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Virginia Tech

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Frank 013
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Re: guns in America

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MadThe AK-47 is a weapon, made to kill and is inherently dangerous, but in the legal configuration it is no more dangerous than a 30-30 hunting rifle. My point is that to compare using it to fishing with dynamite is not a fair evaluation. Later
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Re: Virginia Tech

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I know this is off-topic from the gun discussion that this thread has turned into, but I'm posting here nonetheless. Mostly because I think Frank might be the one who is able to help me. I found this article "Soldier: Why half-staff for Va. Tech, not troops?: Military publishes opinion piece after controversy at Afghan base," but I can't find the actual op/ed piece. I spent over 30 minutes searching key words, but never got a direct hit. If anyone has a suggestion on how I can find the piece, let me know. If it helps you to care a bit more, this isn't just for my curiosity. I want to give it to a teacher who raised this issue in his class following the flag's lowering.
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Re: Gun bets

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Frank: But I think we should hold off disarming the American population because of safety issues (29,573 gun deaths yearly) until we ban smoking (259,494 deaths yearly) and driving (42,900 driving fatalities yearly)Sound fair?Not really. When we're talking about human fatalities, I hardly think consistency should be an inhibiting factor. Ideally, we'd be working on reducing the number of deaths attributable to guns, tobacco and car accidents, but if we can make progress with one, it doesn't make much sense to prolong it just because we haven't made comparable progress with the other two. If it's inconsistent policy to reduce the number of gun deaths without also reducing the number of smoking related deaths, then I'll take inconsistency over complacency any day.But even putting that principle aside, the cases aren't entirely comparable. Most parts of the nation have taken action to reduce the exposure of non-smokers to second hand smoke, so most modern tobacco-related health problems are self-inflicted. Tobacco use doesn't have the same incidence of intentional harm inflicted on another person that you find with gun use. The example of vehicular homocide is probably more analogous, but a different problem arises there -- namely that the structure of our social and economic system currently depends in large part on automobile use. So while efforts can be made to reduce the number of auto-accidents or the incidence of death in energy in the remaining number of accidents, reducing or outright banning automobile use has the consequence of changing our mode of living. While it can be argued that similar damage would be done to the cultures of rural hunting clubs and gang warfare, I doubt that reducing gun use would have quite as catastrophic an effect.
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Frank 013
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Re: Virginia Tech

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Quote:MadWhile it can be argued that similar damage would be done to the cultures of rural hunting clubs and gang warfare, I doubt that reducing gun use would have quite as catastrophic an effect.The numbers above paint a very different picture...Enough said
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Re: Gun bets

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I think you may have misunderstood my point. Restrict or ban automobile traffic, and you lose the benefits of things like, distribution by truck, or ease of travel between urban areas. There are entire industries based around freedom of travel, and I can think of dozens of people I know personally who's lives would be critically affected if they couldn't control the terms of their own commute.The right to bears arms, by contrast, is defended mostly as a contingency right -- if we need to rise against our own government, or defend our homes from hostile invaders. So restricting or banning weapons ownership might have a negative effect, provided that the contingecy in mind actually arises, but that effect is nowhere near as inevitable as would be the consequences of enacting similar legislation in the case of automobile deaths.Perhaps we could save 200,000 lives a year by restricting automobile use -- but no one's likely to take action along those lines so far as so much of our economic and cultural fluidity depends upon the ease of travel afforded by the right to own and drive a car. Current policy concerning gun control, on the other hand, is protected mostly by a minority of people lobbying for particular freedoms that aren't obviously crucial to the normal, every day operations of our society.
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Frank 013
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Re: Virginia Tech

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Quote:MadBut even putting that principle aside, the cases aren't entirely comparable.Its not about comparing, its about priorities, nearly no one is alarmed, or angered by the 259 thousand deaths attributed to tobacco use each year but we loose 1/8th of that number to guns and suddenly it's a catastrophic national problem that warrants huge amounts of bad press and endless controversy.All this for a problem that takes less lives than automobiles do in a year. This is not a fair assessment, a child under the age of 5 is more likely to drown in a bucket than be accidentally shot, but you don't see a bucket ban being sponsored by angry people against house cleaning bucket owners.Guns have a very bad reputation but they are not as deserving of that reputation as people make them seem, judging by the numbers, guns are far more beneficial than harmful and banning them is likely to cause more deaths than leaving things as they are.Later. Edited by: Frank 013 at: 4/23/07 9:46 pm
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Frank 013
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Re: Gun bets

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Irishrosem,Sorry I did not get back to you sooner but I was attempting to search for that information you asked for, unfortunately I am not completely sure what I am looking for. It sounds like you searched in the same manner that I did so I don't think I have run across anything that you wouldn't have. Later
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Re: Gun bets

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Frank: I was attempting to search for that information you asked for, unfortunately I am not completely sure what I am looking for. Thanks a lot, Frank. I didn't mean to put you to work, I just thought you might know of a blog/newsletter/site that might be carrying the op-ed piece. I have searched for the referenced opinion article for over an hour now and can't find it--no way, no how. Since I have the author's name and am still not able to find it, I am now assuming this was not for public consumption. It's unfortunate, I would have liked to read the article. Thanks again for your efforts.
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Frank 013
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Re: Gun bets

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Quote:IrishrosemThanks again for your efforts. Your welcome, I'm just sorry I could not help more.Later
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Re: Gun bets

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Frank 013 : Its not about comparing, its about priorities, nearly no one is alarmed, or angered by the 259 thousand deaths attributed to tobacco use each year...I'd hardly say the evidence supports that claim. Many cities have banned smoking in public venues, and a great deal of legislation has been passed in the last decade restricting the use of advertising that targets minors and requiring tobacco companies to dedicate a certain amount of revenue each year towards programs that inform about the health costs and help smokers quit. Ultimately, though, smoking is most detrimental to the people who choose to smoke. There are, of course, children who suffer the consequences of their parents' habits, but for the most part, first-hand smoke is responsible for the bulk of smoking deaths. Can the same thing -- that most related death are self-inflicted -- be said for guns?This is not a fair assessment, a child under the age of 5 is more likely to drown in a bucket than be accidentally shot, but you don't see a bucket ban being sponsored by angry people against house cleaning bucket owners.Can you say the same for people between the age of 16 and 35? That children under the age of 5 are more likely to drown in a bucket of water only indicates that children under the age of 5 aren't being shot as much as everyone else. I know that I personally wasn't handed a gun until I was in double digits, age-wise, and I didn't have a gun pointed at my face until I was older than 20. On the other hand, I handle buckets nearly every day, and haven't drowned yet. Must be luck, huh?Guns have a very bad reputation but they are not as deserving of that reputation as people make them seem, judging by the numbers, guns are far more beneficial than harmful and banning them is likely to cause more deaths than leaving things as they are.What are the numbers proving their benefit?
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