dag hammarsjkold wrote:Fate,
Please do me a favor. I liked what Bbauska had to offer. I'm not hip to the death penalty but the harsh penalties he laid out I can live with for sure. Thank you BB.
The favor is this....can you outline for me a plan for gun control that could be implemented on the national level that would walk between the raindrops of the various positions out there and be something both sides could live with? It would have to be an improvement on what we currently have in place but still respect a citizen's right to a gun for hunting, sports and self defense.
I know my strengths and having anything of depth on this topic to offer is not one of them.
If by "both sides," you mean the NRA and the gun confiscators, no.
I believe a large-scale education needs to take place. For example, there is a chasm of difference between "semi-automatic" and "automatic." Also, "open carry" does not mean people are not responsible for their actions. We have more deaths via vehicles than we have murders by guns, yet no one is suggesting we ban cars.
Guns are not the problem. Let me quote a friend and Dip player (and a libertarian):
The United States has always been awash in firearms, since long before the establishment of the nation or the writing of the 2nd amendment. Historically, firearms have been a common household tool for both hunting and self-defense, and as late as the mid-20th century, school children would often bring their firearms to school with them, as many would end their days with hunting or marksmanship training. Yet, despite the availability and number of firearms in the nation, mass shootings of the modern type are a relatively new phenomenon. That’s not to say that there weren’t mass shootings historically, but up until the 1960’s or so, mass shootings were relatively rare, and tended to be familicides or felony-related killings (there was a “modern” mass shooting in New Jersey in 1949, but that was against neighbors with whom the shooter had issues). The first generally recognized modern-style mass shooting in a public place against unknown bystanders with the goal of a high body count was the UT Tower shooting which killed 18 and wounded 31 in 1966. The next of these types of shootings didn’t occur until the 1980’s, but have been increasingly occurring since then.
In order to understand the causes and effectively address the problem, the first question we need to ask is; what’s changed? Access to firearms by Americans has not significantly changed, with the exception that since the 1930’s access to fully automatic weapons has been severely restricted, and their production for private sales was banned in 1986. Guns themselves haven’t changed much, either … there hasn’t been a significant innovation in firearms since World War II. So, what has changed?
There are two things that are significantly different in the modern era that may be contributors to the mass shooter epidemic that we currently face. The first is deinstitutionalization and increased reliance on psychiatric drugs. In 1955, nearly 600,000 Americans (out of a population of 165 million) were institutionalized for psychiatric care. That year, the first real anti-psychotic, Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), was introduced, starting the policy of deinstitutionalization aimed at replacing long-stay psychiatric hospital stays with community-based alternatives. By 1998, the institutionalized population in the United States had been reduced to just over 57,000 (out of a population of 275 million). Today, according to a 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 1 in 6 Americans takes some kind of psychiatric drug … that’s 54 million people; 90 times more people than were institutionalized in 1955, in a population that is only twice as large. This includes early and significant medication of children; a situation that many in the mental health field consider a crisis of over-medication. All during the period of deinstitutionalization, where the numbers of institutionalized people were reduced, while the promised community-based alternatives were either under-funded or non-existent.
A second difference between modern America and the past is the rise of mass media and the 24-hour news cycle. Tragedies and disasters are no longer regional events, but are pumped into our consciousness relentlessly by infotainment news media that exploits such events for ratings. Today, a disturbed loner who feels isolated and unseen can become an instant anti-celebrity with a few pulls of the trigger.
As I said at the start, correlation is not causation. But we should be mindful and cautious about any infringement on Constitutionally-guaranteed rights; even those with which we may not agree. If our right to bear arms is threatened by emotions or majority opinions, then all of our rights … speech, assembly, trial by jury … are equally threatened. In light of that, any calls for restricting gun rights should be backed up by accurate knowledge and reasonable assurance that it will have the desired impact. Today’s arguments are often based in ignorance, with no agreed upon definition of what constitutes a “mass shooting,” and made up terms like “assault weapon” being thrown around as though they had any useful meaning. Calls for more laws and restrictions are made with no regard for whether or not they would actually solve anything (the so-called “assault weapon” ban only bans a small number of rifles which are functionally no different than other rifles that would not be banned, and rifles only account for less than 3% of the shootings in America in the first place), and often ignorant of the fact that the laws being called for are actually already on the books (at least 3 existing federal laws were broken or disregarded in the recent Texas shooting, including existing laws that I’ve seen Facebook petitions calling for as though they don't already exist). Other commonly floated ideas are to treat firearms like cars, requiring testing, licensing, and insurance ... but this ignores the fact that firearms ownership is a Constitutionally-protected right, while driving is a legal privilege. We would have to repeal the 2nd amendment before that would even be feasible ... and lets not forget that even with the licensing, testing, and insurance, cars kill more Americans than guns do. Before we restrict Constitutional rights, aren’t we obligated to a) know what we’re talking about, and b) show some evidence that the restriction called for will have the desired effect (and doesn't already exist)?
One more time, correlation is not causation; but if we are serious about ending mass shootings in America, doesn’t it make sense to consider all possible causes? The way the media deals with mass shootings, and the effects of deinstitutionalization and the rise of the use of anti-psychotic medications, seem to me to be reasonable things to look at in addition to the access to guns argument.
I'm not open to much, tbh. Ban bumpstocks. Fine. The rest of the suggestions I've seen so far won't help. In fact, I think more open carry and more education would be much better.