Reality vs. Gun Control Ideas

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I brought this up just to show how the real world can affect some of the not-so-bright ideas offered by some. It speaks to the one of the ideas for "smart guns", as seen by a sheriff's deputy.

    "*Paging the idiots pushing smartguns*

    My county uses the Identix LiveScan system for taking fingerprints from accused critters in our jail. Basically, it requires that all four fingers be placed on a scan pad and scanned into the system, then each finger is individually scanned and compared to the four-finger group.

    If the two back-to-back scans match, the system allows you to print and/or transmit a set of fingerprints.

    This is the idea behind fingerprint recognition smartgun systems. You match your prints to your prints already in the system, and the system allows you to fire the weapon.

    Okay.

    This system sits in a four-foot tall shockproof metal case, it has an entire harddrive dedicated to nothing but the scan program and we have 'round the clock technical support.

    We can't get the bloody thing to match the individual prints to the four-finger set anywhere from 50% to 80% of the time.

    Today, for two hours before the start of my eight-hour shift, and all eight hours of my shift we had to re-boot the whole system before each critter was printed.

    Print critter. Get next critter. Re-boot system. Wait five minutes for system to come back on-line. Print second critter. Get next critter. Re-boot system. Wait five minutes. Print third critter. Get fourth critter. Re-boot system...

    As far as I know, the next shift is still having to do this.

    This is the wonder technology that they want to stick in our firearms?

    It doesn't work sitting in a shock-proof metal case -- how the hell is it going to work in a recoiling .45ACP?

    The scan plates have to be meticulously cleaned with special lint-proof, non-abrasive, delicate, unobtanium pads, otherwise the plates get scratched and the machine can't read the prints reliably -- everday holster wear scrapes bluing off of guns, not to mention delicate scan pads.

    It requires an entire hard-drive worth of space to hold the program -- I don't care how high-tech a Glock is, you ain't gonna find room for a hard-drive in the grip.

    The critters' fingers damned near have to be surgeon-level clean, otherwise any oil, grease or other staining materials etch the scanning pad and confuses the machine on the next set of prints, meaning you have to pay through the sinuses for a new set of scanning pads -- and if oil left on fingers from an oil change the previous day eats into the scan pad that badly, I don't want to know what various gun care/cleaning products will do to them.

    Critter is sweating -- you know, like the sweaty palms you get in a shooting situation -- forget it. System won't reliably read the prints.

    Critter is shaking and smearing the print -- you know, like the shakes you get during an adrenaline dump -- forget it. System won't reliably read the prints.

    Bloody fingers? Hah! Forget it. And clean those plates before the blood etches them!

    When the fonging LiveScan goes into a sulk, we just swear and haul out the printers ink and the print cards. An 80% failure rate isn't a big deal, it's just inconvienent as all get out.

    On a handgun, an 80% fail rate is a very big deal.

    Why the hell does anyone think this sort of thing is a good idea on a handgun?

    LawDog"

    I mostly brought this up for general information as folks run across various "reasonable" ideas for "reasonable" gun control.

    FWIW, 'Rat
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #2
    'Rat, you might want to remember where you are:D What kind of computer/processor/software was this? My guess is that it didn't have the little apple with a bite out of it logo. That's half the problem right there!

    Early guns had the nasty habit of blowing up when fired. Talk about collateral damage. As with all forms of technology there is always lag time between the invention and a useful and safe product. Just because it doesn't work well now doesn't mean that it will never work.
     
  3. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Re Apple: :D

    "Early guns had the nasty habit of blowing up when fired." Yeah, 300 years ago? And, I'd imagine there were some blowups with the advent of smokeless powder--100+ years back. Trouble is, some folks want to pass laws RIGHT NOW!

    Note that in places like Maryland and California, where laws requiring smart gun technology be mandatory by some calendar date for any new handguns to be sold in those states, law enforcement personnel are exempted.

    Legislators do not think your life is as important as a policeman's, from the standpoint of reliable self-defense...

    :), 'Rat
     
  4. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #4
    Sounds perfect to me.

    Guns that don't fire = Less sales of guns

    Less sales of guns = Less morons with the ability to shoot someone

    Less morons with the ability to shoot someone = Good Thing

    Ever seen "Bowling For Columbine"? It's not just about gun control. It asks why we seem to have such a violent society.

    The answer I got out of it was that we are a people driven by fear. We're afraid of our neighbors, locally and globally. And so we lash out at anything and everything, sometimes without cause and sometimes without thinking.

    Bottom line for me: less guns is better than more guns.

    edit: spelling
     
  5. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    "The answer I got out of it was that we are a people driven by fear."

