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A Brief Introduction to Shooting Sports

By ennui in Culture
Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 02:29:35 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Guns are a hot topic here occasionally, specifically issues related to civilian ownership of guns and gun crime. These are emotional issues for many people, and there's a great deal of opinions surrounding these issues, but what is often overlooked in the debate is one of the main reasons people own guns: the shooting sports.

In this article, I shall present an overview of some of the more popular non-hunting shooting sports, specifically the shotgun sports. Those familiar with these sports will doubtless notice I gloss over or ignore some of the finer points and details, and often skip the exceptions to the rules, this is intentional; I'm guessing a fair number of k5 readers have limited exposure to shooting sports. My hope is with a better understanding of sporting firearms and their recreational uses that some of the demonization of firearms can be reduced. To that end, a general overview of sporting shotguns and the sports in which they're used in seems in order.

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Every firearm can be described in terms of three main parts: the barrel, the frame, and the action. The barrel is a hollow, cylindrical piece of metal, much like a water pipe. The action refers to the moving parts of the firearm, and contains a mechinism to actually fire the gun by means of a trigger, and usually some means for loading and removing ammunition. The round of ammunition is placed by some means in the chamber, usually the portion of the action connected to the barrel. Some actions utilize a magazine, designed to feed multiple rounds of ammunition into the action. The frame holds the action and barrel, and also has any ergonomic features, such as a grip, stock, or forearm attached.

The ammunition fired by a shotgun is referred to, logically, as "shot." Shot are relatively small balls of metal, usually lead, that can vary in size from as small as .08" in diameter up to about .40". Shot greater than .20" in diameter is generally referred to as "buckshot" and generally only has hunting applications. Smaller shot is referred to as "birdshot," and the smaller sizes thereof are used in the shotgun sports that will be presented here. A shotgun cartridge, or shell, contains a primer, which ignites upon impact, the powder charge, which creates the gasses that propel the shot down the barrel as it burns, and the shot. The shot load is measured in ounces, and will contain hundreds of pellets per shell.

For simplicity, we shall define a shotgun as a long gun (a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder) with a smooth (not rifled) barrel, capable of firing shot. The action may be semi-automatic, or self-loading, whereby the gas discharge or recoil of firing a shot automatically ejects any spent shell in the chamber and loads another round from the magazine and places it in the chamber. Slide or "pump" action shotguns require the action to be cycled, usually by pulling the foreend of the shotgun back and forward to eject any spent round and load an unfired round from the magazine. Break-barrel shotguns do not utilize a magazine, rather the chamber is integrated with the barrel, and the barrel is tilted down from the frame so the shooter can manually load ammunition into the chamber.

When the gun is fired, the hundreds of pellets are propelled out of the barrel. At the end of the barrel is an area of constriction called the "choke," which may be adjustable or fixed. The choke packs the pellets together as they leave the barrel. Once they leave the barrel, they begin to spread out from each other as they travel through the air, producing a "shot cloud." This cloud will expand as it travels (an inch of expansion per yard is a rule of thumb often used) so that a relatively large area will be effected by multiple projectiles at the same time. This is advantageous when you're trying to hit a relatively small or fast-moving target, which is the basis of the shotgun sports that follow.

All the shotgun sports are (or were originally) based in some way upon hunting situations or similar activities. Most of them were originally invented as ways for bird hunters to keep their skills up in the off season. These games developed into sports in their own right, and two of them are even Olympic events. All of the following sports have international organizations to promote the sport and to sanction matches.


This is perhaps the oldest of the shotguns sports, and the simplest for the beginner. It is based on live bird trapshooting, in which a pigeon or other bird is released from a trap and shot as it takes flight. In modern trapshooting, the pigeon is replaced by a fairly fragile disk of hardened clay-like material, launched from a spring-loaded arm. Although the disk is no longer made of clay, the term "clays" or "clay pigeons" is still used. They are launched from an in-ground bunker (the "trap") in front of the shooter. The shooter calls for the clay, usually by shouting "pull," and the "trapper" launches it. The shooter gets one shot at the clay. There are several variants of trapshooting, including double trap where two clays are launched simultaneously, and Olympic trap which has slightly different rules and layout to make the game more challenging.


This game is similar to trap, but rather than having one trap right in front of the shooter there are two houses, one low and one high, that launch clays across the line of site of the shooter rather than directly away from him. This game was developed by trapshooters who wanted a game that was more challenging and more closely emulated wingshooting situations. Targets may be launched from both houses in quick succession, requiring a shotgun capable of firing two shots quickly. Skeet is generally played with a double-barreled shotgun (usually an over and under, rather than side-by-side) or a semiautomatic.


This is sometimes referred to as "golf with a shotgun." This is a catch-all term for a shooting game with a variety of target sizes and presentations. Sporting clays courses are generally divided into stations with specific presentations, for example, a clay might be launched in your direction, followed by one several feet above you flying away from you. A variety of clays may be used, including "rabbits" which are designed to be shot as they roll along the ground rather than fly through the air. Sporting clays has become very popular in recent years, especially among shooters who have grown bored with the predictable target presentations and who like to get a little exercise walking from station to station. A common variant of sporting clays is called "5-stand," which involves sporting clays presentations of targets but all the walking that's required is between 5 shooting stations situated closely to each other. Often two targets will be presented in quick succession, so this is also a game well suited to a double-barreled or semiautomatic shotgun. Another evolution of sporting clays is sometimes called a "flurry," in which many targets (20, 30 or more!) will be presented non-stop, and the shooter has to break as many as possible while overcoming the additional challenge of reloading.


This game is the most challenging of the shotgun sports. Unlike other games where the object is to break a clay target, ZZ birds are like little Frisbees with propellers. They are launched from a small trap that keeps the target spinning, and when launched the targets fly in a random direction due to the action of the propeller. After the target is launched, the shooter tries to hit it in such a way that the propellers break off, causing the target to fall to the ground. If the "witness ring," a small loop of plastic on the propeller, lands within a certain area, the target is ruled dead. If the witness ring falls outside the fair zone it's ruled a lost bird. Because there are many random elements involved, and the margin for error is so slim, this game is extremely difficult. Competitors are allowed two shots at each target, so this is another sport that calls for a double-barreled or semiautomatic gun. This game is far more popular in Europe than in the States, but its popularity is slowly picking up as an alternative to sporting clays.


Nothing is more important when dealing with firearms than safety. I highly recommend taking a firearms safety course, especially one that will cover shotgun operation and safety. Make sure you're familiar with the firearms laws in your area and comply with them to the best of your ability. Find a local club that offers shooting sports you're interested in, the odds are good there will be people there who are willing to introduce you to the sports. As mentioned above, most of the shotgun sports require a double-barreled or semiautomatic gun. The exception is of course trap.

A good option to try your hand at trapshooting for minimal cost (assuming you can't use someone else's gun) is to purchase an inexpensive or used slide-action or single-barreled shotgun. Mossberg pump shotguns are a good choice, and can be bought for under $200 with a 28" barrel that will serve adequately for trapshooting. A single-barrel New England Firearms shotgun with a 28" barrel can be bought for $100, or perhaps less if you find them on sale. The barrel should be at least 26" for trapshooting, any less will make breaking clays more difficult for you. Try to stick with a 12 gauge or 20 gauge gun, as shot is less expensive for those popular gauges.

Developing a proper gun mount on your shoulder and learning the sight picture of your gun varies from person to person and gun to gun. Hopefully you can find someone at a local club (or a friend or family member) to give you some pointers and tips. Once you start breaking clays, you'll find that you develop a point-and-shoot instinct. If trapshooting suits you, you'll get curious about shooting skeet and sporting clays, and perhaps decide to spend a few hundred dollars on a good sporting clays semiauto. You'll then be well on your way to developing a challenging and interesting hobby that's very addictive and rewarding.


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Most interesting shotgun sport
o Trap 6%
o Skeet 13%
o Sporting Clays 27%
o ZZ Bird/Helice 20%
o None of the above 31%

Votes: 44
Results | Other Polls

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A Brief Introduction to Shooting Sports | 110 comments (103 topical, 7 editorial, 2 hidden)
Wow. (3.10 / 10) (#3)
by wji on Mon Feb 11, 2002 at 11:55:42 PM EST

So far 22 for, 3 don't care, 0 against. That's awesome.

Conclusion: Geeks like guns. ESR would appreciate this.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

conclusion: geeks like the article (4.28 / 7) (#5)
by persimmon on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:09:36 AM EST

I voted it up because it's a great article, not because I like guns or think I'd like to shoot things recreationally. It's informative, well-written, and doesn't take dumb sides.
It's funny because it's a blancmange!
[ Parent ]

Don't be silly. (2.60 / 5) (#23)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:26:34 AM EST

I hate guns with all my heart, but that does not mean I can't appreciate a point well made.

"At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look;
at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." F. Scott Fitzgerald.
[ Parent ]
How... (2.66 / 3) (#24)
by ti dave on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:59:48 AM EST

How can you hate an inanimate object?

Hating a person who misuses the object, I can understand.
But isn't hate an extreme emotion?

ti dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
hating inanimate objects (4.00 / 3) (#30)
by bgarcia on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 08:44:00 AM EST

How can you hate an inanimate object?
What, you don't hate liver? spinach?

Brittany Spears' singing?



I do not personally hate guns, but I can understand how others do.

[ Parent ]

more hating inanimate objects (2.00 / 1) (#39)
by gordonjcp on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 10:31:08 AM EST

What, you don't hate liver? spinach?
Brittany Spears' singing?

