gear goes political

6:35 p.m. on March 3, 2018 (EST)
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so REI and MEC have decided to stop selling Vista Outdoor products, which includes the Camelbak brand. Why? Vista gives discounts to the NRA. A big move, considering how much money REI probably makes selling Camelbak products (also Bell bike helmets and Giro and Bolle). Interesting times....

7:49 p.m. on March 3, 2018 (EST)
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Actually the lost revenue is not likely to result from products cut from their offerings, folks supporting this policy will mostly just buy the other brands, and some will even gravitate toward these stores in support of this policy stance.  But studies have shown that single-issue voters tend to react more intensely on this topic than folks with a more balanced approach to policy issues.  And since the NRA cadre are well known for their single mindedness on this topic, and gun owner definitely make up a nontrivial portion of their clients, it is likely that REI, et al, will lose revenue from those who feel compelled to make a counter statement and boycott businesses taking such a stance. 

Ed

8:24 p.m. on March 3, 2018 (EST)
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Vista Outdoors OWNS Giro, Bell, and Camelback...as well as Savage Arms, makers of AR15s.  This isn't about NRA discounts (like Delta and United) and the retailers have said they asked Vista Outdoors to address the issues of their guns bring used in mass shootings.  In response they got crickets.

11:11 p.m. on March 3, 2018 (EST)
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How is a manufacturer of an item that’s harmless in and of itself responsible for its occasional criminal use? Why aren’t manufacturers of cars, alcohol, airplanes, etc, also responsible for their products‘ criminal use? 

7:12 a.m. on March 4, 2018 (EST)
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I have to agree with Phil on this what happened to personal responsibility? Do I agree with REI? I really don't know and they argument there should be stay out of the politics...But we know they are do to the outdoors...Will they lose customers? Only time will tell

10:08 a.m. on March 4, 2018 (EST)
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without getting deep into the firearm debate, for which politics and emotion long ago obscured sane public policy discussion, boycotts are usually intended to influence behavior. Whose behavior here? 

1. Persuade umbrella companies like Vista to not invest in firearms or firearm-related companies? It is possible that if enough major portals refuse to sell their firearms or this particular kind of firearm that it changes corporate behavior. The corporate anti-apartheid boycotts may have influenced and accelerated the end of racial segregation in South Africa after governments repeatedly rejected economic sanctions. it would take a significant critical mass of companies to have that kind of impact, I think.

2.  Influence on consumer behavior - if an executive at REI or Dick's Sports or Walmart looks at a spreadsheet, they probably see that sales of firearms or products owned by firearm-related companies are a relatively small piece of their bottom line. I assume that is why Walmart, which thrives in parts of the country opposed to firearm regulation, stopped selling semi-automatic rifles three years ago, and why Dicks and REI took the action they did. The negative impact on their bottom line from a consumer boycott would be meaningfully more damaging than the loss of customers who aren't happy with  the decision to increase the purchasing age or eliminate certain products.

REI will certainly sacrifice some revenue, because they must sell a lot of camelbak bottles, reservoirs, and backpacks. also, for companies like Walmart and Dicks who directly sell firearms and related goods (unlike REI), they still sell many firearms for hunting, which is probably their primary firearm-purchasing audience - rifles and shotguns.  Neither seems to sell handguns.

ultimately, a firearm is a mechanical device - and so are cars and airplanes. Used appropriately, any of these can have great value in terms of utility or fun. Used inappropriately, they can be extremely dangerous and kill a lot of people. I think it is silly to suggest we can't regulate all of these, and we do. We require a lot of training before allowing people to fly a plane, and some training before letting people drive. some types of planes and cars are clearly beyond the reach of most of the consuming public - typical new pilots don't fly jets, and cars used for sport racing very often aren't street-legal. likewise, we don't get to defend our homes or hunt with belt-fed machine guns or other automatic weapons. 

my personal view is that we could take better steps to keep firearms out of the hands of people who misuse them, and the greatest concern is mental illness - two-thirds of firearm deaths in this country are suicides, and most mass shootings have some element of depression or another mental health issue. How that gets done in today's political and medical climate (we respect the privacy of people who seek help for mental illness) is messy, difficult, and so highly politicized that I don't expect we will get much done in the near term.  

