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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:24 am 
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wor ... n-murders/


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:54 am 
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Andy, that article is heavily flawed. The conclusions that he (author) reaches are not grounded in fact. He even sort of admits this in the paragraph quoted below:

"Of course, these comparisons assume that national video game markets are largely uniform, with Dutch, Korean and American consumers playing the same spectrum of games. With the possible exception of Japan, video game markets are quite global, so this is an imperfect but generally safe assumption."

He can't just paper it over by stating that his assumption is "imperfect but generally safe." The relative sales of different types of video games in different countries is crucial to proving the point that he wants to prove or disprove. All he has shown is that the per capita spending on ALL video games (violent and otherwise) does not influence the number of gun-related murders in a country.

We would need the data on the number of gun-related and violent video games that are sold in each country to see if there was a significant correlation between those types of games and gun-related murder. And, I'd bet that there is a positive correlation between higher sales of the violent and gun-related video games and gun-related murder. On the other hand I doubt that playing a lot of Fat Princess is going to make anyone go violent. Hungry and overweight maybe, but not violent.

The kind of sloppy reasoning that the author of that blog engages in is the result of schools and universities failing to teach critical thinking skills, logic, and analytic principles. Or, as Carl Sagan called it, giving us "a baloney detection toolkit."

What is worse than the author writing like that, is that there will be lots and lots of people who believe his conclusions, and those who support the violent games will cite that particular article to their politicians in opposition to enacting any ban or control of such games. Most will cite that article because they don't understand the flaws in the author's reasoning. A few will spot the problems, but will still, cynically, use it as rhetoric. And virtually no politician to whom it is cited will have any clue, nor will their aides, staff, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:27 pm 
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I also knows its flawed on a number of levels and the superimposed red lines are a joke, but there is still one very important point there. There is no correlation at all between computer games sales and gun murder rate, but there is a much better correlation between gun availability and gun murder rate.

I just thought that I should get that point out there on the basis that some people will have watched some ridiculous news article claiming that violent computer games cause people to go on murdering sprees.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:57 pm 
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andyb wrote:
I just thought that I should get that point out there on the basis that some people will have watched some ridiculous news article claiming that violent computer games cause people to go on murdering sprees.

Andy

Agreed, on the point that all of these type studies that I have seen are correlational studies and NOT studies of causality. I wonder why the guy that wrote that blog excluded Japan though.

Violent video games could be a cause of the gun violence, or another symptom of the underlying problem that causes the gun violence too. Or a combination of the two. Maybe it is just a trigger for pre-existing problems. Similar to the theory that some external event in late adolescence or early adulthood can trigger schizophrenia. That age is certainly difficult to get through, and there are many things that happen that would result in a person with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia losing what little emotional stability they have.

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:49 pm 
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"Where there are more guns there is more homicide...":

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hi ... index.html

Still, over the years the barrage of over-the-top cruel and violent video games, films, and other media has been incessant. And all that against the backdrop in our lives of war, torture, genocide, terrorist attacks, armed ethnic and religious conflicts and other such manifestations of the dark side of human nature in the real world. That's got to have an effect, especially on adolescent minds.


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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:14 pm 
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I heard the NRA will hold its annual meeting in Newtown this year, and push for a mandate that every fetus must have at least one assault rifle with a large capacity magazine and armor piercing rounds at all times.

-Problem solved. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:37 am 
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The NRA has finally spoken out about the Sandy Hook shootings. This link is from The Daily Mail, and yes I know it is a scandal sheet/tabloid, but of the stories that I have seen about the NRA press conference, it sums it all up the best.

Story about today's NRA press conference

I don't know how someone can have the lack of human feelings, empathy, common sense, brains, etc. to make a statement like that. It should pretty much prove to everyone just how inhumane, blind to reality, and stupid the NRA is, and with luck it might be the beginning of the end of the NRA's fearsome lobbying power.

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:54 am 
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And the cost of putting police in every school would be...

A Google search brings up ~100000 schools. Add in not just the wages for this person but also all of the other costs associated and you're looking at a number that's big, really big. You can't be specific but it's in the order of 10^9 big per annum.

How is one person sat behind a desk supposed to keep away crazy people? They're not going to be doing body searches at gun point on all visitors so how do they intend for this to work? It won't work. If a crazy person is not afraid of dying all they'll do is come up to the desk, pull a gun when the guy is busy and take them out, then go on to their massacre as planned. Unless you're going to have a team of 10 with military checkpoints at each entrance you're not possibly going to have a high porbability of stopping one determined person.

And what kind of message will it send to kids? The only countries where such things are actually used are far far less developed than the US.

It's a stupid idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:13 am 
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Quote:
A Google search brings up ~100000 schools. Add in not just the wages for this person but also all of the other costs associated and you're looking at a number that's big, really big. You can't be specific but it's in the order of 10^9 big per annum.


It would not surprise me if it was actually much cheaper to buy back each and every assault rifle at the original cost in America (after of course banning the sale or passing on of these military weapons first), that alone would cost a small fortune, but at least it would appease many people who currently own these weapons. NOTE: This is not an actual suggestion, but is a counter-suggestion/argument against the sheer cost of having 100,000 + full time "guards" protecting schools.

Quote:
It's a stupid idea.


