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Author Topic: Gun Control
Pagan
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Gus

It's ok, you were right. I jumped into the topic after reading only about the 1st page, and feebly tried to make points that other ppl had already made fully. Normally, when I'm not . . excited, I'm pretty good at quoting sources, 'cause nothing pisses me off more then someone saying "and this doctor said blah blah happens 80% of the time!" And yet, reading my post . . .

The murders can't be stopped, in my opinion. At least not by legislation. The accidents with kids and such, are very tragic. I personally believe that proper safety lessons and such can prevent kids from shooting themselves/each other, but, you can't train everyone (what about your kids friends?) and, no kind of trigger lock, safe, or other such device is truly foolproof. So, that's one that I think anyone and everyone agrees, something should be done about. I think proper gun safety in all schools would help, but, a lot of ppl disagree.

Pagan


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Steve in the F Clef
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Sorry, Ewok, didn't make my point clear. I know that prohibition didn't WORK as it was (presumably) intended. The point is simply that it was an unjustifiable abrogation of rights, an intrusion by the state (at the behest of a temporary majority) into what a citizen does with his or her own body, and that the presence of an armed citizenry did nothing to prevent that intrusion.

The drug war is probably a better example, because it seems to have achieved more ACTUAL tyranny (in the form of locking people up in jail for decades) than Prohibition did. Again, the RKBA hasn't helped to prevent this. (Most likely, if someone tried to use his RKBA to avoid imprisonment for drug possession, he would end up not imprisoned, but dead. Not a big help.)

I think you hit the nail on the head when you pointed out that the authors of the Constitution took the RKBA to be God-given and self-evident. The issue of justification did not arise -- which is not surprising, given the immediately preceding history in 1776.

I'm still quite confident of my arguments in this thread to the effect that the rule of law, not an RKBA, is what really ensures democracy and human rights, and prevents tyranny, in the USA and other "first world" countries. There have not been any counterarguments presented (but keep in mind that where a government isn't subject to the rule of law, my reasoning doesn't apply and doesn't work.)

But I haven't said hardly anything that addresses the issues of self defence, crime rates, and unintended consequences which you and others have raised. And on those issues, you HAVE presented arguments, and I have given few if any responses. I will try to do so as soon as I can, but my time is limited -- I just lost two days of work to an "off-site" meeting. (Not as Dilberty as it could have been, but still...)

Steve Back In The Real World


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spooky_rk
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Sheesh, Deja vous all over again. Haven't we trampled, burned and salted this ground already?

Interesting that this thread started out with an incident that happened in the UK that is being used by anti-gun control groups in America. Hmmmm, seems the same thing happened with the whole "violent crime rates in Australia on the rise" thing earlier this year ...

I'd just like to re-iterate a couple of points the Brits and Canucks mentioned, and add a couple of my own (some of which I've mentioned in previous discussions).

The situations in non gun owning countries (like Britain, Canada and Australia) are so dissimilar in this regard to America that no valid comparison can be made, and certainly one incident occuring in one of these countries can not be turned around and applied to America, regardless of its outcome. The mindset in these countries is totally different:


  • There is no culture of "guns for defence"
  • The vast majority of people in these countries do not believe their rights have been infringed upon by not having the RKBA. In fact, things such as gun ownership are looked upon as responsibilities rather than rights. A very different mindset to the way Americans view the issue. (Hmmmm, interesting ... aren't we just now having a discussion about frivilous lawsuits and the way they seem to indicate a diminished sense of personal responsibility. It seems to me (just my NSHO) that Americans focus far more on the "rights" than the "responsibilities" side of the equation in a lot of issues.)
  • The police in these countries are charged with a duty protect people (mentioned by Pagan).
  • Gun ownership in the population, even before the new, more stringent laws and regulations came into effect, is far lower in these countries than it is in the US - the sorts of measures that these countries have brought into effect simply could not work in the US (you're on your own, guys ).
  • We live in democratic nations and are not under the tyranny of government or violent crime as predicted by the sorts of groups using these stories, nor are we in fear of it.

In short, the groups that are using such stories to support their views are comparing apples to oranges.

