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Author Topic: Gun control or not  (Read 625 times)

James

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Gun control or not
« on: June 16, 2016, 07:08:51 AM »

The shooting in Orlando upsets me. It upsets me because it was a terrible loss of life and a blow to the already long-suffering LGBTQ community. I'm also upset that in the wake of yet another mass shooting, we can't help but have the same discussion we always do... this back and forth argument over gun control that goes nowhere and changes nothing. It is so f**king tiring. Something has to be done. Aside from the delusional, we all know there is something wrong and that something needs to be done. But nothing will be done. Nothing will change. We'll just keep asking ourselves why this keeps happening every time it does.
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Aurian

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Re: Gun control or not
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 08:28:03 AM »

I feel that gun control isn't going to change anything. Because the people doing the shootings don't care if their gun is legal.
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Edhelur

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Re: Gun control or not
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2016, 10:39:41 PM »

I think there needs to be some kind of change -- and I think most of us agree that there is a problem, but there is no agreement as to its solution, and many have lost hope that there is a solution. As I see it, most of the large scale initiatives haven't got a snowball's chance in hell. We're not about to pass a 28th Amendment to remand the 2nd. And I don't see guns, or access to them, as the root problem. I'm afraid that being outraged allows us to ignore the deeper roots (dysfunctional definitions of masculinity; insufficient mental health support and treatment options for everyone, including the poor and veterans; a culture of punishment rather than rehabilitation; and many more). I think the solution will consist of smaller measures that buy us time. We (the generic 'we', here) can't and won't get rid of Americans' guns. It is, however, possible to make it somewhat more difficult to buy guns. I don't buy the "they'll find a way" argument -- yes, some will, but having a deterrent or a wait time, so there are fewer mass shootings is better than no change at all. Maybe it will be state level initiatives... I mean, that's on its way to working in the anti-abortionist movement. (I'm not going to get started on that).

I am angry, and sad, that 'thoughts and prayers' are considered sufficient, by some. But I'm afraid that if we buy ourselves time, we will once again lose momentum to address those deeper issues. I'm afraid that if we get fixes, they will be band-aids on sprained ankles.

I am angry, and sad, that this tragedy happened right on the heels of the Stanford rapist's sentencing, which was horrifying and insulting on a deep level to myself and many of my friends. It has had a confusing effect, rather than cumulative; it's overwhelming.

On the other hand, I can always retreat to the nihilist's self-protective position. We're all gonna die. Some of us are gonna die violently, in places we thought were safe. Many of us are gonna get raped. Best just get on with things. There're too many humans on the planet anyway.

< / thread derail, or at least my contributions to it >

On the positive side, I've got two job interviews lined up to teach English in Morocco next fall. On the negative side, my temp job ended a week earlier than predicted. I'll figure something out.

Also, I have forgotten to eat yet and it's 2:45pm here. *toddles off to fix that problem*
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 10:43:16 PM by Edhelur »
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Darkon

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Re: Gun control or not
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 10:14:41 AM »

Seeing as this may be more of a discussion for its own thread, I have spliced this off the (un) happy thread. Edh, feel free to repost your last few lines there, I can't split individual posts. You will have to do that for me.

That said, I am aware this is a sensitive topic and you may find American members here who are either anti or pro-guns. Please be kind to each other, you have differences over this issue but still like each other. (Opposing views doesn't mean that another becomes an enemy. As is sadly often the case these days.)

To our reading guests, I will delete every post of every member that signed up after this thread creation. This topic is hereby off limits to these members. Feel free to have wonderful discussions on SFF, but I don't want to see you in this thread. It may be a small chance that it happens but hereby this discussion has been protected from being overrun by factions prowling the net to disturb discussion. Don't think that if we can't keep up with moderating, we can't do anything. Because we can and we will.

Last but most importantly,  please read the rules of the forum and report anything you have problems with to the moderators.

Don't reply in emotion, don't flame.

 When the discussion dies down for over a month and /or the thread reaches 100 pages, the thread will be reset.

