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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Q.U. » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:10 pm

To be honest, I think that the main problem the USA faces is not the amount or type of legally permitted guns, but their gun-culture. For some odd reason, they are terrified of their government and it's power/control. They believe that they need guns and the 2nd amendment in order to be able to fight and overthrow the corrupt government should it go too far, all while ignoring the fact that in a potential civil war scenario they would be ridiculously out-gunned no matter how many rifles/machine guns they own and how many men, women, and children they arm up with them. Going up against the government which controls their whole army, an arsenal of carriers, battleships, submarines, fighter jets and stealth bombers, predator drones, intelligent missiles, and even tactical nuclear devices. What do they think they could accomplish with some guns there is beyond my ability to imagine (other than some kind of partisan warfare/resistance, but we've seen examples of that all over the world, and it never works out without a significant amount of help from an influential outside 3rd party). As if they could even dent the "power of the government" unless the government itself would allow them to do so. And what's even more disappointing, is that they keep boasting their superior freedom and excellent political and economic systems (capitalism and federal democracy), and yet they distrust it so much that they never cease their preparations to waging a war with it. It is both odd and disturbing to me how little faith and trust the American people have in their government, and thus in their democratic system, and how naive they are to claim that they could actually stand a chance against it in an open civil war. And yet, that is one of the more common reason I hear quoted in support of legally owned firearms.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Mir@k » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:16 pm

Fucking acapulco gold is a BITCH to grow in autumn and winter
I hate chem dog with a passion
Sour diesel is quite nice for winter!
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Yog » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:54 pm

Trainwreck, man.

Fuck.

Might as well be pulling out teeth.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Valhallen » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:52 am

Betting is closed! Let's see what we have.



Republicans agree to a deal which includes an increase on the top income tax rate. Soth 50

Republicans demand entitlement cuts in such a deal. Soth 15

Democrats blame Republicans for getting close to the cliff. Soth 10, Yog 50, BL 50

Republicans blame Democrats for getting close to the cliff. Soth 10, Yog 50, BL 50

A decision (widely considered terrible) will be made by Friday December 14. Onizaru 401

The crisis "alone" will give companies an excuse to lay off 10-20k people, or lead to strikes that cause companies to go out of business. Sefrai 20

Major members of both parties will be very angry with whatever happens. Neo 100

The cliff comes into effect, but a deal is reached quickly that is perceived as avoiding the costs of the cliff. Neo 10



There aren't any pools, so we'll have to see who loses the least rather than who wins the most.



As for the discussion:
Q.U. wrote:But you must admit, the level of difficulty of producing or assembling a device or substance, while it should, does not usually affect it's legality. I mean, most drugs are quite easy to make, pot is relatively easy to grow for example.
And the failure of efforts to cut off supply is a point in the arguments for legalization. Consider alcohol. It's much easier to make than other drugs (prisoners make it widely in prisons, for example). Prohibition failed because people still wanted to drink and it was really easy to make illicitly. Prohibition was ended after enough people acknowledged that it was futile and largely counterproductive.

Q.U. wrote:Naturally, law enforcement is the key factor here, to which I agree. In fact, the very reason why most civilians buy firearms is for protection, which is generally supposed to be provided by the law enforcement. Since people feel threatened enough to buy guns, it signals that the law enforcement does not fulfil it's purpose.
Besides hunting (which is a major part of the culture in some places), it's something of an ideological issue here. It's not so much that people think that law enforcement isn't doing its job, it's that people think that they ought to be able to defend themselves (with firearms), whether or not doing so is ultimately necessary. It's related to the greater emphasis here on individual freedom and risk that has run against things like the social safety net and national health care.

Q.U. wrote:So you've listed killing power and civilian uses. Now I don't think it would be reasonable to ask you to define the default permitted "killing power" in #human lives/hour, because it would mean asking you to wager the risk of losing a certain number of lives against the benefits of allowing weapon ownership. Which I can imagine to be difficult.
I would define it as follows: the killing power of a weapon is the number of people a person can be expected to kill if the weapon is used in an attempted killing spree / mass murder (that is, people killed before being stopped, not per hour). As it happens, people keep track of what weapons are used in killing sprees, and some are more lethal than others. And as a matter of policy, lives are weighed against benefits all the time. About 90 people die in car crashes in the US in an average day (about three times as many as are killed by guns, discounting suicide), but the advantages of cars mean that very few people want to severely restrict their access on that ground. Weighing the benefits of allowing weapon ownership against lives comes with the territory of gun control. Killing sprees, the "killing power" of weapons, and the benefits of civilian use have little relation to most weapon-related deaths (which are accidents, suicides, or small-scale killings), but they do relate to which weapons are considered too dangerous for the general public to have with little restriction.

