Why, My U.S. Democrat Friends, Do You Hate Guns? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Modern liberalism. Civil rights and liberties, State responsibility to the people (welfare).
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#14549845
This is my first real post here, and I truly do wish to avoid being labelled a Troll this early in the game. It's an honest question. I want to understand. The gun issue is what makes me PoliticoSchizo.

I'm already acquainted with the conservatives' answer ("because y'all hate America"). I want to hear from my fellow liberals. (Yes, I consider myself a liberal on virtually every issue except guns.)

The way I see it, (1.) people have a natural right of self-defense, including the use of deadly force if/when faced with deadly force; (2.) criminals have guns, and likely always will, because (3.) the country is awash in guns, and (4.) only mass confiscation -- I'm talking door-to-door searches totally incompatible with the Constitution -- will change that.

So help me understand. Why promote "gun control," which will not only not keep guns out of the hands of criminals (because, remember -- criminals don't obey laws), but also impede the law-abiding from defending themselves?

While you're at it, I'd be heavily in your debt if you could explain just how someone who is as ardently pro-choice as he is pro-gun should vote in the 2016 elections. It's like choosing between air and water... you might last longer without one, but you have to have both...

Thanks for your thoughtful responses.
Last edited by PoliticoSchizo on 23 Apr 2015 22:09, edited 1 time in total.
#14549984
I cannot speak for other liberals, but I am a firm believer that the people should have the same access to weaponry that the gov't has, including WMDs. Even ancaps think I am too libertarian about guns.
#14550026
I am a conservative but I am for gun control. So here are some thoughts.

I don't think "liberals" present a united viewpoint on this. I imagine there are very few who "hate" guns. The very notion sounds like a Fox News talking point.

Most Americans (not just liberals) favor various forms of gun control. Overwhelmingly as a matter of fact. only 14% of responders to a Gallup poll favor making gun laws less strict while 38% say they should be left the same and a whopping 47% want them to be more strict. Let those numbers sink in for a moment. This means that a great many self-identified conservatives must be in favor of tighter gun laws. Do you identify this 85% of Americans as "gun haters"?

Here is another interesting number to chew on. In the same poll, of self-identified gun owners (42% of responders) fully 60% say the gun is for protection and only 36% say they want them for hunting and 13% want them for target shooting. 83% want background checks for ALL gun purchases and 91% want to close the gun show loophole... And most Americans want to limit magazine capacities. The oddest turn of all is that though most Americans favor more gun ownership, they believe they are less safe in places that allow concealed carry.

So you want to figure out why liberals hate guns. The short answer is that most of them don't. Further most conservatives favor gun control of one sort or another. Your time would be far better spent not trying to find a one-over-the-world solution but rather trying to figure out a responsible position to take based upon all of the variables.

I live in a state that allows concealed carry. I could carry a firearm virtually everywhere I go. Because I am a retired soldier and very familiar with firearms my opinion is that I would not be safer with the gun. Just the opposite. And the statistics support my position. I have concluded very simply that there is very little chance that I will get into a gun fight if I don't have a gun. The chances of being shot by a stranger in the US are vanishingly small. But if you are armed you are 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than if you are not carrying a gun and in the past 30 years not one mass slaying has been prevented or ended by a civilian carrying a gun.

So the ball is in your court. It is up to you to decide whether to make an emotional decision or one made on the facts like Fox News and the NRA want you to.
#14550041
Drlee wrote:I am a conservative but I am for gun control. So here are some thoughts.

I don't think "liberals" present a united viewpoint on this. I imagine there are very few who "hate" guns. The very notion sounds like a Fox News talking point.

Most Americans (not just liberals) favor various forms of gun control. Overwhelmingly as a matter of fact. only 14% of responders to a Gallup poll favor making gun laws less strict while 38% say they should be left the same and a whopping 47% want them to be more strict. Let those numbers sink in for a moment. This means that a great many self-identified conservatives must be in favor of tighter gun laws. Do you identify this 85% of Americans as "gun haters"?

Here is another interesting number to chew on. In the same poll, of self-identified gun owners (42% of responders) fully 60% say the gun is for protection and only 36% say they want them for hunting and 13% want them for target shooting. 83% want background checks for ALL gun purchases and 91% want to close the gun show loophole... And most Americans want to limit magazine capacities. The oddest turn of all is that though most Americans favor more gun ownership, they believe they are less safe in places that allow concealed carry.

