"I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.” – Stephane Charbonnier
“We cannot sacrifice what is right for what is expedient.” – RadioMattM
Obama has said this absurdity several times. I presume he forgets about Syria, et al, not to mention France where he was speaking. It's this kind of comment that makes me think he's really just stupid, and not just naive. I do try to find shreds of sense in a lot of what he says (I am stuck with him as POTUS for another year)...but it's usually futile and in this case, impossible.
douchebag is a (mostly) French word, amirite?
I guess the RoP killers today had angst about climate control.I listen to Obama and think I've fallen down the rabbit hole. But HEAVEN FORBID we call it "terrorism" or "radical islam". I think most people have had enough with the politically correct bullshit.
Down the rabbit hole is right. The left is having a hand-wringing, conniption-fit meltdown over gun control tonight. The idiotic angst and puling is stunning.
Dances, I concur with the French. Totally. And he's not just an a-hole, he's a monumentally STUPID a-hole.
His comment was monumentally stupid, but trying to give him the benefit of the doubt (why?? he doesn't deserve it!) I think he was referring to "ordinary" mass shootings rather than terrorist attacks. Yes - he was madly inappropriate, standing exactly there in Paris, and most likely ill-advised by persons unknown. But those "ordinary" mass shootings - "going postal" - really only happen in any big way in America. I cannot think of more than 1 or 2 incidents of mass shootings in either England or Israel. And I'm going to make myself VERY unpopular here with some of you - but I'm with Obama on one subject only: gun control. The American love affair with guns is a total mystery to me.
Any so-called "gun control measures" can only apply to those gun owners who are completely law-abiding, that is those gun owners who are legally licensed and who have paid, often in very large sums, simply in order to exercise the RIGHT which is protected by the Second Amendment. Please read your brilliant Constitution very carefully. The Second Amendment does not confer the right to keep and bear arms, it just protects that inalienable right of every person to defend themselves, whether by a person or a Government.It is stated in your Founding Document that "... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."The Constitution states, quite clearly, that the right to be armed already exists, and that the Constitution is forbidden from infringing upon this right.Gun Laws, like any other Laws, do NOT apply to any member of the already well-armed criminal fraternity
"The Second Amendment does not confer the right to keep and bear arms, it just protects that inalienable right..." Exactly
It's not a love affair, annie, it's one of our most important amendments to our beloved constitution.Responsible gun owners don't go out and shoot people; crazy people or jihadists do. Those are the people who shouldn't have guns but as we all know, it won't stop the radical islamists, they will just use bombs, chemical weapons, etc.Or box-cutters and planes, which killed 3,000. No guns there.
I know it's in your constitution florrie, but something has obviously gone wrong. In my humble opinion part of the problem is that each state has different laws. So California has very stringent gun laws but what's to stop someone driving over to another, less strict state, buying guns, and driving back to California? Not to mention of course buying them illegally which can happen in any country. Because there's no getting away from the fact that America has a huge "mass shooting" problem. Literally almost every day there's another shootout in a college or mall or somewhere. You just don't hear about these things in other places. Maybe the laws have to be tightened dramatically - and ENFORCED. Certainly gun laws have to be made universal across all 50 states. So many people have pointed out Israel as an example, but we don't have these mass shootings, not outside terror attacks which is another matter altogether. Israeli citizens are not particularly well-armed, but those who do are very careful and responsible. Unstable or sick people cannot get guns legally. The UK is another example of very strict gun laws. So what is the solution?All this of course notwithstanding the possibility that yesterday's attack in California was a terror attack.
Annie, if you look at the history of the 20th Century you will find that more people were murdered by their governments than by civilian criminal elements. By murdered, I mean murdered., I do not mean "collateral damage." I do not mean execution after after a fair judicial process. I mean "The government does not like you," or "You are too big for your britches," or "You have too much power,", etc. Why people want to surrender all of their power to what historically has been, categorically, the biggest mass murderer in history is beyond me. In the United States the call for gun control was first floated by the Democrats and Ku Klux Klan members (both the same people, how they were dressed depending on what meeting they were attending at the moment) in an effort to prevent blacks from protecting themselves.Currently governments in the West want to disarm their populous while allowing muslims to take over by attrition. The United Kingdom has all but completely outlawed the private ownership of firearms. According to a 2009 EU study, the UK has the highest rate of violent crime in the civilized world. In Australia, which is praised for its banning of firearms, there is a video of a muslim shooting a gay man seven times. In the United States, the areas with the strictest gun laws have the highest rates of gun violence. Why should the American people say "Ya sure, you betcha" and surrender their weapons? Do you really think Obama is interested in protecting us?
