Tragedy in South Carolina

Jun 21, 2015

by Herb Silverman

Many of us in Charleston, South Carolina began grieving on Wednesday night when we heard that a white gunman had killed nine innocent black people gathered at the historic Emanuel AME Church, three blocks from where I live. This church, with a primarily black membership, once was a secret meeting place for African-Americans who wanted to end slavery at a time when laws in Charleston banned all-black church gatherings.

My grieving turned to anger on Thursday morning when I listened to national television commentary about the slayings. A caller on C-SPAN blamed it on tolerance for homosexuality, which caused God’s wrath. Fox News spun this racially motivated crime into an attack on Christianity, and one guest suggested that pastors arm themselves during services. I also disliked hearing people on both left and right say how much worse the crime was because it happened in a church. Killing nine people is horrendous, regardless of where it happens.

On Thursday at noon, I attended a vigil at nearby Morris Brown AME Church, also a traditionally black church, where the entire community was invited to pray for peace, understanding, and healing. As an atheist I don’t pray, but I support those goals. I thought of the anti-war song “Lay Down”, by Melanie, and the line “Some came to sing, some came to pray, some came to keep the dark away.” I was there to help keep the dark away by showing support for a beleaguered African-American community.

The service by a series of African-American pastors was heartfelt and moving. During prayers I stood politely, but didn’t read aloud because I don’t have a friend in Jesus and don’t believe his blood is helping me. I only winced once, at a line from Psalm 136: “To Him that smote Egypt in their firstborn, for his mercy endureth forever.”


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103 comments on “Tragedy in South Carolina

  • America is a sad sick country. The attitude of the NRA to guns, is the same as the attitude of the evangelical fundamentalists intelligent designers to evolution. Without evidence. Sandy Hook Primary School wasn’t enough???? (insert furious angry tirade) This stuff regularly happens in America. It’s as obvious as the wart on the Gruffalo’s nose that gun control is the only answer. The only people who can possess guns are the Police, the military, farmers for stock and vermin control, and actively participating competition marksmen, who store their guns at the range.

    This myth of the American hunter culture is Taurus Excreta. Grow up. Just grow up. The rational people of America, get out and only vote for candidates who will implement far reaching and deep gun control. If you support guns, stay at home and rub it up and down against your crutch.



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  • @OP – My grieving turned to anger on Thursday morning when I listened to national television commentary about the slayings. A caller on C-SPAN blamed it on tolerance for homosexuality, which caused God’s wrath. Fox News spun this racially motivated crime into an attack on Christianity, and one guest suggested that pastors arm themselves during services.

    Racially segregated churches and a lack of gun control seem to be obvious factors, which are issues where many deluded Americans refuse to look!



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  • Fox News spun this racially motivated crime into an attack on Christianity,

    America. Your news services are failing you. They are meant to be the fourth estate, reporting without fear or favour. They are vital to a functioning democracy. They keep a check on the exercise of power.

    On a recent tour of America, I was appalled, stunned at the party political stance the major news services broadcast. They were in fact, 24/7 adverts for the Republicans and the Democrats. No wonder Americans think so much crazy stuff. You cannot get a reliable or trusted news service. I heard recently that Americans tend to rely on a comedy show, The Daily Show, for there most accurate reporting of the news.

    Fox News should be boycotted by all Americans. And I can’t quite remember, is it NBC the Democrat mouthpiece. They will go into receivership very quickly if everyone turns them off. Or, they will change, and reports the news, without the bias and spin.

    Sometimes, I feel very sad for the average American. What your country has to put up with, that no other western democracy has to endure, is enormous.



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  • Apart from banning and confiscating all the privately held firearms in the US (which would require a constitutional amendment which requires 3/4 of the US states to ratify it) you’re not going to get rid of the guns. So, simply due to the sheer number of guns and their ease of use, the US will retain a higher gun violence rate than other countries. That’s not really the problem. The problem is the homicide rate in general. By that standard the US is far more violent than Europe or Canada in general, but less violent than Russia, Greenland, and at a similar rate to India. Obviously the US has a problem.

    So, what are the causes of violence in the US? My short list of causes would be high levels of socioeconomic disparity, high levels of drug crime, lack of economic opportunities for the lower class, organized crimes and gangs, lack of economic security, a failed mental healthcare system, high levels of lead in poor neighborhoods. If we do not solve these problems it wouldn’t matter if the flying spaghetti monster yanked every last gun out of the sweaty hands of every gun owner in America. The homicide rate would still remain higher than Europe. You will never get a politician talking about these things after a terrorist act like this. They’re too busy screaming for gun control or god like they’re magic bullets that’ll solve the problem once and for all. Let’s be honest, that’s what their respective bases want and politicians won’t address the real issues because the only way they could do so would piss off their base.

    That being said, gun control (unlike god) can help in some specific situations. What gun control could do quite well is keep guns out of the hands of those diagnosed with a potentially dangerous mental illness and those with criminal records. In this case, Roof was either able to procure a gun despite a pending felony trial on drug charges because he was given the gun by his father who claims he didn’t know Roof was being charged with a felony or because he had legally purchased one prior to being charged. If we work on closing this kind of loop hole we can make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to acquire a gun. The more popular gun control ideas politicians like to bandy about like waiting periods are designed to give suicidal folks and those blind with rage a bit of time to reassess their desires. Useful but they won’t stop this kind of attack.

    Ultimately, I think that if we take this combined approach we could greatly reduce the homicide rate in the US and I think we could get the majority of gun owners (like me) to go along with reasonable gun control laws. After all, what does it matter if I have to wait a few days for a new hunting rifle or range pistol? Why wouldn’t an upstanding citizen like me want to keep guns out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill? Unfortunately, we’ll just pass this opportunity by, forget about it, and then sing the same old song next time it happens.



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  • Racially segregated churches

    I have commented on the issue of self segregation before and it was not met to well from those who love identity politics.

    I’m all for gun control but it looks as if his father gave him a gun illegally (I’m not sure but I think that was not the gun he used anyway), Roof could not legally own a gun due to past drug offences.



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  • Why wouldn’t an upstanding citizen like me want to keep guns out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill?

    The trouble is, when the blue touch paper is lit, anyone can become a “Felon” or have an episode of mental illness. Even an upstanding christian republican.

    In Australia, we had a brilliant gun buy back scheme. I stood in a snake cue with my Winchester pump action shot gun, and got more money for it than I paid. I had it from a time when I live out on farms and needed it to control feral foxes. The problem for America is that if they tried a gun buy back scheme, it would cost so much that it would make America look like a poor cousin of Greece. America has got this issue so wrong, for so long, it will 30 years of persistent effort to sieve the guns out of society. A long, long road, but worth the journey.

    American politics, combine with a failed media, means this will never happen. We in Australia will wake up to report after report, of some crazy American, with access to military assault level weapons, going on a killing spree. A failed nation. At least on this issue.



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  • Narcissistic_Martyr
    Jun 22, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Why wouldn’t an upstanding citizen like me want to keep guns out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill?

    Quite a few may well be conditioned by Hollywood glorification of gun-slingers in wild-west, cops and robbers, gangster, spy, and war movies, where the “indestructible heroes” throw their weight around behind gun-threats!

    The image of the small brain enhanced by a big gun, with a bit of rebellion against authority, is strong!



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  • 9
    Pinball1970 says:

    • The image of the small brain enhanced by a big gun, with a bit of rebellion against authority, is strong!

