/ Guns and the US

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mypyrex - on 03 Oct 2017
What is it about a so called civilised country whereby huge numbers of its population are obsessed with guns.
I can understand people legitimately owning one or maybe two firearms when wanting to shoot "for the pot - I have done so myself.
Apparently the nutter in Las Vegas had about twenty in the hotel room. How many more did he have at home?
I know you can't tar everybody on America with the same brush but when you think about the number of mass shooting that have occurred along with those that don't make the headlines, I find myself wondering about the psyche of those who are so obsessed with firearms. Why are the NRA so powerful? If a President successfully repealed the Second Amendment one assumed there would be a revolution.
I find the whole thing very worrying especially do when Americans consider themselves to be civilised and the "greatest nation on earth"
6
balmybaldwin - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

You'll find similar questions here: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=672110

Not many answers tho
1
baron - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

There are millions of peaceful, law abiding citizens who own multiple weapons and never use them in anger.
If you take out the criminal element then most US gunowners fit the above description.
Unfortunately when a gun is used in anger people often die and sometimes on a large scale.
Despite the number of gun deaths in the US it doesn't affect most people living there, unless they live in a high crime area.
Many americans believe a number of deaths is a price worth paying for their perceived freedom.
11
Chris the Tall - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

> What is it about a so called civilised country whereby huge numbers of its population are obsessed with guns.

> Why are the NRA so powerful?

Because huge numbers of it population are obsessed with guns

>If a President successfully repealed the Second Amendment one assumed there would be a revolution.

The president has little influence. To change the constitution you need 2/3rd of both houses, and then 3/4s of the states must ratify it. This gives bigger influence to the smaller states, a high proportion of which are very conservative.

The easiest way for a president to act would be to nominate justices to the Supreme Court who would interpret the 2nd amendment differently


Rigid Raider - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:
My brother lives in Michigan and he often sends me long emails puzzling about Americans. He is married to a really batty specimen who has had a nervous breakdown on returning home after every one of the five visits she has made to the UK; we his family think she simply can't cope with un-polished, mildly politically incorrect people who don't fit with her gushing rosy-tinted idea of relationships. She and all her pals seem to think it's normal to be taking medication and seeing a therapist regularly and my brother believes most Americans exist in a state of paranoia, not helped by a system which keeps them fearful of attack by terrorists or violent burglars. He believes this fits with the fact that only a couple of generations ago Americans were taking land by force, spreading across the continent and living by the gun and the folk memory is still fresh in their minds, which is why they so cherish their right to carry firearms.

My brother has also been seduced by the fear-mongers; he dreams of becoming a survivalist and buying a ranch in Arizona. I've told him that as an overweight 54 year-old he isn't fit or strong enough and certainly knows nothing about animal husbandry or the growing and storage of crops for the lean months. Amongst his emails are others where he rambles on about conspiracy theories; 9/11 was of course funded by the Government and Trump only stood for President as a joke but then realised it had gone too far and he couldn't back out. My brother refuses to use Watsapp to talk to us for free because it belongs to Facebook and therefore he says conversations are being monitored! This is daft because as far as I know Watsapp has nothing to do with the telephone network and is just internet data so its calls can be automatically considered "encrypted". But you can't break paranoia and suspicion easily.
Post edited at 14:34
1
Nevis-the-cat - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

I've got back fro LA a few days ago, having previously lived out there in the late 80's.

Speaking to friends out there I commented that the US seemed to have moved to some sort of militarised society. Go to a small town and each lampost will have a banner with the photo of locals who are service personnel, against a background of the stars and stripes.

Pretty much anything higher than a shoe has a flag on it.

It felt like a scene from Starship Troopers -where service = citizenship, and i say this as ex services.

One of the group we were with was carrying her .38 Ruger. she did not have an open carry permit "but that's ok, it's just a misdemeanor so a ticket"....

Ironically (sadly), i had commented we were in Tom Petty land - given every other street or town was in one of his songs, not deepest Alabama. These were SoCal types not Montana survivalists.

1
Lusk - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Could a nationwide hypnotism be carried out, and while they're all under, brainwash them that they don't need guns, change the constitution about carrying arms and remove all the guns from the country?
Think of it as a major reset.

Other than that, f*cks knows what can be done with Americans.
2
yorkshireman - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> Many americans believe a number of deaths is a price worth paying for their perceived freedom.

This, in a nutshell. It may be couched in all sorts of other language but quite simply so many Americans believe that their freedom is more important than other people's lives.

I agree with that to a point - obviously freedom needs to be protected, I just don't see how doing background checks on people (something vehemently opposed by so many) wanting to buy weapons is defined as an infringement on freedom. You need a background check to adopt a cat in some places, or to work with children. We don't see that as an offront to freedom, just sensible precautions.

I've read some pretty toxic stuff these last few days. One oft-trotted comment was how Jews were not allowed to own guns in 1938, and that somehow, if they'd all had a .38 under their pillows they would have stopped the Third Reich in its tracks.

I'm not sure how hairy arsed suvivalists in Montana think they can protect themselves in a straight fight with the American state, that controls the most formidable military machine in the history of the earth.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a gun in my life (excepting among hunters and police) but yet the company I work for has had two gun-related deaths (separate incidents) among its personnel in one of the big cities in a southern US state (one domestic violence, the other robbery) in the last five years. Whenever I go there, they plead with me not to 'go for a run' round the city. Apparently being in downtown on the street is exceptionally dangerous - that to me is not having freedom.
1
Jonathan Lagoe - UKC - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:


> Go to a small town and each lampost will have a banner with the photo of locals who are service personnel, against a background of the stars and stripes.