Interestingly, after I wrote this, I read the following: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/03/01/dont-be-fooled-companies-cut-ties-to-the-nra-only-when-its-cheap-and-easy/?utm_term=.015f301e3c2b 

12:49 p.m. on March 4, 2018 (EST)
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There is a substantive difference between firearms and cars, alcohol, and airplanes.  Cars are designed to transport people.  Airplanes are designed to transport people.  Alcohol transports people in a different way...although I rarely drink the hard stuff. 

Guns are designed to kill people.   

You need a license to drive a car.  You need a license to fly an airplane.  You must be 21 years of age to buy or drink alcohol..and adults can be fined or incarcerated for providing alcohol to underage people.

Guns?  Nope. Perfectly legal for an adult with no license or training to hand a gun to a seven year-old. This does not strike me as rational.  

12:57 a.m. on March 5, 2018 (EST)
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Phil Smith said:

How is a manufacturer of an item that’s harmless in and of itself responsible for its occasional criminal use? Why aren’t manufacturers of cars, alcohol, airplanes, etc, also responsible for their products‘ criminal use? 

Rephrasing your observation slightly - in fact manufactures ARE on occasion held to account for consequences arising from consuming their products regardless if it was used to conduct a crime.  Asbestos, lead paint, thalidomide, Chevy corvairs, lawn darts, class B fireworks, and "cop killer" rounds comes to mind.  All of these items are safe when used properly, but the collective intelligence of the public or civic responsibility compelled addressing these items at the lowest common intelligence level.  In some cases legislation was the outcome; in others it was civil tort and consumer boycotts.  I am sure with just a little consideration we can assemble a fairly large list of such items. 

The fact this instance involves criminal use is coincidental; even if murder were legal, I am sure those who wish for tight regulation of assault rifles are doing so out social concerns, not legal ones.  Social considerations have many times lead to requiring others to act in certain ways, respectful of the potential consequences borne onto third parties.  Helmet laws, DUI laws, traffic laws, aviator and driving licenses, all manner of professional certifications, even whether or not you can bring home cooked food to share at a school function.  So actually, yes, society can pretty much regulate what it wishes if it determines not doing so causes more harm than good. We did so with Thompson machine guns; certainly it can be done with other automatic weaponry.  That is just common sense.

Ed

6:50 a.m. on March 5, 2018 (EST)
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Automatic weapons are regulated the AR 15 is not an automatic weapon.lol Not trying to imply anything..But keep your laws in your state...I loved to hike in cali and backpack and climb but I sure wouldn't want to pay your taxes and accept your gun laws...Do I think events are tragic Yes ...ED Balzcom you both have said against what you consider rational...Well this is what I don't find rational 24 hours of news on shootings so is the Media responsible? Hmm sure are so why isn't anyone sueing them.,

10:30 a.m. on March 5, 2018 (EST)
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Ah yes.  The media is to blame for it all?  When in doubt, point the finger away from the acts, and point it at the people who report what happened.

Is copy cat crime a problem?  I think so.  But given that, doesn't it make sense to limit access to the weapons people use to copycat a crime?  It makes more sense than telling people (and the media):"don't look, and don't say anything!  Maybe this will all go sway!  Shhhhh!"

11:42 a.m. on March 5, 2018 (EST)
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Actually Denis I have not stated my position, I merely stated the backdrop this debate takes place in.  As for states rights, I generally agree, but the problem occurs that guns travel, regardless regulations supposedly apply at state lines.  Something should be done enforcing state border issues, especially since they are laws already on the books.

But if my colors are to be revealed, I basically think that defensive weaponry (e.g. hand guns, rapid fire long arms) should require background screening, a training and certification process that includes a certain amount of shooting range/classroom time annually, and periodic recertification be required to maintain ownership of said weapons or purchase ammo for them. It is reasonable to insist if folks are around others with these guns, then reasonable measures should be taken to assure competency in their use.  After all we require this of peace officers and others who carry guns as part of their job. Furthermore such weaponry should never be left unattended such that others can get them and operate them.  Certainly it is people who kill, not guns, but when a 5 year old or 17 year old or even a emancipated adult who absconds with daddy's gun shoots someone, who should we hold accountable?  Thus trigger locks, gun safes or other means precluding unauthorized use should also be required.  Perhaps required for all firearms...  I think more relaxed accommodations can be made for weapons that never leave a firing range.  Lastly I think these regulations can be relative that is to say safety concerns in rural areas are less an issue, so regulations in such areas can be more relaxed, thus regulation is a fairly local issue; but as a gun travels the owner is responsible for knowing what it takes to conform in wherever jurisdiction they travel through.  So, Denis do enjoy your shooting - guns are fun!  But do consider it is a reasonable request owners of defensive weapons demonstrate competency at operation, just as we currently insist of folks driving motor vehicles and air planes.

