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The Gun Culture

By TheSpiritOf1776 in MLP
Wed May 02, 2001 at 03:12:06 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I found an editorial on Reason Magazine's website about an anthropologist's study of the gun culture in the United States. As I read it, I remembered a few articles and comments (such as this article and its comments) about firearms on K5. I thought I'd share this editorial since a good number of people here on K5 (and society in general) seem to think that gun owners are dangerous lunatics.


Their Aim Is True

(Reason Magazine, May 2001. The article is copyrighted by the Reason Foundation.)

The author of the editorial grew up in a modern-day liberal Jewish family on the East Coast of the United States. She never had any direct (i.e. handling or firing) contact with firearms until her college years. There she meets a gun owner, and goes on to study the gun culture in the United States. She finds that gun owners are generally not lunatics or dangerous types, but instead are normal people.

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The Gun Culture | 283 comments (236 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
The eternal argument. (3.87 / 8) (#1)
by slaytanic killer on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:43:19 AM EST

Often arguers tend to consider their own points and not those of the other side. The fact remains that guns are safe only as long as those wielding them are rational. When someone finally feels fed up to the point where they assasinate someone, guns become more dangerous than the alternative. It's point-and-click killing simplicity.

What do gun owners say to that? At least with knives, one has to at least get close and personal.

Just like cars (4.28 / 7) (#7)
by onyxruby on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:12:26 AM EST

are safe only as long as those wielding them are rational

You could just as easily make this statement about cars, chainsaws, and construction equipment. The fact is that cars kills several times more people every year than are killed with guns.

It's point-and-click killing simplicity.

So is driving a car when drunk.

At least with knives, one has to at least get close and personal

I'm sure the victim will feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing that their attacker got up close and personal with them.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Like cars? (1.50 / 2) (#9)
by spacejack on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:17:39 AM EST

Don't get me started on cars...

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the stats (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by slaytanic killer on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:46:17 AM EST

The fact is that cars kills several times more people every year than are killed with guns.
.. but could you give me statistics on the number of automobile deaths caused by someone willingly (and premeditatedly) trying to kill an individual?

Which is cheaper?

Simpler to carry out?

[ Parent ]
re: (5.00 / 5) (#18)
by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:18:10 PM EST

but could you give me statistics on the number of automobile deaths caused by someone willingly (and premeditatedly) trying to kill an individual?

The problem here is people "willingly (and premeditatedly) trying to kill an individual", not the tools they use to do the job. Assuming for a second that guns had no self defense value and were only used illegally, taking them away is just going to force people who want to kill to find another way. That is avoiding the problem. The problem isn't people using guns to kill, it's people killing.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
The nut that holds the steering wheel (4.50 / 2) (#23)
by leviathan on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:39:40 PM EST

The problem isn't people "willingly trying to kill an individual"; that assumes that for all the deaths attributed to guns, the attacker thought the only option was to kill the attacked. It may be that the attacker only needed to incapacitate their opponent, and for whatever reason, at the time they didn't care whether their opponent was put in an ambulance or a hearse. The problem is people "willingly trying to defeat their opponent" and using a tool which is perhaps too powerful for their needs.

Or, as Alistair Cooke put it:

It comes down to that old contradictory parrot talk of the gun lobby - guns don't kill, people do.

The simple truth is, people with guns kill people.



--
I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]
What makes you think? (4.00 / 3) (#31)
by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:08:36 PM EST

What makes you think you have a better chance of surviving a "hit and run" than getting shot? Don't let hollywood fool you, getting shot with a 9mm in the sholder will not make you fall down dead.

As for a tool being too powerful for their needs, what other tool can you think of that can stop someone from a safe distance, without requiring you have physical superiority over the opponant, without needing you to expose yourself to direct harm? That is the reason it is chosen by muggers/home invaders, law abiding citizens, and police alike.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
See my last subject (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by leviathan on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:29:54 PM EST

Many of my subject lines are either a dig at the person I'm replying to, or a dig at my own implied argument. I this case it was the latter.

It's the punchline to an extremely old joke; 'Which part of a car causes the most accidents' - 'The nut that holds the steering wheel'. The fact is that cars are directly analagous to guns; cars are very effective at their designated purpose but potentially lethal if used inappropriately. Perhaps an even better example is paracetomol; it's an effective painkiller but perhaps too powerful a drug - it's relatively easy to OD on (and it's a very slow and painful death, in case you were wondering). Yet I've never heard of anyone requesting an outright ban on paracetomol.

My point was strictly that saying it's a problem of people wanting to kill is far too simplistic - just as people don't get into their car with the express aim of ending someone's life.

--
I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]

Ok (3.00 / 1) (#52)
by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:09:01 PM EST

But the issues of accidental gun deaths and intentional murders are two completly different issues. I wasn't sure what you were getting at.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Paracetamol (4.00 / 1) (#127)
by mwbingham on Tue May 01, 2001 at 08:23:38 AM EST

Interestingly, I have heard of people (seriously) suggesting banning Paracetamol. Neither paracetamol or asprin would get a modern drugs licence if one was applied for today. (Both Europe and USA).

The government in the UK recently (couple of years ago) reduced the number of tablets that could be sold at once in attempt to reduce suicides. See here for more detail on what paracetamol does...

[ Parent ]

16 tablets?!? (none / 0) (#193)
by Mitheral on Wed May 02, 2001 at 12:08:08 PM EST

A maximum of sixteen tablets per purchase for Aspirin? It's obvious why they don't see this as an unreasonable restriction; they must be doing something alot stronger already!

Geez I buy aspirin 250 tablets at a time.

[ Parent ]

Let's make one small distinction (5.00 / 8) (#32)
by weirdling on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:09:04 PM EST

In a situation in which lethal force is called for, there is already an element of reckless endangerment, at the very least, and at the point where I would employ lethal force, I would draw, aim, and shoot. I would shoot two shots center of mass, pause to verify incapacitation, and resume firing if necessary.
That is what I train for. That is what is recommended by every knowledgeable self-defense expert and every pro-gun attorney.
Why? If and when you have to use deadly force, simply presenting the gun materially changes the situation. The target obviously is endangering life and limb or you would not have the right to draw. If the target has a gun, you have about three-tenths of a second of confused behavior to take advantage of. The psychology of the criminal will take a bit to assimilate a threat, as criminals prey off of fear, and when you draw, you show no fear, which will give them pause. During this time, you must settle your sights and fire, as the average criminal will not settle their sights, but, then, the average violent criminal does not care about colateral damage, but the average law-abiding citizen does. That is why I have bullets in my gun that cost $25 for six and have enough force to drop a man with one shot 97% of the time, which is why I shoot twice. I will not shoot the third shot because the target will begin to twist violently from just two shots, and a third shot may enter the back, exposing me to legal liability. My bullets will not over-penetrate, won't penetrate a wall, and won't cause any harm through ricochet. Your average criminal uses hard-ball ammo, generally 9MM if it is a pistol, which can ricochet all over the place, wildly injuring, maiming, and even killing, without ever hitting their target. It will also easily penetrate a wall, as well as several people. That is why I wouldn't give him a chance to fire.
Now, there is a class of behavior where lethal force is not called for whereing I may just present the weapon to end the discussion, but this is highly not recommended, as the mere presentation of the weapon can cause an escalation, so if you did not wish to actually use it or are legally prohibited from using or posessing it, you're screwed.
Now, to my point: most people who speak of the 'non-fatal option' do not understand the dynamics of an engagement. Hit me in the leg and I will go down, but my gun goes down with me and I will return fire. Fail to drop me with a center-of-mass shot, and I can cross 21 feet to get to you before you fire again. Time after time people have been killed because they failed to render their opponent incapable of returning fire. There is no such thing as non-lethal response with a gun, and if the situation warrants the use of a gun, nothing short of lethal force will end it, anyway. The gray area is much too small.
As to actual incapacitating shots, while I can hit a 1" wide target at a hundred yards with my .357 magnum pistol, I would never try for it in combat with a moving target. 35 yards is my effective range with a pistol. At that range, I can put nine shots out of ten into a moving man-sized target. I wouldn't stand a chance hitting someone's leg at that distance unless they stood still and I could get into a braced shooting position. So, essentially, any disabling shot at that range would likely miss, exposing me to further danger, as well as those around me.
I hope that settles the question of non-lethal force. In a situation where one is facing loss of life and/or limb, a gun is the only tool that will significantly increase your chances of survival.
That being said, I do not recommend guns for self defense unless you are willing to spend the time at the range and are comfortable with the idea of killing a human.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Good write up (none / 0) (#36)
by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:14:22 PM EST

One of the best summeries of lethal response I've seen in a while (Massad Ayoob would have been proud). Of course, someone who has never touched a gun and learns all they know about shooting from the movies (as I suspect many K5ers do) would never believe this :)

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Massad Ayoob (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by weirdling on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:25:46 PM EST

I read Massad Ayoob every chance I get. I cut my teeth on gunfighting theory on Massad Ayoob's work. I really think there'd be a lot less concern if more people read Massad Ayoob and understood the amount of thought that gun owners often put into what, when, and how they do things with a gun.
That being said, I doubt I'll ever have the experience Massad Ayoob has had, nor the ability to so plainly state them...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Who is... (none / 0) (#146)
by beergut on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:07:42 PM EST

Massad Ayoob, and is there a source for his writings?

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 ]

Look on Amazon (none / 0) (#151)
by weirdling on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:51:40 PM EST

Massad Ayoob is quite possibly the world's foremost authority on gunfighting in all its various aspects. He has extensive experience, both police and military, and has a very easy to read style.
For an understanding of simple personal safety, read 'Handgun Primer'. It comes in a double-book volume from Amazon that also has 'Gun-proof Your Child', which has some excellent advice on how to make children less likely to die/kill from accidentally finding a gun, etc.
There are several other, longer books, as well. Ayoob is considered by many to be required reading for anyone interested in self-defense through handgun.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Required reading (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:17:54 PM EST

Although 20 years old, "In the Gravest Extreme" is still the best reference logistically, morally, and legally for the various approaches to self defense. (IMHO)

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by leviathan on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:44:28 PM EST

That one small distinction is the distinction I was trying to make. Now, it's true that Alistair Cooke goes a lot further on the issue that I ever would (I wouldn't class myself as anti-gun) - I just happen to like the quote ;)
In a situation in which lethal force is called for, there is already an element of reckless endangerment, at the very least
Indeed. My concern is that in all occasions where lethal force is involved, it wasn't always called for. Certainly in your example where the assailant was armed with a firearm, I agree absolutely. There's two issues with the (relatively) free availability of guns; one is that the assailant is much more likely to have a gun, and the second is that the lethal option (i.e. the gun) is much more readily to hand in all situations.

I have no facts and figures on which of these issues (or a multitude of others) has the most impact on the difference in gun related injuries between the UK and the US although I'd suspect it's the first. My point simply was to correct a misapprehension on the second point; that sometimes for inexperienced handlers the intention and the result don't match.

That being said, I do not recommend guns for self defense unless you are willing to spend the time at the range and are comfortable with the idea of killing a human.
Thank you.

--
I wish everyone was peaceful. Then I could take over the planet with a butter knife.
- Dogbert
[ Parent ]
Very true (5.00 / 2) (#51)
by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:07:14 PM EST

That being said, I do not recommend guns for self defense unless you are willing to spend the time at the range and are comfortable with the idea of killing a human.

Truer words haven't been spoken in this debate yet :) Too many people think that a gun is a magical item that requires no competancy to use, no maintance, and can easily destroy anything you point it at. I have worked hard shooting for three years (at least twice a month) in order to consistantly hit a 'bulls eye' at 75 feet. I've found the gun culture to be very similar to the computer geek culture. Complete with desire to understand and tinker with equipment, healthy respect for security and the "right way to do things", and of course rabid flame wars and heated opinion. All in all though, most gun owners I know are very competant and take the responsibility that comes with having a gun seriously.

As for comfortable with the idea of killing another human being? I don't know if I could. Nobody who hasn't been put in a life or death situation can answer that. Hopefully I will do what is needed to ensure my and/or my family's survival if confronted with a lethal choice like that. However, I like that I have the option of evaluating a situation and deciding if it warrants a lethal response or not rather than having no option but to hope for the best.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Ironic (none / 0) (#91)
by John Milton on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:36:47 PM EST

When you look at your sig.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Merry Christmas (4.28 / 7) (#25)
by onyxruby on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:51:28 PM EST

United States 1997 automobile fatality figures:

  • 12,382 people were murdered with a gun in the US.

  • 12,710 people were killed by drunk drivers.

  • 42,013 people were killed by a vehicle.

  • The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
    [ Parent ]

    Are you proud of those statistics? (3.66 / 3) (#101)
    by eLuddite on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:17:34 PM EST

    You cite them as if they arent an arguement for gun control. Whatever. Can you at least understand that those figures mean nothing unless you contrast them against the number of cars vs the number of guns?

    Here's an exercise. Pick a major thoroughfare in a big city and ask each motorist as they come to a stop at the red light whether they also own a gun. Be advised that one of those motorists might shoot you if you get too close to their car.

    You gun yahoos should just shut the fuck up about cars because it makes you look dumber than bullets.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Ever consider... (4.00 / 1) (#47)
    by itsbruce on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:50:04 PM EST

    How much harder it is to kill the person of your choice with a car than with a gun? You have to arrange a fairly narrow set of circumstances before you can kill a specific persion with a car. Killing the next person you see crossing the road, sure. Even then, guns are more useful as a weapon of random destruction.


    --I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
    [ Parent ]

    if idiots were like roads (4.00 / 1) (#100)
    by eLuddite on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 09:54:10 PM EST

    If guns were like cars then half the tax burden of the republic would be dedicated -- upon the peoples insistence -- to improving their saftey and building shooting range facilities.

    If there were as many guns as cars, there would be car control. Oh, wait. There is car control.

    If guns were like cars then 10 year olds wouldnt be able to reach the trigger.

    If guns were like cars, big guns would get more people to the hospital faster than big ambulances. Oh, wait, they do.

    If guns were like cars, everytime you shot one you'd move at several hundred feet per second along with the bullet.

    If guns were like cars, 90% of cars would be illegally owned.

    If guns were like cars, old people would be the principle cause of "gun rage."

    Finally, if doctors (I mean, why arbitrarily pick on cars, right?) were like guns, they'd need a license to practice and people without a doctor's license to express healing would cite Free Speech instead of the 2nd.

    The list of ifs is as endless as you care to be stupid. How stupid do you want to be?

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Retort (3.00 / 1) (#111)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:41:52 PM EST

    Nothing says "intelligent, rational debater" like the ability to engage in a discussion without resorting to constant name calling and general ranting. Not that that opposite applies as well.

    If guns were like cars, 90% of cars would be illegally owned.

    Are you implying that 90% of guns are illegally owned? Where ever did you arrive at that number? I agree comparing guns to cars a somewhat silly for many reasons, including that cars have very little value as a self defense tool, but this comment strikes me as a bit odd. Do you have anything to back this up?

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    keep treading water, why dont you (3.50 / 2) (#113)
    by eLuddite on Tue May 01, 2001 at 01:16:35 AM EST

    Are you implying that 90% of guns are illegally owned?

    Yes. Why would similiar percentages be surprising? It's not as if they were controlled like cars are, is it? Btw, if you share the inability to distinguish between a gun and a car, I'll call you an idiot, too. Not a rant. Just a fact. I find it contributes to the overall value of a discussion if we point out the idiotic statements that are rated too highly; I wouldnt want any of the impressionable children in the audience going postal with their daddy's car.

    Try to glean some meaning from the post: too many guns are unregistered vs all cars are registered. Cars are a useful method of transportation that everyone wants. Guns are expressly designed and built to kill. Cars are controlled. Guns are not controlled. The existence of Americans who want gun control is certain. The existence of Americans who do not want car control is in doubt.

    So. What do cars have to do with guns? Cars kill people. Gotcha. So do doctors. Let's run over doctors with our cars. No, wait. Let's license doctors. No, wait. Then we'd had to license guns, too. Oh, I give up. This too hard for me.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Treading water? (3.00 / 1) (#124)
    by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:29:39 AM EST

    Ok, sure, you have taken one state with draconion gun laws (where only the rich and famous can usually get permits and guns, appearently they are better people) and you may find these numbers. It would have helped if you had specified that earlier.

    Since I clearly stated that I think comparing guns and cars is silly I assume you didn't read my (short even) post. I have no problem licensing guns (we currently do, and I would venture to guess by FAR MOST guns in this country are legally owned). Not every state has such a high crime rate as NY, so assuming they are they standard would be a fallacy. I'm all for enforcement of existing gun laws, something that most gun owners support. However, most gun laws (there are some 2000-4000 depending on which state you live in) are NOT enforced well at all. The much touted Brady bill has pretty much failed, and the answer to unenforced gun laws is appearently more gun laws. Right NOW, unlicensed firearms are illegal, wouldn't you say attempting to actually enforce this law would be a good first step before firing off more gun related laws?

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    dont take me personally (2.00 / 1) (#140)
    by eLuddite on Tue May 01, 2001 at 01:02:54 PM EST

    Since I clearly stated that I think comparing guns and cars is silly I assume you didn't read my (short even) post.

    I'm not really replying to you, personally. I understand that you are a reasonable person. I am replying to emphasize a point which you made me defend.

    Ok, sure, you have taken one state with draconion gun laws

    I dont exactly have that many states to choose from.

    "Draconian gun laws" is an oxymoron in my book. If you do not have the wherewithal to complete an application for a gun permit, you should not be trusted anywhere near a gun.

    and I would venture to guess by FAR MOST guns in this country are legally owned

    Their original purchase may be legal but it is NOT true that by far most guns in the US end up legally held. Furthermore, as reported by the NYT in 1998, only "40 percent of the handguns used to commit crimes were purchased from federally licensed dealers within the previous three years."

    Wither the remaining 60%?

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Sorry, I get caught up in web logs to easily :) (3.00 / 1) (#143)
    by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 01:24:22 PM EST

    "Draconian gun laws" is an oxymoron in my book. If you do not have the wherewithal to complete an application for a gun permit, you should not be trusted anywhere near a gun.

    I would go a step further. I feel you should have to demostrate knowledge of gun safety AND competancy handling the firearm. I'm at odds with a small vocal minority of gun owners on this, but most people I know just think it's good sense. You don't get to drive a car (there I go comparing cars and guns again) without demostrating you know not only how to drive, but the rules involved. You shouldn't be able to own a gun (and especially carry one) unless you know the relevant laws and are accurate with it. Attempting to use a gun in self defense when you cannot hit a target is dangerous to everyone except the person you are shooting at.

    My problem with NY isn't the restrictions, it's the subjective nature in which they are enforced. In practice, you cannot get a gun unless you are famous, or highly politically connected. This is a very elitist system that is both racist in practice and unfair.

    Their original purchase may be legal but it is NOT true that by far most guns in the US end up legally held. Furthermore, as reported by the NYT in 1998, only "40 percent of the handguns used to commit crimes were purchased from federally licensed dealers within the previous three years."

    A good solution to this is making your gun your responsibility. If someone steals your gun and uses it in a crime, unless you reported it in a timly manner and took reasonable precautions to prevent it from being stolen, you should be partially accountable. Are you aware that gun dealers are NOT required by any law to report stolen guns? That is insane. Many responsible gun owners like myself feel these simple measures could go far toward solving the problem before cracking down in ways that are ineffective and hurt legal gun owners as well.

    I'm not unreasonable, I understand that something has to be done but I see so many ways to attack the problem directly and effectivly that are not being done that I have to wonder if reducing crime is really the goal of "gun grabbers" (gun culture slang for pro-gun control people).

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Bombs are more effective (4.28 / 7) (#8)
    by theboz on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:16:31 AM EST

    Guns are a straw man really.

    I think bombs are much more effective and easier to make. In fact, I have made explosives in the past when I was in middle and high school. Granted, my friends and I did not put any nails in them or other things to be used as shrapnel, but we just wanted to make high powered firecrackers for our entertainment. Anyways, I have learned how easy it is to make bombs, and I would think that lunatics would tend to prefer that than guns. At least with a bomb, you don't have to be in the area, you don't have to have any skill or aim, and you can take out more than one target at a time. I can go to somewhere like Home Depot and have the materials to make many different types of deadly bombs if I wanted to.

    Also, you talk about the "point-and-click killing simplicity" of guns, which shows you have never shot one in your life. They do require skill for the most part. Only if you shoot someone point blank does it get easy. It's not like playing quake at all, to have any accuracy in your shot, you have to have some skill in doing so. There's even a breathing technique that is necessary to be an accurate shot, and this is just talking about rifles. With pistols your accuracy goes down a whole lot more. The effective range of shooting a pistol is not a whole lot more than someone with throwing knives, and less than a bow with arrows.

    Basically it all goes back to what the real problem is. The availability of guns is not the problem, because they were more available in the past, when any 12 year old could walk up to a hardware store and buy a gun, and take it to school without any problems. The inanimate pieces of steel and wood can't be the cause. That is the problem the rational gun owners like myself have. We see a bigger problem that everyone else seems to ignore. It is the people that are going crazy and not taking responsibility for their actions, and not using their brains. I have no better way to explain it, but the real problem is that the quality of people in the U.S. has decreased tremendously.

    Also, as far as the debates about gun control and such, the reason it's never solved is because the two sides are arguing different things. Both sides want safety and freedom, but they have different ideas of how to get it. There will never be a resolution to this debate and it wouldn't matter if we all had simply swords or rocket launchers. I think both sides could learn from hanging out with the other for a while to see their point of view, but it would never happen.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    Assume nothing of me. (4.33 / 3) (#11)
    by slaytanic killer on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:27:17 AM EST

    Also, you talk about the "point-and-click killing simplicity" of guns, which shows you have never shot one in your life.
    On the contrary, I'm naturally a decent shot (as well as knife-flinger). Ever think about how hard a mouse is to really use, how much training goes into one?

    Ever play Quake?

    What you just wrote shows me how much my point is proven. I don't think you really know how to build a bomb, because you say it's more effective than a gun in reply to my message. Either that or you've willfully misread me just to make your point, because bombs are not for surgical assasinations, and timing them is far harder than being patient for a person to hit your sights. Do you know how many disparate skills are required for making a bomb with an effective timer?

    You should understand I am actually for guns. I think that especially in the US, they are necessary to prevent mass rights encroachment.

    But if this point is to be made, the level of arguments sure as hell better improve.

    [ Parent ]
    True (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:11:49 PM EST

    Gun ownership is a constant tug of war between rational, competant people desiring the ability to protect themselves, and nutcases who see a gun as a quick means of intimidation and/or killing.

    Personally, I support mandatory competancy and safety classes for people who want to purchase firearms. You mentioned up close and personal, handguns are NOT accurate at long range. Most people who don't practice several times a month are probably not accurate at all even at 30 feet. If you want to have a gun for self defense and you suck as a marksman, you are more dangerous to bystanders than you are to a "bad guy".

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Um... (3.66 / 3) (#72)
    by trhurler on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:41:18 PM EST

    First of all, if you'd ever actually fired a gun at a target that can move, you'd know that it isn't as easy as people think. The target may well move, and shooting it in the shoulder is unlikely to prove lethal. Second, FBI stats show that even when police are shooting(they're trained better than most people,) they miss human targets about nine times out of ten. Third, people who "snap" have a harder time of aiming than anyone else, so they're even less likely to hit.

    Then, of course, you have the fact that per capita homicide rates adjusted for population density are lower in areas with higher private gun ownership and carry rates. Again, look to US federal government stats, and the academic literature on the subject. Yes, hypothetically, if snapped people were calm and took careful aim, and if they knew how to shoot, and if there were any significant number of them, guns would be a problem - but this simply is not borne out in reality; your fear, while legitimate, is of something that happens not to occur.

    Personally, if I wanted to kill a man, I'd do it with a knife or a club, but that's just me. I don't want to, but if I did, I'd want to feel it. To each his own, I suppose.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    It's really easy (4.00 / 1) (#88)
    by bjrubble on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 06:38:24 PM EST

    Yes, firing a gun is harder than it looks. Compared to any other method of killing someone, it's still a piece of cake. I've had way more training in knife and sword fighting than shooting, but I'd go for a gun in a second. In feudal Japan, peasant conscripts who had been given rifles were able to defeat Samurai. There's simply nothing you can put in your hands that lets you kill people as quickly and easily.

    Yes, hypothetically, if snapped people were calm and took careful aim, and if they knew how to shoot, and if there were any significant number of them, guns would be a problem - but this simply is not borne out in reality; your fear, while legitimate, is of something that happens not to occur.

    You mean people really don't shoot each other?

    [ Parent ]
    Of course people shoot people (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by trhurler on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 08:50:55 PM EST

    But not the way that guy was describing. Well, not very often. Even though the US media madly publicizes any such event, the fact is, we might get 50 or 60 people in 280 million dead in a year as a result of someone "going postal." Those 50-60 people are, of course, a horrible thing - but face it, if that's the extent of the damage out of 280 million, then before we worry about this as a reason to implement laws, we better pass laws outlawing a whole lot of other things. I doubt you want to go that route, though; odds are some of the things you think make life worthwhile are on that list, just as some people really like their guns.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    More than just postal goers (none / 0) (#120)
    by bjrubble on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:32:10 AM EST

    People going postal are far from the only homicidal ones. I believe the total is about 30,000 per year killed with guns. Even among 300 million, that's a lot of dead people. Even counting the ones who would have been killed some other way, that's still a lot of dead people. Taking away your rights may not be the solution, but there sure as hell is a problem.

    [ Parent ]
    Knives, clubs, hands, pointy sticks... (4.50 / 2) (#136)
    by beergut on Tue May 01, 2001 at 11:54:40 AM EST

    A large, vast, huge majority of the people "killed by guns" each year are those involved in inner city gangs. These are people who, for whatever reason, choose to live in a violent, backward, criminal, tribal culture. This is not the "gun culture", but a "gang culture". The "gun culture" you speak of uses firearms responsibly and, when someone is shot, it is unlikely to be for any reason but self-defense.

    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 ]

    What gun culture? (none / 0) (#200)
    by bjrubble on Wed May 02, 2001 at 04:15:17 PM EST

    Where did gun culture enter into it? I don't give a damn about gun culture, I care that dangerous people are made exponentially more dangerous when they have access to these weapons, and thousands of people die every year as a result. I'm not debating your right to bear arms, or how well you personally handle that responsibility -- I'm arguing against this inane notion that because you don't routinely blow people away with guns, guns have no role in people being blown away.

    [ Parent ]
    DO they have to die? (none / 0) (#188)
    by OzJuggler on Wed May 02, 2001 at 10:21:32 AM EST

    Does it actually matter if the person being shot at dies?
    If the statistcal fact that you quote is true, I can imagine the situation that leads to it: B has a minor argument with A, A starts a fist fight with B, B picks up a rock, A picks up a piece of wood and kills B. The whole thing escalates progressively. If a lot of people are packing heat then you end up in a situation where homicide rates drop dramatically because no-one dares to step out of line or even look at someone the wrong way because they might receive an instantly lethal response.
    Gee, what a great life to lead. Living a life of fear. Not knowing if minor explorations of your own inviduality are going to be accepted or instead get you killed!

    If the homicide rate "fact" is true, then the gun-toting society is like the Cold War - when the stakes are so high, nobody dares to actually use their full capability.

    It may have taken 40 years, but the superpowers eventually matured enough to realise that the constant threat of instant anihilation was not a good way to go.
    How long will it be before the gun advocates do the same?

    -OzJuggler.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
    [ Parent ]

    Good article (3.62 / 8) (#3)
    by Eric Jonson on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:46:17 AM EST

    A fine, well-balanced set of views from one of the few online publications that takes an honest and unbiased look at modern events.

    Besides, this shouldn't come as a suprise to anyone. Unfortunately, it may well do so due to the current level of propaganda and persecution organisations like Handgun Control Inc. and their relatives have levied against us. With a thousand and one mothers bleating on about protecting their children, gun-owners, once considered the norm of American society, are looking more and more like they are going to be slapped by a new set of Jim Crow laws aimed just at them.

    Of course, the US media is happy to help with this mission. They supported Clinton's efforts to destroy the Second Amendment, and now that he's finally gone they'll carry on just because they hate Dubya so much.

