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Dumb Arguments About Guns is a series devoted to examining the (il)logic of the modern debate over gun rights, gun laws, gun ownership and gun possession.  The purpose of the series is to help people focus their arguments and avoid falling into the many pitfalls of the gun debate in this country.  In the interest of full disclosure, my own position is that current gun laws are far too permissive.  I favor greater restrictions (but not elimination) on the types of guns private citizens should be allowed to own, carry and use.

I ask that people remain polite and on topic in the comments of this diary.  Please ignore overly dickish and/or excessively repetitive comments, we can only be derailed if we let ourselves get derailed.

Previous Diaries in this Series:
Dumb Arguments about Guns 2: Bad Comparisons
Dumb Arguments About Guns 1: The 2nd Amendement

In the third part of this series I would like to address a problem in the gun debate here at Daily Kos, not in the wider debate in the country.  Its a problem particular to us, but since I am writing here on Daily Kos, and my readership (what little there is) are members of Daily Kos, I am gonna run with it.

Over the last few days, if not months, there have been calls to have Daily Kos ban the group RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms).  For the record, I have argued that they should be allowed to stay here, but I actively oppose the goals of at least the most absolutist of that group.  To be clear, there are many opinions in RKBA as to the degree of gun control they are willing to accept or advocate--from positions not too far from my own to what I consider batshit crazy.  Similarly, there are members who are widely respected, widely liked and widely considered to be among the most diplomatic and kind at Daily Kos.  Some others are dicks.  I have no interest in naming names, engaging in a debate about anything I have said in this paragraph--just letting you know where I stand before the real point of this diary in the next paragraph.

For those who wish to ban RKBA, I think you all need to recognize that the RKBA group doesn't matter.  RKBA consists of about 90 members (most of whom don't really participate in the group that much) within a single progressive website with upwards of 600,000 users.  That means that RKBA members make up about 0.015% of the registered users at this site.  If we say that there are about 5,000 active members of this site, and by my estimate only about 10-15 active RKBA members, we are talking about somewhere between 0.2% and 0.3% of the active members of Daily Kos.

Can they be noisy? Yes.  Can they be dicks? Yes.  Can they be wonderful members of Daily Kos loved by almost all? Yes.  Can they provide some useful info on guns, gun laws and gun use? Yes, I have had to sharpen and correct some of my arguments about guns do to their challenges.  But seriously, if we can't handle the arguments from a small number of the absolutists members of RKBA, how the hell are we gonna defeat the NRA?  We can ban RKBA here on Daily Kos, we cannot ban the NRA from the United States.

So, if I can make a suggestion.  Stop worrying about RKBA and start worrying about the NRA--cause the NRA has been among the most effective, smart and powerful lobbies in the history of the United States.  Getting new gun restrictions is going to be staggeringly difficult.  You thought health care was hard--gun restrictions are gonna be harder.  Worrying about RKBA while the NRA is planning their counterattack is like worrying about a gnat while a bear is charging you.

There are plenty of other arguments about civility, big tents and listening that can be said of RKBA.  Some of those make sense to me, others less so.  But none change the simple fact that RKBA doesn't matter.  Think of RKBA as a test...if you can't jump over a matchbox, perhaps you shouldn't try to climb Mount Everest.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I haven't seen anyone want to ban RKBA (14+ / 0-)

    but my response to that would be "Its futile. You aren't going to change minds by eliminating a group"

    Plus a lot of RKBAers are 1) good progressives on many, many issues and 2) some of them are fairly sane where it comes to gun control. Banning them would be bad for dkos, and I fear, a slippery slope. Honestly.

    •  There Was Actually A Diary About Banning Them (11+ / 0-)

      ...earlier... but it got zero traction.

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:29:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed and also (6+ / 0-)

      I've seen several highly rec'd comments asking for the group to be banned.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:38:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've seen it lots . (3+ / 0-)

      And I understand where they are coming from .
      I'm not going to be displeased by their heartfelt outcries .

      I would not at all fail to understand if some of the members of the rkba group disassociated themselves from the core group .

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:40:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've flirted with joining them (5+ / 0-)

        because, in my heart of hearts, I do support the second amendment. Not this crazy "I want to bring my high powered assault rifle anywhere and if I can't it violates my FREEDUMBZZZZZZZ!!1111!" second amendment support, but I do support the idea of someone owning a firearm if they are responsible. I would never own one personally, but I do support someone's choice to own one if they are responsible and mentally capable of handling deadly firepower.

        •  With some increased restrictions (11+ / 0-)

          Also, the shooter, it is being reported today in several articles which I just read during my lunch break, was about to be placed in an in-patient facility for his mental unwellness. He was rather displeased about it. It was his mother's idea. The home was in Washington. She planned to go with him. Details are vague, but I read direct quotes from a named source which law enforcement agents concurred that while they couldn't vouch for the source, this was true.

          She'd filed, through the legal system, for conservatorship so that she could get her son in-patient help. We don't know what his diagnosis was still beyond Aspergers, but people with Aspergers don't go to in-patient facilities.

          My point in bringing this up is the same as it's been and in line with what President Obama has said: that we need comprehensive evaluations of how such murderers do what they do.

