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  #51  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:13 PM
RedMud636 RedMud636 is offline
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America seems to have a nice combo of poor mental health care, a society raised on violent images and stories, a ridiculous criminal justice system, and lots of guns available with little to no scrutiny. What you reap is what you sow. Good luck. Your neighbour in Canada.
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  #52  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:33 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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You just named a bunch of things that don't really address the violence problem in the US at all. The pockets of urban poverty that lead to gang life and/or organized crime have a lot more to do with our issues.
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  #53  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:34 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kaio View Post



What's with the hysteria? You do understand that saying stuff like this does not make you appear to be a rational human being?
What's with the intellectual dishonesty? You do understand you quoted me out of context and by doing so you appear to be someone who needs to grow up and recognize that high school debating techniques are generally ineffective in real life.
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  #54  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:48 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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I quoted your entire post. Who's being intellectually dishonest?

(And quite frankly, if your other post didn't do it, this post certainly has convinced me you're hysterical and irrational. I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.)
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  #55  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:51 PM
Asympotically fat Asympotically fat is online now
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My reaction is that there's a lot of dishonesty:

1) Guns make you safer/legislation is unlikely to be effective? Seriously? A weapon may only be a tool, but guns are very effective tools for killing people. If for some reason I wanted to stop screws from being screwed into screw holes, the first thing I would do is to ban screwdrivers. Sure it would not completely stop screws getting in to those screw holes, but it would surely have a significant impact on the number of screws being screwed.

2) Does a piece of legislation enacted in 1791 (i.e. the 2nd amendment) really have overarching importance today? The times were very different. Also I don't get the obsession with what the Founding Fathers intended, it seems quasi-religious- they're long gone, surely the needs and wants of present day Americans are more important.


Americans (to make a gross generalization) like guns, it's that simple. They enjoy them and they make them feel safer whether or not they actually make them safer. They also not massively keen on being told what to do. There's actually nothing wrong with this, but I just wish they'd be honest with themselves about it and about the cost to society of having almost unfettered gun ownership.
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  #56  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:02 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kaio View Post
I quoted your entire post. Who's being intellectually dishonest?

(And quite frankly, if your other post didn't do it, this post certainly has convinced me you're hysterical and irrational. I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.)
Like I said, you are. I didn't say you misquoted me, I said you quoted me out of context, which you did.

I have no interest in trying to convince intellectually dishonest posters--such as yourself--of anything, and I think it's funny that you would presume that I did.

Well, I know what adults who are being intellectually honest mean when they use those words, and the manner in which you have (mis)used them tell me that either you are not an adult or are an intellectually dishonest one.
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  #57  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:07 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Originally Posted by RedMud636 View Post
America seems to have a nice combo of poor mental health care, a society raised on violent images and stories, a ridiculous criminal justice system, and lots of guns available with little to no scrutiny. What you reap is what you sow. Good luck. Your neighbour in Canada.
Congratulations. You've crammed more ignorance into fewer words than I would have heretofore thought possible.

Last edited by gms453; 01-26-2013 at 09:09 PM.. Reason: typo
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  #58  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:07 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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Throwing around baseless and absurd accusations -- the ones I quoted, or those directed at me -- does not lend credibility to your arguments.
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  #59  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:23 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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gms is the type of American we're referring to, in part. Unwilling to take criticism to the point of vehemently defending themselves regardless of the validity of the criticism and then resorting to name calling.

Last edited by EmAnJ; 01-26-2013 at 09:23 PM..
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  #60  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:07 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kaio View Post
Throwing around baseless and absurd accusations -- the ones I quoted, or those directed at me -- does not lend credibility to your arguments.
But I've not made any arguments, I've simply pointed out the deficiencies in yours.
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  #61  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:29 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Originally Posted by EmAnJ View Post
gms is the type of American we're referring to, in part. Unwilling to take criticism to the point of vehemently defending themselves regardless of the validity of the criticism and then resorting to name calling.
Gee, what a surprise: a Canadian stereotyping Americans. FWIW, I've reviewed your posts in this thread and my opinion of them remains the same: the criticisms made in them, being borne of ignorance, are invalid.

