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Anytime the suggestion of increased firearm regulations gains a little traction, the comparisons come out. Cars kill more people. Why don't we outlaw cars? Putting everyone on foot would save three times as many people as are killed by guns.

Of course, the answer is that we already restrict the use of Automobiles. In fact, Automobiles may be one of the most heavily regulated items in the nation. Each model offered for sale has to pass numerous tests for safety and environmental impact just to get on the road, and is subject to recall if any issue is discovered in the future. Cars are required to have seat belts and air bags, and to perform well in simulated accidents. Operators have to pass written and practical tests, have to register both themselves and their vehicles, have to pay personal property taxes on their car, are required to have insurance against the damage they might do while operating their car, and have to update all of this information annually. In addition, operators of automobiles face the prospect of fine or imprisonment if they operate their vehicles in an unsafe way, and the privilege of being able to operate a vehicle on public roads can be rescinded at any time. Because of these regulations, highway deaths per mile dropped to an all time low in 2012. Yes, over thirty-two thousand people still died in automobile related accidents, but the rate of deaths was just 1 for every one hundred million miles driven. The total number of deaths was lower than it has been in sixty years.

BY almost any measure, our cars have become remarkably safe, and they've done so through the application of tough regulation, required training, and individual responsibility of securing and holding both insurance and a valid license.  

So really, there's no comparison between cars and guns. Or guns and fatty foods, or guns and alcohol. There's no comparison at all.

Because gun ownership is a right.

You may not like it, but hey; there are probably a lot of people out there who don't think freedom of religion should be a right (and a lot more than don't think you should be free to make your totally incorrect and sure to get you a never-ending flame bath choice). The second amendment is in there, stroked out in the same neat penmanship as the rest, and as long as it is in there, people in America are going to be allowed to own guns. And, though previous courts have ruled quite differently several times, the current Supreme Court has determined that this amendment enshrines an individual, personal right to carry weapons, independent of such organized bodies as the National Guard. You may not find that interpretation in the text, but until you can convince five guys in black robes that it's not there... It's there.

So, when it comes to regulating gun ownership,  if anyone suggests that we should require the kind of safety, training, and personal responsibility that we demand of anyone getting behind the wheel of a car, we can say... Absolutely. Why not?

No right is unlimited. Back up one amendment, and here's what you'll read:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
No law abridging the freedom of speech... but yet, there are limits on what you can say. No restriction on the press... but there are restrictions on what the press may print or broadcast. No restriction on religion... but there are restrictions on religious practices. No restriction on assembly... unless the mayor decides you've overstayed your welcome in the park.

Every right, every right, is subject to limitations. That goes beyond restrictions in the Libertarian sense in which your individual rights don't get to trample the rights of another individual. Every nation, every government, finds itself patrolling the boundary between individual freedom, and societal well-being. Choices are made that limit rights, because no right lives in a vacuum and no person is an island. The persistence of any civil society is itself an act of daily compromise.

For the United States, that boundary–drawn with a broad, but not always clear brush through the foundations of our government–must always be approached cautiously. Finding and adjusting the limits of an individual right should never be done carelessly. But it has to be done.

The right to own a gun is, just like every other right, not without limits. Despite the often-cited thousands of existing regulations, the truth is that currently gun ownership is very lightly regulated when compared to other activities. Very, very lightly. For my personal guns, I don't have a license to operate any of them. I'm not registered as a gun owner. The guns are not registered to me. Though it's certainly a good idea, I wasn't required to do one moment's training. I'm not required to prove that I keep them safe, or to have any insurance against their misuse. There is no examination to see if these guns, many of which are ancient and more than a bit iffy, can be operated safely or whether any of them has been modified in a way that makes it unsafe.

Some of those things are likely to change. Gun ownership in America is not going to go away. The second amendment is not going to be repealed. But requirements are going to be drafted to refine the boundary between the individual right to bear arms and the detrimental effects of that right on society.

Any responsible gun owner who wants to be sure that that line is drawn in a way that makes sense, should be a part of the conversation.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Shut Down the NRA, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

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

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

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

    •  Some would say (12+ / 0-)

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

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

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

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

        [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            You will lose this argument.

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

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

            [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

                    That sort of thing can't happen today.

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

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

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

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

                    [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

                      [ Parent ]

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

                        prevent robberies?

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

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

                        [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

                          Doesn't that seem, well, extreme?

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

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

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

                          [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

                            [ Parent ]

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

                            ... lightning.

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

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

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

                            [ Parent ]

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

                    in Citizen defensive shootings.

                    We'll wait.  

                •  Really? (7+ / 0-)

                  So what is your opinion of

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

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

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

                    representative in AZ? Period. End of argument.

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

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

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Extrapolate much? (0+ / 0-)

                      Hmm...

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

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

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

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

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

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

              How big is your personal carbon footprint?

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

              [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                [ Parent ]

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

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

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

                  Great story about the 2 gals though.

                  How big is your personal carbon footprint?

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

                  [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

                    [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

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

                      That seems pretty hard to believe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        [ Parent ]

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

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

              -7.25, -6.26

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

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

              [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                [ Parent ]

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

              ...is a fool.

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

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

              Those statements make as much sense as:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                [ Parent ]

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

                  ...are accidental - some are intentional.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    It ain't hard to figure all that out.

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

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

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

                    [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        Have a nice day.

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

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

                        [ Parent ]

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

                          You assert that you are a "gun hater".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          Have a Happy Holiday season and be safe.

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

            And this is borne out by the existing data.

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

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

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

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

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

            •  If you knew (4+ / 0-)

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

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

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

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

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

                [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              •  I had the same problem with my first marriage (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kestrel9000

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

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

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

                [ Parent ]

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

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

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

            indisputable fact.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

        [ Parent ]

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

          ...for suicide by auto wreck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Since I don't have complete 2012 numbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  •  Maybe pprohibit the use of a gun with the use of (5+ / 0-)

    alcohol and/or drugs. A police detective told me 80% of their work is because of alcohol and/or drugs- add a gun and all hell breaks out.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:03:23 AM PST

  •  Sigh... (12+ / 0-)

    This has already gotten over 206,000 shares on Facebook, making it seem like the father of one of the Columbine victims testified before Congress just recently, claiming the REAL problem was that we took God out of our schools.

    Snopes shows he testified back in 1999, along with others like John Lott and the now-infamous Wayne LaPierre.

  •  Is there any chance that after his Bizarre speech (3+ / 0-)




    Wayne LePetomaine will be asked to leave akin to Dick Armey and Freedom Works....

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:06:12 AM PST

  •  Keep dragging the conversation back to guns (9+ / 0-)

    So far the guns-at-any-price folks at the Washington Post comments have tried to distract with cars, drunken driving, swimming pools and even, God love him, oxygen.  They've tried to tell us that if we don't believe in banning all alcohol, for instance, then we must be in favor of all the bad consequences of alcohol.

