Misogyny, Guns, Rape and Culture..

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bells, Jun 2, 2014.

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  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    What "underlying misogynistic overlap" are you seeing there? Because aside from the cultural coincidence that in the US a lot of gun nuts are misogynistic assholes (also: overweight and Republican and racially bigoted and fond of going to the casino) I'm not seeing it. Do you actually think violent and misogynistic men will not devote themselves to making threats toward the women in their lives if they are forbidden to make them with guns?

    Given a choice between the risk of having a neighbor with a firearm, and the risk of having a government that can be enlisted in the service of that kind of clueless arrogance, I'll take the neighbor every time.

    And that's why we can't get reasonable gun regulation in this country - too many authoritarians too obviously trying to take all the guns away from people they don't like on bullshit grounds have poisoned the well.

    Because goofyness like this:
    should never be enforced by the police.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    When the Bullet Hits the Bone

    I'm actually just hoping a few more people live through any given night. But, hey, I can't speak for your priorities.

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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Nothing to See Here

    Because Misogyny Has Nothing to Do With Anything, Right?

    Seattle television station KIRO brings us a disturbing lede:

    A Seattle man who was arrested after making threats to kill women at the University of Washington idolized Elliot Rodger, the deranged young man who killed innocent college students last month in California, police said.

    Suspect Keshav Bhide, 23, allegedly explained via YouTube and Google+ that "everything Elliot did is perfectly justified". The state of things around the UW campus, mere weeks after the Isla Vista shooting and a local event in which a disturbed young man attempted to shoot up Seattle Pacific University:

    Court documents show Bhide’s comments were made before and after a mentally ill gunman killed one student and wounded two others June 5 at Seattle Pacific University.

    Seattle police were alerted to Bhide’s comments online and involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Agents tracked his screen name to an apartment at 1128 N.E. 41st Street, near the University of Washington.

    Court documents show Bhide is a UW student. He was expected to graduate this year, and was arrested Saturday afternoon.

    Earlier this month, anonymous threats were made to UW sororities referencing the shootings in California. Chalk outlines were also left outside some UW sororities. It is not clear if Bhide was connected to those incidents.

    In his online messages, Bhide ranted against women saying he would make sure he would kill only them. Another commenter told him to “please just call an escort service,” and gave details for how he could avoid losing his life or going to jail.

    Bhide responded that he would “execute the same thing" as Elliot Rodger and that he had “no option,” according to court documents. Police said he used the screen name “Foss Dark.”

    Charles Mudede reflects:

    Rodger did not like women because he thought he was handsome (maybe even beautiful), and yet, in spite of this belief, women wanted nothing to do with him, preferring "brutes" (to use his word). Women would not kiss him, let alone fuck him. He could not see that good looks are not everything. All the young man had to do was speak for a moment and whoever might have been initially interested his appearance was soon looking for an exit. Rodger didn't know that "girls" were not fucking him because he clearly needed help. Maybe this is the same situation that the UW student is in. Maybe that's why he identified with Rodger, saw him as a hero, if it turns out that he did in fact write those things on the internet he's alleged to have written.

    I was once a college student who was very lonely and a virgin at 21. Yes, I was. (Rodger was a virgin and 22.) But it also never occurred to me to blame women for this poor state of affairs. I knew I was weird. I could not hold a conversation for long. I was maybe even lazy—masturbation was so much easier than the effort of making myself sound interesting. But during this time I never felt anything like the need to go to a gun store, buy a weapon and some bullets, and commit an act of "retribution." My feeling was that my time would come. And guess what: it did! I got laid, and the rest is history.

    The thing we must keep in mind in all of this is that we live in a society that hates women and loves guns, and those things should never mix. Almost all men who are in Rodger's situation ("I'm still a virgin") will never reach his conclusion ("I need to kill girls") because they are not nuts. But when someone is in his situation ("I'm a virigin") and is posting crazy shit on the web ("I plan to kill lots of sluts"), take them very seriously and do something about it. Are you listening? I'll say it again: take them very seriously and do something about it. This, apparently, is what happened with the UW student, and it may have saved lives—for now. We still have crazy men, we still have systemic misogyny, we still have lots of guns all over the place. It's only a matter of time.

