The claim made by Heinlein is, well, juvenile. And often repeated by young men, rarely women. But the empirical evidence proves that an armed society is a society constantly on edge, with none of the room for error in dealings that other societies have. So, I guess “polite” is a euphemism for “paranoid”.
In fact, I suspect the phrase may have been hinting at that. Robert E. Howard made a similar claim about how civilized people got away with rudeness that would have incited a split skull amongst barbarians. A masculine idea of how being polite is only enforced by threats of violence.
I feel the really painful thing about this argument - even if made by gun nuts - is that when we talk about reducing wealth disparity by using tax money to fund medical care and education, we can’t do that because it will be claimed that “we’re talking about gun violence, not tax policy”.
I used to be the one calling for ‘being a responsible firearm owner’, But I can’t anymore.
We need to fix both the symptoms and the cause. because fixing only the symptoms (easy firearm ownership, easy availability of them, etc.) won’t make the cause go away. (bullying, abuse, and mental health are all causes in varying degrees).
While banning firearms outright will only fix things in the very short term (and to be frank, it’s a tall order period!) we need to teach people to be responsible with them, and cure the underlying causes of these shootings.
And yet enacting gun Control laws has worked to decrease gun violence in every other country on earth.
I’m sure the high school kid I helped take care of on my last shift, shot through the abdomen at a graduation party, will be happy if we only fix things “in the short term” by enacting gun control legislation. If only the person who shot her intentionally was more responsible, we wouldn’t have to worry about there being so many guns available.
I think there are things we can do on the gun side to reduce violence, but we do need to consider that you could ban guns in other countries because (a) they didn’t have founding documents enshrining the right to carry and (b) there were likely no where near the high percentage of the population of gun owners who believed they had a right to carry. It is easy to outlaw something if your legal system doesn’t protect it from day #1 and there are a relatively small number of people who’d resist. I just don’t see how it is practical in the US to ban outright (since I just don’t see people turning in their guns). Of course the other thing I seem to have read is that there are countries with very high gun ownership/gun usage that just don’t have the run violence we have (eg, perhaps Switzerland, Israel). So if there are countries that can have guns and not so much gun crime and IF we cannot outlaw outright, then what lessons can we learn from those other countries to reduce violence until actual reductions in the number of firearms available occurs? In the meantime, there are things we could do such as universal background checks, limit certain guns to ≥ 21 years old, demand all states be required to turn in mental health diagnosis registries, etc to try to keep more guns out of the hands of those who might abuse them.
[quote=“davidcjonesvt, post:45, topic:220339”]
I think there are things we can do on the gun side to reduce violence, but we do need to consider that you could ban guns in other countries because (a) they didn’t have founding documents enshrining the right to carry[/quote]
It wasn’t protected from day #1 - it’s the 2ndAmendment, added to the constitution later.
If this is the old Columbine argument, let’s just nip it in the bud. Kids being bullied don’t become school shooters. Statistics show it’s the bullies, not the bullied, who become shooters.
See above. Abusers are the shooters, not their victims. Take their guns away and we have a safer world.
People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than be violent themselves. This is a bullshit argument, and particularly infuriating because the people who most often use it do jack shit to support mental health care.
I’m not sure how you get that banning firearms is a short term solution when it’s going to be the work of several decades to do properly in the US. Availability of guns in the US is the underlying cause of the shootings, as the US is the only developed country with the magnitude and frequency of firearm homicide we have. Full stop.
Don’t bring up Switzerland. Firearms are heavily regulated and anyone who has a state-issued firearm has to lock up the ammunition separately and submit it for inspection frequently. If there is so much as a single round missing, there’s hell to pay. And, if you are a firearm owner, you have to demonstrate competency and safety.
If the US had the same gun control laws as Switzerland, we’d be in MUCH better shape.
It’s also well documented that it didn’t mean personal ownership and carry of firearms even then. It was about actual militia membership in order to protect the fledgling country from invasion. “Bearing arms” meant as part of an organized military force, not slinging your rifle over your shoulder for a trip to Starbucks.
I don’t understand your reference there (I know the strawman argument not the scarecrow part). What I was trying to say was that I am sure there are at least some things on the gun side that we can surely get many people behind, but that the extremes just won’t work. I was listening to David Hogg speaking on NPR the other day, and he seemed to agree that there were steps that it should be relatively easy to get a broad spectrum of people to go along with such as universal background checks, raising the age to purchase some firearms (or perhaps any firearm). I was simply speaking to the challenge of outlawing something that is wide-spread (think War on Drugs) and was explicitly legal prior to becoming illegal. Maybe I am wrong and you could jump right to wide scale bans, but I don’t think so personally.
I was happy to bring up Switzerland. My point was there are things in different countries that are done that allow co-existence. That is all I was saying. Very straight forward. I think requiring training to own a firearm would be great. That seems very reasonable. Universal background checks too. I think there are a number of things that many people would get behind including many gun owners.
Going back to the Swiss, I don’t hear about Swiss citizens going out and buying other ammunition that is not issued by the government and shooting things up. The idea that there would be hell to pay if ammo was missing is sort of funny to, because if someone wanted to shoot up something illegally, they aren’t really worried about that hell. The idea that they have firearms and don’t go on shooting sprees suggests to me that something is definitely different at a societal level. Better healthcare? Better safety nets so there is less desperation? I don’t know. I think this is a much bigger issue than just the guns, and while they are definitely a part of it, we have a lot of work to do more broadly.
There is no mystery about why Switzerland has lower rates of gun violence than the U.S. despite high rates of firearms possession. Bringing up Switzerland is a stale, bad ammosexual argument, one we’ve seen so often it’s been addressed above. Taking the time to review this catch-all topic will help you avoid wasting time making pre-bunked points.