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My Friends Are in Prison

By ebunga in News
Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 10:32:02 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

I rode past my old high school a few nights ago. What I saw, really disturbed me. Video cameras on the roof, watching over everything. Before I graduated, all the doors in the school were replaced with these thick, ugly doors. Obviously made to withstand a gunshot.

Every day, millions of teenagers are forced to return to these prisons. To have the eye of Big Brother watch over them like hawks, stripping every ounce of privacy from them. Everything and everyone is subject to being searched, without a warrant, just because they look like they might be a person who could possibly be a "threat" to society. People being forced to use clear book bags so school officials can see if you have a bomb packed a way. Even worse, some schools have banned the things altogether, out of fear that somebody will bring in a bomb, or a gun, and wreak havoc.

Video games and movies are blamed. Has anybody ever stopped to think for a second about that. Millions of people play violent video games. Millions of people watch violent movies. If they truly caused violent behavior, then there would be nobody left on this planet. The manufacturers of guns are blamed, and then they get sued when somebody kills another. Guns really do kill people, but they can only do it when there is some mentally disturbed individual in control of it.

So, what is the solution to the problem? Should we take away guns? That won't work. If the people are already breaking laws, do you think that they will obey a law that says, "You can't have a gun anymore?" Of course not. Banning violent video games. Oh yeah, there we go. Play Solitaire for the rest of your life. Ban violent movies. Censorship. Sounds like we're turning into Nazi Germany. Books are banned in libraries because it might be offensive to some.

People get made fun of, each and every day, just for being a bit different from others. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cause mental anguish. Instead of the schools harassing the ones who have been harassed by their peers, why not put the smack down on the "happy, shiney" people who are out smoking weed, getting drunk every night, going around, just having sex with whomever they feel like, all the time, and leave the fragile outsiders on their own. They are generally kind people, but after ten years of being made fun of every single day, having nobody to turn to, having few, if any friends, wouldn't you be a bit bitter? It isn't the outsider's fault. The ones to blame are the incompassionate popular people.

Take down your cameras. Keep your doors open. Don't worry about what's in everybody's back packs. If somebody is going to be determined enough to bring a gun to school, there is not anything that can be done to stop them, other than having two armed guards per student and faculty member, in each and every school, all around the world.

People have a right to be free. This is one of the founding principles this great nation was founded on. Where is the freedom for the youth of America? Cameras, thick, locked doors everywhere, uniforms, everything controlled. That really sounds like prison. You know, prisoners have more freedom, actually.

Will anybody stand up and voice their opinion? I would say, probably not. Everybody is so apathetic, everybody is so incompassionate, just wanting what's the quick fix to a little happiness, not looking at the future. Come on people, stand up for yourselves. Be free.


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My Friends Are in Prison | 41 comments (41 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Have we found our resident Jon Katz... (none / 0) (#3)
by hattig on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 01:43:31 PM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

Have we found our resident Jon Katz? What the guy says is true of course, and I for one am glad that in the UK we don't have handguns. It doesn't get rid of all gun related crime of course, and knife attacks are still occurring, but you do feel a lot safer, and school is meant to be one of those places where you should feel at least a bit safe.

Agree. The more I watch the US, the... (none / 0) (#11)
by Pow.R Toc.H on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 02:04:03 PM EST

Pow.R Toc.H voted 1 on this story.

Agree. The more I watch the US, the more I understand that "free market" != "freedom to the people". BTW, and for my great disappointment, the "free market" as US Govt. want suppress slowly but steadly the freedom of people. Say something about a company or organization? No problem, you won't be imprisioned but will be prosecuted to your last dime. Something that is fatal in a capitalist society. I'm not impressed with this sort of thing happening at USA, since they are the source of all inequalities that exist in the world. Anyway, seems like americans worry more with themselves than with the future of the nation as a whole - I must say, I don't like what I have seen. Finally, I've been both in US and Europe (France, Italy and Holland) and despite the "Big Brother" tradition of European countries I've felt much more surveilled in US than in Europe. And this (in the case of Europe) in a time that there were many explosions in Paris Metro.