          I have argued it is because they are out on the street since Reagan, due to funding, as well as due to what I talked about in a recent Kosability diary: the stigma or fear of being labelled "mentally ill."

          I'm curious what his diagnosis was. We'll find out in time. I'm curious about this in-patient home care as well. Had he been in-care, he wouldn't have shot twenty school kids.

          For links, see my last few comments. Also, you can Google it. The friend's last name was, I think, Flashman? Fox News picked it up. Disregard them. There are other, better reports.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:51:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've gone through hunter ed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rexymeteorite, Empty Vessel

          I was thinking of buying a semi auto uzi carbine for pig hunting on Oahu .
          My Pops has a pistol .
          Ma has a shot gun .

          I was going to help rid the forests on Oahu of non native pigs , pigs that are forking up the forests there . Then at the end of the hunter ed class they explained that if the pig population dropped to low they would cut off the hunting until the pig population recovered .

          I'm for reducing the number of killed and wounded via gun controls . And for that I am attacked etc .

          Know what I mean ?

          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

          by indycam on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:55:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have eaten some of one of those pigs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel

            (on Kauai, but I take your point throughout the state), and they taste good, and need to be reduced.  Go for it.  But go for eradication, not a "recovering resource population".  Just my opinion.

            I commented on another thread about kids taking guns to school (one, an 11 yo, another a Kindergartner), and my reaction is: irresponsible parenting and gun ownership.  I asked: "Do they have latches on the cabinets where the cleaning supplies and the liquor are kept?".  Unfortunately, I think I know the answer.

            Yes, but a culture that didn't glorify a tool that is a weapon, and make it and the ammo way too easy to obtain, and has so little education/respect/civilized control is no stinkin' help.  Multiple 40-round clips bought on -line?  What in the Hell will you "hunt" and kill with that?  It's only a people-killing tool at that point, with the emphasis on the killing and very little of the tool.

            I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

            by tom 47 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:47:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  From the other side (4+ / 0-)

      As a member of the RKBA group, I find it disheartening to see liberals/progressives who support gun ownership treated about the same way the conservatives treat Log Cabin Republicans. All too frequently, in any thread in which a pro-gun ownership opinion is presented, the poster or people with that opinion are insulted, accused, villified, etc., and counter-arguments, if presented at all, are often from a position of complete ignorance on the subject.

      The vitriol is akin to going to a conservative blog and posting a pro-choice opinion, except here at Dkos there is less profanity and a better command of the English language.

      Thankfully, the worst of the offenders do get HR'd.

      Consider this: According to a recent Gallup poll, 47% of US households have a gun in them. If the original diarist could add a poll to see how DKos membership compares, it would be interesting to see if liberals are living in their own version of the "echo chamber", and either not realizing or ignoring the fact that half the households in this country have at least one gun in them.

      This 47% is just as much a part of America as we are, and being blind to, uncaring of, or insulting towards our fellow Americans this makes us look as bad as conservatives do when we rightly criticize them for those very same actions.

      •  That's for another diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles, Azazello

        I'm trying to deal with the bad arguments before moving onto the middling and good arguments.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:32:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are citing a 20 year old poll (3+ / 0-)

        The Gallup poll you cite is from 1993.

        Far more recent numbers are available: by 2010, the number of American adults living in households which contained a gun was down to 32%, reflecting a downward trend that has been continuing for nearly 40 years. The Declining Role of Guns in American Society

        There are several other trends noted in the linked paper, notably gun ownership is continuing to go down in every demographic except older white males, 79% favoring registration of firearms, and support for requiring a permit for gun ownership remains high - 74.3% in 2010.

        The gun owning cohort is consistently being reduced to older white males, a demographic remarkably similar to that of the Republican party, and one which will never agree with anything that President Obama and Democrats want to do.  

        If we come across as uncaring and insulting to them, so be it.  They come across that way every day of the week to the rest of humanity.

        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

        by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:39:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here is an interesting article (5+ / 0-)

          on gun ownership statistics by Nate Silver.

          By the Collision of different Sentiments, Sparks of Truth are struck out, and political Light is obtained. - Benjamin Franklin

          by oldpunk on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:49:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  very interesting read. thanks. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldpunk, PavePusher

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:57:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I quickly scanned it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and it appears to track the results from the General Social Survey, that gun ownership is rapidly becoming the province of older white males who are more likely than not members of the Republican party.

            So why on earth would we try to negotiate with them on issues related to firearms regulation?  That demographic will never agree with us on anything.  Hell, nearly 2/3 of them believe that the President was born in Kenya, and roughly the same number still believe that there were WMDs in Iraq.

            Trying to reason with them on the steps that need to be taken to stop the slaughter will be an exercise in self-flagellation.

            I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

            by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:01:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I believe you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          misread the information in the linked article. They state that the number of households with a gun in 2011 is as high as it was in 1993. 55% of Republicans and 40% of Democratic households reported having a firearm.

