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10/25/2002

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Dimi

I'm glad i'm not American :)

Very nice review lizzy, i might rent this when i see it in the dvd store :)

BTW i love American girls like Liz tough :D

Tony

Any change will be a long hard road. This quote is from a pro - gun website " Whether you like it or not, gun rights are civil rights. If you are against gun rights, then you are in the same pack as the Klan and the communists, and are as likely to vote to shut down churches and newspapers as you are to license and register guns" . When you wrap a gun around the flag then dogma replaces balance and reasoned argument will count for naught.

Sorc

Nice review. I agree that times are getting tougher and more out of whack. But I personally think harsher punishments will help cut down on violence.

Liz

Sorc, I like your use of the word "whack". I find that I use the word "whack-job" a lot lately.

8-)

pete

propaganda

n : information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause
Source: WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University


You know I have a lot of respect for your insight into this matter of gun control. The thing is i disagree with Michael Moore and I find it sad that someone could look at this film and see it as anything but propaganda. I am a member of the NRA and have never killed anyone with the guns that I have. Charleton Heston is niether evil or racist. It is not fair to edit sound bites of people and take them out of context. There are 22,000 gun laws and almost as many drug laws in our country and people still get hopped-up on "smack" and rob liquor stores. If you are for legalization of drugs because it is a waste of time....and drug laws are mostly, then in order to be intellectually honest you must also be in favor of less restrictions on guns. Gun laws dont hurt criminals and this fact is demonstrated every day in Chicago and Washington D.C. who have the highest gun violence rates in the nation and the toughest gun control laws. Michael Moore used to be an independent socialist and has since lost all validity because he is now funded by the Democratic party who we know is for tougher gun laws. It is truly sad that someone can be fooled so easily by such utterly cheap and un-original propaganda. The problems in America are not exclusive to this country either. There is a reason why the first amendment is followed by the second amendment...."to ensure the security of a free state" The constitutional amendments are written in order of importance and if you dont believe that one is important (2nd amendment)then there is a way to change it. That way is through the amendment process. The constitution has been dragged kicking and screaming through the dirt for years. You cannot just go around the constitution of the United States.....that is why the fathers of this country allowed the constitutional amendment process to exist. If the second amendment was voted on by the states and struck down in the proper legal way I would support it. But it never will be done in a legal way, it will be whittled away at by cowards who dont understand what this great nation stands for. It is a slippery slope and needs just a little more attention than saying "guns and violence are bad" ......how bout some honest non-emotional debate on the issue. Just a question, have you EVER heard of someone (on the news) defending themselves and thier family from harm with a gun? ever? why not? does it never happen?
Now ask yourselves how many times you have heard of someone murdering an innocent with a gun? Doesnt that just seem a LITTLE strange?

Tony

I know the amount of justification there is for the second amendment but it all fails to answer convincingly the charge that it was intended for a different time and culture. At a time when there was no standing army let alone police force it made sense to form militia, however with the evolution of society we have democratically assigned power to groups like the police force, the judiciary and even local government. At the time of the second amendment everybody had the right to arrest a felon now we accede to the law as it has been designed by society to carry out this task. So a condition that existed at the time of the declaration of independence cannot strictly be used as justification today.

The other charge is that it is an anachronism is it being kept because it is good law or it suits a requirement? If it is because it is in the constitution then why do we no longer keep slaves? They were after all condoned in that same constitution.

