"Assault weapon" legalization

Author: Alec ,

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  • Alec
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    Hello.  I am doing a presentation on gun control for school.  My current position is that all guns should be legal, from muskets to AR 15s and AK 47s.  So called, "assault weapons" barely kill anyone.  Your more likely to die from a lightning strike than you are to die from an "assault weapon" statistically.  Yet no one advocates for more research done to prevent humans from dying from lightning.  Yet plenty of people talk about banning "dangerous" weapons they think are dangerous, even though dying from them is more rare than dying from lightning.  Yet, people are more scared of dying from an AR 15 because of the corrupt liberal establishment news.

    I also don't believe in mandatory background checks.  This is actually because of a left wing talking point that criminals can get a 2nd chance.  If you don't think they are fixed up from the criminal justice system, they should get jailed even more until they are fixed.  If they have a history of mental illness that makes them want to shoot someone, they should get put into a mental institution, banning guns for them would make them get guns illegally or another weapon legally.  Prisoners in jail shouldn't have guns, but once they are out of jail, their punishment should cease, from getting jobs to getting AR 15s.

    I also don't believe that all guns should be locked up so a kid can't get them, largely because they don't use the gun to shoot someone.  In my house, there are knives and they are out in the open.  Any kid at any time has the ability to get a knife and use it to kill someone.  Many other households are like this.  Do we have mass stabbings in houses on the scale of millions of stabbings?  No.  Just as most people don't stab each other, most don't shoot each other when things are out in the open.

    Freedom is dangerous as hell but I love it.

    # 'Murica.
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @Alec
    My current position is that all guns should be legal, from muskets to AR 15s and AK 47s. 
    why stop there. If you think there should be no restrictions, why not grenades, and rocket launcers and nuclear weapons for every household. I mean who is going to try to rob a house armed with thermo-nuclear weapons?

    Your more likely to die from a lightning strike than you are to die from an "assault weapon" statistically.  Yet no one advocates for more research done to prevent humans from dying from lightning.
    i'm pretty sure research is done to protect people and property from lightning. 

    Yet plenty of people talk about banning "dangerous" weapons they think are dangerous, even though dying from them is more rare than dying from lightning.
    does anyone think an assault weapon isn't dangerous? If they do, they obviously don't know what it is.

    If they have a history of mental illness that makes them want to shoot someone, they should get put into a mental institution, banning guns for them would make them get guns illegally or another weapon legally. 
    This is just kind of nuts. America already has huge problems with imprisoning too many people. If you want to lock people up just because they might be someday commit a crime, the cost would be staggering. There are alot of people who can function in society but should not be allowed to possess a gun because they have proven they cannot be trusted to use it responsibly.

    I also don't believe that all guns should be locked up so a kid can't get them, largely because they don't use the gun to shoot someone.
    children kill people accidentally with guns all the time. Here is an article about how 73 children died from gun accidents in 1 year. Children are, by nature of being children, not old enough or responsible enough to be able to be around guns safely. You shouldn't keep knives where children can get them either. 
  • Dr.Franklin
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    dont do a school presentation on something political, you never know someones views
  • ILikePie5
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    why stop there. If you think there should be no restrictions, why not grenades, and rocket launcers and nuclear weapons for every household. I mean who is going to try to rob a house armed with thermo-nuclear weapons?


    Those aren’t guns...
  • oromagi
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    So called, "assault weapons" barely kill anyone. 

    A highly flexible claim depending on how you define terms.  Let's use Wikipedia:

    "The definition varies among regulating jurisdictions but usually includes semi-automatic firearms with a detachable magazine, a pistol grip and sometimes other features such as a vertical forward grip, flash suppressor or barrel shroud.   Some firearms are specified by name.  At the time that the now-defunct Federal Assault Weapons Ban passed in 1994, the U.S. Department of Justice said, "In general, assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use."
    (1) guns recovered by police in ten large cities,
    (2) guns reported by police to federal authorities for investigative tracing,
    (3) guns used in murders of police, and
    (4) guns used in mass murders.

    "Results suggest assault weapons (primarily assault-type rifles) account for 2-12% of guns used in crime in general (most estimates suggest less than 7%) and 13-16% of guns used in murders of police. Assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics together generally account for 22 to 36% of crime guns, with some estimates upwards of 40% for cases involving serious violence including murders of police."
    So, let's use 6% conservatively applied to the 10,265 gun homicides documented by the FBI UCR to estimate 616 assault weapons homicides in the US in 2018.  We can let readers decide whether 616 dead Americans in 2018 should be fairly characterized as "barely anyone."

