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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Track Them: Big Data and Our Gun-Crazed Country

Posted by on Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Currently, the United States maintains no national database of gun owners, and no national record-keeping of firearm and ammunition purchases. Marc Parrish, who has held senior marketing positions at Egghead, Palm and Barnes & Noble, argues over at the Atlantic* that big data—you know, huge datasets of information that are, for example, employed by Facebook and your browser and basically everything on the internet in the interest of Selling You More Stuff—could be structured by such a database to potentially flag worrisome trends and/or purchases before they end in a bunch of people getting shot to death. Links his, emphasis mine:

Just look at the gun-acquiring backgrounds of some of our more recent mass killers to see what I mean. James Holmes, the Aurora shooting suspect, went to three different locations spread out over 30 miles to legally buy his four weapons. All three were reputable outdoors retail chain stores. He then went online, and bought thousands of rounds of ammunition along with assault gear. UPS delivered around 90 packages to Holmes at his medical campus in that short period. It doesn't take a PhD in statistics to see that a quick, massive buildup of arms like this by a private individual — especially one, like Holmes, who was known in his community for having growing mental health issues — should raise a red flag.

In Newtown, Adam Lanza carried hundreds of rounds — enough to kill every student in the Sandy Hook Elementary school if he had not been stopped. But he also attempted to destroy his hard drives to cover his pre-rampage digital tracks. Clearly he feared the data he left behind.

The list of examples can go on. Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech student who committed the worst mass shooting in American history, bought two semi-automatic handguns, along with hollow point bullets, from dealers in just over a month. A few weeks later, he purchased 10-round magazines from a seller in Idaho through eBay. All this was after he failed to disclose information about his mental health on the gun-purchasing background questionnaire (specifically, that he had been court-ordered to outpatient treatment at a mental health facility).

Parrish acknowledges such a proposition would be a serious conflict with privacy rights, something we've been uncaringly hemorrhaging since the advent of the internet, and even more so in a post-9/11 America:

Go into any airport and see what happens when you try and buy a ticket with cash on the next flight out. You will not board the flight without security calling you aside for questions. Go into a pharmacy in dozens of states and buy cold medicine and you will be asked for ID and tracked in the NPLEX database. Go on the Internet and you can read that the cellphone carriers told Congress that U.S. law enforcement made a staggering 1.3 millions requests for customer text messages, caller locations, and other information just in 2011. And that the number of requests had doubled in the last five years. Most of this cell phone data is requested without even a warrant issued by a judge.

There is no outrage by the American public over any of this, even though it causes citizens inconvenience and invades their privacy. We are willing to permit much when we are convinced that it is in the interest of government making us safer.

Obviously, such a system wouldn't eradicate the availability of firearms outright; it wouldn't be, as Michael Bloomberg said of the gun control legislation he proposed, a panacea. Unstable people could still acquire guns and commit unspeakable acts, and the black market will always thrive, especially with conspiracy-minded Second Amendment zealots. Still, trading a little bit of privacy for something that makes it less likely for mass gun killing is a-okay in my book, my fellow citizens' paranoid, delusional, and ignorant fears about "protecting the home" be damned.

*Anyway, don't take my paraphrase for it. Go read the whole thing.

 

Comments (46) RSS

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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 46
@42

If they meant "well trained" why didn't they say "well trained"? You think they couldn't speak English or something? They said "well regulated" because they meant "well regulated". And anyway, how come the NRA opposes mandatory gun training, genius? How come the Second Amendment lets us restrict machine guns, or mortars? If "training" is the only issue?

You know Ronald Reagan signed one of the most restrictive gun control laws ever as Governor of California. Reagan was a paragon of conservative thought in the 70s. But conservatism changed by light years since then. A whole new reading of gun law was cooked up and used as a new conservative litmus test. The standard position on the Second Amendment from the gun nuts is nothing like it was in generations past. It's a novel fabrication by activists judges, who got their marching orders from the gun lobby.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 45
@44

Could be because you said knives and clubs are just as deadly as assault rifles? Maybe I started skimming your posts instead of reading. One can't read the whole Internet, can one? Have to cull out certain points of view when all you get from them is yuks.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 2, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 44
Clearly, you didn't read my post directly above yours regarding the meaning of the words "well-regulated." But that's to be expected. You seem to have developed a remarkable talent for ignoring things that don't agree with your viewpoint.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on January 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 43
@39

You never hear me talk about "gun owners" I don't have a problem with gun owners. I have a problem with the gun lobby, i.e. the NRA, i.e. the gun nuts, i.e. the Republican Party. It's the fucking morons who stand in the way of every single restriction on guns that are the problem.

The majority of gun owners support closing the gun show loophole, to take one example. Most gun owners are not that nuts.

And this modern, extremist interpretation of the Second Amendment essentially argues that we shouldn't even restrict machine guns. Or stinger missiles for that matter. Or nuclear bombs. There's nothing in the Second Amendment that says "no machine guns". If you can't ban semi-automatics, then what justification is there to ban anything?

The only justification is the words "well regulated militia". And the gun nuts, the NRA, the gun lobby, the Republicans, have erased the words "well regulated militia" from the Second Amendment. That's the whole problem, right there.

Prior to 1976 when they started this evil movement, "well regulated militia" meant something. We must go back to the better times of the past when we respected the entire Second Amendment, and didn't just pick out the words that 5% of gun openers, so you say, happen to like.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 2, 2013 at 9:37 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 42
@41, I almost never respond to unregistered commenters, so consider yourself special. But you raise a couple of good points.

Back then (since the founders in no way intended for this country to have a standing army), the "militia" was every able-bodied adult male. (Yeah, male, not female.) But I don't think they would have been any more happy seeing the village idiot running around with a gun than we would be, so I think that falls well within the definition of "able-bodied."

"Well-regulated" meant "well-trained." In other words, could you shoot your squirrel rifle, hit your target, and reload it in a minute? If so, you were pretty damned good. Those are the guys they wanted to have around. It had nothing to do with how much paperwork you filled out.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on January 2, 2013 at 7:43 AM · Report this
41
Maybe the "well regulated militia" clause should be rewritten as to exclude people on SSRIs or withdrawing from antidepressants. Conscientious, law-abiding gun owners shouldn't have a problem with that.
Posted by what do murderous gunboys have in common? on January 2, 2013 at 7:17 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 40
Nate, it's pretty obvious that the only things Cthulhu knows about guns are what Media Matters has to say. You and I both know that they're making it up as they go along. It's nothing but lies.

Had you walked into a room back in the 1700s and suggested to George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or any of the other founders that there was no right to keep and bear arms, they would have literally laughed you out of the room. It would have been utterly nonsensical to them.

But keep on keeping on in your (obviously very angry) dream world there, Cthulhu. Just don't think you're making any points with that malarkey.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on January 2, 2013 at 4:14 AM · Report this
39
@31: Gods I love the smell of willful ignorance in the morning. Seriously, watching you argue private gun ownership has only existed since the NRA is a lot like listening to someone spout off that people only spoke their minds dice the ACLU was created. And your ability to do the visual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shout "Lalala, I'm not listening!" to the armed revolutions in Libya and Syria is fucking hysterical.

But stick with your version, if it makes you feel better. Less than 5% of gun owners belong to the NRA, but by all means, make them your focus, cuz that shit's going to be effective.
Posted by NateMan on January 2, 2013 at 3:39 AM · Report this
delirian 38
You are recommending a surveillance state. You know that, right?
Posted by delirian on January 1, 2013 at 10:53 PM · Report this
37
The gun wielding whack jobs hold themselves out as the last hope against a dictatorial government. Yet there was no militia there to protect the unlawful imprisonment of the Japanese during WWII or Muslim citizens following 9/11.
Posted by 2cents on January 1, 2013 at 9:40 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 36
@33

Yes. And they needed to pack the Supreme Court first. Because their worldview was not the establishment worldview. Their version of the Second Amendment was not widely accepted, and it was hardly 230 years old. It took almost four decades of sustained activism to bring us to where we are today.

