Gun Control and Rights

Discussion over more serious issues and topics
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Ekona
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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Ekona » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:59 am

FamousAjax wrote:I plan to keep it in my work vehicle when I'm at work, unless a location of a job is one that deems it so to put it in an inside trouser holster. It will probably go most places with me in my personal vehicle as well, though I do have a very cardinal rule about this: Anywhere where I will be drinking, PERIOD, it will not be with me, or around me.

That seems like a recipe for disaster, and the best way to avoid smelly situations is to not play in shit, or so I've been told.

Sensible rule about drinking, good stuff.

However, the question then becomes if it's worth the bother? If the gun isn't kept on your person 24/7, then how likely is it that you're going to find yourself in a situation where you'd want it and it's sat in your car back in the parking lot? Or someone tries to steal your car when you're not in it, they get in and find they've now got a gun, and then when you rush over to try and stop them...?

It's questions like this that I can't get my head around, and although we're being specific about handguns here the same principle applies to something like having a steering wheel lock on your car, in so far as if you don't use it all the time then what's the point? I know that's stretching the boundaries here in terms of comparisons, and I'm sure there's better ones, but you know what I mean.

It's a pretty safe assumption to conclude that none of those people who went to see the première that night expected to be dodging bullets, so would it be reasonable to expect to have to take a gun for protection? I don't think so. What situations would you make sure you had one? Walking in a bad or unknown area? Carrying a shedload of cash? If someone pulls a gun on you, then by the time you've reacted to get yours out you've already been shot. The only time you could get the drop on somebody is if they're busy aiming or firing at someone else, but if that's the case then tbh even if I had a gun, I'd be firmly running in the opposite direction.


I think I know where I sit now, and tbh I've surprised myself. A gun at home by your bed probably isn't the worst idea, but I can see no practical use for carrying in public unless you have an incredible amount of training and you're allowed to openly carry.
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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Mr.Clark » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:16 pm

28, Male, white-collar job. Low crime area as far as I know.

FamousAjax wrote:To you, do the pros outweigh the cons in allowing people who have been registered, had background checks done, etc, to carry a handgun with them for potential use in self defense?

Not to me, no. I've already mentioned training, and I'll come back to it again, but simply filling in some forms and having no criminal or mental health record is not, in my opinion, good enough to be allowed to own a lethal weapon.

As Joe said, with enough determination or luck, you can kill someone with pretty much anything. This is true. But I'd bet good money that a gun makes that much easier.

Knives - there's an age limit on buying knives, and you're not allowed to carry them outside if the blade is over... what? 3-6 inches from memory.

Cars - you have to do extensive training to be able to get a drivers license. Not enough, IMO (you should be re-tested every 10 years or so if you ask me; there are a huge number of cocks out there. I'm one of them sometimes. :oops:), but it's better than "I've just bought a car, let's go slide it round a motorway".

Baseball bats/crowbars etc - you'd get some funny looks from regular people and probably a few questions from plod if you wandered around everywhere carrying anything like that.

FamousAjax wrote:The process of obtaining a gun was pretty simple: Saturday, at 18:00, I went into a sporting goods store in my area, and asked to see one of the handguns in a locked glass cabinet. The man behind the counter handed it to me, and I held it unloaded, checked how the clip operated, felt the tension required to use some of the latches, etc. I told the man I wanted to purchase it, and he asked for my drivers license, and handed me a small stack of paperwork and a computer, and asked me to fill out all the questions. The written forms were fairly simple: last, first, and middle name, address, telephone number, social security number, drivers license number, place of employment, that address, that phone number, and answer a bunch of questions about whether or not I had ever been convicted of a crime. After filling all this out a second time on the computer, I was told it would be about 10 minutes, while someone in a call center ran all my information, and approved or denied my purchase. The salesperson called into a phone number, told the person on the other end my request number, and he informed me I had been approved, and that I could purchase the gun. I grabbed the cheapest box of 50 9mm bullets, and he rang up my purchase. I was then escorted to the door by a man who carried my gun and ammunition, handed my gun at the door, and told to be safe and enjoy my day.

That's outrageous. Imagine trying to buy a car like that. At some point, the seller would ask for your drivers license. Proof that you've actually learned something about using one safely. Plus I'd imagine America has a similar system to ours, whereby insurance is mandatory for all drivers. Do you have anything like that for guns? I don't think so, but I'm willing to be enlightened.

So it's definitely too easy to get hold of guns. Let's now look at why you need a gun. I can think of reasons:

1) Home defence. Gun is kept in the home, to be used to defend oneself and ones family in the case of home invasion.

2) Personal defence. Gun travels with you, either concealed or openly. If you get into a situation, you do a Jack Bauer and either wound or kill the attacker. Or hope the fact that you have a gun makes them shit themselves and run away.

