Gun Control

  • Dancing Caveman

    Dancing Caveman (450)

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    Done so the School Shootings thread isn't locked. XD

    Different from the Guns thread because that's only meant for discussing guns.

    Some things to consider:

    The United States is one of the only countries were guns are made more accessible to the general public, and it's also the place that seems to have more gun-related crimes. Does this mean that there's more gun crimes because guns are easier to get, or is this just another case of correlation not implying causation?

    How are gun control laws different in other countries? What things need to be changed in current gun law legislation?

    Discuss away.
    November 2nd, 2009 at 09:11pm
  • Matt Smith

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    While having a large amount of civilian owned guns, Norway has a low gun crime rate.

    The United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) has one of the lowest levels of gun ownership and one of the lowest rates of intentional gun deaths.

    The American Journal of Public Health conducted a study that concluded "the United States has higher rates of firearm ownership than do other developed nations, and higher rates of homicide. Of the 233,251 people who were homicide victims in the United States between 1988 and 1997, 68% were killed with guns, of which the large majority were handguns."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics.

    Thoughts?

    So, I'll start.
    I don't like guns. I think they're a bad thing 99% of the time. I don't think people should own them, and if they are going to own them, it should be for a very specific reason and that ownership ought to be very tightly restricted indeed. The UK (excluding NI) has a low level of gun ownership. So it's assumed we have less of a problem. I'm not so sure. I think we still have an issue with guns. They used to call Manchester 'Gunchester' for a reason. Handguns were outlawed after Dunblane, but I don't think that is enough.
    November 2nd, 2009 at 09:25pm
  • unapologetic.

    unapologetic. (100)

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    Heh. I live in Texas.
    This is one aspect of the stereotype I don't mind feeding. XD
    Here, we have conceal-and-carry laws.
    My dad takes full advantage of it.
    I rather like knowing that everyday people are allowed to be armed; it makes criminals think twice, you're not powerless at all, and it helps families put food on the table, in some cases. It also keeps the public safe.

    The only public shooting I can recall here was back in the 60's, I believe...
    Some deranged individual started picking off students and families from a college campus bell shooting, and the families visiting fought back-- they were able to keep the shooter at bay by shooting at him until the cops apprehended him.

    [/sleepy ramble]
    November 3rd, 2009 at 04:47am
  • wx12

    wx12 (10125)

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    I'm going to lock the old gun thread; this one has a better topic post and more information, and we don't need two.

    Personally, I think outlawing guns does more harm than good, and I completely disagree with countries who have laws that criminalize someone who uses a gun for protection. When you make guns illegal, this sounds obvious, but then the only people who posess guns are the criminals. How does that make anything safer?

    I do support keeping fully automatic weapons illegal; a weapon of that power in the hands of a civilian is excessive and not needed. You can protect yourself with a weapon that isn't fully automatic.

    As far as gun free zones, I also support those. Places like schools and government buildings should not have guns, especially when they're as easy to obtain in the US as they are.

    I don't think anyone with any type of felony should be able to own a gun, and I don't think anyone with a mental illness that may interfere with their ability to responsibly operate a gun should own one. Background checks now are flawed because they don't check for mental illness or any factors other than police records.

    I don't think waiting periods on guns are effective. If someone plans to use a gun illegally, I doubt waiting three days will change their minds, and it's an inconvenience to those who are responsible.
    quote="It's In The Blood."]
    And in the end, because they're disgusting things. Their only purpose is to cause pain or death. I would be against anything that had no purpose beyond creating pain.Some people collect guns, never use them, and more importantly they're used for protection. If someone broke into your house, you're telling me you would do nothing to defend yourself? You wouldn't try to injure them or cause them some sort of physical harm so you could escape? Because if you would do anything to defend yourself, then you've just said something quite hypocritical. Clearly, if you have any self-preservation instincts, you would hurt someone trying to harm you.
    November 3rd, 2009 at 11:09pm
  • It's In The Blood.

    It's In The Blood. (150)

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    ^ I don't see how it was hypocritical. I said that anything which was made purely to cause pain disgusted me. That doesn't conflict with whether I believe people should defend themselves or not.

    The purpose of the gun is to shoot. Shooting hurts or kills. That is it's purpose. What's confusing about that? Guns = killing. Whatever you use them for.
    November 3rd, 2009 at 11:47pm
  • Matt Smith

    Matt Smith (900)

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    Kurtni:
    If someone broke into your house, you're telling me you would do nothing to defend yourself? You wouldn't try to injure them or cause them some sort of physical harm so you could escape?
    Categorically no.
    As I've mentioned on numerous occasions, I am a Pacifist and also an adherent of non-violence. I would not, on moral grounds, ever shoot another human being to preserve my own life. I would choose death because that's how my principles dictate that I should act.