I *dislike* Britney's singing. I don't *hate* it. I don't even hate Bill Gates, but I don't like Microsoft very much.
I do quite like spinach though. It's really a vital part of lasagne, and also crops up in some Indian food. Liver's pretty good too, but not necessarily with spinach.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
Re: Britney, et. al... (2.00 / 1) (#57)
by ti dave on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 03:16:41 PM EST

Her singing is mediocre, her song-writing skills are weak, she's a pawn of the RIAA.
OTOH, she's got a Hot 'lil Bod...
These things contribute to my opinion of Ms. Spears.

Microsoft: I dislike some of their Corporate Policies, and I hate the actions of their Lawyers.
RIAA: Ditto. Except I hate all of their Policies.

I don't see these two organizations as faceless entities, they are controlled by Humans.
Should Humans be Hated?
Yes, when warranted.


ti dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Your conclusion is wrong (3.50 / 2) (#27)
by SlashDread on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 06:37:21 AM EST

It would be my conclusion that the _topic_ of guns is indeed of interest for geeks. It would be completly off to think that such interest equals geeks like guns (as in the right to carry a loaded gun in public). This was a well written article about sporting guns. As such I would give it FP, even if I am dead against wearing guns in public.

Gr /Dread

[ Parent ]
Why the distaste for carrying? (3.00 / 2) (#43)
by Vlachen of Aranias on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 10:41:20 AM EST

I can understand the hatred of those carrying weapons to harm others, but I beleive even if we banned all firearms, the people who use theirs to commit crimes and harm people would still carry them. They're allready doing things illegaly, they would have little to no problem doing one more thing. If we took the ability to conseal and carry, then the public would loose one more thing to defend itself. Criminals would have it easier, for they would no longer wonder if the person they're robbing is packing.
No matter how much legislation you put into act, criminals will still aquire guns, be it black market, crooked cops or overzealous militants. So if we take the guns out of the hands of citizens, we hand over control to those who have them.

Vlachen of Aranias
"Larger than life, and twice as ugly!"

[ Parent ]
carrying guns prevent nothing (2.00 / 1) (#56)
by SlashDread on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 02:25:38 PM EST

in short:
Why dont you focus on prevention, instead of insisting of carrying a tool designed for destruction under the false savety image of guarding against that same destruction.

Focus on spiraling violence _downwards_ not upwards.

Greetz /Dread

[ Parent ]
Call me jaded... (3.00 / 2) (#58)
by Vlachen of Aranias on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 03:31:27 PM EST

But I have no faith in our social, govermental, or any other -al system. With todays practices it would be damn near impossible and/or insane to try and prevent every crime that a weapon is used in. How would one start to even try? Its not possble because there will always be greedy, self centered people in the world. These people will do anything in their power to get wealth, popularity and fame. And what happens when all guns are banned successfuly, taken off the street? What becomes the weapon of choice? Criminals start using knives.... ok, knives are off the streets. Lead pipes, forks.... automobiles. Anything used with the correct intentions can be deadly.

The idea of spiraling violence _downwards_ not upwards is great, in theory.... but what does someone say when they're being mugged "oh Mr. Mugger, I don't hold this against you. You're just a product of your enviroment, growing up in a bad neighborhood, psychotic parents or something like that. I ask that you don't do this again, please? I have nothing that would persuade you into turning from a life of crime, so you just have to do it, okay?"
If every person robbed at gunpoint did nothing to retaliate, to protect themselves, anyone could go out, take what they want with out fear of confrontation or retribution.
Prevention is great... I'm all for it. Removing crime from our streets, making cities safe. But with human nature, what you suggest is probably one of the few impossible things in the world.

Vlachen of Aranias
"Larger than life, and twice as ugly"

[ Parent ]
Cool (3.00 / 12) (#4)
by nr0mx on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:06:03 AM EST

The best post I have seen since I've been on k5.

Interesting (3.40 / 5) (#7)
by kjb on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:52:16 AM EST

I have never fired a shotgun, but I remember doing target shooting with a rifle, which I enjoyed. To me, the target shooting I did reminded me of darts in a way.

Now watch this drive.

Damn fine article, just one nit-pick [OT] (2.77 / 9) (#9)
by MstlyHrmls on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 01:18:34 AM EST

I was going to post this as an editorial comment, but since this article is almost about to be posted I don't really want to have a good (if off-topic) rant hidden. Egoistic, me? Nahhhh.

(This isn't particularly directed an ennui)

Some actions utilize a magazine...


Utilize use, not utilize!

Use is a perfectly acceptable word in formal writing, and is what you really mean in this context. Use means, well, to use; whereas utilize means "to make efficient use of", and should only be used when you wish to emphasize the "efficient use".

Unfortunately, because the lingua franca of the business/management/sales world seems to be buzzwordish, the abuse of 'utilize' has become so commonplace it has become a preferred synonym for 'use'. There is no logical reason for this except for the irrational idea of buzzwordians that if they use longer words their thoughts will be more respected, and the implication that they are doing everything "to the full potential".


I'm voting +1 FP anyways, but I just had to get that off my chest.


"That's right," shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
I think you mean... (3.00 / 3) (#16)
by nurglich on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 03:02:35 AM EST

"To the fullest potentiality"

"There are no bad guys or innocent guys. There's just a bunch of guys!" --Ben Stiller, Zero Effect

[ Parent ]
Like it. (4.50 / 2) (#26)
by Herring on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 06:15:22 AM EST

Nice leveraging of verbal resources.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Purpose of article (3.26 / 19) (#11)
by marx on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 01:29:59 AM EST

My hope is with a better understanding of sporting firearms and their recreational uses that some of the demonization of firearms can be reduced.

This is a noble idea, but I think you've misunderstood the situation. Maybe it's just me, but I've never had a problem with people owning guns for hunting (though I think hunting itself should be banned) or sports. The problem I have is when they use those guns for other purposes, or walk around with them in public.

Maybe an analogy could be dynamite. I think it's perfectly ok to own dynamite. It's very useful for removing big rocks for example. However, if I see someone walking around in public with some dynamite (with plugged in detonators etc.), then I don't think that's ok.

So, would you be satisfied if you are only allowed to carry your guns when you are actually performing your sport? Surely you must agree that there's a difference between carrying around a tennis racket after a game, and carrying around a loaded shotgun after a game.

If you agree to that, then I don't see where you have gotten the impression that there's any "demonization" of guns going on.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

Firearms in public: Very good point! (3.25 / 8) (#22)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:20:50 AM EST

It is always amusing how horrorized many people are when they go to places like Manila, Mexico City or South Africa and they see private armed security people in full display (to deter would be robbers) but in the other hand they find perfectly natural that any idiot can carry guns back in their home country with little or no preparation about the responsibilities that this implies.

"At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look;
at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." F. Scott Fitzgerald.
[ Parent ]
Concealed weapons (2.66 / 6) (#29)
by wiredog on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 08:01:26 AM EST

My problem is with the concealed weapons crowd. I have no problem with hunting, or household defense for that matter, but I feel the weapons should be carried openly. Want to carry a pistol? Wear it on your hip, where the neighbors can see it, not concealed in a shoulder holster where it won't worry them. People talk about concealed weapons permits being a deterrent, but a deterrent doesn't deter if people don't know you have it. If you want to carry a weapon, carry it openly!

Shotguns, especially a 12 gauge with a short barrel, are one of the best home defense weapons around. Although, I know a guy who insists that a black powder blunderbuss is better.

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]

think about it (4.83 / 6) (#33)
by amliebsch on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 09:14:34 AM EST

The logic of concealed as opposed to open carry is that it provides as much protection to the non-carriers as it does to the carriers. In fact, you need a much smaller percentage of the population to carry for it to be effective. This is because presumably the criminals know that some people are carrying, but they don't know WHICH ONES. Therefore, the risk factor of victimizing a carrier is divided and dispersed among all people, providing a general deterrent; the higher overall risk factor of being a criminal would induce many criminals to turn to other ventures, or at least to nonviolent crime. Open carry, however, is not a general deterrent but a specific deterrent that protects only the person carrying. Worse, it INCREASES the likelihood that a non-carrier will be victimized, because carriers have been removed from the pool of potential victims. Those truly concerned about reducing crime for everyone would advocate concealed carry, not open carry. -amliebsch

[ Parent ]
Devil's Advocate... (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by Elkor on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:20:21 PM EST

The counter argument to your statements (which I completely agree with and support, btw) is as follows:

Those criminals that do decide to continue their criminal ways will be more likely to resort to immediate assault of their victims on the chance that they bear weapons.

This could lead to criminals who just shoot their victims first, then rob them, negating the effect of the concealed weapon and increasing the danger to the unarmed portion of the population.

While this is a risk that I am willing to take, there are others out there who might not be so eager.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Concealed carry, home defense (4.33 / 3) (#59)
by Hizonner on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 04:01:10 PM EST

This could lead to criminals who just shoot their victims first, then rob them, negating the effect of the concealed weapon and increasing the danger to the unarmed portion of the population.

Except that shooting the victim makes a lot of noise, and is likely to attract unwanted attention from others in the area... who may be armed, and you have no way of knowing.

Also, contrary to popular belief, criminals are real people with complex motivations. It's a lot different to threaten somebody in an attempt to get money than to just waltz up and shoot somebody without provocation.

I also think that the scenarios under discussion reflect some assumptions that may not be valid.

People have this mental script for gun use, where you use your weapon to shoot somebody who's attacking you. A slightly more sophisticated script has you using a weapon to scare off somebody... but still somebody who's attacking you. In real life, one of the most effective modes of use is for a third party to protect somebody else.

Personally, I don't really buy any of the arguments from any side of the general gun control issue; I'm agnostic, leaning toward permissiveness. I don't carry or use firearms myself, and have never been in a situation where I thought it would make sense. Frankly, I believe that most of the people who encounter such situations have created the situations for themselves, or at least failed to take simple steps to avoid them.

