June 2019 Dem. Debate and Firearms

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DSinOR
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Re: June 2019 Dem. Debate and Firearms

#26 Post by DSinOR » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:52 pm

Thanks Max.

I sat on a school board for some years, and am familiar with the trends you mentioned.

In the absence of a societal level of education adequate for self-governance, do you think populism offers a solution?

If we're not already there, I wonder if the future of public policy isn't destined to be driven by competing populist perspectives?

Maybe all the pro-2A community needs is a larger and more active effort at populism.

Dave

******************************

PS - I'd like to go on record as saying I think the term "assault weapon" is absurd. All weapons can be assault weapons. Even toothpicks.
I only used the term in my prior posts because that is the term that is being used to appeal to the emotions of uniformed masses to destroy the 2nd Amendment.

Thx.

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Foofu
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Re: June 2019 Dem. Debate and Firearms

#27 Post by Foofu » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm

LGC Post 8/13/19
featureless wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:53 pm
Foofu wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:35 pm
I guess there's a part of me, though, that really wants criticism... I want some good sources that disagree with want I want, because I want to make sure that my arguments actually address those counterpoints.
It's hard to get it on with that pursuit when one (realistically or not) fears to go forth and buy shit at Walmart, go to a music festival, gay bar, or even school. I recognize that fear in others and sometimes myself. But then there's the 2A which, like the rest of our Bill of Rights, tells the government hands off, these rights are essential to that pursuit. Seems almost contradictory and is very likely why so many get hung up on the militia part--surely the founders wouldn't be so stupid as to think you need a gun in your belt to pursue happiness...

One of the things that has changed since the 2A was adopted is the exposure to and perception of danger. Consider, way back when, a gun was a tool to provide safety to the homesteader faced with not only putting food on the family table but also repelling the repugnant since the sheriff was a two day ride away and there was no 911 to speak of. People died at home in bed and every family member saw it. People died in horrific accidents since made safe(er) by OSHA and everyone saw it. People died of now easily treated or prevented medical conditions and disease. Death and danger was part of the human condition.

Now, especially for insulated city folk (where the primary Democratic strongholds are), people die in hospitals after all other remedies fail and most of the family misses the event, the deceased whisked away for cremation or burial. There are armed LEO patrolling and help is only a 911 call away (response times vary, of course). People generally live to a ripe old age if they don't get the cancer or eat or drink themselves to death. Violence happens in the ghetto, so best just avoid it. We are so removed from danger and death we have very little experience to draw on to understand why a tool of death might be a handy thing to have and not need. Rather, we see the tool as the entirety or death, sometimes mass death, as broadcast across the land by a frothing media and politicians. We demand action from those same folk who brought us LEO, 911, modern healthcare and OSHA. We must outlaw death!

So that’s an incredibly interesting point. On one side, I see your point. On the other, it seems a bit dismissive. If we were speaking to parents of Sandy Hook, and we said “Look, people die all the time and largely people die less now than we used to.” I don’t think that would really makes anything better, you know? Sure the point stands that we are more exposed to the sensationalized fewer instances of death, but it doesn’t address the fact that these kids were just... shot, or what we could have done to prevent it. If we could have prevented it. AS an aside point, and correct me if I am wrong here, but the shooter didn’t even use his firearms, he took his to-be murder weapons from his mom. A lot of the suggestions, especially the easy ones, that we’ve talked about in this topic wouldn’t have done a thing to prevent this particular event. I really feel like we can do more.

I really appreciate you comment- It’s a damn thinker, that’s for sure. We have to ask ourselves if our purported right to pursue firearm related interests is equal or in conflict with all people’s proposed rights to safety and the pursuit of happiness. Honestly, I’m not sure I know the answer to that inquiry. I often ask myself if I would give up my use of firearms in exchange for the ideal world I envision. It’s a hard question, because I wish for a world that does not necessitate the use of weapons, but also one that allows peaceful pursuit of shooting sports. When it comes down to it though, I think I would bail on firearms if it meant things would actually be better for most people. The question is, though, pragmatically speaking, would things actually be better? As pointed out, removing legal firearms doesn’t entirely remove the threat from illegal weapons, other types of mass violence or terrorism, or abuse of power, or our people being bullied out of healthcare.

Again, it seems pretty clear to me that the point is to reduce the tendency of people to be violent and uncompassionate. I’m open to the idea that removing firearms might have some effect on that, but I really think that it doesn’t.

max129 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:11 am
CDfingers said:

I am no hard core fan of Hayek, but he made it clear that one cannot run a proper Democracy without universal education of a high quality.

