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Data Brokers, Gun Owners, and Consumer Privacy

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the ftc-just-wants-a-peek dept.

Privacy 95

New submitter FreaKBeaNie writes "Earlier this month, the FTC issued 9 orders to data brokerage companies to learn more about their privacy practices. Data brokers are skilled at connecting quasi-private data with publicly available data, like voter rolls, housing sales, and now gun ownership records. Unlike merchants or business partners, these data brokers may or may not have had any interaction with the 'subjects' of their data collection."

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95 comments

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Uhh... So? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421433)

So what? There is no story here. I understand that you want to promote your blog, but it pisses me off that Slashdot facilitates you.

How about some "news for nerds" stuff that splatters less would be nice. This post belongs in a fan, if you catch my meaning.

Re:Uhh... So? (1)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421497)

This post belongs in a fan, if you catch my meaning.

Oh, now I get it! It's a joke about shit hitting a fan. It's funny because it's true!
</family_guy_ESL_foreigner_voice>

Re:Uhh... So? (5, Funny)

nbauman (624611) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421789)

This Japanese student had trouble understanding the meaning of the American expression, "The shit hits the fan."

What could it mean, he thought -- is it the contrast between a delicate beautiful fan, compared to a lowly earthy excretion?

Then he got it -- an electric fan.

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423981)

rephrase
The human defecation has hit the areal oscillator and it has been distributed to every point within the radius.

Re:Uhh... So? (1)

sysrammer (446839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42430103)

Hah! What a sight picture!

For a dramatic rendering of the phrase, see the movie "Airplane".

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421523)

news for nerds these days seems to be mostly 3D printing hype, private space hype, or raspberry pi hype.

BIT COINS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421583)

Bitcoin, baby!

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421747)

Really? Because, as nerdy as those things actually are, not a single article of the 25 listed on the front page, have anything to do with any of those

A whole lot of political bullshit though.

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421813)

you forgot obligatory goatse

Re:Uhh... So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421597)

Ever since the Negroes and gun-grabbers took over Slashdot, and banned accounts like mine, Slashdot has gone downhill.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Uhh... So? (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421613)

We need to build our own Slashdot! With blackjack and hookers!

Re:Uhh... So? (3, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421787)

Actually, forget slashdot. And the blackjack.

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42424899)

Ah, screw the whole thing.

Re:Uhh... So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421629)

they banned you cause you are an ass clown

Re:Uhh... So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423657)

Worse, he/she's a probably a gun-nut, even worse, probably NRA member. These people shit in the very place they live in. Problem is, it's the same place we all have to live in. Witness the "discussion" following - gun-nuts getting all technical (oh, this isn't a weapon of mass destruction, oh 30 rounds per minute isn't enough to protect my home, oh, if only we have better mental health acess, and so on), when all they're doing is making it possible for any average joe to murder children en masse, and they do so often. With the full tacit approval of the gun nuts.

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423729)

Hey, Pierc! Welcome to /.

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423167)

You weren't banned. Your alcohol-addled brain just forgot your password.

Re:Uhh... So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42426347)

Ever since I got brain damage from huffing nail polish remover, Slashdot has gone downhill.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Uhh... So? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423313)

So what? There is no story here. I understand that you want to promote your blog, but it pisses me off that Slashdot facilitates you.

How about some "news for nerds" stuff that splatters less would be nice. This post belongs in a fan, if you catch my meaning.

Except that slashdot often posts articles about privacy related problems such as this one. I, for one, am glad it was posted. QQ

Enough to make a fraud out of honest men (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421481)

"Fraud" is illegal but being criminally careless with this "protected" data is commonplace and is often nearly unpunished.

CS Code of Ethics? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421487)

None of this would be possible without the right algorithms. I'm sure that there are coders who will always do such things, just like there are medical doctors who engage in borderline therapies; but, shouldn't the rest of us have a Code of Ethics against it?

what about a engineer like Code of Ethics for code (3, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422433)

what about a engineer like Code of Ethics for code that for stuff like autopilots / medical hardware needs engineer like sign offs with the power to SAY NO to the PHB who wants to push out poor code just to meet a deadline.

Re:what about a engineer like Code of Ethics for c (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423683)

Until software engineers have the same kind of code of ethics and sign offs that other engineers have I don't think they are really engineers.

Right now if you are a software engineer and you say no to something you are very likely to be fired. If you are a chemical engineer and you tell your boss no for something then they can't do it without some pretty severe legal consequences and if they fire you the consequences are even more severe.

Score one for the FTC. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421569)

I never thought I'd see the day when our data privacy was being protected to this degree by the FTC. But I am all in favor.

Re:Score one for the FTC. (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421767)

The addition of gun-owner data might help to make it more of a bipartisan issue. Privacy protections are typically (though not exclusively) supported by liberals and opposed by anti-regulation conservatives, who see them as too much an EU-style approach. But gun owners are very wary of this kind of stuff and a significant GOP constituency.

Re:Score one for the FTC. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422107)

The addition of gun-owner data might help to make it more of a bipartisan issue.

Car data. That'll do it. Right wing, left wing, smack in the middle . . . when push comes to shove, they all still drive cars.

An interactive map showing where expensive cars are parked in the driveways? Maybe some anti-SUV folks would like to put up a map like that.

Now we'll get privacy (0, Troll)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421671)

Once this starts hitting gun owners, we'll hear screams for stronger privacy legislation.

Dear Mr. Savage: As an AR-15 owner, you need the best magazines and ammo! Stainless steel 30 round magazines for your assault rifle [ammunitiontogo.com] ! Great deals on bulk ammo! This is the good stuff [brownells.com] , military grade Federal XM855 Green Tip Steel Penetrator! Made in USA! 500 rounds per box! Check out our ammo can bundles! Order today! And don't forget your AR-15 cleaning kit. [amazon.com] (Expect delays due to high order volume).

(There's been a big increase in assault rifle sales since the last school massacre. Hence the ordering delays.)

Re:Now we'll get privacy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421889)

People can be unjustly discriminated against, or unjustly harassed, for many reasons. Therefore, keeping the kinds of information that are likely to elicit such discrimination or harassment private is important.

Gun owners, no matter how proud they are of their rights and heritage, are justified in wanting to keep their purchase history just between them and the seller. More so now, since there is widespread animosity towards gun owners even if they never have and never will do anything evil or irresponsible with the guns.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422427)

Why gun owners and not everybody else?

Zillow is a hugely effective tool to help prospective home purchasers understand the market value of houses in a neighborhood, disclosing sales history for nearly every property in the US. I can know know exactly what my landlord paid for the property I rent, what he pays in taxes, and comparable data for my neighbors.

Great. Not so much privacy though.

If Brownells sells their customer sales history (which the credit card companies already give, albeit with less detail), is that more of a privacy violation than what Amazon or Walmart, or your grocery store does?

Dicto Simpliciter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42424349)

A gun is VERY different than land with a house on it. Some relevant differences:

1) A house costs hugely more than a gun.
2) The value of a house, both for tax and resale purposes, is a function of its sales history and the sales history of neighboring houses. Not at all true for guns.
3) The ownership of a house requires the payment of a yearly tax, based on its value. Not so with a gun.
4) Many, many useful services require knowledge about who lives where in order to do their jobs (police, fire, utilities, delivery services, and so on). None of this is true of a gun.

So, it makes perfect sense that we would treat information about houses differently than information about guns (or other stuff you might buy from walmart).

