Gun control: What we’re up against

Here’s a comment that someone tried to add to the post “Gun control: did it reduce suicides and homicides in Australia?” I’ll redact his name, though he gave one, because perhaps he had second thoughts about displaying this level of inanity. I’ve preserved all spelling as it was tendered:

Sorry I do not agree….we the people have the right to bare arms against foreign or domestic assholes who think that guns just jump up one morning to say ready to kill….I personally do not want to shoot anyone….but if anyone decides to hurt me or anyone else outside the home….I will put them down n let God sort them out….this isn’t Austraia

Of course it isn’t Australia, but neither is anywhere else. The question is whether the U.S. is like Australia vis-à-vis gun control.

As for the right to bare arms, well, we have that already:.



  1. GBJames
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Queue the bear arms jokes.😉

    • Paul D.
      Posted June 28, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      A friend heading to the Chicago pride parade this last weekend commented that “parking is a bear”.

      I thought “and vice versa”.

  2. Scott Draper
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    The commenter basically expressed the deepity “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

    Like all deepities, the deeper meaning of the slogan is false.

    • John Harshman
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      You just need to use the full version: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people…with guns!”

  3. Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Sheesh. Of course guns don’t “just jump up one morning to say ready to kill.” It’s their owners who do that. As gun nuts often say, “if someone is determined to kill, they’ll find a way.” If a killer always finds a way, what’s the point of trying to defend yourself with that gun? Are you really gonna get a chance to “put them down n let God sort them out”?

    • eric
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      A slogan that is patently untrue; otherwise France would still have a high murder-by-dueling death toll like they did in the Renaissance and soldiers wouldn’t be issued firearms (because hey, if your soldiers are going to find a way, why bother with the unnecessary expense?).

      Guns make killing easier, and like many other ‘make it easier’ things, if you make it easier to do, that translates into a statistical increase in the number of people who do it. Decrease the number of radar traps, statistically more people will drive fast. Make cigarettes cheaper and offer more places to smoke, more people will smoke. Make guns more available, and more people will end up killing each other where, with bare fists, they probably wouldn’t have.

      • Posted June 27, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink


      • Posted June 28, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        In general people have trouble with statistical reasoning, I think part of is that. (Motivated reasoning, etc. are too.)

  4. offtopic
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Since you so often snort in derision at the silly notion of “white privilege”, read this:

    “For generations, black and brown parents have given their children ‘the talk,’ ” Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the minority, “ — instructing them to never run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger — all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react.”

    She cited Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me,” which wrestles with the legacies of racism in terms so plain as to be revolutionary.

    “People of color,” Sotomayor wrote, “are disproportionate victims” of unlawful police stops “that corrode all our civil liberties and threaten our lives.”

    • Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry, but I don’t ever remember snorting in derision at the “silly notion of ‘white privilege'”, nor denying that racism, a racism that has shaped our society, exists. You are out of line with that mistaken slur.

      You could have made your points without the snark, but since you couldn’t resist, you’ll have to find other places to post from now on.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      You have obviously made a mistake. This comment couldn’t be more off target than if you actually intended to be completely wrong for some obscure reason. Did you accidentally comment on the wrong website?

    • Posted June 27, 2016 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Being critical of over-sensitive 20-year-olds who demand trigger warnings from their professors for everything under the sun is a far, far cry from not recognizing the problem vis-a-vis minorities and law enforcement.

  5. james boswell
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I cant figure it out – the 2nd amendment clearly states the government may not be involved in gun control and states why

    That does not stop non-government entities and individuals to work together on gun control – and surely would do a better job than the bullshit proposed by government that seeks to punish the ~120 million gun owners for the crimes of the ~8000 (annually) criminals at the cost of the rest of us

    While you may not have the threat of jail or burning kids alive like WACO to enforce any rules and regulations you still have access to manufacturers and retailers that can be used a leverage for non-compliance – money can be raised voluntary by all interested parties, and seems we have no less than 350 million interested parties on this issue

    Seems lots of gun control talk is just protesting to the wrong agency/entity – the retailers, manufacturers and gun owners love using the misunderstanding of who is responsible for gun control to not have to put the effort in

    This could be an opportunity to break the spell on thinking government is a parent here to save the kids, and to show what adults can do freely without coercion to save lives

    • Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      The 2nd amendment doesn’t remotely say that.

