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Thread: The US 2nd Amendment.....

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Worth a read

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Hmm, wrote a longer post but got bumped from the system and lost it.

    It's easy to focus on the gun, when really we should be focused on the hand that holds it.


    My apologies to dneal for posting something that was poorly written and not in line with current wisdom.

    Edit: Hugh, very good link. Tend to agree with it.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; October 3rd, 2015 at 01:24 AM.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by HughC View Post
    Worth a read
    "...chained to an anachronism in the U.S. Constitution by a lickspittle American Congress", aside from being hyperbolic nonsense, demonstrates the ignorance of the presenter with regard to how our Constitution works and how it can be changed. As for the rest? A diatribe amounting to a juvenile "America sucks, and we are sooooo much better". Of particular irony is the assertion of Americas' history of "raping and pillaging". Remind me, which continent originated as a prison for rapers and pillagers?

    Anyway... We can have a contest of links to selective facts drowned in hyperbole, and I can offer this article as a counterpoint. But that goes on ad infinitum and neither view is changed.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Hmm, wrote a longer post but got bumped from the system and lost it.

    It's easy to focus on the gun, when really we should be focused on the hand that holds it.


    My apologies to dneal for posting something that was poorly written and not in line with current wisdom.

    Edit: Hugh, very good link. Tend to agree with it.
    Thank you, and I admit that I am a little worn out from the near inescapable, 24/7 rhetoric (from the left and right) regarding this issue in the news.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the focus should be on "the hand that holds it".

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Ban cars. Save lives. Eat banana chocolate pudding.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HughC View Post
    Worth a read
    "...Remind me, which continent originated as a prison for rapers and pillagers?
    While not wanting to comment on that SMH link in any way, and as a FYI, the convicted "rapers and pillagers", were usually hanged by the neck until they were dead. Those sent to the prison cololnies were usually the poor and down trodden exiled for stealing a loaf of bread to feed their starving families or for other petty crimes. Not a happy period in British history.

    There was one amusing case of Francis Greenway, an architect who was sentenced to Australia for forgery. He was put to work designing some of Australia's earliest buildings. He was eventually honored in the 60's by being put on one side of our first $10 note. Comedy gold!

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Greenway
    Last edited by duckmcf; October 3rd, 2015 at 06:50 PM.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Don't take that part of my post too seriously. It's in the context of my complaint about the video in Hugh's link. Were I serious, I would have used the correct form of "rapists".

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Don't take that part of my post too seriously. It's in the context of my complaint about the video in Hugh's link. Were I serious, I would have used the correct form of "rapists".
    I thought that it was a bit of e-flourish, but I love that story of Francis Greenway so much I take every chance I get to mention it. ;-)

    Cheers
    Noel

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post

    "...chained to an anachronism in the U.S. Constitution by a lickspittle American Congress", aside from being hyperbolic nonsense, demonstrates the ignorance of the presenter with regard to how our Constitution works and how it can be changed. As for the rest? A diatribe amounting to a juvenile "America sucks, and we are sooooo much better".
    It just an opinion, I'm not a fan of the writer and it's fairly confrontational.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Remind me....
    Hardly furthers the discussion and "second hand" as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly that the focus should be on "the hand that holds it".
    Finally some progress !! In the broader picture of US foreign policy it's both the holder and the weapon , examples such as the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear proliferation etc. A policy that is far from the "more guns, less crime" style of arguing. I doubt few disagree when it comes to nuclear weapons less is better and who has them relevant. The US population seems happy to accept that other countries should be subject to weapons control for various reasons.

    This conflicts with a lot of peoples views in relation to domestic guns in the US. In context of the discussion it's worth noting this difference as it does show how weapons control can be seen in different situations especially when it's to do with "others".

    Of course the "hand that holds" is the central issue, a point I've made repeatedly that some people shouldn't have access to guns. Now you've identified the problem what do you suggest to address it ? Is there a validity in the community rights v personal rights in this issue ? Is it possible to reduce gun related deaths without increased gun control? Could large gains be made with minimal impact on responsible gun owners ? Suicide is a leading cause of gun related deaths in the US, I noted earlier in Australia hanging is the leading cause which indicates that the action is not dependent on a means so discount any benefit in this area only noting that a gun is easier and quicker.

