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  • 8 months ago

    Thanks for drawing me out into doing a debate, been too long!

    And I wanted to say, Yes, I find your argument for open vs concealed carry somewhat persuasive, but I still prefer a society where no one carries, and in America, I feel it is not a wise choice to be armed (openly or otherwise) in most circumstances.

    If I'm out hiking in bear country and someone has a gun, I think nothing of it. If I'm out having high tea in Seattle and someone has an AR-15 over their shoulder, I think, "What the fuck is wrong with that person?"

    • 8 months ago

      Interesting debate.
      For me - 'normalized' firearm ownership is that the 2nd amendment means what it says. YES - I agree with Sigfried that I get a bit worried about someone open carrying an AR-15 (or equivalent). I personally don't believe in open carry - because I think it is less effective than easy concealed carry.
      I agree with the first part of the debate topic. I would have been more supportive of "Laws that prohibit carrying (either concealed AND/OR open carrying) lead to worse outcomes." - and I would suggest that it is much smarter to do concealed carry.

      John Lott wrote a book based on FBI statistics - and his tome is "More Guns, Less Crime" - and he provides the statistics to prove the title is accurate.

      Of course - what is not often mentioned is that 2/3rds of gun fatalities are suicide. I don't like the idea of people committing suicide - but ending the 2nd amendment totally to fix this problem seems grossly wrong.
      Then - the remaining 1/3...over half are gang related (often in cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit - that are already heavily regulated with very tough gun control laws.)
      What would the US gun death statistics look like (compared to other countries) - if we removed suicide...and we eliminated Democrat controlled cities with ineffective gun control laws (that don't hamper criminals - but limit the rights of citizens to be able to protect themselves)??

      Another interesting fact - gun owners responding to crime are much less likely to kill an innocent bystander. (A recent shoot out - a police DID kill an innocent bystander.....oh well - too bad....but the stats for private citizens is MUCH better.)

      BUT - I would hate to transition to the UK - where guns are banned - and break-ins where people were home went up significantly....and yet a home owner who protects himself by using a bat to beat up an invader might face more jail time that the person doing the break-in. Talk about a totally f'd up concept!

      • 8 months ago

        @mvineyard http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/United-Kingdom/United-States/Crime. Stats are a tricky business but let's not choose what is convenient...

      • 7 months ago

        @mvineyard I didn't really approach it as a debate as such, though I certainly made some arguments.

        I agree that the 2nd amendment normalizes firearms ownership as it specifically endorses it as a right. I don't think we can say it's done much to prevent or to encourage crime compared to other, much more significant factors.

        I'd like to see an open vs concealed carry debate. I think it would be interesting as there are valid points on both sides. And, it depends on if you are talking individual vs social outcomes....

        So... As an individual, if I open carry, people know for a fact I have a weapon. So I am, in theory, more likely to deter aggression towards me. But, as a society, if we only open carry, then if I don't have a gun visible, criminals know for a fact I am not armed (well as close to knowing as they can).

        As where with concealed carry, a criminal faces a higher risk decision. Chances of facing an armed victim are guesswork. If you hate high risk, you may not attack anyone, so the overall social outcome is lower, even if the armed individual doesn't get the protection of 100% certainty in the mind of the criminal. But it does offer some protection even to those who don't have a weapon.

        ---

        Suicides are something I think we have to think about with guns, though its not about crime. It's just that if you have a gun, you need to be aware if you or someone in your family is at risk for suicide. If they are, you had better think very seriously about whether having that gun is a good idea or not because its far more likely to be used to kill someone in your family than to protect them because suicide is much more common than assault or murder.

        ---

        Gang violence is also well worth discussing on it's own. I feel like it largely argues against the narratives that if you have a gun, you are safer from violence. Gang deaths often involve parties that are both armed, or at least both own guns and often both carry guns. Criminals know that other criminals are armed, but that doesn't stop them from attacking one another. If anything it just makes them more motivated to use deadly force and to attack in an ambush style. It ups the legality of the conflict rather than deters the conflict entirely. But of course, it also doesn't help anti-gun arguments either. Mostly because this is not a population of people that follow laws, and thus laws aren't really going to deter them.