    My usual approach is to suggest regulating firearms just as we do driving, drinking, etc., etc. No matter what they pull out from their 'hats', I bring it back to guns.

    Don't let yourself be distracted by shiny, slippery slopes.

    A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used.

    by wonderful world on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:25:48 AM PST

    •  A lot of people... (0+ / 0-)

      ...who support the RKBA would be happy with regulating firearms just as we do cars and driving. Then:

      • There would be virtually no limitations on what firearms one could keep and use on private property (yours or another person's with their approval).
      • No registration of any sort would be required to keep or use firearms on private property.
      • Unregistered firearms could be transported (not operated) freely in public places (just as an unregistered car can be transported on a car carrier).
      • A license to use/carry/conceal a firearm in any state would be recognized as valid in all states subject to minor variations in usage laws (such as, can one turn right on red).
      • Anyone of reasonable intelligence, reasonable health (no recent epileptic seizures for example), and typical capabilities (no completely blind drivers for example) and with minimal training could get a permit to carry (and use within the law) firearms in public places.
      • Virtually no limits on how many vehicles you could buy, sell, or own as a private party.
    •  And 40% of guns are bought privately, meaning (0+ / 0-)

      the owners have no background check.

      There are, according to estimates, somewhere between 200 million and 300 million guns out there.

      Do the math. That is one helluva lot of people who own guns; guns sold to people 40% of whom had no background check.

      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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:06:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bingo, and cars weren't designed solely to kill (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, Desert Rose, squarewheel

    which is true of guns no matter how many targets or clay pigeons you shoot up.

    When we finally decide to regulate instruments of death more than cars and toy guns, we'll have to convince skeptics that their children will be far safer anyway being defended in their home by daddy's scattergun loaded with birdshot than his AR-15 spraying bullets around at 3,000 feet per second.

    Oh, and to Wayne and his tinfoil hat anti-government legions, if you are taken out by the government it'll be by remote control Hellfire missile directed from Tampa or Nevada rather than shoulder to shoulder ATF agents walking up your driveway that you envision in your hero dreams.  

    "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

    by Jim R on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:34:13 AM PST

    •  to be accused of "dragging" the thread off topic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, PavePusher

      then should any item which is designed solely to kill be banned or should any item specifically designed to kill humans be banned?

      •  I said regulated, you said banned (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Naniboujou, squarewheel

        Requiring licensing and training to drive cars that are not designed solely to kill while loosening gun regs is stupid.

        "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

        by Jim R on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:48:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have no problem with regulation of guns (5+ / 0-)

          as they are currently regulated albeit mayhap not sufficiently but there are some who would welcome an outright ban.

          I would suggest in any such discussion, that all parties be familiar with the class of arms being discussed and also be familiar with current laws, as I have seen people outraged that ordinary people can mail guns to each other (they really can't do that legally) and other misconceptions

          •  They can, however, meet in a parking lot, exchange (0+ / 0-)

            cash/gun and go about their day. No background check or anything.

            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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:08:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Cars weren't designed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, Robobagpiper, PavePusher

      to kill... so are the deaths caused by cars somehow less of a problem? Are the victims less dead? The numbers are comparable. Why is it less of an issue? Perhaps if we were to require speed governors, or ban Corvettes because of their high speed capabilities? I mean, who really needs to go 190 mph?

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

      by happy camper on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:14:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not less of an issue, (0+ / 0-)

        as evidenced by the steady decline in fatalities per hundred million miles driven that was gained through increasingly stringent requirements for both vehicles and drivers.

        As with most sane regulations, like air bags and seat belts, they were finally enacted over screaming libertarian objections and bottom line oriented manufacturer's wails of profitability doom and gloom.

        Just like it needs to happen again.

        "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

        by Jim R on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:29:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is that why cops carry guns? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      Solely to kill?

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

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:02:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reductio ad absurdum (0+ / 0-)

        Many, for their own reasons, are disturbed by the gun's singular design purpose. Equally upsetting is learning there is no such thing as an accident when a family member gets killed in the home "accidentally".

        The firing pin struck the primer of a projectile casing, igniting the primer and causing said projectile to exit the barrel at high velocities, no accident.

        These two disturbing concepts are hard realities and part of any good gun safety course, as it was in mine almost fifty years ago.
         

        "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

        by Jim R on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:38:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, relevance. (0+ / 0-)

          one exception to a categorical statement is enough to invalidate anything deduced from it.

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

          by happymisanthropy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:30:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Driving Isn't Regulated Nearly Enough (0+ / 0-)
    BY almost any measure, our cars have become remarkably safe.
    That's a shockingly ignorant statement.

    More than 5,000 nonmotorists (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.) were killed by motor vehicle drivers in the US in 2010--the most recent year for which statistics are available. Of the more than 30,000 people killed by motor vehicle drivers that year, only a little more than half of those people were drivers.

    Cars are extraordinarily dangerous things and their use needs to be much more heavily restricted, while at the same time better alternatives, particularly mass transit, should be promoted.

    Any post suggesting that our treatment of motor vehicles in this country demonstrates the virtues of safety regulation is patently irresponsible. "Mildly safer than a crazily unregulated thing" is by no means equivalent to "remarkably safe."

    •  No, you're simply wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      84thProblem, mmacdDE, PavePusher

      Our cars HAVE become remarkably safe as compared to cars 20 or 50 years ago. The addition of multiple air bags, crumple zones, passenger cages, disc brakes, better glass, and the much stricter regulation of alcohol when driving has significantly reduced traffic fatalities and even injury.

      As a paramedic I see LOTS of people these days who suffer only minor injuries in car accidents that would have killed or crippled them even 20 years ago.

      Not that people don't do dumb shit behind the wheel -- texting while driving comes to mind -- and 32,000 people a year still manage to kill themselves (down from nearly 60,000 in the 70s).

      Cars ARE much safer than they used to be.

      •  Again, Better Than Terrible Is Not Good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper

        No kidding: cars are safer. They're still the leading cause of death of 1-34-year-olds in the nation.

        They're a public heath scourge and should be much more heavily controlled.

        •  OK, I gather that you have (0+ / 0-)

          suffered some personal loss in this area.

          But cars are a good and necessary thing, and not evil.

          Banning the good because it is not perfect is irrational.

          Can cars be better? Sure. It would be better if we had more and better electric cars. If there was more mass transit where practical. Unfortunately, mass transit is not practical everywhere.

          Better cars are coming. Three states now allow self-driving cars which have a record of more than 300,000 miles with only two accidents, which happened when the cars were being manually driven. Better GPS systems, better visibility systems, better pedestrian warning systems are all coming soon to a street near you.

