Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peshmerga fire on Iraqi Army helicopter

So Iraqi helicopters can't fly over disputed areas?
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Troops from Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan opened fire on an Iraqi army helicopter on Tuesday, underscoring tensions between Baghdad's Arab-led central government and the Kurdish region, officials said.

Iraq's government and self-ruled Kurdistan last month both sent troops from their respective armies to reinforce positions around towns in disputed areas where they both claim control as part of a broader feud over oil and territory.

Kurdistan Peshmerga officials said on Tuesday they fired on an Iraqi military helicopter near Sikanyan town just north of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, to keep the aircraft from taking surveillance pictures of their military positions.

"We opened fire at an Iraqi military helicopter flying over our forces," said Anwar Othman, deputy minister for Kurdish military affairs. "This is a clear message that next time our response will be tougher."

89 comments:

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hmmm...that would be like the Minnesota National Guard firing on a United States military helicopter. Not a good idea.

I can understand certain Iraqi factions concern after living under Saddam. But if you have a dispute between a region and the government in Baghdad it should be worked out through talking, not shooting. This competing army thing isn't going to help much.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "This competing army thing isn't going to help much."

Bit of an understatement there.
The Reuters' article refers to this as a ‘disputed area’ which likewise seems to be a bit of an understatement.  I probably need to look up the history on this area again; I'm getting foggy on the details.  But it seems increasingly obvious that the sometimes arbitrary border lines drawn on the maps after WWI aren't going to hold.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bit of an understatement there.

Minnesotans have been known for that. :)

If we like something we usually say "it's not bad".

Zeyad said...

Marcus, what the hell are they singing here?

Iraqi Falafel in Sweden

Marcus said...

Thanks for the heads up Zeyad. I had not sen that one but it's from my home town, Malmö.

Direct translation to my best ability:

----------------------
To the falafel cart I go every day and wait for my daily ration.

To the falafel cart I go every day so I can be a good person.

Oh fafel cart is what I want, mix it so the tastes become correct.

Think how good because when you own 20 kronor ($3) the day is brigher and I get full.

(The chorus is somewhat unintelligble to me. Random falafel-falafel-falalalafel something. Ends with: falafel makes my drunkedness work nice (probably since it's a habit for many to end a party nigh w a falafel or kebab in one of these many falafel carts))

Yes falafel is a dish completely right for me and I'm sure there are more.

Yes it opens the mind and makes me understand that our existence can be filled with much more.

In the falafel town (which is Malmö, the town I live in) I always want to live, there's a place for the sole to find peace.

And I honestly feel that I'm so lucky to be able to feel such a living culture.

Chorus

(Rap by the arab guy): The filial of the falafel man. Delivered to Malmö town. Extra garlic makes me glad. Relish, houmus, makes you happy. Chillin' with the aubergin makes happy faces. A new arrival for household food so good that even SD* people like it. (unintelligble sounds like "a rinced up step upper, a golden enlightener") so why shoul'd we be looking for the problems in a living oasis. The falafel city comes together in a party in extacy. (Some arabic, shukran, is mixed with swedish then habibi). The falafel man (arabic) walks through the town thirsty for Ayran (turkish youghurt I believe).

Chorus

Falafel fixes my phrases.

Chorus

Falafel fixes my graces.

Chorus

The falafel man does his part.

End chorus.
---------------------------

* The part about SD is a reference to the anti immigration Sweden Demokrats that they too can enjoy a falafel and that falafel is now part of the "household foods in Sweden" like meatballs, etc.

A nice performance. Not very political and nice about the small politics included in it. It's complementary to falafel, Malmö and
Sweden I would say. Of course it rhymes better in swedish than in my english translation.

Petes said...

An Iraqi rapping in Swedish about falafel? ... what a mix! I love it.

Here's another mixture ... a rather famous lady from Texas singing a well known carol from Ireland.

Happy Christmas from a very wet and windy Wexford.

Marcus said...

Some spelling errors there. It should be soul, not sole. And complimentary, not complementary. I guess you all got that already though. I blame it on beer.

Zeyad said...

Thanks for the lyrics, Marcus. I didn't expect a full translation but well done. Of course "Iraqi Falafel" was brought to Iraq as a street food by displaced Palestinians in 1948 and the Iraqi version adds pickled mango sauce instead of tahini or hot sauce, sometimes also fried eggplants and potatoes. The prepared sandwich in the video looks more like Levantine Falafel

Petes said...

This gun control thing is getting quite as tedious as expected. The NRA want an armed guard in every school. Of course!!! You need someone to shoot the people who exercise their right to bear arms in the wrong places. LOL.

The loony left are out in force too. I'm sure a saw that mad Code Pink lady popping up at the NRA's comedy show, before being manhandled away, as usual. And the oh-so-serious Hollywood crowd are out in force. I get the hammy acting, but is the irony intentional? I mean, Sarah Silverman complaining about abusing places of worship? It has to be some kind of "in" joke.

I think they should all calm down. I mean, it's not like the US is going to ever come close to what the saner parts of the world do. Like banning hand guns in metropolitan areas, full stop. If you want to protect your home, buy a taser. Gun ownership allowed for hunting and sports enthusiasts -- just make sure all weapons are securely locked up in a regularly inspected premises, licensed to an authorised club. Reasonable weapons allowed in remote homesteads too, subject to renewable licenses and annual inspection.

