Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

Nitro


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 6:11pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
OK, I promised to move this topic and I have. With no doubt I will be crushed by an onslaught of criticism for daring to bring this up, or rather, holding an atypical outlook for a non-conservative.

I'm interested in how much you think your opinion is NOT informed by news you prefer to listen to. Please think about that a minute.

I am not a social conservative. I do not side with the Republican party. And I think it's very unfortunate that even in America, a citizen who believes that it's perfectly OK for non-military or non-police to own guns is instantly assumed to be a Republican. For instance, many members of the NRA vote on the sides of Democrats. Are a lot of gun owners Republican? Yep. But I'd say most of them are for the same reasons most people become 'anti-gun'. It's perception. They believe they have to line up in lock step with the stereotype of either side of essentially the same coin.

For our UK members, I understand you have a longer history of unarmed citizenry at least in modern history. So your beliefs about this might be more entrenched than the average Yank.

Whichever government you're under, I don't blame people for actually believing that stiffer gun laws really do reduce crime rates. But the reality does not back that up. I mentioned the gang warfare in California ( where I grew up btw ) that have gone on for nearly three decades. Likely because the majority doing the killing and dieing are black and hispanic folk. This didn't go on in Beverly Hills or Malibu in the same numbers ( some would say,"And what a shame it didn't..." X-D ). Anyway, stiffening gun laws over the last three decades has NOT reduced crime rates and certainly has made no impact on any criminals managing to get guns. Criminals don't obey laws. The only people who have had to jump through hoops and give away private info and submit to gun courses and liscences have been NON-CRIMINALS. Iow, LAW-ABIDING citizens. If you don't know the difference...well...sorry. I can only recommend a dictionary. X-D

Now, inevitably someone sites some sad story of kids getting hold of guns. That's always a rotten thing. HOWEVER, it is NOT the norm. And btw, the parents DO get prosecuted in that instance as well they should.

Instead, the reality is that there are thousands of law-abiding gun owners very responsible who teach gun safety and technique to their kids and other adults ASAP. Many citizens enjoy shooting sports ( heck, the Olympics have shooting sports ) such as sporting clays, trap, skeet, target competitions with rifle, handgun etc. And then there are those who also hunt. Speaking of, most compound hunting bows these days can do about as much damage to you as a bullet and often from a greater distance. But anyway...why should these folks be disarmed? Because the uninformed and easily influenced don't understand and actually believe that tighter gun laws reduce crime?

Here's a question: How many of you who are against normal citizens owning guns actually had someone in your family who was a responsible gun owner? Just curious.

You can imagine that at parties mostly populated by my liberal friends that I'm often on the defense for my opinions. And somehow I manage to do that without shooting anyone X-D

Really? Wow.

Back to top

Maxx England


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 6:27pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
I think that Britain and Western Europe generally have non violent societies, where physical force in any form is frowned upon. Is it different in America, is violence within the society generally more widespread than here?

I have contact with Americans elsewhere, and some of them are gun carriers because they have found themselves in places where their only defence against dangerous malfeasants was a gun; officers of the law being thinly spread and a long way off.

The rights and wrongs of weapon ownership are probably strongly bound up in cultural history and prevailing social attitudes. Guns here are regarded as enemies, elsewhere they are friends.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

Back to top

PamJH


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:07pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Our nation has had a long history of gun ownership (I'll bet that French settlement in Florida wishes it had had more of them when the Spanish dropped in, but that's another story), and as late as the 19th and early 20th centuries it was nothing for people to walk around obviously armed (thinking the old west, especially). Our nation was born from violence (self-created and imposed by others) and I don't think we've really escaped that reputation.

Enough history lesson. I don't carry a gun and I don't want to do so. I don't see a need to walk around armed. However, I am not about to tell my neighbors they can't be armed. It's none of my business how many guns they have. I want them to be responsible gun owners, certainly, but if they have an arsenal in their living rooms, it's nothing to me. But if they started using their guns to annoy me, then I'd have something to say about that. If their guns fall into the wrong hands through their own carelessness, then they need to pay the price for said carelessness.

I do not think banning guns solves an awful lot. As my dad (who has a license to carry a concealed weapon but rarely does) says, when all the law-abiding people are stripped of their weapons, only the crooks will have them. I've thought about this long and hard, and for once I have to agree with my conservative father.

I do, however, take issue with the types of guns available to people. I'm not sure why the average person needs to have the more high-powered stuff. No one's ever been able to explain why he or she needs more than a handgun or a hunting rifle.

I suppose my views appear contradictory. But this is a difficult topic to discuss because I worry about being misunderstood. But hey, I'm up for a discussion.

Back to top

monochromeprincess


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:10pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Well, my main argument is that there's no harm in having laws against guns. In fact, it saves lives - it must do - even if it is only that if one person is going to attack another, the victim would more likely survive if the attacker had a knife instead of a gun. Considering hunting is banned here, and we don't have much of a 'pro-gun culture' (whatever that might be) here, I don't think anyone's going to really listen to much campaigning for guns.

