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Author Topic: Guns - can the topic be discussed rationally?
Chimera
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
You know, I've often wondered if those who'd shoot to kill an intruder in their home would make sure they are being threatened first. I only ask because I know of a couple cases where an intruder was actually a person with Alzheimer's who didn't know where they were.

That's a good question Cervus. Even if I'm able able to tell an intruder is not someone I know how can I tell if the are a potential threat? I hate to say it but I'd just have to take my best guess. If the person walked in through the front door and turned on the lights and sat down to read the newspaper I wouldn't think that person was hiding anything. If they broke in through an upstairs window and searched around with a flashlight and started disconecting the DVD player I'd be a bit more suspicious. It really presents a scarry judgement call. Although if I felt threatened I'd have to err on the side of protecting my family.

Besides I seriously doubt that many Alzheimers patients break into homes. I'll admit, we did have an elderly man (when I lived with my parents) who did wander in our back door at times (it was a bit frightening the first time but he wasn't attempting to hide, although it was still kind of odd to have to go get my dad because of a strange man sitting in our kitchen). He was admitedly a bit out of it. Anyway we just started keeping the doors locked and the problem went away. My only point is that while I think such situations are beyond rare they can happen. But I think its also good to note that he didn't foricibly enter the home. There's a big difference between someone who comes in an open door and someone that smashes out a window IMHO.

The other thing to note is that my parents live out in the country where everyone owns a gun and this old man was not shot by any of the neighbours (ours wasn't the only home he wandered into), even though most of them wouldn't hesitate to blow away robber (or a violent stray dog). I'll admit that its hard to make a good judgement call, in a short amount of time (especially if you are frightened) but I do think that true home intruders cary themselves differently than honest mistake "who's house am I in?" confused types.

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What is the use of women?"
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Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I know Alzheimer's pretty well, and if you can confuse that with a hostile intruder, well, I don't know what else to say. The way an Alzheimer's patient presents, even when frustrated and confused, is not hostile. Add that to the fact that no weapon would be in evidence, and there would be no threat.

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Oualawouzou
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
I'll admit that its hard to make a good judgement call, in a short amount of time (especially if you are frightened) but I do think that true home intruders cary themselves differently than honest mistake "who's house am I in?" confused types.
Yes, but does a violent, potential (in the "likely to be" sense) murderer/rapist/whathaveyou home intruder carry himself differently than a "plain" robber who does not want to physically harm someone? And are the first kind common enough to treat every home intruders as if they were by definition armed, dangerous and better be shot as soon as they're spotted?

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John Stephens
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Vargas Sanchez:
quote:
Originally posted by John Stephens:
If you're not ready to do that, then you shouldn't have a gun.

And if you ARE ready to do that, you certainly shouldn't have one either.

Jaime

In your opinion. And it has been nearly two centuries since the opinions of people from your country mattered in the part of my country I live in.
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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
In your opinion. And it has been nearly two centuries since the opinions of people from your country mattered in the part of my country I live in.

What the hell are you doing here then ? You're obviously not trying to debate or listen to views different then your own.

So ?

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Casey says I don't know:
I know Alzheimer's pretty well, and if you can confuse that with a hostile intruder, well, I don't know what else to say. The way an Alzheimer's patient presents, even when frustrated and confused, is not hostile. Add that to the fact that no weapon would be in evidence, and there would be no threat.

I know that too. My original question was presented mainly to those who gave the impression that they'd assume anyone in their home was a hostile criminal and shoot to kill. Would you confront the person first (putting yourself at risk if they *are* armed) to see if they have a weapon? Or would you adopt the mentality of "Oh my god, there's a stranger downstairs" and shoot him before knowing his intentions?

Obviously the hypothetical case I point out is going to be rare. No Alzheimer's patient is going to break through your window and be hostile towards you. However, it has happened that a door has been unlocked and an Alzheimer's person came inside a home, not knowing where they were. If it's dark and all of a sudden you hear a noise and go downstairs to find a man standing in your living room, do you run away to get your gun, or do you ask him why he's there and what he wants? How can you tell in the dark if he's an armed robber standing still in order to survey the place or if he's the aforementioned Alzheimer's patient who came in through an unlocked door, and is confused and frustrated? Would those of you who'd shoot to kill make verbal contact with the intruder first? What if he's not armed?

