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Syria?

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Author Topic: Politics  (Read 630793 times)

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Offline /lurk

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2475 on: October 12, 2010, 02:08:17 pm »
Well.

You'd be wrong then.
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Offline Inkling

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2476 on: October 12, 2010, 02:19:11 pm »
Thanks for participating, Lurk.  Your thoughtful input is always valued and greatly improves the quality of our conversations.
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Offline munchkin5

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2477 on: October 12, 2010, 02:27:43 pm »
Well.

You'd be right then.

Why yes i would.

Offline /lurk

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2478 on: October 12, 2010, 02:28:56 pm »
Thanks for participating, Lurk.  Your thoughtful input is always valued and greatly improves the quality of our conversations.

Just thought I'd skip everyone ignoring everyone else and just get down to why these debates never reach a consensus.

I mean, you can talk about how you're okay with waiting a few days for your guns or how you don't care about homicide rates (?) or how most crimes are committed with illegal guns anyway - although that last one doesn't make any sense if you're arguing against gun control - but the question is whether weapons are an essential human right, and the answer is no.

But you disagree.
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Offline munchkin5

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2479 on: October 12, 2010, 02:41:05 pm »
Guns on their own aren't a right but being able to defend yourself is, and that means having access to the right tools with which to do so and in the modern age that generally means firearms. Although when i say i don't care about gun crime/homicide rates thats because i mostly speak in political ideals, i probably wouldn't be as quick to turn my views into policy if i had the chance, because obviously in the real world those things actually matter. Right now i don't know enough about the real world statistics to comment.

Offline Axelgear

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2480 on: October 12, 2010, 02:47:09 pm »
Well, Lurk, actually arguing against gun control if most guns used in crimes are illegal ones anyway makes sense. Namely because it shows law-abiding gun owners are not the ones committing crimes. Anyone willing to deal with a registry and waiting period and such isn't likely to go out and pop their neighbour in the skull. It happens, sure, but it's an immensely rare occurrence.

That said, though, you're right; you'll never agree with me. I don't know why, it might be because you don't believe in human rights as a concept, but I can't wager at all why someone who'd accept the fundamental principles of right to life and property would deny the freedom of use of the most able tool in defending those rights.

Right now i don't know enough about the real world statistics to comment.

Right now, the number one form of homicide in Canada is accidental death as a result of drunk driving, with 3,500 deaths or so annually. After that, it's 320 murders annually total, split roughly evenly between death by beating, stabbing, and shooting.

So up here in Canada, deaths by firearms are absolutely negligible and are usually 100% gang related.
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Offline /lurk

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2481 on: October 12, 2010, 03:13:56 pm »
Well, Lurk, actually arguing against gun control if most guns used in crimes are illegal ones anyway makes sense. Namely because it shows law-abiding gun owners are not the ones committing crimes. Anyone willing to deal with a registry and waiting period and such isn't likely to go out and pop their neighbour in the skull. It happens, sure, but it's an immensely rare occurrence.

In the UK, every gun related homicide this year was committed with illegal guns. Man! Those gun control laws must be doing nothing.

I really hope you can see the flaw in that line of thinking.

most able tool

I like how you say that when there's absolutely nothing to support it. Between the nonlethal alternatives, guns that just get stolen or fired accidentally, and people who get shot because they have a gun, guns are not the best tool for defending the right to life.

This would make sense considering that they're designed to do the opposite.
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Offline Axelgear

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2482 on: October 12, 2010, 03:41:59 pm »
In the UK, every gun related homicide this year was committed with illegal guns. Man! Those gun control laws must be doing nothing.

I really hope you can see the flaw in that line of thinking.

Hey Lurk, go back to the years before the gun ban and find out how many homicides were committed with legally bought fire-arms and get back to me.

If guns are available to law-abiding citizens, and the ones used in crimes are illegally obtained, it shows that the gun control laws aren't exactly stopping criminals from getting firearms.

I like how you say that when there's absolutely nothing to support it. Between the nonlethal alternatives, guns that just get stolen or fired accidentally, and people who get shot because they have a gun, guns are not the best tool for defending the right to life.

This would make sense considering that they're designed to do the opposite.

Let's assess the non-lethal alternatives, shall we?

Pepper Spray: A pretty good option if you're being mugged by one person, but that's about on it. Not a good option if they're on drugs, though, or if there's more than one of them. Typically, there are. Also, useless in a home invasion or if the person has a gun.