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42451465)

Having just sold and purchased a house I can say that Zillow's data is not good. It severely under-valued the house we sold and severely over-valued the house we bought. I've been checking back to see when and if the value data would get updated as we've gotten farther from the sale date(s). No such luck.

Based on my experience you can expect Zillow to get you within +/- 10%.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421947)

Well, duh. Lots of people remember how valuable pre-ban stuff became the last time around and are hoping to cash in. I didn't get an AR because I think the prices have gone well past sanity. I did pick up a few high-capacity mags for guns I already own, though.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422061)

Turns out gun ownership does indeed protect freedom. Who woulda thought.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422153)

Thanks for the AR magazine link. You can't find those things anywhere.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42443949)

Here [themakogroup.com] is one in stock for $10 less - unlike others, Mako hasn't been price gouging. And they claim they have enough in stock [ar15.com] to fulfill orders for the foreseeable future, with no size limit on them etc. Look up for discount codes in that thread, as well (free shipping, among other things).

Re:Now we'll get privacy (5, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422251)

Christ. No one is selling assault rifles in the US. No one. They're already illegal. Even the media is starting to say, "assault-type" rifles, which is just as misleading because it is a pointless term, but at least it implies that they know that no one is actually firing an actual assault rifle, even in school shootings.

Assault rifles are either full auto or multi-round burst. Every single weapon in the US that is called "assault-style" is a semi-automatic. All the AR-15's for sale are semi-autos. The fact that they are the basis for the M-16 and the M-4 does not make them any more lethal than any other semi-auto. In fact, they are less lethal than many hunting rifles because they use smaller caliber ammo that tends to make clean holes. And few to none of them are using drum or other high capacity magazines. I assure you, you can fire as much ammo as you like with one weapon and the ability to drop a clip and reload another one.

The problem with the weapons is not the type of weapon, its the fact that it's being fired at unarmed people in situations where they were not expecting to be shot at and so were unprepared and unable to respond. Any weapon at all will do for that, even a knife.

That said, I'm not entirely against sane gun laws, but when the media keeps pointing to types of guns that don't even really exist as a separate class as being the problem, it's starting to sound more like it is trying to make headlines instead of promoting accuracy.

The real problem with these shootings isn't guns, it's the crazy people behind them, more to the point, the crazy people that everyone knew were nuts, but no one knew what to do with. If you think this is a wake up call for gun control, you're 100% wrong. This is a wake up call for better mental health care and screening.

And I don't know what planet you are from, but I don't know a single gun owner or conservative who is happy with the idea of the government or companies getting more information. You act as though they were perfectly glad that spam existed until they started to get it now, as if they weren't getting it in their email, mailbox and telephone for everything else already.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0, Troll)

galtgamer (2800959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422591)

Christ. No one is selling assault rifles in the US. No one. They're already illegal.

Thanks, Mr Gun Manufacturer. What part of shooting 30 rounds as fast as I can pull my trigger finger is not an assault? Stop using the NRA's, manufacturer's and their lobbyists' terminology and start using your brain. Semi-automatic or automatic is still an assault. It is a weapon of mass destruction. What part of 30 dead humans (and more if one swaps out the clip and keeps pulling their li'l ol' finger) is not a mass? No one can kill as many people as quickly with a knife as one can with a semi-automatic gun. This is a fact. If you lined up 30 humans and had someone slit their throats as quickly as possible, it still wouldn't be as fast as a gun. One can be far away from a human and kill them with a finger pull. Semi-automatic weapons should be restricted to firing ranges and closed outdoor hunting ranges where they can be tracked and monitored at all times.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422739)

You don't know what an assault weapon is. You don't know what a weapon of mass destruction is. And you don't know the difference between a clip and a magazine.

Three strikes and you're out, lunchmeat. Come back when you know what you're talking about.

Troll much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422779)

Parent is trolling more than fishermen this time of year.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422795)

Your entire post reveals that your knowledge of guns comes from either Hollywood or your dreams. Either way, it has no relation to reality. You cannot kill anything close to 30 people under any realistic situation with 30 rounds. Trained police officers miss more than 50% of shots fired even in close range engagements. In any case, one of the main purposes of gun ownership in this country, as per SCOTUS, is self-defense. The gun of choice of criminals in over 90% of cases is a semi-automatic. If you are willing to go against a 15 round Glock or a 30 round AK, wielding your grandfather's bolt action hunting rifle you will be one very brave dead liberal.

As it happens an AR makes a safer home defense weapon than, say a large caliber revolver (which nobody wants to ban) as the tiny rounds they use are less likely to over-penetrate and go out to the street or into your neighbor's house, whereas a .44 magnum will go clean through couple of houses and still kill a passer by on the other side.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42425405)

As it happens an AR makes a safer home defense weapon than, say a large caliber revolver (which nobody wants to ban) as the tiny rounds they use are less likely to over-penetrate and go out to the street or into your neighbor's house, whereas a .44 magnum will go clean through couple of houses and still kill a passer by on the other side.

As it happens, any high-powered rifle has no problem penetrating walls. The best weapons for avoiding overkill are a moderate-caliber handgun with frangible ammo, or a shotgun loaded with anything but 00 or slugs. It doesn't matter if you're using .30-06 or .308, either way you can trivially overpenetrate and kill someone next door. The much larger magnum round is more likely to fragment before it gets there. It's still a retarded choice for home defense, because it's too much gun. You don't need that much weapon unless you're trying to bring down an elephant.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42425635)

you are misinformed. A frangible .223 round is far less likely to overpenetrate then most handgun rounds - google it. You nigger.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42425907)

A frangible .223 round is far less likely to overpenetrate then most handgun rounds - google it.

Nobody said frangible until I brought it up. Most handgun rounds aren't frangible, but I specified frangible handgun ammo. You coward.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42444057)

As it happens, any high-powered rifle has no problem penetrating walls.

That is true, but .223 is not really a "high-powered rifle" round, and it doesn't actually reliably penetrate walls - it often fragments. Not always, so it's not "safe", but often.

Generally speaking, higher-velocity and lighter rifle rounds fragment easier than lower-velocity heavier pistol rounds. Keep in mind that your typical 9mm bullet is twice as heavy as your typical 5.56 bullet, and .45 is heavier still. So they do penetrate walls much more reliably in tests.

IIRC, the only weapon/round combo that will reliably not penetrate is birdshot. But then it won't reliably penetrate the assailant, either. Frangible rounds have essentially the same problem (which isn't surprising, given that they are, effectively, shot).

Re:Now we'll get privacy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42425663)

Any gun that takes more than a minute to load one round is an assault weapon. That's the kind of gun the Founders were talking about when they created the 2nd amendment. If you gun nuts wanna get all "Strict constructionist" on us, I suggest you go back to ALL the original meanings, and contexts, instead of just cherry-picking for your convenience. Oh, yeah, they were also talking about militias! How can you have a militia when gun nuts won't let anyone tell them what to do with their guns. The NRA is filled with a bunch of Neanderthal hypocrite leaders, and too many of its membership is in the same class!

Your ignorance is on full-display (1)

tiqui (1024021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42429039)

Try READING what our founders actually WROTE! They wrote a LOT about this stuff ... it was VERY important to them.

The founders of the nation wanted the people to have both rifles AND pistols (Washington himself made this point in writing) and they wanted those to be the EXACT military weapons that the government had. They did NOT define a "militia" as an organized uniform-wearing national-guard-type force that was under ANY form of government control (if it's controlled by the government it can hardly be expected to deter the government) .... they defined the "militia" as ALL able-bodied competent adult men who were not consciencious objectors (and that's still actually US law ... US military regs up until only a few decades ago called this the "inactive reserve" force. it might still be in there .... I have not looked lately).

