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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Does anyone carry a gun?
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01/21/2011 06:20:00 PM · #1
Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by Kelli:

Originally posted by Spork99:


The problem with your argument is that you assume that a high rate of handgun ownership is the cause of a high rate of gun crime. It's not.



I post this in the other gun thread. You might want to check it out...

Here's a really good article about which states you're more likely to get killed by a gun in. It ranks the states by order of gun deaths and level of gun restriction laws... //www.rr.com/news/topic/article/rr/10374903/31871399/20_Deadliest_Gun_States


That chart is misleading since it doesn't specify that those gun deaths are or are not related to crime. They may be people shooting in self defense, suicides, accidents etc. It follows that high rates of gun ownership would lead to higher rates of gun deaths, just as higher rates of automobile ownership will mean more automobile related deaths.


Interesting thread, I enjoyed my Friday evening reading it.

The linked chart and Spork99's comment summarize my view on the topic.

Would you prefer to walk barefoot in a lawn with a spike hidden behind each grass straw or in a lawn with a spike hidden in every hundred square yards?

I don't care if the spikes were put there by bad men, by accident, by good men: I am happy to live in a country with a low rate of firearms per population!
01/21/2011 05:14:54 PM · #2
Originally posted by GeneralE:


. Does the NRA want criminals to be able to buy guns?
• Does the NRA want people with a history of unstable mental illness to be able to buy guns?
• Does the NRA want children (you pick the cut-off age) to be able to buy guns?
• Does the NRA want people associated with terrorist organizations to be able to buy guns?
• Does the NRA want people who would sell guns to any of the above to be able to buy guns?

If the answer to any of these is no, I await your suggestion as to how to accomplish such a condition.


The answer to all of the above is NO. Only a fool would think the NRA would think any of the above should be allowed. There are already laws that make these illegal, just like there are other laws criminalizing other activities. Now, how do you stop anyone from braking any law? Well, when caught, without spending a bunch of money defending them, you kill the perpetrator. Do I think all laws should be punishable by death? Don't be silly.

01/21/2011 04:09:47 PM · #3
A related aside ... :-)

Museum recovers $50K Civil War gun stolen in 1975
01/21/2011 03:25:20 PM · #4
Originally posted by GeneralE:

[ got a practical suggestion?


Certainly: Anyone who is pro-gun is by definition ruled not fit to have one.

Message edited by author 2011-01-21 15:26:00.
01/21/2011 03:21:58 PM · #5
Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Spork99:


ETA: I also know several families that provide the entirety of their meat supply by hunting...mostly with a gun.


He DID say "someone or someTHING else" and that covers hunting.

R.


And if he's going to condemn guns for that, I suppose he's backing that up with veganism?

I'm not "condemning" guns, and I'm not opposed to responsible, law-abiding competent adults owning and using guns for sport, hunting for food, or self-defense within the constraints of the law. I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian, though I eat less meat than the average American for health and financial reasons. Clear enough?

I am for having adequate, effective regulation to ensure that those who obtain firearms are responsible, law-abiding competent adults. As I said before, I'm open to hearing alternatives to today's gun laws which will more effectively obtain such a condition -- got a practical suggestion?
Originally posted by David Ey:

Did you mean to imply the NRA's answer to any of these is yes?

Since I'm not a member of the NRA, I don't know whether the answer would be yes or no -- that's why I asked. I then just stated what my response would be in either case, without stating which answer I thought would be forthcoming.

Message edited by author 2011-01-21 15:25:59.
01/21/2011 02:22:29 PM · #6
Isn't it time for this to go to Rant? I'm tired of seeing it on the front page.
01/21/2011 01:52:30 PM · #7
Originally posted by Dr.Confuser:

Anyone else had this lesson drilled into them ...

"This is your rifle, this is your gun!"


You betcha... over and over at Ft Dix and again at Ft Benning. I'm qualified on pistol (.45 cal), Rifle (M14 and M16), 106mm recoiless rifle, M81 mortar, and 105mm Howitzer at Ft Sill.

I was company champion on the M14 and love handling "guns" and rifles too... but I would never have one in my house, much less carry one into a bar or even a residential environment. They are dangerous and deserve proper respect and safety regulations.
01/21/2011 01:31:11 PM · #8
Anyone else had this lesson drilled into them ...

