Ned Flaherty Phil Gwinn: Yes, but the whole point of that sentence is the 2nd half, which you omitted: “. . . however, those same skills in the hands of children (as well as adults) also often end lives.”
Ned Flaherty David Susman: The skills for shooting are the same skills used for killing. Here’s a typical course. It covers both kinds of killing: intentional and accidental. In SWATMag.com from December 2012, an article entitled “All Killer, No Filler” reports on a course with the Tactical Firearms Training Team in Huntington Beach, CA called “Close Quarters Battle/Tactics Instructor Course.” CQB requires precise application of lethal force and split-second decision-making to minimize accidental casualties. Read your manuals.
Ned Flaherty David Susman: Perhaps being shot twice is what impaired your reading / writing / thinking / comprehension skills. I wrote that “for the 320,000 firearm DEATHS, shooting always killed.” It was true, and remains true: in firearm DEATHS, the shooting is what killed. Your heavy reliance upon denial and name-calling (above, and elsewhere) doesn’t advance your arguments, and undermines whatever credibility you might otherwise have had.
Ned Flaherty David Susman: The metrics for percentage-of-firearms-used-in-killing vs. percentage-of-firearms-not-used-in-killing are not important. What’s important is that for the 320,000 firearm deaths over the last decade, shooting always killed. James offers not one shred of proof that delivering his claimed benefits to children is better via teaching them to shoot (kill) than via the many other, safer means.
Ned Flaherty Rich Zellich: Neither rounds-fired-per-death nor deaths-per-rounds-fired is a relevant metric. Likewise, intent and motive aren’t relevant. An intentional shooting death and an accidental shooting is always still a shooting death. Regardless of the fact that some killings are accidental, some shooters miss their targets, some guns are never used, etcetera, teaching a child how to shoot always teaches that child how to kill. Shooting at living creatures may not kill 100% of the time, but it kills often enough to question the wisdom of teaching children how to do it.
Ned Flaherty David Susman: Using the gun profiteers’ rationale led you to use their false logic and incorrect arithmetic: 1. Yes, ?3,200,000 deaths/century occurred using an inventory of ?271,150,000 firearms. 2. But neither the deaths-per-firearm metric (3,200,000 / 271,150,000 = 0.012) nor the %-of-firearms-involved-in-deaths metric matters. What matters is the # of deaths resulting from firearms: ?3,200,000 per century. 3. You assume that low-numerical-correlation equals no-correlation-at-all. You’re wrong. It doesn’t. The article’s author has no proof that children should be taught to shoot (kill) just because some benefits might arise. The real question is: If his claimed 5 results do benefit children, then what's the best delivery method?
Ned Flaherty David Susman: No, I never wrote that there’s no association between shooting and killing. Among 32,000 Americans who died last year, every single one was shot to death. There’s your “association.”
Ned Flaherty Phil Gwinn: Yes, the skills that James recommends, when employed by adults in specialized, rare situations, have saved some lives; however, those same skills in the hands of children (as well as adults) also often end lives. No one — trained or untrained — should lose their health or their life to a shooting. James fails to show any evidence at all that teaching children to shoot delivers a tangible net benefit overall, compared to teaching them the same discipline, responsibility, awareness, camaraderie, and confidence but without the shooting skills.
Ned Flaherty J. Kellogg: One illustration of the relation between shooting and killing is the fact that among 32,000 Americans who died last year, every single one was shot to death. Industrial profiteers have crafted lots of tortuous, detailed denials for use by gun/violence enthusiasts, but the fact remains that shooting those 32,000 people killed them.
Ned Flaherty David Susman: Yes, you did write that. Here’s the “way / shape / form” that you chose: “Your goal is to misinform; my goal is to counter with truthful, provable statements.” ---David Susman, 17 May 2013 That’s the kindergarten-level retort to which I refer. You demand Web links showing that shooting is equivalent to killing, but shooting is not equivalent to killing. You insist that the relationship between shooting and killing is either (a) equivalency or else (b) nothing, but that crude, uninformed view omits reality. There is a crucial relation between shooting and killing. It is not equivalence, but it is crucial. It appears too subtle for you to detect. Regardless of your inability or refusal to see it, it exists.
Ned Flaherty J. Kellogg: It’s not true that there is “nothing morally wrong with eating meat,” because — as you insist — diet is a personal choice, so what is moral only for some is amoral for others. You wrote — incorrectly — that I am “begging the question.” That’s untrue. Begging a question is assuming that the original statement is true, but without any evidence. The original question posed by this column is whether to teach children to shoot (kill). Others have assumed that to be true, and without evidence. I never did. It is false. I explained why.
Ned Flaherty Patrick Piklapp: Yes, but there are 2 differences. Teaching a child to do things like butter bread, type a letter, etcetera is fundamentally different: (1) those actions have functional value and necessity that shooting does not; and (2) those actions aren’t lethal risks that cause 32,000 deaths/year.