Nobody on the pro-gun side is "cherry-picking" anything ..... we are DEPENDING on the strict construction of the constitution and those original meanings you so clearly dislike. Unfortunately for people who "think" like you do, our founders were rather prolific writers and they were very thoughtful ..... they left us with many volumes of writings about exactly what they thought and believed and WHY. There is nothing frivolous in the Constitution and none of the words are just accidental. They very specifically did NOT write the second amendment as: "For the security of the nation, the states shall maintain armed organized militias. The citizens may each have one basic rifle for hunting and one basic pistol for duels". The founders INTENDED that nobody would be able to tell the the so-called "gun nuts" what to do .... they established a clear chain-of-command for the Army and Navy (note: the Marines are part of the Navy, and the Air Force was formed as the "Army Air Corps" (and for benefit of Barack Obama, that's pronounced "core" not "corpse")) but did not establish ANY chain of command for the "militias" ( doing so would have meant ALL adult men were in the Presidential chain-of-command and we would have a police state). The true "Neanderthals" as you put it (and IF they exist), can only be the people like yourself who want to turn the calendar back to pre-Constitution days. It's shocking that we have produced a generation of people so poorly educated, so completely ignorant of history and political theory, and so completely devoid of the intellectual curiosity required to READ what's freely available that they "think" the sort of things you wrote AND believe themselves well-educated!

Re:Now we'll get privacy (3, Interesting)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422969)

"Assault rifle" is a technical term.

Do.
Not.
Fucking.
Misuse.
Technical.
Terms.

FUCKING PERIOD, BUCKO. You don't fucking do that because it cheapens the actual legitimate definition of the term, which is used to refer to something specific.

Here's a fun fact for you. When the term "assault rifle" really began gaining traction amongst the news folk, afair, early/mid 90s. Clinton era. Brady Bill.

They were, and were not, misusing the term. They were calling any military-styled firearm an "assault rifle", and then looking up the definition of "assault rifle", and coming to the conclusion that these military-styled firearms -- your AR-15s or demilitarized AKs -- were in fact fully automatic. Even fucking 20/20, though I forget the chucklehead's name, explained the term for laypeople -- that these are guns you pull the trigger and they keep shooting.

No. They're semi-automatic. This is why you don't misuse technical terms, and this is why I tend to discount arguments for gun control. Many people in favor of gun control simply do not know what they're talking about. They don't know anything about guns. It's an emotional decision for them, and it's weighted on one side by this big scary thing they don't know, they don't understand, and *they don't want to know or understand*. Purely emotional. The media fed into that with their misuse of a technical term, and their outright lies about the difference between fully and semi automatic firearms.

PS: The part of shooting 30 rounds as fast as you can pull your trigger that isn't assault is any time you're either shooting at a target or in defense of your life or another's life. See? There is your bias. You can't imagine any use that isn't a violent unjust attack

Is "bump fire" a technical term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42427705)

Does it matter?

'Assault weapon' is a legal term. As in defined by a law. Perfectly fine to use to refer to certain types of weapons. You could look it up.

No, society as a whole is NOT safer with all these semi-automatic and assault weapons out there. Compare - US, Japan, Austrailia.

Assault, by the way, does not mean 'violent unjust attack'. Words mean things when you use them as well. Assault can be part of defense, but the unemotional point is that society as a whole is safer if the person of average and below average intelligence and skill (99% when the two factors are combined) does not have assault weapons.

Re:Is "bump fire" a technical term? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42444077)

'Assault weapon' is a legal term. As in defined by a law.

Which law currently defines what an "assault weapon" is?

What about various state laws to the same effect, that all differ?

And why, exactly, is the presence of e.g. a bayonet lug or a barrel shroud making the rifle an "assault weapon"? I mean, sure, it's well defined, but when the definition itself is utterly meaningless, what's the point?

Compare - US, Japan, Austrailia.

Sure. But compare them all over - i.e. also compare their healthcare systems, wealth disparity etc.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423169)

ok are you british or something? Do you want to take away all of our rights just to attempt to prevent an extremely uncommon event (even though no assault weapons ban will actually ban ar 15s anyway it only bans pistol grips and no magazine ban will actually ban 30 round magazines)? Do you have any respect for this country and the founding fathers (the founding fathers believed heavily in the right to LIVE, that is to be able to protect yourself from criminals). There is a reason why the founding fathers didn't give the right to bear knives, because knives are horrible self defense tools and you are more likely to get killed defending yourself with a knife. Ar 15s are the best for self defense: they have very low recoil, they have good stopping power, they have very low wall penetration, and they have enough rounds to feel safe with. Gun control is always people control to the extreme.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423303)

ARs do not have good stopping power. Actually, the .223 was chosen because it only wounds more than it kills. A dead soldier only takes out one person. A wounded soldier takes out two-three soldiers (the wounded, plus the others trying to help).

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423361)

You should see the Hornady TAP 75 grain rounds, they have very respectable stopping power. The wounded soldier thing is a complete lie. The round has very good fragmentation which creates a devastating wound channel.

Oh, give it a break... (5, Insightful)

tiqui (1024021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423189)

First, "Weapon of Mass Destruction" is a term-of-art, not a slogan. It specifically refers to a class of weapons designed so that a single device can wipe-out a large population - and the definition has always been: Nuclear, Biological or Chemical (NATO and US forces used to refer to this as "NBC warfare"). In the post-9/11 world, however, with new laws on terrorism, Orwellian politicians and activists of various stripes have all been calling anything they dislike "WMD"; the term is being watered-down by mis-use and de-valued just like the words "Holocaust" and "Racist".

Second, Nearly all firearms in the US are semi-automatic (technically even most revolvers are "semi-automatic" though the term is not usually stretched that far --- not yet). The fact is that most non-revolver pistols are every bit as "semi-automatic" as an AR-15 or an AK-47. Most civilians could not manage a completely manual firearm (not even a revolver), and the nation's founders never would have intended them to. The founders of the nation intended that the citizens would all be armed with front-line military weapons (both so that they could deter and repel and foreign invaders and also so they could deter and block any future American tyrant). George Washington specifically wrote that the citizens had a right to keep and bear both pistols and rifles and Jefferson (an inventor) was well-aware of automation, so the idea that guns would become automated would have been no surprise to him. The problem with firearms has NEVER been the inanimate object, just as neither alcohol nor cars are the cause of the annual 20,000+ drunk driving deaths. The problem in all these cases is the human being

All of the mass shootings in recent US history have involved [1] a border-line crazy person who had given previous warnings of extreme dysfunction and [2] a "gun-free zone" where the evil bastard could be confident that his targets were unarmed sheep ready for slaughter.

It's nearly comical to watch all the anti-gun activists go through various contortions to desperately avoid the facts in these arguments. The previous poster (like every pro-2nd-ammendment guy who tries to get a word in edge-wise with Piers Morgan) was correct on the FACTS; When a typical member of the public sees an AR-15 and hears the words "assault weapon" he thinks "machine gun" ... this is by design and it's pure propaganda (actual machines guns have been illegal for decades). There has never actually been a gun term "assault weapon" ... that's a synthetic propaganda term designed to convey impressions and distort debate, much like the words "hate speech", "homophobia", etc. It's also a fact that an AR-15 is less dangerous than many deer rifles (I have experience with both). The AR-15 might look "cool" (or menacing, depending on your political leanings) but it's real charm is simply that many Americans who have served in the military are comfortable/familiar with the overall design (which is solid and reliable), the rounds are common, and the thing looks intimidating to the sort of stupid thug one might want to deter with it. Nearly all other American weapons can fire rounds just as fast. If you have bought into the whole "assault weapon" thing, you have been manipulated; I prefer the U.S. Constitution including the 2nd amendment ... which is what guarantees the other amendments.

