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Where do you stand politically?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just sharing information, because you appear misinformed.

    Maybe, maybe not
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JavaKrypt wrote: »
    But that's because guns are outlawed, how bad would it get if guns were legal again the UK? Gun fatalities in the UK probably skyrocketed TO the fear factor they hold making their value higher and their illegal importing more valuable. I don't dare think of the UK having guns legal.

    Criminals will still have their guns even when they're outlawed. That's been shown by the fact that gun injuries/deaths have not only not gone down, but have increased by a pretty large amount. If you're willing to use a gun to harm someone, or to indimidate someone in order to commit some other crime such a robbery, you don't care that your weapon of choice is "against the rules" because you're breaking them anyway. All banning guns does is prevent the average, law-abiding citizen, from having one, whether it is for protection or just as a hobby down at the firing range.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Maybe, maybe not

    I haven't looked through the link super thoroughly yet but from what I see, it seems to lump the entire US together when different states have different laws regarding firearms. A break-down of which states contribute more to the total might show some correlation between stricter gun laws and higher injury/death rates. I'll have to look closer to see if it ever does that later on or if it continues to show the entire nation as a whole. The article is also dated 1998, meaning it is over 10 years old. I'm correcting my earlier statement that the handgun ban was in '98, as it has come to my attention that it was actually '97. Still, the ban had not been in effect long when this article was written. The long-term effects of the ban would not show up for a few more years, which is convenient to the point you're trying to make. Also conveniently, due to the date, it doesn't show that in the US our rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries has continued to decline over those past 10 years.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    gun crime isnt a big problem in the UK at all. not saying it never happens, but its not common. Certainly dont hear of many kids shooting up schools, or parents taking their kids to gun fairs and letting the kids shoot themselves in the head.
    The US attitude to guns is crazy imo
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is why I won't debate the issue. It's like abortion, people are very fixed in their views.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    gun crime isnt a big problem in the UK at all. not saying it never happens, but its not common. Certainly dont hear of many kids shooting up schools, or parents taking their kids to gun fairs and letting the kids shoot themselves in the head.
    The US attitude to guns is crazy imo

    Imagine how much less of a big problem it was before the ban, considering how high the rates have gone since then? I'm not saying that the UK is riddled with gun fights or anything, don't get me wrong. I visited England for a month once, and did not get shot a single time. xP I was simply pointing out the correlation.

    I don't think it's crazy to be allowed to own a gun. Something like a grenade launcher should not be allowed to the general public, but a handgun is just fine. There isn't really any evidence to show that when the people have guns, they go crazy and everyone gets shot up and dies. We need to stop treating everyone like they're idiots who don't know right from wrong and will ultimately make the wrong choices unless we make it for them. Owning a gun does not make you more likely to kill someone when you normally would not, despite what some people would like to tell you. The people who ARE wanting to kill people, on the other hand, are going to do it whether the government says they can use a gun or not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Anyway:

    Gay people should have the same rights as anyone else. Whether the state should be acknowledging anyone's relationship, I'm not sure. I think there are situations where it's beneficial to do so.

    Abortion should be legal and state-funded, because the state will only end up with the bill when the child is born otherwise. The term limit for abortion should remain as it is currently.

    Man-made climate change has overwhelming amounts of scientific evidence supporting it. I don't see how that's got anything to do with political opinions though.

    I'm undecided on gun control, but I wouldn't support making them freely available for the purposes of self-defence in the UK currently. Our violent crime rate is reasonably high, but our murder rate (in England and Wales, at least) is very low, and I don't see how adding guns into that situation will do anything but swap a few of those violent crimes for homicides.

    I support a tax system where people can earn a fairly substantial amount tax free (say £10k-12k), but beyond that, rates get reasonably high. I support high levels of taxation on unearned income, such as inheritance.

    Welfare should be about getting people who are able to working, of course. But people should not be punished for things that are beyond their control, which is often the case when people become unemployed. But a situation where someone is better off on benefits than working is ridiculous, yet quite possible.

    I'm not massively concerned about immigration. I think free movement within the EU is a good thing, although a bit of foresight when opening our borders to new members wouldn't go amiss, because services can't cope with huge increases in population overnight.

