Dec 1, 2021Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

I disagree with the bump-stock bit. Bump stocks exist solely because the Hughes amendment to FOPA froze the machine gun supply and prices for legal ones are stupid high. If the Hughes amendment were repealed and machine guns were again allowed to be made and registered, demand for bump-stocks would drop to near zero. At that point, requiring their registration would only push demand to basically zero.

Between 1934 and 1986, there were ZERO documented cases of legally registered MGs being used in crime. The only two instances of such crimes happened, ironically, AFTER the Hughes amendment. The Hughes amendment was literally a pointless poison pill amendment, passed through a dubious voice vote in the middle of the night, meant to derail the FOPA entirely. It didn't, and now we're stuck with an practical ban that also has no efficacy (and a negative 100% correlation to boot).

But I get why repealing Hughes isn't listed: Culture war politics. Like a recent OSD article about suppressors, machine guns are haram. Just putting the words "legalize" and "machine gun" in the same sentence will turn off 90+% of the population to any connected proposal.

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Jul 24·edited Jul 24Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Cycling back to your thoughtful and constructive post two years later ...

Just came across a first-hand look at the "Honor Culture," as a key part of the violence problem, in a Baltimore Sun piece by Lee O. Sanderlin on July 21, 2023:


We've already known that pandemic-era restrictions separated young people in their teens and twenties from support: particularly from schools, as well as from jobs, addiction support groups, and anti-violence programs.

"As the world closed in 2020, Baltimore’s young people detached from already flawed systems, like the city schools, leaving them more susceptible to gun violence, Webster said. The Sun’s analysis of city crime data shows that the rate at which Baltimore’s youth are victims in nonfatal shootings has increased each year since 2020."

Yet there was another, perhaps more subtle impact from that time? As people's real-life interactions diminished for a while, their on-line interactions became more salient. (And to be sure, this isn't solely due to the pandemic, but also the much longer-term trend toward widespread use of social networks and mobile phones.)

That means that, where formerly a "hard stare" or "diss" in a public place might be observed by a small group of one's peers, now such reputational challenges are witnessed by a vastly larger audience. (And perhaps talked about and shared far more widely, too, in ripple effects that go on for days.) That's made it far more difficult for young men to just slough off such challenges without retaliating.

"[Antonio] Moore, who is known in his neighborhood as “Da Youngest in Charge,” said people do not understand the new prominence of social media in this context.

"“You can always talk about the socioeconomic issues, the stuff people have been talking about for years, with poverty and everything else,” Moore said. “But the psychological role social media plays in these shootings has been a real ignored factor.”

"City officials have often described social media feuds that end in gunplay as “petty.” Scott, the mayor, once termed the feuds “dumb s---” during a news conference.

"But that sort of thinking discounts the lives of young men experiencing extreme poverty and whose most prized possession is their reputation, experts and community members said. What used to be a beef in the neighborhood or in the streets is now broadcast to everyone online, raising the stakes.

"“There could be 10,000 eyes on me that saw me go through [a bad or disrespectful] situation, so now how am I going to respond to that?” Moore said. “How am I supposed to take that? Now that’s 10,000 reasons for me to go do what I really need to do so I can show them I’m not playing. It doesn’t feel that way, it’s the truth.”

"[Greg] Marshburn said figuring out how to address and squash disputes that originate on social media is a challenge because the Safe Streets model is based on in-person interactions with people whom the violence interrupters know."

I haven't yet been able to find much discussion about this aspect to the gun violence problem, and I'm hoping you might consider writing about it and sharing it with a larger audience at some future time? Researchers who look at the impact of social networks on mental health are often looking at depression and bullying, or sometimes the copycat effect of publicized mass shooting, but far less often at how honor culture directly intersects with such networks. And I'm not sure to what extent researchers studying gun violence have come across this, either?

Also, when thinking about "the lives of young men experiencing extreme poverty ... whose most prized possession is their reputation," perhaps one key way to leverage that is to focus on building up a rich collection of avenues for reputational hierarchies, that give these men recognition and respect, outside of a violence-based pecking order.

Those obviously include sports and academics, but can also involve work, business, and creative endeavors. If there's a rich array of available competitive hierarchies, and most men can find their niches in one or (ideally) several of these – and they're seen as manly and estimable places to work hard and "strut one's stuff" – that might reduce the incentive to compete in the rawest hierarchy of destructive power. A hierarchy that not only inflicts the most damage on themselves, but also vast collateral damage on other people living in their neighborhoods, as well.

