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comment by ghostoffuffle
ghostoffuffle  ·  116 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A conservative argument for gun violence restraining orders

I'm for this. I'm also for raising taxes on ammunition. I'm also for limiting clip capacities. I'm also for an assault weapons ban.

I've heard all the arguments about how it would be ineffective, and how assault-style weapons only make up X amount of yearly gun deaths, and what is an assault-style weapon anyway, and slippery slope yadda yadda. But those arguments miss the point. It's not about an immediate decrease in numbers, it's about a slow cultural shift away from the glorification of guns. Up to now, assault-style weapons have been effectively marketed as, like, totally cool, and effective, and what, some sort of time-honored tradition? In turn, they contribute to this very American notion that guns in general aren't something to be feared, or even a necessary evil, but a tool worth celebrating.

Banning such weapons won't immediately turn back the tide of gun violence. But it would be a step toward re-framing the way we talk about guns. Policy shapes culture shapes policy shapes culture. Right now, our society still has what I and many outsiders would consider a sick obsession with weapons of war. We need to attack it from all avenues, not just the statistically significant or politically expedient ones.

One more note on assault-style weapons in particular. I believe it's not even a second amendment matter, it's a matter of the first amendment. Down to the broad taxonomy- "assault-style"- these guns have been advertised as A-1 killing machines. The marketing is inbuilt into their design- grip type, ergonomics, modifiables, color, shape- everything to remind us that they look and for the most part are built to act like the most efficient military models. And whether the pro-gun crowd likes it or not, they've become the de facto weapon of choice for mass shooters. They've taken on their own dark kind of brand recognition.

Speech is free until it's not. You can't yell "fire" inside a crowded theater. You can't direct marketing of cigarettes to minors, or even put an ad for such on TV. At what point does Bushmaster's effective marketing of their product become a public health hazard? At what point should manufacturers be regulated in how they build their product in order to sell it as a certain function to a certain crowd? I'd say we've long since passed that point.




johnnyFive  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I think none of this is accurate. And this is the frustrating thing as a gun owner; you're talking about marketing that I've never seen, and a viewpoint among gun owners that I've never seen.

It's also beyond naive to think that it would change the culture. Did it last time?

    And whether the pro-gun crowd likes it or not, they've become the de facto weapon of choice for mass shooters.

[citation needed]

ghostoffuffle  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Citation provided

Newtown: Bushmaster

Aurora: M&P15

Las Vegas: FOURTEEN .223 AR15 rifles; EIGHT .308 AR10 rifles

Pulse: SIG MCX

San Bernardino: DPMS Panther; M&P15

Those are the shootings I remember off the top of my head. In the last couple years.

I'm talking about marketing you've never seen? Go to Bushmaster's website and peruse their tac rifles- say, their Patrolman's Carbine. All components mil spec! How very tactical. Or maybe you're in the mood for something more high end? How about the ACR enhanced (ACR, of course, stands for Adaptive Combat Rifle... perfect for hunting, right?) whose blackout flash hider provides exceptional signature reduction. You know, so you don't give your position away to the deer.

Not in the mood for Bushmaster? Yeah, maybe you have an icky taste in your mouth popping off rounds at the range ever since a guy murdered a bunch of six year olds with one of those. Bad for branding. Let's go over to Colt and check out their classic AR (again... Assault Rifle) series, which are "based on the same military standards and specifications as the United States issue Colt M16 and M4 carbine." You know, for sportsmen and hunters alike! Their Combat Unit carbine would be perfect for an idyllic day out duckhunting with your kid. Too flashy? The AR15A4 is no-frills and mimics the line that provides "our armed forces the confidence required to accomplish any mission." All models function with 30 round clips; the pricier models can adapt to all of your ammunition needs.

I'd call it dog-whistling, but the frequencies are low enough to pick up even from my inferior station as a non-gun owner. This is marketing. It speaks to the most militaristic aspects of gun ownership, with an obligatory nod and wink towards "hunters and sportsmen." You're smart- do you really not see a particular flavor to these descriptions?

What I liked about your posted article is that it fairly illustrated the anti-gun crowd's general stance without ever denigrating or belittling it, and offered an option presumably acceptable to both sides. There's something for everybody to learn there. I'm happy to talk out viewpoints with you, but I have little patience for condescension. My POV isn't "naive" just because you don't like it.

johnnyFive  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Your position is naive because you don't understand the people you're criticizing, or the things.

