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CD Richards

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RE: Just saying... again!
Hello Bill & Emma,

I see the merit in every proposal Bill made. I think you'll find that with the exception of the insurance (which I think is an excellent point), all of the other things are already in place in most nations with sensible gun laws.

I'm not unaware that my views might seem extreme, and perhaps I come across as an idealogue. And yes, Bill, I take the point about taking on fights you can win.

It has also crossed my mind that some people who are basically on the same side of the fence won't appreciate my comments. They are concerned that "radical" suggestions such as severely restricting firearm ownership will scare off some of those who are in favour of stricter gun control... making them fear, as you say that "the Democrats want to take your guns."

It's not without giving this idea careful consideration that I've said what I have. But I have no choice but to stick to my guns on this (pardon the pun). Here's why:

1.
a) Although you're right that red flag laws might have helped in the latest incident (sadly, probably not the latest any more, I haven't checked today's news), I don't think the majority of mass slayings are so well telegraphed in advance.

b) Similarly for mental health screening. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the majority of mass shootings there has been no prior indication of mental illness; and, as Emma says, it's largely an excuse. Just because someone finally decides to act on years of frustration about something, or has a brain explosion one day and decides to make everyone around them pay, doesn't mean they have a mental disorder.

c) Background checks - same thing. If most mass shooters have serious prior criminal convictions before they decide to shoot up a church or a school, I'll stand corrected.

All the proposed solutions may make some small difference; they'll nibble away at the edges of the problem. They won't fix it. Would reducing the current 40,000 deaths per year to 39,000 spell a major victory?

2. "They want to take away your guns!" To which I ask, what's wrong with that?

That is *exactly* what the government in my country did after ONE particularly nasty mass shooting, and almost everyone, including gun owners, applauded them for it. And we haven't had a repeat in more than 30 years since.

Taking away something you should never have had a right to in the first place shouldn't be seen as a bad thing.

3) This carrying on about the Second Amendment is just so much rubbish. It's seriously bewildering to me how anyone has bought into this.

How can anyone think that a gun law made 230 years ago, in a nation of 4 million people, that described the right of states to arm their citizens with muzzle-loading rifles, for use against a "tyrannical dictator" they had supposedly just fled from, justifies an entire population owning assault rifles in 2023?

The most serious threat America has faced from a would-be tyrannical dictator effectively ended in 2020, and the ones seeking to obtain power for him are the same ones invoking the law to protect against such types.

Lancellot stated:

"Our Supreme Court has repeatedly decided what gun laws are Constitutional and which are not."

Yes, they have. And from 1939-2008 -- a period of 69 years -- they found that the 2nd amendment endowed federal, state and local authorities with the right to regulate arms - in other words, "collective rights". They held IT DID NOT advocate "individual rights" for every citizen.

It is only since 2008 that the bizarre interpretation currently in force has prevailed.

I'll repeat again, NO change is needed to the constitution to enable sensible gun control, you just need to stop monkeys from interpreting the law.

4. Regarding fights that can be won. This fight CAN be won. The fight to keep men women and children safe from lunatics and evil people can only be won by good people demanding that their right to live and to enjoy happiness and freedom (also constitutional rights) outweighs the right of selfish individuals to satisfy their own desires, in spite of mountains of evidence of the harm they do.

It can be won because the Constitution is on the side of authorities having the power to say who may and may not have guns.

It can be won because, in spite of what we've all been told to believe, MOST people don't want guns around.

Pew Research points out some interesting facts:

In urban areas, only 20% of people own a gun. In the suburbs, it's 30%. In rural areas, it's 49%. So, in spite of what they've been told the 2nd Amendment says (but it doesn't), the vast majority of people in the cities and suburbs see no need to own a gun. Even outside the heavily-populated areas, less than half do. Interestingly, although 70% of gun owners said having a gun in their house made them "feel" safer, only 30% of others living in those houses did.

If this majority of people presently see no need to arm themselves, how hard can it be to convince them that gun ownership by others should be severely restricted to protect their children and families?

I think it should be possible to convince the majority of people of the obvious - that significantly less guns in the population means significantly less burials.

What it needs is politicians, public figures, victims and members of the general public who seriously have the guts to take on the NRA and the gun lobby.

And what would probably help is massive educational campaigns pointing out how the public has been hoodwinked over the past 15 years or so regarding the 2nd Amendment and its meaning.