By the way, do all the men in Canada act like those guys on the Red Green Show?
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  #62  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:02 AM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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It's hard to fathom how regular shooting sprees, particularly 20 dead kids, can be seen as an acceptable price to pay for recreational gun culture. I really thought Newtown would be a turning point, but instead, the victims just got reduced to statistics and poof!, everything was hunky dory.
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  #63  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:12 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
It's hard to fathom how regular shooting sprees, particularly 20 dead kids, can be seen as an acceptable price to pay for recreational gun culture.
It's simple; your typical pro-gun person has essentially zero concern for human life, but deifies guns. They don't care about the cost because to them, there really isn't much of one. People died? Well, people aren't guns, so they don't matter.
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  #64  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:22 AM
Shakester Shakester is offline
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Originally Posted by gms453 View Post
Wow, I had forgotten just how preachy, pompous and pretentious Europeans can be.
"Europeans", eh? How do you explain Australians & New Zealanders then? Or are we part of Europe too? Cause I can assure you it isn't just "Europe" that thinks US gun laws are entirely fucking insane.

In my experience, it ain't just "Europe"; it's the entire rest of the developed world and a fair percentage of the developing world too.
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  #65  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:23 AM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is offline
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My two main thoughts on the matter are:

1) "Man, you guys really give a massive shit about guns.". I've never been afraid of crime (or the government); I don't need to own a gun to feel safe, and I don't need to see new restrictions placed on guns to feel safe. When I think of gun control policy, it's in the abstract, not how it will affect me personally.

2) "Man, you guys are weirdly hung up on your Founding Fathers.". This goes beyond gun control, of course, but gun control is a "Founding Fathers topic". I don't think anyone up here cares what John A. Macdonald had to say about gun control or freedom of speech or taxation. Good laws are good laws, and bad laws are bad laws, regardless about what some dudes thought a quarter millennium ago.
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  #66  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 AM
Shmendrik Shmendrik is online now
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
It's hard to fathom how regular shooting sprees, particularly 20 dead kids, can be seen as an acceptable price to pay for recreational gun culture. I really thought Newtown would be a turning point, but instead, the victims just got reduced to statistics and poof!, everything was hunky dory.
You do realize that "recreational gun culture" has as much to do with the American view of freedom to bear arms as writing poems about flowers has to do with the American view of freedom of speech, right?
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  #67  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:58 AM
septimus septimus is offline
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Bill Clinton was President last time I was in North America -- do I qualify as non-American? Anyway, I offer no opinion; I only report what I heard an American say a few days ago.

He was proud that in his state he has the right to shoot a fleeing thief in the back, even when the thief has left his property. Further discussion involved whether he would aim at the head or at the "center of mass" or deliver a crippling shot to the knee so he could walk up and leisurely deliver a lethal blow. (This seems so astounding, Dopers may think I'm exaggerating. I'm not.)

Rather than augment my reputation as trouble-maker I remained mum.

Nevertheless...
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Originally Posted by toofs View Post
... one size does not fit all.
This comment should be added, boldface in a large font, to many of the pretentious threads on this board.
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  #68  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:03 AM
Arrogance Ex Machina Arrogance Ex Machina is offline
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Originally Posted by Baron Greenback View Post
Ah, OK. Thing is, on the mainland UK, the "mental health" and "socioeconomic factors" caveats are really quite broad. You shouldn't be lumping the mainland UK in with Ireland here (no idea about Finland). The US map isn't very nuanced either - access to services isn't what it might be in some states.
It is the same for Finland - "social reasons" is the most common reason by far. I've never heard of anybody having trouble getting an abortion here if they wanted one.
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  #69  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:27 AM
Essured Essured is offline
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Originally Posted by Max the Immortal View Post
My two main thoughts on the matter are:

1) "Man, you guys really give a massive shit about guns.". I've never been afraid of crime (or the government); I don't need to own a gun to feel safe, and I don't need to see new restrictions placed on guns to feel safe. When I think of gun control policy, it's in the abstract, not how it will affect me personally.

2) "Man, you guys are weirdly hung up on your Founding Fathers.". This goes beyond gun control, of course, but gun control is a "Founding Fathers topic". I don't think anyone up here cares what John A. Macdonald had to say about gun control or freedom of speech or taxation. Good laws are good laws, and bad laws are bad laws, regardless about what some dudes thought a quarter millennium ago.

I'm 100% with you on (2). It does appear odd to my POV to have so much argument over a document and what the authors intended, parsing each word, etc. It seems to be 1 part legalistic interpretation, 1 part deification, 0 parts current reality / practicality. There just seems to be the impression that this document is infallible, like it's the country's bible and everyone's a fundamentalist. Yeah I'm exaggerating for effect, and I do realise that it underpins your laws, etc, but from my perspective, it's an amazing document that was innovative and provided great protections in it's time. Yup, in it's time. It kinda seems to be holding you guys back more than helping these days.

