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Comment Re:Trying to get shot? (Score 3, Interesting) 678

Tell us, why do you carry a gun?

Short and possibly flippant answer, because a cop weighs too much.

Longer and more useful answer, because things happen and when it does the odds that a cop or such will be right there is vanishingly small. Sure, you can call the police and should do so. However, even under the very best of conditions it will still take them minutes to get there in a situation where seconds count. Do I have pretensions of being some super bad ass who will take on terrorists and vanquish evil? Don't be silly. I hope I could acquit myself well and have practiced with that in mind, less for terrorists (highly unlikely to ever happen) and more for mundane things, but still.

I have a fire extinguisher, but I am not the fire department. I have car insurance as well, and hope I never have to use any of these things. Yet, if I do I hope to be as prepared as one can reasonably be for such a thing. One could ask why you don't, if I may presume so much, carry one and be prepared as well. One could ask that, but as far as I'm concerned it would be rude to do so as if you don't I presume you have what you feel are good and proper reasons and I would not presume to judge anyone for doing so or not doing so. It's a personal decision and should remain such.

Comment Re:Trying to get shot? (Score 1) 678

My stance on gun control is not relevant, which is exactly the point I'm trying to make. A person's stance on gun-control is not an indicator of whether they support a more authoritarian state in general, which is what the GP implies.

While realizing I replied above as well, I must say it is a fairly reliable indicator. You'll almost certainly never find a person who both says "strict gun control!" and also seriously say "maximum freedom for the individual!" unless they're laying some exceedingly serious caveats on that. While those in favor of guns rights and such may also sometimes lay caveats they don't tend to be as intrusive. Still, not ideal but possibly not as bad depending on whose bull is being gored.

Comment Re:Slice Statistics (Score 1) 678

Tell me, what's the difference between all those things you've listed and guns?
I know you won't get it, so I'll tell you, guns are designed to kill. Those other things aren't.
Why American't allow so many morons to have guns is beyond me. Just look at the number of people supporting Trump to give you an idea of the shear number of morons you have in your country, are you seriously suggesting these idiots should be allowed to own something designed to kill?
Actually, don't answer that, you're probably one of them.

Guns are designed to shoot. They are often used for killing, they are even more frequently (by volume of shots) used for other things. I know lots of people who own and use guns frequently. Strangely, none of them have ever killed a person and only a few have killed anything at all. Guns are tools designed to do a job. Hammers drive nails, saws and axes cut wood, and guns fire projectiles. All of these can kill and all of these have variants which are more or less suited to killing. They also all have variants which would be terrible at killing.

Trying to take tools away is silly when the people who use them evil purposes are still running around doing bad things. Blame the user, not the tool.

Comment Re:Slice Statistics (Score 2) 678

> So, we should ban guns because poor people can't afford them?
No, you should ban guns because THEY FUCKEN KILL PEOPLE!
Jesus, how god damn hard is that to understand.

*looks over at his rifle on the wall* "Oi, kill anyone today?" *silence*

Oh.. right.. inanimate object. Doesn't answer and also doesn't jump off the wall and kill people. Weird that, isn't it?

Comment Re:Trying to get shot? (Score 4, Insightful) 678

I'm pretty sure people who like having power over other people are the one's with the guns.

Odd. I own guns and I carry a gun. Can't say I want power over anyone, unless we're counting myself. I've always found it odd that the people who are most afraid of non-state actors carrying are usually the ones who also want more and more State and centralized power and authority. Thoughts?

Comment Re: Will be? (Score 1) 618

You're a god damn fool. If all of this is poppycock but we still act, there isn't much of a problem. If it isn't poppycock and we don't act then the results could be catastrophic. I'd rather we err in the side of caution only a fool would choose to do otherwise.

