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Thread: The Spiral of Violence - Page 103







Post#2551 at 02-01-2011 04:15 PM by RyanJH [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 291]
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Quote Originally Posted by Xer H View Post
Great. Here are my questions. Of course, any Boomer can weigh in. The more the merrier!

1. When did you first identify with one party or another (i.e., what age or political event motivated you)?

2. Have you noticed any differences in what the parties "stand for" over time? If so, did it ever lead you to question your affiliation or loyalty?

3. What "drives" your party loyalty now? Is it a perception of differences in ideology, in actual legislation, in overall outlook for the country's future? Some mix or prioritization of these? Something else?

Looking forward to some insight. As an Xer whose earliest political memory was my mother putting me in front of a television and telling me, "Watch this. This will be important someday." (to Nixon's resignation speech), I guess I've always had an equal like/dislike of the parties themselves. I've seen the GOP transition from Nixon to Reagan to Bush/Cheney. I've seen the Democratic Party transition from Carter to Clinton to Obama. I feel no allegiance to either. So I'd really like to understand how that's developed for the Boomer generation, because it does seem to be a fairly common trait among Boomers.
Great questions - I am also curious and like Xer H have no allegiance to either party. I am often taken aback by what appears to be loyalty to a position derived from loyalty to a party despite increasing evidence that the position is failing/wrong. This occurs on both sides of the aisle and frankly, I have started to wonder if we get it "right" by luck more than design.
Ryan Heilman '68
-Math is the beginning of wisdom.







Post#2552 at 02-01-2011 04:22 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Copperfield View Post
Ahhh and there's the rub. If the country passed a repeal of the first amendment what would you do? Would you abide by it? Would you take that big red, white and blue dick in the kietser? Would you keep your mouth shut?

You have just touched on "the law" vs. "what is right." Please tell me, what does a child-of-the-60's hippy turned authoritarian know about the difference between the two?
The law is what the people through their representatives and the courts in our system of checks and balances have decided is the law according to our best understanding of what is right.

I'm authoritarian in the sense that those who want to unfairly impose their authority on others (by shooting them literally or economically) need to be restrained by law, according to the people's decision as rendered above. What I or others want may not always be what the law is. It comes about as a result of the democratic process.

I don't think my opinion on this has changed much since the 60s, although then I entertained utopian ideas that, if peoples' consciousness and love are raised high enough, then we could do without government. That may still be true someday, but I'm less inclined to think so, or that it will happen in my lifetime or yours. We still need methods of organizing and making collective decisions.

I was thinking about this yesterday. Government is not necessarily "authority" or "the upper class;" at its best at least, it is people deciding to agree on something and to carry it out. For example, we decide that CFCs are destroying the ozone layer, so we agree they won't be produced anymore, and this becomes the law. Then the ozone hole goes away because we agreed to do this. And so with regulations such as minimum wage, child labor, social security, etc. and projects to go to the Moon, build highways and railroads, etc.

This is what we need to do in regard to global warming and reducing CO2 emissions. And it what we need to do in regard to controlling guns, and controlling who is entitled to do what with what kind of gun. But I don't think a total gun ban can be imposed until, by persuasion and awakening, a strong consensus of Americans finally decides that life is more valuable than hunting, and that self-defense can be carried out in other ways.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 02-01-2011 at 04:54 PM.
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Post#2553 at 02-01-2011 04:28 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Xer H View Post
Great. Here are my questions. Of course, any Boomer can weigh in. The more the merrier!

1. When did you first identify with one party or another (i.e., what age or political event motivated you)?
John F Kennedy's campaign in 1960; Democrat.
2. Have you noticed any differences in what the parties "stand for" over time? If so, did it ever lead you to question your affiliation or loyalty?
The two major parties have swung much farther to the right since 1980, although in the late 60s the Democrats absorbed the progressive tides of those times for a while, and to some extent still do. I decided to join the Green Party in 1991 because it reflects by values to a T, and that Bill Clinton's candidacy did not represent me fully enough; although I still had some hope for him and voted for him the first time in 1992. The Republicans have switched from a party with all persuasions in it, but somewhat conservative, to a party of right-wing fanatics. IMO it no longer should exist, but should wither away and fall into the dust bin of history.
3. What "drives" your party loyalty now? Is it a perception of differences in ideology, in actual legislation, in overall outlook for the country's future? Some mix or prioritization of these? Something else?
See my answer to #2
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#2554 at 02-01-2011 04:32 PM by Xer H [at Chicago and Indiana joined Dec 2009 #posts 1,212]
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Thanks, Eric. It helps to have the perspective of someone who's neither Democratic or Republican. I hope there are some Libertarians here who can weigh in, too.
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." —Albert Einstein

"The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal." —Albert Einstein

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” —Albert Einstein







Post#2555 at 02-01-2011 04:45 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Xer H View Post
But you still think this is a Left-Right divide? I'm not sure I see that. I experience people from both sides who have a problem with the Patriot Act, the Internet kill switch and gun control. I see more Boomers supporting those, and more Xers putting their foot down. Most of us don't really care who's in what party, only that they do the right thing.