I think Steve said something similar to this, but I can't find it now, so I'll say it again myself: The fact that I can know, with a very high degree of certainty, that the people around me are not armed (and that I am, in fact, not ever likely to meet an armed civilian) makes me feel a whole lot safer than if I had a shotgun under the bed or a pistol in my pocket. And mouth what platitudes you want about beating ploughshares or giving up rights for safety (or whatever, I'm sure someone will correct me ), I can quite freely exercise my rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" without the fear that one day some nutter with a gun might decide to deprive me of one or more of them.

Spooky "besides, what need have I for a gun when I can Kill With A Glance?" RK

------------------
'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'
Or am I just paranoid?

[This message has been edited by spooky_rk (edited 10-15-2000).]

Didja know that if you edit a message, the UBB software stuffs up the html in a list? Bet ya didn't.

[This message has been edited by spooky_rk (edited 10-15-2000).]


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Sorry, Spooky, but I don't have time to give a detailed debunking of this furfy.

Here's a UK pro-gun site and a Aussie pro-gun site. The Aussie site points out that there are still millions of firearms in Australia. Given that your population is less than that of California, I'd say you have a bit of a gun culture.

I've met Brits who come to the states to train, since handguns are pretty much totally banned in the UK. The ones I've met aren't real happy with their government.

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"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"

[This message has been edited by Ewok (edited 10-17-2000).]


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spooky_rk
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quote:
Originally posted by Ewok:
The Aussie site points out that there are still millions of firearms in Australia. Given that your population is less than that of California, I'd say you have a bit of a gun culture.

Oh come now, Ewok, you can do better than this! Let's accept that the figures on this page are accurate, then we still have millions of guns Down Under. Taking this figure and comparing it to our total population, then claiming we have a gun culture is ridiculous. You need to compare it to the number of gun owners, and then compare the number of owners to the total population. I can't get on to the NRA (Oz) site at the moment for figures, but you'll find that the number of gun owners is a relatively small percentage of the total population, but that these people each own a number of guns. The fact still remains that the majority of Australians do not own nor do they want to own firearms. Ergo, no gun culture as we would think of the gun culture in the States.

quote:

I've met Brits who come to the states to train, since handguns are pretty much totally banned in the UK. The ones I've met aren't real happy with their government.

Is it possible you've just met the disgruntled nutters? :P

Spooky

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'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'
Or am I just paranoid?


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Steve in the F Clef
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Yes, Ewok, you have an obvious self-selected sample there, which really hasn't much chance of being representative of the English population. And they are making a mistake which pro-gun people often make in blaming the GOVERNMENT for gun restrictions. In these countries (UK, Canada, etc.) it is the majority of the population which demands the restrictions. Quite strongly, too.

(That would be a "tyranny of the majority", of course, if we took an RKBA as axiomatic. But since most of the debate above is about WHETHER private possession of guns is or is not a defense against tyranny and loss of human rights, it would be tautological to make that argument. This was a logical trap that you never fell into, which is another reason why I have a good opinion of you despite our disagreements.)

The "battle of Athens" was very interesting. It definitely proves that guns in private hands CAN be used to defend civil liberties. However, it does not in any way show that they are NECESSARY for the defense of civil liberties, nor even that they are sufficient. We already have the examples of Gandhi showing that civil liberties can be won without guns, meaning that guns are not a necessary precondition for liberty.

As for sufficiency, it does appear to me that it was not the guns in the GI's hands that were most important, but the fact that the National Guard was not called out. And I don't think it was the GI's weapons that kept the National Guard away. I think it was that the governor could see damn well which side the rule of law was on, and knew that he'd better stay on the same side.

Even in Yugoslavia, I think the rule of law, or rather the need to LOOK as if there was a rule of law, was very important recently. The various guns and weapons in the possession of the demonstrators would not have meant squat if the Serbian army had come out when Milosevic (we can presume) tried to call on them. (Not unless some of the demonstrators had A-10 Warthogs in their garages.)

But Milosevic had participated in an election -- that's how he got power in the first place, too -- and therefore had implied that he would accept some semblance of the rule of law, i.e., the election results. So if he tried to get the army out after obviously losing, they (not being at all happy with what he put them through in Kosovo) simply said: "Now why would we have to listen to you, anyway?"

Steve


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Charley
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quote:
Originally posted by Ewok:
I've met Brits who come to the states to train, since handguns are pretty much totally banned in the UK. The ones I've met aren't real happy with their government.

