Can America be fixed?

Binaural

Eats Squid
Well, how many ways can you interpret "Shall not be infringed"?
It doesn't matter how you and I interpret constitutional language, but the US courts. They routinely limit plainly-stated rights. For example, there are laws concerning slander and defamation which apply to the press despite a specific "shall make no law abridging free speech of the press" prohibition. This is arguably even stronger language than "shall not be infringed", but the legal weight of such distinctions is zero.

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.
If you face government reprisal for exercising your right to do something, you don't have a unrestricted right at all. This is not technical freedom; the government can and will act to punish you with perfect confidence that courts will not find your rights to be infringed later.

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.
You are right that the NRA aren't a fringe group on face value. They had revenues of $440m USD (circa 550 AUD). However, they do pursue many policies with minimal broad support (for example against background checks, supported by circa 90% of Americans), often out of fear that they will be outflanked by more extreme groups if they don't resist everything. They are an outstanding example of the effectiveness of well-funded single-issue groups vs the wishes of the American people. You see many, many other examples in areas like tax, industry regulation, military etc.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
A final point on your comment about the underfunding of guns rights groups versus anti gun control groups. The truth is in fact far the opposite; here is a breakdown of the funding of for-and-against gun control groups. The concluding paragraph is as follows:

"But gun control groups are still badly outspent overall. In the 2016 election cycle, they accounted for just $3 million in outside spending compared with $54.9 million from gun rights organizations, almost all of which came from the NRA, according to CRP."
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
Binaural said:
It doesn't matter how you and I interpret constitutional language, but the US courts. They routinely limit plainly-stated rights. For example, there are laws concerning slander and defamation which apply to the press despite a specific "shall make no law abridging free speech of the press" prohibition. This is arguably even stronger language than "shall not be infringed", but the legal weight of such distinctions is zero.
That being said, there are already substantial limits considering it shouldn't be infringed at all.
It's never the state that prosecutes in a slander or defamation trial, but another citizen, and you're being held accountable for damages caused by your exercising that right.

Binaural said:
You are right that the NRA aren't a fringe group on face value. They had revenues of $440m USD (circa 550 AUD). However, they do pursue many policies with minimal broad support (for example against background checks, supported by circa 90% of Americans), often out of fear that they will be outflanked by more extreme groups if they don't resist everything. They are an outstanding example of the effectiveness of well-funded single-issue groups vs the wishes of the American people. You see many, many other examples in areas like tax, industry regulation, military etc.
4.5million members at $40/pa registration per member. That's $180M/$440M generated from memberships alone, before you even decide to ask for additional donations in the area or other revenue gaining techniques.
The background/criminal history checks already exist as part of the purchasing process, it's all there on the 4473 form that must be submitted as part of the transfer. The firearms that are the problem are never being bought legally to begin with, so again, why do you think adding another layer of bureaucracy to the process will somehow make a tangible change all of a sudden?
 

Oddjob

Wheel size expert
"He who gives up essential liberty to purchase a safety deserves neither liberty nor safety."
The ultimate normative statement. Gun control is just a sympton of the deeper malaise of money politics.

Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
 

link1896

Wheel size expert
Too far gone to be saved.

My good friend is an ER nurse in Maine, where it's legal to carry a concealed, loaded handgun. So she does, out of fear for her own safety. One in the handbag, one in glovebox, one in the house. When the do gooders need guns, it's beyond the point of no return.
 

LPG

Likes Dirt
Could anyone with american heritage posting in this thread identify themselves. It would be good to understand people's background here so we can dismiss your views as overly effected by an upbringing in a backwards country that likes guns and uses the barbaric imperial system.
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
Could anyone with american heritage posting in this thread identify themselves. It would be good to understand people's background here so we can dismiss your views as overly effected by an upbringing in a backwards country that likes guns and uses the barbaric imperial system.
That's about as idiotic as it gets. Please refrain from posting in this thread any further.
 

Litenbror

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Have lived in America twice for a total of 4.5 years and to be honest it's terrifying. Probably the scariest part is how little you see in the general media about this problem and what you see is so skewed. The only reason you know it's skewed is because you have come from a country that doesn't have a gun culture. People who have never left don't stand a chance of knowing what's going on because they are blinkered to it.

