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View Diary: Driving, Drinking, Shooting (307 comments)

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  •  If you add in suicides... (51+ / 0-)

    the number of gun deaths in the US is much closer to the number of deaths in automobiles. In the US suicide by gun is nearly double the rate of homicide by gun. Add the two together, toss in a little less than 1,000 for accidental gun deaths each year, and you get around 25k deaths by gun as opposed to 32k deaths in cars. Considering the absolute ubiquity of automobile use in the nation, that's a surprising level of parity.

    I don't know if that would change if guns were regulated at the level of cars. It's highly unlikely that we will find out.

    •  Some would say (12+ / 0-)

      suicides of adults, where no one else is killed, should not be counted because it is a right.
      Some would say otherwise.

      •  suicide shouldn't be counted as death? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DerAmi, DvCM, Agathena, S F Hippie, 1BQ

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:22:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's still a valid statistic (6+ / 0-)

        One of the big lies of the gun nuts is the idea that we should count only "gun crime" when compiling gun statistics (and that the NRA should get to define "crime" when it comes to guns).

        This is reflected in various laws passed by our thoroughly NRA bribed legislature which restrict the CDC's and other government agencies ability to gather or publish all sorts of data about guns.

        If a person kills them self using a gun it is a valid statistic, regardless of whether they had a "right" to do it or not.

        •  Do you then argue (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, PavePusher

          that if that person had not had a firearm, they would still be alive in spite of their desire to not be?

          •  That is a measureable statistic. (4+ / 0-)

            You will lose this argument.

            This better be good. Because it is not going away.

            by DerAmi on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:41:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Many of them, yes. (9+ / 0-)

            Many would have the time to reflect, to talk with friends or family, or professional mental health professionals.

            Many suicides do so in a moment of acute stress, and if they do not easily have the means to do so quickly and 'easily' at hand, the moment passes, in part because the body can only sustain stress at high peaks for short amounts of time.

            People who attempt suicide with other means are also far more likely to survive their attempt, and then receive counseling and treatment as well.

          •  I argue that and the facts support the argument. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Thorby Baslim

            Many people attempt suicide and fail. Even some who use guns. But guns are more lethal than other methods and therefore those people who choose a gun in their suicide attempt are more likely to succeed.

            In addition, gun injuries should be counted in all statistics. An armed robbery or a domestic argument in which guns are fired result in more harm to innocents than such episodes in which fists are used.

            In addition, terroriistic threats in which guns are brandished should also be reported. Living in terror of my neighbor firing a gun through my windows is no way to live. On the other hand, I do not live in terror that he might poison me.

            So guns contribute to the total destruction of life or to the magnification of fear in the lives of innocents.

            I have a right to be free of actual gun violence and free from the fear produced by threats from gun owners. And the implacable, unreasonable unwillingness of gun nuts to discuss with me my rights means that they don't give a damn about what happens to me and therefore tends to increase my fear of gun owners. Just because gun owners are not afraid of guns does not mean that they are wise, in fact, the facts clearly show that it means that they are fools. I don't want my life to be worsened by the callous idiocy of fools.

            I repeat that anyone who thinks that guns can be handled safely is a fool, and anyone who disregards my right to be free of the fear of guns and their violence against innocents is not my friend. He is my enemy.

            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

            by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:54:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, right. (8+ / 0-)
              "anyone who thinks that guns can be handled safely is a fool"
              Demonizing the NRA or gun owners in general gets us nowhere. A fresh round of old proposals for gun-control laws won’t work and will be followed by the renewed frustration of different factions going to their respective corners to fight instead of seeking real solutions...We need a new dialogue that doesn’t pit people against each other but that focuses on how we all work together so that all Americans, especially our children, can feel and know they are safe.
              Debbie Dingell is a member of the Democratic National Committee and president of D2 Strategies.
              •  kestrel9000 - That's mealy mouthed mush. (5+ / 0-)

                The gun lobby is ready to demonize anyone who suggests anything that even slightly disagrees with the drive to arm everybody and then to let armed people shoot others down in the street for the slightest provocation. And we're not supposed to hurt their feelings?

                •  And we better stay out of the way of the crossfire (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Thorby Baslim, hestal

                  ... if we can. Try to imagine feeling safer in a crowd where one gunslinger is taking on another - whichever one is bad or good.

                  Whatever is Wayne LaPierre thinking? In the Columbine school shooting, there was an armed guard present at the school at the time. And per Maureen Dowd in today's NYT, there are more than 98,817 K-12 schools in the US. We gonna outfit 'em all with guards with weapons?