As for the 24 hour cable news rat race - maybe regs that limit face time in front of the tube? ;)

Ed

5:04 p.m. on March 6, 2018 (EST)
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Makers of outdoor equipment have been politically motivated for decades. This is nothing new. We are talking about passionate people with social consciousness.  Mpst pf them would be in a different business if it was all about making money. 

Vote with your wallet when ever you can. 

11:44 p.m. on March 6, 2018 (EST)
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I don't want to get in a debate, just one small part that concerns me. It seems to me that the ultimate loser in REI,MEC's and any individuals that decide to boycott these products will be Camelback, Bell etc's employees. I'm sure the executives will be fine but the rank and file will eventually face wage freezes and layoffs. All because the company they work for was purchased in a $400 million+ deal. I'm all for voting with your wallet just keep the little people in mind when you do.

12:06 p.m. on March 7, 2018 (EST)
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individuals on one hand may bear the consequences but on the other are driving the debate. REI was reacting to 40,000+ people who were sufficiently incentivized to sign a petition asking for a boycott of Vista, if Vista isn't willing to drop its semi-auto rifle products.

A broader interesting issue that makes it not so easy for hunters to shun hikers and vice versa: on a key political issue, preserving public lands for recreational purposes, the hunting/fishing crowd and the hiking/camping crowd have a very significant common interest. These groups need each other to effectively lobby to protect their recreational landscapes. This is particularly true because the number of people who hunt, per capita, has been declining for a long time, with that decline accelerating. https://www.outdoorlife.com/why-we-are-losing-hunters-and-how-to-fix-it 

Ironically, most firearm manufacturer (or holding company) sales and stock prices have been declining while most sectors of the stock market have been increasing over the past year - not sure why, but perhaps people were scared a President Hillary Clinton would advocate stricter firearm regulations and were stockpiling. 

10:13 a.m. on March 8, 2018 (EST)
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Im really glad this was brought up because I probably would have never known REI made this move. The products REI sells can be found elsewhere at better prices, most times at much better prices. But I frequintly shop  there because I liked the company and the things they do for the outdoors community. Now that they have crossed the line into the political realm I will cross the line to other sellers and no longer shop there. 

6:48 a.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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Ed I've read enough gun threads over the years and heard every argument about peoples stances to see what was coming and personal conversations...

BAlzacomm Nah Its personal responsibility not the object that does the shooting...So You pretty much stated your claim from the beginning..

On a personal note like I said time will tell how many patrons they lose...Also not my problem.I am just a member and hardly buy anything from them..But I a do own firearms and no not an AR 15 that's childs play...Do I take a firearm hiking or backpacking no.. Do I get upset if someone does no...Non my business...

10:47 a.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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denis daly said:

Ed I've read enough gun threads over the years and heard every argument about peoples stances to see what was coming and personal conversations...

BAlzacomm Nah Its personal responsibility not the object that does the shooting...So You pretty much stated your claim from the beginning..

On a personal note like I said time will tell how many patrons they lose...Also not my problem.I am just a member and hardly buy anything from them..But I a do own firearms and no not an AR 15 that's childs play...Do I take a firearm hiking or backpacking no.. Do I get upset if someone does no...Non my business...

 Plus 1 

well said

1:22 p.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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balzaccom said:

There is a substantive difference between firearms and cars, alcohol, and airplanes.  Cars are designed to transport people.  Airplanes are designed to transport people.  Alcohol transports people in a different way...although I rarely drink the hard stuff. 

Guns are designed to kill people.   

You need a license to drive a car.  You need a license to fly an airplane.  You must be 21 years of age to buy or drink alcohol..and adults can be fined or incarcerated for providing alcohol to underage people.

Guns?  Nope. Perfectly legal for an adult with no license or training to hand a gun to a seven year-old. This does not strike me as rational.  

To say that an item is designed to kill people when statistically none of the hundreds of millions of them in existence will ever kill anybody is a little ridiculous, don’t you think? Especially when items that aren’t designed to kill kill many, many more people. Alcohol kills 3x as many people per year as guns do, and nobody “needs” alcohol any more than they “need” a gun. 

