Gun Control

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Turquoise Dragon on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:14 pm

There is a very large reason why we retain (well, attempting to retain right now) the right to bear arms. Set down in the Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers declared that is both a right and duty for a people to abolish or overthrow a government that no longer serves them. Logically, the only way to overthrow a government with its own military force is to have arms of your own - in the hand of the people. *opinion* Which has our modern government running scared - they are phasing out american history lessons and the right to own guns to prevent the people from keeping them from total power - by blocking both the means and knowledge of doing so.

That part aside, I do believe in logical restrictions in weapon ownership. Those who are mentally unstable, or past criminals should not have access to them, as they pose or could pose a threat to the general public. Currently, convicted criminals of serious crime are not allowed to purchace a firearm legally. They must, and do, rely on the black market for guns and ammo.

There is also a correlation that many people, including many gun-ban enthusiasts in our government, like to gloss over, or presend disputed studies to refute. This is the correlation between gun ownership and violent crime rates. Chicago, which has extremely strict anti-gun laws (stricter than even my old home of New York City), has a high rate of violent crime. Places like Alaska and Arizona, which have lenient gun ownership laws (while maintaining a block on criminal ownership), have low violent crime rates. The reason is simple - when gun owners are common, people are less likely to attempt crime against others, as there is a high likelihood they will come face to face with a weapon of some sorts. In the town closest to me in PA, they banned the allowance of rifle/shotgun racks in the back window of cars (pickups mostly). Lo and behold, crime rates jumped up.

Then there are hunters. There are a fair amount of people in my area that are sstinence hunters. Telling them they can't own a rifle takes a huge portion of their diet out, that they must then shell out money to make up the difference. Money that they don’t have to spare, as they are already hunting to provide food to survive. So then comes the next argument – so they can then change to a new weapon - the bow. The bow is a much more difficult and time-consuming weapon to master enough to hunt successfully. We’re talking at least an hour or two a day, more if practice is not kept up every day. I know with even my weak 25-pound bow (not even really able to hunt with), a solid hour of practice is tiring, let alone adding that to a day’s work. Then comes the cost itself – it costs a couple hundred dollars for a decent new recurve bow. Compound bows, the general hunting bow of choice, are more expensive due to being of more complex construction. Crossbows are banned from hunting, so they’re not even a feasible choice.

We also have the collector aspect of gun ownership. There are a fair number of (albeit richer) gun owners who purchase firearms to display, not to fire. Many of these are old (some even ‘ancient’) firearms that are of considerable worth.

Finally, it’s fun. Like most sports, it’s not for everyone. But those of us that do enjoy it enjoy it very much. It is a fun, safe, and enjoyable pastime on par with every other legal pastime. It promotes comradery, friendly competition, and safe thinking.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Magyk on Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:31 pm

Perhaps one of the most simplistic ways to sum up my views is by something a friend said to me earlier today, in that we do not blame automobiles for the actions of drunk drivers or the deaths that may result from someone driving under the influence, so why would we blame an inanimate gun for the actions of a minority of twisted individuals?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Sakke on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:48 am

Those three post answer my question very well. Thank you!


That being said, I wouldn't want to tell you (Americans) what to do, but I'm happy that things are different where I live when it comes to gun regulation and yews.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby MajorMajor on Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:44 pm

I'm happy for you too Sakke. You don't have huge numbers of weapons floating around your country. It makes restricting gun ownership more problematic over here.

There is something to be said for the argument that guns are necessary to democracy and freedom. Before I elaborate I'll say right now that I do not own any firearms. This is a matter of personal choice. I don't feel that I need any atm. On to my point, Syria and Assad make a good example of why having guns is useful. Protests are meaningless to him and would never effect change. Should our government ever stop serving yews and ignore our demands ( i.e. they simply ignore all protests etc.) we could resort to force to change it. Guns in such a situation would be a necessity because the military would definately have them.