                  There's a guard with a revolver on his hip inside the bank branch near my home. He's a nice guy, twice-retired, and seems to enjoy his work (which is mostly nodding at customers and trying to gin up a conversation). The idea that he'd pull that gun out and try to use it worries me at lot ... but then, I go in there unarmed.

                  2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                  by TRPChicago on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:53:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your bank is highly unusual then (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Very few banks use armed guards these days. Largely since they seldom if ever prevent bank robberies.

                    Banks these days control access to large amounts of cash using automated machinery and timed access. There isn't even money in the till. It's all inside cash counting machines.

                    Quick anecdote: When I was a bank teller back in the early eighties (college job) one of our tellers broke a $100 dollar bill for a customer by accidentally counting out ten $100's instead of ten $10 bills. The customer came back about an hour later and returned the money (whew!).

                    That sort of thing can't happen today.

                  •  Deterrence... (4+ / 0-)

                    A bank robber will choose to go where there is no guard. It's only logical...

                    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                    by happy camper on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:47:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No deterrence at the Columbine school shooting. (0+ / 0-)

                      As for armed bank guards, three bank branches closest to me in Chicago all have armed guards. (I know, I know, it's Chicago.)

                      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                      by TRPChicago on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:53:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Does it seem to (4+ / 0-)

                        prevent robberies?

                        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                        by happy camper on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:54:33 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Hard to prove something wasn't (your robbery)... (0+ / 0-)

                          ... because something was (your armed guard). And while I'll accept your word that there are fewer robberies at banks with armed guards than without, I'm not at all sure it's not due to other factors, like a lot of surveillance cameras, for example.

                          Nevertheless, if the answer of Gun Clutchers is to put an armed guard in every school (there are almost 99,000 K-12 schools in the US, every college and university (about 4,000), every stadium entrance on game days (dunno), every bar and every other place where guns can be carried, concealed or otherwise ... you got a heckuva lot of armed guards there. (Not to mention locations like military bases where they are already a many guns and people who know how to use them, and yet we have had massacres there, too.)

                          Because of the fiscal austerity movement, we have difficulty paying for teachers and police already. Will we take volunteers for guard jobs? Train and certify them pretty much like we train police about firing weapons around crowds?

                          Doesn't that seem, well, extreme?

                          That the only acceptable responses to gun violence would be to increase the number of guns and shooters, as well as solve mental illness, detect violent psychopaths in advance, stop making movies with violence, no more shoot-em up video games, and close off publicity of statistics on guns and gun use? Oh, I forgot, Congress has already prohibited much of that latter item.

                          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                          by TRPChicago on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:24:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not saying (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            oldpunk, happymisanthropy

                            there are fewer robberies where guards are present. I actually have no idea.

                            I don't think we should be putting guards everywhere. I think it's a stupid idea, because statistically these sort of events are very rare. A kid has about the same chance of getting struck by lightning as being shot in a school massacre, yet nobody seems too worried about that.

                            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                            by happy camper on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:13:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Gun violence is more preventable than ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            ... lightning.

                            The steps one can take to diminish being struck by lightning are within the ken of us all. The steps to avoid being shot ... pretty much not. Carrying a gun may make some people feel safer, but it can make others of us feel a lot less safe.

                            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                            by TRPChicago on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:25:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Please cite to instances of this "crossfire".... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    WillR, oldpunk, happymisanthropy

                    in Citizen defensive shootings.

                    We'll wait.  

                •  Really? (7+ / 0-)

                  So what is your opinion of

                  anyone who thinks that guns can be handled safely is a fool
                •  Do you really believe this? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  the drive to arm everybody and then to let armed people shoot others down in the street for the slightest provocation.
                  I know a lot of people who support the Second Amendment (and agree with the SCOTUS on what it means). Not a single one of them has ever shown any sign of wanting to arm everyone (i.e., including those who don't want to be armed) or of having any desire to "shoot others in the street for the slightest provocation".

                  The trait of desiring to "shoot others down in the street for the slightest provocation", in my anecdotal experience, tends to be the behavior of those who are not even engaged in the political process, let alone the "gun lobby" -- such as gang bangers and criminals who probably shouldn't have been let out of prison to menace society again.

                  •  How about the guy who gunned down the (0+ / 0-)

                    representative in AZ? Period. End of argument.

                    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                    by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:44:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Extrapolate much? (0+ / 0-)


                      So, one person on DK believes the US should become a completely socialist society, and therefore all DKer's do?

                      One registered Democrat somewhere is convicted of child rape, and therefore all Democrats are child rapists?

                      One person in your town thinks you're delusional, so everyone in the world does? (Actually, that person may have a point come to think of it.)