And tampering with the Bill of Rights while ignoring (abetting?) Wall Street's corruption and fraud is definitely something we're going to take a stand on.
Those on the Left generally (but not always) support gun control. The right opposes it. The people on the Left are against the Patriot Act and spoke out against it, while the right supports it. I don't know what you see, but polls show Boomers are divided between Left and Right. If anything Boomers are more on the left than Xers, allowing for the influence of aging. Xers in youth were more conservative and Republican than other generations in their youth.

wrt tampering with the Bill of Rights, I know there has been some very bad censorship lately by the FCC, and controversy over the internet, as well as the Patriot Act and other Bush/Cheney outrages after 9-11. People on the Left oppose these things strongly; people on the Right support these. Be careful of the company you keep, I say.

Whoever votes Republican is supporting Wall St. corruption, the Patriot Act etc., and censorship, and opposing gun control-- that is clear, whether those voters care about who's in what party or not.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#2556 at 02-01-2011 05:32 PM by Semo '75 [at Hostile City joined Feb 2004 #posts 897]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
I have a hard time understanding why it's a good thing to allow anyone access to military weapons, but then, that's the business this country does best.
See, you see things differently than I do. I don't care quite so much about the "military" nature of a given weapon or vehicle. I know that a well-crafted hunting rifle is functionally equivalent to a sniper rifle. I know that a jet fighter without the stuff that makes it a fighter is just a jet -- a vehicle. It's no different, conceptually, from a jeep with a mounting for a .50 caliber machine gun but no .50 caliber machine gun. To the minimal extent that people are interested in buying jet fighters, it's a collectors' market.

When it comes to artillery, such weapons are strictly regulated and taxed heavily by the ATF. Even in the one scenario you could come up with, the best a criminal could manage was to turn it into a high-velocity baseball launcher (in what seems to have been one of the few counties in the United States, if not the only one, in which the cops will shrug their shoulders at people firing artillery at trucks on the road). Beyond that one case, the market for artillery seems to be a collectors' market. As far as I've been able to ascertain, artillery pieces are owned primarily by collectors, prop companies, and war reenactors.

So no, it does not alarm me at all that some prop company provided a German 20mm autocannon for a scene in Saving Private Ryan. It does not alarm me that Civil War reenactors roll out antique cannons. It does not alarm me that a small handful of people buy jet fighters to display in their hangars or fly over the heads of spectators at air shows. Not only do these uses do no harm to me, they do no harm to anyone else, either.

I've never gotten all of the talk about exotic weapons. The firearms used most in crimes in the United States include the Mossberg 12 gauge and the Raven Arms .25 Semiautomatic. At the top of the list is the venerable Smith & Wesson .38 Revolver. These weapons aren't particularly exotic, they have no "assault rifle" features, they don't fire .50 caliber rounds, and some aren't even semi-automatic. None would really get a lot of benefit out of high-capacity magazines.

I've never had someone hold me up with a jet fighter, but I did have someone point a revolver in my face and demand my money. The young woman I saw shot outside of a club back in 1992 (when she didn't hand over her money to a thug) wasn't shot from long range with a howitzer, it was close up with a small revolver. When I was little and my dad went out front to stop a guy from beating on his girlfriend, the guy didn't pull out a .50 Caliber Sniper Rifle it was, again, a "humble" revolver.

To the extent that I think that gun control is important, I try to approach it rationally. It's obvious to me that dudes who take their .50 caliber sniper rifles out to long-range shooting competitions aren't the problem. The problem isn't cannon collectors or guys with the money to buy air-show grade jet fighters.

Basically, I see no reason to advocate taking away freedoms that people are enjoying responsibly because other people are committing crimes with a completely different class of weapons. It's that simple.
"All stories are haunted by the ghosts of the stories they might have been." ~*~ Salman Rushdie, Shame







Post#2557 at 02-01-2011 05:36 PM by Copperfield [at joined Feb 2010 #posts 2,244]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
The law is what the people through their representatives and the courts in our system of checks and balances have decided is the law according to our best understanding of what is right..
So if the people of the United States "democratically" repealed the first amendment, you would abide by it?







Post#2558 at 02-01-2011 05:40 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Wonkette View Post
Yes, Disco-era boomer, born in 1956. Same vintage as Mr. Brian Rush and Publius.
...And me. But I found Gustav Mahler far richer.