Regarding licenses, and the 9th Amendment notwithstanding, the 1791 equivalents of drivers and pilots licenses aren’t specifically singled out for protection from gov’t infringement. I think it’s irrational that any citizen in good standing with the law can vote simply because they’ve reached the age of 18, and don’t have to know a single thing about our form of gov’t or why it was created in order to have a say in it. 

What I find to be not only irrational, but also immoral in the extreme, is requiring 18-year-olds to shoulder all the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, including potentially being killed for the country, but not allowing them all the rights and privileges of citizenship until they’re 21. Pick an age and use it for everything across the board - voting, alcohol, tobacco, Selective Service registration & eligibility, gun ownership, etc. Is it not exploitative to consider an 18-year-old mature enough to volunteer to potentially be sent to his death, but not mature enough to buy alcohol or a handgun? 

1:26 p.m. on March 10, 2018 (EST)
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Just a little caption I added to a pic of part of my collection.
C5001E1A-DB3D-4108-96AA-F6329E396416.png

3:07 p.m. on March 11, 2018 (EDT)
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As a free country, we don't require voters to have any particular level of education, literacy, race, religion, or status, nor should we. Countries that do so are generally in the business of marginalizing a certain segment of the population for reasons that are decidedly not humanitarian. A good example is the Nuremberg laws that deprived Jews of citizenship in Nazi Germany in 1935. Unfortunately, our Constitution contained similar constraints by failing to recognize slaves (who were overwhelmingly African-American) and women as full citizens of the United States.

Eventually, our country advanced to the point that we understood one person's existence cannot rationally be worth more than another because they went to school or better understand government, or because they didn't share the same race or gender as the white men who wrote the Constitution and controlled our nation for its first several decades - until the Civil War nearly tore the country apart. Fortunately, the 13-15th Amendments took care of the racial discrimination embedded in our Constitution, abolishing slavery and granting former slaves the right to vote, and the 19th Amendment recognized women's right to vote.

No right is unlimited, of course. People convicted of felonies cannot vote while they are serving a sentence, including a period of parole or probation, and there is often a period of time after that - usually a couple of years, depending on the state. The same basic limits apply to firearm ownership - can't legally own a firearm while serving a sentence or on probation or parole, and the waiting period after that is often longer. In some states, these restrictions extend to individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or subject to a civil protection order due to violence conduct in a domestic/family relationship.

We also grew to recognize that in some cases, restricting access to certain things can save lives. The reason we increased the driving age from 18 to 21 was to limit a rising plague of drunk driving-related injuries and deaths, just as we decreased speed limits to limit accidental deaths. In both cases, these simple changes in the law have unequivocally saved thousands of lives over the years. We made those changes despite the fact that millions of people somehow manage to not drive while impaired and within then speed limit. Living in a nation that governs itself by laws and principles means that people sometimes make minor sacrifices in the interest of the greater good. We live in such self-oriented times that many people seem to forget that. 

I view regulations of firearms through the same lense. Firearm regulations that limit ownership of certain types of weapons, magazines, etc. have survived appellate court review - including the federal restrictions on certain kinds of semi-automatic firearms that were in place from 1994 to 2004. A number of states maintain similar regulations today, and they have survived court review. I'm very confident the NRA lawsuit against Florida's new regulations will not succeed for that reason. 

Whether increased regulation of firearms is the answer to the steady increase in firearm-related deaths is an open question. I think the primary issue we face is gun ownership and use by mentally ill people and people involved in violent domestic relationships. I wish I had an answer to this issue, but it's tough. Anyone who is familiar with the relevant laws and processes knows that the standard for a civil mental health commitment is very high, hence it's not a useful measuring stick for barring firearm ownership. Beyond that, between medical privacy laws, stigmas our society has about recognizing and treating mental illness appropriately, lack of resources, and the lack of any cohesive national system or database for tracking mental health issues that could prove to be a lethal combination with firearms, makes it exceedingly difficult to deprive people who might misuse these weapons from ownership.  The same is true with domestic violence, as many violent relationships never rise to the level of a misdemeanor assault or a civil protection order that might trigger firearm restrictions in some states. 

Phil is correct that most firearm owners will never use the guns they own for illegal purposes or to shoot themselves (about 66% of the firearm-related deaths in this country annually are suicides). I don't believe Phil is correct that limits on firearm ownership, whether that means age limits or some other set of standards we might apply to keep firearms out of the hands of people who misuse them, are so beyond the pale that we shouldn't tolerate them. Most firearms involved in homicides are purchased legally. (of course, we allow sales at gun shows that are much more likely to evade normal background checks. I believe all firearm sales should be accomplished by licensed dealers and should be accompanied by appropriate background checks).

