All-purpose gun legislation thread


Eh, car accidents actually DO in fact happen to a large percentage of our population.
Even today, deaths in car accidents is higher than deaths by shootings… and that’s WITH modern safety equipment. around 12 per 100k vs 10 per 100k for guns.

The number of accidents every year is in the millions, and we added safety mechanisms to reduce it.


According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, 37,461 people were killed in 34,436 crashes, an average of 102[1] per day.

More than 33,000 people die in firearm-related deaths in the United States every year, according to an annual average compiled from C.D.C. data.


Slowly. Then, all of the sudden.

Think back to gay rights over the last 20 years. That provides a pretty good example of a complete cultural shift on an issue, and it didn’t start with a bill in Congress.


Yeah, so see that thing I pointed out in that edit…

Even today, with modern safety equipment, you’re still more likely to die in a car crash than to a gun. As supported by your own source there.

But we don’t consider vehicular accidents to be some kind of crazy epidemic. Because it’s not.

In terms of linking it to modern safety equipment… vehicular deaths per capita used to be more than twice what they were now.


I’ve been in lots of fender benders. Those are not causes for national mourning. The body count is comparable either way, which I think is a significant point. In one case, it’s okay to take steps to do something about it; in the other case, DON’T TAKE OUR GUNS CUZ MURRICA

As I say, the culture is fucked.


It’s a legitimate public health concern. Neither more nor less. As gun control is. Also, of course, cars are necessary for our economy to function, whereas machines expressly designed to kill people are not. I again file that under ‘fucked culture.’


But here’s my larger point. If there’s literally nothing at all to be done, if we are Fated By Heaven to have orders-of-magnitudes more gun deaths than any other developed nation, as every Sober Political Analyst keeps insisting, then why are we even talking about it? Why even cover shootings in the news? Why have this thread? Let’s just shut our eyes and cover our ears. Now excuse me while I go shopping for armor-plated kindergarten backpacks.


But the fact that they’re comparable body counts highlights exactly why it’s really NOT a big deal.

While tragic on the individual level, it’s not something that’s actually gonna impact you.

Previously, vehicle deaths were more than twice what they are today… and that was a problem, and we implemented safety regulations to fix it.

But now? We consider cars pretty safe. No one is calling for us to dramatically change our safety regulations. Despite the fact that it’s statistically more likely for you to be killed in a car than by a gun.

Again, I’m not even saying that common sense laws are bad… I’m just pointing out that gun violence isn’t a thing which impacts you in any concrete fashion, if you’re like most Americans.

For cars, we get into literally millions and millions of car accidents every year. If gun violence occurred at the rate of car accidents, rather than car fatalities? Then it’d be a major issue. Then it would be concrete. You or someone you know would have been shot.

But that’s not the case. It’s simply not a concrete issue for most people. But gun ownership is a concrete issue for WAY more people.

And because of that, it’s not a good issue to campaign on for the left.


In the mean time, we’ve spent what $6 trillion (with a T) fighting terrorism.


There’s no big political push for increased car safety because, as far as I can tell, it’s a completely noncontroversial issue. Car safety, which can obviously get lots better, proceeds at the pace of improvements in technology, not at the pace of some do-or-die political struggle. Take the whole self-driving car thing. The main debate seems to be ‘is it practical?’ not “WILL IT TAKE AWAY OUR SACRED RIGHTS?”


For the past ten years, the per capita fatalities for cars has been unchanging. It’s not really improving at all.

And yet we consider them perfectly safe. No one’s really worried about it.

Because at their current level, you aren’t likely to die in a car accident. No one you know is likely to die in a car accident. It’s not an epidemic.

And the same goes for gun violence.

Again, all of this is beside the point.

The point here is that this IS NOT A WINNING ISSUE FOR YOU. That’s all it comes down to. You have better issues to campaign on. Act strategically.