The history of the 20th century is not today. I don't disagree with you about the numbers murdered by their own governments but we are talking about the Nazis and the Communist regimes. I don't think you can seriously say that the democratic governments of the West today murder their citizens. The Muslims in the Western countries are indeed a problem. But that is a terrorism, or counter-terrorism, problem. I'm talking about "regular" "crazy-person" psychopathic mass shootings. And Anders Brevik notwithstanding, I can hardly think of a single incident in any western country. Maybe the odd one or 2 (there was the Hungerford massacre in England about 30 years ago). But look what's happening in the States. Can you seriously say this is a normal state of affairs?I'm not even saying people should be disarmed. But why on earth should any regular citizen own a rifle (outside of hunting purposes)? I can tell you that in Israel the only gun you can own is a pistol. The only people walking around with rifles are soldiers. In England I never saw anyone with a gun, not even the police. In Europe the police have pistols. Again, who owns a rifle? Also, why do Americans need to own more than one gun per person?I'm seriously at a loss to understand this aspect of American culture. You know I love you guys, seriously I do, but I cannot get my head round this gun culture. I don't think it's connected to Obama either. I deeply understand your antipathy to Obama and the Democrats. Believe me, my own and (Israelis in general) antipathy is probably greater. But still. When you had a Republican administration and Reagan was president, why did Americans still feel they needed to own guns to protect themselves from the government??Why are you scared of your governments??
Anne...there is absolutely no doubt that the San Bernardino shooting was a terrorist attack. Just a few squeamish folks who are afraid of the word "terrorist." Until they get serious, more will occur, and it won't be because of available guns. Those pipe bombs and toy car devices found in the couple's town house are not guns. If anything our freedoms here have generated it is ambivalence about mental stability...and we will pay for it. I live among Arabs and I could start a full blown riot where I live by just careless use of words. I wouldn't be my Arab neighbors who do it. Most seem to have come here to escape terror and say so. Unfortunately more and more of my neighbors who're not Arab or Muslim are heading in that direction. Very simply they are afraid and are talking about running to the suburbs...as if that would really make a difference if what they claim is correct. I don't know the answer...but as one who adores you plain and simple and yet I will not give up my guns...all defensive, none assaultive in nature. I carried and used assault weapons long ago and that was enough...even then, if anyone has read my words carefully over time, I'm very inclined to just defend myself and attack no one. The USA is unlike any other nation, in fact born of the gun. It won't change soon. Not ever IMO. Some Pols love to blame the NRA, but they (I am a member...all for target sport) represent only 5 Million of our 350 Million or so population...the majority of the population agrees with me, but say little politically.
To begin with, supposed "mass" shootings simply have not happened at anywhere near the number claimed by the media and government: how about 4?
And even though it made me a little sick to my stomach I went to the Mother Jones site to read the study: Mother JonesAnnie, you know how the press lies.You know that they have an agenda that far overcomes any desire to tell the truth.And maybe you should also need to remember how this current administration lies, as well.The only people 0bama has less respect or concern for than Israelis, is Americans
You know, Dances, I kept hearing that number and thinking "that can't be right" but I didn't take the time to investigate.I've always blamed our media for the mess the country is in. Their laziness, stupidity and blatant ideology are bring the US to its knees.
