Why I think the constitution needs an update

“Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.” Thomas Jefferson

“We might as well require a man to wear the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” Thomas Jefferson

299 792 458 m / s is the law, all else is up for debate.

 

From a Facebook debate about gun control I am involved in. I wrote this to talk about why I think the current set of rules needs an update:

What I am arguing about is how we should frame our society to “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Everything else in the framework of our society should be in support of these principles.

Next, the people that wrote the original document were very smart people, but they were not prophets and could not comprehend the ways that the world would change. Imagine what they would think of a telephone not even a smartphone with internet connections. However they were smart enough to know that they had no idea what was coming down the wire. So they built into the system an update mechanism.

That update mechanism was intended to be much easier to perform when there were only 13 states. We have increased that number almost 400% with no change in our change mechanism. In regards to population the framework was intended to work for a population of 2.8 million not 308.8 million.

From this I conclude that the framework is a living document that was intended to be changed as the needs of society change. However it has not kept pace with our society.

I am a scientist, a mathematician, a systems engineer, and a part time logician. I think in systems and I have a pragmatic philosophy. Our federal state is a complex system that doesn’t currently work and that means that the parameters need updating to correct the imbalance. This also means that we need to understand the purpose of the system and not the current implementation of the system.

The purpose of the system to to provide a safe place for people to live and have kids. The system does not provide a safe place for people to live and have kids so the implementation is wrong and must be fixed.

One problem with the system is that we have 500% the number of gun homicides than Australia per capita (I am discounting all other gun crime that Australia doesn’t have but believe me when we actually compare stats the USA is a horrible horrible result set). We launched multiple wars over the deaths of just under 3000 individuals, whereas 32,000 people by by gunfire on average each year. To put this in perspective the average local jurisdiction in the USA has about 6,200 people in it (http://www.newgeography.com/…/00242-america-more-small…). So 9/11 killed half a town. Guns kill over 5 towns a year. Since 9/11 we have killed off over 65 towns within the USA at the hands of US citizens.

This tells us that the current implementation of gun rules is wrong. We can also tell that the current implementation of the 2nd amendment is unclear and causes a lot of strife within our society.

I conclude as a systems engineer that the system is indeed broken because wiping out 65 towns in 13 years is not insuring domestic Tranquility, establishing Justice, promoting the General Welfare, or securing the Blessing of Liberty for anyone.

The constitution needs an update desperately and the whole of the Bill of Rights needs a revamp.

“The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew.” Abraham Lincoln

 

/update

I got linked this letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison on why the constitution and all the laws of the land should be ripped up and reset every 19 years. It is an interesting read.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch2s23.html

/update 2

I am f-cking dying here, watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVuspKSjfgA

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38 Comments

  1. I was with you up until this line

    The purpose of the system to to provide a safe place for people to live and have kids.

    That isn’t the purpose of the system. A prison is supposedly a safe place to live and have kids; want to live in one?
    No the purpose of the system was to insure that individual liberty was respected, a fair and limited government was enacted and people had the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own merits.
    Safety has nothing to do with it. Not trying means no one ever fails; should we ban trying new enterprises, new technology?

    One problem with the system is that we have 500% the number of gun homicides than Australia per capita

    We also have a per capita firearm related homicide rate that is 600% less than that of Honduras with its strict gun control laws. So perhaps the issue isn’t firearms but the culture or subculture of violence within element of our country, eh?

    Guns kill over 5 towns a year.

    Really, do you have pictures or videos of these guns getting up, driving to their victims homes/businesses and shooting them?
    The inanimate object isn’t the issue. Let’s do a little math. There are an estimated 285,000,000 firearms in the country, Given the Bureau of Justice Statistics of approximately 400,000 violent crimes and the firearm related homicides — heck I’ll add in suicides also — and round up to 500,000 okay?
    500,000 divided by 285,000,000 times 100 to express as a percentage = 0.18% of all firearms in the country are involved each year in a crime. As a systems engineer does it make sense to treat every one the same for an exception that happens less then two tenths of a percent?

    Or perhaps we should focus on the root cause; The FBI reports that 50% of all homicides and 85% of all violent crime is related to gang activity or drug organizations. As an engineer where do you start working on the problem?

    Bob S.
    3 Boxes of BS

    Reply
    • I don’t know if you know this but a prison is not a safe place to live and it is definitely not a safe place to raise your children 😉

      You are ignoring the other bits of the preamble that specify more than just liberty is the goal of the document. I think that being placed prior to Liberty that Domestic Tranquility may have some weight in the minds of the authors.

      Your idea that having a safe place to live and raise a family some how stops people from taking economic or life risks is a bizarre one. As Maslow points out it is only when we have a secure personal life that we can try to maximise our potential. So according to science the safety of the home enables the maximisation of Liberty.

      600% less is a travesty of mathematics 😉 And again your treatment of the gun usage statistics is also misleading. How many of those guns have been used to stop a tyrant and secure the blessings of Liberty? 0% In fact at the moment the Bundy “militias” are reportedly setting themselves up as an unelected government using those weapons to intimidate the local population and decide who can and cannot assemble in the area (remember the right of assembly is the first amendment and no one outside of a duly appointed officer of the law has the right to detain you).

      I said one problem with the current set up is the 2nd amendment and how it is written. That does not preclude action in other areas as well such as removing private money from government or decriminalising the drug trade. The solution to the system errors isn’t a silver bullet and will require a great many adjustments to the parameters that control the system.

      Reply
  2. I don’t know if you know this but a prison is not a safe place to live and it is definitely not a safe place to raise your children

    So you are saying that a place where the government is in control and has the only legal source of firearms is not a safe place?

    Yet isn’t that your exact vision for America? No thank you. I’ll pass.
    What does Domestic Tranquility mean — no strife within the household or no government breaking the laws and jailing people for no reason, stirring up people with restrictive laws?

    And again your treatment of the gun usage statistics is also misleading.
    How so?

    how many of those guns have been used to stop a tyrant and secure the blessings of Liberty? 0% In fact at the moment the Bundy “militias” are reportedly setting themselves up as an unelected government using those weapons to intimidate the local population and decide who can and cannot assemble in the area

    Any evidence outside of one letter by one representative that the “militia” did any such thing? How about an interview with one of the people detained or stopped at a check point.
    I find it difficult to believe in this day and age that a check point could be established in the area with so many press / media people and no one recorded it. I find it incredible that the people stopped didn’t record the stop given the number of cell phones in the country.

