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05:28 PM on 12/20/2012
Despite my anti gun control stance, a good gun control argument is worthwhile read...OTOH emotional dribble is annoying. Good article. Doesn't change my stance, but a worthwhile read.
04:55 AM on 12/20/2012
I was hoping this article would address some facts.. instead it really was emotions and paranoia masked as calm reason....

First.. nobody ever said discussion of gun violence is off the table.. always, after any well publicized incident there are calls for banning guns, and a defense of the 2nd Ammendment.. in that order..

A consensus on climate change?? Hardly.. when you've got 30,000 "scientists, phd's and engineers" signing the Oregon Letter on Global Warming.. thats enough to thwart your man-made concensus.. besides.. alarmists cannot even admit that a "pause" has taken place for 16 years now... no discernible air temp increase.. given the massive record breaking winter in Russia this year the pause will continue for another year...

Now keep in mind I believe the temp has gone up a few degrees the past few hundred years.. and of course CO2 traps more heat... but all these dire predictions have not come true and the IPCC models just do not capture the entire climate system, are not accurate nor complex enough at this time to predict much .. show is one thats peer reviewed??

Again, we'll have to just disagree... much of the hysteria, emotion, and lack of facts clearly reside on the Left.. you guys are just unable to admit it..
06:53 PM on 12/20/2012
The Oregon Petition? It sure seems that 32,000 is a lot when but the signatories for this joke represent a tiny fraction (~0.3%) of all US science graduates (petition cards were only sent to individuals within the U.S). According to figures from the US Department of Education Digest of Education Statistics: 2008, 10.6 million science graduates have gained qualifications consistent with the OISM polling criteria since the 1970-71 school year. 32,000 out of 10 million isn’t a very compelling figure, but a tiny minority - approximately 0.3 per cent. There are many issues casting doubt on the validity of this petition. On investigation, attempts to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change often appear to have ideological roots, vested business interests or political sponsors. The claims made do not withstand objective scrutiny; the assertions made in the petition are not supported by evidence, data or scientific research. The vast majority of scientists who signed the petition have never studied climatology and don't do any research into it. It doesn't matter if you're a Ph.D. A Ph.D in metallurgy just makes you better at metallurgy. It doesn’t transform you into some kind of expert in paleoclimatology. In fact only .1% of the individuals on the list of 32,000 signatures have a scientific background in Climatology. Including those who claim to have a background in Atmospheric Science, this brings the total percentage of signatories with a background in climate change science to a whopping 0.5%.
12:14 AM on 12/20/2012
Many of the proponents of gun ownership claim they are interpreting the constitution literally, as our forefathers intended. The thing is...back in the day, when this was drafted, "bearing arms" did not mean guns, specifically. Guns didn't the supremacy among weapons they do now. Also, they had pre-rifling muskets, which had such poor accuracy that they were about as likely to hit the target as to hit the gunman himself. If we're going to adhere to the second amendment in its original spirit, then people should only be allowed to own the types of "arms" that were available then. The second amendment wasn't referring to high tech killing machines, or anything even remotely capable of massacre.
05:04 AM on 12/20/2012
Its this kind of publik school thinking which REALLY bothers me... ok, have it your way .. in addition only property owners and people who pay taxes can vote.. how about that?

The right to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed.. good luck defending your home or family with a musket.. if you can guarantee that criminals would have only a musket.. I'd take u up on that deal..
11:29 AM on 01/15/2013
In your own home, where you know where everything is and all the hiding spots, a gun is not necessarily the best option against an intruder with a firearm. Successful self-defense with a firearm is so rare that it's a non-argument. The NRA searches high and low for stories of people who successfully defended themselves with firearms. Yet they ignore all the accidental gun deaths, or the many more cases of people who defended their home against an armed intruder, with a kitchen knife, or a 9-Iron, or a baseball bat.
11:58 PM on 12/19/2012
Although I don't know that I completely agree with everything this author is saying, I think he does a good job of introducing some calm in a debate that has become extremely emotional... In fact, he has done a far better job than most all of our politicians on either side of the aisle.

The problem is that he is not leading this debate. President Obama tries to appear less engaged in the debate but his background with the Joyce Foundation causes many with an interest in firearms a great deal of concern. Put it this way, it is the equivalent of a past director of the NRA making statements on the subject. Very complicated.