Ewok, I'm going right off you now

I've met many Brits who don't go to the states to train. The ones I've met aren't real happy with their government but that's for a whole host of other reasons.... The majority of Brits I know (and you have to give me the benefit of larger numbers as least) are delighted that there are such widespread restrictions on the ownership and use of guns, and are extraordinarily happy for it to continue so. This doesn't prove much on either of our sides, does it?

I was really glad to get the information you gave, and I admitted I found out something new. It comes down to the same old thing in the end though, doesn't it? We have different experiences and completely different attitudes shaped by these experiences, and neither side will change on this one, will they?

Charley.


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derfred
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What is wrong with you people? This is a gun control thread! Where is all the screaming and name calling? Instead I am seeing a well reasoned discussion with respect and consideration for each side from each side. I must say I’m shocked and mayed (as opposed to dismayed) at such deviant behavior.


Fred "A well armed society is a polite society" Brown


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BoKu
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quote:
Originally posted by spooky_rk:
The fact still remains that the majority of Australians do not own nor do they want to own firearms.

Hmmm. Am I missing something here? Is that an actual fact? Was there some sort of comprehensive survey or census of the Australian population regarding their attitudes towards firearm ownership that backs up Spooky's assertion?

People may have voted in a way that tends to suggest that assertion as a hypothesis, but voting behavior is far from a reliable indicator of internal attitudes.

Bob "No, just happy." K.


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Amy Jo
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I know what I'm about to say has come up before, but I think it's important to make this point. Does anyone besides me think that violence is a direct result of the social climate of the nation in question? In this SLC thread the question was asked whether poor service is a result of a decline in work attitudes in general. Can't the same concept be applied in this situation?

I, personally, don't think that gun ownership or lack thereof has much effect on the violence of any country. If people are inclined to be violent, they we do so with what means they have. Likewise, if they are NOT inclined to be violent, they will NOT be violent even if they own weapons. One might argue that if a person wants to own a weapon then that person has an inclination toward violence, but I would disagree with that.

To give a few examples:

In Denver, a city of 2 million, I feel safe. I can walk downtown after dark by myself and not fear being attacked. In fact, as the population of Denver rises (as it is doing very quickly at the moment), the violent crime rate has gone down. This could be due to any number of things, including our current prosperity. There are occassional crimes, of course, but I need not worry myself with being attacked, because the chances are so low. Gun ownership is legal here, but guns are not a threat because the people are not a threat.

Recently, my fiance visited England, and more specifically, Leeds. He went out on the town one Saturday night and noticed that the police officers (of which there were many in this particular area at that time of the week) all wore flak vests, and not the bullet-proof vests one would expect in the US. When he asked about it, his companion explained that they flak vests protect them against knife attacks. I didn't gather from the story that knife attacks were a serious concern for residents of that part of the country, but there is a certain amount of violent behavior, however significant. If not knives, it would be guns. If not guns, it would be knives. Some people are more inclined to violent behavior regardless of the weapons available.

South Africa is a whole other ballgame. But I bring it up because guns are a bigger issue there than in most. My fiance lived in SA for 25 years, and currently his long-time friend from SA is here in Denver for a visit, so they have discussed this issue this week. My fiance asked if the government is trying to come up with gun control measures, and his friend responded that the issue has come up, but it's going nowhere because everyone realizes that by banning guns they will be taking guns away from law-abiding citizens but not from the criminals. The criminals in SA are brutal; they will kill you for a couple of rands. In the conversation, the point was made that the violence of that country are a result of the political and social upheaval, of attitudes. When my fiance lived in South Africa, he owned guns for the purpose of self-defence, and they were absolutely necessary. He carried guns with him, kept them in the house, but fortunlately never had to fire one (although he did brandish it once to deter a car-jacking). Likewise, his friend owns at least one gun for the protection of his family. In such a climate, gun control will be useless. It's the state of people's minds that needs changing. In such a situation, self-defence measures must be taken, whereas in Denver I have no self-defence training; I don't own a gun, knife, or other weapon; I have never taken self-defence training; I know no martial arts or other arts which build self-defence skills.

So, to reiterate my point, I don't think guns and violence have any correlations, except perhaps the intensity of the violence (btw, devastating bombs are widely used in SA, too). The only true protection from violence is to live in a society where people are not desperate or depraved enough to have an inclination toward violence.