    Not to mention I'd be doing the right thing in the eyes of the law. In Britain, a farmer had two people break into his house, he shot one of them dead, he was given a mandatory life sentence. He was criminalised and rightly so. So even if I was of the disposition to go shooting people for my own protection - I'd get life in prison. Death or a cage? I'm not sure what is worse.
    November 4th, 2009 at 04:42pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    elizabeth gaskell:
    Categorically no.
    As I've mentioned on numerous occasions, I am a Pacifist and also an adherent of non-violence. I would not, on moral grounds, ever shoot another human being to preserve my own life. I would choose death because that's how my principles dictate that I should act.

    Not to mention I'd be doing the right thing in the eyes of the law. In Britain, a farmer had two people break into his house, he shot one of them dead, he was given a mandatory life sentence. He was criminalised and rightly so. So even if I was of the disposition to go shooting people for my own protection - I'd get life in prison. Death or a cage? I'm not sure what is worse.
    I think it's easy to say that, morally, you would never harm another human to preserve your life, when you're not looking at your own death. It's easy to be a pacifist when that isn't being tested, when you're not in the situation of having to chose between fighting and dying.

    And, in the case of the farmer who was sent to jail, do you really thing that's justice? That this man who was defending himself from criminals, should spend life in jail for doing so.

    Or if the case wasn't a farmer defending his home, what if it was a woman defending her children? A mother who shot an armed robber who was aiming a gun at her children, do you think it's right that the law punish her for that?

    I certainly don't.
    November 4th, 2009 at 05:35pm
  • Xsoteria

    Xsoteria (100)

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    ^^Well I'm sure you could make some rapist or a serial killer very happy one day.

    The thing is, I don't think that some people (most people even) would share the same principles when it comes to their personal safety.
    November 4th, 2009 at 05:40pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    Xsoteria:
    ^^Well I'm sure you could make some rapist or a serial killer very happy one day.

    The thing is, I don't think that some people (most people even) would share the same principles when it comes to their personal safety.
    How so?
    November 4th, 2009 at 05:42pm
  • Xsoteria

    Xsoteria (100)

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    Audrey T.:
    How so?
    I was refering to the post above yours.
    November 4th, 2009 at 05:53pm
  • Matt Smith

    Matt Smith (900)

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    Audrey T.:
    I think it's easy to say that, morally, you would never harm another human to preserve your life, when you're not looking at your own death. It's easy to be a pacifist when that isn't being tested, when you're not in the situation of having to chose between fighting and dying.
    It's not remotely easy to say, actually. You need to think that over - do you think Pacifism is an easy thing, an easy choice to make? No, it's really difficult, in a society where violence is rife, where it's acceptable to use it in many situations, to say no, actually, I will have no part in that, I will reject it completely. It's going against the grain, it's a minority opinion, it's something most people consider to be insane or irrational. So no, it is not a remotely easy moral stance to take.

    In any case, whether I would ever kill another human being to preserve my own life is somewhat out of the question, since I would never own a gun or other weapon in the first place. So, conversely, I can be very certain that I would never do it, because I'd never be in that position to begin with.
    Audrey T.:
    And, in the case of the farmer who was sent to jail, do you really thing that's justice? That this man who was defending himself from criminals, should spend life in jail for doing so.

    Or if the case wasn't a farmer defending his home, what if it was a woman defending her children? A mother who shot an armed robber who was aiming a gun at her children, do you think it's right that the law punish her for that?

    I certainly don't.
    It's hardly justice to have people take the law into their own hands and decide who lives and who dies for themselves. In any case, the British justice system is frequently criticised for not being harsh enough (especially by Americans, interestingly. Lockerbie etc). He was convicted for murder and released after three years. So whether that is justice, I don't know. As a general rule, though, I don't believe anyone ought to die in prison.
    November 4th, 2009 at 07:42pm
  • Matt Smith

    Matt Smith (900)

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    Xsoteria:
    ^^Well I'm sure you could make some rapist or a serial killer very happy one day.

