Tucson massacre. Gun rights. Gun control. Constitution. State's rights.

A.M. -
The lesson from the Tucson massacre for the Secretary of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, a guns right group, is that more people need to be armed, preferable with assault weapons, so that they'll be ready next time something like this happens at a Safeway. And they say the shooter had an elevator that didn't quite go to the top?

Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true.[Note 1][1] As a result, people gather evidence and recall information from memory selectively, and interpret it in a biased way. The biases appear in particular for emotionally significant issues and for established beliefs. For example, in reading about gun control, people usually prefer sources that affirm their existing attitudes. They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.

Liberals as well as conservatives are plenty guilty of it, though I guess George W. and the few ten thousand dead Iraqi civilians would be the most extreme recent example. The real question I think you want answered, Augie, is how we fix this. 

http://nolabels.org/ might not be THE answer, but it's a good start. The U.S. Constitution famously guarantees its citizens the right to keep and arm bears. Or something like that, I keep forgetting which order the words go.

Anyway, the Constitution is a good thing. For its day it was pretty awesome. Minus the whole slavery and women's rights thing, but I digress. Doesn't necessarily mean that everything in it is directly applicable and awesome for today's population - they sure didn't have assault rifles and the like back then. Either case there's an established way to deal with anyone wanting to change the Constitution. I suggest you use it - talk to your local representative and elected officials and express your beliefs and start an open and free debate about this stuff. Eventually the will of the people will be reflected in the laws of our society. They can, and are frequently changed to reflect our evolving values.

I'm ok with each state determining the varying rights of people who want to carry concealed guns and whatnot. I don't think assault rifles are really needed for any legitimate defensive purposes. Shotguns, rifles and handguns do me just fine. And it's way too easy to transport guns south of the border, which comes back to haunt us as Mexico becomes worse and worse. If you don't think that's gonna spill over, think again. And it's way too hard to track guns, both illegal ones and the legal ones that get in the wrong hands. Shame on you for that, NRA.

I'd also be cool with individual cities determining the rights of people to carry guns inside the city limits. Let each state and city determine that based on ITS needs and culture and tradition and values. What works for Washington, D.C. might not work for Topeka, Kansas. Of course, that'd necessitate a constitutional change which I don't think is happening anytime soon. Oh well, let the ponderous legislative machine run its course.

The USA is not India or Sweden or Japan - the three countries which I have most experience with regarding this issue. If you don't like the individual freedom and individual rights' tradition in the US regarding guns I invite you to change the laws or perhaps move if you just can't deal with the gun-nuts. In those three countries the police and military basically have a monopoly on violence (disregarding the yakuza, which stay quiet so as not to upset the delicate balance of Japanese society) and those societies in general have a lot less fear of violence than does America. But they also have a radically different cultural tradition compared to the USA - so their models really aren't gonna work out in the US South or Midwest or Northwest. This country is gonna have to find a different balance.

I'd suggest more and better abilities for police and the ATF to track guns used illegally or for violent purposes. If you feel that these organizations infringe on your rights I strongly suggest you have your sons and daughters join them and change their attitude and culture from the inside, together with appropriate legislative branch oversight, not to mention judicial branch limits on their powers and ability to kick down your door after whispering "Police, open up!" in the middle of the night.

Background checks really need to happen for everyone that buys a gun. Up yours, gun shows. The Washington Post did a recent exposé on unscrupulous dealers and the sources for guns used criminally in Mexico. Could and should be acted upon, and would not hurt legitimate gun ownership for hunting and home defense and cultural traditions in places like Arizona. 

If the NRA would like to get more involved in tracking guns used in crimes I'd be all over that. Get the bad guys, let the good guys keep their handguns and shotguns and hunting rifles in accordance with the cultural and self-dependent traditions of this great nation.

Or we can just be angry and see what we want to see in the evidence presented and keep shouting at each other.
Shut up, you extreme left-wing liberal ****ies. We'll defend America.
Shut up, you extreme right-wing neo-con fascists. We don't need you authorizing torture or starting wars that kill tens of thousand civilians just to get rid of one single guy.


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