Here is an informative article on the violent situation in South Africa: An Overview of the Consequences of Violence and Trauma in South Africa. Our visiting friend asked me how we measure violence (statistics provided by the police departments). He then said he measures violence by how many of his friends, family and acquantainces have been murdered, raped, burgled, attacked, mugged, etc. When I thought about it, I know of only one or two people I have every met in my life (granted, a short 24 years) who had had any of those things happen to them. By contrast, a good many of his loved ones had. How sad.


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Was there some sort of comprehensive survey or census of the Australian population regarding their attitudes towards firearm ownership that backs up Spooky's assertion?
Given that she speaks for the UK and Canada too, I reckon that she's using the X-Men Psychic Power Enhancer Sphere™ to sense the will of the people.

------------------
"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Yes, Ewok, you have an obvious self-selected sample there, which really hasn't much chance of being representative of the English population.
I just meant to show that there is a sub-culture of law-abiding gun-owners in the UK, and in Australia. They are not gun-free zones.

The US just happens to have a somewhat larger sub-culture of law-abiding gun-owners.

------------------
"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"

[This message has been edited by Ewok (edited 10-18-2000).]


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Fusca 1976
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quote:
Originally posted by laocoon:
...In my studies of history, it has come to my attention that once a people give up freedom, it never returns.

Our Second Amendment allows for all citizens to be armed. This is not just to allow protection and hunting, but for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannous government.(...)I wonder if it's worth sacrificing the right to bear arms (which you will never get back without revolution) to save a few lives.

Personally, I would be afraid to live in a country with an unarmed populace.(...) But an organization with such power, and the world's largest military behind it, must be held firmly in check, and the people ready to defend themselves should it turn sour.

And, yes, I would want to be (and am) armed to protect my family.

laocoon "and the only thing I've ever shot is paper"


Well, I live in a country that HAS been, till 1985, under an actual dictatorship. We (and this means me too, in the measure of my small possibilities) have overthrown it (and so I cannot believe this "once you give up, it never comes back" story). And, guess - Brazilian populace was unarmed then, as it is now (so perhaps there are good reasons to fear an unarmed populace).

Do you serously think you could oppose a dictatorship that relies in armed force (means bazookas, gunmachines, bomber and fighter planes, trained troops, secret police, torture chambers, etc) with private guns? It is impossible - Brazilian guerrillas discovered it the worst way. Dictatorships are not at all possible UNLESS they have true support from people - regardless if these people are armed or not.

If a dictatorship would be implanted in the US, you may bet that it would be fostered by powerful groups AMONG the citizens, or at least among the military. In this case, I assure you that many of the guns stated in your Constitution to protect freedom and democracy would be fired AGAINST them.

One thing that should be stated clearly is that MOST democratic countries in the world are ruled according to the standpoint that was defended here by most British, Australian and Canadian posters. Sure it is truth for all Latin America, most Europe, and at least India and Japan in Asia. The exception is Switzerland, but I would dare to say that owning a gun is not a "right" of a swiss citizen, but rather a duty (and it should be so in America too, if the "the militia is the people" was the real point). So it is really annoying to perceive that American citizens take it for granted that the "right" to own a gun is a necessary premise for democracy, when the facts howl that most democracies in the world do not grant it for their citizens. (It's like your calling football "soccer" and this strange game that has no ball and is not played with feet "football")

Luís "however, I keep an illegal gun under my pillow, just in case it looks like I'm going to lose the discussion" Henrique


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gillez
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quote:
Originally posted by Ewok:
[QUOTE]Was there some sort of comprehensive survey or census of the Australian population regarding their attitudes towards firearm ownership that backs up Spooky's assertion?
Given that she speaks for the UK and Canada too, I reckon that she's using the X-Men Psychic Power Enhancer Sphere? to sense the will of the people.
[/QUOTE]

Okay, let's do a mini survey here. This list seems to have quite a wide spread of people around the world. If there is just one person on this board from UK, Australia or Canada (in fact, from any country outside the US) in favour of free gun ownership, I'll concede that there is a gun culture in these countries.

