Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Jun 4th, 2009 9:08am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Daithi, it's too late for me to tackle your post bit by bit, but will rather applaud Pam for catching what's left out of Daithi's post and that's important.

Not all people own guns in hopes of killing nor desiring to kill. Only someone who hasn't ever actually had to kill would say something so outrageous.

Hunters don't hunt in hopes of slaughtering the prey in totality. Besides feeding themselves and their families, and quite often eating a much healthier meat than store bought beef or chicken, they help cull herds of animals that will explode and then starve. Allowing any living thing to starve to death is cruel. Watch someone do it sometime and I mean from beginning to end. A bullet in the brain is far more humane for that animal. The fees that hunters pay, in fact, and the taxes go into keeping state parks running. And, they pay big money for their lisences and tags. Hunting is hard, expensive, and difficult. It's not based on any murderous impulse.

If one only, and I mean ONLY, talks about guns in terms of criminals doing violence, you are so subtracting so many elements from the bigger picture and issues in this conversation. Fixating on that alone might make for an argument that eventually culminates in a "Just Be Nice" thought, but that only shows how Utopian the theorizing is.

Human beings are animals. We are not seperate from Nature, we are part of it. And Nature is not sentimental. Wanna see a lack of real politics? Go out and find various members of the insect world and ask them X-D We are not some 'other'. Hunters know that better than almost anyone I've ever met ( biologists, zoologists, and even park rangers ). And the majority of those who participate in shooting sports ( where only paper takes a beating rofl..), are extra-ordinarily obsessed with gun safety.

Really? Wow.

Back to top

Daithi


Member

Posted Thu Jun 4th, 2009 4:22pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Pam – Thank you for taking the time to consider the points I made. I did indeed state that the desire to kill preceded the design and use of the gun and that I believe we do focus our attention far too much upon the tool rather than the will to use it for the purpose for which it is intended …to kill.

Whilst I believe I can reasonably claim that some human beings possess the desire to kill I do not believe there is any evidence to support a claim that this thought process is innate to all humanity, i.e. a product of our evolution and therefore coded into our DNA.

There is in fact evidence to suggest that the very opposite may in fact be true. We did not evolve as carnivores or even as true omnivores, we come from herbivore stock that learned how to scavenge. The first ‘meat’ we ate was bone marrow and brains scavenged from the carcasses of animals killed by true carnivores. Our small size at the time put us at the bottom of the pecking order and dictated that we were the last scavengers to arrive at the carcass when all the bones had been picked clean.

We did however have the advantage of intelligence and made primitive tools which we used to pry brain tissue from skulls even lions jaws couldn’t break open and to split open hefty bones and extract the marrow. Although our diet and behaviour was that of a herbivore we learned how to supplement our diet with offal protein. That however is a very long way from being a true carnivore developing a natural instinct to kill with tooth and claw that later also encompasses the gun.

We had to learn how to kill with weapons we made for ourselves to compensate for the natural weaponry our evolutionary path has resulted in us not possessing. We had to learn how to track, how to ambush, how to predict the behaviour of our quarry, how to injure and kill it before it could kill us. Most importantly we had to learn how to summon the resolve to kill.

These behaviours could only have been developed in earnest after we had the intelligence to conceive of these behaviours and develop the tools with which to accomplish the deeds. In evolutionary terms that was yesterday on the time-line of our evolution as a species and not in my opinion long enough to develop an innate instinct to kill. We are however very, very good at learning how to do things and killing is one of the things.

We do however have a gene for aggression that we share with chimpanzees. It fortunately does not express itself to the same extent in us as it does in chimps who do have a natural instinct to kill and do so frequently. We appear to use that aggression in much the same way as other animals, to defend ourselves and our offspring and social group etc. That Pam is what I believe is at work in your entirely rational desire to defend your family from would be aggressors. It is however a million miles away from you wanting or feeling an innate desire to kill anyone or anything.

