No reasonable discussion seems possible with the pro-gun folks.

gundiscussionAll the pro-gun folks flip the fuck out as soon as anyone mentions the possibility that perhaps it’s a little too easy to get ahold of one these days and they start screamin’ that THEY’RE COMING TO TAKE ALL OUR GUNS AWAY!

Fuck, they’ve been making that claim about Obama since before he was elected President and he’s been in office 6 years, 155 days, 20 hours, and 36 minutes (as of this post) and he has yet to propose even the smallest of gun legislation. That won’t stop the nuts from screamin’ he’s gonna do it any day now!

I think there is a reasonable discussion to be had on gun law reform, but we can’t have that discussion because of the knee-jerk reaction from the other side. It’s always amusing when I see the pic of the carpet knife show up with the quote about how the 9-11 hijackers used it to kill 3,000 people but no one is calling for a ban on carpet knives.

carpetknifecontrol

It’s just a tool and a gun is a tool and it’s the people that use it wrong that are the problem. That ignores the fact that when used properly a carpet knife doesn’t result in someone’s death whereas a gun when used properly is intended to kill something. Also you don’t have the high rates of suicide and accidental deaths with carpet knives that you have with guns, but, hey, other than that they’re exactly the same!

It is right about one thing: Gun control laws are about control. You’d think that would be obvious from the fact that we call them “gun control laws”, but apparently this is a stunning revelation to the pro-gun crowd. Also there’s more at stake than crime committed with guns. There’s also suicides and accidental deaths both of which are way more common with a gun in the home than with a carpet knife. When was the last time you read about some kid finding his dad’s carpet knife and accidentally slicing a sibling to death with it? Kids accidentally shooting each other happens almost weekly. We don’t even bat an eye at it anymore. So long as it’s not my kids killing each other than who cares? Those were obviously all irresponsible gun owners so they deserve what happened!

Back in 1996 after a mass-shooting at Port Arthur, Tasmania — a popular Australian tourist spot — left 35 people dead and 18 people seriously wounded the folks down under finally had had enough. Deciding that a decade of gun massacres that left over 100 people dead was more than enough, they enacted strict gun control laws. They outright banned rapid-fire rifles and shotguns, put in place tighter licensing requirements and set a uniform national standard for gun registration. They didn’t ban all guns and responsible people can still get a license and own guns.

The result? The risk of death from gunshot fell by 50% and has remained as such since. Gun buyback programs helped reduce the amount of suicides by firearms by 80%. In the 19 years since there hasn’t been another mass shooting. You’ll note that this doesn’t mean all gun violence has been eliminated, but it has been reduced significantly. The most recent incident they’ve had with an armed gunman was the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis where an armed man took 18 people hostage at a Lindt chocolate cafe for 16 hours. Near the end a gunshot rang out and the police stormed the cafe. Two hostages were killed, one by the gunman and one from a police bullet that ricocheted, the gunman was also killed. Four other folks were injured. So, yes, some gun violence still happens, but the outcome of that situation was a far cry from the Port Arthur massacre nearly 20 years before.

Among the wealthy, industrialized countries of the world — Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Wales), United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) and United Kingdom (Scotland) — the U.S. has a gun homicide rate 15 times higher than any of them. Some of those countries have some pretty strict gun control laws, but in most of them it’s still possible to own a gun. Our gun control is the loosest in the world and it shows.

As long as we continue on this path we will continue to have events like the Aurora theater shooting and the Newtown school massacre and the AME church rampage. I thought for sure that after 20 kids got killed in their school it would finally get the pro-gun folks to feel a little empathy, but nope! Fuck those kids! I ain’t givin’ up my Bushmaster rifle just because somebody else’s brats got shot up cause FREEDOM! What about the carpet knives?? Why aren’t you banning those? And cars! You can kill someone with a car! I ONCE SAW A MAN CHOKED TO DEATH WITH A MAGAZINE! WHY ARE WE STILL ALLOWING THESE DANGEROUS WEAPONS TO BE SENT THROUGH THE U.S. POSTAL SYSTEM????

Reasonable discussion is right out and until then it’ll be more of the same. Maybe someday the number of dead will be high enough to shock some sense into people, but it looks like there will be an awful price to be paid the way things are going.

