Gary Seven

Gary Seven
On the other side of your screen, and inside your head
January 01
Zed: A receiver must be like a transmitter. I think you're a crystal - in fact this one! This diamond! In here, there is infinite storage space for refracted light patterns. Yes or no? .............. The Tabernacle: You have me in the palm of your hand! ______________________________ "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay ______________________________ Centrist and Atheist. My preferred method of offending people is by advocating that we work together and not succumb to ideological extremism. ______________________________ I've been through times with money and times with no money. And you know what? Money is better! ______________________________ "Life isn't just one damn thing after's the same damn thing over and over and over again." -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

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DECEMBER 26, 2012 10:48AM

Is the NRA Killing People by Legalizing Assault Rifles?

Rate: 5 Flag

How many people are going to buy the argument that we should allow nuts to buy assault-style rifles and then spend all kinds of money to protect everyone from them? Wouldn't it be much more sensible just to keep these guns out of the hands of the nuts and let everyone live without fear, and avoid the deaths and the huge expense required to place armed guards everywhere?

Why would we want to play such a deadly game: Put assault-style rifles in the hands of nuts. Then hire thousands of security guards, give them guns too, and send them into all of the schools to wait for the nuts to show up and the shooting to start? And what if some of the armed security guards become unstable and open fire on the children they are supposed to be guarding? There are some people who appear normal, but would love a chance to get hired, armed, and allowed into schools so they have the opportunity to start killing.

All those armed guards -- and that is just for schools. How about the other places? What about the nuts like the one who used his assault-style rifle to kill firemen a couple of days ago? What about temples and churches, movie theaters, office buildings and subways, etc? We would need an army just to protect ourselves from the nuts we allowed to have these lethal guns. It would be a HUGE EXPENSE. And would ONE guard per place be enough? The first thing a nut would do would be to kill the guard, and then open up on everyone else. Is the solution to arm everyone, to have everyone carry guns around with their phones and tablets, and then wait for the first nut with a gun to start a shoot-out?

Even armed guards placed everywhere wouldn't be able to stop all of the killing. What is the tolerable number of deaths? Would it be OK if only a few of the children in your neighborhood were killed, but not all of them? Would it be OK if only one of your children was killed, but not all of them? Would you allow someone's child to be killed so that a nut can have assault-style rifle? Your child?

Enough with appeasing the NRA, gun and ammunition manufacturers, and the Congressmen they have bought off. Let's do the cheap simple sane solution: Allow people to have regular guns, not assault-style rifles meant to kill a lot of people quickly. The only purpose for these assault-style rifles is to kill a lot of people fast. Don't let the nuts get the assault-style rifles. Use tax money to educate the children. Don't take away their tax money and give it to guards so that they can wait in the schools for nuts with assault-style rifles.

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Both sides in this argument have some very valid points but as long as emotional diatribes rule the day there is never going to be any kind of a meeting of the minds.

But then modern Americans ( and some others) do not want any "meeting of the minds". Each side just wants its own way. Period. No compromise. Like spoiled brats. (Surprise, surprise!)

I see your point with the rapid-fire weapons....BUT can you see the point that, in the coming difficulties the elite won't hesitate to send out their police - and other - heavily armed forces to make war on citizens who object to being treated like slaves?

If you can guarantee me that the guns used by the military, the mercenaries, the cops, the bad guys, and the hungry hordes, will ALL not be rapid fire weapons, then the people won't need them either.

I think you can take it for a given that "the authorities" will always have weapons with massive firepower. If you've any sense at all, you know that the really bad guys have no trouble getting the same kind of weapons on the black market.

So guess who that leaves with little single-shot pop-guns? Yup. The average citizen. The guy who would ONLY use a gun for defence of his home and family. They law-abiding innocent citizen. In other words, the "good guy." Way to go. That ought to work out well for all concerned, don't you think?

Now, if you wish to talk about every gun owner having to take serious training in the use and handling of firearms, we have a discussion to conduct. One that will save more lives that a ban on rapid-fire weapons.

One other thing. No one here has gotten into the alternative means of self-defence that are available to the public. There is one in particular that I'm very taken with. Since getting one a while back, I've gotten rid of my firearms. And yes, I still feel perfectly safe. Perhaps others would also.

