After some of the immediate sting and horror subsided in Orlando, out comes both sides of the gun debate to trumpet their positions. I’m probably not going to change your minds at all, but perhaps I can add some more color to a very murky, muddy, and sometimes ugly debate. Perhaps I add more dimensions to both sides of this?
Point 1….we don’t need guns with large magazine clips or assault rifles.
- A few years ago, Bloomberg tried to make sodas a maximum of 12 ounces or the like. It made no sense, because people could just buy more sodas. Asinine.
- How many large clip magazines have ever been made? Do you think if you ban these, they will all just go up in a puff of smoke? Do you think a bad guy just might carry more clips?
- With many of these “assault rifles”, it’s the same damn gun as a “normal rifle” but they change the stock or something…same bullet, same power. If you ban assault rifles, it’s not hard to imagine the next target is the regular rifle. Now, forgive the “slippery slope” argument, but they said that instant replay in baseball will only be for the home run, and a few years later we know that’s horse shit.
Point 2….guns are to blame for all of this violence. We need to get rid of them.
- If one day, you ban all guns….do you think the bad guys and all of the gangs will give up their guns? It would stand to reason that most law abiding citizens would turn them in so they would not face prosecution. That also stands to reason that bad guys would still have guns. Bad guys have guns now illegally. The only difference in your fantasy world from today is that people who are law abiding citizens won’t have guns. How will that have much impact on gun related homicides?
- When you live in scary neighborhoods like I have, and have had your house broken into like I have, you don’t really give a shit about some bleeding heart wanting to take guns. You want to be able to protect your family. If I hear a window in my house breaking or my house alarm goes off, I have approximately 10 minutes until law enforcement shows up and about 20-30 seconds until my bedroom door is breached. If you are the bad guy, and you know people might have guns, do you really want to roll the dice to what’s behind door number 2 of your future if you try and kick my door in? Now, if all guns are banned, and the bad guy has a gun, and he surmises I don’t, is he more likely to kick the door in then? I would argue that allowing people to have guns itself protects many lives.
Point 3….guns are helping terrorists kill people
- so are suicide vests
- so are bombs
- so are knives
- so are axes
- If you are pissed at me for pointing this out, just know that in high school, kids in my class and me found the anarchists cook book and it teaches you how to make bombs and napalm. Anyone who has taken an AP chemistry class in high school has a good idea of bomb making, let alone higher levels in college. If you really want to know how to make this shit, you can find a lot about it on the internet in 5 minutes, ask the Boston Bombers. Guns get a bad rap because it’s “easy” to get a gun. Let me explain a very, very, very simple concept to you. If I want to eat a yogurt, I’m going to eat a yogurt. If I go into the drawer to get a spoon and there’s not one there, I can:
- go wash one off
- get a table spoon. Not the ideal tool, but it will get the job done
- Use a fork. Again, not ideal, but possible.
- Pour it into my mouth. Yep. Did this at work one day when I didn’t have a spoon.
The point is, I’m going to get the yogurt eaten, I’m fucking hungry. If you take all of my spoons, I can potentially go looking in the dishwasher or the cabinet to try and find spoons that still exist. Meaning, people can potentially get a gun on the black market. Wait – it’s ILLEGAL!! so you tell me I plan on killing 10 people, so I’m really worried about being prosecuted for having an illegal gun? Yeah, dipshit. They don’t really care that it’s illegal…they are CRIMINALS…it’s sorta what they do. So if you ban guns, you are not going to stop people from doing terrible things, they will just use a different means of doing it. Apparently, in 2014 in China, a gang of men killed 30 people with knives and injured another 130. In 2012, a man stabbed 22 kids in an elementary school in China. Guess what, in China, they have some of the strictest gun control laws where private citizens can’t own guns and gun trafficking is punishable by death. Guess what – those gun control laws did not stop senseless violence. Here’s what it did help.
Point 4….we should not sell to people on no fly lists!!
- anyone ever hear of due process, or do we only use that when it conveniences you?
- If you allow the government to put anyone they want on these lists, couldn’t they abuse this and put YOUR name on this list? How will you get your name off of this list? What if this list is then targeted towards NRA membership rosters, or anti-democratic groups? I was a democrat and ashamed that the IRS appeared to target more conservative groups.
