Skip to main content

I originally published this diary in response to the mass-shooting in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Until yesterday, not much has changed insofar as public demand/acceptance is concerned when the topic of gun control arises. Discussion by national figures and the political class has been nonexistent. Will the Newtown Tragedy be enough to change that?

At the risk of once again incurring the ire of the anti-gun-control posse here at DK, I am republishing this today. I hope that whatever attention it draws is focused more on positive steps that might be taken to lessen the frequency of violent death of innocents at the hands of twisted individuals. I think a start is to change the narative to one of gun safety as opposed to gun control (as suggested by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, (D) New York, on Up with Chris Hayes on MSNBC this morning).

With a couple of minor edits, the diary is as published in August. Before most of us had heard of Newtown. Or the location of the next massacre.

                          -------------------------------------------------------------

In case after case of gun violence unleashed in some public place, the question of gun control is sure to come up in media reports. Constitutional issues are raised. Comparisons to other western and developed countries are made as regards the number of gun related crimes, mass shootings and the like. An examination of the causes of the violence, both as a society, and as to the particulars of the case in question, ensues. Conclusions, to say nothing of solutions, are seldom forthcoming.

The question of why this country can't achieve real control over guns and gun violence has been percolating in my head since the theater shootings in Colorado. Then the Sikh Temple shootings. And the shootout at the Empire State Building.

The easy response is to point to the NRA and/or its right-wing mouthpieces. While they are certainly not without blame, it is the large percentage of the American population that owns and likes guns that lies at the root of the problem. Without the constituency of millions of gun owners, the NRA and its influence in our government would wither and die in short order.

Instead, I think the answer lies in selfishness and perceived risk.

Most of us climb into a car on a daily basis to get to the places we need to go. We know there is risk involved, but we make the mental calculation, consciously or not, that the risk is small enough to ignore, and go about our daily business. It is easy to ignore or forget the risk of another (inattentive) driver running a red light. However, as weather conditions deteriorate, we reassess the risk, and adjust our behavior accordingly. Heavy rain, wind or snow can empty the roads. The majority of people conclude that the percieved risks of travel in bad conditions outweigh the benefits. This is considered rational behavior and I would not argue the point.

Consider this hypothetical situation; a man is an avid hunter. He owns several guns and uses them regularly for hunting and target practice. One might expect him to oppose any additional gun control measures, and, since this is my hypothetical, he does. Then suppose that he finds out that his next door neighbor also owns a number of guns but is involved in gang activity, or he has displayed serious mental instability, or has violent tendencies. The equation changes and the hunter is now, quite reasonably, in favor of some gun control. He may only want gun control for his neighbor and not for himself, but it is still gun control.

So how does this calculus of perceived risk and selfishness pertain to gun control legislation? Very simply put, the American people, as a group, repeatedly decide that the risk posed by ready availability and widespread distribution of guns in our society is low enough to disregard in relation to their desire to either own guns themselves, or to allow others to do so. To put a somewhat finer point on it, they decide, over and over, that the risk to them and/or their family is low enough to be acceptable.

How many news reports or news-magazine programs have shown video of people "shocked that something like this could happen here". To them, the risk is supposed to be confined to inner cities, or neighborhoods where gangs fight over turf, not their quiet street or small town. They are shocked because they realize that such an event can happen near them, and that their percieved risk was lower than the actual risk. Purely in terms of assessing risk (and I am by no means an expert on probablility), aside from the reality of the event proving that such a thing can happen in their neighborhood, they are largly correct in thinking that such an event is no more likely to occur again than it was prior, and the risk posed by guns slowly becomes acceptable again. They are aware that the risk of injury to others is just as great as it was to themselves, but attach significantly less wieght to that fact.

To my knowledge, no one in any position of national influence or power has advocated a total ban on firearms in this country. Most rational individuals would decide that that was too extreme a measure and would shout it down. On the other hand, many of those same individuals probably support the prohibition of guns in places like schools, churches or movie theaters. First off, there is no rational reason to have a gun in those venues. Second, and I think most important, people would perceive a much greater risk to themselves and their families.

It is this return to old patterns of thought that makes me believe, if there weren't enough evidence already, that for a large segment of the population, "selfish" considerations trump societal considerations (see; Republican Party). Risk to self and/or loved ones is assigned a higher priority than risk to others in the society at large. It is both ironic and tragic that a relative disregard for society's risk can lead to more occurances and therefore actually increase risk to them personally.

I realize that some gun control opponents would take issue with my reasoning when I mention the lack of valid reasons to carry a gun into an inappropriate venue. I have heard it argued that if patrons of the Colorado movie theater had been armed, they could have stopped the shooter before he had done so much damage, thereby decreasing risk. I think that this argument is without merit. The accounts of this incident which I have read have indicated that the shooting only lasted for two or three minutes. Witnesses have also said that at first they thought this was some kind of prank.

How long would it have taken for an armed movie patron to realize that it was not a prank, and kill the bad guy? Consider the other factors. It’s dark, there is a lot of confusion, other patrons are running for their lives, and the shooter is wearing body armor. That is the situation with ONE armed patron fighting back. Now consider the consequences of some number of individuals firing their own guns in the crowded theater. How many people get caught in the crossfire? How many concerned citizens shoot other concerned citizens thinking they are bad guys, too? In such a scenario the risks to an average patron in that theater would have gone up considerably.

Imagine the consequences if some law abiding citizen had succeeded in killing the shooter. Police would have found his car and determined his identity and place of residence. How many cops and neighbors of the shooter would have died as a result of triggering the booby-traps in the shooter’s apartment? Is it still worth the increased risk to allow guns in places where they are currently prohibited? I say no.

I have heard gun control advocates argue that keeping guns out of the hands of malicious or unstable individuals would eliminate gun violence. Quite true, but explain please,  how do we do that? If such a thing were possible, there would be no need for any other gun controls. If we could identify everyone malicious or unstable there would be much less need for a lot of laws.

Until the gun lobby can bring its uptopian fantasy to fruition, real strengthening of this country’s gun control laws will have to wait until the majority of the population perceives the risk to them of not doing so to be unacceptable.  How bad things would have to get to shift the equation remains unknown, but I am not optimistic.

