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mplo Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:34 AM
Original message
Why Gun Control is Important:


Gun Control; Why it's important:

Here is an essay about an equally important issue that has been debated for several decades, and is still being debated to this day. Here goes:

There has been much debate (albeit often shrill, and often heated) between Gun Rights Advocates and Gun Control Advocates. As a Gun-Control advocate, however, here are my reasons for being in favor of Gun Control. The Gun Control Advocates are not trying to deprive hunters and target shooters of their sports, nor are they trying to deprive people who simply collect guns like others collect stamps, or whatever, of their collection, nor am I referring to security personnel, police officers, or those serving in the military who are authorized to carry guns.

I generally favor an all-out ban on snubnosed handguns, but, as time went on, I realized that the NRA and the Gun Lobby in general, are too well-organized, too well-funded and too powerful for an all-out ban on these guns to be realistically possible. Unfortunately , however, for the past several decades, the NRA has bullied various lawmakers (i. e. State Reps, Senators, and Congress members, for example) out of passing stronger, more affective firearms laws. Contrary to what many gun rights advocates point out, the slogan "Guns don't kill, people do", is a slogan that I have refused to buy into. Whether it's realized or not in many circles, a gun is designed to kill people. It is a weapon of war, and a whole way of life is either abruptly ended or irrevocably and adversely altered by the squeeze of the trigger and the crack of a pistol. Most murders are crimes of passion that occur among people who know each other; in the home, in barrooms, on street corners or even in parking lots, among family, friends and/or acquaintances. When heated situations arise, the presence of a firearm or firearms makes a murder or permanent maiming far more likely. Another frequent occurrence is when young kids get access to guns, not realizing that they're actually loaded, play the typical kids' "bang-bang" game, where one pretends to shoot the other dead, and actually ends up killing a sibling, relative or friend, because they don't realize that the gun is actually loaded.

All too often, people who know each other get into nasty arguments, which turn deadly when firearms are present. Some people will say "Oh, I can control myself", but, in reality, they don't really know what they'd do until that bridge is actually crossed and they're faced with such a situation. All too often, it's far too easy, in a fit of anger, to just simply pick up a gun and fire it at someone in anger, resulting in a death or permanent maiming. In many very poor urban areas, murders are rampant, due to poverty, lack of employment and education opportunities, and the presence of drugs, bad housing, and overcrowding. The prevalance of guns, which often come in illegally, or by mail order make this an even more deadly situation, upping the number of murders, and making whole areas extremely dangerous for law-abiding residents.

It's also true that the vast majority of guns that end up in the hands of criminals are stolen from private homes, or even cars and/or trucks. When burglars break into private homes, guns are often the first thing they look for, and, all too often, end up using them in an armed robbery, assault, or homicide. All too often, too, many unstable people with histories of mental illness, substance and/or alcohol abuse, or anger-management issues get access to firearms, which have also led to horrific results. Many of the assassinations that occurred in the past (i. e. MLK, JFK, RFK and many others), could well have been avoided had there been stronger, more affective firearm laws in the books. The United States has the highest rate of murder by handguns per capita in the Western Hemisphere, because there's so little gun control present.

Many pro-gun people argue that one can kill or permanently injure a person by beating, stabbing, or even strangling their victim(s).
While it's true that a person who's hell-bent on murdering someone could stab, strangle or beat his/her victim to death, it's also true that it's far easier to fire a gun at a person from a distance than it is go right up to the person and beat, stab or strangle him/her. Sometimes, too, the chances of one surviving and fully recovering from a stabbing, a beating, or an attempted strangulation can be and are a little better, depending on the depth and intensity and area that was injured due to the beating or stabbing or attempted strangulation, and how quickly the victim of such an attack gets help, is rushed to the hospital, and receives medical care. While a person can only beat up, strangle or stab one person at a time, a gun can kill and/or maim more people more quickly, due to the ability of a gun to spray bullets into the air, thereby hitting two or more people at a time. Gunshots also inflict much more damage than a fist, foot, or even a club, because, at least partly due to the fact that a gun is fired from a distance, bullets travel at a much, much higher velocity. A person who's angry at another person and has the urge to beat, stab or strangle him/her has to go right up to the person, thus increasing the chance of an angry person's regaining their cool, thereby preventing a deadly incident from occurring.

Having guns around the house often present other dangers; Suicide is more likely if a person's feeling quite down, and there's a firearm within reach. All too often, one reads/hears about someone hearing somebody walking around in the kitchen, shoots that person and finds out that the person walking around was a spouse, sibling or offspring who'd just wandered into the kitchen for a drink of water or a midnight snack. Cases also abound when a person comes homes, finds his/her spouse in bed with their best friend's spouse, or even the milkman or the mailcarrier, and shoots both his/her spouse and the person they had the affair with dead or permanently cripples him or her. Improper and/or careless handling of firearms, too, can cause them to go off, killing or permanently maiming somebody.

The Columbine shootings and other school shootings, as well as the number of drive-by shootings that regularly occur in many really poor urban areas not withstanding, one very catastrophic event occurred up in Vermont four years ago last fall, when a 13-year-old boy who was the victim of constant cyber-bullying by his classmates, took to heart a suggestion by one of his tormentors that he kill himself as a way out of it, got his father's loaded shotgun and committed suicide by shooting himself. I believe that a combo of the father keeping a loaded shotgun around the house unlocked and within reach of an extremely distraught child, plus the lack of parental supervision of young kids posting on the computers all contributed to the 13-year-old boy's taking his own life. After that, the father of the deceased boy waged an anti-cyberbullying campaign, thus helping to get anti-cyberbullying laws passed up in Vermont.

Having said all of the above, I am admittedly not a fan of firearms being in civilian hands, because, imho, they don't belong. However, if civilians want to own and keep firearms around the house, at least taking some responsibility and perventive precautions.

Here are some precautions that gun-owners can and should take:

A) Always keep firearms safely locked up and unloaded, and don't allow family members and/or friends with a history of mental illness, drug/alcohol abuse or anger management issues, or young children have access to them. Keeping guns locked up will also prevent or minimize the chance of theft, in the event that someone's private home is broken into.

B) No matter where one lives, be it in an urban, suburban or rural area, never leave firearms out in plain sight on the dashboard of a car or truck, where somebody walking or driving by could take a fancy to the firearms in the vehicle, break in and steal the firearms.

C) See to it that your firearms are properly registered and teach family members how to handle guns responsibly.

Contrary to popular belief among many gun-rights advocates, most handguns DON'T end up getting used in self-defense, but are more often than not, used to kill other people in homicides. A gun can get taken away from an owner and used against him or her, because there'll always be someone who's quicker on the draw than they are. As the saying goes "No matter how great a person is, or thinks they are, there's always somebody who'll be their master".

There are certain things that gun manufacturers, as well as gun dealers, should be required to do also:

A) Gun dealers should be required to engage in extensive screening and background checks, as well as a waiting period, for perspective gun buyers, and deny people with histories of mental illness, emotional instability, substance and alcohol abuse and anger management issues access when such people's names come up on a gun dealer's computer screen.

B) Gun manufacturers should be required to install tamperproof locks in firearms to prevent unauthorized use in the event that a firearm is lost or stolen, or to prevent young kids from tampering with them.

