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No need for handguns

The position taken by the Conservatives that they will not ban handguns in the wake of another innocent kid being gunned down in a crossfire in Toronto a few days ago isn’t surprising. From their attempts to kill the long gun registry, to stacking the firearms advisory committee with gun enthusiasts, it’s very evident that the gun lobby has its best friends in government at the moment.

That being said, I am of the opinion that once the Conservatives are ousted from power, handguns of all types should indeed be banned. I see absolutely no reason for ordinary Canadians to have to own a handgun any more then not seeing the reason for them owning an assault rifle. If someone counters that farmers and such need something to shoot pests, a rifle or shotgun is of a better use to them in that regard. My relatives who are farmers all own rifles for that express purpose; none of them have ever expressed a desire to get a handgun to defend the farm from varmints. Handguns should be limited to the military and the police.

To those who say handgun problems are mostly caused by smuggling and the ban wouldn’t help, that’s not quite true. To be sure, it’s a problem, but when you consider 2000 – 3000 guns are apparently stolen each year from those who own them legally, that’s a problem that needs to be addressed. The solution is simple; ban them. Removing the supply of legal arms will then allow Canada’s police and border guards to focus more on the guns being smuggled in illegally across the border.

The Tories are obviously not up to the task – they are in the gun lobby’s holster, as Atty-General of Ontario Michael Bryant says. This should be made a key election issue when that election finally rolls around. There will be far more people in Canada supportive of a total gun ban then against, I deem.

UPDATE @ 12:33PM: The Toronto Star editorial today also calls for a total ban on handguns (on an irreverent note, nice to see I’m not the only one who still uses the term “varmints”. I don’t feel as much of a country hick now 😉 )

….about 400,000 Canadians own handguns. These gun owners are inadvertently helping to outfit a criminal army of the streets, which obtains many of its firearms by theft. About 97,000 firearms have been stolen or reported missing in Canada over the past 30 years..the most pressing need in this struggle to control violence is a nationwide bad on handguns. Such a ban should be enacted without delay and with few exceptions to the rule. Police officers and the military obviously should still be allowed to carry pistols. And there may be room for a narrow exemption for elite competitive shooters. Everyone else should have to surrender their weapons under a federal buyback program.

144 comments to No need for handguns

  • KEvron:

    it wasn't the purpose of my visit to express my opinion on a handgun ban

    I now understand that. You're having too much fun with your present hobby.

  • "allow me to throw a couple more subjective terms your way, ian: "right" and "wrong"…."

    They are only subjective to fools who have no premises on which to base their argument or conclusions upon – or who don't give a shit if their premises are correct.

  • Cool.  I now realize that KEvron is merely a fool that has no interest in discussion about truth and reality but prefers drivel and communicating insane ideas.

    There is no decoder ring required for the words I used.  An intelligent mind can understand.

    Take care KEvron.

  • allow me to throw a couple more subjective terms your way, ian: "right" and "wrong"….
    KEvron

  • btw, colby cosh mollests collies….

    KEvron

  • "Is tyranny right or wrong?"

    yes.

    "'Much' is subjective drivel.  But I do truncate at times when communicating with intelligent people who I have confidence (yes, my subjectiveness) in that will understand from the truncation, the context."

    does this passage come with a decoder ring?

    "Do you 'lol much' at those who don't 'feel' a need to quote something in its entirety when the complete quote is above with a few mouse wheel turns?"

    yes! lol!

    KEvron

  • "i would never suggest that it does. a mojority does, however, hold a position of power within a democracy, right or wrong."

    That's a good observation.  Now let's get to the meat of the matter:  Is tyranny right or wrong?

    ""Oh brother. Not another occassion of the misused and fallacious 'fire in a crowded theatre' crap."lol! truncate much?"

    "Much" is subjective drivel.  But I do truncate at times when communicating with intelligent people who I have confidence (yes, my subjectiveness) in that will understand from the truncation, the context.

    Do you "lol much" at those who don't "feel" a need to quote something in its entirety when the complete quote is above with a few mouse wheel turns?