Update; Early comments make clear to me that I was less than 100% effective in getting my point accross. I do not advocate the elimination of guns from American society. Further, what gun controls may or may not be appropriate, current or future, is a debate that needs to take place with, in my opinion, a fuller understanding of how individual decisions are made.

Do I favor more/better control of guns? Yes, but what those controls consist of is not the point of this diary.

I am fully aware that the process of assessing risk this diary is about is applicable to any number of other human activities. Lets just please be realisitic about how we, as individuals and as a society, are arriving at our decisions.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

    by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:30:05 AM PDT

  •  And here I thought there was going to be *math*. (11+ / 0-)

    Since most of your "arguments" have been disposed of in previous diaries, I'll simply point to the solid legislative majority in favor of gun rights, Heller and McDonald, and advise you to spend time defending existing controls.  Because I assure you, a good number of those are going away.

    •  Super majorities of American citizens (7+ / 0-)

      support expanding sensible controls on the sale and distribution of firearms.

      These stats are particularly interesting:

         70 percent of American voters mistakenly believe that a system of licensing and registration already exists in the U.S. (Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, 2001).

          79 percent of Americans supports requiring a police permit before the purchase of a gun (Smith, 2007, p. 1).

          63 percent of gun owners support requiring a police permit before the purchase of a gun (Smith, 2003, p. 53).

          70 percent of “new blue” voters in the states of Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia support registration of gun sales and licensing of gun owners (Green, p.3).

          90 percent of high school students support requiring a permit to purchase (Vittes, p. 471).

      Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
      ¡Boycott Arizona!

      by litho on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:59:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great, Brady Bunch push polling. (7+ / 0-)

        None of which changes the fact that year after year the anti-gun crowd has lost legislatively.  49 states now permit concealed carry, the majority of which are "shall-issue."  There is a majority in Senate for national reciprocity.

        The prohibitionist movement is on its death bed.  Good riddance.

      •  Umm, mind if I point something out? (9+ / 0-)

        http://www.ajpm-online.net/...

        The survey was sent out in spring 2005 using a three-wave mailing to a national random sample of 600 police chiefs in cities with populations greater than 25,000 in 2002 and 2003
        http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/...
        The following are key findings from a national survey of 800 Americans conducted March 31 –
        April 3, 2008 by Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican
        polling firm The Tarrance Group on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
        http://repository.upenn.edu/...
        Questions were asked of 1,005 sophomores, juniors, and seniors
        Now 2505 people were questioned for your results quoted, IS that a legitimate representation of the population? NO. That works out to be this percent of the total population in the US today:

        0.0006532258064516129%

        Should we formulate public policy when the majority has not been included? NO.

        Can we have an honest discussion with such limited information? NO.

        Oddly, you bring up opinions of High School students and imply it actually means something

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

        The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech.

        -cut-

        Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

        -cut-

        The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut, is billed as the largest of its kind. More than 100,000 students, nearly 8,000 teachers and more than 500 administrators at 544 public and private high schools took part in early 2004.

        What's this tell us? We don't teach Constitutional principles or history anymore, making their opinions moot.

        How can anyone have an opinion on a subject they do not know or understand? They can't.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:03:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's ignore all polling data (0+ / 0-)

          because the pollsters didn't ask all Americans their opinions on the presidential race...

          Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
          ¡Boycott Arizona!

          by litho on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:14:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess honest discussion is not in the cards (4+ / 0-)

            today....Thanks!

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:23:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

              You're the one rejecting the science of the random sample.

              Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
              ¡Boycott Arizona!

              by litho on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:27:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The samples were not random or large enough (8+ / 0-)

                That was the point I was making.

                600 Police Chiefs from cities with 25,000 residents or more is not an accurate reflection of the people in those cities.

                Including their opinions truly are meaningless.  For your position to include them it would also mean that those same Police Chiefs that participated in the OWS crackdowns were an accurate reflection of the populations there, right?

                NOPE, doesn't work that way, not if you really want to have an honest discussion here.

                When you include the newly transplanted "blue" residents, it again, pads the sample.

                How did the survey taker know the person they were talking to was a new "blue" resident? Are they in the majority in the area sampled? Were the lifelong residents they might have called "accidentally" just deleted from the results?

                So, your stats are not adding anything legitimate to this conversation.

                I live in Buffalo, New York and a few years ago, I got one of those calls and they told me they had a series of questions that should take about 10 minutes to go through.  Their first question was: Are you a registered voter? I replied, yes. Their next question was: Do you support gun control today? I replied, no.  They said, "Thank you" and promptly hung up.

                I guess they didn't want my answers screwing up their "random" polling results!

                FYI, I have an innate disdain for propaganda and manipulation.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:54:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah... (6+ / 0-)

              ...it really does make it easier when they come right out and admit it, doesn't it?

              Let's us know there's no point wasting any time trying to engage in any meaningful discussion here.

              Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

              by theatre goon on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:32:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Support for gun rights (9+ / 0-)

        has increased among every demographic since 2008, according to Pew.

        In the current survey, 57% of whites say it is
        more important to protect the rights of
        Americans to own guns; just 37% say it is more
        important to control gun ownership. This is
        little changed from surveys conducted since
        April 2009. From 1993 through 2008,
        however, majorities of whites consistently said
        that controlling gun ownership was more
        important than protecting gun rights.
        and
        But the percentage of blacks saying that
        protecting gun rights is more important has
        climbed by 13 points, from 22%, since last
        October. The share of blacks prioritizing gun control has fallen 11 points, from 71% then
        to 60% today.
        and
        There long have been gender differences in
        opinions about gun control, but both men and
        women have become more supportive of gun
        rights. In the current survey, 60% of men say it
        is more important to protect gun rights, up
        from 46% in April 2008. Just 39% of women
        say it is more important to protect the rights of
        Americans to own guns. But that percentage
        also is higher than it was four years ago (30%).
        The trend is clear...

         Link.to pdf.

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

        by happy camper on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:21:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Litho, here's the link... (8+ / 0-)

        it would have saved you a lot of blockquote editing:

        http://www.bradycampaign.org/...

        I've been "polled" by antis and the NRA, neither of which offer any real option to the one opinion they wish to support.

        Two examples:  Brady/MAIG/Pew?  They didn't say.