(And yes, there are obviously young men who compete in sports or business or creative endeavors, who also compete on occasion in violence-based hierarchies. Perhaps a more nuanced approach is needed to understand how competing in those other, less violent hierarchies can become entirely sufficient. One possibility, among many, is that disaffected young men who don't fit into and/or feel they can achieve success in other hierarchies, might challenge those engaged in more constructive endeavors to join them in that raw battlefield, and that fending off those challenges still feels reputationally necessary. I have a couple of other thoughts about that, as well, that are still more inchoate.)

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Nov 27, 2021Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

I agree with your assessment of liberal gun - control advocacy, but you ignore the reality that the pro-gun crowd will, no matter what, always resist sensible gun laws which can actually make a difference.

First, there is the reality that law-abiding gun owners will always bear the burden of whatever laws are in place that keep guns out of the hands of criminals. And since most law - abiding gun owners are nowhere near and have nothing to do with the rampant gun crime in our nation, they will always view this burden, no matter how light, as unfair.

Secondly, a significant and exceptionally loud percentage of gun-owners believe their right to own guns derives from the right to resist a tyrannical government. For these gun - owners, the very concept of gun-control, in any sense, is completely out of the cards to begin with.

So yes, all of this talk from liberals about magazine size, bump-stocks, etc., is more or less useless. Magazine size limits aren't going to stop the endless gang-related blood-feuds which drive the homicide rate. And it is true that there are enough laws already on the books which, in theory, keep guns away from criminals. But laws also need to be enforced, and proper enforcement always involves trade-offs - trade-offs which many gun-owners will never accept, no matter how effective proper enforcement may be.

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Thank you. I was directed your way by Michael Dukes of the Michael Dukes Show in Alaska. Very informative articles. You're going to be a great resource.

I worked in community behavioral health for 15 years and my experience (living in a very armed community) is that men will also find another way to kill themselves if a gun isn't available. Women almost never use guns, so they aren't slowed down by the lack of a gun. A man might take a little bit of time to find another method -- but he will still kill himself. When someone has decided to end their life, it's not likely much besides confinement, forced antidepressants and a lot of counseling will stop them -- and even that tends to delay, not prevent, their ultimate choice. In my 15 years in the field, the suicides we had were majority men who had been diagnosed with a mental illness, so couldn't own a gun and none of them used a gun. (Well, except the guy who used suicide by cop). And understand, this is statistically the most-armed community in America, so though they legally couldn't possess a gun, they were surrounded by people who own guns. They simply decided it was easier to commit suicide by another means.

Suicides are not substantially reduced by gun control. They are reduced by availability of better mental health care.

Meanwhile, gun control prevents law-abiding people from being able to defend themselves from people who want to do us harm -- including the gun-grabbing government tyrants who are trying to pass more gun control laws because ... well, wow, they might have nefarious reasons.

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I think repealing the Huges amendment to the FOPA would soften my heart

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Amazingly rational analysis that ends with malarkey.

Background checks are inherently racist, discriminatory and unfairly target blacks and other minorities. You propose that “more background checks” would somehow prevent 1,600 homicides- but how? The black market would continue to buy and sell handguns en masse, with complete impunity, while only Law abiding citizens would bother running do-it-yourself web searches to “clear” people who have no prohibiting factors.

You would add “violent misdemeanors” to the existing list of prohibiting factors without removing the pointless elements of 18 USC 922(g)(1-9). Explain why anyone should be prohibited for life for non-violent crimes. Explain why gay and lesbian veterans (the only people who have dishonorable discharges without an underlying felony conviction by court martial) are banned for life from possessing firearms.

Let’s repeal the entire Gun Control Act of 1968 (with all the amendments) and eliminate the racist belief that ANYONE who isn’t incarcerated or hospitalized for mental incapacity should lose any civil rights- for life.

All rights for all citizens must be restored once a person completes any jail sentence, any term of probation or parole. Period.

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The mental gymnastics required to both hold “a wide scale civil conflict is likely in our lifetimes” and also hold “don’t give back the machine gun cake first” is absolutely staggering. There is no just gun law, and “saving lives” in exchange for rights is a fools bargain. No one makes it off this rock.

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I think the null hypothesis needs to be that it’s genetically based behavior. Have we measured their average IQ, and compared it to the behavior of similarly situated individuals in other populations? This could be as simple as that they’re just all dumb

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deletedApr 12, 2021Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery
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