I'm still waiting for a truly rational discussion of the topic by our elected officials. There is no way the NRA is correct on these issues, demonstrated by its repeated losses in our courts on these issues (the NRA loves to advertise its few successes and ignore its extensive losses). Likewise, while I think restrictions on semi-automatic rifles might have some limited impact on firearm safety, the fact of the matter is that most firearm deaths involve handguns, and a person armed with a pair of semi-automatic handguns and a few extra magazines can kill just as many people, just as quickly, as a person armed with an AR-15 (as we learned from Virginia Tech). I would like to see better required training for firearm owners, elimination of unlicensed sales, and improvements in the background check system and the ability to identify mental health issues. Unlike semi-automatic rifle restrictions and age limits, I think these would more closely targeted the causes of firearm violence and provide us with a greater overall benefit.

my two cents on the gun issue.

6:26 p.m. on March 11, 2018 (EDT)
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The USA has a vast number of ICBMs.  The fact that we have not used any to demolish targets in enemy territory does not, in any way, contradict the fact that they were designed to do exactly that   

7:00 p.m. on March 11, 2018 (EDT)
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Andrew I don’t have any facts or figures to back anything. These are just what comes to mind. Let’s just say for discussion sake that the anti gun lobby is right. However I’d like to point out that the majority if not all of these mass shootings are happening in cities not by rural folks. Why ? I don’t honestly know other than having grown up in a rural area we have a natural understanding of the need for each other and a sense of responsibility to our fellow man and neighbors that I do not see in the city environment. What I’ve witnessed there is a non stop, competing ,confrontation, what about me, me first, I gonna get mine, kind of mentality that is encouraged in every aspect of that part of our society. 

And then when these people who either climb to the top, or fail that rat cage mentality they are rewarded By the media with all the attention they could ever hope for. Which leads to an addiction that they have to push the envelope further or they have failed and therefore have nothing left to lose(hopelessness). 

If there needs to be a gun ban then do it in the cities and not in the rural areas where guns are actually a tool used for protection and also defense against attacks against animals eating our crops and going after our livestock. 

There is not police or animal control on every bock in the rural areas.

Ill leave off with this. Blanket bans by politicians who are encouraging this behavior, against our right to keep and bear arms leads directly to enslavement of not the criminal but the morally centered parts of society. Our fore fathers saw this and recognized that utopia was not possible, there by making laws that granted us the right to protect preserve and defend.  Don’t take away my right to that , under a false pretense of stopping Or lessening the degree of crimes. What the liberal anti- gun lobby really wants is control . Something our forefathers learned from , our grandfathers fought against and millions upon millions have died because they had nothing to defend with

6:23 a.m. on March 12, 2018 (EDT)
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Andrew have to commend you that was informative and made great points.I would like to see the politicians sit down and have a meaningful conversation and work this out...I agree on some parts of the mental health but that comes down to who gets to decide these things and is it he said she said...So were at a stallmate on that,,,

1:08 p.m. on March 12, 2018 (EDT)
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Jumping into a discussion regarding American gun laws is a bit like jumping into quicksand but here goes nothing...

Being Canadian this whole topic is a little baffling to be honest. Americans will bring up every other possible explanation for these tragedies before they blame a gun. Yes mental health is an issue. But, guess what, every other country in the ENTIRE WORLD has mental health issues/care to address as well. What they don't have is the number of gun related deaths...because they've eliminated that as an option.

My best outsider understanding is that most Americans view guns as a symbol of their freedom. Is that fair to say? It seems like when any progressive laws are proposed people feel as if someone is trying to strip away any rights and freedoms they may have. Nobody is willing to make even the smallest sacrifices (slightly tighter gun laws, vetting process) for the greater good.

As a parent and a teacher I would be absolutely terrified to send my children to school (and I go to work) in the US. The rest of the developed world has figured this out, less guns means less shootings. 

4:58 p.m. on March 12, 2018 (EDT)
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Jake W said:

My best outsider understanding is that most Americans view guns as a symbol of their freedom. Is that fair to say? 

 Yeah I think that is fair to say as a general comment. Don't forget Jake, we may need to overthrow the government if it gets out of hand. :)

The right to bear arms (albeit in the context of a well regulated militia) is the second amendment to our Constitution. Not #1, but pretty high up there.

