1170: "Bridge"

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby peewee_RotA » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:16 pm UTC

How this topic became about gun control... is probably an example of following friends willing to jump off of cliffs. Speaking of logical cliffs, we need a good Libertarian to come in here and wipe the floor with all of these disingenuous gun arguments. I will say one thing. It's very easy to come up with restrictions that affect everyone else but YOU!
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:14 pm UTC

webgiant wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
Klear wrote:I think the problem in USA is not the relatively unregulated firearms but the mentality which makes them want to own a gun, which is of course the result of their history and can be hardly change in short order.


I think the problem is that this is almost entirely about symbols.

Considering the number of guns and the number of owners, we have a tiny fraction of people getting shot. Through a combination of self-restraint, careful gun safety, and bad marksmanship, the numbers are *tiny*. It may be more than other places but still tiny.

People who do careful studies to find the effect of gun control etc usually find that the effects are small enough they are buried in the noise. There are so few people getting killed already, it's hard to measure changes.

People who do careful studies about how guns are actually *used* find that a gun at home is rarely used in self-defense, and usually used to commit a crime, domestic violence being the preferred choice. Accidental shootings are also much more common than a gun used in self-defense. Guns in a home are most often used to frighten/wound/kill inmates of that home.


Agreed on the facts. Guns in homes are hardly ever used on outside criminals -- burglars prefer to visit while no one is home. Violent criminals tend to attack when they are ready and you are not. Of course fired bullets far more often hit the people who are present at the time, and who is in your home more often than your family?

So what? It's still exceptionally rare, far more rare than I'd have expected. People who keep guns in their homes very seldom unlock their guns before or during domestic disputes. Guns in a home are most often never used at all for anything.

So what's your point?

Suicides are 60% of all firearm deaths.


So do you want to try to prevent people from killing themselves? Maybe a lot of people who do that have good reason.

So a useful additional gun control measure would be requiring a gun license, like a driver's license, for which one would have to prove self-restraint, gun safety, and marksmanship. Now driving is a privilege and not an explicit Constitutional right, so there would need to be a "learner's permit" gun license, allowing a double-barrel, long-barrel shotgun. Two shots should help limit the number of home shootings, and a longer barrel would make suicide difficult, but a long-barrel shotgun is sufficiently imposing for self-defense, and does not require a great deal of marksmanship should it need to be fired. Should that household continue to do its part to keep the rates of gun-related domestic violence, suicide, and accidental shootings high, then the "learner's permit" would need to be revoked as well.


Whew! That's a great big effort for such a small problem.

My view on it is that a lot of people want to have guns. Mostly they keep their guns locked up and don't do anything with them. Very rarely they hurt themselves or their own families. Even rarer they hurt somebody else.

I'm not clear why they care so much, but they aren't doing a lot of harm and they vote. Why go out of our way to infuriate them? Don't we have something more important to do?
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:29 pm UTC

ctdonath wrote:The gun-control-supporting argument of "there are fewer gun deaths in gun-prohibiting country X" implies that things there are rosy because of no guns, while overlooking the fact that since such prohibition was enacted violent crime (murders included) has increased to no small degree.


Typically they got gun control because violent crime was already rising. They wanted to do something about it. Then it kept on rising, proving that gun control did not immediately solve the problem.

It's hard to draw sweeping conclusions about gun control from this.

Similarly, other places they got harsher punishment for violent crime because violent crime rates were rising. And those rates kept rising, proving that harsher punishment did not immediately solve the problem.

The conclusion I get is that when violent crime increases, people feel like they have to do something about it. So they do something that will be popular at that particular location.

Quite likely what they do will not be effective at reducing crime rates. People generally don't know how to reduce crime rates, and so popular actions that reflect public opinion will likely not work.

Sociologists find that when unemployment is low, there is usually less violent crime. There are easier ways to make money. Usually incomes rise. Fewer domestic disputes. Etc. But arranging that there be more jobs is not usually considered to be a practical way to reduce crime.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:55 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
addams wrote:The SF bay seems has a great many bridges.
It has had bridge failure.

I worry when on the bottom tier of the Bay Bridge.
Don't you?


No. Apply mental discipline. There is very little you can do if the Bay Bridge fails. Once you have chosen to get on that bridge you are better off not to worry about it, at least not until you get off of it. The time to consider the possibility the bridge will fail is when you next consider getting onto it.

If you're going to worry on the bridge, worry about what your fellow drivers do. You might possibly have an adequate response to that.


He's talking about emotions. It's not that it's likely that the bridge will fall, but emotions are not rational, and it's perfectly normal to worry. Or to be afraid of looking down from a high balcony. Or feeling uneasy when a plane takes off. Sure, you can work hard to suppress these things, but I think it can't be too healthy, from the psychological point of view.


You claim that it is more healthy to have fears that are irrational? Where did that come from?

If you are sure you are right, then it is better to discard the irrational fears and respond to your environment more competently.

Your feelings are responses to your assessment of your environment. If you are on the playground and a big bully comes your way to beat you up, fear is appropriate. It takes a second or so for it to kick in. Then it starts to shut down your digestion, and your brain, and send maximum blood to your legs so you can run fast. Fear is your friend.

If you are in your office and your big boss comes your way, upset about something that has gone wrong which he thinks is your fault, fear is not appropriate. You do better to be subservient, and think quick to show that it is not your fault and not his fault either. Ideas how you can help solve his problem might be nice provided they don't put you behind schedule. Running fast is not particularly an option. Fear is not your friend.

Irrational fears come when you assess your environment badly. They come from bad thinking. Persuade yourself that your good thinking is good, and the fears will dissipate.

Or you might realize that the fears are not irrational after all. If there's good reason not to be on the Bay Bridge, then just don't go. Do you really need to get to the other side? Arrange your life so you don't have to, and cater to your rational fear.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:20 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
Suicides are 60% of all firearm deaths.


So do you want to try to prevent people from killing themselves? Maybe a lot of people who do that have good reason.


Suicide by gun is psychologically much easier than most other ways (incidentally, the same goes for killing). And most people who commit suicide don't really have a good enough reason. Depression may pass, but suicide is permanent.

J Thomas wrote:You claim that it is more healthy to have fears that are irrational? Where did that come from?

If you are sure you are right, then it is better to discard the irrational fears and respond to your environment more competently.

Your feelings are responses to your assessment of your environment. If you are on the playground and a big bully comes your way to beat you up, fear is appropriate. It takes a second or so for it to kick in. Then it starts to shut down your digestion, and your brain, and send maximum blood to your legs so you can run fast. Fear is your friend.

If you are in your office and your big boss comes your way, upset about something that has gone wrong which he thinks is your fault, fear is not appropriate. You do better to be subservient, and think quick to show that it is not your fault and not his fault either. Ideas how you can help solve his problem might be nice provided they don't put you behind schedule. Running fast is not particularly an option. Fear is not your friend.

Irrational fears come when you assess your environment badly. They come from bad thinking. Persuade yourself that your good thinking is good, and the fears will dissipate.