C) The number of firearms manufactured in the United States should be better regulated than it is.

Unfortunately, however, the Gun Lobby and the NRA have affectively bullied legislators out of passing even such simple requirments as more extensive screenings, background checks and waiting period requirements for perspective gun buyers, and the implementation of tamper-proof locks into firearms by gun manufacturers, and more regulation in the number of guns manufactured here in the United States, which has led to catastrophic results. As a society whose culture has long been depended upon and revolved around the gun, the net results have now come into fruition; in many streets, homes, barrooms and among family and friends, in many cases.

--

"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men." -- Samuel Adams (1722-1803)

mp
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Enforce existing laws on the books
And tell the gun grabbers to go fuck themselves.
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. Yeah, you mean the laws you gun nuts fought tooth and nail when they
were proposed and enacted?

Cry me a river.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. "You gun nuts" -- please take your culture war elsewhere. You've lost....
Try reading the exchange between the OP and 2A defenders and you may see some good argument.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
47. Factually incorrect. The NRA supported NICS. Get your facts straight.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
mplo Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Okay, barksplinter. Call me a useful idiot if you want.
I stand by my position that murder is far more likely with a gun, because it's all too easy for a person to simply pick up that gun and fire it at someone in a fit of rage and/or passion.
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Callisto32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
20. You can't have a position on something like that.
Whether or not something is more or less likely than something else is not a matter of opinion. Sure, you can look at the world and make a prediction as to the way you think things are when you don't have data. However, in the end you need to just go find out if that prediction is right or wrong. Simply stating "it is my opinion that guns are more dangerous than cars," for example, does not make it true.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
31. On what basis of FACT do you form that opinion?
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The Green Manalishi Donating Member (426 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
49. deleted
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 06:13 PM by The Green Manalishi
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. Congratulations on a calm, well written post.
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 01:17 AM by GreenStormCloud
We gun-rights advocates here in the gungeon greatly enjoy engaging in discussion with gun control advocates. Unfortunately, there is a pattern that I have noticed. A person such as yourself shows up who calmly explains their position. We post calm rebuttals, with references to actual facts, FBI reports, studies by criminologists, etc. The gun control guy then gets angry and either leaves or begins to become insulting. Please don't do that. Stick around to discuss.

Now I shall offer some rebuttals.

Contrary to popular belief among many gun-rights advocates, most handguns DON'T end up getting used in self-defense, but are more often than not, used to kill other people in homicides.
Actually, we do NOT claim that most guns are used in a DGU. (Defensive Gun Use) Nor or most guns used for homicides. There are about 300,000,000 gun in the US, and about 15,000 gun deaths annually. Obviously, almost all guns are not used to kill another human.

Now lets look at your claim about people getting angry and shooting another person. Ordinary people don't do that. There are an estimated 80,000,000 gun owners in the U.S., and about 7,000 gun murders annually. Obviously, almost all gun owners aren't going off hot-tempered and killing their friends. Most gun murders are not crimes of passion by ordinary people. They are either criminals settling business disputes, or they are done in the course of a crime (Usually robbery)against an innocent.

It is true, that most people who are murdered are killed by someone they know. But usually the two people know each other becauee they are both involved in a criminal enterprise. Gang members know each other, drug dealers and suppliers know each other, loan sharks and their customers know each other, Mafia members know each other, pimps and prostitutes know each other and know their johns, etc. Get the idea? If you are a criminal, yoy have a very high risk life and stand a good chance of getting killed by another criminal.

It is also extremely rare for a murderer to have homicide as his first serious crime. Usually a murderer has already had several prior convictions. Not always, just usually.

You claim that the gun lobby bullies legislatures. What we do is get people who are interested in the issue to VOTE. We are very effective in doing that. Getting out our voters is NOT bullying, it is democracy in action.

I am not worried about suicide. A gun is not like The Ring of Sauron. It does not radiate a magic field that commands the weak to kill themselves. If you take a suicidal person's gun away, they can still kill themselves. There are even web sites on how to do it. Exiting this life is really quite easy to do.

You covered a wide range of material in your post. I don't like trying to talk about everything at once. I perfer to take one aspect and do it in detail. So I will stop here. I invite you to discuss the issue with me.

Most of us long-time regular gunnies are very happy to have a new gun-control advocate drop in, and welcome the opportunity for polite discussion.

Regretfully, there will be some, mostly new people, who will not be polite.


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mplo Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Thank you, GreenStormCloud.
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 01:35 AM by mplo
You sound like a very responsible person. What you've said about murderers not starting out as murders, and most murders occurring among people who know and deal with each other in a criminal way rings quite true...and makes great, good sense. I do stand by my position that having guns around makes murder even more likely, because it's all too easy to pick up that gun and squeeze the trigger, either ending, or irrevocably compromising someone's life in less than a minute.

I also stand by my position that people with mental health problems, substance and alcohol abuse histories, and those with anger-management issues really should not have access to guns. Add firearms to any of these aforementioned problems, and we've got a deadly, dangerous combination. Suicide can be done by other ways than a firearm, but again, a firearm is much easier.

I enjoy discussing things with you too, btw.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
21. Those adjudicated as mentally incompetent will be rejected by NICS...
This is the standard used when judging the mental state of a potential gun-owner. Those with "anger management" (a catch-all term used more as an insult than as an accurate descriptor), "mental health problems," and "substance and alcohol abuse histories" must be found incompetent by judicial procedure. The 5th Amendment cannot be circumvented by using some weak standard as an excuse. (You will note that the 5th is circumvented when the "no fly" lists were compiled -- there is no judicial procedure to determine how you got on, and none to get you removed; further, some Congressional Democrats wanted to lever the "no fly" list to simply and automatically bar one from purchasing a firearm, no 5A protection X2.)

There has been discussion about extending the NICS test (designed for Federal Firearms License holders or dealers) to individuals, and in principle I favor this. But the fear is that such an effort would be a backdoor plan to establish a national register of gun-owners, something the gun-control lobby favors.

This would not be acceptable.

Other folks will contribute to the discussion, but I would suggest reading the Heller decision brief submitted by:

www.georgiacarry.org (search locally)

This brief is an excellent summary of the long, racist history of gun control until it was undone by the South by the Civil Rights Acts of the mid 1960s. But Jim Crow hopped the freight "North" and has his laws in place in some cities like Chicago, NY, D.C., San Francisco, and a few others. Almost ALL the proposals you have put forth had their prototypes down where "strange fruit" hangs from the trees.

Thanks for a civilized discussion of the subject!

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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
29. Excellent. We have some points of agreement.
First, please allow me to define some terms. "Gun Control Advocate" is a bit much to type each time I want to collectively refer to those on your side of the argument. I shall use GCA to refer to the collective you. For Gun Rights Advocate, shall use the term "gunnie" for us, collectively. CCW is a generic term for Carry Concealed Weapon. The actual title varies from state to state.

I also stand by my position that people with mental health problems, substance and alcohol abuse histories, and those with anger-management issues really should not have access to guns.

You will find that almost all of us gunnies agree with you. In fact we will add in an additional group who should be, and are, banned from legal gun ownership. That would be those with convictions of felonies, and convictions of violent crimes, even if it doesn't rise to a felony. Also we would list those who are underage from having unsupervised possession of guns.