                      Yep - it's the end of argument because you have lost it (both the argument and apparently the ability to reason).

            •  hestal I keep reading you say how fearful you are (15+ / 0-)

              There's nothing that can be done for your fears, you are going to have to handle that one yourself. If you live in the iner city with very high crime rates move to the countryside. We aren't fearful out here and smile a lot. If you are just fearful of things you imagine might happen, that's something only you can work on.

              How big is your personal carbon footprint?

              by ban nock on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:50:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are wrong, of course. (0+ / 0-)

                I live in the countryside, and I hear gunfire night and day. Not every night and not every day, but often and close enough that I wonder what they are shooting at. My next door neighbor shoots at night. He says he is after varmints, and I know that he has shot into my yard. Neighbors in other homes have discharged powerful weapons from their yards, and the Fourth of July celebration is sometimes punctuated with guns fired into the air. Well, they say, I can't buy fireworks, but I can shoot my guns.

                I served on the homeowner association board for a few years and it was not unusual from time to time for some resident to say that if "so and so doesn't stop what he is doing then he will be sorry. I'm gonna shoot that damned dog, etc."

                And murder in our small town is not all that rare. For example, two young women were murdered in the parking lot of a shopping center. They were sitting in their car outside of a Japanese restaurant where they had just dined. Someone walked up to their car and fired shots through the window killing both of them immediately. The local newspaper said that they should not have been in that place at that hour. It was amazing. The local police reported that they had no suspects. Months passed, finally some citizens were able to get the state law enforcement officials to step in and the case was solved. He was the estranged boyfriend of one of the women.  All of this took place in a town of about 5,000 people, surrounded by the smiling countryside that you fantasize about .

                So, it is not my imagination that is distorted, it is yours. The world that you imagine in which guns are safe and anyone who does not think is nuts is just plain wrong. So your cavalier about gun safety frightens me. I hope that you, and all those you apparently speak for, do not have guns in your possession, because you are clearly dangerous.

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:51:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No HOA out in the countryside, sounds like you are (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PavePusher, oldpunk, annieli

                  still in the city there hestal. No one out here dines, we eat.

                  Now I'm frightening you from probably thousands of miles away? Me? Dangerous? Heck I'm dangerous just sleeping, liable to go throttle my kids or kick the dog or something.

                  Great story about the 2 gals though.

                  How big is your personal carbon footprint?

                  by ban nock on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:36:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, you obviously have no idea what you (0+ / 0-)

                    are talking about. Homeowner associations are commonplace in the countryside in Texas. When we need law enforcement we call the county sheriff, whose headquarters are about two miles from my front door, and are between me and the city, which is also the county seat. I am in the countryside. I have deer and turkey out back and one of my neighbors feeds them both in his back yard. He hasn't shot them yet, but it won't be long.

                    Your childish sarcasm is insulting and I am offended by it. But your belittling remark "Great story about the 2 gals though," is shameful. These two women were murdered by a gun owner, one of your fraternity. I want guns to be removed from civilian possession and you think that the murder of two "gals," by gunfire, was a "great story." You have embarrassed yourself.

                    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                    by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:38:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  It sounds like... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...your little hell hole of a town has a problem. And, it's not guns.

                  I don't know what the problem is, but it sounds like if residents of your town didn't have guns, they might be running around with cans of gasoline and matches and burning people's houses down while they sleep.

                  There's some reason the police and the justice system are not effective in this town. Perhaps it's democracy in action - are most of the people unwilling to spend the money for a real police force? Or, is it that too many of the law abiding residents are cowards who don't report crimes and provide eyewitness testimony to bring the evil-doers to justice?

                  Something is very wrong in your town and it's NOT typical of the vast majority of the rest of the US. The existence of a dysfunctional town here and there is not a good basis for shaping national public policy.

                  •  Nice try, but the hell that is created in this (0+ / 0-)

                    area comes from guns. The existence of a dysfunctional town is due to the dysfunctional national policy that allows civilians to bear arms.

                    I think you do know what the problem is. Guns are the problem and you know it.

                    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                    by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:40:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

                      A bunch of moral, law-abiding citizens who attempt to follow the to the best of their ability were transformed into dangerous thugs that don't respect the law just because guns exist?

                      That seems pretty hard to believe.

                      Baseball bats and knives don't trigger this same response - just guns?

                      You can have your opinions and I can have mine. However -- the discussion is over now that you insist that YOU know MY opinion better than I do when you've never met me, have no idea what or why I hold an opinion. Thinking that you know someone's opinion when you don't know that person is pretty deranged -- although I must admit given the level of paranoia you seemed to be exhibiting I had already suspected that state of mind. Try opening your mind to thoughts that don't fit your world view - you might be surprised at the ensuing enlightenment.

                      •  Gun owners and second amendment nuts (0+ / 0-)

                        are the ones with closed minds. They believe that they are entitled to indulge their inner fantasies while others bleed, it is a disgusting shame, but it is part of our world.

                        It is amazing that you think that the deaths of innocents is justified so that you can have your weapons of death and destruction.

                        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                        by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:54:11 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry, but the rest of us are not obligated to (12+ / 0-)

              change the way we live in order to alleviate unreasonable fears. There are people afraid of dogs. There are people afraid of being hit by a plane falling from the sky. The rest of us are still allowed to own dogs & fly in planes, although we must take reasonable measures to do so safely.
                    Brandishing a gun in a threatening manner is already a crime. Armed robbery and domestic assault involving guns are already crimes. In most places, parents are required to store guns in ways that make them safe from children playing with them.
                   You are afraid of things that are already illegal, and which happen much less frequently than you probably believe that they do. The fact that other people do not fear these things to the degree that you do does not make us fools. It also does not require us to change our lives to accommodate your fears.

              -7.25, -6.26

              We are men of action; lies do not become us.

              by ER Doc on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:21:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  not fear (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                No person who lives their lives in a honorable manner are afraid of guns.  The most a gun, or really the insane person brandishing the gun, can do is kill you.  It over.  Sure there is going to be some regret of people you leave behind, but unless you are a religious person and don't live your life in a religious manner there is nothing to fear.

                What we are wary of are people who are so paranoid and delusional that they at some point it is certain that innocent people are going to murdered.  I am taking about those who believe a few toys are going to fend off the might of US military. These delusional people make the world more dangerous for all of us by making cops believe they have to use deadly force at every traffic stop because enough tea partiers and Sovereign citizens believes killing is fun.

                Then there are those who want to kill, but are afraid of the consequence, both practical to their immortal souls, so they carry a concealed weapon looking for an opportunity.  A kid robbing a store.  A  guy speaking disrespectfully.  A student looking for a party. I am not saying that a person trying to steal $20 does not deserve to die, i just do not think I could do it.  I guess more power to those who can.

                So yes, it is arguable that a certain amount of fear for a certain number of guns most be tolerated.  A shotgun in the house to ward off intruders.  An unloaded weapon in the car.

                Beyond that, however, is serious mental health territory.  If one believes the presidents is going to personally come and kill you family, get help.  Get serious help.  Because, frankly, that is just narcissism, and you just aren't that important. That is why guys have to go out a provoke a fight to get attention.

              •  What an idiotic comment. (0+ / 0-)

                A fear of guns is "unreasonable." What utter nonsense. Brandishing a gun may or not be a crime. It depends on the locale, and it depends on the circumstances whether you should report it. If you call an officer then you have to hope that he is not like you, someone who has an irrational, unreasonable that there is nothing to fear. And of course the other part of the equation is the fear of retaliation if you do report it. If the gun nut is crazy to brandish a weapon then how does one know what he will do in retaliation.

                In Texas we don't just believe in guns, we believe in gunfire.

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:55:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Anyone who thinks knives can be handled safely... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

     a fool.

              Anyone who thinks trains can be operated safely is a fool.

              Anyone who thinks cars can be operated safely is a fool.

              Those statements make as much sense as:

              I repeat that anyone who thinks that guns can be handled safely is a fool,
              Frankly, anyone who believes this is a fool.

              If it's impossible to handle guns safely, why are there so few accidental deaths from firearms (around 1000 a year) in the United States? Given that there are probably about 300 million firearms in private hands in the United States, that's a remarkably low number of deaths. This is, of course, because it is possible to handle a firearm safely and most gun owners know how to do so and, in fact, DO so.

              I assume that you would never call the police to come to your home to assist you? After all, each LEO responding will almost certainly have a loaded firearm on their person and often another one in their vehicle. If it's impossible to handle a firearm safely, then it would be very dangerous to be within a couple hundred yards of a policeman.

              I presume you think LEOs should be disarmed because it's impossible for their firearms to be handled safely?

              •  You miss the point totally. (0+ / 0-)

                Guns can kill you accidentally, that is true. But the majority of gun deaths and injuries are created because guns are killing machines. They are being used for the purpose they are designed. They are not accidental.

                Cars are not intended to kill living beings, but they do, accidentally. But guns are designed and promoted by their lovers to kill other beings. That is the problem with guns. If all we had to worry about is accidental gun deaths then the problem would be diminished but nevertheless tragic.

                So, guns are designed to kill and they do it very well, every day. And if you want everybody to have access to guns then you are responsible, to some degree, for the deaths and injuries they cause.

                Of course, you will claim that it is not guns that are doing the killing but that is wrong. It is a shame that gun lovers are left with that one pitiful answer. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

                Guns kill people because that is what they are designed to do. So guns need to be removed from civilian society. When they are gone gun deaths will never happen again. Answer that.

                Do you agree that the number of gun deaths in America is too high or too low? Don't duck the question. Is it too high or too low, or is it just right? Are people with guns killing too many or too few of their fellow Americans. Or is the number just right? If it is too few, what do want us to do? Put armed cops in every classroom? If it is too high, what do you want us to do?

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:09:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  FWIW, not all car deaths from collisions... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...are accidental - some are intentional.

                  The overwhelming majority of uses of guns are NOT to kill people. They are for sport, recreation, and nutritional use (target practice, hunting, etc).

                  Of course I think we have more unjustifiable homicides by all methods than we would like - of course I would like zero. However, I also believe that individuals have a right to self protection which elimination of guns, as you propose above, would make neuter except for the biggest and strongest individuals. Note that guns are not required to, for example, rape and kill someone - so getting rid of guns won't get rid of murders (I suspect strangulation and blunt force trauma are more common ways rapists kill their victims). However, a gun can protect a victim from a much stronger assailant.

                  I discount the suicides where firearms are used. First, I think people have a right to do with their bodies as they please (which is why I am also against laws banning marijuana and support Roe v. Wade). Second, half the suicides are not the result of firearm inflicted wounds (so there are obviously plenty of ways to commit suicide without firearms) and there are countries (such as Japan) which much higher suicide rates and virtually no firearms.

                  You are idealistic if you think that we CAN get rid of every gun in our society -- it hasn't worked with drugs and it won't work with the 300 million guns in private hands in the US. I suppose with decades of unannounced, unwarranted, random searches of homes, autos, and persons, we could make a serious dent in the supply -- but I'm not willing to let the police run roughshod over the Fourth Amendment to accomplish your goal.

                  Do you seriously believe that gang members are just going to turn in their firearms when a law is passed banning firearms? Many drugs are illegal, but they still seem to be readily available decades after they were banned.

                  •  The data show that there is no protection effect (0+ / 0-)

                    from gun possession that comes even close to offsetting the deaths that occur in other situations. So that argument is dead.

                    But cars serve an extremely useful purpose, but if we should, as a People, decide that, on balance, cars do more harm than good, then I say shut them down. Likewise, with guns. Now that we know, beyond any doubt, that guns do much more harm than good, then I say shut them down.

                    It ain't hard to figure all that out.

                    But gun owners, like you, squirm and wiggle trying to find a way off the hook of facts and rationality. So you cling to the idea of a "right." But even that defense is rotten in its core, because the Constitution says in its preamble that it was instituted to promote domestic tranquility. So, if any part of the Constitution is disruptive of domestic tranquility, which the second amendment clearly is, then it must be removed. So, turn in your gun. You do your part, and I will take care of the gang members. Just because you can't think of a way to do it does not mean that I can't. So, you just worry about holding up your end. I will do the heavy lifting. So, do I have your pledge to do your part? Do I have your pledge that you will turn in all your weapons to the nearest police department?

                    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                    by hestal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:33:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I suppose it's a difference of attitude... (0+ / 0-)

                      BTW, I never said I owned a gun -- you are making a lot of assumptions (but your posts show that you do that freely).

                      No, the argument is not "dead" as you say. I value my life more than that of criminals who shoot each others in gang violence or drug deals -- I understand you don't and that's your choice, but don't make that choice for ME.

                      Some people here (mostly ignorant city dwellers who think the world ends at the boundary of Manhattan or San Francisco) would argue that cars, in their own right, are a horrific evil and that private citizens have no need for them if they would just use mass transit.

                      It is your opinion that the benefits of firearms don't outweigh the costs. Don't confuse that with facts. No matter how many times you state your opinion, it doesn't make it a "fact".

                      You seem to count each drug dealer who gets in a gunfight and kills another drug dealer because one "dissed" the other or someone who decides to commit suicide because they are about to go to prison for twenty-to-life for murdering someone as equal to my life being lost when someone breaks into my home and gets spooked. Sorry, we just disagree. You are free to eschew self protection and wait for the police to show up to call the coroner out to deal with your body. I, and any guns I may, or may not, own are less threat  to any innocent in the world than meteors are (if you are hit in the head by even a small meteor, you're likely dead).