So you want to figure out why liberals hate guns. The short answer is that most of them don't. Further most conservatives favor gun control of one sort or another. Your time would be far better spent not trying to find a one-over-the-world solution but rather trying to figure out a responsible position to take based upon all of the variables.

I live in a state that allows concealed carry. I could carry a firearm virtually everywhere I go. Because I am a retired soldier and very familiar with firearms my opinion is that I would not be safer with the gun. Just the opposite. And the statistics support my position. I have concluded very simply that there is very little chance that I will get into a gun fight if I don't have a gun. The chances of being shot by a stranger in the US are vanishingly small. But if you are armed you are 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than if you are not carrying a gun and in the past 30 years not one mass slaying has been prevented or ended by a civilian carrying a gun.

So the ball is in your court. It is up to you to decide whether to make an emotional decision or one made on the facts like Fox News and the NRA want you to.


Thanks for your thoughts. I was really hoping to understand my fellow (U.S.) liberals' motivations for supporting the stances they do (and they overwhelmingly do favor more restrictions), but I'm happy to respond to your comments. (And, yes, I titled my post in a somewhat inflammatory way so as to encourage replies. Guilty as charged.)

1. "Most Americans favor ... gun control." Likely true. If most Americans favored executing convicted homosexuals, would that support an argument in favor of doing so? Of course not. Unlike you and I, many -- likely most -- Americans are pathetically uninformed about guns; many do not even understand the difference between semi- and fully-automatic weapons (or know that the latter are very tightly regulated, indeed).

2. "The short answer is that most [liberals] don't" hate guns. Perhaps I should have asked why Democrats hate guns, and have conflated the two. I don't at the moment have statistics to quote, but I believe it is true that most Democrats want more gun control, and would, in fact, love to see a ban on those nasty handguns.

3. "I would not be safer with the gun. Just the opposite. And the statistics support my position." Ah, statistics... for the present, let's grant your assertion regarding the statistics, and not question where they came from or who had an axe to grind while generating them. Let's say you really are statistically safer. So you would encourage me to forego the ability to defend myself, should the "vanishingly" unlikely occur, as it has, repeatedly, in schools, restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses here in the U.S. and abroad. Even were it demonstrated to my satisfaction that it would be safer to do so, I refuse to forfeit my natural right to self-defense should I (or a loved one) be faced with death or disfigurement as the result of a criminal assault. Thanks, but I'll "take my chances."

4. "In the past 30 years not one mass slaying has been prevented or ended by a civilian carrying a gun." Just off the top of my head, I can recall a situation in a Colorado Springs church a few years back where a civilian security guard did exactly that. And it's not really all about mass killings. There is a boatload of informal evidence that civilian gun ownership has allowed numerous citizens to thwart burglaries, robberies, rapes and other violent crimes.

5. "It is up to you to decide whether to make an emotional decision" or make one based on facts. I am not trying to make any kind of decision. I've thought long and hard about this issue, and have made my decision. I am trying to understand why liberals (Democrats?) -- why people who share my values on so many other issues -- espouse the position they overwhelmingly do on guns. I suspect that few of them have really thought deeply about the issue, have taken the time to imagine themselves, perhaps with their children, having lunch somewhere, and having some armed, disgruntled ex-employee walk in ready to shoot the place up then kill themselves. I suspect that few of them have ever asked themselves if they would prefer to take their chances rather than to rely on the mercy of the criminal.

So we must agree to disagree, seemingly. But again, I appreciate your thoughts.

Now... how about my fellow liberals? Do you agree with the good Doctor? 'Tis nobler to die a victim than to insist on one's right to self-defense? Step right up...
#14550046
I have a hand gun, not because I think I will need it, but just in case I do. I see no need to carry it. I just want to be able to protect my neighborhood if necessary.
Most resistance to gun ownership comes from 'media induced morality' and having no experience with guns. Some have legitimate issues based upon real beliefs, but most are just riding the bandwagon.
#14550079
I don't have a problem with gins, just wide accessibility.

I support an overall ban excluding farmers, etc.

Apart from that, law and order is supposed to be maintained by the police.
#14550082
redcarpet wrote:Apart from that, law and order is supposed to be maintained by the police.


You can count on them to interview the witnesses, catalog the bullet casings and call the Coroner's office. But maintain order? Everywhere? All the time? How did that work out for the folks who went to see the latest Batman movie one night in Aurora, CO?
#14550087
In what sense is being in favour of government gun control a 'liberal' position? Surely it's the opposite of 'liberal'?

Modern American politics seems to be based on the Humpty Dumpty Principle:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

#14550114
Potemkin wrote:In what sense is being in favour of government gun control a 'liberal' position? Surely it's the opposite of 'liberal'?