    We had all the same imagery as kids in UK, I remember running round the garden trying to shoot my sister with a plastic pistol, the difference was daddy did not have an arsenal of real weapons locked in his shed or on top of the bed room cabinet.

    Most of the incidents involving mass murder with guns involved weapons that were obtained legally.

    Obama will face tough resistance if he tries to implement tougher laws I am sure.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map



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  • 10
    Pinball1970 says:

    David posted “If you support guns, stay at home and rub it up and down against your crutch.”

    Yes Charton Hestons remarks stick my mind when I read your post.

    With 70 incidents in 3 decades you would have thought that the penny would have dropped by now.

    I am not sure how may more of these type of incidents it will take before someone takes control.



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  • Hi Narcissistic_Martyr

    quite a good summary of the potential problems in the US. It’s interesting that the logic of the right to bear arms does not seem to apply to nuclear weapons, armed f16’s, flame throwers and rocket launchers (although I’m sure there are those that have or want some of these). It’s probably going to take an gently, gently approach to ween Americans from their guns. A nice start would be a little more control over who, or when they can get hold of a gun. But I agree America seems to be happy to have many millions living in desperation, a little food, a little shelter and a little compassion would go a long way to reducing the desperation that seems to lead to so much violence.

    Of course here down under we have a PM who is trying hard as he might to follow the US down the very path that seems to have led to this dis-function. They released a green paper (discussion paper) suggesting the option of means testing families and forcing them to pay for public education. We are heading for the same crap the US is dealing with voluntarily, so as much as I despair at the US for having these toxic problems I can’t help feeling my country is even stupider for willing following them in the same failed direction. Oh Tony, what a heartbreaking PM you are!



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  • Reckless Monkey
    Jun 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

    despair at the US for having these toxic problems I can’t help feeling my country is even stupider for willing following them in the same failed direction.

    Oh Tony, what a heartbreaking PM you are!

    Meanwhile in the UK, David Cameron, reinvigorated by a new term of office, is making massive cuts to welfare budgets, privatising public services, bringing forward his planned end of subsidies to on-shore wind farms, while promoting gas-fracking and subsidising oil drilling!



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  • In every other advanced country with strict gun control these massacres do not occur, because people don’t have guns. This is a fact, pure and simple.

    It is not because people are fundamentally different in other countries, it is because they don’t have guns.
    Strict gun control is a solution that is straightforward and proven to work.

    Perhaps the ugly truth is that the majority of Americans really are prepared to accept monthly random gun massacres, fit of rage family homicides, and toddlers accidentally shooting their parents, if it allows them to keep their side-arms. It is a part of their cultural heritage; a part of being American.



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  • 14
    mombird says:

    Well friends, I have a long and angry rant rumbling around inside me but in my despair I just can’t repeat it one more time. Sick at heart, emotionally wounded, saddened beyond endurance, and angry are just a few of the emotions piling up. America has let me down and I am ashamed and mortified. I am angry at the excuses, the sugar coating, the silly ass reasons for owning guns. I’m sick of the NRA who does its best to brainwash everyone into thinking guns are a necessity in modern America. I am disgusted at the thought of a gun slinging, wild-wild West America where everyone packs and answers all insults by shooting. I am sick of the gun mentality which seems to harken back to the cave man era where people had to survive or die. Primitive, fearful, inadequate, impotent people own guns. There I said it and don’t argue with me about it because I’m in NO mood.
    So the rant came out despite my heartbreak. A pox on the NRA and a pox on the massive perversion of the Second Amendment!



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  • There a some puzzles:
    The shooter had a black best friend. The friend said they each went to each other’s houses with no racism problems. Apparently this whole thing came on within a week. The shooter referred to his victims as “blacks” not “niggers”. The shooter said he was reluctant to shoot because the victims were so nice to him.

    These do not sound like the words of died-in-the-wool racist. I suspect the boy had mental problems and he was suggestible and came under the influence of racists. He spared one woman as a witness, as if he wanted someone to tell the tale of Jesse James. He could be suffering under some sort of outlaw hero fantasy.

    The boy was apparently well liked. He talked about a mass killing at a school he had never attended. This is not the Colorado motivation.

    How is it possible to kill 9 people with one gun? Did they just line up and wait to be shot a few times each, praying as he reloaded.

    The parents knew he had mental problems, but gave him money to buy a gun. That is where I put most of the blame. Blocking that situation is best way to prevent a repeat.

    Who put up the website for him? He flunked grade 9 twice. I doubt he used Java code for a delayed reveal. An investigation should reveal some conspirators.



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  • Well done, Herb, for attending the vigil.

    We don’t always feel comfortable in the presence of death. Too often we avoid the grieving because we don’t know what to say. And when we’re with the grieving we talk about anything other than the person who died because we don’t want to upset them. But the fact is that it doesn’t matter what you say because nothing you say can bring back the person they love; what matters is that you’re with them in their time of terrible loneliness. And talking about the person who has died is exactly what the grieving person wants to do because that is one way of keeping them alive in their mind. And so what if that talking results in more cascades of tears.

    It would have been understandable for you to have avoided the church vigil, with its prayers and hymns and words from the Bible, and found some other more appropriate way to signal your support. But you didn’t and I respect that.



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  • 18
    mombird says:

    Yeah, muskets not guns with bullets. Muskets in the hands of a militia not the hands of every person in America. The right to defend oneself from an overbearing government not for the joy of killing! Stop it now Bonnie, and put things into context! Besides they are called amendments for a reason- the can me amended!



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  • How are racially segregated churches an obvious factor? If the church was racially segregated, he would have had a harder time murdering those people. Instead, he was welcomed in, and treated well.



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  • bonnie
    Jun 22, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Second Amendment – “I support the right to arm bears” !

    The problem is in societies where everybody has the right to bear arms.

    An argument turns into a punch-up, and the punch-up turns into a shoot-out!

    It is safer for everyone in a system where only those with a legitimate use for guns (by type) are permitted them, and taking a gun out of a locked case in a public place is a criminal offence.



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  • 21
    Miserablegit says:

    Yet another gun tragedy in America and so comes the call for gun control and as sure as night follows day nothing will change. The mentality that states I need a gun for protection is too entrenched and there are way too many vested interests in the status quo for there to be any change.



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  • To wit:

    “There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American.

    The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed. Most Americans do not, however, own guns, because three-quarters of people with guns own two or more…”

    source: recent New Yorker article by Jill Lepore (will follow with link)



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  • 23
    InvalidUsername says:

    You forgot the most important class of people who should be allowed to possess guns in your self-appointed role as arbiter: a well armed militia. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is specifically to allow the citizens to overthrow the government if such becomes necessary. It has nothing to do with hunting, self-defense, sport, or collection. All of those issues are red herrings. BTW, I don’t own a gun, but if I did, I probably still wouldn’t rub it against my crutch. Oh, and I don’t own a crutch either, anyway.



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  • We don’t form militias anymore!—That was a different time and place. It’s really a shame that that amendment hasn’t been . . . What is the word for getting rid of an amendment?—Although I am a highly erudite man, I don’t know what that word is.



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  • American politics, combine with a failed media, means this will never happen. We in Australia will wake up to report after report, of some crazy American, with access to military assault level weapons, going on a killing spree.

    Let me apologize for nitpicking here, but I see the term “assault weapons” frequently in gun control discussions. By military assault level weapons do you mean military styled semi-automatic rifles? Because besides a very small handful of full auto and burst fire weapons (which have never been used in a mass shooting) that were grandfathered in, weapons that fire more than once per pull of the trigger (aided by recoil or compressed gas) are illegal to possess. Most of these shootings are done with handguns with a few involving semi auto rifles or pump shotguns.

