ForumTouchy Subjects ► Guns / Gun Violence / Gun Control in the US
Does anyone feel like resurrecting this discussion in light of the recent shootings, most notably the one in Uvalde? It's been a few years.
  
Frankly, IRL guns in Ready Player One make the most sense. The guns are fingerprint locked, so you can't buy one second hand. Plus not shootable for 24 hours after purchase. Also can quickly scan for a criminal record. A downside however is that you can buy one from a vending machine
  
I could probably get behind a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

I haven't gone hunting, but my dad and his family grew up hunting in a town where the opening days of deer season was a school holiday. My understanding is that a lever or bolt-action rifle is more than enough for deer, elk, etc. (And I don't think you need a semi-auto shotgun for grouse/pheasants, two shots should be enough or you're not aiming properly).

I'm also pro-disarming the cops and scaling down our military, if that helps.
  
I'm not against gun ownership that is properly regulated like every other dangerous thing that people can operate or own.

That said, the kind of regulation we need is not currently in effect.

There are a number of school shootings that occurred with weapons owned by the parents that were not properly stored. We're talking about the same kind of people who can't keep dangerous household cleaning chemicals like bleach out of the hands of small children having guns in their homes. In my opinion, it would show a greater level of responsibility to own and maintain a fire extinguisher and first aid kit for emergencies. To me, this should be something everyone has in their home and knows how to use before they own a firearm. I have both, but I do not have a firearm, since it has been low on the list of things I need to purchase, and only just this month am I debt-free after years of car debt and student loan debt.

When it comes to bans on "assault weapons" both the laws themselves make little sense and the ATF has proved incredibly ineffective, for many reasons. At this point, I think the ATF should lose the F, and there should be an entirely new body of government created explicitly to regulate firearms by people who understand them and know what kind of regulations make sense. We have the DMV for cars, but nothing for firearms. There are currently no laws or regulations on firearms in the US that seem to make sense, besides the federal background check (that for some reason nobody thinks is a thing, but it already is), which won't prevent school shootings done by 18-year-olds or kids with no criminal record.

When it comes to laws around firearms, they often do stupid crap like ban Magpul furniture, whereas you could own the same weapon with nice wooden furniture and kill just as many people. Certain kinds of accessories have been banned that do little to nothing to stop shootings from being as deadly. Then you have the ATF shoot your dog and barge into your home because you have an illegal accessory to your weapon. Likewise, they'll do the same for red flag laws, which I believe don't prevent shootings. In some cases, I'd say they have prevented suicides, but I think that kind of law isn't geared towards preventing suicide as it should be, and like the controversial law in Texas rewarding people money for reporting those providing abortions and SWATing people, it's rife with the potential for abuse and has been abused. You could call it in on just about anyone at any time.

Airports have security, I don't see why schools shouldn't either, but we already do often have police stationed and patroling near schools, the problem is that they are also incredibly ineffective. Due to legal protection provided by court rulings and precedent on Public Duty Doctrine, cases like Castle Rock v. Gonzales and before that, Deshaney v. Winnebago County has basically determined that there is almost never a situation where dereliction of duty applies to state officials in regard to public safety. The police legally have no duty to respond to 911 calls or "protect and serve". Perhaps if the police here were more effective, and less like thugs of the state, gun violence wouldn't be as bad.

Another thing to consider is that mass shootings account for only a small portion of gun violence. Many shootings occur in K-12 schools that only result in one death or injury. Many statistics on gun violence are also misleading because they include suicide. Heart disease is more likely to kill you, but it doesn't get the same media attention or coverage, but at least a lot of money goes into stopping it instead of keeping it going, unlike gun violence. I think the issue of gun violence isn't as severe as it first appears. The bigger problems are the ones surrounding gun violence, such as proper regulation and policing. This tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson was so controversial for purely emotional reasons, but I'm with him on the logic. The spectacle of gun violence in the US makes it get more attention than other issues. Despite the fact the US might be leading the developed world in shootings, I think might actually be something we could put on the back burner. Sadly, that will never happen because it's such a hot topic.
  
Gun ownership is still fucking stupid. Imagine choosing "I like pretending to be tough" over peoples' lives.
  
We live in a world where everyone violates safety standards. Go drive. Good luck driving the speed limit; it's likely that you will be harassed the entire time. I've even had people try to fight me for having the audacity to drive the speed limit.

Have you looked into the statistics of deaths due to speeding? It makes gun deaths look like a blip, a inconsequential bit of nothing. Worse, it's a lot less selective: kids die at much greater rates from car accidents than gun crime.