    Your [sic] more likely to die from a lightning strike than you are to die from an "assault weapon" statistically. 

    This is a popular NRA talking point, repeated on every website and at every rally and it is a pretty egregious lie.  The National Weather Service documented 21 US deaths by lightning strike in 2018.  Statistically, America saw 29.3 assault weapons homicides for every death by lightning in 2018.  Let's round that up and say that

    Assault weapons are 30 times more deadly to Americans than lightning strikes.

    Yet no one advocates for more research done to prevent humans from dying from lightning. 

    Completely false.  5 minutes of googling turned up hundreds of research projects improving lightning protection.  Here is a survey of recent lightning protection projects that documents 130 recent papers.  Everybody advocates for more lightning research thousands of scientists are working to do just that.  What are you talking about?

    Yet plenty of people talk about banning "dangerous" weapons they think are dangerous, even though dying from them is more rare than dying from lightning. 

    Your premise has been shown to be false.

    Yet, people are more scared of dying from an AR 15 because of the corrupt liberal establishment news.

    Alec should offer evidence here that the mainstream media is more corrupt than his source, the NRA.  Wikipedia:

    Investigations by the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller resulted in indictments of Russian agents on charges of developing and exploiting ties with the NRA to influence US politics. The deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia, Aleksandr Torshin, is suspected of illegally funneling money through the NRA to benefit Trump's 2016 campaign. In May 2018, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a report stating it had obtained "a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the National Rifle Association as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign" through Torshin and his assistant Maria Butina, and that "The Kremlin may also have used the NRA to secretly fund Mr. Trump's campaign." Torshin, a lifetime NRA member who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been implicated in money laundering by Spanish authorities who have characterized him as a "godfather" in Taganskaya, a major Russian criminal organization

    If Americans had the capacity to ban lightning strikes, particularly around say schools and festivals and sporting events, etc do readers suppose that would be popular legislation?  Well, we can't control lightning strikes but we can control gun manufacture, licensing, sales.  We'd regulate lightning if we could- that would just be common sense.  Why should it not be common sense to regulate a phenomenon 30 times as dangerous?


  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @oromagi
    What utility do lightning strikes have?
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @oromagi
    Also, while 616 is certainly more than anyone would like, I think we can safely say that .000187% of our population could be described as “barely anyone”.
  • oromagi
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    --> @oromagi
    What utility do lightning strikes have?

    Lightning oxidizes diatomic nitrogen into the nitrates which fertilize the growth of plants as well reacting with sunlight to produce ozone which in turn protects the planet from deadly ultraviolet radiation.
  • oromagi
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    Also, while 616 is certainly more than anyone would like, I think we can safely say that .000187% of our population could be described as “barely anyone”.
    I left that to READERS to decide for themselves. 
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @Alec
    there's really not much to say, it surprises me why this issue still comes up.

    definitions that are mandatory, use them as they were during the drafting of the constitution

    "militia"
    "arms"

  • Alec
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    Nukes do more damage than AK 47s.  One bad guy with a gun kills maybe 10 people.  A nuke destroys a city.  Freedom is valuable, but that valuable.

    i'm pretty sure research is done to protect people and property from lightning. 
    If there is, despite the research, your more likely to die from lightning that you are from an assault weapon.  I don't see liberals advocating for more lightning research to save people, because so few people die from lightning strikes, that it's nominal.

    There are alot of people who can function in society but should not be allowed to possess a gun because they have proven they cannot be trusted to use it responsibly.
    True

    . Here is an article about how 73 children died from gun accidents in 1 year. Children are, by nature of being children, not old enough or responsible enough to be able to be around guns safely. You shouldn't keep knives where children can get them either. 
    3000 people a year die from lightning.  73 sounds big, but if the odds of a toddler dying is about 2% that of something already rare (death from lightning), then it's not something to worry about.
  • Alec
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    --> @oromagi
    I'll respond to you when I have the time and recources I think.

  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @oromagi
    Lightning oxidizes diatomic nitrogen into the nitrates which fertilize the growth of plants as well reacting with sunlight to produce ozone which in turn protects the planet from deadly ultraviolet radiation.
    so if that is the case, and they are so helpful, why would you support hypothetical legislation banning it? Guns have utility as well, self defense, helping us hunt, shooting is a sport, and they help ensure the government doesn’t rob us of our rights. Now you said to just ban them around schools, festivals, etc, but I’d argue that is where they are currently needed. The vast majority of mass shootings happen in gun free zones. Lots of people die when gun aren’t present. However, a recent church shooting was cut very short by parishioners with guns, saving many lives.

