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Forums - Politics Discussion - Shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas (19 Students, 2 Teachers Dead)

sundin13 said:

1. I feel like if we get to a point where we have low crime, we can perhaps allow those Class 3 weapons then, but until that point it doesn't seem to make sense to me. 

2. As for substance abuse, the reason it is included is because it is a strong predictor of gun violence. This operates on largely the same level as mental health evaluations, and the same argument could be made regarding mental health (banning people who wouldn't pass a mental health screening disincentivizes seeking help). However, especially with substance abuse, this is often something that comes with legal consequences if left untreated, so disincentive effects would be less prevalent. Overall, I feel that this is a trade-off that I am more than willing to make. As previously stated, I do believe that there should be a path to being allowed to own a firearm, however I don't know what that would specifically look like. 

3. I agree with your point regarding prisons, however until this issue is fixed, I think this is a key reason why we should not return gun rights to felons after serving their sentence. It may be a long term goal, but it would be reckless to return these rights without first fixing the prison system. 

1. Yeah, I really don't think violent crime is going to go low until the material incentives of violent crime are solved first. It is interesting that the Emma Goldman essay I cited is about 100 years old, and even then she references a statistic that isn't much different from the statistics we see today. 

"The most horrible aspect is that our national crime is murder, not robbery, embezzlement, or rape, as in the South. London is five times as large as Chicago, yet there are one hundred and eighteen murders annually in the latter city, while only twenty in London. Nor is Chicago the leading city in crime, since it is only seventh on the list, which is headed by four Southern cities, and San Francisco and Los Angeles. In view of such a terrible condition of affairs, it seems ridiculous to prate of the protection society derives from its prisons."

I suspect the difference is the fact that London (and the U.K in general) has had policing by consent since the early 1830's, making theft, robbery, and rape just as prevelant as in the U.S cities, but murder less desirable due to crime not necessarily needing to organize as rigidly to confront and capture aggressive police forces. And with less organized crime, there are fewer "gang wars." 

My main support for Class 3 is that having well-trained state militias could be useful given the current rising threat of fascism and fascist coups in the U.S. I am not really confident the U.S is going to last the next half-century and having a tradition of state-militias could mean protection from more fascist post-U.S republics. It could also embolden the fascist republics, but there isn't much that can be done in that hypothetical situation other than take in migrants and have strong militias against the fascist republics. That is why access to Class 3 is conditioned on one's membership with a state (organized) militia or certified gun club. 

2. Typically the restrictions due to mental illness are if somebody has in the past shown that they are a threat to themselves or others by being involuntarily institutionalized. Most data I have seen on this is that mentally ill people are not necessarily more dangerous, it is only when they self-medicate or don't seek treatment that there is a strong predictor of violence. If a mentally ill person never showed themselves to be a threat to others or themselves, and they are regularly seeking treatment (such as through prescribed medication) it isn't clear to me that they should be restricted. Same thing for substance abusers. If a substance abuser sought treatment and is continuing their treatment, then likewise they shouldn't be restricted. Usually the people who are most vulnerable to gun violence are the mentally ill and substance abusers, and since they can't rely on police (because of ableism and the criminalization of drugs) it isn't clear that we should make them more vulnerable. This is why decriminalization of drugs and the defunding of police are really important parts of gun reform as well, in my opinion. You can't make the people most vulnerable to gun violence even more vulnerable without giving them alternative mechanisms of seeking help without significant costs.  

3. I am personally a prison abolitionist and see the prison systems as incapable of being fixed. At this point they are organized slave-labor so that certain corporations can get cheap labor for a few dollars rather than pay workers minimum wage (or a market wage) and so that former criminals are limited in their employment options and therefore will work for low wages upon release. But again, this position only makes sense when one thinks the majority of crimes are for material reasons and that if the material reasons are solved people won't commit as many crimes (rape and sexual assault being an example of a not quite material crime.) I do have the caveat about restricting the right for highly likely recidivism cases though. Maybe during the probation/parole period one doesn't have their full rights, but after that they get them back? I am not comfortable with the current status-quo where judges may (and not shall) issue a restoration of rights upon asking. 

Of course these are all minor details really, compared to the general principal. 



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Machiavellian said:

In the US, all disputes will be solved with the best tool for killing a man which is the gun. Already in states like Texas and Ohio, anyone get a conceal carry without a license. As the saying goes, guns are not the problem people are. Guns just like any tool allows those people to deal maximum damage in a short period of time.

Yep. That’s one thing people don’t seem to grasp about the US. When the only, or even the most easily accessible, tool in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem will look like a nail. 



sc94597 said:

My point wasn't that the amount of guns correlate with shootings proportionally. My point is that it is much harder to create a shortage of guns when there already is nearly a 2:1 ratio of gun : persons. Also the U.K's gun:person ratio is .05:1 not .5:1. So even if we stop the production and sale of all new guns there would still be a thriving black market, and it becomes much less likely that you'll see prices on the order of $32,000 in the U.S like you do in Australia. Prices are going to go up, but not that high. $32,000 is about how much a fully-automatic weapon costs right now on the non-black market, and there are only about 600,000 of those circulating. There are about 50 million AR-15 style rifles and about 300 million semi-automatic guns (including handguns) comparatively. The scale of the problem is just so much larger and requires a much more aggressive response than a few buyback programs and fines. And while mass-shooters might be deterred, most gun violence in the U.S isn't in the form of mass-shootings, but organized-crime relating shootings. Organized criminals aren't going to be deterred, and actually benefit from a thriving black market in weapons. So we might solve the 1% of gun deaths that happen in mass shootings, but make the 50% of gun deaths that happen in organized crime worse if a thriving black market is created. 