In response to everyone going on about the NRA and lobbying and buying politions it's exactly the same here with the resources companies hijacking the renewable energy industry just the people are dying slower and the whole world is suffering because we can't work out to stop burning government subsided coal from a couple of billionaires. The NRA run a university course in Virginia for lobbiests and politions to learn how best to manipulate public perception, I know of two Aussie pollies who went while they were in opposition and used the lessons to win power at the next election (Abbot and Hockey). We need to be careful about being on a high horse that we don't miss our pollies doing the same shit to us.
 

flamin'trek

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Mass shootings are a big conspiracy by the weapons manufacturers. Everytime there’s another mass shooting and restricting guns gets raised sales go up.

There are so many guns out there now, it would be near impossible to control them.
 

jrewing

Likes Bikes and Dirt
The founding fathers of America were very aware of the dangers of a powerful govt. Very wise and profound men. Carrying arms was a way to keep balanced power. Those days are long gone though. Waco influenced Timothy Mcveigh was the last time a US citizen struck measurable revenge on their Govt.
The system is so far gone that it needs a complete reset over there, as mentioned previously in this thread. Fly into LaX and see how much around there is owned by Northrop Grumman. The war machine is constantly thirsty. The military personnel are revered to a fucking disturbing level.
Then the influence of religion on the masses between the coasts. Those descendants of the pilgrims have compasses that point one way only, and that way is ignorance city.
But that and a whole whole lot more is why I find the US so fascinating.
Btw Ar-15s are just like commodores to us. People over there tune, modify and build them as hobbies.
 

carpetrunner

Likes Dirt
I've spent around 2 weeks in Austin Texas every quarter for the last 3 and a bit years. I've seen a gun once, on a security guard in Allens Boots, probably OK, they stock $1000 custom boots.

The place is lawful, people are very courteous. As far as Texas goes Austin is pretty liberal - a university town and state capital.
I don't feel threatened - the doesn't appear to be any gun hysteria. The only mention of gun related issues was a university protest.

I have taken a road bike with me a few times, I feel a hell of a lot safer riding on the wrong side of the road over there than in Sydney.

Anyway, getting back to the OP. Americans I've spoken to are fed up with the political system and the influence of the big end of town and/or religion over government.
You'll need to cut off the cash - clean up political donations/bribes/influence before any really useful legislation will take place.
I can't see that happening any time soon as all sides have their hands in the till.

A quick thought on gun control, legislation worked in Australia and Britain because everyone, including gun owners, saw how destructive these weapons are, and willfully surrendered them. That's just not going to happen in America.
- carpetrunner
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
My old head office was in Austin and I've spent a lot of time there as well, hell of a town. I saw lots of guns and went to the range myself. However, I was working/staying with ex-cops, ICE agents and other security folk so it kind of came with the territory. I was concerned at the distinct lack of gun safety though. At one place there was an AR-15, Sig and Glock out on the table as we were drinking. The gun case was bought out to grab the BB gun so we could shoot cans out in the backyard whilst we BBQ'd and beered. However the real guns remained out on the table, unsupervised and all of them were loaded.

Another time was in a car with a bloke who'd been drinking and other times were at people's houses. Out of all the weapons I saw only one of them was a hunting rifle, a .22 semi. Only one of them was an actual assault weapon (not interested in splitting hairs over nomenclature, I'm an ex-soldier, I know a combat rifle when I see one) with the rest being handguns. I do love Austin but the only time I felt unsafe was when people had their guns out and there was alcohol around. At the range and controlled environments were fine. I'm not a fan of gun culture either. I'm a qualified marksman and know my way around a bang stick but I get turned off by the way they influence and effect some people.

I don't go there anymore as I've changed jobs. I really miss WholeFoods and the bars at far end of 6th. Favourite place in the US I've been so far.
 

Litenbror

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I don't go there anymore as I've changed jobs. I really miss WholeFoods and the bars at far end of 6th. Favourite place in the US I've been so far.
Yeah we miss WholeFoods funnily enough one of the places that got me uncomfortable about guns. There is a WholeFoods over the road from Duke University in Durham NC with two fully armed security guards at each entrance. Unsettling for an Aussie but comforting for locals. Completely agree Johnny the casualness that people behave around guns is unsettling, watching a cop leave a restaurant in Virginia and the safety clip is off his holster, going to people's houses and there's a pistol on the table because they were mowing and carry it for sales (I've got 2 kids so absolutely no unlocked weapons) then trying to explain to them to put them in a safe because I've got kids here. No sleep overs for the kids because you don't know what the kids parents have in the house and if it's locked up properly. It's a mess and that's one of the main reasons we came back. It drove home to us how lucky we are but also how much we have to loose here if we let pollies and business get away with to much due to our apathy. Strong public education is to most important foundation to a successful democracy.
 

