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10/25/2002

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Garrett

See the movie. It will change you. If it doesn't then you are already a smart person, or a total nutcase. Just.. see the movie. It covers all the debated topics and doesn't even hint at banning guns. Its not just one thing, its everything put together that makes America a corupt nation. The media, the guns, the fear. See the movie. God damn,I hate this assholes that come on these forums and bitch bitch bitch, when they have no research what-so-ver. This moore character, does in depth reporting and research. He is a very smart man. If you haven't seen the movie and you are going to post another negative comment on the forum, You are the bigoted idiot.

Me

Oh please come on. we're not trying to lower the amounts of death here. we're tryin to cut them off at the source. sure people might be aable to wrestle the kid down but he'll still catch someone by suprise in the back. so the problem isnt the tools its the people.

jeff

well i didnt want to post anything since many of you have succinctly presented many of the facts i hold dear, but i do unfortunately have to add some numbers to Other Pete's post about firearms being "the most lethally, murderously efficient weapons mankind has developed". actually i dont remember the specific numbers (so shoot me?) since it was a few weeks ago since i looked em up but it goes something like this...

there are 200+ million firearms in the US.
there are 2+ million automobiles.
how is it that the 200+ million "most lethally, murderously efficient weapons mankind has developed" only killed 29,000 people in 1999, but automobiles, a technology decidedly not designed to kill people, was involved with about 6 million injuries and 42,000 deaths? (let's neglect to ponder the environmental toll...)

to me that's stating that my firearms are defective. but dont get me wrong, 30,000 people dying by guns is an unpleasant thing. yet taking my guns away wouldnt even come close to cutting that number in half. i'm frankly sick of my culture but what i find even more loathesome is our tendency to believe what people tell us, our tendency to accept emotion as a rationale for action. let's get some facts...please! (and that's not directed at you other pete, that's just a plea to everyone...) if you want safety, less crime, taking guns away is the last thing you want to do.

and yeah, apples and oranges maybe, but if you start looking at crime and death and the causes on a statistical level...well...it's a bit illuminating shall we say...(hence my switch from a youthful pro-gun control position to one of a more pro-gun position...)

in any case...dont take life too seriously..it isn't permanent....

James

Come on, Garrett. Bigoted idiot? The point here is to hear out different viewpoints, despite your own biases; not mock them. Once you stoop to name-calling, it sends a strong message that you no longer actually have anything to contribute.

Moore's a smart guy? Yeah, I can agree. I'm sure he'd do fine on SAT's, etc. But the whole "college dropout" thing never helped his credibility in my eyes. I think the man is something of a phony, too, if not for the faux intellectualism, then for his lifestyle. He's a multimillionaire who lives in the upper west of Manhattan. The man has his own maid. None of this would make him a phony on its own, but when paired with the fact that he still tries to pass himself off as the everyman crusading for the everyman, something doesn't ring true. When you live in the lap of luxury, you start to lose sight of the feelings of your typical middle/working class countrymen. And I'm not just saying that because of my personal aversion to Moore. It happens to a lot of people. Look at Billy Joel, for example.

justin

The SF WebZine folks finally got around to posting an MP3 of a talk last year by Michael Moore:Michael Moore gave a keynote speech on July 21, 2001 for Webzine 2001 in New York City. He spoke about the Internet as a revolutionary medium that can empower the little guy, how the Internet helped TV Nation win another season, a powerful scene from Bowling for Columbine, a dirty little chat with Bill Clinton at a porto-potty and a few inspirational stories to motivate YOU to get out there and do something.Here's the link to an MP3.

Lem

> how is it that the 200+ million "most lethally, murderously efficient weapons mankind has developed" only killed 29,000 people in 1999, but automobiles, a technology decidedly not designed to kill people, was involved with about 6 million injuries and 42,000 deaths?


well possibly because if you have a car you use it everyday to drive from a to b, whereas if you have a gun you don't go out and shoot someone with it everyday
the important difference though is that automobile related deaths are accidents as opposed to a gun related death which is (generally) intentional and not an accident

Matt

I've had arguments of this sort with pro-gun folks before and there is no changing their minds.

America is becoming a very conservative nation, more so than it ever was. I fear for the world.

Most pro-gun folks, when cornered, start quoting statistics and using analogies that any statistician or logician can tell you are flawed. You can't compare auto's to guns. How does the saying go? It's like comparing apples to oranges.