Q.U. wrote:Which is why I personally think the legality should be restricted by the designed purpose of the device, and not some arbitrary value of "killing power". Which is both difficult to measure, estimate, and determine, as well as to compare and convert into any other meaningful numerics.
And yet considerations of "killing power" can in principle produce consistent regulation across different kinds of weapons, while "designated purpose" can not. Under your proposal (I assume you mean that devices designed for the purpose of killing humans should be restricted), things like a KA-BAR (based on hunting utility knife designs) would be legal while things like the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife (designed only for combat) would be illegal despite similar potential for abuse. The Colt Peacemaker (single-action military revolver) and M1903 Springfield (bolt-action military rifle) would be illegal while much-more-dangerous semi-automatic hunting rifles would be legal. As an extreme case, enriched uranium from civilian nuclear reactors would be legal, while depleted uranium from military ammunition would not.

Q.U. wrote:To be honest, I think that the main problem the USA faces is not the amount or type of legally permitted guns, but their gun-culture. For some odd reason, they are terrified of their government and it's power/control. They believe that they need guns and the 2nd amendment in order to be able to fight and overthrow the corrupt government should it go too far, all while ignoring the fact that in a potential civil war scenario they would be ridiculously out-gunned no matter how many rifles/machine guns they own and how many men, women, and children they arm up with them. Going up against the government which controls their whole army, an arsenal of carriers, battleships, submarines, fighter jets and stealth bombers, predator drones, intelligent missiles, and even tactical nuclear devices. What do they think they could accomplish with some guns there is beyond my ability to imagine (other than some kind of partisan warfare/resistance, but we've seen examples of that all over the world, and it never works out without a significant amount of help from an influential outside 3rd party). As if they could even dent the "power of the government" unless the government itself would allow them to do so.
Giving the benefit of the doubt to this line of argument (which does sometimes range into crazy territory), it's not so much about being able to overthrow the government as being able to take care of themselves given an imperfect government. So suppose there are hostile Indians nearby (or Loyalists, bandits, gangsters, gangs, illegal immigrants, or generic undesirables), and the government isn't addressing perceived problems. People can get together and form a militia / posse / neighborhood watch and use the force of arms to deal with the problem themselves. Historically, though this has involved a lot of morally questionable and / or illegal activity, it has been an important mechanism for maintaining order in areas with little state / federal police presence. Like with personal weapons above, it's in many cases more about the idea of people being able to to that than their actually having a practical need to do so.

Q.U. wrote:And what's even more disappointing, is that they keep boasting their superior freedom and excellent political and economic systems (capitalism and federal democracy), and yet they distrust it so much that they never cease their preparations to waging a war with it. It is both odd and disturbing to me how little faith and trust the American people have in their government, and thus in their democratic system, and how naive they are to claim that they could actually stand a chance against it in an open civil war. And yet, that is one of the more common reason I hear quoted in support of legally owned firearms.
To a large extent, that's just doublethink resulting from decades of propaganda for / against different targets without much effort to make it consistent. And it's not so much a distrust of the government per se, it's more an idea that the self-evidently perfect capitalistic democratic system has been compromised to some degree by evil people (political opponents and / or socialists) who are trying to destroy America and just might do it if Real, True Americans like them aren't vigilant. The use of an ideological rather than empirical framework lets them avoid having to reconcile views like that with a reality that they might find uncomfortable and complex. Few people actually live as if they believe things like that.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Q.U. » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:43 am

Valhallen wrote:And the failure of efforts to cut off supply is a point in the arguments for legalization. Consider alcohol. It's much easier to make than other drugs (prisoners make it widely in prisons, for example). Prohibition failed because people still wanted to drink and it was really easy to make illicitly. Prohibition was ended after enough people acknowledged that it was futile and largely counterproductive.

Actually, a home-made shiv or anything like that would probably not fall into the illegal category. As you said, prohibiting things that are too common and easily manufactured is not cost-efficient.

I would define it as follows: the killing power of a weapon is the number of people a person can be expected to kill if the weapon is used in an attempted killing spree / mass murder (that is, people killed before being stopped, not per hour). As it happens, people keep track of what weapons are used in killing sprees, and some are more lethal than others. And as a matter of policy, lives are weighed against benefits all the time. About 90 people die in car crashes in the US in an average day (about three times as many as are killed by guns, discounting suicide), but the advantages of cars mean that very few people want to severely restrict their access on that ground. Weighing the benefits of allowing weapon ownership against lives comes with the territory of gun control. Killing sprees, the "killing power" of weapons, and the benefits of civilian use have little relation to most weapon-related deaths (which are accidents, suicides, or small-scale killings), but they do relate to which weapons are considered too dangerous for the general public to have with little restriction.

And that requires you to compromise the lives of a certain number of people who may be killed by low killing-power weapons, and once they do get killed those who oppose guns all together will gain ammunition to fire at the legislation. But I can see the method of this calculation. Though somehow it does remind me about the 4chan-made one Hitler as an SI unit scale.

