Some facts about guns in the US

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by James R, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Unless most folks that live outside the cities in my part of the world are all delusional, it's just your opinion.

    Calm down, dude.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

    School shootings are awful, but the idea that banning guns is going to somehow prevent tragic events like this from happening is not really getting to the root of the problems. All of these kids who do the shootings have some serious mental issues that went ignored by parents and by school officials. We don't educate people to recognize signs of sociopathy nor give them the tools to find help for these troubled teenagers. The parents are at fault for leaving guns where children could access them, as well as not raising these kids in a nurturing environment that fostered care for others and anger management. They didn't recognize serious issues, nor did they get any of their kids help for those issues.

    I grew up in a house that always had guns, a few for hunting and several for protection. They were kept in a gun safe and before I was even allowed to touch one when I was 12, I was taught the importance of gun safety and schooled about the damage that guns do and warned about how powerful they were. My father took me deer hunting with a rifle, and made me understand the pain the animal went through and the kinds of damage gunshots can do. I weeped at killing the deer but understood that a culling of the herd was important to the deers habitat since we screwed up that habitat by killing off all their natural predators. Apparently, my older brother was excited and thrilled at shooting the deer when my father had taken him. My father never let my brother have access to the guns again and it became apparent later in my brothers teens that he did have anger management issues so my Dad's judgement was spot on. Now I prefer bow hunting myself, I like the quiet nature of it. I still have reverence and understanding of what kind of power I have in my hands as I hunt, but some people don't have that respect and those are the people who shouldn't own guns or have access to them. No children or teens should have access to weapons at all unsupervised. That's just negligent and bad parenting.

    Do I think that psychological testing should be done for a gun license? Yes.

    That's not to say I am not for some gun control. I think that there is no logical reason that assault weapons should be on the streets at all, I think there are many shotguns that also should be outlawed. Any weapon that allows a magazine of more than 10 rounds is probably overdoing it in my book. Any 50 cal weapon should not be on the streets, nor grenade launchers or any military or police issue weapon not meant for hunting and is not in service on the job.
    Rako likes this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    One size fits all, but it fits some better'n others.
    Really, that kind of depends on developmental stages. Does it not?
    We all learn some things best at certain ages of development. And each situation is a unique situation depending on the person and circumstances.
    When I was in grade school, we took something called an achievement test. By 6th grade, I was testing at 12th grade level, then off the charts.
    We were rural poor, raised by a single woman who worked 3 jobs to try and keep us warm and fed. Mom was an intelligent, well read woman who just had a bad habit of marrying nice guys with flaws. The first one (my birth father) hadn't gotten a divorce from his first wife which eventually led to their disunion; the second(nice guy-I really enjoyed him--taught me a bit about carpentry when I helped him build out house after school) had the gambling fever, and one fine weekend proceeded to keep writing checks long after the money in the account was exhausted which landed him in prison and led to their disunion; and the third died of cancer. Boy-could she pick 'em. Negligent? Certainly not by her choice. During the limited time she had for us, she gave me a good moral compass, and did things like placing an unabridged dictionary in front of me with the advice "read this".
    By 11, I was hunting after school, for rabbits almost every day after frost, and birds when in season(meat on the table).
    First a bb gun, then a 22, then a 12 gauge shotgun. By the age of 15, I simply did not miss.(well, everybody misses at least once in awhile)
    Muscle memory and stages of development.
    Would I be as accurate if I had tried to learn the skill as an adult?
    I think not. (but, i could be wrong.)

    as/re: Psychological testing---first, test the psychologist!
    Weed out al least 50% as unfit.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

    Those are good points. There are children who do understand and respect the weapon for what it is, and can deal with that more maturely and respectfully than others. And then there is that other 3/4 of the population.

    That's part of parenting though, if you believe your child is at a developmental stage where they can be on their own and responsible for their own actions then it is your perogative but also your responsibility if they harm someone else either accidentally or otherwise. If the child is developmentally ready to handle a firearm, then there would be no accidents.

    Your Mom sounds like a gem. Sometimes women have the best intentions and heart when finding a mate, however misguided it seems in hindsight. I can tell she was a good mum by the way your talk about her with respect.

    I have a child who is bipolar, and I don't keep a gun in the house for that very reason. I store my weapon at a rented locker at the range and do not store my handgun in my house until he moves out even though I own a safe. That's also responsible parenting.