Like the person above said, people use cars every day. But lets think about what the world would be like if everyone carried a firearm every day. I guarantee that the amount of people harmed in gun accidents or through deliberate misuse would shoot up to surpass deaths by autos.

The truth is, once you have something on your person, it becomes an option for use in daily life. When folks first got cell phones, suddenly the option became available to call your wife on the way home to ask if she needs anything from the shop. Once PDA's came out, and people carried them with them, suddenly taking notes on all sorts of stuff you would never have taken notes on becomes an option in your daily life. When gaming consoles were created playing Rez became an option instead of having real sex (if you missed it, that's a joke based on a story on this site about the Rez Vibrator). The point is, if everyone carried guns all the time, using a gun becomes an option too.

Instead of working out an argument with hard words or even a fist fight, using a gun to settle the debate becomes an option. Incidents like Columbine have shown us that more and more folks are starting to think that a gun is a solution to their problems. Could you imagine going to a college bar, tons of drunk students, and all of them packing firearms? Judgment impaired, feeling woozy, and the guy has a gun. If not on him in the bar, then perhaps in his glove compartment.

Truth be told, if you like hunting then you don't need a browning bushmaster or Russian sniper riffle. You don't need a 357 magnum for target practice. It's massive excess. Just like you don't need an SUV to drive on the highway to work and back, you don't need a gun designed for killing enemy troops to hunt a rabbit. But then again, we Americans are all about the excess, aren't we?

In today's America, the average citizen doesn't need a gun. I argue that it's more dangerous today for people to have them then than for us to not have them. When this country was formed, guns were a tool used on the frontier to hunt and protect the family from wild animals. Living in the suburbs, I can't recall the last time my family was threatened by a wild bear and all I have to do for food is visit the local grocery store. And if target practice is something you want to do, try paintball. Guns are obsolete and dangerous, like asbestos. Better alternatives exist.

Wonder

Objects??? People??? Who or what is to blame???

Evolution takes a long time, and when one stands back to look at the bigger picture, not so trapped in the egocentric mindset of MY COUNTRY, MY PLACE, MY TIME, one might have a clearer understanding. All EMPIRES have fallen or faded with time, as shall America (this coming from a person born in raised in said such area of land mass). When we can surpass our tiny isolated ego's and realize that there are more infinite possibilities and solutions we mighten lessen the degree of argument and killing and maybe even the fear of needs for guns. Yes you may say "well that is a long way off, we are here right now with this mess or pleasure depending on how you see it".

But it starts today, everyday in crystalizing a vision of something greater and more integrated. For all of you intellectual types out there, study the patterns. Look at your models of psyche development from Maslow, Kohlberg, Lovineger. Check out Spiral Dynamics, look at the trajectory of consciousness evolution. We will all die, that is guarantied. Let us develop this mind and learn to connect on infinite levels, beyond our petty ego's and isolated fearful views. This is where novelty and creation is at it's most potent.

Regardless whether we become aware of this and consciously engage it, it will come... as "change is the one constant in the universe".

So we can squabble all day, "well what do you think about gun laws" "oh I think guns don't kill people, people kill..." blah blah blah. As with the many arguments that have gone on for centuries, whether it was trying to ban spears from first society's to bow's and arrows to swords to guns to nuclear weapons. When humans hate (another word for seperating themselves) violence occurs.

Hate and fear these are the roots of all these problems. But because these are seemingly abstract and often times unconscious we never deal with them directly. We always run in circles around them, chasing their offspring. But can we not engage the heart of the problem??

For most it seems not, at least not consciously. We have to many distractions to worry about. Hell we may not even be aware that we need to.

But alas that is what evolution or life is here for. And so it continues ............on and on and on and on and on and on and on........ the circle turns.

james

Here's a response for Matt.

>I've had arguments of this sort with pro-gun
>folks before and there is no changing their
>minds.

>America is becoming a very conservative nation,
>more so than it ever was. I fear for the world.

o_O Now, why would you say that? Is it because conservatives eat babies? Do they push old people down stairs?

It sounds to me like you've swallowed a lot of nonsense. And yes, it can be difficult to change the mind of someone who's pro-gun. I would say that this is because any argument to the contrary depends more on emotion and hypothetical situations than the reality of the matter. But beyond that, it's difficult to change ANYONE's mind about ANYTHING. This is because politics, like religions, are personal. Once you commit to an idea, this is what you think is best. An attack on a political stance is, on some level, not far from an attack on one's individual thought process.