                      I'm fine with starting the process to amend the Constitution to eliminate the Second Amendment -- and perhaps someone will, in the name of maximum safety, also initiate a repeal of the Fourth Amendment or the Fifth Amendment (both of which hogtie, I think properly, law enforcement). There are a significant number of people who think police should be able to search anyone or any location without a warrant (BTW, this IS allowed in many "first world" industrialized countries) just because the benefit of doing so (nipping crime in the bud) outweighs the cost (some theoretical loss of rights if the police are not well disciplined). I don't share that view but it sounds like you would if the balance was "positive".

                      But, I can't abide by people just ignoring parts of the Constitution that they don't like. The Founders understood the need to adjust the Constitution and included a mechanism to do so (look at the imposition of Prohibition and the subsequent repeal of it -- the system works). Use it.

                      •  I am glad you don't own a gun of any kind. (0+ / 0-)

                        I hope you will try to convince others to turn their guns in to the local police.

                        In order to overcome my opinion about the net costs of owning guns all you have to do is offer concrete evidence. But, if you could, then you would already have done so. So, there is no such evidence anywhere. This means of course, that you are wrong. The net effects of civilian gun ownership are negative and do harm to the common good. I know it is hard to give up your true love, and you have my sympathy. But dealing in death and destruction is no way to live your life. You should change. You should take the right path to a long and happy life, free from gun violence and the love of guns.

                        But you won't change. Such love of the power of death-dealing weapons is inherent. It is part of the psychological makeup of certain human beings and there is nothing to be done about it. This is what makes the problem so intractable. We are what we are, and you are what you are: a lover of guns. I know you don't like for me to say that, and you will reject it vehemently, but when you do, try a little introspection. Accept your biological, your evolutionary, fate.

                        My only hope is that there are enough of us gun-haters to eventually overpower your group of gun-lovers and eliminate the civilian ownership of guns. My fear, of course,is that as we gun-haters make progress toward our merciful goal you gun lovers will use your guns to stop us-maybe you won't, or if you do maybe you won't have enough fellow extremists to succeed. But until then, the bleeding and dying will continue. However, just remember that you are for such evil and I am against it.

                        Have a nice day.

                        Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

                        by hestal on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 04:53:34 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  On Hate and on Jumping To Conclusions. (0+ / 0-)

                          You assert that you are a "gun hater".

                          You also, incorrectly, claim that I'm a "gun lover".

                          Guns, like bicycles, are inanimate objects and in my view it's irrational to hate or love either an individual instance of such an object or an entire class of such objects.

                          If one thinks lethal violence is caused by widespread presence of firearms, taking a look at Switzerland is instructive. It has one of the world's lowest murder rates (0.7 vs. 4.2 in the United States). It also has one of the highest number of privately owned small firearms per capita in the world (45.7 per 100 residents and ranking fourth in the world compared to 88.8 in the United States which ranks first). Indeed, until recently, many individuals had government issued fully automatic Sig 550 rifles (i.e., a true assault weapon - a class of weapon that is virtually never found in a private residence in the United States) and government issued ammunition in their homes (most no longer have the government issued ammunition). Given that a proliferation of "highly lethal" weapons has not caused Switzerland to become the hell hole you seem to live in, there's something much bigger than "guns" that is causing violence and if you take away guns, baseball bats or something similar will become the murder weapon of choice (mass murders may switch to barricading public places and using fire). Banning guns (even if it actually meant that guns would no longer be available to criminals -- which is unlikely) makes barely more sense that attempting to eliminate gangs by banning red and blue clothing because the Bloods and the Crips claim those colors respectively.

                          I am a strong supporter of democratically elected governments, basic human rights, and the U.S. Constitution (along with its embedded mechanism for modifying it). My views on gun ownership originate from these sources, not an emotional attachment or detachment to an inanimate object.

                          When I see a gun I am neither repulsed by it or draw to it with any sense of affection. For the self preservation of myself and those around me, I am quite interested in some safety aspects. Is it loaded? Is a round chambered? Do people around the gun know and practice safe gun handling? Is the gun in possession or within easy access of someone with violent or irrational tendencies?... These are similar to the questions I ask when I see a car that may be running or is parked on a slope.

                          You have now concluded that I don't "own a gun of any kind" after earlier concluding just the opposite. Again, you don't pay much attention to detail or facts in front of you, preferring to extrapolate beyond available data and substitute your views for reality.

                          I've never said in this discussion if I DO or DON'T own one or more guns.

