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Thread: so you want an ak-47: unfs gun control or lack thereof party thread

  1. #16
    to the loneliest city in the world other pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I hate guns and it's utterly fucking ridiculous that people are allowed to have them.
    It's completely bizarre that the USA spends billions slaughtering people in foreign countries who belong to an organisation which is responsible for such a tiny, tiny proportion of the murders of Americans, while the carnage continues back home and people say "yeah but the constitution, so".

    If gun ownership wasn't in the constitution (and even that's arguable - it was states' right to their own militias that was supposed to be being protected, not individuals', wasn't it?) but was only regulated by law, would things still stay the way they are now? Would 'guns=freedom' proponents still be so uniquely powerful?

    Is constitutional literalism even more harmful than biblical literalism?

  2. #17
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    What are the figures on Americans killed by terrorists vs Americans killed by each other (both as 'whoops, the kid got hold of my gun and ate it/killed his friends' and deliberately) each years, I wonder? What is the proportion of innocents killed by guns as opposed to actual criminals/aggressors killed in self-defence scenarios, as opposed to the 'stand your ground' rubbish which is clearly nothing to do with self-defence and everything to do with insecure gun-freaks just wanting to shoot someone and feel like a big man? The gun lobby sells gun ownership as the ultimate and necessary in self-defence, but I wonder if it's not exactly the reverse of what is touted. Doesn't owning a gun usually make you statistically far more likely to be killed by a gun (usually your own) than a non gun-owner? Aren't one's kids more likely to be shot if their parents own a gun? What are the stats on domenstic violence ending in murder with regard to gun ownership in those households?

    See, here's the thing about the whole 'safe gun ownership/self-defence argument that gets trotted out every time some idiot child finds daddy's gun and heads off to slaughter 27 of his classmates' (which happens outside the USA, there have been several instances of this in Finland over the past couple of years): we are constantly told the responsible way to keep a gun is locked up (maybe parts locked up seperately), with ammunition locked up elsewhere and the keys hidden away from interested eyes. Putting aside for a moment that any child worth their salt knows where everything is in their own house (I certainly did) and can probably get access to it if they're sneaky enough, consider this:

    In the event one needs to 'defend' oneself, how exactly does this 'gun locked up safely' thing actually work? Does one get prior written notice of every home invasion/sudden appearance of an aggressor, have time to then locate the keys, visit the various rooms where everything is kept, unlock the strong boxes, assemble and load the gun then head of to confront Mr. Aggressor, who then allows one to take clear aim and fire in an open space, assuring no innocent is caught in the crossfire, via ricochet or just due to one's bad aim (apparently everyone has perfect, steady and true aim in emergencies as opposed to fear, panic or the violence of the situation ending in one shottong oneself, one's kids or the walls)? I know people who've woken up with an intruder already in their bedrooms. Clearly in this situation one would need a loaded gun right to hand for a gun to be any use whatsoever in self-defence. How does THAT jibe with 'safe, responsible' gun ownership, oh gun freaks?

    Seriously, in reality, how many times is one going to get a situation that allows for perfect gun ownership as touted by the 'gun don't kill people' set as opposed to the messy reality of actual events, that usually take place totally unexpectedly, in inconvenient places (like crowds where one simply cannot shoot, or in rooms containing one's own family) and in time frames that barely allow for the blinking of an eye? Have any of you ever been the victim of violence? I have and let me tell you, when someone comes up and hits you on the head from behind, seventy big fucking guns right to hand will be no fucking good to you as you're already on the floor seeing stars and the attacker - who you never saw coming - has already gone. It seems to me that in reality, a home-owner who takes real care to store guns 'safely' is realistically never going to be in the position to use them safely (as in, not making things worse or shooting the wrong person) when push comes to shove and neither are people in most other common violent scenarios. It's like people in my country who carry knives - they're usually the ones who get stabbed. They don't realistically provide protection, although those who carry them think they do, even when they're carted to hosital with their intestines hanging out.

    Anyone?
    Last edited by Lágnætti; 06-09-2012 at 11:44 AM.

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  4. #19
    'twas mbc 'twas kollins Michael Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordecai View Post
    The funny thing is, that is exactly how I felt when I first traveled to Europe (Charles de Gaulle airport, with the machine gun-armed guards; who always patrolled in a pack of three for some reason). We did not have that in the US when I was little. That's pure post-9/11 hysteria.

