Originally Posted by muppetry
No, I was referring to post # 69, where I wrote:
And it's not that you could not make a device from fertilizer alone, it's that unless you managed to acquire commercial or military detonators and a supply of secondary explosive suitable for use as a booster, you could not make such a device at all. Further, even if you acquired those items, your chances of building a functioning device are small unless you understand how to modify the fertilizer mix.
Thanks for clarification, but you're moving the goal posts. I never claimed it was easy nor safe to make a functioning device. I said it was easy to acquire the fertilizer component without being tracked. The fertilizer component is a major one. While I appreciate the challenges in acquiring and making/using the other components, I think it's quite naive to dismiss it as far fetched. Certainly the acquisition of a major explosive component should be regulated.
A good comparison is cold medicine with pseudoephedrine, which is a prime component of crystal meth. Now, I personally don't know the details of making that substance. I do understand it's quite difficult and requires multiple other compounds and fairly advanced equipment. The point is that pseudoephedrine is highly regulated now. One has to present a driver's license and acquire it directly from the pharmacist (no Rx needed). One cannot buy large quantities without facing serious scrutiny. How is fertilizer any different?
Yes it matters - it's basically an accusation that I was lying about it. So what was not credible - my conclusion or that I made the observation? If you disagreed with my conclusion then it would be perfectly reasonable to state that. Instead, you asserted that I had never even made the observation, which position you obviously have nothing to support.
I didn't accuse you of lying. I said that you appeared to either use "in my experience" to inflate your own qualifications, or you just used it as a throw away line. What I specifically took issue with was your extrapolation that your experience and observations (on which you will not elaborate) somehow was representative of "the gun owning population.'
It's a consequence of observing how you respond to answers to your requests for such information.
Sorry you feel that way.
However, as you asked so nicely and seem to be suggesting that you will accept my answer - I have a pretty large pool to draw from in the casual category. I'll be conservative and restrict it to current knowledge, and put it at greater than 30 and less than 50
Thank you. That is what I was interested in knowing.
For perspective, almost everyone I know owns at least one firearm. In the casual category it's mostly semi-automatic pistols, and they either never practice or make very occasional visits to the range (< 1/yr). I have actually observed maybe a quarter of them at the range; for the rest it is their description.
Again, thanks. That is the kind of answer I was looking for.
But since you have already indicated that you don't believe what I say, why don't you have a word with a local civilian firearms instructor and get a verifiable first-hand perspective on the subject. I will be very surprised if you get a different story.
I absolutely believe what you say. I simply don't think it can be extrapolated to the "gun owning population" in general (or rather, such a contention has not been supported). And for that matter, I don't think you can predict what any given local civilian firearms instructor will say.
Or unless they tell me that they don't practice. So yes - I'm sure about it. The rest is covered above.
You've lost me. Why is that unreasonable?
1) Because you are claiming you did statistical extrapolation when, frankly, I don't think you actually did. I think you may have estimated and drawn conclusions based on your experience, which are not the same thing.
2) Because I reject the validity of an extrapolation with such a small sample size, the lack of empirical data, etc.
I see - those kind of questions are fine for you to ask, but it's a game when I ask them. And it would not have been unreasonable to ask about my sample size, but you didn't do that. Your one-sentence dismissal in post #45 was: "I somehow doubt you have any experience whatsoever". No question appended.
I asked those questions in an intellectually honest way. I legitimately wanted to know. You asked them to make a rhetorical point. That being said, I agree my comment in the aforementioned in post #45 was harsh and a bit over the top. Apologies.
No, you would not have been forced to conclude anything of the sort.
Yes, I would...if you refused to support your assertion.
Is the problem here that because I don't resemble the typical unquestioning NRA supporter
It's been a while since I've seen someone reject a characterization his opponent hasn't put forth---while at the same time offering one of his own about a third party.
and that you have probably already labeled me as some kind of liberal moocher type,
you are assuming that I must be a gun control apologist who cannot possibly have any actual experience or knowledge of the subject
I don't know what a "gun control apologist" is. I do get the impression you favor much greater restrictions. Perhaps I'm wrong.
even though yours is zero?
I don't see what my not having fired a weapon has to do with anything.
Even now you are making the assumption that my experience is limited to my "local range".
I wouldn't say I assumed that, though you didn't really address any beyond it. Is there other experience upon which you are drawing?
No - you are the one ridiculing my opinion, on the basis, apparently, of zero personal experience and a half dozen friends with guns. If that isn't a position of ignorance then I can't imagine what you think might be.
Not at all. Let me summarize:
- I think your use of the phrase "in my experience" raised questions as to what that experience was.
- I find your extrapolation of the observational data acquired in that experience to be highly suspect, for reasons already stated.
- I found it odd that you seemed to resist elaborating on the nature of your experience.
Is that a laughing clown face? It's very apt.
You seem to be suggesting that asking for support of assertions is "incessant whining." I found that notion quite literally laughable. I am talking about assertions like "yet this is the experience many gun owners have" and "this represents the gun owning population." Perhaps its just the verbiage. If you had said "based on my personal experience (shooting at the range, talking with dozens of gun owners, observing their shooting skills, etc) I think there are a lot of untrained gun owners out there"---I probably would have reacted differently.
If you actually want a discussion, then try to imagine that you are talking to a person rather than an anonymous virtual opponent.
I would say you are both...as am I.
You might have noticed that when I disagree with a position, I either ask for clarification, present an alternative hypothesis, or I attempt to refute it with accepted fact, empirical observation and reasoning.
I have noticed. The issue is that--in this case--you did not present empirical observation and reasoning, accepted fact, etc. You presented an extrapolation of anecdotal data.
I don't accuse the poster of lying, or argue that they are not qualified to make an argument,
I did not do either of those. I took issue with your experience and asked what it was.
I don't derail the discussion by constantly demanding proof of opinion
No, proof of assertions. I'm sorry you feel that it derailed the discussion.
and I don't use stupid emoticons to pretend that I find the argument hilarious.
I did find that part hilarious. I really did.
You appear to have only two argument techniques: unsupported assertion that your opponent is wrong/ignorant and demanding evidence/proof.
1. Sorry you feel that way.
2. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for proof, evidence and/or just support for certain assertions. Examples are above.
You, on the other hand, never seem to provide any actual evidence for anything.
That is demonstrably false. I often do, even without prompting. When I cannot, I clearly label my statement as opinion, conclusion, etc.
In this case, since you doubt my opinion that the majority of the gun-owning population is basically untrained, you could reasonably have said that you don't think that is consistent with your experience, however limited, you could ask what I based my conclusion on, you could find some dissenting opinion or evidence to refute, etc.. Or you could take the approach you did: "I somehow doubt you have any experience whatsoever", and then continue to wonder why the discussion goes south.
Well again, I take responsibility for how I phrased that. I wasn't (and am not) feeling well, and went too far. What I should have done is ask you what you meant by that statement ("in my experience") specifically, and why you chose to use it.