pete

A good argument but consider this:
1)The first amendment was written at a time when there was no freedom of the press. Should we bag the first amendment too?
2)If you consider what I have written you will find the statement "The constitutional amendments are written in order of importance and if you dont believe that one is important (2nd amendment)then there is a way to change it. That way is through the amendment process." ....that being said you have to admit that there is a legal precedent to the amendments. There is. 3/4 of the states have to pass the amendment before it becomes law. Generally speaking in this modern age people do not want to be bothered with such trivial details as constitutional law. If you wish to change the constitution of the United States then do it legally. Not with activist judges proposing laws that CLEARLY violate the constitution.
Example: to use your own words...
"The other charge is that it is an anachronism is it being kept because it is good law or it suits a requirement? If it is because it is in the constitution then why do we no longer keep slaves? They were after all condoned in that same constitution."
AND TO THIS I SAY: President Lincoln had declared the freedom of the slaves as a war measure, but when the war ended, the effect of the proclamation was ended, and so it was necessary to propose and to ratify the [anti-slavery] Thirteenth Amendment in order to insure the freedom of the slaves. THATS RIGHT THE THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT! you see an amendment was passed. This amendment is the foundation for civil rights as we know it today. Funny Lincoln was a republican who won the Republican Nomination in 1860. These facts can not be disputed.(wait I thought only democrats were for civil rights) Well it all depends how you look at it...I mean senator Robert Byrd is a Democrat and former clansman since you brought up this whole slavery issue as if it is some kind of trump card to make the constitution invalid (very clever...also cheap and predictable)
It is all too easy to be swept away by hollywood and idiot savant's like Mike (democratic sellout) Moore but do not be fooled by slick editing.
3) YOU SAID "I know the amount of justification there is for the second amendment but it all fails to answer convincingly the charge that it was intended for a different time and culture"

Well i guess you got me there....we need a new and modern constitution since this one is such a huge failure. By the way our constitution is the only one in the world that has lasted more than 150 yrs, the nation of France has had 5 separate constitutions Germany....4....in the time that the U.S. has existed. I just wish that Americans and others would realize that ours is just short of perfection...nothing is perfect and ours has lasted more than 200 yrs and spawned the greatest and most prosperous nation that has EVER graced the face of the earth. It is for this reason Europe and the rest of the world second guess us, they just hate it that we came from them, rose from them and did something better. Europe has had to form a union just to compete with us, Oh yes and there is the matter of us saving the ENTIRE WORLD on three separate occasions WW1, WW2
and the cold war that utterly destroyed communism world wide. The American taxpayer did foot the bill for that one....no appreciation from Europe or Japan.
Anyone else want to add anything? I mean I am always ready to debate whats wrong with America. I say plenty, but the constitution must be protected at all costs. It is the ONE thing that makes us unique. Incidentally....China also has a constitution. It is almost EXACTLY like ours. Think about that one the next time you want to create a chomsky-esque utopia.

pete

You know what? I find this funny. I mean in Britain The legal foundations of the current monarchy were laid after a 17th century internal war in which the Catholic King James II was deposed and the Protestant King William of Orange was installed on the throne. Legal steps were taken at the time with the introduction of laws such as the Coronation Oath Act 1688 and the Act of Settlement 1700 to ensure that only a Protestant could, in future, be crowned. These laws have caused great injustice and much distress over the years and still do so today.

So how does a British guy have a right to talk "smack" about the American system? Is this not why we left England and came here in the first place?

Tony

This obviously is rather a touchy subject with you Pete as you not only see fit to follow up your reply with another post after and hour of brooding but also decide to send me abusive personal mail to make sure I understand your anger.

I will quote your email as I believe in open debate:

'Oh you are from England. well that makes sense considering the cameras everywhere and the fact that noone (sic)has any guns in your nation (right). Also the fact that we fought the insane rules that the church put on us ....which is why I live here and you live , well, there.
I would just like to know how your countries draconian gun laws have reduced crime and gun violence? Is there not a huge amount of home invasions and robberies in London? Arent (sic)the gun related crimes up in London by a factor of 3? If you are such a constitutional scholar then go to http://www.google.com and type in "constitution" and look at the links. All of them are American on the first two pages. Why do you think that is? How can you comment on American gun control when you do not even live here? What does an Englishman know about the American experience? Are you a naturalized citizen? Perhaps you are American and moved? If not then why does someone like yourself even care?
I know why, because whether you like it or not America is the lone place in the world that posesses (sic)the free will from the U.N., Europe, Fascists, communists and all types of dictators that we saved the world from with American blood that did not need to be spilled for the likes of unapreciative (sic)Europeans and asians who owe thier (sic)lives and economies to us. Southeast Asia would literally NOT EXIST without America. The same goes for Britain, Germany, France, Poland,Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia, Japan, Norway, Holland....should i go on? Why the high and mighty stance on an idiotic socialist American? Our country is under constant siege from the left wing propagandists and utopian "scholars" that we have fought long and hard to repel. It is just a supposition but I hope that you may in the near future spend more time studying the constitution of the United States, who is going to eventually save Great Britain (again) from the communists in Europe and less time listening to the sickly old men in your parlaiment (sic)with the powdered wigs. No offense (sic)to you as a person but i belive (sic)you are wrong and need to study the American revolution and what it means to the people of your great nation now........and in the near future

I do not intend to argue with a closed mind so will try to content myself in objective facts.

You lay the charge at my feet that I cannot comment on the American system as I am not American yet you then go on to do exactly the same.

'huge amount' is a subjective statement you may consider 2 to be a huge amount I may think 200. The fact is home invasions if they are defined as a group attack upon a property are extremely rare simple burglary is the problem and as the crime is committed in the overwhelming majority of cases on empty properties all that will happen if guns are introduced is the guns will also be stolen.

The reason why American sites appear on the first two pages of Google is simply the America centric nature of the internet I believe the figures are 80% of internet traffic emanates from North America.

The myth of altruistic America There are American communists. There are American Fascists. They have the same vote and rights as you to say what they want as do American left wing propagandists and idiotic American socialists. America founded the idea that led to the UN. America entered the world wars years after they started because its own interests were compromised. America made sure that at the end of the wars bases were established all around the world to secure American interests and influence.

Unappreciative ? when my parents were being bombed in the Blitz where was America? Oh yes. It was not your war then.

The cold war started between the US and the USSR you cannot be fire starter and fire-fighter. All the others were bit players.

The world in is current form does not exist through the good graces of America. Ask any Terrorist, what some Americans see as beneficence is viewed as cultural imperialism by people in other countries.

Sickly old men in parliament? By this, I assume you mean the democratically elected representatives of the people. A democracy by the way not based on how much money can be spent to assure election or if a piece of card has a whole punched all the way or only part of the way through.

And on your posts.

The constitutions of some Greek city states existed for far longer that the American one before there eventual assimilation into the Roman Empire.

The cold war did not utterly destroy communism look at China for example.

On the subject of China if the one thing that makes America unique is the constitution and China has the same then its not unique!

Please do not mistake the monarchy as having any rights or powers in the running of the country. The fact is the Queen is merely a titular head and has very little power beyond a temporary veto and that never in the case of finance. Even this is too much power in my book.

Finally I did not say the constitution was a failure the fact still stands that power of arrest and defence has been given over to representative bodies and they act for the general good of society. If you feel they are not working then its your right to say so but that is the extent of personal power. One could ask, would better policing help restore faith or are we a the stage where a belief that the representative bodies are no longer up to the task is so prevalent that a paradigm change is coming? The question is rhetoric as I have no desire to progress the debate

It is a shame when reasoned debate turns to a shotgun attack with targets scattered over a wide area. All you have succeeded in doing is alienating me and dissuading me from any further discussion on this subject.

You are, of course, on my junk senders list.

pete

First of all What was "abusive" in my email to you? There is nothing abusive about what I said and since you are so "objective" why dont you tell me. nice use of the (sic) as a passive aggressive weapon. Everything that I said in my email was absolutely true as well as what I have posted here today. You and I both know that Criminals, as usual, are laughing at gun laws. Britain's crime rates, already rising steadily since 1954, soared after the 1997 gun ban.
America's murder rates are still higher, but your chances of being mugged in London are six times greater than in New York City. And England's once-hilariously low rates of assault, robbery and burglary are far higher than ours.

