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View Poll Results: Are you open to any form of gun control?
1. Absolutely against ANY form of gun control 56 72.73%
2. Open to sensible control laws 19 24.68%
3. For more restrictive gun control laws 2 2.60%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 14, 2014, 12:25 AM   #26
stephen426
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@Chuck Dye,

Sorry if I was a little vague regarding my response on the burden of proof. With a civil court case, "the burden of proof" lies with the plaintiff. In a criminal trial, it is always "The State" vs. the defendant and the burden of proof lies with the state. If the claim is child abuse or domestic violence, these are criminal matters.
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Old June 14, 2014, 12:25 AM   #27
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Quote:
I consider myself a good driver and my car is pretty fast. I feel that I can drive at over 100 mph and still be safe. Does that exempt me from the speed limit? Are speed limits a restriction on my individual liberties?
That's not the best of analogies; In fact, it's apples and oranges. Driving on public roads is a privilege granted to you by various governments and therefore you must abide by their "rules." Now, if you want to build a private roadway on your own private property, then you can drive 200 mph if your car will go that fast. Otherwise, their road, their rules.
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Old June 14, 2014, 12:33 AM   #28
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What part exactly of "shall not be infringed" do you not get?
Everything you mentioned in your op is a blatant infringement. So in short, no.


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Old June 14, 2014, 12:56 AM   #29
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Very strong feelings and just "knowing" things are two common symptoms of many type of craziness. Remember that, I'll be getting back to it in a moment.

I have been diagnosed with a mental illness. I am on medication to treat the mental illness. I have noticed that this often elicits very strong feelings and declarations of positions from many people.

I am an American and live in America. I have never been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor, excluding three speeding tickets spread out over twenty five years. I have never been taken into custody by the police and taken to a hospital for psychiatric treatment or evaluation (actually, I've never been into police custody at all). I have no history of domestic violence or abuse. I do not owe any child support. I have never had a judge adjudicate me as having problems with mental illness that would have me stripped of any of my rights. I have never even been in court over any issue that would deny me of any of my freedoms or property. And as I have informed the the ATF through FBI background checks before, I have never renounced my citizenship.

I have read time and time again, on this very web site, about how its common sense that the mentally ill shouldn't have guns. I've read that its really only a question of how crazy is too crazy, who should decide who is too crazy, which medications are indications that a person is too crazy and who would keep and and disseminate the lists of all the crazies.

I don't care to rant and scream about my rights. I don't care to talk of Government encroachment or power grabs. Nor do I desire to speak of about how, "yesterday they came for so and so and you didn't say any thing..." or "good men remaining silent," or other like homilies. And if you don't understand the basics of freedoms protected by the Constitution and only under which circumstances they can be legally taken from you, I don't care to debate high school civics.

I'm not here to speak about statistics concerning mental illness or violence. I don't want to get into that many doctors, of all stripes, do not care for firearms at. Nor that to the best of my knowledge, very few people commenting on this site are mental health practitioners. And to those who want to curb or just plain deny access to firearms to all civilians regardless, I have absolutely nothing to say.

But I would like to speak to those of you who think that, in America, the Government should only restrict the right to bear arms through very clearly spelled out steps of due process and that the populace must be on guard less 2A rights (or any rights) are infringed upon. I'd like to ask those of you who fall into that description a question.

Why? Exactly when did you arrive at the idea that, Constitutionally, I shouldn't have 2nd Amendment rights? What reasoning led you to this notion? Who did you discuss this with, who did you listen to? What sound, defensible, chain of ideas resulted in you moving on to an near axiomatic position, that "of course the crazy people shouldn't be allowed near firearms." Do you remember that discussion and conclusion?

No. I am almost certain that the vast majority of people who "know" this either just "feel" it or else its just plain "common sense". I would suggest to all of you in this category that you re-examine (or just plain examine) feel and what you know. I wont ask if you really feel these things, but do you really know them?

Please, I encourage you all, in most parts or your lives, to set aside strong feelings and emotions that can easily overwhelm reason. Also, as to what you know, try to determine where you either learned it or came to the idea from deduction or induction. This might sound like a cold, clinical, and uncaring way to go about dealing with such dramatic topics as people being gunned down and fear of the government attacking what is your's. But so far, just reacting to feelings, and believing things just because they make sense, well, I don't think any of us have benefited from actions taken based on those things, nor does hardly anyone seem to express satisfaction upon where we are because of the actions, or inaction taken solely because of these potions.

