This conversation is closed.

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.


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    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: 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?
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        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.
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        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)
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        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.
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        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 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.
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        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.
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        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.
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        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?
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      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.
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      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.
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    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.
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    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.
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        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..
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        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?
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        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.
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        Feb 13 2013: But a hunting rifle is irrelevant for arming/defending oneself
        • Feb 15 2013: Not if it's the only thing you have to hand.
  • 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:

    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:

    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 =
      • 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.
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    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?!
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    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. 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.
    • Comment deleted

  • 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.
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      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?
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      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.
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        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.
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    Feb 3 2013: There is no gun violence problem to solve.
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      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.
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      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.
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        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.
        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.
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          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???
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        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.
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          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))
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        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.
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          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.

    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: --- 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.

    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.
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      Feb 3 2013: 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.
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          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.
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    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.
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    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.
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      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?"
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          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.
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    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.
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        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?
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    Feb 16 2013: This video has a good point on how the 3rd amendment further enforces the reason for the second.****
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    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.
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      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.

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        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.
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      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!
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      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?

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      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.
        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
    • 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.
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    Feb 10 2013: Let's look at the problem from another perspective.

    Let's say we do take guns away from everyone. Now, when criminals bring guns in from over the border and use them to consolidate their power with violence, what do we do then? Do we rearm the population because we don't have enough police officers and military personal to do the job?

    How much military power have we put into Afghanistan and Iraq to remove violence and establish order in those countries and how effective is it?

    I had an engineer friend of mine who was anti-gun in the 70's. He went sailing with his family in the gulf, and was attacked by a boat load of drunks with guns and alcohol. They circled around and gave them a real scare for most of the day, jamming their radio when they tried to get help. He didn't have any guns on board. After that incident, he was heavily armed when ever he took the boat out.

    The point is this -if we takes guns away from people, they will find reasons to rearm themselves afterwards, They will create a second amendment, or something like it, to make it happen in a democratic country.

    Changing our clothing or lifestyle will not make us smarter or more pleasant to live with. We need to change our minds, but not our minds, the minds of those who use weapons to hurt, control, or take away the possessions of others.

    Those of us who own weapons and never use them because we have been lucky so far, are not a problem to society. We are the majority of gun owners. Yes, take away guns from irresponsible people, but only from them.
  • Feb 9 2013: In a civilized, democratic society, the ballot box becomes the weapon of choice and the taxing authority of government becomes the logical method of control. All costs associated with gun sales, gun violence, gun ownership. need to be paid by gun manufacturers and gun owners. If you want to own a gun, fine. Pay the costs associated with that ownership. Just as we contemplate carbon credits, we should think about gun credits. Don't forget the creation of victim violence compensation funds. I could imagine the cost of gun ownership being very expensive, but still your right to own a gun is protected.
    • Feb 10 2013: Sure Goldman-Sachs would love that, then they can trade futures on "Death By Gun".

      Then the next thing you know, they'll be, off the books, hiring sub-people to kill, just so they can turn a higher profit.

      Hey didn't that already happen with housing - were the not enough sub-prime killings already.
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    Feb 7 2013: I appreciate that TED is a world wide forum. I also appreciate that there are people in other parts of the world have common problems and issues that effect all of us.

    What I find trying are some pompous remarks that really add little to the conversation. If you were born in a free society, with social liberties, great education, and prosperous life style, please feel blessed. Some of us were born in deep jungles that barely sustain life and some of us were born in the United States. An attitude of arrogant superiority is not flattering to you nor conducive to reasonable conversation.
  • Feb 6 2013: Lets admit some basic facts first;

    1) Gun kill people.
    2) It's easier to kill with a gun than without.

    Now the question of significantly reducing the sheer number of deaths by taking away guns, regardless of the victim's race, creed, color or country.

    The answer to this is, I am afraid that you'd have to take guns away not from Citizens, but away from Governments.
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      Feb 6 2013: The point I have been trying to make is that this focus on guns in today's political climate without everyone coming to a consensus.... its like looking at a grain of sand and calling it the beach...

      Also.. it is not easier to kill with a gun, it is just less personal.
      • Feb 6 2013: To say that... "Also.. it is not easier to kill with a gun, it is just less personal. ', is just plain nonsense, and hardly worth me bothering with a reply - but i do, as I try to educate where I can.

        You seem to forget, or didn't know, the basic law of ANY and ALL inventions are..."To make things easier". That is and always will be the overriding tenant and motivating force behind any invention, weapon or no.

        It simply has nothing to do with being personal or no. Nothing. If you use a car or an egg whisk, it would be tantamount to saying that the car has been invented as walking is too personal, or so is beating an egg with a fork.

        To make things easier - with regards to weapons means quite simply - to kill more people with less effort.

        That would and does include hand-guns / semi-automatic guns / grenades / RPG / scud missiles / Napalm / Agent Orange / nuclear bombs ... and every other weapon throughout history ever invented too.

        The the majority of deaths are simply put committed by Governments.

        I suggest you watch "The fog of war" with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. He might be able to explain it better to you.
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          Feb 6 2013: Thank you for your educational efforts, but I am old and set in my ways. I haven't forgotten about the necessity of invention. I am not sure of your experience of shooting another person.
          But I am sure that if you had, you would find it less personal then using a knife or your bare hands.
      • Feb 6 2013: As I said watch "The fog of war" with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. It explains everything.

        P.S. Mike; you're never too old to learn, if it was true, you wouldn't be on here :)
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          Feb 8 2013: Hi,
          I served in the US Military under Mr McNamara. I was in the war, he was in the fog.
          I'm sorry, his vision of how to conduct military operations for successful conclusion
          were... unsuccessful.

          From looking up from my point of view he was too smart to listen and too smart learn.
          I thumbed through the book when it first came out. I don't accept his apology for failure.
  • Feb 5 2013: OK, controversy aside, Firearms were not invented to be safe. They were invented to give advantage to those possessing them. A safer gun is almost an oxymoron. The use of those weapons is the core of the debate.
    The ones who commit the crimes as in the latest atrocity are said to be mentally ill and most would agree that a mentally ill person is probably ten times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator. Columbine, the perpetrators were said to be outcasts of the school or social networks. They were tired of their inequality and acted out in a way that most should and would not. My point is this there are dangers in this world mostly human nature that a weapon is good for. /the weapons are not the problem in my view, we are.
    We tend to exclude others to the point of severe pain to those very people. A lot more compassion and understanding of those we would separate ourselves from might go a long way to solving the majority of problems we face as a society.
    So the next time you want to remove or separate someone from participation in our society or clique. Try doing the opposite they might not as bad as we think, which is usually the case,, it will take guts but it just might save a loved one or perhaps you.
  • Feb 3 2013: I have attempted to have a legitimate conversation with some on this forum, but it seems to be for naught. I have heard if there were just more regulations, but wait, we have regulations. The problem that no one wants to address is the problem of politics. Our government officials are attempting to throw us a bone. Apparently everyone watches CSI and thinks that if a crime is committed with a gun, all you have to do is give the serial # and a computer will spit out the name, not so. It can take months for the name of the owner to be found as we have no national data base, and the state offices are not computerized. Apparently the government isn't as anxious as they pretend to be to anti-gun people. Notice i say anti-gun people, and not nuts. We will never be able to do anything until the laws we do have are implemented. You peole out there that disagree with me, thats fine, but why descend to calling me dense, or obtuse just because I don't see your way? Is that really how you carry on conversations? Do all Australians when debating resort to name calling? I do not mind that "others" have entered into this discussion, what I do mind is when they think they have the right to tell us why our historical documents that have served us so well are wrong, and that we should change them, when they still have a monarchy. Our country broke away from that, and it's fine if you still wish to cling to your traditional ways. it's fine if you wish to offer advice, but it's not fine to tell us that our rights are out of line, or barbaric. If our stats are so embarassing, then by all means distance yourselves from us, remove us from your friends list, denounce us all you want, but please refrain from comparring yourselves to us, I haven't went there yet, and wish not to.
    • Feb 3 2013: Couldn't say it better myself Tim/Timothy, which ever you prefer. The use of "dense", "obtuse," and others like these are just the use of a detraction by a party or individual that has no argument to make.

      I'll state it once again. Instead of making an enormous issue of gun violence, why doesn't everyone just drop the issue? If the media and everyone that's into the Self-Esteem Movement would just stop bring this up it might be the best possible way to stop it from happening. People die and that's a fact of life. Yes, it's sad and a horrible thing for everyone to go through but we all do. There are many more important topics that need to be addressed in the USA.
    • Feb 3 2013: Tim

      the British Monarchy is a showpiece and relic. It has not, and has not for centuries, had much to do with the real power structure in the UK. Just to put yourself in their shoes for a second you must admit that the idea that the US has the exclusive rights to the best and only viable form of western democracy is somewhat narrow.

      the idea that the Brits are the ones "clinging" to their traditional ways is a bit of pot calling the kettle since that is exactly what you are arguing for. That is not to say you are wrong but I have quite a few British friends and they are not exactly the traditional sticks in the mud.

      I also think that more important than Newtown or these rarer large scale murders, there are some pretty big figures around unintentional shootings. just locks on the gun would be enough to just put those away.

      Like I have said I have no problem with you owning a gun. I do have a problem with the fact that guns are the only product not subject to basic safety regulations in the US and since it is a thorny issue on how one might impose safety standards, technology probably provides the least high hurdle path through.
  • Dan F

    • +1
    Feb 3 2013: I say go where the problem is to start to see if it is possible to turn the tide where this kind of violence is so prevalent.

    There is plenty of evidence including significant signs of actual, or potential personal violence in this country involving guns and other weapons to warrant a new approach to controlling the problem.

    I like the idea of making people accountable for their own actions. The best way to do this is through enhanced personal IDs' of selective individuals. Anyone convicted of a crime would enter the system. Anyone determined to be participating with a violent gang would automatically enter the system. Anyone repeatedly identified as the cause of domestic violence, or significant public disorderly conduct would enter the system, etc.

    Those individuals entering this enhanced surveillance system would be required to register all guns in their possession and disclose where they obtained these items. These weapons would be surrendered to authorities for permanent storage for a minimum of ten years.

    Any individual in this system would be subject to unannounced searches of their person and property for weapons including knives. Any violations would result in automatic jail time and assigned to professionally conducted meetings to help resolve a resorting to their "old ways."

    If we could curb this kind of on going weapon violence especially in the inner cities, then perhaps we could learn some important lessons about how to expand this enhanced ID system to deal with the more sensational, but less predictable aspect of gun violence, or any personal violence so painful because it appears so unexpected.

    I do support the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but also believe an individuals rights can be revoked based upon that persons misdeeds through legal action.

    There is no painless way to effectively address this problem in my view.
  • Comment deleted

    • Feb 2 2013: Unfortunately we seem to be repeating it every day.
      • Feb 2 2013: How many kids have the sentiment that it is "awesome" when they see movies where people get blown away by bombs, or mowed down by machine guns. Video games also. I cringe when I see this representation of human lives being destroyed, and am awestruck by our youths' feelings of elation. It is the wrong response. Yet, even the Heroes of movies and games do this. What have we, as a society, have been feeding our kids? How did we not expect this to happen?
        Take some one with any type of mental issue and they (especially that particular generation, which is what we are seeing as the perpetrators of these crimes) and of course, when they have issues with anyone, that is what they look at as the way to solve their problems. It used to be more prevelent that they would harm themselves, now they want to take out as many other people as they can It is the modern style or expression of choice, because that is what they see glorified in film.

        Creative expression be damned!! Where is common sense?
  • Feb 1 2013: Intelligent debate is lost on both sides of this issue. Only satire, ridicule and comedy will move either cause to re-examine its position and only when the absurd is personalized. A Mark Twain with present day communication technology (motion pictures, you tube, etc.) could show extreme positions more clearly than any serious written dialogue. We need Archie Bunker, Ralph Kramden, and Deputy Barney to jolt us into looking anew at the messages from both sides that are now simply repeated without thought or reason. Elmer Fudd and Dick Chenyt hunting a rabbits with an AK 47 is makes the thought that automatic weapons with extended clips are hunting rifles as the NRA has claimed comical even to the gun supporters. Edith Bunker being mugged while carrying a gun but unable to use it because it is locked only for Archie's use would show another issue. Six armed guards in a gun battle with each other because someone in a crowd started shooting and so now they are firing at anyone with a gun is a possiblity. The guard at the school who needs a guard because obviously any planned occupation will target the guard first could be a whole chapter. Yes, ridicule will get us much farther than personal opinion in this matter. Paint Your Wagon, It's a Mad Mad Mad World and Texas Across the River are fine examples we could follow, but for the best effect the Pink Panther series seems to be the most usable template here. We need the good Inspector Clouseau and bitting satire to allow us a fresh look at a serious matter.
  • Jan 31 2013: Ben: what makes you say the G.C. has worked in "every country that has tried it"?! i would say the opposite. And the only reason there is little illicit manufacture is that it is so easy to smuggle guns anywhere that there is no need for it. And are you saying the the Yakusa never has anyone killed? Or that they use some other means? So what? As for the constitution, any scholar would clarify that hand held weapons were envisioned, not A-bombs.
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      Feb 1 2013: Hi Shawn,
      You are perfectly sure that no one has developed a shoulder fired tactical nuke..

      Seriously, beware of 'any scholar', I just heard of one saying 'We don't really need the's old and out dated... written by a bunch of non scholars 200 years ago and they are all dead'. Base on his scholarly wisdom, I am faced with a choice, run over to library of congress and tear that worthless piece of paper out of it's frame or run into my library and tear that worthless certificate of scholarly recognition out of
      it's frame.
      When I was young, a PhD was well respected and we hung on every word. Now days, you get more truth out of the bikers at the local bar. All due respect to the Road Warriors.
      • Feb 1 2013: Mike: I seriously doubt that any scholar would attempt to say that our armies of the Revolution were not "Militia", in the old English sense, who provided their own weapons,, ammo , and 3 days rations, all for used as infantrymen in the style of the day. Translated to now, it wouldn't be much different.. Only one- man weapons are considered, naturally. Trying to suggest that it means anything one man can't handle is just lawyer talk. There is no suggestion lthat the "regulars" would not take care of such things as artillery, etc. It's all about the bulk of the Infantry.
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          Feb 1 2013: Shawn,
          I was pulling your leg, excuse me. Many comments ago this conversation turned left on the road to constitutional analysis. The constitution means only what at least 5 members of SCOTUS says it means.
          The question of solving gun violence or solving anything in this insane political climate .... How could there be a solution even a painful one? In this insane political climate, we aren't going to solve gun violence, unemployment, healthcare cost, global warming, global cooling, falling education ratings, poverty, male pattern baldness or the common cold.
          But, back to your comments. Translated to now, militias are state military units. Here in Texas, it is the 36th Infantry Division, complete with infantry, armor, artillery, aircraft just like the military divisions assigned to the Federal government. In fact about 3/4 of the military might of the USA is under the command of various state governors. Think of it this way, during WW2 when all the military resources including the states were engaged, the Axis powers met and discussed the end of the war and the division of the USA. The Germans expressed concerns because their intelligence was tens of millions of Americans had firearms. After the fall of Stalingrad, Hitler was said to have cancelled plans to invade America. We need to have more respect for those, beer drinking, gun tooting, bible clinging, rednecks. They maybe all that is keeping the wolves from our door.
      • Feb 1 2013: The shoulder fired tactical nuke was developed in the 60's but never implemented, or tested, because of the potential harm to the user.
  • Jan 30 2013: the part of English class you apparently missed.

    first off the version you have put up ", the right of the people to keep and bear arms," is an appositive phrase so the right applies to the well-regulated militia and the people are a modifier. That said this version which was in the original but not in the in the one ratified by the States which did not have the comma after arms which means that the "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," is the modifier which defines the parameters of the right.

    either way does not really make much of a difference because in point of fact the only way to resolve this logically is to give both modifiers equal weight otherwise they are logically contradictory and at least partially mutually exclusive.
    • Rich B

      • 0
      Jan 30 2013: Sorry, that's incorrect. The right is "of the people." Note the norman genitive. The right belongs to the people. And Look up nominative absolute -- you'll see I'm correct. The construction is parenthetical and modifies the adjacent clause. If you believe the right is conditional, show me the conditional conjunction.
      • Jan 30 2013: look up appositive. the nominative absolute interpretation you are trying to forward is not applicable with the version you posted but is in the state ratified version. regardless absolute constructions are modifiers, that unlike appositives, are not considered throwaway's and instead of applying to the specific noun or noun phrase apply to the totality of what they modify, ipso it is the condition of the right as it modifies the general case to a specific one.

        anything else?
  • Jan 29 2013: I'm personally against every trigger happy person having guns. I could ramble on with my personal conclusions, but I feel like Jon Stewart captures most things with quite an entertaining take on things. Seriously, watch this! You'll get educated and have a few laughs.

    Check this link:

    I honestly admire the ability of the gun industry beneficiaries to strategize and implement policies to undermine the governance of the industry. It's an impressive undertaking, one that I'd love to see some ambition law student write a paper on.
  • Jan 29 2013: Gun control is always followed by genocide, every time, every time, every time, So if you advocate for gun control, you are the moral equal of Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and a host of other evil men. An armed Citizenry is the only way to prevent evil.

    People often say: "It is a weak argument when you play the Hitler card." Yet this is in fact the most perfect place to make the comparison. Historically the comparison is accurate.

    The US Constitution was written the way is was written for a good and cogent reason but it was immediately seen as dangerous, Too dangerous in fact to be ratified without a bill of rights. Thus any attack on the Bill of Rights undermines the legitimacy of the USA Government as a whole and sows the seeds for a civil war.
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      Jan 29 2013: This is a good point, but I would like to point out that the Bill of Rights, more specifically the 2nd amendment, was created to protect citizens in the time of war and from the British Army. It was written in the 1700s for the 1700s. There is no way the fathers of our great country could have predicted the world as we live in it today. (George Washington, himself, said a country should go through a revolution every 100 years because a government will become too outdated, corrupt and powerful.) When it was written they used muzzle-loading single-shot weapons. Now we have semi-auto assault rifles that are specifically designed to kill massive amounts of people. I do not have a problem with hunting rifles and shotguns, but weapons specifically designed to kill other people should be regulated. Don't you think this is a fair compromise?
      • Jan 29 2013: The weapons available to evil men are more powerful today as well, the good guys need the state of the art even more today than at any point in the past.

        As for "evil Semi-Automatics" these are the compromise, a real assault rifle is Fully-Automatic and were outlawed in the USA in 1986. Your argument shows little understanding of firearms, history, law (Constitutional or otherwise). We Americans have compromised as much as we can, no more.

        Undermining the bill of rights voids the Constitution as adding the Rill of Rights was required to ratify the Constitution and create the USA Government. We Americans see gun control as treason.
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          Jan 29 2013: We today do not see gun control as treason. The founders of our nation did at that time. Using their ideas of how to control civilizations for todays world is like taking a manual from a Model-T and trying to repair a 2012 Mustang. Things change with the times and why shouldn't our laws. The law is so far behind it is troubling. The last amendment to the constitution was in 1992. Think about how much has changed since even then. We desperately need to rethink our laws and regulations and be open minded about it. This nostalgia people have about the past and our past leader is wrong on many levels. If our founding fathers saw how the law hasn't changed with the times they would feel let down. Whether its guns or the quartering act or any other law, we need to look back and say how can we change this to fit our world. I think this involves getting rid of guns that are here for the sole purpose of killing people. What other reason do you need a hand gun or semi-automatic weapon for. There are none.
      • Jan 31 2013: Eric: No, "Gun Control" is only a tool useful for those who would like a Police State. As far as preventing any shootings , it is not only useless, but actually counterproductive. "Gun Free Zones" attract deranged killers; why is it so hard for G.C. fans to figure that out? Do they think criminals are stupid?! And guns in civilan hands PREVENT something like 2100 crimes a day in the US. Why is so hard for G.C. fans to understand that a crime prevented is not "News", so it is not counted as significant, but it is.
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          Jan 31 2013: We are never going to prevent all shootings, this is a fact of life. There are messed up people out there who want to do bad things. All I am saying is make it harder for them to. It doesn't matter how many crimes are stopped when the US still has one of the highest murder rates in the world. I do not have a problem with hunting rifles and shotguns to hunt (I enjoy trap shooting as much as anyone), but guns that only kill people are morally wrong. Having a gun in your pocket makes the escelation of a fight much worse. It makes people more inclined to push the envelope and resort to pulling it out and firing in a situation that may not have required it. I have seen many good stories about MMA fighters stopping crimes, so maybe everyone should learn jiu jitsu in grade school to make the world safer to follow your logic. I just think with the regulations now it is way too easy for those deranged people to get a gun. Bad things are happening because of that and there is no denying that.
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          Jan 31 2013: Australia? Gun-free and mass killing free for 16 years now. We also haven't spontaneously become a police state.
    • Jan 29 2013: Do you really think American civilians would have been able to stand up to Hitler if they were armed with guns? I'm pretty sure they wouldn't stand a chance, let alone against the American military. With that said, we should encourage people to start keeping tanks and bazookas in their garage so that if an "evil man" were to come into power, armed citizenry can save the world!!

      Don't be silly.
      • Jan 30 2013: Well considering that us American Civilians did in fact go to Europe in WWII and did in fact defeat Hitler and his adherents.

        To call what was in fact done "silly" is disconnect from reality.

        No in America being drafted into the Army does not make one a professional Soldier. We do our bit and we go home, the correct phrase is Citizen Soldier.

        For that matter the Armed Soviet Partisans was a major contributing factor to Hitlers defeat as were the French Resistance, which more than proves my point.
        • Jan 30 2013: after they joined the ARMY and were supplied at a rate 10 times that of the German army. Rashaad's post is obviously true. the German's came within an inch of taking out the Soviets. would have if Hitler had not screwed up. their solution to insurgency was just kill everyone.
      • Jan 31 2013: Rashaad. You should read up on your history. The US was founded as a result of defeating the Regular British Army. Both the US and the Soviet Union's Armies have been defeated at various times by illiterate militias with rifles. The US is losing 2 such wars at this very moment.
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      Jan 30 2013: We're still awaiting ours.
      • Feb 1 2013: Peter: No country "spontaneously" becomes a Police State. It is always a process, and it appears that it also requries a DRASTIC social trauma to catalyze it. Such as Germany in 1933 or Russia in 1917. Australia , I believe,has so far been blessed in not undergoing such a thing, And possibly, not having the class distinctions that help it happen. Our Founders were well aware of these tendencies. Note how the 2nd amendment refers to "infringement", translate that into contemporary "sensible gun control" and you can see that they were smarter than we are now, somehow.
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    Jan 29 2013: This is an obvious fact that people need to get through their heads - Bad people do bad things, but them having access to guns only makes their bad deeds worse. We need to get guns out of as many hands as possible because it makes violence and mass murder so much easier. Nobody could walk into a school with a knife and kill 20 people before being stopped, but with a gun it is really easy. It makes me sick that politicians are more hell-bent on regulating the size of soft drinks consumers can buy than controlling guns. Apparently most people in Washington believe soda drinks are a bigger threat than guns. Absolutely idiotic, and something needs to be done.
    • Jan 29 2013: Guess what, people will get guns regardless of what you ban. I lived in England and hung around with some shady people (Never got into their "activities") but I was told by a friend that if I ever needed protection (A Desert Eagle) that he could get me one. (Only 800 Pounds) I couldn't believe it! In the most regulated country in the world!

      Laws only restrict the Law-Abiding. Criminals do not and will not follow your rules.
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        Jan 29 2013: I agree totally Jazz, but it will make it harder than it is now to get a hold of them. It is a fact that if people want something bad enough they can get it, but I just think regulating firearms will make them less common. The fact that anyone can walk into a gun show, here in Nebraska, and purchase a weapon without a background check and training is crazy. This will stop the people who get an idea and one day decide to randomly walk into a mall and gun down 50 people. You can never stop everything, I agree with you on that, but trying to is better than sitting aside and doing nothing while children and innocent people die.
        • Jan 30 2013: If people want to make a difference they should look at themselves and the people they are responsible for first. Do I think that everyone should own a gun? No, I don't. Will I make it so that they cannot get a gun? No. It is not my decision. If they ever threaten my life or the life of my family I will defend myself. But my job is not to "save" anyone but myself and my family.
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        Jan 30 2013: That seems a little selfish to me. I totally agree with you that we need to look hard at ourselves and our loved ones first. The problem with society now is that there is no community. Everyone seems to have your sentiment about 'I am going to get mine and others are not my responsibility." We live in an age where we have to work together or our way of living will fall apart. We need to look out for each other like it is our nature to, and care for the well-being of people as a whole. It saddens me to hear you say it is not your job to "save" anyone else. If your kid were in school and something bad happened wouldn't you want someone to step up and save him. I would, so it is everyones responsibility to save each other and protect other people's loved-ones. That is how humans survive.
        • Jan 30 2013: Do not get me wrong, if I have the opportunity presented in front of me I will defend those in my immediate surrounding. As long as doing that does not threaten my family. If it is a decision between saving any number of people or getting my family out of a situation safely, I will safely extract my family. Is that selfish? Yes, and I am ok with that.
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        Jan 30 2013: I completely understand what you are saying. I would probably do the same thing, but I think the good for the group is more importand that the good for the one and people lose sight of that, especially in politics on issues like gun control.
        • Jan 31 2013: In essence you feel that a group of people have more value than you do? I am sorry but I cannot submit myself to such an idea.

          Read "The Sword of Truth" Series. A very good read and an amazing parallel for this subject.
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        Jan 31 2013: Ya I guess I do feel society has more value than I do. I respect the fact that you cannot submit to that and totally understand your point as well. I will read that series it sounds interesting and thought provoking.
    • Jan 31 2013: Eric: Yes , something does need to be done. What we should work on the this US popular idea that murder is exciting, entertaining, and can be "useful". It is one of those cases where leading by example would be a big help, but our President, for example, is going in the Opposite Direction, earning praise for having the "courage" to have various people assassinated around the world. Not to mention our Army doing the same thing. No trials, no formalities, no concern for "collateral damage". No wonder some young people who are not very "tightly wrapped" go on shooting sprees. And if it is a matter of the evil influence of "guns", why are not the Swiss doing this? They have more guns than we do.
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        Jan 31 2013: I totally agree Shawn. The system is broken and you are completely right. Murder is glorified, but don't you think it will take a combination of reducint the romanticism of murder and controlling access to the weapons that do it. How many people have guns just because they are cool (I can think of many just in my family). There is a side that wants to ban all guns and a side that wants to keep all guns and control how killing is seen. I subscribe to the theory that the answer is somewhere in between.
        • Jan 31 2013: Eric: I'm glad, and impressed , that you agree about the murder glorification concept. I see that as the major problem. As to the second part of your idea, we should give careful thought to just how "Gun Control" could actually be made to work, as anything more than a useless , counter productive "feel -good" sham. And you soon would have to conclude that it would require a Police State to do it, and a far more efficient one than the Soviet Union ever was. It would amount to a coup, if carried out.And all this to "save the children"?! By the way, let's note that a lot of those "children" (below 21 years old) are actually drug gang assassins, totaling many more than merely innocent bystanders. Sad, but true, that G.C. would not save a single one, and might actually make it worse.
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        Jan 31 2013: I definitely see where you are coming from. Maybe these should be state laws then instead of a federal mandate. Take certain types of guns and large volume clips and make just them illegal to own outside of a licensed gun range. This would require a task force like the DEA, but most people don't have a problem with the DEA (it's essentially the same concept.) It doesn't have to be a military effort to get all guns gone, It would be a state regulation and a branch of the police we already have. I don't see us taking a drastic turn like a Police State to enforce this. It would reduce at least some (not all, but some) of the unnecessary killings made by people who get drunk break into their dad's gun case and go to the mall to cause havoc (organized crime is a different story). Do you think this idea could work?
        • Feb 1 2013: Eric : I'm sorry to say this, but we are not the Swiss. Your plan might work with them, , but then, they don't need it. In the US, we have a large contingent of fairly ordinary people, let's call them Rednecks, who are very suspicious that ANY G.C. measure is merely a cover for mass confiscation, as it developed in Britain and Australia. This kind of person is well aware that G.C. ONLY affects ordinary people , not criminals, and they assume there is an ulterior motive in the whole thing, since it would only facilitate some kind of government takeover, by...(name your favorite bete noir) While I am not a redneck myself, I appreciate their good qualities, especially their concern with the Constitution , as well as common sense when it comes to fending off attackers, etc.I am so "Liberal" I have been accused of being a Communist in the past, but on this issue, the Rednecks are absolutely right, and in a common sense kind of way. Liberals these days are very far from Jeffersonian thinking, as is the Democratic party. They not only don't trust people, they brag about how they run screaming from the room if they see a gun anywhere. Jefferson would be appalled to think that the "Enlightenment" has come to this.
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        Feb 1 2013: Yes, you are absolutely right. I am from Nebraska and live around a lot of those "Rednecks". The thing is that no matter how many conspiracy theories they can come up with they will never do anything about it, and if they do it will be short lived before the next theory abounds. (have you heard about the flouride conspiract in the drinking water, its all I heard about for about a month and now, nothing.) However, they are also a little backward in their thinking. When having these types of discussions with people like that they romanticize past times and look badly on the future and we cannot do that. WE have to embrace the future and make it a better place than our past was, and not fall into their thinking of recreating the past.
        • Feb 1 2013: Eric: I admire your enthusiasm. Part of the problem is that a lot of people feel "disenfranchised". Yes, I've heard about how fluoride is a plot to dispose of industrial waste into the drinking water, on the basis of purportedly shoddy science. But since it has been banned in many European countries, I'm still waiting to see what the truth is.
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        Feb 1 2013: There are things that we do not know for sure. I do not know if there is a right answer to this G.C. question though. The more I talk to people the more I start to feel both sides have valid arguments. There are very intelligent people on both sides. I wish our policy makers could sit down and have convorsations like this. Maybe they need to take a page out of this book and something might get done or at least they could find middle ground. It is nice to see this many people who genuinely care for the well-being of our country. I think we can all agree on that.
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    Jan 26 2013: This one is a kind of no-brainer, in my books, however, I am Canadian and our law is much more strict, with commendable reason.

    Nevertheless, gun registry is simple, and can be answered simply by asking:
    -Why do we have driving permits as well, vehicle registration?-
    • Jan 29 2013: Simply put, Arms are a Right. Vehicles are a privilege. Before you argue about cars not existing in that time. Think of this, they had horses so transport by a means that was not human was possible. Why didn't they add that to the Bill of Rights?
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        Jan 29 2013: {face palm}

        Yeah, and the Bill of Rights was written on hemp paper... Tell you what;
        Go into an Office Depot, look for some hemp paper, come back, and tell me what you find.

        Secondly, I would think that a concerned patriot (such as you seem), would be more interested in potentially preserving the lives of his fellow citizens. Not some silly rule, that society is evolving past.

        • Jan 29 2013: I am interested in preserving the ability for people to live their lives freely. Freedom and security for everyone do not work together. It is up to the individual person to protect his or her self and family. That is your responsibility. I am interested in my fellow citizens taking responsibility for themselves.

          People are born, they live several decades, then they die. Nothing tragic about it. I am interested in people being able to live free though, and freedom can be scary and dangerous. I will take freedom over safety. Living life constricted by everyone else's fear and irresponsibility is the same as being in jail.

          Just so you know, the "silly rule" that you are talking about exists so that you may use the "silly rule" before it to talk to me. take a second to think about that before talking about our Bill of Rights disrespectfully.
        • Jan 29 2013: On the hemp paper comment. Hemp is coming back because of the States using the Bill of Rights (the 10th Article) to regulate their own growing of hemp and marijuana. The States had allowed the Federal to dictate Unconstitutional laws and now they are taking that power back.
        • Jan 29 2013: Oliver: You suggest that the Bill of Rights is outdated and irrelevant . Assuming you are a grownup person, do you really believe that human nature has changed in a mere 200 years?!
  • Jan 26 2013: I am 30yrs old. I am a licensed firearm instructor and I don't ever force or even strongly encourage people to join the shooting sports even if it is for personal/home defense.

    It is very disturbing to hear people talking about banning firearms they know nothing about. Currently by the definition at least 90% of guns today are "Assault Weapons". They are admitting they have never used or touched a firearm yet they feel they have the right to tell us what we do and don't need. In what other aspect in life would this be acceptable? How can you discuss such major actions without knowing what you are even looking at? The truth is by doing it blindly it is showing that it is an all out assault on the 2nd Amendment and firearms in general.

    There was a time when it was very common for schools to have shooting clubs. Even in 1998 in SoCal I took a class in school for Gunsmithing. Kids had rifles in their trucks for hunting season and im talking less than 40miles from Los Angeles. I tell you anti gun people honestly, it is NOT the firearm that is the problem. Education in firearms is seriously lacking. Guns are everywhere and will continue to be regardless of what a piece of paper says. If you care about your kids, teach them to at least not touch and get an adult... at the very least please!

    Do i have an answer? No... I wish i did. I do think the medications that kids are being put on for simply being hyper or not putting energy where the school or parent wants it is not helping. Bullying in school is worse than ever with everything being online and accessible to the world. Kids are being prescribed Anti Depressants and turned into Zombies and that just doesn't seem right.

    IMO if you are going to be anti gun, then your opinion is mute unless you have actually learned about what you hate so much. In CA we have 10rd magazine limits and it takes less than 2 seconds to change a magazine. Please, do your homework. Don't be uninformed like the politicians :(
    • Jan 28 2013: joe,

      did not say ban guns. think everyone knows that is fighting city hall (not necessarily because the majority would not go for it). just for the fun though try looking up a map of per capita gun ownership and per capita gun related deaths. the two map directly correlate (lowest in the northeast and highest in the south) so empirically the idea that the availability of guns is not the problem is complete hooey unsupported by the facts.

      only by deliberately ignoring rationality, reality, and a preponderance of the scientific evidence can one make the statement that the guns do not directly cause the problem. you do not sound like that type and I understand the tradition of gun ownership but that argument it is as much a non-starter for anyone with a search engine as banning the guns.

      Is violence part of the problem? Yes, but saying violence is the core issue is like asking why if you walk into a cage with a lion it will kill you. give 1000 people guns and guaranteed someone is getting shot damn quick. we kill. it is what we evolved to do and ever since our main competition stopped being other predators and shifted to being other humans we have perfected that skill to an art form. it is embedded in our societies like a virus or our intestinal flora.

      what is strange to me is that none of the gun owners that have posted in this debate have put forward the real argument at the base of their opinions and arguments -

      " the rate of incidence of deaths are an acceptable price for my right to have a gun".

      when you clear away all the mental illness and "guns are not the problem" absurdity all this boils down to one side believes the price is worth the cost and the other does not. Ipso that only way for both sides to have marginally positive results is to find a way that does not infringe the right but at the same time reduces the rate of incidence. one side cannot have it all its own way.
      • Jan 29 2013: The price of another persons life for my Right?

        Do you equate my defending my right, to be on even grounds with someone who would do me harm, to pulling the trigger on an innocent person? If so, then you should be looking at your argument a little closer.

        Every person should have the ability to defend themselves, period.
        • Jan 29 2013: there is nothing in the second amendment that guarantees your right to own a gun to defend yourself. the state yes. yourself no. there is no legal precedence that conflates second amendment rights and individual self-denfense so if that is why you think you should be allowed to have your gun then you conclusion is flawed. (by the way I am not saying that means you cannot have a gun. i am just saying that what you are talking about is not a constitutional guarantee)

          And on the second paragraph nope that is not at all what I said. I said you prioritize the general value of the right to own guns over the negative effects of owning guns. namely people getting shot.

          actually it is just logic. you may not think about it this way but if you go back to the most basic set of established facts -

          facts: 1) if guns are not readily available the rate of deaths goes down. 2) correlations of rate of incidence in all other areas people are talking about, mental illness, tv and game violence, etc., is not correlated by geographical area 3) rate of guns per capita and rate of gun related deaths per capita are.

          conclusion: number of guns is directly correlated to deaths and there is no other general correlation in the data. therefore reduction in deaths is a function of reducing the number of guns. (this is directly derived from the actually data and correlation)

          options: 1) reduce the prevalence of guns 2) do not reduce prevalence of guns

          if number of guns is correlated to deaths, and one does not reduce the number of guns then the reason for not reducing the guns must have priority over reducing the number of deaths. there is really no other conclusion to be drawn. the weighting of the value of the right inherently is weighted over whatever value is assigned to those effected.

          I am not saying it is necessarily wrong, but the core of the argument really is the long-term societal benefits of having an armed populace outweigh the short term negative effects.
      • Jan 29 2013: Rob-
        " give 1000 people guns and guaranteed someone is getting shot damn quick"... How come there aren't just massive killings at gun shows where attendance's depending on show can grow to 20,000 and majority are armed? Yet at the same time you say its just a natural thing that is ingrained in our systems. Well if violence and murder is just any old thing built into our DNA then what good is banning guns going to do when you can poison water supplies, make a bomb with fertilizer, drive your car through a parade or just hack up your family with a knife?

        You ask me to look at a map to see where the murders are happening, been there done that. Ive driven around the country as a Driver in the movie industry and have done firearms class all through this country. That is why the current AWB is a total joke. It goes after guns like the Ar-15 and Ak-47 (i own both btw and i use my Ar15 for hunting more than any others i own) yet these guns are only used in 1.2% of gun crimes (according to FBI stats). The most gun used in poor places are cheap throw away junk handguns most often stolen btw, and are not going to be regulated under the current proposed ban. So why are we doing it then? As awful as mass shootings are, they are very rare especially since there are well over 100 million gun owners in this country and 300+ million guns. The worst mass shooting was in Va Tech and killed 32 and wounded another 17 with 2 handguns (9mm and .22lr neither in the AWB). 2nd worst was Charles Whitman in the tower at UT. He shot 48 people with a bolt action rifle (not in the AWB) so what is this going to accomplish? Sandy hook gave the shooter 20 minutes (look it up) to have full reign to kill anyone he wanted, the fact that he used a semi auto rifle which was an Ar-15 so speed of fire didn't matter at all. The only way those kids would be alive now is if another person there were armed. Almost all of them killed themselves when faced against another person with a gun.
        • Jan 29 2013: actually no guns no dead. my 1000 comment was exaggeration for effect. that said take a sample of a 1000 people. put them in a location and then put them under stress and arm them. see what happens. expand that to 300 million people and 350 million guns with little or no controls in place.
      • Jan 30 2013: @ Rob's comment to mine.

        You say that the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee my right to defend myself? How does one write a list rob? When writing a list you will, use commas, space, ideas, to get your point across. See how I can use any of those? Space or ideas or commas? Now look at the 2nd Amendment and think about How they spoke and wrote then.

        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.

        So could it be that people's right to form a militia cannot be infringed, as well as their right to bear arms, so that the state may be secure?

        Also, I prioritize my ability to defend myself and my family over any one else's life. So, if the ability and responsibility of owning a gun relied on the person, why should I feel bad that someone else chose to not own a firearm to protect themselves?

        You talk about rate of death in relation to population density. Yup, you are right. People in population dense area kill each other. The Romans had the same issue, why are you using this to take guns? People will just use knives, or bombs, or illegal guns (I know, if no one has them no one can use them blah blah blah)

        If the core of your argument is long term benefits to a society who has been disarmed versus the short term benefits. Look at the data. Remove a peoples means to defend themselves from a government, the government goes Tyrannical.
        • Jan 30 2013: defending the state is a modifier (this would now be the fifteenth time on this rather obvious point) constraining the general case to a specific one. in the version you posted it is actually the subject so the way it reads without appositive modifiers is A well regulated militia shall not be infringed. either way this means the right is dependent on the purpose, defense of the state.

          no one said you cannot legislatively give the right to defend your family with guns. i merely pointed out said right is not mentioned or part of the 2nd amendment.

          no one suggested taking guns (this is now the 40th time I have had to point this out). did you read the idea?

          i did not say population density correlated to gun deaths I said ownership per capita correlates. actually per capita the most population dense area NY/NJ has one of the lowest per capita rate of gun deaths.