Past positions are very sensitive subjects on both sides of the debate. Nobody seems to trust or believe anyone. Everyone, hopefully, agrees that Connecticut was a tragedy but nobody really has faith in the other party.

And, truthfully, not everyone is as rational. There are a LOT of politicians out there that are proposing the equivalent of a land grab, trying to suggest everything from ammo bans to extensive restrictions on uses of firearms. They are not helping the reasonable debate attempts at all. That behavior tends to make pro gun people dig in.
12:17 PM on 12/19/2012
I Yam What I Yam

I have to be honest. Guns are important to me. They form so much of my identity. I get such a soothing feeling of peace and serenity when all I need to do when I get really out of sorts with my spouse/boss/and all those other jerks out there is just think about the Bushmaster nestling peacefully in my closet inserted with a full magazine.

That's why I get so wrought when people use the improper nomenclature-confusing assault rifle with assault weapon, clip with magazine. These details are so important and relevant when the opponents to my right to have mass killing fire power try to connect this right with some of these shootings that have taken place.

Let's face it if it turns out that I can no longer have a semi automatic rifle and 30+ magazines I really don't know what I'll do with myself.
04:59 AM on 12/20/2012
Nice try... amusing..
10:43 AM on 12/19/2012
I agree with gun control and making it harder to obtain a gun. But I don't agree with eliminating them. I have taken gun safety courses and permit to carry classes. Instructors scare the living daylights out of you. They take the classes very seriously, and make you take gun ownership very seriously. Your last resort is your gun. You better be sure that your life or someone else's life is in danger, or you'll pay the consequences. I am a 23-year-old girl, living in a large city, petit. If someone broke into my home, they would easily overpower me. I'm not sure if I have it in me to use a gun on someone, even if their intentions were to harm or kill me. But I believe it is my right to protect myself against an intruder in my home. And especially if I have children to protect someday. I still have yet to carry my gun on my person in public, I don't know if I'm ready for that responsibility. But my father does. I'd be happy to have him by my side if something were to happen before the police could make it.
12:07 AM on 12/20/2012
The irony here is that those instructors that are pushing you so hard are almost certainly NRA certified. Although so many here demonize the NRA, they fail to realize that it is a huge organization. There is the very public, in your face, often maddening, political side and then there is the training side. They can be very good with firearm safety and, contrary to popular belief here on this site, interested in ensuring that if you do shoot your gun, you are certain it is for the right reasons and that you are accurate.

It is easy to forget that there are lots of faces to the NRA, the same way there are lots of faces to any large organization. Rarely is anything "all bad" or "all good".

Do yourself a favor... Don't carry your gun until you are ready to do so. :-)
11:43 AM on 12/20/2012
Well said! And agreed!
11:49 AM on 12/20/2012
Also. I'm certain many of the people who murder and commit these crimes, don't take this class with instructors who (like you said) are more than likely NRA certified. Out of the over 100,000 people in my state who have their permit to carry, there has not been one issue reported by police. There is something to be said for that, I believe!
10:39 AM on 12/19/2012
Love this article, sums it up perfectly. I highly recommend it you, and share with all your friends.
02:40 AM on 12/26/2012
Sorry, I pass. Regardless of the title, this is still an emotion-filled editorial piece disguised as calm reasoning. I read this piece with an open mind; sadly, I felt that unconvinced and rather insulted actually.
Bradley Helm
09:56 AM on 12/19/2012
"The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." - St. George Tucker

"It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." - Joseph Story

"The arms intended by the Constitution are such as are suitable for the general defence of the community against invasion or oppression, and the secret carrying of those suited merely to deadly individual encounters may be prohibited." - Thomas Cooley
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08:55 AM on 12/19/2012
The fact is that, statistically, a gun in a home is more likely to end up harming someone in the home than an intruder and raises the chance of a homicide in the home.
This old chestnut again? The time I let a suspicious character roaming around my backyard see my gun and he took off like lightning doesn't count as defensive use of a weapon? Or shooting and scaring someone off, or simply the fact that they know/think I have one and avoid my house in the first place? On the other side of the equation, they count suicide as 'using the gun against someone in the home'. Please.
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09:26 AM on 12/19/2012
no, the time that you saw someone in your back yard and you waved a gun at them does not count. that means you wave guns at people in and around your home at night. your just assuming it was a criminal and that you thwarted some attempt at theft or something....shooting and scaring someone off? these are pretty ambiguous situations with no details at all....
12:26 AM on 12/20/2012
I'm not for shooting someone who is not threatening you in your back yard, but there is NO way the person should have been there. This sounds like you are almost agreeing with the old, "burglar runs through plate glass window, sues homeowner" cases. The homeowner is well within his rights to investigate, and if the trespasser had threatened him, the homeowner would likely have been well within his rights to shoot him. The homeowner could not pursue the other guy though.

