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Gun control - again
Posted: 22 May 2013 01:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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TimB - 20 May 2013 09:50 PM

To this point, the NRA is in charge of what will happen with attempts at legislatively controlling guns in any way.  So I wonder what they will be motivated to do about the emerging ability of individuals to produce their own guns, i.e., with 3D copy technology.  IOW, is the NRA powerful constituency more the individual gun owners or are they more answerable to those who market in guns? If the latter, then, I think we will likely see 3D gun copying controlled through legislation.

The NRA answers to individuals, not the industry.

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Posted: 22 May 2013 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Lois - 21 May 2013 05:36 AM

So the answer is to do nothiing about the proliferation of guns even among the mentally unstable?

I never said that. I said that I do not know what the solution is regarding that.

One incident in Norway means nothing when compared to the many incidents in the US.

Yes it does, because what it shows is that:

1) Very restrictive gun laws will not stop someone bent on mass-murdering people

2) Keep in mind that back when the U.S. had much more lenient gun laws, we did not have mass shootings happening.

You’re right that “something” is causing violence in the cities you name. So let’s just be sure that there are plenty of guns available for the people to express their violent tendencies with. Sounds like a great idea. No matter how you cut it, countries with strict gun control laws have far fewer gun deaths and injuries, including countries without the cultural factors you cite. The population in Great Britain and Canada is very much like the population in the US, yet the gun violence in thise places is far lower than in the US.  Gun control works.

England has always had lower levels of gun violence than the United States, even back when their gun laws were more lenient than the U.S. They also have a smaller population size. And their violent crime levels, when you look at individual types of crime, actually are higher than in the U.S. Regarding Canada, you are again looking at a country with about one-tenth the population of the U.S., but also, Canada’s gun control laws have for years been more lenient than in some of the jurisdictions within the U.S.

Lois - 21 May 2013 12:08 PM

Agree.  Did you know that gun hysteria hsa even worked its way into product liability?  No one can sue a gun manufacturer for dangerous defects in the manufacture of guns as one can, for example, sue a ladder manufacturer for dangerous defects in its ladders. it would be interesting to know how this enormous loophole was inserted into product liability law.

Lois

Completely wrong. This is a textbook example of how the gun control people mislead people. You can very much sue a gun manufacturer for dangerous defects in the gun. The law you are speaking of was passed to stop the various junk lawsuits that were constantly being brought against gun manufacturers to try to drive them out of business. Gun manufacturing is a small industry as I’ve pointed out, so most of the companies do not have large sources of money. When sued though, the company is forced to defend itself.

[ Edited: 22 May 2013 02:34 AM by LogicMan ]
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Posted: 22 May 2013 01:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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ciceronianus - 21 May 2013 09:46 AM

I have no idea what you think a “human right” may be, but to the extent it is incorporated in the Constitution, which is the only pertinent consideration when it comes to what can or cannot be done legally in the U.S., it is quite clear that Constitutional rights are limited, not absolute, and are subject to restrictions; they have been for quite some time, in fact.  So, e.g., First Amendment rights are subject to time, place and manner restrictions, not to mention restriction in the form of laws applicable in the case of defamation.  The legal status of the right to bear arms is no greater than that of any other rights given constitutional protection—it is not the “super right” certain of its adherents apparently believe it to be.  It is subject to reasonable regulation just as First Amendment rights are, and the sole question should be what are reasonable regulations in the context of a constitutional right, which though given protection is not absolute.

Yes, but we already have thousands of gun regulations and gun laws. Gun control people like to spin the narrative to make it sound like they are just calling for “reasonable” gun laws and that the gun rights people won’t budge for any. That’s completely untrue. Take the term “assault weapon.” Now imagine a politician wants to create an “Assault Speech Ban.” Of course, just what exactly constitutes “assault speech” is completely up to them. So let’s say you protest this attempt at what would essentially be a stealth free speech ban, since any forms of speech could be labeled as “assault speech.” And in response, they say what you just said to me.

Imagine having to get a license before being allowed to criticize the government. That would be a pretty big infringement on free speech being a right. The gun control movement seems to think that just because a right is not absolute and can be regulated, that this means that any and all regulations and laws that they want to put in place should be allowed. If we regulated free speech in the way that some want to regulate guns:

1) It wouldn’t be a matter of what are you not allowed to say, but rather, what are you allowed to say? What forms of speech are you allowed to engage in?

