Why I'm Sick of Discussions About Guns

Necessary Evil Burnout

With the United States experiencing even more mass shootings than normal in recent years, gun control has been one of the dominant political topics lately. Personally, I have not found this topic to be particularly interesting, and I have not been entirely sure why. It may be partly due to the simple fact that little is likely to change of any significance with gun laws. So like much political discussion, it’s nothing but talk, including the same old arguments on both sides repeated ad nauseam, with few if any people involved coming close to changing their minds. But it’s probably also a reflection of my own ambivalence on the issue. Some of the arguments by second amendment advocates make sense. Gun regulations will likely impact law-abiding citizens more than criminals who, by definition, don’t worry too much about following the law. As a parent, I can understand other parents’ desire to defend their families, particularly those who live in dangerous neighborhoods. And although I am not a hunter, I am in no moral position, as an avid meat eater, to criticize those who find shooting animals to be entertaining and/or nutritious.

I can also think of several reasons why I have no personal desire to own a gun and why I don’t want guns all over the place in society. This does not mean, however, that I am strongly opposed philosophically to the notion of responsible citizens owning guns. So why do I find myself generally annoyed by strong gun advocates, and why do I have little desire to engage in discussions about this issue? The more I think about this topic, the more I realize that my lack of interest/general annoyance is emotional rather than philosophical. The simple truth is that I find guns to be disgusting. The fact that my fellow humans have been compelled to create such a wide array of nasty devices designed to tear other humans to shreds makes me embarrassed to be a member of the human race.

I’m sure that there are many second amendment advocates who share my feelings. They would argue that guns, like wars, are an unfortunate necessity of living in a messed up, sometimes dangerous world. As is often argued, the only way sometimes to stop a bad guy with a gun – or a bad ruler with an army – is with a good guy (or guys) with gun(s). What bothers me, however, is that many gun advocates seem to glorify the damn things, and guns, like many hobbies or fetishes, are viewed as fun playthings, a reflection of one’s toughness, and/or a means of getting aroused. Many Americans, even more than other people in so-called civilized societies, enjoy explosions and violence. Just a quick look at the most popular movies, television shows, or video games confirms this. And firing live ammunition is an even greater rush than blowing away virtual humans or creatures.

I see the same tendencies in war buffs. I can relate, to a certain degree, to their fascination with war. There is no doubt that certain wars have played a huge role in shaping the world. And it’s difficult to not be drawn in by compelling stories of armies going head to head and of terrified people coming face to face with death or mutilation. But I don’t understand the people who either romanticize war or who seem to find it fun to talk about. I also have trouble relating to those who are fascinated with every detail of the various toys that we humans have employed and tactics we have used in order to slaughter one another. Yes, I understand that wars are sometimes necessary. This doesn’t mean that I have to find them entertaining.

As a history teacher who tries to keep up with current events, I am often depressed with the state of the world. And when I come across horrific stories (almost every day) from the past and present, I often wonder what I was thinking when I agreed to bring children onto this planet. Discussions about guns and wars only remind me even more of how screwed up the world can be. I know that escapism, taken to an extreme, can be unhealthy. But without a certain amount of escapism, I would not be able to function. So forgive me if I am tired of talking about guns and wars, or if I have no interest in hearing about anyone’s gun fetishes or tales of military glory. I need to pretend as much as possible that the damn things don’t exist.

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Comments 115 comments

Alberic O profile image

Alberic O 3 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

Lol, I'm starting to get sick of it too. Well written.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Well then move on to suicides, half of the gun deaths are from suicides. And there are many other ways to commit suicide.

That is an issue that can be understood, and then maybe some solutions will arise for it.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Sounds like someone needs a hug today...


Justin Earick profile image

Justin Earick 3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

How did you use that ad in your hub? Is it from Flickr commons?

Also your argument is just stupid. "Criminals won't follow the law"? By that logic, homicide and manslaughter laws should be repealed since criminalizing murder hasn't eliminated the behavior; or rape should be legal since the rapists still rape in spite of the law. And by that logic, spousal abuse legislation only criminalizes otherwise law-abiding citizens, simply for the act of beating their spouse - which would be legal if not for domestic violence laws.

The "people like it" argument brings to mind the acceptance of slavery in the 1800s, and the opposition to civil rights in the 1960s...

You are practicing escapism - by pretending that this issue does not effect your community, and pretending that it will not one day inevitably effect your family.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I wasn't attempting to make an argument against gun control. I think that there should be common sense regulations to minimize the likelihood of dangerous people getting guns. But I can understand the second amendment people who argue that gun laws affect law abiding citizens more than potential criminals.

I don't know what you are referring to with the "people like it" argument. I was saying that I can't understand people who actually like guns. At best, they are a necessary evil.

Actually, your comment demonstrates why I get engaged less and less in political discussions. Apparently, you have gotten into so many arguments with gun advocates that you don't even read hubs carefully before you start arguing with them. You just automatically start to use the standard arguments on one side to cut down the standard arguments on the other side.

The picture I posted was a reference to people who glorify guns. I assumed that people who read the hub would get the joke. My bad (in your case, anyway).

I know that I could someday be affected by our gun-happy society. I just don't think there is much I can do about it. Arguing with gun advocates certainly isn't going to accomplish much, as you may have already figured out.


Justin Earick profile image

Justin Earick 3 years ago from Tacoma, WA

Actually, I did read your hub. You are just so divorced from politics that you have no clue of the legal ramifications of what you are espousing.

The "gun laws only affect law abiding citizens" argument is deeply flawed. The speed limit only "affects" otherwise law-abiding citizens who are simply driving fast (or eliminating wasted travel time). Domestic violence laws only "affect" otherwise law abiding citizens who happen to handle things within the family (and eschew legal bureaucracy). Abolishment of slavery only "affected" property owners who were the job creators (the backbone of the economy). Homicide laws only "affect" murderers who are otherwise law abiding citizens. I could go on...

I don't know how you are confused by the "people like it" point. People like guns - just like people used to like slavery and segregation. Popularity does not portend legality.

You are horrible with comprehension - I wasn't at all referring to the content of your picture, but on the mechanics of usage.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I agree that the argument is flawed, which is why I support gun regulations. The rights protected in the Bill of Rights - religion, speech, press, guns, etc. - are not absolute. And just because gun regulations will not be 100% effective does not mean that we should cancel all gun regulations, as you said. I was just acknowledging the other side of the argument, and expressing my ambivalence about the whole issue.

I was actually being critical of the "people like it" idea. I can understand why people might see the necessity of having guns. I can't comprehend why anyone would ever like them. One of the biggest problems in American society is the glorification of violence.

A little while after I wrote the comment, I realized what you had meant when you mentioned the picture. It just came up when I did a Google search. Advertisements always do. If the gun manufacturer ever asks me to take it down, I will. And if they sue me, I will happily share one or two of the three cents of revenue that I will probably make from this hub.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

What a waste of time.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

justin sez: The "gun laws only affect law abiding citizens" argument is deeply flawed.

Jack replies: Nevertheless, you cannot refute it. Stringing together a number of non sequiturs is not a refutation but just a demonstration that you really don't understand what laws are for.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 3 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

I'm glad I don't need to worry about the subject of citizens owning guns. You have my sympathy.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Bushmaster used to also actually issue mancards that you could print (and proudly show people). Had to pass a short 'man' quiz I think. I never saw the quiz (the whole mancard campaign was pulled after Newtown) but I imagine it consisted of questions such as, "Your buddy stops to appreciate some flowers, do you (a) agree with him, or (b) punch him in the face" (correct answer being (b) of course). I don't know if they were that overt but I wouldn't be surprised. You could also go on their website to revoke someone elses's mancard. Revokable offenses included things like being a "crybaby", a "coward", having a "short leash", or just in general being "unmanly."

Not sure if that counts as glorification, but it certainly is flippancy. Same sort of flippancy you see all the time, e.g. people posting photos on Facebook of their hot girlfriend holding their rifle.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

FF sez: The rights protected in the Bill of Rights - religion, speech, press, guns, etc. - are not absolute.

Jack replies: Check out the concept of "prior restraint" as it applies to Constitutional rights and then get back to us.


Larry Wall 3 years ago

I am also tired of the gun debate. I favor reasonable restrictions, including background checks, proof that the person knows how to use the gun and a limit, if not ban on Internet gun sales.

I may see background checks in my lifetime, but little more. I do not oppose people owning guns for hunting, target practice, or self-defense. I do not think that if someone invades your home and then leaves that you have the right to pursue him and shoot him. Once your family is safe, you do not need to put yourself in harm's way by chasing the alleged suspect.

I am tired of the second amendment being treated as an absolute, while other amendments, such as the first, has to deal with restrictions.

I understand Freeway Flyer's views and respect them, and I respect the rights of gun advocates to their views. I just tend to disagree with most of them as is my right.

I am not going to engage in any lengthy debate about this. I have written several hubs about gun-related issues. If you want to know more about those views, you can read those hubs.

I have never advocated the banning of guns and actually do believe that if you take away the guns, only the criminal will have guns. However, if we establish some reasonable rules, then we might have fewer criminals with guns and would give the police reason to hold someone if he has a gun but does not have the proper paperwork, showing ownership, completion of training and safety course, etc.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I've noticed from my own hubs and others that nothing brings out the comments like gun control. It would be interesting to discuss why so many people seem to care more about this issue than others.

Actually, this little hub is not trying to make any arguments about gun control. It's more of a lament about the state of human nature and the world. Guns, like all inventions developed for the expressed purpose of harming people, are simply a reflection of the state of life on this planet. They can be added to a long list of things that I don't like very much.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

larry sez: a limit, if not ban on Internet gun sales.

Jack replies: You really don't know even the basics about selling or buying guns over the internet, do you. Without looking at Google, how DO you think it works? If Fred in Indiana wants to buy a gun from Sally in Montana that he saw her advertise over the 'net then what do you think the steps are?

You don't know, do you. But you comment anyway?

Larry sez: I am tired of the second amendment being treated as an absolute, while other amendments, such as the first, has to deal with restrictions.

Jack replies: Check out the concept of "prior restraint" as it applies to Constitutional rights and then get back to us.

BTW... what do you call the approximate 20,000 firearm laws on the books?

But I do agree with your call that people should not be allowed to write a letter to the editor unless they complete a training course and IQ test showing that they have what it takes to exercise a constitutional right.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

junk sez: "I never saw the quiz" and "but I imagine"

jack replies: This, Dear Readers, is a perfect example of living in fantasy land. Has no freaking clue as to what he is posting about... but feels compelled to "imagine" and post anyway.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: It would be interesting to discuss why so many people seem to care more about this issue than others.

Jack replies: Bloomberg just announced he was going to spend about 100 million dollars to persuade politicians to take away gun rights from law abiding citizens.

Handgun Control spent decades trying to get virtually all guns banned.

Sen. Schumer is trying to pass a law that would make it a federal felony for me to walk out of my home and leave my wife in the home with a gun that I own.

NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC, the New York Times and virtually all other national media have a ratio of about 80 anti-firearm stories and guests to ever one pro-firearm story.

And you ~really~ wonder why people care about the issue?

If there were local, regional and national groups, media and politicians trying to shut down the 1st Amendment for the past 40 years do you think people would "care about the issue" of the 1st Amendment?


Alberic O profile image

Alberic O 3 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

Freeway Flyer-Gun control is a never ending debate- much like abortion. It is an emotional issue that uses lots of fallacies (on both ends). Nothing gets people riled up more than the gun control debate!


