Another exchange, this time about guns (of course):
Push God aside and you get Godlessness. Liberals have been pushing moral relativism on us for 30 years, now they complain about the results of their own actions.
It's remarkable to see just how far some folks will go to see that we have the best equipped murderers in the world.
You mean forcing every taxpayer to pay for Planned Parenthood??
No, I mean whining about God
to try to wash the blood off your hands. If your Christianist rhetoric came
within shouting distance of reality, the murder rate in the rest of the
developed world (where there is much less religious observance than we have in
this country, where it's legal almost everywhere for a woman to choose what
happens in her own body, and where guns are either banned or closely regulated)
would be much higher than it is here. Yet somehow, we still have 20 times the
gun violence of next most violent developed country.
The guy whose drivel you're cutting and pasting won't recognize or attempt to handle the truth until it shoots someone he loves in a shopping mall. Provide me with a remotely cogent reason why the statistics I mention are true other than gun regulation, and prove to me that you're not that stupid.
I don't know where you get your so called facts, but when you factor for population size per 100,000 gun related deaths the USA is not even in the top 10 countries. When you consider that we have Drug Cartels operating on our Southern border with kidnaping and murder an everyday occurrence, and most major cities with gang violence the majority of gun crimes, it is clear that is the primary source of the statistics that do exist. When you couple that with the fact that of ALL Crimes, only 0.19% are committed by licensed gun owners. So the law abiding gun owners are not the problem regardless what equipment they own. Additionally, gun crime has actually gone down over the past 10 years despite the mainstream medias attempt to sensationalize every single story they get their hands on, and then mis-report it. Most recent example is in the CT school shooting, the Medical Examiner lied on camera saying that 100% of the shots were done from an AR 15 Assault Rifle. The actual fact is that the AR 15 was found locked in Lanza's car, not in the school. Lanza actually had 4 pistols with him in the school, which was clear to anyone that responded to the scene. So why lie about it if not politically motivated? That is the hard facts, known as the truth where I come from. Sorry it doesn't fit your story line. And as far as the Godlessness aspect, I am not a religious person nor am I advocating for religion. What I am advocating is for a heartfelt moral code that fills the void of religion for the non religious. A strong distinction between right and wrong. Moral relativism is not a healthy thing to be preaching, and having the ACLU prevent people like Adam Lanza that clearly should be institutionalized kept on the streets because they make it so difficult to get them admitted against their will. That is where our problems lie, not with the type of equipment a person has in their gun safe.
If what you want is an ethics
that keeps us from being violent, you might want to start by saying what you
mean instead of blindly parroting a bunch of ignorant crap from a Christianist "patriot"
whose most important thought is that he happens to feel the same way that you
do about liberals and his firearms. It's worth reading what you link to, as
well as the posts you're answering, more carefully. I didn't say the US was in
the top ten countries in gun deaths per capita, I said we had 20 times the gun
deaths of the next most violent *developed* country. Has our moral relativism
made us inherently more violent than the social democratic countries of Europe
(where the influences that spawned our moral relativism were born, and thrive
to this day)? Does our "godlessness" mean we have less of a
"heartfelt moral code" than they do, despite their being more godless
than we are? If so, maybe it's not the liberal social democracy or the
godlessness that's causing the problem.
Your "facts" about what weapons the shooter had with him in the school come from an incorrect report about what he used that has since been debunked by the state police on the scene. The truth is that he had two handguns and an AR15 with him, and apparently a shotgun in the trunk of the car (several other long guns were found at his mother's house). While it appears that he used primarily the AR15, all of the guns he had with him had several high capacity magazines ("carrying hundreds of rounds"), according to the state police spokesman, Lt. Vance.
You're right, though, about this: CT has quite restrictive gun laws, and they didn't stop him from killing his mother and taking her guns (which she kept for self-protection and apparently because she was worried about the collapse of society, two reasons that don't seem to have served her well). What's more, two handguns, particularly with high-capacity magazines, would have been more than adequate to kill 20 schoolchildren and six teachers, and I'm sure it makes little difference to them or their families what weapon they were killed with. Neither I nor anyone I'm aware of is saying that banning assault weapons or limiting the number of rounds in a magazine will stop all gun violence in the US, nor are we saying that law-abiding gun owners are the problem (since, by definition, they're not). Straw men make easy targets, but like demonizing those who disagree with you, shooting at them doesn't contribute to rational discussion and tends to incur collateral damage.
