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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Aurora Politics

This was written over several days, due mainly to time limitations but this also allowed a little time to pass, which is a good thing in this case.

I'd like to put up some recent comments, some postings I've read, and some some of my own opinions regarding gun control issues, and how these may or may not relate back to deadly shooting in Aurora over the weekend, and contrast these with another deadly shooting, one that hits a lot closer to home for me: the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech.

I'm going to start with the reason I'm even posting ANYTHING about this, the second paragraph of William's comments in the original Aurora thread. To be fair, he DID post the whole "thoughts and prayers" sentiment, but the second half of his comments were bound to lead to more contentious discussion. (Hey: It's WILLIAM.) And I didn't want that thread turning into a flame-war, so to speak.  So, here they are:

However I'm sure this will be used by the anti-gun groups to call for removal of the 1st amendment. I just wish there was an easier way to take mentally ill people off the streets sooner rather than being forced to wait until after they commit horrendous crimes. The stories are he was planning this for months. If only there was a way of profiling the criminally mentally ill. But, alas, that would be criminal in its own. So we must wait until the nut-cases kill multitudes of innocent people before any actions are taken. Then the punishment will be limited for fear of 'cruelty' to the guilty. What a great system we have. We deny the authority's the ability to lock up guilty people until AFTER they commit horrendous crimes, then blame the authorities for not acting sooner, then deny the authorities a viable punishment worthy of the crime.
There are some good (debatable) points buried in there but first, let's have some fun with our resident Right-Wing Punching Bag, shall we?

First of all, the anti-gun lobby has never 'called for the removal of the FIRST Amendment.' Not even in Rush Limbaugh's wettest fever dreams.  I assume you meant the SECOND Amendment.

Second... "I just wish there was an easier way to take mentally ill people off the streets sooner rather than being forced to wait until after they commit horrendous crimes."  Couple things here... So... You advocate LOCKING PEOPLE UP, who HAVE NOT, in fact, committed any crimes?  Also, the obvious Nazism and Fascism of that statement notwithstanding, your bigotry and ignorance regarding mental illness is truly astounding. I have many friends and family members who have death with or are dealing with varying degrees of mental illness, running the gamut from mild depression up to attempted suicide to having had at least episode of a full, psychotic break from reality. Guess what? With therapy and medication, I am happy to say that they are ALL leading happy, productive and independent lives.  Why you think they should be LOCKED UP, simply because their brains (an organ, just like any other than can go bad on you) is slightly more likely to go bad than yours or mine, is beyond me. You complain that I stereotype conservatives, and the you go and say something WORSE than anything I've ascribed to them.  Was this, perhaps, carelessness on your part, or are you really that big a dick

(And if you're suggesting that forced hospitalization is somehow better than jail, I will refer you to Gov. Ronald W. Reagan's signing of the the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act in 1967, which went into effect in 1969 and quickly became the national model for dealing with the mentally ill and their rights.)

Moving on...
"What a great system we have. We deny the authority's the ability to lock up guilty people until AFTER they commit horrendous crimes, then blame the authorities for not acting sooner, then deny the authorities a viable punishment worthy of the crime."
REALLY?!  Again, you suggest that we should  "lock up guilty people" before they commit crimes.  Um... If they haven't committed a crime (as Holmes had not) then what are the "guilty" of? And on what basis should we "lock them up?" Are you TRYING to make Conservatives look ad? I thoiught that was MY job! Also - WHO'S "blaming the authorities for not acting sooner" here? Um... That would be NO ONE. Holmes had no record, and purchased his guns legally. And how have we "den[ied] the authorities a viable punishment?"  Colorado allows the Death Penalty, for better or worse. (And that's mighty Christian of you, to want this man killed, BTW. I'm sure Jesus would be very proud and feel the same way.) In any case, do you seriously believe that this man will ever be free again? Do you have any doubt that, if convicted (and how could he not be?), he will at least receive Life without possibility of parole?  And he's already torpedoed his own "insanity" defense with the efforts at his apartment to cover his tracks and destroy evidence.