Nah. It would never work. Freedom ain't free. A hundred thousand Americans shot every year is a small price to pay.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Like banning hand guns in metropolitan areas,
      full stop. *** Reasonable weapons allowed in remote
      homesteads too…
"

Simple matter of fact is that an urban dweller is much more likely to need to protect himself from a mugger or a robber than is a rural dweller gonna need to protect himself from a bear.
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
On a more immediate subject…  I just watched Senator Lindsey Graham threaten to hold the line on the debt ceiling unless he gets dollar for dollar spending reductions. (On ‘Meet the Press’).  They're losing badly on their game of chicken over the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’, so their backup plan appears to be to raise the stakes and threaten a full-scale debt default.  These guys simply do not accept the fact that they lost the last election.  And they're fixin’ to go suicide bomber on the economy over it.

Marcus said...

Zeyad: "Of course "Iraqi Falafel" was brought to Iraq as a street food by displaced Palestinians in 1948 and the Iraqi version adds pickled mango sauce instead of tahini or hot sauce, sometimes also fried eggplants and potatoes."

Here the bread is spread out and garlic-butter is put on first. Then the falafel balls, lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickled cucumber, parsily and the sauce - mild youghurt, hot tomato or both. That'd be the standard falafel. Myself I don't care for the pckled cucumbers or the parsily and always ask to not have them put on.

It's the cheapest street food around and for a long time one used to cost only 10 kr ($1:30) but now it's 15 or 20. Still cheap. Of course I'd go for an amped up version with kebab-meat and feta cheese also in it. A carnivor's gotta have some meat.

Petes said...

"used to cost only 10 kr ($1:30) but now it's 15 or 20"

That's under one euro! Thanks for reminding me how screwed we are. You would not get anything like that in Dublin (or even the plainest sandwich in a shop) for under €5. When Sweden looks dirt cheap by comparison, you know you're in trouble. When your country has been bankrupt and stone broke for five years, and Sweden STILL looks dirt cheap, you know you're really screwed.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Myself I don't care for the pckled cucumbers or the parsily and always ask to not have them put on.

Yup, that was sounding pretty good until you got to the pickled cucumbers. *shudder* And I think I would like meat added as well.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Pete, and to all who are celebrating this season. :)

One of my favorite Christmas songs.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

The NRA want an armed guard in every school. Of course!!!

lol! I know, my first thought was how typical. And then he went on to justify it by saying we have armed guards in banks, at businesses, government offices etc. Implying that we are willing to protect those places but not our schools. What he failed to take into account was the fact that a lot of parents don't want their children to be around any guns at the elementary school level.

His argument didn't resonate with me either. I would prefer to see a ban on semi-automatic/automatic weapons. Of the reasons people have given for wanting to own them, none seem at all important in the face of the damage they can do in the wrong hands.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

From previous comments section:

Boehner tried to get his ‘Plan B’ through the House yesterday, and his boys rebelled on him. He couldn't even get it passed in the House.

I know. Bad, very bad. Not that it was going anywhere anyway, but Boehner really ended up with a face full of egg on that one.

I wonder if we can bring back tar and feathering? I can think of some House Republicans that might look good in feathers.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "I would prefer to see a ban on semi-automatic/
      automatic weapons.
"

Automatics are already banned, have been since 1934.

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   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

Re:  American politics
 
A thought occurred to me while pondering our Republicans' adamant positions on the impending fiscal crises (plural―we've got the debt-ceiling yet to face, probably in February, maybe as early as late January; and then there's the old fashioned, garden variety, appropriations driven, ‘government shutdown’ approaching in March).  Grover Norquist once said that he didn't consider himself a true anarchist because he didn't want to destroy the government outright.  "I'm not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."
But, that was then, this is now.  They lost that fight; they ran their Wall Street finance guy against a greatly weakened Obama, put their supply-side, trickle down economic faerie tale fully on the line, and Obama won rather convincingly.  I've been trying to get a handle on what's been going on with them since then.  It doesn't seem that their ‘fever’ has broken (to use a metaphor employed in the last presidential campaign.); rather, it seems, if anything, to have gotten worse.  I've flirted with the metaphor of a suicide bomber, willing to blow up the society he can't come to grips with, destroy for the sake of destruction and not caring that he discredits his cause in the process.  But, that metaphor's never worked too well for me.  I wasn't comfortable with it; it just doesn't fit.  For one thing, they're not dead afterwards. 
Then I got what I think is a better metaphor; think more along the lines of Stalin's Scorched Earth strategy in WWII.  ‘Leave them nothing but ashes.  See how they work with that.
Bolsheviks is what they are; right-wing Bolsheviks.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "The NRA want an armed guard in every school.
      Of course!!!
"
  
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯  
      "His argument didn't resonate with me either."

I wasn't none too impressed with his performance either.  But, it is true that we've already got armed guards at around 30% of our schools.  (This fact came up more than once in the Sunday talking heads shows.)  Mostly they're in gang-banger neighborhoods I'd reckon.  Plus private schools are probably over-represented there.  That makes it kind of hard to argue that it's a totally stupid idea.

RhusLancia said...

Merry Christmas everyone!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Thanks, Rhus.

Now that all the rushing around is done, maybe I can really enjoy the next few days. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Automatics are already banned, have been since 1934.

Huh! Shows you what I know.

