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Old 12-15-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
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Gun Control Compromise

So, it's the next day (barely) and I can't sleep.

This is not a thread for emotional reactions. That's for the other thread.

This is not a thread for people who have already made up their mind. Frankly, the inability to see other points of view is really fucking up the only thing this country was ever good at: Compromising. Hell, our greatest work (the Constitution) is a bunch of people meeting eachother half-way.

This is a place for us to try and come up with solutions to the problem of guns and violence in the USA. And there is one. Seriously.

I've recently been punted one that I find myself really quite taken with...

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2007/0...son-rifle.html

The basic gist is: A lot of fear about removing the right to own guns is based off a fear that the government will be able to act with more impunity, and that a well armed population is a fantastic counterbalance to tyranny. Whether this is true or not, I do agree with Brin that it is a big part of why people want to hold onto their guns. I could be wrong, but...hey, Bullshit said it.

And those guys are always right!

(That was not a serious statement. Bullshit should be taken with a grain of salt. Which...just sounds wrong...)

So Brin offers...a compromise.

Basically, if we need to fight the government, then there's two basic options. 1) The military, being made up mostly of people who are...people and not robots, wouldn't use napalm and carpet bombs on their homes.

Or 2) The military, being made up mostly of robots who are not people, WOULD use napalm and carpet bombs on the GPS coordinates fed to them.

In the first case, then the military would NOT be able to hold down large sections of the country, even if they were only armed with hunting rifles.

In the second case, we are so FUCKED that even if everyone had an AK-47 and an RPG-7, we'd still be fucked seven ways from sunday.

As Brin points out, bolt action rifles and basic shotguns are unwieldy, hard to conceal, have a slow ROF. They're basic and cheap and make great hunting weapons, home defense weapons. You can kill people with them, but you sure as hell can't wreak the kind of mass slaughter we're all so fucking familiar with.

Why not restrict the semi-autos and autos and keep bolts around?

(As a side note, I was recently doing re-writes in my sci-fi novel. In it, a woman uses a rifle to defend her home from brigands. The rifle has a holographic interface, caseless smart-ammo and is made entirely out of carbon composites and other future materials that make it light, cheap and nearly unbreakable.

It's also bolt action. Because anything higher is illegal.

I wrote this two days ago.

DAVID. BRIN. IS. STEALING. MY. IDEAS. BEFORE. I. HAVE. THEM.)

So...

Yeah. We need a discussion. We need a compromise. I hope we can find one, or at least come close.

Then we just need to convince everyone else!
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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I always kind of wondered why, if the Right to Bear Arms is based on the Constitution, which was written by guys who had just fought off a foriegn power with flintlock muskets, why the Right to Bear Arms isn't restricted to flintlock muskets (or black-powder firearms in general). If 'a round a minute' made you an elite marksman, then the ability to mass-murder your fellow civilians would be limited, I'd think.
But then, what do I know about guns or American gun culture?
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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In the US right now, it feels like if you are anti-gun or for any type of gun control that people feel you are anti-american and anti-freedom.

As a parent who likes to send their kid to school (and who likes to see movies, like the Dark Knight) and as a teacher who wonders whether I would rush into the hallway to lock the door, would I throw myself into the line of fire or be too paralyzed to move...I don't understand the culture that worships guns and the freedom to hide them in your overcoat. Guns are so untouchable in our culture...

I don't really love hunting, but wouldn't limit the appropriate weapons for that.

But why do people need these concealable weapons that shoot so many bullets so fast?

I hear people argue for protection. That the bad guys have guns so the good guys need them. I'm going to say that I don't know a single person who has EVER protected themselves by having a gun handy (sure that it happens, I don't know any) but that I know multiple kids who have committed suicide via gun (yes there are other ways, but sometimes, just sometimes having to take the to rig the noose--or the time after the OD that's the time it takes to say I want to live after all--sometimes the stomach pumping works. You don't get that time with a gun in the mouth). and I know several people including my own former hunter and gun collecting father who have been shot by guns that were supposed to be unloaded (my dad lived, he had to have his fingers reattached). The saddest are the kids who found their parent's gun and die or kill others. I've known several. My husband made a joke about russian roullette the other day, my mom (who owns a handgun) got offended. Turns out we know two different kids who died that way. I was only going to be offended about one, and I'm an anti-freedom gun control proponent. How does a gun owner get to huff and puff about that not being a funny subject?

