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Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony Archive » Question for Americans (Page 3)
Author Topic: Question for Americans
Inc'
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 6274

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quote:
No if a cop says to give my guns to him, I'm not giving them to him. If he tries to forcefully take them, I'll shoot him, because that's a violation of my constitutional right.
[]
*cannot even slap someone*

You're kind of impulsive, uh ?

From: Yoshi's Island | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Athene
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[] Uh, Cloudy, this isn't really persuading anyone that guns in the hands of the general population is a good idea.
[]

From: Hades, UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Gna
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Cho Seung bought both handguns (and the ammunition) legally:

Warning: Includes disturbing killer self-portrait, brandishing weapon at camera

There is a positive correlation between availability of firearms in different American states, and the rates of firearms deaths among children. As with almost any other social science research, only a correlation can be shown...it's not as if these studies can be done in a controlled laboratory environment.

quote:
Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths, suicide, and homicide among 5-14 year olds.
Miller, M., Azrael D., and Hemenway D. J. Trauma (2002) 53:397

BACKGROUND: In the United States, only motor vehicle crashes and cancer claim more lives among children than do firearms. This national study attempts to determine whether firearm prevalence is related to rates of unintentional firearm deaths, suicides, and homicides among children. METHODS: Pooled cross-sectional time-series data (1988-1997) were used to estimate the association between the rate of violent death among 5-14 year olds and four proxies of firearm availability, across states and regions. RESULTS: A statistically significant association exists between gun availability and the rates of unintentional firearm deaths, homicides, and suicides. The elevated rates of suicide and homicide among children living in states with more guns is not entirely explained by a state's poverty, education, or urbanization and is driven by lethal firearm violence, not by lethal non-firearm violence. CONCLUSION: A disproportionately high number of 5-14 year olds died from suicide, homicide, and unintentional firearm deaths in states and regions where guns were more prevalent.


From: Andustar | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
only motor vehicle crashes and cancer claim more lives among children than do firearms
[] Seriously?
From: Hades, UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CloudStrife
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quote:
Uh, Cloudy, this isn't really persuading anyone that guns in the hands of the general population is a good idea.
I know. I just like being facetious and difficult. I excel at it. Plus, I'm a Marine, what do you expect? []
From: Austin | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
Plus, I'm a Marine, what do you expect?
True. [] [] It reminds me of Maha's "Negatron" comment.

COP: "Please hand over the weapon, sir."
CLOUDY: "Negatron" []

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Roll of Honor Lillianna
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quote:
Like said earlier, it works in about every other Western country.
Still a different culture Koso. It's rather ethnocentric to believe that whatever works in "your" country or in Europe, persay, means that it will work in someone else's. Same thing as trying to put democracy in a place where they've had tribal warfare for thousands and thousands of years.

One example: I believe that Sweden's more socialist government works there, but it wouldn't work here. It's a totally different culture, people, and cultural mindset, not to mention it's a significantly smaller country. Trying to transfer that set up in a different place is extremely difficult....

[ 04-20-2007, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: Lillianna ]

From: Back to Cali, Cali | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grimwulf Stormspear
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A number of econometric studies indicate that laws which increase gun availability for law-abiding citizens decrease street crime & burglary. [] (Example.) The evidence thus indicates that guns have a life-saving value (even though studies that do not control for simultaneous-equations bias may produce misleading results).

Gun ownership is a deeply entrenched part of the American character. [] Remember, we owe our independence to musket-wielding farmers & merchants. [] The high level of gun ownership in America reflects an ethos of self-reliance which goes hand-in-hand with the notion of “We the people.” [] Few Americans yearn for the days when only noblemen were allowed to carry swords.

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Éoric of the Riddermark
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I don't really consider myself part of the "pro-gun lobby" but I'll take a stab at these questions:

quote:
One is, do you all (the pro-gun lobby), honestly feel that having a gun is the only way to protect yourself?
No. You're talking to a medieval reenactor, here, so I have a collection of spears, axes, swords, etc. lying around the house, and I've used them enough to know which edge or end goes into the other guy. []

quote:
Whilst I wouldn't argue with those of you who legally own guns, and are law abiding people, but I would say that for me a gun is such a horrifying weapon, and I would ask, does it not worry you that you have on your possession or in your house, something that can kill so easily and quickly?
If I decided to get rid of the one gun I own (a small-caliber target rifle) for that reason, I'd also get rid of the afore-mentioned steel and wooden weapons I own as well as several kitchen knives, my baseball bat, my vehicles, etc.

quote:
I guess my problem is that I don't understand why people need guns.
There are lots of things people don't need. Defining what we're allowed is the question. Speaking from a legal or governmental standpoint, there are two opposing points of view: One claims that a person's rights to do what they want start at "everything," and the government then prohibits this or that. The other claims that a person starts with no rights, and the government allows what it sees fit.

quote:
Cho Seung bought both handguns (and the ammunition) legally:
That's true, and also brings into question the evaluation and decision not to commit Cho on the part of the physician and special justice involved. []
From: Wilsonville, OR | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grimwulf Stormspear
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Good observations, Éoric. []

However, I might want to quibble with one of your arguments:

quote:
There are lots of things people don’t need. Defining what we’re allowed is the question. Speaking from a legal or governmental standpoint, there are two opposing points of view: One claims that a person’s rights to do what they want start at “everything,” and the government then prohibits this or that. The other claims that a person starts with no rights, and the government allows what it sees fit.
An account such as this one may be a usable first approximation, but it has its limitations. The Founding Fathers, among other, held a third view. [] They did not begin with a blank slate. They gave a measure of deference to tradition & custom.