We were discussing this issue at dinner last night. People there too seemed to think that at minimum the large multiple round ammunition clips should be banned. The one hunter in the group wasn't against putting guards in schools. As was pointed out they wouldn't necessarily have to have the weapons showing to carry them.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

On a more innoccuous topic:

Of course "Iraqi Falafel" was brought to Iraq as a street food by displaced Palestinians in 1948 and the Iraqi version adds pickled mango sauce instead of tahini or hot sauce, sometimes also fried eggplants and potatoes.

The migration of food along with people adds so much to a country's cultural flavor. Something that is well liked doesn't take long to be adopted, and adapted, to native tastes.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
automatic weapon ≈ machine gun
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "The one hunter in the group wasn't against putting
      guards in schools.
"

It occurs to me that most armed guards already at schools are there to encourage the students to not bring their contests to school, to take their contests elsewhere instead.  They're not generally not set up to defend the perimeter against armed invasion.  So I'm not sure how relevant it actually might be that maybe 30% of our schools may already have somebody with a gun on premises.  And guards at the doors are likely to just take the firearms equivalent of a sucker punch next time there's a crazie who targets the local school.  They'll get hit before they know there's a problem.  A bullet in the chest will probably be their first clue that there's gonna be a problem at school today.  I don't know how much good that's actually gonna do.

I keep running up against the idea that your run-of-the-mill, factory issue, 9 mm Glock pistol comes standard with a 17 round magazine (or maybe 15, depending on the model selected).  That's standard ‘store bought’ firepower.  I can't figure out a practical reason rifles should be legally limited to fewer rounds than store bought pistols.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
And, having spent Christmas day back in the bosom of deep red country, I can report that there's already muttering afoot ‘bout how the government can't pull off a seizure of their guns, government ain't got ‘nuff stuff to pull that off..  When I pointed out that nobody has been suggesting that they'd have to give up their guns, I pretty much got blank stares in response.  That latter part didn't seem to sink in with most folks I talked to about it.  They seemingly could not conceive of a reality in which this president wasn't trying to take their guns away.  And they are prepared to resist.

Petes said...

Has anyone figured out yet how, in a country where you're allowed to own firearms for self defence, you're ten times more like to get shot than most other civilised countries?

Petes said...

U.S. oil consumption for November was the lowest November total for 17 years. Both gasoline and diesel fuel consumption were down.

Marcus said...

Pete: "Has anyone figured out yet how, in a country where you're allowed to own firearms for self defence, you're ten times more like to get shot than most other civilised countries?"

I think it could to some degree be explaines as a self reinforcing loop. The more guns and gun violence there is already out there (or perceived to be out there) the more people feel the need to arm up themselves.

Myself I heve never felt any need or want for a firearm. The only way I could see myself getting one is if I started with hunting as a hobby, which is unlikely. For self protection I just wouldn't think of it. And then I'm probably still one of the most likely persons in my extended family to get one, because I'm kinda fascinated with weapons. Sort of a boyish curiosity.

But. If guns were more widespread, and if there were more home invasions or street crime involving firearms I might feel more inclined to arm myself also. And once it got to that I would probably hang on fiercly to my right to own a weapon because I wouldn't trust all other weapons to dissapear again.

That doesn't really answer your question, but I think it could explain the resistance in the US to gun control, to some degree. The cat's out of the bag on that one.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "…a self reinforcing loop…"

There's something to that.
However, you're missing the other aspect of it.  The heartland of America's National Rifle Association is in the Old South and crazier areas of the Mountain West.
The Old South tried armed secession once already and failed to pull it off, but the dream has never fully died.  And certain areas of the Mountain West have developed into a national refuge of sorts for the Aryan Nation, White Supremacist types.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

automatic weapon ≈ machine gun

Yes. I was talking to one of the guys in the office next door this morning who is an avid hunter and he was explaining the differences in guns. Automatic being where you can press the trigger down and it will rapid fire, like a machine gun. Semi-automatic is separate presses of the trigger. These are actually used in hunting fowl, such as ducks. He too felt that banning the larger magazines would be helpful.

It occurs to me that most armed guards already at schools are there to encourage the students to not bring their contests to school, to take their contests elsewhere instead. They're not generally not set up to defend the perimeter against armed invasion.

The guy I was talking to this morning suggested designating one school official to carry a gun, rather than have the guard at the door as you described. It may not totally prevent anyone from being hurt, but would allow a more rapid response to events. He too made the point that you will always have crazies out there and eliminating guns will not stop them if they are intent on causing harm.

There was the other suggestion made at Christmas Eve dinner to have more help for the mentally ill.

Perhaps it is a combination of things would be necessary.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Perhaps it is a combination of things would be necessary.

Correction:

Perhaps it is a combination of things that would be necessary.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Has anyone figured out yet how, in a country where you're allowed to own firearms for self defence, you're ten times more like to get shot than most other civilised countries?

Just because you are allowed to own them doesn't mean you are adept at storing and handling them. Accidents do happen, especially if children are allowed access to a gun. There was a recent case where a boy shot his younger brother while playing with a gun. In another case a man shot his granddaughter because he thought it was someone breaking into his home. He didn't realize she wasn't at home tucked in bed. The boy died, the girl survived.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

U.S. oil consumption for November was the lowest November total for 17 years. Both gasoline and diesel fuel consumption were down.

