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Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 361

What would be nice is our representatives only being on committees where they could prove they were competant on the subject matter.

Prove to who, by what standards? Maybe a legislator should be good at understanding the constitution, the wheels of policy making, the nature of government finance, etc., and then do what committees do ... bring in experts to testify so they'll hear from experts who specialize in the subject matter. An elected representative is supposed to be an expert at being a legislator. Expecting them to be fully formed IT experts or doctorate level virologists or masters of manufacturing processes is completely missing the point.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 5, Funny) 361

This is why I'm seriously advocating that the weight of one's vote should be proportional to his knowledge + intelligent.

Does that mean that my vote will count more than yours, because I know the difference between "intelligent" and "intelligence?"

Be careful how you tell other people to measure things.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

To establish that fact, you'd have to engage in a psychological examination of the criminals.

No, you would not. Because the evidence is simple. The vast majority of the types of murders we're talking about are conducted by people illegally owning guns, most of which are stolen or otherwise illegally in possession of the person doing the deed. If criminals cared about illegally possessing guns, that simple fact wouldn't be true. There's no need for hand-wringing psychoanalysis ... just open your eyes.

This sentence, your basically saying solving the problem solves the problem.

No, I'm saying that solving the crime problem happens to solve the CRIME WITH GUNS problem. But the gun control think (or pretend to) that guns CAUSE the crime. I'm pointing out that they're being completely disingenuous, because they know that the problem is crime, not guns. They don't want to confront the human behavior part, because that means being judgmental about other people (and statistically, being judgmental especially about poor people and minorities) that are involved in most of that crime. Because that's the third rail of political correctness, they lazily pretend that controlling the guns that non-criminals might purchase will make crime go away so they don't have to confront the real problem: local culture.

And yet that is a contention that hasn't been proven, actually.

That's why you can't make any assertions about local gun laws, as the effect of local gun laws on the availability of guns has not been demonstrated.

It doesn't NEED to be. Unless you're suggesting that gun control laws make guns MORE available in the areas where they are used frequently in crimes. Is that really your contention? Otherwise guns are uniformly available across the country, but at least somewhat less so in areas like Chicago because of the draconian laws (which is why people who wanted to own them for self defense in their homes there had to take the matter to court).

First you have to reduce the supply of guns, then you can see what impact it has on the crime levels.

Why? We already see that crime level are much, much lower in most areas where guns are readily available. Guns are harder to legally purchase in Chicago, where they have a huge crime problem. Guns are readily available in other cities, where they do not have that problem. What if Chicago's laws have NO impact on gun ownership levels. So what? Let's say it is has zero effect, and that guns are just as available there as the are in, say, San Diego or Hartford. So what? The differential in crime is enormous. If you're really going to pretend that can't grasp that, then there's little point in continuing the conversation, because you're not fooling anybody.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

You're not understanding the difference between long guns and pistols. Which is why I mentioned rifles, and specifically talked about the constantly pointless gun control focus on "assault weapons" (which aren't actually assault rifles, but look scary to people who don't understand that replacing wood with plastic doesn't change the way a semi-auto gun works).

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

You're comparing two different things there, you first have to establish that the places where gun laws are most restrictive, do in fact, have fewer guns

No, we're establishing the fact that criminals really don't care about gun laws, and the problem is crime, not guns. In those areas with the high murder rates, reducing the overall level of crime down to what it is elsewhere (where guns are plenty available, but aren't being used in as many crimes ... because there AREN'T AS MANY CRIMES) solves the problem. The problem being crime, not the tools that criminals use (because as mentioned, they're also very happy to slit your throat or beat you to death ... the number of stabbings, for example, are also very high in the same places where the number of shootings are high).

You didn't even reply to the assertion, which was that it was more likely to be with guns due to the guns being everywhere.

That one, again, doesn't rally merit a response. Guns are available across the US. But criminal use of them is highly localized, statistically. It's as simple as the conduct of the people in those locations, period.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

Homicide rates on the other hand are through the roof because it's so much easier to kill some one with a gun.

Except the FBI reports that the number of people killed with beatings by bats, pipes, and bare hands wildly eclipses the murders committed by any sort of rifle, shotgun, or other "long gun" (including things that look like military assault rifles). And yet every time the media talks about such things, they flash up pictures of scary looking rifles with black plastic parts on them, and focus on politicians who call for "assault weapon" bans. We've had multiple murders in our area just in the last couple of weeks. Stabbings, all of them.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

That does nothing to change the fact that we have a homicide rate 4 times that of any other Western nation.

In real terms, no we don't. We have three or four specific cities with highly localized cultural problems and an inexplicable political tolerance for persistent criminal activity that account for the lion's share of those numbers. If you remove places like Chicago and Baltimore from the numbers, the US drops to almost the bottom of the "Western nation" murder rate list. Talking in nation-wide generalities about what is essentially a severe cultural problem in a handful of neighborhoods is completely disingenuous.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

How about addressing the root problem of our excessive gun violence, there's too many guns!

