It's the Guns, Stupid

It's the Guns, Stupid

There are 103299 comments on the Truthdig story from Apr 20, 2007, titled It's the Guns, Stupid. In it, Truthdig reports that:

“And that's the end of the issue”

Why do we have the same futile argument every time there is a mass killing? Advocates of gun control try to open a discussion about whether more reasonable weapons statutes might reduce the number of violent ... via Truthdig

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Truthdig.

Dr Freud

Bethnal Green, UK

#97650 Jan 21, 2013
Brit Expat wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok. Not that blill tho. as limiricks go. lol.
There was a young girl from Australia
Who's thing was as big as a dalia
At three pence a smell she did quite well
But! sixpence a lick was a failure
There was once a Brit Expat in France,
Who was given to song and dance,
He pranced like a poof, in drag and aloof,
And was soon looked upon by many askance!
Dr Freud

Bethnal Green, UK

#97651 Jan 21, 2013
Teaman wrote:
<quoted text>
Obama lost every state that required a voter ID.:-)
Romney got zero votes, nada, not a one, in 59 voting wards in Philadelphia. Cleveland was pretty much the same.
Only one precinct in St. Lucie County, Fl, had a turnout less than 113%
A county in Ohio had a 108% turnout.
It does not matter how people vote, it's who counts the votes that matter.
Unless, and until those results are challenged in a court of law, then NOTHING is going to get done to correct that matter.

Moscow, Russia

#97652 Jan 21, 2013
Muscovies are the all time versatile pet -they are interesting looking, cheap to run and are also edible. If you have enough of these birds you can make a quilt!


Muscovies are easily distinguished from other breeds by their faces which are devoid of feathers, bright red, flashy and carnunculated (lumpy). The male, when alarmed, excited or angry, will erect the feathers on the top of his head and appear quite leery and wicked.

Male Muscovies are considerably larger than females. Large males weigh as much as eight kilos and females weigh approximately half as much.


White, black and white, blue (a light grey colour) and white, and bronze and white. A fawn and white colour also occurs but is much less common.


Muscovies are docile, placid and slow moving if unthreatened. They do not enjoy being caught and picked up and will squirt their droppings as a form of defense.

Drakes can be bad tempered and aggressive and are not suitable as pets. Drakes will fight together and have been known to kill and even eat ducklings.


Drakes are too heavy to fly but ducks (unlike other domestic breeds) are perfectly capable of flying and perching. Confining them to your own backyard may be achieved either by keeping them in a fully enclosed pen or by clipping the flight feathers on one wing.

Moscow, Russia

#97653 Jan 21, 2013

The Muscovy is a native South American duck and appears to be the only domestic duck breed which is not a descendant of the Mallard. Muscovy drakes lack the curly tail feathers characteristic of drakes of all other breeds.

The Muscovy belongs to a separate species to other domestic ducks and geese (Cairina moschata). Consequently the progeny which result from crosses between the two groups are sterile.

The name Muscovy is said to be derived from an odour of musk which pervades the skin but which disappears when cooked. Other sources say the Muscovy was named after the Muscovite Trading Company which plied its trade on the South American Coast.


Predators such as foxes and dogs will often make a meal of a duck and so some form of protective fencing or night time housing is essential. If the ducks muddy their pen it may be necessary to place the drinker on wire over a shallow pit.

It is advisable to stay close-by when letting very young ducklings away from shelter as they are susceptible to attack from predators, even during the day.

Moscow, Russia

#97655 Jan 21, 2013
Health & Lifespan

Muscovies have very few ailments and are hardier than other domestic duck breeds. Care must be taken to provide ducklings with shallow water troughs to prevent them from drowning. Ducklings must also be warm and dry before nightfall or in very cold weather as they have limited ability to restore lost body heat.

Muscovies have a lifespan of 7 to 8 years.


Muscovies should have access to a high quality well balanced feed, specifically formulated for ducks. The nutrient requirements of the Muscovy differ significantly from those of chickens. Duck feed is available from produce stores.

Muscovies are not noticeably enthusiastic about searching for snails but are quite proficient at snapping up insects which come near them. Kitchen scraps and grass clippings should be included in the diet. Ducklings especially, enjoy cabbage leaves, watermelon shells, raw meat and bread and also like to fossick for insects and fresh grass.

Drinking water should be cool and clean - the ducks will quickly muddy their water and, if uncleaned, this can be a source of infection.

Abingdon, VA

#97656 Jan 21, 2013
Dr Freud wrote:
<quoted text>
Unless, and until those results are challenged in a court of law, then NOTHING is going to get done to correct that matter.
There's a new brand of McCarthyism these days called racism.:-)

Don't count on anything being done about it. We're just stuck with him.

Moscow, Russia

#97657 Jan 21, 2013
jase wrote:
Glad I live in USA where there is highter learning.
highter learning huh ?
maybe you need to go back to hight school to learn to spell.

Moscow, Russia

#97658 Jan 21, 2013
A Muscovy duck will lay a clutch of 15 -18 eggs (one per day) and then sit if allowed. Otherwise she will take a break and lay another clutch. The eggs are about one and a half times the size of hen eggs and are equally edible - duck eggs are said to make perfect pavlovas.

Space and exercise

Muscovy ducklings, handfed in a domestic situation are not active birds but drakelets if not confined may destroy your garden. Muscovies will graze the lawn a little and will sample succulent greens but two or three ducks in the average backyard are unlikely to cause much damage. Small barriers can be used to protect plants if necessary. Muscovies do not swim much because their oil glands are under developed compared to most ducks.

Moscow, Russia

#97659 Jan 21, 2013

Drakes do not quack but hiss instead. The duck (female) squeaks with different emphases for different occasions.


Females are useful for egg production. Males are usually fattened for the table - they have more meat on them than other duck breeds. They are ideal for the table around the age of 10 or 12 weeks.

Further Information:

Contact the Royal Agricultural Society in your state for the names of breeders who exhibited birds in recent shows.
Brit Expat

Montpellier, France

#97660 Jan 21, 2013
Dr Freud wrote:
<quoted text>
There was once a Brit Expat in France,
Who was given to song and dance,
He pranced like a poof, in drag and aloof,
And was soon looked upon by many askance!
Excellent! I love it!

There was a young girl from the Azores

Who's "thing! was all covered in sores

And dogs ate green meat as she walked down the street

Which hung in festoons from her draws.

Since: Dec 10

Brisbane, Australia

#97661 Jan 21, 2013
Things We Learned About Howard's War On Guns
Aussie gun owners were more receptive because they were getting a little somethin' somethin' in return. A similar approach in the US would put a massive strain on their economy.
To make this plan work, there had to be a federally financed gun buyback scheme. Ultimately, the cost of the buyback was met by a special one-off tax imposed on all Australians. This required new legislation and was widely accepted across the political spectrum. Almost 700,000 guns were bought back and destroyed — the equivalent of 40 million guns in the United States.
What a surprise. Racists and bigots like guns.
The leaders of the National Party, as well as the premier of Queensland, courageously supported my government’s decision, despite the electoral pain it caused them. Within a year, a new populist and conservative political party, the One Nation Party, emerged and took many votes from our coalition in subsequent state and federal elections; one of its key policies was the reversal of the gun laws.
Your "It's because of societies moral decay" argument is null and void you redneck yokel. Guns kill people.
The fundamental problem was the ready availability of high-powered weapons, which enabled people to convert their murderous impulses into mass killing. Certainly, shortcomings in treating mental illness and the harmful influence of violent video games and movies may have played a role. But nothing trumps easy access to a gun. It is easier to kill 10 people with a gun than with a knife.
While his lack of sporting prowess and dorky demeanor suggested otherwise, Howard must have had a pretty mean "Don't fuck with me or I'll end you!" side to him behind closed doors.
For a time, it seemed that certain states might refuse to enact the ban. But I made clear that my government was willing to hold a nationwide referendum to alter the Australian Constitution and give the federal government constitutional power over guns. Such a referendum would have been expensive and divisive, but it would have passed. And all state governments knew this.
This was the Howard Government's greatest achievement and will benefit Australians for generations to come.
In the end, we won the battle to change gun laws because there was majority support across Australia for banning certain weapons. And today, there is a wide consensus that our 1996 reforms not only reduced the gun-related homicide rate, but also the suicide rate. The Australian Institute of Criminology found that gun-related murders and suicides fell sharply after 1996. The American Journal of Law and Economics found that our gun buyback scheme cut firearm suicides by 74 percent. In the 18 years before the 1996 reforms, Australia suffered 13 gun massacres — each with more than four victims — causing a total of 102 deaths. There has not been a single massacre in that category since 1996.
A: This is how true governments show courage, strength and leadership when they are serious about protecting it's citizens in the face of adversity in a sane country, and it works!

I am not the one crying......BOO HOO

Moscow, Russia

#97662 Jan 21, 2013

The Pekin is an attractive, large white duck. The plumage may show a tinge of cream or yellow. They weigh 3.5-4kg (about 8-9lb) with yellow or reddish-orange bill and legs. They are usually bred for meat but are equally useful in the backyard. And if you think the Pekin looks familiar, you've probably seen one on TV. The Walt Disney animated character Donald Duck was based on a Pekin duck.

The Saxony is a stylish bird, weighing about 3-4kg (7-9lb). Drakes (boys) are rusty red with silver lacing, while the head and neck are blue with a white neck ring. Ducks (girls) are buff-coloured on the head, neck and breast with a white eye-line. Wing bars and tail are light blue. Both have a yellow bill, dark brown eyes and dark yellow feet.

Indian Runners are comparatively light; about 1.6-2.25kg (3.5-5lb) for drakes and 1.35-2 kg (3-4.5lb) for ducks. Drakes are 65-80cm (26-32 in.), ducks 60-70 cm (24-28 in.). Does this one look familiar too? Well, you may remember Ferdinand from the movie 'Babe'.

The Indian Runner doesn't waddle. The position of its legs gives it a distinctive running motion. Described as being like 'a wine bottle' this duck has a long, snake-like neck.

Uses and space

Ducks are useful for all sorts of purposes; as snail eaters, egg layers, for meat or simply as a hobby. It's just a matter of choosing a breed that suits your backyard and needs.

Most duck breeds are well suited to suburban backyards, although some such as the Muscovy can be a little more difficult to handle. All ducks can be messy and may trash a vegetable garden if allowed. Pools or ponds aren't essential, however a water container large enough to allow them to dunk is essential to ensure their eyes, nostrils and beaks stay clean and healthy.

Ducks do best when they have plenty of space in which to wander and so are best suited to larger backyards. It's important to check with your local council to ensure by-laws allow the keeping of poultry or waterfowl in the area. Although it is uncommon for by-laws to exist in relation to a few backyard birds, most councils have regulations pertaining to noise and pollution created by animals. Pekins tend to be the most noisy of these three.

Moscow, Russia

#97663 Jan 21, 2013

The Saxony and Pekin are calm, placid ducks, not flighty or aggressive towards children. The Saxony has a very good temperament and is very easy to handle. This is the best backyard duck of the three.

Indian Runners can be aloof and excitable. Show-bred Indian Runners are more easily handled than backyard bred specimens.


Pekins are not considered good sitters although they do produce up to 120 eggs per season.

Saxony ducks are said to be fairly good sitters but most hobbyists will use incubators. If allowed to sit naturally 50 or more ducklings per pair may be produced annually.

Although Indian Runners are prolific egg-layers, they are not very broody. Therefore, if you wish to breed them, and you don't have access to an incubator, the eggs should be placed under another broody duck to hatch. Indian Runners, unlike some other duck breeds, do not need water for breeding (although they must have water available at all times for drinking). Ducklings are best raised in small flocks.

Moscow, Russia

#97664 Jan 21, 2013

Commercial duck pellets are available from produce stores and are available in a range of mixes: starter, grower and breeder pellets. Ducks also eat vegetables but may not readily accept scraps such as peelings or hard vegetables. Most wont eat more than 125 grams per day. A 40 kg bag of duck pellets should last an adult pair at least one month. Duck feed should be placed in bowls to prevent contamination. Water bowls should be accessible at all times and should be anchored with bricks to prevent the ducks turning them over.

Health and lifespan

Ducks rarely suffer from ill health when well looked after and protected from predators.

Dry bedding is important to avoid foot infections such as bumble foot. Diarrhoea may indicate worms or coxyliosis. Vets will diagnose and treat both conditions but if ignored, can be fatal. Worm regularly, about twice a year.

The feeding requirements of poultry and waterfowl can attract rodents. Place rat baits in lengths of piping where the rats can get in but the ducks can't.

Maintenance and cost

Ducks need a predator-proof shed or shelter to keep them safe at night and provide protection from the weather. Dry straw or a similar bedding is also necessary. Renew the bedding every couple of days.

Pekins range from $70-$100 per bird, Saxonys $30-$70 and Indian Runners from about $20 -$50.

Ideal owner

These three types of duck can be successfully kept by poultry enthusiasts of all ages and ability. They are best suited to people who have a yard area available and can offer the ducks a penned or caged area.

A single duck can be lonely. It's advised to keep at least two for companionship. A common turn-off is the mess which ducks make. Owners suggest hosing off any faeces of an evening into the lawn. Duck poo makes for excellent fertiliser

Boca Raton, FL

#97665 Jan 21, 2013
Guppy wrote:
<quoted text>
Virgil~What I meant was, the government won't turn on you if you are obeying the law. They won't go after you FOR THE HELL OF IT.
August 15,(1995)
The Justice Department announced that it was paying the surviving Weaver family members $3.1 million to settle their wrongful-death lawsuit against the federal government.

Moscow, Russia

#97666 Jan 21, 2013
Gardens that have livestock within or around them really come alive for me. The idyllic image of sheep grazing the cultivated woodland areas at Hestercombe will always stay in my mind.

Keeping productive domestic animals is a growing trend, and I can understand why. My own free-range multicolour Orpington chickens give me more enjoyment than any static garden sculpture could, and I think they too must be pleased with their lives here, as they have been laying non-stop through the winter, even in the snow.

It’s said, nine out of 10 gardeners who acquire ducks start with chickens first, and I am just about to add to that statistic: I am deliberating whether to take the plunge. I had many (inaccurate as it turns out) preconceptions about ducks: they need large bodies of water, make a lot of mess, destroy your garden and don’t produce top-notch eggs.

Then I popped into see Bas Clarke and he soon put me right. Bas is a retired stonemason who built a Chelsea garden for me a few years ago. His garden borders the river Chater in Rutland. He became interested in ducks 14 years ago. Never one to do things by half, he built a huge lake, designed and had built state-of-the-art incubating facilities, and now breeds 80 types of duck. One of his many success stories is the Laysan Teal which lives on the Laysan Island near Hawaii. At one point there were only nine left in the world. Bas has now bred many of these and they have been taken back to the wild. He also sells rare hand-reared ducklings to Slimbridge

Moscow, Russia

#97667 Jan 21, 2013
I could not quite picture a couple of pairs of ducks among the chickens in an average suburban garden – the water issue would be the main hiccup.

But Bas had a simple solution. A suitable body of water for most smaller ornamental ducks is a child’s paddling pool. The usual 4ft x 4ft pool will keep about 10 ducks; you can get around six per square yard of water as the birds are quite small, usually a mere 9in x 4in.(They need larger land space, though). The advantage of a paddling pool is that you can pick it up and tip it out, complete with muck (great liquid feed for the garden), thus changing the water for the ducks every few days. Some owners fit a plug and drain at the base of the paddling pool, recessing it into the ground so it looks natural and creates a charming dabbling area.