Interesting and relevant enough to ... (none / 0) (#12)
by mattdm on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 02:07:46 PM EST

mattdm voted 1 on this story.

Interesting and relevant enough to geek life to post. I don't agree with everything said, but then, that's what discussion fora are for, isn't it? :)

Re: Interesting and relevant enough to ... (none / 0) (#32)
by ebunga on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 11:49:47 PM EST

Correct. I wish you would have actually said what you don't agree with. That's what discussions are all about. I welcome any comments, even the negative ones.

[ Parent ]
Re: Interesting and relevant enough to ... (none / 0) (#54)
by mattdm on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 11:39:50 PM EST

I didn't say more because that was my moderation comment, not a discussion one (hint, hint, rusty, if you're paying attention... *grin*).

But: the thing I disagree with is the whole video games - violence link. I'm used to thinking that any such correlation is silly, but I'm coming to believe more and more that as graphics become more and more realistic, a real problem IS developing. Of course, it's silly to say that video games cause violence. That's just plain ridiculous. But, these are really good simulators, and they're getting better every day. Above and beyond the whole culture-of-violence issue: there are people who have other issues in their lives, and while playing violent video games isn't the cause of their problems, it can't help to have them practicing extremely realistic enactments of violence. As technology improves, it becomes so close to the real thing that it feels no different -- and that should be disturbing to us all.

Sure, for a large number of people, it's a way to enact things that they would never do. But for others, it blurs the line between what is done and what isn't.

I don't think that censorship is the answer. I'm not sure what the solution is -- but I do believe in the problem.

[ Parent ]
Hmm. While I agree with the poster,... (none / 0) (#9)
by Skippy on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 02:52:30 PM EST

Skippy voted 0 on this story.

Hmm. While I agree with the poster, I'm not sure this is the right forum.
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

We've all heard these arguments bef... (none / 0) (#8)
by Perpetual Newbie on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 02:53:02 PM EST

Perpetual Newbie voted 0 on this story.

We've all heard these arguments before in the countless slashdot discussions, so it's nothing new to us here.

Try sending it in to your local newspaper, after fixing some of the grammar errors. That opening is really an eye-catcher, I think a paper would go for this.

Re: We've all heard these arguments bef... (none / 0) (#33)
by ebunga on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 12:17:32 AM EST

Once upon a time, I was a great speller. My grammar was excellent, and everything I wrote, looked like it came from a person that had a doctorate degree in english. Well, the lovely Mississippi State Board of Education has the requirement that you must take a foreign language to graduate. Coming from Rankin County, the district that has the brightest students, yet spends the least amount of money per student, we don't really have very many teachers that can teach a foreign language. The choice was "Spanish" or "Spanish". So, I decided on "Spanish". That class just totally screwed my spelling skills up. I find myself trying to remember the proper way to spell even the simplest of words now.

I know it is nothing new. I was just running off rage when I wrote it. Change has to start somewhere. Opinionated guys
named "John" can't do everything.

[ Parent ]
This was a good article until I rea... (none / 0) (#10)
by neonman on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 03:28:54 PM EST

neonman voted -1 on this story.

This was a good article until I read the poster's suggestion that schools "put the smack down on the "happy, shiney" people who are out smoking weed, getting drunk every night, going around, just having sex with whomever they feel like, all the time." The poster claims to be a proponent of freedom but makes suggestions that run contrary. How can schools going around and interfering with the private, outside-of-school activities of individuals be considered freedom? That is not a solution to this problem. It would make the problem much greater, taking away freedom not only in school, but outside of school as well.
Aaron Grogan

Re: This was a good article until I rea... (none / 0) (#31)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 11:45:52 PM EST

Well, I think he was referring to the fact that drugs (weed), booze, and sex are illegal in most every country for minors.