Modern American politics seems to be based on the Humpty Dumpty Principle...


I cannot argue with that. Nonetheless (and as I am sure you are aware) in the U.S., Democrats tend to espouse "liberal" positions, Republicans tend to espouse "conservative" positions, and "gun rights" are generally supported by the latter and considered an unfortunate, dangerous and embarrassing artifact of that pesky Second Amendment by the former. I understand that common usage of these terms -- as I am using them -- may be at odds with their usage by political scientists (and forum members).

Perhaps I should rephrase the question...
#14550186
Democrats tend to espouse "liberal" positions, Republicans tend to espouse "conservative" positions, and "gun rights" are generally supported by the latter and considered an unfortunate, dangerous and embarrassing artifact of that pesky Second Amendment by the former.



We have no liberal party of importance in America. The democrats are decidedly NOT liberal by any stretch of the imagination.

You are a good example of why these manufactured differences mean so much.

I gave you facts. I can support them with links. You just blithely chose to ignore them. You are not a liberal. Please tell me some positions you hold that you consider liberal.

If most Americans favored executing convicted homosexuals, would that support an argument in favor of doing so?


You post this drivel and expect to be taken seriously. What was my point? You completely missed it. You maintained that "democrats hate guns". I showed you that your premise is flawed in the first place. They don't hate guns. Further I showed you that a great many republicans support gun laws. You just chose to ignore that. SO the fact is that your question is what first got you in trouble. Do you see a difference between wanting careful controls on who owns and more importantly carries firearms and hating them? Apparently not.

Just off the top of my head, I can recall a situation in a Colorado Springs church a few years back where a civilian security guard did exactly that.


An armed security guard, anticipating trouble and with some training (in most states) is a far cry from some accountant who stops at the gun store, buys bullets, and then tries to intervene in a shooting in a crowd. And her justification for doing this? Despite the fact that she has no training in how to handle a firearm, the laws about when to use one, nor training in situational awareness her justification for why it is a good idea for her to be prepared to shoot in a crowd is that the constitution (in an ambiguous to say the least) paragraph says she has the right to keep and bear arms. She extends this right to the right to carry one in public and act as protector of herself and others without training.

For every time that a citizen successfully defends himself/herself with a gun there are countless other occasions where they are unsuccessful, a child gets ahold of the gun, it is stolen by criminals, and so forth. We are not a safer nation because we have so many guns and even though I have been trained as an expert pistol marksman and the laws of self-defense I am not safer with a gun.

I am a gun owner. I believe it is good that I am allowed to own one. I could defend myself with it given the right situation. If someone intended to do a home invasion at my house it would be wise for them to reconsider. All of that said. I believe (as most Americans, democrat and republican) that who is allowed to own firearms should be controlled.

So here is something for you to consider. How about the people who operate gun shows. Surely they are in favor of lax gun laws. Surely they are in favor of and respect concealed carry laws. They must support the right of people to keep and bear arms in the most liberal way. Right? This is from the website of the largest gun show company in the country:

Q Can I carry a loaded gun in the gun show? I have a Concealed Carry Permit.
A: We respectfully request that you do not bring any loaded firearm into the gun show. Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show


What? What do they know that we don't? Aren't they afraid, as you are, that a crazed and armed assassin might attach their show?

Think this through. It is not a sign of ignorance to change your mind. Just the opposite.
#14550223
Drlee wrote:We have no liberal party of importance in America. The democrats are decidedly NOT liberal by any stretch of the imagination.

You are a good example of why these manufactured differences mean so much.

I gave you facts. I can support them with links. You just blithely chose to ignore them. You are not a liberal. Please tell me some positions you hold that you consider liberal.

>>> If most Americans favored executing convicted homosexuals, would that support an argument in favor of doing so?

You post this drivel and expect to be taken seriously. What was my point? You completely missed it. You maintained that "democrats hate guns". I showed you that your premise is flawed in the first place. They don't hate guns. Further I showed you that a great many republicans support gun laws. You just chose to ignore that. SO the fact is that your question is what first got you in trouble. Do you see a difference between wanting careful controls on who owns and more importantly carries firearms and hating them? Apparently not.

>>> Just off the top of my head, I can recall a situation in a Colorado Springs church a few years back where a civilian security guard did exactly that.