Tazer (Short Range): More or less as effective as a knife. Again, suffers the same weaknesses as pepper spray.

Tazer (Long Range): Even less effective than either of the other two. Single shot, then you're absolutely boned.

So, all in all, not really useful in any situation where you have more than one attacker. Guns, however, are quite different and far more capable.

Now, as for guns being stolen, doesn't really matter. Black market orders outnumber that by a huge degree, and in Canada, where guns are all, by law, kept in safes, cases, and lock-boxes, theft is more or less a non-issue. The only exception to this that I know of is where a gun store my family used to go to was robbed, with one of the clerks being shot in the head and killed (took him a few days to die), but that was a suspicious case, given that the robbers only took four handguns.

As for accidental firings, I think you'll also find the number of people killed by those is negligible. In the United States, I believe the death number is something like 300 per annum, wheras the deaths from drowning are something like 3800 per annum. The vast majority of both statistics are children as a result of negligent parents. All it takes is parents teaching their kids how to responsibly care for firearms and people just generally realizing guns are dangerous pieces of equipment if mishandled and these evaporate. In other words, you could make a stronger case for banning backyard pools than you could firearms.

As for being shot because you have a gun, depends on the situation. If you're actively readying a weapon of any sort, I imagine you're likely to get shot.


Also, Lurk, saying guns are somehow a bad tool for protecting lives when they are designed to do the opposite is silly, don't you think? It's like saying a surgeon's scalpel is a terrible tool for preserving life when it carves out a cancerous tumour.
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Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2483 on: October 12, 2010, 03:51:23 pm »
In the UK, every gun related homicide this year was committed with illegal guns.

Unless its a shotgun bought for hunting or use on a farm or racetrack or something >_>


Axel. I don't know what sort of urban wasteland you live in, but I don't ever feel the need to carry ANY sort of weapon or tool for defence.
You can go on about how only outlaws will use guns in a place where guns are outlawed, but you're kidding yourself if you think that legalising guns or lightening gun control isn't going to increase the availability of weapons for just about everyone. The more people in general that can get their hands on guns the more criminals are going to lay their hands on them as well. Guns are only a 'necessity' for personal defence in a place where their distribution is already widespread anyway.

Its not like a gun is even much of a defensive tool anyway. The only form of defence it offers is the threat of a pre-emptive strike >_>
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Offline munchkin5

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2484 on: October 12, 2010, 04:24:02 pm »
Something i just found out correlating some numbers myself from wikipedia and looking at some other statistics, increasing the number of privately owned guns doesn't increase homicide rates but does increase the percentage of homicides committed using a firearm. This seems to suggest that criminals are going to be criminals whether or not they have guns.

This has to be at least somewhat relevant to the debate.

Also on the subject of guns as a defensive tool, it may be less relevant on a day to day basis, or in our relatively 'free' western countries, but the right to bear arms against the government should also be considered (it was afterall the reason the right to bear arms was included in the u.s constitution).

Offline Axelgear

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2485 on: October 12, 2010, 04:28:51 pm »
Y'know, I was going to make an analogy about not needing a yellow fever vaccine but liking the option, but then I remembered my former neighbours stabbed a man to death and sold drugs, and have since been replaced with a succession of prostitutes. I really do live in a terrible neighbourhood, and my college is no more than a ten minute walk from the crime centre of Canada. I really DO live in an urban wasteland.

In short, Sam, your suggestion of "I feel safe in my comfortable community so you shouldn't need a gun" comes off as a little elitist.

As for increasing the availability of guns, what's your point? All it does is increase their availability to law-abiding citizens, not to criminals. Why would a criminal go through the rigmarole of getting a legal gun, getting it registered, getting themselves set up as a known gun owner, and so on, when they can buy one illegally without ever having it tied to their identity in any way? Black markets will always get their product through if the demand is sufficient, Sam, as the "War on Drugs" has taught us.

As for how a gun can help someone defend themselves, let's run through two kinds of defense situations:

Street Assault: A person tries to rob you or attack you in some way. In the case of the former, it's wise to give up your wallet, but if you have a gun, you can draw it the moment their back is turned and bring them to a halt by threat (and by bullet if they try something stupid). If the latter, you may as well draw and fire, and you have better odds of surviving than in a fist fight. A gun brings you out likely far better than the other options.

Home/Business Invasion: Someone attacks your home or place of business. Don't even get me started on the number of home invasions that have ended in tragedy when people can't defend themselves. As for business, it might be more wise to just let them carry out the robbery but, again, if things turn violent, better to be armed than not. Even if they don't, armed workers/customers against a smaller number or lesser-armed group of robbers are likely able to prevent the crime.