    How easy it has become to demonize people for doing something once considered normal!

    more rhetoric (4.50 / 2) (#69)
    by alprazolam on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:18:57 PM EST

    when exactly did clinton attempt to 'destroy the second amendment'?

    [ Parent ]
    asshole (2.50 / 2) (#103)
    by eLuddite on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:37:08 PM EST

    It is affront to black people - indeed, all of humanity - to equate the control of dangerous weapons with Jim Crow Laws. That you cannot differentiate between an act of discrimination and a license (which would be available to all colors in the spectrum of skin) is a strong indication that you would never survive a checkers game with my 4 year old niece. Your move, poo-poo head.


    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    My point is (2.50 / 2) (#122)
    by Eric Jonson on Tue May 01, 2001 at 06:17:44 AM EST

    Both laws strike directly at the freedoms offered us by the Constitution, and are as such immoral and fascist. And freedom isn't quantitative - you can't call one freedom more important than the other, based on whatever liberalspeak is being bandied around at the time.

    So I think the analogy is quite justified. And your ad hominem attacks aren't.

    [ Parent ]

    your point is in error (none / 0) (#139)
    by eLuddite on Tue May 01, 2001 at 12:35:53 PM EST

    Both laws strike directly at the freedoms offered us by the Constitution, and are as such immoral and fascist.

    This opinion is explicitly incorrect.

    So I think the analogy is quite justified.

    There is no appropriate analogy between discrimination and gun control.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Jim Crow and guns (none / 0) (#205)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Wed May 02, 2001 at 05:26:12 PM EST

    I recall reading that modern day gun laws (licensing requirements to carry a firearm) came about as a way to disarm newly freed blacks in the South.

    After all, the racists who passed the Jim Crow laws probably thought, we can't have blacks shooting at us when we try to lynch them?



    [ Parent ]
    "the vast majority are normal" (4.69 / 23) (#4)
    by streetlawyer on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:46:30 AM EST

    The fact that the vast majority of gun-owners are normal shouldn't come as any sort of surprise to anyone, because the vast majority of *people* are normal. What worries the world is that, while that small minority of, say, cake-icing enthusiasts who are crazy are merely nutters with a lot of whipped cream, the small minority of gun enthusiasts who are crazy are nutters *with guns*.

    Furthermore, this sort of anecdotal anthropology is always a bit sappy -- the author gives no evidence of actually having tried to research the incidence of mental illness or extreme political views among the gun-owning population. She claims to have interviewed 37 people, which is not really all that big a sample -- if 2.5% of gun owners are right wing crazies compared to 1% of the general population, then that's big news, but would quite easily have been missed by this study (particularly as she doesn't appear to have taken any very rigourous precautions to ensure that she interviewed an unbiased sample -- people you meet at shooting ranges and gun safety classes are hardly likely to be members of the Aryan Brotherhood).

    The fact that a large number of Americans own guns is not exactly news. The fact that only a small minority of Americans are seriously weird is not news (it's deducible from the meaning of the word "weird"). The conclusion of the article, that most gun owners are normal, is deducible from these two obvious facts. The article doesn't seem to offer anything beyond this obvious truism other than a few little vignettes, pen-portraits and stories from a romance, which take up 50% of what is portrayed as a serious academic study. Reason magazine has come down a long way in the world if this is now typical of its output.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

    Right Wing Crazies? (4.00 / 1) (#19)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:23:46 PM EST

    if 2.5% of gun owners are right wing crazies compared to 1% of the general population, then that's big news

    So political leaning is related to mental illness? Or perhaps left wing crazies are ok? I don't understand.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    more a matter of statistics (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by streetlawyer on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:34:45 PM EST

    "Right Wing Crazies" is the intersection of "Right Wingers" and "Crazies", both of which are small but statistically significant groups in the USA. "Left Wing Crazies" would need to be both crazy and left-wing. Since the left wing in America is so vanishingly small, it's not fair to blame anyone for not carrying out enough interviews to make statements about left-wing crazies -- you'd be there until doomsday.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    Left wing small? (3.00 / 2) (#24)
    by weirdling on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:51:05 PM EST

    I guess that it matters which vantage point one has. How about PETA? There are plenty of crazies. However, I'd like to really see the numbers to support that right-wing crazies, in specific, a) have higher gun ownership than the population at large, and b) commit significantly more crime due to that fact. Remember, a gun is a tool, and removing the guns from the hands of crazies will make them resort to something else; witness McVeigh...

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    See, we never should have diarmed McVeigh! (none / 0) (#60)
    by Electric Angst on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 03:05:43 PM EST

    removing the guns from the hands of crazies will make them resort to something else; witness McVeigh

    Yes, if only McVeigh had plenty of assault rifles around, then he would have never bombed anyone...


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Assault Rifle (none / 0) (#64)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 03:24:55 PM EST

    Just out of curiousity, why do you consider an assault rifle?

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Do you mean *what* do I consider an assault rifle? (none / 0) (#83)
    by Electric Angst on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:45:41 PM EST

    While I very well might be straying from the dictionary definition, anything faster-loading than a lever-action I call an assult rifle. This pretty much means semi-automatics and the moddified full-autos. Can you honestly think of a use for weapons with that rapid of a firing rate that doesn't include assault on a human being?


    --
    "Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Some prespective (4.00 / 1) (#107)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:28:46 PM EST

    Assualt weapons (at least the concept and title) were generated by the Germans. And assualt rifle by defination is one that is designed not to kill but to injure. Small fast moving bullets fired in rapid succession are the identifying characteristics. The logic was that by hurting instead of killing, you effectivly took at least two possibly three of your opponant out of the fight since they had to care for and/or move the injured person. The US government defination of this is any rifle that has any more than two of the following: pistol grip, detachable clip, adjustable stock, bayonet ring, and flash suppressor.

    Ok, that out of the way, you believe any semi-automatic rifle is an assualt weapon. This is a perfectly valid opinion, however I submit that many use semi automatic shotguns when hunting (perfectly legal) and most of the actual assualt weapons that are banned by the US government were only popular as target guns for competition. Let us be clear that by their own admission, assualt weapons were only used in a insignificant percentage number of crimes (something like less than a percent, I don't remember the exact number). The ban on assualt rifles is not about safety, since they were never a safety problem to begin with, they are about politics. Attach an evil sounding name on a gun and villify in it media, leading to it's ban. All it did was tick off some competition shooters, who aren't really part of the crime problem. Extending your last statement to pistols, there is another use of a semi automatic pistol other than assualting another human being. The same reason police and bodyguards carry them almost exclusivly. Self defense. If they are good enough for the police and bodyguards of celebrities (and politicians who support gun control) then they are good enough for the average citizen to use for their own protection.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    I find it interesting (none / 0) (#117)
    by streetlawyer on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:02:38 AM EST

    that you seem to be insistent on a narrow, rigourous definition of "assault rifle" while content with a definition of "left wing" that incldues the Democratic Party in the USA.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    I guess this has to do (4.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Wonko The Sane on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:59:25 AM EST

    ...with both his definitions being correct.

    "Assault weapons" are well-defined. Using any definitions except the official one would be dishonest.

    On the other hand, "Left-wing" isn't that well-defined when taken `globally`. However a `local` definition that includes the Democratic Party is better than one that doesn't, since left-wing and right-wing are concepts relative to the political system of the country in question.

    This is an EX-PARROT!
    [ Parent ]
    Simple (4.00 / 1) (#125)
    by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:37:50 AM EST

    Keep in mind that I was mearly providing the background to the term "assault weapon", not attempting to enforce a definition. As far as I'm concerned, the term is so misused that there IS no definition and had you read my post you would notice that I was accepting the previous commenter's definition that included ANY semiautomatic rifle.

    As for left wing, since we were talking about it in the context of US politics, it seemed logical to use the US standard (if it can even be called that). After all, political labels vary widly across the world to mean all sorts of things. If we are going to talk about this in a global context, sure the "left wing" is much further to the left. I never said the US isn't overall more conservative than the rest of the world, I was mearly saying that in our own context, there are as many left wingers as right (there almost have to be, by definition, since they are both definined by where the center is).

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    This is dangerously close to doublethink. (none / 0) (#184)
    by cretin on Wed May 02, 2001 at 07:55:07 AM EST

    You'd have to accept by that line of reasoning that in Russia for most of the last century, the right wing was full of socialists.

    "Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.
    [ Parent ]

    I am continually amused (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by weirdling on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:06:45 PM EST

    I have a .300 Weatherby Mark V Synthetic. This gun can put a bullet clean through a kevlar-reinforced class 5c bullet-proof vest without hardly slowing down. Yet, it's my least-villified weapon. Why? It is a bolt-action gun with three shots only.
    I have a ten-shot bolt-action rifle, a Lee-Enfield No. 4, .303 British, which is the predecessor of the 'assault rifle', yet, although it was still in service as late as the Afghan war, people somehow think that 'assault rifles' are more dangerous.
    Now, most 'assault weapons' bans include semi-automatic pistols, as well. The reason is simple: what is termed an 'assault rifle' is almost never used by a criminal because they are expensive and unwieldly, but pistols often are. Result: criminals move to 12 ga shotguns. Thanks, guys, now the bad guys are using a weapon that is perhaps three or four times as lethal as the one they were using.
    Then, there's the idiotic 10-round magazine limit. What was this supposed to accomplish? I'll tell you what it did accomplish: my .40 S&W Beretta essentially can only hold ten rounds; that's as big as the magazine is. In 9MM, it would have held 15-17, depending on whether it had a grip extension. Now, .40 S&W is *much* more lethal than 9MM. Once again, we are forcing criminals to essentially move to a more deadly weapon.
    At the time that law got enacted, the number of revolvers in .357 and .44 increased significantly for the same reason. The firepower didn't change.
    Now, for why I hate that law: I can only put 10 rounds of .22 in my Ruger 10/22 when I go plinking. The law *did* hurt target shooters, just like the assault weapons ban.
    I don't believe there has *ever* been a gun law that hurt criminals more than it hurt law-abiding citizens.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Easily (none / 0) (#153)
    by weirdling on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:13:25 PM EST

    I have a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rifle, correctly termed a carbine, as it has a short barrel and is designed for easy carry.
    Now, according to your definition, it is an 'assault rifle'. It is also subject to the 10-round magazine limit. However, it is *only* used for plinking, and would not even be *considered* for combat, as I have plenty of weapons that are slower than a lever action but are more effective; witness my Lee-Enfield .303 or my Weatherby Mark V in .300 Weatherby, both of which have a much higher power factor and thus would be more useful in a fire-fight.
    The fact is that no serious gun enthusiast keeps an assault weapon for combat. They keep a pistol or a shotgun. The pistol is often a revolver. Assault weapons are just too hard to use for their limited firepower. Even my single-action (cowboy style) .357 magnum revolver is more useful in a defensive situation than your average AR-15.
    It is just such a misunderstanding of the usage of guns that leads to the idiotic laws on the books right now.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    gun enthusiasts (none / 0) (#178)
    by mami on Tue May 01, 2001 at 11:45:59 PM EST

    What I don't get is why a person would be a gun enthusiasts. I think this term didn't exist fourty years ago, did it ?

    Can you explain in simple terms what about a pistol or gun makes you enthusiastic about it ? To me it's not a device I would admire because of it's technical sophistication. To me being able to be a sharp shooter is nothing which couldn't be learned by anyone, if needed be, therefore no skill to be specially proud of - so what is it that makes you so very thrilled about a gun or rifle or pistol ?


    [ Parent ]
    You've never been shooting, I take it... (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by weirdling on Wed May 02, 2001 at 12:46:47 PM EST

    Why would people go skiing? There isn't any particular use to it. The skill could be learned by anyone. I really don't understand the fascination, and I have been skiing.
    As to anyone being able to be a good shot, you are sorely mistaken. To be a good shot, it takes steady hands, the ability to manage one's breathing, and hours upon hours at the range. I will never be a top long-range rifle shot because I don't have steady enough breathing. However, I have steady enough hands to be a relatively good pistol shot. However, I have known shooters that could never hit with any kind of accuracy with a pistol, no matter how much practice, so they became shotgunners, which is something I'm not any good at...
    Now, the gun itself is a work of art. To make a device that is that reliable is amazing. To make it that cheaply even more so. I can expect thirty to forty years of hard service from my Beretta. Good luck finding a car that will last that long. I have a gun that is forty years old and still works well. It is an historic weapon, showing the craftsmanship of a previous age. Guns are often like swords used to be; a very personal thing. They are crafted to meet the varying demands of the shooter. For instance, my Beretta fits my hand better than a Glock, but I have friends where the reverse is true. Over time, a gun owner tends to personalise his weapons even more until he gets it the way he likes it. That is what will happen to my .300 Weatherby. I'm still working on it.
    Now, why do I do it? I guess the old adage of 'if you don't understand, you never will' sort of applies, although it is a bit condescending, but I will try to explain it. Hunkering down on some sights in a braced position and trying to hit a target at 100 yards is a challenge. It's a lot harder than it looks, particularly with a pistol. Then there's the satisfaction on hitting the target at that range, which is akin to a modeler finishing a model. Mastering a gun is not an easy thing; you can't just aim and fire. Over time, you develop a familiarity such that one day, when someone tosses a can in the air, you can put a hole in it before it hits the ground with a revolver you had to draw from your holster after they threw the can.
    Now, as to the existence of the term 'gun enthusiast': in America, guns have been in the culture since the start. In the sixties, a decline in gun ownership began that didn't stop until the nineties. During the period from the late sixties to early eighties, the gun control movement was in full swing, and gun owners became segregated from society. The sad thing about it all is that it created an 'us versus them' mentality in which gun owners were portrayed as violent, hick, unstable, or aberrant. Now that the number of gun owners is once again increasing, this stereotype is slowly fading. I have several friends who felt that owning guns was immature or in some other way aberrant until they met the group of gun nuts I hang out with and discovered that we are actually quite a responsible group, and generally quite law-abiding. You'll find this to be true of almost all gun owners.
    The truth really is that I don't know why I like guns. Either people do or they don't. I do. I have a lot of friends who do, and they don't know why, either, anymore than I know why I don't like skiing particularly.
    I guess in the end, it's just a hobby, but it is a hobby that makes other people nervous. However, what other people don't understand is the dynamics of the 'fourth military estate', or law-abiding gun owners. In the US, we have three authorised military estates: the US military (Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines), the various National Guards and the Coast Guard, and the police forces. The fourth military estate, as it has sometimes been called used to be the first in US history, with the state calling out every able-bodied man to join a militia, to which he was to bring his own rifle, mold, powder, and lead. These days, we have a professional military to occupy that slot. After the forming of that military, the second was once again every able-bodied man. However, we soon developed professional guardsmen to fill that spot. Then, sheriffs would call out a posse of dependable, able-bodied men who would provide their own weapons and ammo, but now we have police to do this work. So, the fourth estate is now relegated to entertaining itself and defending itself on a personal level. However, some numbers that any occupying force would find impressive: number of gun owners in the US: 80 million. Number of NRA members: over 4 million. Number of fully-armed partisans they can expect to deal with for the next decade or so: at least 10 million.
    See, no statement as to the reasons of gun ownership is complete without a reference to this estate. The fact that I own a gun keeps those around me safer. Crime goes down when the number of law-abiding citizens with guns goes up. Violent crime goes way down. When those citizens are allowed to carry their guns in the streets, preferably concealed, violent crime goes down even further. I didn't make this up; read 'More Guns, Less Crime' by John Lott. Look up statistics on how much violent crime, and particularly handgun crime, has increased in both England and Australia since they outlawed private ownership.
    So, while it doesn't bother me that there are people who do not now and never will understand why I like guns, I wish they'd understand that I do, and that my owning guns actually makes them safer. And, for all that, gun owners don't charge a fee, but rather do it with their own money...

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, correct - I never used a gun (none / 0) (#220)
    by mami on Thu May 03, 2001 at 01:45:54 AM EST

    Thanks for your answer. I can follow you with regards to the sportsmanship's pride and satsifaction a good shot gives you. I can also follow your admiration and love a well built gun incites in you. I could imagine that's like a love a musician can have for its violine. I also understand the special role guns had during the U.S.'s history, including the military's and militia's usage of them.

    I can't follow you though in the arguments you provide in your last paragraphs:

    So, the fourth estate is now relegated to entertaining itself and defending itself on a personal level. However, some numbers that any occupying force would find impressive: number of gun owners in the US: 80 million. Number of NRA members: over 4 million. Number of fully-armed partisans they can expect to deal with for the next decade or so: at least 10 million.

    I see it as a problem that the "fourth estate* is now relegated to *entertaining* and *defending* itself.

    You say in one sentence that most of the gun enthusiasts are * law-abiding gun owners*. Why would it be necessary for them to *defend* themselves as *fully-armed partisans* ? Who is the enemy ? If you abide the laws, it would mean you accept the laws as they are currently imposed on the citizens of the U.S. If you accept them, there is no need to defend yourself against them. If you just would want to defend yourself against thugs and criminals on the street, who could attack you, it means that you expect to have at least 80 million if not more criminal citizens roaming the streets of the U.S. This makes 80 million law abiding gun owners versus 80 million criminals, 160 million adult males. Let's say theoretically each of these 80 millions have to get into a shootout in self defense, that would result in at least 80 million deaths, whereby it is not at all clear, that the law abiding gun owner is the one who survives the shoot-out. Your conclusion that carrying concealed guns makes your environment safer is completely and provenly baloni.

    Contrary many of the police's killings, where they search, arrest and shoot someone to death, are directly related to the fact, that the police is scared to death, overly nervous and fearful of being attacked by an armed person, so that they prematurely shoot them faster in so-called self defense, without having been really attacked yet with a weapon. The anticipation that the arrested person *could* carry a weapon triggers a shoot-out with resulting deaths, just because the police *needs* to be the faster shooter. That is exactly the opposite effect one would want to get. It means that the police can't effectively do their job anymore in securing unarmed citizens, because too many citizens are armed and are able to scare the police into actions, which they would never go into, if they could be much more certain that they, the police officers, have the power over weapons to themselves.

    Further result of this szenario is that police officers are seen as racist killers, because they shoot too fast and they happen to arrest more black persons on the streets than they arrest white persons. This again is more due to the poverty of the black community and their subsequent involvement in drug related crimes. With the drug policies as they are, too many arrests for less grave violations are made, which would never lead to deaths of the arrested persons in other countries. In other countries the police doesn't anticipate any petty little mini drug dealer carrying a weapon and making use of them against the police officer. I don't see any positive effect of having civilians being allowed to carry concealed weapons around.

    Guns are misused in homes by *law-abiding citizens*, who just happen to behave like lunatics in the secrecy of their private lives.

    Guns are used by angry men going postal. The statistics show that these shooting sprees happen more often in the U.S. than in other countries.

    Now, it is interesting that you can't actually explain in what the rising fascination in guns and shooting during the last 15 years or so is rooted. If I would just take it face value that pure sportsmanship is the reason, I ask you, why wouldn't you be an enthusiast for shooting with bow and arrow ? It's an Olympic discipline and the same level of difficulty of sharp shooting, beautiful design of the weaponry is involved.

    I think there are *lots* of reasons for the rise of passionately defended private gun ownership, but they are neither rooted in pure and innocent sportsmanship's love for shooting, nor in the need for self-defense. This logic seems only be convincing to a certain segment of U.S. males, but not logic at all to other male species elsewhere in the world.

    I wouldn't mind if people who really love shooting just apply their enthusiasm within the military or the police force. That's where these skills are needed and passions for the perfect shot are counterbalanced and restricted with some ethical and moral standards imposed on the shooters by other powers than their own. Considering the gravity of the outcome of abusive usage of guns, I think this kind of restriction is much more important than any arguments you brought forward.

    For what it's worth, there hasn't been any "revolutionary" movement of citizens against an abusive government ever been prevented, just because the laws didn't allow the citizens to arm themselves. When situations really get so bad, it's either the military itself, who revolts, or people just organize themselves in guerilla movements to overthrow a government. That is, if there are real reasons for civil unrest. Most of the time, both, military and guerillas are abusing their weapon's power on the cost of unarmed citizens. If you would draw from that the conclusion it would be best to arm EVERY citizen, then again you would have complete anarchy, because noone could effectively enforce laws. So, somewhere, there is a hole in your logic, if there is any at all.

    ------ BTW, this I believe not for one minute:
    Look up statistics on how much violent crime, and particularly handgun crime, has increased in both England and Australia since they outlawed private ownership.>
    It's very easy to massage and make false cause-effect relationship with numbers. No way that I would believe those statitistics without scrutinizing the data to their very origins.

    [ Parent ]

    So many misconceptions... (5.00 / 1) (#238)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 04:19:44 PM EST

    I see it as a problem that the "fourth estate* is now relegated to *entertaining* and *defending* itself.

    Why? Guns are fun. And, useful for self-defense and to keep in case of need, by oppression from without or within.

    You say in one sentence that most of the gun enthusiasts are * law-abiding gun owners*.

    True. Consider that the rate of use of guns in the U.S. in commission of crimes was something like 30,000 last year (that number may be way high... dunno... sounded good). Consider, that those 30,000 firearms were but a part of the whole body of firearms held by people in the U.S. Consider that, for the most part, those firearms were not legally-owned, having been stolen or bought on the black market from sources outside the U.S. Consider that, even if every one of those 30,000 firearms were legal, last year, 279,970,000+ firearms held by private citizens were not used in the commission of crime.

    Why would it be necessary for them to *defend* themselves as *fully-armed partisans* ? Who is the enemy ?

    We don't know. It may be us. Having the opportunity to defend ourselves is a precious and valuable right.

    If you abide the laws, it would mean you accept the laws as they are currently imposed on the citizens of the U.S. If you accept them, there is no need to defend yourself against them.

    And if, in the future, we choose not to accept them? If the laws become too draconian? If we opt to change our government?

    If you just would want to defend yourself against thugs and criminals on the street, who could attack you, it means that you expect to have at least 80 million if not more criminal citizens roaming the streets of the U.S.

    This makes no sense at all. The existence of 80 million gun owners does not, in any way, lend itself to an expectation of 80 million criminals. That is, unless you maintain that those firearms owners are themselves criminals. Empirical evidence contraindicates that supposition.

    This makes 80 million law abiding gun owners versus 80 million criminals, 160 million adult males. Let's say theoretically each of these 80 millions have to get into a shootout in self defense, that would result in at least 80 million deaths, whereby it is not at all clear, that the law abiding gun owner is the one who survives the shoot-out. Your conclusion that carrying concealed guns makes your environment safer is completely and provenly baloni.

    Your conclusion proceeds from patently false predicates. Therefore, your theory is complete "baloni."

    It means that the police can't effectively do their job anymore in securing unarmed citizens,

    That is the way the system was designed. Police are an extension of government. Your typical armed citizen is a responsible, law-abiding sort. Therefore, the police have no business whatever in "securing" him. The Nazis "secured" unarmed Jews, you know.

    because too many citizens are armed and are able to scare the police into actions, which they would never go into, if they could be much more certain that they, the police officers, have the power over weapons to themselves.

    Your assumption here is that the government is, in all occasions, a benevolent force which would never abuse its power to the detriment of law-abiding people. History - recent history - shows otherwise.

    In other countries the police doesn't anticipate any petty little mini drug dealer carrying a weapon and making use of them against the police officer.

    So, the answer is to disarm everyone? How about an alternative: legalize drugs and remove the profit motive from street dealers?

    I don't see any positive effect of having civilians being allowed to carry concealed weapons around.

    Be that as it may, statistics, history, and common sense show irrefutably otherwise.

    Guns are misused in homes by *law-abiding citizens*, who just happen to behave like lunatics in the secrecy of their private lives.

    Did these "law-abiding citizens" break the law? In so doing, they became criminals and are therefore no longer law-abiding. If the 80 million or so legal firearms owners in the United States are such lunatics, why were there so few crimes, relatively, committed with firearms?

    Guns are used by angry men going postal. The statistics show that these shooting sprees happen more often in the U.S. than in other countries.

    The statistics also show that violent crime rates have been in steady decline for over ten years. That, conveniently, has been forgotten - media sensationalism aside. Also, there are cases of angry people going postal with machetes, etc. Do you think that people would automatically stop killing other people if all guns magically vanished from the face of the Earth one day?

    Now, it is interesting that you can't actually explain in what the rising fascination in guns and shooting during the last 15 years or so is rooted.

    One reason would be a growing dissatisfaction and mistrust in the government. Another would be that my generation, a far more sensible one than the last, is coming of age. We are now pursuing, independently, hobbies which we enjoy and exploring, independently, new ideas. We are discovering firearms, their intricacy, their fascination, their benefits, and their detriments. We are embracing self-responsibility like the last generation never could.

    Sure, there are some of us that are dipshits. But, the vast majority are not. Why punish the vast majority for the acts of a few pinheads?

    If I would just take it face value that pure sportsmanship is the reason, I ask you, why wouldn't you be an enthusiast for shooting with bow and arrow ?

    Did he say he wasn't? Perhaps he appreciates both weapons! I surely do. Though I have not shot a bow in a long time, I would love to acquire and practice with one. I love them, too. :) The same can be said of a firearm. Sadly, I haven't the ready cash to purchase either.

    It's an Olympic discipline and the same level of difficulty of sharp shooting, beautiful design of the weaponry is involved.

    Indeed. But, maybe it just doesn't "trip his trigger." :-)

    I think there are *lots* of reasons for the rise of passionately defended private gun ownership, but they are neither rooted in pure and innocent sportsmanship's love for shooting, nor in the need for self-defense.

    You're right, and on this we agree. The reasons are manifold, but the result is the same. Call the reasons into question, if you must, but be ready to argue them rationally.

    This logic seems only be convincing to a certain segment of U.S. males, but not logic at all to other male species elsewhere in the world.

    And this automatically makes the U.S. males wrong? Could it be that, all over the world, men are prevented by their governments from owning firearms, and thus prevented from exploring this passion? Could it be that a "certain segment of U.S. males" (this discounts the many, many female shooters in the U.S.) see this trend advancing in the U.S., and they want to stem this tide and protect their rights?

    I wouldn't mind if people who really love shooting just apply their enthusiasm within the military or the police force.

    What you mind or do not mind is tangential. The fact is, there are over 280 million privately held firearms in the United States. There are over 80 million well-informed and wary firearms owners in the United States. These people are not likely to sit back and have their private firearms confiscated, and woe be to a government that tries. That's the practical reality.

    The ethical reality is: why punish the many for the criminality of the few?

    That's where these skills are needed and passions for the perfect shot are counterbalanced and restricted with some ethical and moral standards imposed on the shooters by other powers than their own.

    As is hunting, and skeet, and self-defense, and ...

    Are you suggesting that 80 million firearms owners in the United States are simply frothing at the mouth for a chance to kill someone? Do you mean to suggest that we are such a lawless and immoral society that we cannot be trusted with the ability to make life and death decisions?

    Do you drive?

    Considering the gravity of the outcome of abusive usage of guns, I think this kind of restriction is much more important than any arguments you brought forward.

    Again, your desires and whatnot are not relevant. Nor is your pontificating on a matter about which you have no first-hand experience even relatively enlightening.

    For what it's worth, there hasn't been any "revolutionary" movement of citizens against an abusive government ever been prevented, just because the laws didn't allow the citizens to arm themselves.

    Six million European Jews, twenty million Russians, and about one-hundred million Chinese would disagree with you, if they had not been slaughtered by their governments for lack of means to defend themselves.

    When situations really get so bad, it's either the military itself, who revolts, or people just organize themselves in guerilla movements to overthrow a government.

    And if the military chooses not to revolt? And how, precisely, are people armed with rakes and pointy sticks supposed to oppose a military armed with automatic weapons?

    Are you aware that law-abiding firearms owners in the United States voluntarily heeded a call by the government of the United Kingdom to donate their firearms so that the subjects of the crown could defend themselves against invasion? Millions of firearms were exported to Great Britain by the United States that it might be able to do so.

    That is, if there are real reasons for civil unrest. Most of the time, both, military and guerillas are abusing their weapon's power on the cost of unarmed citizens.

    And the citizens' lot is improved in this case by not being armed? I fail to see how.

    If you would draw from that the conclusion it would be best to arm EVERY citizen, then again you would have complete anarchy, because noone could effectively enforce laws.

