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Thread: Something Else to Argue About

  1. #1
    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    I figured I'd give LEO229 a break and let everyone rage at me for a while. :P

    I always hate to agree with a moron, especially when they end up being right but for the wrong reason(s). One of the major logical flaws in the arguments of gun controllers is that they don’t differentiate between guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens and those in the hands of criminals. They argue more guns = more crime—or at least more gun crime. Gun rights advocates believe that criminals will get guns somehow, regardless of the laws-- gun control doesn’t work, so don’t bother.

    This is where I have to agree (partially) with the “bad guys”: more legal guns in circulation make it easier for criminals to get guns. Consider several scenarios:

    1. Straw purchase. A person with no criminal record purchases a gun, and then illegally transfers it to a criminal. Obviously, the purchaser is now a criminal, but they are very unlikely to ever be caught and prosecuted. This crime was made easier by the fact that there are plenty of [legal] gun stores and it is easier to [legally] purchase a gun that it might otherwise be.

    2. Theft. Burglars find an unsecured weapon in the house they’re robbing, and take it. If the homeowner hadn’t [legally] owned that gun, the criminals would not have come into possession of it. Breaking into a gun store can net criminals a big haul of guns.

    3. Uncle Joe, a law-abiding citizen, has [legally] owned a handgun for years. Following his death, Aunt Nelly (who never cared for guns) hides it away somewhere (the garage, the attic, or a drawer) just to be rid of it. However, their young nephew Bobby discovers it. Years later, Bobby becomes dirt-bag teenager who decides he wants to put the “bang” in gang-banger. So he pays a visit to Aunt Nelly and swipes the gun when Aunt Nelly is distracted.

    4. The Jonesboro shootings. I forget if the kids knew where the key to the gun cabinet was, or if they just broke the glass door.

    5. A criminal buys a gun in a person-to-person transfer (via classified ad or the “gun show loophole”). I know, I know, it accounts for only a tiny percentage of gun sales and an even tinier percentage of guns used in crimes. But it does happen, so it’s still an example of a legal gun finding its way into criminal hands.

    In all these cases, it is relatively easy for the criminal to obtain a gun because there are plenty of legal guns out there. If the law-abiding citizens hadn’t had the guns to start with, the criminal would have had to find another, more difficult way to get them.

    Ironically, the prevalence of guns in the hands of criminals drives law-abiding citizens to purchase guns to defend themselves. This puts even more guns into circulation, some percentage of which will end up in the wrong hands. The cycle feeds on itself.

    Now that everybody on this board is p1$$ed off at me, I also partially agree with the “good guys” that the reverse is certainly not true: eliminating all legal guns would not prevent criminals from getting guns. An outright handgun ban wouldn’t solve the problem (even if it was constitutional)—there are millions already in circulation, and a ban would just set the stage for a black market and gun smuggling.*

    So how do we deal with this reality? Obviously, it’s our responsibility as gun owners to always secure our weapons to deal with scenarios 2-4. I can’t come up with a palatable solution for the others. Without some kind of registry, there’s not much that can be done about straw purchasers (scenario 1). “Smart gun” technology would help (assuming it actually worked), but I’m sure criminals would find a way around that, too.

    Clear on the left. Clear on the right. The range is clear. Commence !

    * This generates a darkly-amusing mental image for me: imagine the illegal gun market doing to Austria what drugs have done to Colombia, with gangs of Glock traffickers operating with impunity from remote, picturesqueschlossen[/i] in the Alps, and the US Coast Guard intercepting shipping containers to look for Steyrs hidden inside nutcrackers and H&Kparts melted intothe Toblerone. OK, so my sense of humor can be pretty weird sometimes….


    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

  2. #2
    Regular Member dbc3804's Avatar
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    You could replace the word gun with knife, car, baseball bat, or whatever and it would still be the same.

    If a person is killed or injured from a bad guy using any object, does that make the object he used bad?

    The root cause of the problem is the bad guy. No bad guy=no problem.

    So the real issue is not banning object-x, but punishing the BG. We don't lock them up because of overcrowding or cost. We don't execute them because that is inhumane (or we support them for years and years before we do). The cops arrest them then they get back out on the street. Look at the post about the guy being beaten by 8 guys for trying to protect his 12 year old daughter. Some of those guys were convicted felons, and I'll bet they did not do their entire amount of time in jail. The one who was under 18 should not be treated as a kid. The repeat offenders should have been held without bail, the "kid" should be tried as an adult, an they should all do the full amout of timewhen they are sentenced.