AR does not stand for "assault rifle." That style of rifle also doesn't use clips. The SIG MCX does not operate in the same way as an AR-15.

I've never met a gun person who takes that marketing remotely seriously, any more than gamers are taken in by Razer.

You've also failed to address the fact that the last such ban didn't magically change culture.

ghostoffuffle  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're right- my misrepresentation of what "AR" stands for, plus my substituting "clips" for "mags" totally negates my larger point. I can't possibly understand the finer details of gun culture, and thus can't possibly contribute to the debate on how we ought to approach guns.

At no point did I suggest that an MCX functions the same way as an AR-15. My argument addressed the way assault-style rifles are marketed to the public at large, and seem to call out particularly to would-be mass shooters. At this point, I've provided plenty of "citation". You've ignored the provided evidence, and responded with snark and little else; "I don't take that marketing that I asked you to provide proof of seriously" does not count as a salient point. Neither does "you don't understand the people you're criticizing, or the things," which always comes off as the last thin attempt that pro-gun folks make to diffuse a discussion they can't stay on top of.

Again, if you want to come off as the enlightened, moderate gun-owner, meet disagreement with respect and constructive counterarguments. If you just want to kick more dirt, don't bother replying further- you just look dirty. At this point, though, the onus isn't really on me to provide more evidence to be dismissed out of hand.

johnnyFive  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

To recap: me saying that you're mistaken about the impact of marketing is not a meaningful argument, but you saying that I'm mistaken about the impact of marketing is.

    At no point did I suggest that an MCX functions the same way as an AR-15.

You said that the AR-15 was the "weapon of choice" for mass shooters (which you "supported" by citing 5 out of 150 in the United States), and then justified this by mentioning a rifle that doesn't use the same operating mechanism as an AR-15.

Meanwhile, it's strange to me that somehow firearms are the one area where it's okay for people who are almost completely uninformed about how they work to nonetheless make policy suggestions and be taken seriously.

    Neither does "you don't understand the people you're criticizing, or the things," which always comes off as the last thin attempt that pro-gun folks make to diffuse a discussion they can't stay on top of.

So your position is that we should put as much weight on the opinions of someone with 0 knowledge of a subject as someone with, well, actual knowledge?

    Again, if you want to come off as the enlightened, moderate gun-owner, meet disagreement with respect and constructive counterarguments.

Except every time I provide a counterargument, you accuse me of acting in bad faith. You can't have it both ways.

ghostoffuffle  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Read my initial post again. Never said AR15 was the weapon of choice. I said "assault style rifles", and I stand by that claim. Revising my printed words and then arguing against your preferred revision gets you nowhere, and wins you no points. If you're going to play semantics, at least stick to your own rules.

You haven't yet provided any counterarguments. You've just insisted that I provide evidence, and then more evidence when you didn't like the evidence I provided because it didn't align with your personal opinion on the matter. Your chief response up to now seems to be "you're naive, so I don't need to live up to my own standard of discourse." Have we ever interacted before this? What evidence, beyond my horrible mischaracterization of the AR line, leads you to believe that I'm naive, or otherwise unworthy of decent discourse?

johnnyFive  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I said "assault style rifles"....

Except this is a meaningless statement. "Assault style rifle" can mean whatever the speaker chooses, and is a completely arbitrary distinction. It's a classic motte and bailey.

You're moving the goalposts every time, while simply ignoring the things you can't actually argue against. You won't actually engage with my counterarguments, instead refusing to acknowledge them as such and hiding behind personal affront when I disagree with you. You have the gall to describe all gun owners as brainwashed psychos, but then I'm the one unwilling to engage in "decent discourse" when I suggest your position is unsupportable? Rather than acknowledge your factual inaccuracies, you're trying to turn this around so that I'm somehow being unreasonable by expecting you to understand the thing you're talking about.

You're clearly unwilling to come at this in good faith. I have no doubt you'll find a reason that this is my fault, too.

ghostoffuffle  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hm. You and I, I think we're working with different definitions. Moving goalposts, for instance:

ME: Assault-style weapons seem to be defined primarily by their effective marketing, which is baked into gun design and promotes a militaristic approach to gun ownership and operation.

YOU: I have NEVER SEEN this marketing of which you speak.

ME: here it is on the gun, as explicitly advertised on the manufacturer's website.

YOU: I have NEVER TAKEN such claims from the website or features of those guns seriously. Also, try to define assault-style weapons, but in a way that's different than how you've already defined them.

Motte and Bailey?