Every government throuout history that has been given complete control over its people has abused that power. Adolph Hitler pretty much got the power to commit his atrocities was given that power by proper legislative process, all in the name of "We have a serious problem and you need to give me absolute power in order to take care of it." As for being armed under Reagan, Americans fully understand that powers that are give are given to the government, not to the person. Any power we give to a Reagan we also give to a Clinton or an Obama.In Israel, you have soldiers carrying emir weapons. At Fort Hood (in a case of "workplace violence") there were so many deaths because soldiers were not even allowed to carry weapons on base.Thre is a famous saying, attributed to several people: "He who does not know history is doomed to repeat it." So just because governments with complete control have always abused that power in the past in no reason to assume that any government would do e same thing today? And, in case you have' noticed, Obama today is suggesting that the event in San Bernadino were "workplace violence," which is his go-to explanation when he finds out it was not done by white people.In reality, mass shootings today are not happening any more than they have in the past --- they are just being given more coverage. According to an article in National Review, mass shootings in the past have primarily occurred in Britain and Germany.I notice that you did not address the crime rate in the UK or in Ausralia. Is there a problem in the US? Yes, but that problem is because of how mental illness is handled. Years ago, if someone was exhibiting signs of a serious mental illness, it could be dealt with. Today, someone has to be an immediate -- as in right now -- danger to himself and others before any action can be taken.I also trust you have heard that the apartment of the San Bernadino was an IED factory. The Boston Marathon bomb was made from a pressure cooker. And with all of this, Obama and the left has made a hero/victim out of Ahmed the Clock Boy, whose entire purpose could easily be explained as to make people afraid of saying anything about a Muslim for fear of being persecuted as a racist -- by the government you think we should have faith in.I also notice that you did not address how mass shootings tend to happen in gun-free zones or in areas with strict gun control laws.Whether it be Muslim terrorists, insane whack-jobs, or tyrannical government, we need to be ready to defend ourselves.
Matt, I'm going to address your points one by one as much as I can but I have a feeling that we're going to have to agree to disagree in the end.Part 1:What you write about governments having absolute power is correct only insofar as we're talking about a Nazi-like government. However bad Obama is, I still don't think you can compare the US Administration to anything approaching that situation. No other country's citizens have the right to bear arms to protect themselves from their own government, which is what the constitution originally planned for, if I'm correct. As far as I was taught - and please correct me if I'm wrong - the right to bear arms was because the gov't of the day was the British, who were considered the enemy. Nowadays your gov't is elected by you yourselves. So again, why the need to protect yourselves from the gov't? Re arming soldiers, I agree with you 100%. It was madness that the soldiers in Fort Hood were not armed. In the IDF, combat soldiers are armed at all times. However if you are not a combat soldier you don't necessarily have a firearm. My own son was not armed much of his service. He was in intel in a "backroom" type of job. He only had a gun when he was on guard duty. Regarding yesterday's incident, I agree that it looks very much like terrorism. And in this case, if the people were armed they might have been able to take them down. Or they might have injured other civilians in such close quarters. That has been known to happen.
Part 2:As for the crime rate in the US vs. the UK, I was surprised by your figures so I did a little searching (Dr. Google is my friend...). I came upon several articles which more or less refute your figures. While violent crime might (and probably isn't) be higher in the UK, the number of homicides is vastly lower per capita. Here are crimes stats of the US vs. UK:Murders with firearms 14Ranked 39th. 9,369Ranked 4th. 669 times more than United Kingdom Murders with firearms per million 0.236Ranked 44th. 32.57Ranked 10th. 138 times more than United Kingdom Total crimes 6.52 millionRanked 2nd. 11.88 millionRanked 1st. 82% more than United Kingdom Total crimes per 1000 109.96Ranked 4th. 3 times more than United States 41.29Ranked 22nd. Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate 1.17Ranked 74th. 4.7Ranked 7th. 4 times more than United Kingdom Violent crime > Murder rate 722Ranked 34th. 12,996Ranked 9th. 18 times more than United Kingdom There's more but you get the general idea.I found another website: Dispelling the myths of UK vs. US crime and found similar statistics:UK homicide incidences: 642 (THOSB – CEW page 17, paragraph 4.)642 / 561 = 1.14US murder incidences: 14,612 (FBI – CUS)14,612 / 3116 = 4.6You are thus 4.03x (4.6 / 1.14) more likely to be murdered in the US than in the UK.[...]UK incidences of fatal shootings: 55 (THOSB – CEW, page 63, paragraph 3.)55 / 561 = 0.09US incidences of fatal shootings: 67.7% (FBI – CUS[/url) of 14,612 = 9892.29892.2 / 3116 = 3.17You are thus 35.2x (3.17 / 0.09) more likely to be shot dead in the US than in the UK. There's loads more details at this site, including very detailed explanations of the methodology and maths involved in the calculations, including also how crime is reported in both countries and even what constitutes violent crime in each country.The UK may be more violent in certain crimes, but homicide rates, especially from shooting, are way lower.And of course there's good old Wikipedia, though the years of their statistics are not the same for all countries. But it's a basic measure.Definitely it's possible that mass shootings are getting more coverage today in our 24/7 media culture, but that doesn't change the overall death statistics. I have no idea about how mass shootings occur or where. Again, most of Europe is gun-free and there are very few mass shootings. Maybe this will change as Muslim terrorism grows. I'm also not saying that people shouldn't be armed. But in my humble opinion - and of course you may (and will!) disagree with me, there ought to be much stricter criteria for buying a gun, the licencing procedure has to be much much stricter to rule out whack-jobs and terrorists, and I still can't understand why citizens need to own more than one gun. But that's just me...