    Danny

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    We deal with it by putting teeth into the laws that deal with actual crimes. We need to keep the laws thatpunish criminals based on their criminal behavior, we don't need laws that criminalize normal behavior, i.e. just having a gun.

    Rob a store = X years in jail

    Rob a store with a gun = X + 10 years in jail, no half the time off for good behavior crap either.



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    Decoligny wrote:
    We deal with it by putting teeth into the laws that deal with actual crimes. We need to keep the laws thatpunish criminals based on their criminal behavior, we don't need laws that criminalize normal behavior, i.e. just having a gun.

    Rob a store = X years in jail

    Rob a store with a gun = X + 10 years in jail, no half the time off for good behavior crap either.

    I would go a lot further than that. I've felt for some time thatthemost effective way ofpreventing certain types of criminal behaviour would be to imposemandatory life sentences for the use or brandishing of a gun in the commission of any crime, no matter how minor. (I'm a big fan of Singapore's sentencing laws. )

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Eeyore wrote:
    so it’s still an example of a legal gun finding its way into criminal hands.


    Clear on the left. Clear on the right. The range is clear. Commence !
    As has already been pointed out, the issue is one of criminals behaving criminally, NOT guns, gun owners, or gun locks.

    Personally, it is my very considered opinion that there should be no reason why I should ever have a need, therefore a desire, to put any firearm behind lock and key. First of all, locks only kep honest people honest - they merely delay the criminal in his criminal act of stealing. Second, I prefer to have the ability to scan my "collection" and make a quick decision regarding which one to pick up, based on my assessment of the immediate situation, rather than have to shoot over my shoulder as I try to work the combination on my safe so I can get to my rifle(s). Third, my firearms thrive in open air and sunshine - they become weak and sickly-looking after being cooped up for too long, and whine about wanting to be taken out to the range. :shock:

    Next shooter, make ready.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    in all honesty, i really don't give a damn.

    my liberty is more important than the level of difficulty for a "bad guy" to get a firearm.

    hell i don't even give a damn if bad guys can have guns legally, as i think they should be able to. the 2A doesn't have any IFs in there...

    if citizens were allowed to use their god given right of self defense in all states for personal and property crimes without restrcitions, it wouldn't matter if criminals were able to get firearms or not, they would be dealt with when committing their crimes. eventually they would be no more... and my liberty is worth the risk of "bad guys" being armed *easily* (they already are anyways)



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    i don't even totally agree that "criminals" shouldn't be allowed to own guns.

    I have a friend who worked as a cashier 7-8 years back.
    his drawer came up 100.25 short one day. By the time they counted his
    drawer he was already gone from work, so the owner called the police, he had already started his vacation. And was headed
    to branson missiouri. got stopped at a border check. they evidently ran his licence
    and found he was wanted for questioning. He had a 120.50 on him
    they figured part of that was the 100.25 that had gone missing. He got charged
    with a felony because he was attempting to cross state lines with the stolen money.
    He is now classified as a criminal, who cannot own a gun.

    3 months later one of his co-workers was fired, when the owner saw him pocketing
    money from the register on camera.

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    johnnyb wrote:
    in all honesty, i really don't give a damn.

    my liberty is more important than the level of difficulty for a "bad guy" to get a firearm.

    hell i don't even give a damn if bad guys can have guns legally, as i think they should be able to. the 2A doesn't have any IFs in there...
    My God... it happened... I agree with johnnyb. :shock:


    As I've discussed in other threads, the sociological pros and cons of guns and gun ownership can be argued 'til the cows come home. Some statistics say gun ownership is good, others say they're bad. But in the end, it comes down to the fact that I, and every other person on this planet (barring those in secured facilities), retains the right to effective self-defense.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    johnnyb wrote:
    in all honesty, i really don't give a damn.

    my liberty is more important than the level of difficulty for a "bad guy" to get a firearm.

    hell i don't even give a damn if bad guys can have guns legally, as i think they should be able to. the 2A doesn't have any IFs in there...
    My God... it happened... I agree with johnnyb. :shock:
    O, I wish I was in the land of cotton
    Old times there are not forgotten

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    Eeyore (17 July 2008 Thursday 17:10) did say and opine:

    This is where I have to agree (partially) with the “bad guys”: more legal guns in circulation make it easier for criminals to get guns.
    Stipulated that this is just for the sake of discussion (or a good argument, as one may prefer). The following is just My Own Humble Opinion and worth every cent you paid for it (double your money back if not satisfied!). But I do think it cuts to the heart of the prudential argument, which is about outcomes rather than rights.