  • "Oh brother. Not another occassion of the misused and fallacious 'fire in a crowded theatre' crap."lol! truncate much?

    KEvron

  • "just because the majority says so doesn't make it right."

    i would never suggest that it does. a mojority does, however, hold a position of power within a democracy, right or wrong.

    "I see rights as different than mere legal permissions. Do you?"

    in practice, they often tend to be so, and subject to the will of society. 

    "I don't care much about who has nukes."

    yet you may not possess them. why is this?

    "you haven't really expressed one opinion"
     
    it wasn't the purpose of my visit to express my opinion on a handgun ban, nor is my opinion even germane to my initial objections.

    "the subject of this thread: banning handguns."

    the subject of this thread is whether or not handguns are necessary. you and i have deviated from that topic in our sidebar discussion.

    "I'm not experienced with you. Is that your usual style, just being a one-trick (language cop) pony?"
     
    mike's argument was flawed. i addressed those flaws, you equivocated on the definition of "punishment", and here we are.

    "I mean, you're good at it and all but…"

    but what? you've already written numerous and extensive responses to my comments. sorry, no refunds.

    KEvron

  • KEvron: I'm still interested in an answer to a question I asked you. Do you see rights as different than legal permissions?

    I mean, it should be an easy enough question given your savant-like penchant for semantics, but I actually have noticed that other than semantic sniping, you haven't really expressed one opinion one way or the other regarding the subject of this thread: banning handguns.

    I'm not experienced with you. Is that your usual style, just being a one-trick (language cop) pony? I mean, you're good at it and all but…

  • "…"'fire!' in a crowded theatre" argument. both, prohibitions enacted to protect the whole of society. "

    Oh brother. Not another occassion of the misused and fallacious "fire in a crowded theatre" crap.

    I wrote on this and explained how this has nothing to do with freedom of expression and recently Colby Cosh pointed out the silliness of using this as an "argument."

    When The Doors played venues, they'd yell out and sing "Fire" often.

    This has got to do with making a false alarm – and is about the right of a  property owner of person(s) in control of property making rules of social engagement if you choose to use their property.  

  • "I grew up with pitbulls. Neither they nor I had any idea they were supposed to be dangerous. We used to dress them up in doll's clothes and push them around in our prams.
    I do not think you can say the same of guns."

    Actually, Alison, I can say something like that. Ok, we didn't put our Mosberg's in dresses or anything weird, but often as not throughout the 70's and 80's (and into the 90's as well) we had loaded shotguns leaning against the door frame at our farm. They were simply another tool, like a hammer or a power drill or a circular saw – it was there to be used and you didn't use it unless you learned how to use it properly and there was a need for it. The right tool for the job.

    We never considered them 'dangerous' except in the sense that they must be used properly and for the right job or they could cause harm. Not unlike a pit bull, or a wrongly used chain saw can be dangerous.

    Banning a gun – any gun – makes about as much sense as banning chainsaws or claw hammers because people occasionally use them a weapons in assaults or misuse them an cause harm to themselves.

    And I will personally stand my my 'collective punishment' argument because whether we agree on the semantics of what the word 'ban' means, people who own guns will have their personal property taken away from them and others will have their ability to own such property taken away. To those people it will seem to be a punishment – they are losing their rights and property not because of what they did, but because of what some individuals, a small minority in their 'community', did thousands of miles away. To those people, it will most certainly seem like a punishment – I am losing my rights to peacefully own something because of actions of others.

    But please, next time I ban one of my children from having a toy, I'm sure you all can explain to them that a ban is not punishment. Oh wait, that analogy won't work because I would only take a toy away from my kid for something they did, not for something a kid next door or a kid in Regina did.

    Of course the real crux of my argument is still that banning does not work as a means of social control and actually can have the diametric opposite effect of that intended. See the prohibition of alcohol  and drugs as prime examples. Indeed the former is a historical and the latter a current example of the very crime everyone is worried about – gangs, violence gun crime – being fueled by the supposed efforts to ban something harmful.

    Laws only prevent honest people from doing things.