"This is your rifle, this is your gun!"
01/21/2011 09:47:56 AM · #9
Maybe we should all just destroy our guns and keep our cameras handy in case we have an incident with criminals. That way we can shoot pix just before they jump us and swallow the card so that the cops will have evidence if they find it when they arrive to clean up the mess.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_677574.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/65000-69999/69008/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_677574.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
We have gun crimes here in the small town where I live, one homicide a couple of weeks ago in fact, but usually it is just the drug dealing bunch and other low life types keeping it among themselves. I don't remember ever hearing any stories of hunters going to someone's home in this area, and robbing them with a gun.
Guns and alcohol / drugs are a dangerous mix. I used to play music in barrooms, and have seen things get rowdy both inside and in the parking lots. We had bullet holes in our PA speakers. The danger would be there, even without guns. Knives and razors are just as dangerous in close quarter fights.
I used to hunt, because my grandfather and father were both hunting and fishing guides, but now my shooting is with a Nikon. I do keep a couple of pistols and a few long guns, not because I have to have them now. I keep them because I want them, and they are beautifully crafted pieces of equipment. I still enjoy target plinking once in a while with my son and grandson. My grandson, 10 now, is pretty good at skeet shooting with his 410 ga.
01/21/2011 09:24:30 AM · #10
I'm an oddball, I shoot with an Olympus E-30. I do love it. What can I say, I'm a nonconformist.
01/21/2011 03:10:58 AM · #11
Hey! I shoot the 7D, too. Pretty capable tool in the right hands. I've also got a 40D for home deployment and I've trained my son in it's use. Came in useful - he shot a fox in the garden the other day!

Tajhad, you're right, it is a photography forum and not suited to a gun rights debate, so I'll retire from the discussion. Too bad that a shared love of photography wasn't enough to solve this problem.

Message edited by author 2011-01-21 03:36:03.
01/21/2011 01:54:58 AM · #12
I like your choice of weapon, ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Tajhad. I, too, shoot the 7D. I don't carry it everywhere - can't have it at work and it can get heavy sometimes, but I do like taking it out when I can.

Message edited by author 2011-01-21 02:06:29.
01/21/2011 01:22:13 AM · #13
Corners please ladies and gentleman ! This thread has gone on long enough.
It is a photography site. What we all agree on - is we all like to take photos. What we argue about - is how we do it and what camera/ equipment we use.
Now back to our ordinary programming.
01/21/2011 12:55:52 AM · #14
Originally posted by Qiki:

Originally posted by Spork99:

How do you propose to defend against the assailants with guns...


You really don't get it do you? Reduce the number of guns in circulation, and I mean REALLY reduce, and there will be fewer assilants with guns in the first place! It's not rocket science.

As to defence against bigger, scarier assailants - again I say, take the time to do some bloody research rather than trotting out the same old spurious arugments and trying to pass them off as fact. Y'all bash and stab each other at the same sorts of rates as we do in Australia. So your guns are not protecting you against this sort of crime. These crimes still occur in US just as they do everywhere else in the world. You probably just don't notice them because the numbers pale into insignificance compared to the number of gun crimes. But y'know what? I really don't give a rat's fat one - keep killing each other and deluding yourselves. Remain ignorant of the facts. It's no skin off my nose and I'm not going to bother expending any more energy on this.

I'm off to take some photos. I'll leave you to clean your guns.

Q.


This is about what I expected. Emotional ranting and nothing practical.

I asked specifically how you plan to deal with an armed assailant and you got angry because you don't have a clue what you'd do and would evidently rather not think about it.
01/21/2011 12:36:25 AM · #15
How about the Brits keep their way and us Americans will keep our guns and what is left of our freedoms.

You know while were at it let's invent the unicorn and make sure there is a rainbow over everybody's head, since that is just about as feasible as getting rid of all the guns. While the police, the Government, and OTHER criminals are armed I will be also.
01/21/2011 12:27:51 AM · #16
Originally posted by Spork99:

How do you propose to defend against the assailants with guns...


You really don't get it do you? Reduce the number of guns in circulation, and I mean REALLY reduce, and there will be fewer assilants with guns in the first place! It's not rocket science.

As to defence against bigger, scarier assailants - again I say, take the time to do some bloody research rather than trotting out the same old spurious arugments and trying to pass them off as fact. Y'all bash and stab each other at the same sorts of rates as we do in Australia. So your guns are not protecting you against this sort of crime. These crimes still occur in US just as they do everywhere else in the world. You probably just don't notice them because the numbers pale into insignificance compared to the number of gun crimes. But y'know what? I really don't give a rat's fat one - keep killing each other and deluding yourselves. Remain ignorant of the facts. It's no skin off my nose and I'm not going to bother expending any more energy on this.

