What the National Rifle Association has in common with homebirth midwifery

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Another day, another senseless gun tragedy:

She had just put her 9-month-old down for a nap, turned on cartoons for the older kids and was headed for the dishwasher when she heard a strange “pop” come from the bedroom of the Missouri home.

Alexis Wiederholt, 26, said that as she rushed to investigate the noise, her 5-year-old son appeared and said something that didn’t make any sense to her in the moment.

“I’m sorry, Mom. I shot Corbin.”

Weiderholt ran past to the pack-and-play where Corbin, her always-smiling youngest, should have been resting peacefully.

“I walked in and there was my baby, lying there, bleeding,” the young mother told NBC News, her voice cracking as she described the Monday morning scene.

“I had just hugged him in my arms five minutes before that.”

What had happened?

In what police have said was a tragic accident, the 5-year-old had gotten hold of his grandfather’s .22 caliber Magnum revolver and fired a shot that struck Corbin in the head, mortally wounding him.

As she grieves for her baby and worries about the future of her eldest son, whose name is being withheld by NBC News, Wiederholt said her loss should be a warning to others to protect children from firearms.

How many babies have to die before we stand up to the National Rifle Association, the organization that thinks gun “rights” are more important than whether people, even babies, live or die? The NRA, the premier American lobbying organization, opposes any and all safety standards for guns.

Sound familiar?

It should. It’s a lot like the homebirth midwifery organizations that I write about. What do they have in common:

1. It’s always somebody else fault.

It doesn’t matter who dies, how many die, at whose hands they die, and as a result of which guns they die, the NRA and gun advocates insist that the guns weren’t at fault; the people were. Just like homebirth advocates, who can rationalize death at homebirth by insisting that it wasn’t the fact that the baby was born at home that led to the death, it was a “rare” complication that no one could have foreseen, gun advocates are forever insisting that it wasn’t the guns that killed those innocent people, it was one of those “rare” irresponsible gun owners.

2. Lies about the risks and benefits.

Just as homebirth advocates are forever jabbering that hospital interventions kill as many (or more!) babies as homebirth, gun advocates are forever jabbering that guns save as many (or more!)people from bad guys as innocents who are killed accidentally or on purpose by gun violence. Both groups are lying. While guns may rarely protect someone from the putative bad guy breaking into a home, that those rare instances are is dwarfed by the number of innocents killed is the supreme understatement.

And when was the last time citizen ownership of guns prevented a totalitarian government takeover (ostensibly the purpose of the right to bear arms)? Never.

3. The world’s slipperiest slopes.

Mention safety standards to homebirth advocates, and they reflexively howl that the next step will be banning all homebirths. Mention safety restrictions to gun advocates, and they reflexively howl that the next step will be banning all guns.

4. But, but, but … my rights!!!!!!

Homebirth advocates insist that women have an unrestricted “right” to homebirth. Gun advocates insist they have an unrestricted right to guns. It’s in the Constitution, doncha know? Well the right to free speech is in the Constitution, too, and we put restrictions on that (you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater if there is no fire) SPECIFICALLY to protect innocent people. Political rights aren’t absolute, not for free speech and not for guns.

Curiously, this rights talk never extends to the right of homebirth mothers to receive medical care that isn’t deadly, or the right of innocent children to avoid death from gun violence.

But, but, but … I want it!!!!

Homebirth midwives like practicing without safety restrictions. It’s more fun that way! Gun rights advocates like amassing mini armories. It’s fun!

Guess what? It’s not all about you and what you think is fun. Society owes its protection to the weakest and most vulnerable among us, our children. That means we owe them homebirth safety regulations, and we owe them gun restrictions so that we prevent not only homebirth deaths, but gun tragedies like we have witnessed in the last few weeks (the 5 year old killing his 9 month old brother; the 2 year old shooting his mother to death in the store) and tragedies like we have witnessed in the last few years, including the never ending parade of school slaughters.

How many babies have to die before we stand up to special interest groups like homebirth midwives and the National Rifle Association, which put their “rights” to entertain themselves above the right of children to grow up?

  • Ashley Hill

    This isn’t a raging liberal, she’s a raging lunatic. I’m a liberal who will be getting my LTC at the end of the month. I’m also in school to be a Certified Nurse Midwife. She’s absolutely insane to think midwives do home births without regard to safety, just as she’s insane to obviously believe that there’s no such thing as responsible gun ownership.

    • Heidi

      You do liberally throw around the word insane.

  • Faith

    You’ve got to be a raging liberal.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Proudly!! Most great Americans whom I admired were the raging liberals of their times.

  • PaulSevere

    “…when was the last time citizen ownership of guns prevented a totalitarian government takeover?” August 1940, right after squashing France, when the Viennese paperhanger contemplated overrunning tiny, surrounded Switzerland. The Swiss army estimated that a single Nazi regiment could take Berne, the capital. But Hitler KNEW every man had a rifle, and Switzerland remained free. January, 1942, when General Tojo wanted to invade the United States. “There will be a rifle behind every blade of grass”, cautioned Admiral Yamamoto. 1991, when Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia, Milosevic tried to crush them. His tanks were stopped by Slovenia’s armed citizens.

    • yugaya

      “1991, when Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia, Milosevic tried to crush them. His tanks were stopped by Slovenia’s armed citizens.

      Slovenians, well known for their love of arms LOLOLOLOLOL.

      In 1991., had Milosevic wanted to keep Slovenia from seceding, the army forces at his disposal outnumbered the entire population of Slovenia. Thus, a handful of “Slovenia’s armed citizens” didn’t do anything really important/significant to contribute towards the independence. The siege was a political stand off, real wars that were planned to be fought were alredy beginning elsewhere.

      I suggest that you stop using Slovenia as reinforcement of your trigger happy argumentation, except when your intention is to produce bouts of uncontrolled laughter among locals and people really informed on such distant places – in that case it will earn you solid points. :))))

  • pwesley

    When we were pregnant & choosing a birth place, we asked a *very* important question (that Dr Amy doesn’t want you to know): What is your rate of intervention?

    That includes emergency procedures, inductions, C-sections, etc. The *best* hospital in our area was 67% (with a C-Section rate of roughly 30%). The natural clinic we eventually chose was 0.3% total intervention rate.

    So to compare … 670 in 1,000 interventions via hospital birth, vs. 3 in 1,000 interventions via natural birth. That’s insane! Make no mistake, Dr Amy’s positions are anti-nature AND anti-science.

    I don’t have an opinion on home births, I believe natural birthing clinics beat both hospitals & home births. But based on this blogs (and the “selective” information it provides, poking fun at women for thinking they have rights, etc)… I’d pick a voodoo witch doctor at home over Dr Amy at her hospital.

    • Daleth

      What is your definition of “intervention”? I’m interested in that because you clearly, but inexplicably, assume all interventions are bad.

      By the way, did you also ask each provider “What is your rate of perinatal and neonatal death? What is your rate of stillbirth? What is your rate of maternal and neonatal morbidity?”

      • yugaya

        They do c-sections in natural clinics? Where?

      • pwesley

        @ Daleth – Birthing clinic was zero & zero. Hospital mortality rates were low (less than 1 in 1,000). Not my definition, health department provides this.

        I “clearly & inexplicably”…? Gosh you assume a LOT. I find broad sweeping irrational generalizations like this quite common on these “skeptics” (read “cynics”) blogs. Somehow there’s been an Orwellian shift on the word “skeptic” where it now means cynical apologist for the mainstream (not someone who questions, and tries to be better). Anyway, in my book, the ideal birth place has a staff capable of handling complications but maintains a goal of using the least invasive interventions. Options are plentiful – every complication doesn’t boil down to C-Section. The ideal birth has no complications or interventions (this should be fairly obvious?? maybe that’s just me??), and somehow midwives often beat the pants off hospitals & OB’s in this.

        A low intervention rate is not Dr Amy’s goal. I find this fascinating & also extremely disturbing, that people like Dr Amy support policies which actively look for excuses to intervene, then shut down mothers and their wishes, while denying basic medical and human rights (like consent, full disclosure, freedom of conscience, transparency, etc). Do OB’s disclose, for example, all the pain, the sometimes excruciatingly long recovery time, & potential permanent damage, from the systemic overuse of episiotomies? Or is that one of those moments where Dr Amy laughs at the stupid mother (after all, who does this mother think she is??? she doesn’t have a medical degree!!) and start cutting anyway.

        @ Demoducus – was hoping it was obvious I was referring to an absurd fiction. Replace voodoo with Grimhilde, Dr. Facilier or something like that. My deepest apologies – I am remiss for not being up-to-date on politically correct nomenclature within the early-20th century Haitian anthropological studies community.

        @ Yugaya – In event of emergency, natural birth clinic transfers you to a nearby hospital. Expecting mothers should have a birth plan (whether or not having a natural birth), and should think about (or ask about) contingencies well in advance. Natural clinics are equipped for most contingencies, but not surgery. And of course each clinic is different, I’m not making any blanket recommendations (like Dr Amy, who seems to believe that ALL hospitals everywhere are ALWAYS better than those idiot midwives). That would be irresponsible & highly unethical to make sweeping generalizations like that, I wouldn’t do that, but then again I’m not an OB.

        • yugaya

          “In event of emergency, natural birth clinic transfers you to a nearby hospital. ”

          In that case your numbers are false, you cannot compare natural clinics and hospitals based on interventions that are done in one type of facility only.

          Also, since you like to compare numbers: “The ideal birth has no complications or interventions”.

          Death rate in completely natural, completely intervention free childbirth is 1000 – 1500 dead mothers per 100 000 births.

          Ideal???

          • Nick Sanders

            I believe “ideal” is meant in the Platonic sense. You know, the perfect imaginary thing that will never exist in the world.

          • yugaya

            If only that was the case, then we would be having a nice debate on metaphysics of perfection instead of fighting off zealots who claim that this “ideal”, intervention-free birth is a) real and b) should be the norm.

          • pwesley

            The stat is registered where the intervention was initiated. Out of 1,000 births, 3 get some sort of intervention (which may or may not end up at the hospital, may or may not end up in a C-section). Frankly, the chasm between the two was so wide, I didn’t need to know the details of the complications.

            Again I’m not making generalizations for all natural birth centers, I’ve heard midwife horror stories too. I’m saying, don’t rely on some (possibly outdated) international statistic to make a decision about your local options. Do some research (opposite recommendation of Dr Amy, who says, don’t try to think for yourself, just shut up & do what I say).

            I said the ideal birth has no complications or interventions. I did *not* say the ideal birth ends in death LOL. I also did not say that’s the only way to birth. I think you’re trying to be cutesy, I mean, your statement is so absurd, that’s treading so close to “troll” territory. I’m doubting your sincerity in a meaningful exchange of any kind.

            Are you getting your numbers from Dr Amy, or somewhere similar? In a single year, I doubt there are that many completely natural, intervention-free births in any country, anywhere in the world. Like, out in the woods somewhere? Are these jungle babies? No midwife or nurse or anything? These are cases where intervention was suggested & available, then turned down?

            What a strange (and probably useless) statistic. I find that quite common, someone will take a statistic from the 1970’s, like mothers giving birth in rice fields in Vietnam, and imply it’s equally applicable to Orange County or something like that.

            One example of what I’m talking about are the statistics from “The Farm” (commune) in Tennessee. The midwives there perform all the births (and most of the pediatric care) for a huge geographic chunk, including neighboring Amish communities. They eat organic, don’t vaccinate, have natural births, and their statistics are amazing. Their rates of birth intervention, autism, communicable disease, infant & maternal mortality, are nearly zero. Any serious scientist (or a *real* skeptic) would say these type of phenomena are worthy of further inquiry (not try to shut people down for asking questions & attempting to open dialogue, like you & Dr Amy).

          • Nick Sanders

            I’d like to see these alleged statistics.

          • Young CC Prof

            The Farm’s mortality rate is not near zero. They lie about their statistics and no one calls them on it. And please don’t quote those tired old lies about the Amish. In fact, their children suffer from the same problems as anyone else’s, plus a few unique genetic disorders thanks to their small tightly knit population.

          • Ash

            Fall 2014, a woman attempted to have a baby at the Farm. During labor, the woman was transported to the hospital. C-section, mom survived but the baby did not. The staff at the hospital was unable to revive the baby. The photos of the baby and family are much like the Hurt by Homebirth website.

          • yugaya

            “I said the ideal birth has no complications or interventions. I did *not* say the ideal birth ends in death LOL. ”

            Well, it does end in death at a rate that is unacceptable even “in the jungle” nowadays, and “my numbers” are unlike yours, courtesy of most recent WHO estimate, so not skewed or cherry picked in order to make my points.

            You call that ideal. I call it a hundred times more lethal than the birth in my country currently with all of its uneccessary interventions.

            ” Like, out in the woods somewhere? Are these jungle babies?”

            Careful now, your cultural bigotry is starting to show.

            And there really is no need to type out such long pretend-replies, I labeled clearly what the rate I cited represents – death rate in completely natural, completely intervention free childbirth – ideal birth according to you, so ideal that you added condescending disbelief that we are not sharing your opinion on how perfect intervention free birth is: ” (this should be fairly obvious?? maybe that’s just me??)”.

            To use your own words: ” I think you’re trying to be cutesy, I mean, your statement (on ideal birth) is so absurd, that’s treading so close to “troll” territory. I’m doubting your sincerity in a meaningful exchange of any kind.”

          • pwesley

            @ Yugaya – Yup, your true colors come out. Just trolling, trying to bully any alternative opinion off the board. You folks like to hide behind WHO, CDC, etc, but when I look up what you’re quoting, it ~never~ says what you say. You can’t hold your own in an intelligent conversation, so you start name-calling (bigot), flaming, etc.

            Every single thing you say is misquoting me – but I’m supposed to believe your statistics, you can’t even get a single sentence straight! LOL, this board is so cluttered with sloppy thinking, like a bunch of drunks droning on at the bar, I’m not sure where to begin. I didn’t say all natural births are perfect LOL. I didn’t say all natural births are intervention-free. I didn’t say “completely intervention free” LOL. I said the ideal birth is one without complications or interventions, and you can’t even agree on this basic point (i.e., fewer emergencies are ideal; fewer episiotomies are ideal; etc). I did not say, avoid intervention at all costs LOL. By the way, this objective is directly from the American Academy of Pediatrics. So no discussion is possible from this point forward. You win, be proud of yourself, you’ve successfully chased an alternative view off this board.

            @ Young CC – And how do you know this? Where’s your study/proof? And I didn’t say ~anything~ about the Amish community except that midwives from the Farm (non-Amish) serve them. I’m not even sure what tired old lies you’re talking about. Geez, I just don’t know where to begin with you folks, generalizations, misquoting, filling in the blanks…this is not just uncivil & unethical, it’s ~extremely~ unscientific. Sloppy thinking. So you’re saying there’s a grand conspiracy among the Farm midwives, the surrounding communities, the county health department, and everyone who collects statistics? I just don’t understand the disdain. For pregnant mothers looking for information, I hope they see the true colors represented on this site.

          • yugaya

            ” I did not say, avoid intervention at all costs LOL.”

            You said that no interventions is ideal. . If no interventions is ideal (what you said), then one ought to avoid them at all costs to get closer to that ideal outcome of childbirth.

            Can you please cite the source that disproves either the number I quoted, or that is is the most recent one, or the source from where it was taken, or what it stands for?

            The rice field piece link: http://gthemidwife.com/2014/03/02/in-my-day-we-gave-birth-in-the-rice-fields/

          • Daleth

            Here are some recent, American numbers for you. This study looked at EVERY SINGLE BIRTH IN AMERICA from 2007-09 that involved a low-risk baby (singleton, vertex, and weighing at least 2500g/5.51 pounds). So, almost 10.5 million births. It broke the data down by location of birth (home, birthing center or hospital) and who attended (doctor, midwife or “other”).

            Here are the death rates for babies:

            Home births without a midwife: 18.2/10,000
            Home births with midwives: 13.2/10,000
            Birthing-center births with midwives: 6.3/10,000
            Hospital births with midwives: 3.1/10,000
            Hospital births with doctors: 5.4/10,000

            http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378%2813%2901155-1/fulltext

          • yugaya

            ” I find that quite common, someone will take a statistic from the 1970’s, like mothers giving birth in rice fields in Vietnam, and imply it’s equally applicable to Orange County or something like that.”

            There was one lay midwifery buffoon/blog who actually cited an example of women giving birth in rice fields as ideal. I’ll try to link it up later because it kind of perfectly proves how wrong you are.

          • Elizabeth A

            The stat is registered where the intervention was initiated. Out of
            1,000 births, 3 get some sort of intervention (which may or may not end
            up at the hospital, may or may not end up in a C-section). Frankly, the
            chasm between the two was so wide, I didn’t need to know the details of
            the complications.

            So if things are clearly going wrong, the birth center can just load the patient into an ambulance and wash their hands, secure in the knowledge that whatever complications and interventions result, they aren’t on *their* statistics. Brilliant.

