Are all gun laws by definition incompatible with the 2nd amendment?

When our founding fathers created the constitution they were pretty focused on issues which had been abuses or led to abuses of the people by oppressive governments in Europe.  They were not trying to tell people how to do things like raise their children but the did make rules that would prevent an oppressive government from disarming the people so they be oppressed without risking an armed rebellion.
The constitution is a short document and doesn't deal with common sense rules, like don't leave your loaded guns or sharp knives where young children can get to them.  Similarly I can't imagine they would have thought they needed to explicitly say we need to keep guns out of the hands of known violent criminals and mentally unstable people because they probably though that was common sense and the Constitution is not an Army Regulations Manual.
Our job should be to attempt to use common sense to protect the public while at the same time not enacting laws that nullify the 2nd amendment by unfairly restricting the constitutional rights of most of the people.
That's a little tough with the second amendment, but hardly impossible.  Lets take registration:
If the government has accurate lists of all the guns, they can easily circumvent all our other rights by seizing all of them first.  That has happened in other countries.  Fortunately all inclusive lists are not necessary, it's only necessary to keep lists of the people, who are not allowed to possess them.  Oh but anti gun folks want everyone who owns a gun on the list...  WHY?
The only reason to put every gun owner on the list is so that we can demand their guns if one day we want to. 
Instead of respecting the Constitution we regularly make laws that could be used for confiscation, and it's those laws that most gun owners get upset about... and the ones that just make it tough for them, (but not criminals), to buy, own, transport, and use their guns.
Waiting periods have no effect on criminals, but somehow we imagine the people who buy guns and the public are better off if buyers have to wait a few weeks and make two trips before getting another gun.  I say another because most gun buyers already own several.  Today we have computers that can tell any vendor if any one of your credit cards has reached it's max limit in a few seconds.  A cop can tell if your drivers license has been suspended in a few seconds.  Making a gun buyer wait weeks when it should take seconds is not necessary, it's a burden anti-gun folks enjoy inflicting on law abiding gun owners, that they know has no effect on violent criminals.
If someone is not on the "no gun" list, they should be sold the gun with no other questions asked and nothing but a sales receipt as a record of the sale.  That way criminals and the insane couldn't buy them and the government wouldn't have a list that could be used to disarm the general public.




Bill Kamps Added Mar 3, 2018 - 3:08pm
Riley, nothing wrong with a "do not own list".   However .....
The real issue seems to be that the people who commit these large scale killing acts are usually, 1) not a known criminal and 2) not legally insane.  They are just troubled people, and it is difficult to know who those troubled people are before they start breaking the law.  We also are pretty poor at identifying troubled people.
A fair number of other gun shootings are committed by people who are just irresponsible.  They may leave their gun unlocked for kinds to grab, they may get angry, upset, and then take their gun and shoot their wife or friend, while later regretting it.  Again not easy to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible drunks, and hotheads.
While there may be some laws that may help at the margin, they really are not going to stop the mass killings, which is what people seem to be the most upset about.  There are about 10K homicides with guns each year, and the ones that get the most press are of course the ones where 10-15 people get killed in one incident.  These represent a tiny fraction of the people killed with guns each year.  Less than 1%. 
It is the same phenomenon where we think air plane crashes are horrific because 100 people die, but we tolerate 100 people dying each day in car crashes.  If 100 people died each day in airplane crashes, all  the airlines would be grounded.  No one is talking about grounding the cars because so  many are dying, because they die one at a time.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 3, 2018 - 3:16pm
Your articles are always a treat.
Riley Brown Added Mar 3, 2018 - 3:23pm
Thank you Benjamin, I like to think I inspire thought and sometimes I learn a lot from commenters who know things I don't.
Riley Brown Added Mar 3, 2018 - 3:30pm
Bill I too think it's all about the odds, and I do think there are acceptable risks, even deadly ones.
I do not believe in layers of ineffective laws or in laws that deprive other people of the right to enjoy life so that other people can be minutely safer. 
The odds of a child being killed by a school shooting are dwarfed by the odds that they will die in a neighbors pool, but we don't ban private pools.
School shootings are currently a media driven fad, they will never go away completely, but they are on the long list of things I have concluded we can't do much about and aren't worth worrying about because the odds of them happening to our children are so low.
If I wanted my child to be a little safer I'd be increasing the odds in their favor much more by buying a large car or not letting them take up sports like hang gliding.
Stephen Hunter Added Mar 3, 2018 - 4:52pm
If plane crashes were 20x higher in the U.S. don't you think something would be done to improve the odds though Riley? While I agree with you the problem cannot fixed in this generation, don't you think future generations may want to reduce their kid's risk? It is not just the kids killed and their families anguish, it is the anguish of the nation, every time it happens. That is not good for the emotional health of society. 
Dino Manalis Added Mar 3, 2018 - 4:56pm
Exactly, we need responsible people with guns, including law enforcement, while mentally-ill and criminal individuals shouldn't possess them in the first place.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 3, 2018 - 6:05pm
Stephen, you have nice sentiments, but there really isnt anything we can do, unless we can predict what people will do in the future.
If plane crashes happened at a much higher rate, they likely would not be more or less random events.  Given the many thousands of people with troubled minds it is almost impossible to find the 3-4 a year that will decide to commit a large scale homicide. 
One of the difficulties we have is that the media fails miserably to put things in proper context.  We all remember the Ebola scare in the US a few years ago.  We were wiping down airplanes with bleach because one person died, even though everyone knew Ebola was not transferred from surfaces.  Over 100 people a day die from the flu, and yet no story on Ebola mentioned this context.  
After a school shooting it seems heartless and awful to say, it is just one of those things that happens, but like car wrecks, the flu, lightening strikes, there often is little we can do to stop bad things from happening.
Passing laws does not change behavior.  In Colombia it is illegal to own a gun, and yet their homicide rate is 5x that of the  US.  Having said that, even with their much  higher homicide rate, they dont have these kinds of shootings.  So it is likely something cultural that is triggering these events, not just simply a deranged person with a gun.  Plenty of those people in Colombia. 
Dave Volek Added Mar 3, 2018 - 6:26pm
Nice article Riley
Back in my political days, I met with the President of the Canadian Firearms Association. He had a great solution: license the firearm owner/user! User has to prove some competence, no criminal record, no known psychiatric issues. No license-->confiscate the firearm. 
So it is likely something cultural that is triggering these events, not just simply a deranged person with a gun.
I have to agree with much of what you said, but at some point, a more prominent firearm culture in USA is going to cause more damage. Depending on the stats, the per-capita death-by-firearms rate in the USA is five to 10 higher than the rest of the western world.
When people start talking about more guns in schools to supposedly deter the already low chance of a school shooting, would the USA not be adopting a gun culture similar to Columbia?
Bill Kamps Added Mar 3, 2018 - 7:33pm
Depending on the stats, the per-capita death-by-firearms rate in the USA is five to 10 higher than the rest of the western world.
Dave, true.  The rest of the Western world does not have a right to own arms in their Constitution.  There is a price for having this right, no doubt. 
When people start talking about more guns in schools to supposedly deter the already low chance of a school shooting, would the USA not be adopting a gun culture similar to Columbia?
Well, as I said it is illegal to own guns in Colombia.  That does not stop the killing, but interesting enough they dont have mass school shootings.
Having said that, I dont think we should be arming teachers necessarily,  but at the same time declaring places "gun free zones" seems rather naive for obvious reasons.
As we have discussed the odds of being killed by a firearm are really rather low.  What brings out these discussions are the 3-5 times a year someone shoots 10+ people.  I dont see how different laws will stop that. 
Don Added Mar 3, 2018 - 9:17pm
My concern about the list is the lists in the big medical computer. They want to put those with a diagnosis of mental illness on the no gun list. But, who are the mentally ill? Do they include the one out of every five Americans who have a mental illness diagnoses? The medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry have given all sorts of diagnoses in order to get reimbursed. These diagnoses range from temporary sadness (Depression) through worry (Anxiety) to serious mental illness (the majority of whom are benign).
Stephen Hunter Added Mar 4, 2018 - 9:22am
Bill, I prefer perhaps naively, to go with the quote "the best way to predict the future, is to invent it". ( was that Bill gates or Steve Jobs?)
Stephen Hunter Added Mar 4, 2018 - 9:29am
Gerrilea, why can't we aspire to one global society like Star Trek? Dare to Dream! The Spiritual Masters say that we come into this world as one with the collective- not just of man but of all things. During life this oneness gets stripped away, starting with the pack mentality of 'my family is better than any others.'
True happiness and contentment with ourselves happens when we reconnect with this oneness. 
Bill Kamps Added Mar 4, 2018 - 9:31am
Stephen, I would tend to agree with you in that in the future it is possible that something might be able to reduce the problem.  It would seem more likely that the "something" will be technology, rather than a law. 
For example, I could well imagine it would be possible to make a weapon where only the owner(s) could pull the trigger. This does  not solve all problems people create with guns, but it does reduce the risk that the gun will be used by someone other than the owner either accidentally  on themselves ( kids for example ), or just picking up a parents gun to go shoot up a school.
Having said that, there are some 300 million guns in the US now, so any  technology change to guns, would take generations to have an effect, since the old guns are just as deadly.
Riley Brown Added Mar 4, 2018 - 10:57am
 Gerrilea, Thank  you for the kind words, I like to think I'm not the only one out there who tries to use logic and put things in perspective.
Riley Brown Added Mar 4, 2018 - 11:08am
Stephen, if it were about the odds threatening out children's lives school shooting are so statistically rare we'd not even pay any significant attention to the because other things like private pools kill  10 times more kids than all kids gun deaths.
You've appealed to the "lets all agree to do something to reduce the carnage" argument and that is a good argument, but it falls apart if you know there are far greater threats to our children than guns.
65% of the gun deaths are from suicide, and as we know from other countries were guns are absent, like Japan, things like drug OD's and knives work just as well. 
I like saving lives, especially children, but I also temper my zeal to do that with the belief that risks are part of life and it's not worth the sacrifices I'd have to make to lower those risks to almost zero from many sources.  I put a seatbelt on them every time, but I don't stop letting them from climbing trees because they might fall and break their neck.
Riley Brown Added Mar 4, 2018 - 11:14am
Dave, licensing owners is what "concealed carry" is all about in the US and I'm in favor of it.  A person who wants to carry a concealed weapon in public has to register, be back-grounded of course, and demonstrate proficiency with the registered weapon they want to carry.
The class of people who do that have turned out to be the most responsible gun owners, probably because they know it's a privilege they can lose if they every abuse a gun.
On the other extreme are criminals who aren't allowed to possess guns or ammunition, and still do despite the fact that doing so can get them in big trouble even if it's just in their house.
Riley Brown Added Mar 4, 2018 - 11:23am
Don I share your concern for two reasons.  First lots of active shooters do have questionable behavior in their past, but so do huge portions of the public.  In places were going to a therapist is common for affluent people, many might be classified as potentially suicidal during divorces or military folks who come back and can't find or keep a job.  I don't know if it's one in five or way less but it is easy to become the victim of a nasty divorce and have a domestic violence record just because a spouse realizes that's an easy avenue to success.
Second, there are just far too many technical weapons violations that can cost someone their right to own a gun.  Increasingly people who are really only guilty of not knowing enough about gun laws are finding themselves breaking laws that you and I and they have no idea even exist.  I don't think people who obviously have no criminal intent, especially those with no criminal past, should lose their right to own guns becasue politicians passed a law that made them a criminal.
Pardero Added Mar 4, 2018 - 11:36am
Good work, Riley Brown.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 4, 2018 - 12:14pm
I've been reading a lot of H.L. Mencken quotes lately, here's a couple that I think are particularly relevant:
"The strange American ardor for passing laws, the insane belief in regulation and punishment, plays into the hands of the reformers, most of them quacks themselves. Their efforts, even when honest, seldom accomplish any appreciable good. The Harrison Act, despite its cruel provisions, has not diminished drug addiction in the slightest. The Mormons, after years of persecution, are still Mormons, and one of them is now a power in the Senate. Socialism in the United States was not laid by the Espionage Act; it was laid by the fact that the socialists, during the war, got their fair share of the loot. Nor was the stately progress of osteopathy and chiropractic halted by the early efforts to put them down. Oppressive laws do not destroy minorities; they simply make bootleggers."
"Democracy always seems bent upon killing the thing it theoretically loves. I have rehearsed some of its operations against liberty, the very cornerstone of its political metaphysic. It not only wars upon the thing itself; it even wars upon mere academic advocacy of it. I offer the spectacle of Americans jailed for reading the Bill of Rights as perhaps the most gaudily humorous ever witnessed in the modern world. Try to imagine monarchy jailing subjects for maintaining the divine right of Kings! Or Christianity damning a believer for arguing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God!"

"The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace. All the rest have been disposed of by judicial interpretation and legislative whittling. Probably the worst thing that has happened in America in my time is the decay of confidence in the courts. No one can be sure any more that in a given case they will uphold the plainest mandate of the Constitution. On the contrary, everyone begins to be more or less convinced in advance that they won't. Judges are chosen not because they know the Constitution and are in favor of it, but precisely because they appear to be against it."
Pardero Added Mar 4, 2018 - 12:18pm
Michael B.
I enjoyed those H.L. Mencken quotes. 
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Mar 4, 2018 - 12:31pm
Thanks Pardero, I enjoyed reading and sharing them!
Jeff Michka Added Mar 4, 2018 - 12:40pm
So, Riley...You are okay with having TSA style checkpoints everywhere. Scans, xrays, pat downs and cavity searches everywhere from schools to malls or wherever more than two people gather is okay and that's how we should live safe, eh?  You got high-fived by some of the WB 2nd amendment heroes, but they won't address this, either.  I 'm sure ol Pard loved what you said, but once again, the "freedom and liberty" crowd are willing to surrender their freedom and liberty, as long as there are no laws or regulations regarding guns.  'Cause, in the end, they actually believe in "the last stand" where they'll fight off the forces of darkness trying to get their guns.
Stephen Hunter Added Mar 4, 2018 - 12:50pm
Riley I do agree that being overly protective and worrying about every little thing, is not the right approach with raising children. 
However lumping violent behavior of others into that category, accepting that as, oh well shit happens, just someone seems off, to me at least. 
Don Added Mar 4, 2018 - 1:13pm
Great discussion.  Thanks for posting the link to the New York article on criminalizing mental illness.  
Gerrilea Added Mar 4, 2018 - 4:27pm
Stephen H--  Personally I'd rather create a future where humans have no need to arm themselves against one another but still retain the unalienable right to do so.
Clearly we can't or won't.  That would take true courage.  The gun has nothing to do with this.  It's a naive belief system to think if you ban firearms, humans will miraculously stop killing one another and live as "one".
As for those "Spiritual Masters", as I chuckle hardheartedly,  if they existed...they've done a really crappy job.  Isn't it just a tad "convenient" that this "new age movement" came about EXACTLY when we lost our morality as a society and turned into a nihilistic self serving "it's all about me" nation?  YEP. 
The greatest deception Satan ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Michael B--  The 3d A has been destroyed as well.
Here's a case out of Nevada back in 2013:
     "Henderson [Nevada] police arrested a family for refusing
     to let officers use their homes as lookouts for a domestic
     violence investigation of their neighbors, the family
     claims in court."
But Mencken's point does stand, Judges are chosen because they are against the Constitution.
Jeff M-- Did I miss something? 
     :..the "freedom and liberty" crowd are willing to surrender
     their freedom and liberty, as long as there are no laws or
     regulations regarding guns."
     'Cause, in the end, they actually believe in "the last stand"
     where they'll fight off the forces of darkness trying to get
     their guns."
Sadly, you haven't read our history, have you???
It goes something like this:  Soapbox---Ballot Box----Ammo Box.
Ever hear of the Battle of Athens???
We won.  We can and will do it again, when called into service, especially those of us that don't own firearms, such as myself.
Any questions why the NRA's membership is at an all time high?
Don-- Hopefully you'll spread the word to those that wish to attach, "mental qualifications", to our unalienable rights and what can of worms we in NYS have already opened.
Don Added Mar 4, 2018 - 4:41pm
G. So far I have written the President who promised to respond.  Also, I contacted my congresswoman who responded thoughtfully.  I have a little credibility due to my serving and leading advocacy groups at the Federal, State and local levels for people with brain disorders.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 4, 2018 - 6:14pm
.the "freedom and liberty" crowd are willing to surrender their freedom and liberty, as long as there are no laws or
     regulations regarding guns."