"You lay the charge at my feet that I cannot comment on the American system as I am not American yet you then go on to do exactly the same."
actually you criticised our system first and so the least you can do is to allow me to retort, and show you where you are wrong by being an abusive jerk :> When a person from another country criticizes the constitution and our way of life and proposes that it be changed(ESPECIALLY SOMEONE FROM ENGLAND FOR GODS SAKE!) then I have every right to do the same. Really i just wish you would read the constitution as you are misinformed about it and thought that slavery was still a major tenet of said document. I WILL retort when people like yourself live under the cameras of London (now the most heavily surveilled urban population in the world) talk down to Americans as if we aren't the greatest nation in the world and you just can't stand it. Good luck over there in Europe my pompous friend. Your going to need it. George Orwell is turning over in his grave right now. Remember this fact. Everything that happens in your media, on your movie screens with your governments policies is dictated to you by a nation that England could not defeat. I know it stings but there is NOTHING GREAT about Great Britain ....Tony Blair is a lap dog for our president....good boy.
now THAT is abusive.

Here is the stupidist thing I have ever heard an America-hater say....
"America founded the idea that led to the UN. America entered the world wars years after they started because its own interests were compromised."
I am not even going to qualify that remark with a response.

the second dumbest thing I have heard....
"America made sure that at the end of the wars bases were established all around the world to secure American interests and influence."

You are really twisted. Do you know what would have happened to Europe if the United States had not protected it from the communists? GOD i hate the fact that there is no appreciation for what we have done for you and Europe as a whole. What interests are you referring to exactly? Money? OIL? Europe has lots of that. It was the American taxpayer that allowed Europe to exist during the cold war. It was not the U.S. that started the cold war it was the former Soviet Union who Europe was very afraid of at the time. Now that the boogy man is gone the Europeans dont need the U.S. anymore and dont appreciate what we have done for the region by defeating communism with the American wallet and military might.

You have failed to answer the original argument. If you could make the second amendment disapear and outlaw guns, would criminals be able to get them still? Drugs are illegal. I can pick up a phone right now and get any drug i want. So what?
It is completely illogical and unrealistic.

Fred

The fact is that guns do more *good* than harm. In the U.S. alone, armed law-abiding citizens stop 2,000,000 crimes, and 98% of those don't even involve a single shot, since the just attacker runs away. People with guns, statistics show, are more responsible than even police, since police often shoot the wrong person. That means armed citizens are better than free police. Bathtubs kill far more people, and they don't save *any* lives. Let's ban *them*. Guns also help deter crime. Crime rates in the US have been dropping over 20 years, while they've almost doubled in countries like Japan that don't allow their citizens to have guns, over the last 10 years. The Taliban took guns away from the people of Afghanistan in the name of good, and then they killed people. Hitler and Stalin took away guns too. We know how that turned out. The Second Amendment still matters, because you don't have a right to speak if you're too afraid. Finally, gun control has never been shown to work, because only law-abiding citizens give up their guns. Criminals always keep their guns. There are so many reasons guns are good, and Moore has conveniently ignored them all. I believe he knows the truth, but he doesn't report it, because this emotional victim-based mentality makes him more money.

There's so much more to say, but just do the research. Just looks for pro-gun web sites and read Dr. John Lott's book, "More Guns, Less Crime." Don't just mindlessly believe Moore and those like him who just seek money political power. Think for yourself.

puppy

Fred / Pete - have either of you actually seen Michael Moore's film. It is not antigun in the slightest. As was pointed out in the original review he is personally a lifelong member of the NRA. The only question he is asking is "Why are there so many people shot each year in the US." He points out quite accurately that Canada has more guns per person than the US but far fewer deaths caused by those guns.

To paraphrase the typical NRA supporter "Guns don't kill people, Americans do"

jane

very good point, puppy.