That explains it. Last time I bought gas the price had fallen below $3.00 a gallon. A pleasant Christmas present. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I hear there is a massive winter storm moving across our southern states. Hope all is well with our friends down there.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

   
      "The guy I was talking to this morning suggested
      designating one school official to carry a gun…
"

There were people with guns inside Columbine.  Didn't seem to help.  They judged quickly, and correctly, that they were seriously outgunned and they quite sensibly waited for the police to arrive to back them up.
There were armed guards at Virginia Tech too; 32 dead including armed guards (and not including the crazie shooter).  And, one other, even earlier than Columbine, but I forget which one.

      "He too made the point that you will always have
      crazies out there and eliminating guns will not stop
      them if they are intent on causing harm.
"

And I agree.  I'm thinking about what might help, not what's gonna be 100% guaranteed.  They pretty much ban private ownership of guns in Norway.  Didn't stop that guy.  So, I'm not holdin’ out for a 100% solution.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "These are actually used in hunting fowl, such as
      ducks.
"

Used on varmints such as coyotes and feral dogs too.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
(I've never had occassion to use a semi-auto on something like a charging brown bear, but my guess is as long as he kept comin’, I'd keep shootin’.)

Marcus said...

Lee:

"They pretty much ban private ownership of guns in Norway. Didn't stop that guy."

They're not banned in Norway, just restricted. Breivik bought both the Glock handgun and the Ruger rifle and the ammunition for both leagally in his own name. He joined a shooting club, took lessons and got the proper credentials in order to get permits for those weapons. This was, according to himself, after he tried and failed to illegaly buy an AK47 on a trip to Easter Europe. All of it was planned ahead and in his manifest he calls it the "aquisition phase" of his "operation".

He did however buy extra large magazines off the Internet that are not permitted in Norway. I think he bought a scope and maybe also a silencer that way but I'm not sure those were used or whether they would be considered illegal. Probably a silencer is illegal but not a scope of any variety, but that's me guessing.

He could be held up as an example that those who are serious about really planning and committing a mass shooting are hard to stop by any regulation.

I'm not so sure this latest guy Lanza falls into that cathegory though. If he hadn't had easy access to those weapons, would he have had the deterimation and capability to aquire that amount of firepower? Would he have lashed out in some less deadly manner? Or would he have calmed down even?

Marcus said...

Lee: "I've never had occassion to use a semi-auto on something like a charging brown bear, but my guess is as long as he kept comin’, I'd keep shootin’."

Probably the best option. I read an article in a Swedish newspaper a while back where a hunter credits his semi-auto with saving his live. Not from a bear but from a charging 220 kilo wild boar.

Here's the link with a photo of the beast:

http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article12594574.ab

The hunter states that if he hadn't had a semi-automatic he wouldn't have stood a chance. The boar came upon him just 15 meters away and charged and he got off three quick shots that put it down.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "They're not banned in Norway, just restricted.
        etc."

I stand corrected.

      " If he hadn't had easy access to those weapons,
      would he have had the deterimation and capability to
      aquire that amount of firepower?
"

I don't think we'll ever know about his determination level.  He didn't seem to leave a lot of tracks, and they say they're not likely to be able to recover that computer hard drive.  I have heard that he'd applied for a Conneticut gun permit in his own name and had been turned down (whether because he was not yet 21 years old or because of his mental history wasn't made clear--lot about that report wasn't real clear).  He's routinely described as having been highly intelligent even though he seemed to have an aversion to people.  He would have had the ‘capability’ if he'd had the determination.  (Although, I'd say somebody who'd murder his mother to get her guns is fairly ‘nuff determined.)
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
And on the subject of boars and brown bears and such…

I have known folks who will routinely crack off multiple rounds at a deer (favorite local game animal), maybe two or three rounds at a pop.  People in my circle tend to avoid hunting with those people and to make derogatory. sotto-voce remarks ‘bout folks with ‘deer fever’.
It's just considered bad hunting form among the folks I know, even though people in my circle routinely use autos to hunt with.  If ya jump a deer and it's about to make cover, head over the ridge for instance or into a thicket, one can maybe get a pass for taking multiple shots at a running deer.  But, if one gets an ambush shot, it's considered bad form to not look for your hit before taking a second shot.  Bullets tend to mess up the meat.  (That notwithstanding, it's convenient to have the gun auto-load the potential second shot.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "[T]he Treasury Department announced Wednesday
      that the nation would hit the debt limit on Dec. 31,
      and would then have to take ‘extraordinary measures’
      to avoid exhausting the government’s borrowing limit…
".
      Politico.com

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "Just because you are allowed to own them doesn't mean you are adept at storing and handling them. Accidents do happen, especially if children are allowed access to a gun."

But could accidents alone account for a tenfold increase in propensity to die by shooting? Wouldn't this imply that 90% of gun deaths are accidents? I'd be pretty surprised if that was borne out by the statistics. I'd be more inclined to believe Marcus's theory about the self-reinforcing loop.

Another thing that occurs to me is that most countries that have been through a civil war have had to disarm a restive population at some point. My own country not only did it ninety years ago, but chose to then implement an unarmed police force. I suppose the latter is not quite as progressive as it is sometimes purported to be -- in a State that was created through force of arms it would not be surprising if the government feared that they might be replaced in the same style by too strong a security force. Perhaps a fortunate choice also, given that a 1930s chief of police turned out to be something of a fascist (as An Italian used to love to remind me).