          NYC has a population density of 126,000 per km^2. they have one of the lowest homicide rates in the country.

          the core argument about long term benefits that i brought up was actually on the having guns side, eg that there may be an argument that the long term benefit you mention outweighs the short term negative (number of deaths due to guns). that is the basis of the core argument to have free for all in guns.
  • Jan 24 2013: I couldn't help but add this quote from Ozzy - “I keep hearing this [expletive] thing that guns don't kill people, but people kill people. If that's the case, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?”
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      Jan 25 2013: Then they will use.... Roman Short Swords. I understand that the Roman Short Sword was the most deadly personal weapon in history, based on the casualties caused. Or they might use spears, clubs, some might fashion bows and arrows. The point is that when you send people out to do a job, they will get the tools needed to do the job. It's evolutionary, first opposable thumbs, expanded cranial capacity, creation of tools to do work. That's why Ozzy is .... Ozzy. He slept through school.
      • Jan 29 2013: Mike: well there is one good thing you can say about guns. As they said when Colt invented the revolver, it is an "Equalizer". That is what put an end to the feudal system. (Prior to Colts.).
  • Jan 24 2013: At age 80 my Father can recall that one of his classes in high school was a shooting class.
    He was telling me that on any Sunday afternoon he and his friends might be seen with .22 rifles slung across their backs riding their bikes through neighborhoods to an open field where they would go shoot cans. He also recalled a scheduled competition for school that was held on a Saturday and to get there he walked with rifle in hand down to the subway and rode it to the competition location and after the match was over he walked over to his cousins house for dinner. It was well after dark when he got back on the subway to go home. A teenage boy with a firearm by himself in public on the subway and NOT ONE odd look from anyone.
    Let’s have a teenager take the exact same trip today, people would be screaming, phones would be recording , and cops would be standing on is neck so quick your head will spin.
    So what is the difference, it's NOT THE GUN. Because as we all know there has never been a case off a gun walking down the street shooting at people but there has been cases of a PERSON walking down the street firing a gun.
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      Jan 25 2013: John
      Your father's story was mine. I was on my high school rifle team. I got the Scout badge for marksmanship and I went out with my friends on Saturday's hunting. We went after woodchuck. It's a hard shot with a .22 but they are delicious. Later, I found myself in the Army. they issued me an M1 Garand. It was finest rifle ever. My marksmanship training proved a beneficial skill later. Marksmanship training in schools was big back then. The Army saw the performance of Sgt York in WW I. Citizens who were to be soldiers in future wars would need marksmanship training. So, when a young man was seen walking down the street with a rifle then, it was no big deal. I do remember an old neighbor lady called to me one day "to be careful, don't put your eye out"
      One other thing was different then. When my family went to see relatives in the big city, we had to drive through the poor part of town. And these people were poor, but you saw kids playing in street, moms calling out, just like on my home street. What you didn't see there then that you do now are street gangs, drug dealings, drive bys and all the things you see in big cities today. What changed? And in my lifetime?
      I am told that there is a new norm, my days are gone.
      Today it's "cool" to use a little pot, or run a line, or even better stuff out there, so what if your dealers are shooting up those neighborhoods out there. Just don't let them come to this neighborhood, it's gated. And if you little kid acts up in school, it's some kind of thing, give him drugs so he stays slumped in the back of the class. When he gets to high school he can steal a gun and shoot up all those classmates who teased him.
      But it's all about those guns, your new norm society had nothing to do with it.
      • Jan 28 2013: mike am guessing you grew up in the '50's. as a student of history you should know that period was a singular anomaly in human history.
    • Jan 28 2013: perfectly obvious that a human pulls the trigger. also perfectly obvious if there is no trigger nothing happens. this one hand clapping argument is getting really old. it is not an argument. it is a statement of fact that is obvious to everyone and has little or nothing to do with anything or a solution. it is like saying coal burning does not cause pollution, turning your light on does. what is the likelihood that people will stop turning on lights. prevalence of guns by every empirical piece of evidence is directly correlated to deaths. in science to determine causality where there is not a direct connection one examines correlations. there is nothing else that correlates as closely as ownership and deaths, not violent video game usage, not drugs, not mental illness, not ANYTHING ELSE.

      I have no problem moving on from such untenable positions as "let's ban everything". I have a huge problem with ignoring basic reality in favor of a personal desire. that means to me that regardless of what the logical side does there will never be a lasting resolution because even the most basic premises that are rigorously supported are thrown out the window... in favor of what exactly?
      • Jan 29 2013: Rob: If you are really serious about figuring it out, you really need to take into account that guns PREVENT crimes., big time. Why do the Police carry them? It's not to murder people; they are not allowed to.. Same for civilians. Something like a couple of milllion times a year, guns prevent crimes. Of course, that "Doesn't count" in the Gun Control fanatics mind. But it should.
  • Jan 23 2013: I looked into some of the suppositions that you have been suggesting here. Biometric safeties first were seen in books and comic books of the sci-fi ilk. Both Logans Run, and Judge Dredd used these safeties, and both were able to be overcome. As for kill switches, I talked to a couple of my friends, one in the Air Force, one an engineer at Boeing. Both told me our fighters are not so-equipted, even the ones we sell. They maintain it is easier to deny parts to ground an aircraft than to compromise it's ability. As for biometric glocks that you say are out there, where? I know they are playing with them, but the tech isn't right yet, and they fail under everyday use. Also they are still liable to deactivation. I would like to know where you can confirm any of this?And by the way, I own a biometric safe for one of my handguns, and sometimes it just doesn't work and I have to use the key, how inconvient if you nare faced with an assailant and your Armitex fails you.
    • Jan 23 2013: most of what I am talking about comes from stuff I have seen at Natick R&D and in some DARPA programs.

      did not say everything was ready to go but that it would take 6-12 months to get it ready.

      you are right about the biometric. Is still in R&D. F-14 I was told about in a conversation about target acquisition algorithms for missile systems related to auto detection of failure in nuclear fuel lines. The guy I was talking worked for the DoD back in the 70's. never really bothered to check out what he said.

      in the market today it is more stuff like this - which is a defacto kill switch.

      regarding the general state of R&D, the papers I have seen were I believe IEEE and used a thin-flim scanner in the grip that reads the heat pattern of the veins in your palm. each pattern is unique. I think for military and para versions they do not use biometric but an IFF signal from a bracelet or implanted chip so that the gun is not locked to single person.
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    Jan 23 2013: First, I have to acknowledge that I am a combat survivor, that I have used firearms to inflict great harm on my enemies.
    Further, I am a strict constitutionalists. I also agreed that there is an extraordinary amount of violence imposed on Americans by their fellow Americans. Such violence that deprives Americans of their life,their properties,their sense of well being, etc. is a heinous crime and violates the basic premise of our constitution. I am speaking of intentional acts of violence and the tool matters not. But, this discussion centers on gun violence.
    Some thoughts.
    1. A gun is a mechanical device, produced to to meet specific standards and to market requirements. It's production and distribution are legitimate and the purchasers are legally allowed to engage in these transactions. There are a number of safety devices designed into the gun. Trigger locks, separate magazines, to name a few. I will be honest and say there have been occasions that people have overcome all safety features and caused harm to them selves and others. It has been said that there is no cure for stupid. The addition of new safety devices would add an additional cost to the product, but would it cure stupid? So, if the buyers want to spend extra for these features, the manufacturers will happily sell them with the appropriate markup. I'm sure.
    But we are discussing illegal activities, the use of a gun in the commission of an act of violence or the acquisition of a gun for the intention of committing an act of violence. So, would the addition of an owner only device be a deterrence?
    Did the club stop them from stealing my car? Experience shows that little stops a determined thief.
    But lets talk about the constitution which seems to be of concerned.
    The first governance of the colonies after the revolution was drafted in the Articles of Confederation. A political coalition wanted a stronger central government and set out to write a new constitution to that end.
    • Jan 23 2013: as you point out no cure for stupid. interested in your take on constitution.

      idea is not only locks, but kills switches. kill switch is easy with a biometric lock. you do not solve the problem but you do reduce the rate of incidence which at the end of the day is a good first phase result. As I said in some comment below you don't solve big problem in one step or on one dimension.

      Longer term if you wanted to push the technology if you really threw some R&D at this there could be a far more interesting ways to determine to shut off the gun using voice recognition, image analysis, etc. that is a bit out in the future but if you look at cutting edge in a number of areas a "smart" gun that only allows certain behaviours in its use is possible..

      as far as I can see the only group that should have a problem with that is those who believe in second amendment remedies which if our national debate is that far off the rails then why even bother.
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        Jan 23 2013: Hi Rob,
        A couple of points. If manufacturers put the highest tech, using latest R&D and people buy it, I have no problem with this. My point was the most sophisticated gadgets can be overcome. Further, it is focus on the tool, not the perpetrator.
        I know it sounds trite, but
        We have a maniacal individual that takes weapons and causes mass casualties. There seems to be a commonality in these attacks. They occur at schools. Could it be that these individuals feel they are being left behind in some way? Can they be understood and treated before they commit these crimes? Don't know.
        The most violence occurs in big cities, in areas that are poverty stricken, crowded, educationally deprived, single parent families, etc.,etc. You know the problems. Consider this. Over time these problems have been recognized and addressed, by many governmental agencies, private charities, etc. Billions have been spent, extraordinary efforts made, and nothing changes. When we look at history, great cities have always had these problems. When we look at little towns, not so many problems. ???
        No innocent person should ever be deprived of life, liberty or property..
        But, the guilty? We send them to jails that provide, food, shelter, medical care, education and social services that are far better then the neighbor hoods they come from. Then with plea deals and good time, you can almost get away with murder. "But, our jails are so crowded." Half of our jail space is filled with victimless criminals. Bottom line is that violent criminals need violent jail time.
        There are prescribed ways to amend the constitution. In my view, the nation has made some questionable changes, for another conversation. What I am opposed to is the constitutional dilemma of the day. " It's out of date, the words don't really mean what they say, it was a different time and a different culture, they had muskets, we have atom bombs. That's all B.S. It's the constitution.
        • Jan 23 2013: I agree wholeheartedly Mike, The problem I have is that they keep bringing up "Militia" when they don't want to hear from the actual founders what they meant by that term. The whole of the pepole, make up the militia as long as they are law abiding. With that in mind I have no problem keeping a felon from getting their hands on a gun, just don't restrict an honest citizen. One other thing, these large cities with the horrendus gun crime are often very restricted so that the honest citizen has no rights, and are therefore defenseless.
        • Jan 23 2013: On first point, I guess where I am confused is why we would not just do both? and throw another five or six approaches in there? Butterfly approach is most effective way to solution. other advantage is butterfly approach to singular problems generally tends to produce solutions that have multiple applications and result in economic benefits.

          everything can be overcome. that is not really question. the question is what is the level of difficulty and what effect does that have on reducing certain behaviors. If it were easy to hack systems there would be a lot more hacking. To hack a system the bar is pretty high which in turn reduces the rate of incidence.

          the whole point over time is to reduce the rate of incidence so anything that has a salutary effect therein should be in the hopper.

          I have done a fair bit of strategy work in my life and am decent at it. What I have noted over the years is the inflexibility of single path strategies tend to lead to piss poor results. Attacking on a single front puts all eggs in one basket. which is generally less than optimal. that is basically the French approach between 1914-1940 at which point there was no French approach.

          On constitution still not a satisfying answer. I simply do not see the need for an amendment to create further safety regulations per your first sentence. As I noted in another thread the interpretation that gun types should be unfettered is not completely unreasonable. conversely that said that weapons should have substantial safety regulation, like any other dangerous product, is equally reasonable. I simply do not see anything in the complete second amendment that makes regulation and guns mutually exclusive. the amendment specifically calls out regulation and the purpose of the right which is not to defend yourself or your house or some whatever, but in the defense of a free state. I think the amendment is very clear and does not logically lead to the conclusions most draw from it.
        • Jan 23 2013: I am not sure how you can be so sure of the true meaning of the second, when you are concentrating on the word regulated. there are several historians that have written books on this subject, and most either come to the conclusion that the people's right to bear arms is pre-eminent to the militia, or in Saul Cornells's version that it is actually an obligation to own and bear arms. Either way, the way it is worded is clear in one respect and that is that the people have the right to own and bear arms. The whole Idea of a militia would be tossed out otherwise. It is the people that reulate the militia that they are a part of, it is we the people that are in charge, I believe these all go togather.
        • Jan 29 2013: Mike : one good reason for shootings at a school. They are widely known as "Gun Free Zones'" meaning the shooter doesn't need to worry about counterfire.
  • Jan 23 2013: timothy

    the problem is you are selectively picking and choosing whose writing you are using to further the actual wording of the second amendment. either you take all the framers as whole cloth with all their differing opinions (and it was not just Hamilton) or you take none and just go with what is written. you cannot have it both ways. if you select only what supports your argument then you are compromising the integrity of your point. for example GW if you selectively choose him you open the argument to an analysis of the judgement and knowledge that GW had at the time. that is not a debate you want to get into. GW's knowledge base was equivalent on many dimensions to a current day fifth grader's with the notable exception of philosophy. In the natural sciences including the social sciences they knew approximately 2% of what an adult of equal intelligence knows today. Most equivalent people are geniuses in their respective fields and they overwhelmingly find this entire argument absurd. Same with climate change. I am not saying GW's thinking was not genius I am just saying that he could not have foreseen the modern world., the leap necessary for him to envision the state of affairs that exist today is beyond human ken.

    the very intent of the document was that it be taken as is so that it would have the flexibility to stand the test of time. even then there are many anachronisms in it and the amendments. 3 being a notable one.

    what I find strange is, as should be evident, I have abandoned my personal opinion to bring up a solution that has the least pain for all parties. it is not the most logical solution but I have abandoned logic for pragmatism which is an odd conundrum. You on the other hand have not moved an inch. you are pretty much exactly where you started. it really seems more like you want to have it ,your way. Not your "whole" way in a perfect world but a good portion of it. there is a limit to how far right you can frame the debate.
    • Jan 23 2013: I will admit to that, as are you. You take it one step further and say this is what they meant. You also take it for granted that they would be okay with changeing that amendment. I believe you are wrong. It took several years for those amendments to be ratified, and all the antagonists got thier say, and yet there's the second with the words "shall not be infringed". I find it rather odd that you would compare the first president with a fifth grader, considering he was knowledgeable in calculus, and the sciences, and I for one would put his classical education near the top of even todays adults. I am not saying he would be able to answer questions about tech advances in the last several centuries, but in scientific base he would beat most adults of today. Being a genius doesn't equate with being able to lead, or even to make correct decisions and if it did, we would all probably be dead, as geniuses often act before they know.
  • Jan 22 2013: Again I disagree. I know very well that some had misgivings about the then lower classes, but the concensus was that an armed populace was a good thing, hence the second amendment. it was thought about and conjectured, but they wrote down the words, and added the shall not be infringed part, deliberately using the latin term infringere in some of their writings to show its unbreakable nature. You are trying to intelectualize a document that was written as plainly as possible. As to senatorial and plebian nature, we still have that arangement, substituting rich and poor.You talk of bringing in externallities, I hardly believe the writings of george Washington and Thomas jefferson are extraneous, or that they muddy up any waters, or contrevene the purpose or validity of the constitution, indeed, they verify it's purpose and validity. It is people that keep trying to interpret the document to their own way of thinking that is muddying the water. How sir, can you expect me, or any others to accept your opinions over that of the very people that constructed this country? I have listened back in the 60's to people that would say what they though the founding fathers meant, only to find out they were with the American communist party. I only state this because our constitution is constantly under attack by all comers. I accept no interpretation, the document is changeable in part, but must retain other parts to be kept clear of purpose. The ability of the people to defend themselves is inviolate, and it is not up to any force, foreign or domestic to change that.
    • Jan 23 2013: timothy

      if you are going to start using the framer's external writings in the conversation the first should be their thoughts on governance and their place in history with the responsibility of creating this document that would stand the test of time. The articles of confederation were their first failed attempt. the founding fathers were most influential in its writing. The articles were an abject failure. for the constitution you should be quoting Madison, Hamilton, Jay, and Jefferson. Two of whom were, dare we say it, liberals.

      Madison even realized that he had been wrong in his beliefs on the form, financing, and power necessary to have an effective national government to defend the state within his own lifetime. so lf you start brining in outside opinions you have opened pandora;s box. Especially since those pesky framer's did not fit into our neat political boxes given that the "liberals" were against big government and the conservatives were for it.

      As I said the framers were very well thought out when it cam to designing a reference point for the US that would stand the test of time and guaranteed at least a baseline compass for human endeavor. Just to stress how far back in human endeavor this was, this was before the industrial revolution. to ignore the amount of thought that went into the framing of the constitution and selectively choose quotes that you want to apply to it most definitely compromises the framers intent.
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    Jan 22 2013: I didn't realize the NRA have hamstrung any and all gun regulation being enforced by the ATF and that when Reagan had wanted to fold the service into the secret service the NRA blocked it, for such a small group they seem to have a lot of power. 30 to 40 years in sidelining and hampering the ATF?

    Apparently Reagan was a hard line campaigner for the gun lobby.

    The NRA have reacted just as bad as the Global warming alarmists or how individuals are now preaching civil war ( I was a hard liner for global warming but i still don't discount it ) If anything American reaction has been "Extreme" bordering on neurotic and when Obama announced the proposals and the 23 executive recommendations it was met with trollish behavior from the hard core predictors whose predictions were wrong. It seems to be the rise of a new form of public whip.

    The blind Demagogue

    23 five year olds dead, I thought it would have sobered the nation towards a calm and rational look at itself but instead it looks to be the opposite. Both sides deliberately taking delight in trolling each other. it kind of makes one think that one of the last sacred places that humans use to revere as tapu or "Non negotiable" has been broken. The constitution is fine, it was never in any danger to be changed but people never saw this, instead they saw the extreme opposite.

    Have people lost their sense of reverence for that which is unspoken but is known deep down to be sacred or used to be? Sacred ground has been broken.
  • Jan 22 2013: As much as we need gun control, loading our expectations for a less violent society on gun control is a sure way to fail. Gun control is not going to do it. The problem is social alienation, and the right wing's addiction to fear and alienation that magnifies it. There is a reason why libertarians and wingnuts are able to moan endlessly about government intrusion through one side of their mouthes and invite armed guards into our schools through the other -- they are drifting out of faith in society, back into the feudal habit of trusting only in personal relations. People's lives are becoming narrower and narrower. We need communities that bring people back out into public where they can see we're not all so bad as imagination and worthless media outlets suggest.
  • Jan 22 2013: how the truth is used to lie to you:

    "switzerland and israel have high gun ownership but low gun deaths" - yes that's true, but switzerland restricts ammunition so the citizens can't fire their guns, and israel lets you own guns but not at home, you have to keep them at the local army base.

    "the UK has a gun ban and they have much higher violent crime" - yes that's true, but violent crime didn't rise after the gun ban, and of the victims far fewer are killed. there are fewer violent crimes in the USA but more people get killed rather than just injured.

    "the 2nd amendment protects our right to bear arms" - yes that's true, it protects your right to bear arms without saying what form those arms are to be, it doesn't protect your right to own guns. it's currently illegal in the USA to own nuclear arms, but nobody is complaining about being denied that particular 'right'.

    "if we don't have guns we can't protect ourselves against criminals with guns" - yes that's true, but if nobody has guns criminals won't have anyone to steal them from. also, if having a gun becomes illegal, a criminal can then be arrested for having a gun, long before he gets the chance to actually kill someone with it.
    • Jan 29 2013: Ben : you don't seem to be acquainted with the Swiss militia idea. They do not have a" standing army", but a militia similar to that mentioned in our 2nd Amendment.. Every able bodied Swiss man has a machinie gun at home, with plenty of ammunition alongside it, like the "Minutemen". You are probably hearing that , at the compulsory periodic shooting practice, the government provides the ammunition. Yes, iindeed, but , as a stay at home soldier, they need to have a stash at home too, it was not the intent of the governement to deny anyone ammuniition. I wish we could reinstate the Militia here. The reason we alllowed it to decline was that it is not conducive to a war of aggression, which the Civil War was. Miliitamen don't want to leave home. However, given our present achievement of "Diversity", I suppose we could no longer trust the "average citizen with a machine gun" . In fact, it might scare them. Regrettable..
      • Jan 31 2013: nope, whoever told you that was ill-informed or just plain lying to you. every member of the militia used to be assigned only 50 rounds to keep at home, and it was regularly inspected to make sure no unauthorised use had occurred - citizens cannot use their arms whenever they please but only when ordered to to do by the government in order to protect the country.

        since 2007 even this allowance was repealed, and now no ammunition can be kept at home. the idea is if the country is invaded, men bring their guns to the local armoury and are given ammunition there. there is one exception though. you can buy ammunition at a shooting range, howvere you must return any unspent rounds, you cannot return home with them. also you cannot buy any other guns, the only guns in the country are 2 assigned to every male who enters the militia - a rifle and a handgun - so all guns can be accounted for. if a person chooses to leave the militia they can keep their weapons, however their automatic capability is removed, and when you can't possibly get any ammunition to use in it it just becomes a stick anyway.
        • Jan 31 2013: Ben : thanks for updating me about the Swiss: I had a Swiss coworker, years ago , who told me about it. But your conclusions are not exactly logical. If a competent person has a rifle or pistol, even if a "mere" semi-auto, he would probably be able to get ammunition if he wanted it. Do they also account for empty cartridge cases? It is no trick at all to reload them. And there is no smuggling in Switzerland?! Not that they seem to be inclined to shoot people, but that is my main point. It is not that guns are "controlled" in Switzerland, but that the people control THEMSELVES. But that is of course, exactly what the NRA would say, isn't it?
      • Feb 1 2013: i get your point that ammunition seems easy to come by, but outside america that just isn't the case. no one's going to give you any ammo because they don't have any to give you, it isn't sold anywhere at all so there aren't even any shops to steal it from, and yeah at shooting ranges they do count empty cases. you buy 40 rounds you can't leave until you've spent them. no ranger owner is going to risk going to prison and losing hi business to let you have a few rounds, and since it's controlled by the government he absolutely would get discovered. try to obtain some uranium in the states, that's about how much trouble you'd have to get your hands on guns or ammunition in most other countries. anyway even if someone could get a hold of guns and ammo, there's no point, because the chances he'll get caught with it and goto prison are high, while the chance he'll actually need to use the gun even once in his life are low. i've heard that a new minimum wage law is being passed through swiss parliament at the moment, $50,000 a year minimum wage can you believe? no wonder there's low crime.
    • Jan 29 2013: Ben: The chance of your plan of eliminating guns actually succeeding is , predictably, zero. Didn't we learn anything from the complete and utter failure of the "War on Drugs"?! Prohibiting objects, I mean. And drugs are not even "protected" by the Consititution, and are unpopular with many people to boot. Can you imagine the scale of gun smuggling that would result if guns were seriously banned? Not that there would really be any need to, since they could be illicitly manufactured here anyway. As if there weren't enough already stashed away. By the way, would the Police , or private guards be allowed to have them.? What about Congressmen and other important people, and their bodyguards.? And I hope you understand that your plan would require a Police State to enforce it , much more efficient and ruthless than the Soviet secret police.
      • Jan 31 2013: it's worked with every country in the world that's tried it. how do you support your claim that the possibility of success is zero? you're not seriously equating a plant with a precision manufacturer to make a case are you? also as i said, guns are not protected by the constitution. the constitution protects the right to bear arms, it does not say what kind of arms. nuclear bombs are a form of arms, do you think all citizens are constitutionally given the right to possess a couple of those too?

        as i said in a previous post (which i think is the one you meant to reply to) i think licensing is the way to go. so bodyguards etc would have a license for say a single handgun. people could make their own guns sure but why would they? in every country that has banned guns no illicit manufacture of guns has come up. here in japan actually criminals deliberately steer clear of guns because it's like a sign saying "hey come arrest me!"
        • Jan 31 2013: Ben: about G.C. success rate = 0: How do YOU define success? I don't think it will be easy to do so. And how do you explain the opposite effects we see, such as the outcome of 30 years of creeping "Right to Carry " Laws in the US , which seems to flatly contradict your conclusions? Ref: "More Guns, Less Crime", a scholarly study of the subject , by Prof. John Lott.
      • Feb 1 2013: i define success by decreased gun-related deaths. as i previously stated gun control does not reduce crime (and i don't claim that it does) but it does make crime less deadly. there are more violent crimes in the UK than in the US, but fewer people die as a result of those crimes - they're injured, not killed.
        what opposite effects are you talking about? more guns less crime talks about using guns to counter other guns, which is unrelated to gun control which aims to ensure there are no guns that need to be countered with other guns in the first place. it's the reason japanese and UK police don't even carry guns (they're unnecessary), and the reason why australian police almost never have to use their guns even though they still carry them.
        • Feb 1 2013: Ben: about "opposite" effects, I was really referring to unforeseen side effects, more damaging than the goals that were supposed to be achieved. Gun Control , for example. As an Engineer, it was my job to actually plan and carry out somebody's "good idea", so I am accustomed to think concretely about how to go about carrying out a plan. To start with, I note that the US public is divided into seriously antagonistic camps, to the point of governmental deadlock, and the disagreements are not trivial. One of the camps, if not both, take seriously the idea that the other(s) might actually seek to capture the government. Let's remember that Hitler did not come to power through a coup, but rather a gradual infringement process, justified by "emergencies". Well, one obvious and necessary step would be to disarm the public, especially in the US , with so many guns. You say you want to "save lives", but plenty of ordinary people, especially those who know how to shoot, would resist this program strongly. So how would you deal with that? Obviously you would be forced to use the Police power, the usual drill as with "Drug Enforcement". First you would request that we all follow the new "Law" and turn in all guns voluntarily. I guarantee you that such a program would have the success rate of the "Gun Buyback" programs of the past: a total flop. The next step would be to use force and intimidation, such as the laudable efforts of the government to disallow "Racial" prejudice 50 years ago. Except in this case, the resistors would believe that they are following Jefferson and defending the Constitution. There are already rumblings about how it might be better if States were allowed to secede. As well as Policemen(in Texas naturally,) saying the won't follow the "Law". What I'm saying is that this program would accomplish very little, and would certainly make internal stresses even worse than they are. The result would very likely be MORE shooting, not less.
      • Feb 2 2013: i share your pain having to carry out the "brilliant ideas" of others!
        as i've said a few times now, my plan is not to ban guns but to improve licensing of the access to guns. i don't promote disarming people as i don't promote taking people's cars away, but just as if you have a car accident you give up your license and your car is impounded. in the same way as you can't sell a car to a kid, and someone without a truck license cannot drive a truck, why not use similar rules to control the movement of weapons to ensure the public has access to their guns unless they use them or transfer them illegally, which would stem the flow of guns to the criminal element?
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    Jan 20 2013: Painless? It'll be painstakingly hard. But I do think we have the power to make a few seamless transitions.

    Criminals will have guns, always. No amount of laws will stop criminals from getting and using guns. So, instead of removing guns from this country, put them into the hands of those who already guard the schools, theatres, etc that are being attacked. [Keep in mind that gun violence is exploited, just as Vladamir Kasachueski pointed out.] These school, mall, and theater guards don't carry, but imagine if they did? Criminals would be less easy knowing someone could shoot back.

    Keep in mind that our media operates under a "Cockroach Model" as it constantly tries to highlight something that is disgusting, shocking - the worst parts of our kitchen. It does a number on us because, when we see it highlighted so often, we get the idea that this stuff is common, and we despair. Don't despair! Let's have grace with ourselves while we try to figure out a solution that will realistically take a long time to figure out. Baby steps!
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      Jan 21 2013: The issue is that every illegal gun possessed by criminals is legally made in America. So the only option is to reduce the avaialbility of guns and make stringent rule for licenses.Only give licenses if there is an imminet life threat on the person and scrutinize every application like you scrutinize Indians applying for American Visa :) .That is the only way ahead, rest of it both of us can argue and point fingers on whose fault it is.

      stats don't lie , higher the percentage of average house holds having a gun , higher is the gun related death rates.So you ahve to bring down that percentage to less than 10 to really curb the gun related death rate.
      Comparison with in America
      Comparison world
      • Jan 22 2013: Civilian gun restriction wont cool off the gun industry.

        And again, its logical that the more guns you have the more gun deaths you will have

        But guns are there for protection against violence, and self defense. Not to prevent gun death.
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        Jan 24 2013: But there is a hole in your line of thinking because there are also a mass of guns already out there. Do you imply that police ought to retroactively hunt down and eliminate these guns? I think we're just a little too late to think along that line because I think there are enough weapons already adrift out there to fuel criminal activity for many years even if we limited the supply.

        In truth, I am not against your precautions. The real solution will probably employ a lot of many precautions we are bringing up today. I think you are looking at the long-term and I am looking at the short-term and they don't have to be mutually-exclusive.
  • Jan 20 2013: Guns are horrible, violent creations of the devil; but, personal emotions aside, lets look at some facts.

    *Throughout the world, it is clearly seen that the more guns that the common people have in possession, the lower the rate of violent crime becomes.*

    But we will focus on America, and fire arm contributions to human mortality.

    To assume that violent gun crimes are America's highest death cause, and worst problem, one must actively decline to acknowledge other factors of death in America.

    Center for disease control reports - Firearm homicides 2011
    Number of deaths: 11,078
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.6

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports - Motor vehicle death 2011
    Number of deaths: 32,310
    Deaths per 100,000 population : 10.4

    Center for disease control reports - Leading causes of death 2010
    Heart disease: 597,689 (192.4 / 100,000)
    Cancer: 574,743 (185.1 / 100,000)
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080 (44.4 / 100,000)
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476 (41.6 / 100,000)
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859 (38.9 / 100,000)
    Alzheimer's disease: 83,494 (26.8 / 100,000)
    Diabetes: 69,071 (22.2 / 100,000)
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476 (16.2 / 100,000)
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097 (16.1 / 100,000)
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364 (12.3 / 100,000)

    Well hey, would you look at that.
    Maybe gun violence is being blown out of proportion?

    Funny how we don't hear the same public outrage about the rest.
    I guess nothing makes a good story like scarring the shit out of people. Horror stories are always in season.
    But no, the media would never exploit public emotion like that.
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      Jan 20 2013: Thank you for pointing this out! The US uses far more clubs and hammers as homicidal weapons than they do firearms. I get really upset that firearms are so targeted because it's a diversion. The harder questions never get tackled when we bicker about guns.
    • Jan 20 2013: difference is your fellow citizen cannot give you heart disease unless they are Mac Donald's. your fellow citizen can shoot you. your premise is flawed that all causes of death are singular in features. also flawed in that the causes of death you mention have substantial public support for solving them. there are many heart disease campaigns, charities, and hospitals. The public outcry already happened when heart disease and cancer and a number of other medical conditions were brought to the public attention. and the idea that guns should not be addressed because there are bigger problems out there implies that there should be some limit to what the government address in a given area. where should we set the maximum? 4? 10 issues? and what should we tell those effected by the other 50 issues? tough luck?
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      Jan 20 2013: Thats firearm homicides, not firearm related suicides, firearm injuries, mass shootings, accidental deaths, domestic disputes. etc etc
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      Gord G

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      Jan 21 2013: Yeah ... people die other ways too... so lets not question guns. Really? Children die of sports related head injuries so why should we enforce seatbelt laws? Do you see a gaping hole in your logic? Never mind, logical arguments have nothing to do with this situation.
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        Jan 21 2013: The question is not of death, the question is how you die: the question is after 60 whether you die of cancer or heart disease.. or do you get shot at 20 or 30 that makes a huge difference...even if it is happening to less number of people..
        .anyways all will die some you can argue that it doesn't make a difference. But the question is not just of death. the question is also about the morality of a civilized society where people like John Moonstroller think its a part of your culture.
        I am an outsider and I don't have a say in your culture, but as an average human being I feel saddened to see innocents dying and when nothing is done about it. I feel the same in Kashmir and I feel the same here.
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        Jan 21 2013: I think, Gord, he meant to point out how sensationalized this topic is in the media, nothing more. Forgive me if I'm wrong.
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        Jan 21 2013: yeah but the debate is firearms and how to control them Gord
      • Jan 22 2013: Great analogy.
        Sports related head injuries do kill children, except not in the same quantities as children that die from neglecting to wear a seat belt.
        Hence, the proportional attention and safety regulations that stem from the problems.

        Oddly, our attention has been disproportionate lately in issues of concern.
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      Jan 21 2013: I think some wikipedia would help

      Country Total firearm-related death rate
      El Salvador 50.36
      Jamaica 47.44
      Honduras 46.70
      Guatemala 38.52
      Swaziland 37.16
      Mexico 25.14
      Colombia 11.10
      Brazil 11.01
      Panama 10.92
      United States 10.2

      I think you guys are the only developed country who could make it to the top 10 list, Congrats
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        Jan 21 2013: Well, we're going to look ridiculous against developed countries like Switzerland, Ireland, and France because our population is sprawling and we have an astronomical diversity to deal with, something I'm sure is contributing to cultural tension.
      • Jan 21 2013: Indeed, however how Suicide makes up the bulk of this firearm related death.

        Homicide - 3.6
        Suicide - 6.3
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          Jan 21 2013: so do you meant to say suicides are ok. Its just a split of a seconds thought that drives a human to suicide and if he survives that instinct or notion then he may survive and live his life. If a person can survive that depression for a while he may think again and may change his mind. And easy access of a lethal weapon will make it always easier for the person to take that decision . There is no way that he is going to kill himself with a knife because he knows its not easy. Firearms account for 50 percent of all suicides in US and statistics itself speak for it.
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          Jan 24 2013: Oh wow. I didn't know that suicide with firearms was double the homicide rate. Holy wow!
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          Jan 24 2013: Suicide by gun is a bit cleaner than some of the ways creative people use to kill themselves.

          Hehe, a morbid joke. Forgive me.
      • Jan 22 2013: Unable to reply to the comment above this one(so do you meant to say suicides are ok...), so ill reply here.

        That's a great point, and leads to a whole conversation of suicide, depression, and their "treatments" in the united states which is another thorough topic. But we'll stick to gun control.

        While the other 50 percent of suicide does acknowledge that he can and actually does kill him self with a knife on occasion, that is beyond the point.

        Our gun laws should, and if im not mistaken do, deem mentally unstable persons ineligible for gun ownership.

        The only problem is enforcement of these laws.

        Instead the media exploding with this "WAR ON GUNS", and the government banning more guns (like "assault rifles" which are not even assault rifles), we should put more effort into enforcing the already present gun laws. We should make it known through the media that instead of taking away the public's guns, we are cracking down on already illegal possessions of these guns, and making it harder to get into the wrong persons hands.

        There are many other topics, problems that effect the public much more greatly, that are being overshadowed by this. (US's great financial situation, our dependence on fossil fuel, our tumorous "defence" expenditures, the environmental ravaging of our land, our unsustainable population growth)
        Our real problems stem from exactly this: Ignoring major calamities, pushing them off until later, distracting ourselfs from them, and expecting the best.
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      Jan 21 2013: *Throughout the world, it is clearly seen that the more guns that the common people have in possession, the lower the rate of violent crime becomes.*

      Completely wrong, The more normal house holds possess fire arms the more is the fire arm related death, Come on guys this is not rocket science. I don't understand why would people make such Bizarre arguments. Ok I can make another bizarre counter argument, better to wear bullet proof jackets and travel around,

      Just have a look at the below article which compares the percentage of population per country having firearms and gun related death rate
      • Jan 21 2013: You're completely correct. The more normal house holds have guns, the likelier it is to have a mishap.
        It is completely logical to predict a rise in gun related injures as more guns are available.
        It will always be impossible to get rid of death because of human error.

        But, this is where the difference between violent *crimes* and *gun* related injurys comes to play.

        It is also completely logical to assume that criminals would be less motivated to commit crimes if they are under the assumption that every other guy can protect themselves with a fire arm.
        Not only is it logical, but its proven.
        If your skeptical about the statistics between gun ownership and violent crimes i will be glad to source them to you, as im in a bit of a time crunch at the moment.
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          Jan 21 2013: You can send me in the statistics once you have time.But your argument then boils down to a simple point that who has a bigger gun or more fire power a criminal or a civilian.Then ask the logical question who would invest more money on guns a criminal or a civilian. May be a normal civilian will invest some money in buying a normal gun for self protection but a criminal would invest more than 10 times on it because its his professional tool.

          But lets say if guns are not available in market , then you don't need guns to protect yourself from some one having guns. And every illegal gun in America is legally made.
      • Jan 22 2013: Again, cant reply further, so heres my responce.

        First. Statistics.

        UK 2011
        Violent crime rate - 1360.07/100,000
        Position on gun control - No civilian gun ownership.

        USA 2011
        Violent crime rate - 387.6/100,000
        Position on gun control - Regulated civilian gun ownership.

        Yikes, what a difference. Lets check out a different demographic

        Chicago 2011
        Violent crime rate - 10.33/1,000
        Position on gun control - Extremely Restrictive gun control (can not carry outside of home)

        Phoenix 2011
        Violent crime rate - 5.52/1,000
        Position on gun control - Extremely lenient gun control (open (without a permit) and concealed (many cases without a permit) carry.)

        Now to your point. The argument does not boil down to gun power.

        Not only are Assault rifles extremely difficult to obtain * legally*. Criminals would not carry Assault rifles to rob a house.
        Not only that, but it doesn't matter if you have more fire power, this isnt war, this is a few people at most. Its whoever hits first.

        Anyway, criminals will get guns either way. Banning guns wont make it harder for criminals to get guns, but it will make it harder for citizens to get them.

        And every illegal gun being legally made in america is a bold statement. But one that dosent matter. America sells guns to different countries at rampage. Even to mexico. What they do, is none of its consideration. Gun restriction wont cool off the gun industry.

        To summarize : The more civilians (majority of citizens being good, law abiding citizens) that own guns, the higher the chance a violent criminal will get stopped, and the better defended a civilian is.
        As one could logically assume, and as backed by data, gun control averages parallel to violent crime rate.
        In the end, the more citizens own guns the safer the community becomes overall.
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          Jan 22 2013: Statistics is correct, but the way you read it is completely wrong . you are talking of a violent city with 37% African Americans(Chicago) leading to cultural tensions and on the other hand comparing it to a place where you have 6% of African Americans. This difference is the major cause of the difference you see there not the number of guns. So to make a comparison compare similar cities with similar demographics and who only differ in number of guns the average house hold possess.

          And for the decrease in crime rate
          "Based on this, framework, one model for the per-capital gun death rate D would be D = V * G * k, where V is the average tendency toward violence and G is availability of guns, with killing power k factored in. One could get fancier by through stratification: different groups have a different rate of V, and different guns have different effects, and so on. But the core idea is the same."
          So here you are comparing a city with high V to a city with Low V.

          Further this article say
          Horgan points out that since 1993, the number of gun homicides has decreased, despite the fact that there are more guns than ever. Therefore, he asserts, more guns (G) do not lead to more killing.

          "The logical hole here is that the parameter V has declined over time, as part of an overall decrease in crime." And in the same period non violent crimes also decreased suggesting that its not the guns its a tendency to do the crime has decreased over a time from 1993.
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    Jan 20 2013: I found this article, pertaining to "Gun Appreciation Day" gatherings, particularly humorous in light of this discussion:

    Accidental shootings rise as a result of people's increased focus on guns.

    When I hear comments like the one presented by Dinoop Menon, I recognize instantly that some people have no clue about the American Spirit and it's influence on gun ownership. Guns are part of our heritage and will remain so for many years to come, especially as long as violence is a part of our daily environment in this world. It's not just about conditions and personalities in the US, it's about the way the world turns.

    Violence does not respond to gentleness.

    While it's true that violence breeds violence, it's more so in the beginning, after violence is introduced in a less violent setting. Before WWII and WWI, there was less violence in the world. Those countries that denied private ownership of weapons, did not fair so well.

    Giving up guns is not a tough decision, it is a decision that has already been made by the American public. We will not give up our guns.

    With proper security, most school shootings probably wouldn't have occured.

    "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." --Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942
    • Jan 20 2013: who is talking about taking away guns? to your point not going to happen. so what is the next step? increase the presence of guns. that makes absolutely no sense. the end result of that is a heavily armed society which is basically the civilian equivalent of mutually assured destruction. the next step is too make the tool safer. we use very dangerous machines every day and with the exception of guns every one of them is heavily regulated. as a construction company you cannot just put up any crane with any mooring you want. and because of regulation deaths from falling cranes are very low. cranes have to meet national safety standards.

      explain to me specifically why guns should be exempt, eg why there should not be a (NIST) national safety standard for guns, and since your argument is almost guaranteed to be based on the second amendment please present an argument for why they should be exempt from safety standards due to the specific wording of the second amendment taken in whole and in part.
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        Jan 20 2013: Oh.... I agree with you 100% Rob but, I don't see pouring congressional time and money into something that is only going to take up congressional time and money while solving nothing is the answer. A longer process of creating a non-gun owners club that can approach the NRA in power and money would be a cheaper and more assured path.

        If we are going to get serious about gun ownership and control I think we should act serious about it, otherwise we will just talk about it (as we have done in the past) and let it blow over, as we appear to be doing.

        I've seen this gun control debate many times in my lifetime. The body count just continues to climb.

