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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 11:08pm 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.

We have 130+ acres with livestock, there is dense pine forest and there is bayou, so it'd be crazy to go out there at night without a rifle or a shotgun, and the coyotes, snakes, wild hogs and gators are reason enough for me to carry one.

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

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PamJH


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 11:19pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
My spouse has always had guns for hunting even though he hasn't hunted in years. I was glad he did the one year we had a terrible time with coyotes. They were dragging off our lambs and older ewes one by one. My husband is an excellent shot; if he weren't I wouldn't even allow the guns on the place.

One thing: We do not keep the guns loaded. The guns and the ammunition are kept in two different spots, and the kids don't know where the ammo is kept. I guess I just want us to be seen as people who take responsibility for our firearms.

Toby, if you've got all those potentially dangerous creatures on your property, you're right to protect yourself. From what little I know of you, I would never think you simply shoot at animals indiscriminately.

As for the 2nd amendment, I have my doubts about that, but there is this: I don't always trust the American military to do the right thing. Individual service personnel I have known are fine people, don't get me wrong. But when I think of Abu Ghraib (sp?) and other situations that have been revealed, it doesn't sit well with me to think only the military should have guns.

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michael


Member

Posted Wed May 27th, 2009 11:54pm 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?



so...300 years ago europeans came to north america and quickly turned the whole continent upside down with....what? bubble gum?

i'm not saying WE are violent, i'm not saying YOU are violent.

i'm saying opening up that "it's in the culture" thing ain't so logical.

EDITED : ( i looked it up, bubble gum's american...my bad)

"HELLO I'M TACTILE !" is an anagram of my name

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Desdemona


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 12:09am 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.

We have 130+ acres with livestock, there is dense pine forest and there is bayou, so it'd be crazy to go out there at night without a rifle or a shotgun, and the coyotes, snakes, wild hogs and gators are reason enough for me to carry one.

Ah thats cool. I don't see why people have to have guns when they don't have to deal with stuff like that. I mean fair enough if you are a farmer, have lifestock. I know quite afew people who own a air rifel or shot gun, because they are on farms.

Do the police in England carrie guns (i know i should know this, but i just want it confermed)?

Skip Life and come with me?

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Mister


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 12:33am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Well, here in Norway we are way more sophisticated when we kill each other, we use broken beer bottles.

Anyways, I know people with guns, my neighbour's got 274. Here in Norway, if you want a gun, you have to complete a course to get it, and there a courses for each gun. You need to have a damn good reason to get a gun, for hunting or if you are in the poilce or army. And it takes a lot of time to get one, they have extensive chekcs and stuff. And you never get the stuff, mostly shotguns or handguns.

In Norway we do have a year forced military service, for the men, and the you get to take a machine gun home. My dad did, and he had no safe place for it, so of course I stole it. Did nothing crazy of course, it was unloaded, and I just curious, and five. Even though this happened the military refused to store the gun for him. Crazy.

But still, there aren't loads of people with guns here, not in the cities at least, and there are extremely few murders. In the last five years I can only remember one shooting accident, a man shot his sister in law in the face with a shotgun, by accident. Oh, and two weeks a go, a man shot and killed his wife and daughter and himself, completely by accident. I'm not sure if the few murders because of the strict weapons law, or simply because there are so damn few of us, that the odds of being a murderer is really low. Probably the last.

So I'm not against guns, just strict laws around it, and a good reason to carry it.

Beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

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Nitro


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 4:34am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Thanks everyone for weighing in, whatever your viewpoint. I think discussions like this help us understand each other better. And it helps us think about why we believe what we do.

Like Tobias, I'm a gun owner. And I'm a damn good shot because I practice. It's fairly stupid to buy a gun and not learn to use it. And beyond using it correctly, know how to take care of it, store it, etc. Knowledge is power.

I was trained and train myself and educate others. I don't push guns on anyone. If a friend expresses interest, I try to guide them but not before issuing the one thing that everyone with a gun must understand: You NEVER, EVER pick up a gun when you're angry, frustrated, etc. If you're not in control, forget you own it.

Now, people say only cops should be armed. The problem is, when a human being becomes a cop they do not stop being human beings. Many policemen experience intense stress and they often take it home. Domestic issues occur and Mr.Policeman, who has a gun, is no different than any other angry person who hasn't learned to control their temper. IOW, cops do committ domestic violence.

Regarding knives, um...I'd argue fairly confidently that the majority of people carrying knives have never really learned how to use a knife in close combat situations. And in many states there is the 21' rule for police. If a person wields a knife at them they are legally allowed to shoot the person inside that distance because a human being can cross 20' in a second or even less. ( Don't believe me? Watch a fencing match sometime LOL ). There are laws about blade length for knives and these laws are barely enforceable. It's usually pure chance if a cop catches a person with a 6" blade because knives are fairly easily hidden and lay flatter than most handguns, even a little .22

If I get angry or depressed, the LAST thing I think of touching is a gun. But the point between the cop and me is that there is no way and no law that can 100% guarantee any human being will always behave responsibly. It's impossible. Drunk drivers, for all our strict laws about it, still kill people every day.