    Was there anarchy in the United States prior to, say, 1934? That is, anarchy which was not directly traceable to some other prevailing social issue (like Prohibition). Was there anarchy in the United States before 1968, when citizens were made incapable of purchasing any sort of firearm (save machine guns - an illogical restriction, in my opinion) via mail-order? Was there anarchy in the United States when any child large enough to see over the counter of any run-of-the-mill hardware store could purchase a rifle or handgun, and the ammunition to feed it, without restriction? You see, in our less-anarchic days, firearms were vastly MORE available to John Q. Public.

    I agree with you that the logical thing to do would be to arm (and educate) every citizen.

    Even today, though, would you say that anarchy reins supreme in the United States? There are 280 million (legal) guns, and 80 million (legal) gun owners here. Are there millions slaughtered each year here? Can you say the same for Europe?

    So, somewhere, there is a hole in your logic, if there is any at all.

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    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 answer to this - later (none / 0) (#279)
    by mami on Fri May 04, 2001 at 10:04:19 PM EST

    I have just lost due to my Netscape crashing a long answer to your comments. I am too tired now to rewrite it. I will get to this later with one response to both, your's and weirdlings post.



    [ Parent ]
    I have a few minor questions (none / 0) (#248)
    by weirdling on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:40:49 PM EST

    The other poster so ably responded that I almost did not post these questions, but I seriously wish to know what you think.
    First, please defend your intimation that a significant number of law-abiding gun-owners are killed by the police. If you examine the stats, you'll see that most people who are shot were pointing a gun or a gun-like object at the police, which is something that law-abiding gun-owners tend not to do.
    Second, have you read 'More Guns, Less Crime'? Empirical evidence is always superior to the kind of specious reasoning engaged in by the anti-gun crowd. If less guns in society really results in less violent crime and less police brutality, how come we haven't seen these situations in England and Australia, both of which have *higher* violent crime than the US and both of which have seen their violent crime increase since banning private ownership? How come the US crime stats *increased* during the period of increased gun control and are now decreasing as gun control is easing nationwide and gun ownership is increasing? Please, provide statistics to back up your statements.
    Now, as to the military and the police: they are far too restrictive in both the types of shooting and the people they let shoot. Besides, I have been a security officer; how, exactly did I differ from society at large? Did you know that police officers kill *eleven times* more people illegally than law-abiding gun-owners? How do you explain that? Once again, please, statistics...
    As to the fourth estate, I think you failed to realise there is a difference between military action and personal defensive action. Guns are often used in defense; a conservative estimate puts their use at around 1.7 *million* times per year, compared to around 17,000 homicides. Now, how, exactly, do you defend the idea that fewer guns would mean fewer deaths? John Lott's conclusion at the end of 'More Guns, Less Crime', indicate that around 1700 lives would be saved compared to 0 lost by the enactment of a national concealed-carry law. Right now, around 220 people die in gun-related accidents, compared to 50,000 in cars. Of those 220, only 80 are in the home and involve children. Of those 80, some 30 or so are actual children killing other children. Now, for the cost of 220 total lives, we have 1.7 *million* effective defenses. Get the picture?
    It is easy to disagree with the statistics; however, it is much harder to generate statistics to the contrary. There are no statistics now and there have never been statistics to suggest that removing guns from society will reduce violent crime. In every single case where guns were outlawed, crime went up, as well as personal liberties were curtailed. In every single situation where gun laws were relaxed, crime has gone down.
    To me, the right to own a gun is a barometer of how much a society trusts its citizens. A society that does not trust its citizens will sooner or later begin harrassing them for one reason or another. However, it is ridiculous for the members of a democratic republic to not trust their citizens, as the government is 'of the people, by the people, and for the people'. The people make the laws. If 80 million law-abiding gun owners hasn't caused the dreaded crime wave, it is more evidence that more won't cause more crime.
    I honestly hope you will acquire 'More Guns, Less Crime', and read it with an open eye. John Lott is not a crazy man and the book is very rigorous in its statistics, attempting to control for may different factors that have never been controlled before. His conclusion is inescapable. Guns, in the hands of law-abiding citizens, reduce crime overall and violent crime in particular, and, in the hands of women, will reduce rape by over half.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    40 years ago (none / 0) (#223)
    by Mitheral on Thu May 03, 2001 at 10:52:23 AM EST

    The reason you see terms like "gun enthusiast" now and you didn't half a century ago is because the vast majority of people had used a firearm in one way or another forty years ago. It would have been like today saying your a "meat enthusiast" because you are an ominivore. Your average person on the street would say, "Huh?" followed by, "So what"

    [ Parent ]
    Did you read his 'back-up plan'? (none / 0) (#154)
    by weirdling on Tue May 01, 2001 at 03:15:40 PM EST

    He had a second plan that he almost did that involved a list of people to assasinate for Waco. While I do not agree with such actions, I would have to say that assasinating a few public figures would have been better than simply blowing up a building full of civillians and children.
    Odds are he would have failed in his assasination attempt and been apprehended.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Left wing small? (4.00 / 4) (#27)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:02:45 PM EST

    The recent election seems to indicate that both the right and left wing are about equal in size. One difference is that when a crazy person is right wing, it's attached to him/her in the media constantly. When a crazy person is left wing, it's glossed over or not mentioned (ie, how often did you hear the unibomber refered to as a left wing terrorist?)

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    are you sure? (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by streetlawyer on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:06:58 PM EST

    As far as I can tell, the recent election in the USA had only one candidate who could reasonably be described as being "of the left", and he polled about 3% nationally. Your other two major parties were both rightist. In terms of people who could be regarded as "extreme" by world standards, the USA has vastly more extreme rightwingers than extreme leftwingers.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    World standards (3.75 / 4) (#46)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:45:37 PM EST

    First, I don't think any world standards exist in terms of political leaning. And assuming they did, I'm not sure why they should be used over the US standards for left/right wing classification since that is what we are talking about. By US standards, Gore is firmly left wing. Read "The Earth in the Balance" and tell me that enviormental ranting is right wing.

    Either way, the general political leanings of the US as a whole tend to swing back and forth. Witness the 60s vs the 80s.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    gore (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by alprazolam on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:16:10 PM EST

    gore's political leanings today have little resemblence his earlier leanings. most leftists would not consider somebody who supports the death penalty to be left leaning. also, being an 'environmentalist' doesn't make one a leftist, many right wingers are also environmentalists (most small farmers, for example).

    [ Parent ]
    Very true (2.00 / 2) (#109)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:32:04 PM EST

    In fact most hunters and outdoor sportsmen I know seem to care more about the enviornment than pasty white activists who have never been out of Seattle. I don't doubt that the political center of this country is moving right. It's a constant back and forth thing. It will swing back eventually.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    pasty white activists (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by alprazolam on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:22:28 AM EST

    I don't know if hunters and outdoor sportsmen really get involved in any of the environmental issues until it happens to affect their county. I do know that a large number of 'pasty white activists' have sacrificed careers, families, and so on, in order to fight against the perceived destruction of the environment, by education, action, and protest. I don't know if the pasty white activists you refer to are very representative of the 'environmentalist' movement.

    [ Parent ]
    I was being somewhat silly (3.00 / 2) (#132)
    by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:06:59 AM EST

    That was more toungue-in-cheek, but honestly I DO know a lot of outdoor sportsmen who are activly involved in conservation. What's different is they actually know how to live outdoors and enjoy the land. I also know alot of activist hyporcrites who complain about corporations left and right but still insist on driving gas guzzling SUVs and blasting the AC. But like you said, I'm sure this isn't representative of the enviornmental movement as a whole. It's just a prejuduce I have based on my experiences.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    well if anybody uses suv's (none / 0) (#133)
    by alprazolam on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:10:09 AM EST

    it should be somebody who needs them. their existence alone doesn't irk me, just people who drive them in the city and then complain about the price of gas. i wonder how much conservation work the people you identify actually do.

    [ Parent ]
    Pet peeve of mine also (none / 0) (#134)
    by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:16:07 AM EST

    I agree with that. I live in a paticularly mountain strewn area of PA where the winters are pretty nasty (and I often find myself off road for one reason or another) and I keep considering getting one. The only thing I would hate about it is the association with the "soccor moms" who are buying them to shuttle about the city.

    And that was one damn fast response :)

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    i feel the same way about cell phones (none / 0) (#135)
    by alprazolam on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:27:51 AM EST

    i kind of want a cell phone, i travel farely often (once a month) and it would be convenient for that. but i don't like to talk on the phone and i really hate assholes who drive under the speed limit in the left lane while yapping into their cell. i don't want to support an industry that thrives off and encourages dangerous stupidity. oh well i'll break down soon i feel.

    yea i'm waiting for a phone call so i got nothing else to do right now.

    [ Parent ]

    any standards you like (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by streetlawyer on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:00:30 AM EST

    By any standard you like, and taking a reasonable definition of "extremist" as someone who wishes to see the current system of government overthrown by force, there are far more of them on the right than on the left in the USA.

    --
    Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
    [ Parent ]
    Possibly (2.50 / 2) (#130)
    by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 08:54:14 AM EST

    That is entirely possible, but I would also point out that the label "right wing extremist" is sometimes overused in the media, while left wing extremist is hardly used at all, even when completly applicable (ie, the unibomber). So while there may be more right wing extremists, I think there are probably less than most would venture to guess, and probably more left wing ones that you would expect. Both scare me.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Extremist (2.00 / 1) (#224)
    by Mitheral on Thu May 03, 2001 at 11:16:37 AM EST

    I'm reminded for a line from Johnny Mnemonic: I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for: If they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude. I'm a very technical boy. So I decided to get as crude as possible. These days, though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to crudeness. - Johnny Mnemonic, by William Gibson

    As someone on the outside (Canada - where even moderate right wingers would be left of centre in the US) looking in, it seems that a person would have to be much farther to the left before they would fall into the extremist range.

    What I mean by that is if you think of the left-centre-right definition as a discrete scale from 1-100, with 1 on the left and 100 on the right, the centre in the US is ~70. If you think of an extremist as being in the 1-10 or 90-100 range, it would mean that someone only has to move 20 steps to the right to be classified as an extremist but they have to move 60 steps to the left to be labelled a left wing extrimist.

    [ Parent ]

    Left wing crazies (1.00 / 1) (#86)
    by bjrubble on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 06:04:26 PM EST

    If you want to see left-wing crazies, watch TV during the next WTO meeting. They're pretty left-wing, and they're pretty crazy, but most aren't habitually armed and therefore don't pose much real danger.

    [ Parent ]
    cake-icing enthusiasts (3.00 / 2) (#21)
    by unstable on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:36:12 PM EST

    "... while that small minority of, say, cake-icing enthusiasts who are crazy are merely nutters with a lot of whipped cream..."

    when one of them stabs you with a cake server I will be the first to laugh at you as they zip up the body bag... dont mess with the cake bakers mafia :)

    seriously anyone that has "problems" is dangerous... as far as I can remember the una-bomber didnt own any firearms (maybe he did for hunting or something, i dont know) so I guess he is perfectly safe huh?.





    Reverend Unstable
    all praise the almighty Bob
    and be filled with slack

    [ Parent ]
    You're confusing anthropology and sociology (4.00 / 1) (#75)
    by dennis on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:03:34 PM EST

    In sociology, you do statistical samples along the lines you suggest. The numbers make it seem scientific, but it only really works when you're studying your own culture--because it's you coming up with the categories. In anthropology, you're trying to understand people who think differently than you do--people who divide the world into a different set of categories. The only way to do that is ask them a lot of open-ended questions, and it's kinda hard to do that with a really large sample. But the payoff is, you get a glimpse at a different way of looking at the world. To my mind that's a lot more useful than coming up with your own definition of "extreme political views" and counting.

    [ Parent ]
    too obvious (3.11 / 9) (#10)
    by Seumas on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:24:58 AM EST

    So basically, she went through all this trouble to disprove a standard uneducated prejudice about people who actively use the 2nd amendment? What's next, a study to prove or disprove whether black men have bigger schlongs? Good god, this is grotesque.

    It should be a given that someone who owns a gun is no more a 'lunatic' or 'zealot' than someone who owns a bread knife or a Ford Mercury. What's the next step -- trying to prove that not all tree-huggers are chemically imbalanced?
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.

    Ban 'em before it's too late (2.66 / 21) (#22)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:39:33 PM EST

    Guns are evil and I see this as a point not even worth a dispute. The only problem is when the society is already armed to teeth. Disarming it becomes a huge issue. Removing guns from the hands of criminals is daunting (impossible?) while the law abiding citizens don't want to give up guns because the know that criminals have them. Often they also feel that the police system has failed them and they think they should take law enforcement into their own hands. Alas this is a dangerous area to venture into as it basically sends the message (to the criminals!) that the law enforcement is inept.

    The above situation is well known to me because that's exactly what's been happening in my homeland for the last 12 years. Gun laws were relaxed to the point of extremity (even some people with criminal record were able to get licenses) and now we have a ghost of a society. Bank roberries increased tenfold (!) in the last six or seven years (we had the latest a few weeks back: three cashiers and a security man shot dead in the head), murder rate and violent assult rates skyrocketed and virtually everyone seems to carry some kind of a concealed weapon because they trust nobody anymore and they don't believe police offers adequate protection.
    Most of the blame for the soaring crime rate is placed upon the police forces although they didn't become less effective over the past few years. They simply can't cope with the influx of more and more criminals. Once powerful weapons become easily available it becomes easier to turn to crime for those who have an inclination to do so. My country has a border with former soviet states which act as a huge gun and indeed a gangster supplier that we can do nothing about. But that's only a small part of the issue. The big problem is that now we have this huge amount of weapons in circulation and have to hear about crimes that were unthinkable of mere ten years ago. Such wonders did the lax gun control do to the crime rate in Poland. And this is the major reason I emigrated from this otherwise extraordinary country.

    The ideal is the UK in my opinion. Guns are well controlled and it is extremely hard even for criminals to get hold of them (since there are so few in circulation they became ridiculously expensive in the black market). Then even if you're burgled you don't have to be armed to teeth for it's highly unlikely that the criminal will be equipped with anything more powerful than a crowbar. And that's how it should be. Otherwise you'll get into that dreadful downward spiral that my country has entered which is very hard to recover from. Unfortunately the USA is well down that spiral already, possibly even more so than Poland. I'm not sure if there's a way out but it is not how things should be.

    There I said it. Food for thought for NRA fans.

    Troll, but (3.00 / 3) (#26)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 12:58:52 PM EST

    The places in the US with the most guns are the safest, whereas the places with the tightest gun control are the most dangerous (as a general rule).

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Troll??? (3.50 / 2) (#28)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:04:31 PM EST

    Did you read my comment. The reason why states with strict gun control have higher crime rates is because there is a free flow of guns from other more relaxed states and there is no border control between US states. Additionally those strict regulations were probably intorduced as a result of high crime rates rather than as a preventative measure. A ban on guns must be implemented countrywide and v. strictly enforced to be effective. It's not an easy thing to do but it works if it's done right. See UK and most EU countries for an example.

    [ Parent ]
    Ok, not troll but, (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:35:15 PM EST

    The crime rates in UK and AU have risen sharply in recent years. Ignoring that though, what makes you think gun ownership is the major variable in crime rates? After seeing so many US states relax and tighten gun laws with no real effect on crime I'm led to believe gun laws have little effect on crime, the major variables seem to be economic conditions. The arguement that border control is to blame is possible, but a nationwide ban most likely will NOT make any difference. Drugs are illegal too and I can get them damn near anywhere.

    The culture in the US simply will not allow a gun ban. For better or worse, we generally have a very strong attachment to the concept of self reliance and self protection. Distrust of government is at an all time high and the government is doing nothing to counteract that. The government official who goes to collect guns legally purchased by law abiding citizens will probably be working in a high turnover job. Not something I would want to try.

    The facts remain that there are very bad people out there who don't care about any law, let alone gun laws and they already have guns that we do not know about and cannot collect. The police and government have no legal obligation to protect my or guarentee me safety. So as soon as you can PROVE to me that no bad guys have guns, and you can promise me that I am protected from harm by a trustworthy government, then you have have my guns. Until then, I will not cowardly ignore the responsibility I have to protect myself and my family.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Common anti-gun-control misconception (3.00 / 2) (#183)
    by cretin on Wed May 02, 2001 at 06:35:09 AM EST

    Crime did not rise sharply in Australia following the recent tightening of gun laws. The reason this myth exists, and is repeated is repeated in arguments against gun control is that conservatives can't read statistics properly.

    The usual proof offered is that in the year following the imposition of harsher gun control, the Australian crime rate rose. "That's what I said!" is what you would hear from the dumbfounded gun advocate at this point.

    It's true, of course, but the suppressed evidence here is that the year prior to the imposition of the new gun laws, and stretching back for several more years, crime had risen by a higher percentage than the year following the new gun laws. This is most patently not a sharp rise in the crime rate. It is a reversal of a trend, indicating that the imposition of strict gun control has a beneficial effect. Not that the gun press would ever let the facts get in the way of a good lie.

    I agree with your statements that gun laws are not the sole factor determining a nations crime rate. I would ask, though, why you feel the need to open your post with a statement which you immediately claim is irrelevent.

    I've heard the arguments about the so called gun "culture" and the need for self-reliant people to protect themselves with firearms. I'm afraid they don't mesh well with the oft-quoted statistic that most people killed by firearms are killed by their family members. It would seem that the most effective way to protect your family would be to keep deadly weapons well away from them.

    This really leaves me with only one possible conclusion: the only factually consistent argument for private firearm ownership is the inflated sense of self-esteem they provide.

    "Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.
    [ Parent ]

    Where are you getting this from?? (4.75 / 4) (#96)
    by RandomPeon on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 08:24:21 PM EST

    If you dig through the FBI's uniform crime reports you'll see a much higher rate of violent crime per capita in the South and West than in the Midwest or the Northeast. The data is split up into pdfs on half a dozen pages, but (as an example) the 1996 UCR indicates on pg 6 that there were 707 violent crimes/100K in the South, where gun laws are most lenient, but only 537/100K in the Midwest, where they are probably most stringent. That's a 20-30% difference the other way.

    I'm moderately opposed to gun control, but making up facts doesn't help any. All it does is reinforce the perception that we are lunatics who like to ignore reality.

    [ Parent ]
    Your assumptions are wrong (none / 0) (#112)
    by finkployd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 12:35:07 AM EST

    Gun control does not specifically follow any geographical boundries. Go back and look at the numbers knowning that DC, IL, NY, and CA have some of the tougest laws, while PA, TX, and especially Vermont (no concealed license even required, anyone can "walk heavy") have the most lax. Granted, most gun laws were enacted in areas with high crime to begin with but they never got their intended result. Gun laws varying state by state are NOT a variable in crime. Economic conditions are the most accurate variable. The only way to effectivly ban guns in this country is to do it at the federal level. This will never happen as it will almost certainly result in civil war.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Don't paint yourself (3.50 / 2) (#159)
    by RandomPeon on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:38:09 PM EST

    into a corner.

    Gun laws varying state by state are NOT a variable in crime. Economic conditions are the most accurate variable.

    Gotcha! We liberals having been pointing out for years that economic indicators (unemployment in particular) are the best predictors of crime rates. Suprise, personal firearm ownership doesn't deter crime. I coulda told you that, but you insisted on stating the opposite, so I threw out some stats that suggest the opposite relationship exists and is causual. Like all zealots (Windows, gun, Linux, whatever) any evidence which supports your position is "true", any evidence which points the other way is "wrong". Somehow, all the perfectly rational crimininals haven't left Texas for the upper Midwest despite the fact that we're completely unarmed - hmm, maybe gun ownership and gun control have absolutely nothing to do with crime rates because the idea that an "armed populace" deters crime doesn't pan out in reality.
    The only way to effectivly ban guns in this country is to do it at the federal level. This will never happen as it will almost certainly result in civil war.

    Your "civil war" would last 5 minutes. Anyone who contemplates insurrection in the US isn't thinking, they're spouting off rhetoric. I mean, can you see in the dark?

    [ Parent ]
    uh huh (none / 0) (#166)
    by delmoi on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:14:43 PM EST

    Your "civil war" would last 5 minutes. Anyone who contemplates insurrection in the US isn't thinking, they're spouting off rhetoric. I mean, can you see in the dark?

    You mean just like the last one?

    (btw, that comment about civil war isn't why I gave you a one rating)
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    say it again (4.66 / 3) (#99)
    by anonymous cowerd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 09:45:19 PM EST

    ...and again and again until you get it. Ain't no gun control in the U.S.A. Not until either a.) they put customs stop-and-searches on Interstate highways at the state borders, or b.) somehow sinks of dumbass gunlovin' redneckism, like Florida where I live, actually crack down on the unrestricted open-air market for guns that we've got going down here.

    Here. Wait, that's no good, it just tells you what's illegal, it doesn't tell you what's legal, you have to read that through the holes; so, note that section 790.065 only applies to

    A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer ... from her or his inventory at her or his licensed premises...

    And not, as it is done in practice, to sales between so-called "private owners," a low-level local market that's as bee-busy as eBay. Hell, they advertise these damn things on big-ass billboards by the public highways! No, Here. Read the paragraph titled Sale or Transfer Between Individuals, spells it right out. No, you won't bother to click there, so being Mr. Obliging himself, always eager to share my meager store of painfully accumulated knowledge 'n' experience with whomever, I bring it to you:

    Sale or Transfer Between Individuals

    There are no formal requirements for the sale/transfer of a firearm between individuals. However, it is a crime for you to knowingly transfer a firearm to an underaged person, or to a person who you know to be otherwise disqualified (such as a person previously convicted of a felony).

    Special County Requirements

    In accordance with a Constitutional Revision passed by the voters in November of 1998, any County within Florida may impose 3, 4 or 5 day waiting period on the purchase of -any- firearm, be it rifle, shotgun or handgun, at the discretion of the County Commissioners. They may also impose the background check requirement on sales between private individuals IF the sale occurs at a place "accessible to the public", such as at a gun show. They are not allowed to impose a waiting period requirement on any holder of a Florida Concealed Weapons License.

    Registration

    There is no firearm registration in the State of Florida.

    The practical effect of all this good old boy fun is that you stroll into a "gun show" with a paper sack, and you sit down at a folding card table and, if he likes either your face or the faces on the bills well enough, this cheer good old boy sells you a piece, basically no questions asked. Fill up your trunk, into the driver's seat, down the road, across the state border into whatever state attempts to broom-sweep back the ocean tide with another one of those ineffectual local laws, you know, the nonsense you laughably refer to as "gun control." Sorry, ain't control if it don't control nothing.

    Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

    the Earth's blue as an orange
    [ Parent ]

    Do you live under a bridge? (2.00 / 2) (#33)
    by inert_mass on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:10:39 PM EST

    You must, because is some serious trolling. Nevertheless, I will respond to it: -1)Where do you live? You say that gun mis-use has increased dramatically since gun laws were lessened. I want to know where this is, and when this happened. Then I'll believe you. Did the mis-use in guns follow a general decline in the country itself? They do not necesarrily go together.
    -2)Guns are actually NOT difficult to get in the UK. They are impossible for citizens to get, but, not for criminals. The average casing for a home in the United States is three days. In the UK, ten minutes. And yes, the likelihood that you will be facing an armed intruder is just as good in the US as it is in the UK, or, have you not heard of the recent rash of armed intrusions there To make things even better, check on crime rates in Australia right after they encated UK style gun laws.
    -3)Having an armed society is not necessarily a bad thing. However, to be a WELL armed society (not having big guns, but, having the training to make correct judgements in crises to save your life and the lives around you) is an underataking that I have yet to see anywhere. The first country that makes it mandatory to be trained (like getting a drivers license) to carry a firearm that individuals can conceal will be a country that will see dramatic drops in crime (including homicide). damn it, I'm rambling because you pissed me off,

    ------------------------
    "This is the end..."
    </i_m>
    [ Parent ]
    You didn't read the comment did you? (3.00 / 1) (#37)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:18:21 PM EST

    You would have know which country I was talking about if you did.

    [ Parent ]
    Okay, my fault (3.00 / 1) (#53)
    by inert_mass on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:11:52 PM EST

    Okay, I figured it out, and much to my chgrin, you are correct. However, I have another question for you. Was the violence that you saw a result of the easing of gun laws directly? Or, was it a symptom of a more general degredation of the fabric of Polish society? The best response that I can come up with is that people with any sort of moral fiber aren't EVER going to use their weapon in anger. They have been well trained and understand the consequences of their actions. I realize that is idealistic, but, for you to want to take away my rights based on the actions of others is ridiculous, and I will fight as long as I can.

    ------------------------
    "This is the end..."
    </i_m>
    [ Parent ]
    More per capita firepower exists in Switzerland... (4.54 / 11) (#34)
    by gridwerk on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:11:27 PM EST

    .. than in any other place in the world, yet it is one of the safest places to be. Taking away guns does not prevent Crime. According to the U.N. International Study on Firearm Regulation, England's 1994 homicide rate was 1.4 (9% involving firearms), and the robbery rate 116, per 100,000 population. In the United States, the homicide rate was 9.0 (70% involving firearms), and the robbery rate 234, per 100,000. England has strict gun control laws, ergo, the homicide rate is lower than in the U.S. However, such comparisons can be dangerous: In 1900, when England had no gun controls, the homicide rate was only 1.0 per 100,000.using data through 1996, the U.S. Department of Justice study "Crime and Justice" concluded that in England the robbery rate was 1.4 times higher, the assault rate was 2.3 times higher, and the burglary rate was 1.7 times higher than in the U.S. This suggests that lawfully armed citizens in the U.S. deter such crimes. Only the murder and rape rates in the U.S. were higher than in England. The small number of violent predators who commit most of these crimes in the U.S. have little trouble arming themselves unlawfully.

    Because of where the US is heading. Rather then educating and teaching people responsibilty on Gun use the answer is just take them away. I am leaving this country and it can sink all it wants. Your ideal is the UK. Well my ideal, and it's always left out whenever gun control is talked about is Switzerland.

    The Swiss Federal Police Office reports that in 1997 there were 87 intentional homicides and 102 attempted homicides in the entire country. Some 91 of these 189 murders and attempts involved firearms. With its population of seven million (including 1.2 million foreigners), Switzerland had a homicide rate of 1.2 per 100,000. There were 2,498 robberies (and attempted robberies), of which 546 involved firearms, resulting in a robbery rate of 36 per 100,000. Almost half of these crimes were committed by non-resident foreigners, whom locals call "criminal tourists."

    In 1993, not a single armed robbery was reported in Geneva. Yet no one seems to be looking at the Swiss example in the U.S. There have been no school massacres in Switzerland, where guns and kids mix freely. At shooting matches, bicycles are parked outside. Inside the firing shelter, the competitors pay 12-year-olds tips to keep score. The 16-year-olds shoot rifles with men and women of all ages. In fact, the tourist brochure, "Zurich News" recommends September's Knabenschiessen (boy's shooting contest) as a must-see: "The oldest Zurich tradition consists of a shooting contest at the Albisguetli (range) for 12 to 16 year-old boys and girls and a colorful three-day fun-fair." The event has been held since 1657, and attracts thousands of teenage participants and spectators.While many shoot for sport, all males aged 20 to 42 are required by militia system regulation to keep rifles and/or pistols at home. In addition, gun shops are all around. Yet firearms are rarely used in crime.

    Homicide rates are highest in the underdeveloped countries, many of which ban private firearm possession. In some, private murder does not compare to the genocidal murder committed by governments against their unarmed subjects. A quick glance at history shows that tyrannical governments kill far more than do private criminals. But first, governments must disarm their victims. The bottom line is one of attitude. Populations with training in civic virtue, though armed, do not experience sensational massacres or high crime rates. Indeed, armed citizens deter crime. Take a look at Switzerland sometime.



    [ Parent ]
    Shocker (3.00 / 1) (#56)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:27:51 PM EST

    Hmm. That's a bit of a shocker to me. And a bit of an eye opener. But I'd still be wary about handing guns to everyone like they do in Switzerland. How do they assert that mentally unstable citizens can't do any harm to themselves or onto others? Other than that you have a strong point here.

    [ Parent ]
    To answer your question.. (4.75 / 4) (#70)
    by gridwerk on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:21:30 PM EST

    Since I am just now into a position where I have skills to offer another country to move there I am in the process of finding out what I need to do. But seeing as they don't have that many problems and seem to be faring better then the US they must be doing something right. And let's say someone does go on a rampage. You have a town full of people trained on using their weapon to handle this person as well as the law enforcement.