Gun control debates specifically - just confusing from my POV. I'm from Australia, we've had the gun buyback, increased gun control laws, plenty of people burying their guns in their back yard rather than handing them in to the government, etc. I don't necessarily think what we did would work in the US, so I'm not implying that you should do what we did at all. I think there's a much bigger subset of people in the US who view guns very differently than we do (generalisation, I know - this is all just impressions). Put it this way, when I lived in suburbia, having a gun didn't cross my mind, not once. Just wasn't on my radar. My cousin has several, but he's very into sport shooting (goes bush all the time, led shooting 'safaris', etc). Now I live in the country, and I'm considering getting a gun. Not once have I ever thought of a gun providing me with personal protection. Nor have I ever thought I needed personal protection... there just doesn't seem to be any need to defend myself in that way, so it is hard to understand the fixation on 'castle doctrine' and fear of intruders.

USA appears like a country of contradictions to me. So progressive and inspiring in some areas, so backwards and bemused in others. Great and horrible at the same time. A shining light, and a flashing warning sign. No, I don't think you guys should change and do the same as we do (re: gun control or any other area), you guys are who you are and will forge your own path, regardless of what the rest of the world does.
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  #70  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:51 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Originally Posted by Max the Immortal View Post

2) "Man, you guys are weirdly hung up on your Founding Fathers.". This goes beyond gun control, of course, but gun control is a "Founding Fathers topic". I don't think anyone up here cares what John A. Macdonald had to say about gun control or freedom of speech or taxation. Good laws are good laws, and bad laws are bad laws, regardless about what some dudes thought a quarter millennium ago.

True justice is quite simply the will of the Emperor. - Librarian Franz Grenzstein of the Imperial Fists

http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Emperor_of_Mankind
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  #71  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:27 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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I think the rest of the non Americans on this board must feel as I do.
I don't. I feel it's up to Americans to decide and we should respect their decision and their debate.
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  #72  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:47 AM
Half Man Half Wit Half Man Half Wit is online now
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Yes, indeed, the vehemence of defending everyone's right to deadly weapons in the face of murder rates four times as high as most other countries does puzzle me. The reaction to Sandy Hook "Let's arm the teachers!" is really sad and baffling. I have never shot a gun in my life and do note know anyone who has, and I like it that way. I would much rather get mugged with a knife than with a gun, and having a gun in the house would not make me feel more secure one little bit. I understand the historical implications and everything, but the way that Americans cling to every letter of their constitution and the Bill of Rights as the word of God himself is also a bit foreign to me, whose country has admittedly not been a stable democracy for 230 years.
I think the thing I find most bewildering is the attitude (expressed occasionally even on this board, which, I understand, most Americans would probably categorize as having 'liberal' leanings) that if the government 'came for their guns', they'd suddenly find them to be gone, mysteriously; I think one mentioned just burying them in the backyard, while at another time, some elaborate story about a photo op on a lake going wrong and taking all the guns to the fishes was told. This just seems so incongruous to me: on the one hand, laws are treated as gospel as long as they allow a pro-gun stance (see second amendment etc.); however, should laws against (or merely regulating) gun ownership emerge, well those may be broken at will. The amount of cognitive dissonance necessary to maintain such a stance seems just staggering from my outside viewpoint.
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  #73  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:30 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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This is what I see: the government of the US doesn't take care of the people, and Americans think this is fantastic and want even less of it. Well, so long as I don't have to live there that's fine. I do feel bad for the people who suffer for it, but there's not a lot I can do about it.

The government not taking care of people on principle seems to me to be the source of most of the problems: it's why people want guns in the first place, but it's also why the healthcare system is so bad, it's also why lawsuits spiral out of control and why you absolutely have to tip in restaurants.

The government doesn't protect you, so you (think you) need guns. The government won't look after you, so there is no sense of balance and fairness in general, so people are out to take care of themselves and seek these ridiculous lawsuits. The government won't look after you by setting minimum wage, so customers supplementing income becomes an informal law.

Inexplicably, Americans think this is called freedom and are proud of it. For the life of me I cannot fathom it, but so long as I don't have to live there they're welcome to it.

Last edited by gracer; 01-27-2013 at 06:31 AM..
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  #74  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:18 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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I am astounded this turned into a shit fight.
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  #75  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:24 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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See! The ferinors are trying to take our guns!!!


