Can America be fixed?

Skydome

What's invisible and smells like hay?
Short answer, no, long answer, no.

the issue with gun violence is a hell of a lot more complicated than bleeding heart liberals would want to believe.

sure, lets say they did get strict firearm laws through that were stricter than ours, they'll still have issues with gangs using illegal rifles flowing in from Mexico or from getting made in backyard workshops, so gang warfare won't stop, and the major cause of deaths from firearms is due to gang warfare, mass shootings like this only account for around 7-10 percent of gun deaths or something like that, now these mass shootings, instead of been mass shootings, will just end up been mass stabbings or mentally ill people going around bashing people with bats and etc.

it's a much deeper issue than just guns and no one really seems to want to admit it.

So no, it won't change, that's a face, move on and let them shoot the joint up, we have other issues to solve here than worrying about the yanks are doing to themselves.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
2. Religion: Religion wields an unholy influence on politics, and ergo American society at large. Any aspiring atheist US politician has buckley's chance of progressing beyond local representation, leaving predominately the bible bashers (or at least those who espouse those views) in charge at the top. Again without wanting to offend anyone, religion by and large is not noted for its progressive attitudes to gender equality and modern progressive societal values. I'm sure there will be 'burners who will disagree with me, but given the attitudes and ideals promoted by messers Abbott, Abetz, Bernadi and Cormann over the past decade here, how would you fancy an entire government comprised of that crowd?
This is very interesting. It's often said that if the democrats were to come up with a "compromise" position on abortion that they could vastly improve their position in the South, where there's a whole lot of single-issue voters who consider it immoral to vote for someone who supports abortion. Witness, for example, the fact that Roy Moore was defeated by the skin of his teeth in Alabama after lots of credible information emerged that he had sexually assaulted minors whilst a district attorney (30+).

The primary system in US politics, plus gerrymandering, tends to mean that politicians have more to fear from their own side of politics than the opposition party. This traditionally meant that Republican politicians tacked right during the primary season then towards the middle after winning the nomination, but there's so much pressure now to be totally consistent ideologically that the electoral math is favouring genuine right-wing religious fundies. When combined with the collapse of various patronage arrangements which made it possible to keep these fringe figures under control, we've entered an era where most right-wing politicians are essentially free-agents that align more by religious belief than party. This is bad news for the independence of church and state.
 

rowdyflat

chez le médecin
Agree w everyone especially rangersac except Zaf who is distracted
No hope really , Americans are so used to shootings now .
Social inequality makes males angry and prolly more likely to use guns.
A strong sensible Democrat president whose party dominates the congress etc might help.
NRA lobbyists are too influential. Guns are a good industry for money making.
 

slowmick

Eats Squid
If nothing else, this thread will teach me lots of new words. from the few American's i have come into contact with through work and travelling in the USA a bit more social equality would work wonders. there seems to be a common thread in middle america that there is a desperate population that wants to take away what you have and for some a gun brings peace of mind. for others it is extra doors locks and building with security. Guns are such a part of everyday life that i get the feeling that many people "forget" what they are actually capable of. just another thing to pick up before leaving the house - spectacles, testicles, keys, wallet, watch, handkerchief and gun.
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
mass shootings like this only account for around 7-10 percent of gun deaths or something like that, now these mass shootings, instead of been mass shootings, will just end up been mass stabbings or mentally ill people going around bashing people with bats and etc..
Would it though?

I would think someone with a bat or knife would be overpowered well before he killed 17 and wounded scores more like he could with an automatic rifle.

Appreciate your point about gang warfare; maybe there's something in the fact that the bulk of the shooting that goes on here in Oz is gang-related, with very few lone psychos shooting randoms.

I don't see how "mass shootings like this only account for around 7-10 percent of gun deaths" diminishes the tragedy of it all, or should affect the response?
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
You're trying to call a pencil a pen, and remaining to miss the entire fucking point.

But seeing as you want to argue symantics, you have failed to comprehend the difference between a select fire capability, that is only available for military use, and a civilian pattern that resembles it. I'm guessing the Ar-10 is also the same rifle in your world because it shares a basic design?
There is a reason they put different identifying numbers on them...that usually has a little more to do with it than marketing.
I run a R&D team which designs systems which are installed onto a lot of US and world military vehicles, aircraft and munitions. I know what the difference is between military and civilian spec perfectly well, thanks, and the distinction between "shares a basic design" (broad) and "is a variant of an design" (very specific). You might even say it's part of my job to know the difference.

