Some facts about guns in the US

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

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Well, given that there are 30,000 gun deaths each year in the US - and 10,000 of those are homicides - that's hardly a lunatic few.

    It's similar to drunk driving. Hundreds of millions of people drive in the US; a tiny fraction of those drive drunk. So why have drunk driving laws? Because those drunk drivers can do a lot of damage. Thus there are laws against drunk driving, license and registration requirements, laws that drivers have to follow etc.

    To some people lunatic killers hold some odd attraction. Other people have fantasies of pulling out their massive handguns and blasting away at the bad guys, thus becoming a big, masculine hero. Both are pretty out there - and don't represent the mainstream.
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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    The damned fool killed his own children--------how exactly would you define mentally ill?
    I'd say he qualifies.
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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Given that 80% of gun homicides are gang-related:
    Subtract those out, and you have 2000 non gang related homicides for 310,000,000 guns
    yeh, i'd refer to them as the lunatic few
    0ne in over 150,000 is certainly a few, and from my psyc studies, I'd hazard the guess that most of them are crazy.
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  7. Bells Staff Member


    Mass murders led Colorado's governor to seek improvements in how the state handles potentially dangerous cases of mental illness, but Second Amendment advocates labeled the proposed legislation "another gun grab" and shrank its scope.

    A bill nearing a Senate vote would accomplish one aim of the attempted reform. It would redefine who is dangerous enough to be held for treatment against their will — which supporters say is meant to clarify the process for mental health professionals.

    Efforts to make the process easier for those professionals were jettisoned after gun-rights groups objected.

    Yet even the scaled-down version remains under attack.

    After the Aurora movie theater and Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings in 2012, Gov. John Hickenlooper argued that strengthening Colorado's civil commitment laws and emergency psychiatric services was desperately needed.

    But the National Rifle Association and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said the initial bill on civil commitment diminished due process and would deprive more Americans of their firearms. One activist called it the liberals' attempt to "play the mental health card" in attacking gun rights.

    The NRA and gun rights activists go out of their way to fight against any legislation that seeks to disarm the mentally ill.

    In short, they do not want domestic abusers, stalkers or the mentally ill disarmed.

    So what is the point of you saying he killed his own children and telling me he qualifies as mentally ill? It's all well and good to go on about lunatic killers and the mentally ill. But in that dialogue, you completely miss the whole point.. Gun rights activists do not want people like him disarmed.
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    "lunatic few"
    1 out of 150,000
    do the rest of us 149,999 matter not to you?
  9. Bells Staff Member

    How did you come about that figure? When you said 80% of all gun violence is gang related, where did that come from? Your comments:

    The article on Conservative Politics:

    I found one reference to it in "" article on Conservative Politics, which cited a CDC study which says nothing about gang violence. In fact, it seems as though the on Conservative Politics article seems to be taking their figures and applying it to gang violence based on the races of those involved in gun deaths and gun violence in the US and alleging that because more African American and Hispanic experience gun violence, then it must be gang related.. Which is blatantly false and factually incorrect.

    In a scathing critique of ABC's recent report "Young Guns," Dana Loesch stated that most gun deaths were the result of gang violence; therefore, America has a gang problem, not a gun problem. Her claim appears to be supported by sites positing that "a staggering 80 percent of gun homicides are gang-related." As it turns out though, not only is her statement factually incorrect, as the majority of gun deaths are suicides, but there is not a shred of evidence to support her characterization that gangs are the driving force behind firearm violence.

    Unfortunately, Dana Loesch's sentiment is shared by many gun advocates, including the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, who, when opposing firearm background checks said, "President Obama should be as committed to dealing with the gang problem that is tormenting honest people in his hometown as he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers."

    So, do we have a gang problem or a gun problem? Data collected by the National Gang Center, the government agency responsible for cataloging gang violence, makes clear that it's the latter. There were 1,824 gang-related killings in 2011. This total includes deaths by means other than a gun. The Bureau of Justice Statistics finds this number to be even lower, identifying a little more than 1,000 gang-related homicides in 2008. In comparison, there were 11,101 homicides and 19,766 suicides committed with firearms in 2011.

    According to the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the number of gangs and gang members has been on the rise for some time now, increasing by more than one-third in the past decade. Between 2010 and 2011, for example, there was a 3 percent increase in the number of gangs, but an 8 percent decrease in gang-related homicides. If gang violence was truly driving the gun homicide rate, we should not see gang membership and gun homicide rates moving in opposite directions.