2) You’d have to get a license from the government to engage in said speech.

3) If criticizing the government, you’d have to register your computer with the government as this form of speech is considered particular “dangerous” to the public safety by the government.

4) You would be very limited in how many words for each article you could write.

When gun control people talk about how their proposed laws do not affect “legitimate hunters and sport shooters,” well let’s go back to the “Assault Speech Ban:”

Politician: “This legislation bans the most dangerous forms of assault speech. Nobody needs to be engaging in assault speech. This legislation completely protects the rights of legitimate fiction writers and entertainment writers. These extremist free speech advocates need to realize that the right to free speech is not absolute, and the Supreme Court has ruled that it can be regulated.”

Free Speech Advocate: “The right to free speech is not about one’s right to just write a comedy or a romance novel! And we already have various laws and regulations in place regarding speech.”

Which is why I say a federal gun registry completely infringes on the very concept of arms as a fundamental human right. It’s no different than if you had to get a license and/or register to criticize the government. Or register your books with the government.

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Posted: 22 May 2013 02:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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macgyver - 21 May 2013 09:47 AM

The interesting thing is that if we were talking about some other hobby besides guns no one would react this way. If remote control airplanes were killing even a few hundred people per year instead of the tens of thousands of people a year killed by guns they would be outlawed with very little fanfare.

Not necessarily. They would be subject to regulation regarding who could operate them. Model rocketry is a perfect example. Your standard little model rocket doesn’t require any license or anything to build and launch, but if you start getting into what is called high-powered rocketry, which involves liquid fuel rockets, that is extremely regulated and controlled. Also, model airplanes are not something seen as a fundamental human right.

There is a near fanatical devotion to guns in this country which is based entirely on paranoia and fear. Paranoia of the government and fear that they are going to be attacked in their homes. Neither of which has any basis in reality if you look at history and the statistics.

We have a near fanatical devotion to free speech in this country as well, something that many other countries criticize. Plenty of other free countries regulate speech in ways that would be unheard of here. Does this mean one is paranoid if one defends the right of Nazis to march spewing their hate? Defending a right doesn’t make one paranoid. I defend free speech, but that doesn’t mean I think the government is on the verge of becoming fascist Italy or something.

And I’m not sure what you mean about history. Historically, the government has been bent on trying to outlaw guns. It’s only because of the constant efforts of gun rights people that they have not. When a right is constantly under threat, and people care about it, then yes people will be very zealous in defending it. Let me give you an opposite example. Take the abortion issue. The pro-life people are very fanatical in doing everything they can to pretty much outlaw it. This makes the pro-choice people very paranoid when it comes to any new abortion control laws. Because just like with guns, when pro-life folks talk about “reasonable restrictions on abortion,” a red light starts flashing above the head of the pro-choice person, who asks, “Is that really just code language for extremely restrictive laws to essentially indirectly outlaw abortion?” And their paranoia is justified. One tactic used by pro-life people for example is to regulate abortion clinics to such an extreme degree, that they cannot operate. So it’s an indirect form of banning abortion. Gun rights people deal with the same all the time.

And historically, if you go back not very far, governments have a nasty habit of seriously oppressing their people. Also, people do commit attacks against others. One thing to remember is that war is not something that only countries get into with one another, it is something that individuals do to one another as well. If someone breaks into your home and is trying to kill you, then that person is making war on you. As such, you have a fundamental right to possess the basic tools of war, i.e. arms, in order to be able to protect yourself and/or your family. The concepts of self-defense and war are different variants of the same thing when you get down to it. If North Korea attacks South Korea and South Korea starts fighting back, and people say, “They’re at war,” one could also say that South Korea is acting in self-defense against North Korea. Historically, people have also used arms to resist oppressive governments, and also to defend the state. For example, back in Greek times, how each citizen had to possess arms to defend the city-state if needed.