Especially at the local level, community decisions reflect a contractual view of social life. A local community in which individuals could not decide among themselves to restrict or regulate public nudity, drug use, animal abuse, or teenage sex (for example) would be a community in which individuals lost their contractual rights & people did not govern themselves. [] One of the reasons I see the ACLU as a gang of bullies is because they stop local communities from governing themselves.

IMHO. []


Meanwhile, political scientist James Q. Wilson, an authority on all things criminological, writes:

quote:
As for the European disdain for our criminal culture, many of those countries should not spend too much time congratulating themselves. In 2000, the rate at which people were robbed or assaulted was higher in England, Scotland, Finland, Poland, Denmark and Sweden than it was in the United States. The assault rate in England was twice that in the United States. In the decade since England banned all private possession of handguns, the BBC reported that the number of gun crimes has gone up sharply.

Some of the worst examples of mass gun violence have also occurred in Europe. In recent years, 17 students and teachers were killed by a shooter in one incident at a German public school; 14 legislators were shot to death in Switzerland, and eight city council members were shot to death near Paris.

Here. []


BTW: I very much respect Amárië’s decision to withdraw from a conversation which she feels draws out her dark side. I can certainly understand the temptation to lash out in these threads. [] I admire her conscious self-restraint.

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Gna
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Éoric wrote-

quote:
That's true, and also brings into question the evaluation and decision not to commit Cho on the part of the physician and special justice involved.
I guess I'm not surprised that anyone who does not have to consider HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations at work every day would be ignorant of, or choose to ignore, the restrictions imposed on physicians and university psychologists in a case like Cho's:

quote:
Under HIPAA, it would have been unlawful for the psychiatric hospital that treated student Cho Seung-Hui, who shot 32 people at Virginia Tech university this week, to compare notes on his therapeutic progress, or lack thereof, with his counselors or dean. So effectively did the various privacy laws bottle up information that even a Virginia Tech official tasked with the monitoring of problem students is said to have known little or nothing about Cho’s lurid history of psychotic symptoms until after the fact.

Under HIPAA’s terms, doctors and other covered persons who improperly release information about identifiable persons’ health care are subject to fines and even prison terms of up to ten years. That a disclosure is well-meaning rather than malicious is no defence: disclosures to patients’ own parents or roommates, as well as disclosures to other medical or custodial institutions, can very much trigger liability; and the exact scope of what is deemed proper disclosure is by no means precisely defined.

From here.

HIPAA was enacted under the current Bush administration; I'm not sure what the original impetus was, beyond a Dr. Strangelovian paranoia about healthcare records. I do know that even very involved, informed, and caring parents are severely limited by HIPAA regulations, in their attempts to help an adult son with a major mental illness.

FERPA is an older law that deals with educational records, but it may have hampered efforts to intervene with Cho as well: here.

If Cho was not delusional, overtly paranoid, or otherwise psychotic in 2005, and his threats were not specific, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to force him to seek treatment or to be committed to a mental hospital. And HIPAA may very well have kept his patient records from showing up in any sort of background check (especially the cursory one-minute check [] ). Psychopaths lie-convincingly, manipulatively, repeatedly, and without remorse-that's one of the traits that makes them psychopaths. Cho wanted a handgun, and he would have done much more than lie to get one.

From: Andustar | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Imbëar
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It would make more sense to put stricter regulations on the anti-depressants than on the fire-arms. And by stricter regulations, we can include a more active approach to students/citizens with mental illness.

Much of what fuels our love of, need for, reliance upon guns is the vast size of this nation, the great distances between neighbors (in some cases), and the very real possibility of wild animals damaging live-stock.

When my friends and I go hiking, one of us carries a gun (while the others carry long knives). We often joke that the most dangerous animal in the woods is man. I can't tell you how many times I've been startled by a homeless woodsman staring down at me from an upper trail. But they usually want cigarettes, not a gunfight.


Imbëar

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Eluchil
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quote:
A number of econometric studies indicate
Delete the wrong word in that sentence []

quote:
Much of what fuels our love of, need for, reliance upon guns is the vast size of this nation, the great distances between neighbors (in some cases), and the very real possibility of wild animals damaging live-stock.

I could understand the last one, but could you explain the others ?
But even with the last one, I'm not sure ... compare with Russia, for instance.

From: Menegroth, deep under the sea | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cernunnos
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quote:
a homeless woodsman staring down at me from an upper trail
[] Are there 'feral' people wandering the woods all over the states then? Certainly does sound a bit alarming.

[ 04-21-2007, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: Cernunnos ]

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Whereas the light perceives the very heart of the darkness, its own secret has not been discovered.