Yeah, I didn't read your guys whole discussion, so on the subject of why this even happens, I wanted to mention that.

I do realize the process of reducing guns in the US isn't an over night endeavor, and I have been every time I discuss this subject for years now.
I'm just pointing this out because USA will never even go in that direction, if it doesn't take a first step.
And I think it's a direction with more positive than negative consequences.

And based on what happened in other countries, I think it would solve more than just 1% of mass shooting problems even in the short term. But could you explain how you think gun related deaths within organized crime could get that much worse if the weapons that were normally legal are now restricted to the black market?

Though I'd like to add that I am much less sympathetic to gun violence within organized crime than I am of kids being killed in school, or people being mowed down at the grocery store, etc.
I am still sympathetic to it, and especially if it spills out unto innocent people, which it does at times. But that doesn't seem like it would be a worse tradeoff.

People can still own guns for protection at home. They don't need an AR-15 to do that. And in the case that they do, they were probably involved with organized crime.

sc94597 said:

There are also many other differences between the U.S and other developed countries besides this issue. The fact that there is no universal healthcare, the fact that many states are underfunding schools, the fact that children are more likely to deal with homelessness or other severe poverty that will traumatize them, the fact that parents are struggling with economic problems to such an extent that it is hard for them to pay attention to the needs of their children, the fact that there is severe racial hatred and a still ever-present racial caste system, the misogynistic incel movement that is present among adolescent men who are bullied, the fact that there is little trust between government and the citizens, the militarization and aggressive police forces that aren't trusted, the opioid epidemic, mass-incarceration and felonization, etc. The U.S is indeed exceptional, but quite often in bad ways that makes solving a problem like this very difficult. 

And I've been advocating for many of those things as well. Always to deaf ears from US Republicans, but just because I want them to have health care doesn't mean I don't think USA should also take steps to limit the access to guns with background checks, etc, and outright ban the ones designed to kill many people in as little amount of time and effort as possible.

sc94597 said:

You cite Japan. Japan had strict gun control laws before even the Meiji Restoration. These laws were pretty much extensions of their strict sword-control laws. Mass ownership of weapons never caught on in Japan because it couldn't. Pandora's box wasn't opened in Japan like it has been opened in the U.S. 

Okay. But I didn't suggest that this would be a magical 1 day solution. Just that other countries have figured out the gun ownership aspect, which ties into accessibility and gun culture, which I mentioned earlier.
You can implement strict regulations for gun purchase in any country, regardless of whether they experienced mass ownership or not.

sc94597 said:

So yes, we can try to reduce the number of weapons in the long term (say, 20+ years), but in the short to medium term are we just going to do nothing else? All of the other recommendations I provided could be implemented much more quickly and would have much of the same effect as reducing gun supply. 

I primarily discuss healthcare, worker rights, housing, climate change, etc when the subject arises.
When there's another mass shooting, I primarily focus on the gun situation because I rarely get to discuss it elsewhere.

Last edited by Hiku - on 26 May 2022

Hiku said:

1. And based on what happened in other countries, I think it would solve more than just 1% of mass shooting problems even in the short term.

2. But could you explain how you think gun related deaths within organized crime could get that much worse if the weapons that were normally legal are now restricted to the black market?

3. Though I'd like to add that I am much less sympathetic to gun violence within organized crime than I am of kids being killed in school, or people being mowed down at the grocery store, etc.
I am still sympathetic to it, and especially if it spills out unto innocent people, which it does at times. But that doesn't seem like it would be a worse tradeoff.

4. People can still own guns for protection at home. They don't need an AR-15 to do that. And in the case that they do, they were probably involved with organized crime.


5. And I've been advocating for many of those things as well. Always to deaf ears from US Republicans, but just because I want them to have health care doesn't mean I don't think USA should also take steps to limit the access to guns with background checks, etc, and outright ban the ones designed to kill many people in as little amount of time and effort as possible.

6. Okay. But I don't see the relevance. You can implement strict regulations for gun purchase in any country, regardless of whether they experienced mass ownership or not. I didn't suggest that this would be a magical 1 day solution. Just that it would be a positive and much needed change, imo.


7. When there's another mass shooting, I primarily focus on the gun situation because I rarely get to discuss it elsewhere.I primarily discuss healthcare, worker rights, housing, climate change, etc when the subject arises.

1. My point was that mass-shootings only make up about 1% of all gun deaths. Even if mass shootings were solved entirely (there was never a mass-shooting again) 99% of all gun deaths are from other sources. 