        "In light of the recent shooting of Congressional Representative Gabby Giffords, do you support unrestricted access to high capacity automatic pistols as used by her alleged assailant?"
        It wasn't an "automatic pistol, as defined in the National Firearms Act of 1934".
        Please answer yes or no sir.
        The other side:  NRA.  They did say.
        Do you support the position of the President and the Attorney General, that multiple long-gun sales - that's rifles and shotguns - should be reported to the Government, as they're trying to do in States which border Mexico?
        We talking a crate full of AR-15s or a single sale which transfers a Winchester '94, a Remington 700, and a Ruger 12 gauge over/under?
        Please answer yes or no sir.
        There's no "REASONABLE" in polling data.  None.
        Polling data is specifically designed to deliver the desired result to the client.  Whichever client.  Polling is a business, and if you can't deliver the goods, we'll find another polling business which can.
    •  Are you talking about specific controls on guns? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, FutureNow, glorificus

      Because I don't recall mentioning any gun control law or proposal specifically.

      If there are previous diaries that refute my conclusions about how people percieve risk, please let me know what the titles so I can look them up.

      Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

      by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:49:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Almost every gun owner is a potential criminal, (16+ / 0-)

    right?

    Not right?

    What?

    I have heard gun control advocates argue that keeping guns out of the hands of malicious or unstable individuals would eliminate gun violence. Quite true, but explain please,  how do we do that? If such a thing were possible, there would be no need for any other gun controls. If we could identify everyone malicious or unstable there would be much less need for a lot of laws.
    The hidden message here, SEEMS to be that SINCE we cannot possibly rule out every unstable person...we need to ban some guns across the board.

    Which will leave, famously, only criminals having guns and the 'gun-free utopia' some fantasize about will remain just that: a fantasy.

    I am absolutely no fan of guns per se, I don't own one and the Great Fantasy that IS harbored by many on 'the Left' wouldn't impact me at all, even if it did come to pass.

    I don't think people need to carry guns all over the place: I don't. Of course, I also don't go looking for trouble.

    The problem will become illegal gun trafficking: look at Mexico, subtract harmless marijuana and insert 'guns' into the prohibition equation. Yippie-ky-A.

    As far as

    Until the gun lobby can bring its uptopian fantasy to fruition, real strengthening of this country’s gun control laws will have to wait until the majority of the population perceives the risk to them of not doing so to be unacceptable
    America tolerates a HELL of a lot of death and mayhem from alcohol.

    Many people are killed yearly - it's tragic, loved ones lost in the blink of an eye.

    Why are we allowing people access to a drug and devastating as alcohol?

    Because MOST people ARE responsible? because we have yet decided to return to prohibition of alcohol 'to save lives'?

    People should have a license to have a gun and to consume alcohol: we can't be too safe, reasonable steps to regulate dangerous activities couldn't possibly be opposed by any rational being, could they?

    Who could be against saving lives?

    That IS what we're talking about, isn't it?

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:44:32 AM PDT

    •  I obviously failed miserably to accomplish (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      43north, glorificus

      the goal of communication.

      To your first question, everybody is a "potential" criminal.

      I wanted to add to this diary after I scheduled it for publication because I realized people might miss my point without clarification, but could not figure out how to do it.

      Sorry for the misunderstanding. Update to follow soon.

      Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

      by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:57:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of fail... (11+ / 0-)
        How many people get caught in the crossfire?
        Is there a SINGLE example of this happening anywhere, by a civilian concealed carrier, cause the 1 & only time Ive read about it happening, was when the police opened fire on a New yorker holding a jammed (inoperable) gun

        It seams to be the antis fav new meme...it shows up more than "i want my legal nuke or concealed rocket launcher"

        Otherwise, thanks for the polite diary, dont let us discourage you from seeking workable solutions

        Our president has his failings, but compared to Mitt Romney he is a paradigm of considered and compassionate thought.

        by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:06:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I brought that up solely as a response (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glorificus

          to the gun lobby's contention that more guns in situations like Aurora would somehow be a good thing.

          Sorry. No sale.

          Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

          by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:25:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the "gun lobbys" contention (5+ / 0-)

            This is really something that strikes at the heart of the gun meme. Gun owners, often mostly rural people ~think

            "if there was only ONE person there, willing to help the police do their job, maybe things could have turned out better"

            the antis

            Thank god no one believes in self defense, someone could get hurt

            Our president has his failings, but compared to Mitt Romney he is a paradigm of considered and compassionate thought.

            by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:03:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know KV, who lives in a relatively rural area, (0+ / 0-)

              did not think more guns in the Aurora theatre would have been helpful.

              And since there are so few 'rural' people left, I doubt that is where most of the gun owners are.

              "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

              by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:54:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  How about a tax instead of a ban? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, mrkvica

      Here's an idea to try out for fun.

      Instead of banning guns, we add massive taxes to the sale of guns and ammo.  Like $10/bullet and $500/gun.

      The purpose: to make guns and ammo less attractive to consumers, to make gun-owners think twice before putting a bullet in a gun, and to raise revenues so the states can recoup the expenses for police, emergency workers, and medical care caused by gunshot injuries.

      Many states apply "sin tax" to some socially harmful consumer goods like cigarettes and alcohol.  The taxes are purposefully set ridiculously high to help consumers make intelligent choices.  

      On a personal note, the tax idea was very helpful to me.  I was moved to quit smoking after my state announced another tax hike on cigarettes.  It was initially painful but now I am very glad for that tax hike that helped me stop smoking over ten years ago.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:33:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hello, math challenged guy. (10+ / 0-)

        What are your motives here?  This is a site dedicated to electing more and better Democrats.  Now inquiring minds want to know why you and a small handful of folks come in here and advocate so strongly for issues that are guaranteed to drain votes from Democrats.  

        First of all, your proposal will go nowhere.  Second, it is totally unworkable in the real world in which the rest of us live.  Frankly, I am beginning to have some real suspicions as to your true motives.  Please explain why you advocate so strongly for positions that are guaranteed to lose votes for Democrats?  I smell hidden political agenda.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:40:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought you had better things to be doing? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, FutureNow

          Didn't you tell me yesterday about how you were a really important person and were way too busy saving lives to be wasting your time blogging about guns?

          uh hmm...  I thought so.

          We raise taxes on socially damaging consumer goods like cigarettes and booze.  Smokers and drinkers grumble, but continue to buy, non-smokers and non-drinkers applaud, and law-makers get to claim they are closing a budget gap.

          Of course we can do the same thing with guns and bullets.