I'm off to take some photos. I'll leave you to clean your guns.

Q.
01/21/2011 12:01:35 AM · #17
Originally posted by Qiki:

Originally posted by Spork99:


You've never been to rural Vermont, have you?

So, in London, a physically strong male criminal would be able to pretty much pick and choose which old lady he was going to beat and rob, not fearing that she'd ever be able to defend herself. Or a group of 3 or 4 assailants would pretty much be able to pick anyone as their victim without much fear of injury or defense. It's really survival of the strongest.

The fact is that the vast majority of people who choose a firearm for self defense have no interest in "imposing their will" on another person unless that other person is threatening their life or the lives of their loved ones and they "impose their will" to survive over the assailant's will to do harm. The real danger is when those who have the will to do harm impose their will on those who have no means to resist.

As for the role of the police, they work very hard to prevent crime and to hold those who commit crimes accountable for their crimes. Unfortunately, they don't appear instantaneously at the press of a button to stop crimes in progress. That's far and away the exception rather than the rule. My friends who are police officers will freely admit to that. In fact, they are among the people who encouraged me to purchase a pistol, help me to train with it and taught the classes needed to get my carry permit.


Oh, for heaven's sake. Get real and take the time to have an objective look at the figures for homicides/violent crimes in the US compared with elsewhere in the world. Guns are not making your lives safer - they are making them less safe! I can't be bothered repeating the figures I posted previously, but you can scroll back and find them. The facts are that gun homicide rates in the US exceed total homicide rates in pretty much everywhere else in the western world.




The guns that the criminals have are the guns making peoples' lives less safe, I don't doubt that. I'm not a criminal.

How do you propose to defend against the assailants with guns or an attacker that outweighs you by 100 lb or more, maybe with a knife as well? Cower in fear? Just give them what they want and hope they go away? That doesn't work. Do you hope that a neighbor hears the screams and calls the police? Chances are they'll show up in time to put you and your loved ones into body bags before you get cold. If you're lucky it will just involve a ride to the ER to get put back together. Maybe calling the police works in your country. Here, they get here when they get here and that's usually after the incident is over.

I want to hear what your suggestions are for dealing with an armed intruder in your house or an armed assailant who has you and your child backed into a corner. Also, claiming that sort of thing doesn't happen where you live is a cop out. It happens here. So, instead of just venting your outrage, propose something practical.

01/20/2011 11:10:00 PM · #18
Originally posted by Spork99:


You've never been to rural Vermont, have you?

So, in London, a physically strong male criminal would be able to pretty much pick and choose which old lady he was going to beat and rob, not fearing that she'd ever be able to defend herself. Or a group of 3 or 4 assailants would pretty much be able to pick anyone as their victim without much fear of injury or defense. It's really survival of the strongest.

The fact is that the vast majority of people who choose a firearm for self defense have no interest in "imposing their will" on another person unless that other person is threatening their life or the lives of their loved ones and they "impose their will" to survive over the assailant's will to do harm. The real danger is when those who have the will to do harm impose their will on those who have no means to resist.

As for the role of the police, they work very hard to prevent crime and to hold those who commit crimes accountable for their crimes. Unfortunately, they don't appear instantaneously at the press of a button to stop crimes in progress. That's far and away the exception rather than the rule. My friends who are police officers will freely admit to that. In fact, they are among the people who encouraged me to purchase a pistol, help me to train with it and taught the classes needed to get my carry permit.


Oh, for heaven's sake. Get real and take the time to have an objective look at the figures for homicides/violent crimes in the US compared with elsewhere in the world. Guns are not making your lives safer - they are making them less safe! I can't be bothered repeating the figures I posted previously, but you can scroll back and find them. The facts are that gun homicide rates in the US exceed total homicide rates in pretty much everywhere else in the western world.
01/20/2011 10:52:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by ray_mefarso:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:



Pacifist/Neutral/Non-aggressive you can nitpick on the words I use - will you concede that the Swiss are not as warlike as the US?

I'm not saying you're wrong about government impositions but can you give a couple of examples of the greater freedoms enjoyed in the US compared to say, the UK where I live.


If by warlike, you mean not kowtowing to an aggressive madman bent on world domination, then, yes.

As for examples...I can own and carry a handgun to defend myself.