BTW: The NRA is wrong: the answer is not to have armed guards everywhere (though they do have an interesting point that we guard all sorts of things we value, like money, with armed guards while refusing such guards for the kids of the non-rich). Our founders never imagined a nation with armed guards in uniforms at every building; they presumed every citizen would be armed as appropriate to protect himself, his family and his business and crime would be low without a ubiquitous display of guns because everyone would know that everyone else was potentially armed. Contrary to the fevered imaginings of Hollywood, a building full of armed men is a building full of polite men - the "wild west" was tame compared to modern-day Chicago.

The answer to the modern massacres is to finally face two facts: [1] It was a major screw-up for the courts to assist the ACLU in their crusade of the 70's and 80's to destroyed the old system of keeping the crazies in the institutions and [2] our founders were right when they said that the very-small government with low taxes and few regulations they gave us was sufficient for a good, religious (and by this they meant a populace that was generally culturally protestant Christian (which had many of other faiths, who mostly stayed within the general behavioral norms of that society)) people, but that no amount of government and no new laws would be sufficient for a different population. In other words: we must continue the slow ineffectual march down the slope toward physical safety for the individual within a police state, or we must re-civilize the population (back to the basic Judeo-Christian themes of "thou shalt not murder, covet, steal, lie or cheat" - self-regulation of behavior) and hand them back both their individual freedoms and responsibilities in a libertarian federal republic, or we must become comfortable with a trend of decreasing civility and increasing violence as the character of the population deviates farther and farther from what its government was designed for.

Re:Oh, give it a break... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423391)

Most civilians could not manage a completely manual firearm (not even a revolver), and the nation's founders never would have intended them to.

The weapons available during the revolutionary era were far more difficult to manage than a single action revolver.

Your point? (1)

tiqui (1024021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42428835)

Sure, the firearms were simpler then, but so were all the other things, like the vehicles (ride a horse, ride or sail a boat, or ride in a horse-pulled cart).

If you actually read all the other stuff our founders wrote, you see that the 2nd amendment had nothing to do with hunting or recreation; they assumed any free people could obviously do those things. Their reasons for the 2nd amendment were:

  1. 1. To deter any foreign power from invading (because every adult male citizen would have a front-line military weapon and his own ammo supply) Note: the founders approved of women having guns, and although women participated in the revolutionary war, they simply did not presume women would be in any militia.
  2. 2. To remove any justification the federal government might have to keep a large "standing army" on US soil "to protect from invasion" (see point #1) where [a] a tyrannical leader might someday turn it against the population (as had happened in the past in "the old world") or [b] it would enable a leader to get us entangled in unnecessary foreign wars. (Bush could not have invaded Iraq if he had had no standing army because every competent, law-abiding adult American had an M-16, body armor, boxes of ammo etc instead of a big permanent army)
  3. 3. To deter the civil servants from oppressing the people. Consider: in a country with a king and an unarmed population, a tax collector could abuse a citizen knowing the citizen was powerless to push-back and the full might of the kingdom was behind him. That same tax collector facing an armed population will tend to restrain himself a bit and may even refuse to carry out some particularly tyrannical order because he knows that a cornered citizen might shoot back and that nothing his boss does will protect him from that personal blow-back. This is not to say that our founders wanted us shooting at government employees, but rather to say that they had lived under various royals and they saw value in the idea of self-restraint which the very knowledge of an armed populace would impose upon the minions of the government

All of these reasons for the 2nd amendment are undermined if you allow the government to control who has weapons, how many they have, what type they have, how much ammo they have, where they keep them, etc. (and that's why every tyrant tries to impose some or all of those things). The simple fact is that our founders made it very clear that they intended the citizens to have the front-line weapons (and the guns the Americans had in the revolutionary war were actually superior to the weapons of the British troops .... which meant that our founders wanted "the people" to have guns that were BETTER than the guns of the front-line troops of the best military on Earth.

If you insist that the founders only intended the citizens to have single-round muzzle-loaded flintlock rifles, then for the sake of consistency (and so the 2nd amendment can still fill its role) you must also insist that the government:

  1. 1. may have not have guns that are better than single-shot muzzle-loaded flintlocks
  2. 2. may not have body armor or modern medical aid
  3. 3. may not have radios, computers, satellites, etc
  4. 4. may not have any troop transport capability superior to horses or rowboats, etc

For the Constitution to work, the power must be balanced as it was designed to be ..... and as the past few decades are demonstrating with ever-increasing clarity, our government is becoming increasingly bloated, expensive, inefficient and bullying as the power balance between the citizens and the politicians in DC gets further out of line. The entire POINT of the "right to bear arms" is that the citizens are SUPERIOR to, and in control of, the federal government and the CITIZENS are the ones with the power; in the U.S. the PEOPLE are sovereign. People who push the "hunting" argument are usually intentionally trying to distract from this basic idea, generally because they want the federal government to have powers and do things it was never designed nor intended to have/do and they do not want people to have the power to push back; they WANT the bureaucrats to feel invincible as they bully the public into obeying every new mandate.

Re:Oh, give it a break... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year and a half ago | (#42426493)

I took a friend of mine who has never been around guns to the range yesterday, mainly because they didn't believe me about a revolver vs a semi auto pistol. Her position was that black semi-auto pistols had to go, but revolvers were fine. They were "old west guns".

For this i had my Walther PPS with a 6 round magazine vs a 6 shot S&W .38 revolver. Both go bang everytime I pull the trigger. In fact if I pull the trigger and it doesn't go bang on the revolver I just pull the trigger again (and had it happen once yesterday). PPS if I pull the trigger and it fails to go bang it's an instant action drill to clear. And with a speed loader it isn't that much slower to reload than the semi auto. (About 4 seconds vs 2 with the semi auto mainly because I'm a southpaw and need to practice speed loading my revolver more).

Then I got out the AR and M1 Garand. She was shocked I could fire and reload the M1 Garand just as fast with 8 round stripper clips as the AR with 30 round magazines. In fact it's a little easier to reload the M1 for me as a south paw than the AR.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423477)

I am a 55 YO female target shooter. I am also a member of the NRA.
I have 2 semiauto rifles, both with hand grips AND bipods. Under the new rules they'd be classified as "assault" rifles. Biut I am a target shooter, my target is a plastic target at 100-150 yards. That's 300-450 feet for you. I hit a 2" target. I couldn't do that with out the modifications, lots of practice and good training.

Do you know what the NRA's charter is? Probably not. They are to teach safety, set safety standards and get people involved in shooting events. They do this very well. I learned more from them, to safe a weapon, to shoot safely than I learned in the USAF.

Unfortunately, of the 70-80 million people that own guns, only 4.5 million are members of the NRA. Obviously, and sadly, his mother was not a member and she failed to secure the weapon. The other failure was the process of getting him help, failed miserably as it did in Co, where the shooters social worker TRIED to warn people, but was ignored and shut down.