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

People have been arguing about the meaning of free speech and free press since the amendment was written. When does the exercise of an individual right become slanderous, treasonous, or obscene? I'm sure that the founders disagreed on these issues, just as they would have various opinions about the modern application of the second amendment.


Larry Wall 3 years ago

Mr. Burton:

Regardless of the process, you may have to go through to purchase a gun over the Internet, I am opposed to selling guns over the Internet. It may be complicated, but it is something that should be done in person, in y opinion,

Regarding letters to the editor, I think people should know what they are talking about before they write. I never said you needed a college education to own a gun or any level of education. The same is true for the letter to the editor. Just like shooting a gun, you have to make sure you do not hit and injure a person who becomes an unintended target. People who write letters to the editor need to make certain they are staying on point and do not offer something that is not true, quote the wrong source and make unfounded accusations.

By the way, if I could I would have a hub rule outlawing the use of the so-called word "sez." If you are going to quote me, I rather you say, "Larry wrote," since I did not actually say those words to any person, at least not today. We can all find things to criticize, and that is a right. We all also have a right to voice our views. I voiced my views, and I do not believe I have never said anything derogatory about a gun owner or questioned their right to own guns. My issue has always been the method used to acquire the gun (background checks, safety courses, etc) and how the gun should be used (do not shoot into the air to celebrate a holiday--know of two people kille by falling bullets, or leave a gun in the open where a child can find it and while looking at it, shoot himself or someone else.)

Have a nice day.


Pierre 3 years ago

@Larry

"I am also tired of the gun debate. I favor reasonable restrictions, including background checks, proof that the person knows how to use the gun and a limit, if not ban on Internet gun sales."

Do you have any idea what the current firearm laws and restrictions are?


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: When does the exercise of an individual right become slanderous, treasonous, or obscene

Jack replies: That's simple. When it is adjudicated in a proper court using our legal system that an individual has TAKEN THE ACTION to express slander, treason or obscenity. (BTW, obscenity has never been considered to have been covered by the 1st Amendment. )

And that is the point you're missing, ff. Freedom of speech has no "prior restraint." There is no one who is allowed to say, "You can't say this" in advance of what you say. You get to say what you want... and THEN if is is proved that you harmed someone by your ACTION, you pay the price.

Virtually every single firearms law works the opposite. The assumption is that the mere possibility of someone doing something wrong with a gun is enough to create a law about that situation.

Someone can shoot you ten times with a full magazine --- why, then, let's only have seven round magazines for everyone.

Someone can buy a gun and shoot their wife the next day -- why, then, let's have a ten day waiting period for everyone.

We don't know who shot that person -- why, then, let's make everyone register their guns (which has no ability to show who shot that person but the anti-firearm folk are not noted for their reasoning.)

A severely disturbed individual shot someone with a scary looking black rifle -- why, then, let's ban scary looking black rifles for everyone.

You can scream "fire" in a crowded theater as much as you want and as loudly as you can. There is absolutely no law against it.

Afterwards, though, your ACTIONS may or may not be judged as to whether or not you broke other laws because of the harm others suffered. If you screamed fire in an empty theater, no one will do a thing to you. If you screamed fire where there was a fire, no one will do a thing to you.

If you merely hold a gun that someone, somewhere didn't like and passed a law against, you can go to jail.

Freedom is speech is judged by the actions and consequences of the person. Firearms laws are created by the "state of being" of the person.

Do you see the difference?


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

@Jack Burton,

Oh geez, Jack, like we haven't heard that exact same insult from you about a thousand times already (Jack imagines something no one said and uses that to prove they are in fantasyland, episode #4,756). I didn't really think it entirely necessary to specifically make the point that I didn't see the WHOLE quiz as originally presented by Bushmaster (since it no longer exists). I didn't figure anyone would be enough of a pantywaist to nitpick such a detail. With you around, I guess I should have thought differently. At any rate, I have seen pieces of the quiz, and yes my example was a tad of an exaggeration, it was relatively in line with the shallow, simplistic, and silly notion Bushmaster has of what exactly a man is. You are of course welcome to have a different opinion, but I personally think Neanderthals should stick to clubs.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Freeway Flyer

BTW, what are your thoughts on gang control? You can check out my hub on it. Or just google it. Gun control is a red herring, that distracts the people from gang control.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

ib,

I think that there are a wide variety of things that can be done to reduce the possibility of gun violence and enhance public safety in general. Gun regulations, in themselves, are never going to be the "magic bullet" (pun intended). They may not even be the most effective actions that can be taken. In a fantasy world, policy makers would look at all of the various factors that contribute to violent behavior - with open minds that go where the data takes them - and try to make improvements. Of course, some of these security measures may contradict other constitutional provisions, which is where things always get tricky.

Whatever the case, guns or not, violent attacks are going to happen. All you can do is try to reduce them.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Jack, just out of curiosity, do you support any kind of gun laws? Should there be any limits on the types of weapons that individuals can possess?


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

junk sez: Jack, like we haven't heard that exact same insult from you about a thousand times already

Jack replies: As long as you remember that you are the one who "imagined" what Bushmaster was doing then I really don't care what you've heard or how many times you heard it. Two plus two equals four no matter how many times it is said.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

FF... I support laws that state when someone hurts an innocent then they should get punished. If someone willfully and knowingly helps another person hurt an innocent then they should get punished also.

During the founding fathers time citizens owned all kinds of interesting things. Such as cannons. Or ships filled with cannons.

The general consensus with many who consider the 2nd Amendment as an integral part of the Constitution is that the word "arms" means basically the same weapons as what the average, individual soldier would "bear."

If you've been in the military you know that there are basically two types of weapons... individual and crew served.

I'll write more later but the grand daughter just walked in the door.


Pierre 3 years ago

@ Junk

Please just shut up. You know nothing about firearms and add nothing to the argument. Your comments are pure emotion and you make up data for the knowledge you lack on the subject.


Pierre 3 years ago

Great, now my comments are being erased for challenging people on their firearm knowledge. Please explain why we should listen to people who are clueless on the subject.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Certain parts of this discussion answer the question in my title. I will now go back to other matters.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Cannons certainly fall under the crew served definition (BTW, it is perfectly legal for citizens to own cannons and many collectors do just that) but people normally don't "bear" them.

Let me back up a moment to clarify. When I posted "hurt innocent people" there was an unstated "knowingly, willfully and maliciously" that goes along with it. We all hurt other innocents from time to time without necessarily breaking a law or needing to be punished for it.

If we are going to have a law that says certain people such as felons cannot legally possess a firearm then we need to enforce the laws that allow strawbuyers to provide for them. Many strawbuyers wind up walking the streets after having their hand slapped because they turned states's evidence.

I think it is silly to have a law that says a 18 year old is prohibited from legally buying a firearm from a federal dealer but is legally allowed to purchase a firearm from a private individual.

I think it is silly to have a law that says some one must wait five days to pick up a new gun from a dealer to "protect" his wife when he already has ten guns at home in the safe.

I think it is silly to demand registration to "prevent" crime when criminals tend not to go down to the police station to "register" their guns.

I think it is silly that an individual licensed to carry a handgun cannot do so in a city park but can do so on the sidewalk in front of the city park.

Most of the 20,000 firearm laws fall into this silly category.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Are there any non-silly laws? I tend to think that most people support some regulations regarding the types of weapons that individuals should be allowed to possess. The only question is where we draw the lines. It's not simply a question of either having gun (or weapons) control or not.

And the point you make about senseless gun laws can probably be made about lots of regulations that govern other aspects of life. Unfortunately, the existence of stupid regulations has turned many people off to the notion of having regulations at all. Instead of piling on rules that often contradict other rules, it may be best to have an occasional overhaul in which we start from scratch, a periodic regulation-chucking year of jubilee. Of course, politics rarely has much to do with common sense, so we'll probably keep getting rules piled on top of rules to create the illusion that they are actually doing something.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Freeway Flyer

What a disappointment, you didn't even address the word gangs.

You are off my list

bye


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I never knew that I was on your list. Is it too late for me to say, "yes, gangs are bad."

I'll try to recover emotionally from this loss somehow.


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

It's hard to disagree with anything you've said here. I argued for gun control in my early twenties, and endured these back and forth arguments with obstinate people. Eventually, I just deleted the forum from my favorites and left because it was getting tiresome. I came back years later and found the same people there. I almost felt sorry for them. Recently, I wrote a hub summarizing all the different arguments I'd heard, and my "anti-gunner" response to them. I think this was to show myself that it wasn't a complete waste of time to have had those arguments in the first place.

The fascination with war and death may be part of our dispositional psychology. To be concerned with such matters is to prepare oneself for their eventuality. Our individual psychology determines which of us this disposition will be greatest in. One trait will be paranoia, another will be anxiety. It's no surprise that the perpetrators in recent mass killings had these kinds of issues.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Thomas, after writing your "anti-gunner" responses, did you get lots of comments repeating the same old arguments again? You would think that people would get bored with the same old conversation after a while.

For those who own guns for reasons other than sport or collections, I suspect that they are often a crutch, a way to create an illusion of security in a dangerous world. And for the gun control advocates, there is basically the general fear of getting shot. Since fear is the most powerful human emotion, this may help to explain why this debate gets so many people riled up.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

A crutch, eh.... Well, here's several dozen average, ordinary citizens in the news in the past few days who are awful glad they had a "crutch" because they needed assistance when their lives were in danger...

• Man shot while trying to break into house, police say (LA)

• Resident fires at 2 suspected of break-in (PA)

• Store clerk's gunshot fatal to teen boy (MI)

• Homeowner: Illegal entry was more than that (MI)

• Drive-Through Shooting Leaves Would Be Robber Dead (CA)

• Mobile home intruder met by gunfire (AK)

• Robbery victim shoots attacker (South Africa)

• Gun shop owner apprehends suspect during armed robbery (TX)

• Prowler prompts man to fire gun (IN)

• Fatal double shooting in Jacksonville ruled justifiable homicide (FL)

• Jeweler gets best of robbers in gun fight (LA)

• Gunman Shot By Store Clerks During Acampo Robbery (CA)

• Robbery suspect killed at diner (TN)

• Man kills burglar, police say (LA)

• Police: Armed burglar killed by homeowner (TX)

• Early Morning [Self-Defense] Shooting (FL)

• Homeowner, 79, Not Charged For Shooting Intruders (KY)

• Police say man was killed in self-defense (WI)

• Intruder Shot To Death After Breaking Into Home (FL)

• East Side Shooting Involved Earlier Assault, Vandalism (TX)

• 79-Year-Old Shoots Two Intruders, Police Say (KY)

• Merchant ends holdup, shoots robber (IN)

• Suspect shot in head by liquor store owner (CO)

• No charges for wife who shot and killed her husband (NY)

• District attorney's office rules shooting was self-defense (NC)

• Woman won't face charges in husband's death (SC)

• Police: Burlington store owner shoots would-be burglar (NC)

• Convenience store owner fatally shoots would-be armed robber (TX)

• Police: Store Clerk Shoots Back At Robbers (NC)

• Robber beaten with brolly, shot (South Africa)

• Alleged Burglar Shot in East Montgomery (AL)

• Teen Intruder Shot By Neighbor, Police Say (MS)

• Police arrest Bossier City shooting victim (LA)

• Mother Fights Back Against Intruder (TX)

• 911 calls reveal chaos in defensive shooting (CO)

• Grand jury no-bills woman in shooting (TX)

• 2 try to rob jewelry store; 1 suspect shot, still at large (AZ)

• Jewelry Store Owner Grabs Gun, Chases Robber (MI)

• Gun Battle Breaks Out Between Family, Intruders (TX)

• Police: Homeowner shoots, kills intruder (TN)

• BSP security guard outduels 3 robbers (Philippines)

• One Man Dead, Another Arrested After Attempted Robbery (NC)

• No indictment in fatal [self-defense] shooting (KY)

• Alleged Burglar Fired On (WA)

You can discount these stories... or you can understand that there are evil people in the world who prey on innocents and denying the innocents the power to protect themselves is in itself, a great evil.