    Ultimately, mass shootings are incredibly rare compared to the 1 or 2 people murdered type. Most of those killed this way are gang members or people who live in gang infested areas. Typically the murder weapon was stolen (far too few gun owners keep their weapons in a gun safe) by the user or purchased off the black market. Unfortunately, a bunch of gang bangers get killed every year and no one cares because it’s all part of the plan. Part of me hopes that because there’s a racial component to this terrorist act, maybe we’ll find the political will to address some of the underlying issues this time around. Maybe one of the presidential candidates will grow a pair of balls/ovaries and put forth some ideas that both sides could get behind or at least make not getting behind them a politically dangerous move in the swing states.



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  • 31
    mombird says:

    Of course Dan different time, different set of circumstances. 2nd amendment is way over due for an update, face lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, or just done away with altogether!



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  • 34
    ad nauseam says:

    Some of this may not be completely up to date, but lets just assume for a second that they are. (It’s for the most part up to date up until around 2013)

    In the United States, there is about 10 deaths (including suicide) per 100,000 people in a year which is roughly 30,000 total deaths related to gun violence in the united states every year. Now, if you leave out suicides, then its going to be quite a bit less but lets just keep it in. This is only .01 percent of the population of the United States.

    The population of the United States is well over 300,000,000 and gains about 1 person every 13 seconds. This is roughly a .7 percent increase in population a year which is well over 2,000,000 people per year.

    Even though .01% of the united states population dies every year from some kind of gun violence (including suicide) the united states is able to replace this number anyway since it gains more than 2,000,000 people per year. Also, there may be up to 300,000,000 firearms in the public in the united states (enough for every man, woman, and child to own one).

    So, is taking the guns of tens of millions of people in the united states worth it to help lower the percentage of gun related deaths being only .01% of the population? I don’t think so.

    Now, it may be worth it on a personal level for people directly effected by it, but for the vast majority of the population it does not matter at all. Sure, these things get in the news, but why? Maybe because it doesn’t happen that much. After all, if it was common, it really wouldn’t be all that interesting to put on the news (and that’s not good for business). We don’t report on all of the violence in the middle east and africa because we expect there to be violence, but I digress.

    Putting aside my personal feelings, it seems to me that the number of deaths related to guns is so mathematically insignificant that it is a waste of time to change the gun laws in the united states.

    (For the record, I do not own a firearm and I am not a member of the NRA) I have sources, I’ll post if you want to look. I tried before but there are quite a few so moderation is taking awhile when I tried to post this before.

    Most of my info comes from gun policy. org, census. gov pop clock and world bank .org



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  • So, is taking the guns of tens of millions of people in the united states worth it to help lower the percentage of gun related deaths being only .01% of the population? I don’t think so.

    This is like NAMBLA arguing that they just love children and do no harm.



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  • 36
    mombird says:

    Putting aside my personal feelings, it seems to me that the number of
    deaths related to guns is so mathematically insignificant that it is a
    waste of time to change the gun laws in the united states.

    wow now that is cold hearted. I imagine that the people who are dead (if they could) or those grieving for them don’t feel like they are just statistics and mathematically insignificant! Do you include the children of Sandy Hook part of that insignificant few? And furthermore, it does matter to the population at large. It matters to me. It matters to the health of our country. It matters that we don’t become a complete gun culture and the shoot out capital of the world! It matters that we don’t solve problems with guns or hide behind them to prove that we are brave. Good grief, if it happened to you or yours would you just shrug it off as a crap shoot and you lost?
    Besides it is a common- all too common occurrence. Everyday there are shootings. It’s become boring it happens so often. I don’t know what mathematical genius pulled those numbers up but shootings are way too frequent!



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  • which is roughly 30,000 total deaths related to gun violence in the united states every year.

    Preventable. Is it intelligent to let this continue. You are arguing that it is ok, for people to die needlessly. If America was like the rest of the civilized world, you would have around 2000 gun related events per year. There is NO argument in support of private citizens owning guns.



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  • 39
    ad nauseam says:

    Not really, because the two are not comparable.

    Gun control simply has to do with a product (actually a tool in some ways) and whether it is too dangerous to be in the market, while pedophilia and pederasty have to do with whether adults and children should legally have the right to engage in certain behavior.

    If the vast majority of guns in the United States are never used in a violent crime, suicide or accidental death and the vast majority of gun owners never commit any such crime why should they be penalized for what happens to only .01% of the population?

    I suppose you could draw the comparison that the tool with NAMBLA is a man’s penis and they are arguing about where they should be able to put it. In this case, one could be anti-penis and suggest that all penis’s should be confiscated at birth so no child can possibly be harmed in the future. After all, penis’s are probably used in most rapes. I can hear it now… penis’s don’t rape people, people rape people. This is a little more comparable to the gun control debate in my opinion (even if it’s half in jest), but my position would still be the same: don’t penalize the vast majority people who have something and use it responsibly because a small percentage of the population uses their’s to hurt people.

    Anyway, all I’m saying is a product (not a behavior be it pedophilia or murder) that’s use only negatively affects .01% of a population (a population that has the most gun ownership in the world) is not dangerous enough to warrant confiscating said product from the vast majority that owns one.

    Of course, for some, just ONE death involving a product (in this case a firearm) is enough to change the law for EVERYONE. If you think all life is precious and priceless then this is the position to take.

    I don’t accept that premise however.

    Now, I’m not a capitalist cheerleader, but from a moral (or maybe amoral) perspective this clip from Milton Friedman is similar to my thought processes on this issue (and almost all issues actually).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdyKAIhLdNs

    For the record that is not a young Michael Moore, I think some conservative really wanted it to be though.



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  • 40
    mombird says:

    If the vast majority of guns in the United States are never used in a violent crime, suicide or accidental death and the vast majority of gun owners never commit any such crime why should they be penalized for what happens to only .01% of the population?

    Penalized??? If the killing tools are never used by the vast majority why would it be a punishment to not have one? Why the hell do you need them?

    Of course, for some, just ONE death involving a product (in this case a firearm) is enough to change the law for EVERYONE. If you think all life is precious and priceless then this is the position to take.
    It has nothing to do with life being priceless or not. It has to do with what kind of a country you want to live in- a peaceful one or the wild-wild west!



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  • Milton Friedman is a guy who believes it’s possible to have exponential growth all over the world forever. Closed systems have limits. Friedman dismissed for a golden duck. (Cricket Expression)

    The comparison with NAMBLA was a comparison of credibility of arguments. Yours and NAMLA’s are equal.



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  • 43
    mombird says:

    don’t penalize the vast majority people who have something and use it
    responsibly because a small percentage of the population uses their’s
    to hurt people.

    Well hell, what do you think guns do? They hurt people and animals. How can you use a gun responsibly without killing something? And don’t say target practice because you don’t need a killing tool for that. If one really wants to shoot a gun go find a war somewhere. Enlist, be happy, shoot your head off.. geez



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  • 44
    ad nauseam says:

    I know about Friedman, which is why I only really agree with how he looks at the morality of a situation: he doesn’t really that much, mostly just the numbers and the effects of principles people hold.

    Explain to me why NAMBLA’s and mine are equal again.



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  • 45
    ad nauseam says:

    Yes, they are designed to kill, but you can kill responsibly in my opinion. For instance, hunting but not over-hunting and killing in self-defense where if you had not killed, you or others would have been.