    I'm in favour of drugs legislation that's actually based on evidence, rather than politics. I'm in favour of softer drugs such as ecstasy, cannabis and LSD being legalised, regulated, sold and taxed. I'm not sure about the harder drugs, although I've seen suggestions of legalising them in order to offer them on prescription, eliminating the criminal element of the supply chain.

    I have no opinion about Alaska, although I believe we should invest more heavily in renewables, given our country's perfect location for things like wind and wave power. I also see nuclear as a viable option.

    I believe the unions perform a vital role, despite not always being correct. There are some examples during the recent financial crisis of some very mature agreements between unions and companies in order to protect workers jobs and keep the company profitable.

    I think universal health care is more important than property rights. I don't have any particular opinion on which method is used to achieve that, although a system where insurers can refuse to pay out is obviously corrupt in the extreme.

    I believe that the evidence from Sweden, and the most recent PISA study suggests that a voucher system, and more generally, competition between schools, does absolutely nothing to raise the overall education standards in the country. I think that the Finnish system is the best model currently available. This would involve scrapping league tables, removing excessive testing, adequate provisions for poorly performing students, and in America's case, scrapping the policy of students having to repeat a year if they perform poorly. I certainly don't support a system where the state pays for the education, but has no say in how it is administered.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    This is why I won't debate the issue. It's like abortion, people are very fixed in their views.

    I'm actually pretty new to politics, only started getting interested within the last 6 months or so, and I've learned a lot in that time. I'm very open to changing my views, should the right evidence come along, that's what I've been doing this whole time. I'm still developing my viewpoints on a variety of issues, and that's why I like to discuss these things. It gives me a chance to look into why I think the way I do by being forced to justify it, and allows me to see what other people are thinking and why they think it as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I cannot remember a single person, in all my 40 years, who has changed their mind on gun and/or abortion.

    Most other areas, yes, but for some reason not those two.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just because someone doesn't change their opinion on a subject doesn't mean they're not open to doing so if the right facts present themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    I cannot remember a single person, in all my 40 years, who has changed their mind on gun and/or abortion.

    Most other areas, yes, but for some reason not those two.

    Well, I'm generally very open-minded despite the fact that I do have an opinion on things. If another viewpoint can trump mine, and I ignore it because I'm too proud to admit that I'm wrong, then I'm not growing. When I took Ethics, my philosophy instructor referred to those types of people as "living in Stupidville", and I'd have to agree. If I get interested enough in something, I look into it. Not just to find things that support what I'm already thinking, but to see other opinions too. There's always the chance that my opinion isn't as correct as I think it is, and I'm doing myself a disservice by letting my pride get in the way of learning.

    Also, if you didn't want to debate then why did you interject with your link? xP
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also, if you didn't want to debate then why did you interject with your link? xP

    Because I lack willpower ;)

    Seriously, I think in both of those issues I mentioned the evidence and strength of feeling is pretty similar. It's very hard, if not impossible, to find that single point which breaks either argument. Hence people rarely, if ever, change perspectives.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    I cannot remember a single person, in all my 40 years, who has changed their mind on gun and/or abortion.

    Most other areas, yes, but for some reason not those two.

    I have - on both ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have - on both ;)

    *high-five* I don't know what your opinions are and if I even agree with them, but good for you for being one of the non-arrogant few who are at least willing to change those opinions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have much experience with debating abortion, but I've winded people down on gun control (took awhile, but did it) to where you could see the crease between their brows and the gears in their head start turning. Naturally, that's not with everyone, but there are some people who are open to new ideas.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Criminals will still have their guns even when they're outlawed. That's been shown by the fact that gun injuries/deaths have not only not gone down, but have increased by a pretty large amount. If you're willing to use a gun to harm someone, or to indimidate someone in order to commit some other crime such a robbery, you don't care that your weapon of choice is "against the rules" because you're breaking them anyway. All banning guns does is prevent the average, law-abiding citizen, from having one, whether it is for protection or just as a hobby down at the firing range.

    That's all very well and good, but that's not what you claimed. You claimed that countries with higher rates of gun ownership had lower rates of gun deaths. So give us the evidence. Because from what I've seen, the highest rates of gun fatalities in Europe are in Switzerland and Finland, which coincidentally also have the highest rates of gun ownership.