We get it, you don't want to admit you used an idiotic example and that AR-15 is in fact a military rifle in every sense of the word by dint of minor modification to become a M-16 (this is how simple it is to covert a AR-15 to full auto, with pictures). Just don't expect to be taken seriously if you can't acknowledge even simple facts that are unhelpful to your argument.
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
I run a R&D team which designs systems which are installed onto a lot of US and world military vehicles, aircraft and munitions. I know what the difference is between military and civilian spec perfectly well, thanks, and the distinction between "shares a basic design" (broad) and "is a variant of an design" (very specific). You might even say it's part of my job to know the difference.

We get it, you don't want to admit you used an idiotic example and that AR-15 is in fact a military rifle in every sense of the word by dint of minor modification to become a M-16 (this is how simple it is to covert a AR-15 to full auto, with pictures). Just don't expect to be taken seriously if you can't acknowledge even simple facts that are unhelpful to your argument.
Okay, point conceded.
And how will banning them reduce homicide rates exactly?
 

Skydome

What's invisible and smells like hay?
Would it though?

I would think someone with a bat or knife would be overpowered well before he killed 17 and wounded scores more like he could with an automatic rifle.
It, imo doesn't matter what someone uses or how many they injure or kill, the underlying cause as to why someone decided to do it be it with a sword, bat hunting knife or rifle needs to be solved. getting through gun control legislation won't solve the underlying cause for why it happned to begin with.

I'd rather solve the actual underlying cause first rather then attacking an inanimate object.

Appreciate your point about gang warfare; maybe there's something in the fact that the bulk of the shooting that goes on here in Oz is gang-related, with very few lone psychos shooting randoms.
In the U.S gang warfare is the biggest contributor to the gun homicide rate, mass shootings like this one really don't add that much to the statistics
I don't see how "mass shootings like this only account for around 7-10 percent of gun deaths" diminishes the tragedy of it all, or should affect the response?
It doesn't diminish the tragedy of it, I am simply just pointing out how small the issue of mass shootings like this actually are in the statistics.

People bang on endlessly when a mass shooting happens and always use it as an argument for tighter firearm laws but they never care about the fact that across the United states a similar number of people die every night due to gang warfare.
 
Reactions: Zaf

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
I'd rather solve the actual underlying cause first rather then attacking an inanimate object.
Given things like rampant social inequality and mental illness (particularly without subsidised healthcare) aren't like to be solved soon, if at all, wouldn't limiting access to assault rifles at least make a difference to 7~10% mass-shooting figure?

And so:

People bang on endlessly when a mass shooting happens and always use it as an argument for tighter firearm laws but they never care about the fact that across the United states a similar number of people die every night due to gang warfare.
It would seem that using Australia's law changes and experience as a reference, the majority of gun crime here is crim-on-crim with lone psychos largely locked out of the option.

There seems to be an anecdotal link at the very least.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
Okay, point conceded.
And how will banning them reduce homicide rates exactly?
Thank you, I appreciate the courtesy (no snark).

Regarding homicide rates, I think there are numerous points to cover so I'll be super brief. The first is that banning a category of guns isn't a solution, but it is part of a wider net of policy actions to restrict access to high-fire-rate weapons used in criminal/gang environments and mass shooting situations. I'd like to see universal mental health and criminal record checks, harmonised between states, age limits (children can own guns in 30 states and teenagers are involved in numerous shootings). I would also add restricions on magazine size, explosive or hollow tip ammunition. I'd ban automatic weapons outright and mandate that manufacturs include specific features to make conversion of common weapons such as the AR-15 to fully auomatic fire, and find ways to encourage the universal use of security. I'd also immediately repeal the many laws forbidding the collecting of gun crime information to ensure that decisions were based on high-quality data.

In short, regulate and observe, adjust and monitor until the situation improves. Unfortunately, very little rational policymaking goes on in this space due to the blind interpretation of the 2nd amendment as a personal right to bear arms rather than the right to associate with a formal citizen's military group. Until there'a new supreme court ruling (not likely) or the NRA decides to go back to their roots as a sporting shooters association (even less likely) there's little chance of substantial improvement and we will be forced to listen to decades more of politicians mouthing platitudes about "thoughts and prayers".
 

Skydome

What's invisible and smells like hay?
Given things like rampant social inequality and mental illness (particularly without subsidised healthcare) aren't like to be solved soon, if at all, wouldn't limiting access to assault rifles at least make a difference to 7~10% mass-shooting figure?

And so:
So you'd rather stop many others from safely enjoying said rifles for the actions of a few?

The inequality won't be solved with attitudes like yours.

