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Thread: Our friends at the Roanoke Times and in Dublin

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    As reported recently in the washington post, 10 years after Great Britain's handgun ban went into effect, criminal use of guns in crimes as quadrupled.

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    1COOLPO wrote: There is no earthly reason to increase the newspapers hit count. They sell more ads if their click numbers are bigger....so don't click the link.

    Don't give the newspaper the satisfaction of reporting increased web viewership!!!

    Shooting holes in gun proponents' arguments




    Larry Gaber and Polly Archer

    Gaber is a retired Department of Defense civilian and Vietnam veteran. Archer is a lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). They live in Dublin.



    Having reached our saturation point with the arguments supporting handguns for self-defense, especially those that start out with "Well, why don't we ban automobiles because they kill people," we felt it was essential to restate what should be obvious -- handguns are designed and sold solely for the purpose of killing.

    Given that fact, all of those who seem to believe that some mythical Old West environment, with everyone carrying a handgun, will deter shootings such as the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech need to exercise some independent thought and not just repeat the spoon-fed NRA line. If simply being armed was sufficient, we would have no police officers shot in the line of duty.

    Another argument, the deterrence factor, is equally specious -- for every crime that is supposedly deterred because an "outlaw" will think twice if he knows/thinks his intended victim may be armed, how many innocent spouses, children, friends or strangers are killed because a handgun is available in the heat of the moment or seen as a toy or used in a case of mistaken identity or mistaken intent or simply by accidental discharge?

    Finally, the old NRA mantra "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" is hauled out yet again. The most commonly stolen items in burglaries are guns. The outlaws are aware of the absurd number of guns in private residences just waiting to be taken.

    Those NRA stickers in the windows of vehicles might just as well serve as an advertisement or invitation for the outlaws, telling them where they are guaranteed to find guns.

    The solution, and one that works in the United Kingdom (and Australia in an even stricter form) is to ban the private ownership of all handguns. Only authorized and trained law enforcement officers could possess them in the line of duty.

    Any "collector" handguns would be rendered unfireable. Rifles and shotguns would be registered and licensed, but only for people who also possess valid hunting permits for their use. Semiautomatic weapons would not be allowed and clip/chamber capacity would be limited. The Army managed to do well in the Second World War with an eight-round clip in the Garand M-1 rifle. If a hunter requires more than eight rounds to get his deer, turkey or duck, then he needs more time on the practice range. If a firearm (not a handgun) is used only for competitive shooting, then the owners must belong to a registered shooting club or organization and only use at the ranges for these clubs or events.

    A sane world, without the accidental or mistaken shootings inevitable with the proliferation of handguns, is possible. A world without the tragedy of senseless shootings such as Columbine, the Amish schoolgirls or Virginia Tech is a hope or dream that requires intervention and follow-up for troubled and disturbed individuals, but also the elimination of the means to kill so easily.

    What a sane 21st-century world does not need is more "cowboys" or "cowgirls" carrying handguns to be used at their discretion and judgment.

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    Mike wrote:
    As reported recently in the washington post, 10 years after Great Britain's handgun ban went into effect, criminal use of guns in crimes as quadrupled.
    More so then that, Great Britain population is one of most video taped and monitored populations in Western World. I can't remember where I heard this or if this statistic is true but there are more public video cameras in London then there are on average people. Now Great Britian is talking about building a DNA database of everyone by taking DNA samples on birth and requiring everyone to give up their DNA next time they visit the doctor. All the in name of national security and terrorism. It's down right scary and it is even more scarier that people over there accept it because it makes them "safer".

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    I've noticed that all of these gun grabber articles always have a provision for allowing "sporting" guns for hunting. Aren't these guns just as easy to steal as handguns, and aren't they many times more powerful? The contradictions never cease to amaze me.

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    So let's critique this little screed, point by point. Let's see what Gaber and Archer are up to:

    Shooting holes in gun proponents' arguments

    Larry Gaber and Polly Archer

    Gaber is a retired Department of Defense civilian and Vietnam veteran. Archer is a lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). They live in Dublin.

