I'm trying not to escalate thiss or drag us into nested quote hell so i'm only going to tackle a few points.
And it's not your right to infringe upon theirs by contributing to and offering political protection to such a dangerous industry. Are you aware of how many Texan guns find their way south across the border every year?
I believe the correct question is are *you* aware? The ATF and both the US and Mexican governments have stopped publishing numbers related to seized weapons and traceable guns due to faulty facts. Simply claiming they are coming from the US then showing a fully auto M60 on top of a pile of confiscated money, drugs, and guns looks great, sounds great for the press and the public... however, insofar as class II, III, and NFA regulated (yes I said regulated) firearms, there are *NONE* that come legally from US sources. Before you dig into past articles examine very closely what I've written there. There may be a number of straw purchases for semi auto weapons, shotguns, and handguns. But those cartel boys are using full auto MP-5's. They don't just give anybody one of those, let alone enough to outfit entire groups of men. Guns come from many more places than Texas.
I'm not suggesting that there aren't other sources of weapons, but despite your dismissal of 'that one news story with the m60' the reality is that this continues to be a serious problem. Yes, i'm sure that under the Obama administration, the US government, the ATF, the Mexican government, and indeed the pope and Jesus christ themself are all shying away from such a right wing wedge issue with gusto. That's pretty much all they do; run scared and apologise for being voted for by liberals.
And no doubt errors were made- just like the occasional error is made in everything from climate change science to biology. But that doesn't mean we should accept the counterarguments made when they are so clearly shaped by the powerful interests behind them.
No offence, but anyone looking at the US in depth, as I have, should recognise that the powers at play are corperatist, conservative, and yes, selectivly authoritarian. If you haven't figured that out yet, I don't know what to say to you. We can talk again in 20 years about how your health care has worked out for you and your friends and family. Or how employment or hoising or much of anything is going in the 'self reliant' nation you live in. What state are you in anyway? Because apart from Texas, there aren't many conservative states that don't take more than their fair share of federal taxes, despite their claims about self reliance.
You talk about regulations riding the coat-tails, but it's the poorly and deliberatly de-regulated* financial market that tied your economy to the back of their armani suits, jumped into a hole, and then got back out again with no strings attached thaks to their buddies in the GOP, who didn't shout nearly as hard against bailout and stimulus as they did against tighter regulation and stronger terms for the huge loan the american taxpayers gave to the ultra-rich who have just been given yet another tax cut to the massive detriment of the deficit. And then they go back to raging against what few social services you have left.
*And yes, i'm aware who did that, albeit with the help of Newt's Republican revolution. I'm not fan of the democrats, either.
That's the state of play in the US, and it's certainly the state of play when it comes issues relating to firearms.
If you honestly think that there isn't a serious problem with the guns trade in southern states, then you need to read up more on the way in which industries, ALL SORTS of industries, contribute brazenly to illegal actitivy through direct, legal sales. One example, you know meth? Big problem in the US, and elsewhere? Meth is created through the purchase of drugs available over the counter, and has become such a big buyer of these drugs that recent studies suggest as many as half the sales of such drugs in the US go to people providing raw materials for meth labs.
That's one example. There is a wealth of quasilegal activity taking place in pretty much any major industry, from bribing regulators, to obstructing scrutiny, to outright hazardhous sales of legal material. And corrupt, disfunctional regulators on both state and federal levels are hard pressed to even give a shit that it takes place.
The same goes for guns. As a gun advocate, you probably think that regulations governing guns are at worst suitable, at best, draconian. But the actual tracking and sale of guns is not nearly as clear cut as you are suggesting, and preventng solid tracking methods is one of the key agendas of the gun lobby.
There is an enormous quasi-legal trade of guns in the US, in no small part due to their popularity, volume, and protected legal status. Certainly this trade in southern states on the border is a serious issue, and it's unwise for you to brush it off in line with information you find pleasing, information which has been no doubt prepared specifically to appease people like you and put your concerns to rest.
don't have a stake in this- I live in Australia, and we've got a lot of problems, but after a particularly nasty shooting spree in tasmania we heavily tightened gun laws and we've been safer as a result. Does US gun lobby propaganda paint us as safer? No actually, they present the act as causing a crime spree. Is the information you've read from similarly compromised sources any more valid in it's rebuttal of the trade of guns and drugs in southern border states? No, not really. They might state facts, but they state facts about australian crime too(violent crime was up in a slice of that timeframe, but that was taken out of context, and overall crime remains extremly low, and the rise corelates with the rise in organised and regional crime), it doesn't make their argument any more valid, and their assesment any less deliberatly misleading. But that's fine for me, I can sit here and laugh at the plight of the world if I want to. I have friends, even american friends, who do it as a hobby. We can all sit and watch things slide slowly into a hole, particularly those of us in a country without a health care cartel.
do have a stake in this, and you owe it to yourself to cast aside the propaganda that obscures to many issues everywhere in the world, but particularly in the US. And don't imagine for a moment that the propaganda or persecution involved in this issue is two way, or left wing- whatever half-assed efforts the other side has been making, it pales in signifigance compared to the Gun lobby. As you mentioned yourself, the NRA has grown powerful and influential enough that it doesn't even really need to keep it's base-gun owners- happy anymore. And to be frank, this is about a lot more than guns, and to be even more frank, guns are just a thing that powerful people use to distract guys like you and russel from real issues, and from the problems within you own areas of the political spectrum.