An armed security guard, anticipating trouble and with some training (in most states) is a far cry from some accountant who stops at the gun store, buys bullets, and then tries to intervene in a shooting in a crowd. And her justification for doing this? Despite the fact that she has no training in how to handle a firearm, the laws about when to use one, nor training in situational awareness her justification for why it is a good idea for her to be prepared to shoot in a crowd is that the constitution (in an ambiguous to say the least) paragraph says she has the right to keep and bear arms. She extends this right to the right to carry one in public and act as protector of herself and others without training.

For every time that a citizen successfully defends himself/herself with a gun there are countless other occasions where they are unsuccessful, a child gets ahold of the gun, it is stolen by criminals, and so forth. We are not a safer nation because we have so many guns and even though I have been trained as an expert pistol marksman and the laws of self-defense I am not safer with a gun.

I am a gun owner. I believe it is good that I am allowed to own one. I could defend myself with it given the right situation. If someone intended to do a home invasion at my house it would be wise for them to reconsider. All of that said. I believe (as most Americans, democrat and republican) that who is allowed to own firearms should be controlled.

So here is something for you to consider. How about the people who operate gun shows. Surely they are in favor of lax gun laws. Surely they are in favor of and respect concealed carry laws. They must support the right of people to keep and bear arms in the most liberal way. Right? This is from the website of the largest gun show company in the country:

Q Can I carry a loaded gun in the gun show? I have a Concealed Carry Permit.
A: We respectfully request that you do not bring any loaded firearm into the gun show. Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show

What? What do they know that we don't? Aren't they afraid, as you are, that a crazed and armed assassin might attach their show?

Think this through. It is not a sign of ignorance to change your mind. Just the opposite.

I was hoping to have a polite discussion, and hopefully, have my question answered. Color me disappointed.

Do you reserve sneering condescension only for new forum members, or spread it around liberally?

You are a good example, I suspect, of why a certain percentage of new members here will abandon this site early on.

I am not a liberal? In the economic realm, I believe that government has a duty to regulate and restrain corporate excesses, as well as provide education, etc. I support "European-style" single-payer healthcare. I am unrepentantly pro-choice. (Yes, these values may position me as more of a Democrat than a liberal, in the strictest sense, and I greatly rue using that term without the degree of precision your superior command of political theory demands.) When conservatives berate "liberals," they're talking about me.

As I wrote, I am not going to dispute your facts. What you cannot seem to grasp is that I'm talking about values. Fact: motorcycling is more dangerous than driving an automobile. I ride because the benefits outweigh the risk, to me. It's a values thing.

As I wrote, I used a somewhat exaggerated tone in my post title in order to stimulate readership and (hopefully, thoughtful) responses. Again, I plead guilty to the charge of imprecision. Neither Democrats nor liberals hate guns. They just wish to further restrict the law-abiding from owning or carrying them. (I have yet to have a liberal -- or a Democrat, AFAIK -- weigh in on my question.)

Given your attitudes toward them, I would like to suggest that you consider divesting yourself of your firearms for your own safety. You clearly don't possess the confidence in your own skills that would be necessary to use one effectively in an emergency.

Loaded guns are discouraged at any venue, gun show or firearms shop, where guns are displayed for purchase so as to avoid injury or death should a loaded weapon be confused with an unloaded one, and for no other reason.

If anyone else would like to educate me, in a reasonably respectful manner, as to why libe ...er, Democrats, are so fond of gun control, I'd like to learn more about their rationale.
#14550237
Dagoth Ur wrote:There is no liberal party of importance drlee? Then what, pray tell, are the Republicans and Democrats ideologically?


You know exactly what I mean. I am not going to relive Ply Sci 101 with you.
#14550238
You just said there is no liberal party of importance in a country that is 100% reperesented by liberal politicians. I don't care if you are using the stupid American pejorative version of "liberal" you made a fundamentally incorrect statement. Even going by the American definition clearly at least the Democrat "left" is liberal.
#14550239
This is a thread started by someone who is using the common, though mistaken, definition of liberal. It has become so common to do this in America that the term liberal has been coopted just as much as the term gay has. The meaning to the average American bears no resemblance to the classical definition of liberal politics.

This is true of the term "libertarian" as well. That term has become a joke.

So I am communicating using a language that the OP understands. If you and I want to discuss classic liberalism I am happy to do it. As a conservative republican I am even more liberal than a democrat. Am I not?
#14550240
Yes and no. You are just the further right end of a right-wing ideology. But you are clearly better educated than the average member of either wing.

I'll concede that the conservative caricature of liberalism does not have much real world representation. But that is like saying there are no communist parties because reactionaries like to caricatire us as the khmer rouge.
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