          I agree with you that this proposal is a non-starter under a system of government that allows the wealthy and corporate interests to buy the laws and law-makers they favor.  The gun industry is not going to allow such a tax to be passed.  Just like the Kock Bros. are not going to allow a minor thing like global climate change to interfere with the garnering of profits in the petroleum industry.

          As for the Democratic party - in truth, you don't want to know what I think about the Democratic party.  I am far to the left of the Democratic Party.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:56:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OS, I'm a Democrat and I don't oppose regulations (0+ / 0-)

          on guns. You aren't speaking for me, and probably not for most on here.  

          I know your motives, and I disagree.

          Just because RKBAers are loud doesn't make them a majority any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

          "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

          by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:58:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have no problems with regulations (7+ / 0-)

            There are many laws on the books, but those are enforced only intermittently and often without rhyme or reason.  Where I draw the line is ill thought out and unreasonable proposals to ban firearms or make them too costly for average persons to own.  This is a loser for Democrats and the more it is talked about, the easier it is for groups like the NRA to make the Democratic Party a target.

            I am interested in peeling off the sport shooter and other firearm hobbyists who would vote Dem but for this one issue.  The shrill anti-firearm crowd is not helping achieve that goal. It just gives the NRA free ammunition when they put screen grabs in their ads, emails and tweets.  "The liberal gun-grabbers are coming for your guns, so send money to fight the gun grabbing extremists on Daily Kos."  

            The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

            by Otteray Scribe on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:09:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  An afterthought: (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              meagert, oldpunk, PavePusher, KVoimakas

              I am pretty sure some the more shrill anti-gun posters we have had here are plants.  From where, I don't know.  Could be NRA, could be the RNC, or could be Karl Rove and his operatives.  What better way to create propaganda for the NRA than to have a lot of over-the-top "gun grabbing" posts they can snag as screen grabs in order to convince undecideds the evil gun grabbing liberals are coming after their firearms.  

              I cannot prove it, but I have my suspicions.  

              The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

              by Otteray Scribe on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:42:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  However, since there are no actual proposals (0+ / 0-)

                (legislation) being promoted at this time, the whining about 'anti-gun posters' is a solution searching for a problem, like the R war on voter fraud.

                People have died, though, in Tucson, Oak Creek, Columbine, etc., and the gun bunch says nothing helpful.

                "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:51:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually there have been numerous proposals. (9+ / 0-)

                  The solution is NOT going to be found in draconian rules about firearm ownership.  

                  How about these:  
                  Better and more accessible mental health care.

                  Better third party payer terms for mental health treatment.  Some managed care companies allow no more than six therapist visits per year.

                  And make the medications less expensive.  A prescription is no good if insurance does not pay and the patient cannot afford to have it filled.  Some of the best psychiatric medications can run in the high three figures per month.  

                  Mental health professionals and paraprofessionals with better training in dealing with clients/patients who are a potential threat.  At the moment, there is a dearth of training in that area in the professional schools because the instructional staff themselves are not knowledgeable enough.

                  Decriminalizing marijuana and making penalties for other drugs less punitive.   Take the market base away from the criminal gangs.  

                  Make private prisons a thing of the past.  Remove the profit motive from locking people up.

                  And by the way, did I mention improving mental heath services?

                  The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

                  by Otteray Scribe on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:07:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just saying the words doesn't help. (0+ / 0-)

                    Why doesn't RKBA, et al start pushing for that?

                    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                    by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 12:57:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  All the RKBA individual members do just that. (5+ / 0-)

                      In the meantime, the RKBA interest group is fighting a rear guard action regarding those who either do not understand the Second Amendment or are simply phobic about firearms and make wild assed proposals that not only will not work, but make liberals look bad in the process.

                      If you look at my comments and those of many others in non gun diaries, you will find a bunch of liberal activists.

                      Furthermore, most of the RKBA members are part of other interest groups as well.  You know me, and know I certainly am anything but a one-dimensional character.    

                      The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

                      by Otteray Scribe on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 01:20:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually, I know kestrel9000 and you have other (0+ / 0-)

                        areas of strength but you are giving me too much credit as to anyone else.

                        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                        by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 03:45:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Great Ghu! (3+ / 0-)

                      We've been saying that stuff for quite some time now.

                      What do we have to do, buy TV ads?

                      •  You've never written a diary. You could start with (0+ / 0-)

                        that.

                        Many, many people comment on here.

                        Why in this world or the next do you think your ideas are well known?

                        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                        by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:12:07 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  RKBA members HAVE written such diaries. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          theatre goon, rockhound

                          I understand a person can't be aware of all things on DK at all times, but seriously, I've seen your name in enough of these debates to find it hard to believe you haven't seen this before.

                          Here: http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          •  I purposely didn't follow the Texas gun nut. Other (0+ / 0-)

                            places have a higher novelty factor for me.

                            And there was little of interest in that besides someone got a gun and started shooting.

                            What did you mean, "HAVE written such diaries."? I just skimmed it, but didn't see anything useful. I know KV wrote about marriage and handball a week or two ago, but I don't think that's relevant either.

                            I don't follow RKBA stuff.

                            "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                            by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:51:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Racquetball. (4+ / 0-)

                            I stopped writing about most things not RKBA because my work schedule changed and I'm significantly more busy. Most of my activism isn't here on the sight with regards to non-RKBA items. I live in a red area. I have arguments/debates/discussions with people who live in my area and sometimes I relay those items here.

                            I support a whole list of items that are typically liberal or typically Democratic. I'm on a site where they are broadly supported. I'll focus my onsite energies on a topic I think needs to be discussed here and when I can, I'll relay my offsite discussions. Like the racquetball one.

                            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                            by KVoimakas on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:58:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I apologize for my error. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KVoimakas

                            "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

                            by glorificus on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:09:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Regulations are fine as they are (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon, rockhound, KVoimakas

            all we need is a better system than NICS for the background checks without violating HIPPA.

            We have laws against robbery, rape, murder, assault, battery and other forms of acting out against another human being in a violent manner.

            Of all reported crimes in 2012, 9% were violent crimes.  Of those violent crimes, less than a quarter used a gun.

            That data comes right from the FBI.

            In St Louis where I live, the vast majority of shootings are involving illegally acquired firearms.  Increased restrictions will NOT stop that issue.

            Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered." Member of the Liberal Gun Club

            by ErikO on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:03:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You long for a world where Constitutionally (11+ / 0-)

        protected rights are enjoyed exclusively by the rich.

        And I thought this was a site for the election of Democrats.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:42:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Definition of a poll tax (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, glorificus

          A poll tax (also called a head tax) is a tax that is assessed "per-person"; a fixed amount based on the census.

          What I am proposing is a "sales tax", a tax assessed on the sale of an item.  The amount of taxation varies with the number of goods purchased.

          Notice that with such a tax, your right to own a gun is in not way restricted, or changed from how you exercise that right today.  Because today, our society requires you to buy a gun and ammo before you can exercise your gun rights.  You do not get your gun and ammo for free just because of the right to own guns.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:15:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Tax = prohibition. (8+ / 0-)

        set taxes too high and people are prohibited from legally buying, ergo, prohibition dynamics come into play.

        Like a law of physics.

        or, a ban is a ban is a ban.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:16:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jimbo - I've written about this a dozen times. (8+ / 0-)

        This is so very pre-Clinton it's not funny.  
        Handgun Control, Inc. stuff.

        $10 per bullet, "victims of gun violence tax".  In-theory, we tax the shit out of the manufacturers of guns and ammunition too, driving the costs of production up.  

        $40 per bullet, 20 bullets maximum per month, micro-taggants, serialized bullets - it's all be said before.

        The goal is to collect a Billion dollars a year from the manufacturers, to support the government's desire for cash to administer the record keeping and victim compensation.

        A gun license of $1000 per gun per year.  Mitt Romney approves, as there's no good reason for the Serfs to be armed.
        None.  A pitchfork license of $500 and a torch license of $750 will soon follow.

        Back to the victim compensation:  We envision a child struck by bullets, fired in a drive-by.  That poor 9 year old will never walk the same, or again - you pick.  That's the intention of the fund.

        In reality:  What we'll do, is pay $50,000 per incident to criminals shooting one-another up, now for fun and profit.

        Now that sounds all "urban" until you see where the crack, meth, and related violence really is.
        You're just as likely to find a meth lab in a rural barn, as you are in an urban setting.  Perhaps more so if there's a strong local market within easy commuting distance.

      •  Uh, no. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, rockhound, KVoimakas

        Hollywood, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Brady Institute Against Handgun Violence and several other groups are doing just fine demonizing firearms.

        Making guns more expensive will just mean that you need to be richer to hunt or to defend yourself with a firearm.  Making ammo more expensive will increase the number of less than stellar shooters we have who follow the laws.

        Neither situation is agreeable to me.

        Bowers v. DeVito "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered." Member of the Liberal Gun Club

        by ErikO on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:59:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Too many crazy people with guns in this country!! (11+ / 0-)

    Thats why I want to have one and do have one (several)
    And its legal, too.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:58:12 AM PDT

  •  I don't agree with your risk assessment philosophy (13+ / 0-)
    Most of us climb into a car on a daily basis to get to the places we need to go. We know there is risk involved, but we make the mental calculation, consciously or not, that the risk is small enough to ignore, and go about our daily business.

    I put on a seatbelt, drive at a sane speed on the correct side of the road, obey the traffic laws, and behave courteously.  That's risk management.

    Heavy rain, wind or snow can empty the roads. The majority of people conclude that the percieved risks of travel in bad conditions outweigh the benefits.
    The majority of people?  Are we talking rainstorm or hurricane?  Snowfall or blizzard?  My experience is, outside of major storm events, the majority of people slow down and allow extra driving time.  Again, risk management rather than risk ignorance or risk avoidance.

    If malicious or unstable individuals represent a bona-fide risk, I'm going to apply the entirely appropriate risk management technique of providing for my own defense.  I'm sure as hell not going to ignore the risk or stay home until I feel safe enough to step outside.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:02:18 AM PDT

    •  Actually, if people focused too much on the fact (9+ / 0-)

      that each time you roll your car onto the road, there's a probability you won't return, they'd stop doing it.

      We have to manage these fears in order to get anything done.

      Your odds are that you're far more likely to be the victim of some dumbass in traffic than get shot by a nutjob with a gun.

      So I dont think people should be paralyzed by fear of car wrecks or being a shooting victim.

      Or being hit by lightening or winning the lottery or hooking up with a hot potential spouse on the intertubes. (Actually, I did do that...)

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:14:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please re-read the sentence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, Cartoon Peril

      Heavy rain, wind or snow can empty the roads.

      Risk is not a yes/no proposition. As percieved risk increases concious awareness of it increases. That goes not only for the likelyhood of an undesireable outcome, but also the potential consequences of an undesireable outcome.

      You put on a seatbelt when you drive. Me, too. A realistic dialog took place some years ago that resulted in that seatbelt being in your car today.

      Anything and everthing we do involves risk. Risk management is how we get through the day (hopefully). By all means provide for your own defense. Please see the update at the end of the diary.

      Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

      by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:28:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read it correctly the first time. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, oldpunk
        ...we make the mental calculation, consciously or not, that the risk is small enough to ignore...
        We don't consciously or unconsciously ignore risk.  We're either unaware of the risk or we consciously decide to accept it with or without mitigation.

        Risk is not evenly spread.  A south Florida native might be at extreme risk driving in a light dusting of snow, where I--having spent years driving in everything from ice storms to blizzards--am considerably less exposed to risk driving in several inches of the stuff.

        The risks of gun ownership are likewise not evenly spread.  Those proficient in handling firearms are considerably less risk-exposed, as are those who practice secure storage.  Most discussions I've read so far do not take this into account.  A blanket notion that guns are X risky, and that risk is applied equally regardless of experience and temperment is usually proposed when nothing could be further from the truth.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 02:36:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Overlooking the role of money. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Twocents, Cartoon Peril, mrkvica

      I think the author has overlooked the role of money in creating the gun mess we are in.

      First: two facts we all agree to be true 1) the gun industry makes a profit from every gun and bullet sold; and 2) our system of government allows wealthy and corporate interests to buy the laws and the law-makers they want.

      The gun industry is a for-profit industry.  They make a profti from every gun and bullet sold.  They want to keep making healthy profits, and that means selling more and more guns and ammo.  So the gun industry lobbies law-makers to create a permissive environment for greater gun sales, and reduced punishments on gun use ("stand your ground" laws).  The law-makers want the money offered by the gun industry and write the laws just the way the gun industry wants them.  