And, if the trend has continued, roughly half of the populace gets their "news" from social media

https://marketingland.com/pew-research- ... ook-228001

I seriously couldn’t agree more. More information= better decisions. I think even secondary education plays a super important role in informing people about the world around them and the temperament that our society looks for. A good social studies teacher should impart a sense of multiculturalism which hopefully would have some measure on reducing events like El-Paso and Christ Church. Please, for the sake of all that is good, visit more than one website, watch more than one news station, and listen to the dialogue, not just one side.

I had a class in college called like…”technical literacy” or something like that, and it was about how search engines filter search results, how facebook and twitter are filtered for preference, how our current financing system incentives conflict and radical viewpoints on the news and blogs and everywhere else, and about how “sources” vary from legitimate experts to almost unbelievable levels of fiction and paranoia. People need to understand how our information systems work, and they need to know how to sift through that information. I’ve always believed that there are very few legitimately irrational people, and everyone else is justified in their worldview based on the information they take in, even the neo-nazis and KKK and all manners of radical and violent people. Figuring out how to expand people’s worldviews is absolutely key to reducing violence in our society.
highdesert wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:39 pm
Foofu wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:35 pm
Oh, and Highdesert, I agree entirely- call it out how it is. Ignorance isn't a partisan issue, for sure. But I also wonder how to balance these things: Ignorant about some things but otherwise agreeable? I guess nobody is perfect and it's just about voting for damage control...unfortunately. I guess this is the point where we hope some folks who represent us will do a decent job of arguing our position to our legislators (Looking at you, LGC, thx bb)
The two major parties love single issue voters and some states allow voting for all candidates of one party by checking a single box. They want us to accept their decisions on issues and follow their leadership, I'm not a good political follower. It's always trying to weigh which issues are most important to you and finding the right candidate, it's not easy.

That being said, reality is that if Dems win the trifecta WH, Senate and House it's highly unlikely that all these plans they're talking about will become law and any that do will look different. Both parties dangle legislation in front of voters to get votes, look at Reps and national concealed carry when they won the trifecta in 2016, it never happened. Many people expected ACA to be single payer, it couldn't pass and Dems had the trifecta at that time. I too am watching the debates, I'm just not taking the talk seriously.
I mean it’s interesting, at least, right? At some point I guess I am concerned about the precedent it sets to have certain standpoints from a popular political office, regardless of whether or not you can enact it. I do think that some people form their beliefs based off of what their leadership tells them, and I think that can have a serious impact on life in our country, or the world, for that matter. President Trump, for that matter, may not be able to enact a muslim ban, but the atmosphere it provides just by talking about it directly influences people like the Christ Church shooter. It’s important what people say, especially in political office.

And your point about it being hard to be informed is really important, because it is hard. It’s a lot of work to even put in a base amount of effort to understand our current system and all the candidate’s standpoints, but for the time being, it’s really important to try. Short of radical reform to our political process, this is all we have. Speaking of radical reform, this guy Dan Carlin does a podcast series that talks extensively about reforming our political system, which I think we strongly need to consider. He also does a “hardcore history” podcast which is superduper great.
Dreamsinger wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:59 am
Given the rising number of "liberal" gun owners it would seem to be political suicide to implement a so-called "assault weapon" ban on semiautos. In some proposed bills even the innocuous 10/22 is on their list. People who shoot know it's BS and the GOP will capitalize on this wedge issue. Another factor is the logistical impossibility of implementing such a ban. Aside from a general lack of will among LEOs to enforce a ban 900,000 cops aren't enough to track down and confiscate the 10 million AR's alone in civilian hands. Do they ever consider the unintended consequences? Do they think every gun owner will turn over his gun(s) complacently? I fear it will ignite a reaction among some factions that will resemble Ruby Ridge on a much larger scale. We aren't doing a very good job of educating our non shooting liberal brethren.
You're bang on, my dude. It'd be a shitshow. I could foresee a considerable amount of unnecessary loss of life. Not to mention a serious use of resources and manpower. Though that being said, Cali has done some similar stuff. Same with the 90's AWB. It's a possibility, I suppose.
featureless wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:10 am
The thing that pisses me off the most about the shrieking (and it is shrieking) about "assault weapon" bans is the incredible waste of energy and focus. Less than 400 people a year are killed with all rifles, including the evil "assault weapon," however one chooses to define the term. Fuck, you're more likely to win the lottery than to get mass-shot. Why the fucking hysteria? It's not a crisis among the death toll of so many other legitimate crises. I mean fuck, there are calls for an emergency return from summer recess to address this. Why aren't we doing the same for climate change, a true fucking crisis of monumental proportions that will certainly kill billions if not addressed immediately. Why not a crisis on health-related deaths? Why not a crisis on medical malpractice that kills 500,000 every year? Opioids/meth? Child trafficking? Instead, we aim to make felons out of millions of law abiding citizens to solve absolutely fucking nothing.

