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More guns, no guns, gun control? *BANG! BANG!!*

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:39 am
by Radiant Caligula
After (yet) more public shootings in the US recently, I wonder what people think could be done to erradicate the threat of maniacs going berserk with guns in the US.

I'm happy I don't live in America for the single fact that it has more public shootings than any other country on earth - if you rule out warzones and civil wars. To completely prevent massacres anywhere in the world is nigh impossible - human beings are raving mad. But when this sick species have easy access to guns tragedy is bound to happen.

Here in Norway we have one of the highest concentrations of domestic guns in the world, but most of them are linked to hunting. It is very rare for people to actively use firearms to protect their homes and carrying guns for protection is very restricted. We have some of the lowest crime rates in the world and 'cause of this our police force don't carry guns, except for special operations.

In my mind the more guns the public have access to the more violent a society will get. If a burglar is breaking and entering isn't he more likely to bring a gun if he knows he probably will bump into a homeowner with a firearm? As long as guns are made, bad people will always get their hands on them, but wouldn't you agree with me that strict gun control or possibly prohibition would decrease the risk of shootouts and massacres?

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Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:32 am
by Pox
Great poll options... after scouring it for a serious "no guns" option, I settled with flamethrowers.

HEY EVRAYBODY! I'M ON FIRE!

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:08 pm
by Radiant Caligula
=). I settled for a dildo. If i kill someone, at least I make sure to wack them with something pleasurable...

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Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:40 pm
by Johnis
I am from island of Crete in Greece.
-----------------------------------------
During police raid to one vilage there someone made that video
imagine how many guns we have there. we like to shoot for fun.one local created that video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2S_9FWrh78

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:29 pm
by Feud
I'm sure most people know my stance on the issue, but I'll reiterate it.

Guns aren't the problem, it's irresponsible people. While I agree that there needs to be some measure of gun control, I feel it should be limited to prevention of guns from reaching those with violent histories. Something that Penn and Teller once mentioned that I feel is applicable is that most of these shootings occur in so called "Gun Free Zones". Notice, you virtually never hear of a shooting at a gun show or NRA convention, and gun shops have incredibly low occurrences of crime, yet these are the places that have guns in the most abundance. Public places that ban guns only prohibit responsible citizens from protecting themselves, and unless we want strip searches at every school and mall entrance there isn't a way to prevent criminals from getting the guns in there in the first place.

Now, I'm very aware of the danger of gun crimes. I've had loaded guns pointed at my face on at least two different occasions (I hope there weren't others), one of which in the process of a crime being committed (they were freedom fighters, liberating my captive wallet :roll: ). I've lived in places where I went to sleep to the sound of gunfire. I wold love to see violence go down, but I feel that punishing the honest citizens isn't the way to go about it. One may say that a criminal wouldn't take a gun if they didn't think that they would face an armed citizen, but the mass shootings that inspired this thread were all carried out in places where the criminal wouldn't expect to encounter armed resistance, which is exactly why they chose them.

I don't really see an option up there that fits my vein of gun ownership, I have two right now with the goal of purchasing at least one a year (hard while in college).

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:51 pm
by Rkiver
I live in Ireland, guns are illegal here. As such it's very very hard to get your hands on one. Unsurprisingly gun crime is extremely infrequent. It happens, but not very often per head capita.

I maintain that if it is easier to get your hands on a gun, as it is in the US, then it is more likely that nuts will get access to them and go shooting up the place.

That being said however there are places like Canada and Norway were gun possesion is allowed, and have no where near the issues the US is. This would lead me to believe it is something in the US psyche that is "Guns guns guns violence violence violence". I mean does anyone find it odd that supposed very religious people who should abhor violence are the ones running around shouting "From my cold dead hands"?

All in all, guns are not for defense. Guns are designed for one thing, killing. Yes you can kill someone in self defense, but if no one has a gun that's not as likely to occur. Keep your guns if you want, just keep them out of my country and away from me.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:07 pm
by Radiant Caligula
Right now I have to go, but I'm coming back later to explain why I think accessibility equals use.


