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back to article Obama calls for study into games ‘n’ guns link

US President Barack Obama has called for a study into whether computer games are a cause of gun violence. Obama yesterday (UK time) announced a set of measures to control guns, among them regulations to more promptly trace firearms used in crimes that will probably mean DBAs in the US public sector get a hurry-up. The main …

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Meh

Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

Jake,

Other nations have video games but didn't have to create a special phrase such as "school shooting" for a regular occurrence.

Other nations have bad parenting but do not have 900 dead since the last school shooting from GSW.

The only difference between the societal pressures in the USA and everywhere else are a) availability of mental health treatment and b) availability of guns.

You could quite easily regard the last 50 years as a double-blind test measuring the twin factors of private healthcare and public access to firearms. The result is clear - dead children.

Basically, you get to choose. Decent healthcare and less guns or more dead children.

Your call.

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WTF?

Re: @Psyx (was: And television sitcoms cause ...)

"Oh. You're one of those idiots that thinks TV and video games are more important than parenting. And THAT, friends & foes, is PRECISELY the problem."

What kind of dumb-ass counter-argument is that: Telling me what *I* think, just so you can tear it down?

You don't know anything about my views on parenting so don't you dare try to tell me what they are.

"Parents who are incapable of understanding the need to care for children." - How about if they can't afford $200 a month for medicine and treatment. All the love and hugs in the world don't solve poverty.

"Parents not properly teaching kids right from wrong." - I'm pretty sure you'll find that quite a lot of killers had strict religious and moral upbringings.

If you blame every murder and problem with society on bad parenting, then I humbly request that you don't EVER take a job in mental healthcare, the penal system, social services, or indeed any job where you actually have to think beyond your initial prejudices and actually deal with social issues.

Kisses and rainbows and reading the bible to your child every night will never ensure it becomes a wonderful member of society. IT WILL HELP -as I did say - but if you think it's the only cause of social issues, then you really need to wise up a bit and take off the rose-tinted glasses.

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Facepalm

Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

"900 Gunshot deaths"

What a meaningless term. it makes no distinction between deaths at the barrel of legally held firearms, illegally held firearms, or indeed suicides (in 2010, 66% of all firearm-related deaths in the US were suicides - banning all guns wouldn't change that, you'd just see the distribution of methods move to a more British environment where hanging, poisoning, drowning and jumping off high things become more popular).

- If you want to reduce homicides committed with legally owned firearms, then legislation might help - extra checks for depression, etc.

- If you want to reduce homicides committed with illegal firearms, legislation won't do squat - they're already breaking the law by just possessing them. That becomes the remit of law enforcement - Operation Trident type territory for guns & gangs units.

- If you want to reduce suicides by firearm (the most common type of death-by-firearm in the US), then you need to invest in mental health care. The two largest mental health treatment centres in the US are in prisons. If you're not wealthy, the only sensible way to get mental treatment is to get charged or convicted and referred to a criminal health centre. Which is rather shutting the door after the horse has bolted. You could add more checks for depression during firearm purchase, but people would just turn to other methods - as they did in Australia when they tried it. They went after the guns, not the root causes of why people were contemplating suicide in the first place.

Just saying "guns shot deaths - stop demz!" is an impossibility. It's a very varied issue, some cases involving criminality, some none at all. If Obama is going to go after it with legislation he's going to ignore two of the 3 major causes of firearm deaths (suicide and criminals) all for the sake of going after legal users and sayiong "we banned the bad gunz. vote fer us".

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Anonymous Coward

@jake

"But then that's not politically correct ..."

And probably not often correct at all. Life is not that simple.

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Anonymous Coward

@jake

"'There is also genetic variables that determine personality.' By definition, parental ... I rest my case."

Your case is this: a parent with "unfavorable" genes should not have children. It's not often that people will own up to supporting eugenics.

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Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

"or indeed suicides (in 2010, 66% of all firearm-related deaths in the US were suicides - banning all guns wouldn't change that"

nevertheless Obama wants to change that, as Newton was a suicide

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

"The REAL cause of gun violence is bad parenting. End of discussion."

Well, phew. Here was me worried it was an intangible combination of environmental and genetic factors. Glad that's sorted!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @jake

"Your case is this: a parent with "unfavorable" genes should not have children. It's not often that people will own up to supporting eugenics."

