Guns in Three Acts

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Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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  1. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Because of all the harm guns can (and do) create “gun nut” sounds more pejorative than “car net”. but consider them to be parallel. The people I think of as “gun nuts” are the ones who, after seeing a movie, go on and on about the precise models of the guns that were shown on-screen and whether they were portrayed realistically or not. These people exist, and they’re incredibly boring.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling
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      says:

      And those folks are different from baseball nuts, how? 😉

      It seems to me that the normal use of the term “gun nut” by the left is not simply in reference to folks who are boring. A better term for them would be gun geeks.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Schilling
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      says:

      Does it count if, for instance, I know the model of guns used after about Season 3 in stargate (p-90s) and am interested in firing them partly from fanboism from the show, but mostly because it’s an unusual design and I’d like to see how it handles?

      Other than that and a few other very distinctive brands, I don’t know any. 🙂

      To me though, gunnut is attitude. Gun-nuts come close to outright worship of their gun. Gun-nuts feel that the gun is the solution to all problems. Gun-nuts are people who’ve never been mugged, robber, or attacked who buy guns and fantasize about how many holes they’re gonna put in someone when they try. Gun-nuts sit there with their collection of pea-shooters and think that keeps the government from attacking them.

      Or worse yet, thinks they’re weekend “militia” service makes them real soldiers. *eyeroll*. Those militia nutcases are truly crazy.Report

  2. Avatar Pierre Corneille
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    says:

    I supported the AWB, or the idea of one, until I read Mark Thompson’s post. Now I don’t think I do, although I have some misgivings about semi-automatic rifles (and semi-automatic handguns).

    I would probably endorse your regsitration idea, but I need some time to think it over. One of my concerns is similar to my concerns about severe drug possession laws: that such laws often (inevitably?) act as “prosecutor’s insurance,” a way to send people to jail even though the prosecutor can’t convict of the principal crime in question.

    However, handguns are (at least potentially) dangerous, and I have less sympathy for someone who has an unregistered handgun (that is, where registration is required) than I do for someone found with a bag of weed. And if such a registration requirement can help curtail illegal trafficking, it might be worth considering.Report

  3. Avatar David Ryan
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    says:

    This is from a piece a friend of mine wrote about 14 years ago for Time.com called Happiness is a Warm Gun on a Cold Day

    Since I’m on the topic, I’m just going to come right out and say it: I love my gun. I know I’m bad; I know that as a thinking person I’m supposed to be repulsed by tools of violence and sense the evil that lurks at the very core of all firearms, but that is not the case. I love it and there is no denyin’.

    I love the engraving on the receiver stating that it is an IZMASH BIATHLON 7-4 with the “N” and the “S” in the Cyrillic backward-letter style (the funny letters add to the no-nonsense Iron Curtain credibility of the thing and it just makes me crazy). I love the little “accuracy stamp” on the barrel from the Russian Bureau of Weights and Measures, certifying that the barrel has met strict tolerances for accuracy and precision. I love the little paper test target it came with where the (Russian) factory technician shot five shots at 20 degrees centigrade and five shots at -20C to confirm the accuracy of the barrel (the warm group is clustered within about an inch, the cold group about an inch and a half). I love the clips on the buttstock that hold four extra magazines (for quick loading during a race). I love the sights that have extra-large adjusting knobs so you can re-zero quickly during the race if the conditions or wind changes. I love the pull action bolt, which allows for a much quicker cycle of fire than a regular bolt action (the International Biathlon Union rules allow for a competition rifle to have a five-round magazine, but the athlete must cycle the action manually between shots). I love the two-strap harness that holds it securely on my back but allows me to take it off and prepare to fire in just a few seconds. I love the little metal flaps that snap in place over the sights to keep them clear of snow during the skiing intervals. I love the surprising heft of the thing; you pick it up and get the distinct sense that to ski very far with it on your back and then hold it steady enough to hit a four-inch circle at 50 meters is an activity most certainly undertaken by men — oh, and the untold platoons of Nordic Amazons who could twist me into a pretzel. Now that I can handle the thing, and make a decent show of myself as a ski-borne marksman, I realize that my gun has contributed directly to an increase my self-esteem. This makes me love it even more.

    Perhaps people who don’t use guns have a hard time understanding this. Perhaps loving a gun seems more like loving a grenade than loving a guitar. But as Mike said, the other side isn’t obligated to recognize this, but they would be wise to do so.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to David Ryan
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      says:

      Now that I can handle the thing, and make a decent show of myself as a ski-borne marksman, I realize that my gun has contributed directly to an increase my self-esteem.

      It’s a very short trip from that point to “my gun makes me a man and is a solution for all of my problems” gun nut land.Report

      • Avatar NoPublic in reply to M.A.
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        says:

        Speaking as a former Biathlon competitor, that’s not a short trip at all. I came to the sport through a family member who was actually Norwegian MP and trained that way. For me it was skill and endurance and tradition and as far from ego and machismo as can be imagined. Most of the folks I competed against were the same, more marathoner than militia man, in the sport to measure themselves against themselves (and only coincidentally against others).

        Now you do get the runner (and the shooter) who think that every problem in the world could be solved if everyone just ran (had a gun) preferably in their fashion (five-toe shoes or Bushmaster) and as frequently as they do (every day, CCW). They’re not most of the folks, though, just the ones who stand out ’cause they’re vocal about it. And I think there are actually a lot more of them in the marathoner field than the biathlon one.Report

  4. Avatar zic
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    says:

    Thank you, Mike. You’ve done here the one thing I’d really hoped to see — a gun owner, an advocate, looking at the problems imbedded in modern US gun culture. Because the unarmed can’t do much, it’s as futile as passing prohibition because some folks are alcoholics. Nobody can make you stop drinking if you’re a drunk, you have to come to terms with it yourself.

    I do think there’s room for some tougher penalties. I’m bothered by the hunting accidents. The first I knew of was my second cousin, shot by his cousin while they were hunting together. Maybe that’s a true accident. But the last? A 16-year old girl, out walking her route home from the the school bus. That should have been a manslaughter charge; not an accident.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to zic
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      says:

      Want to add one other thing here:

      I’ve been pondering one stupendous, disturbing fact we keep hearing: that after an event like Sandyhook, sales go up. I do not know if this is true; as far as I know, gun sale numbers are not statistically tracked; only the numbers of requests for background checks; and I doubt that those checks actually track with sales.

      But if it’s true, a violent and publicized event drives sales, what does that actually tell us? Is the surge in sales driven by fear? Folks feeling they need to be armed and able to protect themselves? Or is it driven by fear of future shortages; a gun sales ban, gun type bans, stricter rules on who can purchase? Probably some of both, but I’ve heard the latter, fear of future shortages, as the common defense of the phenomena.