    How about the Battle of Athens as one example of firearms restoring liberty and stopping tyranny?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_%281946%29

    (remember the right of assembly is the first amendment and no one outside of a duly appointed officer of the law has the right to detain you).

    Don’t know your law very well, do you? A criminal can be detained by an individual according the law; remember a ‘citizen’s arrest’?

    The solution to the system errors isn’t a silver bullet and will require a great many adjustments to the parameters that control the system

    The problem is you are not focusing on the root cause but the symptom. The number you scoffed at shows that. The overwhelming vast majority of crime, especially firearm related crime, is committed by a few people. Taking away firearms isn’t going to change their nature or willingness to break the law.

    Reply
    • You are making a logical fallacy, I think that the gun rules need to change, I have not said that guns need to be banned. I think the Australian system works well and still allows those with a legitimate need access to weapons.

      A more interesting statistic is how many of the deaths were enabled by the presence of a firearm. How many times did an assault become a murder? How many times did an argument become homicide? A person drinking and driving isn’t necessarily going to cause a death, but it increases the probability of one.

      The Battle of Athens sounds interesting, I haven’t seen it before, but I don’t see that as a knock down victory for the powers of Liberty. The votes were already cast and the sheriff was already on the way out. The power of democracy won that battle.

      I apparently know the law better than you do, when I was a security guard I was trained on the legality of the citizen’s arrest and you do not have the right to detain anyone unless you witness them committing a crime, and even then you must immediately contact local law enforcement and hand over your detained captive to the police as soon as possible. Driving through Nevada isn’t a crime. No citizen holds the power to stop and search another citizen, it is one of those Liberty things that you are worried about. If these allegations are true then these “militiamen” are nothing more than criminals with legal guns.

      You are committing the single cause fallacy again. There are a great many causes to the problems in our society and the freely available nature of firearms is one of them.

      Reply
    • By the way, thank you for stopping by and giving me your feedback. I appreciate the time and effort it is taking to converse with me over this.

      Reply
      • My pleasure. Not only do I think it is important to exercise our rights but I think we should be able to defend them in a civil manner. Debate is one of the many ways we work toward consensus.

        I also will admit to an ulterior motive. I may never change your mind but I hope to reach people who might not normally read my blog and plant a seed or two. The ardent supporters on either side of an issue are unlikely to change. We need to convince the people who don’t hold strong opinions.

        Having a civil discussion like this gets the message out for both sides of the spectrum. Thanks for letting me comment.

      • Debate is one of the many ways we work toward consensus.

        I wish everyone would remember that our society is one based on consensus. Both sides need to compromise in order to make a functioning society.

        I also will admit to an ulterior motive. I may never change your mind but I hope to reach people who might not normally read my blog and plant a seed or two.

        I do the same thing when debating creationists. I know that I won’t change their mind but I am really arguing for the benefit of the audience. The same on this thread. I doubt I can change your mind, but I can give my ideas to people that read this thread.

        Though I do my best to update my opinion given new evidence.

  3. You are making a logical fallacy, I think that the gun rules need to change, I have not said that guns need to be banned.

    Granted that I was making that mistake. Given that most people who want to rewrite the Constitution and are anti-2nd amendment it isn’t a stretch though. And that brings up the question; if I need permission from the government to do something; is it still a right?

    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms isn’t a right granted by the Constitution but protected from governmental interference by it. You say “legitimate need” what other need than “I want to own one” do I need?
    You blog; should you have to show a legitimate need to do so before being allowed ? And don’t give me any trash about not being the same; free speech has been at the root of more deaths than firearms ever thought of.

    A more interesting statistic is how many of the deaths were enabled by the presence of a firearm.
    The solution isn’t to restrict the ownership of firearms not involved but to address the criminal deeds of that person. You own a computer and a camera; doesn’t mean you are guilty of child pornography or should have your rights restricted because that heinous crime is done by others. The inanimate object still is not the issue but the person owning and using it.

    The votes were already cast and the sheriff was already on the way out. The power of democracy won that battle.

    Had people with guns not stopped it, it is obvious those ballots would not have been fairly counted. That is just one example; think of what I call ‘street corner’ tyranny; the abusive cop, the over reaching sheriff, the crooked judge; time and time again the ability of people to say no and enforce that has stopped tyranny in this country.
    As it has stopped crime; I think gun control advocates ignore the good and positive uses of firearms. Recently our gun club hosted a Youth Day event; 204 kids came out and learned about history, about their rights and generally had a great time shooting archery, skeet, trap, black powder cowboy guns and muskets. 80 Adult volunteers chaperoned them and enjoyed the same activities. 70 Club members turned out to put on the event. Not a single injury, death or crime was committed. Every day people peacefully participate in target shooting, in shooting sports and in self defense.

    The National Crime Victim Survey found 108,000 incidents per year of “Defensive Gun Uses” where the presence or threat of a firearm stopped/prevented a crime. The Kleck and Gertz Survey found up to 2,500,000 per year. You talk about how many murders– how many rapes were stopped, how many home invasions and homicides were stopped by the average person owning a firearm?

    The CDC studied gun control laws and came up with this weasely worded summary

    First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws

    Summary

    During 2000–2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, “shall issue” concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.

    Given that insufficient evidence exists; why keep trying ?

    If these allegations are true then these “militiamen” are nothing more than criminals with legal guns.

    Your recitation of facts applies to what I said; I do have the authority and right to detain people. It is limited as you stated. Again — what evidence exists the militia even created a check point. Surely you see the irony of something like that going unnoticed, unrecorded in this day and age. Maybe I’m a little more skeptical of the media but I haven’t seen any evidence of it.

    There are a great many causes to the problems in our society and the freely available nature of firearms is one of them.

    Who is committing the fallacy here? You who want to re-write the Constitution and restrict the ownership of firearms or I who rejects that idea?

    Reply
    • if I need permission from the government to do something; is it still a right?

      What is a right but something granted to you by your society? If it was inalienable then it would be impossible to remove from you. All “rights” are just social contracts that we feel are important. But also with those “rights” come “responsibilities”. Including changing the rules to make society a better place to live for the most amount of people. When something is broken you need to fix it.

      free speech has been at the root of more deaths than firearms ever thought of.