Or you might realize that the fears are not irrational after all. If there's good reason not to be on the Bay Bridge, then just don't go. Do you really need to get to the other side? Arrange your life so you don't have to, and cater to your rational fear.


I claim that fear is healthy, as long as it doesn't interfere with your life. It's not about rationality or irrationality. And we are not talking about somebody breaking down when faced with the prospect of being on a bridge - we're talking about a feeling of uneasiness.

If you suppress your feelings, fear included, too much, you're bound to create a lot of psychological baggage in your subconsciousness. To take an extreme example, take veterans from some nasty war. They are forced to suppress their fear, empathy, and individuality to survive and function as best as they can. Once the war is over, they have trouble going back to normal life.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby addams » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:46 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
Klear wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
addams wrote:The SF bay seems has a great many bridges.
It has had bridge failure.

I worry when on the bottom tier of the Bay Bridge.
Don't you?


No. Apply mental discipline. There is very little you can do if the Bay Bridge fails. Once you have chosen to get on that bridge you are better off not to worry about it, at least not until you get off of it. The time to consider the possibility the bridge will fail is when you next consider getting onto it.

If you're going to worry on the bridge, worry about what your fellow drivers do. You might possibly have an adequate response to that.


He's talking about emotions. It's not that it's likely that the bridge will fall, but emotions are not rational, and it's perfectly normal to worry. Or to be afraid of looking down from a high balcony. Or feeling uneasy when a plane takes off. Sure, you can work hard to suppress these things, but I think it can't be too healthy, from the psychological point of view.


You claim that it is more healthy to have fears that are irrational? Where did that come from?

If you are sure you are right, then it is better to discard the irrational fears and respond to your environment more competently.

Your feelings are responses to your assessment of your environment. If you are on the playground and a big bully comes your way to beat you up, fear is appropriate. It takes a second or so for it to kick in. Then it starts to shut down your digestion, and your brain, and send maximum blood to your legs so you can run fast. Fear is your friend.

If you are in your office and your big boss comes your way, upset about something that has gone wrong which he thinks is your fault, fear is not appropriate. You do better to be subservient, and think quick to show that it is not your fault and not his fault either. Ideas how you can help solve his problem might be nice provided they don't put you behind schedule. Running fast is not particularly an option. Fear is not your friend.

Irrational fears come when you assess your environment badly. They come from bad thinking. Persuade yourself that your good thinking is good, and the fears will dissipate.

Or you might realize that the fears are not irrational after all. If there's good reason not to be on the Bay Bridge, then just don't go. Do you really need to get to the other side? Arrange your life so you don't have to, and cater to your rational fear.

It seems we have mixed guns with the Bridge.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:04 pm UTC

webgiant wrote:Obviously, some people choose to violate the law. This has always been the weakest argument in the Anarchist's portfolio.


And some of those people are the people in charge of making and enforcing it, which is the strongest argument: designating some group of people "the government" doesn't magically make them more trustworthy and just. They are flawed people who will abuse their power just like everyone else, and so shouldn't be trusted with any more power than anyone else. Of course, people need some power over each other in order to keep other people from abusing such power, and it's probably a good idea to have a designated group of people paid specifically to exercise such power for the public good (i.e. police), but such power shouldn't be reserved exclusively for them, because they're nobody special. If you wouldn't trust an average joe with power, why would you trust a cop with it? Cops are just average joes, not infallible angels. And conversely, if you could trust a cop with some power, you could trust any average joe to it just as well, so whatever power we need to grant, we can grant to everyone equally. And guard against its misuse just as stringently as we would a cop's, and vice versa.

J Thomas wrote:Sociologists find that when unemployment is low, there is usually less violent crime. There are easier ways to make money. Usually incomes rise. Fewer domestic disputes. Etc. But arranging that there be more jobs is not usually considered to be a practical way to reduce crime.


This is the kind of angle I was meaning to get at. The solution is not to try to take guns from everyone except the special class of people who are [sarcasm]completely trustworthy and would never abuse that power[/sarcasm]. The solution is to make it so that people don't feel like they need to own a gun. As I said before, I don't particularly like guns, but I would be unhappy if I were barred from ever owning one, in case I needed it. But I don't have one, because I don't need one. I live in a very safe place with low crime rates. Part of it is that I live in a relatively small and affluent community, and crime correlates with poverty. (Even our homeless and poor and pretty peaceful though). But that aside, if by any means we can create an environment where people do not feel threatened, do not feel the need to violently defend themselves, then you can let them have guns if they want, and for the most part, they just won't want to.

webgiant wrote:So a useful additional gun control measure would be requiring a gun license, like a driver's license, for which one would have to prove self-restraint, gun safety, and marksmanship.


I'm not in favorite of prior restraint of any kind (I also object to driver's licenses on principle), but certainly if anyone has reason to suspect that a particular person is engaging in an activity that threatens others, there should be grounds to restrain them from doing so. So if you have good reason to think that someone couldn't be trusted with a gun, and they want to keep a gun around, and you can prove that case, then by all means keep it out of their hands. But don't assume that nobody can be trusted until they prove otherwise. If you want to restrict someone else, you need to show that they are going to harm someone; they don't need to prove their harmlessness first. Presumption of innocence and all that.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby ijuin » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:03 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Klear wrote:I think the problem in USA is not the relatively unregulated firearms but the mentality which makes them want to own a gun, which is of course the result of their history and can be hardly change in short order.

As an American who is not fond of guns, my take on the situation relates to this. I'm not afraid of the existence of guns, but someone who is really into them and really enthusiastic about them makes me kind of nervous. But on the other hand, a group (like the government) who wanted to be the only ones with guns makes me at least as nervous. More broadly: desiring power is suspicious, but desiring to remove others' power is suspicious for the exact same reason: in either case, it looks like you want to have the upper hand in a conflict you're expecting, which makes me wonder if you're planning on starting something. Best to have the power evenly distributed in case anyone decides to start something (so they can't get away with it because anyone else can stop them), and then just make sure nobody starts anything.


Meh, IMO the worst part about guns is that there are far too many jerks who choose to use them as a Golden Hammer to resolve all conflicts. Bar fight? Threaten to shoot somebody. Get cut off on the road? Threaten to shoot somebody. The ability to issue death threats at all times and places leads aggressive people to use death threats as the preferred response to anything that might threaten them. The kind of personality that tends towards this also tends to get a bit paranoid and see aggression in others when there is none--you "looked at him funny", so he draws his gun on you. There was a middle-aged guy on the route that I walked going to and from my Jr. High school, and he would take out his revolver and point it at apparently random kids passing by and say "you better run, boy". What we need isn't to keep sane, responsible people from having guns--we need to keep those who would threaten to kill you for kicks from having them, and that means that we have to actually notice the madmen BEFORE they go on their shooting sprees instead of looking back afterward and saying "oh yeah there were all these warning signs that we ignored".