Well, if after reflecting on your feelings and knowledge base, if you still feel that I should lack rights that are inalienable to you and others, simply because of a medical diagnosis and prescriptions that I take, I have simply one other question for you. Is that really the sort of nation you want our great country to devolve into?
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Old June 14, 2014, 01:00 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
...always "The State" vs. the defendant and the burden of proof lies with the state.
(emphasis added)

In cases where there are accusations of abuse or mental defect the burden can effectively be shifted to the defendant, 'though that should only occur when the defendant adopt an affirmative defense (I did it but the act was justified or I am not culpable due to age or insanity,) imposing potentially devastating social and financial burdens on the defendant, win or lose. Much of what I hear and read about "sensible" gun control involving mental health smacks of a grand new tool for the enrichment of lawyers and the devastation of those accused for invalid reasons.
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Old June 14, 2014, 07:34 AM   #31
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No offense, but you are not offering any practical solutions.
Why should I? You're the one who claims that new restrictions and regulations are needed. The burden of proof is on you. Furthermore, if you think that further regulation is a solution, you really haven't done much research on the issue.

The whole notion that we are irresponsible because we won't volunteer to have our rights stripped is a cheap tactic that I've heard more than once from the gun-control lobby over the years.

Quote:
Why not offer guidance by developing USEFUL laws? Maybe the question should be IS THERE SUCH THING AS A USEFUL GUN CONTROL LAW?
Useful laws? Like prohibitions on felons owning guns? We are not enforcing the laws we currently have on the books. I know. I've directly observed that several times.

If you want things to change, let's take a better look at that.
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Old June 14, 2014, 07:54 AM   #32
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Re: mental illness, let's keep a couple of things in mind. First the vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent. Second, the mentally ill are far more likely to be the victims of violent crime than they are to commit one. Demonizing them has become a popular strategy for pro-gun people who are arguing against forms of gun control such as universal background checks, and it's both offensive and ill-advised.

It reflects badly on us to add to the stigmatization of a group of people that's already very marginalized in this society, and the idea of throwing a large group of people under the bus in order to protect "our" rights should be repugnant to us.
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Old June 14, 2014, 08:02 AM   #33
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stephen426 wrote;
Quote:
IS THERE SUCH THING AS A USEFUL GUN CONTROL LAW?
Gun control laws are the same as any other laws. To those individuals with the will to break them, they mean nothing. It is the same as a lock on a door, it only keeps honest people out.

You cannot legislate away stupidity , criminal intent, or mental or emotional illness.

If a person is unstable enough to want to kill himself, and/or others, he will find a way to do so, be it a firearm, vehicle, explosive, etc.
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Old June 14, 2014, 08:13 AM   #34
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The Second Amendment

"......shall not be infringed."

There's where my vote comes from.
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Old June 14, 2014, 08:26 AM   #35
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Until you define "sensible" its impossible to answer. Some think "Ban everything" is "reasonable".
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Old June 14, 2014, 08:50 AM   #36
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Quote:
Until you define "sensible" its impossible to answer. Some think "Ban everything" is "reasonable".
Excellent point, and why I haven't checked any option in the poll. "Sensible" has become a popular word with anti-gun folks to describe whatever new law they want to propose; after all, who wants to be "anti-sensible?"
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Old June 14, 2014, 11:58 AM   #37
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If you listen to political rhetoric, "sensible" and "common-sense" usually mean closer to "whatever I think" than "ideas with ample evidence and logical basis." They have become sound bytes to try to turn the conversation in a favorable manner, and are regularly used by both major parties to try to sway people without evidence or logic.
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Old June 14, 2014, 12:48 PM   #38
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Kirkpatrick, that was a well written and thoughtful post. And in response to some of your points, I say this,

What I "know" and "feel" as common sense I consider both right, and just. But the terms used for description of situations and individuals are often grossly overbroad, and often sloppily applied.

Mental Illness.
What is that, exactly? The definition has changed, over time, and might still yet again. It covers so much, its nearly useless other than to mean "something outside the accepted norm".

Soviet dissenters were classified as mentally ill. They were not sent to prison, they were sent to camps, for treatment.

Within living memory, in the US and many other nations, homosexuality was classified as a mental illness. And listed as such in the professional medical references.

I don't believe that is still the case, today.

People who do not have the capacity to be safe with objects, simply should not be allowed around those objects. Common sense. Where so many of us come at odds is in what it is that places one in that category.

We don't allow small children to play with matches. Why? Because they do not understand fire. Not what it is, nor what it does. We don't consider them mentally ill. An adult that doesn't understand fire should not be allowed matches, either. Many would consider the adult in that situation to be mentally ill, in some aspect, at least.