A militia of individuals armed against the government is more likely to cause harm to the majority of the population than it is to save us from tyranny. These individuals are not elected to their position of gun ownership by the citizens and as such they represent a very skewed segment of the population. Do we as a country really want THEM to decide when its time to initiate a violent revolt and overthrow the government? Gun supporters might argue that if everyone had a gun the decision would be very democratic since we would all have a say but this would only hasten the path to violence since we all would have the power to solve things with force and wouldnt be forced to limit ourselves to negotiation. Using an armed populace to keep the government in line has been a flawed argument for a very long time since private individuals and militias will never have anything close to the firepower that the government has unless we start allowing individuals to own RPG’s, tanks, and F22’s. Is that what we want?

A few things:

1) Resistance to an authoritarian government does not require violence. The best option initially is always peaceful civil resistance. Violence should always be a very last-ditch option, because historically violent revolutions lead to despotism. The American Revolution managed to work because the U.S. wasn’t overthrowing the English government itself and we had a really brilliant group of men. If one does have to formally resort to violence, than it should be controlled as much as possible (respect for human rights should be emphasized, so if government soldiers surrender, you respect that). If an armed resistance movement is based on violence for violence’s sake, then that makes it all the more prone to despotism. It also provides the government with a huge gift as they can label your movement as terrorists. The idea of the population being armed is that it serves as a counterweight to the government’s otherwise having a monopoly on force. It changes the calculus of the situation. It is a populist concept really, not really left or right. The government can have better-trained soldiers and better weapons, but if they are trying to control a population of tens of millions of people who possess basic arms, that is going to be virtually impossible. The Nazis found this out the hard way, so did the Soviets a couple of times. There are only so many places that one can place troops to maintain order or even to attack with things like fighter planes.

For example, look at the struggles of the Assad regime in Syria to put down that resistance. They have used tanks, attack helicopters, strike aircraft, artillery, etc…against those people, who were not armed like Americans are to begin with, but it has proven very difficult to put that resistance down. Or look at China. The Chinese Communist Party very closely watches its people. It censored regarding the uprisings in the Middle East and actively censors the Internet, although it does so in a sly fashion in that it will let people rant about the government but censor other things that while on the surface may sound harmless actually could be threatening to the government (for awhile, people thought that the fact that rants about the government were getting through were due to the ineptitude of the Chinese censors, now they realize that is not the case). Now one could ask, what is the Chinese government afraid of? They have a nationalized police force, a military that is willing to use force against its own people, and the Chinese people are not armed like Americans are. Their fear is that regardless of all that, if enough of a boiling point was to be reached, the Chinese Communist Party could still be forced to abdicate power. One can only imagine the threat it would pose to the Chinese Communist party if the Chinese people had arms the way Americans do.

Right to keep and bear arms as a check on government is not so that someone can just randomly go and try to overthrow the government because they claim their rights are being infringed upon. That’s why we have the Courts and a democratic government where we can elect in new people. People’s rights get infringed upon everyday. The Constitution actually gives Congress the power to call forth the militia if some group of people were trying something like that. Arms as a check on government is more if the government turns into something like the Assad regime.

In America, we are very protective, even to a bit of a paranoid degree, of things that other countries don’t think much about, for example innocence until proven guilty, your right to free speech, can the government actually mandate you purchase something, can the government acquire a strict monopoly on use of force, etc…other countries ban guns, limit speech, you’re guilty until proven innocent, the government mandates people purchase things like healthcare, etc…without much thought.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while it seems unlikely right now that the government ever could move towards real tyranny, how can anyone know the future fifty, one-hundred, one-hundred fifty, to two-hundred years down the road? We have no idea what the future holds. And as we have seen with the IRS and Justice Department as of late, the government is still very prone to abusing its power and authority. One thing that historically has kept governmental tyranny at bay are the constant vigilance on the part of Americans regarding governmental authority. The Left are very vigilant about the excesses of the police state, while the Right are very vigilant about protecting gun rights and limiting government into the economy. Both seem to be pretty defensive about free speech. This vigilance makes the idea of the government becoming tyrannical anytime soon sound quaint to many, but the idea seems quaint because of the constant vigilance. 

The idea of protecting one’s self in his or her own home is slightly more practical but only barely. The vast majority of us will never face that situation and only a small number of those who do will successfully gain access to their weapon and use it in such a way as to alter the outcome in their favor.