    The thing is, I don't think that some people (most people even) would share the same principles when it comes to their personal safety.
    Well, it's good to know that at least my life counted for something.
    I'm also well aware of the fact that Non-violence and Pacifism are views accepted by a tiny minority of people. I don't really mind. Other people can pursue whatever moral stance on violence they feel best as long as they leave me alone.
    November 4th, 2009 at 07:45pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    This new quoting system is becoming a nuisance.
    elizabeth gaskell:
    In any case, whether I would ever kill another human being to preserve my own life is somewhat out of the question, since I would never own a gun or other weapon in the first place. So, conversely, I can be very certain that I would never do it, because I'd never be in that position to begin with.
    Guns aren't the only way to kill a person. As far as being a pacifist goes, any kind of violence is out of the question, am I right? So that goes to say that any violence is self-defense is also out of the question, no? So saying that the situation in which a choice like that would never arise is silly. It could. Being put in the situation where you'd have to cause harm to someone to save your life, harm to someone trying to harm you, is a possibility - whether you own a gun or not.
    elizabeth gaskell:
    It's hardly justice to have people take the law into their own hands and decide who lives and who dies for themselves. In any case, the British justice system is frequently criticised for not being harsh enough (especially by Americans, interestingly. Lockerbie etc). He was convicted for murder and released after three years. So whether that is justice, I don't know. As a general rule, though, I don't believe anyone ought to die in prison.
    There's a difference between vigilante, which is what you're describing, and self-defense. There's a difference between "taking the law into your own hands" and protecting yourself from being killed NOW. When people say "taking the law into your own hands," I think of people taking action AFTER the danger has passed, and that I absolutely don't agree with. I'm not talking about people using guns to hunt down and rectify wrong-doing, I'm talking about "someone is in my house threatening to murder my family, I'm going to protect them now."
    November 4th, 2009 at 07:59pm
  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    i do not like them. They're so...pointless. I know how to kill a man with my bare hands - something I really shouldn't say on the web but it's the truth! It's psychology - and considering that most of my ginger is in glass bottles, who needs a gun? Everything is a possible weapon. But everything else also has another purpose aside from chibbing/whacking someone.

    I find them slightly alluring - but I blame Torchwood for that one. Burn Gorman made them sexy - even though he died by one...but then came back and still had a good shot. (Does that even make any sense?!)

    But I am behind the Doctor on this one:

    ImageRose: Doctor, they've got guns.

    Image The Doctor: And I haven't. Which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead, but the moral high ground is mine!

    Besides, the prescence of a gun increases aggression levels and likelihood you'll kill a family member. How is that protection?
    November 4th, 2009 at 08:20pm
  • Matt Smith

    Matt Smith (900)

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    Audrey T.:
    Guns aren't the only way to kill a person. As far as being a pacifist goes, any kind of violence is out of the question, am I right? So that goes to say that any violence is self-defense is also out of the question, no? So saying that the situation in which a choice like that would never arise is silly. It could. Being put in the situation where you'd have to cause harm to someone to save your life, harm to someone trying to harm you, is a possibility - whether you own a gun or not.
    It's not that silly at all. With all due respect, I genuinely don't think I have the physical ability to inflict violence on another human being, even if I wanted to, which I obviously don't. It just isn't going to happen. But this thread isn't a topic for the discussion of Non-violence or Pacifism and the criticisms/defence thereof. I'd be happy to continue it elsewhere if people are interested, though.
    Audrey T.:
    There's a difference between vigilante, which is what you're describing, and self-defense. There's a difference between "taking the law into your own hands" and protecting yourself from being killed NOW. When people say "taking the law into your own hands," I think of people taking action AFTER the danger has passed, and that I absolutely don't agree with. I'm not talking about people using guns to hunt down and rectify wrong-doing, I'm talking about "someone is in my house threatening to murder my family, I'm going to protect them now."
    I don't really see that the situation is ever going to be that clear-cut, to be honest. You can't just say 'this situation is okay, this situation isn't. As an illustrator of this, Tony Martin, the farmer I previously mentioned, whom you seemed to suggest was unjustly sent to prison - well, the reason he was sentenced in the first place is because he wasn't defending himself from "someone in his house who was threatening to murder his family". He shot a sixteen year old (considered a child under English law) who was running away at the time. I don't know whether that makes him more or less guilty. The reason he was released so early, incidentally, is because he suffers from a mental illness that causes paranoia. So which category does he fit into? The one where it was okay to shoot the kid dead, or the one where it wasn't okay to shoot the kid dead?
    November 4th, 2009 at 08:25pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    elizabeth gaskell:
    I don't really see that the situation is ever going to be that clear-cut, to be honest. You can't just say 'this situation is okay, this situation isn't. As an illustrator of this, Tony Martin, the farmer I previously mentioned, whom you seemed to suggest was unjustly sent to prison - well, the reason he was sentenced in the first place is because he wasn't defending himself from "someone in his house who was threatening to murder his family". He shot a sixteen year old (considered a child under English law) who was running away at the time. I don't know whether that makes him more or less guilty. The reason he was released so early, incidentally, is because he suffers from a mental illness that causes paranoia. So which category does he fit into? The one where it was okay to shoot the kid dead, or the one where it wasn't okay to shoot the kid dead?
    But there are cases that are that clear cut, and that's what I'm referring to. I think Dancing Caveman mentioned it before, that law says that you have the right to use EQUAL force, and that plays a big part in our gun usage laws.