A question immediately arises as to how do we sort those people out from the rest of the population. The best way is to look at their past. People with hot tempers will almost always have gotten into trouble with the police fairly early, and will have a record. Same with most of the other catagories on the list. The NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) run by the FBI does much to stop them from legally buying guns. Here is the FBI link on how the system works: http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/nics.htm

The NRA was and is completely supportive of the NICS system. All of the regular gunnies here support it too. Many of us, myself included, would like to see some way in which it could be opened up to allow private sales to be checked, but at present that is not available.

Your other point, that guns are easier to use than other forms of violence is true. But it works both ways. Guns also allow the weaker people to more easily defend themselves against the stronger predator humans. I am a senior citizen, and if I am targeted by a mugger, I have no chance to fight him off. Except that I am armed. (I have a Concealed Handgun License and am always armed when I am out an about.) My training and my practice of situational awareness allow me to be able to use my guns effectively, should trouble ever come to me. I also exercise caution and try to avoid bad situations and bad places. A few years ago, my wife used her gun to defend herself. No shots fired, would be mugger turned into a star quality sprinter as he un-assed the area.

There is a problem in counting DGUs. (Defensive Gun Uses) There are no numbers that are agreed upon. Both GCA and gunnies agree that there are about 300 million guns that are privately owned, and about 80 million gun owners. But nobody has agreed upon data as to how many times guns are actually used defensively. Since such uses usually prevent a crime from being committed, it becomes difficult to count uncommitted crimes. Often, no police reports are filed. Further, such numbers are in extreme flux right now, as the number of citizens who are armed in changing so greatly. Before, DGUs tended mostly to happen at a person's residence or business as that was the only place they could legally have a gun. Now, there are about 5 million people in the U.S. who have CCWs, so there are more opportunities for DGUs. CCWers have proven themselves to be extremely safe and responsible with guns. You are 27 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be illegally killed by a CCWer.

Which brings us to one of my main points. The GCA people do not attempt to make a distinction between guns that are owned illegally and those that are owned legally. All of us gunnies will readily state that a person who is barred from gun possession but has one anyway - illegal - is a very high risk situation. That is, after all, why both your side and our side wants the guns our of their hands. Legal gun owners, however, are only rarely involved in a gun crime. And CCWers are even safer and more responsible.

The problem is that organizations such as VPC (Violence Policy Center. Previously Handgun Control, Inc.)which has a strong GCA stance, makes no distinction between legal and illegal possession. The statistics from criminals are mixed in with the stastics for law-abiding citizens. We gunnies contend that such mixing produces badly flawed result. It is from that mixing that the statement that one is most likely to be murdered by an aquaintance comes from. If the already criminals are removed from the mix, the remaining law-abiding citizens, have excellent records, collectively, of safety and responsibility with guns.

You seem to be an open minded person. I look forward to discussion.

Also, welcome to DU.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. I am not a fan of the NRA
but I do respect the fact that they have a very successful lobby because they have a lot of members. The represent their members well. People seem to forget that there are actual people behind the group.
I don't belong to the group but most of my family does.
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mplo Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Another that I find rather troubling is the fact that
even the simplest things such as the requirement of gun manufacturers to implement safety locks in their products in order to protect the owner and society at large, because safety locks would prevent unauthorized use of a firearms in the event that it's lost or stolen, or if it's handled carelessly. While I realize that most gun owners aren't criminals, or have the afore-mentioned problems in my posts, I think that there are far too many people who do have criminal records or are emotionally/mentally unstable in some way get access to firearms, which is why I'm not a fan of firearms being in civilian hands.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I keep most of my guns locked up
but I keep a loaded pistol by my bed. I am a big fan of firearms being in civilian hands. I grew up with guns and am totally comfortable around them. I think it is harder if one doesn't have that background.
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mplo Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. It may be harder if one doesn't have a background of growing up with guns,
but I really do think that there's always going to be someone who's faster on the draw than you are, and might take that gun away from you if they should break into your house late at night or during the wee hours of the morning. You're right to keep your guns locked up, because that's often one of the things that burglars look for when they break into someone's private home or apartment.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Not in my case
as I have 4 dogs. They are a great warning system. The pistol is last resort. I am also a very good shot.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #13
30. "Fast draw" is less relevant than movement and situational awareness
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 09:39 AM by benEzra
Knowing how to "get off the X" (i.e., move off the line of attack) while drawing is probably just as important as being able to draw and shoot quickly. Probably more important. A quick move off the line of force (or even better, to cover) while drawing beats the heck out of standing still and hoping to outdraw a weapon (whether gun, knife, or club) that's already aimed at you.

Even more important than movement is situational awareness. Whether you own a gun or not, if you haven't taken precautions to prevent someone entering your home without you darn sure knowing about it first, then you need to take those precautions. And when out in public, situational awareness is paramount, again whether you choose to carry some sort of defensive tool or not. The element of tactical surprise is one reason I favor lawful concealed carry over open carry, though.
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OneTenthofOnePercent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #13
33. You're right... someone will always be faster.
But that is not a reason to take abuse and be victimized peacefully. Having a firearm is not a guarantee of safety - no gun owners claim this. But keep in mind that if someone were to over me while I was armed... the chances I had of defeating that person otherwise would be very slim. The event (or fear) that you describe of people being disarmed and having their weapons used against them is so rare that it is virtually a statistical insignificance.

Remember, having a firearm readily available for defense is not a guarantee, it's an option. If someone breaks into my house at night I have the option to use that force to defend myself. I would rather have the option to use a firearm in defense (if needed) than require that option someday and not have it. That firearm gave me a chance and if it fails... well, shit happens. I would rather die a free man in defense than while placed in the mercy & subjugation of a tyrant.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #13
34. A gun is the LAST line of defense, a LAST resort.
Anybody who uses a gun as their only, and therefore first, line of defense is a fool who is likely to get killed. General statement, not accusing you. A gun must be used with training and methods to alert the user to danger in time to be able to get to the gun in time to be able to use it.

In the event where my wife used her gun, due to the situation she already had her hand in her gun pack (That is a specialized fanny pack for guns)and the gun in her hand when the guy came out of hiding and was advancing on her. She was prepared, trained specifically for that exact scenario, ready, and aware and because of that she was able to defend herself. No shots fired.

At my home, due to the way I have reinforced the doors and the alarms, we will be awake and ready long before an intuder is in the bedroom.

Tactics play an important part too. The training in tactics isn't hard to get, and much of the excellent general adice is available free on the web. In fact, we gunnies sometimes discuss tactic here in this forum.

It is next to impossible to take a gun, especially a handgun, away from a trained person. Super-ninja-karate moves are for TV, not real life.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
51. There's always going to be someone who (eventually) wins the lottery jackpot
The chances of that person being you specifically are, however, very, very small.
Similarly, even if "there's always going to be someone faster than you," the chances of that specific person attempting to victimize you are minute, and the chances of that specific person being the only one ever to attempt to victimize you are even smaller.

The idea that the criminal will simply "take your gun away from you" is more than 99% bullshit, existing mainly in the fantasy of gun control advocates casting about for rationalizations.
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. "not a fan of firearms being in civilian hands"
What is a "civilian"?