Sure, removing rights to those things for minors does violate their freedom, but it is done for a reason - for their protection. At the age of 12 do you think you had enough sense as to how badly drugs can ruin you, how to safely drink (which cannot be done at that age - it will destroy your body), or how sex can ruin your life by producing unwanted pregnancies?

I would say no. And that is why minors are denied these things - because most minors have no clue as to how to keep these vices from ruling their lives. I have heard stories of a 17 year old girl having a child, then having an abortion. Next she gets depressed over killing the child that could have been, and then finally committs suicide herself.

I have heard the oh so common story of the 16 year old getting their first car, and getting drunk with a bunch of freinds. Next they kill not only everyone in their car, but another one as well in a drunk driving accident. And don't even make me begin on the 14 year old crack whore found in a local strip club. It is so sad, and for that reason we keep these children from these things to protect their lives.

Sorry, I'm really going on too much, huh?

Schools aren't the place to bust these kids though, the police are the ones to do it. And they don't need to go to jail, but to some SERIOUS counselling sessions. Of course, for repeat offenders, perhaps jail is the only choice.

(BTW: I really do prefer being an Anonymous Hero - I think I'll switch from slashdot to here... :-)

[ Parent ]
Re: This was a good article until I rea... (none / 0) (#36)
by ramses0 on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 01:18:11 AM EST

Thaks for the story.
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]
An interesting point of view. Again... (none / 0) (#6)
by xah on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 03:37:29 PM EST

xah voted 1 on this story.

An interesting point of view. Again, I hate Big Brother.

It's been said a zillion times (and... (none / 0) (#5)
by fvw on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 03:55:47 PM EST

fvw voted 1 on this story.

It's been said a zillion times (and every time to the people who have already been convinced) but heck, post it anyway.

This essay is too simplistic, and r... (none / 0) (#13)
by rcade on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 04:13:14 PM EST

rcade voted -1 on this story.

This essay is too simplistic, and references to "this great nation" ignore the fact that Kuro5hin has an international audience. I'd have to pass on this one.

Re: This essay is too simplistic, and r... (none / 0) (#30)
by ebunga on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 11:38:36 PM EST

Yes, it was a bit simplistic. I had just woken up, after only having a couple hours of sleep. I was already in a bad mood, and just seeing my old high school have tighter security than a prison, it just sadened me. I guess if you can't vote, you don't have any rights.

As for references to "This Great Nation", hey, I'm an American. If I say it, you know. I just have certain ideas about how things should be. These things I write, maybe I'll make a difference. Maybe I'll piss people off. Maybe I'll have the US Government knocking on my door for being critical of things it has done.

Thanks for your comments, though.

[ Parent ]
High school today scares me. I ask... (none / 0) (#2)
by ramses0 on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 04:38:09 PM EST

ramses0 voted 1 on this story.

High school today scares me. I ask my little brother if high-school sucks, and he says "naaah", but the society which we are living in really encourages litigation against public schools and public services in general. Nobody's perfect, and it's time we stop expecting people to -be- perfect.
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

blah blah blah.... (none / 0) (#4)
by mr. creep on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 06:12:51 PM EST

mr. creep voted -1 on this story.

blah blah blah.
brian - geeknik.net

Hm. A little Katzian, but at least ... (none / 0) (#1)
by rusty on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 06:43:15 PM EST

rusty voted 1 on this story.

Hm. A little Katzian, but at least it's real. This is someone who was there, and has an opinion. I'm for perople saying what's on their minds, generally.

Not the real rusty

I see the media as a driving force ... (none / 0) (#7)
by derick on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 08:05:30 PM EST

derick voted 1 on this story.

I see the media as a driving force behind all the violence. Its not the game or movie industry that is putting violent thoughts into peoples minds, its the on-the-spot news crews showing actual footage of actual people being actually shot. Troubled kids see these reports and see all the attention that the shooters are getting, and decide that they wouldn't mind gettin' mentioned on the news.