We'll see how it plays out. Any less that Life Without, and I'll buy you a Coke.

OK.  That's enough of that from me. (But feel free to join the pile on, if you wish.)  There IS the question of how the "anti-gun" lobby will use this to further their agenda.  And, yes, there is no doubt they will.  I saw as much after Virgina Tech.  And while this is both wrong and misguided, I'll have to say that it shows infinitely more wisdom that the propaganda spread by the NRA and the rest of the Pro-Gun lobby, suggesting that IF ONLY there had been at least ONE PERSON in that theatre (or those classrooms) with a GUN, all this could have been avoided!

...Which, of course, is completely idiotic.

Consider for a moment the best case scenario: One other guy in the theatre with a gun, and the presence of mind to use it before the tear gas gets to him.This great patriot would still be shooting at Holmes in the dark, in a theatre PACKED full of panicking people.

Yeah, I’m sure that would work out exactly as he’d envisioned it.

Then consider the ultimate Right-Wing wet dream of MANY armed people being in that crowd! Between the noise and the chaos and the crowd and the darkness and the tear gas, and MULTIPLE SHOOTERS… how would you even know who to shoot?! How would you still know who the ‘bad guy’ was?! The answer, of course, is that you wouldn’t, and the only possible outcomes of adding MORE GUNS to an inherently chaotic situation would be that MORE PEOPLE will die. Controlled, well-executed combat under those circumstances is something that out military and police forces train intensely for. It is not something your average dirty-Harry wanna-be is prepared for. Like most Right-Wing opinions, it makes for an interesting fantasy, but completely ignore reality.

But there some political symmetry here, no? I mean… If the right is going to say “I told you so,” even idiotically, the Left will no doubt do the same, right? And no doubt, true to form, they have. But, as with most situations of (bogus) political symmetry, the Left’s “insanity,” the Left’s “assault on our freedom,” isn’t so easily debunked. MMFA recently ran a piece in the wake of Aurora showing what those “gun hating Liberals” are proposing, which have overwhelming public support:

(For the record, you may consider me a supported of ALL of these measures as well.)
• 86 percent support requiring all gun buyers to pass a criminal background check, no matter where they purchase the weapon or from whom they buy it. (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)

• 63 percent favor a ban on high capacity magazines or clips. (January 2011 CBS News poll)

• 69 percent support "limiting the number of guns a person could purchase in a given time frame." (April 2012 Ipsos/Reuters poll)

• 66 percent support requiring gun owners to register their firearms as part of a national gun registry. (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)

• 88 percent support banning those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns. (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)

Now the background check / terror watch list stuff does not apply here. I’m a bigger criminal than Holmes was. (I have more than one speeding ticket to my name.) It would have prevented Seung Hui Cho from getting his guns… But then, that law was already on the books, and was ineffective because the multiple background databases don’t overlap or communicate with each other. The magazine capacity limit… Really would not have changed much – it doesn’t take that long to re-load an AR-15 with a new magazine. OTOH… Who really NEEDS that much ammunition at once? What the hell are going to DO with that kind of destructive capacity that WOULDN’T be illegal?! And while the National Gun Registry wouldn’t matter much in the case of most spree shooters (and would not have dissuaded Holmes) it would remain an invaluable too to law enforcement, to be forewarned and forearmed going into a situation where this knowledge might dictate their approach. It would also help the FBI profile the kinds of people who might be likely to commit crimes like this. You know: Kind of like William was suggesting we do, only without actually taking away people’s freedom.

The other item that I wanted to bring up was the recent expired Assault Weapons Ban. It’s been widely bandied about that the AWB may have prevented this. Um… No, not really. “Assauolt Weapons” were defined having either (1) a bayonet attachment lug, (2) a collapsible stock or (3) a flash suppressor. Now, I don’t know if Holmes’ particular AR-15 had ANY of these features, but if even if it DID, he could have simply acquired an AR-15 that DIDN’T and the lack of these would not have saved even a single life in Aurora. (Unless he bayoneted someone that I’m not aware of.)

