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11 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

No, they couldn't. Half of the American fleet is on the Pacific side of the country.

 

That's true, including five carrier strike groups: the America, Reagan, Carl Vinson, Nimitz (undergoing refit) and Lincoln.  But how many ships is that?  The entire U.S. Navy consists of less than three hundred combat vessels.  The PLAN has 355, and while they may not all be carriers or Type 052Ds, they are all in the Pacific.

 

 

11 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

They could start mobilizing as soon as American spy satellites showed the Chinese preparing their forces for war, besides positioning their ships already at sea in the region.

 

That would involve transiting the Suez or the Panama Canal.  It could take a while.

 

 

11 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

If the US government wished to it could at least match any force China could deploy to Taiwan; and the Americans would presumably also have the assistance of the Taiwanese military in defense of the island. The question is whether the US would be willing to match that force in defense of Taiwan. In today's political climate I think that's unlikely. I haven't given up hope that we won't have to find out.

 

The overall point I'm trying to make is that it's not purely a question of numbers.  One really has to look at a map to understand how difficult it will be to defend Taiwan.  Taiwan does not have infinite space to hold planes or troops.  Moreover, it's fifty miles offshore from a Chinese mainland that is bristling with surface-to-surface missiles, many of which are hypersonic antiship missiles.  Taiwan is frantically deploying truck-mounted missile batteries of its own that might survive an initial Chinese missile barrage, but it's hard to make airfields mobile.  There are no U.S. bases in the area aside from Okinawa, which is also within missile range.  Guam is almost 1000 miles away.  China is right there, with greater numbers of modern combat aircraft than every other country in the area combined.

 

The U.S. still has clear advantages in submarines and carriers (if carriers are not yet obsolete), but in my estimation the invasion of Taiwan will be decided by the initial missile duel.  Still, my security clearance lapsed a long time ago, so perhaps we have some alien tech in reserve...

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You make some very good points, OM. I think we mainly disagree over the magnitude of the tactical disparity, not that it won't be a bloody mess, or that the US is unlikely to commit the resources necessary to at least turn back an invasion.

 

It would be interesting to see what an invasion of Taiwan by the Chinese would do to the military profile of its neighboring countries. India already sees China as a potential threat. The debate in Japan over turning their military from a purely defensive force to a more interventionist one has been heating up in recent years. (Yes, that would require amending their constitution, but that can be done if they have the political will.)

 

Nonetheless, military action against Taiwan would be an outlier for Chinese policy, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Xi Jinping's stated long term plans focus on dominance of international trade, not territory.

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2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

You make some very good points, OM. I think we mainly disagree over the magnitude of the tactical disparity, not that it won't be a bloody mess, or that the US is unlikely to commit the resources necessary to at least turn back an invasion.

 

It would be interesting to see what an invasion of Taiwan by the Chinese would do to the military profile of its neighboring countries. India already sees China as a potential threat. The debate in Japan over turning their military from a purely defensive force to a more interventionist one has been heating up in recent years. (Yes, that would require amending their constitution, but that can be done if they have the political will.)

 

Japan's already headed down that road.  Consider the new Izumo-class "multi purpose destroyer":

 

2560px-JMSDF_CVH_JS_Izumo_in_Ocean.jpg

 

Yes, it is big enough to launch F-35s.  China has inspired a lot of defense investments in the region, in fact, such as Australia's recent decision to buy nuclear attack subs and Singapore's purchase of F-35s.

 

 

2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Nonetheless, military action against Taiwan would be an outlier for Chinese policy, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Xi Jinping's stated long term plans focus on dominance of international trade, not territory.

 

The way I see it, Xi would gladly accept an interruption in international trade in order to bring their rogue province to heel.  That said, I haven't been able to read his mind lately.

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On 11/22/2021 at 9:31 PM, Pattern Ghost said:

 

I believe you "forgot" the context for the quote you pulled:

 

If you are attacking someone with lethal force and sustain a horrific injury, then yes, it sucks to be you.