Gil'flame-proof jacket at the ready'lez


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Steve in the F Clef
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I am not one of those Canadians who favours free gun ownership (not sure what that means, actually), but I can certainly find some for you if needed. So I would say that there IS a "gun subculture" in Canada (although again, that is a dangerous term because I have NOT defined it), and also there is a subset of Canadians whose attitudes resemble the American "gun culture".

But when you look at the countries as a whole, I think this "culture" is a much smaller proportion of the population than in the US. The postings on this thread tend to confirm this estimate. For that reason, I agree with the posting above which argues that there is a significant cultural difference between the USA and these other countries in this respect.

Thanks for the kind words, Derfred. I do agree that we've all done an exceptionally good job in this discussion.

(Ewok, let's have a duel at high noon. My choice of weapon is double B flat tubas at 30 paces.)

Steve


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Ewok, let's have a due[t] at high noon. My choice of weapon is double B flat tubas at 30 paces.
Nope, can't do it; prohibited by the Geneva Convention.

------------------
"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"


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robertbell
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If the facts were as stated in the original posting, the homeowner would not even have been charged. Shooting an intruder in your own home in self-defense is not a crime in the U.S. and no cop or DA in his right mind would even charge you. Hell, in Texas, you can waste a Japanese trick-or-treater in your front yard and not be charged.

But of course, the facts in the post were not as stated, not even close, and the case was not even in the U.S. Total B.S.! The NRA loves to spread this sort of gun paranoia.

I had an employee who had a .357 Magnum which he brought to work one day. I had to explain our firm's weapons policy to him (something I thought I'd never had to do as an employer). He felt that old town Alexandria was "dangerous" on a Saturaday afternoon and that his hand-cannon would protect him. Scared the cleaning staff half to death.

Anyways, he was telling me that one evening his alarm system went off and he grabbed his gun and ran downstairs and assumed the three point stance.... the front door had blown open when he forgot to lock and latch it and the alarm system went off.

I told him, "good thing you didn't have a roommate any more!". He would have blown him full of very large holes. He agreed.

If folks want to keeps guns in the home, its fine by me. Thins out the herd - especially THE REALLY STUPID ONES.


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Gus
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quote:
Originally posted by robertbell:
Thins out the herd - especially THE REALLY STUPID ONES.

*sigh* well steve, derfred, I guess we can all stop patting ourselves on the back now.


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spooky_rk
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quote:
Originally posted by Ewok:
[QUOTE]Was there some sort of comprehensive survey or census of the Australian population regarding their attitudes towards firearm ownership that backs up Spooky's assertion?

Given that she speaks for the UK and Canada too, I reckon that she's using the X-Men Psychic Power Enhancer Sphere™ to sense the will of the people.
[/QUOTE]

You've found me out! D'oh! But I can gather from the posts of the Brits and Canucks in this thread both before and after my post that I wasn't actually speaking out of turn.

OK, I can only speak for Australia here, but various polls etc were taken here by independent organisations (I think there was a Morgan-Gallup poll that resoundingly screamed gun-control, I'll see if I can find anything on it). But I think the best indication that the majority of Aussies are in favour of these laws is the process by which they came about. Not only did they have the bi-partisan support of the two major political parties at the national level (with some dissent, as was to be expected, within the Liberal-National Coalition - the National Party used to be the Country Party, and the Coalition forms our conservative party), as well as the Democrats, The Greens, a couple of other minor parties and independents, but because of our political structure, the laws themselves had to be enacted at a state level. Again there was some mutterings from the expected quarters *cough* Western Australia *cough* Queensland *cough*, but eventually the laws were passed by all six states. Some of these states had elections quite shortly afterwards, and, despite calls from the newly-formed Shooters Party, none of the encumbant governments were ousted on the issue of gun control. In fact, the matter has played very little significance in any subsequent election except in a few rural electorates. As far as voting not being a good indicator of public sentiment - remember that it is compulsary to vote in Australia. So it is a very reasonable indication of public sentiment, if not totally, 100%, irrefutable.

Oh, and Ewok, I never claimed that these countries were "gun-free zones", nor that there was not a gun sub-culture. What I said was that there is no culture of guns for defence. This was worded badly, my apologies. What I should have said is that the idea of guns for defence is not ingrained into the general cultural ethos the way it is in America.

(Edit: one of the sites linked to below gives gun-owning households at 19.6% compared to 48.0% in the US in 1993. This actually tallies well with my urbanisation point below - most of these households would, I suspect, be rural ones.)