      It that’s the case, it seems like gun owners already accept that yes, there’s a problem, and yes, there’s going to be some regulation to help control the problem; the boost in sales suggests they know things are going to have to change.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
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        says:

        Zic,

        People are rushing to buy guns because they fear a knee-jerk overreaction in the form of a new AWB. I’ve got a close family member who has already told me he is putting an AR on the credit card just in case a ban goes through.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
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          says:

          That’s exactly it, Mike. Rushing to buy because they know, deep in their hearts, it’s coming. It’s almost like it’s not a matter of if, but of when, isn’t it?

          I don’t mean to cast judgement one way or the other, but to point it out and say I find it fascinating. Because that rush to buy, to horde, may well hasten the day.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
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            says:

            Well I think it’s mostly among very conservative gun owners. The kind that vote straight party ballots. Look, we were all fearful when Obama got elected. His record on guns in illinois was dreadful and he had stated in public he wanted to see more gun control. I think he probably hopes the AWb turns into serious new regulation or he may be a realist and know they can only go so far.

            Does the AWB have a chance of passing? My gut tells me no. The emotions from Sandy will dull quickly (they already have to a large extent). Hopefully gun owners will help educate the public on the silliness of the AWB. But if we don’t offer something real in its place? Then maybe I am wrong and we get another AWB.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
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              says:

              Hopefully gun owners will help educate the public on the silliness of the AWB. But if we don’t offer something real in its place? Then maybe I am wrong and we get another AWB.

              Hopefully you’re right; I agree with you that handguns are what really require regulation — something you can hide so easily so easily becomes a problem. But I do think the urge to stock up indicates it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s ‘when,’ and what really matters is what we get at that when.Report

            • Avatar Will H. in reply to Mike Dwyer
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              says:

              I can explain to you Obama’s position on gun control in one word:
              Chicago.

              And if you were from Chicago, you would probably have some very different ideas of what guns are all about, too.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Will H.
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                says:

                Will H,

                I agree. Folks that live in big cities with big crime are certainly going to feel differently. In that respect I understand his previous positions. When you become President though, you have to think bigger. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he has developed more nuance in his opinions, but voicing support for renewing the AWB is a little troubling.Report

  5. Avatar Shazbot3
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    says:

    Kudos Mike.

    Great post.

    I think the term “gun nut” is unfortunate because it lumps true militia-style crazies in with people who have some legitimate (some unfounded) worries about gun control. “Gun paranoid” might be a better term to refer to the former and would more clearly not refer to the latter.

    I very much appreciate that you are in favor of a handgun registry. But the devil is in the details, as you surely know. (It could make owning a handgun so hard that you would have a near-ban. Or it could so easy and mild that it does nothing.) What are your thoughts on what the registration process would look like?

    Personally, I see the love of guns and hunting as no different than the love of bug collecting or Dungeons and Dragons or Civil War reenacting, though there are obvious ethical questions about hunting an animal rights as we have discussed.Report

  6. Avatar Will H.
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    says:

    I’ve always been against handguns for the most part.
    I see a shotgun as a home defense weapon; pistols have issues. I think it’s a .38 that you can load with bird shot, to much the same effect.

    As for rifles, there are those that I consider a ‘serious’ gun, and those for the weekend warriors out play-acting. I don’t really know how to describe the difference.Report

  7. Avatar Dan Miller
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    says:

    Kudos, Mike–this is a great post that contains something I’ve long wanted to see from the pro-gun side of this. If more people thought this way, it’d go a long way towards making me more compromising on gun control.Report

  8. Avatar pete mack
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    says:

    AWB may be annoying, but Bushmaster went out of its way to invite it. “Your man card has been reissued” does not suggest a completely sane target audience.Report

  9. Avatar Rod Engelsman
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    says:

    Great post, Mike. I really appreciate your explication of your emotional foundation for your position. And I find little to argue with concerning your position vis-a-vis handguns. That’s pretty much where I’m at on the the issue, but I fear your big pushback is going to come from your side of the aisle, not mine.

    As to your statement, What I think my story illustrates though is that for gun owners, we have all sorts of emotions tied up in our firearms. […] I don’t think the other side is obligated to recognize this, but they would be wise to do so. Allow me to attempt to do the same for some on the other side of this thing.

    You’ve stated that you’re a hunter and you love guns. Let’s reword that and distill it to it’s essence. You own a larg(ish) number of lethal weapons for which you feel an emotional attachment, and one of your favorite activities is killing. That’s what guns are and that’s what hunting is. Can you understand how that can make some people… uncomfortable?

    And while I have no doubt that you’re a sober, sane, responsible gun owner that respects the lethality of their weapons, can you absolutely guarantee that it will always and forever be so? If you’re my neighbor can you guarantee me that you won’t ever have an accident while handling a gun that sends a bullet into my home? Can you guarantee me that neither you nor anyone in your family nor any of your guest will ever get liquored up and be a bit less careful? Can you guarantee me that neither you nor any of your family will ever develop a mental illness such as schizophrenia or psychosis?

    While the odds of any of the above happening may be small, they are not and can never be zero. By comparison, you can rest assured that none of that can happen in my household simply because I don’t own any weapons. Bad shit can happen, but not that shit.

    What you have to understand is that you’re asking for an enormous amount of trust in a way that I’m not demanding of you. And you’re one of the good guys that if I knew you personally I likely would have little cause to withhold such trust. But you’re at one end of a bell curve and the other end… not so much.

    Balanced against an existential threat of me and mine, your emotional attachment to guns, love of hunting, and abstract political rights carry little water. Frankly, I’m not sure why I should give a damn other than immediate political exigencies.

    Please take this in the spirit in which it is offered, not as a threat or confrontation, but as an explanation. You need to understand the other side as much as you want others to understand yours.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rod Engelsman
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      says:

      Rod,

      “Balanced against an existential threat of me and mine, your emotional attachment to guns, love of hunting, and abstract political rights carry little water. Frankly, I’m not sure why I should give a damn other than immediate political exigencies.”

      As I note in the post, I don’t think anyone is obligated to understand gun ownership, but they would be wise to do so. It’s just smart policy-making. Push too hard on guns and I don’t hink I am using hyperbole to suggest you may see armed resistance from the general population.

      “By comparison, you can rest assured that none of that can happen in my household simply because I don’t own any weapons. Bad shit can happen, but not that shit.”

