The Gun Politics Thread

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BostonBeaneater
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by BostonBeaneater » 03 Oct 2017, 4:18pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 3:53pm
BostonBeaneater wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 3:48pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 2:47pm
Kory wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 1:58pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 6:31am


Some CBS executive got axed for voicing that, in a "fuck them, they were country fan gun nuts" way. I'm always taken aback by people who respond to a tragedy like this with some rationale as to why we shouldn't see the victims deserving sympathy. Whenever a cyclist is killed here in town, for example, there'll always be people who'll argue that the person "deserved it" for, say, not wearing bright clothing or biking on a particular road. Really? Deserved it? It was just that their mistake meant that they lost their life? And, as often as not, these are the same people who go on about the evils of sharia law, when they'd be pretty cool with that quick and harsh punishment.
One of the singers on stage got tons of headlines yesterday for switching his opinion on the 2nd Amendment. Which, you know, ok—but it's fucking lame that it took seeing tons of people get killed in front of him and for his own life to be threatened for him to understand anything.
Violence is especially one of those things that is understood differently in the abstract vs. in reality. There's also the desensitizing effect of movies and tv that both normalize and soften the trauma of guns and death. It's a shame that so many are seduced by abstraction, to deny a basic shared humanity, but that's where we're at.
This is the exact reason why White Supremist and Nazi must be met with clubs and bats.
I won't go back into the pacifist argument, but I think an assertion that aggression will be met with defensive violence is legitimate.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Flex » 03 Oct 2017, 4:32pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 2:47pm
Violence is especially one of those things that is understood differently in the abstract vs. in reality. There's also the desensitizing effect of movies and tv that both normalize and soften the trauma of guns and death. It's a shame that so many are seduced by abstraction, to deny a basic shared humanity, but that's where we're at.
This old piece from Current Affairs digs into this pretty well: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/06/ ... respond-to
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 03 Oct 2017, 4:58pm

Flex wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 4:32pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 2:47pm
Violence is especially one of those things that is understood differently in the abstract vs. in reality. There's also the desensitizing effect of movies and tv that both normalize and soften the trauma of guns and death. It's a shame that so many are seduced by abstraction, to deny a basic shared humanity, but that's where we're at.
This old piece from Current Affairs digs into this pretty well: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/06/ ... respond-to
Thanks for sharing that. It does well to illustrate the self-deception that goes on in the gun rights argument. Dwight Macdonald, writing about (I think) Hiroshima, made a similar observation about knives. The evolution of weaponry, from knives and clubs to muskets, bombs, rifles, artillery, airplanes, and nuclear weapons has been to making killing more abstract, with fewer psychological consequences for the killer, and thus easier. Each evolution in weapons technology, to kill more people more easily, thus alienates us more from other people (as Stalin supposedly said, a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic).
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by revbob » 03 Oct 2017, 5:25pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 6:31am
revbob wrote:
02 Oct 2017, 10:05pm
So i know this is sort of a generalization but has anyone else been struck by the irony that the demographic of the crowd at this show were probably more likely to be conservative, nra supporters etc.
Some CBS executive got axed for voicing that, in a "fuck them, they were country fan gun nuts" way. I'm always taken aback by people who respond to a tragedy like this with some rationale as to why we shouldn't see the victims deserving sympathy. Whenever a cyclist is killed here in town, for example, there'll always be people who'll argue that the person "deserved it" for, say, not wearing bright clothing or biking on a particular road. Really? Deserved it? It was just that their mistake meant that they lost their life? And, as often as not, these are the same people who go on about the evils of sharia law, when they'd be pretty cool with that quick and harsh punishment.
I certainly hope that is not how my comments came across. I know and like many people who are supportive of "gun rights" and myself have gone back and forth on the position in my lifetime (though Ive never owned anything other than a BB gun). I just saw it as an interesting juxtaposition and perhaps i mentioned it somewhat awkwardly especially given how recent it had been since the attack.

I also find it interesting that we havent heard the old tired line that if people in the crowd were armed they could have stopped the shooter sooner. This laid that argument to rest but no doubt will come up again at the next mass shooting that follows the more "traditional" MO for a mass shooting.

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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 03 Oct 2017, 5:45pm