It does seem to me, though, that concealed carry, and the style of gun use encouraged by the "concealed carry people", must be much safer and more effective, and therefore a better thing to encourage, than the "home defense" style.

The typical firearm bought for "home defense" spends most of its time lying around unwatched, waiting to be stolen or picked up by a child or whatever. A concealed carry firearm is in somebody's immediate possession. Yes, there's more chance for impulsive misuse by that person, but I seem to recall that most firearms injuries are accidents.

To avoid the dangers implicit in its being unwatched, a home defense firearm often has to be stored in a way that makes it unavailable on short notice. In the unlikely event of a violent home invasion (which is, in my opinion, the only situation in which you have any justification to shoot anybody), you're probably either going to be asleep or away from your home defense gun, and the bad guys aren't going to let you get near it. If you do get to the thing, you're very possibly going to be too bleary to use it. So you get more danger, but less effectiveness.

Also, the "concealed carry people" seem to spend an awful lot of time training with their weapons. Ignoring the obvious benefits of better marksmanship, that's likely to make you respond better under the incredible stress of a situation where you actually may have to use the gun. You're likely to have considered the situation in which you find yourself. My impression of the average home defense gun owner is that s/he has no more than a vague idea of the threat s/he's defending against, let alone preplanned strategies for likely scenarios, or any internalized, reflexive shoot/no shoot criteria. I doubt a gun is going to do a lot of good under those conditions.

... and, of course, the concealed carry firearm can be used in that third-party defense scenario I mentioned. The home defense gun is much less likely to be.

As for open carry, I don't see why it's important for me, or how it makes me any safer, to know what everybody around me is carrying... there's no actual advantage over concealed carry.

[ Parent ]

The Advantages of Open Carry (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by Guncrazy on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 11:16:18 PM EST

You make some great points in your post, but I have to argue with your last sentence.

I have a Florida Concealed Weapons Permit. I use it to carry a variety of guns, depending on type of dress that my everyday activities call for, so naturally, I have to find different ways to carry concealed.

My Kel-Tec P32 is my smallest gun, easily concealable behind my open palm. Carried in a pocket holster, I carry this when a larger gun is difficult to conceal--at work, and other occasions where I have to wear business-casual type dress.

When I can dress more casually, I generally carry a Glock 19. This goes in an inside-waistband holster, covered by an untucked shirt.

In colder weather, when I can keep a jacket on, I carry a Kimber Pro-Carry .45, either in a shoulder or inside-waistband holster.

I've practiced drawing from all of these concealed holsters, and each has some drawbacks. The pocket holster is practically inaccessible when seated, and even when standing, it's sometimes difficult to present the weapon quickly.

Inside-waistband carry is more convenient, but drawing can be complicated by several things--grabbing a fistful of shirt along with the weapon, or getting the weapon snagged in shirt when pulling it up. Also, if you're not careful, your shirt might unwittingly get pulled up over the pistol grip while you're reaching for high objects, or stretching. This can get your gun confiscated for "brandishment", or you might even get arrested, depending on how the cop feels that day. It will, at the very least, get you kicked out of the establishment you're in unless the proprietor is very sympathetic. Inside-waistband holsters are typically worn on the hip, but at that location, they tend to print (meaning people can see the gun's outline through your clothes). You can wear them towards your belly, but they'll drag the front of your pants low, which can cause the gun to jab you in the groin when you sit, or you can wear them in the small of your back, which will break your coccyx and/or injure your spine if you fall on your ass.

Shoulder holsters are nice, but I can't really see them being practical for concealed carry in Florida. If you ever have to take off your jacket, your gun is exposed, which may or may not be a problem depending on the company you're in. Also, the gun is usually carried with the barrel in a horizontal position pointing backwards, which puts anyone within a 180-degree arc in danger as you draw, unless you dip the muzzle after the draw, which is unnatural and slower.

Ankle holsters are just plain slow and obvious--not a good combination when you need your gun in a hurry.

So anyways, about open carry: If open carry were legal, my carry method of choice would be to carry in a holster on my thigh. This places the gun in a position that is easily accessible, whether standing or sitting. The pistol grip is positioned very close to where the hand naturally falls, so the gun can be brought to ready almost as fast as you can lift your arm. It's generally out of the way of loose clothing, and you're not going to end up in a wheel chair if you fall on it. I'd have to say that these are, tactically speaking, some pretty strong advantages.

Race is irrelevant 99.999% of the time. And the 0.001% of the time it is relevant, someone is looking for a donated organ.
[ Parent ]

concealed thigh holster (none / 0) (#76)
by Ludwig on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 03:51:49 AM EST

Couldn't you wear a thigh holster under cargo pants with a slit cut across the top of the cargo pocket? The slit could be velcroed to prevent accidental display yet allow reasonably fast access.

[ Parent ]
Guns and rescuing a third party (none / 0) (#91)
by unDees on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 01:07:27 PM EST

In real life, one of the most effective modes of use is for a third party to protect somebody else.

When I took the concealed handgun course in Texas, one thing the instructor mentioned is that it's dangerous to make assumptions about what's going on in a situation to which you're a third party. If you walk into a confrontation in which everyone else has guns drawn, who are the badguys?

The idea is chilling--imagine you draw your gun, having come to the wrong conclusion about what's really going on. Of course, the chills are offset by the dark humor of it all. Remember that scene in one of the Lethal Weapon movies, when Mel Gibson interrupted a "crime" in progress only to discover he was trespassing on a movie set? Guess he thought all those cameras and lights were there for the movie he was in....

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
[ Parent ]
Criminals aren't really that stupid (4.50 / 2) (#65)
by aturner on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:53:14 PM EST

Actually history has shown that this isn't the case. For a number of years in Florida (which has or at least had at the time relatively lax CCW laws) criminals were targeting tourists who were driving rental cars, because they knew that it was unlikely that they were armed. The result was that people visiting Disney World and and whatnot who often had large amounts of cash and were unarmed were getting robbed quite regularly.

After a while, people got wise to what was going on, and the rental car companies started replacing those Enterprise, Avis, Dollar, etc bumper stickers with NRA stickers and giving everyone a NRA hat. Almost immediately the crime rate against tourists took a nose dive in Flordia and rose significantly in the surrounding states.

So the point is that criminals aren't completely stupid and they do respond to a possibly armed populace by finding less risky targets.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin
[ Parent ]

assumptions. (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by joshsisk on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 04:15:50 PM EST

You're assumming the criminals think it out. I don't think gun laws are a deterrent of any kind, because if you are a criminal, obviously you aren't very bright or at least are making a not very bright decision (I'm talking about muggers/liquor store-type robbers here, not jewel theives or anything like that).

I really don't think the kind of person that would rob someone in an alley would really think "maybe I shouldn't do this, they might have a gun".

An old friend- who at the time had a bit more experience with the seedy side of things than I had- once told me that the reason you get mugged is not because of how you look (As in wealthy or not), it's because "someone needs ten dollars for a hit, and they are gonna take it from the next person who walks around the corner." In the years since, dealing with shady characters, I've found this to be pretty accurate. I've been around a lot of addicts and hopeless cases- they don't think things though, they just do things.

Having said that, I support the right of firearm ownership- though I don't carry or even currently own one.

(I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors in this comment, I've got a high-grade fever.)
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
concealed weapons (3.66 / 3) (#46)
by HCase on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 11:26:33 AM EST

the problem would be, that nearly everyone who you need to worry about carrying the gun(thieves, bankrobbers, that guy that just goes around shooting people for kicks...) will just carry it in a concealed manner anyway. if their already breaking the shooting someone law do you really think they'll worry to much about the it needs to be displayed while walking around law?

[ Parent ]
Deterring factor? (4.00 / 3) (#53)
by webwench on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:27:25 PM EST

Re "People talk about concealed weapons permits being a deterrent, but a deterrent doesn't deter if people don't know you have it."

If I was a criminal, and I knew that any person I saw might be carrying a concealed weapon, I would be deterred from attacking *anyone*. If, however, I knew firearms cannot be concealed by law-abiding people, I would simply avoid the people I see who are openly armed, and target the unarmed ones. So, in my opinion, the possibility of a concealed weapon is a better deterrent than the occasional unconcealed weapon.

I do think it is far too easy in some US states to get a concealed carry permit. Here in Georgia (as of 1999), it takes a visit to the county courthouse to fill out and file a form, then a visit to a fingerprinting location. Six to eight weeks later, your (non-photo) permit, good for five years, arrives in the mail. I didn't have to prove I knew anything about the gun I am allowed to carry.

On the other hand, in Virginia (as of about 1995), you had to fill the forms and give fingerprints, but you also had to prove you had received safety and regulatory training, and you also had to appear before a judge and explain what the purpose of the permit is.

Contrast that with the other deadly weapon I use, my car; I had to show to an examiner that I could operate one safely, and also take a test, before wielding it around the public.

[ Parent ]

But... (none / 0) (#93)
by beergut on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 03:15:25 PM EST

... did you have to provide a "reason to operate?"

Why do you think it's better to have to give a reason to a judge who, for some arbitrary reason (say, you're black,) can simply deny your request?

If we want to ensure proficiency, that's one thing. That's provided for by the Constitution (well-regulated, etc.,) and is a Good Thing[tm].

But, after I've received training and qualification to use a given class of weapon, I should not be required to then license each weapon of that class that I might own or carry. Just give me a "proficiency certificate" that I can carry around in my wallet, or better yet, keep it on file at the state courthouse so that a police officer who might want to know if I am qualified to carry and operate such a weapon can have something to go by.

Kind of like a CDL for commercial truck drivers -- I want an MGPC (Machine Gun Proficiency Certificate.)