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

          by happy camper on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:06:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

            Direct quote for the article that I linked:

            Nevertheless, these statistics obscure a trend that has gone largely unnoticed: fewer and fewer Americans own guns. Data from the General Social Survey show that rates of gun ownership have been decreasing steadily for three decades. In 1977, 54 percent of American adults lived in a household that contained a gun. By 2010, that figure had declined a full 22 percentage points to 32 percent.
            The original comment quoted the 1993 Gallup poll at 47%.  By 2010, that number had dropped to 32%.

            I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

            by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:11:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Gallup poll was 2011 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happy camper, PavePusher

              I think Happy Camper was saying in a nice way that if you had followed the link to the Gallup poll, the very first things you would read would be:

              Date: October 26, 2011
              Title: Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. Is Highest Since 1993

              I have tried to find the GSS study graphed in the ThinkProgress article, but have had no luck so far. Does anyone have a link to the source material? Without this, there is no way to determine the exact reason for the difference, but for the information I have been able to find, it might be the difference between "owns a gun" (34% in Gallup poll) and "owns a gun or someone in household owns gun" (47% in Gallup poll).

              •  Then either Gallup or the GSS is wrong (0+ / 0-)

                I'll keep looking for a link to the actual GSS data that is referenced in Paul Waldman's article.

                Nevertheless, the point stands - guns are increasingly becoming confined to the hands of older white males who predominantly identify with the Republican party. (gives new meaning to "Get off my lawn!")

                Why on earth would we want to try deal with them on this issue?  I have absolutely no doubt that there are reasonable folks in that demographic, but their voices will be drowned out by the hard core activists who will do everything they can to stymie any efforts that we try to make and if past history is any indicator, the reasonable ones will sit on the sideline.

                This is actually perplexing to me.  Some of the major gains in environmental protections over the years have been championed by Ducks Unlimited and their colleagues.  Hunters. People who know guns, who know gun safety, etc.

                So where in the hell have these folks been on controlling access to weapons by people who shouldn't have them?

                I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:18:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If one is wrong (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  It does not mean the one you (or I) like is right. It just means we need to look harder for the truth.

                  In the meantime, I imagine we're fairly agreed that Nate Silver is a fairly good data collector (see the link earlier in this thread). If his numbers are considered credible, there is only a very small difference in gun ownership between Republicans and Democrats in several demographics (rural R/D: 65/57, veteran R/D: 63/58, Hispanic R/D: 32/28). So, the voices of gun ownership in some population groups are almost evenly split R/D-wise.

                  On the other hand, a few demographics are markedly different (for instance, Asian R/D: 22/5).

                  His graph at the bottom just references the GSS without a link, which places it in the same indeterminate category as the ThinkProgress article. Which is why it would be nice to see the actual GSS data to see why it is giving results (34%) at variance with Gallup (47%) and Nate Silver (42%).

                  As far as guns being increasingly confined to 1)older 2)white males who identify as 3)Republicans:

                  1) the population as a whole is getting older
                  2) white folks are still the majority
                  3) how many Republican web sites have floated the idea of banning an RKBA subgroup?

                  •  Agreed somewhat (0+ / 0-)

                    I want to have a good read of the NORC analysis that I linked in my prior comment before I discuss the findings, but I do want to comment on the calls to ban RKBA.

                    I am completely against banning - not only do they have a right to a voice here, but others can learn much.  Hell, I've owned and used weapons since I was 14 (62 now), likely many more and of types that most RKBA members will never have the chance to use, and I have learned things.

                    What I will not countenance, however, is the bullying and insults that are handed out by a few of the RKBA membership, nor diaries/comments which call for violence or criminal behavior.  While I have engaged civilly with them, I have been called a liar on several occasions for pointing out errors in some of their statements, or posing questions which would be uncomfortable.

                    They have an absolute right to voice opinions, and I have an absolute right, indeed sometimes an obligation, to challenge them where I believe they are wrong.

                    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                    by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:08:16 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Still looking for the source data (0+ / 0-)

                Checking the GSS and NORC sites, but it is a cumbersome process for someone unfamiliar with how to access information there.

                I did find a Guardian article which may explain some of the discrepancy: GSS interviews are conducted face to face and have an average 70% return rate; Gallup and other pollsters conduct telephone polls with an average 30% return, and traditionally under-report African-American and Latino households.

                Gun Ownership US Data

                Will keep looking....

                I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:44:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bingo... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, Shamash

                  I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                  by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:47:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PavePusher, KenBee, happy camper

                    But please accept that I am skeptical. The VPC is an avowed anti-gun organization and I would look at a study they funded about the same way you would if I presented you with an NRA-funded study. Not surprisingly, their figures for ownership and trends in ownership match their bias and the direction they want things to go in.

                    I did a quick scan of the VPC publications, and as a simple example, there is States with high gun ownership and weak gun laws lead nation in gun death. Interestingly, Vermont, which has zero licensing requirements on concealed carry is 37th out of 50 in low amounts of gun deaths and about the same percentage of gun ownership as the 3rd worst state in terms of gun deaths, but you have to actually look at a linked table and an unlinked, unmentioned CDC study to find that out, since that sort of thing (low regulation, high ownership, low death rate), while true, does not match the narrative they are trying to present (low regulation, high ownership, high death rate).