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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
32. Actually, man modern guns are being made with the feature you have requested.
Our S&W 642, Bersa Thunder, and Walther P22 all have an internal lock that requires a special key to select between fireable and locked.

Both the Bersa and the Walther have the magazine-disconnect safety that prevents the gun from firing when the magazine is removed.

The S&W is a revolver so it doesn't have magazines.
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OneTenthofOnePercent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #32
38. My Springfield 1911 has a lock on the back that turn the firearm into a paperweight when activated.
It's called an ILS. Being mechanical though, it can be defeated given time and access to basic toos (punches, hammers, files, replacement parts). Modern firearms firearms are based on century old steelworking technology. Just like a safe or anything else... the criminal element will prevail.
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Minor quibble with your terminology...
Your very last word. Criminals will persist. With good citizens armed for defense, they will not prevail.

:toast:
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
55. That's okay
I'm not a fan of the government being the only body allowed to defend themselves.

Maybe if I had a personal police officer acting as a body guard 24/7 I'd think differently.
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Ihaterush Donating Member (28 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. Oh jezz, not get started on the nra
They require a whole separate rant.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:36 AM
Response to Original message
7. I don't think gun control advocates can effectively divide gun owners anymore...

You wrote:
"The Gun Control Advocates are not trying to deprive hunters and target shooters of their sports, nor are they trying to deprive people who simply collect guns like others collect stamps, or whatever, of their collection, nor am I referring to security personnel, police officers, or those serving in the military who are authorized to carry guns."

Who does this leave? People like me who primarily own guns and carry guns for self-defense and protection of my family. I think people like me may have always been the majority of gun owners and now more than ever there is overlap between the people whose guns you don't wish to take away and those you do.

There was a time when such divide and conquer tactics worked, but not anymore. Its a lost cause.

Regarding your suggestions to gun owners:

A: I agree that guns should be secured within reason given that some guns may need to accessed quickly.

B: I agree that leaving guns out in plain sight and unsecured is a bad idea.

C: have no idea what registration you are talking about. No such registration exists on the Federal level or in my state. However, teaching handgun safety and rules of usage is an excellent idea.


Regarding your suggestions to gun manufacturers:

A. There already is a significant background check when one buys a gun from a FFL. Mental illness issues (when adjudicated) are part of the background check, but mental health is a health issue and privacy issues must be protected too. Waiting periods? What for?

B. Some guns are being made with internal locks and every gun I've bough new has come with an external lock. I never use them.

C. Gun sales are already heavily regulated.

Its not the NRA or gun manufacturers that politicians worry about. Its the voters. Voters are protecting gun rights and politicians should be scared of losing votes if they infringe on civil liberties such as the 2nd Amendment (as well as other civil liberties).

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Man_in_the_Moon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Jim Zumbo...
Is a good example of gun owners giving up on the false "hunters and sportsman" rhetoric en masse.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. Yes, I wrote an essay on the Zumbo affair, but it was rejected...
without comment by a number of publications. A good "laboratory" study on how the Internet can quickly change your life!
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beevul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #22
50. Post it please.
I'd love to read it.
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taurus145 Donating Member (453 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
9. A question or two.
How do you think such control measures as described in your post jibe with 2A? 2A clearly states that RKBA "shall not be infringed."

Do you not see that registration or licenses, not possible in many states because there is no vehicle for such, is an infringement because of the fact that it requires gun owners and prospective gun owners to take additional steps or pat additional fees for simple ownership of a firearm?

Does your opinion that firearms don't belong in civilian hands extend to other rights as well, eg. blogging, editorializing, etc. should be restricted only to those with say, a journalism degree - professional writers? Same question for public speaking?

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mplo Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. taurus145, I disagree with you. Here's why:
A) For starters,

I think that this:

"Do you not see that registration or licenses, not possible in many states because there is no vehicle for such, is an infringement because of the fact that it requires gun owners and prospective gun owners to take additional steps or pat additional fees for simple ownership of a firearm?"

is a big problem. Those additional steps are necessary, if we want stronger safety laws regarding firearms, and to ensure that firearms don't end up in the hands of people who really have no business having access to them.

B) This:

" Does your opinion that firearms don't belong in civilian hands extend to other rights as well, eg. blogging, editorializing, etc. should be restricted only to those with say, a journalism degree - professional writers? Same question for public speaking?"

is totally irrelevant, imho, because none of the activities that you mention have anything to do with owning guns. They're not the same thing, and they don't result in the physical death or maiming of people.
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taurus145 Donating Member (453 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #11
25. I must disagree
This argument stands for both points made.

We are discussing a Constitutional right. Firearms ownership is a right. It is not a privilege.
As a right, gun ownership is equal to free speech, right of assembly, etc.

There are no qualifications or special requirements for rights of which I am aware, except for age limits for voting and holding elected office.
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StClone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
14. Fire in the hole.
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 02:26 AM by StClone
Our Constitution is a work of Art. It's a Social Pact constructed by genius. It states what rights we do have BUT it is not perfect. The Second Amendment is one of the more openly constructed passages which in modern reading may be interpreted differently if not diametrically. The 2nd is what the Conservative SCOTUS says it is and that sediment and precedent will be hard to budge.

From Wiki:

There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with slight capitalization and punctuation differences, found in the official documents surrounding the adoption of the Bill of Rights. One such version was passed by the Congress, which reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Another version is found in the copies distributed to the states, and then ratified by them, which had this capitalization and punctuation:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Read the section "English history and common law" at: law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_Un... There is an ironic history of being forced to bear arms noted in English Law.

No doubt the Founding Fathers knew of Separation of Powers and the even Corporate powers. But, I doubt they ever foresaw a profit driven NRA-like entity or the perceived degeneration of personal safety to which we are beholden.

It would take a Constitutional Amendment to straighten this mess out as to whether arms may be controlled and as to what exactly constitutes and "arms." Fifty Caliber, anyone? That will never happen. I have to chuckle when I see gun owners calling sensibly gun law advocates "gun grabbers." Kind of kills any chance of a moderate discussion. For all the gun grabbing the flood of guns is an unabated deluge and increasing out of near hysterical fear (Obama!) and fetish of guns.

This is not about hunting and never was...and it is my OPINION that NRA types and like-minded folk are actually paid to post pro-gun messages on boards like DU. I did not say all pro-gun posters are paid mind you.

This discussion will never get anywhere just like Socialized Medicine (not mentioned in The Constitution by the way). The powers-that-be work assiduously to keep things just the way they are and have the resources to continue to do so.

Please don't shoot me as I am an innocent bystander...

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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. Funny, you should bring up "paid" shills...
At least one gun-controller recently posted an opinion that the more rabid anti-gun posters are paid by the NRA just to make gun-controllers look bad! With all that money going 'round, how did I miss out?

On a more prosaic note, there are confirmed examples of the NRA paying editorial cartoonists (remember those?) royalties to re-print their virulent anti-gun-owner works for publication in their house organs. (SEE: "The Great American Gun Debate," Kates & Kleck.) So if you are a gun banner, there is money to be made!




"This is not about hunting and never was...and it is my OPINION that NRA types and like-minded folk are actually paid to post pro-gun messages on boards like DU. I did not say all pro-gun posters are paid mind you."