Thanks for the replies - interesting. Who is the aggressive madman? (or madmen?) US has been in many wars (or fought by proxy) sometimes in the pursuit of commercial interests, do you agree?

Re freedoms - this is exactly the point: Your main personal freedom and single example is the freedom to own and carry a handgun. The price of that freedom is the very high homicide rate in the US. Now if you can be honest and say that's a price you're willing to pay, then fair enough. If you believe that high levels of gun ownership and huge numbers of guns in circulation in fact protect people and keep the homicide rate down, then you are contradicting the evidence of every other country that does not enjoy these "freedoms"

I don't own a gun and most of my neighbours don't own guns and the freedom I enjoy is the freedom to enjoy my neighbourhoods and cities in the knowledge that I am THIRTY times less likely to die from a gun homicide than if I lived in the US.


The aggressive madman was Hitler and if the US had followed the Swiss example, you would be speaking German.

I only gave one example because I'm not terribly familiar with British Law. I do know that your government extensively monitors its citizens and their movements, as they have CCTV cameras mounted all over London and their extensive use of automatic plate recognition systems to track vehicle movements.

Usually, such things here in the US are illegal without a warrant that outlines a specific need and duration for such surveillance.


Ok, I get your point about Hitler and I believe that the world owes America a huge debt of gratitude for their sacrifice in freeing the world of Nazism. However, there are many other conflicts since then that do not fit that same ridding-the-world-of-evil model. And that's why I said 'since the 1940s' in my first post. In any case I only mentioned this to suggest that 2nd world war apart the US government regularly uses it's superior armed forces to project it's will around the world and I wondered if this 'might is right' attitude of the government was reflected in some people (or vice versa) - in this very thread some posters have hinted that physical violence might be the answer to an online discussion/disagreement. I am not attacking the US at all here; the subject interests me and I'm quite prepared to accept criticism of the British way of government and accept that your detatched view can tell me something about how we live here. Can you do the same about my observations about the US without taking it as a personal attack? (re video surveillance: the UK is indeed the most 'watched' country in the world and there are many people and groups who campaign against the level of surveillance. It maybe needs tighter regulation but the number of crimes solved or prevented, including terrorist plots has provided a counter argument that means a lot of people are prepared to pay the price. (Are the Hollywood shows that I see where surveillance videos from shops/atms/banks etc forming a major part of crime detection and prevention not a reflection of the reality? You seem pretty well watched to me))

Please respond to the point that the freedom to own and carry a handgun has a price and that price is a gun homicide murder rate 30 times higher than the UK.


Those cameras in private businesses are not actively monitored by the government. In the event of a crime, the police must ask for the images/video and may need to get a warrant if the owner does not wish to surrender them. They may be used by the owner to detect crimes against them or as evidence, but they aren't used by the government to track people.

The fact is that while the US is criticized for using it's might to make right, over the years, it has shown great restraint in its use of force and has been far less aggressive than many other countries. Had

The problem with your argument is that you assume that a high rate of handgun ownership is the cause of a high rate of gun crime. It's not.

While the right to bear arms is defined in the US Constitution, the individual states can reasonably regulate gun ownership...and they do. To address your question directly, if your argument were true, the areas with the loosest gun regulations would have the highest rates of gun crime and those with the strictest gun ownership laws would have lower rates of gun crime. In fact, the opposite is true. Places like Washington DC, Chicago, New Jersey that have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, also have high rates of gun crime, where places with more relaxed gun ownership laws like Vermont have lower rates of gun crime.

Since we're discussing the difference between the the US and the UK, I have some questions. In the UK, are you allowed to defend yourself if assaulted? If so, how? Bare hands only? Even if the assailant is armed or there are multiple assailants? What happens if you kill someone defending your life? Are you allowed to come to the aid of others? Do you have to retreat? What if you severely injure or kill your assailant while defending yourself?


As I said - the video surveillance issue is indeed a cause for concern in the UK. Being constantly watched and monitored is an infringement of ones civil rights some argue. The proponents say that if you are not guilty of a crime or attempting or planning a crime then you shouldn't be concerned. I'm unsure - I have not personally suffered any inconvenience from being monitored (apart from a parking infringement which meant I had to pay a fine, meh) I think it depends on the relationship with your government.

