Comments:Gun background checks a no-go in US Senate

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
The mission of the U.S. government is not to keep the people SAFE; it is to keep them FREE1915:01, 25 April 2013
greed feeding off and fueling fear and self-delusion502:30, 24 April 2013
May I be the first to say it??018:18, 23 April 2013
Gun control104:09, 20 April 2013

The mission of the U.S. government is not to keep the people SAFE; it is to keep them FREE

Here we go again with the mob mentality people saying that their opinion is the obviously correct one and that anyone who disagrees with them is an imbecile or worse. Innoculation: Intelligent people with the same core values can disagree about how best to pursue them.

An ex marine who was a close friend of mine once showed me his "assault rifle" and said, "Do you know the difference between an 'assault' rifle and any other rifle?" I said, "No." He continued, "None. The phrase 'assault rifle' is the creation of the media. The only significant difference is that 'assault rifles' don't have expensive hardwood stocks."

The mass killings at Columbine and Sandy Hook raise important questions for society. It is important for us to discuss those questions respectfully and vigorously and to give serious consideration to all viewpoints. This begins with refraining from mob mode blogging, which is akin to a religious service and just as tolerant of heretics.

IMO, rather than disarm the population, we should be focused on why the population has become so childlike, so immoral, and so psychotic that the need to discuss disarming the population even arises. The correct response, in my opinion, is for us to raise up our children into good, strong adult men and women who know how to fight, know how to shoot, and know when to make peace and to keep it.

Freedom is not free, and it is not safe. But neither is the alternative.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)03:47, 21 April 2013

There are several problems in that reasoning; I'll not try to cover them all, but touch on some high points.

The principle expressed in the first paragraph (and recurring later) is generically like the proverbial 'motherhood and apple pie', while in specific situations it may become a tool wielded by an advocate of an unreasonable position to prevent others from making an obvious criticism of that position — like the Emperor claiming it's uncivil for anyone to say someone else has no clothes.

Another theme is trying to frame a controversial debate in a way that quietly presupposes multiple things most people would say were invalid from the start. Such as "why the population has become so childlike, so immoral, and so psychotic that the need to discuss disarming the population even arises", which presupposes at least three things at once — that the population has those characteristics, that whether or not it does has any bearing on the gun-related issues under discussion, and that the proposal under discussion involves disarming the population. This technique works better if one presupposes three or more things at once; that way, if someone challenges any one of the presuppositions, the other presuppositions may effectively support it, while challenging all of them at once would be harder for the challenger to orchestrate.

My guess is, you aren't using these techniques deliberately. But that doesn't mean you aren't using them; they're a sort of infection that spreads from person to person by imitation.

Pi zero (talk)11:43, 21 April 2013

I am interested in enjoying "wholesome connection" with you, in the form of an intelligent, mutually stimulating conversation that is not marred by animosity. This is always my main reason for participating in conversation. For me, the experience is not competitive; I don't think of a conversation as something to win.

IMO, your entire post consists of an ad hominem attack in which you try to refute the idea that I've expressed by suggesting that there is something repugnant, and possibly malicious, about the form in which I express it. My response is that form and motive are irrelevant. Even if the form of my post constitutes "a technique", and even if I am using that technique deliberately, all of that is irrelevant and is not effective in refuting my idea.

I think that we agree that the frequency with which mass killings occur presents a problem for society. One approach to reduce mass killings is to disarm the population. My point is simply that there is another approach: Develop the character of the population. Find a way for society to do better at the job of raising up the children into good, strong men and women. I would argue further that the Constitution of the United States bars the easy approach of disarming the population.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)16:41, 21 April 2013

I have made no personal attack; that characterization of my remarks is quite inaccurate. I've assessed your reasoning frankly, and acknowledged you yourself may well be unaware of the techniques you are using. You'll miss out on a lot of reasoning if you react to reason by perceiving personal attack. I also note, you are repeating the misstep of presupposing that the proposal under discussion involves disarming the population, and additionally (though in this instance somewhat less prominently) presupposing both that the character of the population is problematic, and that changing that character would help.

Pi zero (talk)11:26, 22 April 2013

Pi zero, the thrust of your post is that THE FORM of my post functions to deceive and you insinuate that I might be using that form for that purpose intentionally. That is an ad hominem argument. It is disrespectful. Rather than accuse me of being deceptive, you should have used your post to expose the deception.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)03:46, 23 April 2013

Your accusation is patently false. I have expressed the opinion that you were probably not aware of what you were doing (an opinion I still hold, btw); this is, of course, as far as I could honestly go in the matter, since I am not telepathic and therefore have no way of knowing for sure that you were unaware of the tactics. You on the other hand have —if you are being careful about your words— signally failed to reciprocate, accusing me of deliberate personal attack against you. This is another technique belief systems commonly use to insulate their proponents against rational dialog: condition their proponents to accuse others of the tactics they themselves are conditioned to use. The truly appalling thing about this sort of strategy is that it does not require self-awareness by the person wielding it; indeed, such belief systems would not be so successful if their proponents had to realize what they were doing, because that would make it harder for them to acquire and retain proponents.

