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Thread: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

  1. #301
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by guido tkp View Post
    i find it immeasurably guffaw-inducing that some would easily/seemingly encourage and/or rather restrict hollywood, and thus the first amendment...then make any...even the smallest, realistic attempt to 'well regulate' the second..
    Or…. It’s simply a bit of “whataboutery.” Personally I wouldn’t want to diminish the first amendment. But I often find it interesting that many of those who would want to dismantle the second amendment are staunch defenders of the first amendment. Sometimes it’s just a debate tactic of utilizing the same type of arguments against the second amendment, and applying them to the first amendment, in order to point out the hypocrisy of some assertions as it correlates to "rights" under the constitution.

    I’ve noticed from what I’ve read and discussed with some, that there is little opposition to President Obama’s 23 executive orders by the majority of defenders of the second amendment. Some are even trumpeted as good and useful, and IMO proof perhaps that reasonable debate can take place from all involved. The mandate of health care professionals to report individuals suspected of latent violent tendencies could be problematic, but hopefully it can be resolved and managed in a positive manner.

  2. #302
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by exzel View Post
    Or ... It's simply a bit of "whataboutery." Personally I wouldn't want to diminish the first amendment. But I often find it interesting that many of those who would want to dismantle the second amendment are staunch defenders of the first amendment. Sometimes it's just a debate tactic of utilizing the same type of arguments against the second amendment, and applying them to the first amendment, in order to point out the hypocrisy of some assertions as it correlates to "rights" under the constitution.
    That *can* be a valid tactic. But if it's just used as a distraction, that's a red herring, and it's not a valid tactic. I've outlined some valid and invalid debate tactics below as examples; note that a valid debate might end with one or more of the participants changing their minds, but then it might not. It is the way the debate is conducted, rather than its outcome, that validates or invalidates it. And anytime we find ourselves using invalid debate tactics, which are usually logical fallacies, we would do well to re-examine our own thinking.

    Valid Debate 1 (Person A is convinced to change his mind)
    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data and/or reasoning to back up my point.
    Person A: Hmm. Yes, that is different.

    Valid Debate 2 (Person A and Person B come to a better understanding of the others' points but still retain different viewpoints)

    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: But look at this data from a valid source that contradicts your point/backs up my point. See?
    Person B: Oh ... I see, yes. But here is my reasoning as to why the two things are still not the same.
    Person A: I see your point and will grant you <part of what you said> but disagree with <other part of what you said> because here is *my* reasoning.
    Person B: I can see why you would think that, but I am not convinced that the statistics you are using would equally apply to our society because of <relevant factor>.
    Person A: Fair enough. I believe my stats are reliable and would apply, though. So we now agree on Point A and Point C but still cannot agree on Point B.

    Invalid Debate 1: Ad hominem attack

    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: Oh, of *course* the data from there agrees with your point. Because that site is just a mouthpiece for <liberals/conservatives/Republicans/Democrats/Obama>. <--Ad hominem attack that doesn't address the data's validity at all

    Invalid Debate 2: Red Herring, or Oh Hey Look Behind You!!
    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: I'm going to bring up a different point now, or maybe even change the topic altogether. <--Throwing a red herring out there in hopes of distracting from the discussion at hand. Can either be a different point related to the same topic OR changing the topic completely

    Invalid Debate 3: Deafening Silence

    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: <complete silence because of inability to counter (which is different from a period of actual reflection)>

    As to the First Amendment/Second Amendment issue, I'll post on that in a bit.

  3. #303
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary19 View Post
    I find this debate very interesting. Living in Canada we just don't think about guns the same way. The only people I know who have guns are hunters and I know very few of them. I'm not saying people don't have a right to them but I know for myself if I had access to a gun in the few moments I've been very angry who knows?? Best not to have that option. I'm completely stable but high emotions sometimes lead us down a scary path.
    What do you think it is about the Canadian culture that makes it so easy for people there not to have them?

    Because I sure as heck don't understand what it is about Americans that make it so hard for them NOT to.

  4. #304
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by guido tkp View Post
    i find it immeasurably guffaw-inducing that some would easily/seemingly encourage and/or rather restrict hollywood
    It's a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the right because they long associate Those In Power in Hollyweird to be nothing but a bunch of liberalhippyfreakcommiepre-verts.