    And I didn't really want to talk about Britain specifically, but it always makes me laugh when people point to Britain tightening up its gun laws. Can I have a wild guess that you're not from Britain? Because whenever I have this debate with people who aren't from Britain, they like to portray the Firearms Act of 1997 as if vast swathes of the population were now no longer able to defend themselves against the evil armed criminals. The reality of the situation was that the legislation affected 57,000 out of 60m people. That's why I asked if you're from Britain, because anyone from Britain would know that before 1997, practically nobody owned a gun. And nobody legally owned a gun for the purposes of self-defence. I'm under no illusions that the 1997 act was a politically motivated law, which did absolutely nothing to reduce gun crime. But it also certainly did absolutely nothing to increase gun crime either, as you seem to be implying. There are many things that affect the rate of gun crime in a country (and England and Wales' gun fatality rate is so low that just a few incidents can give you a very impressive-sounding percentage to quote), but a politically-motivated law that affects 57,000 people is not one of them.

    ETA: Incidentally, I think the better direction for your argument would be to look at the homicide rates overall, rather than just gun-related homicides. Because it seems logical to me that in a country with lots of guns, they would be the weapon of choice for someone committing murder (or suicide, for that matter). The real question is whether they increase the number of deaths overall (homicides, suicides and accidental deaths). Because ultimately, it doesn't matter how someone is killed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm under no illusions that the 1997 act was a politically motivated law, which did absolutely nothing to reduce gun crime.

    :yes:

    It was off the back of the Dunblane Massacre in 1996 when Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school with four legally held handguns, killing 16 5-y-o children and their teacher.

    This is was deemed too high a price to pay for lax gun laws.

    By a coincidence, and obviously nothing to do with the UK stance on guns, it took 24 years for the next mass shooting to happen.


    Possibly the most memorable mass shooting in the US was Columbine, which happened in 1999. In the ten years following this shooting, the following occured:

    - Littleton, Colorado, April 1999: Two teenage boys shoot and kill 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School before killing themselves.

    - Atlanta, Georgia, July 1999: A stock market day trader goes on a day-long shooting rampage, killing 12 people including his wife and two children before taking his own life.

    - Fort Worth, Texas, September 1999: A gunman opens fire at a prayer service, killing six people before committing suicide.

    - Washington, October 2002: A series of sniper-style shootings, some carried out from the boot of a car, claims 10 lives, mostly in the Washington area. Many of the attacks were carried out with a semi-automatic assault rifle.

    - Chicago, August 2003: A worker who was laid off shoots and kills six of his former co-workers with a semi-automatic pistol. The shooter had a lengthy arrest record, including for weapons offences.

    - Birchwood, Wisconsin, November 2004: A hunter opens fire with an SKS assault rifle, killing six other hunters and wounding two after an argument.

    - Brookfield, Wisconsin, March 2005: A man fires 22 rounds during a church service, killing seven people.

    - Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, October 2006: A truck driver armed with two rifles, a semi-automatic handgun and 600 rounds of ammunition kills five schoolgirls execution-style in an Amish schoolhouse, and seriously wounds six others before shooting himself.

    - Blacksburg, Virginia, April 2007: A student shoots 47 people at Virginia Tech, killing 32 before he commits suicide, in the deadliest mass shooting in the United States.

    - Omaha, Nebraska, December 2007: Nine people are killed and five others injured after a 20-year-old shooter armed with a military-style assault rifle attacks shoppers in a mall.

    - Carnation, Washington, December 2007: A woman and her boyfriend shoot dead six members of her family, including two children, ages three and six, on Christmas Eve, using large-caliber pistols.

    - Chicago, February 2008: Six women are tied-up and shot at a suburban clothing store. Five of the women die. The gunman has not been found.

    - DeKalb, Illinois, February 2008: A man opens fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, killing five students and wounding 16 before turning his weapon on himself.

    - Alger, Washington, September 2008: A mentally ill man who had been released from jail a month earlier shoots eight people, killing six.

    - Covina, California, December 2008: A man dressed in a Santa Claus suit opens fire at a family Christmas party at his ex-wife's home and then sets fire to the house. Nine people are killed in the home. The gunman later kills himself.