The gun provides an illusionary supplement to the need to defend oneself. Even in a society like the USA where I believe that most people do have the utmost respect and knowledge of the weapon it is still the case that in the majority of homicides resulting from an intruder illegally entering a home the homeowner is predominantly the one who gets shot and frequently with their own weapon. Contrary to urban myth in the USA and EU most illegal intruders actually arrive unarmed though they often leave with a weapon obtained on the premises.

The logic appears to be straightforward …guns are powerful and can kill therefore if I own a gun and learn how to use it I will be able to defend myself better than if I had no gun at all. Unfortunately as with many seemingly straightforward uses of logical imagination this reasoning is flawed because it fails to take account of the many variables which reality actually brings to bear in circumstances where the gun would have to be used.

The mortuaries are regularly filled with people for whom the logic of gun ownership failed but as individuals we do not like to think of ourselves as being one of the majority who failed. We prefer to see ourselves as one of the lucky minority whose lives were saved by owning a gun and who could blame any individual for wanting to buck the trend and get lucky?

We have a monumental vested interest in our individual safety and cannot be trusted to evaluate the math impartially and there would be something wrong with us if we could. Governments however do have a responsibility to stand above individual interest and coldly evaluate risk to society as whole. In this cold light of reasoning gun ownership by the mass population is far from advantageous.
In the USA it would be political suicide for any administration to remove the right to own a gun from an American citizen. It is however worth bearing in mind therefore that the status quo is maintained not because there is a viable and sustainable argument in favour of mass population gun ownership but rather that is in the vested interests of individual politicians and political parties.

You are right Pam when you say that we would never have 100% consensus on any reasoned debate about the need to curb thinking which results in the desire to kill but one of the advantages of democracy is that a majority will suffice. I believe we already have that majority, now all we need to do is focus or minds on how to achieve what we know the vast majority desire …a peaceful existence.

A seemingly impossible task perhaps but so was walking on the moon.

Nitro – Thank you for your comments. In reply I must say that unfortunately I am no stranger to killing. I have experienced the chaos of combat and the exhilaration of adrenalin and walked on air only later to feel the deepest of depressions and be utterly repulsed by myself as a consequence. I have witnessed the violent deaths of human beings including those of friends and loved ones.

I also must insist that a gun is made for no other purpose than to kill. Guns and their ammunition have undeniably been designed with that specific intent. I did not however state, as you assert, that it is my belief that everyone who owns a gun does so because they want to kill, I did not say this or imply it. I actually believe that a minority own guns with a specific intention to kill, the majority own guns because they have a desire not to be killed and believe that owning a gun will help them stay alive in a life threatening situation. A false belief in my opinion which appears to borne out by the facts.

Re-read my earlier points and you will realise that I do not focus on criminals at all. Rather emphasize the point that gun ownership does not help citizens to defend themselves from a corrupt government, neither do the majority of citizens in the USA need to defend themselves from wild animals. Every citizen of the USA and every other society does however want to defend themselves from people who would do them harm and that is the context upon which the pro-gun ownership debate predominantly draws it’s majority support in the USA.

Hunting is another matter entirely. You state hunters don’t hunt with the intention of slaughtering the prey in totality, tell that to the dodo and thousands of other species which have been hunted to extinction. Human beings hunted animals to extinction long before the gun and currently use the net as the preferred means of slaughtering the totality of some species of marine life. The gun has however improved man’s ability to kill with far greater efficiency and to kill in very great numbers. The African bush has been decimated by the bush trade and many species are on the point of extinction.

Poachers do not care if the rhino and tiger become extinct in India they care only for the money they make from Chinese medicine suppliers and dagger hilt manufacturers in the Oman. All hunt with the snare and the gun.

Not all hunters behave in this manner but it is my bitter and extensive experience that most do. You refer to sport hunters in designated areas of the USA, these represent a tiny fraction of human hunters world wide where I can assure you attitudes to wild life and species conservation are very different. Even within the USA whilst there are some excellent examples of conservation funded by sport hunting and of hunters using their extensive knowledge of habitats and ecosystems to the benefit of the environment there are also many examples of hunters with a total disregard for wildlife and habitat and many species are threatened with extinction and habitat loss is beyond alarming.