    The problem is that 90% of the parents out there are not responsible for their children and even more now with the current popular ideologies of not punishing, just redirecting and never being or saying a negative thing about a child ever... we make the problem worse and some of these entitled children are the ones who have grandiose ideas about what the world owes them and goes in and shoot up their schoolmates and authority for that reason. We don't accept that as the possible reason however, and find other things to blame.

    The problem with relying on society and their laws for your own morality is that it removes both individuality and individual responsibility.
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Yeh----personal responsibility is now and has been one of my preaching points.
  9. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

    Mine too, but in our current culture we have been force fed ideas that the community is responsible for the care and feeding of it's inhabitants and therefore responsible for it's actions. It removes personal responsibility of each person and steals it's identity as part of a systemic problem of that society. And then legislates every action and restricts personal freedom be claiming it's better for that community. We don't treat the individual as an individual, we actually see people as problems to be dealt with instead of people to empower to seize both their individuality and their responsibility and own it.

    When you don't own you, how can you be responsible for anyone else either?
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    As anyone who has ever dealt with the bad kids in real life - or "troubled" or whatever - can tell you, the notion that they are bad because they are not being punished enough is naive to the point of irresponsibility.

    The jails of America are full of people who 1) broke a drug law and/or 2) were frequently and thoroughly punished as children. That's who's in them, by and large.

    The problem with not supporting individual responsibility via enforced community standards is that it puts too much pressure on individuals to maintain virtue on their own. People are sometimes lazy, careless, confused, overwhelmed, overworked, mistaken, and so forth. Communities supply pressure to break people's standards - they should also provide support to brace them.

    That means enforced community standards for management of one's firearms. There is a large moral and ethical component of firearm possession, and such matters are intrinsically community derived and community established, in part.
  11. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

    I meant punishment as in retributive justice, which has shown not to work at all. If we treated these people as individuals and protected and empowered them as individuals free from the tyranny of their parents, then you would see real change in the individual and THAT would be better for society.

    There should be pressure on the individual to maintain morals, but you have to teach those morals to them, not write them down in a lawbook that really isn't published anywhere accessible and is worded to death with stupid ideas and stupid laws to confuse things. I am not saying we should abandon society, I am saying that to have a better and more guided society you have to have individuals that are empowered to do the right thing by instinct and heart not by law.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Offensive. Predictable. Grotesque.
  13. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

    I think you misunderstand me. I have nothing but compassion for the victims, and I feel grief that it happened at all. But personal feelings aside, it still doesn't get to the root of the problem. You can't exemplar one incident and allow it to override discussion about the actual issue. It's not about the guns, it's about the people holding them. Or do you honestly believe that without access to a gun, he wouldn't have found some other way to hurt them? He clearly was enraged enough to want to kill them.

    Do you think there are no murders or that the crime rate overall is really that much lower in countries that have gun bans?

    Here's some statistics;
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
    Rako likes this.
  14. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Except Liebling is correct - if we could somehow magic away all the firearms in the country, these kids would still find a way to lash out... what we need to do is stop whatever is causing them to build up to this boiling point...

    As someone who was bullied in school, I can rather understand the desire to "get even"... I was fortunate enough that, in my own mind, I turned that desire towards making my own future better, rather than making "theirs' worse.
    Rako likes this.
  15. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

    It's interesting that you bring up this point, as my youngest was bullied at school and the school did NOTHING to protect him at all. The first incident was observed by the teacher and my son was slapped in the face right in front of her for no reason. The kid just walked up and slapped him. The offender was sent to the principal, and the principal sent him back to class with a warning. Didn't call me, I had no idea until my son got home so I filed a police report. A month later, the same kid and one of the kids friends held my son down in the gym and punched him around the torso until the gym teacher could pry them off of my son. Again, I wasn't called. Again they sent the kid back to the SAME gym class my son was in. I filed another police report. Once they did their investigate and charged the kid, the mother called my house and tried to give me a sob story about her kid and that he didn't deserve this.
    My son was so tormented and scared he was afraid to go to school. I pulled him out of school and began home schooling him full time. My son was really angry about the whole thing, so I took him to see a social worker to work those things out. Instead of seeking retribution against the boy, we decided to take both the school to court with teh Office of Civil Rights and take the boy to court over the charges.

    The school mediated with us, changed their policies and arranged for my son to go to a private school as well as advancing him one grade and giving him new opportunities. This made my son proud that we stood up for him, for the first time since the problem began he felt like someone was there to protect him.

    My son testified in open court about the incident and the boy was found guilty. This empowered my son to stand up for himself and know he had it within himself to make his statements without anger or fear.