        I seriously believe if we controlled guns too much, and removed them from a greater number of people, we would leave ourselves open to invasion by other nations and perhaps even more terrorist activity.

        Before embarking on 9/11, those responsible, seriously believed we lacked the backbone to come after them. They have a twisted and distorted view of our people's tenacity. They can see we have widespread gun ownership, as they do, but they failed to note this reveals a similarity in toughness that they believed we lacked. Oops! Bad mistake.

        I tend to look at these things from a higher level. If we were to fool ourselves into believing we can live at peace with one another on this planet, we will only become a conquered nation. The sad truth is that we only sustain freedom and the American way of life through blood letting and superior fire power. Controlling these weapons is a big problem and, in my lifetime, it has never been resolved.
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      Jan 20 2013: I disagree with the statement you made about there being less violence before the world wars, but I'll leave that for another conversation. I'm mostly in agreement with you and am glad you made a point of the decision we've made: guns aren't going away. I read letters between Jefferson and Madison examining the whys and wherefores about this particular troublesome thing and I loved their attitude about it: we need to be able to have the same access that our potential captors - police - do. It definitely leaves some room for some interesting interpretation on where that boundary lies: can I get licensed to own a sub-machine gun? In any case, American citizens ought to be able to have access to the same basic mechanism - single-action firearms. For me, the golden rule is: can I get my hands on the same stuff the police are using? If that answer is "yes," I'm safe. If it's the alternative, we're in trouble.
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        Jan 21 2013: There is a hierarchy in any system humans put together. The federal government wants local police to be protected and able to efficiently do their job but they, don't want the local police to be able to fend off a federal attack. The protests in Egypt highlight the fact that the local police can take the sides of the protesters. In some of the protests against wall street, some police sided with the protesters in parts of our country and, as long as they were peaceful, didn't bother them.

        I know the local police in my city and they could be trusted to be on the side of the constitution if anything weird happened in our country. I support them.

        When someone wants to buy a gun, especially a sub-machine gun with the expressed notion they want to be equal to the police, I would question their state of mind. I'm not sure I would want that person to have access to a weapon, especially a machine gun.

        At the end of their shift, the police assume the role of common citizen and they live in their homes, with their families and you might be surprised to discover they are your neighbor. In the State of Georgia, where I live, you can own a machine gun with the proper license and background check. But if there was any hint that your purpose was to be on equal footing with the police, I assure you, you would not be licensed to own own and you might find yourself investigated a bit further.

        The police are limited in the weapons they can own and use to supervise common citizens. They do have weapons available to deal with very urgent or terrorist activities but they are locked up with only a few having access. Some of these weapons are given to certian well trained and professional officers so we can have immediate confrontation in bad situations but not all police have access.

        Most gang members are heavily armed. You should be concerned about them, not the police.
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          Jan 21 2013: I meant to point out the importance of the concept that we can attain the same weapons as those who police us, something highly valued in the literature I mentioned between Madison and Jefferson. My intention was to provide an interpretation of the second amendment. So, in that flavor, I shared my rationalization that I should be able to access the same weapons as my daily policing agents do - something you pointed out is limited as well. I think it is a good rule of thumb to follow. I'm a bit lost on the rest of your reply.
  • Jan 18 2013: The problem with violence is to complex. It is not just guns, it is a culture of violence that combined with a society full of intolerance, aggressiveness, drugs, gangs, illegal possession of weapons, political power grab, main stream media not acting like journalist and questioning authority, and promoting an agenda and giving so much publicity to all this attacks, making the mere act of appearing in the news making it appealing to obtain so much attention, and mental illness and the inability of treating it fully.

    Guns are tools that can be used for good or evil. They can kill in mass but they can save in mass too. There are already procedures to control who can own a gun and what training they have. There are no controls or training for criminal or crazy people. I think that somebody that decides to kill people can do it with a bottle, rags and gasoline, a box cutter (remember 911?), or even with their bare hands, but this stupid kids in their paranoia and violent rage remember what was done by other and how everybody saw it on tv, giving them the incentive to do something evil, taking revenge for whatever they thing had been done to them, and at the same time be famous and memorable. If the principals or teachers in any of this school attacked had a gun themselves they could have prevented a lot of deads. In crime ridden areas crime goes down when legal gun ownership goes up.

    The second amendment is a blessing in america. You do not know it until it is taken away and you are in a position of danger bycriminals or goverment. It can happen, just think Venezuela or the middle east.

    The government is going to try to control it's people more and more. They are not going to waste a crisis. But the solution is not in controlling law abiding citizens, it is in controlling the messages of violence in media and videogames, illegal guns, crime, face time of attackers on tv. Letting people defend themselves and get trained armed people in schools and areas of danger.
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    Feb 16 2013: Well what's coming into effect should be more than enough if the citizens who are legal carriers keep up with their papers.

    What about all those guns sold at the recent gun fairs? Where have all those gone?

    It seems to me to be a massive void full of unknown guns out there.

    There does seem to be a lot of unnecessary force used by police in some instances that can be construed as big government but hey! Take a look at the political system you have adopted, it only lasted 500 years before the Romans opted for a lifetime dictator. There's a lot of anger coming across the net fueled by the media. Take a look at why there seems to be a lot of dash cams that was able to pick up that meteor in Russia. No dash cam no evidence of the extreme violence of their roads over there as well as corrupt police extorting drivers.

    If they were all armed i think there would be just road wars where everyone would drive around in APC's.
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      Feb 16 2013: Ken,
      If you're buying all this nonsense you are reading on the WWW, I have a great deal for you on a bridge in Brooklyn, NY.
      Actually, you have a good handle on big picture, but some of your details are wanting.
      Most dealers at gun fairs are licensed dealers and have to comply with states laws on gun sales.
      There are private sales, but a good number of those are collector items.
      There is not a massive void of unknown guns out there. Law enforcement has a pretty good idea where they are coming from.
      There is a black market to gather mostly pistols.
      There is a large supply of guns from residential burglaries.
      Then there is the trading. A hot gun from New York is traded for a hot gun from Chicago. Two cold guns for use th those cities for crime.
      Now what about all the issues you hear about on the WWW.
      Police powers including illegal gun use rest with the states. If there becomes Federal laws then federal police are involved and that has implications greater then this conversation.
      Most of the gun violence remedies address legal gun ownership. Licensing, training, weapon type, or capacity or, or all puts additional burdens on legal gun owners. If you read closely, you seen almost no comment on illegal gun use. Although, there will be a study on the mentally incapacitated to see how they can be denied access to deadly weapons. No real effort to eliminate intercity gangs, remove illegal drug activities, no maximum imprisonment of criminals, just have legal owners jump through more meaningless hoops, then you have no knowledge of Americans and nothing I could say could mean anything to you.
  • Feb 16 2013: G'day Rob,
    Firstly, the reduction of guns in the community doesn't have to be painless for everyone.
    Here in Australia, after the Port Arthur mass murder of 35 innocent people, the Australian Prime Minister took the bull by the horns and ordered all guns that aren't necesarry for various reasons, ie, a verified need for vermin control and or eradication on farms, licenced sport shooting, licenced security, licenced hunting, policing and military and so on, be surrendered to the authorities for destruction.
    It wasn't a popular pill, however the result is that people haven't got an unnecessary gun at hand when they lose their cool.
    He knew that it would be politically unpopular, as it was with me, but I didn't really have a need for the guns I owned, so I decided to hand them in.
    I don't miss them even though I really enjoyed a bit of target shooting now and then.
    I also don't think it was a breach of my rights since, if I have a desire to hunt, I can get the appropriate licence if I show I have the correct safety and hunting knowledge through completion of a course and by pasing a knowledge test conducted by the police.
    I can also join a sports shooting club through which I can do the appropriate safety sourse and once again, pass a knowledge test, again conducted by the police.
    I also must pass a police check that can disqualify me if I have a past history of violence, not necessarily by guns.
    I think where the USA is doomed to failure is exactly what you say is the major hurdle.
    The politicians will feel the need to keep everyone happy.
    The politicians are afraid of losing their power and income.
    The corruption of politics is too entrenched in the USA so it won't work.
    Sad really, because more innocent childen will surely die and nothing will be done then either.
    I wish I could be more optimistic but it doesn't seem possible to go down that path in the somewhat excessively pursued freedom of choice society in which you live.
    Good luck though.
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      Feb 16 2013: Terry ,
      What is not made clear on the WWW, is that there are 50 states, commonwealths, a district who by US law can legislate the use, control, licensing of firearms. Some states have rules similar to what you have, some more restrictive, some less. All these legal actions must comply with our basic law of the US constitution. The people in each of these states can determine the extent of their laws. It is recognized that the needs of one state may not be the needs of another. The real question here is a matter of states rights. The current "problem" is that Federal Law would apply to all states equally. People in my state do not want to live by laws that are desired in "California". This goes back to the original Federation of States as created by our constitution. Some of our "founding fathers" desired a strong central governance. Another group was dubious of such governance as history tells of the degradation of strong central governments into tyrannical regimes. So, the "bill of rights" were added to the original constitution to guarantee these individual and states rights. The key to this bill of rights was the retention of militias, armed citizens of the state.
      Over the years, the states have relinquished more and more of their and their citizens rights. The concern is now, that with the crippling by federal law of the 2nd amendment and a push to elect the president by direct election, the states would be entirely out of the governance of the country and a strong central government would be complete. The concern for degradation into a tyrannical government is most probable in historical perspective. As previously noted, If it happened to Rome, can the USA be far behind?
      I hope I have clarified the situation as many Americans see it. Now are there problems in our society with
      social, economic, environmental, more issues than I would list. But, there is focus on the issue that would most directly support a stronger central government.
  • Feb 16 2013: In other words what you are saying is you have no proof. I think that you need to start using the freedom of information act. Since you are so smart then you know that half of what is supplied to any media outlet doesn't come from fact but comes from the left and right think tanks .............. If it's on the internet or the nightly news chances are it's not going to be strictly fact.
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      Feb 16 2013: Robin,
      You seem to be having a one sided conversation. It sure would have been interesting to read the
      comments you so skillfully foiled.
  • Feb 16 2013: Get over yourself , The point is not about what I make , It's about your constant mouthing off about something you don't know squat about.
  • Feb 16 2013: Tify , no one is asking you to give up anything. Sheesh we had gun control since the 1930's off and on. I work with criminal offenders . Out where I live we don't have to worry about our children it's really hard to understand why people in other states have allowed such nonsense weapons to come into their communities .
  • Feb 16 2013: There is tons of evidence, when you get your degree in criminal sociology then talk to me about what you know. Right now your amydala is smoking.
  • Feb 16 2013: Your degree is what ? since it's a shameful profession then whatever in the world gives you any idea that there is any such thing as mental illness ?
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    Feb 15 2013: To Andy Lee.
    Invention, development, maintenance and application of fire-arms are all manifestations of human behavior. Wondering if guns are very effective self-defense technology, at least one that has practically zero risk of being misused to harm somebody is also a trait of human behavior. Declining to discuss or look for solutions involving no guns is also part of human behavior.
    That gun itself doesn't kill is a no brainer. Btw, did you modify your comment in this thread before? I seem to remember something like ""Hello Pabrita, I don't see a reform of law that calls lethal force in the defense of attempted ra..." which I don't see anymore.
    • Feb 15 2013: Yes I did. I was prepared to answer your snarky comment about, "a love of guns" being my motivation with an equally accusatory comment and thought better of it.

      The only, "solution" I hear from non US citizens to that of firearm related homicide is to give up firearm ownership entirely because that will fix everything. It didn't happen in England for 8 years following the ban, firerarm homicides and homicide in general declined in Washington D.C. at a slower rate than existed prior to the ban, Australia has a 13 year old ban and still has firearm homicides, the same goes for Canada. Am I wrong that your country was a territory of England for decades and in that time your citizens by and large not permitted the ownership of firearms? Is it any wonder non violent protest proved to be the tool of your eventual freedom. Please understand that we are not the rest of the world. My country was established through the overthrow of an oppresive government by means of war. We have a different culture, a different mind set, and for now, we have the freedom of choice and the right to exercise it. Firearm ownership is not mandatory, nor is military service compulsory. The majority of our citzens carry non-lethal alternatives ever day. Hundreds of thousands of conflicts are resolved without the loss of life or use of a firearm but those events don't make news headlines.Our founding fathers new the risks involved with giving up hard won freedoms for the promise of secuirty. Our second ammendment exists for a reason. No, I do not eneterain the notion of abdicating the defense of my life to the good will of strangers.

      What solution do you have for the problems we face? All I've read so far is that we should give up the right to own firearms for a greater sense of community, we should invent secret agent sleeping pill shooters with gps tracking systems or perhaps soothing chamomile tea and the latest Doctor Phil book.
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        Feb 16 2013: I do understand that the "country" you believe in is not the rest of the world. Or may be the gentlemen in this video are out of their minds.
        However, nothwithstanding your belief, the same country needs to engage with the rest of the world for very compelling reasons, business being one of them.
        I don't prefer to stick to the old and possibly outdated ideas of 'nationalism' and hold very different views regarding culture, freedom, democracy and governance from yours, with due respect to your choice. Despite being no safer than many, billions of people and I in India prefer to live without the so-called protection of gun and that is also a choice.
        That the choice of unregulated or insufficiently regulated right of possession of a gun by any and all citizens is a proposition that needs to be re-examined is apparent by the very question under which we are debating. I hope you also understand that living peacefully with or without guns is the order of the civilized society and not a news rather an immature and depressed individual's access to an assault weapon and eventual killing of peaceful citizens and children is a news. I think in recent past the world has seen many of such massacres in the US and it's government and the President have reasons to look for reforms.
        I have observed references of 2nd Amendment of US constitution. That is a fact in history and since it is fact it cannot have a special version for anybody. I prefer not to delve in it's analysis in this thread.
        I am happy that in the end you too are interested in a solution. I do not have the solution. My contribution in this debate is acknowledgement of the problem and supporting thoughts about bringing about a change (giving up guns is my opinion which seems to be rejected by you, that's fine). What is yours?
        • Feb 16 2013: Are you seriously using an entertainer and a tv show as your supporting argument? These men are paid to spout their opinions with no responsibility to be factual in their statements. Does all of your knowledge about America come from entertainers like Bill Mahr? Is it our movies that are the basis of your opinions? The problem in my country isn't law abiding citizens but criminals. Firearms regulations occur in my country at both the state and federal level, machine guns, bazookas, and tanks are as prevalent here as they are in your country.

          The laws we have have are not being enforced. Making more laws that would turn current law adibing citizens into criminals is not the solution. Your proposal does nothing to address the crime in this country. It doesn't address our woefully innadaquate mental health system. It doesn't solve anything. It only exposes our citizens to more potential violence with one less means of protecting their homes and families. Did you know that police forces in my country have been drastically reduced due to our weakend economy? You see, without taxes we can't pay for police.

          If the individual citizens right to bear arms is eliminated in my country I think the answer is to close our borders via military enforcement, stop all financial aid to foreign countries and use that money to provide for vastly increased police presence to help secure the well being of our citizens, and to impose stiff import duties and taxes on all goods and foreign workers entering my counrty to help cover the cost of the policies the rest of the world thinks we should enact. Thats my solution.

          You actually believe that lethal force in defense of attempted sexual assault should be a crime and changing the law in your country was, "a knee jerk reaciton". Thank God you aren't making laws in my country.
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    Feb 15 2013: Alas, SCOTUS Heller v DC (2008) found that the 2nd Amendment protected an individual right to bear arms, and, in particular, limited the authority of states and the District of Columbia to impose gun locks, etc., on handguns and other personal weapons.
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    Feb 15 2013: This is for Mike Colera.
    Fair enough. We can see a glass as half empty or half full : that's our choice. But this is a debate and an open house where people from different culture and back grounds share with a hope to learn. Like Martin Luthar King wanted to learn non-violence from Gandhi.
    The deficit that India has in democracy in terms of years is more than compensated in terms of number of people who exercised it.
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      Feb 15 2013: Pabitra,
      Absolutely, I believe that India has maybe three times more people exercising democracy then we have in the USA. I was merely pointing out that India came to a democratic status a very short time ago and in a very different manner then the USA.
      I may also say, that democracy (that's a small "d" ) is full of turmoil and may not be pretty. We have had about two hundred years experience. And it hasn't been always easy, including a civil war. Maybe it's a cultural difference. Hopefully, your country will not have to experience some of the dark sides of a democracy. I would just suggest that you be aware of elected politicians who tell your citizens that he knows what is best for the people and India. Vote him out before you have to shoot him out.
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        Feb 15 2013: Thanks Mike. No disagreement there. Ultimately, it pains to watch a mother crying over a dead kid in a gun violence or a bus rape but elected politicians react to those in very different ways in different countries. Cheers.
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          Feb 15 2013: That pain is the same all over the world.
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    Feb 15 2013: This is for Andy Lee.
    You mean my country of birth and residence.
    I think you are referring to Delhi Gang Rape. To my knowledge 5 have been accused of the crime, all 5 arrested, jailed and put to trial. In a knee jerk reaction Indian Government (under tremendous criticism and protests) proposed first track courts to deal with rape/sexual assault cases. A commission formed specifically for the purpose recommended series of administrative reforms to deal with such crime. Man slaughter in defense of a rape attempt is proposed to be treated as not a crime. That's reasonably fair performance, if not ideal scenario, of a democratic society.
    I seriously doubt if possession of gun by citizens will at all help as you suggest. The rape statistics of USA does not corroborate your suggestion.
    • Feb 15 2013: Hello Pabrita, I confess to a sense of extreme dismay to read you equating sexual assault in my country where the victim did not posses a firearm with proof that firearms don't stop crime. In fact no statisitcs have ever been cited about the crimes prevented by the firearms and yet they are a principal tool of the police.

      The persons who have perpetrated mass murder in my country are also either incarcerated or dead. It does nothing to mitigate the damage they have done. We are still back to the argument that the use of a thing is at the discretion of the individual, for good or for ill. Perhaps we can both agree that banning busses in your country makes no sense because the vast majority are not used in the commision of crimes. The same thing can be said of firearms in my country.

      As for the talk of non lethal defense means, we have them. Pepper spray, stun guns, hand cuffs and cell phones can do everything Chad describes with the exception of stopping a gun wielding assailant.
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        Feb 15 2013: Do I see a 'love' for guns here Andy? I think we have not exercised our technological and social ingenuity to check mate the superiority of a gun by a non-lethal defense mechanism. This thread is an attempt towards that direction at least.
        I know there is a national association for rifle in the US. If we 'love' the idea of a gun, the power and protection it promises we will never graduate to a more intelligent non-lethal yet effective deterrent for a possible crime. And no logic will work.
        I think the present question and debate behind gun control/regulation in the US is due to a number of unfortunate and sad instances of violence. If I am not very wrong in Sandy Hook incidence, there was a shield from the gun, though not ideal. It was the body a teacher who was trying to protect children.
        It baffles me how human mind which can have such courage cannot discover a deterrent to gun violence.
        • Feb 15 2013: What you are advocating is a legal or technological soultion to a human behavioral issue. Was sexual assault legal in your country prior to the New Dehli incident? Did your laws prevent it? Should penises be banned or technollogically ehanced to prevent such horrible occurences in spite of the millions of non criminal owners?

          The argument I make isn't based on a love of guns but a love of logic and common sense that denies the acceptance of, "solutions" that can not work and pose an undue burden on law abiding citizens. As I have said before, firearm related homicide has been on a general decline in this coutry for decades.

          These recent horrific incidents indicate a problem that needs to be addressed but I believe it is far more behavioral than it is technical. Find a way to address all violent crime and I believe the solution will involve far modification of more human behavior than technology.
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    Feb 15 2013: Rob I sympathize with your disappointment in the quality of most of the comments. You asked for thoughts so I will share one from outside the box that could work to decrease the level of fear and might be an acceptable alternative to thoughtful people on both sides. Some feel that more guns will make them safer while the other side feels there are already too many.The statement from the NRA Pres. that "only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun" while patently silly does have a point. However to be totally safe from any one who might intend to shoot us we would need to keep a pistol at the ready at all times and shoot first and ask questions later. That would not help the situation for me and I assume for most others who would hesitate to shoot without convincing evidence of a threat. But if you wait to see the barrel of a gun pointing at you it is probably too late. Why not incorporate already existing technology to make a nonlethal alternative. With a little research and development you could have a light weight cheap version of a glock that sprayed fast acting sedative impregnated micro pellets along with a type of tear gas and dye combination in a wide angle pattern that would not require cool nerves or sharpshooting skills. The same device could also have a GPS alarm to notify the nearest authority of your need and location (as the watch the Indian police have recently announced to deter rape) and a biometric trigger so that it could not be used against you and with a siren you would cover all the bases. Then you have something that you could use without fear of killing an innocent person mistakenly or passersby. Some will say it lacks the deterrence or knock down power of a gun. But how much knock down power does a bullet have if you miss? Aren't most violent criminals somewhat insane and usually lacking in the ability to be deterred by reason?
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    Feb 15 2013: I have been following this question for decades. I agree that a solution would need to be painless. Is that possible in the current divided state of our nation? It seems unlikely when you have mindless paranoid opposition to any reform from The President or this administration. Even the universal background check proposal which the NRA and It's president backed not so long ago now is perceived as a threat that would be the first step to tyranny. I will be incredibly surprised if anything meaningful can be done until such time as the Democrats dominate the House of Representatives, so two years at least assuming that occurs. Will it? Not likely with the gerrrymandered districts and Republican controlled state legislatures. To make any serious progress towards weapon regulation or public mental health or reduction of the glorification of violence in movies and video games would require a consensus that seems a distant dream. Perhaps forums like this may help create enough momentum to inch us to a tipping point where sanity prevails. However when I see so many, otherwise kind, intelligent people whose minds are so closed that any new source of info, that does not confirm their prejudices, never gets a chance to penetrate, I tend to lose hope. Fear is the mind killer says science fiction, and it is observably true. It seems to me that we have not been so divided as a Nation since 1860. If you read the "Declarations of Independence" issued in that year by South Carolina and Texas, to justify secession, with their talk of constitutional rights it merely requires the substitution of the word guns for slaves to make it fit the current situation.
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    Feb 15 2013: Rob, point well taken
    So, what do I believe can be acceptable to the gun owning stakeholders. Based on my understanding of NRA position and principles:

    Police powers are the right of the state. No Federal officer should have police powers except in the matter of Federal laws.
    Gun laws and regulations etc. should be held at the state level. States would assume the activities of the ATF for their state and the ATF be eliminated. States would coordinate through a national database identities of those individuals who are not authorized to buy a gun, ie. felons, domestic abusers, mentally dangerous, etc. gun sellers would check a potential buyer to the data base.
    All federal laws effecting guns should be rescinded and left to the states to address.
    Individual states can address gun controls for their states as their electorate deems required. If "California" wants to have very strict limits on guns, so be it. The SCOTUS can address state laws as to constitutionality.
    There should be no federal listing of gun owners. Ownership privacy should be made a legal right.
    Need by Federal officers as to gun ownership would only be available by warrant..
    Further, to insure state / federal relationship as envisioned by the founding fathers, the 17th Amendment should be revoked. Further, the apparent policing action of the TSA should be curtailed under the limited Federal policing authority.
  • Feb 15 2013: It's till hard for me to wrap my head around it. I am willing to do it for the children but that is the only reason. We have a murder maybe once a year and it's usually a family dispute.
    • Feb 15 2013: Always that line, I can hear the violins plays.... I'll do it for the children.

      Really, maybe the children, would prefer if you look at why is was in the constitution in the first place, than just give it up under some misguided sense of dubious morality.

      Because if you dont do the homework, dont put the effort, it's the children that WILL suffer.
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        Feb 15 2013: Oh Tify,
        Have you understood nothing of what I said? Most American would conduct a deadly firefight ( a hail of bullets) to defend their children. Men who are jailed for hurting children have almost no life expectancy in prisons. No, defending children are high up on America's list for the use of deadly force.
  • Feb 15 2013: This topic involves far more than technology.

    I dont believe there is a viable technological solution to human nature. All personal opinions aside, it has been stated repeatedly that the use of an object is entirely dependent upon the user.We have many technological means of rendering firearms innoperable by the owner. Trigger locks, cable locks and/or gun safes are mandated throughout much of the country.The idea of biometric locks is interesting but it wouldn't stop a legal firearm purchaser from using the weapon. Sony spent millions of dollars in an attempt to prevent copying of its music cd's onto computers and it was defeated with .79 cent a magic marker. There is no technological security system that can't be overcome. According to the CIA and the president the government needs access to all corporate computer systems in order to identify and counter attempted cyber crimes. How reliable would a "kill switch" system be?

    How do you go about creating a system of technologial governance of human behavior and where does the use of that technology end? How long before your car is prohibited from starting because an environmental arm of government decides your carbon foot print is too large. Legislation is already being drafted in California that will tax drivers based on the miles they drive.

    Laws are being implemented in the name of the public good that deny individuals the freedom of choice and the ability to say NO. Every year we are more regulated, legislated, taxed and penalized. How much government intrusion and regulation will you tolerate in the name of the greater good? National healthcare, the patriot act, neither of those were put to a public vote. What's next, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"? Please bear in mind, the lion doesn't loose sleep over the opinions of the lamb. What use is a vote without the means to enforce it.

    Rob, perhaps the exclusive answer you seek can be found in an enigeneering forum.
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    Feb 14 2013: It appears to me that many commenters in this discussion believe that a vast number of societies in the world who prefer to leave the task of protection and defense of the citizens on law enforcing agencies reporting to democratically elected public representatives are not enough freedom loving at all.
    It also appears to me that a number of commenters believe that gun is the only form of protection even in a city managed by a police department therefore any regulation on its possession is a direct assault on an individual right.
    It is interesting to see logic in favor of a right to possess a gun like (a) guns are benevolent compared to primitive weapon because it can take life of only the targeted, (b) guns need a decision by a person to pull the trigger so guns are as harmless as, say a piece of stone (which may also kill if so intended) and (c) those who are suggesting that guns should not be possessed by one and all are exhibiting their dire lack of experience of possessing guns.
    I shall be waiting for a gun to be developed that can be used only for self defense and protection of people and property.
    • Feb 14 2013: In spite of your sarcasm you pointed out the fact that the use to which a thing is put depends entirely upon the user.

      Since the founding of America the United States government said give up your guns and we will take care of you to a great number of native people, giving up their guns in exchange for security didn't work out for them and it won't work for the rest of us.
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        Feb 15 2013: Andy, you make a great point. Our Federal Government really did the Native Americans wrong.
        We took away their weapons, herded them into really sorry reservations, destroyed their dignity
        and to cap the insult we formed a Bureau of Indian Affairs. If the Federal Government could do this to the native Americans, what makes the rest of us feel safe.
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        Feb 15 2013: My sarcasm is not directed at any particular culture, people or nation and I hope you will agree that I did not invent any of my observations. I do not claim the knowledge of American urheimat the way a native american knows but today's word is too connected to be ignorant and indifferent to what is happening in any part of the globe.
        I noticed that at the heart of this debate lies profound questions like human nature and concept of freedom and self-defense. The country that I am born into started with a unique experiment of defense and free expression through non-violence. I am very unsure if that experiment has succeeded in the modern political nation state that is my country of birth and residence.
        I was wondering if it is wise to see Government and it's policies as anything differentiated from the people in a democratic set up. If I seek the right to defend myself through weapons, wouldn't it be seen as mistrust on my part towards the democratic set up?
        Freedom includes the right to compromise of one's feelings (here the feeling of safety) for a greater benefit of the community.
        • Feb 15 2013: If I may offer another point of view, some of your countrymen, approximately 27 of them according to our news sources, gang raped a woman on a bus and left her to die.

          While we may all hope for the best it is prudent to prepare for the worst rather than rely upon the benevolence of strangers.

          I can't help but think the women of your country might feel safer with a more definite means of detering aggressive advances than saying no.
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          Feb 15 2013: One of the US founding fathers was said to have commented " He who returns safety for liberty deserves neither". If my understanding of India's history is correct, It has only been a democratic society for a short time, There are probably a number of citizens who personally remember living under other conditions. Also, India did not fight a war for their freedom and it doesn't appear to be a society that developed using firearms. There is little commonality in our cultural backgrounds. Not to say one is better, just different with differing attitudes.
          Also, the point that is too often misunderstood about American independence and our 2nd Amendment is that Americans are very suspicious of strong central governments evolving into tyrannies. And to make matters worse, in many countries one tyrannical government is overthrown and replaced by another tyrannical government. That is too long a list.
          In our culture, each of us must remain free for the greater benefit of our community.
  • Feb 14 2013: what are you getting at ?
  • Feb 14 2013: Not sure what you are getting at ?
    • Feb 14 2013: Life is a precarious proposition at it's very best.
      You cannot eliminate all dangers and freedom comes at a price and cost.
      I will not give up freedom for security.
      Some want to eliminate certain weapons for what they think is security when those very weapons secure those very freedoms.
  • Feb 13 2013: When I look at any subject honestly and without any of my biases,
    I find something that may be disturbing to some and comforting to others.
    I have very conservative and very liberal views on the very same issues.
    I find that I get the most replies to my posts when I pick one side or
    the other and ignore the other side of the issue almost completely.
    As with Dewayne I provoked him with a stance that to him, from my post,
    was seemingly intractable. That was an experiment on my part.Sorry Dewayne.
    He was, I would say convinced by those particular statements of my
    state of mind on this issue and basically did not want to hear anything
    I had to say because to him I seemed ridiculous. Totally understandable.
    It seems to me that we could change the title of this conversation how do
    we bring common sense to the masses.
    I mean most people I meet have a healthy dose of common sense when talking
    to them on a one on one face to face talk. but as soon as they are
    in a more public setting they have a need to represent themselves in a
    slightly different way, meaning they change the way they see the world
    to accommodate the world. People are generally more abusive to others
    when they are in a crowd and I believe it is easier when you stand from
    that point of view to be that way. Make no mistake this online discussion is
    in the publicWe as humans have always sought acceptance to our clan,tribe,clique or
    society. It's easier to lean in a certain way since those around us are
    already doing so.
    Most people alive in this world today, I believe, are Pretty normal, if there is
    such a thing.
    What I'm trying get across here is that huge difference of
    opinion we think we have here.
    We are trying to have a discussion on the dangers of weapons (guns in particular)
    in our society.
    There are very sane arguments on both sides of the issue and some have espoused
    ideas, including me that we are discussing a social problem more than a procession of
    weapons in our society problem.
    • Feb 14 2013: I'm sorry Pat, contrary to what you believe I was not provoked. The issue with online discussion is that the writing does not accurately express a person's emotion or lack there of. My choice of the word asinine was poorly chosen.
      But for the sake of this entire argument, too much is left for conjecture and not facts.
      People will use selective points in an effort to represent their point of view.
      What I do believe is statistics and follow through by looking at "Cause and effect"
      What you cannot deny is the body count that comes from gun possession.
      • Feb 15 2013: Dwayne: you say "body count comes from gun possession". That is simply not true. There are now, and always have been , groups of people who have lots of guns, but very little in the way of body count.. Switzerland is a good example. As loaded up with machine guns as they are, (they have a Militia rather than a Standing Army)why is their "body count" negligible?!
        • Feb 15 2013: Shawn, I am glad that you brought up Switzerland because their model flies in the face of what you believe.
          The per capita gun homicide rate in Switzerland is 11x greater than that of Great Britain who has a hand gun AND automatic/semi-automatic gun ban. In fact in all gun related deaths period, Switzerland's rate 15x that of Great Britain
          Canada who has strict handgun regulations and bans on automatic and semi-automatic weapons is still 2x safer than Switzerland and 7x safer than the US per capita.
          The percentage of overall homicide rates and percentage of gun homicides in that number also tell the tale.
          Switzerland 72%
          US 68.3%
          Canada 28.3%
          Great Britain 8%
          China (handgun ban) 3%
          Japan (handgun ban) 1%
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    Feb 13 2013: The American Constitution is very old, right?
    • Feb 13 2013: I quote myself...

      "The truth is out there. You just need an internet connection and the will to find it. "

      Thanks for posting this question, it really shows what I've been saying about education. And how people are less informed nowadays, even though they have more tools and more access to information than ever before.

      And if you are a president or prime minister, you have to love this question, as it pretty much says, do what you want, because no-one, i mean no-one is watching or listening.

      And that's exactly what they've been doing.
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      Feb 13 2013: OK, Tify.
      You got me. The US education system have left many of it's citizens in the dark on matters of History and Civics.

      Further, the Constitution is on line, as are many scholarly works on it's origin, creation, and interpretation. One thing to note of course, is that the only binding interpretation is left to the justices of the US Supreme Court.
      It would seem that few people have taken the time to read it from many comments I have read in this conversation.

      The US Constitution is a living document. there are a number of proposed amendments waiting ratification by the states. It can be a long process. The most recent amendment No. 27 was first proposed in 1787. It took over 200 years to get it ratified. It is not so old historically, but it can be considered one of the oldest in the period of modern industrial revolution.
  • Feb 13 2013: I did want to post this up, as I dont think it's a well know fact, we should look at the whole subject unemotionally and holistically.

    I said how can you call for mental welfare checks on ordinary citizens, and not the president. The reply was" we generally dont elect insane presidents". Fair enough. But I think the comment does not take into account that power corrupts. Nor...

    There have been 332 drone attacks total since 2004; 322 of those attacks have taken place since January 2008, under the current Obama administration.

    Again before 2008 - 10 drone attacks, after 2008 - 322, that -is- insane.

    How many knew that before the last election they scrambled to 'create a drone policy usage document' in case the president was not re-elected? What does that say to you? About a) their usage b) the governments mindset c) A plan called - save ass.

    How many knew that the White House calls drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil 'legal,' 'ethical' and 'wise' - even without evidence of a pending attack. As probably was the case with most of the other 322.

    I believe that a any and all leader's should lead, but they should also be subject to the same checks and balances as they call for on it's peoples.

    Because the leadership of any country -does- effect the mindset of the peoples of that country. Because I dont believe that the two, president actions vs peoples actions, can be effectively separated. You only need to look recently at Germany for proof.

    I dont believe those people that are effectively assassinated, are just going to go away. I do believe this policy will create more and more anger, resentment, and frustration for future generations of children to come.

    Sadly I think for Americans that will mean -less- freedom, more restrictions. I wonder if in the end, the only people that will truly have any freedom, will not be the ones who's constitution tried to enshrine it.

    Or do you believe like Bush once said, 'the constitution is only a piece of paper'.
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      Feb 13 2013: Finally a conversation.
      First, where I am coming from.
      I believe the US constitution is a brilliant piece of political literature on the level of the Magna Carta, etc.
      Society needs rules the members can all agree too and live by.
      Individuals are responsible for their own actions and their own outcomes.

      Presidents of the US. Most have been vane individuals and are sensitive about how history will "treat" them.
      Defense of the country is the top of the list. Currently, there have been threats against the US by others.
      We can debate justifications another time. The reaction by presidents is "overwhelming response".
      The USSR knew that Regan would respond with total nuclear reaction.
      Bush 1 responded to the invasion of an ally.
      Things were quiet on Clinton's watch.
      Bush 2 reacted preemptively on WMD threats.
      Obama is facing small groups and individuals in many places, He can't send in field armies to engage an enemy, so he uses drones. He sees Americans engaged in hostile acts as treasonous and eligible to engage. This can be an extension of his authority under our constitution and is currently being considered.
      So, is it moral, some feel it is not.
      Is it legal, that is being considered.
      Is morality synonymous with legality? Maybe not.

      American Society.
      It seemed to have changed in the 60's (from my perspective) As a society, we have lost respect for each other. We've become selfish and self serving. Worse, we have lost personal responsibility for our our self indulgences.
      For example, one of thousands: One state is up in arms over constant invasion from another country by illegal recreational drug runners. Who are the greatest critics of this states reactions? The purchasers of these drugs and supporters of political factions holding great influence in federal offices.
      As far as all the discussion on gun control, in political parlance, it's picking the low hanging fruit.
      PS. Politicians are really ugly actors who can't get into movies.
    • Feb 13 2013: @Tify unless you can provide proof of the actual documents that show where drone action was called for if the President was not re-elected you are just spreading rumors or have a terrible case of paranoia . Bush did react but not preemptively on WMD threats. There has never been found any WMD's he used it as an excuse for his agenda. Every official report out there by several countries states there were no WMD's . Please use facts .
      • Feb 15 2013: Dont tell me to use facts in that tone.

        Look up the information for yourself. The truth is out there, if your willing to put the effort in.

        I suggest you start with ... "The New York Times", who had a lengthy article on the subject, including what the president and his cabinet did in case he was not reelected.

        I hope and pray you put the effort it, rather than just rely on dogma or what you overheard, or what was on the nightly news. Or worse still some false sense of ... whatever.
  • Feb 13 2013: You know
    a) We've talked about the abysmal education policies, and how they are not being addressed.
    b) We've talked about the wholesale dumping of mentally ill from hospitals onto the streets.
    c) We've talked about using gun technology as a solution.
    d) We've talked about how just putting metal detectors or gun free zones, does not work.

    What we haven't mentioned is crime itself, how in a world today that, no longer says, you do the time, then your a free man. Because we all know that now employers check and ask if you have a criminal record. And you ain't getting a job if you do.

    Put yourself in that persons position, you have a criminal record, but you want to change, you want to become a useful member of society, but at every turn, you're told no, one upon a time you committed a crime.

    Do you think that would cause anger? Frustration? Resentment?

    Be really honest, if that was you, that was your position, and you gotta eat, what other choices do you have. Given that, wouldn't you rather have a gun. Given that, wouldn't you rather have the populous disarmed?
    • Feb 13 2013: Tify get a grip go to a pre release center and see for yourself that in fact criminals get jobs............ Some of them get better paying jobs then I have !
      They are given access to 8hr a day 7 days a week addiction counseling, and mental health counseling.
      They have access to free schooling, I Have seen them get Master's Degrees courtesy of the taxpayers.
      When they are in pre release everyone of them has a job.
      The problem is , it is all a voluntary thing ! we can't force them to take advantage of the opportunities like pre release or free education . The ones that do the work make it.
      The ones who choose to sit in their cells until the end of their sentence , get out and whine because they now have to do for themselves.
      NO pity here for them , they make the choice to get the opportunity to advance themselves or stay in the same old same old.
      Work in a pre release or prison before you whine about what you haven't a clue about .
      • Feb 15 2013: "Some of them get better paying jobs then I have ! ".......... then you know what to do, dont you.
  • Feb 11 2013: This says it well enough.

    December 3, 2007

    The problem with Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban -- as anyone who can look up the crime numbers will see -- is that D.C.'s murder and violent crime rates went up, not down, after the ban. Prior to the ban DC's murder rate was falling. After the ban, DC's murder rate rose, and only once fell below what it was in 1976, says John Lott, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland.


    •The District's ban specifically points to Great Britain's handgun ban in January 1997; but the number of deaths and injuries from gun crime in England and Wales increased 340 percent in the seven years from 1998 to 2005.
    •The rates of serious violent crime, armed robberies, rapes and homicide have also soared.
    •Similar experiences have been seen with other bans, such as those in Ireland and Jamaica.
    The District also notes that the regulations requiring the lock-up and disassembly of guns do not "prevent the use of a lawful firearm in self-defense." But taking the District's claims as accurate, locked guns are simply not as readily accessible for defensive gun uses, says Lott:

    •In the United States, states that require guns be locked up and unloaded face a 5 percent increase in murder and a 12 percent increase in rapes.
    •Criminals are more likely to attack people in their homes and those attacks are more likely to be successful.
    Since potentially armed victims deter criminals, storing a gun locked and unloaded actually encourages increased crime, says Lott. If the phrase "keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes" was chosen for a purpose, it might be that gun lock laws raise their own problems that limit people's ability to use guns for defense."

    Source: John Lott, "Gun bans lead to increase in violent crime," Jurist, November 24, 2007.