    [Hmm, so far so good. A bit of background about the authors is always nice. Gaber strives for some cred by citing the DOD (I wonder what he did there?) which has some cache and was a Vietnam vet, which gives him some overall legitimacy with most Americans, regardless of political or ideological orientation. Archer is Quaker, which probably doesn't help her cred much at all. Except that she is upfront about it. So that's a push in my book. The two live together, so they're a team....no effect.]


    Having reached our saturation point with the arguments supporting handguns for self-defense, especially those that start out with "Well, why don't we ban automobiles because they kill people," we felt it was essential to restate what should be obvious -- handguns are designed and sold solely for the purpose of killing.

    [Three points here. First, it displays G&A's base point, they hope a STRONG one, which they can build on: handguns are for killing people. Now, although one could dispute this easily (collector's, target, specialized Contender-style, etc., handguns are obviously NOT designed/sold for killing) it would be a waste of resources to challenge their blanket statement. They imply all handguns but they could easily change it to most handguns so you'd be right back where you started. It's a good main base point. Second, to set up the strong base point, G&A need a lead-in. So they use the fact (I'm willing to accept it as one) that they have reached a "saturation point" of arguments that leads them to state their "obvious" main point. Well, that's pretty silly. The real reason is that they want to state their main base point. Whether they are "saturated" or not would not and should not stop them from stating it in their piece. It's a small thing, but I note that they are essentially lying--in the very first five words of their article. Not good for cred, in my book. But a lot of times "wordy" people like to just make cutesy sounding stuff up like that to set up their points. It's like the stuff we all wrote in freshman creative writing classes. Third, by doing the "Oh, I'm so exasperated by all the pro-guns arguments that I'm saturated" bit, they get to show an example. They choose to use a common pro argument to support their "saturation": "ban automobiles because they kill people (too)". One point for G&A on this device. They do indeed point out a silly argument by the pros, illustrating very clearly the hazards of using straw man arguments such as the whole slew of "well if you're gonna ban guns, you'll have to ban __x___. bleatings. They're so easy to identify and call.]


    Given that fact, all of those who seem to believe that some mythical Old West environment, with everyone carrying a handgun,

    [OK, the strong base point is wielded: "given the fact." The jumping point off from legitimacy to another legit point! But, oh. What is it that G&A jump to? A straw man! A double, too. First they evoke the rather vague image of a "Old West" wild place (calling it "mythical" I note, which they don't seem to realize invalidates their point). Of course, the "Old West" is bad, bad, bad, though G&A don't acutally feel the need to say it. The second, embedded, straw man is the "everyone carrying a handgun" bit. OH-MY-GOD, EVERYONE CARRYING A HANDGUN! THAT'S 302 MILLION PEOPLE!!!! Isn't that horrendous! "Well, we really didn't everyone, as such.", they would say. Straw men frequently contain the ole absolutes. They're much easier to do that way.]


    will deter shootings such as the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech need to exercise some independent thought and not just repeat the spoon-fed NRA line.

    [Straw man arguments are so easy to spot...

    The premise here is to deprecate those who hold the viable proposition that armed people could deter a VTU massacre by saying they are not "independent" thinkers (straw man again) as "independent thinking" is good, and to NOT be thus, well, that's bad! Also, there is use of the genetic fallacy, by tying the deterrence thinkers to the dread NRA. (Excuse, me. The evil, despicable, blood-on-its-hands NRA.)]



    If simply being armed was sufficient, we would have no police officers shot in the line of duty.

    [Oh, this is a cool bit o' logical conclusion. A statment of irrefutable fact (officers get shot) with an antecedent of "those who are armed and who think they can deter lethal attacks." Can you say, Affirming the Consequent fallacy? Also, false analogyfallacyis in there. Heh.]


    Another argument, the deterrence factor, is equally specious --

    ["Another?" Didn't G&A already cover the "deterrence" factor in the VTU reference? I guess they want to have another go at it but need that cutesy sounding segueway.That's OK buta little ragged. And the "equally specious" bit is weird. Whatever they're comparing this new "deterrence factor" to, how could it be equally specious? What are the oddsthat it would be exactly equal? Why not just say "also specious?" Why make TWO arguments when only one is necessary: "The deterrence claim is specious!"? Minus two points for redundancy/raggedness and no support for the quantitative and fluffy estimation.]


    for every crime that is supposedly deterred because an "outlaw" will think twice if he knows/thinks his intended victim may be armed, how many innocent spouses, children, friends or strangers are killed because a handgun is available in the heat of the moment or seen as a toy or used in a case of mistaken identity or mistaken intent or simply by accidental discharge?

