Don't be harsh, it's probably the only site he could afford to self-publicise himself on.
Given that The Register is actually wrong about at least 90% of things it says then the Slashdot heading and summary are for once probably more correct.
"It's not about "freedom to live without fear" (I don't think that such a right can even be reasonably argued, since fear is a subjective state of one's mind)."
I agree it's subjective but isn't this sort of thing already pretty well codified as being a generally accepted thing across the globe? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights already uses the term descriptively as something people should be able to live without. Prominent examples tend to relate to, say, racial minorities not having to live in fear of persecution, something which is pretty widely established as an acceptable fundamental right.
The rest of those arguments aside (because I think we'd have to agree to disagree), and merely out of interest, is your view that increased access to firearms actually has benefits to society such that deregulation would actually improve US society or is your view simply more passive in that you feel you're not sure what the impacts are either way but are simply just against more regulation/government interference?
"It should also be noted that US is not the only country that permits carrying handguns - in Europe Czech Republic does that, and citizens do exercise that ability."
For what it's worth I've been to the Czech Republic, both Prague and some of the more rural areas (to cactus nurseries of all places - the old soviet states seem to be quite a fan of such plants) and I can't recall once ever seeing a single person carrying a weapon so even if it is legal I'm not convinced it is exercised much and this in part may cause a large difference - it's the arms race of it become exponentially more common and hence causing problems that's the issue rather than gun control itself per-se.
"It is impossible to use them in such a way as to limit the response only to your attacker."
Is there any reason to think a nuclear strike on say, an military Iranian nuclear facility in the face of nuclear strike threats is any less personal defence than firing at a gang banger with a gun and risking hitting innocent bystanders with stray bullets?
The only real difference I see is scale of carnage, but where do you draw the line? Is it okay for someone of a racial minority to bomb a KKK house if he hears they're planning to lynch him? Where do you draw the line between personal defence and non-personal defence? It seems rather arbitrary. The fact is innocent people do die often to stray bullets fired from guns in anticipation that someone else was about to fire at them, is that somehow different to KKK folk dying to a bomb along with a few others that were otherwise going to lynch? is that somehow different to a whole bunch of military personnel dying to a nuclear strike before they got chance to fire first?
I don't really see an objective line of distinction with these ranged weapons, only personal opinion in this respect. To me the distinction would probably be a knife, because unlike a gun the danger of harming anyone else if you attack a target with it is practically zero. Unless you have control of the element of the weapon that causes harm right through to it doing harm then it's by definition not personal in my view - the bullet is on on it's own path once you've pulled the trigger, just like the blast radius of a bomb post detonation.
"Given that, when the choice is between freedom or regulation, I think that freedom is always a reasonable default choice."
The problem with freedom is that one man's freedom is another man's tyranny, so the idea of a universal freedom is a myth. The only question is whose freedoms are proactively removed to minimise the losses of freedom overall.
Your freedom to live without fear of not being armed, removes another's to live without fear of being around people who are armed and how they may abuse that power. You must be careful to declare a tendency towards freedom else the NSA's spying can simply be justified by government as the freedom for NSA staff to do whatever they deem necessary to ensure national security over legislation to grant you at least some degree of privacy.
"The problem with this assertion is that it doesn't seem to follow from any numbers that we have. Now, it's very hard to find research that is non-biased one way or around, but playing with raw stats published by various countries and states in US has led me to conclude that gun control or lack thereof simply does not correlate with crime and violence in any meaningful sense."
You'd be hard pressed to draw a link in large part because it takes time for the effect to follow through. In the UK it took the likes of Operation Trident post-ban to work hard to remove guns from criminals (guns that could trivially be replaced if still legal, even if only in other parts of the country). It took a decade but it's worked, gun homicide now is in the tens each year, many of which are murder suicides/suicides with legally owned shotguns or hunting rifles. Gun crime is still hovering around the 10,000 mark which sounds bad, but becomes laughable when you realise that nearly all of those incidents are nothing more than kids dicking around with air rifles and BB guns which now fall under firearm crime classification for reporting - this is something worth bearing in mind if you're evaluating UK stats as it will create disparity in seriousness of incidents with nations that do not include what are often just seen as kids toys by many in the stats.