- Government lists…do you want to get on one of these? If someone thinks you’re a danger to fly…you should probably be under arrest and formally charged with something.
Point 5….we should close the gun show loopholes!
- apparently these aren’t as egregious as you think. But sure, go for it.
Point 6….we should do background checks!!
- Well, mostly, we do.
- The big difference between today and 30 or 40 years ago was that they used to institutionalize people with mental issues. Money became a problem, so apparently our leaders determined that
Australia is the model country of what good gun control can do to minimize gun violence. However, Chicago completely dispels that gun control works 100% of the time. I agree that gun violence needs to stop, but I feel taking guns from the 99.9999% of people who do no wrong with guns is NOT a solution. It’s sort of like banning all muslims into the United States because of a bad few. I’m going to use your stupid ass logic against you, and you’re not going to like it. Orlando has a population of 262,000 people and millions of visitors from around the world. One guy did this. He obviously seemed to struggle with his sexual identity and it appeared to be at odds with religious teachings he’s been learning, from somewhere. I grieve for the people in that club, but it could have just as easily been a suicide vest with a bomb.
Thomas Jefferson said, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” While I trust my government, mostly, today…I feel that if guns were removed from everyone, that over the course of 5, 10, 20 years the government will slowly infringe more on rights…and when the day comes to stop them, you have rocks and they have tanks.
While you see gun violence and senseless death, others step into different shoes and see their gun rights as an absolute protection from a tieneman square…a Hitler…a Pol Pot…or any demagogue if you will.
Another nugget…stats. About 10,000 people die each year from gun homicides. Out of 320,000,000 people. Let’s then take off 4 zeros. That leaves 1 in 32,000. To put that into perspective…you have about a 1 in 500,000 chance of being struck by lightning in any given year, or one in 6,000 chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime. So get this…you are 5 times more likely to be struck by lightning in your lifetime than to being killed by guns this year. So while the press wants to scare you into gun control haven, I want you to compare how the rest of your life (40-80 years) could go….is there:
- A better chance you would have been killed by guns (remember, you’re 5 times more likely to be struck by lightning in your life than be killed this year)? OR
- A better chance a government encroaches upon its citizens’ rights more when they cannot rise up against them?
- imprisonment of political dissidents becomes easier.
- Once rights are taken, they may not be restored.
- it will become easier for the government to take more rights
So…what can be done to lower gun violence?
- Pareto chart. The worst offenders make up most of the numbers. Get them off the street by increasing sentences for violent offenses.
- Stop letting illegal violent offenders into this country.
- Expel illegal violent offenders and build a wall to keep them out
- Bring back institutionalization for people with serious problems. I know everyone wants to mainstream everyone, but this is where a majority of your problems are with the spree killers. These are people who are emotionally disturbed that people have noticed problems for years with. Almost all of these killers have multiple threads in common. We need a hotline for people to call into so evaluations and investigations can happen. One call about someone, so be it. Multiple calls from different people? We might have a problem. “If you see something, say something” – you risk some serious side effects with the government on this, but if people close to you are scared of you, there needs to be some recourse.
- Don’t take people from the middle east trying to flee. Saudi Arabia has camps to support up to 100,000 people with air conditioning. Let’s support Saudi Arabia taking them until the violence has ended so they can move back into their homes. I don’t want ISIS to sneak in with the refugees. The CIA has admitted they are doing that. I don’t want that. It’s bad. Make it stop.
- True immigration reform. Why would I want some Russian mobster here? Mexican drug lord? Get them the fuck out for their own countries to deal with their mess. The woman who is here cleaning houses and has two small kids she supports…for fuck’s sake, she’s not hurting anyone, get her a means of staying here legally and expect her to pay taxes like everyone else. For the guy who was arrested three times already and is illegal? Deport his ass, build the wall. The problem many of us have with illegal immigration is we have no means of knowing who the fuck we are letting into this country, and those that come here may increase the costs of our social services without contributing to the income tax base. If you haven’t hurt anyone since you’ve been here, let’s get you a green card. Let’s build the wall and slow the rate of illegal immigration by making it harder for people to get in.
- Many soft targets should have a guard and wand to prevent guns. Many clubs you go to have this already. Many schools do. Schools that don’t are ripe targets. We are at war with an ideology that is hunting soft targets. We cannot stop all attacks, but we can try to make them harder to accomplish and minimize casualties.