In the meantime, please cite examples. If you can't, contact the moderators so they can investigate.

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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #14
24. Thoughts...
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 08:39 AM by benEzra
The 2nd is what the Conservative SCOTUS says it is and that sediment and precedent will be hard to budge.

The court agreed unanimously that it was a right of individuals, not a collective right; the 5-4 split was over its scope (does it prohibit laws that make lawful self-defense impractical). The court's decision does reflect the views of the majority of Congress and ~70% of the electorate, however. The view that the 2ndA protects an individual right is not limited to conservatives.

The majority of Dem attorney generals nationwide have filed amicus briefs in McDonald v. Chicago in favor of an individual-right view and incorporation.

There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with slight capitalization and punctuation differences, found in the official documents surrounding the adoption of the Bill of Rights. One such version was passed by the Congress, which reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Another version is found in the copies distributed to the states, and then ratified by them, which had this capitalization and punctuation:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

18th century writers used commas profligately. Comma placement does not change the meaning; the right secured is always that of the people, not the militia.

It would take a Constitutional Amendment to straighten this mess out as to whether arms may be controlled and as to what exactly constitutes and "arms." Fifty Caliber, anyone? That will never happen.

Actually, that question was settled decades ago, by compromise, and that compromise was upheld by D.C. v. Heller. Arms may be regulated. The line between military/government restricted weapons and civilian small arms is drawn at .51 caliber, automatic or select-fire capability (or ready conversion to same), sound suppression, <16" barrel and <26" OAL for rifles, and <18" barrel and <26" OAL for pistols.

Of course .50 calibers aren't banned; those have been deemed suitable for civilians for decades. Military/government restrictions start at .51, with exceptions made for over-.51 sporting weapons (e.g., .73 caliber shotguns and over-.50 hunting rifles). The reason the VPC is bleating about .50's is that they want to shatter that compromise and ban precision rifles down into the fast .30's.

I have to chuckle when I see gun owners calling sensibly gun law advocates "gun grabbers." Kind of kills any chance of a moderate discussion. For all the gun grabbing the flood of guns is an unabated deluge and increasing out of near hysterical fear (Obama!) and fetish of guns.

OK, you were being rational and civil until this part.

I don't personally use the term "gun grabber" (I think it has a juvenile ring to it), but when applied to someone who wishes to outlaw the most popular civilian firearms in America via the "assault weapon" bait-and-switch or whatever, it is arguably an apt description, juvenile or not.

This is not about hunting and never was...

You are exactly right. It is not about hunting, because fewer than 1 in 5 U.S. gun owners hunts. Gun ownership in the United States is not about hunting; it is about defensive purposes, followed by recreational target shooting, then hunting in a distant third, and collectors bringing up the rear.

The "gun owner = hunter" meme is one that has backfired on the gun-control lobby badly.

it is my OPINION that NRA types and like-minded folk are actually paid to post pro-gun messages on boards like DU. I did not say all pro-gun posters are paid mind you.

As Yoda would say, "And that is why you fail." (Speaking of the gun control lobby in general.)

Background checks for purchase were a good idea, and the gun-control lobby ran well with it. But when they shifted to going after lawful and responsible gun owners instead of criminals, by going after the most popular "enthusiast" guns and endlessly scaremongering about their owners (not to mention jacking magazine prices for the most popular pistols by 500%), they jumped the shark. It is mind-boggling that Sugarmann et al didn't see how that would provoke an activism backlash from tens of millions ordinary gun owners, but I suppose they didn't learn because they are still at it.

My only connection with the NRA is as an on-again, off-again annual member; I let my membership lapse a few years ago, then renewed it when the MSM got on another of their periodic "assault weapon" kicks. The NRA is stuck in an Old Media paradigm of mass mailings and used-car-commercial tone, and is obsessed with "sportsmen" (a term I despise, as a third of gun owners are women and >80% are nonhunters) and hunting issues often to the detriment of regular gun owners. They often take credit for a lot of grassroots activism that has nothing to do with them.

As for me, I'm a technical writer who works in the aviation industry, and am a dad to a 10-year-old special-needs kid; that pretty much defines my life. I've also been a gun owner since I turned 18 in 1988, and have been shooting for years before that; when I was a young child, my father had a "save" with a lawfully carried handgun in the Croatan National Forest (no shots fired), and that was one of the guns I was taught to shoot with.

I was thrust into pro-gun activism rather unwillingly by the Third Way/DLC communitarian zealots in Congress, "Brady II" (truly scary legislation), the passage of the asinine Feinstein law, and then years of subsequent demonization by communitarian zealots. I got sick of the falsehoods and misinformation and finally decided to challenge them however I could. And it wasn't just me; it was tens of millions of others. If you look up "Pyrrhic victory" in the dictionary, you might well find a picture of the gun-control lobby celebrating the passage of the "assault weapon" fraud; it was ultimately their undoing.

I am a gun owner, recreational shooter, casual competitive shooter (USPSA), and my wife, my parents, my engineer sister, and most of my coworkers own guns. Lawful, responsible gun ownership is mainstream, even mundane, in this country, and the gun-control lobby cannot undo that; so jousting at that windmill only hurts your side of the argument.

This discussion will never get anywhere just like Socialized Medicine (not mentioned in The Constitution by the way). The powers-that-be work assiduously to keep things just the way they are and have the resources to continue to do so.

"Socialized Medicine" is a repub/corporatocrat scare term. We have an excellent health care system in this country, but the means by which it is funded is broken. I do not like HMO Nation any more than you do (ask me about retroactive takebacks sometime), and our family would be sunk if our son did not have access to CAP Medicaid. I think you are stereotyping here.

Please don't shoot me as I am an innocent bystander...

Don't worry, you won't get any flames from me. I would merely ask for the same civility in return; if I disagree with you about gun ownership, gun law, or gun aesthetics, it does not mean that I am a "gun fetishist" (the only people I know who view guns sexually are those who fear/loathe them), or a "gun worshiper" (duh), or some sort of mindless drone, or a paid employee of some evil conspiracy, or a criminal-in-waiting. I will not accuse you of being an agent of the VPC, the DLC, or the gun-control lobby; of being sexually deviant; or of practicing wierd religious rites. Please return the courtesy.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #14
35. There is a regular anti-gun poster here who has admitted...
to doing consulting work for the Joyce Foundation. So we do have one anti-gunner who admits to having gotting anti-gun foundation money.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
52. Bit disingenuous to claim to be an "innocent bystander"
You can't complain that certain characterizations "kind of kill the chance of any moderate discussion" and then practically without drawing breath characterize others as being gripped by "near hysterical fear and fetish of guns." What the fuck is moderate about that?

And then you post stuff like:

...and it is my OPINION that NRA types and like-minded folk are actually paid to post pro-gun messages on boards like DU.

...and you expect to defuse any response--or at least paint the respondent as being overly confrontational--by claiming to be an "innocent bystander"? I'm an NRA member, and I can tell you for a FACT that nobody's paying me to post here.