Cause, in the end, they actually believe in "the last stand"
     where they'll fight off the forces of darkness trying to get
     their guns."
Sadly, you haven't read our history, have you??? It goes something like this:  Soapbox---Ballot Box----Ammo Box.
   You rightist make a lot of assumptions.
Ever hear of target="_blank">the Battle of Athens???  So, ol gorilla will join "looting the armory"  and killing those, you feel need to die to "save your vision of the Union."  You want history a certain way, and yeah, I was familiar with the events in Athens in 1946.  What you've failed to mention, and something that does make this country unique is the ability to PEACEFULLY transfer power and hold non-violent elections.  I doubt you've spent much time in any places where that wasn't the case.  The "battle of Athens" wasn't peaceful or non-violent, and yeah, the WB 2nd amendment heros ave a romantic notion about how they are the only forces between us and "them."  Please, do stand up to federal troops, guer....*bang* no more bananas.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 4, 2018 - 6:16pm
Any questions why target="_blank">the NRA's membership is at an all time high?-Nope...fear, fear. fear...first the Kenyan Muslim president was gonna get their momma and take their guns.  Now, they fear "the other" coming to impregnate their daugthers, and want those "evil brown people" dead.
Gerrilea Added Mar 4, 2018 - 8:18pm
Jeff M--- What world do you exist in where everyone thinks and believes the shit your writing???   "Peaceful transfer of power"....LMFAO...between one party pretending to be two?? THAT 'transfer of power"??? 
The "fear, fear, fear" thingy is how the MSM and the power elite keep taking our rights...."it's for the children"..."  "'s common sense"... And as twisted as your argument is, you blame people that can understand the difference and act rationally by supporting an organization that tries to protect our rights. 
The NYS Safe Act, the criminal legislation that destroys the 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendments is why I joined the NRA, AS A NON-GUN OWNER.
I make no assumptions about anything, especially remaining free.  It's this "soapbox", commonly referred to as the "inter-webs" (according to Bush II), is how we stop demagogues like you from truly destroying this nation & the world.  Go ahead and take the guns... The blood of billions will be on your hands.  And yes, billions. 
When this country devolves into civil war, MAKE NO will be a declaration of war against We The People...the Russians, the Chinese or whomever will most assuredly attack us...and guess what happens then?  That red button will be used and we all die.
So keep on keeping on...Maybe there will be a record of my attempts to restore sanity against your zealotry.
Oh, and for the record, I voted for Obama once and voted against Romney the next time around.
Obama was worse than Bush.  Who could have ever believed such a thing was possible? 
Educate yourself on the policies he put forth that codified the extremes of the Bush Crime Syndicate.
He single-highhandedly destroyed 1300+ years of Habeus Corpus.  The cornerstone of our Western political system.  He destroyed the 1st A, 2nd A, the 4th A, the 5th A, the 6th A, 7th A, 8th A and the 10th A.
He missed the 3rd and 9th Amendments, if memory serves.
The ones that stick out for me are:
--Targeted assignation of American Citizens, without charges, without judge, jury OR the conviction of any crime.
--The NDAA gave him or his appointed subordinates the power label anyone anywhere as "enemy combatants" and detain them indefinitely and tell no one they did it.
--He prosecuted more whistleblowers than all the presidents before him.
--He pushed to renew the most absurd violations of our constitution through the Patriot Act, volumes II and III.   The blanket surveillance of all communications in this nation by the NSA.
--He attacked 8 different nations.  Let's count: Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. So much for that  false crown/Nobel peace prize!  Did we declare war on any of these nations, as per that damn piece of paper? NO!
Be clear, little one.  I've been paying attention.
Whew...I guess you haven't.
Riley Brown Added Mar 4, 2018 - 8:39pm
Jeff M, I fly a lot and can't stand having to go through all the TAS stuff but do think it's necessary to make us safer, and am quite surprised how well it seems to have worked. 
I would not mind seeing private institutions do the same since I don't need to patronize them, if they want my business they might want to consider not doing it.  I choose to fly, I could take trains or drive lots of places, or not keep a job that requires air travel all the time.
I actually like the way Israel does it at their airports, because it works so well.
I'd not like to see it at a school because I think it would be largely a wast of time and effort.   It's too easy to throw a weapon over the fence at night, and too easy for an active shooter, who is likely to be planning to kill themselves before the day is over, to shoot anyone including TSA types, to get into the school. 
Gerrilea Added Mar 4, 2018 - 8:52pm
Riley B--- Sadly, I cannot agree with you on the TSA and their kabuki theater "safety".  Cui Bono?  Chertoff and his company "provided" the backscatter machines that shred your DNA. They made millions and did nothing to keep us safe.
Gerrilea Added Mar 4, 2018 - 10:08pm
Jim H--  I agreed with your last posting.  The US is the terrorist today. 
I cannot agree on your first posting and the argument against "arming civilians".   We The People are the militia, as per that damn piece of paper.  Having a permanent standing army was not the goal, nor the enlistment of people into said as a valid career choice.
When we create false dichotomies, we get false choices.  The militia were to be "called up" as an armed force to defend the United "States", collectively.  Those militia members were to come from each sovereign state and only for a limited time of 2 years. 
See Article I, Section 8, clause 12:
The Congress shall have Power To:
"...raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years...."
To further clarify, one of the first acts of Congress was to pass the Militia Act of 1792 that required every male 18yr to 45 yrs old to be armed.
Later it was rescinded because George Washington believed it violated the authority of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment.
Just because we have the right to keep and bear arms, does not mean we are required to.
Flying Junior Added Mar 5, 2018 - 2:41am
Riley Brown Added Mar 5, 2018 - 10:09am
Jim H, I think you need a reality check.  Those nasty looking "assault weapons" you are referring to are only used in about 2% of criminal shootings, according to Barbara Boxer, (who is very anti gun).  That may be because violent criminals usually prefer much less expensive guns that are easier to conceal.  In fact rifles, including "assault weapons", are only used to kill people about 3 times less frequently than knives.
This whole "assault weapon" issue is really hype when you realize how infrequently they are abused. 
Now lets look at less modern weapons that you probably don't care about.  Lots of people own the best military rifle used in WW2, the M1 Grand, which uses clips of bullets and can shoot though a half inch of steel.  They are semi automatic and can blow right though every commonly worn police vest; they are twice as powerful as an AR-15.  Should those be banned too?  They shoot the most common large rifle bullet used for hunting, but are semi automatic weapons.  The Las Vegas shooter could have killed about the same number of people with those guns.
Riley Brown Added Mar 5, 2018 - 10:10am
Gurrilea please provide supporting info about those TAS DNA shredding machines.  I've been though a few a month and want to know if it's responsible for my irrational behavior.
Gerrilea Added Mar 5, 2018 - 10:23am
Riley B-- Here's a start for you.
Los Alamos Study
How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA
Airport Scanners-Radiation is Not the Only Health Hazard
I can't find the link at the moment but the FDA knew that the milometer wave tech used in the backscatter machines was dangerous back in the '90's.
Gerrilea Added Mar 5, 2018 - 10:29am
Riley B--- Your irrational behavior is probably from the chemicals in white flour you consume.  I noticed similar behaviors just before I was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease.
I stopped eating gluten and my behaviors, my emotions, etc improved beyond belief, in less than a week.
I've tried and tested myself over the past year or so, seeing if I ate white bread if I'd have those moments again...AND Yep...every time, within 3-4 days, I notice I get really angry...look at me wrong and I'll bite your head off...just because.
Pardero Added Mar 5, 2018 - 4:31pm
Great comments on Riley's article.
I, too, avoid wheat products, although I have not been diagnosed with Celiac's. I feel a lot better. I am sure that you are aware that modern wheat is much different from what the Romans had. Remove the fiber and germ and it is empty calories, or worse, a health hazard. You concluded that "white flour" may be the problem. Either that, or needs to have many babies, or both.
Good health to both of you champions of the Bill of Rights!
Riley Brown Added Mar 5, 2018 - 5:01pm
Gurrilea I found the article that compared the exposure from the scanner to what you get exposed to just by flying at 35K feet and concluded the added risk is almost immeasurable if you are flying during the daytime.
Of course I'd prefer no exposure to radiation, but if your sources are correct and we get almost 100 times more radiation just by going outside during the day, I'm not going to lose any sleep over the scanner radiation.
Pilots and airplane staff get millions of times more of that type of radiation because they fly all the time, and I never hear they are dying or even getting unhealthy at a later age because of it.
Even on a personal level, I rather doubt the people who have to look at the images every day, all day, in a room where they can't even see the people, get any jollies out of looking at anyone's image.
Riley Brown Added Mar 5, 2018 - 5:08pm
Gurrilea I don't eat white bread but pay absolutely no attention to gluten so I guess I can only blame half my irrational behavior on the food I eat.  Today I have vegetable burritos for lunch, it hit the spot.
I haven't had a piece of white bread for many years, maybe over 10 because I think it tastes only slightly better than plastic.  No, I didn't actually try a taste test comparison, so you may be right if you are asking, how do I know.  I prefer very course grained wheat breads but actually don't eat much bread, a few slices a month.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 5, 2018 - 9:03pm
Gorilla sez: What world do you exist in where everyone thinks and believes the shit your writing???   "Peaceful transfer of power"....LMFAO...between one party pretending to be two?? THAT 'transfer of power"???-I guess I missed all the film at 11 of the armed last stand of Richard Nixon when he was impeached.  I guess I  also missed all the shooting after the 2000 election.  You are just another rightist tribalist, screaming in support of your neofascist tribe.  Go eat some white bread.  You just don't get it, cornhole.Yep...every time, within 3-4 days, I notice I get really angry...look at me wrong and I'll bite your head off...just because.-You've been snacking on Wonder bread, Gor.And as twisted as your argument is, you blame people that can understand the difference and act rationally by supporting an organization that tries to protect our rights.  No, I BLAME THE MINDLESS SYNCOPHANTS, swinging from their treetops and grunting romantic notions of "saving the day.  And you seem really wrapped about the TSA ad checkpoints, but apparently feel we should all live like we were in an airport, 24/7365.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 5, 2018 - 9:16pm
Riley, and be honest: Jeff M, I fly a lot and can't stand having to go through all the TAS stuff but do think it's necessary to make us safer, and am quite surprised how well it seems to have worked. -Bet you paid up for "pre check," didn't you?  I only fly a few times a year and did, saving hours of my time and a lot of frustration. AND the M1 G(a)rand which uses clips of bullets and can shoot though a half inch of steel.  They are semi automatic and can blow right though every commonly worn police vest; they are twice as powerful as an AR-15. That's "apples and oranges,' weapons-wise.  Should those be banned too?-Dunno, should they?  I own one, and it's not an AR15, limited clip size (8 rounds) and is a collector piece.  If you shoot your way through a clip of rounds, the clip is ejected and lands, making distinctive sounds.  You know a M1 shooter needs to reload.  I also have a problem with not regionalizing firearm ownership.  In Alaska, only someone from Outside or someone with a death wish would wander in the bush and not be armed with a powerful weapon.  Brown bears can, will and do make a real mess of you.  I bet you haven't had to clear a trailer of a brown bear that smashed it's way in while you were gone forgetting to secure the bear screen in the door.  Bet ol Gorilla hasn't either.
Ben McCargo Added Mar 5, 2018 - 10:29pm
So, If I'm reading you all correctly, you don't want any type of gun control?  You want to simply be able to walk into a store, purchase a gun, with no waiting period, needing no license, be on no list and walk out, with any kind of weapon and ammunition that's available on the open market,including semiautomatic weapons of all types and calibers?  Do you want an age limit or no?  Are there any constraints at all any of you think should be present in the American gun culture today?  
If yes then what controls do you want seen implemented?
If the answer is no then I think you're being irresponsible and not cognizant of who we are becoming as a people.  I don't think we should be regressing historically, do you?
Furthermore, Riley, I think this talk of lists being a stepping stone to have guns taken from the citizens is just fear-mongering and it does no good in a serious debate. 
C,mon y'all!  Do you seriously think the US government would try to take its citizens guns?  All of them? You think Congress would let that go down?  They might let Trump scuttle the government but they won't let the powers confiscate the people's guns.  
I might be wrong but I don't think they'd want the aggravation; unless we push them to that.  that's why it's imperative that we do something constructive, sooner rather than later.  
Riley Brown Added Mar 5, 2018 - 11:12pm
Jeff, no I have associates who pay for fast pass but I never do and still get it about 2/3 of the times I board.  I suspect they have an algorithm that gives people who travel a lot and never have problems fast pass more often.  The only real advantage is it's a little faster and I don't have to take off my shoes or take out my computer.  Big deal I always get to airports early, and have to be in the line one way or another.  Oh year no body scan too... who cares.
I always thought the ping the Garand clips made might have been so you know you're out, but doubt anyone could hear it in the heat of a battle.  I do have friends that still hunt with them, but they are much too big and heavy for me.  Many years ago many of my friends got theirs for $100 and had to qualify on the range to get the deal.  I didn't join them, I can't imagine what I'd do with the gun if I got one.  I do like the punch of a 30-06, it's the most variable bullet I can reload,  but I can get that caliber and so many other cartridges in much lighter guns, and I prefer bolt action for hunting in larger calibers.  I suppose 8 rounds and clips I can reload in less than 2 seconds might be nice if a brown bear was charging me, but then again why stop there, just whip out your BAR.
I do wish they hadn't banned 50 cal's in Calif, I actually did want to buy one even though I'd have had to get a separate press just for that caliber.  Must have been all the times people used them to rob liquor stores, that's the only reason I can think of for banning them.  Even the light ones weigh twice what most other high power rifles weigh.  No one sneaks down the street with one of those in your pocket.
Riley Brown Added Mar 5, 2018 - 11:20pm
Ben, I'm at a loss, did you read anything other than the title of my forum?
Please read the forum statement, which answers some of your questions specifically and pretty much indirectly answers some of your other questions.  I'd retype the answers but that doesn't make any sense.
Regarding ammunition, please list which kinds of ammunition you think should be banned, and give real world examples that demonstrate why they need banning.
And YES, I do think the US just might ban guns all together and demand everyone turns them in, just like has happened in other parts of the world.  I already have friends whose guns can't even be inherited by their children, because they are on lists of guns that can't be sold or inherited.  Try telling people in Australia that the government will never take their guns and explain why it can't possibly happen here.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 5, 2018 - 11:37pm
Jeff Michka I think you need to be a bit more careful about who you poke fun at for not being as tough as you are.  Riley seems to know far too much about guns to be as innocent as his or her avatar and the titles on his or her forum suggest.  I enjoy reading the teasingly naive titles, followed by well thought out subject matter.  They are almost as much fun to read as some of the crazy replies.
Your go on about bear country like that makes you far more qualified but lots of people who don't hunt bears fish around them all the time and many don't carry guns.  I love salmon fishing and do carry a 12 gauge with slugs, but have never had to shoot or even shoot at one.  I have abandoned a few fish.  I do have two friends whose cabins were broken into by bears, I know what a mess that is to clean up after.  My personal favorite deterant is not a gun, it's 4 x 8 sheets of plywood full of long roofing nails, in front of the doors and windows.  Bears don't like walking on nails.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 6, 2018 - 7:39am
Might we take your premise a bit further and say that most laws are incompatible with the constitution?
Riley Brown Added Mar 6, 2018 - 9:39am
Gerri, I've worked in all sorts of labs including radiation and all sorts of scanning labs, and had plenty of applicable safety training, including in places like nuclear reactors.  I know there are safe thresholds for pretty much all types of exposure.  If our government and agencies like OSHA say the exposure is minute compared to what we get from other sources, and no where near what there threshold limits are, I believe them.  Heat can burn and destroy DNA and flesh, but is only really a risk if you get too much of it at once.
I do know that pilots who get far more exposure than I do to really dangerous things like Gama Rays and even after all these years no one can tell if we can measure effects from that radiation exposure.  I could go on an on but here's a link that I think explains the risk well.
Remember the dose from the machines you are talking about is super small compared to what you will receive on the shortest flight.  The article ends with a nice quote, "So next time you fly, consider the galactic radiation from supernovae all around you – but try not to let it spoil your trip."
