Penn Jillette attempts logic on Sandy Hook

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Batou667:
Only just got around to watching this. I was impressed by Gilette's rationality in the face of shrieking and wildly spinning harridans, a little surprised that he wasn't pushing for gun control, and depressed by the typical blame shifting arguments of the other women which basically boiled down to "think of the children". And the clapping. The god damn clapping.

My only counter to Gilette would be that spree shootings, which he calls "anomalies", are still statistically significant enough to merit a good hard look at guns and gun culture. We could argue that death by nuclear warhead is a statistical blip that rounds to zero when taken in the context of worldwide causes of death, but from that we wouldn't conclude "nukes are fine, let anybody own them". Gun-related deaths are wholly preventable, unlike traffic accidents and drowning, which are generally tragic accidents despite all reasonable safeguards being in place. Apples and oranges, basically.

Most gun related deaths are suicides. Mostly chosen by men. You can't stop a suicide because a serious person would kill themselves before they can be found and helped.

and most of the homicides are done by career criminals with an average of around 4 arrests. You cant really stop that either given how far reaching gangs are in terms of power and influence.

America isn't that bad. Its not the wild west. Sure America is violent, but its not as violent as it used to be. When it comes to violence, America is an phenomenon but is slowly becoming less so.

Samantha Burt:

J Tyran:
The death toll in this case was very high, 26 stolen lives

Except something like 45 Americans commit suicide daily, and 80-odd are killed on the roads. The school shooting lasted 14 minutes, during which another 1500 people died worldwide of any cause (statistically, that's 75 in the USA alone). So yes, this is an anomaly. More people are killed by their TV's than spree-shootings, for crying out loud.

Just because one thing somewhere else happens to be more frequent or be much worse it does not diminish another thing that happens. Spree shootings are very different to the other causes of death around the world. Would you dismiss rape or murder cases the same way because more people die from natural causes or road accidents?

J Tyran:

Just because one thing somewhere else happens to be more frequent or be much worse it does not diminish another thing that happens. Spree shootings are very different to the other causes of death around the world. Would you dismiss rape or murder cases the same way because more people die from natural causes or road accidents?

I'm not dismissing anything, I just don't understand why it's a big deal when people die in larger, but infrequent, groups, but not when individuals die more frequently (usually in greater numbers overall). Like Penn said in the video, more children die in swimming-pool-related incidents than gun-related, but those are the ones that get all the press.

Samantha Burt:
I'm not dismissing anything, I just don't understand why it's a big deal when people die in larger, but infrequent, groups, but not when individuals die more frequently (usually in greater numbers overall).Like Penn said in the video, more children die in swimming-pool-related incidents than gun-related, but those are the ones that get all the press.

I'm pretty sure owning a swimming pool is subject to more regulation than owning a gun. The thing is when gun control comes to the table, one of the things some anti-gun-control people like to say is "But those other things kill more people than guns!". "Those other things" being things that are more widely used and most likely even subject to stricter regulation as it is.

How big of a deal it is shouldn't be the point at all, I mean I was for firearm control before all this stuff, and will continue to be in favor of it even if the whole world goes ten years without a single death by firearm simply because I think the risk of letting anyone own a firearm is too great, so we must take precautions to at least limit the possibility of a firearm ending up in the hands of someone who really shouldn't be using it.

Vegosiux:
I'm pretty sure owning a swimming pool is subject to more regulation than owning a gun. The thing is when gun control comes to the table, one of the things some anti-gun-control people like to say is "But those other things kill more people than guns!". "Those other things" being things that are more widely used and most likely even subject to stricter regulation as it is.

How big of a deal it is shouldn't be the point at all, I mean I was for firearm control before all this stuff, and will continue to be in favor of it even if the whole world goes ten years without a single death by firearm simply because I think the risk of letting anyone own a firearm is too great, so we must take precautions to at least limit the possibility of a firearm ending up in the hands of someone who really shouldn't be using it.

Oh I completely agree; I don't get America's obsession with firearms at all. I did some sums based on loose figures I found, and discovered that in the US, you're on average, less than 100m from a privately owned gun (horizontally). These are devices whose primary purpose is killing, unlike say, a knife or some such.

Sorry, that got a little tangential... it's too early in the morning for this e _ e

You know, despite being a Social Democrat, I find myself on good terms/mutual friendship with a lot of Libertarians, despite being essentially the exact opposite of my own ideology. Strange.

Anyways, I could swear I heard a bunch of roosters/chickens cawing loudly whenever those ladies spoke. Penn seemed to be the only sensible person there.

Samantha Burt:

Oh I completely agree; I don't get America's obsession with firearms at all. I did some sums based on loose figures I found, and discovered that in the US, you're on average, less than 100m from a privately owned gun (horizontally). These are devices whose primary purpose is killing, unlike say, a knife or some such.

Yeah, I mean, they don't have to tell me you can kill a person with pretty much everything you can get your hands on, but pretty much everything wasn't exactly designed to execute a person with such lethal efficiency. But hey, ban guns, nukes, knives, forks, and people will start dropping grand pianos on people they wish to kill, so you'll have to ban grand pianos too. And anvils.

But yeh, even assuming a firearm is a tool, it's a tool that's dangerous by default[1], so I simply can't be comfortable with everyone being able to own one without some assurance they're not going to use it responsibly.