Another of the factors adding confusion to the issue is that in common usage the term "mentally ill" also covers those individuals who do understand fire, and what it does, and choose to burn things, because they want to.

There is a degree of logic to this, as many regard the choice to do evil as a mental illness. It is such a broad term today, and so widely used today, there is a very real risk to all our rights by using that term alone in discussing what should be done, or not done, allowed or disallowed, and to whom.

To narrow the focus a bit, looking at the current discussions about the "mentally ill" and rampage shootings, mentally ill, alone is not enough of a descriptor. These people are also seriously disturbed on some basic level. I leave it to the professionals to describe the details and catalog them.

To me, the reasons someone commits an act are of academic interest, only. Yes, I'm curious why, but the precise why doesn't matter, what matters is the act, and what we do about it.

Some are beating a drum, singing Mentally ill (defined who knows how?) + gun =psycho killer. We're all in horrible danger! A handful of divas have been chanting for years, anyone (not in uniform or licensed private security) + gun = psycho killer! We're all in horrible danger!

I happen to think the truth is something else.
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Old June 14, 2014, 08:22 PM   #39
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Since this can of worms has been opened, I'd like to take this opportunity to pose a question that I have often asked, and never received a plausible answer to.....When was the last time you heard of a LEGAL CRIME being committed with a gun, regardless of whether the gun was obtained legally or not? They always want to start their rhetoric about how the gun was obtained....and fail miserably to address the fact that the CRIME was ILLEGAL to start with. If I'm to be shot down in the street, I couldn't care less whether the guy stole the firearm, bought it at Walmart, or inherited it from his grandfather.
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Old June 15, 2014, 09:19 AM   #40
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@Winchster,

Read the graph you posted. It says victims aged 12 and over. Also, your graph is at lest 4 years old.

Regarding the argument "Shall not be infringed", do you truly believe that means everything goes? When the constitution was ratified in 1791, flint-lock guns were still being used. The Colt revolver wasn't even invented for another 44 years. Fast forward to modern day weapons with high capacity magazines and fully automatic weapons. The destructive force is exponentially greater than what the founding fathers probably could have ever imagined. Do you honestly believe that fully automatic weapons should be readily available to anyone? What about explosive devices? Why not make nukes available to anyone if you don't want your rights infringed upon? Oh, and what about children's rights? Should they not have the right to keep and bear arms since they are less capable of defending themselves against a full grown adult?

While I know some will argue that very few crimes are committed with automatic weapons, I would argue that is because of their relative scarcity. If Holmes or Lanza had fully automatic weapons, I can guaranty that the casualties would have been much higher.
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Old June 15, 2014, 09:25 AM   #41
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First of all, I haven't had time to read the whole thread. Nonetheless, I did read the OP, and have a few comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
. . . .I know that many people believe the anti-gun folks take an extreme position, so any concessions is a movement in the wrong direction. . . . .
Why would we believe otherwise? There's plenty of evidence out there that the endgame for the antigun movement is total disarmament.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
I believe that taking an extreme position is not only unreasonable, but counter productive (much like partisan politics). . . . .
From a constitutional rights perspective, since when is refusing to give up fundamental, individual rights "unreasonable?" And since when am I required to be "reasonable" in deciding which rights I'm willing to sacrifice?

As for it being "counterproductive," I think you have to ask "counterproductive to what?" The antis are trying to disarm the entire American public, if I can do something counterproductive to that goal, I really should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
So what types of "controls" would you, my fellow TFL members, feel is reasonable and would prevent some of the senseless tragedies that have been occurring way too frequently? I know that law abiding citizens are the only ones who will abide by gun laws and that they are not the ones perpetrating these crimes.
If you know the bolded parts above, then why are you bothering to ask? If you know that: (1) law abiding citizens are the only ones who will abide by gun laws; and (2) law abiding citizens not the ones perpetrating these crimes, but continue to ask what new controls I'd be willing to put in place, then your question boils down to, "What new restrictions would you allow to be placed on your rights for no apparent reason whatsoever?" Answer: none.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
. . . .I believe that all gun owners should be required to take some sort of gun safety class. This just seems like common sense to me. . . . .
So you'd require gov't approved training to exercise a fundamental Constitutional right? Would you also require a civics and patriotism classes before allowing one to write letters to the editor of the local newspaper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
. . . .I know that gun registration is a highly volatile topic, but how can the police prove that a gun is stolen if it isn't registered? . . . .
Umm, by putting the actual owner on the stand to testify, "In 2012, I bought a Kimber XYZ, serial number 12345, which was stolen from my house on Thanksgiving Day of 2013. Looking at the Defendant's gun, I see that it looks exactly like the one that was stolen from my house, and bears the same serial number." It's really not that complicated..