    It is clear to everyone that so long as guns are available to anyone, criminals will get some of them and use them in Bad Ways. Even if guns are made totally illegal outside LE and the military, does anyone seriously think that when illegal drug shipments measured in tons get into the country that illegal firearms can be kept out?

    There will also be some number of accidents, suicides, and Bad Things happening with guns in the hands of honest citizens. Regrettably, this cannot be denied.

    So, the antis can argue that some number of Bad Things do and will happen if guns are around. We can't deny this, and we look foolish if we try.

    BUT ... it is equally undeniable, if not always equally accepted, that Good Things result from legal gun ownership. The most important of these are active self defense and the deterrence of crime.

    The problem with these Good Things is that, unlike the Bad Things, they can be hard to measure. Body count and property value lost in crime are easy. Successful self-defense, and especially deterrence, are hard to measure. John Lott has taken a good first step with analysis of deterrence, but the simple fact is that it is very, very difficult to count the number of things that did not happen. (It's not quite as impossible as you might think, but it is damned hard to do at all well). The Good Things that come from gun ownership are not as apparent, but they are equally real.

    Does anyone really think that an old, weak or infirm person has any chance against a young, strong and violent criminal, even when the criminal is unarmed? Ridiculous.

    IMHO, the prudential argument, based on results, comes down to counting Good Things that guns allow versus Bad Things that they inevitably permit. It's a difficult comparison that is inherently biased towards counting the Bad Things, but I do think that we Good Guys have a better argument than we usually make. Kleck's work is the best beginning, I think.

    Playing the numbers game is difficult, but no more for us than for them. The nature of the evidence gives us a harder job, but we can certainly do better than we usually do. Like everything else, do your homework, check your facts, and don't get in over your head.

    There are of course other arguments than this. The question of rights is not trivial. But I don't think it works to answer "more guns = more crime" with a "rights" argument. It ends up sounding like "I have a right to subject you to crime." That isn't really what one is saying but it can easily sound that way, and that argument is a loser.

    Again, just MHO, but I find that most antis lose a lot of steam when things are cast in those terms. They aren't converted, necessarily, but unless they're fanatic, I've notice them to stop and think more often than not.

    regards,

    GR

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    Eeyore wrote:
    SNIP This is where I have to agree (partially) with the “bad guys”: more legal guns in circulation make it easier for criminals to get guns.

    Just for sake of friendly discussion:

    Boy is it easy for the enemy to get your agreement.

    Don't forget, there is: 1) agree, 2) disagree, 3) neither agree, nor disagree. Academics, scientists, and diplomats do this last one alot.

    Thisnext pointI am very sure of. If you are not sure of it, treat it like ascientist treats a newtheory. Neither agree nor disagree. Just try it or testthe theory to see if it works:

    Rights and freedom are soessential to human nature that anythingcontrary to rights is almost guaranteed to have holes in it.Its just a matter of finding the holes.

    With regard to criminal access to guns, the point carefully overlooked is that there are far more good guys than bad. We could deliberately give every criminal a gun and the good guys would still outnumber the bad guys 4 to 1 or better, depending on how many of the bad guys were willing to try to use their gun for an illegal purpose.

    The anti-gunners are arguing from an immoral viewpoint. Immoral in that they are unwilling to take responsibility for their own protection and want to transfer that responsibility to another human being. Police. They want the police to risk their livesprotecting them.Google A Nationof Cowards.

    So, just because they are cowards and unwilling to defend themselves or help defend others if they witness a crime, the rest of us are now urged to accept more restrictions. I understand in South Africa at one time it was a serious offense to have your firearm stolen. Meaning it was a seriousoffense if it wasn't so well secured it was very difficult to steal.

    So, there you go. Holes discovered.

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Brave man...

    With a very small mind and a closed heart, yes this concept can be prevalent in the minds of the mindless. However as some have already pointed out, you can interchange any physical object in place of gun and have a killing/harming instrument. With that accounted for you also conceded that just like drugs, alchohol, and gunstheyarehere to stay and no amount of want will rid the world of them.