And yet considerations of "killing power" can in principle produce consistent regulation across different kinds of weapons, while "designated purpose" can not. Under your proposal (I assume you mean that devices designed for the purpose of killing humans should be restricted), things like a KA-BAR (based on hunting utility knife designs) would be legal while things like the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife (designed only for combat) would be illegal despite similar potential for abuse. The Colt Peacemaker (single-action military revolver) and M1903 Springfield (bolt-action military rifle) would be illegal while much-more-dangerous semi-automatic hunting rifles would be legal. As an extreme case, enriched uranium from civilian nuclear reactors would be legal, while depleted uranium from military ammunition would not.

Not exactly. At least not as I've thought about it. In the specific examples you gave:
-Both of these knives would have been illegal. Why? Doesn't matter if KA-BAR is "based" on a utility knife. Being based on something does not automatically put it in the same category. It's a military knife. So it belongs to military personnel. Also note how neither of these would be easy to manufacture in full quality in one's garage. Finally, there needs to be one consistent rule as to which qualities of knives are considered military or combat based, and thus illegal, it can be made by limiting the thickness, the blade length, the edge type, material, etc. There is a difference between a 12inch knife and a 2inch knife, one that can be easily used to limit which one can be called utility and which one can be called combat/military.
-Semi-automatic hunting rifles would be illegal in my view. If you need a semi-automatic to kill a deer then you shouldn't be hunting in the first place, cause you clearly suck at it. Dick Cheney sucked at hunting as well, if you didn't allow him a gun he might not have shot a man. Only single-action and bolt-action weapons should qualify for the "hunting" name.
-Uranium alone is a substance, not a weapon. The weapons regulations don't apply, there already are substance regulations that cover it. Similarly other explosives/dangerous substances.

I should also point out that when I say "designed for" I mean it in the way the manufacturing industry uses it for. Means that once you take a "base" of a device and you make modifications to it geared towards "efficiently killing people" it becomes a device designed for killing people. It doesn't matter what the base was designed for specifically, if you remodel a device through a new design the specific changes to the design will determine what you geared the device to be more efficient at doing.
It still seems smarter than banning guns with barrel shroud specifically in my opinion. After all a barrel shroud for example is a design solution geared towards the safety of the operator, and does not really add to the killing efficiency nor efficacy.

Giving the benefit of the doubt to this line of argument (which does sometimes range into crazy territory), it's not so much about being able to overthrow the government as being able to take care of themselves given an imperfect government. So suppose there are hostile Indians nearby (or Loyalists, bandits, gangsters, gangs, illegal immigrants, or generic undesirables), and the government isn't addressing perceived problems. People can get together and form a militia / posse / neighborhood watch and use the force of arms to deal with the problem themselves. Historically, though this has involved a lot of morally questionable and / or illegal activity, it has been an important mechanism for maintaining order in areas with little state / federal police presence. Like with personal weapons above, it's in many cases more about the idea of people being able to to that than their actually having a practical need to do so.

And just like the concept of "electors" it is an obsolete solution for an already non-existent state of the country. As some people from Japan mentioned "put the guns down America, you're not in the wild west any more". Also, they are not supposed to take matters into their own hands. If your government isn't addressing the problems you ask it to fix, you should change the government, because it seems it doesn't care about your votes. It is once again an example of lack of faith that the US government is designed correctly and works for the people as intended. Which means that either the design was flawed, or it deteriorated from the original so much it no longer does it's job right.

To a large extent, that's just doublethink resulting from decades of propaganda for / against different targets without much effort to make it consistent. And it's not so much a distrust of the government per se, it's more an idea that the self-evidently perfect capitalistic democratic system has been compromised to some degree by evil people (political opponents and / or socialists) who are trying to destroy America and just might do it if Real, True Americans like them aren't vigilant. The use of an ideological rather than empirical framework lets them avoid having to reconcile views like that with a reality that they might find uncomfortable and complex. Few people actually live as if they believe things like that.

I understand this, so I'm not going to argue the point, since it's ideological. But I would be inclined to ask... how few is "few"? Because I was under the impression that, while definitely not a majority, it was a somewhat significant minority who abided by this ideology of conspiracies and anti-government notions.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Valhallen » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:06 pm

Q.U. wrote:Actually, a home-made shiv or anything like that would probably not fall into the illegal category. As you said, prohibiting things that are too common and easily manufactured is not cost-efficient.
OK, but that's going back to legality based on the practicality of limiting access to weapons, not based on the designed purpose.

Q.U. wrote:And that requires you to compromise the lives of a certain number of people who may be killed by low killing-power weapons, and once they do get killed those who oppose guns all together will gain ammunition to fire at the legislation. But I can see the method of this calculation. Though somehow it does remind me about the 4chan-made one Hitler as an SI unit scale.
As I pointed out, that compromise has already been made, not just for guns, but in many areas of life, and serious proposals for changes to weapon policy should address that existing compromise. People have been killing each other since long before guns were invented. Even now, people are killed with knives, blunt objects, and fists. An effective ban on all weapons would not eliminate violent crime. The video I linked earlier wasn't just for a joke. Lots of policies depend on weighing costs and benefits against human lives, and that's how it's going to be for the foreseeable future.