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Originally Posted by gms453 View Post
So what are you saying? That everyone you deem to be of "Red America" is going to be put up against a wall and shot? Or are you just going to torture them until they confess the error of their ways and promise to do, say and think whatever you and your big brother government order them to?
I'm pretty sure he's saying that if the Presidential elections past 8 years are any indication, the failures of the Republican party indicates a potential shift away from the traditional right-wing values. Values that have long been associated with xenophobia, religeous fanatacism, if not racism, certainly white exceptionalism and, of course, unrestricted gun proliferation.

It will "get ugly" because as that group becomes more marginalized, they will feel more threatened and may lash out politically or with outright violence.

As a moderate American, I'm less concerned about "big brother government" as I am about groups of isolated, paranoid, angry, frightened, gun toting religeous fanatics with a high school education.
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  #76  
Old 01-27-2013, 07:56 AM
velomont velomont is offline
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No American I know thinks the Constitution is infallible (and I hope every American believes that laws that contravene the Constitution are illegal and unenforceable.)
Several years ago, when I was a young Canadian naval officer having a conversation with a young American naval officer about gun control, he said that you can't have gun control because of the constitution. I then asked him "What if the constitution's wrong?". His reply was "the constitution can't be wrong." My thoughts regarding American gun culture as portrayed in the media is that it is almost beyond my imagination to think that way. Most Canadians I know are urban and would never consider owning a firearm. My impression is that rural Canadians (of the serious farming variety) and hunters have firearms for hunting and/or animal pest control.

A co-worker of mine, a Texan and retired US Army officer who has been living in Canada for about the last ten years offered an interesting take on this. He and his Canadian wife were visiting Texas and while in a shopping centre parking lot she saw someone littering and was about to take the litterer to task. My co-worker then told his wife to back off because the litterer was likely armed and that the confrontation wouldn't be worth it.
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  #77  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:20 AM
Ibanez Ibanez is offline
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman View Post
I think the rest of the non Americans on this board must feel as I do. I want our American friends to hear how you feel about their gun culture.
I don't.

It's sad to hear of school shootings or some nut job shoots up a bunch of people but we have school shootings up here (Canada) too. But it's their country it's up to them to figure out, although I feel it's a little too late to put the lid on it, and any legislative measure to take guns away will make some people who's sole reason is to become violent if they try to take their guns away. All of these cases of school shootings it's been because of seriouls mentally ill individuals. I don't think if they take away the "scary" looking guns will not stop people who are ill from just using handguns instead.

I still love the US, and if I had to pick another country to live in it would be the US, and I would be armed for home protection like I am here. Although here I'd be thrown into, an expensive legal morass for killing an intruder in my home at three in the morning , If I didn't have a polite discussion with him first to find out if his intentions was to harm me over tea and biscuits first.

Last edited by Ibanez; 01-27-2013 at 08:21 AM..
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  #78  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:44 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by velomont View Post
A co-worker of mine, a Texan and retired US Army officer who has been living in Canada for about the last ten years offered an interesting take on this. He and his Canadian wife were visiting Texas and while in a shopping centre parking lot she saw someone littering and was about to take the litterer to task. My co-worker then told his wife to back off because the litterer was likely armed and that the confrontation wouldn't be worth it.
So the system works.
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  #79  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:47 AM
septimus septimus is offline
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Originally Posted by velomont View Post
... I then asked [the young American naval officer] "What if the constitution's wrong?". His reply was "the constitution can't be wrong."
...
My thoughts regarding American gun culture as portrayed in the media is that it is almost beyond my imagination to think that way.
A little-known fact is that American redneck right-wingers have little intellectual acumen and get their "best" ideas from parodists. I'm one of the ones to blame: I've written about
  The Ten Commandments Amerndments written by the Finger of God atop Mt. Sinai
hoping such words would wake up the Right to their own absurdities. Instead they read such parodies and adopt them as part of their doctrine.
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  #80  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:59 AM
Waenara Waenara is offline
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Originally Posted by velomont View Post
Several years ago, when I was a young Canadian naval officer having a conversation with a young American naval officer about gun control, he said that you can't have gun control because of the constitution. I then asked him "What if the constitution's wrong?". His reply was "the constitution can't be wrong."
As a Canadian, I am also sometimes bewildered with the reverence it seems a lot of Americans have for their Constitution. Not just thinking that the Constitution is the framework to judge which laws can be validly enforced in a legalistic sense, but it seems like some believe that the Constitution is inherently and morally the most perfect document and that anything that is contrary to the Constitution must be inherently wrong. Kind of funny since the 2nd Amendment is an amendment that wasn't in the Constitution in the first place.