I guess I'm agitated this morning. :angry:
You're anger is justified. There's a lot we need to address in our society. But if I were a dad, I would probably be more concerned about my kids being safe at school than I would be about my neighbor ODing on oxy or my car contributing to flooding in Kansas, despite the serious long-term consequences. It's like a clear and present threat to me, so I think it demands my attention. That being said, I would probably still be equally concerned that my kids have healthcare. So I suppose it's about how we prioritize things. I mean, here I am, making a post about AWBs and not about man-made climate change. I suppose I'm just as guilty at not prioritizing maybe what should be.
max129 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:34 pm
Dreamsinger said:

Given the rising number of "liberal" gun owners it would seem to be political suicide to implement a so-called "assault weapon" ban on semiautos. In some proposed bills even the innocuous 10/22 is on their list.
Here is my solution:

1) Donate a few bucks to your top candidate(s). I choose Pete B. and Elizabeth W.

2) If you can, use a disposable email address you can shuck after the elections. Don't give them your core email address - ever.

3) When they email you thanking you for your donation, there is usually a "contact us" address. I then email a calm and rational email telling them there are Millions of armed Democrats and we are not happy with dysfunctional bans.

Here is a snippet of the email I sent to Pete B.
Defining "assault weapons" is really hard. Basically, they are magazine fed semi-automatic rifles. Gee, the Winchester Model 1905 hunting rifle was released in (guess it?) 1905. It is a semi-automatic, magazine fed rifle. And many people like to collect WWII M1 Garand. There are hundreds of thousands of Ruger 10/22 "assault rifles" out there, magazine fed, semi-automatic rifles. Just look at the mess California has made trying to even define "assault weapons".
and
And there are millions of reasonable, non-Republican Americans just like me. Millions.

What we want are reasonable guns laws. Background checks, red flag laws with DUE PROCESS.
Absolutely a wonderful and pragmatic suggestion. Quite a good alternative to calling your representative, and you might have a bit more luck after throwing some money at them.
max129 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:50 pm
K9s said:

I send similar emails to candidates (they know I donate). I get no response. Ever.
I was not suggesting they would respond :roflmao:

But I am pretty sure they do read many of the emails. They really want to keep track of sentiment. Sure if they get just one such email, they can just think it's a solo crackpot. But I am counting on others also writing such emails - and I make it clear to assert there are "millions" of us. My definition of "us"? Anyone left-of-center who owns a gun and wants to keep owning a gun. I can safely say there are millions of such people. I do not believe that everyone left-of-center simply owns an old revolver and doesn't own a semi-auto pistol or rifle.

What I do not want is for the anti-gun reactionaries to monopolize all the oxygen in the primaries.

A counter voice is needed.

;)
I'm pretty sure that reports show that the average democrat is more likely to own a gun than the average American. Just a thought to anybody listening in.

DSinOR wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:57 pm
A suggestion for OP's overall perspective: the 2nd Amendment protects the citizen right to fighting arms. Written and passed by people who for 180 years had regularly used fighting arms for defense of self/family/home/neighbors/property/community, and who ultimately took up those arms on a national scale to fight a revolution against their own oppressive government.

What is protected is a right to arms that are adequate to the task of defending liberty against potential oppressors. By definition: assault weapons.

The very idea that "no American needs an assault weapon" is DOA, because that is exactly what 2A protects.
...
The unfortunate popularity and effectiveness of appealing to the emotions of uniformed citizens by railing against assault weapons, is a serious political threat to 2A, despite the fact that assault weapons are precisely what is protected.

Disclosure: I agree with the widely accepted sentiment that 2A protection of the right to arms is not without limits. But i also believe that restrictions on any semi-auto rifle of bore half-inch or less is an obvious step too far.

IMO, to confront the propaganda problem, we have two possible solutions:
1 - Spread information. Participate in the education of fellow citizens.
2 - Vote some of the worst inflammatory anti-gun politicians out of office.

In most states that are Democrat strongholds, the only way for the the 2nd solution to happen is for local Democrats to:
1 - sway the incumbent in a different direction,
2 - field a new pro-2A Democrat candidate and unseat the incumbent,
3 - vote for a pro-2A independent or even Repub candidate.