I suggest you look at the scanner the same way, it's probably the least dangerous thing you're doing to do on any day you fly.
Riley Brown Added Mar 6, 2018 - 10:04am
Burghal, I am not sure if you were addressing me, but no I don't think most laws are incompatible with the Constitution. 
Our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to prevent future government oppression and the vast majority of our laws pretty much all deal with other issues.  The Declaration of Independence tells us a lot about what our founding fathers were afraid of and what they were trying to guarantee wouldn't happen when they wrote the Constitution.  I'm sure you will recognize the beginning but for the sake of this form, look near the end and consider what role privately owned guns would have had to have for our Founding Fathers vision to work.
WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 6, 2018 - 1:39pm
Taking a macro view for a moment.
Violent death in America runs at a rate of about 5 times that in UK and about the same in other comparable countries.
It is true that this represents a relatively small cause of death behind poor medical provision, poor diet and lack of exercise.
However the fact of such high levels of lethal violence exist, probably affects people in other ways.   It might make them more anxious, perhaps less likely to walk out at night and take part in social events.
This is probably where the largest cost to lives of the American gun culture lies.   Probably a bigger overall contributor to the two to three years lower life expectancy (compared with what you would expect to see in a society with similar levels of average wealth)
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 6, 2018 - 1:48pm
Robin - You know when I'm anxious about high levels of lethal violence ( I almost never am, incidentally) I usually find that being similarly armed is of the greatest comfort. What they do on your planet?
Eric Reports Added Mar 6, 2018 - 1:52pm
Cars kill more than guns.  Mosquitoes (through disease) kill more than guns.  Let's outlaw politicians who try to take away our 2nd Amendment rights.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 6, 2018 - 2:08pm
Hi Burghal.   Guns not needed on my planet.   Not much violence to worry about.   Have not experienced any directly at home.  I have in the USA though on four occasions.   So, over there, it probably would make sense to carry a gun... mainly because other people do.
But I have only felt the need for a gun when traveling in Yemen in 1984... they gave me an AK47... but I did not know how to use it.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 6, 2018 - 2:14pm
Mosquitoes do indeed kill more people than guns through malaria.  We should be spending more on conquering such diseases.   This will probably happen when global climate change makes it possible for mosquitoes to live more easily in first world countries.
Of course there is one big difference between guns and cars.   With cars you are required to pass a test before you can use one.   You are also subject to a number of restrictions in your ownership and use (speed limits, skill level, no drugs etc).   Would seem to make sense to have similar requirements on gun users.
Of course the other big difference is that guns are primarily designed to kill.  You are buying the means to kill another human being (or several if it is an automatic) rather than a means of transportation.
There is an argument, of course, that cars, through pollution and contribution to global warming, may kill many more than is actually officially noted.  Can't see that changing much though...
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 6, 2018 - 2:21pm
So, over there, it probably would make sense to carry a gun... mainly because other people do.
As our German friends might say : Genau so!
More laws and restrictions only leave more people vulnerable. You just made the clearest case for having responsible armed parties in schools as an effective means of preventing shooting tragedies.
You just must be traveling in the wrong circles :) Good you don't find the need where you are.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 6, 2018 - 6:28pm
Eusted sez:  I think you need to be a bit more careful about who you poke fun at for not being as tough as you are.  Riley seems to know far too much about guns to be as innocent as his or her avatar and the titles on his or her forum suggest-Hmmm, rereading what I wrote, I don't see the "poking fun" at Riley, you's apparently liked to have seen.  He answered and glad you carry sheets of plywood in the bush.  AND my personal experiences really don't matter that much, save knowing browns do charge in the most awkward of places, pistol being reasonable weapon of choice.  And a heavy metal screen assembly works quite well protecting a door, is permanent and safe if closed and locked properly.  I didn't do the latter, so mea culpa.  BUT you, Rusted still haven't replied as a "freedom and liberty" tribe member why you want to surrender freedom of access and movement by making every gathering a surrounded armed camp.  And seems ol Gerrilea is eating white bread.  No, it doesn't matter if she's a female, but conflates her view of political divisions with a lack of peaceful transfer of power.  Her crap argument suggests if there were political parties as she'd want them, civil war would break out every election cycle in this country. Well, it won't.  I suppose I should ask how many dead election worker she's seen?  As to you, Rusted, you'll try AND STOKE INTERPERSONAL CONFLICTS HERE, EVEN WHEN THEY DON'T EXIST, LIKE SUGGESTING I made light of Riley due to Riley's avatar.  IF you want to go that way, let's say your av makes you look like a Rusted clown.  Your tribalism is showing, Rusted.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 6, 2018 - 6:34pm
Gerrilea sez: Any illusions should have been slapped out of your brain when Obama shredded the Constitution more so than any President in history.-And so it's more tribal crap of "yeah, it's all Obama's fault" from another Barack Obama hater.  What REALLY made you hate him?  You claim it's constitutional, but I suspect as a good, white tribal member it had more to do with his skin color and D politics, more than him being a Kenyan Muslim.  Get over it, rilla...we had a black president for two terms.It's all kabuki theater.-No it's all your tribalist politics.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 6, 2018 - 6:40pm
Yes Burghal, in well ordered societies guns are not needed.    Of course it does beg the question whether the fact that lots of people have guns which makes many people feel they need guns or not.   Chicken and egg.
On cars.   For many years now, car makers have been working hard to make their products less dangerous.  Crumple zones to protect drivers and pedestrians.   Airbags.  Seat belts etc etc.
Perhaps gun makers could do the same?    Maybe only fire soft rubber bullets?   Reduce mussel velocities?  Reduce the rate of fire?   Put GPS trackers on all of them so the police know exactly where a gun is when it is fired?    Yes it would be great if the gun industry acted like the car industry.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 6, 2018 - 6:50pm
I just don't get this second amendment thingy.   In most places, if a law has been on the statute books for 100 years plus it is time to revise it.
Many things have changed since the law was drafted.   Weapons are far deadlier now of course.  Back then I guess no-one expected one man to be able to wipe out (was it 65 people in Las Vegas?) from a distance.
Society is also different today.  A citizen militia would not be much use against modern full time military types armed with tanks and drones.
An interesting argument is to ask NRA nut jobs where they draw the line.   Arm everyone with something between a stick and a nuclear warhead.  Clearly you would not want your neighbours to each have nuclear warheads.   Imagine what would happen the next time Wall Street decides to lose all our money at the casino and some of your neighbours get depressed....
So no nukes then?   I guess that we all agree on that.   So I guess that we count down from there.   No tanks?   Funnily enough I know a guy who owns three tanks.   Our police won't let him run them on the road though because they make a mess of the tarmac...  He can run them around the fields near us though.   They look like a lot of fun... if a bit extreme for "home defence".
Are bazookas OK?   How about those funky tube launched wire guided missiles that our infantry carry for dealing with tanks?   Pretty nifty for settling an argument with the folks next door....   You could take them out as they come home in their car...
Jeff Michka Added Mar 6, 2018 - 9:30pm
I just don't get this second amendment thingy.   In most places, if a law has been on the statute books for 100 years plus it is time to revise it.-Well, it's all good romantic angst theatre for folks like 'Rilla, Rusted, Lynn boy and others here. who apparently fantasize about how they will fight off the US army, defending their rights to the death, respective of common sense.  Rilla, for example, keeps making a big deal out of not being a gun owner.  I am, but don't have a problem registering them.  These folks think:  "Ooooo.  background checks mean the black helicopters are gonna land on my lawn and they'll try and take my guns."  As Riley titled his article, any restriction ends the 2nd amendment for this crowd.And to note, I've NEVER used my GARAND TO HUNT, OR AS A "BEAR GUN."  I bet Rusted uses a screwdriver to drive nails.  Well be perpetually doomed to random mass shootings:
Jeff Michka Added Mar 6, 2018 - 9:32pm
RRBS asks: So no nukes then?-"If nukes are outlawed, only outlaws will have nukes!!!!
Rusty Smith Added Mar 6, 2018 - 11:19pm
Jeff Michka hmmm... feeling your oats today?
Making fun of Riley's avitar and challenging her to be as tough as you by saying things like:
"I bet you haven't had to clear a trailer of a brown bear that smashed it's way in while you were gone forgetting to secure the bear screen in the door."
Puffing out our chest more than a little I think.  I can't see how it advances the forum topic, but I do laugh a little when I read some of your more boastful comments and guess Riley does too.
I do think you underestimate Riley, I've read a lot of posts and see more sense and lest boasting or insulting than most other posters, including you.  Just because you don't get insulted back doesn't mean you're right or that you won the argument, sometimes it just means they think you make yourself look foolish enough without their help.  
Gerrilea Added Mar 7, 2018 - 10:12am
Jim H-- The 2nd A doesn't say I can have or do anything, it restricts our created government from INFRINGING upon our unalienable right to keep and bear arms.  And the "arms" part is whatever I deem necessary, can afford to acquire or desire. 
IN the Supreme Court Case: US v. Cruikshank in 1875, this is elucidated:
     "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution;
     neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument
     for its existence. The Second Amendments means no more
     than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no
     other effect than to restrict the powers of the
     National Government."
Hope this helps you out in your confusion on this issue.
Riley Brown Added Mar 7, 2018 - 10:57am
Robin, I'm not sure but suspect our violence rates for the US and the UK are not so different if you aren't counting the super violent parts of each respective country.  In the US the vast majority of the violence is in a few very violent poor neighborhoods which might as well be separate countries.  
The best behavior people with guns tend to be those who have concealed carry permits.  That of course leads me to concluded it's not the guns, but rather the attitudes of the people that makes the difference. 
In the US a lot of people use guns to kill themselves but in Japan where guns are almost impossible to get, people commit suicide far more often, just not with guns.  It's not the guns, it's the attitude of the people.
Riley Brown Added Mar 7, 2018 - 11:08am
Jeff, no I don't use a screwdriver for driving nails, and never suggested you carry sheets of plywood for self defense in bear country.  You sure say funny things for a guy who is so smart and tough.
If you calm down a little you might be able to understand what you read a little more.  If you are trying to protect a cabin from bears while you are away, you probably have vehicle access and it wouldn't be nearly as costly or difficult to lay down some sheets of plywood with nails as it will be to have all your windows and doors bear-proofed. 
Or you can spend hundreds to bear proof all the openings big enough for a bear to get in.
Riley Brown Added Mar 7, 2018 - 11:18am
Robin, there are rubber bullets, and people even use wax bullets, but a gun isn't much good if it can't do the job and criminals are unlikely to use the safe stuff so why do you care what law abiding citizens use?
Manufactures have toyed with smart guns, but there are none that the police or the military trust, so why would private citizens trust them?  I've never seen GPS on guns but don't see why you can't, a "tracker" which costs less than $20 is small enough to go in any gun grip, but who is going to change the batteries?  No GPS works without fresh batteries.
Manufactures have also toyed with ID numbers in all bullets, and on all shells, but they are expensive and don't seem to work well.
None of these innovations seem to have much effect on criminals who aren't supposed to possess them to begin with.
Riley Brown Added Mar 7, 2018 - 11:34am
Robin,  Regarding the Second Amendment,  it's not a law, it's basic tenant of our governing system and a right that all laws are required to respect.  Amendments supersede laws, every time.
Could it become outdated, yes, and our founding fathers made sure our governing system allowed us to modify those basic tenants if we needed to by an amendment process that works well and has been used many times.  The requirement that those tenants be amended is quite different from laws that can be passed at any government level at any time, and don't require the entire country to agree on.
As this applies to the 2nd amendment, it would be legal for our government to nullify the amendment with another one, like was done to end prohibition, but not legal them to make Federal, State, or local laws that take away the right to bear arms, and still leave that amendment in force.
If you read our Declaration of Independence and then the Constitution which is the blueprint for our government set up by the same founding fathers a few years later, you will better understand what the Second Amendment was all about.
There are those who say the second amendment only allows people in the military to have weapons but I consider that a gross misrepresentation of the founder's intent, and others that say it needs to change because guns are dangerous and we no longer need to worry about our own government becoming oppressive, but I also disagree with them.
Both the documents I have listed are short reads, and I would love to see you read both, and then tell me what you think.  I don't always agree with you but do respect your attempts to understand complex problems and provide insightful and respectful comments.
Riley Brown Added Mar 7, 2018 - 11:43am
Jim, you are right the 2nd amendment doesn't say you can't have a cannon and back when it was written a cannon could sink the biggest and baddest military ships.
The intent of the amendment was to prevent their government from passing laws that they could use to disarm the people so the people could not rebel with force and overthrow them even if they became horribly oppressive. 
In order to do that the people need to have weapons that would prevent an occupying army from doing things like collecting unjust taxes, or enforcing local laws.  There is no need for the people to have things like nukes, but there is a need for them to have guns so they could intimidate local enforcement agents.  As the people of places like Afghanistan have proven many times, you don't have to have the power to defeat an enemy to keep your freedom, you only have to make it prohibitively expensive for an occupying force to oppress you and they will eventually leave all by themselves.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 7, 2018 - 1:59pm
So you think it is a good idea for the USA to be like Afghanistan?  Certainly that place has proven ungovernable.
However don't you simply make it possible for any would be warlord or religious extremist to establish their own local power bases?   That is certainly what has happened in Afghanistan
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 7, 2018 - 2:13pm
I don't think that you need to worry about Governments becoming oppressive.  It is the multi national corporations that are currently responsible for most of the effective oppression being committed.   The trouble is, how do you actually rebel against them?   They have got the channels of mis-communication so well nailed down that you could never mobilise an effective opposition against them... no matter what weapons you might have.   The weaponry you need today is based in cyberspace.   Guns are simply so 18th century.
That is one lesson to take from ISIS.  They are so terrifying, not because of their weaponry, but because of their ability to use modern communication technology to recruit followers and capture hearts and minds.
Multinational corps are even more scary because they have so much greater resources.   Capitalism worked well when the owners lived in the society in which they made their money.  It kept them honest and reasonably concerned for their fellow men.   Today the most wealthy live in some sort of "super state" which cannot be touched effectively by any national government.   They don't have to meet the grubby public at any point if they don't want to. They skip and dance around the regulations we try to impose.  They are not really capitalists anymore either since most do not use much of their capital to make real things or provide real services.
When the revolution comes, and it will, it will not be brought about through the public storming bastions armed to the teeth.  No one really knows what bastions to storm or even where they are...   It will be brought about by market forces.   To create wealth you don't just need a means of production (which can be off shored or automated)... you also need a market.  That means men and women with money in their pockets.   Without both sides of the equation, the whole edifice collapses.
The gun debate is essentially a distraction which those who wield the real power are quite happy to have.  It gives the illusion of protection, both to home owners and to citizens seeking to protect their rights, whilst effectively making sure we are all looking the wrong way.   And, of course, it probably causes around 10,000 unnecessary deaths a year in the USA (although, as I have said, maybe this does not make it one of the biggest killers... that is without doubt poor healthcare provision for large sections of society)
Jeff Michka Added Mar 7, 2018 - 2:28pm
Jeff, no I don't use a screwdriver for driving nails, and never suggested you carry sheets of plywood for self defense in bear country.  You sure say funny things for a guy who is so smart and tough.-No, you didn't suggest those things, Riley, the second amendment romantic and rightist, Rusted Smith did.  As to: Or you can spend hundreds to bear proof all the openings big enough for a bear to get in.-The trailer owner had done that, and it was my fault for not properly securing the defenses.  And as far as access, my first weeks in Alaska were mid-winter, and my only transport was an older snow mobile I commuted to work on for several months. towing plywood around with a snow mobilr strikes me as more than idiotic, but then I'm not a rightist making arguement to spread more guns around yo "make us safe," as Rusted has.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 7, 2018 - 2:43pm
Gerrilla sez: Jeff M--- ARE YOU DOING DRUGS? Do you need to???-And you give me a hard time calling out your irrational Obama hatred, trolling?  You claim to be a NRA member without a firearm, but why do you belong to a weapon industry lobby group.  Their politics jive with your tribe's?  OK, but like ol Wayne Lapierre and shill woman Dana Loesch, pulled off just saying a list of "people we hate", down to the chants of "Lock her up!" to red meat a NRA crowd post FL shooting, you're trying to stir up the "base" members here with the same garbage.  Try tying this and me to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as whipped topping on your dessert of hate. You tribalism is showing, 'rilla.  You're just a lot of white noise, ' your white bread and post more about you being a hysterian some more.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 7, 2018 - 2:48pm
And "The Conservative Tribune," as a source?  There are several local shopping newspapers with more credibility.  And I'M NOT WORRIED, you are.  I'm suppose to worry about SPD actions in Seattle, eh?  Well, pay your parking tickets for a starter or you will get Catch 22'd.  It's a promise.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 7, 2018 - 5:41pm
Jeff Michka I do have friends whose cabins are far enough off the beaten path that there are no roads close to them but they all still managed to bring in the building materials they needed with vehicles.  I don't know where you cabin is or if like some of my friends you have no utility power or access to utility water, but presuming you built your cabin out of local lumber and drive a snowmobile to work, you can still drag back 2 foot wide pieces of plywood, and two of those make a full sheet.  Are you going to tell me you never pull lumber behind your snowmobile?  Of course not.  A few 2 foot sections would be less work than the screen you say you use.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 7, 2018 - 8:57pm
I replied to you, Rusted, but either Riley deleted it or WB burped.  I've got a life to lead, so my answer to your comment will have to wait until tomorrow, but will say, as usual, you are waaay off base.  Do everyone a favor and actually read what people write.
