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The Right to Bear Arms Answered

UPDATE! I FIXED THE VIDEO. SORRY!!!! The new link has the video I originally tried to link to. SORRY!

The U.S. Supreme Court recently passed a 5-4 ruling over turning D.C.'s handgun ban and delivered their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

I've been waiting to link to this for a long time! Family Guy is awesome. The link takes you to a clip from Family Guy that expresses my view on the 2nd Amendment.

NEW, Not bad LINK

Discussions

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NATIVEBOY

8 years ago

now obama wants to take our arms which give us protection and provides us food

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lemonieNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

Please explain how being "tooled-up" gives you food?

In terms of people being killed by guns (i.e. not protected) the USA is only better than dodgy-South American countries like Columbia, Honduras, El Salvador, with a few exceptions like South Africa.
After Argentina (safer) there's a real big drop-off...

L

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NachoMahmalemonie

Reply 8 years ago

.  Believe it or not, there are still a (very) few ppl in the US who depend on hunting for a large part of their meat. There are even a few who get all their meat from hunting and fishing. Granted, they are few and far between, even in rural Arkansas, but they do still exist.
 
> people being killed by guns
.  Is that number of deaths per year? Not a fair comparison when the US has ~310M ppl and Central American countries are closer to 5-50M.
.  Number of deaths/year/100K ppl? This would be a better.

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lemonieNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

I was more interested in the "provides us" bit - i.e what he was eating... as this is exceptionally rare where I live. Most people shoot things for sport / amusement / pest control.

What does Wkipedia say...
Per 100,000
Pretty high for a modern developed country. I can't remember what I had seen last year...)

L

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NachoMahmalemonie

Reply 8 years ago

.  Thanks!
.  If you look at the breakdown, it's not quite as bad as the 11.66 "Total firearm-related death rate" would lead you to believe. 7.35 were due to suicide (I'm assuming the majority of these would have found some other means if guns were not available) and "only" 3.72 were due to homicide.
.  But, 3.72 is still very high when compared to the <1 of most "developed" countries.
.
.  PS: I do agree that "provides us food" is a very poor argument nowadays. Just wanted to point out that there is still a small handful of ppl who hunt for the majority of their meat.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

"7.35 were due to suicide (I'm assuming the majority of these would have found some other means if guns were not available)"

That is actually unclear to me.  Most suicides (assuming you believe the psychiatric community) are spontaneous, not planned.  Rapid intervention, as well as not having a trivially fatal means available, can and does prevent a significant (i.e., statistically significant) number of suicide attempts.

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NATIVEBOYkelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

one scenario would be: if a bear or large animal was chasing out at you would u pick up a spear or an gun.

another scenario: if an foreign army came to take over your country. would you just let them or would you fight?

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kelseymhNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

Having paid for the appropriate safety training and license to own a rifle, I'd probably pick it up.  I am also very unlikely to use that rifle to randomly shoot at my neighbors in order to achieve membership in a criminal organization.

Being a crack dealer in downtown L.A. with a stolen Saturday-night special hidden in my pocket, I am very unlikely to be attacked by a bear.  On the other hand...

You clearly are either unable to comprehend differences in environment and social milieu, or you are sufficiently disingenous as to silently ignore them in order to push your ideological agenda.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

.  Ah yes. That's the crux of the modern day "problem" with guns.
.  As I've stated befor, where I live (rural S Arkansas) gun ownership and use is not usually a problem. In places with higher population densities (eg, NYC, most of SoCal) that doesn't seem to hold true.
.  But how do we Constitutionally treat them differently? The Second Amendment prohibits any restrictions such as registration, training, &c - right to keep and bear shall not be infringed. As far as I'm concerned, all state laws concerning arms are unconstitutional.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

"A well-regulated militia".  That is an obvious Constitutional option for requiring training and registration.  Otherwise you have a large mob, not a well-regulated militia.

I fail to see the logic in being required to have training and registration to own one kind of deadly weapon and not another.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

"Unorganized" does not mean "not well-regulated."  It means no pre-assigned unit structure or chain of command.

