gun rights vs gun control

This is a discussion on gun rights vs gun control within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; despite the recent spate of horrible shootings, public opinion on the issue of rights vs control has not changed a whole lot. To have an ...

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Thread: gun rights vs gun control

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    gun rights vs gun control

    despite the recent spate of horrible shootings, public opinion on the issue of rights vs control has not changed a whole lot. To have an informed discusson in almost any venue, it might be useful to know what motivates people on both sides of the issue. No one has done a better job of elucidating the issues and made better suggestions about debate strategy than Abigail Kohn.

    I just finished reading Abigail Kohn's excellent book Shooters: Myths and Realities of America's Gun Cultures (Oxford University Press). She is an ethnologist who has taken up shooting and wrote a very even handed book that should be read by people on both sides of the debate. It is also avialable in Kindle edition

    The Pew Research Center has recently published a poll on attitudes toward gun control and the interesting statistics are here:

    http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/gun-control-2011.pdf

    Interestingly, whites rather than blacks, voters rather than non-voters, people who have started but not completed college are more in favor of gun rights as are those making between $99k and $30k. An interesting picture...

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1858/gun...gion-tea-party

    A brief precis of Kohn's position on how to conduct a useful debate between gun rights and gun control is here - check it out:

    http://reason.com/archives/2005/05/0...g-on-gun-contr

    She suggests, among other things,

    Stop demonizing gun owners. Insulting, ridiculing, or attempting to shame gun owners leaves them even more disgusted by the idea of gun control. Gun control advocates and social critics have rarely missed an opportunity to describe gun owners as "gun nuts," "gun crazies," or even "potential terrorists."

    Use local gun owners as a resource. There are more than 75 million gun owners in the U.S.

    Give up on dead-end gun control proposals. As the Democrats have discovered, nothing kills a political career faster that the words licensing and registration.


    ... and many more very interesting observations.

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    Distinguished Member Array kapnketel's Avatar
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    Interesting read, I agree that insulting me is a non starter of any discussion on any subject, seems obvious but clearly not to many.
    I'd rather be lucky than good any day

    There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums.

    Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.

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    Senior Member Array dV8r's Avatar
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    What is the advantage of "classifying" every one? People are people, why does everyone think that segregating polls helps to define, prevent or propagate activities or actions?
    All it does is drive the wedge(s) a little deeper.
    (Just another near OT rant?)
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    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorBob View Post
    despite the recent spate of horrible shootings, public opinion on the issue of rights vs control has not changed a whole lot. To have an informed discusson in almost any venue, it might be useful to know what motivates people on both sides of the issue. No one has done a better job of elucidating the issues and made better suggestions about debate strategy than Abigail Kohn.

    I just finished reading Abigail Kohn's excellent book Shooters: Myths and Realities of America's Gun Cultures (Oxford University Press). She is an ethnologist who has taken up shooting and wrote a very even handed book that should be read by people on both sides of the debate. It is also avialable in Kindle edition

    The Pew Research Center has recently published a poll on attitudes toward gun control and the interesting statistics are here:

    http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/gun-control-2011.pdf

    Interestingly, whites rather than blacks, voters rather than non-voters, people who have started but not completed college are more in favor of gun rights as are those making between $99k and $30k. An interesting picture...

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1858/gun...gion-tea-party

    A brief precis of Kohn's position on how to conduct a useful debate between gun rights and gun control is here - check it out:

    http://reason.com/archives/2005/05/0...g-on-gun-contr

    She suggests, among other things,

    Stop demonizing gun owners. Insulting, ridiculing, or attempting to shame gun owners leaves them even more disgusted by the idea of gun control. Gun control advocates and social critics have rarely missed an opportunity to describe gun owners as "gun nuts," "gun crazies," or even "potential terrorists."

    Use local gun owners as a resource. There are more than 75 million gun owners in the U.S.

    Give up on dead-end gun control proposals. As the Democrats have discovered, nothing kills a political career faster that the words licensing and registration.


    ... and many more very interesting observations.
    This not a one or the other choice - every right is a right but has controls -

    Looking at it in a polarized way creates false back and white camps.

    If you want an example of both rights and controls - read the recent Heller Decision of the Supreme Court - which is the law of the land. Read the polls of the general population, who had no problem in the great majority wanting a basic right to own a gun but a basic right that they wanted regulated.

    In short, it's a false problem - though some cannot accept that.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    Some more on Kohn:

    "As a practicing anthropologist, I had set out in search of gun crazies, but what I found were regular folks -- enthusiasts who relate to their guns in generally socially positive ways. These people are usually ignored by most media accounts of America’s "gun culture." What follows is the story of how I came to make that discovery, and some brief sketches of the sorts of people who make up America’s much-maligned and misunderstood gun culture. Or, perhaps more accurately, America’s gun cultures."

    http://reason.com/archives/2001/05/01/their-aim-is-true


    "Contrary to my initial expectations of the "gun nuts" who presumably constitute what critics disparagingly refer to as "the cult of the gun in America," most members of "the gun culture" I’ve talked with are typical citizens. They live normal American lives, insofar as any of us is "normal." They have complex and sophisticated ideas about what guns do, what guns are for, and why guns are an important part of American history, society, and culture. A point that is consistently overlooked in the heat and vitriol of the gun debate is that millions of Americans have ostensibly enjoyable, or at the very least ordinary, experiences with guns all the time."

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    Senior Member Array KoriBustard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dV8r View Post
    What is the advantage of "classifying" every one? People are people, why does everyone think that segregating polls helps to define, prevent or propagate activities or actions?
    All it does is drive the wedge(s) a little deeper.
    (Just another near OT rant?)
    The classifications aren't to drive wedges but to begin to understand what may explain differences in opinions about gun ownership. For example, the Pew statistics show an interesting polarization in the types of people who are "gun control advocates." On the one hand, being lower income (<$30,000), Black, and urban all correlate with "gun control" -- this makes sense as this population is more likely to be the victim of a violent crime and may see guns primarily as a threat. However, at the other end of the spectrum being high income (+100,000) and college educated, and from a north eastern state also tends to describe a "gun control advocate" -- this population is often more liberal in its political views and is protected from many common crimes by their wealth (live in safer neighborhoods, get better protection for LEO, etc.). The whole story isn't here, but these profiling statistics are helpful I think.

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    I have to say, for a supposedly libertarian publication, the first and third editorials in this Reason article are absolutely awful. Gun control is absolutely immoral, and the kinds of things they advocate in this are not going to do anything but change the path down the slippery slope. Color me unimpressed.
    Last edited by peckman28; February 11th, 2011 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Added info

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