Re: I see the media as a driving force ... (none / 0) (#29)
by ebunga on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 11:26:54 PM EST

Yeah good point. Really, I never meant to blast all the crap about the "popular people", "outcasts", and all that. I was mainly going to write about how the schools are locked down so much, that it is just impossible to breathe. Of course, with more and more pressure being put on people, I think we are going to see more of them snap, and not just some little scrawny geekly kid. I think we're going to see a teacher snap.

I have seen more than one teacher suffer a nervous breakdown at school, due to school administration, and extremely rude students. One teacher quit teaching altogether, and has just now started being a substitute teacher again, after taking about 5 years off. The other teacher just moved to another school, and quit the year after that. It isn't going to be long, before we have a teacher go crazy.

And so what if I'm a little Katzish. He's got some good points. I've got some good points. Well, that's my opinion, atleast. Of course, I could be wrong. Oh god, now I sound like Dennis Miller.

[ Parent ]
I clicked in thinking there was a discussion... (none / 0) (#27)
by rajivvarma on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 11:04:15 PM EST

Rusty, there really needs to be a way to filter out the comments made from moderating stories. I clicked through thinking there was going to be some discussion but it was just the moderation comments.

Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

Re: I clicked in thinking there was a discussion.. (none / 0) (#28)
by rusty on Mon Feb 21, 2000 at 11:06:57 PM EST

Argh. There's something wrong. The moderation comments are getting posted twice, it looks like. I have no idea why this is... I'm looking into it.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: I clicked in thinking there was a discussion.. (none / 0) (#35)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 12:43:40 AM EST

Also, the scoring 0 vs. 1 for moderation or non-moderation comments is not good enough, we really need a check box (when we write a moderation comment) to make the comment appear as a normal comment. There is a lot of confusion because some people take the the moderation comment "explain yourself" literally and some take it to mean post a menaingful message.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Re: I clicked in thinking there was a discussion.. (none / 0) (#37)
by rusty on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 02:10:22 AM EST

Yes. The scoring is useless right now. Think of it as a hint as to where the future might go... Although I like the "flags" idea that somneone else suggested. let users mark their own comments as "offtopic" or whatever, and flag story mod comments as such. Many options... But tonight, I'm tired :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: I clicked in thinking there was a discussion.. (none / 0) (#38)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 02:33:14 AM EST

Yes. The scoring is useless right now. Think of it as a hint as to where the future might go... Although I like the "flags" idea that somneone else suggested. let users mark their own comments as "offtopic" or whatever, and flag story mod comments as such. Many options..

Yes, flags are a good idea. I am pretty convinced flags and troll deletion voting are at least a good part of the solution. They don't really provide everything that people want, but they are a nice concervative way to do it (i.e. they don't fuck up like slashdot moderation).

Actually, if you make the assumptin that "good posts are rare" then you could do a voting system for good posts too maybe.. Hmm.. I dono.. it's an idea, but it still seems like an ad-hoc solution.

I think I mentioned this to you, but one thing that would help it to always show all the title / author lines for posts, even when the flags suppress them. It dose not take up much space and it gives people a much better feal for the conversation.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Re: I clicked in thinking there was a discussion.. (none / 0) (#41)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 09:25:56 AM EST

Actually, I should also mention that the big feature lacking from the weblogs is a notion of "new posts" in a story or thread which the user is intereted in.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
My Friends Were Never in Prison (none / 0) (#34)
by rusty on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 12:18:00 AM EST

I have one very strong opinion on this whole school-freedom thing. My opinion is this:

People will excersize exactly as much responsibility as you expect from them.

I went to a tiny little private secondary school. Total enrollment, grades 7 thru 12, was about 170. There were 24 kids in my graduating class, and we were the largest graduating class ever, in the 18 year history of the school. There were no metal detectors, there were no guards, there was no bulletproof glass. Our lockers didn't even have doors on them.

And yet there was almost zero vandalism or theft, and absolutely no violence. Sure, there were drugs, and alcohol, because teenagers take drugs and drink. There wasn't a "drug problem" though, because people generally understood that these things had their place, and it was not at school.