                          But dealing in death and destruction is no way to live your life. You should change. You should take the right path to a long and happy life, free from gun violence and the love of guns.
                          That's an interesting point of view from someone who chooses to live and stay in an area which, based on your statements, appears to be crime ridden to the point that you are fearful of others in your neighborhood. Although, unlike you, I would never tell someone what they "should" do, I would suggest that you might want to follow your own advice and consider moving to some place where you can be comfortable because guns are effectively illegal for private citizens to own/carry (Washington D.C. or Chicago come to mind).

                          It's hard to have a meaningful discussion with someone that confuses facts with emotions and substitutes their opinion for reality about so I won't try.

                          Have a Happy Holiday season and be safe.

          •  In many cases, yes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mmacdDE, stormicats

            And this is borne out by the existing data.

            In most cases the desire to commit suicide is a transitory thing. Even for a person deeply depressed, thoughts of suicide are seldom constant and the desire to act is even less so.

            The longer it takes to commit the act or the more difficult it is, the less likely they are to succeed or want to succeed.

            It takes time to set up a rope, it takes time to bleed out (and razors are painful), it takes time to succumb to pills (if you have the right pills, many failed suicides are due to using non-lethal pills), it takes time and effort to drown one's self.

            A gun in the drawer by the bed is a very quick and easy way to commit an irreversible act.

            That's also the reason that a gun in the home is significantly more likely to be used to harm a family member than to be used to stop a crime: Arguments are a lot more common than break ins, and people likely to think that guns are a "solution" are more likely to use them in a family dispute.

            •  If you knew (4+ / 0-)

              how many "family disputes" happened in my own home prior to the ultimate end of my marriage, and how many times guns were ever involved (zero) I would hope you wouldn't simply write that off to blind luck and go on your merry way.

              •  Your arguments are crude. (0+ / 0-)

                I had a few beers on a few occasions and decided to wait long enough to be sober again before driving. So we can eliminate all the drinking and driving laws in the USA.

                This better be good. Because it is not going away.

                by DerAmi on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:13:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Gun crazies always use the same (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                S F Hippie, LakeGirl, Thorby Baslim

                types of arguments: Well I never did anything bad so we don't need to regulate the thing I worship.

                (Sorry I have ZERO respect for the gun loonies these days. ZERO. After Newton and the downright evil, lying, crazy, arrogant, smarmy, slimy, stupid, utterlay-damned-to-hell-by-any-rational-god responses of the gun fucktards, sorry, but they have no credibility. Zippo. None at all.

                Also sorry that the Kos courtesy police are going to react more strenuously and shocked, just SHOCKED! to this response than to the responses of the gun asswipes.

                Again, sorry, but I am just DONE with the lying gun fools.

                Maybe I'll feel like being nicer in a few years. But unless we go a couple of years without another God-fucking-damned MASSACRE of INNOCENT FUCKING CHILDREN, probably not.)

                So whether YOU have ever shot anyone is irrelevant to the law or the debate. Not every observation about the universe is about YOU. It is not necessary for YOU to have experienced or done something for it to be true and valid.

                The fact remains that people have more arguments in their homes than suffer home invasions. The presence of a gun in the home DOES increase the likelihood of it being used in such a dispute. Far more people are injured and killed in family disputes than EVER use a gun to deter a crime... by orders of magnitude. Just as the presence of a gun increases the likelihood that a suicide attempt will succeed.

                These are simple facts and truth regardless of whether they describe YOUR experience or not. YOU are not the entire world.

              •  I had the same problem with my first marriage (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                In retrospect she needed serious help. She pulled knives on me and attacked me physically several times. I'm glad we didn't have guns.

                "Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom. " - Death (Terry Pratchett character)

                by Thorby Baslim on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:28:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naniboujou, Thorby Baslim

            I'm living proof of that, kestrel.  I was ready to pull a trigger on myself one night as an adolescent.  Every other means was too brutal or too slow for me to gather the nerve.  But we had no gun.

          •  i don't have to "argue", because it's an (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            indisputable fact.

            Do you then argue that if that person had not had a firearm, they would still be alive in spite of their desire to not be?
            in fact, the majority of people who attempt suicide, other than by gun, aren't successful the first time. in fact, lots of people who use a gun aren't successful, they simply remove part of their jaw, or put a bullet through their mouth and cheek. ugly, but survivable.
        •  The problem with "gun crime" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is that these "stand your ground" murders aren't counted as crimes.

          •  Actually, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher, WillR

            the FBI does collate data on "justifiable" homicides, both by law enforcement officers and civilians. They represent less than one-half or one percent of all homicides (fewer than 400 per year, the vast majority by LEOs).

          •  Would you consider it a crime if... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...a homeowner "stood their ground" and killed an intruder who was beating them with a baseball bat?

