Designs of Violence: Guns Offer Advantages

Lessening violence ... observations on decreasing the level of gun violence in the country.

The implements of violence are designed for multiplying natural strength. Certainly, barehanded, one human can kill another.

Advantages in this type of confrontation may go to size advantage ... an adult versus a child, a larger stronger adult against a smaller less strong adult, and may go as well to those trained in the art of fighting. A trained martial artist may defeat a larger untrained adversary.

Many of the people who are participating in the gun violence discussion in our communities are quick to point out that if people want to kill other people ... they will, with or without guns. This is a truth, but it does not, to my mind, begin to get towards the issue of advantage. I may kill someone with my hands, or with a rock in my hands, but I must, in that case, be stronger or have some other clear advantage to guarantee success. In other words, wherever I can increase advantage, the likelihood that I survive and my target "loses" is increased.

Guns are designed to multiply the killing strength of the shooter. The technology is very advanced ... one wonders what limits there are on improving weapons ... but suffice it to say that current mass produced firearms are very efficient killing machines whether the weapon is pointed at squirrels or an "enemy" or at school children.

The shooter may be physically weak, small, a person who could never engage in hand-to-hand combat with any predictable success. Even skill, to a large extent, has gone by the boards as a hail of bullets in the general direction of one's target is likely to hit something. One could be very physically challenged or simply be very average physically and use state of the art weapons successfully to incredibly destructive ends. A gun, to make this point simple, both extends your arm from a few feet to hundreds of feet or even hundreds of yards. It "changes" your arm from something that must be strengthened to kill anything but children, or trained extensively to kill adults with reliability ... into a powerful invasive force capable of smashing through soft tissue, bone and even protective gear, to enter the opponents body, destroying organs, creating hemorrhage, and making it highly likely that an opponent is severely disabled or killed.

A gun is a highly refined killing machine.

The state of the art weaponry is the zenith of centuries of focused technological refinement. The fact of the killing advantage provided by guns is obvious and not lost at all for the gun proponents or even simple hunters. Killing successfully ... faster, more predicably, at greater range, etc., IS THE POINT OF GUNS.

Those gun proponents who make the case that people would kill each other with clubs if guns were not accessible are disingenuous ... They have purchased what they have precisely because of the effectiveness of the killing design given what they can afford. We cannot ban ALL guns because we cannot ban ALL potential weapons. What we can do, AS A PART of the process of reducing gun related deaths in our country, is reduce the ADVANTAGE of perpetrators. Their advantage has to do with both the type of weapon they are able to bring to their party of destruction and to the relative anonymity they may maintain ... in assembling their advantage. This being the case, we are talking both about increasing restrictions on obvious logistic advantages and enhancing the ability of the enforcement community, federal and local, to flag, identify and apprehend, potential perps preventatively.

In addition we are talking about improving the structure of our laws regarding sales, registration, ownership and employment of weapons in such a way that the chances of gun related violence are LESSENED significantly as potentially dangerous operators are prevented from having access to these efficient machines. To eliminate violence is impossible short of eliminating the human race. We don't need to beat this dead horse further in bloggersation that points out the obvious: nothing will eliminate all violence. It's a ridiculous tact to take in pro-stasis arguments. Nothing will eliminate all car accidents but do you prefer a car with airbags and state of the art brakes, to one not equipped? Moreover, do you like driving with unregulated drivers and vehicles on the road next to you and your family? So the object at hand is to look into ways we can DECREASE gun related violence ... the advantage of guns, and particular types of guns being forefront in our minds.

If the CT shooter had a knife in hand there is little doubt there would have been fewer dead. People buy guns because knives do not provide the advantage they need to kill deer or bears or people. I think that there are great suggestions out there in this global conversation relative to lessening the stats on gun related murder and death. There are examples of national actions that have been relatively effective ... examples that are measured and qualified such as Australian policy changes.

Locally, I think Lyle Ruble has provided a basis of ideas from which changes might be made ... or the discussion vectored. These do not involve total bans but are in the nature of requiring that gun owners be responsible for their weapons and that, assuming they purchased weapons for purposes with the laws, they have no problem being known as weapons owners ... being screened prior to purchasing, etc.

I will quote Lyle Rubles recent suggestion:

"Along with my proposal on ammunition, which I will explain in more detail; I am proposing guns must be titled and then registered. A process very similar to the one that is used with vehicles. A firearm titled to one person holds that person responsible and if they sell the firearm, it will require a transfer of title and background check. The new owner would have to register the firearm under their name. To sell a firearm without retitling and registration would leave the old owner liable, which could carry considerable fines and possible criminal charges.