Perhaps controlled sport hunting does have the potential in some countries to provide the funding to enable some forms of conservation but other countries have very advanced and successful conservation projects without hunting playing any part at all. It is also not logical to conclude that mass gun ownership in any population should be permitted because a tiny minority of that population want to hunt with guns.

I agree with you that we are indeed part of nature, we evolved just as every other organism has. We also as part of that natural evolution developed the ability to do something insects cannot …think rationally. Mass population gun ownership simply cannot be supported by rational thought. I do accept however that there are legitimate cases which can be made for specific circumstance gun ownership.
I do not seek or expect or even want to live in a Utopia but neither do I want my brains blown out. The knowledge that people are actively engaged in the debate about why humans have a desire to kill and how to curb it makes me feel safer than any gun ever has or could. I just wish more would enter the debate …I believe they will.

Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Jun 4th, 2009 11:58pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Where do I begin? Good lord...

First of all, please, back up some of your statements, if you can, with evidence from non-biased ( read: anti-gun or stronger gun laws ) organizations.

Secondly, your statements about hunters as a group are outrageous and I would only say that I do not believe for a minute that you hunt, have hunted, or actually personally interact with hunters regularly.

I mean, the best you could do is the Dodo for decrying hunting? Has it occurred to you in the broad stroke of your statements - that specialization has a helluva lot more to do with extinction of a species - of any type btw, plant, animal..- than the stereotypical 'big game hunter'?

You also state that the majority of guns are purchased by people hoping to defend themselves from being killed by an intruder. Um...yeah...that's quite a leap from records of purchase to your knowing ( how you 'know' is beyond me unless you've personally spoken to/interviewed every person who's ever purchased a gun ) WHY people are buying them.

It's this sort of psuedo-argument that I find alarming. I'm sure you consider yourself a reasonably intelligent person. But in the end your argument boils down to your personal discomfort with guns owned by other citizens and that your discomfort about that being enough to outlaw them. I'm speculative you might admit to this, but that's what I really read in your posts.

Pass all the laws you like against gun ownership by private citizens, but those laws will not touch a hair on the head of any criminal. Criminals are lawbreakers. The people who purchase guns legally are not. But if you and those who think like you have their way, they soon will be. I suppose after that we'll then have to force everyone to cough up the guns they bought before any tighter laws?

Yeah, that's some tasty liberty X-D

Really? Wow.

Back to top

PamJH


Member

Posted Fri Jun 5th, 2009 2:27pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
I wanted a day to digest your thoughts before I replied.

The gun provides an illusionary supplement to the need to defend oneself. Even in a society like the USA where I believe that most people do have the utmost respect and knowledge of the weapon it is still the case that in the majority of homicides resulting from an intruder illegally entering a home the homeowner is predominantly the one who gets shot and frequently with their own weapon. Contrary to urban myth in the USA and EU most illegal intruders actually arrive unarmed though they often leave with a weapon obtained on the premises.

I would have to see some statistics on this. A web site, even. These statements can't be made without using impartial statistics that come from a very wide-ranging study.

We have a monumental vested interest in our individual safety and cannot be trusted to evaluate the math impartially and there would be something wrong with us if we could. Governments however do have a responsibility to stand above individual interest and coldly evaluate risk to society as whole. In this cold light of reasoning gun ownership by the mass population is far from advantageous.

If this were the case, the American Revolution need never have happened. Governments have been proven over and over again to be wrong. The government isn't my parent. I am an adult and I have the right to decide what I will do. And which governments now ban gun ownership for private citizens, even guns for hunting? I'm asking because I don't know. The answer to this question should prove your point that a gun-free country can live in peace and harmony.

In the USA it would be political suicide for any administration to remove the right to own a gun from an American citizen. It is however worth bearing in mind therefore that the status quo is maintained not because there is a viable and sustainable argument in favour of mass population gun ownership but rather that is in the vested interests of individual politicians and political parties.