Now that is BOOM!
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#2559 at 02-01-2011 05:44 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Copperfield View Post
So if the people of the United States "democratically" repealed the first amendment, you would abide by it?
I think I'd be outta here. It wouldn't be America then. But your question is a strawman. It ain't gonna happen. But legal threats to it happen, such as censorship and the Patriot Act.

Generally, it's best to abide by the law. But civil disobedience has its place. You have to take the consequences though.

So if you want to join the wackos at Waco, and (someday perhaps) insist on your right to bear arms despite what the law is, you may find yourself facing the consequences. It may not be pleasant for you.

The 2nd Amendment was an unfortunate mistake. The 1st was not. We are all entitled to our opinions on how the constitution should be changed.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 02-01-2011 at 06:23 PM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#2560 at 02-01-2011 05:57 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Quote Originally Posted by Xer H View Post
Great. Here are my questions. Of course, any Boomer can weigh in. The more the merrier!

1. When did you first identify with one party or another (i.e., what age or political event motivated you)?
My parents were Adlai Stevenson supporters in 1952 and then again in 1956, when I came into the world. I think in the 1960 primary, they supported Hubert Humphrey, who was considered to be the most liberal of the serious primary candidates. My first awareness of a national election was 1964, when I was in 3rd grade, but my memories are dim. I have vivid memories of 1968, when my mom supported Eugene McCarthy in the primaries and my Dad supported Humphrey (both felt Robert F Kennedy was a lightweight), but both supported Humphrey in the general election. I identified with the antiwar Democratic party and detested Nixon, joining my friends in a couple of massive protests in DC (I grew up in Maryland just outside DC). I campaigned for McGovern, even though I was too young to vote.

2. Have you noticed any differences in what the parties "stand for" over time? If so, did it ever lead you to question your affiliation or loyalty?
Very much so. When I came of age in the 1970s, there were actual liberal Republicans who were indistiguishable from Democrats. Senators Javits of NY, Percy of IL, Hatfield of OR, Winthrop Rockefeller of AK, Weicker of CT all come to mind. I voted for one in 1980, Senator Mathias of Maryland, in 1980.

I don't see the Democratic party as having swung to the right the way the GOP has. Many of the very conservative elements of the Democratic party of my youth have since moved to the GOP, but some of the Democrats who we would say "In Name Only" included Russell, Eastland, and Stennis. Indeed, Strom Thurman started out as a Democrat.

Both parties have moved to the right economically and in terms of Government spending. The Democratic party has moved to the left socially but the GOP is, for better or evil, trying to maintain many of the social values of the High (with the exception of women working -- see Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman).

In the late 1970s, I went through an apolitical phase; I was doing a lot of meditation and living in an ashram. The 1980 election was a shock. When I went back to school in the mid-1980s, I majored in economics and learned about externalities, which confirmed my belief that a strong government is needed to balance corporations. As the liberal "good Government" reformer types were replaced by "small Government" conservatives, I found myself becoming more and more tied emotionally to the Democratic party. However, living in Virginia, I am not officially a member of any political party, since when you register to vote, you don't pick a party.

3. What "drives" your party loyalty now? Is it a perception of differences in ideology, in actual legislation, in overall outlook for the country's future? Some mix or prioritization of these? Something else?
Again, I see big problems that the private sector can't or won't fix. I find the Democrats' half measures to be better than the GOP's ignoring the issues or worse, providing "solutions" that will, in my mind, make things worse.

This is just my perspective; I could be wrong. But these are beliefs I hold to pretty strongly.
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#2561 at 02-01-2011 06:11 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Dedalus View Post
As an aside, a friend sent me something this morning that I find somewhat relevant to resisting to change. It was in a list of Adult Truths: Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again. Couldn’t agree more, I was fine stopping at DVD’s.
Heh. Getcherself something that can play .vob, .avi, and .mkv files. Never worry about replacing your library again.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc ętre dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant ŕ moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce ętre dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

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is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#2562 at 02-01-2011 06:11 PM by Xer H [at Chicago and Indiana joined Dec 2009 #posts 1,212]
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Thank you! This is fascinating... I really do hope more weigh in.

Just a clarification question: when you say, "Both parties have moved to the right economically and in terms of Government spending." do you mean that Government spending has increased, or decreased?

Because, as we all know, the party of "lower spending" (the right) has been anything but. But I don't want to assume that's what you mean.
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." —Albert Einstein

"The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal." —Albert Einstein

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” —Albert Einstein







Post#2563 at 02-01-2011 06:20 PM by RyanJH [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 291]
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Violence In America - Effective Solutions

If I thought banning guns or enacting aggressive gun control regulations would actually result in net benefits to America, I would support such legislation up to and including a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Unlike many others in this forum, I can be persuaded to change my stance based on evidence and logic. However, the evidence and logic I have reviewed supports the hypothesis that American gun ownership provides net benefits to Americans because America is violent. Gun ownership does not cause the violence. If violence is to be addressed, root causes, vice symptoms, of the violence have to be identified. Most violence is perpetrated by young predatory males. Take away everyone's guns and you are still left with the same young predatory males and no way for many women, elderly or weaker people to protect themselves. Solutions to the violence problem lay in addressing the violence prone populations of young predatory males.