      •  And "32,000 people a year . . . kill themselves"? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper

        A) Where is that figure from?
        B) Are you going to pretend that drivers only kill themselves? That's why I highlighted how many people are killed who aren't drivers. There's this idea that drivers only hurt themselves. It's simply not true--and it's frankly outrageous. People who drive kill others--every single day. People who aren't even driving.

        And if you want to start claiming that pedestrian and cyclist deaths are even slightly more likely to be the fault of the pedestrian and the cyclist, you better find statistics to back up that claim.

        But I'll go ahead and take care of that search for you: you won't find that because (a) what statistics there are suggest that's false and (b) the statistics suck and don't prove very much.

        •  The number is from the NHTSA (0+ / 0-)

          If the data sucks and doesn't prove very much, why are you so certain it supports your thesis?

          On the other hand, I'm a paramedic, so I see about a dozen MVAs a week and about 2-3 of those are likely to involve pedestrians or cyclists (I understand my experience may not be directly applicable to national statistics).

          My experience tells me that about half of all Motor Vehicle vs. Pedestrian events are the "fault" of the pedestrian: People who don't look before entering a roadway. It's seems to be about the same for cyclists. Frankly, in our area, during the spring, summer and fall, we have LOTS and LOTS of bike races and day trippers, from New York city, on bikes who pass through our area and I see a lot of bike accidents (with cars or not). In most cases, they are the fault of the cyclist doing something dumb. I'm not saying that's true all the time. A lot of times, the car driver did something dumb.

          Accidents happen. That's why we don't call them "Intentionals."

          We can't ban everything that causes a death. We'd never do anything.

      •  Captain Frogbert Amen to that. (0+ / 0-)

        I was amazed to see the results of the first collision I'd ever seen in which airbags were deployed. Nobody was hurt. In a car without airbags, probably nobody would  have survived.

    •  I won't pretend they are "safe enough" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      84thProblem, catlady, Naniboujou

      but I would certainly contend that automobiles demonstrate a highly positive intervention of regulation into the design and utilization of an extremely common object.

      Do you want to speculate what the number of deaths might be without seat belts, air bags, or crash test requirements? What about without speed limits? Drunk driving laws? License requirements?

      I'll certainly buy that more should be done–and more is being done. I won't buy that regulations have not made a hugely significant difference.

      •  Again and Again, Better Than Terrible Is Not Good (0+ / 0-)

        As I said the first time:Mildly safer than a crazily unregulated thing" is by no means equivalent to "remarkably safe."

        •  Considering the number of cars on the road (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, cany

          Yes, I'd say remarkably safe.

          Even taking into account pedestrian deaths. And sometimes, it IS the fault of the pedestrian. If you attempt to cross a busy highway drunk, at night, and don't even look, I'd say its as much your fault you get hit as the drivers.

          Which has happened near me, multiple times, until they closed down the place that didn't have enough parking, causing patrons to park across the highway in the shopping center.

          •  Glad We Got to the Victim Blaming Right Away (0+ / 0-)

            I hate it when it takes a long time to excuse the killers.

            •  Really... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy, PavePusher, WillR

              ...in the scenario tht mmacdDE outlined, the pedestrians were to blame.  There's a big difference between a scenario where a pedestrian is hit because the driver wasn't paying attention, versus a situation where a pedestrian darted in front of a moving vehicle that couldn't stop in time even if the driver slammed the breaks instantly.

              A good comparison might be with drivers who attempt to beat a train at a rail crossing.  How many would argue that the train is to blame for the resultant accident?

              Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

              by TexasTom on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:02:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'd Blame the People Who Engineer the Crossing (0+ / 0-)

                Just as I'd blame the planners for setting up a place where pedestrians don't have decent places to cross.

                And the idea that all of those people we're drunk, all of those people didn't look . . .

                And of course the drivers weren't drunk, no. And of course none of the drivers failed to look.

                Like I said: victim blaming.

        •  I disagree with the term "mildly safer" (0+ / 0-)

          And I'd invite you to look at the death tolls on highways in countries with weak safety regulations.

          •  And I would invite you (0+ / 0-)

            To look at the death tolls in places with strong safety regulations--unlike here.

            •  How about some links? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PavePusher

              Do other nations have fewer deaths per mile driven? Is it because of safety regs? Which ones have been proven more effective?

              Inquiring minds...

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

              by happy camper on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:18:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Deaths Per Vehicle Mile Is a Terrible Measure (0+ / 0-)

                Because America is very large country and there are lots of empty transit miles. Basing everything on vehicle miles is one reason we have terrible public transportation.

                But even so, look at this list and sort it by every possible measure and you'll see that the US is ranked very low. Per capita, we're something like 55th on the list. Per vehicle, we have more than twice the number of fatal traffic deaths of other car-loving countries like Germany and the UK. (Because it's such a crappy measure, a lot of other countries don't collect vehicle mile statistics, but even they're we're outperformed by plenty of other places.)

                We're not doing nearly enough to end this horror.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        Any steps to increase regulation and education about guns, changing the attitude to make guns more of a serious responsibility and less of a toy would be moving in the right direction and would save lives.  More can be done.  When I was younger I never thought my right to clean air would win over a smoker's right to liberty and yet now I can go to a restaurant without breathing second hand smoke.  

    •  Cars are much safer (5+ / 0-)

      but I'm not sure about drivers.

      I seem to notice a lot more aggressive driving than I used to see. A lot of tailgating and lane swerving.

      We'll give a drivers license to any carbon-based life form that slithers into the Department of Motor Vehicles.

      In Germany, for example, it's much more difficult to get a license, and having driven there, I would say they are on average better drivers than we are.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:14:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an Important Distinction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PavePusher

        And one I'd agree with: the vehicles are safer (maybe even safe), but the drivers are not.

        I'd even guess that the safety of the vehicles is one reason that drivers are also, in my opinion, worse: the vehicle feels so safe that people feel like there's not that much that can happen to them.

        •  I see it a lot (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          from drivers of large SUVs and pickup trucks.

          There's something about those vehicles that makes the drivers feel invulnerable.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:32:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That something would be (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Major Kong, rockhound, PavePusher

            the size of the vehicle. If someone rear-ends me in my pickup, there's a lot of distance between their car and my body. If they hit the side, I'm up higher than the point of impact. And of course, I'm protected by air bags and my seat belt from frontal impacts.

            In an accident, bigger is better. How many semi drivers die in wrecks?

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

            by happy camper on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:22:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A lot actually (0+ / 0-)

              Semi drivers get killed quite frequently.
              The cabs are fairly lightweight because weight = fuel burn = $$$

              Also the high CG of your pickup greatly increases your chances of a rollover.

              I'll stick with my A8 that was designed to survive crashes at autobahn speeds.

              I can rent a truck the one day out of the year I need to move a piece of furniture.