Q.U. wrote:Not exactly. At least not as I've thought about it. In the specific examples you gave:
-Both of these knives would have been illegal. Why? Doesn't matter if KA-BAR is "based" on a utility knife. Being based on something does not automatically put it in the same category. It's a military knife. So it belongs to military personnel.
Note that I said "things like" a KA-BAR. The KA-BAR itself was designed in part for fighting as a military weapon / tool, so it would run afoul of your proposed design-based restriction, but nearly identical hunting knives would not. And this inability to apply similar restrictions to functionally similar things is what I was criticizing. Do you think that Bowie knives should be less restricted than daggers?

Q.U. wrote:Also note how neither of these would be easy to manufacture in full quality in one's garage.
Depends on what you mean by "full quality". Making a similar blade is a task that would take me a few hours, as I mentioned earlier (a shiv like you mentioned above would be a task of a few minutes). 1095 steel is cheap, widely available, and easy to heat treat. Subtle bits of the handle ergonomics would be hard to reproduce, so a knife I'd make wouldn't be as comfortable to use, but that wouldn't make it less stabby. I could make something functionally very much like the Fairbairn-Sykes knife, with a tapered rhomboidal blade, full tang, guard, pommel, and the balance point in the handle, sharp enough to shave with and strong enough to stab through sheet metal. My garage is better-equipped than most, but just having a grinder makes it easy to produce sharp, stabby things from most metals.

Q.U. wrote:Finally, there needs to be one consistent rule as to which qualities of knives are considered military or combat based, and thus illegal, it can be made by limiting the thickness,
Do you mean to say that cleavers ought to be outlawed? What kind of thickness do you have in mind?

Q.U. wrote:the blade length,
I have a machete with a 24" blade, which I use for clearing brush and limbing trees (it's much better than a saw for this). Keep in mind that the KA-BAR and Fairbairn-Sykes knives have blades about 7" long, which is shorter than many kitchen knives. What length do you have in mind?

Q.U. wrote:the edge type,
Like what? Convex vs. concave grinds? The shape of the point? Serrations? Civilian knives run the gamut here.

Q.U. wrote:material,
What materials would you restrict? Military knives are usually made of strong but relatively cheap steel, like the 1095 I mentioned. Civilian knives are sometimes made of such alloys, but there is also a lot of variety with things like stainless steel, alloy steel, and ceramics.

Q.U. wrote:etc. There is a difference between a 12inch knife and a 2inch knife, one that can be easily used to limit which one can be called utility and which one can be called combat/military.
This is a 12" carving knife, and this is a 7cm folding karambit. Which do you think would be a more dangerous weapon (considering that they have a similar grind and are made of similar materials)? What about between a 7" KA-BAR and a 7" survival knife?

Q.U. wrote:-Semi-automatic hunting rifles would be illegal in my view. If you need a semi-automatic to kill a deer then you shouldn't be hunting in the first place, cause you clearly suck at it. Dick Cheney sucked at hunting as well, if you didn't allow him a gun he might not have shot a man. Only single-action and bolt-action weapons should qualify for the "hunting" name.
The idea isn't that semi-automatics are needed, it's that they are convenient. They don't have to be fiddled with after each shot, and if the first shot doesn't bring down the target animal, a second shot can be placed before it runs off injured. But fine, semi-automatic rifles should be illegal. That's getting back to a legal distinction based on the weapon's capabilities, not its designed purpose.

Q.U. wrote:-Uranium alone is a substance, not a weapon. The weapons regulations don't apply, there already are substance regulations that cover it. Similarly other explosives/dangerous substances.
Depleted uranium is chemically toxic but civilian-legal and widely used. Enriched uranium, whether as an oxide in a civilian fuel rod or pure metal in a nuclear warhead, is one of the most highly controlled substances in the world because of what it can be used for, not the designed purpose of whatever it happens to be a component of. I gave this as an example to point out that legal restrictions usually care about the capabilities of something dangerous and not so much its designer's intent, and there's a good reason for that.

Q.U. wrote:I should also point out that when I say "designed for" I mean it in the way the manufacturing industry uses it for. Means that once you take a "base" of a device and you make modifications to it geared towards "efficiently killing people" it becomes a device designed for killing people. It doesn't matter what the base was designed for specifically, if you remodel a device through a new design the specific changes to the design will determine what you geared the device to be more efficient at doing.
So if a hunting rifle company designs a semi-automatic rifle to efficiently kill deer (like in the ad I linked earlier), that would be fine? Or do you consider every semi-automatic rifle to be inherently derivative of military rifles (and therefore designed to kill humans) even if the action is different and a lot of effort has gone into designing it to kill deer (or varmints, as with the small-calibur versions)? Do you think that this should be considered a military vehicle? Or going the other way, if you gave a hunting supplier a cluster bomb design, and they turn it into something that eliminates all the deer in a forest, its purpose would be "hunting" rather than "efficiently killing humans"?