    So guess what? Any laws preventing me from owning a nuke won't work because if I really wanted one, I'd get one.  Same with pot, guns and anything else.

    Do people in cities need guns? No probably not for varmint control and probably not for even self-defense.  Does that mean that they should not even have the opportunity to own one? Absolutely not. When I lived in Toronto, I could not see the reason that people needed to own a car. I actually know people in their 40's that do not have a drivers license. They use the TTC and are quite happy. Should they have the right to tell others that car ownership should be banned in Toronto?

    If people don't see the need for something they are not likely to have it. I do not own a gun of any kind because there is no need in suburban Ottawa.  The criminal gang-banger in TO or Vancouver or Calgary does see a need so they own one (and will no matter what the law says). The real solution to the violence and to the 'gun problem' as evidenced by crimes in our major cities is not to ban the guns, but to eliminate the need for those who feel they need it to own one.

    Ask yourself this:

    Will banning handguns and even all guns, prevent the kinds of people who killed that 11-year-old in Toronto from owning, possession and using them? Nope.

    Will it prevent people who own these guns right now peacefully (and for whatever reasons, whether you agree with hem or not) from owning them? Yes.

    Who would you rather had guns, peaceful law abiding citizens that want to own them or criminal thugs?

    A ban will merely prevent lawful, peaceful people from, having them and continue to allow the criminals to have them. Banning booze didn't stop drinking and banning drugs hasn't stopped people from smoking up. Banning cigarettes won't stop smoking.

    Much of the criminal activity around guns right now comes from gangs and other semi-organized crime elements involved with drugs – growing, selling, trading etc. They resort to this because under prohibition, the normal societal elements of social control and redress are taken away. People can't report when their property is stolen, they can't sue for violations of a contract, they can't conduct business in a safe environment. They have no choice but to resort to other means of control – violence and the threat of violence from guns – in order to continue to operate in the very lucrative market created by restricted supply created by the ban itself (the demand has not changed, but the supply has shrunk  driving up prices and making it very profitable to  deal drugs, bring more unscrupulous people into the market who are willing to defend their 'turf' through violence).

    The solution should be obvious – remove the cause of the crime and the ancillary crimes will diminish as well. In this case, the decriminalization of dugs will remove the power from the gangs as people will be able to go to the police, sue in a court and conduct business in a regular cafe or even a storefront. The supply, no longer restricted, will increase to meet the demand, driving the price down. As the price goes down and the immense profitability that currently exists is reduced, the need to protect those profits through violence will also be reduced – it simply won't be worth it.  In the  end the economic driving force behind most gun violence will be gone and gun violence will be reduced.

    Again, you  may not agree with my reasoning, but at least I am looking beyond simplistic solutions to complex problems. And I think  that history bears out that if your goal is to reduce gun violence, the worst thing you could do is implement a total gun or handgun ban.

  • KEvron: Law has a strong tendency in a democratic society to be a numbers game, that is true. One writer called current democratic politics a legislative war between special interest groups. Bastiat described the State as the great fiction through which everyone tries to live off everyone else. They were addressing the same root problem.

    There's an essential danger fundamental to majoritarianism, simply illustrated as two wolves and a sheep deciding what's right for dinner. A tyranny of the majority is still a tyranny. I think democracy is a crude decision-making tool, useful only in a few very delimited circumstances and rightly applicable to not much else. In any case, democracy (majoritarianism) is just a tool, a means not an end. It is not a hallowed tool, and its application bestows no moral weight to a decision. It's the Popularity Contest method of making ethical decisions.

    Or: just because the majority says so doesn't make it right.  

    Mill made this point: "Neither one person, nor any number of persons, is warranted in saying to another human creature of ripe years that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it. All errors he is likely to commit against advice and warning are far outweighed by the evil of allowing others to constrain him to do what they deem his good." I agree with that.

    I see rights as different than mere legal permissions. Do you?

    And actually I don't care much about who has nukes. I care about if they are used, who uses them and why. So go ahead, buy a nuke if you can. Any reason I shouldn't trust you with it?