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

Yea, whenever someone new came to the forum wanting to debate gun control, the pro-gunners would repeat the same arguments; even after I'd debated them into a corner on those arguments previously. They try the same arguments on everyone. If you don't have an answer, they feel good, if you do, they try to forget you ever spoke on the issue, or resort to insults and fantasy scenarios where they can draw their gun like they live in the wild west!

In the comments for my hub, I wrote this: "It interests me how guns, religion and right wing politics go together like that. I think there's a persecution and abandonment issue that elicits increased individualism and independence. It's the idea that no-one else will take care of you, so you must take care of yourself against the exaggerated threats created by your panicked mind. This encourages gun ownership, but the "go it alone" approach will also exacerbate the underlying anxiety and abandonment issues, leading one to find comfort in religion. God serves as a being that is always there; a father figure who looks after you, but who isn't part of the human race that caused the initial pain."

That's all speculation, but it's plausible to me. Of course there is a risk of generalizing, and of attributing negative attributes to people I have argued with... which is always a bad sign! I would definitely say it's anxiety more than fear, but they're similar emotions. Anxiety is about unseen threats relating to potential, future danger. Fear is an immediate reaction prompting fight, flight or freeze responses. I think the source of anxiety would need to be something that prompts paranoia though. Anyway, more wild speculation!


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Where did you get that list? It's good to see that widespread gun ownership has made America such a "safe" place. It makes me want to stay away from Texas.

What percentage of American gun owners ever shoot someone in self-defense? And are all claims of self- defense accurate?

But as I keep saying, I'm not advocating taking away your guns.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Wow, Jack, that's bad even by your standards. Not only did you strip that list from someone else and not say so http://www.keepandbeararms.com/opsd/but the stories aren't current events at all. Of the first ten links, only two even load and are from 2005.

If you like lists, try this one of recent events involving suicides, murder-suicides, murders, and accidental shootings (no cobwebs included): http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/27/1197427/-...


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I'm disappointed. I would have never suspected that information from the internet could be misleading or inaccurate. Even if there were about 50 or so incidents of self-defense shootings over the "past few days," that would be about 15-20 per day, or roughly 7500 per year. Considering the millions of gun owners out there in the United States, that is fairly rare.

Now I know about the studies of all the people supposedly brandishing weapons each year in self-defense. So there is no need to dig up that old dinosaur from the mid-1990's.

Ultimately, it's up to each individual to decide if the slight possibility of using a gun in self-defense outweighs the potential dangers of shootings from suicides, domestic violence, accidents, etc. It would be helpful, however, if these decisions could be made with the help of actual data, not BS. But with this issue in particular, it is difficult to find data not shrouded by biases. It's one of the big problems with political discussions in general.


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

I always say, what good is a gun when someone else has a gun pointed at you? What are you going to do? Draw your gun and hope he doesn't shoot you?


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

It's been a while since I've been up on the

rkba website and I assumed that they kept up their list. My bad.

Here is a current site that have the same type of stories. You can note that the latest one is dated March 23.

http://www.rationalityrebooted.com/

It appears from the archive listing on the side that they are averaging about 20 to 30 self defense with a firearm stories a week. I'll be sure to use them from now on.

And FF, the vast majority of self defense uses with a gun never make it to the newspapers because they never make it to the cops notice. My hub on that is an example if you want to take a look.

The DOJ under Clinton determined that there were well over a million times a year when citizens defended themselves with a firearm. The two researchers who worked on the study are well-known professors at the University of Chicago and are professed gun control believers. If you choose to call it an "old dinosaur" says more about your willingness to look at evidence than it does the evidence itself, eh. After all, dinosaurs did exist.

http://www.tscm.com/165476.pdf

And note that this study was done in the mid-90s when many of the states that currently allow the legal carry of handguns did not then do so. The numbers redoubtably have gone up from there.

Studies have shown that well over 90 percent of all defensive gun uses are accomplished without the citizen even pulling the trigger, so don't go looking for thugs and social deviants in the hospital as proof that citizens do defend themselves.

And BTW... even if the list that was originally presented is several years old, just how does that take away from the concept that citizens can and do defend themselves with firearms. If they did so two years ago, shouldn't they be doing the same today?


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Maybe people should walk around with unloaded guns.

I have not said that citizens never defend themselves, although it's difficult to determine how often. And I have never said that they shouldn't, so I assume that you are talking to someone else. There is no point in trying to defend a position I do not hold. All I ask is that people do not point them at me.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ts sez: I always say, what good is a gun when someone else has a gun pointed at you? What are you going to do? Draw your gun and hope he doesn't shoot you?

jack replies: And I always say isn't it amazing, folks, that people like tom who never shot a gun, who are dreadfully afraid of guns, who believe that guns CAUSE good people to go bad, who only barely know which end the bullet comes out of, are somehow the people to whom we should take advice from on how well guns work for self defense?

While we simple-minded, misguided, befuddled people with years and decades of military and other experience with guns in all circumstances really apparently have no clue about how to effectively make guns work, and without the anointed ones guidance we will merrily continue to shoot ourselves in our feet, kill our children, and generally screw up society?

Like they say: When you're sick you go to a car mechanic; when you're in court you need a good butcher; and when you want to know something about how to defend yourself, you go to tom.

BTW... here is a story from last week from the website that I posted that clearly shows what tom sez can't happen does just that...

http://www.rrstar.com/updates/x1959358070/Rockford...


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: I have not said that citizens never defend themselves, although it's difficult to determine how often. And I have never said that they shouldn't, so I assume that you are talking to someone else. There is no point in trying to defend a position I do not hold.

Jack replies: Since I never said what you think I said then you don't have to defend a non-existent position that was never brought up in the first place.

FF sez: All I ask is that people do not point them at me.

Jack replies: Don't do anything that would make a law abiding citizen point a gun at you to defend himself and you don't have to worry about them. Bad guys tend to do what they want to do without regard to what either you or I want.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Jack, I'm not worried about you or other people who know how to handle guns. And since we don't have shooting rampages every day, I assume that most gun owners are not a problem. I'm worried about the morons and lunatics who might find it relatively easy to get their hands on them. You might then respond by saying that the responsible people need them to defend themselves from the morons or lunatics who have them. And I will say that I can understand that position. And so it goes . . .


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I'm confused. Your reply is at least a triple negative. (Although mine was a quadruple.) Maybe we should not stop not talking about this ever again.


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

Typical reply from Jack there. He can't answer the question so he resorts to personal attacks, defamation, and telling me I believe some crazy nonsense so he can convince himself my comment is wrong. Juvenile.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: I'm worried about the morons and lunatics who might find it relatively easy to get their hands on them.

Jack replies: I am concerned about them also. Every law abiding gun owner that I know across the nation has parents, siblings, children, friends, co workers and others that we care about walking the streets and driving the highways. We don't want them to ever come face to face with any who seeks to do them harm.

But the truth of the matter is that less than .0001 percent of all the guns in America will ever be used to harm someone. That means that 99.9999 percent of guns do no harm. Removing guns from that 99.9999 percent pool does nothing to stop those morons and lunatics from doing harm.

Perhaps reading my hub on "Is the damage to society from the misuse of guns worth the freedom to have guns?" can help you understand some of the concepts that we gun owners have learned over the years.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

I can believe the 20-30 self defense events a week. However, the study mentioned earlier by Jack listed 23 million defensive gun uses (DGUs) a year. Translated to weeks, that would be 442,307 DGUs per week. Does that sound even remotely possible to anyone? One woman in the study reported 52 DGUs in a single year! The report itself mentions how these results are somewhat absurd. For instance comparing statistics on gunshot wounds to the alleged estimates of how often civilians shoot and wound an attacker are way off.

It's also interesting to note what people consider a DGU. Of the original 45 people who claimed a DGU, only 19 saw the perpetrator, had an identifiable crime taking place, and showed or mentioned their weapon. of those 19 left, 6 said the circumstance of the DGU was rape, robbery, or attack, but then admitted that the 'perpetrator' didn't threaten, attack, or injure them. Which, to me, makes it sound like the vast majority of alleged DGUs are simply figments of people's imaginations. "Dude looked suspicious so I copped a feel to my piece. I'd be dead right now if I didn't have it..."

An estimate based off of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) estimates that DGUs were actually down around 108,000 per year (at the time of the study). Even that translates to 2,076 events per week.

Other interesting points from that study are that 593,000 firearms were stolen in that year and that males who carry firearms were 250% more likely to be arrested for a non-traffic offense than non-carrying males. So much for law-abiding eh?


Nish09 profile image

Nish09 3 years ago

@Jack

You are trying to argue logic and facts against emotions and ignorance. From the caliber of your posts, you know this. Keep up the good fight. More and more people are speaking up with the logic and facts on this issue. The others, well, they live in their emotionally filled ignorant world where there are no logic or facts. Thank you for being a sound voice in this debate.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Tom sez: Typical reply from Jack there. He can't answer the question so he resorts to personal attacks, defamation, and telling me I believe some crazy nonsense so he can convince himself my comment is wrong. Juvenile.

Jack replies: Tom is the one who disclaimed that one can defend themselves against a drawn gun. I was the one who provided a link that clearly shows Tom is wrong. Yes, that is "typical." Tom relies on emotions and I rely on actual facts.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

@Nish09

Freeway Flyer is an exceptionally patient and fair-minded host. If this were my hub, many of these comments wouldn't be here . One of the things to be gleaned from his example is that there really aught not to be a need for this to be a battle. It is that battle in fact which he specifically says is why he is so sick of this debate. There's no problem with Jack's facts, when he actually gets them right, but there is a problem with his need to insult every single person who disagrees with him. He does this without fail.

You yourself pop in here, add nothing of substance to the conversation, and then insult everyone of a particular opinion. Do you at least recognize the disrespect in so doing. Freeway has been pretty generous in my opinion of conversing with Jack and letting his comments stand. Yet he gets an insult from you, whereas Jack, the insult master, gets praised as being a "sound voice."

I'm not personally willing to converse much with Jack, but most everyone else has displayed a willingness to have a conversation about the actual topic, so why exactly does Jack have to include insults at all? Why do you? You pretend to care about the "logic and facts," so why do yo have to accuse people of living in an "emotionally filled ignorant world where there [is] no logic or facts?" A bit oxymoronic don't you think?


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Junk sez: I can believe the 20-30 self defense events a week.

Jack replies: Remember, those 20 to 30 dgus were the ones that rose to the level of the police getting involved. Far more happen that the police never hear about.

Junk sez: However, the study mentioned earlier by Jack listed 23 million defensive gun uses (DGUs) a year. Translated to weeks, that would be 442,307 DGUs per week. Does that sound even remotely possible to anyone?

Jack replies: Not even remotely possible… but I think you may have misread that by a factor of ten which would throw your figures off correspondingly. Might want to double check that.

Junk sez: It's also interesting to note what people consider a DGU. Of the original 45 people who claimed a DGU, only 19 saw the perpetrator, had an identifiable crime taking place, and showed or mentioned their weapon. of those 19 left, 6 said the circumstance of the DGU was rape, robbery, or attack, but then admitted that the 'perpetrator' didn't threaten, attack, or injure them. Which, to me, makes it sound like the vast majority of alleged DGUs are simply figments of people's imaginations. "Dude looked suspicious so I copped a feel to my piece. I'd be dead right now if I didn't have it..."