    About American gun culture: I think it's a function of racism, inequality and just in general a broken, atomized society. You don't see people clinging to guns in the same way in Canada or FInland, despite the fact that they have a lot of guns, because they are mostly egalitarian societies and people don't live in fear of their neighbors or the ev0l national government (who do crazy things like ensure that black people are able to vote).
    The times, they are a-changin'! Our right-wing government up here in Canada-land recently scrapped our national gun registry (basically what it sounds like: a register of everyone who owns a gun). Not only did they scrap it, but they destroyed all the data it had ever collected, so that any attempt to recreate it would have to start from scratch. Why? Because George Orwell or something, I don't know. Gubb'mint gonna take mah guns away and such.

    I always go back to the automobile. Cars are deadly in the wrong hands, so people have to be licensed if they want to use one, and ownership of cars is tracked in a government registry. Why should guns, another deadly technology, not be subject to the same level of restriction and surveillance? I have never really heard a compelling argument to the contrary. If you want a gun to hunt with, or because it makes you feel safe (fairly erroneously, as has just been pointed out), how is either goal impeded?

  5. #20
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    I know you were using the car/gun analogy in the opposite way, but I've heard pro-gun lobbyists arguing that cars are legal and widely owned, but they can be used to murder people, just like guns... ergo, guns should be legal and made widely available. If you think about it in that way though, most things lying around the house or in the street can be used to kill people. The potential for something to be lethal isn't enough to have it banned, otherwise we would be banning cutlery, ropes, heavy blunt objects, etc. The difference with a gun is that it is solely designed to kill or maim people. How can people be allowed to own a thing whose only point is to cause extreme harm to someone else? I just don't get it.

    I also disagree with people being allowed to own guns for hunting purposes, since hunting for sport is cruel and unnecessary, and hunting for food is pointless nowadays. People, especially those who use guns to hunt, would go crazy if there was to be a blanket ban on guns. But to me the obvious choice between allowing any member of the public to own a weapon with which they can murder someone else in the most efficient way possible, or allowing a tiny minority of people to own a gun because they like to hunt/it makes them feel safe and free, is to ban guns. The gun control laws in the US make it easier for normal citizens to obtain guns, but they also make it easier for psychopathic murderers or criminals to obtain guns as well. And as plenty of people have already said, an intruder who is cold enough to burgle someone's house or an attacker who is prepared for confrontation will be able to use a gun much more efficiently than a normal person who is caught by surprise, has little or no training and is in shock.

    Pro-gun supporters seem to have this idea that every violent encounter is some kind of pistols at dawn style stand-off and that if you own a gun you have sufficient means of defending yourself and an equal footing with your attacker in terms of chances. But criminals don't approach you face to face, inform you that they want to attack you, and then prepare for you to withdraw your firearm so that you can both enter into some kind of honourable shootout. Gun or no gun, you will either be caught by surprise before you even remember you have a weapon, or in your panic you will begin firing wildly and shoot innocent bystanders. There is also the matter of vigilantes with guns who attempt to save people who are being attacked... if someone is attacked, and starts shooting at their attacker, and then a vigilante who believes they are doing the right thing starts shooting at the peron who was originally the victim but is now firing at their attacker... it's just a ridiculous idea to have everyone armed constantly. These people must be living life on a razor's edge, thinking that they are going to be shot at at any time, and have visions of themselves heroically defending their lives like some kind of action film character. In reality, guns are dangerous, and there is no benefit to society when the presence of dangerous items is more widespread.

  6. #21
    skeptic. Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippo View Post
    I also disagree with people being allowed to own guns for hunting purposes, since hunting for sport is cruel and unnecessary, and hunting for food is pointless nowadays. People, especially those who use guns to hunt, would go crazy if there was to be a blanket ban on guns. But to me the obvious choice between allowing any member of the public to own a weapon with which they can murder someone else in the most efficient way possible, or allowing a tiny minority of people to own a gun because they like to hunt/it makes them feel safe and free, is to ban guns. The gun control laws in the US make it easier for normal citizens to obtain guns, but they also make it easier for psychopathic murderers or criminals to obtain guns as well. And as plenty of people have already said, an intruder who is cold enough to burgle someone's house or an attacker who is prepared for confrontation will be able to use a gun much more efficiently than a normal person who is caught by surprise, has little or no training and is in shock.
    Actually I have to disagree with that. I don't know about in the US, but here hunting serves several purposes and one of is keeping animal population in control. Also, licensed hunters can't just hunt as many as they want. There's a quote set by the government each season. I think gun control serves right, and also imo gun shouldn't be allowed for private.