      I will give you that speech can incite violence and death. However, the core of a free society is how many voices are heard, how many people join the communal conversation. I will note that we do place restriction on speech, when speech will harm someone it is restricted. The same idea is implemented in all of our societal interactions. Your privacy will be violated by the police if you are going to harm someone. Even your right to not testify against yourself will be revoked in some scenarios.

      I will also point out that the 2nd amendment was written with muzzle loading weapons in mind, not magazine fed, semi automatic weapons that are infinitely more accurate than the muskets used in the Revolutionary War. We are talking about a rule designed for an inaccurate weapon that you could fire maybe 4 times a minute if you were very good, not a scoped weapon capable of firing as fast as you can wiggle your finger.

      The inanimate object still is not the issue but the person owning and using it.

      Beer doesn’t drive drunk, but we still limit your use of it and what you can do with it. I am neither arguing that we ban guns or that we ban beer. I am suggesting that letting people drink while driving is a bad idea and that we should have common sense laws in place about guns and laws to limit the damage that they can do to people.

      Had people with guns not stopped it, it is obvious those ballots would not have been fairly counted.

      There are better ways to handle this than to have a firefight. The article you linked noted that the vets had been agitating the sheriff in preparation to the election. A natural and logical response by the sheriff would be to increase the number of deputies on hand if you are expecting up to 2000 military trained individuals to cause problems.

      I’m not saying the sheriff wasn’t corrupt, as there had been multiple investigations into the region, but the investigations didn’t find enough evidence to warrant an arrest or a trial.

      What I am saying is that shooting up the sheriff’s office wasn’t the correct choice in the matter. Keeping the office under observation while state or federal election officials convened would have been a better and safer use of people’s resources.

      Recently our gun club hosted a Youth Day event

      I have 0 interest in stopping this sort of thing. I am glad that your gun club had a great day and that everyone had a great time. Taking time to instruct people how to safely use firearms is never wasted.

      The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.

      That is science speak for we didn’t hit our p < 0.05 level of significance due to lack of detective power. However, if we had X data we would be able to improve the models to say one way or another that these policies have an effect. You should never read a scientific report the way that you would read normal English, science uses the same words but they mean different things.

      Given that insufficient evidence exists; why keep trying ?

      Because they also didn’t find evidence of ineffectiveness. It is an unanswered question, not an abandoned question.

      I do have the authority and right to detain people.

      Only in a VERY limited manner and only in a VERY limited set of situations. If you are not 100% in the right then you will be the one to go to jail for detaining someone. You do not have the authority to use violence to detain someone.

      You absolutely do not have the authority to interfere with the running of my day to day life, stopping me and detaining me without cause is a criminal offense.

      what evidence exists the militia even created a check point

      Hence I said alleged, the “militiamen” are free to wander about Bundy’s land as much as they want. But they do not have the authority or right to into the surrounding communities and intimidate people.

      Who is committing the fallacy here? You who want to re-write the Constitution and restrict the ownership of firearms or I who rejects that idea?

      I am not sure how it is a fallacy to want to update the foundational paper of our society to meet our modern needs, or how not wanting to change it is not a fallacy. That is just a matter of opinion. I wouldn’t use a medical textbook from 1787, why would I want to use an unmodified legal document? The world has changed, our use of language has changed, and our needs as a nation have changed. Just think about everything that is common knowledge now that wasn’t even a glimmer of an idea in 1787.

      The fallacy that I was referring to was the idea that there is only one thing wrong with our society and that everything else is a symptom of that cause. That is overly simplistic thinking. We will not fix our society by making one big change it wil take a great number of small changes over time to fix the damage done to the system.

      Reply
  4. What is a right but something granted to you by your society</i

    My right to life is something granted by society? Really? No. There are rights that exist because of the social compact (right to vote for example, right to travel on roads) but my right to defend my life doesn't stop at the borders of the city, county, state or country.

    But also with those “rights” come “responsibilities”.

    Agreed. And I before you strip or reduce my rights shouldn’t you have to show that I have not been responsible ? That is the basis of our legal system isn’t it? Either I’ve acted irresponsibly in a civil case or broke the law criminally. We don’t restrict all men from being around children because one was a pedophile. We lock up the creep.

    I will note that we do place restriction on speech, when speech will harm someone it is restricted

    But we don’t require permits to have a conversation in our homes, do we? We don’t license people to talk in front of groups or in public. The extent of the restriction is balanced against the least restriction needed. Thus we have laws against threats or slander or fraud. The same as we already have for misuse of firearms ; we have murder charges and aggravated robbery. Those laws are working….could work better if District Attorneys were more interested in putting bad people in jail instead of ‘getting convictions’. The plea bargaining system uses firearm related charges as bait to settle; too many times they are dropped. Criminals plead guilty to 1 charge instead of the dozens of crimes they committed. Then they are back on the streets again.

    But they do not have the authority or right to into the surrounding communities and intimidate people.

    I’ve agreed with your previous comments and I’ll agree again. What you have not shown it it actually took place. How many times has the media been wrong about a report? How many times has a story been fabricated and reported as truthful?
    Aren’t you the least suspicious that out of all the reporters, all the people there — including hundreds of agents of the government — that not one video has shown up? That not one person actually stopped has been on national news discussing it?
    And I’m not even going to discuss the integrity of politicians (of either party).

    wouldn’t use a medical textbook from 1787, why would I want to use an unmodified legal document?
    Because one has been proven wrong and the other has been proven to be successful?

    The legal document hasn’t been unmodified — so that is a fallacy. How many amendments after the 1st 10 — 17 more?

    The world has changed, our use of language has changed, and our needs as a nation have changed.

    But the nature of our rights has not changed. Your right to free speech is still the same. I find it ironic that you point out how much has changed using a computer and the internet. Concepts that were unheard of but still embody the man standing on the soap box talking to all who will listen.

    Do I still have those rights that the document was supposed to keep free? Yes. I shouldn’t be searched without probable cause or a warrant. The fact that we’ve allowed such infringement is wrong and we need to address it. Getting permission to own a firearm would negate the very ultimate purpose of being able to own a firearm. Our founding fathers throw off the yoke of a tyrannical government. They knew we needed to be able to do that again.

    The fallacy that I was referring to was the idea that there is only one thing wrong with our society and that everything else is a symptom of that cause.

    I may not have been clear in my explanation. I think that ‘gun violence’ is a symptom. As a systems expert, you should recognize that correlation is not causation. Take away the firearms and do we still have criminals; yes.