Our country is at the least violent it's been since crime stats began, possibly ever. The stats that are highest are things like sexual assaults, but these have been grossly distorted in recent years by literally thousands of reports of historic abuse mostly in the 60s, 70s and 80s by everything from Catholic priests to TV presenters. The rate of actual incidents now is also down, even with increased support for reporting such crimes. If it's correlation you want, the UK most definitely has it over the longer term, but finding causation is likely going to be an impossible task.
I don't even think there necessarily is a strong causative link, much of it is smart policing policy, but I think it's reduced the incidences and seriousness of some crime. I know I don't need a gun to protect myself, I know I'm not going to get shot and the worst thing I'd ever have to do is run from a knife. In other words whilst gun control can't really entirely be given credit for reducing the UK's crime problems it is a part of it - removal of access to guns made it possible for police to start going into estates which were simply too dangerous before. It's a two stage process - the ban on guns, or certain guns removes the legal supply of guns, which removes the ability for the legal supply to feed the illegal supply, that creates the conditions to start actively targeting and reducing the illegal supply and it's that that has the impact on reduction of crime but that reduction will take years to achieve to a reasonable degree, especially with gun ownership to the extent of that in the US and so it'd take a strong long term political leadership to stand there until the results filter through in the face of people saying it's not working after only having given it a year or two.
That has happened in the UK however thanks largely to political consensus on the issue, but also partly that we're an island and we are now reaping the benefits. Of gun crime involving illegally owned weapons it's time and time again the same physical gun popping up, the fact gangs are having to share only one or two weapons to commit crimes limits the amount of crimes they can commit quite drastically and when the police do seize that weapon or two it can leave entire gangs without a firearm at all. Sure at this point it may descend into stabbing to a degree, but at least stabbings don't tend to effect innocent bystanders like stray bullets do.
I agree it's a complex issue, and I agree the benefits of stronger gun control are often oversold as a miracle cure - I don't think that, but I do think they're at least an important part of the package.
Everyone else in the developed world gets by as an independent human being who can take care of themselves without a gun though, so it's a false assumption that a gun is necessary for that in the first place and it goes back to my previous point that that perception is based on mere paranoia.
You could similarly extend the argument to extremes and insist on private nuclear weapon ownership in non-nuclear states so that private individuals can be independently safe from aggressive external nations but we don't because the chance of you being attacked by an external nation is so low that it's unnecessary to require nuclear weapons be allowed to be owned by anyone and everyone. We don't do this because it only takes one Adam Lanza to create a massive amount of destruction.
Escalation of arms availability doesn't make anyone safer, and it certainly doesn't make the world safer.
Out of a statistically valid sample size of 23% of seized weapons in Mexico over half (and as many as 87%) came from America alone.
Less (but still many) filter through to South America. You're right others come from Africa (the Russian, Israeli and Balkans weapons tend to pass through Africa as their transit point) but that's also exactly what I said and they're the ones that are much easier to stop with concerted international effort. There's little point even wasting time with that though when there's such a hassle free source from the north.
There's a reason that the likes of the NRA and gun companies have such a massive amount of power in the US - they're major businesses, massive global exporters of arms. Even many of the AK variants come through the US so it's a mistake just to assume that it's a Russian origin design that the US is excluded from the picture:
I didn't say anything about disgusting babies, you seem to be projecting your own view or something there, I just said I really don't give a shit if someone's baby has shat itself, it's uninteresting and I just don't care, and judging by the clear lack of response to such posts, I guess neither does anyone else.
As for bumping into people from my past whom I only begrudgingly add then yes you're absolutely right, it doesn't happen too often. I always figured this was normal given that I live amongst a population of 65 million and people tend to move around.
I guess if you bump into everyone from your past frequently you must live in some incestuous backwater hick town "Population: 200" or something?
That would explain why you're not too bright too I guess.
All terrain Google Streetview cam-bots maybe?
A rideable big dog, directed by where you look using Google glass.