  7. #22
    'twas mbc 'twas kollins Michael Michael's Avatar
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    Hunting for food is healthier and morally preferable to factory-farmed meat, surely. Saying that "hunting for meat is pointless nowadays" is pretty myopic, actually. If I lived in the Canadian north, I would prefer eating locally-killed wild caribou to eating industrially-produced steak that had been flown in from +1000km away.

    ETA: also, if I was in the Canadian north, I would (as is recommended) want a rifle with me when I ventured out of the settlement, because polar bears can and do stalk and kill humans.
    Last edited by Michael Michael; 06-09-2012 at 04:15 PM.

  8. #23
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    Count me in for pro-hunting sentiments. Hunted wild meat is far, far better for you - leaner and lacking in the multiple drugs and hormones factory-farmed animals are dosed with - than than factory-farmed and the animals live far preferable lives, I'm not sure anyone could argue otherwise. I think hunting is just visible enough to make people squeamish about the killing - killing that's totally hidden from view in other forms of meat production where the first time you 'meet' the animal it's packed in plastic and devoid of a face. I'm fine with guns being owned for hunting purposes, although there's always the chance they will get misused too, it seems far lower than those who own them out of paranoia and masculinity issues.

    Pro-gun supporters seem to have this idea that every violent encounter is some kind of pistols at dawn style stand-off and that if you own a gun you have sufficient means of defending yourself and an equal footing with your attacker in terms of chances
    Yeah, this is exactly what I was trying to get at above. Gun advocates paint a picture of violence usually completely at odds with how violence actually occurs in civilian reality.

  9. #24
    authentic hotdog cart vendor Frangipani's Avatar
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    I thought it was pretty crazy, and effective when Korean-American business owners took up arms during the LA Riots.




    I am enjoying this discussion, sorry for not adding much to it. I wish I had some contentious opinion, foxy. :c
    Slippin' on my red dress, putting on my make-up

  10. #25
    the druthers Mordecai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frangipani View Post
    I thought it was pretty crazy, and effective when Korean-American business owners took up arms during the LA Riots.




    I am enjoying this discussion, sorry for not adding much to it. I wish I had some contentious opinion, foxy. :c
    You know what's way more effective than gun vigilantism along race lines? Social democracy, i.e., a situation where there aren't masses of disenfranchised poor people who get the shit beaten out of them by the police for the color of their skin.

  11. #26
    Remember. Steve SFM's Avatar
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    The thing is, I think that guns are so much ingrained into US culture that a gun ban would go pretty much like the war on drugs. Meaning, it wouldn't work at all. The black market would be huge, and things would be even more dangerous than before. A regulated gun market seems, to me, to be the best of several bad situations.

    If we want to get rid of guns in the US, we have to change the culture. A lot. It's really that simple.
    At my core, I think we're gonna be OK.

    Barack Hussein Obama

  12. #27
    the druthers Mordecai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve SFM View Post
    The thing is, I think that guns are so much ingrained into US culture that a gun ban would go pretty much like the war on drugs. Meaning, it wouldn't work at all. The black market would be huge, and things would be even more dangerous than before. A regulated gun market seems, to me, to be the best of several bad situations.
    Dunno about that. If we banned guns, presumably we'd also be destroying the US firearms industry, so they'd have to be sneaked in from Russia or South Africa or something, which is a bit more difficult than smuggling in drugs from South America or Mexico.

  13. #28
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Hunting for food makes a lot more sense than the big major meat industry.

    If changing the culture of a country is what it takes, then that's what needs to be done. Slowly. Persistently. Educating.

    Culture is malleable, changeable, and constantly evolving - that's the beauty of it.