Regarding hunting: The biggest killer of wildlife out there ain't guns. It's got four rubber wheels and is usually breaking the speed limit X-D

I like to think of myself as a student of history and one repeated theme throughout it is that no government lasts forever. Some eruption occurs ( preceeded by various events ) or some change occurs and often the people caught up in the mix are average citizens. I can't help but wonder if the residents of Swat, Pakistan were legally armed if the Taliban would have had a much harder time reducing girls' schools to rubble and dragging families apart and otherwise creating intense fear amongst the people living in the neighborhoods there. The Taliban members are armed. And they have very much a 'deal with us or die' mentality. And it's not just the Taliban like this. Like Pam said, I will try to avoid history lessons but Google is a great thing for identifying the various violent groups out there determined to make life hell for 'average' people. And very often those 'average people' are UNARMED. They're much easier to push around.

Most of the gang members in the Los Angeles region are horrible, horrible shots. I think the innocent folk on the street caught by stray bullets would be far better served if there were free target classes offered to these gang members. Because on thing is certain so far: if they want guns, they're easily had. And they obey NO LAWS to get them. Criminals don't give a rats ass about gun laws. Their world is different and so is the mentality.

There are two states here in America that sit next to each other. Maine and New Hampshire. They have different gun laws and in Maine, the onus to avoid being killed is on the homeowner who finds themselves invaded by burglars who are armed. In New Hampshire, it's quite the opposite. Is it any wonder then that the crime rate in NH is lower than Maine? Criminals KNOW that citizens in Maine are on the wrong end of the law stick and they exploit that.

In Florida, a law was passed that allows a legally liscenced person to use their concealed weapon in public if they feel their lives are at stake. After the law was passed, a woman driving home late from work was being threatened on the highway by a speeding driver. He drove her off the road ( using his car as the tool ) and she stopped. He pulled in front of her and got out, approaching her car in anger. She got out and pointed her gun at him with one hand and had her cell in the other. He stopped right in his tracks, turned around, got back in his car and sped off. The cops caught him later. That gun in that womans hand made that dude think twice about potentially becoming physically aggressive with her. There's no doubt about that.

In North Carolina, there's the 'anywhere' law. Anywhere your life is under threat on your property you are allowed to defend yourself to the death if necessary and not prosecuted. See, different states in this country have different laws depending often on their tradition of politics. New Hampshire is the 'Live Free or Die' state for instance and the folks there believe in that saying passionately.

In Rwanda, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed by.....? I'll let you answer that on your own. Those folks did not have guns. The killers did. It's not hard to figure out, given human nature, that those who want power are very happy with those who are passively willing to let them have it.

Will our military turn on its citizens? I don't know. The National Guard has often, with some governors permission, attacked protestors with various tools at their disposal ( dogs, batons, pistols, gas, etc ). The protestors had no such tools so are easily dispersed.

Anyone remember Tianamen square? Chinese citizens without guns being controlled by a military and police squads with them. Is that freedom? Safety? Not in my mind.

BTW, anyone know who the crack shotgun champion in the world is ( or at least used to be - I haven't kept up ?) Well, for quite a while it was George Digweed, from England In fact, some of the best shots in the clay sports are from England. England has a long tradition of shooting sports.

The type of gun really doesn't matter. In the wrong hands, it's a tragedy. So is a car and cars are in the wrong hands of MILLIONS of faulty human beings. I have personal experience of losing someone to a drunk driver. No experience as a free citizen losing someone to a gunshot ( not including my military experience here ).

For every drunken redneck with a gun there are thousands of responsible gun owners. I do not think the majority should be punished for the actions of a few.

I think it's unfair, very unfair in fact, to say America was built on some history of 'violence'. Having a gun was a necessity in the wild and rough path to establish a homestead or just to travel around. Gun ownership, as Pam stated, at one point was no big deal. It's the histrionics, IMHO, of tittilating news bites repeated over and over that form peoples opinions who don't stop to question the news they are getting. But that's another thread I guess.

Not every single person HAS to own a gun here and I don't believe in forcing people to be comftorable with guns if they aren't. But I don't think the uncomftorable should put a leash on those who are comftorable with guns.

Like Tobias, where I live it's pretty much a given that at least a shotgun is a good idea. And crimes DO occur in rural areas. I hope to all that's holy or innocent in the universe that no one ever breaks into my home because while I would use my gun to defend myself, on no level would I enjoy having to shoot someone. But the thing is, if we confine the arguments only to crime we are not talking about the whole picture. Gun bans would affect hunters and people into target competitions.Responsible people, legal citizens, law abiders...having their guns ripped away? For what? So only the government has guns? My my...I'll never have that much faith in politicians...