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "That explains it. Last time I bought gas the price had fallen below $3.00 a gallon. A pleasant Christmas present."

I'd guess it's a bit cheaper in the upper midwest than the national average? I've seen it predicted that the average will fall below $3.00/gallon if shale oil continues its trend. I think it was around $3.20 last time I saw a figure.

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   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Wouldn't this imply that 90% of gun deaths are
      accidents?
"

Between 50 and 55 percent of our gun deaths are suicides.  I presume Europeans find alternate means to commit suicide.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Between 50 and 55 percent of our gun deaths are
      suicides.
"

And that figure does not, by the way, include the category known as ‘suicide by cop’, which category one could argue includes both the Newtown/Sandy Hook School shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting as well as Columbine, and maybe even the Aurora theatre shooting.  (The guy in Aurora had his gun jam.)  Those may have been little more than grandiosely staged suicides. 

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

There were people with guns inside Columbine. Didn't seem to help. They judged quickly, and correctly, that they were seriously outgunned and they quite sensibly waited for the police to arrive to back them up.

Yes. When even the police would want backup in this kind of situation how can we ask a lone school official to intervene? So while having a school official armed may look good on the surface it would also pose problems.

He did however buy extra large magazines off the Internet that are not permitted in Norway. Regarding Brevik in Norway

And this might pose a problem for us as well if the extra large magazines are available online.

So, I'm not holdin’ out for a 100% solution.

I don't think there is one. We may have to try a combination of various things. And even then people will slip through the cracks.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[PeteeS] Another thing that occurs to me is that most countries that have been through a civil war have had to disarm a restive population at some point.

Interesting you should mention that. There was a story on the news last night about a gun buyback program they were having in Los Angeles. I think these things happen periodically in various places. It's really just a drop in the bucket, but makes people feel good. It also puts a little money in people's pockets. I guess in that sense it also works as an economic stimulus program. :)

[Lynnette]: "That explains it. Last time I bought gas the price had fallen below $3.00 a gallon. A pleasant Christmas present."

[PeteS]: I'd guess it's a bit cheaper in the upper midwest than the national average?


I am thinking you are right. So take that you people who are living in warm snowless areas. There is a silver lining to all that white. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Lee] It's just considered bad hunting form among the folks I know,...

I think those who are truly into hunting for the sport and not just a desire to kill something tend to lean more toward a challenge when hunting. One person I talked to has hunted buffalo in the past and said he would never do that again as it was like killing a cow. He and his family are into bow hunting as well as gun.

Marcus said...

What I'll sum up my position:

More free guns in society will mean more murders by guns in society. Period.

More high-potency guns in society will mean more artocities with guns that will have a higher kill rate than if high-potency guns were not out there.

That's pretty much a fact. Or at least a conclusion so reasonable you could call it a fact.

So the "easy" way to get rid of gun violence is to get rid off all guns in society. In theory, in some people's theory of course. No guns = no gun violence.

But then we have this pesky thing called personal liberties and the Second Amendment. Granting people the right to defend themselves and own firearms.

From my viewpoint few americans wish to tamper too much with the Second Amendment. They might want to restrict it to various degrees but most would not want to do away with it.

I think that what's needed is an honest debate where people admit that a society awash in weapons will inevitably be a society with more murders by weapons. And then, if society is fine with that, where doos it draw the lines.

There's hypocrisy on all sides here (although IMO the hypocrisy on the rabid gun lovers side is the far worse one).

1. If you really want to stop or even reverse the spread of firearms then be honest enough to admit you're attacking the constitution. There's no other way to put it - you're atttacking the constitution of the USA.

2. If you're a "gun nut" then don't make up false fairytales about how a few armed guards could've saved some kids in a school shooting. Who knows, the next nut might BE one of the armed guards who were supposed to protect but went on a rampage instead. Admit to that you care less about any consequences but will forever cherish and protect your rights to bear arms.

3. If you're "in between" then at lesast be honest enough to admit both. "Yes we know the widespread ownership of firearms will cause more murders by guns. Yes we know it will provide the occational loonie tools to kill many people he mighn't otherwise have killed. But we're prapared to live with that cost to safeguard our righs to own firearms."

If you truly do claim that massive gun ownership in a society will not mean more gun murders, then you're a fucking hypocrite.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "1. If you really want to stop or even reverse the
      spread of firearms then be honest enough to admit
      you're attacking the constitution. There's no other
      way to put it - you're atttacking the constitution of the
      USA.
"

That first premise is not correct.  (You're a Swede; it's natural that you're not gonna be up on all the subtleties.)
There are hierarchies among the Constitutional rights.  First:  There are the ‘inalienable’ rights.  Some of these are noted in the Declaration of Independence rather than in the Constitution itself--but they've been ‘absorbed’, if you will, by the Constitution.  Among these are the famous ones; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  (And yet we have a death penalty and prisons and laws against the possession of most of the happy making substances as yet concocted by man.)
There are lesser hierarchical categories too, and the ‘right’ to own a gun is among these lesser rights.  These rights are often subject to ‘reasonable’ restriction and regulation by the government.  The right to vote, for instance, may be seen as among these.  Felons may be denied the right to vote.  Women were routinely denied the right to vote until early in the 20th century when the Constitution was amended to give the right to women.  This, the 19th Amendment, was not considered an ‘assault’ on the Constitution as then written.  Think of it as a renegotiation of a contract made in light of changes encountered in the real world.
Wiki say

      "In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570
      (2008), the [Supreme] Court ruled that the Second
      Amendment protects an individual's right to possess
      a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to
      use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as
      self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court
      listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions
      on firearms possession as being consistent with the
      Second Amendment.
"

It was a 5-4 decision, by what's commonly seen as one of the most politically conservative Supreme Courts in modern memory.  The next few justices appointed will probably not be in the extreme conservative mold.  So, the ‘right’ as it currently exists may be written in stone, but it's a still soft sandstone.  It's still subject to being obliterated and re-written.