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:25 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Sociologists find that when unemployment is low, there is usually less violent crime. There are easier ways to make money. Usually incomes rise. Fewer domestic disputes. Etc. But arranging that there be more jobs is not usually considered to be a practical way to reduce crime.


This is the kind of angle I was meaning to get at. The solution is not to try to take guns from everyone except the special class of people who are [sarcasm]completely trustworthy and would never abuse that power[/sarcasm]. The solution is to make it so that people don't feel like they need to own a gun. As I said before, I don't particularly like guns, but I would be unhappy if I were barred from ever owning one, in case I needed it. But I don't have one, because I don't need one. I live in a very safe place with low crime rates. Part of it is that I live in a relatively small and affluent community, and crime correlates with poverty. (Even our homeless and poor and pretty peaceful though). But that aside, if by any means we can create an environment where people do not feel threatened, do not feel the need to violently defend themselves, then you can let them have guns if they want, and for the most part, they just won't want to.


Today, most of the people who have guns are not in fact threatened and do not actually need to violently defend themselves except very rarely. But they want guns anyway. OK, but they very rarely use those guns, and when they do they hurt themselves or their family members far more often than anybody else.

So I say, just accept it. They will be a far bigger problem if we try to regulate their guns, than they are now.

Myself, it's been 8 years since anybody pulled a gun on me. I was walking in a deserted park with my 7-year-old, pushing a stroller with my 4-year-old, and we met a dried-out little man wearing a string tie who wanted to talk about politics. We kind of disagreed, and at one point I said "Bush is so stupid he thinks deficits don't matter". (A lot of Republicans believed that deficits didn't matter back then. They heard it from Reagan.) He took some seconds to parse that. Then he pulled a gun from his shoulder holster and told me "I'd kill you before I let you vote for Gore. If your children weren't with you I'd do it." I nodded and left the area. My kids were upset and I told the one who was walking not to run, but walk fast. I was pretty sure he wouldn't shoot me in the back after he'd said he wouldn't, but I noticed I was doing a bit of serpentine with the stroller.

After that I made a point not to talk about politics unless there were witnesses. Not really a big deal.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Klear » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:50 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:Myself, it's been 8 years since anybody pulled a gun on me. I was walking in a deserted park with my 7-year-old, pushing a stroller with my 4-year-old, and we met a dried-out little man wearing a string tie who wanted to talk about politics. We kind of disagreed, and at one point I said "Bush is so stupid he thinks deficits don't matter". (A lot of Republicans believed that deficits didn't matter back then. They heard it from Reagan.) He took some seconds to parse that. Then he pulled a gun from his shoulder holster and told me "I'd kill you before I let you vote for Gore. If your children weren't with you I'd do it." I nodded and left the area. My kids were upset and I told the one who was walking not to run, but walk fast. I was pretty sure he wouldn't shoot me in the back after he'd said he wouldn't, but I noticed I was doing a bit of serpentine with the stroller.

After that I made a point not to talk about politics unless there were witnesses. Not really a big deal.


You know, to me it seems the problem with guns in america is precisely that you think this kind of situation is normal.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:02 pm UTC

Klear wrote:You know, to me it seems the problem with guns in america is precisely that you think this kind of situation is normal.


One time in 8 years is not such a big deal.

The time before that was 20+ years ago. I was reading in bed one afternoon and a bullet came through my window and thunked into the wall. I rolled out of bed and panicked for a little while. Then I compared the hole in the window to the hole in the wall and guessed where they were. A couple more shots hit the outside wall but didn't get through. I found a hand mirror and crawled to the window and looked with the mirror. It was a couple of neighbor kids with a rifle. They couldn't have been more than 12. I called their mother and she made sure they never did it again.

A couple months later I was walking to school and I met some newspaper reporters I knew. They were moving out of their apartment because a few days before some drug dealers had a gunfight on the street and one of the shots bounced off their brick wall. It could have gone through the window. They decided the neighborhood was too dangerous and they were moving to someplace more expensive. What wimps.

Two incidents in more than 20 years is not a big deal.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Klear » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:36 pm UTC

That's exactly what I'm talking about! That you think such a thing happening to you twice is no big deal...

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Invertin » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:38 pm UTC

the fact that those incidents happened twice really is no big deal

the fact that they happened twice and you do not think you are incredibly unlucky, and that such a thing is totally normal, tells me there is something horrifically wrong with where you live and the mindset you are in

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby speising » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:49 pm UTC

I heard my first, and my last gunshot when I was in military service. And I actually thought this reflects the usual experience in the first world.
I'd be traumatised if someone drew a gun on me.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:53 pm UTC

Invertin wrote:the fact that those incidents happened twice really is no big deal

the fact that they happened twice and you do not think you are incredibly unlucky, and that such a thing is totally normal, tells me there is something horrifically wrong with where you live and the mindset you are in


You are welcome to your opinion. I'm saying that these things are rare, and they don't happen very often, and they don't make all that much difference.

One more story. Around 25 years ago, just before I went to grad school, I lived for awhile in a poor development. My roommate wanted to be an Xray technician but he was flunking trig. Our downstairs neighbor explained that he was a felon and would go back to prison if he was caught with a gun, but he had to have one. A couple of times a week he would tell stories about people with guns who came to his door. One time it was somebody who yelled for Don, and who shot through the door three or four times. He stood to the side and suddenly flung his door open and stuck his gun in the guy's face, and the other guy sobered up instantly. It turned out he was looking for somebody who used to live there, and he apologized and left. I was away but I saw the holes in the door later. My neighbor pointed out that it was good for us to have him downstairs because the trouble didn't come up to us.

And it didn't, in 6 months the closest I had to trouble was somebody lying down moaning in front of my door. I asked him what the problem was and he moaned some more so I called 911 and the EMTs came. By the time they got there he was walking in the parking lot and they asked him questions. They thought he was on drugs and they went away, and they didn't charge me.

I thought my neighbor might have done better without a gun. Sooner or later somebody would get mad at him and send him back to prison for it. He was going to be in and out of jail for the rest of his life. But maybe not having a gun wouldn't have helped much. If it wasn't that it would be something else. He was fey.

I've hardly ever had a gun pointed at me. I have never been shot. None of my friends have been shot. Gun violence is actually fairly rare.

Here is a tip -- if you ever have a gun pointed at you, 99% of the time the person holding the gun really wants you to listen to him (or her). It's a plea for attention. If they are pointing a gun at you and you haven't already been shot, they want you to listen. If you listen and understand their point of view, they are very unlikely to shoot you. There is a strong chance that if you listen and truly understand them, they will let you tell them your point of view too. So don't panic. If you treat them as some stereotype, a robber or crazy person etc, that is in fact more dangerous for you.

On the other hand, if they pull a gun and you get the chance to leave the area before they point it at you, that might be a good idea.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Uzh » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:27 pm UTC

addams wrote:Other places in the world have amazing bridges. Some of those places have earthquakes and high winds.
I have seen long, high bridges. Stopping on a bridge is discouraged everywhere.
Stopping on a bridge is not a good thing to do, anywhere.


Is that so?