            And does the hospital, as is the common habit of hospitals, take all the patients, regardless of risk level? While the birth center, in common with many birth centers, refuses all but the lowest risk patients?

            And what’s an intervention, anyway? A heplock placed in case of emergency? IV fluids? Effective treatment for pain?

        • Daleth

          We all agree that the ideal birth has no complications. I think where we differ is that you seem to think the ideal birth SETTING is a place where it’s impossible to do any of the quote-unquote “interventions” that are needed when complications arise. Whereas to my mind, the ideal birth setting is one that is relaxing and supportive of the mother–AND staffed and equipped such that in emergencies, every “intervention” under the sun is immediately available.

          And you still haven’t defined “interventions.” The reason the definition matters is because most of the things natural childbirth advocates call “interventions” are simply things that midwives are not trained and/or not allowed to do, such as administering an epidural, using forceps or vacuum extraction, doing a c-section, etc.

          Which means that BY DEFINITION, any center operated by midwives is automatically going to have an exceptionally low intervention rate. **Not because they’re better at helping women safely give birth,** but because they are not CAPABLE of doing most types of “interventions.”

    • demodocus’ spouse

      I’m pretty sure that referring to a traditional healer a witch doctor is derogatory. And my classmate, who was a practitioner, says they prefer “vodun”

  • mlee952
  • mlee952
  • TexLiberty

    You realize that the “slippery slope” is a fallacy, right?

  • mlee952

    cops kill lots more people than non-cops; they break into the wrong house and throw grenades into baby cribs.

    • Taysha

      How does that invalidate any of the previous arguments?

      • mlee952

        take the guns away from cops

        • Taysha

          Make them accountable for use. Easy peasy.

          Reductum ad absurdum is overused.

      • mlee952

        This article claims to want to reduce violence. Did the author mean to suggest that cops should not have guns and grenades?

        • Taysha

          Holding cops accountable for their use of guns will certainly reduce violence.
          Holding people accountable tends to have that effect.

  • mlee952

    show me the law that says you cannot yell “Fire”.

  • mlee952

    doctors want to protect their cartel from competition

    • Nick Sanders

      I have read some dumb things lately, but this takes the cake.

    • Taysha

      Cartel? Have you even met doctors?

      • mlee952

        American Medical Association (cartel) wants to make home birth illegal to protect doctors from competition

        • Taysha

          Except for the fact that most women labor under the care of CNMs in hospitals and nurses. I don’t see how homebirth cuts into the profits of pap smears, cyst removal, care, and oh so many more things OBs do.
          Unless, of course, you think the only thing OBs do is deliver babies. Because in that case you know nothing of female biology.

        • Amazed

          Have you ever gone to a gyn? Like, an ob/GYN? The part that makes the huge piece of these doctors’ income? Or do you only resort to such services when you need to push your baby out and have your ego stroked? Because that’s what midwives excel at. Stroking women’s ego, I mean. Their results show that they’re vastly inferior to doctors when it comes to helping a healthy woman push a healthy baby out.

          Competition, LMAO.

        • Samantha06

          How’s trolling working out for ya?

        • pwesley

          All you folks can laugh at mlee952, argue the point philosophically, try to paint it as a conspiracy theory.

          But mlee is correct – in the last 10 years, the number of birthing centers has nearly doubled. As a response, 20 states (under sponsorship of AMA & hospital funding) have removed or completely outlawed birthing centers. It’s happened in my state. This forces mothers who want natural births into home births, if no local birthing centers exist This is not ideal. If Dr Amy is correct, that home births cause deaths, well then her policies have helped create this situation.

          This is a huge human rights issue. Dr Amy doesn’t believe in human rights – she will make all your health & body decisions for you. The pope is the infallible mouthpiece of god, and Dr Amy (and others like her) are the infallible mouthpiece of science. Shut up and take the shot. Shut up and take the episiotomy. Shut up and take the C-section.

          • demodocus’ spouse

            As for vaccines I’d prefer the 1:1,000,000 odds of an allergic reaction to the 1:20,000 odds of death for some of those vaccine preventable diseases. (Numbers are from fuzzy memories of what others have said. Go look up vaccines under Science Based Medicine) That means a whole bunch of kids didn’t die of measles for every kid who needed an epi pen because of the vaccine. Far more kids aren’t permanently disabled. I’m half deaf because of bad luck and a bout of scarlet fever. I wish there was a shot for that!!
            Anecdotally, I certainly didn’t have an episiotomy or a c-section, despite being at the hospital for my son’s birth. I did need the ob to sew up the tear, which was definitely out of the nurse midwife’s skill set. She delivered my child, the ob stood by just in case. My only “intervention” was medication, one for the pre-e I developed 4 hours into labor, and the other because I don’t like being in pain and don’t feel a need to prove my manliness by subjecting myself to it.

          • Nick Sanders

            Which states?

      • PaulSevere

        California prosecutes midwives on a quota basis. They turned one into a felon because she delivered a baby, which is what midwives do.

        • Taysha

          Link please?

  • A Banterings

    All Cobalt and Who? bring up are children, the rights of law abiding gun owners be darned….

    There are already laws that protect the innocent. Cars kill more people than guns, yet nobody here wants to ban cars. What are you going to say, parents just need to be more responsible and use car seats? Ban the cars and no innocent children get hurt. Don’t say cars aren’t designed to kill, they are designed to transport people. I already explained guns are designed to do. I also compared another thing that transports people, jet planes.

    Better yet, let’s require registration, permits, and tighter control for anyone that wants to have a child.

    Oh look, you are not a responsible gun owner, you are not allowed to have children. You are not going to keep your children in sterile bullet-proof hamster balls, no children you. Problem solved!

    People who leave a loaded gun on the nightstand in their house also don’t use car seats, let their children smoke, leave alcohol and medications in the candy drawer, let their kids play in ovens, and so on. Taking away guns will not save them. What will, registration to have children will.

    All that has been shown here is a lack of logical reasoning, a hypocritical nanny-societial attitude, and possibly some other deficiency.

    That attitude has led to an increase in hepatitis A and asthma. Read the Stamford University article, “Link found between cleanliness, hepatitis A, asthma Is there a childhood health risk in overly clean environments?”

    “You Can’t Fix Stupid” -Ron White

    • Who?

      Feel better? Good.

      My challenge with your logic is that we agree that a loaded gun operates the same whether a stupid person has left it lying around or you are manfully using it to save your family. Why wouldn’t you want the stupid motivated to do better? What if that was achieved by making gun owners whose weapons kill another at
      the hands of a minor criminally and civilly liable for that
      death? Would that be too much regulation for you?

      Next you’ll want the right to drive on any old side of the street that takes your fancy, and be calling the ones driving on the opposite side to your choice today, stupid.

      Good to see you out in the open-what’s a few dead kids when your rights are at stake? I assume you support abortion on demand since kids are so expendable at the whim of the rights of an adult.

      • A Banterings

        First off remember what Oscar Madison told Felix Unger about “assuming….”

        When you said ” What if that was achieved by making gun owners whose weapons kill another at the hands of a minor criminally and civilly liable for that death?

        Bid you mean criminally punishing someone for a justifiable homicide?

        If that is not what you meant, then there ARE ALREADY LAWS that punishing someone for an UNjustifiable homicide. (Its called murder, manslaughter, etc.)

        You have the right to free speech. Yet free speech has been the cause of death of many innocent people (including children). Charlie Hebdo in France is just the latest example. I guess you support banning free speech to protect people’s lives too.

        I NEVER said kids are expendable, those are your words.

        There is no guarantee of safety in life. A meteor could wipe out all life on Earth tomorrow. There is a guarantee of freedom so that you can live a fulfilling life. If you choose to live your life like overly paranoid Rob Lowe, that is on you. Do not force me to live my life like you.

        When Who? says, “manfully using it to save your family,” I have to assume that the implication is that women are incapable of protecting their families? Are you just trying to insult me by casting me into some stereotype, OR are you suggesting ing that I wear a dress and heels if there is an intruder in the house?

        I know many capable women, both who do and don’t own guns. I have to assume that this comment also further the notion that since women are incapable of defending themselves (and their family), they need the protection of someone else to do it for them… kind’a like the notion that women cannot give birth unless in a hospital with a doctor to do it for them…?

        I am surprised that no one else here other than me has taken offense with casting women into a helpless, second class role.

        WHo? also said; “Next you’ll want the right to drive on any old side of the street that takes your fancy, and be calling the ones driving on the opposite side to your choice today, stupid.”

        So I guess Who?’s solution is to ban cars. That is because like guns, there are no laws against using them irresponsibly.

        • Who?

          I meant when the child in Dr Amy’s example shot the baby, the owner of the gun should be charged with the death of the baby. If there are laws like that in place, great. Are they often brought out and used? If not, why not?

          Is that a good idea or a bad one?

          We don’t have free speech where I live, or not in the same way Americans do. Free speech didn’t kill anyone ever-violent angry men (and yes, they are usually men) in charge of serious weapons, whose feelings were hurt, do though. All the time. Hurt feelings are not a good reason to kill someone.

          Where did anyone cast women in a helpless second class role? I don’t consider waving a gun around (or having a penis, whether or not those things happen at the same time) makes you either powerful or first class, perhaps that’s the difference between us.

          My solution re the cars is to have a rule that everyone drives on one side or the other. How does that hurt anyone?

          And if I lived anywhere I thought I needed a gun in the house, I’d move. Can you imagine anywhere to live where you would feel confident and safe without your gun(s)? If not, that’s just fine, but it should give you pause for thought.

          • A Banterings

            Who?, Where do you live?

            I am very curious if there are any anthropological/societal differences.

            You ask, “Where did anyone cast women in a helpless second class role? ”

            When you stated “you are manfully using it to save your family.”

            The implication is that defending one’s family is a man thing.

            As for Dr Amy’s example, she specifically chose that example to incite emotion, the example is mostly devoid of logic in relationship to her comment.

            They were visiting the grandfather’s house and told to stay out of the bedroom. The mother, who is responsible for her children should be the one held accountable for her children.

            America is a country of law, and from your comment “we don’t have free speech where I live”, sounds like the law is the secret police dragging people away in the night.

            In America there are a variety of crimes related to the death of another human being (homicide). This is a general overview:

            First-degree murder is any intentional homicide that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought OR homicide committed as a result of or during another felony crime.
            Second-degree murder is an intentional murder with malice aforethought, but is not premeditated or planned in advance
            Third-degree murder (also called oluntary manslaughter) sometimes called a crime of passion murder, is any intentional killing that involved no prior intent to kill, and which was committed under such circumstances that would “cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed”. Both this and second-degree murder are committed on the spot, but the two differ in the magnitude of the circumstances surrounding the crime
            Involuntary manslaughter stems from a lack of intention to cause death but involving an intentional, or negligent, act leading to death. A drunk driving-related death is typically involuntary manslaughter (see also vehicular homicide, causing death by dangerous driving, gross negligence manslaughter and causing death by criminal negligence for international equivalents). Note that the “unintentional” element here refers to the lack of intent to bring about the death. All three crimes above feature an intent to kill, whereas involuntary manslaughter is “unintentional”, because the killer did not intend for a death to result from their intentional actions.

            Technically, the 5 year old can be charged with Involuntary manslaughter (as a juvenile) and the mother and grandfather with some form of contributory negligence. So you see, there are laws.

            In this case, if you read the story, you will see that the kids broke into a locked case where the gun was kept. The prosecutor probably declined to press charges against the grandfather because the gun was locked up (responsibly). He is not pressing charges against the 5 yr old, because it is enough that he has to live with this the rest of his life.

            Injuries from firearms send an estimated 7,000 kids to the ER every year, and an additional 3,000 children die from gunshot wounds before they can get to a hospital, according to a new

            study published in the journalPediatrics.

            Another study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics notes more than 70,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 18 go to the emergency room each year because of accidental medication exposures and poisonings as medication prescribing rates increase.

            I guess we need more laws against prescription medication. Perhaps we should hold the providers who prescribed these dangerous medications accountable for the deaths and injuries to the children.

          • Who?

            I live in Austraila. Our defamation laws tend to stifle free speech. The main group that seems to help are big corporates, whose thin skins and deep pockets keeps potential critics doing lots of homework before they open their mouths. Which is fine.

            So now tell me-can you imagine a place-pick anywhere you like-you could live where you would feel safe (oh pardon me, where you could ‘protect your family’) without a gun? Come to Australia, pretty much no one uses them here. And with all your krav maga and baseball bats, you’d be king of the hill. I have a few krav maga moves myself, so don’t pick my suburb-I’m practically a weapon.

            That anyone would even for one tiny second imagine charging a tiny child with this crime is beyond satire. Advice from a not-bad-though-I-say-it-myself mother: if the kids can get at it, it isn’t secure. By definition.

            Grandad’s gun, grandad’s responsibilty. But poor grandad is a scared little man, which is why he keeps a gun at home. Women are tough-hell, they’ve been birthing babies forever, and mostly don’t die. Charge mum with being a bad mother, because she didn’t keep the kids away from grandad’s inadequately secured weapons. That’s your idea of treating people with respect? Thanks for the warning.

            Then we get to the ‘oh look a butterfly’ part of your post, which is where I bow out for now.

            Stay in touch!

          • A Banterings

            READ THE ARTICLE

            Porter told NBC News that he had the pistol for security and target practice and kept it in a locked case in his bedroom with other guns he uses for sport.

            I also laid out there are laws the grandfather can be charged with IF he was negligent in the way he kept the gun. The gun was locked, that is why he was charged.

            Do not absolve the mother, she is the one responsible for her children at all times.

            I feel safe at all times. I feel safe anywhere. I no longer carry a gun, do not need to, we live in a safe society. Bad things happen, I am prepared. I spend more times without access to my guns than with access to them. I always feel safe.

            Being from Australia, there is a different view of life and government, although your view of self sufficiency is similar to ours. Do not forget, it was firearms that allowed us to escape the tyranny of a monarchy. That is ingrained in every American while Australia remains part of a “United Kingdom.”

            What I find most troubling is the deep seated hatred that you have for men stemming from some deep-seated daddy abandonment issues. The following are Who?’s derogatory comments about men:

            …ever-violent angry men (and yes, they are usually men)in charge of serious weapons, whose feelings were hurt…

            …you are manfully using it to save your family…

            …waving a gun around (or having a penis, whether or not those things happen at the… same time)

            There are more examples, but I am not going to scour this thread looking for all of them. Three should be sufficient to prove my point.

            …and for the record I have NEVER waived around my gun or my penis.

          • Who?

            The kid got the gun-it wasn’t safely enough stored. The grandfather owns the guns, he should be responsible for them. The mother is responsible too-charge them both.

            Guns didn’t free Australia from the tyranny of the UK, as you point out. We also now don’t live under the tyranny of not knowing if we can walk the streets without being shot. We can go to the movies without worrying someone will be shot for rustling their wrappers. My son can go to work and most likely not get shot. I think we did okay.

            Yes, yes, I hate men, obviously. That explains everything. It couldn’t
            be that I despise people who fail to take responsibilty for their
            choices. It couldn’t be that it tires me to hear people twisting
            themselves in knots, rather than acknowledging that we could all do
            better and be safer.

            And of course, as always, you are the paragon and the standard by which all gun owners should be judged, so no gun owner can ever be criticised. Who am I to argue, you can shoot me if I disagree with you, so that makes you right. Right?

            I could care less what you do with your penis, btw. Am prepared to accept that you intend that as reassurance, though, so thanks.

          • yugaya

            Right there, someone who so desperately wants people to see how the OP analogy is all wrong incidentally provides another striking analogy with natural birth dogma- all disagreement, once you run out of arguments, is attributed to opponent’s personal issues in similarly misogynous and personally insulting manner.

          • Who?

            Yes I thought he’d do that if I pushed him far enough. I’m not proud of this aspect of my personality, but hey, it’s about a million degrees outside, all the housework is done and I don’t much care for the tennis that’s on. My husband reminded me that I try to make it a personal goal to not mock the afflicted, but being the man-hating horror that I am, I failed to take his advice and then sent him out for icecream. For him, I don’t eat it.

            Can I say I don’t know that AB is necessarily misogynist, just disrespectful of anyone he thinks is inferior to him, which is mostly everyone. After all, he knows all about laws of war, tea ceremony, the law of homicide, being outdoorsy, krav maga and who knows what else. How could such an accomplished person have much respect for anyone else? Oddly most of the very accomplished people I know are extremely modest. Weird, isnt’ it?

            I was hoping for some anti-vax nuts to torture over at the Disney page, but they haven’t arrived. They are getting such a lot of flack everywhere at the moment, all due respect to Dr T but perhaps in that world she is too small-fry for them.

          • A Banterings

            You are correct. It shows flawed logic in the OP, therefore calling in to question all of the OP’s assertions.

          • Who?

            Er no-your little ‘attack’ on me, after I asked you one too many times why it is entirely unreasonable to expect gun owners to take responsibilty for what happens with their guns, mirrors what the natural birth crowd do when cornered, as you are-attack the person cornering them, usually on the basis of something entirely irrelevant to the point.