Thousands of people successfully use guns to protect their homes every year. Keep in mind it isn’t just shootings that count in protection. Just presenting the weapon can make the criminals flee. Also, the idea that just because the “vast majority” of us will never face that situation doesn’t mean you remove the right. The vast majority of us will never face a court trial where we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. The vast majority of us will never be questioned by the police, where we have a right to remain silent. Does that mean people should be innocent until proven guilty or be required to talk to law enforcement?

On the flip side the price we pay for this “security blanket” is hundreds of accidental deaths every year, many people killed in domestic disputes, and lots of criminals who have guns that were stolen during burglaries because so many homes have a gun in them.

By this argument, we might as well repeal the entire Bill of Rights so that we can let the police be more able to do their job. Let’s also outlaw alcohol, swimming pools (all those accidental drownings of children each year) and sports cars too, and mandate that no cars can accelerate from 0-60 in under 10 seconds and have a top speed of 60 mph. SUVs and pickups would also require a special license to purchase. Only the police should have fast cars.

The whole gun dispute is a clear example of humans not being able to accurately assess risk. If anything close to a rational assessment of risk were used in this debate guns would quickly be outlawed and there would be no controversy.

I disagree completely there. I think one can assess it very rationally and be against banning guns. I could say, “If anything close to a rational assessment of risk were used in this debate on whether a person should be allowed to make a video mocking Islam, such videos would be quickly outlawed and there would be no controversy.”

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Posted: 22 May 2013 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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LogicMan - 22 May 2013 01:46 AM

Yes, but we already have thousands of gun regulations and gun laws. Gun control people like to spin the narrative to make it sound like they are just calling for “reasonable” gun laws and that the gun rights people won’t budge for any. That’s completely untrue. Take the term “assault weapon.” Now imagine a politician wants to create an “Assault Speech Ban.” Of course, just what exactly constitutes “assault speech” is completely up to them. So let’s say you protest this attempt at what would essentially be a stealth free speech ban, since any forms of speech could be labeled as “assault speech.” And in response, they say what you just said to me.

Comparing speech and a weapon doesn’t really work, though, does it?  As a rule, a weapon such as a gun poses a danger to people that speech does not.  Speech can create danger and incite violence, and there are laws which address that possibility.  But language is not a gun.  Whenever a gun is used, its purpose is destructive; of a target, an animal, a human.  It’s purpose is to cause harm.

Because of that fact, it seems reasonable, to me, that regulations on ownership and use of guns be more restrictive than those on speech, regardless of the fact both are protected by the constitution.  We do stupid and malicious things when angry or excited.  What we may say in that condition may be harmful; what we may do with a gun in that condition will be more harmful in almost all cases.

So, I don’t think the analogy works.  Also, I note regarding your mentioning of “assault speech” that the growing tendency to criminalize “hate crimes” and “hate speech” (which causes me concern) indicates that freedom of speech may also be subject to unreasonable regulation.

I think gun owners, and the NRA, are not being well served by that person who seems to act as the NRA’s spokesman, LaPierre, and others.  They give the impression that gun owners maintain there can be no regulation due to the Second Amendment, and this position is so clearly wrong it makes them appear ignorant and unreasonable.

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Posted: 22 May 2013 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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LogicMan - 22 May 2013 01:32 AM
Lois - 21 May 2013 05:36 AM

So the answer is to do nothiing about the proliferation of guns even among the mentally unstable?

I never said that. I said that I do not know what the solution is regarding that.

One incident in Norway means nothing when compared to the many incidents in the US.

Yes it does, because what it shows is that:

1) Very restrictive gun laws will not stop someone bent on mass-murdering people

2) Keep in mind that back when the U.S. had much more lenient gun laws, we did not have mass shootings happening.

You’re right that “something” is causing violence in the cities you name. So let’s just be sure that there are plenty of guns available for the people to express their violent tendencies with. Sounds like a great idea. No matter how you cut it, countries with strict gun control laws have far fewer gun deaths and injuries, including countries without the cultural factors you cite. The population in Great Britain and Canada is very much like the population in the US, yet the gun violence in thise places is far lower than in the US.  Gun control works.

England has always had lower levels of gun violence than the United States, even back when their gun laws were more lenient than the U.S. They also have a smaller population size. And their violent crime levels, when you look at individual types of crime, actually are higher than in the U.S. Regarding Canada, you are again looking at a country with about one-tenth the population of the U.S., but also, Canada’s gun control laws have for years been more lenient than in some of the jurisdictions within the U.S.