But back to the Gun registry, and the fear that this will be the first step to disarming the populace…

Are the Democrats “coming for your guns?"

No. They aren’t.

Moron.

That’s a NRA propaganda-fueled fantasy. Unfortunately, the NRA is such a powerful lobby that ALL politicians have been emasculated to the point that none will propose even one of the very moderate proposals listed above, despite that fact that enjoy such broad public support, even amongst registered Republicans!

Can anyone “take away” your guns? Not without amending the U.S. Constitution, or five new justices on the Supreme Court who are not only gun-phobic, but precedent-phobic as well. (And to date, it is really only the Right Wing judges who have shown such a breathtaking willingness to break precedent.

Anyway… Those are the facts, as I see them. As for my OPINION…?

Well, regarding the LAW, I support the second amendment, and I believe that people should have the right to own guns. I would support reinstating the AWB, as described above, and I support all of the measures mentioned in the MMFA article. These are all basic, common sense safety measures that do not curtail anyone’s freedom in the least. What I DO NOT support is any legal measure aimed at ACTUALLY taking peoples’ guns away or limiting their access in acquiring them. (Criminals and some of the Mentally Ill excepted, of course, as common sense dictates.) My reasoning is simple: If a gun registry and system of background checks have any inherent value, then it is too important to risk people skipping those steps if the State decides it going to play games by issuing only so many licenses, or tries to actually stop people from buying what they way. If a person wants a gun for protection, and the State says, “Sorry, we’re not issuing any more licenses this year,” (which various municipalities in Massachusetts have been know to do,) the SOME OF these people are just going to buy a gun of the street. An unregistered gun. An unlicensed gun. A gun that may have been involved in a crime. Who knows? NOBODY, because the State was stupid enough to pass a law that PUNISHES people for complying with it! (The same logic applies to the RIGHT’S idiotic stance on immigration, but let’s leave that for another time, OK?)

That’s how I view the issue LEGALLY. As for how I feel about GUNS THEMSELVES…?

I despise guns. They can be tremendous TOOLS. (In hunting, for example.) But as personal arms go, a gun is a coward’s weapon. A liar’s weapon. A weapon which makes it far too easy for us to kill, by taking away the WORK and the COMMITMENT to the act. Don't get me wrong - I recognize that this is a necessary tool for our Soldiers and Police Forces. (Because the people they face inevitably have them! Duh!) And despite my feelings about guns in general, and there essential uselessness in situations such as Aurora and Virgina Tech, not to mention the potential LEGAL issues surrounding their usage in more personal encounters (see Martin / Zimmerman) at the end of the day I will still zealously protect my right to own one.  While I hate guns, I love freedom. And I love the fact that the CHOICE to own a gun remains my own to make.

20 comments:

  1. Since no one else will post until I do ... here you go.

    Funny thing about your contempt for gun ownership is that the day after the Colorado incident, there was a vehicle accident that took 14 lives in Texas. Another one took the lives of 15 Filipinos. Just wanted to point out that deaths happen all the time for every conceivable reason.

    Guns don't kill people ... people kill people. But, I guess you already know that.

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  2. Where did you get the idea that I have a "contempt for gun owenership?" I have a contempt for GUNS. There's a difference. Both DW any I still own WEAPONS, we just choose to arm ourselves with... more elegant weapons.

    Maybe I'll put up a picture of them later today.

    As for 'Guns don't kill people ... people kill people'? It a true stament and yet completely irrelevant to Aurora, or the issue of Gun Control. Here's why: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-4-most-meaningless-arguments-against-gun-control/

    Also, I should apologize that this wasn't a particularly coherent or well-organized post on my part. Not a particularly contentious one either, since I don't believe that events such as Aurora or Va-Tech are relevant to Gun Rights or Gun Control issues anyway, and rather serve as reminders that we should not base public policy on extreme or exceptional events, or use the emotions surrounding these events to push an agenda.

    And yes, that absolutely goes for both sides.