revbob wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 5:25pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 6:31am
revbob wrote:
02 Oct 2017, 10:05pm
So i know this is sort of a generalization but has anyone else been struck by the irony that the demographic of the crowd at this show were probably more likely to be conservative, nra supporters etc.
Some CBS executive got axed for voicing that, in a "fuck them, they were country fan gun nuts" way. I'm always taken aback by people who respond to a tragedy like this with some rationale as to why we shouldn't see the victims deserving sympathy. Whenever a cyclist is killed here in town, for example, there'll always be people who'll argue that the person "deserved it" for, say, not wearing bright clothing or biking on a particular road. Really? Deserved it? It was just that their mistake meant that they lost their life? And, as often as not, these are the same people who go on about the evils of sharia law, when they'd be pretty cool with that quick and harsh punishment.
I certainly hope that is not how my comments came across. I know and like many people who are supportive of "gun rights" and myself have gone back and forth on the position in my lifetime (though Ive never owned anything other than a BB gun). I just saw it as an interesting juxtaposition and perhaps i mentioned it somewhat awkwardly especially given how recent it had been since the attack.
Oh no, and sorry if my response seemed that way. I was just riffing off your observations. The whole scenario is a bit awkward for the gun rights crowd—country music fans, a rich white guy, and a setting where no "good guy with a gun" could do anything about it.
I also find it interesting that we havent heard the old tired line that if people in the crowd were armed they could have stopped the shooter sooner. This laid that argument to rest but no doubt will come up again at the next mass shooting that follows the more "traditional" MO for a mass shooting.
Another of those bullshit arguments that only work in movies and video games. Even cops trained in this kind of thing can get overcome in the chaos, let alone some average chump. There have been studies where participants have been told to prepare for a gunman breaking into a classroom and the armed (with paint guns) participants have failed to shoot him before he got them. But that exaggeration of one's own ability is vital for the pro-gun argument, so it dies hard.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Flex » 03 Oct 2017, 5:49pm

I think National Review's Kevin D. Williamson made some boneheaded tweets about how people should have been firing up at the hotel, and was promptly dragged for the lunacy.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by BostonBeaneater » 03 Oct 2017, 10:43pm

If only the other tower building next door has a good guy with a gun.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Inder » 03 Oct 2017, 10:49pm

If only the tower building was a gun.

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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Rat Patrol » 03 Oct 2017, 11:02pm

Inder wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 10:49pm
If only the tower building was a gun.
Fractal guns?

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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 04 Oct 2017, 8:33am

Something to share with an Originalist you love: https://thebaffler.com/latest/gun-anarc ... free-state

Once again, those promoting gun regulation should be Originalists, while the other side should opt for a living constitution approach, but each side has political reasons to maintain that fiction, so you get all kind of bizarre and convoluted logic to maintain a contemporary political position.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Spiff » 04 Oct 2017, 8:33am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
03 Oct 2017, 6:31am
revbob wrote:
02 Oct 2017, 10:05pm
So i know this is sort of a generalization but has anyone else been struck by the irony that the demographic of the crowd at this show were probably more likely to be conservative, nra supporters etc.
Some CBS executive got axed for voicing that, in a "fuck them, they were country fan gun nuts" way. I'm always taken aback by people who respond to a tragedy like this with some rationale as to why we shouldn't see the victims deserving sympathy. Whenever a cyclist is killed here in town, for example, there'll always be people who'll argue that the person "deserved it" for, say, not wearing bright clothing or biking on a particular road. Really? Deserved it? It was just that their mistake meant that they lost their life? And, as often as not, these are the same people who go on about the evils of sharia law, when they'd be pretty cool with that quick and harsh punishment.
I must say that this thought crossed my mind, too. And I'm conflicted about it.

Many of the people in the crowd were NRA supporters, and some of those would probably be considered rabid supporters, i.e., gun nuts who would agree with Bill O'Reilly that these massacres are just a price we have to pay for freedom.

And as such, their political stances are in a large part why we have gun insanity in this country and these massacres are way too common. And as such, I actually do wish them ill, because their beliefs and actions cause great harm to society. Deadly harm.

I don't wish death upon them, however. Nor do I wish harm to those in the crowd who were not fanatic 2nd Amendment types.

But I do want the gun nuts to suffer for their repugnant political stance. It's the Skinnerian in me, I guess.

And for this reason, I think the situation in Las Vegas is different from the cyclist example you cited. I would sympathize with the dead cyclist, because he/she was not actively promoting political beliefs that cause harm to others. But the rabid NRA supporters are. They are sociopaths.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 04 Oct 2017, 8:50am

Spiff wrote:
04 Oct 2017, 8:33am
I must say that this thought crossed my mind, too. And I'm conflicted about it.

Many of the people in the crowd were NRA supporters, and some of those would probably be considered rabid supporters, i.e., gun nuts who would agree with Bill O'Reilly that these massacres are just a price we have to pay for freedom.

And as such, their political stances are in a large part why we have gun insanity in this country and these massacres are way too common. And as such, I actually do wish them ill, because their beliefs and actions cause great harm to society. Deadly harm.

I don't wish death upon them, however. Nor do I wish harm to those in the crowd who were not fanatic 2nd Amendment types.

But I do want the gun nuts to suffer for their repugnant political stance. It's the Skinnerian in me, I guess.