    You can sit around forever debating the what-ifs and each side can easily throw out fact supporting their side. I mean you pointed out the UK. You could also Point out Japan. But at the same time I could point out New Zealand, Which had a positively utopian idea. They forced the entire nation to sell their guns to the government so that crime would go away. Violent crime promptly soared 300%. The Criminals didn't cooperate

    Mao Tse Tungs best quote might be "Power grows from the barrel of a gun." And he would know. At gun point, he took the land from China's farmers and forced his entire nation into a collective agricultural experiment. Fortunately, only 50 million Chinese starved to death. No worry for Chairman Mao...he ruled for another 30 years, till he died an old, chubby man. He always had plenty of food and guns.

    The US second Amendment is a true guarantee of freedom. Not freedom to shoot bowling pins off a tree stump, or freedom to bag a deer on opening day, but freedom to defend yourself from criminals, and from a government who wants to control you.(enter X-file music here)



    [ Parent ]
    A gun won't protect you from the US govt (none / 0) (#219)
    by Pseudonym on Thu May 03, 2001 at 12:50:40 AM EST

    I've never understood this argument. A rifle won't protect you from a nuclear power. Guns certainly didn't help the Branch Davidians. But even if it would work, if people were serious about opposing the government with firearms when they step on their rights, it would have happened by now. The US people have had their rights trampled so many times, thanks to the Vietnam War, the War on Drugs and so on, that if it was ever going to work, it would have.

    No modern government bent on destroying your rights is ever going to put you into a situation where violent uprising seems like the right thing to do. They're more likely to set the lawyers on you instead.



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    "A rifle won't protect you from a nuclear pow (none / 0) (#227)
    by Vermifax on Thu May 03, 2001 at 01:14:05 PM EST

    Please, the US nuke its own interior?
    - Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.
    [ Parent ]
    OK, then (none / 0) (#229)
    by Pseudonym on Thu May 03, 2001 at 01:42:37 PM EST

    If you insist, I'll rephrase it as "a whole arsenal of rifles won't protect you from the BATF armed with helicopters and matches". Hell, being the president of another country won't protect you from a bunch of US army grunts with large speakers and the complete works of Def Leppard.



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    But... (none / 0) (#235)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 02:36:54 PM EST

    If you insist, I'll rephrase it as "a whole arsenal of rifles won't protect you from the BATF armed with helicopters and matches".

    Me, personally? No.

    Me and 50 others? Not likely.

    Me and 5,000 other people? BATF would have a tougher go of that one.

    Me and 5,000,000 others?

    BATF and its ilk would have no chance in hell.

    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 ]

    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#257)
    by Pseudonym on Thu May 03, 2001 at 09:11:13 PM EST

    OK, give me a scenario that a modern government is likely to put you in where you could get 5,000,000 armed people to oppose it.

    I go back to my previous point. The War on Drugs is one of the most flagrant abuses of the rights of the American people thus far inflicted. Where are the 5,000,000 armed Americans opposing it?



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    Scenarios... sad agreement... (none / 0) (#267)
    by beergut on Fri May 04, 2001 at 10:47:14 AM EST

    OK, give me a scenario that a modern government is likely to put you in where you could get 5,000,000 armed people to oppose it.

    The United States government decides upon, and begins enacting, plans to disarm the legally armed populace of this nation.

    I go back to my previous point. The War on Drugs is one of the most flagrant abuses of the rights of the American people thus far inflicted.

    Agreed.

    Where are the 5,000,000 armed Americans opposing it?

    Where, indeed?

    We've been indoctrinated by the media and government (essentially one and the same) to detest drugs and drug users, and to consider those who use drugs to be the undesirable vermin of society, ripe for extermination. We fail to see these people as human beings, deserving by their nature of the same fundamental rights we all deserve.

    We fail to see that these people are responsible for their own actions, and that oppressing the rest of the nation to control their (illegitimately) illegal substance use is just wrong.

    But, people who ignore these things are the same people who hunt every chance they get, and who carry rifles around in racks in their pickup trucks. They are conservatives and dumbshits. They will blindly defend their rights to keep and bear arms, while roundly abrogating others' rights to be left the hell alone.

    It is when druggies commit violent and/or property crimes that they should be punished - just like anyone else. There is no disagreement to be found here. It is sad beyond belief that people in this country cannot see the similarities between the Prohibition era and that in which we live today. The problems are the same, as is the solution.

    But, like I said, drugs are not near and dear to the hearts of a lot of people here. Guns are.

    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 ]

    Proves my point :-) (none / 0) (#280)
    by Pseudonym on Sat May 05, 2001 at 06:09:01 AM EST

    The United States government decides upon, and begins enacting, plans to disarm the legally armed populace of this nation.
    Fine. So people will use guns if the government tells them they can't use guns. Sounds a bit circular to me. I guess the US gun culture really is self-propagating. :-)

    I agree with the rest of your argument, but it really provides more evidence for my main point: Firearms held by the US population will never be used to oppose the US government. All they need to do is flout civil rights in the name of whatever is currently popular. (Or to be against whatever is currently evil, be it drugs, pornography, paedophiles, armed school students or whatever.) By taking this route, the "well-trained militia" will never be mobilised.

    To paraphrase ESR, this is why I am not an anarchist. It would be a waste of time.



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    the holes in your cheesy arguement (4.75 / 4) (#106)
    by eLuddite on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:19:21 PM EST

    You fail mail to mention that every male in Switzerland is compelled to undergo military training and that every adult male who is also a Swiss citizen is incorporated in a combatant militia unit. These combatants are obliged to keep their automatic assault rifle and ammunition at home. It is strictly forbidden to use military weapons for any non-authorized purpose in Switzerland. Indeed, even the ammunition is not allowed for private use. A militiaman who uses his weapon or ammunition without authorization is tried and sentenced under military law.

    As for private weapons, which are *significantly* rarer than in the US, Switzerland has exceedingly strict control regulating the sale and purchase of guns and ammunition.

    The US does not require training. The US has no gun control. States where guns are weakly controlled or not controlled at all undo the efforts of states controlling guns. No state controls guns to the extent that any Swiss Canton controls guns.

    You should be so lucky to follow the Swiss model and you have no arguement to make by invoking Switzerland as friendly evidence against gun control.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    I'd like some wine with my Cheesy Argument. (none / 0) (#158)
    by gridwerk on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:28:04 PM EST

    I thought I mentioned the militia but I guess not, I mean the Swiss influence is clear in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which provides:

    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
    I don't know how you can say Ammo is not allowed for private use since Switzerland has more Shooting ranges then they do Golf Courses. As well as the typical weekend shooting festival which usually is advertised as entire family event.

    You also said that Private ownership is rare. could you point me to this information? My understanding has always been Traditionally, the Swiss states<?> had few firearm regulations. From what I have seen the first federal firearms law was just recently enacted not to long ago. And that was for certain firearm purchases to require a permit, While others still do not. Also on retirement every soldier may keep his rifle or pistol and surplus assault rifles may be purchased by any Swiss citizen from the Military Department.

    For a Country that has been surronded by Nations that like to war with eachother, I kinda like the fact that nobody has taken on Switzerland in a war since the 12th century, except Napoleon. I don't know.. Maybe because if the invaders were fortunate enough to get through the Alps they are welcomed by some very angry, well-armed Swiss folks. For a country with strict gun control they seem to be doing alright.



    [ Parent ]
    I'll bring the whine, you bring the cashews (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by eLuddite on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:24:07 PM EST

    I mean the Swiss influence is clear in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

    It seems like a postcard perfect implementation of what the Founder's had in mind, 250 years ago. It doesnt matter, that isnt the way the US is organized today and the Founders never expressed an opinion that the US should not evolve, constitutionally, in a different direction.

    I thought I mentioned the militia but I guess not,

    Where is the American obligation for every male to undergo militia training?

    I don't know how you can say Ammo is not allowed for private use

    What I said is that no militiaman (all Swiss males) can use his weapon or ammo without authorization from the militia. They are merely allowed to keep it at home pending war, insurrection, training, whatever militia duty. Use outside the militia is unauthorized and subject to strict military justice.

    Traditionally, the Swiss states<?> had few firearm regulations.

    What can I tell you? Look up Swiss gun laws. They are much stricter than your own, within and between cantons.

    The point remains: Switzerland is nothing like the US. The NRA would fight tooth and nail against a law that required (1) compulsory military training; (2) nation wide gun control. People who argue Switzerland are usually arguing against gun control. Not only does Switzerland have control, it has massive gun education. I have no problem with either gun control or combat training although you would be hard pressed to convince me the US needs a militia of 135,000,000 males *and* the largest standing peace time army in the world. The Swiss model exists for a reason. What has survived of the American reason? (Dont tell me its a "right," I just finished making a case for that right being nothing but naive misinterpretation and propaganda unsupported by case law.)

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Evolution == Amendment (none / 0) (#171)
    by Steve B on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:34:51 PM EST

    the Founders never expressed an opinion that the US should not evolve, constitutionally, in a different direction

    Yes, and when you can get two-thirds of each house of Congress and three-fourths of the states to agree that the Second Amdnment is no longer appropriate, you will be able to implement such evolution. Have fun storming the castle.

    [ Parent ]

    the second is entirely appropriate (none / 0) (#174)
    by eLuddite on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:58:40 PM EST

    No, that isnt what is meant at all. If the Constitution was meant to be interpreted so inflexibly, why would it also have provided a Supreme Court for its interpretation? Wouldnt it have been more efficient for Jefferson to simply have descended from Mt Sinai and delivered "The Stone Tablets, Part Deux," instead?

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    It Didn't (none / 0) (#177)
    by Steve B on Tue May 01, 2001 at 11:29:26 PM EST

    If the Constitution was meant to be interpreted so inflexibly, why would it also have provided a Supreme Court for its interpretation?

    The Constitution is silent on that question, actually -- John Marshall expounded the doctrine of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison more or less by default of anyone having been explicitly granted the authority to decide whether or not a given act of government was Constitutional.

    The fact that someone has to interpret judgment calls is not, however, a license to simply make things up or ignore things which are recited in the plain text of the document.

    [ Parent ]

    i dont understand your point (none / 0) (#180)
    by eLuddite on Wed May 02, 2001 at 12:32:19 AM EST

    If the Constitution was meant to be interpreted so inflexibly, why would it also have provided a Supreme Court for its interpretation?
    The Constitution is silent on that question, actually

    Who heard Marbury v Madision? The SC did, that's who. What is Marbury v. Madison if not an example of the SC's evolution? How else can you explain its assumption of the authority to declare acts of Congress and the President unconstitutional if they exceeded powers granted in the Constitution? What did they base their decision on?

    The fact that someone has to interpret judgment calls is not, however, a license to simply make things up or ignore things which are recited in the plain text of the document.

    Yeah, so? The Supreme Court has *always* ruled that the 2nd protects the states' militia's rights to bear arms without extending this protection to individuals. The issue is considered "settled law" by legal scholars. Have you read something that's eluded everyone else's reading comprehension?

    Here's another example of a potential SC evolution: the supreme court bans all weapons in recognition of the fact that the National Guard has assumed the historic role of militia.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Details, details... (none / 0) (#233)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 02:26:59 PM EST

    Here's another example of a potential SC evolution: the supreme court bans all weapons in recognition of the fact that the National Guard has assumed the historic role of militia.

    ...thereby instigating a bloody, brutal civil war in which the 80,000,000+ armed civilians finally learn what the Second Amendment means to them.

    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 ]

    Couldnt have said it better myself. (none / 0) (#258)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 09:40:57 PM EST

    How is what you said anything other than a categorical admission that you are a nation of fools? I would never be so presumptuous to suggest any such thing, myself.

    I'm sure it has escaped your attention previously but can you now make the supreme effort to consider why it is that I know more about your country than you do? Could it be because I have admiration for the principles upon which it was founded? Could it be because I have admiration for its system of government?

    I truly do despair every time I enter into a gun debate.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Evolution != Amendment (none / 0) (#181)
    by eLuddite on Wed May 02, 2001 at 01:03:29 AM EST

    The only thing Article III omitted in its silence was an explicit relationship between the SC and the rest of government. Marbury v. Madison made the SC equal in government. As such, Marbury v. Madison neatly contradicts your statement that
    "Evolution == Amendment"
    I also dont understand what any of this has to do with
    It seems like a postcard perfect implementation of what the Founder's had in mind, 250 years ago. It doesnt matter, that isnt the way the US is organized today and the Founders never expressed an opinion that the US should not evolve, constitutionally, in a different direction.
    Would you have found it less exceptional if I removed the double negative? Are you suggesting we also revert to 13 Colonies strictly supported by militias?

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    A point of agreement... (none / 0) (#234)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 02:32:31 PM EST

    you would be hard pressed to convince me the US needs a militia of 135,000,000 males *and* the largest standing peace time army in the world.

    Me, too. Get rid of the army, I say. The constitutionally-provided-for Navy can take care of our nuclear deterrents just fine.

    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 ]

    So, What You're Saying... (none / 0) (#172)
    by Steve B on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:37:31 PM EST

    ...is that things are just fine when everybody has a gun, but it's illegal to use them in a criminal matter.

    I'm glad to say that we are in complete agreement.

    [ Parent ]

    i hope to jeebus you dont a gun (none / 0) (#176)
    by eLuddite on Tue May 01, 2001 at 10:15:49 PM EST

    No, you moron, its not ok it use them illegally in a criminal matter whether there is one gun or a million. Why would it be? How can possibly have missed the point that Gun control + military training != USA ?

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    What? (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by spiralx on Wed May 02, 2001 at 11:41:01 AM EST

    In Switzerland you don't have any ammo for your gun, and you sure as hell aren't allowed to have it anywhere where you can get to it. How on Earth is that similar to the US or what you're talking about?

    You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
    [ Parent ]

    swiss militiamen do not hide rifles in their pants (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by eLuddite on Wed May 02, 2001 at 01:50:01 AM EST

    These combatants are obliged to keep their automatic assault rifle and ammunition at home.

    I should have pointed out that assault rifles are hard to conceal. That's another major difference.

    See, no one needs a handgun for anything in a civilized society except to fuck up more often than not. Statistics have thoroughly debunked the NRA's Missouri strategy in favor of Concealed Carry Laws and for every defensive gun use statistic you can pull out of your ammo bags, someone else will release statistics in the opposite direction. Defensive gun use is typically overreaction and overkill, anyway.

    You people who advocate guns for defense are simply victims of misplaying your own iterated prisoner's dilemma.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    we had this argumen already (none / 0) (#221)
    by mami on Thu May 03, 2001 at 02:14:48 AM EST

    in another story posted a couple of weeks ago. It's baloni. The reason why less crime happens in Switzerland is rooted in the high quality of life and high social security of its population compared to other countries. Noone goes postal, lunatic, just snaps or just goes nuts for political reasons, at least so far.
    (BTW, very few people shoot because they snap, a shooting spray of someone who goes postal is a well prepared and thought out act, no snapping involved. So called lunatics are
    also not "passionate killers out of a compulsive action outside of their control". You can be a calculating lunatic)

    That has nothing to do with Swiss citizens being allowed to own firearms and nothing with the fact that Swiss men are requested undergo revolving military training.

    Let's say this, the mental health of the Swiss population just seems to be in good shape, so well, that even with everybody having firearms in their closets, noone would come to the idea to abuse them. That is certainly not a reason to support the access to firearms to every citizen in other countries, where the mental health and social conditions of larger parts of the population is not that balanced as it is in Switzerland.

    [ Parent ]
    onyxruby's moderation (1.66 / 3) (#35)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:13:09 PM EST

    Onyxruby moderated the parent comment to 1. Would onyxruby please care to explain how the comment is an "Inane/noise comment"? It's quite ontopic and just opposes the general consensus here on a hot topic. One would think K5ers would moderate with less emotional attatchment.

    For everyone elses information I am not "trolling" these are my genuine view on the issue. If only those who moderate it cared to read it in its entirety...

    [ Parent ]

    on the other hand (3.00 / 1) (#58)
    by 31: on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:43:08 PM EST

    you could realize it's just a number, and doesn't matter. and now both this and your post i'm replying to are absolute wastes of everyone's time, and should both be rated to 0.

    Remember, you aren't your k5 mojo.

    -Patrick
    [ Parent ]
    Rating (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by onyxruby on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 06:03:57 PM EST

    Fair enough, I'll answer your question. The particular comment that made me choose a rating of "1" was Guns are evil and I see this as a point not even worth a dispute.

    I read this as you saying that your personal opinion is so infallable that the idea of disagreeing with it is absurd. The rest of your comment had no bearing on how I rated your comment.

    I try not to rate based on whether or not I agree with someone. There are times I see a comment where I agree with what someone is saying, but it is so poorly written as to make my belief look bad. I'm also perfectly willing to rate well comments that I disagree with if someone comes up with a good point or argues something well.

    I don't always suceed, after all I'm human. Of note, you'll find I rated an comment by Davidicus with a 4 when the his entire article was a satire of my drug article. As he put it Its a diference of opinion, and thats what k5 is about.

    If it makes a difference, there are people that like to consistently rate my comments with a two or three, even when everyone else rates that comment well.

    The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
    [ Parent ]

    I'd rather people read my comments... (3.00 / 1) (#102)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 10:17:35 PM EST

    in full before moderating. If you had taken the time to read this comment you would have realised that I was pondering whether banning guns in countries like the USA is even feasible ["Removing guns from the hands of criminals is daunting (impossible?)"]. I also talked about why I think gun ban would inprove crime figures. Rereading my initial post once more is your homework for tonight.

    [ Parent ]
    A thought... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by jd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:19:05 PM EST

    It's certainly true that image can create reality. If you create an image of an anarchic, lawless, violent society, then that is what you will get.

    I'm sorry* to have to say this, but many people are sheep. (*And I'm mostly sorry for the sheep.) There is a psychological phenomina, familiar to anyone who has encountered -large- crowds of any kind. That phenomina is simple - the will of the individual is supplanted by the collective will of the crowd.

    The same is true in society. If we're taught (by example, by "trusted" sources, etc) that something is true, the vast, overwhelming majority will believe it to the point where they will MAKE it true.

    This is what has happened in the US, and other countries, with respect to weapons. Because Americans are taught that the Government can't be trusted to be dependable and self-regulating, and because they are taught that violence is a valid solution to problems, paranoia is rampant.

    Nor is it constrained to that. I feel sure that Westerns, war movies (in which the "Good Guys" always win, usually violently), the popularity of hunting, and conscription all play a part in encouraging the mindset that a person's worth is in their arsnal.

    That the police feel they need weapons doesn't help matters. You're not going to convince anyone that they can sleep safe at night, when the cops themselves are acting like they expect an armoured division to sneak round behind them, every moment of the day.

    Paranoia breeds paranoia. If you've a paranoid populace, and some of that populace will be elected into office, guess what! They'll be paranoid! And paranoid officials, who know that the rest of the country is paranoid about them, are unlikely to have the capacity to do much about it. More likely, they're going to make the problem a whole lot worse.

    Solution? That's a toughy. How do you knock sense into two two groups of heavily-armed sociopaths, paranoids, and other assorted dweebs? Especially when there are many other groups of heavily-armed sociopaths, paranoids, and other assorted dweebs who have as much idea of fair-play as a black widow spider on her honeymoon.

    I honestly don't see an answer. At least, not a quick one. The best I can hope for is that American education somehow revives itself and can grow to the point where fear and ignorance can safely give way to understanding and compassion.

    I don't have much hope.

    [ Parent ]

    Its not just guns (4.00 / 4) (#40)
    by hoops on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:27:40 PM EST

    According to your argument, gun control causes a decrease in crime. If that were true, the United States would have a crime rate LESS that that in 1968.

    The Gun Control Act of 1968 was the piece of legislation that laid down most of the gun control laws in the US today. It implemented a program of Federally licensed dealers (FFLs), established categories of people prohibited from owning firearms, prohibited mail-order of firearms, prohibited minors from owning firearms and many more. Prior to this legislation, anybody could purchase any firearm (with the exception of fully-automatic firearms a.k.a. "Machine guns" they were regulated by a tax measure in 1934, in response to "gangsters") with out any paperwork, background checks, or other nonsense. So, if firearms are less available today in the United States, why is the crime rate higher? Why were there no scool shootings in the 1950s and early 1960s when children had more access to firearms that today?

    BONUS QUESTION: I own several firearms and use them responsibly. How will taking my guns away from me make you any safer?

    Hoops
    --Hoops
    If I were a koala bear, the first thing I would do is urinate all over you and bite you in the scrotum. - bri4n
    [ Parent ]

    It will... (3.00 / 1) (#42)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:32:01 PM EST

    if you ever get a nervous breakdown and go bezerk. Don't tell me it can't happen because we all know it can. Last time it happened on the 26th of December last year. In Boston.

    [ Parent ]
    Hmmm (3.00 / 3) (#44)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:40:31 PM EST

    And you are under the impression that people having a nervious breakdown and shooting people happens more often than law abiding citizens using guns to deter/stop crimes?

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    No it won't (4.00 / 1) (#54)
    by hoops on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:13:02 PM EST

    If I were to "ever get a nervous breakdown and go bezerk" even if I did not have access to firearms you would still not be safe. I could stab you, beat you to death with a blunt object, beat you to death with my bear hands, run you over, burn your house down with you in it, poison you, electrocute you, rent a Ryder truck...

    Remember the worst act of mass murder in the United States did NOT involve a firearm.

    Hoops
    --Hoops
    If I were a koala bear, the first thing I would do is urinate all over you and bite you in the scrotum. - bri4n
    [ Parent ]

    Which of the things you mentioned... (2.00 / 1) (#55)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:23:59 PM EST

    is easier than shooting a bullet through my head assuming that you're in posession of a gun?

    [ Parent ]
    Well, (3.00 / 1) (#57)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:32:09 PM EST

    Burning a house down would be somewhat easier. Remember a gun is not some magical object that always hits what it is aimed at. It is almost impossible for most people without extensive practice to hit anything over 10-20 feet away with a handgun. Plus the fact that it is easier (meaning physical strength is not so much a factor) to kill with is a gun is the reason police (and many law abiding citizens) have them.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Stab you. (none / 0) (#226)
    by Vermifax on Thu May 03, 2001 at 01:10:41 PM EST

    If I didn't know how to aim a gun well, I'd have to be so close as to reach out and stab you anyway. Besides, Knifes are not only easier to obtain, but less noticable.
    - Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.
    [ Parent ]
    How about... (3.00 / 2) (#90)
    by Your Mom on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:27:23 PM EST

    How about if one of those employees had a gun in their desk and would have been able to stop the shooter before killong more people?

    --
    "As far as I'm concerned, Osama bin Laden can eat a dick." -trhurler
    [ Parent ]
    Shitty data (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by RandomPeon on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 08:04:40 PM EST

    I'm "on the fence" with regards to gun control. But your claims about lower levels of violence in the 1950s and 60s aren't very supportable.
  • Time had a story a few years back on the history of school shootings in America. We were too scared of Communism in those days to need school shootings as a bogeyman. The news media needs something sensational and scary to sell you (they don't have a liberal or a conservative bias, but an alarmist one) and school shootings is the best we can do nowadays. You can no longer search time.com for the story successfully - it's buried in hundreds of hysterical pieces about contemporary school shootings.
  • Reporting issues. Most social scientists don't take data more than 10 years old and assume it was gathered under the same standards as today. It's likely many more crimes (rapes, violence against minorities,etc) went unreported in these times. The classic example is teen suicide, which has supposedly increased by many hundred percent since the fifties. But if you look at the raw data there were a suprising number of youngsters who died in "accidents" involving drowning, weapons, even hanging, back then.
  • For every unexplained correlation, there's an unexplaned correlation that points in the opposite direction. You suggest crime rates have increased since the passage of the Gun Control Act. Go to www.fbi.gov/ucr and you'll note that crime has gone through the floor since the passage of the Brady Bill. Unfortunately, most Americans believe the opposite - something like 80% of people think crime rates increased throughout the 1990s(see above for a reason).

    We can toss statistics back and forth all day here - states with lenient gun laws often have higher crime rates, but states which pass often concealed-carry laws see drops in crime. I don't think America will decide this one based on hard numbers, because (at least here) they cut both ways.

    [ Parent ]
  • Guns (3.80 / 5) (#49)
    by area51 on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:04:58 PM EST

    "Guns are evil and I see this as a point not even worth a dispute."
    I disagree; guns can't be evil; they're inanimate objects. One doesn't become evil just because he or she possesses a gun.

    [ Parent ]
    Er... (4.25 / 4) (#78)
    by trhurler on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:13:03 PM EST

    Actually, the police reports in the UK show that in the last couple of years, criminals apprehended with firearms as a percentage of all apprehended criminals have risen threefold, while private ownership of legal firearms has dropped. What this means is that British people are now three times as likely to face an armed intruder with no way of defending themselves.

    As for Poland, don't you think the rampant lawlessness there has more to do with the fact that the government has been so unstable than with guns? Sure, guns are everywhere if you say so, but that sounds like a symptom more than a cause, all the moreso because we don't have this problem in the US, even in Texas!

    And yes, as a "protection" the cops ARE a failure. They can't protect you from ANYTHING. This is a simple fact: the cops clean up messes, and nothing more. If a criminal accosts you, the cops will clean your bloody corpse up off the street, but that's about it; odds are they'll never even figure out who did it, much less catch him, much less stop him beforehand.

    Guns are as evil as toasters. Sure, some evil fucker will put a bagel in, but that's his fault.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    We don't have an unstable government (4.00 / 1) (#81)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:26:49 PM EST

    The political scene in Poland is pretty much like in most European countries left wing, liberals, right wingers. Claiming that Poland's rising crime rate has anything to do with the political situation is ignorance. However, the crime rate has been steadily rising over the past decade though. There can be only two causes: relaxed gun laws and the Russian mafia. We can't blame everything on Russia so something has to give :).

    Oh and for the record: our crime rate is high by OUR standards. Going by US standards it's still incredibly low (4 murders per 100,000 population)

    [ Parent ]

    Russian mafia? (4.00 / 1) (#82)
    by trhurler on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:34:55 PM EST

    Obviously, living in the middle of the US, the Russian mafia is not a problem I face. I've heard they're quite nasty if you live in a Russian city. They're in Poland too, eh? So then, are the murders typically committed by people with other criminal records(which suggests that they'd have occurred anyway, even if the attacker had to use a golf club or a steak knife,) or are these crimes where some idiot is just randomly deciding to blow away his neighbor or something like that? If the former, then I'd say your problem is organized crime, rather than guns themselves.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Russian mafia (3.00 / 1) (#84)
    by cezarg on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:46:09 PM EST

    They're in Poland too, eh?

    Yep. they are not particularly violent as far as I can tell. Luckily they're not using our cities as the battlefield (yet). But they seem to be laundering their "earnings" through buying restaurants, pubs etc. And that fact is quite unnerving. There were special laws passed recently that specifically target organised crime. Mind you we have our own home grown "mafia" too. They are nowhere near as intimidating as the Russian equivalent though.

    [ Parent ]

    What are your sources? (4.00 / 2) (#110)
    by liberalmafia on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 11:39:40 PM EST

    I don't mean to imply you're being sensationalist, but what are
    your sources for those statements about the crime rates? I
    ask because there's a lot of manipulation done with crime and
    gun stats here in the U.S. by all sides.

    [ Parent ]
    Let me see... (none / 0) (#129)
    by cezarg on Tue May 01, 2001 at 08:38:47 AM EST

    I'm not relying on hard figures but most informal sources agree that the Polish crime rate is on the increase (read the comment at the bottom of the page too). It is widely discussed in Polish newspapers these days. I could give you a lot more links if you spoke Polish though...

    [ Parent ]
    Firearms are an inanimate object (none / 0) (#206)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Wed May 02, 2001 at 05:35:41 PM EST

    Guns are evil and I see this as a point not even worth a dispute.

    Firearms are an inanimate object, and therefore cannot be evil.



    [ Parent ]
    English not first language (none / 0) (#218)
    by Pseudonym on Thu May 03, 2001 at 12:32:37 AM EST

    Go easy. It's fairly obvious that English is not his first language. You know what he meant.