And where we are today is more than 30,000 people a year killed by guns. Where 20 dead first graders is supposed to be ignored, because "shit happens". Good work, guys. You rewrote history.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 9:35 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 35
@32

Oh, Jesus. Wikipedia again. The encyclopedia that ANY MOTHERFUCKER can edit, right? So one wingnut goes to Wikipedia and cooks up his version of history, and then all the other wing nuts link to it and say "See! It's on Wikipedia!"

I think I'm starting to understand how you guys all ended up thinking this way.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 9:26 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 34
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

Mind telling me who "the people" are.

Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 1, 2013 at 8:42 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 33
@31
Because the NRA was not a political lobbying group until the 70s, previously it had mainly been about training and competitions.

The NRA became a political lobby in due to member pressure in response to the Gun control act of 1968 when it became evident that certain political interest wanted to disarm the American Public.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 1, 2013 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 32
@30
Yea it might do you some good to learn a little history rather than the outright falsehoods you continue to spout off.
Sigh...public school educations. Non-violence is a myth.

Indian revolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutiona…

Black Panther Party
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panth…

Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 1, 2013 at 8:34 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 31
@29

No. The NRA's extremist interpretation of the Second Amendment traces it's roots back to 1976! That's a bare 37 years. The Summer of Love is older than that. Go go boots have been around longer than the notion that the Second Amendment is a suicide pact to sit idly by and let our civilization be blown apart by violent crazies.

This idea is even younger than adding "In God We Trust" to our money and adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance (1950s) or the saying Pledge of Allegiance in public schools (1890s).

Before the NRA cooked up this interpretation of the Second Amendment, it was generally understood to actually refer to a militia, just like it says. A well regulated militia.

Two hundred thirty years my ass! This is typical of the tactics of the right wing: to try to pretend we've "always" thought this way. That radical ideas like flat taxes have any history behind them, or that rigid, socially destructive ideas like unrestricted ownership of military-grade hardware has any roots in history.

Go read a book, OK? You sorely need it.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 8:31 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 30
@26

Oooooh I loves me a good yarn.

I got my popcorn. Now tell me the gun nut version of Ghandi's revolution. And the gun nut version of the Civil Rights Movement. It's going to be like Django Unchained, isn't it?

This should be good.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 8:15 PM · Report this
29
@28: First off, I think there were plenty of people involved in the Civil Rights movement who'd disagree that everything accomplished was strictly due to nonviolence - up to and including Malcolm X, were he still around. Ditto for Ondia's independence. South African violence during the end of apartheid was in no way one-sided, and rightfully so. The people of both Libya and Syria would take great exception to your argument that nonviolent resistance is their path towards freedom.

For the most part, I agree with you; shotguns, handguns, and hunting rifles in the hands of common citizens are unlikely to stop military takeover of an industrialized country such as our own. A takeover which is incredibly unlikely to begin with. And the 1st Amendment is more important than the 2nd. But that's not the point, Skippy, as much as you want to make it about this single issue so as to make yourself feel better. Over 230yrs ago it was decided that the right to own firearms was a civil right that shall not be infringed. If you want to take that right away, the onus is on you to prove it's necessary. And, like every Prohibitionist ever that's tried to make an idea, substance, or property illicit, your argument comes down to "you don't like it." Yes, people with guns rarely kill other people, and that's tragic and should be stopped. But it's not going to happen, and your prissy little insistence on one stickig point just makes you that much easier to ignore.

People like guns. The vast, vast majority of legal gun-owners never hurt anyone. You're intent on seeing all of them thru the same filter, and punishing the many for the actions of a few. Sorry dude, but that bird don't fly.
Posted by NateMan on January 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 28
@23

You're asking me to take it on faith that gun ownership is a necessary right. When I ask for examples demonstrating the necessity of this right, nobody offers even one.

I can cite the Arab Spring, Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, the Velvet Revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc, etc, etc as proof that guns are irrelevant to securing freedom in the modern world. I have evidence to support my argument. Where is the evidence that guns secure freedom? Where?

Instead, you repeatedly commit the fallacy of presumption. Your "proof" that gun ownership is a right is to keep repeating that it is a right. You're claiming that nobody dare question it, because it's a right, end of discussion. Yet the best you can do is call it a mere "hobby"?

Freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of religion, petitioning the governemnt, the right to privacy, and the right to a fair trial facing your accusers are not "hobbies". They aren't mere fun pastimes. If you were to question any one of them, I could bury you in mountains of evidence showing why they are so essential to a free society. Guns can't touch any of those rights when it comes to tangible proof of their importance, because guns are so useless and irrelevant.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 7:11 PM · Report this
27
If only the government could track and trace everything we do, spy on us through the internet, television, and even household appliances, put cameras on every street corner, have 1 out of every 3 children taking psychotropic medication, move whole regions of the country into densely populated micro-apartment units where we can all live under the loving protection of armed drones and a militarized police force.....only then can we be safe.
Posted by Spindles on January 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 26
@25

Yes I am hung like a mouse, and that is why I am so interested in CIVIL RIGHTS.

Thank you for your ability to have an unbiased rational discussion about guns.

@18
Sounds like you haven't traveled much and like to cherry pick statistics. Try going to one of those "democratic" gun free country's where there are random police checkpoints and you can be detained for no cause. Been there done that.

Also Ii find it amusing you mentioned the Arab Spring but some how seemed to miss the massive civil wars in Libya and Syria. You also bring up MLK with out mentioning the Black Panthers and Gandhi without mentioning the thousands of Indian troops who deserted with their weapons, often killing their British Officers.

"'Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
-Mohatma Gandhii
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 25
cascadian bacon has an itty bitty dick. anyone who's SO defensive about guns has one, too.
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on January 1, 2013 at 6:26 PM · Report this
24
dear responsible gun owners:

please explain, if it's locked in a gun safe, how it protects you at night from an intruder coming in the bedroom window. Thanks!
Posted by still waiting on answer on January 1, 2013 at 5:53 PM · Report this
meanie 23
@21 because tyranny isn't as simple as you make it out. Protests are limited to protest zones, and occupy was tracked and indicted by the FBI, the may day protesters are still being held, does that make the first amendment less relevant as well?

Tyranny could be a lynch mob, a rapist, a gay basher.

Pacifism is a privilege bought in blood. Just because your social situation or demographic dosen't apply doesn't mean someone else's doesn't. but wait, thats just an opinion as well so talking about the law it doesn't matter anymore than yours.

If someone chooses to pick up a legal hobby in america that involves shooting paper, its their right, just like taking about why you think banks should be regulated and wealth redistributed is, or really should be. Asking those that challenge that to come up with a reasoning more solid than knee-jerk fear or some night school philosophy on the *meaning* not the current legal interpretation of the bill of rights is not a high bar.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on January 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM · Report this
22
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed


I think the problem for you is the last word. Infringed. It infringes on a person's right if it tracked by government, does it not?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on January 1, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 21
@20

If I wanted to do demonstrate how important speech is in overthrowing tyranny, I could cite the Arab Spring. Communication is a powerful weapon against oppression.

So if anybody wanted to restrict freedom of speech and assembly, I could cite that as a compelling example of why those rights are vital to freedom. I could cite many more examples beyond the Arab Spring. Gandhi and Mandela and MLK didn't free their people with guns; they used the individual courage in speaking out and demonstrating. Passive resistance. Guns would have just given the government an excuse to crush them, to call them violent rebels and marginalize the movement.

Why is it so hard to cite examples of private gun ownership being used the same way?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 5:15 PM · Report this
meanie 20
@18 your using anecdotal rationalization to say why an american *civil right* isn't necessary, in your opinion.

People used to say simular things about blacks being people, women voting, and gay marriage.

Pro gun control people argue that more restrictions on legal ownership are needed to prevent extremely rare incidences of violence perpetrated by a protected class of mental cases, who broke multiple laws to obtain weapons to go on attention seeking murder sprees.

Other than feeling strongly about it, your point isn't backed by math, statistics, or previous examples.

Keep talking about armed rebellions, its totally relevant, and shows how much you feel about it.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on January 1, 2013 at 5:06 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 19
@17

I'm asking you: In what way did your gun or anybody else's gun serve to protect freedom? Can you show any evidence that your gun did you or anybody any good?

