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A Simple Question First things first

#1 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-October-18, 12:13

With another mass shooting today (10-18-2017) in Maryland, the question of gun control remains unanswered; however, prior to any discussion about gun control there is an even more basic question that must be answered: Would government restrictions on gun ownership in the U.S. lower gun violence in the U.S.?

All questions of legality and constitutionality are subservient to this more basic question: would it do any good to limit who can own firearms?
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#2 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2017-October-18, 13:14

Evidence from plenty of other similar countries (e.g. the UK and Australia) certainly suggests that it would.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-October-18, 13:44

View PostTylerE, on 2017-October-18, 13:14, said:

Evidence from plenty of other similar countries (e.g. the UK and Australia) certainly suggests that it would.


UK didn't start from anywhere near where US is. Australia might be better example.
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#4 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-18, 14:14

Less gun licences, less guns, less psychos can use guns. Simple.
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#5 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2017-October-18, 15:55

In quite a handful of states a blind person can get a hunting licence.

The big turnaround in Australia happened with a rather large government funded buy back of firearms that are now restricted or banned. Given the scope of gun ownership and general attitude in the USA, that ship has sailed and Band-Aid solutions are the best you can hope for.
The race may not go to the swift nor the battle to the strong. But that's the way to bet it.
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#6 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-October-19, 00:06

Here are 2 further questions: Q1: which do you think should be easier to obtain - a semi-automatic weapon for a mentally-deranged man or an abortion for a woman that became pregnant through rape? Q2: which currently is the easier process in the US?
(-: Zel :-)
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#7 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2017-October-19, 06:08

View PostWinstonm, on 2017-October-18, 12:13, said:

Would government restrictions on gun ownership in the U.S. lower gun violence in the U.S.?


Less guns around = less opportunities where they might be used. Duh!

The fact that you even have to ask is symptomatic of the deep blindness in American society.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-19, 09:28

It probably wouldn't help too much with pre-planned, mass violence. Someone who is really determined will find a way to get a gun. Or they'll go the way of the Tzarnaev brothers and make a bomb.

The big difference it will probably make is in the huge number of gun deaths due to accidents, suicide, emotional overreactions, etc. Although mass shootings get the headlines, there are probably more people killed every day from these causes than in an entire year of mass shootings. If we could do something to reduce this by just 5-10%, it would save far more lives than banning bump stocks would. But lawmakers are going for the latter because it's an something that could actually pass (even the NRA is OK with it).

#9 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-October-19, 10:37

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-19, 09:28, said:

It probably wouldn't help too much with pre-planned, mass violence. Someone who is really determined will find a way to get a gun. Or they'll go the way of the Tzarnaev brothers and make a bomb.

The big difference it will probably make is in the huge number of gun deaths due to accidents, suicide, emotional overreactions, etc. Although mass shootings get the headlines, there are probably more people killed every day from these causes than in an entire year of mass shootings. If we could do something to reduce this by just 5-10%, it would save far more lives than banning bump stocks would. But lawmakers are going for the latter because it's an something that could actually pass (even the NRA is OK with it).


You've already gone off topic with this: "Or they'll go the way of the Tzarnaev brothers and make a bomb."

The reason I was so specific in my question was to prevent these types of red herrings - even unintentional ones like yours - because all we can try to decrease with gun control is gun violence. Bomb violence is another thread.

But the basic question to answer with gun control is whether or not it reduces gun violence. If so, by how much? Should that number propel us to adopt stricter gun control laws?

But first things first.
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#10 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-October-19, 15:06

View PostThe_Badger, on 2017-October-18, 14:14, said:

Less gun licences, less guns, less psychos can use guns. Simple.

Fewer.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-October-19, 16:39

View Postgordontd, on 2017-October-19, 15:06, said:

Fewer.

Alternatvely: less gun licensing, less availability of guns, less gun usage by psychos. :)
(-: Zel :-)
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-20, 08:30

View PostWinstonm, on 2017-October-19, 10:37, said:

But the basic question to answer with gun control is whether or not it reduces gun violence. If so, by how much? Should that number propel us to adopt stricter gun control laws?

I can't imagine any way that increasing gun control could do anything other than reduce gun violence. If there are fewer people with guns, there's fewer opportunities for them to use them.

So the questions are:

How much? Well, that depends on the specifics of the regulations, and how well they're enforced.

Is it enough?

Is it worth the reduced freedom? This is the divisive issue, since there's a wide range of opinions about how important the freedom to own guns is in the first place.

Quote

The reason I was so specific in my question was to prevent these types of red herrings - even unintentional ones like yours - because all we can try to decrease with gun control is gun violence. Bomb violence is another thread.

Presumably reducing gun violence is just a means to an end, which is reducing injuries and death from violence. If reducing gun violence causes other forms of violence to take its place, then what's the point?

However, it's unlikely that this would happen for the vast majority of gun uses, only possibly the most spectacular ones. That's why I said it only applied to the newsworthy, mass shootings, not the day-to-day shootings.