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    Guns in diaries (3.90 / 10) (#29)
    by Malicose on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:05:14 PM EST

    Just a week ago gunner800 wrote, "The instructions for this trigger lock say not to use it on a loaded handgun. The other side of the same sheet reminds me to treat every gun as if its loaded." Hysterical! Also, I had posted 40 Reasons to Oppose Gun Control in my diary only two days prior.

    Hey Mr. Smarty-Pants (3.33 / 3) (#65)
    by ti dave on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 03:29:45 PM EST

    Have you ever held a Firearm?

    Those statements are NOT mutually exclusive!

    Yes, you DO treat every Firearm AS IF it was loaded. This is to dissuade you from acting (fatally) nonchalant about the weapon.

    Ever placed a trigger lock on a Firearm?

    I think not.

    The potential exists to move the trigger, while putting the bar behind the trigger. This could be unhealthy for you.

    I'm noting this info for you on the off-chance you acquire, or even blunder upon, a Firearm.
    Might save your life.

    Cheers,

    ti_dave


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

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Hey Mr. Smarty-Pants (3.50 / 2) (#71)
    by Malicose on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:28:35 PM EST

    Have you ever held a Firearm?
    Yes. In fact, I own a few firearms and have taken somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty hours of safety classes. Do your warnings for potential tragedy diminish the comment's humor? Certainly not, in my opinion.

    [ Parent ]
    40 reasons (none / 0) (#196)
    by onyxruby on Wed May 02, 2001 at 01:11:36 PM EST

    I liked your 40 reasons, could you post them to this story please?

    The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
    [ Parent ]

    Strawwoman and lunatic readers (2.40 / 5) (#48)
    by mami on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:56:24 PM EST

    What is there to say ? A reader who doubts the intelligence of the author to hide his motivation behind a woman's article (which is worth a diary entry) must be a lunatic anti-gun-nuts advocate, right ?

    Well, then, so be it.


    Well... (2.33 / 15) (#59)
    by Jack Wagner on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 02:54:49 PM EST

    Firstly, we all know that guns don't kill people, Eric Raymond kills people. Secondly, the whole concept of people who become so enamored with weapons of death makes me a bit cautious. I can understand having a gun if I wish to commit crimes or if I lack faith in God, but to own many guns and commit a portion of my disposable leisure time obsessing over them seems, well it just seems wrong.

    What sort of initiatives can be derived from this type of behaviour vis-a-vis weapons of death? If we take a hard look at the obsessions people have with certain fringe elemenentals I believe we can see an end-to-end aggregation which is quite disturbing. We tend to give our time to the things which we find iportant in our lives. What does it say when someone finds an instrument of death important in their life?

    Now my discalimer: I'm a skilled computer consultant, not a proffesional psychiatrist so you can make what you will of my conclusions. I do, however, think that critical thinking tends to bleed from one arena to another so I feel confident in my thoughts.

    Wagner LLC Consulting - Getting it right the first time
    Read the article (4.00 / 3) (#61)
    by Mr. Excitement on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 03:05:58 PM EST

    It's just that sort of prejudice that the Reason article aims to dispel.

    "Secondly, the whole concept of people who become so enamored with weapons of death makes me a bit cautious..I can understand having a gun if I wish to commit crimes or if I lack faith in God..."

    You have little reason to be cautious. Due to their amazing regenerative capability, trolls are remarkably resistant to firearm-related death.

    1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
    [ Parent ]

    You miss my point (1.11 / 9) (#66)
    by Jack Wagner on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 03:52:23 PM EST

    It would appear you're too busy with your ad hominem reply to actually read what I wrote. I disagree with the main premise, that, in fact, gun afficianados are not "lunatics or dangerous types" so why should I want to spend time reading the dribble of someone who is less thought out than myself? I even gave a few examples as to why I feel that way. If I want to read the writing of a lunatic I can surely find a more interesting topic than "gun nuts." If your premise is that 1 + 1 = 3 I submit that you have a faulty premise and I'm not too concerned with how you draw that conclusion. Sure it's fun though, hence my lead in with an Eric Raymond joke. I hope you can now follow my logic and perhaps understand my position.

    Yours,
    Jack

    Wagner LLC Consulting - Getting it right the first time
    [ Parent ]
    HA! (4.80 / 5) (#76)
    by Mr. Excitement on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:04:32 PM EST

    It would appear you're too busy with your ad hominem reply to actually read what I wrote. I disagree with the main premise, that, in fact, gun afficianados are not "lunatics or dangerous types" so why should I want to spend time reading the dribble of someone who is less thought out than myself?

    To summarize, you feel, based on the article's very premise, that the author of the article is either deranged or stupid, and therefore her arguments must be dismissed without even reading them.

    And, on top of that, you have the gall to accuse me of an ad hominem attack?

    You, sir, are a troll, and a rather cunning one at that. In contrast to your ad hominem, such a statement does not enjoin others to summarily dismiss your arguments because you are a troll, it instead reminds others to read your arguments very carefully, so that they can see for themselves that you are spouting fallacies.

    1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
    [ Parent ]

    Why? (4.66 / 6) (#63)
    by finkployd on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 03:23:21 PM EST

    Well, on the hobby end of things, people own guns for the same reason people own golf clubs or any other instruments of time wasting. Target shooting is a hobby to many. There are plenty of international competitions (including the Olympics).

    On the self defense end, people own guns for the same exact reason police officers do. Not with intent to murder, not out of a lack of faith in God (like that is even remotly revelant) but because there ARE bad people out there who want to kill/rape/etc you or your loved ones. Pretending all is good with the world and not taking precautions against possible danger is irresponsible. Now some people feel locks on doors is enough, some have security alarms, some choose to arm themselves. What level of precaution they take is a result of what experiences they have had in the past and what environment they have grown up in. Simply because you do not understand them doesn't mean they wackos and nutcases intent on killing. Most often they are enthusists who approach shooting with the same level of interest and mindset as your typical computer geek. I've probably fired thousands of bullets, not one ever in anger or at another living being

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    obession (4.40 / 5) (#68)
    by Seumas on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 04:16:32 PM EST

    People obsess over video games, music, movies, television shows, comic books, tattoos, body modification, sex, religion, politics, computers, alchohol, drugs, art and everything else. I don't see why you should classify people who own lots of weapons or like to study/own/deal with weapons as much as others of us deal with computers or books seperately.

    Collecting guns and learning, studying, trading, using them or whatever else firearm afficienados do is just fine (although there are some that go a little over board and remind you of the army surplus guy in Falling Down). Obessing with killing people is another thing, though. I would discourage mistaking one group of people with the other.

    I don't freak out if a businessman sitting next to me on a bus has a pistol. Or the cop passing me on the street. But I'll sure as hell freak out of a drugged-out crack-head suffering a hallucination is waving it around the street trying to kill a few people. There are a lot more psychotic people with access to illegal guns and a lack of control over themselves than there are sane people with a gun fetish coupled with a propensity to kill.

    As far as understanding if people own guns because they don't believe in god? What the hell is that supposed to mean?! You've never heard of religious people killing someone or masses of someones? Even in the name of God? There have been more of those than there have been atheists or agnostics or others who have killed someone, my friend.
    --
    I just read K5 for the articles.
    [ Parent ]

    Collectors (4.60 / 5) (#79)
    by trhurler on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 05:18:21 PM EST

    So does it bother you that people collect stamps obsessively? That would bother me more; at least guns are interesting, both from a mechanical "how do they work" perspective(many have been really clever,) and from the perspective of where they came from, the history associated with them, and so on. Stamps... well, they're stamps. You get on one if you're famous and dead. They're colorful. They're neat, in a sort of "glance at this for five seconds" sort of way. But anyone who would collect them seriously... well, that's messed up, I say. Packrat mentality gone insane.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Hatred towards stamp collectors (4.00 / 2) (#147)
    by gbd on Tue May 01, 2001 at 02:09:56 PM EST

    What is the deal with all of the right-wing hatred towards stamp collectors? It used to be that most stamp collectors were rather conservative in their views! These days, when I pass a conservative in the street, I get a scowl that basically says that they would rather shoot me dead than look at me. Did Limbaugh do a show about stamp collectors one day, claiming that we were in bed with "The Liberals" or somesuch? I honestly can think of little else that would cause an entire subculture of people to become so immensely hateful towards a group of hobbyists over such a short period of time.

    The closest I've ever come to an answer to this question has come from a former friend of mine (who became a "former" friend the moment he heard about my stamp collecting hobby, BTW.) I was informed in rather roundabout terms that collecting stamps is considered effeminate and if people should be collecting anything, it should be something that our forefathers gave their lives to defend. People who refused to collect these things were in essence spitting on the graves of our veterans. In other words, it is good and Godly to collect guns, but "femmy and pinko" (not my words) to collect stamps. Riiight. Talk about extreme dementia and no grip whatsoever on reality!

    Personally, I don't give a rat's ass. I'll collect what I want, how I want it, and I don't care if it pisses off some fringe elements of society. If some people thing that a collecting hobby is only valid if the objects of collection are deadly weapons, then fine. We, as a society, can feel sorry for these people, but we are not obligated to pay them any more attention than they deserve (which is little indeed.) And to those who would threaten me or my family because of my hobby, I can tell you this: at best, you will end up in traction, and at worst .. well, you get the picture. And that's not a threat .. it's a promise.

    --
    Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
    [ Parent ]

    What does this have to do with anything?? (4.00 / 4) (#92)
    by RandomPeon on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 07:42:27 PM EST

    I can understand having a gun if I wish to commit crimes or if I lack faith in God Why would I desire to own a gun if "I lack faith in God"? I can't see how this has anything to do with the question at hand.

    [ Parent ]
    Reworded for your reading pleasure (none / 0) (#192)
    by darthaggie on Wed May 02, 2001 at 11:50:40 AM EST

    I can understand having a gun if I wish to commit crimes or if I lack faith in God, but to own many guns and commit a portion of my disposable leisure time obsessing over them seems, well it just seems wrong.

    Let's reword that, shall we?

    I can understand having a computer if I wish to commit crimes or if I lack faith in God, but to own many commputers and commit a portion of my disposable leisure time obsessing over them seems, well it just seems wrong.

    Shoe. Other. Foot.

    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
    [ Parent ]

    Revelation! (4.37 / 8) (#114)
    by 2400n81 on Tue May 01, 2001 at 01:25:28 AM EST

    I heard that the Gun culture was populated by a bunch of militant nutbags.


    oh shit sorry i meant the Gnu culture.



    Curing your inferiority complex FAST! (2.00 / 10) (#126)
    by cretin on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:49:00 AM EST

    It's no coincidence that those members of the geek community who show the most need for approval, and who do most of the loudmouthed posturing, are also those who are firmly in favour of private gun ownership.

    The geek population can be summed up in a handful of neuroses: persecution complex, paranoid delusions, delusions of grandeur, math anxiety, short man's complex, but most of all, every geek in the world is a victim of a massive inferiority complex. What else would you expect from people who spend their most important developmental years being vilified by their peers and praised by their authority figures. Every geek hates normal society for the way it has shunned him, and firmly believes that the promise he showed in his first few years of school have translated to genuine intellectual superiority over everyone else in their world. (Cue the visions of grandeur, such as "code is art" ) All of this despite the fact that his proudest achievement is the 0.0.1 release of his utterly trivial perl script to do something pointless with the mp3s he has stolen, which he has announced on freshmeat, where everyone else announces their useless perl scripts.

    This overcompensation only leads to more social rejection, more frustration, and growing hatred for human society. This is clearly the cause of the large number of geeks who claim to be misanthropists or libertarians. It's no accident that misogyny among geeks is rampant, since the people from whom they fear rejection most, and from who rejection has been most constant are women. "It's not me," the geek tells himself, "it's the women who were wrong."

    Enduring this miasma of emotional isolation and complete denial takes it's toll very quickly. It's difficult to support a claim of superiority when you never achieve anything more substantial than a night spent ogling "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and agreeing loudly with your tiny handful of friends that Microsoft is going to lose the trial. But the cure is at hand: Guns!

    Who needs concrete achievements when you have a deadly weapon in your hands? Who needs to work off that flab when you can kill a man without getting up from the couch? Who needs sex when you've got a metallic penis substitute within easy reach?

    That's why I am in favour of guns for geeks. They need them. I consider it suicide prevention.

    "Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.

    troll (none / 0) (#165)
    by delmoi on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:08:33 PM EST

    and a lame one at that.

    (Look at the poster's history)
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    I resent that. (none / 0) (#167)
    by cretin on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:22:58 PM EST

    Seems like you'll play any mental game to maintain your denial. My views can't possibly be valid, even in a discussion where many of the people think deadly weapons are just tools like any other. Geeks, neurotic? Never! I must be a troll.

    Deny, deny, deny. Dude, just get yourself a gun like I said. It's much more effective.

    "Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.
    [ Parent ]

    Tools, deadly weapons... (none / 0) (#232)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 02:17:00 PM EST

    I can kill you with a hammer.

    Does that obviate its intended use of pounding nails?

    I can kill you with a handgun.

    Does that obviate its intended use of plinking tin cans for fun?

    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 ]

    *yawn* (none / 0) (#255)
    by cretin on Thu May 03, 2001 at 07:37:36 PM EST

    Dude, I can kill you with a spoon given enough time to shove it down your throat. That doesn't make a spoon a weapon. Nice try but this "hammers/knives/etc is a weapon and a tool just like guns" argument has never convinced anyone who wasn't already convinced. In other words, you recite it to maintain your denial.

    "Truth in Labelling" - with thanks to Steve B.
    [ Parent ]

    Truth In Labeling (none / 0) (#170)
    by Steve B on Tue May 01, 2001 at 09:20:18 PM EST

    by cretin

    Indeed.

    [ Parent ]

    classified : troll number 25 (1.00 / 1) (#209)
    by Shren on Wed May 02, 2001 at 06:05:29 PM EST

    Greetings. You have been classified as troll type 25. This is an automated message. There is no need to respond to this message.

    The Therapist

    [ Parent ]

    Gee (3.25 / 4) (#144)
    by Lelon on Tue May 01, 2001 at 01:42:49 PM EST

    Gee thnx I really thought all gun owners were lunatics.

    You're problem is you go to conservatives to find out what liberals think about gun owners. If you want to know what a liberal thinks about gun owners ASK A LIBERAL.

    So as to not make this post totally useless, here's an interesting fact. Handgun sales in the United States (and most of the world) have fallen drastically as of late and continue to fall. Why? You'll probably try to blame gun control laws but the simple reason is, once a family buys a gun there is really no reason to buy another. Many families have handguns for protection that were passed down from previous generations. I'm guessin in 5 years we'll have half as many gun companies (and thankfully not nearly as much money in the form of special interest contributions to conservative canidates)


    ----
    This sig is a work in progress.
    NRA (none / 0) (#164)
    by delmoi on Tue May 01, 2001 at 07:05:42 PM EST

    Most of the gun-control lobby's money comes from the NRA, which is not a profit-based corporation, just a group of citizens, similar to the ACLU or the EFF
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    Smith and Wesson boycott (none / 0) (#207)
    by TheSpiritOf1776 on Wed May 02, 2001 at 05:42:01 PM EST

    Handgun sales in the United States (and most of the world) have fallen drastically as of late and continue to fall. Why? You'll probably try to blame gun control laws but the simple reason is, once a family buys a gun there is really no reason to buy another. Many families have handguns for protection that were passed down from previous generations. I'm guessin in 5 years we'll have half as many gun companies (and thankfully not nearly as much money in the form of special interest contributions to conservative canidates)

    You're forgetting the Smith&Wesson boycott, Granted, there really isn't much of a need to buy a new firearms (firearms rarely break), so I will grant you that, that the used market may be cutting into the new market. But I know that Smith&Wesson, once quite popular, is now hurting because gun enthusiasts are boycotting them.



    [ Parent ]
    What a revelation (3.40 / 5) (#160)
    by Sheepdot on Tue May 01, 2001 at 04:43:53 PM EST

    She finds that gun owners are generally not lunatics or dangerous types, but instead are normal people.

    This reminds me of an article I saw once written for a conservative audience about mexican-americans. I think the exact quote was "We found that Mexicans are generally not lazy or unproductive, but instead are regular individuals."

    I guess conservatives fear those of a different race, and liberals fear those who like to own guns. Both sides attempt to appear as if they aren't afraid when they really are and can't explain why.


    It's life, remember that... (3.00 / 4) (#185)
    by OzJuggler on Wed May 02, 2001 at 09:49:42 AM EST

    Just a few weeks ago, a person by the name of "rusty" posted a fantastic article to K5 about how in this corporatised globalised world, we have created for ourselves a bizarre legal situation where property takes precedence over life. I hate to paraphrase a discussion that went on for pages upon pages, but most people replied by agreeing in general, and how it was a very serious problem, but they all liked spending their own money so what could we really do about it?

    How quickly we forget.

    Now up comes the topic of guns and we now have a flood of people writing in and talking about defending themselves against home invasions and about how they feel justified in ENDING SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE over a matter of PROPERTY.

    It's Life, Stupid. It's the most important thing. Respect it.
    Here's one chance for all you gun owners to actually make a difference to the Property-precedes-Life dilemma: get rid of your guns. You all know deep down that the experience of Life is the most important thing in the Universe, so don't make it subordinate to Property by continuing the home defense lie.

    -OzJuggler.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.

    You smoke crack (4.25 / 4) (#187)
    by theboz on Wed May 02, 2001 at 10:18:57 AM EST

    Here's one chance for all you gun owners to actually make a difference to the Property-precedes-Life dilemma: get rid of your guns.

    Only in a hippie crack smoking daze could someone come up with this. The point is that owning a gun allows you to preserve and protect *YOUR OWN LIFE*. Why do you think the lives of a criminal breaking into my house to steal my TV and kill me is more important than I am? Why should my fiancee allow someone to rape her just because some jackass in Australia thinks that we should all bend over and let bad people kill and hurt us?

    It's not about property preceding life. I've never heard a gun owner talk about having a gun to protect their mailboxes or silverware. I am only aware of the whole, "protecting the lives of your family" bit. Obviously you don't care about your own lives or those of your friends and family, otherwise you'd be ok with allowing them to protect themselves. Seems you are a bit of a hypocrite. Juggle these.

    - Johnny Wulgaru

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    again, Life. (2.33 / 3) (#189)
    by OzJuggler on Wed May 02, 2001 at 11:06:05 AM EST

    Only in a hippie crack smoking daze could someone come up with this.
    That's obviously false. I'm not a hippy. I was not smoking crack. Yet somehow I did manage to come up with that statement. Hmmm. Not off to a good start, are ya?
    The point is that owning a gun allows you to preserve and protect *YOUR OWN LIFE*.
    Yes. I guess that's true. But at what cost? Consider the danger posed by the offense capability, rather than focussing on defense. Consider also that there are several things that can preserve and protect, not just guns.
    Why do you think the lives of a criminal breaking into my house to steal my TV and kill me is more important than I am? Why should my fiancee allow someone to rape her..
    All humans have a built-in safety catch. All humans have an innate aversion to killing their own kind. If the crim is really only after your TV, it's fairly likely that he won't be wanting to kill anybody for it - he's an opportunist.
    Now listen to me very carefully...
    IF a crim breaks into your house wanting to steal your TV and he ALSO wants to KILL you, then SOMETHING has made YOU IMPORTANT enough for him to want to overcome his natural aversion to genocide and kill YOU. That thing that has done this is YOUR GUN. You're right - without your gun you might just stand helplessly watching your TV walk out the door, because what threat are you to the crim? None!
    But when you have a gun you are more powerful . . . you become a THREAT to the criminal, and instantly you have turned a small-time thief into a potential murderer. This is a situation that would never had arisen if he had never seen your gun.
    It's also circular to argue that you need guns because other people have them too, so don't try that.
    It's not about property preceding life.
    You just contradicted your own example.
    I am only aware of the whole, "protecting the lives of your family" bit.
    Can you protect your kids by giving them guns to carry around with them wherever they go? If that seems unsafe, what makes you think that all gun owners are more advanced and more trustworthy with guns than kids are?
    I approve of your desire to protect your family. Install security screens. Put in an alarm system. Teach your kids about where it's not safe to go and how the $30 in their wallet is ultimately worth less than the life of the mugger who tries to steal it. Just don't murder an uninvited guest and hide behind "self defense" as an excuse.
    Obviously you don't care about your own lives or those of your friends and family, otherwise you'd be ok with allowing them to protect themselves. Seems you are a bit of a hypocrite.
    You tried to argue your case with some hypothetical about a home invasion and your first concern was losing your precious television - with your fiancee clearly in second place!
    Pathetic.

    -OzJuggler.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
    [ Parent ]

    again, life. (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by theboz on Wed May 02, 2001 at 12:09:10 PM EST

    That's obviously false. I'm not a hippy. I was not smoking crack. Yet somehow I did manage to come up with that statement. Hmmm. Not off to a good start, are ya?

    I was being sarcastic and meant to insult you in my own way. It was an exageration meant to imply that I thought you were completely off base and out of touch. Perhaps this type of sarcasm is not used in Australia. In a way, I was simply implying that you are crazy.

    IF a crim breaks into your house wanting to steal your TV and he ALSO wants to KILL you, then SOMETHING has made YOU IMPORTANT enough for him to want to overcome his natural aversion to genocide and kill YOU.

    In the U.S. this is not true. The robbers generally do not like witnesses. Unfortunately the police in the U.S. are basically useless doughnut gobblers, and they do not solve very many crimes. You are a danger to this person because you see them and know of their crime. Their secrecy is gone and they have to fight or flee. Unfortunately, in the U.S. life doesn't mean much to a lot of people. The fact that the robber doesn't want a witness, they will probably kill you to get away. It's more likely they use a knife or a bashing object like a baseball bat in this case because a gun is too noisy.

    That thing that has done this is YOUR GUN. You're right - without your gun you might just stand helplessly watching your TV walk out the door, because what threat are you to the crim?

    This is not all that likely. If you have a gun, you don't even have to turn on the lights or make them able to see you. The mere sound of the pump action shotgun I keep in my bedroom should be enough to make them flee. If they take my TV or not I don't care, just as long as they leave without harming me or if I have guests or family at my home. It seems you have not been to the U.S., where people are murdered over a pair of shoes on occasion.

    Can you protect your kids by giving them guns to carry around with them wherever they go?

    Although I know what you are insinuating, but the fact is that less than 50 years ago it was common for teens to carry guns with them, even to school. There were rifle teams, and often the kids in rural areas would go hunting afterwards. There were no massacres like in Columbine that I ever heard of, and no problems like we have today. So, while I wouldn't give a child or teenager a gun to carry around with them today unless they were under my supervision and at a place that it was appropriate, I really don't think availability of guns is the cause of the problem.

    If that seems unsafe, what makes you think that all gun owners are more advanced and more trustworthy with guns than kids are?

    Nothing can ever be said in absolute in a situation like this, but I would say that the majority of gun owners are more advanced and trustworthy than children. It's a simple question really. Children have not finished forming their own minds to the point of completely being responsible for their actions. They are still learning and need guidance of adults. Adults are more advanced and trustworthy, because they have more experience in life. In the ideal situation they will have had more training with the firearms than children who are just learning as well. I don't really see the problem with adults being more mature than kids.

    I approve of your desire to protect your family. Install security screens. Put in an alarm system. Teach your kids about where it's not safe to go and how the $30 in their wallet is ultimately worth less than the life of the mugger who tries to steal it.

    I agree with you. In fact, so do most gun owners and I think the NRA even teaches that you should not try to fight a robber unless your life is in danger. The problem is that too often in those circumstances your life is in danger. Realistically though, people don't get robbed very often and most people probably never have it happen to them. However, that doesn't mean it's not a good idea to prepare yourself just in case.

    Just don't murder an uninvited guest and hide behind "self defense" as an excuse.

    Murder is always a form of killing, but killing is not always murder. When you kill a fly buzzing around you, or pull weeds from your garden, you are killing but not murdering. Murder is killing for no reason. Self-protection is a reason to kill if you feel you have no other way out. Honestly, if someone broke into my house I'd try to stay quiet and not let them know I was home and dial 911 but put the phone down so it wouldn't make any noise, or I would whisper into it if I thought the robber couldn't hear me. If I heard they started walking towards my bedroom, I'd cock the shotgun hoping they would hear the sound and leave. Only if they came into the room before the police arrived would I consider shooting them. It is truly a last resort, with consequence. Any intelligent person would not take such a thing lightly, but when it's a situation of "us vs. them" you have to rely on your self-preservation instincts.

    You tried to argue your case with some hypothetical about a home invasion and your first concern was losing your precious television - with your fiancee clearly in second place!

    You read only what you wanted to. I actually don't watch much TV and have lived without cable for over 9 months since I moved. I don't care about it really. It just seemed like a typical thing that would be stolen. However, I attached to the hypothetical situation that they wanted to take the TV *AND* kill me. Not simply take the TV. If they wanted to do both, my life would have been in danger. As far as my fiancee, that was clearly a cheap shot. In fact, I would dare to say she is more important to me than myself. If she was in that situation with me, I'd probably be more willing to use a gun than if it was simply myself that I had to protect. I don't find that to be pathetic at all.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    Ultimate. (none / 0) (#215)
    by OzJuggler on Thu May 03, 2001 at 12:24:44 AM EST

    Unfortunately, in the U.S. life doesn't mean much to a lot of people.

    This is exactly what I am getting at.
    I probably forgot to state that, yes, guns don't aim and fire themselves. The basic problem, as you have just observed (here, and also in your Columbine and shoes examples), is that there are some people who don't value life much. There is a viscious cycle there: not valuing life makes it easier to fire, and firing and getting away with it cheapens life even more.
    There's got to be some way of breaking the cycle.

    Here's where my idealistic zero-gun world suddenly takes a departure from reality, because in order to break the cycle, you have to take real action.

    Let me ask you this: Which is easier to implement?
    Re-educating the minds of millions of people to change their attitudes and make them see life as inherently valuable and inviolate?; OR
    Gathering up and destroying as many citizens' guns as you can find?

    If you want to break the cycle, I think in practical terms its pretty clear which way leads to faster results.

    As far as my fiancee, that was clearly a cheap shot.
    Only insofar as I said that knowing that it would probably offend you. I said it because I imposed significance on the order of your examples, whereas perhaps there was not. Mistakes happen.

    Any intelligent person would not take such a thing lightly, but when it's a situation of "us vs. them" you have to rely on your self-preservation instincts.

    I recognise that when a threat cannot be reasoned with, force may become necessary. This is why we have armed forces. I think it is unwise to give lethal capability to everybody. The key, as I alludede to earlier, is education and care. If someone is already a twisted long-time criminal, then taking their guns away works better than trying to reformat a lifetime of violence and criminal behaviour.

    Murder is always a form of killing, but killing is not always murder.

    Ooops. Yes. The precise definition of murder is not really what is at stake here, but point taken.

    The problem is that too often in those circumstances your life is in danger.

    It's like you're saying that guns aren't the real problem but we should have lethal capability just in case it is needed. I'm saying that guns aren't the real problem, but we should ensure that no ordinary citizen has lethal capability because of the cycle of death that it promotes.

    Your reply was definitely more exacting and successful than the one before, and you have taught me some things:
    + The U.S. cops are so snowed-in with crime that they don't ever get around to solving any of it. That's a real shame.
    + I'm not able to sympathise with you about the life of fear that you must lead that convinces you that keeping a freakin' shotty in the bedroom is necessary. We just don't have things that bad in Australia. Not even in Sydney.
    Just because I have less immediate motivation than you to be armed does not mean that I have no authority to comment on these matters - I do have a brain and sense of morals.
    I just think we have to do whatever we can to make people appreciate life, and if they did, there would be no need for any guns, anywhere, for any reason. Maybe I am a "crack-smoking hippie" for dreaming up such an idealistic viewpoint :-). But hey, if we don't follow our dreams then why bother living at all?

    -OzJuggler,
    signing off from this thread.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
    [ Parent ]

    Sheesh... (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 12:13:58 PM EST

    Yes. I guess that's true. But at what cost?

    As the governor of South Carolina recently said, "Invade a home, invite a bullet." The criminal, too, must bear some of the responsibility for the risk he endures when breaking into a home. If he loses and ends up dead, well, he knew the risk.

    Consider the danger posed by the offense capability, rather than focussing on defense.

    The best defense is a good offense. :-)

    Consider also that there are several things that can preserve and protect, not just guns.

    Like what? What, when wielded by a 90-pound woman, would allow her to protect herself from a 230-pound PCP-crazed assailant with the same efficacy as a firearm? One that is guaranteed to effectively end the danger (hint: a .45 will do it - a can of mace won't)? Please, please point one such item out.

    All humans have a built-in safety catch. All humans have an innate aversion to killing their own kind.

    And if, for some reason, this safety catch has failed in this individual who has broken into your home? If he has broken into your home, at night, when he's reasonably sure someone might be there, he has chosen to face and deal with the people who live in the house. Chances are he ain't there to bring you roses.

    Again, the criminal must take some responsibility in this act. It is, after all, his ball game.

    If the crim is really only after your TV, it's fairly likely that he won't be wanting to kill anybody for it - he's an opportunist.

    If he's after my television, he'll break in while I'm not home. If he's there while I'm there, he's not after my television. He has chosen to deal with me, in some fashion.

    IF a crim breaks into your house wanting to steal your TV and he ALSO wants to KILL you, then SOMETHING has made YOU IMPORTANT enough for him to want to overcome his natural aversion to genocide and kill YOU.

    First of all, homicide != genocide. If he has broken into my home while I am there, he has chosen to eliminate me in some fashion. Whether that be by tying me up and stuffing me in a closet, or by shooting me between the eyes doesn't matter. He has chosen to be there, and has chosen to confront me. If he's looking to snatch my property, and willing to risk having to eliminate me, then he is already driven past the point of rationality.

    That thing that has done this is YOUR GUN.

    That thing that has prompted the situation is the fact that he and I are in the same place at the same time. But, it is my place, and he is not welcome there. What's more, he is threatening me by being there.

    You're right - without your gun you might just stand helplessly watching your TV walk out the door, because what threat are you to the crim? None!

    Or, you might stand there helplessly and watch him rape your wife and/or children, and systematically and brutally kill them because they had the lack of judgment to be home where they ought not have to consider such attacks. And, because you have no means with which to counter his assault, you are helpless to assist your wife/children, and must idly stand by and wait to be killed yourself. What fun.

    But when you have a gun you are more powerful . . . you become a THREAT to the criminal, and instantly you have turned a small-time thief into a potential murderer.

    The instant he entered my domicile while I am present, he became a threat to me. He is not supposed to be there, even if he is only after my property. The house is mine, and those who are allowed there are those who I have made welcome. All others must not enter, or be faced with my wrath. I am powerless to stop you entering when I am away - that is why I have an alarm system and a German Shepherd. If I am there, and you break in, you have implicitly threatened my life by your very presence, and you must be dealt with. By your very presence, when that is concurrent with my presence, you have become a potential murderer.

    I might only force you to lay spread-eagle on the floor until the police can arrive. Or, if you directly threaten me, I will kill you. The choice is yours. The wisest choice would be to not break in.

    This is a situation that would never had arisen if he had never seen your gun.

    This situation would also never have arisen had he not broken into my house while I was present.

    It's also circular to argue that you need guns because other people have them too, so don't try that.

    Just because you say that this is a circular argument, does not make it so. Besides, if he breaks in with a machete, my life and that of my family is still in danger. I am not apt to grab my longsword and display my mastery in defeating him. I would rather stand across the room, minimizing the danger to myself and my family, and put a hole in his chest.

    Can you protect your kids by giving them guns to carry around with them wherever they go?

    Seemed to work well before. If the kids are trained and knowledgeable, there is no problem.

    If that seems unsafe, what makes you think that all gun owners are more advanced and more trustworthy with guns than kids are?

    It is only unsafe where ignorance prevails. Education, knowledge of safe handling, knowledge of consequences, and drilling until these are second-nature, mitigates any perceived problem considerably.

    Just don't murder an uninvited guest and hide behind "self defense" as an excuse.

    An "uninvited guest", in your eyes, is a potential rapist or murderer in mine.

    You tried to argue your case with some hypothetical about a home invasion and your first concern was losing your precious television - with your fiancee clearly in second place!

    I don't have a fiance'. That said, I never mentioned giving a shit whether or not said criminal was in my house because he wanted my property. If he is there, he is a threat just by being there when I am there. His intentions notwithstanding, he has earned the right to face my wrath. If he foolishly decides to threaten me, he would choose an escalation that would likely end in death for one or both of us.

    The fact that I have the means to protect myself and my family from harm does not make me a criminal. The fact that he has broken into my house does make him a criminal.

    Pathetic.

    You are a clueless turd.

    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 ]

    Bravo (none / 0) (#231)
    by finkployd on Thu May 03, 2001 at 01:53:26 PM EST

    Wonderful retort :) I couldn't say it better myself (so I won't try).

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    I have a confession to make (none / 0) (#242)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:04:02 PM EST

    There's a hidden sid on Kuro5hin where the criminal element indulge their own paramilitary fantasies and have a good laugh over the inexorable desire of private property to seek comfort in the nearest thief's pockets. These dilettantes in the skill and the art of the gun typically differ from you in this way: wherever you see the word 'offense', replace it with 'defense' and vicy versy.

    BANG!

    Oh dear. Aggress, defend, potato, potatoe. Two idiots walked into a confrontation, one idiot walked out.

    Please show me where in the back of Soldier of Fortune, between the steamy "Single White Rambo Desperately Seeking Villany" ads does that magazine hide their accreditation to opine sociologically about anything that doesnt involve small corrupt villages in the deepest congo?

    God knows I've looked. I looked in 'Soldier of Fortune', in 'Libertarianism Today,' and in the scandalously witty 'Gazetta della NRA.' Nowhere did I find expression of the simplest law enforcement truth that tells you

    NOT TO FUCKING RESIST UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH OR INJURY
    This isnt rocket science. Your home is worth less than your family.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    No comprendo... (none / 0) (#244)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:23:52 PM EST

    Please show me where in the back of Soldier of Fortune, between the steamy "Single White Rambo Desperately Seeking Villany" ads does that magazine hide their accreditation to opine sociologically about anything that doesnt involve small corrupt villages in the deepest congo?

    Having never read that publication, I could not say.

    God knows I've looked.

    While I applaud your diligence, I cannot understand why you would do such a thing. If you are so opposed to gun ownership, fine. Don't own a gun. But, don't try to take away my right to do so.

    I looked in 'Soldier of Fortune', in 'Libertarianism Today,' and in the scandalously witty 'Gazetta della NRA.'

    The first I've heard of, the others I have not. Having not read any of the first one, and having not heard of either of the others, I cannot say. Perhaps you are looking in the wrong places?

    Nowhere did I find expression of the simplest law enforcement truth that tells you NOT TO FUCKING RESIST UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH OR INJURY

    Unless, of course, not resisting would lead to certain death or injury. That's something you seem to have conveniently forgotten. There are people out there who don't have your best interests in mind. Those people might want to hurt you or your loved ones. God forbid such a thing happen and you are somehow unable to defend yourself or them. Or even a means to attempt to do so.

    This isnt rocket science. Your home is worth less than your family.

    Which is why you should defend your family.

    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 ]

    good grief (none / 0) (#247)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:37:57 PM EST

    Non entiendes por que eres la leche.

    Unless, of course, not resisting would lead to certain death or injury. That's something you seem to have conveniently forgotten.

    Yes, we are all out to kill you for thrills, spills and chills. That is why crime exists.

    Which is why you should defend your family.

    $My family is defended wherever guns are not common currency. $My family is not grateful when $I shoot and miss, inviting massive retaliation. You have completely missed the point which is to disarm *everyone*.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Specious... (none / 0) (#250)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:57:04 PM EST

    $My family is defended wherever guns are not common currency.

    Fine. Find a place where such conditions exist, and move there.

    $My family is not grateful when $I shoot and miss, inviting massive retaliation.

    Here's a suggestion: DON'T FUCKING MISS.

    You have completely missed the point which is to disarm *everyone*.

    As soon as you find a way to make that practical, you let me know.

    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 am refuted (none / 0) (#252)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 06:11:15 PM EST

    Fine. Find a place where such conditions exist, and move there.

    I live there right now. I will be the statistic that outlives you. Oops, bullseye.

    Here's a suggestion: DON'T FUCKING MISS.

    Good thinking. Unfortunately, you dont enjoy any such preordained luxury. I suggest the following logical suggestion, instead: DONT FUCKING DRAW.

    As soon as you find a way to make that practical, you let me know.

    Strict gun control is all that is necessary to demonstrably outlive $you.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    One more thing. (none / 0) (#245)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:29:46 PM EST

    Read the parent and consider what happens when we take the extra step, the step known to the rest of the world as strict gun control, and remove guns from the picture. What happens? Well, the knife wielding prisoner will likely leave you Rambos alone and high the fuck tail it as soon as you give him your wallet full of bus tokens. Oh, the inhumanity.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    You must be blind... (none / 0) (#249)
    by beergut on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:54:20 PM EST

    Read the parent

    I did. It was barely parseable.

    and consider what happens when we take the extra step, the step known to the rest of the world as strict gun control, and remove guns from the picture.

    Okay...

    What happens? Well, the knife wielding prisoner will likely leave you Rambos alone and high the fuck tail it as soon as you give him your wallet full of bus tokens.

    Or, the gun-wielding baddy (You don't really think that a black market for firearms wouldn't exist if guns were banned and confiscated, do you?) proceeds to rape and kill your wife as you watch, just to make you suffer before he kills you with his illegally-obtained gun.

    You see, criminals do not obey the law. That is, by definition, why they are criminals.

    Would a criminal intent on rape and pillage (both of which are also against the law) have any compunction about obtaining and using an illegal firearm in his nefarious activities? Not likely.

    Would a law-abiding citizen, cowed into being sure that the folks who wrote the law know best, be likely to keep his own firearm if a general ban were enacted? Not likely.

    Would this same citizen, confronted by the armed criminal, wish to hell he still had his gun? Almost certainly.

    Oh, the inhumanity.

    Neglecting your responsibility to defend yourself and your family is just plain irresponsible. Your protestations about a wallet full of bus tokens aside, what if you are a woman confronted by a rapist with a knife? Are you going to offer him your bus tokens in exchange for leaving your other ... assets ... alone?

    THINK.

    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 ]

    you just dont get it, do you? (5.00 / 1) (#253)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 06:45:09 PM EST

    I did. It was barely parseable.

    That is because you are painful literalist without the capacity to understand anything other than diagrammed instructions explaining the difference between pulling and pushing a trigger. If you cannot parse what I wrote, there is nothing to be done with you except paint a bullseye on your chest and release you to your defensive rampages.

    It is highly unethical that you should suggest my arguement has anything to do with your claims for misunderstanding perfectly clear prose and I see no reason to pursue a discussion aimed at your selective reading comprehension skills. I've been down this road with you elsewhere on this page. Apart from your faith in the definitions you invent for words that mean something else, I have not now suddenly become interested in elucidating the conceptual leap you will have to make in order to understand arguements that distinguish 'self' from society. This will be my last attempt.

    Or, the gun-wielding baddy (You don't really think that a black market for firearms wouldn't exist if guns were banned and confiscated, do you?)

    Millions of goodies and baddies with guns vs. a very few number of baddies with guns but without your wallet. You choose the former. That is why your statistical death precedes my statistical life. Criminals and the UK and in Canada are not threatened by your absence of gun. That is why the vast majority of them dont need guns or feel compelled to pay the exorbitant price of procuring one in the black market. That is why there are fewer gun incidents in all of Canada than there are in a single major american city. That is why gun crime in canada is typically biker vs biker and not biker vs some schlep with a gold watch. That is why Americans injure themselves with guns to a greater degree than Canadians are victimized by guns.

    I dont care about beergut. I care about all beerguts taken together. That you cannot make the conceptual leap from self to society is your problem to overcome, not mine.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Disconnect... (none / 0) (#266)
    by beergut on Fri May 04, 2001 at 10:36:47 AM EST

    [Very clear but meaningless prose deleted - unlike the grandparent which was very unclear but somehow meaningful to its poster]

    This will be my last attempt.

    But it's fun!

    That is why gun crime in canada is typically biker vs biker and not biker vs some schlep with a gold watch.

    Statistically, it is "biker vs biker" here, too. You must not have been watching when I pointed out that the vast majority of gun deaths in the U.S. were among those involved with gangs.

    Responsible, law-abiding gun owners see vastly fewer problems with firearms.

    I dont care about beergut. I care about all beerguts taken together. That you cannot make the conceptual leap from self to society is your problem to overcome, not mine.

    We have a fundamental disagreement about the structure of society, it would seem. My model sees people - individuals - as the atomic units of society. They work in their own best interests, and in doing so will help others to do the same.

    It is, therefore, incumbent upon us as a society, to safeguard individual rights - among those the right to effectively defend ourselves against criminals and tyranny.

    It really is just that simple.

    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 ]

    reconnect beergut to society (none / 0) (#268)
    by eLuddite on Fri May 04, 2001 at 01:15:19 PM EST

    It is, therefore, incumbent upon us as a society, to safeguard individual rights - among those the right to effectively defend ourselves against criminals

    If you had to defend yourself in this way multiple times you would die. You _do_ defend yourself this way multiple times; simply replace you with many people like you all over the country. You are accepting the classic sucker's bet and it does not work. It just makes the sucker feel better about himself by making suckers out of all of us. Again, its a question of you vs. $you.

    If you want defend yourself against guns, get rid of as many guns as you can. If you want to protect yourself against crime, an entirely different question, improve your police and make your society fairer. Giving everyone a gun immediately fails simply because you cannot identify a criminal before he commits a crime. I dont have to wait for a criminal to steal your gun, that criminal may turn out to be you. Criminals do not grow on trees and will exist with or without guns.

    and tyranny.

    Not this again. It belies a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of government by appealing to the big lie. It is not for you and your friends to identify and oppose tyranny, it is for you, your friends and your enemies. All of you. Your protection is the law and republican government, by design. Under your scenario, there is no system to protect me from your tyranny unless I, too, arm myself and live in a constant state of siege against you, my so called guardian. Your very gloomiest and doomiest nightmares of republican govt pale in comparison to the ones I harbor for vigilante citizenship. What gives? Who are you to dictate a system of government by undermining its very reason to exist?

    Arming everyone is simply not a system of government, it is what government was invented to solve. Your scenario of citizens armed to the teeth against their government is, terrifying, unrealistic and fulfills a self satisfying wish in that it either becomes a tyranny itself or creates one through its actions. This is not AT ALL what the Founders had in mind when they created militias in preference to a standing army.

    In order to make sense of your position, you are required to make me disbelieve the evidence of my life in society and accept your worst nightmare as fact. Please. My worst nightmare is that a meteor falls on my lawn, not factionalism, not that you, or I for that matter, have personal disagreements with one or another social policy. Such disagreements are not the harbinger of despotism, despite what you believe. Quite the fucking contrary.

    Furthermore, in your worst nightmare, you simply assume that the tyranny's agents of force -- the police and the army -- will either be unsympathetic or blind to your concerns. Why? How are soldiers and policemen unlike you in their citizenship? It makes little sense to encourage the tyranny at every step of the way by giving it a reason (violence) to justify taking away your life and rights. In a Republican system of government, tyranny is opposed by votes, not bullets. When there arent enough votes, people like Martin Luther win more through peaceful opposition.

    Now, you will protest with all sorts of tactical scenarios and battle plans but none of them will be relevant because (1) you cannot see through the fog of a war that doesnt exist except in your imagination; (2) you will be ignoring the lessons and victories of people like Ghandi, King and countless protest movements since; (3) you will not replace government with anything better. That last one is your biggest condemnation.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    I guess I just don't understand... (none / 0) (#270)
    by beergut on Fri May 04, 2001 at 02:04:31 PM EST

    Despite a ton of evidence to the contrary, you insist that the intent of the founders of this nation did not intend for the people to keep and bear arms.

    Fine. You are deluded.

    If you want defend yourself against guns, get rid of as many guns as you can.

    But I don't want to defend myself against guns. I'd rather my neighbors not shoot me. But, given that they have guns, that is a possibility. If guns were banned outright, they would likely still have guns - illegally. It's the same argument with drugs. Drugs are illegal, yet it is very easy for me to obtain them, should I so desire. To imagine that there would be a difference between the black market in drugs and that in guns is simply ludicrous.

    That is why I would rather trust my neighbors, treat them with respect and dignity, and not give them reason to shoot me. That is why they treat me the same way. That whole "an armed society is a polite society" thing. It might be that my gun-owning neighbors might be able to watch my back, as I would theirs.

    If you want to protect yourself against crime, an entirely different question, improve your police and make your society fairer.

    But it is not an entirely different question. The police in my neighborhood do a good job. But, they are not present at my side all day, every day. Even if they were, they are under no mandate to defend my life. Were I female, this would be an even worse issue.

    You see, people are not always rational. A drug-crazed loonie could decide to rape and kill a woman. The police would not know of this situation instantly. They could, at best, arrive on the scene after someone had notified them. By that time, the rape and murder might be over with. That woman may have had a fighting chance to defend her life had she been armed. Without being armed, she was a sitting duck. Do you see yet?

    I dont have to wait for a criminal to steal your gun, that criminal may turn out to be you.

    Maybe. But, unlikely. However, do you agree with the principle that someone is innocent until proven guilty? Why, then, would you automatically assume that, because I might own a firearm, I will decide to go insane and commit crimes? Could it be that I own such an item for my own defense and that of others in my domicile, and that I enjoy practicing with that firearm? Might it be that I shoot for the simple pleasure it gives me? If I have done nothing wrong, why chastise me?

    Criminals do not grow on trees and will exist with or without guns.

    That is the point I am trying to make! Whether or not guns ever existed, criminals would exist. It just so happens that there is a way for a weaker victim to have a fighting chance against a stronger criminal. That great equalizer is the firearm - specifically the handgun.

    Not this again. It belies a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of government by appealing to the big lie.

    You keep saying these words, but I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

    Despite quote after quote after quote found in the writings of the founders of this nation, wherein they defended the individual right to keep and bear arms, and wrote clearly and plainly that right into the Constitution of the United States of America, you insist that no such right was to be secured.

    You are, quite simply, wrong.

    Your protection is the law and republican government, by design.

    And if, some day, Republican government fails to properly govern us? What then?

    I am in no big hurry to have a civil war. I detest the prospect. But, there is that possibility, and I want to be able to defend my rights as a citizen. Is that so hard to understand?

    Who are you to dictate a system of government by undermining its very reason to exist?

    Ask the Chinese who died at Tiananmen Square.

    In fact, I would gladly defend the legitimacy of a legitimate government. I would strenuously oppose one which stripped away the rights of the governed for the good of the State. That is why I vocally oppose many of the policies of the present government, and why I am and will be working to change these policies. It is not yet time to take up arms. But, should that become necessary due to an as-yet unforeseen martial condition, I would rather the people of good conscience in my nation be armed so that they may defend themselves.

    Arming everyone is simply not a system of government, it is what government was invented to solve. [...] This is not AT ALL what the Founders had in mind when they created militias in preference to a standing army.

    In fact, this is exactly what the founders had in mind when they did so. It was their belief that (and I paraphrase), "liberty exists when the government fears the people; tyranny exists when the people fear the government." They saw it as a great advantage for the liberty of the people of this nation that they were armed. They counted on the people to act rationally, as though they were responsible for themselves and their own actions. With liberty comes responsibility. We seem to have forgotten that.

    Such disagreements are not the harbinger of despotism, despite what you believe. Quite the fucking contrary.

    Indeed. That is why I am not in favor of simply nuking Canada. That is why I am so in favor of public debate on real, substantive issues. I love to see the system work - I hate to see it corrupted by sleazeballs with lots of money. Is it so hard to imagine that I love my country, and the principles upon which it was founded, but that I am distrustful of the government as it currently exists?

    Why? How are soldiers and policemen unlike you in their citizenship?

    I never said they were different. But, what if the soldiery decided to take the side of the government, by and large, against the people? In a case of martial law, imposed for whatever reason, in which the government was abusing its power, the people would still need a means of recourse.

    It makes little sense to encourage the tyranny at every step of the way by giving it a reason (violence) to justify taking away your life and rights.

    Indeed. Why is my potentially owning a firearm automatically construed as violence?

    (3) you will not replace government with anything better. That last one is your biggest condemnation.

    In the case that I would need to join with the rest of the people to throw off the yoke of an oppressive regime, I would hope that it is replaced with a government guided by the Constitution of the United States of America, as it was originally intended (adjusted to provide liberty to all, instead of just a few).

    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 ]

    we'll have to differ (none / 0) (#273)
    by eLuddite on Fri May 04, 2001 at 04:26:26 PM EST

    Fine. You are deluded.

    I share the same delusions as the Founders and am supported in these delusions by every decision on the 2nd Amendment that ended on appeal as well as 99.99% of them that did not. Apparently wrong is defined according to its opposition in your belief.

    "liberty exists when the government fears the people; tyranny exists when the people fear the government."

    A quote taken out of context which in no way, shape or form means that fear should embody a fear of vigilante citizenship. Indeed, the entire Constitution is protection against the very thing you preach. All Constitutions are. Why? Because the vigilante citizenship you preach undermines my pursuit of liberty. I fear vigilante citizens because there is no order or protection in vigilantism while there is both in republican government. Your so called right to bear arms against the government makes zero sense if it did not include your right for you to pull the trigger.

    You can forget that right here and right now. Either you educate yourself as to the meaning of your Constitution and resign your defense to the National Guard or you forever live in ignorance of the men you hold so dearly after your mistaken fashion. While ignorance may be bliss, it is not its own excuse.

    It is a given that proponents of the Standard Model will be selective in their use of quotes as if those quotes can drown the preponderance of writing against them. The subject of the tyranny does not mean the right to bear arms. It is outrageous that you think the Founders meant for you to interpret their Constitution with your gun. Furthermore, half the time the Founders are speaking of tyranny, they are referring to the inherent weakness and propensity for republican democracies to create factions.

    I am sorry that you insist on misinterpreting the words of your founding fathers but misinterpret them you certainly do. I am not going to link to the 2nd Amendment thread again because you continually refuse to deal with it honestly.

    You see, people are not always rational.

    That is precisely why the arguement for guns' defensive virtue is bogus. You are merely insisting that I accept your rationalization as proof of anything other than your beliefs. They are rationalizations. They are beliefs. They differ in reason. They differ in fact. Guns are not a defensive weapon at the societal level. I dont care that a gun sometimes, rarely, confers an advantage to you, personally, I care that it is a losing proposition when everyone *thinks* that advantage has been conferred to them.

    Why is my potentially owning a firearm automatically construed as violence?

    Why is your potentially owning plague viruses automatically construed as offensive to the public safety? Guns are weapons. Weapons need to be controlled because they are tools of war, not peace.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    TEST: Why is superdefensive America unsafe? (2.50 / 4) (#213)
    by eLuddite on Wed May 02, 2001 at 11:12:45 PM EST

    The point is that owning a gun allows you to preserve and protect *YOUR OWN LIFE*

    That would certainly explain why canadians are dropping like ducks at a shoot.

    No, the point is not that guns preserve and protect your own life, the point is that guns *TAKE YOUR LIFE* when everyone is armed. American criminals have guns because they are Americans, not because they are criminal masterminds that spent 2000$ to buy a pistol just so that they can rob theboz's tv set.

    An armed society is not safe. If you dont believe this, how the fuck do you explain America? Dont tell me America is safer than countries which strictly control their guns because it is not true. Countries that control their guns demonstrably protect *THEIR CITIZENS' LIVES* much better than 274,000,000 theboz's. In other words, your arguement for defense is *COMPLETELY BOGUS*.

    Bah. There's nothing to be done with you people.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    woohoo! (2.00 / 2) (#217)
    by OzJuggler on Thu May 03, 2001 at 12:29:44 AM EST

    Go eLuddite!
    I'm with you on this one!

    I think we could all aspire to being as focussed and discerning as eLuddite, and being as well-researched as trhurler.
    I don't always agree with either of you, but you two are the best 2 posters on K5.

    -OzJuggler.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
    [ Parent ]

    re: TEST: Why is superdefensive America unsafe? (5.00 / 2) (#222)
    by wanderung on Thu May 03, 2001 at 09:36:19 AM EST

    No, the point is not that guns preserve and protect your own life, the point is that guns *TAKE YOUR LIFE* when everyone is armed.

    I think that the millions of Americans who have owned firearms their entire lives could argue with that statement. The simple fact that they're still alive reputes that ridiculous assertion.

    An armed society is not safe. If you dont believe this, how the fuck do you explain America?

    How do you explain Vermont? That state ranks continuously very near the bottom of the statistics of violent crime rates. Any American citizen who is not legally barred from owning a firearm can carry concealed in Vermont without a license of any type. By your reasoning Vermont should be #1 in violent crime.

    Dont tell me America is safer than countries which strictly control their guns because it is not true. Countries that control their guns demonstrably protect *THEIR CITIZENS' LIVES* much better than 274,000,000 theboz's. In other words, your arguement for defense is *COMPLETELY BOGUS*.

    On the contrary America is safer than other countries that control their guns. Australia and the UK both come to mind. Don't believe me? See the articles here and here and one more.

    A few more facts all pulled from the FBI Uniform Crime Report:

    "Violent crime rates are highest overall in states with laws severely limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense". (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1992)

    The total Violent Crime Rate is 26% higher in the restrictive states (798.3 per 100,000 pop.) than in the less restrictive states (631.6 per 100,000).

    The Homicide Rate is 49% higher in the restrictive states (10.1 per 100,000) than in the states with less restrictive CCW laws (6.8 per 100,000).

    The Robbery Rate is 58% higher in the restrictive states (289.7 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (183.1 per 100,000).

    The Aggravated Assault Rate is 15% higher in the restrictive states (455.9 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (398.3 per 100,000).

    Since adopting CCW (1987), Florida's homicide rate has fallen 21% while the U.S. rate has risen 12%. From start-up 10/1/87 - 2/28/94 (over 6 years) Florida issued 204,108 permits; only 17 (0.008%) were revoked because permittees later committed crimes (not necessarily violent) in which guns were present (not necessarily used).

    Bah. There's nothing to be done with you people.

    Fortunately, there is something do be done with people like you. A lot of people simply have no experience with firearms and have based their opinions on what they see in the movies and the evening news (neither of which are remotely grounded in reality). I've changed the mind of more than one person by simply spending some time at the range with them and teaching them to responsibly handle a firearm. If you ever find yourself in Austin, I'd be happy to help you overcome your fear of firearms.



    [ Parent ]
    you sir, are a scholar of the art of war in peace (5.00 / 1) (#237)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 04:00:04 PM EST

    I think that the millions of Americans who have owned firearms their entire lives could argue with that statement. The simple fact that they're still alive reputes that ridiculous assertion.

    Do you also speak for the people with bullet holes? Allow me the same liberty: "I would not have been shot today if my opponent did not have a gun." Perhaps I was unclear in my original formulation. I shall try again. See if you can steer amongst the dangerous pitfalls of logic involving "exists" and "not exists."

    The point is that guns *TAKE YOUR LIFE* when everyone is armed. American criminals have guns because they are Americans, not because they are Canadian criminal masterminds that spent 2000$ to buy such a rare commodity as a pistol on the Canadian black market in order to rob a tv set from theCanadianboz who himself doesnt own a gun by virtue of there being no guns.
    Please reconcile "ridiculous assertion" with the existence of Canada. I am safe. You are not. Why? Because you and the person you are defending against has a gun. Gun control enforces correct play in a Prisoner's Dilemma involving two people with guns squaring off against each other. It is as simple as that. Maybe $you think you are better, faster, quicker at drawing the pistol from underneath the pillow you sleep on but $I disagree. $I think $I am Jesse James to your Don Knotts. BANG! One of us is dead. Why not you? Your solution to this dilemma is more guns?! You are brilliant!

    You also seem to suffer the delusion that criminals in gun control states have access to guns to the same extent that American children have. You are quite simply wrong. Dead wrong, as it were.

    How do you explain Vermont?

    The same way I would explain any bucolic state with more cows than people: very differently from Megalopolis, USA. It is highly amusing that you should think anyone will be impressed by citing Vermont as an example of a dangerous society with or without guns.

    On the contrary America is safer than other countries that control their guns. Australia and the UK both come to mind. Don't believe me? See the articles here and here and one more.