    Then nobody ever really has to worry about any other people being gratuitously violent? No ex-husband ever stalked and beat/stabbed his ex-wife? No man ever forced his way into a woman's residence and committed rape? No guy and his date were ever accosted by a group armed with knives or clubs?

    I'm really glad I have nothing to fear...

    For the honest citizen, a gun is nothing more than a tool, a form of insurance beyond a piece of paper for which a premium is paid. And, like automobile or homeowner's insurance, the honest citizen hopes never to need it.

    The reality is that car wrecks and fires do happen, and that insurance is needed.

    Sorry, but the full house of reality will always beat the busted flush of wishful thinking.

    'Rat
     
  6. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #6
    i have given to only one cause in recent memory

    it's the fraternal order of police officers...it's for the familes of fallen police officers

    i don't actually know if the gun laws are strict enough in the usa of if the laws are fine but they are not being enforced...i have no problem with regular citizens with guns, but then one has to define regular citizen and define guns...that is where every gun control person, every nra person, and every goa person will wield a different explanation and words, fists, and bullets will fly on hair splitting definitions and honest debate

    like abortion, gun control is not ruled by two clearly drawn sides and the amazing amount of gray areas here will make this an unsolved issue for americans for generations to come

    on one end, i am a democrat, pro gun contol, and a social worker who sees the dangers of a free and loose society of guns and how it makes my job dangerous when approaching gangs when they don't have to buy illegal guns because the gun stores in town will sell to them since most of them have no criminal records, or records at all since they have fake ids and are not even us citizens

    on the other end, my father is a world war II vet and has fought for the rights we have in the usa, i am former cia and dod and i know the need for personal protection, and i know a nation without guns, even the usa, can turn into a communist entity in time and then leave the rest of us with no recourse but to follow a dictator...like the bumper sticker reads, china has gun control

    guns are truly a tough issue to debate on one side or the other and anytime i open my mouth, i am attacked from both sides since this is an issue that most people will crucify you for seeing some good points from both sides of the issue
     
  7. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #7
    Funny how you should bring up insurance as an analogue. Insurance is another scam also run by fear. But I have dropped thousands more into insurance than I have ever taken out.

    Let me ask this, who is more likely to be the safer driver, the one who is secure in the knowledge that his car will be replaced if it is totalled? Or the one who if his sole transpotation is totalled, he is SOL, not to mention in trouble with the law?

    Buying a gun to make you feel safer against the world outside does two things. First, it makes your safety dependent on the gun. If you feel safe with the gun, you will feel unsafe without it. And if you don't feel unsafe without it, then why do you need it?

    Second, it makes the gun the judge, jury and executioner of any disagreement. The person pointing the gun is always "right", right? But how about when they're not? What if the burglar has the gun? (usually not the case) Having a gun of your own does not mean there is less a likelyhood of someone being shot. Actually, the opposite is true. And is your stereo really worth someones life?

    Continuing use of the gun as a safety blanket and ultimate arbiter does nothing to answer the tough questions about the ills affecting society. If anything, it only perpetuates and compounds them.

    Rip away.
     
  8. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #8
    In Judge Dread there was a palm print recognition system on the guns. Just thought I'd throw that in.

    Also Bowling for Colombine is a great movie about how Americans love to kill each other? Why they do? don't ask me, I live in australia where we don't have a cowboy running the country.
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    good question.

    it's in our culture to use violence as a means to an end.

    i'd say it's some combination of: education problems, lack of gun control, media portrayal, bellicose foreign policy, class problems, lack of cultural homogeny, etc.
     
  10. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    manitoubalck, one of the reasons I originated this thread is that people seem to think that what's in a movie is real. The Judge Dread deal is a good example, I'd imagine; probably there are some folks out there who think that palm-ID is easy.

    The thing to remember about Columbine is that it was a rather rare event, given the general decline in personal discipline extant. And, given the excessive use of psychotropic drugs which is now regarded as the proper control of one's children in today's world, I'm surprised we don't have more such events.

    Delving through federal government numbers from our Center for Disease Control and from the Dept of Justice, some interesting things arise about "violent" Americans. It seems that if one omits the homicides associated with the tragedy of our ghettos, with black-on-black and drug-related crimes (turf wars over sales territory, e.g.), our homicide rate per 100,000 is in the middle of the range for Europe. By focussing on guns as a national problem, we have spent some forty or more years avoiding dealing with the causes of misuse of guns. "I'm for reasonable gun control" is a copout in lieu of admitting, "I don't have a clue about how to keep kids from becoming criminals and killing other people."
     