    My son isn't angry anymore, because I did my duty as a parent to protect him where the school and community had failed. I empowered him to take back that security for himself and be a stronger and better kid for himself.

    That's what it takes. Being responsible for yourself and for the people you bring in to the world. The parents of those incidents failed to do that and many lives were lost. All it took was a little attention and the right tools and the whole thing wouldn't have happened. I'm not saying that to belittle the situation in any way, just stating that ALL of it could have been prevented by being responsible. It had less to do with guns and way more to do with the state of mind of the kids they failed to do right by and that was the parents responsibility.

    There was a guy on a bus in Canada about a year or so back that beheaded and/or killed a few people on a bus and ate a bit of them. No guns involved.

    What I am saying is that blaming guns is just another excuse to not accept responsibility as a society to recognize and prevent these tragedies.
    Dr_Toad likes this.
  16. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Exactly... my parents weren't willing/able to do anything about my situation most of the time... all too often, my "father" (and I use the term loosely) was too drunk to know or care, and my mother as busy trying not to piss him off. I had few friends, but I've always been a bit of a loner.. I eventually came to realize that I was a full foot taller, much stronger, and had longer arms than the ones that seemed to take the most pleasure in tormenting me... eventually I learned that I could defend myself, though at the time I scared myself witless because of the situation surrounding it - one of my tormentors had followed me off the bus, and when we came to blows I blacked out momentarily... I came to a few moments later, pinning him by the throat up against a house with one hand, my other hand pinched around his trachea, and I told him how trivial it would be to crush his windpipe then and there. Once I realized just what the hell I had said (and the fact that such a thought had even crossed my mind), I dropped him to the ground and ran home. It was... a fair bit of introspection that made me come to realize what had just transpired and that made me come to accept that it wasn't that i wanted to kill him, but rather wanted to end that fight and prevent further fights (sort of like Ender Wiggans in a way, now that I think about it). I made myself a simple promise - I would never actively SEEK a fight; if I could work my way out of a situation with diplomacy I would... but if it came to blows, I would make damn sure that I ended the fight, no matter how beat up I would get.

    It's served me well... and the funny thing is, he and I are now actually... well, I wouldn't say friends but we get along amicably enough. He ended up being sent to... I think it was a military reform school?... but yeah...

    If we could stop such situations from happening, and handle them appropriately when they did... we could solve a lot of our issues with schools. Personally, I think the first step is doing away with that stupid "Zero Tolerance" policy (also known as the Second Punch Act, since often it is the one DEFENDING themselves that gets in trouble)
    Dr_Toad likes this.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There is no way to prevent all crazy in all teenagers all the time. There are ways to keep the the majority of the temporarily deranged separated from arsenals of firearms, thereby better limiting the harm they can do - and communities can enforce those ways of firearms management, hold gun owners accountable for the management of their firearms, etc.

    Not blaming the guns is a separate issue - seeing to it, as a community, that firearms are managed and controlled reasonably by their owners, is the issue at hand.
  18. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I think part of the issue is society as a whole: all of these shootings have been carried out by males. Perhaps thus is because girls are "allowed" and "expected" to talk about their feelings while guys are told to "stop being a pussy" and to "man up and deal with it"...
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Part the First

    I think your post is an example of why discussions of gun violence in these United States are so difficult to resolve. Nobody is allowed to discuss the issue, apparently, unless they're trying to ban guns.

    So this whole, "Yes, it's tragic ... but don't ban the guns!" attitude basically has the effect of saying, "Yes, yes, life and death, and all that; let's get back to what really matters."

    It's like the time Iceaura went off on people for thinking that just maybe it was a bad idea to leave guns in the hands of some of the most dangerous convicted criminals in our society. Just enforce the laws we have, you know? Except for the states that still leave guns in the hands of convicted stalkers. We need to leave that alone, you know, because otherwise it's just a slippery slope to taking everybody's guns away?

    What, never been through that one? It's an everyday occurrence in discussing these issues.

    And when it gets down to people being unable to even discuss the issues without being "foul authoritarian gits", one starts to wonder if maybe the gun owners are right, that guns aren't any sort of problem on their own at all, and the real problem here is people who own guns.