    The most recent Centers for Disease Control study on this subject lends further credence to our claim. It examined five cities that met the criterion for having a high prevalence of gang homicides: Los Angeles, California; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Long Beach, California; Oakland, California; and Newark, New Jersey. In these cities, a total of 856 gang and 2,077 non-gang homicides were identified and included in the analyses. So, even when examining cities with the largest gang problems, gang homicides only accounted for 29 percent of the total for the period under consideration (2003-2008). For the nation as a whole it would be much smaller.

    The 80 percent of gang-related gun homicides figure purporting to support Loesch's claim, then, is not only false, but off by nearly a factor of five. The direct opposite is necessarily true: more than 80 percent of gun homicides are non-gang related. While gang violence is still a serious problem that needs to be addressed, it is disingenuous to assert that the vast majority of our gun problem (even excluding suicides) is caused by gangs.

    In spite of this, LaPierre's proposed solution to gun violence is to "contact every U.S. Attorney and ask them to bring at least 10 cases per month against drug dealers, gang members and other violent felons caught illegally possessing firearms."

    That same CDC study, however, also refutes LaPierre's claim that the drug trade is fueling gun-violence, saying, "the proportion of gang homicides resulting from drug trade/use or with other crimes in progress was consistently low in the five cities, ranging from zero to 25 percent."
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Civilized Society, and a Note on Arming Criminals

    And to that, sorry Stoniphi, but we "predators" live in society.

    You know, the group-cooperative endeavor? Wherein the (ahem!) "predators" are expected to get along?

    Or is this all one game of King of the Hill, where sure, the species might die, but at least I get to be the last human being alive, superior to all the corpses who came before me, or what the hell ever?

    I mean, y'know?

    Sure, we have an animal heritage. But does, say, rejection of religion—including the idea that we are supposed to emulate Perfection—mean the whole proposition of civilized society is faulty?

    • • •​

    Well, the alternative is that it's not sensible to try to keep guns out of some of the most dangerous criminals' hands.

    No plain reading?

    "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."


    And that was after you called people who want to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals "foul little gits with an authoritarian agenda".

    So tell us, Iceaura: Why do you want stalkers armed?
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Right. And if there's a gang battle near you and you are killed by a stray bullet - you are just as dead.
    OK. Sounds like we need to do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people, then.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The Conundrum

    And this is a part where certain disagreements can fall away.

    To wit, nobody suggests you shouldn't be obliged to caution when driving a car, because, well, a car can kill a person.

    But the idea of obligatory caution with guns? Well, guns are designed to kill, which seems a pertinent fact. After all, sure, it was irresponsible for Darby to have a pencil in his back pocket; and it was irresponsible of me to not check that the guy I was getting into a fight with in seventh grade didn't have a pencil in his pocket. Long story short, I'm forty-one, and still have an Arco #2 pencil lead in my left thigh that my doctor won't remove unless he sees medical necessity.

    And, you know, shit happens. Fuckin' A, a couple of twelve year-olds get into a fight and one of them ends up with a pencil lead in his leg. Big effin' deal. It's not that I'm particularly well hung; nor was I at the time. But, yeah, it's close enough to make me think about luck.

    And that's just a fuckin' pencil, you know? And we've heard that from the firearms lobby before. You can use a car wrong. A pencil. A telephone. You can kill someone with a kitchen knife. A box cutter. A piece of construction rebar.

    The pencil was made for writing, but it's sharp and toxic, so be careful.

    The car was made for transportation, but it can kill someone because, well, it weighs three thousand pounds and travels at a hundred feet a second. You can kill someone with that.

    The telephone? Well, you know, just don't try to playfully bludgeon or strangle anyone with a Bell 500, you know? And be careful that you don't accidentally detach the cord and drop it off the balcony and accidentally hit someone walking three floors below.

    Box cutter? Well, yeah, they weren't exactly made for hijacking planes, but, you know, anyway, you have to be careful with them, so you don't accidentally slit someone's throat with the thing.

    Rebar? Think twice before playing baseball in a ten by ten room.

    A gun? Fuck it. The idea of mandatory responsibility with a gun, so that one does not accidentally kill another, is somehow controversial.

    This is the part I don't get. Caution with dangerous things? Yes. Caution with guns, which are designed to be dangerous? No.

    Don't believe me? (You never do, anyway.) Look at how they hedge when the idea of "no accidents" is on the table.

    And that is what it is, but we also have firearms advocates here arguing for convicted stalkers to have access to guns. What in the world makes that a good idea? Because the gun people have a personal beef with the senator who introduced the bill.

    Imagine that.

    When you can irritate a lethal body politic by merely suggesting they be responsible with their lethality, there is a problem. When they're advocating for more lethality in society? Well, I would say there's a problem, but some folks disagree.

    It's a conundrum.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And that is not a parody. That is a far too typical gun control advocate reading and talking, and that's a major reason why we do not have and will not soon establish reasonable gun control in the US.