Lois - 21 May 2013 12:08 PM

Agree.  Did you know that gun hysteria hsa even worked its way into product liability?  No one can sue a gun manufacturer for dangerous defects in the manufacture of guns as one can, for example, sue a ladder manufacturer for dangerous defects in its ladders. it would be interesting to know how this enormous loophole was inserted into product liability law.

Lois

Completely wrong. This is a textbook example of how the gun control people mislead people. You can very much sue a gun manufacturer for dangerous defects in the gun. The law you are speaking of was passed to stop the various junk lawsuits that were constantly being brought against gun manufacturers to try to drive them out of business. Gun manufacturing is a small industry as I’ve pointed out, so most of the companies do not have large sources of money. When sued though, the company is forced to defend itself.

 

Which is no different from any manufacturer being sued for a defective product.

Lois

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Posted: 22 May 2013 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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LogicMan - 22 May 2013 01:11 AM
TimB - 20 May 2013 09:50 PM

To this point, the NRA is in charge of what will happen with attempts at legislatively controlling guns in any way.  So I wonder what they will be motivated to do about the emerging ability of individuals to produce their own guns, i.e., with 3D copy technology.  IOW, is the NRA powerful constituency more the individual gun owners or are they more answerable to those who market in guns? If the latter, then, I think we will likely see 3D gun copying controlled through legislation.

The NRA answers to individuals, not the industry.

If that is true, how do you explain this:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/apr/19/barack-obama/barack-obama-says-wide-majority-nra-households-sup/

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Posted: 22 May 2013 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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There was a time when the NRA actually supported gun control.  Now, however, its leadership seems to be interested in making the organization into a kind of shill for gun and ammunition manufacturers.  Thus, its spokesman calls for everyone to buy guns.  This is in its interest, as it is now funded largely by contributions from those manufacturers, understandibly grateful for its efforts, not membership dues (according to Forbes and other sources), and this may explain its transformation into a barker for the weapons industry.  It is becoming a symbiotic relationship; the more guns the better for the manufacturers and the NRA.

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Posted: 22 May 2013 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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LogicMan - 22 May 2013 01:46 AM
ciceronianus - 21 May 2013 09:46 AM

I have no idea what you think a “human right” may be, but to the extent it is incorporated in the Constitution, which is the only pertinent consideration when it comes to what can or cannot be done legally in the U.S., it is quite clear that Constitutional rights are limited, not absolute, and are subject to restrictions; they have been for quite some time, in fact.  So, e.g., First Amendment rights are subject to time, place and manner restrictions, not to mention restriction in the form of laws applicable in the case of defamation.  The legal status of the right to bear arms is no greater than that of any other rights given constitutional protection—it is not the “super right” certain of its adherents apparently believe it to be.  It is subject to reasonable regulation just as First Amendment rights are, and the sole question should be what are reasonable regulations in the context of a constitutional right, which though given protection is not absolute.

Yes, but we already have thousands of gun regulations and gun laws. Gun control people like to spin the narrative to make it sound like they are just calling for “reasonable” gun laws and that the gun rights people won’t budge for any. That’s completely untrue. Take the term “assault weapon.” Now imagine a politician wants to create an “Assault Speech Ban.” Of course, just what exactly constitutes “assault speech” is completely up to them. So let’s say you protest this attempt at what would essentially be a stealth free speech ban, since any forms of speech could be labeled as “assault speech.” And in response, they say what you just said to me.

Imagine having to get a license before being allowed to criticize the government. That would be a pretty big infringement on free speech being a right. The gun control movement seems to think that just because a right is not absolute and can be regulated, that this means that any and all regulations and laws that they want to put in place should be allowed. If we regulated free speech in the way that some want to regulate guns:

1) It wouldn’t be a matter of what are you not allowed to say, but rather, what are you allowed to say? What forms of speech are you allowed to engage in?

2) You’d have to get a license from the government to engage in said speech.

3) If criticizing the government, you’d have to register your computer with the government as this form of speech is considered particular “dangerous” to the public safety by the government.

4) You would be very limited in how many words for each article you could write.