3) Hunting. I'm assuming deer/moose rather than rats and the neighbour's annoying dog. Classic woodsman, with the trusty rifle.

4) Fun. Guns are awesome. Hollywood has been telling us this for years. I'd love to go shooting at a gun club somewhere.


So, let's go over these reasons:

1)
If there's a chance you have a gun in the house, does this make it more likely that would-be burglars will bring guns? I think so. Also, even here in Blighty, we read a few stories a year about kids who go out plinking with an air rifle and accidentally headshot their mate. If there are "real" guns in the house, unless the parent is enforcing proper gun safety 100% of the time, this will get worse. And the more people with guns, the more likely that some won't be looked after properly and safely.
Also, while the presence or absence of a gun may not affect people's susceptibility to attempt suicide, having a gun makes it staggeringly more likely that a suicide attempt will succeed.
A study from Harvard a few years ago wrote:The association between firearm ownership and suicide was due to higher gun-related suicides; non-gun-related suicide rates were not significantly associated with rates of firearm ownership. Also, suicide attempts using firearms, which constitute just 5% of all fatal and non-fatal attempts, are highly lethal--more than 90% of all suicidal acts by firearm are fatal. By comparison, individuals who use drugs to attempt suicide, which constitute 75% of all attempts, die in the attempt less than 3% of the time.


2)
Again, as mentioned by Joe, how likely are you to be able to effectively use your firearm in a stressful situation, especially if you haven't actually done any training? And I don't think that simply being a good shot by practising against targets is enough.

3)
Even if you accept that hunting animals for sport is moral (I don't, although I'd bend that rule if you butcher and eat what you shoot and are good enough to not just wound them and leave them to die), there must be a specific class of rifle (the "hunting rifle", I'd guess) that could be legal, with the proper training and permits, without an open season on handguns and automatic weapons. Something bolt-action, preferably without a magazine or clip, slowing the rate of fire below what your average psychopath would consider effective on crowds of people. Something non-concealable.

4)
Yeah. That's not a good enough reason for me. Explosives are cool too, but I don't notice anyone saying that grenades and C4 should be legal. And if you have a gun for sport shooting, it should be secured at the club you shoot at, and their security should be among the best that money can buy.


And as for fully automatic weapons... seriously? I mean, can anyone think of a convincing reason for ever allowing civilian ownership of these? All they do is spray a lot of bullets, very fast and not very accurately. You're pretty much guaranteeing collateral damage if you fire one of those in a crowded area. Automatic shotguns are illegal, I believe. Who decides that one type of weapon is illegal but another is not?

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Ekona » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:26 pm

Mr.Clark wrote:At some point, the seller would ask for your drivers license. Proof that you've actually learned something about using one safely. Plus I'd imagine America has a similar system to ours, whereby insurance is mandatory for all drivers.

Not wanting to stray off track too much, and that was an excellent post btw, but you don't need a driving licence over here to buy a car, neither do you need insurance at all in some parts of the US. It varies from state to state, but for the majority insurance isn't a legal requirement.
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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby MrPeg » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:23 pm

26 UK white male, blue collar heading to white collar, no kids. I am hoping at some point in the next few years to start target shooting, eventually when I can live in the countryside I hope to own my own hunting rifle and shotgun so a degree of marksmanship and gun-care will be handy (I love grouse and venison, nom) I don't mind people being able to own whatever weapons they wish, short of heavy weaponry like rocket launchers and .50cal machine guns, my only problem with US gun control is 'concealed carry'. Every firearm should be kept under lock and key and only brandishable on private land/licensed areas. Home invasion being met with deadly force is quite the deterrent I feel, you enter a mans castle with ill intent he has the right to end you. It's scary to think that anyone could be armed in the street though, a place were angry confrontations could escalate rapidly. The aurora shootings took place in a no-gun-zone, exactly why the coward chose to have his massacre there. If however there were armed citizens in the theatre I can only assume that a firefight in a darkened cinema would only have resulted in more casualties from crossfire and the perp having 'priority' targets to aim at.
The often touted argument of if guns were illegal only criminals would have guns leaving the citizens vunerable has a degree of truth. However I've noticed (at least up north) that a criminal that has a gun has had to go to quite some lengths to get it and will likely only use it against other criminal types, which I don't mind to be honest (excluding armed robberies which let us be honest is mostly for show and normally a machete/hammer/bat is used by those desperate enough to be raiding somewhere, much more within their means). If you're stupid/evil enough to piss someone off in the underworld to the extent they'll acquire a firearm (or hire a man with a firearm) to dispose of you you're not exactly a worthwhile person. In essence, criminal gun violence tends to solve itself. Of course there is the problem in London of the 'blat blat' crowd, again mostly self-solving aside from innocent bystanders. Although considering, those are rare compared to the number of people dieing in drunken altercations.
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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby doogle » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:03 am