I've said to you before, I don't want to take away your guns, or give up my rights either. I do want to make sure that you're not unstable when you buy one (apparently, the Newtown shooter was prevented from buying more guns by local waiting period laws), I want to hold you accountable for what gets done with them, and I want to prevent anyone from having magazines whose only purpose is to be able to commit more mayhem more quickly before reloading.
I'm all for working on an ethics that keeps us from being violent, and I'd love to live in a society that glorifies violence a lot less, but if you think it's difficult to impose restrictions on guns by law, you're in for a surprise when it comes to imposing such an ethics on people. As for myself, I don't believe that we are that different from those in other developed countries, and yet we have rates of gun homicides and suicides that are literally orders of magnitude greater then theirs. You can bring in all the side issues you want, but the fact remains that the most striking difference between us and those people is that we have unfettered access to guns and a persistent mindset that those guns are somehow making us safer, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
In your last paragraph, you are
right that it is harder to instill ethics and a moral code in people, but the
fact remains that that is the issue here, not guns, or the number of rounds
they shoot before reloading, which takes under 2 seconds if properly trained.
Unless you are happy about the School Principal facing her attacker completely
defenseless, the other issue is gun free zones. Gun free zones, like many
liberal initiatives, have consequences quite different than the intention.
Posting a sign with a gun circled and slashed in red means inside this building
are defenseless soft targets. In the Colorado theater shooting, of the nearly
dozen theaters in the local area, the one chosen was the only theater that rejected
concealed carry inside. Do you think that was a coincidence? I would have much
preferred to have the Elementary School Principal confront Lanza with a gun she
was trained to use, and perhaps she and 26 others would still be with us today.
That would have been a much better outcome, and certainly no worse. In Santee,
Calif. a student began shooting his classmates — as well as the “trained campus
supervisor”; an off-duty cop who happened to be bringing his daughter to school
that day points his gun at the shooter, holding him until more police arrive.
Total dead: Two. In Pearl High School, Mississippi, after shooting several
people at his high school, the student heads for the junior high school;
assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieves a .45 pistol from his car and points
it at the gunman’s head, ending the murder spree. Total dead: Two.
Bottom line: Bad guys with guns are primarily stopped by good guys with guns, the less time if any required to have a good guy with a gun on the scene the better the outcome. So we need less bad guys in general, by whatever means that can be accomplished, and more good guys with guns.
More hand-waving, Bill. Bottom line: there is no statistical support for your anecdotes being useful predictors of reality - more guns means more death, including more death of those whose guns are intended as defenses against that death (the incidence of gun death among those who own guns is roughly triple what it is among those who don't). I'm happy for the people who survived the shootings you mention, but until you and the NRA can come up with some answer for that difference that both addresses that issue and passes the laugh test, your anecdotes are unpersuasive as guides to public policy.
There is great statistical support for what I said: Mexico. No Mexican Citizen can own a gun, and there is only one State owned gun store in the entire country, yet the gun deaths per 100,00 people is 5 times worse than here in the USA.
I gather from your response that you are happy that the school principal met her attacker defenseless.
I'm not sure I'd use Mexico
in my argument, if I were you. Mexico has terrible gun violence, but no
economist in his right mind would call it a wealthy, industrialized or
developed country. It's an economic basket case, rife with official corruption
that makes a mockery of its gun laws, that has had a vicious drug war raging
for several years.
That war, by the way, is fueled entirely by US demand for drugs the right has insisted we criminalize (instead of treating them as a public health problem, which would dramatically increase the chance of success of our policy efforts), and mostly by US weapons that flood over the Mexican border every day. The apparently ill-advised "Fast and Furious" operation you all on the right are so fond of mischaracterizing as an anti-gun plot was started because the corruption in the Mexican army is so bad that the ATF didn't trust their counterparts south of the border to track the entry of American weapons from the more than 2000 gun dealers on our side of the border.