The colonials were fighting musket against musket. Maybe we should all invest in tanks in case the government gets out of control...oh wait...tanks are outdated too.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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I wonder. The US-government-turning-on-its-own-people-scenario. How likely is it?
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Not exceptional, in my opinion.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
Not exceptional, in my opinion.
Then I guess you said it all with this. It seems like the only way forward.

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Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
Why not restrict the semi-autos and autos and keep bolts around?
But I fear fire-arm enthousiasts and the NRA will never adhere to this.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #8
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But I fear fire-arm enthousiasts and the NRA will never adhere to this.
Well, we just need to be very convincing and empathetic.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
I always kind of wondered why, if the Right to Bear Arms is based on the Constitution, which was written by guys who had just fought off a foriegn power with flintlock muskets, why the Right to Bear Arms isn't restricted to flintlock muskets (or black-powder firearms in general). If 'a round a minute' made you an elite marksman, then the ability to mass-murder your fellow civilians would be limited, I'd think.
But then, what do I know about guns or American gun culture?
You've got it backwards. The guys who had just fought off a foreign power did it by having access to weapons just as powerful as those who sought to oppress them.

You've made a great argument for individuals possessing weaponized drones and even nuclear weapons... or taking all weapons more powerful than flintlock muskets away from government functionaries, which is the solution I'd prefer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teinz View Post
I wonder. The US-government-turning-on-its-own-people-scenario. How likely is it?
The world is covered in mass graves of those who just knew their governments would never turn against them. History plainly says differently.
Quote:
In the 20th century, democide passed war as the leading cause of non-natural death (according to Rummel).
But wait! There's more...
Quote:
Rummel explicitly excludes battle deaths in his definition. Capital punishment, actions taken against armed civilians during mob action or riot, and the deaths of noncombatants killed during attacks on military targets so long as the primary target is military, are not considered democide.
Add those in, and the number-one cause of non-natural death, far and away, is government.

If you want to disarm the leading murderers of innocents, take weapons out of the hands of government and give them back to the people. If you just want to tap dance to the same old tune, count me out.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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ETA: Some actual substance.

I really don't think gun control reform is the only change we need to make. I thought shadowdragon's link in the original thread was pretty spot on. Forensic psychologists have been urging the media to stop covering the stories the way they do for years, because they believe that it inadvertently caters to a sick sense of nihilistic pride and coveted notoriety. Why is the media ignoring this advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teinz View Post
But I fear fire-arm enthousiasts and the NRA will never adhere to this.
My tax money will be used to make them, dammit!
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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IMO, the Second Amendment is a failed experiment. It is no longer a defense against the police state, it is the cause of it. All you have to do is look at the fact that the NYPD and LAPD have essentially morphed into standing armies.

It's 27 words on a document written 220-odd years ago. Both the world and the country would keep on keeping on if we threw them out and started over with something that actually makes sense for the modern world instead of a powder-and-musket ball one.

Doubt that'll be the most popular opinion I've ever posted here, but... yeah.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by raburrell View Post
IMO, the Second Amendment is a failed experiment. It is no longer a defense against the police state, it is the cause of it. All you have to do is look at the fact that the NYPD and LAPD have essentially morphed into standing armies.

It's 27 words on a document written 220-odd years ago. Both the world and the country would keep on keeping on if we threw them out and started over with something that actually makes sense for the modern world instead of a powder-and-musket ball one.

Doubt that'll be the most popular opinion I've ever posted here, but... yeah.
I really don't think that this will be an unpopular idea. The intentions of the second amendment are a redundancy to the first amendment, and while they were practical at one time, they've become totally antiquated. Military weaponry is far too advanced for an individual's rights to bear arms to even be relevant in this context.

In the advent of the internet and social media channels, free speech is a much more powerful weapon against government corruption. Our energy is much better spent preserving those rights while we still have them.