    For text:
    • Feb 11 2013: Maybe you should look at this source
      Overall crime rates in DC has been falling consistently regardless of a gun ban or not.
      Furthermore, the article you offer is misleading.
      It takes "over all violent" crime and compares it to guns.
      Physical assault is considered a violent crime yet does not involve a gun. Brits are notorious for their brawling. What happens when a gun takes the place of a fist??
      Will the banning of guns see a spike in gun crime absolutely since criminals will believe that they are invincible but as you start picking them off the streets and making them less available to come by so will their chances of committing the next crime with a gun.
      There is a reason why the overall homicide rate in Great Britain has dropped 75%. And that has been because handguns are banned.
      Statistics show that 68.3% of all homicides in America come at the end of a bullet. In the UK it is 8%
      And here is another link that you should explore before attempting to use your source as a gospel.
      • Comment deleted

        • Feb 12 2013: But wait a minute, you provided a link that tries to lead the believer that gun bans increase violent crime?? Now you are excusing it??
      • Feb 12 2013: I had to take another look at it to figure out why you are wrong in citing that table. while you are focused on the reduction in violent crimes you are neglecting to account for the reduction in population. per capita = O/P where O is incidence of occurance and P is total population. For 1976 the violent crime rate was 10,399/702,000 people for a per capita rate of .014. In 1987 we see only 10,016 violent crimes but the population is 622,000. 10,016/622,000 = .016 try it for the rest of the years and you will find one year where the per capita violent crime was less than the first full year (1976) while the gun ban was in effect. The ban was enacted in 1975, struck down in 2008. Lets compare 2007 and 2009 violent crime statistics. In 07 the ban was in effect in 09 it wasn't. The 07 numbers are 8,320/588,292 = .014 The 09 numbers are 8.089/599,657 = .013 So with hand gun ownership rights reinstated the violent crime rate drops to .0134 and without them it only goes lower than the first full year (1976) of the ban once. The other 34 years, excluding the one year that was lower, had higher violent crime rates per capita than 1976. I believe that is what the Author, Mr. John Lott, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, was expressing. Banning hand guns didn't reduce the percapita incidence of violent crimes in the way that reinstating gun ownership did. Yes, violent crime rates have been on the decline in Washington DC since 2008. Following the reinstatement of the right to own hand guns and not have to keep trigger locks on them inside of the home that is.As for your argument about gun violence in England, the article glosses over the fact that the highest incidence of gun related violence occured 5/6 years after the ban was instated. The UK aslo has five times the incidence of violent crime per capita than the United States has. "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
      • Feb 13 2013: Comparing USA to GB is apples to oranges.

        Different set of freedom, or lack of. Much smaller overall population. Distinct demographic differences. Very unequal border parallels.

        All factors apply when trying to parallel two countries. Just citing gun violence doesn't take into account the border control difficulties the USA has. The increase in minority immigration in a higher rate. The greater set of freedoms afforded to it's citizens.
        • Feb 13 2013: I disagree here. Brits have the same amount of freedoms if not more than Americans.
          Here the problem.
          The act of eliminating illegal hand guns in GB has allowed that OVERALL homicide rate to drop 75%. The act of banning handgun possession in China has allowed their overall homicide rate to become 1/4 that of the US. You are 144x more likely to die of a gun homicide in the US than in China, 200x vs Japan, 11x vs Great Britain, 7x vs Canada, 4 x vs Australia
          And with Canada who experiences the most influence from American society AND shares the world's longest unprotected border, their experience with severe handgun restrictions shows it does work. In fact as a Canadian, I feel freer knowing that I will most likely ever mean my demise at the end of a gun in the hands of a fellow citizen.
          So trying to excuse them by saying we are not them carries no merit because you haven't even considered going the direction. It is just another deflection.
      • Feb 13 2013: Dwayne your inflamatory statement, 'And here is another link that you should explore before attempting to use your source as a gospel." has no place in this discussion. You're 65% vs. 8% percent seems like a rediculous point of contention, are you saying that some other form of homicide is preferred? Canada has higher percentages of stabbing, bludgening, and death by fire than the United States, are you advocating more of these types of homicide as opposed to firearm? Homicide in general has been on a decline for decades. Why does a Canadian citizen have so much to say about gun ownership or regulation in America? Did you own a gun prior to the ban? Your country made their choice. You have no skin in the game and far too much to say about an issue that doesn't affect you, which you can't vote on.
        No Dwayne you don't have any say in the matter, you are not a United States citizen. You have an opinion. You could close your border the same way we have tried to do with Mexico. You could accept the fact that inspite of a 13 year long ban on gun ownership your country still has criminals who use them to kill people. Crimals are a part of every society. We the legal, law abiding gun owners of America do not accept punishment for the actions of criminals. Your stance on the issue is very socialist. Everyone must pay for the choices of a few.
        • Feb 13 2013: First of all no form of homicide is acceptable and each case needs to be dealt with at some level. But in life, you need to tackle the bigger problems before you deal with the smaller ones.
          You offer a straw argument when you talk about higher percentage of stabbings in Canada. The reason the percentages are higher is because there is a lack of guns and in particular handgun to do their bidding. And even still, per capita our OVERALL per capita homicide rate is a fraction of what it is in the US. The same could be said for Great Britain.
          On the flip side, as stated in an earlier post Switzerland has a 11x greater rate of gun homicides than Great Britain and they are forced by law to own guns. Do you see the correlation here.
          As a Canadian citizen, I have every much a right to a say as you do because it is your problem that feeds some of the gun violence here as it does in Mexico.
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      Feb 11 2013: I see your Washington DC and raise it with Australia. Check out our gun crime stats since 1996.. The problem the US has is that gun control laws can only be effective if the borders of the region in which the laws apply are secure. If you ban handguns in a state you must have supporting laws regarding movement of guns over state lines, and thay need to be policed. I think the US dislike of federal law making means that gun control laws are unlikely to happen in any meaningful way even thought they work well elsewhere.
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        Feb 12 2013: Again, and how many ways could I say this. You are not an American and are not familiar with laws here. There are restrictions on buying guns across state lines. And the rules for gun ownership in many ways are the same as in Australia. Registration, forms to fill out, If you want to carry a weapon, you start at the Sheriff's Office, take the training, fill out the forms: does this sound familiar?
        Now, even with your remarkably low gun violence numbers in your country, will close examination show that the perpetrator had an illegal gun to take an illegal action. If you read these 500 entries , the vast majority are proposing actions against legal gun owners in America. The criticism of why do you want that kind of gun and it has too many bullets and there is no reason to own a gun,and, and, and
        is mostly pointless, because in America it is legal. Then there are those that say the law is wrong and it should be changed. Americans have the opportunity to change it, but most don't want to.
        Why, because the problem is not with legal issues, it it with illegal issues and there is almost no comment on that aspect in this conversation.
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          Feb 12 2013: "Registration, forms to fill out, If you want to carry a weapon, you start at the Sheriff's Office, take the training, fill out the forms: does this sound familiar?"
          No that doesn't sound familiar. It is illegal to carry a weapon in public in Australia under any circumstances unless you are in law enforcement or employed as an armed security guard. This also includes knives.
      • Feb 12 2013: Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice, no. 359
        ISBN 978 1 921185 84 7
        Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2008
        "The public's perception is that violence is increasing, but trends in violent crime reported to police since the early 1990s reveal a mixed story. Homicide has decreased by nine percent since 1990 and armed robbery by one-third since 2001, but recorded assaults and sexual assaults have both increased steadily in the past 10 years by over 40 percent and 20 percent respectively. The rate of aggravated assault appears to have contributed to the marked rise in recorded assault, and for both assault and sexual assault the rate of increase was greater for children aged under 15 years, with increases almost double that of the older age group. Neither population changes among young adult males nor rates of offending seem to explain the trends in recorded violent crime, and indicators of change in reporting to police provide only a partial explanation. Based on self-reported victimisation and reporting to police, it would seem increased reporting of assault is somewhat responsible for the rise in recorded assault rates against adult victims. However, victimisation survey data suggest there has been little change in rates of sexual assault, although reporting to police by women seems to have increased. Victimisation survey data also do not illuminate the most significant recorded increase in violent victimisation, against children, as they are collected less frequently and only apply to those aged at least over 15 years. The paper speculates that the rise could be due to better public understanding of child protection issues and increased reporting due to public awareness of what constitutes physical and sexual assault - especially within the family - but this requires further investigation to examine how many recorded violent crimes against children relate to current and/or past events and of the relationship to the offender." Which stats?
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        Feb 12 2013: Pedro

        You have been touting that sucess for some time now, me thinks it is time for you to update your data base and look at this subject from the perspective of a physics teacher.
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          Feb 12 2013: Total murders with firearms 1997= 122 2007= 33. These are from the Australian institute of criminology. Not sure where the Chicago tribune gets the idea that there's been no change in the rate of homocide with firearms.
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          Feb 12 2013:
          Here's the paper. it basically shows that if you crunch the numbers in enough different ways you can get any result you want. Luckily they include the raw data at the end which clearly showa the homicide with firearm rate to be subtantially lower now than it has been in recorded history in Australia. The same is true of the suicide rate. See pages 25 & 26
        • Feb 12 2013: most interesting! And if you crunch the numbers any way you want, the deaths are still the same, deaths. Does it really matter if you die by gun, knife, or gas?
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          Feb 13 2013: 122 to 33 not bad for a country that also increased it's population by about 4 million in that time too
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        Feb 12 2013: Sorry, poor choice of words, I meant to have a gun. To walk around all day can be done, it is usually security, or guards they could be publci or private..

        And don't get to uptight, I have heard that down under in the bush, your "cowboys" like ours have guns with them as they look after the herds.
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        Feb 12 2013: Pedro

        The point is that the trend was headed that way anyway. The same thing is occurring in the United States.

        This from the article the Brooking institute are Socialists they are the last people to color the story away from gun control. It appear gun control is to the Aussies what healthcare is to the Brits?:

        A study published by the liberal Brookings Institution noted that the decline didn't accelerate after 1996. Same for lethal accidents. Suicide didn't budge. At most, they conclude "there may" -- may -- "have been a modest effect on homicide rates."
      • Feb 12 2013: Peter I've looked at the report you provide, pages 25 and 26. I'm looking at the decline in firearm related homicide and non firearm related homicide per capita from the eight years preceeding the firearms ban and the eight years that follow it and I dont see a rapid decline in the incidents that you are hinging your premise of results upon. I see a gradual rate of decline in firearm related homicide that is mirrored in the eight years preceeding the ban as well as following it. From .701 in 1998 to .320 in 1995 presents a reduciton per cpaita of .381 (the eight years precceding the ban) and from .405 in 1997 to .159 in 2004, the eight years following the ban presents a per capita reduction of only .246 (the eight years following the ban). There was a greater reduction in per capita firearm homicide before the ban than following it. Let's not ignore the rate of non firearm related homicide which between the years 1998 to 1995 dropped from 1.69 to 1.48, a reduction of .21 and from the years 1997 to 2004 it drpped from 1.32 to 1.14, a reduction of .18. Once again we see a greater decrease before the ban than after. The gun ban had no discernable effect. How can you say the mean average has been declining and that it would have rebounded at the same time? I calculated the actual numbers of firearm homicides per capita and tallied the amount of decline for the years starting from 1988 and ending in 2004, excluding the transition year of 1996 when the ban went into effect. The decline for the years 1988-1995 totaled -.3807175 and the decline for the years 1997-2004 totaled -.2458496. This isn't subject to opinion or speculation, this is the math. There are a number of examples where the firearm homicide rate decreased and the non firearm homicide rate increased in the same year. Overall, people have been decreaseingly prone to commit homicide by firearm for the last century in spite of advances in technology.
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          Feb 12 2013: If you look at the whole series you see large fluctuations around a mean that is going down slowly. The numbers dropped quite sharply just before 96 and the previous 80 years of numbers suggest this woulod have been followed by a rebound. After 96 there are no further rebounds just a constant decline. Why is there a change in behavior. The graphs make it pretty obvious. The problem I have with the analysis in the paper is that the writers ignore the pattern demonstrated in the first 70 years.
      • Feb 13 2013: @ peter

        Just because something works elsewhere doesn't mean it will work in every situation. If you like Australia, move there.
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          Feb 13 2013: I fully accept that the Australian solution wouldn't work in the US as the problem is much bigger, but that doesn't mean there isn't a solution in a similar vein. BTW I'm Australian.
    • Feb 11 2013: try having a look at NYC. From 2000 in 1990 to 500 in 2012. Gun bans do not increase the murder rate consistently. You cannot pick and choose data that suits you. at least not and claim that you actually have a point.
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        Feb 12 2013: Rob,
        I think if you further check those NYC numbers you will find that NYC had hired the highest rates of police then any of the big cities in the USA. Large numbers of police will deter street crime. A better comparison is Chicago and Houston. Similar population, similar numbers of police, similar numbers of violent crimes. Chicago has some of the strictest gun controls in the country, Houston is in Texas, not so much on gun controls. That is why the NRA says gun control laws as noted is not much of an answer. I think that another factor is that Texas has the highest rate of capitol punishment. Convicted of a violent crime? Texas is on top of the death penalty. My concern is there that they get it right.
      • Feb 12 2013: The National Vital Statistics Reports Preliminary Data For 2011, published by the Center for Disease Control, Volume 61, Number 6, is my source of information. Here are some statistics for how a portion of people died in 2011. Drug induced Death 32,163. Alcohol Induced Death 26,256. Motor Vehicle Accidents Resulting in Death 34,677. How about some firearm related data that resulted in death. Accidental Discharge of Firearms 851. Suicide by Firearm 19,766. Homicide by Firearm 11,101. Discharge of Firearm Undetermined Intent 222. Lets do the math, total firearm related deaths, (suicide accounting for 55.7%), totaled 31,940. While Alcohol (26,256), Drugs(32,163), and Automobiles(34,677) accounted for 93,096 deaths. There are an estimated 247 million cars in America, an estimated 270 million guns, yet somehow 312% more people are killed by cars than are murdered with firearms. Yes that's 312% more deaths associated with an item equpied with brakes, seat belts, traction control systems, and air bags than were maliciously killed with a firearm. In spite of laws regulating the ownership, possesion, and use of drugs, alcohol, and automobiles, people continue to use them in ways that result in intentional and unintentional deaths. A legal drinking age, a drivers license, a prescription, these things don't stop illegal activities. Wasn't it prohibition that fueled the rise of the mob? Didn't the War On Drugs result in the drug cartels and the massacres in Mexico we saw on the news? There's never been a drunk driver in an uninsured vehicle that caused a fatality, has there? The US population clock provided by the census bureau says there are 315,313,816 people living in the united states with 270 million guns. Thats a lot of responsible, legal gun ownership. I bet many of them drive, drink alcohol and use medicine responsibly too. I believe I've made my point, what was yours?
        • Feb 12 2013: You numbers are very deceiving.
          You try to cloud the issue by including intent and incidental.
          How many people are intentionally killed through the use of a motor vehicle.
          Furthermore, you imply that motor vehicles account for 93096 overall deaths then claim that guns account for 1/3 of that total. The fact is that 34,677 is the true figure of the amount of motor vehicle deaths. And of that what percentage of that is intentional homicide??
          Now what percentage of overall homicides come from criminal intent through the use of a firearm. I will tell you. 68.3% of the over 15,000 homicides in your nation. Automobiles account for less than 1%.
          As for your argument about gun bans, where are the mobs in Great Britain, China, Japan??
          The violence in Mexico is triggered by your nations thirst for drugs and you provide the guns to feed that violence.
        • Feb 12 2013: Andy, I am simply pointing out that there "Cause and effect" which influences the difference in statistics. Yes, guns are being removed from criminals but they are also being removed from irresponsible citizens may not be showing criminal intent, are still breaking the law knowingly or not.
          The issue of high magazines et al is a straw argument because they do not account for the massive majority of gun related crime. It is handguns that are. But to put your argument into perspective, the shooter in Newtown had access to both even though the mother was complying to the law. It was her son who removed those legal weapons illegally and used them illegally even though he was subject to a background search of which he failed. And that is the problem. As long as guns are available, they can and will be used.
      • Feb 12 2013: To further support your argument, NYC had a stop and frisk law that allows officers to frisk people what are suspected of trespassing on private property. The impact of that law meant that more guns were being seized from the criminals. Less guns, less gun related crimes.
        • Feb 12 2013: Dwayne you just wrote that the guns were taken from criminals in the act of a crime. How does that have any bearing on banning certain types of rifles or high capacity magazines currently available to law abiding citizens? Were the criminals carrying, "assault rifles" they had legally obtained and decided to take with them while tresspassing? Was it a high capacity magazine that allerted police to their presence? How does tresspassing equate to a gun related crime? Have you ever looked up, "false syllogism"?
        • Feb 12 2013: Dwayne, the numbers aren't deceiving. Read it again, 11,101 homicides by firearm, 34k+ deaths by automobile. As for your clarification, persons illegally carrying a firearm while trespassing are by definition commiting crimes and are therefore criminals. Restrictions on law abiding citizens do not reduce crimes by the very definition of law abiding. A person becomes a criminal when they break the law. If I may simplify the issue for you, guns kill people the same way pencils misspell words, through their application. In many US states there are laws against cell phone use while driving yet many people do it, sometimes resulting in fatal accidents. I don't hear or read anyone proposing a ban on cellular phones because a few people have used them in violation of the law and it resulted in death. The link you provided shows an overall increase in homicides in the decades following the hand gun ban implemenation in Washington DC. How do you account for the drop in both violent crime and murder in Washington DC starting in 2009 when citizens could legaly own handguns once again? Your contention is that less gun ownership equates to less violence and murder but the numbers you cited don't agree with you.
    • Feb 13 2013: There is a difference between Violent crime and deadly crime.
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    Feb 11 2013: I am at a loss. Tify suggested the the US Education system was a problem and I agree. Our education system is failing and maybe miserably. But the focus stays on guns and a lot of criticism of the basic laws of the USA. My point has been, yes, there may be a technological method of providing gun use, but if someone is really determined, technology is not always a hundred percent. I have stressed that violence is cause of death and mayhem. So, if your "country" has less violence with or without guns, then maybe it's something in your society. Maybe committing a violent act is something in your country that would not occur in the though process. It used to be that way here in the USA when I was a kid. We had high school shooting teams. We carried big boys scout knives. If you were mentally ill, you were in a large hospital. Times have changed. No big mental hospitals, These people were put out on the streets, because their rights were infringed. So, we don't infringe on the rights of the mentally ill, but it's OK to infringe on the rights of gun owners. I have problems with these inconsistencies. So, those of you that think the removal/restriction of guns will solve all the problems or even most, or even some, I am skeptical. I still believe it's the people, not the tools.
    Further, our families have changed, It used to be, Dad was out working, Mom was home baking cookies and the kids were getting good grades in schools... something about those cookies.
    Now, we have both parents out working, tasteless cookies from the store and not many good grades at school. Worse, some families, Dad disappeared, Mom is working two jobs, can't afford rent, let alone cookies, kids ditching school and running the streets, looking for gangs to join and score big.
    So, maybe the new normal is the violent society that we live in. Here we are spending our mental acuity discussing: mechanical devices, Constitution law, differing world social customs like it's all good.
    • Feb 11 2013: Mike,

      Wouldn't you agree that reducing the rate is the whole point, not having the "perfect" solution. Seems to me there must be a lot of things we could do to reduce rate of incidence. As we both noted previously it is not like most of US history is less violent. Maybe a brief period between 1950-1965. Outside of that we are probably less violent than many periods in US history per capita.

      Personally I think the US edu system is much maligned. I have dealt with a lot of other nationalities. The asian countries are hopeless. Very constrained and pretty unsophisticated with regard to modern markets. European, especially the English, are better educated than we are but they produce fewer upper tier degrees relative to their population. Main difference in our system sorts at the end with less focus on the k-12. Other countries sort down their student populations. Given that most guys are not mentally mature until around 25 I would opt fo the later sort.
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        Feb 12 2013: My main complaint about public education is that prior to 1960, most school district had to carefully plan since most all funding came through local property taxes. Most states supported state public colleges, with little going to the local schools. Then the Department of Education came into being. There were social injustices to address in education and that was done. As a reward school districts were given additional funding through the states by the Feds and the states added to the pot. Local schools saw this as a license to expand....and they did. Leaving the education of the kids behind.
        In the interim, 1960 till now, We have school districts expand in cost by factors. School districts in my neighborhood have have drop out rates K - 12. of 25%. The level of eduction on the international scale has fallen to the low 20s below some supposed 3rd world nations. We have school systems where nearly 50% of in employees are indirect. Not teachers. There are school facilities with sculptured lawns and landscaping covering many acres, look like resorts. All of this comes to the highest cost of k-12 in the world and there is even now great hue and cry for more money. "It's for the children, how can you not teach the children" I think it's about self serving the scholastic industry that give so little in return. I don't know who does better educating their kids, The Nordic countries are at the top list, better education at a lower cost.
        • Feb 13 2013: all good points. and should all be addressed. I just do not think our system is s bad as the k-12 tests make out. everyone gets dumped into our test including kids that barely speak english. the countries that score well generally share 1 or both of 2 characteristics. 1) they are homogeneous. 2) the test scores do not represent their whole "student" population.
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        Feb 13 2013: Rob
        I expressed my disappointment with the actions of the public school bureaucracy which I believe that over the years have been more interest in the public school business then the education of children.
        I have given a more consideration to your other point on cutting down on these incidents. I'm stumped.
        The shooter in the University, the movie house, the grade school, etc. In all these cases, in hindsight, there were indicators, suspicions, people who suspected... but was there anything learned from how to become aware of these individuals before they act? There has been a cultural shift from my time to yours, is there a way to go back?
        P.S. There is a local story where there is a developed a pistol grip that has a built in scanner that will read a finger print when the gun is gripped. Something like you had suggested. A local company can develop that sort of product. We'll see.
        • Feb 13 2013: you are right on about education.

          I wish there was a way to go back but I cannot see anything forcing us into a resurgence of what I would call classic western values.

          I feel that in the 60's we spent a lot of time ripping apart the foundational beliefs of our society and doing a lot of social engineering without anyone having the faintest clue what the effects were going to be. While it is not the 7th ring of hell I think we would all agree the results could have been a lot better.

          I am Gen X and share a lot of the eisenhower gen psychographics so you are preaching to the converted. I would note that one big contributing factor is treating psychology like it is an actual science. We do not even fully understand fluid dynamics where we can measure things in controlled environments, but somehow the psych profession had no problem going out and doing social engineering on a massive scale in terms of how we bring up our kids and on and on and on based on theories of the mind and behavior that did not and could not have any empirical basis given our tech level.

          The end result of all that is a politically correct society (and by politically correct I mean if you happen to mention an inconvenient fact you get lambasted) full of a bunch of self-involved ninnies.

          it is not necessarily that your generation was per se "better". I would say they were much better brought up to your point and societal standards constrained and governed behavior to a much greater degree than today.
  • Feb 11 2013: I'm posting this once more for Dewayne Rabid -eau Quit pretending know my views.
    OK, controversy aside, Firearms were not invented to be safe. They were invented to give advantage to those possessing them. A safer gun is almost an oxymoron. The use of those weapons is the core of the debate.
    The ones who commit the crimes as in the latest atrocity are said to be mentally ill and most would agree that a mentally ill person is probably ten times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator. Columbine, the perpetrators were said to be outcasts of the school or social networks. They were tired of their inequality and acted out in a way that most should and would not. My point is this there are dangers in this world mostly human nature that a weapon is good for. /the weapons are not the problem in my view, we are.
    We tend to exclude others to the point of severe pain to those very people. A lot more compassion and understanding of those we would separate ourselves from might go a long way to solving the majority of problems we face as a society.
    So the next time you want to remove or separate someone from participation in our society or clique. Try doing the opposite they might not as bad as we think, which is usually the case,, it will take guts but it just might save a loved one or perhaps you.
    • Feb 11 2013: I agree on that point and have been in situations that have involved mental health issues. A nephew who developed symptoms after nearly being stabbed to death in school by bullies. The same symptoms also came as a result of a mirrored attack on a football player that I once coached. Each situation brought different results as the first tried to set his house on fire and the latter developed anger management issues.
      And that is the problem with mental health. It is so unpredictable. I can happen at any time in one's life.
      The mother of the Newtown massacre also showed that compassion to her son as I am sure that all of her friends did. Could it have been blind love or a sincere belief that the actions of her son did not predicate what would eventually happen?
  • Feb 11 2013: At least you addressed some issues this time. Now go home and quit trying to meddle in our affairs. Lol
    I understand your position. But did your gov take away due process. You need to cut down on the caffeine Bubba
    While I have plenty of respect for our closest and dearest neighbor I have never tried to tell anyone from your country what rights they have in their country. Something that you seem to lack. You stepped over the line with that one.
    As far as the cherished centrist Liberal thing, the vast majority of Americans including me are centrist that's just the way it is. You should have more respect for other peoples views. And, the reference to dogs being used on our citizens was to show the way it has been leaning for many years. When you lose small parts your liberties for WHAT YOU believe is keeping safe
    Maybe you neglected to read the last paragraph or at least understand it. So I will translate it for you.
    When you lose small pieces of your liberty that is a path I personally don't care for, because it is the path to losing more. Those btw were fought for through out the history of this country by my family with many of them in the national cemeteries of our great country.
    I never said I do or do not vote. That is my prerogative whichever I choose. I wasn't complaining I was giving my opinion.
    As far as issues with the Police, yes I do, the 1968 Democratic convention. look it up. citizens being put behind fences called free speech zones (oxymoron)because they're holding signs that disagreed with Dubba's policies G W That is. And there are many more examples.
    It seems to me you don't really study both sides of the issues, instead you assimilate others opinions into what you call your own. When one of my country's citizens rights areabused that's a clear sing that mine can be abused.
    Our conversation is over. because it wasn't one. I'm sure you will have the last word due to your "Fox news" approach to a conversation. But I am done with you. bye Dewane
    • Feb 11 2013: Hi, I just want to be clear. This forum is one designated to the sharing of ideas from those from around the world. I am not dictating anything. I am simply contributing to the conversation and offering some ideas that can be used to address the issues at hand. I do not dismiss your concerns about those with mental health issues. The problem still exists. What I am pointing out is that issue is minor in comparison to the overall picture. There are laws to address those with mental health issues and even those are not perfect as we say in Newtown.
      What is the common denominator in this discuss are the guns and people. Guns have a level of predictability, humans no so much.
      Personally, I do not feel that my government actions which severely restricts my access to guns is an infringement of my rights or that of my family. Yes, you can run to your Constitution but in my personal belief it is not as pure as some choose to believe. If it were, there would be slavery and women would not have the vote. Society evolves as we move to the future. The problem is that too many people want to cling onto the past because it is the fear of the future that governs their lives. To me, they have become slaves to the past which inhibits society fropm earning its future freedoms.
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        Feb 12 2013: I am going to assume you are Canadian and very familiar with the US culture. But after your comments on the US Constitution, I see there is a weakness in your education. No matter, you have said more on the Constitution then most US high school graduates.. Yes, during the time of the writing of the document there was slavery and limited voting.But, it is a living document and since the original writing there has been updates and changes. So, slavery is not an issue and the ladies have the vote in Federal elections. There have been a number of changes, some went well, some not so good. It seems that when the changes are well though out, they serve the people well. A few were made in highly emotional national conscience and proved to be a poor choice when the nation came back down from it's high. But as a viewer of American PBS TV you are probably aware of this. The one point made about slaves to the past inhibits society from earning future freedoms seems innocuous. This whole conversation has been about Americans maintaining a current freedom and many ( including you ) on this forum are proposing limitations on this current freedom to have guns. It's confusing.
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    Feb 11 2013: Switzerland and Israel's systems can't be used, Why? Your congress threw out half their system as not viable.

    It's too late. The way i see it is.

    1) Militarize yourselves

    2) Militarize yourselves

    It's too late. It's just damage control now. Since when does a citizen need military designed ammunition, AP? How many citizen assisted crime preventions had the specific need to use AP because the criminal was vested? What's the numbers?

    Edited = We've just had a young man run around with a gun holding up people and shops but because of our small size and the fact that the country is an island nation there is nowhere to go, literally.
    • Feb 11 2013: Switzerland's example is a failed one.
      Since they have mandatory gun possession laws gun homicides account for 72% of all homicides in that nation.
      When you look at Great Britain that has a handgun ban, their per capita gun homicide rate is 11 times LESS that that of Switzerland. And I have no doubts that the Brits decried the same thing that you are doing. Yet they took that step and after experiencing a short term spike in gun crime, their overall gun crime rates have dropped dramatically and more importantly their overall homicide rate has dropped by 75%.
      Canada, who is much more influenced by American culture also has STRICT hand gun possession laws which only allow those in security, police, military or persons who are facing imminent threat are allowed to own a handgun. As a result, our per capita gun homicide rate is 1/7th that of the US.
      And when you look at the overall percentages of gun homicide rates vs overall homicides, the numbers are astounding
      Great Britain 8%
      US 68.3%
      Switzerland 72%
      Canada 28.3%
      China 3%
      Japan less than 1%
      Does it stop all criminals from getting a gun?? No but what it does do is make it less likely that they can and as such decreases the incidents of these gun homicides.
      What is lost in all of this is that we have been brought up in a drive-thru generation where we expect results in 5 minutes, Unfortunately not all things in life can be handled in this way.
      PS, I love your edited anecdote. It is true, where can he run??
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        Feb 12 2013: I know what your saying Dwayne, it's just that since police forces have stopped using batons which should be the first option rather than what they have now. I only cite my country to make the point that it is not the States and negligible pop numbers but it is like Australia. No handguns since i think, the beginning of the 20th century. This doesn't mean we don't have gun crime it's just limited to stolen rifles. That is why we freak when we see them.

        The States is an entirely different animal, cultures within cultures and when a group of peoples believe it is in their blood then you are taking on an indigenous right. I always wondered why police forces didn't swap the batons over to telescopic smaller batons but then the public would want it as well or is it to do with the horror of seeing someone being subdued this way? Honestly i would think that shooting someone was worse. There is something wrong with this, there seems to be a disconnect with modern man somewhere.
  • Feb 11 2013: This is an interesting idea and I like it, but there are a few problems I see with what you are saying. You mentioned that there is no specific wording to what guns are allowed by the constitution, what are the allowed guns in this scenario. Are any guns allowed or will there be some restrictions? The gun locks, how much would this drive up the price of a firearm? Same with the kill switch, how much does that cost? Also the kill switch might not work really well because someone might kill people before the kill switch is activated. Plus there would still be regular guns still on the street because it would take a prolonged period of time before all "unsafe" guns were eliminated.
    • Feb 11 2013: if you can fit them with locks and kill switches I do not necessarily see a reason to restrict the types. That at least would prevent accidental shootings and people getting shot with their own guns. driving up the price is part of the point. refitting the guns with a simple device would create new revenue streams for the gun manufacturers. if the gun lobby does not at the least maintain its current revenue level the this whole thing is likely a dead issue.

      if you had a GPS kill switch that locked down the weapon in public areas of concern the kill switch would activate when you enter the zone. keep in mind I just threw the ideas out there. I did not take the time to design the system. the basic tech is there to do this, but in order to address issues that you and other have brought up the system would require a design not just spitballing.

      you're right. it would take time to work through guns that are already out there. that said if it was mandatory (which would make the gun suppliers happy) with stiff penalties then that might take less time. No single solution is going to solve everything.
  • Feb 11 2013: I like where you heads at on trying to reduce these shootings. I don't think gun locks will really help though. Plus how are you going to defend yourself from a home intruder when your fumbling to enter your gun lock code? I really don't think there's any public policies we can put into place that will significantly reduce these shootings. I thinks a more of just our society and how we work and think. Canada and other countries have guns but there just not used for mass shootings. If someone wants to commit a mass shooting, there going to do it. A gun lock or gun ban may slow them down but it won't stop them. The only truly way to stop these shootings is to address the issues of why are people getting pushed to this point to they snap? Are there warning signs we can see before people commit these crimes? How can we prevent these from a mental stand point. After all its not the gun who's actually killing anyone, it's who's pulling the trigger.
    • Feb 11 2013: biometric locks are automatic. gun locks would prevent kids randomly shooting other when playing with dad's gun. that happens quite a bit more than thing like Newtown.
  • Feb 11 2013: I like how you were able to take a logical view on this topic. People tend to be very emotional over this subject and it tends not to lead to better ideas.

    I think people have to really examine gun violence itself to lead to ideas for resolution. The kill switch and biometric locks are ideas going in the right direction. It would help prevent accidental and non-owner shootings. But would it decrease violence? maybe.

    The issue of mass killings is painful and saddening. If no citizen could legally own a gun would they stop completely? Maybe, but their is always the black market if someone is intent on doing this. Also a gun is not required to commit such horrible crimes. A student in Japan used a Katana in class, whats to stop someone from useing knifes, or chemicals, bombs etc.

    The biggest issue to me is the black market trading you mention. If peoples guns become unstealable then the black market for them will increase. If you commit crimes with guns, the illegality of obtaining them is probably not going to stop you. Until we can stop this, which I doubt will ever happen, gun crimes will continue.

    The whole issue raises alot of questions and a clear cut answer is very hard to find.
    I personally feel that if criminals and our government is armed, I should be armed too.

    I also wanted to add in my edit that retrofitting old guns with new technology might be problematic, but a new generation of guns with features like this would be amazing for theft protection.
  • Feb 11 2013: Lol! Bullying! You people amaze me... You think that bullies or the people that were bullied are the reason? Then why isn't every adult going on a killing spree and culling the herd?

    The issue is not making things illegal, very few things are solved with making things illegal. Laws are for punishment and retribution. They cannot prevent a crime, only deter it. Children, especially male children, fight and bully. It's a pack mentality thing, it's hardwired into their brains. Great, punish them for something that they are biologically wired to do.

    Maybe we should focus more on teaching parents to let kids fight and what morality is. While we are at it, mandatory drug tests for welfare users. But, why worry about the real issues?
  • Feb 10 2013: A car is used for transportation, what do u need a gun for?, self defense?, how many cases of self defense have u seen that have really required a gun, what about whether the gun does more good than bad???? Keep your guns and see how many more dying regularly?, withdraw them and see the difference. Here in Canada there's far too few crimes per year.
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    Feb 10 2013: I see two schools of thought here. One side is defending the right to guns, etc. The other wants to eliminate, control, what ever, guns and then there is the 2nd Amendment. So, the control side has found there are limits in the word
    " infringement" to the actions of controlling guns. If they are not subject to the laws of the USA, they seem to have an attitude of disdain, "It's a stupid law, just change it and get rid of the problem of guns". That's a valid point, but most Americans have this regard, respect, even reverence for the constitution. They don't consider changing it lightly or even in times of great emotional duress. There have been changes in the past. Some changes have not proven well thought out, the emotional thing. Other changes have altered the original intent and some of those have yet to be fully appreciated.

    What I have noticed are the comments of those who... have no skin in the game and I have made comments to that situation. For those that do, my question is how do you reconcile the 2nd with some of the demands you have proposed. It gives the right to bear Arms. Written in Caps in the original document. It doesn't address "bear muskets or flintlocks", it doesn't say good until 1808. Several other actions seem to start or end in 1808. So Arms are not defined nor is the time this amendment effective. Further, there is nothing about a single shot, or repeating or automatic fire. No description at all of the word Arms. So, it would seem that the people would decide what their Arms were. So, I could decide to have even no Arms at all and you could decide to be armed with a Sherman Tank and make that case under the 2nd amendment.
    Consider the beginning of the amendment, it addresses militias. Militias are a providence of the states. You will find in other sections of the Constitution that the President can call on the states to provide militias in defense of the United
    States. So any gun, any militia. So, we drop the 2nd?
    • Feb 10 2013: There is a third school of thought, there always is, there has to be, if there wasn't the other two wouldn't exist. And I'm not explain what it is. That's up to you to learn. Because without you learning it, you wont understand it. But it's there always and ever present in history.
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        Feb 11 2013: Tify,
        Shame on you, You have an idea and you say to us "Guess what I know". But your right, we will never learn until we have the information to think about it, to process it in our minds, to learn about it.
        We may disagree with it later, we reserve that right. Right now the two schools are
        We keep out guns without all this yelling and screaming and address the real causes of violence.
        There are many and all have been enumerated... or,
        We pile on a ton of requirements and regulations and get involved in courts and time and and and
        the violence still occurs because instead of going after violence, we waste time on rhetoric. in the attempt to address constitutional issues. Most of this conversation would be great in law school. but what would you suggest to end this violence that pervades our major metropolitan areas.
        • Feb 11 2013: I think the one big issue, probably largest that I see in the US, is education.

          Education brings opportunity, opportunity bring wealth, wealth (at all levels) tends to stop bullets being fired.
  • Feb 10 2013: All power, authority and technology can and will be abused. That is a fact of human history. If you want to argue this point PLEASE don't do it with me, do it with someone else that has lost the common sense you both were born with. Btw. common sense is in a desperately short supply of late.
    • Feb 11 2013: absolutely true. hence the reason almost everything in our world is regulated. having a gun at home is not going to stop you from being the victim of such abuse.

      how many families lost their jobs and homes in the past 4 years because we took the reins of the financial markets. Personally I would focus less on the idea of the government coming to my door and more on the fact 95+% of Americans are little better than cows hooked up to the milking machine as far as the investment banks are concerned. As long as they get theirs what happens outside does not matter. Short sighted and stupid? yes but as you pointed out painfully human.

      Somehow though very few people and definitely not your average gun owner thinks that is a problem, but they are all worried about some evil tyrannical government taking their rights. What rights? The right to get diabetes at 10 and run up your credit cards? Honestly if you step really far back the gun thing is a minor issue either way.
  • Feb 10 2013: I believe the discussion here was about mandatory gun locks and universal kill switches. The way this debate has been taken shows the problems that are being hashed out as everybody has their own idea, and it's the only one that will work, I am truly amazed at the people of other countries that want nothing better than to disarm our citizens, get rid of an amendment to our constitution, so that we can enjoy the safety and security of their great countries. Why do you want to disarm us?The real problem of course isn't guns, or knives, but people, and crowding. mammalian stress is always born out of overpopulation, and grubbing for resources. We will always have the decriers of peace, and humanity, when we are not a peaceful species. When stressed we act just like mice, rats, or any of the others that have been put through stress and been found to turn against each other. Maybe instead, we should look to spreading our population out more evenly, and look to cutting our regeneration of species more. I do not think any of the choices that have been put forth is a workable option, there are no magic pills, and getting rid of the guns in this country will probably not happen. We should think out of the box.
    • Feb 10 2013: Very intelligent to ask people to think out of the box. I for one advocate that and go well beyond it.

      But I can't agree with the idea singularly that mammalian stress is always born out of overpopulation etc

      You deserve to know why, I'm not going to give you the whole answer, I don't like doing that, as it does not require the reader to think and particularly understand.

      What I suggest you look at is why a) wars happen, what is the common demonstrator, between any and all wars you can think of, look at the 13th century, or the 2nd.

      "...people of other countries... to disarm our citizens, get rid of an amendment to our constitution, so that we can enjoy the safety and security of their great countries. Why do you want to disarm us?"
      b) The answer to this is can be found in the notes in the margins. Or you can find it Orwell's 1984. Or Katrina.

      One question that's blinding apparent, from the "why do people get rid of an amendment to our constitution", is exactly the opposite, why is really there? What did the authors of it really see when they wrote it. What did they note? Is that already happening?

      All of these issues come down to history. We are only where we are today because of choices made. It's the path that got us here. Without understanding those choices how can we ever be smart enough to make the best choices now.

      But people want slogans / metal detectors / remove shoes - it's a simple perceptual solution. People love those, it requires the least effort. Foreigners too.

      The Nobel Prize people "perceive" it's prizes are for the greater good. It's paid for from interest on money gained from manufacturing of weapons of war.

      So abandon your perceptions, your believes, your prejudices and learn why things are they way they are, and how they got that way. And Tim when you get there, and I know you can, it means - the illusion of the box is gone. There is no box. There never was a box. It only existed in your mind. Question is who put it there...and why?
      • Feb 11 2013: I am intrigued, Stress always occupanies overpopulation. It does not require my thought. the common denomminator would be MONEY, and or Religion. Those two problems aside, My country has figured out one problem that all others have forgotten. Freedom comes at a price. is that price too high? I think if you had asked my ancestors that were here in the early 1700 hundred's. I think they would say no. If you asked my ancestors that were here in early 1830 they would say no. If you asked my Native American ancestors what they thought, well, I won't respond. My family has been here a long time, and will remain. Orwells 1984, I remember it well, I read it in 1972, and was moved, but not in the direction he imagined. I also want answers, but I am not willing to give up freedoms to sycophants wanting to disarm the populace to gain favour. Yes, Alfred had great ideals, see what they got the world.
        • Feb 11 2013: Stress always goes with overpopulation... but that was not the case in the 13 century right?

          You see what i mean, you cant, not you personally, the powers that be, cant use that as an excuse, or a reason.

          "If you asked my Native American ancestors what they thought, well, I won't respond.", but the response is part of the answer, that's the real problem I see with this whole debate, people are not willing to let go of their emotional baggage, to explore new points of view, the catch is..if you don't do that, you DO end up with sycophants. No matter who you elect.

          And lets to totally honest here, about sycophants, isn't that (not just American) the way the whole world is going, when politicians are sold marketed and packaged like soap powder.

