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Author Topic: Bowling for Columbine
Black Dog
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posted 25 October 2002 07:14 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was lucky enough to take in the sneak preview of the new Michael Moore flick "Bowling for Columbine" (starts tonight most places).

Though done in Moore's usual heavy-handed style, the movie makes some very strong statements about guns, violence and the powerful forces of fear, and racism that permeate the culture of the old U.S. of A. It's also gut-bustingly funny in parts (the cartoon Brief History of the United States), as well as thought provoking (the news reel montage of historical atrocities committed by the U.S set to Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World")

I would reccommend that everybody check this out. Especially now that they caught that nasty old sniper and we can finally go out and get our shopping done.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 25 October 2002 07:29 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One thing I'm wondering: I gather Moore himself is not anti-gun. From what I understand, he thinks America has a culture of fear, and points to Canada as a place that has a lot of guns but a lot less gun-related violence.

Is this true, or have I been misinformed?

If it is true, I think he is misinformed, as I think civilians in Canada are a lot less inclined to own guns. I could be wrong, but I don't think I know anyone who has a gun, and the people I've heard of who do live in rural areas where they sometimes encounter unfriendly bears and the like. Is there a gun culture in Canada that I just don't know about? Maybe in Alberta or something like that? (Forgive the stereotype...unless it's true.) I've never seen a gun outside of a glass case, and I'd be terrified if I did - and growing up in Toronto, I don't remember hearing anyone talk about owning a gun. And I really think the lower number of guns (if there is in fact a lower number of guns) has a hell of a lot to do with the lower levels of violence in this country.

[ October 25, 2002: Message edited by: Smith ]


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 25 October 2002 07:46 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, being from Saskatchewan/Alberta myself, and I know a lot of my relatives have guns, mostly rifles. Many of them started out with them on the farm, but kept them when they urbanised.

In the movie, Moore said there were 7 million guns in Canada (for about 10 million households). While I can in no way say if this is true or false, being too lazy at this point to check the stats, I can definately believe it.

Re: the culture of fear, while he oversimplified the situation (average American news: killer bees, average Canadian "breaking news": new speedbumps!), I think the culture of fear does play a large part. Canadian news, Scum newspapers and A-Channel's "massive head wound" coverage aside, tends to be less gory and scarified than American news. CBC tends to do more "political" stuff, and the other channels tend to prefer "cat stuck in a tree, sexy soccer moms, fast noisy car", human interest type coverage. Though I can still recall when an Edmonton tv channel showed LIVE the body of a woman that had been found murdered.

Crime may be getting a bigger share of the airwaves (though I tend to avoid the sensationalistic stations that cover it), but I don't think we're at the point where OJ goin 30 on a highway surrounded by cops would be on tv for HOURS at a time. Instead, we get to hours of the Queen making small talk in a gallery with the literati. Which, though I can't understand why, doesn't seem to make the rage spill over in a lot of us.

Loved the American history (I assume the Southpark boys helped on that), but also just loved him walking around Toronto, checking to see if people had their doors locked. One porch looked suspiciously like Jack Layton's, and I wished he'd had the camera positioned differently so we could see inside. Though his choice of older gentrified townhouse style dwellings, even if they weren't in the "best" are of town, was suspicious (I'll bet an apartment building or even Mississauga spawl would have yielded different results).

Still better than 99% of what's in the theatres or on tv.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 25 October 2002 08:48 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In the movie, Moore said there were 7 million guns in Canada (for about 10 million households). While I can in no way say if this is true or false, being too lazy at this point to check the stats, I can definately believe it.

That figure sounds about right -- I remember it being in the news a few years back, when the gun-control law (C-68) was being debated. Mostly, as you say, rifles and shotguns; much smaller proportion of handguns than south of the line.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 25 October 2002 09:38 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Smith: I think you'd be surprised about the people who have guns, I constantly am. And I come from a family where my Dad hunts. I also have had an FAC and taken a Hunter's Safety course, in case anything happened to my parents I could deal with my Dad's guns. I think what is different is that people are very private about owning them, and or very unconcerned with bragging about it. They use them for their sport and that's it. It doesn't identify them. Even collectors are very quiet about it unless they know you well. Most I know aren't your average rabid NRA guys, not that the love our most reccent gun control laws, but then TO's police cheif doesn't either. And in the right environment guns aren't scary, they just need to be respected and I think they are here in Canada. We take more time to educate purchasers of firearms. But we still aren't hard enough on criminals who use them .

I can't wait to see the movie, we are going tomorrow night.


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Adam Smith
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posted 26 October 2002 05:21 AM      Profile for Adam Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I saw Bowling for Columbine last night (Oct. 25) and thought it was great sure Moore doesn't give a perfectly accurate portraly of Canadian society but in a recent Macleans article he explains that if he were Canadian he would be doing a very different movie. The movie was both very funny and very emotional and thought provoking. I definatly recommend it.
From: Manitoba | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
kyall - CFS
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posted 26 October 2002 01:11 PM      Profile for kyall - CFS   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I heard an interesting statistic last night from a friend. He informed me that there are no shootings on record by students or anyone else committed by a person with hunter's safety / gun safety courses behind them. I don't know if this figure was for Canada or the United States, and it seems a little generalized, but I believe it. He heard it at a Gun convention or something relevant to guns...

Although I don't believe in hunting, I have a Hunter's Safety course behind me, simply because my dad believed that with the number of guns in my home, it's best to know what to do / how to handle them. I'm quite good at target practice as well, even though it's been 10 years or so since I fired a gun.

People from GTA / other larger metropolitan areas would be suprised at the numbers of guns in rural areas, especially out here in Saskatchewan. I can't think of any farmers around me who do *not* have guns, and multiple guns at that. A lot of the town people also possess guns. Mind you, these aren't the typical hand guns; these are rifles.

I'd love to see "Bowling for Columbine." I deeply enjoyed Michael's last two films. Except the part in "The Big One" where he gets hungry and goes to McDonald's. That was revolting.


From: Regina, SK | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
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posted 26 October 2002 05:07 PM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey Black-Dog! Nice to see you resurface. Did you send in that NDP membership I gave you yet?
From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 26 October 2002 05:09 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lived in rural B.C. for years. Most of the neighbours had guns, in case they had to shoot a cougar menacing their children. The diffference was, they owned guns, they didn't (a la Charlton Heston) love guns.
From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 26 October 2002 06:32 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think most people in rural areas at least have a 22 around. If you come across a rabid skunk or something, it can come in handy.

I'm a pacifist, and I'm also a gun owner. My father was an avid hunter, and when I was in my preteens and early teens, I hunted, too. I still have the shotgun he bought me for Christmas when I was 12. It's been 20 years since I fired a weapon, but the thing has sentimental value. The blond guy also has a 22 from the farm.

I think there is a very big difference in the culture of gun owners in Canada and gun owners in the States. Handguns, for one thing, are fairly rare here. Even among hunters, gun handling is treated much more seriously, from what I've seen and heard (my aunt and uncle own a hunting and fishing camp in northern Ontario, I've heard lots of stories from them).


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 26 October 2002 06:48 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iwasn't surprised about the gun stat. Canada is a big country, lotsa open space and rural communities with strong traditions around hunting. Unlike the States with its strong traditions of blowing someone's head off if they knock on your door. One thing that really bugs me about the gun culture in the States is the whole "self-defense" line that gets trotted out. Seriously, how many people who own guns for home protection have ever been victims of a violent crim elike a home invasion. Not many, I bet.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 26 October 2002 06:50 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not nearly as many as have shooting accidents involving their children. Honest to gawd, people are so stupid about guns...

[ October 26, 2002: Message edited by: Zoot Capri ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 26 October 2002 07:09 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I must say that I find it curious, all the attention given to the NRA and all the foreboding allusions to the US ‘gun culture’. Reversing a 60 year departure, the courts are starting to acknowledge that the 2nd amendment should be read as all the others; ie, that such the rights stated are an ‘individual right’. No big surprise there. However, I don’t understand exactly how this makes the US a gun culture more than, say, a freedom of speech culture…or any other such protected right by contrast that may or may not be common to other countries.

Violent culture I can accept. It’s undeniable in certain ways. But the assertion that the root of this is the gun (long or short), I find very simplistic and unacquainted with US circumstances.

For example, I don’t understand what this means:

quote:
The diffference was, they owned guns, they didn't (a la Charlton Heston) love guns.

Or this:

quote:
Most I know aren't your average rabid NRA guys,…

What the…??? I would never (well, almost never because I’m sloppy) presume to be an authority on the hearts and minds of a nations people in which I’d never grown-up in or lived for many years. These observations strike me as those of who read too much Indy-Kids and travel too little. The disconnect is profound and interesting.

As kyall – CFS somewhat alludes to (and is supported by many similar such observations) the idea that it is NRA types, or hunters, or joe-gotta-carry-permit, or the 2nd amendment that’s the problem is, well, simply not evidenced. This belief, such as it is, is such an acute exercise in self-delusion and fact denial that it almost requires religious terminology to explain.

On this same gun thingy thang. Gary Wills has earned some high water-marks for his various books on American culture. Wills wrote a glowing, love letter of a review of the now disgraced and resigned Professor Michael A. Bellesiles on his book, Arming America: The Origins Of A National Gun Culture. This was for the New York Times Book Review (9/10/2000) headlined "Spiking The Gun Myth." And what a review it was.

I wonder now that one of his more important sources has resigned in disgrace after falsifying his data, if he will retract his conclusions and assertions or let them live on, false as they are, like Marc Herold has with his bogus Afghanistan casualty numbers.

PS: The FBI reports ~700,000 crimes averted by gun owners. Gun murders are around ~15K. (Non-gang, non-drug types are about 5K. Kid's accidents are less than 2K/yr. More kids drown in pools...by far.)


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 26 October 2002 07:37 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Reversing a 60 year departure, the courts are starting to acknowledge that the 2nd amendment should be read as all the others; ie, that such the rights stated are an ‘individual right’. No big surprise there. However, I don’t understand exactly how this makes the US a gun culture more than, say, a freedom of speech culture…or any other such protected right by contrast that may or may not be common to other countries.

No-one is claiming that the US is a gun culture, whatever exactly that may be (whatever, that is, that might mean if used to describe the whole society). But that the US has a gun culture -- meaning some percentage of the population that not only owns and uses, but enjoys and celebrates guns -- is not, I think, reasonably deniable.

Canada has one too, of course, merely a much smaller and less influential one, proportionately. For evidence, I refer you to the relative political influence of the National Rifle Association, and their Canadian counterparts, the National Firearms Association. Don't worry, I'd never heard of them either. During the political debate which led to the adoption of the gun-licensing and -registration law a few years back, the NFA was practically invisible and inaudible.

quote:
I would never (well, almost never because I’m sloppy) presume to be an authority on the hearts and minds of a nations people in which I’d never grown-up in or lived for many years.

Neither would I (well, almost never). But I find the temptation understandable. What Americans commonly don't understand, because of the relative invisibility of Canadian culture in the US, is how pervasive American culture is in Canada. There's a profound asymmetry there.

And I'm not talking just about television (which has led many Canadians to believe, for example, that people under arrest are read a long list of rights, that judges use gavels and call lawyers up to the bench for "sidebars," and that juries in civil suits routinely award plaintiffs millions of dollars). Go into any grocery store in Canada, and you'll find it far easier to buy The New Yorker or The Atlantic than, say, Saturday Night or Shift.

quote:
Violent culture I can accept. It’s undeniable in certain ways. But the assertion that the root of this is the gun (long or short), I find very simplistic and unacquainted with US circumstances.

I appreciate your caution and scruples. But again, no-one really asserts that the root of the difference, if there is a difference, is the gun and only the gun, period. By that I mean: if you want to assert that one 'national culture' is inherently more violent than another, independent of greater or lesser opportunities to express that violence, then you have a thorny intellectual problem. What evidence could you advance to support the claim?

Instead I believe that a rather vague category like 'national culture' has less explanatory power than the different material circumstances in different nations. Which is as much as to say: were (hand)guns less available in the US, there would be far fewer murders there; and were they more available here, there would be far more murders here.

Speculative, I admit, and it leaves me with the problem of explaining different attitudes toward guns in the US and in Canada, or for that matter just about every Western or industrialized nation. Well, I'll leave that to the sociologists and historians, and then as usual pinch a garbled version of whatever they have to say.

Edited to add:

I've reconsidered my first paragraph a bit. The fact that gun ownership is an individual right protected in the Constitution may be significant of something in the political culture. Though probably still more significant is that there is no reasonable prospect of changing or scrapping the Second Amendment.

Twelve states with as little as 10% or something of the population could block it. Which is likely better understood as a problem with the Constitution than as evidence that the entire nation is a "gun culture," but which does tend to reinforce my point; however small the "gun culture" may be, it's disproportionately influential. And why is that? Why do they have such political traction? That, it seems to me, is what defenders of individual gun ownership ought to be trying to explain.

As for your puzzlement, SHH, over this comment:

quote:
The diffference was, they owned guns, they didn't (a la Charlton Heston) love guns.

