Orlando / Gun Control

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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Paul Anthony on July 24th, 2016, 5:12 pm 

Braininvat » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:45 pm wrote:I think he meant the latter. And that was my point, that a single instance (or data point) is not a basis for any meaningful analysis.


Nice save. ;) Forgive me for doubting you, but I don't think that was your point. You prefaced it with "Want to know my reaction to Munich's shooting?" I took what followed to be your personal opinion. I did not challenge it because you are entitled to express your own personal opinion on this forum. It's what we do. Not everything we say here is meant to be the results of in depth scientific analysis. I am dissecting your comment now because biowizard has made it part of the discussion. Please don't be offended.

As stated, it is definitive in that it precludes any other possibilities. Had you said "he would have most likely had an AR-15" a reader might assume you were basing it on an analysis of data that indicated a high probability that the weapon used would be an AR-15 (although no data was provided). Such analysis would involve examining all mass shootings in the US and what weapons were used in each. Although I haven't done such analysis, I suspect the conclusion would be valid.

The second part of your statement would also require compilation of data from all mass shootings, comparing the number of deaths occurring when an AR-15 is used to the number of deaths resulting from a different choice of weapon. To convince me that the result would be "triple" would definitely require statistical support.

But I didn't ask for data. I accepted your opinion as your opinion.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby BioWizard on July 24th, 2016, 6:00 pm 

Paul, what Braininvat said was correct. My point was that for any anecdotal story, a different anecdotal story with the opposite message can be easily found (in this case, Biv's hint to stories in the US where people used machine guns). That is not an effective way for modeling, understanding, and predicting the world. It demonstrates the futility of using anecdotal evidence - in other words, the futility and uselessness of several of your recent posts. The above post being yet another example where you offer nothing new (and arguably nothing at all).

If this has become a matter of opinion, then we already know what everybody's opinions are by now. No need to keep regurgitating them in ever declining form. I think this thread is done.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Paul Anthony on July 24th, 2016, 7:04 pm 

BioWizard » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:00 pm wrote:Paul, what Braininvat said was correct. My point was that for any anecdotal story, a different anecdotal story with the opposite message can be easily found (in this case, Biv's hint to stories in the US where people used machine guns). That is not an effective way for modeling, understanding, and predicting the world. It demonstrates the futility of using anecdotal evidence - in other words, the futility and uselessness of several of your recent posts. The above post being yet another example where you offer nothing new (and arguably nothing at all).

If this has become a matter of opinion, then we already know what everybody's opinions are by now. No need to keep regurgitating them in ever declining form. I think this thread is done.


Aside from the fact that BIV made no mention of "machine guns", I accept your conclusions. If you found my last post - or any of my posts - worth "nothing at all", this thread is indeed done.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby BioWizard on July 24th, 2016, 7:16 pm 

I don't know much about guns so I probably called it the wrong thing. In any case, I figured it would have to be something bigger and more damaging than a handgun (for BiV's comment to make sense), which a quick google search suggests it is.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Paul Anthony on July 24th, 2016, 7:57 pm 

BioWizard » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:16 pm wrote:I don't know much about guns so I probably called it the wrong thing. In any case, I figured it would have to be something bigger and more damaging than a handgun (for BiV's comment to make sense), which a quick google search suggests it is.


I know this has been a long thread, and you can be excused if you haven't read every post. We did discuss at length the difference between "machine guns" (fully automatic weapons that have been illegal in the US since sometime in the 30's) and semi-automatic weapons (such as the infamous AR15).

But, no matter. Feel free to close this thread.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby BioWizard on July 24th, 2016, 8:02 pm 

Yes I didn't forget the details of those discussions, and where you'd like to draw the line vs where others have suggested. I just don't know much about the actual names, but that really wasn't critical to anything I've said since Biv's fateful post. I can easily go back and do a search and replace "machine gun" with "AR-15" if that pleases the jury.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Paul Anthony on July 24th, 2016, 8:20 pm 

BioWizard » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:02 pm wrote:Yes I didn't forget the details of those discussions, and where you'd like to draw the line vs where others have suggested. I just don't know much about the actual names, but that really wasn't critical to anything I've said since Biv's fateful post. I can easily go back and do a search and replace "machine gun" with "AR-15" if that pleases the jury.


Alas, much of the "jury" is happy equating AR-15's with machine guns.

