Guns and American Dystopia

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by Ella S., Jun 2, 2022.

  1. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    I no longer wish to derail the other thread. I figure, if I'm political now, I might as well go all the way and clarify what I see.

    In America, we are not really a democracy. We are an oligarchy run by a select few elites. Now, when I say "elite" here I'm referring to Wallstreet tycoons, Silicon Valley billionaires, the Department of Homeland Security, and the CIA, mostly. I'm not using it as a codeword for some sort of New World Order, because, in my opinion, that is absurd.

    I'm also not referring to elected officials. As far as I can tell, in America, whoever gets elected does so thanks to being sponsored by megacorporations and private interest groups. They're all puppets. Most elections go to whoever spent the most money on advertising, and they almost always go to either the Democratic or Republican candidate. Both party systems are actually quite chummy behind closed doors, despite their outward charade of antagonism, and have many of the same investors; they also choose their own candidates.

    So Americans don't have a lot of control over our elected officials and the control we have doesn't really matter because our day-to-day life is more at the mercy of our employers and local law enforcement (with local law enforcement itself often being sponsored by private interest groups, just like elected officials)

    The largest issue facing America today is income inequality, also known as the growing class divide. It's been doing nothing but getting worse for nearly a century now. Do you want to know what this severe inequality looks like?

    Look to Japan's "black companies" and the "slaves of Dubai." Even in the US, places like Detroit, Los Angeles, and Chicago have been seen as notorious examples of this divide. It's not pretty and it's getting worse. Given that most billionaires came from a family of millionaires, we're beginning to approach the ancient model where a bloodline aristocracy rules over a population of slaves, which we have seen throughout most of human history. We're regressing back into the dystopias of the past, this time fed by an even greater gap caused by advanced technologies like unmanned drones and mass surveillance

    What are the common proposed solutions to this divide? Policy changes like raising minimum wage and tax reform. Which, by the way, have been proposed for decades now and have had no real progress. Why? Because the policy makers are puppets for megacorporations, so it's not in their interests to undermine their own power. Trying to enact policy changes to prevent class divide is like asking a serial killer nicely to not murder you. It's not going to work. They don't care.

    What are the actual, real-world solutions to undercutting the growing power of the elite? Undermining local law enforcement, unionizing, and mutual aid structures. Of course, while we're feeding the homeless, we might become the homeless, but this is the best route I see right now.

    So why is there another recent surge of anti-gun propaganda coming from the corporate-owned media lately? It's very simple. After the 2020 riots and the Jan 6 failed insurrection, the elites have suddenly realized that the people have more power than they thought. We terrified them. So they want to get rid of our guns. They will probably succeed, too, because the propaganda is only meant to make the general public accept their policy changes when they come, not to influence voters since our votes don't really matter.

    Don't get me wrong; yes, getting rid of our guns will reduce mass shootings. This is incredibly short-sighted, though. There are bigger problems going on that we need our own weapons for. Once the elites have a monopoly on all of the weaponry, then we've already lost. There will be nothing left for us to do to prevent them from consolidating even more power, which they are already dead-set on doing.

    And once America becomes a corporatocracy, the rest of Europe will follow close behind because we will take NATO down with us and our presence in other countries will essentially become a form of capitalist colonialism.
     
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  2. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    @RJM and @badger, our current access to firearms allows us to not rely on police institutions as much and, on top of that, it acts as a deterrent against government overreach in the same way that nukes can deter war due to implied MAD.

    While they are frequently used in self-defense, most of the time they don't even need to be drawn. Merely knowing that someone is armed is enough to dissuade hostile confrontation with them. Our police officers are even taught to recognize people who are concealed carrying and to then switch to cooperative, de-escalation techniques rather than hostile ones.

    That's why we need guns and it's also why, if our ownership of guns is working, we shouldn't need to use them. Except, unfortunately, we do need to use them in places like Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles, as mentioned above.
     
  3. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    @Ella S.

    I’m sorry, I don’t see a situation arising where Americans are required to defend their homes and farms with military weapons against the USA army and police. By the time it gets to that, America will be a despotic state no longer relevant to Europe or Nato. Europe and the UK are not as dependent on US goodwill as some Americans might like to think.

    The Constitutional right to bear arms was for a frontier situation where the USA was still taking shape. It was for the days of single-shot muzzle-loaders. It was never meant to allow juvenile psychos to abuse 21st Century military weapons to murder children and innocent bystanders.