    • Scott Draper
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      “the 2nd amendment clearly states the government may not be involved in gun control and states why”

      The 2nd amendment doesn’t remotely say that.

      “does not stop non-government entities and individuals to work together on gun control”

      This can’t possibly be a sincere proposal. Profit-making enterprises care nothing for public safety.

      • james boswell
        Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Governments care for public safety? Google:Nuclear Weapons🙂

        • Posted June 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Governments generally keep their nuclear weapons locked away where kids can’t get them. Gun owners, on the other hand…

          • james boswell
            Posted June 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            Usually? Test that claim, some very interesting stories about that out in the last few years….and for what reason would a government want nuclear weapons? wonder if you are in the ‘mutual destruction’ camp, rather than the thousands of historical examples of revolutions and wars that overthrow assholes, why not just kill everyone in response to an asshole!

            • Posted June 27, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

              The only camp I’m in is the “nuclear weapons are an irrelevant red herring for this topic” camp. And given the extreme rarity of nuclear deployment or accidents, not even a good example of a public safety hazard due to government indifference.

              • james boswell
                Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

                You are right – however I think Nuclear Weapons are one of the highest risks to public safety – and are solely the product of government – and for the stated purpose of protecting public safety!

              • Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

                Military security is not precisely the same issue as public safety. Besides, one issue doesn’t impact the logic of the other. Someone who likes to fiddle with explosives should still wear a seatbelt, store poisons in properly labeled containers, and keep their guns locked up.

        • Scott Draper
          Posted June 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          “Governments care for public safety? Google:Nuclear Weapons”

          Once again, a non-serious comment.

          • james boswell
            Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            How about..Google: Flint Water

            I am completely serious, I see no reason to hold Government employees or representatives to a higher moral standard than anyone else, there is no reason to think they care about public safety over personal gain any more than people working for private companies

            • GBJames
              Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

              Well you have a point, at least given recent trends in Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas, and other states that were taken over by Tea Party types in the 2010 elections.

              Of course the irony is that the people who insist that government can’t serve the public interest are the ones who guarantee it when they gain power.

              • Posted June 27, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


                James’ reference to Flint is pretty much an own goal.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted June 27, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        rofit-making enterprises care nothing for public safety.

        … unless forced to by external forces. Such as lawsuits with real costs paid by the shareholders and/ or directors of the company.

    • GBJames
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      “… the 2nd amendment clearly states the government may not be involved in gun control…”

      This is simply false. You need look no further than today’s news to see that it is false.

    • Matthew
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Well, there’s a lot to disagree with in every paragraph of your post, but I’m going to limit myself to just one topic.

      Have you ever worked in the US? Have you ever worked in a publicly traded company? Can you, in your remotest dreams, imagine standing in a share holder meeting and suggesting the company should voluntarily reduce profits merely for the public good? I have never worked in a company that would knock down share price merely because someone died, unless that death had severe legal consequences to the company.

      Historically, how did this work with the cigarette manufacturers, when they knew their product was harmful but before it became common knowledge? Did they try and inform the public and shift their business model to other products, or did they fight tooth and nail to cover up evidence of harm?

      I must admit, I’m amazed that you think business works this way.

      • james boswell
        Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I work in the most heavily regulated industry in America, in a publicly traded company.

        Using your hypothetical, the meeting would be ‘the government proposes X that will cost Y to achieve a minimum of Z, however we can choose to do option A which will cost a fraction of Y and will achieve scores of magnitude higher than Z’

        And then when they report to their customers that they just saved them from future cost increases, and report to their Share holders they just saved them from future regulatory burden costs plus all the positive PR about solving the problem, everyone is happy🙂

        • Jeremy Tarone
          Posted June 27, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          A “publicly traded company” is not an “industry”. In the way you used the word and Industry is:
          “the aggregate of manufacturing or technically productive enterprises in a particular field, often named after its principal product: the automobile industry; the steel industry.”
          Or petroleum and coal products manufacturing, motor vehicle manufacturing, fishing, oil and gas extraction are all examples, and are in fact some of the most regulated industries in the USA.

          Breaking regulations can result in criminal sanctions when those sanctions have provision for criminal sanctions.