I mean I think people see the problems that we have with knife crime already in the UK and see that as a horrible thing. Gun crime, which is rarer, is always major news here (from what one can tell...) and there are always campaigns that come out of gun related tragedies to have even tougher crackdowns on the possession of guns. I just don't see the logic in pro gun thinking in the UK. More people could die just so a small minority (and it would be a very, very small minority here) could have a bit of fun now and then. It just doesn't weigh up. It's like saying that people should be able to buy anthrax because some people like making really exciting snow storm ornaments out of them.

mp xxx

@dreamingshadow

Back to top

PamJH


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:21pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Perhaps the hunting aspect is one of the big differences. People can hunt in the US almost all year long (maybe all year, I don't hunt so I don't know). People who simply keep guns for hunting don't consider themselves as armed in the sense that handgun carriers do.

The thing with banning handguns. How many people would actually turn them in if such a thing were enacted? Those who are law-abiding in all areas of their lives might do it, but I doubt those with criminal intent would queue up at the local cop shop to turn theirs in. And I can't imagine the logistics of enforcing a handgun ban.

Back to top

gjhsu


Moderator

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:22pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Even as a born and bred Texan who grew up with guns around, I am against the ownership of guns to the non-military.

The second amendment was written for another age, and people are hanging on to that for dear life. It isn't protecting people's rights from expression (unless you REALLY, HONESTLY feel the expression of firing aimlessly into the air, and even THAT is extremely dangerous... bullets do come down). What does one gain from owning a firearm? A sense of protection? After all, there are a countless number of people who own a gun who would NEVER fire upon another human, even in self defense, and if that's the case, what's the point of having one at all?

Owning one for the sake of owning one seems rather daft and pointless. The fact of the matter is that firearms were designed to kill living things. Yes it's true that you could kill someone with a pencil, or a frying pan, but face it, it's just not as easy as point and click.

But going back to the second amendment, people say it's there, and we should abide by it, but there is already precedence for repealing an amendment. Look at prohibition.
The other argument I hear is "Well, who are you to tell me what I can and cannot own?" I'm no one, really. Just a voting citizen who doesn't necessarily feel safe when instruments of death are available to the (mostly) general public. Even in the hands of the very responsible, the fact remains that they are still instruments of death. Weapons of localized destruction, if you will.

Back to top

monochromeprincess


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:26pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Pam, I do think it is a separate issue with separate countries. I think enforcing a gun ban on whatever state of America or even the whole country would be a devil of a thing to try and do. Admirable, but intensely difficult with many complexities and many different points of view. However, going to a country where there are already bans on guns and offering to take that away seems like a major step in the wrong direction, because we've already achieved that state of being majoritively gun-free. Sorry if that sounds like the UK is better than the US in that regard; I don't mean it to sound that way. But I know that I would rather live in a gun free UK than anywhere without a gun ban. Seriously, part of the reason I wouldn't ever want to stay in America for a long time is the knowledge that anyone anytime could be walking around with a gun. I know that doesn't make any sense, but knowing things like that really play on my paranoia.

mp xxx

@dreamingshadow

Back to top

monochromeprincess


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:28pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
And also now I think of it a lot of people who carry weapons (including knives etc) for their own protection end up having the thing turned on themselves. It's almost more dangerous to you to carry around a weapon than not.

mp xxx

@dreamingshadow

Back to top

PamJH


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:29pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Don't apologize for your opinion, MP. You're entitled to it. I guess I'm a bit confused and probably should have read the other thread more thoroughly. Is someone trying to get the UK to do away with its gun ban? I can understand the opposition to that in a society that has long held that belief, custom or whatever you want to call it.

Enlighten me?

Back to top

monochromeprincess


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 7:32pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Sorry Pam I guess I saw this thread and automatically applied it to my own situation, living in the UK, rather than seeing it as a purely American debate about guns.


mp xxx

@dreamingshadow

Back to top

JSKanga84


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 8:01pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Recently the TX legislature considered (and I think, passed) a law that allows people to carry guns on college campuses. There was a big stink about it in the graduate student community, because we're the ones who deal with disgruntled students-- rather than the actual professors, but that's another story altogether...
I think we all had the same image in mind: a gun-toting student comes to berate some poor overworked grad student about a grade or assignment and either the grad student doesn't own a gun and the dispute becomes a bloodbath, or the grad student is also armed and they re-create the epic gunfight at the OK corral in the graduate offices. Neither situation really appealed to us.
I guess the bottom line is if someone feels better carrying around a gun, that's fine, just don't point it at me, and we'll be cool.

Back to top

Stoopiduk


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 8:21pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Tighter gun laws in one area of a country saturated with guns is unlikely to have an effect, lets be honest. I think you'd be surprised just how many people in Britain own shotguns for shooting, especially out in the greener parts.