    Besides, I think arguments like the nuke question are equivalent to someone arguing against gay marriage, say, because it opens a slippery slope that could one day somehow lead to folks marrying 6 year olds or sheep. After all, if people are free to marry who they want…where do you draw the line. That kind of fear-based extreme example leads  to distorted laws or ethical positions that attempt to address the absurdities while making consequent rulings/decisions almost useless for rational humans leading normal lives.

    Barbara Amiel put it nicely at one point with words to the exact effect that we would be best to get more comfortable with the idea that if laws are written so that people are truly free enough to act well, they will also be free to act badly.

    Some people, motivated more by fear than trust of their fellow man, choose to concentrate on writing and enacting laws to prevent the worst from being the worst; this is often at the expense of allowing the best to be the best, and it's a lowest-common-denominator view of humanity. I trust people enough to speak and work for greater freedoms instead of more constraints.

    yet most modern democracies have enacted prohibitive legislation which lies outside of your parameters; laws which regulate pollution, which prohibit monopolization, laws which prohibit your neighbor from stockpiling nuclear arms.

    Yeah, I know. Pity.

    The result is we have nuke-stockpiling and hoarding monopolies (governments) detailing "allowable levels of pollution" in collusion with their corporatist buddies. In the meantime, I think my actual neighbours are lusting for, say, good joints and peaceful evenings way more than nukes.

  • "I believe that peaceful citizens have a right to choose the methods they might use to defend themselves"

    including nukes?

    KEvron

  • "Well, it's a little like this analogy"

    sorry, this analogy was lost on me.

    "There is no magic number where something that is wrong when done by a few, say, becomes right when done by many."

    in a modern democracy, laws reflect the will of the people. in theory, a majority has the power to enact or repeal any legislation.  franchise, aka the numbers game.

    "There is one–I think only the one–restriction required in a free society: a restriction on the instigation of coercion"

    yet most modern democracies have enacted prohibitve legislation which lies outside of your parameters; laws which regulate pollution, which prohibit monopolization, laws which prohibit your neaighbor from stockpiling nuclear arms.

    KEvron

  • I'm gonna amend this: I think that anyone who uses a weapon in defense may properly be asked to show why their use of the weapon was defensive and not reckless.

    Nope. I put that badly. If a person is presumed innocent, then it is up to the accuser to prove the case that the weapon use was either aggressive or reckless.

  • With hopes that the blogosphere doesn't implode due to unforseen effects of an unusual circumstance, you are about to witness a blogger (gasp!) publicly changing their mind after debate with another blogger.

    KEvron: I understand and agree that bans are not punishments, especially in the sense originally used here. Bans may be (among other things) wrongheaded, ineffective and/or damaging, but ban and punishment are not synonyms. My thanks.

    I still hold to this: One way of looking at that is to note that when governments reduce the freedom of all to prevent the criminal acts of a few, the government is, in fact, increasing the amount of damage caused by the criminals from the damages suffered by individual victims to a wholesale damage caused to all.

    Specific to this debate, I am all for punishing those who use guns in an overtly threatening manner (as opposed to mere display); I support the punishment of persons who use guns in the commission of crimes of theft, violence and the like, and I support the punishment of persons who use a gun in a manner that recklessly endangers others.

    I do not support preemptive bans on long guns, automatic weapons or handguns.

    I believe that peaceful citizens have a right to choose the methods they might use to defend themselves, and I do not think that people should be required to disclose to anyone–including (especially??) government–which methods they choose to keep available.

    I think that anyone who uses a weapon in defense may properly be asked to show why their use of the weapon was defensive and not reckless. There are reasonable risks to human existence, including being in the wrong place at the wrong time, so I don't think that an innocent victim being hit by defensive fire automatically shows recklessness on the part of the defender. But I do hold that, even in defense, the defender has an obligation to take such steps as are reasonably possible to mitigate collateral damage. That means I do not believe that a remote possibility of an otherwise uninvolved innocent being harmed or killed means that a person shouldn't be able to legally defend themselves, even with guns.

    In short, I am not in favour of preemptive restrictions of human activity as relates to weapons or defense. I am, instead, in favour of punishing those who act in a criminal matter. Those who do not act in a criminal manner have a right to be left alone.