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:48:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And deaths of people who drive semis (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PavePusher

                Have a lot to do with the poor education of drivers of regular motor vehicles (especially about traveling distance) and with the legal structures that punish the drivers rather than the companies that dispatch them, even when the drivers are given willfully unrealistic driving times, forcing them into speeding, sleep deprivation, etc.

                It's a system crying out for reform.

          •  Marketing for SUVs tends to... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher

            ...place an empasis on the ability of occupants of these vehicles to survive an accident.  The implicit message is that in an accident, it's the people in the other car that will die, not you.

            Not suprisingly, this marketing seems to attract a lot of assholes.

            Ironically, it's also not especially accurate.  In multi-vehicle accidents, the occupants of large SUVs and trucks do have an advantage due to mass.  But in single vehicle accidents, the safety of these large vehicles is almost certainly worse than that of standard cars.  Why?  Higher center of gravity means that tip-over accidents are more likely.  And safety regulations for trucks are not as rigorous as for cars.

            Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

            by TexasTom on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:06:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  with autos: size = survivability (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      simple physics but the larger and heavier the car, in general, the more likely you will survive.  The problem is these vehicles are also the least energy efficient.

      Maybe we need to establish a moratorium whereby folks are given so many years to divest themselves of vehicles weighing 5K lbs or more so we will have increased safety and energy conservation

  •  Sushi Murder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DvCM, Desert Rose, dallasdunlap

    Thanks for the good post. Succinct, strong argument.

    I took two of my adult sons to dinner night before last: A packed Japanese restaurant. The gun topic came up.

    I told my 25 yr old that with a large clip semi-automatic, the both of us could pretty much kill everyone in the place- if we started at the doors and moved inward. With the rapidity and large magazines- it is so easy.

    You think about such things after the recent tragedy.

    Reading Daily Kos on this topic, I have read a number of great suggestions:

    -Insurance on guns, the Ins. Lobby could squash the gun lobby like a bug,
    -bullet rationing,
    -taxes on bullets,
    -bullets only available for purchase through police stations, ---stricter background checks with heavier penalties for violators.
    -gun screening for those with volatile mental illness profiles

    For me- it all begins with the type of gun sold- then move to these suggestions from there (similar to the UK):

    BAN ALL CLIP ARMS.
    Revolver? Fine. Bold Action Hunting rifle? Fine. Any gun with a clip? No. Any clip weapon enables deadly rapidity in firing, and clip extensions for larger magazines. There is no utilitarian value (hunting, target practice, etc.) to having a gun with such rapid, excessive firepower.

    Lastly, this is the link to the obituary of one of our lost little ones from the Connecticut tragedy- Please go there and SIGN THE GUEST BOOK for the family:::

    http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/...

    DowntownLALife.com has one of my pieces up: --"First Responder, A Connecticut Story" that has been met with favorable reviews. Have a read if you get the chance.

    With diaries like this one, thanks for keeping this crucial topic alive.
    M Martin, Assoc Editor, DowtownLALife.com Magazine

    •  Wrong about revolvers vs. clip arms (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downtownLALife

      Anyone can fire just as fast with a revolver as with a semi-automatic weapon. The only difference is reload times.

      Using a moon clip or similar, a revolver can be reloaded in under 2 seconds, just as fast as a semi-auto.

      Two shooters using revolvers and moon clips can, if they stagger their reloads, keep up a near constant rate of fire, just they can with semi-autos.

      The prime difference with restricting civilians to 10-round clips will be closer parity with revolvers 5, 6 or 8 rounds per revolver, 10 with a semi-auto.

      •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

        moon clips do require reloads after emptying the gun, but even that break in 'tempo' is valuable. and i haven't seen as many of these type massacres attempted with non-clip weapons.
        the clips also have magazine extensions available now.

        thanks for pointing that out-
        best-m

        •  True (0+ / 0-)

          The prime issue, as I see it, is high-capacity magazines.

          I fully support a limit of 10 (or maybe 12) rounds per magazine for civilian weapons. That limit should apply to revolvers as well. (They would be clunky and ugly, but it would be possible to make a 30-shot "revolver." Never underestimate the ability of gun makers to get around a law.)

          But I still maintain that even a moderately trained or experienced shooter can get off as many rounds per minute with a revolver as a semi-auto. I know I can. And I'm not very good. I haven't fired a gun in more than a decade. Haven't owned one since I moved out of Los Angeles in 1986.

          Actually, most spree killers have come armed with a variety of weapons. Few with just revolvers, but there have been a couple. Most use semi-atuomatic rifles of one type or another. More in recent years as they have become more ubiquitous.

          In 1966 Charles Whitman used an M1 carbine, but carried two Remington rifles and a shotgun as well. In 1999, Kliebold and Harris used a variety of weapons, including a rifle, a TEC-9 semi-auto handgun, shotguns and bombs and knives. Lanza used an AR-15 knockoff and 2 handguns. The weapons used by spree killers are the "cool" weapons of the day, or the best the have access to.

      •  I don't entirely agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, downtownLALife

        I own both semi-automatics and revolvers.

        Mechanically it takes longer for the chamber to turn on a revolver than for the slide to cycle on a semi-auto.

        Likewise I can swap magazines faster than I can reload a revolver even using speed-loaders.

        If there were no advantage to semi-automatics the military would not have adopted them.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:20:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not unless you practice. (4+ / 0-)

        Honestly, as a lifelong gun owner and retired soldier, I grow weary of the capability discussion.

        Bolt action rifles and revolver action pistols are weapons that require time and practice to increase the potential rate of fire. The rate of fire is limited by dexterity of the person pulling the trigger and reloading.

        Magazine-fed firearms require far less training and far less practice.

        In fact, semi-automatic assault weapons are and were designed to give the maximum rate of fire and most accuracy with the least amount of training.

        An untrained random dude with a wheel gun is significantly less deadly than an untrained random dude with an AR.

        Sounds like someone is comparing Jerry Miculek to average joes.

      •  some years ago, watched an exhibition shooter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli

        who used a single shot best a guy shooting an automatic

        With scatterguns, pumps are generally faster than autos, either recoil or gas operated, in the hands of an experienced shooter

      •  regardless (0+ / 0-)

        - it is to keep the comments going on this topic regardless of opinion. and people certainly know more about it than i do.

        as a previous owner of a browning 380 clip and a six shooter closing bizes late at night- the 380 w hollows was my primary for quick kill power, the revolver back up.

        revolvers, sawed-off etc can kill many- but don't have the point and spray- rapid, big mags that clip weapons have- but that is just where I personally draw the line-

        good sunday to all- gotta run-
        m

  •  You miss the real car-gun difference (8+ / 0-)

    Cars are useful.  To everyone.  All the time.  Their economic importance in this country is phenomenal.   To do away with them would send us back to the 19th Century.  To do away with them would change our whole society for the worse.

