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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bang-bang

I held off on this but  I am just seeing far too many things that need to be addressed. However, even though this is a serious issue, I am going to illustrate my points with photos of naked, armed women so that people who don’t like serious posts can still have something to enjoy. And to keep what could be a multi-page essay more succinct, let’s just go with some “bullets”:




1: The “Gun Issue” is complex (like a lot of things in life). Because people find it easy to turn on their TVs, they forget that they would have no idea how to make one. And is it really a “gun issue” or a “mass shooting” issue that bothers people?

2: Mass shootings are also complex and not the result of one issue. There is no ‘magic pill’ to fix it. Everything that one side blames that the other side makes fun of…..are almost all true to a degree. But again, short attention spans mean only knee-jerk, one note solutions appeal to people.

3: Legally owning guns is not only about hunting, or collecting, or range shooting. It is a belief that an armed populace is harder to enslave than an unarmed one. And if the people who could come kicking down your door to ‘black bag’ a loved one are carrying military weapons, do you want to try to match them with a single-shot hunting shotgun? And if you think: ‘it could never happen here’ remember who your president is.





4: Gun laws are ‘States Rights’ issues which means one state can be like NJ where you have to go through flaming hoops to get a gun (in NJ, even if you already have a Firearms ID card, buying a handgun requires a separate permit, additional fingerprinting, an application & fee, and takes a while to get. If approved the permit is good for only 45 days before it expires. And in NJ this process is the same for buying a 9mm Glock or a single-shot, smooth-bore, muzzle-loading flintlock or even an air pistol), or be like Florida, where….well you know. A reasonable Federal Law would not be a bad idea. (key word being ‘reasonable’) It makes no sense for registration to be so disparate from state to state.  

5: People are generally hypocrites. They say they want solutions but if those solutions mean more restrictions, or higher taxes to pay for better programs, they balk. Think of the people who say “we need to protect the kids”………………...but if someone were to show that the BEST protection from mass shootings in schools was a system of seriously responding to reports of threats or threatening talk in conjunction with metal detectors, hallway cameras, smoke canisters, and communication links between teachers and law enforcement, would these people vote to have their local taxes go up to pay for the installation?

6: The NRA is a problem. I used to be a member until I saw through their lies. They just want money and to make that money they want free access to selling their product. Not unlike tobacco.  There is more ‘theory’ than factual information on the causes for mass shootings because places like the CDC are legally prevented (through legislation backed by the NRA: the Dickey Amendment) from researching them. I’ll bet ‘big tobacco’ wishes they had been smart enough to have legislated against the studies that determined cigarettes cause cancer.

7: To deny the mental health aspect of mass shootings is as absurd as resisting reasonable gun registration. 

8: To deny the societal aspect is equally absurd. Semi-automatic weapons have been around since the beginning of the 20th century. (Can you guess when the iconic Colt 1911 .45acp was invented?) How many mass shootings in schools occurred when semi-automatic weapons became available? I don’t remember worrying about it when I went to high school and I don't recall reading about mass school shootings during the gangster days in Chicago when FULLY AUTOMATIC Thompson machine guns were available. There have been big changes in our society since those days. Is there a pattern to the profile of mass shooters? Does that profile reflect something inherent in modern society? If it does, will people be willing to address those issues? What if the solution wasn’t a gun ban but a ban on the whole single-mom/baby-daddy trend? I’m not saying that’s the issue, but what if it was? Would people be willing to end this practice if it meant ‘protecting their kids’? (see #5)


What better way to conclude than with famous porn star Gigi Rivera and an AK47? A  topless Mexican with a Russian automatic weapon? You gotta love it.



12 comments:

  1. A good summation of the situation. I am a gun guy. Would I support reasonable restrictions? If I thought they would work- yes. But they don't work. Mexico has some very strict laws and all it has done is to prevent law abiding people from being able to protect themselves.

    Guns are too easy to make. To make a single shot shot gun takes about thirty minutes and $30. Just put "pipe shotgun youtube" in your browser.

    If we are really serious about this issue. We have to look at root causes, not symptoms. Otherwise we'll just shift from one method of killing to another.

    I grew up in a time where guns were carried to school so you could go hunting after school, no one cared and nothing bad happened.

    I like a minimum of rules and laws, but for that to work, people have to accept the consequences of their bad judgment. Instead, we create laws that minimizes the effect of bad outcomes; which only amplifies the number of bad outcomes.

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    1. Thank you. (As an aside, if you came here via your cell phone you might not have seen my two caveats for commenting: one is being on topic....which you are, and the other is that 'anonymous' posters at least include some fake name in the body of their comment so we can tell everyone apart. Thanks.)

      As for the comment, I firmly believe that the abdication of personal responsibility for just about anything is a key flaw in our current society. But how many people want to hear that? From either party or from left or right?

      I too prefer keeping things to a minimum, but too many people on the left don't agree with that at all, and too many people on the right are total hypocrites about it. They say they want government out of people's lives and then push for all sorts of legislation to restrict what people should do based on their own ideologies. At the same time, they push to eliminate regulations on things that would keep an eye on fiscal or environmental irresponsibility. The total opposite of necessary guidelines on important issues (because history has taught us that people left on their own will not rise to noble standards) and freedom to live how you want on social issues.

      I particularly like your example of guns being brought to school during a time when such a thing never led to in-school violence. It definitely shows it's not the presence of 'gun' but presence of 'mind' that ensures the safety of our fellow man.

      Thanks for your input.