Pete (Er... Another Pete)

Quoting from USA Today:

"By no stretch does Lambeth, or any other area in Britain, remotely approach what most Americans would consider murderously crime-ridden. Less than 1% of crime in this country is committed with a gun. And in all of Britain in 1999-2000, there were only 62 firearm-related murders. By comparison, in the USA, 7,950 homicides were committed with guns in 1999. (The U.S. population is about 4 1/2 times Britain's.) Forty-two of the British murders were committed with handguns obtained illegally. Armed robberies, also with handguns, have increased dramatically."

So... The argument about criminals being able to get hold of guns doesn't really work.

And I'd also like to point out that Britain has a constitution. It may be uncodified, but it's still there, and has evolved constantly from about the 1200s.

George

First, Tony, I agree wholeheartedly with you, but on a couple of technical points,
the queen still does have power, she simply doesn't exercise it out of recognition
that times have changed. Second, the cold war has a large part of its origins in
the fact that Western powers sided with the White Russians during the revolution
of 1917 and one of those powers was Britain, so you can hardly blame the U.S. for
the war.

Fred, you baffle me. You argue that we should think for ourselves instead of
taking someone else's word and then refer us to pro-gun websites? Is this supposed
to be less propoghandist? I can't follow your thought process here...

PsyJack

Point #1: Moore's film is right, in that the US holds an extremely violent culture. This is not a new thing - finding the obvious, Doom & Lethal Weapon 4 violence is as easy as finding a drunk irishman in Boston. Noting the subliminal undercurrents of violence, supported and established racism in governmental halls (Gypsies, anyone?), and all that other good stuff elsewhere is a bit harder. Not much, but with all this free-floating stuff churned out by the US and others, why bother?

Complaining about all the violence puts you in the same league as Tipper Gore and her campaigns against everything from Mortal Kombat to Howard the Duck. Violence isn't a new idea, and graphic violence today just has a longer visual shelf life than the brushfire wars of earlier centuries.

Point #2: Most gun crimes in the US are crimes of passion. These alone are one of the few cases where police are consistent and moderately efficient in solving crimes, because they're sloppy, off-the-cuff and one-time-only (Usually) events that end up with some spouse/SO/business partner doing a stretch in Leavenworth. Guns, in these cases, are the handiest things available. Knives, poison, and the old toaster in the bathtub trick are just as viable. We don't kill because guns are the magical wands of death - we kill because we're an emotional, neo-cannibalistic species.

The lower gun crimes rate in other countries? Hoo-rah. Fewer guns. How are your knife attacks doing? Clubs? Beatings? Bombs? Lynchings? Like every other technological advance, the tools may change but the game remains the same.

Point #3: Cold War, World Wars, US is saviour of the world, blah blah blah. Bullshit, in kinder words, considering the convienient timing, laws, politics, and economies preceeding and following each globally significant event that the US has jumped into. The US is an economically driven government, to cut to the very bone of the matter, and this is reflected in the gun policy as well as history. Guns sell, so you can still buy umpteen different models of the basic revolver and pistol, while the higher end market is supported by the military, the police, government agencies, and the ever-nebulous 'overseas sales.'

You can't buy those guns, because police sell as well. It creates jobs, support, etc. Police protect the interests of those with the most money to invest, easily reflected in the gross difference between getting a squad car up to Beverly Hills and getting one deep down in the depths of Watts.