Amy Jo, very good points. Maybe Brits, Canucks and Aussies are all just nicer than Americans? Ouch! OK, OK, I take it back.

Another point to mull over - Australia has a much higher level of urbanisation than America, and I suspect the British would have a higher proportion again (them having less country to start with and all). I'm still trying to find the exact figures, but off the top of my head I think that something like 80% of our population live in the five major capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide), with a large proportion living in Sydney and Melbourne alone. (Edit: found the Australian Bureua of Statistics page on Population Distribution - "the most densely populated 1% of the continent contains 84% of the population".) I think the perception here is, rightly or wrongly, that gun ownership is unecessary and potentially dangerous in an urban setting (note that our gun laws allow for rural farmers to keep their guns as they are needed to pursue their livelihood). Again, I think it is a case of different demographics, different experiences and different perceptions.

The point that the British, Canadian and Australian posters have been making here is not whether Americans are right or wrong in having the RKBA, but that they are wrong to take incidents from one of these countries completely out of context and use it to say "See, this could happen here", and that they are doubly wrong to imply by their arguments that the people in these countries are being opressed or denied rights through not having the RKBA.

Just to round out Ewok's links somewhat, here's a link to Gun Control Australia. And here is a page which links to Gun Control Australia, The Great Australian Gun Law Con, The Sporting Shooters of Australia and a bunch of pages and sites full of statistics.

Spooky "shooting off at the mouth" RK

PS. Check out my signature. The Latin is a quote from Juvenal and means "Who watches the Watchmen". I, too, believe that 'Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty', I just don't believe I need a gun in my hand whilst I take my turn on the watch.

------------------
'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'
Or am I just paranoid?

[This message has been edited by spooky_rk (edited 10-18-2000).]


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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But still, it seems pretty shocking that Aussies' guns were taken from them and destroyed, with no time to sell, or store, them out of the country. The fact that you could, in ten days time, enact and execute such legislation seems pretty darn scary to us.

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"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"


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spooky_rk
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Ewok:
But still, it seems pretty shocking that Aussies' guns were taken from them and destroyed, with no time to sell, or store, them out of the country. The fact that you could, in ten days time, enact and execute such legislation seems pretty darn scary to us.

Truth to tell, America looks like a darn scary place to us. The fact that you have a rather large say in what goes on around the world makes it more so.

Spooky

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'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'
Or am I just paranoid?


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Truth to tell, America looks like a darn scary place to us.
No worries, mate. Just bring a large knife, and talk funny; you'll be 'right.

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"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"


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Amy Jo
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quote:
Originally posted by spooky_rk:
Truth to tell, America looks like a darn scary place to us. The fact that you have a rather large say in what goes on around the world makes it more so.

Spooky


That's the first indication I've ever heard that America is a scary place to be. Some immigrants (such as my fiance) came here to be safe. We have our problems, as does every country, but we are, by far and large, a peaceful country. Perhaps gun-rights people sound militant to those outside the US, but all they're really doing is defending the status quo, which is not at all unusual in any political scenario.

Amy "all you have to fear in Denver are the crazy drivers" Jo


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spooky_rk
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Amy Jo:
That's the first indication I've ever heard that America is a scary place to be. Some immigrants (such as my fiance) came here to be safe. We have our problems, as does every country, but we are, by far and large, a peaceful country. Perhaps gun-rights people sound militant to those outside the US, but all they're really doing is defending the status quo, which is not at all unusual in any political scenario.

Amy "all you have to fear in Denver are the crazy drivers" Jo


Oh, its not just the guns. TV Evangelists/Raving Fundy lunatics, rampant nationalism to a degree comparable to places like the Middle East or Northern Ireland, the state of social services like welfare, education and medical care, little things like violence being more acceptable on TV than swearing or nudity, the fact that Americans think that their state of affairs is normal and the rest of the world is somehow deviant from it, and the continual imposition of these attitudes upon the rest of us through movies etc. In totality, this stuff looks scary to an outsider looking in, to the point that I'm not even sure I'd want to visit the place any more than I would want to visit South Africa or the Middle East, and for very similar reasons. However, as I never have actually been over there, the grain of salt you will need to take this with will be quite large.