How do you live or even shop there?
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Fire Brns » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:46 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:One time in 8 years is not such a big deal
Just to compare, a quick glance around the room I am in and I saw 3 items equally or slightly more likely (by rough estimation) to cause serious injury equal to a gunshot by accident and 5 objects with roughly half the chance but still cause significant injury through accidents. Of those items, I use most with more complacency and less safety than a firearm. Guns only seem menacing because they are designed to be dangerous.

All that just in the room I am sitting in.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Max™ » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:24 am UTC

speising wrote:I heard my first, and my last gunshot when I was in military service. And I actually thought this reflects the usual experience in the first world.
I'd be traumatised if someone drew a gun on me.

It's not like "my uncle was molesting me for years but no one listened to me" trauma, or "I had to watch my family get eaten by wolves" trauma, more like "oh fuck I hope they don't pull the trigger, because I much prefer that little piece of metal remaining inside that tube to the alternative, while I disagree with them for many reasons, at the moment I am very amicable to their requests", I'd say.

It's not a happy fun time realizing you're actually looking at a bullet inside of gun, but I've never woken up in a cold sweat thinking about it.


As for dangerous items, I've got a couple of swords sitting right next to me actually, I like swords. I'm partial to the unbreakable bokkens* though, always wanted a stick I couldn't break and now I have one, and it's just fantastic. :D



*It feels wrong to call them bokkens, since they're polypropylene rather than wood, but hey.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:03 pm UTC

Invertin wrote:the fact that those incidents happened twice really is no big deal

the fact that they happened twice and you do not think you are incredibly unlucky, and that such a thing is totally normal, tells me there is something horrifically wrong with where you live and the mindset you are in

I'm mostly arguing against gun control and I agree with this sentiment.

A large part of my feelings if I were in JT's shoes would depend on what happened after each of those stories. The owners of both of the guns involved should have, at the very least, been barred from ever owning them again. The crazy political nut in the park should have been tracked down, caught and jailed as he's clearly a threat to other people (gun or no gun) if he'd pull a gun over a political disagreement. The parents of the kids who got the rifle (assuming it was the parents' rifle) should have been at least liable for the property damage and probably fined something stiff for the reckless endangerment caused (on top of being barred from gun ownership as they clearly can't keep one safely).

Depending on other factors of the neighborhood, I might feel like moving regardless of the above. If two incidents like that happened to me over the course of 20 years in the place where I live, both of them would have seemed really bizarre and out of place because shit like that just doesn't happen here, not just to me but to anyone, it'd be front-page news if it did, so I might just chalk that up to my bad luck being involve in two front-page-news incidents in 20 years. If I lived in a town where I was just today's victim in those two circumstances, then even though it was still just twice in 20 years I'd probably want out of that place. I probably would have wanted out of there before the first incident happened, though.

If none of the proper repercussions above happened though, and the police just blew it off as "these things happen" and it wasn't a big deal to them, then I would be fucking furious that the civilization I'm supposedly paying for isn't being provided, and take my occupancy elsewhere with continued vocal protest.

Max™ wrote:It's not like "my uncle was molesting me for years but no one listened to me" trauma, or "I had to watch my family get eaten by wolves" trauma, more like "oh fuck I hope they don't pull the trigger, because I much prefer that little piece of metal remaining inside that tube to the alternative, while I disagree with them for many reasons, at the moment I am very amicable to their requests", I'd say.

It's not a happy fun time realizing you're actually looking at a bullet inside of gun, but I've never woken up in a cold sweat thinking about it.

I would probably be traumatized by it, in the sense that my feeling of public safety would be broken. I currently have zero, absolutely zero, fear of being attacked on the streets anywhere near where I live. I'm only mildly more cautious when visiting strange urban areas, and that's still more of a practical rational decision and not actual emotional fear. But if it actually happened, I imagine I would start to feel actual visceral fear. If it happened while visiting somewhere else, I'd probably just be afraid of that place, or maybe that kind of place. If it happened here, in my town... then that would keep me up at night, because if even my home town isn't safe then nowhere is safe. In that situation I would strongly consider carrying myself.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:41 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Invertin wrote:the fact that those incidents happened twice really is no big deal

the fact that they happened twice and you do not think you are incredibly unlucky, and that such a thing is totally normal, tells me there is something horrifically wrong with where you live and the mindset you are in

I'm mostly arguing against gun control and I agree with this sentiment.

A large part of my feelings if I were in JT's shoes would depend on what happened after each of those stories. The owners of both of the guns involved should have, at the very least, been barred from ever owning them again. The crazy political nut in the park should have been tracked down, caught and jailed as he's clearly a threat to other people (gun or no gun) if he'd pull a gun over a political disagreement.


He was somebody I saw in a public park, I didn't know his name and I didn't have anything with his fingerprint on it. I didn't see him again in the 8 years I lived there. I marked it up to random crazy people.

The parents of the kids who got the rifle (assuming it was the parents' rifle) should have been at least liable for the property damage and probably fined something stiff for the reckless endangerment caused (on top of being barred from gun ownership as they clearly can't keep one safely).


It was my next door neighbor. Call in the police and you can expect trouble. I'm 100% sure she told her son not to touch it, and he was home alone ... she made sure he understood after that.

She felt like she needed it for her safety. When a gun is unloaded and locked up, it is completely useless in an emergency. She needed her son to understand about that. But he was home alone with a friend.

Depending on other factors of the neighborhood, I might feel like moving regardless of the above. If two incidents like that happened to me over the course of 20 years in the place where I live, both of them would have seemed really bizarre and out of place because shit like that just doesn't happen here, not just to me but to anyone, it'd be front-page news if it did, so I might just chalk that up to my bad luck being involve in two front-page-news incidents in 20 years.


Two different cities, two different states.

If none of the proper repercussions above happened though, and the police just blew it off as "these things happen" and it wasn't a big deal to them, then I would be fucking furious that the civilization I'm supposedly paying for isn't being provided, and take my occupancy elsewhere with continued vocal protest.


If you report a random incident and you can't identify the guy who made verbal threats and displayed a weapon but didn't shoot it or point it at anybody, they will put it on their weekly police report on the internet and it will make property values in that area go down a little bit. What would you expect?

I don't know what would happen if you reported the other case. Probably they would talk to people. Tell the boy not to do that. The police could take it farther, if they wanted to. A fine. If they do that, they have to check on the gun. A poor person might not have paid all the permits and licensing, and that's a bigger crime. The whole thing can snowball and ruin somebody's life. A black woman with a decent job, who can barely afford her little house, if the police looked real hard at her she could wind up in jail, lose the job, etc. So they tended to just talk to people unless it was serious. But once they got called in it was their choice.

I would probably be traumatized by it, in the sense that my feeling of public safety would be broken. I currently have zero, absolutely zero, fear of being attacked on the streets anywhere near where I live. I'm only mildly more cautious when visiting strange urban areas, and that's still more of a practical rational decision and not actual emotional fear. But if it actually happened, I imagine I would start to feel actual visceral fear. If it happened while visiting somewhere else, I'd probably just be afraid of that place, or maybe that kind of place. If it happened here, in my town... then that would keep me up at night, because if even my home town isn't safe then nowhere is safe.