 

Remind me again, who was Brady attacking with lethal force when he was shot? That's right: Nobody.

 

First off, digging back, I definitely did take the quote out of context, and I apologize for any offense that may have caused to anyone on the boards, and especially to @Pattern Ghost, as his comments were not unreasonable, only interpreted as such by me reading one line out of context.

 

My simplistic, if poorly expressed, point is that the ready availability of guns does not limit  those who sustain horrific injury from firearms to individuals who are attacking someone with lethal force.  They provide the means by which innocent persons are attacked with lethal force, and are at risk of horrific injuries even if they do survive. If you can suggest a means of maintaining ready access for those who will use them only in appropriate circumstances, never maliciously nor even carelessly, while restricting  or denying access to less responsible individuals, I would be very interested in that approach.  Clearly, that would be the most desirable result.

 

However, I see no means to achieve that result. What I perceive is a choice between maintaining ready access to firearms for responsible, irresponsible and malicious individuals alike, or restricting access for all three groups, I consider the latter to be the preferable alternative.

 

In regards to the specific example, Brady was at a public event with the president of the United States. I suspect there was a fairly significant number of armed secret service agents in fairly close proximity, yet the shooter was neither deterred by their presence, nor was he among those seriously injured. Both Brady and Reagan were.  I would therefore submit that the availability of firearms held by responsible, trained users of same did not have the desired result of reducing risk of gun violence causing horrific injury to innocent persons.

 

Do you have some examples where the malicious gun owner was, in fact, prevented from inflicting harm by a more responsible gun owner? In fairness, that is a tough ask - it will not attract the same media attention.  Further, we can't identify situations where a potential act of violence was simply not attempted due to the presence of a responsible gun owner. We can only measure indirectly, such as by assessing the level of gun violence in locations where access to firearms is restricted to a greater or lesser extent.  My understanding, without undertaking a lot of research, is that the research performed by others indicates that reduced access to firearms is strongly correlated to reduced gun violence.

 

Like a lot of issues, the question is the manner, and the extent, to which the freedom of the individual is appropriately subordinated to the interests of society.

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On 11/25/2021 at 6:13 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

First off, digging back, I definitely did take the quote out of context, and I apologize for any offense that may have caused to anyone on the boards, and especially to @Pattern Ghost, as his comments were not unreasonable, only interpreted as such by me reading one line out of context.

 

 

Thank you. And to your point, "sucks to be you" isn't exactly eloquent, I just didn't want to go into describing outcomes. I have a few minutes, so I'll do so with a couple of personal (not GSW) examples:

 

Back in 2010-2011, I had an abscess drained that left a narrow 10" (~25 cm) tunnel through muscle tissue. This kind of wound is about the best outcome someone is going to see if they get shot. My case was treated poorly and took a long time to heal, plus it was in the largest muscle in the human body. So, my healing time was longer than, say, someone getting shot in an extremity. However, even though I'm all healed up and have been for a while, that wound still aches from time to time, sometimes extremely so. Having a tract of scar tissue running through a muscle you use constantly just sucks. I also have about a quarter to half inch or so tear in a muscle directly behind my shoulder blade that I got being stupid and blowing it out back in 1989 or 1990. That also still hurts, almost constantly. 

 

Earlier this year, back in March, I had thoracic surgery by the best surgeon for such surgery in the area. There was no other significant tissue damage other than what was required to open me up, spread my ribs, and cut out a benign tumor. So, I have a much better outcome than a thoracic shooting victim, who may have damaged organs, shattered bones and other serious tissue trauma. The entire sheet of muscle around my back and side that was cut into still hurts, frequently contracts around the scar tissue, and the bottom of my rib cage still gives me serious spikes of pain. If I exert myself in the slightest, I end up walking around like a movie mummy for a couple days. Getting out of bed sucks. I randomly double up in pain at least every other day. And I wasn't shot.