It's the fact that a "perceived" threat is enough to warrant killling in some people's minds that worries me. True, it is better to assume the worst and protect yourself before any harm comes to you. But what if the burglar "only" wanted to smash your window, grab your DVD player and run? Is that worth killing him over? At what point do you decide he is a potential threat to you and your family? I honestly don't think most burglars even want a confrontation with the occupants of the house - they want to grab something and go. If anyone can find studies to back this up or prove me wrong, I'd be interested.

If you kill an unarmed intruder in "self-defense" is it legally considered self-defense? That's one of the reasons I personally consider self defense to be if you are physically being attacked. Hell, I could walk down 13th Street at 2AM and feel all kinds of "perceived" threats to my body and my safety. But I don't think it's right to kill someone if they have not even touched you.

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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megaira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Most people, though, from what I understand, if they have a gun in hand, intend to confront the person at least verbally before shooting.


quote:
Alzheimer's patient who came in through an unlocked door
Well, if you're not in the habit of locking your doors, then, this could definitely be a problem. Neighborhood kids will just walk into houses around here if you leave them open.

If you're in the habit of locking your doors at night, this would be a very unlikely issue. I check all the outside doors every night before I go to bed when I let the dog in. It's a habit I'm in after Hub left the garage door open one night (so I'm not saying it couldn't happen, just that it's much less likely to be an issue)

This is why I like having a dog. She won't make any fuss for family members and guests in our home. She will growl and bark if there are people in or around the perimeter of our yard who do not "live" in her "den" - or large animals prowling around outside.

In our neighborhood, the intruder is just as likely to be a bear. [Smile]

Fighting to kill - if someone attacks me -i.e. if I don't have time to get away and avoid a confrontation all together - I plan to, and hope I'd fight to kill.

I can't approach the situation with fight to incapacitate or wound in mind - not because I'm some hardcore tough bitch who can't temper her own strength (ahaha), but because MY intent to kill would probably be only enough to actually wound or incapacitate. If I'm going about it half assed, I'm likely not going to do any of the above. Better in that case to go all out.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by John Stephens:
And it has been nearly two centuries since the opinions of people from your country mattered in the part of my country I live in.

Other than the offensive trollish nature of this comment, it is also noteworthy that the opinions of people from Arizona are of very, very little importance to anyone else anywhere in the world.

Silas

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ASL
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by John Stephens:
quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Vargas Sanchez:
quote:
Originally posted by John Stephens:
If you're not ready to do that, then you shouldn't have a gun.

And if you ARE ready to do that, you certainly shouldn't have one either.

Jaime

In your opinion. And it has been nearly two centuries since the opinions of people from your country mattered in the part of my country I live in.
That's right! Those damn Spaniards! Evil...

Aoi "Oh, no, that's not blatantly rascist, not at all" SonLee

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Vesta
We Three Blings


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quote:
Other than the offensive trollish nature of this comment, it is also noteworthy that the opinions of people from Arizona are of very, very little importance to anyone else anywhere in the world.

Silas

I'm hurt, Silas. [Frown] And I thought you cared. [Wink]


FWIW, I own a gun, am competent and very comfortable with that gun. That being said, If somebody breaks into my house the first thing I'm going to do is dial 911. The second thing is determine where my kids are, and then get them in myself out of the house post haste. The only time I could see my self taking that gun out is if the intruder is between me and my kids and is obviously intending us harm. I would be at peace with killing someone in that situation. Anyone who gets between a mother and her babies, wether it be humans or black bears, is going to have consequences to face.

Vesta

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ASL
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Vargas Sanchez:
Perople are talking here, not only about guns. They talk directly about KILLING. Doesn't shoot the guy in the leg or something not work anymore?

Granted the US Navy doesn't use small arms much, but... We do still get trained on the use of deadly force, particularly when it is authorized (i.e.: can I shoot the crazy man running up the gangway to my ship if I am Officer of the Deck in port?)

But in addition to that, they basically say: aim for the center of mass, always. The thing about arms and legs is that they are relatively small targets: long but slim. Additionally, if someone is moving, the legs and arms are swinging all over the place, somewhat unpredictably. It's hard to take out a knee cap, especially when you are under duress. However, the torso is moving in a nice linear fashion, and if they're moving towards you, then it might as well not be moving at all. It's a very large target and on top of that contains certain part of the body that, if punctured, would make it difficult for the target to carry out an attack on you. Take into account that for most officers and men in the US Navy, there is next to no training in the use of small arms (much like most civilians) and the torso becomes the only reasonable place to aim for if you decide to shoot someone.