Nowhere is *really* safe. But most places are safe enough. Random violence is not that common. If you get shot, the chances are better than 95% they're trying to shoot you personally because of something you got yourself into. Innocent bystanders do get shot but not that often.

In that situation I would strongly consider carrying myself.


Yes, that's how it goes. But from my observation, guns do not make people safe. They make people feel more secure, which encourages them to make stupid choices that can get them in trouble.

If there's somebody you want to shoot then you should have a gun.

If somebody you know points a gun at you, you should listen to them tell you what they want, and then discuss with them what's fair. If they haven't shot you already it means they want to make some kind of arrangement, and if you don't think it's fair then next time it could be you holding the gun on them. They want what's theirs and they want you to agree it's fair. If you have a clear reason to think something else is fairer they will listen and decide, particularly if you are polite.

Really and truly, if somebody with a gun has a grievance against you, having your own gun does not make you safer. But it's so comforting....
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Max™ » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:44 pm UTC

Oddly enough, the only times I've had guns pointed at me, I was a minor, and it was a cop (or more than one) holding the gun.

Climbing up on top of a shopping center just to see what it looks like from up there might seem like a great idea when you're 14 and stoned... but I since learned that people see shadows moving on top of a shopping center and think "they're breaking in"... not sure why, you ever been on top of a shopping center? Maybe if I had tools to cut through the roof or dismantle an AC unit, widen the vents, and so forth... but yeah.


Regarding guns not making people safe, a trained gun user is a pretty good way to handle random assholes with guns. I'm sure it's been said before but the reason school shootings happen in the first place is because they're safe targets: you know you won't get shot because no one except you has a gun. Making sure sane law abiding citizens don't have guns is not the way to prevent that.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:58 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:Yes, that's how it goes. But from my observation, guns do not make people safe. They make people feel more secure, which encourages them to make stupid choices that can get them in trouble.

This is more a comment on myself personally than on people in general, but I am exactly the opposite. When I am safe and secure, I am an extremely reasonable and patient person. I'm a big enough guy that I could intimidate people in case of disagreement, and I was a big kid and easily could have been a bully all throughout school, but I've always been the one who wanted to talk things out and thought people who resorted to violence were people who obviously didn't have a good enough argument to win in the arena of reason. But when I feel powerless and trapped, then I do stupid crazy shit because what the fuck else am I going to do if I have no other options.

Really and truly, if somebody with a gun has a grievance against you, having your own gun does not make you safer. But it's so comforting....

You having a gun might convince them that talking about things might be a better idea than the two of you shooting at each other. Depending on how cooperative you are in the discussion, talking to you might prove more trouble than just shooting you and taking what they want. You being armed too changes those weights; it becomes less a choice of "put up with his argument or just shoot him", and more of "keep arguing with each other or start shooting at each other".

My only real interest in any of the lower levels of conflict-resolution is to creative incentive to keep conflicts from descending to those levels. Everything should be resolved with reasoned debate if at all possible. Resorting to emotional manipulation is the first resort of those who can't argue their point rationally. Resorting to physical violence is the next resort of those who can neither do that nor garner sufficient sympathy to get what they want. And resorting to social enforcement (i.e. let me get my gang...) is the last resort of people who can win neither an argument nor sympathy nor even their own fights. The only reason to ever stoop to any of the latter levels is because someone else went there first, and it's only worthwhile for the purpose of convincing them that the battle is better fought back on one of the earlier levels.

If somebody you know points a gun at you, you should listen to them tell you what they want, and then discuss with them what's fair. If they haven't shot you already it means they want to make some kind of arrangement, and if you don't think it's fair then next time it could be you holding the gun on them. They want what's theirs and they want you to agree it's fair. If you have a clear reason to think something else is fairer they will listen and decide, particularly if you are polite.

I was actually going to say something along these lines in my earlier post, but didn't both because I didn't want to sound like a crazy person bragging about how cool I'd be under fire, and also I'm not sure that that's how I would actually react if really shoved into that circumstance. But yeah, it sounds like a good idea. It doesn't mean that having the gun pulled on you in the first place is nothing to sneeze at, or anything to blow off as "eh sometimes these things happen". They really shouldn't, and there should be some level of outrage that they do.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby webgiant » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:01 am UTC

keithl wrote:
herbys wrote:My first and only comic so far consisted on mamma lemming admonishing her confused lemming boy with "if all your friends jump off a cliff, will you follow them?"


Lemmings do not "jump off cliffs". People, on the other hand, do insane stuff in groups. For example, making war, or showing their children Disney films.

So far only Disney filmmakers make lemmings do crazy things.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby webgiant » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:20 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:I wonder if a large mass of steel hitting the water will stop instantly or will decelerate more gradually than that. I know water is normally incompressible but ... an entire bridge? Maybe some physics buffs could figure out just how fast the bridge would decelerate to zero.


In think the force will depend mainly on the speed and the frontal area, so the more mass per square metre hitting the water, the slower it will decelerate. So from this point of view you are much better off standing on a huge lump of steel and tarmac when you hit the water. Not that the water isn't being compressed significantly; the force needs to be applied to the water to "move it out of the way". One reason is that because it's incompressible, pushing the water down in one place means the same amount of water needs to be lifted (against gravity) somewhere else. There are also dynamic effects: the water has to be accelerated, and viscosity might come into play too. I don't know what the relative importance of these effects is, but rumour has it the force is proportional to some power of the speed between 1 and 2.

Maybe we could do a vegetarian version of "Steak Drop" where we try to steam some broccoli by dropping it into water from a great height?

Speaking as a vegetarian, we do have some steak-like things which need to be cooked before eating. In fact, a Tofurky would probably cook just right with the "Pittsburgh Rare" method mentioned in the Steak Drop "What If".

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby webgiant » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:26 am UTC

MadH wrote:
ctdonath wrote:
Jackpot777 wrote:[Europe has gun control]...and has lower number of gun crimes by a country mile


As if non-gun crimes of comparable consequences are so much more preferable as to not even enter into the debate. Shot to death? horrible! Beaten to death with bricks? meh, whatever, no concern 'cuz there wasn't a gun involved. Never mind that, being gun-free, would-be victims have no serious means of fighting back and thus face higher odds of actually being victims. Humans were so peaceful until guns showed up...

Arguments built on tautologies are of limited effectiveness.


I think you yourself may be falling into a variant of the "but there's children starving in africa, how can you complain about X?!" argument. Just because a group of people may wish to ban or control guns to a small or large extent, doesn't mean that they think people getting beaten to death with bricks is all happiness and sunshine. For those that advocate gun control, it is a question of "would you prefer 5 deaths or 2?", not what you're stating. I won't get into the other talking points in your argument re:fighting back and human violence other than to say that your argument is self-defeating (if humans have long been violent, how is giving them a better weapon going to do anything to stop their propensity for violence in the grand scheme?) and I don't agree with it despite the fact that I like my right to own guns for hunting purposes.