Burglary is a dangerous game. If you threaten someone while in their home, you run a very real risk of being at the wrong end of a firearm, or right end depending on one's viewpoint.
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08:19 AM on 12/19/2012
well written and articulate article.
All things merge into one and a river runs through
08:11 AM on 12/19/2012
This is an amazing article! Using myths to dispel myth.
Some of the glaring ones.
1. Automatic weapons, which assault weapons are, are already tightly controlled under the NFA '34.
2. Self defense. The stats the author quotes only takes into account cases where the gun is discharged. The two times my gun prevented crimes against my family wouldn't be in those stats. I think the lives of my children are as precious as anyone's.
With 300 mil guns in private hands I ask why the body count isn't higher?
07:38 AM on 12/19/2012
Everyone (except the Wayne LaPieceofguano Cult Club) agrees that society can draw a line at owning hand grenades, RPG's and 50 caliber machine guns. Society can choose to move that line a little to include high capacity clips.

The NRA zealots are trying to get ahead of a reasonable and effective ban by defining "assault weapon" as full auto. Don't fall for it. A semi auto can get off 30 rounds in seconds and is arguably more deadly than full auto because each shot is deliberate, not a spray.

Ban possession of high capacity clips not only the sale of them and make it jail time when caught with them. Buy them back for a period, then ban them altogether.
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08:58 AM on 12/19/2012
Assault RIFLE = full auto. Assault WEAPON = semi. Ban all the clips you want. Modern weapons use MAGAZINES.
12:36 AM on 12/20/2012
I need to educate myself... I've been around AR platforms for awhile and I must admit that I've actually never heard that distinction. To me, a rifle is a weapon, and hence synonymous. An assault XYZ is a military grade weapon that is always automatic, hence the reason I don't consider ARs to be assault weapons. And before anyone goes ballistic over that, hear me out... This isn't to say there can't be a debate over them. I personally agree more with better psych evaluations than limiting ARs, BUT that isn't the point of this comment... The term 'assault' has always been just a way of conjuring up strong emotions for those that don't, or can't do research on their own. An extreme example, but if you want to ban hammers you don't call the legislation the 'hammer restriction bill", you call it the "wife beater bill", that type of thing. The latter is much more likely to strike a visceral chord.

So, now I need to find out if I have it all wrong. If 'Assault Weapon' is actually an accepted accurate term to describe an AR (and I don't mean by Bloomberg, he'll call a BB gun an assault weapon) then I'll have to change my terminology too. Can you tell me where you came up with the distinction?
11:36 AM on 01/15/2013
Very few soldiers ever move the fire selector over to full auto. The distinction is invalid. Modern weapons do use magazines, I'm okay with this, I'm not okay with somebody getting a 100 round CMAG that should be on a military MG36, not some guys AR-15. Full autos usually do not hit much and you have to reload more, a semi can do much more damage because you have to be deliberate and therefor much more accurate.
06:33 AM on 12/19/2012
Bard claims that gun control is another case where facts lose out to emotions. If he’s looking for a culprit, he might want to start by looking in the mirror