ME: Assault rifles are becoming the weapon of choice for mass shooters.

YOU: prove that AR15s are the weapon of choice for mass shooters.

ME: I didn't say that, as such a claim would be unsupportable. You changed what I said to make your position defensible.

YOU: I win!

It's not that I WON'T engage with your arguments, it's that I CAN'T because you haven't yet leveled any. "I disagree" isn't an argument, it's a basic opinion. "people who don't own guns obviously don't know anything about guns, and thus are unqualified to contribute to the national debate" is kind of like saying "only gun owners should be allowed to speak to and shape policy on gun restrictions," which isn't so much of an argument as it is an absurdity. You're acting as though my inability to map out the differences in firing mechanisms between rifles renders me unfit for debate on policy, which is semantic bullshittery and you know it.

Which brings me to our biggest gulf in definitions: debate. You seem to think that it's sufficient just to lean on all the old semantic talking points that I always see trotted out in these discussions: "assault style can mean anything! you don't know the difference between a clip and a mag! those guns don't even work the same way!" Because it's easier to tout your mechanical knowledge of the tool than to defend the nature or necessity of the tool. You also seem content to constantly call me out as "naive," and then when I repeatedly invite you to develop your argument, start pouting about how I characterize gun owners as "brainwashed psychos," which I never did or even came close to doing. Ever. Explicitly or implicitly. At this point, my best guess is that you've had this argument so many times that you're responding to what you think I'm saying rather than actually examining my argument...?

And FWIW, I never addressed your "prove that previous policy has changed public perception" retort because that's a way larger discussion than just guns, and requires nuance, and this exchange has left me with little faith that we can speak to each other in the language of nuance, or even mutual respect. Which is a basic prerequisite for complex discussions.

Sorry you got bent out of shape over this topic. I do appreciate a lot of what you contribute on this site. I don't believe the above exchange represents the best of what you have to offer.

throwaway12  ·  116 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    , and slippery slope yadda yadda. But those arguments miss the point. It's not about an immediate decrease in numbers, it's about a slow cultural shift away from the glorification of guns

In other words, we are 100% in the right to oppose any gun restriction for any reason, as it will begin a slow cultural trend towards the removal of our rights.

oyster  ·  116 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Guns shouldn’t be glorified in the first place, they’re a tool. Seeing articles about a women who likely shot a gun once leaving a handgun out on her nightstand when her husband was gone for the night just to have her toddler shoot their sibling in the morning after she forgot about it is ridiculous. The comments are even worse, most of you guys actually feel bad for the dumb broad who thought she could handle a gun in crisis like okay sweety that’s definitely how this works. They act like it’s the same as leaving a sleeping baby in the backseat of the vehicle but you know what ? My truck dings before I get out with a little message that says “rear seat reminder” by default. At this point in my life it reminded me of a bottle of prosecco I had back there but I think it’s pretty cool for the intended purpose too. The comments from people who think they would have saved the day had they been there with a gun are nauseatingly stupid. They actually think there time at a gun range or shooting deer has 100% equipt them with everything needed to confront a mass shooter. Their right to live in some fantasy world doesn’t override others rights to feel safe. Glorifying guns is what got you that ridiculous fantasy.

If you want to have a culture of guns you seriously need to work on a culture of intelligence and humility first. You know what could help ? Taking a course and a test to obtain a permit to purchase any firearms. Just like you do to drive a car because nobody else’s life should depend on how well gramps taught you to drive.

throwaway12  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A tool makes the wielders powerful. We should have faith in the fact that giving power to people results in good. It will result in bad, as well, but the belief that more good will come than bad is the foundation for modern society as it is today.

I don't believe that good guys will beat out the bad guys or that more guns will solve school shootings. Instead I believe that these shootings are signs that things are bad, and need to be fixed. Ranging from a need for stronger mental health, to a need for news coverage and discourse on topics like this chasing attention rather than seeking to improve our society as a whole.

I believe in a society that values the power of the individual more than it does safety.

    If you want to have a culture of guns you seriously need to work on a culture of intelligence and humility first.

Generally you do not want to trust anyone who tries or wants to teach you a lesson in humility.

oyster  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Are you more comfortable with synonym humbleness ? It is insane that people think owning a gun makes them capable of handling it. That's like buying a car and just deciding you can drive. Or deciding you can race because you can handle driving around your suburban neighbourhood.

A little humbleness or humility would have likely caused that woman to think twice about leaving a handgun out that morning because she would have understood that if something could go wrong she would have a dead child. Evidently her arrogance cost her.

