Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
Odysseus: Gun control and suicide: the death rate amongst teens and early 20's adults in this country is three tiems the national average, and the restruictive gun laws have been in place a lot longer, yet the suicide rate continues. A lot of deaths are teens or early 20's and cars at highh speed. Want to bet that not all of them are "accidents"?

  • 434 suicide deaths at ages 15 to 24 years were registered in Australia in 1995
  • Suicide accounted for 25 percent (n=350) of all male deaths and 17 percent (n=84) of all female deaths in this age group in 1995
  • Admission to hospital because of intentional self-injury is about 10 times as common as death due to suicide for young adults in Australia, and is more common for females than males.
  • The rate of suicide among males aged 15 to 24 in 1990 was about 3 times higher than the rate in 1960. The rate has not risen further since 1990.
  • Suicide rates for young Aboriginal males are higher than for non-Aboriginal males
  • Hanging and shooting are the commonest methods of suicide by young males; poisoning by solid or liquid substances and hanging are commonest for females.
  • The rate of suicide by means of hanging has risen greatly; shooting suicide has declined.
  • When countries for which suicide data are published by the World Health Organization are ranked according to rates for young males, Australia ranks in the highest third.



They couldnt get access to guns, so they hanged themselves instead. All gun control has done is change the method...the kids are still dying. Gun control has nothing to do with youth or other suicide, save in the method of their death.

Net effect of gun control as a tool to slow the suicide rate: NIL. Something the gun grabbers will never admit.
In Canada, a similar ban led to an increase in the number of suicides by jumping off of bridges and buildings. I do not know of any successful attempts at regulating building heights, or bans on so-called "assault bridges" (yes, there is such a thing, see below), but one can never truly be absurd enough to parody the thought process of Progressives.

Quote Originally Posted by ASquareDealer View Post
Not everyone who is to the left of Barry Goldwater thinks, feels and acts the same way or supports the same thing.
By the metrics of this site, I'd be considered a Liberal. But then, I have nothing against guns or the NRA and support guns only being kept out of the hands of those convicted of violent offenses. Otherwise, I quite like guns. I don't view gun owners as evil in any way, shape or form.

I don't think Mao, Chavez, Fidel or Che were good people or admirable in any way. They were bloody, ruthless revolutionaries and dictators who preferred the way of totalitarianism because they knew the public didn't truly support them. In a Democratic Republic, the people rule through representation, and that is the way it should be.

I believe things like the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage should probably be left to the states to decide.
The only issue with the state recognition of gay marriage (rather than the legality or illegality of it, which is not the issue, as there is no law forbidding two men or two women to have a ceremony, exchange rings or otherwise pretend to be married), is the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, which would compel all states to extend recognition to marriages performed in one state. This was the same situation that forced the states to accept the "quickie" no-fault divorces available in Nevada, prior to the adoption of more liberalized divorce laws throughout the country. One can argue the merits and consequences of no-fault divorce, but the existence of a single state in which no-fault was permitted with minimal residency requirements ended up imposing it on the rest of the states, regardless of their wishes. Similarly, states which issued marriage licenses to gay couples now had an argument for demanding that states in which gay marriages were not valid be compelled to accept their standard and provide the same benefits and legal recognition as they did, thus circumventing the legislatures and referenda. This is about as undemocratic as it gets, with a minority of states (or worse, a couple of judges in one or two states) imposing their will on the majorities of the states and on the people.