And the single biggest factor in keeping things under control, I think, was that every student was expected to act responsibly. The rules were not forced upon us. They were outlined as a social code, to make everyone's lives more easily livable. Rather than treating us like prisoners, we were treated like citizens, and expected to act like citizens. The further American society gets from expecting it's citizens to act that way, the further we get from solving any of our broad range of social problems. This is true of our schools, but the same penal attitudes permeate the rest of our society as well. It's only making things worse.

Not the real rusty

Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#39)
by Paul Dunne on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 03:24:18 AM EST

It's a bit early for in the life-cycle for Katz5hin. How about having articles about technology and culture, and leaving "Oh my God! It's a outrage!" to the hacks elsewhere?
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#47)
by Emacs on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 04:29:51 PM EST

Amen to that my brother.

I have to wonder what the reaction would be if Katz ( I'm not a fan of his ambulance chasing journalistic stories, but I always thought people were kinda tough on him ) started posting here. Ah... the horror :)

[ Parent ]
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#49)
by Paul Dunne on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 05:46:27 PM EST

Assault On The Hellmouth!

...naah, only kidding: kuro5hin?s small user-base leaves us unaffected by publicity-seekers, thank God.

(Can you spot the deliberate error in this post?)
[ Parent ]

Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#50)
by rusty on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 05:57:52 PM EST

(Can you spot the deliberate error in this post?)

The question mark at the end of that line is actually an M$ ?smart quote?, isn't it!


Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#40)
by Jebediah on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 04:03:52 AM EST

I agree the author of this story. Schools truly have far too much in common with prisons. At my old high school in Burnsville, MN they were trying to regulate when we could leave to go outside, even for a breath of air. I feel it is distrust such as this that leads many to act out. If students were limited in leaving the grounds that would mean many more students would also be there to torment and ridicule the others.

I feel one of the great injustices in my growing up that made me plan and plot to kill classmates was the general attitude and discipline that was around. Many of the teachers looked the other way when a jock or popular person was ridiculing a "lesser" student. If the child (such as myself) were to speak up it would only intensify the ridicule in other classes. It was a losing battle. The only way I was able to begin to stave off the verbal attacks was to become dark and brooding. By giving the impression that I was not one to be picked on I saved myself, albeit too late. It was midway thru high school by the time I adopted this approach after all my previous years in school were a private hell. The result is that I moved far away from anybody I would have a chance of knowing (try California) and I'm taking antidepressants. I still have problems meeting people to a certain degree and have never dated, mainly because you don't get horny when your depressed (trust me) and approaching women takes a large amount of courage when all the girls that used to be around made fun of you. I doubt anything can undo the years of abuse, but I am trying.

When schools start making the buildings more like prisons it hurts. I was a loner and the last thing on earth I wanted was cameras or other people watching me when I just wanted to be alone. I was already trying to cut my mind off from others, the loss of physical privacy would have been salt in the wound.

If we expect to solve the issue of violence in schools it is best to take a logical approach to it. If kida are planning to commit a violent act against a school first look at why they chose school. A mall would be convenient and likely much more crowded. Why choose a school and not a mall? Perhaps it is something in the school and not the malls. This would rule out videogames and movies almost instantly. IMHO the fact that school rampages and fairly common and grocery store murder-fests are not, says quite a bit to me.

Thanks for reading my rant. I had to get that out. Sorry for any errors, spelling mistakes, and length of the post, but I really feel that had to be said.

Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#43)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 01:03:38 PM EST

I can empathize with you. School for me was a special kind of hell from the third grade onwards. I was smart, but probably attentional (ADD) and teachers conveniently didn't notice the physical assault, the exclusion.

The points you raise about why shootings occur at schools and not at malls is incredibly insightful.

When I got to high-school I was hopelessly out of place, and didn't find my place until senior year. Before that year I had only one friend, and when I wasn't at his house, I was playing computer games or making Doom wad-files.