Anyway, back to being afraid of conservatives... I've been riding the middle rim for a while, and I'm starting to finally lean more that way now, simply because no new ideas are coming from the left, anymore. Just kneejerk opposition to whatever the right says. It's another thing to at least provide an alternative to ideas, but even that is becoming rare. I see this an awful lot, for example:

"The Republicans need to reconsider their stance on the economy."

"And what would the democrats recommend to improve the current situation?"

"..."

As for your bit about the bar, this is an example of irresponsibility. Rights come with responsiblities, and in order for Democracy to work, there must be some level of trust... if your scenario occurred commonly, then perhaps the world is not ready for democracy. I'd like to point out that your scenario CAN happen, even now, with current gun laws. But it doesn't. Consider that, and give people a little more credit.

:)

FantasticElastic

Lem:
Most vehicular deaths are a result of negligence: driving while drowsy/drunk (these are equally dangerous), distracted (cell phones, etc.), and recklessness. Vehicles are used to commit homicides even more horrific than some of the firearms-related killings seen in the media. You may remember Buford Furrow, the disturbed man who fired into a Los Angeles Jewish community center, but you probably haven't heard of Steven Abrams. The difference in their crimes is a space of three months, one death, and choice of weapons. Abrams drove his Cadillac through a playground filled with forty children, killing two and injuring five (Boston Globe 8/23/99). Had he used an Uzi, as Furrow did, every person living outside a cave would have heard of his act.


Matt:
Do not assume the worst of your fellow man.

There are hundreds of thousands of citizens in the United States who carry a concealed firearm every day. In Texas these individuals are 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for a violent crime, 14 times less likely to be arrested for a non-violent crime, and 1.4 times less likely to be arrested for murder than the general population of the state (NCPA 2000).

Not only are armed citizens far more law-abiding than the general population, their very presence has been proven to lower the crime rate. John Lott -- economist and senior research scholar at Yale Law School -- published a study of gun control laws and crime rates in the Journal of Legal Studies, and later More Guns Less Crime, which is now in its second edition. His data and methods have been thoroughly reviewed. Academia has not refuted his findings: concealed carry laws reduce murder by 8.5%, rape by 5%, and assault by 7%.

For as long as we face the risk of our rights being violated, our person attacked, or our property stolen, we are entitled to defense. Even in today's America, defense is most effective with a firearm.

Liz

I think Michael Moore succeeded. He sparked a healthy debate. This site is proof enough of that.

Ahhhhhh A healthy debate, gotta love it.

Tina

I love that documentary. I think its really true about the things he says, and I like the little cartoon made by the south park guy.

Matt

Pete (er, the other Pete =P)

"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."

Now ask yourself the difference in population between America and Britain, and the difference in the diverse racial ethnicity that is in each country.


If catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults. (Don't remember where I heard this one =P)

Faris

.....get a life.....

Anti Brit is Pro Freedom

THIS is why England has gun control!

http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,56152,00.html

London's Privacy Falling Down

By Julia Scheeres
02:00 AM Nov. 02, 2002 PT

Attention Londoners: Big Bobby is watching.

That's the message of posters plastered along London's bus routes earlier this week to assuage riders' crime fears.

Poster: http://wired.com/news/images/0,2334,56152-5340,00.html

But the posters are having the opposite effect on privacy advocates, who say the artwork is creepily reminiscent of the all-seeing authority described in George Orwell's 1984.

The posters show a red double-decker bus crossing a bridge as four floating eyes stare down from the sky. The eyes' pupils are the symbol of Transport For London, the city's mass-transit provider. [ http://www.londontransport.co.uk/tfl/ ]

"Secure beneath the watchful eyes," the poster says. "CCTV and Metropolitan Police on buses are just two ways we're making your journey more secure."

The eyes-in-the-sky imagery startled Perry de Havilland, who ran across one of the posters at a bus stop in his Chelsea neighborhood.

"I saw the bloody thing, and it boggled my mind, the sheer audacity of it," said de Havilland, who runs a blog on libertarian issues. [ http://www.samizdata.net/blog/ ] "Basically what they're saying is that we're watching you and you should be happy about it."

De Havilland's observations about the poster have generated a lively discussion. [ http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/002285.html ]

The posters had a similar effect on Simon Davies, the head of Privacy International [ http://www.privacyinternational.org/ ], who also lives in London.