Well, there was this Austrian chap, around 70 or 80 years ago. Didn't work out too well though, I seem to remember.

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@rh587

"- If you want to reduce homicides committed with illegal firearms, legislation won't do squat - they're already breaking the law by just possessing them."

That pretty much depends on where they get the illegal firearms from though doesn't it? If you can't sell them legally, you reduce the supply of illegal ones. You can't steal a gun from someone who bought it legally. You can't break into a gun shop to get them, you can't fake documentation and get them through legal suppliers etc.

Cutting off/reducing the legal supply of guns also removes a large number of the avenues for obtaining illegal guns. It's never going to stop it 100% but guns have to come from somewhere, and massively lowering the numbers in circulation, will make it a lot harder to get hold of them illegitimately.

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Re: And television sitcoms cause ...

Actually, the evidence suggests that banning guns would lower suicide rates. Compare US (12 suicides per 100,000 people per annum) with UK (6.9).

Shooting oneself is just easier, and looks more painless, than so many other ways to top oneself. It lowers the barrier to entry, so to speak.

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Boffin

There must be a link between video games and violence. Where I live you can hardly go anywhere without seeing somebody trying to kill a pig by catapulting birds at it.

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Facepalm

Of course, that's it!

Because before Pong there was no gun violence in the US.

Another finger to look at instead of the moon.

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Re: Of course, that's it!

I would like to raise you on that point and say, before guns there was always violence in human society.

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Plan B? Plan C?

There seems to be this massive divide between the merkins who demand the right to bear arms due to something that was written in a 200+ year old document and those who think killing people is wrong.

Guns don't kill people, bullets do. The US Constitution possibly gives people the rigjht to bear arms, but it doesn't mention a right to bear ammunition. So allow people as many guns of whatever type and calibre they like, but ban the ownership of bullets except under the strictest of licencing systems, and it's a quick trip to Death Row and the hemp fandango for anyone in possession of unathorised ammo.

Alternatively, change the law so that the 'right to bear arms' is limited to those arms that existed at the time the US Constitution was written - muskets and flintlocks.

Simples. Everyone happy (or should be if they look at it logically).

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

There seems to be this massive divide between the people who think that the constitution is important ("but the prez cannot send me to Gitmo on a whim, what about muh constitution") and those who think that it doesn't ("well, you know, 'arms' are not really 'arms'"). Amazingly they are often the same, Moaning Progressives.

Shifting the problem to the bullets is trillion-dollar-coin level stupid.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

"rigjht "

I thought you were Welsh ... Icelandic?

To answer your question, "arms" includes the ability to use such. SCotUS has said so, repeatedly. Besides, you can't ban ammo here in the US. There is too much brass around ... If I can load a flintlock, I can reload brass for my .416 Barrett (admittedly, ballistics & barrel life will suffer).

As a side-note, people can kill more people with explosives of the non-rifled kind, faster. See any given car bomber. Tim McVeigh comes to mind, good right-wing, Catholic, decorated Gulf War "hero" that he was. This will always be possible, in any nation that sells fuel oil & fertilizer "over the counter". People who massacre quantities of people with rifles and/or handguns and then suicide are criminally insane, by definition, and are probably incapable of realizing that they could get the job done much faster by other means. Surely it's a better idea to remove them from the streets before they snap? It ain't the guns pulling their own trigger, people ...

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

Indeed not, Jake.

However....

There still remains the issue that in the US you can get types of weapons, along with rather.. generous.. amounts of ammunition that fall well outside any need for personal protection and/or hunting purposes.

It just *may* be an idea to seriously limit the types of weaponry and amounts of ammunition ordinary civilians can get their hands on. All other stuff should require more stringent requirement for ownership.

I am not living under the illusion that will stop criminals or crackpots from wasting human lives, but it will polarise matters to a point where threat detection and prevention may become more feasible.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

> It ain't the guns pulling their own trigger, people ...

No, but you do live in a country where the lack of gun control makes it easier for those with a few screws loose to get hold of them, carry them around without questions, and hence when they do snap the consequences are worse than someone in the UK going mad with a snooker cue because that is what they happened to have access to at the time.

> Surely it's a better idea to remove them from the streets before they snap?