Gerrilea Added Mar 8, 2018 - 1:05am
Jeff M--- You're funny.  Your bigoted answers and personal attacks show that you cannot read or respond in an adult manner.  You really should turn the lights out and get to bed, Mommy & Daddy upstairs might hear you pounding too hard on your keyboard and know you're still up.
Gerrilea Added Mar 8, 2018 - 8:27am
Jeff M--I'll address this absurdity you posted:
     "You claim to be a NRA member without a firearm,
      but why do you belong to a weapon industry lobby group..."
Are you a paid member of the ACLU?  I am.  Does this mean I'm a fan or supporter of Roger Ailes and his ilk? Nope.
We have unalienable rights, don't like it, change the Constitution. I'll fight you every step of the way on your crusade to distract, misinform and manipulate others in surrendering said rights.
Riley Brown Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:38am
Jeff, I say a lot of funny things but so far I have never deleted a post in any forum.  I like to let people like you speak for themselves and other forum members judge them by what they have written, even when I think they are not thinking clearly or have a poor grasp of the issues.
I think its important for us to hear all views, even from people who don't make much sense because they still do a lot of important thing, like vote.  I may never be able to change their minds but if they read enough and maybe even do a little research on their own they might change their mind one day, or perhaps they will start providing well thought out responses and information that makes me rethink my position.
 I must admit I tend to discount what people say when I see them resorting to insults or chest beating, because that makes me thing they have run out of more relevant arguments in favor of their positions.
Riley Brown Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:58am
Robin, I was re-reading the forum comments and saw you comment that referred to NRA nut jobs, I wish to comment.
The NRA is an organization that exists to promote gun safety and attempt to stop anti gun laws and legislation from being created. 
Everyone seems to forget the safety part but it's in gun owners best interest to promote safety because the backlash from problems is what often inspires more restrictive legislation.  They have very wide support from millions of Americans, the vast majority of which own guns.  I do know many retired members who no longer own guns but still support them, some like the magazines you can only get by being a member.
I think there are more guns in America than people and a month doesn't go by without attempts to add even more restrictions on top of the already existing mountain of gun laws that are so numerous and poorly thought out that NO ONE knows all of them, not even our police.  Politicians often create yet another one seemingly just so they can show they are trying to do something to reduce violence, just like they like to pass environmental laws for the same reason.  The politicians who do that usually have no guns and a very poor understanding of what's out there already.
If you keep in mind there are already thousands of laws that have been created to reduce gun violence, and every time high profile incidents happen many of those existing laws are violated, I think you can start to understand why most gun owners, and the organization they pay to stop even more laws from being added, usually believe "another useless law" won't make a difference in the violence statistics, but will add to the general confusion and difficulty they experience as they try to own and use their guns.
You also need to consider who these people are and how they relate to gun violence and how restrictive laws impact their lifestyles.  The vast majority of gun violence deaths are in a few tiny parts of the country, in neighborhoods where violence with any tool they can get their hands on, is what they do.  Laws that seem to make sense there make much less sense in rural areas were hunting is practically a birthright, and gun violence is almost unheard of.
In rural hunting areas children grow up with guns, and some families even depend on them for food they shoot every year.  In those areas children are taught to hunt at a very early age, and most hunt on their own by the time they are 16 years old.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 8, 2018 - 10:14am
Riley:  By suggesting that guns be made safer, I was actually showing the weakness of the "cars are more dangerous than guns" argument.  I was not really serious.   The function of a gun is to kill people as we have said.   The best gun is the one that is capable of killing the most people in the shortest time I imagine.   This is why it makes sense to actually have tighter controls on gun ownership than on car ownership.
To run a car you need to undergo training and take an exam.   You also need to register your car and buy third party insurance against causing others harm.   You would probably get your licence revoked if you were shown to have issues with alcohol or drugs... of indeed any medical or mental condition that would make you unsafe.
Since guns are designed to kill and are therefore more dangerous than cars... it makes sense to subject them to at least similar levels of restriction.
There is, of course, the empirical evidence from several other countries which, unless there is some other overwhelming reason for Americans to be more violent than other countries, shows that tighter gun controls reduce overall levels of death by violence to around one fifth that seen in the USA.   This is not opinion, it is fact.
The only argument that could possibly hold water is this "defence of freedom" argument.   However when this argument is carried "ad extremis", as is the case in Afghanistan for example, I don't think that we end up with a very desirable situation.   I also personally believe that they are ineffective as a defence for freedom for the reasons I have already given.   If anything I think that the 2nd amendment argument harms the defence of freedom by deflecting our attention to irrelevancies.
The "sacred" nature of the 2nd Amendment is, in my view, a joke.   Most laws which have been on the statute books for more than 50 years are reviewed almost as a matter of course because it is expected that the world has changed since they were first written down.   I think that the world has changed a huge amount since the 2nd Amendment was written and there is well overdue for an overhaul.
I have to say that I harbour a suspicion that some people are so passionate about guns because, as we marketing people would say, they are bound up with "aspirational identification".  By this I mean that they are a prop to many people's ego.    If you feel yourself a failure at life, the thought that you have a gun which can "blow others away" might make you feel more powerful.   I guess that this is kind of OK as long as it just stays a fantasy.  The problem is, of course, that in the USA it regularly becomes reality when some loser decides that his ego is under threat.
I also think that the ready availability of a gun is dangerous to those suffering from the Black Dog (depression) or subject to the red mist descending when under stress (I had someone pull a gun on me in a traffic situation in Boston once....)
I think that many human relationship situation benefit from "damping"... the chance to cool down without conflict immediately having serious consequences.
This is one reason why unarmed police do so well in the UK.   They are clearly not about to shoot anyone (they can't) and that makes it easier to cool down confrontations.   Interestingly, the UK police, without guns, suffer a fatal casualty rate that is about one quarter of their America counterparts.   About four policemen a year die on duty here.
I also hear the argument made for "home defence".   This seems to make no sense to me because, over here at least, you hardly ever hear of violence being meted out in burglary situations.  Burglars don't usually want to rape or kill you.  They want to steal your TV and, if anything, would rather not meet you in the process.
In any event physical crime (breaking and entering) has declined by 50% over the last 10 years.  This is because we all own fewer portable valuables.   TVs, videos and mobile phones are simply very difficult to fence these days.
Serious criminals these days work in cyber crime.   It has much more sociable hours, potentially yields high returns and has a much lower chance of detection and conviction.   It can also be carried out across national boundaries, further making it "safer" from the criminals point of view..   Here we see much attempted crime from former communist block countries.   We suspect that many ex spooks are now working in free enterprise capitalist crime...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 8, 2018 - 10:36am
Just to inform, in the countryside here, most farmers have a shotgun.  It makes sense for the control of pests in the countryside.  I have used a shotgun many times on private land shooting pests and clay pigeons..
However, to own a shotgun, you do need a licence.  This means a visit from our (unarmed) police to check that you are of sound mind and have a good reason for owning a gun (this can include shooting clays for sport).   They also check that you have secure storage for it.   No genuine gun owner has an issue with this.
Handguns, if to be owned legally, can only be stored at a gun club.   Rifles are subject to similar restrictions.  If you are a registered hunter, you can use a gun on private land.  However you do need to be trained to cause the minimum suffering to your intended prey and to cause minimum danger to the public.   You cannot just blast away at random until you hit something.
The police work with youth gangs to reduce the "gun culture" is specific areas such as Manchester.   They have been extremely successful in doing so.
These rules help the police to round  up "physical" criminals.  This is because, in most cases, the police know who the criminals are.  Their problem is collecting evidence.   If the criminal is stupid enough to have a gun in his possession, then he has essentially handed the police what they need to put him away.
The police federation have been repeatedly asked whether they want their members to be armed.  To date they have resisted the idea.   Only highly trained (an extra two year's training I believe) officers carry guns.  These are only taken out when there is a high level security threat or in response to crimes involving firearms.
Gerrilea Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:09pm
Robin-- Well thought out arguments.  Finally, honest debate.  You make quite a few points that really don't apply or can be elucidated.
1st-- Guns are designed to be effective therefore should be restricted/regulated like automobiles.  No, gun ownership is an unalienable right, driving is a privilege arbitrarily granted. I was born, raised and still live in New York State. We are required to take an NRA sponsored firearms safety and training class first.  It truly is a reasonable "restriction".  Not all States do and it is their choice.
2nd-- Rural ownership vs urban ownership, a right isn't contingent upon physical location.  We have, however, have restricted them in schools, hospitals, airports and many government offices.  I seriously agree with these "reasonable restrictions".  Businesses, private property owners can "restrict" what comes on their property up to a point.  Our Supreme Court, with the help of the ACLU, made that clear years ago when Jehovah's Witnesses were being denied access to walk on private property and knock on doors to spread their "word".
3rd-- With all the millions of laws we have on the books, the courts have carved out some really odd things, the majority of the time, it favors the government position, regardless of what the constitution states.  That's the problem we are facing today, an apex of suppression and tyranny and why I'm so personally disgusted with further attempts to abrogate our rights and why I have been defending them tirelessly.
4th-- Self defense against those whom wish us harm, including our government, is not a deflection into irrelevancies.  Either we have the right to defend ourselves or we don't.  I've read the absurd news reports coming out of the UK where people are being arrested FOR defending themselves against home invaders. You have a legal duty to retreat, we do not.  The castle doctrine is alive and well here, excepting of course, in my own State of New York.
The "duty to retreat" point can't be more absurd when arguments devolve into, "it's just property, get over it". "Is a phone worth a human life?" NO and immaterial.  Those arguments and similar ones reflect a populous being conditioned into slavery and acceptance at being "the victim".  Your "state/government" steals more than 50% of your labor and wealth "for your own good". That mentality exposes the lie they manipulated/conditioned you into believing.
5th-- Your view of our 2nd Amendment as a joke evolves out of that victimization.  It's "not civilized", well you are not free either.  We are not subjects to any monarch or potentate or exist for or at their pleasure.
Now I understand you'll claim that you have "rights" and you are not subjects, no you really don't, you have privileges only if your monarch agrees. Your "English Bill of Rights" was a negotiation between you, the subject and the throne.
Serious questions:
What would you do if your monarch dissolved parliament permanently?  How would you stop it? You have no arms.
Whom do your government officials like the Prime Minister, swear allegiance to?  THE CROWN, correct??? They are legally bound to the will of the monarch, not the will of We The People.
6th-- Crime "statistics".  Oddly, there are published articles revealing the corruption and fraud in the UK's "Home Office" and how "crimes" are categorized and reported in the British Crime Survey.  Crimes in the UK & in Australia have gone up, not down.  Knife attacks ever since you guys were forcibly disarmed are the highest in the "Western World".  So high in fact, wasn't a bill introduced to ban knives?
With all the firearms the US has, I can state resoundingly, our violent crime rate has gone down for the majority of the nation.  Big cities, like Chicago, Baltimore, LA, etc have had increases. "Gun" violence has gone down by almost 50%  From 16,000 a year to around 9,000 now.
Not too shabby for a nation of 300 million+.
Final counterpoint-- you equated gun ownership with people whom have an ego problem.  Does it truly matter why someone may chose to own a firearm? Nope.  As for your personal experience in Boston, "welcome to Amerika".  Ugh.  I was hel
Gerrilea Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:17pm
Robin-- Humm...the final "counterpoint" was cut off, I guess there is a character limit.  Who knew???
Here, let me try to recreate said final point. 
Ugh, I was held up at gun point at work, not once but twice. Was it absurd and frightening? Yep.  Hell, I was mugged while at my own front door.  I chased the bastard down and tackled him.  The police said I shouldn't have done that, he could have been armed.  True, but it was an instinctual reaction.  I have the right to defend myself and my property.  I accept the consequences of my actions.
After all, I am only human, dammit!  ROFL.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 8, 2018 - 4:33pm
Robin the red breasted songster I get the licensing arguments, but there are many situations with our government and laws were we prefer to tolerate some degree of pain so we retain rights and or aren't as much at risk of unfairly depriving them of justice.
Where you live guns might not ever save lives, but where we live they do all the time, but usually aren't reported because it's easy to get in trouble if  you use a gun to defend yourself, especially if you fired it to scare someone off.  It's safer just to put the gun away and pretend it never happened.  
I've had my bacon saved once, from a home invasion robbery.  I guess you don't have them were you live but two guys came to my door with a gun, at 9:30 PM and I scared them away by threatening to shoot them.  I did report it to the police and they didn't want to take a report, thinking I'd not fired the gun so I was unlikely to get in trouble.  No report, no record, so these types of confrontations are  not documented in the statistics.
My neighborhood had a streak of home invasion robberies, and the only people who did not get beaten badly were those who ran off the men with guns.  The ones that didn't have guns including single widows and married couples, were beaten and tortured by the men who always refused to believe they didn't have more cash or jewels hidden somewhere in their house.
I presume you don't have people who do things like that where you live but I assure you only having a gun can stop them, they don't let their victims call the police.
Another poster mentioned another use for guns, defense from dangerous animals like bears, and I've never had to shoot one, but am always glad I have that ability.  In many places you're not considered to be too bright if you don't carry one, but many people don't and do just fine.
You mentioned rounding up "physical criminals". and I have no doubt it works where you live but in the US that's a very un American thing to do, we'd call it profiling and yes, doing so is regularly met with Constitutional based resistance.   However we are getting to where you are slowly when it comes to guns.  Recently New York seized a librarian's guns because they found out he'd once been on anti anxiety medicine, even though he had no record of violence.  In another example they turned down a concealed weapon permit to someone because they belonged to a motorcycle club.  
You compared guns to cars and I'd say that if you are not criminally inclined your chances of killing someone with your gun is probably far less than killing someone if you own a gun, unless you happen to be a known criminal living in one of a very few extremely high crime areas.  
Jeff Michka Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:40pm
Riley sez: Jeff, I say a lot of funny things but so far I have never deleted a post in any forum.-OK, I also said it could be WB burped, which appears the case.  I wasn't trying to finger you, Riley.  Something I'd written here disappeared.  I didn't make a copy, so mea culpa, in the long run.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:41pm
Gerrilea:  My apologies that I don't have time to answer all your points.
Let me make a few points though.
1.  Statements such as "unalienable right" are meaningless.  Rights should come in tandem with responsibilities.
2.  Correct.  Rights should not be contingent on where you live.   However why would anyone living in the middle of a city need a firearm unless it is to commit a crime?
3.  The rule of law, ultimately, is our only defence against chaos and tyranny.  In the UK it is that which brought down Charles 1, the King we executed for treason against the people.
4.  In the UK you have the right to use reasonable force to protect your property or the physical safety of yourself or others.  This does not mean that you can gratuitously decide to injure or kill someone... unless it is absolutely necessary.   Some right wing propaganda sources, such as the "Daily Mail" (Most famous headline:  Hurrah for the Blackshirts), do make a meal out of the few times that someone goes over the top in this regard and gets their knuckles wrapped by the law.
My wife works as an appropriate adult.  This means she sits in on police interviews with youths and other law breakers who are not fully able to look after their own rights whilst in police custody.  She tells me that most of the petty criminals responsible for break ins are actually rather inadequate types who really need our help.