          There are a large number of people who believe those in companies responsible for breaking and ignoring regulations (laws) should go to jail more often than they do.
          And yes, some do go to jail, and face criminal sanction. Just like firearm owners, it depends on the regulation (law), the state and the severity of the crime and if someone was hurt.

          The company can’t go to jail or face criminal sanctions because corporate personhood is a legal fiction. You can’t put a corporation in prison. But you can put the employees or executives and or board in prison when they break the law in the businesses name.

          So you are talking apples and squash.

        • Matthew
          Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          So you admit that government action is necessary to get the companies to act? So this action will not be a voluntary private initiative after all?

          Hmmm, if only there were a way to then monitor the companies to make sure they were complying with their promises. Gee, sounds like we might agree that we are talking about government regulation.

          And no, there is nothing about proposing government regulation that prohibits the effected industries from making counter proposals, that’s kinda how government works.

          • james boswell
            Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            No, you are talking about regulation – you don’t need government for regulation, you need interest parties to fund it, manufacturers and retailers will have a keen interest to ensure they are all playing fair – and customers and the greater community will be interested

            Then you need companies that can do it most efficiently to get the desired results at the lowest cost – the worst idea is to monopolize this function because you’re likely to get the worst results at the highest cost

            • Matthew
              Posted June 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

              Okay, now you are contradicting yourself. First you said government would need to take action to get the companies to act, but now it won’t? As per my first comment, why would companies choose to reduce their margins without serious negative consequences, consequences that will not exist without government action?

              As for the rest of your comment, it makes me seriously doubt your claim to work for a publicly held company. A “keen interest” in “playing fair”? What? Since when has any company wanted to play fair with its competition? The entire point of business is to gain a advantage in the market place and every company I’ve ever worked for will do just that, provided their actions are legal. And thus we get back to the whole government intervention thing.

              • james boswell
                Posted June 28, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

                I cant see where I said that government would need to be involved? I’ve said they are constitutionally limited, and I’ve used a fictional comparison of costs/efficacy

                Here is the interest in playing fair – companies or customers will take on additional cost, and will limit their customer base – anyone undercutting or selling to the restricted customer base MAY have an advantage – everyone is interested in ensuring any rules are followed

        • Posted June 27, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          The government doesn’t enter into Matthew’s hypothetical.

          He’s simply asking if you honestly think the public sector is the place to go when looking for protection of the public (ironically). No. Businesses look out first and foremost and often *only* for the business.

          • james boswell
            Posted June 28, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            I agree. But you are forgetting there are massive calls for gun bans, the reason the control is needed is to reduce the gun crime so that business may continue – if the gun crime is not reduced and government does take over, based on the aforementioned war on drugs and terror, the problem will get much worse, so the solution will become more expensive and more prohibitive until eventually you get the total destruction of the industry.

            • Matthew
              Posted June 28, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

              Your hypothetical started with government involvement initiating a private business response. That’s pretty clear; government will have to be involved to get action on gun control.

              Your second paragraph is incoherent. I don’t know what you’re trying to say.

              So I’ll ask a final time; absent government action, why would a publicly held company volunteer to reduce profits and share price? Why would any company allow an executive suggesting such action to remain? My point is that the very nature of business, in this case the firearms industry, is fundamentally against reducing sales. So gun control, without government intervention, is a non starter.

    • Richard Bond
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      If most of 120 million gun owners never use their guns, how does it punish them to remove their guns?

      • james boswell
        Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Never use their guns? are you suggesting Guns are only used for crimes?

        Guns are used legally and morally by law abiding moral citizens for hunting, recreation and self defense

        • Richard Bond
          Posted June 28, 2016 at 5:17 am | Permalink

          Actually, I was thinking of self-defence; in the UK, appropriate guns are legal for hunting and recreation. Now we have defined our terms, how many of that 120 million have used their guns in self-defence?

          • james boswell
            Posted June 28, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            There is no reason to limit the use of guns to self defense, how many of those 120 million go shoot guns at the range for fun or to develop a mastery skill?

