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As an outsider looking in, I've maintained for a long time that the gun problem in the United States isn't that you have guns. It's that, as a culture, you love guns. Your media depict them as beautiful and cool and sexy, the symbol and source of power, respect, and freedom. You perceive shooting a gun as if it were as natural as eating or sex. Many Americans claim to treat guns as tools, but I also see many who seem to treat them more like toys. It's an attitude that can easily grow into an obsession, especially for people who are otherwise insecure or under pressure. When gun use is normalized, even glorified, it can seem like a viable option for people to resolve whatever conflict they're experiencing.

 

Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions to the above among Americans; but as a widespread cultural element it's almost unique to the United States. IMHO gun violence in the US won't substantially improve unless and until that culture changes.

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I recall reading an article suggesting that there was never a better climate for the US to move away from gun culture and better regulate firearms.  Within a period of months, prominent members of both the Left and the Right had been seriously impacted by gun violence.  That was in 1981, when both the murder of John Lennon and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, which disabled James Brady, were still fresh.  It took another 12 years just to pass the Brady Bill imposing a 5-day waiting period to allow a criminal background check.  In between, the US passed the Firearms Owners Protection Act in 1986, loosening regulations.  [https://time.com/5169210/us-gun-control-laws-history-timeline/]

 

I will suggest the inability to meaningfully restrict ownership and use of firearms in the US traces back to the same issues with COVID-19 measures like masks, social distancing and vaccination.  US culture sets a significant priority on the rights of the individual over the responsibility of the individual to others, and to society as a whole.  Most other nations have adopted a balance which places a less significant priority on individual rights, with a greater balance towards responsibility to the broader society.  The results include a greater acceptance that the right of the individual to own and carry firearms is subordinated to the right of society to reduce the risks and incidence of gun violence. In the same manner, it results in a greater willingness to accept restrictions like masks for the benefit of others, even if they result in inconveniences compromising the rights of the individual.

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I don't know if this belongs here, the police brutality thread, or other news. So I am going to put it here. 

 

OK judge is named in appeal because it has come to light he was sexually involved with the prosecutor. It seems he had a habit of sexually harassing the female prosecutors in his court, so it's unclear if this was a mutual thing, or if he was blackmailing the prosecutor for sex

CES  

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9 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

As an outsider looking in, I've maintained for a long time that the gun problem in the United States isn't that you have guns. It's that, as a culture, you love guns. Your media depict them as beautiful and cool and sexy, the symbol and source of power, respect, and freedom. You perceive shooting a gun as if it were as natural as eating or sex. Many Americans claim to treat guns as tools, but I also see many who seem to treat them more like toys. It's an attitude that can easily grow into an obsession, especially for people who are otherwise insecure or under pressure. When gun use is normalized, even glorified, it can seem like a viable option for people to resolve whatever conflict they're experiencing.

 

Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions to the above among Americans; but as a widespread cultural element it's almost unique to the United States. IMHO gun violence in the US won't substantially improve unless and until that culture changes.

 

A firearm is not a "tool"; a firearm is a weapon. There's another problem: casual rebranding that steadily blunted the seriousness of the matter.

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57 minutes ago, csyphrett said:

I don't know if this belongs here, the police brutality thread, or other news. So I am going to put it here. 

 

OK judge is named in appeal because it has come to light he was sexually involved with the prosecutor. It seems he had a habit of sexually harassing the female prosecutors in his court, so it's unclear if this was a mutual thing, or if he was blackmailing the prosecutor for sex

CES  

 

What possible justification can a judge have for becoming involved with another officer of the court, regardless of side?

 

Pretty sure this is a different case, but it also goes to show the problems with trying to unseat a judge:

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/08/14/wayne-county-judge-accused-sexually-harassing-women/3363245001/

 

 

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4 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

 

What possible justification can a judge have for becoming involved with another officer of the court, regardless of side?

 

Pretty sure this is a different case, but it also goes to show the problems with trying to unseat a judge:

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/08/14/wayne-county-judge-accused-sexually-harassing-women/3363245001/

 

 

 

Wasn't it Kissinger that supposedly said "Power is an aphrodisiac"?