"I thought it was a powerful piece of political satire from a disruptive citizen's group, but then it dawned on me that they were real," Davies said. "It's acutely disturbing."

The posters are part of a larger campaign to make London buses safer for riders, a spokeswoman for the Transport of London said. City officials are also installing video cameras on the city's entire fleet of buses, which log 4 million trips a day.

[ http://www.londontransport.co.uk/campaign/bus_improvement/index.shtml# ] According to the transportation agency's website, the CCTV rollout "not only protects drivers and conductors, but (it) also plays a major role in keeping passengers secure. It provides evidence in the event of an incident and acts as a deterrent to likely offenders."

British authorities have placed great faith in CCTV as a crime control device, installing an estimated 1.5 million police cameras along the country's streets, buildings and mass transport systems. Still shots taken from video feed are used to identify protesters and hooligans.
[ http://www.met.police.uk/appeals/mayday/mayday2002.htm ]

[ http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/cctv3.htm ] But while the government insists CCTV has reduced crime, critics say the technology has merely displaced crime to areas without cameras and that the mechanical eyes -- which are frequently disguised -- are easily evaded by wearing baseball caps or other headgear.

"There is a mentality that everyone is potentially a criminal," said Davies. "I resent the idea that I should be subjected to the scrutiny of invisible cameras just to satisfy someone's crazed idea of that way society is."

#########################################

The U.K. government has failed to persuade Internet Service Providers to voluntarily agree to new rules for keeping archives of data about people's internet activities and freely providing this information to intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The government has failed to exclude cases unrelated to terrorism, such as tax collection or public health, from the new rules.

Without any voluntary agreement from ISPs, the government now plans to make these new electronic surveillance rules compulsory and enforceable by law.

[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/internetnews/story/0,7369,816523,00.html ]

Dr. Todd

Hey - Bowling for Columbine is a good flick, but the review has a few problems. It cites Trey Parker as the South Park dude - it's actually Matt Stone, the *quiet one* who appears. Also, I have to disagree re: the Heston part of the film. I could smell Moore's self-satisfaction a mile away. He bested a doddering old man in a debate that Heston clearly didnt even UNDERSTAND. That part left a bad taste... As puppy indicated in her post, the movie isnt really about guns, but the culture of american fear. I love the way local TV news was skewered.

As to all of these other debates, personally, I have always liked living in America, it has some problems but it is true that other countries are all gradually becoming more like it, governmentally, socially, economically, et al. You may think this is a bad thing, foreigners, but I dont think people try to imitate failure. I'll just leave it at that.

gutenstagl

ok, I know these conversation seems to be over, but I only now have gotten around to reading the site again, so I post noW! No one can stop me! mwa!
Ahem, ok, my points...
ah yes! Wonder has the right idea methinks. He seems to know what's what in my opinion and seems share the notions I have of what's important, namely a wider viewpoint, or even better, an view of many perspectives.
Okie, and I'd like to repond to James. Sure you can call me Gut ;)
I think you're greatly mistaken in your assumptions about me, I know the sort of person you seem to think I am, I admit, I fraternize with these sort of left wing college folk you have identified. I am not one however. I also am quite chummy with the opposite right wing chaps as well. My point is, I disagree with both. They both seem quite the same to me really, as far as the democrats and republicans go.
It pains me that you say I have a microscopic view, but I suppose I'll satisfy myself by chalking that up to your assumptions of me being a lefty and my horrible inability to articulate my views to my satisfaction.
Oh and....ah...I was going to make some point about america and our supporting despots "that aren't undesirable at the time" but I'm too tired to make any sort of coherhant argument, or spell properly...ugh. You win this day, James. And I'll prolly never stop by this site at a time when I'm not tired and incoherant, so...fungah, foiled again!

Sergei Rostov

I have to say I find it interesting that when a liberal uses valid logics and verifiable facts, conservatives call it 'propaganda', but when conservatives use faulty logics and a misleading mixture of half-truths and outright falsehoods with a sprinkle of facts - as they inevitably must, if they are to try and defend their beliefs - and liberal point this out, then the liberals are called idiots, traitors, or America-haters. Hmm.