Sorry, but that's just nonsense. I've lived here in the US for 7 years and never seen this.

4
David Martin - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to yorkshireman:

> I just don't see how doing background checks on people (something vehemently opposed by so many) wanting to buy weapons is defined as an infringement on freedom.

This is actually logical when framed from the American perspective: guns are to protect you from the state as much as they are from your fellow man, and if the state is doing the background checks then you have pretty much signed away that power.
mark s - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Still waiting for a "Good guy" with a gun to stop a mass shooting.
DerwentDiluted - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mark s:

> Still waiting for a "Good guy" with a gun to stop a mass shooting.

What puzzles me is how responding police can tell who is the good guy with a gun and who is the bad guy with a gun, do they just play it safe and kill em all, let god sort em out? Do they wait, watch events and see? Lots of have a go heroes getting killed by the cops will go down well I'm sure.
wbo - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to DerwentDiluted:
the good guys in this case had guns. The band had them in the tour bus at least, but didn't, couldn't use Thomas they were scared the police would shoot them on sight ( they would)

I have no idea what can be done - the place is saturateg with guns and paranoid right winters. Many people see a problem, but theres little political will , especially in the republican party to takle what will be a vote loser.

If you really want to depress yourself Google 3 year old shoots and be appaled at the number of incidentally of toddlers shooting themselves or someone else. This is not a problem in the US. Apparently
Post edited at 17:31
Mike Stretford - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

> Sorry, but that's just nonsense. I've lived here in the US for 7 years and never seen this.

I agree with Nevis, that was my impression in Missouri a couple of years ago. It's a big place and varied, so I could I imagine how not every visitor or even resident would see it.
1
jethro kiernan - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Their is a trend of "service communities and families" so it will be very noticeable in certain towns and communities that have a stronger connection to the military

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/amp.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/the_warrior_c...
DerwentDiluted - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to wbo:

> the good guys in this case had guns. The band had them in the tour bus at least, but didn't, couldn't use Thomas they were scared the police would shoot them on sight ( they would)

That's my point, if I was a good guy and had a gun I'd be terrified of the police, as they don't have a name for restraint. As arguments go it fails to even make Specious unless you are some special kind of head in sand type.

Yanis Nayu - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Does make you wonder whether the US is a uniquely sick country. Why do many of its citizens want to kill each other?

It worries and depresses me that this country seems so keen to emulate the US.
1
baron - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
This article may contain some useful information.
Most Americans are peaceful, law abiding people but a gun in the wrong hands can make things go wrong in a big way.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/02/us-gun-control-ownership-viol...
Post edited at 18:37
DerwentDiluted - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> Does make you wonder whether the US is a uniquely sick country. Why do many of its citizens want to kill each other?

My impression is that there are a lot of influential, devisive and toxic factors in US history which feed into a peculiar and I think unique national psyche.

Just off the top of my head;
The Pilgim Fathers, bringing that WASPish religion into the mix from the get-go
British colonial rule & war of independence
Louisiana purchase,
Slavery,
Civil war
Frontier individualist mentality meeting state and federal government,
The Klan and segregation
Civil rights
McCarthyism, Klaus Fuchs, that whole Reds under the bed thing
The cold war
Internment of Japanese Americans in WW2, treatment of indigenous people,
Ellis Island, Trumps proposed wall and a complex history of immigration,
Checks and balances, paralysis and gridlock
Lobbying and Corporate influence
Military power and interventions
Globalisation, outsourcing, Neo-liberalism, disenfranchisment and inequality

Difficult legacies.


Yanis Nayu - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Interesting analysis. I think (with no real evidence) that the last 3 lines are the most pertinent.
1
blahblahblacksheep on 03 Oct 2017 - 209-6-248-224.s2270.c3-0.wrx-ubr1.sbo-wrx.ma.cable.rcncustomer.com
In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:
> Go to a small town and each lampost will have a banner with the photo of locals who are service personnel, against a background of the stars and stripes.

> Sorry, but that's just nonsense. I've lived here in the US for 7 years and never seen this.

Sorry, but that's just nonsense. I am American, recently returned to Boston and I see this everyday. You must be blind or live in Portland, OR...

1
Big Ger - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Why are we bothered? If, after all this time and evidence of their failure as a civilised society they still refuse to change, who are we to argue?

Just don't go there.
3
Jonathan Lagoe - UKC - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to climbnplay:

Sorry, but you misunderstand. It's the generalisation that is nonsense. Clearly the phenomenon exists unless you are hallucinating..
mypyrex - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Just don't go there.

I don't

Bit of a tangent but when I was on the TMB a few weeks ago I met several Americans. Most of them were most pleasant, intelligent people without being "in your face".

One night, however, I had the misfortune to have to share a dining table with a group of eight or nine who seemed to be the epitome of the brash, loud, pushy, in yer face yank. I really felt they were invading my "personal space" with their over-familiarity.

In contrast, several times I "bumped into" a very pleasant(74 year old father and his daughter) couple from Washington. They were quiet and restrained and it was a pleasure to meet them and chat with them.

jkarran - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> There are millions of peaceful, law abiding citizens who own multiple weapons and never use them in anger.

They're still very much part of the problem.