    So let’s address the reason we have criminals; education, employment, poverty, the disintegration of our families. Let’s not make it easier for the strong to prey on the weak. Let’s tackle the tough issue; how do we have families invested in raising their kids to be smart, productive. How do we turn around our school system from teaching to the test and promoting out the problems to teaching our kids to use their minds.

    The fallacy is looking at crime and going “Guns are the problem.”

    Reply
    • My right to life is something granted by society? Really? No. There are rights that exist because of the social compact (right to vote for example, right to travel on roads) but my right to defend my life doesn’t stop at the borders of the city, county, state or country.

      Ultimately, yes even this right is granted to you by society. Looking at our own history as a nation a slave did not have the right to defend his life against his owner. The owner may get in trouble for beating the slave to death, but the slave had no recourse to protect himself from the wrath of the owner. It is a fluke of fate that you weren’t born into that situation.

      What we call “rights” are really foundational allowances, they can in fact be taken from you.

      But we don’t require permits to have a conversation in our homes, do we?

      A speech left on the counter won’t kill anyone. The two of us getting into an argument and me yelling at you won’t land you in the hospital. There is a large difference in the result of even proper use of these two concepts.

      I thought of something that I wanted to mention in regards to the Battle of Athens. At no point is the punishment for vote rigging death. Even if the sheriff was going to burn every ballot that voted against him, he and especially his team did not deserve to get shot over it. If they committed a crime then they should have gone to jail after a trial by jury. Rough justice at the end of a gun is not just, nor is it punishment after due process as guaranteed by the fifth amendment.

      could work better if District Attorneys were more interested in putting bad people in jail instead of ‘getting convictions’.

      This would require more funding channeled into the DA’s offices around the nation. They only have so much money to hire so many people to deal with all the criminals that get caught. Personally I think that they should get more money so that they could prosecute suspects correctly. This would of course require higher taxes.

      What you have not shown it it actually took place.

      http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2014/may/01/militia-digs-neighbors-tired-cliven-bundy-brouhaha/

      Bundy acknowledged creating a stir when he and his family showed up at the Mormon church with armed bodyguards for Easter Sunday services.

      “The militia have been going with me everywhere,” Bundy said Tuesday. “When I got to church, I said, ‘Leave your weapons in the car.’ They did. I guess there could have been weapons in the parking lot, but there were no weapons in the church house.”

      That would explain the sightings of armed militiamen in the community. If a few stayed behind in the parking lot to keep an eye on the guns.

      A group of militia members who stopped a neighboring rancher trucking cattle last Saturday to Arizona, about 12 miles to the east, were helping his son, Ryan Bundy, the family patriarch said. They wanted to ensure that Bundy cattle weren’t being rustled.

      This would explain the reports of people being stopped and searched, which is illegal.

      The legal document hasn’t been unmodified — so that is a fallacy. How many amendments after the 1st 10 — 17 more?

      Okay I was speaking in hyperbole, so I would instead point out that there are far too many arguments about what the document actually meant at the time and what it means now. Beyond just the 2nd what we are capable of now is astonishing and beyond the scope of the document. I think that clarification is in order.

      Our founding fathers throw off the yoke of a tyrannical government.

      I get the myth, but have you considered what would actually happen to an armed rebellion in the USA? Look at what happened to Afghanistan and Iraq, our troops rolled over them. It wouldn’t be the minutemen against the redcoats, it would be the Taliban versus the drones. Your firearms won’t be effective against a modern mechanised army.

      I have seen some very powerful arguments that in the west, the idea of an armed rebellion is past its time. What we would need would be peaceful uprisings that got the military commanders on our side for a coup d’état and then hope that the military commanders would hand over the power back to civilian forces. But armed rebellion against a committed western army is doomed to failure. A popular uprising that brings the military on side is the only viable solution.

      Look at Syria, they have a popular uprising there that cannot defeat the unpopular government and the military that is controls. Now imagine that was the US military fighting the rebels. Our military toppled the government resistance in Libya just by launching missiles at things.

      We have been spending trillions of dollars on our military might, and that directly means that the civilian population cannot stand up against it in a battle. If you want a military that the civilians could stand up against we are going to have to strip the military of all its toys.

      But beyond that we have a vast network of civil defenses to prevent needing to take up arms against the government, our government in that respect works. We still progress as a republic, though the conservatives seems to want to nip that in the bud.

      I find it ironic that you point out how much has changed using a computer and the internet.

      I may be a man on a soap box, but were I not a white hat programmer I could make much mischief in ways that are entirely alien to the minds of 1787. Don’t be myopic and assume that just because some concepts have stayed similar that all of them have.

      I may not have been clear in my explanation. I think that ‘gun violence’ is a symptom. As a systems expert, you should recognize that correlation is not causation. Take away the firearms and do we still have criminals; yes.

      Trust me I know that correlation does not equal causation. But I also know additive values, a situation without a gun will have a much different outcome than a situation with a gun. I also know the ease at which criminals can obtain firearms, which is directly related to how easy it is for normal people to get firearms. Forget the black market of organised criminals bringing in guns from Mexico. There is a thriving gray market of people willing to transfer legal guns into criminal hands without the use of border running or vast networks of criminals.

      So let’s address the reason we have criminals; education, employment, poverty, the disintegration of our families. Let’s not make it easier for the strong to prey on the weak. Let’s tackle the tough issue; how do we have families invested in raising their kids to be smart, productive. How do we turn around our school system from teaching to the test and promoting out the problems to teaching our kids to use their minds.

      I am more than happy to have this conversation. I think it is probably more interesting than the one about restricting guns.

      Education should be a meritocracy, education should have an open door policy for all comers up to the 2 year college degree, that is to say that anyone in America should be able to study for an Associates Degree for free with unlimited retries. 4 year degrees and advanced degrees should only consider the academic merit of the applicant. All school should be free for all people.

      Employment I think at this point another “New Deal” may be required to get employment under control. If the government creates new jobs to get money into people’s pockets that will stimulate the economy which will cause additional jobs to become available.

      Poverty must be eradicated. There is no reason that anyone in our country should have to go without food, shelter, or medicine. Or WiFi 😉

      The disintegration of our families, eradicating the stress of poverty would do wonders for this. But more importantly we need evidence back family planning education for all children so that they don’t start having families before they are ready.