Ok, numerous incorrect statements, I'll try to handle as many as I can here:

Cars and guns: Wrong comparison, since the issue is not number of items, but number of owners/operators

100 mil drivers, 30 mil gun owners (best estimates)

Deaths: 40,000 car , 32,000 gun


Car:

15,000 drunk driver deaths
14 mil drunk drivers (best est)
1 death/1071

Gun :

32,000 gun deaths
30 mil gun owners

1 death/937.5

So gun owners as a group are more lethal than drunk drivers (yet gun ownership is not a crime).

On self-defense/crime prevention by gun owners:

Even if we take the ridiculously high figure that 2 mil of what I'll call 'street crimes' (i.e. non-domestic crimes) are prevented
by gun ownership, that would statistically mean
the prevention of about 20 deaths (as 90% of all murders are domestic in origin); compare this to these facts:

[All figures approx, and from DOJ and other fed govt records]

80% of all murders gun deaths

The US has 5 times the murder rate of any Westerm nation; this was true even compared to Northern Ireland in the worst years of terrorist activities.

32,000 gun deaths

-21,000 accidental

-11,000 non-accidental (true murders)

9,900 domestic (members of the
same household
killing one
another)

1,100 street

28,800 (90%) committed by gun owners
with no previous
criminal record.

So we see that it's not the criminals we should have to worry about, but the law-abiding gun owners.

On 2nd Amendment :

It was stated that gun-control laws violate the Constitution; well, that is your opinion, and one not shared by the courts; in fact, that is one of the reasons why we _have_ courts, to interpret the law. Which leads us to...

2nd Amendment Interpretation:

The 2nd Am. as written would allow private ownership of any and all arms, including chemical, nuclear, and biological, which I hope you're not advocating (if you are, you're insane); and if you're not advocating that, you
must logically concede that the 2nd am. was indeed written for another time;
The 2nd Am. as written allows for the ownership of arms but NOT ammunition - the Founding Fathers were highly educated and very specific in their use of language, and arms and amuunition are two separate things - if you have any military knowledge you should be especially cognizant of this fact. This separation or terms is also significant considering that at the time the Constitution was written, the vast majority of ammunition was kept in central storehouses.

So if you _don't_ feel that the 2nd Am. allows any private citizen to own chemical, nuclear biological weapons, or that it _does_ allow private citizens to own ammunition, then you must logically also concede and believe that
it was indeed written for another time.

On gun control in other societies:

Some of the countries in Western Europe (which, contrary to conservative claims, are individually as multicultural and democratic as the US, if not more so, which voids that argument) and around the world have done away with guns and are less violent as a result; others allow even more access to guns (for example, Sweden, which allows its citizens to own automatic weapons) - yet still have far less murders. so one of the things which Bowling for Columbine shows indirectly is that we as a nation
do need gun control because we are apparently not mature enough to do without it.



( Side comment on window sticker

"Nothing on this property is worth dying for"

If your property is not worth a life to obtain, then that would logically mean that it is not worth a life to defend, whether it was your life or someone else's...so what the sticker is really saying is, I WON'T kill you if you try to take it...the opposite of what the writer intended.)

On winning wars, and who did it:

WWI : It has nothing to do with the entry of the US into the war. Germany was winning, had everything they wanted already and was willing to end hostilities; US Pres. Wilson, amazingly, somehow persuaded the German signatory to the Treaty of Versailles that signing it would be the best thing for Germany...which of course it wasn't: it's provisions led directly to the rise of Hitler and to WWII;
WWII: US troops fought the very worst of the German army - young boys and old men, and it still took them years to beat them. Hitler expended nearly all of his best troops fighting the Soviets, who were the ones who really won the war in Europe;
Cold War: Remember that the US actually started this one in order to try and eliminate the perceived threat of the Soviet Union. The USSR simply responded to US threats Had the CW actually been about who could do the most good, there would have been a Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe (or any kind of aid at all, really), but the US govt did not feel it could make a huge profit as it did with the MP for Western Europe (which incidentally is why it 'forgave' European debts - not only would it make the US look good and create - with the right PR spin - the appearance of an 'ethical debt, it had already made the money back many times over via the MP).
The Soviets were struggling to rapidly convert from a rural agrarian aristocratic society into an urban industrial socialist one - and keep their people fed, housed and clothed in the process - but were forced to build up militarily in response to the US intent to blast them off the map. We now know two damning facts: one, that the arms race was started by competition between US arms manufacturers, and two, that the Soviet govt was being funded by US banks. This last is particularly significant, for it is no coincidence that the Soviet govt collapsed only after the enaction of major conservative legislation - i.e. conservative Republicans no longer needed the USSR in order to get done what they needed to get done, and so the banks withdrew their support and in so doing collapsed its economy.