            Smart people notice corners and stay out of them.

          • yugaya

            “It shows flawed logic in the OP”

            “Your logic is flawed, therefore I will argument my case in a way that supports your conclusions, thus proving that your conclusions about me are all wrong.”

            *needs more coffee*

          • A Banterings

            Who?, you are correct that Guns didn’t free Australia from the tyranny of the UK. Australia is still controlled by the UK. It was America that freed themselves from such tyranny (and bailed them out in WWII).

            Who? also stated: ”

            We also now don’t live under the tyranny of not knowing if we can walk the streets without being shot. We can go to the movies without worrying someone will be shot for rustling their wrappers. My son can go to work and most likely not get shot. I think we did okay”

            It is just too bad that you can’t go to the Lindt Chocolate Cafe without getting shot! I guess gun control works gives you a safe society free of crime and gun violence.

          • Who?

            Keep talking you are sounding madder by the second….

          • A Banterings

            Is that madder as in insane or angry?

            Because I am neither.

            I have repeatedly stated that I believe gun owners should be responsible for their actions and their guns. I have also listed laws here in the US that hold gun owners responsible.

            You have completely ignored both.

            Denial is not a river in Egypt.

          • Who?

            And here we are at point 3.

            I have a little game I play with anti-vaxxers. They tell me that vax is terrible, then we talk about outbreaks of vaccine preventable illness, like the current measles outbreak in the US after the Disney exposure. You have a lot in common with them.

            Point 1: The first thing they say is both foolish and irrelevant:
            It isn’t measles, just something that looks like measles.

            At the same point, guns-at-all-costs advocates say:
            Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

            Point 2: Then comes a statement lacking all empathy and concern for the future:
            I’ve had all those diseases, and I’m fine.

            At this point the guns-at-all-costs advocates say:
            I’ve never killed anyone I didn’t mean to and neither has any gun owner I know.

            We work our way through those, and then, point 3.
            Point 3: They both then say:

            I am; no you are! Oh look there’s a butterfly.

            We just saw you see your butterfly-shame on you for mocking those people killed at the Lindt cafe. Neither of them deserved to die at the hands of a madman but they did. Luckily that is rare here-plenty of mad people, very few guns. I had you pegged as a decent person I disagreed with. My mistake-you are not a decent person.

            My lovely husband has just tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that arguing with an idiot always ends badly, because you’ll drag me down to your level and beat me with experience. He’s way tougher on people than I am.

            I’ve enjoyed drawing you out. I’ve learnt a lot about the thinking of pro-gun advocates, in a way I wouldn’t normally get to do. It will be very useful in my current endeavours, so thanks for your time.

          • A Banterings

            Who? said:

            We can go to the movies without worrying someone will be shot for rustling their wrappers. My son can go to work and most likely not get shot. I think we did okay.

            I had to remind you that is NOT the case. Violent gun crime still happens in Australia. The Lindt Cafe WAS a tragedy that never should have happened. (I NEVER stated that it was not a tragedy.)

            I am simply pointing out the fallacies of your thought process; Australia’s gun control laws did not protect those people. Something that you are in denial about.

            If you claim guns are responsible for the deaths and not the people, I guess in your vax example, I guess the virus is responsible for the measles and NOT the people who refuse to vaccinate.

            You cannot have it both ways. Either people are responsible or NOT!

            Furthermore our Constitution and our Bill of Rights guarantees us freedoms, such as the right to bear arms. That is what created this country and that is why we have a different thinking than you. It is sociological, it is anthropological, and it is political.

            Just because your country lacks freedoms, do not impose your system upon me. We fought against the crown and people telling us how to live our lives. That is why our nation leads the world in many areas. Yes, there are areas that we can do better.

            This is what gun owners say, the law gives me the right to own guns. End of story. If you really want to make a change, convince me not to own guns. Do not TELL me.

            As for your comment: At this point the guns-at-all-costs advocates say:
            I’ve never killed anyone I didn’t mean to and neither has any gun owner I know.

            It does not matter if we have shot or killed anyone, the only thing that matters if it was an UNJUSTIFIED shooting. If so, the person would be in jail.

            I have always defended a person’s human rights and rights under the law. I have never wavered from that.

            Who? also stated: …arguing with an idiot always ends badly…

            Guess what, I have never said “butterfly” AND I have never resorted to name calling. I have been engaged in debate involving critical thinking. You have consistently contradicted yourself, ignored facts, accuse me of making statements that I NEVER said.

            You have also ignored things that cause more injuries and deaths than guns: cars, medications, processed foods. You have stereotyped me, men, and gun owners.

            Your assertion that guns make one feel big and in-charge shows your complete lack of understanding and lack of experience of a situation like that. In that situation you are either a sociopath who ILLEGALLY obtained a gun and don’t care who you hurt OR are a LAW-ABIDING gun owner who has locked your family in the attic as you sit in the kitchen with a gun, defending your family, willing to give your own life for them, BUT hoping the police arrive before you have to use your gun.

            The you finish with #20 of the Woo Handbook:

            Finally, when you’ve used up all the above tactics, say you’re not going to waste any more time with the skeptics you’ve been debating because they’re too sad, stupid, closed-minded, ______ (insert other flaw the skeptic has) to understand your brilliant arguments. Make a big grandiose statement and exit to start anew somewhere else.

          • Who?

            Doesn’t matter if someone gets shot hey? Nice.

            ‘Manhater’ isn’t name calling. Also nice.

            The other ‘big’ gun crime i Australia was an angry depressed man who shot his wife and kids with a gun he kept at home. But that’s okay too I guess-the general view is that it wasn’t really the dad’s fault due to his mental state at the time. Wife and kids still dead though, bummer hey?

            Just keep going, you do the gun control story much better than I do with the ranting and raving.

            And like I said, when I soon have to deal with your ilk in person I’ll be better prepared, so thanks for that.

          • A Banterings

            I did not call you a ‘Manhater,’ but I did question your feelings of hatred towards men as evident by your own words.

            It matters if anyone gets shot. Ideally I would not wish it on anyone. There are instances where shooting another person is justified; war, the police shot and killed Man Haron Monis, the perpetrator.

            The loss of Monis’s life is tragic, but justified. Would you have preferred police not shot Monis and potentially put other people’s lives at risk?

            Why do you continue to put words in my mouth saying I don’t care about human suffering? The depressed man who shot his wife and children is sad too because depression is so treatable. But guess what? If he really wanted to kill them he would find a way. If he did not own a gun, then he would have burned the house down while they slept or something.

            You continue to focus on the means and not the people committing the crime. In February 2009, the Australian prime minister accused arsonists who caused (directly or indirectly) brush fires of “mass murder.”

            So then it that because people have access to gasoline and matches? Based on your “blame the gun” line of thinking the matches and gasoline are to blame and should be banned.

            When Who? says:

            “when I soon have to deal with your ilk in person I’ll be better prepared…”

            What do you mean by “my ilk?” Someone male, someone intelligent, someone with deductive reasoning, someone responsible, someone self-sufficient or someone NOT suffering from delusions?

        • Nick Sanders

          Free speech was not the cause of death in the Charlie Hebdo attack. Intolerant psychopaths were.

    • Box of Salt

      Hey, A Banterings!
      I’ll be perfectly happy to let you have your guns, if you’ll agree a woman and her doctor should be able to schedule a c-section delivery any time she wants it.

      You want my nose out of your desire to have firearms in the house?
      I want your nose out of the decisions I make about my (and my children’s) medical care.

      • A Banterings

        Salt,

        That is my point, it IS the WOMAN’S decision with the ADVICE of her doctor. If she wants C/S, fine, if she wants VB, fine, if she wants home birth, fine.

        I have NEVER said that a person MUST do things one way or another, it is that person’s God given right of self-determination to choose how to live their life.

    • Nick Sanders
  • Rachel Mills

    I hate it when you go off topic, Dr Amy. The police are not your body guards. Only you are responsible for your safety. If you’re relying on cops, what they do is they show up when they can get to your emergency call and write a report, take photos of the bodies. Whose body is in the photograph can largely depend on if you’re a responsible gun owner or just a sitting (dead) duck.

    Just because some people don’t keep their guns locked away from their 5 year old doesn’t mean everyone else needs to be left to the mercy of criminals if they would rather give themselves a fighting chance.

    • Guesteleh

      1) Crime rates have dropped dramatically over the past 20 years.

      The homicide rate has fallen by 51 percent; forcible rapes have declined by 35 percent; robberies have decreased by 56 percent; and the rate of aggravated assault has been cut by 45 percent. Property crime rates are also sharply down.

      2) Having a gun in your home doubles your homicide risk and triples your suicide risk
      So you’re arming yourself for a risk that is plummeting and in doing so dramatically increasing your risk of death. Not smart. “The mercy of criminals” = paranoid bullshit.

      • Rachel Mills

        Ummm… If I want to off myself, who are you to keep me from the quickest way to do it? Silly.

        • theNormalDistribution

          Way to avoid addressing the arguments.

          • Who?

            Deflect, deflect, deflect is the default position, when claiming that because guns themselves have no volition, their owners should not be responsible for what they do with them, palls.

          • A Banterings

            Nobody has said that the owners are free of responsibility. That is a myth pushed by the gun control lobby. There are already laws that hold gun owners responsible for negligence, injury, and homicide.

        • Guesteleh

          You skipped the part about how owning a gun doubles your homicide risk. Care to address that?

    • moto_librarian

      If only it was just “some people” leaving their weapons unsecured. A two-year old shot and killed himself in Florida THIS WEEK TOO because his parents left him in the car with a loaded weapon. Not a single week goes by without hearing about a tragic accidental shooting. There are no plans to charge the parents because they have been through “the worst thing that can happen to a parent.” I’m sure it is a living hell for them, but anyone whose unsecured weapon is used in a shooting should be charged with negligent homicide. That may be the only way to stop this.

    • Cobalt

      If you really believed that, you would be fighting for gun control to reduce the flow of guns to criminals and the careless, and for stronger penalties for illegal and irresponsible ownership.

      • Who?

        But what about all Rachel’s rights? And, hell, what’s a few dead kids when Rachel and A.Bantering’s rights are at stake?

        Collateral damage?

        • Rachel Mills

          We all want fewer dead kids. Stop it.

          • Who?

            Super-so what do you propose to help families who want to keep guns to do it more safely to protect their children?

            I propose all guns and gun owners being registered-so if one or the other isn’t we know they are ‘bad guys’; requiring gun owners to store guns (unloaded) and ammunition separately, with at least one locked up.

            I also propose that all guns carried in vehicles be locked on a gun rack, unloaded, and preferably out of sight.

            Where these rules aren’t abided by, the registered owner of the gun is criminally and civilly responsible for any death or injury caused by that gun, except (perhaps) when caused by intruders to the home or car.

            Thoughts?

      • Rachel Mills

        gun control only handicaps law-abiding citizens who want to legally protect themselves. Gun control only strengthens the black market. You can’t uninvent the wheel. Guns exist. The technology exists. Any metalsmith can figure out how to make a gun if they want to. Criminals don’t obey gun control laws. Their victims do.

        • Cobalt

          Anyone with a stove can cook meth, so we shouldn’t ban that either. Heck, it’s just a prepper DIY version of ADHD medicine, and cures obesity too! Drug control only handicaps law abiding citizens from making up their own medical care.

          And your partially right. Armed criminals don’t obey gun control laws. They don’t have to. They can buy unregulated guns legally through private sales and shows. From law abiding citizens that care more about their own toys and representing a cultural ideology of persecution and “independence” than about what those toys are used for once they get paid.

          Responsible gun owners want guns to be used responsibly, and are willing to make legislative and cultural changes to achieve that and save lives.

        • Who?

          It protects children from becoming collateral damage, but like I said, I gather you are fine with the current state of collateral damage in the US.

          That’s all.

        • KarenJJ

          Well, like we tend to say here – what’s your evidence for that? Do countries with strict gun control have a stronger black market? Increased gun crime from criminals? etc etc

          • Who?

            Not seeing a lot of gun crime from criminals here in sunny Oz…

            I understand on the whole blades are preferred weapons-harder to track, quiet to use, no tiresome loading and jamming.

        • Daleth

          Gun control does that to some degree, but it doesn’t ONLY do that. It also makes it very difficult for mentally ill people to get their hands on guns. On balance that seems like a good thing to me.

    • LibrarianSarah

      Doctors are not your body guards. Only you are responsible for your health. If you’re relying on doctors, nurses and paramedics, what they do is show when they can get to your emergency call, get your medical history and fill out your chart and take photos of bodies. Whose body is in the photograph can largely depends on if you’re (vegetarian, paleo, clean eating, homeopath, meditation loving, anti-vaxxer, natural living etc.) or just a sitting (dead) duck.

      See where we are coming from?

    • A Banterings

      Rachel, Thank you for “getting it.”

      Your comment reminds me of Rosie O’Donnell and how she is against gun ownership, yet when ever she or her children are out in public, they have an armed body guard.

      That is only someone else carrying a gun for her and very hypocritical.

      • Who?

        Yes, much better they should all be shot by someone who doesn’t approve of her lifestyle.

    • I hate it when you go off topic, Dr Amy
      I think it’s quite fun on occasion, especially when she’s deliberately stirring things up.

  • Young CC Prof

    I just realized something. People who want a gun for defense are a whole lot like people who are afraid to fly and feel safer driving. They aren’t safer driving, even if they are good drivers. It’s just not how reality works. But being in control makes them feel safe.

    Even in the event that someone breaks into your house, a gun might be more hazard than protection. But it provides an illusion of control, so they like it.

    • A Banterings

      Only a fool would believe that they are safer driving than flying. Almost all people who fly and have not experienced an accident while flying, have had at least one MVA accident (if not multiple) if they drive also.

      Only a fool would believe a gun for defense makes you in control and safe. The hard facts are that if you are going for a gun, then you are already in a bad situation that has gone beyond your control. A gun is a last resort.

      Even if you are justified in drawing it (not even discharging it), the headaches of the investigation that follows makes the situation even more distressing.

      Our local 911 center is being investigated for dispatches to the wrong towns, missing calls, etc. My first line of defense is locking the doors and dogs, next I will call the police, then I have the baseball bat. The gun is my last resort and my family my first priority.

      Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Isn’t that why we buy insurance, get vaccinated, etc.???

      Somebody who buys a gun illegally to protect his street corner he deals off of is also claiming defense. But that person does not care who he shots, who gets shot, or if he goes to jail. In fact the junk he deals has probably killed more people than the gun he has.

      Obesity kill more people every year than midwives, planes and guns combined. Yet there is no outcry to ban the processed, plastic food they sell today. Just as I have a gun to protect myself, every year I plow up a plot and grow as much fruits and vegetables as I can.

      The concept of depending on police and FEMA is just a furtherance of the entitlement culture in this country and avoidance of personal responsibility.

      As for yugaya, all LEOs are suppose to lock their service weapon when not holstered or drawn. That is why shotguns are locked in racks in police cars. Leaving a loaded gun on a nightstand is completely irresponsible.

      • Cobalt

        Heroin doesn’t kill people, drug dealers do! Legalize heroin!

        And if you think there is no movement to legislatively reduce access to unhealthy foods (or foods perceived as unhealthy), you haven’t been reading the news for the last decade.

        • A Banterings

          You miss the point.

          Under the chemical name diamorphine, diacetylmorphine (heroin) is prescribed as a strong analgesic in the United Kingdom, where it is given via subcutaneous, intramuscular, intrathecal or intravenous route. Its use includes treatment for acute pain, such as in severe physical trauma, myocardial infarction, post-surgical pain, and chronic pain, including end-stage cancer and otherterminal illnesses.

          It is how PEOPLE use it.

          If heroin killed, then the jails would be filled with white powder and not people.

          • Cobalt

            So it has some benefits and legitimate uses, but is regulated to minimize risks? You have to be certified to legally possess it? People who violate those regulations are subject to strict penalties, with additional severity if children are exposed? Our culture generally rejects casual use as an unacceptable?

            I don’t think I missed anything.

          • A Banterings

            Thank you for agreeing with me that it is the people (who violate those regulations) that are responsible, NOT the inanimate object whether it be heroin…. OR GUNS.

          • Cobalt

            Then why is regulation of narcotics ok, but regulation of firearms isn’t?

          • Who?

            Indeed-or cars?

          • Who?

            The difference in all our positions is that you think the people shouldn’t be held responsible either. You call it bad luck, I call it criminal stupidity.

            The owners of the gun that killed the nine month old should be charged with his death. That would be making them take responsibility, and might make others in their shoes think twice. Since children’s avoidable deaths don’t.

          • A Banterings

            The same for guns. It all comes back to PEOPLE.

          • Cobalt

            So why is narcotics regulation acceptable, but not gun regulation? Why is a legal definition, with penalties, of irresponsible use and ownership so wrong?

          • yugaya

            ‘Cuz it’s guns, and guns to A Banterings is as sacred as homebirth is to a lay midwife!!!

          • Who?

            So given the one is closely regulated, what is the issue with closely regulating the other?