    A lot of my thinking on this relates to something I hold as a moral position, which is the presumption of innocence.

    Innocent people have a right to be left alone.

  • i would posit that an activity practiced by the majority of a populaton would not be subject to a ban

    Well, it's a little like this analogy with freedom of speech: popular speech doesn't need protection. On the other hand, "free speech protection" that doesn't protect unpopular speech isn't worth a pinch of doggy-doo.

    In any case, right and wrong is not a numbers game. There is no magic number where something that is wrong when done by a few, say, becomes right when done by many.

    re: prohibitive laws are enacted as the result of the actions of a limited set of individuals.

    There is one–I think only the one–restriction required in a free society: a restriction on the instigation of coercion (which would include fraud, theft and assault/murder). That's about it.

  • "….'it is wrong for the State to impose a loss of freedom on the entire populace based on the actions of a limited set of individuals.'"

    and yet, prohibitive laws are enacted as the result of the actions of a limited set of individuals. further, i would posit that an activity practiced by the majority of a populaton would not be subject to a ban ( i rather doubt that "fire!" has ever been en vogue behavior).

    KEvron

  • "There's a difference between "the acts of an individual" and "a single incident".

    fair enough. i should have said "as the result of the acts of an individual; rather, they are prompted by many acts of many individuals."

    "it says you can't <em>falsely</em> yell 'fire'."

    a restriction none the less.

    "Principles are fundamental laws, as in 'always'. There's a difference between 'almost always' and 'always'."

    1) i'm not debating the meaning of "principles". this was a term which red tory intoduced to the discussion, which leads me to
    2) i suggest you reread red tory's comment; your use of the word diverges from his own.
    3) examples of "almost always" have been given.

    KEvron

  • We do have some common ground, JB, 'tis true. And a good thing.

    Mind you, I do (as noted by Billy Beck) "wince in pain every time I see someone arguing for an end to the drug war on the premise of stealing part of the take: 'taxing it.' That only means more agent-men crawling all over it and that's never any good."

    But tall people can hurt themselves walking into low clotheslines, but it's unfair to put the lines so high short people can't reach them, too…, and then there's the "spoil the view" issues, and privacy concerns…and safety inspections to ensure the line isn't flammable or conductive–but breaks quick enough a child can't strangle with it, even though it must be strong enough to handle the weight of wet winter wooliess…and underwear out in public…well, that's a whole other story. Plus Ontario Hydro bills just went up on account of people used so much less power (like they were asked to do) that the rate per kilowatt hour had to increase. Why, that means that logically extended, soon you folks'll be paying through the nose for almost no power use–and that tragedy will happen quicker if folks don't use dryers.

    "Legislate the Lines"…that's the ticket. 

  • RonFeller, I reckon you an' me ain't all that different. I reckon we got a lotta dumbass laws that do more harm than good. I ain't keen on havin' laws or rules that don't make sense or that step on people rights fer no good reason. On the Trawna radio the other day, they was yammerin' on about rules where you ain't allowed to hang yer clothes out on a clothesline in yer own backyard. I call that a dumbass rule. I don't reckon anybuddy ever got killed by laundry on a clothesline.

    I'm right alongside you on the legalize drugs thing. Legalize, regulate, tax just like booze. That's Green Party policy, too, btw. Instead o' drainin' our police an' courts with dumbass drug cases, let 'em deal with real crooks like Conrad Black an' the other gangsters.

    JB

  • Kida are a special case across a wide variety of laws, so let's leave that aside.

    I refer you to Mike's arguments above when it comes to fear-based "preventative" measures. We have most of them already in place and the criminals, darn them, just don't pay attention to those kinds of laws. It's already illegal to use handguns (or any gun) in the commision of a crime. I notice that hasn't stopped them from being used. 

    We are seldom "just one more rule away" from legislative perfection.