Remember, research your subject, think and then if you feel you reached a good point of understanding, then speak.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

sbditto85 (879153) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423953)

No one can kill as many people as quickly with a knife as one can with a semi-automatic gun. This is a fact. If you lined up 30 humans and had someone slit their throats as quickly as possible, it still wouldn't be as fast as a gun.

You are absolutely right about that, unfortunately your missing the point that its still some crazy person trying to kill 30 people not the gun. While its easier to sit and fire 30 rounds into the crowd I could just as easily run around slashing people with a knife [abc15.com] thankfully there are good people with the ability to contain the bad people because they have the same if not better force/weapon/abilities.

Bad guys will always always always find a way to get what they need (guns, drugs, whatever) regardless if its following the law or not (thats why they are called bad guys). I for one want to make sure the good guys continue to have the same if not better weapons/abilities.

Imagine what would happen if we banned guns? well just look what happened when we made certain drugs illegal. Did those drugs just disappear and nobody was able to get any of them? no. But it made it so the good guys could throw the book at them when people where caught with them. We already have laws that are in place for people that have real assault weapons etc. What more do you want?

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42424653)

Stop using the NRA's, manufacturer's and their lobbyists' terminology and start using your brain.

The manufacturers and the buyers are the ones who get to choose the terminology. If I make Widget-X and my customers want to buy Widget-X, there's nothing wrong with us coming to an agreement about the terminology used to refer to Widget-X.

This "assault weapons" bullshit would be akin to someone unilaterally choosing to call all cargo vans "rape mobiles". Call it a "rape mobile" all you want, but the makers and buyers of cargo vans aren't going to take you seriously.

LK

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42451619)

It is a weapon of mass destruction.

AAAHHHHH...So there WERE weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after all and BUSH WAS RIGHT!

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422661)

A private citizen can buy an actual 'assault weapon'. But there a a lot of federal restrictions ( and costs, and general hassle ), and some states have further restrictions.. but you can purchase one if you really want to. Also true, 99.999% of what is being called assault weapon is not, but the term is just used to confuse and scare people. Its intentional, and by design.

I also agree with you that the problem is not with an inanimate object, but with the people that abuse them.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423075)

Well, strictly speaking, yes it is possible to get them, but they much already have in place the gun control laws for actual assault weapons. The problem is that people want to apply the same requirements to "assault-style" semi-autos. The reason for that is people have this idea that actual assault weapons don't have rational requirements for obtaining them because they think that the lifting of the "assault-style" ban was the same thing as making actual assault rifles legal to sell freely, which it did not.

The annoying thing about "assault-style" terminology is that really all they are saying is that these are civilian variants of military weapons. However, what makes them civilian variants is that they aren't sold with full auto or even burst fire capability. That means that there is no difference between an "assault-style" rifle and any other semi-auto rifle except that they happen to look like their military cousins and fire the same ammo (which is usually just a full metal jacket and not some sort of cop killer exploding bullet of doom). So, it's effectively just a weasel way of wanting to ban all semi-auto rifles.

And even if it was full auto, even that wouldn't have been a big deal. Of course, the reason for full auto or select fire is not to kill more people, it's to aid a single soldier in suppressive fire. All full auto represents is a gigantic waste of ammo if you are trying to hit a specific person which is why there was a 3 round burst added to the M-16 after Vietnam. If this guy actually had a full auto weapon, and used it on full auto, he would probably have killed fewer kids before he ran out of ammo because assault rifles on full auto are a pain in the ass to control and he'd probably have just made more holes in the wall, and fewer in kids.

Again, though, I hear all about guns. I see the media trying to shame gun owners and violate their privacy, but few people are saying shit about the fact that these people aren't coming out of the woodwork from nowhere after walking into Wal Mart one day and buying a machine gun. They were known to be unstable and they are usually using weapons either obtained illegally, or they are using weapons that were legally purchased by other people in circumstances that even tighter gun laws would not have caught. You can't even get these people into any sort of treatment program short of jail because there's waiting lists a mile long. The problem is we think we can ban school deaths by banning guns, but it's not going to work that way unless you stop the people like this first.

In any event, I'm not very convinced that more guns make us safer necessarily. Active self-defense is no substitute for deterring it in other ways, but I think that the ability to defend yourself from criminals AND from the potential of a tyrannical regime is important to fall back on, even if it is not "safe". Guns are not safe, many things are not safe, but we keep them around because they have uses.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422721)

No, actually, they are not. If you have the money and can pass the background check, you can buy a fully automatic in most states. As long as they were manufactured and registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE) before May 19, 1986, they are perfectly legal. Get your information straight before spewing off at the mouth in the future.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422907)

Owning the weapons are legal from that date, but the selling of them is not except under specific circumstances. Since the parent said "selling", you should probably learn reading comprehension before spewing your own mouth off in the future.

The requirements for obtaining selective fire weapons in the US is age 21, FBI background check (which you have to pay for), sign-off of local police, and they're also pretty damn expensive all by themselves. School shooters like this deranged kid or even his mother are not going to get their hands on automatic weapons like this, and none of them have.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (2)

Thesis (1983882) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423581)

Owning the weapons are legal from that date, but the selling of them is not except under specific circumstances. Since the parent said "selling", you should probably learn reading comprehension before spewing your own mouth off in the future.

The requirements for obtaining selective fire weapons in the US is age 21, FBI background check (which you have to pay for), sign-off of local police, and they're also pretty damn expensive all by themselves. School shooters like this deranged kid or even his mother are not going to get their hands on automatic weapons like this, and none of them have.

You do not know what you are talking about. I suggest you kindly not talk about subjects not in your area of expertise, just as I do not post BS on subjects not in my area of expertise. First off, I own Title 2 firearms. Yes, you read that right. I own machine guns, suppressors, and a few other regulated, legally registered weapons. I have been a collector/investor for many years, so I have a clue. The parent post you replied to was correct as well.

Title II firearms are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934, commonly referred to as NFA. Sometime the weapons are incorrectly refered to as "Class3" by the general public. All NFA weapons are tracked with mandated registration with the BATFE. Weapons regulated by the NFA are Title 2 weapons (Title 1 weapons are "normal" firearms you see in most gun stores) include Destructive Devices, Suppressors (aka Silencers), machineguns made prior to May 1986, Short Barreled Rifles (SBR), Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS), and lastly the Any Other Weapon (AOW) category. These items can be purchased and transferred to you from any FFL who has paid an annual Special Occupation Tax (SOT) on file with the BATFE. Not all states allow you to purchase or posses these items, but most do. That being said, Federal law is clear that you can own these items if you pass the background check done by BATFE, which generally takes a few months due to the volume of applications they process. State law however, can limit or prohibit your possession, as well as use of the items. When you purchase any of the items above, you pay a one time $200 transfer tax to the BATFE per serial numbered item. The only exception are the AOW's which have a $5 transfer tax.

The age restrictions on the Federal level for Title 2 weapons is the same as it is for a handgun. The age limit to purchase one of these items through a dealer, or to have it transfered through a dealer, is 21 years of age. If a person is between the ages of 18-21, you can purchase a Title 2 firearm from an individual, as allowed by Federal law. A dealer is not involved in a person to person transfer, only as long as both individuals reside in the same state. Background checks are still done by BATFE, and there is a paper trail. Again, these are legally registered weapons.