    It's not just any stranger passes into your house, you can kill them. It's not just, if he looks big, you can kill him. There has to be a serious threat to your life. You can't just shoot someone simply because they're trespassing, there has to be reason to believe that this person can cause you serious harm.

    I think you have the wrong impression on the way gun control laws work here. It's not everyone can kill anyone just because.There's a lot of guidelines that helps to keep things in check. Like you said, not everything is clear cut, which is why we have guidelines and courts of laws to make distinctions.

    It's not all just bang bang shoot 'em, wild west law going on here.
    November 4th, 2009 at 08:38pm
  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    Audrey T.:
    But there are cases that are that clear cut, and that's what I'm referring to. I think Dancing Caveman mentioned it before, that law says that you have the right to use EQUAL force, and that plays a big part in our gun usage laws.

    It's not just any stranger passes into your house, you can kill them. It's not just, if he looks big, you can kill him. There has to be a serious threat to your life. You can't just shoot someone simply because they're trespassing, there has to be reason to believe that this person can cause you serious harm.

    I think you have the wrong impression on the way gun control laws work here. It's not everyone can kill anyone just because.There's a lot of guidelines that helps to keep things in check. Like you said, not everything is clear cut, which is why we have guidelines and courts of laws to make distinctions.

    It's not all just bang bang shoot 'em, wild west law going on here.
    But not everyone we percieve to be a threat will be a threat and vise versa.

    And you cannot ignore the fact that with the prescence of a gun, aggression levels and therefore likelihood of using the gun, increase.
    November 4th, 2009 at 08:43pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    The Doctor.:
    But not everyone we percieve to be a threat will be a threat and vise versa.

    And you cannot ignore the fact that with the prescence of a gun, aggression levels and therefore likelihood of using the gun, increase.
    If someone breaks into my home and is pointing a gun at my roommates, I think it's a safe assumption to say that that person is a threat.

    And I don't know if I believe that the presence of guns increases aggression. My kitchen is full of knives, and I've argued a lot with my roommates/boyfriend in the kitchen. Miraculously though, I haven't stabbed any of them.

    And the argument that the presence of gun would increase the likelihood that it will be used...well, duh. The presences of televisions would increase the likelihood of people watching television, too. And people with toothbrushes are also more likely to brush their teeth. And people with homes are more likely to lose their house a hurricane, than people that don't have homes. And car owners spend more of their paycheck on car insurance than people who don't own cars. What's the argument here? That anything that MIGHT cause a specific reaction shouldn't be allowed at all?

    By that logical, we should bring back prohibition because people might become alcoholics. And cars should be outlawed because people might drive recklessly. People shouldn't learn karate or any other type of fighting, because they might cause bodily harm to someone. We shouldn't eat, because we might become overweight. No swimming because you could drown.

    I just don't see how that - And you cannot ignore the fact that with the prescence of a gun, aggression levels and therefore likelihood of using the gun, increase. - is valid argument.
    November 4th, 2009 at 08:53pm
  • The Master

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    Anything that is a weapon and exclusively so increases it. I have a load of empirical evidence that I'll bung up tomorrow to support my hypothesis.

    I just don't see the point in guns. Also, don't hit me with that 'but the nasty robber might have one.' thing. The reverse is equally as true.

    Guns only exist to kill or maim things. It's not the product of civilisation but of human nature.

    'I want to kill that thing over there but I don't want to move.'
    November 4th, 2009 at 09:43pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    The Doctor.:
    Anything that is a weapon and exclusively so increases it. I have a load of empirical evidence that I'll bung up tomorrow to support my hypothesis.

    I just don't see the point in guns. Also, don't hit me with that 'but the nasty robber might have one.' thing. The reverse is equally as true.

    Guns only exist to kill or maim things. It's not the product of civilisation but of human nature.

    'I want to kill that thing over there but I don't want to move.'
    The reverse being, that if I'm in my house with a gun, I have it to prevent intruders from hurting me? Yes, that is true.

    What do you mean by "the reverse"? Anyway you switch the situation, you still have a threat and a person trying to protect themselves.

    And you mean "the reverse" as in someone pointing the gun at the robber, well, that's really the point, isn't it?
    November 4th, 2009 at 09:50pm