Or we could just compare school shootings (26 dead in Sandy Hook) to school knifings (22 victims, all survived). Plus I think we need similar non-gun devices in our schools like the curvy pole things used in the photograph pictured in the link.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:26 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Yes, that's how it goes. But from my observation, guns do not make people safe. They make people feel more secure, which encourages them to make stupid choices that can get them in trouble.

This is more a comment on myself personally than on people in general, but I am exactly the opposite. When I am safe and secure, I am an extremely reasonable and patient person. I'm a big enough guy that I could intimidate people in case of disagreement, and I was a big kid and easily could have been a bully all throughout school, but I've always been the one who wanted to talk things out and thought people who resorted to violence were people who obviously didn't have a good enough argument to win in the arena of reason. But when I feel powerless and trapped, then I do stupid crazy shit because what the fuck else am I going to do if I have no other options.


Say you have a drunk friend who is starting to create an unfortunate incident. You try to talk him into leaving the area, for example you suggest things that would be more interesting to do. He refuses. You can give him an ultimatum -- I'm going, come with me or stay here -- or you can stay and try to keep him out of trouble. It's far easier to stay if you have a gun than if you don't, but that gun is unlikely to actually help you.

If you pull it out and threaten people with it, you become a target. Anybody that you aren't pointing the gun at who thinks you're dangerous might shoot you. Staying with your drunk friend puts you in Max's "random assholes with guns" category. If you actually shoot somebody your troubles are just beginning. If you don't touch your gun it does you as much good as a lucky rabbit's foot.

Having a gun to distort your judgement can put you into dangerous situations you would otherwise avoid.

Really and truly, if somebody with a gun has a grievance against you, having your own gun does not make you safer. But it's so comforting....

You having a gun might convince them that talking about things might be a better idea than the two of you shooting at each other.


I can see that for knives. You pull out your own knife and back off 10 feet and say "Let's talk this out, you stay over there.". With guns, if you look dangerous the other guy might likely think you will be less dangerous after he shoots you. If you don't look dangerous then it isn't helping you.

Depending on how cooperative you are in the discussion, talking to you might prove more trouble than just shooting you and taking what they want.


That's true. And they are more likely to do that if it's a random mugging than if they know you.

You being armed too changes those weights; it becomes less a choice of "put up with his argument or just shoot him", and more of "keep arguing with each other or start shooting at each other".


That makes sense. It just doesn't work. When you're both sure the other guy won't shoot then it's OK. But if he thinks you'll shoot him he does better to shoot you first. If the negotiation isn't going well how do you agree to disagree? Much tenser and somebody's likely to get shot.

My only real interest in any of the lower levels of conflict-resolution is to creative incentive to keep conflicts from descending to those levels. Everything should be resolved with reasoned debate if at all possible.


With people looking for ways they benefit each other. They have mutual friends. Part of a social web. The argument is not worth killing over.

Resorting to emotional manipulation is the first resort of those who can't argue their point rationally.


Making a logical argument why I'm right is my first resort when I can't see the other guy's point of view.

Resorting to physical violence is the next resort of those who can neither do that nor garner sufficient sympathy to get what they want.


And of people who feel ignored.

And resorting to social enforcement (i.e. let me get my gang...) is the last resort of people who can win neither an argument nor sympathy nor even their own fights.


And of people who feel the social consensus backs them up. "You think that land ownership is morally wrong so I don't have the right to throw you off my property. I know some policemen who disagree with you."

The only reason to ever stoop to any of the latter levels is because someone else went there first, and it's only worthwhile for the purpose of convincing them that the battle is better fought back on one of the earlier levels.


Sure. People like harmony. Any time you do something the other guy doesn't like, there are thousands of ways he can sneakily sabotage you later, if he lives. It's a big step to kill him, and it's dangerous to leave him with a grudge when he knows who you are. We're basicly all walking around with our pants down all the time. The deals we make are kind of arbitrary but we can point to custom as a precedent, and any deal has to be something both sides can live with. If the other guy wants things you can't live with then no deal.

If somebody you know points a gun at you, you should listen to them tell you what they want, and then discuss with them what's fair. If they haven't shot you already it means they want to make some kind of arrangement, and if you don't think it's fair then next time it could be you holding the gun on them. They want what's theirs and they want you to agree it's fair. If you have a clear reason to think something else is fairer they will listen and decide, particularly if you are polite.

I was actually going to say something along these lines in my earlier post, but didn't both because I didn't want to sound like a crazy person bragging about how cool I'd be under fire,


Ouch.

and also I'm not sure that that's how I would actually react if really shoved into that circumstance. But yeah, it sounds like a good idea.


It's hard to do well, of course. But try to imagine it from the other guy's point of view. He hasn't shot you yet, and in terms of sheer convenience it would be easier for him if he did than suffer the risk you might jump him if he relaxed for a second. He wants something from you. If you're one of a large group he might shoot you as an example. He might still shoot you. But your best chance is to find out what he wants and see how you can use that.

It doesn't mean that having the gun pulled on you in the first place is nothing to sneeze at, or anything to blow off as "eh sometimes these things happen". They really shouldn't, and there should be some level of outrage that they do.


Well, but they do happen. They happen more often if you are poor. Try not to be poor. When you are poor the police are not your friends and if you need a lawyer you will get a public defender. When you are poor you can assert your rights by pointing a gun but every time you do you could end up shot or jailed.

Fundamentally you don't have rights. Society does not owe you a job. Society does not owe you any way to not be poor. But if you are good at seeing what people want and making deals that they like, you can do well.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Klear » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:49 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
It doesn't mean that having the gun pulled on you in the first place is nothing to sneeze at, or anything to blow off as "eh sometimes these things happen". They really shouldn't, and there should be some level of outrage that they do.


Well, but they do happen. They happen more often if you are poor. Try not to be poor. When you are poor the police are not your friends and if you need a lawyer you will get a public defender. When you are poor you can assert your rights by pointing a gun but every time you do you could end up shot or jailed.

Fundamentally you don't have rights. Society does not owe you a job. Society does not owe you any way to not be poor. But if you are good at seeing what people want and making deals that they like, you can do well.


I'm just going to keep quoting parts of the discussion and saying "that's exactly what is wrong".

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:19 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
J Thomas wrote:When you are poor the police are not your friends and if you need a lawyer you will get a public defender. When you are poor you can assert your rights by pointing a gun but every time you do you could end up shot or jailed.

Fundamentally you don't have rights. Society does not owe you a job. Society does not owe you any way to not be poor. But if you are good at seeing what people want and making deals that they like, you can do well.


I'm just going to keep quoting parts of the discussion and saying "that's exactly what is wrong".