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

I actually agree with you (none / 0) (#95)
by webwench on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 07:46:07 PM EST

I agree, saying the right thing in front of a judge to get a permit is pointless, should be unnecessary, and has potential for abuse by judges with a bias. My point really was that at least there was some kind of standard to live up to in Virginia, and the standard even included an attempt to measure competence. Where I live now, it's just paperwork, which I find surprising. It should not be harder for me to get a cellphone activated than it is for me to get a concealed-carry permit.

I think a proficiency license is just the thing. It would be nice if states were reasonably consistent in requiring the same sort of proficiency, and it would also be nice if it could be done without getting into the milieu of 'gun registration' (i.e. giving someone the records they would need to confiscate guns one day).

[ Parent ]

Banning Hunting (4.33 / 3) (#31)
by needless on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 08:45:47 AM EST

This is a noble idea, but I think you've misunderstood the situation. Maybe it's just me, but I've never had a problem with people owning guns for hunting (though I think hunting itself should be banned) or sports.

So how would you propose animal populations be controlled were hunting to be banned? The introduction of wolves into agricultural areas? People don't realize that regardless of any moral issue on the matter, legal (i.e. in season) hunting is often a necessary thing. Take deer in the Eastern United States for instance - they have no natural predators and an abundant food supply (farmland). You would see a population explosion that would be enormously detrimental to the farmers, create numerous highway accidents, and create an all around nuisance for anyone in the vicinity.

When hunters use the term 'harvesting', they are not spouting off some meaningless politically correct euphemism.

[ Parent ]
For the most part, hunting is a good thing (4.33 / 3) (#32)
by Karmakaze on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 09:03:32 AM EST

When hunters use the term 'harvesting', they are not spouting off some meaningless politically correct euphemism.
Sadly, it's that when some hunters use the term "harvesting", they're not just being PC. I absolutely do approve of hunting for population control. I'd much rather someone cut down the deer population here with a gun than to have to do it myself with my car. There's a wonderful program in the area where police go on a planned deer hunt, and then donate the resulting venison to charity.

We killed the area wolves and bobcats, and I can't imagine anyone seriously suggesting reintroducing them. (Falcons in the city are one thing...) That leaves us the lone remaining predator for large animals, and a predator has an ecological function.

On the other hand, not every hunter is responsible, or ecologically sound. Some of them are out there because they enjoy killing things. It's a shame, because they give the decent hunters a bad name.

[ Parent ]

Harvesting some Chinamen (2.00 / 2) (#61)
by marx on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:00:57 PM EST

So how would you propose animal populations be controlled were hunting to be banned?

Strangely, when human population control is discussed, "harvesting" never comes up as an option. I can easily solve the world's population problem, just give me some "daisy cutters" and a big airplane.

I believe most animals have the same right to life as humans do, so I think the murdering of animals in general should be banned, and not only hunting. If I was a regular meat-eater, I don't think I'd have a problem with hunting.

The vegetarianism debate is off-topic with regards to this article though.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

OK (3.66 / 3) (#66)
by needless on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:54:22 PM EST

Your right - nothing can be accomplished without a good bit of laws and bans. Perhaps if we pass legislation threatening wildlife with hefty fines if they surpass their offspring quota, all our problems will be solved! Maybe create some outreach programs and teach them the wonders of birth control.

I believe most animals have the same right to life as humans do

'Most'? I suppose you mean the cute ones, right? Since you think yourself to be on such equal footing with your fellow creatures, perhaps you should submit yourself to test trials of veterinary medicine? It's the least you can do, seeing how many animals have died in medical tests to keep you healthy.

[ Parent ]
Criterion (2.00 / 2) (#69)
by marx on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 06:15:36 PM EST

'Most'? I suppose you mean the cute ones, right?

No, I don't see what cuteness has to do with it. We abolished the link between rights and biology when we abolished slavery. The current criterion seems to be based on mental development.

All animals with the mental development equal to or higher than a non-abortable fetus should have the right to life. Otherwise all that we've done is transformed racism into just a slightly wider biology-based criterion.

Answer me this: if an alien landed on Earth, what criterion should be applied to determine whether it should have the right to life or not? Why should that criterion not be applied to animals already on Earth?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

teeth (2.00 / 1) (#73)
by Lenny on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 12:08:40 AM EST

1. Go look in the mirror. 2. Look at those sharp, pointy teeth (they're called canines). 3. Tell me why they're there.

"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
[ Parent ]
Don't ban hunting (4.66 / 3) (#35)
by catseye on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 09:35:32 AM EST

Banning hunting is a bad idea. While most people on here probably don't suffer this problem, many people hunt for food. You can get a lot of meat out of a good-size deer, and you can save a LOT of money by killing and cleaning it yourself than by going to the store every week to buy meat at $3.00-$8.00 per pound. The argument that people do not NEED to hunt anymore is just not true. If I lived in an area where game was plentiful and I was poor, I'd much rather be self-sufficient and hunt my meat/grow my vegetables, than get sucked into the welfare pit.

Besides... we're pretty much the deer's natural predator in the US now. We've killed off most of the others.

How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
Here here (4.50 / 2) (#40)
by karb on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 10:34:22 AM EST

I grew up in south central pennsylvania, and my family was very dependent on the venison we got from hunting every year. :)

We had a very high unemployment rate in my county, and my family, by far, wasn't the poorest one around. Anybody who wants to ban hunting should first decide how to feed the country without it.
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Besides (3.50 / 2) (#45)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 10:50:13 AM EST

No hunting means no more annual renditions of "The Second Week of Deer Camp".

I wish that that loonies in Philadelphia would relax and let hunters cull the herd in Valley Forge. As it is, I have the unfortunate luck to be part of the "food chain" every day as I commute to work - cars are the only predator those deer face. There's something like 500 deer in the park, all looking for food (or for each other, during mating season).

Hunting is immoral? Fine. Reintroduce wolves. Let's see how people react when Fluffy becomes part of the "great circle of life."

When ruling an evil empire, if you discover that there exists an artifact that can bring certain ruination to all you scheming, do not send your
[ Parent ]

Auto Predation (none / 0) (#90)
by minusp on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 09:30:11 AM EST

cars are the only predator those deer face.

Same here in eastern (upstate) NY. We have a little highway, non-commercial only, that runs from just above NYC to around here. It's called the Taconic Parkway, it's the "weekender highway," and it runs through the lesser-populated parts of several counties, all curves and hills... and deer. Lots of deer. Really lots of deer. These deer seem to have an affinity for the front ends of rapidly moving Beemers and Mercs, although not exclusively. Most of the drivers are dedicated anti-hunters until their E-Class gets creamed...

Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
Banning hunting (4.33 / 3) (#49)
by mjs on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 11:55:09 AM EST

My guess is that you've either lived too long in the city or you've never been seriously hungry. Some people hunt because that's where the food comes from, in their circumstances.

I have a friend originally from Nigeria. She was educated in the UK and US and has lived here for many years. She still is amazed when she sees a couple of squirrels or rabbits and comments that in Nigeria you don't see things like that: when game pokes its head up, someone traps it or shoots it and it goes into the cookpot.

[ Parent ]

Necessity (2.00 / 2) (#63)
by marx on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:18:22 PM EST

My guess is that you've either lived too long in the city or you've never been seriously hungry.

If I was starving to death, I'd probably hunt too. Then again, if I was starving to death, I'd probably murder people for food too (I don't know if I'd eat them or just rob them though).

The thing is that it isn't necessary for me to eat meat. I can maintain perfect healt and eat great food anyway. Since animals have an individual worth, just as humans, murdering them just so I can get a specific taste experience is plain evil.

Regardless, there are pretty good soy-based substitutes now anyway, so the taste excuse isn't worth anything anymore. The taste of hamburger after 5 years of no meat was incredible. There are very good hot dogs as well. They taste just like a mediocre meat-based hot dog.

So what's your excuse?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Excuses? I have several. (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by nakaduct on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 01:58:12 AM EST

  1. It's the natural order of things. My body (yours too) has evolved for killing and devouring other animals. Don't be fooled by a lack of claws and fangs, time has shown thumbs to be more lethal than either.
  2. Rather than plain evil, death by bullet is the most humane end a wild animal could hope for, if he was capable of hope. The alternative is death by some other predator -- a terrifying attempt at escape, foiled by sapping wounds that exhaust or mortal wounds that incapacitate, and followed by being eaten alive. If there's no natural predator, disease replaces the wounds and carrion feeders take care of the 'eaten alive' part.
  3. I contest your 'individual worth' claim. Animals can't compose music, or paint pictures, or otherwise advance their species in any way except procreation. They have value collectively, but not individually. Housepets are an exception, but I'd say their worth comes from the happiness they give humans. If released into the wild they'd revert to predator or prey like every other animal.
If you'd complained about commercial meat, I'd still disagree but perhaps less strongly. As long as the animal is treated well, then that's a life that wouldn't have existed otherwise. Commercial animals needn't worry (again, if they were capable of it) about a painful death and there's always plenty to eat.

Life in less-cramped conditions may be better, but then I can't choose to live in 1850 and they can't choose to live on a range. Such is life.


[ Parent ]

Weak arguments (none / 0) (#81)
by marx on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 07:22:39 PM EST

It's the natural order of things. My body (yours too) has evolved for killing and devouring other animals. Don't be fooled by a lack of claws and fangs, time has shown thumbs to be more lethal than either.

There was nothing "unnatural" about the Rwanda genocide, yet the world considers that to be one of the most evil events in history. Could you explain this apparent contradiction?

If you're not satisfied with the Rwanda example, there are many more. Violence is the conflict solver in "nature". Yet, in human society, violence is almost completely forbidden.

Rather than plain evil , death by bullet is the most humane end a wild animal could hope for, if he was capable of hope. [...]