Ah that old chestnut. Will all the will-be-killers please step forward on to the loony bus, the rest of you can go on about your lives. I'm sure that will go down very well ... In many cases these are normal people before they snap - sure they might have depression, post-traumatic stress, etc - but if you start locking up people with depression you are going to need a lot more prisons. And a thought police .... I thought that was against your constitution too ...

There will always be depressives, and mentally unstable folk in society - if you give them access to tools which make it easy to kill people rapidly at long range then as a society you accept the consequences of that.

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Joke

Re: Plan B? Plan C?

The right to bear arms?

All of those poor, innocent, limbless teddies.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

There still remains the issue that in the US you can get types of weapons, along with rather.. generous.. amounts of ammunition that fall well outside any need for personal protection and/or hunting purposes.

Because, for the millionth time, the guns exist as a means of potential rebellion, or to fight off invaders. The people who founded the US government didn't trust governments, including the one they were founding!

You can argue all you want over the current feasibility/likelihood of such things, but it will not in any way change the principle of the document.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

And how are you going to do that exactly? People don't always go around barking at the moon if they are suffering from a mental illness, you know. Besides, sometimes people just "snap" - we've all been there, too much stress, too much work, someone says the wrong thing....most of us slam a few doors and hit the pub, but where you can grab your semi-auto rifle and wreak a little vengeance, people are killed.

No, guns don't pull their own triggers, but if the guns weren't there at all, nobody would.

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@ Greg Preece

The right to bear arms was added as an amendment to the constitution as part of an organised militia. The new USA didn't have a standing army at the time, they instead wanted an armed and trained militia ready to fight in the new country's defence at a moment's notice.

You're not seriously suggesting that the millions of guns held in private hands in the US are there simply to guard against foreign invasion (uh, who?) or to rebel against the government? You may have noticed the US has quite a big army these days.

The second amendment is over 200 years old and irrelevent to modern life. We have old laws and statutes in the UK too, we (eventually) repeal them or ignore them. Time for the US to move on.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

The US constitution doesn't "give" them anything. The bill of rights is informing Congress of areas where it shall not legislate to restrict rights that were deemed to be the natural rights of man. Those rights boil down to the right to speech, self-defence and property.

These three are the fundamental rights on which civilisation was built. The world progresses when these rights are held inviolate, and regresses when they are proscribed and infringed.

For the record the president is not allowed to legislation per the constitution. Executive orders have always walked a fine line in this regard and many of them were unconstitutional in their scope (especially quite a few of those issued by Bush toward the end of his second term) even if they had been created by the House. The use of an executive order to infringe on the second amendment is opening Obama up to a lot of potential legal difficulty.

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Stop

Re: Plan B? Plan C?

"Guns don't kill people, bullets do."

That doesn't work. Controlling and limiting the ammunition someone can buy will help, but the situation cannot be solely controlled like that because we cannot make a purchaser accountable for every round. If firearms are unrestricted but bullets are in an effort to reduce crime, what is preventing people buying ammo and then just selling it on at a profit to criminal elements?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plan B? Plan C?

Seriously? If someone snaps enough to want to kill, gun or no gun, the consequences are bad.....

But if gun control was working, only stable people would be able to own guns.. I.E. mental health checks before being allowed to own a gun, make sure your unlikely to break...

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Stop

Re: Plan B? Plan C?

"This will always be possible, in any nation that sells fuel oil & fertilizer "over the counter"."

- Unless you live in a nation that has suffered under terrorism for long enough that it ensures fertilisers contain stabilisers to prevent them being turned into high explosive and where shop owners record and report any large sales of items which are key to bomb making. Works for us, mostly.

"People who massacre quantities of people with rifles and/or handguns and then suicide are criminally insane, by definition and are probably incapable of realizing that they could get the job done much faster by other means."

Except they are not. What you are stating isn't true. They typically have suffered from a psychological breakdown and are responding in an abnormal fashion. Before the break they might have been suffering depression, but they were normal functional human beings prior to the break. Typically, psychopaths don't go on sprees which will end up in them being dead or arrested, because they are too selfish and analytical.

If you look into the people who commit these crimes, they have typically either snapped and are making do with the tools at hand (which unfortunately are often high-capacity semi-automatics in the States) or they DID plan their act carefully over the course of a week or so, where they assembled to tools for playing out their fantasy and constructed it in detail before enacting it. They don't tend to use bombs because bombs are difficult (relatively) to obtain the materials for and to construct. Where firearms are trivially easy to obtain, they will be a weapon of choice. From a psychological point of view, bombs also lack that personal touch of being able to look perceived persecutors in the eye before delivering 'justice'.