We also discussed that fact that most handguns and pellet guns are also semi-automatic weapons. The counter-argument has been, "But AR-15's fire at greater velocity, making them deadlier". This is nonsense, easily disproved by science. Velocity is a product of the size of the projectile combined with the length of the barrel. The same ammo, if fired from a bolt action rifle with the same barrel length, will result in the same velocity. The ammo most commonly used in an AR-15 can be fired from a variety of weapons, including some handguns (resulting in less velocity due to the shorter barrel) and many less scary looking rifles.

But none of this has swayed the jury. They still want to ban AR-15's. It comes down to the difference between science and hysteria. Funny how even scientists sometimes happily ignore science.

The jury has decided. I have nothing left to add.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Lomax on July 24th, 2016, 8:26 pm 

Paul Anthony » July 25th, 2016, 1:20 am wrote:But none of this has swayed the jury. They still want to ban AR-15's. It comes down to the difference between science and hysteria. Funny how even scientists sometimes happily ignore science.

The jury has decided. I have nothing left to add.

I have to say I have the same feeling about the entire debate, worldwide. It makes no difference to anybody that there are a mixture of studies finding that gun control improves or worsens the homicide rate, and there'll never be a literature review or a meta-analysis or anything of the sort, even on a forum like this. To one side it is "common sense" that gun control works - regardless of any studies that find it ineffective or counter-productive - and to the other it is "common sense" that gun control is ineffective or counter-productive, regardless of any studies that find it effective. What use is debate? Everybody knows everything already.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby BioWizard on July 24th, 2016, 8:38 pm 

Paul Anthony » 24 Jul 2016 07:20 pm wrote:
BioWizard » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:02 pm wrote:Yes I didn't forget the details of those discussions, and where you'd like to draw the line vs where others have suggested. I just don't know much about the actual names, but that really wasn't critical to anything I've said since Biv's fateful post. I can easily go back and do a search and replace "machine gun" with "AR-15" if that pleases the jury.


Alas, much of the "jury" is happy equating AR-15's with machine guns.

We also discussed that fact that most handguns and pellet guns are also semi-automatic weapons. The counter-argument has been, "But AR-15's fire at greater velocity, making them deadlier". This is nonsense, easily disproved by science. Velocity is a product of the size of the projectile combined with the length of the barrel. The same ammo, if fired from a bolt action rifle with the same barrel length, will result in the same velocity. The ammo most commonly used in an AR-15 can be fired from a variety of weapons, including some handguns (resulting in less velocity due to the shorter barrel) and many less scary looking rifles.

But none of this has swayed the jury. They still want to ban AR-15's. It comes down to the difference between science and hysteria. Funny how even scientists sometimes happily ignore science.

The jury has decided. I have nothing left to add.


Seems like it doesn't matter how much I try to explain here that the distinction between AR15 and machine gun was irrelevant and completely tangential to my point (the meaning was for something stronger than a handgun, whatever it might be in our reality). But you have your agenda and you will stick with it and latch on any minutea that makes it seem like you've made a point.

In any case, everybody is coming to the realization that no amount of data or research is going to sway anyone from their positions. So best to leave it at this and let the thread wind down. Nothing wrong with everyone saying all they have to say and moving on to other things.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby BioWizard on July 24th, 2016, 9:00 pm 

Lomax » 24 Jul 2016 07:26 pm wrote:
Paul Anthony » July 25th, 2016, 1:20 am wrote:But none of this has swayed the jury. They still want to ban AR-15's. It comes down to the difference between science and hysteria. Funny how even scientists sometimes happily ignore science.

The jury has decided. I have nothing left to add.

I have to say I have the same feeling about the entire debate, worldwide. It makes no difference to anybody that there are a mixture of studies finding that gun control improves or worsens the homicide rate, and there'll never be a literature review or a meta-analysis or anything of the sort, even on a forum like this. To one side it is "common sense" that gun control works - regardless of any studies that find it ineffective or counter-productive - and to the other it is "common sense" that gun control is ineffective or counter-productive, regardless of any studies that find it effective. What use is debate? Everybody knows everything already.


Absolutely. Isn't that how it is in a democracy on almost all points of contention though? And why these things tend to get settled by voting, not by posthoc statistical tests? Most people already know what they want and they try to gather support and convenient data to get to it. They're not looking for answers, they're looking to market their answer. And that is precisely why I urged, early on, that people focus the discussion on their wants and fears. This was never about testing a hypothesis, so to speak, and I doubt it ever will be for most.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Watson on July 25th, 2016, 1:55 pm 

They're not looking for answers, they're looking to market their answer. And that is precisely why I urged, early on, that people focus the discussion on their wants and fears.


