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CFI Skeptics of Eugene Message Board › Gun Violence (and other violence)

Gun Violence (and other violence)

Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 224
This topic is from a split of an earlier topic which covered "2 subjects that should interest us" (one being gun violence).

Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 225
The Philosophy of the Technology of the Gun

Does the old rallying cry "Guns don't kill people. People kill people" hold up to philosophical scrutiny?

To be sure, this statement is more of a slogan than well-formulated argument. But even as a shorthand expression, it captures the widely believed idea that murder is wrong and the appropriate source to blame for committing murder is the person who pulled a gun's trigger. Indeed, the NRA's proposition is not unusual; it aptly expresses the folk psychology that underlies moral and legal norms.


A recap/synopsis of the Atlantic article (What can philosophy of technology tell us about the gun debate?) states: "Because of the powerful psychological effects of gun ownership, Selinger told MSNBC, it makes sense to think about the interaction between humans and guns in a system-based (rather than individual agent-centered) way. A person holding a gun, he said, becomes part of a human-gun system.

“When you change the fundamental component here—a person walking down a street instead of a person-gun system—you can get a very different outcome,” he said. When the National Rifle Association and its allies reply that “people kill people,” they’re taking a radically individualistic position that ignores the human’s place within the system.

“At issue is a fundamental metaphysical issue about who we are, how autonomous we are,” said Selinger. “The instrumentalist, to use a phrase from Seinfeld, sees us as masters of our own domain. The non-instrumentalist sees the human system in a much more porous way.”
Selinger argues that it is the instrumentalists—those who insist “Guns don’t kill people; people don’t kill people”—who have taken an overly abstract view of the relationship between humans and technology. Instrumentalism “is a very partial account of how human beings think, of how we behave, of how react, and the ways in which material culture which we interact with can have on a profound effect on what we think,” he said."
A former member
Post #: 20
That's awesome. That's what I've been saying for decades, just not so eloquently and concisely.
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 228

Farred zakaria:

The data in social science are rarely this clear. They strongly suggest that we have so much more gun violence than other countries because we have far more permissive laws than others regarding the sale and possession of guns. With 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has 50 percent of the guns.

Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 229
NRA Renews Criticism of Weapons Ban as Gun Debate Begins

Ginny Simone began a webcast aired on the NRA's web site yesterday by saying that “as the nation continues to mourn the loss of the 26 innocent victims” of the shooting, Obama has directed his Cabinet members to propose measures that would curb gun violence.
“Measures that would likely include the assault-weapons ban because word from the White House is that the ban remains a commitment of the president,” Simone said, characterizing it as “a ban we all know was a failed experiment from the start.”
The dual messages are reminders of the difficultly lawmakers likely will face as they try to impose new restrictions on gun ownership.

Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 233

The whole list:
Joe Allbaugh (Board Member)
Graham Hill (Board Member)
Scott Bach (Board Member)
Steve Hornady (Board Member)
Buster Bachhuber (Board Member)
Roy Innis (Board Member)
Carol Bambery (Board Member)
Joaquin Jackson (Board Member)
Bob Barr (Board Member)
David Keene (Board Member)
Ronnie Barrett (Board Member)
Tom King (Board Member)
Clel Baudler (Board Member)
Herbert Lanford (Board Member)
Ken Blackwell (Board Member)
Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)
Matt Blunt (Board Member)
Karl Malone (Board Member)
John Bolton (Chairman of International Affairs Subcommittee)
John Milius (Board Member)
Rep. Dan Boren (Board Member)
Buz Mills (Board Member)
Bob Brown (Board Member)
Cleta Mitchell (Board Member)
Pete Brownell (Board Member)
Grover Norquist (Board Member)
John Burtt (Board Member)
Chuck Norris (Celebrity Spokesperson)
Dave Butz (Board Member)
Oliver North (Board Member)
Harlon Carter (Former NRA Executive Vice President)
Ted Nugent (Board Member)
Richard Childress (Board Member)
Johnny Nugent (Board Member)
Jim Porter (First Vice President)
Chris Cox (Executive Director)
Jay Printz (Board Member)
David Coy (Board Member)
Todd Rathner (Board Member)
Larry Craig (Board Member)
Kayne Robinson (Executive Director of NRA General Operations Division)
Wayne Anthony Ross (Board Member)
R. Lee Ermey (Board Member)
Ron Schmeits (Board Member)
Manny Fernandez (Board Member)
Tom Selleck (Board Member)
Sandy Froman (Board Member)
John Sigler (Board Member)
Jim Gilmore (Board Member)
Linda Walker (Board Member)
Marion Hammer (Board Member)
Maria Heil (Board Member)
Rep. Don Young (Board Member)

Getting to know these individuals and making their views and interests widely known to Americans is essential in our fight to reduce the chances of another Aurora or Newtown massacre.
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 234
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 239
Legal Curbs Hamper A.T.F. in Gun Inquiries

When law enforcement officers recover a gun and serial number, workers at the bureau’s National Tracing Center here — a windowless warehouse-style building on a narrow road outside town — begin making their way through a series of phone calls, asking first the manufacturer, then the wholesaler and finally the dealer to search their files to identify the buyer of the firearm.