2. During alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition organized crime rose because these cartels and gangs could make profits by selling these items in the black market. When organized crime rises, disputes are resolved through violence between these cartels and gangs. If there is a large supply of semi-automatic weapons, and there is no legal sale of semi-automatic weapons, then organized criminals see a new mechanism to make profits. And since these organized criminals are also weapon-smugglers or even producers, like with drug prohibition and alcohol prohibition, they'll resolve their disputes through -- maybe even more so -- through gun-warfare. About 50% of all homicides in the U.S are gang-related, induced by drug prohibition. We've been slowly, but surely, decriminalizing drugs in the U.S, state by state, which will hopefully eliminate this organized crime, but if gangs can just switch to weapon sales then it becomes a significant problem. This wasn't an issue with fully-automatic weapons because there were only 600,000 of them when they were banned, and never was a high demand for them. But semi-automatic weapons are the highest demanded and produce weapon-type and there are probably something like 300 million of them in the U.S. If the goal is to eliminate gun homicides (regardless of where they originate) this is a problem. This is also why the best gun control probably isn't to ban guns, but to license their sales, which is why I do support some sort of licensing system. 

3. Many organized criminals are children fending for themselves, as young as pre-teen age.



Many of them have children and are desperately trying to take care of them but have no other mechanism to make enough money either because they have a criminal record and therefore can't get a decent job, are in a multi-generational cycle of poverty where they didn't get a decent education or didn't have a stable home-life, and/or some other reason. Many victims of organized crime are people who have nothing to do with the organized criminals but are caught in between the warfare. Many victims of organized crime are victims who police wrongly profile as organized criminals and kill. Given that you're not American and I don't know your background I am not going to suggest that this is the case with you, but often people who say things like this do so because the disproportionate share of people who die from organized crime related shootings are not-white whereas middle-class white people only worry about mass-shootings, suicides and accidents when it comes to gun lethality. 

4. Most gun deaths related to organized crime are from semi-automatic handguns, not AR15's. 

5. So far I haven't talked about the political element, but I will now. You can likely form a coalition that gets us a more egalitarian material reality in the U.S -- including universal healthcare but many other things. That coalition is much harder to build the stricter the gun control you advocate. It's an unfortunate truth, but for many people they'd rather vote for gun-ownership than bettering their material well-being. 

6. The relevance is that a country like Japan never had to enforce their strict laws on people who already owned the weapons, because very few people did own weapons. So it is logistically much easier. This is not the case in the U.S. And whenever one talks about enforcing a ban or firearm possession charges one needs to consider the race and class elements of enforcement and the fact that American policing isn't the same thing as policing in other countries. Gun control therefore will have to look quite different in the U.S than what it looks like in Japan unless you want to exacerbate class and race inequalities. 

7. All of these issues intersect. 

Last edited by sc94597 - on 26 May 2022

Another thread about the issue of enforcement and why gun control policy (again not to say nothing can be done, see: previous posts on licensing that give alternatives to criminalization) needs to consider enforcement. 



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sc94597 said:

1. My point was that mass-shootings only make up about 1% of all gun deaths. Even if mass shootings were solved entirely (there was never a mass-shooting again) 99% of all gun deaths are from other sources. 

2. During alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition organized crime rose because these cartels and gangs could make profits by selling these items in the black market. When organized crime rises, disputes are resolved through violence between these cartels and gangs. If there is a large supply of semi-automatic weapons, and there is no legal sale of semi-automatic weapons, then organized criminals see a new mechanism to make profits. And since these organized criminals are also weapon-smugglers or even producers, like with drug prohibition and alcohol prohibition, they'll resolve their disputes through -- maybe even more so -- through gun-warfare. About 50% of all homicides in the U.S are gang-related, induced by drug prohibition. We've been slowly, but surely, decriminalizing drugs in the U.S, state by state, which will hopefully eliminate this organized crime, but if gangs can just switch to weapon sales then it becomes a significant problem. This wasn't an issue with fully-automatic weapons because there were only 600,000 of them when they were banned, and never was a high demand for them. But semi-automatic weapons are the highest demanded and produce weapon-type and there are probably something like 300 million of them in the U.S. If the goal is to eliminate gun homicides (regardless of where they originate) this is a problem. This is also why the best gun control probably isn't to ban guns, but to license their sales, which is why I do support some sort of licensing system. 

3. Many organized criminals are children fending for themselves, as young as pre-teen age. Many of them have children and are desperately trying to take care of them but have no other mechanism to make enough money either because they have a criminal record and therefore can't get a decent job, are in a multi-generational cycle of poverty where they didn't get a decent education or didn't have a stable home-life, and/or some other reason. Many victims of organized crime are people who have nothing to do with the organized criminals but are caught in between the warfare. Many victims of organized crime are victims who police wrongly profile as organized criminals and kill. Given that you're not American and I don't know your background I am not going to suggest that this is the case with you, but often people who say things like this do so because the disproportionate share of people who die from organized crime related shootings are not-white whereas middle-class white people only worry about mass-shootings, suicides and accidents when it comes to gun lethality. 