If there's one thing that can be stated as fact, it's this: the one thing animals want the most of all is not to die. This is the whole point of life in the first place. The point of life is not to avoid pain and die quickly, it's to survive and procreate. Your statement plainly contradicts this.

If you're not convinced of this, ask yourself if you would consider it ok, or even a humane act, for someone to come over to your place and "painlessly" shoot you in the head with a bullet.

I contest your 'individual worth' claim. Animals can't compose music, or paint pictures, or otherwise advance their species in any way except procreation. They have value collectively, but not individually. [...]

It's already too late for that argument. Animals already have an individual right legally. You can't go back now and suddenly start to claim that they don't even have this morally. To torture an animal is a quite serious crime in most countries. This is from the California penal code:

Except as provided in subdivision (c) of this section or Section 599c, every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

In Texas, even tripping a horse is legally considered cruelty to an animal.

So clearly animals already have individual worth, otherwise "cruelty" would be a nonsensical thing to define. You can't be cruel to a bacteria or a carrot.

The fact that there is a legal, and moral, contradiction in that it's legal to kill animals just shows how society has a logical problem with this issue, just as you do.

You can't criminalize torture and legalize murder, you have to pick none or both. If you think it's ok to torture animals, then at least you have a consistent moral system. Otherwise I suggest you seriously rethink your life.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Interesting assumption (none / 0) (#109)
by mjs on Tue Feb 26, 2002 at 12:02:33 PM EST

Since animals have an individual worth, just as humans,

Do you have any evidence to offer?

[ Parent ]

It's already like that (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by epepke on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:34:39 PM EST

Under the laws of the State of Florida, which are some of the most liberal in the U.S., a weapon must be securely encased in a hard-shell case, unloaded, until you are actually on the range or in a hunting area. It used to be that long guns could be carried in a vehicle so long as it required three motions to bring the gun into service. Due possibly to the fact that "three motions" is a rather stupid criterion, this is no longer the case.

There was a period of time for about a month or two back in the 1980's where, due to a temporary loophole related to establishing state-wide weapon laws instead of leaving it up to the county, where it was technically legal to wear a sidearm openly. Reporters, of course, had a field day about how Florida was "Dodge City." During that time I lived in Florida and didn't see a single weapon worn by a civilian. Furthermore, of course they closed the loophole pretty quickly (by legislative standards of speed, anyway).

The only other legal way of carrying a weapon is to be licensed to do so.

I think that people (especially the English) have been watching too many old Mannix re-runs.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Florida Law (5.00 / 2) (#55)
by Guncrazy on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 01:56:41 PM EST

Actually, while Florida gun laws require that a gun being transported be "securely encased", there is no requirement that the gun be unloaded, or stored separate from its ammunition.

The "three motions" law is a pretty popular myth, widely believed by the public and police officers alike. There is no law, nor has there ever been one, which requires a certain number of actions to access a gun legally, and the source of this belief is a mystery.

Race is irrelevant 99.999% of the time. And the 0.001% of the time it is relevant, someone is looking for a donated organ.
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#78)
by epepke on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 01:06:32 PM EST

Thanks for the correction that it doesn't need to be unloaded. I knew it could be transported with ammunition and have done that many times.

With respect to the three motions, I don't know where that came from, either. However, when the debate over gun racks was happening, I lived in Tallahassee, and the legislators used it in their argument. So, you can add "legislators" to "public" and "police officers."

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Concealed Weapons and Banning Hunting (none / 0) (#82)
by heatherj on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:06:52 PM EST

Firstly, whether or not you hunt is a moral, and, for many people, economical,decision for you to make. It is NOT a decision you have the right to make for someone else, whether by advocating a ban on hunting or by any other means. There are still a good many families in this country who depend on hunting and fishing, as well as small-scale farming, for some part of their families needs. (Vegetarianism is, again, a decision you do NOT have the right to make for other people. What a person does or does not put into his body is no one else's business.) While not everyone who chooses to hunt or fish strictly needs the food, some people do like the variety in their diet. Personally, I think hunting with a gun is vastly preferable to accidental hunting with a car. When I was in grade school, my dad hit a deer with a Dodge Colt-car & deer both lost. As my dad had only recently gone back to work after being laid off for health reasons, the meat was very welcome. However, we lived 6 miles from town & it was a few months before we could afford to replace our only car, which meant my dad had to go to work (about 15 miles from home) on a motorcycle. No big deal, usually, but this was February-in Wisconsin. He would come home from work with icicles hanging from his beard-I kid you not.

Now, to the concealed carry issue. Concealed carry works for exactly the reasons stated elsewhere in this thread. A criminal is not about to attack a person who might be armed. When I first heard about the concealed carry controversy, I was against it-until I became better informed. Here's some basic information in a nutshell. HREF=http://www.the-eggman.com/rants/gun_ban.html There's plenty more if you're interested in looking online. Particularly, check into John Lott's research, which no one, thus far, has been able to refute-not for lack of trying! Thus far, those who have concealed carry permits are more law-abiding than the general population, and the statistics show that states that hace concealed-carry laws experience a REDUCTION in crime, particularly in crimes against those who are normally the most defenseless-women and the elderly. No ill effects of concealed carry laws on society have been documented. I would be much more in favor of everyone being taught general gun safety than in any further regulation of guns-especially as rudimentary gun-safety training, starting with little kids, is far more likely to prevent accidents than any gun lock will. I don't see such a thing as being any different than teaching little kids to "stop, drop, and roll" if they're on fire. The "don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult" of the Eddie Eagle program works just as well.

[ Parent ]

Don't be stupid (none / 0) (#98)
by marx on Fri Feb 15, 2002 at 10:52:21 PM EST

Vegetarianism is, again, a decision you do NOT have the right to make for other people. What a person does or does not put into his body is no one else's business.

I don't know if you're intentionally doing this, but this statement is very stupid. When I say that people shouldn't eat meat, it's not because I care what people put in their bodies. I don't care what people eat, you can eat sand if you want to. The problem I have is that for the meat to appear in the supermarket, an animal has to die.

If I murder you or not is not only something between you and me, it's something society has decided to make criminal, because me murdering you means that you lose your life.

As for the concealed carry issue, I think my point was that having guns in public in general is a bad idea. In most of the countries I've lived in or been to, guns in public are banned. All of these countries have a significantly lower violence crime rate than the US, especially in gun-related crimes. I don't think anyone has managed to disprove this either.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

statistics (none / 0) (#104)
by heatherj on Mon Feb 18, 2002 at 01:17:39 PM EST

As far as the animal-rights issue goes-it is off-topic. Most animals that are killed for meat are born and raised for this express purpose. Again, it is a moral decision. If you feel that animals are equal with humans, make sure that your actions don't cause any to be harmed. I don't agree with you. Violence statistics I have provided links to in one of my other posts on this topic. Your statement is plain falsehood. Do the research before you speak. The presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding people has ONLY a deterrent effect on violent crime. Read John Lott's "More Guns Less Crime". Even the victim disarmament crowd has not been able to disprove his research.

[ Parent ]
Meaningless (none / 0) (#106)
by marx on Mon Feb 18, 2002 at 09:00:12 PM EST

The presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding people has ONLY a deterrent effect on violent crime.

The problem is of course that as soon as a law-abiding citizen commits a crime, then he is no loner law-abiding. If you know beforehand which people are law-abiding, why not just put the non-law-abiding people in jail in the first place?

Violence statistics I have provided links to in one of my other posts on this topic.

If you want to use someone else's argument, you have to summarize it and link to it. Otherwise I can say "read the Encyclopaedia Britannica and you'll see why you're wrong". It's not a valid way to argue.

Read the Sixth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends..., and look at the "Total recorded intentional homicide, completed" table. It describes homicides per 100 000 people in the period 1995-1997.

In 1997, the US has 6.8 homicides, Sweden has 1.77, The Netherlands has 1.54, Germany has 1.44, etc. I don't really know the gun laws in the other countries, but of these countries, only the US allows guns in public, or general ownership of guns. And we can see that the US has a 3-4 times higher homicide rate.

The statistics for the other violent crimes are similar. The US is consistently 2-10 times higher than the western countries which don't allow general gun ownership

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Obviously, you didn't read (none / 0) (#107)
by heatherj on Mon Feb 18, 2002 at 09:39:34 PM EST

I did link to the research I cited-in my other post. I am not redoing work just to make your life easier. Check what has happened to violent crime rates in Britain & Australia since firearms were largely banned in those countries. They both actually have higher armed robbery and burglary rates than the U.S., although this was not the case, before. Japan, where civilian firearms ownership is banned, has a much higher suicide rate. Switzerland and Israel, which REQUIRE people to be armed and trained, have much lower murder rates than the U. S. I will take a look at the UN report, if kghostview is obliging enough to actually work properly, as it seems to be planning to do. However, I will keep two things in mind. One: the UN does very little research that is not very easy to pick holes in. Two: much of the current UN leadership in the UN has a controlling interest in keeping people disarmed for the very reason U. S. citizens have a right to keep and bear arms: the framers of our Constitution saw it as a necessary protection against tyranny. Hitler would have had a much more difficult time sending 6 million armed Jews to the camps, no? China, as well as many of the Middle Eastern and African countries are not governed by the consent of their people. Hence, they are obviously not going to want an armed citizenry. How far woulde Taliban have gotten against an armed populace? Read world history-www.jpfo.org is a good place to go for examples of this: tyranny always begins by disarming the populace.