Maybe it's time to make people seriously stand up and take note.

Remember the AIDS epidemic? When that was at its height, our TV screens were bombarded with graphic images of people suffering and dying. The result? Safe-sex practices greatly increased.

I don't know if you ever had the barrage of anti-smoking material we enjoyed out here. TV ads, again showing people dying as a result of their habit. Graphic images mandated on cigarette packets, showing what mouth cancer and gangrene look like. Largely as a result of those campaigns, the smoking rate here has plummeted from around 50% to 10%.

Education and well-placed appeals to common sense work. They CAN change entire communities and long-held opinions.

Perhaps a massive TV campaign showing the effect on the surviving families of mass-shooting victims, or the victims' bodies in crime scene photos, or shrines to murdered children outside high-schools, questioning where peoples' priorities lie would go a long way to persuading people to demand more action to save the lives of their friends and families.

And if governments are to afraid to foot the bill, there is one country in the world that has enough cashed-up billionaires to be able to fund such an enterprise. Are any such activities currently underway?

Anyway, I've gone on too long, but hardly said a fraction of what could be said.

If I've trod on toes, I'm sorry. I'll shut up now.

I wish all those who put the lives of their fellow citizens above their own fears and fetishes well in the fight.



Scarbrems


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RE: Just saying... again!
Some of the problem is the consideration that it is somehow more 'free' to live in so much fear of your neighbour that you have to have a weapon for defence.

What I am reading often is that people are genuinely too scared to let go of their guns. And whilst we can attribute that to a degree to societal changes that need addressing, it comes back to my example of matches and firework factories.

You don't make a problem better by failing to reduce a factor that makes it worse.

Smoking is a good analogy. In the past, I have heard arguments surrounding civil liberties and smoking bans. My argument (even as a smoker) is that we don't live in a vacuum. Being able to smoke in, for example, pubs, impinged on the liberties of people like my sister, with severe asthma. She couldn't enjoy a drink in a pub when it was filled with smoke. I, on the other hand, can still enjoy a pint without having a smoke, so my civil liberties are far less reduced by smoking bans than hers were by not having them.

You can, to a degree, apply the same logic to guns. An individual right to have a gun when you, personally, are sensible and responsible with it is seen as a freedom. But unfortunately that right is not limited to those with the same approach. Even if there's no criminal conviction or medical reason on record, doesn't mean the person claiming the same rights as you isn't going to use the gun for those purposes. So you have the equivalent of the asthmatic in a smoke-filled room. For you to have that 'freedom', you are increasing the risk to others and, ultimately, denying them freedom.

Yes, criminals will still have guns. They do here, and I am sure they do in Australia, NZ and other places with stricter gun laws. But it's harder for them to get them as there aren't as many in circulation, so the problem is greatly reduced.

And that isn't just 'about' mass shootings. It's much rarer for burglaries in the UK to end in death than it is in the US, because the burglars are less likely to have guns for two reasons. 1) burgers aren't anticipating the likelihood of their victims being armed so they don't go prepared to defend against it and 2) your average burglar has to put more effort, personal risk and money into obtaining a gun.

If there was a clear correlation in the States between the prevalence of guns and the reduction in rapes, burglaries, assaults and muggings then I might understand a bit more. I know it has been posited that people are less likely to rape, burgle or mug someone if they know the intended victim is likely to have a gun, but statistics don't really show that to be the case. The factors that mean crime is worse in some areas than others are the same as anywhere else. Viewing the possession of guns as a deterrent is a bit of a red herring, when all it means is the criminals simply prepare themselves to deal with armed victims by increasing their own weaponry. I have said it before, the criminal will always have the element of surprise in their favour. Knowing you are armed makes the criminal much more likely to be prepared to kill you, rather than thinking twice about going there in the first place.

In a documentary I watched about knife crime in teen gangs, a police officer actively advised young people NOT to get a knife for defence and show that you have it. Doing so is far more likely to get you perceived as a threat/challenge/rival gang member.

All that being said, I absolutely appreciate the tenet of Lance's oft-repeated argument. I don't live in the states. The country I live in has never had the same relationship with guns. To do what we did in re: legislation wasn't fighting against a gun culture like America has, not against the sheer volume of guns in circulation. America has its own challenges in overcoming this problem which my nation simply didn't have. I cannot categorically say what works here will work there, because it wasn't the same culture.