If you gave a damn about saving those lives, you'd be running around telling people to drive the speed limit. But y'all don't give a damn about saving lives, you care about posturing and virtue signaling, and boosting your own egos "I'm so reasonable, that if everyone was more like me, we could *solve gun violence*" It's not about solving anything, it's about patting yourself on the back.
  
Cars have a utility to society in a way that guns do not. Guns don't help you get around, transport you to and from your home to work or school, etc. I do certainly support a more robust and safer public transit system, though. Cars solve a problem and are a utility in a way that guns do not and are not

Further, if people were shooting guns as often as they drove in their car, I rather suspect we'd be seeing gun deaths skyrocket.
  
Speeding has no utility. We're not talking about people driving, we're talking about people violating safety standards.
  
From https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/motor-vehicle-safety/index.html:
There were more than 32,000 crash deaths in the US in 2013. These deaths cost more than $380 million in direct medical costs.

Not using seat belts, car seats, and booster seats contributed to over 9,500 crash deaths.
Drunk driving contributed to more than 10,000 crash deaths.
Speeding contributed to more than 9,500 crash deaths.
In that same year, there were about 33,000 gun deaths, about 22,000 of which were suicides (11,000 homicides). So it seems like it's actually pretty comparable, both in terms of total car/gun deaths, and in terms of speeding/gun-non-suicides.
  
Gun ownership is still fucking stupid. Imagine choosing "I like pretending to be tough" over peoples' lives.

Given the unreliability of the police and government to protect people from violence, owning and carrying a firearm isn't ridiculous, granted that the person owning and carrying it is both knowledgeable and responsible. I lived in Alaska for three years, and it was extremely common to find people openly carrying firearms. Many people in Alaska are hunters, and when you go far enough out there, you can get shot in the back and left for dead. A large number of statistics for gun violence in Alaska are also related to suicide and violent natives who kill each other. At no point did I feel my life was in danger, in fact, it felt safer because often the people carrying weapons were people close to me who were trained by professionals. I knew a man who killed an armed home invader. The invader didn't know that the home belonged to an Army Ranger. Also, the wildlife and nature out there is dangerous enough to warrant the use of a weapon, although I don't think you'll do more than make a bear angry; it's better to use bear spray, bear horn and not piss them off in the first place. It takes a .30-06 or greater to damage a bear, and the placement matters.

I also don't buy that guns used for killing rather than hunting don't have utility in the hands of a responsible citizen. Times are both stable enough and that government won't at some point become so unjust that unarmed people that gun ownership isn't going to determine whether you stand a chance or not. I don't own a gun, and in general, I don't always think they are the best form of self-defense. In many cases, you'd do better to simply carry pepper spray, but in case of greater danger, you might do better to carry a handgun or use a trench shotgun at home. I also don't like disorganized gun ownership; I prefer that it's a community thing so that those who own weapons hold each other accountable; in a sense, well regulated. I've been around people who are irresponsible and own weapons; they are a danger to themselves and anyone around them.

There's got to be some middle ground when it comes to what we are banning. I'm for gun responsibility, not removing firearms entirely; especially since that's not likely possible. Given the recent rise in shootings, particularly mass shootings, I'm hoping some sensible legislation will arise. I'd say at least age 21 for gun ownership, and safe storage laws; also, if someone is buying two AR-15s, perhaps have a waiting period and since that is a weapon of war that goes through walls, cars, schools and is made explicitly to kill people, I'd want whoever has one to be publicly known to own it; like a sex offender's registry or something.

Fwip said:
In that same year, there were about 33,000 gun deaths, about 22,000 of which were suicides (11,000 homicides). So it seems like it's actually pretty comparable, both in terms of total car/gun deaths, and in terms of speeding/gun-non-suicides.

That's about 1/3rd not including the suicides; and if a person is committed to killing themselves, then they might be successful with another weapon or a fall from a tall building; not necissarily something that can be fixed with legislation. I also know that much of the violence involved around guns does relate to gang violence. It's unlikely even if these guns were banned that there wouldn't still be enough in circulation for violent crime for decades.
  
Speeding has no utility. We're not talking about people driving, we're talking about people violating safety standards.

I'm curious if those deaths are from people going 5mph over the speed limit or whether they're the ones who are going 15-20mph over the speed limit. Because I'm very for ticketing those people and preventing them from future reckless driving.

Anyway, I just looked it up. Not sure why you think that speeding related deaths make gun deaths look like nothing. In 2019 there were 9,478 fatalities in crashes where at least one driver was speeding. Also in 2019, there were 10,537 homicides by firearm plus 23,365 suicides by firearm.