                    VPC engages in the sort of intellectual dishonesty that I oppose on principle, regardless of who is doing it or how noble their aim might be. I think the NRA does the same, which is why I did not and probably will not quote any studies done by or paid for by them.

                    •  and during this black helicopter/UN/gun grabber (0+ / 0-)

                      paranoia ..this period coincides with Beck/Drudge/Rush and the ramp up of the NRA's grift and fearmongering which has totally distorted things as well.
                          I sure would not answer such a question over the phone, as a responsible gun owner, I am not advertising
                      maybe the stats are somewhere in between..good enough for a conversation at least..and the NRA fearmongering, seen in daily/weekly gibberish sent to my NRA member hunting clan reaaaaaaly emphasized the political fear mongering of the democrat gun grabbers™.

                        Notably the pdf, thanks for it, doesn't mention that politics, something that I believe a less partisan group would have. Maybe. And that goes for the polling outfit as well, the question 'gun or revolver' is pretty odd to start with, anybody here could design a better question. Oh well.

                         It does provide in a general way what people will report, actual possession is another thing.

                      And the issue of owning vs having a gun in the same house is something I'd like to see detailed as I closed it, heh, maybe they did..

                      In the 60's I would have said 'no, none' as a peacenik with the bruises to show for it...then I find out one of my roommates  was hiding her friends 'machine gun' whatever it was..he's now a top city administrator..I am happy he never ran for election, he's a repub (and many people's candidate for the undercover FBI Cointelpro hippie we all know) I would have had to bring that up. I figure it was some aspect/ strategy of the FBI that was at the very same time infiltrating weapons into the BP in Oakland to justify their murder.

                      This machine kills Fascists.

                      by KenBee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:00:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  The GSS data was released (0+ / 0-)

                      on 10 April 2011 and while I found several references to the data and its release, particularly the gun ownership question, finding anything directly on the NORC or GSS websites is an exercise in frustration - they are extremely difficult to navigate for someone at my skill level.

                      I did however stumble across a trend chart on the GSS site which detail the answers from 1972-2006 to the survey question about having a gun in the home:

                      GSS Data Trend 1972-2006

                      As you can see, the trend is consistently downward and had reached 34.5% positive answers by 2006, which certainly lends credibility to the 32.5% figure in their 2010 data.

                      I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                      by Wayward Wind on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 01:01:13 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  RKBAers aren't like, aliens or Freeper Trolls (9+ / 0-)

      they're progressives like the rest of us, the vast lot.

      Hi there. I'm in the group. Between that, my Muslims at DailyKos membership, and the Africa pendant avatar, my user page probably makes a lot of people uncomfortable. :D

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:26:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've seen calls for banning them both in the (8+ / 0-)

      form of diaries and comments in other diaries.  And I find that very troubling and anti-progressive.  I don't support banning them just because we happen to disagree on interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.  Many RKBA members have written excellent diaries and comments on a myriad of subjects, and I have recommended those with pleasure.  If RKBA'ers weren't progressives, they wouldn't be here in the first place.  Thus they deserve our continued acceptance and welcome as full members of the kos community, no matter how challenging we might find one another's views on guns.

  •  Excellent diary....well done!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, PavePusher, KenBee
  •  Tangiently related; The NRA has announced (3+ / 0-)

    it will hold a major news conference on Friday to discuss what it wants to do regarding this latest event.

    (Of course, they were blind to the fact that Friday is the one week anniversary of the shootings)

  •  Tipped because I agree that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, PavePusher, KenBee

    the issue is being severely deflected.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:39:30 PM PST

  •  I don't always agree with RKBA (9+ / 0-)

    but I will defend to the death their right to say it...

    ...via unarmed combat, of course. ;)

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:40:46 PM PST

  •  No one should be banned (7+ / 0-)

    for their reasoned opinion.

    I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member--Groucho Marx.

    by DaveS002 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:41:51 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the compliment. (5+ / 0-)
    Can they provide some useful info on guns, gun laws and gun use? Yes, I have had to sharpen and correct some of my arguments about guns do to their challenges.
    I'll say, I haven't seen the suggestions of microstamping firing pins or barcoded brass in a while, maybe others have also sharpened and corrected their arguments.
  •  I really was trying to listen and learn. I am less (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel

    inclined now and perhaps a bit more stubborn on the matter. Maybe that will change.

    I have, however, given up on discussing with RKBA for the most part.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:10:50 PM PST

  •  Why I REALLY am an RKBA member (7+ / 0-)

    I don't own any guns.  I have no desire to purchase any.

    But there is a Constitutional Right to KBA.  Even if I vehemently disagree that we SHOULD have such a right (I don't), the fact is it's right there in the Constitution.  I believe all the other rights too, ya know.  

    Truthfully, I believe the 2nd Amendment should be amended.  Yes, you heard it.  An RKBA member wants to amend the 2nd Amendment.  

    What I really believe is the Rule of Law.  You want to change the 2nd Amendment, DO IT.  But pretending it doesn't exist...  is dangerous to every right the Constitution grants.  Some of whom you probably DO cherish.

