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Thursday, December 20, 2012

"That’s why the military doesn’t arm our troops with forks."

Posted by on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Another great piece on gun control from NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof.

 

Comments (17) RSS

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1
Amen.
Posted by SeattleKim on December 20, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
2
Another badly written article. He's jumping between different items that are only tangentially related by the term "gun".

"We could limit gun purchases to one a month to impede traffickers, make serial numbers harder to file off, ban high-capacity magazines, finance gun buybacks, require solid background checks even for private gun sales, require microstamping so that bullet casings can be traced back to a particular gun and mandate that guns be stored in gun safes or with trigger locks."

Except that those cover at least 3 different crime scenarios but have nothing to do with the shooting at Sandy Hook.

"And if you need to enter a code to operate your cellphone, why not to fire your gun?"

If you keep them in a safe, then you do need a code.
Otherwise, it is just another thing that can go wrong when you really need it to work. Which is why the cops oppose it for their weapons.

"There’s a reasonable argument that the Second Amendment confers an individual right — to bear a musket."

At least take the time to learn the legal history.
The SCOTUS has already ruled on semi-automatic handguns.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v.…
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 20, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
3
That's the thing about Kristof. He's got guts like anything to go to all those dangerous places, but he's still got all that liberal cred. If my old high school classmate posts a Huffington rant about how welfare infantilizes the poor, I ignore it. If Kristof writes an article about how many in Appalachia are so dependent on the aid given to families with developmentally disabled kids that they actively prevent their children from lea…, then I pay attention.

And yes, Kristof's take on this is important. I think we'd be better off addressing our mental health infrastructure than turning to gun control--after all, he used legal guns--but there's no reason we can't do better with gun access. (And if we armed teachers, we'd get more deaths from gun accidents than from school shootings.)
Posted by DRF on December 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
4
That's the thing about Kristof. He's got guts like anything to go to all those dangerous places, but he's still got all that liberal cred. If my old high school classmate posts a Huffington rant about how welfare infantilizes the poor, I ignore it. If Kristof writes an article about how many in Appalachia are so dependent on the aid given to families with developmentally disabled kids that they actively prevent their children from learning to read, then I pay attention.

And yes, Kristof's take on this is important. I think we'd be better off addressing our mental health infrastructure than turning to gun control--after all, he used legal guns--but there's no reason we can't do better with gun access. (And if we armed teachers, we'd get more deaths from gun accidents than from school shootings.)
Posted by DRF on December 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 5
I still think my suggestion is the best and stays true to the 2nd Amendment. ALL gun owners, those with guns, those selling guns as they have them to sell, those involved with guns in any form or fashion must serve for 6 years in "The Militia". Commit a crime with a gun (should the criminal survive) you serve for 12 years and deal with the other legal consequences of the crime just like now.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
6
We do arm our troops with the SP-126 Tactical Spork, however.
Posted by tkc on December 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 7
@2

This has been explained by President Obama. It's kind of sad that he even needs to say this but sometimes the President's job is to talk down to the dumbest person in the audience. That would be you.
But the fact that this problem is complex, can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence, doesn’t mean that we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on December 20, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 8
@2: Only in the realm of gun regulation, it seems, is it a requirement that every proposed regulation be able to handle every possible situation. As @7 - and the President - note, that isn't realistic.

The fact is that, even with comprehensive gun regulation, there will still be mass shootings. They happen in Canada. They happen in Norway. They happen everywhere. No regulation will prevent all of them. That isn't the point. The point is to prevent more of them. And, in addition to reducing the number of mass shootings, to reduce the slow, steady, stream of individual shootings that, while no longer worthy of headline news, contribute to the US having one of the highest per capita rates of gun homicide in the Western world.

Maybe none of Kristof's suggested regulations would have prevented Sandy Hook. But all of them would lead to a reduction in the overall level of gun violence in the United States.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
10
@2, he said there's "a reasonable argument." He did not say "The Supreme Court has held . . . ."