I still don't see any problem with requiring those unorganized militia members to have adequate training (including a certificate/license documenting said training) in the use of firearms before they are allowed to keep one or more in their homes.  That's part of regulation, not of organization.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

.  hmmmm    I'm having a hard time finding much on what "well-regulated" meant back then. I certainly don't interpret it the same as you do. ;)
.
.  If the government knows who has the guns, they can easily take away those guns. "Fascists doing that for the past decade has cost me a substantial number of my prior civil rights"
.
.  I really do see your interpretation and, especially in big cities, it makes some sense. But I don't agree with it. Please don't infringe on my rights just because you city slickers can't behave.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

"I'm having a hard time finding much on what "well-regulated" meant back then. I certainly don't interpret it the same as you do. ;)"

I found something useful in FindLaw.  U.S. v. Miller, apparently.  What the Court wrote (in part) was (quoting FindLaw below, not the ruling itself)
[T]he Court observed that ''[w]ith obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted with that end in view."  The significance of the militia, the Court continued, was that it was composed of ''civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.'' It was upon this force that the States could rely for defense and securing of the laws, on a force that ''comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,'' who, ''when called for service . . . were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."

See the original Web site for footnotes and citations.  Notice that as you noted, the "militia" is the body of citizens who may be called to military service on short notice.  That is, they aren't meant to be there to overthrow the government, but rather to support the government in defense against an enemy. 

If they are expected to come into service already equipped with weapons, it seems just as reasonable that they should be expected to come into service trained in the use and care of those weapons.
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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

.  Geez! It's gonna take me at least three days to go through all of that. :) It appears to be a great reference.
.  At first glance, it does appear that the Supreme Court is much more aligned with your view than mine.
.  The "not extending to state or private restraints" thing blows me away. Doesn't Amendment 10 say that since those "powers" are "delegated to the United States by the Constitution" that's the states have no control?
.  This gets sooooooo confusing!

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

It is confusing, and it isn't obvious to me that all of the SCOTUS rulings are fully consistent with one another, at least at the "global" level.

However, I have got to say that it is much more fun to "argue" with someone who is intelligent, thoughtful, and has real data to back up their position, than with ignorant ideologues :-)  Thanks for sticking with it!

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

.  Well, I did the best I could to make sense of all that, but as far as I can tell, the important rulings were made because someone forgot to file some paperwork or other such "technicality" that had nothing to do with Second Amendment rights.
.  I still think the Founding Fathers meant for all citizens so inclined to be armed and ready to defend themselves and their country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic (especially domestic). And to defend ourselves from one another when need be.
.  I also think that the Constitutional prohibition against infringement overrides any state laws.
.  <heavy sigh> But I also realize that this policy is not working very well in big cities nowadays. I don't have a solution, but I don't think registration is the way to go. Education seems to have had the desired effect on tobacco smoking, maybe it can work with gun safety.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

I agree with your opinion about the Founders.  The problem (as you imply), is that they were living in a primarily agrarian society.  Even their "urban" areas had a very small fraction of the population density we see today.  It is well understood that human behaviour changes substantially as a function of density.

It does not seem unreasonable to me that we should adapt (not negate, but adjust) our laws to take into account those behavioural effects.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

> It does not seem unreasonable to me that we should adapt (not negate, but adjust) our laws to take into account those behavioural effects.
.  I don't agree with you, but I can't really bring myself to say it's unreasonable (for exactly the same reasons you outline in your first paragraph). I still have a difficult time justifying "abdicating" my right to arms just because a bunch of city folks can't behave.
.  And then there's the whole "if the King knows who has the weapons, He can confiscate them" thing.
.  I'm beginning to believe there is no right/good solution for such a diverse society. I'm falling back to Franklin's position: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

I think we're destined to continue to disagree, but that isn't a bad thing.  If everyone agreed, there wouldn't be enough to go around :-)

It seems to me that the focus of your concern is registration of individual weapons (with the potential consequence of confiscation).  Do you have the same argument about licensing?  In much the same way that your vehicle registration is different from your driver's license (the latter doesn't say anything about whether you actually have a car, just that you know how to drive one), I have been writing in terms of those being separate.

I also would be very nervous about a national licensing or registration program.  All of this should be up to individual jurisdictions, based on local needs.  The problem with the current climate, as I see it, is that the "gun nuts" are taking a rather extreme view of the second amendment specifically to prohibit any kind of local control, whether reasonable or not.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

> Do you have the same argument about licensing?  In much the same way that your vehicle registration is different from your driver's license ...
.  That is an interesting and, on the face of it, a very workable plan ... except for that "shall not be infringed" thing.
.  Do you have to get a license to bear and raise kids?
.  Do you have to prove you're literate in order to vote?
.  Do you have to obtain a permit to sign a mortgage?
.  As far as I can tell driver licensing and car registration have more to do with taxation than actually proving you can safely operate a vehicle. Just look at the number of licensed bozos behind the wheel.
 