I can show you an article that quotes an EU study that shows the violent crime rate in the UK is 2000 per 100,000 population, France is 505, Canada is 935' and The U.S. Is 466. Not murder, violent crime.I can show you a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime study that show the US murder rate to be slightly below the halfway mark on the world wide list.I can also point out that several of the mass shooters also were in direct possession of or had set up explosive devices that were illegal for them to possess, so how will stricter prohibitions again firearms work? I have seen a discussion that the San Bernadino shooters had weapons that are not available in the United States. In other words, they had weapons smuggled in for the specific purpose for which they were used.I can also address the issue of "how much is enough?" whether it be guns or rounds. (When police caught the Boston Marathon bombers, police fired more than 200 rounds, but somehow a private citizen should be limited in the number of rounds he can have.)The issue that still remains is that while Rome had Marcus Aurelius, it also had Nero. I did not compare Barak Obama to Adolph Hitler. You mentioned that even during the Reagan administration, Americans still excersized their Second Amendment rights. Even if I thought Barak Obama was the greatest President that the US ever had I would still not want to grant him absolute sweeping powers. Americans know that those powers are given to the office, not the person who holds the office. Any such power would not go away at noon on January 20' 2017. Those powers would be passed on to the next person who holds the office.There is an old joke: you can't fix a leaky roof when it is raining and when it is not raining you don't need to. History has show countless times that governments with absolute power abuse that power. It is not that Americans are traditionally afraid of their government; we just don't want to be afraid of our government. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is not to declare what rights the government gives us, it declares what rights we innately have that the government has no power to take away.
Matt, I seriously think we have to agree to disagree.I agree with you on the fact the San Bernardino attack was a terror attack. I also agree with you on the general uselessness - and worse - of Obama's administration in tackling terror.But I disagree with you on gun control. Neither of us is going to convince the other, and anyway it is a moot point. I don't live in the US, and it doesn't really affect me. I just feel so sorry for all of you who I consider my good friends. I'm sure you all consider me a crazy left-wing extremist now, although I'm not. Really, I wish I'd never started this conversation. It's going to ruin a good friendship if we take it any further. So I'm dropping it as of now. We've all got a lot more to worry about now, whether it's Syria, ISIS, Muslim terror in general, and the meltdown in the Middle East.I send my condolences to all the bereaved families and prayers for a speedy recovery to those who were wounded.Let's hope we all have a quiet safe weekend. Have a good one everybody.
Anne, our discussion here could never ruin a friendship. We all value your opinion very much. I've been working on a response to your posts, but Matt has covered most of the bases.Don't feel sorry for us because we have no gun control. We Americans are a strange breed; fiercely independent and self-sufficient. Like our forefathers who wrote the second amendment, we see what happens to an unarmed society when tyrants take the helm. It's only been a few decades since Germany and the Soviet Union slaughtered millions of unarmed civilians. Not here. Not on our watch.I'm a country gal, and live in a rural area. Here, folks have a shotgun beside the bed for home protection, a handgun for carrying, and a "truck gun" to carry in their vehicle. They also have shotguns and rifles for hunting. A person needs a .410 or a 20 gauge for small birds, rabbits, squirrels, etc. Then something along the lines of a 30.30 for deer, and a larger rifle for elk or antelope. Its our way of life, just like our collection of fishing poles, tents, compound bows, and hiking boots. It's an ingrained part of us. It's something we will NEVER give up. Molon labe.These quotes are attributed to Admiral Yamamoto: "In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.""You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.""I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." [upon learning of the success of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor]Damn straight.