Shooting for the torso isn't so much a matter of "shoot to kill" as it is a matter of "shoot to hit." The intention is to stop whomever you happen to be shooting at. You can't stop them very well if you can't hit them.

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"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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Well might as well add my two cents.

If someone breaks into my house they have made me feel threatened. I am not going to just start shooting away at someone immediately however, I will challenge them and determine exactly how big a threat they are. In the event that it is a person with a weapon readily visible they are going to have very short notice to put the weapon down. Any aggresive action on their part will be duely noted and appropriately handled. If there is indication that me or my family is in jeapordy then they will probably be shot. I will take no satisfaction in this, we will not be celibrating and putting a notch on the belt. It will be sad and it will be a devestating moment, but if I ever shoot someone its because they made a decision that either me or my family is going to be harmed or they are. I will protect mine. Have I considered the long term consequences of shooting someone? Every day I go to work I am faced with that possibility, and have considered it at great lenghts. I will be shooting at the center of mass of the target. Anyone who thinks they are going to shoot to maim (especially the guy with the knife) is not very educated in these types of situations and I hope for the best for you but am afriad I may be sending flowers to your funeral. Again I wish only the best of luck to you. Back to the center of mass thing. Shooting at the center or mass is the most effective way to stop someone. My intention when shooting will not be to kill, it will be to stop the aggesive action, if the result of the shooting is that the person expires, thats the way it goes. However I will know that death is a very high probability for the person being shot, and will only shoot when I am threatened to the point that this is an acceptable outcome. For those of you who choose to call 911 and let the police deal with it realize this. The police will probably treat the intruder in a very similar matter as described above, and the end outcome is very much likely to be the same. Calling 911 is an acceptable way of dealing with the situation, especially for those of you that do not wish to own a weapon. Just realize you are not doing the guy any favors by letting the police deal with him rather than you. I am a person that belives in your right to own a gun, and will defend it until I pass out. I however belive that should you choose to exercise this right, you have also taken on a huge responsibility. That includes educating yourself in every avenue of its use, as well as all the consequences and ramifications of actually using it. Just buying one and throwing it into a drawer with the intent to shoot anyone who enteres your house uninvited is not acceptable. I would recommend anyone taking this responsability to take many many classes.

Finally I carry a weapon with me almost everywhere I go. I don't think I am a scared person, if I were scared I don't think I would do the job that I do. What you call fearful or parinoid I simply call prepared. (Ok so maybe I call it rational paranoia) I guess its because I see the results of home invasions first hand, I see the victims, I deal with the suspects and am made aware of it on a pretty common basis. It is a rare occurrance, but I see it often enough to know its a real possibility. And the reason for being prepared with a deadly force option, is simply because the stakes or so high. If loosing my tv was the worst possible outcome than I wouldn't really give it that much consideration. The fact that me or my wife could be killed, is why I prepare the way I do. The stakes, even in that rare possibility, is just to great for me to do anything less. Even though they are not related let me try and explain it this way. If a person gets bit by a strange dog they go and get rabies shots, which I am to understand can be quite painful and rather in all an upleasant expericence. But rabies is exremely rare. Why then do people put themselves through the entire painful and uncomfortable process if the chances even after being bit of getting rabies is so small? Its because the outcome without that preparation could be death. Again I know they are completely different but I think it sort of explains what Im trying to explain. The stakes are just to high, even though the chances are rare.

I hope I never have to shoot a fellow human being. If I am faced with the situation where I do, then I am at least comfortable in knowing I am prepared to deal with it as best that I can.

Dark Blue

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Vesta loves Roy G. Biv:
quote:
Other than the offensive trollish nature of this comment, it is also noteworthy that the opinions of people from Arizona are of very, very little importance to anyone else anywhere in the world.

Silas

I'm hurt, Silas. [Frown] And I thought you cared. [Wink]
Everybody knows that only the opinions of Los Angelenos and New Yorkers matter in this world...

However, what I *should* have writte is this: where a person is from is of little importance, when compared to what they say, and Jaime Vargas Sanchez is a person whose opinions would be of great value in nearly any discussion, no matter where he was from. To ridicule him for his home-town is as stupid as Know_Nothing's effort to condemn him for the color of his skin.

Silas

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John Stephens
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by ASL:

Aoi "Oh, no, that's not blatantly rascist, not at all" SonLee

I require either an explanation of how my post was racist, or an apology for the slander.
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ASL
We Three Blings


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You're right, it wasn't rascist. But are you black? Cuz where I'm from, we stopped carring about what blacks had to say when our ancestors thousands of years ago became white.

