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  •  It seems to me that part of the problem, (9+ / 0-)

    in the Dunn case anyway, is that there's no evidence that there was actually an attack against him.

    And the problem is that "reasonable expectation" of harm is too subjective of a standard when we're talking about people's lives.

    If you're a racist who believes all young black men are thugs, then you're going to believe that the (in reality, irrational) fear that you have of them is reasonable.  And anyone on the jury who has the same idea about people of color as you do will feel the same way.  Just about everyone considers themselves to be "reasonable."

    •  Got it in one (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon, ER Doc, FrankRose

      Exactly. We cannot change society by changing the law (e.g. Prohibition, War on Drugs, etc.). We change it by changing attitudes.

      And if we cannot change the attitudes at a lower level, then the laws that deal with infractions have to exist at a level high enough that a locality cannot abuse them with impunity.

      So, if you really want to make a change regarding something like a state's SYG and how it is enforced and implemented, it needs to be at a federal level like civil rights legislation. If the Feds could have stepped in, called this a hate crime and tried it in a federal court, how do you think the verdict would have turned out?

      Otherwise, the "states rights" types will always find a way to twist it to their own particular needs and biases (as we see with voting rights, same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.).

      •  The law follows social change (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i saw an old tree today, a2nite

        It appears that social change is going against the gun enthusiasts who argue for the littlest possible firearms oversight.  

        You're right that the law can't change the social dynamics.  

        It's going to happen the other way around, and the people who argue for reasonable restrictions on access to firearms are the ones who have the best argument right now, and the public is listening.  

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:18:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's reasonable, and there's reasonable (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, FrankRose

          Gun enthusiasts might also point out that the firearms homicide rate per capita has been dropping, it has done so in the absence of new and more restrictive laws to cause this drop, that things like the Brady Handgun law and the Clinton-era "assault weapon" law had no measurable impact on crime rates (a sharp drop around the time of Brady started before Brady and thus does not correlate to it), and thus the call for new and more restrictive laws is a) not necessary and b) the social dynamics are apparently changing on their own.

          Plus of course we already have laws on the books about unlicensed dealers and background checks that are not currently being enforced by this administration, and until that starts happening, new laws that won't be enforced either are not going to do much.

          Now, about "reasonable". Personally, I favor more enforcement of background check laws, competency-based licensing (law and practical) and uniform national standards for licensing rather than the patchwork of inconsistent state laws. For that attitude I have been called an NRA shill, gun nut, deluded and paranoid. By the intelligent, insightful, tolerant and inclusive Kos gun control community, of course.

          On the other hand, we have an individual here at Kos who thinks that violating a gun regulation should result in an arrest for intent to commit murder, that 18th century flintlocks have too high a rate of fire for any weapon allowed for civilian ownership, and that any firearm accident, however trivial, should result in complete loss of firearm ownership privileges for everyone in that household for many, many years ("many, many years" is their preferred phrasing, not mine). That attitude gets you promoted to full blog admin at a Daily Kos group dedicated to repealing part of the Bill of Rights.

          Which of the two of us sounds more "reasonable"?

          •  Still trying to pick out strawmen? (0+ / 0-)

            Sorry.

            Did you call them "privileges?" Is that what you really think they are?  not rights?

            Streichholzschächtelchen

            by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:43:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Here's the thing. (0+ / 0-)

            The reforms you're talking about to gun control laws?  I agree with you that they're reasonable.

            And there is certainly some validity to your argument.

            But there's also validity to the argument that countries like Australia, that have much stricter gun control laws, have a lot fewer gun deaths than we do.

            There's also validity to the argument that if one reads the entirety of the second amendment, it could also be interpreted as applying mainly in the context of a well-regulated militia.  Which, granted, in theory, your advocacy for national competency-based licensing standards sort of goes along with.

            I do think some of the things you mentioned are things most of us can agree on, no matter which side of this debate we happen to fall on.  And they need to be discussed more.  Unfortunately, groups like the NRA convince a lot of people that even those discussions are simply one more step toward taking away your guns.

      •  But my point is (0+ / 0-)

        that yes, people have the right to defend themselves if attacked.  The problem is, in Florida's SYG cases, there seem to be quite a few incidents of this argument being used, even though whether or not an attack actually occurred is debatable, at best.

        Mind you, I don't interpret any of what you've said as a defense of Dunn.

        And I do think you're correct when talking about hate crimes and such at the federal level.  I do agree that's a viable solution to things like this.

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