You misquote me when you say that my argument is that a high rate of [legal] gun ownership is the cause of a high gun homicide rate. (Although of course with no guns there could be no gun crime so there must be some truth in that) I spoke about Switzerland as a place where high levels of gun ownership do not mean a high gun homicide rate in order to show the exact opposite. And that's why I tried to get inside the American psyche that mandates that violence is a legitimate (and, sometimes, first) resort in imposing one's will on a situation. And to understand the individualism that suggests that the state created and operated security services are not sufficient for people's protection. (If the situation is so bad why not spend your gun money on improving the police force? Why not spend your range shooting time volunteering for your local police?)

Re Vermont: Gun ownership/crime figures in isolation in the US might be misleading. If you were to compare Vermont with NYC you should probably also consider per capita income, education levels, size of immigrant population, % of social housing occupants, employment levels, substance abuse rates etc. I don't have the figures but I would take a bet that Vermont scores better than urban areas of large cities in all these areas. The difference between London and Chicago is that these same 'disadvantaged' or 'criminal' people have a much much harder time getting weapons in London than in Chicago and also, for the majority of their crimes, they don't need weapons because their victims are not going to be armed. therefore less gun homicides.

In the UK you are able to use 'reasonable force' to protect yourself or your property. Probably like the US you can't lay a trap for somebody; once you are secure you can't chase a criminal down the street to exact revenge. 'Reasonable force' is woolly and often has to be clarified in court on a case by case basis if you do somebody serious harm. The law is probably more often right than wrong IMO. A recent high profile case saw a farmer jailed for shooting a teenage burglar (with a legally held shotgun) in the back when he was running away. In another case, a young man was acquitted after he stabbed a burglar to death with the burglar's knife. Bare hands? commonsense probably applies here: hit someone while defending yourself and they fall, hit their head and die, you walk. But they hit their head and are mildly concussed and you then stomp them to death, you'll probably do time. Multiple assailants? again, reasonable force - if you believe you or yours are in danger of death then strong defence is definitely allowed.


You've never been to rural Vermont, have you?

So, in London, a physically strong male criminal would be able to pretty much pick and choose which old lady he was going to beat and rob, not fearing that she'd ever be able to defend herself. Or a group of 3 or 4 assailants would pretty much be able to pick anyone as their victim without much fear of injury or defense. It's really survival of the strongest.

The fact is that the vast majority of people who choose a firearm for self defense have no interest in "imposing their will" on another person unless that other person is threatening their life or the lives of their loved ones and they "impose their will" to survive over the assailant's will to do harm. The real danger is when those who have the will to do harm impose their will on those who have no means to resist.

As for the role of the police, they work very hard to prevent crime and to hold those who commit crimes accountable for their crimes. Unfortunately, they don't appear instantaneously at the press of a button to stop crimes in progress. That's far and away the exception rather than the rule. My friends who are police officers will freely admit to that. In fact, they are among the people who encouraged me to purchase a pistol, help me to train with it and taught the classes needed to get my carry permit.

01/20/2011 09:56:53 PM · #20
Originally posted by Kelli:

Originally posted by Spork99:


The problem with your argument is that you assume that a high rate of handgun ownership is the cause of a high rate of gun crime. It's not.



I post this in the other gun thread. You might want to check it out...

Here's a really good article about which states you're more likely to get killed by a gun in. It ranks the states by order of gun deaths and level of gun restriction laws... //www.rr.com/news/topic/article/rr/10374903/31871399/20_Deadliest_Gun_States


That chart is misleading since it doesn't specify that those gun deaths are or are not related to crime. They may be people shooting in self defense, suicides, accidents etc. It follows that high rates of gun ownership would lead to higher rates of gun deaths, just as higher rates of automobile ownership will mean more automobile related deaths.
01/20/2011 09:21:37 PM · #21
Originally posted by Mick:

Originally posted by sfalice:

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Mick - I read with interest the article about Kenneshaw. It was heartwarming to note that some of the citizens, even that 10-year-old youngster, were practicing at the range.

Now, I would be really interested to know if you think that some sort of proficiency test should be required to handle a gun?

Not a loaded question, just a simple inquiry.

It may not be a loaded question, but it's a tricky one to answer nonetheless. However, I will give it a try. :)

Forgive me, Mick if I snip some of your earlier response, because I think people can look it up easily. It's not that far back in the postings.

...there's the fact that the purchase and ownership of arms in America is a right protected by the constitution. It's not a privilege like driving a car on public roads.

Therefore, my answer is no, I do not think that proficiency testing, or any other form of licensing of guns, is a good idea.


Thank you Mick for your carefully thought out response to my question. You answered the question I asked and now I understand and appreciate your reasoning .