9 thoughts on “No reasonable discussion seems possible with the pro-gun folks.

  1. Honestly, I’ve never seen this poster, but I’ll assume it’s real.

    That said…the Democrat politicians DID ban carpet knives. Actually, both parties agreed–you can’t carry them on planes anymore, or nail clippers, juice boxes or untested shoes.

    And to your point, they didn’t ban the sale, they controlled them.

  2. Not to mention, if you have any kind of aiming skill, it only takes one round to end Bambi’s problems during deer season. A 30 round clip is an admission that you need to be inside the barn to hit the broad side of it.

  3. The trouble with guns as murder weapons are there efficiency , you don’t even have to show yourself . Someone with a knife you have a chance to run or maybe if your strong enough , to over power them , not so easy if a gun is pointing at you. Many people can be killed by a gun in a short space of time , not many other types of weapon are capable of that . I’m from England and can understand guns being a part of your culture , what is hard to understand is the proliferation of assault rifles and military grade weapons . Is it really as bad as we are led to believe Les ?
    do you own a gun ? are you surrounded by neighbours armed to the teeth ?

  4. Absolutely spot-on argument. People in this country need to stop being such selfish crybabies and start having some collective vision. Until then, we’re screwed.

  5. Having a rational discussion on guns is up there with what you do with religion. If you want to discuss religion, you need to know what’s in their bible. If you want to discuss guns, you have to speak accurately – know the difference between assault rifles, battle rifles, assault weapons in legal terms, military hardware vs civilian hardware, etc. Those are basics of gun culture and understanding them is necessary to have any kind of rational discussion(especially when irrational beliefs are involved). You don’t argue against Ken Ham to convince him, but to make your case to the observers who are more rational. However, telling Ken Ham he’s nuts for believing that Cthulu created the world in 11 days then put Dan and Eve in the Pasture of Eden until a snake convinced Eve to take a bite of the Blackberry of Fail won’t win anyone over.

    Having grown up in southern gun culture, even being pro-gun, ANY type of gun control-ish discussion is like playing a game of “Operation” with the buzzer being game-over bat-shit “WHAT KIND OF COMMUNNIST TALK IS THAT?!?!?!” crazy mode. Like religion, you have those who cling to their crazy.

    It really bothers me when the debate (like after Sandy Hook) splits into irrational sides. I read so many comments that came across as either “I don’t care if he scalped his mom and wore it like a wig, just as long as he didn’t use a gun” or “If every teacher carried a loaded shotgun, this type of liberal bullshit won’t happen”, that I worried the Lanza’s needing help from the mental health system long before the attack would be forgotten.

  6. Dave asks:

    I’m from England and can understand guns being a part of your culture , what is hard to understand is the proliferation of assault rifles and military grade weapons . Is it really as bad as we are led to believe Les ?
    do you own a gun ? are you surrounded by neighbours armed to the teeth ?

    I’m not sure what you’ve heard, but it’s probably not as bad as that. Fully automatic weapons aren’t allowed without special permits, but semi-automatics and civilian versions of some military weapons are allowed. It’s hard to judge just how many of them are out there, but the number of people who own guns has been on the decline for several years:

    The number of Americans who live in a household with at least one gun is lower than it’s ever been, according to a major American trend survey that finds the decline in gun ownership is paralleled by a reduction in the number of Americans who hunt.

    According to the latest General Social Survey, 32 percent of Americans either own a firearm themselves or live with someone who does, which ties a record low set in 2010. That’s a significant decline since the late 1970s and early 1980s, when about half of Americans told researchers there was a gun in their household.

    Personally, I don’t own any guns at all. Which might be surprising to folks who know of my love of games like the Call of Duty series. As a kid growing up I did own a really shitty Daisy cock-action BB gun that was so weak that I couldn’t even shoot my own eye out with it. (True story: I was shooting it at bottles for target practice in the backyard and not only was it not strong enough to come close to breaking a bottle, but one BB bounced back and hit me in the eye. It hurt, but it didn’t do any real damage.) My parents also had an air-powered pellet gun that was only ever used to fend off aggressive dogs. Which means it was almost never used. I do know how to shoot, though, thanks to a Grandfather who was fond of hunting. I learned on a .22 long rifle over the course of a couple of summers and have shot a few shotguns in my time as well. That was all in my teenaged years and I’ve probably not touched a real gun in 30 years.