        ---

        And for the record, on the police, I wish they didn't have quite as many guns as they do also. My observation is that some officers simply are not responsible or calm enough to be trusted with deadly force.

        ---

        My personal position is to allow gun ownership, but to discourage it for anyone who is not highly responsible and thoughtful about owning such a weapon. Also, to encourage social practices that lead to less crime, not through fear, but through social pressure to be peaceful and work out conflicts without violence.

        I've been threatened with a gun 3 times so far in my life.
        1. A cop pulled a gun on me during a traffic stop for speeding.
        2. A drunk dude pretended to look for a gun in his car, i'd flipped him the bird for honking at me while I was crossing the street.
        3. A woman threatened to go get her gun because I was asking her (very politely I might add) to please move her car so I could go drive to work. (she felt I'd "stolen" her parking sport and thus refused to move her car.

        What all three have in common is that there was a conflict, something pretty minor, that the other party felt the need to escalate to include the threat of death. They may have all felt threatened themselves due to my stature. In all three, I tried to calmly insist that I posed no danger to anyone, but also not to show any fear from their threats. There was no need for a gun in any of these scenarios.

        I don't mind that they had one (I don't think the drunk guy really had one) but I do think they showed the irresponsible side of owning one and how having a gun often escalates violence and the stakes in a disagreement.

      • 7 months ago

        @sigfried No major disagreements in your post. I believe in the 2nd Amendment ....and suffice it to say that I think 'open-carry' is silly because it helps a bad guy know who to target if there is a a bad guy. With concealed carry....who might be able to respond to a bad guy? The bad guy might not know. I like the idea of states permitting both... I will not comment on my own status.....if you get my drift.

        I have remarked on police - an accidental harming of a citizen should be cause for removal from the force. They get paid 'the big bucks' to be peace officers, and they even get wonderful early pensions. As such - to earn them, they should have a better record of 'accidental shootings' over the average armed citizen who engages bad guys...or be prepared to find a new job. AND - if a cop pulls a gun during a traffic stop - he should be obligated to defend it - or risk being fired. Fortunately - with more and more 'traffic cams in police cars - as well as personal cams on the police - the honest story is more likely.
        [But- here is where I could be like you....if the cop pulled the gun on you, it was probably legitimate, and maybe you deserved it. After all - the justice system doesn't make mistakes and police would never set some up, and the system works JUST FINE!!!.... Hmmm... maybe this doesn't sound good to you when YOU were the one affected.]

        Your comments on suicides...probably full agreement. I don't think it is the government's job to deprive rights of tens of millions of responsible gun owners to reduce 'suicide by gun'...because most of those people committed to suicide will likely still find another way.

        YOUR: "My personal position is to allow gun ownership, but to discourage it for anyone who is not highly responsible and thoughtful about owning such a weapon. Also, to encourage social practices that lead to less crime, not through fear, but through social pressure to be peaceful and work out conflicts without violence."
        ME: Hard to disagree. Who gets to decide? Set criteria that a person is automatically presumed a full citizen capable of having 2nd amendment rights...unless the person is a felon or has certified medical (or psychological) problems - then that right should be preserved and not taken away. If there is some action taken to remove the right - the person should have a right to a fair hearing - and there should be 'consequences' to anyone who attempts to bar 2nd amendment rights illegally (even if under the color of law.)

      • 7 months ago

        @mvineyard Always nice when we can see more eye to eye on something. Though I like disagreeing as well, cant debate if you don't disagree!

        Anyhow.

        "But- here is where I could be like you....if the cop pulled the gun on you, it was probably legitimate, and maybe you deserved it. After all - the justice system doesn't make mistakes and police would never set some up, and the system works JUST FINE!!!.... Hmmm... maybe this doesn't sound good to you when YOU were the one affected"

        Look, just because I disagree about a specific case or two and whether they are handled correctly, please don't take that as a blanket endorsement of everything law enforcement does. I don't do sweeping generalizations if I can help it.