            Apart from your preferences?

          • Who?

            But the white powder gets consumed, so in the case of illegal drugs you’d punish the needles, spoons, lighters and other paraphenalia? See I’d punish anyone in possession of those things, on the basis that the particular combination of innocent items is used for a particular, non-innocent purpose. Oh wait, that’s already how it works.

          • A Banterings

            Thank you for agreeing with me that it is the people, not the inanimate object whether it be needles, spoons, lighters, other paraphernalia…. OR GUNS.

          • yugaya

            I hope you realise that you are coming off as quite unhealthily fascinated and enhanced by inanimate objects called…GUNS. :)))

          • A Banterings

            Enhanced, are you making the same inferences as Who? as if this were some sort of Enzyte commercial?

            When you are taught to correctly use them, you learn more than just how to aim.

            I am simply responding to all on here who are making inaccurate statements. It seems that most have an incomplete, flawed understanding of them.

            What would you prefer to talk about, I am up for anything.

          • yugaya

            “When you are taught to correctly use them, you learn more than just how to aim.”

            You think I wasn’t taught how to use guns correctly and that that is why I can’t see them in all their beauty like you do?

            See that picture, the caption says “former national team member” – that’s my mom, she’s the one who taught me guns and whose equipment I inherited when I started training.

          • Who?

            I bet AB is a galactic champion with guns, he’s better and more knowledgeable about everything than anyone. He’ll tell you all about it himself.

            Over and over again…

          • yugaya

            On a completely different level I do wonder how that works, that ability to trust yourself and your capabilities and knowledge beyond any shred of doubt and then further insist on wider social responsibilities being left in the hands of each person individually. Humans are by definition sheer imperfection, which is why we as civilisation came up with collective means of improvement such as laws.

          • Who?

            I agree. Myself, I’m a nut for community-work together, support each other, give a little, take a little. Rules help us fill the gaps of our ignorance, lack of experience, lack of interest.

            You’d think knowing everything would make you modest, respectful of others, careful, thoughtful, because you’d be aware of what could go wrong.

            Not AB though. He believes he knows everything, in fact enough to protect himself and his against others. And too bad for the rest of us. His utter callousness about the Lindt Cafe victims is very telling. Silly them, hey AB?

            Still, I learnt a lot about the thought process, which I’m going to find very useful over the coming months, so I’m grateful for that.

  • yugaya

    When my father was caught off guard and sleeping after a night shift in police the burglar who invaded our home almost succeeded in using his service weapon against him.

    My father and our patriarchal culture were ok in leaving a loaded weapon in one’s home on the night table next to bed as long as you had a license to own it and carry it. There was especially nothing to worry about if you were as trained and as used to guns as a policeman is. I mean, my father saw nothing wrong with it up until that day, and after that he would lock up his weapon every time he came home.

    Just like in homebirth, the real understanding of potential risks vs benefits often comes with a deadly price tag attached to it. The benefits of loaded guns or giving birth in our homes are by advocates of these things being grossly exaggerated while the real risks are being brushed off as as rare as lightening striking and always preventable if you know what you are doing.

    It’s all about the illusion of safety.

    • sdsures

      I don’t know who said this or where I heard it, maybe in regards to general self-defense: “If you have a weapon, it can be taken away from you and used against you.”

  • Obligatory Jim Jefferies clip
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP3HJVp3n9c

    • Sue

      Love it!

    • Roadstergal

      I heard him do that bit in SF and enjoyed it greatly.

      His ‘one argument’ is also the one good argument for homebirth, too, come to that.

  • A Banterings

    There is one major flaw with the logic her that everyone has seemed to overlook….

    PEOPLE.

    Guns do not kill, the person holding the gun does. If your argument is against midwifery, then it is a PERSON who kills. Whether (in your opinion, not mine) it be the midwife, the mother, or both, it is a human being that is responsible.

    I guess I like your argument then.

    • Who?

      Great, what a blinder. So original and eloquent.

      Cars kill people, alcohol kills people, cigarettes kill people. Those things are not designed to kill, they just sometimes do.

      Is a gun designed to kill or wound? If not, what is it’s other purpose-and scaring the bejesus out of someone else due to its capacity to kill doesn’t count.

      • Who?

        I seem to have lost the ability to only apostrophise appropriately.

        So ‘…what is its other purpose…’

      • A Banterings

        You ask, “Is a gun designed to kill or wound?”

        The answer is it depends where you shoot the person. Police and prison guards are trained to wound (arm, leg, shoulder). Snipers are trained to kill (head, heart).

        It also depends what gun you use. An AK-47 round is designed to “tumble” and inflict maximum damage. A .308 full jacketed round will produce a through-and through. Again it goes back to people.

        9mm handguns are a bad choice for close combat; powder is too hot, slug too small, again through-and through. A .45 ACP is your best choice. A big, fat slug, short fat casing; like getting hit with a freight train (may be slow, a lot behind it).

        Your argument, “Cars kill people, alcohol kills people, cigarettes kill people. Those things are not designed to kill, they just sometimes do,” also goes back to people. Cars are like guns, except anyone can buy them.

        The Bible says “Wine gladdens the heart” (Psalm 104:15), yet if a person uses it irresponsibly, it blows up the liver.

        I cannot comment on cigarettes, as I have no experience with them….

        I only smoke when I am on fire.

        • Who?

          My mistake in the way I asked the question.

          Cars are designed to get us from one point to another. Cigarettes are, I am told, relaxing. Alcohol is enjoyable, relaxing and a nice social lubricator. That is what those things are for. Sometimes, when used without care, to excess, or for a long time, people die or are injured as a result of using them.

          What is a gun for?

          I take your point about the different types of
          guns being useful for killing and wounding in different situations-that
          is their primary purpose.

          The primary purpose is the difference. Or do you disagree?

          • A Banterings

            The primary purpose of a gun is to launch a projectile over long distances with consistent accuracy. What you do with that ability is up to you.

            Target shooting is a skill and a sport. My rifle team captain in high school was also captain of a college team that at the time was the only one to consecutively beat West Point. He was also an Olympic rifle coach.

            Target shooting is very relaxing for me.

            Guns are for protection. In Switzerland today, by law, every citizen owns a gun (assault rifle). Nobody wants to invade a country that has every citizen armed. I have rock salt shells for my shot gun. Won’t kill you, but hurts like hell if you get shot in the butt.

            I have also had to put a couple injured animals out of their misery, not enough time to get to a vet, could not save. I broke my heart. It was the most humane thing that I could do. Buried them in the yard complete with flowers. Cried for an hour. Tearing up now…

            Yes guns kill. I grew up hunting. I was taught to do it ethically by my grandfather. I won’t kill (hunt) anything I am not going to eat. Hunting is horrible when you kill something. But you learn what it takes to keep you alive. Puts life into perspective.

            I have rescued more animals than I have killed. I volunteered with endangered species conservation program some years ago for the endangered crocodile. I have nursed back to health owls, bats, herons, rabbits, chipmunks, mice, snakes,and many more. Right now I have 2 doves. 1 cannot fly the other not so well. They can never go back to the wild. I made a 15 year commitment.

            I stopped hunting because I no longer enjoyed it. I go with my wife’s sons to be social. They eat the meat too. I usually get a couple steaks. There is nothing like venison.

            In college I belonged to a private club and did competition shooting. The president of the local chapter of one gun control group (handgun inc. I believe) was in one of my classes. One day we got in a similar debate. I finally asked her how many times she shot a gun. She told me she never shot a gun.

            I talked her in to letting me take her to the range. I told her if nothing else, she would be able to testify to the “evils” of guns. When we got back to my apartment, she asked when we could go again. She still did not like guns, held her beliefs, but wanted to go again.

            Before I even let her touch a gun, we spent almost 2 hours on the proper handling and safety of guns. The next 2 hours was getting acquainted and hands on. The last 2 hours was just fun. I had all the PPE (muffs, glasses, gloves, jackets, etc.). I even taught her how to “police your brass.”

            I use to carry, I no longer do. What made me change my mind? One time when I did not have mine, somebody pulled one on me. I took it from him (Krav Maga). My philosophy now is if I need a gun, the other guy will bring it. Guns do not make you big, bad, or scary. Again, it is the person.

            Believing a gun makes you tough is like believing that smoking makes you tough or cool. To use a gun in such a manner (to make you big and bad) is misuse of a firearm and completely irresponsible. Believing that a gun will do that is just as irresponsible as leaving it loaded on the kitchen table with the safety off.

            You cannot attribute motives to inanimate objects, only people. Beyond that, there is stupidity. I am not sure that you can attribute any motives to that, it kind’a speaks for itself.

            Technically alcohol was originally a way to preserve calories (grain) before refrigeration. It was later used to communicate with the gods, medicinal, fuel, and of course social.

          • Who?

            Thankyou for your thoughtful response. It is useful to unpick the thinking behind the slogans NRA supporters rely on.

            Target shooting is a great sport. Leaving guns at the range is a great idea.

            Attempting to kill animals for sport is grotesque to my mind. But, whatever floats people’s boats. As you point out, many more are injured and left to die than are killed outright. If only all ‘sport’ hunters took a properly responsible attitude as you do.

            Putting sick or injured animals out of their misery in the absence of a vet is a mercy.

            Killing for game, okay. No reason to have the guns at home though, except convenience. Again, if an animal is accidentally shot I would hope the shooter would take responsibility.

            I am given to understand Switzerland has very little gun crime-given that most people killed by guns in the US are not rich and white (the very rough demographic makeup of Switzerland) that may not be terribly surprising.

            Thing is, having a gun multiplies my force, provided I have the guts to use it. The guy you krav maga’d was too stupid to use his gun in time, otherwise he would have stopped you in your tracks. You were smarter on the day, and knew something he didn’t. A fabulous example of brain over brawn.

            I do not attribute motive to objects or substances. I would however ruthlessly hold gun owners responsible for the chaos guns cause. With great power comes great responsibility. If a minor in your home uses a gun to kill someone, neither the child nor the gun can take responsibility, but someone should. In that case the gun owner should be in the frame, as though they fired the weapon, because without their neglect it could not happen.

            Rights should have responsibilities attached. Why do so many gunowners fail to see that.

          • A Banterings

            Why do so many gunowners fail to see that? Most do. The drug dealer who buys the illegal gun is the guy who is trying to be big and bad.

            You can use the analogy of children to guns. Unless you were raised in a proper manner or acquired a sufficient amount of education and have a support system, you should NOT have them.

            …guns or children.

            Perhaps requiring a permit to have children may make more sense…”Freakonomics”

            The issue for me is self reliance. If something bad happened, I am not waiting for the police. I live in a semi-rural area. Only one of my guns is accessible . It is also not loaded, but the shells are locked near by. Most of what I have around the house are axes and bats.

            There were 2 instances when I needed to get the gun out. Fortunately I did not need to use it. It would be irresponsible of me not being able to protect myself and my family.

            I am not the one that you need to worry about with a gun, it is the guy who buys the illegal gun.

            I find it interesting that the responsible, self reliant, people get grouped in with the irresponsible people. Then there is the attack on us the same way the home birthers are being attacked. It is not all of them either, just the irresponsible ones.

            The common denominator (here) are the people doing the attacking…..

            I am NOT making any inferences, I am merely stating a fact.

          • Who?

            All great.

            Why oh why then are you not even more frustrated, angry and confused by them than I am. They are giving you a bad name, making nice people who probably have a lot in common with you think badly of you.

            I’d think you’d be encouraging improving standards of gun ownership, and punishing stupid, irresponsible and dangerous gun owners. It wouldn’t affect you and would make one of the communities you identify with look better to the general community.

            I can’t tell who I need to worry about if everyone is allowed a gun with no rules. In that case I’d worry about everyone. How is that good for responsible gun owners? The rhetoric of ‘rights’ has cornered you into supporting people you would ordinarily cross the street to avoid.

          • A Banterings

            I do work to improve gun ownership. I have taught many first time owners about safety, even helped people properly dispose of guns and ammunition. I lobby for laws that make sense. I am not a member of the NRA either (don’t know why, never thought about it either).

            I also work to educate people who think banning guns is the solution. That is just as dangerous a mentality as buying an illegal gun.

            Ever been to London or anywhere in England. I guess giving up the right to bear arms is a small price to pay to live in a country that is free of all violent crime….

            There are rules. Do you think that if guns were banned the bad guys would not have them?

            I built my first potato gun when I was 12. I used plastic pipe and butane. The indiscretions of youth. I am accurate to hit a soda can at 40 yards with a sling shot. People can always get weapons.

            Banning guns does NOT work. Look what just happened in France; the guns were illegally obtained.

            My battle is not only with those who should not have guns, but those advocating for banning them.

            I can tell that you are seriously analyzing what I have said. I don’t expect to change your mind, but I want you to think. Minds are like parachutes, they only work when they are open.

            If you really want to change society, ban stupidity….

          • T.

            I would like to point that, while Switzerland DOES have a very lax weapon policy, they have a very strict BULLETS policy. Bullets are counted. IF you have bullets in your house, you are legally required to explain every single one used.
            Swtizerland is not a good example of lax gun policy state.

          • A Banterings

            My point was that the gun policy is a deterrent to foreign invaders. WWII?

          • Who?

            They didn’t invade because the Swiss had all their money. A few well placed bombs would bring the Swiss to heal in the time it takes me to do a blow-dry.

          • yugaya

            Strategically it was a well placed communication channel as well. There’s always a tavern somewhere near the battlefield where business goes on as usual and all sides are welcome.

          • Dr Kitty

            Switzerland’s BANKING policies and political neutrality were the deterrents to invasion, not the gun ownership.

            The Atlantic and Pacific oceans were the deterrent to invasion of the USA, not gun ownership and the second amendment.

            Unless I misunderstood your point.

          • A Banterings

            The US was invaded in WWII. Japanese on an Alaskan island. Today, the oceans are not a deterrent.

            For the Swiss banking is only part of it. If the banking was such a deterrent, then the US would have built a banking empire as added protection in the 1950’s.

            If Switzerland is taken over, then the banks can be taken over as well. That is all the more reason; if I am taking over the world, then as part of my plan I will build a banking infrastructure to protect myself. Taking over the Swiss banks would cause the collapse of my enemies’ economies.

            That is one of the problems with Dubai banks; certain organizations in the middle east built this infrastructure so as not to Depend on Swiss banks. If the Swiss banks fell, at the hands of middle eastern powers, the western economies would fall but the ones in the middle east still stand.

          • Who?

            Your point is?

            The WW2 US invasions were comparatively minor, and were repaid many times over. As was the Sept 11 ‘invasion’.

            I doubt the people in the Middle East see the Dubai banks thing as a problem. Just like I’m sure they don’t see the current ‘losses’ being taken on the oil price as a problem-simply an investment in the future. Their future.

          • Dr Kitty

            If you have a neighbour that will let your elite store stolen gold, jewels and priceless works of art, no questions asked, it becomes a powerful motive for the elite not to invade. As does having a safe haven to conduct under the table deals.

            Much more so than an army ranked 38th in the world, with a maximum potential force of 3 million (assuming all physically fit men and women aged 16-49 are conscripted to active service).

            You may not think that the oceans present a barrier to invasion any more, but they do. Have you any idea of the logistics involved in maintaining the supply lines for an invasion?

          • Julia

            Come on. The big reason the US isn’t invaded more often is its military power, not citizens with guns in their homes.

          • KarenJJ

            How do guns stop fighter jets and missiles?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Are you stupid?

            You seriously think the Germans didn’t invade Switzerland because they were afraid of the citizenry?

            Jesus christ, they friggin invaded Russia!!! Who had a fully militarized army that was almost bigger than the whole Swiss population.

          • Who?

            I never suggested banning guns, or stupidity. I’m sorry if I gave that impression. Regulate, licence, manage, just as we do with those other potentially fatal items, cars, alcohol and cigarettes. Banning things is counter productive and really expensive, as the War on Drugs illustrates.

            I do expect though that serious thoughtful people like you, who also like guns, would want legal ownership regulated, if only so that when someone is, for instance, carrying a concealed weapon, we could all assume they are either law enforcement or a criminal. That would make life easier and safer for many people.

            We lived in the UK for six years, in more or less dodgy places some of the time. All felt much safer than the time we spent in the US.

          • A Banterings

            There are enough laws now, the problem is that they are not enforced. Not to disparage anyone, but a prime example of laws not being enforced are illegal immigration. I do not want to debate that, it is simply a fact that those laws are not enforced.

          • Who?

            Great, enforce them then. What would that look like? Or is it the case the NRA own the relevant governments and don’t want them enforced.

          • Who?

            Do you want gun laws enforced? Or just immigration laws?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I always thought that if the NRA was serious about the mission of gun education, then they would take a MUCH harder stand on toy guns. They would be in support of policies against “playing guns”

            How many people did you shoot with your “potato gun”? How many kids shoot each other with nerf dart guns? How is that proper handling of guns? How can you expect kids to have no rules in how they handle toy guns, being allowed to shoot at whatever and whomever they want, and then expect them to learn the safe way to deal with real guns? Shouldn’t toy guns be teaching tools?