I don't think it's going too far to assert that Heston and his fellow travellers love guns, in some sense. As skdadl mentioned on another thread, a couple of years back Heston gave an absurd, ahistorical, practically hysterial speech to an adoring audience in Prince George, B.C., in which he asserted, among other things, that "this nation, like ours, was tamed by the hardy, individual pioneer, with his gun in his hand and his dog at his side, carving out a home from the wilderness, in sight of his loving God," or some such rubbish.

Well, sheepshit. Even in the US, and certainly in Canada (and though I can't speak to the God part), it wasn't like that at all. But in this speech and in other similar screeds to which the NRA and their ilk have treated both you and us, the gun, to put it bluntly, is fetishized.

[ October 26, 2002: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 26 October 2002 08:54 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This post is partially to SHH and partially another plug for the movie:

SHH, part of Moore's point in the movie is that is that gun deaths are way out of whack in the US. Moore is being the cultural critic, blaming a culture of fear and corporations and such. Some of the connections seem a bit spurious but I think he's getting at something.

Slicing the gun deaths down and saying, well, this many are gang related, this many are kids still doesn't mask that something else is at work. Even saying accidents are involving kids is about 2K, that stat alone is still out of whack. The gun deaths in Japan, Germany, Canada, Australia, etc might add up to that much (I wished Moore used a per capita rate… after the movie I was trying guess populations of each of these countries). Part of what Moore says is that all the factors usually blamed, from Marilyn Manson, violent movies, gangs, etc, are not any different than in any other industrialized country. You think Japan doesn't have gangs? They got people gassing their subway system. We got Taber (which, I might add, Moore didn't acknowledge). We also have swimming pools (and I might add, we also have CFTO here in Toronto).

Moore brought up a point that one of the sources of guns for city gangs are all those well-adjusted suburbanites. He interviewed one mayor that claimed that the suburbs are just as worrisome as the inner city. I don't know how much stock to put in this but it's just another point in Moore's mosaic.

Moore describes an incident where a mother in Flint, Mich., wasn't there when her kid picked up a gun (forget where the gun was taken) because she was on a bus going 80 miles out to make fudge and take burger orders for a couple companies owned by a "Dick Clarke". Moore's point, I think, was if this single mother wasn't forced off welfare, would the kid have gone to school with the gun?

Argue the point if you want, but I think Moore is trying get at a broad understanding of why there are so many gun deaths.

When Moore goes after Heston, his main thrust of attack was why Heston was following events like Columbine and the one in Flint around the country. The interview was a bit sleazy, but I think it exposed Heston for the nut he is. I even think some of the nuttiness was lost in the interview as I detected that Heston was about to rant about how the Canadian government was going to take all our guns away but Moore cut him off (and Heston does believe that, I think: a friend manage to tape an NRA commercial about a couple years ago on the very topic). If Moore had let him go on, it would have played right into his whole "culture of fear" premise.

Anyway, I think the coup de grace of the interview was getting Heston to admit the reason he owns a load gun is not about safety, or about rights, but that it provided him comfort.

I think the second amendment should read:

A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear dogs shall not be infringed."


Anyway, the movie was wickedly funny as a cultural exposition. Talking to the kids and that Nichols brother.. eesh!

And when did bowling become a credit course in high school?


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 26 October 2002 08:56 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks ‘lance, for your intelligent and thoughtful reply. I will respond on point. But as I’m home, (and it is Sat night, thus I’m the Cook), I will have to reply sometime later in the day.

PS: Whoa! Just saw your edited version as I pasted this in. Even MORE thinking comes my way! Stay tuned!


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 26 October 2002 10:08 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Regarding the Second Amendment interpretation, only a few wack jobs in the federal courts have taken an expansive view of the amendment. On the Supreme Court, only Clarence Thomas (big surprise) has taken that view. The view is still a distinct minority. There is an excellent law review article which came out a year or two ago that destroys this viewpoint. The article argues that the Second Amendment was put in to appease the South's desire to have strong militias to put down any possible rebellions. Unfortunately, I have the cite to the article at work.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 27 October 2002 07:31 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Err… I'm making the assumption people reading this thread have seen the movie or are in a place where you can't see it. My previous post revealed a lot, so I want to say: if you want to watch the movie and be surprised, don't read on!). Actually: is it playing nation wide? I had to venture into TO to see it, so, the "Silvercities" aren't showing it.

Before a screwball like David Kyle or whatnot attacks me for saying the movie was pretty good (another socialist, Green party member feeding into the liberal media conspiracy… er, well, I'm not sure what the attacks could be, but regardless), I want to mention that a lot of the stats in this movie are skewed.

There is controversy over the Iraqi children deaths, and as I found looking for stats in another thread, Iraq isn't all out of line with other third world countries, according to estimates. Sure, there was an infant mortality spike around 1991, but it has trended downward since and isn't all that bad in comparison to other countries. So the inference that the US directly causes these deaths through sanctions is, at least, debatable.

Next is Moore's decontextualized reference of $400 million worth of aid to the Taliban in 2000 or whatever. The US gives a lot of aid and even if the aid-to-GDP ratio is small, it still amounts to a hell of a lot of money. Before Sept 11, the Taliban had, apparently, managed to significantly shut down heroine (or opium, or whatever the ingredient is) export which I'm almost positive the US would have exchanged foreign aid funds to achieve such an outcome. Given the importance of the poppy to the local economy, I'm not willing to say this entirely came about from the Taliban's Islamic anti-drug stance. Consider that the drop in export happened a half decade after the Taliban consolidated power. I thought the implication of the stat was that the US funds the people that don't exactly return the favour, which I don't disagree with, even considering Saudi Arabia . I might think the US neglects relations and funding goes to partisan sources, or aid might be linked to geopolitical goals, but that is a far cry from the implied point.

Osama, as best I can tell, is not a CIA trained agent. The US may have funneled money to the mujahideen, but, even reading the links here on babble, I'm not familiar with a proven direct link between the CIA and bin Laden. Again, the CIA may have funded the mujahideen to the tune of three billion over a number of years but the movie doesn't qualify that by saying where or how those funds arrived in mujahdeen hands (yeah, I know they used Stinger missiles, but there hasn't, as far as I know, been a direct link between an US arms representative, the US government, and a mujahadeen resistance procurement officer connected with OBL, or a record of OBL attending the School of Americas).

And as 'lance pointed out above we may have "7 million guns for 10 million households," it ignores that a large majority of those guns are rifles (apparently there are only a million hand guns in the country). I'm not a rabid enough anti-gun freak to understand that rifles are maybe needed in a place like Churchill, ON, or Grande Cache, AB, where the local bears tend to visit the convenience store. I couldn't find a similar stat for the US (I didn't look hard, though), but I did find something that said one-in-three guns produced in the US is a handgun. Handguns, of course, make up the majority of gun related deaths.

The stat that America released more bombs on the day of the Columbine shooting than ever is spurious in connection the point of the movie. It's about as spurious as saying Marilyn Manson encouraged the death sprees like Columbine. America entered the Balkans conflict, rightly or wrongly (no judgment from me since I tuned out Kosovo and Serbia on account of my Serbian cafeteria serving lady… "Oh God, please, just be quite!"). The amount of ordinance dropped on any given day has no bearing on a political topic, especially one with international ramifications (although, he did show footage of people saying American targets in Serbia included hospitals and stuff, which I would argue could have some bearing in a go-to-war debate).

And the American locked houses tendency and the Canadian unlocked houses tendency is not proven. What proportion of Americans leave their house unlocked while they are home to proportion of Canadians that do the same is not pointed out in any sort of study. I know I lock my door all the time out of habit. I assumed Americans did the opposite. How else could Kramer enter Jerry's suite, or Joey and Chandler easily cross the hall to Monica's? (The one American resident I know well says he doesn't lock his doors when he's home, but he lives in a bloody expensive house and, I assume, the neighbourhood is similarly priced). I thought the point, and the surrounding points, were funny but I'm not making the claim "Canadians leave their houses open while home more than Americans" based on this movie. Obviously, this bit in the movie could have easily been manipulated, as could others. But, er, it was still funny, I must stress.

I almost think Moore is infatuated with Canada (haha, who isn't!) and I've read a few reviews where he makes distorted claims about this country. Health care is not free (or why the fuck am I paying for insurance through work for it!) and happens to come at a cost: higher taxes. He neglects that (another movie in itself, I suppose). He also said something else that rubbed me the wrong way, but I forget what it was… oh well.

A friend who watched the movie with me mused that no wonder Canadians are portrayed as hicks in the US. Moore does nothing to dispense that myth (and he doesn't, IMO). But in defense of Moore, I thought my friend missed the point. I thought, as I saw it, the point was to show that Canadians are just as screwed up and as hickish as the plethora of Americans Moore profiled in the movie. I mean, the kids in Columbine were stunned ("Well, my bowling game improved"!). Nichols was a nut. The guys he talked to in Flint were lowlifes. Heck, I meet similar people daily. But if I'm right, it feeds Moore's general point that the same types of things (guns, media violence, etc) are everywhere and yet the US still has a disproportionate gun-related death stat.

Anyway, I just wanted to make these comments. I've been discussing the movie a bit for the last two days. I still thought the movie was great. Biased and spurious or not, well, the interviews were curious and made me laugh. Although… two hours… my ass was sore. I squirm after 10 minutes in a theatre and thought the movie should have stopped at around an hour and a half ( I seem to remember a lull three-quarters of the way, too).

Done rambling! I await josh's link.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 27 October 2002 10:03 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
another socialist, Green party member feeding into the liberal media conspiracy… er, well, I'm not sure what the attacks could be, but regardless

Green-baiting! clock, you've discovered another kind of slur the right can level against us. Quick, before they start using it, let's "reclaim" it.

(Another digression: When I was briefly a Green Party member in the 80s, I heard the crack that it was a "watermelon party" -- green on the outside, red on the inside. Would that it 'twere...)

quote:
There is an excellent law review article which came out a year or two ago that destroys this viewpoint. The article argues that the Second Amendment was put in to appease the South's desire to have strong militias to put down any possible rebellions. Unfortunately, I have the cite to the article at work.

I'd be interested in that article too, josh. A few years ago Harper's, I believe, ran an essay summarizing how the Second Amendment came to be -- what wording changes it went through before adoption.

I don't recall all the details, but the author, a historian, claimed that the consensus among historians, based on their reading of these changes and their contexts, was shifting, toward the "individual right" interpretation. But that claim may have been a trifle ideological. (Still, it would suggest that Lapham's Harper's is not a fully paid-up member of the liberal media conspiracy... )

I'll see if I can't look that up, as well.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 27 October 2002 11:03 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, you guys will have to wait till tomorrow. But I should note that law review articles tend to be a tough read. But as I recall this one wasn't too bad.

I used to be big on the anti-gun issue, probably because of living through the Kennedy, King and John Lennon murders. However, as a practical political matter, I've come to believe that, at least in U.S. politics, the issue has become counterproductive. It has cost votes in rural areas that might otherwise go to a progressive Democratic candidate. I still believe handgun ownership should be severely restricted, if not banned outright. And I see no constitutional impediment to doing so. However, I understand the need for rifles and shotguns in rural areas. It's just not a priority issue with me now.

But I haven't changed my feelings towards the NRA. They remain an absolutist, fanatical group. And their attitude towards all weapons borders on fetishism.


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 27 October 2002 11:18 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I still believe handgun ownership should be severely restricted, if not banned outright. And I see no constitutional impediment to doing so. However, I understand the need for rifles and shotguns in rural areas. It's just not a priority issue with me now.

I feel pretty much the same way. As for the new law in Canada, I have no objection either to licenses for gun owners, or to registration for guns. Neither one prevents or even severely restricts ownership of long guns.

If it's true that the new law allows police to search your premises without a warrant, that part (and that part alone) I'd be opposed to, and would want to see changed. But in truth, I've seen little (non-hysterical, non-ideological) comment in this. In further truth, I haven't strenuously looked for any. If someone could direct me to some, I'd be grateful.

Meanwhile, I'll happily jeer at attitudes such as those expressed on the web page of our very own National Firearms Association:

quote:
"Why Do You Need Firearms?"

I have been asked this question many, many times. My answer has always been " I do NOT need irearms". I "need" food, I "need" shelter, I "need" clothing. I need nothing else. I do not need golf, hockey, horses, figure- skating, lawyers, politicians, hospitals, police, a vehicle, human companionship, banks, insurance, civil servants, or teachers ...... You're absolutely right, do not NEED firearms. I could live the rest of my life without firearms, but why would I want to?


(emphasis added... and note the rejection, on an Alberta-based website, of the need for police, hospitals, civil servants, teachers, human companionship... for the entirety of civil society, in short.)

... and continue to wonder darkly about sinister links between the NFA and the NRA.

I notice, too, that the much older Dominion of Canada Rifle Association seems a good deal more staid and far less political.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 27 October 2002 12:25 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"but why would I want to?", indeed. Why clean up the Great Lakes? They're polluted anyway. Why maintain a police force (another funny movie reference)?

Like I said, ensure dogs will always be legal, and I don't see a problem.

quote:
Green-baiting! clock, you've discovered another kind of slur the right can level against us. Quick, before they start using it, let's "reclaim" it.