This Article provides multiple arguments for my current stand. Partial extracts follow as the authors present this more eloquently, backed by evidence, than I could. You can skip the rest of my post by simply reading the entire article. I have not included the proposals at the end of the article in this post but they appear to be a more reasoned approach to dealing with "The Spiral of Violence."

<----Article Extracts------>

"Reducing violence is a laudable goal we share with many of our colleagues, but the evidence suggests that the gun control proposals made by many of our colleagues will be worse than ineffectual. The weight of evidence suggests that gun bans and draconian restrictions will not reduce criminals' access to guns, but will instead disproportionately disarm good citizens who cannot be effectively protected by the police - in so doing, gun control will do more harm than good."

"Cost-without-benefit analysis (Doctors or Guns - Which is the deadlier menace?) Amongst the most pervasive flaws in the medical literature on guns is the discussion of the "costs" of gun violence without any consideration of the innocent lives saved by guns. These and other benefits of guns are not so "intangible" as has been dogmatically claimed.[17] We would be mortified if our colleagues' cost-without-benefit analysis[18,19] became the standard for evaluating the medical profession. The 1990 Harvard Medical Practice Study quantified non-psychiatric inpatient deaths from physician negligence (excluding outpatient, extended care, and inpatient psychiatric deaths) in New York State.[20] "If these rates are typical of the United States, then 180,000 people die each year partly as a result of iatrogenic injury, the equivalent of three jumbo-jet crashes every two days."[21] - almost five times the number of Americans killed with guns. One might fairly conclude from such a "costs only" analysis that doctors are a deadly public menace. Why do we not reach that conclusion? Because, in balance, doctors save many more lives than they take and so it is with guns.

A conservative estimate from the largest scale, methodologically sound study to date, the study by Kleck and Gertz, suggests that there are 2.5 million protective uses of guns by adults annually.[22] As many as 65 lives are protected by guns for every life lost to a gun. For every gun tragedy sensationalized, dozens are averted by guns, but go unreported. Whether or not "newsworthy," scientific method begs accounting of the benefits of guns - enumeration of the lives saved, the injuries prevented, the medical costs saved, and the property protected. Such an accounting is absent from the medical literature. The protective benefits of guns - and the politicized "science" that has been used to underestimate or totally deny those benefits and to exaggerate the costs of guns - have been extensively reviewed.[4-12]

As ten studies have shown, in any year, about 1 to 2.5 million Americans use guns to protect themselves and their families. and about 400,000 of those defenders believe that they would almost certainly have lost their lives if they had not had a gun for defense.[11,22] Even if only one-tenth of those defenders are correct, the lives saved by guns would still be more numerous than the lives lost to guns. The flaws in the only study to suggest otherwise, the outlier data of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), have been discussed elsewhere.[22,23] Briefly, the NCVS is a study of victimization, not defense, and, by its design, undercounts the most numerous types of defensive gun use (e.g. women protecting against domestic attacks). As additional sources of undercount error, the NCVS is the only such survey conducted by law enforcement and the only study in which the respondents are denied anonymity. When any statistic, such as the NCVS count of defensive gun use, is at odds with every other measurement, it is discarded.[22]

Nonetheless, even those US Bureau of Justice Statistics samples show that defense with a gun results in fewer injuries to the defender (17.4%) than resisting with less powerful means (knives, 40.3%; other weapon, 22%; physical force, 50.8%; evasion, 34.9%; etc.) and in fewer injuries than not resisting at all (24.7%).[11] Guns are the safest and most effective means of self defense. This is particularly important to women, the elderly, the physically challenged, those who are most vulnerable to vicious and bigger male predators.

These benefits can be weighed against the human costs of guns - recently about 38,000 gun deaths from all causes and about 65,000 additional serious injuries annually (the remainder of gun injuries were so minor as to require no hospital treatment at all). Totaling all gun deaths, injuries, and criminal mischief with guns leads to a generous estimate of about 1 million criminal misuses of guns annually (involving less than one-half of 1% of America's more than 200-million guns)[7,11] So, all things considered, the human benefits of guns at least equal and likely exceed the costs of guns to society by a factor of 2.5.