      Risk, safety, the threat of crime, and public health are not relevant to this process.  It is strictly about ensuring continued profits for the gun industry, and continued re-election for the law-makers.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:45:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are abolutely right about the roll of money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica

        on this issue, and many others.

        My contention is only that the majority of people percieve the risk posed by guns as low enough to be acceptable to them.

        If the majority (and it would have to be huge) in the future decides that the risk is not acceptable, then and only then can the herculean task of overcoming the problem of money in politics to change it.

        Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

        by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:58:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What the majority thinks is irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica

          I am inclined to agree with you that the majority of Americans underestimate the risk posed by guns.  Qwik stat: 30,000+ Americans are killed from gunshot injuries every year - that's 82 people every day.

          Sadly, under our American system of corporatocracy, what the majority thinks about guns and the danger of guns is entirely irrelevant to the process of writing laws and making policy.  The gun industry is first and foremost concerned with making a profit, even if their products kill 80 Americans every day.  The law-makers are first and foremost concerned with keeping their jobs.  That means currying favors for the gun industry.

          The American people are not the constituency of the corporatocracy law-makers.  Those law-makers do not care what the American people think about their risk from guns.  

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:27:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  About half of those (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldpunk, PavePusher, KVoimakas

            are suicides. Now, suicide by drug overdose or gas certainly leaves a better-looking corpse, I'm of the opinion that leaving a good-looking corpse is rather a moot point to the determinedly suicidal.

            I wouldn't necessarily count suicides as victims of gun violence. But they do inflate your numbers impressively, don't they?

        •  Fail. Here's why: (7+ / 0-)

          Money and politics is a factor.

          Sure the Ol'Bama's comin' fo' yer guns - is a popular meme.

          That's not where the money and politics play out however.

          In the 1970s, Geraldo Rivera did an exposé on the Willowbrook State School facility in New York.  He showed on-camera, the abuse, neglect and warehousing of the mentally challenged and mentally ill.

          Our solution has been to throw-open the doors, make "residential facilities" the norm, and defund mental health care before we make other cuts-to-services.
          Make no mistake, every politician knows that mental health care is messy, expensive, and at-best an imprecise science.

          Let's contrast that, to a meme that works, when seeking a 15 second sound-bite:

          "TODAY, I CALL ON CONGRESS TO BAN THESE DEADLY GUNS FROM THE STREETS OF AMERICA!  Thank you, thank you... no further questions."
          [on-camera reporter]:
          That was _____ on his way into the Capitol Building to meet with Congressional leadership.[/reporter]
  •  There's a huge imbalance in passion here. (4+ / 0-)

    The real problem with gun control politically is the enormous imbalance in passion between gun control advocates and gun nuts.

    There are some gun owners who are extremely passionate in their desire to prevent any meaningful gun control whatsoever. There are some millions more who are far more passionate about their personal right to an arsenal than keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable or criminals. This hard core of NRA supporters are so exceeding passionate about their guns that they steamroll the far larger portion of the population that favors some reasonable level of gun control, but just doesn't feel it in their bones as a daily life & death issue.

    There is a tiny equally passionate minority working for some actual meaningful gun control; we're talking the Brady people and so on. But they are such a tiny number, and so poorly funded, that they are totally outgunned by the NRA et al.

    Pun intended.

    •  I wonder why. (6+ / 0-)

      Probably the same reason there are some education advocates who are extremely passionate in their desire to prevent any meaningful amount of creationism taught in public schools.

    •  I think when you say "Passionate" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, Ralphdog

      what you're really referring to is unhealthy obsession. That's why even though fewer Americans own guns today than 30 years ago, those that do own guns own far more of them.

      http://articles.latimes.com/...

      "As Egan notes, the percentage of Americans who report owning a pistol or shotgun, the weapons most often used in crime, is now down to 1 in 5, about half what it was in the 1970s."

      We're dealing with gun hoarders and their lobby. What the gun hoarders don't realize, though, is that with gun ownership at historic lows, if hoarding-related mass killings keep up at the current rate - one every few weeks - it's likely the gunless majority will turn on them politically.

      •  That's probably why (4+ / 0-)

        the commenter used the term "gun nuts." Later inserted "passionate" is entirely redundant.

        Do think for a moment, though. You are worried about "gun hoarders," then claim that it's "hoarders" who are doing all the mass killings. Which is something not actually in evidence. That said, new restrictions on gun purchases and ammunition do nothing about the "hoards" of guns and ammo that "gun hoarders" have already amassed.

        You volunteering to go door-to-door to search everyone's homes and properties to ensure they aren't "hoarding" weapons? To confiscate however many weapons you discover that you believe to amount to a "hoard?" That sounds like a pretty risky job to me, but if you're passionate enough about searching through people's homes and seizing their property it probably grants you magical immunity to any weapon(s) they may have stashed somewhere that you haven't found yet. Right?

      •  Yeah, that's really a crock. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpunk, PavePusher, KVoimakas
        We're dealing with gun hoarders and their lobby.
        What you're actually dealing with are those who support the entire Bill of Rights -- rather than those who choose to dismiss the protection of those rights that they don't, personally, happen to approve of.

        Nice try at dismissing those who happen to disagree with you as someone with a borderline mental disorder -- as you well knew you were doing when you tried to equate gun owners with "hoarders."

        Generally, accusations of mental illness are frowned upon on this site, but, as we see so often, it's okay when it happens to be aimed at certain people, isn't it?

        Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

        by theatre goon on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:44:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is no problem with guns that cannot (4+ / 0-)

    be solved with more guns.

    In that respect, they are remarkably similar to tax cuts.

  •  The Death Penalty does not stop murder. (16+ / 0-)

    Neither will more gun control Laws prevent mass shootings,or lessen the damage done.
     If you seriously want to lessen criminal violence, you need to improve the human conditions that are the basis for such.
     Here are just two examples:
     1. Legalize, thereby control, drugs. This eliminates cartel violence, and local trade/gang disputes.
     2. Single payer, with upgraded mental health aspects.

     I guarantee dramatic drops in violent crime from just those two.

     In the meantime, if Democrats insist on this anal gun control conversation, Republicans will continue to be elected, especially in the rural areas. They will never vote for the right things. They will continue building on their "drown it in the bathtub" philosophy. We know where that will go.