You are right Pam when you say that we would never have 100% consensus on any reasoned debate about the need to curb thinking which results in the desire to kill but one of the advantages of democracy is that a majority will suffice. I believe we already have that majority, now all we need to do is focus or minds on how to achieve what we know the vast majority desire …a peaceful existence.

I don't think you'd have a majority in the US. But that's only my idea. Michigan is quite a big state for gun ownership. No one, and I mean no one I know, would go along with giving up the guns they use for hunting.

Re-read my earlier points and you will realise that I do not focus on criminals at all. Rather emphasize the point that gun ownership does not help citizens to defend themselves from a corrupt government...

I do not fear and mistrust my government - yet. But if I do, well, I don't want to have to defend myself and my home with farm implements which is an example you used in your earlier post. I probably wouldn't win since the government has far more lethal weapons than I could or would ever possess, but I want the satisfaction of being able to try.

Not all hunters behave in this manner but it is my bitter and extensive experience that most do. You refer to sport hunters in designated areas of the USA, these represent a tiny fraction of human hunters world wide where I can assure you attitudes to wild life and species conservation are very different. Even within the USA whilst there are some excellent examples of conservation funded by sport hunting and of hunters using their extensive knowledge of habitats and ecosystems to the benefit of the environment there are also many examples of hunters with a total disregard for wildlife and habitat and many species are threatened with extinction and habitat loss is beyond alarming.

Hunting here is a lot different than it is in other places. I'll agree that some hunters do not do the right thing by animals, but most of them do. And I will never deny a person the right to feed his or her family. Many people I know are slipping further and further into poverty. If a man or woman needs to shoot a deer to put food on the table, then who I am to say it's wrong? I don't hunt and I doubt I ever will. But that doesn't give me the right to tell someone else he can't.

There will always be sharp, impassioned disagreement on this issue. You have seen situations the rest of us haven't and I can understand your views. Banning guns would seem to be the answer. But banning guns is impossible. People will not give them up without the fight you're trying to avoid. I am not a violent person and I don't pick fights. But I want to be able to defend myself. I want my spouse to be able to take care of coyotes that are trying to run off with my sheep. I want my neighbors to be able to feed their children. I'm not certain I can add any more to my argument.

Back to top

TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Fri Jun 5th, 2009 6:34pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Welcome to the forum Daithi. While I can appreciate some of the points you're making, I too thought it odd that someone would make such claims without citing stats from accurate (meaning unbiased, if there is such a thing), and reliable sources. Also, as someone who has had an armed intruder enter my home, I was a bit confounded that you would use a phrase like "urban myth" without something to back it up. The sight of a shotgun in my hands made the guy who entered my home compliant enough to wait for the police to collect him, actually saving his life.
I don't have a military background, but I have lived and worked in much of Central and South America giving me something to compare America's gun culture to, and I will say that while we need to improve the way we perceive firearms in some places here, I don't believe that banning firearms is the answer to anything. Like Nitro said, criminals don't obey laws, and bad people will continue to do bad things with or without guns, and the only ones who would be affected by such a ban would be the law abiding folks. I'm going to stop now because it's just getting too repetitive.

There will always be sharp, impassioned disagreement on this issue. You have seen situations the rest of us haven't and I can understand your views. Banning guns would seem to be the answer. But banning guns is impossible. People will not give them up without the fight you're trying to avoid. I am not a violent person and I don't pick fights. But I want to be able to defend myself. I want my spouse to be able to take care of coyotes that are trying to run off with my sheep. I want my neighbors to be able to feed their children. I'm not certain I can add any more to my argument.

Let me help you, "Remember the Alamo!" X-D

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

PamJH


Member

Posted Sat Jun 6th, 2009 12:12am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns

Let me help you, "Remember the Alamo!" X-D

A wanna-be Texan should have remembered that. D'oh!

Back to top

Nitro


Member

Posted Sun Jun 7th, 2009 5:03am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
The direction this thread recently went gave me pause.