I've never been a fan of guns, though I've owned an air rifle when I was a kid, we used to shoot apples at the bottom of my garden with it, and I've also been to a rifle range with Scouts too.
One of my friends owns a shotgun and air rifles, the shotgun was handed down from his grandfather who used to be a game keeper in the area. A couple of years ago a fire broke out in my mates house, gutting the cellar where he kept the shells for his shotgun. Fire brigade came and upon seeing the ammo left the building and pumped it full of water from outside, then they had a stern word with my mate about the proper places to put amunition. Apparently he'd had the shells hanging up in a carrier bag on the back of the door!

The only valid reason I can think of to own one of these types of guns is for sport (clay pigeon shooting) or for hunting. Hand guns on the other hand only have one reason for existing in my eyes, and that is for hurting/killing people.

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Mr.Clark » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:43 am

So there's been another shooting, this time in New York.

Looks like it only got nasty (other than the one dead guy who was the target) after the "perp" walked away and was confronted by police. Then there was a shootout and a bunch of pedestrians got caught in the crossfire. From what I've read, no-one died except the original guy and the gunman, but there were a nine wounded civilians in the aftermath.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19372533

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Tinlad » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:11 am

The Onion, as usual, being both amusing and brutally accurate.

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby MrPeg » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:30 pm

I don't like the way this is being report by most news outlets. They're saying there was a gunfight in which the bystanders got shot.

Apart from murdering his manager the suspect didn't fire a shot. Basically the cops need some more time on the range :S

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Mr.Clark » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:54 am

How THE FUCK did the police hit nine other people in that amount of time?

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Dan » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:00 am

I'm just thankful that handguns are illegal in NYC so no gun toting civilian lunatics got involved in indiscriminately shooting everyone in the vicinity. Guns are incredibly dangerous and the more of them there are kicking about, the higher the chance of someone ending up dead because of one.

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby FamousAjax » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:42 am

Another long absence to return from, my fault :oops:

I finally took the gun to a shooting range, which was actually very fun. A friend of mine that's more familiar with firearms went with me, and we combined, fired 50 rounds at a target 10 yards away. What that taught me was: Holy lord God almighty, I need more practice.

However, knowing it takes about 3-4 weeks for the state government to process the paperwork, I went ahead and filed for a concealed carry license, which says except in school zones, I can carry my firearm loaded, concealed on my person with me where ever I find myself, as long as I'm in the state.

It asked for two references, and I gave my coworker for one, and a family friend (who happens to be a police chief) as my second. Sure enough, both were contacted, asked several questions about my personal life, etc. About 3 weeks after filing my paperwork, I received a post card informing me I had been approved, and I could come to the court house and pick up my license. They took my picture, had me fill out a little more paperwork, pay my fee ($20), and printed me a license. Poof, on my way.

Now, the interesting part: Since getting my concealed carry license, I have carried it with me most of the time, trying to get used to the weight, etc. I carry it in an inside waistband holster, in the small of my back. So far, I've gotten ZERO negative response! My boss told me "it's a good thing" and showed me that he carries one with him, as well! I expected odd looks from people, etc, but so far, NONE! Though working late nights lately, it's been quite the peace of mind. Weather it's real or just mental, the knowledge that it's there has made me more comfortable, and to me, that makes this worth it.

I know I didn't answer a lot of posts specifically, I'm sorry. I have read all of them though, and I think you all have made some great, extremely valid points, and honestly, I feel differently post-read than I did prior to hearing your opinions.
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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Joe » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:17 am

Pretty surprised there's been nothing said here about Sandy Hook yet.

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Ekona » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:40 am

I saw Obama's speech referring to this kind of incident being unacceptable, and that the US must do something to sort it out. I just don't see how they can do anything at this point, as the right to bear arms is as important to most Americans as the right to free speech is and to try and alter that in any way just isn't going to make it through congress.

Even if they did, it's a sure-fire way to make yourself completely unelectable at the next set of polls.
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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby RB » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:16 pm

He can't be re-elected again anyway but he could get assassinated.
As horrible as things like these are there's nothing you can do to stop them. If we melted down all the guns, these nutcases would use knives or bombs or pointy sticks.
A slight majority of a statistically worthless sample size agree.

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Re: Gun Control and Rights

Postby Tinlad » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:12 pm

But it's quite a lot more difficult to kill large numbers of people with knives or pointy sticks, and even bombs are not anywhere near as 'point-and-click' as guns.


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