[ Parent ]
good paper on the issue (none / 0) (#108)
by heatherj on Tue Feb 19, 2002 at 12:24:33 PM EST


[ Parent ]
the gun control debate in a nutshell (none / 0) (#87)
by heatherj on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 11:55:11 PM EST

Here's a site that goes through the basic elements of the gun control debate. The American Liberty Foundation is the brainchild of Harry Browne, the 200 Libertarian candidate for President. HREF http://www.AmericanLibertyFoundation.org/edcenter.htm

[ Parent ]
+1FP / highly informative (4.14 / 7) (#12)
by Spatula on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 01:44:25 AM EST

First off, this is a well-written article, perhaps one of the best I have seen since I've started reading k5. To be quite honest, the subject of shooting sports has never been on my mental radar, but well-presented information on *any* subject is well in order for the front page of this site.

Now I know what those old guys on the Arsenal were doing on Saturday mornings. Hvala.

someday I'll find something to put here.

Nuclear weapons (1.19 / 21) (#15)
by sanity on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 02:56:22 AM EST

I am sure that there are many extremely enjoyable (and perhaps, in some contrived circumstances, harmless) games which could be played using nuclear weapons, however this does not suggest that such weapons should be made widely available to the general public.

farfetched (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by martingale on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 03:49:17 AM EST

I think your analogy is a bit farfetched. Nuclear weapons are not mass produced and marketed for consumption by the public at this point. There is no basis for considering any form of sports associated with them. Besides, I didn't see that ennui was suggesting that shotguns should be made widely available, merely clarifying an existing use for sporting purposes.

Do I think shotguns should be restricted? Certainly, or at least properly licensed, depending on your local national laws. But even ennui didn't suggest otherwise.

[ Parent ]
Shotgun licening? (3.00 / 1) (#51)
by skullY on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:08:56 PM EST

Do I think shotguns should be restricted? Certainly, or at least properly licensed, depending on your local national laws. But even ennui didn't suggest otherwise.
How do you propose to enforce the licensing? You're going to track shotguns? What about the shotguns that (don't|no longer) have serial numbers? That's really the only way to track them, as they have no rifling, and no way to tell if a particular group of pellets was fired out of a particular gun. Even when firing slugs (A solid shot, like a rifle shoots) the lack of rifling in a shotgun means you'll get a chaotic pattern on the shell and there's no way to match a shot to a gun.

I'm not witty enough for a sig.
[ Parent ]
alright (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by martingale on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 09:06:50 PM EST

Okay, you caught me. I don't have an answer, certainly none that will work in 100% of cases, with no exceptions. But do note that cars are registered, and drivers are licensed, and the numbers involved are comparable to the numbers of shotguns (don't have statistics handy).

[ Parent ]
A minor point (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by amliebsch on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:38:51 AM EST

It is non-trivial that the car analogy only applies to cars driven on *public* roads. There are no requirements for vehicles you drive on your own property. -amliebsch

[ Parent ]
isn't national missle defense just this? (4.42 / 7) (#19)
by gps on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 04:50:05 AM EST

skeet shooting at nukes (with much more expensive less reliable results ;)

[ Parent ]
ROFL! (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by mjs on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 11:45:49 AM EST

You're equating shotguns with nuclear bombs? Why stop there: I saw a man pounding a nail with a hammer the other day... looked dangerous to me. What if he hit me on the head with it? :)

[ Parent ]
That's fine... (1.73 / 15) (#18)
by DeadBaby on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 04:32:39 AM EST

Now just let's make guns bright orange, store them at shooting ranges and make them illegal to keep in homes and businesses.

Sportsmen can still sport, and more people will stay alive. Everyone's happy.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
Stupid idea (4.60 / 5) (#25)
by bke on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 06:08:59 AM EST

Storing guns at shooting ranges is about the most stupid idea that I've ever heard. Guns should be locked up when not in use, but in places where there are people, especially where there are people at night. Ranges are almost always situated in remote areas, due to safety and noise concerns, where noone would be able to notice or prevent theft of the firearms. And it's generally stolen firearms that kill people.

And what is the point in making guns look like toys? They aren't toys, they are about as deadly as racing cars when both are used wrong. Guns should look real or people will think they are toys, and noone treats toys as something to respect.

Read, think, spread!
[ Parent ]

Yes, that's it! (3.50 / 6) (#34)
by finkployd on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 09:15:39 AM EST

Let's just make it illegal to have guns altogether, then nobody will. But why stop there, let's make it illegal to rob stores, and to rape women. Heck while we are at it, let's make it illegal to murder, and to drive drunk.

You may have just stumbled onto a way to solve all the world's problems, simply create a law, then everyone will comply :)

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
You've shown me the error of my ways (1.50 / 2) (#67)
by Demiurge on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:59:56 PM EST

How foolish I was to believe that laws prohibiting something could have any effect at all? I'm beginning a petition to repeal all murder, rape, and theft statutes. After all, it's not like everyone's paying attention to them, so let's just scrap them.

[ Parent ]
Differences (4.00 / 2) (#70)
by finkployd on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 06:37:02 PM EST

The difference between outlawing something like murder, rape, and whatever else is that they (1) are actions, not objects and (2) they have NO legit use.

A firearm is not a crime, but can be used to commit a crime. By defination someone who is committing a crime with a firearm is already breaking the law, so breaking a gun related law is obviously of little matter. Also, the firearm in question not only is not evil by itself, it can be (and often is) used to PREVENT above mentioned crimes. Stricter punishment for crimes which involve guns would do more to deter and remove criminals from the population than creating a law that will only affect law abiding people.

It's a moot point anyway, since no matter what laws are passed, the people who have guns now will keep them (at least in the US, attempts at disarming us have never succeded).

Besides, why would you want to? The places here with the most lax gun laws have the lowest crime and vice versa.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Only women? (none / 0) (#92)
by unDees on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 01:16:48 PM EST

Let's just make it illegal to have guns altogether, then nobody will. But why stop there, let's make it illegal to rob stores, and to rape women. Heck while we are at it, let's make it illegal to murder, and to drive drunk.

A gentle reminder that women aren't the only victims of rape....

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
[ Parent ]
I'm aware (none / 0) (#110)
by finkployd on Mon Mar 04, 2002 at 08:22:25 AM EST

In the interest of space and bandwidth, I left out a great many crimes.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
I suppose that the fact that (3.66 / 3) (#42)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 10:39:33 AM EST

I suppose that the fact that toy guns are colors like neon orange never entered your mind?

By law, toy guns sold in the US are supposed to be bright colors so the cops will know that the kid that they're about to drop doesn't actually have a real gun. So, yeah, let's go ahead and make all the real guns look like the toy guns. That will be just swell.

When ruling an evil empire, if you discover that there exists an artifact that can bring certain ruination to all you scheming, do not send your
[ Parent ]

Why? (2.00 / 1) (#47)
by mjs on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 11:43:54 AM EST

Now just let's make guns bright orange, store them at shooting ranges and make them illegal to keep in homes and businesses.


[ Parent ]

Re: "That's fine" (none / 0) (#97)
by hadashi on Fri Feb 15, 2002 at 03:38:41 PM EST

Sportsmen can still sport, and more people will stay alive. Everyone's happy.

Well, with the possible exception of those women who were raped as a result, the families who lose family members that were killed by criminals, etc.

Hint: Criminals don't obey the law. If you outlaw the gun, they'll have one anyway. Who cares about a trifling little "illegal weapons" charge if you're willing to rape, kill and maim anyway? That's a salient point that hoplophobes such as yourself seem to miss with some regularity. Go read "More guns, less crime" by Lott and educate yourself.

Ignorance is not a point of view.
-- If the .sig fits...
[ Parent ]

sport ommission from the poll (3.75 / 8) (#20)
by gps on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 04:54:25 AM EST

I wanted to vote for "Doom II" as its double barrelled shotgun was absolutely the best shotgun experience i've ever had.

Always a single barrel fan myself.. (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by maroberts on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 07:37:47 AM EST

I found the Doom double barrelled shotgun had a number of disadvantages that lead me to prefer with its single barreled brother.

The double barreled shotgun, although undeniably more deadly if a hit is obtained, seemed to consume ammo much faster than skilled use of the single barrel model. On top of that, the slower reloading time often caused severe personal embarrasment and dismemberment if one missed the first time.

For close range activity, especially deathmatch, going round the corner with an active Chainsaw is highly recommended, perhaps alternating with the use of the chaingun for those situations when numbers seem to be against you.

The greatest trick the Devil pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist -- Verbil Kint, The Usual Suspects
[ Parent ]
I second that to a point (4.50 / 2) (#37)
by JonesBoy on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 09:43:55 AM EST

Yeah, the pump was better for skilled range shots, but you can't beat the double for close range shooting. If you came at me with the chainsaw, I could run backward and shoot you with the double. You wouldn't even get 50 health off me. Even a cacodemon would return with 2 scratches before you can get a kill with the chainsaw.

Then again, you can't beat running behind a bfg round with plasma rifle in hand. Esp. on that ring board (the square one with all the weapons in it)

Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]
For my money (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 05:57:36 PM EST

Personally, I found the combination of (a) turning your enemy into a chicken and (b) whacking him with a crossbow to be the most satisfying kill in all first person shooters. (If you don't know, you could do this in the original Heretic.)

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

That was an awesome move! (none / 0) (#105)
by JonesBoy on Mon Feb 18, 2002 at 03:02:14 PM EST

Yeah! I forgot about that game!!!

Duke Nukem had a similar move where you could shrink the person and then step on them. The chicken was far better, though!
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]
ring board rocks (none / 0) (#100)
by gps on Sun Feb 17, 2002 at 12:36:35 AM EST

i spent -way- too much time blasting friends and getting my ass kicked on that level...

[ Parent ]
Great article, small nit (4.60 / 5) (#21)
by imrdkl on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:02:24 AM EST

Try to stick with a 12 gauge or 20 gauge gun, as shot is less expensive for those popular gauges.
It's actually the pre-loaded shells that are cheaper. Shot is shot.