Reclaim? Reclaim is what I throw out for garbage (er, recycling, sorry). I don't want to reclaim this!

In after movie discussions, some friends and I came to the conclusion that the NRA wasn't the radical, pro-gun force it is now. Back when, twenty years ago maybe, it was more concerned with gun safety (hence, maybe, why Moore had an NRA card).

Another spurious Moore connection that had no reference: the year the KKK organized was the same year that the NRA was formed, or something like that. Or maybe it was the year the KKK was outlawed, whatever (are they outlawed?).

Anyway, Moore's little cartoon connected the two but from what I understand, given it's supposed recent radicalization, I dismiss this out of hand.

But I could be wrong. I don't know NRA, or KKK history, although I suppose google is only a few keyboard strokes away.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 27 October 2002 01:36 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In after movie discussions, some friends and I came to the conclusion that the NRA wasn't the radical, pro-gun force it is now. Back when, twenty years ago maybe, it was more concerned with gun safety (hence, maybe, why Moore had an NRA card).

Quite true; according to an article I read a few months back, the NRA only took on its present-day, rabid character in the mid-to-late 1970s. At one time, they actually supported new gun regulations, to the extent they improved gun safety.

quote:
Another spurious Moore connection that had no reference: the year the KKK organized was the same year that the NRA was formed, or something like that. Or maybe it was the year the KKK was outlawed, whatever (are they outlawed?).

The KKK was formed in 1865 or so, by Civil War veterans. To my knowledge, they've never been outlawed (that would be an infringement of freedom of association). I don't know about the NRA. But you're right, the connection is not immediately obvious.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 27 October 2002 05:42 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
No-one is claiming that the US is a gun culture, whatever exactly that may be (whatever, that is, that might mean if used to describe the whole society). But that the US has a gun culture -- meaning some percentage of the population that not only owns and uses, but enjoys and celebrates guns -- is not, I think, reasonably deniable.

Canada has one too, of course, merely a much smaller and less influential one, proportionately.


Okay, the ‘is’ v ‘has’ is a useful distinction. Good point. That the US ‘has’ a gun culture, is, I guess, apparent, though there’s something indicting, or sinister, with that language. I mean, is there not also a car culture, a sports culture, a gun-control or abortion-rights culture, etc? I ‘enjoy’ shooting skeet and I enjoy riding my motorcycle. I also enjoy cooking and babbling. I’ve never really looked upon any of these affinities as a ‘culture’ per se. But, let me not digress into angels-on-a-pin-head so soon. (I'm not an NRA member, btw. I'm just not a 'joiner').

quote:
What Americans commonly don't understand, because of the relative invisibility of Canadian culture in the US, is how pervasive American culture is in Canada. There's a profound asymmetry there.
I hear ya. Unfortunately I might take it a step further and suggest that most Americans see Canadian culture as identical to American culture (with some minor tweaks in the health care area). Among the many things I’ve learned this last year in my visits to babble, is that Canadians are understandably more sensitive to American positions, (gun ownership being the example here) than, say, the Europeans, because of the geography (eg, handguns, drugs, and gang culture flowing across the border).

As to the influence mentioned above: Could it be that a relatively small group by US standards (NRA=4M) seems unusually large to Canadian sensibilities? Given the pervasiveness and such?

quote:
But again, no-one really asserts that the root of the difference, if there is a difference, is the gun and only the gun, period. By that I mean: if you want to assert that one 'national culture' is inherently more violent than another, independent of greater or lesser opportunities to express that violence, then you have a thorny intellectual problem. What evidence could you advance to support the claim?
Maybe I’m reading them wrong but I distinctly do get the impression that some believe that if only there were more European-like gun control in the US, that the US gun death situation would become European-like. I strongly doubt this. As to evidence of a propensity towards violence vis-à-vis other countries, there’s the southern code of honor that I believe is uniquely American. Also, (and I’m shooting from memory here, pun aside), I’m pretty sure that Americans lead the Western world in all forms of ‘murder by’. (Eg, Crowbars, hammers, and baseball bats are used as murder weapons some 20 to 30 times as often as ‘assault-rifles’…and, more than any other comparable country).
Additionally, the US policy of accepting a greater degree of economic inequality and more serious forms of deep poverty, I’m sure contribute to the comparatively higher levels of violence and murder. If you’re really down and out, you can always sell drugs to get by; not the safest of occupations. (The concurrency of these pathologies, both in geography and demographics, would certainly suggest such anyway).

That said, I’d agree that lessening one's ability to simply grab a pistol in a fit of rage would very likely reduce gun deaths. I guess the question is by how much and what would the offsetting cost be, perceived or actual. I would assert that decriminalizing street drugs would be a far-and-away better method of reducing gun violence.

quote:
The fact that gun ownership is an individual right protected in the Constitution may be significant of something in the political culture. Though probably still more significant is that there is no reasonable prospect of changing or scrapping the Second Amendment.
Twelve states with as little as 10% or something of the population could block it. Which is likely better understood as a problem with the Constitution than as evidence that the entire nation is a "gun culture," but which does tend to reinforce my point; however small the "gun culture" may be, it's disproportionately influential. And why is that?
While you’re mathematically correct about 12 states and such, the prospect of a 2nd amendment revision is actually much more remote than even that. I doubt a single state could muster approval of such ratification among its congressional contingency. Pro gun ownership, in poll after poll, stands solidly at ~60+% of Americans, plus or minus several points depending on the phraseology and the mood, with little gender difference. As josh noted, even the Democrats have – nationally anyway – side-lined the issue because it’s simply not a vote getter.

Now, it may seem as though I’m arguing that America is a gun culture of sorts but I really don’t think that’s the required conclusion. That is to say, as Americans are generally deeply suspicious of any ‘power grab’, or change giving the government more sway, any meddling with any ‘protected right’ starts out in a hole so deep there’s almost no light. Thus, even among Northeastern Democrat liberals who’ve never even seen a gun and think Sarah Brady is right-on, any attempt to revise the 2nd amendment is going to have a tough go. And it just gets tougher, much tougher, from there.

quote:
But in this speech and in other similar screeds to which the NRA and their ilk have treated both you and us, the gun, to put it bluntly, is fetishized.
Far be it for me to defend certain Hollywood-types that have used the vacuousness of celebrity to play dilettante politics. In my view, Heston is just an old foolish man, suffering from Alzheimer’s, who’s not to be taken seriously. He’s a figurehead and money raiser only (I’m mean who wouldn’t believe Moses). The real brains behind the NRA is LaPierre.

The NRA membership are often unfairly portrayed. The actual membership are generally some of the most staid, middle-class, regular-Joes you’ll ever meet; and very reliable voters; which in part helps explains the ‘traction’. I recall reading back sometime that the typical NRA member actually skewed UP the educational and income scale compared to median. Not all that shocking when you consider that dues are required. As a rule, these aren’t ‘rabid’ types at all. JUST the opposite in fact.

The NRA leadership was indeed radicalized in the 70s. Although the NRA is still the largest provider of firearms safety classes and such, the change in focus came about primarily as a result of the gun control movement, which was, previously, almost non-existent. They lost an enormous number of members during the 80s when they over-reacted and took such ridiculous positions (counter to much of their law-enforcement membership) as the opposition to amour-piercing bullets.

Their recovery began with Clinton’s ‘assault weapons ban’. People that never cared suddenly did, and their membership doubled from ~2M to ~4M in about a year. (See above, as to why, In my view).

While their leadership, Moses notwithstanding, remains fairly radicalized compared to the members, I suppose that’s usually the case with these groups. I have friends who are dues paying members (a dentist and an accountant) and I often tease them to beware that they don’t start to mirror some of the extreme abortion-rights types; with all that absolutist, ‘slippery-slope’, never give a friggan inch no matter how reasonable stuff…
I tell them, let it go, you’ve won. Just like abortion-rights, guns are here to stay, no matter how much noise the fringe may generate. Relaaxxx…

Clockwork, josh, more later, my tiny little brain is tapped…

Here’s a good source from Prof. (and blogger) E. Volokh on the legal stuff. My conclusion, after reading this stuff for years, is that there is no clear winning argument. Thus, it’s back into the political arena for the people to decide. And so it goes…


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 27 October 2002 06:03 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I’d agree that lessening one's ability to simply grab a pistol in a fit of rage would very likely reduce gun deaths. I guess the question is by how much and what would the offsetting cost be, perceived or actual.

Well, the "perceived" cost is irrelevant when determining appropriate policy. To do so simply rewards the gun-right for misinforming people.

Also, despite Volokh, the legal question of the second amendment and its interpretation was ended by the Supreme Court in the 1930's. I refuse to close my eyes to that.

There is something crazy about the US gun bunch. They insist that "strict construction" of the Constitution grants them a right to a gun. But, even apart from the doctrine in Miller, is the object used by the Maryland sniper the same as the one mentioned in the US Constitution? Why is the word "gun" never interpreted using the intention of the Continental Congress to define what they meant? Did they use the word "scope", or "magazine"?

Josh may be right that rural Americans do not care how many people get killed in the (inner) city by guns, and that therefore it is not a winnable issue there. Here, though, the struggle to keep gun peddlers from the US from corrupting the society can still be won. To me, they are similar to Colombian cocaine exporters. They don't care who dies, as long as they profit.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 27 October 2002 06:10 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Double post!

quote:
The FBI reports ~700,000 crimes averted by gun owners. Gun murders are around ~15K. (Non-gang, non-drug types are about 5K.

The relevant figure then is 15,000 gun murders.
A kid in a gang doesn't deserve to die. Even a drug dealer doesn't deserve to die. And 700,000 crimes averted? Hoohah. Even if I thought the FBI were a believable source on this, wouldn't we want to know how many of these crimes were thefts,
impaired driving, or low-level assault?

Why does the actual number of murders get defined downward, while no analysis is done of the FBI claim?


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 27 October 2002 08:21 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
While I agree with JH that the ‘strict constructionists’ and their definitional requirements thereon are dubious, I would also suggest that the singular 1930s Supreme Court event was not the end-all of the argument.

I also understand the Columbian drugster comparison.

Lastly, if the 700K figure was revised down by 90% and then cut in half, which, after weeding out the non-serious, seems reasonable, that still leaves 35,000. Not good enough? Cut it in half again and we’re at 17,500. Recall, that’s only, after all this paring, very serious, ie, life threatening, crime.

Conclusion: Unknown. Insufficient Data.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 27 October 2002 11:48 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Since my comment
quote:
The diffference was, they owned guns, they didn't (a la Charlton Heston) love guns.

has been responded to with
quote:
What the…??? I would never (well, almost never because I’m sloppy) presume to be an authority on the hearts and minds of a nations people in which I’d never grown-up in or lived for many years. These observations strike me as those of who read too much Indy-Kids and travel too little. The disconnect is profound and interesting.

... i thought i'd best reply. Smarter folks than me have already answered better than i could, but thought i'd best point out that the reference to Charlton Heston us there to stress that it's not a reference to all Americans, but to the people i have no qualms in calling gun nuts. My (admittedly entirely impressionistic) belief is that the Canadians i've met who own guns do so for practical reasons, while many Americans do so for political reasons. Or it may just be a difference between how many Canadian gun-owners and many American gun-owners justify their gun-ownership. This is a conclusion reached after living for extended periods in both countries. (Again, it doesn't mean all Americans.)

I think there is a disconnect in attitudes on gun-ownership, but it's less US-Canada than US-rest of the world. I was struck some years ago when crossing the border into Mexico by rather forelorn signs begging people to respect Mexican law and leave their firearms at home. And i've rarely been more upset than when the US government blocked an international convention on trade in small arms using the rhetoric of the NRA.

Does anyone know anyting about gun ownership in Swizerland? I seem to remember the Swiss defence doctrine was militia-based and citizens were supposed to keep guns at home in case of foreign invasion (the original spirit of the US second amendment) yet the Swiss are not known for a high rate of violence. Handguns versus rifles, or a cultural difference, or something else?


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 28 October 2002 12:01 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, but that looks to me like the argument that monkeys could produce Shakespeare, given enough time.

I doubt very much that the possession of firearms prevented 17,000 life-threatening crimes in the US in any given year. That is about one a day in each state. (50 X 365). The very fact that you list non-gang, non drug murders at 5,000 makes me think it unlikely that there are 3 times as many preventions by firearm possession.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 28 October 2002 03:37 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You can't prove that those crimes were prevented by guns unless you have comparable data for a nation (ideally one similar to the US) that DOESN'T have all those guns. If you took away 50% of the guns in the US and there were 350,000 more crimes committed that year, yes, you could say the guns were the deciding factor. Otherwise, how can you possibly say you know it's the guns?
From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 28 October 2002 09:30 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's the law review article I referred to:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?A55012342

I see westlaw requires a sign in.

So, use mine, 820241tkzw. Under client i.d., your can put your three initials, or mine, jos. When the homepage comes up, put 31u.c.davisl.rev.309 in the find box. That should take you to the article.