    Now, unless you think all killing is wrong, we will disagree. I don’t really care about whether it is right or wrong, just how it effects me and others with regards to social relationships and economics.



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  • 46
    ad nauseam says:

    Penalized??? If the killing tools are never used by the vast majority why would it be a punishment to not have one? Why the hell do you need them?

    I don’t know, nor do I care what an individual’s reason to have one is, as long as they don’t hurt me or society in any significant way.

    It has to do with what kind of a country you want to live in- a peaceful one or the wild-wild west!

    And I think it is clear that the evidence shows it’s definitely not the wild west and for all practical purposes a peaceful place to live for the majority of society. The risk that I’ll be in that .01% is low enough in my mind that I don’t think it is necessary to change all the laws.



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  • 47
    ad nauseam says:

    I imagine that the people who are dead (if they could) or those grieving for them don’t feel like they are just statistics and mathematically insignificant!

    Yes and I said it may be an important issue for some individuals, but how small of a percentage would it have to be so we wouldn’t have to take action? .001%? .0001%? What is so special about .01%?

    Good grief, if it happened to you or yours would you just shrug it off as a crap shoot and you lost?

    I don’t know how I would view it, but I imagine I would be very emotionally compromised and not willing to look at the numbers.

    I don’t know what mathematical genius pulled those numbers up but shootings are way too frequent!

    How infrequent does it have to be so that we don’t have to change the laws?

    That’s what I’m wondering, because to me, I’m looking at the data and it doesn’t seem as dire as everyone is making it out to be. I’m not really interested in the right and wrong of this or what laws actually are put in place, so much as to why people believe the current numbers are too much to tolerate.

    That’s what is most interesting.



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  • 48
    mombird says:

    ad nauseam, do you have any kind of heart? Unless the animals are armed hunting is not a fair fight. There is no reason to hunt. We are not cave men who need to hunt for food. As for self defense, a responsible gun owner locks his/her gun up. By the time a killer gets to you the party is over. There is no time to stop and unlock your gun safe load your gun and start shooting. Besides if no one had a gun the bad guy wouldn’t be shooting you in the first place. And leaving guns handy is how kids get ahold of them.
    Now my question is, do you own stock in a gun manufacturing company? Are you a gun lobbyist? If not what do you care about economics? And if you get shot or a friend of yours takes a bullet would it be fair to say, “so what,” they are just statistics?



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  • 50
    ad nauseam says:

    There is NO argument in support of private citizens owning guns.

    Well, no argument you will accept I suppose, which is expected.

    I might agree with you if you mean this all comes down to how an individual feels about how much death is too much (which is just personal feelings). Unfortunately, this would mean there is no argument in support of making owning a firearm illegal, so I’m sure you don’t mean that…

    You are arguing that it is ok, for people to die needlessly.

    Not at all, just that I don’t think it’s that significant of a number to change the law for everyone else.



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  • 51
    ad nauseam says:

    NAMBLA and gun control are different. It’s a little more nuanced than “both do harm”.

    I’ve given you the numbers, so we both have the same data. This comes down to whether the numbers are significant enough to warrant changing the laws, and how do you determine that? It’s subjective.

    I don’t think it needs to change as much as people say, and I don’t think it’s as bad in the united states as some in europe and australia make it out to be, but that is of course just my opinion.

    I think you might want to read this article, it shows what I think your problem is with my arguments:

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/06/the-backfire-effect-why-facts-dont-win-arguments/



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  • 52
    ad nauseam says:

    Unless the animals are armed hunting is not a fair fight.

    I know, that is the point of weapons like guns and spears and traps.

    There is no reason to hunt.

    Some do it for sport and some to control wild animal populations. Now, we can argue about the morality of it, but we won’t get anywhere. I don’t own a gun or hunt, but I don’t see any reason why people can’t.

    As for self defense, a responsible gun owner locks his/her gun up.

    I’m not going to go into individual cases like this, because we could go on and on about when I person would have enough time, or if they had a conceal and carry, whether they were just fast enough, and all the other what ifs.

    Now my question is, do you own stock in a gun manufacturing company? Are you a gun lobbyist? If not what do you care about economics? And if you get shot or a friend of yours takes a bullet would it be fair to say, “so what,” they are just statistics?

    I don’t own stock of any kind, I don’t work in any kind of politics or lobbying, I care about economics because everyone and everything is for the most part connected in some way so I can be indirectly effected by issues even if I’m not directly connected to the gun industry.

    With regards to the personal side of it, we would be just statistics to someone. I don’t know how my position may change should anything like that happen, but I would like to think I wouldn’t let my emotions run my beliefs and opinions.

    I suppose it is an acknowledgement that while these issues may be upsetting to me, I have to look at this as inhuman perhaps as possible in order to not be emotionally bullied into one position or another (I’m neither pro-complete gun freedom nor pro-complete gun control but somewhere in the middle).



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  • 53
    mombird says:

    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph- stop with the numbers and statistics and the mathematics! We change the laws to suit the people not to satisfy the data. I don’t give a shit about numbers. We are human beings not computer print outs. It is the welfare of our country we are talking about not some number crunching half human creature pounding out a spread sheet and whose only social skills are making love to a set of data.



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  • 54
    mombird says:

    I’m going to repeat this down here:
    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph- stop with the numbers and statistics and the mathematics! We change the laws to suit the people not to satisfy the data. I don’t give a shit about numbers. We are human beings not computer print outs. It is the welfare of our country we are talking about not some number crunching half human creature pounding out a spread sheet and whose only social skills are making love to a set of data.
    You sound like Mr. Spock from Star Trek.
    At any rate, sound judgments can be made emotionally. Try it sometime.



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  • 55
    ad nauseam says:

    We have the same data, but I just think that the number of deaths isn’t significant enough and that the possible benefits (mostly the principle of having a degree of freedom in firearm ownership) outweigh the problems.

    So, we have two different perspectives of what is good for the country (and actually to us and those we care about), and there is no real answer about which is correct. They are just competing interests.

    Still, I believe my questions are important because the get at the root of these issues. Why is the number of deaths currently too much to tolerate? What ratio of gun owners to deaths caused by firearms is acceptable? I don’t know the answer.

    With regards to spread sheets, you’d be surprised what great lovers they can be.



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  • 56
    mombird says:

    So

    ” we can argue about the morality of it, but we won’t get anywhere. I
    don’t own a gun or hunt, but I don’t see any reason why people can’t.”

    Discussing morality is the entire reason for this whole conversation. You just can’t reduce things down to a formula. Morality , ethics, and right and wrong are the essence of this debate. geez adnauseam, are you serious? Quit sounding like a robot.



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  • 57
    ad nauseam says:

    Discussing morality is the entire reason for this whole conversation. You just can’t reduce things down to a formula. Morality , ethics, and right and wrong are the essence of this debate. geez adnauseam, are you serious? Quit sounding like a robot.

    Well, it’s the truth (at least in my experience). You really can’t come to any conclusions in morality and it comes down to feelings with most people I’ve talked with (including myself).

    Since it is feelings, I suppose that means it’s biology and by extension the environment which determines morality. Also, I imagine it is different moving from person to person.

    So, that’s why my position on all this is: you can do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t negatively effect my interests and others. That means some people can own guns and some can’t. Looking at the data, it seems to me that the vast majority of people can handle them and only a very small percentage is negatively effected by gun ownership.

    To me it is too small and percentage to change most of the laws for most of the population (but some reform may be good).