    The army and the police are strictly trained in the use of these weapons. I believe the age of ownership should go up to 21, that background checks should be required and that automatic weapons and devices allowing weapons to be modified to become automatic, should be banned.

    Just my thoughts as an outsider, but as one who has grown up on a farm with guns from a young age and done military conscription during a bush war, and lived in Zimbabwe and Mocambique where the police and army generals are paid by corrupt dictators to terrify the people into submission. The first step of course, is to confiscate weapons from the civilian populace.

    As I said, by the time that situation ever arrives, America will effectively already cease to be ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2022
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  4. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Some say it was an attempt to overturn a rigged election, others that it was an attempt to overturn a good election. From your comments @Ella S. it appears you go with the rigged election scenario?
     
  5. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    Clearly, you didn't read anything I wrote, because this has virtually no relevance to what I'm saying.

    This is a myth. Not only did accurate automatic weapons exist during the time of the founding fathers, such as carbines and revolvers, and they pushed for the rights to bear these weapons, but the constitution has nothing to do with what technologies were available.

    The second amendment was specifically for the sake of putting military power in the hands of the people.

    Citizens are also strictly trained in the proper use of these weapons and I disagree that automatic weapons should be banned.

    Part of the point is to prevent that time from ever arriving, but I think this also betrays your own tacit endorsement of your government's current ethical violations. I can't argue against your values, but I don't hold them.

    Absolutely not, no.

    I disagree completely with the attempt made by racist authoritarians to violently enforce their neo-fascism onto this country, but I disagree with it because it was authoritarian and neo-fascist, not because it was an insurrection.

    I also think the idea of overturning a rigged election is nonsensical on the face of it. The elections aren't rigged because they don't have to be. In the larger scheme of things, the elections don't even matter.

    I am an anarchist; I'm in the complete opposite corner of the political compass from the Jan 6 rioters. If you've taken to comparing anyone who disagrees with you to literal fascists, I might remind you that the actual, historical fascists were quick to ban civilian firearms.
     
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  6. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Ah no, I was just asking your position.

    So then @Ella S.
    After all is said, exactly who do Americans expect to have to aim their automatic weapons at?
     
  7. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    They are not required to defend against home invaders, muggers, store robbers and so on, because these criminals do not usually carry military weapons. Ordinary people prefer and are required to leave fighting between drug gangs etc, to the authorities. Is the need for assault weapons greater than the damage they do in the wrong hands?

    By the way, I strongly disagree that civilians are highly trained in their use, when anyone over 18 can just walk into a shop and buy one?*

    *With a couple of minimal conditions such as a 48hr waiting period, and sometimes a quick gun course?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
  8. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Any 'corporatocracy' would need support of the armed forces. They would have to sweeten the generals. If the army turns against the leaders, it's over for the leaders -- anywhere anytime in history.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Interesting.

    It's a shame they do not go with de-escalation first. In discussions between US and UK style policing – by police – it was noted by both sides that the US method is generally to suppress the situation, whereas the UK approach is to de-escalate. It's noted that the numbers of those with disabilities (notably neurological) killed by the police is significant because they do not respond well in high pressure situations.

    Once you've escalated, it's harder to reverse the flow, as it were. I reckon they de-escalate in the face of compliance.
     
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  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Reading your text, with which I agree, in parts, I think most western countries would say the same of themselves.

    I would also factor in the power of the media (as a corporate), in that govts. have to tread warily around the likes and dislikes of a few individuals – in the UK it's Murdoch and the 'red top' (populist) newspapers who constantly push a right-wing, jingoistic message, promoting racism, etc.

    That may be so in the US. Not so in the UK. Here the elite are dug in deep and stay out of the media limelight. So all this kind of unrest is just grist to the mill, as it tricks the people into thinking they have a say. I wonder if there is a dug-in-deep equivalent in the US?

    The trouble is, those mobs who rioted in 2020 and failed at insurrection are so, so easy to lead by the nose. The dug-in-deep can make them dance when they want, and make them quiet when they want .... sheesh, I'm beginning to sound like a conspiracy nut here.

    The point is the noisy mob are like kids – easily led, quick to tire, quick to be distracted. I very much doubt the power-brokers are in fear of them at all.

    Your notions about weaponry I find somewhat challenging.

    If there is any such insurrection, the US will end up like post-Soviet Russian, run by the most ruthless for themselves.
     
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  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy Well-Known Member

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    A sort of Shoot First Don't Ask Questions Later M.O.
     