    Of course, Mudede's advice will likely fall by the wayside, as plenty of men who don't "hate" women won't want to further empower the bitches by shutting up his brothers, and, besides, that's a woman's job, anyway, right? Perhaps, brothers, you might think you are protecting your own interests, working to keep the environment more conducive to fulfilling your presumed right to get laid. But when it's your wife or girlfriend or mother or sister or daughter shot down because some two-bit punk was angry that women wouldn't be his baubles and playthings, I don't want to hear about how angry you are at what you encouraged. And if it's your turn, because that punk thinks you're the competition making his life miserable by convincing all the bitches to stiff him on his justly earned reward, or maybe simply because you happened to be standing near the bitch, and it's hard to hit the target at fifty feet with a handgun while driving past, well, at least it's you.

    But, of course, it'll never be your turn, right?


    KIRO 7 Staff. "Police: Man threatened to kill women at UW". KIRO. June 16, 2014. KIROTV.com. June 17, 2104. http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/police-man-threatened-kill-woman-uw/ngMPt/

    Mudede, Charles. "The UCSB Killer Is Reported to Have a Disciple at UW". Slog. June 17, 2014. Slog.TheStranger.com. June 17, 2014. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/ar...b-killer-is-reported-to-have-a-disciple-at-uw
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I had a girl friend that was having problems with an irritating man and she told me about him. I talked with him once and she never again had any problems with him nor did she ever see him again. Sometimes you need friends to help out from time to time because that is what they are for.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The Pressing Question: "What's wrong with women?"

    The Pressing Question: "What's wrong with women?"

    Melissa Jeltsen of Huffington Post, explores the horrors of domestic violence:

    As with many women who are killed in domestic violence homicides, Laura's death was foreshadowed by a documented trail of warning signs. But in this small town in rural Arkansas, those red flags went unheeded. Despite Acuna-Sanchez's history of brutal attacks and repeated violations of his bail conditions, the justice system failed to keep him away from the woman he vowed to kill.

    "Everybody knew she was in danger," Ponce says. "A police officer came to my house and I told him everything in detail: How Victor beat her up, how he told us we were all going to be murdered, and that he had guns. Why couldn't anyone stop him?"

    There are a number of components making up the answer to a grieving mother's question. Acuna-Sanchez was on bail at the time of Laura Aceves' murder; he had also violated a no-contact order, but was released without bail after a day in custody.

    In a local newspaper, Grudek blamed Acuna-Sanchez's release on gaps in communication between the prosecutor and the judge. Since he had violated the no-contact order, prosecutors could have asked the judge to hold him pending trial, but they didn't.

    Deputy prosecuting attorney Devon Closser said that was because they didn't know about his most recent arrest. She told The Lovely County Citizen that there was no procedure in place to inform prosecutors when protective orders had been violated — and that the system could use "fine-tuning."

    In an interview with The Huffington Post, Closser declined to discuss the case, but said it was "not unusual" for offenders to be released quickly if they were arrested simply for violating a no-contact order.

    Records also show that Acuna-Sanchez wasn't checking in with a probation officer, as he was ordered to do as a condition of bail, but no one noticed.

    Grudek said he couldn't comment on Acuna-Sanchez's case specifically. But he shared his perspective on the problem of domestic violence, which he said he formulated by watching Dr. Phil.

    "This is a very serious social problem," he said, speculating that the crime was related to the breakdown of the traditional family structure. "Maybe if our culture goes back to when we had different values ... I don't remember when I was a kid hearing about any domestic violence."

    The seventy-one year-old sheriff apparently is unaware that while domestic violence has declined over sixty percent since VAWA passed in 1994, "the U.S. still has the highest rate of domestic violence homicide of any industrialized country".

    Yet for his part, Sheriff Grudek does not believe that higher bail for serial offenders, or even GPS tracking for known violators of active restraining orders would make any real difference:

    "The question you're asking me is what's wrong with the courts," he said. "I'm asking you, what's wrong with the women?"

    Jeltsen notes that on the Campbell scale, a twenty-question set used for a quarter of a century to assess domestic violence potentials, Laura Aceves would have scored eighteen of twenty, indicating that she was in extreme danger.

    Fixating on that question — why doesn't the woman just leave — reveals a fundamental misunderstanding about the realities of domestic abuse, said Kim Gandy, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

    "So often, when people say, ‘Why didn't she just leave?' the reality is that she did leave, or tried to," Gandy said. "Often she has reached out for help repeatedly, to the police, to the courts, sometimes to friends or family. Often she has a protective order and he assaults her anyway."