I can see your point. But my first order of business is to take care of my family in the environment I have. I want to participate in changing the system to something better, but I doubt a lot of great progress will be made before my children are grown. It does me no good to get outraged, unless in some particular circumstance it does some good. My wife wants to move to Canada but we would have to persuade the Canadian government that we are not bad people or poor people first.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:40 am UTC

I think people's concern here, JT, hinges on the difference between making the best of a bad situation, which it sounds like you're pretty good at and which is commendable, and saying that since you have a way of dealing with it it is therefore not so bad, which I think is where everyone is kind of gawking at your reaction. I don't think anyone is urging you to actually get upset and emotionally agitated to no effect, but rather when they go "That's horrible!" for you to acknowledge "Yeah it really is, but hey I'm still alive" or something, instead of "Eh, I survived, can't be that bad", which is how you sound right now.

Maybe, for an analogy, say you were a cancer survivor, and someone says in a conversation "Cancer is horrible! We need to find a cure!" If you replied "Eh, I survived it, you just take it day by day you know", that would seem horribly insensitive to the people still struggling against it. It's true that when you do have cancer you do just have to take it day by day and make the best of it with the options that are available to you and whinging about the lack of a cure isn't going to make you any healthier, but that doesn't make it any less of a horrible situation, or diminish the need to find better options to keep people out of such situations or help them get out of them if they should find themselves there. It's good that you can stoically deal with nasty situations, and it would be good if everyone could do that. It's not good to sound like you dismiss the nastiness of those situations, because there are other people in them too and by dismissing the nastiness you trivialize their suffering.

Replace cancer with gun violence there and that's how this conversation looks.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby J Thomas » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:05 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I think people's concern here, JT, hinges on the difference between making the best of a bad situation, which it sounds like you're pretty good at and which is commendable, and saying that since you have a way of dealing with it it is therefore not so bad, which I think is where everyone is kind of gawking at your reaction. I don't think anyone is urging you to actually get upset and emotionally agitated to no effect, but rather when they go "That's horrible!" for you to acknowledge "Yeah it really is, but hey I'm still alive" or something, instead of "Eh, I survived, can't be that bad", which is how you sound right now.


I see! But the difference is, a lot of people do suffer and die from cancer. While the number of gun deaths in the USA is only around 30,000 a year. About one in ten thousand out of the population. And that includes around 20,000 suicides. Add in maybe 70,000 nonfatal shootings. The numbers are just not that high.

It's a small problem compared to, say, health insurance. 40% of the population is uninsured. They are one major-medical from losing everything. Then when they have nothing, emergency rooms are required to treat them for each big emergency and then toss them out again until next time. Obama tried to change that and something has changed but it is not at all clear how it will work next. Apparently everyone will be legally required to buy insurance, which may be very good for insurance companies.

My kids are facing big volumes of homework, far more than I had. They are expected to learn lots of details about history, social studies, etc with no emphasis on the big picture. It looks like they're being prepared for intense competition for jobs that involve lots of unpaid overtime handling large amounts of data. And the other parents look scared....

Inflation seems to hit food a lot more than other things, doesn't it? And in the time that beef prices went up 20% dried beans went up 70%. It's the people who need a cheap alternative that get hit hardest.

Meanwhile, a large minority of Americans have guns. They have around a quarter billion of them. A few of them kill themselves which I think they should have every right to do. Maybe 80,000 people get shot each year and around 10,000 of them die. We are talking about doing stuff to enrage those gun owners and start a giant kerfluffle that will distract everybody from our real problems. Kind of like the Republicans do with abortion. Lots of uproar, nothing important happens, people get distracted.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby addams » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:58 am UTC

Ya' want to go jump off a bridge?

Like people, not all bridges are the same.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby ctdonath » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:02 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Wnderer wrote:You are referring to the correlation implies causality fallacy.
his problem is with the implied conclusion - that this is a better state of affairs simply because one metric has improved. The underlying argument being rejected is: "If America were unchanged but for reduced gun crime, it would be a better place. Europe has less gun crime than America (because of its gun laws). Therefore Europe is a better place than America (because of its gun laws). Therefore America would be a better place if it adopted European gun laws."

Thank you for grasping the obvious, which Wnderer doesn't. Hopefully he understood your explanation of my point.

Baffles me that people like him are OK with England's horrid-and-increasing violent crime rate just because the number of guns used has been reduced - as if it's ok to get beaten to death with a bat just because a gun isn't involved.

And in a pointless attempt to guide the topic back to the topic:
If all my friends jumped off a bridge, I would too: my friends are not stupid, so if they're all jumping off a bridge it's probably the best option under the circumstances.

webgiant
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby webgiant » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:20 am UTC

Fire Brns wrote:
J Thomas wrote:One time in 8 years is not such a big deal
Just to compare, a quick glance around the room I am in and I saw 3 items equally or slightly more likely (by rough estimation) to cause serious injury equal to a gunshot by accident and 5 objects with roughly half the chance but still cause significant injury through accidents. Of those items, I use most with more complacency and less safety than a firearm. Guns only seem menacing because they are designed to be dangerous.

All that just in the room I am sitting in.

I imagine you'd look a ruddy fool trying to kill twenty-six people in twenty minutes with ANY of those objects Ask the Chinese school knifer: 22 victims and all of them survived, because his weapon was a much less efficient killer than a gun.

Guns are more deadly than hand weapons, and don't just "seem" menacing, they ARE menacing, simply because they make killing easy, quick, and efficient. In fact, being menacing is a big part of what benefit they do provide. Firing a gun results, in a sense, due to a failure of the best benefit of a gun: encouraging people not to encourage you to fire the gun. A menacing-looking realistic-looking rubber gun in an open carry holster prevents more crime than you could ever prevent by pulling the trigger of a loaded real gun.

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addams
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby addams » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:33 am UTC

How nice would it be to live in a world that had few if any crimes?

A world where the passion and creative energy of the individual could flourish in Peace.

There are so many things to struggle against.
We can work together, against gravity and Build a Bridge to jump off.

Again; The survivors will need a picnic and a little first aid.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

fifiste
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby fifiste » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:48 am UTC

Whooh reading J thomases posts makes me think that jumping off a bridge might not be such a bad idea depending on your location of residence.
Would also like to ninja Klear with " and that exactly what is wrong."

Fire Brns wrote:
J Thomas wrote:One time in 8 years is not such a big deal
Just to compare, a quick glance around the room I am in and I saw 3 items equally or slightly more likely (by rough estimation) to cause serious injury equal to a gunshot by accident and 5 objects with roughly half the chance but still cause significant injury through accidents. Of those items, I use most with more complacency and less safety than a firearm. Guns only seem menacing because they are designed to be dangerous.

All that just in the room I am sitting in.


One times in 8 years confronted with an actual death threat (a loon pointing a gun at you and confirming that he'd kill you if it weren't for a certain inconvenience to him) is kind of too much to my liking. Would I like someone close to me shot down when he's 8 or 16 or 24 0r 32? Of course i wouldn't want that at all, at least a progression of 40, 80, 120 would be a better timescale for run ins with madmen with guns.