If every other developed country in the world had a tenth, or a hundredth, as many car deaths as the U.S. does per capita, don’t you think it would make sense to study how they do it, and then emulate their approach? Or should we just say ‘nah, it’s good enough’ and write off the tens of thousands as cost of doing business?


And my point is that if the election of 2016 taught us anything, it’s that nobody fucking knows what is a winning issue until the votes are counted.


You’re missing the point.

It’s not that you can’t implement common sense laws.

It’s that this isn’t an issue which will lead to you winning elections.


We are discussing more than one thing here, so I may be missing one point to catch another.

And again, I’m at this point pretty much disenchanted with ‘realistic’ political wisdom, which among other things cost the Democrats the White House.


No man, that isn’t what cost the democrats the white house. That’s a mistake that you’re making.

Here, let me try to explain this some other way…

Ok, so you could make gun control into a powerful issue if you wanted. It’s not really a threat to most people. It’s not naturally a concrete issue. So how can you make it one that has that level of impact?

You could play it up like Trump played up racism and xenophobia.

You’d need to tie it to concrete, real fears that voters actually feel every day. Cause that’s what trump did. The idea that “the wall” got Trump elected is nonsense. That’s not even remotely true. What got Trump elected was two things: appealing to deep-seated, existing racism an xenophobia, as well as deep-seated, existing hatred of clinton, plus playing to the already held feelings that many old people on the right have about how they are suddenly getting criticized for doing what they always did.

Those things, racism, xenophobia, criticism for being “non-politically correct”? Those are real things. Those are things which already existed in the minds and hearts of millions of voters. They are things that those people encounter and felt every day.

Gun violence is not a thing like that for any significant number of people.

So, if you want to make it into an issue with the same impact, then you need to CREATE that level of fear and trembling. You need to make people constantly terrified of getting shot. You need to make it so that fear of gun violence (if not actual gun violence) is a thing that touches the hearts and minds of millions of voters, every single day.

I’m not sure how exactly you’d DO that… and I’m pretty sure that however you did it would be terrible… but that’s the only way to make it work. That’s the only way to approach the level of concrete emotional impact that the right can get on that issue, simply by virtue of the fact that there are millions of gun owners.

And so the net here is that this is a bad issue for you.

Why? Because there are a multitude of OTHER issues which already impact normal people on a daily basis, which you can make strong platforms about. Healthcare is one of those things. That’s a dramatically better issue for you. It already impacts everyone. There are already millions of people who are feeling angst on a daily basis about the uncertainty created with our existing system.

Do you see the logic of what I’m presenting? You already have other, better issues to campaign on.


If I had told you in 2014 that a platform of building a wall to keep out Mexicans, arguing for protectionist economic policies, winking at racists, and urging rapprochement with Vladimir Putin, would be a path to the Republican nomination and then the White House, would you have believed me? Not only are many of those policies completely counterintuitive to the political conventional wisdom of the time, some are merely phantoms, sheer prestidigitation.

Your standard of what counts as ‘concrete’ is fairly arbitrary. Consider abortion. Nobody knows a fetus who got aborted, so essentially it’s not a concrete issue. Yet it’s an incredibly powerful political motivator. People don’t oppose abortion because it affects their day to day lives but because, on principle, they think it is murder. Or because it aligns with what their pastor tells them, which amounts to a tribalist connection.

Reality, at least up to a point, is what we make it. There needs to be a groundswell for legislators to surf, but on the other hand, the right politician can also galvanize the groundswell. It’s a complex interplay, only easily unpacked after the fact.

So I reassert my skepticism about what counts for ‘hard nosed political realism’ in the current landscape. Neither, by the way, does legislation need to be either/or. You don’t need to omit gun control just so you can campaign on health care. And tiptoeing around, fearing to piss off the righties, has not of late been a winning strategy for liberals.


I specifically addressed this.


The cars vs guns comparison didn’t make much sense really. We pretty much NEED cars. Eliminate almost every gun in America and no one is actually harmed.


You aren’t getting the point, dude.

And you are also incorrect, in that there are millions of people in America who actually use guns.