  •  I could do without them... (4+ / 0-)

    Especially considering some of the bad behaviors exhibited by certain, particularly vocal and aggressive, members of that group.

    However, I don't think the group name should be stricken from whatever list of "approved" groups exists, no matter how fatally misguided I believe most of their positions are.

    But here's my two suggestions, off the top of my head:

    1.  Educate. I'll cede that those folks know more about small arms than most of us. They should: some of them seem strangely preoccupied with the subject.  So -- they should strive to educate.  Now, you may think they already do that, but if you look closely at their use of jargon and terminology attacks, those seem to be most commonly done not to educate but to humiliate, shame, and silence those with whom they disagree. Their insistence that the right terminology be used, despite widespread usage in our general culture  to the contrary (the whole "clip" vs. "magazine" thing is an example) seems mainly an effort to shut down those who have strong opinions but may lack specific knowledge.  In one diary, I recall pointing out that extensive knowledge is not a prerequisite for holding a justifiable and valid opinion:

    * * *One of their best-loved tactics is to use arcane nomenclature to "prove" someone doesn't know what they're talking about in an attempt to shut down discussion. if one needs to be an expert on the taxonomy of firearm parts to have the right to express an opinion on the regulation of firearms. 

    One wonders: do they believe the families of cancer-stricken children at Love Canal had no right to call for stricter regulation and cleanup of hazardous waste simply because those parents didn't know the difference between, say, acenaphthene and acenaphthylene? Between an aquifer and an aquitard? * * *

    2. Exhibit a problem solving orientation. Maybe it's my personality, but I generally am repelled by people who do nothing more than call out problems or weaknesses.  It's a passive (in some cases active) way of stopping progress. Rather than sit on their haunches and dismissively tell us why one gun control measure or another won't work, they should use their knowledge and passion on the topic to help improve suggestions so that workable, effective solutions can be identified.  For example the 1990s-era assault weapon ban (AWB) was widely criticized for regulating rifles mainly on their physical appearance rather than their function. Members of RKBA have cited it dismissively more than once. Now, I don't read their creepily cliquish little diaries anymore so perhaps I've missed it, but not once have I seen one of them suggest a version of an amended AWB that would be both more effective and enforceable.  It seems to me that they would just rather criticize and poke holes in suggestions.  Now, that could be because they really, really don't like gun control.  But I think this time the horror and senselessness of guns in our society is so evident to the general public that something may well happen.  Wouldn't it be better if they were engaged in helping brainstorm effective and workable gun control tactics?  Instead, the organizer of their group pushes for a list of things such as better mental health care and employment assistance (sorry, but I can't find the actual comment). Admirable as that may be, that list is silent on what can be done to curtail the ready availability of large-capacity semiautomatic guns and what can be done to reduce their harm. In effect, it is the same tactic the NRA uses: deflect to other topics while ridiculously pretending by omission that the prevalence of guns in our society is not a factor in our horrible, horrible rate of gun injuries and fatalities.
    •  That's because there is no real answer. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, PavePusher, KenBee, theboz

      An AWB that functions is an oxymoron, because of things like the bullets used in the standard AR are smaller than the bullets my grandpa used to feed my mom.

      Because of things like the technology for full and semi automatic function is well over a hundred years old. It was invented when civil war soldiers were still picking up the pieces of georgia after general sherman. That is a fucking long time ago! And yet the media gets the un-knowledgeable into a fearful lather with their sensational broadcasts.

      And because the tech is so old, think about what sort of manufacturing capability was needed way back then to create semi auto rifles and pistols... that's garage-level stuff!

      And finally, the name itself sucks twinkies. Did the japanese use 'assault' katanas? Did robin hood use 'assault' longbows? Does a baseball bat become an 'assault' bat when it is made out of aluminum rather than traditional wood? Then why would a rifle that shoots bullet X become an 'assault' rifle if you change the wood for plastic? And remember, bullet X is smaller than my grandpa's deer rifle.

      As mentioned in another diary, the rkba group makes up less than half of one percent of the active users on this site. So it gets damned frustrating having to type out the same stuff over and over and over, trying to educate.

      •  So we should call them what they are (0+ / 0-)

        Semi-automatic anti-personnel weapons.

        An AR-15 with a 30 round magazine has almost zero utility for hunting, except in very rare instances and very specific areas of the country. Period.  Ask your grandpa, he'll know.

        I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

        by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:47:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Feral hogs are spreading. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Put Feral Hogs in google, and see how even new york state has recognized that wild boar are a problem on the radar.

          •  When was the last time you hunted feral hogs? nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joe Bob

            I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

            by Wayward Wind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:07:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm too underpaid for my time. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PavePusher, KenBee

              I am like most other working class yahoos, underpaid and overworked.

              Hunted meat is the most eco-organic thing there is. You don't get more "free range" than something that actually has free range of the millions of acres across the state.

              I deeply enjoy just walking alone in the woods. Too bad my employer figures a "half day" of work is "half of a day"... 12 hours.

              So my lack of having gone hunting at all is not by choice. Sigh. But I'm keeping hope alive that I can push progressive class-conscious economics so that my sister's kids have it better.