4. Most gun deaths related to organized crime are from semi-automatic handguns, not AR15's. 

5. So far I haven't talked about the political element, but I will now. You can likely form a coalition that gets us a more egalitarian material reality in the U.S -- including universal healthcare but many other things. That coalition is much harder to build the stricter the gun control you advocate. It's an unfortunate truth, but for many people they'd rather vote for gun-ownership than bettering their material well-being. 

6. The relevance is that a country like Japan never had to enforce their strict laws on people who already owned the weapons, because very few people did own weapons. So it is logistically much easier. This is not the case in the U.S. And whenever one talks about enforcing a ban or firearm possession one needs to consider the race and class elements of enforcement and the fact that American policing isn't the same thing as policing in other countries. Gun control therefore will have to look quite different in the U.S than what it looks like in Japan unless you want to exacerbate class and race inequalities. 

7. All of these issues intersect. 

1. I see. But nothing I suggested would only affect mass shootings.
If you have to get a license (and renew it every few years) to own a gun like in Australia or Japan, that is going to reduce the amount of accidental gun deaths each year (about 500 gun deaths in the US in 2020 were accidental/unintentional) because people will be trained to properly handle and care for weapons, unlike now where they pick one up at Wallmart along with their corn flakes.

Mass shootings are the subject so I'm mainly focusing on that. But sensible gun legislation has positive effects in many different fields.


2.
Do you mean that organized crime that previously didn't sell these kind of weapons would now be more likely to use them against other organized crime groups because they start selling them?
Because I think they'd seemingly be as likely to use them when they could obtain them legally. Since there were fewer legal risk involved in arming themselves this way. And keeping these kind of weapons away from the gaze of law enforcement's tracking or sting operations is more difficult than some of the other things they usually deal with that can incriminate them.

Or do you mean that more organized criminal groups would arise as a result of this becoming a somewhat 'new' market? And thus they will arm themselves similarly to what other criminal groups do today?

That would make sense. But I say 'new' because illegal guns and gun trafficking already seems to be prevalent in the US.
I'm not sure that banning more gun types would make the already existing market that much worse.

And on that note, US law enforcement is constrained by insufficient laws to crack down on illegal networks that supply guns to criminals. Prosecutors who want to fight traffickers must rely on a law that prohibits “selling guns without a federal license.” This weak law carries the same punishment as trafficking chicken or livestock.
So more sensible gun laws can help law enforcement keep these people behind bars.


3. 
Well I'm a Bernie supporter who frequently argues with people here who make thinly veiled bigoted remarks that are very clearly designed to have a negative impact on marginalized groups. Though whether that is their intent can be hard to tell some times, because they're usually repeating talking points they heard from questionable people.
My perspective mainly comes from me living in a different reality, where people's sense of freedom is not having to worry about guns, or healthcare bills, or college tuitions, or not getting paid vacations, etc.

Some times I think about how much easier it would be if I just didn't care about less fortunate people outside of my 'tribe'/circle, let alone in another country, and I was a right winger and some of my biggest concerns were not wanting to put on a mask when I go to the grocery store, if I can use the N-word, and gender pronouns. Because some of these subjects I deal with as a progressive are really mentally exhausting, which is one reason I spend less time in this section than I used to.

But I think you and I have discussed gun reform before. Though I don't remember the specifics of those conversations.

And I'm not sure how prevalent it is that people who wish death by gun violence on lower class non-white people argue for gun reform. Because people like that are more likely to vote for a president that says Mexicans are drug dealers and rapists, except some who he assumes are good people. (Can't know for sure if there are any good Mexican people.) And whenever I've discussed this with any right-leaning person, they've always been against gun reform. Not a single exception. They just give the usual NRA talking points. "If we ban guns, they'll just use knives or cars, etc." "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."
(Which begs the question why NRA banned guns at their event instead of people.)

4. Right. But my argument was that civilians don't need to own the kind of weapons that are commonly proposed to be banned.

5. There's an overlap of politicians who advocate for universal healthcare, and sensible gun reform. And you're saying that the latter will be unpopular, and lower the chances of USA getting universal healthcare?
I don't remember the statistics as I sit here, but I believe at least universal background checks is popular in the US. As is universal healthcare, poll after poll shows.

But neither of these things happen for the same reason, imo.
It's a law that Republicans passed around 2003 iirc, which essentially makes corporate bribes to politicians legal. And it was further strengthened by Citizens United in 2010 I believe.

As long as corporate bribes are legal, and politicians accept them, they can't be trusted to act on the best interest of the people when it's a matter that affects said corporation.
If it's made illegal, I'm sure there will be deals under the table, but the more hoops they have to jump through for their corruption, the better for us.

Anyway, if corporates bribes were illegal, and news agencies did not accept money from the tobacco/fossil fuel/gun/pharmaceutical etc industries, then gun support talking points would not echo as loud as they are today by people's favorite politicians and TV personalities.