  • I reckon in the city, not a whole lotta peaceful citizens is bein' attacked. Gangs of criminals are shootin' at each other and peaceful citizens are caught in the crossfire. You really think maybe if that 11 year old boy was totin' a shotgun with him to that Trawna birthday party, he might have been quick enough to blast the gangbangers before gettin' caught in the crossfire?

    Like I was sayin', we make all kindsa rules and laws that decide what limits must be placed on individual liberty for the sake of public safety. It's not arrogance. It's a recognition that we need to set limits or some people will harm others through their arrogance.

  • Not too many predatory animals in Trawna, though

    Malevolent gangbangers are predatory animals.

    As for what to do about gangs–it would also help to just legalize drugs. Most modern day North American gangsterism is fueled by prohibition. But that's a whole other debate.

  • JB: I support the right of peaceful citizens to return absolutely overwhelming firepower when attacked. In the bush or in the city.
    I mean, I actually think shotguns are better for home protection in urban areas, but it's not my call as to what other people feel works best for them.

    I think it takes an unjustifiable arrogance to decide things like that for other people.

  • Ron, I see over to yer boog, yer from up in Peace River. I live in a little wee town of a couple thousand but I figger yer in a whole different ballpark than most of us. How close is yer nearest neighbour? If yer doin' target practice in yer backyard with a 44 magnum, can anybuddy hear yer blastin'? Is anybody within range? I reckon there's a pretty big difference between why some Trawna gangbanger buys a gun and why Canajuns livin' in remote areas buy 'em. 

    Both pitbulls and handguns were designed and developed as weapons. Most handguns are manufactured with one end purpose: killin' people. The target pistols used at the Olympics and in target shootin' competitions are an exception. They're fairly low-powered .22 calibre single shot deals. If someone's serious about plinkin' targets, that's the sorta gun they use. 

    Backpackin' in grizzly bear or cougar country, I can see how a sidearm'd be more practical than totin' a rifle. Not too many predatory animals in Trawna, though. 

    JB
     

  • Alison: cars are not only potentially used as impact weapons; they can also be used to arrive and get away from the scenes of crimes, used to transport explosives (heck, packed with powder and used as an explosive device). Pit Bulls have similar qualities; as JB notes. Cars, guns or dogs…it's all in how they are used by the owner.Although property rights enter into the debate, I see my position much more as defending the right of peaceful citizens to be left alone and not to have their freedoms (or, among other things, ability to effectively defend themselves) reduced as an entire grouped class based on the fear of bad actions by individuals.
     
    Punish criminals for criminal acts.

  • Alison, I ain't a pitbull hater. Dogs is what people make of 'em. Dumbasses made weapons outta the ones I had. As weapons, they're well suited. Just like a automatic 9mm handgun is more dangerous than a single-sholt, bolt action 22, pitbulls make better weapons than toy poodles. I seen some good, gentle pitbulls owned by families. Mine weren't like that.

    Ron, I see yer point re gangs as paramilitary organizations. What I'd be keen on is findin' out what motivates kids to join criminal gangs. Nippin' in the bud, I reckon, means stoppin' the gangster from becomin' gangsters rather than just tryin' to deal with 'em after they've been trained like them pitbulls o' mine.

    JB

  • What about the right not to have your head blown off due to accident or rage or insanity?

    It's likely not right that you be hit by a careless raging madman driving an automobile. Banning cars seems like a good idea? The principle would be the same.

  • I grew up with pitbulls. Neither they nor I had any idea they were supposed to be dangerous. We used to dress them up in doll's clothes and push them around in our prams.
    I do not think you can say the same of guns.

    Why do arguments about property rights as a freedom transcend all other kinds of arguments about freedom in much of this thread?
    What about the right not to have your head blown off due to accident or rage or insanity?

  • JB: I have little argument with much of what you're writing.

    To that end (and this is an idea I haven't fleshed out at all, and I'm not certain of it…) I wonder why gangs aren't handled as paramilitary organizations rather than civilian organizations. Gangs have memberships and ranks, and often have signifying "uniforms" and so on. In other words, when such an agency exists specifically or in the main as a method of organizing people for violent intent or theft, should they be seen as military organizations and consequntly handled according to military law and the Geneva convention rather than civilian law?