> Despite the number of gun deaths in the US it doesn't affect most people living there, unless they live in a high crime area.

Except for those who die by frightened cops in routine traffic stops and those shot by their own kids or whose kids are shot by other kids or who die by their own gun in accidents and robberies and suicides and those that live in fear of others having guns so they themselves feel the need to own one for protection exacerbating the problem and increasing their personal risk... Apart from those people and problems among others it's only really a criminal problem.

> Many americans believe a number of deaths is a price worth paying for their perceived freedom.

And many wonder at the sanity of that position in America and abroad.
jk
drunken monkey - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Total US deaths in wars since the 1700's - 1.4m

Total number of people killed by firearms in US since the late 1960's - 1.4m
baron - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:
Your smart enough to work out what percentage of the 300 million US citizens are affected by gun crime and accidents/suicides.
I can't be bothered.
While there must be areas where people live in fear most places aren't like that.
Some people make it sound like the wild west.
You can question the US attitude to guns but they aren't going to give them up, either voluntarily or by force.
Post edited at 09:53
3
Ridge - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Mike Stretford:
> I agree with Nevis, that was my impression in Missouri a couple of years ago. It's a big place and varied, so I could I imagine how not every visitor or even resident would see it.

Was in California last year. Photos of servicemen KIA on numerous commercial vehicles, though not sure I'd want a posthumous photo of me on the side of a sewage sucker..
Post edited at 09:54
GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

I wonder whether the irony of the similarity of the argument for the right of Americans to have firearms is pretty much the same one that Kim Jong-Un uses for his right to have nuclear weapons has made main stream US commentary ? probably not.

That sentence ids probably too long !
Shani - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Jim Jefferies smashes it!

https://www.vimeo.com/219338338
jon on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to yorkshireman:

> I've read some pretty toxic stuff these last few days. One oft-trotted comment was how Jews were not allowed to own guns in 1938, and that somehow, if they'd all had a .38 under their pillows they would have stopped the Third Reich in its tracks.

A republican senator trotted out exactly this crap on CNN last night!
Shani - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to jon:

You'll never understand the NRA's position on guns until you realise that although we see mass shootings as a reason to restrict gun ownership, they see every mass-shooting as a reason to own a gun.

They reduce events down to a simplistic narrative whereby they are face to face with a gunman (there is no 'surprise' attack, the bad guy looks like a bad guy etc....), and in this fantasy, it is just about how fast they can point and shoot to stop the bad guy doing bad things.
pavelk - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Don´ t worry about America. It´ s coming to Europe as well. Number of guns is growing almoust everywhere. It doubled in Austria in last two years (no special licence for shotgun is needed there) and since people don´ t feel safe the black market is rising distinctly in most countries with tight gun laws.
It´ s easy and not expensive to buy guns on the Balkans and it´ s easy to smuggle them. Police held (by mistake) someone with AK 47 and racket launcher in France recently by the way.

Wish you Britain will be protected from this
Fredt on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Surely the obsession with guns can be traced back to the gun manufacturers, a huge industry that funds/is the NRA, most Republicans, and Presidents. They are buying the maintenance of the 2nd Amendment.
Much the same way that our tabloids and media dictate our politics.
jkarran - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> Your smart enough to work out what percentage of the 300 million US citizens are affected by gun crime and accidents/suicides.

Round numbers and rough math. 30,000 gun deaths per anum. Thirty thousand. If each of those people is independent of the others and has a social network of 100 people (a big 'if' and a reasonable low side estimate) then that's 3 Million people per anum directly touched by gun violence, in a country of 300M that's roughly a 1:100 chance in any given year you will have a reasonably close connection to someone who dies by a gun. Stretch that social network out to 1000: family friends, friends of friends, people similar age from school, colleagues, folk from your kids' school, people you know by name or sight in your local town, the people someone would mention or who's name would catch your attention on the news were they to die violently by a gun and now that's down to 1:10 chance for any given year someone you know or recognise, who's name or friends or family you know dies violently by a gun. Obviously some areas are safer than others but if even half the gun violence is gang on gang in a few small ghettos 1:20 still isn't good!

How old are you, 60 ish? What chance you'd not be touched directly or indirectly at least once by that by your age and how might that make you feel about the prevalence of gun violence and your own safety?
jk
Post edited at 12:17
1
Trangia on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Apparently more people have been killed by gun crime in the USA than the number of American war dead from all the wars the USA has ever been involved in. One of the dead from the Las Vegas shooting was an ex Marine who had survived numerous dangerous deployments to war zones without a scratch only to die at a peaceful concert.
Shani - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

There was a graphic doing the rounds today suggesting 3.6 deaths per 100,000 residents in the US (compared to 0.04 for the UK and 0.5 for Canada - the next largest value)
1
Shani - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> Apparently more people have been killed by gun crime in the USA than the number of American war dead from all the wars the USA has ever been involved in. One of the dead from the Las Vegas shooting was an ex Marine who had survived numerous dangerous deployments to war zones without a scratch only to die at a peaceful concert.

As I said above, in the current political climate, and with gun technology ever advancing, the US's biggest gun-horrors are probably ahead of it.
1
jethro kiernan - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

Unfortunately it would likely that the next gun nut will be studying in detail all the info about this shooting and will be learning from the "mistakes" this shooter made and hoping to "improve" on this sick event.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Shani:

> Jim Jefferies smashes it!


