Achieve the Four Modernizations.

Amnt
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Jan 16, 2013 Amnt commented on Obama's Gun Control Plan.
Obviously it depends on how they are implemented, but I don't see any major issues with the executive actions being discussed. A number of them deal with improving the existing background check system and improving mental health, both are things that I have encouraged in the past. One action that stood out:

18. "Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers."

School resource officers in many cases are police, which would be the same thing the NRA suggested (in their poorly handled and presented way). Curious to see what they mean on this one.

The assault weapon ban and limiting magazine size is essentially useless in reducing crime and is extremely unlikely to pass in the House (the only thing I consider the Republicans any use for). The armor piercing ammunition thing is a complete non-issue. It isn't a real threat now and any round suitable for hunting medium size game will penetrate most vests anyway.
Jan 16, 2013 Amnt commented on NRA Hits a New Low.
As a gun owner, the NRA generally does a terrible job of making their case and isn't nearly as effective as people think they are.

@9 Senator Feinstein used to have a concealed carry permit.
Jan 15, 2013 Amnt commented on Poll Finds Most Americans Now Support Having Barack Obama Personally Come and Seize Every Single Gun, Regardless of Design or Caliber, in Wholesale Slaughter of Second Amendment.
@16 It's absolutely true. Just look at NY just passing a bill going from 10 round magazines to 7 rounds.
Jan 15, 2013 Amnt commented on You Need Guns to Overthrow a Government?.
It isn't a great point, it's utterly meaningless without context.

Peaceful revolution is obviously preferable for all involved, but is only possible when the government doesn't resort to all out force. In that case, guns in private hands do help. I don't know the details of gun laws in Bahrain, but they do require a license and other regulations:

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region…

I don't expect the average oppressed citizen is able to acquire such a license, and most private firearms are in the hands of the ruling class.

I would never make the claim that civilians could directly take on the US (or pretty much any) military and be successful, but direct confrontation isn't really the point. The existence of the means to resist can offer a deterrent to action, preventing it all together. Sure, an oppressive government can subjugate it's people with the military, but at what cost? Power ultimately comes from the capability to use force, and if you can use that force at little cost you are more likely to do so. By providing a check, even if marginal, it creates a much higher barrier.
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Jan 14, 2013 Amnt commented on Poll Finds Most Americans Now Support Having Barack Obama Personally Come and Seize Every Single Gun, Regardless of Design or Caliber, in Wholesale Slaughter of Second Amendment.
Pretty much anything is arbitrary to some point, this is true. However, speed limits have measureable effects on road fatalities, magazine size doesn't:

"However, it is not clear how often the ability to fire more than 10 shots without reloading (the current magazine capacity limit) affects the outcomes of gun attacks"

DOJ report on the AWB: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/jerrylee/resear…

In the Virginia Tech shooting more people died than any other, and the shooter used a pistol with 10 and 15 round magazines, it doesn't have a significant impact.

The point of opposition to banning cosmetic differences is that it is exactly the kind of incrementalism that is used for further restrictions down the road. NY previously defined "assault weapons" as having at least two of a list of features, the bill they just voted on reduced that to one. If you don't defend rights, they get taken away, one step at a time.

What is the difference between these:

http://www.ruger.com/products/mini14Ranc…

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp-co…

They are the same gun with a different stock, so one is scary and one isn't.
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Jan 14, 2013 Amnt commented on Poll Finds Most Americans Now Support Having Barack Obama Personally Come and Seize Every Single Gun, Regardless of Design or Caliber, in Wholesale Slaughter of Second Amendment.
@6 Functionally the same in that it's a semi-auto with a removable magazine/clip, ARs etc are simply more refined version of the same basic idea. I never said they were identical, only that they operate in the same basic way. I don't deny that I prefer a more ergonomic rifle that fires more affordable and controllable rounds. Doesn't change my basic point.

If you expect me to defend Romney you are mistaken, I'm a liberal/progressive myself, I just happen to support gun rights. Sneering right back at Romney and anyone else you don't like isn't very constructive.

Poll numbers reflect ignorance and deliberate confusion of terms from those who don't know anything about guns as much as they reflect actual attitudes. I find that in general (there are always exceptions, life is complicated after all )the more people understand about guns and how they work, the less they are willing to create arbitrary restrictions that don't address the real causes of violence.
Jan 14, 2013 Amnt commented on Poll Finds Most Americans Now Support Having Barack Obama Personally Come and Seize Every Single Gun, Regardless of Design or Caliber, in Wholesale Slaughter of Second Amendment.
It's kind of funny how Slog is perfectly playing into the caricature of the sneering liberal elitist. You talk of simplistic black and white rhetoric while using the same type of arguments, mixed with childish insults and stereotypes.

As @3 said, the Second Amendment isn't about hunting, and self defense is a legitimate use for firearms, one which semi-autos (and I bet most on slog can't tell the difference between semi and full auto) are well suited for.

"loads and loads of regular guns"? AR-15 type rifles are the best selling guns in the country, they ARE regular guns. They are functionally no different than the M1 Garand used in WWII, only they are scary colors like black and have different grips.

And a lot of people ARE trying to take away guns from law-abiding citizens, as well as restrict them so heavily as to cripple most of their functionality. At state legislator in CT introduced a bill to ban ALL guns that can hold more than one round. NY state is about to pass an extremely restrictive law:

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Gun…

For one part of it, the law would reduce the legal magazine size from a maximum of 10 rounds to 7 rounds. At one point gun-control advocates said you don't need more than 10 unless you are a mass murderer. Now it's 7. On top of that, very few manufactures make magazines smaller than 10 rounds, so the law functionally makes a huge number of guns illegal in the entire state. This kind on incremental attack is going on all over and is quite deliberate. I'd rather people be honest about saying they want to ban nearly all guns than these dishonest efforts.

Most people that aren't gun owners have no idea what an "assault weapon" is other than that it sounds scary, which is exactly the point. It was a term created to scare people into supporting a ban that would led to further restriction down the road. This was admitted explicitly from certain parties. This short slideshow offers some useful info:

http://www.assaultweapon.info/

I posted this once before, but think it's worth posting again because it addresses many of the issues that are really going on honestly and directly. This is a blog post by well-known author/atheist Sam Harris, I don't agree 100%, but it's a great starting point for many:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-r…
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Jan 12, 2013 Amnt commented on Gun Nuts Attempt To Hijack MLK Day.
There are some crazy people out there with guns of course, and some are making ridiculous claims, but...

"These people, a vocal minority, have extreme fears — gun confiscation,...."

Confiscation isn't an "extreme fear" when influential legislators do openly advocate confiscation. Senator Feinstein pushed just such a policy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DKuN2ey…

State lawmakers in IL tried to pass a law that also involved confiscation (sorry for Fox link):

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/…

So no, confiscation isn't an extreme fear, and it isn't just a slippery slope argument.
Jan 11, 2013 Amnt commented on What Progressives Need to Understand About Gun Control.
Late in the game here, but progressives/liberals might find this article by Sam Harris valuable:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-r…
Jan 7, 2013 Amnt commented on Seattle and King County to Launch Gun Buyback Program.
If it makes people feel better and doesn't cost any public money, then have at it I guess.

I don't agree with it 100%, but this article on guns by author Sam Harris is something I've been suggesting to others:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-r…
 
 

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