And then we have this arrogant twat who's arrogance keeps her from understanding how opening fire in a busy parking lot on shoplifters was the wrong thing to do. She sure could benefit from not being an arrogant twat or in other words being more humble

    As for unintentional firearm injuries , Weiser said, the third-grade girl he treated was not the only accidental gunshot wound he saw in a child. Another such injury involved a boy around 9 who was given a handgun for his birthday. "He shot his 6-year-old brother, playing in the backyard," Weiser said

You know what kind of person buys their 9 year old a handgun and just lets them play with it in the backyard ? An arrogant fucking idiot. It's the same bulllshit arrogant mentality that makes people believe they are just good at driving drunk and that they are above the law.

Other countries have mental health problems, underfunded social programs, poor people, drug addicts without the ridiculous gun violence problems yours has. What they might be lacking is an infestation of arrogant morons who feels that their fantasy of being a hero good guy with a gun is more important than the safety of children. I have never and will never feel like my ability to feel good about myself overrides my duty to give a fuck about other people. You've got to stop pretending you're only gun problem is related to angry young men.

throwaway12  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    A little humbleness or humility would have likely caused that woman to think twice about leaving a handgun out that morning because she would have understood that if something could go wrong she would have a dead child. Evidently her arrogance cost her.

Yeah, cost her. It's a tragedy and I'll feel bad about it to see people hurt by stupid decisions. However, if I were to buy a gun I'd lock it up in a safe, possibly with finger-print access and in my bedroom, and be sure to keep it from children.

That's a price of giving power to people. Some people are idiots. Some people make stupid mistakes. Some people do stupid things. We should seek to protect them and help them, not dismiss them as stupid, but we shouldn't seek to protect them from their own stupidity.

Arrogant idiots exist, but honest kind and intelligent people far outnumber them in both number and outcome. It's why liberal and free society is better than ones that attempt to restrict human nature and power. Human nature and power is good, not bad.

    It's the same bulllshit arrogant mentality that makes people believe they are just good at driving drunk and that they are above the law.

Perhaps this would be a good ground, as well as cars, from which to speak of gun control? Imagine if those who abused guns or were in stupid situations were treated as those who abused their rights to alcohol? Place gun control on those individuals after they act stupidly.

    Other countries have mental health problems, underfunded social programs, poor people, drug addicts without the ridiculous gun violence problems yours has.

But none of the drives to fix them that we do. Our mentally ill will shoot us dead. Our race riots can turn into race wars. We are not without teeth, and that's a great thing.

oyster  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ohhh I understand now, you’re one of those people that reads “gun control” and thinks it’s means “ take away all the guns”.

This was fun but I could write 10 long drawn out comments about how requiring somebody to take a test to own a gun just like we do when somebody wants to drive isn’t equivalent to taking away all the guns ( you know people who own cars yes ? You’ve seen them out in the wild ?) and you’ll still think everybody is trying to take away your guns.

You also think alcohol is a right which just... ya. You know your country still have dry counties right ?

throwaway12  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You also think alcohol is a right which just... ya. You know your country still have dry counties right ?

I do not support dry counties or even the stupid laws that ban alcohol early sunday morning.

I support their right to have a ban like that on a very local level, though, even if I would prefer that no county has a ban such as that.

I also recall you saying something akin to that small change gun control is a step on the path to very wide and broad gun control, so I really can't see you as a strong supported of limited gun control. In another few years, you'd be preaching for a ban if you got your way.

oyster  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No I didn’t, you’re just having a hard time keeping usernames straight. Even the person you think you’re talking to only said changes in gun control would lead to a shift in cultural feelings towards gun which isn’t a bad thing at all. Gun owners in your country being more intelligent wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I don’t care about how you feel on dry counties. It’s just pretty funny to call alcohol a right when you live in a country where it’s clearly not a right.

ButterflyEffect  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What's your opinion of the "fire in a crowded theater" example? Was that the beginning of slow cultural trend towards the removal of 1st amendment rights?

throwaway12  ·  115 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't honestly believe that reasonable restrictions on gun control will create a slow cultural trend towards banning guns as a whole. Respect for the danger of a weapon does not lead to a slippery slope towards the ban of it.

I think it's a great idea to, at the very least, mandate that all guns are stored in gun safes (or at least you have to own one to own the other), or for guns to be taxed with enough money to account for possible damage they can do and security measures their existence creates, and so on.