    Blaming the victim for not leaving indicates ignorance about the power and control that is an integral part of domestic abuse, she said.

    "If these kinds of police attitudes are common — the idea that it's really the victim's fault for being in that situation — then it would certainly deter a victim from seeking police help or protection," she said. "These kinds of attitudes are one of the reasons that abusers feel they can do whatever they want, and not have to answer for their violence."

    Former state Rep. Linda Tyler recalled her efforts in 2009 to rally support for a bill requiring GPS monitoring for those who violate active restraining orders:

    As Tyler traveled the state seeking support for the bill, she was dismayed by what she found.

    "There were so many cases, over and over, where law enforcement just didn't believe the victim," she said. "I had prosecutors tell me that women made this stuff up. It's unfortunately still an environment of—I'm a husband and I think I have the right to beat my wife, if that's what I feel like I need to do. That goes with marital privileges."

    Her bill passed but has not been embraced by Arkansas' judges. She said she knew of only three counties out of 75 that have used GPS tracking in response to the bill.

    Then again, why would the judges follow the law?

    Grudek said domestic violence prevention should focus on why women return to their abusers, and that it wasn't "logical or responsible" to think the criminal justice system could solve the problem ....

    .... When asked about the value of identifying high-risk victims, Grudek said he would use a screening tool if the state introduced it, but expressed skepticism.

    "It doesn't make any difference what kind of training officers get. You can tell that person they are at risk. But they will keep going back," he said. "Women continue to live in that environment. Why don't you do a study on why victims go back to these abusers? Why do they do that?"

    I wonder what the sheriff would say about the idea that women in domestic violence situations "are at greatest risk of homicide at the point of separation or after leaving a violent partner"?

    Why would anybody do anything, then, if the real question here is, as Sheriff Grudek put it, "I'm asking you, what's wrong with the women?" Of course, why doesn't someone do a study on victims who stay with their abusers? Well, why would anyone think he would pay attention to yet another?


    Jeltsen, Melissa. "This Is How A Domestic Violence Victim Falls Through The Cracks". The Huffington Post. June 16, 2014. HuffingtonPost.com. June 18, 2104. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/16/domestic-violence_n_5474177.html
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It was your perceptions, not my priorities, that were in question. What "overlap"?

    Or: Why are you lapping poor gun regulation over vicious and institutionalized misogyny as a cultural problem?
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The Important Question: Who will protect the poor, defenseless guns?

    As Melissa Jeltsen notes:

    In Arkansas, the combination of lots and lots of guns and lax firearm laws contributes to the problem. Research has shown if a batterer has access to a gun, the victim is eight times more likely to be killed. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, in 2010 Arkansas had the third-worst gun murder rate for women in the nation.

    Where guns overlap with misogyny, rape, and domestic violence in the United States, the body count is higher.

    And this is important; it derives from a self-centered view of society in which the individual is more important and worthy than anyone else. To wit, gun owners:

    It's interesting that you, who advocates for poor gun regulation, would raise this point.

    And the thing is, Ice, this is the situation we've made. It's the one we have to work with. But, hey, we get it. Your gun is more important to you than any number of other people's lives, so you'll continue to advocate against better gun regulations.

    That's fine with me. But no, you don't get to exclude guns from the consideration.

    There are plenty of people out there who shouldn't be allowed to possess or use firearms. Unfortunately, you and your fellow gun owners have made the process of figuring out who those people are slower, more difficult, and ultimately less effective.

    So here's a policy compromise that would help, given the number of legally owned firearms that become illegal when a criminal lays hands on it. And not all of them are stolen, Ice. There is a significant amount of guns used in crimes that were willingly given over to people, by friends and family, who are legally forbidden from having those devices.

    In Seattle, several years ago, we had an awful case in which the police decided to not hold a domestic abuser threatening to kill his former girlfriend. They had him in custody multiple times. They even knew he was in the country illegally, but for whatever reasons—perhaps, as an Englishman, he wasn't "Mexican" enough?—released him in fairly short order. Seventeen hours after his last arrest, he shot and killed Rebecca Gregio.

    It is said he got the .357 from a friend. That person has not faced any legal consequences.