Easier said that done, any way you look at it.

Pertaining to the schism described by featureless, I often talk to people about the fact that no human civilization or form of government has withstood the test of time, and that the American system with all of its protected rights is a pioneer of our kind of governance, and that we are not currently on a sustainable fiscal path. The OMB tells the federal gov exactly this fact each year in the annual federal financial statements. If you consider all the material societal problems that our country faces, long-term political stability is no sure thing.
If 2A was intended to preserve the right to arms in case it was ever again needed, isn't it possible that the exposure to and perception of danger aptly described by featureless, could return? If so, 2A will never be obsolete.

Dave
Interesting point, Dave. I always struggle to decide if I should make arguments based on revolutionary grounds. Because a lot of people tend to dismiss that position as radical or fringe or whatever. It's probably because they are attached to the idea of long-term stability of their society, which most of us can agree we want. But the fact is, as you pointed out, a long and stable society is a rare thing. "What if we need to make a war happen?" is a serious question that people don't really take seriously. But I think it is exactly what was intended by 2A in the first place. Call me radical if you want, but I do worry about big ol' companies void of ethical conduct using private military contractors to protect their interests against the will of the people. At some point, especially considering the power of big money in our current political system, our options become very eroded. And FUCK I really don't want to say it, but is there a time when instability and violence becomes the only avenue left for a long and stable America? Revolutionaries always ask great questions.
max129 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:23 pm
DiSInOr said:

I am afraid that many (most?) of our fellow citizens are somewhat resistant to education. It appears to take more effort than following a crowd on BookFace.

When I was 11 years old, our math book asserted that 51 was a prime number. I pointed out to my teacher that 51 was "crossed off" on my sieve of Eratosthenes. She told me I had probably just made a mistake. 5 minutes later I asked "Teacher, what is 3 time 17?" I was never forgiven for that question by that teacher, or frankly other class members. Even weeks later, the other kids were telling me that I was probably wrong and that 51 was a prime number because "the book said so." And that is most of the human race in my experience.

And this is the tragic flaw in Democracy and why Churchill asserted that "Democracy is the worst form of Government, except for all the others."

The basic assertion, which has been cross verified and supported is that an increase in education leads to an increase in democracy, but an increase in democracy does not lead to an increase in education.

In my field, Mathematics, average scores on standardized tests have declined for more than 40 years in the United States. The SAT folks keep adjusting the actual questions (which, and I promise this is true for math, never need to change - we teach trigonometry the same way the Greeks did in 50 B.C. corrected from 300 B.C.) If you give 2019 students the same questions we gave in 1960, their average scores are lower across the board. And while I am not qualified to comment on other fields of study, I am told by those I trust in other fields that the decline is universal. And this is pre-college. So arguments that we simply accept more college students fail to capture our decline in education.

What does this have to do with educating people about gun laws and rights?

"Being educated" has declined in value for much of the population. And I don't necessarily mean bookish education. Being truly informed, IMO, has less value now than it did 20 and 30 years ago. This merely extends to politics, it is not linked to politics. But it is in politics that the most damage is being done currently.

In the bigger picture, it will lead to cultural decline on a mass scale. Just at the time when workers need to be more educated than ever before, our actual standards of education are sharply declining.
Any serious look at the pedagogical enterprise will reveal that human knowledge is an ever evolving thing. Textbooks are updated, new studies are published, and every now and then a book comes out that tells us about how our high school history textbooks are wrong about a bunch of things. In a few years, the process repeats. Decline in student performance in a disheartening thing to hear, especially considering my current carrier direction, but at the same time, I think as a general populous, we are seeing increases in the availability of global information and interconnections of our society. A lot of people watch shows like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which I think counts as a type of education, especially if we are considering cross-cultural, political, and social topics. I'm just guessing here, but I feel like the average person has more access to information regarding global events than we ever have before. I mean Youtube, sometimes, is a fantastic medium for non-traditional education that still has a serious bearing on our day to day life.

To me, at least I really hope, I think our populous is becoming educated, just maybe in new ways. Test scores do not capture the overall level at which people take in information, nor do they offer us real incite into the critical thinking ability of the test takers who might otherwise be limited by reading level, cultural knowledge, or subjective enthusiasm.

I dunno, maybe I'm just being hopelessly optimistic at this point.
Free love, yo. Does anybody have any broken guns they don't want?