  14. #29
    the reichenbach hero fox in socks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippo View Post
    And as plenty of people have already said, an intruder who is cold enough to burgle someone's house or an attacker who is prepared for confrontation will be able to use a gun much more efficiently than a normal person who is caught by surprise, has little or no training and is in shock.
    obviously thats a problem. a BIG problem. people often obtain guns because they think gun=power=protection and dont take the time to know how to use them. perhaps they think the gun is enough......there is actually a whole instruction program which educates on gun use under stress, which is pretty much (other than ranges) every time one uses a gun (hunting, law enforcement, military, self defense etc.) thing is, there is no requirement in the states to be trained etc. in the use of said weaponry or to prove competency. and thats a lot of power not to have a clue about.

    i think a lot of people dont just view self defense as home intrusion, but also for social unrest (see frangis photo) or in cases of disasters etc. and of course the old US cultural standby, that an armed populace is the last line of defense against a tyrannical government. you know, outliers and all. in addition, people often see it as a deterrent. not all home invaders are "ready for a confrontation". often the contrary. if someone wants your tv, but isnt willing to die for it, maybe they'll flight rather than fight, or so the argument says.


    Pro-gun supporters seem to have this idea that every violent encounter is some kind of pistols at dawn style stand-off and that if you own a gun you have sufficient means of defending yourself and an equal footing with your attacker in terms of chances. But criminals don't approach you face to face, inform you that they want to attack you, and then prepare for you to withdraw your firearm so that you can both enter into some kind of honourable shootout. Gun or no gun, you will either be caught by surprise before you even remember you have a weapon, or in your panic you will begin firing wildly and shoot innocent bystanders. There is also the matter of vigilantes with guns who attempt to save people who are being attacked... if someone is attacked, and starts shooting at their attacker, and then a vigilante who believes they are doing the right thing starts shooting at the peron who was originally the victim but is now firing at their attacker... it's just a ridiculous idea to have everyone armed constantly. These people must be living life on a razor's edge, thinking that they are going to be shot at at any time, and have visions of themselves heroically defending their lives like some kind of action film character. In reality, guns are dangerous, and there is no benefit to society when the presence of dangerous items is more widespread.
    this is all bit of a sweeping generalization. obviously the squeaky wheel gets the oil and much press has been given to the far right and it's lobbyists' (e.g. NRA) agendas. opinions on gun access and regulation are not that black and white. that is, not everyone who has a dog in the gun rights race thinks it should be a vigilante, wild west shoot em up kind of deal. in addition, not everyone falls apart in the face of panic. you can't stop adrenaline, but you can control yourself. people do it in all sorts of situations, including with guns. ask your military.

    to address helens statements re: crime prevented rather than created with guns, i think part of the problem is the statistics are lacking or flawed. it all boils down to semantics you know, like what is "crime", what is "violence", what about situations when no shots are fired, etc. etc. there are some stats around that put use of a gun in the US during 1 year as self defense around 2-3 million, the majority of which displaying a weapon was enough to deter the crime.

    there isnt any correlation that i know of countries that high rates of gun ownership and violent crime (.e.g relative ease of access to guns in canada but not so high gun-related homicide rates). the US seems to have the lions share of that problem for reasons debated by many.

    eta: i tried to find some valid stats and despite its tyranny, i nicked them from the us govt centers for disease control. http://www.cdc.gov/Injury/wisqars/pd..._US_2009-a.pdf

    so suicide via firearm was the #4 cause of injury deaths (18K+) whilst homicide firearm was #5 (11K+). with other suicide methods rounding out 6 & 7 and homicide non-firearm not on the top 10 overall list. creepy pdf.
    Last edited by fox in socks; 06-09-2012 at 06:59 PM. Reason: facts

  15. #30
    Remember. Steve SFM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordecai View Post
    Dunno about that. If we banned guns, presumably we'd also be destroying the US firearms industry, so they'd have to be sneaked in from Russia or South Africa or something, which is a bit more difficult than smuggling in drugs from South America or Mexico.
    They'd find a way. When the demand is there and there's money to be made, people find a way.

    And Ebby, you're absolutely right. Culture change is slow and difficult, but it absolutely can be done. Hell, we're seeing it right now with gay marriage.
    At my core, I think we're gonna be OK.

    Barack Hussein Obama

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