When gun control people talk about how their proposed laws do not affect “legitimate hunters and sport shooters,” well let’s go back to the “Assault Speech Ban:”

Politician: “This legislation bans the most dangerous forms of assault speech. Nobody needs to be engaging in assault speech. This legislation completely protects the rights of legitimate fiction writers and entertainment writers. These extremist free speech advocates need to realize that the right to free speech is not absolute, and the Supreme Court has ruled that it can be regulated.”

Free Speech Advocate: “The right to free speech is not about one’s right to just write a comedy or a romance novel! And we already have various laws and regulations in place regarding speech.”

Which is why I say a federal gun registry completely infringes on the very concept of arms as a fundamental human right. It’s no different than if you had to get a license and/or register to criticize the government. Or register your books with the government.

Logicman wrote:

Imagine having to get a license before being allowed to criticize the government. That would be a pretty big infringement on free speech being a right.

 

I see no connection between free speech and owning a gun.

Imagine having to get a license before being allowed to own a vehicle or drive it on public streets. What a terrible infringement on human rights!

Lois

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Posted: 22 May 2013 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Holy Mary, Queen of the May, Batman! (er, I mean Cicero). If you are correct, then, this appears to me to mean that, gun manufacturers and marketeers are in charge of our gun legislations, rather than any supposed Constitutional (2nd Amendment) authority and rather than the “will of the people”. 

The wheels of Democracy grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly well… unless, of course, they are derailed by the well-greased wheels of industry.

[ Edited: 22 May 2013 03:42 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 22 May 2013 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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ciceronianus - 22 May 2013 09:39 AM

Comparing speech and a weapon doesn’t really work, though, does it?  As a rule, a weapon such as a gun poses a danger to people that speech does not.  Speech can create danger and incite violence, and there are laws which address that possibility.  But language is not a gun.  Whenever a gun is used, its purpose is destructive; of a target, an animal, a human.  It’s purpose is to cause harm.

Because of that fact, it seems reasonable, to me, that regulations on ownership and use of guns be more restrictive than those on speech, regardless of the fact both are protected by the constitution.  We do stupid and malicious things when angry or excited.  What we may say in that condition may be harmful; what we may do with a gun in that condition will be more harmful in almost all cases.

I’d say that people are not so irresponsible or incapable of critical thought that when angry or excited they just go and shoot someone if a gun is around. If a fight happens between a husband and wife for example, the majority of the time, one of them doesn’t immediately go and grab a household object such as a hammer or a steak knife and use it against the other one (which they might well do if otherwise driven to shoot the person). For someone to be driven to shoot someone usually means extreme circumstances are involved.

So, I don’t think the analogy works.  Also, I note regarding your mentioning of “assault speech” that the growing tendency to criminalize “hate crimes” and “hate speech” (which causes me concern) indicates that freedom of speech may also be subject to unreasonable regulation.

Yes, “hate speech” is a perfect example of a real-life version of “assault speech” because it all depends on how one defines “hate speech.”

I think gun owners, and the NRA, are not being well served by that person who seems to act as the NRA’s spokesman, LaPierre, and others.  They give the impression that gun owners maintain there can be no regulation due to the Second Amendment, and this position is so clearly wrong it makes them appear ignorant and unreasonable.

Some gun owners do think that, but I agree it is incorrect. However, I think the impression some have that gun owners overall think there should be no regulations is more due to the media misleading on this, as many in the media are themselves not aware of the various types of regulations and laws on guns.

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Posted: 22 May 2013 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Lois - 22 May 2013 11:34 AM

Which is no different from any manufacturer being sued for a defective product.

Lois

You can sue a gun manufacturer if the product is dangerous due to faulty build-quality or design (such as it blows up on you). A junk lawsuit would be suing Smith & Wesson if someone shot at you with a Smith & Wesson gun. That would be like suing Craftsman if someone hits you with a hammer. There were other types of such lawsuits as well.

Lois - 22 May 2013 03:35 PM

I see no connection between free speech and owning a gun.

There doesn’t need to be a direct connection. I don’t see a direct connection between free speech and right against self-incrimination. But they are all fundamental human rights nonetheless. Free speech is a fundamental right you have because it is your right to be able to express your opinions without others silencing you just because they find it offensive and it also is critical to serving as a check on governmental tyranny. Right to arms is your fundamental right to possess the basic tools of war in the event that others seek to make war on you and also, like speech, serves as a check on governmental tyranny.