Homework and learning were non-issues, because school had already failed me. I didn't really care if I failed school.

During that last semester, I started to find people with similar interests. People who made fun of me before realized that I knew how to fix their computers and program their calculators, and as long as I stayed to myself, the abuse stopped.

When I moved away from my past and came to college, I was quiet at first. But I picked the right university, and through all those "icebreakers" and "introduction games", I met a lot of people who I liked, and who liked me.

I still run into problems... I still don't feel comfortable sharing my inner self with people, which means that a lot of my 'friends' are less valuable to me than they could be. But that's just a remmnant of a survival instinct. That knowledge that if they don't know who you are, they can't hurt you.

It won't be easy to find your soul (and really that's what you're in the process of doing... unlocking that 'inner intangible'), but you should know that it is very possible, just a long road.

Almost every mature person will respect you for who you are (unlike in High School). The best thing that happened to me was taking a spring-break trip through a university program with 8 of the closest strangers I'd never met). As cheezy as it sounds, community service and/or those ropes courses are a lot of fun, and can really change your life.


[ Parent ]
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#42)
by Dast on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 12:29:01 PM EST

We don't need no education,
We don't need no thought control,
No dark sarcasm in the classroom,
Teacher leave them kids alone.

HEY! Teacher, leave them kids alone.

All in all, it's just another brick in the Wall.

I have a younger brother who's a senior in my old highschool. Says they've done the same thing there (I just never go back, why would I?). And what's worse, it is in a small town in the south, where, if you aren't a Christian, you must obviously be plotting to kill someone. *sigh* It wasn't much better when I was there. We just didn't were photo id scan cards on the front of our shirt. I do remember always having barb wire fences, though.

Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#51)
by ebunga on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 09:30:36 PM EST

I feel your pain. Living in the south, is just totally not good. Especially when it comes to telco related things. They use the excuse of, "well, this is a rural area" to jack up prices. Rural? In Mississippi, we only have the corporate HQ of WorldCom and Skytel.

[ Parent ]
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#44)
by henrik on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 01:44:28 PM EST

> So, what is the solution to the problem? Should we take
> away guns? That won't work. If the people are already
> breaking laws, do you think that they will obey a law that > says, "You can't have a gun anymore?" Of course not.

Alright - i know you americans love your guns, but i've gotta say something here.

One of the biggest problems in the US today is the second amendment to your constitution - if gun control was more like that in Europe, a whole bunch of peoples lifes would be saved. (The US has a per capita murder ratio that's 10 times higher than that of Europe, 30 times higher than that of Japan). And what reason is there to own a AK47 or a 9mm pistol? Unlike hunting rifles, (semi)automatics and pistols have no other use than killing people on a large scale. (other for the entertainment factor, possibly)

If guns weren't so readily available, that any kid could go and get them, you wouldnt need the metal detectors. You wouldn't need the security cameras. The worst the kids could do is beat up each other.. you can't to walk into a library with a knife or your fists and kill or injure tens of your peers. You reduce the scale of the violence drastically..

Of course taking away the guns wouldn't solve all the problems, but they'd be a good start.

Flame away, i'm wearing my asbestos underwear :)

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#45)
by edeity on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 03:01:01 PM EST

One of the main reasons for the second Amendment and our right to bear arms is to be able to overthrow a corrupt and/or oppressive government. In that kind of situation, I would much rather have the AK47.

Your argument about banning guns to reduce the scale of violence is unconvincing. At Columbine, if they didn't have the guns, they would've used the homemade bombs more. So what are we going to do ? Ban alcohol, gasoline, and kerosine because they can be used in bombs and Malatov cocktails ? Ban the sale of anything that may be modified to create an explosive ?

The only real and lasting solution lies in the hearts and minds of the people. Attitudes need to be adjusted, frustrations need to be released, self esteem need to be raised, and the mentally ill need help. Teach them how to deal with what's going on around them. Teach them better ways of dealing so that the pressure doesn't build up..