 

Judges have power - some people are all to willing to abuse power, regardless of the source.

35 minutes ago, Ragitsu said:

 

A firearm is not a "tool"; a firearm is a weapon. There's another problem: casual rebranding that steadily blunted the seriousness of the matter.

 

Weapons are a subset of tools.  It's not much of a stretch since not everyone uses firearms as a weapon.

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4 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

I recall reading an article suggesting that there was never a better climate for the US to move away from gun culture and better regulate firearms.  Within a period of months, prominent members of both the Left and the Right had been seriously impacted by gun violence.  That was in 1981, when both the murder of John Lennon and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, which disabled James Brady, were still fresh.  It took another 12 years just to pass the Brady Bill imposing a 5-day waiting period to allow a criminal background check.  In between, the US passed the Firearms Owners Protection Act in 1986, loosening regulations.  [https://time.com/5169210/us-gun-control-laws-history-timeline/]

 

I will suggest the inability to meaningfully restrict ownership and use of firearms in the US traces back to the same issues with COVID-19 measures like masks, social distancing and vaccination.  US culture sets a significant priority on the rights of the individual over the responsibility of the individual to others, and to society as a whole.  Most other nations have adopted a balance which places a less significant priority on individual rights, with a greater balance towards responsibility to the broader society.  The results include a greater acceptance that the right of the individual to own and carry firearms is subordinated to the right of society to reduce the risks and incidence of gun violence. In the same manner, it results in a greater willingness to accept restrictions like masks for the benefit of others, even if they result in inconveniences compromising the rights of the individual.

 

What's different now is the normalization of gun usage for political ends.  Three weeks ago right wingers at town halls were directly asking "When do we get to use the guns? ... How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?"  And now it is apparently okay to take a semiautomatic rifle to a protest and then claim self defense when a fight breaks out.

 

I can't wait to see what happens during next year's elections. /s

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11 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

Gun culture can take on a large part of the blame.

 

Specifically, "sheep dog" culture, especially when said sheep dogs are also linked to white supremacist groups. Prevailing wisdom used to be to steer clear of riots and let the authorities do their jobs, not try to "help" them. But the white supremacist can point to all the damage and say "they aren't doing enough!" as a way to add more of these "sheep dogs" to their ranks, so that they can accomplish their true goals of racial harmony dominance.

 

You don't stop riots with force. You contain them and let them fizzle out. The police have done a good job of this. Neither side of the political spectrum seems to understand that this is the only way you're going to leverage a much smaller force against a crowd.

 

After having seen the videos, read that CNN piece, and dug up some more on the dismissed charges, I believe the jury came to the only verdict they could. What we need is an anti-Walter Mitty law on the books that strongly prohibits this kind of "sheep dog" mentality, and shuts down armed groups organizing to insert themselves into already unstable civil unrest situations.

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Old Man said:

What's different now is the normalization of gun usage for political ends.  Three weeks ago right wingers at town halls were directly asking "When do we get to use the guns? ... How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?"  And now it is apparently okay to take a semiautomatic rifle to a protest and then claim self defense when a fight breaks out.

 

What's worse, is both sides are doing this. More on the right than the left, for sure. But some on the left are arming up in response. Protests have become powder kegs.

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1 hour ago, Ragitsu said:

 

A firearm is not a "tool"; a firearm is a weapon. There's another problem: casual rebranding that steadily blunted the seriousness of the matter.

 

Yes, thank you! I've said that for a long time too. I'm willing to accept that looking at them as tools doesn't necessarily blunt responsibility in how they're treated; but as toys, items for entertainment, that can easily lead to trivializing how serious they are.

 

50 minutes ago, Tom said:

 

Weapons are a subset of tools.  It's not much of a stretch since not everyone uses firearms as a weapon.

 

True, but firearms are designed to kill, more efficiently than anything humanity has yet invented. That's what the great majority of guns in this world are intended for. Yes, there are a very few other uses for them, like target practice or "plinking." I can use a garden rake as a back scratcher if I want to, but that doesn't change what it was made for, and what it does best.

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2 hours ago, unclevlad said:

 

What possible justification can a judge have for becoming involved with another officer of the court, regardless of side?