You can't possibly tell me that gun shops are kitted out towards the sportsman in us all. There's a limit to just how many rounds a pheasant can take.

Back to top

TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 9:22pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
But the reality does not back that up. I mentioned the gang warfare in California ( where I grew up btw ) that have gone on for nearly three decades. Likely because the majority doing the killing and dieing are black and hispanic folk. This didn't go on in Beverly Hills or Malibu in the same numbers ( some would say,"And what a shame it didn't..." X-D ). Anyway, stiffening gun laws over the last three decades has NOT reduced crime rates and certainly has made no impact on any criminals managing to get guns. Criminals don't obey laws. The only people who have had to jump through hoops and give away private info and submit to gun courses and liscences have been NON-CRIMINALS. Iow, LAW-ABIDING citizens. If you don't know the difference...well...sorry. I can only recommend a dictionary. X-D


Instead, the reality is that there are thousands of law-abiding gun owners very responsible who teach gun safety and technique to their kids and other adults ASAP. Many citizens enjoy shooting sports ( heck, the Olympics have shooting sports ) such as sporting clays, trap, skeet, target competitions with rifle, handgun etc. And then there are those who also hunt. Speaking of, most compound hunting bows these days can do about as much damage to you as a bullet and often from a greater distance. But anyway...why should these folks be disarmed? Because the uninformed and easily influenced don't understand and actually believe that tighter gun laws reduce crime?

I'd say you've summed it all up perfectly, I'm neither republican, nor conservative but I do own guns, I've taken all the classes, purchased the licenses, been fingerprinted etc. I'm still waiting for to someone explain to me intelligently why anti-gun folks believe that making gun ownersip illegal would somehow make society safer, or do they really imagine that criminals would be lined up waiting to surrender their firearms? Pfft.

I think that Britain and Western Europe generally have non violent societies, where physical force in any form is frowned upon. Is it different in America, is violence within the society generally more widespread than here?

NO, I don't believe for a second that the US is significantly more violent than Europe, I do think things like unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse are bigger factors in the perpetration of violent crimes and their statistics.

I have contact with Americans elsewhere, and some of them are gun carriers because they have found themselves in places where their only defence against dangerous malfeasants was a gun; officers of the law being thinly spread and a long way off.

Most responsible, legal gun owners do NOT carry weapons around with them, though they may be licensed to do so. Don't want y'all thinking we walk around town like it's still the wild west because we don't and there are a lot of folks who like to believe we do. We do have a gun culture which may be more prevalent in some parts of the country than it is in others, but you'd really need to understand the history of those areas first, there are practical considerations. Where I live most everyone owns a firearm of one kind or another, including granny, and it's more than likely that she can shoot a tick off of a junebug's ass with accuracy.

Even as a born and bred Texan who grew up with guns around, I am against the ownership of guns to the non-military.

If we're talking about city living I can see what you mean, but again, outside of city living there are practical considerations for guns. I'm Texan too, but I live in the country with livestock and a lot of acreage so you can bet I'm going to shoot some coyotes before I let them drag a calf, or my dog off. And one could also argue that a car is a weapon of death when misused. I wonder what the ratio of vehicular injuries and deaths is to those of guns, anyone know? Though now we're getting into the guns don't kill people, people kill people territory.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

Back to top

Desdemona


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 9:58pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
This is for Tobias becasue i'm just curiouse, why do you own a gun?

I don't know what my views are on this, and i don't think i know enought on the subject to comment.

Skip Life and come with me?

Back to top

Katrina


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 10:07pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Recently the TX legislature considered (and I think, passed) a law that allows people to carry guns on college campuses. There was a big stink about it in the graduate student community, because we're the ones who deal with disgruntled students-- rather than the actual professors, but that's another story altogether...
I think we all had the same image in mind: a gun-toting student comes to berate some poor overworked grad student about a grade or assignment and either the grad student doesn't own a gun and the dispute becomes a bloodbath, or the grad student is also armed and they re-create the epic gunfight at the OK corral in the graduate offices. Neither situation really appealed to us.
I guess the bottom line is if someone feels better carrying around a gun, that's fine, just don't point it at me, and we'll be cool.
They're probably going to pass that at Purdue, too. I totally get what you're saying, I mean, we already get enough texts/emails, etc. about various campus crimes, and I don't trust some of the people I see at school with a nail clipper, much less a gun. But I agree with your bottom line: as long as no one feels it necessary to put a cap in my ass, I'm not going to tell anyone what they can and can't do. Then again, I'm just not totally convinced that it's appropriate on a college campus.

That being said, I know a gun ban wouldn't work because, as others have said, you'll only get so many people to actually turn anything in. Overall, I don't really feel it's any of my business. Doesn't scare me, doesn't bother me for the most part, it just sort of... is, you know? Call it a cultural difference, I guess. Besides, I'll appreciate the right if/when I need one.

Open to suggestions as to what my sig should consist of...

Back to top