"Surely it's a better idea to remove them from the streets before they snap?"

How? Incarcerate every teenager who has become insular because he is being bullied by others? Do the same to everyone who just got divorce papers filed, lost custody of their kids and then got fired?

The people who commit these acts might typically be suffering from very low level mental illness before they crack, but so is 10% of the population. It's not the 'criminally insane' sociopaths and psychopaths who are already on the radar. Given that the pool of potential 'snapees', it is not possible to remove these people from the streets.

Unless you want to bolster the largest incarcerated population in the world with every teenager who has ever put on a black T-shirt?

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

"mental health checks before being allowed to own a gun, make sure your unlikely to break..."

ANYONE can break. Anyone at all.

If the authorities played it cautions, then at least 30% of s would be prevented from owning firearms on mental health grounds.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

"that fall well outside any need for personal protection and/or hunting purposes."

You have issues with "ordinary folks" using a rifle to explode plastic gallon-sized milk jugs full of water at 2 kilometers? It's really quite relaxing, almost by definition. Try it sometime. Think "grown-up plinking". It's a Zen thing.

My legal full-auto kit is there just to needle the .gov ... And the civil-war hand-me-down cannons (10 Pound Parrott & 3" Ordinance Rifle) party pieces that I inherited from my Great Grand Father are just that ... an inheritance. Working inheritance, yes, but hardly a public hazard.

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Re: @ Greg Preece

How do you feel about the first amendment, Mooseman? Or the fourth and fifth? Or perhaps the eighth? All of them are over 200 years old. Are they irrelevant now because of that?

Or are you going to start picking and choosing? IN which case you need a better reason than "200 years old" to dismiss these rights.

The security of a free state is no less relevant now than it was then - but that security is not only about borders. A state remains free only as long as its government is beholden to the governed.

I get the feeling you've not read the Federalist Papers. These documents discussed the intent of the framers of the US constitution in some detail, and much of that intent was to provide the people with every possible means to overthrow their government if it became tyrannical.

Incidentally, Parliament ignoring old laws that restricted its power are the reason we're in such a cocked-up state right now. Parliament overstepped its legal bounds decades ago by ignoring its foundational documents; the Bill of Rights 1689 (go look it up) and the Act of Settlement placed limits on Parliament's authority and on the King, and restated certain constitutional rights such as the right to move unmolested by agents of the king, the right to bear arms and the right to be free of "unusual punishment", amongst other things. Today these laws are ignored - because they're "old", is the usual excuse, yet they are still as relevant today as they were when they were first drafted, and if they were observed instead of ignored we'd be a much more free and prosperous country.

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Holmes

Re: @ Greg Preece

"How do you feel about the first amendment, Mooseman? Or the fourth and fifth? Or perhaps the eighth? All of them are over 200 years old. Are they irrelevant now because of that?"

That's a diversionary argument and has no real place in debate. Just because one thing has not become irrelevant, it does not follow that nothing else has.

"Or are you going to start picking and choosing? IN which case you need a better reason than "200 years old" to dismiss these rights."

Yeah, pretty much. Times change. I'm pretty sure there are some bits of paper that say I'm supposed to treat my slaves nicely and kill Welshman. I'm not hanging onto that just because it's on an old piece of paper.

"The security of a free state is no less relevant now than it was then - but that security is not only about borders. A state remains free only as long as its government is beholden to the governed."

Hoho. Too late. You have the world's largest and most effective military and the world's largest and most effective organisation for watching its own people for signs of opposing oppression/armed revolt. Don't kid yourself that packing a pistol means that Uncle Sam is accountable to you. Try protesting about the fact that your government is oppressing you or taking up arms and see how far it gets you.

The idea that firearms in private hands can be used to actively bully and coerce the State into doing what you want is outmoded.

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Pint

Re: Plan B? Plan C?

"You have issues with "ordinary folks" using a rifle to explode plastic gallon-sized milk jugs full of water at 2 kilometers? It's really quite relaxing, almost by definition. Try it sometime. Think "grown-up plinking"."

Yes, it is fun.

However, I recognise that my right to merely have fun fooling around with a massively over-powered lethal weapon should not outweigh everyone else's right not to get shot with one by somebody else.