As others said upthread, I find it strange how often Americans seem fixated on "what the Founding Fathers would have thought of situation X" or "how the FF would have responded to Y". When X or Y could be completely modern things that the FF never would have considered to be even in the realm of possibility (like gay marriage, or the internet). I think it's more important what the citizens, law-makers and judges think about it today.

What would someone from the 18th century in a time of single-shot muskets think about assault rifles, or rocket launchers, or predator drones, or nuclear weapons, or missile defense shields? I could easily image that if you could use a time machine to bring some FF's to the present day and bring them up to speed on today's issues, culture and technology, it's likely that at least some of them would give an answer about gun control that is "inconsistent" with how textualist/originialist judges are interpreting the 2nd amendment. IMO, you can't just "scale up" the FF's position on one thing and apply it to something bigger and very different.

It reminds me of how futurists nearly always get their predictions wrong - it's impossible to predict the technological breakthroughs and paradigm shifts that will occur in the future. A futurist in 1935 might have predicted that in 50 years the future of mass transport to take people around the world would be fleets of giant dirigibles. Arthur C. Clarke is often credited with coming up with the idea of geosynchronous satellites, which is a truly huge idea - but I remember reading a short story he wrote with geosynchronous telecommunications satellites, and they were basically manned space stations, because you'd need staff to maintain and operate the radio relays. So even his great idea was wrong in some major aspects.

Last edited by Waenara; 01-27-2013 at 09:02 AM..
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  #81  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:17 AM
Gymnopithys Gymnopithys is offline
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Years ago, while I was looking for a room to rent, answering an ad, a woman came out gun in hand. And that was in Springfield, VA. Hard to appreciate.
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  #82  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:24 AM
amanset amanset is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
I don't. I feel it's up to Americans to decide and we should respect their decision and their debate.
Pretty much the same here.

I used to be different. I did - and still do - think it is insane how much gun culture has permeated through American society, but I have given up discussing with Americans. I'm not going to change anyone's minds and even then it is probably already too late to change how things are there now. So whereas I used to discuss this, hell I have probably posted on this board several times about guns and the US, now I don't. I just accept that they want it their way and I want it mine, so as long as they don't lecture me about the evils of Universal Health Care, Social Democracy or whatever the anti-European topic de jour is, I'll refrain from discussing American gun culture and other similar topics. And they can keep all their guns over there and I'll live in a much more gun-free society here.
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  #83  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:28 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Having discovered thanks to this board that actually a lot of American gun laws aren't that different from those I'm used to, what's different is the way people view guns, I think the politicians are trying to solve top-to-bottom something which is, depending on your point of view, either a bottom-to-top problem or no problem at all (call it a cultural idiosincrasy).

Ttb solutions to btt problems are horribly paternalistic and don't work well, since they're designed and implemented by people who didn't understand the problem in the first place.

Last edited by Nava; 01-27-2013 at 09:30 AM..
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  #84  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:41 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Nava,

What is a bottom-to-top problem and how is it so?
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  #85  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:46 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by velomont View Post
Several years ago, when I was a young Canadian naval officer having a conversation with a young American naval officer about gun control, he said that you can't have gun control because of the constitution. I then asked him "What if the constitution's wrong?". His reply was "the constitution can't be wrong."
You should have told him that 27 Amendments would beg to differ.


Really the correct answer is that the Constitution does have a mechanism for change enough people believe it to be "wrong".
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  #86  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:03 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
Nava,

What is a bottom-to-top problem and how is it so?
Something is a problem if it's having undesirable consequences. And it's bottom-to-top if what needs to be changed is the underlying culture and/or circumstances, not the rules being handed down from above.

Example: Spanish law said it is illegal for a person to kill another for a loooooong time, yet "I killed her 'cos she was mine" was pretty much considered an acceptable reason until the mid-1980s. Eliminating violence as a "family communication method" will take a while, but the problem wasn't the laws about murder, it was and is the attitude.

Last edited by Nava; 01-27-2013 at 10:07 AM..
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  #87  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:32 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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American chiming in here:

Not gonna reply directly to the gun control debate here (goodness knows I deal with that enough at work, along with religion, gay rights, physical fitness, nutrition, and the morality of banning the open display of pinups of women in swimsuits in a customer service area in a business having no relation to swimsuits. And yes, I've been subjected to all of those debates in my office.)