And for this reason, I think the situation in Las Vegas is different from the cyclist example you cited. I would sympathize with the dead cyclist, because he/she was not actively promoting political beliefs that cause harm to others. But the rabid NRA supporters are. They are sociopaths.
I think sociopath is an overly strong word, as that is someone actively predatory. They are fundamentally selfish, but in a passive manner, in that they don't care about the social consequences in them exercising their desires to amass weaponry. Every death, every traumatized survivor is irrelevant, an accepted price for their own sense of happiness and security. That they don't process that is the tragedy. It is fundamental ignorance to not consider the social implications, the real effects of their private choices, not an eager desire for others to get shot. So, no, I don't think they're sociopaths. If these people should suffer in some way, whether it's by being shunned by family and neighbours or shot by "a bad man with a gun," it's pointless if it doesn't lead to them reconsidering their position. Punishment simply for us to exercise our spleen, to feel like, finally, the gods are with us, serves no purpose.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Spiff » 04 Oct 2017, 9:54am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
04 Oct 2017, 8:50am
Spiff wrote:
04 Oct 2017, 8:33am
I must say that this thought crossed my mind, too. And I'm conflicted about it.

Many of the people in the crowd were NRA supporters, and some of those would probably be considered rabid supporters, i.e., gun nuts who would agree with Bill O'Reilly that these massacres are just a price we have to pay for freedom.

And as such, their political stances are in a large part why we have gun insanity in this country and these massacres are way too common. And as such, I actually do wish them ill, because their beliefs and actions cause great harm to society. Deadly harm.

I don't wish death upon them, however. Nor do I wish harm to those in the crowd who were not fanatic 2nd Amendment types.

But I do want the gun nuts to suffer for their repugnant political stance. It's the Skinnerian in me, I guess.

And for this reason, I think the situation in Las Vegas is different from the cyclist example you cited. I would sympathize with the dead cyclist, because he/she was not actively promoting political beliefs that cause harm to others. But the rabid NRA supporters are. They are sociopaths.
I think sociopath is an overly strong word, as that is someone actively predatory. They are fundamentally selfish, but in a passive manner, in that they don't care about the social consequences in them exercising their desires to amass weaponry. Every death, every traumatized survivor is irrelevant, an accepted price for their own sense of happiness and security. That they don't process that is the tragedy. It is fundamental ignorance to not consider the social implications, the real effects of their private choices, not an eager desire for others to get shot. So, no, I don't think they're sociopaths. If these people should suffer in some way, whether it's by being shunned by family and neighbours or shot by "a bad man with a gun," it's pointless if it doesn't lead to them reconsidering their position. Punishment simply for us to exercise our spleen, to feel like, finally, the gods are with us, serves no purpose.
I agree that punishment without a change in behaviour is worthless. I did not explicitly state that, but that outcome is what I hope will come about if/when 2nd Amendment fanatics get their karma.

I don't think sociopath implies active, predatory harm, just a "me-before-anyone-else" attitude taken to the extreme, i.e., regardless of the negative consequences to others.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 04 Oct 2017, 10:33am

Spiff wrote:
04 Oct 2017, 9:54am
I don't think sociopath implies active, predatory harm, just a "me-before-anyone-else" attitude taken to the extreme, i.e., regardless of the negative consequences to others.
What's the difference between a sociopath and a run-of-the-mill selfish person? I think we need to distinguish between a kind of ugly disinterest and maliciousness. Believing "I don't care if you get shot" is distinct from "I hope you get shot" or "I want you to get shot." I'm appalled by the former, I'm scared of the latter.
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Re: The Gun Politics Thread

Post by eumaas » 04 Oct 2017, 12:25pm

I'm ambivalent about gun control. I would welcome the reduction in mass shootings that disarmament would presumably bring, but I also think that the police need to be disarmed and demilitarized if we are going to disarm the public, and yet there is little call among mainstream proponents of gun control to do just that. In any case, without a constitutional amendment, and with the USA being a huge arms manufacturer and dealer, it seems like we have a lot of institutional impediments to disarmament.

There's also the problem now of a highly armed, violent far right movement who have infiltrated the police, on top of police being largely sympathetic to their fascist aims. Should underprivileged communities and anti-fascist activists arm as a deterrent to neo-fascist attacks? I am largely pacifist in that I think political violence is usually not the answer, particularly in the Western democracies, but I do support self-defense, and after Charlottesville I can't blame those on the left who desire a deterrent.

I don't think people should arm in expectation of insurrection and revolution, however. In that kind of situation the military would be involved, and while a heavily armed populace might be able to turn it into a quagmire, victory seems unlikely. I don't think people's war or foquismo is all that practical with the USA having such a massive military. In the end it's more about convincing soldiers not to show up for duty or to disobey orders (which is more or less what happened in the October revolution, right?).

If there were a movement for popular disarmament, I would support it, but I would argue such a movement would need to be radicalized to 1. support the disarmament and demilitarization of the police and 2. institute severe regulations on weapons manufacture and sales. Think of all the bombs and guns sold to Saudi Arabia by Obama/Clinton and now Trump to slaughter the Yemenis. The massacres at home and abroad must be linked, and police violence must be understood in the same terms. While I have my doubts about the right-wing theory of guns as a check on tyranny (given the rightists actively support tyranny), I don't think leaving the police unreformed while totally disarming the public would be a good idea given how fascistic they have become.

I wrote this on my phone so if there are lots of typos, forgive me.
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