    Getting back to the original argument, then: there is no general tendency for handguns to be used in a criminal manner; the vast majority of handguns are used lawfully or not at all. Criminal (as in "used to instigate coercion or aggression") use of handguns by individuals is not sufficient reason to preclude their lawful ownership and use by law-abiding, peaceful citizens who wish only to use them for defence or sport.

    KEvron: two things: one, I am sincerely impressed by your accurate use of punctuation and, equally, I also really respect the precision with which you wish to use words. To that latter end, perhaps it's best if we say something like "it is wrong for the State to impose a loss of freedom on the entire populace based on the actions of a limited set of individuals."

    One way of looking at that is to note that when governments reduce the freedom of all to prevent the criminal acts of a few, the government is, in fact, increasing the amount of damage caused by the criminals from the damages suffered by individual victims to a wholesale damage caused to all.

  • "jb: also, too bad you had to lose your pit bulls. Just so you understand, you lost 'em because people used the same kinds of arguments against them that you use against guns."

    Well, the only reason I had them killer curs was on accounta I took 'em away from some dumbass 20-something adolescents who bought 'em as weapons they could legally walk down the street with an' scare everybody who might own a cat or be walkin' their dustmop. Some people choose dog breeds fer the same sorta reasons people choose stuff like pepper spray an' automatic handguns.

    We accept limitations on our complete liberty all the time for the sake of public safety. Speed limits, building codes, air traffic regulation, motorboat registration, car registration, dog registration, marriage registration, don't-throw-yer-garbage-out-on-the-sidewalk legislation, toxic waste disposal legislation and a whole lot more regulations, laws and bureaucracies there fer the sake of society as a whole.

    Like I said, I don't like guns and I don't really see any good reason for personal handgun ownership. I also don't think additional laws are going to help matters much and may, as Mike said, create new, worse problems.

    Most of the recent newsworthy gun crimes have been related to gang warfare. Let's go after the gang problem. It is not as entreenched in Canajun society as in Merka. We gotta chance to nip it in the bud and we can look southward fer examples of anti-gang programs that work. If two gangs weren't fightin', the Boxing Day shooting and this recent killin' of the 11 year old wouldn't have happened.

    JB

  • KEvron: The hackneyed "'fire' in a crowded theatre argument" doesn't say you can't yell fire; it says you can't <em>falsely</em> yell "fire". You certainly can if it's true (although it might not be the best idea).

    There is one restriction required in a free society (the restriction on the <em>instigation</em> of coercion). That's about it.

    Gun control (or small firearms control) is hardly an obviously required restriction.

  • KEvron:

    <em>i don't believe the suggestion for a ban comes about as the result of a single incident</em>

    There's a difference between "the acts of an individual" and "a single incident".

    re: "almost always"…
    Principles are fundamental laws, as in "always". There's a difference between "almost always" and "always".

    …but we digress…

  • "almost always"

    jb gave a good example with nukes in the living room. another example is the hackneyed "'fire!' in a crowded theatre" argument. both, prohibitions enacted to protect the whole of society. 

    no free society can allow for absolute liberty. some obvious restrictions must be set.

    KEvron

  • "Punishment is part and parcel of the act of banning."

    of course, it is. the violation of any law is always met with punishment.

    KEvron

  • sorry, ron, but your arguments have failed to persuade me.  a ban is still just a ban, and punishment is punishment. just as you can arbitrarily change ban to mean punishment, i can change it to mean reward. neither of us would be correct.

    KEvron

  • “It’s almost always wrong to deprive everyone of a right (or privilege, if you prefer) because of the acts of an individual.”

    again, something i can get behind. however, i don't believe the suggestion for a ban comes about as the result of a single incident.

    KEvron

  • Red Tory, with respect, "almost always" isn't a principle; it's just a dominant tendency.

    Punishment is part and parcel of the act of banning. Banning with no attached punishment/coercion strips the meaning of the word *ban*.