    "Tough cases make for bad laws." ~ Christine, my lawyer friend. ;)

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    1. No disrespect to Christine, Eddie, but that statement is older, and truer, than "guns don't kill people; people kill people." As Craig's link states, people with access to combat weapons, the purpose of which is mechanized slaughter, kill innocents in their dozens. I find it amusing, and not surprising, that our resident "preventive detention doyen" falls back on that essentially meaningless formula (and equates accidental deaths with carefully planned mayhem).
      In the early 90's I read a study on comparative murder rates in the Western democracies. If you took firearms out of the equation, Americans killed each other at pretty much the same rate other Westerners did. Put gun murders back into the mix and the numbers became staggering.

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    2. That was really funny. So, remember, cars don't kill 30-40K people a year, people who shouldn't drive kill them. Keep your steady gaze and focus on the "why" not the "how". That will keep them driving longer.

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    3. "I find it amusing, and not surprising, that our resident "preventive detention doyen" falls backon that essentially meaningless formula (and equates accidental deaths with carefully planned mayhem)."

      The Texas tragedy occured because the truck was loaded up with 20 people and you call that an "accident"? The other one the vehicle was unsafe to be on the road and you call that an "accident"? Well, keep your steady gaze and focus on the "why" and not the "how". 30K to 40K deaths attributed to automobiles is somehow safer and more acceptable than gun deaths. I'll bet if I called all gun deaths "accidental" you would go ballistic (in a liberal sort of way).
      The "tough cases make for bad laws" isn't any better than the one I used. The laws that should have prevented the Aurora tragedy were already in place. All they need is to be enforced.

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  4. Carig - Awesome! Love it! Well done, sir!

    COnch - Yeah, I know. I just didn't feel like finding the correct attribution. LOL. Also - about the only RW mantra that I'll 'cling to' when it comes to gun control is the claim that if you outlawed 'em (which no one is proposing anyway!) then ouly criminals would have 'em. Now... I believe THAT's true, but... Rather than buy a gun, I simply moved to a safer neighborhood. (Since, you know... I despise guns!)

    William - Those cars weren't MEANT to kill people. They weren't deigned and maufactured for the purpose of killing poeple. They were being MISUSED when those people died. People die when cars are used IMPROPERLY. When a gun is used IMproperly? (IE: Not accorign to intended purpose or within it's design specifiications?) NOBODY gets killed. A gun cannot be used for any other purpose. They're not "defensive" either. MACE is defense. ARMOR is defensive. GUNS can only be offensive. The only use for a gun is to kill someone or threaten to kill them. (Which I can do w/o a gun!)

    And of course, by the logic you exhibited in your original comment, I suppose we should then "lock up" anyone with both a car and a driver's liscense, in order to prevent them from being a menace ond commiting [what you apparently think] is a "heinous crime" [equivalent to that of shooting up a movie theatre]?

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    1. Eddie, you make some very good points. Cars are not meant to kill people. Guns were designed to kill people (thanks to wars), but they have honest uses also (hunting, sport shooting) as you noted in your article. To simply condemn them only for being designed to kill people is incorrect but acceptable. There are laws to keep guns out of criminal's hands but they do not work (again as you noted). Sure it would be nice to be able to stop a criminal who has invaded your house, and has a gun, with a knife, but that isn't very likely. And, not many people own Kevlar vests (assuming they only shoot at your chest) so self-defense is another acceptable use of guns. But that is another use that is designed to kill people. Personally I don't own any guns and don't want to. Too many "accidents" happen when a gun is in the house. And there are MANY accidental deaths attributed to guns ... just like automobiles. Guns are very unforgiving ... just like automobiles when operated by those who do not know how to operate them. Automobiles are not designed to kill people but the end result becomes the same: dead people, (keep your steady gaze and focus on the "why" not the "how"). If your main concern is dead people then you must recognize the danger of automobiles. If your concern is the method of death then stay focused on guns. Personally, I think gun control laws are almost sufficient, but there lacks consistancy from state to state (Colorado laws allowed this person to get his, while other state's laws would have prevented it).
      If you want to complain to me about my analogy of death caused by *** then you go right ahead and do that. But the facts remain that more deaths occur one way over the other. Punching bag or not, I would prefer stricter regulations over use (and ownership) of both items. That would save lives and reduce the chances of either causing the massive mayhem that both cause.
      I think your focus is in the wrong direction. The gun lobby or manufacterer isn't to blame (as many liberal do) but the lack of restriction on guns (and ammunition) that creates the ability to kill 'at will' by the people who aren't intended to own them. However, the fact remains that even honest people go crazy and all the laws in the world (aside from absolute restriction of ownership) wouldn't stop some events from happening. But our nation does not allow that (thanks for the correction of my ammedment reference).