Seems to me if our government feared America's 300 million guns, they'd have never passed the Patriot Act. And it seems to me they would have repealed the Patriot Act toot sweet once all those gun owners started grumbling. Yet, no. Why not?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 18
@16

I get that nobody today uses private guns to protect liberty. Simple fact.

Which authoritarian governments do you mean? Look up the list of the highest rates of gun ownership per capita. Now bump that list against the list of most and least democratic countries. Compare with the list of most and least corrupt countries.

The thing you'll notice is that the ones with the most guns are not the freest, not the most democratic, not the ones with the greatest free speech. Guns don't help.

Iraq is one of the most armed countries anywhere. It was under Saddam Hussein as well. Saddam didn't fear his armed citizens. Why should he? He had helicopters, gas, missiles, and the secret police. Private gun ownership didn't scare him at all.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
17
@14
"... American gun owners did exactly nothing about it."
and
"You did not use your gun."

So, according to you, if someone isn't shooting someone then that person isn't doing anything.
I think you've revealed who the real "gun nut" is in this conversation.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on January 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 16
@13
Regardless of non-lethal police violence a demonstration is publicly calling a problem to attention not a fucking civil war.

You just don't get it.

But the question remains, what did you do to defend liberty?

You don't seem to have an answer aside from mewling about stripping more rights from American Citizens.

Just about every murderous, authoritarian government in history has banned the private ownership of firearms. I wonder why they did that if guns do not allow one to resist government overreach.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 1, 2013 at 4:45 PM · Report this
meanie 15
Remember above all else its horrible to violate the privacy of people with mental issues who might want to go on killing sprees.

It makes much more sense to make the rest of the country responsible.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on January 1, 2013 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 14
@9

For the third time, you used your voice. You did not use your gun. Using your gun in response to the Patriot Act would have been suicidal and counterproductive. The First Amendment what we use to fight to protect liberty, not the Second. The Second is as useful as a football bat.

When was the last time any gun owner used his gun to defend civil rights? High rates of gun ownership didn't secure liberty when we were putting an end to segregation and Jim Crow laws in the South; to the contrary, guns were part of the problem. Cities with corrupt and racist police departments aren't cleaned up by private gun owners. They're cleaned up by citizen activists, lawyers, and the US Justice Department.

There are plenty of things in the Constitution that only meant something in the context of 18th Century life, and the Second Amendment is one of them. It's a relic of a different time.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 13
@11

Exactly. When it came time to protect liberty, you damn well left your gun at home. Because it had no place when it came time to stand up to government tyranny in the 21st century.

Without your gun, your ability to resist our government's overreach would be reduced by nil.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 4:24 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 12
@10

Great. We agree the Second Amendment never did doodly squat to protect freedom, liberty, and democracy. The Second Amendment's only benefit is allowing people who enjoy guns to have their fun.

Glad we agree. Cheerio.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 4:20 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 11
@5
I was getting teargassed doing medical support in demonstrations during the bush era.

What were you doing? Complaining on the internet?

It's also funny since Obama pretty much kept every Bush policy in place and refused to investigate and charge the previous administration but is still looked upon like some liberal messiah.

I keep my ACLU card right next to my NRA card and Concealed Pistol License.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 1, 2013 at 4:18 PM · Report this
10
@8: Right, you weren't doing anything. You could have just said it outright. It would have been easier than whining about what other people do.

Oh, and I never claimed shit, no matter what you'd like to think. I shoot guns because it's fun when they go bang and I can use them to kill delicious animals. Not to protect me from home invaders (that doesn't work when guns are locked and stored separate from ammo), or to protect me from government conspiracies. I know some people believe in them for that, but some people also believe in giant bearded men in the sky and that politicians have our best interests at heart. As long as they don't go fucking up people's lives with said beliefs or firearms, I couldn't care less.
Posted by NateMan on January 1, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
9
@7
Don't waste your time.
I know which of our politicians I called and wrote to and how they voted.
I'm sure that you know which you called etc.

Now people who would have to look it up want to cast aspersions because they don't know what the vote was.
Or why.