I thought this was a link to something about the former heart of Midlothian manager. Slightly disappointed now, for reasons I don’t really understand...
captain paranoia - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

> Sorry, but you misunderstand. It's the generalisation that is nonsense. Clearly the phenomenon exists unless you are hallucinating..

Well maybe you might have expressed it differently:

"Sorry, but that's just nonsense. I've lived here in the US for 7 years and never seen this."
1
Shani - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> Unfortunately it would likely that the next gun nut will be studying in detail all the info about this shooting and will be learning from the "mistakes" this shooter made and hoping to "improve" on this sick event.

I read somewhere that armed members of the public were fearful of drawing weapons to retaliate, as they were worried that police would mistake them for 'the shooter'. God knows how any armed response units would work out what was happening if two shooters opened up from two different positions.

As you say, potential gun nuts are now aware that shooting from an elevated position has 'advantages'. If the guy had fitted a suppressor/silencer then he'd have been even harder to pinpoint. The thought of armed people firing back at a glass-fronted hotel, tyring to kill the attacker, really is the stuff of nightmares.

Crazy.
1
Nevis-the-cat - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

I must have dreamt it in Big Bear, Monterey parts of Temecula and several towns in San Fernando valley.
DerwentDiluted - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

If anyone is in any doubt about what you can get hold of, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCppmoZiXUY


baron - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:
The majority of gun deaths are suicides where removing guns would probably mean the person would find a different method.
Still 10,000 deaths a year is not an insignificant number.
While some areas of the states see much gun crime others will see far fewer incidents.
I'm not sure that an area with high gun ownership will necessarily see high rates of gun crime.
1
Lion Bakes on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> Round numbers and rough math. 30,000 gun deaths per anum. Thirty thousand. If each of those people is independent of the others and has a social network of 100 people (a big 'if' and a reasonable low side estimate) then that's 3 Million people per anum directly touched by gun violence, in a country of 300M that's roughly a 1:100 chance in any given year you will have a reasonably close connection to someone who dies by a gun. Stretch that social network out to 1000: family friends, friends of friends, people similar age from school, colleagues, folk from your kids' school, people you know by name or sight in your local town, the people someone would mention or who's name would catch your attention on the news were they to die violently by a gun and now that's down to 1:10 chance for any given year someone you know or recognise, who's name or friends or family you know dies violently by a gun. Obviously some areas are safer than others but if even half the gun violence is gang on gang in a few small ghettos 1:20 still isn't good!

> How old are you, 60 ish? What chance you'd not be touched directly or indirectly at least once by that by your age and how might that make you feel about the prevalence of gun violence and your own safety?

> jk

There were 32,625 deaths due to motorised traffic crashes in 2014. So gun deaths in the USA is at a similar level to death by motor vehicle. So I guess they do not see either as a problem.
Yanis Nayu - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
Research shows that states with the highest gun ownership have the highest number of gun related deaths and countries with the highest gun ownership have the highest number of gun related deaths.

Guns make transient suicidal feelings more likely to lead to actual suicide. Research shows it.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts
Post edited at 19:29
baron - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
You'll have noted that I was referring to gun ownership vs gun crime.
In the states with the highest gun ownership the vast majority of deaths are suicides and not murders.
e.g. Montana - over 85% gun deaths are suicides. Tragic but not necessarily a threat to the general public.
Thanks for the link, lots of data to digest.
summo on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> The majority of gun deaths are suicides where removing guns would probably mean the person would find a different method.

Owning a gun also means you can take a few people with you, or avenge something. Which is near impossible with other forms of suicide.

baron - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
It certainly makes it easier and more of a possibility.
summo on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
> It certainly makes it easier and more of a possibility.

It's also quite a remote form of killing as you don't make contact yourself etc.. compared to the recent folk with knives.
Post edited at 20:19
baron - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
True but you need to be pretty close to shoot someone with a hand gun unless you're in the movies.
thermal_t - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Interesting to see that Alex Honnold has waded into the gun control debate through his Facebook page. He has reposted a satire piece by the onion. Reading the comments on his post is quite depressing.
summo on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> True but you need to be pretty close to shoot someone with a hand gun unless you're in the movies.

Since when have USA gun sales been restricted to hand guns?
baron - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:
You can buy many types of gun but hand guns are the weapon of choice in most murders.
Shooting people at a distance with any weapon isn't as easy as people make it sound.
dsh - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to yorkshireman:

> Whenever I go there, they plead with me not to 'go for a run' round the city. Apparently being in downtown on the street is exceptionally dangerous - that to me is not having freedom.

I don't know what city you're talking about so to be fair it could be true. However, people say this about the town I live in which is perfectly fine, no more dangerous than parts of Birmingham and London that I used to live in. There's just a think where small town Middle class or higher white Americans are nervous about anywhere with Black or Homeless people.

dsh - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

> One night, however, I had the misfortune to have to share a dining table with a group of eight or nine who seemed to be the epitome of the brash, loud, pushy, in yer face yank. I really felt they were invading my "personal space" with their over-familiarity.

Sounds like the loud, pushy, in your face lager drinking Brits that I met in Whistler...
2
summo on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> You can buy many types of gun but hand guns are the weapon of choice in most murders.

But rarely the choice of mass murderers, dunblane is probably an exception?

> Shooting people at a distance with any weapon isn't as easy as people make it sound.