          Interesting I watched the film "the candidate" a comedy, where the candidate is taken out and given a make over, my friend at the end of their make over said ... wow they look so much better.

          Problem is people are voting (if at all) based on that nowadays.

          Another good real example of that, is Libya, how that's portrayed to the populous... "mad dog Gaddafi", if that's not acting obsequiously toward the populous, i don't know what is.

          Maybe I do, that's the problem, that two us bipartisan senators (justice) asked Obama for the information on the use of drones to kill Americans (just americans, not yemenese nor pakistani, because thats not in justice's purview). Obama gave it to the intelligence committee (ie the cia). But not to Justice. That too is obsequious, to the very word Justice, and to the very people and departments of the government YOU elected, and to the constitution itself.

          In some ways that was what 1984 was about. He did (Orwell) have a nice understanding, about freedom and the powers that be and people reaction to them... Freedom is slavery.

          Ie the the freedom not to think, not to question, to assume that state will take care of all your needs, allows sycophants and tyrants, and that is slavery.
  • Feb 10 2013: From what I have read to date, may of the solutions presented come as straw arguments. Semi-automatic and automatic guns account for 2% of all gun homicide in the US. It is the handguns that are the problem. They are small, easily concealable and convenient to carry and as such we find that it is the weapon of choice for criminals.
    What I have seen and statistics will support this is that any nation who has strict handgun laws have seen a dramatic drop in not only gun homicide but overall homicide. Will gun crime go up when they start taking the guns away?? Of course, but unlike the fast food drive-thru mentality that our last two generations have grown up in, resolving gun issues takes time. Great Britain say as spike in gun crime but an immediate drop in gun homicide. And since their hand gun ban, overall homicides have dropped 75% with guns accounting for only 8% of all homicides in that country.
    Canada also has strict handgun restrictions which has allowed our per capita gun homicide rate to be 1/7th that of the US. Guns account for only 28.3% of all homicides in Canada. In the US, that number is 68.3%. Even China who has 4x the population of the US experience 1/4 the gun homicides that the US. And finally, we can look at Switzerland who has mandatory gun possession laws. Their per capita gun homicide rate is 11x that of Great Britain and 72% of all homicides come at the end of a gun barrel.
    Finally, I like the gun issue in the US to this.
    You walk in a room and see glass smashed on the floor.
    Do you?
    A: Pick up the pieces accepting the fact that you might not get them all but at least the floor is safer to cross?
    B: Smash more onto the ground
  • Feb 10 2013: What about the people, you have to change their minds and attitudes towards guns. In Canada we have more weapons proportionally than in the USA but there is maybe 600 deaths compared to the thousands of Americans dying every year. Its the people here who think guns are dangerous, therefore they must be treated with respect and ideally the gun is not the answer to the problem.
    Until the people respect and do not use the gun to settle things, then that is the only time that change will come about. If the people do not get away from the 2nd amendment which was written when the British were invading, Indians were trying to keep their land and their way of living and so the amendment was put in so each person in the USA could carry a firearm to protect his Family, Land and if need be Protect his Country but that was over 200 years ago, times have changed and the 2nd amendment is outdated and no longer required. I am not saying get rid of weapons but why do you need an AK-47 or any other automatic weapon to protect your family or Land or your Country. It is just common sense that there is no need for such barbaric weaponry to protect your family. Ban these type of weapons from the Good guys and the Bad guys, the Military requires such weapons but only to DEFEND their Country for YOU. You are not needed any longer to protect the country so a pistol or hunting weapon should be more than efficient to protect your family, get food for hunting etc., But that should be more than enough to satisfy the needs of the people. That's my two cents worth and I hope something occurs because it cuts down on people wishing to visit your country.
    Tom Nugent CD1 Ret"d Military
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      Feb 10 2013: "...the 2nd amendment is outdated and no longer required. I am not saying get rid of weapons but why do you need an AK-47 or any other automatic weapon to protect your family or Land or your Country.."

      Go live in India, Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan and then ask this same question.
      Go live in Israel and ask this question. The Israeli's are civilized people, right?

      I don't see where things have changed in 200 years that would allow us to make the assumption that protecting oneself and or family from violence is no longer a necessity.

      I'm sure some people have seen the movie "Red Dawn"..... now, imagine how impossible it would be to write that movie if guns were outlawed in the US. Imagine the difference in the outcome. If our major military bases and weapons were taken out in the beginning of such an invasion, people with guns would be the only thing standing in the way of total take over.

      Is the world really safe enough now so that we don't have to depend on social militias to protect our country from invasion from another super power? If another super power were to see us disarm our population, would they, maybe, see this as an opportunity?

      How well will a pistol or hunting rifle stand up to an artillery piece or machine gun? I think we can all say that a machine gun is not a hunting weapon but does that mean we can't own one? A local people's militia with only pistols and hunting rifles is really nothing to fear from thugs with machine guns and hand grenades.

      There isn't enough police and military to protect the whole country in an unforeseen natural or violent event. We need local militia to help keep the peace while we wait for the Calvary to get around to saving us, and just pistols and hunting rifles won't do the job.
      • Feb 10 2013: "There isn't enough police and military to protect the whole country in an unforeseen natural or violent event." ... implicitly begs the response... they dont they have guns?

        Or seen another way... if you are being attacked, you call the police. Why? They have guns. So why not cut out the middle man.

        Or seen another way... if you disarm the population... why do the police need guns? Would they be happy to give them up?
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          Feb 11 2013: I'm afraid I don't understand your point Tify.... please elaborate. What does the fact the police have guns have to do with fact there aren't enough police to protect all of us from sudden, wide spread, gun violence, leaving us to protect ourselves? And, how does that relate with the idea that, if we don't have the guns, we won't be able to protect ourselves?
      • Feb 11 2013: Well John, if you want to take away from citizens, why do the police need them. See the UK.

        Also from the UK, the crimes against the person are increasing. So how do you protect yourself?

        See the conundrum / catch 22 - in both yours and my statements.

        Thats what I'm seeing as the problem, people are cherrypicking, to really solve this you have to look at society as a whole.

        Anything else is a bandaid, on a bandaid.

        One prime example for you, is the absolutely appalling education today, thats does not educate people with the needs and wants of the 21st century.
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          Feb 11 2013: Allowing citizens to own weapons is not taking away from them Tify. In my opinion. I'ts also allowing them the means to hurt themselves, I agree.

          I'm 61 years old. Society looks to me as if it never learns from it's history, where violence is concerned. When we just look at the numbers, there are more responsible gun owners than irresponsible ones. We have not had a world war in over 68 years. This is commendable. But, when you look at war-like violence on the ground where it is happening on a national scale, it is no different than a world war. To the peace loving people of Iraq and Afghanistan, Korea, Syria, etc, it looks like the whole war is up in flames. It's always the rulers who instigate violence. Never the peace lovers.

          These sort of conflicts have continued forever in our history. It just moves around from counrty to country and the law of averages implies it will happen in a country like the US also.

          It's just a matter of time, if things are not really changing -if societies are not really maturing.

          In a country with no libraries or internet, I can make excuses for people not educating themselves, but in most modern countries, there is no excuse for everyone to be as educated as they can. In a modern country, education is a personal preference.

          If the world is not progressing towards a class I civilization, we will suffer the consequences. Passing out the grenades and guns only speeds the process along towards the inevitable conclusions.

          Living in a society where weapons are not allowed for the common citizen, and social conditions are deteriorating only presupposes that those citizens will find a means to obtain those weapons to fight back and change their situation. No dictatorship or Oligarchy can exist forever. History teaches us this fact.

          Until we take to the proper road in our social evolution, we must continue to protest in every way possible; as you are doing. I commend your efforts. Keep the faith.
  • Feb 10 2013: I shall attempt to give my few cents of thought about your post. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the ideas of more responsibility of gun owners in terms of keeping up with the interactions of their gun and I also agree with your idea of locks on the guns themselves. The only fault I see in your logic is the kill switches. Who is deemed powerful enough to control these kill switches? The owner themselves or an anonymous government agency that allows people to sit in swivel chairs to have access to the guns of all registered fire arms owners. I think it would be a great idea to allow owners to be responsible for the kill switch of their gun. This allow greater ownership and as Uncle Ben said, "With great power comes great responsibility."
    • Feb 10 2013: Exactly, if your not responsible enough for your own gun, why do you think a government agency would be.

      But unfortunately people seemingly don't want responsibility nowadays, they want others to be accountable for them, rather like parents who decry society, while pushing little 7 year old johnny in front of the internet, and then blame it and us, for his deviant behavior. Then demand we change our ways.

      So I don't see the concept of personal responsibility selling well.
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    • Feb 10 2013: Cant argue with a well informed lady. :)
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    Feb 9 2013: Your original premise is flawed. The fact that the 2nd amendment does not specify types of arms is not indicative of anything other than the fact that the 2nd amendment is inalienable, right along side those other "rights" spelled out in the constitution. The founders wanted "the people" to be able to hold off the government. They weren't concerned about hunting and fishing. They specifically identified the right the keep and bear arms as a deterent to government over-reaching and stiffling the free will and liberty of the people. Furthermore, the federalist papers describe the need for "the people" to at least match the power of the government as the strongest deterent against government oppression.

    Just like the restrictions proposed on semi-automatic rifles and the magazines which feed those guns, the idea of installing a kill switch of a madatory lock of a gun in the home, does nothing to speak to the real problem of violence in our society, gun associated or not. Such switches or locks will not be installed on guns of criminals and the expense of so doing (particularly the remanufacturing of such a devise on existing firearms) would be extreme, unable to be verified on the 300 million firearms in circulation in the country and render the firearm useless for many of the estimated 7 million personal protection experiences that occur every year.

    Here's the short answer. Guns are not the problem.
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      Feb 9 2013: The interesting thing is how many people say the 2nd is mainly to keep the government in check.

      Thing was, it written mainly to keep the British Govt. in check and in case the British took over again as the new Govt was young and vulnerable not the powerhouse it has now become.

      Interesting how things get interrupted throughout the years isn't it?
      • Feb 9 2013: Your interprtation of our constitution is flawed, and stated from a British position.I disagree with your premise that it was written solely for the British Government, it was written because they saw what governments across Europe did to their own people. With that in mind they put in safeguards such as the second. There are plenty of writings from the day explaining that very point.
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          Feb 9 2013: Not interpretting just an observation ,
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        Feb 9 2013: Hi,
        I'd like to blame the bill of rights on the Brits, I mean they came back 20 years later, burned down our new white house and really trashed our capital. But no, the bill of rights including the 2nd was an out growth of those who were sensitive to the rights of the states. 80 years later, the American Civil War was fought (if you read the papers of the Confederate statesmen) about state's rights.
        Here is the current situation about "guns". Gun control is a state's rights issue. Those who hold to states rights are against federal control of guns, registration, et. el. If a state wants to bring restrictions to gun ownership, use, etc. that is their choice. If a resident of that state feels his constitutional rights were infringed, then he should take that issue to the US supreme court.
        It's really as simple as that.
    • Feb 10 2013: Actually, your all incorrect.

      Look at the notes made at the time of writing the constitution. The observations and understanding that was garnered by the writers of the constitution.

      The truth is out there. You just need an internet connection and the will to find it.
  • Feb 7 2013: Tify

    Well done, well put. You are absolutely correct. The strange thing is, is that people don't want to, resist, or and even, scoff at the truth, as in this case, holding those we follow. up to those standards, demanding and GETTING them to obey us/US, and just addressing the real causes, conditions and reasons for such things.

    The reason for this? The American people, by and large, are close to 100% brainwashed into what they "think" they "believe".

    Today, they are by and large what I term, "Manchurian Citizens".
    They are mental robots. They have allowed themselves and have willingly accepted being rendered into the growing condition called, "Artificial Intelligence". In fact, William Casey, the head of the cia in 1981 said, "We will know when our program of disinformation is complete when every thing the American public believes, is false." With this as a guide, Americans should "not believe" one thing their leaders, of every kind, tell them, including their media, religions, and so on.

    The main affect of brainwashing is a dulled ability to reason.
    The next main effect is an impeded ability to act.

    Thus, they believe what they are told to believe, they think what they are told to think, they say what they are told to say, and they do what they are told to do. Conversely,

    They don't believe what they are told not to believe, they don't think what they are told not to think, they don't say what they are told not to say and they don't do what they are told not to do.
    Mental robots with artificial intelligence.

    Those two short paragraphs represent the "minutia" you mention that most get caught up in discussing, back and forth, without real progress or understanding because it leads them away from the truth.

    This also prevails in many other topics, some too hot for here, as they are simply "too hot" anywhere because people have been brainwashed into believing they are, all the while holding to false information about them, as truth.

    Americans worship lies.
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      Feb 7 2013: Finally the truth be told.
      Those mindless Americans who have internal issues of law and responsibility have demonstrated on the world stage their lack of the real truth. Very astute. A hundred years ago our selfishness got us involved in a political misunderstanding in Europe. Our worship of lies probably led us to support the wrong side. Never mind the loss of American lives They were just cannon fodder.
      It wasn't a generation later, that the situation in Europe came back and this time involved the whole world, at least that part in the temperate zones. Again, those brainwashed Americans got involved and after the loss of millions of lives world wide including Americans, it was resolved. But, did those lie worshiping Americans leave to go home? No, some stayed and helped the vanquished to regain their national heritage. Now those countries have regained a strong standing in the family of nations. Rather generous for a brainwashed country of liars.

      Currently, America is undergoing a debate on issues that address their Constitution. The very source of their brainwashed lies. Now there are a number of people who are not Americans and are not bound by the American Constitution or owe allegiance to it who have strong opinions on it. I think that us brainwashed Americans liars should respect these opinions and give them every consideration in our discussions of our current conversations.
      • Feb 8 2013: Take a look at the real facts: America lowest deaths percentage of population WW1 .13% Canada had .92 and for WW2 again only .32% Canada .40% and their ally the Soviet Union 13.88% It's telling that you have to go back that far. The Soviet Union was quickly turned into their enemy to give an excuse to arm with nukes. This ritual of throwing former friends under the bus is very common, even unto today. Americans have a high self centered fraudulent opinion of themselves. It's not as if you helped us out for altruistic measures and got nothin' from it. Revisionism is rampant beyond Hollywood, too
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          Feb 8 2013: Revisionism? Bud...

          Let see, you forgot to mention that the USA came late to the WWI party.
          In WW2, US and the UK were allies, Canada as part of the UK did commit a greater
          percentage of forces to England, but in actual numbers there were nearly half million US casualties and 50,000 in Canada. Are we really going to debate which country shed the most tears.
          Stalin was invited to the allied party because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Churchill wanted the Russians engaged with Germany to take the pressure off western Europe and England. Roosevelt was not happy with this situation but yielded to Churchill.
          The USA was not a friend of the Soviet Union because of the American Communist Party.
          creating internal unrest.
          The development of the atom bomb was not a strategic development for the War but was a scientific curiosity. The creation of the bomb did not come about until Truman was faced with the invasion of Japan, The planners estimated over half million casualties both Japanese and American, the bomb was used to bring about the capitulation of Japan without the invasion.
          You didn't list former friends under the bus, so?
          Then I am not sure how self opinion is fraudulent nor can I address help given to the "us"
          as altruistic or whatever gains the USA got.
          For me, WW2 was not history to revise, but current events.
          But what does any of this have to do with ending gun violence in the USA in this polarized
          political climate?
          Do you just want to say something regardless of appropriateness? You've done it.
  • Feb 7 2013: I haven't read the comments, but I can imagine their content having followed this issue from all political sides of the fence. When I was young I owned guns including legal hand guns in Canada. Now I have no use for them as I don't hunt or target shoot anymore. I have no fear of others so I never thought that I might need them for protection. I can talk my way out of anything and usually know when to keep my mouth shut.

    I am fearful of the random gang violence and shootings surrounding the drug market which I believe is also a non viable political solution causing a deadly larger problem, rather than solving a small personal one of addiction. To this end I have tried to change the dug laws through unique methods of activism and challenging the courts.

    I am strongly against violence no matter who is perpetrating it: gangs, Individuals, police, governments. This problem of gun violence by individuals, I am sad to say, is not something that can be solved by policies generated via politics, imo.

    Get a grip. There is no linear quick fix to this multifaceted challenge. The problem is culturally entrenched for many generations. The NRA came close to pinning the tail on the donkey when they say it is largely due to media influence.

    It is a cultural devotion to vengeance, although the Bible says "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord." From victims who want maximum sentences, to every violent movie which shows that when you want to get even, firepower is the answer your art presents. It is the way your government is seen to meet out armed revenge with eager retribution by psyched techno nerds almost like video game players as can be seen on wikileaks. This is the model seen by all Amerikans countless times before the are old enough to own a gun. Does no one believe that there are no side effects that might make borderline mental malcontents try to re-enact some of those situations they have been imprinted with since birth? No one wants to look in the mirror as usual.
  • Feb 7 2013: Mr & mrs Smith had several children. One year, one of the children, lets call him Jared, bought himself a sling shot. Lucky for Jared, mum & dad didn't mind. For the first few weeks the children had lots of fun with the sling shot. They practised their aim on empty cans & drawn up targets. Jared was even able to get the neighbourhood bully to leave them alone just by showing he had it.

    Inspired by this, tim, Jareds younger brother also bought a sling shot with his pocket money. The two of them had lots of fun & they felt pretty tough too.

    One day tim wouldn't get off the swing when it was Jareds turn. Angry that mum wouldn't make him get off, Jared decided to show tim! He got out his sling shot, found a handful of nice hard stones & took aim at his brother. Shots were fired. Tim happened to have his own sling shot on him and retaliated. It wasn't long before someone got hurt. One of times stones found Jareds left eye.

    Hearing loud screaming, mum, dad & the other siblings were horrified to find Jared seriously injured, writhing in agony on the ground. Jared had to go to hospital, where they were unable to save his eye. Back at home a few days later, mum & dad sat the children down for a family meeting... They had to make a decision about the sling shots.

    Now what would you do if you we're the parents? You weigh it all up. The guns were used responsibly most of the time for fun. They were great to keep the neighbourhood bully in line. They payed for them with their own money & after all, WE were the ones who said yes to the sling shots from the start.

    Are these good enough reasons to let the children continue playing with them? Knowing that at some point, at least one would get injured again? Knowing its your job to fight bullies, not theirs? Of course not. Any decent parents would take the weapons away. It is the parents responsibility to make the hard decisions despite the coming temper tantrum Jared & tim will no doubt make.
    • Feb 7 2013: So, you think the government should play parent to the people? I thought the role of government was something else in a free society.
    • Feb 7 2013: There's a huge difference between a couple of kids getting carried away and legal adult gun owners who assume full responsibility for their weapons. In order to own a gun, you have to be sane, not convicted of a felony, and you assume liability for incidents involving the weapon. The kids in your example are not held to the same standard of responsibility.

      Second, gun rights don't exist for "fun". They're not to protect the hunters and sport shooters. They're there to allow citizens to own weapons for protection. Making this assumption is done to trivialize the gun rights argument by ignoring the real justification for it.

      Lastly, you assert it's the parents (government's) job to fight the bullies (criminals), and yet in your own example, the parents weren't there to stop the kids from hurting each other in a fight. The parents can't be everywhere at once and neither can the police. The government can't guarantee you'll never run into a criminal, but they can guarantee that we can choose to protect ourselves and with lethal force if necessary.

      If you want to solve the gun violence problem, take the violence out of the equation, not the gun.
      • Feb 7 2013: See above reply to tim. This fictitious story was only meant as a loose analogy, from which to draw parallels. You can only be so detailed in 2000 or less characters.

        I do like your last line. I whole heartedly agree. But to take violence out of the equation would take steps far more drastic than banning assault weapons or guns in general. If you want to stop the violent nature of man, you have to go back to basics. We would have to take steps in our societies to prevent bad parenting, drug abuse, violence in the media... & dare I say it, prevent some people from breeding. It is estimated that personality of each individual is 40% genetic and in certain cases, no amount of good parenting will affect certain unwanted traits. With this in mind, I just think its an easier first step to take away what is easily the most dangerous tool for those who are violent. And I think that the majority, who use them responsibly should take it(give up their guns) for the team. The US has the biggest military budget by far... & the most hardened police force. That should be enough, shouldn't it? God if I was one of your police officers, I would feel more and more comfortable with every gun taken away & no longer in the hands of general public.
        • Feb 8 2013: The police that I have dealt with while I, a Citizen, was carrying my firearm openly actually liked that I was out there deterring crime also (Granted the only reason I carry is for me and my family, but guns tend to make Bad Guys think twice). However, most police I have heard about that want to take guns from the average Joe are also the ones that want that hooker to blow them to not get a fine. Or a piece of the action to not bust that dealer on the corner.

          Our military budget is the highest yet our school ranking in 10th? Wonder if that has something to do with uninformed and disgruntled youths?

          Your fears and prejudices are not enough to disarm me. Feel free to argue but my family is worth more to me than your piece of mind.
        • Feb 8 2013: You seem to resort to potshots when your statements are questioned, or analyzed. I realize what you are saying, I just don't agree with it. I do not believe that the anti-gun movement is trying to find ways of limiting the violence as much as they are trying to disarm the U.S. population. When you compared by "analogy" gun ownership with slingshot ownership, and by extension parent verses government, you were barking up the wrong tree. I agree with Jon's response to your "analogy"
  • Feb 6 2013: I think we're failing to ask the correct question: how can we reduce the greatest number of gun-related crimes in this country without ignoring the Constitution? If you ask this question and look at FBI crime statistics, most gun crimes are committed with handguns. Most of those aren't purchased from federal licensed dealers. Many of them are stolen or have filed off serial numbers making their origins impossible to track. Most homicide convicts and most homicide victims are involved in gangs or the trade of drugs. Most come from a poor socioeconomic status.

    The Jarod Laughners and Adam Lanzas of this world are the outliers of a vast sea of data suggesting where the real problem lies. To focus so much attention on them and ignore the real problem is a disservice to the gun debate and only serves cynics and sycophants.

    Solutions include:
    -improved gun tracking records, coordinated by the ATF, so weapons used in crimes can be traced to their owners.
    -rigorous but rapid background checks via the NICS database
    -augmented background check data
    -mandatory reporting of violent crimes and conviction data from local, county, and state jurisdictions to the database
    -mandatory reporting of the mentally incompetent, those at risk to themselves or others to the database by psychiatrists
    -mandatory maintenance of the mentally ill records by treating psychiatrists, who may deem someone safe after completing treatment
    -mandatory updating of records if convictions are overturned on appeals
    -mandatory minimum sentencing for those convicted of gun-related crimes. Federalize these crimes if necessary.
    -mandatory minimum sentencing for those convicted of trafficking illegally in guns
    -mandatory attendance of gun safety programs for licensed gun owners with refresher courses on an biannual basis so they maintain their competency and knowledge (just like CPR certification)
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      Feb 7 2013: I am glad someone is focusing on the issues of gun violence and not the look alike assault rifle that seems excite the political crowd.
      the list is long and I am not sure that all is needed, but the one key to watch under current constitutional law is that there can be no requirement that would or appear to infringe on constitutional rights. A national data base with name, address and gun type could be seen as an intimidation and be unconstitutional.
      Most of these suggestions that focus on legal gun ownership may be seen as more annoying the needed.
      Those that apply to illegal activities ie. mandatory sentencing, minimum sentences, consecutive sentencing, crime plus gun need to be on top of the list.
      I am not comfortable with federal sentencing. Constitutionally police powers and by extension sentencing belongs to the states.
      • Feb 7 2013: I probably should have stated that I was listing those suggestions in no particular order. I think the most effective ones involve enforcing the laws we already have on the books, and increasing the penalties on those convicted of gun crimes and illegal gun trafficking. And you may be right that it may be unconstitutional to federalize gun crimes.

        I completely understand your argument on the national database as well. Registration leads to confiscation, and at the risk of Godwinning the discussion, this is what Hitler did, and many gun rights advocates are justifiably worried about their guns being taken away. My only counterpoint is that if you can trust the government and register your car, why would we apply a lesser standard to lethal weapons? Theoretically a log of those requesting and passing background checks could be compiled into a de facto gun-ownership database already.

        As for suggestions that might be "annoying" to legal gun owners, sure they might be, but doesn't mean that with the right to own a firearm, they can shirk responsibility to do so safely. I don't think passing a background check is offensive. We already do it, so why not have the database be more effective? Also, if you own a gun, you should know how to use it, store it, clean it, handle it, and be familiar with the laws governing it. Completing a course to verify this is common sense and responsible gun ownership. You have to renew your CPR certification and renew your driver's license, right?
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          Feb 7 2013: Hi Jon,
          I have no problem with a background check as detailed as need to assure the gun purchaser is not on any .... lists. I am cautious about any national list that would allow the identity of any individual shown to have possession of a gun. It is a short step to national gun confiscation. As far as licensing, etc., these are now state and should remain state issues. My own state has differing requirements for differing gun uses. There are other states with other requirements as it should be. I am not in favor of a national requirement for "gun"s.
          I am of the belief that the states have relinquished most of their rights under Constitution. If we continue, these losses of states rights, there will come a time that there will be no states and no reason to have them. That changes everything.
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    Feb 6 2013: Hypothetically speaking: if there were no guns, then most murderers would use knives or the world's previous dominant weapon, the medieval sword...if not weapons, man would use fists and rocks exactly like Kane & Abel.

    What does this mean? (You may ask) Taking away the thought of violence, is more important than blaming the instrument of violence...removing the influence of the violence, which surrounds the western society and daily life, is the only process of removing the action. Simple.
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    Feb 6 2013: @ Rob.
    You have really nailed the basic question when you say not everyone should have what they want. You have focused on guns. I will say let's raise the issue to the basic question. In the USA , we have the constitution and if the people want change, there is a method to do that. When the majority of Americans want to remove the 2nd Amendment then that is how it is done. Now, it is not about the want of a gun. It is a right. Like speech, religion (or not), assembly, etc.
    When one has a right, they don't have to explain a want.
    So, what is bigger picture of the basic question of what people want. Well, people want... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? or how about to feel safe and secure in their person, or... well, you see where I am going with this.
    I had mentioned that in the beginning of the USA, there were two political theories, Federalist and Antifederalist. Now,
    Federalists seemed to congregate in the big cities and the Anti's were in the country; before and after the revolution.
    Until about 50 years ago, there seemed to be a balance between to two sides, but the Federalist made some gains in the balance by adding some seemingly harmless amendments that strengthen the Federal Government.
    In the 1960's, two forces came together. The federal government got involved into social and welfare issues that were the prerogative of the states, a challenge to the 10th amendment. But the states were overwhelmed in the problems and allowed the Feds to get involved. That gave political entities a face for support from those who felt relief from their social problems. Then came the intellectual concepts from academia addressing the new social order theories of Marx, et. el who proposed that they could bring to all society, a life of democratic equality and order. Of course, the Federalist embraced these philosophies and the Anti's did not. All connections were broken and now we are at this impasse, discussing modifying guns.
    • Feb 6 2013: Mike,

      Would note that the "federalists" winning out over time looks pretty inevitable.

      One glaring reason for this is population density shifts toward urban areas which based on psychographics tend more toward governmental solutions. Right now I think we are around 80% in OCED countries. By 2030 that will be above 90%.

      The other reason for this is technology and economic development. The simple fact here is that economic growth since the beginning of the industrial revolution has been tied to the rate of technological advance. Since the 30-40's the major powers R&D systems have been nationalized under their governments. The nationalization of R&D provides large scale competitive benefits as it has a substantial effect on the rate of advance. Private industry oriented systems simply cannot compete due to risk factors and insufficient resources. The military/industrial complex was solidified in the 50's and 60's. As long as geopolitical competitiveness is primarily determined by this. the extensive involvement of government in creating new technology through butterfly spending will continue to grow. If you try and scale back the government's role in this arena, the economic effects would be disastrous.

      If one looks at the foundational technological advances in our society you would be hard put to find one that did not begin as either government funding research or in a government lab.
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        Feb 6 2013: Hi Rob,
        Your right. But What I am trying to say and not well is that if you are living in a big city and there is nightly gunfire going on outside you window, you're not seeing bad people doing bad things, you're hearing shots ringing out from gunfire. So, your response is to get rid of the guns.
        If you live in west Texas, you carry a rifle and maybe a pistol with you. You may startle a rattlesnake or have to put down an injured cow. Guns are an important tools in your job.
        So, until each of these people can understand the other. we got this conversation.
        Right now, we got the city dweller crying for gun control and the cowboy saying, Clean up your city from the riffraff and leave me to my cattle. Guns aren't the problem, you can't deal with your city..
        You got bad people doing bad things, your got mentally ill running the streets killing people. Don't mess up my life 'cause you can't take care of your own.
  • Feb 6 2013: You ask "what are the necessary parameters to make something happen", first I believe that everyone needs to understand that many "normal" Americans want to own guns; gun ownership is not the exclusive province of "gun nuts". Similarly everyone needs to understand that the misuse of guns, just like alcohol or cars, has serious repercussions.

    No one wants to have restrictions placed on the things they want. Highways could be made safer if cars were equipped with a device that made them inoperable if someone who had been drinking got into the drivers seat. Similarly if they were equipped with speed restricting devices that prevented them from exceeding the speed limit highway fatalities might be reduced.

    Of course few people want such restrictions on their cars. Why would one assume that a gun owner would welcome restrictions on guns any more than people who love fast cars would want restrictions?

    The argument generally degrades into a claim that cars are different than guns. That may be true, but it is usually perceived as "what I want is more important than what you want" which is never an argument likely to win converts.

    The question then becomes how do we get people to focus on safety and elimination of violence without attacking either the desires of the owners of the objects (be they guns or cars) or the inherent merit of the objects (guns are bad while cars are good). We need to get everyone to agree that we all want every object to be as safe as possible, be it a car or a gun.

    I believe we should all be able to agree that those who abuse the objects, such as habitual drunk drivers or violent felons should loose their rights to operate or possess the object, be it a car or gun. Further we need to insure that those unqualified should not be allowed to use those objects. When we as a society fail to achieve these two things but rather focus on the objects I believe we are loosing sight of the big picture.
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      Feb 6 2013: How about we apply the same level of training required to have a car license to a gun license. You need to attend a safe gun use course and pass a test at the end. Your gun must be registered and insured and put in for inspection once a year when you renew your registration Any gun on which the registration lapses will be destroyed unless it is re-inspected by an engineer to certify its safeness at great cost. That's how it works for cars in Australia anyway. Don't see why it shouldn't be like that for guns.
      • Feb 6 2013: Peter, Is it really true in Australia that if your car registration lapses that they come and destroy the car?

        That seems rather severe, but I agree with you that relevant inspections and insurance are appropriate for any object where public health and safety are involved. Of course the inspections and insurance should be commensurate to the risk, not designed to be punitive or a hardship. In the US one generally only needs to register a car if one wants to drive on public roads. If one only wants to drive it on one's own land then registration would not be required (A rancher's truck for example). Inspecting meat destined for human consumption at time of slaughter and before being sold is appropriate; requiring every rancher to have every sheep certified by a vet on a weekly basis would not be. What about if a rancher slaughters an animal for consumption by his family, should government inspection be required? Clearly there are grey areas.

        As for how often guns should be re-inspected for safety, that is an engineering question. I don't know if they really need to be re-inspected every year or not. I also do not know what qualifications one would require of the inspectors; perhaps inspection is such that it could be performed by the gun owner himself.

        Then there is the fact that different countries take a much different approach to regulations. In the US for example in most places one could buy a sailboat and sail it around the world without ever taking a class, having it inspected or obtaining a license. In South Africa I understand that one must take a class, be certified and have the vessel inspected before even taking it out for an afternoon.

        Perhaps a "one size fits all" approach is inappropriate when it comes to laws and regulations in various countries. It is not that some laws are better than others, it is just that in a free society each country is free to determine for itself what their laws will be.
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          Feb 6 2013: They don't actually come and get your car but if you can't get it to pass the engineers inspection it is unregisterable for use on public roads so no longer any use to most people as it's ID number is cancelled
          On the yearly inspection for guns, this is probably not necessary from an enigineering standpoint but it's a good way to make sure people keep track of their weapons and report them stolen etc. I've heard there is a large number of guns in the US that are unaccounted for
    • Feb 6 2013: Point is no one should get everything they want. Running our society like that in the last few decades has led to some very negative effects. One could almost say that the current entrenching in these unmovable positions is on the verge of societal narcissistic disorder. Only guns of all the products we produce are specifically exempt from safety standards and the industry is insulated by law from responsibility for how their product is used. That is strictly about profit and risk and has nothing to do with rights. The same behavior is displayed by the major banks with regard to complex products regardless of the damage they cause to the society. First step should be to separate or sidestep the business issues so that this can be dealt with on a reasonable playing field. To your point all gun owners are not wingnuts, so one has to ask where is the middle ground? Having a free for all is not a middle ground.
  • Feb 5 2013: Sam : I'm scratching my head at your comment about Mexico. Do you seriously believe that the Mexican "War on Drugs" was not promoted and enabled by various political interests in the US? Drug "Gangs" would not exist without the massive moneymaking opportunities afforded by the US War on Drugs, and those who promote it in the US, who, like the Gun Control crowd , are more than happy to blame others for their own mistakes . That's giving them the benefit of the doubt: that they are just simpleminded, and not actually criminals themselves. It's just like Prohibition.
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    Feb 4 2013: Hi Morgan,
    Since this happened just down the road, so to speak, there is a lot of information from local sources as of now, the story is that the vet's mother had concerns about his actions since he returned from service. The vet didn't seek help from military medical sources, so there is no medical records to address his mental state. The mother knew of Chris and local information on how he has helped vets with problems so she contacted him to help her son. And the situation went down from there. The is a huge Military Medical Center here and the consensus is that this action has all the earmarks of PTSD.

    Now here is the thing I don't understand. In the old days, as in my youth, soldiers suffered from combat fatigue. There has been cases of this problem in subsequent wars. What disturbs me is that there seems to be a greater number of soldiers falling to this disorder. Is there something that effects young men today to be more subject to this mental disorder? I know there has been focus on the individuals but I haven't heard much of examination, a why, on the global scale.
    There was a report here recently that our soldiers are commuting suicide as a greater rate then ever. the military is taking steps to address this issue to stop it but I wonder why is it happening in the first place.
    When asked about the why, the response has been, "well, they were in a war" ... that doesn't address the increase. Why?
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      Feb 4 2013: I read an interesting report that the reason for the higher rates of PTSD and suicide is realted to violent video games and also the use of simulators.
      The problem is causing a pysch phenomenon where in playing of these games the line between reality and fantasy blurs.
      The fact you can kill 900 people in a video game get killed and come back to do it again seems to seep into the subconcious.
      So young people are signing up thinking they will do their 6-12 months tour and it will be a walk in the park

      .Unfortunately war is not like a video game you don't get extra lives so when reality sets in and they see the aftermath in real life they can't cope.

      The other problem I believe is that Veterans Affairs are hard pressed to keep up with pysch evaluations of returning and the following up of demobbed soldiers and their welfare, the resources just arn't there, so they are slipping through the cracks.
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        Feb 5 2013: Hi Morgan,
        I think you have better insight on this problem then most of us here. Further, your note on the VA is right on. I have some problems that are attributed to my exposure to herbicides during my Viet Nam experience. I got a letter acknowledging my situation and gave me a 60 month
        time frame for resolution. I can believe that people with real problems are not getting the timely help they need.
      • Feb 5 2013: Is it also possible that the amount of PTSD and combat fatigue (same thing just different words) hasn't increased at all? Population and media coverage has increased dramatically over the years. Maybe we're just informed about it more than society used to be?

        As far as video games being the cause of anything, I personally see that as an easy way out to answer serious questions. I'm personally a gamer and I feel they allow me to get the frustration and anger out in a safe and sane manner from all stresses of life (whether it be a combat, sports, or fantasy style game). But that's me. I don't know how others deal with combat style games.

        The VA is definitely overwhelmed. Vet here also but not from Nam. Thank you for your service Mr. Colera and good luck with dealing with the VA grind.
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          Feb 5 2013: This was a study done by a military headshrinker came across it while researching something else in PTSD and found it interesting and they were finding larger than usual cases.

          But that may also be because a lot of your units have done multiple tours as well and also I believe a lot of National guard units were thrown in to give regular units a break.

          Can't remember were this was a couple of years ago but I'm sure if you google it, the article will manifest that's how I found it.
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          Feb 6 2013: Hi Morgan,
          An update on the that vet shooting in Texas, now they are not sure that the shooter has PTSD, He may be a sociopath.
          I have thoughts on the effects of gaming on the combat vet and a perceived increase in PTSD. I don't know if anyone has really looked into it. But I've got to think that gamers playing many hours a day on a combat game and going out for party after are not mentally really for the actual noise, smell, and fear they'll find in real combat. A retired combat NCO I know tells the story of his experience in a small town in Afghanistan under fire. His young officer said to him " this was a lot easier on my xbox"
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        Feb 6 2013: Sorry Carolyn I don't quite get what you are trying say,

        this has become more of a cultural thing were people have been allowed to take a statute within the Constitution of their country and the people have been allowed to interpret it the way they will, without it being updated to move with the times. At the same time certain groups have been allowed to profit and have instilled that culture into the psyche.

        There are too many people who could be charged with lack of responsibility and too many mitigating circumstances that surround the subject that have also been allowed to lapse or deteriorate over time such as mental health and healthcare in general.

        Is that on the right track or to general????
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          Feb 6 2013: The 2nd amendment is timeless... If it is no longer necessary, it will change in that time. It will naturally be forgotten. There is no need to force a change.
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        Feb 6 2013: Hi Carolyn
        I think you are elevating this situation to a level higher then what it is. Let us look at gun owners, they are not a specific class. They come from all walks of life. Only maybe 20% of them are regular hunters. Maybe another 20% use their guns for recreational purposes. The rest of them look upon their guns as an insurance policy, for personal protection, property protection or on the most remote chance a need to defend their United States. Most never fire their guns. These are the legal gun owners.
        Then we have the illegal users. They come from all walks of life. These are sociopaths, gang members, drug dealers, murderers, robbers, etc. They use guns to commit violent acts on others.
        I have been disturbed about all the current commotion on "gun control" as most all the focus has been on legal gun holders. They are talking about doing something about the mentally disturbed, but..
        Almost nothing about the biggest problems with gun violence in our big city streets. Information from that group of illegal "gun users" tells us that less the 2% of those guns are legally gotten. Most are bought on the street and many of those come from robberies of legitimate gun owners.
        When you get more jail time for writing a bad check then shooting up a neighborhood street leads me to believe we have more problems then registering legal gun owners.
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        Feb 6 2013: @ Gary,

        The Second Amendment maybe timeless but it is antiquated and needs to bought screaming into the 21st century
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    Feb 4 2013: 2nd Amendment discussion:

    HR 374 is pending, and provides for all department of defense civilian investigatory employees be given full police powers, along with game wardens, certain other civilian members. Homeland's TSA has already demonstrated expanded police powers not only at Airports, but stadiums and other venues of large public gatherings, supposedly augmenting local security. Gun and ammunition makers reportedly told their wholesalers they have large priority orders from Federal agencies: Homeland Security, Social Security and Department of Agriculture, among others to provide weapons and ammunition. and then there was that comment by the President back in 2008 about a National Civilian Security Force.
    So I did my own fact check:
    There is a bill before congress HR 374, it replaces a similar bill HR 675 that died in committee in 2010. Not sure what the status is.
    The President did speak of civilian national security is a speech in 2008, but there does not seem to be a lot of info about it except that it happened..
    The story of gun and ammo being brought up by the government is plausible but wasn't verifiable. The inference made was the the quantities being purchased were far beyond the number required by positions that were authorized to carry firearms... unless more positions were planned on being created.
    The key here is expanded full police power to federal civilians that are not now considered in that role.
    So, can those gun nuts who are wrapped in the cloak of the 2nd amendment have cause for concern?
    I fault Washington for allowing this situation to happen. There is a portion of the population that have fears and there is almost no reaction on the part of the government except to say these are mindless fears of a bunch of bible hugging, beer guzzling, uneducated rednecks. And to seal the deal, the 4th estate on which the founding fathers would hope keep the government open and honest aren't there either. Who can blame them.
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    Feb 4 2013: My apologies to the community. My comment about military assault rifles concerning the size of magazines.
    I was corrected, it seems that you can over heat the .223 caliber rifles by firing 30 rounds in the semi-automatic mode.
    I have spoken maybe too much about these military style rifles since much of current national speak is centered on this kind of weapon. My position has always been that it is not the tool but the man.
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    Feb 3 2013: @ Timothy and others
    I have been involved in this conversation thread for some time and in some respects Tim is correct. There are attempts to have deliberate conversations addressing differing points of view.
    BUT... People have to carefully read and have some understanding of the comments before they respond. I have watch with some amusement at a posting and the reply where the commentators are talking right past each other.
    So, lets get back to the discussion: Painless resolution to gun violence in this political climate (insane?).
    Rob has proposed a solution where modifications to the weapons could be a solution. He believes that there would be opposition to this approach by gun manufacturers and their lobbyist. I am not so sure. Gun manufacturers seem approachable on profit generating attachments to firearms.
    The points of this discussion have seemed to disintegrate into cultural bias, negating legitimate rights, ignoring focal point "gun violence", and my favorite " I am more righteous then you, Why are you criticizing my noble attitude".
    So, Gun violence is an illegal activity. In the USA, gun ownership is legal. That's our law.
    Should we change our law? Ok, there are prescribed processes to do that; ex. when 2/3 of the states ratify
    a change.
    My opinion is that we have a political climate at the Federal, state and local levels that is in need of "repair"
    to address "gun violence" and a host issues at all levels.