Instead, I just want to address the bits about the Constitution:

We hold it in high regard because it is the very foundation of all of our laws. Any law written that contradicts the Constitution, by definition, is wrong. The Constitution, contrary to popular belief, is not infallible, but thankfully, there is a way to address that: Amendments! The first ten, known as the Bill of Rights, had to be added to it before the Constitution could even be accepted, so it's debatable as to whether the Second Amendment was "originally" part of the Constitution or not.

It's irrelevant, of course, because the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution now, thus any law which conflicts with it must be wrong, from a legal standpoint.

That said, if one feels the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, is wrong, then the answer is to get a new Amendment passed. It's what they did when the scourge of alcohol was destroying the nation's moral fiber, and what they did a number of years later when everybody agreed that outlawing alcohol was actually not a particularly inspired idea.

What many folks have a problem with, from a constitutional standpoint, are laws which openly set out to restrict rights set forth in the Constitution. Most recently the hot-button topic there are laws restricting legal ownership of firearms. Until an actual amendment is proposed and passed removing the civilian right to bear firearms, so the argument goes, any attempt to outlaw said right can thus be found as unconstitutional and therefore wrong.

As far as I know, none of the lawmakers in favor of gun control have proposed such an amendment.

Last edited by Raguleader; 01-27-2013 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:47 AM
septimus septimus is offline
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Originally Posted by Raguleader View Post
Any law written that contradicts the Constitution, by definition, is wrong.
It's irrelevant, of course, because the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution now, thus any law which conflicts with it must be wrong, from a legal standpoint.

... Until an actual amendment is proposed and passed removing the civilian right to bear firearms, so the argument goes, any attempt to outlaw said right can thus be found as unconstitutional and therefore wrong.
I think you set out to refute that Americans behave (irrationally) as though the Constitution and its Amendments were written by the Finger of God.

But, although you qualify with "from a legal standpoint" and emphasize that there is a process for God's Finger to rewrite, your equation of "Unconstitutional" with "Wrong™ " rather confirms a view of the American obsession as irrational.

If this isn't clear, let me ask what you'd think of an American who said "Failure to regulate guns is wrong for practical and moral reasons." Is he "wrong" to think this before the 2nd Amendment is repealed?
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:58 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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To gms453

Because I want Americans to know that the rest of us experience a better way. That you can have safety and security without a gun. That you can actually live without fear.
So what's the cause and what's the effect?

Honestly, I don't perceive Americans as living in fear because everyone has guns. They seem to have guns because they live in fear.

I mean, as a Canadian, I could legally own any number of guns. I could buy a shotgun or a rifle with less hassle than it takes to buy a car or get a driver's license, and I could keep it at hand to defend my home from criminals. GEtting a handgun would be a harder thing, but it's possible - but anywat a good Mossberg would do the job for home defense. "Gun control" does not mean "total gun banishment." But I don't do that, and I don't know anyone who does; I literally have never known a single Canadian, in my entire life, who kept a firearm at hand for home defense. (Lots of people own hunting firearms.)

It would be easy to say this is because of the difference in crime rate, but crime rate is not consistent across all places in the USA. In amny places it's pretty much the same as it is in Canada. Yet we've seen people on this board, and I've met Americans IRL, who live in cities and neighborhoods where the chance of home invasion and such really isn't any worse than it is here, and they still have guns at the ready.

You have to figure out why that cultural difference exists before any discussion of gun control will matter.

Last edited by RickJay; 01-27-2013 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:04 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
I think you set out to refute that Americans behave (irrationally) as though the Constitution and its Amendments were written by the Finger of God.

But, although you qualify with "from a legal standpoint" and emphasize that there is a process for God's Finger to rewrite, your equation of "Unconstitutional" with "Wrong™ " rather confirms a view of the American obsession as irrational.

If this isn't clear, let me ask what you'd think of an American who said "Failure to regulate guns is wrong for practical and moral reasons." Is he "wrong" to think this before the 2nd Amendment is repealed?
Actually, I'm trying to avoid addressing the irrationality-vs-rationality of it all, just hoping to explain (my understanding of) how the Constitution is supposed to factor in all this. I freely admit that there are folks on both sides of the debate that really need to calm down and stop making their side look ignorant and crazy.