    However all of the above is a petty misdirected counter strike to the topic at hand. To reach any answer that is plausible in anyones mind, you must attack the real subject of the argument.

    What is a criminal?

    Main Entry:
    2criminal
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    circa 1626
    1 :one who has committed a crime 2 :a person who has been convicted of a crime
    This is a rather broad term in the American justices system. Tax evasion or for that matter a moving violation thrusts you into that catagory. To cope with this the term felon is used in place of criminal, but once again you will find that a felony is also broadly applied. Just more problems...

    Everyday thousands of laws are passed in the US, but only a few are repealled. Slowly we are creating a society that will not be able to function within the guidelines of the laws in palce. The answer for everyone in dealing with this epidemic is that the penalties are rather small, most can be settled with a monetary donation. This only gives excuses and ultimately motivation to continue farther down a path of crime. The greatest thing about crime is that you no longer are required to follow the rules of the establishment! A couple years in jail and a couple dollars to pass around and all of your problems will go away. Doesn't matter if you are "Not allowed" because you didn't end up in that position by following those rules in the first place.

    So now that this is established it is quite clear tounderstand that laws only affect those who willfollow them...

    The question posed in the argument is "How do youreduce crime without hurting everyone?"

    The answer would be to go back the way we came. To stop demonizing tools and inanimate objects, to start punishing real crime, and to truly identify what afelon is...

    A felon should be a person who can no longer be trusted to function in societyin a civil manor. If you cannot trust somone withthe means of self protection, then you cannot trust them with anyimpliment needed to sustain a viable life. Cars, Computers, rocks, soil, all can be used as implements in crime and people willing to use any of the above in a manor that threatens anyones existence does not deserve the right to be counted among the breathing.

    Locking people up is not the answer.

    No flame, no chars just truth.

    I hope somone of reason understand these simple principles.

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    Flyer22 wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    We deal with it by putting teeth into the laws that deal with actual crimes. We need to keep the laws thatpunish criminals based on their criminal behavior, we don't need laws that criminalize normal behavior, i.e. just having a gun.

    Rob a store = X years in jail

    Rob a store with a gun = X + 10 years in jail, no half the time off for good behavior crap either.

    I would go a lot further than that. I've felt for some time thatthemost effective way ofpreventing certain types of criminal behaviour would be to imposemandatory life sentences for the use or brandishing of a gun in the commission of any crime, no matter how minor. (I'm a big fan of Singapore's sentencing laws. )
    So someone uses their gun in self defense, the jury somehow finds against them, they're put away for life.

    Great idea.

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    If a felon whom has paid his/her debt to society gets robbed at gunpoint, but somehow gets the firearm and uses out of self-defense, what then?

    Does felon go to jail or do to extreme circumstances, does he go free?

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    The problem with the more guns=more crime argument is that it requires underlying assumptions about the distribution of criminals in the population. Criminals are not equally distributed regionally nor within a given state. As I discussed in another thread previously, the vast majority of violent crime in America occurs in large urban areas that encompass a minority of the population. From what I can glean from DOJ and census stats about 12-15% of the population lives in large urban areas (depending on how defined) and in excess of 50% of all violent crimes (this varies year to year and has been as high as 80%) occurs in those areas. To pass firearm restrictions based on urban crime punishes the large majority of the population living outside of those areas.

    My prior post on the issue:

    From available DOJ stats, nearly 30% of all homicides (all causes) in 2005 were committed in:

    Birmingham, Phoenix, LA County, LA City, Chicago, Indianapolis, NOLA, Baltimore, Prince George County MD, Detroit, Kansas City MO, St Louis MO, Las Vega, NYC, Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia, Memphis, Dallas, Houston and Milwaukee (chosen because of the available data they were all the ones with 100+ murders in 2005)

    These cities and counties only contain about 8.5% of our population. If a few other large urban areas were available, I would bet that the differentials would be even greater.

    That means, excluding those areas, the rest of the country has a murder rate of about 4.4 /100,000 (calculated) whereas with those areas the murder rate is 5.8/100,000 (DOJ) for 2005, the lowest since 1966. But without those few areas, without that 8.5% of the population, the murder rate is as low as it was last in about 1909. In other words, 91.5% of our population has a murder rate not seen nationally for 100 years. Just 10 years ago, the gap was even larger.

    Wisconsin as an example:
    Milwaukee contains about 11% of all of Wisconsin's population
    In 2005 over 62% of all murders in WI occurred in Milwaukee.

