and being a bit like your statements when I say this but.
        You watch a lot of Fox news don't you?
        Your statements are very reactionary and accusatory in their nature without discussing or stating any facts whatsoever.
        Lastly
        Free? Free speech zones during the bush administration. as well as the loss of due process.
        Brave? Means standing up for your country when needed and against it when it violates the Law, you know the Constitution.
        (I did write that to get a strong reaction.)
        And..... finally.
        It's like when you fall. It's usually the little things that cause your feet to slip from under you but you hit the big things on the way down.
        Good luck my friend.
    • Feb 11 2013: Pat,

      Please. you do not need to vote them away. they are a fantasy in the first place. you are required to have car insurance. try buying anything more than 1K without already having a credit card and a good history of paying it off. go to an emergency room during soft hours and see how long they let you sit there so they can charge you a "facility" fee to amortize their capital equipment. try resolving a categorically impossible bill with ConEd and watch the "arbitration" committee tell you that despite there being no way the bill could be accurate you have to pay it anyway.

      your rights in the modern day US boil down to this. you have the right to consume yourself to death and the market has the right to ream you at any moment.

      if you think you have actual rights at this stage vs the fantasy of rights you lack common sense and must have been living under a rock for the last 40 years.
  • Feb 10 2013: I had to reply to some other replies that you said and I did not have enough space to reply. I am not sure about the US but in Canada we have Reserve Stations across Canada that hold Weapons and Ammunition etc... put in place for such an emergency. So the non-military people would be told to report to these Stations and enrol and receive the necessary equipment and then some training to fulfill the problem with the thugs with machine guns and hand grenades.
    I already answered the "isn't enough police and Military to protect the whole country", where do you think the majority of your Military is, its not in Afghanistan for sure, it's in the US and standing by for any such needs as to keep the peace, and the Reserve Units will supply the volunteers with the proper equipment and weapons so I don't believe that we need to have one in our homes especially with children, I cannot and will not take the chance of having a weapon and ammunition around the house, I know split up but come on, it would be foolish to have them at each end of the house now wouldn't it. So most times the ammunition is within reaching distance to the rifles/pistols. You can buy a 30 mag round clip for a Glock (Sorry about the spelling) and with a file you can make it into a fully automatic killing machine.
    I believe hobbyist's and Gun collectors can have them but registered and hopefully with the new changes will not be able to sell it to someone without first a police check and then re-registering it to the new owner. That is not much to ask for. I am not totally against it being ex-Military but some people should not have a hand gun let alone an AK-47 or RP-15 (Not sure about the name of the American weapon) but that is everywhere. And I do not mean thugs and criminals but people who just does not respect the weapon and ends up a statistic on how many people were killed cleaning there weapons. So I hope this clears up my thoughts on the whole thing
    Tom
    • Feb 10 2013: Just for the sake of argument, lets say that your government did turn tyrannical, Where do you think the first place is that they would defend? I can guarantee you that it would be your access to those very weapons. Now, if they had to come directly to you to take them away that is a whole other problem for the ones who would be your master. Your thoughts?.
      • Feb 12 2013: I am sure that we as a country (USA or Canada) would not vote in a Tyrannical candidate. We would know long before this occurs. Come now you have gotten rid of two Presidents, Nixon for trying to steal election information and Clinton for getting his tool cleaned (Excuse the abuse of the English language there) and it was fairly easy to impeach them. So if there was a hint of a President going King on his country I dare say it would be caught very easily. Just the troops movements would have the people freaking out and there are a thousand other things that must be done before he would round up the troops, and he/she would be caught well before this occurred and that would end that attempt. Canada and Especially the USA has too many backups and the press to have a Prime Minister or a President sneaking around to form a coo. We are not in some backwards country where the President usually has the 3 or 4 newspapers and the one TV Station in his pocket compared to our thousands of newspapers, than there is the thousands of TV stations plus don't you think that NATO or other countries in the world would be screaming that there is a coo happening in the USA. Can't happen, not during these times and with the Internet it just would never get off the ground because we are TOO FREE and would catch a coo being created, let alone followed through. Never Happen!
  • Feb 10 2013: I am sorry but I do not live in those Countries and we are not talking about those countries therefore it is not pertinent to the conversation. You are telling me that there is not enough American Military Rifles, or what is it 3000 tanks, not counting missile carriers, Jets, Bombers, Aircraft Carriers, there is not a nation that I know of that could compare your Carriers to there's. They are a laughing stock, the one China bought, the Russians didn't use it because it was necessary to protect their country, and it was an engineering nightmare from the beginning, no launch platform, run the jet full power and the full length of the ship and then shoot it off the Ramp, oh and you couldn't launch a jet if one was landing, in other words useless. So I do believe you have enough weapons and ammunition stockpiled to supply personnel when the time comes if anything close to Red Dawn came about, and where was Mexico and Canada during this movie, do you think that USA could not defend herself and than we don't have much but we would throw it in the pile to help because we do not want to be surrounded by the Red Army, and the Mexicans, they have so much practice killing themselves that they are prepared, so I think that discussion is futile when it comes to using Red Dawn as an example.
    We , USA and Canada have a Reserve force and then I am not sure but during WWII Canadians and Americans went to Britain to fight against Germany before they were actually in the war. So I think we have the manpower and the weapons stored to handle any country even thinking of attacking the USA. That is just foolhardy and really stupid on the attacker's part.
    I think we have enough manpower to handle any natural disaster that would happen in Canada or USA, Canada sent ships down to Florida and New Orleans to help rebuild schools (which was not really told by the press) but on the other hand we Canadians tend to not want our help put in the papers. Just do our bit & Leave.