      And no, I don't want to 'pre-crime' lock people up. I want stricter control and stricter authorization of usage to be the vehicle for the reduction in the possibility of excessive death to people caused by either.

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    2. William. Well done. I really don't disagree with any of teh substantive, policy-position based staements that you've made here. It's so rare that we aren't clawing at each others' throats, so credit where it's due. Well done. Bravo.

      In particular...

      "I want stricter control and stricter authorization of usage to be the vehicle for the reduction in the possibility of excessive death to people caused by either."

      Well, congratulations my friend, you have made for yourself a legitiamtely Liberal, Prograssive position there.(Who'd have thunk it?) Thing is...

      "The gun lobby [...] isn't to blame (as many liberal do) but the lack of restriction on guns (and ammunition) that creates the ability to kill 'at will' by the people who aren't intended to own them."

      OK... Again, I agree with the 2nd part, but if 'the gun lobby' is not to blame (as many liberal do) than who, pray tell, IS to blame, in your opinion? Who exactly do you think is funding and fuelling the OPPOSITION to the very regulations you say you support? Which are basically the same regulations MMFA laid out, that have braod public support but which politicians are afraid to touch with a 100' pole. Who do you tink they're afraid of, exactly? Um... That would, ABSOLUTELY BE, the GUN LOBBY. There's simply no other organized, large-scale, politicall active or relevant group in opposition to these things. And if you ARE opposed to them? Well, my firend YOU ARE NOW IN THE GUN LOBBY!

      So I agree with what you say should happen. Just don't let your irrational hatred of all things Liberal lead you to think that all things you're against are necessarily Liberal, or are couldn't POSSIBLY be Conservtaive.

      Liberals SUPPORT the reuglations you are proposing. And teh Rigth Wing GUN LOBBY opposes them.

      Get that strait? And I'd agree with 100%.

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    3. Eddie, the gun lobby does not vote on gun law. The people you and I put into office are the ones who vote on the gun laws. Sometimes even we get to vote on those laws ourselves. And, there are rogue judges that change voter created law in other aspects of our voting process, if you think the gun lobby is so much in full and complete control of all our politicians then you have an extremely cynical view of American politics. The 'other' lobby is way more powerful, when they can get rogue judges to go against every bigoted right-wing voter preference and continue creating laws that the people never vote for.

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    4. "If you think the gun lobby is so much in full and complete control of all our politicians then you have an extremely cynical view of American politics."

      And if you think that the lobbyists who fund the campaigns of these politicians and run the ads and other propaganda vehicles, such as sending thier representetives the go and speak on Fox News, UNCHALLENGED, to "inform" the American voters, DON'T have a HUGE influence on policy, grossly and utterly disproportionate to their proportion of the elctorate, then YOU, my friend have far too idealistic a view on American Politics and one that borders on delusional and dangerous naievete.

      Look up A.L.E.C. some time. They are the ones who WRITE the laws that "we" vote on. And they haven't written a GOOD ONE yet, IMHO. And they are the ones hooking up politicans with the very lobbyists we're talking about - the NRA, and industry groups as well as others. They write the laws, and the help buy and sell the politicians that vote on them. That's what they do. It's ALL they do.

      Cynical? You're damned right I am. The more I learn about outfits like ALEC, the less I believe in the illusory farce that is American Democracy. And it's people like YOU that let this happen, by being taken in by the Right's propaganda and nonsense. (And, go figure: blaming "Liberals" who have perpetually been in the minority for three generations now.) Who do you think APPOINTED the very judges that have struck down those Gun Regulations?! THEY'RE CONSISTENTLY CONSERVATIVE, REPUBLICAN APPOINTESS! In fact, in you define "activist judge" as one that would overrule an act of congress or the opinion of a federal regulatory agencny (you know: SUBSTITUTION THEIR OWN?!) then the overshelming majority of "judical activism" is commiteed by REPUBLICAN Appointees. The problem is, people like you get sucked into the idea that "judical activism" is anytime a judge doesn't go along with the Republican agenda.

      But whatever. Keep living in your comfortable fantasy.

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    5. Eddie, you stretching it quite a bit if you think groups like ALEC control as much as you think they do. I may as well whine about ACLU for them being too powerful (and in the back-pocket of liberal democrats). You might want to start removing that aluminum foil from your clothing and headgear. Remove it from your car, too. I'm glad I'm a conservative. It seems being a liberal means you are believers of any conspiracy theory being made up.

      That's fine if that's how you people want to do things. Personally, I'm an optimist and not a pessimist (as liberals all appear to be). And your (all posters) constant negativity is getting to me. I will make this my LAST post at this site ever. I don't need your (all posters) constant (and uncalled for) name-calling. Real adults don't need to continually name-call during a simple conversation.

      Good luck with your blog, Eddie, after I leave and you go back to 3 comments per article. I hope you took advantage of your advertising options while you had 50, 60 ... 350 posts per article. Because you won't have that anymore. You're welcome.

      If you need to make another rude comment to me, you can visit my website and e-mail me all you want.

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  5. I'd be opposed to all of those measures, and I think it's very inappropriate for people to start pimping them in the aftermath of these sorts of massacres.

    This is always presented as a conservative/liberal argument when, in reality, it's much more of a city/country argument. Urbanites who never even see a real-life gun except when one is stuck in their face by some mugger, tend to want to put a bunch of regulations on them, while ruralites, who grow up around them correctly see those same regulations as nothing more than a burden on the law-abiding that can't possibly have any countervailing positive impact. This is one of those issues on which some liberals--those urbanites--lose their mind, become just as stupid as conservatives, and adopt the conservatives' (il)logic. The first part of this is in adopting the right's play on irrational emotionalism by using these incidents to pimp for gun control legislation. There is no legislative measure that can prevent these sorts of events.

    "Assault rifles" is, in political usage, nothing more than a propaganda phrase intended to prey on the ignorant, who hear it and, knowing nothing of the subject, conjure up action-movie visions of fully-automatic weaponry, exactly as was intended by those who deploy the phrase. An actual assault rifle must, by definition, be fire-selective, and capable of fully-automatic fire, but it's virtually impossible to legally purchase such a weapon, and has been for the lifetime of anyone reading these words. Those using this subterfuge defined an assault weapon by its appearance--cosmetic features they could put on television and show to people who have only ever seen these weapons in a RAMBO or DEATH WISH movie, and think that's what's being banned.

    The parallels between this sort of thing and what conservatives do all the time should be patently obvious.

    A national gun registry serves no useful purpose except to give those with power a list of people who have guns--a list they most definitely do NOT EVER need to have. It's unworkable, creates every incentive to avoid legal gun purchases that require it, and, again, just creates a master list that is of absolutely no use, except to provide some future regime, less liberal than the present one, with a means for monstrous mischief.

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    1. "I think it's very inappropriate for people to start pimping them in the aftermath of these sorts of massacres."

      I couldn't agree more.
      "I think it's very inappropriate for people to start pimping them in the aftermath of these sorts of massacres."

      I couldn't agree more.

      I had original started this post out saying "against my better judgement" but THAT'S a cop-out. It's my blog, and I posted it, so I'll just have to man-up and take my lumps for doing so. That being said, I do hope that my comments here are not being taken as my "pimping [a position]." Becuase I DID NOT want to do that. I DID want to respond to William's comments in the Aurora post, the second half of which were idiotic to the point of desperately needing some clarification (which I gald to see he's provided, and a 'well done' to him, at that) but I didn't want THAT post to become a debate either.

      So here we are.

      Once again, as always, great points. Particularly that this is more of a "rural vs. urban" than a "Liberal vs. Conservative" issue. I agree entirely, but there is a point of political pragmatism that needs to be considered here. "Rural Areas" also tend to be more Conservative and more Republican, in general and on average, than "Urban Areas." For a number of reasons, granted, but Gun Control FITS nicely into that narritive. ALSO, think of the States that are made up of a majortiy of Rural areas. That would be the Southeast - Conservative and Republican since 1968; and the Mountain States, including Alaska, which have been Libertarian and Republican... pretty much forever. And go figure that the States with more Urban areas range between Battleground States (the Midwest) and solidly Democratic ones (the Northeast and Pacific States.) So again... This may be purely an outcome of our goofy political system, but it ends up defing gun rights vs. gun control regulations as a Right-Left issue, for better or worse.

      Good points on Assault Rifles. Pretty much what I was going for in that the AWB was just another Orwellian-named piece of legislation that accomplished more in terms of political theatre than what the public believed it did in terms of pragmatic results. What's more, it's expiration (and SCOTUS challenge) did not accomplish what most people think it did either.

      But I have to disagree with you on one point:

      "A national gun registry serves no useful purpose except to give those with power a list of people who have guns--a list they most definitely do NOT EVER need to have."

      So... Law enforcement NEVER needs to know if the person they just pulled over, of that they are investigating on a domestic disturbance call, is a gun owenr? How about the Hutari or (better) the Branch Davidians? Wouldn't someone noticing earlier the huge stock pile of weapons, trigger an earlier investiagtion, and possibly AVOID a potential massacre? How about someone being treated, in-patient at a psychiatric hospital? Shoudl teh psych evaluation not consider how well armed the person might be? (And don't think "Aurora" here, think "suicide.")

      For you to say that the is NEVER a useful puropose is simply untrue. There CAN be MANYE useful purposes. Whether or not the politicos are TALKING about them is immaterial. I just gave you three.

      "It's unworkable"

      Irrelevant. And frankly I don't believe it's true anyway. We register CARS, and there are more of those in this country than there are guns, and more DIVERS than there are GUN OWNERS by many times.

      "creates every incentive to avoid legal gun purchases that require it"

      Why? Oh, because...

      "it [...] creates a master list that is of absolutely no use, except to provide some future regime"

      Wow. Now YOU sound like the rigth wing gun nut! And here WILLIAM of all people was making so much sense!

      (cont'd)

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    2. (con't)

      "[LESS] liberal than the present one"

      Wait... I thought the LIBERALS were the ones COMING for your guns! (I'm confused.)

      "with a means for monstrous mischief."

      OK... This is like a Bizarro thread. Up above I [basically] told William to "vote Democratic" and here I'm going to to tell YOU (of all people) to VOTE REPUBLICAN, then!

      LOL.

      And yet... I consider myself a CONSERVATIVE on Guns (on the basis that I would NEVER support a law that sought to take guns away from [law abiding, mentally stable] people, and yet I find YOU on my Right and WILLIAM on my Left!

      And you know what?

      I LOVE THAT!!! LOL.

      I really do!

      It goes to show that people and issues are not so simple, and can't simply be put into neat and tidy little boxes!

      And see, THIS is really what I wanted to do. not to "pimp" any hard and fast position, but to (1) reply to William's original comment and (2) give people a forum to discuss the issue, in general.

      *And I did so KNOWING that it's an issue that YOU tend to fall more Conservative on - for the very reasons you mentioned, which I was hoping you would bring up!

      So THANKS for that!

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    3. I'm not to the right of you--I'm well to the left. It's just that I'm a country boy who has some guns of my own.