        I don't totally blame the Cop who pulled the gun on me. I know I posed him no danger, he didn't know that. In the specific situation, he had reasons for concern and ultimately, I don't think he did anything terribly wrong. Could have been better? Sure. Outright irresponsible, no.

        The story: I was speeding at night, probably 50 on a 35. A car behind me (I thought) was flashing its brights at me. I ignored them. After a couple more blocks, they turned the sirens on and I realized it was a cop. I pulled over. Since it was my first time ever getting pulled over, I didn't know the routine. I got out of the car to talk to the officers and explain myself. I'm 6'3" and about 320lb. That's when they pulled their guns and told me to get back in the car. And I did, and they put the guns away and came and gave me a ticket. I think they could have done that without the guns, but I didn't (at the time at least) feel like I was likely to get shot. these days, I might be more nervous about it, but probably not, I'm a trusting person for the most part.

      • 7 months ago

        @sigfried Interesting story. Thing is - the justice system - from police - to prosecutors - to judges - ALL have the power of 'the state'. SO - we have policies and procedures for them to follow to provide a 'check' on that power (otherwise - that power is unfettered -and is subject to abuse and can be dangerous to John Q. Citizen if the person wielding the power is unethical.

        Our disagreements have centered around the fact that the DoJ - where I have been extremely critical - have abused their power by failing to follow guidelines, regulations and laws. You choose to give them the 'benefit of the doubt' because you interpret the rules/regulations very loosely. AND - it appears that you ignore the wide variations in how laws are interpreted.

        Recall our discussion on the difference between how Sandy Berger was treated (with kid gloves) - vs. Scooter Libby - clear evidence of abusive misuse of power on someone who was clearly innocent of anything, and not guilty of the alleged (non) crime that was being investigated. Do you comprehend the difference? (BTW - Berger took real actions that showed 'mens rea' - intent to steal top secret documents, while Libby wasn't trying to hide anything related to who leaked Plame's name - and he didn't know that Patrick Fitzgerald KNEW who DID...(Richard Armitage). No mens rea, no intent......yet prosecuted, fined $300K - and sentenced to 30 months in jail. What Hillary did did not require 'intent' - just 'gross negligence' or 'extreme carelessness.' Yet - you keep insisting that INTENT is required in the law - when it doesn't.

        My suspicion is that the average concealed carry person who 'packs' - is EXTREMELY careful when pulling a gun to stop a bad guy - because he knows that the justice system will likely deal with him harshly if he injures an innocent bystander - while a cop knows that the system will treat him with 'kid gloves' and the cop can get away with far more than the citizen. NOW - do I want citizens to be given the same treatment as cops - HELL NO! I want cops to be treated the same as a citizen who pulled a gun and injured an innocent bystander.

      • 7 months ago

        @mvineyard I don't remember that discussion, I've never heard of Sandy Berger before so far as I know. And while I know a little about Scooter Libby I'm also fairly sure I've never researched anything about him for an argument. So I think you have me confused with someone else.

        So, I just went and read a bit on them so I could comment. I'd agree that the sentencing for Libby was far harsher than Berger and that in my view what Berger did was more egregious. As to Mens Rea for Libby, the jury found that he lied intentionally. I did not read enough to form my own opinion on that. But he was convicted as having mens rea by the jury. The bulk of the controversy seems to be tied around his sentence, which I agree was really over the top.

        I showed you the law that Hillary was investigated under. Here it is again.
        https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1924
        "KNOWINGLY removes such documents or materials without authority and with the INTENT to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall"

        So it spells out clearly that you have to be aware that what you are doing is wrong and that you intend to store them in a way that is not authorized.

        "Intent" is spelled out in clear letters in the law itself as a requirement for being found in violation. I don't see how you can deny that. Yet you do, over and over again.

        "My suspicion is that the average concealed carry person who 'packs' - is EXTREMELY careful when pulling a gun to stop a bad guy - because he knows that the justice system will likely deal with him harshly if he injures an innocent bystander - while a cop knows that the system will treat him with 'kid gloves' and the cop can get away with far more than the citizen."