    So here's the deal: If that gun is given, sold, or otherwise willfully transferred from a legal firearm owner to criminal hands, or if that firearm is stolen from anywhere that isn't under lock and key, the owner of that gun shares in the consequences of the crime. So, yeah. Your best friend goes off, steals your gun from the nightstand, kills someone? Yeah, you should have to face murder charges, too. Life in prison? Capital punsihment? Whatever the law allows, that "responsible gun owner" who provided a crime weapon should face the same.

    Put that law in place, and buttress it with a general law that says a gun owner is legally liable for every round fired from that weapon, whether by his own hand or not, and then vigorously enforce those standards, and I'll probably shut up about firearm safety and control for a while—at least until the reliable statistics start coming in.

    Now, setting aside what I would or wouldn't do—those need not be part of the offer—would you accept that legal responsibility for your firearms?

    I know two gun owners who would settle for such outcomes. Indeed, one of them was recently robbed in what turns out to be a fairly professional hit. They got the safe, didn't find the handgun since they were, as the saying goes, "in-out like a duck mating"[sup]†[/sup], but they did raid the closet where the other weapons had been kept. And I say had been, because he recently—perhaps upon his marital engagement—quietly got rid of them. The .45, the shotgun, the .30-06, and the AR-15. Those, at least, are not in circulation for having been stolen. The other one got rid of his guns years ago, save for a hunting rifle locked up in his stepfather's basement that my friend never uses anymore. There came a point when he realized that he was more dangerous than a gun insofar as no mugger or other proximal assailant could steal his hands and feet.

    But they're both liberals who vote for additional gun control. They like their guns, but not so much that the innocent can just go fuck off and die.

    Are you willing to be held accountable for your guns?


    [sup]†[/sup] Conn McCleary to Remo Williams in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.

    Works Cited:

    Jeltsen, Melissa. "This Is How A Domestic Violence Victim Falls Through The Cracks". The Huffington Post. June 16, 2014. HuffingtonPost.com. June 18, 2104. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/16/domestic-violence_n_5474177.html
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'm still waiting for someone to explain why we took the South back.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Well, you know ....

    Political pride. Who wants to be the president that lets the Union break?
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    But not in Canada, eh?

    That is not an overlap, but a context. There is no place in the US where guns do not "overlap" with everything. That does not mean they should be confused with everything.

    If you wrap up all this stuff into one big pill, people will refuse to swallow it - for good reason.

    I have never advocated against better gun regulations. Not once. And I don't own a gun. Never have. And I have made both those things perfectly clear several times on this forum.

    Being stolen from is now the same as "providing"? This is a vendetta. You guys are getting weird here. We're getting into totalitarian territory now. The guy currently in jail for murder for loaning his car to a friend is more legitimately guilty than that.

    From where are you getting this warp in your perceptions?
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    On Keeping Guns Out of the Wrong Hands

    NRA: Stalkers Need Guns, Too

    The problem:

    Domestic abusers who have access to guns are over seven times more likely to kill their partners than those who don't have such access. A report released by the Center for American Progress last week shows that stalkers and physically abusive dating partners can be just as deadly as a violent spouse. One study of female murder victims in 10 cities found that three-quarters of the women killed, and 85 percent of women who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner, had been stalked in the previous year. And almost half of all intimate-partner homicides are committed by a non-married, non-cohabitating dating partner who was not covered by federal gun restrictions.


    One way to address this? We might try "legislation that would prohibit those convicted of stalking and of domestic violence against dating partners from buying guns".


    The National Rifle Association is fighting proposed federal legislation that would prohibit those convicted of stalking and of domestic violence against dating partners from buying guns, according to a letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

    Federal law already bars persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing firearms. S. 1290, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would add convicted stalkers to that group of offenders and would expand the current definition of those convicted of domestic violence against "intimate partners" to include those who harmed dating partners.

    Aides from two different senators' offices confirm that the NRA sent a letter to lawmakers describing Klobuchar's legislation as "a bill to turn disputes between family members and social acquaintances into lifetime firearm prohibitions." The nation's largest gun lobby wrote that it "strongly opposes" the bill because the measure "manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as 'domestic violence' and 'stalking' simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions."