I look forward to riding my unfalling metal steed to work.
"If guns are okay to defend yourself at home, why aren't they okay to defend yourself elsewhere? I fail to see the logic behind the difference."
I think he meant in the sense that the Swiss would take that statement, not the sense that those living in America would take it. By defending your home, I believe he's referring to from foreign invasion, which is why the reason the Swiss have those weapons at home in the first place.
I find the culture in much of Europe similar in that we don't even have the concept of defending ourselves or our home from criminals on our radars. The chance of actually being attacked in the street or at home is so infinitesimally small that it's not even on most people's radars. Even the little things, it's nice to be pulled by a cop and not have them approach you with their hand on the grip of a gun ready to pull it out of it's holster. Similarly the concept of armed guards in school or in fact any type of guard in school full stop seems insane.
Yet the mere hint of mention of guns when an American audience is involved and it's instantly about protecting themselves, defending themselves - from what exactly? Is crime really that high in America or is the whole nation just paranoid? This the culture difference at the core of the debate between pro-gun Americans and anti-gun Europeans (and presumably anti-gun Americans. We still like guns, they're fun to shoot, but we go to ranges for that and the guns can stay there too, but any talk of defending ourselves is laughed at - chances are far and away that you're just not going to get attacked, ever, so why even sweat it? why even waste time and money bothering with a gun when you'll never use it and it's just a pain in the arse to carry around and make sure it's secure all the time?
So to me that breaks down the scenario three ways:
1) You need a gun because your country is exceptionally violent and dangerous
2) You don't need a gun, but think you do because you're paranoid and have no grasp of the probabilities of actual harm
3) You like having a gun because it makes you feel big/is fun to dick around with/looks cool (delete as applicable)
To me the only one that supports any degree of rational argument for widespread carrying of guns over the disadvantages of widespread carrying of guns is point 1), but even here that's a band aid at best and the solution should be entirely on dealing with that violence problem - something which disarmament would in itself contribute towards.
Many of Central and South Americas weapons used in gun crimes originate from the US anyway.
So restricting sale of guns in the US would have an impact not just in the US, but across the whole of the Americas because you'd have the whole continent competing largely only for the weapons that are already in circulation. Some come from the likes of Africa too, but that's much easier to deal with in terms of policing because it has to cross the Atlantic.
America censors free speech as much or more than many other Western nations, the difference is other Western nations such as the UK prefer to make the boundaries explicitly clear by law, whilst America likes to do it anyway but without changing the law because politicians know it would be defeat by the courts as a breach of the constitution so prefer to keep it off the books.
- Assassination of people who were extremist preachers using drone strikes but that hadn't carried out any terrorist act
- ICE domain seizures to censor gambling sites internationally
- Judges handing down extraordinarily high damages amounts to victims of Westborough picketing in attempt to silence them
- Strong arming of Visa, Mastercard and Paypal to cut donations to Wikileaks in an attempt to silence it
- Countless attempts at political bartering to silence Snowden
Then there are those exceptions that are enshrined in law:
This is really the problem with America, you have this fantasy view of the world based on the constitution, but then there's the real America where the constitutions is flagrantly violated daily such that much of it isn't even true and barely ever has been.
So yes, your constitution may say you have freedom of speech, it may "guarantee" it more so than anywhere else in the world, but in reality you actually have less freedom of speech than many other nations, including many of those in Europe where the restrictions are explicitly enshrined in law, but where the restrictions are only those enshrined in law rather than those the US government or similar departments arbitrarily decide to exist - i.e. running a gambling website in a country where it's perfectly legal to do so, or leaking some information embarrassing to the US government.
It doesn't matter if it even is right or wrong, the point is you need to provide a citation that the EU project is designed to destroy democracy which is what you claim.
It could just as well be that the EU project is an imperfect system that needs some improvements in some areas.
You're claiming it's intentional that the EU works against democracy, you need to prove that claim. How do you know it's intentional? where is your evidence that it's intentional?
All you've done is cite a few examples where it isn't as democratic as it should be, that doesn't prove that that's it's overriding goal though.
You can't cite your own comment, that's not how it works.