    PS. If you give specifics as to "guns", ''statistics", and historical happenings, please be accurate.
    For example. Assault Rifles. The guns addressed as the assault rifles aren't really. What makes a true military assault rifle is a selector on the weapon that allows fully automatic fire. The reason most magazines are limited to thirty rounds is that if fired at fully automatic, at thirty rounds the heat of firing will warp the weapon and cause malfunctions. Soldiers are taught to use a three round burst.
    • Feb 3 2013: Mike,

      Thanks for trying to reset the conversation.

      Couple points. I do not think "there would be opposition to this approach by gun manufacturers and their lobbyist". I am saying that if you do not create the revenue streams through the "modifications to the weapons" then they will oppose taking away the existing revenue streams. with the modification they get to keep existing rev streams and add new ones, so to your point they will be on-board. once the manufacturers are on board I think most of the other stakeholders could actually come to an agreement or at least a majority agreement.

      I agree the political climate is poisonous and irrational. With that in mind there is some value to the off in the weeds discussions. I would argue that for true agreement that achieves something the parties must each have a clear idea of what they are giving in on. To that point I feel that the "pro"-gun side of this argument needs to have a clear idea of exactly what rights they are actually granted under the bill of rights and I think it would be helpful if they also had an understanding of the US's place in the spectrum of societies and governments and the traditions we sprang from.

      For example, the idea of the gun for personal defense can be conceded but if the "pro" side does not understand this is a concession that is not a right granted by the 2nd amendment they will invariably misunderstand the level of compromise in their opposition and where they should end up to meet in the middle.

      I am fine with people having guns for self-defense. I agree with some of those more familiar with guns that training is a key element. All that said realistically that is a big compromise on a solution from the position of pure rationality which would predicate, if you want to get rid of the problem get rid of the cause (eg all the social things that needs to be fixed) but also severely restrict the weapons until you manage to get rid of the cause.
      • Feb 3 2013: Rob, you keep bringing up your opinion that the second does not allow for this or that, but those postions have been clearly delineated by the supreme court. In McDonald v Chicago the court invalidated Chicago's ban, In District of Columbia et al v Heller The court said the second protects an individuals right to possess a firearm unconnected with a militia and to use said firearm for lawfull purposes such as home defense. Please enlighten me as to how this can be construed as a concession? The second has been interpreted by many who think they know, but by law, the final is always the sitting court. As our court has ruled, how can you continue to say different?
        • Feb 4 2013: Point. those are, however, a couple current courts' recent decisions on hand guns. vast majority of precedent is actually in the other direction. shift in the composition of the court and it will go back. Highly unlikely Heller will stand the test of time.

          Listen Tim I am fairly agnostic on this entire subject. For most of the 19th and 20th century the court held that self-defense was not protected. I personally do not see any reason why self-defense should not have been in the second amendment. Put simply though you have to really have the blinders on to read that into the second amendment.

          For most of my life I fell to the middle of most things, siding with Repubs on national security and defense and with the Dems here and there.

          The political conversation in the country though in the last decade has become utterly divorced from reality (which this court reflects quite well), so much so that the Dems seem less like pie-eyed utopians who do not realize that you actually have to build excess wealth to pay for social programs and more like the rational ones. small minorities have rammed agendas down our throats for that last decade. If you want to talk about a non-democratic fifth column you would do better to look right. Creationism, complex derivatives, leverage at 44 times, and in every area no regulation.

          what has this gotten us. a disastrous financial market. an empty technology pipeline. massive wealth gap. and on and on. if you think our system is on track then...

          this gun thing is just one more face of the general mess. there seems to be this idea that if you go far enough off the rails to the right that somehow the rational center shifts. It does not. Logic is logic. Asking someone to ignore 200 years of court decisions and just go with 2 decisions by this court and to say that is not a concession is a perfect example of just how far we are from the rational. besides the point was both sides have to meet in the middle.
      • Feb 4 2013: Rob, as everyone goes back to the original intent of the second amendment, I would insert this into the fray. Also add, most if not all of these are mentally ill individuals.
        Early commentary

        The earliest published commentary on the Second Amendment by a major constitutional theorist was by St. George Tucker. He annotated a five-volume edition of Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, a critical legal reference for early American attorneys published in 1803.[105]

        In footnotes 40 and 41 of the Commentaries, Tucker stated that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment was not subject to the restrictions that were part of English law: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Amendments to C. U. S. Art. 4, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government" and "whoever examines the forest, and game laws in the British code, will readily perceive that the right of keeping arms is effectually taken away from the people of England." Blackstone himself also commented on English game laws, Vol. II, p. 412, "that the prevention of popular insurrections and resistance to government by disarming the bulk of the people, is a reason oftener meant than avowed by the makers of the forest and game laws."[105] Blackstone discussed the right of self-defense in a separate section of his treatise on the common law of crimes. Tucker's annotations for that latter section did not mention the Second Amendment but cited the standard works of English jurists such as Hawkins.[106]

        Further, Tucker criticized the English Bill of Rights for limiting gun ownership to the very wealthy, leaving the populace effectively disarmed, and expressed the hope that Americans "never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty."[105]
  • Feb 2 2013: Ben: I'm trying to visualize just how your plan might work. You would have to have bureaucratic police organizations keep track of a lot of gun transactions, personality files, etc. But that would only deal with new guns, with a paper trail, which are unlikely to be criminally used anyway. Or official transfers of old guns. Naturally , the criminals would adapt, just as they did to the Drug War. They would, of course, be transferring guns "off the books", stealing them for black market sales. If necessary, they could manufacture them. We have far too many unemployed former machinists , with plenty of raw material, for this to be prevented. Then there is the whole very lucrative process of buying truckload lots overseas, and smuggling them here , at a great profit. Of course, we could set up a sort of Gestapo to try to prevent this, but it would not only be very expensive, ambiguously "useful", and create vast social unrest. Have you noticed how spectacularly unsuccessful the "Drug War" has been? We have spent a trillion dollars on it over the years, and no one can show that it has had ANY positive benefits at all, to outweigh the devastating damage to our society it has caused. All this to try to prevent "gun deaths", many of which are suicides, or drug gang executions. It doesn't sound like a very good deal to me.
  • Feb 2 2013: Yes, I was including pain of any sort - whatever anyone would perceive as pain. I know that the manufacturers would find the loss of $ as painful. I know also it gives people jobs to work in factories manufacturing these weapons. But they could make something else - businesses and factories can be changed to other types of manufacturing. It is often done during wars (tho the other way around.)
    An interesting aside....I went to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory in Birmingham, England, some years ago, and went to their museum on site. During WW II, when factories were changed over to manufacture for the war effort, Cadbury, which was founded and run by Quakers who do not believe in taking others' lives and were pacifists, would not manufacture weapons. So what DID they do? They made blankets, helmets, mess kits, food packages, etc -- all of which would support life, not take life. They stood up for their beliefs and ideals, and still contributed, still made a difference.
    • Feb 2 2013: problem is when it is a public company they are basically planning on 6 month window. any dip in their revenue reduces their stock price which has the compound effect of reducing their ability to spend on branding and reduces the exec bonuses both absolutely and on the options they get. with that kind of structure nothing will drive them into willing giving up the core revenue streams.

      do not mean to get off onto the market effects but those effects are the primary drivers of what will actually happen. the only way to effect that is to expose who is putting the money into short and long term investments with the gun manufacturers and then apply pressure to those companies to pull the cash. remember it took the better part of 40 years for cigarette companies to realize they better use their assets to diversify.
      • Feb 4 2013: Thanks for explaining this. It is a long term and multi-faceted problem. It's rather difficult when the financial assets of some clash with the mortal assets of others., but I know that the livelyhood that people get with a manufacturing company is something people and families depend upon. I know it is not as easy as a "moral" answer, concerning only gun availbility, would be. Peoples' livelyhoods is a moral issue as well.
  • Feb 2 2013: I'm sorry but I think you ALL are missing an important point. For the sake of argument, let's just say that the USA is completely assault rifle free. Well, let's say that only cops and military "legally" have them, because of course, those that want to commit murder with an assault rifle WILL find illegals ways to get one. What will that solve? I'll let you all know right now, it won't solve one thing. Don't think so? Look up Ted Kaczynski on wiki or a simple Google search and dispute me. Is the United States going to ban everything that is listed in the Anarchist Cookbook? Let's ban all vehicles since they kill people. Oh, and let's start Prohibition again since alcohol effects judgement and motive skills. Wake up and realize that we are human beings and we are incapable of creating a Utopian Atlantis and bad things have, do, and will always continue to happen to "good" innocent people.

    Live your life to the best of your ability and throughout that life feel privileged that the Atomic Bomb was tested on Japan twice and not here in the USA killing your relatives. People die. Get over it. It doesn't matter if you're "good", "innocent", or "holy." We all have the same outcome. I feel sorry that your children, parents, and/or relatives in general were killed in a dreadful way. You can't and won't fix this problem from occurring again and again.

    "Gun nuts" ?? Are you saying everyone that owns a gun is crazy? The people that I know (including myself) that are gun owners are blue collar works that fix your plumbing and heating & air that recently are having troubles with everyday expenses. So forcing gun owners to pay more money for these ridiculous requirements is ludicrous.

    That's my two cents. Thank you for your time.
    • Feb 2 2013: Yes people can get hold of guns illegally... But making them illegal will reduce the likelihood they will get their hands on one.
      And you know it.
      People who are going to go on a shooting rampage will be less effective without these assault weapons
      And you know it.
      How many psychos have gone a killing rampage in a school, with their Car? Comparing the wrong person with any gun with the wrong person behind a wheel is unintelligent.
      And you know it.
      Utopian ideas will always be impossible as long as there's people with your inability to see common sense around.
      We all die anyway, what does it matter if its by the hands of a gun? Are you serious?
      As an outsider to the US, you guys in general do seem to be nuts about guns. I.e you like them a lot. But no one is suggesting that all gun owners are crazy.
      And you know it.
      Guns aren't a necessity, so go without if they're expensive. Us Australians manage to get through each day without, I'm sure you could too.

      No amount of word acrobatics and fact twisting changes some straight forward statistics. Your country has an astonishing gun violence problem... And countries like mine without a gun culture, without gun lobbies & with tight restrictions enjoy a far better crime rate.
      • Feb 2 2013: interesting! so, by your logic, we should have a lot less drugs around because they are illegal.As for gun deaths verses auto deaths, the autos win every time, so, who's argument is unintelligent?And I wish you Aussies would stop comparing yourselves with us.
        • Feb 2 2013: I did have a reply to this, but when I went to another tab and came back... This page refreshed itself for some reason and I'm not typing it all again. Your being obtuse. Of course there would be more drugs if they were legal.... Are you dense? Look at nicotine cigarettes & alcohol!

          I was comparing 'autos' vs guns in terms of using them to commit a murder. The the auto deaths your talking about we're A C C I D E N T S. do you see the difference?

          You Aussies? Lol. Yes I can understand your frustration, your country is full of embarrassing stats. Sorry I'll try not to bring it up anymore :). (My country isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, believe me we have our problems, but gun control isn't one of them)
        • Feb 3 2013: Oh, see I thought I was just talking to an Aussie. That is, one Aussie as an individual. If I knew I was talking to THE Aussie that runs his country and knows everything I would have spoken differently. Embarrassing stats? How did Australia start again? Oh, yes, I think I remember. Didn't it have to do with prison colonies in 1788?

          Comparing the two without including accidents doesn't make much sense. The media does the same thing all the time. They give you a portion of the information instead of giving you all of it.

          "God made man but Samuel Colt made them equal." A country with no guns is a defenseless country.
        • Feb 4 2013: Really Jared? Haha, that's rather amusing :). It feels like your trying to engage me in the type of argument one might hear in a primary school playground!

          Yes yes, and when I said 'your country' I figured I was talking to President Jared! Haha

          I see you learnt a little Aussie history too... Isn't google great! Haha. But if I was going to attack Australian history I woulda gone with the way our founders treated the aboriginals.

          Now to blind side you... The media quite often doesn't give it to you straight. We agree on something. Thanks for laugh mate, needed it.

          P.s. a quote in turn

          “Guns, she was reminded then, were not for girls. They were for boys. They were invented by boys. They were invented by boys who had never gotten over their disappointment that accompanying their own orgasm there wasn't a big boom sound.” Lorrie Moore
      • Feb 2 2013: Thank you for your reply, Mr Duck.
        1. I don't know that banning assault rifles would reduce the likelihood of citizens obtaining them. Again, Prohibition banned alcohol but did that stop people from having it? Hell no it didn't. People went out of their way to hide, conceal, and consume alcohol so do YOU really think that a legal document is going to stop this?
        2. People that want to cause mass murder are going to find ways of doing it without assault rifles. Ever think, banning assault rifles these people might find even better ways to commit their crimes?
        3. I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about in this paragraph. Look at the legit statistics about deaths by gun versus those in car crashes/suicide by carbon dioxide. Oh, and the use of "psycho". Watch Jon Ronson: Strange answers to the psychopath test, found here on the TED website. After watching that let me know who the real psychopaths are in the world.
        4. Probably my favorite of your paragraphs. "Utopian ideas will always be impossible as long as there's people with your inability to see common sense around." Explain how you're using "common sense" and I'm not. We are HUMANS therefore you HAVE to conclude that a Utopia is an impossibility. Explain how that isn't using common sense.
        5. "We all die anyway, what does it matter if it's by the hands of a gun?" Yes, I was and still am serious. Is it not true? Are you going to live forever? I'd rather go quick with a gun next to my head then to lay in a hospital dying for several weeks or months. Do you disagree?
        6. I don' know that the USA is crazy about guns because I'm not THE USA. Obviously there are people in the USA that aren't because we're having this debate about guns in the USA.
        7. Guns aren't a necessity? They might not be in the perfect Utopian world that you live in.

        We have violence of all kinds in the USA because it's a melting pot of cultures. I've never heard "man wish I lived Australia." Just saying.
        • Feb 3 2013: 1. you can't brew your own assault rifles. nor are they easy to smuggle due to their size.
          2. it's like you're trying to make it easy for people to commit mass murder
          3. facepalm.
          5. just hilarious.

          man, i wish i lived in australia.
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        • Feb 3 2013: I just think that regardless of the comparisons between cars and guns (and there are many), a country with only cars is safer than a country with both cars and guns. comparing the two causes unnecessary argument.
        • Feb 3 2013: Nicely stated Tim. Jonnie, how is this comparison an unnecessary argument? It's illogical to say, "Oh, that doesn't matter so we shouldn't discuss it." The invention of the car has killed more people than the gun. Whether the death was even an accident or not is an argument but a rather poor one considering someone still lost their life.
      • Feb 3 2013: Apparently some are allowed to belittle others, and some of us are not. that being the case,your arguments don't hold water. making guns illegal has never been proven to stop gun crimes, so no, I don't know it. Your argument that we need to become more like Australia is not going to work as we Americans try to have a society were there are no better class of people, ie., royalty. I understand why other countries want us to get rid of the second amendment, but that will never happen. As to the premise of this discussion, that technology can solve this problem, I have learned much from history, Alfred Noble tried to diminish deaths by making TNT, Mr Gattling did it by making the gattling gun, all failed. The reason for the failure is human. There are some that think about how to use such things to get a head, and they are not stupid. The whole premise is therefore doomed to failure.
  • Feb 2 2013: Why should it be painless for everyone? Gun wounds and killings are painful. I think that is not a requirement for helping to solve the problem. Having one's cake and eating it too is not necessarily going to be possible. I think perhaps practical woulld be a more realistic goal. Or maybe people should just hand them in and manufacturers should stop making those assault weapons - whether they like it or not. For the good of innocent victims and society as a whole, and we are all a part of that society, it should just be done.
    After Dunblane (in Scotland)killings of children in school, there was a call for people to just turn in their weapons, no questions asked, no punishment for having one, to police stations, which I think many did. In Australia, I heard, the government attempted to buy back guns after a big shooting, which was an expensive proposition.
    I wonder why people think they need to have guns. Some say to protect themselves from others who have guns. It becomes a slippery slope. Some like them because of the sense of power it gives them. Some (and these are reasonable) to hunt. I live near Chicago, and we hear of shootings and deaths from shootings in the projects all the time. There is a gun mentality/ gun culture there and it is a vicious circle. Too many innocent people just trying to get by in life and be good themselves get caught in the crossfire.

    I can see (tho I don't have one) having a small hand gun. But no one NEEDS to have an assault weapon here. We are not supposed to be living in a war zone, but when people have those types of weapons it is they who make it a war zone. If they only want them for 'show,' then don't have bullets or disable the guns.
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      Feb 2 2013: Hi Laura,
      You points are well taken and I can understand your views. You noted that you live near Chicago.
      Chicago has one of the highest gun violence rates in the country.and some of the highest rates of all kinds of violence. But Chicago violence is a whole other issue, you addressed the actions in Scotland and in Australia.
      And those people made choices to turn in their weapons. No reasonable, rational person could object to their actions. There have been gun turn in programs here in the USA. Again voluntary actions by citizens, not a problem. The problem becomes when one group of people looks to another group of people and say
      Those people have guns, they don't need guns, guns are dangerous, they should turn those guns in, they shouldn't make any more guns, etc. You've heard all the discussions. The group pf people who own the guns respond that gun ownership is a legal right. A constitutional right. Further, they say to the other group, 'we don't have to justify, apologize or suffer those outrageous comments'. And so the battle is enjoined.
      The anti gun group believe they have a noble cause and have enlisted politicians to effect their cause. So, there have been laws and suits and appeals and and and.
      Now you have commented on the gun mentality/ gun culture but didn't mention the anti gun mentality or anti gun culture, I would say they both have validity, but that is another conversation.
      One more thing on a technical note:
      a small hand gun is just a deadly as a big canon. And to be correct, none of the weapons used in the infamous mass murders over the last few years were military assault rifles .
      • Feb 2 2013: mike,

        all well said.

        pretty sure both Australia and Britain imposed some pretty draconian measures which by the way seem to have worked.

        maybe it's me but there are a bunch of other Anglo societies that do not have the second amendment and seem to have an easier time of addressing this. not saying we should go the same way but I think we can do away with the whole fearmongering of what would happen without unfettered rights. societally we derive almost all aspects of our democracy from the Anglo tradition so I just do not see how gun rights are an essential component of the behavior and validity of western democratic societies.
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          Feb 2 2013: Rob,
          I just read an article where an Australian was given what could be here a felony sentence, suspended, when his son found his hidden gun locker key and removed an old and unregistered gun he inherited, took the gun to school and fired it. No injuries, a good thing.
          He told the judge he was saving for the fee for registration... OK. The judge said, 'you didn't hid the key good enough' .... OK Not smart gun ownership here.

          You have to look at history to understand the 2nd and the rest of the bill of rights. Free of speech, religion, a free press, etc. all these individual rights were really important and lost under Geo. III.. The arms thing came in when the British army began weapon confiscation..
          So, these issues were real, current events in 1787. Now, as time moves on, monarchies come and go, dictatorial powers come and go and all have similar characteristics.
          They have restricted, speech, assembly, religion, the press, etc., etc. and all have disarmed the people.
          So, when these people look around, they have a lot of historical reinforcements for their beliefs. I personally don't believe a takeover of the Federal Government is plausible. but I have to respect their beliefs. Further, I am not happy with the illegal use of guns.. knives, or any other tool used to harm others. I believe a lot of civil punishments are to lenient.
          My idea of cruel or unusual punishment is to be drawn and quarter and I am not sure that it is that cruel. I am also very wary of the innocent receiving any punishment, but that is another conversation.
        • Feb 2 2013: How did we derive our republic from anglo monarchies?
      • Feb 2 2013: Yes, you are right about all this. My input is not meant to be "the answer", it is just a part of the conversation. I know it is all a vicious circle, concerning pro-gun and anti-gun reasons. It is a difficult situation, esp. with hundreds of thousands of people having their own opinions/reasons/decisions/actions. There are certainly no easy answers.
        There are other things to consider such as the glorification of violence that our youth has been spoon fed thru film and video games- where if you get someone who has mental issues and perceives they have a problem - what else would they choose as the expression of how they should take care of their problems but by "blowing them all away, etc"? Many of the younger generations think it is awesome when they see all the gun violence, bombs, etc. portrayed on film. Both the bad guya AND the good guys use this method to "solve" the problem or get their way. This is what kids have been taught / absorbed from what they see. (We all learn from things we see on TV.) So, of course, what did we expect?
        After the shooting in the movie theater, I saw a brief mention of some film director, or writer or someone in the movie industry, who said that the movie industry needs to examine how they may be contibuting to this violence. BUT, I have not heard any more about this.
        I am not saying that there shoujld never be movies of this type allowed, I am just saying that common sense should be used and maybe to encourage other types of movies and video games being made. Kids who grow up in war torn places, or places where there is ongoing fighting (Northeren Ireland, Africa, etc.) - that's what they expereince. That's what they think Llife is. That's what they learn. That's what they "do", when they get old enough. How can it be otherwise?
        • Feb 3 2013: it was your silly question. Actually our form of democracy varies quite a bit from the Roman system vs the framers idealization of the Roman system. the people that framed the constitution were English. Their entire reason for objecting to their treatment "no taxation without representation" was English. The tradition of representative government they were fighting for is an English system.

          we do not get "a little" from England.

          I did not stoop to anything. Your question and a lot of your comments indicate that you have a skewed understanding of history and the US uniqueness or non-uniqueness in it. I apologize if this is not the case but all I have to go on are your comments and when you ask
          "How did we derive our republic from anglo monarchies?" That would normally indicate someone that does not know much about colonial and western european history.

          there are many instance of the monarchy reasserting itself but that does not have anything to do with the steady march of increasing inclusiveness and representation after the magna carta. Looked at 500 year from now the revolution will just look like a splinter of the anglo dominance of the 20th century and likely the 21st.
      • Feb 2 2013: Timothy

        the Magna Carta and the 800 years after which provided the legal and social foundation for the declaration of independence and our entire society. Most of the rights in the bill of rights derive from the English bill of rights. the entire conceptual foundation of our legal system was British. the concept of checks and balances is British with a little French political theory thrown in.

        oh and by the way the "despotic" monarchy was a parliamentary monarchy or as we know it a representative government since the Cromwell know the first national Western Democracy.

        you need to read more history, and less wingnut websites.
        • Feb 3 2013: Yes, we all know what happened after the magne carta, John declared all barons that opposed him outlaw and he went on a killing spree, a lot different from your interpretation of Robin Hood. Our constitution did borrow some from Britain, and France, but more from Roman history. Amazing that you stoop to thinking I don't know history or that you think I frequent "wingnut sites. Anglophiles always think we derived all that is good from Britain, and if that is the case, why did we break away?
    • Feb 2 2013: that would be rational. unfortunately have not seen a lot of rational in the last month.

      painless is just biz speak for something that aligns stakeholders. it not mean as painless literally. as long as revenue streams are attached to something the businesses involved will fight tooth and nail to protect them. some of that is natural. most of that is short sightedness reinforced by market rewards for same.
  • Feb 2 2013: Don't think a failsafe exists yet. The tech to do it is there though and since cost is probably not an issue not exactly like the biofuels
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      Feb 2 2013: There in lies the problem with owner identified guns. Gun nuts will spent thousands on gun safes and alarm systems etc. to protect their weapons, so, I got to believe there would be a good market for a fail-safe device.
      But.. and here it is. The scenario of Newton school shooting. Jr. wants to kill a lot of people. His mom has a bushmaster .223, but it has a factory installed only mom device. Jr. is pretty sharp, he overcomes the device and goes and does the terrible deed. What this would do is put Bushmaster way up on the liability scale.
      I remember reading a case where the safety pin on a pistol failed, discharged and caused injury. That manufacturer is gone. Bushmaster or any company is not going to sell a product that will cost them the company.
      I think a truly fail-safe owner only device would be a go. And now the other but... If such a device becomes universal and in its attributes, someone in .... Washington, DC could flip a switch and every personally owned firearm in the USA was locked up. That won't fly...NRA, gun owners, 2nd Amendment nuts....
  • Feb 1 2013: The kill switch idea is a non-starter, as one primary purpose of private gun ownership is armed rebellion should it become necessary. If a despotic government can disarm the populace with a radio signal, the purpose is defeated.

    In addition, rendering the radio receiver inoperable would be easy, again rendering it moot in the case of criminals.
    • Feb 1 2013: kill switch - not if the default state was non-functioning. also you could GPS the kill switch, instead of a signal, to only work at certain high risk location like schools and other public places.

      the other point read through the comments. have already had that argument a few too many times. thanks for actually responding to the idea.

      I would note that, if the gun manufacturers thought they were going to see a big jump in revenue do to higher prices and product to refit existing guns, NRA opposition would go by the boards and the second amendment remedy group does not have the population or cash to prevent anything after that.
      • Feb 1 2013: wouldn't using GPS give the corrupt officials an edge? they would have that knowledge, and use it to their advantage.
        • Feb 2 2013: Are you serious or joking?
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        Feb 2 2013: Hi Rob,
        Going back to retro fit guns again? Market demands are here already. Manufacturers would love to add a new toy on top of 100 year old designs, that's how old the action is on modern autoload mechanisms.
        The NRA has already acknowledged that only owner devices can be supported, the only problem is that a fail-safe device has not been commercially demonstrated sort of like the EPA biofuel thing I mentioned. The other thing that you may have underestimated is the cash available from the "gun nuts"
        I saw a sales transaction at a local gun show, were a buyer paid $3600 for the last rifle on the table that was selling for $875 when the doors opened 2 hours earlier, but that's here in Texas.
      • Feb 2 2013: Serious. Look, i'm not a gun crazed anti government guy, I joined the military voluntarily. But, if you give an advantage like where civilians weapons will work, or not work, a corrupt government will use it. This is about advantage, which I assure you they will use, and their weapons will not have such discriminating hardware. You are working from a premise that technology can and will help to solve this problem, Again I assure you it won't. The problem is inherant in people, and overcrowded conditions, it really has nothing to do with guns, or making them safer. Question, a whole lot of people are killed by things that are not meant to kill, and I don't really see a drive to get rid of these tools, why is that?
        • Feb 2 2013: what corrupt government? and you assure technology won't work based on what exactly?
      • Feb 2 2013: When has it ever? We have the tech to "see" into closed buildings, "sniff" out things that are illegal and yet we fail. Tech is easy to overcome. As for corrupt governments, when was the last time you read any history? This from the government that used it's own soldiers as guinea pigs for research? Exposed it's sailors to the new tech of radiation? The government that brought you watergate, contra, do i need to go on?
        • Feb 2 2013: ahhhmm... the safety features on about 1000 dangerous products that we produce and use every day.

          government does hinky things. corporations do hinky things. and people do hinky things. that does not mean you can paint the totality with a broad brush and is the very reason almost everything in our society is regulated except guns and derivatives which are two notable disaster areas.
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    Feb 1 2013: Just a hint of political insanity from this mornings paper.
    1. The EPA has placed the new 2013 rules on biofuel tasked those ... oil companies to use an increased blend of biofuels or pay a fine for every gallon not used.. Good thing or political insanity?
    There is no commercial available source of this biofuel.
    Worse, Those... oil companies will add the cost of the fine to the pump where we all pay for gas.
    2. A national association of politically correct academia petitioned this state to change the social studies/history curricula to reflect that the "Boston Tea Party" was an act of terrorism and ...
    Good thing or political insanity?
    OK, was George Washington our Osama Bin Ladin? Do we implant the notion in our youth that terrorism is our national heritage? Well, I guess a case could be made....

    But how will this political insanity bring a painless end to gun or any violence?

    Again, I will admit I am not the sharpest tack in the conversation box, but I do believe this conversation has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
  • Feb 1 2013: This might be a little on the extreme side of things but I'd like to ask one simple question to everyone about this topic. Why stop it?
    • Feb 1 2013: Because people are scared of everything these days and want to stop something they know they can stop instead of looking at the real problems in the world.
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        Feb 1 2013: I think you have something here. The focus on this conversation has gotten so deep in the weeds, we've spent three days diagramming a sentence in the constitution (which I found fascinating).
        In the last 50 years, people in the US have been told the Federal Government "gots your back" and the people have believed them. So, the people have dulled their own sense of awareness and self preservation. Most anyway.
        Let's see.
        People figured out Airline security and 9/11. In response, we got a 100,000 member federal agency to insure our airline safety. Could the airlines have insured our safety as well and not so intrusive?
        We'll never know.
        The people around New York are still waiting for help from the Feds. And who can forget the storm in New Orleans. Tens of thousands waiting for Fed help. I think some are still waiting.
        Too many have given their life and security over to the Federal government and seem surprised when help never comes... We look at them for our health and welfare. We look for them for our retirement security. We are surprised and horrified when some people "fall through the cracks" and turn to violence, gun and otherwise in the middle of all this political insanity. Now that is the point of theis conversation.
        • Feb 2 2013: I agree. However, we also need to look at how we can restore a person's sense of accountability.
  • Rich B

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    Jan 31 2013: And as I stated earlier, if there is a condition on the right there must be a conditional conjunction joining the two clauses. There is none, so the prohibition is unconditional. And I know what an appositive is, and it doesn't set a condition. And I also know that a nominative absolute is not linked by a conjunction to its adjacent clause, exactly what we have in the Second Amendment. The "militia clause" only states a fact -- it doesn't set a condition. It explains why the right shall not be infringed, and that makes it an adverb. Adverbs don't modify nouns or noun pharses, like "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." And in this case the commas are irrelevant.

    It's pretty pathetic that you gun banners have to come up with your own version of grammer to twist the amendment to your liking.
    • Jan 31 2013: exactly on the appositive. the people in the version you posted are the appositive. ipso according to your chain of logic then no one has that right. not my argument. your argument.

      both the appositive and the absolute nominative are modifiers. by definition a modifier specifies constraints. "the draft horse". draft is the modifier that clarifies the type/use of the horse. that is the whole reason for a modifier, eg to clarify that which may be unclear. saying you want to ignore modifiers in either case is inconsistent with your love of the constitution. either you take it as whole cloth or your take none of it.
    • Jan 31 2013: by the way for the three hundredth time nobody suggest banning guns. think you need to work on your reading comp
  • Jan 31 2013: If you are truly interested in reducing gun violence, why focus on the ancillary damages? Accidental shootings and mass killings while of course tragic, are a small fraction of the lives taken annually due to guns. I'm no statician but it appears to me the primary causes of gun induced fatalities are suicides and gang violence (fueled by drug trade). Even if all guns disappeared today, I can't imagine we'd impact the suicide rate much so let's focus on gangs. Legalize drugs. End of problem.

    That's a liberty minded response. A statist response would be instead to ban all guns and movies that glorified gun violence (let's go whole hog here). Again, end of problem. But while these steps would be effective in attaining our goal, they would also undermine a full fifth of our Bill of Rights and might not sit well with the locals either. So that's out. How then to actualize our initial fix?

    It's already happening with the recent change in state laws regarding pot, but it is as strong as ever with every other type of drug. Probably the best way we can be effective in legalizing drugs (other then winning a seat in Congress) is asking questions: why in a free country is there such a thing as contaband? Why are we shooting at people in order to save them? Why are we putting our police at risk to stop Johnnie from smoking crack? Who owns your body? Should you really be sent to prison for criminal abuse of your own physiology? Is it worth the cost in our freedoms, in lives and in hard cash to continue this war? How effective have we been since we started? Is it worth continuing?

    You may see this as a deviation from topic but this is really the belly of the beast regarding gun violence. Ending the war on drugs is by far, the most effective single action we can take to dramatically reduce the gun violence in America.
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    Jan 31 2013: Ok, no one wants to talk about violent violence. The constitution and guns particularly assault rifles are the fodder of the day.
    All this parsing of the 2nd, with discussion of dangling participial was fun to read, but
    let's get it down. There were two political realms back in the day, In the big cities, where bankers, distillers and shippers hung out, the political attitude was that of the Federalist. Al Hamilton was the man of the hour. Great mind for figures, protege of Washington and lousy shot, but that's another story. The federalist believed in a strong central government to bring the colonies to the forefront, to hold off the three main players, England, France and Spain in particular. Federalists were good at making diplomacy etc. On the dark side, were the anti federalist, Patrick Henry and George Mason of Virginia. Anti federalist, mostly farmers and trappers came from the western undeveloped areas of the colonies. Beginning to see a pattern here, big city vs. country? Anyway, the A-Fs were concerned that central governments had a tendency to become corrupt and eventually turn tyrannical. So the A-Fs insisted in the bill of rights including the 2nd amendment. So, the 2nd is not about hunting deer or protecting your household from intruders...flat out its about Washington DC getting corrupt and turning tyrannical. What you say, it could never happen? Like keep a straight face and not admit that Washington is not getting a tad corrupt... It's not about the lobbies bribing everyone in the town, or favors given for the right votes in congress., bringing home the bacon to insure a round trip ticket every two years.... there's none of that.
    It's like my neighbor said ' It's a terrible tragedy, that nut took a legitimate rifle and cut down those kids in their early stage of life just like they use a legitimate suction gun to suck out 1.2 million kids from their earlier stage of life this past year. OK, he's a prolifer, what can I say.
  • Jan 30 2013: OK, controversy aside, Firearms were not invented to be safe. They were invented to give advantage to those possessing them. A safer gun is almost an oxymoron. The use of those weapons is the core of the debate.
    The ones who commit the crimes as in the latest atrocity are said to be mentally ill and most would agree that a mentally ill person is probably ten times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator. Columbine, the perpetrators were said to be outcasts of the school or social networks. They were tired of their inequality and acted out in a way that most should and would not. My point is this there are dangers in this world mostly human nature that a weapon is good for. /the weapons are not the problem in my view, we are.
    We tend to exclude others to the point of severe pain to those very people. A lot more compassion and understanding of those we would separate ourselves from might go a long way to solving the majority of problems we face as a society.
    So the next time you want to remove or separate someone from participation in our society or clique. Try doing the opposite they might not as bad as we think, which is usually the case,, it will take guts but it just might save a loved one or perhaps you.
    • Jan 30 2013: good point and valuable sentiment.

      that said I would say that the interface between humans and guns is the problem and cannot reasonably be separated. would you argue that something like mustard gas is not a problem, only the people willing to order its use? there is no value to that parsing of responsibility in reality. philosophically use requires both the tool and the intent. either without the other and nothing happens. when a tool's effect upon use outweighs its probative value western legal systems legislate against the tool. hence the geneva conventions.

      while I am a fan of big solutions, in this case there can be no big solution. therefore the solution has to be incremental and therefore any steps that reduce the rate of incidence other than an outright ban is useful. we are never going to eliminate the problem but we can reduce its impact.
      • Jan 31 2013: Rob

        My point is that guns may be the culprit or tool as you put it, they are only objects, however they do exist and that's that. But, if we look at the root causes of mass killings using them we find many of these people that feel disenfranchised outside of the norm and are shun-ed and excommunicated from our society and or community are the trying to be heard. Then they won't seek other more dramatic ways of making you notice them and hear them. In others wor they will be heard whether you like it or not. It is human nature to gravitate towards like minded individuals, that may never change. However we can learn that this model of clique, groups, political views or sides or whatever you wish to call them, tend to exclude all other ideas based on bias rather than inclusive shared interests or goals.

        I'm not pretending to know the answers but I can tell you this. When we listen to our hearts separation of ideas simply don't work, because bias has never been a good idea. Just look at the Religions of the world. Probably the one characteristic of human kind that has killed more people than any other invention of man. Religions are almost all exactly the same. Good will, do as you want done, and so on. Yet Christians believe that if you don't believe in Christ and you are of the age of accountability (which is a vague term) then you go to hell when you die, which is ludicrous. Others don't believe hell exists, still others don't believe there is a God at all. And, as far as I'm concerned all of these ideas are fine in and of themselves, but here's the crux for me. Just because I don't believe the way you do, does not make you wrong or vice verse. The problem is bias and prejudice without listening to the other side. We need to stop excluding and start including all those around us so that we can better understand those around us and ourselves. Not just on a mass level but also on a personal level. Maybe & only maybe then we won't see these types of tragedies un
  • Jan 30 2013: I am astounded by some of the statements made here. Revisionist interpetations of the Constitution and panic attacks over despotism notwithstanding, gun owners have one very valid point: The best defence from a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. The challenge here, however is not how to remove guns from the equation (which while it is a distastful option should not be pulled off the table) but how to keep them from the hands of evil men (and women). The intelligent move is hold States, merchants and owners culpable for the ultimate disposition of these devices according to laws currently on the books. The problem is that agencies charged with enforcing these laws are bound not to enforce them BY THE SAME LAWS! Instead of enforcing current gun regulations ATF is reduced to "highly reccomending" observing the gun laws. Merchants can (potentially) sell to criminals, claim the sold wepons as stolen to the insurers and keep it hushed for over a year or claim ignorance of the "theft" all together because there is no requirment to maintain an inventory and no law enforcment agency has the power to inspect them.
    We can solve the problem by giving teeth back to the ATF and holding the States, merchants and owners responsible for what happens with their guns.
    For lovers of the 2nd Amendment, understand that the Constitution cites the regulation of its armed persons as an ENUMERATED POWER OF THE STATE. Washington shouldn't have a say in any way shape or form about what weapons you should have. Your home state however is REQUIRED by the Constitution to make such calls. In theory the state could even oblige the maintanence of weapons by its constiuencey.
    As for those folks who claim that disarmament preceeds tyrany fail to notice that the tyrany itself was precipitated by people willing to dehumanize their countrymen due to radicalized differences. Remember that the next time you listen to a talking head screaming US vs. THEM.
    • Jan 30 2013: bad guy good guy argument. let's examine feasibility for a moment. assuming you could isolate diagnostic criteria that would allow you to differentiate the "good" guys from the "bad" guys, which is a pretty outstanding achievement (like Nobel prize outstanding) in and of itself and which has never even come close to being achieved in human history, let's have a look at the mechanics, logistics, and infrastructure necessary to implement this fantastic new advance in human societal understanding.

      350 million people in 110 million households. Human personality is fungible and can easily be driven to unstable states by a variety of stressors which is why we have the problem anyway. so a 350 million group in which individuals stability would have to be isolated, tracked, and monitored continuously within the constraints of the actually constitutionally protected freedoms. Assumedly you would reduce your group to individuals that want to own a gun to make it somewhat more manageable (and let's not even point out that the very people we would be tracking would be the ones fighting this the hardest because it would infringe on their rights and mean more "big" government). The apparatus would have to have a workforce probably similar to social work and let's be generous and say that you reduce the initial group to 100 million and the service ratio is 1:100. So we are talking about another 1 million government workers. Say an average salary of 30K a year and you just added another 30 billion to the budget. That is not to mention the surveillance and systems to monitor which would probably be roughly equivalent to the NSA which is around 10 billion a year so we are now up to 40 billion. it would probably take you a minimum of five years to build the capability and once in place would mean you just kissed your right to privacy goodbye.

      how is something like this actually going to happen or even work in reality?
      • Jan 31 2013: Good guy is someone who is doing every day stuff.

        Bad guy is someone who has the immediate intention of, or is in the process of, causing severe bodily harm or killing someone.

        I find it interesting that someone saying that the best defense for a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun sets you off. If you saw a 250lb guy raping a 130 lb woman, wouldn't you hope that someone would stop that person right then and there? A gun allows that without the threat to the defender.

