Thursday, June 14

finally a gun bill? part deux

In response to my "it's better than nothing" comment, Jen replied with:

but i don't think it is better than nothing. i think we need to be wary about asking the government to restrict our freedoms and discriminate against people who seek mental health treatment. we need to balance the cost with the potential benefits and i don't think the potential benefit warrants the cost if we are talking about a law lumping, for instance, all mentally ill people in the same affected group. i suppose i'd have to know the exact language of the law to say for sure whether i'd support it or not, but based on what i know i'm not inclined to support it. in general, i have no interest in gun control. i'm not at all sure that the constitution doesn't protect individuals' right to "bear arms," and i don't think the issue is worth the resources to fight it out, considering all of the other problems we have in theUS. also, only because you are a scientist, i will say that i think it is intellectually dishonest to list out school massacres as support for gun control. it's inflammatory rhetoric, appealing to emotion rather than reason. it plays on the dubious (in my view) cultural meme that children's lives are of the paramount importance in our society. is it really relevant how many school shootings there have been if overall in the US we had a very low rate of gun-related crimes? the truth is, the facts are on your side -- from what i understand, the US has a very high rate of gun-related crime in proportion to its population compared to other 1st world countries. those statistics (and i'm sure there are others) are actually relevant to supporting your point. yeah, i have a lot of opinions! obnoxious american!

To which I replied with:
my reason for putting up the school shootings is b/c that's what brought this gun bill to the floor of the house & senate in the first place (or according to the article I was reading). I will try to look into stats about gun related violence in 1st world countries, but I think it might be hard to compare stats for example b/w the US and UK since guns are illegal in the UK (not even our beat cops have them), but I will try to find some stats!

Anyone else want to chime in on this topic?!?!?!

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At 14 June, 2007 21:19, Blogger PCS said...

I've given up hope that any reasonable gun control will ever be passed in the USA. Unfortunately, the framers of our Constitution, in the second clause of the 2nd amendment, made it very difficult to argue that ANY gun control should ever be put in place.

the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. That is a pretty definitive statement.

Of course the first clause A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state... really confuses the issue.

Personally, I've always been in favor of strict regulation of handguns. Handguns have one use and that is to kill people. But regulating handguns will not be of any use either. There are probably well over 100,000,000 handguns in households of the USA already.

At 15 June, 2007 07:46, Blogger BRAINCHEESE said...

Whew! You've certainly taken on a daunting topic here! I applaud your efforts...

I have to say I agree with SOME of ALL of the comments--yours, Jen's, and PCS.

If one researches the framing of the US Constitution (beyond how fundamentalists read the Bible, of course LOL), the 2nd Amendment was written as a means of establishing the PEOPLE'S right to bear arms against a tyrannical government...not against each other. The founding society (because I HATE the term "founding fathers") needed a means to protect themselves against a government...such as...yes, I will say it...ENGLAND!!! The revolution was fresh in their minds and they didn't want to risk not being able to protect themselves...the original fighting militia for the USA were a group of farmers and merchants...not an organized army. THAT is the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

I have to say, some of Jen's viewpoints I share...because I work with the mentally ill. The mentally ill commit less than 3% of ALL violent crimes in America (and I can quote sources on that if needed. LOL). It is NOT the mentally ill I fear, but what we consider SANE individuals carrying guns!!! Yet, the mentally ill remain the largest stigmatized group in our society. We tend to classify ALL deviant behaviors into "mental illness" as a means of explaining why people act irationally and violently against each feels safer that way...if we can segregate OURSELVES into a population of "us" and "them". Yet true mental illness in its purest state lacks the ability to calculate and plan attacks against others...there is simply too much disorganization and confusion seen in most Axis I disorders.

I DO believe we need gun control in the USA...for EVERYONE, not just a subclass of already vulnerable people. I don't think criminals should have access to guns...I don't think I should have easy access to guns...I don't think the mentally ill should have access to guns. My office does nearly 500 to 1,000 GUN CHECKS every month...these guns go to the "sane" part of society...husbands and wives get gun permits on Valentine's Day (I kid you not!)'s not the "crazy" people of the world who should be blamed and controlled, but the "crazy world" we live in.

But I bet our congressmen and senators WON a lot of votes passing THIS crap...which is what the bill is really all about...reactionary, reflexive, vote grabbing. Did congress ALSO pass a bill allocating MONEY to TREAT mental illness with this gun control law? No? I didn't think so...

I'm tired now...LOL

Linda D. in Seattle, WA, USA

At 15 June, 2007 23:58, Blogger PCS said...

Actually the 2nd amendment was written by James Madison probably in response to Shay's Rebellion. Anti-Federalist didn't trust a strong central government that had control over a standing army as proposed in the new Constitution. The people demanded the right to bear arms to secure themselves against the US government or a possible military-led coup. (I agree, not against for the purpose of shooting each other).


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