            If the NRA cared about teaching gun safety for kids, that’s what they’d work on. Having kids handle toy guns safely first, and then move on to real arms.

          • Dr Kitty

            But gun crime in the UK is much less common than in the USA, becuase there is almost no legitimate arms trade, meaning that, unlike the USA, it is much harder for someone who wants an illegal firearm to get one.
            Not impossible to get one, but definitely harder than, for example, smashing a truck windscreen and taking a legally held firearm out of a gun rack or glove compartment, or burgling a gun owner’s home and lifting a gun out of the drawer on the bedside table, or just getting a friend without a felony conviction to buy one for you…
            Just as if you have a large pool of legally held drugs of addiction with few restriction it is easier for them to go into the black market than if there is a smaller supply with stricter restictions.

          • Swiss, No Gun

            Banning guns worked quite well in Australia. Banning stupidity would be better, I agree, but I think we’re still a long way away from that.

          • Cobalt

            Like the CNMs that ignore the dangerous and ignorant DEMs and CPMs hiding under their umbrella, the responsible gun owner is remiss in not supporting efforts to weed out and disarm the criminal, lazy, and ignorant among them.

            If the NRA refuses to take a stand to separate and protect responsible gun owners from those who would kill people through criminal or reckless acts, then they are de facto accepting the criminal and reckless into their ranks. Considering the blind efficient lethality of a gun, society must act to protect its members.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Exactly. If the vast majority of gun owners are responsible, then what is wrong with going after the ones who are demonstrably irresponsible. Shoot, unlike CPMs, at least the NRA claims to have standards for safe handling etc, and so all they need to do is to concede that people who don’t uphold deserve some sort of repercussion.

            However, I think the answer for why they don’t is exactly the same as why midwives don’t take a stand against the supposed “rogues”: they know damn well these people AREN’T all that rogue, and the difference between the “irresponsible” and “responsible” person is not in their approach, but in that irresponsible one had the incident, and the responsible one hasn’t had anything happen YET.

          • Cobalt

            “difference between the “irresponsible” and “responsible” person is not in their approach, but in that irresponsible one had the incident, and the responsible one hasn’t had anything happen YET.”

            That’s ok, they’ll call it an accident.

          • yugaya

            “Guns are for protection. In Switzerland today, by law, every citizen owns a gun (assault rifle). Nobody wants to invade a country that has every citizen armed.”

            Jezuskám, could advocates for this and that please stop being that culturally and historically ignorant when using other countries as examples? Are you really saying that Switzerland wasn’t invaded by the nazis and is highly unlikely to be invaded even in future world conflicts because it’s safer due to the fact that they all have guns over there?

            It’s always google it, simplify it, and then plant it into your argumentation with complete disregard for historical context, cultural adjustment or simple facts.

          • Swiss, No Gun

            No, not every Swiss citizen owns a rifle. Only those who are in the army do. Usually they are men aged between 20 and 40 (since military service is still not compulsory for women). I’d hazard a guess that it would amount to less than 10% of the population. There are also very strict rules regarding storage, ammunition and when/under which circumstances you are allowed to carry that weapon (as someone below mentioned, it’s the ammunition they keep track of very closely). I am not really up to speed with the rules, but they have been made stricter over the years, that much I know. Growing up in Switzerland yes, my dad had a gun, but it wasn’t loaded, and the only time it was handled was when he had to go do army service. I don’t even know where he kept it, and that’s saying something, because I knew our house pretty well, including the hiding spots for Christmas presents I wasn’t supposed to know about. 😉 Using the army guns for self-defense or any other purpose was never an option.

            Switzerland not being invaded has nothing to do with those guns. Do you really think that a few more guns would have stopped Hitler? Having a well-trained army and a smart army general certainly helped, but the reasons for him not invading Switzerland were far more complex. He needed unfettered physical access to his ally Italy, and the Swiss (being sandwiched between Germany and Italy) had the power to stop that and threatened to do so if he invaded them. That was a major reason, among many others.

            Also, the mentality is very different. The Swiss don’t really care whether they have guns or not and there’s no “gun culture” as such, not much angst about the “right to bear arms”, and generally a very different attitude to crime, and really just such a vastly different culture, you can’t compare it to the US. It’s not just like comparing apples with oranges… more like apples with tennis balls. I have never heard of anyone using their army-issued gun for protection against a crime such as a home invasion (they couldn’t because it would be locked away) which always seems to be cited as a reason why Americans want to keep having access to them. And I really wish people would not abuse Switzerland to further their pro-gun arguments in the US, particularly not in terms of WWII. It makes me cranky because both my grandfathers defended the Swiss border in that war.

            TLDR? Leave the Swiss out of it.

        • Amy

          Guns weren’t developed with wounding in mind. That is an absolutely ludicrous assertion. They were destined to do one thing only – kill.

          • birthbuddy

            Ironically, on a battlefield, wounding is sometimes more effective than killing. A lot of people and effort is put into saving and retrieving the wounded, thereby slowing down your enemy.

          • Siri

            And people get to die slowly, obscenely, and in agony! Win-win!

          • Who?

            It’s very demoralising for the comrades too, and scary. Bad for morale.

          • A Banterings

            Thank you for saying it.

          • Who?

            I don’t understand that this helps your position. If you are a good enough shot to choose whether to kill or wound-I’d suggest in the heat of battle neither the soldier nor the weapon is usually adequate to allow a choice-being tactical about the decision makes sense. Using the weapon to get the best outcome doesn’t change its nature.

          • A Banterings

            Article 23e of the Annex to Hague Convention IV of 1907, which prohibits the employment of arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. (A historic inconsistency of the law of war is that while it is legally permissible to kill an enemy soldier, should you only wound him, the wound should not cause unnecessary suffering.) In theory, if an enemy soldier can be disabled by a single bullet from, for example, an M16, then two bullets from an M16 or a round from anything larger may cause unnecessary suffering. The theory pales when considering the lethality of the 20th century battlefield. Statesmen, diplomats, and lawyers, recognizing the impracticality of such theory, wisely have avoided any attempt to define the concept of unnecessary suffering.

          • Who?

            Necessary to whom? Making the other side break is the goal of a battle.

        • Therese

          Police are not trained to wound in the U.S., they’re taught to shoot to kill. Not sure about prison guards.

          • Who?

            Same in Australia-they are trained to aim at the biggest target, usually the torso. More likely to hit that, less likely to accidentally hit someone else.

          • Mishimoo

            Thanks, I was about to say the same thing and honestly, it makes sense. If it gets to the point where the police officer needs to use a gun, they need to use it efficiently.

          • Who?

            You bet.

          • Mishimoo

            OT, but a bit of a giggle. One of my friends was called out to a burglary last night and had a bit of a rant on social media because when she got there, the son grabbed a selfie stick so he could have a selfie with her and her partner. Never mind that his house had been robbed and his dad threatened by a bloke with a knife, the selfie is more important. So now her confused face is somewhere on Instagram, and we’re all giggling about it.

          • Who?

            My son always checks they are not wanted for anything before agreeing to selfies…

          • Mishimoo

            That is a really good idea!
            It seems to be becoming rather common; I don’t really see the appeal though.

          • Who?

            Well they are often rather good looking, esp the young ones…I think it is partly flirtiness, partly the uniform.

            My daughter collects them!

          • Who?

            Selfies with police, not police, just to be clear…

          • Mishimoo

            I thought as much, but the idea of collecting police officers made me laugh so hard!

          • sdsures

            Priorities, man!

          • sdsures

            I thought they are taught to shoot to incapacitate?

          • Who?

            Sounds lovely in theory, but in practice it’s really hard. Handguns are notoriously inaccurate and most police don’t have a lot of training in their use, and don’t even get to practice regularly at the range, unless they take themselves and use either a range or private gun. Certainly here they are not allowed to take their police issue weapon home. And shooting a person is way different from shooting a target.

            At the scene there are a lot of people around, perhaps a level of confusion about who is doing what. Police shoot to protect the general public, their colleagues or themselves, having decided there is no other effective way of doing that. Making sure they don’t hit a member of the public or one of their colleagues is a high priority-hence the need to wait for a moment to take a ‘safe shot’ ie one that is likely to hit the intended target. Given all that you want the biggest target to aim at. And they deal with all that with minimal training, under pressure.

            By the time they have the gun out they are in a bad spot, perhaps not because they have done anything wrong, just rocked up to do their job.

            And I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure you can die from being shot in the leg or arm?

        • Siri

          And 5-year-olds are just about trained to use the toilet. So it figures that they will shoot their baby brother, or their mother, or themselves, anywhere they happen to point the gun. Yay guns!

        • T.

          Cars, alcohol and cigarette don’t have as main designate purpose maiming or killing. The main purpose of cars is transportation, the main purpose of alcohol and cigarette is recreational. For a gun, the main purpose is to kill or maim, but it is possible to use them for recreational purpose.

          You may as well say that houses kill (they do if they fall on you) and as such say that houses are like guns. Rocks. Hands. Glass bottles. If the only basis is “may kill/maim” then pratically everything is “like a gun”.

          The point is not “may kill/maim” but “are basically designed to kill /maim”. As such, the only things you can logically compare a gun is other weapons.

          The comparison is not apt.

          I am not getting in the general illogicity of here:

          “You ask, “Is a gun designed to kill or wound?”
          The answer is it depends where you shoot the person. Police and prison guards are trained to wound (arm, leg, shoulder). Snipers are trained to kill (head, heart).”

          Are you seriously trying to tell me that if you shot somebody in the shoulder you do not wound them? You MAY not kill them -may-. But you sure as hell wound them.

          • A Banterings

            The purpose of alcohol was originally to store calories. It has been adapted to social situations. Smoking was originally a rout to administer medication. It has been adapted to recreational administration of a drug.

            The primary purpose of a gun is to launch a projectile over long distances with consistent accuracy. What you do with that ability is up to you.

            Let’s replace car with another mode of transportation, say………..
            ……an airplane. That too is designed to move people and cargo from one point to another. I seem to remember this incident that happened September some years back.

            Despite what it was designed for, human motives can make it good or bad. What it does is neither good nor bad.

            Look at the Nobel Prize. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. Because of all the bad it did, he established the Nobel Prize. Yet today dynamite is used to raze old structures, fracture rock, and a host of other construction related activities.

            Is dynamite bad because it kills people or good because it builds things?

            Tha answer depends on how PEOPLE use it. Same as guns.

          • Who?

            Exactly-what people choose is the problem. So why let them choose whatever they like, without possibility of sanction?

          • T.

            No, the original purpose of alcohol was to put people high and/or to sterilize water for drinking (teas have the same use). There is a theory that alcohol started getting real popular when people made cities, because water got tainted and as such water-borne diseases became prevalent. People who had the ability to drink alcohol -beer usually- could drink a more sterilized form of liquid. People who couldn’t were more likely to die of watern-borne diseases.
            This also could explain why populations who never went through a city phase -like several natives populations- are more susceptible to alcohol.
            But this is all hypothesis.

            BS. The reason guns were invented, same as swords or bows, is to kill or wound. People or game, your choice.
            The WAY guns kill is -same as bows- by putting something in the air with enough force to pierce a body.

            As I said: EVERYTHING OR ALMOST everything can kill. Houses can kill. A house here last year went down, killing everybody in it. Does this means that houses are like guns? Hands can kill. Are hands like guns? And on and on.

            Guns have literally being invented for that. Period. End. No other reason. To say that “it is the same as a car because both can kill” is the same as saying “cyianide is the same as an orange because you can eat both”. Yeah, sure you can.

            Making too vast statment of likeness defeat the purpose of the argument.

          • A Banterings

            If guns killed, then guns would be in jail and not people.

          • Who?

            I’m sorry but that is really beneath you.

            It’s like saying the hands that strangle someone should go to prison, leaving the handless ‘brain’ walking free.

            A gun is a tool-like hammers, screw drivers, cars and axes, it can be used, negligently or with intent, to kill. Either way, the ‘brain’ not the tool, needs punishing.

          • sdsures

            Right, so we should cut down trees so people won’t hang themselves on them? Documentary about a forest in Japan, known as “Suicide Forest” because many people go there to hang themselves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDSdg09df8 There is also a similar phenomenon with large famous bridges – signs with suicide hotlines printed on them are posted, to hopefully help a suicidal person decide not to jump. Maybe we should stop building bridges, too.

          • sdsures

            There are people attached to the guns, funnily enough, when people get killed by guns.

          • Kq

            This is literally one of the stupidest arguments ever.

          • Samantha06

            That’s for sure! FFS.

          • Who?

            Who cares what the original purpose of things is? The literal interpretation of the US constitution, based not on the modern world with all we’ve learnt, but upon what a few men hundreds of years ago might have thought, is the exact problem here.

            People are inventive-channelling all that for good-that is, minimum harm to most, is a positive thing.

          • just me

            Actually it’s the incorrect interpretation by 5 justices of the ussc that’s the problem (heller case). There’s a lot of legal scholarship predating that case that argues for the other interpretation.

          • RKD314

            Is there any way to use a gun, in it’s capacity as a gun, for anything other than killing or maiming something?

            I guess you could use it as a hammer, or a very unsafe drill. But coming back to launching projectiles over long distances with consistent accuracy: is there any reason to do that other than killing or maiming someone/something? I am truly interested here.

          • A Banterings

            Meditation.

            If you have ever participated in a Japanese Tea Ceremony, you will understand.

            Like climbing a mountain.

          • Who?

            Great use for a gun. No reason to bring it home or carry it concealed though. Leave it at the range, safer for everyone.

          • Dr Kitty

            So…easily replaceable with any other activity requiring sustained concentration and physical attentiveness then.

          • yugaya

            You can use it for …ehm…there’s gun porn…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Rule 34!

          • Cobalt

            Target shooting can be fun, just like anything else that tests your physical skills. It’s done at a range, with clear rules and safety precautions like any other sport.

          • moto_librarian

            The length to which gun advocates will go to justify themselves is amazing. Guns are weapons. They were designed with the express intent to harm or kill. Can a plane be made into a weapon – yes, we all saw that on 9/11 – but planes were designed for transportation. Anything can be made into a weapon, but let’s not pretend that objects designed for other purposes are even remotely similar to an object that was invented solely for destruction.

          • demodocus’ spouse

            People use cars to intentionally kill people all the time. The embassy bombings? Timothy McVeigh? people running over their cheating spouses? This is an odd argument.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            …drive-by shootings…

          • T.

            I’ll add this: I am an archer. I enjoy archery. It is relaxing and people have stopped using bows as a main weapons some hundreds of years ago.

            A BOW IS STILL A WEAPON WHOSE MAIN PURPOSE IS TO KILL OR WOUND.

            This is why bow owners are encouraged never to store arrows and bows in the same place and, if possible, to dismantle the bow (depends on kind of bow) and absolutely never to put bows in the proximity of children too young to understand the concept. And are considered responsible for any wounding and you can’t be in an archery shooting without a freaking insurance.

            (Yes even if the bow is without arrows, because children may try it with, say, a twig).

          • A Banterings

            I forgot about the bows and the recent spike in popularity among young girls due to the Hunger Games and Disney’s Brave. I seem to remember much encouragement for young girls taking these self sufficient fictional characters on as roll models for their strength and independence. Too bad they are incapable of giving birth on their own. I guess just another weakness….

          • Cobalt

            Big difference between bows and guns. Anyone can fire a gun, even a toddler. It takes no skill and no training to very efficiently fire a lethal projectile.

            Bows are big. A recurve bow with a 20 pound draw (which is about as lethal as a BB gun) is taller than most kids. To reach the full strength of the bow, they have to be able to draw back 28 inches, which is longer than a young kid’s arms. They also have to be coordinated enough to nock and rest the arrow. You have to work to load and fire a bow. A loaded gun can go off anytime something hits it.

          • Cobalt

            Using modern medicine to improve birth outcomes isn’t weakness. Being able to access quality medical care for yourself and your children is a strength.

            Do you really believe a woman’s strength (value, character, power, whatever) is based on whether or not she can deliver a baby unassisted? On the internal dimensions of her pelvic bones? On whether or not she experiences preeclampsia, malpresentation, gestational diabetes, cord prolapse? Really?

            Kind of like saying a woman is strong because she can fire a gun. Hell, any toddler can do that.

          • A Banterings

            NO, I believe a woman’s strength is based on her God given right to choose how she lives her life WITHOUT nanny government or people who can live their own lives telling any woman (or man) what to do.

          • Cobalt

            Then why:
            “Too bad they are incapable of giving birth on their own. I guess just another weakness….”

          • Who

            Who attributes motive to inanimate objects?

            Most posters here seem to be of the view that inanimate objects which when used according to the directions on the label can be dangerous should be owned and operated by people who know how to do it and who will take responsibility for their use. How is that a bad thing?

          • Who?

            How does giving someone the right to vote allow a lifetime of monitoring and intrusion into their genitals and limit their self determiation?