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
. . . . While many may see any sort of registration as an potential gun grab, it is also a form of accountability. After all, we are required to register our cars and boats.
Cars and boats are not constitutionally protected. Arms are. Further, while mass public shootings are hot-topic items in the news, emotional impact tends to be a pretty terrible way to assign who gets what rights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426
. . . . I believe that offering practical, well-thought-out solutions will strengthen our rights and prevent useless anti-gun legislation.
So you'll propose some anti-gun legislation to prevent worse anti-gun legislation. I'm pretty sure that's called "appeasement."

No, thank you.
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Old June 15, 2014, 09:33 AM   #42
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@KirkPatrick,

Thank you for your well thought out response. While I don't know you personally, your response indicates that you are quite functional and that you are not a raving lunatic hell bent on destruction.

I am not saying that you should have your Second Amendment rights stripped and that you should not have the right to defend yourself. In fact, I believe that your first hand knowledge makes you much more informed than me when it comes to who should and who should not be allowed to purchase weapons.

I'm pretty sure that you would agree that Holmes (Aurora, CO) and Cho (VA Tech) should not have been allowed to simply walk into a gun store and buy guns. Maybe you might disagree and say that we only knew they were crazy in retrospect, after their actions. Does that mean we should just accept things they way they are and that mass shootings are just a part of life?

I know there are plenty of mentally ill people that are non-violent. I know that there are also plenty of people that take anti-depressants without any problems at all. I DO believe that there needs to be more over-sight to ensure that the wrong people are not given unrestricted access to firearms.
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Old June 15, 2014, 09:54 AM   #43
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@Tom Servo,

Quote:
You're the one who claims that new restrictions and regulations are needed. The burden of proof is on you. Furthermore, if you think that further regulation is a solution, you really haven't done much research on the issue.
I'm sorry Tom, but if the spat of recent mass shootings is not enough proof for you, I don't know what would suffice.

Quote:
The whole notion that we are irresponsible because we won't volunteer to have our rights stripped is a cheap tactic that I've heard more than once from the gun-control lobby over the years.
I am not the anti-gun lobby. Do you feel that mass shootings are the norm and that we are powerless to prevent or reduce them? Maybe that should have been the question since the term "gun control" has everyone's hackles up. I believe as responsible, law-abiding gun owners, our voices need to be heard. We now have a serious united front against us with a LOT of money backing it. I don't think we can simply ignore it.

Quote:
We are not enforcing the laws we currently have on the books. I know. I've directly observed that several times.

If you want things to change, let's take a better look at that.
What gun laws do you not see being enforced? What are we doing to ensure those laws are being enforced? There are laws that I believe are practically unenforceable. Ensuring that guns are properly and securely stored would have certainly prevented Lanza from gaining access to his mother's guns. I believe secured guns would have prevented Columbine as well. How many children bring guns to school and accidentally shoot other children because of unsecured guns? The problem is that police cannot go from home to home and ensure guns are securely stored. Punishing parents after the fact does not bring back anyone's kid from the grave.
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Old June 15, 2014, 09:58 AM   #44
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@wogpotter, Vanya, AND Ramius,

The term "sensible" to the anti-gun crowd may be to ban everything, but let's not get caught up on semantics here. Can we, as TFL members (and gun enthusiasts), think of anything that will PREVENT OR REDUCE MASS SHOOTINGS, WITHOUT GIVING UP OUR RIGHTS TO BASIC SELF DEFENSE)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramius
If you listen to political rhetoric, "sensible" and "common-sense" usually mean closer to "whatever I think" than "ideas with ample evidence and logical basis." They have become sound bytes to try to turn the conversation in a favorable manner, and are regularly used by both major parties to try to sway people without evidence or logic.
I am not trying to pass legislation based on "what I think" nor am I trying to reduce my OWN rights to self defense. I hope there is something that can be done to reduce these mass shootings and that we can be part of the solution.
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Old June 15, 2014, 10:09 AM   #45
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The sensible way to reduce the harm of mass shootings is to have competent people with firearms at the scene.

Thus, school carry bans must go.

Those who choose to carry should train up to a reasonable standard. I'm not saying this should be mandated but it is your moral obligation. I'm ok with the schools paying for or teaming with the law to train those who have permits or licenses.