Yes and no. Their desire to use semi auto and a large amount of ammo solves any shooting incompetence.
SenzuBean - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:
> My brother refuses to use Watsapp to talk to us for free because it belongs to Facebook and therefore he says conversations are being monitored! This is daft because as far as I know Watsapp has nothing to do with the telephone network and is just internet data so its calls can be automatically considered "encrypted". But you can't break paranoia and suspicion easily.

The CIA has multiple programs that hack all major phone OSs, they then use this to bypass encryption entirely - they use these programs freely and without warrants. So in that sense, yes - whatapp is totally compromised. But so is email, facebook and even a custom encryption app - because the OS itself has been compromised.
Post edited at 06:09
Dave Kerr - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:
I saw a video where Obama said that gun crime could be tackled like any other public health issue. He compared it to road deaths and pointed out how that was tackled: research into the problem followed by legislation on illegal behaviour (eg drink driving), legislation for manufacturers (airbags etc) and public education. Hey presto, road deaths fell dramatically. He then went on to to say that Congress had blocked the CDC from even doing the research into gun crime. He then gave an example of an individual who had known ISIS links, they could stop this guy travelling and monitor him in all sorts of ways but they couldn't stop him buying guns!

So how do you solve a public health / safety issue when you can't research it and can't legislate? How do you change behaviours when the most powerful tools a government has are denied you? Beats me.
Post edited at 07:41
Dave Kerr - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

It's also just occurred to me how they conveniently ignore the 'well regulated' part of the 2nd Amendment!
yorkshireman - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to dsh:

> I don't know what city you're talking about so to be fair it could be true. However, people say this about the town I live in which is perfectly fine, no more dangerous than parts of Birmingham and London that I used to live in.

Atlanta. Its in the 'top' 25 of American cities with a murder rate or 20.2 per 100,000 people, around 10x the rate of London (from what I can find in a few quick Googles). I don't think the two are really very comparable.

I admit that a large part of this is middle class white suburban paranoia and the danger is variable across neighbourhoods, but there's no doubt that many American metropolitan areas are unacceptably dangerous for a first-world liberal democracy in 2017. They may not be as dangerous for me as an affluent white middle aged male, but millions of people have to live in these areas and deal with the real-world consequences every day.
jkarran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> There were 32,625 deaths due to motorised traffic crashes in 2014. So gun deaths in the USA is at a similar level to death by motor vehicle. So I guess they do not see either as a problem.

You guess wrong.

Look at the long list of (often deeply unpopular) engineering improvements, information campaigns and legal restrictions applied to US vehicles and motorists to improve road safety over the last half century then compare and contrast that with how they've treated the scourge of gun culture over the same timeframe.
jk
baron - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to summo:

And they tend to get close up as in schools, offices, shopping malls, etc.
The Las Vegas gunman shooting from fairly long range is the exception.
Being 'close up' might be part of the attraction in mass murders.
summo on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

I'd say it's more likely that most don't have the financial means to book a room in Vegas for a week, transport and stockpile that amount of weapons and ammo.
Lion Bakes on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

And yet deaths cased by car drivers go up year on year due to car is king culture. Whatever you think are the improvements, they are not.
2
planetmarshall on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

> The CIA has multiple programs that hack all major phone OSs, they then use this to bypass encryption entirely - they use these programs freely and without warrants. So in that sense, yes - whatapp is totally compromised. But so is email, facebook and even a custom encryption app - because the OS itself has been compromised.

This is total, tin foil hatted, nonsense.
Dave Kerr - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> And yet deaths cased by car drivers go up year on year due to car is king culture. Whatever you think are the improvements, they are not.

I think you need to revisit the figures!
jkarran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:
> And yet deaths cased by car drivers go up year on year due to car is king culture. Whatever you think are the improvements, they are not.

The number of cars (and people) keeps going up, the risk posed by each car/driver combo has reduced dramatically.

The improvements I refer to are things like speed limits, safety glass, monocoque construction, crumple zones, seatbelts, airbags, abs, stability control, child restraint, pedestrian friendly bumper and bonnet design, drink drive enforcement etc etc. They very clearly work.

If they put a fraction of the political and actual capital required to yield those significant safety improvements into gun control perhaps in time we'd begin to see real change but they haven't and they won't so we won't.
jk
Post edited at 14:15
jkarran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> This is total, tin foil hatted, nonsense.

It's a bold unsubstantiated assertion but it's also the obvious way to tackle robust end to end encryption: steal the plain text from one or other end user rather than intercepting and breaking the cipher. Downside is you can't just trawl through every message, you have to target people. Intelligence agencies would be woefully remiss not to have teams working to compromise the major existing OS's and people infiltrated to create back doors into future versions.
jk
Tricky Dicky - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> The majority of gun deaths are suicides where removing guns would probably mean the person would find a different method.
>

Not true. This is why there are restrictions on the amount of paracetamol you can buy. The harder it is to commit suicide the less likely people are to actually do it.

dsh - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to yorkshireman:

> Atlanta. Its in the 'top' 25 of American cities with a murder rate or 20.2 per 100,000 people, around 10x the rate of London (from what I can find in a few quick Googles). I don't think the two are really very comparable.

> I admit that a large part of this is middle class white suburban paranoia and the danger is variable across neighbourhoods, but there's no doubt that many American metropolitan areas are unacceptably dangerous for a first-world liberal democracy in 2017. They may not be as dangerous for me as an affluent white middle aged male, but millions of people have to live in these areas and deal with the real-world consequences every day.