    - Geneva County and Coffee County, Alabama, March 12 2009: In a shooting spree that tears through several towns, a 28-year-old out-of-work man kills 10 people, including his mother and a toddler.

    - North Carolina, March 29, 2009: A heavily-armed gunman shoots dead eight people, many elderly and sick patients, in a North Carolina nursing home.

    - Santa Clara, California, March 30, 2009: Six people are shot dead in an apparent murder-suicide at a home in an upscale Silicon Valley neighbourhood.

    - Binghamton, New York, April 3, 2009: Up to 13 people are killed as a gunman goes on a rampage at a civic centre in the town of Binghamton.

    - Graham, Washington State, April 5, 2009: James Harrison, 34, killed his five children (aged between seven and 16) inside his mobile home, then drove to a nearby casino and shot himself inside his car, police said.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Right has the correct view of human nature so I consider myself on the Right, other than that I don't classify myself politically.

    Amusing to see so many people claiming to be Leftists AND libertarians at the same time. Liberty and equality are totally contradictory concepts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can be left Libertarian. All it means is that you favor freedom more on civil issues than economic. Though, after having reviewed it this morning, I'm actually probably more of a civil Libertarian.

    http://libertapedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

    I think the reason a lot of people referred to themselves as left Libertarian is due to the fact that, for some reason, Europeans view Libertarianism and Socialism. It defies all logic to me, but I've met a number of very educated Europeans, who believe this. The majority of this forum is European, so that's why I wanted to see who posted what on the particular issues. Having seen the results, I can confirm my suspicion.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »
    Amusing to see so many people claiming to be Leftists AND libertarians at the same time. Liberty and equality are totally contradictory concepts.

    Not necessarily. You can be of the opinion that greater liberty is the ultimate aim, for example, but that state-funded healthcare or education are the best ways of achieving that. You're simply placing other forms of liberty ahead of economic liberty.

    Having said that, I did question whether some of the people who said libertarian actually meant liberal.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can be left Libertarian. All it means is that you favor freedom more on civil issues than economic. Though, after having reviewed it this morning, I'm actually probably more of a civil Libertarian.

    http://libertapedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

    Sure, there's all kinds of bizarre positions people hold politically.

    "Rather than trying to micromanage associations as the statist leftists do, left libertarians focus on producing the basic conditions that enable individuals to freely enter into egalitarian relationships."

    I think this quote from wikipedia displays the sillyness of such a position without having to make further comment.
    I think the reason a lot of people referred to themselves as left Libertarian is due to the fact that, for some reason, Europeans view Libertarianism and Socialism. It defies all logic to me, but I've met a number of very educated Europeans, who believe this. The majority of this forum is European, so that's why I wanted to see who posted what on the particular issues. Having seen the results, I can confirm my suspicion.

    You mean Europeans view Libertarianism as socialism? I can't say I've come across this. The looney left wanted to disassociate themselves from the authoritarianism that had tarnished the Left so they referred to themselves as liberal instead of communist. Now they've tarnished that label, it seems libertarianism is their next refuge.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not necessarily. You can be of the opinion that greater liberty is the ultimate aim, for example, but that state-funded healthcare or education are the best ways of achieving that. You're simply placing other forms of liberty ahead of economic liberty.

    Having said that, I did question whether some of the people who said libertarian actually meant liberal.

    Maybe if those are the only or some of the only statist economic beliefs you hold. You can't be a Libertarian if you're only for civil liberties. Libertarianism, by nature, is both economic and civil.
    Sure, there's all kinds of bizarre positions people hold politically.

    "Rather than trying to micromanage associations as the statist leftists do, left libertarians focus on producing the basic conditions that enable individuals to freely enter into egalitarian relationships."

    I think this quote from wikipedia displays the sillyness of such a position without having to make further comment.

    Yeah, I didn't actually read the article. That seems nonsensical to me. In defining myself as left-leaning Libertarian, I mean in the realm of a Nolan Charts:

    nolan-chart.png

    I'd be up one diamond and to the left of Chuck Baldwin.
    You mean Europeans view Libertarianism as socialism? I can't say I've come across this. The looney left wanted to disassociate themselves from the authoritarianism that had tarnished the Left so they referred to themselves as liberal instead of communist. Now they've tarnished that label, it seems libertarianism is their next refuge.

