Phoenix McLaughlin So no, I will absolutely not put out of my mind everything I know about you from the media (which you are a part of). All of that constitutes the many layers of evidence that you and apparently most of your generation has very little capacity to run this nation any better than the millennial generation does just as 20 year olds. The respect and wisdom that is supposed to come with age has instead be put to use money-grubbing by any means necessary, be it war, crony capitalism, or dividing the nation through poor media. If I come off as disrespectful, it's because I have little respect for what you do. I would say I'm grateful for you sharing your voice here, but if it starts this site on a path towards MSM politicking, I'm not interested.
Phoenix McLaughlin I strongly agree with your point that generations must earn the right to be heard. With that in mind, I believe every generation in power right now, especially yours, has thoroughly lost that right. I think your assessment that your generation needed to invent traumas is entirely accurate, and was in fact so successful at it that we went from a strong and stable economy to the complete undermining of a vast majority of Americans' economic viability and a very financially unstable government. This is from an "ideological war" founded largely on fabricated differences that you perpetuate every day in your work. Your last three paragraphs are excellent evidence of how a good critical thought can be turned into ridiculous political bickering.
Phoenix McLaughlin It would be more interesting to see the data lumped into pro-gun control vs pro-gun ownership camps. For instance, Jack Lee might be considered moderate or independent in general, but his stance on gun control is very clearly against. We can generally assume what side the libertarians and conservatives are on, but it would presumably be more of mixed bag in some of the other categories. Obviously the same goes for the "unreported" category. Glad you compiled this stuff either way!
Phoenix McLaughlin Getting something through the U.S. border is a totally different ballgame than getting something through a state border or city limits. I could load up my trunk with as many guns as I can fit and drive across the country, going through different states, towns, and cities totally unhindered. Try and go through a border crossing though...
Phoenix McLaughlin This is totally ridiculous. Presidential elections should not be determined based off of land area and gerrymandering, but the actual votes of the American people. 4 points is not at all reasonably close in presidential politics.
Phoenix McLaughlin Everyone had been shot with the assault weapon. About halfway down: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/medical-examiner-sandy-hook-victims-died-multiple-gunshot-211722237.html That armed person could have just been shot himself, as has happened in other cases. Some reports of armed people stopping shooters are not entirely accurate: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/armed-civilians-do-not-stop-mass-shootings
Phoenix McLaughlin Yes, it increased as it had since at least 1960. That was my point about it being a continuation of the trend. It did increase at a greater rate between about 2000 and 2002, but that has been greatly reversed.
Phoenix McLaughlin The more I look at it, the less that the "spike" seems really relevant to gun laws. In Australia there was a spike years after the stricter gun laws were put in place, and then it fell back down. In the UK the homicide rate had been increasing for 40 years, then saw an increase in the increase four years after their gun ban, and then homicide rates started to consistently fall for the first time. And spike or not, the countries are better off now. It is tough to draw a strict correlation between the loosening of gun laws and the decreasing crime rates in the U.S. Gun laws haven't been steadily loosening over the period that crime rates have been decreasing, but have wavered back and forth. States do different things, fed hasn't done much.
Phoenix McLaughlin Thanks for the link. That study actually isn't included in this group. These use household gun ownership levels in regions compared to the general homicide rates in those regions, not household gun ownership levels to gun deaths within homes. I can't provide the full articles for all four unfortunately since two are paywalled, but I'll provide the links so you can at least see the abstract if not the whole thing. http://www.scribd.com/doc/117085853/Firearm-Availability-and-Homicide-Rates-across-26-High-Income-Countries http://0-www.sciencedirect.com.tiger.coloradocollege.edu/science/article/pii/S1359178903000442 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447364/pdf/0921988.pdf
Phoenix McLaughlin Not sure why people are saying the homicide rates in those countries have increased. Jack's own link in the article shows that's not true for Australia, and a quick trip to google shows that's not true for the UK as well. Yes, there were increases following the bans (although in the UK it wasn't a spike, but continuation of the previous trend), but the homicide rates have since fallen below their previous levels.
Phoenix McLaughlin The link redirects me to this comment thread. I can wait and read the original comments, but are you saying you haven't actually read the studies, but you're assuming they have made methodological errors? I've read each one and they seem quite sound. They use state, regional, or national level gun ownership and homicide rate data, they don't single out certain populations. The page I linked accurately reflects the findings of the studies. The middle two are free to access, and the first and last are paywalled, but I have access and could send you a snapshot of the abstract or methodology if you're interested.