6. Every country is different, so they go about it in ways that makes sense for their situation. Incremental steps make more sense in the US, but regarding the details of that tweet, if you're saying that this and that won't work because of racist police etc, then at least offer some alternative gun reform to it.
I'm not saying this applies to you, but it can come off as disingenuous when people just shut down any suggestions without offering any of their own.

And in case you've offered some earlier in the thread, you can just link that to me in the same sentence, as that would make it constructive criticism. Instead of just continually shutting down every suggestion I make.
Because I don't feel like I've been given a reason to question my suggestions if you just leave it at that.

7. Right. And I've discussed several of those subjects many times before, and I agree with you that those are important issues as well that need to be dealt with.
We can discuss all of them as well if you'd like, but I will not only discuss them instead of gun reform. Nor will they be my focus in this thread.

Last edited by Hiku - on 26 May 2022

" Right. But my argument was that civilians don't need to own the kind of weapons that are commonly proposed to be banned."

This. Hunting guns are single bolt action and don't require 45 bullets a minute. Nobody would hunt by spraying bullets. Other hunting guns, small game, would be shotguns, again not 45 rounds a minute.

Personally protection, 6 shooter revolver, conceal carry. Again 45 bullets a minute is not required.

Home defense, buy a shotgun, again 45 bullets a minute is not required.

There is ZERO justification for people to own a gun that shots 45 bullets a minute and which has a 30 to 60 round capacity, with fast clip change. There just isn't.

And while their are enforcement concerns to work through...  at the very least stop future sales.  If not that, for the love of God raise the age to 21.

Last edited by Chrkeller - on 26 May 2022

Hiku said:

1. I see. But nothing I suggested would only affect mass shootings.
If you have to get a license (and renew it every few years) to own a gun like in Australia or Japan, that is going to reduce the amount of accidental gun deaths each year (about 500 gun deaths in the US in 2020 were accidental/unintentional) because people will be trained to properly handle and care for weapons, unlike now where they pick one up at Wallmart along with their corn flakes.

Mass shootings are the subject so I'm mainly focusing on that. But sensible gun legislation has positive effects in many different fields.


2.
Do you mean that organized crime that previously didn't sell these kind of weapons would now be more likely to use them against other organized crime groups because they start selling them?
Because I think they'd seemingly be as likely to use them when they could obtain them legally. Since there were fewer legal risk involved in arming themselves this way. And keeping these kind of weapons away from the gaze of law enforcement's tracking or sting operations is more difficult than some of the other things they usually deal with that can incriminate them.

Or do you mean that more organized criminal groups would arise as a result of this becoming a somewhat 'new' market? And thus they will arm themselves similarly to what other criminal groups do today?

That would make sense. But I say 'new' because illegal guns and gun trafficking already seems to be prevalent in the US.
I'm not sure that banning more gun types would make the already existing market that much worse.

And on that note, US law enforcement is constrained by insufficient laws to crack down on illegal networks that supply guns to criminals. Prosecutors who want to fight traffickers must rely on a law that prohibits “selling guns without a federal license.” This weak law carries the same punishment as trafficking chicken or livestock.
So more sensible gun laws can help law enforcement keep these people behind bars.


3. 
Well I'm a Bernie supporter who frequently argues with people here who make thinly veiled bigoted remarks that are very clearly designed to have a negative impact on marginalized groups. Though whether that is their intent can be hard to tell some times, because they're usually repeating talking points they heard from questionable people.
My perspective mainly comes from me living in a different reality, where people's sense of freedom is not having to worry about guns, or healthcare bills, or college tuitions, or not getting paid vacations, etc.

Some times I think about how much easier it would be if I just didn't care about less fortunate people outside of my 'tribe'/circle, let alone in another country, and I was a right winger and some of my biggest concerns were not wanting to put on a mask when I go to the grocery store, if I can use the N-word, and gender pronouns. Because some of these subjects I deal with as a progressive are really mentally exhausting, which is one reason I spend less time in this section than I used to.

But I think you and I have discussed gun reform before. Though I don't remember the specifics of those conversations.

And I'm not sure how prevalent it is that people who wish death by gun violence on lower class non-white people argue for gun reform. Because people like that are more likely to vote for a president that says Mexicans are drug dealers and rapists, except some who he assumes are good people. (Can't know for sure if there are any good Mexican people.) And whenever I've discussed this with any right-leaning person, they've always been against gun reform. Not a single exception. They just give the usual NRA talking points. "If we ban guns, they'll just use knives or cars, etc." "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."
(Which begs the question why NRA banned guns at their event instead of people.)

4. Right. But my argument was that civilians don't need to own the kind of weapons that are commonly proposed to be banned.

5. There's an overlap of politicians who advocate for universal healthcare, and sensible gun reform. And you're saying that the latter will be unpopular, and lower the chances of USA getting universal healthcare?
I don't remember the statistics as I sit here, but I believe at least universal background checks is popular in the US. As is universal healthcare, poll after poll shows.

But neither of these things happen for the same reason, imo.
It's a law that Republicans passed around 2003 iirc, which essentially makes corporate bribes to politicians legal. And it was further strengthened by Citizens United in 2010 I believe.