            I’ve read the studies that show locked doors do a much better job at protecting people and their homes than guns – I’ve also seen the studies that show how slow the response time is by police in rural areas as well as how overwhelmed police forces are in inner cities – I see no reason to limit a persons options, especially when the number of criminals using guns is a fraction of 1% of the total number of law abiding gun owners

            • R
              Posted June 29, 2016 at 4:13 am | Permalink

              Sigh! Evidently my attempts to provoke a rational viewpoint were much too subtle. Let me spell it out: no privately owned hand guns = no need for hand guns for self defence and no need for mastery at a skill for which the only use is killing people. Before hand guns were banned in the UK, the proportion of the population that enjoyed acquiring that mastery was utterly minuscule. If it were not for the endless scaremongering in the USA about the need for self defence, I would bet that the inclination of the vast majority of your 120 million would be to follow the UK example. Most would come to realise that their ownership of a gun is of no practical use, which was my original point. If you cannot get that simple point, then you, and presumably many like you who are likewise not open to reason, constitute the main problem.

              • Richard Bond
                Posted June 29, 2016 at 4:14 am | Permalink

                R = Richard Bond

    • james boswell
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Ok – so you disagreements of the interpretation of the 2nd amendment aside…

      Is threat of jail the only way to affect human behavior?

      Does the profit motive (greed) always override a persons humanity? How much would a business need to lose from prohibiting sales to kids in Chicago before the humanity trigger is switched off?

      What is it about government that makes the people involved immune from greed? Between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions…those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion in federal business and support.

      The obvious examples – how did the government do on the war on drugs? Why did terrorism increase by 3000% since the launch of the war on terror?

      Makes no sense!

      • eric
        Posted June 27, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        You’re absolutely right. Thank you for your compelling argument that NRA lobbying does not represent the will of the people.

        Seriously dude, you’re attacking the only thing keeping your anti-gun-control ideology politically alive; lobbying money. Without NRA monies, Congress is going to listen to popular opinion – which regularly and sometimes overwhelmingly favors gun control. Background checks for all sales are favored by something like 90% of the population. No-fly list and convicted felon limitations are favored by over 80% of the population, and other gun control measures are favored by a lesser margin.

        • james boswell
          Posted June 28, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          I am for gun control – Just not Government gun control

          I think the NRA is correct and providing a good service by challenging the government over the 2nd amendment, however I also think they are being lazy and dishonest by not using their money and reach and help solve the problem of gun crime – and its Members should ask more of them

      • Posted June 27, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        “What is it about government that makes the people immune from greed?”

        No person is immune from greed, but government agencies are not beholden to shareholders and crazy-greedy executives and whatnot. Businesses have to make a profit. Government agencies don’t.

        • james boswell
          Posted June 28, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          Government agencies are not beholden to shareholders and greedy executives? I repeat: Between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions…those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion in federal business and support.

      • Posted June 27, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Additionally, fighting substance abuse and terror are much more difficult and complicated issues than implementing strict gun control laws, which would decrease the availability of guns, which would decrease the incidence of mass shootings. Mass shooters are not the career criminals who have black market connections. They are unstable individuals who happen to have easy access to firearms.

    • Jeremy Tarone
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      8000 criminals annually? Where did you pull that number from? Do you think homicide is the only crime worthy of prosecuting? What about attempted homicide? Do you believe shootings only result in death? How about leaving an unsupervised firearm around children? Do you believe that should be a crime? Or shooting a firearm in an unsafe manner?

      8000 doesn’t even come close to the number of people who commit criminal acts with firearms. Considering the homicide rate, and number of shootings in the USA every single year, the danger of misused firearms, I would suggest that criminal sanctions is indeed appropriate.

      The real question is, why do you think firearm owners shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions? And if you do think firearm owners should be liable for their actions, if not by criminal sanctions, then how? If not, why not? Because “drug war”? That’s not even an argument.

      • james boswell
        Posted June 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Was the 2014 FBI crime stats, I may have used the homicide number…I didn’t actually check my sources before posting!!!

        Nothing about the 2nd amendment stops the government from taking action on people who commit crimes with guns – we have plenty of laws to protect people from violence – we are talking about gun control

  6. BobTerrace
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Why is it that gun advocates are barely able to put together a coherent sentence? Two correct sentences would be impossible.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      They are always two bullets short of a full cartridge.