    The NRA's letter imagines a "single shoving match" between two gay men as an example of how the domestic violence legislation could be misused. "Under S. 1290, for example, two men of equal size, strength, and economic status joined by a civil union or merely engaged (or formerly engaged) in an intimate 'social relationship,' could be subject to this prohibition for conviction of simple 'assault' arising from a single shoving match," the letter says.

    The NRA also argues in the letter that "stalking" is too broad of a term to indicate any danger to women. "'Stalking' offenses do not necessarily include violent or even threatening behavior," the letter claims. "Under federal law, for example, stalking includes 'a course of conduct' that never involves any personal contact whatsoever, occurs wholly through the mail, online media, or telephone service, is undertaken with the intent to 'harass' and would be reasonably expected to cause (even if it doesn't succeed in causing) 'substantial emotional distress' to another person."

    The letter adds that the federal stalking law on the books is "so broadly written that some constitutional scholars even claim it could reach speech protected under the First Amendment."

    We can always find a "constitutional scholar" to claim a bill is too broadly written. It will be hard to figure out exactly what they mean until we hear the explanation, but reading through S. 1290, which is written in the classic, generally unreadable manner of ameding the U.S.C., I just don't see it.

    The bill amends some sentences in 18 U.S.C. § 921 and 922, adding the stalking offenses to the list of firearms disqualifications. In the end, as near as I can tell, the NRA has a problem with stalking laws in general.

    It's a pretty straightforward bill that (A) adds non-married, non-cohabitating intimate partnerships to the domestic violence consideration, and (B) adds misdemeanor stalking to the list of disqualifying convictions. The only real objection about protected speech is splitting hairs about a defendant who is carefully calculating his conduct to (a) be harassing, and (B) conform to his own idea of what the law allows or doesn't; in other words, a hypothetical defense of bad conduct.

    "Why are you lapping poor gun regulation over vicious and institutionalized misogyny as a cultural problem?" (Iceaura, #26)

    One might suggest a certain degree of paranoia; that is to say, does the whole thing about "stalking" just get too close to possibility for some of the objectors, at least as they understand it?

    Why does the NRA want guns in these people's hands?

    If it sometimes seems as if the NRA is campaigning for a society in which everyone is armed out of fear for their lives, and that fear is what keeps civility in place, remember that this is not some extreme caricature but, rather, a reasonable goal for the firearms industry lobby.

    It is one thing to invoke the good guys with guns; it is another to demand them.

    And speaking of good guys with guns, Adam Weinstein reflects on the troubles of trying to be one:

    I come from three generations of gunsmiths and armorers and collectors. By thirteen I had shot all manner of weapons, from a plinking .22 single-action Ruger revolver to an 1886 Winchester lever-action rifle with a cartridge the size of my middle finger—the buffalo gun, my father called it. In the military, I was an expert with rifles and pistols. I taught colleagues at Mother Jones, that venerable lefty mag, how to handle and fire an AR-15.

    My NRA-member father raised me to believe principally in the right to own guns and the right to carry them responsibly, subject to the limits society and its laws place on us. When Florida started issuing concealed carry permits in 1987, Dad was among the first to sign up.

    He runs a little boat-repair business out of a warehouse on the cheap side of Fort Lauderdale. For a time, his neighbors were drug dealers who produced amateur porn in their house. Robberies are common. He works late hours. Carrying a gun made sense—first, a little .22 derringer, then a 9mm Smith and Wesson, and finally a .45 Colt. When I turned 21 and applied for the license—it was fast-tracked when I showed the state my military expert-shooting records—I got the Smith police revolver, a .357.

    In many ways I was not yet a grownup—still childish in love and in work, a renter and sometime student with not even a car title in my name. But with the license, and the gun, came a host of new grownup worries. First: Who do you shoot, and when?

    Back when the licenses were still a new thing and the required instructional classes weren't a joke, my dad's class was run through a host of scenarios: You're broken down on a dirt road in the middle of the night. A black dude in a Cutty pulls up behind you, gets out, comes out with a tire-iron. What do you do? Half my dad's class said to shoot the black man.

    That was not the answer the instructor sought. He put a premium on restraint, on knowledge that the lethal tool in your pocket or waistband was just that, a tool, and one with a limited range of uses. You don't bring a gun to a fistfight. You don't wave it or brandish it in a threatening manner, because guns rarely de-escalate a situation. And you don't shoot someone just because you're scared ....