Anyway…  My point is that the right is subject to reasonable regulation and restriction.  Such reasonable regulation and restriction is not an assault on the Constitution.
For now we're left to work out what might be reasonable regulation and restriction.

(I could take some modest exception to some of your third numbered point too, but I'll let you absorb just this much for now.)

Petes said...

But Marcus, guns don't kill people -- people kill people.

And the best deterrent for bad guys with guns is good guys with guns.

etc. etc. etc.

RhusLancia said...

Marcus: "If you truly do claim that massive gun ownership in a society will not mean more gun murders, then you're a f*ck*ng h*p*cr*t*."

I would not make that claim, but maybe the antidote is delicious chocolate, nice watches, and interesting pocket knives to also be widely available? maybe?

Adam Lanza's actions in Newtown are about as bad as it gets, but to do it he had to breech so many laws-- of nature, of God, of the Nation, State, and municipality in which he lived, that I don't know what other laws could have been imposed on his mother that might have prevented it? Realistically, I mean.

That doesn't mean we should shrug this off, but I just don't know that laws regarding the type of weapon or capacity of magazines are the right trees to bark up here?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "I don't know what other laws could have been
      imposed on his mother that might have prevented it?
      Realistically, I mean.
"

Perhaps if she hadn't been in possession of multiple 30 round clips and an assault rifle, all quite legally, then he'd not have been able to steal them from her.  Ya reckon?

RhusLancia said...

Lee C: "multiple 30 round clips and an assault rifle"

Is that what made this a terrible massacre? If she was only allowed to own a Mini 14 and ten round clips (for example), this would not have happened? Or the damage done might have been easier to bear?

And unless her assault rifle was grandfathered, it was already illegal under the state law.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "If she was only allowed to own a Mini 14 and ten
      round clips (for example), this would not have
      happened?
"

Ruger Mini 14's come with five round magazines; hard to get a 10 round clip into a five round magazine.

      "Law enforcement officials said they believed the
      guns were acquired legally and were registered.
"
      NYT

But, to answer the point you try to raise…  Nancy Lanza also had two traditional hunting rifles.  Her son did not bother to even take those to the school with him.  He took the handguns, but left the traditional hunting rifles.  So, maybe there is something to the idea that banning ‘assault rifles’ will do some good.
I've mentioned before that I'm fairly ‘soft’ on this notion of banning rifles on account of them being classed as ‘assault weapons’ (see my post timestamped 11:09 AM).  I can probably be talked out of that with probably nothing more than a reasonably good argument for the proposition that it won't do any good.
So, what's your reasonably good argument?   

RhusLancia said...

Lee: "Ruger Mini 14's come with five round magazines; hard to get a 10 round clip into a five round magazine."

I used "clip" as slang for "magazine", and since there is talk of banning 'assault weapons' and/or limiting magazines to ten rounds or so, I posed the question of a Mini 14 with a widely available 10 round magazine as a substitute for Lanza's weapon. Sorry if I lost you, Lee.

Lee: "So, what's your reasonably good argument?"

Well I'm not going to champion 'assault rifles', if that's what you're lookin' for. We have accepted that there are limits to types of weapons a citizen can typically own. No full auto 'cept without meeting special requirements & paperwork, for example. So if limits are raised or lowered, ie as they were during the 'assault weapon ban' of years gone by, it will not be me protestin' against it at capitol hill.

I just don't think we should pretend that new gun control laws could fix what's broke here.

And the link I offered, which I'm sure you didn't click, was to information about the Swiss gun culture, where plenty of 'assualt weapons' are available, and even full auto ones are in the home of young men during their mandatory militia service. But their gun violence is a fraction of ours. Why?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

   
      "Sorry if I lost you, Lee."

You did not lose me.  The 14's larger magazines are available as aftermarket purchases (they currently come in up to 30 round capacities).  I don't know that clips (strippers) are even available for the 14, but they might be.  The larger magazines are tricky to load, require two hands and some rocking motion to seat into the rifle.  They don't automatically eject when empty either.  Requires manual release with one hand and some serious tugging with the other.  Not exactly mass murderer friendly.

      "And the link I offered, which I'm sure you didn't
      click, was to information about the Swiss gun culture…
"

I checked the one you offered me.  But Marcus is a Swede, not Swiss, so, no.  I didn't bother to check the link you offered him.
And, right now I'm working on working out my position on our gun problem.  It seems to me that the usually emotionally immature males who favor random mass murders also usually favor using assault weapons for the job.  It may be that there's some emotional reward in lookin’ wicked while shooting down innocent people.  Might help to make the whole project less emotionally satisfying, less attractive to these emotionally immature young males.  If you've got a counter-argument, I'm willing to hear ya out.  If you don't have a counter-argument, then you don't. 