X-D

Anyway, before this becomes worse than the rambling answer that it is, I really do respect everyone's opinions and viewpoints. The world would be terribly boring if we were all exactly the same. I do have to admit though it's kind of nice I'm not the only one on this thread ( Howdy Tobias! ) who feels stricter gun laws don't achieve much except disarming law abiding citizens. Please write it in black sharpie on paper and tack it to your fridge: Criminals do NOT obey laws, much less gun laws. X-D

BTW, michael you always crack me up...

Really? Wow.

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Peachy Keenan


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 8:35am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
It's good that people are talking about this and remaining civilised about it. I've seen the topic of gun control go downhill quite quickly in some forums.
But anyway...
I will put my two cents in about gun control, because I have unfortunately been the victim of an armed hold-up at work in February this year, when a man threatened me with a pistol when he tried to rob me. The good news is, I did not get hurt, no shots were fired and I managed to get away safely.
However, I've been suffering from post-traumatic stress ever since. I'm terrified of guns now. I absolutely hate them. I used to be rather nonchalant about them, as I was in the navy cadets for 5 years and handled them mostly for ceremonial purposes, but none of them ever had bullets or even worked. My dad even owned a gun and kept one in the house, but that was because he used to be a sporting shooter back in his younger years.
So, despite my natural phobia, I support the just cause of keeping a gun. I'm pretty fine with Australia's firearm laws but they would be considered rather stringent compared to the USA's laws - for example, semi-automatics have been tightly restricted since the Port Arthur Massarce in 1996 and you can't just buy a gun for reasons of "self defence". However, stats show those who do use a firearm or weapon in a crime, purchased or used that weapon illegally.
I know people should have a right to keep a gun and I know 99.9% of those who legally keep one are responsible citizens. Most people in this country who do have one legally are farmers in rural areas or people who use them for sport shooting. It's all well and good to protect yourself if you live in an isolated area with little police protection at hand, but I don't believe the regular Joe Public should keep a gun in house "just in case" in area which is relatively low in crime.
Any of my knowledge of the US's gun laws and politics come from Michael Moore and the media. I know that's not the most reliable of sources to some. However, I think Moore raised a few good points in Bowling For Columbine. I don't think his point was that guns are wrong and we shouldn't have any. I think there raised an issue about why America has this deep-seeded need to keep a gun and the cycle of fear and hatred that brews from all sorts of places. It can be due to reasons other than "just cause" and if this is the case, how can we help those who at a loss with themselves and stop them pulling the trigger on the next innocent person?
So yeah, I think tight gun control laws should exist, but not an outright ban of certain weapons. If we're talking about the deaths at the hands of guns, I think the focus should be more on improving mental health accessibility and the promotion of responsible gun ownership.

Twittering @peachykeenan!

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Stoopiduk


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 9:46am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
With regards to the hunting/ rural side of the arguement - we are allowed shotguns and the like over here in England for hunting and stopping pesky rabbits from eating our crops. I have a fair few friends with shotguns, and have no problems with these people owning their weapons and using and storing them in a responsible way. Perhaps that's down to the nature of the weapon - hard to conceal most of the shotguns I've used, even if you give it the chop, and the weapon certainly doesn't carry the "cool" tag amongst gangs.

I can't see any justification in British society for carrying around a handgun or any kind of automatic weapon as a civilian. I'm aware that weapons become available to the criminal community despite our gun laws, but I'm confident it's much harder for your average down and out to get hold of a weapon over here. Whether that's down to our different social attitude I don't know, but I'd personally attribute it to the simple lack of weapons in our country.

Sure this all means we're more vulnerable to criminals with weapons, but I don't think that's reason enough to start dishing out the A2s to everyone. I place my trust in the Armed sections of the police force who are trained to deal with the idiots that decide a gun is the best way to see their crime through.

My time in the British Army taught me how to use a weapon with deadly force and I was comfortable with that. Our ability to shoot accurately was tested at least annually, much more often for combat personnel. Months of training with a weapon, stripping it day in day out and hearing the consequences of negligent discharges and other accidents left a great feeling of responsibility.

I can't help but wonder if that feeling fo responsibility is lost in a society where gun ownership is more common.

(as an aside - I'm really enjoying this discussion :))

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 10:31am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
My father had a licensed shotgun when I was a kid, I think it was to control the rabbits I don't think he did any hunting but living in rural Scotland I come across people with shotguns quite regularly.

Yet I would never own a gun, even a shotgun, I think there should be very strict gun laws but I understand that's not gonna stop all the gun crime and even if they didn't have guns they'd just find something else as threatening and deadly.