"A titled and registered owner that doesn't report a firearm lost or stolen, would also be subject to fines and possible criminal charges. Ammunition could only be sold to individuals with current registration for each firearm and then a limit of ammunition sold. I also want a brass exchange program where you can only buy as many rounds as the number of pieces of brass turned in. The self loading crowd would be limited to so much powder and projectiles per month.

"For those that like to target shoot, they could go to a licensed range, buy range ammunition from the range and turn in any unused rounds for refund or credit. Legal firearms would be re-registered every two years and registration fees would be based on type of firearm. All revenues generated by firearm fees would be dedicated to enforcement and gun safety courses. " — Lyle Ruble, Shorewood, WI.

I don't know that Lyle's plan is the best but it certainly has the bones to lead an intelligent discussion about LESSENING gun related violence in our country. The point is, ther ARE intelligent ideas that can be put into action and that stand a good chance of decreasing what I hope is an unacceptable level of gun violence to most Americans. This is no silver bullet solution, so to speak. Any improvements will be multiple-faceted and, no doubt, will need trials, modifications, etc., as assessment suggests. Rational yet compassionate humans can revise laws in humane manners that respect human rights. Hopefully the constitution was a notable attempt at crafting laws that protected civilians. There is no reason to believe we have achieved the most we are capable of in this challenge.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