So let's not have all this talk about how the US 'saved' Europe or whatever. The US has not only never fought an enemy of equal strength in a fair fight, it has in fact lost to inferior enemies on numerous occasions (it even lost to Canada 4 times!); even in the American Revolution, the colonists used guerilla tactics, and when there were formal battles, half the troops on their side were French (by the fifth year of the war, this rose to 4 out of 5).

Comments made about the US contributions to medicine, the arts, etc, and the US economy:

Medicine: US medicine is the most expensive in the world, yet Americans have the poorest health (highest incidence of disease) of any industrialized nation - in fact a higher incidence of cancers, and diseases of the kidney, bladder, liver, and reproductive systems than any other nation. Figures complied from the Journal of the American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine, and other US medical publications indicate that in the US, medical doctors, hospitals, and drugs are the #1 cause of death, in fact are responsible for more deaths than all other factors combined. So much for a contribution;
Arts: Nearly all these contributions come from groups which are disaffected from the culture; further, the US supports the arts less than any major culture in the last 5000 years. So much for the arts being a true result of the culture;.
Economy: Since wealth has to be based on something tangible, it cannot really be created, only redistributed and/or used more efficiently (the most recent proof of this is the dot com bust of 2000). So where do you think the US gets its wealth? Hint: It uses 30% (and rising) of the world's resources but has only 4.5% (and falling) or the world's population. (On a side note, I've spoken to or heard the words or read the writings of a number of former Soviet citizens now living in the US, and one thing they all have said (in way or another) is"I never saw anyone starving until I came to America". So if the US ecomony is so great, how come it can't feed 1 in 5 of its people, whereas the Soviet economy (which supposedly was so bad) managed to feed everyone?)
As for European nations 'needing' to band togeher to compete against the US economy: this statement
was made in ignorance of the fact that $7 trillion of the $10.8 trillion invested in the US economy is from foreign investors (so how much
is the US economy really the "US" economy?) and also the fact that the EU was formed in large part to provide a hedge against the vagaries, and/or possible collapse of, the US economy (the EU is forming its own military for similar reasons).

Sergei Rostov

p.s. Note here that I won't be coming back to this discussion, so don't interpret my silence as any sort of concession or inability to answer arguments :) I simply don't have the time. (Not that it would do any good if I did - I've challenged conservatives to free and fair debate many a time, and they either back down, are reduced to ad homimen attacks, or get slaughtered (in the debating sense :)) repeatedly, which is boring and too easy for me, and downright embarrassing for them. :)

FantasticElastic

Sergei Rostov:
CDC NCHS data for the year 2000:
Firearms - 28,663 deaths including 16,586 suicides, 10,801 homicides, and 776 accidental.
Vehicles - 43,354 accidental deaths.

Census population of the 50 states for the year 2000:
281,421,906

42% of Americans have a firearm in their home (Gallup poll April 2000):
Access, not ownership, determines who may use a firearm, therefore the verity of such numbers would be preferable for establishing rates.

76.7 million Americans own a firearm (John Lott, analysis of 1996 Voter News Service poll):
When this same percentage (28.9) is applied to the 2000 population, the number of gun owners is 81,365,827.

190,625,023 licensed drivers (U.S. DOT 2000).

The accidental death rate for drivers (22.74/100k) is nearly 24 times higher than that of gun owners (.95/100k).


"Studies have found that approximately 75% of murderers have adult criminal records, and that murderers average a prior adult criminal career of six years, including four major adult felony arrests. These studies also found that when the murder occurred "[a]bout 11% of murder arrestees [were] actually on pre-trial release"--that is, they were awaiting trial for another offense."
-Don Kates, 1994 (more info at link)

Murders are committed by a majority of individuals prohibited from owning firearms. You failed to consider the significantly lower crime rates of Texas' CCW users.


The 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights to prevent the federal government from infringing on an individual's right to bear arms, which would necessarily affect a state's militia. Each state made varying arrangements for storing of ammunition and/or arms for the militia. Citizens were by no means restricted to only these supplies, and maintained their own weapons and ammunition, sometimes by requirement of local law.