No, not at all racist. My apologies.

PS: Just be gald I only implied your post was racist.

PPS: The fact of the matter is, you basically said that the fact that he is spanish makes his opinion less valid to you. On top of that, it appeared genuinely meant as part of an insult, even a stand alone insult all of its own, even if it was meant half in jest. To me, that constitutes a blatantly racist remark. I should think it was obvious and the sensible thing to do on your part would have been to move on without further comment. I am sorry you needed this to be explained.

And getting back to the original question...

No, apparently this topic cannot be discussed rationally. The rantidote was, unfortunately, a very appropriate forum for this discussion.

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"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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daisyslegs
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I don't get it. Where did the racisism come in?
John Stephens comment, while not nice was in response to someone saying that a person that is willing to use a gun should not have one.

His comment (I think) was responding that the laws of this country don't have anything to do with that one. I certainly did not see racisim in it at all.

What I did think was that ASL was turning it into a race issue.

Silas, what is that rule about if a thread goes on long enough Hitler and Nazis will be brought into it?

Guess we're at that point now.

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"and don't threaten anyone with your pants today!" - Frog_Feathers
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megaira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Silas, what is that rule about if a thread goes on long enough Hitler and Nazis will be brought into it?
 -

sieg heil, bitches! [Wink]

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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I'm not Silas, but it's Godwin's Law.

Four Kitties

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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ASL
We Three Blings


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Yes, because everytime someone gets called on making a racist remark, it's a comparison to Hitler and the Nazis. Sieg heil, indeed.

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daisyslegs
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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LOL Megaira!

Thank you Four Kitties.

ASL, I really did not see it as racist. I don't know about everyone else, but I think it's a stretch to call his remark racist. Rude, maybe, racist, no.

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~tough as nails yet nice as pie~
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - and sometimes a scar.
"and don't threaten anyone with your pants today!" - Frog_Feathers
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megaira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
ASL, I really did not see it as racist. I don't know about everyone else, but I think it's a stretch to call his remark racist. Rude, maybe, racist, no.
Ditto.


And thanks for the input Dark Blue, I'm glad you posted.

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abby 68
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Nickel Plated Waffles


Signed: everyone knows my opinions on guns by now, kita

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John Stephens
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I am withdrawing from this thread, having determined to my satisfaction that the answer is "no".
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Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Hence the problem. I am fully confident that I could sit down with any Snopester, say at a drinking establishment of my choice, and hold a discussion easily. When you get a group of this size, though, there is bound to be friction.

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"To be or not to be! That is the question! Now, will you answer, dare, double dare, or take the Physical Challenge?" --Mark Summers as Hamlet
Countdown: 177 days and counting... or less. My blog. 14 keyboards owed.

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by John Stephens:
In your opinion. And it has been nearly two centuries since the opinions of people from your country mattered in the part of my country I live in.

While I don't appreciate your response, I feel I have to apologize for my comment, which as I re-read it now looks like an overreaction at the spur of the moment. Sorry.

Jaime

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by daisyslegs and lemon drops:
Rude, maybe, racist, no.

Especially when probably I'm the same race as John [Wink] .

The word ASL was looking for is "xenophobe". (And I'm not accusing John of it here).

Jaime

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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daisyslegs
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Jaime Vargas Sanchez I am very happy you took the time to say that. I can easily understand why John Stephens was so upset. I was once accused of being racist because I reported to the company owner that the hispanics were working 70 plus hours a week and not getting paid over time.

The accusation was because apparently these guys were illegal, wanted work and did not care if they recived their just wages, they just wanted the work and money, and me reporting it made the work go away for them.

Being accused of being racist is a horrible thing. Especially if you are one that abhorrs that type of thing.

Now back to the gun debate: Let's see if I can stir the nest a little. If you take guns away from legal owners, it is still not stopping illegal owners from using them for crime.

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~tough as nails yet nice as pie~
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - and sometimes a scar.
"and don't threaten anyone with your pants today!" - Frog_Feathers
daisys does Myspace

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Plurabelle
Ika and Tina Tuna


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quote:
Originally posted by daisyslegs and lemon drops:

Now back to the gun debate: Let's see if I can stir the nest a little. If you take guns away from legal owners, it is still not stopping illegal owners from using them for crime.

This issue is my primary opposition to banning guns outright. I'm not terribly comfortable around guns, but I am not strongly in favor of either position in terms of law (my stance on whether handguns enter my personal life is a different story, of course).