I imagine it depends on what one is proposing to do about it. If the danger is vague and ill-defined and questionably real, with a proposed 'fix' which will certainly cause massive economic and other hardships then it isn't as clear cut as you're making it out to be. If the danger was definite and the science truly settled, not this 'may' happen but 'if you don't do XYZ then ABC will definitely happen with a 95% probability' then taking drastic action would be warranted without question. However, with 'may' qualifiers up one way and down the other drastic action cannot reasonably be justified given the reasonably known costs of that action.

A much better line would be "make things more efficient and less polluting because clean air and water are good things and here's how we do it and not tank the economy and force fundamental over night changes". That's a message most people could get behind I'd imagine. Sadly, that isn't the message being put out there.

Comment Re:Nothing stopping them from giving more.. (Score 1) 644

Given that government already eats plenty of money and still can't do its basic jobs properly, I don't see any logical reason to give even more to them.

How ELSE do you propose roads, bridges, pipes, etc. get built and repaired? Magic beans? If you are going to bash something, FIRST prepare a realistic alternative.

No one said anything about taking away the money, huge sums of it, which are already taken by government. I simply said there was no logical reason for them to come demanding even more when they have such a terrible record of taking care of what they are already taking. I'm proposing accountability.

Comment Re:Nothing stopping them from giving more.. (Score 1) 644

>Then logically they could give whatever they think they should be paying in taxes to the government

False. Giving money voluntarily to the government creates way too big a tunnel to hide bribes in. American politicians are already quite sold-out enough, we do not need to have the rich advocating to create yet another large backchannel for them.

The whole point of taxes is that paying them is involuntary, that's literally the only difference between a tax and a bribe and bribes are a very bad thing.

Er.. I don't think anyone is suggesting that John RichGuy or Jane RichGirl sends personal checks to Senator ITakeBribes. There's a spot on tax returns to just give money. There are ways to just give money directly to the Treasury for addition to the General Funds.

Comment Re:Nothing stopping them from giving more.. (Score 1) 644

The intent isn't actually to likely persuade anything to happen outside of something important: discussion. One or two people giving away, say, 20% more of their net worth hardly does anything and the case can easily be made that if doing X action doesn't meet Y result then find a better action.

Then logically they could give whatever they think they should be paying in taxes to the government and then make a big deal about that and encourage others to be as generous. Instead, they're calling for force to be used on others to make them do what they think is right.

Comment Re:Nothing stopping them from giving more.. (Score 1) 644

Besides, nothing is stopping them from giving more if they really feel that strongly about it.

That's not how game theory works. Toll roads do not work with voluntary tolls. A few might pay but the majority would not.
Funding of public goods works best on a non-voluntary basis. That's why civilizations evolved things like "taxes" pretty early on once agriculture started taking hold. Everybody pays, everybody benefits. Yes, you effectively contribute a portion of your labor to the city/state, but if everything is balanced right, the rewards of cooperation exceed the cost of your labor contribution.

That may not be how game theory works, but it would be a lot easier to swallow this attempt at "enforced altruism" if they themselves were already giving significantly more.

Comment Re:Nothing stopping them from giving more.. (Score 1) 644

Besides, nothing is stopping them from giving more if they really feel that strongly about it.

There is a risk of depending on volunteer donations for infrastructure and basic services. During slumps, people are obviously going to give less. That means basic services take a big hit during bad times when they are needed most.

I had a similar complaint about Ron Paul's volunteer-based healthcare plan.

It also means the economy slows way down during slumps as the giving shrinks and reduces paychecks, exacerbating the existing slump. It's counter-Keynes.

None of this justifies the idea of raising taxes on certain groups simply because they can "afford" it. If these people truly believed they were undertaxed, then encourage others in their income bracket to give more and give more themselves. Given that government already eats plenty of money and still can't do its basic jobs properly, I don't see any logical reason to give even more to them. Let them prove they can properly manage what they have now first.

Comment Re:Nothing stopping them from giving more.. (Score 1) 644

I don't know how you stoop to levels that cynical.