      I am more concerned with the rationale. It is bogus:

      “Why do so many Americans own guns? The main reason, according to surveys, is protection. Advocates argue that guns in the home both deter crime (criminals refrain from even trying to break in because they fear being shot by an armed citizen) and thwart it (an armed citizen can stop a crime in progress, preventing injury or theft).

      The scientific evidence, however, provides little support for these arguments. Quite the opposite.”

      – “In terms of deterrence, a recent study found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership have higher levels of firearm crime and do not have lower levels of other types of crime.”

      – “Another study, in 2003, found that counties with higher levels of household gun ownership have higher rates of household burglary, not lower. Burglars like to steal not only cash and jewelry but also guns.”

      “As for thwarting crime, gun advocates claim that guns are commonly used in self-defense, and that without a firearm, one is essentially at the mercy of a criminal. Yet, again, that is not what the data show.”

      – “More than 42% of the time, the victim took some action — maced the offender, yelled at the offender, struggled, ran away, or called the police. Victims used a gun in less than 1% of the incidents (127/14,145). In other words, actual self-defense gun use, even in our gun-rich country, is rare.”

      [ ]


      The best self defense you have is your legs, or wheel chair.

      And even better is if you also don’t own a gun, owning one attracts thieves and increase your household firearm crime rates!

      *Guns are so rarely used for self protection that the argument is a sham.*

  7. Kevin
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    “Sorry I do not agree”. I am hoping this person lives far from me and my family. I wonder if this person knows that what they say inspires fear? Not happiness or comfort, widespread insecurity and prejudice.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    “A well-toned First Lady being necessary to the security of a free state, her right to bare arms shall not be infringed.”

    Now there’s a constitutional amendment I could get behind!

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    It is peculiar how certain individuals can be zealous constitutional scholars, professing a Talmudic-level understanding of the second amendment – yet I seriously doubt their gray matter burned any sugar over any of the rest of it.

  10. chris moffatt
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Ah if only the founding ‘fathers’ had the wisdom that we today have. Or the problems. But they were ignorant and thought they were simply giving a rationale, the militia of the time, for the right to bear arms being absolute. Their second amendment states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. This is the whole of it. Supposing they had written “the price of tea in China being ten cents a pound, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. What kinds of learned and unlearned discussion should we now be hearing and reading?

    Incidentally they did not say “because hunting….” or “because home defense ” or “because people have gun fetishes…..” or any other such so all those justifications are not the reason for the amendment. But the reason is just the reason and the amendment is what it is.

    Fortunately those old fogies, the founding ‘fathers’, realized that their constitution would sometimes no longer be appropriate to the times. They therefore left an amending formula that can be used when the people see fit to change the constitution. Why do I never see this advocated as a method of introducing weapons control to the USA? Seems simple to me – if enough folks agree with you, you can change the constitution. If not enough folks agree too bad – that’s constitutional democracy for you.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      You’d think the best ideas would percolate.

      You’d also think that genuine experts in law, or anything really, would develop these ideas.

    • eric
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Why do I never see this advocated as a method of introducing weapons control to the USA?

      Because an amendment isn’t considered necessary to regulate speech, the press, religious conduct, or any other enumerated constitutional right. So why should it be needed for this one?

      You can certainly argue that the strict scrutiny standard should be applied to limitations on the second amendment. That’s fine by me. But I don’t see any cogent argument for why a reg that passes that standard could not be made into law. We have all sorts of speech limitations. Many states don’t let felons vote. Freedom of religion doesn’t trump laws against polygamy. (Some) Gun regulation is analogous to those things, and as analogies to those things, don’t require a constitutional amendment before becoming law.

      • chris moffatt
        Posted June 28, 2016 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        Well if you think that the constitution doesn’t say what it very clearly does say I guess there can be no discussion. Why not pitch this stupid amendment on the fire along with the first, fourth, fifth, fourteenth and others which apparently do not say what they clearly say? Why bother to have a constitution at all?
        I think that weapons abolitionists know darned well they’d never get a majority to support repeal of the second amendment and so they don’t bother trying.

        NB it’s not weapons ownership I’m supporting here, it’s rule of law. There are right and wrong ways to do things.