About a third of the time, the process involves digging through records sent in by companies that have closed, in many cases searching by hand through cardboard boxes filled with computer printouts, hand-scrawled index cards or even water-stained sheets of paper.

In an age when data is often available with a few keystrokes, the A.T.F. is forced to follow this manual routine because the idea of establishing a central database of gun transactions has been rejected by lawmakers in Congress, who have sided with the National Rifle Association, which argues that such a database poses a threat to the Second Amendment. In other countries, gun rights groups argue, governments have used gun registries to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens.

Advocates for increased gun regulation, however, contend that in a country plagued by gun violence, a central registry could help keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and allow law enforcement officials to act more effectively to prevent gun crime.

At a news conference last Wednesday, Mr. Obama called on the Senate to confirm a permanent director, saying lawmakers should “make this a priority early in the year.” But given the complicated politics, it may be difficult for the White House to get a director confirmed. Mr. Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, was unable to do so.

In 2010, Mr. Obama nominated Andrew Traver, who is now the head of the bureau’s Denver division, for the post. But Mr. Traver, whose candidacy is opposed by the N.R.A., has yet to have a hearing, and his nomination has languished in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The senior Republican on the panel, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, has raised questions about Mr. Traver’s nomination, and his prospects for confirmation looked so dim that the White House told Democrats on the committee to make nominations for other posts a higher priority, according to a Senate Democratic aide.

Yet law enforcement officials and criminal justice experts who would like the A.T.F. to have greater latitude in fighting crime say its effectiveness in reducing gun violence is still hampered by a thicket of laws that limit the information it can obtain and constrain its day-to-day functioning.

¶ The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, for example, prohibits A.T.F. agents from making more than one unannounced inspection per year of licensed gun dealers. The law also reduced the falsification of records by dealers to a misdemeanor and put in place vague language defining what it meant to “engage in business” without a dealer’s license.

¶ Both provisions, said William J. Vizzard, an emeritus professor of criminal justice at California State University, Sacramento, and a former A.T.F. special agent, made it more difficult for the bureau to go after gun sellers who broke the law.

¶ The so-called Tiahrt amendments — named for Todd Tiahrt, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, and first attached as riders to appropriations bills in 2003 and 2004 — limited the A.T.F.’s ability to share tracing information on firearms linked to crimes with local and state law enforcement agencies and with the public. Those restrictions have been loosened in subsequent versions of the amendments. But under the most recent Tiahrt amendment, adopted in 2010, the A.T.F. still cannot release anything but aggregate data to the public. The amendment still prohibits the bureau from using tracing data in some legal proceedings to suspend or revoke a dealer’s license, and it requires that records of background checks of gun buyers be destroyed within 24 hours of approval. Advocates of tighter regulation say this makes it harder to identify dealers who falsify records or buyers who make “straw” purchases for others.

¶ Mr. Gottlieb said the Tiahrt amendment protected data “from people who are anti-gun rights who want to manipulate things” to bolster support for gun regulation.

¶ Congress has long resisted the idea of a central transaction database
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 240
The National Rifle Association has taken an increasingly active role in judicial nominations.

The N.R.A. has embedded itself so deeply into the culture of Republican politics that it would take a cataclysm to break the bonds of money and fear that keep Republican office holders captive to the gun lobby’s agenda.

Well, a cataclysm just occurred, a few dozen miles from my office at Yale Law School. (My late father-in-law was born on a farm in the Sandy Hook neighborhood of Newtown.) There will be legislative proposals, and members of the Senate and House will debate them, maybe even enact a few, and people back home can decide what they think. How to get a handle on the gun problem is not my point. Rather, I want to offer the judicial nomination story as a canary in the mine, a warning about the depths to which the power of the gun lobby has brought the political system.

My point is this: It is totally unacceptable for the N.R.A., desperate to hang on to its mission and its members after achieving its Second Amendment triumph at the Supreme Court four years ago, to be calling the tune on judicial nominations for an entire political party. Free the Republican caucus. Follow Lisa Murkowski’s lead. Recognize a naked power play for what it is. Voters who think they care about the crisis of gun violence in America are part of the problem, not the solution – they are enablers if they aren’t willing to help their elected representatives cast off the N.R.A.’s chains. Call for an end to the cowardly filibuster against Caitlin Halligan, whose nomination the president resubmitted in September. The next time a senator announces opposition to a judicial nominee, demand something other than incoherent mumbo-jumbo. Tell the senator to fill in the blank: “I oppose this nominee because ____.” If there’s an answer of substance, fine. That’s advise-and-consent democracy. But if, upon inspection, the real answer is “because the N.R.A. told me to,” we have a problem. Based on these last few years, I think we do.
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 241
Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported from the U.S. over his gun control views.

Morgan has taken an aggressive stand for tighter U.S. gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting. Last week, he called a gun advocate appearing on his "Piers Morgan Tonight" show an "unbelievably stupid man."

Now, gun rights activists are fighting back. A petition created Dec. 21 on the White House e-petition website by a user in Texas accuses Morgan of engaging in a "hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution" by targeting the Second Amendment. It demands he be deported immediately for "exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens."

The petition has already hit the 25,000 signature threshold to get a White House response. By Monday, it had 31,813 signatures.
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