Growing up, my family always had "household guns" that we could all use with permission; a .22 long rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun. I was first taught how to use the rifle at age 7 (but of course not unsupervised at that age) and went through my first hunter safety course at age 9. 

I was allowed to take those guns out on my own by age 12 (with moms permission). So were my five older brothers and two older sisters who learned before me. 

Those guns were kept out of reach of little ones but not locked up. We never had any incidents that I can recall. 

I think depending on where you grew up in the States and what your family disposition was you may be hypersensitive to anything that may even remotely infringe on your freedoms. I must admit all the talk about restrictions does indeed make me want to go buy a gun and I'm not completely sure why I have that response but recognize that it's there.

I do see some of the most rational thoughts I've ever seen on the topic in this thread. 

5:38 p.m. on March 12, 2018 (EDT)
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John Starnes said:

Andrew I don’t have any facts or figures to back anything. These are just what comes to mind. Let’s just say for discussion sake that the anti gun lobby is right. However I’d like to point out that the majority if not all of these mass shootings are happening in cities not by rural folks. Why ? I don’t honestly know other than having grown up in a rural area we have a natural understanding of the need for each other and a sense of responsibility to our fellow man and neighbors that I do not see in the city environment. What I’ve witnessed there is a non stop, competing ,confrontation, what about me, me first, I gonna get mine, kind of mentality that is encouraged in every aspect of that part of our society. 

And then when these people who either climb to the top, or fail that rat cage mentality they are rewarded By the media with all the attention they could ever hope for. Which leads to an addiction that they have to push the envelope further or they have failed and therefore have nothing left to lose(hopelessness). 

If there needs to be a gun ban then do it in the cities and not in the rural areas where guns are actually a tool used for protection and also defense against attacks against animals eating our crops and going after our livestock. 

There is not police or animal control on every bock in the rural areas.

Ill leave off with this. Blanket bans by politicians who are encouraging this behavior, against our right to keep and bear arms leads directly to enslavement of not the criminal but the morally centered parts of society. Our fore fathers saw this and recognized that utopia was not possible, there by making laws that granted us the right to protect preserve and defend.  Don’t take away my right to that , under a false pretense of stopping Or lessening the degree of crimes. What the liberal anti- gun lobby really wants is control . Something our forefathers learned from , our grandfathers fought against and millions upon millions have died because they had nothing to defend with

for run of the mill firearm homicide, non-mass shootings, i agree that some cities have a big problem....but if you look at the stats for firearm deaths per capita by state, you can't characterize this as an urban problem. Montana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico and Alabama have much higher rates of death by firearm than any of the highly urban areas of the United States (except Louisiana, which has the highest firearm death rate in the country, and that encompasses some sizeable urban areas). 

Also, mass shootings occur across a spectrum of locations. Columbine high school is outside Denver, San Bernadino is a 220,000 exurb of Los Angeles, and Las Vegas...well, it's Vegas. all arguably urban areas, though having lived in Chicago, New York, DC and Minneapolis at times, I don't consider any of those places to be highly urban.

On the other hand, sites of other mass shootings: Blacksburg VA has a population of 46,000 people (home to Virginia Tech). Benton, KY has 4400 residents (Marshall High School). Newtown, CT, population 27,000  (sandy hook). Parkland, FL, population 23,000, largest city nearby is Boca Raton, which isn't a city to speak of.

my home state of New Hampshire had a mass shooting when I was there - a mentally unstable guy shot and murdered a judge, a couple of state troopers, and a newspaper employee, and he wounded several other law enforcement officers. that was in Colebrook, population 2300. these aren't urban areas - small towns, some affluent, some working class. no rhyme or reason.

I can't speak for lobbyists on either side of this debate, but the debate has clearly taken on a life of its own that makes compromise and nuanced solutions exceedingly difficult to achieve. I have no problem with people hunting or shooting targets, and while I have no interest in having a firearm in my house for self defense purposes, a responsible firearm owner with guns in the house doesn't trouble me - just keep them away from unsupervised minors. Personally, i'm much more concerned about semi-automatic handguns than rifles, and i don't know many people who protect their livestock or hunt with a handgun (well, i know plenty of hunters who carry a handgun for that chance encounter with a close threat like a bear - but if you find yourself shooting at a charging bear or moose with a handgun, you're already in very serious trouble).  