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Re: June 2019 Dem. Debate and Firearms

#28 Post by featureless » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:37 pm

Foofu wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
On one side, I see your point. On the other, it seems a bit dismissive. If we were speaking to parents of Sandy Hook, and we said “Look, people die all the time and largely people die less now than we used to.” I don’t think that would really makes anything better, you know? Sure the point stands that we are more exposed to the sensationalized fewer instances of death, but it doesn’t address the fact that these kids were just... shot, or what we could have done to prevent it. If we could have prevented it. AS an aside point, and correct me if I am wrong here, but the shooter didn’t even use his firearms, he took his to-be murder weapons from his mom. A lot of the suggestions, especially the easy ones, that we’ve talked about in this topic wouldn’t have done a thing to prevent this particular event. I really feel like we can do more.
I never mean to sound dismissive when discussing the murder of others. Here's the rub, though. If we want to maintain freedoms, we need to look at risks objectively. Otherwise, we can find very valid reasons for seriously restricting all of our rights. This gets lost in discussing gun rights because gun death is so brutal, it is so personal and it is so apparently avoidable if we just got rid of the things. But it's never that simple. And, for what it's worth, I do send my daughter off to public high school every day, so I am not without skin in the game, so to speak. ;)

If we could magically disappear guns from the planet, I'd be in. But we can't. So how do we preserve our rights without falling into the "if it saves one life" trap? Because that applies to many other rights as well.

Couple of examples:
1A leads to hate speech and the rise of the current white supremacist assholes, human trafficking, drug trafficking, child porn, etc. A quick rewrite would resolve that, but we find that unacceptable. And then there's religious beliefs...
4A prevents unlawful search and seizure. Imagine the reduction in crime if we got rid of that and LEO could search/detain at will. Do we really want to go there?
6A, that right to trial by peers. We could put a lot of murders away without it and save a lot of lives. Hell, we saw them do it. Do we want to go there?
8A, just torture that confession out of 'em. If it saves just one life...

None of these are really on the table of acceptability and all would save untold numbers of lives at the expense of freedom. Why do we apply that treatment to the 2A but not the others? No answers here, just questions.

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Re: June 2019 Dem. Debate and Firearms

#29 Post by max129 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 am

Foofu said:

To me, at least I really hope, I think our populous is becoming educated, just maybe in new ways.
Sure, in mathematics, we open acknowledge that deriving roots by hand is simply progressive approximation and generates more heat than light. So, "Yes" we can abandon some of the old ways.

Logarithms? Not so fast. First, 90% of computer arithmetic is built on log tables; second, frequent use of logarithms and the skills needed to carry dimensions alongside such manipulations greatly increases insight. The borderline case of memorizing trig identities can be argued, but it is proven that solving such "puzzles" as trig identities is very good for mental acuity in areas far removed from numeric systems.

And it appears that you may be conflating what people call "book smart" with "street smart" - the topic of many a story illustrating the moral superiority of the latter.

"Street smarts" never invented a vaccine, built a safe aircraft, developed a new integrated circuit, etc. If we, as a society, wish to continue to lead in areas of economic and scientific importance, we need a fair number of "book smart" people.

Many people think that talented machinists are simply "street smart" - oh yeah? The best machinists I know are fountains of information on the history of metallurgy, tool development, industrial applications - in addition to their machining skills. Basically, the "best" in most professions have taken the time to get as "book smart" as they can in their field. They may not have sat in classrooms, or taken "a test" on their book smarts, but they worked hard to get there.

Movies: Quentin Tarantino is well known not only for his "skills" as a director, but also for his "encyclopedic knowledge" of movies and the history of movies. There, in a very unacademic discipline, lies a "book smart" practitioner who uses said knowledge to produce his art.

As for using John Oliver to acquire trusted information? Yes, I quite like John Oliver and his approach. But Rush Limbaugh and John Oliver are twins of the same heritage: entertainment delivered as fact and social commentary. It turns out that people with a bit more formal education are less likely to fall for the BS "facts" delivered by Monsieur Limbaugh.

I am not trying to be an education snob. I have invested considerable time, energy and resources to become the somewhat over-educated product of the 20th Century. I am a privileged person, and I know it. But the decline in hard educational standards is likely the Canary in the Coal Mine with regards to the future economic and scientific standing our our society.

As a derivative of the need for a "book smart" populace, it is also an indicator of the quality of employment at all levels. All across Europe, the level of "book smart" education (which varies quite a bit Country by Country), correlates with the quality of employment in each Country. The same is largely true in Asia. In the United States, our economic monolith prevents such direct measurement. But the economic boom towns surrounding Stanford, MIT and even Georgia Tech are all the evidence I need.

As for the future:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/educ ... -stem.html

Good luck with that.
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