That was may concern/complaint from the beginning and even in the previous thread on this topic. You and the rest of us are not allowed to have a discussion because someone always interrupts any conversation, with some misinterpretation of what was said, an NRA tag line, or some other comment that serves only stop the conversation.

So yes the other thread went longer than needed, and this one was just rehashing the old. But I do wonder what happened to the 12 year old from Burger and Bullets. That has got to cause some mental trauma for the poor kid. But I guess it is not much different than being involved in any other gruesome event.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Paul Anthony on July 25th, 2016, 2:27 pm 

Watson » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:55 am wrote:
They're not looking for answers, they're looking to market their answer. And that is precisely why I urged, early on, that people focus the discussion on their wants and fears.


That was may concern/complaint from the beginning and even in the previous thread on this topic. You and the rest of us are not allowed to have a discussion because someone always interrupts any conversation, with some misinterpretation of what was said, an NRA tag line, or some other comment that serves only stop the conversation.



Ahh, Watson. You interpret that statement as a condemnation of one side of the argument, but not of the other. How interesting. When two or more people who agree on everything are having a conversation on a discussion forum, how rude of someone to present an opposing view! LOL
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Watson on July 25th, 2016, 4:27 pm 

Paul Anthony » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:41 am wrote:
BioWizard » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:04 am wrote:And to better demonstrate the uselessness of anecdotal evidence, revisit Braininvat's comment: "If it had been a US city, he would have had an AR-15, and the death toll would have been triple what it was."


I do understand that my comments do not constitute scientific evaluation. I don't claim to be writing a thesis.
But I am confuse by your statement (above).

Are you suggesting Braininvat's comment is an example I should emulate? If it had been a US city, it seems to me, he could have also used a hand gun, as has been the case in other US mass shootings. It could also have been explosives, as has also occurred. Although we haven't seen anything like what occurred in Nice, there is no reason to conclude that no deranged person in the US will ever use a truck.

I have nothing against Braininvat. I usually enjoy his posts, but this one seems to me to be nothing but conjecture.

Or, did you mean it as an example of useless anecdotal evidence?



Ahh, Watson. You interpret that statement as a condemnation of one side of the argument, but not of the other. How interesting. When two or more people who agree on everything are having a conversation on a discussion forum, how rude of someone to present an opposing view!


And if it was an opposing view you presented, fine. But repeatedly, it is not. I only scrolled back a few comments to find this. BiV is discussing the uselessness of anecdotal evidence, referenced by Bio. You reply with a bit of irrelevant stuff, and finish the comment with, "Or did you mean the part you said?

Did you see the part I mentioned, that you sometimes misrepresent what other people say? Good of you to acknowledge it at the end, followed by BiV acknowledging, yes he meant what he said, and not the other stuff you thought he may have meant.

And I think I read here or somewhere that the powers that be, NRA, don't allow some guns/shootings/deaths numbers to be statistically kept or monitored, so proving the how many times high is not possible, and much less the point. I think the point was it would be a much high death count. In this case, three times higher was more, an expression. Same as Bio, not meaning the type of gun necessarily, but the gun BiV had mentioned in his comment. In context, I think we all know what he meant. So it was completely unnecessary to comment, as was the irrelevant lesson on bullistics.
Like I said, if it was an opposing view, fine. But it is not. It is all this other crap you bring up that frustrates any discussion some one might try and have.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Paul Anthony on July 25th, 2016, 5:13 pm 

Aside from your personal opinion on the subject (about which, to your credit, you have never wavered) have you provided anything resembling "setting up hypotheses and testing them scientifically" as biowizard has suggested? Why is espousing your personal opinions a better use of this space than my expressing mine?

Biowizard suggested closing this thread, since it is not and will not change anyone's mind. I agree.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Braininvat on July 25th, 2016, 8:31 pm 

I don't see that core positions have to change so much as everyone softening a little on what might be negotiable and a practical test of tweaks in our present regulations and social/psychological safety nets. For example, many people who talk about a "right," can allow that some rights are better categorized as privileges. Automobiles and guns are privileges conferred by a technological civilization....they allow you to go faster than a cheetah and kill at a distance. Hardly a natural right of human beings, to have such powers, and asking for some gauntlet of tests of both proficency and emotional stability, before just handing such devices over, seems reasonable. Every day I drive, I see people who clearly have not earned the right to operate a 2-ton vehicle; everytime I crack open a newspaper, I read of people who clearly haven't earned the right to operate a lethal weapon. Even the 2nd Amendment didn't go so far as to express a pure right to bear arms, but rather contextualized it as part of a well-organized militia. IOW, the right was married to a certain responsibility. I think this chat could continue if we could examine the duties, obligations and personal character that may be attendant on certain rights.