 

So, if someone gets shot it's going to suck, even if it doesn't kill them. The vast majority of GSW injuries in the US are from handguns, and they tend to be of the first type, so relatively minor if they don't drill a hole in something important like an artery or organ. 

 

But that's all to support a side comment on the issue that was at hand: Intent. You don't use lethal force with the intent of killing an aggressor, you use it with the intent of stopping their attack. If you take up arms to defend yourself, you should be well-versed in their capabilities, and the levels of harm they can inflict. You should know your own limitations. You should act with the safety of your neighbors and the general public in mind. You should be cognizant of the range of reactions people will have both to being threatened with a firearm (ranging from, "I'm going to shove that thing up your ..." to "Oh crap! Ruuun!") and to being shot with a firearm (ranging from basically ignoring the wound and continuing the assault to running for the hills from a near miss). You should know that fights are chaotic and unpredictable in their outcomes. You should be aware that whatever the outcome, your life will be changed forever from the event.

 

On 11/25/2021 at 6:13 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

If you can suggest a means of maintaining ready access for those who will use them only in appropriate circumstances, never maliciously nor even carelessly, while restricting  or denying access to less responsible individuals, I would be very interested in that approach.  Clearly, that would be the most desirable result.

 

This isn't possible to do with anything, whether it's weapons, vehicles, or spreading lies on the Internet.  I agree that it would be the most desirable result. That doesn't mean you ignore the issues, though. When I think about it, I start by considering two factors (from a US perspective):

 

People have the right to self defense. This is so fundamental, that it's natural law territory. In the US Constitution, this is encapsulated in the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. "Arms," are generally things that allow one to apply lethal or potentially lethal force. 

 

Your right to swing your fist ends at the other guy's nose. When a situation arises where the exercise of one's rights interferes or infringes on the rights or well-being of another person, then it's reasonable to enact laws that address the issue equitably.

 

Ideally, we balance the two concepts, and do so without denying large numbers of people their fundamental right. 

 

So, we could then start asking questions, like, "Do you need firearms to defend yourself?" or "What kind of firearms do you need to defend yourself?" or "If we allow people to have firearms to defend themselves, then should we limit what type of firearm is allowed to be taken to what location?" 

 

It's awkwardly phrased, but that last one is where my thoughts have been lately.

 

AR-15 style rifles are actually one of the best tools for defending yourself, if not the best. There are a number of reasons, and among them are ease of use and lethality. These also, not coincidentally, make the things great for offensive purposes. 

 

And when people read "lethality," their first thought will be, "Well, if the intent isn't to kill someone, why do you need one of those?" or "Well, clearly if you choose a high-lethality device for defense, your intent is to kill."  Prosecutors frequently ask the same questions.

 

The answer is that when you want to stop someone else from killing you, the time frame you want it done in is "as soon as possible." There's a large gap in power between the most powerful handgun rounds and the least powerful rifle rounds (which the 5.56 mostly falls under), barring a few uncommon examples. For commonly-used handgun rounds (which is to say, "service" calibers adopted originally for police/military use, not for hunting big game), the gap is even wider. So, the choice comes down to "might stop someone if you get lucky" or "likely to immediately stop hostilities." 

 

So, defense with a rifle round is reasonable. But how do we limit offense? What is the acceptable level of infringement into one's right to have the best tool available to defend themselves, that protects the general public from bad actors, unintended consequences, and irresponsible people?

 

I think it's reasonable to simply not allow weapons that chamber centerfire long gun calibers be carried in public, barring sporting use (hunting, mostly, which happens away from crowds) or transport in a locked container to and from other sporting activities.  

 

This makes it very simple to enforce: Police see a person walking around a riot with a long gun? Pick them up. They see someone walking around town with a long gun? Talk to them. Not just taking it to your vehicle to transport? Charge them. 