Jack replies: I can name you a number of occurances, and a personal one, where the prsecence of a firearm prevented harm from happening even though there was no overt act that you might consider acceptable in your eyes. For example, a friend was walking with his wife back to the car after a theater night on the outskirts of downtown Chicago. They heard foot steps rush up behind them and a person stepped into the sidewalk about ten feet in front of them. They looked behind and the person coming from that direction had stopped about five feet behind them. They were clearly boxed in between two young men who were not dressed in business suits. Bill swept his coat back and put his hand on his handgun in the small of his back. He did not pull it out but only grasped the butt, ready if necessary. The two opportunists melted away back into the shadows and Bill and his wife crossed over the street and went down the other side.

YOU may claim it was an innocent occurrence, but YOU were not there, needing to protect a wife against a possible horrible event. While we will never know 100 percent just what would have happened that night, I do know for a fact that Bill and his wife made it home safely. And without the police getting involved.

My experience was very similar. A change in path to intercept mine by several people and a rush to crowd me in a corner out of sight. Like Bill, I never actually pulled my gun, but the reaction I gave was not what was expected by the rushers since I knew that I could if it became necessary. Predators want easy prey. When prey doesn’t act “easy” they can quickly leave for other more productive hunting grounds.

Junk sez: An estimate based off of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) estimates that DGUs were actually down around 108,000 per year (at the time of the study). Even that translates to 2,076 events per week.

Jack replies: That study had several significant flaws that could easily have held that number down far below what it should be but that is still a significant number.

Junk sez: Other interesting points from that study are that 593,000 firearms were stolen in that year and that males who carry firearms were 250% more likely to be arrested for a non-traffic offense than non-carrying males. So much for law-abiding eh?

Jack replies: Darn silly remark since you don’t bother to distinguish that virtually all those arrested for those non-offenses were not those with a legal license to carry. How do I know that? In 1994 the CCW movement was just getting off the ground in many states.

Your statement is akin to saying that since those who carry knives are 250 perent more likely to be arrested than those who don’t it goes to prove that surgeons are a criminal minded bunch of people. You conflate a thug with a knife with a surgeon with a scalpel without distinguishing between the two.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

nish sez: You are trying to argue logic and facts against emotions and ignorance.

Jack replies: If only they would come up with a new argument. I've been answering the same five or six arguments for the almost 30 years. From about the second week I got on the net back in 85 I have not heard anything new from the anti-gun folk. And yet, they all think they are so clever. :-)


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

junk sez: There's no problem with Jack's facts, when he actually gets them right, but there is a problem with his need to insult every single person who disagrees with him. He does this without fail.

Jack Translates: Insult = "disagrees with me and shows the silliness of my comments"


Veritas Separatim profile image

Veritas Separatim 3 years ago from Ohio

I, like you am an avid student of History. But unlike you, I am one of those "war buffs" that spends much of time reading about war and the weapons deployed to fight them. I think for some people, there is a natural pull toward it. While I grew up in a good home with a great family I and no one that had ever served in the military before, I found that I felt called to serve my country as a combat infantryman which I did in the Army for 6 years. My yearning to study war, weapons, and the politics surrounding war was not diminished, but strengthened by my taking part in one, and to this day I am thankful for the experience of shedding sweat, tears, and blood for my country.

That being said, I know there is a large group of people in America that have the wrong impression of guns and what they are here at home. First of all, the reason that people get touchy on the subject is because it is not an implicit right, but an explicit right guaranteed to us under the highest legal document in the land. Until an Amendment is made, it is insulting to people when an administration tries to take these rights away without due process- another right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Perhaps some of your misunderstanding can be cleared up in the phrase where you said you thought it was ridiculous that some people think that guns are toys. 99% of guns in the United States are bought as "toys," although you would probably hear the words "sport" or "recreation" instead. We are fortunate to live in a country where you don't have to have an AK in your house just in case the local warlord stops by. Most people (myself included) collect firearms to hunt various types of game, for historical significance, or just simply to enjoy shooting them.

I don't know if you have ever fired a weapon before but for some people it is a pure adrenaline rush. I own dozens of firearms and I can tell you that shooting them is one of my favorite ways to spend my day- whether I am target shooting or hunting. Guns are power manifested in a very small package- and that's the appeal. Why do people want AR-15's? Because its a very powerful weapon that is a hell of a lot of fun to shoot. That's it for 99% of gun owners out there.

Golfing seems like a ridiculous exercise to me (mostly because I am terrible at it) but nonetheless, people spend billions each year in the United States on golf course and golf equipment. It's not my cup o' tea, but whatever floats your boat. This is America.

Lastly, I have to point out that shootings are not on the rise in the United States. In fact, they have been declining since the 1990's steadily. Do shootings happen- yes, of course. So do stabbings, car accidents, and bludgeonings with golf clubs. By the way, the AR-15 was in the limelight because of the Newton shooting. Did you know that the AR-15 was never used in that shooting? It was in the trunk of the guys car the entire time. He used four handguns to kill those kids.

But even if he did use the AR-15, that doesn't mean that we should ban that weapon. Out of the thousands of those rifles produced each year one incident wouldn't be enough to ban anything else. The Left fails in every single argument when it comes to gun control issues because they simply cannot reconcile fiction with fact. The fact is that the guy could have walked into the school with a knife or machete and done the same thing. Banning guns wouldn't have changed the outcome.

You seem like a logical fellow, and I enjoyed the article. But if you really want to know what the appeal of shooting guns is, you should try it once and see what you think. Who knows... you might like it.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Jack,

The study in question identified 45 people who had at least one DGU in 1994, which extrapolated to the total population correlates to 3.1 million people. However, many of that group of 45 people reported multiple DGUs (the one woman reported 52), so the total DGUs reported would have been around 334, which extrapolated amounts to 23 million total DGUs per year, which we both seem to agree is an absurd amount. Point being that trying to estimate a rare event based on a small sample seems to lead to significant overestimates. You claim the NCVS estimate is too low. Fair enough, I don't know much about it, which leaves us a very large spread of potential realities between those two numbers.

Either way, the number of defensive uses is only half the argument. You can't take only the 'good' without also considering the bad.

JACK: "I can name you a number of occurances, and a personal one, where the prsecence of a firearm prevented harm from happening even though there was no overt act that you might consider acceptable in your eyes."

The criteria I mentioned for "genuine" DGUs were put forward by the researchers themselves, so really isn't about what I find acceptable or not. The fact that they excluded 58% of the reported DGUs led me to believe, perhaps unfairly, that people have somewhat jumpy imaginations. I have known a fair number of people who see a hoodie and think they are about to get robbed so wouldn't really be surprised. 12 of the people, for instance, who claimed a DGU, never saw a perpetrator, so what exactly were they even defending against?

Regarding the scenarios you described, I consider the actions of the assailants in both to be threatening, so would consider both to be DGUs. Whether the researchers would or not, I don't know.

JACK: "Darn silly remark since you don’t bother to distinguish that virtually all those arrested for those non-offenses were not those with a legal license to carry."

Study didn't examine legality of carry, and didn't define carry as concealed carry, so would have included things like open carry and vehicle carry.

Aside from the carry issue, the study also found a correlation with gun ownership and the likelihood of having been arrested.

JACK: "Your statement is akin to saying that since those who carry knives are 250 perent more likely to be arrested than those who don’t it goes to prove that surgeons are a criminal minded bunch of people."

My statement would have been akin to that if I had said those who carry guns are 250 percent more likely to be arrested than those who don't proves that police officers are criminal minded bunch of people. I didn't make any such sun-group distinction.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Veritas Separatim,

Adam Lanza entered the school with the AR-15 and two pistols: a Glock 10mm and a Sig-Sauer P226 9mm. A Saiga-12 was in the trunk. All victims were killed with the AR-15. Lanza killed himself with a pistol.

Also, while shootings declined "steadily" in the 90s, they have been relatively flat for the past decade.

Furthermore, right around the same time as the Sandy Hook shooting, a guy in China did walk into a school with a knife and injured around 20 children. None of them died. 26 dead vs no dead sounds like a different outcome to me. Certainly not worthy of infringing on your right to have gungasms though.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Veritas,

Thanks for visiting. Who knows, maybe I would enjoy going to the range. For now, however, I'll stick with the adrenaline rush that I get from racquetball, at least when my knee stops hurting.

As you may have surmised, this hub is not really about gun control or guns in general. It's more like a diary entry, an attempt to process what is going on in my head. Whether justified or not, guns invoke the same reaction in me that I have to a long list of things in our messed up world. Although I realize that the odds of me or my family being the victim of gun violence are slim, a part of me wishes that I lived in a fantasy world where the odds were zero.

I recognize that human beings have killed each other throughout history and would continue to do so whether guns exist or not. But I would argue that there are a couple of key differences between a dangerous person walking around with a machete or a hand gun. First, a person who kills with a gun is a bit more detached from his or her victim than someone who stabs, bludgeons, or strangles someone. In other words, it is easier to kill, both on a practical and psychological level. Second, a person with a gun in a public gathering place can do much more damage than someone with a more primitive weapon.

So can anything practically be done to minimize the possibility of deranged people (or those caught up in a so-called "crime of passion") from killing a bunch of people while also abiding by the second amendment? Maybe, although I don't claim to know enough about the issue to say exactly what. I tend to think, however, that most people favor some sort of weapons regulation that falls far short of taking away everyone's guns. Like most issues, it's about finding some middle ground.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Junk... we can debate stats and studies all day long, with each claiming that my stat is longer than your stat. I am game for that, but essentially it still misses the point of the concept of freedom.

We don't measure or parcel out freedom of religion based upon some ratio of "good Muslims citizens" to "bad Muslim terrorists."

We don't measure or parcel out the freedom to protest, or petition the government based upon some ratio of "pro life activists" to "abortion clinic bombers."

We don't measure or parcel out freedom of the press based upon some ratio of "good, honest reporters" to "Dan Rather and his ilk."

We don't measure or parcel out freedom to be secure in our homes and possessions from unreasonable search based upon some ratio of "good, honest citizens" to "criminals and drug lords."

We don't measure or parcel out our freedom to attend Superbowl parties based upon some ratio of "responsible social drinkers" to "drunk drivers."

You deny my statement that you would limit our freedom to keep and bear arms based upon the actions of the social deviants, the weakest and the mentally unstable. That ~they~ are the determining factor that society should look to in deciding who gets to do what.

Yet, the entire heart of your argument is that "some people misuse" the freedom to have a firearm therefore that freedom must be limited.

You have nothing else to offer.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Ff sez: it is easier to kill, both on a practical and psychological level.

Jack replies: Have you considered that often times the good guys need an “easier to kill” method of self defense other than picking up a rock? It cuts both ways, you know.

FF sez: Second, a person with a gun in a public gathering place can do much more damage than someone with a more primitive weapon.

Jack replies: Have you considered that often times the good guys need to do “much more damage” other than picking up a rock? It cuts both ways, you know.

FF sez: So can anything practically be done to minimize the possibility of deranged people (or those caught up in a so-called "crime of passion") from killing a bunch of people while also abiding by the second amendment?

Jack reples: Should we also find a way to minimize the ability of a scam artist to preach from the Bible and take money away from innocents who believe him while also abiding by the first amendment? Government pre-approved sermons? Mandatory government licenses before preaching? Neither one would actually stop a good guy from ministering to his flock, so what would be the big deal? The first amendment is still functional under those laws.