It's a useless tangent and I mean useless.
When did the TSA ever catch a terrorist trying to buy a plane ticket with cash?
Never.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on January 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 8
@7

I could answer that stupid question (hint: the Amendment just before numero dos), but the burden of proof is on gun owners. It is gun nuts who claimed that they were defending liberty. It is gun nuts who claimed that gun control leads to tyranny. It was gun nuts who said that without guns we'd all lose our freedom.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You guys claimed you were the defenders of liberty, freedom and democracy. So? Where's the proof?

Oh, AND, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was armed to the teeth yet all those gun didn't secure their liberty. How come?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 4:04 PM · Report this
7
@5: So, just out of curiousity, what the fuck did you do about all those things? If gun owners were too busy beating off to Guns & Ammo, what exactly were you tugging your junk to at the time? I mean, if you're going to give us shit about it, you and the rest of the gun-phobic must have been pretty busy. Is your bitching because in your eyes they care more about this particular right than the others? Or are you resentful of the fact that they're going to continue to succeed on this issue, while you continue to accomplish jack shit on yours?
Posted by NateMan on January 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
fletc3her 6
How are we supposed to call up our well-regulated militia if we don't even know which citizens are armed and ready to serve?
Posted by fletc3her on January 1, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 5
@2

Just tangentially, it's worth noting that as civil liberties have been eroded since the 9/11 attacks, such as when Bush suspended habeas corpus, or started all that warrant-less wiretapping, or when the telecoms got immunity, or even the absurd searches the TSA conducts, American gun owners did exactly nothing about it. Think of all the times a local cop violated somebody's civil rights. Or when democracy was sold out to the corporations in the Citizens United decision. What did our nation of law-abiding, responsible gun owners do? Nothing.

What could gun owners have done to protect civil rights? Nothing I can think of -- at least nothing involving their guns. Nonviolent political action, surely, but an armed response to government overreach? Futile, and kind of crazy.

So all these gun deaths are supposedly the price of liberty. Yet every time liberty is in peril, where are these armed defenders of our Constitutional rights? Apparently they're off wanking to old copies of Guns & Ammo. Or lining up to support a more intrusive, less democratic state, so long as their precious gun rights are safe.

If we trade away the imaginary liberty we gain from owning guns for more security, we will have traded away nothing.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on January 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
4
You are essentially calling for even MORE passive monitoring and datamining from government in the name of security. I have no opinion on guns either way, but stop being so fucking ridiculous about shipping liberties down the river to protect yourself from ZOMG 1 in many millions chance of being shot up in a mall.
Posted by six five on January 1, 2013 at 3:45 PM · Report this
3
We still don't have a national registration database for voters or driver licenses either, and for the same reason; it'll never happen because of the hardcore believers in state's rights.

I'd have no problem with it, personally. I absolutely think there should be a national registry, complete with photos and fingerprints, for every gun owner and every firearm. I'd be first in line to register. But I also think there should be one for drivers and voters. Drivers especially. It'd be nice if we could stop drunks from moving to a new state and getting a license again.
Posted by NateMan on January 1, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
2
"... could be structured by such a database to potentially flag worrisome trends and/or purchases before they end in a bunch of people getting shot to death."

The first question is whether or not the "worrisome trends" he is talking about are unusual enough to stand out of the mass of "noise" that is the data in general.

"Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech student who committed the worst mass shooting in American history, bought two semi-automatic handguns, along with hollow point bullets, from dealers in just over a month."

I'm not seeing how that would have been unusual.
And from there he goes into the conspiracy-type-rant of identifying multiple points in multiple fields that do not seem to share any relationship.

"... buy a ticket with cash ..."
"... buy cold medicine ..."
"... read that the cellphone carriers told Congress ..."
"There is no outrage by the American public over any of this, even though it causes citizens inconvenience and invades their privacy."

Speak for yourself.
Passing retroactive immunity for the telecomms is one of the problems I have with Obama.
But that has nothing to do with the shootings.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on January 1, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
1
Every little bit helps. Lots of little bits make big bits. I'm all for gun buy-backs, more mental health checks/reporting, databases and banning assault weapons by legislation. It's all good.
Posted by originalcinner on January 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this

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