8:58 p.m. on March 12, 2018 (EDT)
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Andrew thanks for your perspective and I’m not sure how to respond other than to say I and I suppose most of us share your concerns. Is there a solution ? Probably not . Passing a multitude of laws that make the average person a criminal if they don’t surrender their property and self defense as they and I see it; is tatamount to calling right wrong and wrong right. When we view it as let’s go after the actual criminals With real consequences. 

I would like to add for the record that I haven’t shot a gun in probably 15 years , however I like Patrick said earlier want to go out and buy some myself. And I have deep concerns when laws are passed that make it safer for criminal elements to preform said atrocities. And not just the televised mass shootings. People such as myself view such compromises as detrimental because when they break in to our homes they will have nothing to fear since they will be the only one in the confrontation who is armed. We take it very personal because anyone making it more difficult for us is not a friend. 

8:29 a.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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John Starnes said:

".. Let’s just say for discussion sake that the anti gun lobby is right. However I’d like to point out that the majority if not all of these mass shootings are happening in cities not by rural folks...."

"..Ill leave off with this. Blanket bans by politicians who are encouraging this behavior, against our right to keep and bear arms leads directly to enslavement of not the criminal but the morally centered parts of society. Our fore fathers saw this and recognized that utopia was not possible, there by making laws that granted us the right to protect preserve and defend..."

You have made some well stated points, especially about regulations being a local governance consideration. 

You also inadvertently made a generalization - one most folks make - that makes finding a common ground on this issue extremely difficult.  We tend to consider this topic as a binary: people see us as either pro guns or anti guns.  I think the passion of the topic forces people into these extremes.  I happen to be neither, and ironically both sides consider my POV as opposing theirs.  This is one topic where we should let others ascribe a label to their own stances, and not jump to conclusions.

While we focus a lot on intentional gun crimes, we ignore the majority of gun related casualties are accidental or the result of bad judgment.  These should also be addressed (hence my training and gun security opinions).

As for the intentions of our Founding Fathers that lead to drafting the Second Amendment - well we have built a lot of folklore around this right, most of it having little to do with the original intentions.  I was curious what was behind the Founding Fathers original intentions, and how we have arrived at our current conclusions. Current SCOTUS interpretation is based primarily on two cases.  One of these cases extended the interpretation of the 2nd to include the right to self defense, which was not its original intention.  Furthermore that finding rested on the previous court's conclusions, which explicitly stated their conclusions should NOT be construed as advocating the 2nd accommodates personal defense.  I am miffed why this has not been challenged.  As for the original intent of the Second, most have no idea what they are talking about.  I recommend everyone study the minutes of the Constitutional Convention, get it from the original source, AND THEN draw your own conclusions.  As it is, most of what is currently debated in the public sphere has little basis in the original intentions of this amendment. 

Ed  

 

9:49 p.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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Re: Ed's comments and SCOTUS's intepretation of the 2nd ammendment, listen to this:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/radiolab-presents-more-perfect-gun-show/

"For nearly 200 years of our nation’s history, the Second Amendment was an all-but-forgotten rule about the importance of militias. But in the 1960s and 70s, a movement emerged — led by Black Panthers and a recently-repositioned NRA — that insisted owning a firearm was the right of each and every American. So began a constitutional debate that only the Supreme Court could solve. That didn’t happen until 2008, when a Washington, D.C. security guard named Dick Heller made a compelling case."

Other than that, I think I'll stay out of this one.

11:01 p.m. on March 13, 2018 (EDT)
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Ed -I’m gonna need you to dumb it down a little what’s your point?

and as to the either or . This is a hot buttered topic, I would certainly hope people would b passionate about it. You walk down the middle when both sides are wrong And kick both sides hind end as you go. 

Red - read some of the courts decision on Heller case but could not get video to play.

4:03 a.m. on March 14, 2018 (EDT)
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John Starnes said:

Ed -I’m gonna need you to dumb it down a little what’s your point?

and as to the either or . This is a hot buttered topic, I would certainly hope people would b passionate about it. You walk down the middle when both sides are wrong And kick both sides hind end as you go. 

Red - read some of the courts decision on Heller case but could not get video to play.