Spooky "I'm sure they're very nice, in fact some of my best friends are Americans" RK

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'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'
Or am I just paranoid?

Need a spellchecker!

[This message has been edited by spooky_rk (edited 10-18-2000).]


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
I'm not even sure I'd want to visit the place
You'd think someone was pretty silly if they said they wouldn't visit Australia because of the spiders, snakes, crocodiles, and drunks, wouldn't you? You've just been paying too much attention to the media furfy.

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"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"


Posts: 1 | From: Los Gatos, CA | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
spooky_rk
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Ewok:
[QUOTE]I'm not even sure I'd want to visit the place
You'd think someone was pretty silly if they said they wouldn't visit Australia because of the spiders, snakes, crocodiles, and drunks, wouldn't you? You've just been paying too much attention to the media furfy.
[/QUOTE]

Touché.

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'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'
Or am I just paranoid?


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thed
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve in the F Clef:
(Ewok, let's have a duel at high noon. My choice of weapon is double B flat tubas at 30 paces.)

Steve


AHA, a fellow double-B player. If Ewok won't have a duel, I'll take you on! My right arm throws well.

How about the BTQ's rendition of Bach's Air in G or Flight of the Bumble Bee.

Dave "Bombastic Bombardon" in the G Clef


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Fusca 1976
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Amy Jo:
That's the first indication I've ever heard that America is a scary place to be.

Perhaps because you live in US. If you lived in any other country, you would probably had heard it before. Many times.

But, re-reading Spooky's post, I'm not sure that it meant US is a dangerous place to be, or that it is the place in which dwell the people that make the rest of the globe a dangerous place do be.

On another tone, stereotypes are the most common thing around the world, and are sometimes quite contradictory (Brits are very well educated people who take tea at five and go to soccer games on Saturdays to quarrel and destroy anything they find on their way). Unhappily, what happens is that US is an hegemonic superpower, but American common people use to be less aware of what happens in the rest of the world than British, French, Brazilian, or Senegalese common people, or so it seems to us, and even less aware that the "American Way" is not necessarily the best, not to say the only, way (there is this famous/infamous quote, "if God would like people to speak other languages, He wouldn't have written the Bible in English" - yes, I know, but once I read a guy arguing, in serious, that the KJV was inspired by God in the same way the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek texts).

In most countries, baseball is not a popular sport, criminal law is not state level, representatives are not elected in districts, Thanksgiving is not a holliday, America is anything lying in between Greenland and Patagonia. And common people are not allowed to just buy a gun. Believe me, life is quite livable as this.

BTW, talking of scary places, there is not a "scared" smiley up here!

Luís "Brazilian computers come with anti-snake devices" Henrique


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ebenezer
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In the UK the police force, for the main part, do NOT carry guns, and armed response units may only be deployed under certain circumstances. Surely then, it is indefensible that an armed member of the public to take the law into his/her own hands and enacts 'justice' that cannot usually be enacted by the upholders of the law...

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e [just a time fish swimming against the currents of the time streams]


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Gus
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I probably should let this thread fade, but I couldn't think of a better place to ask this:

Ewok- what kind of shell would this be: about 7 or 8 cm long, with the point hollowed out. The bullet itself is maybe a cm wide. No marks on the back.

I ask because I found it in the parking lot at work. Should I invest in a bulletproof vest?


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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There should be some markings on the bottom of the case. The hollow point probably means that it's hunting ammo, not mil-spec. Although it could be "tactical" ammo, like a SWAT team might use. 3in. long, huh? I don't think a soft armor vest would stop it. How long is the brass case? Could be a 30.06, they're pretty long. I'll have to check my reference books this evening; I'm at work at the moment.

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"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"

[This message has been edited by Ewok (edited 10-19-2000).]


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Gus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Ewok:
There should be some markings on the bottom of the case. The hollow point probably means that it's hunting ammo, not mil-spec. 3in. long, huh? I don't think a soft armor vest would stop it. How long is the brass case? Could be a 30.06, they're pretty long.

By no markings, I meant that the shell did not appear spent. I don't recall how long the case was (I turned it in to security) - it was about 6 cm (2.5")or so? Perhaps the whole round was little shorter- my aversion to guns (well, bullets really) may have expanded it a bit in my mind- but it was a heck of a lot bigger than any of the .22s I used to shoot.