> All of this should be up to individual jurisdictions, based on local needs.
.  Once again a good idea on its face, and, once again, unconstitutional. The States have control over everything the US Constitution does not stake a claim to. The US Constitution specifically addresses keeping and bearing arms.
.  I don't see having local panjandrums in charge of gun rights as a step in the right direction.
 
.  I do see some form of licensing and/or other restrictions (we already have (unconstitutional) registration) in the not-so-distant Liberal Democrat future. But only because of the unreasonable fear-mongering of the "anti-gun nuts." (counter-hyperbole heehee) And, to do it right, it's going to require another Amendment to nullify the Second (more 18th/21st nonsense?).
 
.  Why do you feel that any form of gun control is necessary? We already have laws to punish ppl who commit violent crimes (whether armed or not). Instead of passing out slap-on-the-wrist sentences for violent crimes, the Liberals need to start isolating dangerous ppl from the law-abiding citizens for extended periods of time. Put the blame where it belongs.

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lemonieNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

Do you have any expectation of being attacked by a bear or foreign-power?

L

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NachoMahmalemonie

Reply 8 years ago

.  Bears are pretty rare around where I live (but not unknown), but we do have many critters that can be dangerous. It is not at all unusual to find opossums, raccoons, and poisonous snakes in my backyard. Usually not a problem if you just ignore them, but some get pretty feisty if you accidentally trip over them.
.  If "foreign-power" includes religious extremists from foreign countries, then, yes, I do. Ref: 2001-09-11.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

And homeowners with guns in their nightstands would have stopped them?  Or stopped Mr. McVeigh?  Sorry, invoking terrorist attacks for political points is one of my sore spots.  Fascists doing that for the past decade has cost me a substantial number of my prior civil rights.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

.  You're right - individuals would not have been able to prevent those attacks. But I don't see it as an impossibility that the situation might arise.
.  You're also right that I don't have to invoke terrorist attacks to justify my owning guns. I have the US Constitution for that.
.  Sorry if I offended you, but religious extremists are the only foreign-powers I know of who would attempt to attack the US or most other militarized countries (except maybe Korea and what's left of USSR but I really don't see either of them actually invading). Personally, I'm more worried about a future US government.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

No offense intended or taken, just the opportunity to sound off :-)

I think the chances of any established foreign government bothering to "invade" any major power is slim to none.  It would be expensive and foolish.

Long-distance attack (i.e., missiles from NK, Iran, Pakistan, or whomever), or attacks on smaller countries with with the major power has military-protection treaties, are much more cost-effective.  And the second amendment isn't going to help you shoot down ICBMs.

I agree with you that the Founders' purpose in writing the Second Amendment was to allow for the possibility of armed resistance to an oppressive government.  It is most unfortunate that the consequence of its over-interpretation (my opinion) has been that we are the deadliest country in the industrialized world.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

> I think the chances of any established foreign government bothering to "invade" any major power is slim to none.
.  I agree completely, but Al Queda, et al, are not "established foreign government[s]."

> we are the deadliest country in the industrialized world.
.  I chalk most of that up to poor parenting and that all too common entitlement attitude.
.
.  I still don't think outlawing guns is the answer. For one, there are too many in circulation to get rid of them. For another, if ppl don't have guns, they will use knives. If they don't have knives, they will use clubs. ...
.  Then there's the "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" thing.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

"Al Queda, et al, are not "established foreign government[s].""

True enough, but neither do they invade in organized units.  And the original ideologue who started this discussion referred specifically to "foreign army."

"I still don't think outlawing guns is the answer. For one, there are too many in circulation to get rid of them. For another, if ppl don't have guns, they will use knives. If they don't have knives, they will use clubs. ..."

I am not an advocate of eliminating personal weapons.  I am a strong advocate of properly regulating them.  Owners should be required to have sufficient training to know how to store, use, and maintain a weapon; should be required to have secure storage equipment to prevent them from being lost, stolen, or misused; and should be required to have and be able to show certification of their training when they are using or carrying their weapon.  What's the difference between that and a driver's license and vehicle registration?

The FBI statistics are extremely clear.  A gun in the home in the U.S. is more than three times as likely to be used against another family member than it is to be used against a "random attacker."  Guns which are not properly secured are more likely to either be stolen by a burglar, or used accidentally by a minor, than they are to be used successfully for personal protection.

If we actually had clear statistical data to back up the ideologue's hypothetical stories of "stopping a burglar," then I might actually believe those stories.  As it is, they are nothing more than ideological scare tactics which distract from the actual situation.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

> ... What's the difference between that and a driver's license and vehicle registration?
.  The Constitution doesn't say "your right to a driver's license shall not be infringed."
.
> The FBI statistics are extremely clear. ...
.  So because a few ppl are irresponsible we should trample the Constitutional rights of all? Using that logic, we should ban automobiles because some ppl drive while drunk and kill ppl.
.  I taught NachoDaughter how to safely (and accurately) handle firearms at a very early age. That way I knew that if she shot someone, she did it on purpose, not accidentally. We also impressed on her that shooting ppl was not a good thing, but might be necessary if she was in danger.
.  Not much sense in keeping a gun locked up and unloaded. Kinda like having a fire extinguisher that you have to charge before you can use it.
.  I say put the thieves in jail.

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kelseymhNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

"So because a few ppl are irresponsible we should trample the Constitutional rights of all? Using that logic, we should ban automobiles because some ppl drive while drunk and kill ppl."

Shame on you.  You know Constitutional law and history well enough to avoid that canard.  First, it's not "a few people," it's tens of thousands.  Second, Constitutional rights are not, and never have been, absolute and inviolable.  Homes himself wrote the "shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theater is not protected speech" ruling.  Regulation is not prohibition.

"Not much sense in keeping a gun locked up and unloaded. Kinda like having a fire extinguisher that you have to charge before you can use it."

No, more like keeping your car in the driveway running, with the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked.  You lose any control over who uses the weapon or when.  You aren't home all the time, and you aren't carrying the weapon on your person all the time. 

When the neighbor's kid comes over to visit while you're at work, and finds the loaded gun in the breakfront, who's fault is it when he kills your daughter by accident?  His?  Or yours?  Or nobody's, becuase you were exercising your Constitutional rights?

See, I can use hyperbole as well as the next ideologue.

"I say put the thieves in jail."

We do.  We put more people in prison per capita than any country in the world except South Africa.

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KentsOkaykelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

 I DO believe my completely legal, pre-1986 mini gun will be quite effective against an ICBM, care to donate towards running costs?

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KentsOkayNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

 Dewd, can't rule out the omnipresent threat of zombies, reavers, and alien invaders.

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GoodhartKentsOkay

Reply 8 years ago

And of course, with Russia supplying  several radicals.....we have them also.

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KentsOkayGoodhart

Reply 8 years ago

 aye! Never know what them sneeky Koreans might try and pull on us too!

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GoodhartKentsOkay

Reply 8 years ago

They aren't the only ones buying "stuff" from the Soviets ;-) 

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lemonieNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

If you sat on your porch with a shotgun waiting for enemies of The State, would that not imply that the (what? half-trillion?) money spent on US defense was not good enough?

L

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kelseymhlemonie

Reply 8 years ago

I think (as he says below), that he wouldn't be waiting for enemies of The State, but rather enemies in The State.

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NachoMahmalemonie

Reply 8 years ago

.  That's exactly what it would mean. If the various defense departments, spy agencies, &c were perfect we wouldn't have terrorist attacks.
.  As I mention elsewhere, I'm actually more worried about a future US government than I am external threats.

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

.  Anecdotal evidence (friends/acquaintances who have committed suicide and my own ruminations) tells me that suicide is more often something that is thought about and planned long (sometimes decades) before it happens. If things go wrong with the plan any convenient tool will do. If there were no guns, IMNSHO, more ppl would choose jumping off a bridge, standing in front of a freight train, crashing car into an abutment, &c.
.  I have no doubt that intervention can help many, but certainly not all ppl intent on suicide.
 
>... having a trivially fatal means available ...
.  You can kill yourself (or anyone else) with just about anything. A pencil will work. Drain cleaner is not a nice way to go, but it works. Grabbing both legs of mains will often do the job, jumping out of a tenth story window gives good results. &c, &c, &c, ad nauseum.
.
.  BTW. I've heard (but have no verification) that modern cars to not produce enough CO for the garden-hose-from-tailpipe-to-cabin trick to work.

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NATIVEBOYlemonie

Reply 8 years ago

well you can hunt for food and guns can co-exist if people stop being dumb .. and be smart.

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kelseymhNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

You also haven't answered questions about whether any of your hypotheticals actually apply to you.  Interesting omission, that.