By the way the official role of the police here is not the prosecution of criminals.  It is the maintenance of the peace.   So, if they can carry out other action which reduces crime, it is prioritised over simply nicking villains who then re-offend.
5.  The Queen has no role in Government.  She cannot dissolve Parliament.   (See English Civil War... Oliver Cromwell etc etc)
6.   There is a very true saying.  You have lies, damn lies and statistics.  I was looking at overall figures for violent death which take in suicides as well as homicides etc.  Less room for fiddling the figures if you look at absolutes.  It also means that you get away from the argument that revolves around guns making other forms of violence less common.  They clearly don't.
My own anecdotal experience of traveling in the states over many years (three violent gun experiences... luckily none of them actually involving shots being fired) also leads me to the belief that society there overall is very much more violent than our own.  Why that is, I don't know.  I tend to think that some of it is down to gun ownership.  When anyone on the street could be carrying the means to kill you, it probably makes you look at your fellow human beings in a different sort of way.  Certainly the way that the police deal with you if different as a result.   In the UK, if pulled over by the police, the advice is to get out of your car... it makes you less aggressive and therefore less likely to get a ticket.  In the US you have to sit in your car with both hands on the wheel... because the police are afraid that you might shoot them.  That is a pretty sick situation.
I think that violent crime around the world is in decline.  It has halved here in the last decade.  I think a lot of this is due to the reduction in portable valuables as discussed above.
I also think, as stated above, that the real damage of criminal violence is less the direct victims, but the indirect victims... the reduction in social interaction and the fear that the more timid in society suffer from.
I have been to some places with very bad crime reputations:  Republic of Srpska, Yemen, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Egypt etc.   In most cases, because I am careful, I have had no problems.  The reputations for violent crime did not stop mean doing what I wanted to do.   But it is not the same for everyone.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:43pm
Gerrilea:  When was the UK "forcibly disarmed"?  I have never heard of it.   There are 3 million guns in private ownership.   But you can't have one if you have a criminal record or are not of sound mind etc etc.   Most people simply have no need for one or, like me, borrow one when they want to go shooting.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:51pm
Rusty:  As you and I have remarked before, you obviously live in a much more violent place than I do.   Personally I would be campaigning for a stronger police force so that, eventually, there is no need for anyone to carry a gun for self defence.  Of course that would mean paying more taxes.
The police don't use profiling to identify likely criminals, they use intelligence.   Most burglaries are committed by a relatively small and well known group of people.  If they were stupid enough to carry guns (which they generally are not... stupid that is), then the police find it easy to show evidence to arrest them.  I am also told that many in the criminal world will actually report those reputed to be carrying guns.  Such a situation leads to an escalation in tension which helps no-one.
Jewels etc are just not as fashionable as they used to be.  It is just no longer cool to flash bling around.   If you do have a lot of stuff at home... invest in better security and alarms... get a dog.   Most home owners, unless they undergo serious training, would not have the gumption to use a gun in an invasion situation anyway.  Unless you are psychologically deranged, it is very difficult to aim a deadly weapon at someone and pull the trigger.  And, if you are deranged, you bloody well should not have a gun anyway.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 8, 2018 - 5:58pm
Rusty:  I have camped in Botswana and Zim.   We did not take guns with us.   We simply were mindful of being in the animals environment and made sure that we did not "run, scream or generally behave like food".  Neither did we get anywhere near any animals young.   However we did once make the mistake of camping near an amarula tree.  Elephants love amarula berries and take exception to anyone that gets near them   We had to hide under the Landie for a while...
We also took a couple of 18 month old lions for a walk.   I was armed with a three foot long stick...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 8, 2018 - 6:08pm
Gerrilea.   Just to complete the record.  Gun related homicides per 100,000 of the population in the UK were about 0.06 in 2011.   That is about 45 people for a country of 75 million.  Not too shabby indeed.   In fact so very rare that it is not worth worrying about.
However I have always been mindful of the violence displacement argument (that gun violence is replaced by other types) so I have usually talked about overall violent death rates.  The overall figure as I have said before shows a rate of about four to five times the level in the US versus UK for all types.  I will re-iterate, however, that in terms of absolute causes of death, the direct effects are not real that significantly high... I suspect that the indirect costs to well being and happiness are considerably more.
That's enough I think for now.  I am off for a music weekend in the wilds of the countryside (without a gun... I am so brave!)
Riley Brown Added Mar 8, 2018 - 9:39pm
Gerillea you mentioned something I think is relevant, the different types of gun laws.  On one hand we have laws that do help reduce gun deaths, like the ones that make an owner responsible for gun abuse if it's with a gun they own but did not reasonably secure.  Thanks to them accidental deaths from things like children finding guns is way down from what it might be, and those laws don't violate anyone's constitutional right to have the guns. 
On the other hand we have lots of laws that say you can't carry one in public if it's visible, or carry one that's concealed.  The details about how someone might take on home from a  gun shop if they only own an open jeep are murky at best, and if followed to the letter deprive anyone who doesn't own a car with a trunk of the right to buy one and take it home.  Those laws are in my opinion unconstitutional because they completely deprive ordinary citizens of the right to own a gun.
Gerrilea Added Mar 8, 2018 - 11:31pm
Riley B-- I'd love for "reasonable regulations" that both expanded firearm knowledge, handling, storage and usage.  Not to be presumed guilty of some future crime because you wish to exercise said right.  The MSM and our government have gone to great lengths to "demonize" a tool, the people that use them and anyone that supports their endeavor, like the NRA.
How many people are afraid to pick up a knife or a gallon of gas?
And the laws we do have cannot conclusively yield results, except ones around "safe storage".
Don't get me started on my state's "SAFE Act".  Prescription drug use can now deny you the exercise of your rights.  Such a sad ending for a state that actually gave money and land to start the NRA itself.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 9, 2018 - 10:48am
Robin the red breasted songster I disagree with your statement below:
Unless you are psychologically deranged, it is very difficult to aim a deadly weapon at someone and pull the trigger.  And, if you are deranged, you bloody well should not have a gun anyway.
I think you might change your mind if people you loved were at risk and you had access to a gun that you could use to stop the threat.
If I were a teacher with a gun hiding behind a desk in a classroom full of scared students and a gunman busted down the door, came in and was walking around shooting one student after another I'd have no problem trying to shoot him before or after he shot me.  Most people who are not shot in the head have plenty of time to shoot back.
I have seen several people I taught to hunt freeze up the first time they tried to shoot large animals, that's not unusual and I do suppose most people would wish they could avoid shooting anyone including someone threatening them, but when you life is on the line, I think most people do what they need to to save themselves or those they love and are not deranged.
I was brought up with guns and taught how to use them to my advantage for protection when I was very young, about 6 to 8 years old.  I knew where my parents guns were, was trained how to use them, and taught how to act scared and run away so that a criminal might not view me as a threat until after I returned and had an opportunity to shoot them before they realized I had a gun.
I was given my own semi automatic rifle when I was 12, just like all the children in my family, and none of us have ever been in trouble with a gun or shot anyone.  When I was 14 my parents bought my first pistol, a 357, for me with my money, because I wasn't old enough to buy it myself.  I was spending a lot of time in bear country and was convinced the semi auto 9mm I'd been borrowing from my dad was no adequate if I ever needed to shoot a bear.  
I learned to reload when I was 13 but didn't move up to a progressive loader until I was in college, and currently have more than one large gun safe full of guns.  Guns are like kitchen knives, they are specialized to that is why I have so many, they all do different things, and many inexpensive ones I bought when I was young have since been replaced by nicer much more expensive versions that do the same thing better.  Many of my guns are so specialized that they would be very poorly suited for things like hunting or self defense.  I don't like or own any that resemble assault weapons, that's just me.  If I'd been in the military I might because those folks tend to want what they were trained with and are comfortable shooting and I don't blame them.
I do belong to the NRA, not because of their discounts, which I've never used, but rather because they are the largest entity I can contribute money to that keeps track of all the ongoing government attempts to further restrict what I can own and use.  
Most of my friends also own lots of guns and like to hunt.  Most grew up with them like I did.  None of us live in violent neighborhoods and none of us has ever gotten in trouble with gun but several of us have used guns to protect our lives or property at some time.  Many of us have guns with us all the time, often in our cars or trucks, none of us have ever had a run in with the law as a result of gun abuse.  
I have neighbors who have guns and many who don't. Some of those who don't have called me when they have felt threatened because they knew I have guns and could provide immediate help when someone was threatening them at home, at least until the police could get there, often 20 minutes to over an hour after they call for help.  Where I live you can spend 20 minutes on hold, waiting to talk to someone.
I am a very typical gun owner in many parts of the US.
Gerrilea Added Mar 9, 2018 - 12:38pm
Rusty-- My Dad did the same with us, taught us how to handle, load, unload and shoot.  He was an NRA instructor.  He said his reasons were simple, "I cannot always be here to protect you. You need to defend yourself."
And they WERE NOT TOYS.  He's say, "Only point a gun at something you want to kill or to die."
I too defended myself and my sister and our home with guns.  It was that incident that made me realize, I'd pull the trigger, without hesitation or regrets.  I also realized in the following months and years that I did not want to become a killer and never owned a firearm.
They are truly just a tool and I have self-defense training and almost any item in my kitchen, my car or on my person can become a deadly weapon when/if needed.  They won't see me coming, sadly for them.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 9, 2018 - 7:08pm
Gerrilea my training started when I was 4 years old, I was given a toy revolver that had fake bullets and came with a gun belt,  I was taught how to treat a real one with that one and required to handle it safely to prove I could be trusted holding a real one.  I was not allowed to keep a live round in the chamber when I wasn't ready to shoot it, (when I was playing cowboys and cowboys with friends, no one wanted to be an Indian).  Later on we gave up and had good and bad guys.  My dad might demand to see the gun at any time and I had to have it appropriately loaded and remove and hand it to him correctly.  When I was in training I also wasn't allowed to let anyone else touch it, or even take it out to show it to other people even though I often wore it out of the house, like when we went to the store.  Shortly after that I got a play rifle and had similar rules and training.  
When I teach people to shoot I take it very seriously and sand right next to them, and start with single shot rim-fire and don't work up to semi autos until I am sure they are methodical enough about safety with single shots.  With pistols I start with rim fire single action revolvers.  My starter shotgun is a single shot break barrel.
Even so am quite against proficiency testing that might ban older and more frail people from owning a gun just because they can no longer demonstrated how they might do thing like go over a fence safely with a rifle.  Even people who are confined to a wheel chair should continue to have the right to defend themselves until the day they die as long as their brain is still up to the job.
Gerrilea Added Mar 9, 2018 - 9:36pm
Rusty S-- I didn't say "proficiency testing", that's a huge can of you pointed out, people in wheelchairs can't defend themselves... older and/or frail or physically disabled can't...
While I'd be torn on older/frail individuals getting dementia or similar...would you let your Dad or Mom w/ Alzheimer's or after a stroke, heart attack own one?  Should the state be involved, I'd hope not.  Sadly, here in NYS, they are involved in every aspects of our lives.
I'm all for training people how to use things, properly.  Proof that you took a NRA (or similar) training class would suffice, imo.  No need to "re-certify".
Jeff Michka Added Mar 10, 2018 - 12:13pm
Oh wow, get out the sand bags and flak jackets, Rusted and 'rilla are screaming for guns to defend themselves against "the Other" out there.  But hey you two Wild Bills, isn't the 2nd amendment over now FL passed some legislation controlling weapon sales.  'RILLA SHOULD BE HAPPY...HER MONEY IS GOING TO SUE Florida BECAUSE THE PASSED LAWS prohibit gun sales to those under 21 yrs old who need AR15s to "defend the tribal 'castle.'" Horrors!!!  And besides, Rusted says we can defend ourselves against bears in remote Alaska by properly using plywood and roofing nails.  Go pick berries, take your plywood and nails...
Rusty Smith Added Mar 10, 2018 - 1:10pm
Gerrilea I always thought formal training was a funny requirement, since in so much of the country most kids grow up with guns and have well established handling habits.  I would think city folks who grew up without them would want training with the gun they buy.
I have more than a few guns and if I buy a new pistol I'd have to take a safety class first, most likely taught by someone who has less experince than I do really using them in the field.  If I do't buy another one legally I can still continue to use any of the guns I already own.
I can see one gun safety class before they will sell you a gun, but once you've had it why keep repeating the requirement, you obviously already have others.  Once you have a hunting license you can use the last one to get another forever, they don't make you keep taking the hunter safety course.
I do have experince with dementia, and at some point probably determined by family, they have to take their guns away because no one wants them responding to imaginary threats with a loaded gun.  I once shaved the firing pin down for one family that didn't have the heart to take their patriarch's gun away, he had Alzheimers.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 10, 2018 - 1:16pm
Jeff Michka WOW you're all foaming at the mouth over what I've written and I'm not unusual for a good part of the county that grows up with a rural upbringing.  
You can keep making all the fun you want of my nail boards, they are cheap and get the job done.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 10, 2018 - 2:42pm
Maybe not formal training Rusty.  But a formal examination and practical test certainly.  Just like with being granted a vehicle driving licence.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 10, 2018 - 2:49pm
The challenge with all of these things is that reasonable people never cause a problem.  Reasonable people train their kids how to drive safely and are very keen that they don't drive recklessly and cause a danger to others.
It is the unreasonable people that you have to legislate for.  And the mentally unstable.   Both types have the capacity to cause untold damage with either a car or a gun.
Unfortunately in any sizeable population there are a good number of unreasonable people and of those with mental issues....
Here reasonable people have no need for a gun.   There is no significant danger from criminal violence (except in the tabloid press) and we are living on a small island with limited public areas available for hunting.  So it is not a problem to impose requirements on anyone that wants to own one.   Anyone who demands a gun is probably, by definition almost, unfit to have one or else a criminal.   Nevertheless you can own a gun of a variety of types if you follow certain rules.
But anyone that wants to own something capable of killing multiple people in seconds is clearly a nutcase of some sort.   The best case is that they are some fantasist who will never act out their fantasies.   The worst case is a Las Vegas or a school shooter type situation
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 10, 2018 - 2:51pm
I guess that the choice is:
1.  Let anyone who wants to have a gun, have a gun, and accept the yearly toll in lives and people living in fear.
2.  Place reasonable restrictions on guns which reduce gun owners freedoms, but cut violent death to one fifth and give everyone more effective freedom from fear.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 10, 2018 - 2:55pm
The other argument, of guns allowing anyone who feels like it to disregard democratically decided laws, in extremis, leads to a state like Afghanistan where everyone has a gun and effective freedom to use it.   However I don't think that too many Americans actually want to recreate Afghanistan in North America...
Jeff Michka Added Mar 11, 2018 - 2:11pm
'rilla sez: He's playing with fire if he dares do that. It would be political suicide and more importantly, suicide for our nation.-How dare the orange turd suggest guns need some regulation? Of course, it would be terminal for the NRA.... Can'y have the NRA fold its little tent and steal away into the corporate night, can we?  Where would single-issue voters do without the NRA to feed them meat?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 11, 2018 - 2:46pm
Gerillea:   The Afghanistan reference was me playing your own point back to you.   You used Afghanistan as an example of how unrestricted firearm use makes a place ungovernable.  You seemed to think this a good thing.  
The right to not have to live in fear?   IMHO this is the primary responsibility of any Government in so far as it can.   A fearful society is seldom a civilised society.
The history of the USA, as taught in the USA, has of course been written by those who really call the shots.   History as generally portrayed is a reflection of current values as much as an honest record of what happened in the past.   It is also relative.
If you happen to be a North American Indian, the history of the last 200 years is one of oppression, genocide and dispossession, for example.   It is not some mythological quest for "freeeeeedom"  .... whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.   (anyone who shouts all the time about freedom usually is talking about their own freedom to do something at the cost of oppression of someone else's freedom.   E.G.  My freedom to play loud rock music at the cost of the neighbours freedom from noise annoyance......)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 11, 2018 - 3:40pm
Gerrilea:  Forgive me if I am wrong, but the historical truth is, I believe, that the rebels who fought "the Government" actually lost the war?   Probably this would be the same thing that would happen next time.   It just would not be the Government that you would actually be fighting. 