Of the 38,000 gun deaths, a majority are suicides. This has caused advocates of gun prohibition to note that gun bans result in lower gun suicide rates, but they fail to note a compensatory increase in suicide from other accessible and lethal means of suicide (hanging, leaping, auto exhaust, etc.). The net result of gun bans? No reduction in total suicide rates.[11] People who are intent in killing themselves find the means to do so. Are other means of suicide so much more socially acceptable that we should cede resources to measures that only shift the means of suicide, but do nothing to reduce total suicide deaths?"

Regarding police protection.

"Criminals do not announce their intentions and police resources are stretched, so it is unsurprising that the police rarely arrive in time to prevent death or injury from much violent crime. Many are surprised, however, to discover that the police do not have any legal obligation - not even a theoretical obligation - to provide protection to individuals, even if in immediate danger. The police are only obligated to provide some unspecified level of general protection to the community at large.[44,45,46,47,48] It is a bitter irony indeed that, at the same time the police are relieved of responsibility for our protection, we are forced to depend upon their protection. We are often told that we may not and should not have the same tools that the police say they need to protect themselves from the same criminals who threaten us."

Conclusion

"Insisting that a frog is a cow will not give us milk. Neither will insisting a social problem is a medical problem give us a solution to violence. If medical researchers want to investigate violence, they must learn the methods of social science research and familiarize themselves with the social science literature. Predatory criminals are neither microbes nor automobiles.

We, too, call for better data collection, but then, on the basis of existing data, we part company with our colleagues who call for broad-based gun controls and bans. As we have discussed, guns in the hands of good, mentally competent adults offer a net benefit to society - whether measured in human or economic terms. Until such time as we eliminate violence from society, we believe that good people should have available the safest and most effective means of protection, guns. The rights of good and moral people, the overwhelming majority of America's citizens, are inherent rights that are not forfeit as a result of the heinous actions of predatory aberrants.

The predominance of data show that over 20,000 American gun laws, including national gun laws, have done virtually nothing to reduce violence or to reduce availability of guns to criminals. Expectedly so! Vicious predators who ignore laws against murder, mayhem, and drug trafficking routinely ignore those existent American gun laws. No amount of well-meaning, wishful thinking will cause these criminals to honor additional gun laws. If "better" data are forthcoming, we are ready to reassess the public policy implications. Until such time, the data suggest that victim disarmament is not a policy that saves lives."
Ryan Heilman '68
-Math is the beginning of wisdom.







Post#2564 at 02-01-2011 06:22 PM by Copperfield [at joined Feb 2010 #posts 2,244]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
I think I'd be outta here. It wouldn't be America then. But your question is a strawman. It ain't gonna happen. But legal threats to it happen, such as censorship and the Patriot Act.
It's not a straw man at all. You seem to favor mob rule over the sovereignty of the individual, provided of course the mob agrees with your holier-than-thou ideals. If not, then they are simpletons not worthy of your grand society, in which case you favor the use of force. In asking the question, I was merely making sure I was correct.

You have confirmed my suspicions.







Post#2565 at 02-01-2011 06:25 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Copperfield View Post
It's not a straw man at all. You seem to favor mob rule over the sovereignty of the individual, provided of course the mob agrees with your holier-than-thou ideals. If not, then they are simpletons not worthy of your grand society, in which case you favor the use of force. In asking the question, I was merely making sure I was correct.

You have confirmed my suspicions.
So your definition of the law is "mob rule"? Am I correct in my suspicions?
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#2566 at 02-01-2011 06:41 PM by Copperfield [at joined Feb 2010 #posts 2,244]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
So your definition of the law is "mob rule"? Am I correct in my suspicions?
Mob rule (Ochlocracy) is by definition, democracy spoiled by demagoguery, "tyranny of the majority", and the rule of passion over reason. Nothing you have said indicates to me that you are anything but a staunch supporter of that system.

"Law" is nothing more than a means for one group to control another group.







Post#2567 at 02-01-2011 06:47 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Copperfield View Post
Mob rule (Ochlocracy) is by definition, democracy spoiled by demagoguery, "tyranny of the majority", and the rule of passion over reason. Nothing you have said indicates to me that you are anything but a staunch supporter of that system.
Because I don't support your "right to bear arms;" that gun you have in a bag by your bed, ready for the next intruder to strike! A heads up; it might be your cat!
"Law" is nothing more than a means for one group to control another group.
So then you support anarchy. What difference does it make then to have a constitution, whether it has the 1st OR the 2nd Amendment in it? Uh, the constitution is part of the law, is it not (the basis for it, last time I checked)? You call a society without law "reason" and a society under law "passion"? I think you got it backwards Copperfield!

