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Joe Lancaster
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Attended Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
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Joe Lancaster

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This is a good, short article that covers the basics, with citations.
Fact-checking some of the gun lobby's favorite arguments shows they're full of holes.
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And thus we found the middle ground on the debate.  Both sides refuting each other with different studies and "facts".  

Perhaps we can agree on a few things?

First Myth #8 is pure and utter Hogwash.  Video games, rock music, RPGs (IE D&D) and comic books don't cause people to freak out any more than living in our world.  All have been used as scapegoats and all are lunacy.  They don't have a place in the debate on either side of the dialog.

Second, can we at least agree that crime (violent or otherwise) in the US (where this debate really is taking place), including gun related crime, is at a 20 +/- year low?  So while the Mother Jones talks about deaths and fatalities, at least the numbers have been dropping year on year for 20 years?  Why?  I don't know.  I don't think it is an increase or decrease in gun ownership.  Though, it may have a bit to do with Roe v. Wade.
There are a lot of sources for this information, but the FBI has a nice table here:
   https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1

Third, of the gun deaths in the United States 2/3rds are Suicide.  Again, numbers are all over the place, but 2/3rds seems to be the accepted figure for the past number of years.  CDC, FBI, other sites seem to confirm this.  Roughly that makes 20,000 out of the 30,000 gun deaths suicide related.  In 2013, Suicide in general (not just firearm suicides) was the number 10 killer in the US.  Some 41,000 people committed suicide in 2013.  Interestingly enough, according to Wiki this puts the US at 50th in the world.
I myself was kind of surprised by this.  Finland, Iceland, Japan, South Korea and Russia beat the US on this harsh fact.  I'm not sure that firearms actually have a strong role here, save to say that because firearms are very effective at killing people are more likely to succeed.  Australia with a fairly restrictive ban is 63rd (tied with Solomon Islands).  US 12.1 per 100K, AU 10.6 per 100K.  I'm very proud of the UK, at 105 with 6.2 per 100K.
   http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

Fourth, firearms are weapons.  They are very effective at being a weapon.  Arguably the most effective weapon ever designed next to Atomic weapons.  There are few take backs with a firearm.  Though accidental (non-crime and non-suicide) death from a firearm is lower than 1000 per year.  They are tragic horrible events which for the most part can be prevented.  Of course, there are 192,945 accidental deaths a year.  So even with firearms being very effective weapons, accounting for 0.05% of all accidental deaths isn't bad.  Apparently people are lot safer with firearms than they are given credit.

Assuming you haven't stopped reading and are still with me and we can at least agree on these 4 things then maybe there is hope for the dialog.  Even if you agree with 3 out of 4, that is better than most people can do on this topic.

If people want to have a real conversation in this country, then we need to put firearms it in prospective with all other deaths, crime, suicides and bad things which happen in this country.  Many of the things which cause suffering have other sources than the tools which are used to cause said suffering.  Removing one means, doesn't solve the problem.  Removing firearms won't fix the horrible mental health situation in the US.  Removing firearms won't stop institutional poverty in the inner cities.  Removing firearms won't help unemployed people find jobs to support their families.  Removing firearms will, in the end, remove another scape goat political shell game argument for politicians on both sides to hide behind rather than offering real solutions about our world, environment, and economy.  Yes, it will perhaps, save ~30,000 people from a gun death.  That would be awesome.  But only if that 30,000 people don't then die from some other means in just as violent and depressing fashion. 

If someone commits suicide via a firearm or by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, does the means matter?  If a child gets into a "child proof" bottle of children's Tylenol because it takes like cherries and dies is that better or worse than them doing it with their mom's carry gun?

I like to deal with numbers, big numbers.  Lets focus on the big killers, the ones that tear most families apart before we pick on one that happens to be a divisive wedge tool?  Why not pick the top 3 killers of people in the United States?
  Heart disease: 611,105
  Cancer: 584,881
  Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205
They all kind of make firearms deaths look small by comparison. 

Or, suicide in general down at 10th with ~40,000 people per year.  Even that next to Heart Disease or Cancer seems small.  But unlike Heart Disease and Cancer, maybe we could start with the suicides.  Figure out how to get people mental health assistance?