RhusLancia said...

My link was to show that access to weapons-- even assault weapons, even full auto ones-- doesn't necessarily lead to the kind of violence Adam Lanza committed.

Lee: "It may be that there's some emotional reward in lookin’ wicked while shooting down innocent people. Might help to make the whole project less emotionally satisfying, less attractive to these emotionally immature young males."

Well I don't know for sure what he was thinking, but are you suggesting that he may have been deterred if he were to have access to only his mom's hypothetical Mini 14 with an aftermarket 10 round magazine, instead of the b*d*ss AR-15 that he did use?

I know you want to argue about this, but I probably agree with you more than you want on this.

I just think that argument is dubious.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "My link was to show that access to weapons--
      even assault weapons, even full auto ones-- doesn't
      necessarily lead to the kind of violence Adam Lanza
      committed.
"

You're peerin’ into the wrong end of the telescope there.  The relevant question is whether restricting access to ‘assault weapons’ will lead to a reduction in Auroa/Newtown/Virginia Tech type of slaughters.  (And a related issue--Corey Booker was noting on TV the other day that the big cities are seeing an increase in the percentage of gang-bangers willing to stand pat and shoot it out with the police and that they almost always want to use ‘assault weapons’ for these endeavors.  I noted to myself at the time that gang-bangers also tend to be emotionally immature or emotionally stunted young males.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...


Post Script:

And, so far as your charge that I ‘want to argue about this’, see my earlier post ending with:

      "If you've got a counter-argument, I'm willing to
      hear ya out. If you don't have a counter-argument,
      then you don't.
"
      Lee C. @ 11:34 PM, supra

That was supposed to be a hint.  You didn't take the hint.

RhusLancia said...

Virginia Tech was handguns, not assault weapons. Is it safe to say no past, present, or future ban on 'assault weapons' would have prevented that one?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Virginia Tech was handguns, not assault weapons…"

Yes; I am aware.  40 calibers I believe, off the top of my head.  I included it anyway, intentionally, and I spoke of ‘reducing’ such incidents rather than pretending I thought to eliminate them.

RhusLancia said...

Lee: "40 calibers I believe"

A .22 and a 9mm, actually, if wikipedia has it right. This correction only matters if you consider that these two weapons would be near the bottom of a list of firearms that would be banned under any additional gun laws that are contemplated.

So maybe the weapon of choice for someone who would/could do something like that is a military-style 'assualt weapon', but the unavailability of such a weapon doesn't seem like it can or would deter them from making the choice to carry out the act to begin with?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
I decided to look it up.  So, I knew by the time you posted that.  It was the Aurora, Colorado shooter who owned the two 40 caliber jobs.

And I will repeat my point, in bold this time so you can perhaps notice it this time. 
I included [Virginia Tech] anyway, intentionally, and I spoke of ‘reducing’ such incidents rather than pretending I thought to eliminate them.

RhusLancia said...

I notice it, but I don't get it. Do you think a ban on assault weapons would reduce the occurance of incidents like Auroa/Newtown/Virginia Tech? A ban on magazines over 10 (or some other number)?

Earlier you seemed to be against non-Swiss Euro-style gun control, as essentially impossible here in the US... am I changing your mind by essentially agreeing with you?

As a seperate point, and a genuine objective question that you may know the answer to: when people talk about banning magazines over 10 or "x" capacity, are they talking about for handguns too, or just rifles? I really don't know.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Earlier you seemed to be against non-Swiss
      Euro-style gun control…
"

Earlier?  You mean like earlier than early in the last thread. say about 1:54 PM (roughly 24th post or so down)?

You seem to be wanting me to have an ideological, categorical position.  Perhaps a more moderate, non-extremist outlook on the problem is a concept foreign to your thinking?  Sorry if I disappoint you.  Well, actually, I'm not sorry; it is what it is--I'm not an ideologue on the subject; deal with it.
My thinking is this.  We are not going to see a blanket ban on the private ownership of firearms in here in the states, not in my lifetime anyway.  There's no point in worrying about that; I'm not going to bother with that argument, pro or con.  We are, however, going to be seeing an ongoing contest over what regulations and restrictions are reasonable.  I will spend time on that subject.  What is reasonable?  What is likely to produce socially beneficial results?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Post Script:

That 1:54 PM posting was made on the afternoon of the Newtown shooting.  At that time the press was still reporting that the shooter had taken the handguns inside with him and left the Bushmaster in the car.  That information turned out to be incorrect.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
And, as far as I know, the magazine restrictions were limited to 10 rounds for rifles, and prohibited ‘extended’ magazines for pistols.  The standard 17 round Glock magazine remained legal, I think, on account of it was stock build and internal to the pistol grip.  I had my handgun collection filled pre-ban, so I didn't have occasion to check on that.  You could look that up yourself if you're that interested.

Petes said...

Trying to figure out how to avoid another Newtown is futile. The deaths of twenty small children is horrible, and tragic, and at least the USA has the decency to be shocked. But it's telling that there hasn't been much ongoing outcry about the 30,000 other gun deaths that occur every year. That's nearly twenty times as many gun deaths every year as US casualties in Afghanistan in eleven years. The tinkering around the edges of the problem that is being discussed is about as useful as a bandaid on a severed head.