As long as corporate bribes are legal, and politicians accept them, they can't be trusted to act on the best interest of the people when it's a matter that affects said corporation.
If it's made illegal, I'm sure there will be deals under the table, but the more hoops they have to jump through for their corruption, the better for us.

Anyway, if corporates bribes were illegal, and news agencies did not accept money from the tobacco/fossil fuel/gun/pharmaceutical etc industries, then gun support talking points would not echo as loud as they are today by people's favorite politicians and TV personalities.


6. Every country is different, so they go about it in ways that makes sense for their situation. Incremental steps make more sense in the US, but regarding the details of that tweet, if you're saying that this and that won't work because of racist police etc, then at least offer some constructive alternative.
I'm not saying this applies to you, but it can come off as disingenuous when people just shut down any suggestions without offering any of their own.

And in case you've offered some earlier in the thread, you can just link that to me in the same sentence instead of just continually shutting down every suggestion I make.

7. Right. And I've discussed those subjects many times before, and I agree with you that those are important issues as well that need to be dealt with.
We can discuss all of them as well if you'd like, but I will not only discuss them instead of gun reform. Nor will they be my focus in this thread.

1. Right my point was more that gun control policy shouldn't be constructed to only optimize against a specific form of gun violence, i.e mass shooting. Policy that would be perfectly optimized for mass-shootings might have unforeseen consequences on other forms of violence (both state and extra-state violence) and a sound policy would probably have to treat gun violence as fungible between the different types/sources of violence and therefore be optimized to reduce aggregate violence, including state-imitated violence. It should also not omit the violence that the state does via police. This might mean that mass-shootings might happen sometimes (albeit hopefully at a smaller frequency), but it also means that other sorts of violence and aggregate violence doesn't increase to wash out the lives saved by preventing mass-shootings. I am not generally a utilitarian, but I can't see how we should solve these problems without taking a utilitarian approach. Because otherwise, we'll then all start considering which lives are more valuable than others, which is dangerous territory for a society and state policy to do. One of the problems with American society right now is that different lives are valued differently depending on whether or not the person is an agent of a state, their class, their race, their religion, and other identities. So any policy needs to not immeasurably lead to a significant amount more state-violence than the forms of violence it is aiming to prevent. Licensing isn't the sort of policy that would do this, but something like criminal possession charges would. 

2. I believe that when they create networks to obtain weapons for profit -- which is all organized crime ultimately aims to do -- obtain profits for the top of the crime pyramid, they will more easily have on hand weapons they need and more easily use them in violence. Maybe only marginally more easily, but still more easily nevertheless. Most organized crime isn't done with legally owned guns because most participants in organized crime are felons who can't legally own a gun. Despite what many people think about the relative freedom of having guns in this country, police -- especially when it comes to non-white people, constantly are looking to associate BIPOC people with carrying a gun so that they can use it as a pretense to detain us. This isn't something that would initially change very much in a different legal framework where gun control were harsher (unless it lifted some limits on police.) But since there is a new profit-motive because the price of guns has increased, you're going to see organized crime re-organized or newly organized around those profit sources. And with more organized criminals, as there are more profits to organize around, there will be more conflict between competitors. And with more organized crime, there is more funding of and apologizing for police-originated violence and mass-incarceration to ostensibly solve said organized crime. Coupled with all of this are the negative effects of criminalization and how people born into highly-criminalized communities are more likely to become criminalized themselves -- creating a cycle of violence that can only be halted and healed with decriminalization. 

Another aspect to it is that in a scenario of buy-back programs (not necessarily universal background checks or licensing requirements) you're going to have many legal gun owners selling their guns to organized criminals in one big or a series of big waves. Why? Because it is very unlikely that the amount the state is going to buy the weapons for is going to compete with what the criminals are willing to pay. And with things like sanctuary states and counties, a lot of this could go under the radar and/or will overwhelm federal police forces like the ATF, which are relatively small given the size of their jurisdiction. 

3. From my experience, there are plenty of people who have implicit bias against non-white persons who support gun-control and vote Democratic. One of the more infamous examples is Michael Bloomberg and his quite racist stop-and-frisk policies. See: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/25/809368292/the-legacy-of-stop-and-frisk-policing-in-michael-bloombergs-new-york

Republicans are good at being explicitly racist, but there are many Democrats who are wise enough to keep their racism under the radar or who don't think of themselves as racists but still strongly support policies that disproportionately affect BIPOC people. 

I personally am on the far-left -- an syndicalist/libertarian socialist if I were to label myself, so my positions are quite idiosyncratic in mainstream political discourse, but I do tend to support social democratic politicians when I vote. 

4. Right, my point is that legislation that aims to ban AR-15's but doesn't aim to ban semi-automatic handguns is 1. not effective in achieving its goals as semi-automatic handguns can are often more lethal and 2. over-optimized toward solving mass shootings and not other, more popular forms, of gun violence.  