I think there are people in this country who see such an event as likely to happen and hoard weapons waiting for it. They seem to think that there is a concerted effort to take their weapons away, remove other rights, and as Turquoise Dragon said rewrite historical events. I'm not going to say that these things don't happen to some extent. But the scale and agenda isn't what they believe it to be and it isn't a coordinated conspiracy against them. That is just nutty.

What happens is they see what they believe to be attacks against their religion that are really just an atheist's drive not to have to see the ten commandments posted everywhere in public. The average person filing such lawsuits has absolutely no interest in eliminating everyone else's right to worship in church. The two viewpoints are different and it seems to lead some people to think there is some massive conspiracy against them.

A similar thing happens with the discussion of gun control. People who want it are only interested in seeing that mass murder like this doesn't happen. They generally don't even want to ban all guns as many of you Europeans seem to want us to do. But the pro gun wing sees it as an attack against their rights under the constitution, their very freedom if you will. Such responses aren't proportional to the threat nor do they accurately reflect the other party's motive. It makes them seem, to me, very unreasonable.

The examples I've given are all related to conservative viewpoints but there are plenty of liberals who have viewpoints reflecting the idea that there exist conservative conspiracies against them. Its quite paranoid really. I don't think there are that many conservatives who want to take us, socially, back to the 1950s or make us all have to attend a Christian Church. But you get the sense that some people actually believe these things.

Even though Europeans might not believe it there actually are people over here who hunt to supplement their food. So that actually is a valid reason not to outlaw all guns. I'm not going to say that it is common in all regions of the U.S. but there are people around where I live who do. Also, I do frown on hunting for sport. Killing something shouldn't be considered fun whether it is an animal or a human being.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Magyk on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:18 pm

Personally, I would back a bill that takes automatic/highpowered snowtrooper rifles and combat shotguns off the market.

I agree in no way with any law that would remove handguns from the market, which seems to be a big thing that people advocate for.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Maximus on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:21 am

This may be one of the few subjects in which I find myself largely agreeing with Major. I'm sure there are some nuances under the surface, but in general his conclusion is the "conservative" one - taking guns away, while reducing certain incidents of gun-related violence, has other perhaps more serious political consequences.

As a result of this incident I purchased John Lott's book “More Guns, Less Crime” (3rd ed) as the first book I will read on my new Kindle which should arrive this week, and I expect I could say more after I have read it; but in the mean time, the usual talking points from the usual places:

> It's obvious to anyone who is even 10% honest about the subject that the Second Amendment is about citizens protecting their rights from government encroachment (that's happening anyway - so I guess a more sudden imposition of authoritarian rule might be more realistic). For the love of rational adult conversation quit bringing up hunting; the Second Amendment has nothing to do with squirrels and deer. It's to discourage anyone who gets ideas about a military coup or similar, having to worry about “a rifle behind every blade of grass”, as the saying goes. It's basically insurance against martial law being easy to enforce.

> As Magyk stated, it is at best contested and at worst disproven that reducing/eliminating guns reduces crime. The so-called snowtrooper weapons ban of 1994-2004 produced no significant decrease in gun-related crime. Gun-related crime in places that have banned guns (NY, Chicago etc) still occurs in significant numbers; the criminals can be more brazen since they know no one can oppose them. To my knowledge, none of the major shootings of note (listed below) involved automatic “snowtrooper” weapons”; several standard handguns in trained hands can easily do as much damage to unarmed people.

> The shooter in Aurora, CA picked the one theater out of 7 within driving range that did not allow guns; it was neither the largest nor the closest to his home. He went somewhere where he knew he would not be opposed. Likewise most of the other killings of note (Columbine, Virginia jan, the Amish schoolhouse, the Fort Hood shooter, now this one in CT) occurred in places where the killer knew no one else was armed. One proposal I heard today was that an armed guard should be stationed in every school in America. Offhand I don't see an issue with that measure, and perhaps it should be explored. On the other hand, someone pointed out that VT had one police officer for every 80 acres of campus; after the massacre there, they upgraded security; now there is one officer for every 40 acres of campus. Depending on geography, this plan could be infeasible/expensive. On the subject of colleges, I understand Texas is considering legislation to allow registered owners to carry guns on campus. Why is a college campus special, an institution of the state where rights guaranteed by contract with the state are suspended? It really makes no sense. Remember the principle here that the law never deters those who break it, only those who don't.