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kelseymhNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

"can hunt for food."  Do you?  If you don't, then your use of "us" is disingenous and facile rhetoric.

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lemonieNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

Too right, but I'd get there are a few too many dumb people with pieces?

L

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kelseymhNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

Did you know that U.S. Presidents don't actually make laws?

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NATIVEBOYkelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

i know but he's asking them to be become laws

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kelseymhNATIVEBOY

Reply 8 years ago

Explain how this is relevant to a Supreme Court decision by a court whose majority membership was nominated many years prior to the current administration?

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Kiteman

10 years ago

I'd forgotten that handguns were less legal in DC.

(Did I hear rightly that DC still has a higher gun-crime rate that other major cities?)

If anybody's interested, here's an individual Brit's take on things:

1. Guns are cool. They go bang and break things.

2. Brits have had guns just as long as the US have, but with a different attitude towards them - once we got past the flint-lock stage, guns were very much a tool of the rich (shotguns, used by landowners, pistols, used by Gentlemen etc) or of the criminal classes (shotguns, used by poachers, pistols, used by muggers etc). There wasn't general ownership by the working / middle classes.

3. WWI, WWII came and went - guns became souvenirs of a terrible conflict. A few made their way into criminal hands.

4. In the eyes of the law, just having a gun when going about criminal pursuits made the offence much worse, and could make the difference between a prison term and a noose.

5. TV happened. Especially American TV. Generations grew up seeing cool guns on TV. Lots of shooting, lots of noise, nobody got hurt, and if they did get shot they were up on their feet and firing back before the next advert break. Generations of British kids grew up seeing guns as the cool tool of a cool action-hero. Guns became icons of coolness, but without the associated images of dead and maimed victims.

6. We now have a huge number of kids and teens who want to emulate their screen icons, especially gangster-rap-street types (apologies for incorrect terms), so started carrying guns.

7. We now have whole communities of gangsters and wannabe gangsters who think they need guns to be real men. Who think the correct response to a casual insult is to wave an automatic weapon (held sideways and sloppily) in the face of the offending commenter.

8. People get hurt. Badly.

I have no evidence, merely observation of the media, but it seems to me that UK street-level gun ownership is lower than in the US, and is concentrated amongst those with no training, no respect for authority, no thought about consequences.

So, from this side of the pond, handguns are bad. Automatic and semi-automatics are worse, they are badges of criminality. Shotguns, however, are tools of rural trade and tourism.



So, my opinion on gun control? It is my opinion that handguns kept in the home, car or about the person have only one function - to kill humans (that includes handguns in the possession of the police). It is my opinion that nobody has any business keeping a loaded gun in their home. It is my opinion that nobody has any business carrying a handgun in their car, loaded or not.

It is my opinion that guns intended for target shooting should be stored under lock and key in the same premises as the target.

It is my opinion that shotguns are an agricultural tool for controlling vermin, or a sport weapon for shooting clays or birds (for the table). When not being used for either, they should be kept under lock and key with weapon and ammunition significantly separate.



Guns: cool or tool?

If they're "cool", they (or their owner or wielder) are the wrong people to own the gun. If they are "tool", then they should be treated with the same respect and care as any other piece of potentially-fatal agricultural equipment.



Does that make sense? I'm not trying to start an argument, just presenting an honest point of view. If you disagree, that's fine by me - I'm one man, not a government.

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NachoMahmaKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

> Brits have had guns just as long as the US have, but with a different attitude towards them . My theory is that America's "fascination" with guns originates with two factors that don't apply in a lot of other places. We had to physically rout a bunch of Brits a few hundred years ago and guns were an integral part of the settling of this country, especially the vast Western states. WWx reinforced our fascination. As far as I can tell, in the US, guns have never been something that was limited to "the landed gentry" - gun ownership is almost universal over here (I've been amazed by the number of little old ladies who are packing heat in their designer purses). . . Points 5-7 boil down to poor parenting. . While I'm sure that the media's depiction of "clean" violence hasn't helped things, don't all TVs have an on/off switch? Parents need to learn how to use it. Ie, don't blame the media just because a lot of parents don't want to actually spend the time to raise their kids. . Personally, I seldom used the on/off switch. If my daughter was watching something that I thought she might misunderstand, I or her mother sat down and discussed it with her. When she was about seven yo, she told me (in that gee-you're-stupid tone that kids have) "It's just TV. It's not real!" and I all but quit worrying about it. . > nobody has any business keeping a loaded gun in their home . Well, on this one we are diametrically opposed. ALL the guns in my home are loaded. The Walther P4 even has a round in the chamber. . Oops! The AR-15A1 is not loaded, but there's a full clip next to it. . > Guns: cool or tool? . I say cool tools. ;) But I see your point, guns are not toys nor the proper way to impress your friends. > they should be treated with the same respect and care as any other piece of potentially-fatal agricultural equipment. . Now that I can agree with 100%. . . In closing, I can see where you're coming from, but you're still wrong. heehee

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KitemanNachoMahma

Reply 10 years ago

...poor parenting...