 

This leaves lots of issues on the table for both the "preserve rights" and "protect the public" sides of the equation:

 

On the one hand, you're not allowing people to carry the most effective tool possible for the job of self defense in public. I care less, honestly. Most people only arm up with long guns to go to demonstrations, or to try to "educate" the public on gun rights. They're a bunch of morons who don't need to be catered to. The mindset of a responsible gun owner is not to take on the role of the police in any situation, it's to protect your person and any family you may be with from an immediate threat. Handguns are the most commonly-faced such threat and very commonly used to stop such a threat. They're also a lot more discrete.

 

On the other hand, you can still harm neighbors if you miss indoors with a more powerful weapon that penetrates walls. In this case, the AR or the shotgun are actually better choices than a handgun for protecting neighbors from over penetration of building materials. While there is always some risk, it seems relatively low. 

 

This also doesn't address controlling handguns, but requiring training before allowing one to carry a handgun in public already has passed muster as constitutionally acceptable. I think even most gun rights advocates would accept a national concealed carry license, with a training requirement and extensive background check requirement, if it meant full transferability to all states. But it won't happen, because states want to reserve the right to regulate this for themselves. And that's not a horrible status quo from my perspective. 

 

This doesn't preclude someone from taking their lawfully-owned rifle, breaking it down, transporting it to a location, then committing an atrocity. Or doing the same with a lawfully-owned handgun they're not supposed to be carrying in the first place. 

 

So, that's the best I've come up with for a starting  point. There are probably countless minutiae to examine, even though I'm presenting this as a simple method of mitigation. I've already thought of several arguments for this being both insufficient and overly-restrictive. IMO, it'd be worth discussion and debate.

 

 

On 11/25/2021 at 6:13 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

Do you have some examples where the malicious gun owner was, in fact, prevented from inflicting harm by a more responsible gun owner? In fairness, that is a tough ask - it will not attract the same media attention. 

 

It happens. As you say, there's no great way to see data for events that nobody was charged in, outside of the news. I found an article about a local shooting in Seattle on September 3rd, where someone was shot and killed while attempting to rob someone at gun point, and that took a lot of digging through articles debating gun control to find. It never hit broadcast news here to my knowledge. Pointing out the number of criminals stopped by armed citizens isn't something a local government is going to go out of their way to do, either. It's simply bad publicity. 

 

At the end of the day, it will be difficult to address the matter of public safety vs the rights of the individual. These days, I'm leaning more toward public safety considerations having more weight. 

 

 

 

 

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people defending themselves with handguns may be on Youtube somewhere. I know Court TV used to have a show where self defense with guns was caught on camera sometimes. World's Dumbest or something like that. The most famous self defense thing recently that I can think of is a guy pulled a pistol on an employee at Wal Mart, and another guy pulled his pistol and they started blazing away at each other. I don't remember if anyone was hurt

CES 

 

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I remember that some years ago, the Tacoma News Tribune reported on a case of a "good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun." IIRC the case involved a robber with a gun who took a hostage as he tried to get away, and an armed local pastor who ended up shooting and killing the criminal. In the news story, the pastor described how he held back until the robber's increasingly erratic conduct left him convinced the robber would, absolutely definitely, kill the hostage once they reached a car. It was the last resort, by someone with the self-control to know it was the last resort.

 

EDIT: Racking my memory, I think the situation may have been that the robber was waving a gun around but had not yet taken a hostage, until he moved from the mall where he'd attempted the robbery, to a parking lot -- where he tried to hijack a car. He was pointing his gun at a specific person, at close range, threatening to kill them, and acting crazy enough that a reasonable person could suspect the dfriver was about to die no matter what they did.

 

I wish I could post a link to the specific article, but, well, it was years ago. It's also an anecdote, and at best a single event only constitutes a proof that something is possible -- which says nothing about where the balance of competing imperatives may lie, or the likelihood of different outcomes.