FF sez: I tend to think, however, that most people favor some sort of weapons regulation that falls far short of taking away everyone's guns.

Jack replies: There are NO “weapons regulation” that is going to “regulate” people who seek to do others harm. Why is this simple concept so hard for others to understand?

FF sez: Like most issues, it's about finding some middle ground.

Jack replies: What other freedoms are you willing to find “middle ground” on? And please study up a bit on the doctrine of prior restraint before answering.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

All laws and regulations are designed to regulate and deter those who might do others harm. If we were all good guys and responsible citizens, we could just ditch the whole concept of laws (and government) in the first place.

Why bother with speeding laws if people are going to drive over the speed limit anyway? Why bother with workplace regulations if there are going to be bad companies who mistreat workers no matter what we do? In fact, driving and workplace regulations seem like examples of the "prior restraint" that you keep mentioning. Instead of telling people how to drive their car, we should just wait until they recklessly crash into people to punish anyone. If someone drives 120 and doesn't hit anyone, it's cool. And until a Triangle Shirtwaist Company

incident occurs, don't punish companies for running sweatshops. We don't want to take away people's freedom to drive a car or run a business after all.

Are preventative measures of any kind unconstitutional? Can you only punish a behavior if that behavior has measurably done harm? If that is the case, and we have a purely punitive, non-preventative legal code, then we are going to have lots of victims or car accidents and bad working conditions. And the punishment of the people who have done harm will do nothing to make up for the harm that was done. Punishment does nothing to establish justice.

That being said, people can go off and do all of the target shooting and hunting that they want, as far as I am concerned. They can also keep a gun in their homes for self-defense. But if someone has demonstrated erratic behavior (or dangerous driving habits), I don't want them walking around with a gun or driving a war. So will background checks and the like stop all or even most gun violence. Probably not. But I don't believe that everyone has an unlimited right to have a gun in public places, drive a car, operate heavy machinery, give out medications, operate a locomotive, or do a host of other potentially dangerous activities. Are these examples of government restricting freedom? Yes. Is that a problem?


Larry Wall 3 years ago

I know of two people who died and another who is paralyzed because of bullets falling from the sky that came from guns shot into the air at a Four of July Celebrations. One was a student my wife taught, and we went to visit the parents. When I seek gun control I am seeking to keep guns out of the hands of people like the two men who shot the guns into the air with no concern about where the bullets would fall. One, the person who shot the former student, was never found. I think the second was arrested, but there was not enough evidence to convict--does not mean he was not guilty--just means he beat the system.

Mr. Burton, if you must do one of your "Larry sez" replies, please don't. Everyone knows what you are going to say.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I should add that the Bill of Rights, of course, does not explicitly protect the right of individuals to drive cars, play doctor, or operate power equipment. They do, however, mention guns. So because our founders had a bad experience with the British crown trying to prevent the arming of local militias, individuals today apparently have a completely unrestricted right to gun ownership. I'm glad that they didn't try to tell people how to ride their horses. People might then argue that we have an unlimited right to operate any form of transportation device in any manner that we wish, and you can only punish people if they drive recklessly and hit someone.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

FF sez: All laws and regulations are designed to regulate and deter those who might do others harm. If we were all good guys and responsible citizens, we could just ditch the whole concept of laws (and government) in the first place.

Jack replies: Laws exist to provide a mechanism of punishment for those who transgress societies boundaries. There is NO law in creation that can and will “stop” a person from doing as they choose if they so choose. The determent comes from people choosing the proper behavior to avoid the punishment. But the law doesn’t stop them. So yes, we have 55 mph speed limits that we agree upon, but we also see people routinely, regularly ignoring it as if it didn’t exist.

If the mere fact of a law was sufficient to “stop” behavior then we would have no robbers, no rapists, and no murderers. And no speeders.

Ff sez: Why bother with speeding laws if people are going to drive over the speed limit anyway?

Jack replies: Well, as you just noted… people are going to drive over the speed limit anyway. But you’re confusing “action” with “state of being.”

Is someone who is speeding actually doing something? Is he taking action that has explicate capability of doing someone harm as a foreseeable consequence?

Compare that with someone who owns the fastest car in the world. Can easily do 195 mph. And he is sitting in his driveway, listening to the radio. His “state of being” is harming no one, is it? He is passive existing, and there is no explicate capability of doing someone harm as a foreseeable consequence.

Or… consider the person who owns the fastest car in the world and he is driving it down the road doing 35 in a 35 mph zone. His “action” is harming no one, is it?

You confuse the three situations and don’t take into account the differences when the same logic is applied to firearms.

A person who owns a firearm, regardless of the kind that it is, is merely in a “state of being.” If you decide that he cannot own that firearm “just because” then you are punishing him just for existing, even though he is harming no one.

Or a person who owns a firearm and uses is responsibly and legally. Perhaps he is carrying a legally concealed handgun. His “action” is harming no one, is it?

And the third guy… he’s taking actions that may bring immediately harm to others, perhaps by firing his gun, or using it to mug someone. His “actions” are the same as the person doing 85 in a 15 mph school zone.

If you want to pass a law that allows society to punish someone for his actions that are causing harm (or likely to cause immediate harm) to someone then go for it. That is reasonable.

If you want to pass a law that allows society to punish someone merely for a state of being that harms no one on the idea that less than one hundredth of one percent of those who are in that state do harm to others then that is unreasonable.

Until you understand that you will never understand why those who are against gun control disagree with you.

BTW… background checks do absolutely nothing to prevent those who would do harm to others from doing harm. They would not have stopped Sandy Hook, they would not have stopped Columbine, or Virginia Tech or virtually any other incident that you can name.

Second BTW… it would do you a world of good to study up on the differences between “malum prohibitum” and "malum in se" if you really want to discuss laws, why we have them, and what they are supposed to accomplish.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/malu...


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Okay, Larry... if you want gun control to keep guns out of the hands of people like the two men who shot the guns into the air with no concern about where the bullets would fall just why do you believe that these men no concern and no regard for existing laws are going to pay the least, little bit of attention to any new law that you pass?

There's a certain amount of logic that needs to go into these discussions. Emotions are not enough to carry the day.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: People might then argue that we have an unlimited right to operate any form of transportation device in any manner that we wish, and you can only punish people if they drive recklessly and hit someone.

Jack replies: I hope you revisit this sentence in light of the discussion about state of being and action.


Mike 3 years ago

Larry, I think the pro-gun side essentially wants the same thing as you. I think most of us just want responsiblity placed on the individual rather than the firearm. Take care.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Jack, as to stats I'm not trying to win, just trying to get some accuracy.

As to freedom, I think we parcel it out in our vote. My vote goes towards repealing the 2nd Amendment and eliminating firearms from society. I don't have to justify it to you or anyone. That's freedom too.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

OK. So if a person has a record of reckless driving or has various physical or mental impairments that would prevent them from driving safely, then the state can only restrict that person's ability to drive. The state cannot restrict his or her ability to own a car. The act of possessing a car is not the same as using it.

So a person walking around with a gun should not get in trouble because that person is not at the moment using the gun to do anything. But I imagine that it is OK for the state to implement regulations that set guidelines for how guns are actually used in public, similar to how it does things with driving. You can regulate actions, but not "states of being."

I can understand your argument in theory, although in practical terms the line between state of being and action may not always be so clear, and it may make sense to put rules in place to reduce the possibility of one's state of being instantly transitioning into dangerous actions.I'm not sure, for instance, if people should be allowed to walk into bars with their guns on holsters (Bonanza style).

Of course, you might reply that bad people are just going to ignore these rules anyway. The same, however, can be said for any rules designed to prevent bad things from happening, so maybe we should just abandon all of those and simply punish people once the damage has been done.

Feel free to reply to me one more time. I'll let you have the last word. After that, I'll only reply to new commenters (unless it's just the same old generic stuff).


Larry Wall 3 years ago

Mr Burton:

Using your logic, we need no laws because bad or irresponsible people are going to bad things. Drunks are still going to drive. People with cars will not buy or maintain insurance, etc. In the case of the student, who was killled by the falling bullet, it was possible to get an idea of where the bullet came from based on the trajectory of the bullet. If we knew who had guns in that part of town, we might be able to track down the shooter.

My son is 29 years old. If he wants to go buy a gun he can, and I cannot stop him--he is an adult. I can ban it from the house. However, he can buy it. You would say that is his right. My son is virtually blind. To my knowledge, there is no law that says you have to have a certain level of vision to own a gun--there should be-he should not own a gun. His vision in one eye is 20/400 and the field of vision is only 40 percent of normal. The other eye is 20/200. On top of that he is color blind. There are reasonable limits that can be set for gun ownership and use. Why should a person own a gun if he does not know how to use it, I mean really how to use it--how to aim properly, squeeze the trigger instead of jerking it. When to hold a pistol with both hands, how to apply and release the safety, how to store ammunition and all the other things you have learned about guns over the years but take for granted that everyone knows. Well, everyone does not know. That is why I think a person should take a gun safety course, and why they should be required to take a course in how to use a gun properly and if it was feasible, let them walk through one of those FBI simulators where you have to decide if the target is friendly or a threat before firing.

The key words are safety and preservation of life. Bad guys will get guns and do bad things. I want to limit the guns that are available, make owners accountable for the whereabouts of those guns and to know how to use them. If we save a life--one life--the person who may someoday perhaps discovered the cure for some rare diseases, then the inconvenience and the alleged "encroachment" upon your rights will be worthwhile. Because some people can take over-the-counter drugs and turn them into something dangerous, I have to ask for those medications, and I think you have to sign a form. The constitution does not recognize the right for an individual to determine if he needs medication, and they buy that medication as he pleases. The constitution does not prohibit children from working in sweat shops. The constitution does not allow me to make remarks about you that I cannot prove that may prove to be libelous, even though I have the right to free speech and free press. I just wish the gun advocates would be willing to give a little and recognized the need for some degree of regulation. I know one rule leads to another and another, but we can face that one issue at a time.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Add YourFF sez: OK. So if a person has a record of reckless driving or has various physical or mental impairments that would prevent them from driving safely, then the state can only restrict that person's ability to drive. The state cannot restrict his or her ability to own a car. The act of possessing a car is not the same as using it.

Jack replies: You’re definitely getting closer. If a person has a “record” or is adjudicated through the justice system in some way then his status as an individual is not the same as those who have not. There are many restrictions placed on those who are rightfully judged dangerous to society. Some say those restrictions go too far, others say if they are dangerous why are they walking around free.

But you need to understand that your sentences up there are concerning those who DO have a “record” and not those of the average citizen therefore the act of “possessing” a car, a gun, a knife, a computer or any number of other things that got him into trouble is different.

BTW… in virtually all states a car that does not leave private property does not have to be registered.

Ff sez: So a person walking around with a gun should not get in trouble because that person is not at the moment using the gun to do anything. But I imagine that it is OK for the state to implement regulations that set guidelines for how guns are actually used in public, similar to how it does things with driving. You can regulate actions, but not "states of being."

Jack replies: Which is exactly what most states do. It is illegal to shoot someone unnecessarily. It is illegal to shoot up in the air. It is illegal to threaten someone with a weapon unless it is in self-defense. It is illegal to shoot within city limits unless needed. You need a license to “carry” a handgun. All these regulate action that may hurt others and (except for the CCW license) I don’t know of a gun owner that objects to any of them.