And no, he's not wrong to think that, that's protected by the First Amendment. My only issue is folks trying to circumvent the Constitution because they know they can't actually get it changed to suit their preferences.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:50 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Fundamentalist Christians would very much like to turn back the clock to a time when Christianity was the de facto religion of the state, not just one among many. They are driving this meme "what the founding fathers..." because they wrote everything in Christian language. The tea party wants to return to prayer in school, etc. Republicans want to turn back time on abortion and contraception, gay rights, union rights etc.

And they all misguidedly believe the very language of the constitution "under God" and the founding fathers, makes their argument a sure win and divinely endorsed.

And they make up half the population! It astounds, truly.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:00 PM
Waenara Waenara is offline
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Originally Posted by Raguleader View Post
Until an actual amendment is proposed and passed removing the civilian right to bear firearms, so the argument goes, any attempt to outlaw said right can thus be found as unconstitutional and therefore wrong.

As far as I know, none of the lawmakers in favor of gun control have proposed such an amendment.
That's all well and good to say, but it doesn't seem like it's feasible. Not just that there wouldn't be enough support for that particular Constitutional amendment - I think it's pretty much impossible in the current political situation. With all the blind partisanship in American politics right now, I don't think you could convince 2/3 or 3/4 of the House or the States to pass an amendment on anything, let alone anything even mildly controversial.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:20 PM
elbows elbows is offline
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How can you say that when a mandated, trans vaginal ultra sound for anyone seeking an abortion passed? As did giving the police power to check 'ethnics' for immigration status violations whenever they felt like it. They stripped unions of their bargaining powers. And isn't the argument about your employers religious beliefs determining employee access to contraception headed to the Supreme Court?

Last edited by elbows; 01-27-2013 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:44 PM
Atakapa Atakapa is offline
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman View Post
To gms453

Because I want Americans to know that the rest of us experience a better way. That you can have safety and security without a gun. That you can actually live without fear. Learn from us DAMMIT !

"Live by the sword and you will die by the sword". So why are so many bible thumpers in America defending guns ? Would Jesus strap on a gun ? Americans in general appear to be blinded to the truth.
Spend a few weeks abandoned without electricity or water during a collapse of law and order and you may have an inkling as to why so many of us (particularly in the Gulf coast) are quite hesitant to disarm and trust the government not to leave us high and dry* again.

*no pun attended
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:07 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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America seems to have a nice combo of poor mental health care, a society raised on violent images and stories, a ridiculous criminal justice system, and lots of guns available with little to no scrutiny. What you reap is what you sow. Good luck. Your neighbour in Canada.
You saved me the typing. Thanks.

Oh, you forgot the culture of fear, too.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:33 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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The issue at the core of the befuddlement of our Australian, Canadian and UK observers is simply that aside from sharing a somewhat similar language and culture, the US is really nothing like these places.

The first and second amendments are at the foundation of what the country was built on. The second amendment doesn't say anything about a right to go duck hunting, or to target shoot or any other gun use that is accepted in your society. It addresses only the security of the State and the personal right to bear arms in regard to the State.

Gun control proponents are setting up the issue as one of reasonable gun use for hunting, target shooting, etc. These issues are not addressed as rights anywhere in the Constitution. Framing the argument in these terms essentially voids the 2nd amendment, hence the push-back by even reasonable gun owners against further restrictions.

As a US citizen I find it astonishing the ease with which citizens of Australia and the UK cede their personal liberties to their own State. This is not widely regarded here as an admirable quality. We really do not like being told by the government what to do. If you understand this trait you will see it as a factor in other areas such as the resistance to universal health care, among other things.

Again, the cultures are much different than outward similarities may imply.

Last edited by Dallas Jones; 01-27-2013 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:57 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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Fundamentalist Christians would very much like to turn back the clock to a time when Christianity was the de facto religion of the state, not just one among many. They are driving this meme "what the founding fathers..." because they wrote everything in Christian language. The tea party wants to return to prayer in school, etc. Republicans want to turn back time on abortion and contraception, gay rights, union rights etc.
What's bizarre to me is that this radicalization is fairly recent. The Republican Party platform used to be much more centrist. The rabid xenophobia, worship of the corporation, income disparity "got mine, fuck you" attitudes have grown to this incredibly broad, half-the-country thing just within my lifetime. And it seems to have accelerated very recently... say within the last 15 years or so.

The American political spectrum got skewed, and I wish I knew what happened to do that. What's considered moderate or even a bit conservative everywhere else in the First World pegs on the liberal end of the scale in America.