      No – but how often do I see tractor trailers overturned on the side of the freeway? How lucky was I at the age of 19 when I crawled out of the wreckage of my car just before a semi truck rammed it because the driver was half-asleep? How many times have I see coworkers nearly killed because a truck driver forgot to lock their wheels when they pulled up to our loading dock?

      My point is that someone has done the mental math:

      (A) The benefit of tractor trailers for moving goods – (B) The potential to do harm with a very large piece of machinery = (C)

      I assume that A > B in your equation. I probably agree. I’m saying that I’ve done the same math and I also found A > B. You seem to be implying though that B is greater. Right?Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
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        says:

        I’m always intrigued by the way we compare guns to vehicles.

        So: Vehicles are constantly subjected to new regulations. Safety requirements, fuel requirements, insurance requirements, driver limitations, traffic laws, inspection laws. And as a result of those limitations, the numbers of deaths and injuries continues to decline, even as use as increased.

        One of the things that disturbs in the gun debate is the equation that talk of limitations equals a slippery slope to bans; not to the better outcome of reduced gun violence.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
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          says:

          Zic,

          I think in this context the question is one of ascribing deadly potential or deadly intent to an object. Guns are dangerous and so are cars. The latter though is used with much, much greater frequency. So if someone is attaching potential to a car it has to go up exponentially. I spend maybe 100 hours per year with my shotgun. I probably spend close to 1000 hours per year with my truck. Assuming Rod works a standard 40-hour week he’s spending over 2,000 hours in his truck.

          And most guns have been made as safe as possible. As for licensing and laws, there’s plenty of that on the books for hunters and every gun range has rules. As I mentioned in the post, I’m fine with gun safety classes in schools too.Report

      • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Mike Dwyer
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        says:

        I assume that A > B in your equation. I probably agree. I’m saying that I’ve done the same math and I also found A > B. You seem to be implying though that B is greater. Right?

        I’m saying that for me, a non-hunting, non-gun-owner, A is not just less than B, it’s zero, nada, snake-eyes. The entirety of what I get out of the entire gun culture, from your legal ability to own weapons and engage in hunting as a recreation, is the downside risk.

        I’m sorry you’ve had some bad experiences with truckers. If you read my earlier guest post it likely won’t surprise you to learn that I don’t really identify that strongly with the trucking “culture.” It’s just what I do for a living, and I’m very cognizant of the potential for harm that could be caused by my work vehicle. FWIW, I’m one of the good guys with safety awards and stuff.

        But, and this is crucial, comparing the two isn’t really valid. I don’t drive a truck for recreation. And the existence of trucks, truckers, and a trucking industry isn’t really optional. “If you bought it, a truck brought it,” is more than just a cute bumper sticker. It’s actually true, so you unquestionably derive personal benefit, in the form of a functioning economy, from the trucking industry. I mean how do you think those guns and ammo get to Cabela’s, anyway?

        And safety is a huge deal in the industry, both on the level of government regulation and individual/corporate/insurance initiatives. If hunters were as heavily regulated as truckers:

        – Your first hunting experience would have been at the age of 23 after completing a hunting school that costs a couple thousand $ and obtaining a special license from the state.

        – You would have to pass a physical exam every two years and renew that special license periodically (period depends on the state you live in).

        – Your hunting equipment would have to be carefully inspected by a licensed gun mechanic yearly and certified to be in proper working order. You would have to display a signed sticker on the weapon to that effect and have the proper paperwork available to show to authorities at any time.

        – You would also have to personally perform a pre-hunt and post-hunt inspection of all your gear and keep a signed statement to that effect on file.

        – You would have to keep a log of all your hunting activity and be able to produce on demand the last eight days of records while out hunting. You would also have to keep those records for a minimum of three months in your home office.

        – You would need to keep a copy of the current Emergency Response Guidebook on hand as well as a copy of the current Federal Safety Regulations and be able to produce them on demand.

        – You would be limited to eleven hours of hunting activity after being off-hunt for at least ten hours and/or fourteen hours of hunting and related (cleaning game, etc.) activity after being off duty for ten hours. You would also be limited to 70 hours of hunting and related activities in any consecutive eight day period (but your 70 hour “clock” would be reset following 34 hours of consecutive off-duty time).

        – You would be subject to drug screening before you could get your license (as well as whatever you can dream up as the equivalent to employment; my analogy is breaking down), and you would be subject to random testing at a pace that averages to yearly per hunter, post-accident testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and “just cuz the DOT officer feels like it” testing. Failing or refusing the test would result in loss of your hunting license that cost you so much money to get.

        I could go on, but seriously, do you really want to compare the amount of regulation you face in order to engage in your recreational activity vs. what I have to deal with just to do my frickin’ job?Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rod Engelsman
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          says:

          Rod – all of your points are completely valid but I think you missed my core point. What I am disputing is your implication that in the absence of guns bad things can’t happen. I was merely pointing out that guns are not the only way people can be harmed. Despite all of those safety precautions you are talking about for truck drivers, there are still an estimated 500,000 accidents involving them each year (compared to 75,000 shootings). You are saying that we can’t live without trucks, but of course we did for thousands of years. So yes, it would be more unpleasant, but not impossible. So there’s still mental math involved and you’re saying the 3.23% accident rate for all trucks is an acceptable margin. We could also get by without guns but I’m saying the 0.03% shooting rate is something I can live with now. Remove some of the factors that contribute to gun crime and that goes even lower.Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
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            says:

            Despite all of those safety precautions you are talking about for truck drivers, there are still an estimated 500,000 accidents involving them each year (compared to 75,000 shootings).

            A lot more truckers out there.

            A lot more people on the roadways total.

            A lot more idiots who will do things like cut in front of a truck, turning “following the next person ahead with ample braking distance” to “oh fuck there’s some moron in a ferrari 10 feet in front of my bumper and we’re doing 65 down the freeway.”

            I’m sure there are truckers who’ve been the cause of accidents, because I’ve been sideswiped once by a trucker who wasn’t looking where he was going and moved left, pushing my car into the median. But I’ve also seen plenty of people do really, really stupid things around trucks like trying to draft behind them or cutting right in front of them.

            You can’t compare the accident rates like you’re trying to do, it simply isn’t an honest comparison.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
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              says:

              M.A.

              Normally I would agree with you but in this case we’re strictly talking about potential for harm. What Rod said in the comment I responded to was that no guns = no harm. My counter is that yeah, but there are about a hundred other things that can hurt people so potential for harm isn’t enough by itself.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Traffic accidents can happen with very little fault on the part of one driver or the other. A car stupidly in a truck’s blind spot, or that does something stupid in front of or behind the truck. A patch of bad roadway, or debris that is masked by vehicles further up the road.

                Guns don’t just randomly go off stored in a gun safe. It takes someone actively pointing them and pulling the trigger.