      I agree that the strong shouldn’t be allowed to prey on the weak, so we must put into place sensible economic policies to protect the poor, the young, the old, and the disenfranchised from the predation of the markets.

      Let’s tackle the tough issue; how do we have families invested in raising their kids to be smart, productive. How do we turn around our school system from teaching to the test and promoting out the problems to teaching our kids to use their minds.

      This is especially close to my heart. I am a lecturer and I have kids so I want my kids to accomplish everything that they can in life.

      To produce smart, productive kids, we need to provide supportive, engaging learning environments. This costs money and while I am not saying spend like crazy, things like teacher training, school expendables, interesting lesson plans, etc. We need to treat our teachers better, we need to put an axe in the head of our culture of celebrity worship and offer the kids some real role models.

      We need to actively encourage females and minorities in academic areas. We need to tell them that they are smart and can do it. You should listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about trying to become a scientist while black. It is depressing.

      In regards to teaching to the test, that is a bit of a problem. What you are supposed to do is set up your syllabus, create an exam that tests the student’s knowledge of the syllabus, and then teach the child the syllabus so that they can pass the test. So in beautiful theory teaching the student to pass the test is teaching the student about the subject. What we actually need are good syllabi and insightful tests that aren’t just rubber stamps to force children into molds.

      I am actually perfectly fine with scrapping tests altogether as I don’t see much value in the ability to recall information in a world where I have access to the entirety of human knowledge in my pocket. I think that if we are going to have testing in the future it should be on your ability to find the information that you need not remember it. So that would just mean that we need to agree to what the syllabi would include for our students, some standards should be national and some regional.

      Though we do need to keep in mind that the more STEM workers we generate the more our economy will prosper and grow and the more advanced our society will become.

      The fallacy is looking at crime and going “Guns are the problem.”

      Again I have said guns are a problem not “THE” problem. A fallacy is looking at crime and saying that the free availability of guns has no effect on the outcomes of crimes. A gun may not cause a crime, but it sure will make one worse than it would have been.

      Reply
  5. “Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.” Thomas Jefferson

    “We might as well require a man to wear the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” Thomas Jefferson

    Reply
    • Stealing and adding to the top

      Reply
      • Are you suggesting that the Founding Fathers are our “barbarous ancestors”?

        “Laws and institutions” are not the same as rights.

        And I love it when people point out that places like Australia and the UK have less gun crime…as if getting stabbed to death is morally superior to getting shot to death. And ignoring the fact that if you managed to remove rocks from society somehow, there would be very few rock murders, wouldn’t there? Remove knives, and there would be fewer knife murders. Remove cars and there would be fewer automobile deaths, right? None of those things actually make us safer, however…take away someone’s gun and they’ll kill with a knife…take away their knives and rocks are also effective. Take away every weapon available and people will beat each other to death with their bare hands. And meanwhile, the most effectively disarmed people, the ones that obey the laws in the first place, are placed at the disadvantage.

        There is no logic or reason to back up the gun control position…whether one wants to argue rights, the Constitution, effects on crime, or whatever, gun control ends up losing. The only arguments that can be made are emotional ones…oh, an argument left on the counter won’t kill anyone…neither will my gun left on the counter.

        This is a joke.

      • Are you suggesting that the Founding Fathers are our “barbarous ancestors”?

        Our founding father suggested that, not me. We are a Jeffersonian Democracy, shouldn’t we listen to Jefferson about the upkeep and maintenance of our Republic?

        “Laws and institutions” are not the same as rights.

        What is a right but a law and an institution? A law is 299 792 458 m / s, top speed of the universe. Everything else is debatable.

        Australia and the UK have less gun crime…as if getting stabbed to death is morally superior to getting shot to death.

        Australia and the UK also have significantly less murder than we do. The USA has 4.8 murders per 100,000 population, the UK has 1.2 and Australia has 1.1. That is 25% the murder rate of the USA. If you want to look at Japan then the difference is even higher (0.3 murders per 100,000 people). So it really doesn’t look like people are jumping up and killing each other with knives.

        As a note, the UK, Australia, and Japan all enjoy free societies without the need for guns.

        There is no logic or reason to back up the gun control position

        There is that silly trend line between number of guns and number of deaths in the developed world. There is also that horrible truth that many societies with strict gun laws aren’t tyrannical dictatorships. We can disarm without turning into Stalinist Russia.

        If you have numbers that refute my position I welcome you to share them. I will change my mind in the face of evidence.

    • Great quote –just completely misses the mark of the issue.

      Because of two major flaws; first our rights don’t change as institutions do. Second; given the progress of the ‘human mind’, I can’t say that we’ve progress all that much in two hundred years. We still have greedy, corrupt politicians. We still have evil/criminal people who do not abide by the social convention.
      Look back on recorded history and tell me we’ve really changed all that much?

      Reply
      • first our rights don’t change as institutions do

        Of course they do, the social contract of rights, privileges, and responsibilities is constantly being updated and refined.

        Second; given the progress of the ‘human mind’, I can’t say that we’ve progress all that much in two hundred years

        Evolutionarily, you are correct, however memetically you could not be farther from the truth. We have advanced human knowledge a previously unimaginable amount since 1787.

        We still have greedy, corrupt politicians. We still have evil/criminal people who do not abide by the social convention.

        True but Steven Pinker’s book “The Better Angels of our Nature” shows that human society tends towards justice and peace over time. Perhaps we just haven’t given it enough time.

        Look back on recorded history and tell me we’ve really changed all that much?

        150 years ago we could own another human, 250 years ago there were no democracies, 500 years ago the world was unexplored and the new and old worlds didn’t know about each other, a thousand years ago disease was caused by demons, two thousand years ago we believed that gods walked among men. But again I refer you to “The Better Angels of our Nature” which shows the evidence that our societies have become more peaceful and tolerant over time.

  6. Actually your Rights have changed with every amendment..

    They do not exist outside of the State that protects them..

    Re Australia our homicide rate has dropped by nearly the rate of gun violence dependent al;one, meaning people are not merely choosing to use rocks..

    Reply
  7. Of course they do, the social contract of rights, privileges, and responsibilities is constantly being updated and refined.

    Your statist mentality is showing. Your right to life exists whether you are in America or in Brazil. How those governments respect and protect those rights varies. Greatly.
    What does change, is as you state, is our understanding of those rights. Yes, 200 years ago people thought it was okay to own people. It never was okay that a misunderstanding.