    [This is actually an EXCELLENT question. I wonder why they give absolutely no answer to it? Do they know the answer? Or is it just a rhetorical question? I think it's a form of the question-begging epithet fallacy, so I dock G&A 3 points for failing to come through. If they had the answer, their point could be VERY powerful. Unless the answer doesn't support their implied point. In which case they are fibbing again. Also, minus 3 points for insufficient research. How could they have failed to find John Lott's data on part of this subject? Oh, wait. Perhaps they did find it. If they did, minus 10 points for unethical deception. (Let's have a look at those notes, G&A.)

    Minor point: Of course, G&A went from discounting any "deterrence" notion altogether (in the police officer shot referrence) to implying that the amount is not zero. Discontinuity misdemeanor. No penalty.]


    Finally, the old NRA mantra "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" is hauled out yet again.

    [Well, G&A do have the right to point out the old pro saw of "...outlaws will have guns"bit.It is, in fact, a fallacy, although it has a catchy rythm. A grudingly given 2 points.]

    The most commonly stolen items in burglaries are guns.

    [A flat statement of 'fact.' I wonder if it is true? I like G&A but I'm from Missouri. They musthave researchedthis to be able to say it. But maybe they were too "saturated"withresearch facts to say the "obvious."I don't know, the number of annual U.S. burglaries is about 2.1 million (2004 DOJ/FBI).The number of stolen guns annually issomewhat vague.Figures range from 100,000to 500,000, basically. I found areference to a median of 274,000 annual reported stolen guns perFBI figures('85-'94). I'd look further but G&A should've saved me the time. Their purpose is to inform, right? Let's say thenumber is 300,000 annually(or 400,000 if you wish). Whoa, that would be a BIG point to make--300,000 frickin' handg....wait a minute. Are we talking handguns or guns that are stolen annually? Well, the article started out by focusing on the strong base pointabout handguns. But, thosesneaky G&Ahave now slipped into talking about guns! Just because the guns number is higher, perhaps? Minus 5 points for changing the subject, ever so subtlely.

    Another issue is what the other competing, and perhaps most, stolen articles are. I would guess that jewelry is up there. Cash, too. There are probably some other, non-handgun (or non-gun) items that are stolen more often than guns/handguns, I'm thinking.]

    The outlaws are aware of the absurd number of guns in private residences

    [This is a clear case of begging the question fallacy. The determination of "absurd" is supported only by some unstated criterion ofsome undefined measure of absurdity. I wonder what they are?I would concede as common sense,however, that outlaw are indeed aware that there are guns in private residences. 3 dings for the use of the secret absurdity of gun incidence scale but no penalty for the blinding glimpse of the obvious.]

    just waiting to be taken.

    [There is no support for this simplistic notion. It's simple exaggeration and an appeal to fear. The authors make no differentiation between guns that are left on the kitchen table or inside a an expensive and secure gun safe in a heavily alarmed residence. Again, we have a special, and secret, determination of thequality of a particularconstruct: readiness of guns to be taken. Minus 2 points for indiscriminate anthropomorphizing of firearms (guns or handguns?). I'm feeling generous, so I'll allow 1 point to G&A for resisting the urge to say the guns (or handguns) were calling out onsome special communication frequencyfor the burglars to "Come liberate me!"]


    Those NRA stickers in the windows of vehicles might just as well serve as an advertisement

    [This is actually a true statement and a good hint, onlya hint,of some downside to displaying NRA stickers (I certainly don't show mine.) Plus 2 points for G&A.]


    or invitation for the outlaws, telling them where they are guaranteed to find guns.

    [Hmm, this is becoming a pattern with the DOD/Quaker duo. They start out with a nugget of a fact--thenproceed to EXTRAPOLATE LIKE CRAZY. "Guaranteed?" C'mon. Minus 4 points for blatant self-serving misstatement. Make that 5. Also, minus 3 points for changing the context from guns (handguns?) stolen out of homes to guns (handguns?)stolen from cars...with certain stickers on them. I think they have a case of JJADD (joint journalistic attention deficit disorder).]