[ October 28, 2002: Message edited by: josh ]


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 28 October 2002 12:16 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Re: the "outlawing the KKK" factoid, does anyone have any more info on this, as I've found basically nilch. CLosest I can find is the Force Bills of 1870 and 71. The 70 version made it a crime to try to stop a black citizen from voting, and the second was aimed at quashing rebellion is the south and allowed federal troops to use force in certain circumstances, and since it was mostly used against the KKK, led to a big decline in their membership. Is Moore exagerating again, or am I a bad researcher?

Totally off topic:

When I was checking this out, found myself on a KKK website, and they had a big invitation to check out their gift shop, so I did. The t-shirts were crazy! Some I could have predicted, (my personal "favorite" - "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas". How merry! Peace on earth and goodwill towards those who fall into my narrow definition of "white" "christianity") but others were like a direct response to (or appropriation of) black culture, and seemed farsical, like one saying the Klan were "the original boyz 'n the hood", or, around that southern flag they use to symbolize the good ole days of dixie (what's it called again?) the words "you wear your X, I'll wear mine." Talk about mixed messages.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 30 October 2002 10:08 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, I figured out the NRA/KKK "connection". I thought I had completely misheard that part of the movie as I found that the KKK was formed in 1865 (oddly enough, right at the end of the Civil War) while the NRA was formed in 1871.

What I assume the movie is referencing is this:
The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871: This act was intended to protect black citizens against intimidation by illegal action, such as by the KKK, in cases where states could not, or would not, provide protection.

Couple problems, though. According to the NRA site, the organization was founded in New York and, as I found on another site I seem to have lost, the two guys who formed it were Union veterans. In fact, their motivation for forming the NRA "to encourage shooting on a scientific basis" appeared to be the lack of shooting skills among Union troops and they envisaged their organization much like the NRA of Great Britain. I didn't think the KKK was big in New Yawk.

Next, apparently, the KKK was actually disbanded in 1869 by the Grand Wizard who claimed that the Klan had become uncontrollable. The US Supreme Court also struck down the KKK Act in US v Harris (1883) while the KKK was officially reborn in 1916. But I'm guessing that although the KKK wasn't official between 1869 and 1916, it was kept alive in underground groups or loose associations. Some sites mention that the KKK had waned significantly in that time.

I think Moore is definitely misleading people here.

edited: swirrlygrrl, yeah, I think that is the same thing.

[ October 30, 2002: Message edited by: clockwork ]


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 30 October 2002 11:54 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" - with a man in a pointy ghost costume holding out a wreath to me. I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, but a minute from now I'm gonna wake up screaming.

They have this T-shirt in sizes for 4-year-olds. Please, please tell me nobody buys them.

They also have a T-shirt like a college T-shirt - "Property of KKK XXL Athletic Department." What? The KKK has an athletic department? Huh?

Also, this is the most disturbing T-shirt design ever.

Good Lord. I'm like a traffic accident spectator. I can't stop looking.

[ October 30, 2002: Message edited by: Smith ]


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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posted 30 October 2002 11:54 AM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I think Moore is definitely misleading people here.

Someone should identify what Moore is actually saying before we jump to conclusions.
quote:

Another spurious Moore connection that had no reference: the year the KKK organized was the same year that the NRA was formed, or something like that. Or maybe it was the year the KKK was outlawed, whatever (are they outlawed?).

That's not much to go on.

[ October 30, 2002: Message edited by: Andy Social ]


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 30 October 2002 12:31 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Throughout the film Moore mentions the history of the NRA and ties it closely with the history of white Americans' fear of African-Americans. He points out that the NRA was "coincidentally" founded in the same year that the KKK was founded.

Review
quote:
Moore also presents us with a fiery, yet hysterical cartoon history of guns in America, in which he points out that the same year the KKK was outlawed by the federal government is the same year the NRA was founded.

Review
quote:
Increasing internal resistance to this particular economic system is met by the invention of multiple shot weapons, and when the KKK is declared illegal (a "terrorist organization"), the NRA is born.

Review

quote:
For instance, the NRA was founded in 1871 – the same year that the Civil Rights Act cracked down on the KKK.

Review

quote:
Later, he uses a cartoon narrated by a bullet to tell the history of guns and fear in America. The cartoon makes a not-so-subtle reference to the relationship between the NRA and the KKK.

Review

Obviously, some of the reviews are more specific than others, while some are just a bit off, but the general jist seems the same. The NRA and the KKK were somehow linked.

I have yet to see something that can even remotely show a connection between civil rights, definitely targeted towards the confederate states, the Southern based KKK, Union veterans and a rifle range in New York.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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posted 30 October 2002 01:13 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
I don't doubt that there is some crossover membership between the KKK and the NRA. Whether or not there were or are formal connections, I don't know. But it wouldn't surprise me.

As for the KKK not being strong in New York,

quote:

These artifacts are representative of widespread KKK activity in New York State in the 1920s. An estimated 80,000 New Yorkers belonged to the Klan. In fact, New York had the seventh highest membership in the nation. The Albany-Schenectady-Troy area had an estimated 11,000 members, but Klan rallies, parades, and burning crosses were reported statewide, from the state headquarters in Binghamton to Long Island, from Buffalo to the Catskills. As opposed to the anti-black animus in the South, the primary targets of the Klan in New York were Roman Catholics, Jews, immigrants generally, and "Bolsheviks" (the common 1920s name for communists).


http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/womenshistory/klan.html

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clockwork
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posted 30 October 2002 01:23 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I meant strong in New York in 1871, not forty years later. Remember, the Klan was barely a half decade old by this point. [edited: actually, I'm not sure what I meant, but my point still stands]

quote:
Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan The name, rituals, and some of the attitudes of the original Klan were adopted by a new fraternal organization incorporated in Georgia in 1915. The official name of the new society, which was organized by a former preacher, Colonel William Simmons, was Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Membership was open to native-born, white, Protestant males, 16 years of age or older. Blacks, Roman Catholics, and Jews were excluded and were increasingly made targets of defamation and persecution by the Klan. Until 1920 the society exercised little influence. Then, in the period of economic dislocation and political and social unrest that followed World War I, the Klan expanded rapidly in urban areas, and expanded beyond the South. The Klan of the 1920s was active in many states, notably Colorado, Oregon, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

History

[ October 30, 2002: Message edited by: clockwork ]


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 31 October 2002 05:31 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I really wasn’t trying to make much of an argument, jeff house. That’s why I dropped it by saying I didn’t have the data. I have no doubt that most of the ‘preventions’ are property crimes only. However, for those that didn’t lose their car, or didn’t get beat up or burglarized, or didn’t get raped, however small that group may be, I would imagine they might see these preventions as important. (Even the perceived comfort, however real or not, one might gather from feeling self-protected is important to those feeling it).

Swallow: I can certainly believe that some Americans, more than, say, Canadians, attach a certain political sentiment to the issue. There is, that 2nd amendment.

But we’re getting away from the reason I originally commented here: I was specifically calling into the question the direct, almost credo-like association often made between Heston, the NRA, and deaths by guns. I think this is a lazy and false association.

Item: Heston and the NRA didn’t write the 2nd amendment. There’s never been any attempt to change it – by those who actually can – because the amendment enjoys broad popular support (as usually does the resistance efforts to suggested attempts to limit the protected right. As I say, I think this is more about principle than guns…the ‘butt out and leave me alone’ sentiment).

Item: High US rates of gun deaths can be directly attributed to inner-city gangsters and the illicit drug trade. (The accidental deaths of children by gun are likewise concentrated to a similar demo).

Item: The US has relatively high rates of violence and murder by all other means as well as guns. Thus, it’s illogical to suggest that it’s the gun that is at the root of the problem.

Item: NRA members are exactly the least likely people to use guns for criminal activities or have gun accidents. As a group they are the epitome of the solid, law-abiding citizen.

Item: If there exists a ‘gun culture’ where the gun is fetishized, that would have to be –
first and foremost – the inner-city drug gangsters. Next in line would have to be Hollywood movie types who can’t seem to resist the urge to glamorize violence and gun play.

Is Heston a fool? I think so. Are there zealots among the NRA leadership? Probably. Does the NRA (like damn near every activist group) often take the ‘slippery slope’ threat into the realms of paranoia? Yup. But, can the high murder rate by guns in the US be put squarely at their doorstep? Not without some very fuzzy thinking and an article of faith unfamiliar to me.

clockwork: I enjoyed your commentary and really don’t disagree with much that you said. I agree that gun deaths are ‘out of whack’. But, then, so are all the methods…

As to Moore, I doubt I’ll see his movie until it’s on free teevee. As I’ve said before, I think he’s a derisive, factually-challenged, gasbag, so I’ll leave it at that.

Except for this…From what I’ve read, Moore accosts Heston and waves a picture of a girl that was killed by a gun. Her name was Tarmala Owens. According to Time Tarmala’s mother was a drug addict, and her home was a crack-house where guns and drugs were the common currency. The gun was stolen and left loaded in full view.

In other words, these people were to responsible gun ownership as Moore is to responsible journalism. Oh, and see my last item above. Moore’s choice of props just makes my case.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 31 October 2002 06:03 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Except for this…From what I’ve read, Moore accosts Heston and waves a picture of a girl that was killed by a gun. Her name was Tarmala Owens. According to Time Tarmala’s mother was a drug addict, and her home was a crack-house where guns and drugs were the common currency. The gun was stolen and left loaded in full view.

In other words, these people were to responsible gun ownership as Moore is to responsible journalism. Oh, and see my last item above. Moore’s choice of props just makes my case


To clarify, since you haven't and have no intention of seeing the movie:

Heston agrees to an appointment with Moore with no coercion. No "accosting."

Tamara Owens was the mother of the 6 year old boy who shot Kayla (can't remember her last name) - it is Kayla's picture he shows Heston.

It has been said that Tamara used drugs, though she also held down 2 jobs, so this must either be past tense or she's the most responsible current crack addict ever. Or slander. I have seen no indication that she was ever convicted of any crime relating to drugs.

The home that she and her two sons were living in was her brother's house, because she had been evicted for failure to pay rent a few weeks before. The family had no place else to go. And as dangerous as the home of a family member may be, would you suggest that the streets would be a better place? Especially considering Tamara left for work before her kids got up, and often came home after they were asleep?

The question of whether her brother's house was a "crack house" is difficult. Certainly her brother was invovled in criminal activity, was wanted on a warrant for recieving stolen property, and had two illegal guns in the house. But the label "crack house" is meant to be inflammatory, and again I've heard no evidence that crack was sold there or that numerous people used it to get high. I've also seen the home referred to as a "flop house." Pejorative terms abound when describing homes in lower class neighborhoods, often with little regard for what actually occurs in them.

The gun you refer to that was used in the shooting was hidden under the bed covers of Tamara's brother's bed, rather than being in full view.

And the point that Moore was trying to make was about the fact that the welfare system in Michigan required Tamara to work 2 shit wage jobs in an upscale mall an hour away, in spite of the fact that she didn't make enough money to make ends meet, in spite of the fact that she was forced to leave her children in unsafe conditions without proper supervision.

And that the NRA supports a level of access to guns in this country that guarantees easy access by people who will not treat them with due care and respect. They are against any measure that will allow the government to restrict who gets guns, to track what happens to them. And then goes to cities where there have been horrible gun tragedies, in spite of the grieving of the citizens, and Heston holds up a rifle and says "from my cold dead hands!", mindless of the families that have touched the cold, dead hands of their children, dead due to guns, days or weeks before.

And that Heston can't defend these actions, can't look at a picture of a dead 6 year old and find any justification, and so walks away, is an important point. Moses knows this isn't the promised land. He's leading them into the desert, but we can only hope its only for 40 years.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 31 October 2002 06:09 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Except for this…From what I’ve read, Moore accosts Heston and waves a picture of a girl that was killed by a gun. Her name was Tarmala Owens. According to Time Tarmala’s mother was a drug addict, and her home was a crack-house where guns and drugs were the common currency. The gun was stolen and left loaded in full view.

You have your story wrong SHH. The picture Moore was showing was that of the girl who was shot by Owen's son. Her name was Kayla Rowland. According to Moore, Owens was enrolled in the work for welfare program, wherein she spent four hours a day riding a bus to the tony neighbourhood of Auburn Hills to work her two jobs (she worked as a waitress and at a mall food court fudge shop). A week befor eteh shooting the Owens' were told they were being evicted. Tamarla sent her son to live with one of his uncles. It was there that he found the gun.

To me, the Time story sounds like hogwash to me. But I guess it's all in who you choose to believe: Michael Moore or AOL Time Warner.

quote:
Item: If there exists a ‘gun culture’ where the gun is fetishized, that would have to be –
first and foremost – the inner-city drug gangsters. Next in line would have to be Hollywood movie types who can’t seem to resist the urge to glamorize violence and gun play.

So inner-city gang-bangers are to blame for the US's gun culture? Stop the presses! It wasn't the multi-million dollar gun lobby after all! It's a bunch of street hoods who listen to too much of that there rap music!
(BTW: Where Klebold and Harris Crips or Bloods?)

quote:
Item: NRA members are exactly the least likely people to use guns for criminal activities or have gun accidents. As a group they are the epitome of the solid, law-abiding citizen.

