Some facts about guns in the US

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by James R, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In my State I've seen a frontrunning candidate for Governor lose his shot at election by stating that he favored banning handguns from larger cities. Not to mention the several on this forum.

    It's a common sentiment in certain political factions (authoritarians, left and right wing both), and every gun nut knows that.
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  3. Albert29 Registered Member

    I think if you don't have a gun how you control crimes.Even you have security cameras and other security devices That are using to protect yourself.Because what you do when you have a person outside your door with gun?
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    It's a no-brainer that if a militia is well regulated, all of its members will be registered!

    Uh, keep the door locked and call the police?

    If you live in a place where it will take the cops 20 minutes to drive to your location, then your first priority should be to relocate to someplace more civilized.

    This is a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease. If you have a gun for self-protection, it is statistically six times as likely to be used to kill an innocent person than a criminal. This thread is rife with examples of guns that were kept for self-protection, and ended up killing or seriously wounding innocent people.

    Even the cops kill innocent people all the time, and they're trained professionals! How safe do you think a gun is in the hands of an amateur?
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  7. Chipz Banned Banned

    This is a fairly aristocratic and naive view of the world Fraggle. How many don't have quick access to police? Approximately half of the population lives in rural settings. The average local jurisdiction size of a township is 6,200 people. Your belief that this makes them "uncivilized" is a mark on your character, not theirs. Your view presumes the problem is not the lack of civility for those who murder, but the lack of the civility for those outside of large metropolitan areas. So because you dislike small towns, the citizens therein should die?
  8. Motor Daddy Valued Senior Member

    Safer than a cell phone in the hands of a teenage driver?
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    After the militia is formed, of course. Not before, when its future members are just regular citizens, and not after, when the need is passed and they return to their homes and jobs; and not with the Federal, or even State, governments in the area. A militia regulates itself.

    One of my criteria for "civilized" is that I don't have to lock my door. Places where the cops are on hair-trigger alert and can be expected immediately are best avoided as places to live, in my preference.
    The basic problem with that all but irrelevant statistic has been pointed out several times now - slow learner, or what is going on?

    I wonder what that statistics would look like for dogs kept as protection: how many criminals bitten vs innocents?
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Don't let them in.
  11. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

    Can you say "breaking and entering"?
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Get a better lock. A good lock (and a good door, and good windows) will keep you a lot safer than a gun will.
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    General and Particular

    Okay, at this point I'm willing to offer an observation about certain persuasive discourse—politics, sales, law—in which a pattern has long been apparent, but I think I can rephrase it in a slightly new form:

    In controversial subjects, the more conservative view tends toward more immediate concerns, while a more liberal view looks at broader situational boundaries.

    That is to say, you—whose argument falls on the conservative side of my American interpretation of the political scale—are offering a valid consideration of the moment.

    The counterpoint, of course, is looking at the broader potential.

    I completed my fortieth annum about two hours ago; the rest of the day will be spent, as you might expect, in various celebrations.

    But I raise the point of having achieved my hilltop in order to point out that through the course of fourteen thousand six hundred ten days on this planet, I have had exactly one occasion arise in which, maybe, "it would have been nice to have a gun".

    Except that even if I had one, I wouldn't have been shooting back.

    A friend wanted to mourn a suicide, so we went to a park late at night that he could wander off by himself and sit at the place where his friend passed. Apparently, this interrupted some nefarious business; as two of us were walking back down the hill toward the car, with the third still back at the suicide site, a white Cadillac pulled into the parking lot, slid sideways on the gravel, and then gunfire erupted. Sixteen plus one, nine millimeter. That's a long wait when you're on the deck behind a tree.

    The thing is that they weren't really shooting at us. I certainly could have asserted myself with a gun had I actually owned and carried one, but what kind of gun? I'm not walking around with a rifle slung on my back, and I can tell you this much, that the six plus one Sig .380 I once admitted to a friend I would carry if I ever discovered the need to carry a handgun simply wouldn't have hit the target from that range. In truth, my biggest danger from the Nine was an accidental hit; you can't sharpshoot anyone at that range with a handgun, even if you're not simply unloading the thing the hard way.

    So, no, I would not advise, under such circumstances, returning fire. I had a slight elevation advantage, and could reasonably gamble that the houses behind the shooter would be safe from direct fire, but there is no way anyone could guarantee collateral safety. Returning fire would have been a bad shot.

    If we count the days, a gun might have served me on approximately sixty-eight one-hundredths of a percent of my time on Earth, and that number will only be declining.