    But limiting the availability of semi-automatic weapons would have no such effect.   Its primary economic effect would be on the weapons-makers, who are behind the NRA's program to keep even the least useful and most lethal (to humans) weapons readily available.   But limiting their availability would have no significant economic side-effects.  Australia, the United Kingdom, and other countries have such limitations, without any serous economic effects.

    We need cars.  We don't need guns.  It's as simple as that.

    •  Cars are not useful to everyone (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cruz, ban nock, happymisanthropy, annieli

      They're an environmental and public health horror, with unpriced externalities of all kinds.

      I'm frankly shocked that someone with a username ending "in NY" can't see how easily we could get along without cars.

      •  Depends where you live (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Naniboujou, schnecke21

        Unfortunately cities in much of the country were built around the automobile.

        Even here in Columbus Ohio, I can't ride my bicycle to the grocery store a mile from my house without venturing onto a state highway and taking my life in my hands.

        If I want to ride my bicycle I have to put it on the car and drive to some place where I can ride it.

        Rather silly, I realize, but that's how most cities in the Midwest and the Sun Belt are set up. It would take some considerable effort to redesign them around public transportation - not that I'm against doing that.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:24:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cities Weren't Built Around Automobiles (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, PavePusher

          Many places designed in the last fifty years were designed around cars, but cities weren't generally built that way (Columbus included). They were built around horses and trains and boats and on and on. But not cars.

          They have come to be consciously designed to attract more and more automobiles. And that's something that's fortunately not quite so popular anymore, for all kinds of reasons.

          •  I probably should have said "suburbs" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naniboujou

            But most of us happen to live in suburbs.

            Here in Columbus the older, inner ring, suburbs (Grandview Heights, Clintonville) were built along the trolley lines.

            The newer suburbs mostly sprung up after WWII and were definitely built around the automobile. My house was built in 1973 - decades after the trolleys had been torn up and they never came this far out anyways.

            If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

            by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:15:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most People in the US Live in Cities (0+ / 0-)

              More than 80%:
              http://www.reuters.com/...
              The notion that most people live in suburbs or in rural America is a myth--and one that serves many racists very well.

              •  I think if you read closer (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TexasTom, happymisanthropy

                That reuters article says "Urban Areas" which would likely include suburbs.

                If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

                by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:38:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  And you're arguing that "most" of that population (0+ / 0-)

                  Is in the suburbs? Are you kidding?

                  •  Maybe you need to get out of... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...whatever narrow area you live in and get a feel for how most of the country lives.

                    Really, your pathological hatred of cars has hijacked a diary on gun control, and if you honestly believe that most Americans live in urban areas where cars are unnecessary, you are obviously grossly dissociated from the real world.

                    Strictly speaking, with a distribution of population between large cities, small cities, suburbs, and rural areas, it probably can't be said the "most" of the population lives in any one of those types of environments.  However, it certainly is the case that most do not live in high density urban environments where cars are unnecessary.  

                    Over time, that might change depending on what sort of development and zoning decisions are made, and the living choices of inviduals will certainly figure in that, as well.  But even in the most optimistic scenario, cars are going to be a necessity for the majority of the US population for many years to come.

                    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

                    by TexasTom on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:15:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well over a 100 million Americans (0+ / 0-)

                      Live in cities proper--not even the very near suburbs that are essentially cities (e.g., Boston versus Cambridge). A very simple set of choices could be made to greatly encourage public transportation right now.

                      Treating cars as immutable facts is like treating corporate control of the media as an immutable fact.

                      •  Depends on how you define "city" (0+ / 0-)

                        Just pulling a list of the 50 largest cities in the US, the total population of those cities comes to just under 47 million people per 2010 census data.  And that 50 includes such meccas of urbanism as Arlington, TX and Mesa, AZ.  

                        The US has 14 cities with populations over 1 million, and another 24 that are between 500,000 and a milion people.

                        It's also fair to note that being within city limits of even a major city is not the same thing as being in a neighborhood where cars could be rendered unnecessary by "very simple...choices".  That's especially true for cities that grew rapidly in the post-WWII era -- a list that includes places like Dallas, but also includes supposedly progressive places like Seattle.  And such as it is, it would probably be easier for me to dispense with a car (not that it would be easy) living in a Dallas suburb than it would be for my brother in his neighbhorhood inside the city of Seattle.

                        Yes, there are decisions that can and should be made to reduce our dependence on cars.  But those decisions will take decades to fully play out...

                        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

                        by TexasTom on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:21:59 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, these decisions can happen tomorrow (0+ / 0-)

                          If we decide to invest in them. Bus routes cost practically nothing to create--they don't require the infrastructure of rail, etc.

                          We could change this tomorrow, but everyone has to shake their collective head and say it's all inevitable. Americans love guns and cars. End of story.

                  •  No, I think most live in "Urban Areas" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    schnecke21

                    which means cities and suburbs.

                    Using my town of Columbus as an example:

                    800,000 roughly live inside the city limits.
                    1.8 million give or take live in the metropolitan area.

                    Note the relatively low population density of 3,500/sq mi versus oh let's say Anaheim with 6,600/sq mi.

                    (all statistics via Wikipedia)

                    We also have the dubious distinction of being the largest city in the country without any light rail.

                    Likewise we haven't had passenger rail here since the early 70s and all attempts to reinstate it have been shot down by the Republican governor and legislature.

                    Not sure how we went from discussing urban planning and transportation patterns to a stupid argument over demographics and "rural good - city bad (or vice versa)".

                    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

                    by Major Kong on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:21:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry. (0+ / 0-)

        I live in New York.  You don't need a car here -- unless you count trucks, that bring in the food, move construction equipment around, provide emergency services quickly, go places where its not easy to get by public transport (like to parts of Queens and Maine), and lots and lots of other incredibly useful stuff.  And of course, if you live in the aforesaid Maine, you couldn't really get along without them (not even by boat).  That is, I can get along (and have gotten along) easily without cars, but I don't think "we" could do that.  

        We can easily do without guns.  To do without cars, and maintain anything like our current way of life will require an incredibly expensive investiment in infrastructure, require 95% of the population to undergo and breathtaking change of mind and, in short, is not going to happen in my lifetime.  Because cars are incredibly useful.  

        Anyway, you are really being an idiot if you're trying to tell me that the current economic value of guns is equivalent to that of cars.  That is beyond stupid, even if well-meaning stupid.  Put your hobby horse away for a second and compare cars and guns on current economic value.  If you put guns anywhere near first, you are just like a benighted teabagger pushing voodoo economics -- indulging a pleasant fantasy.

        I mean, you are so wrong I have to question your motives here.  Are you supporting unfettered gun ownership?  That's the only theory I can come up with for your position (unless you just want to pipe off on your own views, without regard to the topic at hand.)

        Geez.  