My first job at 13 was pulling trap at the local range. Bunch of cranky old fuckers, but after they got off the range, they were ok. I pulled a regional championship a few times, and had plenty of arguments over dead birds. It's tough when a 15 year old kid calls your bird lost and suddenly you are out of the running for thousands of dollars in prize money. But back then my sight was 20/10 in both eyes, and I could see the smallest chip break off. Ah youth.

Never really had the money to get good at the sport myself, but it is great fun. Excellent description.

On "flurrys" (3.50 / 2) (#36)
by imrdkl on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 09:43:47 AM EST

Another evolution of sporting clays is sometimes called a "flurry," in which many targets (20, 30 or more!) will be presented non-stop...
I guess hunters who use this for practice have got a better lease than I ever had. :) Wonder what type of hunting this might simulate? Couldn't be quail, they'r gone in 1-2 seconds. Not rabbits, either, unless you walk like a shao-lin into a herd of 'em. I wonder what the appeal of such an exercise would be? Invasion defense? Are the targets coming toward the shooter or going away?

The flurry (4.00 / 2) (#38)
by ennui on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 10:15:34 AM EST

I'm sure the initial concept was more of a "if two targets at a time is good, 30 must be much better!" sort of thing. Generally flurries are set up with the trap launching targets away you from an ocillating trap. It's a good drill for fast shooting and reloading, but probably of little practical value in the US where particularly for migratory birds your bag limit may be 6 birds or less.

However, if memory serves me right, in regions of South America there is some variety of bird with few if any natural predators that infests crops, and sport shooters are encouraged to bag as many as possible. If I remember the outfitter information I was reading, they drive the game from farms with dogs or with ghillies and often hundreds of birds will be flushed at a time, and generally several guns are brought as most shotguns get unpleasantly warm after you put 100 or so rounds through rapidly. My memory's a bit vague on this, but I seem to remember photos of the sky being dark with birds and the ground thick with them.

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone
[ Parent ]

Ok, so what's a ghillie, then? (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by imrdkl on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 10:36:43 AM EST

I guess I wouldn't take a trip to South America just to try that, but to each his own. Seems like there wouldn't be much challenge. When the birds got too thick, I always came home less than satisfied. But good eatin', yup.

I haven't hunted in years, although I did shoot some skeet with my brother at Christmas. I wonder if I've still got the stomach to pull the head off of a wounded dove... ah youth.

Thanks again for a great descriptive piece. Just ignore all of the offtopic bozos.

[ Parent ]

Argentina (4.00 / 2) (#50)
by tayknight on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 12:03:20 PM EST

The dove in Argentina are so thick they can make the sky dark. Dove are a MAJOR pest in Argentina I know guys who have gone down there and filled a pickup truck bed with dove. 3 guys in one day! The locals will pay for the dove. Jalapeno wrapped by a dove breast, then wrapped in bacon and grilled is the best thing in the world to eat.
Pair up in threes - Yogi Berra
[ Parent ]
Memories (5.00 / 2) (#62)
by Tatarigami on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:01:12 PM EST

My father was a keen full-bore rifle shooter, so I spent a lot of time around shooters as a kid, on and off the target range.

I used to work Saturdays marking targets. That meant I would wait in 'the butts' (the protective bunker below the targets) for the schedule keeper to yell out that it was my turn, then wait for a sharp 'crack'. That was a shooter letting one fly at my target, upon which I would crank it down, plug an orange marker into the bullet hole, and push it back up.

After the score marker at the shooters mound took down the result, I would crank the target down again, remove the marker and paste a black or white (depending on where the bullet hit) patch made of thick paper the size of a stamp over the hole.

Working as a dogsbody for the Auckland Rifle Club during preparations for the 1990 Commonwealth Games is how I got to meet the Zaire shooting team. I couldn't get over how dark-skinned they were (the first black people I'd ever met) and they had the coolest accents.

This was also how I learned that if a governmental department offers you a free meal for volunteering for something, you should politely turn them down. Especially if chicken is on the menu.

Save the Embassy (5.00 / 3) (#64)
by epepke on Tue Feb 12, 2002 at 05:41:53 PM EST

I'm a pistol man myself, and I'd like to speak about my favorite shooting sport, called Save the Embassy. This was invented by Ed Gleason III and refined by him and me (Eric Pepke).


  1. At least one .22 caliber pistol and some ammunition. Traditionally, a brick of whatever is the cheapest .22 ammunition at K-Mart is used.
  2. A bag of rotten or otherwise unusable citrus fruit. Tangerines are preferred, but oranges and occasionally grapefruit can be substituted.
  3. Private land suitable for shooting.
  4. A marker for the embassy. An empty shotgun shell box works well.


The rules can be adapted somewhat to accomodate the skill and boredom levels of the participants. They are primarily based on three distances with the following suggested values for new players: d0 (10 meters), di (1/2 meter), and ds (5 meters).

Place the embassy marker in a field (make sure it is safe and has no rocks near the ground; this is easily accomplished in Florida). Line up the tangerines in formation d0 from the embassy. The game consists of a series of turns like this:

  1. The players take turns standing ds away from the embassy, on the other side from the tangerines. Each in turn fires five rounds, according to the rules of timed fire, into the tangerines. If one weapon is used, the weapon is reloaded between uses.
  2. All weapons are unloaded and stashed with open action and the players examine the tangerines. A tangerine that has been hit has been wounded and may not move the next turn. A tangerine that has been hit in such a way that any of the seeds are visible is "dead" and must be discarded.
  3. All tangerines that were not wounded during the current turn are moved di toward the embassy.

The game is over when any tangerine reaches the embassy or when all the tangerines are dead.


There is no scoring between the human players; they must cooperate in order to defeat the sinister tangerines. A game is either won or lost.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

From the 'My Hobby's Better Than Yours' dept... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 03:19:35 AM EST

I've always preferred archery to shooting. It's hard to describe why - it's just that you get a much more 'personal' feel with a bow.

With a gun (although I must admit I haven't tried a shotgun, only a pistol) you aim and pull the trigger. There is a 'crack' and the target may or may not have been hit.

With a bow, on the other hand, it is your strength pulling the arrow back and when you release you see the arrow fly at the target and stick in. The arrow is much more an extension of yourself than a bullet is.

Of course, for real fun you should use a training bow with a pull weight of only about 30lb or less and specially padded 'LARP' arrows. That way people can shoot at each other rather than just at static targets. It's the archery equivalent of paintballing.

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.

More satisfaction (none / 0) (#79)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 05:54:48 PM EST

Bows are more challenging to use than guns so, actually hitting a target with one is more satisfying than hitting the same target with a rifle. (If you don't think so consider this: If they were easier to use, soldiers would still be using them....)

When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Hating an object (4.00 / 2) (#83)
by heatherj on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:29:14 PM EST

Objects are not alive and cannot act. Therefore, they cannot do anything for which to be hated.

I know this is an overworked saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Contrary to popular belief on the part of some people, a gun is not the only inanimate object capable of wrongdoing without being under the control of a PERSON. Nor does the gun whisper in the ear of its possessor, inciting them to evil deeds. You can hate the criminal who uses the gun to commit a crime, but what has the gun done that the criminal wouldn't merely use another tool for, were the gun not available?

Incontrovertible fact time. In places where civilian ownership of guns is banned, only criminals have guns. Crime goes UP (Check out what is going on in Britain and Australia). The criminals without guns merely get creative, they don't give up crime. The favored hand weapon of the IRA is the cordless drill-think about it. Ireland (and Boston) are considering knife registration. How would you like to have to go through the hassle necessary to buy a gun in this country every time you need a new paring knife?

If I hate anything, it's people who think that making laws infringing on the rights of all people will make some people behave themselves. By definition, criminals are people who do not obey laws, but people persist in thinking they will come up with the magic law that the criminals will suddenly obey.

There are only two ways to truly prevent all crime. Make sure that the stakes are higher than the criminal wants to gamble on, which is the purpose of concealed carry laws, or find some way to take away the desire of everyone to EVER harm anyone else in any way, which would require some very powerful magic-good luck!

"why don't you focus on prevention..." Who says I don't? I am all for anything that will make public schools work, but, when I have kids, they will be homeschooled, as I will not subject them to the current system. I am all for crime prevention. However, banning guns does not prevent crime, and I insist on the right to protect myself and my family until all the crime is prevented.

Some controvertions (none / 0) (#84)
by gilmae on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 10:15:35 PM EST

Incontrovertible fact time. In places where civilian ownership of guns is banned, only criminals have guns. Crime goes UP (Check out what is going on in Britain and Australia).

So changes in the policing system and the judicial system, and society itself, have no effect on crime rate at all? Parts of Australia (for example) have seen their local policing situation change, sometimes to the point of not having a single officer on duty in the local area. This might have a more significant influence on the crime rate than the availability of firearms.

The gap between poor and rich in Australia widens just like it does in the US, and presumable Britain. Crime, as often as not, derives from poverty. More poverty possibly implies more crime. I say possibly because it is not as if anyone has definitively proved this.

Don't use 'Incontrovertible' when your fact is so readily called into question.

And besides, gun ownership isn't banned in Australia. Do some research before you buy the party line.