As great as it would be to live in a world where I could own -say- a heavy machinegun and go down a scrap yard to riddle a few old cars on a Sunday, we do not live in a world where everyone can be trusted to limit the use of said hail-of-death-creating-device not to commit multiple murder. So I man up and do without that particular kick in my life, rather than whining like a selfish child about 'rights'. Likewise, I don't drive everywhere at 150mph on public roads, despite how much fun it is, because I realise that my right to have fun doing so is outweighed by the right of other not to be hit by my car if I make an error.

"It's a Zen thing."

No, it's not. It's a fun and relaxing thing. Fun and relaxing !=Zen

And as fun as relaxing as it is, it's not an irreplaceable feeling. That feeling can be had without recourse to military-grade weapons. And if someone can only obtain a feeling of calmness and relaxation by utilising firearms, then they should NOT be legally entitled to own one, because there is clearly a problem in their head somewhere.

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Anonymous Coward

@Psyx

Gonna be the devils advocate here but you say you dont drive 150mph on public roads because its fun. However there are people who do. Should those people be screened for their dangerous and illegal behaviour or should we all be punished by removing cars?

Not saying thats the argument you have been making but some on here have and you gave a good example to play with.

I will point out I dont have much complaint at your comment, I agree a machine gun isnt a home item although I could see them being appreciated on a range and the nuts shouldnt be sold a gun full stop.

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Pint

Re: @Psyx

"Gonna be the devils advocate here but you say you dont drive 150mph on public roads because its fun. However there are people who do. Should those people be screened for their dangerous and illegal behaviour or should we all be punished by removing cars?"

I used to. I don't now. I kinda grew up and realised that as casually as I disregarded the risks, I did not have the right to endanger other people. But anyway:

Extending any debate on gun control to 'cars are a lethal weapon'/'screwdrivers are a lethal weapon' is a classic diversionary counter-point, that steps away from the point of the argument. It's a little like being caught stealing cookies and then igniting a debate on an older sibling kissing the next door neighbour's daughter/brother/dog.

That aside... "Should those people be screened for their dangerous and illegal behaviour or should we all be punished by removing cars?"

Let's draw a few things in though and make a few loose comparisons:

Firstly, I am not trusted by the government or fellow road users and recognised to possess such a lethal bit of kit unless I am 17 years of age. And then I must pass a very comprehensive test to ensure that I'm not a liability and obtain a photo-license. Then I am required to take out insurance, and to have my vehicle inspected on a yearly basis. I am required to register my vehicle. I am required to have a little piece of paper with the car at all times which shows that it is legal for me to have it and be using it and that the authorities recognise my ownership. If I sell my vehicle then I am required to say who I sold it to. If my vehicle is stolen, then I am to report its loss promptly because otherwise I might be implicated in and held responsible for crimes that it might be used to commit.

I am not allowed to use my vehicle while drunk, high, on a mobile 'phone, or otherwise distracted.

There are many laws surrounding my safe use of a vehicle and the onus is on me to use it safely. If I use it in an unsafe manner - even if nobody is injured - then I will be punished.

If I become excessively old, suffer a eyesight impairment or epilepsy, or demonstrate that I cannot use my car safely, then I am required to take a re-test to prove that I am still capable of safely using it. If I break the rules surrounding my use of the vehicle or use it in a dangerous manner, I might forfeit my right to drive it.

And yes: If I am caught at 150mph, then I will temporarily lose my right to use a car.

These are the restrictions that we put on vehicle ownership. None of them are unreasonable. All of them are there to protect everyone else on the road. If I am not doing anything wrong, I have no cause for concern about these rules. The only times these rules become an issue is if I act irresponsibly, carelessly or criminally.

Isn't it kinda fecked up that there is far more regulation as regards vehicle ownership and use than firearms use in the US? Firearm legislation and registration should be AT LEAST as carefully and reasonably controlled as access to a vehicle.

I'm not sure how we'd screen for people who might speed excessively. There are two approaches that spring to mind. One is in place, the other is essentially persecuting a vast and disproportionate number of people for 'pre-crime':

1) When people commit minor infractions [low-level motoring offences] then in some way offer them a warning and punishment and have these punishments 'rack up' to eventual loss of license.

Well, we do that already via fixed penalty fines and points.