This is not in response to that answer, but I thought I would share with you my thoughts on training, such as that given to the 10-year-old child in Kenneshaw in the article you posted here.

I related some of this story a while back in the other thread which went to Rant rather quickly:

My father in law, a World War One veteran, came home to a small community and raised a family. He became a strong part of that community, working for the local gas&electric company. Part of his contribution to this once small town, was to teach his children and their friends and then all the youngsters in the area how to care for and shoot rifles, and guns, target pistols: in a word, firearms. The local Range was named after him. He was puffed with pride (my guy said-I wasn't there) when his son and daughter passed their tests and received their official licenses. I may still have my husband’s license – one of the few pictures when he had hair!

He, and my husband, who kept and used firearms, were object lessons in the phrase:

With rights come responsibilities.

I don’t know how you factor this into your stance, but I do think it does deserve thought. Not necessarily from you, Mick, because you have eloquently explained your views, but just as a comment in the overall discussion.
01/20/2011 09:04:06 PM · #22
Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:



Pacifist/Neutral/Non-aggressive you can nitpick on the words I use - will you concede that the Swiss are not as warlike as the US?

I'm not saying you're wrong about government impositions but can you give a couple of examples of the greater freedoms enjoyed in the US compared to say, the UK where I live.


If by warlike, you mean not kowtowing to an aggressive madman bent on world domination, then, yes.

As for examples...I can own and carry a handgun to defend myself.


Thanks for the replies - interesting. Who is the aggressive madman? (or madmen?) US has been in many wars (or fought by proxy) sometimes in the pursuit of commercial interests, do you agree?

Re freedoms - this is exactly the point: Your main personal freedom and single example is the freedom to own and carry a handgun. The price of that freedom is the very high homicide rate in the US. Now if you can be honest and say that's a price you're willing to pay, then fair enough. If you believe that high levels of gun ownership and huge numbers of guns in circulation in fact protect people and keep the homicide rate down, then you are contradicting the evidence of every other country that does not enjoy these "freedoms"

I don't own a gun and most of my neighbours don't own guns and the freedom I enjoy is the freedom to enjoy my neighbourhoods and cities in the knowledge that I am THIRTY times less likely to die from a gun homicide than if I lived in the US.


The aggressive madman was Hitler and if the US had followed the Swiss example, you would be speaking German.

I only gave one example because I'm not terribly familiar with British Law. I do know that your government extensively monitors its citizens and their movements, as they have CCTV cameras mounted all over London and their extensive use of automatic plate recognition systems to track vehicle movements.

Usually, such things here in the US are illegal without a warrant that outlines a specific need and duration for such surveillance.


Ok, I get your point about Hitler and I believe that the world owes America a huge debt of gratitude for their sacrifice in freeing the world of Nazism. However, there are many other conflicts since then that do not fit that same ridding-the-world-of-evil model. And that's why I said 'since the 1940s' in my first post. In any case I only mentioned this to suggest that 2nd world war apart the US government regularly uses it's superior armed forces to project it's will around the world and I wondered if this 'might is right' attitude of the government was reflected in some people (or vice versa) - in this very thread some posters have hinted that physical violence might be the answer to an online discussion/disagreement. I am not attacking the US at all here; the subject interests me and I'm quite prepared to accept criticism of the British way of government and accept that your detatched view can tell me something about how we live here. Can you do the same about my observations about the US without taking it as a personal attack? (re video surveillance: the UK is indeed the most 'watched' country in the world and there are many people and groups who campaign against the level of surveillance. It maybe needs tighter regulation but the number of crimes solved or prevented, including terrorist plots has provided a counter argument that means a lot of people are prepared to pay the price. (Are the Hollywood shows that I see where surveillance videos from shops/atms/banks etc forming a major part of crime detection and prevention not a reflection of the reality? You seem pretty well watched to me))

Please respond to the point that the freedom to own and carry a handgun has a price and that price is a gun homicide murder rate 30 times higher than the UK.


Those cameras in private businesses are not actively monitored by the government. In the event of a crime, the police must ask for the images/video and may need to get a warrant if the owner does not wish to surrender them. They may be used by the owner to detect crimes against them or as evidence, but they aren't used by the government to track people.

The fact is that while the US is criticized for using it's might to make right, over the years, it has shown great restraint in its use of force and has been far less aggressive than many other countries. Had

The problem with your argument is that you assume that a high rate of handgun ownership is the cause of a high rate of gun crime. It's not.