But I think the fact that guns aren't commonplace in the UK is a good thing, it cuts down on the accidental risks as people don't have them in their house and It doesn't desensitise the populace because whether for sport or protection or whatever they can kill and that's what sticks in my mind.

This is a tricky subject for me to look at fairly though because I live not that far away from Dunblane and it has coloured my view of guns. I understand that sort of crime is really rare but it doesn't take away the fact that in a world with guns, massacres like that can happen, so I believe you need to find the balance between protecting people and allowing law abiding citizens to own a gun for hunting and sport and I believe that requires strict gun laws.

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PamJH


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 1:53pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
I, too, am very happy this thread has remained civilized, with no one vilifying anyone else for his or her views. And Peachy, I'm very glad you weren't hurt and I can see why you think the way you do.

I think it all comes down to responsibility. If I decide to buy a gun, I should take classes so that I know how to use it, ensure I store it properly and as Nitro pointed out, never touch it in moments of anger or depression. And if I don't take complete responsibility for it and something happens, then I should submit to whatever punishment is coming my way.

As I said before, I don't have a gun and don't really want one. But I do want to retain what I see as a person's right to defend himself and his family, from both human and four-legged varmints.

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 4:57pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
One question I'm going to ask, as the basis of it has been brought up already: why is there the great discrepancy (in the UK at least) in treatment of driving offences where an innocent has been the accidental victim of careless/dangerous driving compared to careless/dangerous violence by other means? Is it the same elsewhere in the world? I've known too many people killed and the killer has had nothing more than an insultingly small fine slapped on them

Back to guns.

The gun crime we have here is due to the shared channels within the illegal drug industry supplying anything which is prohibited by law. It won't happen because of the public panic and knee jerk reaction inspired by the notion, but if grass was legalised and controlled as to strength and chemical composition (eradicating Skunk in one easy move) and sold by the tobacco companies, police forces would have many more officers to pursue actual wrongdoers as opposed to social users since the suppliers would be decimated by a financial crash.

If you remove the routes into the country for supply of firearms and also the source of the turf wars that need them, then the attrition of time would mean that the numbers of surplus guns that fall into the hands of idiot kids, full of teenage insecurity and needing to look "hard", would reduce.

As for wanting guns in the hands of the people as well as the government because the people don't trust the government, I ask if that is perhaps a more American preoccupation than British (everybody here, please feel free to comment); we don't have any greater respect for our politicians than Americans, but perhaps we are more laid back, cynical and at ease with it. We are also at different points in our respective internal histories, in Birmingham we have Garrison Lane and Garrison Street, from a time when there really were soldiers stationed to quell riots, now they're just place names with no relevance to modern life. Manchester had the Peterloo Massacre about the same time too, I'm not sure if the emasculation of history teaching in our schools means the younger members here even know about it.

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

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PamJH


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 5:23pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
I wonder if the difference between the US and England does lie in our history, meaning the US is an infant compared to England. We've only been an official nation since 1776 or so, while England has been around as a nation for eons, or so it seems to me. Perhaps as we age as a nation, we'll also become a big more laid back, but I don't know. I don't see it happening in my lifetime.

For many Americans, the idea of America means the freedom to do as you wish, within reason. That's the reason many people came here years ago and still do want to come here. And for many, that includes the freedom to own guns, as well as the freedom to tell the government to piss off. Of course, many of you British tell the government to piss off, much to the delight of Americans such as myself.

My example here is simplistic, but I'm sure no one wants a lengthy history lesson. I'd be glad to give one, though! I love to read history, both American and British. That's one of the reasons why we homeschool. The kids can immerse themselves in history instead of simply touching on it here and there. And now I feel like I should have a gun chat with them to see where they stand on the matter.

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 5:30pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
And now I feel like I should have a gun chat with them to see where they stand on the matter.

Personally, I'd stand behind that wall there. The big thick concrete one.

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

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PamJH


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 5:51pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
And now I feel like I should have a gun chat with them to see where they stand on the matter.

Personally, I'd stand behind that wall there. The big thick concrete one.

My kids love to debate stuff like this. I think I'd feel fairly safe out in the open.

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Stoopiduk


Member

Posted Thu May 28th, 2009 6:22pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
I couldn't possibly comment for the whole of Britain, but I know I don't worry too much about the government having all the guns for a very simple reason - we are the power in this country.

I believe that there is no government who could keep us down no matter how many guns and lackies they had fighting for them. If it came to a battle against the government I could level most of westminster with just the contents of the garage I work in!

I understand the arguement that government power is a thing to be concerned about, I for one seriously oppose government ID schemes and the like, but I also strongly believe in the power of people. In the society we currently live in there is no reason to fear the government as it stands, or to have no faith in its ability to carry weapons on our behalf.

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