B. Guenther January 08, 2013 at 03:51 PM
your not you
B. Guenther January 08, 2013 at 03:56 PM
When you look at it from a rational point of view the database needs to include information on people that are emotionally unstable. This would require the need for a trained professional evaluation prior to being given the right to purchase a weapon of any kind. Earlier you used the term "riddled with bullets". I ask you how many bullets are in a riddle? Just because a weapon holds more rounds does not mean you will shoot more people. I can do the same damage with a smaller magazine in about the same amount of time. So the question of what types of weapons should be banned is mute. The real question is how far are we willing to go to ensure people like that never get their hands on one.
Brian Carlson January 08, 2013 at 04:14 PM
You will find out that the question is far from mute.
CowDung January 08, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Not to be a grammar nazi, but shouldn't it be "moot" instead of "mute"?
Bob McBride January 08, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Maybe he's making some reference to a question going unasked.
Brian Carlson January 08, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Haha... My iPad knows all, anticipates all and lives a nanosecond or two on front of all words in process. Moot of course but I like the poetic resonance of a mute point!
CowDung January 08, 2013 at 05:14 PM
iPad? Interesting--'Ruble's Conscience' also posted 'mute' instead of 'moot'. I find it nearly impossible to make comments on my tablet--it takes forever to scroll down to the right place...
Jay Sykes January 08, 2013 at 06:05 PM
The most interesting part of the 'gun control debate' is just now coming to fore: What are all the individual players actually doing with their 'own' resources; cumulatively viewed as the market reaction. One can see how the rhetoric matches with the reality: From the folks building out their basements into Armories. To the New York Newspaper[sic], with an obvious agenda, putting Lyle's gun registration idea to the real world test. Unintended consequences be damned.....
c January 08, 2013 at 11:34 PM
AA, Racist liberal coward Lyle would rather see the asian, or white, no arms themselves and become the victim to a mob of thug animals.
B. Guenther January 08, 2013 at 11:50 PM
No gentlemen I meant mute. Reason? Because when you start talking to liberals about the real problems there is nothing but silence. It's great to sit around and talk about how we should have tougher gun laws as opposed to keeping them out of the hands of those individuals that shouldn't have them.
$$andSense January 08, 2013 at 11:59 PM
You know Lyle, I normally take a passive view of your opinions but you have become more Carlson like on this topic. You and Carlson are not moving the topic forward either other than what most of us can read between the lines as "we don't like guns and people should not have them". I posted a proposed re-draft of the 2nd Amendment, yet you and Carlson have only posted blather with no substance. Type what you think how the next law should read as though you were an elected fed official putting your pair out their with the potential political consequence.
$$andSense January 09, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Lyle. Your ignorance is showing 'cause you don't like guns period. The .223 round (OK "bullet" for you and Carlson) was designed by Remington in the 1960's as a varmint round. Varmints at long ranges like prairie dogs, jack rabbits and coyotes which ranchers and others don't care for and can be legally hunted. Legally as in the fed and states acknowledge hunting then and sell licenses to do so. OK, now the arguments start over shooting "varmints". Whatever. So the army decided to adopt a newer and lighter rifle and decided to use the existing .223 rather than re-invent another cartridge (sorry! I meant "bullet") like they did with the .30-06. So, the .223 was designed for hunting initially. Look it up if you don't believe me. Now, in addition to not liking guns, it would seem the ignorance spreads further. Lyle, knowledge is power and you need to get your knowledge on before posting gross untruths on the internet.
$$andSense January 09, 2013 at 12:30 AM
The .22 long rifle cartridge (sorry Brian and Lyle, bullet!) is the most common round that is responsible for deaths in the US, either accidental or intentional.
$$andSense January 09, 2013 at 12:35 AM
NEWS FLASH “Mr. Brian Carlson of Wisconsin has proposed the Anti-Random and Senseless Killing Act Amendment to the US Constitution which makes random and senseless killing illegal. Finally, these heinous acts will be thwarted, thanks to the foresight of one person willing to take on this issue. The proposed law will negate any past or future laws by making it a crime for taking life with any weapon. By a stroke of pure genius, Mr. Carlson’s proposed law will save countless lives from unnecessary termination or maiming through the unmitigated and non-regulated use of any weapon of choice of those with criminal intent. Several gang member groups as well as mental health organizations with financial connections to the pharmaceutical industry in the US have already filed motions with the SCOTUS to over rule this proposed Constitutional amendment as presented.”
Bottom Line January 09, 2013 at 02:55 AM
This issue is not unique. We have recognized throughout history that there are individuals that cannot respect the civil society most of us try to exist in. If we want to cause change, we need to arrest criminals and incarcerate them. We also need to stop overlooking those that are unstable. They need to be institutionalized. We do not need to infringe the rights of law abiding citizens with laws only they will abide. We need to stop pandering to liberal nonsense that continues to suggest you can medicate and council people that cannot interact in the society which is ill prepared for those that either cannot or will not abide. Institutions, and life imprisonment for those that are unwilling or unable to interact with respect to the majority that should have an expectation of civility.
Brian Carlson January 09, 2013 at 03:04 AM
Geez Dollars, I guess you really grasped what I have been talking about and put me in my place. For awhile I thought you just don't like me...you get very emotional when you come back at what I say. But your cogent analysis is really on point. I guess I should just turn my blog badge in...or give it to you.
$$andSense January 09, 2013 at 08:19 AM
The National Rifle Association is next on the do list. These mother-less sons of dogs have an agenda, make no mistake about it. Their donations and commitment to training law enforcement, their Eddie Eagle and other so called ‘safety’ programs are all subterfuge. It is a fact that these evil doers only want to put as many machine guns, assault weapons, bullets and big clips in the hands of anyone willing to pay their membership dues. They hide behind silly laws like the second amendment which everyone knows for a fact is nothing more than a protection for these blood thirsty individuals that those fool founding fathers of the United States knew would come about in the future. It is suggested that the names of every one of the signatories to the US constitution be stricken from the historical record so that children and adults alike may never hear about these reckless individuals again. Look at what the eagle on the US seal has in it’s claw - OMG, there are arrows! Talk about a culture of violence.
$$andSense January 09, 2013 at 10:42 AM
And my firearms are specifically used to put my shots safely on target at the range, not kill people. Was your coffee shop designed to provide delicious coffee to your patrons, or poison them, specifically, if that was your twisted choice? Coffee, like firearns, is not a necessity in life.
Lyle Ruble January 09, 2013 at 12:33 PM