IOW, set aside statistics and ask the deeper philosophical questions of ownership of any lethal device. This is a philosophy thread, after all.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Paul Anthony on July 25th, 2016, 9:00 pm 

Braininvat » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:31 pm wrote:

IOW, set aside statistics and ask the deeper philosophical questions of ownership of any lethal device. This is a philosophy thread, after all.


It is, and you are right. But emotions run high on this topic (and many others these days). Not everyone was rigid in their positions, but enough were unwilling to make compromises.

I think we've done all we could.

If you want to give it another go, have at it. I think I'll sit it out.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Watson on July 26th, 2016, 9:43 am 

Thank you Paul, and taking you at your word, I won't be continuing our conversation, but would like to continue with BiV's suggestion.

asking the deeper philosophical questions of ownership of any lethal device


Somewhat obviously, countries are only limited to ownership, by what they can afford, or can afford to develop. There will always be a next, new and improved killing device, or weapon. Arguably, the leader of countries will need a balance these devices and weapons, but not the point at the moment.
Unfortunately, for the most part the same criteria is used to decide the ownership of lethal weapons in the general public. So the question of ownership, we may ask is, where is this floating line between available to the public and not available. What criteria is used to decide?
Lethality is not a criteria because who needs a machine gun? No one needs one, but they are available, for a price. So we are back to, wanting the lethal weapon and can you afford to buy it. If yes, it is available.

Is there a way to agree on a standard criteria of what is available and what is not available?
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby SciameriKen on July 26th, 2016, 9:44 am 

Braininvat » Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:31 am wrote: Even the 2nd Amendment didn't go so far as to express a pure right to bear arms, but rather contextualized it as part of a well-organized militia. IOW, the right was married to a certain responsibility. I think this chat could continue if we could examine the duties, obligations and personal character that may be attendant on certain rights.



correct me if I am wrong, but this viewpoint is along the lines of the argument that the 2nd amendment was written the protect the rights of gun owners who are part of formally regulated militias like a national guard. I reject this notion because the other 9 amendments of the bill of rights are about individual rights and it would seem out of place to say members of a group have protections, not the individuals.

I tend to think of the founders as a bunch of angry guys who were writing a document to correct all the ills the British imposed upon them. Aside from denying freedom of speech, religion, petition and assembly, the thing that angered them the most was taking their guns away -- and they were so angry about this that they put this ahead of the British actually putting soldiers in their homes (amendment 3)! The founders firmly believed that the hope for any resistance to an overpowering government is the right to bear arms. The possession of arms allows for the assembly of militias when needed. I do not see any obligation or responsibility associated with the right to bear arms here. The purpose is simply that citizens can own weapons in order to form rebel forces if they have to.

The word arms was used to remain vague such that it allows some flexibility for technological advancement, but obviously the founders did not foresee how good we would become at killing each other, after all we all agree that individuals do not have the right to own atomic bombs.

As we have seen with the first amendment, limitations can be set for the benefit of the general welfare (Yelling "Fire" is not protected speech in movie theaters, breaking laws is not religious freedom, etc). I think gun control laws have the legal precedent, but finding the line is tricky between what is necessary to maintain the free state and what is counterproductive to the public welfare.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby msklystron on July 26th, 2016, 7:34 pm 

the number of fatalties in mass shootings in a country with strict gun control laws on rapid-fire high-capacity magazine weapons, compared with the number in more loosely regulated countries. Of especial interest might be average number of fatalities per mass shooting event, as well as overall totals.


When it comes to mass killings, the most common method/weapon used in the US is shooting with a legally obtained hand gun. Yup, a hand gun. Over at 3rdRockSFers, Ed, set me straight on this years ago. I, like many others wrongly assumed that mass shooters used badass Terminator style weapons. This infographic states that the glock is most often used by mass shooters. http://www.gannett-cdn.com/GDContent/mass-killings/index.html#explore Note that it's legal, light and the trigger is easy to squeeze. Shooters bring on average 4 guns, to save time on reloading, etc. So while restrictions on more menacing military style weapons should be adopted, because no one wants them in the hands of mass shooters...ever, as it stands now this measure would barely make a dent in the death toll from mass shootings.