                If the guest post I submitted about my own experiences ever pops up, it’ll show you a bit, but for now I’ll sum up my biggest complaint with gun enthusiasts, yourself included, very briefly: you insist on this fiction that the gun is a “tool.”

                A gun is not a tool. That was drilled into me very clearly by an ex-military scout leader who ran our rifle range at summer camp when I was much, much younger.

                A gun is a weapon. When you practice with a gun, if you’re target shooting, you’re practicing to kill. When you go hunting, you’ve got a weapon in your hand. For any other use, a gun is and always will be a weapon. Forget that, and bad things happen.

                The fiction that a gun is “merely a tool” that gun enthusiasts use to try to make them more palatable to people who aren’t gun enthusiasts is doing a great disservice to this whole discussion.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                I disagree. Take this scene from Inglorius Basterds.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlw2YpBIq2Q

                Is the baseball bat a piece of sports equipment or a weapon? My point of course is that we inject meaning into inanimate objects with intent.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                A baseball bat has uses that don’t involve killing. We used to take them instead of hammers when camping because they were more versatile. Pound in a rough spot of ground before setting down the tent, knock in the tent pegs, wash it off and use it as a rolling pin for making dough.

                A gun doesn’t have ANY uses that aren’t either for killing, or practicing killing.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                You ARE aware that people target shoot for fun..right? It’s an Olympic sport. Trap? Skeet? Ring a bell?Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                Those are still at exercises to practice for killing. Trap shooting, skeet shooting and sporting clays are practice methods for when birds are flushed.

                There is a big difference between something that “could be” used for a weapon, but has other legitimate uses, and something that should always, at all times, be treated as a weapon.

                My old scout rangemaster would have thrown you out of his range and he’d have been right to do it.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                Yeah – I was in Scouts too. They taught us common sense.

                By your logic, I could call all that time I spent in T-ball as a youth practice for whacking someone in the head with a baseball bat. Also, I use to have snowball fights. Could be practice for stoning someone to death. Wrestling practice in high school? Obviously preparation for strangling someone to death.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                They taught us common sense and GUN SAFETY.

                They taught us proper respect for the destructive power of weapons. Whether it was that .22 rifle, something more powerful, or even the bows and arrows on the archery range.

                It’s a pity you didn’t get the lesson, and no wonder we have so many irresponsible gun owners out there if you, who claims to be a responsible owner, can’t grasp that simple premise. A gun is a weapon, always will be a weapon, and should always be treated as such.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                M.A.

                You’ve been relatively polite throughout the symposium so let’s not ruin it now, okay?

                In Scouts I also learned about fire safety, knife safety. I’m sure you carried the Totin Chip and the Firem’n Chit just like I did. But we didn’t consider either weapons (even though both have been used to intentionally kill many times throughout history). They were dangerous objects and treated with just as much care as the firearms we used for Rifle Shooting Merit Badge or the bow and arrow I used for Archery Merit Badge.

                I fully understand that when I use a firearm hunting it is a weapon. But I also am smart enough to know that when I use it to shoot skeet at my local club the intent to harm has vanished and calling it a ‘weapon’ would be bad form.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                When you go shoot skeet with a weapon, you are practicing the use of a weapon. It is not “bad form” to call it that, it’s good form to call it that and have proper respect for the weapon in your hands.

                Reducing that to a “tool” is why people get hurt or killed in stupid mishaps that never should have happened. They don’t treat a “tool” with the respect to the danger it deserves.

                It is, and always shall be, a weapon.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                Skeet shooting (unless one intends to kill or is training for the possibility) is no more practice for killing than is a video game where you are doing the same. That’s not to say that it’s anything but true that a gun is a weapon in a way that a laser tag pistol or Xbox equivalent isn’t, but whether something is preparation or a passtime still depends primarily on whether someone is actually preparing for violence or engaging in a hobby.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                M.A.

                The kind of people who aren’t careful with guns are the same kind of people who chop off their fingers with a circular saw. Guns are no more dangerous than any other tool when used correctly.

                And yeah – I wish hunting was really like skeet shooting. It would be a lot cheaper for me to buy ammo.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                You ARE aware that people target shoot for fun..right? It’s an Olympic sport. Trap? Skeet? Ring a bell?

                But that’s derivative from it’s intended purpose, right?

                Just like using a baseball bat to bludgeon someone to death is derivative?

                I think the only conclusion that can be drawn from your comment is that tools can be used for things other than their intended purpose.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to M.A.
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                says:

                The other thing I find striking in this line of argument is all the folks who claim that just absolutely have to have a gun for self-defense.

                Well… if a baseball bat, or a kitchen knife, or a car is such a terrible weapon if turned to that purpose, then why can’t you use one of those for self-defense?

                It’s a big logic fail, IMO.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                A gun is not a Jack, though, Mike! Nobody plays GAMES with a gun, like they did with caltrops (jacks, in the original was a game of skill,played with sharpened metal objects that could hurt you)Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Well they do, but those games are really bad ideas.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                What Rod said in the comment I responded to was that no guns = no harm.

                That’s not true, Mike. What I said was:

                …By comparison, you can rest assured that none of that can happen in my household simply because I don’t own any weapons. Bad shit can happen, but not that shit.

                I explicitly acknowledged that there are other potentials for harm that, in general, people inadvertently impose on each other. And, in general, those potentials are mutual and roughly symmetrical and we have mechanisms for ameliorating much of that risk of harm (i.e., liability insurance, regulations).

                Magically, all that common understanding goes out the window when the subject is gun ownership.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s interesting. A person can kill another with his hands, so I’m told. Yet, no one wants to ban the possession of hands. Huh.

                If the potential for harm is an issue of concern, then guns rank higher on the list than hands. Or Louisville Sluggers.Report

          • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            What I am disputing is your implication that in the absence of guns bad things can’t happen.

            I never said or implied that in the absence of guns bad things can’t happen. Quite the opposite, in fact (see my reply to you below), and the imputation that I would say anything so butt-stupid is, frankly, insulting.

            But what <is true is that in the absence of guns there’s a certain class of “bad things” that can’t happen. For instance, I can’t accidentally discharge a weapon that sends a round into your living room. Your kid can’t come over to my house to play, find a gun in a drawer, and blow his head off. Other unfortunate events can occur, but those potentialities will exist in any case, or at least independently of the risks of gun violence/accidents. Your gun ownership can only add, however much or little that may be, to the sum total of risks that I and my family face. And I bear those risks without any compensating benefits that you enjoy. It’s really one-sided in a way that we rarely tolerate in other situations.