Again, focus on the things we agree with rather than fighting over the ones we can't agree with.
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Those watching the Republican nomination race have probably noticed the significant success Donald Trump has had with essentially a European far-right platform: anti-immigrant rhetoric with a strong wink towards options of violence both by his followers (e.g. the men who beat a Latino man into the hospital, which he described as his followers being "very passionate" people who "want this country to be great again") and by him officially, if he's elected. (e.g. by forcibly deporting eleven million people; the means of finding them TBD)

So now we enter the second act of this particular black comedy, in which candidates who are having trouble in the polls try to steal Trump's voters by outdoing him. Alas, neither Scott Walker nor Chris Christie have anything resembling the sort of charisma required to lead a white supremacist movement, but you've got to give them points for batshit insane. In the past two days:

Christie wants to bring in Fred Smith of FedEx to work for ICE, and create a system that lets us track immigrants like packages, and find and deport them instantly when we want to. It's not quite clear what method he would prefer for affixing a computer-readable, nonremovable tag to people; some of the better suggestions I've heard so far involve implanting RFID chips in people's arms or necks, requiring that they wear some special identifying clothing, or simply tattooing their ID number on them somewhere. Trust us, nothing could go wrong with this.

(NB that Fred Smith has made no indication that he wants anything to do with Christie's ideas; he is not to blame for this)

Walker, on the other hand, appears to have become enamored of Trump's idea of building a wall sealing us off from Mexico, and wants to take it a step further: he'll not only build that, but notes the "legitimate concerns" which warrant us seriously investigating building a wall with Canada.

No, he does not appear to be joking.

I'm not sure whether he's terrified of an unexpected reprise of the War of 1812, or if there's a fear that Canadians might stream south of the border and... be really polite to people?

But yes, we have finally reached that point in American history where electoral politics and South Park are no longer clearly distinguishable. So alright, everybody – Blame Canada!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOR38552MJA
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My words are gone.
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Just like everything else in life, it depends who you give them to. I start with removing them from governments.  
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Just some adorable pics from the Qld premiere of the film 'StalkHer' last weekend with John Jarratt and Kaarin Fairfax and bae.

http://hushhushbiz.com/social-pics-from-premiere-of-qld-made-film-stalker/
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side bewb.
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+Mee Sah Maybe that column could be titled "Slaves recovered by armed patrols"? 
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Joe Lancaster

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A Simpsons episode from 15 years ago in which a disastrous Trump presidency is predicted.

#bernie2016
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Bahahahaha republitards sure get butthurt when you tell the truth about them.
 
Hillary Clinton has triggered a full-scale Republican meltdown by telling the truth when she compared Republican policies towards women to terrorist groups.
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As long as not sure doesn't break your house and interupt
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What an incredible speech! This is your new President right here, America.

He's clearly the most in touch with the real issues, with the people, and with the process of achieving goals. He must be considered the frontrunner now.

#Bernie2016 #feelthebern
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But now "only the criminals have guns" so no-one can defend themselves and.... wait... you mean to tell me the country is dramatically safer now? Oh. /s
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Which means, if read literally, that they are in violation of the 2nd Amendment. The purpose of gun ownership is to maintain a well regulated militia. The National Guard is that militia, unless States decide to set up secondary militias with civilian oversight as in keeping with the wording of the amendment.

I don't know why the 2nd Amendment needs such introspective analyzing. It was pretty blunt on why there was a right to keep and bear arms as well as the purpose for keeping arms. Read things for what they are and not what you want them to be.
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Given that as of this year America averages just over 1 mass shooting per day, is it finally time to catch up to the rest of the world with sweeping gun reform, or are people still too stupid?

#guncontrol #ammosexuals
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No, lots of target practice though.
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Baffles me that this still needs to be said.

#guncontrol
 
Once again, a baby shoots itself with a gun that was purchased with family safety in mind.

When will people get it? Guns do not protect families nearly as often as they destroy families.

These people thought they were different though, they knew how to safely own a firearm. They had nothing to worry about, and they had a gun to keep them safe if anything went wrong.

If your gun is available enough to be useful in an emergency, then it's available enough for a baby to shoot itself.
If your gun is put away in a safe place, then it's not available in an emergency situation. 
Police say mother brought child to St. Mary's Hospital with gunshot wound
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Clearly, 21 months is too long to wait to teach your toddler about gun safety.
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Education
  • Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
    Film & Television Production
  • Noosa District State High School
  • Tewantin Primary School
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Media, JOEmedia, Joseph
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  • Double Dragon Trilogy
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I'm probably better than you as a human. Probably.
Work
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Filmmaker
Employment
  • Freelance
    Editor/colourist/filmmaker/teacher, present
  • JOEmedia
    Filmmaker, 2012
  • Bait Productions (with Blackmagic Design)
    2011
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  • CP International
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Corinda (Brisbane) - Enoggera (Brisbane) - Singapore, Singapore - Clunes (NSW) - Noosa (Sunny Coast, Qld) - Kelvin Grove (Brisbane) - Herston (Brisbane) - Nundah (Brisbane) - Newmarket (Brisbane)
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