The "enemy" in  future civil would not be advancing towards you across sunlit fields under flying banners.   It would be wearing balaclavas and night vision kit or flying drones beyond your field of vision... and you would not even know where to point your weapons.   In fact the "enemy" may be very happy to have you doing your best to make the country ungovernable.   It is so much easier to turn you into slaves if you are unable to work together to form your own government...  Just ask any Afghani Warlord...
Oh and just praise the Lord (or Allah) and pass the ammunition....
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 11, 2018 - 3:58pm
Rusty:   On your view of it being difficult to shoot people if you are mentally normal:
I used to work for an ex Guard's Officer.   This is a very prestigious group of soldiers in the British Army.   He told me that his biggest problem was training his men to shoot to hit a living target.   Most, until it had been drilled out of them, actually would aim to miss.   That is why military training is the way that it is... you are drilled to just do it without thinking about it.  That comes later.
It is also why they always work so hard to get you to see the enemy as evil demons rather than human beings like yourself.   I like a snatch of song from the 1915 Western Front sung by British Tommies:
"Keep your head down, Ally Man (How the Tommies heard the french word "Allemain" or "German"
"Keep your head down, Ally Man"
"Late last night, in the pale moonlight"
"We saw you, we saw you"
"You were hanging out the old barbed wire, when we opened rapid fire"
"If you want to see your sister or your mother or your aunt"
"Keep your head down, Ally Man"
This song and the Christmas truce of 1914, when the Germans and the Brits played soccer in No Mand's Land, shows that the plan to instill hate among the troops was not always successful...
A few people are different.  If you look at some interviews with the Commandos who came back from the raid on St Nazaire.   These guys were clearly getting a kick out of the danger of the whole thing.   They were also, in most cases, finding it very difficult to fit back into civilian life.   Not the type of people you would want wandering around your town armed with a semi automatic.  Many ended up in jail at some point.   Others became mercenaries in some foreign war.
As the song goes:
Terry would never yield, Terry would never run
On the battlefield he's a hero, on the terraces, he's scum.
Taking a human life is a very big deal.  I imagine that, if you are normal, it is something that will stay with you forever, whatever the circumstances that surrounded it.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 11, 2018 - 5:06pm
RRBSG sez: This song and the Christmas truce of 1914, when the Germans and the Brits played soccer in No Mand's Land, shows that the plan to instill hate among the troops was not always successful...And real good mass slaughter was still a ways off. What, only about 500,000 dead by Xmas '14?  Both side still clung to humanity.
Gerrilea Added Mar 11, 2018 - 5:42pm
Robin--- as for your arguments about "fighting our government" today...Sadly I do agree mostly.  They have militarized our police into a standing army USING weapons of war, not peace.
They have the coordinates of every front door in this nation in their targeting systems.  Can they "drone" us into oblivion, most certainly.
They'd have to kill 95% of us and then what kind of "nation" would they have to rule over?
Besides, there are "inside" statistics that shows the majority of our military would not engage there own families and cities. The numbers I saw were about 10% would and can't wait to kill us all, if they get the chance.
If our nation falls, so does the rest of the world, mark my words.  It won't be a walk through "modern" day Afghanistan either.  That will look like a kids birthday party.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 11, 2018 - 6:38pm
Sorry Gerrilia:   You used Afghanistan as an example of how a proliferation of guns makes a country ungovernable.   I was neither agreeing or disagreeing with you.  Just pointing out the consequences of your opinion.   You said that one good reason for having guns was that it made the country ungovernable.   I think you used words like "the government can't make us do what we don't want to".    In other words you don't care what the majority thinks.  You want to do what you want to do, and you want a gun so that no one can stop you.   It's Afghanistan.  Or Wild West mark 2.
The PTB (Powers That Be) don't need to kill us to rule us.  They simply have to distract us and make us believe what is not true.   Mostly this is achieved by shiny things and telling us that guns set us free... or some similar bollocks.   They also simply need to destroy our ability to organise against them.   They tell us that new jobs will emerge from the wreckage... that minimum wages, health care and education will suppress the economy because it taxes the 1% etc etc
The modern day agents of oppression are not large men in raincoats knocking on the door at four in the morning, they are technocrats who drink Starbucks, click mouse buttons and believe they are doing a good job.   They also think that they are free because they have eroded the power of the institutions that actually protect them.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 11, 2018 - 7:35pm
Robin the red breasted songster I think Gerilla gets it, tests can be abused to unjustly deny people the right to own a gun if that is what the administrators want.  That already happens in this country, but not with guns.  In many place you have to have a license to do things like braid hair.  Some of the things you have to do require the ability to obtain some degree of formal education.  A woman made the news by being denied a license and told she could no longer braid hair, because she was not educated enough to pass the testing requirements.  She had hundreds of customers who fought for the right to continue using her, it didn't matter.
In another case you have to have a license to create flower arrangements and part of the testing process involves creating arrangements that are appealing to a group of judges that happen to be the current competition in your area.  A women was told to stop practicing because she didn't' have a license, and the only part of the process she could not pass was getting her designs passed by the judges.
No doubt gun testing might include some degree of personal judgement and opinion.  For example it might not allow or consider normal answers from people who need their guns loaded and close by, instead demanding people state that they intend to keep them unloaded and locked up at night when they are asleep and flunking people who don't say they intend to.  They could decide no one should ever have all the chambers full on a revolver, under any circumstances, because it's safer that way.  They already deny people who belong to the wrong club or in one case had taken anxiety medicine in the past, the right to concealed carry or have a gun.
I have a close friend who is becoming a foster parent right now. he and his wife are almost 70 and want to raise their adult daughter's illegitimate baby.  They are retired multi millionaires,  and part of the process involves giving the correct answered to questions about their past sexual pasts, almost 50 years ago before they were married to each other.  They were asked if they ever argue with each other or other people, and in detail how much as thought the examiner can somehow determine from these questions if they are stable enough to raise this child.  They haven't been denied but the examiner seemed very displeased that they didn't fess up to having previous sexual exploits before they married each other.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 11, 2018 - 7:46pm
Robin the red breasted songster Regarding normal people having a hard time pulling the trigger, I'd imagine that's a far more common thing in your country where guns and shooting one has such a negative association.   I can hear it in many forum comments, people from many other countries freak out just thinking about shooting something and think people who own guns are insane or just outright criminally inclined.
Over here in rural parts of the US guns and killing things are a way of life.  We regularly shoot critters that threaten our livestock and even our crops, and we eat and sleep just fine after the deed is done.  The worst part is disposing of the carcass.  The last critter I shot was two days ago and I got criticized a little this AM for being to lazy to shoot another one at about 4 am.  I had other stuff to do and was too tired.
I'm not in any hurry to kill anyone but if I had to it would be the excitement not the guilt that would keep me up at night for a while.  The only place where I could see myself deliberately missing is if I was forced to act in a police action that I thought was unjust, and then I would miss every time.  No government can make me hurt people I don't think deserve to be punished.  I actually think I have a moral obligation to stand up for other people who don't have the ability stand up for themselves, regardless of who they are being oppressed by.
Riley Brown Added Mar 11, 2018 - 9:14pm
Robin, I think your "police federation" would just get laughed at here where the criminals have so many guns.  It may work where you are but our criminals only fear force.
Without guns the most defenseless citizens would become the targets of choice for criminals if they and their victims didn't have guns. 
The way things are criminals never know if that little ol lady just might have a gun and shoot them if they push her too far.  Two big men never know if it's safe to follow and mug or rape a women, she just might shoot one or both or them, even if she wouldn't otherwise stand a chance.  Women and small men don't need to wonder if they are strong enough to fight off an attack from a larger criminal, if they have a gun and know how to use it.
Homeowners who have guns don't need to hide in a closet if they hear someone breaking in, they know they have what it takes to chase away the biggest baddest bugler or home invasion robber.
Gerrilea Added Mar 11, 2018 - 9:48pm


Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 10, 2018 - 2:55pm

The other argument, of guns allowing anyone who feels like it to disregard democratically decided laws, in extremis, leads to a state like Afghanistan where everyone has a gun and effective freedom to use it.   However I don't think that too many Americans actually want to recreate Afghanistan in North America...
That is your quote, not mine.
You keep making exaggerations to extremes.  There is no way this nation could become Afghanistan.  While I grant anything is possible, those kind of arguments do not elucidate the facts.  We are armed, to the gills and have a natural right to do so without infringement.
The first war is always propaganda.  The propaganda that We The People could never defeat our government...Yes we can...
Afghanistan IS an example of how people armed can stave off the most powerful nation in the world....BUT....there are sooo many alternatives to outright Civil War.  Targeted assignations, to take a page out of Obama's book.  Accidents happen all the time.  Poisoning them while at dinner, etc, etc, etc.
We'll see how Florida's little experiment works in the November
mid-terms.  They could all very well lose their jobs.  If that fails, don't think the NRA won't challenge their new law through the courts.  They'd have to raise the age of enlistment and then that would go directly against the constitution.  Title VII I believe is Federal Law against discrimination based on various things including AGE.
TPTB don't tell us that guns make us free, quite the contrary.  They've demonized them ever since Russia fell to communism. They knew we could do the same here if we go mad enough.
Rusty, yes I do understand how "arbitrary" regulations will be exploited to deny rights. Your examples are perfect.
Odd isn't it?  The "common sense" regulations to be a florist includes approval from your future competitors.
Riley Brown Added Mar 12, 2018 - 10:44am
Gerilla, I learned about those examples and others from a constitutional law professor's lecture on the subject.  He was pointing out the way our society tents to create and use laws to accomplish what they want to, often ways that deprive the people of reasonable choices and fair competition. 
There was a Sheriff not to far from me who apparently doesn't like gun owners and became very well known for his efforts to punish them.  There is a long road out of one outdoor shooting range and he'd wait down the road and stop and inspect cars leaving the range.  If he found technical violations he'd seize the people's guns and write them up. 
Of course if you know much about gun regulations you probably realize it's very hard to transport a dozen guns to an outdoor range in many vehicles that don't have locking trunks, without technically breaking the law.  Many people's older guns aren't registered and that too was something he didn't approve of.  He even seized a few antique cap and ball pistols, claiming they must have been stolen from the military, after the Civil War. 
Of course word got out and lots of shooters stopped going to that range because it was too risky.  His victims became more or less  unfortunate people who usually just bought a gun and wanted to try it out but had no idea how complicated the gun transportation laws are.  Sadly most of his victims were ordinary people with absolutely no criminal intent, who didn't actually pose any threat to the public, now or probably ever.  They were only guilty of not understanding all the technicalities of the law, or in many cases of transporting their guns in a vehicle that didn't have the ability to do so and fully comply with all the laws.
They say we have a right to own a gun but people like that Sheriff are doing all they can to stop the public from exercising that right.
Gerrilea Added Mar 12, 2018 - 11:36am
Robin-- So then we can say, with the evidence provided, an answer to your question.  Are all gun laws by definition incompatible with the constitution and the 2nd Amendment?
Intent plays a huge role.  What is the goal?  Is it a peaceful and orderly exercise of said right or to deny said?
I'm surprised people didn't get rid of that "sheriff"...aren't they elected where you are?  Here in NY they are...I'd have booted his butt out of office.
Riley Brown Added Mar 13, 2018 - 10:17am
Gerilla, no I would not say all laws are by definition incompatible with the 2nd amendment, that document never dealt with the small stuff.
I'm sure none of them would think it should be legal for someone to sell a gun to a known criminal person who was insane or let a 3 year old play with a loaded gun.  I'm not sure they thought we needed laws to stop those sorts of things, they probably thought those were common sense.
As was said previously you can respect the 2nd amendment and have lists of people who no longer have the right to have a weapon, like proven violent criminals, without keeping lists of people who have never done anything wrong but also do own guns.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 13, 2018 - 10:29am
Just to move the debate forwards a little, you may be interested to read a letter sent to the students of Parkland by the survivors of the Dunblane School shooting on the 13th March 1996.   Just like Parkland, 17 people were killed.  This is the last time that there has been a mass shooting in a UK school.
This is what they said about the Dunblane atrocity:
"The gunman owned his four handguns legally, and we knew it had been too easy for him to arm himself with lethal weapons.
"Like you we vowed to do something about it.
"We persuaded British lawmakers not to be swayed by the vested interests of the gun lobby, we asked them to put public safety first and to heed what the majority of the British people wanted.
"Most politicians listened and acted.
"Laws were changed, handguns were banned and the level of gun violence in Britain is now one of the lowest in the world.
"There have been no more school shootings."
Last year 40 people died from gun violence in the UK in total.
So, I think, empirical proof that gun control does save lives.  I don't think that anyone can actually argue against that.
The question is whether you think that the death toll, and the climate of fear it generates, is worth whatever else you think the guns bring you.   Personally I don't see it... but that is a personal opinion
Gerrilea makes the point that guns make it difficult to govern people.  Whether that is good because it gives the gun owner individual freedom to carry and use his weapon is balanced against the degree to which it makes it difficult for society to operate for the good of all.   Depends on whether you believe in democratic government or anarchy I guess.  Some argue that anarchy is a good thing.
To most people, outside of the American mind set, the idea of people being able to carry around automatic weapons seems totally mad.  It is the sort of thing that you expect in the tribal areas of Pakistan or Yemen.  Or maybe some war zone.   But in a first world country? 
I read today of some local football manager over here who spat at some people from his car.   They had jeered about the result of the latest game at him.   He said that the "red mist" had descended and that he had suffered a mad few moments.   Such a good thing that he was not carrying a gun in his car....
Riley Brown Added Mar 13, 2018 - 11:07am
Robin, thank you for the polite and respectful debate. 
I do agree that if guns aren't present the problems involving them will not exist, but think violence and guns don't correlate any better than suicide and guns.
In the US 65% of gun deaths are self inflicted suicides and we could eliminate all of them if we took away all the guns, but even if we did that the suicides would still happen.  We know that because Japan did take away all the guns, and they still have a suicide rate per 100K people that is huge compared to the US suicide rate. 
 In places where domestic and criminal violence is common, guns are used if they are available, but if they aren't the violent tendencies don't disappear, they use other weapons, knives, hammers, baseball bats and even fireplace pokers.
I was trying to see if the UK and US have similar amounts of violent crime but that's tough to do, since the definitions used in both countries are quite different.  Then I thought back to suicides and realized it really doesn't matter, crime like suicide has much more to do with the cultural values than it does with the availability of specific tools to get the job done.
Guns are used criminally with shocking frequencies in many of our most violent neighborhoods, making news that leads most people to think they are super dangerous things to own.  That contrasts poorly with all the guns my friends own, including many they inherited, that have never hurt anyone.  How could that be if they are so dangerous.  Perhaps it's the people, not the gun that's really the source of the trouble.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 13, 2018 - 6:36pm
Riley B sez: The question is whether you think that the death toll, and the climate of fear it generates, is worth whatever else you think the guns bring you.   Personally I don't see it... but that is a personal opinion-OOooo, you just got the sack in the WB rightist's club for not agreeing with people here that can only say we need more guns to solve gun violence and no regs should apply to the 2nd amendment, because any reg will end it.  Ask the NRA or NRA ambassador to WB, OL 'RILLA.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 13, 2018 - 6:38pm
I'm waiting for the next rightist's article talking about how reproductive choice must be ended.  We need those kids to grow up so they can be shot in a school shooting.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 13, 2018 - 7:53pm
Riley:   It is difficult to compare violent crime figures USA to UK.   However the violent death rate is about 4.5 times higher in the USA.   This includes death by guns as well as other forms of homicide.  There is an argument that the culture of guns might lead to higher overall levels of aggression (as well as making it easier for any would be homicide to kill larger numbers of people when the desire strikes him).   The USA also has a larger percentage of it's population in jail compared to countries with stricter gun controls.   Although this may merely be simple correlation rather than causal... I accept that.
As you know, our police are not normally armed.  They are trained to de-escalate confrontations with armed people.  This means that very few people are actually killed by our police by comparison with USA police.   I imagine that most US police are worried that the criminals that they are chasing will be armed and therefore act accordingly.
Most people armed with knives etc are, to some degree, mentally challenged.   Those armed with guns are definitely nuts because, as I have pointed out before, it gives the police the evidence that they need to lock known criminals away.