I feel empathy with these guys. My net worth is close to zero due to some bad decisions I made, but I earn more than double my national average. I still favour increasing tax on the wealthy, including myself in that. I do *not* think I have "spare money" to "give" to the government, far from it - but if COLLECTIVELY as a group the people as wealthy as me were all to agree to give a little more, I would be happy to do my part.

I strongly suspect wealthy people who make these kind of remarks are more likely to be charitable - paying extra taxes seems silly as you cannot influence the good it does directly, but donating those millions to charity gives you a level of control. They probably *are* giving more than the average wealthy person who is trying to drive DOWN taxes, social spending etc.

They may be more charitable, they may not. However, your logic doesn't seem overly sound to me. It seems to me that you're saying that you don't feel that you have extra money to give, yet somehow if it was done collectively and at the point of a gun with the force of government behind it you suddenly do have extra money? You have it, or you don't. If these people, or anyone for that matter, personally doesn't feel they're paying their fair share than they are free to give more and I would applaud their actions taken of their own volition. Instead, they're calling for the force of government to be used against others (albeit including themselves) to force them to do what they do not want to do.

If they want to give themselves, that's fine. Calling for force to be used on others to make them live their lives in the way that they believe is wrong.

Comment Re:Yeah, um, not so much (Score 2) 819

It doesn't help that the NRA has moved from being a safety and enthusiast organization into a political one that encourages paranoia that the government is trying to ban guns outright.

Don't forget that the NRA has historically been in favour of gun control if it meant taking guns from unpopular people. If the NRA launched a campaign encouraging Muslim-Americans to own guns for personal defence (given that this group is disproportionately the target of hate crime these days), I'd believe they were actually in favour of protecting the second amendment.

Given that the Mulford Act was passed before the NRA really got into politics I'm not sure how you can say they were in favor of it. The NRA didn't get political until the 1970s. Of course, before the passage of such things as the Gun Control Act of 1968 the only significant gun control in the US was such things as the Mulford Act and the Sullivan Act in New York (passed much earlier, but still) there wasn't much of a need to be politically active as the federal assault on gun rights hadn't really begun. One could, and should, point to the National Firearms Act of 1932 as probably the earliest example of such an assault. I am unsure what the NRAs position, or if they even had one that early on, of it was at the time. Now, of course, the position would be that it is either unconstitutional or barely such.

In any case, I do thank you for pointing out one of the key components of all US gun control. It's almost always targeted in a racist manner along with targeting poor people. You're right, the Mulford Act was targeted against blacks. The Sullivan Act was targeted against Italians and other immigrant groups. The aforementioned National Firearms Act's tax on automatic weapons, suppresors, and weapons configured in certain ways was ostensibly to prevent crime and such, but it also just happened to allow the rich to still have anything they wanted. Later amendments added to it amplified this effect.

One only has to look at the permitting behavior for those few States which have so-called May Issue carry permits for more evidence of racism and similar motivations running throughout gun control. The history of gun control in the US has always been far more about taking guns away from undesirables than crime control.

Comment Re:Yeah, um, not so much (Score 1) 819

Basically there's a significant number of people who believe that gun ownership is a vital part of their culture. They equate restrictions on gun ownership akin to government regulations about what sorts of apples can go into Mom's apple pie. It doesn't help that the NRA has moved from being a safety and enthusiast organization into a political one that encourages paranoia that the government is trying to ban guns outright. Because a guns are a part of culture this is all a part of what they think is the larger culture war.

You know, I wish you were right. I wish there weren't non-trivial segments of the government who weren't wanting to ban and confiscate such things. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world as you can see here. For those too lazy to click the link, it's Diane Feinstein in an interview in 1995 after the passage of the last Assault Weapons Ban saying that if she could have gotten the votes to force turning all such things in, she would have. If one thinks they would have stopped at so called Assault Weapons one would be seriously deluding themselves. If one thinks that she is alone in that view, especially in the Democrat party, one is deluding themselves.

"If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them -- Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in -- I would have done it." -- Diane Feinstein

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