#13 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-October-20, 08:37

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-20, 08:30, said:

Is it worth the reduced freedom? This is the divisive issue, since there's a wide range of opinions about how important the freedom to own guns is in the first place.

OK, here is another question. Do you feel that your freedom to own a car is inhibited by the requirement to take a test and obtain a license before driving it in public?
(-: Zel :-)
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#14 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-October-20, 11:04

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-20, 08:30, said:

I can't imagine any way that increasing gun control could do anything other than reduce gun violence. If there are fewer people with guns, there's fewer opportunities for them to use them.

So the questions are:

How much? Well, that depends on the specifics of the regulations, and how well they're enforced.

Is it enough?

Is it worth the reduced freedom? This is the divisive issue, since there's a wide range of opinions about how important the freedom to own guns is in the first place.


Presumably reducing gun violence is just a means to an end, which is reducing injuries and death from violence. If reducing gun violence causes other forms of violence to take its place, then what's the point?

However, it's unlikely that this would happen for the vast majority of gun uses, only possibly the most spectacular ones. That's why I said it only applied to the newsworthy, mass shootings, not the day-to-day shootings.


The point of gun laws is to reduce gun violence since gun violence is the problem. This may help.
If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. - Herb Stein
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-21, 21:26

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-October-20, 08:37, said:

OK, here is another question. Do you feel that your freedom to own a car is inhibited by the requirement to take a test and obtain a license before driving it in public?

Of course not.

Gun advocates will point out that there's nothing in the Bill of Rights that says there's a right to drive a car. That opens the gate to allowing all sorts of regulations regarding who can drive, the design of cars, etc.

#16 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-October-22, 11:17

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-21, 21:26, said:

Of course not.

Gun advocates will point out that there's nothing in the Bill of Rights that says there's a right to drive a car. That opens the gate to allowing all sorts of regulations regarding who can drive, the design of cars, etc.

It would seem that there is also nothing legally preventing the government from implementing such a licensing system for guns either. Maybe this approach might even be one that could be negotiated with the NRA too. If companies offering license courses needed to be registered with the NRA and a portion of the license fee went into their coffers, it could be quite the money-spinner for them...
(-: Zel :-)
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#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-23, 09:19

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-October-22, 11:17, said:

It would seem that there is also nothing legally preventing the government from implementing such a licensing system for guns either. Maybe this approach might even be one that could be negotiated with the NRA too. If companies offering license courses needed to be registered with the NRA and a portion of the license fee went into their coffers, it could be quite the money-spinner for them...

From what I've seen, the NRA would view this as the first step on the slippery slope to more significant gun restrictions. That seems to be why they oppose many of the most obvious reforms to gun laws, even though the majority of Americans favor them.

The NRA is a non-profit organization, so theoretically money into their coffers isn't an issue. They've essentially become the lobbying group for the gun manufacturing and sales industry.

#18 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-October-23, 11:35

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-23, 09:19, said:

From what I've seen, the NRA would view this as the first step on the slippery slope to more significant gun restrictions. That seems to be why they oppose many of the most obvious reforms to gun laws, even though the majority of Americans favor them.

The NRA is a non-profit organization, so theoretically money into their coffers isn't an issue. They've essentially become the lobbying group for the gun manufacturing and sales industry.


I think you are misunderstanding the difference between NRA the members and NRA the leadership and sponsors; the latter are comprised of extreme libertarians who view any interference from the government as wrong - they would argue the only part of the second amendment that pertains is "shall not be infringed", meaning if you could afford one you should be able to own a nuclear weapon.

I think you misread political extremes. At the edges, both left and right, beliefs and positions have more in keeping with religious fervor than with politics.

"Not until you pry it from my cold dead fingers" is not really a plank of any party except perhaps the Davidian branch of the Seventh Day Adventists.
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#19 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 09:15

View PostWinstonm, on 2017-October-23, 11:35, said:

I think you are misunderstanding the difference between NRA the members and NRA the leadership and sponsors; the latter are comprised of extreme libertarians who view any interference from the government as wrong - they would argue the only part of the second amendment that pertains is "shall not be infringed", meaning if you could afford one you should be able to own a nuclear weapon.

Perhaps. I think the gun industry has enlisted those extremists to run the NRA, because their rhetoric serves the industry's purposes.

They don't actually want to sell nuclear weapons, but lobbying to allow any types of weapons to be purchased, with minimal regulations, means that they can sell more of whatever they do want to put on the market.

#20 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 09:38

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-24, 09:15, said:

Perhaps. I think the gun industry has enlisted those extremists to run the NRA, because their rhetoric serves the industry's purposes.

They don't actually want to sell nuclear weapons, but lobbying to allow any types of weapons to be purchased, with minimal regulations, means that they can sell more of whatever they do want to put on the market.


Libertarians are like teenagers who don't want anyone telling them what they can and can't do, and that immature thinking leads them to idolize Ayn Rand and believe in her fictional world of doers and takers.
If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. - Herb Stein
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