    Meanwhile, in the last eight years, my daughter has reminded me repeatedly that I'm not hiding certain things well enough if I don't want her to see them. Indeed her mother kept the infamous handgun with which she threatened to shoot me in a lockbox that eventually got moved to the attic above the garage. Our daughter had the key, knew it went to the lockbox, and we were lucky.

    To the other, the ammunition was stored separately, but still.

    The firearm is no longer suitable for specific home protection, as it hides above the garage in a fireproof safebox.

    If some future situation arises in which my former partner thinks she's being stalked or harassed, I have no doubt that she'll bring the gun down.

    The one occasion I have used my blade as a weapon, it was only for show, and only because I was that annoyed with the guy, a crazy neighbor I've recalled here before—one punch to the upper left forehead, just in front of the temple ridge, would have dropped him into a coma; the knife was completely extraneous.

    Still, though, in the last seven years—since my partner and I separated—my daughter has discovered my knife, marijuana accessories, and even personal recreation devices that I thought were sufficiently hidden.

    And, yes, most of those discoveries came, blessedly, when she was three; her memory presently does not easily access those files, although the one thing she definitely remembers from that time is cornering the cat and learning that kitty claws are sharp and hurt very much.

    In the meantime, though, I think back to my teenage years when our house painter got called off the job because his five year old son had been accidentally shot to death by some moron plinking in a field with a .22. Or, more recently, the spate of child deaths, including in the houses of law enforcement officers, when the youngsters found an unsecured firearm. The thing is that every "responsible gun owner" is a "responsible gun owner" until he or she isn't, and that threshold seems to involve grievous human damage. Indeed, I've had friends who argue the bit about not punishing responsible gun owners who will also tell insanely irresponsible stories about themselves and guns. My favorite is the tale of clubbing a two-legged buck to death with the butt end of a .44 revolver, but, as you might expect, other hunters who hear that story are mortified. Of course, that family of responsible gun owners was disrupted when another responsible gun owner admitted that he had the gun in his hand, didn't know it was loaded, and pointed it at his friend's chest, killing the younger son instantly. (Incidentally, the cash value of human life in Oregon under such circumstances was, in the early nineties, just shy of $1,150.)

    My point being that when the moment comes, sure, maybe it would be helpful to have a gun on hand, but the ambient danger on the rest of those days ranges—perhaps depending on political persuasion—somewhere between disconcerting and outright insane.

    There is, in fact, a solution that doesn't require heavy "gun control". Quite simply, make people criminally and civilly responsible for every round that comes from their firearm. I mean, we get it. Criminals at the door, and so on. But do you, for instance, in the act of firing a gun in order to avert a perceived threat to your wellbeing, have the right to "accidentally" kill an innocent person?

    And what about these accidental shootings? When it's a black kid who takes his uncle's gun to school and hurts someone, the uncle is prosecuted. When it's a white kid in Oklahoma who finds his uncle's gun and kills himself, the sheriff's deputy uncle is protected by the idea of an "accidental" shooting.

    So there is the essential proposition: No accidental shootings (see #130, 214).

    No reduced charges. No accidents. Manslaughter, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon. No more of these "accidents" or "culpable negligence" sympathy charges. Heavy punitive civil damages. These people want to be responsible gun owners, then let them be responsible.

    We get the part about somebody banging down your door. What we don't get is the idea that responsible gun owners don't have any responsibility toward a device designed specifically for killing.

    And when black or white, law enforcement or civilian, criminal or responsible gun owner, "accidental" and extraneous "self-defense" shootings are met with the full force of the law, that question will begin to dissipate.
  14. arauca Banned Banned

    He must be a lawyer he needs to practice writing
  15. arauca Banned Banned


    What do you do if your fancy door is partially made of glass.
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Get a better door. Plexiglass is effectively unbreakable. Or get an outer 'screen door' (with reinforcements.) Or get a door with reinforced muntins and regular glass; he will be able to break the glass but still not get in.

    And the best thing about all of them? You won't wake up some night finding a thief holding your door to your wife's head. And if your kid sticks your door in his mouth and fiddles with the latch, the result will not be as horrific.
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Tidy Package

    And that's a fairly easy one; I like having a screen door, and I've seen enough cheap ones in my life to want a good one.

    In truth, if I felt the need for a reinforced screen door specifically as a measure against crime, I'd probably just go with the, "Get a better door," option.

    I'm of the opinion that if somebody really wants to rob me, or kill me, or whatever, they will find a way. But, hey, a nice screen door is a nice screen door.
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Hidden Dangers of Disney World

    The Hidden Dangers of Disney World

    A responsible gun owner helped solve a mystery at Disney World this weekend when he walked into the lost and found in order to ask for the return of his Cobra .380 handgun, which he had lost somewhere in the Animal Kingdom.