What kind of democracy would be "unspoiled" according to you? (especially if you maintain your absurd definition of "law"; or how would you revise your statement to make democracy acceptable to you?)
Last edited by Eric the Green; 02-01-2011 at 07:04 PM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#2568 at 02-01-2011 06:54 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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An average of 5 children were killed every day in gun related accidents and suicides committed with a firearm, from 1994-1998.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, National Injury Mortality Statistics, 1994-1998

A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting, a criminal assault or homicide, or an attempted or completed suicide than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.
Journal of Trauma, 1998

In 1997, gunshot wounds were the second leading cause of injury death for men and women 10-24 years of age -- second only to motor vehicle crashes -- while the firearm injury death rate among males 15-24 years of age was 42% higher than the motor vehicle traffic injury death rate.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 1999

For children under the age of 15, the rate of suicide in the United States is twice the rate of other counties. For suicides involving firearms, the rate was almost eleven times the rate of other countries combined.
U.S. Department of Justice, March 2000

Studies show that guns in the home are the primary source for firearms that teenagers use to kill themselves.
Injury Prevention, 1999

51% of the guns used in crimes by juveniles and people 18 to 24 were acquired by "straw purchasers," people who buy several guns legally through licensed dealers, then sell them to criminals, violent offenders, and kids.
ATF report, Crime Gun Trace Analysis, February 1999

A classroom is emptied every two days in America by gunfire
In 1998, 3,792 American children and teens (19 and under) died by gunfire in murders, suicides and unintentional shootings. That's more than 10 young people a day.
Unpublished data from the Vital Statistics System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Toy guns and teddy bears have more federal manufacturing regulations than real guns.
Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, Deaths: Final Data for 1999. NVSR Volume 49, No. 8. 114 pp. (PHS) 2001-1120.

Every day 79 people are killed by firearms in America.
In 1999 a total of 28,874 persons died from firearm injuries in the United States, down nearly 6 percent from the 30,625 deaths in 1998.
Johns Hopkins University Center of Gun Policy and Research, 1997/1998

Kids in America are 12 times more likely to be killed by a gun than kids in 25 other industrialized nations combined.
The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-Related Death Among Children -- 26 Industrialized Countries," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 46(05): 101-105, February 07, 1997.

Guns stored in the home are used 72% of the time when children are accidentally killed and injured, commit suicide with a firearm.
In 72% of unintentional deaths and injuries, suicide, and suicide attempts with a firearm of 0-19 year-olds, the firearm was stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center Study, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, August 1999

Medical costs from gun injuries and deaths cost $19 billion. The US taxpayer will pay half of that cost.
Direct medical costs for firearm injuries range from $2.3 billion to $4 billion, and additional indirect costs, such as lost potential earnings, are estimated at $19.0 billion.
Miller and Cohen, Textbook of Penetrating Trauma, 1995; American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000; Journal of American Medical Association, June 1995; Annals of Internal Medicine, 1998
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#2569 at 02-01-2011 07:00 PM by ziggyX65 [at Texas Hill Country joined Apr 2010 #posts 2,634]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Wonkette View Post
I really am not meaning to be snarky, but from where I stand, there is very little about what the current GOP stands for that I support. As someone who supports a strong national Government, I don't see eye-to-eye with small Government people.
That's not snarky. You did say you have little use for the ***current*** GOP which is different than deciding you are a dyed in the wool Democrat no matter what they do or stand for. That is the sort of politics-as-a-team-sport which I find to be toxic.

I agree with your assessment, actually, *for now*. For all I know there will be a future shift in party power structures which could have me favoring the GOP again in the future. But not now. I just have little use for picking a team for the long run, even if I may favor one team in the shorter run.







Post#2570 at 02-01-2011 07:04 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Quote Originally Posted by Xer H View Post
Thank you! This is fascinating... I really do hope more weigh in.

Just a clarification question: when you say, "Both parties have moved to the right economically and in terms of Government spending." do you mean that Government spending has increased, or decreased?

Because, as we all know, the party of "lower spending" (the right) has been anything but. But I don't want to assume that's what you mean.
The spending increases have mostly been in automatic entitlements (Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, Medicare and Medicaid following the overall health inflation) or in defense and security (Iraq and Afghanistan, TSA, etc..) However, the idea that Government can do big things like the TVA, the Interstate Highway, and the Manhattan project went out with the GIs.

I personally would love to see the Government make a big push on energy independence through a mixture of investment in solar/wind/geothermal and (yes) nuclear power plants (and even "clean coal" if such a thing exists and is possible) so that we can keep the lights on and everyone moving when oil gets harder to extract and the price soars. The GI Republicans would have supported it, the way they supported putting a man on the moon. No politician now will even dream of such a thing -- a few billion in studies and some tax credits is all anyone can muster.