I agree some definitely are but I was just interested in your situation. My wife's grandparents say the same thing about Manhattan, you can pretty much go anywhere there these days without worrying.
planetmarshall on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

I think people are fond of claiming what intelligence agencies do and are capable of, based on no more than what they would like to be able to do, and perhaps a bit too much television.

The reality is that intelligence agencies are not equipped with infinite budgets and scifi levels of technology. If they had such capabilities, the FBI would not have spent a fortune in the courts trying to get Apple to unlock their iPhone (something for which they eventually spent over $1M on a third party exploit), nor would Amber Rudd be embarrassing herself over her desire to break the laws of mathematics with regards to E2E encryption.

I would put hard cash on the engineers at Apple and Google being considerably smarter than those at the NSA and GCHQ. The latter simply don't pay that well.
baron - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Tricky Dicky:
So those people who are suicidal enough to want to kill themselves but don't have access to a gun will do what?
Just get on with their lives?
While most gun deaths are suicides most suicides aren't caused by guns.
6
jkarran - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> So those people who are suicidal enough to want to kill themselves but don't have access to a gun will do what?
> Just get on with their lives?

Quite likely, yes, for many the idea passes. Maybe they go see their GP or get talked down off a bridge, end up having a stomach pump or stitches in a cry for help at their lowest ebb but they're not blowing the tops of their heads off.

It'd be interesting to see UK stats to compare suicide method and prevalence for those with ready access to guns and those without. It'd be hard to draw conclusions from the prevalence figures but I'd bet the majority with access to a gun and a compulsion to kill themselves die by that gun.
jk
Tricky Dicky - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> So those people who are suicidal enough to want to kill themselves but don't have access to a gun will do what?

> Just get on with their lives?

That is what the studies show, yes. Bizarre but true. Suicides rates went down in Australia when gun control was introduced, see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/las-vegas-shooting-australia-gun-laws-control-st...

baron - on 05 Oct 2017
Lion Bakes on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

The core point still stands, Guns in the USA are killing no more people than drivers in the USA are. Why is one acceptable and the other not?

3
mark s - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

It would be interesting to see the reaction of the very strange open carry followers. It seems they like to make a point of it and have some vision they are there to keep the population safe.
You see videos of them antagonizing the police by walking around with assault rifle around their necks.
I'd challenge them to walk around during an active shooting incident and see what happens . Maybe they wouldn't be so keen on pushing their agenda
MG - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> The core point still stands, Guns in the USA are killing no more people than drivers in the USA are. Why is one acceptable and the other not?

Because none has huge social and economic value too, obviously. Anyway cars are heavily regulated, so if want to.draw the ludicrous comparison, you need to explain why it's OK to control cars but not guns.
baron - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to mark s:
Open carry goes way back to before the days of the wild west.
Concealed carry was seen as somebody having something to hide.
Having said that, walking about with an AK 47 around your neck shows a complete lack of style and class and is akin to walking to the crag with the climbing rope draped across the top of your rucksack (sp).
paul__in_sheffield - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> This is total, tin foil hatted, nonsense.

Agreed. On the two times I’ve looked at this from a professional viewpoint, the first was a failure (Cray, brute force), and the second worked (Silicon graphics, GA and Tabu with a seed file of birth dates and addresses) but we got lucky.
SenzuBean - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:
> This is total, tin foil hatted, nonsense.

Actually you've got tinfoil over your eyes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vault_7

According to WikiLeaks, once an Android smartphone is penetrated the agency can collect "audio and message traffic before encryption is applied".[1] Some of the agency's software is reportedly able to gain access to messages sent by instant messaging services.[1] This method of accessing messages differs from obtaining access by decrypting an already encrypted message.[81] While the encryption of messengers that offer end-to-end encryption, such as Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal, wasn't reported to be cracked, their encryption can be bypassed by capturing input before their encryption is applied, by methods such as keylogging and recording the touch input from the user.
Post edited at 04:23
SenzuBean - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> It's a bold unsubstantiated assertion

It's not! See latest post. How did people not know this?
elsewhere on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:
Bump stocks are selling out. That's not a joke.
planetmarshall on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

> According to WikiLeaks...

Well that's a big assumption right there.

> ...once an Android smartphone is penetrated...

And that's a second one. To have multiple programs looking into vulnerabilities is one thing. To actually possess those capabilities is another. And even assuming the latter, they would need to actually be in possession of the phone.

It certainly seems odd to make such a fuss over public access to E2E encryption, if you already possess the means to reliably circumvent it.
Tricky Dicky - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:

> The NRA would disagree
>

They might be slightly biased tho'


jkarran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

There's a difference between the alleged (sorry, a degree of healthy skepticism is required regarding leaked information) existence of a specific tool to compromise specific OS's on specific handsets and the assertion that all encrypted communication is compromised. That is unless you're claiming these surveillance tools are installed on all phones copying out all decrypted data traffic to surveillance agency servers 24/7. Mightn't someone have spotted the hack and the huge data leak by now were that the case? Far more likely valuable tools like that should they exist (and I agree they probably do given it's the obvious way to bypass diverse and robust encryption tools) would be deployed (and retrieved) with considerable circumspection and care. After all, it's not a lot of use once it's in an antivirus database and dissected in a trade magazine.

This of course all presupposes the current generation of encryption techniques and tools are as robust as we believe they are. History would suggest some caution is required when making that kind of assumption.
jk
Ian McIntosh - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:


> While most gun deaths are suicides most suicides aren't caused by guns.