My point is twofold:

This is not an either/or topic.  No civil right is absolute.  All civil rights have their limits, demarcated where they infringe upon the civil rights of others.  For example the First Amendment does not protect speech that jeopardizes others (can't yell fire in a theatre).  An example relevant to the 2nd is no one has the right to go around pointing their gun at others or use their guns in a manner that exposes others to potential danger - and hopefully no one questions this.  But there are less obvious limits to the 2nd that are gray areas - not black or white - with many of these being central to the debate. 

My other point is much of the debate currently going around has a bunch of folks trying to claim they know what the Founding Fathers intentions were, but most of these claims miss the mark, and are either naïve or intentional distortions thereof.  There are a lot of 2nd Amendment "experts" out there who have drank a lot of red or blue Kool Aide and have read a lot of red or blue pamphlets and exposes on the topic, but they have not bothered to read anything the Founding Fathers wrote on the topic besides the amendment itself, or read the actual court judgements that establish precedent.  It is impossible to have an intelligent debate if those debating are not well grounded on the topic.  Treat the topic as you do religion, and refer to the original sources, before accepting the opinions others espouse as fact.

I have provided this link as an example of how nuanced the topic is.  Ignore the author's musings, but note the statements attributed to various significant thinkers of the time.  This link touches on a small part of the topic, but what becomes apparent is the Founding Fathers did not consider the 2nd Amendment as conveying the right to bear arms for self-protection.  SCOTUS acknowledged these sentiments in various decisions rendered over time; however, recent case history has reinterpreted the amendment.  In fact SCOTUS did not acknowledge the Second Amendment included the intention to facilitate individual self-defense until SCOTUS, 2008, District of Columbia v. Heller; and SCOTUS, 2010, McDonald v. Chicago.  Many consider these two cases revisionary, given the context of what the Founding Fathers stated, and precedents set in prior SCOTUS judgments.  Thus even the courts seem to vacillate on this topic.  It gets even murkier when one rolls up their sleeves and digs through all related SCOTUS cases.  And then there is the issue of accurately interpreting 18th century prose used by the Founding Fathers.  For example one can argue the Second Amendment did not address hand guns.  It refers to arms (i.e. 18th century parlance for rifles) whereas they referred to hand guns as pistols.

See, not so black and white after all.

Ed

6:57 a.m. on March 14, 2018 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

My point is twofold:

This is not an either/or topic.  No civil right is absolute.  All civil rights have their limits, demarcated where they infringe upon the civil rights of others.  For example the First Amendment does not protect speech that jeopardizes others (can't yell fire in a theatre).  An example relevant to the 2nd is no one has the right to go around pointing their gun at others or use their guns in a manner that exposes others to potential danger - and hopefully no one questions this.  But there are less obvious limits to the 2nd that are gray areas - not black or white - with many of these being central to the debate.

 Much better said ! And in this part we are in 100 percent agreement.

will read the link when I get a min. 

Thanks for the clarification 

10:45 a.m. on March 14, 2018 (EDT)
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Ed I read that link before and I am not a lawyer..But I enjoy history...I have to agree I seen this topic get heated all over social media and people just picking sides..I cant agree with licensing but I do agree with classes in firearm safety...Even if you look at the link you see the  founding fathers had different opinions ...I don't like the fringe groups that call themselves militia IE Oath Keepers and others...I find they do more harm then good....

12:32 p.m. on March 14, 2018 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

..I cant agree with licensing but I do agree with classes in firearm safety

 I'd also be in favor of foregoing licensing, provided one can assure two concerns that it currently facilitates: The wrong people don't end up with guns; and that gun users are current in their skills, safety and awareness of the current laws (I am an advocate for recurring certification, regarding the skills, safety and legal awareness of users). 

As for advocacy groups and militias: I take them on a one by one basis.  Some of the militia orgs are legitimate and stewards of society, going well beyond the superficial stereotype, acting as stewards, providing mentoring and assistance to the public in a variety of ways while asking nothing in return.  Often these are some of the folks you see boating others flooded out of their neighborhoods, and seeing to that snowed in folks are ok.

Ed

3:08 p.m. on March 14, 2018 (EDT)
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John Starnes said:

Ed -I’m gonna need you to dumb it down a little what’s your point?

and as to the either or . This is a hot buttered topic, I would certainly hope people would b passionate about it. You walk down the middle when both sides are wrong And kick both sides hind end as you go. 

Red - read some of the courts decision on Heller case but could not get video to play.

 Not video, audio. Available as a podcast, good to listen to while you're doing something else that doesn't require your full attention. Goes pretty deep into the history of the issue.

June 19, 2018
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