This may be repetitious:

1. Sensible and CAPS are hallmarks of a moral panic that something must be done.

2. There professional reviews are crystal clear that we have no way of predicting violence from the 'normal' or mentally ill except in very limited circumstances. These seem to be clear histories of violence and the pairing of explicit threats along with a hidden arsenal. The latter is hard to detect, the former depends on folks sharing their suspicions.

3. Do suspicions lead to seizure without due process - it shouldn't.

Folks who don't have a technical knowledge of mental illness are subject to cliches and overestimating the techniques that can predict violence. They really don't have handle on risk.

I mentioned on THR that diabetes can cause psychological disturbances. You can see irrational behavior and violence. Thus, should the millions of diabetics be banned? Huh?

So for every Lanza or Holmes - you would get thousands and thousands of false positives.

A teacher at Sandy Hook herded her charges into the restroom and covered them with her body (or so I read). They were all killed. Perhaps, it would have been better if she had shot Lanza coming through the door.
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Old June 15, 2014, 10:13 AM   #46
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@born2climb,

Quote:
Since this can of worms has been opened, I'd like to take this opportunity to pose a question that I have often asked, and never received a plausible answer to.....When was the last time you heard of a LEGAL CRIME being committed with a gun, regardless of whether the gun was obtained legally or not? They always want to start their rhetoric about how the gun was obtained....and fail miserably to address the fact that the CRIME was ILLEGAL to start with. If I'm to be shot down in the street, I couldn't care less whether the guy stole the firearm, bought it at Walmart, or inherited it from his grandfather.
I am not talking about the common criminal here. I have done research on where criminals typically obtain their firearms and I know that the vast majority is NOT through legal channels.

While I tend to dismiss much of the liberal media as biased rubbish, they claim that more than 75% of guns used in mass shootings were legally obtained. If you guys can find proof otherwise, I would love to see it.
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Old June 15, 2014, 10:34 AM   #47
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Either you believe in the absoluteness of the 2nd Amendment as intended by the Founding Fathers or you are already well on your way down that slippery slope that will eventually lead to gun registration and confiscation.

I'm a Strict Constitutionalist. As such, I believe that EVERY gun "law" that came after the 2nd Amendment is blatantly unconstitutional since they violate the "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" clause. Maybe there are some people that I might prefer not be armed, but I will support their RIGHT to be, regardless of my personal distaste for that person, their history, or lifestyle.

Repeal NFA34... Repeal GCA68... That would be a good start...

The ATF is an unconstitutional branch of the government since their sole purpose is to INFRINGE upon our constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms.
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Old June 15, 2014, 10:39 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426 View Post
@Winchster,

Read the graph you posted. It says victims aged 12 and over. Also, your graph is at lest 4 years old.
That may well be true but show me where it matters. The truth is violent crime is going down with regard to guns.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426 View Post

Regarding the argument "Shall not be infringed", do you truly believe that means everything goes? When the constitution was ratified in 1791, flint-lock guns were still being used. The Colt revolver wasn't even invented for another 44 years. Fast forward to modern day weapons with high capacity magazines and fully automatic weapons. The destructive force is exponentially greater than what the founding fathers probably could have ever imagined. Do you honestly believe that fully automatic weapons should be readily available to anyone? What about explosive devices? Why not make nukes available to anyone if you don't want your rights infringed upon?
In short, yes. I believe they meant what they said when they used the words shall not.
Just as I believe they meant what they said in the first. "Congress shall make no law"
Well I can guarantee they didn't envision the Internet, so by your logic you have no right to free speech here. Nor any other right guaranteed by the constitution anywhere you are using our being affected by computers, modem electronics, transportation, etc. etc.



Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen426 View Post
Oh, and what about children's rights? Should they not have the right to keep and bear arms since they are less capable of defending themselves against a full grown adult?
Children have the right to be protected, thus the reason for removing the ludicrous gun free zone crap we have now.
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Old June 15, 2014, 11:06 AM   #49
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By the way, Happy Father's Day to all the dads! I've got to go do some stuff with the family so I guess more debating later. Thank you guys for keeping this civil and for the (mostly) well thought out responses.

My purpose for this thread is not to "appease" the anti-gun lobby. I believe that the mass shootings should NOT be the norm and that we are NOT POWERLESS to reduce them. I know prevention may well be impossible, but a significant reduction would be a great start.
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Old June 15, 2014, 11:12 AM   #50
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The problem isn't necessarily with criminals. The problem is when a law abiding gun owner decides to use his gun(s) to commit criminal acts.

There is no law, no mechanism to prevent that.
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