    The gun debate shouldn't be political, shouldn't be solely anti or pro based but look to finding pathways to better outcomes.
    Last edited by HughC; October 3rd, 2015 at 08:35 PM.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    FWIW, I happen to live in a state where I have to apply for a license to own a gun. The process involves a required state-approved training course, a background check, references, and requires the personal approval of the local police chief. Of course, this is Massachusetts, the reviled place where citizens were required to have health insurance (or pay a penalty on their state income taxes) for years before "Obamacare". I've never quite worked out how it can be that one has the right to bear arms, i.e. a civil right, and yet in order to do so, one must be subjected to a more selective process than what is required to get a drivers license, which is famously a privilege rather than a right. In some municipalities, you must even prove your proficiency in a manner analogous to a driving test. There's also a decent chunk of change involved. I don't really like it, but if any of this is constitutional (and it might be one of those things like a "use tax" for items purchased out-of-state where you'd think it wasn't only to find that it actually has been affirmed by the courts), then this might be the way of things someday.
    Last edited by mhosea; October 3rd, 2015 at 10:39 PM.
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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by HughC View Post

    It just an opinion, I'm not a fan of the writer and it's fairly confrontational.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Remind me....
    Hardly furthers the discussion and "second hand" as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly that the focus should be on "the hand that holds it".
    Finally some progress !! In the broader picture of US foreign policy it's both the holder and the weapon , examples such as the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear proliferation etc. A policy that is far from the "more guns, less crime" style of arguing. I doubt few disagree when it comes to nuclear weapons less is better and who has them relevant. The US population seems happy to accept that other countries should be subject to weapons control for various reasons.

    This conflicts with a lot of peoples views in relation to domestic guns in the US. In context of the discussion it's worth noting this difference as it does show how weapons control can be seen in different situations especially when it's to do with "others".

    Of course the "hand that holds" is the central issue, a point I've made repeatedly that some people shouldn't have access to guns. Now you've identified the problem what do you suggest to address it ? Is there a validity in the community rights v personal rights in this issue ? Is it possible to reduce gun related deaths without increased gun control? Could large gains be made with minimal impact on responsible gun owners ? Suicide is a leading cause of gun related deaths in the US, I noted earlier in Australia hanging is the leading cause which indicates that the action is not dependent on a means so discount any benefit in this area only noting that a gun is easier and quicker.

    The gun debate shouldn't be political, shouldn't be solely anti or pro based but look to finding pathways to better outcomes.
    I find the implication that I've stumbled upon "the problem" extremely condescending. I've already said that I believe the increase in random violence by youth is due to 30 years of drugging them (and I think there are other factors that I won't go into now).

    The U.S. doesn't arbitrarily decide which country should have what type of weapon. There are international treaties. The U.S. does act in its national interest, as does every other country. None of that has any bearing on the issue of gun control.

    I accept reality and not an imaginary utopia that can be created if there were just a few more laws and regulations. I accept that there are disturbed and/or evil people in the world. I am not naive enough to believe that we can legislate risk and danger away. Drunk drivers, pedophiles, murderers, rapists, robbers, burglars, and even "mass shooters"... only become those things after the fact. Laws making robbery illegal does not prevent robbers from robbing. It's illegal to go into a school or movie theater and start shooting people, yet the law didn't prevent it from happening. Laws function retroactively, just like the police come after the fact.

    To address prevention - As described, I do not believe laws will prevent gun crime or other crime when an individual is determined to commit a crime. I believe the facts confirm that a liberal gun policy, including concealed carry, prevents all sorts of crime to include mass shootings. Most of this is dependent on culture. Germans are extremely rule oriented, have high gun restrictions, and see minor gun and violent crime. The U.K. is highly restrictive, and although they experience lower gun crime they have extremely high rates of violent crime. Switzerland is very liberal in their gun laws, and have relatively low rates of gun crime or other violent crime. The U.S. culture is vastly different today than it was 30 or 40 years ago (and U.S. culture varies widely across the country). The majority of the nation has little to no gun crime, and it is concentrated in metropolitan areas and along the border with Mexico.

    To address "community and personal rights" - The "community" of the United States values individual rights and liberty above all else. Individual rights are indeed at the heart of the American "community"; and that idea is espoused throughout our history, from the Declaration of Independence, throughout the Federalist Papers, and doctrinalized in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is in fact so important that oaths of office from the President to the newest lieutenant specifically state that they will protect the Constitution (not the nation). The founders also recognized that threats to the Constitution (and nation) wouldn't necessarily be external. A U.S. officer's oath specifically mentions protecting the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic". The importance of that protection is codified in the 2nd Amendment with the individual's right to keep and bear arms. The American community has rejected the idea of tampering with that amendment.