        Yes, that is my take as well. And I agree with your standard. I truly respect police, but yes, they must be held to a high standard. It's not a job for everyone.

        I tend to be fine with folks who concealed carry. And I do see value in armed citizens that know what they are doing with a firearm and take it really seriously. I don't think it is any real solution to crime in general, but I'm sure the right person in the right situation can do some good, we've seen it happen so I don't want to prohibit that.

      • 7 months ago

        @sigfried Let's deal with only one thing...your: "As to Mens Rea for Libby, the jury found that he lied intentionally. I did not read enough to form my own opinion on that. But he was convicted as having mens rea by the jury. The bulk of the controversy seems to be tied around his sentence, which I agree was really over the top. "

        As you will find in reading the book - a hostile judge and a crooked prosecutor can present lots of lies as facts - and they can block the defense from presenting a reasonable defense. Libby had an extremely busy schedule at the time of the 'unknown' leak of Plame as a CIA agent. He was working 12 to 16 hours a day - and was being asked (multiple times, multiple interviews) about various things - and his recollection wasn't 'accurate' per Patrick Fitzgerald. AT THE TIME OF ALL THESE INTERVIEWS - it was impossible to 'mislead' and delay the 'finding of truth' - since Patrick Fitzgerald ALREADY knew that Richard Armitage had made the leak, he knew that the leak was inadvertent and therefore NOT criminal ...and he knew that Plame had not been an undercover CIA agent within 5 years - so she was not covered by the law. THEREFORE - Fitzpatrick spent $50 Million in pursuit of a non-crime where he knew who did it and that there was no crime - but he pursued, like Inspecter Javertt - the chance to find and hang an 'administration scalp'.

        Don't you find that unethical?
        The Defense wanted to present evidence fro a doctor about 'recall', busy schedules, and that any 'mis-statements' were unintentional and not deliberate. (AND - at the time of the trial - the defense did NOT know that the unethical Fitzgerald had known at the time of interviews 'who done it'....and could have closed up shop and gone home. THAT information, plus the defense wanting to put in testimonies to help show his recollections were not criminal.... WELL - the prosecutor objected and the corrupt judge decided to go along with the prosecutor - and the defense was not allowed to put forth a good defense. AND - in Washington DC, which votes 95% for leftists - it is easy to get a jury impaneled that will be unfair and not impartial....and go along with a mock trial and convict.

        BTW - Judith Miller - reporter - her 'statements' were used to 'prove' Libby 'lied'. Well - she has written that she now feels that here statements were mis-used, distorted, ...and she thinks Libby was 'railroaded.' (Miller also refused to reveal sources as a journalist, and spent time in jail for that refusal...)

        My question - why would you presume guilt of an obvious innocent man...just because a 'jury found him guilty'? How often do we find 'miscarriages of justice'? When facts come out - those wrongly charged of being guilty deserve complete exoneration...and those who 'railroaded' them should be disbarred - and subject to civil prosecution by those who were railroaded. Libby should be able to sue Fitzgerald for millions of dollars of lost earnings because he lost his law license. He should be able to sue for all his legal fees, all the 'pain and suffering' of himself and his family. Unfortunately - the law is a stacked deck to protect even crooked prosecutors and bad judges who give all the benefit of doubt to the bad prosecutors.

      • 7 months ago

        @mvineyard Here's the deal Michael. I don't make judgments about things I have not investigated or cannot investigate.

        I live in the US. I have to place some level of trust that the US justice system and the US government are, for the most part, earnest in serving the interests of the public and in following the law. I am not so nieve to think that is all they ever do, but when I am devoid of details, I have a baseline of trust.

        Were I to think the US justice system could offer no justice, and that by and large, judge, jury, and all the lawyers were bound to convict the innocent and free the guilty, I would flee the country at the earliest opportunity.

        So when I read that a jury finds someone guilty, I don't know for a fact they are, but I suspect there were good reasons they were found guilty until I hear otherwise.

