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Topic: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security  (Read 27803 times)

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Offline hmx9123

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2007, 08:39:47 PM »
First, Dr. CMS: If you read my quote, I was putting the US, Germany and Poland on the same playing field, or trying to.  There are only small differences between all of the nations of the western world.  In the US, you can buy guns, fireworks, etc., but not drugs or things like Absinthe.  In other countries, you can get these but not the other.  I'm not sure how you read into it that I was implying the US was more free.  That was not the intent.  Perhaps you are coloring your perceptions of my writings with your own heuristics and prejudices toward the US?  I must admit, I do the same toward other places--I think it's only natural to take your own culture for granted and then apply it toward others.  I only ask that you step back and evaluate it.

The post from you that annoyed and offended me in the first place was also from the VT thread:

Quote
The USA with its stupid outdated pigheaded insistance on the right to bear arms has got itself in a postion that has no good solution.

This was before I had ever posted.  You use blatant name-calling toward the US.  That is offensive and combative.  Seriously, how can you do that and then tell me that it's my 'love of America' that makes me defensive of it?  Of course I have national pride  like most people do, and I take offense when someone blatantly insults my country.  I'm not some nutball uber-patriot that waves the flag all day long and tell people to 'love it or leave it'.  I actually disagree with many of my country's policies, dislike our current administration, and have a lot of problems with our country and the people in it.  If I had started the thread by saying "The UK's stupid pigheaded insistance on the banning of firearms has raised their violent crime rate" or something to that effect, would you not be offended?

Geodome, the purusit of fireworks or hunting doesn't indicate more freedom, as far as I'm concerned.  It's an example of freedoms we have there that other 'free' countries don't have, just like the netherlands has the example of freedom of drug usage that we don't have here.  I bet many countries in western europe can buy Cuban cigars as well, which we can't here in the US because of a trade embargo.  These are small differences, though, and I would consider all of our countries free.  BTW, it's not illegal to own laboratory glassware in the US--just in a few select states.

And Borek, yes, it is confusing in the US at times because of the varying laws from state to state.  For instance, in California, you can't buy hard liquor over 150 proof (or something like that), whereas in some states you can buy 190 proof.  In Illinois, it's illegal to hunt with a rifle.  In Missouri, you don't need a license to hunt if you are using your bare hands.  In New Hampshire, there is no sales tax.  In Kentucky, there is no personal property tax.  In Montana, there is no daytime speed limit.  In Nevada, gambling and prostitution are legal.  It's weird and many times confusing when travelling from place to place, though most of the laws are inconsequential in their differences.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2007, 04:24:58 AM by hmx9123 »

Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2007, 03:46:51 AM »
Please do not resort to name-calling, including countries, forum members and yourself. Name-calling degrades the quality of the debate. Moreover, avoiding name-calling allows the debate of sensitive topics to be conducted in a civil manner. The least anyone can do is to carry out the debate in a civil manner, despite not seeing eye-to-eye.

The USA with its stupid outdated pigheaded insistance on the right to bear arms has got itself in a postion that has no good solution. 

If I had started the thread by saying "The UK's stupid pigheaded insistance on the banning of firearms has raised their violent crime rate" or something to that effect, would you not be offended?

I'm not some nutball uber-patriot that waves the flag all day long and tell people to 'love it or leave it'.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2007, 04:12:29 AM by geodome »
"Say you're in a [chemical] plant and there's a snake on the floor. What are you going to do? Call a consultant? Get a meeting together to talk about which color is the snake? Employees should do one thing: walk over there and you step on the friggin� snake." - Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of Glaxosmithkline, June 2006

Offline hmx9123

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2007, 04:11:40 AM »
Tell you what, here you go, here's my edited version of my post, guaranteed not to have 'names' in it, but it carries exactly the same message and the same amount of offense (or lack thereof) in it, though due to its use of pronouns it may be less clear:

"If I had started the thread by saying the same thing that you did about the US but about the UK, would you not be offended?"

and

"I am not an over-zealous patriot that waves the flag all day long and tell people to 'love it or leave it'."

If 'over-zealous patriot' is a name-calling offense, then lock this thread.  Over-zealous is an adjective and patriot is a noun, neither of which I find are particularly offensive, and I seriously doubt DrCMS would either.

Offline DrCMS

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2007, 05:12:02 AM »
"If I had started the thread by saying the same thing that you did about the US but about the UK, would you not be offended?"

No i would not be offended if i believed that limiting access to guns had lead to an increased crime rate.

The UK banned handguns and shotguns with more than a 3 round capacity.  Single and double barrelled shotguns and rifles, with a permit, are available and that's fine by my.  They have a use in hunting but can not be easily concealed and used for criminal actions.  Handguns on the other hand are no use for hunting but are easily concealed and used for crime.

My statement about US gun laws was provocative but how many innocent people need to be shot by madmen with handguns before you change the ready availability of handguns to any nutter who walks in to a gunshop off the street.


I stand by my assertion that your were implying that the USA is more free than Poland and Germany, even if you were not doing it deliberately.  What you said was Poland and Germany are closer to the USA.  Closer does not suggest equal it suggests lower or high, in this case i think you were implying lower.


Offline Borek

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2007, 05:26:21 AM »
I stand by my assertion that your were implying that the USA is more free than Poland and Germany, even if you were not doing it deliberately.  What you said was Poland and Germany are closer to the USA.  Closer does not suggest equal it suggests lower or high, in this case i think you were implying lower.