I'm not sure it would be very honest of me to delete my responses because it might be misconstrued as my being sorry for them, when I'm not.

BUT...I did ask for opinions and I honestly didn't start out with any intent to debate. I tend to see 'anti-gun' thinking as knee jerk and not very logical ( to put it extremely ). And no one's going to change my view on the opportunity of free, law abiding citizens to own guns. And Daithi has every right to think differently, but some things I said in my responses probably don't reflect that belief on my part.

So, Daithi, let me just say we probably won't change each others positions on this subject but I do appreciate you having the willingness to state what you think and I hope my replies won't make you feel you've been shut out.

Really? Wow.

Back to top

Daithi


Member

Posted Mon Jun 8th, 2009 4:13pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Nitro – Thank you for your comments and I can assure you that I do not feel shut out or aggrieved in any way. My work involves extensive travelling between countries and I’m in the tedious process of moving my home base from one country to another yet again so cannot reply to threads as frequently as I would like, hence my habit of posting longer replies than the norm. This and my replies to Tobias and Pam are likely to be last contributions I can make to this interesting discussion for some time.

I recognise both your and other peoples desire to see statements backed by references but have refrained from providing them for three reasons. First this is an online forum not an academic debate and thread posts would become somewhat tedious if I referenced in Harvard format as though I was writing a dissertation. Secondly no-one else has supported their claims to that degree and given that it would spoil the flow of internet forum thread discussions I hope no-one does start such a practice. Thirdly although I could reference many statistical sources and research papers a proportion of my opinion has been gained through my work where confidentiality is a major issue I cannot and would not breach.

We can all find the research relevant to the opinions we hold and I do not feel the necessity to question the validity of opinion held by any contributor to this thread as a means of validating my own. I find it much more interesting to take as said that you or any other contributor could if called upon validate their opinion with fact and move on to discussing the content of that opinion.

Granted, my life and career has been somewhat unusual. I have military experience, and currently work as a counsellor for combatants, ex-combatants, victims of war / paramilitary actions , victims of torture, law enforcement officers and victims of crime amongst others. I also have an extensive background in conservation although my route into the field was non-traditional having started in preventing heavily armed and highly organised poaching and only later moving onto habitat / species preservation in which I continue to work in a voluntary capacity. This experience has been gained in several countries around the world and I continue to learn about the relationship people have with guns.

You are of course perfectly entitled to your beliefs and I feel no animosity towards you whatsoever for holding an opinion contrary to my own. I can however assure you that having lived in places far removed from shops and the modern conveniences of human life I would not be alive to type this reply if I had not hunted to feed myself and those I was accompanied by did the same. Although we were armed we actually caught most of our food by trap and dispatched it by hand, knife or a blunt instrument of various types, as do most of the people in the world who must live a subsistence life.

My contact with hunters and poachers is extensive. I suspect your experience of hunters is shaped by your experience of Western hunters, perhaps predominantly Sport Hunters in the USA, please correct me if this assumption is incorrect. I have a similar experience of contact with hunters and poachers in Britain, Ireland, Western Continental Europe, Australia, the USA and Canada. I also have experience of dealing with hunters and poachers in the Middle East, North Africa, Sub Saharan Africa and India.

To describe hunters as one group is something I would never do. The hunters we are discussing are human beings and are therefore as diverse in their opinions and behaviour as any other human beings. I will not repeat the points I’ve made in previous posts but simply reassert that it is a sad fact that for every hunter who respects life and habitat there is a hunter who does not.

I used the dodo as an archetypical example of a species which was hunted to extinction, there are many, many others. Over hunting has been and remains a major cause of species extinction, this is a very easily accessible fact to verify should you choose to do so. I agree with you that many other factors such as habitat loss, environmental change and pollution can and do contribute to a species become extinct and are sometimes the sole factors but this does not diminish the role played by hunting which in many cases has been the predominant or sole cause of extinction. Some species pushed to the limits by other factors caused by man were finally pushed over the edge by hunting which was the proverbial last straw.