        If you want to call BS on my scenario, feel free. Does not change the fact that this happened in New York and people just watched it happen until the police arrived. So, the entire time, not one person stopped to help. Would have been nice to have armed citizens then, but New York City's ban on pistols works great!
        • Jan 31 2013: point is how do you prevent on a larger scale which predicates - how do you predetermine good guys and bad guys? obviously in situ it is not hard to tell. to predetermine is a well nigh an impossible task. that is why it sets me off because it does not address prevention at all, eg stopping the "bad" guy before he does something bad.

          in the instance you describe yes. a gun would be solution but that is happenstance and could not be counted on to systemically address the issues we are talking about. unless of course you feel it is a good idea to arm everyone and let the cards fall where they may. could be a very expensive experiment.
      • Feb 1 2013: @ re-Rob Freda

        You cannot punish someone for a crime that they have not yet committed. So what you are left with is prevention, knowledge, and deterrents, extremely harsh punishments.

        I have stated before, I don't think everyone should have a gun, for various reasons. Some are crazy, can't hit the broad side of a barn, reckless. However, that said, to limit their individual ability to protect themselves is unacceptable in my mind.

        I will offer up a solution though. Here is my proposal.

        Irresponsible Accidental Deaths: Hard labor for the state 2-5 yrs living in a tent city. Then 30% of all income paid to immediate family until reaching retirement age to offset any hardships from the lose of a productive family member.

        "Heat of the moment" Killings: Same as above. Second offense will result in death penalty.

        Premeditated Murder (One account): 5-10 yrs Hard Labor. 30% wages to family. Second offense Death penalty.

        Premeditated Murder (Two or more accounts): Death Penalty.

        Rape: 2-5 yrs Hard Labor. 15% Wages to family. Second account, death penalty.

        All labor will be valued at half of minimum wage. Cost of room and board will be deducted after Family stipend. Any felony record will become inactive at end of prison sentence served.

        Harsh, but effective. Will reduce the cost of prison system, remove people who would not reform from society. Provide cost efficient labor.

        This would also be excellent population control.
        • Feb 1 2013: by definition prevention requires some type of prediction.

          interesting ideas.
      • Feb 8 2013: No worries. To address your concerns however, we've already have the infrastructure in place to achieve most of this. The federal gov't have countless laws on the books to facilitate this kind of awareness. The problem is that the ATF, the agency charged with enforcing these laws are bound not to enforce them. But the crux of my point was to burden the State and the merchant with placing public saftey above profit. No federal over reach and its bad business to be socially irresponsible and the use of firearms by persons with questionable intent slows to a crawl because the merchant has to prove he unbaiasedly considered the likelyhood of his wares being used in the commission of a crime by the potential consumer. The State should define the legal minimum criteria to avoid too ambiguous a standard and to ensure an enforcable standard is present. Americans remain 'free' and safe from both tyranny and anarchy at the same time.
    • Jan 30 2013: Stacey

      sorry good guy bad guy set me off. good post and some very interesting points.
  • Jan 30 2013: Education the one thing that is consistently debated the least. when I was six years old my father an ex-Marine pulled me aside and proceeded as follows. I remember it well to this day.Son, you know I have weapons in this house. Me, yes. Do you know where they are? Me, yes. What is the first thing you do when you come upon one of them? Me, thinking I was smart replied don't touch it. And an emphatic no was his response. He said as soon as you pick it up check and see if its loaded. I was amazed by his statement. He continued, never ever pull a weapon on anyone unless you are ready and prepared to kill that person. With that in mind, if you do pull a weapon on someone the first thing they should see is the flash from it being fired.

    On the 2nd amendment. Context is everything. Most Americans cherish the Constitution but have never really set down to read it for their own understanding. The Declaration of Independence is the reason the constitution is formed the way that it is. The Declaration is about usurpation by those in power. I believe that the second amendment was added to the Constitution not just for hunting or protection from criminals but to keep those in power in check. Meaning that we the people have the right and duty to forcibly take those in power and remove them by death if necessary (hopefully in the last resort)So that they are not in absolute power by that use of force. This being the main reason for the 2nd amendment I believe.

    There are no absolutes in safety and one cannot be protected from any danger absolutely no matter what legislation we promote or pass. We do the best we can in raising our children to be fair and reasonable. But we obviously live and exist in a culture of bias. Financial, religious, race, creed, and orientation. Therefore it seems to me to be a social issue at least as much as an ethical or legal issue.
    I will protect my family from any unreasonable harm. So,
    in closing you can pry my weapon, from my cold dead hand
    • Jan 30 2013: pat

      your have the right to protect yourself and your family. you do not have a constitutional right to bear arms to do so (which is not to say that it is reasonable to deny you that ability with a gun). there is nothing in the second amendment that even hints at that interpretation. nor is there anything in the second amendment on hunting. the amendment is very clear. the right to bear arms is predicated on defense of the state. the rest of the arguments are an unsupported expansion of what the amendment actually says.

      as you pointed out "defense of a free state" could apply to both internal and external enemies of said state and since the US is defined as a government of and for the people the right to opposed tyrannical rule is inherently implied. that said exercising that right in modern conditions is realistically impossible. the likely primary reason for the amendment given the conditions of the time however is far more likely an external enemy such as Britain or the other European powers.

      to your point the focus on absolutes is a huge distraction from actually achieving anything.
      • Jan 30 2013: Context is everything, Much of the things we read or hear can be made to side with or against the implied reason of the person writing. We can run to the side we wish to believe as easily as we can try to be objective. I don't wish to get caught up so much in the semantics of the wording of our forefathers as I wish to get to the root causes of the acts that occur. Bias and nonacceptance of others as they are is, (in my belief) the root of most of the problems.
        We make pariahs of those around us not because they are a real threat but because they scare us that with to much contact we or the ones we care about may veer from those ideas we cherish. The more engagement we have across the lines of those with ideas we can't stand, the better off we all are.
        As far as the external or internal threat. They put three pieces of government in place knowing that power is greatest seducer, with that in mind they did the best they could.
        The second amendment does say period by the words written on that page that I do have a right to bear arms. That is not semantics my friend.
        • Jan 30 2013: you have the contextual right to defend the state, not an absolute right outside of defense of the state. you can legally extend that right all you want but it is not constitutionally guaranteed.
      • Jan 30 2013: I'd like to add that the United states of America was founded on the idea that "WE THE PEOPLE" are the state and that right to bear arms only reinforces that predication. Furthermore, my assertion that no one or thing can be protected from harm absolutely is not a distraction to getting to a meaningful something or anything done, that is false to me. We must accept that we have inherent dangers no matter what are able to accomplish through any means. Life is a precarious proposition at it's very best.
        • Jan 30 2013: so essentially you are arguing that the state is comprised of individuals and therefore the right to defend the individual is inherent in the defense of the state? that is a big leap.
      • Jan 31 2013: Our country was predicated on individual rights as a foundation. We are a nation of law rather than autocracy. If the individual loses those rights then where is that country we love so much. I don't see the leap. virtually every soldier will tell you that they fight for your rights to free speech, liberty and the pursuit of that happiness based on those rights. If we don't have those rights were no better off than North Korea. ergo the loss of due process under the Bush administration.
        • Feb 1 2013: the leap is that you extended defense of the state to defense of the individual based on the fact that we are a government of the people. That is a leap. I think this obdurate adherence to "our way is the only way" is a little silly. There are similar governments in Europe, one of which we derived from, that do not societally equate free speech with being able to shoot people from the government. we are in no danger of being north korea even without the bill of rights any more than England is in danger of becoming north korea. this is just boogeyman hooey. to your point about our soldiers the likelihood that the US armed forces are going to carry out illegal acts on the populace or enforce the rule of a tyrannical government is at this point unbelievable. If we ever did come to that state then the rights we have will not be worth the paper they are written on.
      • Feb 3 2013: The leap as you put it is another leap on your part. If you take a right away you infringe on the individual and the state at the same time.

        I'm not saying our way or no way. But the idea of due process was not just taken from one but many countries all the way back to ancient Egypt, Britain, France. Due process is supposed to be the backbone if our country ie our State. And the predication, I believe we were founded on, is that individual rights based on the constitution trump prosecutorial rights of the state. Therefore an attack on the right is an attack on the individual is an attack on the state. WE the people of, by and for.

        The North Korea statement is an analogy not a prediction. But would you thirty years ago ever thought you would have heard of a free speech zone in the U.S. Well we had one under the Bush Administration That's a lot closer to North Korea than I am comfortable with.
      • Feb 10 2013: Well I've been patient but you haven;t responded to this last part of our conversation. What happened?
  • Jan 30 2013: We need to apply any approaches that will reduce gun violence. We also need to understand that anything can become a weapon in the hands of a violent person.

    We have produced one of the most violence cultures on the planet and we really need to understand how that happened.
    • Jan 30 2013: If you believe we have one of the most violent cultures in the world, then go to the Congo or the Sudan and see what guns and weapons out of the hands of the common people does to that society. You tell me which is more violent.
    • Jan 31 2013: I can, in one word, sum it up for you. Humans. We are animals.
      • Feb 3 2013: Exactly. That's it. Ie. my comments above beginning with OK controversy aside. WE should get to the root cause of the mass killings that has brought this home for so many over recent years and not the weapon of choice. Guns have done just as much good as evil.
  • Jan 30 2013: thanks. I do wish that the positions people took here showed more flexibility than as you aptly pointed out the "black hole" approach. oh well. I guess it is another lesson in expectation rarely matching reality.

    I do think one thing to take away is that if looked at in the totality there are quite a few ideas on both sides here that if taken and acted on combatively could help. maybe I am being overly optimistic but in many instances except for very singular opinions I am not seeing that much of what has been suggested is mutually exclusive.
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    Jan 30 2013: So, we gone from intractable positions on the 2nd amendment to a level of english composition (on the meaning of 200 year old document) that I slept through in school then and brings on yawns now. I now inject the KISS principal.
    There is a level of validity in all these arguments.

    Guns are the epitome of evil and should be eliminated
    Guns are one of many legal dangerous tools
    Evil people should be scrutinized on the use of dangerous tools
    Dumb people should be etc.
    In the best of intentions, accidents happen
    people have been known to use dangerous tools to end their lives
    how long should I go on with this list?

    So, if the end of this story are guns and the end of existence of guns will end all or some number of
    violent acts, then let's rescind the 2nd Amendment and get rid of all the guns and do that world wide.
    Oh wait, that's too hard to do. So in the meantime let us spar with wit and half wit to establish who should join MENSA.
    The real discussion should be " Why is there all this violence against others and as a subset why has life become so difficult that some seek to end their existence, why is there war on national levels, why do men beat their wives and children as well as others, etc.,etc.
    During a discussion on the book of Genesis, an old rabbi told me his vision was not that God had created the physical being of Adam, but had created in Adam His spirit of faith and love. The implication here is that there were other creatures like Adam who were not endowed and had no spirit of faith and love.
    Now, many would dismiss this as the ramblings of an old man who had no rational reasoning of the real world. OK, but then I think of people like Stalin, Hitler and others, maybe....
    Now, this group has beaten the dead horse of this discussion (guns) long enough, will someone address the most basic question... WHY?
    • Jan 30 2013: brilliant.

      pity the man who cannot keep his eye firmly affixed to his purpose. oh wait that's me...
  • Rich B

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    Jan 30 2013: Okay, I will address the full Second Amendment. In its entirety: "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."

    Now, if the right were conditional, the sentence would be in the conditional mood and the two clauses would be joined by a conditional conjunction. Since there is none, the prohibition in the active clause is unconditional. The right shall not be infringed (note the mandative mood).

    In fact the Second Amendment is in the form of a nominative absolute -- fairly common wording for legislation of the time. The dependent introductory clause of this construction is parenthetical, i.e., it can be removed without altering the meaning of the sentence. In this case it works as an adverb, modifying "shall not be infringed" because it explains why the right shall not be infringed. It doesn't set a condition for the right, and it doesn't allow "regulation."

    So for everyone who slept through English class, it seems pretty clear to me. What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand?
  • Jan 30 2013: Mike

    Think this whole thing illuminates the essential problem. It started as why not try this middle ground what do you think and rapidly turned into a take away guns vs keep guns donnybrook. As long as both sides stick to their inflexible positions nothing happens.

    That said while there some notable exceptions the pro-gun side of this conversation needs to address the full second amendment not just the part they like and most need to stop there and not try to extend the reasons for the right.

    I used to be very middle of the road basically a pragmatist, but I have to say the unwillingness of certain portions of the right to accept a rational starting point for discussion does not reflect well on them.

    One other note is gun related deaths are not all about illegal acts. A lot are accidental which no one addressed despite it being a main issue identified in the start of the discussion
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      Jan 30 2013: I appreciate your position. I also consider myself some what pragmatic. Others may not agree. There are some on both sides of the issue that are impacted... on their side of issue. Admittedly, I have some of these characteristics myself. But, In many of conversations held on this web site, participants have made a singularity point of view and I mean a singularity, a black hole.
      When I look at these conversations, I refer back to Journalism 101, "what, when, where, who, why...
      and the story is mostly in the why".
      You have initiated a good conversation and more then held your own, a tip of hat.
      • Jan 30 2013: thanks. I do wish that the positions people took here showed more flexibility than as you aptly pointed out the "black hole" approach. oh well. I guess it is another lesson in expectation rarely matching reality.

        I do think one thing to take away is that if looked at in the totality there are quite a few ideas on both sides here that if taken and acted on combatively could help. maybe I am being overly optimistic but in many instances except for very singular opinions I am not seeing that much of what has been suggested is mutually exclusive.

        have a feeling you might have done better as a moderator given that you would have been less inclined than I to wander far afield.
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    Jan 30 2013: Here's a hypothetical idea lets ban them universally and see what happens
    • Jan 30 2013: oh no... that might be the end of the world. there is a conundrum for anyone that happens to be an evangelical and gun owner. you want the end of the world but then you would not be able to have your gun. oh the paradox.
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        Jan 30 2013: Then also you wouldn't have your 2nd Amendment or could The right of the people to bear rakes, hoes, sickles etc send them out to feed the world instead of knocking it off gee you could have evangelical farmer. word of whomever in one hand and a hoe in the other.

        Then maybe we wouldn't have incidents like what's happening in Arizona right now
    • Jan 31 2013: So you are saying everyone, everywhere in the world? How would you enforce it?
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        Jan 31 2013: Oh I don't know how about we bring back some nice middle ages punishments they were nice and gruesome and don't involve firearms. ( tongue in cheek answer)
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    Jan 30 2013: So, after all this conversation in dealing with gun violence amid political chaos, most of the respondents have focused on the 2nd Amendment from outright repeal to simply hollowing it to point of meaningless. What amazes me is that the 2nd amendment is part of a legal document and we are speaking of violence an illegal act. Then of the scope of violent acts
    is focused down to those committed using guns. Then we speak of guns, every facet of make and model, use and disuse, does a flash suppressor make a gun more deadly, thus contributing to the violence.
    Some have said 'guns don't kill people, people kill people' and the counter has been ' If there were no guns, there would be no gun violence.' I guess this is true, but what about the matter of any violence in these troubled times.
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      Jan 30 2013: Yeah amazing considering it was about how to make firearms safer
  • Jan 29 2013: jRob: A histirical note FYI . A "well-regulated" militia does not mean micro management by a national bureaucracy, it means proficiency in the manual of arms for the kind of infantry rifles used at the time. It was the custom to have the troops fire in coordinated volleys, no mean trick for flintlocks. Now, that would translate into "Assault Rifles".
    • Jan 30 2013: do you have an example from a military text or treatise at the time, eg say Wellington talking about the importance a well regulated firing line in maintaining a rate fo fire against the enemy? I have read a fair bit of military history and have never seen the term applied to any firing line but that does not mean it does not. could just be my ignorance

      am looking for the 17th century definitions but cannot find it in anything but pro or anti gun sites. there is something at Oxford I cannot access and most of the scholarly grammatical analysis I have seen does not concern itself with that particular as grammatically it is more obvious that the right is within the context of a militia.

      by way of example
      • Jan 30 2013: Rob: Thanks for asking. It has been a long time since I read about "well Regulated". I don't have a reference right handy. I'll see if I can find something. But considering the fears about standing armies in 1787, plus the fact that you don't want your militamen acting like a disorganized mob, it is a pretty safe bet that the Founders were not concerned about protecting the right of the government to interfere in local politics, they wanted the local , or at most , the State to handle it, in the sense that you want the troops to be able to perform, but not to cost a lot of money.
      • Jan 31 2013: Rob: Nice to see someone who wants to know. I'm affraid that, even befoe we sort of dropped US history in public schools, our culture has changed so much, even in my lifetime, that people who own and use guns are often seen as strange and incomprehensible. During our Revolution, this was not so. As to the milita , and all that, we should remember that it predates the US, and guns as well, since it derived from English yeomanry service in war, with Longbows. I am saying that the Founders took a lot for granted,, and we need to sort of interprer their language. Now as to your question, the closest I could find was some references, given by a recent person. A lawyer, I guess. See ""
  • Jan 29 2013: maxime: I am afraid that you are unacquainted with the facts of the case you propose. There are millions of guns stashed in drawers and closets, whose manufacturers have been out of business for many years, so suing them is not possible..Furthermore, there are millions more manufactured by government arsenals of various countries, and suing other nations is not practical. Additionally , if you are suggesting that guns over 50 years old are not usable, let me assure you that they are. Millions of them , too. My own favorite is over a hundred years old. Furthermore, you seem to be under the impression that guns are useless for anything other than killing. Emphatically not the case. In the US alone, there are millions of crimes thwarted every year by armed "victms", where,usually, even firing them is not necessary, a threat is enough. See "More Guns, Less Crime", an academic study of all this, using every county in the US.
  • Jan 29 2013: This is an interesting issue. Let's look at it logically and see what happens. What do we mean by banning guns? Does it mean that no one, regardless of position or authority, is allowed to have guns. If so then all guns on the planet, including all military weapons of all sorts, must be found and destroyed. How likely is it that even one nation will give up its military? History suggests that this is not likely to happen. If the military or other "sanctioned" authority is allowed to have guns what does this mean? It certainly means that there will still be millions of guns in existence. A black market in guns is sure to follow. It is likely, then, that there will be a crime wave similar to the ones that occurred during the drug and alchol prohibitions. Also, if we are depending on "authority" for our defence, then is it concievable that we will ever need to be defended from that authority? I think that events in places like Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and several other nations, just in recent history, say that exactly that is concievable. If we don't have guns and they do, who would save us? If you want to ban guns then you must address these problems.
    • Jan 30 2013: don't want to ban them. just want to regulate them.
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    Jan 29 2013: Re: Shawn:

    Thank you for your initial optimism.
    I am 28, and do try my best, at posting informed and well thought out opinions.

    I appreciate your concern over how one may interpret the inflection of my original post.
    Text shows no emotion, malious was not my intent.

    To answer your question: No, I do not believe that "Human Nature" has changed, even in the past 500 years. Nor do I believe that The Bill of Rights is "irrelevant".

    I do believe however, that Human Behavior is evolving exponentially, (now most especially).

    In saying that, it is my consideration that our intellect, theoretically, should "progress" our understanding of human behavior, and therefore (in life) our "Conscious Nature".

    The most impressive attitude that I could wish upon any society; would be one that never lets the initial rules of its own forte [2nd def], become its very Achilles heel.

    Change is inevitable; wisdom will expect it, allow it, and learn from it.
    However ignorance (of change), will only deny it, and ultimately bury itself beneath, the passing grains, in the sands of time.

    Good things are great (The Bill of Rights);
    However ingenuity, can only make those same rights: Better, faster, stronger, for longer.
    • Jan 31 2013: Oliver.Yes, It does seem that Human Behavior is evolvling exponentiallyaa, but although I am an optimist, (fanatic, my wife says), I find much of it alarming, and not at all well thought out. Look out for unintended consequences. Those who favored the "War on Drugs",( let's give the great majority points for meaning well), but let's not forget that the whole thing was not only a monumental flop in its own right, but created a great deal of misery besidesin addition to the trillion dollars wasted. Which sort of segues into just why we need the 2nd amendment more than ever. We have armies of underemployed police-types in this country, and for a combination of reasons, we are buiilding up all the elements of a super Police State, So far, our "crisis" has not evolved far enough to enrage most of the middle class, nor have we developed a charismatic "Leader" but I can see ithe possibility.. The idea that we couldn't possibly need to defend ourselves against our own government seems to me incredibly naive. We are in fact half barbaric. When we can act as civilised as the Swiss, then we can perhaps have "Gun Control" , but of course the Swiss don't have it , and don't need it.
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        Jan 31 2013: Hi Mr. Disney, I understand what your saying here. However I remain steadfast in the notion that any government would naturally heed; their best interest is their people.

        There are many Police forces that don't carry guns:
        Leading by example is a tough job though.

        One must consider that Switzerland has been established for 600 years. The United States, is "young blood" (almost "nouveau riche") in comparison, and Needs time to balance itself.

        All these things take time. Although, Its our recent freedom of communication, that may very well keep the U.S. as great of a role model (in different aspects) as it is today, far into the future.
        • Feb 1 2013: Oliver thanks for the kind thoughts. If the government was doing its job of taking care of its people, it would have solved our energy problem 40 years ago, by continuing the Thorium LFTR program, or they would have facilitated our billions of dollars worth of export industry in Rare Earth minerals. Instead, they killed the industryl. Just some random examples of major screwups. It's not hopeless, but it just doesn't follow that the government can always be trusted. No news to the Founders.
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    Jan 29 2013: Requires a solution that is painless to everyone. I do not agree, i'd say a solution to this issue has to be painful for the institutions responsible. AKA the gun manufacturers and those affiliated with the commerce of death. AKA War.

    Retroactively up to 50 years.
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      Jan 29 2013: I agree. Do you think that if a certain type of gun is traced back to a murder the gun company should be held liable? I do. If it can be done with bars selling alcohol and being responsible for drunken accidents, then I think gun companies should be sued for shootings. Great post!
      • Jan 29 2013: If it was shown that the person was irresponsible and left the gun unsecured in an area that was not theirs, yes.

        If someone steals your car and then kills someone with it, should you be held liable for ONLY having a key lock?
    • Jan 29 2013: Maxime: If "Guns" really have the Mystical Powers you ascribe to them (turning people into mindless killing machines), how do you explain the Swiss, the most civilized of people, who are more heavily armed than we are, but don't go in for shooting people at all?!
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        Jan 29 2013: Mystical Powers ?!

        No i say that if gun manufacturers would be charged for every gun they sell up to ten times the price of the gun, no one would risk manufacturing guns.

        Make the commerce of death illegal internationally so that no one wants to end up in jail for making money from indirect killing. Same with every industry that makes WMD. Sue them from the start, sue the guns companies that made guns for the past 50 years, shut down this industry.
        • Jan 29 2013: 1) To reduce AR violence mandate that owners must keep their weapons away from minors and disturbed individuals in the home or face severe civil and criminal consequences with mandatory jail time.

          2) To reduce handgun related violence declare the Bloods, Crips, MS13, Hells Angels.... demonstrably violent gangs.... as TERRORISTS. Treat them like enemy combatants. Use the NDAA 2012 and extended Patriot Act against them without mercy. Sure we have many people in prison and yet our crime rates are down!!!! Go figure.
        • Feb 1 2013: @ frank

          The AR in AR-15 stands for Armalite rifles. The AR I am guessing you are using (Assault Rifle) has a law in place. The NFA. Unless an Assualt Riflle was made before May 1982 you cannot own it.

          The actual definition of an assault rifle is a fully reciprocating machine gun. Don't get sucked into media portrayals of semi-automatic rifles.
    • Jan 31 2013: maxime: interesting idea, but guns are a small part of it. What do you propose to do about that major US export item: super efficient modern military weapons, capable of killing people at a rate these mass shooters can only dream if,?
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        Jan 31 2013: I say that this industry is a criminal industry, it should be sued for crime against humanity. It's a multi-billion or trillion business but it should be stopped by a MORAL gauge LAW over the international market.
        • Feb 1 2013: Orwellian society! Come to the dark side.
  • Jan 29 2013: Are you interested in saving lives, or making it so that people can be disarmed by people in uniforms?

    In saving lives we have a few common denominators, as follows:

    -Drug taking, mentally different youth
    -Gun-Free Zones (Big one that everyone likes to ignore)
    -Firearms (Specifically semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and pistols)
    -Large grouping of law abiding citizens (See second denominator)

    Your argument is to regulate one of the four large issues at hand. The issue that has to do with the tool, not the wielder of said tool.

    Here is my counter argument, feel free to disagree (I am guessing you will). Guns are not the problem, the lethality of the guns are not the problem. One of the issues here (The one we have been seeing with shootings) is that people are ignorant of the ability and purpose of the tool in question. People who are scared of and hate guns are scared and hate them because they do not understand them. They do not see the person, they see the gun. It is the person that decides how and when a gun is used. Maybe more responsible people should educate themselves and then carry one?

    The other issue I see, the biggest issue, is Gun-Free Zones. They Do Nothing Good. Rather, they disarm law-abiding citizens in masses that are attractive targets to non-law-abiding citizens. I can tell you that someone that wants to kill people (Because it excites them, in every sense of the word) will choose the safest (for them) and most destructive area they can find. Every time.

    Here is me: I am a father and a husband. I carry a Glock 35 every day I can, where ever I go. I have had tactical training and have spent over 100 hours in the range. I have made a promise to myself that if something ever happens where I need to keep my family safe I will have the tools and ability to do it without halting. I refuse to use a tool that could fail on me, I inspect my tools before every use. I will not submit to another persons will because of potential fear.
  • Jan 26 2013: In any given year we roughly have:

    11,000 hand gun homicides.
    350 rifle homicides (hunting AND assault style rifles).
    700 people beaten to death.

    NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN Human nature is immutable we are the same monkeys we were 5,000 years ago and the constitution reflects that understanding of human nature..

    No, you are not special or unique any tyrants can arise even America. With a $20 Trillion debt on the horizon and its concomitant hyper inflation a la Germany post WWI, why couldn't we have a HItler also rear his/her ugly head?

    It is no coincidence the 2nd Amendment follows the first (it could have been the 7th). Assault rifles protect the Bill of Individual Rights.

    1) To reduce AR violence mandate that owners must keep their weapons away from minors and disturbed individuals in the home or face severe civil and criminal consequences with mandatory jail time.

    2) To reduce handgun related violence declare the Bloods, Crips, MS13, Hells Angels.... demonstrably violent gangs.... as TERRORISTS. Treat them like enemy combatants. Use the NDAA 2012 and extended Patriot Act against them without mercy. Sure we have many people in prison and yet our crime rates are down!!!! Go figure.

    People who think they are smart bug me. I'm sure I bug you. lol.
    • Jan 29 2013: That what Mexico tried to do and there reputation as a safe place was horribly destroyed... Because they started a drug war in their own country
      • Jan 29 2013: Banning guns may start a revolutionary war.

        Pick your poison. Fight 300,000 gang bangers or 3,000,000 armed citizens of the republic. besides the reason mexico has a violent, failed drug war is that innocent law abiding citizens are unarmed in mexico.

        que viva zapata. ay ay yaya. soy hispano. no me freges con llamar me racista. yo vivi en latino america hasta el quarto grado. yo si se que era latino america decadas en el pasado.

      • Jan 31 2013: sam: you do understand , don;t you, that the whole reason for the problems in Mexico , and elsewhere, is due the the US 's fanatic "Drug War"? We are the enablers.
        • Feb 4 2013: So if America is the whole reason for all the problems in Mexico, and elsewhere do you expect the United States Government to go into combat against it's own people just so crime by some chance could dissolve at the cost of safety, trust, reputation and business. The Patriot Act as it is of right now is already doing too much harm as it is.

          Plus if the US did label crime groups as Terrorists, it would just be another counter-insurgency operation that would be at home rather of in another country. Also if we do go hard on those organizations they'll probably just immigrate their operations to other countries and do pain from afar and to the place and people they take refuge around.
  • Jan 23 2013: yes can appreciate your position. and I respect it as a well thought out position in the context of our specific society. I do not necessarily share it but would not expect to. I did not grow up with guns and I never served (not that I was not willing, just no reason to when I was of age. gulf 1 was over quick) so my association with them has been minimal.

    to the pragmatism side, safety features or clip limitations may not the best or even very good, but may be the best first step possible. to your point we have never done a good job of solving the big problems you mention. I think if you go back through the beginning of the industrial era and large scale urbanization these problems have always been there and while they have increased we did not do a better job at any given point of solving the underlying issues that you mention.

    given the increasing disassociation of some individuals who do not handle modern society well I think we at least need to take a step.
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      Jan 23 2013: At my age, I don't have answers and I can't fix it. So I'll just not think about it. Down deep, I do hope that there is some young mind who can put everything right. My rabbi friend says we need the messiah, The reverend living next door speaks of the second coming. At this point, I'll take anyone.
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    Jan 23 2013: Hi,
    Go to, there are a number of files presenting data in every which way you can imagine. I think that you will fine that much of our violence is in our great urban areas.
    I think the constitution was a most brilliant writing of governance compared with the magna carta, etc. Reading the writing of the framers, I believe they were aware of their visions and the future and I believe they made the amending process as it is to prevent changing of the constitution at the whim and the will of emotions. Now, we have amended the constitution with some poorly thought out changes. Prohibition comes to mind. In the 16th, we gave the congress an open ended access to individual wealth. They can literally tax everything you have. In the 17th, we literally kicked the states out of the governance and created a bicameral legislature. The sort of gives the power to the people, the political partied people of the moment.
    I appreciate the founding fathers vision to keep it difficult,
    Now lets classify guns as hazardous products. But, any number of the regulations that involve hazardous products involving bearing and keeping could break the 2nd amendment infringement clause.
    Again, I understand the desire to end this senseless violence that seems to permeate our society. I do not have a solution. I see that many people have tried many things and have come up short. When I see a ploy to deal with a legal item by legal people, that is presented as a solution, pardon me if I am a little skeptical . What I want to see is aggressive resolution of criminal activities, and a resolution of causes of poverty. I know it would be easier to regulate guns.
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    Jan 23 2013: @Rob
    I think we are kind of talking past each other. If there is a commercial demand for additional addendum to secure guns, I have no concerns. It's fine.
    I believe in the strict interpretation of the constitution. If the people want to change the 2nd Amendment, that is their constitutional right. Amend the constitution. I am annoyed that "lawmakers" pussyfooting around, passing laws and regulations as if to see how close they can come to affecting a change without violating the constitution. I have little respect for such activities.
    It seems that most of our violence comes from our great metropolitan areas. Over 50 years, we have had wars on poverty, and drugs which seems to be the cradle of much of our criminal activity, the nation has spent enormous sums, there have been causalities, and many prisoners of these wars are in our jails. Yet, these wars have had no appreciable effect on drug use, poverty or the associated violence. So is the best we can offer is high tech safety features or pass laws on gun cartridges because that can be supported as not an infringement on the constitution?
    Can you appreciate my position?
    • Jan 29 2013: Mike : You don't see it mentioned very much, but most of the gun deaths are from 1/) suicides 2). Drug gang "business" . You could probablly cut gun deaths in half by merely doing away with the "War on Drugs". Note that for G.C. purposes , these are called "children". Technically, they often are.
  • Jan 23 2013: the problem is that we are more afraid of dying as a result of a gun than in other ways. In other words, if we look at the number of gun related deaths to many other kinds of death (cancer, car accidents, stroke, heart attack), you'll find it has a relatively benign impact on the population. Regarding the effect on family, I don't disagree that it is traumatic. The problem is though that we feel like we can prevent gun deaths and we leave all of the illness-type deaths to the scientists and researchers. In reality though, driving habits, smoking/drinking, exercise and food intake quantity are probably much easier to die from. We're just used desensitized to these deaths so they don't scare us enough (at least to do much about them).

    That said, I think the result of talking about this issue is merely just a waste of our time. We could be flying into space, curing cancer, or partying. Instead we're contemplating the technicalities of the constitution and it's application to something outside its scope (by how many hundred years?).
    • Jan 29 2013: wow. best post here.
  • Jan 22 2013: To all that believe the founding fathers were thinking something else when it came to guns,[such as a militia] maybe they ought to look at quotes from the founding fathers..
    • Jan 22 2013: I would put adherence to philosophies 300 years out of date in about the same bucket as believing Plato or Sun Tzu had some epiphanal vision into the heart of the universe and humans place within it. Possible but highly unlikely. While interesting philosophies they date from before the theory of evolution, any understanding of a non-geocentric universe, genetics, algebra (in the plato and Sun tzu case), Bohr or Einstein, engines, rifled bore weapons, etc. etc. and probably have limited application to a sophisticated understanding of the current environment.

      I would argue that what was genius about the founding fathers is they understood their place and limitations within a historical context and provided a form of government that could adapt while retaining some basic "best of the west" features. One of those features is to leave regulation to the congress and to judge the validity of said regulation in the courts, not the court of public opinion in advance of the regulation which basically subsumes the courts' function. It is a seminal component of our form government.

      what the founding father said outside of the context of the document is ancillary given that they understood there was a time when their opinion would become irrelevant as the world would have changed to such a degree that there was no way for them to envision the landscape of the far future. Just the thing we are discussing should tell it all. it is an amendment.
      • Jan 22 2013: I cannot disagree more. The basic tenets of our constitution are as viable today as they were then. The very fact that people keep trying to "interpret ' them, to fit what they want tells me the brilliance of our forfathers was great. What the great men of that day said outside of our founding documents is very much pertinent to this conversation as you and others are trying to tell what they think the founding fathers meant. When you can look directly at what they thought, your opinions and interpretations are shown for what they are. This is not Britain, nor Australia, nor any Eropean country, this is the United States, and I and others want to keep the parts that made us great. I don't care what some people from other countries have to say, and I can tell you, you are only hearing from a vocal few. The friends I have from Britain wish they could legally own the firearms we have, my Australian friends although some have these weapons tell me to fight what happened to their country, as it had a detrimental impact on their country.All I can say is, I have heard different takes on what the founding fathers had to say, but going back to the source quickly clears it up. And if some wish to change those basic tenets, maybe they are in the wrong place? Maybe they should go to one of these countries that they keep showing us as shining beacons.? We will eventually get this problem under control, I don't see it as being that big of a deal.
        • Jan 22 2013: but you are not addressing the basic tenets of our constitution as it was written and intended. you are bring up select individual's opinions outside of the document to support your argument. that is essentially ignoring the basic tenets in favor of supporting your argument.

          the whole idea of a citizen army stems from their idealization of the Roman republic (per their writings). does that mean that we should therefore apply a senatorial and plebeian mindset to interpreting the constitution. Hamilton basically viewed the public as an unwashed mob that definitely should not be armed. Should we adhere to his patriarchal view of the world?

          By bringing in externalities you are merely mudding the water and contravening the purpose and validity of the very document you adore.
        • Jan 22 2013: one other thing. it is highly questionable to associate a debatable point on gun ownership with what made this country great.

          about 90% of all technological advance within the last 300 years (that is generally the main parameter of "greatness") happened in 4 countries, US, Britain, France, and Germany. At the time of the advances none of these countries shared a common form of government and two of four did not have a constitution. In fact one was not even a country until the 1800's.

          If you want to define what makes a country great one would be better served to study that history and look for commonalities between the societies that could have resulted in their superiority at advancing technology. the US constitution is not a commonality.

          unless of course you meant a more generalized and ethically based greatness. in that context I will give you the probative value of the constitution although very little of that greatness is in evidence these days
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          Jan 22 2013: WE have had gun laws in our country for so long it is part of the landscape Timothy.
          I don't know who your friends are in Australia but to be honest there would be very few who say that Australian Gun Laws have been detrimental to this country. We are very proud that we are held up as an example of gun contol and if you read the article you posted the other day OUR model was being put forward as an example for your Government to consider.

          People can be proud of their countries there is nothing that says they cannot question aspects they may not agree on. In your country isn't it called the 1st amendment Free speech. ?

          I may not know you personally but I know and I am not making guesses about everything especially when it comes to gun laws in my country. So I suggest if you wish to make a remark get your facts straight because it does not put you in a good light.

          So here you go Australian Firearms Act 1996

      • Jan 22 2013: You don't sound to proud of this country, could it be you are not a citzen of the U.S.? The top of the page states you are from MD, but you sound as if you would rather be elsewhere. And associateing with people that call others names is highly questionable, especially when that person does not know me personally, and is making guesses about everything.
      • Jan 22 2013: I made no suppostion about your gun laws so I don't need any facts straightened. The only thing I said about Australia is that I have friends from there, who are well off, own guns that apparently you don't approve of, and are not happy with your status quo. And you tell me to get my facts straight? Again, facts about what? I used to think Australia was very much like the U.S. similar people, similar likes and dislikes, but every now and then someone comes along thats makes me wonder.
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          Jan 22 2013: Do you mean, they own guns that are illegal in this country ????
      • Jan 29 2013: Rob: the Consititution is very practical system of government of people, who were not as different from us as you imjagine them to be. Human nature, and tyrannical tendencies have not lessened since then, and I consider anyone who thinks they have as naive. There are very good reasons for the Bill of Rights, including the Militial army (it was never abolished, , just neglected) and weapons for every houselhold. Jefferson may have been "Liberal", but he could certainly imagine that the citizens might have to shoot at the government some day. As they did back then., at the "King".
  • Jan 22 2013: i think for america which is quite a special case, the way forward is not to restrict guns but to restrict who can own them and the conditions of their ownership. no doubt you've all heard plenty of people declaring "you can't take my guns!" but no-one has a problem with someone else's guns being taken away. also there's firm acceptance of current restrictions on vehicles; no-one objects to having to get a truck license before they can drive a truck, and so a similar set-up should work with guns.

    i suggest making gun ownership contingent on being an active member of a gun club that meets no less frequently than once a month. this should ensure support and education for all gun owners, which will mean better gun safety and less likelihood of guns being taken by a minor or criminal if the guns are stored properly. also a license that must be kept on the person at all times when carrying a gun (same as a driver's license must be with you when driving, which nobody objects to) will allow criminal gun owners to be identified and arrested before they can commit a crime with their stolen gun. proper paperwork should control all transfer of ownership just like reselling a car currently does, and similar to truck licenses consistent responsible gun ownership should allow access to licenses which make higher powered guns available - "you want a semi-automatic? sure we're not going to deny you that right, please apply for it after you've owned a single-shot for 5 years."
  • Jan 22 2013: Go out today and look at all the creeps in the world who enjoy owning guns in the USA. Would it not be more settling to know that now they don't have guns unless otherwise hiding arms illegally ? Whether you have a gun or not isn't the point, its the dude sitting next to you on the bus that makes me worry. USA is in the dark ages when it comes to gun legislation and it is obvious to me that this legislation has not worked for a very very long time since USA has always led the highest rate of death due to guns either misused and or used illegally. The rest of us have fewer crimes related to guns. What more do you need when looking at over a hundred years of fatalities in your country ? I for one don't travel to the states because of your gun legislation and I sincerely know this hurts your tourism industry. Hollywood can't distract this fact. Hollywood isn't that big for me to put aside my sense of safety. USA is dead last when it comes to gun related deaths in the world. Aren't you concerned that maybe creeps owning guns isn't working ? A gun is a gun no matter what brand you own.
    • Jan 22 2013: I am sorry, but the USA does not have the highest death rate -- it is not even close. Wikipedia has the stats here:
      Even so, while the USA has a high murder rate with firearms, it is only average in terms of the overall murder rate.( ).
      • Jan 22 2013: I guess you miss the point providing this link you are right up there with Panama does this not disturb you in the least ? Not long ago there was a massive bear mauling in the United States. Only the Canadian survived. I truly believe that if there had been less dependency on guns some of those Americans could have survived the bear attack. They didn't know what to do without their guns. Finally -wow your suicide rate is sad :(
  • Jan 22 2013: "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" I do not think it takes a PHD in anything to understand exactaly what that statement means. Why not leave it at "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms"? Because the men who penned our founding documents, did so from experience, from what history had shown them to be the WRONG way to govern. The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, the screams of dying soilders, brothers, and sons, the smell of gunpowder and rotting flesh were first hand to these men. (watching CNN DOES NOT QUALIFY YOU) These were men of purpose who came together to make sure that no American would have to sacrafise so much ever again, and that's why those 4 words are there "shall not be infringed".
    There is not an American alive today (with the exception of direct family of a U.S. Soilder killed in action and those who fled from other countries and became U.S. citizens) who has sacraficed TO BE an American and that is because the men who did left us with playbook so we would never have to. Oh, by the way, your local Starbucks being closed in observance of MLK Day does not count as sacrafice.
    That same day in 1791 the First Amendment was also adopted. I could just imagine the uproar if the same game was played with it's clear and easly understandable language " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" Oh...could you imagine what would happen if the Goverment tried to restrict the press!!!! Or what if later this week you recieve a ticket / fine in the mail for $5000.00 because you read this and some Senator didn't like that. I can hear it now, "well that's different".
    No it's not, I wonder just how many people have been killed in the name of religion. not enough fingers & toes
    • Jan 23 2013: come on. the full amendment

      "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 infringe"

      and the other version

      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 infringe

      in either case the people's right is modified and justified by need for a well-regulated militia and therefore the way in which the keeping and bearing of said arms is done is intended to be regulated and more than that well-regulated. that has a pretty clear cut meaning to me. that in the last defense of the country (in their case the first defense as they did not want a standing amy) a well-armed populace is liberty's best defense. conversely these men were as you point out men of history. they knew the societal effect of a well-armed populace with no central organized regulation over that populace. They knew of Florence and the power of the rich in continental Europe to simply kill if the offense was sufficient with no redress under law. ipso any gun that can reasonably used in defense would be protected but those weapons and their owners would be subject to central and organized regulation. bear and keep does not even necessarily give an individual the right to keep the gun at home. remember the part you left out which is the whole justification for the people having this right is- "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state..."