Pi zero (talk)14:48, 23 April 2013

Pi zero, thank you for the really educational and useful analysis of reasoning applied in opinions about the Wikinews "Gun background checks a no-go in US Senate". Hope the authors and proponents of the failed amendments have followed this discussion carefully, the quality of which really merits much wider coverage by Wikinews.

Kdarwish1 (talk)17:54, 21 April 2013

greed feeding off and fueling fear and self-delusion

Outstanding article, thank you, and highlighted links useful for clarifying specifics. After reading other comments to this article, and numerous others posted elsewhere, it seems fair to write that while the proposed amendments might be "common sense" as First Lady Michelle Obama stated, the common and overwhelming sentiment in the United States Senate that represents the public (vote) opposes such common sense changes. The primary motive greed and the political "henchmen" are well explained described at .Kdarwish1 (talk) 05:56, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Kdarwish1 (talk)05:56, 20 April 2013

I doubt they're crazy enough to think the general public is with them on this. But it seems they don't think public sentiment will translate into elections, given the gun lobby and its influence on the political machine that tells the insular right-wing extremist community what to think.

Pi zero (talk)13:52, 20 April 2013

Thank you for the insight Pi zero. Yes, that seems like a most simple and reliable conclusion, the legislative branch of the US political system has been so corrupted that voter influence on such legislature is negligible. Still, there is much encouragement to be had from the example of the successful anti-tobacco movement against very greedy and powerful legislative lobby. Seems celebrity support and advertising campaigns might be the most expedient means left to those seeking much tighter controls and a ban on assault rifles.

Kdarwish1 (talk)16:58, 20 April 2013

I'd suggest it's a more subtle phenomenon than simple corruption.

Representative democracy has the general population choose a few people to specialize in deciding how to conduct the government. True democracy, where the entire population votes on everything, has a different set of problems, notably being too volatile to keep things on an even keel. The representative phase slows down feedback from the public, which does provide more stability, and at best allows legislators to dedicate more of their time to legislating than most people in society could afford, but there are all sorts of things that can go wrong. Legislators may end up spending so much of their time trying to stay in office that they don't dedicate as much time to legislating as you wanted them to, nor as much as they wanted to. Because of deliberate or even random anomalies of the voting system, their reelection may depend disproportionately on a small atypical segment of the population. They may do unpopular things and figure people will be worrying about something else by the next election. And, a favorite of mine, both lobbyists and government bureaucracy can present legislators with stuff so complicated that no single human being can understand it all no matter how much of their time they devote to the task — is it really likely that anyone in the US Congress could have read and understood the entire US Tax Code?

Pi zero (talk)12:05, 21 April 2013

Pi zero, superb synopsis of "chaotic system" behavior of political, legislative, and lobby interactions relevant to the Wikinews "Gun background checks a no-go in US Senate". Please pardon and retract the label corrupted in message of 16:58, 20 April 2013. Are the educational insights and logical reasoning you have shared sufficient to achieve a compromise in time to spare firearm-related deaths of children?

Kdarwish1 (talk)18:09, 21 April 2013

It is, as you say, a chaotic system; overall dynamics of the system don't predict specifically what will happen, which is applied politics (very daunting).

The most I can say is that the only way gun control can get past the Senate is if something changes. I see three ways something can change, going forward. (Another way it could have changed has already gone by, when the Senate did not change its rules on filibusters this past January.) The external political climate could change in a way that gives legislators more motive to act. The internal political climate of the Republican party could change, but I doubt that would happen soon unless as a result of a change in the external political climate (I find it plausible that, as someone or other suggested, the Republican party won't hit rock bottom until at least 2016). Or the midterm election in 2014 might replace some key players so as to change the prospects for gun control (and I have no clue whether that's possible; the mideterm election might make things worse).

Pi zero (talk)02:30, 24 April 2013

May I be the first to say it??

(and in so doing, I don't want to down-play the excellent form and nature of the article itself!!) This just might be the very first time (thus far) that the opining following the article is more interesting than the article itself here at our esteemed project!! I will make a few remarks here, and there's a good chance I'll not speak of this topic ever again here on these pages. As a social worker, I've earned my stripes in terms of working with persons who suffer from serious and pervasive mental illness. It is high time in this country that we take a long (and possibly EXPENSIVE) look at the modern treatment (and often under-treatment) many mentally ill people experience here. Access to firearms is something that many, MANY PEOPLE can handle properly, and maturely; but, there are some who can't. We simply must address how to deal with that group of people and their ability to get their hands on a seriously deadly item for only a small amount of money and trouble. --Bddpaux (talk) 18:18, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Bddpaux (talk)18:18, 23 April 2013

Gun control

OK, there's no way for me to say it nicely... so here i go.

are. they. insane? they actively rejected tighter gun control, where it makes the most sense? what the heck? (talk)04:04, 20 April 2013

Is anyone really surprised? I'm not. (talk)04:09, 20 April 2013