Like benEzra already said, if you're going demand civility from those who disagree with you, the least you can do is practice civility yourself first.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
26. Rebuttal.. light fisking inside..
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 09:33 AM by X_Digger
There has been much debate (albeit often shrill, and often heated) between Gun Rights Advocates and Gun Control Advocates. As a Gun-Control advocate, however, here are my reasons for being in favor of Gun Control. The Gun Control Advocates are not trying to deprive hunters and target shooters of their sports, nor are they trying to deprive people who simply collect guns like others collect stamps, or whatever, of their collection, nor am I referring to security personnel, police officers, or those serving in the military who are authorized to carry guns.


Where does the second amendment mention hunting, collecting, or target shooting? See the state constitutions of 35-odd states for 'in defense of themselves and the state' or analogous language.


I generally favor an all-out ban on snubnosed handguns


http://www.gallup.com/poll/123596/In-U.S.-Record-Low-Su...


That horse has left the barn. You are a distinct minority on that issue. Inexpensive firearms afford those with less income the ability to protect themselves. Do you wish to make protecting oneself a rich person's proposition? Your proposal would disproportionately affect those most in need of personal protection- minorities and the poor in some of the highest crime areas.


Most murders are crimes of passion that occur among people who know each other


Like a drug dealer and his user who shoots him, or vice versa. That is the predominant 'relationship' between 'acquaintances'. (I'll find the DOJ or NCVS link later.)


Another frequent occurrence is when young kids get access to guns


Actually, accidental shootings are at a low level, and are falling. Please back up your characterization of 'frequent' with a source.


murders are rampant, due to poverty


Poverty doesn't create murder. Many impoverished areas do not have high crime. The inverse is often true, that where one finds a high crime rate, poverty is rampant, but no causal relationship exists.


which often come in illegally, or by mail order


Mail order guns have been prohibited since the 1968 Gun Control Act.


It's also true that the vast majority of guns that end up in the hands of criminals are stolen from private homes, or even cars and/or trucks.


According to the BJS (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/guic.pdf ) 40% of guns used in crime come from 'friends or family', 40% come from 'street / illegal source'. As far as I've been able to determine, no stats exist on how many guns used in crime were stolen. Do you have some source for this assertion?


Many pro-gun people argue that one can kill or permanently injure a person by beating, stabbing, or even strangling their victim(s).


Only 1/4 of violent crime is committed with a firearm. 3/4 of violent crime is _not_.


because, at least partly due to the fact that a gun is fired from a distance, bullets travel at a much, much higher velocity.


Speed is not a function of distance. However, I understand your point. What you don't apparently realize is that most shootings happen within 21 feet.


milkman or the mailcarrier


Seriously? Did you write this in 1950?


I am admittedly not a fan of firearms being in civilian hands


Then work on a constitutional amendment repealing the second. Absent that, you're just talking infrinfement of a right protected by the constitution.


See to it that your firearms are properly registered


There are only 6 or 8 states with a 'registration' of firearms. But I fail to see the logic in it, as it relates to your purported misuse of firearms. Assuming your theory of acquisition were true, is a thief going to say "Wow, I won't steal this gun, it's REGISTERED!" Or is an angry husband who catches his wife with the milkman (*snort*) going to say, "Gee, I won't shoot them with this handgun, it's REGISTERED!"


and waiting period requirements for perspective gun buyers


We had national waiting periods before NICS (National Instant Check System) came online. There is no indication that it affected violent crime using firearms in any shape, way, or fashion.

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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
44. Re: Waiting periods
There was a stat floating around at one time (I believe it was from the DOJ, but I could be wrong), that the average time between initial retail sale, and seizure, of crime guns was something on the order of 6-12 years. This would seem to indicate that "waiting peroids" of any length shorter than that are useless at best, and Civil Rights violations at worst.

Does anyone have that one handy?
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
27. More thoughts (regarding the OP):
Here are some precautions that gun-owners can and should take:

A) Always keep firearms safely locked up and unloaded, and don't allow family members and/or friends with a history of mental illness, drug/alcohol abuse or anger management issues, or young children have access to them. Keeping guns locked up will also prevent or minimize the chance of theft, in the event that someone's private home is broken into.

Locked up, yes; unloaded, no.

My wife and I keep our guns in a safe when they are not in use. Rest assured that our children and unauthorized adults cannot access them, but we can, and very quickly.

B) No matter where one lives, be it in an urban, suburban or rural area, never leave firearms out in plain sight on the dashboard of a car or truck, where somebody walking or driving by could take a fancy to the firearms in the vehicle, break in and steal the firearms.

I don't know many people who do this, and the only people who do are probably those encouraged by state law to do so. Here in NC, it is a crime to lock a firearm in your glove compartment, as interpreted by the attorney general; on your dash is legal, uncovered on the seat is legal, locked in the glove compartment or center console is a crime. Good reason to have a CHL.

C) See to it that your firearms are properly registered and teach family members how to handle guns responsibly.

Registration only exists in movies, bad TV shows, and a very few states, which is mostly as it should be. It does nothing from a safety or crime prevention standpoint; background checks yes, registration no.

My wife and I are teaching our children responsibility, yes. My daughter knows the Four Rules by heart, and practices them, both with her bow and with a BB gun (and soon, a .22).

Contrary to popular belief among many gun-rights advocates, most handguns DON'T end up getting used in self-defense, but are more often than not, used to kill other people in homicides.

Nope. Most guns aren't used in either. Most guns in U.S. homes do serve in a standby defensive capacity, but no one wants to need to use it. Having said that, my own father did have a "save" with a lawfully carried pistol in a Croatan National Forest recreation area late one night when I was a child; no shots fired. His would-be attackers saw he was armed, backed off, and left.

Most fire extinguishers aren't used to put out fires, either, but I keep several in my house and one in my car just the same.

A gun can get taken away from an owner and used against him or her, because there'll always be someone who's quicker on the draw than they are.

Mostly Hollywood myth. The National Crime Victimization Survey certainly didn't capture any, and I believe every instance of a gun-owning homeowner being murdered that was captured by Kellerman et al (JAMA 1986 et seq) involved a homeowner who was killed by a weapon the criminal brought with him. If you have contrary data, I'd love to see it.

BTW, armed self-defense is not about fast-draw shootouts at high noon. Situational awareness and all that. Proficiency with firearms is a martial art, not a magic talisman.


There are certain things that gun manufacturers, as well as gun dealers, should be required to do also:

A) Gun dealers should be required to engage in extensive screening and background checks, as well as a waiting period, for perspective gun buyers, and deny people with histories of mental illness, emotional instability, substance and alcohol abuse and anger management issues access when such people's names come up on a gun dealer's computer screen.

Background checks are already required for purchase from any dealer, and the Federal government does the checks, not the dealer. The dealer just gets a "pass" or "fail" directive on the individual from the Feds.

Waiting periods, particularly for those who already own guns, are petty harassment, and are irrelevant to background checking. The harassment angle is why waiting periods on abortions or other protected rights have been struck down by the courts.

B) Gun manufacturers should be required to install tamperproof locks in firearms to prevent unauthorized use in the event that a firearm is lost or stolen, or to prevent young kids from tampering with them.

That's what safes are for. Many guns do come with internal locks, but the locks can't default to a locked position or else you lose your four-nines reliability.

C) The number of firearms manufactured in the United States should be better regulated than it is.

What do you mean, the number should be regulated?