Depends what you mean by 'caused by guns', but according to this source just over half of all suicides are via firearms. For men it is higher.
http://lostallhope.com/suicide-statistics/us-methods-suicide

Jon Greengrass on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> The core point still stands, Guns in the USA are killing no more people than drivers in the USA are. Why is one acceptable and the other not?

Because the entire US economy is built around and would cease to function without low cost access to personal motorised transport, whereas the other is a toy.
wercat on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:
what makes you think there aren't government agencies with the reach and knowhow to deliver updates for any given O/S en masse impersonating the normal source? Any agency that hasn't "wargamed" such a scenario isn't worth its salt


There are many analogies between what happens on the internet and other means of communication that have been used to deliver the unexpected packaged as the expected
Post edited at 16:01
Lion Bakes on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

Ha ha ha, cars are controlled in the USA? No they are not the car culture and the gun culture can be considered the same. They are both considered a right and they kill equal numbers each year.

3
planetmarshall on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to wercat:

> what makes you think there aren't government agencies with the reach and knowhow to deliver updates for any given O/S en masse impersonating the normal source? Any agency that hasn't "wargamed" such a scenario isn't worth its salt

Well that word "impersonating" hides a huge amount of complexity. Duplicating the digital fingerprint (the hash) of a software package, the contents of which you don't know, and impersonating its source is a highly non trivial task. They would be just as well attempting brute force decryption of messages for all the success they are likely to have.

In addition, the consequences if a Government agency were caught doing such a thing - which amounts to fraud among other things - would be enormous, both economic and political, and unlikely to be considered to be worth the risk.

It would be far more efficient, and have a higher chance of success, for agencies to direct their efforts at tailored and target solutions against persons of interest than this large scale monitoring, which is more the stuff of science fiction.
MG - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:
> Ha ha ha, cars are controlled in the USA? No they are not the car culture and the gun culture can be considered the same. They are both considered a right and they kill equal numbers each year.

So no drivers licenses, speed limits, car taxes, age limits or anything like that? Strange, could have sworn I remember those.
Post edited at 17:23
elsewhere on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:
> Well that word "impersonating" hides a huge amount of complexity. Duplicating the digital fingerprint (the hash) of a software package, the contents of which you don't know, and impersonating its source is a highly non trivial task. They would be just as well attempting brute force decryption of messages for all the success they are likely to have.

Brute force (preferably after finding or inserting weaknesses) may be their bread & butter use for their Crays.

> In addition, the consequences if a Government agency were caught doing such a thing - which amounts to fraud among other things - would be enormous, both economic and political, and unlikely to be considered to be worth the risk.

> It would be far more efficient, and have a higher chance of success, for agencies to direct their efforts at tailored and target solutions against persons of interest than this large scale monitoring, which is more the stuff of science fiction.

Mass surveillance is not science fiction.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/07/detica_interception_modernisation/

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/gchq-tempora-101

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program)
Post edited at 17:35
planetmarshall on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> Mass surveillance is not science fiction.




Sure, but that's not what I said. None of these programs require spoofing or are even breaking the law (which spoofing a Google software update certainly would be). They are the internet equivalent of eavesdropping.

Suffice to say, the CIA is not monitoring your phone.
Lion Bakes on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

> So no drivers licenses, speed limits, car taxes, age limits or anything like that? Strange, could have sworn I remember those.

So no guns licenses, age limits, checks or anything like that?
MG - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:
> So no guns licenses, age limits, checks or anything like that?

That's the whole point. Practically none in many States. Here is the situation in Alabama
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_the_United_States_by_state

And if you read the news you will see it is as major concession when Republicans consider banning devices that basically make machine guns legal currently.
Post edited at 18:54
balmybaldwin - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

I couldn't see any mention of a requirement to be a US citizen or have residency which I thought odd.

I think that list of laws works as a good proxy for how socially developed a state is, (and probably red/blue voting record too) - The shorter the entry the more backward the state
MG - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> I couldn't see any mention of a requirement to be a US citizen or have residency which I thought odd.

There are some loose federal laws about that.
jkarran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to wercat:
> what makes you think there aren't government agencies with the reach and knowhow to deliver updates for any given O/S en masse impersonating the normal source? Any agency that hasn't "wargamed" such a scenario isn't worth its salt

I'd be astonished if a few hadn't. Thing is as soon as one releases exploits at scale they're detectable and can be countered. Value is protected by ensuring the tools remain undetected, their use can only ever be limited either in time or scale of deployment.

> There are many analogies between what happens on the internet and other means of communication that have been used to deliver the unexpected packaged as the expected

Sure but there are also a lot of people with time, resources and motivation very interested in data security. I don't believe all our phones are compromised and constantly bleeding data. I do believe yours or mine very probably could be and would be under particular circumstances within or without UK law.
Jk
Post edited at 21:12
1
lithos on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:


> While most gun deaths are suicides most suicides aren't caused by guns.

assuming we are talking about USA, the data i can find from 2001,2003 and 2005 dsiagree and put firearms as cause for >50% of sucicide deaths
http://www.suicide.org/suicide-statistics.html

i just found 2015 stats putting it at 49.8% , 2014 at 49.93% ...... not most but dwarfing other methods
https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

Lion Bakes on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> I'd be astonished if a few hadn't. Thing is as soon as one releases exploits at scale they're detectable and can be countered. Value is protected by ensuring the tools remain undetected, their use can only ever be limited either in time or scale of deployment.