If you or those like you cared about other people's rights and indeed their lives, then your first, last, and only agenda for the foreseeable future would be far tighter regulation of guns sales in your state to prevent those tragedies from occurring. Instead, your agenda is backing up some crank in Minnesota who has taken as his cause a similarly self-serving 'right' which is in truth nothing but a bizarre cultural affectation.
Sorry you see it that way Elf. But the horrible thing about having a monster for a government is if you give it an inch, it will eat you alive.
And using that kind of logic, that anti-government screed, conservatives wooshed into power under George Bush, and embarked on one of the most monsterous periods of brutality, waste, and warmongering that your nation has ever seen. And they'll probably do it again in 2 years, and then again in 12 years or so. And in between, the democrats will hold the left hostage for fear of what the gop will do. And then they'll all go out to the same dinner parties and laugh about what suckers you all are.
You're just playing your part in the big game. The 'I hate the government' myth is created to disengage you from political action, and encourage you to oppose desperatly needed regulation, taxation, and social services. You talk about self reliance, but you're really practicing self-disenfranchisement.
The only way that people can remain free in the face of opression by the powerful, is to band together and form functional, but also powerful democratic institutions. It's not enough to have a government, you have to have a strong government, because if you don't, you even up with a corrupt, disfunctional, incompetent government that spends it's time bailing out the super rich and invading the middle east. A ddemocracy must be strong, or it's not a democracy. And please, don't talk about how american is a republic or a democracy or blah blah blah. From where i'm standing, only half your country votes, and you don't even have a preferntial ballot. Your idealised reverence for the bill of rights and constitution has if anything, aided in the calcification of your system, and suporting it is just another myth to keep you under control.
And it's not as if liberals don't have their big myths, too. The democrats are built on such myths, and retain power with them- power over the party, and power over the left. The virtue of centrism, the positive power of the free market, the meritocracy of wealth, the triumph of incremental reform. The spoiler effect, which can be real in some races, but certainly was not a reason to blame Ralh Nader for losing to george Bush. And on, and on, it's clear
you're all been suckered. You all have your own myths, wether you get them from fox news, or the new york times, the daily show, or the economist.
And yeah, we get plenty of BS over here- horrible, racist policies, suicidally wasteful neglect of major issues like climate change, all sorts of stuff. But in most democracites, lobbying and propaganda are a million dollar industry. In the US, it's worth billions. And in one of thoee billion dollar firms, there's a team of brigh young go-getters working very hard to make sure you keep believing in your self reliance, and the monsterous nature of government, and the importance ofyoue gun rights. They've probably got a whole building dedicated to it somewhere along k-street.
It's not the government that is monserous, it's the people running it, and the people controlling them.
PS- The NRA was pivotal in turning video games into scapegoats for school shootings.
And they threw gun owners under the bus in 1993 also, they don't have any of my money.
I'm not suggesting that the NRA is actually serving the interests of gun owners, they have clearly risen to that lofty height where their Purpose is no longer really relevant. But then again, you aren't really serving your best interests by putting time and money into this issue. There are real problems in your comunity- in all our comunities, and false issues, wether they be gun rights in the US, or Boat People in Australia, serve to distract us, and come at too high a human cost for us to tolerate.
PPS- I'm sure you'll use your pre-packaged legalism from above to infringe upon my free speech as presented in this post, but for the record, if you have a principle, and believe that people have a right, you work uphold that right even when you aren't required to do so by law. That's the difference between an american establishment-style constitutional right, and an actual, functional, meaningful right.
And (bolding emphasis mine) that's exactly what the author in question is doing in this situation. Functional, meaningful, actual, working to protect it. I have no problem with your right to speak, why do you have something against his right to work to uphold the law? Unless we're going to drift into another "nickel plated" penis fantasy I think you're making his point for him.
Because as i've said, wether you accept it or not, your rights come not only at a human cost, but at a political cost. The more you put into the myths like gun rights and states rights and property rights, the less you'll be able to protect your Actual Rights.
PPPS- Sorry about the rant everyone but between this and moviebob bleating on like Penn Gilette about GM foods and an outright sociopath about starving people being less important then a mars colony, I'd reached my limit of idiotic Americans for the month. I get enough of that shit elsewhere on the net without putting up with it here, and if that's what's going to pass for content then people should be stating their opinion about it.
No problems here, I can't stand moviebob either.
(Apologies in advance if the formatting is wonky)[/quote]And I apologise for any typos i left in this since i typed it in a rush.
As for moviebob, I don't mind his movie stuff, but a dude can't just outright say 'my fantasies about mars missions are more important than world hunger' and expect people to pat him on the back for being such a jackass. Not that it stopped a bunch of people from doing just that.