Phoenix McLaughlin Well it just so happens that the homicide rates in both Australia and the UK have gone down! Jack provided a handy link on the word "Australia" in that number that shows Australia's homicide rate decreasing. The same has been true for the UK. A few years after the gun ban, the increasing trend in homicides reversed. Apparently last year was their lowest murder rate since the 80s. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9411649/Graphic-how-the-murder-rate-has-fallen.html Jack, where did the graph heading that section come from by the way? I can't seem to find it.
Phoenix McLaughlin That's actually not what the stats indicate. In UK the gun-related death rate did briefly increase before decreasing again, and is now below it's starting point (although the number of gun-related deaths is so small that a single Sandy Hook-type shooting would totally throw any trend). In Australia, the gun-related death rate has decreased by almost half. I'm actually not arguing for a ban on handguns here, so I'm not trying to keep you from going Indiana Jones on a guy with a sword. I'm not in favor of you using an AR-15 for self-defense though. I do, however, think that the argument that you can't be critical of guns because knives kill people or you can't be critical of assault weapons because pistols kill people is a silly argument.
Phoenix McLaughlin 1 You could be right that if the bill was brought before the supreme court they could strike it down based off of that phrase. I would see that as a mistake, but if your point is that Heller could be interpreted by the court to apply to assault weapons, I can't disagree. 2 Links? 3 You may be right about overall homicide rate, but you're off on gun-related deaths and violent crime. Those stats have declined since the bans. 4 Right, so don't be too peeved when people compare assault weapons to military assault rifles. 5 Both of those used clips that were illegal to manufacture (but not sell, own) under the assault weapons ban. Not to mention that the mass shootings that did use assault rifles may have been less destructive with a pistol.
Phoenix McLaughlin If your goal is not to die, you'd be much better off if you weren't being attacked with a gun. This reminds me of the common anti-gun control talking point that hammers and clubs were used in more murders than firearms. It's a very odd point to make, since I don't know of anyone who would not rather be attacked with a hammer than an AR-15. They seem to disregard the possibility that the attacks committed with firearms may not have been lethal if committed with a blunt object instead. You say yourself that you'd rather use a gun to defend yourself, and I assume that's not because you think it would go easier on the guy.
Phoenix McLaughlin ......I'm not worried about a gun's telescoping stock that much, but features that actually impact the killing power of the weapon. Accuracy, fire rate, caliber, etc. 6 They do have legitimate purposes, but their original purpose was killing people, so they are very good at that. If you want to sport shoot, set up designated firing ranges that keep the guns well-protected and available to those who want to play with them. If you want to protect your house, get a handgun or a shotgun. Also, I'm glad that worked out for those LA shopkeepers, but guns aren't always the best thing to introduce to rioting. 7 I'll definitely take your word on this one. But not sure what should/can be done about gun shows, family members, etc.
Phoenix McLaughlin ....weapon are obviously quite similar to assault rifles with the main difference that they are not sold capable of automatic fire. The AR-15 is an obvious example of this, since it almost the exact same thing as the M16 minus automatic capability. 5 A key point here is that the assault weapons ban is not aimed at preventing your average crime. The goal is to prevent people from getting weapons that can kill 26 people at once in an elementary school. The 1994 ban also left open easy loopholes for gun manufacturers, not to mention that assault weapons and high-capacity magazines made before then ban could still be bought, sold, and owned. However, I will admit that I'm not terribly impressed with the legislation's focus on cosmetic features
Phoenix McLaughlin 1 The decision applies to guns the court determined are common for self-defense, and don't say that certain guns cannot be banned. They were talking about handguns. Whether or not they would see assault weapons as a reasonable part of the self-defense category, I'm not sure, although I would hope not. 2 Here's some Harvard studies saying not that. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/ 3 Australia and the UK's firearm-related death rates are about 1/10th and 1/20th of the U.S.'s respectively. Their bans may not have reduced all violent crime, but they reduced gun deaths, which is the goal here. 4 Agreed that the similar terms are unnecessarily confusing, maybe intentionally so. But the guns termed assault....
Phoenix McLaughlin Matt, I read the link when it was embedded in the article, before you left it in your previous comment. So I agree, assume less. And I see no evidence that King did that. The article says King acknowledged that a majority of Americans below the poverty line were white, but not that he saw no difference between a poor black person and a poor white person. Those are very different statements. A "class perspective" does not mean a perspective free of race.