Bill, on the other hand, DOES live there. He will know what has a greater chance of working, and more of a handle on how attitudes are shifting and how to capitalise on that. The crucial thing is that those who think like Bill don't throw their hands in the air and give up, as so many seem to, in the teeth of America's historic relationship with guns, but rather find their own ways to combat it.

It's like an addiction. The first step is to recognise there is a problem and admit it. Alcoholics who remain so blame everything but the booze. Pro-gun lobbies blame everything but the guns.



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RE: Just saying... again!
Here is a counter viewpoint.



CD Richards

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RE: Just saying... again!
Yep.

And so the insanity escalates.



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RE: Just saying... again!
Monday, you could buy a gun to protect yourself and your family. But you don't, because you think it's insane.

Thursday night, your door gets kicked in. Three truly insane evil men barge in to kill you and do even worse to your wife and child. You all scramble inside your bedroom. The intruders bang and kick at the door. You call the police. They are fifteen minutes away.

Your terrorized wife turns to you and says, "Where's the gun you went to buy?"

You look at her and answer, "Gun? Why do I need a gun? That's insane."

Two minutes later, you discover what true insanity is.




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RE: Just saying... again!
Message edited:

They found out the insanity of stiff gun restrictions. Now look.


 





CD Richards

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RE: Just saying... again!
Message edited:

Of course, in your Rambo version, good guy with gun magically wakes up from a deep sleep in time to don his white cowboy hat and shoot the three intruders armed with handguns they bought for $20 on the street corner stone cold dead. Adoring wife and children flock to his side in awe and admiration of his courage and machismo.


Nice story. Sell it to Hollywood, you'll make a mint.


Meanwhile, in the real world, three intruders break into your home. In another country, they'd come armed with their fists, ready to rough you up if you give them a hard time. But because this is America, and every man and his dog has a gun, and because they can get one anywhere, they come prepared. While you're fast asleep with your gun under your pillow, they shoot you and your wife dead. Then, just for fun, they take your gun and go visit the kids, who by now are well and truly awake.


Which story is more believable? Which one has played out more often? Thought so.


P.S. Did you miss the part where I mentioned 70% of people living with gun owners DON'T feel safer with a gun in the house? Your story lacks credibility in every regard.



Scarbrems


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RE: Just saying... again!
Israel? Seriously?
Well, let's run with it, shall we? As you have clearly seen, they have been able to relax the laws for the purposes of the extremity of the situation, which any one of our nations with standard gun laws in peace time could also do, and indeed, in my own Nation's case, has done in the past. All sorts of special measures come into play during extreme situations like what's happening in Israel now.

You really cannot use a nation in a vastly different situation that has chosen to relax a legislation in a specific and extreme situation as a legitimate argument for relaxed gun laws all the time elsewhere.



Scarbrems


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RE: Just saying... again!
Craig, I could be wrong about this, but I think Lance is talking about a very likely scenario in Israel. A country in the middle of a war, with open gunfire in the streets, bombs going off, probably hand grenades, etc. He is using an extreme situation which his own country is not actually in, and the measures that have been taken in a country where the scenario painted is extremely likely.

Somehow, he is drawing a comparison with domestic criminals who want your money and terrorist insurgents whose sole aim is to kill. For some reason he can't see the difference, or understand that the relaxation in gun laws is directly related to an extreme circumstance.

Personally, I don't think a nation at the business end of a bloody war's legislation decisions have anything to do with a discussion about general domestic gun ownership. I think that's what you might call scraping the barrell and, I might add, in somewhat poor taste.


CD Richards

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RE: Just saying... again!
Message edited:

I think the two are totally disconnected attempts to justify gun ownership, Emma. I don't think Lancellot made any such connection. He's raised the John McLean scenario before... long prior to the situation in Israel/Palestine. It's a favourite of his. The fact that statistics show it almost never plays out the way it does in his fantasy doesn't seem to have any bearing on the matter. I totally agree with your assessment of the lack of relevance of the current middle east situation to everyday America... or everyday anywhere else.


It is, however, heartwarming to see that in these dark times there is a ray of sunshine. The gun store owner in South Florida is making a killing (hopefully only in the metaphorical sense). Even as a conflict 6,000 miles away inspires American citizens to prepare to kill each other, capitalism wins!


The capacity for stupidity in the human species is mind-blowing.



   
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