While the right to bear arms is defined in the US Constitution, the individual states can reasonably regulate gun ownership...and they do. To address your question directly, if your argument were true, the areas with the loosest gun regulations would have the highest rates of gun crime and those with the strictest gun ownership laws would have lower rates of gun crime. In fact, the opposite is true. Places like Washington DC, Chicago, New Jersey that have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, also have high rates of gun crime, where places with more relaxed gun ownership laws like Vermont have lower rates of gun crime.

Since we're discussing the difference between the the US and the UK, I have some questions. In the UK, are you allowed to defend yourself if assaulted? If so, how? Bare hands only? Even if the assailant is armed or there are multiple assailants? What happens if you kill someone defending your life? Are you allowed to come to the aid of others? Do you have to retreat? What if you severely injure or kill your assailant while defending yourself?


As I said - the video surveillance issue is indeed a cause for concern in the UK. Being constantly watched and monitored is an infringement of ones civil rights some argue. The proponents say that if you are not guilty of a crime or attempting or planning a crime then you shouldn't be concerned. I'm unsure - I have not personally suffered any inconvenience from being monitored (apart from a parking infringement which meant I had to pay a fine, meh) I think it depends on the relationship with your government.

You misquote me when you say that my argument is that a high rate of [legal] gun ownership is the cause of a high gun homicide rate. (Although of course with no guns there could be no gun crime so there must be some truth in that) I spoke about Switzerland as a place where high levels of gun ownership do not mean a high gun homicide rate in order to show the exact opposite. And that's why I tried to get inside the American psyche that mandates that violence is a legitimate (and, sometimes, first) resort in imposing one's will on a situation. And to understand the individualism that suggests that the state created and operated security services are not sufficient for people's protection. (If the situation is so bad why not spend your gun money on improving the police force? Why not spend your range shooting time volunteering for your local police?)

Re Vermont: Gun ownership/crime figures in isolation in the US might be misleading. If you were to compare Vermont with NYC you should probably also consider per capita income, education levels, size of immigrant population, % of social housing occupants, employment levels, substance abuse rates etc. I don't have the figures but I would take a bet that Vermont scores better than urban areas of large cities in all these areas. The difference between London and Chicago is that these same 'disadvantaged' or 'criminal' people have a much much harder time getting weapons in London than in Chicago and also, for the majority of their crimes, they don't need weapons because their victims are not going to be armed. therefore less gun homicides.

In the UK you are able to use 'reasonable force' to protect yourself or your property. Probably like the US you can't lay a trap for somebody; once you are secure you can't chase a criminal down the street to exact revenge. 'Reasonable force' is woolly and often has to be clarified in court on a case by case basis if you do somebody serious harm. The law is probably more often right than wrong IMO. A recent high profile case saw a farmer jailed for shooting a teenage burglar (with a legally held shotgun) in the back when he was running away. In another case, a young man was acquitted after he stabbed a burglar to death with the burglar's knife. Bare hands? commonsense probably applies here: hit someone while defending yourself and they fall, hit their head and die, you walk. But they hit their head and are mildly concussed and you then stomp them to death, you'll probably do time. Multiple assailants? again, reasonable force - if you believe you or yours are in danger of death then strong defence is definitely allowed.

Message edited by author 2011-01-20 21:12:44.
01/20/2011 08:43:21 PM · #23
Originally posted by Spork99:


The problem with your argument is that you assume that a high rate of handgun ownership is the cause of a high rate of gun crime. It's not.



I post this in the other gun thread. You might want to check it out...

Here's a really good article about which states you're more likely to get killed by a gun in. It ranks the states by order of gun deaths and level of gun restriction laws... //www.rr.com/news/topic/article/rr/10374903/31871399/20_Deadliest_Gun_States
01/20/2011 08:23:19 PM · #24
Originally posted by ray_mefarso:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:

Originally posted by Spork99:

Originally posted by ray_mefarso:



Pacifist/Neutral/Non-aggressive you can nitpick on the words I use - will you concede that the Swiss are not as warlike as the US?

I'm not saying you're wrong about government impositions but can you give a couple of examples of the greater freedoms enjoyed in the US compared to say, the UK where I live.


If by warlike, you mean not kowtowing to an aggressive madman bent on world domination, then, yes.

As for examples...I can own and carry a handgun to defend myself.


Thanks for the replies - interesting. Who is the aggressive madman? (or madmen?) US has been in many wars (or fought by proxy) sometimes in the pursuit of commercial interests, do you agree?