    .... When my son was born, all of my questions suddenly had a very basic answer. I would love for him to grow up as I did, enjoying shooting but understanding that every gun is loaded and you never touch one without an adult and you don't point it at anything you don't intend to shoot. But more than that, I'd love to believe that he'll have no mischievous accidents, no suicidal depressions or homicidal rages, no moments of weakness or fits of pique or questions that can be answered by the pull of a trigger. As with all the other scenarios in which I'm the good guy with the gun, I can never be sure. I carry my permit, as I always have. But now all my guns live with my father.

    The NRA might not like the implications of a stalking conviction, but they do like the implications of shooting down a bunch of suspected stalkers.

    Think about what's going on here.

    If the guns did not play a role, they would not be a consideration. We cannot address or even explore the relationship between firearms and domestic violence if we are expected to simply ignore the guns.


    Bassett, Laura. "NRA Fights For Convicted Stalkers' Gun Rights". The Huffington Post. June 25, 2014. HuffingtonPost.com. June 28, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/25/nra-stalkers-_n_5530097.html

    113th Congress. "Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2013". S. 1290. July 11, 2013. beta.Congress.gov. July 28, 2014. https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1290

    "18 U.S. Code § 921 - Definitions". United States Code. (n.d.) Law.Cornell.edu. July 28, 2014. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921

    "18 U.S. Code § 922 - Unlawful acts". United States Code. (n.d.) Law.Cornell.edu. July 28, 2014. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922

    Weinstein, Adam. "It's Really Hard to Be a Good Guy With a Gun". Gawker. June 10, 2014. Gawker.com. June 28, 2014. http://gawker.com/its-really-hard-to-be-a-good-guy-with-a-gun-1588660306
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There is no such thing as a domestic abuser in the US who has no access to guns.
    Oh bullshit. If you want an example of the kind of innuendo that gives gun regulators a bad image, frame that bit of nasty and consider what it reflects on its source.

    The people advocating gun regulation are foul little gits with an authoritarian agenda - is that really the point you want to make? Well, you wouldn't be alone - it's been made, inadvertently to be sure, over and over, on TV and in the newspaper and right here, as we hear them tell us about the nature of those who do not agree that guns are useless and therefore should be removed from private hands by whatever means necessary and on whatever justification is available.

    One reason the eminently sensible laws mentioned are opposed by so many, not just the NRA, is that they don't trust the source. Amy Klobuchar is not a terrible Senator, but if not watched she will make bicycle helmets mandatory, canoeing without actually wearing a lifejacket illegal, fireworks available only to licensed professionals, that kind of thing. The term "Nanny State" might have been coined for her utopia. And that poisons the well.
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Is that how people who push for gun controls come across to you, iceaura?

    Authoritarian, eh? That must be it. It couldn't be that any of these people are concerned about senseless loss of life, or anything like that, I don't suppose. No. They must have an authoritarian agenda.

    That's right, as I mentioned in another post. Gun ownership in America is an identity symbol. So, what matters is not the arguments on one side or the other. What matters is whether the advocates are on "our" side or "theirs".
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The Right to Kill Someone by Mistake, and Other Notes

    Given that you asked why guns are part of this discussion ...?

    Because you don't get to raise the point about "poor gun regulation" when you're one advocating poor gun regulation.

    Oh, do go on.

    You know, given your reaction over the top, right there, one might wonder if maybe we're onto something.

    One of the things about expectations is that they're always easy to aim at other people. Consider the misogyny part of this discussion; we've seen in other threads on the subject an adherence to a bizarre crime prevention theory that starts with less than a quarter of the rapes, identifies a minority proportion thereof, and focuses thereupon. So while one advocate might tell women what shoes to wear, or how being a woman means she shouldn't get as drunk as the next man, or something about her clothes and hair or using her mobile phone downtown or not separating from her friends at the club or whatever, notice where that advocate will usually hesitate.

    Or, as one advocate put it, avoidance techniques aimed at preventing over seventy percent of rapes just isn't common sense.

    And it's pretty apparent what's going on; it happens over and over. You've seen it. When the prevention advice is the sort of thing that—"Wha-wha-what?! I would certainly never do that, myself!"—tells a woman to avoid other men, a man is happy to dispense it. But the statistically more appropriate issue? Well, there are many, many heterosexual men who wouldn't stalk or abduct or drug a woman in order to rape her do happen to be male friends and intimate partners of women. You've read their words, assessed their philosophy. Is there a better explanation of why the discussion of changing attitudes is always pushed aside in favor of telling women what they should and shouldn't do if they don't want to be raped?