> Sure but there are also a lot of people with time, resources and motivation very interested in data security. I don't believe all our phones are compromised and constantly bleeding data. I do believe yours or mine very probably could be and would be under particular circumstances within or without UK law.

> Jk

WTF has this got to do with deaths from shootings?

garycrocker - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to baron:
It was pretty straight forward in Vegas. If there are enough people velocity and slug size counts more than accuracy.
jkarran - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

> WTF has this got to do with deaths from shootings?

Not a right lot but conversations drift and if you check you'll notice this particular bit of the conversation was between me and someone who's not a total throbber.
jk
1
baron - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to garycrocker:

Indeed.
baron - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to lithos:

Yes your right.
Can't think where I saw the figures that had other methods of suicide as being far greater than guns and can't find a link to whatever website I was on.
Sorry.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> This is actually logical when framed from the American perspective: guns are to protect you from the state as much as they are from your fellow man, and if the state is doing the background checks then you have pretty much signed away that power.

Yes but his whole point was that the very people who objct to all background checks regarding guns have no problem with the others listed.
SenzuBean - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> There's a difference between the alleged (sorry, a degree of healthy skepticism is required regarding leaked information) existence of a specific tool to compromise specific OS's on specific handsets and the assertion that all encrypted communication is compromised. That is unless you're claiming these surveillance tools are installed on all phones copying out all decrypted data traffic to surveillance agency servers 24/7. Mightn't someone have spotted the hack and the huge data leak by now were that the case? Far more likely valuable tools like that should they exist (and I agree they probably do given it's the obvious way to bypass diverse and robust encryption tools) would be deployed (and retrieved) with considerable circumspection and care. After all, it's not a lot of use once it's in an antivirus database and dissected in a trade magazine.

Your understanding is very flawed. The NSA/CIA have access to sophisticated to software than can flash your firmware - parts of the computer so low that antiviruses cannot touch them. You might as well have 'bad electricity' in your computer.

https://www.wired.com/2015/02/nsa-firmware-hacking/

> This of course all presupposes the current generation of encryption techniques and tools are as robust as we believe they are. History would suggest some caution is required when making that kind of assumption.

Again, you underestimate the NSA:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logjam_(computer_security)

The authors also estimated the feasibility of the attack against 1024-bit Diffie–Hellman primes. By design, many Diffie–Hellman implementations use the same pregenerated prime for their field. This was considered secure, since the discrete log problem is still considered hard for big-enough primes even if the group is known and reused. The researchers calculated the cost of creating logjam precomputation for one 1024-bit prime at hundreds of millions of USD, and noted that this was well within range of the FY2012 $10.5 billion U.S. Consolidated Cryptologic Program (which includes NSA). Because of the reuse of primes, generating precomputation for just one prime would break two-thirds of VPNs and a quarter of all SSH servers globally. The researchers noted that this attack fits claims in leaked NSA papers that NSA is able to break much current cryptography. They recommend using primes of 2048 bits or more as a defense or switching to Elliptic-curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH).[1]
Post edited at 04:50
SenzuBean - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> And that's a second one. To have multiple programs looking into vulnerabilities is one thing. To actually possess those capabilities is another. And even assuming the latter, they would need to actually be in possession of the phone.

No they don't - they have broken almost every router known under the sun. Connect your mobile to a compromised router, and then you're screwed. Your Android phone (and mine ) was possibly already compromised 2 years ago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagefright_(bug)
There are likely to be many more of these bugs in the code - and considering the massive budget of the NSA and their specific interest in collecting 0-days - it's naive to think they have not discovered more.

> It certainly seems odd to make such a fuss over public access to E2E encryption, if you already possess the means to reliably circumvent it.

Not really, they don't own all the data in the entire world. They probably need a lead of a few hours/days/weeks to fully infect a user. This ability is useless if they suddenly need information on a person previously of non-interest.
wercat on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

rather than science fiction it is often human factors which score - do it from inside
jkarran - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

I'm an electronic engineer, I'm well aware of where software resides in a computer and the process by which it gets there. I'm also well aware that the creators and testers of a device or others familiar with its intended data throughput would rapidly become curious we're it transmitting significantly more than expected. If a significant fraction of our devices were compromised and leaking in this way then it would be readily detectable in a number of ways. I agree the capability very likely exists but I disagree that it is currently deployed at scale.

I don't underestimate the capability of codebreakers, I specifically cautioned against complacency in assuming our cryptography is strong enough, it's proved time and again a costly mistake.
Jk
planetmarshall on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> I don't underestimate the capability of codebreakers, I specifically cautioned against complacency in assuming our cryptography is strong enough, it's proved time and again a costly mistake.

True, but there is no need to be excessively paranoid either. Most, perhaps all, significant breakthroughs in cryptanalysis have come about not through weaknesses in technology, but from human error. Enigma would never have been broken in a timely fashion had the operators stuck to the protocol. Modern exploits tend to come about through bugs and implementation errors and oversights which tend to be of an ephemeral nature - the exploit the FBI paid $1.3M+ for only worked for a particular handset, and a particular OS.

Eric9Points - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

Very true.

Thinking about it there is far more regulation surrounding car ownership than gun ownership in the US.

Weird.
elsewhere on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:
Who knows what your anti-virus picks up and phones home about?

http://uk.businessinsider.com/russian-hackers-nsa-kaspersky-lab-software-2017-10?r=US&IR=T


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