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Thread: The American Politics thread

  1. #2671
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grecian View Post
    It's really weird, they'll bring up knifings in Britain, only 300 odd last year, I think.
    Anyone who does so is a moron, frankly.

    You snap one day and decide that you're going to wander into a packed movie theatre, or train station, or school, and kill as many people as you can, because you know, **** the world. On the kitchen table you have a military grade assault rifle, and a meat cleaver. What's your weapon of choice?

  2. #2672
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    To claim more guns don't lead to more gun deaths is quite frankly one of the worst arguments ever.
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  3. #2673
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Yeah, the key is that people dont want greater gun regulations enough for things to change and those against any such legislation are well organized. At its core, gun ownership and peoples beliefs on the matter and are culturally ingrained. Now we have seen culture and opinion change many times when it looks like it will not and the change happens very quickly - whether the acceptability of spousal abuse or gay marriage - but we are a long way from that at the moment.

    Of course Id be in favor of stricter legislation on assault rifles but my fear would be that this type of legislation would allow one side to claim a victory while actually making little impact on the major underlying concerns. Mass shootings will continue to happen if assault weapons are banned or not.
    Honestly, that's at odds with the available evidence on the matter. All his methodological issues aside, the work of Steven Pinker and others of his ilk suggest fairly strongly that disarming the populace of bigger guns has contributed to a fair decrease in the gun death rate in most countries without stars and stripes on their flags. More importantly, the drop can't be explained merely as spree killers not being able to murder a ton of people all at once, the incidence of spree killings is less. People think it can't happen but it's pretty much a textbook example of where changing laws has changed peoples' attitudes towards guns rather than waiting for the former to come before doing the latter. The NRA is well aware of this too and that's why they align themselves with patriot types and couch it as an issue of freedom, small gov, etc. They don't give a **** about which government is in power, as long as they don't take their ability to go duck hunting with an AR-15.

    Obama, from his stance on other issues, is well aware of the power of public policy. If he wanted to have a crack at the gun lobby, he would. But it seems increasingly clear he doesn't. And that's really the end of the matter at present.

    On other things, the old adage of 'if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns' is missing a fair bit of info. For one, outlaws (I'm talking career crooks here) tend to use guns on other outlaws because, well, randomly shooting normal people is bad for business. It's worth noting that the vast majority of spree killings in the US's history have been white, middle/upper-class types using legally obtained weapons who don't have underworld connections. It's fairly self-evident that had they not had ready access to the multiple guns they often use in their sociopathic rage, they wouldn't have been able to kill as many people.

    I'm not about banning all guns, tbh. But, FFS, make the big ones even a little harder to get.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 16-12-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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  4. #2674
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Anyone who does so is a moron, frankly.

    You snap one day and decide that you're going to wander into a packed movie theatre, or train station, or school, and kill as many people as you can, because you know, **** the world. On the kitchen table you have a military grade assault rifle, and a meat cleaver. What's your weapon of choice?
    Or.......maybe they'll decide it's too risky and calm the **** down. Fair bit of evidence from crooks who've been studied that the risk to their own well-being when considering raining some ultraviolence down upon some strangers has made them back off. "If I had a gun....", etc.


  5. #2675
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    Or.......maybe they'll decide it's too risky and calm the **** down. Fair bit of evidence from crooks who've been studied that the risk to their own well-being when considering raining some ultraviolence down upon some strangers has made them back off. "If I had a gun....", etc.
    state of mind, if your hell bent on killing and dont care about what happens to yourself you have the situation seen recently such as this recent one. You have to have a crazy mind in the first place, but access to weapons like a gun enables you to carry out this act in a frenzied way with maxmum impact, Heard today he possibly had aesbergers and was a loner at school, his mum was a prepper with loads of guns and taught him to shoot, he also suffered with anger outbursts...seems to me that he was in a position tht it could happen and his mother enabled this with the guns available.

  6. #2676
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Having a 'crazy' state of mind is such an imprecise thing, though. Temporary or permanently? Are you really 'hell-bent on killing' or have you just got your blood up for 10 minutes? These guys don't often lend themselves to study because they point the business end of their weapon in their direction eventually. So that makes picking them up that much harder but the concept of picking up on who's susceptible based on 'red flags' is fairly laughable, mainly because once you start applying the logic of a couple of them, pretty much everyone is a potential mass murderer apparently. I didn't fully agree with it when I was in the environment but can tell you in Police circles, if it was known that a crook had Asperger's, generally that warranted extra precautions but geez there are a lot of false positives.