    We have advanced human knowledge a previously unimaginable amount since 1787.
    I agree. But that doesn’t mean that our nature has changed. Nor has the nature of most governments changed; left unchecked, tyranny is the most common result. Either an individual or governmental variety.

    But again I refer you to “The Better Angels of our Nature” which shows the evidence that our societies have become more peaceful and tolerant over time.

    This is where we differ. Yes, many societies have become more peaceful and tolerant over time….but human nature still wins out enough to show it isn’t enough. Pol Pot? Mao Tse Tung? Gaddafi? Hussien in Iraq?
    Criminals in the streets, in public office — time and time again the worst in people come out. I would rather not be disarmed when that happens again

    @Neil

    Re Australia our homicide rate has dropped by nearly the rate of gun violence dependent al;one, meaning people are not merely choosing to use rocks.

    The homicide rate had been dropping for years before the ban and didn’t suddenly decrease after the 1996 ban, did it?
    http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html

    Nope. So maybe there are other factors then just firearms involved?

    Reply
    • Your right to life exists whether you are in America or in Brazil.

      This is a very funny position for someone that is against restricting lethal weapons and taking measures to reduce deaths. So I have the right to life until someone else (with unimpeded access to lethal ranged weapons) decides that they want me dead? They just need to walk up behind me and I’m dead. Sure they will go to jail afterwards, but that doesn’t do me any good if I am dead.

      My right to life ends when I step into an Islamic society that has implemented Sharia Law. That society has deemed that my blasphemy has revoked my right to life. So if I want to protect my life, I cannot go to Brunei.

      Yes, 200 years ago people thought it was okay to own people. It never was okay that a misunderstanding.

      Given that the country was almost exclusively Christian at the time and the Bible explicitly condones and gives rules for the regulation of slaves (Exodus 21), then not only was it okay at the time. It was also sanctioned by the creator of the universe. It can’t get any more okay than that.

      The very nature of what is a right and what a right entails is constantly being refined and reinvented.

      But that doesn’t mean that our nature has changed. Nor has the nature of most governments changed; left unchecked, tyranny is the most common result.

      Actually, it does. We long ago left our evolutionary process behind and we now evolve with our memes and knowledge base. Governments have also evolved over time as our knowledge of the process of governing has improved. In 1787 we were the only Democracy and we were worried about people that thought they were the right hand of God invading us. Now, Democracy has spread around the world. It is a complete game change.

      Pol Pot? Mao Tse Tung? Gaddafi? Hussien in Iraq?
      Criminals in the streets, in public office — time and time again the worst in people come out.

      Just for the record, your policies would ensure that the next tyrant would have free and easy access to weapons as well, ensuring more unnecessary dead. The tyrants of the 20th century took over with popular movements. Stalin was the victor in the civil war against the tyrants. Hitler was elected by his people and it wasn’t the Germans that wanted him kicked out. In each other of your examples, you are not looking at a society that was democratic and then became totalitarian, you are looking at totalitarian states switching rulers.

      In regards to criminals in government, the solution isn’t to shoot them. Same with normal criminals, the go to solution shouldn’t be shoot them. That would make you a tyrant.

      Reply
    • I cannot understand how on the same comment thread you are both pro the right to life and pro the right of the average citizen to end life.

      They are mutually contradictory stances to take. The cognitive dissonance must be painful.

      Reply
      • Sorry but you are completely wrong. The right to life includes the right to defend that life IF someone tries to take it. That isn’t the ‘right to end life’ but to defend it. UP to and including lethal force.

        How can you not support that position. One has to follow the other. What you seem to miss is that I have the responsibility to use that ability carefully and only in defense of self or others.

        On the other hand, you seem to support the idea that the state can kill me any time it please because I have no right to life without permission from the state.

      • I probably trust the state as much as you do as it has proven over the past few years that it is happy to use tear gas, pepper spray, and night sticks against peaceful protesters while performing mass surveillance on everyone in the world.

        However holding a weapon in trust for the people is not a right, it is a responsibility. This is a responsibility that the public betrays tens of thousands of times per year. The chances that the government is going to kill me approaches 0%, it is not the same for my fellow member of the public.

        I get it you want to protect people’s lives and liberty. We agree that should be the goal. But the way we are going it now is not working. It needs to be changed.

        While I agree that we shouldn’t trust the government, I suggest that your faith in your fellow American is misplaced.

      • by the way, I have really appreciated your continued civility. I had had a number of other comments that have crossed the line from my visitors from /r/progun

        Will will also point out, that the government has never directly threatened my life, my fellow Americans have.

  8. Will will also point out, that the government has never directly threatened my life, my fellow Americans have.

    What is the threat behind every criminal statute or federal regulation?
    Do what we say or we will send people with guns to make you.
    Don’t pay your taxes and guess what happens. Don’t pay your grazing fees (ala Bundy) due to changes that would put you out of business and what happens?
    We just saw that in Nevada.

    Waco Texas – not far from where I live — Branch Davidians. Ruby Ridge.
    How many times have SWAT teams from every level of government been employed each year? Thousands and growing. How many agencies have armed personnel at the Federal Level – isn’t it over 70?

    If you think the government hasn’t threatened you; you aren’t paying attention.

    Reply
    • The threat is jail time as implemented by the will of the people. The government is just imposing the will of the people as expressed through our democratically elected representatives.

      The reason you can’t trust the government, is because you can’t trust the people that vote for the government. We give them the green light to take these abuses against us.

      Bundy is a criminal and needs to pay his taxes just like everyone else. Apparently, he is one of those people that we need guns to protect ourselves against.

      Ruby Ridge and Branch Davidians were tragedies but not evidence that the government is out to get us.

      Reply
  9. Thad,

    The reason you can’t trust the government, is because you can’t trust the people that vote for the government.

    The people in the government vote for themselves. The people in the government gerrymander districts so convoluted it takes 4 dimensional math to describe them.

    This is a responsibility that the public betrays tens of thousands of times per year

    Really? Or do a few people commit crimes over and over again.

    But let’s think about that responsibility aspect — do you tell your friends and neighbors you don’t trust them with a firearm?
    That they should be subject to severe restrictions. How about yourself. — Do you trust yourself?