Gerrilea Added Mar 14, 2018 - 9:53am
Riley-- Regulating "common sense" is/was left up to the State government, not the Federal/Central gov't.  Selling a gun to a "known" criminal is immaterial and arbitrary.  If they are still in jail, their rights are restricted already, for whatever crime or violation they committed.  After release, that's a whole different ballgame.  Since they've "paid" for their transgression, any future restrictions on rights is absurd and dangerous
This mentality has led to "asset forfeiture", where your property is now considered to have broken the law and can summarily be confiscated.  You are not charged or convicted of a a crime but your property is and therefore can be taken.
This same mentality has led to arguments and laws that state if you've been prescribed medications, your rights are now and forever more, forfeited.
We all seem to understand and agree that laws are passed based on the current social mores. These change over time and are always arbitrary.  Since our damned Supreme Court has made the 2nd Amendment a limit and/or restriction on State Governments, any new laws must therefore comply with said.
The pattern of the restrictions over the past 70+ yrs reveals an agenda; to disarm as many people as possible.  Didn't Nancy Pelosi say as much?  She and idiots like her want all the guns.
WHY? Why are they so desperate to take them? It's not to save lives, it's not for the children.  We gave them, after the Bush Crime Syndicates stint in office, full control of our government and they did nothing constructive to democratize, so to speak, our nation.  They could have passed sweeping changes in every area to make our lives better.  THEY DIDN'T.  They put their eggs in two baskets, Obamacare and Gun Confiscation.  They lost it all.  They lost my lifelong support, as a registered voting democrat...note the small "d".
They could have ended the fake war on drugs, you know that elephant in the room that has turned our cities into war zones. They could have disarmed the police, you know the ones with "surplus" military weapons that shoot first and don't ask questions later. They could have regulated the banksters, they could have prosecuted the real criminals that have forced the majority of us into perpetual poverty.  They did squat and lost the power we gave them.
NOW, after they intentionally failed and destroyed this nation, they want the guns?  They blame everything on the guns!
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 15, 2018 - 5:29am
I agree that it is difficult to define a "violent act".   However it is easier to define a "death by violence".   This is the source of the 4.5 times higher rate in the USA stat.
Violent acts, across the board, have decreased in the last few years in the UK.   In fact violent acts have decreased in most societies including the USA (despite all the guns).   Steven Pinker has written a book about this called "The better angels of our nature".
Since Dunblane, and the subsequent action on gun control, there have been no school shootings and no other mass violent lethal situations in UK schools.   No ambiguity there.
Violence related to UK burglaries (home invasions) has halved (it was never high to begin with because burglars, in general, want your TV, not your life) because of the drop in portable valuables that we all have.   Criminals know that better returns are to be had in cyber crime... with lower chances of being caught.
Gang violence has been addressed through proactive police programmes.   South Manchester used to have a big problem with 8 deaths or so from gun violence at the end of the last millennium.  Today it is reduced to one to two deaths per year.
By the way, pointing up how ludicrous the suggestion of arming teachers is, I hear that a Californian teacher injured pupils yesterday when she accidentally discharged a gun in the classroom.
Teachers, whilst they do a great job and IMHO are heroes for what they do, are also a cross section of society.  There are teachers who are likely to crack under the strain and succumb to the "red mist" just like anyone else.  
Our old Geography teacher used to throw the board rubber at us when he "lost it".   He was known for it... he had a great aim.  I hate to think what might have happened if he had been packing...
Another teacher, who was a military veteran, one day lost it and punched one of my class mates (he had been a very annoying boy...).   Again, if he had been armed?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 15, 2018 - 5:33am
I think that a more fundamental discussion needs to be had about the nature of "freedom".
It is a word that is tossed around like some sort of discussion "trump card".   But what, exactly, do we mean by it.
In a civilised society, I believe that we need to trade "freedoms" in order to give ourselves the greatest overall "freedom"
For example, on the one hand you have the "freedom" to own an automatic weapon and on the other hand the "freedom" for your neighbours to not have to live in fear of the armed man who lives next door.
Gerrilea Added Mar 15, 2018 - 10:08am
Riley B--  I've finally decided to address a point you've made few times.  You've said that the Constitution and the amendments contained therein are "governing principles" and not law.  I believe there is some confusion.  What is "law"?  Whom are "laws" intended for?  I think you've confused something along the way.
The constitution is the written law, We The People, gave our creation.  It cannot do this or that and it must do this and that.  It is their law, not ours.  They are not polite suggestions or recommendations or "guiding principles".
When our creation passes a law, said law cannot redefine or abrogate the laws enumerated in that damn piece of paper, to quote a Bushism.  If so, the "law" is null and void upon passage and we have no "lawful" obligations to abide by them.
We granted our creation limited authorities to keep our society safe and free.  It can pass laws that we all should follow. However, if we do not agree with them, we have various means by which to negate them.  The biggest that comes to mind is Jury Nullification. 
The constitution and the 1st 10 amendments are there to keep tyranny in a cage.  Tyranny of the majority is exactly how governments devolve into dictatorships that results in the death of millions. Our founding fathers knew history and understood how governments become oppressive, they tried to safeguard against it.
We Americans have been conditioned to believe that the ultimate "authority" in this nation are the courts.  No, that could not be further from the truth.  We are the ultimate authority, not our creation.  The "law" is what we say it is, not them.
Off topic a tad, I'm grateful Scalia is dead, his "majority" opinions have destroyed the very fabric of this nation.  Citizens' United, Newtown, the Troy Davis decision...etc, etc, etc.  Did he/they get one thing right in MacDonald and Heller? Barely.  And they were destroyed with the psychotic ACA decision.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 15, 2018 - 11:07am
Robin the red breasted songster I'm sure the US is a lot like the UK in that that it contains parts that are very safe neighborhoods and others where affluent people who are concerned about their safety would tell you it's very unwise to go, especially at night, because it's dangerous.  
In the US we vast areas where things like homicides are very rare, often not one a year and then many tiny cities where they murder each other at horrific rates, like Detroit where it's something like 20 a month.
Obviously if the conditions in either of our countries more violent parts were to spread to other areas, either country would experince a huge increase in the overall violence rate for the country.  That would happen here were guns are commonly used, and could just as easily happen in the UK. 
The relative frequency of homicides in either country has much more to do with the culture in a few small parts of the country than it has to do with the presence or absence of guns. 
Violent people kill each other just as despondent people kill themselves.  The tools are not the cause and removing them will not change the people.
It does not makes sense to make rules that are applied to a vast majority, that do not effect or benefit them, or may even be detrimental to them.  If you want to reduce violence don't take guns away from people who don't abuse them, try and find a way to make the people who do less violent.
Gerrilea Added Mar 15, 2018 - 11:31am
Dammit Rusty, I was going to write an article on exactly that.  Well, actually revise one I wrote at Daily Kos, years ago and post it here.  It was ridiculed and ignored then, but the facts still remain.
We are a violent species.
With fairy dust and magical thinking, if we remove/ban all objects that can be used in a violent manner up to and including killing someone, the world would be so beautiful and happy.
No one ever really addresses the issue of why humans are violent.  What motivates someone to the extreme of killing themselves, their partners or random strangers?
I doubt that we can "make" someone less violent but we CAN create the conditions for success in this life.  Something we seriously don't do.
Decades of failed "social policies" starting off with the fake war on drugs to fake "free trade agreements" and ending with fake news to indoctrinate the masses into accepting that criminality as "civil society" and "progress".
If we don't address our violent tendencies and why we act them out, it won't matter what object is banned next.
Riley Brown Added Mar 15, 2018 - 11:48am
Gerillea, I like to think of the Constitution as the base code like Windows 10, and laws are like all the programs you add to your computer that rely on and are limited by what Windows 10 will allow.  Constitutional rights are the foundation all our laws are built on and not allowed to violate.
Laws can be created and modified by the courts, the Constitution can not, it requires amendments.  Constitutional rules, or laws if you want, put rigid barriers in place that can not be infringed by the courts.
Prohibition was started with the 18th amendment so that no laws or courts could supersede it.   Alcohol could not be made legal by any court after the amendment took effect, it had to be nullified by another amendment, the 21st.
The 2nd amendment's true meaning has been questioned many times by many people and courts, but no one ever suggests the rights it gives to the people can be taken away by a new law.  Laws can't supersede constitutional amendments.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 15, 2018 - 12:41pm
Robin the red breasted songster and Gerrilea I looked at a few statistics and in the US the place you live can increase your risk of being murdered by 149.4 times what it would be if you lived somewhere else.  That is the range in the US.  
In nonviolent parts of the US like parts of Arizona and Nebraska murder rates are .4 out of 100,000, however they go up to 57.8 and 59.8 per 100,000 in Baltimore and St. Louis.
It gets even worse if you look at the parts of those violent cites and see that the vast majority of murders are in a few very high crime neighborhoods.  You can actually live not too far away and be well out of the carnage.
The average for the overall use is 4.88 per 100K and only .92 for the UK.  I live in California where the rate ranges from .8 to 20.3, just depending on where you live.  Think about that, I could be safer in some parts of California's wild West, than the average person is in the UK even thought people in the safest parts of California own lots of guns and the people in the UK don't.
Evidently it's not the number of guns that determines how many people kill each other.  I couldn't find reputable murder statistics that show where murders take place in the UK but I suspect there are high crime areas there just like they're are in the US and it's not because they are allowed to have guns.
Gerrilea Added Mar 15, 2018 - 4:34pm
Riley B---"Windows 10"....??? Really, that piece of garbage spyware???  Windows XP or nothing!  ROFL.
The constitution does not grant me or you a thing.  It grants limited authorities to create a government, the form and shape of said government and limits that creation, hence the 1st A's "shall make no law" and the 2nd A's "shall not be infringed".
Our rights preexist the constitution and the government it created.
The "meaning" of the 2nd and the "modern" and false debates surrounding it are the machinations of authoritarians with an agenda.  That agenda started over 150 yrs previously with Jim Crow Laws and culminated in the Supreme Court stating exactly that the denial of rights to minorities in their 1875 decision with US v. Cruikshank was perfectly lawful and constitutional.  Blacks had no natural rights.
Those authoritarian machinations went full throttle with the 1934 Firearms Act because of the rise of the Mob after our government's foray into prohibition and ever since.  The government created the mess in the first place and they made everyone else suffer ever after.
They've convinced the masses there was some "legal question" of a "collective" right vs an "individual right". That's all a lie.  They knew the could never amend the constitution outright to remove/modify their limited authorities granted by the 2nd A.  They know they still can't, almost 100 yrs later.
Sadly for all of us, they've eroded away their restrictions and passed shit like "concealed carry" vs "open carry" and have attempted at every turn to "amend" that damn piece of paper without actually amending it.
Gerrilea Added Mar 15, 2018 - 4:48pm
Rusty--- I understand and agree.  Violence is more times than not exacerbated when humans are packed like sardines into "urban" areas. 
That said, our rights are not contingent upon physical location. 
If you review the following link:
13 Charts Put America's Gun Violence in Perspective, you'll see exactly that. 
The majority of the nation has no problem with "gun violence". And as New Hampshire and Vermont reveal, relaxed gun "regulations" does not equate to more violence.  The reverse is also true, more "regulations" do not stop the violence.
Riley Brown Added Mar 15, 2018 - 5:36pm
Gerilea, I opened you link and even though it was from a Pro Gun organization, I was impressed by one chart that if true shows how little correlation there is between restrictive laws, gun ownership and violence using guns.  It really does look like the guns aren't the problem its bad people.  I liked the fact that all those numbers are from one country but still think it's a cultural problem, not a gun problem.  As Rusty pointed out if you hang around bad neighborhoods, you're much more at risk even if they have very strict gun laws, than you'd be if you were in a better neighborhood that's full of guns.  
I once heard some tell me why rich people don't want poor people in their gated communities, and it's not because they have no morals, its because the crimes they poor people gravitate to upset their world more than the crimes rich people commit.  Poor people tend to steel things, your bicycle, your golf clubs, or your phone.  Rich people aren't more moral, but they aren't interested in those things, instead they will rob you blind by conning you out of your retirement money, or some other white collar crime. 
I think the same can be said about the violence in poor communities, The poor are much more inclined to resort to violence including murder, because where they live, on the street, that's just the way it's done.
Gerrilea Added Mar 15, 2018 - 6:40pm
Riley B-- Like the old adage goes, "Be afraid of a man whom has nothing to lose."
If you'r rich, you have so much that can be taken from you.  Your home, your car, your wife, your status in the community....
The issue becomes moral then.  How do we stop "bad" people? 
Riley Brown Added Mar 15, 2018 - 10:44pm
Gerrilea,  First, I do think society should start shunning entertainment that glorifies disobedient children.   50 years ago entertainment rarely if ever enticed children into believing it would be fun and even make them look good if they disobeyed adults and did things that were forbidden.  Today most of the most appealing children movies show children  becoming hero's by defying adults and usually doing lots of dangerous things that kids should never do.  It does inspire imitation.  Those movies teach children to disrespect authority, often portraying adults as buffoons.
Second, I would encourage society to shun other disrespectful forms of entertainment like Gangster Rap, because it to glorifies behavior that is detrimental to children that grow up wanting to emulate what they see and hear.  The places where Gangster Rap is the most popular often have very high incidences of violent behavior, drug use and little desire to get a decent education.
Third and most controversial I think they need to take the MACHO out of jail for most minor crimes.  Today young kids go into a system that promises to be as kind to them and they come out with a few tats and a badge of courage they can proudly display to all the other wanna be tough guys in the neighborhood.  I'd put an end to that. 
Get busted for any small offense, it's a caning that happens the first week, in plain views of all the other inmates, bare butt, followed by some iodine to prevent infection and then throw them back out on the street so everyone can see them limping around afraid to sit down.  No 6 months at the tax payer's expense, no luxury stay where they can come out boasting about their stay, just a good whipping they never want to go though again.  Oh and if they do, end  up going back the whipping gets repeated a week after they get the first whipping. 
Somehow I suspect most kids would never want to go back.  I even think there should be some whipping for the adults too.  I know too many people who have been incarcerated several times and don't care if they go back.  Time to put an end to that attitude.
Riley Brown Added Mar 16, 2018 - 10:31am

Gerrelea, I was not calling for government intervention or censoring of the entertainment industry, because I don't like the government in that business, but I do think communities should put social pressure on entities that present undesirable content and show their displeasure by not patronizing those institutions.  If a theater couldn't get people to pay to see that stuff they would quickly switch to things the people were willing to pay to watch.  I think parents in poor communities should not be letting their kids watch or listen to entertainment that glorifies violence or encourages them to disrespect authority figures or glorifies the bad guys.  Today pimps and drug dealers can be really nice people and the cops are bad people all the time.  There is no clear line for children to see and want to emulate, just a big blur with bad behavior being sold as the cool, fun, and even socially acceptable way to behave.  It's bad enough that in poor neighborhoods bad behavior abounds on the street, they don't need to grow up seeing it as acceptable, before they are even old enough to go out on the street.
I don't believe you can't discourage violent behavior with painful punishments because I remember the days when physical punishment was very popular in school and NO tough guy or girl wanted to get swatted.  Today we coddle kids, swats are not PC and kids disrespect teachers and taunt them with behavior I never saw from kids the teacher could swat or have swatted.  As a result our classrooms are disrupted far more often by kids who know there is nothing the teacher can do to them that they care about.
I also grew up in the days when cops were allowed to say "stop our I'll shoot" and mean it, and remember most wanna be hoods stopped when ordered to because they knew they might be shot if they didn't.  Today police can't say that or shoot at them as they flee so ever punk knows they stand a pretty good chance of getting away if they just run.  Back then if you badmouthed a cop there is a good chance he'd rough you up, so criminals generally behaved when they were around police.  Today they taunt and insult them, and do everything they can including kicking and biting the police because they know the police aren't allowed to fight back.  
I think you attitude works well for non-violent people but I've seen how poorly it works on those who have no respect for anything but pain or physical threats.

Gerrilea Added Mar 16, 2018 - 12:16pm
Riley B--- Did I miss something?  Police can't fight back???  They're usually the aggressors today and fatally so.  They lie, they frame innocent people, they kill with impunity and there doesn't have to be a law that you've allegedly violated for them to shoot you without warning. has thousands of videos showing exactly what the "uniformed thugs" are doing today.
We've gone beyond "social pressure" to "encourage" better movies, music, et al. 
Dare I say, we've gone beyond a pointing of asking our government nicely to stop their "uniformed thugs".