Minlak

Kink of the mountain
My old head office was in Austin and I've spent a lot of time there as well, hell of a town. I saw lots of guns and went to the range myself. However, I was working/staying with ex-cops, ICE agents and other security folk so it kind of came with the territory. I was concerned at the distinct lack of gun safety though. At one place there was an AR-15, Sig and Glock out on the table as we were drinking. The gun case was bought out to grab the BB gun so we could shoot cans out in the backyard whilst we BBQ'd and beered. However the real guns remained out on the table, unsupervised and all of them were loaded.

Another time was in a car with a bloke who'd been drinking and other times were at people's houses. Out of all the weapons I saw only one of them was a hunting rifle, a .22 semi. Only one of them was an actual assault weapon (not interested in splitting hairs over nomenclature, I'm an ex-soldier, I know a combat rifle when I see one) with the rest being handguns. I do love Austin but the only time I felt unsafe was when people had their guns out and there was alcohol around. At the range and controlled environments were fine. I'm not a fan of gun culture either. I'm a qualified marksman and know my way around a bang stick but I get turned off by the way they influence and effect some people.

I don't go there anymore as I've changed jobs. I really miss WholeFoods and the bars at far end of 6th. Favourite place in the US I've been so far.
I knew it.... johnny is spy!!!

People like Trump and Co keep on the "Its a Mental Health Issue" (and in fact I read today Trump says the FBI was wasting to much time investigating him for Russian links and missed this guy). Lets all agree it is a mental health issue just to placate one side how do we fix that? To me disarming the populace is far easier than fixing mental health.
The other big concern is the "Slippery Slope Effect". People are concerned with where it ends not where it starts.
 

Dales Cannon

Odious Geriatric
Staff member
My experience is very similar to Johnnys. Visited a colleagues place for dinner and saw loaded and unloaded rifles on the pool table. Bullets and magazines too. Shotguns, decent hunting stuff and others that weren"t black if you get my meaning. No comment as to why. We ate outside and the house was empty with that lot sitting there. Another colleague got his PI licence so he could 'carry'. He 'carried' in the office and would proudly pull back his jacket to show the pistol.

These two were normal family guys. This was in New York state.

It is fucking weird and even more fucking scary. If this is normal what the fuck is going on with the crazies?

Edit: I grew up with rifles and shooting feral animals on farms. I no longer have a license after moving out of state then back and I am not interested in hunting vegans anymore. I might get into ridding the world of those pesky clay pigeons which are a menace to society but that is about it.

The current rhetoric is pointless and just an attempt to gloss over the issues at hand.
 

SlowManiac

Likes Bikes and Dirt
He who gives up essential liberty to purchase safety deserves neither liberty nor safety


Blah blah. Kids (fucking KIDS) are getting shot. In school! Seriously. Imagine a 19yr old in Australia wanted to go on a rampage. How would he or she go about it? Answer - they'd pretty much have no chance because it's impossible to get a gun here.

FFS we curtail a million 'civil liberties'. Wanna drive drunk? No sorry you can't. Wanna drive without a seatbelt? Sorry. Are you a really big fan or fireworks or animal porn? Sorry can't do those either. WTF is so essential about owning a semi automatic rifle in suburban Florida.

:mad:
:mad:
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
He who gives up essential liberty to purchase safety deserves neither liberty nor safety


Blah blah. Kids (fucking KIDS) are getting shot. In school! Seriously. Imagine a 19yr old in Australia wanted to go on a rampage. How would he or she go about it? Answer - they'd pretty much have no chance because it's impossible to get a gun here.

FFS we curtail a million 'civil liberties'. Wanna drive drunk? No sorry you can't. Wanna drive without a seatbelt? Sorry. Are you a really big fan or fireworks or animal porn? Sorry can't do those either. WTF is so essential about owning a semi automatic rifle in suburban Florida.

:mad:
:mad:
Do do you actually believe we don't have access to firearms in Australia? I think everyone just puts blinkers on when they talk about Australia's restrictions, and instantly forget things like the Monash University Shootings, the Sydney Lindt Cafe Seige, Hectorville, Hunt Family, etc (as if Port Arthur was the last!). as if the ban actually magics them out of existence or something. I'm guessing you think because Marijuana is a "banned" substance you can't access that either?

These kinds of fucked up events will happen, you can't legislate against them because they're outside the bell curve to begin with. You're definitely not going to stop it by enacting laws on people not trying to subvert them to begin with.

What are you hoping to achieve? Or moreso, what possible good do you think a ban would do? Try and keep how well Prohibition worked, and the War on Drugs is working, in mind when you answer that question.
 
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