Ff sez: I can understand your argument in theory, although in practical terms the line between state of being and action may not always be so clear, and it may make sense to put rules in place to reduce the possibility of one's state of being instantly transitioning into dangerous actions.I'm not sure, for instance, if people should be allowed to walk into bars with their guns on holsters (Bonanza style).

Jack replies: I am glad you’re keeping an open mind and willing to think about these things. Yes, the line can be close but I prefer to draw the line on the side of freedom.

A critical fact that you should remember is that there are less than .001 percent of those who have a gun who misuse them. The other 99.999 percent do no harm. That tells me that “the possibility of one's state of being instantly transitioning into dangerous actions” is extremely slight. Extremely, extremely slight. And as I asked Junk, are we to curtail the freedoms of all because of those .001 percent who are not going to follow any laws anyway? His answer is “yes.”

BTW… it has been perfectly legal in Indiana and a number of other states to walk into a bar with guns on holsters and yet we don’t see the problems that you fear. Without a sure knowledge of reality and the way the world actually works the laws can try to solve non-existent problems.

Ff sez: Of course, you might reply that bad people are just going to ignore these rules anyway. The same, however, can be said for any rules designed to prevent bad things from happening, so maybe we should just abandon all of those and simply punish people once the damage has been done.

Jack replies: Do you suggest punishing people before they do any harm… kinda like “Minority Report”?

Comment...


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

junk sez: As to freedom, I think we parcel it out in our vote. My vote goes towards repealing the 2nd Amendment and eliminating firearms from society. I don't have to justify it to you or anyone. That's freedom too.

jack replies: You can attempt to repeal with 2nd without any perceived need for "justification" to the country and people. I'd pay to see it.

But I am glad to note that the freedom of black people to participate in our society is subject to a "vote." I guess the old Jim Crow laws were pretty okay then, eh.

And the German-catholic town I was brought up in did right in voting to change the zoning laws to prevent the new Baptist church from setting up operations.

And since the Patriot Act which curtailed freedoms was voted in by a majority of Democrats and Repblicans then no one should have an objection to it.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Jack, I know I promised to shut up, but I have a couple more simple questions. (Believe it or not, I'm curious about your point of view, not trying to win an argument.)

If it is unconstitutional to regulate the state of possessing a gun, should there be any limitations on where a citizen (without a criminal record) can take that gun? Taking a gun somewhere, after all, is not an action by your definition. So can people take guns into sports stadiums, rock concerts, commercial airplanes, public schools, auditoriums in which the president is going to speak, or Disneyland? And is it constitutional for some of these venues to use metal detectors or searches to prevent people from bringing in guns? (Shouldn't these venues, particularly the private ones, have the right to set and enforce their own rules? If people don't like them, then they can go somewhere else. No one has the right to go to Disneyland.)

If a person has engaged in criminal behavior in the past, is it justified to restrict that person's ability to purchase or possess a gun? (I recognize, of course, that a person like that might find ways to get one anyway, just like people are going to drive around without a license.)


Mike 3 years ago

@flyer

"So a person walking around with a gun should not get in trouble because that person is not at the moment using the gun to do anything. But I imagine that it is OK for the state to implement regulations that set guidelines for how guns are actually used in public, similar to how it does things with driving. You can regulate actions, but not "states of being.""

There really seems to be a lot of ignorance of current firearm regulations among the people supporting more firearms restriction. I really think the anti-gun organizations are deliberately pushing misinformation to help their cause. In the paragraph above you were implying people should not be allowed to just run around with firearms. There are already detailed laws governing how firearms can be carried and used. The left is trying to argue that those opposed to their new bans want Dodge City. That's just not the case. They're totally disregarding the 20,000 gun laws already on the books which are often not enforced.

I live in the very pro-gun State of Texas and I also have a concealed carry permit. This allows me to carry a concealed pistol in many locations here. Anyone with the permit who even shows that pistol is going to be in a world of hurt if it's deemed unjustified. I'm also not allowed to open carry and can get in trouble for not concealing the pistol adequately.

"I can understand your argument in theory, although in practical terms the line between state of being and action may not always be so clear, and it may make sense to put rules in place to reduce the possibility of one's state of being instantly transitioning into dangerous actions.I'm not sure, for instance, if people should be allowed to walk into bars with their guns on holsters (Bonanza style)."

Again, I think your disregarding the current laws. In Texas, a person with a concealed carry permit is not allowed to bring a firearm into a bar or an establishment that makes 51% of their money through the sale of alcohol. They are also not allowed to carry anywhere if they have consumed alcohol. Please do some research on the current gun laws. I think you will be surprised at the number of restrictions already in place.


Mike 3 years ago

@ freeway

Wow. I politely addressed your arguments and you deleted my post. Thanks dude.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Jack,

Your points are silly. It's pretty clear that some amount of gun regulation is Constitutionally acceptable, so I can vote for those even without doing anything to the 2nd. Doing more, as in a complete ban, might require repealing the 2nd, but I did specifically mention that as the first step. With it gone, you have no claim of Constitutional violation as in those other cases, so you are not comparing comparable things.

What I would personally do, doesn't really matter. My point was only that if you think disagreeing with your position on guns means people don't care about freedom, than you are just plain wrong.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I did not delete your post. Posts only appear when I have approved them. Since I'm not on Hubpages every second, it sometimes takes a while for it to appear. So you might want to do some research on Hubpages comment settings before getting all bent out of shape.

I'm aware that there are plenty of gun laws. The comment you quote from was one of many responses to Jack. So if you go back and read our ongoing dialogue, then they should make more sense. (He has more or less been arguing that there should be no regulations regarding guns)


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Ff sez: Jack, I know I promised to shut up, but I have a couple more simple questions. (Believe it or not, I'm curious about your point of view, not trying to win an argument.)

Jack replies: Ask away. I am always glad to help folk understand the issues. You should know that on many of your questions, though, there is no general consensus amoung those who are firearm owners… even amoung the activists such as myself. I’ll try to give you the range of opinions but just know that if you get five gun owners together you might have seven or eight opinions expressed.

Most gunowners understand there is a difference between the government actions regulating the possession of a firearm and the actions of a private party. Before I get too far into that though there is a argument that is often expressed over two, sometimes conflicting “rights.”

The first is the right to protect and defend yourself. This is seen by many as one of the most basic rights anywhere at anytime, since it is exhibited even by one-celled bacteria through the most complex organisms. The other is the right to your private property, and the ability to set the rules as you see fit on your own property.

Some believe that the right to self defense by the best means possible outweighs the right to another’s private property rules. Others believe just the opposite. I have never seen a middle ground on this that is acceptable to anyone. Which way a person leans determines many of the answers to your questions.

Any limits on where people can take guns? Depends. The government should not be in the position of determining that according to many. Government property is public property and should be accessible to those who are exercising their rights. Carrying firearms on private property should be the decision of the property owner. The government taking the decision away from the property owner is wrong.

Airports and aboard planes. The acceptable rational to many activists is that because the government is “taking responsibility” for your safety that the government can therefore demand that the secure areas be gun free. Other’s point out that for decades the average citizen carried guns aboard planes, trains and busses and there simply was no problem with them. Nada. Banning guns on planes is attempting to solve a problem that never existed according to them.

[Please know that no handgun is going to bring down a modern jet liner by putting a small hole in the side of the plane. It is a Hollywood invention.]

In Indiana legally carried handguns are allowed in all parts of the airport except past the secure, screened areas. This is common to many states.

BTW… the “secure area” is again the rational for those who state the government can declare an area to not be allowed for firearms such as a government building or a presidential speech. If I have to pass a metal detector to gain access the government is supposedly created a guaranteed “safe area” for me. Supposedly.

Sports stadiums and the like. Again, depends. If it is private property then the property owner makes the rules. As you said, no one has the right to go to Disneyland, and the act of buying a ticket says you agree to abide by their rules which include a metal detection search if they decide to do so.

Government laws against carrying on private property generally fall into one of two types, and one of two flavors. Knowing which one is which is critical when carrying a handgun out of your state.

The government may say that certain areas are forbidden to have guns, period. For example, here in Indiana it is illegal for those otherwise licensed to carry to carry in a private day care for children. The day care owner has no choice in the matter. In some states, it is illegal to carry within a church or during a service, regardless of what the pastor or elders feel about the issue. The same for a bar, or a restaurant, or a casino. I personally find the government forcing private business into their choice as reprehensible.

So the two types are those private business that are off limits by law as above, and those private businesses that are off limits because they themselves choose to not allow someone to carry within the property. This can be any type of business and they can have any justification they choose.

The two flavors of laws are the potential punishment or the actual breaking of the law by carrying into a business that has decided on their own not to allow it. In Texas, for example, if the business has posted the “no guns” sign in accordance with the standards set by the state law then it is actually a violation of the law to carry in the business. You can be arrested and charged merely for having an otherwise legal firearm on the property.

In other states, there is no law to enforce. The business cannot legally post and demand that you be arrested for disobeying their sign. However, they can ask you to leave and if you don’t you can be arrested for trespass, the same as you would be for disobeying a “no shoes, no shirt, no service” sign. It’s not against the law to carry in there… it is against the law to refuse to leave when asked.

I give the background to share the rest. There is quite a disagreement amoung those who legally carry as to how to treat those stores who are posted. In states that make it illegal to carry it is a bit easier just to say, “I won’t break the law.” In other states where it is a mere trespass law, many have the concept of “concealed is concealed” or “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Some gun owners consider it perfectly ethical to waltz pass a sign, others consider it a trespass against the property owner’s wishes.

As far as past criminal behavior, then one has to ask a number of questions. If the person is so dangerous why is he walking around free. Why can the person who spent ten years in jail for stabbing his wife allowed to buy an unlimited number of butcher knives? Why is the person who was busted 30 years ago for having a joint which “might” have caused him to serve a year in jail still not allowed to own a firearm even though he never actually went to jail and has had a spotless life since then? Why is the uber-dangerous Martha Stewart not allowed to have a firearm? Does the 4-year old child of a man who embezzled on his taxes 20 years ago have the same right to be protected by a firearm as your 4-year old child?

This question starts flame wars every time it is brought up on gun forums. There are those “law and order” types who demand that once a criminal, always a criminal, and others who have more flexibility on the issue. Is ~every~ sentence a life-long sentence, or when you have done your time do you get your rights back?


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Mike sez: Wow. I politely addressed your arguments and you deleted my post. Thanks dude.

Jack replies: Mike, hubpages has changed in the past few days and some posts are disappearing for up to 12 hours after being posted. Hang on, and it will come back.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: He has more or less been arguing that there should be no regulations regarding guns

Jack replies: I think that might be a mischarecterization of my position.


Mike 3 years ago

Fair enough. We'll let Jack clarify his postion on firearm laws, but the majority of the pro-gun folks I know aren't asking for all the laws to be repealed. They simply don't want more laws passed that will only impact law abiding citizens without any effect on gun violence. The people championing the cause know almost nothing about firearms and have armed security. Feinstein even had a concealed carry permit in the state of California. How many other people do you think had permits in San Francisco at that time?


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Mike and Jack,

As you both say, gun owners, like non-gun owners who call for various forms of gun regulations, are hardly a monolithic group. I have come across many gun owners and second amendment advocates who support various forms of regulations.

Much of our discussion, Jack, has been theoretical. When you get down to practical, everyday questions, things get a bit trickier, hence the various positions from gun owners and gun control advocates alike. The same goes for most political discussions. It's part of the reason why I generally avoid political discussions these days. Too much of the time, the discussions stay theoretical, a realm where it is easier to hold more extremist positions.

