LGP Political Discussion Thread

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:05 am

I am no spider from Mars.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:00 pm

Shyster wrote:I smell fertilizer.

The Decline Of Gun Ownership

Gun Ownership in U.S. Declining

I think what you might be seeing are people who already own guns freaking out that Hillary Clinton is going to sign a treaty with the U.N. that will allow the Secretary General to send troops from the Brave New World into Anytown U.S.A. and confiscate all our guns - just like Hitler did! - and are reacting by adding to their stockpile. At least that's what my real estate agent said during our home inspection in November. (true story)

New owners (or potential new owners like me) are dwindling and have been for three decades.

MWB wrote:Do gun owners here have an issue with stricter, uniform control laws? As someone suggested earlier, background checks, mental evaluations, field test, and written test. Eliminate private sellers at shows.

No problem whatsoever.

Tico Rick wrote:Are there any gun laws that hold the gun owner responsible for the actions of someone who uses his/her guns?

There are, but it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and most laws are keyed on the manner the criminal obtained the guns. If you had your guns in a locked safe, and a burglar stole the safe and cracked it and used your gun in a subsequent crime*, then you likely wouldn't face any sanction. But if your neighbor came over and told you about what a d!ck his boss was and he was going to teach him a lesson..... if you could only just loan him your S&W Model 19...... and then you do....... well, then you're an idiot and deserve to go to jail.

* My father-in-law is a retired Marine who went into a life-long career in law enforcement. He was a county sheriff in Illinois, an investigator for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and now heads up security for a large casino. A few years ago, his condo was broken into while his wife was out. Something like 9 handguns were stolen, including his commemorative piece for graduating the FBI Academy. Eventually, about half of the guns (including the FBI revolver) made their way to local pawn shops. But the others (all semi-auto pistols) have never been recovered. The thieves stole his entire safe.

shmenguin wrote:speculation city. we have no clue if his mother would pass those tests

Considering the mother was the legal owner of all the guns used in the crime, and CT has some of the most restrictive laws in the nation....... I'll put my money on her ability to pass the tests.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:35 pm

MWB wrote:Do gun owners here have an issue with stricter, uniform control laws? As someone suggested earlier, background checks, mental evaluations, field test, and written test. Eliminate private sellers at shows.

We already perform background checks. And I would oppose the other requirements, as they would provide an easy mechanism for government officials to make arbitrary decisions to deny firearm ownership. It's the same reason the Supreme Court struck down literacy tests and similar barriers to voting. Some may not like it, but in this country and under our Constitution, gun ownership is no less a right than is voting.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shmenguin on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:17 pm

based on the constitution, you're right. gun ownership can't be that immeasurably subjective. though if it was established as a nothing more than a hobby (which seems like the case with the majority of owners) and not a constitutional right, then it's a different story. but i acknowledge that's not the context we live in.

edit...the post i was responding to got axed. must have been a sweeping deletion of posts by the mods
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby pittsports87 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:26 pm

Banning guns wouldn't have an immediate impact, but banning them and making the penalty for being in possession of one more strict would make a huge impact over time.

Gotta look at the long term, in 20 years it would make this country a lot safer.

I don't get the argument that if one part of the constitution is bad, the whole thing is bad. A majority of it has stood the test of time and is still relevant today but there are some parts of it that were fine 200 years ago but in this day and age needs changed.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:30 pm

lol....Dianne Feinstein is up on the stump advocating for the assault weapons ban....despite the fact no assault weapons were used in Connecticut. I should note that I am not really opposed to the banning of automatic weapons, for the record.

I think the far, FAR bigger issue (and priority) should be improving access to mental healthcare. The uniting factor in every single one of these cases is mental illness. Unfortunately, there is no "safe place" to control or treat youths with these violent tendencies these days. It creates thousands of ticking time bombs across the US
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Rylan on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:34 pm

Health care period needs fixed. But, that is a touchy subject and is probably the only thing that could actually make me angry online.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:35 pm

Don't let facts get in the way of a good politicians outrage.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:36 pm

tifosi77 wrote:New owners (or potential new owners like me) are dwindling and have been for three decades.

