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10 years ago @ To the Point &... - Boston and the Modern ... · 0 replies · 0 points

I've heard a lot of the same complaints that John Cassidy expresses, but I think we have to look all the actions in context.

I was listening to police scanners all thursday night and friday morning watching this thing go down, and for the most part it felt like the police had this guy who was wanted by the whole city (or country for that matter) and they knew that they could get him if they isolated his movements by keeping the public out of the way.

And the thing is, it worked. It's really hard to argue with success.

Compare it with the hunt for Dorner here in LA. Here was a cop who expressly did not want to harm the public, he was going after LEO's. The police knew that, yet they harmed more people that dorner did with their overreaction. Shooting up trucks that don't even match the make or model that Dorner was driving. Stuff like that.

That just didn't happen in Boston. I'm surprised that no bystanders were shot, just listening to the gunfire that took place in the two shootouts with the brothers. There were plenty of rounds going into people's homes, they just didn't happen to hit anyone. If they did, we might be having different conversation. But yeah, hard to argue with success.

For what it's worth, I really dislike cops. But they earned it this time.

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 0 replies · 0 points

None, we live in a relatively safe society.

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 2 replies · -1 points

I think the votes today on gun control measures are a good indicator of where we're at.

There's a big divide here. There are people who believe that guns cause crime, and there are people like me who believe that bad people cause crime.

It's really that simple at its core. They believe that it's appropriate to ban certain guns because they are "military" weapons, or otherwise look scary. That the scarier a gun is, the more likely it is to be used for harm.

All this stuff comes from a place of ignorance. Ignorance of how guns work. Ignorance of what the laws already are. Ignorance of how our legal system works, and what is truly possible rather than pie in the sky thinking.

It's really this simple. I think that universal background checks are fine. NPR did a story today about buying guns online, and I've done that before. I bought my ex-wifes handgun on It's simple, you buy from them, send them the money, then they send it to the FFL near you that you go through. The FFL here does the background check, 10 day wait, etc. Then if everything passes, you pick up your gun.

People selling on the internet without doing this are ALREADY breaking federal law.

The Supreme Court has already defined a few things for us. Lets list em.

1. Firearms are constitutionally protected as an individual right. I have an individual right to own firearms, I don't need to be a member of a "militia".

2. Handguns, being the type of gun most likely to be used for defense, would be unconstitutional to ban. Handguns are also the type of weapon used in 97-99% of the gun crimes in America.

So if you can't get rid of the guns that people use most in crime, then what are we doing here? What's the point of all this?

The only way you get what you want is by holding a constitutional convention and repealing the 2nd Amendment. And if THIS bill won't pass, you KNOW that's impossible.

So what's the solution? We all want the same thing, to either prevent or quickly stop people from shooting other people. This goes for your average, everyday gun violence, as well as "Black Swan" events like Sandy Hook. What are the facts there?

1. The police are rarely if ever there in time to do anything of use. They're there to draw chalk outlines. Also, the Supreme Court has already said that police have absolutely no legal duty to protect you from harm.

2. If you have no realistic protection from police, then the next best thing is a CCW permit. Put the power of self-defense in your own control. And the facts are as such: 38 States are "Shall Issue", meaning that the police SHALL issue you a permit as long as you are not a prohibited person. They can't deny you just because they don't like you. As such, we have MILLIONS of people in this country who carry a gun with them every day. And their safety record is FLAWLESS. The number of people who commit crimes with their gun and have a CCW permit is statistically nil. If you look at any group of people who carry guns every day, from police to militaries anywhere in the world, the safety record of CCW holders surpasses it.

It's easy to understand why. We don't have an institution called "police" behind us. No union. No army of lawyers. We know that if we pull our gun on someone, we'd better be able to convince 12 strangers that it's the right thing to do. And because of that, people are very cautious and capable.

Since that's the case, I really think that the only rational, logical, and workable solution to gun violence is more CCW. There are simply more good people with guns than there are bad people with guns. If there weren't, we'd have MUCH higher rates of violent crime than we do. I understand that just comes across as "more guns are the solution", but that complaint ignores how many are already here. They're here. They're queer (go pink pistols!). Get used to it.

So lets give ourselves the right. Lets increase CCW. Allow more law abiding citizens like me to be the good guys out there to help when we all know the police won't.

Because we already are.

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 0 replies · 0 points

Ok fine, lets assume that's correct. You know that trying to get people to give up their guns and go paint murals is ridiculous right? Even if, heck, ESPECIALLY if you put punitive measures against firearm ownership all you see is increased interest.

We have to deal with what's practical. I'm not arguing that gun control is a bad idea not just because I don't think it will work. I believe that too, but my more practical concern is with the life I live every day. I am a gun owner. There are a lot of people like me, and the fact is that most all forms of gun control do one thing most often, and that's end up as bizarre, senseless restrictions that end up harming good people. Things that end up as technicalities to bust people. Things that are against the law, but otherwise present no clear or rational threat against anyone.