I would be curious, and asked earlier, if there are any types of preventative measures that you would support? If nothing else, I would at least want to know the gun policies of a theme park, airport, sports stadium, or government building before entering. People can then respond accordingly.

Thanks for your detailed comments. It's always helpful to hear as many points of view as possible.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Junk sez: Your points are silly.

Jack replies: Then why do you struggle and fail to come up with a single, logical refutation of them… as will be demonstrated here in just a moment.

Junk sez: It's pretty clear that some amount of gun regulation is Constitutionally acceptable, so I can vote for those even without doing anything to the 2nd.

Jack replies: And it’s pretty clear to everyone that some amount of speech, religion and other regulation is Constitutionally acceptable, so we can vote those regulations such as denying the Baptist church a place in town even without doing anything to the 1st based upon YOUR statement that freedoms are subject to a "vote."

Where’s your denial of that? Your arguments against it. Oh…. You don’t have any. You’ve boxed yourself into a corner with your previous statements and you just simply have no way out other than to ignore the gapping rip in your posts.

Junk sez: Doing more, as in a complete ban, might require repealing the 2nd, but I did specifically mention that as the first step.

Jack replies: BTW… junk actually believes that the Constitution grants rights. Further evidence of his ignorance of the founding of our country and the philosophies behind it.

Junk sez: With it gone, you have no claim of Constitutional violation as in those other cases, so you are not comparing comparable things.

Jack replies: And we merely repeal the 1st, and the Baptist have no claim of Constitutional violation for being run out of town, eh. And the 14th so the black community has no claim of Constitutional violation, eh. And all the others so the Patriot Act can’t possible violate the Constitution. Bang…. Comparable situations all around.

Junk sez: What I would personally do, doesn't really matter. My point was only that if you think disagreeing with your position on guns means people don't care about freedom, than you are just plain wrong.

Jack replies: I don’t know if you “care” about freedom. I can tell from your writing about it that you have no clue as to how it works, where it comes from, how to sustain it, how to nourish it, and how to ensure your children and grandchildren participate in it. And in this case I am just plain correct.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: if there are any types of preventative measures that you would support?

Jack replies: Do you own a car?


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Yes, and I even drive it. I'm not sure if the car/gun analogy entirely works (even though I keep using it). A car can be deadly, but it has the practical function of moving people around. The only practical function of a gun is to shoot things (and possibly people). Still, this conversation has clearly demonstrated (at least to me) that I have no idea what if anything can be done in terms of gun laws to reduce violence. This is tricky stuff, and the people who annoy me the most are those who think that the issue is prett cut and dry. I can say the same about most political issues.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Not why I asked if you have a car. Nothing to do with guns or firearms or the purpose of either.

A car is made up of many systems. You have the hydralics, the electrical system, the engine itself, the body and other parts. The engine has it's own sub-systems.

Now... you can ask, what preventative measures one should/would "support" to help the car run smooth and with the least amount of wear and tear, but FIRST you have to define the system that you are concerned about.

If a car model is known for a engine that never wears out even under abuse but having a body that rusts in five year, then having preventative measures to keep the engine running and neglecting the body just doesn't make sense.

The best preventative measures match up to the greatest areas of concern.

Now... let's bring it back home.

There are many different areas of concern about our society and the violence that is found in some of those areas.

For example, about 80 percent of all crime is committed in urban zip codes with a significant minority population. Until this is openly and honestly acknowledged by our lawmakers and society then trying to come up with a "preventative measure" that works is futile.

About 80 percent of domestic killings are done in homes that have multiple police calls prior to the murders. Trying to come up with a "preventative measure" that broadly treats ALL families as the same is futile.

There are many different examples that I can come up with. You want me to come up with "preventative measures" that I would be agreeable with? Okay... first YOU come up with the specific society problems with firearms that are trying to be prevented. Urban crime? Recidivist crime? Crimes from a feeling of entitlement? Third-world shooting guns up in the air on New Years Eve celebration crimes?

There are no "one size fits all" preventative measures because there are dozens of motivating factors behind the behavioral groups.

Just this past Sunday one of the leaders promoting the proposed gun control laws in Congress admitted on TV that the bill would have done nothing to stop or prevent Sandy Hook. When asked why he was trying to push a bill that did not actually do anything to solve the problem that caused the bill to be put forth he did the only thing he could -- change the subject.

Define the specific problem... .then we talk possible solutions.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Jack,

I think you are confused about how things work. We can vote for anything we want, right? Good or bad. It happens all the time. I don't really think that is even disputable. We can vote to prevent certain people from marrying, we can vote for assault weapon bans, etc.

After something becomes law, it can be judicially challenged (DOMA is a good current example). Some gun regulations have been passed, then challenged and upheld to be Constitutionally acceptable. California's assault weapons ban, the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989, is an example. That law was challenged, and that challenge defeated. Hence, That gun regulation has passed Constitutional muster.

Similarly, a law could be passed blocking the citing of a Baptist church, but it would very likely have a suit brought against it and be unable to withstand Constitutional scrutiny. Freedom would be restored. That's the way things work, dude. It's American Government 101, so I don't know why you are the one slandering me for ignorance.

JACK: "junk actually believes that the Constitution grants rights..."

I didn't say that. Why respond if you aren't even going to read. "With it gone, you have no claim of Constitutional violation," is what I said. If that isn't true than tell me what Constitutional claim you would have to challenge a firearms ban.

Arsenals do not create or sustain freedom. They never have and they never will. They are simply cheap tools which allow those with small minds and a lack of imagination to pretend their might is built of grace.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Jack,

Good answer (to my question). I won't comment on either you or junkseller's statements in your ongoing conversation.

Complicated problems don't have simple solutions. And since violence has multiple causes, we need to look at comprehensive plans to reduce it. A lot of gun regulations are probably, as you say, ineffective. They are often likely an attempt by politicians to create the appearance of action. And if effective gun laws are possible, they need to be part of a package that addresses both root causes and specific situations. Simplistic measures, and one size fits all programs, don't generally work too well.

This gets complicated, however, and politicians don't do complicated very well. When it's hard to even get simple things passed in the current political environment, it's really a bitch to do anything comprehensive. This is why I said in my original hub that you end up with mostly just talk.


Mike 3 years ago

@junk

Did you bother to interpret, or at least read, the past few posts before your last rant?


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Mike... no, junk has posted in other hubs that he actually doesn't read the answering follow up posts to his posts. That kind of makes it harder to keep him on focus with the thread and conversation.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Junk sez: I think you are confused about how things work. We can vote for anything we want, right? Good or bad. It happens all the time. I don't really think that is even disputable. We can vote to prevent certain people from marrying, we can vote for assault weapon bans, etc.

Jack replies: I’ll let Prof. Althouse answer…

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2013/04/i-am-constrai...

junk sez: After something becomes law, it can be judicially challenged (DOMA is a good current example). … Similarly, a law could be passed blocking the citing of a Baptist church, but it would very likely have a suit brought against it and be unable to withstand Constitutional scrutiny. Freedom would be restored. That's the way things work, dude. It's American Government 101, so I don't know why you are the one slandering me for ignorance.

Jack replies: Junk really believes that ~until~ a law is “declared by the court” to be unconstitutional then it is therefore constitutional. Until that law against the Baptists happens to make it to the court then it is okay because there is no ruling against it.

And it the court happens to agree with it… well, alrighty then. Move along and nothing to stare at.

And if you don’t believe that that the Constitution grants rights then where do you suppose they come from if a mere majority vote can take them away?

Junk sez: Arsenals do not create or sustain freedom. They never have and they never will.

Jack replies: I’ll tell my great-gramma that the arsenals backing up the American troops didn’t set her and her kids free from Dachau. She’ll get a kick out of that.

Junk sez: They are simply cheap tools which allow those with small minds and a lack of imagination to pretend their might is built of grace.

Jack replies: This small minded father with a lack of imagination pretending to save himself and his children with a cheap tool certainly didn’t depend upon junk to jump in and save his family…

Father of 2 Shoots, Kills Home Intruder

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Home-Int...

Make no mistake about it. Junk’s preference is that this family be at the mercy of those two social deviants.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

ff sez: This gets complicated, however, and politicians don't do complicated very well.

Jack replies: I am not the "answerman" myself. But I am glad that it seems as if you now have a better understanding of the grandstanding that the anti-gun side uses when they claim that the NRA and other groups are "standing in the way" of doing something.


Mike 3 years ago

@Jack

"Junk sez: Arsenals do not create or sustain freedom. They never have and they never will.

Jack replies: I’ll tell my great-gramma that the arsenals backing up the American troops didn’t set her and her kids free from Dachau. She’ll get a kick out of that."

I was initially thinking of King George when I first read his statement, but good point on Dachau. Folks like junk don't understand the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights. They'll simply say that they are antiquated items from a previous era. The problem with their argument is that the principles behind them have not changed. History continually repeats itself due to ignorance and a feeling that society has progressed past former logic. The perfect example is World War 1, the war to end all wars. We saw what came afterwards. It's time for folks like junk to shake off the fairy dust and really look at what our founding fathers were creating.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Jack,

The problem with you is that you are always inventing arguments never said. Your trying to claim that I find it acceptable, or agree with, the concept that whatever we do is right, or as Althouse says, "...rights are only another manifestation of what the people want."

I have never said I agree with this concept in any way at all. In fact, I have specifically mentioned the importance of judicial checks. All I have said is that people DO vote for things all the time without necessarily considering right/wrong or constitutionality (a couple examples have been mentioned). I am stating this as a simple reality.

JACK: Junk really believes that ~until~ a law is “declared by the court” to be unconstitutional then it is therefore constitutional.

Once again, I never said this. My only claim of a law being constitutional was when it had been challenged and reviewed by a court and deemed constitutionally acceptable. That doesn't necessarily mean right or wrong or that it will always be so, but for now it is. Do you disagree?

JACK: Until that law against the Baptists happens to make it to the court then it is okay because there is no ruling against it.

Where exactly did I say this would be "okay." In fact I had just gotten done saying that such a law would likely be challenged and eliminated thereby "restoring freedom." Obviously I don't find it okay. It is blatantly stupid to insinuate I don't care about things (e.g. constitutional protections, judicial review) when I specifically say I care about those things.

It's kind of funny you accuse me of getting off focus. My original point, which was simply an opinion and didn't even really warrant a response, was that I measure freedom by my vote. What's so wrong about that? You then have mangled that into a ridiculous proposition that because I would vote for gun regulations I must also be okay with things like Jim Crow laws and the Patriot Act. This is straight up bullshit. They are not equivalent things. Gun regulations (some) have been challenged in court and upheld. Jim Crow laws have been challenged and defeated. Patriot Act hasn't been challenged as a whole, that I know of, but parts of it have, and some parts have been stricken. Apples will never be oranges no matter how hard you try.


Aussiejoe 3 years ago

As you can tell by the name I don;t live in the USA, and our gun laws are different, but the arguments for and against are much the same, no matter where you come from or live, as an ex vet with 6 years military I received some very good training and I must admit that I do own several rifles all registered and secured in a gun safe (mandatory over here) and had the Police call by on several occasions to carry out random checks not a problem but the thing I keep seeing is the lack of the anti gun lobbies taking into account other ways of killing ie knives (machetes included) axes, cars kill thousands, and even the simple baseball bat can make a handy weapon when you teach someone the basics where you have the bat and both pretend his head is the baseball.

that doesn't even start on the martial arts training that's available all over the country in most towns all designed to kill or maim, yep its a sick world out there and there's a lot of things that can kill you from spiders and snakes to guns, and there's always going to be the criminal element that doesn't live by the rules. Hand guns are outlawed here other than for security guards doing pay escorts or armored cars so guess where the criminal element gets some of their hand guns, yep break and enters into the security office premises, personally I'm fed up with the knee jerk reactions or over reaction of certain groups, and happy there are people out there that are trained in weapons use be they police, military or civilians hunters.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Mike,

That's twice now you have claimed I don't know something despite not actually identifying something I don't know. The mere fact that I come to different conclusions doesn't mean I don't know something, it just means I come to a different conclusion.