We can't expect a society so drenched in violence and criminality from the local dog catcher up to the POTUS to naively believe we can somehow fix this by restricting a movie, a song or a tool.
We're well on our way into Banana Republic territory.  Only a complete reset might change this path.  And by "reset", it would have to be armed and violent to get them all out of the system.
Riley Brown Added Mar 16, 2018 - 5:13pm
Gerrilea, yes you did miss something, police training and all the law suits when police are caught using more force that is absolutely necessary to stop a suspect from fleeing or hurting someone. 
I know every time someone catches a cop on camera brutalizing someone there are probably 100 that didn't get caught but when caught they do get in big trouble and that's why they are so much less violent then they were in the past. 
Gerrilea Added Mar 16, 2018 - 5:50pm
Riley, you are truly confusing me now.  Police corruption is a perfect example of how immoral this nation really is.  They can and do kill us with impunity. When they get caught on camera, good.  There is no evidence that they are less violent today, that's an opinion that cannot be proven.   I can prove how they are militarized and use military tactics, weapons and force against the people AND how this is a symptom of a broader issue our society faces.  Rational distrust of our elected officials, the government they run and their henchmen in L.E.O. they use to enforce their will upon the majority of us.
The moral issues of "assault weapon" or no "assault weapon" fades away when we realize the entire system is designed to create violent citizens.  Our government created these conditions and then convince the masses, for their own protection, they must become chattel in a slaughterhouse.
Riley Brown Added Mar 17, 2018 - 1:02am
Gerrilea, I'm pretty sure things like beatings and stop or I'll shoot are way down, at least near where I live.  I talk to a lot of officers, young working today and older retired ones.  They all tell me it's not like it once was, especially now that everyone has a camera in their pocket.
I know the police sometimes have access to military vehicles, like the ones they used in Waco.  I think the people in Waco were wack jobs, but they were still Americans and the government went way overboard.  Lots of police departments get access to surplus military hardware and swat teams look much more like a Seal Team than a team of police.
If the government keeps chipping away at the 2nd amendment they won't need tanks, just small arms to inflict any damage they want on the people because the people will be toothless.
Jeff Michka Added Mar 17, 2018 - 5:36pm
Riley tries to frighten unenlightened rightists with: If the government keeps chipping away at the 2nd amendment they won't need tanks, just small arms to inflict any damage they want on the people because the people will be toothless-Same old rightist crap "we need to defend America from the evils of s dictatorship," in an era where good white people really wanted a Trump.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 17, 2018 - 8:16pm
Rusty:  Obviously there are areas in the UK where violence is more common.  Personally I have been fortunate to have never experienced violence first hand in my 61 years of living here.   I did experience first hand violence four times int he USA however in visits to Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New Orleans.
There is an argument that violence begets violence.  One argument for the abolition of the death penalty back in the 1960's was that it implicitly shows that the society accepts that violence is valid.
As for civil overthrow of an unfair Government.   The biggest, and most successful, was of the British control in India.  It was done not by armed uprising but by non violent resistance.   I think that the same would be true in the USA if you really want to overthrow the system that enslaves you today.
Rusty Smith Added Mar 18, 2018 - 11:22am
Robin the red breasted songster I think you're comparing apples and oranges, India was being treated like a tax generating colony that succeed in rejecting British control, very similar to America rejecting British control.  That is quite different than if the British people had decided to rebel and kick out their own government, like was tried many many times all over Europe.
I think India and America both succeeded because neither was "worth the effort" and neither independence threatened the government structures that were in place in the country that wanted to exert control over them and tax them.  Before and after both India and America's separations, the government and all the laws and taxes they imposed in Britain remained the same.  If either America or India had been demanding the British government step down, I'm sure the response would have been quite different.
As for violence, I am pretty sure if I visited the UK and spent time in the more violent parts especially at night I too might have the privileged of experiencing violent behavior first hand.  Just like in the US, your chances of seeing violence have much more to to with where you go and who you spend time with than whether or not the gun laws are highly restrictive.  Right now the US has many times more violent neighborhoods, but from what I hear the UK might be working hard to catch up.  There has been a lot of questionable news from the UK that suggests many of your more recent immigrant communities are riddled with violence and their populations are expanding faster than your native UK populations.  I'd be pleased to hear you comment, since you live there and surely know more than I do.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 18, 2018 - 2:54pm
Rusty:  I don't think that there is any difference in terms of whether non violent methods would work.   Many reforms have been pushed through by the means of popular pressure in the UK against the will of the monied elite:  abolition of the slave trade, the right to roam, equal pay for women etc etc.   It works.
As Ghandi pointed out, armed insurrection tends to install new leaders who may be as bad or worse that what is overthrown.  Democratic process remains, I think, the "least worst" option.
As regards the immigrant communities in Britain.   Britain is a nation of immigrants.   We are all half English.  Always have been, always will be.  I like a breakfast of bubble and squeak washed down with a cappucino.   Our national dish is chicken tikka masala.  
Immigrants are like the rest of us.   They generally want a better life for their families and, when their lot improves, they move out of the inner city into the suburbs.
Certain politicians, and certain agents of power, have always picked on immigrants as a target... usually to distract us from what is going on.    The Daily Mail and one or two other tabloid papers exploit the fear of "the other" by running continual stories about immigration and the "damage" they claim that it is doing.
However the facts are actually somewhat different, although not given as much air time as "false news" about immigrants.   Three years ago a research project was carried out by the London School of Economics.   Their conclusion was that immigrants had not taken jobs from the locals and had actually contributed 30% more in taxes than they cost the nation in education and health care costs etc. Those with the "get up and go" to emigrate are usually the hardest working and most enterprising in the population.   One of the worst things about Brexit is that we may lose some of the outstanding talent that we have working in our businesses, our universities and our hospitals who have come to our shores from Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
The pain that everyone was suffering was down to the aftermath of the 2008 crash... something which we have yet to fully recover from.   The poor will never recover because automation and globalisation means that there never will again be enough unskilled job for those that need them.   But no-one wants to address that problem... because it is a difficult one to fix.   So, instead, its a lot easier to blame "immigration".
Having said that, I believe that faith based schools should be banned as a acceptable education channel.   Teaching should be secular and school include the teaching of comparative religion to promote tolerance and understanding.  Faith schools should be permitted to provide additional education in the kids free time as long as no extreme views are promoted.
Violence is usually fueled by desperation.   Actually I think it is mainly fueled by the juxtaposition of extreme poverty and great wealth.   The bring down violence we need to offer people hope for the future.   We also need to send out the message that violence is not acceptable.   This means removing capital punishment (if murder is a crime... how can the state commit it and retain moral authority?) and not allowing instruments of extreme violence to be easily available for all to purchase.
But, coming back to the actual macro figures, overall the USA has about 4.5 times more violent deaths than most other first world countries, including the UK.   The question is; what is causing it?   Is it lack of an adequate social security safety nets and poor health care provision?   Is it the breakdown of community spirit and the cult of the individual?   Is it your gun legislation (of lack of it)?   Is it your method of policing?   Is it the overall attitude to violence in the entertainment business?   Or some combination?
The USA, I think, has the same issue with immigrants.  They probably are net contributors to society... but they provide a handy whipping boy to explain the worsening lot of the working man...
Rusty Smith Added Mar 19, 2018 - 12:30am
Rusty Smith the vast majority of our very dangerous neighborhoods are in places where we have made generational poverty an easier sustainable option than working to get ahead.  In fact I'd say we have rules that discourage responsible behaviors like getting a good education and then a good job.
If you hardly work or just refuse to all together we offer so much assistance that it's better than working.  Even worse if you do work a little, you will lose more benefits than you can pay for if you're not skilled enough to get a high paying job.  That's why in many neighborhoods they call what you get "chump change" because only a chump would work their rear off for "THE MAN", to get money that they don't need and would be better off without.
Add to that in most generational poverty families are minorities, and they tell each other they need subsidizes, hand outs and head start programs to make them equal to the non-minority people around them.  Talk about demotivating them, we tell them they aren't smart enough to compete and eventually they start believing it and don't even try.  Is it any wonder they result to violent crime, what else can they do with that attitude and beliefs.
Riley Brown Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:21pm
Robin, the deciding factor when it comes to whether an immigrant is a net plus or minus to America is usually determined by their relative affluence.
When employers hire doctors, nurses, engineers and other highly skilled workers who work all year and make enough to pay for all their own expenses, it is a net plus for the US economy.
When the worlds poor and unskilled come here like is often the case with people fleeing poverty in places like Mexico and Salvador, with no skills, they usually become net looser for the US economy.
It's not the fault of the poor people, it's the US's own policies that rush to improve their lives by giving them and their families all the great stuff they need to escape poverty, whether they pay taxes or not.  Things like an education are very expensive, so is medical care so a family that comes here to pick fruit for 3 months a year can't possibly offset the cost their own kids impose on taxpayers, they just don't make enough. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:53pm
Hi Riley.  That may be true for the USA, I don't know.  All I can say is that this was also the popular view in the UK.  However, a well set up study showed otherwise.
Migrants tend to be younger.  So, unlike the native population, they use relatively little medical resources.   So this puts little strain on the National Health Service.   They also tend to be the harder workers... the lazy ones are still sat at home scratching themselves and talking about what to do... while the migrants have actually gone and done it.   This means that they tend to pay more in taxes than they consume in public services.
There tends to be a view that it is a zero sum game... only so many jobs/ health care/ education to go round etc etc.  Migrants, of course, also buy things.  They also need somewhere to live etc etc so they actually help to grow the overall economy.   It is usually the older, native, population which is the net drain on society.   They don't produce much and they don't buy a lot either.   (I say this as an old person myself).
A bigger problem is that manpower overall is becoming irrelevant to the means of production and distribution.   Unskilled manual jobs are disappearing fast ... and they are not coming back.   This is the real problem and many people holding the levers of power would rather focus our thinking on migrants than let us try and do something about the real problem.
If we do not address the growing issue of disappearing jobs, then it can only end in one of two ways.   Marx predicted that capitalism would destroy itself either through revolution (unlikely because although you have plenty of guns... you would not know who to aim them at...) or total market collapse due to shrinking demand (because the mass of people have reducing purchasing power).
We have already had a rehearsal for this back in 2008.   I would hope that, with our combined intelligence, we could figure out a way to avoid a full blown experience.   It is in everyone's long term interests... including the 1%.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:57pm
BTW one thing that the UK Government is a bit embarrassed about is that they have had to make a provision of £6 Billion to cover the net loss in tax revenue because of expected migration going into reverse because of Brexit.   It does not quite fit with the "we'll have more money if we crack down on migration" narrative...
Riley Brown Added Mar 20, 2018 - 7:32pm
Robin, years ago most of the public believed poor illegals paid taxes too, so they were carrying their own weight, but starting about 5 years ago even advocates for illegal immigration started acknowledging they are a net drain on our economy.  They switched from "they pay taxes too". to "we have an obligation to share with and help the poor from other countries". 
More recently they started calling anyone who wants the US to enforce our border and even anyone who acknowledges the fact that there are people here who fit the legal definition of "illegal alien", racists.  Many call anyone who doesn't want an open border a racist.
Gerrilea Added Mar 21, 2018 - 8:06am
Riley B-- Good points.  I suspect that you and Robin RB are seeing the same accident from different perspectives with only 2 sides.  I see a 3rd side a mix of both, so to speak.
Population growth in European countries is well below replacement, those in power know this and in less than 30 yrs, their tax base will collapse.  They need more tax slaves to bolster their "economic" house of cards.  Whether or not those slaves actually pay taxes is immaterial, at this time.  For them, it's a numbers game, nothing more.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 21, 2018 - 10:48am
Riley:  For my education, can you tell me how illegal immigrants drain the US economy.   I guess that, if they are illegal, then they cannot get access to the health service without payment?   Or get education?   How do they actually drain the economy?  What services do they use which cost money on a variable (i.e. per capita) basis?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 21, 2018 - 10:52am
Riley:   What is the difference between a poor immigrant and a poor native of the country from a "profit and loss" perspective (rather than a compassionate human perspective)?
I suspect that all of the "poor" are a net drain because of the problem I highlighted of the disappearance of unskilled jobs.
BTW, here in the UK, we have taken advantage of skilled immigrants for years.   Many of our National Health doctors and nurses were educated overseas.   We did not pay the cost of their education but we benefit from their skills.   I suspect that American hospitals also have a fair number of Mexican doctors and nurses too.
Riley Brown Added Mar 21, 2018 - 11:19am
Robin, you are wise to ask about the relationship to poverty because in reality, that's what it's all about, national origin has no unique affect. 
Poor people are net drains on the economy because they typically receive much more money in assistance and benefits than they offset by paying taxes.  The more middle class and affluent people pay lots of taxes, and don't tend to use many of the social services.
It's not poor people's fault that it each of their kids consumes about $10,000 a year of educational tax money and often a lot of medical, in fact if they are here we REQUIRE their kids be in school and REQUIRE they use our medical system. 
Technically they are not allowed many benefits reserved for citizens oh but the vast majority do, thanks to a thriving fake ID system, and agencies that are more interested in handing our as much as possible than limiting it to citizens.  They are allowed unlimited medical, no hospital or clinic can refuse to treate them, including those who come here for very expensive medical treatments they can't get or can't afford in their on country.  If they come here with HIV we provide free treatment for life and they can argue that if they return home they would die, so they get to stay.
Strangely if they give birth in the US, even if they are her illegally, the child is a citizen and then the mother, father and eventually the entire vaguely related family and relatives can come here too legally.  They all become legally entitled to all benefits, including our Social Security retirement benefits even thought they never paid into it.  Our Social Security retirement fund is projected to go broke and that is ONE reason.
Unfortunately we've made the welcome mat so enticing that liveing here without working is often safer, and a lifestyle improvement over how many of them could live in their own countries, even if they worked hard.  As a result, those are our most common illegal immigrants, the dirt poor uneducated, unskilled people who have the least to offer our economy.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Mar 21, 2018 - 12:34pm
OK.  I thought that you had to pay for health care in the USA through insurance or some other method.   I did not think that you had a system which was free at point of need as we have here.
So, from what you have said, the "native" poor are at least as much of a drain, if not more so, than immigrants.
The problem is the growing irrelevance of physical labour to wealth creation.  Unskilled labour has a very limited market.   There is no problem with wealth creation  (wealth creation requires the labour of fewer and fewer people)... just finding a way for the unskilled masses to qualify for their share of it.
So, the real question is:  what are we going to do about it?
I believe that the current powers that be (PTB) are doing their best to distract us from this question because they don't know how to answer it.   It is easier to blame other targets e.g. migrants than it is to actually try and grapple with the problem.
It is a difficult problem to solve because it means somehow taking money from those who control the levers of wealth creation and distributing it to the wider population.   Even those with the money today will benefit from this because it maintains the health of the market and avoids the creation of a desperate underclass (in the USA a desperate underclass which is armed to the teeth) which would fuel crime and maybe even run the risk of creating some sort of insurrection or revolution (probably starting with those who feel the pain most).
I can see that there are many unskilled jobs that need doing in the care of our aging population and in the care of the environment.  The problem at the moment it that there is no way that these jobs can be supplied by private enterprise.  This is because, although they are highly socially valuable, they are not economically profitable.
So a really tricky problem for us all to solve.  Perhaps even trickier for the USA where any Government action of this type would no doubt be called "libtard" and otherwise attacked by those who think that they would be damaged by it.
It is made trickier again by the global nature of enterprise today.   If one country tries to tax a corporation... they simply move out to another country where the taxes are lower etc etc.
Of course we could try appealing to corporate leader's better natures....   Good luck with that one!
Riley Brown Added Apr 17, 2018 - 10:59am
 Robin the red breasted songster not just companies more to other countries, rich people do to to avoid taxes, especially people from countries like the UK.
Where I live it's easy to make a lot of money but also prohibitively expensive to live.  Lots of our more affluent population flee to less expensive places to retire, and of course take their life savings with them.
We once had lots of manufacturing jobs that were great low income jobs.  Today most manufacturing plants have closed.  Low skilled people are fighting for the few jobs that are left, and at the same time often voting for things like min wage increases and stricter environmental laws, which force even more of theri jobs out of the country.  They want and need the jobs but are not smart enough to connect the dots and realize it's their own actions that are forcing the companies they want to work for to send their jobs overseas.