    Yeah, it made no sense to me either. They apparently view capitalism as authoritarian. :x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I support high levels of taxation on unearned income, such as inheritance.

    95% for lottery winners ?

    75% for a win at the bookies ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They apparently view capitalism as authoritarian. :x

    To a certain extent it cannot completely freely operate without authoritarianism.

    Friedmanism teaches that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not necessarily. You can be of the opinion that greater liberty is the ultimate aim, for example, but that state-funded healthcare or education are the best ways of achieving that. You're simply placing other forms of liberty ahead of economic liberty.

    Sure, you could be of that opinion, but only if you twist the meaning of liberty. Libertarianism can offer an equality of opportunity but not an equality of outcome so there can never be "equality" in the sense of what the Left seeks with a Libertarian approach....unless, of course, war is peace and freedom is slavery.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To a certain extent it cannot completely freely operate without authoritarianism.

    Friedmanism teaches that.

    Anarchy =/= Capitalism. I don't think anyone here is advocating anarchy and anyone advocating capitalism understands that government is a necessary evil.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The reality of the situation was that the legislation affected 57,000 out of 60m people.

    Surely the reality was that the legislation affected 60m (albeit that the vast majority did not care)?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Anarchy =/= Capitalism. I don't think anyone here is advocating anarchy and anyone advocating capitalism understands that government is a necessary evil.


    I didn't say they were, the opposite in fact. Capitalism need the authoritarian boot of Government to truly operate freely, just a Socialism does.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    and in America's case, scrapping the policy of students having to repeat a year if they perform poorly..

    They do that in france too. Not sure about the rest of europe. I dont think its such a bad idea
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's all very well and good, but that's not what you claimed. You claimed that countries with higher rates of gun ownership had lower rates of gun deaths. So give us the evidence. Because from what I've seen, the highest rates of gun fatalities in Europe are in Switzerland and Finland, which coincidentally also have the highest rates of gun ownership.

    And I didn't really want to talk about Britain specifically, but it always makes me laugh when people point to Britain tightening up its gun laws. Can I have a wild guess that you're not from Britain? Because whenever I have this debate with people who aren't from Britain, they like to portray the Firearms Act of 1997 as if vast swathes of the population were now no longer able to defend themselves against the evil armed criminals. The reality of the situation was that the legislation affected 57,000 out of 60m people. That's why I asked if you're from Britain, because anyone from Britain would know that before 1997, practically nobody owned a gun. And nobody legally owned a gun for the purposes of self-defence. I'm under no illusions that the 1997 act was a politically motivated law, which did absolutely nothing to reduce gun crime. But it also certainly did absolutely nothing to increase gun crime either, as you seem to be implying. There are many things that affect the rate of gun crime in a country (and England and Wales' gun fatality rate is so low that just a few incidents can give you a very impressive-sounding percentage to quote), but a politically-motivated law that affects 57,000 people is not one of them.

    I brought up Britain because it was the first stat to pop into my head. Also, since the majority of you are from there, I thought I'd point out that your own ban on firearms didn't have a positive impact. Why would you advocate it, if that is the case? Less restrictive laws here have lead to fewer incidents, which leads me to believe that the founders of this country had it right when they said that all men should have the right to bear arms.

    From what I've read, the Firearms Act was indeed politically motivated, in response to the actions of a single man in a single incident. Yes, it's tragic, but your government punished everyone for the actions of one individual. I'm guessing the "57,000 people" you mentioned is the number of people who actually owned firearms prior to the ban? The law still affects everyone, though, because it applies to anyone who wishes to own a handgun. You make it sound like only 57,000 people have to follow that law while the other tens of millions are free to do as they wish. The fact is, none of you have that right anymore.

    As I've said above, when no law-abiding citizen can have a gun criminals no longer have to wonder, "Will this person be armed?" There's no sort of Russian roulette with committing a crime. Before you tell me that the crime rate isn't that bad anyway, so no one should spend any time worrying about that, let me ask you why that matters? So what if the chances of an armed attacker breaking into my home are slim, does that nullify my right to protect myself?

    ((Still writing out my response to you, MoK, I'm doing a few different things at once right now.))
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