     

    "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

    by meagert on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:15:53 AM PDT

  •  It's a public health issue. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, Roadbed Guy

    Currently many in Texas are going apeshit over West Nile virus cases. IT IS AN EPIDEMIC*!!!!! Last I heard there were 41 deaths and there are ways to reduce risk.

    However, on the lighted signs over the roads in DFW it says be careful, 1785 deaths have occured on Texas roads this year. Seems there is some consonant dissonance going on there, but I think that about Texas pretty regularly.

    And it's only late August.

    With guns too often the problem is like West Nile, an illness.

    While this country does mental health treatment poorly, the status quo is unacceptable. However, killing little kids apparently doesn't bother other people. From the IGTNT entries it's obvious we don't mind throwing the military away, and the Republicans favor a clump of cells over girls and women.

    Wow. I just realized this country has a death wish covering almost everyone but rich old white men.

    We can't take guns away from everybody. Or anybody, really, until after they go a killing spree.

    Even the law-abiding not-crazy gun nuts refuse to accept any limitations. DON"T TOUCH MY GUNS!!!!!, they scream.

    Didn't the Columbine shooters get their guns from their grandparents gun case? And gun sales skyrocketed in Colorado after the Aurora killings?

    So nothing will change, more non-combatants will die, and gun proponets will self-righteously proclaim, "If they'd just enforce the laws already on the books things would improve." (I think the 'they' there is supposed to be law enforcement entities that already have reduced budgets, except NYC, where the cops have no problem shooting civilians.)

    Anyone want to set up a pool as to when the next massacre occurs?

    Ante up.

    *I believe 'epidemic' just means more cases than expected.

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:19:22 AM PDT

  •  Gosh, you're right... (10+ / 0-)
    First off, there is no rational reason to have a gun in those venues.
    No-one has ever had a need to defend themselves in any of those places.

    Right?

  •  Um... (11+ / 0-)
    The question of why this country can't achieve real control over guns and gun violence has been percolating in my head since the theater shootings in Colorado. Then the Sikh Temple shootings. And the shootout at the Empire State Building.
    While there is indeed too much gun violence on our daily news programs, I really think the "shootout at the Empire State Building" is not an incident that gun control advocates should lump in with the most egregious examples. Given that it was in fact one disgruntled guy committing one targeted murder, versus some gun-happy NYPD who not only killed him, but managed to shoot nine innocent bystanders while they were at it because they're extremely lousy shots.
    •  A valid point. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      43north, glorificus, Joieau

      BTW, thanks for not accusing me of trying to take away your guns.

      Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

      by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:06:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eric, I appreciate your (4+ / 0-)

        POV. Maybe more than you can understand.

        My grandson's girlfriend's cousin (small town, lots of the same last name) got shot in the head just night before last when his best friend of many years tried to hand him his new .22 pistol to check out. It's touch and go as we speak, everyone is terribly saddened. He's 25 years old, both he and his friend and everyone else they've ever known have been around and familiar with guns all their lives. The proverbial "unloaded gun" accident that really, truly was an accident. Even if he lives, both he and his friend will never be the same.

        Charges of reckless endangerment have been brought, I don't think the friend is even of a heart to fight it. My heart is with both families. Our son was killed at the age of 21 in a terrible and highly unusual vehicle accident, we've been through much the same angst and anguish they're going through.

        What I have not heard are wails and pleas to ban gun ownership because this awful accident happened. Any more than I made any wails and pleas to ban cars or raise the driving age to 25 when our son was killed. Shit happens, someone's carelessness and/or negligence is often a causal or contributing factor.

        This tragic consequence doesn't make me want to melt down my guns. No one has ever been shot with them since we've owned them (won't claim grandpa's shotgun never shot anybody, he was Sheriff of a one-horse town in OK early last century - the horse belonged to him). I'd love to keep it that way, but can't guarantee it. I can take ample precautions against accidents, have always done so.

        All that said, yeah. We need some careful attention to issues in this country that lead to people being driven to commit such horrendous violence. Guns themselves, IMO, are not that high among those issues.

    •  one disgruntled guy committing one targeted murder (0+ / 0-)

      sounded like 1 gay guy killing 1 tea party red neck...

      Our president has his failings, but compared to Mitt Romney he is a paradigm of considered and compassionate thought.

      by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:19:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No amount of gun control (4+ / 0-)

        legislation in this country is ever going to prevent disgruntled ex-employees from murdering their ex-bosses if they're determined to do so. Any more than all the "Marriage Sanctity" laws in the universe can stop people from cheating on their spouses. No amount of anti-gay laws will ever stop people from being gay. Nor will laws against robbery prevent all instances of one human stealing from another. Etc., etc., etc. Laws merely define infractions so that punishments can be administered after the fact.

        If people never wanted to kill or steal or screw around, then there would be no reason to have laws, would there? And if laws could accomplish the task of making humans perfect, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  •  Eric, how can there be an honest discussion (12+ / 0-)

    when you've already framed this issue as one of "gun violence"????

    Let's first define the problem.  When the issue is framed as "gun violence worst in the Western world" etc, the conversation is forever controlled and manipulated.

    The reality is man and his violence.  

    Violence that he has been conditioned into expressing.
    "All is fair in love and war", correct?  
    Does not man teach man "To the victor goes the spoils" ?
    Has not the majority been trained to accept this pillar of humanity's very being: "Survival of the fittest"???

    The essence of humanity is to teach violence.

    Is it any surprise when man is violent?

    When will we teach peace?
    When will we evolve beyond this conditioning?
    When will we realize that those old beliefs and assumptions are barbaric AND the true cause of our problems today???

    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

    by gerrilea on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:11:22 AM PDT

    •  Sadly, when man is violent, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, Joy of Fishes, Joieau

      it is no surprise at all. Making all the guns disappear would not change that one iota.

      I agree with your statements as to our conditioning. I confess I never thought about it from the perspective in your reply.

      As to the framing on this, would "gun play" be better, or just plain "violence"? I don't mean to be flippant, but I'm at a loss as to how else to approach it.

      Thanks for your input.

      Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

      by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:53:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Defining the issue honestly is the first step (9+ / 0-)

        in finding a legitimate solution.