Ned Flaherty Patrick Piklapp: All protein needed by a human can be obtained from a healthy mix of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains, without any flesh food at all. Millions have lived this way for millennia, and are doing so today. The idea that a human must consume other living creatures is only a superstition followed by some cultures, similar to your concept of winter as a starvation period. You don’t know what I think, and what you assume about what I think is incorrect. Finally, the brain has no need for “eholesterol” (your word), as there is no such thing.
Ned Flaherty Rich Zellich: No, Sugarman didn’t invent the “assault weapon” term to confuse anybody, because he didn’t need to. More importantly, whether he invented it, when he did it, or why are all irrelevant to the issue this article raises: teaching children to shoot/kill. Likewise, gun makes, models, and specifications are equally irrelevant. I don’t write about guns; I write about people using guns for the needless killing/maiming of other creatures.
Ned Flaherty Mike Christison: Correction: My prior comment had an editing error. In summary, it was meant to say this: “Children consider firearms to be toys whenever they’re taught that marksmanship is a sport, an Olympic contest, athletic, and fun.” If you’re observant enough to realize that firearms seem “athletic” and “fun” only when using non-living creatures, then you’re also presumably observant enough to realize that once a child learns shooting skills — regardless of target type — that child has all the minimal skills needed to shoot at living creatures, as well.
Ned Flaherty Mike Christison: There is no such thing as “surmising a world” (your words). You claim to accept reality, but there is no peer-reviewed scientific proof that teaching children to shoot benefits them or anyone else, and there are 32,000 needless firearm deaths each year, and that reality doesn’t support your desire to teach all children to shoot. Teaching children to shoot teaches them that people shoot, but it doesn’t “prepare them for reality” (your words). As an alternative to claiming that other people’s comments are “devoid of all fact, reason, and grounding” you might just admit that you have different facts and opinions than other people have, and that you just like your own more.
Ned Flaherty David Susman: Saying “I’m a truthful, perfect angel and you’re a lying, stupid devil” is, again, back at the kindergarten level. In other words, just claiming and blaming doesn’t make anything come true. The article, which is what the comments are supposed to be about, still recommends teaching children how to shoot, which kills.
Ned Flaherty Matt MacBradaigh: I am not referring to mere finger strength for trigger-pulling. The article describes comprehensive training in how to shoot. Since you’re so certain of all the skills — but have specified nothing — please itemize any of the minimum skills used in a potentially lethal shooting which you think are missing from the comprehensive training that this article recommends.
Ned Flaherty Matt MacBradaigh: In thousands of killings last year, all that was necessary for someone to die was for someone else to pull a trigger. That, and much, much more, is what this article proposes teaching to all children. So, yes, all the minimum requirements for how to kill are a subset of — and are included in — how to shoot. Your advice to ask armed forces personnel about combat training is irrelevant, as that is not what is proposed here. What this article recommends is civilian, non-combat training that teaches children how to shoot firearms, which includes the steps that make such shooting deadly.
Ned Flaherty J. Kellogg: Everyone who wants to teach children to shoot (kill) keeps bringing up the topic of whether shooting equals killing. They know the equivalency is false, but they want to argue that since the two are not equal, they also are unrelated. You may see this as “pure normative BS” (your words) but most others do not.
Ned Flaherty Matt MacBradaigh: You ask why the “shooting=killing” topic is being discussed. It’s being discussed because readers who want all children to be taught to shoot keep re-introducing it. They re-introduce it because since the two are not exactly the same thing, they also hope to insist that the two cannot be related. Teaching a child to play baseball also teaches that child to throw and catch, because all the throw/catch skills are included. Likewise, teaching a child how to shoot also teaches that child how to kill, because shooting includes everything for killing. Baseball includes throw/catch steps; shooting includes kill steps.
Ned Flaherty Mike Christison: Likewise, teaching children to shoot (kill) will not create the world you want, either. For one thing, your goal is a world where all people have guns on their hips all the time. You advocate teaching children to be fearless about firearms, but children proved long ago that they, like many of their adult playmates, are incapable of discharging this responsibility, and that even the perverse few who carry guns on their hips around the clock are usually ill prepared when the time comes.
Ned Flaherty Mike Christison: I never said children cannot distinguish uses. I said that they don’t consider firearms as toys when they’re taught that firearms are athletic and fun. The evidence that they do this is shown in the frequency with which children shoot people. But even children who can distinguish also decide to shoot people, so your focus on how well some children are able to distinguish is irrelevant. I won’t waste 46 minutes on a video by someone who communicates so poorly, both in writing and in performance art, has no outline, has no organization, and can’t get to his point, if there even is one.
Ned Flaherty David Susman: I never claimed that shooting and killing are synonymous, so all your exercises in disproving the idea are pointless and unnecessary. The fact that some shot people live does not obviate the problem that all the other shot people die. Your “purposeful shooting” includes all the skills needed for your “purposeful killing” but competence level is irrelevant to the central moral problem: teaching children to shoot (kill) is bad public policy.
Ned Flaherty David Susman: The fact that you can’t begin to understand something does not make that thing untrue. It only means that you can’t begin to understand it. That’s your problem, not anyone else’s. My goal — to show that you deny the connection between shooting people and their resulting deaths — has been met. You’ve done that consistently. I have nothing more to ask of you, or say to you.