 

All I know for sure is that with my bad eyesight, I should never, ever hold a gun.

 

Dean Shomshak

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20 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

Thank you. And to your point, "sucks to be you" isn't exactly eloquent, I just didn't want to go into describing outcomes.

 

Thank you - this is always a great Board because we disagree civilly.  I'm in no position to criticize writing a quick post without fully assessing how it might be taken by the reader.

 

20 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 You don't use lethal force with the intent of killing an aggressor, you use it with the intent of stopping their attack. If you take up arms to defend yourself, you should be well-versed in their capabilities, and the levels of harm they can inflict. You should know your own limitations. You should act with the safety of your neighbors and the general public in mind. You should be cognizant of the range of reactions people will have both to being threatened with a firearm (ranging from, "I'm going to shove that thing up your ..." to "Oh crap! Ruuun!") and to being shot with a firearm (ranging from basically ignoring the wound and continuing the assault to running for the hills from a near miss). You should know that fights are chaotic and unpredictable in their outcomes. You should be aware that whatever the outcome, your life will be changed forever from the event.

 

The problem is that gun culture, spurred on by Hollywood, has created a sub-culture which is quite all right considering lethal force to kill even a possible aggressor to lie between acceptable and desirable. This suggests a much more restricted list of persons who may own or use a firearm, much less carry one in public. It would be a better version of "Gun Control".  It is a variant of restricting all but the military and law enforcement, which uses this as a shortcut to "trained and unlikely to use inappropriately"  The mounting evidence that this shortcut is far from perfect is a different thread, of course.

 

20 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

So, we could then start asking questions, like, "Do you need firearms to defend yourself?" or "What kind of firearms do you need to defend yourself?" or "If we allow people to have firearms to defend themselves, then should we limit what type of firearm is allowed to be taken to what location?" 

 

It's awkwardly phrased, but that last one is where my thoughts have been lately.

 

The key questions I would add are "What, if any, evidence is required that the individual is competent in  the use of the firearm and of low likelihood to BE an aggressor?" and "What evidence is sufficient to demonstrate that the individual's competence and/or low likelihood to be an aggressor is insufficient?"

 

You mention vehicles, which is a solid example.  I need a license to drive.  For heavier vehicles, licensure requirements are more stringent.  My license must be renewed on a regular basis, and may require tests.  It can be suspended or removed for many reasons, and I can be penalized for more minor infractions.  And a vehicle has far more non-violent purposes needed in society than firearms do.

 

20 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

As you say, there's no great way to see data for events that nobody was charged in, outside of the news. I found an article about a local shooting in Seattle on September 3rd, where someone was shot and killed while attempting to rob someone at gun point, and that took a lot of digging through articles debating gun control to find. It never hit broadcast news here to my knowledge. Pointing out the number of criminals stopped by armed citizens isn't something a local government is going to go out of their way to do, either. It's simply bad publicity. 

 

You would think, however, that lobby groups like the NRA would be much more interested in publicizing such occurrences.

 

The real evidence we have is indirect - My understanding is that research indicates that gun violence is lower in jurisdictions with higher levels of control over firearms.

 

20 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

At the end of the day, it will be difficult to address the matter of public safety vs the rights of the individual. These days, I'm leaning more toward public safety considerations having more weight. 

 

Very true.   I would say that this is, in part, a balance between individual rights and the responsibilities of individuals in a broader society. In my view, North American culture has tipped far too much to "rights", and too far from "responsibilities".  We want unfettered choice, with no consequences when the choices we make are poor or inappropriate.

 

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6 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

You would think, however, that lobby groups like the NRA would be much more interested in publicizing such occurrences.

 

 

Various groups, including the NRA, do aggregate individual stories of self defense with a firearm that are found in media reports. Getting the information to a wider audience is the problem, I suppose.