Any individual can sell a registered transferable Title 2 weapon at any time they wish, to a qualified person, entity, or agency, which passes the background check. The background check is free, however you will pay the transfer tax of $200 ($5 if it is an AOW). The paperwork is filled out and sent in with the appropriate transfer tax amount. When the approved transfer papers are returned to the owner of the weapon, then the physical transfer of the weapon to the new owner may take place. No sooner.

As for machineguns made after May 19, 1986, individuals cannot purchase or posses them. Only dealers, manufacturers, and government agencies may purchase or posses them. These guns are commonly refered to as Post Samples, for they are made after the ban in 1986. Dealers who sell Title 2 weapons commonly have them, and sell them to local LE agencies.

If you want to own a machine gun, be prepared to pay a handsome price. You can buy a car, or a house, for as much as some of them can cost. It is estimated that there are just barely over 100k transferable machine guns in the US that an individual can legally own. They are quite rare, and priced accordingly. See here for an example of prices:

http://www.subguns.com/classifieds/?db=nfafirearms&category=All+Items+in+this+Category&query=category&search_and_display_db_button=on&results_format=headlines&website=&language=&session_key= [subguns.com]

You can learn more about the National Firearms Act here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act [wikipedia.org]

On a personal note, it is sad that some people do stupid things, and take lives for no reason. My heartfelt sympathies go out to all involved in the tradgedy. We as a nation should be realistic though, laws do not stop criminals who are determined to do harm. If one tool is not available to him, he will find another. For example, on the same day of the shooting in Connecticut, a mentally deranged man stabbed 22 children in a Chinese school. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20723910 [bbc.co.uk]

There needs to be a better solution, rather than restricting the constitutional rights of law abiding Americans. As to what the solution should be, that is up for debate. I would like to see a police officer in each school myself. Heck, there was one in the high school I attended many years ago, in a rural community.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42424163)

Replying AC because I moderated. First, thank you for an informative post. It was interesting to learn about Title 1/2 weapons distinctions and regulations.

"There needs to be a better solution, rather than restricting the constitutional rights of law abiding Americans. As to what the solution should be, that is up for debate. I would like to see a police officer in each school myself. Heck, there was one in the high school I attended many years ago, in a rural community."

I note that Columbine had an armed deputy sheriff present, who was not able to hit the assailant he twice engaged, and was arguably ineffective in preventing or limiting deaths. I don't think having police at the schools will help much. As well, the cost/benefit seems adverse given the number of schools and similar soft target environments we have.

I also note a prior AC's observation that Sandy Hook occurred in part because Adam Lanza's mother did not secure the guns she owned. What would you think about a biometric weapon lock that would prevent a gun's being fired by an unauthorized person (random crazy, child, etc.)? I think that wouldn't significantly abridge Americans' 2nd Amendment rights, and could reduce at least accidental discharge injuries/deaths quite a lot. Those are far less newsworthy than a Sandy Hook event, but much more frequent.

Finally, although it is true that on the same day Sandy Hook happened, 22 Chinese school children were stabbed, *none* of them died. All of them will recover to have their chances at life. The two events illustrate the qualitative difference between firearms and other personal weapons. Firearms enable a malicious, insane, or ignorant user to inflict greater damage more rapidly, and more likely mortal, than other weapons. It is that qualitative difference that makes me interested in finding means to mitigate the hazard.

This from somebody who enjoys guns and has been using them for over half a century.

Nuts shouldn't get guns easily. (1)

DrYak (748999) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422889)

The real problem with these shootings isn't guns, it's the crazy people behind them, more to the point, the crazy people that everyone knew were nuts, but no one knew what to do with. If you think this is a wake up call for gun control, you're 100% wrong. This is a wake up call for better mental health care and screening.

Nuts *might benefit* from better health care. But also, it would be best if nuts couldn't get easy access to guns.

If guns and ammos are available in supermarkets and if people can store any weapon they want at home, if a crazies snaps, he can immediatly grab the nearest weapon and go on a rampage.
An impulsive idea can immediately be but in action.

On the other hand, with gun control laws, the acquisition of weapon might require complex paperwork, and guns able to find big number of ammos might be required to be stored at the armoury. If a crazies snaps, he can't immediatly act his rage out. He first needs to jump through the necessary hoops in order to get access to his weapon (either going through all the steps required to buy one, or having to go get back the weapon from its storage while filling the necessary paperwork). This takes time, and this delay might be enough to unwind the crazy.
An impulse can't immediatly be put into action, and by the time the crazies finishes preparing his stuff, the anger could probably have gone down.

Gun control laws aren't here to stop criminal organising a robbery (determined criminals will always be able to get access to a gun).
Gun control are here to slow down/delay some nut going postal and give them time to think again about their actions.

Re:Nuts shouldn't get guns easily. (1)

dbc (135354) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423055)

Read the news much? The mom of the guy in CT was trying to get the paper work in order to get him committed for mental health problems. CT has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. His mother had jumped through all the hoops to acquire the guns legally. All her guns -- 100% legal in a restrictive state. The guy shot his own mother and stole her guns before she was able to get him help. Strict laws don't stop the mentally ill from shooting their own mother to steal their ammunition.

It's fair to ask why, if she was trying to get him committed, that she allowed him access to her guns. Poor judgement is the only thing I can say about that.

Why was it so hard to get him committed? Let's talk about that. In California, we have something called Penal Code 5150 -- PC5150 allows you to quite quickly put a 72 hour hold on someone with mental health issues. Immediately (within minutes) you go into the Cal DOJ data base as a person prohibited from buying firearms -- you won't be able to buy any, and you won't be allowed to pick up any that are still in the 10 day waiting period. Local law enforcement is immediately notified, and they pay a call on your home ASAP to collect any guns that may be in that residence. The person is guaranteed a due-process hearing in front of a judge within two weeks to see if they should be allowed their guns back. CT passed a law similar to PC5150, but its implementation was blocked by an ACLU lawsuit -- that is why she was having a hard time getting him the help that he needed.

Another provision of PC5150 -- mental health professionals have a duty to report to the state immediately if they determine a person is a danger to themselves or others. Look at the Batman shooter in Colorado -- his therapist reported up the management chain that he was a danger, and they sat on the information for over two weeks. In California, the guy would have already had his 5150 hearing, because the therapist would have been required by law to report to the Cal DOJ at the same time.

These 'active shooter' events have pretty much been a post-de-institutionalization phenomenon. In the Bad Old Days, it was too easy to get someone committed. Things *did* need to change. But now, it is too hard to get people the help they need. (I have personal experience trying to get an employee help that he needed, I'm very sympathetic to the mentally ill -- but I also never let down my guard out of self preservation -- I've had a close call.) California PC 5150 works pretty well. I think we need to ask the ACLU and the de-institutionalization proponents for an explanation for why the let this kind of tragedy happen. It's not the legal gun owners that are causing the problems, it is our utterly b0rk3d mental health care system (and attitudes) in this country that are causing the problems.

Re:Nuts shouldn't get guns easily. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42425395)

Nuts *might benefit* from better health care. But also, it would be best if nuts couldn't get easy access to guns.

Yes, and if we had better health care, we'd identify them and mark them as being prohibited from owning firearms much more quickly, in the states where we already do that.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422973)

I don't know which of you assholes keep moderating tnk1 up, but it is obvious that none of you are any more knowledgeable about guns than this dipwad is. This is either a troll, flamebait, or ignorance. Please stop.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42424015)

do your own research:
Then vote out Diane FineSchtein. (Freaked-out INSANE NeurOTTic Emotional = FINE)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/817036/posts

http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/assault-weapons/assault-weapons-faq

Then ask yourself these important questions.