I would rather actually solve the underlying issue first, if we're still violence once these issues are solved then we can look at blanket bans.
It would seem that using Australia's law changes and experience as a reference, the majority of gun crime here is crim-on-crim with lone psychos largely locked out of the option.

There seems to be an anecdotal link at the very least.
Refer to my above statement.

All our laws have done is punish the majority for the actions of the few.

I don't agree with that, tackle the issues of inequality bad healthcare and education and etc then we'll go from there.
 

Skydome

What's invisible and smells like hay?
But the U.S is a strange country.

My brother had kids in school there and the way they get teached is to think of everything as a business case.

So nothing will change really when people are learning like that.
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
attitudes like yours.
.
What attitude is that then?

I noticed you referenced 'bleeding heart liberals' earlier, which I assume suggests some sort of irrational emotion-based reaction. Am I a bleeding heart liberal?

All I've done is asked some questions and suggested that if assault rifles were not available to the average punter, perhaps there would be less mass-shootings. I don't know that for a fact, but I see anecdotal links.

Let's say all these school-shooter types were only bent on killing loads of kids. Why not take the ISIS route and plow a truck into a crowd? I put it to you that perhaps they see a specific appeal in shooting people with automatic weapons.

Obviously banning trucks isn't feasible, but controlling automatic guns surely has merit?

So you'd rather stop many others from safely enjoying said rifles for the actions of a few?
In this case, on balance, yes - that's not to say that inequality and health care are ignored. A lot of politics these days seems to be dumbed down to the level of we can't do X now because we have to do Y first; guess what, you can do more than one thing at a time. Obviously a gun ban in itself doesn't solve society's ills overnight.

I guess I don't really see what the sporting shooter gets out of an AR-15 that they couldn't get out of a slower firing rifle with a small mag.

But as I've explained, I'm not a gun enthusiast so there may be an appeal I don't see.
 

Skydome

What's invisible and smells like hay?
I noticed you referenced 'bleeding heart liberals' earlier, which I assume suggests some sort of irrational emotion-based reaction. Am I a bleeding heart liberal?
I refer to bleeding heart liberals as though who have knee jerk reactions not based on any sort of logic or reasoning.

As to you been a bleeding heart liberal or not, I can't comment till I see you comment further :p
All I've done is asked some questions and suggested that if assault rifles were not available to the average punter, perhaps there would be less mass-shootings. I don't know that for a fact, but I see anecdotal links.
New Zealand still allows these rifles to the average punter under their standard car A licence but they are only allowed to have a 10 round mag in it on cat A which imo is fine, but if you apply for the E Endorsement (I think it was) you are allowed to have semi autos with a collapsible stock and a 30 round mag.

Heck, you can even have machine guns there if you can statisfy the reason lol.

I don't see N.Z having shootings every other night.
Let's say all these school-shooter types were only bent on killing loads of kids. Why not take the ISIS route and plow a truck into a crowd? I put it to you that perhaps they see a specific appeal in shooting people with automatic weapons.
Why kill loads of people to begin with? What drives someone to do this? is the reason treatable?

Focus on that.
In this case, on balance, yes - that's not to say that inequality and health care are ignored. A lot of politics these days seems to be dumbed down to the level of we can't do X now because we have to do Y first; guess what, you can do more than one thing at a time. Obviously a gun ban in itself doesn't solve society's ills overnight.
As I said in my previous comment, the major issue with gun related deaths in the U.S is gang warfare, so by solving that issue and satisfying the jobless issues in poor african/latino communities where the majority of the violence occurs you will find America isn't that violent.

The next issue would be to solve the underlying issue as to why someone would go on a rampage killing.

I guess I don't really see what the sporting shooter gets out of an AR-15 that they couldn't get out of a slower firing rifle with a small mag.
There are many reasons for semi autos, be it for target shooting, hunting etc all of which do require reasonably fast follow up shots, then there's the reason that some people just like them.

I don't see any reason for v8's or higher unless you regularly do pretty hefty towing but I won't ever advocate to have them restricted from the average joe that doesn't "Need" them per se.
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
In short, regulate and observe, adjust and monitor until the situation improves. Unfortunately, very little rational policymaking goes on in this space due to the blind interpretation of the 2nd amendment as a personal right to bear arms rather than the right to associate with a formal citizen's military group. Until there'a new supreme court ruling (not likely) or the NRA decides to go back to their roots as a sporting shooters association (even less likely) there's little chance of substantial improvement and we will be forced to listen to decades more of politicians mouthing platitudes about "thoughts and prayers".
I just want to add that although I've quoted you, not everything I say is being directed at you but at general arguments being mentioned in the thread.