  11. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Thanatoast, your comments puzzle me a bit:

    "Let me ask this, who is more likely to be the safer driver, the one who is secure in the knowledge that his car will be replaced if it is totalled? Or the one who if his sole transpotation is totalled, he is SOL, not to mention in trouble with the law?"

    What does this have to do with one's decision-making about self-defense? How does it relate? I've been driving cars since 1946, and my behavior has never been a function of money or insurance. (Well, to cavil a bit, there were times I didn't push my race car to the max, for budgetary reasons. :) )

    "Buying a gun to make you feel safer against the world outside does two things. First, it makes your safety dependent on the gun. If you feel safe with the gun, you will feel unsafe without it. And if you don't feel unsafe without it, then why do you need it?"

    First of all, my safety is not dependent upon the gun. It is dependent upon things like judgement and situational awareness, with the gun as a last resort if or when the first two fail. That's the reason for my specific use of the word "insurance".

    Through the decades, I've tried to avoid places and situations where I would feel unsafe without a gun. I wander around in my own patterns, generally feeling quite safe. The problem is that there are no guarantees that some Bad Guy won't take it upon himself to intrude into my arena. Again, insurance.

    Under the law of any state in the U.S., I and only I am solely responsible for the safety of my individual person. And that's a fact. Numerous courts have so held.

    :), 'Rat
     
  12. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    jefhatfield, would it be fair to characterize you as on who would oppose gun control laws which are demonstrably inefficacious as to crime, but which merely create hassles for law-abiding citizens?

    As to your example of no-record criminals buying legal firearms for criminal misuse, there are already laws on the books against that. How to reasonably enforce them? I don't know. "SStraw man" purchases are illegal, as is a sale or "gift" to somebody wherein it is reasonably known that some illegal activity is planned.

    'Rat
     
  13. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #13
    Quote: Joseph Stalin,
    One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic,

    Also my country was founded with a public vote, not a war.
     
  14. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #14
    In Aus I can't buy a fully or semi-auto rifle, or a pump action shot-gun, I need to have a gun licience to buy a fire arm of any description.

    This will never happen in the US, but after the incodent @ Port Arthur where some 35 people were shot, it was the only reasonable solution.

    Ask youself why do I need and Uzi, MPMG-60 or a Styer? Pig shooting with tracer fire to boot? I think not, remove the guns to remove the problem. But with a cowboy running your country that's not going to happen.
     
  15. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Bush has nothing to do with whether or not U.S. citizens have guns. That's a right under the 2nd and 14th amendments to our Constitution, as well as a number of federal court decisions.

    The right to self-defense against either Bad People or Bad Governments is independent of the existence of government. Governments can only deny rights through accumulated power. Governments can only grant privileges...

    Say, Jefhatfield, did you ever deal with folks at USOM/FOA? My mother worked through them in the 1950s, in the Philippines. She was involved in President Magsaysay's programs of land reform, etc., during the days of the Hukbalahap's "Communist Revolution".

    :), 'Rat
     
  16. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #16
    Here's my take, as a liberal democrat, on gun issues.

    Long guns should be sold without registrations.

    Handguns should be sold to licensed owners who have a permit and classroom/field training.

    Assault rifles? Join the military. You don't get to keep it, but you don't pay to rent it either. They'll even give you free ammo.

    Smart gun mandates are stupid. Crooks will simply find a way around the countermeaures, and locked drawers are good enough for kids.
     
  17. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #17
    I'm well aware of the amendments, but having a President who is increasing defence spending buy the day (US defence spending is larger than the Australian annual budget) can't help the matter.
     
  18. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #18
    Desertrat, my analogue was that the person with car insurance is more likely to participate in risky behavior, as is the person with the gun. Guns make people feel like they are in control of a situation when they may not be. Look at our own nation's actions for proof of that adage.

    As for judgement and situational awareness, I don't trust people's judgement on the freakin' highway, so I definitely have no confidence in the average American's ability to rationally handle a deadly weapon. Military training may mitigate this problem, but then, once a person is out of the military I would think that they would use that judgement to avoid dangerous situations in the first place.

    If you are solely responsible for your safety, ask yourself, do you feel more safe knowing that every nutter around you may have a gun?

    Concealed carry permits are especially stupid, in my opinion. If the point is too reduce crime, how will a person ward off a criminal act if the criminal doesn't know he has a gun? All these permits do is create the opportunity for mayhem. A robbery gets turned into a shootout between a firghtened criminal and a frightened victim. Open carry permits *might* make a little more sense, but I still wouldn't trust the carrier. Who needs a freakin' gun just to walk around town? Sorry if I'm sounding peevish, the gun fetish in this country annoys me sometimes. Thank you for answering my questions with considered thought and patience. :)
     
  19. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #19
    Okay, but that was right given to people during a time when you had to protect yourself from a Tyrannical King, and you had to protect your land.