          • demodocus’ spouse

            After I gave birth, should I have also sewn up my torn perineum (sp?) on my own? I have excellent sewing skills, but it must be yet another a sign of weakness that I allowed my ob to do it.

          • Who?

            Thanks for saying this. My moron of a neighbour allows his children to practice archery in their suburban back yard. After a failed attempt at pointing out the breathtaking irresponsibility and stupidity of this behaviour, I now return the snapped arrows that land in our yard to their mailbox, snapped in half.

            Either they have stopped or their aim is improving.

          • Cobalt

            A normal child’s recurve or long bow is much, much safer than an adult’s bow. A bow’s lethal capacity is severely limited by the amount of force it can generate, the amount of force the archer can generate, and the type of arrow and head used as a projectile.

            A typical child’s bow has a 12 to 20 pound draw (at full draw, which most children aren’t large enough to achieve, further reducing the velocity of the arrow) and shoots soft wood arrows with target or flat points. Very unlikely to kill anything, and very unlikely to even cause serious injury. With adult supervision and basic safety sense, they are pretty safe.

            This is different from a 60 pound draw bow that can be used for hunting, with carbon arrows carrying bleeder blade broadheads designed to inflict maximum trauma to whatever they hit.

          • Who?

            All that sounds really reasonable, and if my neighbour was a reasonable person I’d be happier with all this. His block of land is tiny (under 500m2) with houses on all sides. The arrows were landing at our clothes line and in the yard. Even something fairly light, but with a point, can do damage.

            It’s not the place for archery.

          • Cobalt

            Even an unheaded arrow can damage something, like your neighbor’s laundry. It’s irresponsible to send any arrow Willy nilly in the same way playing baseball in such a crowded area is irresponsible.

            The kids are unlikely to produce a tragedy if they are using appropriate kid’s equipment. They can still be a nuisance and a hazard, though.

          • Who?

            Absolutely. I guess my ultimate concern is that they will not always be using kids’ arrows-who knows what he has up there? Whatever is happening the kids aren’t learning responsible use of the bow and arrow.

        • sdsures

          Guns are only good for one thing. They re designed to maim and kill. The only other stuff on earth I know of that is that deadly, that easily, are the samples of lethal bacteria and viruses that the CDC keeps locked up and has to don Hazmat suits to deal with. That should tell you something. http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/jul/10/smallpox-virus-vials-variola-research

    • Amy

      Yes! People, stupid careless people are involved. That’s why we need regulations and commiserate consequences. The grandfather, who reportedly owned the gun, should be charged with involuntary manslaughter for allowing his loaded weapon to be within reach of the 5 year old. If the parents had knowledge of the gun’s location, then they are also a fault and should face some legal consequence. I’m sure someone right now is making the case that the families have suffered enough. No. Until there are legal ramifications ‘responsible’ gun owners will continue to leave guns out for children to handle.

      The same goes for midwives. It’s obvious to anyone who cares to look that homebirth and it’s caregivers is in dire need of more regulation. I find the comparison to be on point.

      I’m not even going into the twisted logic that equates guns with cars, etc.

      • Who?

        The car, cigarettes, alcohol thing is twisted but it usually shuts down this line of argument.

        Ultimately, the purpose of a gun is to make you seem bigger, scarier and more deadly than you are. Used as directed, it will maim or kill any living creature its projectiles hit, and scare the willies out of them before the trigger is pulled. There is no other use for it, let alone another primary purpose, unlike the other things I mentioned.

        • Amy

          I agree with you, absolutely. It’s been my experience that a person who uses that line of ‘logic’ is somehow unable to the fundamental difference between cars and guns, etc.

    • Sue

      Actually, natural childbirth kills people. Unless someone prevents or stops them dying.

      • A Banterings

        So that explains why the human race went extinct a million years ago….

        • T.

          No, this shows a basic misunderstanding about biology and evolution.

          Evolution only makes “good enough” systems. Take hyenas. 1 in 10 births is deadly for the mother, but since 9 aren’t, this is definitively good enough.

          For humans, it is not quite as high, but if your pelvis were shaped wrong or the baby was in a wrong position, you died. It didn’t matter, there were more than enough other women.

          Evolution is BASED on a lot of animals don’t getting to adulthood and reproducing. For every pair of parents, only a pair of offsprings -the more adaptable- SHOULD make to reproduction. Counting how many chicks can a wild, say… starling make? 16 in a lifetime.
          That means that 14 would die.

          A human woman can make… say 14 babies averange? Say that 7 of these are female. Means that -before our population explosions- it was totally fine for 6 of these babies not becoming mothers themselves.
          Death in childbirth was one of those way.

        • yentavegan

          I used to believe this too. I used to believe that as long as a laboring mother was in a comfortable safe place her chances of having an excellent birth outcome was guaranteed by mother nature. But then I read the story of Vylette Moon , and then I read the stories written on the HUrt by Homebirth blog and before long I had to re-evaluate all the Natural Birth Propaganda I had assimilated into my world view. Sobering…

        • Young CC Prof

          Look, is English your native language? Because there are an awful lot of things people are saying that you are misunderstanding, and I don’t know whether it’s a language barrier, something else, or if you’re just doing it on purpose.

        • susan

          God that’s priceless. bingo!!!

    • KarenJJ

      If only we had a good way to predict certainty who was going to be able to use a gun responsibly, safely and without any accidents?

      If only we could predict with certainty who is able to give birth safely at home and who will need medical assistance?

    • just me

      How many mass stabbings are there? Oh right, that rarely happens. Mass shootings–all the time.

  • Samantha06

    I’m sure everyone has heard this… the surgeon who was shot in Boston has died. He was shot by the son of a former patient. He was the father of three children, and his wife is pregnant with their 4th. Sounds like she is about 32 weeks. So, so sad… 🙁

    • Mishimoo

      That is incredibly awful; his poor family!

      • Samantha06

        I know. I was watching the news tonight and I felt sick. His wife is a surgeon too, he was only 43 years old.. I wish hospitals had better safeguards to protect against this sort of thing.. he was shot somewhere in the hospital…

        • Roadstergal

          People on Twitter are honestly suggesting that doctors should be armed in the wake of this tragedy. FFS.

          • Samantha06

            I heard about that. Aren’t teachers in the US starting to arm themselves too? I wonder if it’s going to get to the point where in order to get into a hospital, people will have to go through a security checkpoint. With the increased violence directed at healthcare workers, it might not be a bad idea. Anywhere I’ve ever worked, all doors are locked after 9pm and people can only get in through the ER, where an armed guard was on duty at the door…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Armed teachers in the US are more likely to shoot themselves in a classroom than to prevent a problem.

          • Samantha06

            I believe it! Not a good thing when you have a classroom full of kids..

  • CanDoc

    Oh god. This page always makes me think, often makes me angry, and sometimes makes me sad. But today it made me cry. Thank you, for shining a light, for speaking to power.

  • Who?

    I know I’ve bored for Australia on this topic before, but surely with rights come responsibilities? Whether it is choosing a homebirth or owning a weapon, do it with some maturity and own what happens as/when it doesn’t go well.

    We’ve all spent the best part of a week musing over midwives who can’t own their own behaviour and feel the need to re-write or re-frame and carry on; where is this idea that there can be consequences-free choices coming from?

    And on the rights thing, surely I have the right to walk around the street, or the shops, without being shot? And if someone else has to have their rights limited to achieve that, I’m all good. Perhaps if the language of rights is the prevailing norm, this side of the argument needs to start using it too.

    • KarenJJ

      I don’t understand it either (and am also Australian). My uncles are all farmers and they all have a gun of some form. They all had children and were incredibly careful about gun storage (only once did I ever see a gun at one of my uncles and got to shoot it at a tin can). Guns were not stored loaded and ammunition was always separate. Prior to Port Arthur they were mainly semi-automatic rifles. After Port Arthur they handed them to the government as part of the ‘buyback’ scheme. It left them out of pocket, but they did get some compensation for it.

      After the gun buyback my uncle said that it was a good thing to have happened. He mostly used the gun to put down the occasional half-dead sheep that had become flystruck. Yes it could be a slight nuisance to have to reload between shots, but you really do not need many bullets to put down a half dead sheep and if you do, then you need to learn to become better at it. He said that he also has children and was shocked by what happened at Port Arthur and besides, we don’t want Australia to become like America.

      So anyway, that was one of my family’s perspective on it.

      • Mel

        Our larger farm rifle (which I can shoot, but has too long of a stock for me so I get a freaking bruise) holds 5 rounds – it’s a semi-automatic. We need two shots to be sure of a kill on a cow – one at a point on the forehead, one behind the poll – and honestly, the second shot is to make us feel better because the cow is very dead after the first. My smaller shotgun holds 4 and I can shoot it without pain.

        The only situations where I’d want at least 4 would be a bull attack. Since after the attack on my husband a few years ago, we only keep bulls under 2 years of age and sell them for slaughter at 24 months – no exceptions. Our conception rate dropped slightly, but everyone’s anxiety level has dropped markedly.
        In the US, I worry far more about military-style automatic weapons (which have no use in the hands of the general public) and hand guns (which I see no use for in the general public either).

  • Tosca

    Another similarity…familiarity with high risk has bred contempt. Their risk meter has reset, to see an unacceptably high level of risk as “normal” and “ok”.

    I am also Australian, with no experience of gun culture. If I had a loaded handgun in my house I would be acutely aware of it. I would not sleep. I would be obsessively checking that the safety catch was on. In fact I wouldn’t have such a thing in my house. I would unload it and lock it away. If it belonged to someone else I would insist he/she do the same thing, and if they refused I would throw them and their damn gun out. And my children are adults.

    The adults in this horrible event are so desensitised to the risk presented by a loaded handgun that it was left lying around where a little boy could find it and play with it. That is a horrifying level of negligence, but I’m willing to bet it wasn’t the first time they’d done it. This was just the first time their negligence had horrific consequences.

    So too homebirth midwives. They appear to have convinced themselves that high risk births are not really high risk. Sometimes they get lucky, and mother and baby are fine…and they crow about how stupid it is to claim twin births, or VBAC etc are dangerous. And then, inevitably, comes the day when a baby is shot in his crib by his 5-year old brother.

    • Mishimoo

      I also live in Australia; in my state, it’s illegal to store a loaded gun, and there are loads of other restrictions. There’s also automatic jail time for anyone caught with an illegal firearm. The gun laws are just common sense and easy to abide by, but even though we were raised with guns around and want to get our licenses, we still wouldn’t have guns in the same house as kids. It’s just not worth the risk.

    • Guest

      The NRA does have an outsized influence on our government. It’s able to spend millions on lobbying the federal government, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it owns some state legislatures outright. There are millions of members of the NRA. Only a small percentage want to be able to walk around town with their weapons strapped to their backs. In reality, the NRA represents the gun manufacturing companies, not individual gun owners.

      Polls taken right after the Newtown tragedy showed that around 80-90% of people favored more restriction. Unfortunately, those few changes requested were shot down in Congress. Some states controlled by the Republican Party passed unconstitutional laws that tried to strip away the Federal government’s very right to enforce gun regulations.

      They were very successful at making the argument that Barack !Hussein! Obama, the so-called president but in actuality that Muslim Kenyan usurper communist socialist tyrant emperor nit-wit incompetent wuss was finally, FOR REALS THIS TIME, coming to take your weapons away and put you in FEMA camps.

      Most of use are absolutely horrified at the way a small minority is able to exert such control.

    • SuperGDZ

      “If I had a loaded handgun in my house I would be acutely aware of it. I would not sleep. I would be obsessively checking that the safety catch was on.”

      I even do this with my power drill! A gun would scare me senseless.

      • A Banterings

        A loaded gun in the house is a very bad idea and irresponsible. Keep the bullets separate and at least one of them locked.

        If you think that is bad, try having 2 meth-heads in your house at 4:30 am with a hacksaw looking copper pipes. You will be quite happy to have a gun then.

        • Who?

          No, then I’d go out the other door or pretend to be asleep, or help them take out the pipes and give them a lift to wherever they are going. How is shooting them a good option?

        • No, no I really won’t. A gun just escalates the situation. Why confront when you can run? A two-on-one situation, with the one having a weapon, just makes everything go all clusterfucked that much faster and more permanently.

          Besides, what makes you think your theoretical meth-heads don’t also have guns? This is America. They’re very likely to have one, and then you’re dead for trying to confront. Not a winning scenario, no matter how you look at it.

          • Medwife

            They’d be more likely to break in while the house was vacant during the day and steal the gun along with the copper wiring.

  • AdelaideGP

    From an external point of view ( Australia here) , it’s always been a curiosity why guns are such a thing in the USA. Does the NRA have strong political influence over the legislative processes/Gun laws ? ( sorry complete ignorance of how things work in that regard). As much as I wasn’t a huge fan of our former Prime Minster , John Howard, I did admire his leadership when he initiated the Gun buy back program after the Tasmanian Port Arthur massacre in the 1990s. Despite criticism of “knee jerk” reaction from some, overall it proved to be a sensible safety initiative (which history has looked kindly upon him since. ). Thanks for another great post, Dr Amy!

    • Cobalt

      The NRA is a major campaign funder and as such “owns” most of one party and a good bit of the other. There is a significant portion of voters for whom the right to carry any gun, any where, with zero regulation or liability is their number one voting priority. You could run for office on a platform of zero gun regulation and putting Mexican cocaine into school lunches and get elected in some areas.

      Anytime someone is a crime victim they scream about how there wouldn’t have been a crime if the victim was armed. Unless they victim was a young black male, in which case it’s just declared not a crime.

      It’s weird.

      • Adelaide GP

        Yes, after the recent Sydney Siege , I read on an online forum, some American guy came on and said if Aussies were armed it wouldn’t have happened as they could have protected themselves !! It seemed highly insensitive to exploit a recent tragedy still so fresh to push a gun agenda, WTF moment definitely.

        • Cobalt

          Here it is the opposite. In the wake of yet another tragedy it is wrong to “respond emotionally” with a “knee-jerk reaction” to finally enact any reasonable measure of gun regulation. Apparently, just after a class full of children are murdered it is “insensitive” to try to prevent a recurrence.

          • Who?

            I was floored by that when I heard it-had to actually watch it to believe he’d said those words.

            Port Arthur was Australia’s ‘this far and no more’ moment for guns; it was politically brave of then PM John Howard to do what he did, and I’m sure there are people today alive because of it.

          • Mishimoo

            My dad had to hand in his (legally shortened) semi-automatic shotgun*. Given some of the stuff that’s come out in the divorce proceedings, I’m glad that laws changed and it had to go.

            *Reportedly, that specific model had issues with jamming. The officer in charge of the sign-ins was having a chat with my dad about the history of the gun and how well it shot, then made a snarky comment about giving the more reluctant gunowners an exhibition on just how dangerous those guns could be.

          • ForgetfulGuest

            Yes, I agree. I didn’t like JH and most of his policies, but I’m grateful to him for this. At least we can go out without wondering if we’ll be shot. There’s enough other violence without guns in the mix. Tragedies can and do still happen, as the Sydney siege showed, but the odds are so much smaller. I think I would be very nervous in a country like the US where anyone could be carrying a gun wherever you went. And the school shootings! I’d be terrified about sending my kids to school each and every day. Or maybe you’d get used to it. I don’t know – I don’t think I would… it would always be a niggling fear in the back of my head.

            As for this story, how many kids out there are going to have to grow up knowing that they accidentally shot a loved one? These tragedies seem to be coming thick and fast. I just don’t get how anyone can still argue that this is in any way acceptable or excusable for the greater good.

          • Who?

            The problem in Sydney was the guy was an angry nutcase, and the gun he had was a force multiplier, which is really what a gun is. Arguably a large but concealable blade would have been just as effective a tool of control and fear, which is why concealable weapons of any kind have no place in the hands of people other than law enforcement and the army.

        • Sue

          The NRA tried to exploit the Sydney siege by saying that, if the cafe visitors had been armed, less lives would have been lost. On the contrary – it was a tragedy that the gunman and two others died, but mass shootings are incredibly rare here. We like it this way.

          • Who?

            Yes-I don’t think anyone who actually knows anything about handling small arms thinks that an armed person in the cafe would have made a jot of difference. I went to sleep on that Monday night with such a heavy heart thinking they would all be dead by morning, and was surprised it didn’t pan out that way-a great tribute to the people managing it.

            Of course a tragedy in itself and particularly for the families involved, but it could have been so much worse.

            And most in Oz are happy with our truncated rights and almost no mass shootings.

      • Who?

        I heard an interesting program about the NRA, it used to be much more about protecting gun owners, offering advice, support and community, but it was taken over by weapons producers who need to protect their revenue stream.

        It’s not an original idea, but if Americans who weren’t in favour of the NRA’s position were to join, couldn’t they change it from the inside? No doubt the gun producers would start their own new organisation but it wouldn’t be cloaked with the name of a formerly more moderate organisation. And responsible gun owners would have a responsible organisation to support them.