    IL example:
    Chicago contains about 22.5% of all Illinois' population.
    In 2005 over 58% of all murders in IL occurred in Chicago.

    And, since this is the PA state forum:
    Philadelphia contains about 12% of all PA's population.
    In 2005 nearly 50% of all murders in PA occurred in Philadelphia

    How does this apply to this thread? Well, the fact is that a very small percentage of our population can't all live together in a crowded area and those population centers attempt to punish the other 90% of us who generally get along pretty well by restricting our rights over their failures to govern, police and function.

    ETA: In various sources the homicide rates reported can vary quite a bit. My data was culled from the DOJ data. Wikipedia, UN and other sources have different numbers. A wiki article on the subject quotes DOJ crime stats as the source but differs by .4 from the DOJ site.]

    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    danbus (18 July 2008 Friday 02:10) asks:

    If a felon whom has paid his/her debt to society gets robbed at gunpoint, but somehow gets the firearm and uses out of self-defense, what then?

    Does felon go to jail or do to extreme circumstances, does he go free?
    Depends on local law of course, but I did see a Georgia case on that once. IIRC the court held that

    • even felons have a natural right of lawful self-defense, though not necessarily to own firearms for that purpose, and

      if a felon acquires a firearm without prior intent, during an emergency, and uses it lawfully, it is not a criminal act.

    The key point was that a felon could not keep a firearm around "in case" but could make (very) limited use of firearms in cases of otherwise lawful and extreme necessity.

    I believe the court compared the situation to someone not authorized to carry finding a loaded pistol lying in the road -- "carrying" the pistol to a safe place in such a case to help ensure public safety was excusable, but only to the degree absolutely necessary. One not otherwise authorized could not carry a firearm from an already safe place to return it to its rightful owner, the authorized-to-carry owner had to come and get it (no immediate public danger).

    IANAL, and no one should take legal advice from some anonymous stranger on the internet. The law may have changed, and other jurisdictions' law is surely different.

    I don't have the case citations to hand but I think I could find them if it would be helpful.

    regards,

    GR

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    O.K. Eeyore you only gave us half of the post. You asked "So how do we deal with this reality?"

    First it is not reality, just some hypotheticals which are not balanced against other guns are good hypotheticals.

    More importantly you do not provide a plan for fixing your hypotheticals. You should have given that as the second half of the post.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Aran wrote:
    Flyer22 wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    We deal with it by putting teeth into the laws that deal with actual crimes. We need to keep the laws thatpunish criminals based on their criminal behavior, we don't need laws that criminalize normal behavior, i.e. just having a gun.

    Rob a store = X years in jail

    Rob a store with a gun = X + 10 years in jail, no half the time off for good behavior crap either.

    I would go a lot further than that. I've felt for some time thatthemost effective way ofpreventing certain types of criminal behaviour would be to imposemandatory life sentences for the use or brandishing of a gun in the commission of any crime, no matter how minor. (I'm a big fan of Singapore's sentencing laws. )
    So someone uses their gun in self defense, the jury somehow finds against them, they're put away for life.

    Great idea.
    This 'great idea' is the NRA's Project Exile way.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Here's the thing: the VC picked up our weapons from the battlefield. The Muslem enemies do the same. Bad guys will steal guns, from many sources, they will buy them illegally from large scale straw purchasing. There are so many guns in circulation among the BGs that a ready market will always exist without adding merchandise. Stop making guns, confiscate all legally owned guns, zero effect on the bad guys. Kill a cop, get his gun in a most desperate last resort effort.

    Keep guns available for the good guys, no change in the balance of availability, but a big change in the risk factor for the bad guys. Cops with even the slightest amount of brains should figure: bad guy has the drop on me; armed good guy in the area, I may live. That they don't speaks volumes about the intellect of cops and the value of their training. Not saying some don't understand this, but they are a minority. Some guards at Treblinka were probably good family men, too. Train the cops, and dump the morons with a badge, and crime goes down. To me, this is the crux of the problem. More good guys with guns, less bad guys will use theirs. Benefit to all of society--including less cops getting killed or injured. Seem simple to me.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Gunslinger wrote:
    SNIP More good guys with guns, less bad guys will use theirs. Benefit to all of society--including less cops getting killed or injured. Seem simple to me.
    +5
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    Aran wrote:
    Flyer22 wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    We deal with it by putting teeth into the laws that deal with actual crimes. We need to keep the laws thatpunish criminals based on their criminal behavior, we don't need laws that criminalize normal behavior, i.e. just having a gun.