    For me, the issue hit after Stockton. And that makes for a convenient benchmark, as I'm certain the issue raged well before me—and we have the judicial records to prove that it did. It's convenient because it's a round number, sort of, and also a perfect example.

    That is to say, twenty-five years. In the twenty-five years I've been reasonably conscious of the firearm debate—i.e., aware that it exists in a context beyond a young boy who thinks it would be really cool to have a machine gun, but, you know, not just any machine gun but one of those big-assed mofos from Aliens that don't yet exist in our world—the question has focused on what constitutes punishment or other undue burden of "responsible gun owners", a term toward which you are likely aware I am somewhat hostile for its lack of clear definition. And one of the central themes there has been how to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people while not "punishing" the "responsible gun owners".

    Nobody who has been paying attention over the last quarter century should be surprised that the NRA would oppose a bill intended to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

    And the excuses people will make—

    —just don't pass muster.

    I think of a woman of my acquaintance—at least, I think she's a woman, and have no reason to disbelieve, though in truth I've never crawled up her dress to check—who I've witnessed arguing that pathetic rape prevention theory, and it turns out the reason she does so is that a particular person she doesn't like happens to resent the lack of any substantial definition about a policy solution, disdained for its lack of efficacy, and would thus argue for changing societal attitudes.

    It's almost like a misogynist stereotype in motion. You've seen versions of it in action.

    And, similarly, if your well is poisoned not because the water is actually poison, but simply because the water flows under the land of a neighbor you don't like, which thus, in itself makes it toxic, that's all to you. But when the issue involves your "right" to "accidentally" or "mistakenly" end someone else's right, that just doesn't seem like a (ahem!) "responsible" way of going about it.

    There would seem to be a reason why, twenty-five years later, that debate I remember in the wake of Stockton has yet to be resolved. With a standing presupposition of "responsible gun ownership", it seems easy enough to advocate tough-on-crime policies. But the thing about codifying responsible gun ownership in any way, be it legal or customary or whatever, that extends beyond a small, close-knit group of gun owners (friends, family, gun club, &c.), is that at some point people must address their own potential. And just like men who aren't stalkers and mickeyslippers and such hesitate when it comes to the "common sense" considerations that tread on their own circumstances, so do many firearms advocates seem to hesitate when the idea of "responsible" gun ownership treads too close to them. To some degree, it is a human reflex. But there also comes a point when it's straight ego defense, sustained and entrenched.

    How are we going to keep guns out of the wrong hands if there is always an excuse for why we shouldn't? In the quarter-century since Stockton, we have yet to resolve the question of how. We are presently seeing an example of why that question is so difficult to properly address.
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    We just did.
  19. Bells Staff Member

    Which is a very bad thing.

    No. No paranoia there..

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    I would think restricting access to guns to those who are mentally ill, have a criminal record and/or have a history and record of violent acts and crimes against others would be a good thing, wouldn't you?

    It's not that guns are useless. It's that as James noted, it is ingrained in your collective psyche as being necessary. Any restrictions and gun advocates have collective diarrhea at the mere thought that restricting access to people who should not, by any stretch of the imagination, even be allowed to touch a gun, let alone own one, because you all think that they're trying to take your guns from you. There is a reason why the US is one of the world leaders amongst developed countries in gun violence. And it's not a great thing to be at the top of.

    But there is something severely wrong with the collective psyche when people protest about the mere thought of criminals and the mentally ill being restricted from owning or having access to firearms.