          •  Uh, do you really need an AR-15 to hunt hogs. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            From the first google hit.

            Because the feral hog has such a tough hide the best rifle calibers to use should be a .243 or greater to prevent wounding and loss of the animal. Bowhunting, muzzleloading, and handguns are also popular among sportsmen to hunt feral hogs.

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:15:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've now gone through the first page (0+ / 0-)

              of google links, and nobody is saying you need a gun more powerful than a decent hunting rifle.

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:19:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And now I have found a .243 Winchester (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                bolt action, that people list as a good all-around, and the lists at several sites specifically mention feral hog.

                "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:32:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  And .243 is bigger than the AR15's .223 (0+ / 0-)
                  •  And the muzzle velocity? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    As I learned from the folks at RKBA, bullet size means nothing without talking abut muzzle velocity (thanks).  The biggest bullet wouldn't hurt you if I threw it.

                    My quick analysis, is that the largest bullet bullet (just,over 100 grains) that can be safely loaded into a Winchester .243 has about the same muzzle velocity as the wimpiest loads for the wimpiest AR-15 style rifle.  With the more powerful modelsmhaving far higher muzzle velocities.  Not to mention giant clips and semi auto.

                    Hate to break it you, but I am learning.  If wasn't on my iPad, i'd of linked to all this stuff.

                    The short version, am AR-15 is a silly weapon to hunt feral pigs with.

                    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                    by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:18:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  energy delivered most relevant, weight x speed (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Empty Vessel, theboz

                      and at what distance followed by bullet design is the best measure of lethality....that's what you found I think?

                       There are even subsonic rounds that are , well, sub sonic rather than the 1000-1400 whatever fps of most bullets. Quieter...

                      most pig hunters I know don't get to shoot a lot, after the first shot they are usually climbing trees or running or getting run over. hogs are smart and vicious, they instantly run like hell in all directions, and if they see you and it's convenient, bam, you are in trouble.
                         There a bolt action may be safer as the pigs can't step on a fired gun and shoot you with it like they could with an Ar 15.

                      That said, shooting giant hogs happens, but most meat hunters I know choose the smaller 30-75 lbs younger ones, there a smaller bullet would still work, such as the 30-30, .223. .22 magnum, etc, a larger bullet still does have a better chance of not just wounding it.
                         For some of the giant 800-1400+ hogs, get a bigger gun.

                         There are some pretty hair raising videos about how grumpy and violent hogs can be. Such as walk out your door and there they are in your flowers! Hiking I have passed brush stands they are hiding in and heard them after passing by, and once walked into one in a creek bed, a large domestic B/w but very feral..we talked, he wiggled his tail at me and wandered downstream.  My friend was run over by a whole string of young hogs he startled one day Youch!

                      This machine kills Fascists.

                      by KenBee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:24:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My wife and I got chased by a small herd (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Of havelinas Right in the middle of tucson neighborhood. She had young, she wanted us to leave, we did.

                        Not really pigs, not nearly as big, but they can deliver a,pretty good bite.

                        Been reading about AR-15s for the last I can tell they are a really dumb fucking gun to hunt with.  Tell me if I am wrong, but since it is a smaller bullet with a higher muzzle velocity, it losses speed faster...and thus is worse at distance.

                        Namely, it's really good at shooting a shit ton of very bullets at short to medium range, but not so good for much else.

                        A decent rifle, perhaps a tad bigger than .243, seems like a far better choice.

                        I get he sense reading gun blogs and such that you get the same sort of conversations you get in motorcycle mags (this I know).  In motorcycles, people say you need a liter bike or it's underpowered crap, when the reality is a decent 500 or 700 cc bike is all that most people really need.

                        I got the same feeling reading people talk about the .234's likely all they really need...but goddamn they want that bigger, badder gun.

                        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                        by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:40:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  sorry .243 better for Hunting. Omitted hunting. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                          by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:43:53 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  PS (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Basically from my reading, it seems to me that a hunter would be able to anything they reasonable wanted with a combination of a .234 and a shotgun (would need to figure out the correct size on that).  

                          .234 would be good for varmints up to deer.

                          Shotgun for birds, and with shotgun slugs they could deal with larger game.

                          Any serious disagreement with that?

                          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                          by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:57:13 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  nope, 243 my choice but I lost (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Empty Vessel

                            I didn't get grannies 243 lever, but I did get gramps treinta/treinta 1895 lever. .243 is pretty flat shooting compared to many, and still accurate at range.

                            And also a 1910 8 shot semi auto as well as a 1928 semi auto shotgun.

                            yes, so right, lighter bullets deflected easier slow quicker wind, trees, and distance affect accuracy of the lighter bullet.

                            And let us not forget LHO shot JFK with a bolt action ww2 rifle...I'll say maybe lest I be argued with ...

                            Arizona? them thar Peccaries is rough and tough, and in your neighborhood! yikes!...And  now the Jaguars are being sighted some as well. Probably be a while before they are sleeping on your shed roof like some people have found mtn lions, but with global warming, who knows..

                            And thanks for your fair mindednesses.

                            This machine kills Fascists.