I am sure you believe in gay rights and right to choose, and the argument for both of those is that no one has any right to dictate to another person regarding that person’s body, so long as that person’s choices do not affect anyone else. A person’s right to their body is one of the most fundamental rights of nature. Right to keep arms is one’s right to defend (protect) their body.

Imagine having to get a license before being allowed to own a vehicle or drive it on public streets. What a terrible infringement on human rights!

Lois

Car ownership is not a human right, nor is it one that is under threat of being outlawed by people constantly. Even for those who would like to outlaw cars, they never could because they are necessary for society to function (though certain groups of people nonetheless do seek ways to limit car ownership).

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Posted: 22 May 2013 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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ciceronianus - 22 May 2013 01:31 PM

There was a time when the NRA actually supported gun control.  Now, however, its leadership seems to be interested in making the organization into a kind of shill for gun and ammunition manufacturers.  Thus, its spokesman calls for everyone to buy guns.  This is in its interest, as it is now funded largely by contributions from those manufacturers, understandibly grateful for its efforts, not membership dues (according to Forbes and other sources), and this may explain its transformation into a barker for the weapons industry.  It is becoming a symbiotic relationship; the more guns the better for the manufacturers and the NRA.

Completely incorrect (and the Forbes article on that was incorrect). Yes, in the past, the NRA has supported gun control efforts. I do not at all see why this means they are supposed to continually support more and more gun control. Eventually, one has to draw a line in the sand. Groups like the NRA exist to protect gun rights, not infringe upon them. Imagine if in the past Planned Parenthood had supported certain abortion controls, and now was against any additional ones, and then gets accused of being extremist. That wouldn’t make the organization extremist, it would just mean it is showing that there are only so many such laws it can support. In addition, this argument completely ignores the baselessness (at worst) and oversimplifications (at best) of most of the gun control laws being proposed.

Regarding gun manufacturing, the NRA is not primarily supported by the gun manufacturers. That’s impossible. Gun manufacturing is a tiny industry, about $12 to $15 billion. Even if one includes the entire industry related to firearms altogether, it comes out to about $40 billion. Yet if you look at the oil industry lobby, the defense industry lobby, the banking and financial lobby, Wal-Mart, etc…you’ve got individual companies each that make hundreds of billions of revenue a year. The NRA is the most powerful lobby in the country. There is no way a little $12 to $15 billion industry is somehow going to finance what is the most powerful lobby in the nation.

In addition, Michael Bloomberg, one man, has outspent the NRA. So it isn’t solely about money. What gives the NRA so much influence in America is that to a good degree, the NRA is America. It is the largest civil rights organization in the country at about four million (now maybe five million members and it has influence with about 10X as many non-members. The American people are what give it its capabilities.

[ Edited: 22 May 2013 04:13 PM by LogicMan ]
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Posted: 22 May 2013 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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TimB - 22 May 2013 03:37 PM

Holy Mary, Queen of the May, Batman! (er, I mean Cicero). If you are correct, then, this appears to me to mean that, gun manufacturers and marketeers are in charge of our gun legislations, rather than any supposed Constitutional (2nd Amendment) authority and rather than the “will of the people”. 

The wheels of Democracy grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly well… unless, of course, they are derailed by the well-greased wheels of industry.

“Will of the people” should be irrelevant when it comes to infringing on rights. By that argument, if the majority of people are for outlawing abortion and/or same-sex marriage, then they can be outlawed. We live in a constitutional republic, not a democracy, and in our system of republic, it is designed to protect the minority from the majority that occasionally seeks to infringe on said minority’s rights. As it is though, the will of the people to a good degree has been responsible for, at least at the national level, protecting gun rights thus far. The gun industry itself is too small to have any real influence.

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Posted: 22 May 2013 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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TimB - 22 May 2013 12:12 PM

If that is true, how do you explain this:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/apr/19/barack-obama/barack-obama-says-wide-majority-nra-households-sup/

1) As said, the gun industry itself is too small to have any serious political influence

2) A majority of people supporting universal background checks does not mean that they supported the particular legislation that the administration wanted to sign. A majority of people support balancing the budget as well. Doesn’t mean a majority will support a plan put forward by the Republicans and/or the Democrats.

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