    See, I know that out of X number of people Y will commit crimes. I know that number is really small. I know the impact is horrific if I’m a victim of a crime. So I take steps to protect myself while allowing others that same liberty.
    Appears to me, you don’t trust people. Which is really strange because you apparently will be willing to trust they don’t buy and sell or make or smuggle in firearms illegally.

    Reply
    • Really? Or do a few people commit crimes over and over again.

      Are you honestly trying to tell me that we have loads of mass murders loose on the streets and this isn’t a major news item?

      In 2010, where the victim-offender relationship was known, 37.4 percent of homicide victims were killed by an acquain­tance; 22.2 percent were killed by a stranger; 18.4 percent were killed by an intimate partner (husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend); 15 percent were killed by a family member; and 5.5 percent were killed by a friend.

      calculated from Table 12, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl12.xls

      Only 1 in 5 murders, where the offender is known, involves a stranger. Are we thinking that people are just mass murdering friends and neighbours?

      In 2010, homicides occurred in connection with another felony (such as rape, robbery, or arson) in at least 14.8 percent of incidents.

      Table 10, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl10.xls

      Only 1 in 5 murders, where the offender is known, involves a stranger. Are we thinking that people are just mass murdering friends and neighbours?

      Only 16% of murders involve a secondary crime.

      Your notion that murder is caused by the same criminals killing over and over is looking a little thin on the ground.

      ~78% of all homicide victims knew their murderer.

      Reply
      • Most murders aren’t mass — those are statistical anomalies. The most homicides happen one or two at a time. The ‘acquaintances’ can be anyone from the neighbor they say hi to or the drug dealer they know.

        Only 1 in 5 homicides are by a friend or family member not an intimate partner. Therefore isn’t it obvious there are two main groups involved — strangers/bare acquaintances and intimate partners.

        Your notion that murder is caused by the same criminals killing over and over is looking a little thin on the ground.

        Nice straw argument there. I didn’t say that. What I said was that Or do a few people commit crimes over and over again. I stand by that.

        Even if we take every homicide — round up to 12,000 (firearm related) and limit it to a low number of firearm owners, let’s say 40,000,000 – that is still 0.03% – how can that not be consider a low number?

        Firearm related violent crime — even if every one was committed by a different person (evidence says no way) still 550,000 (rounding up again) divided by 40,000,000 = 1.4 percent of the gun owners — 98% of the people who own guns didn’t commit a crime and you don’t consider that to be a low number?

        Are you honestly trying to tell me that we have loads of mass murders loose on the streets and this isn’t a major news item?

        How many people were killed in Chicago last year? So far this year?
        Over 500 last year and yet that fact isn’t trumpeted on every national news broadcast. Most of those murders happened prior to the law changing allowing concealed carry. Heck the first permits have been issued in the last month. It isn’t a gun problem. It is a culture problem in a very few localized areas. This fact is known.

        I find it interesting you trust the government (people) but don’t trust the people themselves.

        How does that work again?

      • I don’t understand how you can think that half a million incidents of gun related violent crime is a low number. Even if we say that on average it is one person per two crimes, that is still a quarter million people misusing guns, per year.

        According to the Bureau of Justice violent offenders have a less than 42% reconviction rate within 3 years of being released from prison.

        That means that we have to have new blood committing these violent crimes year on year. So each year we have a new set of at least 125,000 criminals committing two crimes each to match up with your numbers. That is assuming that our violent offenders are re-offending in a similar manner and not just getting busted for smoking pot.

        How can you think that isn’t a stat worth worrying about?

        Additionally all that violent gun crime costs the taxpayer $174 billion. That is $564 to each American per year. http://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2013/01/14/how-guns-and-violence-cost-every-american-564-in-2010/

        I said I don’t trust the government, I just know that the people in the government derive their power from the people. And the American people haven’t proven themselves to be particularly trustworthy.

        Also why would you deny a person the right to defend themselves just because they work for the government?

      • Just took a look at your blog, do you honestly believe people will be safer in the home having their guns on them?

  10. Just took a look at your blog, do you honestly believe people will be safer in the home having their guns on them?

    7 People were robbed — in their homes or just outside of them. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 1 in 3 violent crimes take place in or around a person’s home. Doesn’t it make sense to carry your firearm with you as much as you can?

    If crime doesn’t happen (and I pray that I never experience it) then it has been just an exercise on my part with no consequence, right?

    I’ve expounded on my views on why and how a person should take responsibility to protect themselves but I haven’t really gotten a good idea on how you see it happening.

    Could you explain a little?

    Given that crime has been happening since recorded history, given that despite all our advancements and technology; crime still does happen.

    A burglary every 14 seconds
    An Assault every 39 seconds
    A Vehicle theft every 40 seconds
    A Robbery every 1 minute 30 seconds
    A Rape every 6 minutes
    A Murder every 35 minutes.

    Crime is happening all around us and the police average response time to a priority one call is 6 minutes nationwide.

    What is the victim of the crime to do while waiting?

    Bob S.

    Reply
    • So your solution is to spend all of your time armed? Just in case, like a Boy Scout earning a merit badge? That doesn’t seem a bit off to you?

      My solution to home security is a German Shepherd or two.

      Reply
      • Think of being armed like wearing shoes, it soon becomes just a part of the process of getting dressed. You know you are wearing shoes but it isn’t your focus throughout the day.
        Many people have first aid kits in their homes or cars, just in case. Save we fire extinguishers, insurance or seat belts. Many people take sensible precautions that are never needed.
        Dogs are great at home but most people don’t just stay home and dogs have to be locked in the house or yard. So again what should people do to protect themselves at home or in public?

        By the way, I was a Life Scout as a youth, assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster as an adult.

        What is your personal response to being prepared?

      • Being prepared is a good thing, but you should put as much effort into preparing for something as it is likely to happen. It is irrational to invest heavily in unlikely and rare outcomes.

        While you are likely to be in one violent situation in your life, is that really a reason to carry a gun around 24/7? Will pulling out your gun even be the most advisable response to that situation? The amount of time, money, and energy that you have put into your gun collection, ammunition, and skills are much more expensive than my losing a wallet to a mugger by several orders of magnitude.

        Even if I did get mugged I would still rather give up my wallet than shoot someone. If someone is intent on killing me for some unknown reason, running away seems like a better idea than getting into a firefight, where I am likely to get injured anyway.

        I do have to admit that I don’t have the idealised fantasy that I could single handedly stop a crime in progress if I had a gun. I’m not interested in becoming a hero and getting my picture in the paper.