Re freedoms - this is exactly the point: Your main personal freedom and single example is the freedom to own and carry a handgun. The price of that freedom is the very high homicide rate in the US. Now if you can be honest and say that's a price you're willing to pay, then fair enough. If you believe that high levels of gun ownership and huge numbers of guns in circulation in fact protect people and keep the homicide rate down, then you are contradicting the evidence of every other country that does not enjoy these "freedoms"

I don't own a gun and most of my neighbours don't own guns and the freedom I enjoy is the freedom to enjoy my neighbourhoods and cities in the knowledge that I am THIRTY times less likely to die from a gun homicide than if I lived in the US.


The aggressive madman was Hitler and if the US had followed the Swiss example, you would be speaking German.

I only gave one example because I'm not terribly familiar with British Law. I do know that your government extensively monitors its citizens and their movements, as they have CCTV cameras mounted all over London and their extensive use of automatic plate recognition systems to track vehicle movements.

Usually, such things here in the US are illegal without a warrant that outlines a specific need and duration for such surveillance.


Ok, I get your point about Hitler and I believe that the world owes America a huge debt of gratitude for their sacrifice in freeing the world of Nazism. However, there are many other conflicts since then that do not fit that same ridding-the-world-of-evil model. And that's why I said 'since the 1940s' in my first post. In any case I only mentioned this to suggest that 2nd world war apart the US government regularly uses it's superior armed forces to project it's will around the world and I wondered if this 'might is right' attitude of the government was reflected in some people (or vice versa) - in this very thread some posters have hinted that physical violence might be the answer to an online discussion/disagreement. I am not attacking the US at all here; the subject interests me and I'm quite prepared to accept criticism of the British way of government and accept that your detatched view can tell me something about how we live here. Can you do the same about my observations about the US without taking it as a personal attack? (re video surveillance: the UK is indeed the most 'watched' country in the world and there are many people and groups who campaign against the level of surveillance. It maybe needs tighter regulation but the number of crimes solved or prevented, including terrorist plots has provided a counter argument that means a lot of people are prepared to pay the price. (Are the Hollywood shows that I see where surveillance videos from shops/atms/banks etc forming a major part of crime detection and prevention not a reflection of the reality? You seem pretty well watched to me))

Please respond to the point that the freedom to own and carry a handgun has a price and that price is a gun homicide murder rate 30 times higher than the UK.


Those cameras in private businesses are not actively monitored by the government. In the event of a crime, the police must ask for the images/video and may need to get a warrant if the owner does not wish to surrender them. They may be used by the owner to detect crimes against them or as evidence, but they aren't used by the government to track people.

The fact is that while the US is criticized for using it's might to make right, over the years, it has shown great restraint in its use of force and has been far less aggressive than many other countries. Had

The problem with your argument is that you assume that a high rate of handgun ownership is the cause of a high rate of gun crime. It's not.

While the right to bear arms is defined in the US Constitution, the individual states can reasonably regulate gun ownership...and they do. To address your question directly, if your argument were true, the areas with the loosest gun regulations would have the highest rates of gun crime and those with the strictest gun ownership laws would have lower rates of gun crime. In fact, the opposite is true. Places like Washington DC, Chicago, New Jersey that have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, also have high rates of gun crime, where places with more relaxed gun ownership laws like Vermont have lower rates of gun crime.

Since we're discussing the difference between the the US and the UK, I have some questions. In the UK, are you allowed to defend yourself if assaulted? If so, how? Bare hands only? Even if the assailant is armed or there are multiple assailants? What happens if you kill someone defending your life? Are you allowed to come to the aid of others? Do you have to retreat? What if you severely injure or kill your assailant while defending yourself?

01/20/2011 08:03:40 PM · #25
Originally posted by David Ey:

Ray, you are almost under Muslim rule. I doubt you have ten more years of "freedom". What will you do if I am right?


Almost under Muslim rule? I choose to believe that you are not right. I see Islam as a religion and a way of life that has extremist elements who need to be kept in check in the same way as all extremists but I don't see Muslims as having undue or disproportionate influence in UK government, armed forces, security forces, religion, finance, manufacturing or the economy. And in any case what should I do? Arm myself against the day that my Muslim neighbour stops doing the shopping for the neighbourhood elderly (white) folks and decides to wage jihad against me? I choose to engage with my neighhbours because I believe the closer we are then the more we will see how alike we are

Message edited by author 2011-01-20 20:20:25.
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