 

Pretty sure this is a different case, but it also goes to show the problems with trying to unseat a judge:

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/08/14/wayne-county-judge-accused-sexually-harassing-women/3363245001/

 

 

My guy is in oklahoma

https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news/2021/11/16/oklahoma-judge-admits-sexual-conduct-with-prosecutor-sparking-appeal/8631514002/

Apparently the DA there is looking at going for sexual battery for the complaints. I don't know if he's going through the motions or really intends on messing this judge up.

CES 

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1 hour ago, csyphrett said:

My guy is in oklahoma

https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news/2021/11/16/oklahoma-judge-admits-sexual-conduct-with-prosecutor-sparking-appeal/8631514002/

Apparently the DA there is looking at going for sexual battery for the complaints. I don't know if he's going through the motions or really intends on messing this judge up.

CES 

It's OK, so who knows?

2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Yes, thank you! I've said that for a long time too. I'm willing to accept that looking at them as tools doesn't necessarily blunt responsibility in how they're treated; but as toys, items for entertainment, that can easily lead to trivializing how serious they are.

 

 

True, but firearms are designed to kill, more efficiently than anything humanity has yet invented. That's what the great majority of guns in this world are intended for. Yes, there are a very few other uses for them, like target practice or "plinking." I can use a garden rake as a back scratcher if I want to, but that doesn't change what it was made for, and what it does best.

"It's a tool, used for killing. That is it's use, nothing else" Source of quote: Me, speaking with my son.

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5 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

A firearm is not a "tool"; a firearm is a weapon. There's another problem: casual rebranding that steadily blunted the seriousness of the matter.

 

Used defensively, the goal is to stop an attack, not kill. That's where the tool analogy comes from. It came about because many people accuse gun owners of only owning their defensive weapons because they want to kill someone or fantasize about doing so, or are seeking a feeling of power. This isn't the case for many (I wish I could still say "most" . . . sigh) gun owners.

 

So, used defensively, the goal isn't killing. It's stopping an act of aggression that can result in death or great bodily harm.

 

On the other hand, we've seen a lot of cases of irresponsible gun use lately, so we must ask ourselves, if this is a tool, is it good to have a tool used for . . .

 

. . . political coercion?

. . . defending car lots?

. . . interfering with police action in controlling riots?

. . . blocking off neighborhood streets illegally? (this example was from the left, btw)

. . . private security details for your protest march? (ditto)

. . . walking around town to elicit a police response just because "it's my right" and you want to educate the public?

. . . mowing down crowds of strangers?

 

No, there's too much stupid use of firearms lately to think anyone will want to listen to platitudes about how guns are mere tools.

 

At the same time, it's the misuse of guns that's the problem, not the fact that people are allowed to own guns. IMO, gun-focused solutions need to start addressing these things. Because Kyle Rittenhouse very technically did act in self defense in all three shootings. The individual acts were clear cut self defense. But if his stupid ass wasn't in Kenosha that day --  to protect cars -- then two deaths and one maiming could have been avoided. And the only charge that could have been leveled against him for that very poor decision was the curfew breaking, which was only a misdemeanor.

 

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Pattern Ghost said:

So, used defensively, the goal isn't killing. It's stopping an act of aggression that can result in death or great bodily harm.

 

Is it realistic to think that the use of a firearm to stop an act of aggression, won't result in death or great bodily harm to the aggressor? The distinction you're making sounds impractical.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Is it realistic to think that the use of a firearm to stop an act of aggression, won't result in death or great bodily harm to the aggressor? The distinction you're making sounds impractical.


Which is why using a firearm is considered the use of deadly force and is only “justified” to defend against death or great bodily harm. 
 

Having worked in armed security, and having had similar use-of-force training as military law enforcement, you are trained to shoot to “stop”.  Which if you’re aim is good, your opponent will be in need of medical attention at a minimum.  However, assuming you have not inflicted an immediately lethal injury, if you continue to fire once you are no longer under threat you are no longer considered to be acting defensively.

 

That does not always seem to be reflected in courtroom proceedings, but that is the way it is supposed to work. 

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27 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Is it realistic to think that the use of a firearm to stop an act of aggression, won't result in death or great bodily harm to the aggressor? The distinction you're making sounds impractical.