    Watching so many gun control advocates, people I would like to have on my side in getting some sane gun regulation in this country, descend to Fox News level "questions" and fuckwit innuendo is damn depressing.

    As long as half the gun control advocates in this country, including several on this forum, keep losing their shit so completely on this vendetta - seriously, what level of reading comprehension does it take to keep track of my simple little arguments? - nobody with any sense can trust them. Guns simply are not a big enough problem or threat to most people, that they are going to be willing to risk their civil liberties in the hands of people who talk like that.

    Because this:
    is false. That idea is not controversial much at all. The vast majority of gun owners just nod their heads in agreement, most everyone else has no problem with it, and aside from some highlighted nutcases on the giggle box there's no real objection in view. That battle, if it ever was one, is long over and won.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    You're Not Helping "Responsible Gun Owners"

    You're actually describing a need for actual gun control.

    And yet, "responsible gun owners" are frequently let off without charges when their irresponsibility results in a fatality.

    And while you try arguing that lots of people support mandatory responsibility, you also argue against it: "No political candidate suspected of harboring something like that as their actual agenda will get my vote".

    Responsibility is a nice idea, but it isn't something that should be enforced. At least not in cases of the use and misuse of devices designed specifically for the purpose of killing people. Do I have that correctly?
  15. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    [ I'm glad you think its funny to shoot me but I don't find it funny. your fucking pyscho.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Non sequiter. So?
    I never argue against mandatory responsibility. Never have, never will. I'm a firm supporter of it. So are most gun owners of my acquaintance - and I live in Michelle Bachmann's home district and power center.

    You have mistaken objections to advocacy of oppressive and intrusive misuse of governmental power for objections to formal assigned responsibility for management of one's firearms. The authoritarian's inability to distinguish these matters, the predominance of gun control advocates trying to justify bad government by pointing to good intentions, is my nomination for the the single biggest obstacle to reasonable gun control laws in the US.
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    IMO, the single biggest obstacle to reasonable gun control laws is the people we elect to office, who apparently do not understand the term "well regulated".
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But they also are much too compliant with the demands of the National Rifle Assholes. The organization is just not that big or that powerful.

    Gun owners only make up about 10% of the population, and not all of them are slobbering zealots with concealed-carry permits, waiting breathlessly to shoot the first Afro-American teenager who steps into their field of vision. I don't understand how or why they have been allowed to gain power so incredibly out of proportion to their numbers.

    Do guns strike so much fear in the hearts of normal, peaceful people, that we crawl under our blankets and give them license to do anything they want, including writing legislation for Congress? If this is true, then indeed America has a gun problem of cosmic proportions.
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Most of their power comes from the fact that the republican party has taken on unrestricted gun ownership as a cause celebre.
    IMO it's more that gun control strikes apathy into the hearts of most peaceful moderate people.
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Yet one more tactic for shooting itself in the foot. The gun lobby absolutely does not comprise a majority of the electorate. A significant number of voters will vote against the G.O.P. because of this one issue. Add all the other issues for which they firmly stand on the less popular side, such as immigration, recreational drugs, women's rights, health care and the personhood of corporations, and it's a miracle that they get any votes at all.
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraggle Rocker View Post

    Because a nutcase with a gun is DANGEROUS and people give them wide berth.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The actual cause most often effectively promoted is deep mistrust of the agenda and attitudes of gun control advocates, with their poor reasoning and abuse of statistics among the revelatory features of their political discourse.

    It has cost more elections than abortion, imho, in Minnesota - several quite prominent and otherwise electable politicians seem to have been defeated on that issue. Warren Spannaus was the first one I noticed in the history books, but Anthony Bouza comes to mind, and whoever Michelle Bachmann was running against in a given year, and several others. It almost did in Paul Wellstone, even.
  23. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Please note that it was the militia which was needed to be "well regulated". Not the "people" nor the "arms".
    We must look back to common usage of the word "regulated" during the time of the authors of the document.
    It clearly did not mean heaping great stinking piles of byzantine "regulations" upon the militia. What they had in mind, was a militia composed of men(people) who would show up on time, obey orders and have the experience of working together as a military unit. And coordinating well with other militias from other states.
    Bear in mind that there was no provision for a permanent standing land army in the document. So, the militia(s) were to fill that role.
    Congress subscribed to the prevailing view that the first line of national defense should be a "well-regulated and disciplined militia sufficiently armed and accoutered."

    Free state? or Free country?

    article 1 section 8
    As to "people", this did not men everybody. The document clearly separates people, persons, and indians.
    Generally "people" meant those who could vote.

    Clearly, many things have changed.

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