    •  Since you are in NY, question is how many (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      residents of NYC never own an auto in their lives?
      Meanwhile, you almost have to have a car to get around in LA so it all depends on where you live

  •  So the only part of the Constitution (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DerAmi, MBNYC, here4tehbeer, cany

    that can NEVER be changed...

    is the Second AMENDMENT?

    •  Article V (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, PavePusher

      Article V may giveth and may taketh.

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

      by DerAmi on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:40:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You don't need to change the Constitution. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fixed Point Theorem

      The 2nd Amendment doesn't say what the gun nuts claim it says. It guarantees the right of states to have militias.
        That has been the position of the courts up to the Heller decision.
         With the Heller decision, the Court purported to find a self-defense right in the 2nd Amendment. But that does not mean that gun regulations on magazines or types of weapons are unconstitutional.
         A future court, with plenty of precedent behind it, could rule that Heller was wrongly decided. Or, more likely, the Court could make repeated rulings narrowing the alleged self defense right.

    •  That seems to be the thought. In fact, many (0+ / 0-)

      believe ALL regulation of guns is illegal and just don't "understand" why they can't have and do anything they want.

      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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:19:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Objections to gun control are irrational (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gardener in PA, Pandoras Box

    There is no rational grounds to object to gun control.  Certainly, you can't say that the law infringes on the ability to own a car.  By and large,  people who object to gun control fall in two categories: ones who like danger, ones who are paranoid.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:55:56 AM PST

    •  General rule of thumb... (0+ / 0-)

      ...if you think a widely held view by people who have experience with an issue is "irrational", maybe you don't understand the reasons those hold those views.

      Of course, it depends on what "gun control" means to you. It would be very hard to find anyone rational who thinks that felons have a RKBA while in prison (or that it would be a good idea).

      If, on the other hand, "gun control" means that only a few select politically connected folks can get a permit for a firearm useful for self defense, you can find plenty of people - including many LEOs - who would disagree with you.

      What do you you generally mean by "gun control" when you make the assertion that objections to "gun control" are irrational.

  •  recced for the title alone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PavePusher, annieli

    without even a read, the words just seem to go together. Something about cards and women worked in would have been good too. Headed back to read now.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:00:41 AM PST

  •  Another Relevant Point about Cars (5+ / 0-)

    ...in an excellent bit of writing, Mark.  Excellent as usual.

    There's a reason why NASCAR and F1 racers, among others,  are not legal for the streets.  They're too powerful, without the built-in safety systems of production vehicles.  Untrained operators in ordinary, uncontrolled circumstances cannot be trusted with them.

  •  This is so well reasoned. (0+ / 0-)

    Why can't the national conversation sound like this?  If guns were regulated like cars, mass shootings would still happen.  But they would be so much less frequent.

    Note that most auto regulation takes place at the state level.  For many reasons, we need to work harder there.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:07:59 AM PST

    •  regulations of drivers happen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      at the state level, as with weight limits for trucks.  Regulations of cars are mostly federal, with California having to fight like hell to get its environmental standards upheld if I recall correctly.

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

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:25:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  your title threw me for a minute (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    I thought it was referring to deer hunting in SC where "road hunting" is legal.  That was how I thought all three elements worked into the article as follows:
    1) Driving: hunters release hounds to drive deer out of the woods; since the deer can run for miles, the hunters use GPS and tracker collars in order to try to get ahead of the deer so they drive around with the tracker antennae sticking out of their windows
    2)Drinking: self evident since some of the hunters ward off the cold with liquid fortification.  I know of a couple of bar owners who make regular runs out to the hunts so the hunters are distracted.
    3) Shooting:  In SC, where hunting is a constitutional right (state), it is also legal to shoot deer in the right of way if you have permission from a landowner from one side or the other of the road (yeppers you read that one right)

    Result: caravans of jolly deer hunters ranging around the community hoping the dogs will drive a deer out into the right of way so they can shoot at it.  (sometimes, they simply end up emptying their guns at the deer and then on to the next road)

  •  this is only true politically (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, Agathena
    Because gun ownership is a right.
    because, as you noted, other supreme courts have decided otherwise, and nowhere in the second amendment does it explicitly state that individuals have an unfettered right to own guns.

    contrary to popular belief, and what most of us were taught in high school civics class, judges, at all levels, are not unbiased jurists, objective triers of fact. it'd be nice if they were, but then they wouldn't be human, and we kind of like the fact that they are. supreme court justices are no different, which is why the confirmation process is so important. see: bork, robert

    obama will probably appoint at least one, if not two more justices during his second term. given the senate's greater democratic majority this time around, he has much more leeway in who he nominates. now is the time to start putting pressure on him, to nominate progressives to the highest bench in the land, we don't need more scalia's or roberts.

    •  That statement ruins the discussion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cjo30080
      Because gun ownership is a right.
      As if there is nothing wrong with that. In what other country in the world, can one announce that?

      That isolated statement implies that the right is written in stone. Amendments can be amended. Gun ownership should not be "a right," it should be a well regulated privilege.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:07:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it is right now. and if originalists have their (0+ / 0-)

        way, it will stay that way.

        but as has been pointed out by legal scholars, there was a LOT of non originalist thought by Scalia in his pages and pages and pages of writing.

        so in order to get where he did, he had to wend and wind and dip and curve.

        almost no gunnie wants regulations and interestingly, at least for liberals, this couldn't generally be said of much else but guns. i always wonder if they were so adamant about the regs allowable upon free speech and assembly. i think not.

        in the case of conservatives, they don't seem to care much about much of anything. just don't tread on their golden right.

        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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:30:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We need 28th Amndmnt: Right to Keep & Drive Cars! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gardener in PA

    Americans' car-rights are being stripped from us as we speak. There's nothing more American than the right to own and drive your own car. (You can give Mom a ride, drive to play or watch baseball, and eat her apple-pie while tailgating -- all in your car.)

    There are forces in America who'd take our car-rights away from us. E.g., Socialists who want trains. Those who want elite lanes of traffic for car-pools (in which the non-driver's are sacrificing their rights). Whole sections of urban areas are being declared pedestrian-only (ranging from Baltimore to Denver to Seattle). Those who want high gasoline-taxes -- even if it is to pay for our military which guarantees the flow of Persian Gulf oil, and to pay for maintenance of our highways, and to pay for healthcare of accident victims, etc. Those who want evermore regulations of cars and driving. This trend is growing, and will only get worse.

    To protect our God-given freedoms, shouldn't our right to keep and drive cars be enshrined in a Constitutional Amendment, #XXVIII?!

    </snark>

    (Btw, the original source of the right-wing mantra, "I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands," is the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), 1971, from Bellevue, WA. It has the same postal address as the Second Amendment Foundation, http://www.saf.org .)  