Then why is there more violence in the places where gun laws are the most restrictive, and LESS violence in places where guns are readily available and very commonly owned?

When criminal elements or the mentally unstable types commit violent acts (which happens everywhere) they are so much more likely to do it with a gun here because guns are everywhere in this country.

Except reality doesn't agree with your assertion. Yes, guns are (more or less) everywhere. But violence crime (a la Chicago or Baltimore) is NOT everywhere. In fact it's easier to get guns outside of those places. And those places also have much higher rates of beatings, stabbings, etc. If you remove the four municipalities with the highest overall crime rates from the national statistics, the rate of murders for the country drops nearly to the bottom of the modern world's stats. Why? Because we have a few cities with major localized cultural problems and an inexplicable tolerance for persistent criminal populations. Take those out of the equation and there's almost nothing to talk bout here.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

There are places in EVERY country that are "far far more violent". Generally speaking they are called "major urban areas".

That's exactly the point you're missing. Chicago (for example) is far, far more violent than most every other urban area in the US. And certain vastly more violent than, say, Geneva, Switzerland. Do you really think that places like Seattle, or Houston, or Annapolis, or Des Moines, or San Francisco, or Miami even hold a candle to the sort of gang-related thuggery that's spiking in Chicago and Baltimore? Those ARE outliers, and distort the national numbers significantly. If the guns caused the crime (are you really that wrong-headed) then why aren't the guns causing crime everywhere else where there are MORE OF THEM, and they are EASIER TO GET AND OWN? Hint: because guns don't cause shootings any more than knives cause stabbings or spoons make you fat. If the presence or availability of guns drove crime, we wouldn't see places like Chicago as exceptions.

I mentioned Miami, above. Not cirme-free, to be sure. But they USED to be Chicago, and had a real problem with street-level criminal violence. They finally passed a concealed carry law and made it easier for people to own guns. That type of violent crime dropped immediately and precipitously and has been down ever since. Murders in general across the board nation-wide are at their lowest level since the 1950's, and murders using guns have - despite the ever-growing number of firearms privately owned - been going steadily down, nation-wide, for decades. That further exposes the exceptional local culture problems in places like Chicago and Baltimore. Do you really think that Baltimore's recent spike in street killings is tied in any way to a change in the availability of guns over the last year? Nothing has changed there except local human behavior. If gun availability caused it, why hasn't the exact same thing happened in all of the surrounding communities? Be specific.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

You cant cut out some of our largest population centers and leave other countries ones in and not call that cherry picking. ALL countries have more violent regions then others.

You're still not getting it. The point is that there are places in the country that are far, far more violent than others. But gun ownership is high across the entire country (and very high in some places) ... where that level of violence simply doesn't occur. Do I need to explain it in more detail? It's not the guns, or the pattern would be the same everywhere there are guns. It's the local cultures. Further, the places where it's the worst are the places that have the tightest restrictions on guns. Chicago is a great example.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

Including information from striking outliers IS a way of cherry picking, in order to distort the big picture. Just like including suicides and calling it "gun violence." Pointing out that a very small cross section of the country - geographically and demographically - is responsible for a huge portion of what's reported as if it were nation-wide... that's NOT cherry picking. It's called context.

Comment Re:Teens shouldn't have access to guns... (Score 1) 448

but I do know that something, somewhere has got to give

Kind of like it already has? The use of guns in violent crimes has been going down steadily for decades. If you remove from the stats the four cities that host the worst of the country's intra-gang violence, the rate plummets. We have less murder per capita now than we have since the 1950's.

Alas, we've had mulitple murders right near us in the last few weeks. Of course, they were stabbings. When you say "something has got to give," you're talking about human behavior, right? Not which inanimate object some killer decides to use? Not whether they use a pressure cooker to shred dozens of people, but that they want to do so?

Comment Re: Teens shouldn't have access to guns... (Score 1) 448

I'm still very certain you don't see those guys clad as ninjas prancing around your yard

Why do you keep saying that? What reference have I made that makes any reference to any such thing?

It's almost so obvious that I wonder why you'd claim otherwise

I didn't claim otherwise. Rampant crime, and the tolerance of things like violent gangs populated almost entirely by illegal aliens, is certainly a cultural problem. Our culture is far, far too tolerant of violent criminals, and allows too many of them to rotate right back onto the street. Yes, that's a cultural problem.

People want to exploit fear, and make you dance to their strings,

Yup, just like you're doing right now. Trying to make people irrationally fear millions and millions of people who own firearms. You're completely unpersuasive.

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky