Atheists are a small minority in the U.S.  Advocates of gun control might be a minority in America as well. In light of the recent shootings in Aurora I am curious as to how atheists in this network view the lack of gun restrictions.  There are probably divergent views.

I have trouble believing that both presidential candidates are steering away from any call for reform after the horrific mass shooting. In my opinion it is insane to allow citizens access to assault weapons that can kill scores of people in a few minutes.  It was even more shocking to hear on a news show that a family had to raise money to pay for the immense hospital bills for one of the victims while they were already crippled with medical bills from the mothers fight with breast cancer.

As a Canadian I came to stand with my U.S brothers for the reason rally and freedom from religion.  I would be willing to come down to the capitol and march for two other important causes.  Gun control and universal health care.

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How do I explain all those voters in America who want an autocratic ruler?

Russell, I see no need to explain that study because it said nothing about the number of such voters changing from 33% plus or minus one percent for half a century. That’s how long I’ve been watching. Gun control is not the only measure.

The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You're a Trump Supporter.

And it's not gender, age, income, race, or religion.

By Matthew CacWilliams January 17, 2016.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-a...

If I asked you what most defines Donald Trump supporters, what would you say? They’re white? They’re poor? They’re uneducated?

You’d be wrong.

In fact, I’ve found a single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism.

That’s right, Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations. And because of the prevalence of authoritarians in the American electorate, among Democrats as well as Republicans, it’s very possible that Trump’s fan base will continue to grow.

My finding is the result of a national poll I conducted in the last five days of December under the auspices of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, sampling 1,800 registered voters across the country and the political spectrum. Running a standard statistical analysis, I found that education, income, gender, age, ideology and religiosity had no significant bearing on a Republican voter’s preferred candidate. Only two of the variables I looked at were statistically significant: authoritarianism, followed by fear of terrorism, though the former was far more significant than the latter.

Authoritarianism is not a new, untested concept in the American electorate. Since the rise of Nazi Germany, it has been one of the most widely studied ideas in social science. While its causes are still debated, the political behavior of authoritarians is not. Authoritarians obey. They rally to and follow strong leaders. And they respond aggressively to outsiders, especially when they feel threatened. From pledging to “make America great again” by building a wall on the border to promising to close mosques and ban Muslims from visiting the United States, Trump is playing directly to authoritarian inclinations.

Not all authoritarians are Republicans by any means; in national surveys since 1992, many authoritarians have also self-identified as independents and Democrats. And in the 2008 Democratic primary, the political scientist Marc Hetherington found that authoritarianism mattered more than income, ideology, gender, age and education in predicting whether voters preferred Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. But Hetherington has also found, based on 14 years of polling, that authoritarians have steadily moved from the Democratic to the Republican Party over time. He hypothesizes that the trend began decades ago, as Democrats embraced civil rights, gay rights, employment protections and other political positions valuing freedom and equality. In my poll results, authoritarianism was not a statistically significant factor in the Democratic primary race, at least not so far, but it does appear to be playing an important role on the Republican side. Indeed, 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters I surveyed score in the top quarter of the authoritarian scale—more than twice as many as Democratic voters.

Political pollsters have missed this key component of Trump’s support because they simply don’t include questions about authoritarianism in their polls. In addition to the typical battery of demographic, horse race, thermometer-scale and policy questions, my poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination toward authoritarianism. These questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian.

Based on these questions, Trump was the only candidate—Republican or Democrat—whose support among authoritarians was statistically significant.

So what does this mean for the election? It doesn’t just help us understand what motivates Trump’s backers—it suggests that his support isn’t capped. In a statistical analysis of the polling results, I found that Trump has already captured 43 percent of Republican primary voters who are strong authoritarians, and 37 percent of Republican authoritarians overall. A majority of Republican authoritarians in my poll also strongly supported Trump’s proposals to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, prohibit Muslims from entering the United States, shutter mosques and establish a nationwide database that track Muslims.

More Here

Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Gun control made both these pieces on being thankful.

Gun control is item number 6 - List must have been compiled when Ob...

This is satire and includes Trump,  a few Canadians and Americans are saying it is a little to close to reality.

Canadians thankful they are not Americans

For the lack of a ban on something like the AR-15. Maybe it is like smoking. The person keeps trying to quit, but falls short no matter what the arguments are or the desire is.

But finally something takes hold and finally the use of cigarettes is kicked. For a friends dad it wasn't his cancer, it wasn't his surgery - it was when he accidentally burned a hole in his couch.

With 17 school shootings in 45 days - can this Florida shooting please be the hole in the couch. 

Politicians who are cowed by the powerful gun lobby, afraid to vote against them despite the large majority of Americans who want more gun control, gladly accepting their dirty cash, and spreading their propaganda are not worthy of representing the people. They are not serving, they are an impediment and a major part of the psychosis that we collectively suffer.

When Obama became president, and started talking gun control, you would not believe how many guns were sold. I joined the NRA, and went down and bought an AK-47. The gun dealer said that Obama was the best gun salesman he'd ever seen. Every time someone in political power starts talking gun control, gun sales jump. We inherited a problem from our founders, and I can see no way out of it. There are over 300,000,000 weapons in the U.S., and a good portion of them, if not most, are unregistered. The reason they aren't registered is that when they were bought, it was not a requirement at the time. The gun that was used in Florida two days ago was purchased legally, and with a background check. The gun that was used to shoot Senator Gifford of Arizona, and all the others in that mass shooting was bought legally, and with a background check a few weeks before the shooting.  The San Bernardino massacre was done with weapons that were purchased legally, and with a background check. AND, if you were able to confiscate all the guns in the U.S., they would find another way to kill. Google "knife attacks in China". And if they can't find a knife , or gun, they are now starting to use autos to run people down and kill them in large numbers. Don't waste the taxpayer's money by trying to control guns. In the U.S. it's an impossibility. We inherited the problem. I don't have a solution, but I can't see wasting money on a program that we know won't work before we even start out.  Blaming the politicians and the NRA is a red herring.  What do you think a law will accomplish?  Criminals are called criminals because they don't obey laws.  What good is it going to do to make a law?  And why blame the NRA?  They are supplying a big demand by "legal" gun owners.  

Please, Donald, break long posts into several paragraphs.

Russell, we Homo Sapiens have not evolved as far you want.

Slightly different topic - prayer in schools = no more school shootings. Encouraging to see a lot of people wanting some sort of restrictions on weapons. I reposted it because this made sense to a relative and I have learned that my hopefully rational arguments do not sway anyone - would just cause bad blood with a relation.  My post said

Ashamed to say this was posted by a relative. If they only knew I reposted it to an audience that can come up with witty replies! (I hope)

500 plus mainly positive replies in 24 hours was very therapeutic.

The god who signed this tee is, as usual, either mistaken or lying.

It’s allowed in a school if each student, not the administration, brings her or his own god and doesn’t impose it on other students without their consent.

Has there ever been a god who was not imposed on people without their consent?

Imposing on people without their consent is the entire point of having a god.

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