FWIW.
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#2571 at 02-01-2011 07:25 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_vio..._United_States
Self-protection
Between 1987 and 1990, David McDowall found that guns were used in defense during a crime incident 64,615 times annually.[60] This equates to two times out of 1,000 incidents (0.2%) that occurred in this time frame.[60] For violent crimes (assault, robbery, and rape), guns were used 0.83% of the time in self-defense.[60] Of the times that guns were used in self-defense, 71% of the crimes were committed by strangers, with the rest of the incidents evenly divided between offenders that were acquaintances or persons well-known to the victim.[60] Of all incidents where a gun was used for self-defense, victims shot at the offender 28% of the time.[60] In 20% of the self-defense incidents, the guns were used by police officers.[60] During this same time period, 1987 and 1990, there were 46,319 gun homicides,[61] and the National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that 2,628,532 nonfatal crimes involving guns occurred.[60]
The findings of the McDowall's study for the American Journal of Public Health contrast with the findings of a 1993 study by Gary Kleck, who finds that as many as 2.45 million crimes are thwarted each year in the United States, and in most cases, the potential victim never fires a shot in these cases where firearms are used constructively for self-protection.[62] The results of the Kleck studies have been cited many times in scholarly and popular media.[63][64][65][66][67][68][69]
McDowall cites methodological issues with the Kleck studies, claiming that Kleck used a very small sample size and did not confine self-defense to attempted victimizations where physical attacks had already commenced.[60] The former criticism, however, is inaccurate — Kleck's survey with Marc Gertz in fact used the largest sample size of any survey that ever asked respondents about defensive gun use — 4,977 cases, far more than is typical in national surveys.[70] A study of gun use in the 1990s, by David Hemenway at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, found that criminal use of guns is far more common than self-defense use of guns.[71] By the Kleck study, however, most successful preventions of victimizations are accomplished without a shot being fired, which are not counted as a self-defense firearm usage by either the Hemenway or McDowall studies.[60][62][71] Hemenway, however, also argues that the Kleck figure is inconsistent with other known statistics for crime, citing that Kleck's figures apparently show that guns are many times more often used for self-defense in burglaries, than there are incidents of bulgaries of properties containing gun owners with awake occupants.[72] Hemenway concludes that under reasonable assumptions of random errors in sampling, because of the rarity of the event, the 2.5 million figure should be considered only as the top end of a 0-2.5 million confidence interval, suggesting a highly unreliable result that is likely a great overestimate, with the true figure 10 times, or more, less.
I was glad to see that % of households with guns has actually declined from the 1970s and 80s, thanks largely to there being more female heads of households. The % is now about 37% and decades ago was about 45-50%. Maybe my hyperbole about barbaric America doesn't entirely hold! I hope so. On the other hand, the more lenient concealed weapons laws these days still give me pause. In any case, I don't think I want to hang around in places like Alabama, where over 60% of households have guns, with very lenient concealed carry laws! Not to mention the "southern culture of violence."
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#2572 at 02-01-2011 07:34 PM by Copperfield [at joined Feb 2010 #posts 2,244]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
Because I don't support your "right to bear arms;" that gun you have in a bag by your bed, ready for the next intruder to strike! A heads up; it might be your cat!
It has nothing to do with your lack of support. You are entitled to your opinion. I could care less. It's your desire to use the monikers of "law" and "democracy" to bend others to your will.

Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
So then you support anarchy.
I don't believe I have ever made that a secret.

Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
What difference does it make then to have a constitution, whether it has the 1st OR the 2nd Amendment in it? Uh, the constitution is part of the law, is it not (the basis for it, last time I checked)? You call a society without law "reason" and a society under law "passion"? I think you got it backwards Copperfield!
It doesn't make any difference since you asked. I have already written on this very board that rights do not really exist. Rights by nature are human inventions, which is why they can be altered or stripped away by the whim of anyone with a shred of power. Laws created (or rights "granted") by a dictator are little different then those of the mob. As I said, their only purpose is to create a system of control for one person over another. While that might be your interest, it is not mine. Lack of control is terrifying to your kind. It never has been for me.

You incorrectly assume that the constitution grants the freedom to own a weapon. It doesn't. I grant me that freedom.

Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
What kind of democracy would be "unspoiled" according to you? (especially if you maintain your absurd definition of "law"; or how would you revise your statement to make democracy acceptable to you?)
For that to happen Eric, you would first need to remove the monkey from the banana.







Post#2573 at 02-01-2011 07:35 PM by RyanJH [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 291]
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02-01-2011, 07:35 PM #2573
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
"Woof, woof!" better protects a homeowner than does "Bang, bang!"