        As I said, for home defense I have big dogs. I’m not so worried about that.

    • Let me ask you.  Have you ever actually needed your gun for defence? 

      Also let me ask you how much you have spent on firearms, ammunition, safety equipment, storage, and training? How many hours have you spent training with your weapons? 

      Sent from Samsung Mobile

      Reply
      • Thad,

        Aren’t you being a little hypocritical here?

        Being prepared is a good thing, but you should put as much effort into preparing for something as it is likely to happen. It is irrational to invest heavily in unlikely and rare outcomes.

        This discussion started because you implied crime was so bad we needed to do something.
        So which is it?

        The amount of time, money, and energy that you have put into your gun collection, ammunition, and skills are much more expensive than my losing a wallet to a mugger by several orders of magnitude.

        My money, my time and my enjoyment. What is your problem with that?
        See the time, money and energy for me is returned many fold. First I gain valuable skills in protecting myself and my family. I gain durable goods that I can pass down to my children and grand children. I also get to spend time with great folks; gunnies are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. I enjoy spending time at the range. For an introvert like me, you’ll realize how much that statement really means
        Lastly, the practice of learning and mastering the firearm can be very relaxing; during my wife’s battle with breast cancer in 2010 I would take trips to the range for ‘recoil therapy’. An hour here or there away from the stress and worry; concentrating on putting a bullet through the same hole over and over again.

        I don’t disclose how much I have or have spent on firearms. Sorry but that is inviting trouble. I spend a considerable amount of time at the range. I have a concealed carry permit; a permit where the proficiency test is nearly a duplicate of what is required for a basic law enforcement officer to be certified in the state.

        Next, I suggest you read Rory Miller’s excellent book “Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected”. It has a great break down between social violence (monkey dance) where status, prestige, Respect etc drive the violence and ‘anti-social’ violence — more typical crime. There are two back predators in this group; the Resource predator who wants what you have; your wallet, your tv, car, etc. This group is satisfied by you giving up your wallet.

        Although I really don’t understand the desire to enable criminals by telling people “just give them what they want’ — that is your choice.

        The 2nd and more dangerous predator is the Process predator. This person enjoys committing the crime; the assault, the robbery, the rape, the murder. They want to hurt people and nothing you do except fight back will stop them.

        How do you tell them apart as they approach you? You can’t.

        If someone is intent on killing me for some unknown reason, running away seems like a better idea than getting into a firefight, where I am likely to get injured anyway.

        That is completely illogically. If they are intent on killing you; they’ll chose the place and time for the attack to limit your options. Second, just because I’m armed doesn’t mean I won’t walk/run away, that I won’t defuse the situation or couldn’t possibly just give them money. It is that I have a choice the unarmed do not have.

        I have never needed my firearm but twice in the last 3 years I’ve been approached by people I believe were setting me up for crime. Both times a single male approached me at a corner store and tried to close the distance by begging money. The first time it was midnight and the guy wanted money to buy a pizza at a place across the road. Of course, I noted the pick up truck at the gas pump, door open, no body around, no one else in the store and no hose at the pump. — a little off.

        I put up my hand, turned my body to make it easier to draw if I needed and told him to stop and no, i wouldn’t give him money. He looked at my reaction and left.

        The other time was very similar except there was a van with a woman in the driver seat two spaces down watching as the guy approached begging for money.

        Set up for muggings; I don’t know. But I know I felt better having the option available.

      • This discussion started because you implied crime was so bad we needed to do something. There is a difference between what needs to be done at one level of abstraction versus another level of abstraction. There are two different statements that apply to the situation: 1) A lot of crime happens all the time, as you said and I agree with you.2) Crime is unlikely to happen to you.

        But these two statements need to be viewed in their proper context. Statement one is a societal policy problem it looks at society as a whole, the second is the individual subjective view of a single person. They should not be approached in the same way. There is nothing hypocritical about thinking something needs to be done about crime and not worrying about it happening to me because I am not worried about myself but my fellow Americans. My carrying a gun will have no impact on the larger reality of criminal behaviour. The Justice Department reports that you are likely to be involved in one situation where either an attempt or a successful violent action will happen to you.https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bjs/104274.pdf So you are correct that you should be prepared and that we should take action. We just disagree on what that preparation and action should look like. I am happy that your time as a “gunny” has been pleasant, but I choose not to spend my time that way. I’m not saying that I haven’t enjoyed myself when I have been at the range, it is just that I have other things I would rather do. Like argue with people on the internet 😉 I am sorry about your wife’s cancer. I just lost my step-mother to cancer.

        I have a concealed carry permit; a permit where the proficiency test is nearly a duplicate of what is required for a basic law enforcement officer to be certified in the state. At the end of the day this is all that I am really after with gun control reform, and this may even be more than I am interested in. Perhaps public liability insurance incase of accidents. Surely you would agree that you should be responsible for paying for any damage done by your gun in the case of an accident. I understand that there is a worry that the poor wouldn’t be able to afford the training, but that would more indicate to me that we should offer free courses rather than not require the training. If it is our right to have a firearm, maybe be it is the responsibility of our society to properly train us in the use, safety, and care of the guns that are our rights. We are trained about the rest of our rights through free public education, maybe have gun safety classes added to the high school curriculum? I don’t see how background checks and mandatory safety training would prevent you from having your handgun? We require people to go through a process in order to vote, which is the single most fundamental right that we have.

        Although I really don’t understand the desire to enable criminals by telling people “just give them what they want’ — that is your choice. I don’t see it that way. I don’t think that I am enabling a crime in that sense. For the most part people get into crime because they don’t have any other options (I know this isn’t 100% true but it is a general trend). And if they are doing crimes it is because they don’t have any other option. So like a animal that is panicked, I wouldn’t back a criminal into a “corner” as they would become extra unpredictable. I understand the difference between the “resource” and “process” predators, and I understand the context that they work in. I still think that collective action is the way to tackle it rather than individual firearm usage. As I listed above I would support quite a lot of social programs that would benefit the whole of society and not just the criminals, but would have an affect on reducing crime rates. Provide job training, education, and assistance starting a business. Decriminalised all drugs. Work programs. More positive role models. Getting rid of the cult of celebrity. The lack of social safety net is what forces most people into the kinds of crime that you are talking about, we need to rebuild ours.

        Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 12:18:20 +0000 To: t_aid@hotmail.com

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