  •  voluntary and involuntary risk comparisons (0+ / 0-)

    The main flaw with comparing being shot with a firearm to crashing your car is pretty simple.

    Being shot with a firearm is an involuntary risk.

    Driving a car is voluntary.

    So the discussion is over before it started.

    To do a more accurate comparison between automotive deaths and school shooting deaths, you would need data for the number of people murdered in schools with a gun compared to the number of people killed after being hit by a car while at school.

    •  When I bring my kids to school I worry much more (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, happymisanthropy, annieli

      about that yuppie jazzed on coffee that has never considered the flesh and blood consequences of being pushy in a 3800lb SUV even if it is a Lexus.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:35:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  another invalide comparison (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        risk decisions are made in your example.

        1- you choose to drive, and bring your kid
        2 - others make similar choices

        in those two decisions, both you and the others make a risk trade off, and you have your reasons

        there is no risk decision a parent can make when a random shooter, as rare as it is, enters a room where his or her child is sitting and opens fire.

        that is why gun crime and driving can't be compared.

    •  To make your comparison work, you would have to (3+ / 0-)

      assert that being shot is involuntary while being in a car accident is voluntary.  Insurance fraud aside, I don't think that is accurate

      •  that's where you are mistaken (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        driving is a voluntary activity.
        it's a choice made with comparisons, some economic, some risk-based.

        getting shot is involuntary unless you elect to duel.

        so, if a person chooses to drive they are choosing to accept the risk of crashing.

        this is one reason why we can't really have a debate. wonderful, smart, educated people make bogus comparisons.

        the one thing you will not likely hear an elected official say is "I am willing to risk events like Newtown to keep our gun laws as they are now."

    •  Pretty simple most gun deaths could have been (0+ / 0-)

      prevented whereas most car accidents could not. It's an invalid comparison.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:08:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks but to make a point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PavePusher

        most car accidents involve fault.

        fault can be prevented.

        we have no collective risk understanding when we read about "snow" or "rain" causing accidents. they don't. the people who accept the risk of operating in rain and snow are the cause.  in fact, most of the time, people are operating beyond the limits of their skill, their vehicle or conditions, and there is the fault and the faulty understanding of risk.

        •  Doesn't make sense to compare accidental (0+ / 0-)

          deaths with deliberate murders.

          MVA's and gun massacres, there is no basis for comparison.

          Just regulate the 300 million guns and stop all the dodges, smoke screens, and kicking up sand diversions.

          REGULATE the guns.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:30:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Cars more likely to kill young people than guns. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

      Other people's cars are MUCH, MUCH more likely to kill young people than other people's guns.

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

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:29:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why CA driving laws are now so different (0+ / 0-)

        than they were 43 years ago when I got my license.

        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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:34:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Muster Lists? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, Fixed Point Theorem

    I would think that at a minimum a well regulated militia requires a list of potential members and an inventory of available arms and ammunition. Each purchase or exchange must be reported along with an annual reporting census. Funded by a tax on sales these muster lists would be available to the states and local police and sheriff departments for their own militia planning purposes.

    •  I like this idea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, Fixed Point Theorem

      And it would make those gun owners pretty much national guard members by default.

      Maybe that's how we do it. If you buy a gun, you have to sign a enlistment agreement. It could be finely crafted, saying that you agree to be part of a 'well-regulated militia', and as such it is required that you supply your name and contact info to the govt, and that you be available for random musters, training sessions, etc.

      Just that would freak out a lot of people. Of course, you could just show them a copy of the constitution with the appropriate language highlighted.

      •  Potential members (0+ / 0-)

        I think it is more important to reestablish the connection between Militia and the Right. Explicitly basing  the muster list on the needs of a well regulated militia begins that process.

        We do not want to be adversarial in our approach. Indeed a well regulated militia could be used to fund gun safety and training programs.

        I just think that creating a systematic approach and hanging future regulations off of it will allow a more flexibility in achieving our goal. Just the systems and processes required to maintain the muster lists would make background checks so much more effective. Since any militia would logically form around the local constabulary they would need accurate and timely access to any muster list and so cross jurisdiction exchanges can now be tracked.  

    •  It's called a phone book. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PavePusher

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

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 11:30:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had this *exact* conversation Friday night! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, cjo30080

    I closed an argument with a reasonably rational but rabidly hard right guy that was willing to take the infinite position that, really, since the 2nd is all about protecting us from government tyranny, we should all be allowed to own tanks and nukes. Yes, I don't agree with it, but I did feel like he was being quite honest about the nature of that position.

    I literally ended the debate, quite late and still tipsy, with the argument present in the post about the differences(?) in the 1st and 2nd amendments. My questions and his answers were as follows:

    Me: Let's talk about a different amendment for a minute. Do you believe that the 1st amendment provides for freedom of speech?

    Him: Hell yeah.

    Me: And, you would say that this right is pretty strong, you know, inalienable and such, and that it is also there pretty clearly to prevent tyranny of government?

    Him: Of course, though you can't yell fire in a theater and stuff.

    Me: Well, that's my point. Why is it that with the very first amendment, generally regarded as also the most important above all of them, we all agree it is proper to abridge the right in certain respects for the good of public safety and the like, but not the 2nd?

    Him: I don't know what you mean by abridge...

    Me: I mean, we make laws that restrict "free speech" that make sense and help keep us a little safer. It's not that people won't ever yell Fire in a theater, but we all know it's not right and it's dangerous.

    Him: Ok. Well....I, uh. Damn.

    Me:  :)

  •  Aaah.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    Logic and sensible ideas, connected to a discussion about guns, in the United States of America no less, on the Internet to boot.

    Will wonders never cease?

    Thanks Mark

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:44:22 AM PST

  •  With Motor vehicles we have.................... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    a "tiered" approach to regulation with separate licensing for operators of everything from motor scooters and mopeds to 18 wheelers.  I would suggest that we need the same with firearms with each tier having different requirements for background checks, training, testing, liability insurance and inspections.  Something like the following:

    The lowest tier are true hunting and target shooting long guns other than semi-automatics and some pump action guns manufactured primarily for use by law enforcement.

    The second tier are long guns not included in tier one. Assault weapons such as the one used in Newton would be banned.

    The third tier gets into handguns and includes small caliber (.22) handguns and larger caliber hand-guns used in competition and demonstration shooting.

    The 4th tier would be all other handguns of larger caliber.

    A 1st tier owner's license required only training and registration as an owner and does not need to be renewed but every 5 years.

    By contrast a 4th tier owner is required to take and pass police style "shoot or no shoot" training, have liability insurance, be subject to a strict background check, have a need to carry a firearm other than home protection (home protection can be accomplished with tier 1 or 2 weapons.) This license would require annual renewal and retraining/testing every two years.

    Outside the owner licensing/firearm registration system other matters such as high capacity magazines, cop killer bullets, etc. need to be addressed.