      A minor correction: There are not more cars than guns in the U.S. Back in 2005 and 2007, the DOT studied vehicles, and said there were 254.4 million registered vehicles--that's all vehicles--and estimated another 6 million functioning but unregistered. At the same time, there are an estimated 300 million guns in the U.S. in private hands (2010 figures).

      "So... Law enforcement NEVER needs to know if the person they just pulled over, of that they are investigating on a domestic disturbance call, is a gun owenr?"

      Absolutely not. The "cure," in that case, is far worse than the disease, and, honestly, law enforcement needs to fear the citizenry. One of the reasons law enforcement in the U.S. is such a problem is that we've let them run wild; let them get away with everything, and never make them treat the public with any respect at all. We defer to them in everything. They can attack, brutalize, and even murder people, and their victims will never get any justice within the justice system. Look at how they react to the increasing prevalence of cameras in the society--stealing camera-phones, ordering citizens to stop filming them (which those citizens are legally entitled to do), even physically assaulting people who record their actions. Do a Google search for something like "police phone camera." Guns, like cameras, are good to have around.

      "How about the Hutari or (better) the Branch Davidians? Wouldn't someone noticing earlier the huge stock pile of weapons, trigger an earlier investiagtion, and possibly AVOID a potential massacre?"

      No, because those are the very kinds of people who wouldn't go through some absurd "registration" process in the first place, for the very reasons you've just mentioned. The Branch Davidians had a stockpile of fully-automatic weapons, including an M-60, and even hand grenades, all of which are required to be registered, but none of which were.

      The national registry is unworkable, and if you dispute that, I doubt you've given the matter a moment of serious thought. Cars--huge, multi-ton vehicles--are a terrible analogy in this case. A more appropriate one would be pencils or books or something like that, something that can fit in your pocket and that have been sold and freely passed around, with minimal regulation, for a few centuries, now (whereas the state began requiring registration of cars from pretty much the moment they appeared). Books are a better analogy, as VERY few would think it would be appropriate to give the state a list of everything they read. Even that analogy has problems. With so many weapons already out there, it wouldn't even matter if some played along; it would still just be a publicity show, just like the "assault weapons" thing.

      Some people just don't need guns. There isn't really anything the law can do about that, though. That's something responsible people have to handle among their own friends, family members, and so on. A few weeks ago, an ex of mine, who was one of my best friends but had serious mental health issues, recently got her hands on one and killed herself. I don't really want to talk about that in public, but I'll go as far as to say no legislation would have prevented that. Absolutely none.

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  6. Do you realise how many Americans die of OLD AGE every minute of every day?

    I'm sure your liberal, nanny-state solution will be to take away our calenders, wrist watches and wall clocks.

    Why?

    Because time is a killer and only a big government solution can protect us from it.

    How very "progressive!"

    I weep for America.

    Signed,

    Jack Strawman

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    Replies
    1. Jack,

      So... Is this meant to be a geniune attack on the Liberal position, or are you satirizing the Right's logic on this issue and their typical counter-argument?

      This is a legitimate case of me asking whether you're being sarcastic, or are just stupid and NOT already knowing the answer!

      If it's SATIRE, it's brilliant. (Fooled William anyway, for what that's worth.)

      (And... "Jack Strawman"... I'm guessing satire.)

      (I'm HOPING it's satire.) LOL

      Otherwise, I truly DO "weep for America" as well.

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    2. This is a legitimate case of me asking whether you're being sarcastic, or are just stupid and NOT already knowing the answer!

      It was the sarcastic one. ;-)

      I saw the "I weep for America" line in a ditto-head letter-to-the-editor that morning and thought it would make a nice closer.

      Signed,

      Jack Strawman
      (The strawman's strawman!)

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  7. "Do you realise how many Americans die of OLD AGE every minute of every day?"

    Yes, and there is a multi-billion dollar industry trying to figure out how to stop that from happening. Highly controlled and highly regulated. Is that the best you can come up with Mr. Strawman?

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