Which, in itself, is another reason I support guns despite the company that comes with them. When I have a choice between trusting myself and a tool I train regularly with, or trusting people I do not know, who're only regulated by grossly substandard tests and reviews (Big history of cops in the family, I know just about everything that doesn't change drastically from precinct to precinct), and who just may be severely unhinged... ...it's something of a no brainer.

gutenstagl

i would just like to comment on some of the rediculous statements made previously about the U.S. "saving the world". That's simply a laughable statement. The world wouldn't have ended if the cold war or even the world wars had turned out differently. Sure, things wouldn't have been pretty for people in America, but that's why America got involved in those events, to protect the interests of America. This is undeniable. But the attitude that these interests are in the right, because "America is the greatest nation in the world" is rather ignorant. That's not looking outside a single perspective. And all the horror we've fed, all in the name of fighting "evil" communism. A detailed look at history and world events will show that alot of the "world problems" today are results of our bull-headed war on communism and the cold war. To take the most obvious example, just look at the most talked about "issue" in the U.S. now-a-days. 9/11
of course now we're all gung-ho about destroying terrorism after WE were directly attacked. But to refuse to acknowledge our own responsiblilities in contributing to terrorism, that's the sort of arrogance and pride that hurt Rome so much, and may very well do the same for the U.S. in the end. Anyway, my point is, we helped put the terrorist regime in Afganistan [you'll pardon me if i misspell] into power. During the cold war, back when we "saved the world". We helped out the Taliban to fight them damn dirty communists. But that's just the most obvious example to make. A point that's been made many times before. But just take a good careful look at just how many tyrants and despots the U.S. has supported and in some cases still does. The self-rightous attitude of many "american patriots" [a laughable term when applied to the people i refer to] is based on ignorance and arrogance. What's so great about that i ask?

James

Wow, I'm impressed at how far this has come. Good points made all around, you all deserve a round of applause. A few things I'd like to touch upon:

I can definitely agree that Moore's movie was not completely antigun. The point was definitely leaning toward the fact that what needs to improve are not gun laws, but our collective character. As an American, I can agree with this. Outlawing guns is something I could not bring myself to support... I mean, honestly, would criminals obey this law? The people who would be hurt most are those who abide the law, and would most likely never hurt anyone.

Another point missed; when Hitler came into power, one of his first actions? Outlawing guns. Can't have the populace fighting back, now, can we?

Anyway, I have no quarrel with England, and I must respect both the points made by Tony, and my compatriot, Pete. But this gutenstagl fellow annoys me, if only because he's giving us no real insight. These are common college-campus anti-america talking points... rather, I seem to have erred in using the plural form for his ONE argument. To sum it up in a word: specious. If I were to add a second word, it'd be pessimistic.

Gut (may I call you Gut?), you really need to take a step back. You're taking, as the saying goes, a microscopic view of a telescopic realm. Yes, we helped install these undesirable elements. You really ought to keep in mind, though, that at the time, they were not undesirable. But, as you can see, people and situations change, and America is not afraid to adapt. And to mock those who love america outright... suddenly I feel I know an awful lot more about you. Why? Because there's very little intellectual deviance on the left. If you're using those arguments, I can probably peg a lot of your other stances. All of this is assumption and supposition, mind you, but I'll bet that you support affirmative action, government-run healthcare, gun control laws, abortion, and the rest of the left's "big issues." I'll bet that you're, on some level, an environmentalist. I'd wager a week's earnings that you've disliked Clarence Thomas for a while, and have no recollection of why, aside from some vague memories about a woman named Anita Hill.

Of course, these are all issues to debate another day... actually... I'd prefer not to. College auditions are coming up soon, and I need more time to practice playing my instruments. So back to the issue at hand.

America is certainly not the well of ignorance you seem to assume it is. If you live here, then my assumptions about you are probably right. If not, then I'm very likely wrong on some of those counts, and you just need more news sources to balance out your current angle. May I recommend National Review?

America has made more medical advances than any other nation in the last 60 years. We continue to ship out most of the world's medicine, year after year. As far as entertainment is concerned, we fall second to no one. Most of the movies watched around the world are American. American music is tremendously popular worldwide. (none of this is to say that all american music is good... I honestly can't stand pop. I'm talking about Jazz, blues, and rock. Prog rock is currently my favorite genre, and America's got that in spades [Vai, Satch, Dream Theater]. Although, I still do listen to a lot of foreign music... Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Dark Tranquility, and Anand Mahangoe are just a few names I've come to appreciate. But I digress, in a very large way.)