It is true that those surveys show per-household rate of firearms ownership is lower. But the number of households certainly hasn't been constant. According to census data, in 1950 there were approximately 43.5 million households in the United States. If around 50% of them contained someone that owned a gun, that would be 21.75 million gun-owning households. By 2007, there were 116 million million households in the United States. If 40% of them owned guns, that's 46.4 million households, or an increase from 1950. Also, over that period of time the average population per household fell from around 3.4 people/household to 2.5 people/household. The decline could also reflect the fact that more people are living alone or in smaller households, and that "spreads out" the pool of gun owners over more homes. For example, it is true that women own guns at a much lower rate than men. I believe it's also true that many more women today live alone than did back in the 1950s. The decline in the number of households reporting gun ownership could be explained by a factor like that.

And the number of gun owners aside, there are certainly more guns in the U.S. than ever before. According to the FBI, in 2011 alone there were 16,454,951 background checks for the purchase of new firearms. A small percentage of those checks were rejected (it's around 2% or so), but that is probably made up by the fact that a single NICS check can be used to purchase multiple guns in the same transaction. From the inception of the NICS on November 30, 1998, to December 31, 2011, a total of 140,882,399 transactions have been processed by the FBI and state users. (Some states do their own background checks, some rely on the FBI. PA does its own.) Even if we be very conservative with the estimates, the United States has added well more than 100 million new guns over the last 12 years. That rate is far, far in excess of the rate of population growth. If it were a simple matter than "more guns = more shootings" we should expect the homicide rate to be skyrocketing from all of those new guns. But rates of violent crime have in fact been steadily falling for years.
Last edited by Shyster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby MWB on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:40 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:lol....Dianne Feinstein is up on the stump advocating for the assault weapons ban....despite the fact no assault weapons were used in Connecticut. I should note that I am not really opposed to the banning of automatic weapons, for the record.

I think the far, FAR bigger issue (and priority) should be improving access to mental healthcare. The uniting factor in every single one of these cases is mental illness. Unfortunately, there is no "safe place" to control or treat youths with these violent tendencies these days. It creates thousands of ticking time bombs across the US


So you agree with her, but you lol at her? If someone truly believes that gun laws need to be changed, then yes, now is the time. She is someone who has been advocating changes for a long time. Politically, you either push for change when it can happen or you push for change when it's not on people's minds. What do you think is more effective?

I agree with you that the focus should be on the mental healthcare aspect, btw.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:43 pm

No, I understand. I've never liked Feinstein, but I understand her trying to make political hay over this.

Like I said, I am not personally opposed to banning automatic weapons. As Shyster pointed out earlier in the thread, the idea of psychiatric evaluations for every gun buyer gives me a bit of pause, because I worry greatly about the subjective nature. What if you don't like the government? Would that disqualify you from gun ownership?

I've fired a semi-automatic AK-47....and that was plenty of firepower. I agree that fully automatic weapons are completely unnecessary.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:51 pm

Fully automatic weapons are already illegal and have been for a century.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:01 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:I've fired a semi-automatic AK-47....and that was plenty of firepower. I agree that fully automatic weapons are completely unnecessary.

To follow up on this point, fully automatic weapons (i.e. machine guns) are used is such a small percentage of crimes as to be effectively be involved in zero. Machine guns have been heavily regulated for decades. Not every state permits ownership, but some do. To own a machine gun, you have to apply to the FBI, pass a full FBI background check, be photographed and fingerprinted, and obtain the approval of local law enforcement. Also, the supply of machine guns has been fixed since the passage of the Hughes Amendment in 1986. Since that time, the BATF has been forbidden to permit the sale of new machine guns to anyone other than the military or law enforcement. Because the supply has been fixed but demand remains, the prices of machine guns have gone through the roof. Want a full-auto M16? It will cost you around $20,000. Got a hankering for an old-fashioned Tommy gun? Think $25,000 to $30,000. Even the junkiest of full-auto guns usually start at around $5,000 and up. Criminals can't pass the checks, and most people can't afford them anyway.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Rylan on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:03 pm

I thought Kentucky allows them. There is some rich guy on Youtube that fires off automatics on his property.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:12 pm

Shyster wrote:Criminals can't pass the checks, and most people can't afford them anyway.


You just made a strong case for applying those measures to semi-automatic weapons.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:18 pm

Yep. Let's keep them out of the hands of poor people and law-abiding citizens.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:48 pm

columbia wrote:
Shyster wrote:Criminals can't pass the checks, and most people can't afford them anyway.

You just made a strong case for applying those measures to semi-automatic weapons.

Again, we already do background checks for the purchase of new guns. And if you are implying semi-automatic guns are too expensive to be affordable to the average buyer, you are incorrect. For example, the vast majority of handguns sold are semi-autos.