    I prefer to be able to manage my own defense rather than depend on or wait for others. Were you to find yourself in a situation with an armed person intending to do you harm, would you prefer to be armed or would you prefer to wait for another armed person to arrive in an effort to stop the assailant? Would you die happy that your being disarmed contributed to the "community rights"?

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Perhaps - and I am going way out on a very thin limb here - the constitution is flawed? Not very helpful, I know, but there it is.

    Besides which, I thought that the whole purpose of the 2nd Amendment concerned the forming of a militia.

    mi·li·tia
    məˈliSHə/
    noun
    noun: militia; plural noun: militias

    a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
    a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.
    all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.


    Here we go:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    This statement says nothing about individuals using their weapons for personal self-defense.

    I just think that the way it is currently interpreted in the US is very interesting, that's all. Particularly as I think the amendment is written in plain language, and must conclude that alternative interpretations are entirely agenda driven and have nothing to do with the intent of the Amendment itself.

    I am not an American. There is much, heaps really, that I don't understand about this issue.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    The Constitution is not chiseled in stone, and as noted a few pages back has methods for amending it. I would think that is far from "flawed".

    The first 10 amendments (also called the "Bill of Rights") are a list of the rights of the people considered so vital that they must be specifically enumerated. The 2nd Amendment (settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Heller decision) is not about militias, but about the right of the people to keep and bear arms not being infringed.

    The problem is when you take the (admittedly poorly worded) amendment out of context and apply superfluous interpretations to it.

    The militia means able-bodied people. If you look at State constitutions and the dates they were drafted, you'll find a more thorough description of militias. The organized militia is what we would now think of as the National Guard, and the unorganized militia is the rest of the able bodied population. Both are addressed. "Well regulated" means well outfitted or well equipped, and not highly controlled. The reason the State Constitutions are more thorough is because they were intended to be the primary government, with the federal government only responsible for a few specific tasks (and given only a few specific powers).

    I can't write a dissertation on the U.S. Constitution or U.S. History in a pen forum, nor clarify every point that might be raised. If you have these sort of questions, I recommend you begin with the background reading (even if it's starting with Wikipedia pages) on the topics: "U.S. Constitution", "Bill of Rights", "Federalist Papers"

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HughC View Post

    It just an opinion, I'm not a fan of the writer and it's fairly confrontational.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Remind me....
    Hardly furthers the discussion and "second hand" as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly that the focus should be on "the hand that holds it".
    Finally some progress !! In the broader picture of US foreign policy it's both the holder and the weapon , examples such as the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear proliferation etc. A policy that is far from the "more guns, less crime" style of arguing. I doubt few disagree when it comes to nuclear weapons less is better and who has them relevant. The US population seems happy to accept that other countries should be subject to weapons control for various reasons.

    This conflicts with a lot of peoples views in relation to domestic guns in the US. In context of the discussion it's worth noting this difference as it does show how weapons control can be seen in different situations especially when it's to do with "others".

    Of course the "hand that holds" is the central issue, a point I've made repeatedly that some people shouldn't have access to guns. Now you've identified the problem what do you suggest to address it ? Is there a validity in the community rights v personal rights in this issue ? Is it possible to reduce gun related deaths without increased gun control? Could large gains be made with minimal impact on responsible gun owners ? Suicide is a leading cause of gun related deaths in the US, I noted earlier in Australia hanging is the leading cause which indicates that the action is not dependent on a means so discount any benefit in this area only noting that a gun is easier and quicker.

    The gun debate shouldn't be political, shouldn't be solely anti or pro based but look to finding pathways to better outcomes.
    I find the implication that I've stumbled upon "the problem" extremely condescending. I've already said that I believe the increase in random violence by youth is due to 30 years of drugging them (and I think there are other factors that I won't go into now).

    The U.S. doesn't arbitrarily decide which country should have what type of weapon. There are international treaties. The U.S. does act in its national interest, as does every other country. None of that has any bearing on the issue of gun control.