There are four basic groups of ducks: domestic, dabbling, diving and sea ducks. Domestic ducks spend 10 per cent of their time on water; these include call ducks, Beatrix Potter’s Jemima Puddle-Duck variety. Dabbling ducks (pintail, wigeon and teal) split their time 50/50. Diving ducks spend 75 per cent of their life bobbing around, whilst sea ducks, not surprisingly, spend 95 per cent of their time afloat. Bas’s favourites for garden embellishment are call ducks, which are cheeky and full of character, and whistling tree ducks, which follow you around and whistle. Ducks are much less vocal than chickens – no more irate neighbours! Most don’t even quack.

Moscow, Russia

#97668 Jan 21, 2013
Damage to the garden and mess were two big stumbling blocks. Bas says if the ducks are well fed, on household scraps and pellets, and in the average suburban garden you had two or three pairs, you would find the damage limited to nibbling at the odd plant. If they did start to pick on one you could always net it.

Ducks are superior to chickens at hoovering up slugs and snails, so you might find the odd holey hosta. I would keep them off young vegetables, though.

Ducks have certain similarities to, and advantages over, chickens. They can be prolific layers; their eggs are rich and slightly oily and can be eaten boiled but are ideal for sponges which they make an almost daffodil yellow. They do not get mites as they are on water and will graze grass better than a mower if the stocking rate is right. Wigeons especially are great grazers. And floating duck feed won’t attract rats.

Ornamental ducks are usually pinioned when very young so they don’t fly off, but will then need protecting from foxes, which means shutting them away safely at night. They are biddable though, as they are often hand-reared; if fed twice daily they will quickly become good mates.

If you think ducks might float your boat, call Bas (01780 720770). His many species start from £20 each. At Christmas he turns away calls from chefs – his ducks are far too precious for the table.

Moscow, Russia

#97669 Jan 21, 2013
I miss my ducks. Whenever I have time to hanker after my past life in Suffolk, my garden and all its incumbents, it’s the motley crew of crossbreed ducks that immediately swim to mind. But this multicoloured flock of comedians, sometimes up to 80 strong, was often the scourge of my gardening life.

Ducks need water, and I can remember excavating our pond, planting up the banks with indigenous wildflowers and building a pontoon so our sons could lie on their tummies and watch the wild life that soon took up residence. Later we were entranced as a wild mallard and her eleven ducklings made their home among the lily pads. We watched them grow (like wildfire), disappear in autumn, and then to our horror, reappear the following spring with all their mates, and similar success in raising their offspring. The garden was soon awash with ducks that turned our exquisite garden pond into a duck-pond.

We fed them, witnessed their lurid love-lives, racing out with arms akimbo to rescue put-upon females courted by dozens of sex-mad lotharios (mallard drakes are the only birds with phalluses, all those innuendos are wasted on cockerels); every morning we woke bleary-eyed to their raucous dawn chorus, and raised their orphans – and I always seemed to have a duckling nestled in my jumper.

So, needless to say, wild ducks would not be my first choice as co-gardeners. The two main downsides are the trample factor – ducks have big feet – and the mess, especially around the pond. Lawns can be cleaned with a besom or a quick burst of a high-speed hose, pond banks can be re-enforced and vulnerable areas protected with fences and cloches. Be warned, though: my flock ate the compost from my raised beds, and virtually anything green and sappy was nibbled or trampled to the ground.

Domestic ducks are another matter entirely. It is possible to keep a small, controllable flock that will lay as many delicious eggs as a hen and won’t wreck your garden.

Hua Hin, Thailand

#97670 Jan 21, 2013
That was a fine Rally in Washington for the Politicians.

Good show in all.

As a concession to Romney they might have used the Mormon Tebernackle Choir.

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