Sure. Like Tim VcVeigh and Terry Nichols? Everyone is a law-abiding citizen...until they blow someone's brains out.


quote:
Item: The US has relatively high rates of violence and murder by all other means as well as guns. Thus, it’s illogical to suggest that it’s the gun that is at the root of the problem./QUOTE]

So tell us, o wise one: if not guns, why do Americans slaughter each other at such alarming rates?

[QUOTE] Item: High US rates of gun deaths can be directly attributed to inner-city gangsters and the illicit drug trade. (The accidental deaths of children by gun are likewise concentrated to a similar demo).


I'd like to see that stats you used to back this up. On an anecdotal basis, it seems every time I see a story about kids accidently exercising their Second Amendmant rights, it's always in these nice white, upper middle class homes.

[ October 31, 2002: Message edited by: black_dog ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 31 October 2002 06:10 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In other words, these people were to responsible gun ownership as Moore is to responsible journalism.

But there are a thousand pure-as-the-driven-snow victims whose picture he could have waived instead.

And although I appreciate your willingness to say that some of the NRA leadership are "probably" zealots, I feel safe in saying that some of the leadership are absolutely, definitely, and incontrovertably zealots. I recall in particular one of their highest officials referring to those who favour gun control as being analogous to ....
El-Quaeda!

Any organization which has a leader like that, and is armed to the teeth fits my definition of national menace.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 31 October 2002 07:38 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SHH, you offer no statistical support for your assertion that NRA members are "least likely" to use guns against others. Also it is counterintuitive to believe that the proliferation of guns, particularly handguns, does not lead to more violence and death. Finally, there is no basis for your implication that the second amendment is somehow an individual, fundamental right. The Supreme Court has never so held and, as the law review article I cite above states, that was not the framers' main concern in enacting the amendment.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 31 October 2002 09:20 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Moore to Heston....come in Heston.....

quote:
October 30, 2002


To: Charlton Heston, President, NRA
From: Michael Moore, Winner, NRA Marksman Award
Subject: Your Visit to Tucson Today in the Wake of Another School Shooting


Dear Mr. Heston:


When you showed up in Denver to hold your pro-gun rally just days after the
massacre at nearby Columbine High School, the nation was shocked at your
incredible insensitivity to those who had just lost loved ones.


When you came to Flint to hold another rally in the months after a 6-year
old boy shot a 6-year old girl at a nearby elementary school, the community
was stunned by your desire to rub its face in its grief.


But your announcement that you are on your way to Tucson today, just 48
hours after a student at the University of Arizona shot and killed three
professors and then himself, to hold ANOTHER big pro-gun celebration --
this time to get out the vote for the NRA-backed Republican running for
Congress -- well, sir, I have to ask you: Have you no shame?


I am asking that you not go to Tucson today. Do not cause any more grief,
any more pain. Let the relatives and friends of the deceased mourn. Why
show up to play the role of the bully, kicking these good people when they
are down, just so you can prove that you have a right to your big, bad
guns? These are not the actions of a once brave and decent man. They are
the acts of a coward, as no man of courage would think of picking on his
fellow citizens when they are so consumed with tragedy.


Obviously, you couldn't care less. Because to you, The Gun is supreme --
and wherever it is used to kill multiple people (preferably at a school),
there shall we find you gloating about some misbegotten right you think you
have to own a device that is designed to eliminate human life.


Well, Mr. Heston, this time I think you have crossed the line. I hope that
your efforts as a gun supremacist -- you are now, I understand, in the
middle of a 12-state tour to help elect Republicans -- backfire on you in
the surest way that it can: total rejection of you, the NRA, and the
candidates you back come next Tuesday. The American people have had enough.

To the people of Tucson and the students at the University of Arizona, I am
so sorry for the tragedy you have suffered, and I feel terribly sad that
you will have to endure the sight of Charlton Heston and his gun nuts
today. Take some solace in knowing that your fellow Americans by an
overwhelming margin want tough gun laws -- and that the day of obtaining
them is not far away. There is one small way to make sure Heston and the
NRA are stopped in their tracks -- just check out the website of the man
(http://www.grijalva2002.com/) they have come to Tucson to defeat. Let them
pack their guns -- we will pack the polls!


Yours,


Michael Moore
www.michaelmoore.com
[email protected]



From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 31 October 2002 09:41 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Except for this…From what I’ve read, Moore accosts Heston and waves a picture of a girl that was killed by a gun. Her name was Tarmala Owens. According to Time Tarmala’s mother was a drug addict, and her home was a crack-house where guns and drugs were the common currency. The gun was stolen and left loaded in full view.

SHH, I'm strongly suspicious that you brought up these "facts" in order to try and do a drive-by smear job on Moore, and the gun victim as well.

No, I can't tell you what specifically makes me think so. I just don't feel right about your choice of words.

You can, of course, correct me if I'm wrong.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 31 October 2002 10:03 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No comment on Michael Moore's film making one way or the other, but his letter to Heston says it beatifully. That's what makes me sick to the stomach about the NRA, their zealous near-gloating over the graves of those murdered by guns. They're like the bigots who attend the funerals of murdered gay people like Matthew Shepherd with signs saying "Matt in Hell" and "death to fags." Is the NRA and the gun at the root of the problem of violence? Maybe, maybe not. Would limiting gun availability reduce shootings? Probably. The NRA is what makes any such move political suicide. Blinded by their own faith, they stand on the way of any solution.
From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 31 October 2002 10:56 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
SHH, you offer no statistical support for your assertion that NRA members are "least likely" to use guns against others.
Before I attempt to prove the claim that I have stopped beating my wife, I just wanna make sure: Is that what you’re suggesting?

Of all the energetic viciousness unleashed upon the NRA, don’t you reckon that if there were even a scant piece of evidence suggesting that this was a group prone to lawlessness that it wouldn’t have been alleged? The fact that it hasn’t been, by even its most vociferous of critics, should tell you something. (I know these NRA guys…they’re driving your bus, growing your food, flying your plane, and building your buildings).

quote:
Also it is counterintuitive to believe that the proliferation of guns, particularly handguns, does not lead to more violence and death.
Well, a great many things true are counterintuitive. As I wrote above: “I’d agree that lessening one's ability to simply grab a pistol in a fit of rage would very likely reduce gun deaths.” Note, however, I didn’t say it would reduce deaths overall. (I think it likely would, but I didn’t say that). More to the point, a chart showing guns per capita in the US plotted along side gun murders per capita would show little, if any, correlation for many obvious reasons. For example:
quote:
between the years of 1937 and 1963, gun ownership in the United States increased by 250 percent. In that same period, the number of homicides decreased by 35. 7*
And of course the same can be said of many other periods. The 90s saw an enormous drop in murder rates and crime as gun ownership climbed. John Lott** has thoroughly documented this and there’s been no, to my knowledge, serious refutation asserted.

quote:
Finally, there is no basis for your implication that the second amendment is somehow an individual, fundamental right. The Supreme Court has never so held and, as the law review article I cite above states, that was not the framers' main concern in enacting the amendment.
That’s one view. As I’m sure you know, there are more than a few acclaimed legal scholars, conservative and liberal, that hold the opinion that the courts have been wrong since Miller and that Emerson is the beginning of the correction. I don’t know (nor, I think, does anybody) or really care, as it’s all a bunch of blah, blah, blah. Fairly unrestricted gun ownership in the US is here to stay for many many decades to come…regardless of all the noise from the loony fringe on either side.

But none of this is on point. My simple and narrow assertion was that attributing gun deaths to Heston and such was false and lazy; a complete dodge of clear thinking and proper accountability. Right or wrong, the NRA is an advocacy group supporting a contestable, but entirely solid and very popular, constitutional view. It’s wholly reasonable to disagree with their view. But to squarely blame them for the deaths caused by irresponsible people who scarcely even know who they are is, well, simply ridiculous.

It seems obvious to me that if a reduction in gun deaths is the goal, that blasting Heston and such is a complete waste of energy when an obvious solution is staring us in the face: Stop the War on Drugs.

*Newton, David E. Gun Control: An Issue for the Nineties. Hillside: Enslow Publishers,
1992.

**Lott, More Guns, Less Crime, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 31 October 2002 11:35 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry if my memory regarding the Time article failed me. I’ll accept the corrections. Nothing I’ve heard changes much though. To blame Heston and such here is an exercise in delusion.

PS: I understand that Gary Wills has called Bellesiles’ book a ‘fraud’. Kudos to him. I wonder how long it will take before the various gun control groups will do the same and remove all of those fraudulent Bellesiles’ ‘scholarly’ quotes from their web sites? A quick check sez they haven’t yet.

Any bets that a month from now will yield the same? Self policing. It’s something that zealots, cult members, and yes, even Party Members, don’t do all that well. But it is the mainstay of credibility. Just a tip from a no nothing puff-head about to seriously recline on a serious sofa…


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 01 November 2002 05:02 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michael Moore is on Oprah right now. Just started (at least in the Eastern Time Zone - but heck, we're the centre of the universe aren't we?) and it looks interesting. They're talking about Bowling for Columbine.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 01 November 2002 06:42 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle and I are going to see Bowling for Columbine tonight at 10pm @ the Cumberland Theatre in Toronto. You're all invited!
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catalyst
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posted 01 November 2002 09:11 PM      Profile for Catalyst   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bowling for Columbine just opened tonight in Windsor, in a Silvercity clone at the big mall. If it's still in the theatre come Monday, Moon and I are going to see it after we finish supper.
From: gone | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Adam Smith
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posted 01 November 2002 11:10 PM      Profile for Adam Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lunch with the FT: Michael Moore
From: Manitoba | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 01 November 2002 11:43 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A puff-piece from the FT? Who knew.
From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 02 November 2002 12:58 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SHH: By the way, you still haven't responded to my concerns about your recitation of the victim's alleged bad traits.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 02 November 2002 02:53 AM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US: 11,000 plus deaths due to guns
Canada: 165
Japan: less than 100

The numbers are saying something and that is what Moore is trying to get at. Why is the US so out of whack? Canadians have a tons of guns too, but our numbers are vastly different.

And you can compare our population to theirs if you want as a variable, but then Japans numbers blow that right out of the water.

Moore wants people to think. His movie is as much about fear as it is about guns if not more. Gun violence is a symptom of something. A culture of fear has developed that keeps the people in line better than religion ever did and the powers that be can do as they please by promoting fear. People are so busy being afraid their child will be abducted, even though child abductions are down, when they should be scared of living in poverty when they are retired. They should be scared that more people live in poverty in the US than live in Canada but they are too busy worrying about "black suspects". It's all like an elaborate magic trick.


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 02 November 2002 03:45 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Definitely that - although Marcus Gee's column this Friday said there are 200 million guns in the US, 65 million of which are handguns.

So that's roughly 2 guns for every 3 people, as opposed to roughly 1 for every 4 people here in Canada, and 1 handgun for every 4 people there as opposed to 1 for every 30 here.

I don't know, I don't know where these figures are from, but even if you cut them down a bit, that's still a hell of a lot of guns.


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 02 November 2002 06:38 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Gee's column
From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 02 November 2002 12:43 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Doc: I thought I had responded when I apologized if I recalled the facts incorrectly. I haven’t seen the movie and I know little of the case. I do know however, that leaving a loaded gun within a child’s grasp is moronic. In most states it’s a felony in fact.

Gee repeats several of the standard falsehoods, so I won’t repeat myself. But one, I dunno, contradiction, or implied premise, or something did stand out...

He claims that Americans are not more violent than any other people. (*cough* *cough*). He then claims that the problem is guns are everywhere. (So far, right on script. Sarah would be proud). But he further claims that ‘in any other democracy’ recent incidents would have brought about cries for more gun control but in America to do so is political suicide.

So what is he saying? That Americans are uniquely stupid?

See, I think this is where dogma can blind one to the obvious. He probably doesn’t even consider the possibility that: (i) Americans have good reason to think more gun regulation won’t do any good, and, (ii) Americans aren’t all that upset with the current state of affairs anyway. (Indeed, it seems to me that it’s non-Americans, people that don’t even live here, that are the most upset).


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 02 November 2002 02:57 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, us non-Americans have some reason to get upset, because the United States' culture is the one that gets exported all over the world. If it had a monetary value your trade deficit would disappear overnight.

So we have to deal with unrelenting pressures for lower taxes, laxer gun laws, stiffer drug laws, and so on, none of which appear to have done the US population much good, yet this recipe for "success" continues to be sent about all over the world.

On your statements:

I simply have problems with casually throwing around loaded terms like "crackhouse", etc when it can be interpreted as an attempt to discredit the people involved in a situation.

And BTW, if it's such a felony offence to leave a loaded gun out, how come I never hear about the parents of these gun-grabbing kids getting charged and convicted for leaving the gun out in the first place?

I'm reminded of this case where two kids were playing with what they thought were unloaded guns, and one kid pulled the trigger, and you guessed it. Blammo.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 02 November 2002 02:59 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
(i) Americans have good reason to think more gun regulation won’t do any good, and, (ii) Americans aren’t all that upset with the current state of affairs anyway. (Indeed, it seems to me that it’s non-Americans, people that don’t even live here, that are the most upset).