    A grandmother handed a Cobra .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol to a park attendant Sunday after getting off the Dinosaur ride. "My grandma found it in her seat," her young grandson told park security.

    Minutes later, an apologetic Angelo Lista returned to claim the firearm, which was loaded with five hollow-point bullets — but none was in the chamber. He told the Sentinel it had fallen out of his buttoned back pocket during the bumpy ride. He was escorted out of the theme park.

    He returned to the parks the next day without the gun.

    Lista, 44 of Royal Palm Beach said he had no idea Disney prohibited guns on its property, raising questions about whether the company's restrictions on firearms are explicit enough ....

    .... Lista usually stores the gun in his car's glove compartment, but on this occasion, he forgot and realized he had the weapon when he was sitting on the tram to go inside the park, he said.

    "It was my mistake, but I wish I would've known more about" the policy, Lista said.


    There is some question, now, about whether Disney World has posted enough notices about firearms prohibitions, and that certainly has some weight in legal considerations, but we might also look aside to another aspect of this.

    Okay, in the first place, it's Disney World. Say what you will about personal protection, but it's freaking Disney World, and if one of the magically-designated happiest places on Earth isn't safe enough for you ...? Well, holy shit.

    But, of course, our man Lista wasn't really frightened for his safety. Rather, he forgot that he was carrying a device designed, first and foremost, for the killing of other human beings. And, to be certain, he so forgot the fact that he was carrying his gun that he apparently didn't notice that he "dropped" it.

    Pretty much everyone I know chuckles at the sight of me stepping out of a car in blazing summer heat wearing my ten-pound leather jacket. And every once in a while, someone asks me why I wear that jacket virtually everywhere I go. My answer is usually that it's my man-purse; I can carry everything I need in it. Wallet in this pocket, phone in that pocket, cigarettes, keys, lighter ... pouch and pipe on certain days. Everything I need to carry for an average day or evening fits in that most comfortable and beloved jacket. We even call it my "body armor"; its predecessor protected me well when I tripped over the uneven sidewalks in New Orleans while walking, drunk, back from the Quarter. I'm told it was funny when I fell, because I just got up and kept walking like nothing happened. But the next day, I had to deal with the damage insofar as it took about ten minutes to make sure I had picked all the pieces of sidewalk out of the leather, which in turn showed no scuffs, cuts, or nicks.

    My jacket isn't real body armor. But the thing is that I am so accustomed to wearing it that I know if something is missing. And that even includes my cigarettes, which are not exactly heavy.

    These particular gun weighs twenty-two ounces unloaded. Even accepting that a "responsible gun owner" could "forget" that he was carrying his lethal device, well, how does one not notice the sudden relief of that weight from the body?

    So, yes, two questions:

    • Really? You forgot that were carrying a killing machine on your person?

    • And you didn't notice when it was no longer there?​

    Well, okay, sure, he eventually noticed, but still ....


    Hernández, Arelis R. "Gun found on Disney ride raises questions about safety". Orlando Sentinel. May 29, 2013. May 30, 2013.
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The American Sacrifice

    American Tragedy: The Joy of Freedom

    Michael Thompson and Shaley Sanders bring us the latest tragic chapter:

    Child Protective Services has taken custody of the other children who were living in the home in Cherokee County, where a two-year-old child shot and killed himself with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

    Two-year-old Trenton Mathis was pronounced dead on Wednesday afternoon at a hospital in Tyler, after the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said he shot himself in the face.

    According to Trenton's great-grandmother Carolyn Mathis, Trenton had eaten two pieces of gum Wednesday, and he asked his great-grandfather for more. His great-grandfather told Trenton he could have some after dinner. Later, Trenton went into his great-grandparent's bedroom, looking for gum. Carolyn said Trenton's great-grandfather left his handgun on the nightstand, but he thought he had closed and locked the door. Carolyn said the door was locked, but it was not closed all the way. Trenton was able to go into the bedroom, and then he climbed onto the bed and searched the nightstand looking for gum. Instead, he found the handgun.

    CPS said late last year, four children, one of whom was Trenton, were removed from their parents home in Harris County because of abuse and neglect. Three of those children, including two-year-old Trenton, a ten-month-old and a five-year-old, were placed with their great-grandparents in a home near Bullard. The other child, who will turn two next month, was placed in a foster home in Harris County, because CPS felt the child had medical needs that could not be met by the great-grandparents.