Many of those dealers were selling arms in bulk to walk-in customers with bags of cash and shopping lists of exactly the kind of weapons and magazines we're arguing about. The argument that those dealers didn't know perfectly well that cash purchases of truckloads of guns were intended to arm drug gangs would be laughable if it weren't so drenched in blood, and it's worth noting that the Mexicans don't trust Americans either, since our lax gun laws handcuff American agents from taking effective action in this country against the scourge that American weapons have become in Mexico.
All of that said, Mexico has a little better than three times the gun death of the US, not five, and we have ten times the gun suicide rate they do. Between the impact of lax American gun policy on the Mexican situation, the disastrous drug war underway, and the poor comparison between the two countries economically, I'd say your "statistical support" is weak at best.
Statistically, the people in the United States that register for hunting permits alone, not counting all of the people that have guns and CCP's comprise the second largest army in the world. If the Mexican citizenry were as well armed as the US citizenry the likelihood is that Mexico would not be in nearly the amount of trouble it is currently in, because the Narco Terorists would not have been able to terrorize the population to the degree it has and the police and military could have stood up to the corruption. So it is a good example of why we need to keep our hunting traditions and self defense weapons rights intact, especially with the same cartels operating in this country in conjunction with street gangs retailing the drugs in all our major cities. Australia had triple the amount of crime when they gave up their guns. In every single State that Concealed Carry laws are on the books, there was an immediate decrease in gun related crimes, so statistically more guns in the hands of good guys, not just law enforcement has reduced crime and gun crimes specifically.
Bill, saying that "statistically" the number of people who hold firearms in the US is large is like saying that statistically, you and I are middle-aged: it may be true, but it's meaningless, particularly as a guide to public policy. After that null statement, you provide a lot of utterly unsupported speculation about what might happen if Mexico were to revoke its gun laws, as well as an assertion that Mexican authorities could then have stood up to the corruption, which is ridiculous, given that it's the Mexican authorities themselves that are corrupt. All of this is in support of a premise that is flawed, because even with crushing economic poverty, official corruption, and a raging drug war fueled by US weapons and US demand, Mexicans aren't all that much more subject to gun violence that we are (adding deaths by homicide, suicide, and accident together, 11.12 Mexicans per 100,000 die from gun violence annually, compared to 9 in the US - in the rest of the developed world, the average is 1.5).
You follow that with an assertion about what happened in Australia after Australians "gave up their guns". First, it's worth remembering that the US gun homicide rate is over 16 times what Australia's is (Australia loses .18 people to gun homicide each year per 100,000, while we lose 2.98. Add all three types of gun death together and they lose 1.14 people per 100,000 annually – we still have over ten times that gun death rate here).
Second, Australians didn't give up their guns. They are required to register and be licensed to own guns and ammo, licensing that requires training and a legitimate reason. Australians have decided that self-defense isn't a legitimate reason, but hunting, sport shooting, and collecting are, and those activities are all still alive and well "down under".
Third, the statistic you cite about crime tripling is pure garbage, cherry-picked from unrepresentative newspaper articles in 2000 by the NRA, and so misleading that Australia's federal state prosecutor (the analog of the US attorney general) requested that Australia's name be removed by the NRA from any such assertions. The truth is that Australia has relatively low levels of violent crime generally, and they have been in decline since well before firearms regulations were tightened in 1996. Additionally, both gun ownership and gun violence has been declining in Australia for decades, both in raw numbers and as a percentage of all crimes. There is some discussion about whether the enacting of stricter gun regulations has hastened that decline or it hasn't, but NOBODY in Australia is claiming that the number of crimes increased AT ALL, including anybody who wrote the articles the NRA constructed its tissue of lies from.
You said you didn't know where I got my "so-called facts" from, but you do know, as I've told you before. Most of the statistics (including those I've cited in this post) come from a site called gunpolicy.org, which, as it happens, is an Australian academic site, so they have no dog in our fight. I think the statistics you've alluded to about the decline in US states with concealed carry permits are wrong too, and would like to see a credible citation for them, but I doubt I will, and given the lack of credibility in the statistics you've presented so far, I'm not going to bother to debunk them myself the way I have the others.
The reality is that I'm finding the steady stream of changes of subject and the misinformation you present to be tiresome and a waste of both of our time. It's too bad we can't have a discussion free from such hand-waving and such fabrication, because that's the only way we'll ever reach common ground, but I guess that's not what you're after. Have a happy and safe new year.