2) Prevent every male teenager who wants to impress girls from driving. Prevent everyone who participates in motor racing from driving on public roads.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C? (@Pen-y-gors)

Have an up-vote for use of "hemp fandango".

Also, I approve of what has been deemed in my household "The Chris Rock Solution" From his stand-up bit after Columbine, where he proposed that bullets should cost $5000 apiece. "He must have done something to piss someone off: they put $50000 worth of bullets in his ass!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plan B? Plan C?

"People who massacre quantities of people with rifles and/or handguns and then suicide are criminally insane, by definition, and are probably incapable of realizing that they could get the job done much faster by other means. "

"Buy boomstick from supermarket, press button, goes bang bang".

vs.

"Produce explosive device that goes off at the right time" (the last bit's really important).

Can you see the difference?

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

>"Produce explosive device that goes off at the right time" (the last bit's really important).

There's an app for that

I'm sure Walmart could sell ready-bang (tm) ready to use explosive devices for the domestic terrorist in a hurry

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

>Those rights boil down to the right to speech, self-defence and property.

>These three are the fundamental rights on which civilisation was built

Nope. Civilisation predates all three by some 10,000 years.

Like many Americans, you confuse 'privileges we are accustomed to' with 'rights'.

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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

>"grown-up plinking".

'Grown-up' is not the phrase that comes to mind. 'Juvenile', Puerile', oerhaps.

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Anonymous Coward

@Psyx

It is hard to compare guns with anything so lets be more realistic. All gun crimes involve guns, but not all violent crimes are gun crimes. We are talking about saving lives and think of the children.

The common issue of the violent crime is the person. So lets do what you all suggest and legally ban people. This way no violent crime can occur because we could all be highly restricted in who we can interact with. To interact with someone requires following various procedures, apply for a licence and any minor infraction revokes the license.

I think we have a winner. This way everyone has the right to life while justifiably restricting the dangers of this world. No need for firearms or even self defence. Most crimes wiped out. And you dont mind surrendering your freedoms for it do you? If you do you will be branded a killer, homicidal, nutter, stupid, moron and everything else the law abiding gun community get called.

Irrational fear? Overreaction? Yup.

There are good restrictions which could be put in place. They are background checks and enforcement.

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@strum Re: Plan B? Plan C?

American? Shows what you know strum.

Perhaps you should go and read up a little on the natural rights of man.

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Re: @Psyx

"It is hard to compare guns with anything so lets be more realistic....The common issue of the violent crime is the person. So lets do what you all suggest and legally ban people."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

"There are good restrictions which could be put in place. They are background checks and enforcement."

That's a start. But the main thing that needs happening is to restrict/reduce firearms falling into unlicensed hands via a massive clamp-down and registration effort (ie: This gun is registered to you, but was used to murder someone two states over because you sold it to a criminal, so you can go to jail for the same time that the murderer did. Kthx) and a massive drag-net operation to get illegal firearms off the street. Not only does it help very directly prevent crime, it also makes a lie of the NRA's "All your doing is preventing legal owners from having guns". Which is crap anyway: There is already laws to arrest criminals with guns, so by very definition any gun control laws aren't going to NEED to further criminalise that.

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Anonymous Coward

@Psyx

Reductio ad absurdum applies to people who oppose guns because they are clueless. I know because I have replied to a few comments on here which apply it against gun owners.

Having to report a lost/stolen gun should be required and background checks should be a requirement but what you call a massive clampdown I dont know as its an umbrella term which can be taken to nutty extremes. This is where the question of which state comes in because each state does their own thing and the differences are visible. I am all for common sense policing but there are a lot of comments calling to remove all guns. This comes from the lack of knowledge over what a gun is for (guns are for killing, so all gun owners are killers is very faulty logic). A tank is a motor vehicle but not all motor vehicles are all terrain.

My comment is a direct reflection of you wanting something to compare to guns for lethality. I compared it correctly to the common killer in violent crime. There are a lot of anti-gun morons who repeat your comment about cars are different to guns. Yet guns are fairly unique. So the other unique yet directly related entity is people. So if it is Reductio ad absurdum to remove interaction in the population to save lives, it is also Reductio ad absurdum to remove personal firearms to save lives. Regulation is fine, but your comments fuel the fire of the anti-gun nutters.

I will make a point that you yourself dont seem to be under the same level of misinformation and cluelessness so I am not arguing against you particularly, just the comment which can be taken to extremes by the extremist anti-gun nutter.

