Why Not Renew the “Assault Weapons” Ban? Well, I’ll Tell You…

Discussion in 'Politics' started by daveman, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    Why Not Renew the “Assault Weapons” Ban? Well, I’ll Tell You…
    Why Not Renew the “Assault Weapons” Ban? Well, I’ll Tell You…
    [EDIT: Since this article was published, the Democratic party has officially added support of the assault weapon ban renewal to their party platform and Senator Feinstein has vowed to introduce it again in the upcoming session, hoping the Newtown massacre will help it push through. This bill WILL be debated and voted on, and I hope you can learn something about it here.]

    Between Two Worlds

    It’s not easy being a leftist who loves guns. It’s like being a Republican who listens to NPR or supports single payer health care. But being a leftist, I get exposed to all the liberal publications and media that invariably call for gun control every time someone does something stupid with one. Being a gun enthusiast, I also get exposed to the political Right’s oversimplification of those liberals as somehow lacking moral fiber or true appreciation of freedom. Rather than agreeing with both, I tend to end up arguing with both. It’s exhausting to always feel like I’m apologizing for the other “side”.

    This article takes a point of view, but aims to do so in a way that members of both sides of the political spectrum can understand. I’ll try to give some idea as to why we on the political left roll our eyes at the rhetoric of the NRA, and how we in the “gun culture” can possibly defend something called “assault weapons”.

    We all know the cycle by now: Tragic incident occurs, both sides attempt to use it for their political gain, both sides act shocked that the other would attempt to use it for political gain, insults are flung, statistics are cherry-picked, rinse, repeat.

    I began writing this some time after the Aurora massacre, but it was just this morning that news started coming in of the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. I knew the wave of cries for a renewal of the “assault weapon” and “high capacity” magazine bans hadn’t yet faded from Aurora, and that they would be reinforced by this next event, regardless of how relevant either of the topics were to the incident.

    So in order to get around to why the assault weapons ban was an utter and absolute failure in its attempt to deter violent crime, I have to start with mass shootings.

    Misleading Vividness

    I’m just going to submit this uncomfortable truth to both camps up front, with the vain hope that it will not sound callous:

    Mass shootings are a tiny, tiny problem. Which isn’t to say that they aren’t utterly horrifying in more than one way. People’s lives are destroyed, both literally and figuratively. What I mean to say is that if we were to prioritize our political attention to topics according to how many lives were at stake, mass shootings wouldn’t even be on the radar.

    Factoring in the rate of death caused by mass shootings from Columbine to the present (about 210 people in 13 years), it will be more than 300 years until we reach the number of casualties that occur from accidental drownings every single year in this country. In a little more than 150 years from now, we’ll approach the number of people who are poisoned to death every single year in this country. Sometime in 2014 we might surpass the number of people struck by lightning every single year in this country.

    Which is to say that mass shootings are incredibly rare and don’t kill a lot of people when they do happen.​

    Good info and analysis in the article.
     
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  2. bayoubill
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    bayoubill aka Sheik Yerbouti... Supporting Member

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    thanks for the excellent OP, Dave...

    the Clinton-era assault-weapons ban had absolutely no effect in preventing gun-related murders...

    and any sort of feel-good legislation now proposed that bans assault weapons will similarly have absolutely no effect on reducing gun-related murders...
     
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  3. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to vote Democrat.
     
  4. bayoubill
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    bayoubill aka Sheik Yerbouti... Supporting Member

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    I would paraphrase that to read "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to have their heads lodged firmly up their asses"...

    but, then again, I essentially repeated what you said... :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  5. Lakhota
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    Lakhota Diamond Member

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    Another desperate gun nut thread. Assault weapons ban should probably be the least of your worries.
     
  6. bayoubill
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    bayoubill aka Sheik Yerbouti... Supporting Member

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    you're absolutely correct... myself, I get the heebie-jeebies when I think about all those hordes of shit-for-brains people being herded to the polls and being told how to vote by Democrat operatives...
     
  7. Lakhota
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    Lakhota Diamond Member

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    Yeah, Democrats are the only ones who herd voters to the polls...
     
  8. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    The author of the article in the OP is a self-described leftist.

    Now, hurry! Get the torches and pitchforks! One of your own is in violation of Groupthink!

    Why do you want to ban a class of weapons that's involved in a very small minority of crimes?
     
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  9. bayoubill
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    bayoubill aka Sheik Yerbouti... Supporting Member

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    yeah, pretty much so... folks who vote GOP tend to have to make their way to the polls by themselves... and, once there, don't have the benefit of having someone there to tell them how to vote...
     
  10. Lakhota
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    Lakhota Diamond Member

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    "Self-described leftist" is irrelevant.
     

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