 

I typically listen to the local radio "news" talk station on my way to work. Typically, one or two defensive gun uses hit the airwaves. The rest (like the one cited from earlier this month) are usually brief reports you'd have to devote enerty to digging for, if they make it into the press at all. 

 

Here's a site that has a map of defensive gun uses in the US. The top has options to filter for year, or for last 90 days data. If you click on a blue dot, the event is summarized immediately below the map, including a link to the media report of the event:

 

https://datavisualizations.heritage.org/firearms/defensive-gun-uses-in-the-us/

 

Note that the data is incomplete, as it relies on someone finding and submitting a media report to be updated. For example, you won't find that defensive shooting in Seattle from September 3rd that I linked above.

 

6 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

The real evidence we have is indirect - My understanding is that research indicates that gun violence is lower in jurisdictions with higher levels of control over firearms.

 

 

I think the last time the board hive mind went down that particular rabbit hole, the general consensus was that it's hard to find unbiased and conclusive data.

 

This table on Wikipedia of 2015 FBI data may be useful, though, because it actually defines specific crimes. It's also sortable by column. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state

 

I found this plot, which compares gun ownership rates to gun murder rates at the bottom of that same page:

 

spacer.png

 

 

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Back in the day, when I was more into Shadowrun, I'd pick up a gun magazine every so often if there was a story that interested me, for research.  (I've never owned a gun.  Never seriously considered buying one.)

 

And sometimes they'd have the self-defense stories;  there was, IIRC, even a regular column highlighting them.  Are they still being written?  Probably.  How many of us go through mags like that any more?  A related question *could* be...how often are these found on magazine racks?  They used to be in every supermarket.  

 

I think, to a degree, the idolization of the gun culture is down.  It may be similar to smoking, or public drunkenness.  Both were fashionable...drinking being more tolerated than fashionable.  Both have become far more stigmatized.  So perhaps, broadly speaking, being a gun owner isn't something one flaunts nearly as much.

 

Outsde of Texas, that is.

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Gun magazines are still fairly popular, at least in my area (NW Ohio).  I invariably see them gas stations/truck stops that carry magazines and I've seen them in my local B&N and Meijer stores though I haven't read/leafed through one in ages.

 

I wasn't really into tacticool, which seemed to just really be building in popularity while I still worked in a gun club/store back in the 90s, and I've no idea what to make of the CoD/PUBG cosplay set which keep popping up as right wing demonstrators so I definitely don't have a clue of what seems to be passing for gun culture these days.

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4 hours ago, unclevlad said:

I think, to a degree, the idolization of the gun culture is down.  It may be similar to smoking, or public drunkenness.  Both were fashionable...drinking being more tolerated than fashionable.  Both have become far more stigmatized.  So perhaps, broadly speaking, being a gun owner isn't something one flaunts nearly as much.

 

Outside of Texas, that is.

 

More of a campaign like what occurred around smoking and drunk driving might be helpful. IMO this is something that responsible gun owners should get behind. Don't just be responsible yourselves, make it very publicly clear that irresponsible, toxic gun culture is unacceptable and people who engage in it have no place with you. Many people behave this way because it makes them feel like they're part of the cool crowd, so making them feel uncool and unwanted would probably push them to change.

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13 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

More of a campaign like what occurred around smoking and drunk driving might be helpful. IMO this is something that responsible gun owners should get behind. Don't just be responsible yourselves, make it very publicly clear that irresponsible, toxic gun culture is unacceptable and people who engage in it have no place with you. Many people behave this way because it makes them feel like they're part of the cool crowd, so making them feel uncool and unwanted would probably push them to change.

 

Too late for that, I'm afraid.  It's just going to be more liberal noise.  The polarization is long since too firm for this to do anything but firm it even more.

 

You can't tell people they're Not Cool when they've got a faction saying, hey, we think you're very cool!!!  