So, yeah, guns are already more fatal than speeding even when you only count homicides. They are over twice as fatal if you also count suicides.
  
Also people have to register their cars every year. And get inspections and be licensed and shit. And folks don't typically buy cars to run over people with them. And they have a use besides running people over.

Edit: Just read Eri's statistics. Wow. Looks like ol Skeepskorp is just pulling their facts out of their ass. Go figure.
  
Regardless of dubious statistics, "guns kill" is just political posturing. There's definitely bigger issues, it's just guns are more scary and create more spectacle for the news.
  
I think it's a pretty big issue that we have by far more children being shot and killed than any other developed country in the world.
  
I've addressed that, and I stand by what I said. It is a problem, and "think of the children" won't deter me from focusing more on other issues. Key word is 'developed'. You don't see as much concern about children soldiers.

Still, gun violence can be helped without an all out ban on firearms. I don't even know if anyone here is totally for a ban on firearms entirely. I also despise the corrupt NRA, and blocking of any sensible legislature to regulate firearms. There's got to be a way to ensure responsible gun owners can still use firearms.
  
The only firearms that I can see being justified at all are hunting rifles used by hunters, or people in rural areas who need them to deal with large animals. That's it. Other than that, I am in favour of a complete firearms ban. People don't need them. The idea that they're there so that when the government gets too corrupt the people can rise up is stupid wish-fulfillment. Life isn't a movie. There is no need (other than hunting [meh - not even confident this is necessary] and protecting yourself from bears or whatever) for regular people to possess guns. In the meantime, the weird posturing desire to have guns to theoretically use in a violent uprising somehow outweighs actual people actually dying all the time. Americans are obsessed with guns. It's some really intense brainwashing for regular people to think the existence of firearms benefits them.
  
E7 said:
I've addressed that, and I stand by what I said. It is a problem, and "think of the children" won't deter me from focusing more on other issues. Key word is 'developed'. You don't see as much concern about children soldiers.

Still, gun violence can be helped without an all out ban on firearms. I don't even know if anyone here is totally for a ban on firearms entirely. I also despise the corrupt NRA, and blocking of any sensible legislature to regulate firearms. There's got to be a way to ensure responsible gun owners can still use firearms.


Children being killed in undeveloped countries are being killed due to different social and economic reasons. I think it's reasonable to say that they are two different issues entirely, and therefore rather out of the scope of this discussion, which is US-centric.

There's a lot of "oh, but look at this other WORSE issue! Why don't you care about that!" happening in this thread. People can care about multiple things. Let's keep this on topic, perhaps?
  
Why care about kids getting murdered in the US when Russia is at war w Ukraine? Answer that, Eri! If that's even your real name!
  
I used to be very anti-gun, but have done a pretty big 180 on the topic. There's a place for basic, common-sense gun control. I think Canada has pretty reasonable gun laws, for the most part. Handguns, for example, are very tightly controlled, but anyone with a hunting license can get a hold of a rifle.

However, I don't think public shootings are purely a gun control issue. Moreso, I think it's an issue of domestic terrorism, extremist ideology, and growing inequality. Plenty of countries have a lot of guns, not as much as America, mind you, but still readily accessible. Those countries do not experience mass shootings to the same extent as America, which, to me, suggests another cause. When you dig into it, the majority of mass shooters are white supremacists, incels, or a member of some other hateful group. It's a symptom of a broken, fractured society. Gun control would help, but it wouldn't fundamentally solve the issue, which is that an increasing number of Americans hate each other so much, that they're willing to kill over it.

All this is a lead-in to the fact that I do not believe in a total gun ban. Should everyone be able to get a gun? Absolutely not. But I think a stable, law-abiding citizen should be able to own firearms. There should be mandatory safety training, and anyone who can't follow basic gun safety should immediately lose access, but I strongly believe they should be accessible. You can say what you will about the idea of people "taking down the government" but, I do not want to live in a country where cops and the military are the only ones allowed to own weapons. I don't trust the government that much. Furthermore, in a place where people I've never met might want to kill me for my sexuality, political beliefs, etc. I don't think it's unreasonable to want access to a weapon should things ever decline to the point of open violence.
  
I agree with your overall point, it doesn't follow that a society with automatic weapons will necessarily have constant mass shootings. Take New Zealand for example, which had access to assault rifles for decades without incident till an Australian moved over to commit more or less their first mass shooting (you have to go back to the '90s for a couple of much smaller ones), after which they banned assault rifles within a month.