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:49:28 AM PST

  •  Well, it does seem odd that even a child (0+ / 0-)

    can own an AR-15, or something. But the child cannot enter a movie where the gun is used to murder people. This may no longer be true. It's been years since I went into a movie theatre. There used to be R ratings, for violence and shit.

  •  As a Canadian (0+ / 0-)

    I think it is absolute insanity to interpret your 2nd amendment the way RKBA Nutz do, but really what it actually is, is selfishness and fear. An astounding lack of foresight for such a lofty and brilliant bunch, when muzzle loaders were the only gun available at the time...the magna carta was a bill of rights also, but you don't see the english, clinging to it. Everyone I work with is a hunting fanatic, and they must have the week of Oct. 15 off every year to hunt moose, not one of them has a handgun nor an assault rifle, nor do I hear any of them talking about the need to either own one or acquire one....Common sense might prevail one day down there but the first thing I heard after the Newtown tragedy was Video games and violence were the problem...ACCESS is the biggest problem period.

  •  I came back to rec despite the gun nuts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    taking this diary over; thanks, remember to drink responsibly (hahaha) and have a safe holiday

    •  and if you are drinking, LEAVE YOUR GUN HOME. (0+ / 0-)

      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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:37:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "until the mayor decides..." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, PavePusher

       "... you've overstayed your welcome in a public park."

       Great to see the violent repression of a protest movement used as a POSITIVE example on DK. I know it was supposed to be simply a neutral statement of reality, but it wasn't - you just gave the "right" of a billionaire who bought himself a job as mayor to decide to send in thugs to beat up people protesting the fact that billionaires get to buy themselves jobs as majors as a model for the legitimacy of gun laws.

        We OWS folk always suspected that most "liberals" don't really believe in civil liberties. But this one is pretty over-the-top.

  •  Sadly, numbers are going up for 2012 (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.autoblog.com/...

    With any luck, this year will be a blip.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:25:25 AM PST

    •  Maybe Drunk Driving fatalities (0+ / 0-)

      would be a better comparison.

      This is an area where stricter regulations and better education programs have had an impact over the last twenty years.

      Drunk Driving Fatalities - National Statistics

      In twenty years, fatalities have declined 50%.

      Gun advocates say that stricter gun control won't stop a crazy person from going on a rampage.  That's b.s.  Bottom line is that its a numbers game and that sensible regulations over time, let's say twenty years, is going to lead to a decline in homicide rates, and correspondingly, fewer of the shooting sprees which have now seem to be monthly occurrences.

      •  Might well be. (0+ / 0-)

        Is the downward trend continuing?

        That's one place where I can see the bad economy making things worse.

        Of course, it might also make things better by fewer miles driven.

        Or worse, by leaving more cars in a worse state of maintenance.

        Cheez, why does this stuff always have to be so hard?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:55:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I tend to think that a minority of gun owners are (0+ / 0-)

        hoarding the majority of guns. In walking the gun sites since the terrible shootings, it appears to me that a lot of them have multiples, even of the exact weapon. I think one fellow said something like, if N is the number of a gun type you own, the rule is that you always need N+1.

        Some admit to owning 100+ firearms plus another 90 that apparently were collectable guns. That's in one household.

        So when someone says there are 200million to 300million guns out there, that really doesn't give a proper picture of what is going on in terms of guns/household.

        It's really quite an education to go to the various gun sites and read the forums. Something for everyone out there from soup to nuts. Plenty of the latter.

        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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:43:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why do auto death stats only look at accidents? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dporpentine

    Automobiles kill far more than just those in accidents.

    What about auto pollution?

    What about global warming?

    What about oil wars to supply our auto led oil addiction?

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:33:28 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the reminder. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cjo30080
    Every right, every right, is subject to limitations.
    For a long time, I've thought this should be one of our most powerful arguments:  Are you (gun-control-of-any-sort-opponent) really saying that the 2nd Amendment--alone in the Bill of Rights--is absolute and without limit?

    Bill Gates can have an A-bomb, if he wants (hey, it only cost $2B in 1940s money and they were developing the technology from scratch)?

    My neighbor can have a bazooka if he wants?

    A drunken 12-year-old can pay cash for as many assault rifles and 100-round magazines at a gun show without a background check as he (yes, it's almost always a "he") wants?

    Really?

    I disagree.

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:38:29 AM PST

  •  Best diary on the subject I've read so far (0+ / 0-)

    If only we could convince enough politicians in Washington like that we might be able to do something about this problem.  I am a firm believer in the second amendment.  But as the diarist points out, just like owning and driving an automobile,  there needs to be limits to protect both the owner and the public.
    For starters, we need to pass limits on maximum the number of rounds a firearm can contain.  If the individual who shot all those children and teachers had not been able to fire off so many rounds at a time without reloading, it may have made a real difference.  Same thing applies to the tragedies in CO and AZ.  You can make this apply to above a certain caliber but there needs to be a limit.
    Anyone who knows how to handle a firearm knows that you don't need 15 rounds at a time to hunt deer, not even close.  And it's not like there aren't already limits.  It's just that they are accepted without question.
    For example, there are limits in existing hunting regulations in several states, including TX, to the number of shells one can have in the gun at a time.
    Problem is fixing this requires two things courage and common sense, very little of which we are hearing from the pro-gun organizations and right-wing politicians.  But they will oppose this for the same reasons they oppose any kind of restrictions.  They are out to protect the firearm manufacturers, not the public or even citizens who like to use firearms for recreation and protection.
    Thanks again for the diary.

    Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

    by Tx LIberal on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 04:19:18 PM PST

  •  There is no (0+ / 0-)

    constiutional right granted---- that does not carry---within itself---it's own restrictions---it's own requirements:

    And gun ownership is---in no way---an exception.

    That too---shall face restrictions and requirements.

    There is nothing more patriotic---more American---more freedom loving---contained within the right of gun ownership---- than there is---- in any other right.

    Owning a gun does not give you a better understanding of the Constitution--nor does it make you a bigger American-------nor does it give you a more profound understanding of democracy.

    it does not make you more American---it does not make you more freedom loving---and it does not make you more appeciative of the Constitution.

    Nor does it confer a more profound understanding of citizenship---or what it means to be an Amrerican.

    It makes you a person a person who shopped---chose--- and purchased a gun:

     All it designates is the ability to shop----and purchase.

    All it designates is consumerism.

    The Onion says----scholars have discovered---the Mayan word for "Apocalypse" in fact---translates more accurately as: "Time of pale obese gun monsters."

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:43:21 AM PST

  •  More gun-deaths- (0+ / 0-)

    The Onion says----scholars have discovered---the Mayan word for "Apocalypse" in fact---translates more accurately as: "Time of pale obese gun monsters."

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:06:57 AM PST

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