                            by KenBee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:10:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm trying to be serious about figuring (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Out what a hunter truly needs.  If I am gonna advocate for banning long guns that are more than a hunter needs, then I better start learning where that line is.

                            So, I am still learning, thinking, and trying to get this all worked out.

                            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                            by Empty Vessel on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:16:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, no, actually... (0+ / 0-)

                            The .243 is ok for whitetail deer, but on the light side. Shotgun slugs are only good out to 100-150 yards. Elk and mule deer require longer shots routinely, and need a caliber on the order of .270 or .30-06. 7mm magnums are very popular for those uses. Moose hunters routinely use .300 magnums. My sons and I use .308 and .30-06 rifles for deer hunting in Minnesota.

                            -7.25, -6.26

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

                            by ER Doc on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:59:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  At the risk of being mocked mercilessly for my (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Empty Vessel

              lack of knowledge about both guns and hunting, wild boar hunting is popular in France and, although I don't know their gun laws, I doubt they're like ours.

            •  AR-15's are not limited to a single caliber. (0+ / 0-)

              6.5mm, 6.8mm, .300 (several), .458, 9mm, .45 ACP....

              AR-10's come in .308 standard, and can be had in numerous others.

        •  But AR's with 3-5 round magazines.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          are quite usefull for hunting where rifles are allowed, and magazine capacities limited.

          And they are purpose-made for that event.

      •  furthermore (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PavePusher, KenBee

        the AR is just a base. Like the cement pad is just the base upon which a house it built.

        You take an AR lower, and swap out the top for all sorts of different bullet sizes. Want to spend an afternoon in the breeze ringing a steel gong far away - throw on the .22 so the ammo is cheap. Going on an elk hunt, take that one serial numbered AR and attach a large caliber top. Going for deer, swap out for the smaller module. Need to take out as many of that herd of feral hogs that is ripping up the crops, then grab extra ammo and use something that is big enough to get through those tough hides. And watch out for angry sows or charging boars. Feral hogs are becoming a larger and larger problem, which is spreading.

        This tidbit of info, the modular swap in/out design, is one of the most fundamental things to understand about the AR15 platform. That even this introductory bit isn't being communicated in broadcasts and media pundit interviews means the people that are so-called 'educated' by those pundits are actually as worthwhile in the conversation as a grad of glenn beck university would be regarding constitutional details.

        •  Funny (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          See Ernest T. Bass's Point 1., wherein a gun policy discussion quickly devolves into an exigesis on hardware. Aaaand....right on time we get a detailed introduction to the modular design of the AR platform and the various merits thereof.

          I actually think your preceding comment is somewhat more helpful. People like Ernest T. Bass understand that an assault rifle, like those addressed by the expired ban, is just a scary-looking semi-automatic rifle. As you explain, it’s a common technology that’s exactly the same as in many other rifles that were never banned. Ergo, I want E.T.B. to take his understanding one step further and realize that there exists no effective improvement to an assault weapons ban. The only meaningful part of that law was the ban on high-capacity magazines.

          Once someone realizes that reinstating or revising the AWB is little more than a feel-good measure, they can drop that idea and think about what gun control has to consist of to be meaningful. My fear is that the 1994 AWB will be re-enacted and it will be hailed far and wide as a great bipartisan achievement that addresses gun violence, whereas, in practice it’s meaningless. Worse than that, it’s a distraction.

          If people really want to reduce gun violence then something dramatically different needs to happen with how we treat the ownership of handguns. The sooner people can see past BS like an assault weapon ban, the sooner we can get to measures that might make a difference.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:30:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hate to pop your bubble (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher, KenBee
            The only meaningful part of that law was the ban on high-capacity magazines.
            What some call "high capacity" was just standard capacity for the weapon.

            15 is standard for a pistol when the entire capacity is able to be held in the grip.
            For the ar15, 30 is standard.

            It's not a question of numbers, it's a question of efficacy. The long stick magazines that hang out the bottom of a pistol - those have no efficacy. They do not work to their role. Their function is faulty and prone to jams and lags and failures.

            So the ban based on numbers was just foolish. It was like artificially capping the available space in the trunk of every vehicle to 10 cubic feet whether one drove a vw beetle or a ford f350 pickup.

            Furthermore, with practice it is faster to reload with standard magazines than with the long stick 'high cap' mags. The long sticks are not so easily manipulated in one hand in the way necessary, a larger hand is needed. With a standard magazine, the heel of your hand is on the bottom and the finger just reaches the top, so all you do is point your finger on the right spot on your other hand and push. With a long stick, you have to wield it more like a small dagger, stabbing the end into the bottom of the gun. Needs much more dexterity.

            So the ban on the long stick 30 round pistol magazines, like the one used in tuscon, actually forced people to use the more reliable normal size magazines that are also easier to master.

            Talk about unintended consequences! Fuck!

          •  And actually, the previous ban... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive

            did not address "assault rifles".

      •  I know they're small caliber (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joe Bob, PsychoSavannah

        But my understanding is that the muzzle velocity and ability to penetrate surfaces were both greater than with more traditional hunting rifles. I could be wrong -- this is certainly not my area of expertise -- but I suspect there are certain performance characteristics that differentiate rifles that mimic the performance of military weapons from those your grandpappy used to hunt deer.