    CPS said they denied a home study on the great-grandparents, meaning CPS felt the home was not safe for the children. At a custody hearing, after listening to arguments from several attorneys, a judge ruled against the CPS recommendation and placed the three children with their biological great-grandparents.

    There comes a point where trying to write punch lines for tragedies like this just isn't worth the effort.

    In the name of the Glorified G most high, hear our prayer.


    Thompson, Michael and Shaley Sanders. "Great-grandmother said Cherokee County boy who shot himself was looking for gum". KLTV. May 30, 2013. May 31, 2013.
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Floridians for Freedom

    Floridians for Freedom

    First up from the state Homer Simpson once called "America's wang":

    Greeson and Tracy Greeson were arrested on child neglect charges. Donald Greeson also was charged with unsafe storage of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of paraphernalia and possession of methamphetamine.


    The good news is that nobody is dead:

    A Lake County couple has been arrested on child neglect charges after deputies say a 4-year-old shot off a portion of his finger with a gun he found in the couch.

    Donald Greeson, 40, initially told deputies on Sunday he left the gun on top of the entertainment center at their home on Georgia Road in Altoona, according to the report. Greeson later told deputies he had set the gun on the couch, and that he had smoked marijuana and took prescription pills the day before the shooting incident.

    The child told authorities he knew the gun was in the couch because he had seen an adult in the home place it there the night before, according to the report. The 4-year-old said he took it from the couch and went outside, where it went off, shooting off a portion of his left finger.

    File that under, "Responsible Gun Ownership".

    Meanwhile, just one county over from the Lake County CDP with a population of 88, in the city of Ocala—the "Horse Capital of the World", apparently—a much different question of responsible gun ownership arises:

    An Ocala man charged with shooting and killing three bouncers over what police say was a prank was given no bond on Monday at his first appearance.

    Andrew Lobban, 31, is in the Marion County Jail on a no-bond status, charged with three counts of first-degree murder after police say he shot and killed Josue Santiago, Jerry Bynes Jr. and Benjamin Howard outside of AJ's bar early Sunday morning.


    Well, wait. What? Dude, nobody who guns down three alleged friends over a prank can be called a responsible gun owner, right?

    Except that's not the question:

    Ocala police said the victims were friends with Lobban and all worked together as bouncers at the Ocala Entertainment Complex. Police said a videotaped prank left Lobban bitter and embarrassed until he sought revenge Sunday.

    Investigators said the four were together at a gun range a few weeks ago and the friends recorded Lobban attempting to shoot his gun. The friends are believed to have set up Lobban so that his gun misfired and, according to Lobban, the three victims had been teasing him about the video for several weeks.

    Lobban told authorities he was going after Santiago and didn't mean to hit Howard and Bynes.

    Now, it's true I'm not a fan of firearms. However, I'm pretty sure that one of the utmost rules of firearms is to not fuck with someone else's gun.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps trying to make guns misfire is clean sport in the shooting world. I mean, sure, it's all fun and games until someone blows a hand off or puts a piece of a shattered gun into their eye. Or, you know, when the big angry guy with the gun decides to kill you for the prank.

    Okay, that last is a little hard to plan for. But, still, I'd screw a guy's wife before I screwed with his gun. And, yes, you're welcome to make whatever observations about the safety of that ordinal arrangement, but I'm well aware of the priorities of the most part of gun owners I know. A wife is just a wife, but a handgun is forever.


    WKMG. "2 charged with child neglect after Lake County 4-year-old shoots off finger". Click Orlando. June 3, 2013. June 3, 2013.

    Muniz, Sheli. "Man shot, killed 3 after being 'punked,' Ocala police say". Click Orlando. June 2, 2013. June 3, 2013.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    No Charges for Responsible Gun Owner

    No Charges for Responsible Gun Owner

    The Johnson County, Texas Sheriff's Department says no charges are expected in the case of a nineteen year-old man who "accidentally" shot his sister to death Tuesday. Emilee Bates was celebrating her thirteenth birthday; her brother "was cleaning his guns when one went off, striking her in the stomach, authorities said".

    And that's pretty much what we have on the story at the moment, via Tasha Tsiaperas of The Dallas Morning News.

    As I have noted before:

    So there is the essential proposition: No accidental shootings (see #130, 214).

    No reduced charges. No accidents. Manslaughter, assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon. No more of these "accidents" or "culpable negligence" sympathy charges. Heavy punitive civil damages. These people want to be responsible gun owners, then let them be responsible.