    Just as a side note: I find it interesting (and I’m not saying you hold this position) that many people who argue for gun control also argue for the legalization and taxation of drugs. To me, I don’t think you can have it both ways. Same thing with alcohol and smoking. It’s about whether people have the freedom to buy potentially dangerous products. If you like beer, you’ll gloss over all the drunk driving and drunk rapes. But if death makes you really really squeamish, guns are the devil. People tend to pick and choose their “vices” and their “causes” to fight for.



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  • Just as a side note: I find it interesting (and I’m not saying you hold this position) that many people who argue for gun control also argue for the legalization and taxation of drugs.

    Each issue on its own. What you wrote is an attempt to smear the speaker, instead of responding to the arguments. Stick with gun control.

    you can do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t negatively effect my interests and others.

    Your core statement is from The Hippocratic Oath. First, do no harm. Did you harm the children at Sandy Hook School. Where you an accomplice to the killing of the black parishioners. If America had kept up with the evolution of civilization after World War II, instead of walking around with it’s super power nose in the air, it would have implemented gun controls back in the 1950’s. The rest of the world has left America stuck back in cold war isolationism. If you and every citizen in America had demanded gun control, the kids at Sandy Hook, the parishioners in North Carolina and just about everyone of the 30,000 killed per year may have been alive. You personally have done harm. If you have supported the idiocy of personal gun ownership in America, you are an accomplice to the murders and atrocities. I don’t know why you bother with terrorism. If you looked in the mirror, you would see who is killing vastly more Americans. You may as well have handed to loaded gun to Dylann Roof yourself.

    It is the speed from anger, to trigger pull that makes guns so lethal. There is no second chance. Using a knife or strangulation requires a very long time and a lot of application. To go through with it, to actually cause death, touching the other human being filters out most sudden outbursts of anger. This is the position in the rest of the civilized world. America, cannot claim to adhere to modern civilized norms until it implements strict gun control.



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  • There is NO argument in support of private citizens owning guns.

    How about the fact that hunting puts food on tables of more than 13 million Americans each year? You can use bows and crossbows for a lot of it, but it’s a lot harder to give your prey a merciful quick death. Or we could stop hunting altogether and let them overpopulate. How is that better than a carefully controlled culling of the herd? Or would you demand the government spend millions of dollars to hire professional hunters when private citizens are willing to pay to do the job?

    How about the parts of the country with bears, cougars, and wolves? All of which can and will attack humans, children in particular. You’d take the guns out the hands of the people who live in these areas? Take away their only means to defend their children against these predators?

    Now for the sticky question. What about people like me who actually bother to work in the damn ghettos because those folks and their local business need someone to provide repair and design services? There is no way I’d go into those areas unarmed or after dark. Heck, every contractor I know who is willing to work in these areas carries a pistol and some have had to use them. You want to get these people to stop killing each other? Give them some hope. Give them economic opportunity, proper medical care, and get rid of the lead and watch the ghettos flourish. In lieu of that can you blame me for taking precautions to ensure that I go home at the end of the day?



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  • There is no reason to hunt. We are not cave men who need to hunt for food.

    Hunting puts food on the table of 13 million Americans. Food that we don’t have to grow. Food that doesn’t contribute to global warming through intensive farming practices. Food that is cheap and provides vital protein for huge swath of the rural poor in America.

    As for self defense, a responsible gun owner locks his/her gun up. By the time a killer gets to you the party is over. There is no time to stop and unlock your gun safe load your gun and start shooting. Besides if no one had a gun the bad guy wouldn’t be shooting you in the first place. And leaving guns handy is how kids get ahold of them.

    Biometric gunsafes can only be accessed by an approved print (or a substantial amount of sawing) and you can retrieve your gun in 30 seconds or less. They are also cheap, running around $100-200. Of course if you’re already getting shot at it wouldn’t matter if you had it on your hip, you’d still get killed before you can draw it.



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  • How about the fact that hunting puts food on tables

    Text book NRA mantra. Thank you. It will give me an opportunity to take pot shots at this irrational argument. Americans don’t need hunting to put food on the table. They need to go out in shorts and joggers and run the prey down. The fattest nation on earth, and you are trying to argue that somehow America will starve if you can’t shoot a majestic moose or a magnificent elk. Shoot them with your Nikon and hand them on the wall. This is 2015. Not 30,000 BC hunters and gatherers.

    Bears, cougars and wolves. Hunted to extinction. And you want to kill more. Recently toured Yellowstone. The reintroduction of the wolf has seen huge environmental benefits right down to return of threaten species of vegetation and improved water quality. Every continent on earth has apex predators. It is the nature of an apex predator that there are very, very few of them. Leave them alone. Every other country in the world manages to live with its predators. Africans living in mud huts on the African savannah with lions, leopard, cheetah’s and hyenas. You Americans need to harden the @#$% up.

    And this gem.

    There is no way I’d go into those areas unarmed or after dark.

    Why. Because the place is full of guns because of 200 years of American stupidity. You guys need to stop watching old western movies. As America sows, so shall it reap. You deserve ghetto’s full of guns. The Brazilian Favelas make your ghettos look like peace camps. Seen Cities of God movie. Brazil, that barely out of third world country has cleaned them up. I’ve recently toured Rio De Janiero. Take the Rocinha tour. A formerly violent lawless favela. That, along with seeing a wild Hoatzin in the jungle was the stand out on our S.American tour.

    Narcissistic_Martyr. You need to read this article. Click on the link to the full article. You will find yourself looking back at you.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/06/the-backfire-effect-why-facts-dont-win-arguments/

    This won’t be easy for America. But you’ve dug the hole, and it will take 30 years of very painful inch by inch progress to save yourselves. Or you can continue to quote arguments like you did, as a justification for a murder rate unheard of in the civilized world. Everytime someone dies from a gun shot, you have aided and abetted that killing, by failing to demand reform. Blood on your very hands.



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  • This is what we have in Australia, and it works really well.

    Guns must be licensed. Only people with a clear criminal and intelligence agency assessment can own a gun. Only people with a reason to own a gun, can buy one. This means farmers, for vermin control, and putting stock down. Usually one bolt action 222 and a 22. People who are members of licenced sporting gun clubs, who complete in Olympic style competitions. People like professional kangaroo or wide dog shooters. Vermin and pest control in other words.

    There are no automatic, or semi-automatic guns on sale. Repeater bolt action only, with limited magazine size. No pump action shot guns. Just side by side. Every gun owner must have an approved safe, to store the guns, and a second safe, not in the same location, to store the ammunition. Bulk purchase of ammunition is limited. All of this is subject to Police examination, with heavy fines and fire arm confiscation if in breach.

    I did 31 years in law enforcement carrying a Smith and Wesson, and later a Glock 17. In those 31 years, I never once drew my gun from it’s holster. Not once. That is how safe Australia is, with gun control. You could service your ghetto’s to your hearts content in safety.



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  • Narcissistic_Martyr
    Jun 23, 2015 at 4:21 am

    .How about the fact that hunting puts food on tables of more than 13 million Americans each year? You can use bows and crossbows for a lot of it, but it’s a lot harder to give your prey a merciful quick death. Or we could stop hunting altogether and let them overpopulate. How is that better than a carefully controlled culling of the herd?

    In the UK, we also have herds of deer which COULD overpopulate. They are culled by limited numbers of people with appropriate licensed guns, organised by forest managers. The meat is available in butchers shops where hygiene regulations are observed.