Unfortunately, however, the Gun Lobby and the NRA have affectively bullied legislators out of passing even such simple requirments as more extensive screenings, background checks and waiting period requirements for perspective gun buyers, and the implementation of tamper-proof locks into firearms by gun manufacturers, and more regulation in the number of guns manufactured here in the United States, which has led to catastrophic results. As a society whose culture has long been depended upon and revolved around the gun, the net results have now come into fruition; in many streets, homes, barrooms and among family and friends, in many cases.

Gun owners have finally roused out of our apathy (since 1994, thanks to the Third Way zealots) and stood up to be counted. You give the NRA entirely too much credit. The NRA has roughly 4 million members, compared to perhaps 20 million "assault weapon" owners, 50 million handgun owners, and 80+ million gun owners overall. Roughly 4 in 10 U.S. households own a gun, and most own them for defensive purposes. If you don't think going after us provokes us to stand up and speak out, you're mistaken.

BTW, the U.S. murder rate has declined by half since the 1980's (even as lawful gun ownership has increased, and shifted toward more modern designs), and the U.S. suicide rate is lower than that of Canada, Norway, Japan, Denmark, Austria, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, France, and Belgium. The sky is not falling, as it turns out.
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OneTenthofOnePercent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
28. A few thoughts: (and thank you for well laid out logical posting)
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 09:34 AM by OneTenthofOnePercent
The 2A exists to protect self defense. Not hunting or sport shooting but to KILL assailants in life-death situations. There are 250,000,000 firearms in America and there is physically (or legally) no way to collect all of them. Prohibition does not work. That's just the facts of it. There are enough guns on the grey and black market to serve criminals for at least a century. To take firearm access away from the law abiding public is to take away the most effective means to defend one's life and family from outlaws who, by definition, will ignore firearm possession laws.

Self-defense, an act satisfying the ingrained sense of survival, is an act in which every human being has a basic right to exercise. Self Defense (an act of survival) is much more than an instinct... it is a right. No different than how basic species survival instincts drive that species to mate - you agree that sex is a basic human right, correct?

I'm not claiming the means to empower an inalienable right of self defense are completely without boundaries or restriction. There should be boundaries on the means used to execute any of our rights. I'm simply stating that IF there is such a thing as an inalienable (or "god-given") right to self defense - then the actions and items that adequately empower such a preexisting right MUST also be codified as rights. In terms of exercising self defense rights, the personal firearm is by far the most effective means. It is the one tool that puts the elderly and physically disadvantaged on the same playing-field as thugs, rapists, and murderers. In not so many words, the RKBA is mutually inclusive to recognized inalienable rights of self defense. If you believe in the natural rights of self preservation, then you must accept the use of the most appropriate tools to execute means. Rights without the means to act on them are not rights at all.

-------------------------

Aside from the right to own guns not being about hunting/collecting/sport - I'll address some of your (excuse the term) unbased appeals to emotion. Many times in the past where concealed carry laws have been introduced (an event that directly increases the number of easily accessibly guns into public) we do not see these claims of uncontrollable emotional outbursts involving firearms. It happens, yes, but is typically very isolated in incidence. History and statistics tend to side with a majority of gun owners being level headed and not going on rampages because of high-running emotions.

You are correct, we need more effective laws (or more effective enforcement) to prevent guns from falling into the hands of those that use them criminally. The problem is legislation needs to affect the intended criminal demographic with minimal impact on law abiding citizen's rights. As so commonly put, this is the problem of a free society... where the rights of the many should not be relinquished for the transgressions of the few. Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Keep in mind, that locking a disabled unloaded gun up in a safe is not adequate for self defense using that firearm... it's impractical to have to unlock, assemble, and load a firearm while in the process of being victimized. Stepping back from the debate, there are 250,000,000 firearms in the USA - considering the number of annual events involving firearms, I would say that most in their lifetime will never take part in criminal acts. I would question the logic of anyone who would sacrifice the RKBA of 250M+ Americans based on the actions of (literally) a fraction of a percent of the population (most of whom are already prohibited from possessing firearms).

Also, the NRA is effective not because it is a bully but because of it's member base - the people have the power in a democracy. The NRA is not a Gun Industry lobby. Gun manufactures and industry folk actually have their own lobby representation separate from the NRA, just as a side note. The NRA is funded by individual members concerned with protecting their rights. Politicians cannot be "bullied" by the NRA any more-so than Obama can bully people into voting for him. Politicians take what the NRA has to say seriously because they know that the NRA has millions of members, represents the Rights of 80,000,000+ gun owners, and has the financial power to challenge legislation & keep it's constituency well informed. That is a massive voting block. If ANY lobby represented 25% of registered voters AND lobbied to protect rights directly expressed in the constitution that is sworn to be to upheld... I'd listen as well. Keep in mind the NRA has also been at the core and stood behind alot of legislation aimed at lowering gun crime and common sense measures because the NRA knows that gun crime can be a black eye for the RKBA.

The problem really boils down to criminals will not obey laws and guns are too commonplace to eliminate the supply.
Therefore, in the attempt to allow The People to protect themselves (a natural right), you must allow them adequate means to do so.
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Katya Mullethov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
36. Control will always be important
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
37. Well, that recited all the usual gun control tropes
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 10:09 AM by Euromutt
I apologize in advance if I come off as a little brusque, especially compared to GreenStormCloud, but I'm just a little tired of seeing these tropes recycled over and over.

The Gun Control Advocates are not trying to deprive hunters and target shooters of their sports, nor are they trying to deprive people who simply collect guns like others collect stamps, or whatever, of their collection, nor am I referring to security personnel, police officers, or those serving in the military who are authorized to carry guns.

I'm not a hunter, nor a collector, and I don't shoot competitively; I keep firearms primarily for defending myself and my family against anyone who would do us harm, and I notice that keeping firearms for defending one's life and limb is not listed in your list of disclaimers. Oddly, private security guards are included, meaning that use of lethal force by corporate employees to protect property would be fine, but the use of lethal force by private citizens to protect their lives or those of their loved ones would not. You might want to think that one through a little more.

Most murders are crimes of passion that occur among people who know each other; in the home, in barrooms, on street corners or even in parking lots, among family, friends and/or acquaintances.

That's simply not true. Criminological evidence indicates that around 90% of homicides are committed by people with a prior history of violent (usually criminal) behavior. A large segment of perpetrators--and, to a slightly lesser extent, victims--of homicides in America are involved in the illegal drugs trade, either business disputes or the settling of personal disputes in the brutal manner to which they've become accustomed.

Insofar that homicides occur within a household, they are generally the culmination of an escalating pattern of domestic violence. It's practically unheard of for someone to "just snap," no matter how widespread that notion is. There are always warning signs, and we're actually a lot better at identifying them than we think.

All too often, people who know each other get into nasty arguments, which turn deadly when firearms are present. Some people will say "Oh, I can control myself", but, in reality, they don't really know what they'd do until that bridge is actually crossed and they're faced with such a situation. All too often, it's far too easy, in a fit of anger, to just simply pick up a gun and fire it at someone in anger, resulting in a death or permanent maiming.