    The solution, and one that works in the United Kingdom (and Australia in an even stricter form) is to ban the private ownership of all handguns.

    [It would be nice to know what criterion is being used for the state of "works?" Hmm, the secret criterion gambit again! G&A seem stuck on that "don't tell, don't ask" mode. I wonder how the gun ban inLiberia is working out? Jamaica? I see we're back to "handguns" for the close. Good show, G&A. Interesting, though, how writers go back and forth.]

    Only authorized and trained law enforcement officers could possess them in the line of duty.

    [OK. But I've got to ask. Why would the ATLEOILDs need them? If guns were really banned, there should not be any need for LEO guns. Maybe G&A just mean thata few ATELEOILDs would have thehandguns--for special extreme situations.Theconcession that somehandguns are needed by some LEOs for some purposes must logically mean that LEOS need them to kill some people, the sole purpose of handguns having been specified in the first paragraph of this article. Therefore, G&A, in a country without citizen owned guns,clearly advocate police killing some citizens. There's something inconsistent about that. A stern rebuke (but no point penalty) goesout to G&A forendorsing killing without thinking the thingthrough.]


    Any "collector" handguns would be rendered unfireable.

    [From this I'll just leap to the conclusion that a category of handguns will be created that will be allowed to be kept by citizens. I'm certain there is a way to dothe categorization. But there is no reason given for why such a category should be created. Why on earth would a handgun free society be a handgun free except for "collector" handguns? Conversely, if it makes sense to render several million "collector" handguns unfireable, why not do the same with the non-collector handguns? I'm guessing that the mumber of "collector" handguns isa smallish percentage oftheU.S.handgun population. I'd guess 1 to 4%. If that's close to being correct,G&A would propose togather up96% to 99% of all the handguns out there--but leave behind the 1% to 4% after they've been disabled. Makesno sense at all. What is it about "no handguns" that the DOD/Quaker duo do not understand? Minus 3 points for being wishy washy and compromising for the"collectors."

    Rifles and shotguns would be registered and licensed, but only for people who also possess valid hunting permits for their use.

    [There are, what, 150 to 170 millionlong guns in this country? And about90 to 125million handguns. Roughly. So, let's sayG&A make the 100+ million handguns go away. Poof.

    There are about 13 to 15 million hunters inthis country.

    Does it take a rocket scientist tofigure out that at least a third of the long gunsare owned by current owners of handguns?And that these guys own handgun for a reason?And the reason is???? Five seconds...BECAUSE HANDGUNS ARE DESIGNED "SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF KILLING." (Who said that? Just a little while ago...) Andwhat will thesecurrent owners of killing toolsget an idea to do with the50 to 60 million long guns they own (or others they can buy after G&A's plan goes into effect)--after someone takes all their handguns away from them? Did G&A ever take ANY kind of psychological, economic and/or analytic training in their entire lives? Do they have ANY conception of what the numbers mean?

    It's one thing to consider 1st order effects and slap together some ad hoc solutions to the easy stuff. But it's pretty naive to neglect any consideration whatsoever of 2nd and third order effects. G&A get docked 10 for gross simplism. But give them back3.3 pointsfor having some special (though illogical and/or naive) consideration for long gun owners.]

    Semiautomatic weapons would not be allowed and clip/chamber capacity would be limited.

    [Two questions here. How many of the 150 to 170 million long guns are semi-automatic? Why would there be aneed for clips? Boy, that Vietnam service is really paying off with this one. Maybe he was a achaplain, eh? The twins get dinged 5 for not making sense and 10 for calling a magazine a clip.]

    The Army managed to do well in the Second World War with an eight-round clip in the Garand M-1 rifle.

    [So, um, do G(I wonder if he used an M16 in Vietnam?) & A realize they are banning the rifle that served the Army so well in WWII? Minus 5 if they don't]

    If a hunter requires more than eight rounds to get his deer, turkey or duck, then he needs more time on the practice range. If a firearm (not a handgun) is used only for competitive shooting, then the owners must belong to a registered shooting club or organization and only use at the ranges for these clubs or events.