    Or would you demand the government spend millions of dollars to hire professional hunters when private citizens are willing to pay to do the job?

    The money from sustainable harvesting of timber and the meat, pays for the game managers.
    There is also organised shooting of game birds in season, by hunters with licensed shotguns, while farmers can also be authorised to own shotguns to shoot pests.

    How about the parts of the country with bears, cougars, and wolves? All of which can and will attack humans, children in particular.

    Most of these animals will avoid humans unless attracted by human malpractices (such as leaving waste food lying around or in bins).

    You’d take the guns out the hands of the people who live in these areas? Take away their only means to defend their children against these predators?

    It is far better to have these animals handled by trained game wardens, than to have every Tom, Dick and Harry running around, or blundering around, with guns.

    http://www.fws.gov/FieldNotes/regmap.cfm?arskey=36000&callingKey=state&callingValue=AK
    Chelsea Brower, 17, of Kaktovik, Alaska, grew up around polar bears and often observes them wandering through her village, curious about the scents of locally harvested foods outside of houses.



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  • 66
    mombird says:

    This thread is getting too fragmented. I am going to start down here. I had to get away from this computer last night because I felt like I was talking to a machine.

    Well, it’s the truth (at least in my experience). You really can’t
    come to any conclusions in morality and it comes down to feelings with
    most people I’ve talked with (including myself).

    Now where do you think laws and codes of conduct come from if not consensus on morality, ethics, good and evil? Thou shalt not kill. If we were machines who would care who killed whom? Since we are humans it matters. You are trying too hard to be logical, and rational. Well and good if you consider yourself and others mere numbers. Unfortunately for you (and maybe all of us) we are not void of emotion and the capacity to empathize, feel, and emote. It is an integral part of who we are and factors into how we choose to evolve in our social trek towards making the world a better place.
    You sound like a very self-centered and callous person ad nauseum. I don’t mean that to be rude but I have to tell you incase you don’t know it, you live in a society with other people. You are intimately connected to all of them whether you like it or not. You can not distance yourself from the human mess we find ourselves in, so why not try to make it a more “kind and gentle” place to exist?



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  • 67
    mombird says:

    So again, why is gun control such a big issue when it causes less
    deaths annually than alcohol annually according to the CDC? 10,000 vs
    88,000. Or if you like: 30,000 (including suicide) vs 88,000. At least
    lets be consistent in our outrage. If buying a gun is the same as
    giving the gun to a sociopath who later kills someone, then buying a
    beer is the same as giving a beer to an alcoholic who later dies.

    Stop now, you can’t walk into a church, schools, or even a bar with a can of booze and wipe out a bunch of people ! Guns are designed to kill and have no other purpose. Don’t even try to compare the two because their functions are totally different. There is no comparison ! Your “logic” is failing you adnauseum.



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  • 68
    mombird says:

    Hunting puts food on the table of 13 million Americans. Food that we
    don’t have to grow. Food that doesn’t contribute to global warming
    through intensive farming practices. Food that is cheap and provides
    vital protein for huge swath of the rural poor in America.

    Go vegetarian! You can still use your gun to shoot the tomatoes off the vines. Think of the fun! Ok maybe not as much fun as killing a sentient being but hey what the heck. yes I am being sarcastic but not really!



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  • 69
    mombird says:

    If you have supported the idiocy of personal gun ownership in
    America, you are an accomplice to the murders and atrocities.

    That is precisely what adnauseum and the other gun advocates don’t understand. I fear they never will being the self absorbed folks they tend to be. And David, part of this gun thing is that a bunch of impotent, powerless people want to feel good about themselves by hiding behind their weapons. Not all people but a lot. The others indulge themselves in the cowboy mentality. Bang, bang shoot ’em up. Others are paranoid and a lot are criminals. None of these reasons are good enough to turn an entire country into a huge shooting range. It’s really sad.



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  • That argument made sense when you could poses the same armament as the government. What’s the point of having guns now when the government has drones, bombs, etc.? Good luck with guns to protect you from a tyrannical government.



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  • By that logic, you could make almost any amount of death trivial. You could say, why should the deaths of the Holocaust matter? The number of lives were replaced shortly after. Wasn’t the number of deaths in the American Civil War replaced within 24 hrs? But hey, if you really want a statistical number, how about enough deaths that at least one makes it to the news every day, or every few days in a city for that matter? If you were also to look in a micro scale, you would see that in some places, that statistic goes way up and I think it’s worth implementing a country wide law in order to protect those cities.



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  • Brilliant. Also, wild wolves will never attack a human out of the blue, try and find an incident. As for bears, they also rarely attack humans, just stay in groups and make noise every once in a while when hiking; bear-spray is extremely useful as well. And cougars? If you want to talk statistics, I believe they only killed 2 people last year; they rarely attack people and there are preventive measures for cougars just like for any other predator.



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  • David R Allen
    Jun 23, 2015 at 5:43 am

    I did 31 years in law enforcement carrying a Smith and Wesson, and later a Glock 17.

    Back when I was at the teen warrior/ cowboy stage of development, having watched a fair share of wild-west films, a school pal and I had matching single shot .177 air pistols.
    We used to have competitions in a long garage, shooting at a weight hanging on a strong wire.
    The knack was to let the weight slow its swing from the previous hit, enough to give you a chance of hitting it, but not waiting until it was an easy shot your mate had hit first!

    I got hit with a couple of stinging ricochets, which was a good reminder guns are not toys, and not to play with more powerful weapons.

    In my twenties I got rid of the gun and have never owned one since.

    A younger kids we used to make pea-shooters from hollow stemmed plants and use wild berries for ammunition. Plenty of play-acting without using dangerous stuff! (As long as you knew which plants were poisonous and how to use knives responsibly!!)

    Perhaps these gun-toting “city-dwelling hunters”, never worked the hunter-gatherer/tribal warrior stage, out of their systems!



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  • Ad nauseam, I admire your Vulcan stance, I try to be like Spock sometimes when I am faced with a tough decision. My question is, what then would be a large enough number in order for it to be worthy of American government to do something about it? You say it’s 0.01%. Out of the population of the US, that’s a lot of people and in my view deemed worthy. Also, even if it was 0.0001%, why not try and do something about it when we know the root cause and know how to fix it? It will take time and effort, but if it’s to save human lives than it’s worth it. Especially since it would not harm the society in any significant way, at least not from what I can gather from my personal research and reading the comments here.



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  • For example, there was another article here some time ago of children that die because they are refused medical care due to their parents religious beliefs. Can’t remember the figure right now, but say it’s less than 0.01%, should we still do pressure the government to make this kind of behavior illegal?



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  • mombird
    Jun 23, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    The others indulge themselves in the cowboy mentality. Bang, bang shoot ’em up. Others are paranoid and a lot are criminals. None of these reasons are good enough to turn an entire country into a huge shooting range. It’s really sad.

    According to the International Hunter Education Association, approximately 1,000 people in the US and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters every year, and just under a hundred of those accidents are fatalities. Most victims are hunters, but non-hunters are also sometimes killed or injured. Although some other forms of recreation cause more fatalities, hunting is one of the few activities that endangers the entire community, and not just the willing participants.

    http://www.ihea.com/_assets/documents/ihea1994.pdf

    The link provides a breakdown of the accident figures. – USA 1181, Canada 39.



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  • 78
    mombird says:

    Well the fucking statistics are wrong! Here in the little town I live in there have been more shootings per capita than there should be- and this a rural, peaceful, safe place to live. I don’t know if these shootings and killings work their way into the data base but they certainly work their way into our despair. Now put down the numbers and pick up your common sense! common sense of decency that is!