    Rob a store = X years in jail

    Rob a store with a gun = X + 10 years in jail, no half the time off for good behavior crap either.

    I would go a lot further than that. I've felt for some time thatthemost effective way ofpreventing certain types of criminal behaviour would be to imposemandatory life sentences for the use or brandishing of a gun in the commission of any crime, no matter how minor. (I'm a big fan of Singapore's sentencing laws. )
    So someone uses their gun in self defense, the jury somehow finds against them, they're put away for life.

    Great idea.
    This 'great idea' is the NRA's Project Exile way.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******
    "Project Exile" applies to repeat offenders,Felons with firearms,or firearms involved with drug trafficking. That hardly applies to a self defense shooting.

    Thank you for your creative and productive insight Dougy


  22. #22
    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    Thundar wrote:
    O.K. Eeyore you only gave us half of the post. You asked "So how do we deal with this reality?"

    First it is not reality, just some hypotheticals which are not balanced against other guns are good hypotheticals.

    More importantly you do not provide a plan for fixing your hypotheticals. You should have given that as the second half of the post.
    Nope, that's the whole thing. If I had a plan, I would have posted it. The fact that I didn't/don't have a plan is implicit in the question I posed for the sake of discussion. Furthermore, I never said or intended to imply that guns do not have beneficial effects--in this forum, I think we can take that as a given. My question was intended onlyto examine possible ways to minimize their negative effects. I would never advocate banning airplanes because they sometimes crash, but I would never prohibit someone from examining possible ways to make them safer.

    Gentleman Ranker recognized all the above, and followed the implications. (Bravo, sir.) He restated the dilemma better than I did: "...the antis can argue that some number of Bad Things do and will happen if guns are around. We can't deny this, and we look foolish if we try." So what can we do instead?

    I agree 100% that all evil should be met with justice. As for prison terms, I believe the swiftness and surety of punishmentare more effective deterrents than the duration. If your dog wizzes on the carpet right after you leave the house for work, and you punish him when you get home 8 hours later, the dog learns nothing. Likewise, when a BG gets arrested, then immediately released on bail, is free to run around for a year while awaiting trial, eventually gets tried and convicted, then waits a few more months for sentencing before he ever sees the inside of a prison, the deterrent effect is lost. The effect has been too far separated from the cause. (And that assumes he's convicted at all, instead of getting off on a technicality or getting some weak suspended sentence or time served. :X)

    If it were up to me, I'd bring back stocks in the public square. Nothing like a little public humiliation to get someone's attention, and the sales of rotten fruit and vegetables will stimulate the economy.

    The problem is that punishment comes after the crime has already been committed. My question was oriented towards prevention.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

  23. #23
    State Researcher
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    Citizen wrote:
    Rights and freedom are soessential to human nature that anythingcontrary to rights is almost guaranteed to have holes in it.Its just a matter of finding the holes.

    So, just because they are cowards and unwilling to defend themselves or help defend others if they witness a crime, the rest of us are now urged to accept more restrictions. I understand in South Africa at one time it was a serious offense to have your firearm stolen. Meaning it was a seriousoffense if it wasn't so well secured it was very difficult to steal.

    So, there you go. Holes discovered.
    Well said Citizen...well said

    With this attitude "in the masses" and the lack of real punishment for criminal acts, our society will, IMHO, continue into this downward spiral. Maybe we should take a look at other countries laws/punishments....just to see what actually works.
    I'd bet that South Africa, Bulgaria and El Salvador have a smaller percentage of DUIs than we do...... http://webpages.charter.net/ricknet/duilaws.htm

  24. #24
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    Eeyore wrote:
    Thundar wrote:
    O.K. Eeyore you only gave us half of the post. You asked "So how do we deal with this reality?"

    First it is not reality, just some hypotheticals which are not balanced against other guns are good hypotheticals.

    More importantly you do not provide a plan for fixing your hypotheticals. You should have given that as the second half of the post.
    Nope, that's the whole thing. If I had a plan, I would have posted it. The fact that I didn't/don't have a plan is implicit in the question I posed for the sake of discussion. Furthermore, I never said or intended to imply that guns do not have beneficial effects--in this forum, I think we can take that as a given. My question was intended onlyto examine possible ways to minimize their negative effects. I would never advocate banning airplanes because they sometimes crash, but I would never prohibit someone from examining possible ways to make them safer.