    I left that to READERS to decide for themselves.  
    Fair enough. I just was showing how framing completely changes perception. People think 1/200 sounds bad, but that .5% doesn’t, for instance.
  • oromagi
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    --> @oromagi
    I'll respond to you when I have the time and recources I think.


    Thanks, Alec.  If we agree that 616 is a reasonable estimate for 2018 assault weapons fatalities and 21 is a reasonable estimate for 2018 lightning fatalities than I think my point is made.
  • Zaradi
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    --> @Alec
    dont do a school presentation on something political, you never know someones views

    +1. As someone who has taken three years of communications courses in college, it's really not a good idea to do persuasive presentations on political issues.

  • oromagi
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    so if that is the case, and they are so helpful, why would you support hypothetical legislation banning it?
    We ought to be able to agree that not every useful thing is useful in every context.  A uranium solid fuel rod is great in the context of a nuclear reactor but unwelcome at an orgy.  Tigers are important apex predators but should be kept out of nurseries.

    Guns have utility as well, self defense, helping us hunt, shooting is a sport, and they help ensure the government doesn’t rob us of our rights. Now you said to just ban them around schools, festivals, etc, but I’d argue that is where they are currently needed.
    Let's agree that guns have some utility.  I assume that I am rather more skeptical of a gun's absolute value in the purposes of self-defense and rebellion than the average gun lover.  I don't think I mind guns at schools so long as underage children don't have access and the armed personnel are vetted, trained, and licensed to  a rational degree.  Likewise, I'm OK with armed police and security at a festival but I think the public at that festival deserves some assurance that no armed people will be drinking or dancing or getting into fist fights so let's ask the festival-goers to leave their guns at home.

    The vast majority of mass shootings happen in gun free zones. Lots of people die when gun aren’t present.
    You are citing JR Lott's research which does not claim that the majority of mass shootings happen in gun free zones but rather the majority of mass public shootings happen in gun free zones.  Lott defines mass public shootings as four or more deaths in malls, schools, churches, health care facilities, government buildings, and military sites.  In other words, Lott's report ONLY amounts to the unsurprising finding that the majority of shootings in gun free zones happen in gun free zones.  We should note that Lott excludes drug shootings, gang shootings, domestic and residential violence to conclude that there were only 28 mass public shootings between  2009 and 2016 or an average of 3 per year which seems like a pretty obvious low ball.  We should also note that Lott's list of gun-free zones included many sites where armed defenders were present and actively engaged- Ft. Hood, Washington Navy Yard, Pulse Night Club.

    Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz dismisses Lott's research: "This is junk science at its worst. Paid for and financed by the National Rifle Association."  Given Lott's controversial history and the fact that he has left behind any study of Economics in favor of blogging and Fox News appearances, I tend to dismiss Lott's research as well.

    However, a recent church shooting was cut very short by parishioners with guns, saving many lives.
    Anecdotal, although I do not dismiss the example as irrelevant. Should we not also consider the considerable anecdotal evidence that the presence of guns does not always save lives?  Four Broward County deputies were fired for failing to advance while students died at Parkland.  Armed Mandalay security guards engaged Stephen Paddock in the first minutes but failed to prevent the worst mass shooting event in US history.  An armed Las Vegas police officer was later fired for cowering in the stairwell while Paddock continued to kill and injure.

    I don't deny the utility of guns although I suspect the utility of guns as tools for self-defense is both overrated and less effective than common sense measures excluding the violent, the addicted, and/or mentally ill from gun ownership.  I don't generally mind the notion of an experienced gun instructor sitting in back of the church for protection although I may regret any sense of necessity.  I do mind the notion of a church filled with armed parishioners who each feel empowered to assess and execute a defense of the congregation- mostly because in my experience, individuals attracted to such authority exhibit a poorer capacity for a correct assessment and righteous defense than individuals who decline that authority.  That is again anecdotal but important to informing my opinion regarding practical gun usage and control in my country.
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @oromagi
    Let's agree that guns have some utility.  I assume that I am rather more skeptical of a gun's absolute value in the purposes of self-defense and rebellion than the average gun lover.  I don't think I mind guns at schools so long as underage children don't have access and the armed personnel are vetted, trained, and licensed to  a rational degree.  Likewise, I'm OK with armed police and security at a festival but I think the public at that festival deserves some assurance that no armed people will be drinking or dancing or getting into fist fights so let's ask the festival-goers to leave their guns at home.