    • Amy

      The NRA does have an outsized influence on our government. It’s able to spend millions on lobbying the federal government, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it owns some state legislatures outright. There are millions of members of the NRA. Only a small percentage want to be able to walk around town with their weapons strapped to their backs. In reality, the NRA represents the gun manufacturing companies, not individual gun owners.

      Polls taken right after the Newtown tragedy showed that around 80-90% of people favored more restriction. Unfortunately, those few changes requested were shot down in Congress. Some states controlled by the Republican Party passed unconstitutional laws that tried to strip away the Federal government’s very right to enforce gun regulations.

      They were very successful at making the argument that Barack !Hussein! Obama, the so-called president but in actuality that Muslim Kenyan usurper communist socialist tyrant emperor nit-wit incompetent wuss was finally, FOR REALS THIS TIME, coming to take your weapons away and put you in FEMA camps.

      Most of use are absolutely horrified at the way a small minority is able to exert such control over gun legislation.

  • Mel

    That story is horrifying and heartbreaking.
    I grew up in a family without guns. Why would we need one? We lived in the city and don’t hunt.
    I now live in the country and know how to shoot the two rifles we own in case we need to put down a cow. We have a legitimate need for it – but that doesn’t take away our responsibility to keep others safe. We keep the rifles unloaded, safeties on and locked in another building than the locked ammunition. Bluntly, the extra 5 minutes that getting and loading the gun is worth knowing that any stray kids or mentally ill workers or family members cannot easily access the guns.

    Also, bluntly, we don’t have hand guns. Dangerous weapons shouldn’t be tot-sized.

    • just me

      Sorry, don’t think killing a cow with a gun is a necessity…

      • Dr Kitty

        If you live far enough from a vet, it definitely is.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        If you live on a dairy farm and you have a cow for instance, gets a leg caught in something(between rocks etc) and they break their leg, you put the animal down. There are other instances I’m sure, that’s just one that comes to mind. You don’t make them wait in pain for the vet to come. My Mom grew up with dairy farming relatives in Vermont and my cousin is a large animal vet.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        How else are you going to kill a cow???

        • An Actual Attorney

          With a CPM and some cinnamon breath.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            You win.

          • Who?

            Is it wrong I laughed at that?

          • Mel

            No, because I laughed, too. When I read the CPM stories to my husband, he looks horrified and says “Shit, I wouldn’t let these people around cows let alone humans.”

            It tells you something that I’d prefer my chances of giving birth in an emergency with a herdsman over a CPM. At least the herdsman would be trying to access medical help and be willing to accept that I am in freaking pain….

      • Mishimoo

        Captive-bolt pistols don’t actually kill the cows, they just stun them and you have to finish them off by cutting their throat. It’s less humane than a bullet, and less safe for the farmer.

        • Mel

          A good captive-bolt should kill the cow. The reason we keep long guns is for the rare but terrifying possibility of a bull attack on a human. If a bull attacks, sometimes the only choice to save a person is to shoot the bull from a distance.
          My husband was attacked by a bull 5 years ago just after we started talking online. Nico tripped in front of the bull, got up, then made the mistake of turning his back on the bull while moving cows. The bull charged him, and started head-butting him. Nico’s alive today because the bull knocked him into the free-stall area where there weren’t any barriers that Nico could be trapped for the bull to hit him against or to start stomping on him. There were three other guys there; they couldn’t get the bull off of Nico for nearly 3 minutes even though they were hitting it with any hard implement they could find. Nico was trying to hit the bull’s nose and eyes – it didn’t stop him.

          Once Nico got to safety, my father-in-law and pretty much the entire farm staff separated the bull from the herd, then put him down. There was no way anyone could safely maneuver the bull into a chute and no one was getting within 3 yards of him.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh goodness, how awful for everyone.
            Glad your husband escaped relatively unscathed.
            Bulls are scary.
            My dairy farming relatives use AI exclusively, partly because that way they don’t have the risks of keeping a bull on a farm with young kids. This is Ireland- no massive ranches or tracts of land, everything is kept pretty close to the farm house, so putting a bull into a shed in bad weather in effect means having him 50yds from your back door.

          • Mishimoo

            Oh wow! So glad he survived, that would have been terrifying.

            Maybe the ones I’ve heard of are different? Two of my friends are/were slaughtermen (on opposite sides of the country), and the captive-bolts they used really only stun the animals as they’re designed that way.

      • Mel

        The American Veterinary Medicine Society disagrees.

        We live 45 minutes of travel time from the nearest vet – if they are not already on call. If they are out, it can be hours. If the animal isn’t in pain, or we can dose it with enough medication to stop the pain, we’ll keep an eye on her and let nature take its course.

        A cow with a broken leg will die. Unable to stand or roll effectively, all of her weight is pressing against her internal organs. In a short period of time – hours to 2 days – her rumen will herniate and spill stomach contents into her abdomen which leads to sepsis. That’ll take a few days to finish her off – all the while, she can’t stand, drink, eat, interact with other cows or move out of her own wastes.
        They are huge animals with massive physiological reserve – dying tends to be dragged out over days.

        We can’t keep pain medications strong enough to kill a cow outright on the farm legally because they can be abused by humans. The meds we do have are not enough to kill her – although they might induce pneumonia if we keep her drugged for very long.

        Rights come with responsibilities. In owning cows, the responsibility is knowing how and when to humanely put them down.

        • Stacy48918

          You’re exactly right. From the AVMA Statement on Humane Euthanasia:
          “Physical methods that destroy or render nonfunctional the brain regions responsible for cortical integration (eg, gunshot, captive bolt, cerebral electrocution, blunt force trauma, maceration) produce instantaneous unconsciousness.”

          In other words, as long as you stop their brain first, it’s considered humane euthanasia. To allow a cow to suffer until a vet can arrive is inhumane.

        • sdsures

          Ditto horses.

        • just me

          Right. “Owning” sentient beings.

      • sdsures

        What other method would you suggest?

        • just me

          Not killing? A more humane method?

          • sdsures

            If a cow has a broken leg and is not put down, it is effectively being tortured with a slow, lingering death. That has already been explained to you.

          • sdsures

            Someone else just explained that not euthanizing a cow with a broken leg is cruel.

    • KarenJJ

      One farmer relative said that it is tough being a farmer and a animal lover.

      • Mel

        It depends. To me, love is the action of caring for an animal. When an animal is suffering and we can’t stop the pain, the only loving action is to euthanize the animal.

        Before I married, I worried that I would be too soft-hearted – I would feel too bad about euthanizing animals. Turns out, I do feel a bit bad because I wish things had turned out differently. I was surprised, though, to find that it’s easier for me to make a decision about euthanizing calves than it is for my husband. I hate that some calves are born severely brain-damaged due to loss of oxygen during delivery – absolutely hate it. But since I don’t directly care for the cows daily, I can me more rational about what we’re seeing – a calf that is only doing reflexive movements, has an erratic heartbeat, is gasping for breath, and shows no pain response IS brain-dead. Euthanizing it is just stopping the body’s futile attempts to work.

        And that’s why I work to make sure women TRUELY understand the risks of an unmonitored labor. I’ve watched brain-dead calves die. I’ve seen my husband euthanize them. It freaking sucks every time because that calf has nothing wrong with them – except their brain suffocated.

        Humans should never, ever have to know that experience with their children.

  • Elaine

    Someone on my FB page just posted a link to this piece of garbage:

    http://www.ravishly.com/2015/01/13/homebirth-fear-bliss-true-stories-of-homebirth-water-birth

    Your birth is only bad if you think it’s bad. Her almost 6-minute SD was totally awesome.

    gaaaaah.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      So your hospital birth is only bad if you view it the wrong way.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Nope, that is objectively true. By definition.

      • no longer drinking the koolaid

        So, where are the midwives and family therapists who can help a woman reframe her bad hospital experience into a good one so she doesn’t suffer as much trauma?
        Bad me, if they did that then women would choose to birth where they felt safest, rather than having someone fear mongering and reminding them how awful that hospital birth was.

        • Samantha06

          “So, where are the midwives and family therapists who can help a woman reframe her bad hospital experience into a good one so she doesn’t suffer as much trauma?”

          Where’s ole Patricia Robinette when you really need her?? Damn that woman was about as crazy as they come..

    • sdsures

      Oh god, the baby was 11 lbs? Um, at that weight, they’re usually scheduled for CS!

      • AmyH

        I know, isn’t it great she was at home so she could avoid that “unnecessarean”?

        • sdsures

          A FB friend of mine recently had a baby girl (repeat CS) who tipped the scales at 11lbs. She’s got very chubby cheeks that are oh so adorable.

          • Elaine

            I have a sort-of friend who had a 2 hour labor with an 11 lb baby (her second, the first was 9 lb something). I do not know for an absolute fact that it was not a c/s, but I don’t think that most people go around reporting the length of their labor and not mentioning a c/s if they did have a c/s. It boggles my mind that she could so easily have a baby that big! That is half again as big as one of mine.

    • Samantha06

      Puke.. another home birther comparing babies to poop, and the same old tired lines: “We live in a first world country. And as such we’ve come to expect only positive outcomes.” … sigh..

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        I fail at computing what they mean…Yes we live in a first world country( I live in the US , which has problems with affordability of healthcare but thats another story), with modern medical care and tested, measured drugs and pain relief measures available. And yes, we have come to expect, or at least hope for positive outcomes…she says that like its a bad thing? Wha..?

        • Samantha06

          I know… it’s insane.. and she is a nurse… being a nurse myself, it makes it that much more baffling. Of course, you’re not going to get a positive outcome every time, ie- cancer and so forth, but in Obstetrics, it’s pretty reasonable to expect things will work out positively, if you are taking full advantage of modern medicine. I get the impression she thinks we should lower our standards and accept the risks and bad outcomes of home births because we have become too dependent on modern medicine. That’s pretty damn twisted, especially for a health care professional.

    • Mel

      Best part: the rather catty comparision between Ashley’s Zinn’s SD and the author’s SD. Clearly, the author – who is the better, deeper, more zen person – has better deal with the SD than Ashely.

      Of course, I view Ashely’s fear and regret as the psychologically healthier reaction.

      • lawyer jane

        Also this: “The child, Zinn, was successfully delivered at home, and then, was ultimately transferred to the hospital after delivery.” “Successfully delivered” in the sense that he was delivered at all? That is kind of a low bar.

        I just find it extremely hard to believe that she is a medical professional who seems to think that the outcomes don’t matter, just your fear and beliefs about the outcomes.

        • Elaine

          Oh jeez. I missed that she was an RN. *bangs head*

          I do know some L&D RNs who are fairly deep in the woo. I certainly hear enough stories from them of what they think of as intervention-happy docs, and then they seem to tilt too far in the opposite direction in response.

          • Samantha06

            Not all of us, thank God! I think the woo-infested ones haven’t seen enough yet… it’s easy to get sucked in though.. I’ve found myself falling for some of it, and had to do a reality check..

          • AmyH

            My NCB friend told me recently that her friend who used to be a midwife in another state works as a nurse where I’m going to deliver – maybe I’ll get her! (Yeah, wouldn’t that be great?)

            Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the nurse’s name.

          • Samantha06

            Was she a CPM before becoming a nurse? Maybe with some actual medical education, she’s come to her senses.. one can only hope…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well, if she’s working as an L&D ward, it’s safe to say she doesn’t have the view that hospitals are evil.

          • Samantha06

            You know what though? I’ve worked with a few nurses who were bitter, burned out and actually had screwed up views of hospitals and doctors. Most of them retired or left the profession to do something else.

          • guest

            I have a sister who is an L&D RN and desperately wants to home birth, totally believes in the “cascade of interventions,” and is deeply distrustful of doctors. I still can’t wrap my head around why she’s a nurse, and an OB nurse to boot.

          • Samantha06

            That is truly sad. The woo can be very seductive.. maybe she works in a not-so-great hospital? I don’t know. It’s hard for me to understand that, being an L&D nurse myself..

        • Guesteleh

          Notice she omits the NICU stay. Also notice that none of the “research” she links to includes the recent Grunebaum studies.
          BTW, based on a quick google, Grunebaum is starting to become almost as notorious as Amy among the NCB crowd. Also, you should follow him on Twitter because he’s great and not just on the subject of childbirth.

        • Samantha06

          Oh, but he came out of her who-ha, so that’s “successful” in her book.. being alive is incidental..

          • Kq

            (Obligatory reference to “a lovely spontaneous vavaginal birth” here)

          • Samantha06

            Yes, thanks! lol!

    • LibrarianSarah

      What stand out to me was that she mentioned her 15 year old. The fact that she had a 15 year old suggested that she was most likely AMA. I mean even if she was a teen mother she would still be at least 30. I am not sure what the cutoff for homebirth is but I would guess once you hit your 30s your risk profile changes and popping out a kid in your kitchen starts to look like even less of a good idea.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Washing 5 loads of towels after giving birth?
      Fuck, no. Give me the hospital any time.

    • Ash

      It’s all fun and games until someone needs to be intubated.

    • Amy M

      Another homebirther suggesting that not all babies are meant to live. She didn’t use those words, but if you read the end, she mentions how we struggle to keep a micropreemie alive, and how we grieve if it or any other baby dies, like its a bad thing. I wonder how she’d feel if it was her baby. It’s all well and good to say “Some babies aren’t meant to live” until its your baby, I think.

      • Amy

        It’s callous, and shows a complete lack of empathy.

    • Anj Fabian

      “I pushed again, harder. Nothing. And again. And again. Nothing. After a couple of minutes of this…”

      After wasting precious minutes and brain cells….

    • Susan

      That really made me angry. Only a labor nurse with some sort of screw
      Loose would brag about having an 11lb. Shoulder dystocia and resuscitation at home. She may as well be bragging about playing Russian Roulette with the gun aimed at her baby. I would not choose homebirth again but I recognize that it can be done in a much safer fashion than it is currently done. When my daughter was born, My CNM said that if the estimated fetal
      Weight was more than 9lbs we would not plan a homebirth. This is despite my 15 minute second stage and 9.5 lb first baby! There was no talking them into it ( I tried) the risk was not ok with them. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous. Now, I take heart that at least my young and ignorant self knew I only wanted a homebirth if I could have a CNM. I just can’t wrap my head around a labor nurse having such a near disaster and saying “it’s only a matter of perspective”.

  • manabanana

    I’ve never considered this parallel before – but I think it’s a good one. It doesn’t matter how many different ways I say “I don’t want to ban all guns,” to people who LOVE guns so much they believe they should have an unfettered *right* to them. All of them. They will accuse me of trouncing on their RIGHTS.

    I’m not anti-gun, I don’t want to abolish all guns – but there are plenty of high-powered, military caliber weapons out there that are possessed by normal, everyday people – and I don’t think we really need that in our society.

    And it doesn’t matter how I say: “You know, I don’t really think it is SAFE to be having breech VBACs at home. Or just breech births at home. Or *just* VBACs at home. These situations are not low-risk, these situations do not belong in the realm of home birth midwifery.” I get accused of 1) not caring about women, 2) not respecting women’s rights, 3) not respecting women’s autonomy to do whatever the hell they want, 4) FEAR-MONGERING. etc.

    There is a pretty reasonable parallel here between the NRA and homebirth midwifery – the absolutism of it. It’s always all or nothing.

    I don’t consider myself ‘fed up with natural childbirth’ or anything like that. But I do consider myself fed up with the inability to have any sort of reasonable conversation about risk. And the reality of certain situations that confer a higher risk. Midwives – particularly homebirth midwives – are loathe to have the discussion about increased risk. To them, there is no increased risk. It’s all the same = “Birth is as safe as life gets.” So to them, there is no ‘too-extreme’ for a midwife client, or a home birth. HBAC, breech, twins, HBAmC, GDM, post-dates, all of it. They want all of it. It’s extremism. There is no reason.

    • sdsures

      Extremists of all types have many things in common.

    • manabanana

      ” I don’t agree with limiting what type or amounts”

      “…needs to be truly and fully available to all…”

      Are we talking about birth at home? Or firearms?

  • I can’t imagine. Why is some reasonable level of precaution and good sense shunned? Would it be too much to ask that guns be kept in a locked hardcase that would prevent preschoolers from murdering their infant siblings? Would it be too much to ask that guns and ammo be in seperate locked containers? Would it be too much to ask for basic training in gun safety and responsible gun ownership? We’ve got gun control in Canada – and guess what, it has yet to get in the way of gun enthusiasts and hunters from being able to go out hunting or from having gun collections. We’ve also got far fewer gun fatalities in Canada….

    • sdsures

      True about Canadian stats, not the least of which is that most often, the types of guns we have are hunting guns, not handguns. We also have more guns and fewer gun-related deaths per capita.

      “Would it be too much to ask that guns be kept in a locked hardcase that would prevent preschoolers from murdering their infant siblings?”

      The gun-happy usual defense for that is, “I need to be able to access the gun quickly if a burglar breaks into my home.”