        I should add -- even here in this comment, you've done little but to exhibit the same, tired, old behavior. You mock. You criticize but fail to offer solutions.  It's the same old schtick.

        So what if the technology is old?  So what if one -- hypothetically -- could fabricate one in one's garage?  Would it work reliably?  Don't you think that maybe, just maybe, that requiring that amount of skill and equipment might reduce their proliferation somewhat? And isn't that the goal?

        So the word "assault" bothers you.  Tough.  Get over it. Because I suspect very strongly that we are going to find bills that define that term very specifically in cold statutory language in coming weeks.  You'd best get used to it.

        Perhaps your expertise could be used to make sure it gets defined appropriately.

        •  Hey. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PavePusher, KenBee
          I should add -- even here in this comment, you've done little but to exhibit the same, tired, old behavior. You mock. You criticize but fail to offer solutions.  It's the same old schtick.
          It is simply not possible to stick all of the answers that have been proposed in the rkba diaries into a comment as a direct reply to each individual.

          There's a diary history for the group. It's not hidden. It's not our job to step and fetch for a person who is at least supposed to be on equal footing.

          Short and sweet, tax wall street. Unions. high marginal rate. Corporate death penalty. Prosecutions of military complex corporations for war profiteering. Some of these are possible right now, the laws are on the books already, so how about enforcing them?

          That sounds like something the rkba group says a lot, how about enforcing the laws we already have? Sherman anti trust, fdr war profiteering, rico, let's start with those and see if society heals enough that our vision clears and we can see that gun control doesn't mean less crime, it just means different crime. Like whack a mole, smack the gun down and another implement pops up.

          •  Hey! (0+ / 0-)

            Short answer: you and your fellow RKBA members have not come anywhere close to addressing the problems your views have caused to this country.

            So don't insult anyone by claiming it's :


   actually respond in a constructive manner to comments related to your predilection.  

            Shoe on the other foot?  You guys generally refuse to address the very plain and obvious need to curtail the availability of semi-automatic weapons in our society.

            Instead we see, over and over again, claims that it's all been addressed before. If we only bothered to read your intelligent and cogent proposals, all would be well.

            And...oh yes...I see you've slipped on the comfortable shoe that is informing us that we just need to enforce the laws on the books.

            I don't know why I bother with you RKBA types.  It's always the same old bullshit.

            Well, guess what?  The nation has grown tired of the carnage that comes from your views.  Get on the bus or get out of the way.  

            But please spare us the lies that you've bothered to offer helpful or constructive suggestions.  The RKBA group at this website, as are most of your fellow travelers, is primarily about blocking gun control measures; diverting attention to ancillary issues; and repeating weakly substantiated statistics in support of your perverted views about guns in an otherwise civilized society.

            Frankly, if you continue in this vein, I have no interest in reading your failed opinions.

        •  It depends what you mean by traditional hunting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          rifles. The "30-30" lever-action rifles are very traditional deer rifles. The cartridge they use is slightly more powerful that the 7.62x39 cartridge used in the AK-47 type rifles. My sons and I use rifles in former military calibers for deer hunting: .30-06 & .308. The US military went to a smaller, less capable caliber when it adopted the .223 in the M-16. It is not especially high velocity, & does not have special penetrating capability. It is smaller and less powerful than the .30-06 of WWII in every way that counts. It was selected because it is smaller & lighter, allowing the soldier to carry more rounds more easily. It appears to be a hard thing to understand, but the currently-used military calibers are less powerful than the guns normally used by deer hunters.
                Sniper rifles as used by SWAT teams & most military snipers are roughly on a par with common deer rifles, except that they usually use more powerful sights than most hunters use.

          -7.25, -6.26

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

          by ER Doc on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:22:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't see a useful purpose to entirely banning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, profewalt

    any group. However, I think there are some members of RKBA which are their own worst enemies. My opinion of gun owners has sunk dramatically since joining Daily Kos, especially those who own them for self-defense. After seeing the agression with which several members of that group treated commenters in a diary about Bob Costas, I had decided that I was going to break my silence about what I think about guns. I still can't entirely say what I think because I've seen members of RKBA give retaliatory HR's for exactly what's on my mind. The fact that so many comments in the past few days have been preceeded by "I don't care who HR's me but. . . " indicates that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    On the other hand, during the past few days I've been surprised at who has said they belong to the group. I really did associate the group with about half a dozen people who seemed, at least from my limited view point, to be interested in almost no other subjects and who tend to HR as a group.

    For the record, I've never gotten HR'd by them myself (I think) so this isn't personal.

  •  Hunter Thompson quote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PavePusher, ER Doc

    well paraphrased... From Fear & loathing trail 72

    It wasnt McCarthy that got LBJ to Drop out of the 68 race
    Its not the NRA lobby u need to worry about
    Its American Gun owners who belive the 2nd amendment protects their right to keep & bear
    are registered to vote

    Kenyan Socialism today Kenyan Socialism tomorrow Kenyan Socialism forever May his reign last 1,000 years

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:20:42 PM PST

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