Quote Originally Posted by ASquareDealer View Post
I don't believe in an all consuming burecracy and government regulating everything to death, but I also don't believe in Laissez-Faire Capitalism. We shouln't be the USSR but neither should we be the Wild West.
Again, you're not looking at the big picture. The gradual elevation of mundane government matters to the federal level (in everything from education to law enforcement) has created a massive federal bureaucracy to deal with issues that the state and local governments can handle much more efficiently. The reason for this is what I refer to as the pistol vs. the missile analogy. If I want to get a 100% certainty of striking a target, I have to be within the effective range of the weapon that I am using. To strike a target with a pistol, I have to be within 50 meters. If I want to engage something further out with the same degree of certainty, I have to use a weapon with a greater complexity and greater payload. At 1,000 meters, that weapon is a sniper rifle, with a more complex targeting system and a heavier, more powerful bullet. At ranges of over a mile, it's artillery (which requires a forward observer, and even bigger bullets), and if it's across the continent, it's a ballistic missile or a drone (with a far more complex targeting system and a warhead capable of obliterating a target which I cannot see or otherwise engage directly until I have eyes on it). The farther away the target, the more complex the targeting system. Now, if I want to engage a person who claims to need a new pair of shoes, which is easier, buying the shoes for the guy next door, who I personally know and can confirm that he is working hard but going through a rough patch, or buying them for someone across the country, who I have never met, do not know, and cannot ascertain whether or not he really needs the shoes or is milking the system? The delivery systems for social services become more complex, and the payloads become greater, when you expand their reach across the continent. The simple purchase of a needed item at close range requires a bureaucrat who can oversee the delivery at a greater range, and a whole support mechanism for the bureaucracy at far greater ranges. Transcontinental welfare programs cost far more than local ones for that very simple reason. Transcontinental education puts unresponsive bureaucracies in charge of education decisions, rather than local school boards and parents, who have the greatest interest in the outcomes of those decisions. Transcontinental environmental laws supplant property owners and local governments with bureaucratic controls that are indifferent to the costs imposed locally.

Quote Originally Posted by ASquareDealer View Post
I believe in social programs, but only for those who actully need them. The main problem with some of our social programs is that they're stretched beyond what they were envisioned to be and have come to encompass more than they were ever intended to. Does that mean they should be entirely eliminated? I don't believe so, I just believe they need to be reformed.
But how do you reform a program which, by its very nature, must be more expensive and complex at the federal level, except by devolving it to the states?

Quote Originally Posted by ASquareDealer View Post
I am not anti-business nor pro-labor. I believe both big business and powerful labor, when working properly, benefit society, and I believe both need to be kept in check in a way that is beneficial to both the employer and employee. Anti-trust laws protect corporations by creating competition; Corporation helps society, an employee helps the corporation by doing the work, a union protects the rights, benefits and treatment of the employee--Simple, but that's the way it should be.
There are some fallacies here. First, anti-trust laws don't create competition, they regulate it, mostly for the benefit of politically connected corporations and the detrement of those who aren't connected. The most blatant recent example was the prosecution of Microsoft in the 90s, on behalf of companies that had lobbied the Clinton Administration for relief. In the case of the last major financial crisis, the large banks had been permitted to conduct mergers and acquisitions until they became "too big to fail" and ended up as wards of the state. The auto industry bailout was another example of government spending decades picking winners and losers, and then subsidizing the winners that it picked when they were no longer competitive. Second, unions do not protect the rights, benefits and treatment of the employee. Unions are cartels, just like OPEC, but the commodity that they seek to restrict is labor. If a company needed steel to build cars, would you accept it if a cartel within the steel industry colluded to raise the price, and then engaged in violent reprisals against those steel mills that didn't participate? Of course not. But when a union declares itself the sole representative of labor, and engages strikers, saboteurs and thugs to prevent free laborers from taking the jobs that they refuse to do, you don't see the same immorality at play, thanks in large part to the propaganda of unions and their enablers in the media.

Quote Originally Posted by ASquareDealer View Post
I view Liberalism as in a general sense, a desire to reform certain things in society seen as unpleasant, using the Federal Government to do so. Sometimes, big government projects do yield worthwhile results, for example the Interstate Highway System and the Moon landing or the Civil Rights Acts of the '60s. Sometimes, the federal government is indeed needed. Not for every answer, but there are some areas I believe the Federal government does it better than state or local governments. Look at Little Rock, Arkansas in the '50s.
The Interstate Highway System and the Moon Landings were the result of military competition between the US and other countries (The Highway System started out as a defense appropriation, and was sold as a means of rapidly mobilizing forces in the event of invasion or national emergency, the same justifications which were used to develop Germany's Autobahn prior to WWII). The Civil Rights Acts were the result of prior government failures to protect the rights of Americans. They were necessary, to be sure, but they would not have been so if the federal government had not acquiesced to the terror campaign of the KKK in the immediate post Civil War era, ending Reconstruction in return for an end to a return to relative normalcy. The subsequent segregation of the federal civil service (by that Progressive hero, Woodrow Wilson) and the refusal of Democratic administrations to defend African American rights, created the need for court intervention.