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  12. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    I have skimmed the replies above me.

    I have taken some time to think about this topic on my own time and this thread in general and I think I have come to a conclusion that might be rather controversial here.

    I don't think there is a right answer to this question. At least, not from a Utilitarian standpoint. Even taking my Utilitarian bias into account, no position advocated for here can substantiate itself through Utilitarian reasoning.

    There's one major reason for that; It is incredibly difficult to control for and calculate indirect effects of specific policy changes. I think this is true for a great number of political issues in general. One could make Utilitarian arguments either way, but said arguments are substantiated only by speculation. There is no decent data to tell us whether a ban on guns will be beneficial or harmful to the US in the long run.

    It could be the case that the US is comparable to other countries who have enacted gun bans, but the last time I looked at these statistics, there does not seem to be any significant difference in incidents of homicide in countries after gun bans. The only thing that is reduced is gun violence, but it seems other forms of violence become more common after such bans.

    For instance, in the UK and Ireland, terrorist attacks continue, but instead of mass shootings there are fertilizer bombings and people driving their cars into crowds at a higher rate than in the US.

    Again, banning guns also reduces accidental death by firearm, however it is difficult to tell whether it genuinely reduces the total number of fatal accidents per year or not.

    It seems like a genuinely difficult topic to measure objectively. I have found both pro- and anti-gun stances, with a variety of nuanced middle ground, proposed by various ethicists specializing in Utilitarianism, as well as by a variety of statisticians. It seems that even the experts are a bit confounded on this one.
     
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  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    When I was healthy I would "ranger" at burns (sanctioned events which follow the ten principles)

    Rangers "police" the event. When we encountered a situation we asked ourselves questions... is there a reason for me to get involved...will getting involved improve things....de-escalate was always the thing.
     
  14. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Government overreach? Would you be prepared to point guns at government employees and officials?
    Would you be prepared to point guns at your State militia, your own American soldiers?

    As for self-defence I would definitely suggest that for home security, modern windows and doors are very hard to get through quickly.....our police actually have trouble in smashing down modern pvc doors even with specialised rams, in fact they have just started to use specialised chain saws for door access. :)

    We are allowed to own guns in the UK, but the idea that military assault 'fast-fire' weapons with large magazines are needed for domestic use is just very very strange to us.
     
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  15. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    Yes, if I thought doing so would benefit the greater good. I am prepared to do literally anything as long as it benefits the greater good, because I am a consequentialist.

    It's not about self-defense. It's about having a civilian-regulated militia.

    It's like a separation of powers. Judges and cops are supposed to work to correct one another, not just collude. The military doesn't legislate new laws.

    By having a civilian militia, we have another system of checks-and-balances on our government, one which is more direct.

    In order to have a civilian militia, one needs military equipment, otherwise civilians can't really check-and-balance the military and law enforcement.

    Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that a militia must be completely unregulated. The checks-and-balances go both ways. Completely banning them from having military equipment, however, would be like if congress passed a law that police officers are no longer allowed to arrest people.
     
  16. 'Amir Alzzalam

    'Amir Alzzalam Šayṭānist

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    Where and what 'civilian militia' do we have? Do you mean a bunch of gunslinging pseudo-privileged Ronins playing Cowboys and Indians?
     
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  17. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    No, that's the police, but I can see the confusion.
     
  18. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    OK, I accept what you say, Ella; but if and when Americans are prepared to shoot their own soldiers and law enforcers then that would be a rather bad day for your country.

    Ah....OK...... so you are in a local militia, I'm guessing. Maybe that's a bit different to an untrained, unqualified, uninsured householder pointing/shooting a fast-fire assault rifle at a trespasser, or whatever.

    I wonder how many people are killed in error by civilians each year?
     
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  19. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    The President is elected by the people. The army and police are loyal and answerable to the President. There is a chance every four years to elect another President. To date no President has overthrown the constitution to hold onto power after the people have voted him out. He would require support of the military to pull it off.

    A successful coup would need support from the generals. In case of a split between generals, a civil war would result.

    In no case would a civilian militia be able to stand against the military, if such a situation were to occur, imo

    In a coup, the generals hold the real power?

    edited ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2022
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  20. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    I guess that the State militias are vaguely similar to our Territorial Army, although its name has been changed.

    Maybe if a person belonged to a State militia with regular training then an assault rifle would probably make sense, but any other person owning these is just nuts, imo.

    But Congress won't legislate imo because for Republican politicians that might be their end ..
     
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