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Do guns kill people?
Posted: 05 April 2014 01:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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This thread is entitled: “Do guns kill people?”
I can see this as attracting people who wish to argue the gun debate.

GdB, are you familiar with a phrase here in the US that states “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”?
It’s popular among the pro gun crowd. it’s on bumper stickers and such.  This title evokes that phrase, hence the “evolving” gun debate here.

Of course we know that guns don’t kill people….bullets kill people!! LOL

Does cyanide kill people?
Do heart attacks kill people?
Do trains kill people?

[ Edited: 05 April 2014 01:40 AM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 05 April 2014 02:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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VYAZMA - 05 April 2014 01:31 AM

This thread is entitled: “Do guns kill people?”
I can see this as attracting people who wish to argue the gun debate.

Of course, I see that too. But just reading the postings it becomes clear that the title of the thread was a kind of marketing trick. For me it worked, I looked into it, discovered that it was about another topic that interests me even more than the guns discussion, read the article linked by the OP, and reacted on it. Others do not read, and, well, shoot immediately from the hip. zipper

VYAZMA - 05 April 2014 01:31 AM

GdB, are you familiar with a phrase here in the US that states “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”?
It’s popular among the pro gun crowd. it’s on bumper stickers and such.  This title evokes that phrase, hence the “evolving” gun debate here.

Sigh… Do you really think I needed that explanation? You underestimate me.

VYAZMA - 05 April 2014 01:31 AM

Of course we know that guns don’t kill people….bullets kill people!! LOL

Philosophically seen: no. It is the event of a bullet entering a body with enough energy that kills people. A bullet lying around usually doesn’t kill anybody (except maybe when somebody stumbles on it, and makes a very unlucky fall…). Objects do not cause anything. Events cause other events. zipper

VYAZMA - 05 April 2014 01:31 AM

Does cyanide kill people?
Do heart attacks kill people?
Do trains kill people?

No. People doing stupid or immoral things kill. (Ha! We are slowly nearing the free will debate. Thanks for this opening, VYAZMA!)

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Posted: 05 April 2014 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Lois - 04 April 2014 12:37 PM
DarronS - 04 April 2014 06:47 AM
Lois - 03 April 2014 04:16 PM

Another thought. The Fort Hood shooting. People who think there should be no laws against gun ownership often say thatif everyone were armed such shootings would not occur because a large number of people would be armed and able to shoot the perpetrator. But where in the US are many people more likely to be armed and trained to use guns, along with many weapons freely available than on an army base? Yet no other shots were fired other than by the crazed killer. So much for safety where there are large numbers of armed people. Think of that the next time someone says school kids would be safer in school if the teachers were armed.

Lois

Lois, I usually respect your opinions, but this one is not based on facts. Soldiers are not allowed to carry firearms on military bases. Your premise is false.

That said, I do agree with your opinion that arming teachers is a bad idea.

Not even military police and the people at guard stations?  I have visited many Amy bases, though not in the past few years, and there were always people around with holstered guns, just like cops, right out in the open.

Why do you suppose that soldiers are not allowed to carry firearms on military bases?  What could possibly be the rationale? What if they have to defend themselves? Should they have fewer rights than civilians? Is the 2nd amendment suspended on Army bases? And for what purpose?  Are guns too dangerous for trained military to be trusted with?

Lois

Lois:
Many years ago, when I was in the service as an MP, we could only carry guns or have guns in our possession when we were on duty, when we were off duty they were kept in an arms room, even in Viet Nam.  The reason for this was to avoid accidents.  Even among experienced combat veterans who have first hand knowledge of what their weapons can damage and kill, accidents happen.  I was witness to two both resulting in death.  One died when he shot himself another killed a young man who was doing no more than riding a bike past the barracks when a M-14 went off accidentally and he was hit.

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Posted: 05 April 2014 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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It seems that the basic premise of the original poster was incorrect, and that started the whole thread in multiple wrong directions as pointed out by GdB. 

I suggest that the underlying reason anyone kills anyone else is mental defect.  Some less obvious ways are self-defense because the person one is defending against is demonstrating an antisocial mental defect.  (Zimmerman was demonstrating the mental defect even though he used the legal argument of “self defense”.)  Although it’s the military which kills during a war, I suggest that the government leaders who started the war are the one with the mental defect.  This may be based on wanting to take the property of another, which is also a demonstration of this defect. 

The techniques for this killing range from primitive physical beating, up through the steps of technology (developed based on scientific work) from using a rock or a stick, a knife, an arrow, a gun, arsenic, sodium cyanide, a nuclear explosion, or nerve gas.  (please don’t nitpick because I didn’t list some methods).  A second factor is the need for the person to have the power to accomplish it.
===
Science is the observation then development of knowledge.  Technology is the use of that knowledge.  They are obviously closely related, but I don’t see how one can assign more or less responsibility to the technology of the building of a gun or the science of discovery of chemical reactions and oxidation.