    [Well, not much to argue here. I don't know why the handgun is mentioned. At this level of the plan, all the handguns have already gone bye-bye. But these details are doable. Plus 2 points for feasibility of this part of plan.]


    A sane world, without the accidental or mistaken shootings inevitable with the proliferation of handguns, is possible.

    [Why dothey shift to a "world" context? Is this article not about the U.S?Or do they just mean our "world" as in our living space, in our country? But the important criticism here is the "is possible" qualifier. If the handguns are all gone, then logic says that the world (the U.S.) will definitely be without "accidental or mistaken [handgun] shootings." I would deduct some points for weaseling,but it could just be wishy-washy writing.]

    A world without the tragedy of senseless shootings such as Columbine, the Amish schoolgirls or Virginia Tech is a hope or dream that requires intervention and follow-up for troubled and disturbed individuals, but also the elimination of the means to kill so easily.

    [Seems to me that the Columbine massacre involved two shotguns, one a pump-action, the other a double-barrel. And wasn't the 1966 UT-Austin massacre done mostly with a bolt action and a shotgun (And combatted substantially with handguns)? Yet G&A specifically propose the continued freeaccess to MILLIONS of these proven killing weapons. How doe G&A resolve this, um, inconsisteny. Maybe it'll be in their next editorial.]


    What a sane 21st-century world does not need is more "cowboys" or "cowgirls" carrying handguns to be used at their discretion and judgment.

    [Ah, a return to the opening them of the "Old West." Contrasting it nicely to the "21st century" which is, of course far far away from that time period, the chronological distance evoking the vast change needed, according to G&A, between now and the achievment of the "sane world." 5 points for the rhetorical flourish.]

    [Overall, I give Gaber and Archer about a D+ on this piece. Too many fallacies, too many suppositions, too many unexplained criteria, no displayed understanding of the scale involved,and not nearly enough thought about 2nd order effects. I'd say it's about 2nd year level college newspaper level writing and thinking. Thanks to Gaber for his service to the country and God bless Archer for her being a Quaker for so many years.I still suspect Gaber to have been a chaplain inVietnam. Maybe a journalist, like Gore.]

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    Glad you didn't grade my college papers.....



    Very nice!!



    Ric

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    Ric in Richmond wrote:
    Those NRA stickers in the windows of vehicles might just as well serve as an advertisement or invitation for the outlaws, telling them where they are guaranteed to find guns.
    Sounds like this idiot:
    http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?...95#post8334695

    And he is a gun owner!

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    Good analysis, thanks.

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    Good job on that one PA Pat... I've heard so many OC pundits (who all CC)use the same lame argument-so they will have "tactical advantage" in a gunfight as if they HOPE to be in one. Fools, I say. Everyone knows thebest way to walk away from a gunfight is to not walk into one. And what better way to NOT be in one than to show em what you got and scare them off. Not everyone is a fearless crazed meth addict.

    I hear so many times of how someone CC'ing had to use their gun, but I can't recall anytime I've heard of an OC'er needing to use it. In the eyes of criminals, CC'ers are just another soft target, a sheep, until they've already committed the crime and the gun is drawn. But OC'ers are "hard targets". To me CC is like setting a trap to catch a criminal, while OC prevents the crime altogether. Isn't that the whole point?

    CC'ers can stop crime, but OC'ers can prevent it altogether.

    And they callus John Wayne wannabees! lmao....

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    Spot on, Bob. Not getting into a confrontation IS the WHOLE POINT.

    It can't be stressed enough. Common thugs prefer not to tangle with an armed citizen, and most will not, if given the choice.

    If you CC they don't know, until...(confrontation happens)
    If you OC they can choose to go shop elsewhere.

    If the crime is deterred there is no confrontation, therefor no need for any "tactical advantage" :celebrate

    Seems SO simple.


    ---
    ETA:
    Another way to put is that IMO, deterring a confrontation in the first place, through OC, is a FAR superior "tactical advantage" then is pulling (or attempting to pull) your concealed weapon AFTER a confrontation has erupted.



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