      If you get rid of that pesky modifier which throws all kinds of wrenches in then your interpretation is clear cut. perhaps we can just hop on over to DC and cross that out. why exactly would you leave that part out?
      • Jan 24 2013: "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 the militia who are not members
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    Jan 21 2013: "those who police us..." are human beings with names, personalities, character, family lives, relatives, children, friends, responsiblities, a job to do...... etc. They are not 'it's'. They are not..... 'they, them, and other stereotypical names used to label people who are trained and designated with the responsibility of assisting in maintaining order in society. They are just like you and me; they just dress differently while on the job, most of those people.

    "...something highly valued in the literature,,'

    Then let literature buy the machine gun, once it comes 'out' of where it is 'in', somewhere between Madison and Jefferson, I believe.

    You appear to have a problem setting up this message to present the proper point. What makes you think you are expert enough to interpret the second amendment?

    I'm not being demeaning, or intending to be, I"m just questioning your qualifications to explain such matters to me. What do you do in life bristol?

    " a bit of advice, don't stand so close the the barbeque grill when grilling steaks." :)

    "I should be able to access the same weapons as my daily policing agents do..."

    Go to almost any gun show and your deepest desire to own automatic weapons will be fulfilled. I hear it's possible to purchase the old, 60mm machine guns and even grenades. Some places sell C4, or simple slingshots if you prefere. In many states, you can own these weapons with the proper license. Check your local state regulations to decide if you need to move.

    "I'm a bit lost on the rest of your reply. "

    I understand. I get lost sometimes myself. I'm not always clear or maintain contact with the point in my message. It's a human thing I believe. My computer doesn't appear to have that problem. It complains to me, sometimes, with these reddish marks that have no meaning to me; something about grammar and spelling. I just ignore it. After all, it's just a dumb machine.

    Is that really you under all that coal dust? :)
  • Jan 21 2013: It is my opinion that we need a few limited additions to our current gun laws restricting access to high-capacity magazines and assault rifles.

    I do not believe this will lead to the government taking away all weapons as the NRA's propaganda has followers blindly believing.
    • Jan 21 2013: You are, of course, entitled to your opinion but how will restricting access to high-capacity magazines and assault rifles on law abiding citizens stop home invading criminals with these weapons?
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        Gord G

        • +2
        Jan 21 2013: This is such a ridiculous argument. One word ... escalation.

        The logic that makes someone feel safer because they think they have equal to greater fire power than some unknown assailant, is the same logic that fuels an arms race.
      • Jan 21 2013: The gun related deaths per capita in the USA far exceeds that of any other nation in the world. The more guns we take out of circulation the less guns will be available to criminals. All guns used by criminals started out being legally bought somewhere.

        I do support your right to defend yourself but not to own an AR-15 with a 100 bullet magazine.
      • Jan 22 2013: so you'd prefer that any home invader would have to shoot you first in order to get into your house? personally i'd rather be in the hospital than in the morgue.
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      Jan 21 2013: True assault weapons ARE barred from citizens, via an act of 1934. Semi-auto rifles are merely referred to as assault rifles because they are cosmetically similar.
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    Jan 21 2013: I think to keep the industry working what you can do is to have some games or recreational activities involving guns, and promote them. But this should be done in exclusive recreational centers which the gun companies can invest and run. The guns should be only allowed to be used in these centers for recreational purposes, so that the gun lovers will get a peace of mind and the companies still would be able to run their business at least in a sustainable way, But anyways its impossible to generate revenues like they are generating now from these activities.
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      Gord G

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      Jan 21 2013: Right. And we can have recreational smoking and weekends at the cabin pretending to be racially intolerant.

      There are no pharmaceutical patches or pleasant weekend diversions for lethal force. Semi-automatic weapons have one purpose, and it's not to put food on the table.
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    Jan 20 2013: The question and answer for this issue is simple, but the difficult part is to implement it. First of all you don't require guns to protect yourself, if you make sure that the chances of the same going into a criminal or mentally ill person is considerably eliminated. So the issue is to make sure atleast 90% of the civilian population of a country do not own a gun or atleast not an assault rifle. The fact is that in US the number of people dying of gun shots is more than our soldiers dying in Kashmir fighting terrorists every year. Then the problem is the gun lobby who makes insane arguments like there are guns to protect presidents daughter but not yours. it works very similar to tobacco lobby, .
    The real question is that, are your leaders ready to take tough decisions or do they demand further sacrifice of innocent life before taking tough decisions. What you should is to to force the government,for that and make a group that organize protests and boycott guns, and run campaigns for the same cause. And for that reason the ideas that you have suggested is very interesting but the thing in current world bypassing these systems will not take a long time. So I think what your country needs is not a sophisticated Gun or a bill which enables that, but you really need some leaders with "balls" as Americans say.
    • Jan 20 2013: you are right all the way around. unfortunately "balls" are in short supply and even if the dems had them the house/senate split means we are stuck for the short term with a law making body that is non-functional. in that environment the only way I can see pushing anything through is if you throw the gun lobby some mandated revenues so they clear away the house dam. basically the same way they got healthcare pushed through.
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      Jan 20 2013: But criminals will still get and use guns, even if it's illegal. So, instead of implementing laws that law-abiding citizens will follow - like reducing gun flow - we should look at putting guns in the hands of those who have the training and skill to use guns (but aren't allowed to carry). Who? School guards. These guards are everywhere kids are, but, unfortunately, don't carry. Right now, they are just straw dogs.
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        Jan 20 2013: its not a bad idea to give those guards a gun, but it would just contain a disaster than preventing them. May be 5 innocent will die instead of 10, but it is impossible to micro monitor a society with armed people to ensure security. If that was the case a group of armed cops would have been enough to maintain law and order.The point is you cant give everyone a gun to protect everyone else from it, when a product is freely available in market , its always difficult to contain who possess it either legally or illegally. In a country where Guns are scarcely used by public its easy to trace their smuggling and other illegal activities. But the same is much difficult in a country where 47% of civilian household possess a gun.And it just require less than 1 % of psychopaths or mentally ill people to cause a disaster every month
  • Jan 20 2013: There is something fundamentally 'wrong' with your countries society that these things keep happening. No, it is not the guns, or mental illness, or any other singular factor. It is a cultural problem, that exists for you alone in the 'developed', 'western', world.
    You alone.
    As they say, it takes 2 generations to truly change attitudes. Attitudes to what is accepted behaviour. Where did you go so wrong with that one? You seem to love a good war metaphor. Well how about this one:
    Someone who uses a gun is a COWARD. Pure and simple. It is the most cowardly of weapons. Distant, safe, clean.
    These mass shootings don't seem to happen at gun expos do they?
    Try that as a public message. Nothing else is working.
    Rob, your ideas are great.
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      Jan 20 2013: Nope the responsible gun owners just injure people at gun shows
      • Jan 21 2013: Are you referring to the accidents? Were any charges filed?No?Much like the "accidents" that occur all over most countries?By the way Ms Barnes, your country is doing so well
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          Jan 21 2013: what that report is also missing Timothy is hat in 1997 there was 17million people in Australia there is now is now close to 23 million and if you read it closely it has the regulations as to what kind of firearms are allowed to be imported I never said we didn't have guns just that it was highly regulated. You should also realise that all of those firearms are registered and mainly in rural areas.

          Oh and I just saw 15 year old kills 5 with an assault rifle in New Mexico

          He's a thought for you Timothy how about helping become part of a solution everyone can be happy with instead of being worried about how it will impact on you and being so incensed about what the Government has to do to achieve it.
    • Jan 20 2013: thanks Geraldene. on thing though. it does happen in other societies. It happened in Scotland and Australia. (Actually pretty much every industrialized society has had these types of incidences.)

      They of course responded rationally and made it much harder to have a gun if you did not actually need one for a farm or a similar situation. I think Sweden shows that you will not stop everything, but other countries have reduced the rate of incidence to practically 0. Sweden I think also shows that even in a homogeneous society with pretty good mental health policies if someone wants to really fly under the radar and do damage in a free society it is well nigh impossible to stop them.

      I think what is unique about the US is our complete unwillingness to do the most obvious thing which is reduce availability or at the very least capacity. what is also unique lately is the way that small minorities seem to be able to hold the majority hostage with positions that are highly irrational. it seems to be a very strange case of their opinion is the only one that counts, no-compromise. Which is somewhat amusing since their opinions are generally poorly informed and have been spoon fed to them by PAC's.

      the idea that any regulation, limitation, or adjustment to a situation is an anathema is very strange and directly contradicts the way our government was designed to work. even in financial markets where the correlation of deregulation and catastrophic failure is perfectly obvious we cannot get around the vociferous minority that somehow thinks the market is just a hunky dory self-correcting wonder of the modern world. our willingness to throw everything under the bus to squeeze out a few more dollars is disturbing.

      unfortunately that is our political reality at the moment although the damage being done to our system on multiple fronts is quite worrying
      • Jan 22 2013: Hi Rob, I'm actually Australian, so I know we held the record for worst mass shooting by a lone gunman there for awhile. Nothing to be proud of to be sure.
        But it was over 20 yrs ago, and not a single one since.
        You know what the first thing the government did after it happened? Declared semi-automatic weapons illegal-any kind of automatic weapon or handgun already was. They had a buy back scheme and an amnesty for handing them in. The police will/ do turn up at your house, unannounced and check that you have your guns and ammo in separate, locked cases. Very few people complained because to be honest, they didn't want to look irrational in the aftermath of what had happened.
        Australia is a rural place, with lots of feral animals, so guns are common. But it's the culture that varies so much from your own. A gun is a 'tool' for doing a job, not a personal weapon for defense or otherwise. No one would even consider having a loaded gun laying around. IT"S DANGEROUS.
        And shooting someone is so cowardly.
        • Jan 22 2013: sorry about the first note then. could not agree more. and you did it under a conservative government, right? unfortunately here "conservative" pretty much translates as divorced from any rational reality (which must have Buckley rolling in his grave) and gerrymandering of districts has left a majority (or at least enough to screw things up) of wingnuts in the house. my main thinking above was how do you split off the economic interests from the political interests. once you do that the support for idiocy in governance should drop by about 50%.
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      Jan 20 2013: You've made a mistake thinking massacres and shootings only occur in the US. Take a look at the other school security changes made around the world:

      Also, keep in mind that the US has a huge population. We're dealing with enough people to fill up a continent. Naturally we're going to look quite chaotic against countries like Portugal. To make matters worse, we're trying to find a balance point between milieu of races and cultures - something for which we have no mentor to mimic. Keep things in perspective and allow room for error: I would say that GRACE is one thing we desperately need. We'll figure it out, just gotta take those baby steps.
      • Jan 22 2013: Lovely response.
        Many countries deal with overcrowding (Singapore), social/racial injustice (my own current country Malaysia), and all sorts of other strife and mayhem on a regular basis. They don't however have the huge problem with lone/dual shooter massacres that the USA has. Maybe a mass media cultural shift that I suggest may help?
        Very best of luck with the problem
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          Jan 24 2013: Ah cheers! It feels nice to have someone recognize my effort. :)

          The "loner massacre" - great name for it - is really quite freaky. I'd really be interested in a deep observation of the effects the act has on people convicted of such massacres instead of being quick to sentence them to the edge of society (in prison forever! or death!). The mob mentality that demands vengeance can harm our scientific understanding.

          Mass media is something I feel pervades many other countries, however, so I don't think that could be solely responsible for the anomalies we have here. The reason probably includes that aspect but isn't limited to it.
    almost all of these shootings are done by unlicensed shooters, so what we should do is make it so that the only way to buy a gun is to show a license that says that the person has undergone rigorous gun, melee and safety training, same goes for buying only sell such things in establishments so that people have to get off they're fat rear ends and go buy them. my point is there.and even if i get shot by someone who read this and somehow found were i live we should all know, under EVERY mask there is more that just flesh, there is an idea and, my friends, ideas are bulletproof.
    • Jan 20 2013: Newtown shooter's mother was the owner of the guns. A number of these shooter do not own the guns. And by the way how does that address office shooters. Per the rat comment below population density causes stressors which in some people make them snap. Not everyone that does something crazy is systemically mentally ill. Many can have breaks before which they are sane We have ascribed behavior to any ever growing cornucopia of disorders but the simple fact is that there is no background check or licensing that is going to prevent a certain percentage of the population snapping and already having or stealing someone else's gun. Please address the subject of the idea specifically
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        Jan 20 2013: uhh, YES everyone who commits the kind of crimes using firearms mentioned here ARE mentally ill...
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      Jan 20 2013: Less don't stop there, Anyone found guilty of drunk driving not only looses the right to drive they loose the right to own a gun. Anyone who uses drugs should have their rights to own a weapon taken away. Anyone who strikes their neighbor in anger should loose the right to own a weapon before they shoot their neighbor.

      Any person who looses their right to gun ownership cannot be a police officer or Federal employee. Parents with a history of children with correction problems should not be allowed to own weapons. Police officers who have gun accidents in their home should loose the right to own a weapon along with their job.

      This is the only way to reduce irresponsible gun ownership.

      Piecemeal applications only achieve piecemeal solutions.

      Let's make gun ownership a right of the privileged few who can exert responsible gun ownership in their lives, but let's not stop there. Let's move out into the world and take guns away from terrorist nations and those nations that exhibit a pattern of irresponsible gun ownership. We could start with Pakistan. Let's not pitter-patter with them, lets do it in-mass and do it right the first time.

      Oh yes...... if you can't read or write, you cannot own a gun. Make the test for gun ownership very reading and writing intensive. If they fail the test, they have to keep trying. Perhaps they might even get educated.

      If we are going to weed out the irresponsible gun owners, let's do a good job the first time.
  • Jan 19 2013: I wonder, has anybody else performed the experiment where you start out with a couple of rats and let them breed over and over until they are killing each other? If you look at gun violence, the majority is in centers where the population is the most dense. This is a natural result from stress, and can only be fixed through mental health issues. The mind is the most dangerous weapon, and if an intelligent person breaks, they won't need guns to kill. Mandatory gun locks and kill switches sound so very enticing, but I can see all sorts of problems with them. You can imagine a thief who is very knowledgeable using the technology to turn-off the homeowners gun before he robs and kills him. Doesn't sound plausible? Look at the computer hackers, how many are caught? How many viruses are out there?
    • Jan 19 2013: with digital encoding and encryption any thief that could turn something like that off would not be wasting his time with a home invasion. no question a good hacker might be able to crack a 256 bit encryption but it is not an insignificant task and one would design the system with that in mind. Your thought here are a little cart before the horse, eg eliminating an idea before it has been designed. your concerns are valid but are only real if after designing the system what you are saying can be done..

      besides the point is not to make a 100% fail safe system but to reduce the overall effect of guns in situations where they cause deaths. that is about reducing the rate until a better solution can be found. sitting on our hands because nothing is perfect is no solution.
      • Jan 19 2013: I am a jeweler. that being said, I have a security system, cameras, and a t-60 safe. None of this will stop a concerted attack. Criminals are getting better all the time, and are using tech savy people to clue them into ways to commit their crimes. I am not trying to outthink your solution, I just don't think it will do as much as mental health overhaul would. All I have heard is that guns are bad, so lets get rid of the guns, except for that pesky second amendment. When you and others are successful [not that I think you will be] what will you do when you find out it did not have the desired effect? Why are n't anti-gun people so vehement about mental health reform? Why won't they even consider it? Those are the questions I ask.
        • Jan 19 2013: Counter question why are people on either side so focused on singular solutions and inaccurately characterizing the other's positions? No one suggested taking the guns away or that mental health should not be addressed. The suggestion was that without getting the NRA and gun manufacturers on board by protecting and expanding their revenues streams any movement in a positive direction would be a non-starter.

          first off the entire idea of this is that whether you want to or not, you are not going to be able to push through restrictions in the current climate, be it assault rifles or anything (personally I think that has nothing to do with the second amendment or sanity but c'est la vie).

          (it is also not that guns are inherently bad, but that they are dangerous and designed specifically to be so. we regulate dangerous machines all the time because they are useful but also dangerous. why exactly should guns be an exception? and why does regulation mean to you elimination? they're not the same thing)

          Once the basic market reality that no regulation is likely to make it through is accepted one is left only on the gun side with ways to reduce the rate of incidence for which technology can be applied and be somewhat effective if not as you point universally so. On the mental health side there is no reason not to simultaneously do what you suggest. much thornier problem. think one also needs to think beyond just mass shootings. 40K die in america every year from gun shots. mass killing are an insignificant part thereof. I also like treating guns as a public health issue as has been suggested.

          By way of analogy, when someone had cancer years ago generally a doctor would prescribe a single therapy. This was somewhat effective but not particularly. Recently combinative therapy, eg attacking the cancer on multiple dimensions, has proven much more effective.

          Why would we limit ourselves to a single path to help reduce deaths from guns?
        • Jan 19 2013: by the way the system to do this already exists and has for years. when we sell weapons to other countries they have a kill switch. Iran has a bunch of F-15's that they have never been able to use because we pulled the chips when the shah fell. If the resources of an entire country cannot bypass a 30 year old kill switch system do you really think we cannot design a similarly effective system with 30 years more tech advance for guns?

      • Jan 19 2013: You say it has nothing to do with the second amendment but there you are wrong. everybody seems to forget the "shall not be infringed" part. Ifringed in the 1700's meant to weaken to alter, to destroy. How are limitations going to affect that, they are going to weaken the right to own arms. I do not care how much it is said that the problem is guns, it isn't. The government knows who is selling illegally to felons, and does nothing. The prosecutors allow deals to be cut when someone uses a weapon in a crime, so that law is bypassed, background checks for the most part are a joke as the government agencies only really do a percentage of them. I would say start there and then implement better mental health intitiatives, befor you want to take away, or weaken my rights as an American citizen. As for kill switches, it is a lot different for a small handgun than it is for an F-15
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          Jan 20 2013: 5 people injured at gun shows this weekend Timothy and these are by supposed "responsible" owners you don't have to have your "right" infringed just altered so it doesn't allow or lowers the incidents for indiscriminate, accidental, mass shootings, murders and injury.
        • Jan 20 2013: I said my personal opinion is that it does not. The second amendment begins on the premise of a well regulated miltia. Now apart from the fact that the second amendmen specifically states that the militia be well regulated there is no specification of arms. Therefore the types of arms and regulation of those arms is left to laws which is the province of congress. Ipso the law is passed and then the courts get to decide. That is how our country works. Saying that guns should be essentially exempt from the function of congress contravenes the letter and intent of the very constitution you are. Lao in regulations infringe on.

          That however is my personal opinion and interpretation. There is also the fact that if you extend the "remedy" argument to depose a tyrannical government then there would be not only no gun regulation. There would be no weapon regulation which means by logical extension vx gas should be a legal product. This is absurdity that somehow an assault rifle is going to enable resistance against the most deadly and destructive military in human history. Without a serious arsenal no one would last more than a minute. Us troops have taken down entire countries in a matter of weeks.

          Anyway none of this is the subject of the conversation. Read the idea and then address the issues. Either improve disprove or poke at the actual ideas vs having some beef every time you read the word guns. I guarantee you that if you threw this task at DARPA they would have this done inside 6 months. This is not that difficult to do. Biometric grip locks are already available. All receiver and a chip added to the control board of the biometric grip and done. All guns would have to be refit with the new assembly. And there are other ways to do it.
        • Jan 20 2013: Morgan.

          Beautifully put.
        • Jan 22 2013: Also Timothy. The F-15 system has been in place for over 40 years. State of the art tech 40 years ago was 128kB single process chip. The kill system for the F-15's was a small chip. 40 years later we have 2 GB chips that are smaller. do not think a kill switch system for guns is a particularly high tech hurdle. Biometric grip locks are already there.
        • Jan 22 2013: also would like to apologize the "read the idea" comment. I lost track of which thread I was in. Sorry.
      • Jan 20 2013: Having tried to discuss this situation you have described, and having any ideas other than yours or Ms Barnes, pooh poohed like I was a school child that hasn't been in the military, I see that discussing the subject for new ideas is out, and we can turn back to our corners.By the way altering my right is infringing on it. You may discuss with all the other anti-gun people, and I will discuss with pro gun people, thank you.
      • Jan 22 2013: "Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
        George Washington
        First President of the United States

        My reply to your second amendment opinion
        • Jan 22 2013: did not mean pooh pooh you. merely pointed out I was expressing my personal opinion. I personally agree with morgan on some issues from a purely intellectual basis. that said I have personal opinions about how a lot of things should be which in the context of reality are essentially meaningless. if there is disagreement about how to solve a problem and agreement that there is a problem the most effective way to reach a solution is to toss your personal opinions out the window which is what I did by saying let's not take away guns. the most obvious and effective solution is to reduce availability. i think there are very few people out there that would not accept that as a basic fact. No guns.. no shootings.

          Since that is not a possibility given a large groups' interpretation of the second amendment I dumped what I know to be the most effective solution in favor of solution that accommodates both sides. I cannot see a similar flexibility in your position.

          my response above had more to do with the fact that you focused on my opinion which was in parentheses to make it clear that I was not presenting my opinion as a solution but simply a side note.

          I think your quote above sums up why I personally think this whole thing is silly. The quote is from the 1700's. As a military veteran you can see how much the battlefield has changed and extended beyond a defined confrontation between two squares since the 1700's. In 1800 with no standing army, little navy to speak off, and generally at the mercy of any european power in the geopolitcal situation of the time, that quote makes perfect sense since it allows essentially an asymmetric/guerilla strategy for defense. To bring that quote forward to the 21st century when there is a standing army (which Washington and many others found to be an anathema) that is the dominant geopolitcal force in the world today and use it to support a position about a situation that is completely different is plain illogical.
        • Jan 22 2013: by the way the second amendment does not guarantee a free for all on guns. the that was done by the NRA managing to get guns exempted from any national safety standard.

          there is even an argument (which has been generally but not absolutely favored by the courts) that there is no individual right to what we have today. It says keep and bear. Does not say where they can be kept, does not say under what context they can be born. It does say that both of those rights should be within the context of a well-regulated militia.

          what is most amusing in this entire discussion is that we are glorifying an amendment in which the writer could not even manage to get the punctuation right. without the second comma people would clearly be the subject and the right would be absolute but subject to unfettered regulation (which is actually the proper interpretation now anyway). The extra comma means the one side can argue that Miltia is the subject and the other can argue that People is the subject.

          You do not find all this absurd?...that in the 21st century we cannot reach an agreement on a problem that did not exist in the 17th century because someone in the 17th century screwed up their punctuation of a single sentence.

          tragical-comedy. comical-tragedy.
      • Jan 22 2013: Our constitution is from the 1700's and is still held in high regard. I have no problem with modernizing certain parts. I have no problem with background checks, fingerprinting, personnal responsibility, mental health checks, gun safes,liability insurance, I even wouldn't mind closing the gun show loophole. That being said, I won't give in on so-called assault rifles. This whole argument is rife with fear caused by children being killed, and the media jumping on it. More children have died from the flu this month in my state than were killed in that shooting. People die. Accidents happen. It is your side that won't give up until they get their way, which is the total eradication of firearms. I was told once that getting a seatbelt law didn't mean you would be pulled over because you weren't wearing one, just that you would get a ticket for it if you were pulled over for something else. Six months later they took it to the next step, and said yes, you could be pulled over for not wearing one, now they have made it into a money making excercise for our police, and more tickets are given for this reason than any other. We intend for this foot to never be put in the door.
        • Jan 22 2013: so we are in agreement on everything but applying safety standards to all weapons. I am unaware that I suggested banning assault rifles. I do not disagree that banning guns would solve the problem as that is logically self-evident. It is also unrealistic for the exact reason you and I are having this back and forth. You may be right, I may be right... really does not matter.

          So do you have a problem with safety standards for the weapons themselves?

          specifically the constitution is held in high regard because it is a living document that can be changed or specified or modified on a number of different dimensions. Grammatically, the second comma means the "keep and bear" right is a dependent clause and shall not be infringed applies to the militia not the individual's right so if you really want to stick to the letter of the constitution you do not have an individual right to bear arms outside of the state's right to maintain a well-regulated militia. I do not think that is what they meant in the second amendment and I think the second coma was just an unfortunate mistake. In fact I think the second amendment was meant to define an individual's right to keep and bear arms. I think this mainly because said right was at the time denied in most European countries to commoners. In fact in some countries commoners could not even own land. Europe was an amalgam of principalities and kingdoms with a few republics thrown in at the time. I actually think that is the main reason the amendment is in there, eg to eliminate all aspects of the whole noble vs. commoner distinction which was far more important in the framers mind than practically anything else and to harken back to times they idealized, the roman republic.

          again an opinion. but it is based on the situation at the time. there are a lot more writings from the framers about this subject, which cuts to the core of what the constitution was designed to support, than the subject of militias and guns.
      • Jan 22 2013: Again, I have no problem making modifications to background checks, and other things to make it harder for both criminals and mentally unstable folks to get access to arms. Safety standards that you are talking about I do have a problem with. Not necessarily the recognition system of only you being able to fire it, but a kill switch has way to many bad inherent problems. As for the comma and it's placement, and your interpretation of that, I have listened to a number of legal people argue this, and the majority always come back with the people were the militia, so their individual right was not to be infringed. It had nothing to do with a standing militia. This same argument was presented to Thomas Jefferson, and he replyed the whole town was the militia so their indiviual right was the important point.
  • Jan 19 2013: Basically, the problem in solving gun violence is of course tougher gun laws. However, such gun laws will have to be enforced strongly by deploying police or any law enforcement agency to crack down on the black market. Of course the best way to reduce gun violence is through education by teaching people to do the correct things and even if people become mentally unstable, there would be little avenues for gun purchasing.
    Having said that, the crux of the issue is people obeying the law. If u are able to ensure that most people follow the law, it doesnt really matter if the entire population has guns cause they would be law abiding and not go around killing people. One good example would be Mexico which while it has tough gun laws, they are largely ignored or are easily bypassed which results in a huge number of deaths. Israel on the other hand has a limited number of gun users however these users are responsible and law-abiding so they have only used it on terrorist.
    having said all this, it will be a tough fight to lower the gun related deaths in USA but if u guys dont give up, i am sure that you will succeed sooner or later
  • Jan 18 2013: Re: Solving gun violence in today's insane political climate

    Each and every year, there are about 150 Mass murders by mentally unstable individuals each year with the use of firearms. I think is an insane act to perpetrate a mass murder by whatever means, gun, bomb, poison, or any other method. Like it or not this is the price we have as a society of very free individuals pay for the status quo. The real question is “ What is an acceptable number ? ” 300,000,000 people, 150 mass murders. This statistic has remained fairly constant for the past 20 years, through varying levels of gun control.

    Ignoring reality for a moment, lets assume that a magic virus melted all the guns in the US and there were no firearms anywhere, police, military, or civilian. Would mass murders cease to exist?
    Would deranged individuals seek another method to perpetrate mass murder? Would the numbers change?

    I have read many comments from both sides of the gun debate.
    It occurs to me that our government has lost sight of its own morality and each camp has its own problems.

    The Republicans are portrayed as bought off by the banks, wall street, and rich and powerful seeking to legalize greed in its primal form to take advantage of the poor, working poor and middle class.

    The Democrats seem too quick to attack the rights of all Americans on both the First and Second Amendments. Dems have for the first time, a chance of passing some real legislation for the good of the country and will be decimated at the next election due to this fight only to see it overturned.
    Dems may be able to force some legislation through, but at what real cost? Years as the minority party? Loss of all the progress toward other programs envisioned? How many others will pay the price for such action and in what ways?

    The legislators responsibility is not to try to subjugate the minority, but to protect the minority. There may be enough votes to pass gun control but should we ? Would it be a win?
    • Jan 19 2013: all that said steve we are the only OCED country that has this problem. I am neither Dem nor Republican. Both parties are bought and paid for to greater or lesser extents. Why do you think we have not had any real financial reform.

      all that said the real solution is to explain aspects of the constitution that the right does not seem to clearly understand.

      Guns and religion are the two most notable where the republicans understanding of the constitution is almost diametrically opposed to the actually writing and the original intent.

      On religion and the whole birth control thing. The constitution was designed to protect the individual's right to freedom of religion, not the religion's right to impose its values on any individual either practicing or working for it. The Repub's got the constitution bass ackwards on this one.

      On guns the second amendment is contextual with maintaining a militia but let's ignore that. let's just take the second part. the constitution does not specify the type of "arms". In our government that means the types are determined by regulations and laws passed by congress. the only way a regulation is actually unconstitutional is if it infringes on the global unspecified right, not if it regulates the parameters of the right.

      all that said hammering away at the reality of the constitution vs. the Repub fantasy of it is not going to get anything done so one must at some point revert to real politick and look for solutions that have nothing to do with gun laws but can achieve a similar result
      • Jan 19 2013: Rob:
        Thanks for the reply, I must admit I had to look up the countries in the OCED ( Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

        Your statement “we are the only OCED country that has this problem” is factually incorrect. Mexico which has strict gun laws is in a lawless state of war with mass killings each day due to the drug wars that continue unabated.

        Mexico's current status quo is similar to our prohibition period, which exemplifies the argument “if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns” . Given the choice I would rather live anywhere in the US under current gun laws rather than live in Juarez unarmed. Greed, corruption, violence and murder is the law of outlaws working in a black market whether we are talking about guns, drugs, prostitution or other illegal activity.

        There has been a lot of talk and some action on legalization of Marijuana in the US, while I do not use the stuff, it seems to me there is a valid argument in legalizing rather than continuing to allow drug cartels to kill innocents for profit. This debate and other originated from the school shooting, but many more die each day in the trafficking of illegal narcotics. Yet after an endless cost and escalation of efforts by our government, the demand and use is still there.

        Do we really want our gun market to be ruled by cartels? If we outlaw guns, or severely prohibit them will we not set the stage for cartels to profit from the demand? Will they do background checks?
        • Jan 20 2013: You are right about Mexico. Then G7. We are the only G7 country....

          Once one wants to take away your gun!!!! The whole premise of the idea is that that is not going to fly so it is a non-starter. personally I find this entire thing irrational and absurd but since that really does not matter and since guns are not going away and if you realistically look at the level of complexity of the intersection of licensing and mental health which is never going to pass the NRA sniff test anyway because they have run the cost benefit analysis and strict background checks and licensing would reduce growth and revenue So since both sides have multiple non-starters why not bypass the idiocy on both sides and see if we can actually do something useful.
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      Jan 20 2013: Another reason why we should endeavor to find a solution outside the bias of any party. Washington had it right: the true solution will be bi-partisan because it won't attempt to take a side.
  • Jan 18 2013: The numbers are staggering, but for some reason any attempt to rationally look at the situation turns into "they"-whoever "they" are-are trying to take away all of my guns! The rights of the gun owners are deemed paramount, without any consideration of the impact their righst have on others. Take a look at this... It seems reasonable, no?
    • Jan 18 2013: makes perfect sense. think one of the authors was on NPR a few weeks back with this point. would say throw everything into the hopper. the more vectors you can attack a disease from the more likely you are to beat it.
    • Jan 19 2013: I couldn't help but shake my head reading the chart you posted. Why is it that the government is responsible for everything? We will never succeed in curbing any kind of violence unless individuals take responsibility for their own actions.

      A gun grab will stop gun violence just like a period of prohibition prevented drinking. Drinking is a perfect example, are there legitimate uses? yes it is arguable. How many alcohol related deaths are there in this country? MANY. Yet Americans want their freedom to drink more than they want the safety a zero alcohol society would hypothetically provide.

      Think about it, if you start putting restrictions on guns, like large mag restriction or semi auto restriction, you put the gun market in the hands of cartels just like the current marijuana situation. If every gun in the world could be melted down, I would be all for it. But there are 300 million guns in America (many of which violate the proposed gun restrictions by our president), and they don't exactly have an expiration date, so to try and regulate them only would create a black market.

      Hope these thoughts make sense, I had alot of thoughts running through my head at once.
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        Jan 20 2013: Problem is majority of people in this world prefer to blame someone else for their problems instead of standing up and saying yep my fault I F***ed up I'll take the consequences. Why?? because it's easier, even easier blame the Government it's all their fault they didn't do something in the first place.

        Human nature,= avoid responsibility if you can blame someone else.
      • Jan 20 2013: there already is a defacto "black market". they are called gun shows. to address Sean's point and your response. treating smoking tobacco and drinking and driving as public health issues have led to a substantial reduction in the rate of incidence, so I find it very hard to fathom why one would not d with guns

        it is unclear to me why you would have a problem with that unless you do not want the public's attitude on guns to change?

        how you get from regulation to all the guns being in the hand of the cartels honestly is a really big leap. sounds like a Fox news meme. just examine that comment for internal inconsistency for a moment. one you are assuming you personally are in an arms race with the cartels. two you must be assuming that the government of the US has now been defunded to the point where it and state and local governments can no longer perform their functions. three you personally can somehow build and deploy a sufficient arsenal to "protect" yourself. if you really think that situation is around the corner you better move to the EU because then law abiding citizens are toast unless we all move to Glenn Beck's little totalitarian village.
      • Jan 22 2013: Wow Corbin, your response made me go look at the chart again to make sure I posted the right thing! There is no "gun grab" there, and there nowhere does it remove personal responsibility for actions. There are common sense approaches that treat gun violence in much the same way we treat drinking and driving--as a correctable, wasteful loss of life. The public health approach to drinking and driving has been very successful, but we also didn't have anyone irrationally bleating that "they" were going to take away all of their cars. I do like that you admit that it is a trade-off between freedom and death rate, as the gun homicide rate in the US is undeniably multiples higher than comaparable developed countries. The question becomes, how many preventable deaths are acceptable to you in order to preserve the have unfettered access to weapons. Would you be OK with mandatory background checks if it saves 10 lives, or 100 lives, or would it have to save a thousand for example? I don't know the answer, but I think that is the way the question should be framed.
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      Jan 20 2013: We must have grace with ourselves; there will be error, and lots of it. Let's back up, take a breath, and appreciate the astounding problem at hand: finding the balance point between a multitude of cultures and races and their respective values. The real solution shouldn't have a party bias because the moment we attempt to find a solution with our GOP or Democrat party hats on, we've lost sight of progress. Don't despair! We will get there with hard work, revision, and baby steps!
  • Jan 18 2013: Rob: quote
    "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?"

    I'm not making guns and inventing new and better ways to kill others. Your leaders are!! Your corporations, military, banking industry, police, three-letter acronym U.S. agencies and others, are involved in doing that, and I might add, "with impunity and immunity" and it has been going on for decades.
    Get a grip.
    The citizens need weapons to defend themselves from their own government, the acronym agencies and their peripheral gangs such as SWAT teams, police departments, DEA, IRS (who carry weapons and kick down doors, without notice!, in case you haven't noticed), and any one else they can employ using your money that they stole.
    The IRS spells - theirs!
    Have you even noticed the difference between a policeman from, say, 1953 and a policeman of today?
    Today, they are as armed and outfitted as the military and they aren't for fighting terrorists in your country.
    They are for boot-jacking the citizens, people like you.

    Once again, people are looking at the wrong group when they point fingers at who is violent.
    You're looking in the wrong direction. At the wrong people.
    But that is what they do. Use diversion and misdirection and most fall for it.
    • Jan 18 2013: you are conflating about 4 or 5 things and then spinning those into...I do not even know where.

      1) every human society finds better and better ways to kill those they are competing with. you exist in a human society and unless you can find a way to change the competitive dynamic therein saying "you" are not making the guns and blaming everyone else (which by the way I actually agree with how messed up our system is at the moment, I am just not paranoid about it) is not useful to addressing anything.

      2) the logical extension of the "citizen need weapons to oppose our evil government" is that an gun will do you about as much good as a plastic knife. If the government of the US really wanted to control you as you think, they would be breaking tech out of DARPA programs left and right and you or anyone else would have exactly ZERO chance of doing anything. Before the stealth fighter was deployed in Iraq 1 is had already been operational for 2 decades. DARPA created the internet. NSA has about 20 billion worth of supercomputer farms stashed in Virginia. If the government wanted to do any of what you are talking about we would already be toast.

      quite simply their is no need for the government to do any of what you think they do. Mass communication and branding are more than sufficient to control the populace and to do so in an emergent way vs. a planned way.

      there is no cabal. you are giving the gov, the IRS, and the "agencies" way to much credit. Have you ever dealt with a government agency? 90% of the time they cannot even even get the basics of solutions down for what it is their mandate to solve and somehow you think that they can suddenly get their act together to control you and your life. They don't care about you and your life. none of this is planned. from billionaires through the president through a family that has lost everything we are all flies stuck in the web of our own creation.

      nice bit of cognitive dissonance though.
  • Jan 18 2013: Solve the political problems like poverty, slavery, inequality and eliminate the causes and reasons for crime, corruption and greed, and many of the other problems will disappear.
    Those in the U.S. keep going about trying to fix the wrong things all the time. No wonder they don't go away.

    Educate children in how to change their country, their governance and the things I listed along with the causes.
    Instead they are educated in how to try and become successful in a system that is unjust, won't work, is failing and survives on violence, corruption, deceit and cowadism in the general population.

    Violence is a way of solving a problem. So is suicide.
    Get rid of the real reasons for crying out loud.

    Oh, but that just doesn't make any sense now does it?
    No it doesn't make sense because it cannot make sense to people who are seriously mentally ill or insane.
    And I am not talking about those who have shot people.

    I am referring to those who keep talking about more laws, more restrictions, less freedom, less country, less America, and more insanity that they apply, thinking it is rational, reasonable thought.
    • Jan 18 2013: "I am referring to those who keep talking about more laws, more restrictions, less freedom, less country, less America, and more insanity that they apply, thinking it is rational, reasonable thought"

      our and every society has as its most basic component laws and regulations. That is the main thrust of western civilization, eg societies based on the rule of law that supercedes station or political position. what you are talking about is the degree not the fact. rational and reasonable thought, as you put it, understands this, and that with each evolution in technology laws and regulations must address the new landscape and ramifications of the technology.

      based on your comments and most of those that want to do away with "restrictions and laws" or have "their freedom" which basically looks to me more like a narcisssitic love of their own desires and opinions rather than a rational discussion with their fellow citizens, have a basic misunderstanding of what both what the constitution is and the foundation of American society.

      None of the mass shooters were poor as evidenced by the equipment they were using costing >$10K. Accidental shootings are not associated with low socio-economic status.

      if you do not deal with the reality of the actual situation on the ground and irrationally focus on these type of abstractions nothing ever happens.

      let's even give you that you are right and those are the problems, so your solution to solving this problem is to try and tackle one about 10x the size? what is your short, mid, long term strategy?

      poverty and inequality are solved by raising the standard of living. they are a function of how our financial system works and the lack of willingness to fund the government to address these issues. Since this has been going on for most of the US's history, it is suddenly going away? how?
  • Jan 18 2013: I guess not - I am afraid that some of the ideas will work about as well aqs prohibition did.
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    Jan 17 2013: Rob, Using terms like imbecilic ... and condecending replies do not inspire further conversation. I do not think that this is the TED way to inspire conversation.
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  • Jan 17 2013: gun violence gun deaths Why do we need the "gun" in front of everything? When we benchmark with other countries and the past - this is not so clear. Until the media popularized the idea of civilian assualt weapons murders with guns were mostly with pistols, in fact, that fact is probably still true. Often missing the target and making lots of noise - isn't this the kind of weapon(pistol) a rational person would want used? Without noise how can we be sure that a murder has happened? Thus, in a gunless society there way be murders of which we are unaware. Okay this is a little different, but I'm not impressed with ready/fire/aim. If Mexico with its tough gun laws had a lower murder rate I would be more easily convinced, but they have a much higher murder rate.
    • Jan 17 2013: and? do you have anything to say about the specific topic vs. the general one?

      hand guns do kill more people and you are right they account for the majority of murders. Quite a few are killed with their own gun or by accident.