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[ Edited: 05 April 2014 09:39 AM by Occam. ]
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Posted: 05 April 2014 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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garythehuman - 05 April 2014 07:13 AM
Lois - 04 April 2014 12:37 PM
DarronS - 04 April 2014 06:47 AM
Lois - 03 April 2014 04:16 PM

Another thought. The Fort Hood shooting. People who think there should be no laws against gun ownership often say thatif everyone were armed such shootings would not occur because a large number of people would be armed and able to shoot the perpetrator. But where in the US are many people more likely to be armed and trained to use guns, along with many weapons freely available than on an army base? Yet no other shots were fired other than by the crazed killer. So much for safety where there are large numbers of armed people. Think of that the next time someone says school kids would be safer in school if the teachers were armed.

Lois

Lois, I usually respect your opinions, but this one is not based on facts. Soldiers are not allowed to carry firearms on military bases. Your premise is false.

That said, I do agree with your opinion that arming teachers is a bad idea.

Not even military police and the people at guard stations?  I have visited many Amy bases, though not in the past few years, and there were always people around with holstered guns, just like cops, right out in the open.

Why do you suppose that soldiers are not allowed to carry firearms on military bases?  What could possibly be the rationale? What if they have to defend themselves? Should they have fewer rights than civilians? Is the 2nd amendment suspended on Army bases? And for what purpose?  Are guns too dangerous for trained military to be trusted with?

Lois

Lois:
Many years ago, when I was in the service as an MP, we could only carry guns or have guns in our possession when we were on duty, when we were off duty they were kept in an arms room, even in Viet Nam.  The reason for this was to avoid accidents.  Even among experienced combat veterans who have first hand knowledge of what their weapons can damage and kill, accidents happen.  I was witness to two both resulting in death.  One died when he shot himself another killed a young man who was doing no more than riding a bike past the barracks when a M-14 went off accidentally and he was hit.


Which should be the attitide when it comes to civilians carrying weapons, too. But the NRA types will have none of it. But there is more to it than accidents. There are the nut cases, too, which the NRA types also don’t address.

Lois

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Posted: 05 April 2014 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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GdB - 05 April 2014 02:39 AM

Others do not read, and, well, shoot immediately from the hip. zipper

Not me…?

Sigh… Do you really think I needed that explanation? You underestimate me.

Well, I am sooooo sorry! grin

Objects do not cause anything. Events cause other events. zipper

Events and objects must work in harmony.  Events are not made of particles. Objects are. There can be no events without particles.
There can be no particles without events.

No. People doing stupid or immoral things kill. (Ha! We are slowly nearing the free will debate. Thanks for this opening, VYAZMA!)

Of course cyanide, trains and heart attacks kill people.  Just ask any coroner.  There’s a cause of death box right on the certificate.

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Posted: 05 April 2014 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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A small subset of people kill people.  The technology of killing preceded science, when someone first learned to kill using an object.  Prior to that a small subset of people probably killed other people by hitting, choking, kicking, biting, stomping, or some combination.  Technology only made it easier.  Science, when it eventually came in to being, contributed to the advancement of the technologies of killing. People are, at least partially, predators.  Some people kill other people.  This has always been the case, with or without technology, science, or guns.

So is this a “mental defect”?  In answer I cite a line from a poem:  “Why does Man pollute the land?... Maybe Nature littered Man.”

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Posted: 06 April 2014 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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VYAZMA - 05 April 2014 12:50 PM
GdB - 05 April 2014 02:39 AM

Others do not read, and, well, shoot immediately from the hip. zipper

Not me…?

Not this time.

VYAZMA - 05 April 2014 12:50 PM

Of course cyanide, trains and heart attacks kill people.  Just ask any coroner.  There’s a cause of death box right on the certificate.

Cyanide being in its bottle does not kill anybody. Trains standing still do not kill anybody. For short: objects taken on itself do not kill anybody.

Cyanide entering a living animal kills. A train overruning a living animal kills. These are events.

And that’s also the difference with a heart attack. A heart attack is not an object, it is an event.

That people tend to use shorthand, especially where the real meaning is unambiguous, does not make objects killers.

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Posted: 07 April 2014 12:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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GdB, I’m just toying around. Most of my contribution to this thread have been half-hearted
quips as an attempt for levity.  The coroner line is a good example of this.
The smileys were another tip-off…

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Posted: 07 April 2014 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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So the answer to the topic title question is obvious.  A subset of people use guns to kill other people.  A gun can’t kill anything by itself, and it is designed to be used by people (i.e., other critters are unlikely to use guns to kill people).