What I found to be most perturbing while poking around on the subject is the high number of mass killing incidents (as opposed to total number of fatalities) in the US. Jaclyn Schildkraut of the State University of New York in Oswego and H. Jaymi Elsass of Texas State University have conducted studies on gun use in mass killings and they wrote a book: Mass Killings: Myths, Media and Realities (which I have read only snippets from.) According to a table (which I found in a few articles) from the book comparing a dozen or so countries including China, Mexico and Canada: Norway has the highest per capita number of mass shooting victims between the years of 2000 and 2014, but mainly because of the nation's small population and a single horrendous mass murder with dozens of casualties. The US has the highest total number of mass shooting incidents and even if you factor in its high population, it still appears to have the highest per capita number of mass shooting incidents. (In one article I read it was noted that the Chinese may equal or exceed the US in frequency and total number of fatalities of mass killings, if mass stabbings were included along with mass shootings.) Scroll down to find the table in this article critiquing Obama's remarks on mass shootings: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/22/barack-obama/barack-obama-correct-mass-killings-dont-happen-oth/

133 mass shooting incidents in the US between 2000 and 2014. Why so many mass shooting incidents America? You have 5 to 6 times or higher the amount of other countries in the study mentioned above. Each mass killing is a cry for help. Clearly mental health access and care needs to be better. But as a first step, anything that addresses the gun control problem will likely cut down on mass shootings and other types of mental health related gun injuries/deaths -- especially suicide. Stronger gun control wherever guns are sold is a no brainer -- even moreso considering the US has the most guns per capita than any other country. In Canada military type guns are either restricted or banned for ordinary citizens. More importantly for ownership of allowed guns, training and proper storage is required, waiting periods (up to 6 months) are enforced, background checks are done and references are called.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Braininvat on October 4th, 2017, 10:09 am 

Well, here we are, a year later. Another year, another horrendous massacre. Have a read through of the current thread on the LV shooting over in the News forum, and then see if there's anything you want to bring up in the Philosophy forum. This post is basically just getting this thread to pop up as a currently active thread. If nothing sparks here, that's fine, but I noticed that one member, for example, raised a larger point about legislation that seems to relate to political philosophy, asserting that cultural change has more power than statutory/regulatory change.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Watson on October 4th, 2017, 1:48 pm 

I think there is a cultural change happening over the years. Slowly. But maybe the fact the NAR has to put forth a greater effort to maintain control. It was several days after Sandy Hook before the NRA came forward with a statement, "More guns, not less" Perhaps they were hoping it would all pass. Perhaps their statesmen are costing them more? Is cultural change the same as public opinion? Maybe a sustained public opinion is a cultural change.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Braininvat on October 5th, 2017, 1:40 pm 

For sure. There is change. It's just that a lot of people who don't like guns and have a fairly "Left" view on greatly reducing guns, are staying pretty quiet. Maybe they don't want to jinx the progress that the Centrists are trying to make with smaller legislative proposals - a sort of "baby steps" approach that may seem like the only path available in the present climate? As a political philosophy issue, I think it's worth looking at the whole Centrist approach. Is moderate better, or does having a more Leftwing branch turn out to be useful - even if only to make the Centrists look more reasonable and approachable for negotiation?
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby mitchellmckain on October 5th, 2017, 2:07 pm 

More guns available and the bizarre neglect of the mentally ill. Dare I suggest a conspiracy here? Is someone making money off of these massacres? Or is some other agenda being served?
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Braininvat on October 6th, 2017, 11:21 am 

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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby msklystron on October 8th, 2017, 10:27 pm 