            Would the means by which the intruder was killed matter? Which of the following methods would you consider a "crime"?

            • Homeowner shot the intruder.
            • Homeowner sliced the intruder's carotid artery with a hunting knife.
            • Homeowner sliced the intruder's carotid artery with a kitchen knife.
            • Homeowner struck the intruder a single, deadly, blow with a heavy household object.
            • Homeowner shoved the intruder who then fell down the stairs and suffered a nearly instantaneously fatal broken neck.
            • Homeowner scared intruder who, when fleeing in the dark house, tripped running down the stairs suffering a fatal broken neck.

            What I'm trying to figure out is if you think it should be criminal for people to defend themselves from death or serious injury at the hands of another or if you just think it should be criminal to use a firearm to do so (perhaps out some notion that the criminal deserves some sort of additional "handicap" to give them a better chance of winning)?
        •  "Valid" is a loaded term (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          it's only valid if it is both true, and providing information useful to the relevant question at issue.

          An assessment can be valid for one purpose, and invalid for another.

          So numbers are only valid in the context of the question we are expecting them to answer.

          If our goal is to reduce homicides, we should look at homicide data.

          If our goal is to reduce "gun violence," then different data would be relevant.

          States' rights? Corporate rights? Militia rights? Government rights? Hell no! Only individuals have rights. Proud lifelong human supremacist.

          by happymisanthropy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:48:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Cannot by used for comparison because we (0+ / 0-)

        have no idea how many auto fatalities are "suicide by wreck" - it happens, but how often? Until we can back it oout, comparability requires inclusion of suicides by gun.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:02:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed we probably don't have good stats... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris

          ...for suicide by auto wreck.

          However, that is just something to note when citing stats for auto fatalities (ex., a footnote saying "An indeterminate number of these deaths may have been suicides").

          It is not a reason to not breakdown other modalities of death where we do have stats.

          More information and detail is always better than less in the decision making process.

          In reality, I think it's doubtful that a very significant number of the fatalities in auto wrecks are suicides. Partially because it's not a very certain way to commit suicide (esp. now with airbags and the like). I doubt that many multicar accidents causing fatality are suicides. Fatalities which resulted from driving head on into solid objects or off a cliff w/o any sign of braking would probably be the most suspicious ones.

    •  Actually, according to the CDC and FBI (7+ / 0-)

      Approximately 18,750 a year kill themselves using guns and 10,000 are killed by guns. Add in 500 for accidental gun deaths and you get 29,250 dead per year due to guns, 93% as many as are killed in cars.

      The US death rate by gun homicide is the highest in the industrialized world (4.2 per 100,000, next highest is Lichtenstein at 2.8).

      •  I used an average over several years (0+ / 0-)

        Since I don't have complete 2012 numbers.

        •  Pretty much everyone does. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The numbers tossed around would be even more varying if the numbers weren't actually generally so stable over long periods as people on different 'sides' would choose periods that were lower or higher to talk about.

          •  Actually, total homicides (0+ / 0-)

            have been falling, except for a spike last year. On the other hand, but for an odd drop of 2% or so in 2008, the percentage of gun homicides in the total remains consistent at about two out of every three homicides (67%).

            Also the homicides per 100,000 population is currently the lowest it has been in years. Still it's one and a half times as high as our nearest industrialized nation competitor, Liechtenstein with 2.8 per 100,000 population.

            The rates for our nearest economic competitors are even lower: Japan 0.3, Germany 0.8, Australia 1.0, China 1.0, France 1.1, United Kingdom 1.2, Canada 1.6 per 100,000.

        •  So did I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stormicats, Naniboujou

          These are the homicide numbers for 2005-2011 (FBI):

          Year        Total         Homicides    % of Total
                Homicides      using firearms   
          2005    14,965    10,158    67.9%
          2006    15,087    10,225    67.8%
          2007    14,916    10,129    67.9%
          2008    14,224    9,528    65.1%
          2009    13,636    9,146    67.1%
          2010    12,996    8,772    67.5%
          2011    14,022    9,492    67.7%

          The number from the CDC is more problematic since they are not allowed by law to publish or analyze gun data. Their number is 18,735 gun suicides with no other detailed information attached.

          In the CDC's referenced report, gun injury seems to be hidden among other deliberately non-specified "Head and neck injury" and "traumatic brain injury" numbers, as well as other places. Law requires the CDC to pretend that gun deaths and injuries are indistinguishable from car accidents and falls, even though they ARE allowed to pull specific data about the latter injuries. The NRA demands that they not be allowed to gather similar data about gun deaths and injuries.

          All so the NRA can claim there is no "scientific" data about gun deaths.

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