    What it reminds me of is the phase children go through when even a parent like me starts wondering about the operant value of throttling. I mean, my daughter knows the difference between how her parents deal with her, and yet, even with me under circumstances in which she is clearly not going to be punished, certainly she went through a phase of responding to every inquiry about what was that noise or whatever by blaming someone else as if she was going to be punished. Which, of course, other adults found hilarious, because, well, I'm one of those parents who, in the eyes of others, doesn't actually punish; it's all a matter of definitions. But, yes, that fear of punishment is so instinctive that I've watched my child invent it in her own mind and respond accordingly. It is almost as if blame, deflection, and reorientation of the discussion is a fundamental differentiating process a person aboslutely must go through, and that's something I wouldn't have noticed without being a parent, but it is what it is.

    I don't understand the conduct in adults, though, and when people go out of their way to paralyze a public discourse subject in juvenilia, well? I mean, at this point it's hard to not notice.

    And, quite frankly, when this is how a person's priorities frame the world, the one thing I can say about guns—control, prohibition, or otherwise—is that it's true, these individuals probably shouldn't possess firearms.

    End Part the First
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Part the Second

    Depends on who you ask. For some gun owners, it's always about the guns because that's the only thing it can ever be about; that's why they jump to the defense of guns whenever there is a question that might tread onto whether or not any given individual should have had access to a firearm or how that person got hold of one. It is childish, excremental rhetoric.

    Because it's never "my kid", or "my brother", or "my friend" who is going to do it, right? It's always someone else. And then one day it is "my kid", "my friend", and so on.

    And up here there are some things we are "politely" not saying right now in my corner of the Universe, and I put the word in quotes because we are trading future risk in order to be "polite", and that is the sort of thing that, proverbially speaking, can come back and bite us in the ass.

    I don't care how nice and well adjusted we think our kids are. I don't care if they are destined constricted to community leadership in their adult life. The reason it is so easy for a kid to pick up a gun when they reach their breaking point is that it's right fucking there for the taking.

    If Jaylen Fryberg had chosen to beat his friends to death, how many of them would be dead?

    You have to be faster than the person with the knife. If that person has a gun you have to outrun a bullet.

    You can pick up anything and try to make it into a weapon, but guns are designed for one thing, and one thing only. In the history of guns nobody picked up this tool and said, "What happens if I do this with it?" and become the first person to weaponize the gun. That is to say, the gun was designed as a weapon.

    It is easier to convict someone of negligently allowing their child to steal the car than negligently allowing their child to steal a gun.

    What would it be like if we charged DUIs like we charged gun crime?

    Who the hell else but a gun owner gets the excuse, "Well, sure, he was negiligent while illegally possessing this thing, but since it's his own kid he killed through negligence with an illegally possessed something let's not charge him, because, hey, he's suffered enough"?

    No, really, who the hell else gets that escape route?

    And yet none of this can be discussed because it always comes back to the number one windmill: "... but the idea that banning guns is going to somehow prevent tragic events like this from happening is not really getting to the root of the problems."

    Do you really think the presence of guns within the crime rate has no relationship to mortality rates of crime victims?

    Think of the fact that the U.S. just went through its ebola "crisis" without a Surgeon General.

    Do you know why we don't have a Surgeon General?

    Because just like pro bono work for criminal defendants is okay if you're a Republican-nominated Supreme Court justice but isn't acceptable of a Democratic-nominated judge for lower federal court, Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination is currently on hold because as an emergency room physician he came to accept that many of the firearm injuries he worked on could be addressed through public health avenues. That is to say, some Republican in the Senate° is doing the NRA's bidding on the grounds that the poor, defenseless guns apparently cannot withstand a PSA campaign reminding people to know where there guns are, store them safely, and for heaven's sake have some clue whether the damn thing is loaded or not. That's pretty much all the Surgeon General can do, and such notions are so anathema that Vivek Murthy should not be Surgeon General. Public discourse isn't going to convince the criminals in Chicago; should it be so useless among "responsible" gun owners?

    Because they're all "responsible" gun owners until one day they just couldn't imagine their popular, well-adjusted kid destined for great things in life would pick up that gun and kill his best friends over something having to do with a girl. And they're all "responsible" gun owners until one day they swear the thing was unloaded. And some of them are "responsible" gun owners until they become one of the people who put thirty-eight percent of the guns in the hands of the criminals who get the firearms they use from friends and family.

    And we can't talk about these issues, why?

    "School shootings are awful, but the idea that banning guns is going to somehow prevent tragic events like this from happening is not really getting to the root of the problems."

    Because this, apparently, is where the discussion must stay.