This discussion however started as a request for debate about mass population gun ownership and although we could debate the validity of hunting in a society which does not need to hunt to feed it’s population I don’t see the correlation with the core question. Although many Americans do hunt for sport they represent a minority of the population of the USA. Most Americans have never and will never hunt with a gun. I have not seen any argument yet which explains why a hobby for a minority could be used even in part to justify potentially putting a lethal weapon into the hands of the overwhelming majority.

That does not mean however that I believe that no-one should own a gun. If you re-read my earlier points you will note that I clearly state that I believe that a legitimate argument can be made for specific circumstance gun ownership. That specific circumstance could include hunting and vermin eradication. That however is a very long way from agreeing that every citizen in a society can own a gun for any purpose or that everyone who wants to own a gun for hunting or pest control should get one.

The fact that criminals or people intent on breaking a law can and do break laws should not influence national legislation. Republican and Loyalist para-militaries could and did break the law to obtain RPG’s, explosives and guns of all types, does that mean that every citizen or subject on the island of Ireland should be allowed to own an RPG, explosives or a gun?

Unlike some people in the USA who live with the fear of civil anarchy, para-military insurrection and the potential of being confronted by mobs intent on murdering them, the people of Ireland and the UK lived with the reality of those facts as part of daily life for generations and it continues to be an ever present threat against which there must be constant vigilance. The Irish and UK civilian populations however did not and do not want the right to carry guns. Experience informs the citizens of nations who live with such threats that such mass gun ownership would turn an already difficult to manage situation into an escalating series of massacres and counter massacres.

The actual threats the USA faces together with many other countries i.e. 9/11 type attacks or bombing campaigns cannot be prevented by the civilian population owning side arms or even assault rifles.

Back to top

Daithi


Member

Posted Mon Jun 8th, 2009 4:17pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Tobias – Thank you for your comments, I agree with you that the perception of guns is fundamental to the issue. I do not however believe in a blanket banning of civilian gun ownership; as I stated above and in a previous post, I do not believe in mass population gun ownership but do accept that legitimate arguments can be made for specific circumstance gun ownership, tightly restricted and regulated.

I’m relieved you had the presence of mind and calm self control required to not use your shot gun when confronted by an armed intruder. Your situation is not a common one for several reasons. The intruder was armed, both you and the intruder had the opportunity and wits to assess the situation, the relative firepower available to each, the likely outcome of exchanging shots and you both retained more self control than most civilians are capable of in my experience. I’m glad neither of you died or were maimed and that the intruder who had no right to cause you such distress was arrested.

A few years ago a farmer in England confronted at night by an intruder in his unlit farmhouse used his shot gun and shot the unarmed intruder dead. The farmer went to prison and there was a debate in England about the merits of the case. The majority public opinion was that the farmer was in the wrong even though everyone sympathised with his situation especially when it came to light that the farmer had experienced similar break-ins and claimed to be feeling under siege in his own home and afraid for his own safety.

What the public found objectionable was that unlike you who remained calm, he pulled the trigger and shot to kill not caring if the intruder was armed or not. This unfortunately is the more typical response. Unlike the English public I do not judge the farmer for his lack of self-restraint, I accept this as the normal human condition for most untrained civilians and even some military personnel. The gun in the farmer’s hands gave him the opportunity to act in accordance with his fear and a life which need not have been taken was ended. The intruder gets no sympathy from me for being a thief and nothing justifies his actions, but he did not deserve to die a violent death, no-one does.

An interesting aspect of the public debate was the contribution made by criminals, specifically burglars, the majority of whom stated that they would be very unlikely to start routinely arming themselves to commit their crimes even if they believed the home owners to be armed. The criminals reasoning had nothing to do with respect for human life but rather a calculated risk assessment. They accepted capture by the police as an occupational hazard likely to occur. The sentence for possessing a firearm in the UK is very severe and acts as a significant deterrent far superior to the homeowner possessing a gun.