"Rate" thingie didn't work - Trying again.

The debate is about where to draw the line with publicly available firearms. There is a line now. For example, no one can have machine guns, bazookas, missiles and atomic bombs. The problem is with rapid-fire multi-shot arms like semi-automatics and assault rifles. Everyone can buy as many regular pistols and rifls as they want (and some want a LOT!). The object is to prevent kooks from getting rifles that kill a lot of people quickly. As for fighting gangs of hoodlums etc, we have the police.

You have a secret alternate means of defense? What is it? We must know!
Gary & Seer,

I wonder if you've thought this through as carefully as you might.

I do not see a scenario where the government suddenly, without any earlier conflict, opens fire on the citizens with tanks and the big guns; do you? I see any real conflict starting with cops opening fire on demonstrators such as the OCCUPY groups as such groups initiate bigger and bigger demonstrations when people finally run out of patience with an inept government.

There will come a time when citizens won't put up with being police targets and they'll begin returning fire. The cops will be using fully automatic rapid-fire guns and so will the citizens.

It is my hope that the sheer numbers of armed citizens confronting the government will make it clear to the cops which side they rally should be on. But that won't happen if the cops think that they have the firepower to defeat any number of citizens.

So, no I do not think that citizens armed with such weapons could defeat the government forces in a long, knock-down, drag out war. But they might be able to stop that war from happening by overwhelming the cops in the early stages of it.

We might keep in mind that the people of Afghanistan have fought the mighty US military to a standstill with weapons nowhere near those sported by the US forces. We also ought to remember that according to all conventional wisdom of the day, a "rag-tag bunch of poorly armed colonials could never seriously challenge the mighty British Army prior to 1776."

Again however, I see no one, on either side of this question, willing to compromise with the other side. Each is busy showing how stupid and evil "them other guys" are and just blindly hates those who disagree with their own stance.

This kind of polarization is going to bring down your nation if it keeps up. Y'all simply MUST offer each other the respect necessary for you to negotiate a reasonable settlement of your differences instead of all this childish name-calling and frantic efforts to "prove that those others are assholes."

Only that might - maybe - prevent an armed conflict in the future.

As to my alternate means of defence, I'll only discuss that with you by private e-mail. I have no intention of letting the government - which monitors everything said in public these days - know what it is by publishing it here.

"How many people are going to buy the argument that we should allow nuts . . . " & etc.

I would be interested to know who you think "we" are. The last time I read the figures, in the U.S. there are around 270 million firearms distributed throughout around 45 percent of households, with an average of 2.6 persons per household. Many of these firearms, probably most, would fall into the category of "rapid-fire multi-shot."

So I don't know who are the "we" to whom you refer in your post, but some tens of millions of people in the country have voted with their time and money, and have decided that they like firearms, for hunting, sport, collecting, and self-defense.
mish, I'm talking about semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles. The other guns can fire fast enough, but they're not made to slaughter a lot of people very quickly.

sky & seer, Remember that "we" are the government. It's not likely that anyone can fight back for long against the U.S. givernment military forces. That's why having good people stay engaged with the political process is so important. That's become eeasier with the Internet and forums like this.
Wrong Gary,

The idea that "we" are the government is just one of those fairy tales we gave ourselves when we lost the ones about the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. We are only fodder for the other myth that says we can throw out any politician who doesn't do his job well. We can't. All we can do is replace him with another who, likely, won't do the job well either.

The people who put up the money to buy the members of government are the ones who "own" the government - and that sure as hell ain't "we" the people!!!

Keep in mind that there is only very human politicians governing us. There is NO great entity that governs in our best interests unless perverted by some bad apples. Every last one of those who get elected has an obligation to his backers that supersedes any obligation to those of us who voted for him.

We the people have the delightful task of going and approving one of the puppets that the elite have chosen to financially back. We KNOW that they'll not represent us - only their financial masters. But we still pay lip service to the idea that "we" are the government. Shit man, the only part of government that we are is the suckers who pay for it all and get to take the blame (for electing the 'wrong' guys) when things go wrong...... which is pretty much always as far as we are concerned.
Gary, the question I have is what exactly you hope to prevent. Unfortunately, the world of guns cannot be nicely divided up into "guns that are made to slaughter a lot of people quickly," and those that aren't.