Q.U. wrote:It still seems smarter than banning guns with barrel shroud specifically in my opinion. After all a barrel shroud for example is a design solution geared towards the safety of the operator, and does not really add to the killing efficiency nor efficacy.
Not directly, but it protects the shooter when the gun's barrel gets hot. When does the barrel get hot? When a lot of shots are fired in quick succession. When are shots usually fired in quick succession? At shooting ranges and in running gun fights. So while it's not a big issue (or a feature which I think should be banned), barrel shrouds aren't very important for the purposes of hunting or personal defense.

Q.U. wrote:And just like the concept of "electors" it is an obsolete solution for an already non-existent state of the country. As some people from Japan mentioned "put the guns down America, you're not in the wild west any more".
To some extent, they (and you) aren't considering that different places really do have different circumstances. Most of the "west" isn't very wild these days, but a lot of Alaska is, and (unlike Japan and the UK) there are a lot of places with low populations and not much police presence. And historically, each place has had different weapon policies. Since the feudal era, Japanese citizens have largely been restricted from owning the primary weapons of the day. England has long had some legal provisions for citizens to have weapons (though not as long as Japan's restrictions), which have become more restrictive with guns over the last century or so. The English Bill of Rights provisions formed something of a base for policies in the colonies, where hunting and low-level conflict were rather important. The US Constitution (also much younger than Japan's restrictions) strengthened these policies with the Second Amendment. As such, while there have been some restrictions placed on gun ownership in the last century, economic progress had made guns more available over time. From a chronological perspective, Japan's weapons restrictions (in place since it was a "barbaric and undeveloped" country) are much less modern than the UK weapon policies, which are less modern than the US policies apart from the recent tightening of restrictions.

Q.U. wrote:Also, they are not supposed to take matters into their own hands. If your government isn't addressing the problems you ask it to fix, you should change the government, because it seems it doesn't care about your votes.
Except that the law here is that people can take the law into their own hands to some extent, and a lot of people want that option to be available for ideological reasons.

Q.U. wrote:It is once again an example of lack of faith that the US government is designed correctly and works for the people as intended. Which means that either the design was flawed, or it deteriorated from the original so much it no longer does it's job right.
The US government has never been perfect, and it has never worked for everyone exactly as intended. The design was a series of compromises from the start, and some of that has deteriorated over time (e.g. the executive branch is a lot more powerful than it used to be). But that's fine, because the system was made to be flexible and redundant, where deficiencies in one place could be accommodated elsewhere. And a lot of people think that that's the way it should be, whether or not such flexibility is needed at any particular time.

Q.U. wrote:I understand this, so I'm not going to argue the point, since it's ideological. But I would be inclined to ask... how few is "few"? Because I was under the impression that, while definitely not a majority, it was a somewhat significant minority who abided by this ideology of conspiracies and anti-government notions.
A few tens of thousands. Enough people say they believe things like that to make it an influence in national politics, but very few form organizations to oppose the government, and very few of those take action against the government. As I said, the ideology is largely divorced from reality, and the prospect of following a rational plan to implement it in reality doesn't mix with that very well. There are a handful or so of domestic terrorism incidents in an average year, mostly from other kinds of groups.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Q.U. » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:31 am

OK, but that's going back to legality based on the practicality of limiting access to weapons, not based on the designed purpose.

That statement of mine only applies if you take into consideration the part where I explained what I mean by design. I fail to believe that taking a small tree branch and ripping off the side-branches into a stick is an equivalent to designing it for the purpose of whipping. I feel it would be rather difficult to tell what purpose was a home-made shiv designed for.

As I pointed out, that compromise has already been made, not just for guns, but in many areas of life, and serious proposals for changes to weapon policy should address that existing compromise. People have been killing each other since long before guns were invented. Even now, people are killed with knives, blunt objects, and fists. An effective ban on all weapons would not eliminate violent crime. The video I linked earlier wasn't just for a joke. Lots of policies depend on weighing costs and benefits against human lives, and that's how it's going to be for the foreseeable future.

I realise this, and I realise that in most cases those solutions are of the "as close as we could get" nature. As in "we don't want to be sacrificing any lives for this, but the way the world works forces us to make compromises". I'm looking at possible ways to improve on that system to make it a little less morally ambiguous.

Note that I said "things like" a KA-BAR. The KA-BAR itself was designed in part for fighting as a military weapon / tool, so it would run afoul of your proposed design-based restriction, but nearly identical hunting knives would not. And this inability to apply similar restrictions to functionally similar things is what I was criticizing. Do you think that Bowie knives should be less restricted than daggers?

I know the flaw of the idea that you're pointing out. Which is why I mentioned using the currently existing standards and limitations as well as ways of determining legality as supporting rules to compliment the proposed system where it's nature does not allow for a quick and simple verification.