    We get the part about somebody banging down your door. What we don't get is the idea that responsible gun owners don't have any responsibility toward a device designed specifically for killing.​

    This is an example. I mean, I'm aware that we don't want to punish responsible gun owners, but I don't really think a legal obligation to not negligently kill another person really falls into that category of excess.

    Every legal gun owner is a responsible gun owner until he or she isn't. And as in the case of Emilee Bates' elder brother, too many times that failure ends up hurting or killing someone else. In Texas, this could be V.19.04, manslaughter (felony two; two to twenty years), or V.19.05, criminally negligent homicide (state jail/felony three; six months to two years).


    Tsiaperas, Tasha. "Accidental shooting kills Joshua girl celebrating 13th birthday". The Dallas Morning News. June 5, 2013. June 5, 2013.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Arizona Offes Up

    Arizona Offers Up

    Arizona offered up its latest sacrifice to the Glorified G on Friday when a four year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father:

    Police have identified the victim as 35-year-old Justin Stanfield Thomas of Phoenix, a military veteran who served in the Army Special Forces. Detectives say he and his son were from Phoenix and they were visiting a friend at that home. The boy found a gun in the living room and accidentally shot his father.

    "I really can't believe this happened," said Jeremy Hartt, a neighbor and friend of everyone involved. "It's tragic, that poor little boy."

    Hartt said he didn't hear the gunshot but saw the aftermath. He said the friend Thomas was visiting is also a military veteran who keeps a loaded gun for protection.

    "Apparently when Justin and his little boy showed up, within minutes, the little boy found the gun and said, 'hey, daddy, what's this?' and it went off," Hartt said.

    "He didn't know what was going on; he was just a happy little boy," said Hartt.

    Police say it's believed the visit was unannounced, which may explain why the gun was not secured with a child in the house.

    "I don't know that this individual had time to do so, but it certainly needs to be at the forefront of anybody's mind if they have a firearm and a child comes in," said Sgt. Brandon Bonney of Prescott Valley Police. "It needs to be priority number one to secure those weapons."

    Police are still investigating, but call this a tragic accident.


    Lord of All Things Most Important to Us, accept this sacrifice and hear our prayer.


    Brand, Natalie. "PD: Boy, 4, accidentally shoots, kills father". AZFamily. June 7, 2013. June 10, 2013.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    My American Neighbors

    My American Neighbors

    One thing about my American neighbors is that they can be relied on to periodically clarify messy situations:

    Still angry about the idea of an Islamic cultural center opening near Ground Zero, a group of Idaho gun enthusiasts decided to fight back with a new line of pork-laced bullets.

    South Fork Industries, based in Dalton Gardens, Idaho, claims its ammunition, called Jihawg Ammo, is a "defensive deterrent to those who violently act in the name of Islam."

    The bullets are coated in pork-infused paint, which the company states makes the ammo "haram," or unclean, and therefore will keep a Muslim who’s shot with one of the bullets from entering paradise.

    "With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell. That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack. If it ever becomes necessary to defend yourself and those around you our ammo works on two levels," the company said in a press release earlier this month.

    The company’s website bills the bullets as "Peace Through Pork" and a "peaceful and natural deterrent to radical Islam." There’s a related line of apparel that feature slogans like "Put Some Ham in MoHAMed" and a target poster that says "Give Em a Spankin with some Bacon."

    "The nullifying principle of our product is only effective if you are attacked by an Islamist in Jihad," the company’s website says. "Otherwise, our ammo functions just like any other ammunition, so we obviously insist upon defensive use of our ammo only-not offensive."

    Company officials declined requests to comment.


    There really isn't much to add for commentary; the facts speak for themselves. While Shannon Dunn of Gonzaga University explains that the whole idea of pork-coated bullets is stupid according to Qur'anic theology, that mistake doesn't really matter to the company's growing legion of fans:

    "To my knowledge, Muslims, especially unknowingly, would not be banned from heaven for eating or getting hit by pork," [Dunn] said. "There are some interpreters who suggest that Muslims should eat pork rather than starve, if faced with that alternative."

    Nevertheless, the ammo has plenty of supporters, with more than 4,300 people liking it on Facebook. One fan, Ted of California, said he planned to buy 500 rounds. Another, Jeffrey, said he hoped someone would smuggle the bullets into U.S. military troops.

    Pork-coated bullets, for when killing a Muslim just isn't enough. Despite the theology, there seem to be plenty who simply enjoy the idea of killing and desecrating Muslims.

    Clarity. Priorities. Values.



    Simmons, Tracy. "Jihawg Ammo: Pork-laced Bullets Designed To Send Muslims Straight 'To Hell'". Religion News Service. June 22, 2013. June 23, 2013.

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