Back to top

Daithi


Member

Posted Mon Jun 8th, 2009 4:20pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Pam – I understand your views and thank you for once again giving careful consideration to the points I made. On the point you raise about subsistence hunting I recognise that poverty is an issue of major concern in the USA and some of America’s poor are in the position to supplement their diet with hunted food. Food poverty is a global and growing problem. The USA is however in a position to feed all of it’s citizens many times over and no-one in any State, however poor that citizen may be, should have to subsistence hunt to feed themselves or their family. That is a disgrace easily and swiftly solvable by the resources available to any politician anywhere in the USA without anyone having to use a gun to put food on the table.

Perhaps my knowledge of Texan history is not as good as it should be and correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t everyone defending the Alamo die, didn’t they all get shot by a Mexican Army with greater firepower at it’s disposal? A brave stand and a resolve to die rather than surrender, similar perhaps with the Jews defence of Masada against the Romans, but not a justification for mass population gun ownership.

I sincerely hope that you and your neighbours never do have to defend yourselves against your own Army or anyone else’s because owning a gun in such circumstances would virtually guarantee your deaths. Civilians, even civilians who regularly practice with a firearm, are still not soldiers, thankfully.

If the worst ever happened your greatest chance of survival would be to present zero threat to the advancing army units passing by you, even then it is sadly no guarantee of survival or well being, but it’s better than no chance at all. Present a threat to a trained and deployed army unit by firing off a shot at them or making it obvious that you intend to present an armed resistance and within a very short space of time you will not know what is was that killed you. Such is the reality of modern war.

Even in the past the same was true, most homes in the Dutch countryside had firearms in them when the Germans took the country in short order in WW2. Most Dutch civilians never fired a shot and were very wise in their restraint. The Iraqi Army were very well armed but virtually disappeared when Iraq was invaded. Confronting overwhelming force with force is a very bad military strategy when you are demonstrably the weaker force. Far better to melt into the background, form a resistance and make occupation a nightmare of attrition for the victorious army. The advantage of killing with a civilian tool is that once the deed is done it becomes a civilian tool once more, attracts no further attention and could perhaps be carried in plain sight and there is usually one to hand. Not as glamorous as a gun, but usually quieter and dead is dead whatever the tool used.

Civilians who make a brave stand are the first to die, those who go quietly into the night and stay alive might be tomorrow’s resistance fighters. Mass gun ownership is of limited value even as a potential quartermaster’s source of weapons to any such resistance because you need way more than side arms and rifles to dislodge an army intent on occupation or civilian suppression.

Perhaps it is because the USA has never been occupied that it’s civilians seem to know so little about the practicalities of how to survive military suppression? Armed resistance by the individual citizen might appear to be the solution to a brave-hearted people but that people have lived in a culture in which the government has protected and nurtured the idea of individualism not brutally suppress it with all at it’s disposal. Mass gun ownership is an illusionary defence in this regard also.

Back to top

TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Mon Jun 8th, 2009 6:48pm Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns

Perhaps my knowledge of Texan history is not as good as it should be and correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t everyone defending the Alamo die, didn’t they all get shot by a Mexican Army with greater firepower at it’s disposal? A brave stand and a resolve to die rather than surrender, similar perhaps with the Jews defence of Masada against the Romans, but not a justification for mass population gun ownership.

"Remember the Alamo" is what Sam Houston's forces cried out as they defeated Santa Anna's army at the battle of San Jacinto, securing Texas independence from Mexico, and yes they all died, but there was a revolution in progress, and after the siege Santa Anna shot the few survivors. I posted it knowing Pam would eventually like to live in Texas, and opted to tease her for not using it, no jibe or justification intended. Again, I appreciate everything that's been said here, I'm not trying to give anyone a history lesson, nor am I trying to sway anyone round to my way of thinking, but Texas history is a key to understanding why Texas is the least likely state in the Union to give up firearms. Anyway, good luck with your move, hope it all goes well.