A true beacon of freedom, America still stands out as one of the least restrictive nations worldwide... religion, speech, press - it's all free. And we're still one of the only nations who dare to stand up to those who oppose freedom, like Iraq, what with Saddam's sterling record of oppressing his people. Again, this was not so when he was installed, but we adapt.

America is key in the world economy. I know, here it comes ("But the economy is doing terribly!"). Frankly, it's not. Signs of everything picking up are everywhere. Diners and theaters are packed. Malls are full. Unemployment is at a low, around 5%. House pricing is up, and mortgages are down. These are all signs of an economy that is about to improve. Yes, we were hitting a low, there (Thanks a lot, Bubba), but things are working out. They always do.

I could go on further, but it seems I've already taken this much further than I intended to. Look at that! 1am, and I still need to start my paper on Oedipus Rex (due tomorrow). I am such a procrastinator.

It's been swell, everybody. Maybe I'll stop by later to see how this was received. Probably won't post again, though.
To Pete - good arguing, just be careful to not lose your temper;)
To Tony - also some good points. Good job standing up for england (who could hate the country that gave us Iron Maiden?).
To the other miscellaneous single-posters - thanks for your input.
And to good ol' Gut - Try to lighten up, a little, ok?

FantasticElastic

Liz:
Moore produces rhetoric, not commentary. He frames every argument within his one degree view of the universe -- largely that corporations are responsible for our quality of life -- and consequently what the misinformed or ignorant public considers to be his trenchant insight, most objective or informed persons reject as inflammatory and irresponsible propaganda.

Despite realizing the similar rates of gun ownership between Canada and the United States, Moore insists throughout the movie that pervasive fear necessitates firearms regulation rather than a more complex social awakening. The reasoning and evidence to support this supposed environment of fear is outrageously simplistic.

From 1992 to 1996 the number of US homicides declined by 20%, yet the number of murders reported on ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news increased by 721%.-Richard Saul Wurman, Understanding USA

This is an appeal to fear -- sensationalism. Moore uses such examples as evidence that the human condition is somehow unique in the U.S. as opposed to the rest of the world, where tabloid journalism is no less common.

Whenever evaluating statistics you must compare rates (commonly per 100,000 people) instead of totals:

Group A contains 100,000 people, 100 die.
Group B contains 1,000,000 people, 1,000 die.

A disingenuous propagandist would declare B worse than A because 900 more died in that group; it appears worse only until you see the rate as being exactly the same, 10 per 100k, in each group.

You were left feeling something at the end of the film because Moore wanted you to. He wrenched at your emotions rather than wrestle with logic. Had he been interested in balanced commentary he would have at least mentioned the lowest estimate of 82,000 (DOJ NCVS) instances of self-defense with a firearm in the U.S. each year, or the more likely figure, 2.5 million (Gary Kleck). He could have shown the scars on Anna Marie Carpenter, who was attacked by a psychopath armed with a pitchfork. Her story is significant because the Carpenter children knew how to shoot but were unable to defend themselves because, in accordance with California law, the family's handgun was disabled by a trigger lock. Two of the Carpenter children were killed as a direct result of 'safe gun laws'.

Fairness -- real commentary -- would have confused Moore's message.


Tony:
The 2nd Amendment was not designed to suit a particular time. Tyranny inherent to centralized power knows no limit of time, presenting itself throughout history by innumerable despots who have killed millions of people. In response to the anti-federalists, the Constitution's Bill of Rights was drafted to insure that certain conditions necessary to the livelihood of a free people and sovereign state would be protected.

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."
-Patrick Henry

It was not expected that those unscrupulous individuals born to every people would refrain from abusing their rights; it was decided that the potential for abuse would not outweigh the protections of rights.


puppy:
Moore's lifetime NRA membership was an award. He has stated he would like to "dismantle" the organization if its members would elect him president.