I wish more people could see how absurd it is to misuse the constitution in order to preserve their personal hobbies.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:59 PM   #13
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This is a place for us to try and come up with solutions to the problem of guns and violence in the USA. And there is one. Seriously.

I've recently been punted one that I find myself really quite taken with...

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2007/0...son-rifle.html
You should read the rest of Brin's post... the afterward, written 5 looooong years ago (in government expansion of powers and growth of the police state time).

Quote:
AFTERWORD January 2007:

Of course this was written in an earlier, somewhat more innocent age. A time when it was the far-right wingnut jobs who spoke of “black helicopters” and not regular joe soldiers in Iraq, whispering about “Blackwater Helicopters.” A time when the Army Reserves and National Guard were still in their homes, at their jobs, training on weekends and fulfilling the “well-ordered militia” role, instead of being squandered in a foreign adventure, leaving us all wondering what stands between us and peril, if a surprise disaster hits. A time before power began consolidating so heavily among a few thousand golf buddies, that the actual “aristocratic control ratio” may soon be worse than it was when the Founders rebelled against King George and his cronies.

Under those circumstances, might any decent person... even a liberal... ponder a fresh view of the “insurrectionary recourse,” at least in fantasy?

It bears pondering, and not just by liberals and moderates. The top aristos may want to start wondering... do they really want to head down a path that starts to alienate... and even radicalize... a well-armed and super-educated middle class? Over the long run, is that really smart or wise?
And let's toss in a few other quotes for good measure:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mao Tze Tung
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Stalin
If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benito Mussolini
The measures adopted to restore public order are: First of all, the elimination of the so-called subversive elements. … They were elements of disorder and subversion. On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adolf Hitler
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane Feinstein
If I could have banned them all – ‘Mr. and Mrs. America turn in your guns’ – I would have!
I prefer the view of the following people, personally.
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Washington
A free people ought to be armed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Jefferson
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Madison
Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Don, serious question - if it came down to a fight between FedGov and We the People, (ignoring for a moment they're one and the same), who do you think would win?
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:10 PM   #15
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Don, serious question - if it came down to a fight between FedGov and We the People, (ignoring for a moment they're one and the same), who do you think would win?
Can I answer this? Oh well, I'm going to.

We would, but not with guns.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:14 PM   #16
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Don, serious question - if it came down to a fight between FedGov and We the People, (ignoring for a moment they're one and the same), who do you think would win?
My guess would be China.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:16 PM   #17
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1. It's not political any more than road signs, flu vaccination and fight with cancer.

2. Math experiment:

Take the number of mass shootings, in which innocent children and teenagers died.

Now, take the number of times free access to guns saved the American nation from tyranny, alien invasion, bodysnatchers, domestic Hitlers.

Compare the two numbers and draw consequences.

3. What exactly is a scenario for civilians protecting themselves from the government?

Like, one day you wake up and there's been a fascist coup, so you gather your friends and uncles and march toward Washington?

Like, an alien bodysnatcher impersonated Obama and said bwahaha, now Americans you belong to us, planet SX22211?

And, say you get under an oppressive, tyrannical government. OK.

Who, then, is the person to decide the government is bad and we need to turn against it? Who would you listen to? Your mayor? Some youtube prophet?

Seriously.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Don View Post
You should read the rest of Brin's post... the afterward, written 5 looooong years ago (in government expansion of powers and growth of the police state time).


And let's toss in a few other quotes for good measure:


(Oh no, I can't quotes.)


I prefer the view of the following people, personally.
This is where I part ways with the libertarian perspective.

You've got to draw a line for me. What constitutes arms? How is an individual's right to carry a fire arm going to protect them from a government that stores nuclear weapons?

The only level playing field that I can see comes from working within the system and using the whatever nonviolent tools are available to keep government in check.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:24 PM   #19
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Can I answer this? Oh well, I'm going to.