    I *do* agree that all parties responsible for promoting violence in our society need to be held responsible, though. While I am against censorship, there needs to be some responsibility taken by folks who dream up these video games and films - and those who license and market them. Screenwriters know well that violence abounds in Hollywood productions, but it sells (mostly) to the male demographic, those individuals who are most likely to pay for movie tickets and video games. (I'm not saying women don't enjoy violence; I'm saying that more males of virtually any age will buy more violence-oriented entertainment than women will.)

    Hollywood creatives have fed several generations a steady diet of violent games and films as entertainment, so they can bloody well un-train the same demographics by offering non-violent alternatives.

  5. #305
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Ahem. So. First Amendment restrictions vs. Second Amendment restrictions. (I had a bunch of this in my clipboard and then copied over it, so how I'm having to reconstruct the whole thing from scratch. Sigh.)

    Exzel brought up the point that those who want to restrict the Second Amendment often vociferously defend the First Amendment. That seems to imply that the First Amendment is absolute, but in fact, it is not, and many of its protections have been hard-won. In the US, you cannot lawfully threaten another person with physical violence, harass another person, libel or slander another person, or cause a public danger (e.g., shout "Fire!" in a theater or "Bomb!" on an airplane). Why is that? Because those actions have been determined, through literally centuries of governing, to be contrary to the common good. Note that in all the examples I gave, real, demonstrable harm is occurring directly because of someone's speech; that is a crucial point. Does that mean that we are completely done debating how the First Amendment should be applied? Not at all. Sometimes, a new way of speaking (the internet, for example) comes about, and when that happens, there is a period of wrestling with laws and court cases before the spirit of the amendment is clarified and common law is established.

    In the same way, the Second Amendment is subject to this limiting guideline: it can only be exercised up to the point that it infringes upon the common good or someone else's rights. Why is that? Is it because we are moving toward becoming a socialist society? Is it because in the last few decades, individual liberties have become disposable? No. It is not. Most of us who went to school in the US, I am guessing, were required to memorize in Civics class what I'm about to quote, so though you may have forgotten the exact wording, it will not be new to you. I'm talking, of course, about the lens through which all amendments, all judgments, all laws, and all precepts of the Constitution itself must be interpreted. This is the Preamble to the Constitution.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    Justice, domestic tranquility, the common defense, general welfare, and the blessings of liberty retained in such a way that they may be assured for all generations to come: those are our inalienable rights. Everything else is subservient to that, every other right.

    So let's ask the question this suggests: Does the way the Second Amendment is currently applied infringe upon the spirit of the Constitution?

    I say yes. Per capita, the US has by far the highest homicide rate of any developed, affluent country. Other interesting facts: by region in the US, the homicide rate correlates positively to gun ownership (South, Midwest, West, Northeast). By state in the US, homicide rates correlate negatively to strict gun laws. Two thirds of all homicides are committed by firearm, which is interesting when you consider that only about a third (used to be much higher) of US households have guns, but probably all but a tiny percentage have a knife sharp enough to do the job. Women attempt suicide three times as often as men, but men are more successful four times as often. Why? Because women overwhelmingly choose pills. Men overwhelmingly choose guns. More guns equal more death, period.

    All secondary rights are subject to reasonable limits. And when the US outstrips the next most violent affluent nation (Finland) with a homicide rate that is 300% of theirs, then our right to life, liberty, justice, tranquility, and general welfare is being trod upon. It is time to talk about THOSE rights.

  6. #306
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Todash View Post
    That *can* be a valid tactic. But if it's just used as a distraction, that's a red herring, and it's not a valid tactic. I've outlined some valid and invalid debate tactics below as examples; note that a valid debate might end with one or more of the participants changing their minds, but then it might not. It is the way the debate is conducted, rather than its outcome, that validates or invalidates it. And anytime we find ourselves using invalid debate tactics, which are usually logical fallacies, we would do well to re-examine our own thinking.

    Valid Debate 1 (Person A is convinced to change his mind)
    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data and/or reasoning to back up my point.
    Person A: Hmm. Yes, that is different.

    Valid Debate 2 (Person A and Person B come to a better understanding of the others' points but still retain different viewpoints)

    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: But look at this data from a valid source that contradicts your point/backs up my point. See?
    Person B: Oh ... I see, yes. But here is my reasoning as to why the two things are still not the same.
    Person A: I see your point and will grant you <part of what you said> but disagree with <other part of what you said> because here is *my* reasoning.
    Person B: I can see why you would think that, but I am not convinced that the statistics you are using would equally apply to our society because of <relevant factor>.
    Person A: Fair enough. I believe my stats are reliable and would apply, though. So we now agree on Point A and Point C but still cannot agree on Point B.