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Ewok
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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This just in (I'll provide a link to this when I can find a non-subscription source):
quote:

Brazil Supreme Court Overturns Decree Banning Gun Sales

Dow Jones Newswires

SAO PAULO (AP)--The Supreme Court has overturned a nationwide ban on gun sales decreed earlier this year as part of a government program to curb rising crime rates in Latin America's largest country.

Ruling on an appeal filed by the Liberal Social Party, the court's 11 justices voted unanimously to overturn a June 21 decree that banned the issuing of gun permits through the end of the year. The decree in effect imposed a nationwide ban on firearm sales, because nobody can buy a gun without a permit.

"Criminals don't buy their weapons in gun stores," Chief Justice Carlos Velloso told reporters in explaining the court's ruling. He said the decree had no impact in curbing crime in this nation where recent statistics say a killing takes place every 13 minutes.

The Supreme Court accepted the party's arguments that the decree undermined the right to self-defense and violated the constitution's free enterprise guarantees.


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"911 - Government-sponsored dial-a-prayer!"

[This message has been edited by Ewok (edited 10-19-2000).]


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robertbell
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When I said that ownership of guns will "thin out the herd" of stupid people, consider the statistics on gun violence on America:

You are fare more likely to kill yourself or someone you know with your gun than the much fabled "midnight intruder" (or one-armed man, whatever). Murder, suicide, accidental shootings, etc. account for far more deaths that intruders shot in the home.

For example, guy gets drunk, argues with wife, one reaches for gun, bam. This scenario is very, very, typical.


Dad confronts what he thinks is an "intruder" and shoots and kills, kids, wife, neighbor, etc., instead.

Dad is depressed, reaches for handgun. That one happens a lot!

Kids find loaded gun without trigger lock. We've all heard about that, too.

etc. etc. Thins out the herd. These people are mostly killing themselves or their own family members. Hard to feel sorry for people who bring misery upon themselves. They buy into this loaded-handgun NRA sh*t and then pay the price for their own stupidity.

It is possible to be a responsible gun owner. The first responsibilty is determining whether you really need a gun (and if so what type is appropriate) and realistically evaluatuing your own personality and asking yourself if you really should have one. Very few do the analysis. Instead, they buy the biggest Frigging hand-cannon they can get their hands on and do really stupid things with it.

Like my friend with his .357 magnum. Practicel self-defense? Kinda big and noisey. Was he emotionally equipped to handle it. No, he was most certainly not. But it did compensate for some of his other inadequacies, if you get my drift.

The NRA puts out a bumper sticker which claims that hundreds of thousands of lives are "saved" by handguns, but I am not sure what they are counting - World War II?

I was in Japan during the Japanse trick-or-treater incident in Texas. The Japanese perceive America as a violent and dangerous place and several attorneys cancelled their plans to visit the U.S. at the urging of their wives and families - "too dangerous" they said.

I read the English language papers in Osaka while I was there. Glue sniffing Japanese youths stole a car, ran over an elderly man, and were shot to death in a confrontation with Japan's supposedly unarmed police. No gun violence or crime in Japan, especially when the local papers don't report it!

In another story, a fellow from Kyoto was found shot to death outside his home - he owned a chain of video stores. A Yakusa (Mafia) hit. It doesn't count as violence - just business!

So the perception of violence is relative. You won't get your pocket picked in Japan, but the amount of organized crime is pretty staggering and they do have a youth problem which isn't talked about. The land of denial!

In this country it is the opposite - the preception of crime is much larger than actual crime rates. Crime has gone down dramatically in the last few years - mostly due to a booming economy. However, most people do not feel safer, or in fact feel less safe.

Crime leads the news here. We have entire TV shows devoted to real crime video. Most of the entertainment shows and movies deal with detectives, cops, prosecutors, lawyers.

My favorites are the "how-to" stalker made-for-TV movies which appear to do little more than make women unnecessarily fearful of men and provide would-be stalkers with an instructional video.

Perception is reality for most folks.

--Bob "In the north country, we don't have murders, just hunting accidents" Bell.


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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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I'm going to lock this thread, not because there's anything wrong with the discussion, but because threads can cause problems when they get really, really long like this one. Feel free to continue the discussion by starting a new entry.

- snopes


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