Possibly, possibly not.

I'd actually lay more blame on the censors who wouldn't / won't let bullet-deaths look real. That's too far back to blame anybody around now - IMO it started back with the old B&W films (US & UK) where a good-guy would fire a revolver at a bad-guy, the bad-guy would clutch his chest as if he had an angina attack and crumpled quietly to the ground without a scratch or drop of blood showing. Standing ready to bow to the superior knowledge of any passing Meeja Studies historian, I think that kind of laid a historical precedence for "clean" death being acceptable to those who watched it.

...all loaded...

Where do you live?? If I felt the need to keep deadly force instantly at hand, I'd move. The idea that every home needs a loaded weapon in it to be safe is ludicrous - it's only in tabloid-land that the bogey-man regularly preys on innocents at home, and I doubt that even military training would equip an individual to be safe with a weapon within a few seconds of being roused from a deep sleep.

I have lived in some of the roughest areas in the UK (such as a street where one neighbour drove a car with no windows because he got fed up replacing them, another neighbour turned out to be a drug factory and at least a dozen houses along the street had red lights over their ever-open doors), and never once have I known anybody to have been burgled by an armed intruder.

I have been a victim of violent crime, but a gun would have been useless, since my assailant jumped out of a hedge behind me and kicked me in the back of the head. By the time I could see straight, he was streets away. If I had been armed, all that would have changed would be a slight increase in the number of armed criminals in Manchester, and maybe one less poster on Instructables.

When a parent hears a child scream in the night, is the correct response to walk in quietly and calm the nightmare, or to burst in armed and reinforce the nightmare? IMO (without being personal), planning for an armed response is a firm and deliberate step along the road to paranoia.

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NachoMahmaKiteman

Reply 10 years ago

> I'd actually lay more blame on the censors
. That certainly didn't help. But I still think it is incumbent upon the parents to explain "Hollywood" to their kids. My daughter and I talked about how killing is not usually a nice thing and how it was MUCH uglier than depicted in TV/movies/&c.
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> If I felt the need to keep deadly force instantly at hand, I'd move.
. LOL. That did make me sound rather paranoid, didn't it? I don't keep loaded guns because I am afraid. Since I already have guns (I love target shooting) and since there is a (yes, VERY slight) chance that I may need them, why not have them ready? It's not like I'm sitting here waiting for the boogeyman to poke his head around the corner.
. BTW, I live in what I consider to be a very safe neighborhood - I don't even lock the doors. But with two 35 pound dogs and loaded guns in here, getting in is not the problem for a ne'er-do-well. heehee
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> every home needs a loaded weapon
. I don't think anyone is claiming that everyone has to have a gun. Only that one should be able to.
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> a gun would have been useless
. As would have any weapon, in that case. A gun is not a panacea for protection, any more than an airbag makes cars safe or one malware app keeps you virus free.
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> When a parent hears a child scream in the night ...
. I can't believe you said that! Just because someone owns a gun, does not mean that they lose their ability to be a compassionate parent. Unless I KNEW my daughter was in imminent danger, I would not "burst in armed and reinforce the nightmare."
. Plus, she grew up around guns and, unless I pointed it at her, she probably wouldn't have a problem with it. :)
. As a parent, I'm sure you can tell the difference between a I'm-having-a-nightmare scream and a I-think-there's-someone-in-my-room scream. The once or twice that I heard the latter, my response was to have a gun in hand, behind my back (just in case), and stick my head in the door and soothingly ask "What's wrong?" She had no idea that I was armed, but I was ready if it wasn't a false alarm.
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. Paranoid? Maybe a little. ;) But I did not buy my guns to kill ppl. Defense was a very distant second to fun. If one of your hobbies required an NEO-detecting radar, wouldn't you turn it on when you weren't enjoying your hobby. The chances of getting hit are slim, but wouldn't you keep it running, anyway? Since my hobby requires guns, I go ahead and keep them handy for defense.