    Agree with most things mentioned here. It would depend on how much security is available. But that is an unnecessary cost when civilians can be their own security force.

    We ought to be able to agree that not every useful thing is useful in every context.  A uranium solid fuel rod is great in the context of a nuclear reactor but unwelcome at an orgy.  Tigers are important apex predators but should be kept out of nurseries.

    My point was more along the lines of, either you have guns or you don't(you can't pick or choose when to have lightning). You can't have gun-free zones in a country with more guns than people unless you undergo highly expensive security technology and hire multiple personnel. People target those undefended areas to cause more damage and the people who follow the rules cannot defend themselves. And even if we ban guns, we currently cannot even stop the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico, so we won't be able to stop gun-running either. Then only criminals will have weapons and civilians will be defenseless.

    You are citing JR Lott's research which does not claim that the majority of mass shootings happen in gun free zones but rather the majority of mass public shootings happen in gun free zones.  Lott defines mass public shootings as four or more deaths in malls, schools, churches, health care facilities, government buildings, and military sites.  In other words, Lott's report ONLY amounts to the unsurprising finding that the majority of shootings in gun free zones happen in gun free zones.  We should note that Lott excludes drug shootings, gang shootings, domestic and residential violence to conclude that there were only 28 mass public shootings between  2009 and 2016 or an average of 3 per year which seems like a pretty obvious low ball.  We should also note that Lott's list of gun-free zones included many sites where armed defenders were present and actively engaged- Ft. Hood, Washington Navy Yard, Pulse Night Club.

    After looking into this, I have found that "public mass shooting" is quite a deceptive way to look at it, because, as you say, gangs are responsible for a lot of mass shootings. They just don't get the type of attention for some reason or another. The public shootings also generally seem to have higher casualty counts per shooting, which is likely due to them being perpetrated by insane people trying to kill as many people as possible, and thus targeting areas where people are unarmed. So, I don't see how restricting law-abiding citizens' rights to carry in public locations really solves any issue.

    But regardless, thanks for enlightening me on that discrepancy on "public" mass shootings. I wouldn't want to sound like an idiot parroting very skewed data.

    Anecdotal, although I do not dismiss the example as irrelevant. Should we not also consider the considerable anecdotal evidence that the presence of guns does not always save lives?  Four Broward County deputies were fired for failing to advance while students died at Parkland.  Armed Mandalay security guards engaged Stephen Paddock in the first minutes but failed to prevent the worst mass shooting event in US history.  An armed Las Vegas police officer was later fired for cowering in the stairwell while Paddock continued to kill and injure.
    This is exactly why I want to have as many "good guys with guns" as possible. While it may seem perfectly good to have guards protecting people, they are human, and they sometimes fail. Now, I find that the likelihood of failure to be lower when more people have the ability to respond to the situation, which is what sometimes occurs, as seen in the anecdotal claim. In the case of the four deputies that failed, what if some teachers in the school had firearms? The police failed, but at least there would have been a chance that a teacher could have taken action and killed that murderer.

    I don't deny the utility of guns although I suspect the utility of guns as tools for self-defense is both overrated and less effective than common sense measures excluding the violent, the addicted, and/or mentally ill from gun ownership.  I don't generally mind the notion of an experienced gun instructor sitting in back of the church for protection although I may regret any sense of necessity.  I do mind the notion of a church filled with armed parishioners who each feel empowered to assess and execute a defense of the congregation- mostly because in my experience, individuals attracted to such authority exhibit a poorer capacity for a correct assessment and righteous defense than individuals who decline that authority.  That is again anecdotal but important to informing my opinion regarding practical gun usage and control in my country.
    Guns appear to be a very reliable form of self-defense. Pepper spray can blow back, you get one shot with a tazer, stun gun/knives/fists require very close quarters with a dangerous person. Guns are very frightening and likely won't even have to be fired to scare off a criminal, they have multiple shots/good range, and they have strong stopping power.

    I find that the only alternative to having a church full of parishioners with guns would be to call the police, who may take 5-10 minutes to get there, by which time it is too late. Police usually arrive after the crime has taken place, so the solution is to provide potential victims with the means to take care of it. I am not sure how to properly gauge the mental capacities of people who like authority, but I find that preferable to nothing.
  • oromagi
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    Well said & thanks for your insights