 

More than a few (responsible?) firearm owners have suggested to "Shoot them in the leg"...seemingly ignorant of little things called arteries. Beanbag rounds can also result in death.

 

  

53 minutes ago, Pattern Ghost said:

At the same time, it's the misuse of guns that's the problem, not the fact that people are allowed to own guns. IMO, gun-focused solutions need to start addressing these things.

 

The most charitable interpretation I'm seeing is that United States gun culture emboldens people to the point where these violent altercations arise: a little too much Hollywood and too much mythologizing/internalization of the Wild West.

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29 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

Is it realistic to think that the use of a firearm to stop an act of aggression, won't result in death or great bodily harm to the aggressor? The distinction you're making sounds impractical.

 

[sarcasm reduction edit]

 

The goal is to stop the attack. That's a statement of intent and mindset, and mindset is very relevant in self defense claims.

 

I never said "won't result in death or great bodily harm."

 

I didn't say it because it's a given.

 

However, most defensive gun uses don't result in any death or great bodily harm. Many attacks are stopped without a shot being fired. Also, guns aren't death rays. The vast majority of people who get shot survive. Sucks to be them, but they tend to survive. Not much time at the moment to dig up data, but came across this from 2001:

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11571950/

 

 

 

-------------------------------  Unrelated response that was mashed together starts below this line ----------------------------------

 

 

19 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Are they more dangerous, in the wrong hands, than firearms?

 

Actually, yes. But that doesn't detract from your analogy to a great degree, so carry on.

 

 

 

----------- 2nd unrelated yet magically smashed together post below -------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

4 minutes ago, Ragitsu said:

More than a few (responsible?) firearm owners have suggested to "Shoot them in the leg"...seemingly ignorant of little things called arteries. Beanbag rounds can also result in death.

 

No. I usually hear that crap from untrained non-gun owners.

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12 minutes ago, Pattern Ghost said:

No.

 

"No" "what"? You don't think there are ignoramuses in possession of firearms? Owning a weapon doesn't automatically elevate intelligence or even guarantees a narrow subset of common sense. Also, as you already know, the requirements to own a firearm aren't universal across the board...some of them are arguably appallingly low.

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5 minutes ago, Ragitsu said:

"No" "what"? You don't think there are ignoramuses in possession of firearms? Owning a weapon doesn't automatically elevate intelligence or even guarantees a narrow subset of common sense. Also, as you already know, the requirements to own a firearm aren't universal across the board...some of them are arguably appallingly low.

 

I guess I'm saying that that particular bit of stupidity lies more on the other side of the fence. But that doesn't really invalidate your point, I suppose. I guess I just wish the world wasn't filled with the level of stupid that it is.

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2 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 

Used defensively, the goal is to stop an attack, not kill. That's where the tool analogy comes from. It came about because many people accuse gun owners of only owning their defensive weapons because they want to kill someone or fantasize about doing so, or are seeking a feeling of power. This isn't the case for many (I wish I could still say "most" . . . sigh) gun owners.

 

 

1 hour ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 

The goal is to stop the attack. That's a statement of intent and mindset, and mindset is very relevant in self defense claims.

 

I never said "won't result in death or great bodily harm."

 

I didn't say it because it's a given.

 

However, most defensive gun uses don't result in any death or great bodily harm. Many attacks are stopped without a shot being fired.

 

 

I guess what I'm taking from this is, guns can often be a deterrent without shooting an aggressor, but if you're going to draw a firearm, be prepared to use it. If you use it, be prepared to gravely injure or kill your opponent. And be prepared to have your action scrutinized and to be able to justify it. If you aren't prepared for those potential consequences, don't use a gun.

 

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1 minute ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

 

I guess what I'm taking from this is, guns can often be a deterrent without shooting an aggressor, but if you're going to draw a firearm, be prepared to use it. If you use it, be prepared to gravely injure or kill your opponent. And be prepared to have your action scrutinized and to be able to justify it. If you aren't prepared for those potential consequences, don't use a gun.

 

 

Exactly.

 

One of the core rules of gun safety is to never point a firearm at anything you aren't prepared to see destroyed.

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