5. I wasn't necessarily talking about politicians. I was mostly talking about voters. The topic that most clearly predicts party-association in the last decade or so is one's position on the gun topic. See: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-u-s-has-never-been-so-polarized-on-guns/

This wasn't always the case. There was a time where many pro-gun people in Appalachia and the upper-midwest voted for left-wing candidates, hell candidates to the left of the current Democrats. But gun-control is the ultimate cultural wedge issue in the U.S, and that is why about 40% of the Republican party supports universal healthcare but still votes for politicians who oppose it. Universal background checks are reasonably popular, but something like an assault weapons ban pushes single issue voters who would otherwise vote on their economic interests to the GOP. And if we can reduce most homicides indirectly, by solving the issues of poverty and mass-criminalization, why not do it? 

6. I actually did offer constructive alternatives. My first post in this thread was a list of policies that would reduce gun violence in the U.S, and then later on in this thread I described a licensing system. I am very concretely against any policy that criminalizes more people for non-violent activity though. That is where my support is lost. 

7. Fair enough. 



sc94597 said:
sundin13 said:

1. I feel like if we get to a point where we have low crime, we can perhaps allow those Class 3 weapons then, but until that point it doesn't seem to make sense to me. 

2. As for substance abuse, the reason it is included is because it is a strong predictor of gun violence. This operates on largely the same level as mental health evaluations, and the same argument could be made regarding mental health (banning people who wouldn't pass a mental health screening disincentivizes seeking help). However, especially with substance abuse, this is often something that comes with legal consequences if left untreated, so disincentive effects would be less prevalent. Overall, I feel that this is a trade-off that I am more than willing to make. As previously stated, I do believe that there should be a path to being allowed to own a firearm, however I don't know what that would specifically look like. 

3. I agree with your point regarding prisons, however until this issue is fixed, I think this is a key reason why we should not return gun rights to felons after serving their sentence. It may be a long term goal, but it would be reckless to return these rights without first fixing the prison system. 

1. Yeah, I really don't think violent crime is going to go low until the material incentives of violent crime are solved first. It is interesting that the Emma Goldman essay I cited is about 100 years old, and even then she references a statistic that isn't much different from the statistics we see today. 

"The most horrible aspect is that our national crime is murder, not robbery, embezzlement, or rape, as in the South. London is five times as large as Chicago, yet there are one hundred and eighteen murders annually in the latter city, while only twenty in London. Nor is Chicago the leading city in crime, since it is only seventh on the list, which is headed by four Southern cities, and San Francisco and Los Angeles. In view of such a terrible condition of affairs, it seems ridiculous to prate of the protection society derives from its prisons."

I suspect the difference is the fact that London (and the U.K in general) has had policing by consent since the early 1830's, making theft, robbery, and rape just as prevelant as in the U.S cities, but murder less desirable due to crime not necessarily needing to organize as rigidly to confront and capture aggressive police forces. And with less organized crime, there are fewer "gang wars." 

My main support for Class 3 is that having well-trained state militias could be useful given the current rising threat of fascism and fascist coups in the U.S. I am not really confident the U.S is going to last the next half-century and having a tradition of state-militias could mean protection from more fascist post-U.S republics. It could also embolden the fascist republics, but there isn't much that can be done in that hypothetical situation other than take in migrants and have strong militias against the fascist republics. That is why access to Class 3 is conditioned on one's membership with a state (organized) militia or certified gun club. 

2. Typically the restrictions due to mental illness are if somebody has in the past shown that they are a threat to themselves or others by being involuntarily institutionalized. Most data I have seen on this is that mentally ill people are not necessarily more dangerous, it is only when they self-medicate or don't seek treatment that there is a strong predictor of violence. If a mentally ill person never showed themselves to be a threat to others or themselves, and they are regularly seeking treatment (such as through prescribed medication) it isn't clear to me that they should be restricted. Same thing for substance abusers. If a substance abuser sought treatment and is continuing their treatment, then likewise they shouldn't be restricted. Usually the people who are most vulnerable to gun violence are the mentally ill and substance abusers, and since they can't rely on police (because of ableism and the criminalization of drugs) it isn't clear that we should make them more vulnerable. This is why decriminalization of drugs and the defunding of police are really important parts of gun reform as well, in my opinion. You can't make the people most vulnerable to gun violence even more vulnerable without giving them alternative mechanisms of seeking help without significant costs.  

3. I am personally a prison abolitionist and see the prison systems as incapable of being fixed. At this point they are organized slave-labor so that certain corporations can get cheap labor for a few dollars rather than pay workers minimum wage (or a market wage) and so that former criminals are limited in their employment options and therefore will work for low wages upon release. But again, this position only makes sense when one thinks the majority of crimes are for material reasons and that if the material reasons are solved people won't commit as many crimes (rape and sexual assault being an example of a not quite material crime.) I do have the caveat about restricting the right for highly likely recidivism cases though. Maybe during the probation/parole period one doesn't have their full rights, but after that they get them back? I am not comfortable with the current status-quo where judges may (and not shall) issue a restoration of rights upon asking. 

Of course these are all minor details really, compared to the general principal. 

1) Again, I am more than comfortable with pushing holistic crime reduction measures. My only argument is that gun control should be part of that, and until we reach a point where we are able to control crime, we shouldn't allow ownership of certain types of weapons. 