So the next obvious question is: what can we do to decrease the ease (for which guns have been designed) of killing, by the subset of people who would use them to kill other people?

We can’t limit the availability of guns through legislation or Constitutional amendment, because the NRA won’t allow it.  I don’t see the power of the NRA diminishing anytime soon, so I suggest looking at other potential solutions.

If we had other solutions, perhaps they could also work to limit the small subset of people who will kill people, from using other means of killing, also.  This is important, as science and resulting technologies will inevitably continue to provide ever more efficient means for people to kill other people.

[ Edited: 07 April 2014 12:50 AM by TimB ]
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Posted: 07 April 2014 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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TimB - 07 April 2014 12:40 AM

So the answer to the topic title question is obvious.  A subset of people use guns to kill other people.  A gun can’t kill anything by itself, and it is designed to be used by people (i.e., other critters are unlikely to use guns to kill people).

So the next obvious question is: what can we do to decrease the ease (for which guns have been designed) of killing, by the subset of people who would use them to kill other people?

We can’t limit the availability of guns through legislation or Constitutional amendment, because the NRA won’t allow it.  I don’t see the power of the NRA diminishing anytime soon, so I suggest looking at other potential solutions.

If we had other solutions, perhaps they could also work to limit the small subset of people who will kill people, from using other means of killing, also.  This is important, as science and resulting technologies will inevitably continue to provide ever more efficient means for people to kill other people.

You’re right, and if you can come up with a workable solution, i and a lot of other people would be eternally grateful. But I can’t think of one thing that would get through Congress and the Supreme Court—at least the way both are comprised today.  No amount of punishment is going to stop people from killing other people with guns, and our hands are tied when it comes to seriously limiting their availability, even to known unstable people. . It seems to me that we can only hope that the majority of the voters come to their senses one day, but I’m not holding my breath. This is America, after all: Land of the free, home of the brave and crazy as loons from bottom to top.

Lois

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Posted: 07 April 2014 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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We can’t limit the availability of guns through legislation or Constitutional amendment, because the NRA won’t allow it.

Don’t forget the gun manufacturers, funding the NRA.

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Posted: 07 April 2014 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Lois - 07 April 2014 03:56 AM
TimB - 07 April 2014 12:40 AM

...If we had other solutions, perhaps they could also work to limit the small subset of people who will kill people, from using other means of killing, also.  This is important, as science and resulting technologies will inevitably continue to provide ever more efficient means for people to kill other people.

You’re right, and if you can come up with a workable solution, i and a lot of other people would be eternally grateful…
Lois

I suggest we go at the problem from another direction than gun control (since, unfortunately, gun control is going nowhere).

A concerted effort, is in order, to identify the characteristics of the small portion of our population who are most likely to commit mass and serial killings, and to identify the circumstances in which they are most likely to kill.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 07 April 2014 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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TimB - 07 April 2014 06:07 PM

A concerted effort, is in order, to identify the characteristics of the small portion of our population who are most likely to commit mass and serial killings, and to identify the circumstances in which they are most likely to kill.

You suggest massive screening of citizens to find the few rotten ones? The NSA is already applying for the job as they read your posting, Tim… Think about the great synergies!  confused

No, I think you (Americans) have no chance. The NRA is too strong, and most of the gun owners will not give up their dreams that they are safer with guns spread around the people than without.

The problem is that you can’t control people by forbidding some mass behaviour. Even if you would succeed to pass a law against private gun ownership, it would stimulate radicalism and paramilitary groups, this time with illegal weapons and other means: suppression creates rebellion.

As I said in a posting earlier, unwise people using technology is bad. The more a technology is prone to be misused, the more wisdom it needs to use it correctly, which in the case of guns means to refrain from using it in most situations. But the wisdom must be on the side of the people using the technology. Forbidding unwise behaviour by lawgivers is seldom wise. People do not give up on their ‘acquired rights’, if this is gun ownership, or driving polluting cars, buy technological gadgets for which the earth is exploited; and forcing them to do it creates just powerful lobbies of resistance (tobacco lobby, car lobby, climate deniers, NRA…) , that, if necessary, bribe, lie, or kill, whatever is needed.

I have the rather pessimistic view, that our technology kills us, because we do not have the wisdom to use it correctly. I am afraid that the evolutionary experiment of human technology will slowly come to an end. If people do not really see what science tells us (and this includes ‘soft sciences’), and people change their behaviour of their own free will, then we will have no chance.

[ Edited: 08 April 2014 12:12 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 08 April 2014 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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The problem is that you can’t control people by forbidding some mass behaviour. Even if you would succeed to pass a law against private gun ownership, it would stimulate radicalism and paramilitary groups, this time with illegal weapons and other means: suppression creates rebellion

Works in Canada.

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