Also, whether that level of regulatory scheme is even constitutional remains to be seen. The Supreme Court's Heller and McDonald decisions are relatively recent in legal terms, and it will take many more years and many more legal cases to further refine the boundaries of the Second Amendment and what levels of regulation are permissible. The scheme I described for the ownership of full autos was implemented during the years where it was thought by many that the Second Amendment was much more limited. And full-auto weapons are a niche market, so any suits related to them will likely wait until other more pressing questions are resolved, like to what extend the Second Amendment protects the right of people to carry loaded weapons outside the home (the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, for example, held last week that it does and that Illinois cannot totally ban the carrying of weapons in public).
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Shyster on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Alejandro Rojas wrote:Yep. Let's keep them out of the hands of poor people and law-abiding citizens.

True. For example, how many of you have heard the term "Saturday Night Special"? It supposedly refers to cheap, "junk" handguns that were predominantly used by criminals. But did you know that the original term was the racist phrase "ni**ertown Saturday night special," and that many of the laws banning inexpensive handguns were passed in the Jim Crow era in order to disarm blacks by eliminating the low-cost guns that they could actually afford to buy?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:08 pm

Mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, despite the impression given by the media. In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century. The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.

Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.


http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/ ... -john-fund
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby MWB on Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:32 pm

Just because they aren't common doesn't mean we shouldn't take steps, or at least look at options, to avoid them.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby stinky on Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:36 pm

Sarcastic wrote:I know. I'm getting tired of it. I just can't believe that some people think more guns = less shootings.


Forgive me, I am late to the debate and may not be following correctly, but I do think that its definitely culture over availably if we addressing the root cause of gun homicides. Looking at states with the highest % of gun ownership such as North and South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, they are all in the bottom percentages for gun related homicides. In fact, Utah and Idaho (Idaho being my future state of residence within the next 5 years) Have the most lax gun laws in the country where all gun permits are administered as CC, both these states are in the bottom fifth of gun related homicides. This may be pointed to as anecdotal, but I have a feeling many anecdotal points are being throw around on this debate.

From the excellent article written by John Fund (posted above):

"Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”

"There is no evidence that private holders of concealed-carry permits (which are either easy to obtain or not even required in more than 40 states) are any more irresponsible with firearms than the police. According to a 2005 to 2007 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Bowling Green State University, police nationwide were convicted of firearms violations at least at a 0.002 percent annual rate. That’s about the same rate as holders of carry permits in the states with “shall issue” laws"

More ancedotal points from the WSJ:

"As happened after the shootings at Columbine High School, where two students shot 12 other students, there will be calls for the control of guns, notwithstanding the existence of 200 million guns amid a U.S. population of 311 million. Last year in Norway, a nation with a tight gun-control and licensing regime, Anders Breivik methodically gunned down 69 people, mostly teenagers, on the island of Utoya"
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby PensFanInDC on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:07 am

President Obama has acted more like a President in the last 48 hours than he has in 4 years. I give him total respect for how he has handled the shooting. Bravo Mr. President.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Alejandro Rojas on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:07 am

This is from Fox so take it for what it is worth (which means not much), but take away the "Fox" tag and look at the stats in the article on multiple fatality school shootings in Europe.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/06/ ... gs-europe/

Look at recent history. Where have the worst K-12 school shootings occurred? It has not been in the U.S. but Europe. The very worst one occurred in a high school in Erfurt, Germany in 2002, where 18 were killed. The second worst took place in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996, where 16 kindergarteners and their teacher were shot. The third worst high school attack, with 15 murdered, happened in Winnenden, Germany. The fourth worst shooting was in the U.S. -- Columbine High School in 1999, leaving 13 killed. The fifth worst school related murder spree, with 11 murdered, occurred in Emsdetten, Germany.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shmenguin on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:22 am

PensFanInDC wrote:President Obama has acted more like a President in the last 48 hours than he has in 4 years. I give him total respect for how he has handled the shooting. Bravo Mr. President.


Incidents like this are big giant softballs lobbed gently in the air for politicians to hit out of the park. I hope I'm not taking away from the tragedy here, but I don't see anything remarkable about Obama right now. I'm certainly not criticizing him either. He's been fine. Certainly better than his sickening Travon Martin episode.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:25 am

Yeah, I am inclined to agree w/ shmenguin here. Similar to GWB post-9/11
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