Depends on what you mean by "full quality". Making a similar blade is a task that would take me a few hours, as I mentioned earlier (a shiv like you mentioned above would be a task of a few minutes). 1095 steel is cheap, widely available, and easy to heat treat. Subtle bits of the handle ergonomics would be hard to reproduce, so a knife I'd make wouldn't be as comfortable to use, but that wouldn't make it less stabby. I could make something functionally very much like the Fairbairn-Sykes knife, with a tapered rhomboidal blade, full tang, guard, pommel, and the balance point in the handle, sharp enough to shave with and strong enough to stab through sheet metal. My garage is better-equipped than most, but just having a grinder makes it easy to produce sharp, stabby things from most metals.

Again, pot example, the ease of manufacturing it does not have to relate to it's legality. Also, when I mention things being illegal I don't mean to say that I want the police force to raid every house and search for home-made shivs. There is a certain layer of legality between barely legal and barely illegal that in my opinion does not have to be enforced fully coherently, nor kept to in all situations.
But wait, does that mean that Mr Perfect Law want to allow his laws to be flawed and disregarded? Doesn't that go against his idea of a perfectly clear and enforced law?
Well, no. I am aware of the nature of the world around me and I know that drawing a clear and obvious line between things is not only often difficult, but sometimes near impossible. Sometimes determining whether something should be legal or not may be just as puzzling as trying to determine the boundary between life and non-life...

Do you mean to say that cleavers ought to be outlawed? What kind of thickness do you have in mind?
(...)
I have a machete with a 24" blade, which I use for clearing brush and limbing trees (it's much better than a saw for this). Keep in mind that the KA-BAR and Fairbairn-Sykes knives have blades about 7" long, which is shorter than many kitchen knives. What length do you have in mind?
(...)
Like what? Convex vs. concave grinds? The shape of the point? Serrations? Civilian knives run the gamut here.
(...)
What materials would you restrict? Military knives are usually made of strong but relatively cheap steel, like the 1095 I mentioned. Civilian knives are sometimes made of such alloys, but there is also a lot of variety with things like stainless steel, alloy steel, and ceramics.
(...)
This is a 12" carving knife, and this is a 7cm folding karambit. Which do you think would be a more dangerous weapon (considering that they have a similar grind and are made of similar materials)? What about between a 7" KA-BAR and a 7" survival knife?

...which is why I don't have a solid set of already existing and established rules to answer any of these. You have to let them get figured out as you go where appropriate, and base the rest on already existing limits, foreign or domestic, in the same legal range.
I should mention though, a cleaver is for cleaving meat, it's shape is a proof of it's design not being to kill, so the thickness/length limitations do not apply, due to it not being an ambiguous case.

The idea isn't that semi-automatics are needed, it's that they are convenient. They don't have to be fiddled with after each shot, and if the first shot doesn't bring down the target animal, a second shot can be placed before it runs off injured. But fine, semi-automatic rifles should be illegal. That's getting back to a legal distinction based on the weapon's capabilities, not its designed purpose.

I don't think so. I mean, I can see how you got there, but the capabilities are an effect of the design, Val. What I'm still limiting is the design, the capabilities that it provides just get hit in the process. Which is how I intended it to be.

Depleted uranium is chemically toxic but civilian-legal and widely used. Enriched uranium, whether as an oxide in a civilian fuel rod or pure metal in a nuclear warhead, is one of the most highly controlled substances in the world because of what it can be used for, not the designed purpose of whatever it happens to be a component of. I gave this as an example to point out that legal restrictions usually care about the capabilities of something dangerous and not so much its designer's intent, and there's a good reason for that.

Yes. For that in substances.
These substances and materials are then used to make devices and weapons, working mechanisms.
And substances are legally limited on a different basis than already completed weapons. Of course. I agree. What's your case here? A substance or even a weaponised substance are different than an already functional nuclear warhead, and are judged by different standards because of it. How is that a point?

So if a hunting rifle company designs a semi-automatic rifle to efficiently kill deer (like in the ad I linked earlier), that would be fine? Or do you consider every semi-automatic rifle to be inherently derivative of military rifles (and therefore designed to kill humans) even if the action is different and a lot of effort has gone into designing it to kill deer (or varmints, as with the small-calibur versions)?

I cannot seem to be able to find a single design solution in any of these rifles that points to it being designed "to kill deer". If you have one please quote it and be specific. I see in it many design solutions geared towards the ability to kill living creatures. I presume it is similarly effective against mammals, reptiles, and birds. And humans are among mammals, I might add. So it is for killing, including killing people. Maybe due to the calibre it might not be designed for killing rhinos, but unless the bullets have an auto guiding system which visually recognises a deer and locks on to it, this weapon is NOT designed to "kill deer".

Do you think that this should be considered a military vehicle?

There is a fine line between a military vehicle, and it's civilian adaptation.    "Hummer H1, H2, and H3. The H1 is a civilian derivative of the HMMWV, while the H2 and H3 are based on regular GM truck chassis' and styled after it."   

Or going the other way, if you gave a hunting supplier a cluster bomb design, and they turn it into something that eliminates all the deer in a forest, its purpose would be "hunting" rather than "efficiently killing humans"?