    As for my neighbors, well, we just moved to a new apartment and haven’t really gotten to know the neighbors yet. I suspect some of them probably have a gun of some sort, but I’d be surprised if more than a quarter of them did.

  7. This post does nothing to promote the discussion that it calls for. On the contrary, hysterics from the anti-gun side are no more helpful than hysterics from the pro-gun side.

    Yes, I’m a gun owner & have been for 50 years. I hold a carry permit & have for 33 years. I’ve never shot anybody or gotten any closer to it than a draw to a low-ready position. I’ve never permitted an accidental discharge, & I’ve never allowed a firearm to be stolen from my well-secured home or from any vehicle that they’re NOT left in unattended.

    I’m not pro gun, either – I just recognize guns as a necessary evil & live with them in a world that’s awash with violence with or without guns.

    Polls consistently indicate that responsible gun owners, aka the vast, vast majority of gun owners, support strict standards for legal gun ownership & for the lawful possession & use of guns. We support not just strict, but ruinous penalties for violations of gun related law. Many of us who can think our way from A to B & then from B to C, etc, support far more of a public investment into mental health research & treatment – & not just as a result of the firearms related tragedies inflicted by the clearly afflicted, but as an overall & Constitutionally appropriate effort at promoting our general welfare.

    The hysteria of a bought & paid for gun lobby is FUELED by the hysterics of anti-gunners. Do you REALLY want a reasonable discussion? Then be reasonable. Start by abandoning the hysterically all-caps bandwagon of an anti-gun media that’s clearly motivated by a need for page views. As but a nod to reason, indicate that you’re not so slobberbarking mad that you can’t be bothered with proof-reading a post. Continue with at least a BIT less invective, & then roll it up into a reasonable call to reason by assuming that ALL gun owners are NOT out to slay your child.

    FYI – the low-ready day was in defense of a child that could’ve been YOUR child. She went home to dinner with her family that day, none the worse off for an experience that might otherwise have been the end of her life.

    Do you REALLY want reason?

    If so, be reasonable.

  8. I think the sanest, most approachable solution in the end is probably going to be the one that I’m usually opposed to. Privatize it.

    Seriously, what a bunch of litigation happy, risk averse, insurance companies would do to gun violence in less than a decade if we just told gun owners “no problem, here’s your guns as soon as you produce your gun owner’s insurance card” the same way we did cars. Seatbelts didn’t stop people from buying cars, insurance didn’t stop people from driving cars, and the gun lobby and the insurance lobby deserve each other more than any two industries ever. The insurance companies will play nicely to keep people buying lots and lots and guns forever because it will line their pockets, but in the end they’ll fix it so gun owners who actually make them spend money are quickly and efficiently prohibited. It’s shark on shark action.

    Personally I’d be happier with a handgun ban than anything else – at least if you see someone walking around with a gun you’ve got a clue to get to cover maybe… and every yahoo shoving their 9mm inside their hoodie until they choose to open fire in a convenience store kind of stands apart from that. But I’d take the insurance companies sending gun guys “sorry, but you’re crazy” letters to people. And the whole gun “accidental discharge” nonsense where people don’t get charged for nearly killing other people by not being careful? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that would go bye-bye.

  9. There are many things that could be done to prevent gun violence that seem like common sense, but somehow they are not laws at all. The most obvious example is stopping the most dangerously mentally ill people from purchasing guns. A campus psychiatrist actually reported concerns about James Holmes making homicidal statements. Yet somehow, when even a professional believes that an unstable person’s homicidal threats should be taken seriously, there isn’t even a hearing held or any action taken to see whether their guns should maybe be taken away from them. In many cases where unstable people make credible threats to shoot others with their guns, police are powerless to do anything but wait until after the person has already committed the crime. A person has to actually get committed to a mental hospital to have their guns taken away from them if they haven’t been convicted of a crime.

    Even threatening to shoot someone won’t result in police taking guns away – George Zimmerman’s road rage incident is a good example. No matter how many domestic violence arrests he has, and no matter how many people he threatens to kill with his guns, he won’t lose his guns until he is actually convicted of murdering someone, which at the rate of his run ins with the law, seems only a matter of time.

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