            Despite all of those safety precautions you are talking about for truck drivers, there are still an estimated 500,000 accidents involving them each year (compared to 75,000 shootings). […] So there’s still mental math involved and you’re saying the 3.23% accident rate for all trucks is an acceptable margin. We could also get by without guns but I’m saying the 0.03% shooting rate is something I can live with now.

            I hate to dig farther into the weeds of this given that it’s a specious comparison for reasons I’ve already outlined, but I’d like to see some breakdown of this. What is meant, precisely, by a truck “being involved” in an accident? The NTSB has a safety program for trucks called CSA[+year]. In general, I approve of the methodology of the program as it utilizes principles of statistical quality control and even a bit of sabremetrics style stats to identify problem carriers and drivers even before they’re involved in a serious incident. But one problem is data encoding because police reports are often not explicit about whether the accident should be considered preventable or not on the part of the trucker. So, for instance, I could be sitting somewhere legally parked, doing absolutely nothing wrong, and a drunk driver plows into me. Obviously it’s not my fault but it still gets encoded as an accident involving a truck. (The program administrators acknowledge the problem… sort of. But they also claim that the resulting stats are still predictive so they haven’t fixed it. Money, for investigation and data munging, is an issue.)

            And what does that 3.23% accident rate you quoted mean? My company uses a measure of CPMM, meaning Crashes Per Million Miles. And “crash” is defined very broadly to mean any inadvertent contact with private or public property that results in damage. Our largest accident (crash) category are backing accidents, generally at shippers/receivers and in truck stop parking lots. Basically bumper-thumpers that, as a civilian, you would never call a “crash” but they can result in a surprising amount of property damage, but only very rarely personal injury.

            Likewise, what the hell does your quoted 0.03% shooting rate mean? What are the numerators and denominators?

            You’ll have to excuse me for this, but the phrase, “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” popped into my head when I read that.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Rod Engelsman
              Ignored
              says:

              I don’t know much about truck drivers or gun owners, generally, when it’s all said an done, except for one thing: I feel much safer driving side-by-side with an OTR truck driver on a narrow bridge in a horrendous snow storm than being around most people I know who carry.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks, but don’t do that. Hanging out in the passing lane beside a truck really isn’t smart. Just get around me and get on your way. (If your wife/gf wants to flash, that’s cool 😉 )

                We (the company I work for) got a bad batch of retread trailer tires last summer and I had five blowouts in a span of two weeks, three of them in a span of four days. You really don’t want to be directly behind or right beside me when that happens.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not a passing lane. We have roads – and bridges – with more than two lanes in the same direction where I live.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s what I mean, though. Multi-lane highways like Interstates. Don’t ride next to me on those, it isn’t smart.

                I do a lot of what we call “drop and swaps” so on average I’m pulling a different trailer about every day. Sure, I do a walk-around pre-trip inspection but a bad tire can be almost impossible to detect visually.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, look, let’s be honest. I don’t like being next to an 18-wheeler on a narrow mountain road in a white out or a torrential downpour, but I feel like we’re as well off as we could be, given the scenario. I mean, we could’ve been right next to an Escalade. With CCers.Report

            • Avatar clawback in reply to Rod Engelsman
              Ignored
              says:

              Your gun ownership can only add, however much or little that may be, to the sum total of risks that I and my family face.

              And that really is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Besides the accident risk you cite, there’s also the risk a gun owner will sell his gun to someone, or allow it to be stolen by someone who commits a violent crime against me or my family. And yet in many of those cases the gun owner doesn’t even incur any liability. But they’ll accept neither full responsibility for the results of their gun ownership nor any limitations on that ownership. The asymmetry between the risks we’re expected to take due to other people’s gun ownership and the lack of any compensating public benefit is stunning.

              Well, unless you think you benefit from gun owners having the option to overthrow the government if they so choose.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rod Engelsman
              Ignored
              says:

              Rod,

              “Your gun ownership can only add, however much or little that may be, to the sum total of risks that I and my family face. And I bear those risks without any compensating benefits that you enjoy. It’s really one-sided in a way that we rarely tolerate in other situations.”

              If your rig stays in the garage there is zero potential for harm. And if the products you are carrying do not benefit me directly, there is no value for me as compensation either…correct?

              And if you are far, far away from me there is zero risk to you when I shoot my guns. On the other hand there is a very real benefit for me of enjoyment and meat for the freezer. Plus there is the ancillary benefit of the money I spend on ammo going to conservation causes. Basically the net good is pretty high.

              As for the stats, since you are investing inanimate objects with potential for harm I based my numbers on that. I took the number of tractor trailers in the US and the number of accidents per year for the %. likewise I took the number of firearms and the number of shootings per year for that %. As you can see, tractor trailers carry much more potential for harm.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike, I think I’m done here. Not because your arguments have overwhelmed me but because you are just incapable of perceiving anything outside of your frame while simultaneously insisting that I would be “wise” to appreciate your frame, backed up with a vague threat of violence if I don’t.

                I’m not a gun-grabber; I think I’ve made that plenty clear. I started this exchange purely as a Devil’s Advocate type of exercise so that maybe you could comprehend that your opposition actually has a coherent argument, even if you disagree.

                I’ll guarantee you that you have benefited, if not from goods carried on my truck personally, almost certainly from goods hauled on our company’s trucks. Ever shop at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Sears, Dollar General, or any major grocery chain? Ever use products from Kimberley-Clark or Proctor & Gamble? We’re a, or in many cases, the, major carrier for all those companies and dozens more. Case closed.

                Here’s my bottom line, Mike. This isn’t really about you and me. I recognize that my personal risk from your personal ownership of guns is infinitesimal (although not zero; I travel 48 states, so I’m not always far, far, away from you). This is about the legal structure that allows almost anyone, including a whole lot of people a lot less responsible than you to own firearms.

                On average 31.5 people are shot to death every day in the U.S. Add in the non-fatal injuries and that’s a huge negative externality that you are paying basically zero to mitigate. The proper response it seems to me, from the 40% who own guns to the 60% that don’t, should be something like gratitude. Something like, ‘Thanks for allowing me to enjoy my passion even though it benefits you not at all and costs society a great deal’. Instead what we get is a whole lot of in-your-face attitude and talk of Second Amendment solutions.

                I don’t really expect you to be thankful. You’re too invested in your sense of entitlement. But the percentage of gun owners in America is steadily shrinking even as the total number of guns increases. At some point you might be wise to consider a trip to the Hallmark store.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                A paraphrase: “You can live the life you live because I have given up the things that I have given up and you should be grateful.”

                Oh, I tremble to think what will happen once a tipping point is reached and the requisite number of people start saying such thoughts out loud.

                I rather suspect that you’ll find yourself saying “that’s not what I meant!”, though.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m pretty sure this is already a common sentiment in this country. And it’s voiced quite loudly, quite often.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Wait until we start voting it.

                New Jersey, after all, gives more money to the Feds than it gets back.

                Downright unfair, don’t you think?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Wait until we start developing special programs to people who’ve given years, perhaps even their bodies or minds, for their country.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Also, I recall a lot of dialogue about 47 percent of something. Oddly, by the people with the guns, mostly.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                The Texans take more money than they give. And yet they’re constantly bitching and moaning about their tax rates being too high.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, M.A. Use your aggressive feelings. Let the hate flow through you.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Texas gets more than it gives in large part because of the federal deficit. Control for that and Texas is one of the only donor states in the south. On the donor/beneficiary map that people love to throw around, Texas is a donor state.Report

              • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Tell me where we accept this kind of lop-sided bargain in any other area of life.

                For instance, you drive a car, you gotta carry liability insurance. Bad stuff can happen and innocents should be made whole as much as possible.

                Do you recognize the concept of negative externality or are you one of those I-can-shit-in-my-neighbor’s-yard-with-impunity types?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, hey. Nobody is more upset than I am when people start shitting in my yard.

                Indeed, something should be done.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                Nobody is more upset than I am when people start shitting in my yard.

                Dude, that’s a fact. You complain about that shit all the time. That’s about all you complain about, in fact.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                Agreed with Stillwater.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                The counter here is that it’s not really a sense of entitlement, not here.

                It’s recognized as part of the deal.

                This is like saying free speech is an entitlement. It is, but it isn’t. I mean, compared to other nations Americans seem awfully entitled when it comes to speech freedoms. But we don’t regard that as an entitlement, here, we regard it as a right.

                Now, I’m sympathetic to Kyle’s recent post about all this rights business, but regardless of your own personal philosophy it is fair to say that this is the established framework we’re working with, here.

                Change the framework, that’s okay. But calling Mike (or another gun owner) out for “acting entitled” takes away their existing right as acknowledged under our social contract and replaces it with a largess.

                He doesn’t have to feel grateful that we let him own guns.

                Now, again, we can ignore the framework and talk about the way things ought to be, sure. Maybe he should feel grateful that we let him own guns, maybe that’s the way things ought to be.

                But that’s not the way they are.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Patrick Cahalan
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you still want to say you don’t have a dog in this fight? You’re argument here is pragmatics. That people have the conventional established – not necessarily agreed to – right to own firearms.

                It reminds me of McArdle’s argument that Tiller and the abortionists were responsible for Tiller’s death because the right-to-lifers told them there’d be blood if the didn’t change their ways…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                It reminds me of McArdle’s argument that Tiller and the abortionists were responsible for Tiller’s death because the right-to-lifers told them there’d be blood if the didn’t change their ways…

                It’s a mirror image of those who blame the folks who burn Korans for the deaths that follow the burning of Korans.

                Check out some folks arguing that sort of thing here and here.

                Personally, I’m one of those “are we not all moral agents in our own right?” kinda guys who holds the murders against the guys who pulled the trigger rather than the guys who incited murder by doing that thing they do but there are fewer folks who agree with me than you’d think.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a mirror image of those who blame the folks who burn Korans for the deaths that follow the burning of Korans.

                No, it’s not. One is foists guilt on the victims for (presumably) failing to respond to a threat of retaliation if a specific behavior persists. The other isn’t.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater, if I have a dog in this fight it’s to tell everybody on both sides that they are relying an awful lot on less than conclusive evidence and they’re spending far more time talking about why the other side is wrong (although they are) then they are about why they are right (which, really, is where one ought to focus, especially when you’re relying upon less than conclusive evidence).

                Practicality aside, though, I cede that the guns rights people have the high ground, just like the pro-abortion crowd have the high ground, in one particular area that renders the rest of this discussion down: that of the law.

                Although I’m not an originalist (and neither am I a living constitutional guy, precisely), I see the guns debate and the abortion debate through the same lens. Using the tools available other than the nuclear option (amending the Constitution), one side has clearly lost.

                This isn’t about who I think should have won, or lost. I think you keep attributing motives to me because it allows you to put me in a box you can understand.

                I threw out a bunch of gun controls that I think are reasonable under the principle that they really don’t do anything onerous to the pro-gun side. But I’m not kidding myself, when it comes right down to it, from a public policy standpoint, Blaise is right.

                If you want fewer guns, you have to get the gun owners involved. If you want fewer abortions, you have to get the potentially pregnant involved.

                You have to make people want to change, because you can’t use the law to do it for you. It is going to fail. You lost. Amend the Constitution, you win. Pass other laws, they are at best cosmetic victories. Engage the gun community, maybe you might get somewhere. Those last two sentences are going to be really freakin’ hard to reconcile when you talk about how the winners just feel entitled.

                But that’s the only way forward I see for the anti-gun crowd. I’m just telling you how I see this, as an observer. I can afford to be just an observer here because I don’t really see guns as a problem and I don’t really see gun control as a problem, either. Neither concerns me. It’s war drums, almost all of it, and I checked out of listening to the war drums as a participant a long time ago.

                You can keep telling yourself that I see it this way because I’m secretly against you or I’m secretly for the other side, if you want. I’m just a guy typing on the Internet. You have no reason, really, to trust me, I suppose.

                But if you ignore me, and I’m right, you’re taking the least constructive approach you can take, yes?

                The hilarious thing about your charge is that my Facebook account is splattered with a lot of accusations going the other way. I have a lot of pro-gun friends, apparently (more than I knew, who knew) and most of them didn’t like my contribution to the Symposium any more than the anti-gun folk did.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                Rod – Let’s back up a minute here. I’m on record here as being okay with gun registries, gun safety classes taught in schools, etc. I didn’t specifically mention liability insurance but yeah, I’d agree to that too (at a reasonable cost).

                Where this exchange started with you and I was your implication that guns = danger by their very existence. My counter-argument is that lots of things are dangerous, like huge tractor trailers, and we should be more worried about the intent of people rather than investing objects with it. It goes along with the whole conservative/libertarian idea of personal responsibility. You believe Gun = Danger. I believe Guns + Irresponsible People = Danger. That seems to be the key difference in our positions.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Nobody believes the driver of a tractor-trailer is actively going out on the road, training, or practicing to run over puppies or squirrels with his Big Rig.

                Again, a gun is a WEAPON and has a maximum of two purposes: killing, and practicing to kill.

                Forget that and you’re in the realm of Homer Simpson using his “tool” to turn off the house lights and open his beer.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                And no one believes that the registered gun owner shooting skeet at the gun range is practicing to commit a crime.

                You keep hammering that point about killing M.A. and it sounds more and more silly. Watch a skeet shooting competition or an archery competition. It’s amazing how NOT about practicing to kill it is.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve now come to the conclusion you are irresponsible with guns.

                Someone using a weapon, be it a bow or a gun, to practice shooting targets is practicing marksmanship with a weapon. It is not a tool; it should never be a tool.

                Those who cannot understand the difference between a weapon and a toy should not be trusted with guns.Report

              • Avatar clawback in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d agree to that too (at a reasonable cost)

                Why the parenthetical? If you think the market works at all, the cost of insurance will reflect the risk. If the cost doesn’t meet your expectation of being “reasonable”, maybe that tells you something about the risks you are imposing on the rest of us.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                Why the parenthetical?

                Hedging bets is pretty common. It’s when you get into the details you realize that the definition of “reasonable”, from that side, means “zero-restriction anarchy.”Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                Clawback – because a tactic of liberal gun-grabbers is to jack up the costs of gun ownership as a way of making it less appealing. For example, CT has just proposed a 50% tax on ammunition. That is designed specifically to make shooting less appealing.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                liberal gun-grabbers

                “Now you have jumped the shark into irrelevance. And you were doing so well for a while there!”Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                Find me a conservative proposing a 50% sales tax on ammo.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                Taxation is not “gun-grabbing”, and you know it. God forbid you irresponsible jackasses have to bear the slightest bit of the costs your irresponsibility imposes on the rest of society.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike, for a lot of folks with concerns about guns, the problem is that for too many guns are appealing; that an instrument designed for killing things appeals to so many is a matter of concern. And that shrinking segment of folks who find guns appealing don’t stop at one, they buy the second, the third, the tenth. They’re hoarding guns.

                A goal of making guns less appealing is sane in my book.

                I’m sorry if it makes you feel uncomfortable. I’m sorry if it means your hobby costs more. Driving my car costs more because of insurance and safety features I have to pay for, too. But those costs have been shown to decrease the numbers of people who die in auto accidents.

                Building my house cost more because of smoke detectors, plumbing and electrical code requirements, fire stops, and ventilation to prevent mold. But those codes protect my family, my neighbors, the first responders who might have to deal with a house on fire, the ground water.

                Public debate about guns will infringe on the things you think a right because it’s currently under-regulated. I remember my grandfather moaning about people being required to get driver’s licenses, too. I’ve talked to builders upset with having to call in the plumbing and building inspectors; grousing that it increases the building costs.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                The person proposing the tax, Beth Bye, compared it to a cigarette tax which everyone knows is designed to reduce smoking by making it more costly. She also wants to only tax bullets used outside ranges because those are ‘more dangerous’ with the obvious implication being, it will reduce overall interest in shooting.

                And financial cost has zero to do with the danger posed by guns. She isn’t suggesting the money go towards gun safety programs, aid to victims of gun violence, law enforcement, etc. It’s simply a penalty.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                You wanted people to “assume good faith”, Mike Dwyer, now you’re ranting about “liberal gun-grabbers.”

                Let me clue you in to a few things, you gun-irresponsible jackass.

                #0 – Yes, I’m “liberal”, by whatever definition this little echo chamber gives it I guess.

                #1 – I have used guns many times in my life, from when I was a young child to just last year. Have I owned one? No, because I’ve never felt the need and I have other hobbies that take more time than target shooting. Do I have a problem with responsible people owning one? HELL NO.

                #2 – I, unlike you, have proper respect for the gun. It is a WEAPON. Whether used for practice on targets or used on some form of living creature, it is a WEAPON. That was driven into me by my first rangemaster, a clearer headed man than you are ever likely to be concerning guns, a man who had the benefit of years of military training and who was probably the most gun-responsible man I’ve ever met. This is a man who could take a gaggle of unruly 7-year-old boys and keep them safe around guns: that is NO MEAN FEAT. And he did it by always remembering one simple premise: A GUN IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE, A WEAPON.

                Now, when do gun “accidents” happen? They happen when people forget that one little rule. When people forget that rule, thinking of a gun as a “tool” or a “toy”, bad things happen. Guns get pointed where they shouldn’t be pointed. Guns get assumed to be chamber-empty when they aren’t. Guns get treated with disrespect, assuming that everything will be ok rather than taking time and care and being SURE that everything is ok, locked down, and safe.

                I’ve been present when near-misses happened because safety wasn’t followed. All it takes is a split-second’s lapse for something to go horribly, horribly wrong when guns are involved.

                If you’re not willing to be safe with guns, and yet you are this site’s “gun guy”, then the problems in the USA and the problems with this debate are even worse than I feared, because I’ve just watched you engage in discussion betraying your irresponsibility with guns while simultaneously insisting you are a responsible gun owner.

                You need to reexamine your relationship with guns and gun safety and stop lying to yourself about how responsible you are.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                Simply a penalty.

                There’s absolutely nothing to stop gun advocates from working toward a compromise that the tax raised go toward specific things; including education or victim compensation.

                That’s really what ticks me off about any regulation negotiation; it’s pretty much like what we get from Republicans in Congress: ‘No.’ And so if, in proposing a tax designed to make guns less appealing, the advocates of stricter control must suggest the tax go toward reinstating the appeal? Must negotiate the gun advocates side, too?

                No.Report

              • Avatar clawback in reply to clawback
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not proposing a tax. I’m suggesting you purchase insurance to cover the risk you’re imposing on the rest of us. If, as you claim, the risk is small, the cost of insurance should be low.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A.

                Now you have jumped the shark into irrelevance. And you were doing so well for a while there!Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                You’ve proven yourself irresponsible with guns. My old rangemaster would have thrown you out on your ear and would have been right to do it.

                It’s people like you who are the reason we have gun problems. Not only are you irresponsible with guns, you refuse to realize you are.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A. – As someone who not only comments regularly here but also submits guest posts, I am disappointed to see the above comment. Name calling is not only childish, it’s against our commenting policy. I’m going to let this comment stand—as evidence if nothing more—and you can consider this a warning. Continue down this path and you will no longer be welcome at The League, either as a commenter or a guest author.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                Mr. Kain, if I’m going to be accused of being a “liberal gun-grabber” after Mr. Dwyer’s appeal for everyone to “assume good faith”, and I’m supposed to stand idly by and take it, then this is just one-sided.

                Thoughout this discussion I have assumed Mr. Dwyer to be responsible with guns. I have taken him at his word that he supports an honest discussion on reasonable solutions to the gun issues at hand, and I have taken him at his word that reasonable registration requirements or other legislative solutions would be treated as such.