@Bottom Line...If it is true that we should incarcerate and institutionalize all people that don't meet certain prescribed standards, then we might as well be living in a totalitarian state where we don't have due process. Your simple solution will never work, the problem is much too complicated. Currently there is only one nation that incarcerates more citizens than we do; China. What does that say about us as a society?
$$andSense January 09, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Ruble I do not like wasting satire on a person like you that I think has intellectual capability, but can you just get the words out as to what you want to see done to fix the problem. Please. Soon.
$$andSense January 09, 2013 at 02:21 PM
"Your straw man argument is not going anywhere. Who really cares about someone who has developed extraordinary skills other than a sideshow attraction." To extrapolate, Lyle thinks Aaron Rodgers is also side show attraction. Hmmm.... Are you an American Lyle?
Brian Carlson January 09, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Here is some advertising mentality from the manufacturer of the Bushmaster. Let's look at what they believe will attract the most sales. Let's see what addresses the great cross section of those who are getting hot for a Bushmaster, the gun used with such obvious effect on twenty first graders. You see, you’re not officially a man until Bushmaster tells you you are. “To become a card-carrying man, visitors of bushmaster.com will have to prove they’re a man by answering a series of manhood questions. Upon successful completion, they will be issued a temporary Man Card to proudly display to friends and family,” a press release for the campaign reads. Most of the quiz questions are pretty predictable and harmless, if dumb — Do you eat tofu? Can you change a tire? Have you ever watched figured skating “on purpose”? — but others are more challenging. One question gives you four possible options of how to respond if a car full of the rival team’s fans cuts you off on the way to the championship game. The correct answer, it turns out, is to commit arson: “Skip the game, find the other car in the parking lot, and render it unrecognizable with a conflagration of shoe polish and empty food containers.” If property destruction isn’t your thing, you can always reclaim your manhood by purchasing a Bushmaster assault rifle, like the .223 Adam Lanza allegedly used.....cont."
Brian Carlson January 09, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Continued quote from Bushmaster ad. "But watch out, manly friends. Don’t let those emotions show or that glass be full of anything but non-light beer, because your buddies can “revoke” your Man Card at any point. Revokable offenses include being a “crybaby,” a “coward,” a “cupcake” (we have no idea what that means either), having a “short leash” (presumably thanks to a wife or girlfriend), or being just generally “unmanly” (this one has a woman icon)." I can anticipate that many of the "manly men" who read this piece will find the ad and the man card pitch funny. I assume that as they often use similar tactics in their responses... Off issue challenges to manhood and name calling. I can't guess how many times I have been called a coward during the time I have been blogging, or limp wristed, or had my maleness questioned, let alone my love for this country. So...let it rip manly men! "Bushmaster," itself a very interesting double entendre, knows who the real men. The culture of violence that Dollar guy seems to think doesn't exist is best represented by the words of your own mouths and the ads in the catalogues and magazines that excite your fancy.
Brian Carlson January 09, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Sorry... http://www.salon.com/2012/12/17/bushmasters_horrible_ad_campaign/
Lyle Ruble January 09, 2013 at 02:53 PM
@$$andSense....Arron Rogers is a highly skilled athlete and is amazing to watch. However, he and others that have extraordinary skills, although to be admired, are limited to those select few and not enjoyed by the general population. In your example the ability to fire rapidly and repeatedly falls into that category. I have watched those types of shooting demonstrations and find them entertaining, but as entertainment only, the same as watching skilled athletes. The difference between someone who can take a single or double action revolver and do stunts and tricks is much different than a limited skilled young person picking up a a semiautomatic weapon and spraying a group of people with bullets creating carnage. That is why your argument contains a straw man fallacy.
$$andSense January 10, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Lyle You jumped right from admring skilled firearms handlers and quarterbacks, to crazies that kill. Huh? No shit that a killer has nothing to do with anyone persons skils at whatever their legal interests are ? What is your point here? You and Carlson sharing the same meds?
$$andSense January 10, 2013 at 02:06 AM
The point is Brian is that YOU keep looping around and not suggesting ANY fix other than flailing the air about too many people getting killed with firearms. You remind me of people who can say "no" to anything but do not have the capacity to back up "no" with anything tangible. To state it another way, you are akin to a politician that has no solid convictions wherein they avoid clear and concise words to make a point. Gray is your intellectual domain because it is safe. You apparently failed philosophy and logic in college, assuming you went to college. Stick with the arts. Lots of colors there. The aforementioned disciplines are out of your league.
$$andSense January 10, 2013 at 02:19 AM
No solutions = part of the problem. No solutions = then shut the hell up. In my work world you either contribute to solving a problem or you get sent packing. If your demeanor that you are presenting here is any indication of what you do for a living, then either your employer is a fool or you are scam artist.
$$andSense January 10, 2013 at 04:30 AM
"The culture of violence that Dollar guy seems to think doesn't exist is best represented by the words of your own mouths and the ads in the catalogues and magazines that excite your fancy." Now we get a better picture on Carlson's agenda, though he has no guts to come out and state it, now includes 1st amendment restrictions, "...the ads in the catalogues and magazines that excite your fancy." OK Brian, so now it is the 1st and 2nd amendments under attack by you. My 2:19 am post was pure sarcasm so don't do your word twisting on me.
Lex Parsimoniae January 10, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Big cities riot because their MBA team wins/loses a game. It doesn't take much to get things rolling. We are, and have been for some time, borrowing $1.x trillion per year (beyond what we collect from tax revenue) to fund this government's operations. We have 140 million individuals in this country on some form of government assistance (whether it is an actual entitlement - SS, Medicare, etc - or if it is simply some form of welfare is irrelevant to this point)(that's nearly half the population of this country). When this country's debt comes due, inflation goes through the roof (they're contemplating minting two $trillion dollar coins to pay off debtors) , and the government finally realizes that it cannot possibly maintain these "obligations" to it's citizens, as well as it's borrowers...that is when all hell will break loose. Grocery stores carry three days worth of inventory (when there is not a panic). You can't find 5.56 in the stores today, as it is. Sure, this is absolutely worst, apocalypse case stuff...but tell me you can't see a shade of this type of thing happening...even if it's for a few days while the boys and girls in Washington play their games. Brian will say I'm just scared. Maybe. I prefer to see it as being pragmatic, having been in unfriendly places before (but with 15 really close "friends", all heavily armed). Si vis pacem para bellum.


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