Weapon profiling?


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Owen Sparks
December 2, 2010, 03:23 PM
We all know what racial profiling is. It is prejudging someone’s likelihood of committing a crime based solely on their race. For example, when I was a kid Negros could be arrested for being in “our” part of town after dark based simply on what they might do.

It occurred to me that many gun laws work on exactly the same principle. Certain modern firearms are outlawed based on what some people might do with them. For example, the National Firearms Act of ’34 bans rifles with removable stocks and shotguns with short barrels based on the fact that they are more concealable. This might make it easier for gangsters to hide them under a coat. Are you a gangster? Is the fact that your shotgun is a little too long and cumbersome the only thing keeping you from robbing a bank? Of course not, anymore than being black means that you are up to no good and should be arrested on sight.

Our system of justice has always been based on the principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Gun laws assume guilt based on the potential to commit a crime based on the suitability of a tool in your possession to be misused.

Crime is an act not a tool.

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ShaiVong
December 2, 2010, 04:03 PM
We all know what racial profiling is. It is prejudging someone’s likelihood of committing a crime based solely on their race. For example, when I was a kid Negros could be arrested for being in “our” part of town after dark based simply on what they might do.

It occurred to me that many gun laws work on exactly the same principle. Certain modern firearms are outlawed based on what some people might do with them. For example, the National Firearms Act of ’34 bans rifles with removable stocks and shotguns with short barrels based on the fact that they are more concealable. This might make it easier for gangsters to hide them under a coat. Are you a gangster? Is the fact that your shotgun is a little too long and cumbersome the only thing keeping you from robbing a bank? Of course not, anymore than being black means that you are up to no good and should be arrested on sight.

Our system of justice has always been based on the principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Gun laws assume guilt based on the potential to commit a crime based on the suitability of a tool in your possession to be misused.

Crime is an act not a tool.
I always thought it was dumb to arrest somebody for possession of lock picks. Especially considering that a paperclip and a narrow, flat piece of metal can be made into a pretty good lock pick. Maybe they're trying to limit your potential actions?

It doesn't make any sense to me either. If restrictions are going to be placed on objects, it should be based upon the actual functioning of those objects, not their ascetics (AWB et al).

pitsmile
December 2, 2010, 04:18 PM
It is amazing how ignorant people are. Profiling is part of everyone's life - basically, we all judge people. I go to school for forensic psych, study deception and criminology - profiling is good if you are trained to do it without a bias (hard to do). The same concept is associated with calling someone out on lying, too many people mistake behavioral clues for deceit, when really someone is uncomfortable or recalling stress; possibly because of a fight with their wife (happens with the polygraph).

I believe the same 'adaption' has happened with firearms. People committed crimes with certain weapons so it is assumed that criminals will do the same thing, with no regard for the fact that legal owners (the majority) won't misuse them. (In deception - the concept is what Paul Ekman calls the Brokaw hazard- failure to take someone's idiosyncrasies into account because people differ when they become emotional; and the Othello error - believing-a-lie or disbelieving-the-truth for misinterpreting emotional behavior)

therewolf
December 2, 2010, 04:19 PM
You notice that baseball bats and axe handles aren't illegal.

I think anti-gun politicians are just deathly afraid we're going to shoot THEM...
(can't imagine WHY)

...and I would love it if Thomas Jefferson himself were around today to personally give answer to our "leaders" who seem intent on nothing more than taking away our money and our dearly bought rights.

Owen Sparks
December 2, 2010, 04:19 PM
It doesn't make any sense to me either. If restrictions are going to be placed on objects, it should be based upon the actual functioning of those objects, not their ascetics (AWB et al).

That is the point, objects don't function on their own. They require a human operator.

S. Hill
December 2, 2010, 04:38 PM
You notice that baseball bats and axe handles aren't illegal.

I think anti-gun politicians are just deathly afraid we're going to shoot THEM...
(can't imagine WHY)

...and I would love it if Thomas Jefferson himself were around today to personally give answer to our "leaders" who seem intent on nothing more than taking away our money and our dearly bought rights.
It makes you wonder what the founding fathers would think about profiling, doesn't it? Would Ben Franklin be silent while Grandma was being grope-searched at the airport? I kinda doubt it! He'd have a column in the Wall Street Journal, ripping on the person who had THAT IDEA!

Would Gen. George Washington be happy that the average citizen was not allowed to own the current issue battle rifle? I kinda doubt it! He’d want them to be armed for the general good of the country!

We have strayed SO FAR from our foundation. I know, I know, every civilization does it.... but, man, it hurts to watch it happen!

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