    I accept reality and not an imaginary utopia that can be created if there were just a few more laws and regulations. I accept that there are disturbed and/or evil people in the world. I am not naive enough to believe that we can legislate risk and danger away. Drunk drivers, pedophiles, murderers, rapists, robbers, burglars, and even "mass shooters"... only become those things after the fact. Laws making robbery illegal does not prevent robbers from robbing. It's illegal to go into a school or movie theater and start shooting people, yet the law didn't prevent it from happening. Laws function retroactively, just like the police come after the fact.

    To address prevention - As described, I do not believe laws will prevent gun crime or other crime when an individual is determined to commit a crime. I believe the facts confirm that a liberal gun policy, including concealed carry, prevents all sorts of crime to include mass shootings. Most of this is dependent on culture. Germans are extremely rule oriented, have high gun restrictions, and see minor gun and violent crime. The U.K. is highly restrictive, and although they experience lower gun crime they have extremely high rates of violent crime. Switzerland is very liberal in their gun laws, and have relatively low rates of gun crime or other violent crime. The U.S. culture is vastly different today than it was 30 or 40 years ago (and U.S. culture varies widely across the country). The majority of the nation has little to no gun crime, and it is concentrated in metropolitan areas and along the border with Mexico.

    To address "community and personal rights" - The "community" of the United States values individual rights and liberty above all else. Individual rights are indeed at the heart of the American "community"; and that idea is espoused throughout our history, from the Declaration of Independence, throughout the Federalist Papers, and doctrinalized in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is in fact so important that oaths of office from the President to the newest lieutenant specifically state that they will protect the Constitution (not the nation). The founders also recognized that threats to the Constitution (and nation) wouldn't necessarily be external. A U.S. officer's oath specifically mentions protecting the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic". The importance of that protection is codified in the 2nd Amendment with the individual's right to keep and bear arms. The American community has rejected the idea of tampering with that amendment.

    I prefer to be able to manage my own defense rather than depend on or wait for others. Were you to find yourself in a situation with an armed person intending to do you harm, would you prefer to be armed or would you prefer to wait for another armed person to arrive in an effort to stop the assailant? Would you die happy that your being disarmed contributed to the "community rights"?


    This is not to put down any other comments by anyone else(including myself),but I don't think
    it could have been said in a better way.


    John

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I find the implication that I've stumbled upon "the problem" extremely condescending. I've already said that I believe the increase in random violence by youth is due to 30 years of drugging them (and I think there are other factors that I won't go into now).
    Not at all condescending, I thought the discussion may be about to advance. I was wrong. The fact the US has become less violent over the past 30 yrs (Kieran Healy data) does contrast with around half the deadliest mass shooting occurred in the last 10 yrs.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I accept reality and not an imaginary utopia that can be created if there were just a few more laws and regulations. I accept that there are disturbed and/or evil people in the world. I am not naive enough to believe that we can legislate risk and danger away. Drunk drivers, pedophiles, murderers, rapists, robbers, burglars, and even "mass shooters"... only become those things after the fact. Laws making robbery illegal does not prevent robbers from robbing. It's illegal to go into a school or movie theater and start shooting people, yet the law didn't prevent it from happening. Laws function retroactively, just like the police come after the fact.
    Simply because you cannot predict where or who will commit a crime doesn't negate working on ways to prevent crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    To address prevention - As described, I do not believe laws will prevent gun crime or other crime when an individual is determined to commit a crime. I believe the facts confirm that a liberal gun policy, including concealed carry, prevents all sorts of crime to include mass shootings. Most of this is dependent on culture. Germans are extremely rule oriented, have high gun restrictions, and see minor gun and violent crime. The U.K. is highly restrictive, and although they experience lower gun crime they have extremely high rates of violent crime. Switzerland is very liberal in their gun laws, and have relatively low rates of gun crime or other violent crime. The U.S. culture is vastly different today than it was 30 or 40 years ago (and U.S. culture varies widely across the country). The majority of the nation has little to no gun crime, and it is concentrated in metropolitan areas and along the border with Mexico.
    Research by Richard Florida ( summary here) indicate that gun laws do work to reduce deaths. Nor is Switzerland "very liberal in their gun laws" as you state.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    To address "community and personal rights" - The "community" of the United States values individual rights and liberty above all else. Individual rights are indeed at the heart of the American "community"; and that idea is espoused throughout our history, from the Declaration of Independence, throughout the Federalist Papers, and doctrinalized in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is in fact so important that oaths of office from the President to the newest lieutenant specifically state that they will protect the Constitution (not the nation). The founders also recognized that threats to the Constitution (and nation) wouldn't necessarily be external. A U.S. officer's oath specifically mentions protecting the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic". The importance of that protection is codified in the 2nd Amendment with the individual's right to keep and bear arms. The American community has rejected the idea of tampering with that amendment.
    You state your position well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I prefer to be able to manage my own defense rather than depend on or wait for others. Were you to find yourself in a situation with an armed person intending to do you harm, would you prefer to be armed or would you prefer to wait for another armed person to arrive in an effort to stop the assailant? Would you die happy that your being disarmed contributed to the "community rights"?
    You have to know before hand you're in danger, pulling the gun when the other person already has a loaded weapon may just mean you get shot. Then there are the inherit dangers of having a gun "at the ready" just in case...we've all heard the cases where it goes terribly wrong. Clearly there are times when it may be to advantage, times when it may not. Still looking for methods to reduce the number of people who shouldn't have guns may eventually reduce the number of armed situations. Statistically only a 1/3 rd of US households have guns and there is broad support for gun policies that restrict guns (Pew Research Center). I think you will see gradual changes in gun laws across the US that will be positive but not impact on most gun owners to much.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    You won't see any significant changes. Democratic voters generally support the 2nd amendment, which is why congressional democrats won't touch the issue. Mayor Bloomberg spent millions on a media campaign and achieved nothing. Only the most liberal democrats in safe districts advocate more restrictive laws, because their constituents won't throw them out. Even Bernie Sanders punted when asked