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

Nitro


Member

Posted Tue Jun 9th, 2009 5:53am Post subject: Ban/Allow Citizens to Own Guns
Tobias, I would have to include New Hampshire as 'the least likely to give up arms'. Their state slogan is proudly uttered by the natives:

Live Free or Die.

Daithi, I would ask you to ponder that statement. It reflects many Americans core feelings about freedom and independence, not just as a nation, but as individuals.

The hunting I do or the hunters I know are not 'sport' hunters. The meat is used to feed family and friends. Could we buy beef at the grocery store? Sure. But beef doesn't even come close to good deer meat, elk, buffalo etc. It's a preference for meat that is not farm raised nor mass raised and sent to a slaughterhouse. The hunting, killing, dressing, butchering, and cooking are all done on a much smaller level, of course. I suppose that ought to go without saying.

As for the sentiment that it would be better to passively go into the night under a government threatening personal liberty, I would point to the Russian experience of passively going to Gulags. Many citizens were arrested and tried by pure fraud and then tossed onto a train to go to a work camp. They waited too late to offer resistance ( at the work camps, when it happened ). And who are we kidding here? 'Work camp' is a nice way of saying 'death camp' because death is exactly what millions of Russian citizens got for 'living another day'.

You've mentioned your own experience, though citing a spook-like confidentiality reason for not going into detail. You don't need to do that. As a decorated vet of a foreign war I could reference all sorts of personal experiences with firearms and freedom and the like, but I too will not do so in favor of 'confidentiality' lol

Now, unlike yourself, I am not involved in species conservation nor do I globe hop, landing in all sorts of circumstances that convince me hunters are the primary reason that species go extinct. A point I contest in totality. If you really understood animal deaths in this country, you'd know that the biggest killer of wildlife has four rubber wheels, two bumpers, and a steering wheel. Not a trigger.

We have created much stiffer penalties here for criminals who use a gun in the commission of a crime. And still they come, guns in hand. So, how stiff should the laws be in your mind? The death penalty? Lopping off the right hand? Mandatory steralization for criminals? What?

I can tell you this: Making it harder for civilians to own a gun will not clean up crime. But there have been many cases, not just the incidental case, where homeowners or civilians running businesses have driven off criminals BECAUSE they too had a gun in their hands. Mention those who fail in such situations all you like but in fairness we cannot just off-handedly say it's the norm when it's not.

BTW, one of the greatest shots in the world ( using a shotgun ) is a UK citizen by the name of George Digweed. What a shame if he had been prevented from participating in shooting sports, eh? He's won many titles and medals.

I'm saying, much like I might in regards to abortion, that if you do not wish to have it, don't get it. I feel the same way about gun ownership. I don't mind my neighbor disliking guns. But I do mind my neighbor whining that because they don't like guns and don't own them that I shouldn't either.

And I'm going to call 'foul' on you bringing up RPG's. It's an insertion of hype, not logic. No one here is talking about anyone owning tanks or fighter planes or bazookas or flame throwers or any of that and mentioning things like that, in my mind, reflects a weakness in your arguments, not a strength in their favor

BTW, I have a friend who's hunted big game in Africa and has several outstanding mounted trophies. I do not personally share his interest in this BUT, these trophies will go to a museum and are about as close as many people are ever going to get to touching a lions claws, face, or ears. The same with the other trophies and each represents thousands and thousands of dollars and effort to obtain. The only thing that keeps me from cringing is knowing they'll serve a useful educational purpose. But just because I don't agree with his pursuits does not mean I wish to have his passport revoked. Given your experience, I'm almost certain you would disagree. For me, it comes down to individual autonomy versus government autonomy. The other problem I have with stricter gun laws is that so much of the argument for them is based, when you boil it down, to a very Utopian mindset. "If we all play nice, we'll all BE nice." sort of logic, which IMHO is beyond laughable. A nice idea? Maybe. A reality that can be legislated? Um...right. Sure X-D

Here's another question for you when you get a reprieve from bouncing around the world:

Since many people already own guns, how would your ideal laws about gun ownership affect them?

Really? Wow.

Back to top