        When politic or social cause start to get involved, I take an especially critical eye to the pundits who call out "INJUSTICE" until I can take a close look at the details and try to see what I think, based on legal standards, what is going on. Though always, unless I sat in that courtroom and heard exactly what the jury heard, I don't know how I personally would have decided the case.

        Fair enough?

        As I told you before, I don't know this story/case much at all.

        So, if I go only by what you just told me...

        1. The interviewee Libby was tired and may have made mistakes by accident.
        2. The leak he spoke about turned out not to be a criminal act when all was said and done.

        "Don't you find that unethical?"
        1. I don't know. People do make mistakes, yes. Do I know his mistakes were because he was tired or because he was lying? Nope. So I can't tell you what ethics are at play here. What was the evidence presented that showed he was lying?

        2. I think the law about false statements is perhaps too broad. So I guess I'd say the law itself is somewhat unethical. But in terms of whether its ethical to prosecute someone for lying in court even when the case did not end in conviction.. I'd say it is. Just because the "crime" was not proven in the end, if you lied in court, then you are still guilty of lying in court.

        It wasn't totally clear what you are saying but here is my paraphrase of that second content paragraph.

        1. The judge would not let the defense call a witness to testify that peoples memories can suck sometimes.
        2. The defense did not know that the interviewer already knew who the leaker was when they interviewed Libby, but the prosecution did.
        3. DC juries are a bunch of pinko liberals and they don't think straight.

        PS: A prosecutor witness feels her words were misused in court.

        "Don't you find that unethical?"
        1. No, though I don't know all the legal rules. I mean, if we just say no one can be convicted of lying because we can make mistakes sometimes... that's a no-brainer and a waste of time in trial. Clearly, to show someone is lying, you have to prove they knew the truth before they testified and then testified falsely. I don't know what evidence was presented here. But "people forget sometimes" is not really something you need a scientist to come testify about.

        2. Maybe. I thought he was charged with lying to a grand jury, not in an interview. But at any rate, ya, if his testimony was not needed, and then required, well I suppose that makes it really wasteful to go charging the person afterward for lying about what you already knew. So going by what you say, yes. I suspect there is more to the story though.

        3. Totally a bullshit argument on your part, unethical for you to proffer it, but not unethical for DC juries to work in DC courts.

        "My question - why would you presume guilt of an obviously innocent man"
        LOL - I don't. Why should I think he is obviously innocent? And I'm not making presumptions, I'm considering the fact he was found guilty in a US court of law.

        "just because a 'jury found him guilty'?
        Ya, mostly. Why, is there another system we use to determine who is innocent or guilty of crimes I'm not aware of?

        "How often do we find 'miscarriages of justice'?"
        I tried to look that up, a hard number to pin down. Some data says perhaps about .1% to 3%.

      • 7 months ago

        @sigfried One person said that "Lady Justice is blindfolded so that she will weigh justice impartially - not favoring one person over another, not favoring one gender or race over another, not favoring either rich or poor." (WHICH - is the way it is supposed to be.) OTOH - some wag said that Lady Justice is blindfolded so that she doesn't see all the corruption around her.

        The 'scales of justice' are to be a balance -things are to be fair to both sides. You want justice - to punish the wicked and to protect the innocent. A lax system can fail both aspects - as wicked get released, and innocent are not protected. When you consider a law - you have to examine all aspects of the law - is it fair, is it reasonable, are there protections to not 'sweep up' the innocent and make them guilty, and is the law sufficient to catch the bad guys? You examine what happens in the justice system to say - what if YOU were treated the way Scooter Libby was treated? What if a family member or a child was treated that way? If you would not want that to happen - then the system needs evaluation.

        Every time I present you with information - your attitude is essentially - well, he deserved it. Your trust in the system is great...but maybe some day - you or someone important to you will be mugged by the 'system'...and maybe karma will catch up with you - you get the system you deserve - and if you are not bothered by this system - well...you will deserve it.

    • 7 months ago

      PLEASE change the thumbnail