(i) Those reasons would be what?

(ii) It is quite amazing, isn't it? Two guys go about and shoot 13 people and Americans aren't "that upset." I guess it comes down to good television?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 02 November 2002 04:05 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Doc: I’ve come to appreciate, with the help of my babbler friends, that the US footprint-of-influence on the global scene is larger than first appears; from inside that is. Most Americans, I’m sure, are unaware or don’t care. In that way, they’re no different than any other people and, thus, shouldn’t be held, as a people, to a higher standard. It would be great if the nation-of-the-most-powerful would rise above and behave like an enlighten group of wise-ones, taking the planet to new and more civilized heights. But, these are just people. Ordinary people. Like in Canada. And the system in the US is such that you’d better be earning your keep or a serious boot is about to visit your ass. Not that different than the nature channel. So, the focus is elsewhere. Stayin alive…buyin a new-house...new car…getting a job…getting laid…whatever.

We be just people…warts and all…

BTW, here in AZ, there have been numerous arrests of bozos that left a gun unsecured with children present. (Inner-city gangbangers and low-life wanna-bees of course). Not one NRA member yet.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 02 November 2002 04:19 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
(Inner-city gangbangers and low-life wanna-bees of course).

This is exactly the sort of language you use that I'm talking about. You shoehorn people into stereotypical notions of who is what, and fail to take account of the fact that there are likely many mddle-class suburbanites who, but for their financial status, don't think much differently from your "low-life wanna-bes".

Your language is not much different from this delusional New Yorker I know who's such a stiff-necked prig he's insufferable, and when I pointed out that the USA comes in dead last in the quality-of-life stats for the industrialized world, he blamed it all on "overpopulated minorities". Like, come ON. White guys make the rules in the USA, white guys enforce them, and white guys generally run the show so if anybody is to be blamed it is the rich white guys who have decided that politically, inner cities are a write-off and need not be considered.

So instead of fixing the problems they make excuses about why only for the United States, the black and Hispanic statistics should be backed out when comparing the USA to industrialized nations.

An analogy can be drawn to South Africa. Nobody, in the 60s, 70s or 80s would have called South Africa a true First World country. If you looked just at the standard of living of the white population, yes. But averaging it in with the black population, who were in their economic and political position by virtue of rules white guys made, would disabuse anyone of the notion.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 02 November 2002 05:53 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
(i) Those reasons would be what?
The Australian and British experiments would be Exhibit A.

Exhibit B would recognize that the 2nd amendment is, despite interpretations, beyond reproach because most Americans agree that that’s the way it should be.

Exhibit C might be...

quote:
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

or,

quote:
Guns don’t kill people; people do.

There are very few political slogans that ring more true to the common ear than these.

Exhibit D might be that people know, in their heart of hearts, that there will never be a disarming of Americans like we’ve seen elsewhere (without a full-scale ugly uprising, that is). Like outlawing abortion-rights; it simply isn’t going to happen. Move on.

Exhibit E would be the fact that most Americans are unaffected by inner-city gangbanging, and, thus, see the issue as remote to their lives; inconsequential if you will. Criminals killing criminals…oh well…


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 02 November 2002 06:24 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So we have to deal with unrelenting pressures for lower taxes, laxer gun laws, stiffer drug laws, and so on, none of which appear to have done the US population much good, yet this recipe for "success" continues to be sent about all over the world.

*applause*

Exactly. That is what most Americans I talk to do not understand. Indeed, there's very little they can do individually to change it. But part of the reason a lot of us are so anti-American here (or at least deeply suspicious of America) is exactly that. If we don't keep reminding our leaders and each other that the American Way is not the only way, or even the best way necessarily, then we're liable to forget there's anything else.

As for "guns don't kill people, people do" - maybe mine is not a "common ear," because I think that's crap. Guns don't kill people; people kill people...with guns. Guns don't kill people; guns are used to kill people. Hell, some guns are made to maim and kill people. That's what they're for.

I don't think anyone's talking about outlawing guns entirely - just making them harder and slower to get and easier to track. It is not a serious hardship to have to wait to get a gun.

[ November 02, 2002: Message edited by: Smith ]


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 05 November 2002 07:58 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oprah Winfrey devoted an entire show to "Bowling for Columbine" the other day!

Now I know lots of people don't like Oprah, but let's face it, she's got serious reach. I'm really glad this film is getting this kind of publicity. It should get into a lot of theatres after this.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
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posted 05 November 2002 11:17 PM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Guns don't kill people; people kill people...with guns. Guns don't kill people; guns are used to kill people.

I am so sick up and fed with this guns/people false dichotomy!!

Now lissen up!

People with guns don't kill people!
Guns don't kill people!

BULLETS KILL PEOPLE!


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 06 November 2002 01:26 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's right! Guns are only an effective delivery system for bullets!

Let 'em keep the guns... Let's ban ammunition!


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 06 November 2002 03:11 AM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I saw the movie last weekend. I loved it.

The segment that really impressed me was when Mr. Moore took two survivors of the Columbine Highschool shootings to K-Mart to symbolicly return the 17 cent bullets that are embedded in their bodies. These young men must have been thrilled when, on their second visit with the media in tow, Kmart announced that they would remove all small arm ammunition from their stores. I just thought of how those kids must have felt walking away from that experience, and Michael Moore became a new favorite person of mine.

His short poitrait of the young reporter at the Flint shooting was spectacular.

Michael Moore can't pretend to be unbiased. In his Canadian segment he thoughtfully left out Taber, Alberta.

quote:
A 14-year-old former student was charged Thursday with first-degree murder and attempted murder, a day after he allegedly marched into a high school in southern Alberta and shot two students, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

But while he couldn't be called unbiased he certainly makes his point in a simple and direct way. I can't wait to see "Roger and Me."

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: skadie ]


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 06 November 2002 11:43 AM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In spite of the media hype, Taber was a hugely different situation than Columbine. One kid, one gun (families, I believe, and they lived in a rural area), one death, and a severe mental breakdown afterwards. The planning, the viciousness, the number and type of weapons, the singlehanded purpose to kill and then die, were all missing. Similarities of course in that it was a teased boy offender, and a "popular" boy victim, in a school setting. But the kid wasn't attempting to imitate a Terminator movie, and didn't have access to the weapons it would take to do so.

While Moore could have mentioned it, it really wasn't very high profile outside of Canada, and Moore tends to not know anything about Canada outside of southern Ontario anyways (one of his books mentions, among other falshoods, that Pizza Pizza is our national pizza chain. Funny, all my years in AB and SK, and I never once saw it. Conflating Ontario with all of Canada is my pet peeve the size of an elephant.)

As a produce lover, I find it sad that across Canada, Taber will no longer mean corn for most people because of this.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 06 November 2002 11:53 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In 1975, there were two school shooting incidents in Canada, one in Ottawa and one in Brampton, Ontario.

Michael Moore might also have mentioned Marc Lepine and Valery Fabrikant in his movie -- does he?


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 06 November 2002 03:00 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nope, don't think so. Canada was pretty much North American Switzerland in his movie. It was excellent but man, if we were any better we'd be sugar-coated. I can see how people from marginalized groups in Canada would be rather resentful of his idealistic vision of us.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 10 November 2002 08:33 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I liked the movie but Moore is fast and loose with the facts. Windsor, population of 200,000 was said to be 400,000. Heck Essex county is only 350,000. He said that Windsor had 1 gun murder in 3 years but we have about 5-6 per year.

I thought he was doing a good job on the news and the fear and the poverty stuff and then screwed it up by ending on a gun control note. I thought his gun control stuff was contradicting itself. I mean he made points in the movie such as "murder has been decreasing for the past 20 years in the states while gun ownership has greatly increased" How does that help his case. Or the fact that 7 million out of 10 million canadian households have guns but there is way less murder. How does that help his case for gun control?

Whats great is that a bartender who was in the movie walked out today the same time I did. He was telling me that when they interviewed him he thought it was an art school project, that they dubbed in Moore's voice asking the questions later. Good guy, works at Koko-Pelle's in Windsor.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 10 November 2002 08:42 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's funny, Markbo, I noticed all the same things you did. When they said there was one murder in Windsor in the past 3 years, I was really quite sceptical - I mean, I think even tiny Kingistan here has at least one murder per year.

And yes, I was confused about what his message was - did he support gun control or didn't he? He claimed that in Canada we have a similar number of guns per capita as the US and argued that it is just as easy to buy ammo here as the US (he demonstrated by walking into a Canadian Walmart), so I really wasn't sure what point he was making. Sometimes he would seem to imply that it was all those guns in the US that were to blame, and then he would imply that it wasn't the availability of guns. I feel like saying, "What's your thesis statement, son?"

I really DID like his interview with Charlton Heston though, taking him to task about holding NRA rallies in towns that have school shootings within days or weeks of the incident, while the hurt is still raw. He's a bastard, and I really enjoyed watching him get roasted.

[ November 10, 2002: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 10 November 2002 09:03 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And the biggest problem is, we DON'T have a similar number of guns per capita. There are over 200 million guns in the US - almost one for every person, and one handgun for every four people. Here, there's roughly one gun for every four people, and one handgun for every thirty.
From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 10 November 2002 11:40 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I really DID like his interview with Charlton Heston though, taking him to task about holding NRA rallies in towns that have school shootings within days or weeks of the incident, while the hurt is still raw. He's a bastard, and I really enjoyed watching him get roasted.

Thing is that they claim all along that the two issues are completely unrelated. I'm not defending them but cancelling a rally to them is an admission of guilt. Heston seemed really old, knowing now that he suffers from alzheimers he seems like a defenceless old man to me. I thought it was over the top to put the picture of that girl there as if Heston himself is responsible.

I like Moore, he brings out a lot of great ideas and makes you think. I mean I was ranting about Roger and Me before anybody saw it. But he go's to far sometimes and its just frustrating.

quote:

And the biggest problem is, we DON'T have a similar number of guns per capita. There are over 200 million guns in the US - almost one for every person, and one handgun for every four people. Here, there's roughly one gun for every four people, and one handgun for every thirty.

Yeah but according to Moore the more gun ownership goes up, the more crime and murder goes down in the U.S. over the last 20 years. I didn't say it, the movie did.

My problem with gun control (which I'm for) is that most people who argue for gun control actually want to eliminate gun ownership altogether. They're simply dishonest about their motives and they constantly confuse the issues.

I took the FAC course but I never sent away for it (a friend was trying to talk me into skeet shooting as I'm not into killing bambi or nothing). I travel too much, however, to own a gun as I fear it would be stolen when I'm away and used to hurt someone. So I never sent away for it. But I value taking the course it was quite educational. And I'm not opposed to responsible people owning one and regulating it.

I however, fear some of the problems of registration. If I was a gun owner and a cop is called to my house because, of say, a dog barking; I shouldn't have to be treated differently than anyone else because the cop knows the guns in my house. In fact its the guy who doesn't register the gun who the cop should worry about.

Secondly as they said in another thread If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have them. Simply control them.

P.S. If I'm a law abiding citizen going through a divorce which can take over a year and want to go away hunting, why should I not be allowed to purchase a gun but be able to continue owning one. What happened to innocent until proven guilty.

I'm for gun control but there are problems with it

P.P.S. The first P.S. is bait. I'm waiting for someone to argue that a persons rights should be violated for security reasons.

[ November 11, 2002: Message edited by: Markbo ]


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 11 November 2002 11:51 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
My problem with gun control (which I'm for) is that most people who argue for gun control actually want to eliminate gun ownership altogether. They're simply dishonest about their motives and they constantly confuse the issues.


I'm not dishonest - I would like to see all guns and hunting banned, except for use by law enforcement, military, animal control. If you want to kill wild game and eat it yourself, be a real man and do it with a knife.

I saw Moore's film this weekend and enjoyed it quite a bit. There were some powerful images in that film, and I was very impressed by his direction too.

Moore isn't a journalist, but it would be nice for him to show a little more fairness in making his point. He criticizes television news for playing on peoples' emotions, yet he does the very same thing throughout his film.

And his depiction of Canada as a crime-free gun-free paradise where no one locks their doors at night was such pure fantasy that it ellicited splashes of laughter in the {liberal) audience.

All-in-all, Moore is adept in his role as sole-voice-of-the-left in American popular media.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 November 2002 12:24 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I'm not defending them but cancelling a rally to them is an admission of guilt.

But the thing is, the rallies were organized AFTER the shootings there. What, it's just a coincidence that there just so happened to be a rally coming up just a few weeks after the school shootings, while they're still on the news every night?

They tried to say with one of them that the event was planned before the school shooting, but if I heard right, Moore discovered that actually the rallies were planned right AFTER the shootings, and they strategically picked those places because they wanted to stem the anti-gun backlash that would inevitably come about after something like that happened.

Come on, surely don't think that this wasn't the case, Markbo.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 11 November 2002 01:56 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Look I remember at the time they said it was planned before and no one at the time contradicted that. It was a huge issue at the time and I remember debating it.