Because the truth is anyone can do any number of bad things with any gun you create. But the truth is also that most don't. The vast majority.

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 3 replies · 0 points

From my perspective, that's how it seems. You speak about gun owners as though we're all a bunch of psychopaths, one bad day away from murder or something. It's an incredibly dismissive and insulting view.

Not to mention simply untrue. The facts just don't support anything remotely like a conclusion like that. Over 99.9% of the guns in this country don't harm people. That's a fact. That means that the VAST majority of gun owners in this country aren't any different from I am. They're people who take the responsibility and safety inherent in firearm ownership VERY seriously. We understand that these can be dangerous objects if they aren't respected. We know exactly what they do, we have no illusions about that.

Are the majority of gun owners incredible a-holes and d-bags? ABSOLUTELY. I hang out on gun forums, and as a liberal socialist I absolutely agree that they can be incredible douchebags. But I've met a LOT of them. I shoot with these guys. The one thing I can say with absolute clarity and honesty it's that they're NOT bad people. By any stretch. I disagree with them about a lot of things, absolutely. But they're good-hearted people. Just mistaken about a lot of things. HAHA.

When people who push for gun control refuse to truly understand the issue, pretending that there will always be a panel of "experts" or other technocrats making all the right decisions, that just says to me that our rights under the law to equal protection are less of a priority to you than taking the time to educate yourself about a subject that you otherwise seem to feel very strongly about.

Just being straight with you. No insult intended.


11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 3 replies · 0 points

Rewrite the law? What do you mean exactly? The case I'm thinking of, DC V Heller, was the first time the supreme court ever took up the issue of whether the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right or a collective right to firearm ownership. Basically the argument about whether I have an individual right to my guns, or whether I have to be in some sort of militia in order to own them.

They affirmed that it is an Individual right. They didn't "rewrite" anything with that opinion, because guns have always been bought, sold, and kept under the assumption that the 2A affirms an individual right. It's not like, pre-heller, I had to have a "militia" card to buy guns. Nothing changed for me before or after Heller when it comes to buying or owning guns.

Maybe I misunderstood you....

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 5 replies · 0 points

Ok, lemme put it this way. Is the fact that I'm a gun owner enough for you to write me off as a person deserving of the same rights and protections from the law as you?

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 1 reply · 0 points

I don't know how you can believe that the argument is being won by the other side, that just seems objectively false. Look at where how the debate has been framed since Sandy Hook. Since then, the idea of a new AWB or magazine restrictions have gone off the table. The anti-gun people on this program are seeing "progress" in the simple fact that DEBATE is being allowed. That's it! Debate.

That's a HUGE victory for us IMO. I've been talking about these issues a lot, for a long time now and I feel like I've had a positive effect. On one side, I've been talking to my conservative friends trying to get them to stop framing the debate in the ridiculous conspiracy terms that they normally do. Trying to get them to be more pragmatic and realistic in their arguments. And on the other hand I've been doing stuff like this, talking to liberals on the pages of shows that I listen to frequently.

I feel like on To The Point, the more shows they'd do about guns, the more I'd start to hear some of the more concrete arguments on our side being acknoweldged. Stuff like the sheer number and durability of the guns that are already here. The tiny percentage of which are used for bad purposes.

And as an Atheist, I have a hard time trying to look at the issue from a pure "good" or "evil" standpoint. The way I've seen it, people do bad things with guns, but it's rarely because they're naturally "evil" or "crazy". Most often they do what they do because they think they're doing the right thing.

We have to figure out why people view using guns against other people as a good thing. How they justify it in their own mind, because then we can start addressing the actual root causes of why people do bad things with guns.

Being a liberal socialist, I'd argue that it's related to social inequality, social injustice, and the like. And in that regard I'm glad we've got a president who actually thinks those are issues to be tackled. Because it seems like common sense to me that you can't really tackle the problem unless you really understand where people are coming from.

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 7 replies · 0 points

If you're truly interested in that as a goal, I'll letcha know one thing that might put a bit of a dent in your plan.

No gun owner, and certainly no gun owner who is pro 2A like I am, is going to really be able to even start a discussion with you about the merits of firearms until you're able to speak about them in a more technical manner. Not because we particularly want to nerd-out with you or anything, but because the way our discussion works about these issues means that we have to talk about the function of firearms. You have to know how they work in order to be able to talk about their merits.

11 years ago @ Left, Right & Cent... - Gun Control and Immigr... · 5 replies · +1 points

Hey, go nuts. Seriously! I wish you all the best in hoping that firearms suddenly become uncouth to have or discuss. But if seems pretty obvious to me that we Americans like having our guns. I think we'll win that argument pretty handily.

Lemme just ask you this, do you see any positive aspects to firearm ownership? Do you believe that we should take away all the guns from the police? And if not, why not?

You can't say that guns are ALWAYS bad or ALWAYS good. They are simply tools that people can use for their own ends. Good people use firearms every day to protect themselves and protect others. We can bicker about how often that happens but to pretend it doesn't is to ignore reality.