    Read this
    and this

    --edit--

    I forgot to add that you avoided the questions I posed.
    Last edited by dneal; October 4th, 2015 at 09:30 PM.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Many states already have some controls in place, as Mike has pointed out. Which questions are those? You asked one in your last post that was irrelevant ( your being disarmed...) as I'm a gun owner. We've already accepted that mass killings make up a small percentage and it's common sense that if there are less guns in a violent conflict there will be less deaths, being stabed is less deadly overall than being shot for instance. Clearly finding methods that may reduce gun deaths is advatageous to all. If it's some commonly used drugs as you suggest then it needs examining, if you're correct then better regulation of those drugs may yield positive results. Accepting there's a problem is a start.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    Honestly, I don't know what you're on about with comments like "I thought the discussion may be about to advance. I was wrong." Does the discussion only advance when I concede your view? You won't convince me by posting articles in the Atlantic, any more than I'll convince you by posting articles from an NRA website. The Atlantic are liberals with an anti-gun viewpoint. The NRA are (generally) conservatives with (obviously) a pro-gun viewpoint. You can find nonsense arguments like that of the "gun show loophole" (and in fact there isn't one), or those that decry the evil NRA and how it has a stranglehold on the Congress (when in fact the NRA derives its money and power from its members - a correlation that perhaps should be examined by the decriers).

    If the discussion hasn't advanced to your satisfaction, perhaps it is a reflection of the persuasiveness of your argument. I do not accept your premise "that if there are less guns in a violent conflict there will be less deaths". Rwandans did just fine without them, and the counterclaim that more guns = less violence still carries much validity (our personal opinions of John Lott notwithstanding). Again, the Center for Disease Control (an organization that was presupposed to support the liberal viewpoint) concluded that more gun control like the "assault weapons" ban does little to nothing to curb gun violence.

    "Clearly finding methods that may reduce gun deaths is advatageous to all" certainly appeals to emotion, but it falls apart if examined critically. Is it only deaths by gun we are concerned with? What about death by drunk driver? If those gun deaths are suicide, then it's not really important. People will still manage to kill themselves, as you already acknowledge. If they are deaths due to armed citizens stopping criminals, I'm ok with those and don't necessarily want to see them reduced unless it's due to a decrease in criminal activity (which is in fact what we see as private ownership and concealed carry rates rise). Gun deaths resulting from violent criminal activity will not be affected by passing laws criminalizing gun possession or ownership. Deaths from negligent handling of firearms can be reduced by reinstating gun safety training in schools, and promoting the NRA's "Eddie Eagle" and other safety programs, although those deaths are statistically insignificant.

    Regarding your "many states have some gun controls in place..." All States have some gun controls in place, and there are Federal gun control laws. The overwhelming majority of States have implemented concealed carry laws and relaxed the carrying of firearms, again strangely correlating with Lott's thesis and data.