    The pale of your fantasy is staggering. America is more dangerous than Australia, the UK and Canada combined. Your selective use and misinterpretation of statistics is underwhelming and only matched by the gun lobby's treasonable lies about the 2nd Amendment. People have pointed the flaws to your Australian fantasy in a thread under this very article. Every statistic you invent for your cause can be countered by 10 other statistics demonstrating the contrary opinion. Furthermore, American violence is under-reported because its victims expect nothing less. It is a grievous insult for any citizen of the commonwealth, including those who routinely run afoul of the law, to have become a victim of violence in the first place. They report crime to a very unequal extent compared to your average American who is likelier to have been packing the same amount of illegal heat as his aggressor and would just as soon shrug off a cold cocked punch to the head as draw attention to himself with the law.

    One thing you cannot refute is that, on a per capita basis, America suffers more gun deaths and injuries than any nation on earth which has a reasonably long history of gun control. Compare your selective use of reported crime statistics with those reported by hospitals and morgues and only then will I begin to doubt the palpable evidence of my senses. I have been to America, I have lived in Europe and I live in Canada. Not Vermont, major metropolitain cities with populations in the many millions. I can tell you the news and the incidence of wailing sirens confirm nothing less than the fact that Americans either have a problem with guns or they are genetically predisposed to shoot their family and their neighbors. Pick one. Dont tell me you have problem disarming criminals unless you can demonstrate a method of identifying criminals before commission of their crimes. And dont tell me the way to reduce random acts of passion and accidental idiocy is to arm the idiots, the insanely jealous and the angry people that litter the pages of your newspapers because I am not as stupid and gullible as you are to believe the utter tendentiousness of your tripe.

    That still doesnt mean I cannot find reams upon reams of trivial statistical evidence that CCW laws diminish gun offenses, that defensive gun use is a contradiction in terms, and anything else you care to bring to the table. For the benefit of anyone reading this who also prides their possession of a modicum of common sense, please ask yourself why some gun toting yahoo's statistics should be any more relevant than this, this, this or this. It took me all of 10 seconds to cut and paste those links.

    *THINK*

    Fortunately, there is something do be done with people like you. A lot of people simply have no experience with firearms and have based their opinions on what they see in the movies and the evening news (neither of which are remotely grounded in reality). I've changed the mind of more than one person by simply spending some time at the range with them and teaching them to responsibly handle a firearm. If you ever find yourself in Austin, I'd be happy to help you overcome your fear of firearms.

    You arrogant, sanctimonious prick, not only did I have to suffer 18 months of military training with a belgian FN assault rifle, I did 5 years in a federal penitentiary. I have more knowledge about guns, criminals and violent behavior in my little pinky than you possess in common with your entire shooting club. Dont talk to me about reality, I am arguing on the basis of reality, not your pathetic NRA propaganda and fantasy.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    delusions abound (3.50 / 2) (#246)
    by wanderung on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:35:49 PM EST

    Do you also speak for the people with bullet holes? Allow me the same liberty: "I would not have been shot today if my opponent did not have a gun." Perhaps I was unclear in my original formulation. I shall try again. See if you can steer amongst the dangerous pitfalls of logic involving "exists" and "not exists."

    What I'm having trouble with is your faith in this silly argument. Fine, if guns had never been invented then nobody would be in danger of being shot. And if knives had never been invented then no one would be in danger of being stabbed and if cars had never been invented no one would be killed by a drunk driver and there would be no auto accidents of any kind. It's pointless to engage in this type of utopian fantasy. Just like any other technology that has been released to the world in general, you can't put the genie back in the bottle. Get over it.

    Please reconcile "ridiculous assertion" with the existence of Canada. I am safe. You are not. Why? Because you and the person you are defending against has a gun.

    Can you explain the existence of Canada? It is only in the past few years that your gun control laws have become really strict, and you actually have a per capita gun ownership only slightly lower than that of the U.S. I've talked to several fellow M1 Garand owners who live in Canada and M1 rifles are actually cheaper north of the border than they are in the US. It's obvious that gun control is not a magic cure-all, in fact there's very little, if any evidence that it works at all.

    Gun control enforces correct play in a Prisoner's Dilemma involving two people with guns squaring off against each other. It is as simple as that.

    It's never as simple as that. Sadly, gun control doesn't disarm the criminal, just the poor sap who believes in following the law. Gun control doesn't enforce correct play in anything. In fact it greatly tips the balance in favor of the criminal. Let's take my own family for example. My mom (who recently acquired a concealed carry license) can easily handle a .38 caliber revolver. Thus armed, she at least has a chance at defending herself against someone breaking into her house. Now take away her handgun and any two-bit thug breaking in does not even need to be armed. How much of a fight could she put up against a 200 pound man intent on doing her harm? No, gun control does nothing but make people helpless victims in the face of violence.

    Maybe $you think you are better, faster, quicker at drawing the pistol from underneath the pillow you sleep on but $I disagree. $I think $I am Jesse James to your Don Knotts. BANG! One of us is dead. Why not you? Your solution to this dilemma is more guns?! You are brilliant!

    If you think that you are going to put me in a quick-draw situation while breaking into my house, you're wrong. Long before you can gain entrance to my house (I have two dogs with exceptional hearing) you'll get a clear verbal warning to cease and depart immediately before the police arrive, as by this point I will have already called 911. If you continue, and do gain entrance to my house, at that point I have every reason to believe that you are intent on doing me or my family harm and you will be met with sufficient force to stop your actions.

    To paraphrase a quote I ran across a few days ago, an uneducated crook is nearly useless in the face of trained, armed citizen.

    You also seem to suffer the delusion that criminals in gun control states have access to guns to the same extent that American children have. You are quite simply wrong. Dead wrong, as it were.

    England's black market has seen in influx of cheap automatic weapons from eastern Europe in the past couple of years. You seem to suffer from the delusion that simply because a government passes a law banning something that people aren't still going to be able to get it. Prohibition didn't work in the states, the drug war is a failure not only in the US but other countries as well, what makes you think that banning guns is any more effective?

    The same way I would explain any bucolic state with more cows than people: very differently from Megalopolis, USA. It is highly amusing that you should think anyone will be impressed by citing Vermont as an example of a dangerous society with or without guns.

    Oddly enough, that same Megalopolis has more restrictive gun control laws seeking to emulate these other countries that you laud so much. Washington, D.C. banned the private possession handguns and many long guns in 1979. You may or may not remember that for long periods in the 80's and 90's they were the murder capital of the US. See a pattern emerging here? Even if you can prove that gun control has actually made people safer in the UK or Australia (all evidence to the contrary) it doesn't necessarily follow that it would work here.

    The pale of your fantasy is staggering. America is more dangerous than Australia, the UK and Canada combined. Your selective use and misinterpretation of statistics is underwhelming and only matched by the gun lobby's treasonable lies about the 2nd Amendment.

    You didn't even follow the links or read anything in there did you? I didn't invent them, nor did they come from any organization that opposes gun control. The survey whose results I linked to was conducted by the International Crime Victims Survey based in the Netherlands. The others came from the FBI Crime Reports. The only actual data you linked to came from a very disreputable source.

    Furthermore, American violence is under-reported because its victims expect nothing less.

    Do you know what else is also grossly underreported? The number of times a year a responsible citizen protects themselves or their family against a violent attack without firing a shot. Often it is the simple display of a firearm is enough to send the criminal packing.

    They report crime to a very unequal extent compared to your average American who is likelier to have been packing the same amount of illegal heat as his aggressor and would just as soon shrug off a cold cocked punch to the head as draw attention to himself with the law.

    Your knowledge of the average American seems to be based on biased news reports and too much television and / or movies. You claim to have been to the US but the way you're talking I doubt that you've spent much time here or even bothered to get to know the place.

    And dont tell me the way to reduce random acts of passion and accidental idiocy is to arm the idiots, the insanely jealous and the angry people that litter the pages of your newspapers because I am not as stupid and gullible as you are to believe the utter tendentiousness of your tripe.

    I think I see part of your problem. You seem to be basing your opinion on what you see in the newspapers and the evening news. Just in case you didn't know, not only do tend to cater to the lowest denominator, they thrive on the kind of things that you mentioned. Unfortunately, it gives people both abroad and also in America a very unbalanced view of the US. It's sad, but a shooting is big news (especially if the victims are innocent) but a homeowner driving off two home invaders and saving his wife and two children from potential harm rarely even rates a blurb on the back page.

    You arrogant, sanctimonious prick, not only did I have to suffer 18 months of military training with a belgian FN assault rifle, I did 5 years in a federal penitentiary. I have more knowledge about guns, criminals and violent behavior in my little pinky than you possess in common with your entire shooting club. Dont talk to me about reality, I am arguing on the basis of reality, not your pathetic NRA propaganda and fantasy.

    Uh, am I supposed to be impressed or is this just supposed to add weight to your argument somehow? I spent seven years in the US military, so what? The quality of firearms training I received there did not at all compare to what I received when I was growing up. I didn't learn anything about handling a rifle that I didn't know before I went in. The only new thing I picked up was how to field strip and clean an M-16. Spending 18 months as (I'm guessing) a conscript certainly doesn't make you a firearms expert. In fact, the best shooters I saw in the military were far out-classed by a lot of civilians who shoot competitively only as a hobby. I'd put money on the fact that I can find a 14 year old kid that knows a lot more than you do about guns. As far as reality goes, your entitled to believe what you like, but I've been living here most of my life, I personally have had a concealed carry permit for the past six years, and as the saying goes, Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than any of my guns. I didn't start to believe this because of some NRA propaganda, I joined the NRA because, they were defending something I believed in.



    [ Parent ]
    lie. repeat until true. (4.00 / 1) (#251)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:59:05 PM EST

    Fine, if guns had never been invented then nobody would be in danger of being shot. And if knives had never been invented then no one would be in danger of being stabbed and if cars had never been invented no one would be killed by a drunk driver and there would be no auto accidents of any kind. It's pointless to engage in this type of utopian fantasy.

    That's right. Counter the number of handguns in Candada by counting knifes and cars. I expect nothing less.

    Can you explain the existence of Canada? It is only in the past few years that your gun control laws have become really strict, and you actually have a per capita gun ownership only slightly lower than that of the U.S.

    Yes, we walk around slinging rifles instead of concealing handguns. How else would we be safe?

    [your stats are wrong, mine are right]
    [everyone in the inner city loves the policeman]
    [news is censored everywhere in the world]
    [newsflash: hollywood makes non documentary movies]
    [alt.i.must.protect.my.family.with.guns]
    [peace is war, war is peace, so it sez in 1984]

    Yes, of course, I retract everything in the absence of a rebuttal. The world is wrong, a underwhelming majority of Americans in their own nation are right. There are statistics to prove this as long as we ignore those other statistics.

    Uh, am I supposed to be impressed or is this

    I'm not writing this for your benefit. You became beyond redemption when you accused me of being some kind of liberal caricature who experiences life in front of the movie screen.

    I joined the NRA because, they were defending something I believed in.

    And I joined the chess club because I like chess.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    rating ninjas (5.00 / 2) (#239)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 04:21:07 PM EST

    By the way finkployd, fuck me with a broken wine bottle if I ever bother to reply to your inanities again. That you saw fit to rate this way is a clear indication that you and the lying gun lobby that gave you a life here cannot counter any reasonable expression of logic with anything other than half assed attempts at censorship through disdain. I am still awaiting proof that it is possible to vacillate interpretation on a matter of settled law regarding the 2nd Amendment. Dont disappoint me, big guy. The Big Lie depends on you.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Switzerland (3.00 / 2) (#243)
    by trhurler on Thu May 03, 2001 at 05:10:41 PM EST

    You lose. They're essentially a military disguised as a nation; they've got guns everywhere. They also have lower crime rates than just about anywhere else in the world. Also, in the US, places with more guns and less gun control have less violent crime. This includes cities, such as Miami; the trend holds even if you adjust for population density and so on. Since the UK and Australia disarmed their whole populations except a few oddballs here and there, the percentage of criminals with guns has roughly tripled in each. But hey, if the US banned guns, obviously criminals wouldn't have them.

    Yeah, right.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    i love you, trhurler, for the way you make me larf (3.00 / 2) (#254)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 03, 2001 at 07:09:29 PM EST

    Switzerland is not an arguement against gun control, it is an arguement for control. Nor do I dont expect you to embrace the Swiss statist dictatorial requirement that people become trained combatants as well as suffer strict handgun control. The similiarities between Switzerland and the US are staggering in their differences. People have already pointed out on this page that Australia is showing positive results for its gun control despite it being so new as to defy reliable expectations against your favor. What is more, you can fit every Australian in L.A. but before you do, L.A. will have a higher incidence of gun crime than all of Australia.

    Yeah, right.

    Ah, life imitates art. I suppose it's not to late to admit that I was laughing at you, not with you.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Bullshit (4.00 / 2) (#269)
    by theboz on Fri May 04, 2001 at 01:43:36 PM EST

    If you look at the U.S. as a country as a whole, then you aren't seeing things correctly. The high crime areas in the U.S. are those that are least armed, which are usually the urban areas. Places like Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, etc. have the majority of the crime in the U.S. They also have the strictest gun laws too. If you go out to smaller cities, you tend to find less percentage of crime per population. What is also interesting is that the people in those areas are mostly armed. If a bunch of drunk rednecks can own guns and not go around killing each other, then why do people in the city get away with it? Very few people are armed in major cities.

    Another example is a town near me called Kennessaw. In the Atlanta area, there is quite a bit of crime. Personally, I've had a car stolen, the apartment across from mine broken into by the police in search for the murder suspect that lived there, and seen or heard about numerous other crimes. However, within Kennessaw, which is not too far away, it is much lower. One of the main reasons is that in that town, by law, the head of household has to have a gun. Ever since they instituted that law, their crime rates have dropped significantly.

    I won't say that there are any 100% sure ways to stop violence and murder, but having access to weapons does not make someone dangerous to innocent people in most cases. It makes them dangerous to the criminals you seek to protect.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    there is no gun control in america (4.00 / 1) (#274)
    by eLuddite on Fri May 04, 2001 at 05:04:58 PM EST

    The high crime areas in the U.S. are those that are least armed, which are usually the urban areas. Places like Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, etc. have the majority of the crime in the U.S. They also have the strictest gun laws too.

    Gun control means nothing if all you have to do is drive to the next state in order to stock up for the boyz in the 'hood. It is too easy to buy, find or steal guns in America. End of story.

    Another example is a town near me called Kennessaw.

    Examples of one town or another are unhelpful. Your statistics and your towns can be answered with statistics and towns "proving" the contrary. Your major cities kill more Americans each year than Vietnam did in 5. Guns have turned America into a warzone because one half of the Union can deliver weapons to the other half. Bullets kill and injury Americans at 30 times the rate they kill Canadians. 30 times. One order of magnitude and a factor of 3. The difference between walking at 3 miles per hour and driving at 90 miles per hour.

    People who value guns for their defensive virtues are merely rationalizing the problem away on the basis of the Rambo skills they perceive in themselves. They are suckers. They are falling for the typical sucker's bet. "This guy I know defended his life using a gun. I'll do the same." The logic doesnt work that way when everyone is a sucker.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    You're full of it aren't you? (2.50 / 2) (#275)
    by theboz on Fri May 04, 2001 at 06:07:19 PM EST

    It has to be fairly obvious that you have never been to the U.S., which is odd since you are fairly close.

    In any case, you can't just "drive to the next state in order to stock up for the boyz in the 'hood." It is not that easy to buy guns in the U.S. Yes, it can be relatively easy to buy shotguns and rifles, but you still have to have ID and you can't be a felon. If you want to buy something like a pistol, you get a police background check and a waiting period. It is harder to buy a gun than it is to buy even a car. Now, the "Boyz in the 'hood." was a movie reference that was not very realistic. You need to see this country from something other than our movies and TV. There are not a lot of shootings in the U.S. and people don't generally drive around like this is the fictional wild west.

    I'm feeling like I am arguing against someone that will next say something about how black people are all criminals or that Mexicans are too lazy to work. You don't know anything about this country yet you want to tell us what laws we need to pass?

    As far as your argument of people thinking they have "Rambo skills" and being suckers, you really are talking out of your ass. While it may be true that a few people think they are Rambo, the majority of gun owners don't think that way. Personally I would not want to shoot anyone unless I had no choice. That is a common instinct in animals, they only fight when backed into a corner. I think most people are like that. There is a risk involved with someone breaking into your house with the intent to harm you, and you can either make that risk higher or lower. Most of the people I know that have guns have had formal training, and know how to deal with weapons better than the police. That isn't a stretch since the cops only have to prove they know how to use a gun once or twice a year. Plus the fact that the job of the police is closer to that of a historian; they find out who murdered someone, they can't prevent or stop it very effectively. You have a gun in the house for the same reason you have an alarm.

    Well, I won't explain this any more because I doubt any of it gets through...just keep in mind that what works for you doesn't work for everyone. The world is not an ideal place, and sometimes when you do extreme things to try and make it better you end up making it worse. Taking protection from innocent people here will not make the bad guys any better, only worse.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    yeah, yeah (5.00 / 1) (#276)
    by eLuddite on Fri May 04, 2001 at 07:04:49 PM EST

    You said that states with gun control have a greater incidence of gun crimes than states without. Not only is that selectively true, it also happens to be irrelevant. If you think that gun control in state-A means anything when there isnt gun control in state-B, you are either a liar, deluded, or both. Guess what? As a Canadian, I'm just as likely to buy an American gun on the black market as I am to buy a Canadian gun.

    Prove to me that guns cannot be bought in any state of the union as easily as any other state in the union. You cannot. 60% of all guns used in the commission of crime have been illegally purchased out of state 3 or more years previously.

    There is no gun control in America. If want a gun, I walk down crack alley and negotiate a sale. It's as simple as that.

    I'm wrong because you, personally, use guns better than anyone else. So what gives with America? Why do you suffer 30 times more gun fatalities and injuries than Canadians do. I'll tell you why. Again. For the last time. Because you continue to rationalize the sucker's bet in a prisoner's dilemma. It cannot be done. Just because you dont know what a sucker's bet is or realize its implications doesnt mean it will go away. To defend yourself against guns, you need to get rid of as many guns as possible. No ifs, buts, ands, or ors. Everyone knows this except an underwhelming majority of Americans in their own country. Everyone will live longer than Americans because of this FUCKING OBVIOUS knowledge.

    No gun nut has ever, ever, argued on the basis of anything other than their own, anecdotal, personal evidence. I dont care. No one does. You are nothing in society except an accident waiting to happen or next year's criminal. That is a fact. Prove that it isnt. You cannot. You are just as likely to become a criminal as the next guy. That is why when we make sociological arguements, we discount personal "evidence."

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    There are parallels (3.00 / 1) (#277)
    by theboz on Fri May 04, 2001 at 07:49:54 PM EST

    1) The current war on drugs. 2) Prohibition of alcohol.

    Both of those are/were not only complete failures, but allow criminals to rise up such as the mafia and supply the illegal things that people want. So people still get drugs, but have to go through more trouble. However, if you look at the statistics, a whole lot of people are using various drugs in the U.S. So, why would taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding people do any good? You admit yourself that, "60% of all guns used in the commission of crime have been illegally purchased out of state 3 or more years previously." If the majority of guns used in crimes are already purchased illegally, then what good would it do to take the ones purchased legally? I don't see how that statistic helps your point, since you admit yourself that it is easier to buy a gun illegally than legally.

    In any case your claim that no "gun nut" has ever given statistical evidence of their opinions proves only that you have ignored many postings under this same article. Whenever someone labeled as a "gun nut" posts evidence, they are hounded and told that it's just correlating evidence, it wasn't caused by what the "gun nut" claims. Sometimes they are told that their statistics are invalid because they come from a conservative source. There is always some excuse to ignore the person and just say that they are a nut and ignorant or something. Why should I give any evidence when you are simply going to ignore it? But, just to show you that I have researched some just to back up what I have experienced and know is right, here you go. Have fun:

    About Kennesaw
    Vigilante Justice when the police can do nothing

    Actually I am not going to post more right now because I already know what your arguments will be against those.

    Anyways, I've rambled a bit. The point is that I am tired of bigots like you who don't even want to acknowledge a different viewpoint and ignore when someone tells of their experience or even statistics that you don't agree with. I am tired of being labeled a "nut" when it is truly the people that are wilfully ignorant such as yourself that are the nuts. People like myself try to be reasonable, we want to lower crime and prevent accidents with firearms as well. We don't go around shooting at people and acting irresponsible and we are not accidents waiting to happen. I don't go as far as to be extreme and say everyone should own a gun to solve all problems. I think it's equally wrong and extreme to think that you can take all guns away from everyone and things will be ok. The real world doesn't work that way in either case. If you would not be so stubborn you would be able to work with the "gun nuts" to solve the problems, but when you act like a brat and say that it's your way or the highway, don't be suprised if we get defensive or think you're full of shit.

    Stuff.
    [ Parent ]

    I must have been napping (3.50 / 2) (#278)
    by eLuddite on Fri May 04, 2001 at 08:17:12 PM EST

    The point is that I am tired of bigots like you who don't even want to acknowledge a different viewpoint

    When did ignorance become a valid viewpoint?

    If you think invalid, illogical arguements pursued as social policy is a valid because it is a "viewpoint" then you must also think "Canada suffers 30 times less gun incidents" is also a "viewpoint." It isnt hard; agree as a nation to adopt Canada's strict gun control, suffer the transition period, and you will become like us. Safer.

    This is a viewpoint: gun control works everywhere but it will not work in the USA.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Australia and England (none / 0) (#283)
    by weirdling on Wed May 09, 2001 at 09:58:46 PM EST

    Both Australia and England have higher violent crime than the US. In the case of England, this has happened *since* they outlawed private gun ownership. Please, research your statistics.
    Also, no serious criminologists finds any use for comparing countries; there are simply too many variables.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    Sorry (4.00 / 6) (#199)
    by trhurler on Wed May 02, 2001 at 04:09:11 PM EST

    I really could give a rat fuck about the life of an intruder in my home. Property is only part of the point. The bigger part is that this clown is invading my private space and (implicitly, if not otherwise,) threatening me and anyone else in that space. Don't want to die? DON'T DO THAT.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Why? (3.25 / 4) (#201)
    by DranoK on Wed May 02, 2001 at 04:24:36 PM EST

    It's Life, Stupid. It's the most important thing. Respect it.

    Why? So much life is just wasted carbon atoms, why must I respect it?

    Oh yeah, I forgot, it's one of those Christian morals we're all supposd to follow.

    BTW, this isn't flamebait unless you flame in response.

    DranoK


    Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence
    --DranoK



    [ Parent ]
    Someone is deluded (5.00 / 2) (#230)
    by finkployd on Thu May 03, 2001 at 01:46:15 PM EST

    Appearently you live in a world where the only crime is robbery. You know, nobody ever breaks into a house to rape or beat anybody, they just want material objects. Of course killing someone to defend your property is wrong. Nearly every self defense or pro-gun expert (and police, lawyers, etc) will tell you that. That is why you are brought up on murder charges if you were to shoot someone who is fleeing with your TV or in your car. Nobody contests this

    Now let's say you arrive home one day only to find your home broken into, and wife being brutally raped by someone much larger than you and you have no physical chance to forcefully stop the attack? I am aware this is statistically unlikely but how does your feelings on the sanctity of life fit into this picture? In this situation I would certainly prefer to have some form of weapon (gun being the most effective) to end the attack.

    Home defense is not about protecting your posessions, it's about protecting your life and the lives of your family.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    Delusion?? (3.00 / 2) (#260)
    by OzJuggler on Thu May 03, 2001 at 11:21:35 PM EST

    Of course robbery isn't the only crime. I am not deluded about that.

    how does your feelings on the sanctity of life fit into this picture?

    I'd be foolishly and irrationally consumed by anger and I would be capable of anything... maybe even picking up my GUN from the bedroom and SHOOTING the raping bastard... if I HAD a gun of course. Most of all I'd probably want that guy to SUFFER for his crime... which is not going to happen if I shoot him because dead people don't suffer. But, as I said, being consumed with rage and having a gun at my disposal, I would do the WRONG thing and shoot him. Is that what you wanted to hear?

    You can concoct all sorts of scenarios where killing someone with a gun becomes a tempting option, but this doesn't change my belief that although life isn't absoluteley sacrosanct (look at nature!), we as Humans have a moral imperative to ensure that ALL OTHER OPTIONS are TRIED before we resort to killing. Having death machines lying around the house in the hands of ordinary citizens totally short circuits this process. Especially when these gun owners are not likely to be thinking clearly in the moment that their gun becomes an option for consideration.
    What does your example do for my feelings about the sanctity of life? Perfectly intact, thanks.

    Oh and thanks also for trying to redefine what "home defense" means. I'll stick with the literal definiton of: "defending the property where you live". Any more than that and you're talking about "coming to the aid of others" in general; defining who you may defend with your gun simply on the basis of whether they are related to you is weak and arbitrary. That would be saying that families are more important than singles, and instantly demotes singles to being second-class citizens. I also hope you would not want a situation where anybody on the street can pull out a gun to help you while you're being mugged. Imagine the consequence of a misinterpretation.

    This does raise an interesting point though: what if it was REQUIRED BY LAW for everyone over the age of 21 to carry a loaded gun at all times? I'm wondering if that would even things out a bit. It would still be wrong, but maybe less wrong. What do you think?

    -OzJuggler.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
    [ Parent ]

    Nit picking (5.00 / 1) (#261)
    by finkployd on Fri May 04, 2001 at 12:08:28 AM EST

    Ok, fine, I'll redefine the scenerio. Since as you feel anger and rage would be the issue and not a desire to stop the rape, let's say you enter your home and fine a large man you cannot physically restrain approaching your wife with a knide obviously intent on some form of assualt. Or to not discriminating against singles, imagine you are a 90lb female alone and you hear someone forcably break into your home? Would you prefer to rely on the moral integrity of a home invader to not rape and assualt you, just take your things and leave quietly? Or possibly even take the proactive role and call 911 (assuming the phone hasn't already been taken off the hook), and wait the 45 minutes it takes on average for a 911 response in the US?. Or would you prefer to have a firearm with which to possibly have a chance to stop (hopefully without even shooting) an attack from taking place. Not react to an attack in blind rage, but STOP it before it happens. Also keep in mind that killing is not the goal here, stopping is.

    Yes, as you say the gun becomes and option for consideration. I prefer to keep my options open and unlike someone who is not armed, I have the oppertunity to judge a situation and decide if a lethal force response is justified both legally and morally. I'm not forced to passivly accept whatever happens to me and my family and hope for the best from someone who obviously doesn't play by the same rules that I do.

    I still don't understand your problem with defending the lives of your friends and family, but I understand your problem with defending property. You also seem to forget that friends and family aside, possesions aside, it may be YOU that you are defending.

    As for your last question, I don't feel that would be a good idea. Like any "right" (I'm not going to get into the legal bitching over rights, for the sake of understang my position accept that I consider gun ownership a "right") you have the option to enjoy it or not. If you don't want to engage in free speech or take the 5th on the witness stand, you don't have to. Likewise with guns. It's a personal choice.

    Not everyone lives in safe areas, some people live in fear in their homes and places of work. Many shopkeepers in bad parts of cities are robbed and assualted quite a bit. Many women live in fear of abusive ex-boyfriends and husbands and they don't need a gun to harm and kill. Perhaps you live in a crime free area, and have no fear when you walk outside or sleep at night, but remember that not everyone has it as good as you and I imagine these people would take umbrage at you claiming they had to right to self defense or protection since you yourself don't need it.

    Of course getting rid of all guns would be the ideal solution, but the best we could do is take guns away from all the law abiding citizens. This seems a pretty foolish idea to me, as it relys on the hope that with no guns in the hands of citizens, criminals would give theirs up since the would no longer need them. I highly doubt they would be willing to play fair and give up that advantage, so I don't plan on giving up mine.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    The Big Picture. (3.00 / 2) (#264)
    by OzJuggler on Fri May 04, 2001 at 07:50:35 AM EST

    "Also keep in mind that killing is not the goal here, stopping is."