Did Banning Jesus Christ stop Christianity? Did killing him?

Did banning guns stop people from selecting them who are bent on killing?

Did the U.K. stop having people shot because they banned guns?

Whom do you want to round up and exterminate?
See the following reference: It sums up what you expect to be untrue. Though it is true.
And if you doubt the truth, you should defend Ms Fineschtien from behind her.
If you want to defend our country stand in FRONT of the Military. Otherwise stand behind them.
Patriot, Coward; Which are you? doesn't matter to me.. just get in line in the appropriate place.

http://www.naciente.com/essay96.htm

Re:Now we'll get privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42425421)

The problem with the weapons is not the type of weapon, its the fact that it's being fired at unarmed people in situations where they were not expecting to be shot at and so were unprepared and unable to respond. Any weapon at all will do for that, even a knife.

A gun is hardly comparable to a knife. If I was unarmed and someone came at me with a gun, I wouldn't have a hope in hell of disarming them unless they were a piss poor shot, if someone came at with with a knife I would have a reasonable chance of being able to disarm them. So, yes the type of weapon really can make a difference.

Re:Now we'll get privacy (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42425469)

They are plenty happy so long as it is them getting the information, and issuing the restrictions, one for example, who can get married, who can get contraception, who can vote, and so on.
We've tried the theory that gun ownership will make us safe from tyranny, it hasn't worked.

adam savage can just fire a cannon at you bisses (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422451)

adam savage can just fire a cannon at you business with a cannon ball made from your junk mail.

May or may not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421741)

My neighbors may or may not be kitten killing mass murderers. I'm not saying they are. But they may be! What is this? Fox news?

Why Isn't My Data Copyrighted? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421761)

Why don't I own the copyright to my own data? If it has commercial value, how is it that others are allowed to profit by buying and selling it without my permission?

Re:Why Isn't My Data Copyrighted? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421825)

This is a great 21st Century question.

Re:Why Isn't My Data Copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42421901)

From one AC to another... You sir, are my hero.

Re:Why Isn't My Data Copyrighted? (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42421975)

Because it is not your data (well at least not all of it). That does not mean that there should not be some privacy protection, but let us keep straight what we are talking about. For the most part the data being talked about here is data that was collected by a private company. Some of it is data that was collected by the government. When you buy something from company A, the data of what you bought is company A's data. So is any other data that you gave them as part of making that transaction.

Re:Why Isn't My Data Copyrighted? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422203)

Because it's not an expression of an idea that you created; it's facts about you and therefore not copyrightable.

Re:Why Isn't My Data Copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422279)

Do you own the air that you exhale?

Your data is like your garbage or your fecal matter, you're perfectly happy to flush it away or make it someone else's problem until someone decides that can profitably do something with it. Then it's all yours now.

It's not like you're generating any effort or using any skill to produce that data, so why would you get rewarded for doing what you would do anyway?

Sure, they should not be able to use that data to invade your privacy, but saying they can't collect your data on public sites is like saying they can't photograph you in a public place.

Re:Why Isn't My Data Copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42425823)

What, do you want a copyright on blue eyes? Damned if you're going to collect any royalties from me.

Or do you want a copyright on your phone number? Seems like that copyright might be more appropriately assigned to your phone company.

Wait, wait... it must be that you want copyright on your driver's license form. The unique way you wrote down your home address, the name of your city, and the government-assigned zip code...

Copyright is for controlling reproduction of your uniquely created works, so you have copyright on photographs that you take, but the copyrights to photos of you are owned by whomever took the photo. Privacy rights prevent information or compilations of information about you from being distributed without your consent, and so far, the legal framework for managing privacy rights is very limited. Distribution of your health care information and your educational information is constrained, but everything else depends on obscurity. Obscurity which is diametrically opposed to government transparency.

PLEASE distinguish between privacy and anonymity (4, Interesting)

markhahn (122033) | about a year and a half ago | (#42422521)

Most articles that claim to be written on the topic of privacy are actually about anonymity - we in large civilizations have gotten used to being mostly anonymous in public. Not because it was ever really true, and certainly not because it was ever a right. Our public anonymity could always be punctured by anyone with enough of an interest - law enforcement, PIs, even plain old stalkers or nosey neighbors. Public anonymity is inversely proportional to how interesting you are.

It follows that there is no legal basis for preventing anyone (person or company) from collecting information from any legal sources, correlating it, building detailed profiles and behavioral models. If your CC agreement denys the CC company the right to keep and sell information about your purchases, good for you: otherwise, everything you do is being captured and sold. It's just too easy now (and that's the big difference from the public anonymity we all grew used to in the past.)

So what legal activity is actually justified in this context? For one, you should strictly defend any contract you have with your service providers - ensure that they are living up to their end of it. Second, we probably need a revamped libel law that will create significant punitive damages if any information broker promulgates false information about you (ie "slander"). It used to be that slander was primarily attached to public figures, but that was really just because they were the only ones anyone paid enough attention to. All that's changed is that there are now many companies publishing (in one form or other) information about virtually everyone. They all need to be held to high standards of integrity - this is not a case where we should let the market set price/quality punishment for bad behavior.

Re:PLEASE distinguish between privacy and anonymit (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year and a half ago | (#42423939)

Our public anonymity could always be punctured by anyone with enough of an interest - law enforcement, PIs, even plain old stalkers or nosey neighbors. Public anonymity is inversely proportional to how interesting you are.

That particular objection is irrelevant. It isn't the fact that some random person's anonymity can be broken by a sufficiently determined attacker with sufficient application of effort. It's the fact that nowadays, everyone's anonymity is being broken on an industrial scale and offered to every potential attacker with no effort required on their part.

The scale is everything. The scale of privacy violations undermines society, which didn't happen before, when only a tiny fraction of people's privacy was being abused.

It has got to stop, and that means no-nonsense legal enforcement of information hoarding prevention. It's easy enough to do. The IRS audits thousands of companies and individuals to make sure they pay their taxes. It would be practical to audit companies' storage and use of their customers' personal data, and make sure it gets deleted completely on a regular schedule.

Re:PLEASE distinguish between privacy and anonymit (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42426067)

In point of fact, of course, anonymity isn't a 'right' and never has been. In fact, the bulk of human history has been one in which people know the people around them very well (and by that I mean know them, their parents, their extended family, etc.).

In fact, anonymity was regarded as SUSPICIOUS. If nobody knew you at all, how could they know what to expect from you?

While I suspect that the bulk of /. modernistas would shudder at this level of 'public knowledge, personally, I strongly suspect that's one of the actual drivers behind what people tend to call a drop in 'decency' between individuals today. Anonymity makes it incredibly easy to be selfish and entirely self-interested. After all, who's going to know? (And deep down, I think most of us believe/know that it's wrong to be entirely selfish.) Even better, today you can go further than anonymity to MANAGING your image - you can be an entirely selfish, greedy prick but drive a prius (thus you 'care' about the planet), twitter about how you're supporting this or that cause (with some tiny amount on kickstarter) or facebook to make sure some trivial gesture you make is noticed by everyone.

I think what makes people uncomfortable with a loss of anonymity is that with knowledge comes judgement. As much as you might stamp your foot and say "don't judge me" that's precisely what people will do based on their accumulated knowledge (often collectivized by gossip, of course). Is it always fair? No. Often, for example, the sins of the parents are by implication linked to the kids (alcoholism, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, etc)* creating what might be a vicious, inescapable cycle.
*of course, I watch with some amusement as we're starting to find genetically inherited markers which DO indicate these tendencies move in family lines...