FWIW, I don't believe that it's actually half the country, but that an oligarchy got into power, money, and media-reach, and is manipulating a hell of a lot of people through selective, grain-of-truth-wrapped-in-lies fearmongering. I'm disappointed that it works; and the more they do it, the more they convince people not to do any self-educating or research on their own, so it become a self-perpetuating cycle.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:23 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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What's bizarre to me is that this radicalization is fairly recent. The Republican Party platform used to be much more centrist. The rabid xenophobia, worship of the corporation, income disparity "got mine, fuck you" attitudes have grown to this incredibly broad, half-the-country thing just within my lifetime. And it seems to have accelerated very recently... say within the last 15 years or so.

The American political spectrum got skewed, and I wish I knew what happened to do that. What's considered moderate or even a bit conservative everywhere else in the First World pegs on the liberal end of the scale in America.
Interesting that you should say that. reflecting back, and I'm 62 years old, I'd say that Canada and America were somewhat in the same place in just about all cultural aspects except for ice hockey during the 50s and early 60s . But something changed during the Vietnam War. We Canadians quietly disposed of social issues such as abortion, the death penalty, contraception, and gay marriage among others. In America, these issues never go away.

Last edited by The Flying Dutchman; 01-27-2013 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:10 PM
Essured Essured is offline
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Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post
As a US citizen I find it astonishing the ease with which citizens of Australia and the UK cede their personal liberties to their own State. This is not widely regarded here as an admirable quality. We really do not like being told by the government what to do. If you understand this trait you will see it as a factor in other areas such as the resistance to universal health care, among other things.

Again, the cultures are much different than outward similarities may imply.
I agree 100%. I would not have phrased it quite that way, since I come from one of those other cultures, but I do see your perspective completely. It's one of those things that make the US what it is. There is a balancing act between individual liberty and community benefit, in all countries. Some liberty gets traded for the good of the whole group, but too much is not good for the individual, or eventually the whole group due to lack of 'buy-in' from the unhappy individuals. On the spectrum of personal liberty vs community welfare, the US is notable in standing out fairly far on the personal liberty side. But each point on that spectrum has it's pluses and minuses. We have too many petty council laws restricting what we can and can't do. We don't have to worry a medical event will wipe us out financially, even if we recover physically, nor do we have medical care tied to employment status, for example. The good and bad consequences to our spot on the spectrum are reasonably acceptable to us. Same as the good and bad consequences to your spot on the spectrum works for you guys. I don't think the US should come and occupy our spot on the spectrum, because you can't just import what we do onto you, without all the cultural 'buy-in' already being in place. And that's extremely unlikely to happen.

And all that is completely separate from all the other factors that come into play with the gun debate. It's not only about 'a right to bear arms', re: the personal liberty vs community side of things. There's also the fact that culturally, many people feel the need to have these guns, a feeling of need that just isn't the same in other countries. I think that's the 'culture of fear' aspect that I don't wish to get into. I'm just saying that there's a ton of factors, and individuality vs community is a huge one, but still only one of them.

Anyway, that's my reaction / perspective on the US gun control debate. Some mild bemusement, because I don't see the world through the same lens you guys do (culturally), but I don't think you should do what we do at all. I don't think most non-Americans who have given the matter any thought think you should do that either. And I hope that's not the impression that you guys are getting from this thread. We can express bemusement, without thinking you've got it all wrong. It's more of a raised eyebrow, followed with a shrug and a "you do what works for you, we're doing this because it works for us" kinda thing.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:38 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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On the spectrum of personal liberty vs community welfare, the US is notable in standing out fairly far on the personal liberty side.
I think some Americans confuse "personal liberty" with "the government won't stop you," however, and don't realize that there are a hell of a lot of people who, for example, do NOT have the liberty to see a doctor. In the name of "personal liberty" they agitate for policies which reserve real liberty only for the elite. They have it completely backwards, and cling to it out of the misguided belief that liberty comes from isolationism. Hell, this was talked about a lot before the last election -- those who insisted that they built their businesses ALL BY THEMSELVES DAMMIT and getting bent out of shape when it was pointed out that their businesses rely on things like roads which OTHER people built. No one can be successful, or free, in a vacuum.

Quote:
Same as the good and bad consequences to your spot on the spectrum works for you guys.
Except it's not working. This is the most polarized our population has been, by more than one measure, in decades.

Last edited by Kaio; 01-27-2013 at 05:41 PM..
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