For example, a pump-action 12 gauge shotgun with nine pellets in each shell and a full magazine and chamber can put 63 projectiles down range in a matter of seconds. It's not semi-auto. It doesn't have a high-capacity magazine. It's not specifically designed to "kill a lot of people." But it has considerable firepower.

Revolvers also are not semi-auto nor do they have high-capacity magazines. But they can be reloaded with speed loaders or moon clips; with a little practice, a revolver can be reloaded almost as fast as a semi-auto handgun. So perhaps you'll say "I'll outlaw speed loaders and moon clips!" But there are already probably a million speed loaders around, and a moon clip is basically little piece of metal. Someone with basic machine tools could probably crank out a thousand moon clips a day in his garage.

Even if all guns of every type were outlawed -- probably not a reasonable expectation -- this would not stop people from committing mass murder. The worst mass murder in a school happened in 1927, when a disgruntled fellow blew up the wing of a school with legally-purchased dynamite.

And people forget that the Columbine massacre was intended to be a bombing. Murderers Harris and Klebold placed two 20-pound propane bombs in the school cafeteria. The Jefferson County sheriff's office said that, had the bombs worked as intended, most of the 488 students in the cafeteria would have been killed or seriously injured, and it is also likely that the school library and its students would have collapsed into the burning cafeteria. It is a tragedy that 13 people were killed, but that's a tiny fraction of what would have happened had the bombs detonated as planned.

Norway has VERY restrictive gun laws covering all guns and all aspects of gun ownership, and Norway has fewer than one-half of one percent of the guns that are in the U.S.. Even so, Anders Breivik was able to massacre a large number of people with firearms. He also set off a handmade car bomb constructed from fertilizer and fuel oil; that bomb killed 8 people and injured 200 more, 12 critically.

Japan has few guns, but that didn't prevent the Aum Skinrikyo cult from launching a coordinated, multi-point attack on the subway system with homemade liquid Sarin.

I fear that what you are recommending would do little to nothing in preventing mass murder. Regardless of what you'd ban there are plenty of alternatives, and the cost of buying back tens of millions of semi-auto firearms would be prohibitive.
Gary, mishima has an excellent point. Once the cat is out of the bag, as far as huge numbers of guns already out there is concerned, there is no getting it back in.

If we were having this conversation prior to any guns being owned, there would - maybe - be some point to it. As things stand it's really a ridiculous conversation to have. UNLESS you have some ingenious idea about how everybody - cops and all - can be disarmed then it is not a question of how to limit who gets their hands on what weapon, it's a matter of how do you deal with the fact that there are ALWAYS going to be weapons that kill out there where nuts can get their hands on them, either before they go over the edge psychologically, or after.

I can't help but think that one possible - as opposed to impossible banning - method of dealing with this is to establish a society that doesn't drive people over the edge quite so easily and so often.

It has been pointed out aplenty here, that other societies, where weapons are readily available, DO NOT have the problem to the same degree as does the US. I have even read here, on OS, of the lower numbers of firearms owned by Canadians. I hope you don't think our laws in any way stop someone from buying a firearm. We could, if we wanted to, own just as many as you, our southern friends and neighbours. But one thing is VERY different - we seldom see the need to be armed the way you folks are. In that we are a very different people than you.

I am one of the few people, who has owned a firearm for most of my life, that I know up here. And the only difference that strikes me as an obvious one is that our society doesn't develop the level of mental aberration that is so prevalent in yours. We simply do not get so involved in monetary success that it drives us over the edge. You have 200 times the per capita number of citizens in therapy! Do you know what that says about "the great American way?"

You are creating your own gun problem and refusing to face facts. It ISN'T the guns. It ISN'T the gun laws. It's the PEOPLE'S STRESS LEVELS. Fix that and you'll have far less to worry about. Far, far less.

I always liked Sky's idea of giving everyone two thousand a month and easing the stress. Stress is the killer but the amount of guns in the USA and the gun related deaths are way way over the limit and far exceed any other country in the world. The problem with guns is guns. Start there. Ban Assault weapons. Yes it is complicated. Do it anyway. Yes it makes people mad. Do it anyway. Good post Gary. Thanks.