Also, you should be citing Heller for that argument, not McDonald. Heller held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense. McDonald held that the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Posted by California on December 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
11
@10
The point is that his concept of "reasonable" does not seem to apply when the SCOTUS has already ruled that the 2nd Amendment is much broader than he claims.
If he's going to write on the subject, he should at least research the legal rulings on the subject.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 20, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
Reverend Tap 12
@2:
"Except that those cover at least 3 different crime scenarios but have nothing to do with the shooting at Sandy Hook."
Other types of gun violence claim FAR more lives every year than do mass shootings. Sandy Hook is a wake-up call that something needs to be done about the larger problem.

"If you keep them in a safe, then you do need a code.
Otherwise, it is just another thing that can go wrong when you really need it to work. Which is why the cops oppose it for their weapons."
If you keep it in a safe, use a trigger lock, keep it unloaded, or in any way, shape or form store it responsibly, when you "really need it to work" you're already screwed. Responsible gun ownership largely precludes use of the guns for home defense. What police may or may not need for active duty use is irrelevant, as any such law would likely contain an exemption for them.

Wanna protect yourself? Use your brain. Awareness, avoidance of danger, skill at de-escalation of conflicts...these things will keep you safe in a thousand situations for every one a gun might come in useful for, and usually prevent that one from happening in the first place.
Posted by Reverend Tap http://www.libr8.org on December 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 13
@11: There is nothing inherently unreasonable about proposing an argument that runs counter to a court's ruling. If the law were black and white, there would be no need for a hearing or a ruling - it would be self-evident.

Kristof is correct that there are reasonable arguments in favour of a different interpretation of the Second Amendment than that which was arrived at by the court. Given the four dissenting votes in McDonald, it seems clear that even SCOTUS would accept that.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 20, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
14
@11, I suspect he framed it as a "reasonable argument" precisely because of the Court's rulings, knowing that it would be demonstrably incorrect to say that the Second Amendment only protects muskets. There's nothing inherently unreasonable about disagreeing with a court decision--dissenting justices reasonably disagree with holdings all the time.
Posted by California on December 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
15
@13, good timing
Posted by California on December 20, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
16
Way to cherry pick statistics. Yes, the most recent mass knife attack in China 'only' wounded 23, but there have been many others where multiple victims were killed. That's kind of like pointing at the recent murder-suicide by the football player and saying, "Well it was easy for him to kill himself with the gun, so the total body count was low."

"..the gunman in Newtown, might have had to reload three times as often. " Do you really think that would have substantially altered the body count? Come on, the victims would all have been just as dead with less bullets in them. Or are you saying that the kindergartners could have rushed him in the seconds it takes to change magazines?

How about even a single paragraph about mental health issues. I guess that health care doesn't have the same media cachet as BAN GUNS!

Gun murders account for more than 11,000 deaths a year in the United States, or 10th in the rank of "killers" in the United States, to put that into perspective, 25,000 people die from drug abuse, 195,000 die from medical errors, if we spent half the media time on drug abuse deaths or health care, we could save far more lives than we'll accomplish from 'feel-good' 'assault-weapons' bans.
Posted by randoma on December 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
17
@14
"There's nothing inherently unreasonable about disagreeing with a court decision--dissenting justices reasonably disagree with holdings all the time."

It is entirely reasonable to disagree with a decision of the SCOTUS.
But it is not accurate to frame his disagreement with multiple decisions by the SCOTUS regarding the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment as a "reasonable" interpretation.
It may not be the interpretation he wants but just because he wants it does not make it "reasonable".
As I pointed out in a different thread, the Constitution specifically references "Letters of marque" for private citizens owning cannons. Multiple cannons.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 18
@17: And Kristof's interpretation may not be the interpretation you want, but that doesn't make it unreasonable.

And what is with this "letters of marque" red herring you've got going on? Yes, they are referenced in the Constitution. Twice. In articles granting Congress power to grant them, and denying states the same power. So they are very clearly limited in the Constitution. There is nothing in there granting private citizens the right to own "multiple cannons." Quite the contrary: the Constitution grants Congress the power to permit the private ownership and use of cannons under certain circumstances.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this

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