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  2. Sorry for being focused on this issue, but your last picture (Mexican with a Russian automatic weapon) shows how hard it is to write a good law. In the 1990s there was an "assault weapon ban." It is impossible to separate "good" semi-automatic weapons from "bad" semi-automatic weapons since mechanically they operate the same. So the law focused on features that have nothing to do with the underlying weapon. The law prohibited weapons with so many characteristics- flash suppressors, bayonet lugs, pistol grips, detachable magazines and a few other. You could have one but not the rest. So the manufacturers just removed some of the features. If you look at that rifle in your picture, you will see it does not have a pistol grip (it has a thumb hole stock) nor does it have a flash suppressor; which indicates that it was legally imported into the US after the "assault weapon ban."

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    1. Good point. In NJ I was once offered a chance to illegally purchase a historic M-1 carbine and had to turn it down, and yet my late Father-in-Law from a previous marriage once told me that as a train guard who carried one that "you couldn't hit anything with it". And yet....it was a banned "assault weapon" from like 1940!

      And for a while (not sure if this is still current) you couldn't buy certain cap and ball revolvers in NJ because under the law trying to ensure guns had a particular percentage or iron (versus polymer) in them, they had too much brass in their frames. IDIOTS!

      The tragedy of governance is that on one hand, you can't trust people to just do the right things. But when you try to legislate morality......even with the best of intentions......the written legislation ends up being fodder for legal loopholes or just outright absurdities.

      Again, thanks for your comments but please, next time, leave a name of some kind in your comment. Thanks.

      All the best!------KDP

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  3. Sorry, about the name. I am Joe2. You may have seen some of my posts on Dan's blog.

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  4. You make good points and I agree with most from you and Joe2. I am also from NJ originally and went to a high school where stabbing was the fear. I had the right contacts to have purchased and carried if I wanted.(It's all about who you know) I do believe the gun laws need improvement not more of them. With that said we really need to address the real cause of all the shootings which is not the guns but the hands holding them.

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    1. Yes, contacts in NJ are very important. Thanks for the comment, Joe.

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  5. This issue is a hard one for me. I grew up in a very pro-gun culture, so I am very personally familiar with responsible gun ownership. Yet, people weren't going out and shooting up schools when I was growing up. Thoughts on your particular points:

    (1)-(2) Agreed. As HL Mencken said, "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." I do think that to the extent we actually want to solve a problem, we need to define what the problem is. Is it the general number of homicides? Or, is it mass shootings? The solution may very much depend on the problem. Also, if we are focused on mass shootings, is the goal to prevent them or to limit the number of people killed. That is an important question, because it may be very difficult to prevent a mass killing, while doing something like eliminating bump stocks or outlawing high capacity magazines would not necessarily prevent mass shooting incidents but might limit the carnage by even a few lives.
    (3)-(4) Agreed. The second amendment has little or nothing to do with hunting and sports shooting and all about preserving state rights and preventing tyranny. Now, people can ask whether it is a genuine issue today. As you say, with this President?? Also, today on a news program Condoleeza Rice made a comment about growing up in the south and the roles gun played in allowing black people to defend themselves and their families when the corrupt and racist local police would not.
    (5) Agreed, and this is one area where I think it is pretty easy to see plain bias on both sides. The left will not accept that hardening schools might save lives even if it might not prevent all incidents. The right won't support that limiting high capacity magazines might not prevent incidents, but could reduce the carnage.

    (6) Agreed. I don't know how anyone can watch Wayne Lapierre and Dana Loesch without concluding they are total sociopaths.

    (7) I agree, though I think this most recent incident shows that a mental health is probably the least likely to limit mass shootings. There were plenty of warnings about this kid, but no follow-up. And, it's not really clear that this kid was crazy and not simply mean and evil. Similarly, the shooters at Columbine weren't crazy; they were violent and frustrated boys exacting revenge.

    (8) Agreed, though I really have no idea what is driving this. Guns were incredibly prevalent and available when I was growing up. But, you just did not see anything remotely close to this level of gun violence. And, there were plenty of violent movies and TV shows. I can't help thinking that violent video-games have something to do with it, but I've also read there is very little scientific support for that proposition. I have no explanation for the societal aspect, though something has clearly changed.

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    1. That's a lot of agreement. Isn't the amount of ignorance and posturing on this utterly amazing though?

      As for your one point on mental health versus violent frustration.......on a practical side, one school has noticed that any violent incidents declined once they adopted a policy of taking overheard threats seriously and addressing students exhibiting warning signs that something bad was going on. On a more theoretical side.....even if you are not 'clinically crazy' but just inherently violent and angry, can you say that such a person, when confronted with such anger and frustration, decides: "yeah, the solution for what I'm feeling is to go kill everybody" is mentally healthy?

      Something has definitely changed. But as long as the Dickey Amendment is renewed by Congress under pressure (and I'm sure bribery) from the NRA, any theory will remain just an unresearched theory. Personally I don't understand why there is no national outcry from the public saying: "if you are one of the people who keeps renewing this amendment......you WILL NOT be re-elected!"

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    2. Sorry if this is a repeat comment -- I tried to post one and something went wrong.

      The line between true crazy and anger is hard to draw. And, unfortunately, the line has to be drawn if any plan to take guns from people with mental health problems is going to be legally sound.

      I have never been an advocate of corporal punishment for anyone but adults, but I do wonder whether there is a causal connection between the decline in corporal punishment and the general loosening of parental discipline on the one hand, and escalating violence on the other. Not that I think there is any direct connection, but it is hard not to see a general loosening of discipline at home and at school as loosening an appreciation of the connection between bad acts and bad consequences. When the whole idea of imposing discipline falls out of fashion, is it really a big leap to postulate that lack of discipline means diminishing behavioral boundaries on all sorts of levels?

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    3. Your point about discipline has given me an idea for a future post. A reply to the point here would go on for too long. But to give you a brief idea.....I am not sure whether it's the type or level of discipline as much as it may be an attitude change towards discipline and responsibility.

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