I must tell I have read hmx/constant thinker posts the same way - 'we in US are more free than inhabitants in any other part of the world'. That's what provoked me to answer the way I did.
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Offline Mitch

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2007, 11:54:17 AM »
Californians are not more "free". We're probably as less free as the rest of Europe.
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Offline hmx9123

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2007, 04:04:42 PM »
I apologize for my misconstruing my intent to put the US, Poland, Germany, the UK, and most of the rest of Western Europe on the same playing field.  What I meant by closer was that we all have subtle differences.  The US is closer to the netherlands and Germany than it is to China or the old USSR.  That was what I meant.  I cannot speak for constant thinker.  In terms of Kalifornia, we spell it with a K as a joke because many of us in the US see it as closer to the communist regime of the USSR than the rest of the US.  Of course, this is a gross exaggeration, but you get the implication.  Mitch is correct in his assertion, however.

Now that we've cleared that up, my repost has caused my words to fail in their meaning again.  Let me try one more time:

"If I had blatantly name-called the UK the same way you blatantly name-called the US, would you not be offended?"

My offense was not at your assertion, but mostly that you were name-calling the US.  A little was that you presented your assertion (i.e., your opinion) as fact, which I find irritating, but not at the assertion itself.

Offline DrCMS

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2007, 04:20:15 PM »
I think it is stupid that a person determined to be mentally unstable was legalled allowed to buy two pistols and walk into a building and kill 32 people. 

If you feel i was name calling at the whole of the USA you can but in this case is that so odd?  What you need to do less is take any criticism of America as a personal attack on each and every American but see it for what it was; a criticism of a single outdated anachronism of the American whole.

Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2007, 05:14:39 PM »
If you feel i was name calling at the whole of the USA you can but in this case is that so odd?  What you need to do less is take any criticism of America as a personal attack on each and every American but see it for what it was; a criticism of a single outdated anachronism of the American whole.

This is precisely why nobody should be name-calling any countries. Knowing both statements are different and feeling that way do not go hand in hand often.

Back to the original topic on "Balancing Freedom and Public Security", I am glad that DrCMS pointed out an obvious legal loophole. However, I am unsure if the purchase of 2 pistols happened after or before the killer was determined mentally unstable. If DrCMS can shed some light on this affair in the "Virginia Tech - School Massacre" Thread, it would be fantastic.

Why are you people measuring freedom by the extent of restriction and not variation of activities permitted? They are not the same thing.
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Offline DrCMS

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2007, 05:28:46 PM »
However, I am unsure if the purchase of 2 pistols happened after or before the killer was determined mentally unstable.

According to this wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Tech_massacre

in 2005 Cho was declared mentally ill by a Virginia special justice, who declared he was "an imminent danger" to himself, a court document states.

but in 2007 he bought 2 guns and killed 32 people. 

Part of the problem seem to be the gaps in the system between state and fedral laws/reporting.

Offline hmx9123

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2007, 07:13:49 PM »
Quote
a single outdated anachronism of the American whole.

The criticism is valid; the statment that it is anachronistic is your opinion.

As far as I have read on the internet, too, the killer was declared mentally unstable before purchasing the guns.  I have heard varying reports as to why that was able to happen; one is that the courts misfiled some paperwork on his being adjucated mentally defective and thus nothing was done, and the other is that the state didn't have the funding to support the staffing for reporting these people to the feds, as is required by federal law.  In either case, it is a complete breakdown of the system.  If you look at the whole picture, there are a lot of places where this guy slipped through the cracks time after time again.

Also, though it is completely a moot point, technically, the gun purchase he made was illegal.  Due to the breakdown in the reporting system, though, he wasn't stopped.  It would be interesting to see how many of these people are stopped every year.  I personally saw someone stopped by a background check right here in California, something I never thought I'd see.

I agree with Geodome, too, that freedom is probably best measured in the breadth of activities permitted by a specific country.  Looking at countries like China, etc., they have a very low breadth of activities permitted.  Looking at someplace like the UK, they have a much larger number of activities permitted.  Where I get angry at our own country is when we start doing this crap like we have after 9/11 with our domestic spying program and other such nonesense.  I hope that our congress will start to pass some bills that preserve and protect our rights rather than just prohibiting things as they are wont to do.

Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2007, 01:47:20 AM »
freedom is probably best measured in the breadth of activities permitted by a specific country.  Looking at countries like China, etc., they have a very low breadth of activities permitted.  Looking at someplace like the UK, they have a much larger number of activities permitted.

I would like to contribute the following points to the debate:
1. Freedom is characterised by the variation of activities permitted under the rule of law.
2. Security is characterised by the collective probability and magnitude of each threat.
3. Threat is characterised by the circumvention of the common good, with particular emphasis on the rights to life, ownership, development and expression.
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Offline constant thinker

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Re: Balancing Individual Freedom & Public Security
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2007, 10:19:12 PM »
I stand by my assertion that your were implying that the USA is more free than Poland and Germany, even if you were not doing it deliberately.  What you said was Poland and Germany are closer to the USA.  Closer does not suggest equal it suggests lower or high, in this case i think you were implying lower.

I must tell I have read hmx/constant thinker posts the same way - 'we in US are more free than inhabitants in any other part of the world'. That's what provoked me to answer the way I did.

My apologies Borek.

Mitch does have a good point about the state to state thing. The individual states within the U.S. have quite a bit of power. Oddly enough they even have the power to violate federal law. Example of that is "medical" marijuana. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but the use of marijuana in the U.S. is illegal under all circumstances according to federal law, but why is that in California you're allowed to use it, albeit of medical purposes.

In my opinion, this is an endless debate that's tainted by nationalism, cultural/societal beliefs, and general upbringing.

P.S. Geodome, interesting rules for this board. I agree with them.
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