If you really want to factually challenge my knowledge, at least be man enough to actually do so rather than just insinuate as much. You'll be wasting your time though.

The soup of life is a big pot. I have a tremendous respect for the founding fathers but I'm under no obligation to BE them. A multitude of philosophical and intellectual morsels are available for dining on and you calling them "fairy dust" is pretty disrespectful in my opinion. You like Washington and Jefferson? Fine, I won't begrudge you that. I like Tolstoy and Gandhi and they would easily hold up against them in an intellectual cage match.

Incidentally, CT just passed some gun regulations today: "background checks for all gun sales; eligibility certificates mandated for purchase of any rifle or shotgun and for ammunition; a tougher version of the state's existing assault weapons ban that adds more gun models by name and continues the requirement that existing owners must register with the state; a ban on the sale or purchase of gun magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds each and a requirement that existing larger-capacity magazines be registered and not loaded with more than 10 rounds outside a residence; a requirement that people convicted of some 40 gun crimes register with the state for five years after their release. The legislation also sets school safety standards and establishes a task force on mental health."

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/04/1199099/-...


Mike 3 years ago

@ junk

Granted, you are free to come to your own conclusions. That doesn't mean I have to agree with them or even respect them. The anti-gun proponents, like you, absolutely fail to look at the intent of the Second Amendment or the place firearms held in American society. You argue firearm restrictions on the premise that our founding fathers would restrict current firearms because they could not understand the current technology. They weren't interested in preserving muskets, they wanted the people to have a way of preserving their freedom. The other argument is that in the Second Amendment, the militia referred to the military. How can that be when most of our founding fathers were opposed to a standing army. George Mason, the co-author of the Second Amendment summed up his definition of the militia when he said:

"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

You are correct in your assumption that I admire Jefferson and Washington. Here are a couple of quotes by them on firearms:

"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."

-Thomas Jefferson

"Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

-George Washington

Interesting you brought up the new state regulations. We now have Magpul leaving Colarado, Colt looking at leaving Connecticut, and Beretta considering leaving Maryland. Congratulations on your victories. The new laws will do nothing to decrease violence and will cost those states hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue.


Mike 3 years ago

Hey dude, could you please turn off the approval mode and just let comments be posted immediately?


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Mike,

I sometimes get some spam and some occasional weird comments. At one point, I received dozens of comments from the same spammer in a matter of days. Plus, my hubs don't usually trigger long discussions/arguments between people like this one has.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Mike,

Please DON'T agree with me. Heck, the last thing I want is a world of zombies who all agree with one another. My only gripe was you saying I don't know anything without pointing out something I don't know.

There is a lot to read on the Second Amendment. I've always felt that what Madison said about it in the Federalist papers is a key element of what the founders intended. Madison talked specifically about the ratio that was necessary between the standing army and a potential citizen militia (I think it was around 1:25). That's what was felt was necessary to provide a proper check to the central government.

So, the question is, and I think it is a legitimate one, has the Second Amendment in fact prevented such a powerful central government? I think the answer is clearly, no. The central government is now in control of the most capable and powerful military ever to exist. So, my dismissal of the Second isn't because I am not concerned about the power of the federal government, but because I think it has completely failed as a check to that power and is useless to do anything about it.

MIKE: "You argue firearm restrictions on the premise that our founding fathers would restrict current firearms because they could not understand the current technology. They weren't interested in preserving muskets, they wanted the people to have a way of preserving their freedom."

I didn't actually make this argument, but I do think the founders would write a very different Second Amendment today than they did originally. Not necessarily because of the change in weapon technology, but simply because of the change in all technology. The thing they wouldn't have been able to conceive of was the digital world we live in today. Guns are fine for defending physical property, they do nothing to protect virtual property. If the government wants to take from us, they don't have to leave the office, they just push a button on their computer and take all of our money, shut off our utilities, block our communications, or even wipe out our identities. Preserving freedom requires having the tools to counteract the weapons that might potentially be used against us, and given the state of things, I find rifles about as useful as stones (against the government).

One tool I do believe very strongly in, however, is my vote, which I have already mentioned. Though someone like Jack is going to conclude that my not liking weapons means I don't know anything about freedom, he's completely wrong, which I tried to point out. I believe in fighting for freedom as much as anyone I just think that the most effective tools we have to do so are advocating for non-violence and our democratic vote rather than rifles and bunkers.

As for the Connecticut law, I haven't really looked at the details. Not sure I would agree with them, so it isn't my victory. For instance, while I tend to agree with registration, I tend not to agree with the assault weapons ban. The school safety standards and mental health task force might be good things. That usually depends on the details and implementation.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Junk sez: The problem with you is that you are always inventing arguments never said. Your trying to claim that I find it acceptable, or agree with, the concept that whatever we do is right, or as Althouse says, "...rights are only another manifestation of what the people want."

Jack replies: I just take your very own statements at face value. If you state you believe in unicorns it is not a stretch for me to state that you believe in fantasy beings. You may (rightfully) whine that you never said that you believe in “fantasy beings” but I think the Dear Readers will side with my statement and understanding of your beliefs nevertheless.

Junk sez: I have never said I agree with this concept in any way at all. In fact, I have specifically mentioned the importance of judicial checks. All I have said is that people DO vote for things all the time without necessarily considering right/wrong or constitutionality (a couple examples have been mentioned). I am stating this as a simple reality.

Jack replies: No… you said it with glee in your fingers. As if voting for an unconstitutional issue was of no great consequence.

Junk sez: Once again, I never said this. My only claim of a law being constitutional was when it had been challenged and reviewed by a court and deemed constitutionally acceptable. That doesn't necessarily mean right or wrong or that it will always be so, but for now it is. Do you disagree?

Jack replies: You have it backwards of what you posted earlier.

Junk sez: Where exactly did I say this would be "okay." In fact I had just gotten done saying that such a law would likely be challenged and eliminated thereby "restoring freedom." Obviously I don't find it okay.

Jack replies: “likely”? And what happens to your “feelings” when it doesn’t make it to court? Or the court rules against the Baptists? And even in the meantime? Would you enforce such a law while it took 8 to 9 years to move through the system?

Junk sez: It is blatantly stupid to insinuate I don't care about things (e.g. constitutional protections, judicial review) when I specifically say I care about those things.

Jack replies: I’d say it is spot on the mark that you don’t care about these things when you want to repeal a key Constitutional part of our freedoms.

Junk sez: It's kind of funny you accuse me of getting off focus. My original point, which was simply an opinion and didn't even really warrant a response, was that I measure freedom by my vote. What's so wrong about that?

Jack replies: Because you believe yuou can vote other people’s freedoms away. How about that for “wrong.”

Junk sez: You then have mangled that into a ridiculous proposition that because I would vote for gun regulations I must also be okay with things like Jim Crow laws and the Patriot Act.

Jack replies: And you’ve yet to explain why you wouldn’t be, eh. One man’s “freedom” is another man’s right to do away with according to you, and if you can that easily do away with the right to keep and bear arms who are we to know where and when you would stop. We know your heels are round, just not how round.

Junk sez: Gun regulations (some) have been challenged in court and upheld. Jim Crow laws have been challenged and defeated. Patriot Act hasn't been challenged as a whole, that I know of, but parts of it have, and some parts have been stricken. Apples will never be oranges no matter how hard you try.

Jack replies: None of which has anything to do with the fact that you think freedom is up for the vote of the majority.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

junk sez: Preserving freedom requires having the tools to counteract the weapons that might potentially be used against us, and given the state of things, I find rifles about as useful as stones (against the government).

jack replies: You just might want to deal with some actual experts on insurgency and other abilities of citizens. And yes, I spent the greater part of my 26 years in the military dealing with the intersection of the active forces with the militia and how to integrate them when the need arises. What you think you know you really don't know.


junkseller profile image

junkseller 3 years ago from Michigan

Jack,

Your opinion of voting for gun regulations is that it is a vote against freedom. That is not my opinion, of course, or the opinion of anyone else who votes for gun regulations, including, for instance, the bipartisan group of representatives who just passed gun regulations in CT. My opinion, of which I am the authority, is that gun regulations are a vote for freedom, not against it. There really is no point or need to argue with you about what my opinion is. Call me a freedom hater if you wish, I'm not going to argue for the person you imagine I am. It's just plain stupid. I care about freedom as much as you (probably more considering how disrespectful you are to other people's free vote). Whether or not you can wrap your head around that concept is not my concern.

I have specifically pointed out in detail how your characterizations of my own thoughts, words, or ideas are completely wrong and you just continue one with your invented reality of me the grand freedom hater. Until you can honestly assess things I have in actuality said, there's nothing more to say.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

It seems that you two should either stop now or continue this conversation elsewhere. (Not that I'm trying to kick you off or anything.) You seem to be going in circles, and the title of this hub summarizes my feelings on the topic. Hope to talk to you later about some other topic.


Hxprof 3 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

FF - I understand why you're sick of discussions about guns; I share your feelings. Evenso, I'll have to tolerate discussions about guns until those who're trying to disarm Americans STOP the nonsense....sadly, I don't think that will happen.

One last thought and I'll leaave. The dramatic rise in the number of mass shootings (more in a shorter period of time) is reflective I think of the pervasiveness of evil. The evil will always take advantage of weapons that can do great harm, and firearms are among them. Yet, I believe that the evil would find other means to committ mass murder if somehow deprived of firearms.

Voted up and interesting.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

FF... didn't mean to hijack your hub... it's just tough to tolerate someone who simultaneously claims they are a freedom fighter and who wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

I wasn't accusing you of hijacking anything. It just seemed that the conversation wasn't going anywhere.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

I understand... my words, not yours.

I often feel the same way about most threads with anti-gun folk... they don't go anywhere but circles. Which is why I am willing to state loudly and publicly that very few posters are as open minded as you to actually listen and use the new information provided you to discern truth from fiction.

It is a commendable and rare trait on hubpages.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Thank you. Although I don't know if it is open-mindedness. It could be called indecisiveness. I tend to see both sides of almost everything, so I generally don't know what the heck to think. And I tend to be closed minded when it comes to people on the political extremes.


Mike 3 years ago

@Flyer, I realize you are tired of the same old arguments, but here is some info I think should be considered. And also, as Jack said, thank you for allowing us to debate and for looking at our positions objectively.

Chicago had over 500 murders last year and also has some of the nation's strictest gun laws to include registration. Chicago’s murder rate was 15.65 per 100,000 people. The average for the U.S was 4.2 and the state of Illinois had 5.6.

A breakdown of Chicago murders show that 83% of those murdered in Chicago last year had criminal records. In Philadelphia, it’s 75%. In Milwaukee it’s 77% percent. In New Orleans, it’s 64%. In Baltimore, it’s 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.

It seems that a lot of the folks killed were looking for trouble and were already banned from possessing firearms.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago Author

Even if gun laws can be created that reduce gun violence, they are only a part of the package. As I mentioned earlier, a large number of factors feed violence, and a large number of reforms of various aspects of society might play a part in reducing it. You can probably find both cities with strict gun laws and others with limited regulations that have lots of gun violence.

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