James

Well, I'm back. This ongoing debate is too interesting to just leave well alone.

Great presentation, FantasticElastic. It seems that you've done this before. I'm still a novice, yet, but I'll continue to contribute what little I can. Which is nothing, at this point, really.

I guess I'll just add that outlawing guns is also a poor idea due to the fact that guns are not the only tools that a killer can use to put his evil to work. Look at Columbine, for example. They had also constructed bombs, and left them around th school. Consider this: Had they no access to guns, they'd have just as soon simply detonated one of the many more bombs they'd have made in the middle of a large crowd. There could have been many more deaths, in whatever alternate reality this was the case.

Well, really, the point I'm trying to make is that if people are going to kill other people, they'll use whatever they can get. If not guns, then perhaps a step above or below guns. Firearms sold for personal protection are essential to freedom, simply because that citizens should have the right to defend themselves in whatever way they can. That some would abuse this right is tragic, but still we see that the vast, VAST majority is responsible.

To quote John Adams:
"Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would."

Speaking of Adams, anyone else here read the David McCullough biography of him? McCullough is an amazing biographer... he's really on top of everything. I had no idea what a great president Adams was. :)

James

>That some would abuse this right
>is tragic, but still we see that
>the vast, VAST majority is
>responsible.

Err, to clarify, I meant that they are responsible with their rights, not responsible for gun related deaths. I know it seems obvious, but I've had my words twisted around enough to know not to leave something like that just lying there.

Other Pete

I don't deny that criminals would use other weapons, rather than guns. But that's not my point. My point was denying the claim that criminals would still get their guns from some nebulous source or other.

Also, fact is, guns are the most lethally, murderously efficient weapons mankind has developed, and they're bloody terrifying to go with it. If a guy's coming at you with a knife, and you run like hell, what's he going to do? With a gun he could shoot you in the back.
Okay, so an explosive device could have recreated the death toll at Columbine, but it's impossible to ban everything that could possibly be made into a bomb. Apart from bombs, no weapon other than the gun has the destructive potential.

Other Pete

I don't deny that criminals would use other weapons, rather than guns. But that's not my point. My point was denying the claim that criminals would still get their guns from some nebulous source or other.

Also, fact is, guns are the most lethally, murderously efficient weapons mankind has developed, and they're bloody terrifying to go with it. If a guy's coming at you with a knife, and you run like hell, what's he going to do? With a gun he could shoot you in the back.
Okay, so an explosive device could have recreated the death toll at Columbine, but it's impossible to ban everything that could possibly be made into a bomb. Apart from bombs, no weapon other than the gun has the destructive potential.

Pat

I didnt read all the responses, i just have one thing to say. No object causes anything, abjects are merely tools, which we as humans use. So everythign that happens, isnt because of media violence, guns, etc, its because of use. Had the colobine shooters not had access to guns, they may have used knives or swords. What if they were sword fanatics and not gun fanatics? Removing material objects from the arena will not solve the problem, the problem is within the people and must be solved there. All the scapegoats blamed for violence in america, Violent video games, violent media, heavy metal music, guns, etc are not the source, they are tools and maybe (MAYBE) catalysts. The source is the a kid with an abusive father, and no support. The problem is a child whose parents are never there and let the TV raise him. The problem is the father who encuorages his son to be a bully and torment other kids. If they make it past high school, they become adults. They become the wife beaters, the drunks, the thieves, the rapists. Not all, i've seen plenty of people rise above, but they need support, strength. Or maybe the child has a perfect life, friends, supportive parents, but he has a mental disorder like cronic depression, or anxiety disorder, that no one sees. Better values, better awareness, thats the solution, not the easy way out, like banning material objects like guns, movies, cds, games. It's not the quick way out. But it's the real solution.

Other Pete

That argument's flawed. A kid comes into a school with a knife and tries to cause a massacre, three bigger kids are going to jump on him, end of story.

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