That's a widely held perception, but does it stand up to scrutiny?
Here's a question: has it ever occurred to you (or someone in your presence) that you (or tat other person) were seized by such a violent rage that you've flown at the person you were angry at in a serious attempt to inflict grievous bodily harm, or even death, on that person? Has this ever occurred in a house containing, say, some kitchen knives, a baseball bat or hockey stick, perhaps a hatchet for chopping firewood, or maybe some TV tray tables? (For disputes in establishments serving alcohol, substitute broken glasses, glass bottles, bar stools, pool cues, et al. for the aforementioned kitchen knives, baseball bats, etc.) If so, did you (or the person you witnessed) seize/retrieve any such item and attempt to use it on the offending individual?

If you've never acted on the urge to grab an implement capable of inflicting fatal trauma and use it on someone else, why do you think it would happen "all too often" to somebody else? See, it shouldn't make a difference to the intent whether the implement in question is a knife, bat, hatchet, etc. or a firearm. If you're emotionally unstable enough to grab a gun and shoot the person you're upset at, why wouldn't you grab a knife, bat, etc.? And if you're not emotionally unstable enough to grab a knife, bat, etc. or attack someone with your bare hands, why would you behave any differently (all other things being equal) just because there was a firearm in the house? Or even on your hip?

The United States has the highest rate of murder by handguns per capita in the Western Hemisphere, because there's so little gun control present.

First off, I strongly suspect that's not true, given that the Brazilian homicide rate is over 4 times that of the United States (25.7/100,000 against 5.7/100,000 in 2006), and that of Jamaica even higher (~49/100,000 in 2006); both countries are plagued by high levels of drug trafficking, and drug traffickers have a nasty tendency to get hold of firearms as readily as they get hold of drugs. According to a UN report published in 2005, over half a million Brazilians were killed with firearms between 1979 and 2003, and gunshot wounds were the leading cause of death among persons under 25 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4628813.stm ). That latter point is saying something in a developing nation, I might point out.

But even if were true, why focus on the handgun homicide rate, to the exclusion of other methods? You see, the American non-gun homicide rate is higher than the overall homicide rate of most western European countries, which is a strong indication that there's something in the American socio-cultural makeup that's simply more homicidal than that of western European countries. That being the case, there's little reason to believe that, even if we could magic away all the guns in the United States, the homicide rate wouldn't drop by 2/3 (likely, a fair amount of "method substitution" would occur), and even if it did, it would still be a lot higher than that of most western European countries.

At the same time, the Russian Federation, to cite one example, has pretty tight gun control laws, and doesn't allow private citizens to purchase handguns at all; nevertheless, according to official figures, the Russian homicide rate is more than triple that of the United States (16.5/100,00 against 5.4/100,000 in 2008), and that's the most favorable ratio since the late 1980s.

Put together, this strongly indicates that availability of firearms isn't what causes people to commit homicide. At most, it makes it the method of choice if it's available.

The same applies where suicide is concerned: while firearms are indubitably the most popular method of suicide in the United States, the American suicide rate is by no means remarkable, being exceeded by France, Germany, Sweden, Japan and (again) Russia, to name five notable examples (all of which have tighter restrictions on private firearms ownership than any U.S. jurisdiction). Evidently, Americans don't kill themselves more often than others because they have firearms available; rather, when they choose to kill themselves, they use firearms because they can. In the rest of the world, self-strangulation (mostly by hanging) is the most common form of suicide.

Contrary to popular belief among many gun-rights advocates, most handguns DON'T end up getting used in self-defense, but are more often than not, used to kill other people in homicides.

While it's true that the overwhelming majority of handguns are never actually used in a "defensive gun use" (DGU), the idea that more handguns are used to commit homicides than to commit DGUs is not supported by the available evidence. Several studies in the 1990s estimated that the number of DGUs by private citizens might range from ~900,000 to ~2.5 million annually. The highest number of firearm homicides in one year ever recorded was 17,075 (of which 13,981 involved handguns), in 1993 (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/tables/weapon... ). If even the most conservative estimate of DGUs (which was conducted by David Hemenway, a public health researcher with a pronounced anti-gun agenda) was off by an order of magnitude, the number of firearms used in DGUs would still have been almost six times the number of firearms use to commit homicides. (Note that a DGU includes situations where the defender drove the assailant to flight or surrender by merely using the gun to threaten the assailant, even if no shots were fired.)

The prevalance of guns, which often come in illegally, or by mail order make this an even more deadly situation, <...>

Italics mine. It's been illegal to sell firearms by mail order since the entry into force of the Gun Control Act of 1968! You can, at most, order a firearm to be delivered to a licensed gun dealer (a "Federal Firearms Licensee" or "FFL") in your state of residence, who will then formally sell the firearm to you, after completing the attendant paperwork, running a background check, observing any waiting periods, etc.

A) Gun dealers should be required to engage in extensive screening and background checks, <...> and deny people with histories of mental illness, emotional instability, substance and alcohol abuse and anger management issues access when such people's names come up on a gun dealer's computer screen.

That's more or less been the case since 1993. The GCA of 1968 made it a felony to knowingly sell a firearm to someone with a felony conviction, who had been adjudicated "mentally deficient," or is an illicit user of or addicted to a controlled substances, and this was expanded in 1997 to include individuals convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence, or subject to a restraining order pertaining to "an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner." Since 1993, FFLs have been required to contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to request a background check on each prospective purchaser, to ensure that said individual is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm.

When lamenting the absence of certain legislation, it's a good idea to check in advance that said legislation does in fact not exist.

And what the hell is the point of waiting periods, except as some knee-jerk feel-good law? If I can sustain the desire to kill someone long enough to drive to the gun store, select a firearm, fill out the ATF form 4473 (not easy to do when you're agitated), wait for the FFL to get an approval from NICS and drive back to my starting point, in what universe will I not be able to sustain that desire to kill for five or fifteen or however many days the waiting period is?
And if I'm that enraged that I want to kill someone right now, why would I go through the rigmarole of buying a firearm when I could walk to my kitchen and grab one of the four 8-10" chef's knives hanging conveniently on a magnetic bar on the wall?
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
39. K&R A good thread. See? People can be civil if they try. nt
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 11:36 AM by rrneck
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Oh dear!
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Must've tracked down a sockpuppet. nt
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DrCory Donating Member (862 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
42. Assumed Room Temperature Eh?
Too bad, so sad.
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. I'd give him 5/10 as a false flag operative
+: Had the memes down pat, and had he not flamed out so early, he could have had a long tenure here as a "gun control
proponent"

-: Giving himself away on another thread. If you're going to do this kind of thing, best keep the felony motormouth at a minimum.

Ah, well- back to sparring with the other "gun control proponents"
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Tim01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
46. I'm just going to ask if you actually have any experience with guns at all.
That is a pretty long list of things to disagree with you about, as somebody who actually does have a lot of experience with guns. I want to know if you are just guessing at what seems like a good idea.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
48. The FBI calls BS on your crime of passion argument.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
53. The OP has been tombstoned! Too bad, since the OP is the LAST of the grabbers I wanted to see get it
There are several that should have gone first.

Oh, well, back to my gun love I guess....
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Glassunion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
54. Thank you for the post
Welcome, an thank you again for spurring some good conversation. Been getting a bit ugly around here. Truly refreshing to see some good honest discussion.
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