  • I’d have to agree with KEv that “punishment” was an unfortunate choice of words in this context that arose out of a general principle that Mike was drawing a comparison to. So, while the principle is valid, the word in inapplicable here. Rather than saying “Collective punishment for individual acts is always wrong” it might have been better to say “It’s almost always wrong to deprive everyone of a right (or privilege, if you prefer) because of the acts of an individual.”

  • As I noted and regardless your insistent disagreement, punishment has some shadings and variations in meaning. A car's fender can take punishment, for example. This kind of meddling, this kind of removal of previously held freedoms, this kind of *ban*, can easily be held to be the punishment people receive when they elect, well, meddlers.
    Or: and that doesn't invalidate my previous post where punishment equates to a loss inflicted through judicial procedure. 

    Additionally, punishment without nasty intent is still punishment in the same way that homicide can occur without murderous intent.

    Further: the fact that the vast majority of those receiving a pre-emptive loss of freedom committed no criminal act doesn't make it less of a punishment.

    By any or all of these meanings, what is happening is a collective punishment and it is based on someone's fear about or dismay about previous or future individual acts.

    By your narrow definition, the plight of the Jews in Germany, foor example and not meaning to Godwin, wasn't a punishment for being Jewish; it was just a ban on being Jewish coupled with the resulting methods of correcting the situation.

  • "I'm sure he's now changing his mind on this issue."

    you're quite mistaken; i still insist that a ban is a ban, that punishment is punishment, and that up is up, whereas down is down.

    KEvron

  • "Well, it's hardly a reward, is it. "

    it's neither punishment nor reward; a ban is a ban, and punishment is punishment. bluring definitions does not make for a compelling argument.

    "What would you call it other than a punishment directed towards all current, and future, owners of hand guns."

    i would call it a ban.

    KEvron

  • Stageleft: as I noted, the punishment is implied in the threat (the banning); it exists and it's waiting. Just as an uttered threat with demonstrable intent and capacity to inflict is by definition an act undertaken to coerce/compel the behaviour of another, banning is an act (a restriction, a deprivation) undertaken to coerce or compel behaviour.

    Webster's definition of punishment includes "a penalty (loss) inflicted through judicial procedure". Given that a banning is a collective loss of previously held freedom to act, it is a collective punishment by that definition.

    Given that KEvron "couldn't agree more" that "collective punishment for individual acts is always wrong", I'm sure he's now changing his mind on this issue.

  • It's not a punishment 'eh? What would you call it other than a punishment directed towards all current, and future, owners of hand guns.

    Let me add to Ron Good's comment. In New Zealand politicians have recently banned journalistic satire as well as coverage that ridicules or denigrates them… is that a punishment?

    Just where is the line that people will not allow their government to cross? Will it be handguns? Double edged swords? Vehicles that can travel over 100 km/hr? Pocket knives? Pointy pencils? Books with dirty words?

  • KEvron: thinking further, a ban is something like a threat. If I threaten to assult you (only an example), you haven't been explicitly assulted–the assault is potential but present in the bargain. Similarly, a ban is a threat of punishment. Quibble all you want about the difference.

  • Ti-Guy: That's what I said, "My life is mine". Unless you were agreeing with me; in which case, I misunderstood. Nice to see you quoting Rand, too 😉

    KEvron: a ban isn't a punishment, you said. Well, it's hardly a reward, is it. Check the dictionary: a "ban" is a restriction, a censure, condemnation, deprivation or disapproval. Bans are generally imposed on citizens to remove something understood previously to be a right or a freedom either to act or to possess. So, if someone, say, tied you up, they wouldn't be punishing you–they'd just be banning your future movement; nothing punishing in that.
    You wanna quibble, fine. But don't go posturing like a ban is just a neutral kinda entity; it's not.

  • <i>"Collective punishment for individual acts is always wrong."</i>

    i couldn't agree more. however, a ban is not an act of punishment.

    KEvron

  • Ti-Guy

    Since when are lifeforms "property."  Libertarians….check your premises!

    /Ayn Rand

    The propertarian argument that Libertarians advance so often in the defence of freedom is at its heart, <i>flawed</i>.  You own your life and your (naked) body; nothing else.

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