We would, but not with guns.
Yeah, I agree. My perspective is that there are far bigger (and more intangible) deterrents than weaponry, but my point in asking Don's is that I always struggle to understand where his positions lead in a next-step sense and I was hoping to get a bit of clarification.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:24 PM   #20
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Don, serious question - if it came down to a fight between FedGov and We the People, (ignoring for a moment they're one and the same), who do you think would win?
I think that when the drones fly in over the revolutionary tea party camp, and the distant drone of the apache helicopters, the high altitude bombers, and not to mention the storming marine corps - the idea that untrained civilians with clone AR15 would stand a chance would quickly disappear.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:37 PM   #21
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IMO, the Second Amendment is a failed experiment. It is no longer a defense against the police state, it is the cause of it. All you have to do is look at the fact that the NYPD and LAPD have essentially morphed into standing armies.

It's 27 words on a document written 220-odd years ago. Both the world and the country would keep on keeping on if we threw them out and started over with something that actually makes sense for the modern world instead of a powder-and-musket ball one.

Doubt that'll be the most popular opinion I've ever posted here, but... yeah.
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Don, serious question - if it came down to a fight between FedGov and We the People, (ignoring for a moment they're one and the same), who do you think would win?
The notion that Americans have the right to bear arms to 'protect' themselves from the government turning against them is the most paranoid, pathetic reason I've seen. How do you defend yourself against an armoured column, gunships, RPGs, bombs? Yes, that Uzi or Armalite you have in your gun cupboard is really going to make a difference.

Enough with the excuses and the tiresome defence of those centuries-old words. You're not fighting Redcoats or dispossessed, angry Indians any more, you're clinging to an anachronism that has no place in the modern world.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:45 PM   #22
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The notion that Americans have the right to bear arms to 'protect' themselves from the government turning against them is the most paranoid, pathetic reason I've seen.
Historically, it is the rationale behind the second though. Which is not to say that I disagree with anything you posted.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:49 PM   #23
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I don't have any problem with getting rid of rapid fire guns and you might get some people to meet in the middle, willing to compromise on the issue. Not enough to pass any meaningful legislation any time in the near future though. There's too much money in politics. It doesn't just get applied to elections. It applies to the powerful lobbying arm of the NRA. I'd say just about anything will be dead in the water that comes up in the House of Reps. Believe me, I'd love to see something passed, but if by some miracle it did, I've seen one argument that I don't know if I've seen a good counter for; there are already so many guns out there it would still be pretty cheap and easy for the "bad guys" to get these semi automatic weapons. The black market would explode wouldn't it. A law against marajuana hasn't seemed to slow things down much, has it?

One thing that I initially didn't think there would be a lot of resistance against is mental health background checks but the more I think about it, I think even that would face an uphill battle. There's issues such as patients' right to privacy/confidentiality and those who could argue the severity of the case, leaving plenty of grey area. It's a shame, because it seems like a good place to start. I won't argue that there is all kinds of opportunity to buy guns illegally if a mentally stable person desires to. Does that mean we just throw our hands up and say hey, this person has paranoid schizophrenia, with a history of not taking meds, but it's ok to sell him as many semi automatic rifles as he wants- those 27 words from 200+ years ago had him and those weapons in mind?
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:55 PM   #24
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I don't know. The Brits didn't think the American colonists stood a chance of defeating them, either. Nor did the Americans think they'd lose the Vietnam War. It's amazing, looking back in history, what can happen when governments take people - and their willingness to die for a cause - for granted.

Personally, I think we have enough gun laws. Lawbreakers will break any more we impose regardless. What we should be looking at is why these individuals are doing what they are doing, and how can we prevent them from reaching that point. But that takes a bit more effort, time, and money than passing more gun laws.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:55 PM   #25
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Which nation would stand with the people of the United States if they decided to overthrow a tyrannical government? The US warns other governments not to turn against their own people when uprisings happen. Do you think anyone would come to our aid if the US government turned its weapons on the citizens? I seem to remember violence against civilians in the past here. No one stopped it. If it was a larger group would it matter?

I highly doubt it.

I don't have an answer on the weapons debate. Or even a suggestion. I see both sides. I don't think those that choose to bear arms are thinking of the consequences of such a choice if the shtf with their own government. I don't believe anyone has really thought it through. Maybe they have.

I wonder from a purely paranoid perspective, however, if it gives any other countries pause about attacking us. Not only would they have to overcome the military, they would have to overcome a very well armed civilian population.

The US is a young country. Maybe it is youth.
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