We don't need gun control. We need millions of more citizens with concealed weapons permits, and perhaps training on how to respond to a situation like San Bernadino. We also need a mental health system that works. Those two things would seriously cut back on these mass casualty shootings, and be a deadly deterrent to the "terrorist" weenies.
Thanks for your added background Lady Red. I understand the need for assorted shotguns in rural areas, and for hunting and sport. The US is such an enormous country that it's hard for us to imagine. But still, the impression is that gun crime is much higher than elsewhere an I ain't going to be convinced otherwise! :-D What you say is very true though: America needs a much better mental health system, and probably a much better vetting system for buying guns. As for the concealed carry permit, that is actually something that is more lenient in Israel. Here, you either carry or you don't. If you have a gun licence, and you don't want to leave your gun at home, you just carry it, period. Whether on your person, in your pocket, in your purse, in your car, wherever. Just don't wave it around and cause a riot!
I don't worry too much about gun crime. It doesn't happen very often except in inner-city cesspools, which are a whole different discussion. However, if something does happen, it's nice to know that my friends and colleagues are packing. It's too bad that no one in San Berdoo had a weapon; those two nutcases would have been toast before they executed so many innocent civilians.
I don't worry about gun crime either. We have about 3x more deaths per year from auto accidents than firearms.We both have concealed carry permits. Please don't feel sorry for me either, I'd feel sorry for myself if someone took away my right to protect myself and my family. It's good we can have this discussion, annie, and share our viewpoints. Of course, things are best for me when we all agree. But it's ok to disagree too, I respect your opinion and those of my other friends here on the rare times we don't see eye-to-eye!
I understand Annie's (Anne's) views on "gun control" as those of someone not from the USA. I adore her so no snark please...her opinions are valuable! If we are unwilling to entertain other views we've lost what we fought for overall. It must be very difficult to understand the USA mindset versus most of the western world. The USA has always been "of the gun" or we'd not exist. A few guns were used by the Irgun and Haganah IIRC as well....so we really do have similar back grounds. The key issue to me is the specific and definitive determination of just what "gun control" means. It is almost never illuminated. If someone lays out exactly what that term means, I'll listen...but from the viewpoint of an US Citizen who knows our history and not just what I wish it could be...
Thanks Aridog for making clear what I should have clarified myself. When I was talking about gun control, it was before I realized that the San Bernardino attack was a terror attack. It seemed at first to be just another whacko opening fire at his workplace or at "random folk" (sorry for quoting the Zero). As Aridog says, the relationship between Americans and their guns is something that is most definitely not understood elsewhere in the Western world. Anyway, it's best to leave it to you guys who live there to sort it out. We have enough of our own problems!Also, as a wise friend recently told me, "never get between an American and his guns". :D
I hope what I said did not seem to be snarky, it certainly was not intended to be
No worries Dances. None of you seemed snarky and I didn't take offence. You're all much too good friends of mine for me to take offence at a difference of opinion, as Florrie and Lady Red also said. I hope I didn't offend anyone here either. It's good that we have differences of opinion and that we can feel free to air them here. Echo chambers are boring after all.
Anne...I had to comment because without diverse opinions here, we'd be a mere echo chamber. IIRC correctly, we began this site to avoid the echo chamber phenomena we experienced elsewhere. I have an equally difficult time in explain why guns are part of the USA and always will be and should be.
I don't think anyone was snarky to annie, we are ALL friends with her and think the world of her.
I agree with Aridog about the echo chamber. As I've gotten older, I've found it more difficult to "grow" (to use a tired phrase). It seems to take longer to finish a book and I get so upset with the left that I avoid their media of all types as it's just better for my stress level. I'd rather have a good debate here. I appreciate hearing both sides and even if I'm not actively taking part in the conversation, I am reading and thinking about it.I'm glad we can disagree and still respect each other's opinions. I used to post allot on Breitbart, The Daily Caller, etc. They have become such sewers of hate that I don't read them any more (too hard not to peek at the comments).Speaking of guns, we're going to get our CWPs renewed this afternoon, that 5 years went by FAST.
And one final comment here (final from at least) a chart of deaths from mass shootings corrected for population:Mass Shootings