Case in point. He states “Assault rifles, automatic weapons, weapons that don't need reloading, megaclips, etc. aren't meant for hunting or sport …It is amazing we can't even discuss limiting these types of weapons.” This is either one of the more ignorant statements I’ve read, or one designed to appeal to the emotions of the uninformed. First, there is no gun that doesn’t need reloading at some time. Second, the shooter in Newtown didn’t use an assault rifle, automatic weapon or a weapon that didn’t need reloading. Finally, the term assault rifle is a military term that essentially applies to automatic weapons (e.g. machine guns). For all practical purposes assault rifles and automatic weapons have been banned from civilian use since 1934. Thus Bard is either ignorant of the difference between an automatic and semi automatic, or he’s cynically using the public’s ignorance to drum up support for gun control on semi-automatics by appealing to the hatred for automatics. Assault rifle is often confused with the term assault weapon. The latter has no precise definition. It was a term coined by politicians in the 1990s to expand gun control into the category of semi-automatic weapons by making the uninformed think they were banning automatic weapons. Semi automatics fire one bullet per trigger pull.
All things merge into one and a river runs through
08:14 AM on 12/19/2012
Well said! Semi auto firearms have been in civilian hands for over 100 years. The last "ban on ugly guns" was a total failure! What is it called when you do the same thing over again hoping for different results?
12:58 PM on 12/19/2012
Thank you
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08:48 AM on 12/19/2012
your saying alot of things that either have little to do with this article, or are just opinions. i dont think many people have difficulty in understanding the differences between automatic and semi automatic, thats an assertion on your part. "there is no gun that doesnt need reloading at some time". im willing to guess this is news to literally nobody. if you want to be critical of the writer, why dont you address some of the more important facts stated, like how a man in china stabs 22 children and kills nobody, but a man in america shoots a similar amount dead. or point out how semi automatics were used in the colorado shooting, and use THAT as an opportunity to correct semantics. this is exactly what the writer was talking about, a poorly thought out, inarticulate response based on the emotion of your like for guns and dislike for people who prefer tighter gun control. why dont you tackle a statement saying facts and studies show that just having a gun in a home for self defense is often not used for such a purpose in many cases? at least say something plausible if your going to comment in this way. nothing in this essay of yours has any substance. its literally exactly what the writer was referring to. Go google Ad Hominem.
01:22 PM on 12/19/2012
You need to look at the article again.

First, you claim that my comment that there is no gun that doesn't need reloading is news to noboby-well its news to Bard since he listed it as one of things that needs to be discussed in sensible legislation.

Second, you claim most people know the difference between an automatic vs. a semi automatic gun. I would beg to differ. Bard himself confuses the difference and politicians routinely refer to the AR-15 as a military style assault weapon. It is neither a military weapon nor an assault rifle. In fact, unless you are just ranting, you too displayed some ignorance on the subject. You point out that a semi-automatic gun was used in the Colorado shooting. So what? The Glock handgun Lanza had is also a semi automatic gun. If you are suggesting we ban all semi-automatic guns then you would be banning virtually all guns in the US-something you might like but which is unconstitutional.

The point I was trying to make is that there is no constitutional law that would have prevented the Newtown shootings. People like Bard distort the issue by implying that we could by just passing a few reasonable measures (like banning automatics) that are either factually wrong or misleading
No one ever becomes poor by giving..A Frank.
06:20 AM on 12/19/2012
This article covers all the salient points that should be highlighted. However, the extremist in the

"right to bear arms" group will push back hard. There are some, not all, who think they should be

armed even with tanks. After the gulf war there was a great demand for HUMVEES..........
09:07 AM on 12/19/2012
Do you mind if I use this post as an example of a "strawman" argument in my presentation? I've been looking for really good examples and this one rocks!
No one ever becomes poor by giving..A Frank.
09:19 AM on 12/19/2012
Says the strawman. Have a nice day. Seriously.
03:51 AM on 12/19/2012
The argument that crossfire would result in more deaths is completely absurd. In one scenario, you have a gunman who is trying to kill as many people as he can with impunity, in the other scenario, you have 2 or more people shooting at each other. It is highly improbable that people shooting at each other are going to cause more deaths than one person shooting at as many people as he can. At the very least, a gun fight will allow people the opportunity to escape. Even if you are a terrible shot, your bullets will go in the general vicinity that you point your gun. How in the world would that result in more deaths than a gunman walking up to people shooting them point blank? And if the police show up the good people would surrender immediately, obviously. If the police show up while the gun fight is still happening, they would have to use their judgment. But the point is, how can this scenario possibly be worse than an unimpeded gunman trying to kill as many people as possible? Seriously!! Think!
Arma virumque cano...
04:51 PM on 12/19/2012
Well put, but they will not "think"...only emote.