    This is and always has been a question of values. While I am absolutely convinced that your motives are entirely honourable, I do not accept the means with which you realise it. I am disturbed by what you consider to be worth the death of another. Regarding protecting yourself and others, I have never questioned your motives, so don't worry about that. Of course it's all those "other" people with bad motives that we all worry about.

    for the sake of understang my position accept that I consider gun ownership a "right"

    Umm, NO! I won't do that.. THAT'S WHAT THE ARGUMENT IS ABOUT. I'm not going to have much to argue about if I begin by accepting that everyone has a right to bear arms! I also don't think I'd be the first person to point out that there are lots of OK things that are illegal, and lots of wrong things that are not illegal. I don't think laws made in another country are a basis for our argument. Additionally, I'd like to point out that you cannot not engage in free speech. All speech is naturally free, and "free speech" exists only because there are those that would like to threaten the inherently open nature of speech. By contrast, no one is born with a gun in their hand. But that is somewhat tangential to my point.

    It's a personal choice.

    Now we're right back on the point. Gun ownership should not be merely personal choice, since the widespread uptake of guns has far-reaching consequences above and beyond the individual.

    I highly doubt they would be willing to play fair and give up that advantage, so I don't plan on giving up mine.

    You're not thinking Big Picture enough. Think more long term. Eventually the gun-toting generation will DIE. Yes, that's the scale we're talking about. And their gun-loving ways will die with them. Sure all hell might break loose temporarily, but revolutions rarely go smoothly. The generation that follows them will grow up in an unarmed society, and then you guys might just find out what its like to live in Australia. :-) But, if you follow the circular argument of keeping your guns because all those crims are too, then I guess you will never find out if I'm right.

    It's fairly obvious that there are advantages to owning a gun. I don't think I ever denied that. But this is a big tradeoff we're talking about, and its an issue that is much bigger than you've been talking about. You see, what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

    You've talked a lot about scenarios in which (suprise surprise) having a gun is advantageous. An advantage for whom? For you? This issue is not just about the gun owner themselves. I began to realise this more fully when I read a response from eLuddite elsewhere in this thread. You have to consider the effect on society, and I'm saying that the effect in general is not good.

    One of my themes that is probably very difficult for you to accept is that there comes a point where the individual must make sacrifices for the sake of everyone else, and I think that disallowing casual ownership of guns is one of them. Everything I have said on this issue supports this general theme. What I have said may not be enough to prove it is true, and it probably isn't even enough to convince you that I'm right. Yet, I am now rapidly tiring of this debate and so I rest my case here.

    Try not to get shot tomorrow. :-)

    -OzJuggler.
    "And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
    at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
    [ Parent ]

    Progress (4.00 / 2) (#265)
    by finkployd on Fri May 04, 2001 at 08:37:20 AM EST

    Well, I think we understand each other a little better. It all comes down to a question of values. All other things equal, I don't consider my life any more important than anyone else's. I have never made (and hope I never do) a judgement call to end someone else's life to remove their immediate threat to mine. However, I suppose when confronted with a direct and unquestionable threat to my life, I probably will make that decision and I imagine I would kill in a "kill or be killed" situation. I agree this is barbaric and a sad commentary on the progress of society. But yes, I am putting my personal protection and well being ahead of the overall good for society. Especially since I'm not yet convinced that society would be any better off with me defenseless.

    Crime is shooting up in England and in Austrialia (both recent gun ban places). The highest crime rates seem to go along with the strictest gun bans in the states. Most of the gun laws in this country seem intentionally directed at law abiding citizens instead of criminals (assualt wepons ban on gun that aren't ever used in crimes, attempting to ban the most popular concealed carry guns, etc) while it seems no laws are being directed or enforced against criminals. I mean, gun store owners are not required to report stolen guns to the government!!?? Would that alone be worth trying to cut off the supply of illegal guns first?. Of course, the FBI just had a few million in handguns turn up missing, so they themselves probably just armed a large percentage criminals. Perhaps I would feel differently if I felt that an overall ban of guns could be done that WOULD remove all guns or at least come close. All that would happen now is everyone who legaly owns a gun would lose it, while criminals would still have theirs. Maybe in the long run that would benefit society. However, it isn't a certainty and I don't feel like using my short time on this earth to be a crash test dummy for a social experiment.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    I don't understand the feasiblity (3.00 / 4) (#198)
    by RandomPeon on Wed May 02, 2001 at 03:16:29 PM EST

    of using firearms for personal self-defense. I've never used a weapon that hasn't had "Property of US Government" stamped on the side, so I may just not understand. But if I want to use a weapon to protect myself out outside of my home, I'm going to either need to walk around displaying it, which will make a great many people uncomfortable and probably get me refused entry at most public places, or I'm going to need to conceal it. How do "concealed weapons" work anyways? I've used my share of weapons, but I've never tried to conceal one, for both practical and ethical reasons. Assuming I have a concealed weapon, how would I get at it, flip the safety off, and fire it before the bogeyman shoots me first? Even then, I don't understand where I'd hide a weapon in my current attire - I'm wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Assuming I only want to use a weapon to defend myself at home, I'll need to keep that weapon accessible, which is not a good idea if I have little kids(no), or visitors(yes), etc.

    And can we please stop with the "guns protect us from the government" and "there will be a civil war if they try and take away guns" lunancy? I can't fathom how someone who owns a couple small arms thinks they'll be able to defend themselves against an institution like the US government. A rifle will do you little good against a cruise missile, or artillery fire, or even a crew-served weapon. There are two ways you can counter government decisions you don't like - work within the system, or nonviolent protest. The third option, violent resistance, may have some fantasy appeal, but the disparity between the weapon systems each side has access to is ridiculous.(Trying to tell me that insurgents would succesfully employ Viet Cong-style tactics is just silly. Think about this - massive causalties, no Chinese support, no regular forces supporting them, and half of us live on terrain that's more inhospitable to irregular forces than Poland (apologies to czearg)).

    sort of. (none / 0) (#202)
    by _Quinn on Wed May 02, 2001 at 05:02:15 PM EST

       I agree, to the extent that guns aren't self-defense weapons except to the extent that they scare people. (Which is why you won't be allowed in to many places.) So... why not limit handguns to firing ranges? If you want to defend yourself, fine, but do it with something that'll be effective.

       I'm also not opposed to compentency tests for gun ownership; IIRC, it was not the custom of the militia to allow just anyone to join.

       In response to one of the threads below, I'd never heard an assault rifle defined as anything else than a fully-automatic rifle; useful primarily for covering fire (e.g., making an assault).

       Incidentally, I've read that some absurd percent (95+) of (gun) ammunition fired in a war is fired to keep the enemy's head down, rather than to actually kill him. Does anyone know about this?

    -_Quinn
    Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
    [ Parent ]
    Yes (none / 0) (#236)
    by RandomPeon on Thu May 03, 2001 at 03:57:19 PM EST

    This response is probably much more detailed than you want, oh well. In response to one of the threads below, I'd never heard an assault rifle defined as anything else than a fully-automatic rifle; useful primarily for covering fire (e.g., making an assault).

    "Assualt rifle" is a pretty vague term - I think M-16s and AK-47s are considered "assualt rifles" by the press since they are designed for killing people, not animals. These weapons(called "rifles" by the military since they're semi/burst/fully automatic - usually used in the first two modes - the M-16A2 is "3/4 auto" - it can fire 3-round bursts instead of firing on auto like the M-16A1) are quite useful for both purposes - suppressive fire and an actual assualt. "Automatic rifles" as defined by the military, are fully automatic(always) and aren't magazine weapons. These weapons have more value for suppresive fire than markmanship. Move up another step, and crew-served weapons have so much firepower you're gonna hit everything anyway, so they again serve both purposes. (Think the chain-gun from Doom, but in reality it's too heavy to be completely portable.)

    Incidentally, I've read that some absurd percent (95+) of (gun) ammunition fired in a war is fired to keep the enemy's head down, rather than to actually kill him. Does anyone know about this

    You're absolutely correct, the technical term is "suppressive fire". You're not actually shooting to kill, but shooting to keep the enemy from running around. Of course, for every tactic developed there's a counter-tactic, in this case it's moving without making yourself a target. This is why soldiers practices movement techniques like crawling and rushing - crawling is the only sane way to move when someone is shooting at you and you want to live long enough to get close enough to kill them. (There are several different ways to crawl, but this is getting excessively technical now).

    And I thought explaining my day job was complicated. Does the K5 Cabal have an opening for commander, ground forces? :-)

    [ Parent ]
    there's a deterrant factor. (5.00 / 2) (#208)
    by Shren on Wed May 02, 2001 at 05:57:20 PM EST

    You're a criminal.

    You have a choice of two locations to run your mugging operation in.

    One. A district where nobody except a police officer can carry a gun. If there's no cop nearby, you'll win, because you're the only one that's going to be carrying one.

    Two. A district where anyone could be carrying a hidden gun. The target. A passing bystander. The resident of the house who can hear a yell. Anyone.

    Both common sense and Lott's work reveals that criminals flock to option one.

    [ Parent ]

    Prove it (2.00 / 1) (#210)
    by SomeWoman on Wed May 02, 2001 at 07:05:51 PM EST

    In high crime areas, there are more police officers (with guns) and more people carrying concealed guns (albeit illegally for the most part). Guess what? Crime doesn't decrease because of this.

    You say that "criminals flock to option 1." I'd like to see some statistics on the relation between permitting concealed weapons and crime rates.

    [ Parent ]
    responses (5.00 / 1) (#212)
    by Shren on Wed May 02, 2001 at 09:17:14 PM EST

    In high crime areas, there are more police officers (with guns) and more people carrying concealed guns (albeit illegally for the most part). Guess what? Crime doesn't decrease because of this.

    My guess is that someone carrying a gun illegally is less likely to use it for the benefit of his neighbor. As for police officers: They arn't legally obligated to protect us. Guess who's job it is to defend you?

    You say that "criminals flock to option 1." I'd like to see some statistics on the relation between permitting concealed weapons and crime rates.

    My source for that anticdote is Lott's work. It's my belief that Lott is an honest man and not a shill for the gun industry. So I tend to take his work in the area seriously, given that he's a trained statistician and researcher - I think it's one of the few well-known works in the field that doesn't have serious bias.

    Google gives me this for the Lott study.

    Anything else you want me to find from Google for you?

    [ Parent ]

    Police not protecting the innocent? (2.00 / 1) (#216)
    by Pseudonym on Thu May 03, 2001 at 12:28:33 AM EST

    As for police officers: They arn't legally obligated to protect us. Guess who's job it is to defend you?
    If that's the case where you live, I'm not surprised that you have a problem with crime. Where do you live, incidentally? Obviously not in LA, where the brief is to protect and to serve.



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by finkployd on Thu May 03, 2001 at 01:37:10 PM EST

    Despite the catch phrase "protect and serve" the courts have ruled several times without an opposing precident that the police and government in general has NO OBLIGATION to protect anyone. There have been several cases were police did nothing to help someone in distress and plenty of 911 calls where no help ever arrived. The ruling is always that you have no guarentee of safety in this country and the police do not have to help you.

    Finkployd
    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
    [ Parent ]
    they can say anything they damn well please (5.00 / 1) (#240)
    by Shren on Thu May 03, 2001 at 04:36:11 PM EST

    The supreme court, as finkployd says, has ruled that they are not libel for failing to protect you. No liability == no responsibility.

    [ Parent ]

    I'd pick option two (2.00 / 1) (#214)
    by Pseudonym on Thu May 03, 2001 at 12:24:27 AM EST

    You have a choice of two locations to run your mugging operation in.
    If I were an athletic criminal, I'd pick the area where anyone could be carrying a gun. If I can catch a victim by surprise, chances are I can get their gun and threaten them with it, removing the need for me to obtain one for myself.

    More serious, though, I'd rather live in area one. I'd far prefer that only police officers have guns than that the people next door who seem to have a "domestic dispute" every other week have guns.



    sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
    [ Parent ]
    Theory v practice (2.00 / 1) (#241)
    by RandomPeon on Thu May 03, 2001 at 04:48:42 PM EST

    This sounds very compelling, until you consider the evidence - the best crime statistics we have (found here) tell us that it isn't true. Texas, for example, with lenient gun laws, has a much higher crime rate for these types of crimes than Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin, where its almost impossible to get a concealed-weapon permit. Why haven't all the criminals moved north? If you dig through the piles of data the FBI has, you'll see that states with concealed-carry laws have just as much crime(if not more) than other states.

    You've created a theory about crime and when the data doesn't fit you blame the data. An explanation that fits the data goes something like this: Somebody's broke and desperate, or his gambling/drinking/drug habit requires more money, or he's not considering the consequences of his actions anyway (jailtime vs a TV). This is most likely to happen in states with low quality of life indicators (Texas, to continue the example). So instead of buying a Greyhound ticket that you don't have the money for, you go rob someone next door.

    My theory is just as reasonable as yours, it assumes criminals don't call an attorney and research firearms laws before they select an area to commit a crime, but instead commit crimes because they're desperate or irrational so they don't think things through the same way you have. What makes this a better theory is that it describes what actually happens.

    [ Parent ]
    Criminals switch crimes because of concealed carry (5.00 / 2) (#256)
    by gbroiles on Thu May 03, 2001 at 07:48:36 PM EST

    Lott's research shows that areas which enact shall-issue concealed carry laws don't see an overall reduction in the crime rate (not an interesting one, anyway) but they *do* see an interesting (and statistically significant) shift in crimes, away from active attacks against people and towards property crimes committed where there's no risk of confrontation.

    The message a few levels up specifically mentioned *mugging*, a crime against people, not property crime - talking about "crime" or the "crime rate" generally misses an important distinction (which is reflected in the FBI's UCR stats).

    I don't like any crime, but if I've got to pick between surprising a burglar and finding out that my car's been broken into (and I've done both), that's easy - the latter is far preferable. Lott's research suggests that is precisely the sort of choice we're faced with - theoretical arguments about perfect gun control or perfect crime-free zones are just hot air.

    The UK and Australia have seen the shift described above, in reverse - as they've disarmed people, they've seen a significant rise in violent crimes against people - in the UK, especially, the rate of "hot burglary" (e.g., breakins of occupied buildings) has gone up dramatically.

    If you want to compare Texas (a CCW state) to a non-CCW state, why not California? California's more similar in terms of racial mix, urban/rural split, population, climate, and geography. For 1999 according to the UCR, Texas' violent crime rate was 560.3 per 100K; California's was 627.2. New York's (another firearm-hostile state) rate was 588.8 - Illinois (yet another firearm-hostile state) was 732.5.

    The perfect example of a gun control zone is the District of Columbia, where handguns are strictly forbidden, but there are plenty of cops, FBI agents, ATF agents, and all of society's other protectors available to keep people safe, even though they're disarmed. DC's rate is 1627.7 per hundred thousand, almost three times Texas' rate .. and people joke that Texas is a dangerous place because of all the guns.



    [ Parent ]
    You might have me convinced (none / 0) (#263)
    by RandomPeon on Fri May 04, 2001 at 01:33:54 AM EST

    and I might have missed an important point. The post above mine suggested Lott claimed that criminals pack up and move because of concealed-carry laws, which I think we can both agree is pretty ridiculous - we are talking about crooks here. But your argument makes more sense, and it isn't just somebody making shit up. It's nice when people actually bother to dig through stats instead of spouting crap off. I've been on the fence on this issue for a long time, some ridiculous rhetoric from gun advocates pushed me to one side, and your intelligent response is pushing me the other way.

    Of course, two can play at this game. There were 230 instances in 1995 where civilians used firearms to stop a felon. But crime has fallen since then, even though the number of times a firearm is used in self-defense declines almost every year, reaching 154 in 1999.It's here. On the other hand, in 1995, there were 3849 firearm murders over arguments or affairs, most of which probably wouldn't have happened absent firearms. So 20 times as many people used their private weapons while acting stupid than they did protecting themselves. (Use 1995 since that's when the most self-defense killings happen where murder breakdowns are easily findable - the format doesn't change in the paper version each year, but what they put online is maddeningly different every time).

    And the 1995 data (picked arbitralily, to be as different as possible from 1999) indicates nearly indentical crime rates for California and Texas, 5831/100K in CA, and 5684/100K for TX. Looking at smaller states, GA had a violent crime rate of 6003, and MN (which has similar pop breakdowns) had 4497. I've been beat up twice for what seems to be a ridiculous set of data to compare, and it was stupid, but in wasnt't intentional, honest. In my earlier post I picked states that are radically different without thinking - I actually had traveled between them via bus (the cheapest way to travel) once, so it seemed to fit, since the author was suggesting that criminals are smart enough to do likewise.

    [ Parent ]
    Non-fatal (and non-firing) uses are key (none / 0) (#271)
    by gbroiles on Fri May 04, 2001 at 03:05:22 PM EST

    The table you point to dicusses "justifiable homicides" - which are only a small (hopefully really small) number of the defensive uses of firearms .. e.g., there are a lot of cases where the mere presence of a gun allows a nonviolent (or less violent) resolution to a situation. Research (and common sense) suggests that the incidents form a pyramid - with a large base at the bottom of unexceptional/unremarkable incidents, where no shots are fired and attackers or intruders abandon their activity in the face of armed resistance. The next level would include incidents where shots are fired (including "warning shots", which are very stupid legally and tactically) and nobody is hit, or where shots are fired but no death results. People shot with handguns (not counting suicide attempts) have a survival rate around 90% - so there are likely to be a lot of shootings that never show up in the "justifiable homicide" stats, simply because the attacker survived. The lower an incident is in that pyramid, the less likely it is to make it into police-based statistics - because the victims don't necessarily see anything to be gained by calling the police (especially if their gun carry or possession isn't legal, or if the local cops are hostile to guns even if they're legal), or because the police aren't very interested and aren't going to be tracking attempted burglaries or failed robberies weeks later, especially where there was no injury and no loss.

    Gary Kleck, a professor at Florida State University, conducted a survey in 1993 which estimated the number of defensive gun uses in the United States at 2.5 million, annually - which boils down to a defensive gun use rate of about 1% for each privately held gun in the US. (G. Kleck, M. Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun", 86 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 1 (1995))

    Also, re the TX/CA comparison in 1995 - you might be interested to learn that TX's liberalized CCW law took effect on Jan 1, 1996. I don't think that's the whole story re the crime trends there - it's a nice sound bite but probably oversimplified.

    [ Parent ]
    Huh (4.00 / 1) (#272)
    by RandomPeon on Fri May 04, 2001 at 04:04:46 PM EST

    Interesting. As I've mentioned above, I have no experience with civilian weapons - didn't know they were that puny/non-lethal. On the other hand, I don't see how only .01% percent of all self-defense uses of firearms result in a "justifiable homicide" (~250/2.5M). The statistics stuff does seems to make sense, I'm well aware of the reporting issues when you play with any data collected by many fallible human beings. You might have changed my mind. If nothing else, your numbers seem to indicate that it's at a draw. Have to think about this somemore sometime.

    [ Parent ]
    meaning of statistics (5.00 / 1) (#281)
    by gbroiles on Mon May 07, 2001 at 02:48:43 PM EST

    One of the funny things about the statistics which pro-CCW people talk about (I'd include myself in that group) is that they also suggest that, in each individual case, a gun isn't all that likely to be crucial, because most people don't get attacked most of the time. I think the 2nd amendment does protect an individual right to keep and bear arms which are useful in a military context - e.g., I don't believe it would be constitutional to limit firearm ownership to only "sporting" weapons, or to limit their possession to the premises of shooting ranges or gun clubs. On the other hand, I do note that guns are only one tool in a toolkit for personal security and safety - things like first aid kits and fire extinguishers and CPR training belong in there, too, at least if there's a real concern about security, not just macho posturing. Now, that's required for logical and philosophical consistency, not as a matter of law - but I think it makes more sense to look at the big picture, addressing all of the risks that people face to their safety and security, and addressing the most serious ones together, not just picking one or two exciting ones.

    [ Parent ]
    that's intellectual dishonesty at it's best. (5.00 / 1) (#259)
    by Shren on Thu May 03, 2001 at 10:21:37 PM EST

    This sounds very compelling, until you consider the evidence - the best crime statistics we have (found here) tell us that it isn't true. Texas, for example, with lenient gun laws, has a much higher crime rate for these types of crimes than Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin, where its almost impossible to get a concealed-weapon permit. Why haven't all the criminals moved north? If you dig through the piles of data the FBI has, you'll see that states with concealed-carry laws have just as much crime(if not more) than other states.

    I'm far from a statistical expert, but pointing at Texas and saying, "Lots of crime!" and then pointing at three other states and saying, "Less crime!" doesn't prove anything to anyone. Texas is a very different place than the other three states you named. It has problems both with urban sprawl and illegal immigration. It would have higher crime than the other states even if the laws are exactly the same. <rude>If you thought for a second, you'd know that.</rude>

    You've created a theory about crime and when the data doesn't fit you blame the data. An explanation that fits the data goes something like this: Somebody's broke and desperate, or his gambling/drinking/drug habit requires more money, or he's not considering the consequences of his actions anyway (jailtime vs a TV). This is most likely to happen in states with low quality of life indicators (Texas, to continue the example). So instead of buying a Greyhound ticket that you don't have the money for, you go rob someone next door.

    I haven't created anything. I've already admitted to taking Lott's word for things. You've created a theory out of a single invalid statistical comparison, and followed it up with an anticdote. You see in those statistics exactly what you want to see.

    [ Parent ]

    Just an example (3.00 / 2) (#262)
    by RandomPeon on Fri May 04, 2001 at 12:32:33 AM EST

    You're absolutely right. I was just tossing out a quick example, and ignoring everything else. I picked those states because I did once ride a bus between them. But the trend is pretty obvious, if you care to, you can dig through the UCRs and you'll see a pretty clear trend. States with very high levels of gun ownership and loose firearms laws often have high levels of crime, and states that have strict firearms laws often have low levels of crime. This isn't a causal relation, of course, because the same states with strict firearms laws often have high quality of life indicators, (exceptions exist, I know) which are the statistics most correlated with crime rates. Nonetheless, if there was a strong causal relationship between firearms laws and crime, it should show up even in the face of other factors, without the assistance of a statistician's corrections.

    Of course, the FBI, as a government agency, is required by law to never to provide information in an easy-to-use format, so you'll need to download about 50 pdfs (five for each year till they started keeping track) and of course each year the format of the report changes. We could go through the data, year by year, state by state, right here, but that any such comment would be painfully long, and get rated 0 legitimately. (I did this once with several QOL measures and crime rates as part of a pol sci class. For the hell of it, I took a couple states with similar QOL levels and different gun and looked at the numbers - I suprised at the relationship between gun laws and crime rates. I honestly expected that states like TX, VT, GA, would have lower crime rates than antigun states with similiar QOL ratings - but it doesn't look like it's true. Texas, for example has a QOL on par with California, and both are very unsafe places, despite tremendous differences in gun laws. VT and MN have high QOL levels, and MN is "antigun" but has lower per-capia crime rates. This isn't comprehensive, this wasn't my project, it was just an "hmmm... I'm curiuous" thing, so there's no data to share. I know this is a cop-out, but I'm not interested in doing it again for no credit).

    If you're really interested, take a look at a snapshot, and compare the data from one year to the quality of life surveys done for that year- the correlation is pretty amazing, which isn't suprising, you'd expect that to be a predictor of crime.

    Moral of the story - the best way to reduce crime is to create good-payingjobs, provide good educations, have well-funded social services, encourage people to purse some form of post-secondary education, etc. Guns may be a factor, but they're not nearly as significant.

    BTW, this is the problem with arguing about whether x causes (or prevents) y anywhere in the social sciences - there are too many frickin variables. I could tell you to look at the same data in aggregate and note that crime decreased nationwide after the passage of the Brady Bill, but you could tell me that the economy got better and unemployment went down, and these things overwhelmed the criminogenic effects of gun-control and you could be right, but there's no way to tell. This is RandomPeon's 5th Law: "For any unexplained correlation in the social sciences that supports your argument, there are two unexplained correlations that oppose it."

    I've already admitted to taking Lott's word for things.

    But your author is apparently funded by the gun industry, which does cast some doubts on his objectivity - I can make statistics say anything, especially once I start "correcting" them for other influences. You say elsewhere, you'd like to believe he isn't just a "shill for the gun industry" but that's the problem. He has a theory which suggest gun ownership is a good thing, so you're willing to believe it even if you don't analyze it. The "crime is caused/prevented by x" game isn't something that requires a statistician, an amateur can play just with a couple stats courses and minimal data-munching power. It's social science, so you can assume all relationships are linear, which really simplifies the analysis of data. The only decent data on crime is publicly available, (the FBI really does have good data-collection methodology, except for hate crimes) is in public domain, so if you want to, you can again take a look yourself.

    [ Parent ]
    Two things (none / 0) (#282)
    by weirdling on Mon May 07, 2001 at 03:18:17 PM EST

    First, you state that some states with lax gun laws have high crime while some states with restrictive gun laws have low crime. This does not even make a correlation, not to mention that the causes of crime are generally not at all related to the availability of guns, although guns in the hands of *law abiding citizens* has been shown rather conclusively to be a deterrent, as has been rather empirically demonstrated by John Lott in his book, 'More Guns, Less Crime'. Please, whatever you think about his fundage, which I doubt comes from pro-gun sources as he is an academecian, I'd rather here serious doubt being cast on his methods. I've read the book and find it pretty unimpeachable. If he were easily proven wrong, don't you think HCI would have undertaken such?
    The key to understanding how guns affect crime is to watch crime data in series over time, not to compare municipalities. Municipalities report crime differently, making for only one of a huge collection of difficulties in comparing municipalities for the purposes of crime studies. However, in every single case I have ever seen where gun laws were restricted, the result was greater crime and in every single case where gun laws were relaxed, crime went down. Whether this proves that more guns lead to less crime may be questioned, but it certainly disproves that more guns lead to more crime...

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    How it works (4.33 / 3) (#211)
    by gbroiles on Wed May 02, 2001 at 07:06:26 PM EST

    In states where you can get a concealed carry permit (and other places, too), people buy holsters designed for concealed carry - frequently they're called "inside-the-waistband holsters". They attach to your belt with a pair of clips, similar to pager clips, except that the holster is worn between your pants and your underwear. Frequently the clips are designed to sit between your belt and your pants, so that only a tiny bit of them shows through. The gun sits with the grip above the waistband, but everything else below the top of the waistband. Most people who use these holsters wear 2 shirts, an untucked shirt, or a jacket/vest when they're carrying. People usually carry on their strong side, just behind the hipbone, but that depends a lot on their personal build, firearm choice, etc. Women often carry in their purses (you can buy special purses with hidden compartments for guns), and some people like ankle holsters. Some people who carry concealed end up using very small, very light guns, and they carry them in something called a "pocket holster" which looks a lot like a wallet - it gives the gun a rectangular outline which looks like a wallet when it presses against the pocket, so people don't know they're seeing a gun.

    How do you keep a handgun safe but accessible at home? Several companies make small lockboxes which can safely hold loaded guns but open quickly upon entry of a pushbutton combination - Mossberg makes one, as do the Gun Vault people at <http://www.gunvault.com>. Similar lockers are also available for long guns.

    People who have been to defensive handgun training should be able to draw from concealment and fire at an attacker in less than two seconds - that's a pretty common standard achievable with a wide range of humans through a number of different training programs. Drawing, deactivating the safety, aligning the sights, and firing isn't really any harder than, say, driving a stickshift car - it takes a little time and effort to learn to do it smoothly (and you wouldn't want to depend on your ability to do it if you'd never tried it before) but it's certainly possible for the vast majority of people.

    Regarding defense against tyranny - you are certainly correct that a handgun or long gun provides no protection against things like cruise missiles, artillery, or crew-fired weapons .. but governments cannot use those kinds of weapons in populated areas and maintain popular support or maintain the perception that they're engaged in law enforcement, not war against their (former) citizens. It's also very difficult to limit damage from larger-scale weapons to the "bad guys" - meaning that use of the larger-scale weapons will involve government killing of innocents. Once that bridge is crossed - from law enforcement to warfare - lots of things are different, and governments are mindful of its implications.

    [ Parent ]
    A few bad apples. (4.50 / 2) (#203)
    by Huh on Wed May 02, 2001 at 05:07:46 PM EST

    Basically what I'm hearing from this board's 'gun control' advocates is; "we want to take away everyone's guns, because of a tiny portion of gun owners that (use/handle/store...etc) their guns irresponsibly and/or illegally."

    The Gun Culture | 283 comments (236 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
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