                The wording of “liberal gun-grabbers” is simply appalling to me. I have said over and over and over again that I am NOT for gun bans, nor for confiscations.

                I also fail to see where I called Mr. Dwyer a name in my comment. I stated my opinion that he is irresponsible with guns, because he does not treat them with the respect for safety due a weapon by my old rangemaster’s standards, and that his own comments reveal he does not recognize this fact. I stand by that opinion.Report

              • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                M.A. – I don’t see anywhere in the post or combox where Mr. Dwyer specifically called you a “liberal gun-grabber.” I will admit to disliking that phrase as much as you do; however, the difference is that you called him a jackass directly. He made a wide, sweeping generalization. The latter may be rhetorically ineffectual and mildly hyperbolic, but the former is a direct infringement of our commenting policy.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                I took this comment, since it was a direct reply to mine, to be indicated at me. If that wasn’t the case, then there was a misunderstanding.

                If you were going to indicate my response to Mr. Dwyer above, I wish you’d said so. Instead you replied to this comment, regarding Mr. Dwyer’s irresponsibility with guns and his refusal to acknowledge how failing to recognize that a gun is a weapon and should be treated as such for safety reasons at all times is something I (trained by my old rangemaster) consider to be highly irresponsible.

                I apologize for crossing the line with the jackasses comment. I stand by my words regarding Mr. Dwyer’s irresponsibility with weapons, however, and my wish that he’d reexamine his own relationship and behavior towards said weapons.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rod Engelsman
                Ignored
                says:

                Rod,

                Also, this:

                “…while simultaneously insisting that I would be “wise” to appreciate your frame, backed up with a vague threat of violence if I don’t.”

                Seriously, WTF?Report

  10. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name
    Ignored
    says:

    I just want to say, as someone from the other side of the argument, that this post goes beyond “space awesome” to Aleph-Null awesome.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    I should note to everyone that the picture with this post is one I took just before the dove shoot I describe in the post. These belonged to all of the folks joining us that day. My father’s shotgun is the gun on the far right, the poly-choke visible on the end of the barrel.Report

  12. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    Zic,

    “Mike, for a lot of folks with concerns about guns, the problem is that for too many guns are appealing; that an instrument designed for killing things appeals to so many is a matter of concern. And that shrinking segment of folks who find guns appealing don’t stop at one, they buy the second, the third, the tenth. They’re hoarding guns.”

    This would make sense IF the people hoarding guns were the ones committing the gun crimes. It seems like there is a big disconnect between those who want o see more restrictions on gun ownership and the actual crime statistics. The AWB is an obvious example. As soon as the CT shootings happened people yelled for renewing the AWB despite the fact that

      only 2% of fun crime invlves assault weapons

    . That demonstrates a clear lack of knowledge about the facts.

    Furthermore, as I have noted before, this isn’t a zero sum game where reducing overall ownership will equal an equivelant decline in gun crime. It simply doesn’t work that way.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      I disagree with you that reducing overall gun ownership won’t result in a decline in gun crime; and I think you leave out a lot of gun violence, including accidental shootings, hunting accidents, and suicide, that should not be left out. Overall gun crime has declined; and gun ownership has declined at the same time. We’ve fewer and fewer households owning more and more weapons. This is a concern. You may not like it, but it’s a concern.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
        Ignored
        says:

        Zic,

        Hunting accidents should be addressed with better education and most states are offering hunter education classes to do that. I’ve suggested gun safety classes in schools to address other gun accidents. Suicide is a mental health issue, not about gun ownership (my father committed suicide in a house full of guns by overdosing on medication).

        I also don’t understand your position. You are saying that gun crime is declining and this is evidence of a problem with gun hoarding? If your logic is correct, doesn’t that mean we need MORE gun hoarding.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ve suggested gun safety classes in schools to address other gun accidents.

          So kids need to learn gun safety in school. How do you feel about sex ed in school? I’d much rather they learn about their reproductive organs then how to avoid gun fire.

          If your logic is correct, doesn’t that mean we need MORE gun hoarding.

          No. It’ means fewer households with guns has resulted in less gun violence.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
            Ignored
            says:

            Zic – I think discussing our opinions on sex ed is guaranteed to derail this thread. But I don’t see how you can bring up gun accidents and then suggest gun safety classes are a low priority.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              My point is that there are some problems with schools as the solution to gun safety.

              – Schools already don’t have enough time to teach requirements; that we make difficult decisions every day about what to teach and what not to teach;

              – There are vast numbers of parents who would be opposed to requiring gun safety classes in school and would vehemently fight it;

              – It also would put the expense of paying for the program on the property owners who fund education in a town.

              I’m not trying to derail, I’m trying to show you the potential problems with suggesting the safety issue be dealt with in public schools; the debates over sex education seemed a good analogy for the suggestion. But there is one difference: 21% of households own guns; nearly 100% of people have sex organs of one sort or another; though I’m sure there are exceptions.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic,

                21% of households own guns, but what % of people come into contact with guns at some point? Again, if you’re worried about accidents, that’s the best way to prevent them.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Depends on your definition of “contact” I suppose. There are the victims of crimes. Once we start getting into the local numbers, such as here in New Orleans, the stats get awfully dire.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      only 2% of fun crime

      We need more fun crimes and less gun crimes. I’d have a lot less problem with teenagers spraypainting graffiti or tagging things if it meant they weren’t shooting each other so often.

      More markers less bullets.Report

  13. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    M.A.

    “Let me clue you in to a few things, you gun-irresponsible jackass.”

    You’ve been around here long enough to know we don’t tolerate name-calling. This comment seems to indicate that YOU are the kind of person we don’t want to have guns. People with no self-control. I have no problem with people challenging my positions and I think I have demonstrated that here long before you arrived. What I have no patience for is grown-ups unable to behave as such. So you and I are done here.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      What I have no patience for is grown-ups unable to behave as such.

      Same to you. You called for assuming good faith, then you ranted about “liberal gun-grabbers”, showing you are nothing but trolling on this issue. You’re equating taxation with “gun-grabbing”, which is just downright stupid.

      And you’ve continued to push the lie about “guns are just a tool” per your marching orders from the NRA.

      You won’t address my points and you won’t accept that I have a long history with guns. I’ve been present for a number of near-misses during non-hunting, range activities and every time I’ve had that respect for the gun as a WEAPON, even when engaging in the recreational activities where you continue to lie and claim it’s just a “tool”, reminded.

      Damn right we’re done here if you won’t show the honesty and assumption of good faith you demanded of everyone else.Report

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