[ Parent ]
response (none / 0) (#86)
by heatherj on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 11:48:01 PM EST

"changes in the policing system..." They may have helped matters slightly, but the changes I mentioned date from the banning of civilian firearm self-defense. Police, however, DO NOT protect people from crime. They can only show up after the fact & try to find the bad guy. Which is more likely to save a life-being able to stop the criminal before he can cause harm or calling the police? I guarantee you the criminal isn't going to wait till the police get there to "protect" you. It has been my observation that city people have the delusion that police can protect people more often than rural people who know that the nearest cop may be well over 10 miles away and won't be able to get there in time to help you no matter how fast he is. Therefore, they know that they have to provide for their own self-defense. Poverty causing crime is horse manure. Most poor people do not commit crimes. Poor education, poor parenting seem, from what I've seen to be far more the exclusive province of those who commit crimes than the mere lack of money. Also, in societies such as ours, many of the poor have, for generations now, been in a situation where the gov't will give them a living without expecting them to even clean up after themselves in return. These people tend to develop the idea that the world owes them a living and that they are entitled to take what they want-which causes crime. So does the war on drugs. I spent the last year and a half in inner-city St. Louis, so have first-hand experience with what I'm saying. It starts young. The kids that break windows, trespass in other people's yards, and other small stuff are the teenagers that join gangs and murder people. Almost always, these are the kids who have no one in their lives who really gives a damn what they do, and people are so afraid of getting in trouble with DFS or some such that they won't stop other people's lids from doing something wrong. "...gun ownership isn't banned in Australia..." Okay, here's a link that tells the state of civilian firearm ownership in Australi. Notice that owning a firearm for the purpose of self-defense IS specifically prohibited, as is using one for that purpose, so my argument still stands. HREF http://www.research.ryerson.ca/SAFER-Net/Content/Oceania/Australia/AUL(Sept7).htm crime in Australia HREF http://www.hematite.com/dragon/aussies.html

[ Parent ]
missed the point here I think (none / 0) (#88)
by gilmae on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:41:18 AM EST

It has been my observation that city people have the delusion that police can protect people more often than rural people who know that the nearest cop may be well over 10 miles away and won't be able to get there in time to help you no matter how fast he is.

That is more or less what I said. The crime rate is up in these country towns because of a greatly reduced police presence. While the police were there, there were always people who are deterred enough, the pettiest of the petty criminals. When the police aren't there, suddenly no deterrant at all, crime rate goes up.

Okay, you live in a poor area. So do I. And I see how poverty affects people every day. People on welfare, people who are willing to stay on welfare, just like you say. I see these people everyday, and there are a significant amount, maybe not half, but a lot, who just don't care enough about their kids, they don't care about their neighbours. These kids grow up in that situation, just like you say, and they don't care either. Just as you say, they drift into petty crime and sometimes not so petty. I can't bring myself to believe that if these people weren't in this situation of poverty and dependancy on a fortnightly cheque, that they wouldn't be better people.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#96)
by heatherj on Fri Feb 15, 2002 at 12:20:22 PM EST

"crime rate is up in these country towns..."
Not in any I've ever known of. Country people are frequently armed. The legend of the old man shootin' first and askin' questions later is not entirely legend, either in the Ozarks where I live now, or in rural WI where I grew up. Most criminals are not willing to take this chance-therefore crime rates in the country are very low. I've been known to go away for several days without locking my house or even taking the keys out of my other vehicle, leaving no one home but my cockapoo dog, without having to worry about anyone bothering anything in a rural area. In the inner city, cars were locked even in front of the house with good reason, and I locked my door to go next door to visit the neighbor.

"I can't bring myself to believe that..."
I am sorry, but you just did not read what I wrote. Poverty has nothing REAL to do with the matter. If you take 2 families, both in exactly the same financial situation, and have them differ in parenting practices, the results can be startling. There are and always have been lots of poor kids in this country who grow up to be good, productive members of their community-if they have good parents, who are interested in raising them and take parenting seriously. I was one of these. The kids who end up in trouble are the ones whose parents don't give a damn-rich or poor. If you don't know Dad and Mom is too busy smoking crack, and sleeping around, or even spending all the hours she's not at work messing with some boyfriend or other and not paying attention to her kid, those kids are going tobe the ones that show up in the behavior disorder classes at schools and the institutions for wayward children. I have worked in both these environments. By no means, were all the kids that passed through poor.
<a>"...don't care either..." That is not what I said. I said that they're too scared of bringing some kind of trouble down on themselves to speak out. When I lived in "the hood", many of my neighbors did care that kids were running wild and people couldn't manage to get trash to a trash can, but the reaction was, "If I say something, I'm going to have to deal with this kid's mother or DFS, or something." I often would tell a kid, "Pick up that trash instead of throwing it on the ground." The usual reaction I actually got was the kid looking at me like I'd lost my mind, then doing what I said.
It is their parents job to teach children to care. However, the story of the rich kid who can't take care of anything, tears up his stuff, punches holes in walls, etc., is not rare, either. In many ways, the condition of poor neighborhoods has more to do with city services being distributed far less well to poor neighborhoods, and to mere population density. Riche neighborhoods have plenty of people who don't care too. They also receive far higher quality city services and tend to have laws forcing people to make an outward show of caring.

[ Parent ]
Shooting sports (none / 0) (#85)
by fuchikoma on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 11:37:56 PM EST

I love most target sports, and handgunning at ranges is no exception.

I'd get a gun, but I live in Canada, so it would likely take about a year for the licensing, and around $200-300 for processing fees/examination fees/licensing fees etc... Actually fairly cheap compared to some people's ordeals since I know a few loopholes. There's also the slight problem that if I got, say, a parking ticket and the cops were feeling vindictive, they could raid my home and seize all guns and ammunition, instantly rendering the year or waiting, hundreds of dollars of administrative costs, and money spent on actual firearms and related equipment (trigger locks and safes (both mandatory in Canada,) ammunition, and maintenance kits) all worthless.

It sounds reactionary and exaggerated, but in essence, that's how it works. I can't find the site right now, but there's a man who had been doing shooting sports for years, and had won trophies for said sports. He had no criminal record, but someone who didn't like him phoned the police and said that he had threatened her. Without investigation, the cops came, took his guns, gun paraphenalia, and even a CO2 pistol that looked realistic. If I get a reply asking for the specific page, I'll look for it some more and see if I can post it. But basically, as much as I'd like to get into handgunning, I don't think there would be a faster way to give up my rights other than walking into a police station and punching an officer.

Not a problem (none / 0) (#102)
by bafungu on Mon Feb 18, 2002 at 12:29:17 AM EST

So get an air rifle. No licensing, no restrictions, ridiculously cheap ammo, quiet, clean, no hassles. You can practice in your basement with it.

Are you really planning on going into the woods, shooting deer, moose or bear, skinning them, dismembering them into manageable pieces, smoking or otherwise preserving the meat? That's all a full firearm is good for.

If so, then that's cool. Go for it. But if not, then what's wrong with a plain old unlicensed .177 air rifle? After all, once you've figured out how to shoot an air rifle straight, you can shoot anything else straight.

[ Parent ]

Great Article (none / 0) (#89)
by arnado on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 07:19:01 AM EST

I very rarely comment here on k5, but I just had to make myself do it today. I have been using guns for sport for over two years now, and have recently returned to shotgun trap shooting. I am not yet good enough for any real compitition but just do it for fun. I must congratulate the author of this article. This is one of the best articles I have seen in awhile and on a highly controversial subject. Thank you for taking the time to introduce people to the fun uses of firearms. Arnado

Quick Question (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by cratchit on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:00:51 PM EST

What happens to all those little lead pellets when the shootin' fun is over? I've never been to a shooting range (admittedly, I know next to nothing about guns/gun culture in general), but would like to know if any effort is made to retrieve the shot that doesn't hit its target.

Is there any reason for concern as far as animals eating it, water being poisoned, etc?

Forgive me if I'm asking stupid questions here, but, well, I've already confessed my ignorance.

Lead... (none / 0) (#99)
by freija crescent on Sat Feb 16, 2002 at 11:50:55 AM EST

Well, interestingly enough, I am pretty sure most sites to not perform shot recovery.

With shotguns, you've got hundreds of pellets per shot, that can go pretty much anywhere. With rifle ranges, where there is only one projectile per firing, the issue isn't any easier. With the incredible energies of an average rifle round, when the bullet strikes a target, something different happens. Most rifle rounds are lead, jacketed with steel, sometimes copper.. whatever. When the round strikes the ground or other firm target, the jacketing usually fragments, offering a shower of molten hot lead to the surroundings. If you hit something firm, yet able to penetrate (as a tree) the jacketing will collapse as the bullet travels through the wood, squeezing hot lead out the back.

In any event, it's very difficult to account for all the pieces, whether the longgun is rifle or shotgun... I'm not sure just how bad this is for the environment. I guess there will probably be studies on this in the future.

BTW, i'm an avid shooter, I've got an 8mm rifle that I use aluminum rounds. They are quite light and blazingly fast, but they are limited on penetration power, so I guess my contribution to lead-poisoning of the environment is minimal.

I'm honestly more worried about people disposing of monitors in landfills, i heard some have about 5 lbs of lead.


[ Parent ]
Biathlon (none / 0) (#101)
by jdtux on Sun Feb 17, 2002 at 02:11:20 PM EST

I can't comment much on this, as my only shooting sports is on the cadet shooting team(using daisy .177 pellet rifles) and the biathlon team(using anschutz .22 rifles).

Personally, I think biathlon is a great shooting sport. for the provincial competition, we ski 4 laps, shooting 3 times(prone position).
we(males) ski 8km in total(2.25, 1.25, 2.25, and 2.25)
this is only cadet biathlon though... canada games and olympics are fairly different(different shooting positions, different rifles, etc). but it's still a challenging sport to do well at

One you missed (none / 0) (#103)
by ragnarok on Mon Feb 18, 2002 at 04:35:38 AM EST

What! Nothing about Russian Roulette?

Now that is just so terribly lax of you ... ;)

"And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies

A Brief Introduction to Shooting Sports | 110 comments (103 topical, 7 editorial, 2 hidden)
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