    Gentleman Ranker recognized all the above, and followed the implications. (Bravo, sir.) He restated the dilemma better than I did: "...the antis can argue that some number of Bad Things do and will happen if guns are around. We can't deny this, and we look foolish if we try." So what can we do instead?

    I agree 100% that all evil should be met with justice. As for prison terms, I believe the swiftness and surety of punishmentare more effective deterrents than the duration. If your dog wizzes on the carpet right after you leave the house for work, and you punish him when you get home 8 hours later, the dog learns nothing. Likewise, when a BG gets arrested, then immediately released on bail, is free to run around for a year while awaiting trial, eventually gets tried and convicted, then waits a few more months for sentencing before he ever sees the inside of a prison, the deterrent effect is lost. The effect has been too far separated from the cause. (And that assumes he's convicted at all, instead of getting off on a technicality or getting some weak suspended sentence or time served. :X )

    If it were up to me, I'd bring back stocks in the public square. Nothing like a little public humiliation to get someone's attention, and the sales of rotten fruit and vegetables will stimulate the economy.

    The problem is that punishment comes after the crime has already been committed. My question was oriented towards prevention.
    Here's my 2 cents, found it on the sidewalk.

    Prevention means education and a complete 180 in attitude, imho. First off, people need to know there are choices. How many crimes are committed by those who are simply desperate for some basic human need (food, attention, shelter, money), which could be prevented if we reached out and held out a hand instead of a handcuff?

    As for the attitude shift: It's been found in some social psych studies (a class I'm taking right now, btw, I'm not an expert but like to apply my learning) that kids are more deterred from bad behavior when they have less (but not zero) external justification for avoiding said behavior. Internal justification will last longer than external punishment and will be more generalized to Bad Things instead of The Bad Thing.

    The reasoning for this is that if they are "normal" (and thus do not behave badly out of some sociopathic tendency) and not "forced" by some other externality to do Bad Things (ie, forced to steal because you're starving), 9 times out of 10 the Bad Thing will cause cognitive dissonance. They will wonder why they're acting badly when the expectation is clearly the opposite and when their own personal values probably don't include Bad Things. To stop the discomfort of that mental mismatch between actions and values, they either have to change their values (tough, and not likely to succeed), or change their actions to meet their ideal values (which stops the Bad Behavior).

    The implication for law enforcement, then, is really the opposite of our current reaction to criminal behavior (lock 'em up longer and treat 'em worse!)... but if it works for kids it should work for adults, assuming they have been raised properly (another preventative technique which we are desperately in need of, but one I won't go on about here). This means probably shortening the judicial process as much as possible to make punishment more immediate, making the sentences for first-time offenders more civil service work, social education classes (manners), the stocks, or other mild deterrents (writing essays on "Living Crime-Free"?) and less jail time. That in turn frees up the jails to keep repeat offenders or seriously disturbed criminals in longer, keeping the really bad guys off the streets and making them less likely to gain followers who will carry on the legacy of Bad Things.

    But that'll probably never happen, because most people want to think we're already doing the right thing and the natural response to Bad Things is to kick back as far and as hard as we can without thinking about the long-term consequences. I forsee plenty of heavier sentences and overstuffed jails in our future.

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Most crimes in America are not committed by people desperate for basic human needs. Giving people things instead of people having to work for things is much of what got us in this mess in the first place. We have spent trillions of dollars over the last 40 years giving hand outs to people and that has done more to destroy the lives and cultures of certain segments of our population than anything else we could have done.

    Pegasus, if you go on to take a criminal psych class you will find out (assuming you don't have a raging liberal professor who teaches opinion rather than fact) a lot of the social psych material on criminal populations and deterrents will make even more sense. You will find out that there are segments of the population act badly just because they can basically and that about 10% of the criminal population cannot be rehabilitated and would be criminals no matter how great their material wealth and comfort. The new concern being discussed when I was back in school was that cultural effects were increasing that percentage. Such a trend was just then emerging and being looked into but no long term or comprehensive studies had yet been performed.

    The matter is not by any means as simple as a hand out instead of a hand cuff. Look at all the criminal acts by people born and raised in privilege. Granted they are not typically the street crimes we are so aware of, however criminal and contrary to a law abiding society all the same. Claiming poverty as a root cause of crime is an old, old theory that has not been born out by fact or reality.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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