    Gut feeling, I personally think the small number of guys who don't kill themselves after a spree is telling by itself; a very small number of these people are genuinely sociopathic enough to do this with zero remorse or emotions about the situation, even if they've planned or fantasised about it for a long time. The rest are subject to the same combinations of circumstances and emotional state which could influence a lot of us to reach such a heightened emotional state that we could, at least, hurt someone else and barely realise it. The wrong way to look at this would be to assume we're all ticking timebombs, though, and it's been said many times that prisons are an object lesson in impulse control; many crooks, if they'd counted backwards from 10 instead of picking up that knife, their mate would still be alive and they'd still be free. But, when the wrong set of circumstances occur to someone, it would be good if the tools to commit mass murder were a touch harder to obtain than walking into the next room and grabbing their Dad's M4.
    Last edited by Top_Cat; 17-12-2012 at 03:07 PM.

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  8. #2678
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Haha wow: Lacking GOP support, Republicans yank

    Is he even going to be the speaker next term?

  9. #2679
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    i'm sure new gun laws will be a breeze, though
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  10. #2680
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    NRA going to start their PR offensive tomorrow apparently. Hold on to your hats, this will be a big fight. Right now Americans are in a mood to 'do something', but the NRA hasn't become arguably the most successful lobbying group of the past 40 years for nothing. They have 4+ million members and the congresspeople's offices are about to be flooded with calls and letters and demonstrations as soon as the NRA gives the go ahead. The thing about the NRA, unlike some of the other lobbies, is that they actually enjoy broad based support of a wide percentage of the population so it makes their lobbying much more effective compared to others who may only represent a small percentage of constituents. Those other lobbies have to rely on money and ads - the NRA has the money and the ads but they can also drum up a lot of angry constituents. Which makes that vote for people in the House extremely difficult.

  11. #2681
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    but the NRA hasn't become arguably the most successful lobbying group of the past 40 years for nothing.
    Proof?

    I have read from various sources that their clout is overrated, and that they had very little influence during the 2012 election.

  12. #2682
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    So in the late 1960s, Congress passed the Gun Control Act. NRA really got going after that. It was looking for a while that we would end up with extremely strict gun control laws.

    In 1986, they Firearms Owners Protection Act - which really pulled a lot of teeth from the Gun Control Act.

    They had some defeats in the 90s - with several gun control laws passed including the assault weapons ban.

    In 2004, despite George Bush saying he would extend it, they launched a massive lobbying campaign and the law lapsed.

    Next year, they passed a law that stops people who make and sell guns from being sued if someone uses their weapons. After that, they passed law making sure the government can't take your guns away during a natural disaster. You can now carry guns in American national parks - this law was passed despite massive democrat majorities in both houses AND President Obama in office (he didn't want to take on the NRA because it would endanger his credit card reforms).

    Not one gun control legislation has passed Congress since the 90s, including when Democrats had almost 60 senators and a huge majority in the House.

    However, to see the real changes, you have to look locally - as I said they are different than other lobbies because they have support of a lot of average people, which means they can be local, and vocal, in their lobbying. They can mobilize their members and go door to door in addition to flooding the town with ads. Politicians don't like ads against them, but what they like even less is people in their constituency (not protesters bussed in from other places) demonstrating by the hundreds against them and giving free press to the opposition.

    Check this out. In 1986, only 9 states had laws that issued concealed carry licences on a 'no restriction' or 'shall issue' basis. No restriction means obviously no licence needed and shall issue would be that there would only be a few specific instances where it could be denied and the local authorities had no say in who couldn't. 16 states had NO laws granting an ability to carry a concealed weapon.

    Fast forward right now: 41 states have 'no restriction' or 'shall issue basis'.



    Yup, you went from 9 states to 41 states which pretty much have unlimited concealed carry laws. And the 16 which prohibited it completely? That's down to 1. That's right. 1.


    There used to be a serious conversation about banning all handguns in the country. Now it's doubtful if even a semi-automatic assault rifle can be banned.

    If you don't call that dominating the field, I don't know what qualifies.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 20-12-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  13. #2683
    International Coach morgieb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Proof?

    I have read from various sources that their clout is overrated, and that they had very little influence during the 2012 election.
    Well they've stopped a stronger argument on gun control, so there they're quite effective IMO.
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  14. #2684
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Proof?

    I have read from various sources that their clout is overrated, and that they had very little influence during the 2012 election.
    They had no influence because they didn't need it. Gun control wasn't even dreamt of as an issue by either candidate. Why influence a race when you've already won?
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  15. #2685
    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Proof?

    I have read from various sources that their clout is overrated, and that they had very little influence during the 2012 election.
    One of Obama's canniest political moves - which rustles the left's jimmies no end - was rigidly endorsing the status quo on gun control during his first presidential run in 2008. Didn't push any gun-related legislation at all.

    Probably won him Virginia, NC and Indiana tbh.
    Last edited by LongHopCassidy; 20-12-2012 at 11:40 PM.
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