Your pooch can never be grabbed by a crook and used against you. It has keener senses than a crook trying to sneak into a house.
Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
An average of 5 children were killed every day in gun related accidents and suicides committed with a firearm, from 1994-1998.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, National Injury Mortality Statistics, 1994-1998

A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting, a criminal assault or homicide, or an attempted or completed suicide than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.
Journal of Trauma, 1998

In 1997, gunshot wounds were the second leading cause of injury death for men and women 10-24 years of age -- second only to motor vehicle crashes -- while the firearm injury death rate among males 15-24 years of age was 42% higher than the motor vehicle traffic injury death rate.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 1999

For children under the age of 15, the rate of suicide in the United States is twice the rate of other counties. For suicides involving firearms, the rate was almost eleven times the rate of other countries combined.
U.S. Department of Justice, March 2000

Studies show that guns in the home are the primary source for firearms that teenagers use to kill themselves.
Injury Prevention, 1999

51% of the guns used in crimes by juveniles and people 18 to 24 were acquired by "straw purchasers," people who buy several guns legally through licensed dealers, then sell them to criminals, violent offenders, and kids.
ATF report, Crime Gun Trace Analysis, February 1999

A classroom is emptied every two days in America by gunfire
In 1998, 3,792 American children and teens (19 and under) died by gunfire in murders, suicides and unintentional shootings. That's more than 10 young people a day.
Unpublished data from the Vital Statistics System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Toy guns and teddy bears have more federal manufacturing regulations than real guns.
Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, Deaths: Final Data for 1999. NVSR Volume 49, No. 8. 114 pp. (PHS) 2001-1120.

Every day 79 people are killed by firearms in America.
In 1999 a total of 28,874 persons died from firearm injuries in the United States, down nearly 6 percent from the 30,625 deaths in 1998.
Johns Hopkins University Center of Gun Policy and Research, 1997/1998

Kids in America are 12 times more likely to be killed by a gun than kids in 25 other industrialized nations combined.
The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Rates of Homicide, Suicide, and Firearm-Related Death Among Children -- 26 Industrialized Countries," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 46(05): 101-105, February 07, 1997.

Guns stored in the home are used 72% of the time when children are accidentally killed and injured, commit suicide with a firearm.
In 72% of unintentional deaths and injuries, suicide, and suicide attempts with a firearm of 0-19 year-olds, the firearm was stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center Study, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, August 1999

Medical costs from gun injuries and deaths cost $19 billion. The US taxpayer will pay half of that cost.
Direct medical costs for firearm injuries range from $2.3 billion to $4 billion, and additional indirect costs, such as lost potential earnings, are estimated at $19.0 billion.
Miller and Cohen, Textbook of Penetrating Trauma, 1995; American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000; Journal of American Medical Association, June 1995; Annals of Internal Medicine, 1998
I have seen most of these data points before. However, the analysis is incomplete.

The costs associated with gun related suicides are not as high as these data points indicate since other studies (see my previous posting) indicated that people choosing suicide will shift to another method of suicide.

Any arguments of costs vs. benefits needs to include the benefits side (again see my previous post, where the same analysis presented above would lead one to advocate removing doctors form America since they contribute to far more deaths than firearms - they also happen to save more lives than they cost).

Any argument needs to establish causality of factors. Guns are not the primary causal factor in American violence, if they are a causal factor at all. Social and economic inequalities among young men (14-24 years of age) of groups culturally predisposed towards violence combined with poor civic institutions are the driving factors of violence in America.

One might argue that guns contribute to the predisposition of certain cultural groups towards violence, but even the staunchest supporter of this viewpoint would exhibit poor logic by arguing that removing the guns would remove all, or even a majority, of the cultural predisposition towards violence in these groups.

When I was younger, and in much better shape, I studied martial arts where I learned that when the Japanese effectively disarmed the Okinawans, the Okinawans responded by developing some of deadliest martial arts known to man. Violence is not a function of the weapons available, it is a function of underlying societal problems.
Ryan Heilman '68
-Math is the beginning of wisdom.







Post#2574 at 02-01-2011 07:47 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Folks, just ignore Eric's anti-gun rants, his mind is shut tight.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#2575 at 02-01-2011 07:47 PM by RyanJH [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 291]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_vio..._United_States

"Hemenway concludes that under reasonable assumptions of random errors in sampling, because of the rarity of the event, the 2.5 million figure should be considered only as the top end of a 0-2.5 million confidence interval, suggesting a highly unreliable result that is likely a great overestimate, with the true figure 10 times, or more, less."
Let's assume that Hemenway is correct. This would then follow that Kleck's analysis that guns save 65 lives to every 1 lost should be reduced to guns save 6.5 lives to every 1 lost.

Unless you are arguing that Kleck's analysis should be reduced 65 times or more, these numbers still support an argument that availability of guns saves more lives that it costs, even when including the suicides.

Excluding the suicides, since there is evidence (see previous postings) that suicides are not deterred by absence of guns, then the reduction in Kleck's analysis needs to be even greater, perhaps over two orders of magnitude greater.
Ryan Heilman '68
-Math is the beginning of wisdom.
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