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Cernunnos
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. . . and are they anything like those good ol' boys in Deliverance? (such a great advert for the folks in rural Georgia!).

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Whereas the light perceives the very heart of the darkness, its own secret has not been discovered.

From: Perth, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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Is it like Gan-Buri-Gan?
From: California ainrofilaC | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Gna
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Eluchil -

quote:
I could understand the last one, but could you explain the others ?
But even with the last one, I'm not sure ... compare with Russia, for instance.

Many ranchers around here keep an old hunting rifle or a shotgun, mostly to kill rattlesnakes or water moccasins, and very occasionally a feral dog or hog that's threatening the livestock (though most abandoned dogs don't harm livestock, and so become the rancher's pets-several ranchers or horsemen I know have 6+ dogs, and as many "found" cats, on their property). Feral hogs can be quite vicious and destructive...they're often hunted in an organized manner.

I've done (and continue to do) a lot of day hikes and climbing/backpacking trips in the Pacific Northwest, northern California, desert Southwest, and Rocky Mountains, and none of my companions on any of these trips has ever brought a gun of any sort, or a knife that doesn't fold out from a red case with a white cross on it. If we're in bear country, then we take all the precautions to avoid encounters, or to ensure that they're non-aggressive or reasonable distance encounters.

We accidentally acquired a gun-toter in our party once, when climbing Mt. Thielsen near Crater Lake. This guy had two pistols strapped around his waist, and his girlfriend carried a small backpack. The last part of the Thielsen climb requires ropes (not because of the difficulty, but rather because of the 7000 ft. sheer drop-off exposure). We agreed to help the couple up to the top, because they had no ropes (just the guns [] and the backpack), and later we speculated that the guy probably would have fired his pistols if we hadn't been there. []

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Talan
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quote:
. . . and are they anything like those good ol' boys in Deliverance? (such a great advert for the folks in rural Georgia!).
...as brought to you by through the wildly distorted lenses of Hollywood. []

No, I don't think that's what Imbëar meant. I've seen them too. They're generally just homeless people who want to escape the constant police presence. Most of the homeless you actually see in the city on any given day aren't homeless because they fell on hard times, but because they are addicts, whether that be to alcohol, or meth, or crack.

Parks and wildlife areas, such as the one Imbëar mentioned, not only provide a refuge from the eyes of authorities in which to do their drugs, but also a place where they can light fires and sleep without being bothered by the cops.

From: Austin, TX. Home of awesome. | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Prince Imrahil
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As for Cho buying the guns legally GNA, he checked the wrong box when asked the question about whether or not he had been institutionalized (paraphrasing). Thus whether or not he should have been sold the guns is questionable at the very least. Obviously fire arms and other weapons should not be in the hands of those who would use them against innocent people. I'm not particularly pro/anti-gun, but if this state mandated background checks, he probably wouldn't have the guns. Of course I'm not naive enough to think he couldn't have gotten weapons through purely channels.

My concern over what happened here is not over gun laws. My main concern has to do with our mental health laws, infrastructure, and how we deal with people who need to be reached out to before it is too late. Years ago is when he should have been dealt with in terms of therapy, being befriended instead of ridiculed, and so on. This whole gun question in this particular instance is not what we should be debating because as soon as he thought about shooting people, it was years upon years too late.

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And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

From: Dor-En-Ernil, Belfalas (by way of VA) | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Éoric of the Riddermark
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quote:
I guess I'm not surprised that anyone who does not have to consider HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations at work every day would be ignorant of, or choose to ignore, the restrictions imposed on physicians and university psychologists in a case like Cho's:
Your assumption is false--5 years at a workers comp firm gave me more familiarity with HIPAA than I cared for--but your point is well-made. [] The "system" could certainly use a careful look, but of course it's easy for me to say something like that after an event like this.

And to think I was only joking when I asked "So...what we need are stricter crazy-person control laws..?" []

From: Wilsonville, OR | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grimwulf Stormspear
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Eluchil: You may not be aware of this point, but econometrics is exactly the right discipline to use in answering questions of deterrence. [] Econometric techniques are designed to evaluate evidence about behavior responding to a change in incentives. Such tools are thus the best tools to use when asking if & how criminals respond to the prospect of an armed citizenry. Political scientists, medical doctors, & sociologists simply do not have the right tools to answer these questions.

As it happens, a careful evaluation of county-level data shows that laws which increase the availability of guns to law-abiding citizens (such as “shall issue” laws) are usually adopted in response to rising crime rates, which are then followed by declining crime rates. [] Gun control laws seem to have an unintended effect which is in fact the opposite of that promised by reformers.

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eluchil
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Please don't assume anything about my awareness. I'm a lawyer, indeed, but first of all a central banker []
From: Menegroth, deep under the sea | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Eluchil is overeducated? Wow. I'm floored. []

Question: The NRA has a huge annual meeting/convention each year. Do members bring their guns to this? Just curious.

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Kalkin
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Hmmmm, two lawyers here on MT?

Oh well, there goes the neighborhood. []

From: Chicago | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eluchil
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Even 4 !
From: Menegroth, deep under the sea | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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