> Of course, we always have to consider the potential effects of reversing the situation. Taking away guns, the great equalizer between persons of any size and strength, gives the position of power back to the strong men of the world. How many home invasions are prevented by the sight of a gun through a window, or the sound of a shotgun on the other side of the door? Crimes that do not occur or are prevented are generally not reported, so it is not possible to calculate the true negative impact of disarming the population in general.
One opinion could be that we should in fact arm MORE people, and facilitate those people who have demonstrated responsibility in their lives to be armed, and thereby deter even more crime. How many convenience stores would be robbed if criminals knew that behind every counter in America a shotgun was waiting for them? Would there be more or less deaths (of innocents, not perpetrators) than there are now? It's an interesting hypothesis.
Many citizens of Israel are armed, since they discovered that an armed populace was one of the most effective defenses against small terrorist attacks; likewise in Switzerland many citizens are armed as well. I should think if gun crime was high in these places then the gun control advocates would be touting that fact, but I have never heard such an allegation. The key here is training and taking reasonable steps to ensure that people who have guns are responsible. In a world where everyone is equally lethal, the aberrant minority won't last long.

> The largest mass killing perpetrated by an American was in 1929 (someone else said '27) in which someone blew up a school with dynamite. Of course we're familiar with the Oklahoma city licking, the World Trade Center in the 90's, etc. The 9/11 terrorists killed 3,000 Americans, and the only weapon they had on hand was box cutters, to our knowledge. Spain has strict gun control and yet suffered a terrorist attack similar to 9/11, involving trains though not aircraft. The point is that devastating attacks can be carried out without guns ever being involved.

> Saying that the federal government can improve the situation is disproved by three counterexamples.
1. The federal government has near-dictatorial powers on a military base. Yet the Fort Hood shooting showed that even a government controlled facility with soldiers everywhere was still not safe.
2. Likewise the federal government has near-dictatorial powers in federal prisons. Yet murders, rapes, drug trafficking, gang activity etc are rampant in these facilities. If the government cannot prevent murders by people who are already locked behind bars, who can it control?
3. The stupidity of actions like the so-called Fast and Furious program exposes the fact that the government will not always yews its guns responsibly. While in theory I suppose the program was supposed to expose drug cartels, the implementation was (speaking generously) poor, and American citizens died as a result. A somewhat more cynical view would say that the intended consequence of Fast and Furious was something similar to the Sandy Hook incident, precisely for the purpose of seizing the opportunity to enact stricter gun controls. Either way the plan didn't work out well, and as yet, no one has really had to answer for it.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Magyk on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:05 am

On an admittedly extreme and outlandish note, has anyone seen Red Dawn (not the shitty-looking remake, but the original)?

One of the biggest reasons nobody ever has tried to invade the USA is because we have an armed republic.
Essentially the NRA alone has a 4,000,000 man army. That makes it the biggest army in the world. (China has 2.2m people on active military duty, the US has 1.4m) And that's on top of armed citizens who aren't registered to the NRA. This is a good thing, and you'd have to be crazy to ever want to invade the US.

Like I said, an admittedly extreme example but still a benefit of the public bearing arms nonetheless.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Turquoise Dragon on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:56 am

Continuing on Magyk's line, my Springfield is slower than the modern battle rifle, but it still has vastly larger range, accuracy, hitting power and reliability. If I desprately want more speed, but retain most of the above, I'll grab my grandfather's Garand.

So, in that respect, the arms many of us have are more powerful than that of the average military personnel. Then again, we don't have nukes or high explosives, either.

Just for the hell of it, I'll re-upload the pic that had Flyer scared of me....

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IMG_6307.JPG


Note this was about two years ago, too.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Magyk on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:32 pm

If the apocalypse hits tomorrow, I'm going to Mike's house.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Wanderer on Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:50 pm

Magyk wrote:If the apocalypse hits tomorrow


:roll:
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