Simply put: if you give free candy and soda to all the kids in the world you'd end up with a lot of sick kids and one hell of a dentist bill...

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:08 pm
by Tripper
You might be surprised to know that Australia are the holders of the single biggest mass shooting in history.

(Although, to pre-empt Feud, the scale of that massacre might have been less if any significant proportion of the population were armed) - this occurred when an individual armed with semi-automatic weaponry went on a rampage through a popular tourist destination. In one of the only "decent" things the previous australian government did, a nationwide ban on semiautomatic weapons inc. pump-action shotguns was instituted

As for my opinion - obviously guns don't kill people, people kill people. With guns.

Hunting weapons are designed for hunting and don't pose a great threat to humans (difficult to conceal, carry, reload etc)

Handguns i.e. pistols are designed for killing humans, no ifs or buts about that. While some will argue that owning handguns is necessary to protect yourself against an assailant with a handgun, I would say that the reverse is true. If a burglar doesn't have easy access to a weapon and is confident that their target is unarmed, it's hightly unlikely that they would bother to arm themselves before breaking in. And based on this knowledge, householders would be less likely to fear a lethal intruder and would therefore see no need to arm themsleves either.

Ergo, there is a strong case for banning handguns - the more difficult they are to obtain, the less they will be used, and hopefully this would be a diminishing spiral (in the UK there seems to be an increasing spiral which is getting a lot of media attention, but shootings over here are still a lot less prevalent than in the states)

Assault weapons are miliary only and have no place in civilian hands. Period.

As for the US consititutional argument, the preamble of the 2nd amendment is

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,


which strongly suggests to me that its purpose was to prevent the Federal government from disarming State militias and therefore preventing the ability of the States to defend themselves (and indeed the country). In the aftermath of the war of independence, among States naturally distrustful of imperial powers, this is quite understandable, but in the age of professional all-volunteer military and police forces, it seems to be being taken out of context.

A similar English law (still, apparently, in force) stipulates that

all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day


for the exact same reason as the 2nd amendment - to ensure that an effective militia could be raised in the event of war. (Un)fortunately, you don't see a lot of longbows around these days!

I'm sure that cultural differences between the US and Canada/Norway/etc play a part too. But I think looking at the type of gun in circulation gives a lot better idea of how it is likely to be used, rather than just "gun ownership" in general

My £0.02. Ok, more like £0.05!

Cheers, Tripper

Edit - I just re-read Feud's post - to stop mass shootings, ban weapons of mass shooting (semi-autos and the like). I voted "strict gun control" because obviously you can't ban hunting/farming guns, but you can control them sufficiently to reduce their danger to society. I'm sure I could do as much damage with a kitchen knife in a shopping mall as with a hunting rifle ....

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:21 pm
by NeoThermic
Tripper wrote:You might be surprised to know that Australia are the holders of the single biggest mass shooting in history.


Bzzt! Wrong answer! Woo Bum-kon holds that infamous record, doing it in South Korea in 1982, killing 57 before "turning the gun" (he used grenades for his exit) on himself. No amount of gun control would have prevented that though, as he was a police officer with keys to the armoury.

NeoThermic

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:57 pm
by xyzyxx
I haven't given this issue a huge amount of thought, but my logic is this: "If guns were outlawed, then honest law-abiding citizens wouldn't have guns, and criminals would have guns." That seems like a disadvantageous situation.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:05 pm
by Rkiver
Conversely to that, law abiding citizens have guns, law abiding citizens idiot child takes gun, shoots people. Or criminal breaks into house, finds and takes gun.

Just two counterpoints to why guns, legal or not, have issues.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:20 pm
by shinygerbil
xyzyxx wrote:I haven't given this issue a huge amount of thought, but my logic is this: "If guns were outlawed, then honest law-abiding citizens wouldn't have guns, and criminals would have guns." That seems like a disadvantageous situation.