So why is it that the US has so many mass shootings but New Zealand with the same guns available didn't? That's a valid question, and it suggests there's something else about the US motivating it (or possibly NZ made them harder to get, though still available). Having said that, gun control is much easier to fix in the meantime, fixing societal breakdown is vague and indefinite.

But I disagree that "the majority of mass shooters are white supremacists, incels, or a member of some other hateful group". I think these are just the ones we're trained to remember, because a hateful ideology is sensationalistic, it gets everyone hyped up on social and traditional media. We exaggerate bad acts from groups we already dislike.

Granted I remember a couple recently (the Buffalo shooter was a white supremacist and the NY Subway shooter was a black supremacist), but if we look through a list of mass shootings in the US in 2022 (or any recent year), I conclude that most mass shootings in the US are apolitical. There's no reason to particularly attribute them to white supremacists and incels.
  
Hmm, I always forget that a shootout where multiple people are injured is still considered a "mass shooting." There should be different terms for an instance where an armed person (or persons) engages with the intent of causing mass harm, and a random targeted shooting where bystanders are injured or killed in the crossfire. They're different crimes with different causes.

Random gun violence is more an issue with America's instance that it's normal to allow regular people to carry weapons on their person, alongside a ridiculously large black market for firearms. That's a situation where I think reasonable gun control laws would help. I was more speaking to the "school shooting" phenomenon where the intent is to cause mass harm in a public space, which I think is almost entirely ideologically driven.
  
There are terms like "spree killer" and "rampage killer". I think shooting-bystanders-on-purpose is still mostly apolitical in the US. Most of the mass shootings on the lists are shooter+victims rather than shootouts. There are different kinds of mass shootings, eg a school shooting is different to a drive-by shooting, but if we exclude mass shootings which aren't the type of mass shooting we want to talk about, then aren't we cherry-picking?

There are so many that ordinary people can't be expected to keep up, the most recent one I remember was the Uvalde one referenced in the OP. Salvador Ramos was an angry, bullied teenager from a dysfunctional home who, amongst other things, tortured animals online and threatened to rape girls. White supremacism is pretty hard to pin to him, but I'm sure some people would read the part about rape threats and instinctively add him to a list of incel shooters.

To me that's not enough, Ramos had several different hostilities, and he didn't target women in the shooting, he targeted children. We don't know if he knew or cared what an incel was or accessed their ideology. There's a video of him calling his mother a bitch, but that's pretty run-of-the-mill for teenagers clashing with their parents. Was Ramos a misogynist? Probably, but it doesn't follow that his every action is motivated by misogyny. Vegans could just as easily classify him as an "animal-abuser shooter".
  
Millpond said:
Granted I remember a couple recently (the Buffalo shooter was a white supremacist and the NY Subway shooter was a black supremacist)


Just to clarify, but the NY Subway shooter was also a white supremacist. he just, uh, was Black himself. Kinda wild all around.
  
eriophora said:
Children being killed in undeveloped countries are being killed due to different social and economic reasons. I think it's reasonable to say that they are two different issues entirely, and therefore rather out of the scope of this discussion, which is US-centric.

There's a lot of "oh, but look at this other WORSE issue! Why don't you care about that!" happening in this thread. People can care about multiple things. Let's keep this on topic, perhaps?
The point I was responding to was about developed countries outside the US, but you're explicitly telling me to keep the topic inside the US? If you're going to chide me, at least be fair and look at what I'm responding because I didn't veer off into topics that weren't already being discussed.

My point was if we're going outside the US and only comparing the US to developed countries, that's not a fair comparison. There may be plenty of reasons that gun violence is greater in the US than in other developed countries that haven't much to do with gun control, just as non-developed countries may also have; and another point is that the political posturing around gun violence in the US disregards larger problems outside the US that are still relevant to the issue if saving lives is the primary concern. If we're looking at the US in a box with no comparisons to the outside world, and the primary concern is loss of life, then we're saying US lives are more important than lives outside the US.

If you don't think that social and economic reasons have anything to do with gun violence in the US, think again. They're issues that are all too similar to those in less developed places, but most of the focus is on weapons themselves, not the motives of the shooters, or the major issues surrounding them. There's no realistically US-centric way to look at this problem; we need to be aware of the nuance that makes the issue of gun violence in the US different than it may be in other places with more or less gun violence, but that doesn't make gun violence outside the US less relevant to conversations about the US when we're using that information to put where the US stands in perspective.
  
The topic of this thread is specifically guns, gun violence, and gun control in the US. It's in the title.
  
Forum > Touchy Subjects > Guns / Gun Violence / Gun Control in the US