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  • 79
    mombird says:

    Don’t get me started on hunters! They like killing and since they can’t kill people and get away with it they kill animals. It seems to relieve the testosterone build up or something. It makes them feel productive and useful I guess. I don’t understand it myself. IMO, the hunter prey mentality is only good for war and war is good for nothing.



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  • 80
    mombird says:

    really even though I don’t own one, it comes down to me wanting the
    option to own a very portable and effective tool/weapon since there
    are situations in which it may aid in mine and my

    AND THE STATISTICS ON THOSE SITUATIONS ARE PROBABLY LOWER THAN THE KILL RATE YOU HAVE BEEN CLINGING TO!!!



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  • 81
    mombird says:

    Adnauseam- it is a metaphor. Do you not understand metaphor? Ok, I’ve got it now. This entire conversation/ debate has been undercut because you think like a computer and I think like a poet. You think concretely and I think abstractly. You nit pick the numbers I see the whole picture. Do you think we can meld our minds, Spock, to form one useful brain???



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  • 82
    mombird says:

    David- marry me! just kidding but you have said it well. There is no excuse for hunting except for the inadequate to get their rocks off, so to speak!



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  • First question, can you explain to me how to make the orange quotes? hehe

    If you find yourself stranded, most likely you will not have a gun on you. If you do, great, if you don’t, there are many ways to protect yourself and feed yourself, a gun would not be necessary. To bring stats into this, the situation you describe would probably happen way less than 0.01%, so essentially it would still be worth it.

    Doesn’t history show over and over again that having guns out of protection never works? Kids are more likely to play with it or you to commit suicide with it then it actually helps to protect your family. The response of many to what I just wrote is that they keep their guns in a secure part of the house, where it would be difficult to access. If that’s the case, then again it won’t serve much protection when you are assaulted because by the time it takes to get your gun from that secure location the robber probably already has a gun pointed at you. And again, without guns, the robber would not have a gun pointed at you. You might be thinking, the robber can get the gun from the black market, but guns are way more expensive and odds are the robber would just assault you with a knife. If a robber had that kind of money, he wouldn’t need to rob you. On a side note, wouldn’t an alarm system work better for protection rather than having a firearm? That’s what my family has done.

    On the sex trade thing, I’m glad you would shoot someone over having them sell your daughter in the slave trade. Yet these kinds of things happen more often overseas, where you wouldn’t be able to have guns either way. Sex slave traders also don’t come to your house at night, they go for easier targets like drunk girls at a night club where you will most likely not be armed with your daughter. Your daughter will most likely not be armed because she will either not be admitted to the club with a fire arm or she will not bring it with her knowing that it will serve no purpose once she starts drinking. In all occasions, I don’t think that having the right to bear arms makes a difference when it comes to protection. Does not the fact that you not owning a firearm prove that having one would not change the status of your protection significantly? (sorry for the 3 “not”s in the question)

    I’m confused by this “me wanting the option to own a very portable and effective tool/weapon since there are situations in which it may aid in mine and my family’s survival/well being and that benefit outweighs the risk of being part of that .01% of the population killed by firearms.” You would like the option to have a weapon in order to avoid being killed by a firearm… but then why would you then not support gun control if it would take away guns altogether, ergo erasing that possibility? Sorry if this sounds circular, but I could think of no other way to phrase it.



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  • 84
    mombird says:

    Allow me to add, they love their guns as lovers do. They stroke them, polish them, caress them. They idolize them, worship them, speak gently to them, they proudly display them. They swagger to their friends holding one on their hip. They feed them little bullets ever so lovingly. Well ok I admit that I just can’t let this gun mania rest.



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  • This may seem too simplistic, but if say (god forbid [ha, god]) your daughter was rapped thanks to gun violence, would you support banning of guns then? Remember that you would probably not be in a situation where you could save her with a gun, rapists don’t usually go after women who are accompanied by their fathers.



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  • 86
    mombird says:

    With regards to spread sheets, you’d be surprised what great lovers
    they can be.

    Jesus adnauseam- now I know where you got your moniker! Well I guess it’s better than loving your gun! kissy kissy



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  • 87
    mombird says:

    Probably, but I want the option anyway. At least now you can see I’m
    not a robot.

    Maybe not a robot, but you did admit (above) that spread sheets can make great lovers! At least you’re not stroking your gun. I’m glad you don’t have one to be honest!

    Blockquote



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  • Daniela
    Jun 23, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    First question, can you explain to me how to make the orange quotes? hehe

    Type “>” at the start of the pasted quote, and leave two line spaces at the end of it to finish it.

    You can also highlight a piece and click on B or I (Top left) But I does not work on orange highlights because these are already italic.

    Look at the preview box below to see how the formatting is going.



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  • Daniela
    Jun 23, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    This may seem too simplistic, but if say (god forbid [ha, god]) your daughter was raped thanks to gun violence,

    I’m not entirely convinced by this “helpless daughter” scenario.

    It reminds me of an occasion when two teenage boys decided to chat up my daughter and her friend as they were on their way to the gym, but omitted to ask the key question before accompanying them inside.
    They were very surprised to arrive at the kick-boxing!



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  • I think that maintaining the freedom to own a firearm to use to protect oneself

    This is the reverse logic of your argument that fails. You want to own a firearm to protect yourself from people with firearms. The policies of the last 200 years have brought you to this point. Your society is so saturated with firearms now through Americas own self inflicted stupidity, that you don’t feel safe anymore. I feel safe. The Police protect me.

    Your stats are meaningless, because your stats just demonstrate how America is a total aberration compared to the rest of the civilized world. That you choose to use an acceptable level of preventable deaths as an argument in support of your case doe fun ownership is a stunning example of obtuse reasoning. This amount of deaths justifies more gun ownership which causes more deaths, which justifies owning bigger and better guns.

    Don’t get me started on alcohol and other legal drugs, including gambling which cause untold harm. You will find me a willing ally. But you can’t use an argument that because one evil over here is not being addressed, dismisses the need to act on another evil somewhere else, especially an evil that can be cured. Hence, separate these arguments. They stand alone.

    America’s attitude to gun control is an aberration in the rest of the civilized world. Only America has this culture. Life will go on if no one had guns. It will be an improved standard of life. What I hear from Ad Nauseum and Narcissistic Martyr is a desire to have guns, because they live in fear, of 200 years of craziness, based on a false interpretation of the second amendment. Circular. They’ve got guns so I need guns. They’ve got better guns so I need better guns. An arms race. Just like the cold war. I would encourage America to break the cycle. I would like to see one courageous State go gun free, and watch the crime stats tumble. A bit like Gay Marriage in the US. The earth continues to revolve and it will if you de-gun your society.

    Come out to Australia and breath deeply of the safety and security we feel. Just watch out for our spiders, snakes, sharks and salt water crocodiles though.



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  • That’s a well REGULATED militia you constitutionally ignorant fool, not a well armed one.

    Gun control advocates would love it if that was enforced literally, with gun ownership coming with minimal standards for intelligence, mental health, marksmanship, gun safety qualifications, and comprehensive records keeping. The NRA? Not to much.



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  • InvalidUsername
    Jun 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    You forgot the most important class of people who should be allowed to possess guns in your self-appointed role as arbiter: a well armed militia. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is specifically to allow the citizens to overthrow the government if such becomes necessary.

    ISIS seem to meet the criterion of a well armed militia who deem it necessary for various governments to be overthrown!



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  • 97
    mombird says:

    Yes Melvin well said but a gun by any other name…. in other words, it’s time to stop the madness no matter how it started and step gracefully into the 21st century and solve our problems without the use of guns.



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  • No one has considered how America (the United States) developed as a gun culture or the contrast between how “gun violence” has been manifested historically in Europe and America. Europeans have butchered each other by the scores of millions until the end of WWII through military conflict carried out by professional and conscripted armies implementing foreign policy among contiguous states in a small geographic region. By contrast, American gun violence has been largely confined to a geographically isolated wilderness continent, perpetrated through internecine, inter-ethnic, and inter-personal conflicts.

    By 1800, European nations were ethnically homogenous, with same-race ethic groups like the Welsh and Scots in Britain, brought under the control of strong central governments. For the most part, European states banned immigration and became racially homogenous in citizen ancestry. America had to invent a national identity after the War of Independence integrating waves of diverse immigrants with different languages and customs into ad hoc American citizenship riddled with formal and informal -sometimes violent- power struggles. Above all, the constitution reflected resistance to strong central government by diluting power among the states and in turn localities. Immigrants distrustful of “foreign” authority and indeed distrustful of each other were good fits for a “melting pot” paradoxically poisoned by prejudice, discrimination and xenophobia.

    Add to these foundational conditions, the fatally divisive elements of black slavery leading to Civil War, the collective ambition to achieve “manifest [lucrative] destiny” through territorial expansion into a vast lawless howling wilderness from the Atlantic to the Pacific that provoked bloody wars of conquest with Native Americans (“The Indian Wars”) -and the impetus for the widespread ownership and use of guns in America is easily discerned.

    Although slavery is long dead, and segregation outlawed going on 55+ years, and the once-wild frontier now buried in overpopulation, Americans still have their guns for obvious reasons. The related sources of current gun violence can be found in the legacy of black slavery and apartheid, diverse immigration and even the Indian wars.

    52% of gun homicides are committed by young African-Americans. The high profile multiple victim shooting by the lone wolf nutcase armed with an “assault rifle” is statistically insignificant. Racially marginalized in inner city ghettos and some suburban locations, African American and burgeoning Latino youth populations afflicted with poverty, poor education, employment and abusive family dysfunction have turned to crime, organized or individual, gangs and drug dealing (and abuse) generating high rates of firearm homicides.

    Europeans have started to get a taste of higher crime rates from people-of-color immigration making an impact since around 1970 but the absolute number of offenses remain small. More significantly, Europeans have no historical frame of reference for understanding or appreciating the historical-cultural challenges of living in a mult-racial, multi-ethnic nation of immigrants.



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  • Dear Moderator:

    My comment, actually two similar comments, were inadvertently posted after I believed my
    first comment did not get on because it was out of sequence. If you can, please delete my first comment as a convenience to readers.

    Thanks, Melvin



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  • The problem with gun control in the United States is twofold. First comes the challenges of drafting legislation. An outright ban on the possession of all firearms is not feasible in American society. Too many innocent people have guns in their homes, offices, cars etc. and under some jurisdictions legally carry firearms on their persons either concealed or in visible holsters. Second comes the related challenge of enforcing such bans when there are 300 million guns throughout the United States.

    Personally I favor a near total ban on guns if the King dies and I become the Heir Apparent. Most who favor “gun control” in the U.S. recognize the intractability of a ban, and focus efforts on registration of gun sales and transfers, background checks, controls on the sale of ammunition, high capacity magazines and “military” style rapid fire assault rifles. Such measures have enjoyed limited success. Sales and transfers find thousands of loopholes and conditions for non-enforcement. The black market supplies a cornucopia of firearms to criminals. Gun technology advances outrun effective attempts to limit magazine round capacity. Magazine and other technical alterations of guns are easily accomplished. Over 75% of firearm homicides are committed with a handgun, not a rifle. (A friend who ardently supports such “gun control” owns a 9 millimeter handgun with a 9 round clip, a popular home-defense weapon that typically accommodates up to 15 rounds.)

    As implied in my earlier comment, firearms used in crimes are concentrated in African American neighborhoods. and to a lesser degree in Hispanic neighborhoods plagued with gangs, drug dealing and overall high violent crime rates. Logically police operations to sweep areas for gun possession, confiscation, arrest and prosecution would necessarily target blacks and Latinos (many of them undocumented.) The ACLU, civil rights groups, the media and public opinion would scream “Racism” as one incident after another recording police brutality and discrimination against black suspects is caught on video. Mayors, district attorneys, courts, legislators -political leaders at all levels of government would demand that strict probable cause confine police interactions with black citizens, searches and seizures, to a handful of individuals. Another category of law-abiding black citizens who have justifiable interests in keeping a firearm for personal/home protection would also bring high profile cases of discriminatory prosecution to the attention of an outraged American public. Americans will do what they have always done about “gun control”: Throw up their hands and back off.

    The demand for banning guns in the United States currently fails to transcend the bounds of wishful thinking. There is just no place to take a stand that launches viable projects beyond advocacy and minor amelioration. Still we must take hope for future progress where we can.



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  • This has been nagging away at my subconscious for a while.

    Narcissistic_Martyr Jun 23, 2015 at 4:21 am

    What about people like me who actually bother to work in the damn ghettos because those folks and their local business need someone to provide repair and design services? There is no way I’d go into those areas unarmed or after dark. Heck, every contractor I know who is willing to work in these areas carries a pistol and some have had to use them.

    This comment, plus others by Ad Nauseum and Narcissistic Martyr suggests to me there is an element of fear about living in US society. You never know when that crazy is going to pull out a gun and shoot you. It might be accident. It might robbery. I might be I don’t give a flying fig. But you sense this fear in the posts of pro gun Americans, in this blog, and it others I haunt.

    My nagging subconscious realized that they were feeling the same feelings that people who are subject to terrorism feel. They are anxious and uncertain about whether a violent future awaits them. They feel constantly under threat, whether they know at the conscious or unconscious level, or where prepared to even admit it.

    So who is terrorizing Americans. Is it the religious nutters, christian and moslem. Is it the threat of some foreign power. How many Americans have died as a result of a terrorist act, including 9/11 (But of course that was an inside job) How many people are killed by home grown terrorists. No, not the Boston Marathon bomber motivated types. The ones I am referring to are the US Passport carrying citizens who own, or possess guns. What’s the gun crime rate. Fatal 10,000 per year? Injuries? 30,000. Suicides? Accidental?

    Instead of the US spending billions on the war of terrorism, maybe they should look in the mirror and see who the real terrorists are. The NRA. Politicians who support gun control. Firearms companies and the lobbyists they spend millions on. The father who buys his drug head son a gun. The overseas terrorist threat is just collateral damage compared to your “Good O’le Boy” home grown gun toting 19 century US citizen.

    I recall a “Moral to the Story” from Aesop’s Fables. It was Doctor, Heal Thyself.” It this it is appropriate for America today.



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  • Gun culture plus sloppy administration??!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-33487577

    Charleston shooting: System failure ‘allowed Roof to buy gun’ – FBI

    The man accused of killing nine black churchgoers in South Carolina last month was able to buy a gun due to a background check failure, the FBI says.

    Dylann Roof should have been stopped from purchasing a weapon due to a felony charge, FBI chief James Comey told reporters on Friday.

    But he said the charge was either incorrectly entered into a background check system or mishandled by analysts.



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