        • darrelle
          Posted June 28, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          So your answer is that no interpretation should be allowed? That the only ethical (?) way to do other than follow a strict word by word reading of the Amendments is by additional amendment rather than by regular legislation?

          If you are going to apply this principle consistently then you are going to have to get rid of a whole bunch of laws and regulations pertaining to religion, free speech, free press and several other issues addressed by other Amendments. You base your argument on a strict interpretation of the word “infringed” and a similarly strict interpretation of the word “abridge” would leave no more room for regulation than you claim should be the case for “arms.”

          Your protestation that you are merely supporting rule of law, the right way to do things, is not convincing. To be convincing you’re going to first have to campaign for the repeal of a whole bunch of existing laws pertaining to many issues, rather than campaigning against the possibility of a few new laws pertaining to this one issue. As it is it seems clear that you’re reasoning toward a position you already hold for reasons other than a commitment to the rule of law.

          • chris moffatt
            Posted June 28, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            Sorry that doesn’t work. The second amendment is written how it is written. There isn’t room for interpretation. Not my fault; blame the ‘founding fathers’ who either didn’t express themselves well or put in an unnecessary and (apparently) confusing independent clause. However people whose first language is English should be able to construe this.
            Personally I’d take away all your guns but that would not be in accordance with the law.

            • darrelle
              Posted June 28, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

              Well, I am not sorry but, you didn’t address my criticism at all. You just reiterated your position. My English is just fine but your reading comprehension may need some work.

              If all you want to do is swap insults, hey that’s great. If you want anything more substantial, or even just to be taken seriously by those you disagree with, perhaps actually make an honest attempt to answer the arguments made against your position.

              Perhaps you aren’t even as familiar with the other Amendments as you are with the 2nd? Surely if you are then you would be campaigning to abolish a whole slew of existing laws. Surely a much more urgent situation than some possible few, future new laws regulating guns?

  11. Vaal
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    (The following doesn’t pertain to all gun owners of course, but to the extent I’ve interacted with gun owners, this has been a general trend…)

    That’s pretty much the attitude I’ve encountered on other forums, when gun rights comes up. The USA has successfully entangled the concept of “gun owning” with “freedom” and it can’t be unstuck in many minds.

    I am told by American gun owners that to give up guns is to give up one’s rights and freedom. I point out that I live in a more gun-restrictive city (Toronto) and to me guns aren’t the freedom I crave – I much prefer freedom from worry and paranoia about being gunned down. I never think of such things here, but they creep into my mind in parts of the USA.

    This idea of machismo seems so entwined with owning a gun. And though they are law abiding citizens, it’s hard not to notice the relish gun owners seem to have for vengeance, and tell us what is going to happen if someone breaks in, or “wants to take my guns away.” The fantasies of using the gun really seem close at hand in these people.

    As is a sense of fear and paranoia. I’m so often met with “How are you going to protect your family when the bad guys break in at night to rape your wife, threaten the kids or steal your stuff?”

    I know one, single person, one of my best friends, who not long ago sheepishly admitted he might buy a gun. He invoked the “ust in case” scenarios like the above.
    Although it’s a surprise in my circles that anyone would own a gun, he was perhaps the least surprising. This is the only friend I’ve had who has always carried a knife and/or some sort of self-defense thinga-ma-bob on his key chain. “You know, just in case…” So that undercurrent of fear seemed always there to be tapped.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted June 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      I don’t how freedom and all that good stuff is touched in any way by Sam Harris’ proposed highly intrusive regulations for gun ownership. Sure, poor unscrupulous idiots will be unable to jump the hoops…. I guess that leads to black market scenarios … that’s a big difference with a la Harris guns and planes…

  12. Posted June 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Gun nuts are fond of saying that if guns are hard to get legally, only criminals will have guns. What they fail to notice is that it’s not career criminals committing mass murders. It’s maladjusted regular people who wouldn’t have been able to committ the atrocities they did if guns were not conveniently available to them.

  13. Shwell Thanksh
    Posted June 27, 2016 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why the words “well-regulated” are so easily tap-danced past by some auto-didactic Constitutional scholars of the 2nd Amendment.

  14. Glandu
    Posted June 28, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    As always the right to bear arms in the USA is completely alien to us, mere inferiors living in inferior countries.

    I like a lot the idea of a right to arm bears, though.

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