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Re: @Psyx

"Isn't it kinda fecked up that there is far more regulation as regards vehicle ownership and use than firearms use in the US? Firearm legislation and registration should be AT LEAST as carefully and reasonably controlled as access to a vehicle."

You are clearly confused. Far more people are killed by private, legally owned & operated automobiles here in the Southern half of North America than are even maimed, much less killed, by firearms in any given year. Don't you think that's fecked fucked[1] up?

Come back when you actually understand what you are talking about. Ta.

[1] I'm an adult. I can use adult punctuation. I'm talkin' cussin', not markup language ...

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@ Graham Dawson

"security is not only about borders. A state remains free only as long as its government is beholden to the governed"

In what ways do privately held weapons make the US govt beholden to the citizens? You really think if you decided the government was oppressive you could march up to the White House with your friends and start shooting? You'd be shot by the police/army within moments.

This argument is invalid. You have no chance of changing government by force of arms unless you get the military on your side.

And yes, I can say that something is out of date. Some laws are worth keeping, othes become outmoded or irrelevant. I'm not a fan of a great deal of what our government does either, but I'm not kidding myself that if I was able to carry a weapon at all times it would make the slightest difference.

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Re: @ Greg Preece

"Bill of Rights 1689 (go look it up) and the Act of Settlement placed limits on Parliament's authority and on the King, and restated certain constitutional rights such as the right to move unmolested by agents of the king, the right to bear arms and the right to be free of "unusual punishment", amongst other things. Today these laws are ignored - because they're "old", is the usual excuse, yet they are still as relevant today as they were when they were first drafted, and if they were observed instead of ignored we'd be a much more free and prosperous country"

Um, not entirely accurate. The right to bear arms was a response to the previous (catholic) king's law that forbade protestants the right to be armed but did allow catholics. The Bill of Rights states that people had the right to beear arms for their own defence suitable for their class (all you peasants, use pitchforks) AS ALLOWED BY LAW. In other words, if it is *legal* then all people can carry weapons, not just some.

The Bill of Rights is a docuent largely curtailing the monarch's powers, following the atempted suppression of protestanism under James I and II.

Sections of the Bill are occassionally utilised today, if rarely.

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Silver badge
WTF?

Games and gun violence link?

There's none. Study closed. Where can I collect my pay cheque?

How much did I enjoy Hansel and Gretel! But neither did it make me believe in witches (guys, please keep your comments about your in-laws or ex-wives for yourself) nor did it induce an urge to shove people into ovens.

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Bronze badge

Follow the chain of logic.

The problem is that GUNS are far to easy to acquire.

Its subsequently GUNS that are being used to kill people.

So instead of banning GUNS,

let's ban VIDEO GAMES.

There's a problem in there somewhere but I, along with politicians too piss-weak to stand up to the NRA, can't quite spot it.

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Re: Follow the chain of logic.

There's a problem in there somewhere

Yes, there is. It's the part where you imply that it's stupid to blame a form of entertainment, such as video games, but then attempt to blame an inanimate object instead.

I don't blame the video game.

I don't blame the gun.

I blame the shithead pullling the trigger, and so should you.

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Anonymous Coward

@silent_count

Your chain of logic is broken. You jump from guns are too easy to acquire to instead of banning guns. Cars kill people but who wants to ban them?

There is a middle ground. Checks before buying guns makes sense. Banning people who committed violent crime or has mental issues would resolve a lot.

Banning guns makes gun owners laugh because its often stated by those who havnt a clue. I agree its too easy for them to get guns in some states but banning them is unthinkable.

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Re: @silent_count

@ Mr Preece.

I don't know where you got the idea that I blame a gun when there's "gun violence." I do however think that when there's "gun violence", there's a fairly good chance that there's a gun involved.

It's amusing that Mr Obama wants to study a link between video games and gun violence. I'd submit that it would be a fait de compli to find a link between guns and gun violence, but that Mr Obama doesn't have the balls to call for such a study.

@ Mr AC (09:59/17-Jan-2013)

I'm curious. You state that "banning them [guns] is unthinkable". Can you explain to me - I'm not American, so maybe I just don't get it - what benefit is to brought to society by "Joe Average being able to have a gun" that out-weights disadvantage of the number of people who are killed by other people with guns?

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