 

And how do you phrase this to separate the responsible owners from the others?  How do you address the "if guns are criminalized, only the criminals will have guns" rhetoric that can influence even responsible gun owners?  How do you rein in the hard-core progressives who make it clear that their goal is to get as many guns off the street as they can, and keep them on a message they don't subscribe to?

 

The bump stock ban might be an overreach because it was imposed by ATF rather than passed via legislation through Congress.  The 6th Circuit said that back in March, and in August 17 states filed a brief in support of overturning it.  But here's the converse:  you would think Congress could pass this.  And there's a bill to close the "bump stock loophole":

 

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5427/text?r=1&s=1

 

But why wasn't this done 4 years ago???  Trump even ordered the bump stock ban...not a Democratic president.  Of course it meant that Congress didn't have to choose between voting with their President...and a ton of Democrats...or the gun lobby and their vocal, gun-loving constituents.  BAD political calculus there, which Trump sidestepped for them.

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4 hours ago, unclevlad said:

 

Too late for that, I'm afraid.  It's just going to be more liberal noise.  The polarization is long since too firm for this to do anything but firm it even more.

 

 

If they're firm, but in the minority, eventually they'll wear down. Smoking, drunk driving, seat belts, anti-pollution, all started with this. It takes time and hard work, but the alternative is throwing up your hands and giving up. Which has never made anything better.

 

I've heard from responsible gun owners, and when you get past the liberal/conservative labeling, the "all guns vs no guns" rhetoric, and look at specific issues, there's considerable consensus. Polling consistently shows that the majority of Americans, including gun owners, support mandatory firearms use and safety training and background checks before someone can purchase a gun. They support penalties for improper use and storage of guns. That position needs to be more forcefully articulated, and responsible gun owners need to be the ones to do it because they have the credibility.

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3 hours ago, Pariah said:

 

"Former Congresswoman." That's the crux. This is all coming from outside the present GOP. The party as currently constituted has embraced this garbage and shows no sign of wanting to stop. And the worst part is that enough Americans are buying at least some of it that the GOP could return to power.

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9 hours ago, unclevlad said:

 

Too late for that, I'm afraid.  It's just going to be more liberal noise.  The polarization is long since too firm for this to do anything but firm it even more.

 

5 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

If they're firm, but in the minority, eventually they'll wear down. Smoking, drunk driving, seat belts, anti-pollution, all started with this. It takes time and hard work, but the alternative is throwing up your hands and giving up. Which has never made anything better.

 

I've heard from responsible gun owners, and when you get past the liberal/conservative labeling, the "all guns vs no guns" rhetoric, and look at specific issues, there's considerable consensus. Polling consistently shows that the majority of Americans, including gun owners, support mandatory firearms use and safety training and background checks before someone can purchase a gun. They support penalties for improper use and storage of guns. That position needs to be more forcefully articulated, and responsible gun owners need to be the ones to do it because they have the credibility.

 

I typically look at smoking and drunk driving.  When I started my career, people smoked in the office and no one thought about it.   They would not drive utterly sloshed, but a couple of drinks after work attracted no real attention.

 

Strong media campaigns (MADD gets a lot of credit, IMO) moved the needle on public opinion, and now we restrict where people can smoke, and are much more serious about impaired driving.

 

But smoking and drinking were neither a "positive" nor a "negative".  The health risks of smoking took a long time to come to light, but were known before the real push to reduce second-hand smoke started.

 

While I am not sure "gun murder" is the only negative of gun ownership, Pattern Ghost's chart shows that, at a minimum, it is not only "ownership" which correlates to violence. There are other issues, I suspect societal. The push for "licensure" similar to vehicle licensure, as set out by LL above, would be a strong approach. In addition to being credible, responsible gun owners may want to consider what happens if we do nothing. For decades, that has resulted in limited restrictions, but the other possibility is the pendulum swinging the other way, and a push for enforcing RESPONSIBLE gun ownership could get ahead of a push for broad RESTRICTIONS to gun ownership.

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