        We all have opinions on what can be done, supply-side gun control is moot and doesn't change our society or allows us to truly evolve. Authoritarian control measures only create dissent and destruction.

        I've always believed that education and exposure can mitigate many of the violence problems we face.

        Teaching our children peace is key.

        We didn't get here overnight:
        -Years of "free trade agreements"
        -Years of dumbing down the masses.
        -Years of Republican destructive policies such as, "tax breaks for the wealthy will create jobs"
        -Years of endless, unpaid wars.
        -Years of mind numbing violent propaganda in movies, TV shows and videos.
        -Years of misplaced "social" values where a damn football, hockey or baseball player makes more than the person entrusted to educate our children.
        -Years of worshiping our damn public servants like they are movie stars.
        -Years, no decades of defunding of our social safety nets and using said funds to enrich the Military Industry Complex and the Prison Industrial Complex.

        These things MUST be addressed first, if we are to ever recover.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:59:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Agree with general approach but let me suggest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Twocents

    a restatement of your argument.

    Driving an automobile is inherently risky.  We do things to reduce the risk, such as wearing seatbelts, etc., but ultimately there's always at least some possibility of death or serious injury.  But we decide that the convenience is worth the risk.  

    Widespread and effectively unlimited firearms ownership is similarly inherently risky.  There is always at least some possibility of injury or death, either by one's own mishandling of the firearm, or by violent or reckless conduct by persons with whom one comes into contact.

    And, much as with the automobile, people take steps to reduce this risk.  The most common of course is to simply move out to the suburbs and treat gun violence as an inner city (i.e. black) problem.  

    But this does not eliminate the risk of becoming a victim of gun violence.  It does change the way it's treated however in media.  Hence shootings such as Columbine and the Aurora theater become known as "massacres" because they upset and are inconsistent with the widespread idea of reduction of risk of gun violence through geographical relocation.  Compare this to the 5,000 people or so that have been killed in Chicago by firearms in the last 10 years or so, none of which seem to have been declared a "massacre" by the media.

    Other methods people choose to adopt in an effort to reduce the risk of gun violence include the carrying of personal arms.   For example, police officers wear body armor and have radio communications for back up.  Very few private individuals who carry arms adopt similar tactics or accoutrements.

    Instead the assumption, as we see manifest in some of the Aurora theater gun fantasies, is that somehow the armed (but unarmored) private individual will either outdraw or always survive the initial shooting by the bad guy, and be prepared to return fire.  To me, this is like driving 100 mph on the freeway in an effort to spend as little time as possible on those dangerous highways.  

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 07:33:55 AM PDT

  •  To refine your point about perceived risk, the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Twocents, glorificus

    risk I face in heavily armed and lightly regulated Idaho is far less than risk faced by a resident of urban Chicago or Newark.  Violence involving guns in the US is not a geographically or demographically uniform problem.  Regulation should probably reflect this but we have the SCOTUS interpretation of the 2nd amendment to work around.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:08:31 AM PDT

  •  I'm recommending the tip jar. (6+ / 0-)

    I don't agree with the diarist's position or concerns, or even their comments, but I will tip anyone who is polite in their dealings with others. And for the most part, I think he has.

    "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

    by meagert on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:32:23 AM PDT

  •  Individual rights are selfish? (4+ / 0-)

    I think your premise is completely false. In your hypothetical example, the hunter doesn't use his guns for violence. So is he/she selfish?

    The real problem is poverty and the disintegration of community. People learn to act by what their parents do and unfortunately, what they see on TV.

    Corporations also are to blame. In the past you had small communities with small businesses being passed from generation to generation. Now, because of globalism and urban sprawl, there is no ownership, only workers working menial jobs for someone else. There is no community or sense of purpose. People do not feel empathy for each other.

    These huge urban areas are where these problems are concentrated.

    You can't take a complex problem like crime and blame it on guns and gun owners.

    I don't know which lie to believe anymore.

    by Captain Janeway on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:17:43 AM PDT

    •  If you think that "individual rights are selfish" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      was the premise of this diary, then my attempt to illuminate the decision making process failed utterly.

      Is ther hunter selfish? OF COURSE HE IS! So are you. So am I.

      We on this site are constantly refering, with disdain or worse, to people who vote republican, apparently against their own self-interest. It is commented upon because it makes so little sense to so many of us.

      Condemning self interest (i.e., selfishness) in the decision making process would condemn every person on this planet, me included. I didn't go there.

      If you thought so, sorry.

      Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

      by Eric Twocents on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:57:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't think of it at the time but your post (6+ / 0-)

    jogged my memory of a blog post I read last night.

    http://hog-blog.com/...

    That fella is seriously messed up, by a totally selfish act, that we accept and even participate in, I'd guess it kills a lot of people every year, more than gun homicides by a huge factor.

    No gang members next door but there was an ex con with a 45. Great guy, I always felt ok with my kids over playing at his house.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:22:59 AM PDT

  •  The fact is that guns are a religion in the US and (0+ / 0-)

    no amount of sensible regulation is going to be enacted due to the religious fervor of the gun rights absolutists.  And you are correct, the expression of the individual right to purchase a weapon on demand is something of a "selfish" act because the people who believe in that policy are placing most of the power in the "rights" of that individual than they are in the community to live in safety.  

    It stems from an immature concept of what constitutes community and safety that has us all living in a juvenile Hollywood version of Deathwish or Red Dawn where the individual with the gun saves the day from an obscure and unknown menace.  The reality, however, is that we get George Zimmerman, and who really feels safe with his finger on the trigger?

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 09:43:42 AM PDT

    •  There's definitely a religious side to the debate. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      There's a whole movement of people who believe in the imaginary weapons and magical invisibility cloaks that obviate any need to defend yourself.  They also talk about Hollywood movies a lot.

    •  Nonsense. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, PavePusher, KVoimakas

      Because there are those who disagree with you, indeed, there are those who have, in fact, found themselves in need of a firearm for self-defense, does not mean that they live in what you have chosen to describe as an "immature concept of what constitutes community..."

      It could just be that they are dealing with reality -- which you appear to not to want to deal with.

      Trying to link support of gun rights to religion is an outright and simple falsehood -- but, a lot of us have, sadly, become accustomed to the gun-prohibitionists resorting to outright falsehoods when they cannot support their stance with reason or facts.

      Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

      by theatre goon on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:52:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site