Also when I look around in my apartment I do see items that "could" generate harm in the level of a handgun. With some trouble I could injure myself terribly with them. It would really need an effort from me to attack someone aware with them and generate equal harm to a firearm. Most of the heavy/sharp items would be mush easier dodge or block or even soak a few hits in than a double-tap into chest by my handgun.
If firearms wouldn't make killing so much easier, convenient, quicker, effective etc. then there would be much less reason to manufacture them - you'd probably only see a few of them as some kind of marksmanship toys etc. while people would hunt and wage war, and rob banks with sticks and bricks.

You kind of can't have it both ways -1) Naah guns are not efficient killing tools, I have a bunch of stuff lying around my desktop that is as dangerous as them.
2) I really need a gun for self-defence, they're the most efficient
And again from webgiant - the chinese school knifer is a good example. If I'd try to murder a bunch of people quickly with my household items, it would take some serious work compared to a firearm.

fifiste
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby fifiste » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:29 am UTC

To say I'm not too much in the gun control boat. As I see from over the pond here the USA has its own culture/history and troubles so just importing a model from another country might be impossible or just makes matters worse. It seems to me she has many other problems that are way more imminent and serious. Lot of them pointed out in J thomas posts.

To me here it seems something like this - we can't give you good education, or healthcare, or actually were pretty down on this whole public services thing, looks like the times are not good to get a job either eh? Well but at least have this really cheap handgun, no license needed*! Well I wonder if there are any possibility that there might be lot of cities/places where it might be somewhat nervous to live when we have uneducated desperate people hunting for any job or at least some cash or people who are facing a possibility to choose from bankruptcy or permanent crippling when they've got medical conditions etc.

* And I can't even say that this is thoroughly wrong. As when you are already surrounded by desperate people with handguns then it would be a rather sorry state when you wouldn't be able to get one. The problem with stricter gun control in USA that I see is that they have already tremendous amounts of firearms all over the place, with no central registry and such. So if you cranck up the regulations you can be sure that only people who actually follow them are the ones you really should worry about anyway, all the criminals and nut-jobs just can keep their arsenals anyway.

I think there are a lot of problems that should be dealt first as a matter of priority and also on the gun control angle that it might might be necessary to deal with these kind of problems and issues before you can actually even use such solutions common in the first world like licensing and registering firearms etc.

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Max™
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Max™ » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:41 pm UTC

webgiant wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:
J Thomas wrote:One time in 8 years is not such a big deal
Just to compare, a quick glance around the room I am in and I saw 3 items equally or slightly more likely (by rough estimation) to cause serious injury equal to a gunshot by accident and 5 objects with roughly half the chance but still cause significant injury through accidents. Of those items, I use most with more complacency and less safety than a firearm. Guns only seem menacing because they are designed to be dangerous.

All that just in the room I am sitting in.

I imagine you'd look a ruddy fool trying to kill twenty-six people in twenty minutes with ANY of those objects Ask the Chinese school knifer: 22 victims and all of them survived, because his weapon was a much less efficient killer than a gun.

Guns are more deadly than hand weapons, and don't just "seem" menacing, they ARE menacing, simply because they make killing easy, quick, and efficient. In fact, being menacing is a big part of what benefit they do provide. Firing a gun results, in a sense, due to a failure of the best benefit of a gun: encouraging people not to encourage you to fire the gun. A menacing-looking realistic-looking rubber gun in an open carry holster prevents more crime than you could ever prevent by pulling the trigger of a loaded real gun.

Well, this is true, most people aren't likely to be running around with one of these:
Spoiler:
Image
...the realization that you're holding what amounts to a 2 and a half foot long razor blade is a bit frightening in itself, never mind being on the wrong end of one.

I have more fun with this one:
Image
I don't gotta worry about fouling the edge or accidentally removing a bit of my own flesh... plus, a stick I couldn't break is something I have been looking for since before I can remember, or so the mother-person tells me.
mu

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Klear
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Klear » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:59 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
webgiant wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:
J Thomas wrote:One time in 8 years is not such a big deal
Just to compare, a quick glance around the room I am in and I saw 3 items equally or slightly more likely (by rough estimation) to cause serious injury equal to a gunshot by accident and 5 objects with roughly half the chance but still cause significant injury through accidents. Of those items, I use most with more complacency and less safety than a firearm. Guns only seem menacing because they are designed to be dangerous.

All that just in the room I am sitting in.

I imagine you'd look a ruddy fool trying to kill twenty-six people in twenty minutes with ANY of those objects Ask the Chinese school knifer: 22 victims and all of them survived, because his weapon was a much less efficient killer than a gun.

Guns are more deadly than hand weapons, and don't just "seem" menacing, they ARE menacing, simply because they make killing easy, quick, and efficient. In fact, being menacing is a big part of what benefit they do provide. Firing a gun results, in a sense, due to a failure of the best benefit of a gun: encouraging people not to encourage you to fire the gun. A menacing-looking realistic-looking rubber gun in an open carry holster prevents more crime than you could ever prevent by pulling the trigger of a loaded real gun.

Well, this is true, most people aren't likely to be running around with one of these:
Spoiler:
Image
...the realization that you're holding what amounts to a 2 and a half foot long razor blade is a bit frightening in itself, never mind being on the wrong end of one.

I have more fun with this one:
Image
I don't gotta worry about fouling the edge or accidentally removing a bit of my own flesh... plus, a stick I couldn't break is something I have been looking for since before I can remember, or so the mother-person tells me.


There's also the matter of psychological barriers - it is hard to strangle somebody in cold blood, easier to cut him with a knife, easier still to shoot him, and even more easy (psychologically, mind you!) to attack somebody in a tank or a jet.

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Max™
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Max™ » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:07 pm UTC

Klear wrote:There's also the matter of psychological barriers - it is hard to strangle somebody in cold blood, easier to cut him with a knife, easier still to shoot him, and even more easy (psychologically, mind you!) to attack somebody in a tank or a jet.

People also don't realize just how difficult it would actually be to physically choke someone, I spent years doing suburi and other workouts which strengthen the forearms and grip, I'd be hard pressed to actually keep enough force applied for long enough to do more than just knock someone out... much less another grown man, barring a submission hold it just isn't going to happen in the typical movie/tv "face to face with both hands around their neck" sort of way before your arms give out.

Though it is alarming how much better we've gotten about making it psychologically easier to snuff out another life, you can do it with a drone from halfway around the world right now, and woe be unto the first invader to land on Mars which comes across our laser-equipped "science lab"!
mu

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Wnderer
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Wnderer » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:49 pm UTC

Klear wrote:There's also the matter of psychological barriers - it is hard to strangle somebody in cold blood, easier to cut him with a knife, easier still to shoot him, and even more easy (psychologically, mind you!) to attack somebody in a tank or a jet.


I'm not sure about that. Not that I have any experience, I always figured I would require some thought before pulling the trigger or stabbing someone with a knife. It seems like a big step. I always said the most dangerous weapon in my hands would be a wiffle-ball bat. I will hit you with the wiffle-ball bat.


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