But personally, I'd FAR rather live in a small community of people who've been there a while, in which we ALL know each other to some degree and have a reputation to uphold, than to be 'totally anonymous' in some faceless city/neighborhood where everyone's a stranger.

Re:PLEASE distinguish between privacy and anonymit (1)

redlemming (2676941) | about a year and a half ago | (#42427617)

In most situations there is no need to differentiate between privacy and anonymity if we view anonymity as simply one aspect of a more general concept of privacy.

Most articles that claim to be written on the topic of privacy are actually about anonymity - we in large civilizations have gotten used to being mostly anonymous in public. Not because it was ever really true, and certainly not because it was ever a right.

The wording of your statement is unclear, what is "it" referring to?

If you are claiming that privacy is not a right recognized by the legal system that simply isn't true: the Supreme Court recognized a limited right to privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). Further, there are ideas about privacy going way back in English Common Law: you can use the wikipedia page Privacy_laws_of_the_United_States as a starting point for getting references that discuss the older legal concepts.

If we view privacy as a broad general right, then we can treat anonymity is simply one aspect of privacy, and thus privacy, as a right recognized by the legal system, also covers anonymity.

It follows that there is no legal basis for preventing anyone (person or company) from collecting information from any legal sources, correlating it, building detailed profiles and behavioral models.

This also isn't true. James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights to address two fundamental issues the Anti-Federalists had with the Constitution: 1) There was no list of fundamental rights that could be used to limit the power of government, and 2) any list would necessarily be incomplete. He dealt with the second issue by making the Bill of Rights open-ended: the 9th Amendment provides for unspecified rights "retained by the people" and the 10th Amendment provides for unspecified rights "reserved to the people", allowing for rights to be asserted as needed at future times when it was discovered that the current list was incomplete.

Thus, rights not explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights do have a legal basis, when we decide they arise under the 9th/10th Amendments (the 9th Amendment was explicitly mentioned in the Griswold v. Connecticut ruling). By asserting such a right, we can prevent someone from engaging in business practices that violate this right. This goes far beyond what can be achieved using mere contract or libel law, as a fundamental right can not be taken away by contract and the kinds of manipulative games unethical businesses engage in.

The worst massacres didn't use guns. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42422833)

The worst child massacre in US history was the Bath massacre with 45 dead and 58 injured.

The killer was a self righteous Catholic politician that used military surplus explosives sold by the government.

The worst bioterror attacks in the US were also perpetrated by religious nuts right before an election in an attempt to control the outcome.

The very worst terror attacks in the US used planes, not guns and the killers were also very religious.

In fact, almost all terrorist attacks world wide are by religious people.

The USSR and China had almost no internal terrorist attacks from the generation after banning religion.

We should obviously ban religion.

Re:The worst massacres didn't use guns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42423063)

"The USSR and China had almost no internal terrorist attacks from the generation after banning religion."

Actually they had many terrorist attacks - it's just that the terrorists were the state. Random violence and disappearances designed to terrorise the populace into submission. Worked very effectively. Banning religion had nothing to do with it. Read 1984 and understand what the Telescreen really was.

Re:The worst massacres didn't use guns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42424681)

The Communists were very religious. Their religion was atheism, and they forced it on the populace with murderous fervor.

Re:The worst massacres didn't use guns. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42424665)

I can't tell. Are you being serious or sarcastic?

LK

Re:The worst massacres didn't use guns. (1)

rhalstead (1864536) | about a year and a half ago | (#42428003)

And here I'd been thinking I was the only one who acknowledged the bath massacre. Hover I think you will find it was a disgruntled janitor who used Dynamite.

Logic fail (1)

tiqui (1024021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42429337)

All terrorism is done by people ..... so by your thinking, we should ban people

First, WHAT people believe is every bit as important as THAT they believe. There are a great many religions (particularly when you count sects/denominations) and of those VERY FEW have any tie to violence.

Second, some violence commonly blamed on religion (like the violence in Ireland) is not religious at all. The troubles in Ireland fall along religious lines BUT these are actually political lines that line-up with religious lines. To massively over-simplify: The Catholics tend to be for separation from the folks in London and the Protestants tend to want better relations with those folks in London (see King Henry VIII and the CoE for some of the context). AFAIK nobody has ever seen a member of the IRA screaming his disagreements over interpretations of the writings of the Apostle Paul as he fired his weapon and I doubt there have been any protestants there who shrieked about their disagreements with a papal decree while shooting at an IRA member....

When the state casts a suspicious eye upon somebody, it has an obligation to narrow the scope as much as possible ..... and in the current era nearly all religious violence on the surface of the planet has been committed by members of one particular religion. Nobody should "ban" that religion (and indeed, thoughts and beliefs cannot ever be "banned" anyway) but it means that if any special scrutiny must be applied it should be to followers of that one faith ..... and to the extent possible only to the smallest subset of those that is practical.

You are correct on your history of US school violence however .... a bomb not an "assault gun" and although I think you are correct that the perpetrator was Catholic (cannot recall and do not wish to google it) I do not recall that THAT was his motive.

The FTC guidelines do not go far enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42426463)

The linked article about the FTC proposal mentions requiring data brokers to give persons the right to opt-out. But that is of little use.

The requirement should be for opt-in before a data broker can do anything with your personal data. The various public records, such as birth, property transaction, motor vehicle, and etc., are held by those respective agencies for legitimate purposes to provide specifically authorized services, to satisfy certain legal requirements, or at the persons request. Those agencies should be required to notify persons whenever a data broker or other government agency gathers the records (and the cost of doing so should be paid by the data broker), and the data broker should be required to provide detailed explanation as to why they need the data and what they intended to do with, and then get explicit consent from the person before proceeding.

I have seen data brokers, for instance "MyLife.com", publishing persons' age and gender. (That was part of the "teaser" information they give away for free and shows up in Google search result summaries. Then they try to sell subscriptions for additional information or to let you "manage" the data they disseminate about you.)

In case you did not know this, in the US employment discrimination based on certain categories such as age and gender is against federal law. But if a data broker organization is leaking this kind of restricted personal data, how is one supposed to be protected from hiring managers covertly practicing this kind of illegal discrimination?

rifles (including ARs) seldom used in crime (1)

rhalstead (1864536) | about a year and a half ago | (#42427961)

But rifles of any kind, be they AR style or bolt action are rarely used in a crime. AR style are used in less than 0.001%. Most murders that are committed with a firearm use no more than one shot (US bureau of statistics) BTW Feinstine(sp?) is going after all firearms as well as registering even antiques. Read the bill, not what she claims is in it!

Too bad the very same government... (1)

tiqui (1024021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42429199)

... did not also publish the data from the thousands of documents the Obama administration is hiding (and that Atty Gen Holder is in contempt of congress for withholding from a lawful subpoena) about the thousands of assault weapons they transferred to Mexican drug gangs

"We the people" need AR-15s, big magazines, hollow-point rounds and body armor etc .... to defend ourselves from the criminal gangs that our own federal government has been supplying with crate-loads of "assault weapons". These are the same team-Obama chuckle-heads who are calling for "gun control" to take guns away from our law-abiding citizens. Some of those guns were used to shoot-up a school in Mexico ..... Oddly: President Obama did not go on TV to cry over those school kids .... I guess there was no way to use it politically, particularly because HE was the supplier of the so-called "assault weapons"

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