      • just me

        And the vast majority of the time it’s the would be criminals who get the guns and use them on the fools who keep them unlocked…or kids get them resulting in tragedy. How many cases are there of people actually defending themselves/fighting off attackers with their unlocked guns? And I don’t mean the Zimmermanesque fools who commit murder claiming self defense.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          I don’t know, maybe I’ll look it up sometime, except that in the US at least up until recently the CDC was not allowed to use research fund on researching gun injury and fatalities (no I am not kidding) http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/16/16532333-obama-plan-eases-freeze-on-cdc-gun-violence-research?lite
          I do know that in the town next to mine an off duty cop shot an intruder who was coming in the basement window. Except the intruder turned out to be his 18 yo daughter who had snuck out and she was sneaking back in.

          • Anj Fabian

            So what happened? I remember the story – the noise, the shooting, the father driving his seriously wounded child to the hospital.

            That’s where the story ends for me..

          • Cobalt

            There was more than one of these in the last few months. The teen girl lived in one, I don’t remember the other.

            The guy that shot himself in the testicles throwing a Christmas tree into the back of his truck onto his unsecured and loaded shotgun got to keep them, though.

          • Young CC Prof

            Recently, the state of Idaho passed a law authorizing concealed carry on all colleges and universities. Soon after, an instructor shot himself in the foot in his classroom when he screwed up his “pocket holster.” http://www.idahostatejournal.com/members/isu-instructor-shoots-himself-in-the-foot/article_960a7244-332b-11e4-9442-0019bb2963f4.html

          • Cobalt

            I don’t want to come across as totally heartless, but when I hear about stuff like that, my non-emotional, knee-jerk response is:

            “Dumbass”

          • Mel

            Michigan has a state representative who tries to either allow concealed carry OR (my fave) mandate that teachers be armed after every school shooting.

            As a teacher, this terrifies me because my colleagues who would be most likely to decide to carry a weapon to class are the people that NO ONE else wants carrying a weapon.

          • Young CC Prof

            “Defensive” guns in schools are absurd.

            There are about 50 million school children in America. Let’s say 10 get shot every year, that’s 1 in 5 million. So this is a really small risk that gets an enormous amount of media attention.

            Let’s say you put a gun in a classroom. What do you think the probability is that at least one of the following will occur within the next year:

            1) A child will somehow get ahold of it and fire it.

            2) A school employee will accidentally mishandle it.

            3) Someone outside the school will get it and use it to do harm, or break into the school to try to steal it.

            4) A school employee will deliberately mishandle it in a moment of rage (that would otherwise have blown over without anyone being seriously hurt.)

            More that one in five million? Thought so.

          • Mel

            When anyone would bring the idea up, I would point out that I am a whopping 5’4″, obese female who was working with much larger teenage boys some of who had a previous history of violence. How does me carrying a gun NOT end up in me getting shot by said gun?

            In terms of safety, I honestly felt less afraid of being shot in an urban alternative school where I worked for years than I did at a wealthy suburban school where I student-taught. My alternative kids had a better grasp on reality – life is more than school. At the other place, the teens felt like a pressure cooker…..

          • Who?

            One small comfort is that the person most likely to be shot by any gun is its owner.

            And I get that a proportion of that group is suicide, and I don’t wish to be callous, but for the rest of the group surely the owner is the appropriate victim.

        • Amy M

          Yeah, the way I see it, most intruders will wait until we are not home to break into our house. If they break in while we ARE home, most likely they are armed and we’d be dead long before we could get to a weapon and defend ourselves anyway. If by some chance, we were home, and heard someone breaking in, I’d do my damnedest to get my children out of the house.

      • Samantha06

        I’ll never forget the time I was discharging a baby with his parents. They drove a pick-up truck, one of those with bigger wheels that sat up higher. (Not as big as the monster truck wheels but higher than normal). They opened the passenger door and there was a huge hand gun laying on the floor halfway under the seat! I know nothing about guns, but it had a very long barrel and looked like one of the kind Clint Eastwood had in those old westerns! I’m sure my jaw was hanging open!

    • Amy M

      Yeah, I don’t think those irresponsible gun owners are all that rare….they seem to be the ones responsible for all the dead kids, even inadvertently. I mean, I hate to blame the woman in the story that Dr. Amy related above, because obviously 1)she didn’t shoot the gun and 2)she lost her child, but shouldn’t that gun have been secured? Why was the 5yr old able to get to it? Why was it loaded? Why was the safety off? I realize this is victim blaming to a degree, which I don’t like or agree with, but a responsible gun owner makes it so a child can’t get his hands on the gun.

      • An Actual Attorney

        And the NRA opposes basic safety improvements, like a “smart gun.” http://goo.gl/FGd7vu Almost bankrupted the famed Smith & Wesson for even inventing the thing.

        • Cobalt

          The controversy over the smart gun, which can only be fired by it’s owner, demonstrates how bizarre the gun conversation has gotten. How can you be against it?

          Not terribly different from being against DEMs having any liability when they injure someone.

          • Mishimoo

            I love the idea of a smart gun because it is brilliant, not just because it reminds me of Judge Dredd.

          • Roadstergal

            “How can you be against it?”

            If you’re making good money buying guns for others who have felonies.

      • Therese

        It wasn’t even her house that this occurred at but rather her father’s, who she thought was a responsible gun owner. What are you supposed to do, ask every time you take your kids to see grandpa if he’s remembered to put his guns away??

        • Who?

          If grandpa keeps guns, yes.

          I acknowledge I’m coming out of an entirely different culture, but when my children were small I wouldn’t have taken them to a house where I thought there was any chance a loaded firearm would be anywhere other than a very high, preferably concealed, locked gun safe.

          Maybe that was this mother’s understanding too, or maybe he usually locked them up when the kids were coming over but forgot, or maybe no one had been shot for 50 years so what’s the problem. Whatever happened, that child died an avoidable death and the lessons could profitably learnt by parents of small children.

          • Therese

            Easy to say when it’s not the culture you are living in and you don’t actually have to cut your parents off from having a relationship with your child!

          • Who?

            I would never cut my parents off-I’d invite them to mine, pay for their travel if necessary. Or meet on neutral territory. We did that with my drunken (now late) parents-in-law, not that they had loaded guns but their house was a giant booby-trap. I didn’t feel I could keep the kids safe there, so we did other things to see them. And of course the kids could never be left alone with them anywhere as they could barely manage themselves let alone dependent children.

            If that doesn’t suit the grandparents they are cutting themselves off. Which would be sad but nowhere near as sad as burying a dead child.

          • Therese

            Gun violence can happen on neutral territory. It can happen in your home as well. My dad, who I had been 100% convinced was a “responsible gun owner” proved not to be when we were on neutral territory (thankfully nothing happened but it could have). I’ve heard other stories, like the grandma that comes to visit and sets her purse down in the child’s bedroom, forgetting about her concealed weapon that’s inside. I suppose you would be more upfront about telling your parents that guns weren’t allowed on these visits and that should work for most normal people but when you grow up used to people owning guns and your parents always seem 100% responsible, keeping guns locked up, etc it doesn’t occur to you that you can’t trust them until you realize you can’t.

          • Who?

            That is very difficult. I would be very specific about the problem, my concerns, and expectations. As you say, I can’t imagine someone who knew my problem with visiting them was their guns, bringing their guns to my house or anywhere the children were.

            It’s an astonishingly complex problem, but surely trying to be the solution in your own little world is a great start.

          • RKD314

            Who is talking about cutting off a relationship? It’s very simple how this goes:

            Mom, upon entering grandpa’s house: Hi Dad/FIL, are all the guns unloaded and locked up?
            Grandpa: Yes they are!
            Mom: Great, we’ll come in then!

            Alternatively,

            Grandpa: Oh, I forgot, thanks for reminding me!
            Mom: Ok, we’ll wait here while you go take care of that.

            Or,

            Grandpa: How dare you! It’s not like anyone’s going to get into them anyway!
            Mom: Alright, we’re not going to be able to visit today. We’ll visit when you unload the guns and put them away, or you’re welcome to visit us any time.

            How is any of those scenarios equivalent to cutting off a relationship???

          • Therese

            The part that requires trusting whether Grandpa is correctly recalling whether everything is actually locked up.

          • RKD314

            There is still no part of that that requires cutting someone off. All it requires is, “Ok, let me see that the gun is in the safe, please.”

          • Poogles

            My mother-in-law has many guns in her house, always has. I already plan on personally checking the whereabouts of any firearms every time I bring my (future) child over to visit. I can’t rely on someone else’s memory of each and every gun in the house and whether they had all been properly secured before we arrived. It is something that I have no problem doing to give myself peace of mind. Thankfully, my MIL is not the type to be offended over safety checks.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            When I was doing Dad’s Boot Camp, we always talked about how, with a new baby, when people come to visit, you should ask them to wash their hands before holding the baby. And we said that far and away, people don’t have a problem with that simple request. We had one person once say that someone took exception. Should you still let them hold the baby? Or are they being a total douchenozzle?

            I wouldn’t want my child to have a relationship with my parents if they weren’t willing to take simple safety measures.

            Would you let your parents watch your kids if they insisted on driving them around and refused to get a carseat or even use yours? Or would you say, no, you can’t babysit again until you get yourself a carseat?

        • Medwife

          I’m American. If I had a friend or relative who I knew kept a gun, I would initially ask how they keep it secure, if the ammo is separate from the gun, etc., before I let my kid run around that house. I’m hyper aware of guns because it was not my family culture to own them and I live in this freaking insanely violent country, so if I had the least bit of concern about their trustworthiness, I would not let my kid be in that house. Grandpa would come see us.

        • RKD314

          Yes, that is exactly what you are supposed to do.

          • yugaya

            My kids never visited my brother or stayed there without me. Guess why.

    • Bugsy

      We’re Americans who now call Canada home, and the gun craze was a huge part of it. I grew up 10 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School. That shooting happened when I was home alone with my 2-month-old son in a ridiculously gun-crazy state (Florida); yes, we had personal ties to that school and the victims. While living in Florida, I saw coworkers make threats with guns, and others leave their guns out in public at home. My husband’s former employer made a gun rack for his car that he loaded w/ rifles and drove on a daily basis.

      We were planning to move to Canada anyway, but Sandy Hook was the final straw. No parent should have to wave their child off to school wondering if he/she will end up the victim of a school shooting. We didn’t want to have to always ask other parents if they had unlocked guns before having play dates…what other choice would we have had?

      We are truly thankful to be north of the border now. Yes, there are still shootings. The whole mentality, however, is wildly different.

      • Samantha06

        Yes, it definitely is. I feel we are sheltered from a lot of the supposed “big, bad US.” I didn’t live in Florida but I heard about the gun issues and violence there. I was very blessed where I lived though. Crime was low, and I always felt safe. Guns just didn’t seem to be a big issue, even though I lived in the south where there is a stigma about “gun totin”

  • GiddyUpGo123

    That one particular argument makes my head spin, that citizen ownership of guns will somehow prevent a totalitarian government takeover. Until the right to bear arms extends to citizen ownership of Apache helicopters, M103 heavy tanks and howitzers, I’m pretty sure that any “totalitarian government” who wanted to could kick the asses of a bunch of guys holed up together in a compound with their semi-automatics.

    • sdsures

      Pretty much. People in the US who believe that have no idea what an actual totalitarian regime is like to live under.

      • demodocus’ spouse

        Oh, they are, they are indeed.

        • sdsures

          *crosses that one off my to-watch list*

      • Amy

        Preppers? Goes with the territory.

        I grow a lot of my own produce and do a lot of canning in the summer, and unfortunately, there’s a lot of overlap between people who like to DIY when it comes to food and extremist libertarian doomsday preppers.

      • Bugsy

        From personal experience, yes, they are.

      • yugaya

        “People in the US who believe that have no idea what an actual totalitarian regime is like”

        It’s quite survivable, but usually no thanks to having a gun and shooting your way to freedom.

      • There’s a guy who actually survived an apocalypse-like scenario. He was in one of the cities that was besieged during the Bosnia-Croatia-Serbia war (I think). Actually cut off from outside sources, zero law, people scavenging to survive, widespread starvation, the works.

        Two things to stock up on- medicines (antibiotics and painkillers) and ammo. Guns are super easy to come by, apparently. They’re durable goods. But ammunition, that’s expendable, and people never have as much as they’ll need for the long haul. Medication is obvious as to why it’s rather useful.

        • sdsures

          Big difference, though, between Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia, that war, and the average apocalypter in the US, which has a stable government.

          • Oh yes. I’m just pointing out that the “preppers” don’t know what they’re doing.

    • Guesteleh

      Yeah, ask Dave Koresh how that compound worked out for him. Oh wait, you can’t.

  • Dr Kitty

    I don’t feel safer around guns.
    I like knowing that the only people who have them are cops and criminals.
    I grew up during the Troubles, with bomb scares and security checkpoints and tit for tat killings as daily occurrences.
    The idea of everyone having access to weapons makes me feel more scared, not less scared.

    • sdsures

      Every day that I’m living in the UK I’m thankful for our sensible gun laws. (Also, being Canadian helps.) However, I still get nervous when I see a rubbish bin outside a mall.

    • yentavegan

      One day a decade ago, an off duty police officer was visiting our home, watching the game with my husband. I went to the front hall closet to take out my coat and there in plain view was his gun protruding from his jacket holster. I thought I was going to throw up. My kids, my rambunctious boys could have easily gotten to it and who knows what could have occurred. I marched myself into the man cave and demanded he take possesion of the gun immediately. I did not want a loaded pistol anywhere near me or my kids….to this day I still think of this guy as an asshole.

      • Who?

        Yikes.

      • Young CC Prof

        I’m pretty sure he’d have been in big trouble if his boss ever found out about that little “slip-up.”

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Yeah. My BIL is in the FBI, and he’s required to have his gun within arms reach at all time. If it’s hanging up with his coat in the closet, he’s violating his work requirements.

        • demodocus’ spouse

          I was a preschooler at the time so I can’t be sure, but I think my policeman Grandpa had to have his either locked in a safe or on him.

      • Samantha06

        OMG, I would have crapped myself! How irresponsible can you get! Was he at least apologetic and embarrassed??

        • yentavegan

          No actually he was self righteous about it. He behaved as if I was over reacting.

          • Samantha06

            What an asshole is right..

  • demodocus’ spouse

    Well, guns *do* usually need an active person to kill people, while childbirth is *more* likely to kill if there is no one about, but your point is still quite valid. Especially as the NRA gets wackier over time. Did you see the Frontline piece on the NRA a couple weeks back? http://video.pbs.org/video/2365397152/
    The NRA’s positions smack a bit of racism to me. Trevon Martin was every bit as within his rights to stand his ground as George Zimmerman was. The one with a gun was not the black kid. That 12 year old boy in Cleveland with his toy gun was merely pretending to be a fine, upstanding, gun owner just as the NRA might wish. No one knows, but maybe he was pretending to be a soldier protecting people from terrorists, or to be a policeman fighting gangbangers, or to save his family from an attempt by an evil government to storm their home… Okay, that last was a smidge unlikely.

    • Guesteleh

      It’s not a bit of racism. Gun sales have jumped since the Scary Black Stealth Mooslim became president.

      • demodocus’ spouse

        Didn’t know that, but somehow I am not surprised.

  • Sarah1035

    It’s the lack of legal responsibility gun owners have that gets me. Laws vary by state but in most cases if your kid takes your car keys off the table and kills someone or damages property you are on the hook for damages. They take your gun and do the same and it’s just an accident or tragedy. I don’t think liability laws would solve the problem directly, but victims would have some recourse and people might think twice about gun ownership if it would raise their homeowners insurance premiums.

    • sdsures

      “Laws vary by state but in most cases if your kid takes your car keys off the table and kills someone or damages property you are on the hook for damages. They take your gun and do the same and it’s just an accident or tragedy.”

      *is stunned*

    • DiomedesV

      I think that liability laws that 1) allow citizens to hold gun owners civilly responsible for damages should irresponsible use or storage lead to a death; 2) require gun owners to carry active insurance policies for such damages; and 3) allow for criminal penalties for gun owners whose unsecured weapons are used to commit crimes would go a long way toward making gun ownership safer. The NRA used to promote responsible gun ownership. Now they’re just a lobby.

      And yes, if your kindergartner brings your gun to school and kills another child, *you* should go to jail. I don’t care if your family is “already suffering”. I don’t care if it would destroy your family. Someone is dead, and the parent is responsible. The parent should go to jail.

  • Bugsy

    Absolutely and completely off-topic, but great for a hysterical laugh: a modern-day birth plan. http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/jamie-and-jeffs-birth-plan

  • yentavegan

    Oh My God, Dr. Amy! I am so loving you right now!

  • Alcharisi

    This sentence wants a question mark rather than a period:

    How many babies have to die before we stand up to the National Rifle
    Association, the organization that thinks gun “rights” are more
    important than whether people, even babies, live or die.”

    • Staceyjw

      And it’s free speech, not speek 🙂

    • demodocus’ spouse

      Also, in “And when was the last night citizen ownership of guns prevented a totalitarian government takeover (ostensibly the purpose of the right to bear arms)? Never.” the “night” should probably be “time”

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks to everyone for finding my many typos!