[ Parent ]
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#46)
by henrik on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 03:52:48 PM EST

Sorry - I can't help this - i'm always throwing myself into discussions. Tell me when to stop :)

Mmm.. yes. the ability to overthrow an oppressive government. Next to the argument that you need the means to defend yourself from thives, that is the most common argument. ;)

Alright, suppose Clinton decided that democracy wasn't a good idea anymore, and that he felt like becoming a dictator, and that he managed to persuade the armed forces to go along with his plan. It's you and a bunch of others with your Ak47's and handguns versus the army, with tanks, helicopters, rockets and all kinds of gadgets no one knows about. Sorry, but it was nice knowing you. While they can't win in the long run, the battle wont be won by your guns.

There will always be nutcases, and ratio of idiots is probably the same all over the world. And it's true that there'll always be ways for people to kill eachother but guns are the quickest, easiest way to kill a lot of people in a hurry without too much knowledge or work. Constructing a bomb takes knowledge, time, planning and you're still pretty likely to blow yourself up when making it. Anyone can pull a trigger. It's about making it as unconvenient to kill as possible.

This is even more evident in school kids (to keep it somewhat on topic). There's been a lot of cases where angry kids have run home, gotten their parents guns, and started shooting. If they didn't have access to those guns, they probably would have started a fistfight instead. But so what? Band aids are still cheaper than body bags. :)

(Another difference is that the stuff you need to make bombs have a real use in daily life - gun's don't, they're only designed to kill)

I agree with you that the real solution is to make man more humane, but meanwhile the guns are a huge problem. If your son is banging someone else with a stick, you don't rush over there and talk to him trying to raise his self esteem or change his attitude. No, you take the stick away, *then* you teach him how he should behave.

Like i said, banning guns won't solve any problems, but it'll let a bunch of people go home after the fights, instead of 6 feet under. There nothing that's as valueable as a life. (yes - even over apple pie, freedom and the american way. (see my reason below))
1) Freedom without limits is anarchy.
2) anarchy is to society what atheism is to religion.
3) Society is what make us different from the rest of the animals.
4) So absolute freedom is the rights of the strong over the weak. the ability for anyone to take away your life or possesions.
5) Therefore you need to restrict freedom. Your freedom stops where the next person starts. Therefore, if the people wont do it themselves, the ability to hurt others need to be taken away... argh.. you really shouldn't let me go on like that :)

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
[ Parent ]
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#53)
by nekonoir on Wed Feb 23, 2000 at 05:04:13 AM EST

You need to go and study military history.

Large mechanised armed forces have always fared poorly against a militia/guerilla force.

Vietnam (research the efforts of the VietCong)

WW2 ( The Partisans )

The Post Civil War south (and the effort to re-institute Race laws)

There are countless other examples of how an 'organised' militia can make holding territory
nigh impossible for a conventional army.

[ Parent ]
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#48)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 05:02:39 PM EST

Taking away guns doesn't work - witness Canada.

We have strong laws against exactly the types of guns you suggest, handguns, and automatic rifles. Yet still, just a week or two ago, a couple of students in Toronto managed to buy a handgun, and kill someone at their school.

The local news did a segment about the simplicity of buying guns at schools. After "networking" with only 5 students at that school, they were able to purchase a banned handgun for just $150. That's about $80 US...

The only answer is education and counselling. The education system here lacks both.

[ Parent ]
Re: My Friends Are in Prison (none / 0) (#52)
by ebunga on Tue Feb 22, 2000 at 09:38:43 PM EST

My boss enjoys competition shooting. He spends many hours, shooting at clay pidgeons, targets, and things like that.

The problem in America is not the number of weapons. The problem is with attitude. Far too many people just want everything, and aren't afraid to kill for it. Far too many people don't care about their fellow man. Of course, this will make for a whole other article. One where I actually check my grammar, and think a bit more.

[ Parent ]
My Friends Are in Prison | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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