Petes said...

Hmmmm. Nighttime in the dead of winter, and it's 13°C here. We have summer days that are colder than that.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "But it's telling that there hasn't been much ongoing
      outcry about the 30,000 other gun deaths that occur
      every year.
"

Again, 50-55% of those are suicides (mostly male suicides--females generally chose other means).  I'm not going to waste much time on those; they'd find ‘other means’ just as the women do. 
Another large chunk (I don't know how large) are murder/suicides.  Almost always familial (save for the grand public suicides like Newtown.).  They too find ‘other means’ when gun access is lacking.  Stabbed to death or beat to death is just as dead.
Some additional percentage are accidents of some sort or other.  Those would go away if the guns go away, but the simple matter of fact is, ain't gonna be a blanket ban on the private ownership of guns in the U.S.A., not in my lifetime, certainly not because of accidents, which are preventable if people would only take their weapons seriously.  Ain't gonna happen.  We've done this before, last thread beginning @ 9:55 AM.  Waste of time to do it again.

That does not mean I object to stricter controls on guns than we now have.  I'm open to the notion.  I even have some ideas of my own I think ought to be implemented (not gonna be popular with the paranoids who think the black U.N. helicopters are lurkin’ just outta earshot, but I think some further restrictions are warranted.)  And, as Rhus has pointed out, it ain't necessarily the access to guns that makes our national violence ratios as high as they are.  The Swiss are awash in guns too.  You're largely trying to solve the wrong problem, stuck on the gun part on account of your personal aversion to guns.

Petes said...

Troll seems to think I am tryin' to propose a solution to the US's gun woes. There ain't no such solution -- as even the troll, in violent agreement, sees fit to keep repetitively pointin' out.

Troll seems to also think that lack of spur-of-the-moment access to firearms wouldn't affect the suicide rate. A University of Zurich study, among others, begs to differ. (Yep, the Swiss are akin to the Yanks in their use of guns in certain respects).

As much as he agrees with me it's never gonna happen, the troll still seems pretty riled at the thought that less guns could be the solution. Refers to it as "the gun part", as if there's another part. I've seen it on a dozen other Yank websites. Lots of male chest-beatin' and machismo, and demonstration of their special knowledge of firearms and munitions, and no sense that their fixation is the problem.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Troll seems to think I am tryin' to propose a solution
      to the US's gun woes.
"

You misunderstand.  I don't think you forgot the suicides or overlooked the causes of the violence.  (Nor do I think you don't know that the tendency towards social violence is concentrated among certain groups of our as yet unhomogenous society.)
Rather:  I think you intentionally misrepresent the problem as being all about guns on account of you're a gun nut.  The explanation wasn't put up there for you.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

It seems that the gun buyback program in Los Angeles was quite successful, garnering thousands of weapons, including what appeared to be a rocket launcher. The reporter wasn't sure if it was real/functional or not.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Just watching FoxNewsSunday and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) discussing gun controls.  Feinstein just mentioned the actual firearms murder rate here in the states:  Just over 9,000 annually.  That's the murder rate with guns, all the gun accidents and suicides and supposedly ‘justifiable’ shootings by the cops and etc. stripped out of it.  (Feinstein was the author of the expired ban on assault weapons and large magazines, as well as having announced that she's intending to try to get that passed again, and will introduce a bill to do just that the first day of the new congress.  It's highly unlikely she would have low-balled that number.)
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "…what appeared to be a rocket launcher."

Probably a souvenir smuggled home from one of the Gulf conflicts, doncha reckon?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

"…what appeared to be a rocket launcher."

Probably a souvenir smuggled home from one of the Gulf conflicts, doncha reckon?


Probably. Hopefully the first one rather than the last. Otherwise that doesn't say much for our controls on what comes into the country.

I see they are splashing all over CNN the dire consequences of what will happen if we go over the fiscal cliff. I have deciced not to even read them. It is out of my hands.

But I gotta say that from what I have read in the past it is absolutely amazing how our elected officials can show such incompetence in governing if they let us incur such self inflicted wounds.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Otherwise that doesn't say much for our controls
      on what comes into the country.
"

Well, a rocket launcher without a rocket ain't much of a danger.  And one isn't gonna pick up a Russian-made rocket at the local ammo store.  (Or an American-made rocket either, for that matter.)

On the fiscal cliff thing, some Senators are making hopeful noises, but even if Reid and McConnell hammer out a stop-gap compromise today, it's still gotta go through the House.  That means Boehner's gotta back down.  The only thing that'll clear the Senate is a bipartisan bill, and, so-far, Boehner's been insisting that whatever happens has to pass muster with the Republican majority in the House.  He's been trying to disallow any bill that splits the tea-bagger crazies off from the ‘establishment’ Republicans.  That'll be a major blow for him if he has to allow that to happen.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Re:  American politics

      "House Republicans gave Speaker John Boehner a
      standing ovation after telling members in a closed
      party meeting that the Senate needs to pass legis-
      lation to avert the fiscal cliff before his chamber acts.
"
      Politico.com

They got no deal (happy talk of this Sunday morning by some senators proved premature); the deadline is almost on top of them; so Boehner announces that he and his House Republicans are gonna sit on their hands and wait for somebody else to fix things, and he gets a standing ovation for that from his Republican congressman?
I don't get it.

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