If guns were outlawed, there would probably be fewer gun shops on the high street, so less criminals would have easy access to guns.

The problem is at least as much to do with the incredibly high availability of guns to average people, than the law. Like you say, criminals don't follow the law, but they can sure as hell follow a "guns for sale" sign.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:28 pm
by All American Mobster
me and my dad own numerous guns, for hunting and target pratice only. We had our house tented for termites, and my dad took all his guns with him. When he asked me to help him put them back in our safe, I had to make several trips. I had no idea we owned a lot of shotguns. But i believe I should own nukes, NO ONE ELSE!!!



-$tanley

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:58 pm
by jelco
Coincidentally, I was recently reading this topic again yesterday. I don't remember how I stumbled across that topic again, but it was pretty interesting to read and therefore I read the whole thing.

I don't really know what my opinion would be. If asked for a direct answer right now, I'd probably say that only the police should be allowed to have them, but that's only because I was taught to think like that all my childhood and never really thought about it myself.

Jelco

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:08 pm
by Feud
Tripper wrote:
which strongly suggests to me that its purpose was to prevent the Federal government from disarming State militias and therefore preventing the ability of the States to defend themselves (and indeed the country). In the aftermath of the war of independence, among States naturally distrustful of imperial powers, this is quite understandable, but in the age of professional all-volunteer military and police forces, it seems to be being taken out of context.


Many people take that stand, however you are taking the phrase out of context of the rest of the document. In amendments 1,4, and 9 it refers to "the people" not as a state but as individuals, and now where in the Constitution does it ever refer to the people as either States or any other form of municipal government. When it refers to States it says (as in the case of the 10th amendment) States. So unless we want to consider freedom of speech, and the protection from police as a right of the state and not the individual then we must use the same interpretive judgment on the 2nd amendment as we do with the others.

Rkiver wrote:Conversely to that, law abiding citizens have guns, law abiding citizens idiot child takes gun, shoots people. Or criminal breaks into house, finds and takes gun.


This goes back to my argument that the problem lies in irresponsible people, those who fail to properly secure dangerous items from others. We prosecute those who allow their children to drink, or to do drugs, we should also prosecute those who's children commit crimes using unsecured firearms (the cost of a good gun safe is in some cases less then the cost of a new gun).

shinygerbil wrote:The problem is at least as much to do with the incredibly high availability of guns to average people, than the law. Like you say, criminals don't follow the law, but they can sure as hell follow a "guns for sale" sign.


There are already laws in place to prevent that, the problem is that they aren't enforced. Everyday someone is killed by someone breaking the speed limit in their car. Should we ignore that the vast majority of those who drive are responsible people who don't drive recklessly and ban the automobile, or should we just have stricter enforcement of the current traffic laws? The vast, vast majority of gun owners (including those of us who own the dreaded semi-automatics, and even those who own fully automatics) do not use them to commit crimes, and laws would only punish those of us who obey the law in the first place.

To use a popular tag line in the gun community, gun control is racist, sexist, elitist, and has no place in a modern liberal society. It prevents minorities from protecting themselves from an oppressive majority (with 100 million people killed in the 20th century by their own governments the possibility of such should be apparent), it prevents women from properly defending themselves from larger and stronger male aggressors (it gives a 90 pound woman the right to fist fight with a 200 pound rapist), denies protection from the poor while the wealthy can afford body guards (who are permitted to have guns), and hearkens back to the ideas that the people can't be trusted with their own well being.

As for simply relying on the police, the police have very little ability to actually prevent crimes without relying on fascist tactics. I've had to call on several occasions concerning violent altercations, and each time it took several minutes for them to arrive. As another saying goes, when seconds matter the police are just minutes away. Don't get wrong, I love cops and I will probably end up being one after I'm done with school, but they are like paramedics. While you might be lucky enough to have one at the right place at the right time, more often they are there to deal with the aftermath.