    The roots of the problems? Right.

    for a=0 to ∞

    if a=a then print "but the idea that banning guns is going to somehow prevent tragic events like this from happening is not really getting to the root of the problems"

    next a

    Does the day end in "y"?

    Right now gun owners wouldn't know who does or doesn't want to "ban all guns" because they don't care. It is similar in its hypocritical cowardice to the idea of going to war and then sanitizing the images back home in order to hide the actual human costs of warfare "out of respect for the soldiers and their families".

    One of the drivers of certain political labels is actually functional; historically, conservatism seeks to retain and augment existing and former outcomes. Now, the idea of liberal and conservative is less important here than the effect. In myriad, unrelated issues, this attempt to retain and even revert generally visits its negative effects on other people, not the ones who advocate the outcome. And, yes, we can split the hair that says all political outcomes do this, but there is an observable difference between, say, not getting to keep a health insurance plan that shouldn't have been legal in the first place for being generally useless to you, and, say, being dead because BillyBob was negligent with his gun. But it's the same process, large or small. Slavery sounded great to some people who would never be slaves and coincidentally had a financial stake in maintaining the existing way. Do you realize that women are not people under the U.S. Constitution, which is why we have a Nineteenth Amendment when the Fourteenth should have sufficed? Yet even today, in the twenty-first century we still argue about issues wherein a woman's human rights are subject to someone else's comfort of privilege. And look at people like Dick Black, the former military prosecutor who considers spousal rape impossible; he's never going to be on the receiving end of that. Or newly-elected Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO4); he's never going to be on the receiving end of his philosophy, either. Look at the heterosupremacists in the twenty-first century; their heterosexual marriages are never going on the ballot. Never have, never will. Listen to the rich tell the poor how to live; they imagine themselves immune to that sort of outcome.

    And it's never that gun owner, either. It's never "my kid" or "my spouse" or "my whoever or whatever".

    And, you know, maybe those people sincerely believe it's not them or theirs. But they're afraid of PSAs talking to the people who need to hear it? Because, quite obviously, there are some "responsible" gun owners who need to hear it.

    But we're better off tilting windmills, because another unnecessary death by firearm is just the price we have to pay in order for "responsible" gun owners to be comfortable.

    That's why I find it offensive.

    And I think that you, within the context of a psychoanalytic meaning of history—the human aspects from which the names and dates and places and death tolls derive—already know this.


    ° Actually, I believe that is Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), but ... er ... okay, no reason to not look it up, and yes, it's Sen. Paul who has a hold on Dr. Murthy's nomination.

  21. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    While the standard argument against tighter gun laws takes some form of "restrictions on guns won't decrease crime, then only criminals will have guns and besides, people kill people, guns don't kill people" there is now evidence that easier access to firearms can increase violent crime:

    Laws in all 50 states permitting people to carry concealed firearms in public have been connected to a rise in violent crimes, according to a new report from researchers at Stanford and Johns Hopkins universities.
    The new findings suggest that right-to-carry laws are "associated with substantially higher rates" of aggravated assault, rape and robbery, Stanford law professor John J. Donohue III, one of the study’s three authors, explained in a press release on Friday.

    Causation or merely correlation? At what point do we stop debating and accept that maybe, just maybe, less guns mean less violence?

    Now before the rabid NRA types start in, I do not want to see guns outlawed. I own several myself, both for hunting and protection. OTH, I don't think I need an assault rifle with a twenty round magazine to accomplish either of those tasks. I also don't see how making a gun owner liable for their gun being used to slaughter innocents restricts me either.

    There are reasonable reforms that can be enacted that will not unduly interfere with law abiding use of firearms. Why do so many gun owners want to pretend it's an all or nothing proposition?

    Huffington Post:
    Stanford News:
    Link to original paper:

  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Our newly elected senator has a concealed carry permit. She is also a light colonel in the national guard.
    I'm with the Swiss-----every responsible adult should have mandatory military training, and military grade weapons, and free access to ranges to keep the skillset intact.
    Complete national healthcare could also spot developing mental problems early.
    Somewhere in here we really need to decide if we are a society/polity of equals, or a polarized society of the haves and have nots.
    I would prefer the former, but a clear understanding of the latter would clear up a lot of confusion.
    Dr_Toad likes this.
  23. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I'm all for tighter policy on who can get and carry firearms - I think such things are NEEDED if we are to curb this problem - my point, though, is simply that the tool being used to carry out the attacks isn't the issue... what is pushing, essentially, CHILDREN to the point where they feel that such action is an option?

Share This Page