- If someone is found with an illegal gun, send them to prison for 20 years. Have raids in the cities where gun violence happens and send people to prison who perpetrate these crimes for a long time. Continue raids until violence stops. Gun violence happens again, go round up another 10 people responsible and get them off the street. “But we can’t do raids, what about their rights?” Well, to me it looks like these guns are now being used with acts of terror, and I think we have a Patriot act for that. Go get the illegal guns. Now.
- Use the systems in cities that can listen for gunshots to pin point locations. Use cameras to identify suspects. See item 8 above.
- Make prisons self funding factories. You say we can’t compete with China due to cost of labor there is so cheap? Yeah…right. Make prison factories…where prisoners, people on probation, and ex cons can work…
- Make certain drugs legal, regulate them. This will reduce your black market violence on territory in the drug war. Certain people who committed drug-related crimes are released. Violent offenders are put in their place.
- Spend more money on rehabs and drug treatment. The idea is to get these people away from illegal drugs and treat the person. Less customers means no real market for it.
- Invest heavily in cleaning up inner cities. You want these to be the center of culture, employment, and civilization. You want people from suburbs to come there, spend money, be entertained, work there, come for shows. When more opportunity exists, it is less likely some people in violent inner cities will turn to drugs or easy ways of making money if they can build a legitimate career.
- Yes, close some loopholes so bad actors can’t get guns easily.
- Allow taxing of criminals. This might sound silly, but this is what I mean. I would imagine at some point there will be sections of cities that ex cons live. There will be cheap housing for them. There will be prison factories nearby they can work at. What do I mean? Well, local towns/municipalities have the legal authority to tax its residents, right? Perhaps in my township, they decide that if a person is a registered sex offender, they must pay $10,000 per year taxes to live there, pre-paid. If you are a violent offender, $5,000…and so on and so forth. If you are found to be living with someone without paying the tax, you go back to prison for 2 years for tax evasion. Perhaps there are zones which are not taxed. This tax is concentrated towards the people who commit crimes to pay for the law enforcement for their past and possible future taxes. What this essentially can do is remove bad people from most neighborhoods and they essentially have no choice except to live in one of these zones. This might be extreme, but an interesting movie or sci fi plot to a show. After x number of years of being clean, felonies drop off of records, with the exception of acts against a child. Therefore, you incentivize being “straight” and “clean”. These “zones” are heavily policed, since most of the criminals now live concentrated in these zones. These zones could essentially be a few apartment complexes with housing of 2 bedroom units reserved only for those who can’t pay the felon tax. Room here is free. City owns several of these apartment complexes at an initially high cost, but crime almost disappears in 97% of the rest of the city and less police are needed, businesses come back, more jobs exist, cities flourish…the complexes pay for themselves within a year or two.
- Tax the shit out of guns. I mean, lay the fucking law down on them on all but the hunting types like shotguns which are left untaxed. While you can’t ban them, you can do the same thing the cigarette folks had happen to them. Tax the shit out of bullets. Use this tax money to clean up the streets and pay for more prison time for the violent assholes out there. Obviously, you make exclusions for law enforcement with taxes. When guns are much more expensive…less are sold…and when less are made, less are available to kill good people with. The price of guns on the black market thus increases because they are harder to get, and less bad guys can buy black market guns easily. A gun now that might cost $500 now has a tax of $3000-$5000 on it. Anyone can still buy it, it’s just more expensive. You thus are not restricting gun rights, just making it harder for people to afford. Because they are harder to get, people are thus more protective of them as well. People who thus want guns and can’t afford them will attempt to buy illegally. Enter the ATF and gun stings. Send people to prison for 20 years for trying to buy an illegal gun or for selling an illegal gun. The die hard republicans who want their guns? They are probably the more affluent people and can just pay the money for the guns. The poor inner city democrats who don’t like guns might no longer be able to afford them anyway.
BAM. No one had to change the second amendment. It’s still there. Gun violence could be reduced by 90-95% using these methods.
Overall, gun sales go down…violence goes down..hunters are not affected…home defense can still get shotguns easily….both sides get what they want – less hand guns, home defense, hunting, less violence.