    Oh, and in Australia, you are legally required to wear a bicycle helmet and that came about after doctors in hospitals protested widely about the number of head injuries resulting in either brain damage or death, especially amongst children, so they collectively pushed for laws and they were successful, you do need a license to use explosive fireworks so that the general public are not endangered by yahoos who set them off anywhere and everywhere, often resulting in injury, property damage and bushfires for those who live near bushland (and bushland virtually exists within a few miles of every major capital), and yes, you should wear a life jacket while canoeing and virtually all do here if you wish to hire a canoe and boating, it is mandatory for children to wear them (for obvious reasons)... I would imagine it is the same in most countries. It's not because we are a nanny state, but because it is sensible. Just as it is sensible to ban smoking from eateries and bars to protect the general public from the cigarette smoke of smokers. We also have speed restrictions on our roads, cars have to be maintained to ensure general safety, be required to fence your swimming pool to prevent children from drowning in them, etc. We also have very restrictive gun laws. Then again, guns aren't part of our collective psyche. Those who need guns for sport (hunting, competitive shooting) can obtain a license to own and transport their firearms, for work (farmers, etc) also obtain licenses to own and transport them. But we don't believe that people should own them for self protection. Because it isn't necessary and we know and experienced enough mass shootings to realise that allowing just anyone to buy guns is exceptionally dangerous to the general public and does result in too many deaths. The Port Arthur Massacre was the last of the line and people had had enough and the very conservative Government took action and banned guns. We haven't had a mass shooting since. Funny that, huh?

    Then again, Australians don't believe that we need guns to fight against possible tyranny from the State. Perhaps that is why we aren't so distrusting of such regulations and laws. We don't think the State is out to get us and we have to arm ourselves to be ready and prepared..
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Too often, as in the specific example I quoted.

    Being "concerned" and harboring an authoritarian agenda are not mutually exclusive. Nobody's denying the "concern". Consider the parallel with the drug laws - concerned people all around, millions of them, protecting their children.

    That reads as deliberate - not just bullshit, but intentionally false. You've been corrected on it three times now.

    If you haven't got anything but falsehood in support of an ad hominem argument, consider a polite silence - always an option.

    The legal definition of that term would settle almost all of this matter - and honest discussion leading to it would have the support of every gun owner I have ever met.

    You mistake the problem. The "excuse" is not why we shouldn't, but why so many people (including me, on the bad days like this one) think we safely can't.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Absolutely. And almost every single gun owner in the US agrees.

    Nonsense. Most people don't even own a gun, in many regions.
    They are. You are. That's the problem. Stop that. Then sane gun regulation would be possible.

    Yep. That's collective psyche, mind. Something's gone badly wrong with it.

    That's what a nanny State is - a purveyor of obnoxious, petty, intrusive, and poorly considered regulations of daily life by a State under the guise of being "sensible". There are, for example, neighborhoods in the US where helmets are required on bicycle riders - and people drive their cars, kids stay indoors and play video games, no problem. They record less head injury, and somewhat higher ratio of neck injury to head trauma (typical of helmet wearing - neck injuries increase). Also, much of the decrease in head injury seems to be from a decrease in bike riding. Any idea whether the extra obesity and diminished cardiovascular health are higher risk than the extra risk of head injury from no helmet? Nobody around here knows. Maybe the Australians have studied the matter.

    Of course, there is the soccer mom option - 1) drive the kids 2) helmets on all the way down the dirt park trails to the soccer field, cheer your kids while they bang their heads on the ball, the goal posts, and each other; helmets on for the leisurely cruise home.

    Nobody who owns a gun in the US is going to trust such a State to regulate the management of their firearms. Hence the difficulty.
  22. Bells Staff Member

    And yet.. Even mention of such restrictions results in intensive lobbying against it and such restrictions rarely ever come to fruition.

    Average gun ownership is what? 88 out of 100 in the US?

    Sane gun regulation will never be possible so long as people believe that even minor regulations are 'nanny state' types of laws.

    Hints of paranoia that 'they're taking away our guns' may have something to do with it.

    There was wide support for bicycle helmet laws in Australia. Overwhelming support, actually. There was little if any opposition to it. And with good reason.

    This was and is what the public wanted. How has it affected bike riding? Well, bicycle sales far outpace car sales and it is a very popular sport and past-time in Australia. And the numbers are growing, as more and more people cycle to work in metropolitan areas, for example, an increase in cycling infrastructure is necessary, because that also results in less injuries to cyclists. That's not nanny state. That's just common sense.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Nowhere near.

    That would be one component. Having officials and lobbyists and advocates with influence overtly threatening to take away people's guns would be the proximate cause of that "paranoia", naturally. Do you think there is any way we can get them to stop doing that?


    The image of an entire population of adults that was reluctant to ride bikes until their government made them wear helmets is a fun one, but somehow unconvincing.

    And regardless, that is the very exemplar of a nanny State. Was there something preventing Australians from wearing helmets before they were mandated?
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