    But now, although with the huge terrorist thread i agree that measures must be taken, but the individuals with guns aren't going to do the job, the only way a system like that would work is if there was marshal law, and citizens patrolled the streets, not just had a gun in the house.

    different times, different methods
     
  20. meta-ghost macrumors regular

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    #20
    the subject of the 2nd amendment fraud

    from the bradycampaign.org:

    The Second Amendment states: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The NRA tends to omit the first, crucial, half of the Second Amendment — the words referring to a "well-regulated militia.

    When the U.S. Constitution was adopted, each of the states had its own "militia" — a military force comprised of ordinary citizens serving as part-time soldiers. The militia was "well-regulated" in the sense that its members were subject to various requirements such as training, supplying their own firearms, and engaging in military exercises away from home. It was a form of compulsory military service intended to protect the fledgling nation from outside forces and from internal rebellions.

    The "militia" was not, as the gun lobby will often claim, simply another word for the populace at large. Indeed, membership in the 18th century militia was generally limited to able-bodied white males between the ages of 18 and 45 — hardly encompassing the entire population of the nation.

    The U.S. Constitution established a permanent professional army, controlled by the federal government. With the memory of King George III's troops fresh in their minds, many of the "anti-Federalists" feared a standing army as an instrument of oppression. State militias were viewed as a counterbalance to the federal army and the Second Amendment was written to prevent the federal government from disarming the state militias.

    In 1991, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger referred to the Second Amendment as "the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,' on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.. .[the NRA] ha(s) misled the American people and they, I regret to say, they have had far too much influence on the Congress of the United States than as a citizen I would like to see — and I am a gun man." Burger also wrote, "The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon...urely the Second Amendment does not remotely guarantee every person the constitutional right to have a ‘Saturday Night Special' or a machine gun without any regulation whatever. There is no support in the Constitution for the argument that federal and state governments are powerless to regulate the purchase of such firearms..."

    http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/issuebriefs/second.asp
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    i agree. mr. moore's film drove this home for me, in that canadians are just as armed as we are, but w/o nearly the homocide rate.

    i've listed what i think some of those causes are, above. the best way, imo, to attack it is to make everyone feel included in society. that means education, health care, standard of living.
     
  22. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #22
    I agree totally, Remember what the Canadian Priminister said in the movie about winning election on the promice of better education, and health services. Then it cuts to Bush at a US army base saying that Congress should continually increase spending on Defence.

    Australia and Canada are much the same, excpet we have and idiot running the country.
     
  23. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #23
    thats alright... we don't understand half the things the guy running our country says... but i think he's done a pretty good job... well there are certain issues... i think he should of supported big brother (US) in recent endeavors, but alas, we can't have everything.
     
  24. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    meta-ghost, a couple of points: First, read the preamble to the Bill of Rights, where it speaks to the purpose of that package of amendments. It speaks to restraints against abuse of power by the state.

    Question: If the goal is restraint of the central government, how can it also be restraint of the citizens?

    I'd agree that the meaning and intent of the writers of any amendment or law have no legal force. However, they do serve to show that intent. Jefferson is reportedly the primary writer of the BOR. His own writings in letters on the subject of individual arms indicate a strong belief in an individual right.

    Thanatoast, your "If the point is too reduce crime, how will a person ward off a criminal act if the criminal doesn't know he has a gun?" is a good question, but I think that experience in Florida has answered it.

    Violent crime decreased, there, after the passage of their CHL law. Interviews with known criminals showed that the uncertainty about a possible victim's being armed made the criminal less likely to attack. This was borne out after some attacks at tourist rest stops along the Interstates, where the crooks said they knew tourists were less likely to be armed. And, for a while, rental cars from airports became targeted for the same reason.

    Nationwide, in the thirty-some states with carry laws, there have been no histories of "blood in the gutters" nor gratuitous shoot-outs among the general population.

    Note that the arrest rates for any violation of any sort is much lower among CHL people than the general population. Something like two percent as much. People are more responsible than you seem to believe...

    :), 'Rat
     
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Let's get to the heart of your argument 'Rat. Do you want all gun control legislation abolished? Do you want some laws kept and others abolished? Or do you think all the laws we have are fine and that we should just stop making new ones? In your opinion, what are reasonable methods to stop guns from killing innocent people? (Not from a parental standpoint, but legislatively from a policy standpoint.)
     

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