More than this, though, guns have another purpose. Another reason I wanted to use the vaccine analogy is for herd immunity. A thought experiment suggested by Penn Jillette was to give every woman in America a pink Desert Eagle and the training to use it. They can then do whatever they want; keep it, throw it away, sell it... But if even half of them kept it, just half, that means any time a robber thinks about breaking into a home, assaulting a woman, or trying to rob a store with a woman in it, there's a 50/50 chance that he could end up with a bullet between his eyes.

The idea that you might have a 50/50 chance of dying from committing a crime is probably pretty potent, wouldn't you say?

Also on the subject of guns as a defensive tool, it may be less relevant on a day to day basis, or in our relatively 'free' western countries, but the right to bear arms against the government should also be considered (it was afterall the reason the right to bear arms was included in the u.s constitution).

I've tried mentioning this in the past, it usually gets scoffed at.
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Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2486 on: October 12, 2010, 04:50:17 pm »
Elitists.

Offline Flisch

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2487 on: October 12, 2010, 04:54:47 pm »
As for accidental firings, I think you'll also find the number of people killed by those is negligible. In the United States, I believe the death number is something like 300 per annum

Something i just found out correlating some numbers myself from wikipedia and looking at some other statistics, increasing the number of privately owned guns doesn't increase homicide rates but does increase the percentage of homicides committed using a firearm.

A is the homicide rate per year.

Guns are banned: A
Guns are legal: A + 300

So banning guns would still save ~300 lives per year.
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Offline /lurk

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2488 on: October 12, 2010, 05:02:27 pm »
I had this whole post ready, but Sam's just beat me in succinctness and punctuality. And then Axelgear replied and everything.


As for increasing the availability of guns, what's your point? All it does is increase their availability to law-abiding citizens, not to criminals. Why would a criminal go through the rigmarole of getting a legal gun, getting it registered, getting themselves set up as a known gun owner, and so on, when they can buy one illegally without ever having it tied to their identity in any way? Black markets will always get their product through if the demand is sufficient, Sam, as the "War on Drugs" has taught us.

The problem here is that you're actually wrong. I don't mean "I disagree with your opinion" or "that's just an anecdote and doesn't apply on a larger scale," I mean you are simply incorrect in your assumption. Sufficient gun controls do reduce the availability of illegal firearms.

Being from the UK, what KS and I both mean by "gun control" is "You can't have a gun. No, not even then."


More than this, though, guns have another purpose. Another reason I wanted to use the vaccine analogy is for herd immunity. A thought experiment suggested by Penn Jillette was to give every woman in America a pink Desert Eagle and the training to use it. They can then do whatever they want; keep it, throw it away, sell it... But if even half of them kept it, just half, that means any time a robber thinks about breaking into a home, assaulting a woman, or trying to rob a store with a woman in it, there's a 50/50 chance that he could end up with a bullet between his eyes.

The idea that you might have a 50/50 chance of dying from committing a crime is probably pretty potent, wouldn't you say?

That is... singularly the worst idea ever. I like the way gun lovers will say "criminals will be criminals whether they have guns or not" and then go and conveniently ignore their own rhetoric.

So if I want to commit a crime involving a woman, I've got to be ready to shoot her. Okay, I'll steal or buy one of those pink Eagles that there are millions of now. Instead of threatening her to get her purse, I'll shoot her in the head just to be on the safe side. I don't want to take any chances, I just want to stay alive and get my fix.

Also every criminal who happens to be a woman is now armed. Nice job breaking it, hero: now there are just a lot more people getting shot to death on a daily basis.
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Offline munchkin5

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Re: Politics
« Reply #2489 on: October 12, 2010, 05:12:47 pm »
As for accidental firings, I think you'll also find the number of people killed by those is negligible. In the United States, I believe the death number is something like 300 per annum

Something i just found out correlating some numbers myself from wikipedia and looking at some other statistics, increasing the number of privately owned guns doesn't increase homicide rates but does increase the percentage of homicides committed using a firearm.

A is the homicide rate per year.

Guns are banned: A
Guns are legal: A + 300

So banning guns would still save ~300 lives per year.

So would banning a lot of things, guns are just one thing among many that you can kill yourself with accidentally, but this isn't a good argument for banning any of them.

Also I'll see what other people say about /lurk's reply, but the second part of your post seemed to miss the point somewhat.