SCOTUS ruling Columbia v Heller.
Just going to put this one to bed straight away, but your interpretation of it is incorrect. The Second Amendment guarantees an invidivual's rights to keep and bear arms unconnected with any militia service. This is no longer even a point of contention and shouldn't be used any further.
Another point which I've seen others make is "what's the need for sporting/hunting", and this is also an odd argument to make that misses the entire point of the amendment. It's got nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting, and everything to do with the security of free state.

Even if you disagree with this decision, this is the way it is. Do feel free to make points on hunting/sporting shooting, but just be aware that these kinds of arguments bear little to no relevance with regards to discussing rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

Also just to pre-empt it because it's bound to come in a more specific form, if you're going to say that it only applies to muzzle loading firearms, you should also explain how the 1st amendment protects any form of communication after the printing press. Further, how the founding fathers had the foresight to protect future forms of speech and yet somehow overlook the future development of arms.


If you get the vetting process right to begin with, the restrictions on firearm type aren't required. Switzerland is a classic example of this.

EDIT: @Binaural , just a side note as to why I think these discussions always fall apart, is because it is a multifaceted problem and we never get enough time to hash out one part of it to completion before another issue is introduced. It means that everyone is in a constant state of making 30 arguments in a rushed way every time we try and respond, so we can't push into anything meaningful because there's too much to process.
If it's all good by you, because I think we are starting to build a bit more a rapport, i might just respond to you within this thread and we can introduce a more focused discussion on a single facet of it to completion then move into the next once we've reached a reasonable ground? Might avoid some of the shit flinging that comes with the frustration of attempting to undo eachothers thirty off misconceptions at once.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
Just going to put this one to bed straight away, but your interpretation of it is incorrect. The Second Amendment guarantees an invidivual's rights to keep and bear arms unconnected with any militia service. This is no longer even a point of contention and shouldn't be used any further.
Rights are never unconditional. Americans also have the right to free speech in the press that shall not be infringed either, but you can't write an article threatening to make Donald Trump drink his tanning solution or they'll throw you in jail. You can't even (and this is important) use your right to free speech to threaten to overthrow the government with your freely-borne arms. The implication that the right to bear arms was intended as a constitutional backstop against against tyranny doesn't really hold water. The true safeguards against tyranny are implemented through the separation of powers and the constitutional limits of each branch of government, although the executive has gotten progressively more powerful over time.

Context is important here, and bearing in mind that rights never exist without limit, I think that reasonable regulation in the USA is not impossible. However, the NRA and other even more fringe organisations ferociously and aggressively organise against even the gentlest restrictions on gun ownership or access, and target any politician willing to stick their neck out. As with other aspects of US democracy, the problem is a system that is insensitive to the will of the people but extremely vulnerable to well-funded special interest groups. Heller vs Columbia is a problem for American society, but probably not nearly as much as Citizens United.
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
Rights are never unconditional. Americans also have the right to free speech in the press that shall not be infringed either, but you can't write an article threatening to make Donald Trump drink his tanning solution or they'll throw you in jail. You can't even (and this is important) use your right to free speech to threaten to overthrow the government with your freely-borne arms. The implication that the right to bear arms was intended as a constitutional backstop against against tyranny doesn't really hold water. The true safeguards against tyranny are implemented through the separation of powers and the constitutional limits of each branch of government, although the executive has gotten progressively more powerful over time.

Context is important here, and bearing in mind that rights never exist without limit, I think that reasonable regulation in the USA is not impossible. However, the NRA and other even more fringe organisations ferociously and aggressively organise against even the gentlest restrictions on gun ownership or access, and target any politician willing to stick their neck out. As with other aspects of US democracy, the problem is a system that is insensitive to the will of the people but extremely vulnerable to well-funded special interest groups. Heller vs Columbia is a problem for American society, but probably not nearly as much as Citizens United.
Well, how many ways can you interpret "Shall not be infringed"?
The constitution doesn't award these rights to anyone, it guarantees them to everyone, they are inalienable. And technically under the 1st Amendment you are free to threaten anyone, however it doesn't protect you from consequences of how you exercise that right.

The NRA aren't a fringe group, and compared to the high rollers in the anti-gun lobby, they're relatively under funded. They are a lobbying group for the members and draw their money from membership fees of the people they represent. I think people seriously underestimate how widespread gun ownership is, and that they're largely held by people who aren't the typical "flannel wearing hick sprouting off about my rights" type of person, but fairly normal people who just happen to own guns. They're a successful organisation because they adequately represent their members, and they're given power due to their public support.
 
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