Now look I'm not on their side, I just understand why they felt they couldn't back down. To actually schedule a rally there after the shooting is despicable. To cancel one would be an admission of guilt.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 11 November 2002 02:05 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It would not be an admission of guilt. It would be an admission of human decency.
From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 11 November 2002 02:16 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It would not be an admission of guilt. It would be an admission of human decency.

Swirlygirrl has hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, many organizations are run with a "strategy first" mentality, which places a secondary value on human decency.

For the record, I think the film depicted two rallies, in Colorado and Michigan. I think the Colorado rally was already scheduled, but the Michigan rally was not.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 November 2002 02:18 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, my sentiments exactly. Even if it WAS planned beforehand, I would have had a lot more respect for them if they had issued a press release saying, "Due to the traumatic event that has recently saddened this community, and out of respect for the victims and their families, our rally will be postponed to a later date, to be announced." I'm sure that showing this kind of respect would have been an excellent PR move for them.

After all, after the Washington sniper thing happened, they cancelled the opening of a movie about a sniper - what was it, Phone Booth? - out of respect for the feelings of the community and the nation. Does that mean Hollywood was accepting blame for influencing snipers to kill people? Of course not. It just means that while the people of DC and the US are still raw from the horror, they don't want to rub salt in the wound with images of snipers.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 11 November 2002 03:48 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
our rally will be postponed to a later date, to be announced." I'm sure that showing this kind of respect would have been an excellent PR move for them.

But whether you agree or disagree, their argument is that the two incidents are so mutually exclusive that they are completely unrelated. Remember their motto, Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Would you cancel a Kitchen trade show because one child stabbed another?

I'm not defending them, just that you have to understand their point of view if you want to oppose them. Otherwise you simply talking two completely different languages.

Besides, even if you are completely opposed to it, showing the picture of the child and leaving it at Charton Hestons house was despicable. The old guy isn't responsible for that girls death, gun registration wouldn't have prevented that accident. If the homeowner was stupid enough to leave the loaded gun lying around, what makes you think any law would have stopped him.

[ November 11, 2002: Message edited by: Markbo ]


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 11 November 2002 04:09 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But whether you agree or disagree, their argument is that the two incidents are so mutually exclusive that they are completely unrelated. Remember their motto, Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Would you cancel a Kitchen trade show because one child stabbed another?

I'm not defending them, just that you have to understand their point of view if you want to oppose them. Otherwise you simply talking two completely different languages.


You have a valid point, but whether or not the NRA thinks that gun control could have prevented the tragedy or not - they still should have known that their actions would upset the grieving.

And that's insensitive as well as tactically stupid.

quote:
Besides, even if you are completely opposed to it, showing the picture of the child and leaving it at Charton Hestons house was despicable. The old guy isn't responsible for that girls death, gun registration wouldn't have prevented that accident. If the homeowner was stupid enough to leave the loaded gun lying around, what makes you think any law would have stopped him.

I have great respect for Heston's agreement to speak to Michael Moore. He showed that he believes enough in his opinions that he's willing to discuss them with Moore.

But when Moore asked him "Why do you think this violence happens more in the US, if it's not because of our gun culture ?" [I'm paraphrasing the question] Heston came to a point where he just couldn't answer the question.

If you can't answer a question like that, then the only reason can be that you haven't questioned the issue enough for yourself. This, in itself, is amazing to me. For someone to be a spokesman on such an important and complex issue and to not be 100% sure of the reasons for their convictions is absolutely irresponsible.

Ok. So at this point in the interview it's evident that Mr. Heston hasn't been intellectually honest with himself in trying to answer the reasons for gun problems. What is Heston's response then ?

Does he say: "I haven't thought about the issue this way before - let me think about it and I'll speak to you again." ?

Does he say: "I may be WRONG here." ? (When's the last time a public figure said THAT ?)

No. He ends the interview. He runs away from this important question that should sit at the core of his values as a human being.

In my opinion, Moore was justified in persuing him in trying to get Heston to face up to the problem he was running away from.

I will grant you that Moore was very manipulative, and maybe even insincere in his methods. But Heston's was the greater wrong, IMO.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 November 2002 05:02 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually, the reason I thought he was justified in making a fool out of Heston is because he appears, from his comments in the movie, to be a racist jerk. His first answer to the question was that the US has a very violent history, and when Moore shot that argument down by bringing up Germany, he then tried to blame it on the fact that there are so many non-white people in the US. He tried not to say it that way, and he was struggling for a genteel way of putting it, but we all know that's what he meant - even though more white people in the suburbs own guns than black people in the ghetto. And Canada has almost the same ethnic mix as the US.

Racist old fart.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 11 November 2002 06:08 PM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I thought he was justified in making a fool out of Heston
Heston made a fool out of himself.

Yes, Moore pushed the envelope but he asked nothing but clear simple questions. It was uncomfortable watching an old man squirm, but Mr. Heston was obviously not prepared for the interview. Heston didn't have a photo waved in his face as someone mentioned earlier. He was twenty feet away when Moore pulled it out.


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
ReeferMadness
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posted 11 November 2002 09:31 PM      Profile for ReeferMadness     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The NRA and company are right when they say "Guns don't kill people. People kill people". In a healthy society, it wouldn't be a problem for people to own guns.

If we had a really healthy society, however, there wouldn't be so many guns. Gun owners seem to include a fair percentage of paranoids, racists, religious fanatics and general wackos.

So, while concentrating on gun availability is at best a band-aid solution, the arguments commonly made against gun control (if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns) are spurious at best and often outright dishonest.

BTW, I grew up in a household with several guns and while I enjoy an odd target practice outing, I don't feel any driving need to go and shoot anything living. I don't own a firearm myself.


From: Way out there | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
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posted 12 November 2002 03:11 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But when Moore asked him "Why do you think this violence happens more in the US, if it's not because of our gun culture ?" [I'm paraphrasing the question] Heston came to a point where he just couldn't answer the question.

If you can't answer a question like that, then the only reason can be that you haven't questioned the issue enough for yourself.


Or maybe because you forgot it because you have alzheimers. Thats why I don't like it, mostly because of the hindsight.

quote:

This, in itself, is amazing to me. For someone to be a spokesman on such an important and complex issue and to not be 100% sure of the reasons for their convictions is absolutely irresponsible.

I agree with you 100%, its just that I wish they would have asked the number 2 man instead of Heston, it would have probably yielded the same results but at least they wouldn't have been picking on an old man with alzheimers.

But just because the NRA can't explain why there is increased violence doesn't mean its Guns. In fact Moore's the one who made the case that guns aren't responsible because 7 million canadian households have guns and they don't have the same violence.

quote:
Ok. So at this point in the interview it's evident that Mr. Heston hasn't been intellectually honest with himself in trying to answer the reasons for gun problems. What is Heston's response then ?

That there are no gun problems, there are crime and enforcement problems.

quote:
No. He ends the interview. He runs away from this important question that should sit at the core of his values as a human being.

Oh my gosh, why would you think that this question should sit at the core of his values.

Look then answer me this, If gun ownership is responsible for gun deaths why has increased ownership over the past 20 years resulted in a falling murder rate. Why does widespread gun ownership in Canada not result in gun deaths.

quote:

In my opinion, Moore was justified in persuing him in trying to get Heston to face up to the problem he was running away from.

I have no problem with his pursuit. Hell he could hound Heston to the ends of the earth. Holding up the picture of the little girl and leaving it there was cruel. Over the top and simply wrong.
Unless of course you want Heston not to exercise his right to free speech as well.

quote:
But Heston's was the greater wrong, IMO.

Heston could be as wrong as you want, he didn't cause the death of the little girl and nothing he said or did could have prevented it.

quote:

Actually, the reason I thought he was justified in making a fool out of Heston is because he appears, from his comments in the movie, to be a racist jerk. His first answer to the question was that the US has a very violent history, and when Moore shot that argument down by bringing up Germany, he then tried to blame it on the fact that there are so many non-white people in the US. He tried not to say it that way, and he was struggling for a genteel way of putting it, but we all know that's what he meant - even though more white people in the suburbs own guns than black people in the ghetto. And Canada has almost the same ethnic mix as the US.
Racist old fart.

I don't care how much of a fool he made of Heston, I agree with your opinion of his answers. But holding up the picture of the girl was stupid. Overdramatizing it by leaving it at the house was cruel. A more proper picture would be to leave one of the grieving family who he upset by speaking. Thats his crime, upsetting them in their time of grief, not the death of the little girl.

quote:

Heston didn't have a photo waved in his face as someone mentioned earlier. He was twenty feet away when Moore pulled it out.

So if you commit an extremely stupid act its OK if the person's 20 feet away. What the hell kind of logic is that. My only criticism is that the picture was stupid and wrong, the rest of it I thought was good. Except the fact that Heston's inability to answer can be blamed on his alzheimers. That Moore would have been more effective had he questioned the number 2 guy in the NRA or something like that.

[QUOTE[If we had a really healthy society, however, there wouldn't be so many guns. Gun owners seem to include a fair percentage of paranoids, racists, religious fanatics and general wackos. [/QUOTE]

Thats got to be one of the stupidest statements made lately. SO how would you explain Moores assertion of Extremely high gun ownership among Canadians. How would you explain the fact of gun ownership increase while crime decreases.

quote:
the arguments commonly made against gun control (if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns) are spurious at best and often outright dishonest.

It depends if your arguing for gun control or outlawing guns. But the argument that if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns is a logical truth that cannot be spurious ordishonest. Albeit it is a simple statement.

quote:
BTW, I grew up in a household with several guns and while I enjoy an odd target practice outing, I don't feel any driving need to go and shoot anything living. I don't own a firearm myself.

I'm the exact same way. Like shooting once in a while but not bambi.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 12 November 2002 03:50 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
quote:
Or maybe because you forgot it because you have alzheimers. Thats why I don't like it, mostly because of the hindsight.

I doubt that this was a factor, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this.

quote:

But just because the NRA can't explain why there is increased violence doesn't mean its Guns. In fact Moore's the one who made the case that guns aren't responsible because 7 million canadian households have guns and they don't have the same violence.

A lack of gun control may contribute to the problem, though.

If the NRA were truly interested in helping find solutions, they would give up fighting for some ownership rights.

quote:

Oh my gosh, why would you think that this question should sit at the core of his values.

Because his job right now is the chief spokesman for the NRA, or somesuch. Don't you think if you were dedicating your time, putting your public image on the line etc. for something you thought was right that you would give it a good think-through first ?

quote:

Look then answer me this, If gun ownership is responsible for gun deaths why has increased ownership over the past 20 years resulted in a falling murder rate. Why does widespread gun ownership in Canada not result in gun deaths.

Playing the stats game doesn't work with me.

Are you talking about gun murder rates ? What kind of guns ? How has ownership increased ? Has the total number of guns increased ? What kind of guns ? What are the other factors involved ?

Causal links are impossible to verify now. There are too many factors to consider.

I will let common sense be my guide.

If there are more handguns available, then the effect will be more deaths by handgun. Less handguns has a negative effect on the number of deaths.

If law enforcement is able to trace who bought a bullet, it will help them fight gun violence.

I don't happen to think gun hunting should be legal, but I can see that it's a lifestyle choice that depends on someone's personal philosophy. If hunters want to keep their guns, then they should form their own lobby group. It doesn't help their cause when they're linked with a gun-rights lobby that has an entirely different set of goals.

quote:

I have no problem with his pursuit. Hell he could hound Heston to the ends of the earth. Holding up the picture of the little girl and leaving it there was cruel. Over the top and simply wrong.
Unless of course you want Heston not to exercise his right to free speech as well.


We agree to disagree on that one.

quote:

I'm the exact same way. Like shooting once in a while but not bambi.


Shooting cartoons is ok, IMO.

From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2776

posted 12 November 2002 03:50 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Saw the movie again last night and, with it fresh in my mind, want to clear up the misconception here that the NRA rallies in Flint and Denver were planned before the school shootings. They weren't. Moore asks Heston point blank "It's not like these were events that were planned in advance." (Doesn't anyone find it the least bit coincidental that both areas would be hosting gun rallies around the same time these school shootings "happened" to occur?) It was clearly a case of the NRA trying to launch a preemptive strike against calls for gun control.
As for the hackneyed "Guns don't kill people.." argument, yeah, people do kill people. With guns. Would the Columbine shooters or Marc Lepine have been able to inflict such terrible human damage armed with butcher knives or even something like, say, a crossbow? I think not.

[ November 12, 2002: Message edited by: black_dog ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 14 November 2002 07:35 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A lack of gun control may contribute to the problem, though.

If the NRA were truly interested in helping find solutions, they would give up fighting for some ownership rights.


Ownership rights or control rights. Are we talking banning guns or simply preventing from being stored loaded?

quote:
Because his job right now is the chief spokesman for the NRA, or somesuch. Don't you think if you were dedicating your time, putting your public image on the line etc. for something you thought was right that you would give it a good think-through first ?

He doesn't relate guns to killing, he relates criminals to killing.