Capice? ;)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 10:16:38 AM by Darkon »
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Edhelur

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Re: Gun control or not
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 06:35:24 PM »

Question for Darkon: Have you actually had to delete trolls from this thread? I mean, maybe if we want attention, we should start hosting some more inflammatory discussions: "Pro Life or Pro Choice," "Aryans Inferior?".... Link 'em as "sources" on other sites, see who follows us through the wormhole.

That could be fun.

It would also be a pain in the butt. For some people.

Hm. :D
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"They had tried to reach their living fellows in fabled depths of blackness they had never seen - and what had they found? ... We looked and understood what must have triumphed and survived down there in the Cyclopean water city of that nighted, penguin-fringed abyss..."

Darkon

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Re: Gun control or not
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 09:15:52 PM »

We are not a general discussion forum in the political debate spectrum, so we don't want to advertise with such threads.

Personally, I do not think that a forum will dwell better when members have heated discussions on IRL issues. (Unless that was that forums specific purpose.) As drama is destructive and serves no end apart from tearing a community apart. However, everyone who is still here, has known each other for a long, long time. So, that gives room for more serious discussions. It is why I don't mind that it's discussed in JC.

I do not expect trolls to flock to this thread, but this is still the internet and it is a possibility. Better this way to warn ahead than take action first and then do the explaining.

Back on topic please!

In regards to the gun control or not, I get that in some states in the USA where you live in the middle of nowhere with dangerous animals or there's no law enforcement, you want a gun to protect yourself from wild animals or crazy people. In the historical perspective of the USA, it also makes sense, seeing the majority of the land that is the USA today was not owned by the USA, and in fact was wild, scary and lacking law.

That said, I see no reason why ordinary people should be carrying guns, let alone semi-automatic ones also known as assault rifles. In the Netherlands, ordinary citizens do not carry weapons, especially not guns. If you have a gun, you are either a professional police officer, a professional soldier on duty, a person with a crazy hobby who wields it only at a shooting gallery, or a criminal. I do not feel less safe, and I do not feel less afraid because I do not have a gun. I do not believe guns or more guns make society safer, seeing as the school shootings you have in the USA, are alien to us. The idea alone of a shooting on a school is absurd. The biggest things that happened here was one kid knifing another a couple of years ago, which is rare and a big thing, and one lunatic who was a member of a shooting club taking out his guns to shoot people at a supermarket. Which was an even bigger thing that shocked the nation.

That is where I come from, and that is how I feel about guns. I think everyone will be better off without them. Weapons don't make the world a better place. However, if you're on Svalbard and you're in danger of being eaten by a polarbear, I understand you need a gun. It makes perfect sense. If you live in Alaska with the next police station 100 km away, where there's only two guys and a Lassie, needing a gun makes perfect sense. In all other cases I see no (practical) need for one.

I think though that the underlying problem in the USA is fear. Fear for the federal government, fear for socialists, fear for communists, fear of God, fear of Allah, fear of Jahwe, fear of other countries, fear of immigrants, fear of people with a skincolour unlike your own, fear of the police, fear of having not enough money to eat, fear of not having enough money to pay your (health) bills, etc. etc. And in case of the gun control issue, also a fear of criminals, terrorists, robbery, rapists and all other scary criminal things in life that are somewhere out there.

Sometimes in certain city blocks crime goes down but people feel less safe. And when crime goes up people feel more safe. Much to the frustration of civil servants here. A large psychological component seems to play a role. In other words, safety is in-between your ears.

Insurance companies tell you that if you buy an insurance, you will pay to cover risk and this will make you a little less afraid and insecure. In turn the NRA tells people that if they buy a gun, then they don't have to be afraid anymore.

Less guns and more gun control or even no guns will start with taking down the fear inside the fearful citizens of the USA. A hell of a task.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 09:18:00 PM by Darkon »
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Edhelur

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Re: Gun control or not
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2016, 08:03:37 AM »

I just like teasing you, Darkon.

Also, I think that it's difficult to have this kind of discussion in a board like this for precisely the reasons you cited. We've known each other for a long long time, and we will find it difficult to face a controversial issue. You never, ever, ever discuss politics or religion over a holiday dinner table, after all. (Is there one other in that saying that I forgot?).