    Lastly, about the questions you avoided - you know exactly which ones I was talking about, and we both know why you still avoid answering them. It's because your argument falls apart, or you must admit either hypocrisy or foolishness.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    If you read what I've written you'll see I've offered no ( or few) opinion either way on gun control, simply examining the issue. You put your view, I've offered others views to provide material to discuss. The whole base of what I've been doing is to examine the issue to further my understanding of how people see it. As you are a pro gun person ( and that's not a problem to me) I've offered others counter viewpoints, the majority of those views are others rather than mine. What it has shown is the commitment people with your views have to their cause, and those with opposing views as well.

    Points of note: 1. The "more guns less crime" argument seems to have been successful in general though the data I found didn't support it. 2. On data and "facts" the plethora of such does make finding the most credible difficult, and inclusions and exclusions don't help. 3. There seems many "experts" with opposing views. 4. The pro gun lobby doesn't appear to accept there's a problem with the number of gun deaths in the US. I note a rate of 10.3/100000 in 2011 (Center for Disease Control) is high by OECD standards. 5. 20% of people own 65% of the guns (http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politi...hip-declining/) and ~1/3 of households have guns (Pew Research Center)

    The one issue I've found difficult to understand is that there seems little interest from the pro gun lobby to look at gun deaths with a view to reducing them, I did put the question "Could large gains be made with minimal impact on responsible gun owners ?".

    Now I offer my opinion :
    1. Guns are deeply entrenched in US society and will remain a feature into the foreseeable future.
    2. Reducing gun related deaths will be a long term project if so desired. The sheer volume of guns in the US (270 million in civilian hands (http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/filea...rch-Note-9.pdf) ensures this.
    3. Sensible gun laws that aim to make it more difficult for the "wrong" people will help in the longer term. There is no "quick fix".
    4. Reduce access to certain guns, like assault style, for which there is no reasonable purpose is well worth looking at. An SLR is a very dangerous weapon, I sat on the board of an authority that was the consenting agency for licenses that covered this type of weapon for pest animal control and one applicant brought the point home, a former SAS soldier mentioned in his application "if I come across 8 or 9 pigs I'll get one, maybe two with a lever action, I'll get all with an SLR".
    5. In reality there appears little to suggest that there is any overwhelming public support or political support for gun control.
    6. I am skeptical that continually increasing the number of guns will have the desired result in the long term mainly because it's not addressing the underlying causes. On that time will tell.

    Personally I found this discussion raised more questions than answers.

    Point me to the questions I'm apparently avoiding and I'll answer them if possible.

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    Default Re: The US 2nd Amendment.....

    1 and 2. I agree

    3. I think we already have sensible gun laws. Enforcement of existing laws is the problem. I think the article I linked about the difficulty of identifying the "wrong" people (before they become the wrong people) is particularly insightful and I hadn't given much thought to the points (and concerns) raised.

    4. I think the "assault weapon" issue is a non-issue, and a prejudice held by the ignorant. They are just cosmetic differences, with the only exception being single magazine capacity. Some states have limited magazine capacity laws (New York, for example), and California requires that AR15 style rifles have a fixed magazine of 5 rounds. The problem is that only law abiding citizens will abide by the law, and criminals will continue to violate the law. This puts the law abiding citizen at a disadvantage. It may sound strange to hear that would be a problem, but remember that we have a large and porous border with Mexico. Cartels have recently taken to abducting people for ransom, and there are numerous cases of assaults on homes near the border. In the context of a "mass shooting", a shotgun would be much more dangerous than a rifle or handgun, and there are no separate magazines that need exchanged. You can keep a semiautomatic or pump action shotgun "topped off" as you use it. As an aside - In the southern U.S., feral pigs are highly problematic. Large capacity magazines help, but your SAS friend will discover that the majority of pigs bolt at the first report they hear. He would get a few more, but never all of them (this is first hand experience... ).

    5. I agree, and made this point several times. It is a very vocal minority and the media who keep raising the issue.

    6. Long term, I think you may have a point; and I agree that it's not addressing the underlying causes. I don't have a great deal of confidence that we'll address the underlying causes anytime soon though. The topic has become too politicized and each side is firmly entrenched with no inclination to give any ground (I think illustrated well by Bernie Sander's remarks in the link above).

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