Oh, and everyone says they're a good driver, it's only the other morons on the road who cause all the problems, so just one's own word shouldn't be enough in case of firearms either.

Sorry, that got a little tangential... it's too early in the morning for this e _ e

Heh heh, an hour earlier for you than me, even!

[1] The only things that are not dangerous by default are the ones that won't maim or kill anyone, even if a completely inexperienced person gets their hands on them and waves them around callously. But some things are more dangerous by default than others are.

Samantha Burt:

J Tyran:

Just because one thing somewhere else happens to be more frequent or be much worse it does not diminish another thing that happens. Spree shootings are very different to the other causes of death around the world. Would you dismiss rape or murder cases the same way because more people die from natural causes or road accidents?

I'm not dismissing anything, I just don't understand why it's a big deal when people die in larger, but infrequent, groups, but not when individuals die more frequently (usually in greater numbers overall). Like Penn said in the video, more children die in swimming-pool-related incidents than gun-related, but those are the ones that get all the press.

These incidents hit the public awareness harder, one of the people on the panel in the video had it right and got mocked for it. On some level they are almost like terrorist attacks. The causes are very different, the goals behind it are very different and often the methods are very different (although terrorists do the spree shooting thing a lot too) but the concept of a single perpetrator walking into somewhere and stealing peoples lives is terrifying.

I do have compassion and I think its sad when anyone life comes to and end, especially when its premature or if their life is unfulfilled. Yet like most people I cannot actually care about every single person that dies, there is no way anyone can. I think we have to be like that or we would go insane, so we do not care as much about accidents or the carnage on our roads. Death only hits home when its someone we know or when large numbers of people are suddenly taken.

For the record road safety annoys the heck out of me. In my own country I think we should make the driving test much harder, bans, fines and penalty points should be harsher and anyone convicted of the more serious traffic offenses like breaching multiple bans, multiple cases of drink driving, repeated dangerous driving and death by dangerous driving should get a life time driving ban backed up by a mandatory 5 year prison sentence for breaching a life time ban. Many people should not be on the road in the first place, they have no awareness and sloppy habits with poor car control. Being in charge of a ton of fast moving metal is a big responsibility many drivers should never have.

J Tyran:
These incidents hit the public awareness harder, one of the people on the panel in the video had it right and got mocked for it. On some level they are almost like terrorist attacks. The causes are very different, the goals behind it are very different and often the methods are very different (although terrorists do the spree shooting thing a lot too) but the concept of a single perpetrator walking into somewhere and stealing peoples lives is terrifying.

I do have compassion and I think its sad when anyone life comes to and end, especially when its premature or if their life is unfulfilled. Yet like most people I cannot actually care about every single person that dies, there is no way anyone can. I think we have to be like that or we would go insane, so we do not care as much about accidents or the carnage on our roads. Death only hits home when its someone we know or when large numbers of people are suddenly taken.

For the record road safety annoys the heck out of me. In my own country I think we should make the driving test much harder, bans, fines and penalty points should be harsher and anyone convicted of the more serious traffic offenses like breaching multiple bans, multiple cases of drink driving, repeated dangerous driving and death by dangerous driving should get a life time driving ban backed up by a mandatory 5 year prison sentence for breaching a life time ban. Many people should not be on the road in the first place, they have no awareness and sloppy habits with poor car control. Being in charge of a ton of fast moving metal is a big responsibility many drivers should never have.

I feel slightly more enlightened. Wish I understood the way most people think, but you've helped a little, thanks.

Samantha Burt:

J Tyran:
These incidents hit the public awareness harder, one of the people on the panel in the video had it right and got mocked for it. On some level they are almost like terrorist attacks. The causes are very different, the goals behind it are very different and often the methods are very different (although terrorists do the spree shooting thing a lot too) but the concept of a single perpetrator walking into somewhere and stealing peoples lives is terrifying.

I do have compassion and I think its sad when anyone life comes to and end, especially when its premature or if their life is unfulfilled. Yet like most people I cannot actually care about every single person that dies, there is no way anyone can. I think we have to be like that or we would go insane, so we do not care as much about accidents or the carnage on our roads. Death only hits home when its someone we know or when large numbers of people are suddenly taken.

For the record road safety annoys the heck out of me. In my own country I think we should make the driving test much harder, bans, fines and penalty points should be harsher and anyone convicted of the more serious traffic offenses like breaching multiple bans, multiple cases of drink driving, repeated dangerous driving and death by dangerous driving should get a life time driving ban backed up by a mandatory 5 year prison sentence for breaching a life time ban. Many people should not be on the road in the first place, they have no awareness and sloppy habits with poor car control. Being in charge of a ton of fast moving metal is a big responsibility many drivers should never have.

I feel slightly more enlightened. Wish I understood the way most people think, but you've helped a little, thanks.

Don't take that as authoritative thats just my take on it, I also miss several reasons about why a death obviously affects people more, like actually seeing a stranger die in front of them.

Can't watch the video right now, but my opinion on Penn Jillette is that, while I disagree with just about every political thing I've heard him say (as opposed to, say, scientific things), I can understand why he says it. Put him in a room with three other people on just about any talk show and he'll probably come off as the most reasonable one of the bunch.

Penn and Teller's episode on gun control is still one of their best ones.

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