Interesting article. A new synthesis to save America? And your idea of three main parties as in Canada, with centrists usually winning by stealing policies left and right.
Mass murders are happening about twice a month. And yet all you hear from the GOP is "more guns". Guns even in daycares. And not nearly enough horror from the old guard right about this: in Charlottesville, more white supremacists with marching by a shrouded confederate statue with tiki torches blazing. http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/08/us/charlo ... rch-rally/ For so long relegated to dark corners of society. Barred from speaking. And now out in the open with little shame or fear of reprisal. Like a case of chicken pox that lay dormant to later emerge as shingles. What has brought them out of the closet and emboldened them is populism/Trump, and the alt-left. America has a divided right, but will the alt-right absorb the old guard, or will the populists and conservatives separate to form two right-wing options? Since Trump came to power through the GOP rather than as an independent, I believe the former is more likely. The author of the article states that the alt-right is nearly halfway there in terms of taking over the GOP.
This swallowing up of the old guard right by a new wave happened in Canada. It was sneaky and swift. So swift that the new party acronym CRAP went out into the public realm unedited. In the end, the new right took on the name of the old guard right – Conservative. Quite diabolical. At least we still have three parties – synthesis.
But Trump US will remain a two-party nation, with an even greater political divide between the two.
Proxy... More like a barometer. Like hemlines as indicators of the economy, as support for guns rises, discontentment in the nation rises.
Sidebar: The various targets of mass shooters seem to have little in common. They're vulnerable, by their age, and/or by their ability to escape the venue. Sometimes they're identifiable groups prone to discrimination. But an audience of country music fans? It struck me this morning that mass shooters may be targeting groups who are content, even happy. Guns offer a sense of independence, agency over one’s security, but they’re also tools for the expression of discontent.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby zetreque on October 8th, 2017, 11:22 pm 

msklystron » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:27 pm wrote:Mass murders are happening about twice a month.


please give references to this along with your definition of "mass." As I pointed out in another thread the number so called "mass" murders are very small compared to other ways of people dying.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Serpent on October 9th, 2017, 1:13 am 

zetreque » October 8th, 2017, 10:22 pm wrote:
msklystron » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:27 pm wrote:Mass murders are happening about twice a month.


please give references to this along with your definition of "mass." As I pointed out in another thread the number so called "mass" murders are very small compared to other ways of people dying.


I recently heard
the most commonly accepted definition, from the Congressional Research Service: a shooting in which a gunman ...

- kills four or more people

- selects victims randomly (ruling out gang killings or the killing of multiple family members)

- attacks in a public place

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts
If that is the case,
That averages to one a month.
, but most of these events are not dramatic enough to make the national headlines. If - as per all conservative news commentators and spokespeople - the days immediately following a mass murder are "not the time to talk about politics", but a time to pray and weep and pile teddy bears - then there are only about two weeks between shootings to discuss the problem, and nobody can schedule a legislative body to do that in such a constrained time-frame.

These automatic, semi-autimatic, automaticized, military weapons - whatever the technical specifications and legal descriptions are - have one single purpose, and one single function: to do as much killing as fast as possible. Since it's a pretty safe bet that nobody realistically expects to be bushwhacked by 200 armed caribou, I'm guessing these weapons are intended for the killing of people. Since it's unlikely that most Americans expect an inland invasion by foreign enemies, they must be arming against other Americans.

If it's never the right time to discuss how Americans are able to kill so many other Americans, I don't imagine there will ever come a right time to discuss why they want to.
Every other aspect of the subject is irrelevant.
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Re: Orlando / Gun Control

Postby Braininvat on October 9th, 2017, 10:24 am 

Serpent » October 8th, 2017, 10:13 pm wrote:
zetreque » October 8th, 2017, 10:22 pm wrote:
msklystron » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:27 pm wrote:Mass murders are happening about twice a month.


please give references to this along with your definition of "mass." As I pointed out in another thread the number so called "mass" murders are very small compared to other ways of people dying.


I recently heard
the most commonly accepted definition, from the Congressional Research Service: a shooting in which a gunman ...

- kills four or more people

- selects victims randomly (ruling out gang killings or the killing of multiple family members)

- attacks in a public place

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts



It is important to define shootings. For example, this weekend there was a mass murder of 8 people in Texas, but they were presumed to be known to the shooter and were gathered at a private home....

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/12/us/texas-plano-mass-shooting-at-cowboys-watch-party/?iid=ob_article_footer_expansion

If you count incidents like that, then the number, per month, goes up. And this shooting will probably receive less attention now, since it follows so close on the heels of the still-in-the-spotlight Vegas shooting.

For this philosophy thread, the questions remains of to what degree political action - like legislation - can affect a shift in the gun culture. Like David Brooks, I see the gun issue as a proxy for larger issues, where it may finally be a matter of waiting for demographic shifts further towards an urban society where the perception of a gun as a dangerous thing is stronger. Remember that the U.S. has an upper house that allots 2 senators to each state - this results in disproportionate representation of predominantly rural states, far beyond their percentages of the total population of the U.S.
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