Besides, as James put it, we're tired of "this back and forth argument over gun control that goes nowhere and changes nothing".

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< on topic >
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I think it's easy to talk about fear, and harder to talk about where fear comes from. Some (including my sister) will say it comes from corporate propaganda. I personally have a lot of difficulty believing in lines of logic that eventually go to a "They". "They want us to believe," "it profits them," etc. It's true that there are entities that benefit from the circular debate, but I worry that "they" is a logical cop-out, not an effective call out. (It's not like "they" are about to fess up and face off with some champion of the people in single combat).

I won't deny that fear plays a major role in this resistance to change, because this WOULD be a change. Many of us have guns, grew up around guns, feel safe around guns (even if they're statistically and demonstrably dangerous). My father keeps hunting rifles in a safe in the garage; I had a partner for a while who carried a concealed weapon, but was polite enough to be circumspect around me, and I only once saw the gun out in his room, and he apologized and locked it away quite quickly. I personally am afraid of guns, and I am afraid of many people who carry them. Once I was working as a writing tutor, and was helping a student with a (frankly poorly argued) essay against gun control; he let on that he had a handgun in his backpack. He didn't say anything threatening, but I didn't feel as comfortable as I normally would pointing out flaws in his logic, and I ended the appointment early. Normally I would have put myself in a position of counter arguing and asking "How could you convince me?" but... his talking points were so rote, so uncritical... and I was slightly on edge.

I think it's another instance where the internet has allowed us to listen to our echo chambers of choice. Our political process has become so terribly partisan, as politicians represent their constituencies, who listen to media that plays up what we want to hear. Fortunately or not, the bipartisan system and inherent checks and balances have the whole system pretty well checkmated, balanced on a sharp edge. In a way, the Supreme Court is currently in the best position of any branch of government to change anything, with so few members and no option for a hung jury, but they have to wait for a case to come to them.

And now I'm wondering if my rhetorical "we" is just as bad as my enemy, the rhetorical "they".

Also, I'm tired and this is poorly written. I may add more later.

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Out of curiosity, what do our international members know about American politics, and where did y'all learn it? I realized I was using terms and ideas from high school history/civics/government class and I'm not sure if all of my audience of 10 readers will understand: 'checks and balances,' 'hung jury,' why the Supreme Court exists, etc etc etc. I'm happy to clarify if that would be helpful.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 08:10:33 AM by Edhelur »
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James

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Re: Gun control or not
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 06:59:54 AM »

I don't really want to discuss this because it has been discussed to death. A few points I'll drop in here though:

-- I am not against guns. I have owned a gun in the past and will not put aside the notion of owning one again in the future.
-- Part of the problem is that a significant portion of our population defines gun control as the government is coming to take my guns away.
-- People do have a right to own guns, but there should absolutely be reasonable limits.
   -- For instance, you do not need a high capacity magazine for your rifle or pistol.
   -- You do not need a rifle designed for military use to hunt or protect your home.
     -- I do accept that one might use it for sport. In that case, however, I see no reason for it to ever leave the firing range, except for transportation to another firing range.
-- If we are going to suggest that this is a mental health issue--and it is definitely part of the issue--then we need to stop saying that we need to do something about it and actually do something about it. Mental health evaluations need to be a part of the gun buying process and needs to continue to be part of the ownership process annually afterwards.
  -- Further, if there is a member of your household with mental health issues, I believe that should also disqualify you from owning a gun. Granted, trying to implement something like that would make people lose their shit. That said, if you have someone in your home who may potentially harm themselves and others, I think it an easy personal decision to not have access to guns around those individuals.
    -- I don't believe gun safes are enough. There is always room for mishaps.
-- Making guns harder to get for regular individuals will not prevent people from obtaining them illegally. The thing about that situation though is that making guns harder to get will also drive up the price of illegal arms, making it cost prohibitive.

-- You can't say that implementing gun control regulations will do nothing to curb the gun violence and mass shootings in this country without actually trying it first. You are not a prophet.

I could probably go on and on, but I have been here for an hour and I have work in four, so I'm out.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 07:05:31 AM by James »
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