Weapons of mass destruction can be prohibited from private ownership because rights are not absolute. Your caviling over the definition of arms has been addressed by the courts:

"...the term "arms," in its most comprehensive signification, probably includes every description of weapon or thing which may be used offensively or defensively, and in the most restricted sense, includes guns or firearms of every description, as well as powder, lead and flints, and such other things as are necessarily used in loading and discharging them, so as to render them effective as instruments of offense or defense, and without which their efficiency for these purposes would be greatly diminished, if not destroyed."
-Chief Justice Ringo, State v. Buzzard, 1842

Should we allow the right to bear arms but ban ammunition, allow free speech but dictate what people can say, allow the protections of the 4th Amendment but accept surveillance of an individual's daily life? no, the Constitution is not a mass of words made to be stripped of their effect by ideologues.

"On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the one in which it was passed."
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, 1823

We are far from stare decisis on 2nd Amendment meaning. The most recent U.S. district court decision in which it was involved -- U.S. v. Emerson, 1999 -- found in favor of individual rights, "...the Second Amendment clearly declares a substantive right to bear arms recognized in the people of the United States."

In a free society abuse of rights is inevitable and dealt with by the law in a manner that places no prior restraint on their exercise. The government does not function as a parent to violate or accept certain rights based on the "maturity" of the people.

Jaejae

I loved this film and it isn't really to me so much about gun control as the amount of violence in our society. Yet another reason why I am leaving this country asap. :P

Paul

Guns are around for a reason, To kill thinks, Keep shotguns, and standard hunting rifles if u must, but handguns there is no need for, neither is there a need for Automatic rifles, The army and the likes may need them but they should never be sold in ordinary shops. Come on its the strategy that if everyone has a gun everyone is safe is the reason why there are so many crimes

Rob

You want to know what a society without guns is like? Look at Iraq. People thrown in jail, tortured, even killed for petty "crimes" such as worshiping too much. When you let the gov. control everything, that's when the world goes to shit. Gov has its place. It is supposed to be "for the people, by the people" not dictate everything they can and cannot do. If it were up to some of those nutcases in Congress, we wouldn't even have any video games besides stuff like Barney's Adventures in Love Ranch or some crap. Just think of how your parents may not understand certain technology and shun it. My dad thinks it's too hard to put the VCR on AV1 and push the tv/vcr button to watch a dvd so he doesn't do it. If we leave the world up to those who feel scared and confused, we damn ourselves to live impoverished, oppressed and all around fucked up. But back to my main point. Guns do more good than harm. How do you think you would protect yourself against someone with a gun? Sure as hell not with a knife or a spork.
P.S. Michael Moore is a putz. It's our troops that defend the right for him to be a moron. I'd like to see how well he fares in a place where this brand of stupidity isn't tollerated.

Ran

Ugh... For some reason some of you people think that because you do not have a gun, you have no rights. Jesus Christ, like you would stand a freaking chance against the military even if you had your god damned handguns. The right to bear arms is not what is keeping Americans citizens free from government oppression.

Probably the easiest way for a criminal to get a gun would be to ask someone who can legally buy one to get them one. If you make the sale of guns illegal criminals would have a much harder time getting them.

Ben

Just to clarify the main article, Trey Parker did not go to Columbine High School. He lived in the Littleton area, and knew kids from the school (at the time that he attended). Michael Moore isn't really trying to say that its the guns that are the problem. Anyone who sees it as that just wanted to defend their own arguments. The point is that we're excessively violent and fearful. We are so fearful that it stops us from making rational decisions. Selling arms and training terrorists who eventually strike back. Limiting civil liberties. Trying to keep poor people busy with shit jobs. The list goes on. This film tries to get at the american condition.

jinjo

I'm from Australia, our culture doesn't rely on guns and we've still got plenty of rights :) And our government quite rightly respects peoples right of protest and allows permits for them (many demonstrations during war on iraq.)

Australians love it when americans wax lyrical about their guns and protecting them against the big bad ever-present criminal. I also find it hard to believe you will ever take up arms against an unjust government as the patriotism that covers so much of american culture rules that out. Just look at the war in iraq, it's hillarious to watch anti-war protesters get told that they are traitors and that the fact that they have the freedom to protest is the reason why they shouldn't :).

America is a good laugh, we hope you pull through though because you're generally nice people.

p.s. I use my right as a free citizen to not go back through my post and check for spelling and grammatical errors...

p.p.s. Yes i have been chosen by the people of australia to represent what they think is funny so don't even question me or i'll set a kangaroo on you Seriously though they are in plague proportions down here, you can have as many as you can carry.

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