As for the argument regarding militias, I simply don't think that this could ever go well. If we are to task the citizenry with violence in certain circumstances, then we are leaving it up to them when violence is necessary. I feel that the greater damage of fascism is something like January 6, where an anti-government group is able to exploit that expectation of violence to create terrorism. It seems much less likely that guns will somehow be used to protect freedom and process and much more likely that guns will be used to stifle freedom and process. 

2) I think both of these ideas (mental illness and substance abuse) come back to the idea of demonstrating non-recidivism. If someone is committed, they shouldn't get to walk out of the institution and purchase a gun. They should have to demonstrate for a period of time that they are mentally stable and are managing their mental state to a reasonable extent. The same should be true of substance abusers. They should need to demonstrate for some time that they are no longer dependent on substances before they are restored their firearm owning privileges. You say "If a substance abuser sought treatment and is continuing their treatment, then likewise they shouldn't be restricted", but this seems to imply that they need to demonstrate continuing treatment for a reasonable period of time before full restoration of rights, so I'm not entirely sure what the argument is here unless I'm misunderstanding you. 

As for your point regarding firearms for protection, there is generally little evidence that firearms are particularly good at this. Often, firearms increase the likelihood of being victimized by a crime, not reduce it. As such, I don't feel that it is accurate to state that these laws would make people more vulnerable. 

3) Out of curiosity, in a post-prison society, what should be done with murderers? 



sundin13 said:

1) Again, I am more than comfortable with pushing holistic crime reduction measures. My only argument is that gun control should be part of that, and until we reach a point where we are able to control crime, we shouldn't allow ownership of certain types of weapons. 

As for the argument regarding militias, I simply don't think that this could ever go well. If we are to task the citizenry with violence in certain circumstances, then we are leaving it up to them when violence is necessary. I feel that the greater damage of fascism is something like January 6, where an anti-government group is able to exploit that expectation of violence to create terrorism. It seems much less likely that guns will somehow be used to protect freedom and process and much more likely that guns will be used to stifle freedom and process. 

2) I think both of these ideas (mental illness and substance abuse) come back to the idea of demonstrating non-recidivism. If someone is committed, they shouldn't get to walk out of the institution and purchase a gun. They should have to demonstrate for a period of time that they are mentally stable and are managing their mental state to a reasonable extent. The same should be true of substance abusers. They should need to demonstrate for some time that they are no longer dependent on substances before they are restored their firearm owning privileges. You say "If a substance abuser sought treatment and is continuing their treatment, then likewise they shouldn't be restricted", but this seems to imply that they need to demonstrate continuing treatment for a reasonable period of time before full restoration of rights, so I'm not entirely sure what the argument is here unless I'm misunderstanding you. 

As for your point regarding firearms for protection, there is generally little evidence that firearms are particularly good at this. Often, firearms increase the likelihood of being victimized by a crime, not reduce it. As such, I don't feel that it is accurate to state that these laws would make people more vulnerable. 

3) Out of curiosity, in a post-prison society, what should be done with murderers? 

1. In that case for me it is a matter of spending political capital, first, on the holistic methods of crime reduction. Largely because you can kill about five birds with one stone with the holistic solutions and the political capital goes much further by doing that. This isn't to say I don't support the licensing policy, as I do, but I support decriminalization as a mechanism of the reduction of violence more. It seems very clear to me that the Peelian Principles that the U.K adopted are probably more significant in its lower homicide rates than their gun laws, given that there already was a sharp difference in murder rate before the U.K implemented strict gun laws. And if it is a matter of forming a broader political coalition that addresses these holistic issues and discarding gun policy, it seems clear to me that that is the route to go, because these other solutions can be just as effective. 

Personally my view on anti-fascism is that it always has to include some kind or degree of violence. Guns (or some other weapons of some kind) were part of the solution in almost every effective and successful anti-fascist movement. I am not like right-wingers distorted in my view that guns are a sufficient condition of maintaining freedom, but they are definitely part of maintaining freedom in the context of fascist creep. Fascism is itself a violent movement and can not be tolerated through non-violence. And since in the United States there are pretty strong limitations on the government's capacity to crack down on fascists, and in fact many fascists are in positions of authority such as in police-forces (look at how many cops or former cops attended Jan 6th), this means that the regular people are ultimately the ones that have got to solve the problem. Nobody else will. Now of course I am not advocating for paramilitaries, but community and/or American state organized militias of the kind that exist in much of Europe to combat fascism are definitely needed in my opinion. 

2. No, I think we are in broad agreement on this. 

3. A. Reduce a bulk of murders by eliminating the incentives to murder. B. There will still be some murderers, provide options for rehabilitation if they show remorse. What that rehabilitation looks like depends on the specific circumstances of the murder. C. Separate the unrepentant murders from society, just as we do now, and construct mutual-aid institutions of community defense that don't depend on a specialized policing force that does patrols but involves the citizenry as equally responsible for protection. Murders would still happen, but they still happen in our current society too. 

Last edited by sc94597 - on 26 May 2022