    Invalid Debate 1: Ad hominem attack

    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: Oh, of *course* the data from there agrees with your point. Because that site is just a mouthpiece for <liberals/conservatives/Republicans/Democrats/Obama>. <--Ad hominem attack that doesn't address the data's validity at all

    Invalid Debate 2: Red Herring, or Oh Hey Look Behind You!!
    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: I'm going to bring up a different point now, or maybe even change the topic altogether. <--Throwing a red herring out there in hopes of distracting from the discussion at hand. Can either be a different point related to the same topic OR changing the topic completely

    Invalid Debate 3: Deafening Silence

    Person A: But how is your position different from doing X to this other thing?
    Person B: It is different because Y. See, here is data to back up my point.
    Person A: <complete silence because of inability to counter (which is different from a period of actual reflection)>

    As to the First Amendment/Second Amendment issue, I'll post on that in a bit.
    Quite and effort there. Thanks… I enjoyed it. Perhaps I should have said strategy and not tactic.

    But applying the same arguments/strategies/tactics (take your pick) to the first amendment as is being applied to the second does not constitute a red herring fallacy as it is not an irrelevant topic presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. Rights are Rights! Now if I would have used the arguments against the second amendment and applied them to say… the plutocracy hierarchy of society under Randall Flagg, then I would have to agree with you.

  7. #307
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    It is a red herring in that gun control issues can be discussed and decided upon totally within the context of the second amendment. Bringing the first amendment into it has no more validity than claiming such restrictions are violating, for example, your 14th amendment rights. Second amendment issues have nothing to do with whether your freedom of speech or rights of assembly are being violated. Red herring.


  8. #308
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Todash View Post
    I say yes. Per capita, the US has by far the highest homicide rate of any developed, affluent country.
    Just to clarify, you're establishing a standard based on a select few (unnamed and unnumbered) countries to illustrate how the USA has the highest rate of gun homicides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todash View Post
    Other interesting facts: by region in the US, the homicide rate correlates positively to gun ownership (South, Midwest, West, Northeast). By state in the US, homicide rates correlate negatively to strict gun laws. Two thirds of all homicides are committed by firearm, which is interesting when you consider that only about a third (used to be much higher) of US households have guns, but probably all but a tiny percentage have a knife sharp enough to do the job. Women attempt suicide three times as often as men, but men are more successful four times as often. Why? Because women overwhelmingly choose pills. Men overwhelmingly choose guns. More guns equal more death, period.
    funny thing about facts based on statistics. I hear the exact same claims toward opposite metrics of gun ownership and laws. One case in point, Chicago leads the nation in gun related homocides, among the most gun restricted cities in the US (not to mention Obama's stomping ground)


    All secondary rights are subject to reasonable limits. And when the US outstrips the next most violent affluent nation (Finland) with a homicide rate that is 300% of theirs, then our right to life, liberty, justice, tranquility, and general welfare is being trod upon. It is time to talk about THOSE rights.[/QUOTE]

  9. #309
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreked View Post
    funny thing about facts based on statistics. I hear the exact same claims toward opposite metrics of gun ownership and laws. One case in point, Chicago leads the nation in gun related homocides, among the most gun restricted cities in the US (not to mention Obama's stomping ground)
    I've heard this a number of times. Is there any way of quantifying whether the statistics would be even worse if there were not such strict gun laws in place?


  10. #310
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    Default Re: Gun control discussions in the wake of the Newtown, CT deaths

    Well, one thing that is lost in the debate in the extreme efforts to eliminate/retain private gun ownership, is the number of violent crimes committed without guns and the number of crimes prevented because the right person happened to be armed. It is my *impression* that there seem to be much more general violent crime in places where law abiding citizens are obliged to go about unarmed. According to the FBI stats guns are not the predominate method of injuring someone else in a violent crime.

    I forgot to mention in my response to Todash's post, I disagree that the second amendment is infringing on the tranquility and general welfare in the States. The rights of the constitution apply to law abiding citizens of the US and pointedly exclude criminals, armed or not. I sincerely doubt that the accidental incidents are significant enough to warrent abolishing the second amendment, which would *the* valid case of Todash's assertion that the second ammendment is infringing upon the spirit of the constitution. The way I see it, the more armed good folks there are out there, the less bad folks there will be doing things to interrupt our tranquility and general welfare.

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