The NRA's whole argument is retarded, what the NRA are actually asking for is commonly referred to as "an arms race", which already exists in America between the police and criminals, you only have to look across the Atlantic to the UK to see how few criminals (even violent ones) use guns because the majority of the Police do not carry guns, so there is need for a perpetual no arms-race.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:06 am 
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Here we are

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/us/po ... .html?_r=0
Obama Calls for Broad Action on Guns
WASHINGTON — President Obama called upon Congress on Wednesday to toughen America’s gun laws to confront mass shootings and everyday gun violence, betting that public opinion has shifted enough to support the broadest push for gun control in a generation.

At a White House event at noon, Mr. Obama announced plans to introduce legislation by next week that includes a ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks for gun purchases and new gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country.

He also promised to act without Congressional approval to increase the enforcement of existing gun laws and improve the flow of information among federal agencies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn’t have them.

The announcement was the culmination of a monthlong process that began after the massacre of 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. In the wake of the shootings, Mr. Obama pledged action, but it was not immediately clear how far he was willing to go in the face of intense political opposition.

Wednesday’s announcement reflected a decision by the White House to seize on public outrage to challenge the political power of the National Rifle Association and other forces that have successfully fought new gun laws for decades.

The president vowed to fight hard for the new gun laws, saying that the country’s leaders are compelled to act by the tragedies of gun deaths across the country.

“In the days ahead, I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality,” he said. “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”

Mr. Obama opened his call for new gun laws by quoting from some of the letters he received from children — several of whom were sitting in the audience at the White House — urging him to take action on gun violence.

“This is our first task as a society,” Mr. Obama said. “Keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”

The effort will be difficult and risky, as administration officials have acknowledged. Bruce Reed, the chief of staff for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., told a group of liberal activists on Tuesday night that passing the president’s proposals in Congress will be even tougher than it was to pass an assault-weapons ban in 1994, according to participants at the briefing.

But the White House believes that the dynamic around guns may be shifting, and that the president has a window of opportunity that he cannot pass up.

In the meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Reed said the administration will focus on a single top priority: that guns be kept out of the wrong hands. Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden will take that message across the country, Mr. Reed said, even as the White House and its allies begin an online effort to put pressure on lawmakers.

The N.R.A. appears ready for the fight. On Tuesday, it posted a video mocking Mr. Obama for having Secret Service protection for his children while opposing armed guards at the nation’s schools. The video calls the president an “elitist hypocrite.”

The White House issued an angry response to the ad. “Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary. “But to go so far as to make the safety of the president’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly.”

White House officials described the plan unveiled by Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden on Wednesday as a comprehensive effort that includes four major legislative proposals and 23 separate executive actions aimed at protecting “our children and our communities” by reducing the amount of gun violence in the country.

The officials said the president will call for a new and tougher ban on military style assault weapons and to limit the number of rounds that can be in a magazine to 10. That would eliminate the 30-round magazines that were used in Newtown as well as other mass shootings at Virginia Tech, a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and a congresswoman’s public event in Tucson, Ariz.

The proposals also would require criminal background checks for all gun sales, closing the longstanding loophole that allows gun buyers to avoid such checks by purchasing their weapons at gun shows or from a private seller. The background database, in place since 1996, has stopped 1.5 million sales to felons, fugitives, convicted domestic abusers and others, but today nearly 40 percent of all gun sales are exempt from the system.

In a document and in a conference call with reporters, administration officials called the enhanced background check requirements the single most important thing that could be done to prevent gun violence and mass shootings. The only exceptions would be transfers between family members and certain “temporary transfers” for hunting and sporting purposes.

The administration also said it will strengthen the background check system by addressing legal barriers that keep some mental health records out of the database, improve incentives for states to share records and direct law enforcement agencies to crack down on those who evade the background check system.

Mr. Obama called on Congress to ban the possession or transfer of armor-piercing bullets. He urged lawmakers to crack down on “straw purchasers” who can pass background checks and then pass along guns to criminals or others forbidden from purchasing them.

The legislative effort will start in the Senate, which remains under Democratic control, unlike the House, which is led by Republicans. Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he would hold the first hearings into the proposals on Jan. 30.

The president will also nominate a new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the agency that regulates guns but has gone six years without a permanent leader confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Obama settled on Todd Jones, who has been acting director since September 2011.

In addition to the legislative efforts, White House officials stressed the actions that Mr. Obama is prepared to take on his own. In recent days, gun rights advocates have accused the president of a power grab, saying they feared he would exceed his executive authority in an attempt to take their guns away.

In fact, the list of executive actions is relatively modest, with most of the steps involving the president directing agencies to do a better job of sharing information.

Among the executive actions: to “launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign”; to “review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes”; and to “direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies.”

The president also promises to “launch a national dialogue” on mental health led by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, and Arne Duncan, the education secretary.

Mr. Obama also was overturning a 15-year-old ban on the Centers for Disease Control conducting research on gun violence. Officials said they reviewed the law and determined it only banned research intended to promote gun control, so they argued renewing fact-based research would not qualify.

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 Post subject: Re: Your opinion on US gun laws under Obama.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:56 pm 
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some small steps in the right direction for sure, but VERY disappointed to not see a mandate for ID checks for ammunition purchases and no mention of psychiatric help for all the loonies that reagan/bush let go free.

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