See above.

Not directly, but it protects the shooter when the gun's barrel gets hot. When does the barrel get hot? When a lot of shots are fired in quick succession. When are shots usually fired in quick succession? At shooting ranges and in running gun fights. So while it's not a big issue (or a feature which I think should be banned), barrel shrouds aren't very important for the purposes of hunting or personal defense.

Back to the same thing again then. The barrel shroud is designed to increase the safety of the operator. And by that is not a design that can be banned. The need for this design solution comes from the gun's capability to fire a large number of rounds per minute, which is a feature of it, a symptom of design. The design that allows high fire rate is the semi-automatic/fullauto nature of the gun and the design of the magazine to hold a larger number of rounds. And those designs get shot down.
If you take a bolt-action precision rifle designed to fire rubber bullets you are free to slap a barrel shroud on it if you wish. Not a necessary or even useful design solution, but not one that makes the weapon more lethal either.

To some extent, they (and you) aren't considering that different places really do have different circumstances. Most of the "west" isn't very wild these days, but a lot of Alaska is, and (unlike Japan and the UK) there are a lot of places with low populations and not much police presence. And historically, each place has had different weapon policies. Since the feudal era, Japanese citizens have largely been restricted from owning the primary weapons of the day. England has long had some legal provisions for citizens to have weapons (though not as long as Japan's restrictions), which have become more restrictive with guns over the last century or so. The English Bill of Rights provisions formed something of a base for policies in the colonies, where hunting and low-level conflict were rather important. The US Constitution (also much younger than Japan's restrictions) strengthened these policies with the Second Amendment. As such, while there have been some restrictions placed on gun ownership in the last century, economic progress had made guns more available over time. From a chronological perspective, Japan's weapons restrictions (in place since it was a "barbaric and undeveloped" country) are much less modern than the UK weapon policies, which are less modern than the US policies apart from the recent tightening of restrictions.

That is true. The USA is a different example than most of the world. Which is why, before we started this conversation, I already pointed out that I do not believe that weapon restrictions would work well in the USA, nor would I champion them in the current state of the country. What I'm arguing here is what I happen to consider a very good and effective solution to gun violence and violent crime in countries. I don't think it would benefit the USA. That also does not mean that the USA should not be trying to slowly make their way into being a safer country, with lower crime statistics, that would become grounds for the type of reforms I'm proposing to become effective and work the way they are intended to.
Also, I wouldn't use the word "modern" for this particular example. "New" would suffice. "Modern" implies both newer and better, or somehow more sophisticated. Which these laws are not. They are just newer, because the country is younger, and didn't have the time to grow to a point at which such laws would become obsolete. Using your logic I might just as easily state that communism is more modern than democracy. Or that burning witches is more modern than crucifixion.
Once the USA grows old enough, some of the laws and solutions that even now are simply obsolete, but still kept around due to them being customary, will slowly become a burden to the country's development. Once they start hurting enough, they will inevitably be abandoned. It happens the same way for most countries in the world, at least for those that move forward. Most countries tend not to remove their obsolete laws, rules, and solutions until they actually become a [url]significant enough burden[/url] or a liability. I find that odd, personally.

Except that the law here is that people can take the law into their own hands to some extent, and a lot of people want that option to be available for ideological reasons.

A mafia boss also wants to be able to take the law into his own hands, and execute people who stand against him. But that does not mean it's wise to give that kind of power to everybody. I know that country's ideology, I just simply disagree with it.

The US government has never been perfect, and it has never worked for everyone exactly as intended. The design was a series of compromises from the start, and some of that has deteriorated over time (e.g. the executive branch is a lot more powerful than it used to be). But that's fine, because the system was made to be flexible and redundant, where deficiencies in one place could be accommodated elsewhere. And a lot of people think that that's the way it should be, whether or not such flexibility is needed at any particular time.

Flexibility is an essential quality to have, Stubborn adherence to 17th century laws and solutions is not. No government is ever perfect. But it should be designed in a way where the people can influence it significantly enough without having to resort to violence. Otherwise it's anarchy. If the only way to change something in your country is through violence then it seems to be poorly designed, and begging for a fix. Most governments claim to not be like that, but so far, most of them inevitably turn out that way. Egypt had it's first regime change through protests (though violent) and not a military coup or civil war. But Libya and Syria did not. De-centralised power helps in making the government more likely to be influenced by peaceful protests and pressure from the people.
Would the American people be able to change their government by protests and pressure alone? Or would it take a bunch of armed citizens breaking into the white house, shooting the president, and then tying his limp body to a horse and dragging it around the city, in order to change the government?
May I also add that one of these answers makes me think it's a more "modern" and "civilised" country?
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Valhallen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:13 am

Time to evaluate this round:

Republicans agree to a deal which includes an increase on the top income tax rate. Soth 50 - New top rate of 39.6%
Republicans demand entitlement cuts in such a deal. Soth 15 - No cuts in the deal itself, but the cliff's spending cuts were delayed two months with the idea of a new deal being hashed out then. I'm calling this as wrong, but I'm willing to hear an argument if Soth wants.
Democrats blame Republicans for getting close to the cliff. Soth 10, Yog 50, BL 50 - The cliff technically happened.
Republicans blame Democrats for getting close to the cliff. Soth 10, Yog 50, BL 50 - Same deal.
A decision (widely considered terrible) will be made by Friday December 14. Onizaru 401 - Deal passed Jan 1, signed Jan 2.
The crisis "alone" will give companies an excuse to lay off 10-20k people, or lead to strikes that cause companies to go out of business. Sefrai 20 - Didn't see reports of this, but a lot more people get laid off than that in any given week, so I'm willing to change it if you find something.
Major members of both parties will be very angry with whatever happens. Neo 100 - One side says the deal goes too far, the other side says it doesn't go too far enough.
The cliff comes into effect, but a deal is reached quickly that is perceived as avoiding the costs of the cliff. Neo 10 - The deal was reached before the first business day under the fiscal cliff conditions.

So the keepings are:

BL 0/100
Onizaru 401/401
Neo 110/110
Sefrai 0/20
Soth 50/85
Yog 0/100

Lost bets claimed by house: 255
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Fiscal Cliff

Postby Valhallen » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:41 pm

Third round: Most Likable Mod

Who will win? How will the community deal with a bet they can determine the outcome of? We have until the poll closes to find out!
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Mir@k » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:45 pm

I ain betin sheis til me chickn's be returnd
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Blood Lord » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:24 pm

Poll ends tomorrow.
Stufflikehearts - He is a Sith Lord. I love Blood Lord :3
Jeffffey - Blood, you look at the information someone says, look over what really happened, and reply in a way that makes them realize what they were really thinking.
Light10s - Blood Lord! Your avatars are becoming more epic. You make me feel like getting on all fours and submitting my loyalty and obedience to you.
Fievel - Numerous campaigns and conquests, countless bodies decaying after the abandonment of victorious battlefields. Such is the life of Blood Lord.
Dusk_Imp - Blood Lord is like a celebrity here. Everything he does is pure awesome. ALL HAIL BLOOD LORD
Doctress Who - Why couldn't there be a Blood Lord in every forum? It would make life so much easier.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Mir@k » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:37 pm

Go smell a butt.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Blood Lord » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:39 pm

no u
Stufflikehearts - He is a Sith Lord. I love Blood Lord :3
Jeffffey - Blood, you look at the information someone says, look over what really happened, and reply in a way that makes them realize what they were really thinking.
Light10s - Blood Lord! Your avatars are becoming more epic. You make me feel like getting on all fours and submitting my loyalty and obedience to you.
Fievel - Numerous campaigns and conquests, countless bodies decaying after the abandonment of victorious battlefields. Such is the life of Blood Lord.
Dusk_Imp - Blood Lord is like a celebrity here. Everything he does is pure awesome. ALL HAIL BLOOD LORD
Doctress Who - Why couldn't there be a Blood Lord in every forum? It would make life so much easier.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Blood Lord » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Should it end in a tie, I propose a showdown between the two to last another week.
Stufflikehearts - He is a Sith Lord. I love Blood Lord :3
Jeffffey - Blood, you look at the information someone says, look over what really happened, and reply in a way that makes them realize what they were really thinking.
Light10s - Blood Lord! Your avatars are becoming more epic. You make me feel like getting on all fours and submitting my loyalty and obedience to you.
Fievel - Numerous campaigns and conquests, countless bodies decaying after the abandonment of victorious battlefields. Such is the life of Blood Lord.
Dusk_Imp - Blood Lord is like a celebrity here. Everything he does is pure awesome. ALL HAIL BLOOD LORD
Doctress Who - Why couldn't there be a Blood Lord in every forum? It would make life so much easier.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Mir@k » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:44 pm

Oohh
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Mir@k » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:45 pm

I'll bet 150 internets that it ends in a tie, and 50 that tuor wins.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Zelosse » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:43 am

I agree with Mir. 150 internets on a tie. No bets made on Tuor.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby DaCrum » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:14 am

Sigh. 50 on tie. 15 on Tuor. 10 on Grey.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:29 am

Oh, this is tough, and I'm loath to stop my winning streak.
...
Wait a sec, we can change votes. Isn't this, like, incredibly easy to rig?
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Valhallen » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:35 am

Yep. That may end up being half the fun.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Q.U. » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:56 am

I could bet 1 000 internets on Grey/Tuor, and just switch my vote to him in the last moment to break the tie...

Is what most people would be thinking.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:58 am

I bet 101 Internets that whoever wins wins by one point.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Tuor » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:00 am

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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Grey » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:57 am

i'd look like a fool if i didn't bet on myself.

10 grand on grey.
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Re: Snafu betting parlor: Most Likable Mod

Postby Saint Soul » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:21 pm

20 bln all around.
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