"Are you talking about gun murder rates ?" YES What kind of guns ? YES
How has ownership increased ?
Has the total number of guns increased ? YES
What kind of guns ? Every type, hand guns, shot guns and semi automatics.
What are the other factors involved ? Tons of other factors but you would have to argue that crime would have decreased even further. Is that would you would argue?

quote:
Causal links are impossible to verify now. There are too many factors to consider.

I will let common sense be my guide.


I am not arguing that more guns caused less crime. Only that these lower crime numbers prevents you from proving that more guns cause more crime

quote:

If there are more handguns available, then the effect will be more deaths by handgun. Less handguns has a negative effect on the number of deaths.

But thats exactly the opposite of what the numbers show and you have no basis for that assertion.

quote:
If law enforcement is able to trace who bought a bullet, it will help them fight gun violence.

No Doubt. But would the money spent tracing those bullets reduce gun violence more if spent on enforcement or prevention??? WOuldn't murderers simply find a illegal source for bullets like they do with drugs?

quote:
then they should form their own lobby group. It doesn't help their cause when they're linked with a gun-rights lobby that has an entirely different set of goals.

Sort of like how gun control activists confuse their goals with those who want to ban guns altogether


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2595

posted 14 November 2002 07:55 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
quote:
Ownership rights or control rights. Are we talking banning guns or simply preventing from being stored loaded?


I was thinking about automatic weapons and guns that have no use for hunters, as well as issues such as ballistic fingerprinting.

quote:

He doesn't relate guns to killing, he relates criminals to killing.

But the point is that he couldn't answer a simple question about the role of guns in violence.

quote:

What are the other factors involved ? Tons of other factors but you would have to argue that crime would have decreased even further. Is that would you would argue?

I wouldn't argue it. I wouldn't take this tack.

There are myriad things that have an effect on gun violence. I would say that it's obvious that a greater gun supply would be a pro- factor.

quote:
I am not arguing that more guns caused less crime. Only that these lower crime numbers prevents you from proving that more guns cause more crime


Actually they don't. The gun supply factor could have been diminished by other factors.

quote:
But thats exactly the opposite of what the numbers show and you have no basis for that assertion.

I don't have a statistical basis, no.

Arguing statistics is a mug's game when there are so many factors flying around.

Just ask yourself how much sense it makes to say there will be more shootings with less guns out there.

quote:
No Doubt. But would the money spent tracing those bullets reduce gun violence more if spent on enforcement or prevention??? WOuldn't murderers simply find a illegal source for bullets like they do with drugs?


Maybe. But it would make it harder to commit an untraceable crime.

quote:
Sort of like how gun control activists confuse their goals with those who want to ban guns altogether

I would bet that a hunters-only group could challenge the NRA's status as sole representative of gun owners in the debate. Such a group would hold more favour with the public.

But the gun industry knows to put it's money into an organization that will not give up an inch of ground. Ever.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 18 November 2002 04:33 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I was thinking about automatic weapons and guns that have no use for hunters, as well as issues such as ballistic fingerprinting.

Automatic weapons are already illegal by my understanding. I think Ballistic fingerprinting is simply a cost benefit analysis. Whats the cost and I want to know if that money couldn't be spent on other methods reducing crime. Such as social programs.

quote:
But the point is that he couldn't answer a simple question about the role of guns in violence.

Number 1 - Most people with Alzheimers can't answer simple questions.

Number 2 - That aint no simple question considering that gun ownership has increased in the U.S. while Crime has decreased over the past 20 years.


quote:
There are myriad things that have an effect on gun violence. I would say that it's obvious that a greater gun supply would be a pro- factor.

Why would you think thats this is obvious? There is no evidence to support your assertion. According to the film Canada has a high supply of guns and gun ownership and we have nowhere near their violence.

quote:

Actually they don't. The gun supply factor could have been diminished by other factors.

I have evidence of a correlation, not causation. I understand that. However you simply have ZERO evidence at all.

quote:
I don't have a statistical basis, no.

Arguing statistics is a mug's game when there are so many factors flying around.

Just ask yourself how much sense it makes to say there will be more shootings with less guns out there.


Why is there never a school shooting in the inner cities then??? You never hear about a school shooting in a high crime area where there are more guns. Only in suburbia.

I'm not asking you to necessarily use statistics. Only something more than the "because I said so and its obvious to me argument"..

quote:
Maybe. But it would make it harder to commit an untraceable crime.

I'd rather spend the money on reducing several traceable murders than reducing one untraceable one. How would you stop unregistered bullets from flooding the market? It all goes back to enforcement doesn't it?

[QUOTE[I would bet that a hunters-only group could challenge the NRA's status as sole representative of gun owners in the debate. Such a group would hold more favour with the public.

But the gun industry knows to put it's money into an organization that will not give up an inch of ground. Ever. [/QUOTE]

Is it the gun industry though? I think you could stop funding the NRA from every gun manufacturer and you wouldn't even dent the thing.

I think a better approach would be to stop confusing gun control with banning guns so that the NRA stops fearmongering with the slippery slope argument.

I know this would be impossible but it would take the form as some sort of constitutional ammendment that specifies gun ownership while at the same time controlling that ownership. The right to bear arms is simply too vague.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3192

posted 18 November 2002 05:57 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
According to the film Canada has a high supply of guns and gun ownership and we have nowhere near their violence.

As has been mentioned, that's Moore playing fast and loose with the facts. In Canada we have one gun for every four people and one handgun for every 30. In the USA there are two guns for every three people and one handgun for every four.


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 18 November 2002 06:13 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Why is there never a school shooting in the inner cities then???

... metal detectors?


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2595

posted 18 November 2002 07:54 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

Automatic weapons are already illegal by my understanding. I think Ballistic fingerprinting is simply a cost benefit analysis. Whats the cost and I want to know if that money couldn't be spent on other methods reducing crime. Such as social programs.

It's not simply a cost benefit analysis as long as the NRA throws the full weight of it's lobbying force against it.

quote:

Number 1 - Most people with Alzheimers can't answer simple questions.

He didn't seem so out of it to not be able to answer such a question.

quote:

Number 2 - That aint no simple question considering that gun ownership has increased in the U.S. while Crime has decreased over the past 20 years.

It's not simple then, it's basic.

It's basic in that you should be able to answer it if you have made it your life's work to be spokesman for the NMA.

quote:

------------------------------
There are myriad things that have an effect on gun violence. I would say that it's obvious that a greater gun supply would be a pro- factor.
--------------------------------------------------
Why would you think thats this is obvious? There is no evidence to support your assertion. According to the film Canada has a high supply of guns and gun ownership and we have nowhere near their violence.

You're varying more than one factor if you compare Canada and the US. I say, if you reduce gun supply in the US the effect would be to generally reduce violence.

quote:
I have evidence of a correlation, not causation. I understand that. However you simply have ZERO evidence at all.

And you will never have evidence by comparing statistical data in the way you propose, you'll never have a consensus for anything.

quote:
I'm not asking you to necessarily use statistics. Only something more than the "because I said so and its obvious to me argument"..

I can't provide scientific evidence to support my claim, obviously.

But use basic logic here:

If there are more X in society, then more X will be used.

Substitute almost anything for X and that sentence makes sense, right ? Why are guns the exception ?

quote:

I'd rather spend the money on reducing several traceable murders than reducing one untraceable one. How would you stop unregistered bullets from flooding the market? It all goes back to enforcement doesn't it?


It you make it a statute that bullet manufacturers must comply, then the rest will follow.

Yes, it all goes back to enforcement. But you have a practical problem of many guns available for use. If you cut down the supply, you will raise the cost, and reduce the use as happens with every other consumer good.

quote:
Is it the gun industry though? I think you could stop funding the NRA from every gun manufacturer and you wouldn't even dent the thing.


This is something that could be proven - do you know where the NRA gets most of its funding ? I don't.

quote:

I think a better approach would be to stop confusing gun control with banning guns so that the NRA stops fearmongering with the slippery slope argument.

No one could get close to the point of banning guns (which would be my preference) unless the NRA moved the frontline back from the point where it is now.

Yes, more control is the first step to a total gun ban. But the NRA's strategy is to fight ANY change long before it gets to that point.

It's dollars for bodies.

quote:

I know this would be impossible but it would take the form as some sort of constitutional ammendment that specifies gun ownership while at the same time controlling that ownership. The right to bear arms is simply too vague.

I hope to see it in my lifetime.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 19 November 2002 01:43 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's not simply a cost benefit analysis as long as the NRA throws the full weight of it's lobbying force against it.

It is a cost benefit analysis to me. Number one will you achieve the benefits you are hoping for. I doubt it due to the number of existing guns and bullets that would not get registered.

Secondly the costs could yield greater benefits elsewhere such as social programs and other crime prevention

quote:
He didn't seem so out of it to not be able to answer such a question.

and you would be qualified to make such an oberservation how?

quote:
It's not simple then, it's basic.

It's basic in that you should be able to answer it if you have made it your life's work to be spokesman for the NMA.


ANd its conceivable you could forget the answer if you had alzheimers.

quote:
You're varying more than one factor if you compare Canada and the US. I say, if you reduce gun supply in the US the effect would be to generally reduce violence.

But then the opposite should hold true as well and it hasn't. Not only that but thats simply your opinion as you have nothing to base it on.

quote:
But use basic logic here:

If there are more X in society, then more X will be used.

Substitute almost anything for X and that sentence makes sense, right ? Why are guns the exception ?


Not when a host of factors from A to ZZZZ are also used. Also you are confusing the amount of legal registered X in society vs. Illegal X in society.

quote:

It you make it a statute that bullet manufacturers must comply, then the rest will follow.

Many gun owners I know make their own bullets. From what I understand its just not that difficult.

quote:
Yes, it all goes back to enforcement. But you have a practical problem of many guns available for use. If you cut down the supply, you will raise the cost, and reduce the use as happens with every other consumer good.

Just like drugs. We see how well controlling supply does with that.

quote:
This is something that could be proven - do you know where the NRA gets most of its funding ? I don't.

I'm not 100% but I'm pretty sure its from the general membership and magazines.

quote:
Yes, more control is the first step to a total gun ban. But the NRA's strategy is to fight ANY change long before it gets to that point.

It's dollars for bodies.


I wouldn't characterize that, its their rights for bodies. Not dollars. No ones profiting here.

But as long as you characterize gun control as a first step the NRA will win every time.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2595

posted 19 November 2002 02:28 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

It is a cost benefit analysis to me. Number one will you achieve the benefits you are hoping for. I doubt it due to the number of existing guns and bullets that would not get registered.

This number would tend to zero, though as time goes on.

Also, your analysis would depend on assumptions such as the value of a human life, number of expected lives saved, the number of expected lives saved through crime prevention, so it would really just be speculative.

quote:

Secondly the costs could yield greater benefits elsewhere such as social programs and other crime prevention

If you'd care to give some numbers, you might convince me on this point. Your option.

quote:
and you would be qualified to make such an oberservation how?

I don't have to be qualified to make an observation. I said he seemed to be able to handle the question.

quote:

ANd its conceivable you could forget the answer if you had alzheimers.


Sure.

quote:
You're varying more than one factor if you compare Canada and the US. I say, if you reduce gun supply in the US the effect would be to generally reduce violence.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But then the opposite should hold true as well and it hasn't. Not only that but thats simply your opinion as you have nothing to base it on.


I don't know what you mean here by "the opposite".

quote:
Not when a host of factors from A to ZZZZ are also used. Also you are confusing the amount of legal registered X in society vs. Illegal X in society.

I'm saying: take all other factors out of this theoretical society, hold these factors to be the same and the statement seems to be valid for legal or illegal products.

quote:

Many gun owners I know make their own bullets. From what I understand its just not that difficult.

Again, you might convince me with numbers here.

quote:

Just like drugs. We see how well controlling supply does with that.

Actually, drug use does increase or decrease with availability. When cocaine was expensive and in short supply, people didn't do it as much because they couldn't afford it.

quote:

I'm not 100% but I'm pretty sure its from the general membership and magazines.

Let's try a Google search on this one. That should settle it.

quote:

I wouldn't characterize that, its their rights for bodies. Not dollars. No ones profiting here.

What about the gun manufacturers ????

quote:

But as long as you characterize gun control as a first step the NRA will win every time.

Why should that be the case though ?

Logically, of course control is a step towards a ban. But logically, our discussion is a step towards a fistfight too. It doesn't mean that this progression will definitely occur or that the first step is necessarily a bad idea.

I think more gun control would be good for people, and an outright ban would be good for animals.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 19 November 2002 02:51 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cming in way late on this... saw the film finally and had the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity on the point that's been bugging me since I first heard about it... the unlocked doors thing. He's absolutely right, when folks are at home in Toronto there is a fairly good chance they will leave their doors open. If they're out or going to sleep, they tend to lock the doors, but from my experience living south of the border, Americans in urban areas tend to lock the door behind them when they come in, so this notion that you could stroll right into occupied houses seems pretty bizarre to them.

Very moving film. I thought personalizing the issue with the little boy and little girl from Flint was a brilliant device. Very difficult to watch, as a parent of a small child myself. The tiny passing detail of the little girl's love for pizza really got me.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2

posted 19 November 2002 02:53 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree.

Okay, this is almost 100 posts long.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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