That said, my take on the issues involved in a law banning firearms (save hunting rifles, etc):

Looking at the way illegal items (drugs, stolen goods, black market kidneys, knockoff purses, fake baby g watches--am I dating myself?) circulate freely, particularly in large US cities, it seems painfully obvious that guns would not disappear overnight if they were outlawed. I think even with gradual enforcement periods, an outright handgun ban is not something that would be effective in the United States right now.

If owning guns is a crime, every civilian who owns/keeps a gun will be a criminal of some sort. Not all of these violators would be a danger, of course--for example, those who simply thought the ban was unconstitutional and refused to give up their never-used handgun are unlikely to be a large social menace. While I am dubious about how helpful legal handguns are in preventing and interrupting break-ins and attacks, a situation that ensures law-abiding citizens become unarmed while criminals retain their weaponry, given the sheer volume of guns in the US right now, just seems like a recipie for disaster.

The argument not to make something illegal because it is widespread and will persist is, of course, not the most valid reasoning behind choosing whether to legislate against something. But I think the US is not in a situation where bans would help right now. There are already measures in place to restrict gun ownership--waiting periods, permit requirements, background checks--and they don't seem to do a whole lot to stop someone who wants a gun from getting one. I think this is more of a cultural issue than a legislative one, in many ways.

I know many countries have been successful in creating largely gun-free societies, but how many of these places began in a state with such widespread firearm prevlance as in the US? Would Americans even want to make that transition? I think that sort of change takes time, as in, generations.

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daisyslegs
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Well put Plurabelle. America is tightly structured on the right to bare arms and the right of freedom of speech. While it can occasionaly be a pain in the rear, it's a fact.

The small amendments to restrict *what* arms one can have have been met with so much resistance because they see it as a slippery slope: You take this now and you'll take this next and before we know it all will be gone.

Yes other countries have done well under these laws, but my only question is are they as large and as diverse? Are their laws the same in ways other than gun laws?

No, the wild wild west isn't quite the same now as history potrays, but we do have areas like mine where the cyotes hunt the lambs and like someone else said, the intruder in your home might well be a bear.

Many of my neighbors would say NO! You can't take my gun. I protect my family and living with this!

And then we could bring into play all of the wonderful craftsmen/womwn I know that could make a fire arm out of nothing. It's crafted, not a brand/model. It's a home made devise that could wound someone or something. It's actually a piece of art.

America is not ready to loose it's guns.

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Prussian Blue
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Snigger... right to bare arms.. he he
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Johnny Slick
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John Stephens' reaction is precisely why, IMO, it is so hard to discuss this issue. Perhaps abortion and gay rights are the only more contentious issues in this country, and as has been stated, there really is middle ground that can be reached on this issue. FWIW, I didn't think he was being racist either, just mindlessly jingoistic.

Personally, I'm another 2nd Amendment "moderate." I don't really see any issue with disallowing handguns. I do like licenses and waiting periods. I also don't see any reason for members of the public to carry live hand grenades or fully automatic machine guns. I think my viewpoint is held by the majority of Americans. Unfortunately, extremists at both ends take what should be a very easy to resolve issue and make it all controversial and stuff.

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daisyslegs
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quote:
Originally posted by Prussian Blue:
Snigger... right to bare arms.. he he

You dirty dog you! I could bare a lot more!!!
Snickering, but we can still play, right?

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For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - and sometimes a scar.
"and don't threaten anyone with your pants today!" - Frog_Feathers
daisys does Myspace

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Prussian Blue
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Godwins Law is a red herring here too. That's when you make a statement comparing your opponent to the Nazis. That didn't happen here. J Stephens was called out for being offensive.

His statment may not have been racist, but it was a pretty stupid, intolerant response. What was the message he was sending? Only Americans are allowed to post here? What was the significance of the "200 years" part? An unpleasant and irrelevant reference to something...

The original post made no reference to "this is one for Americans" or even "this is about US law". It was pretty much an everyman "what would you do in this situation" question.

And I don't even think Jaime's original remark was that rude, he was just replying in kind to John Stephens "you don't deserve a gun" comment.

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megaira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I think the point may have been -and if it wasn't, it still IS a good point - if you're going to take on that responsibility of owning such a weapon as a means of self-protection, then you need to consider seriously that should you need to use it, it *will* be a life or death situation - whether or not because it was one already, or because you're making it one.

You should not have a gun for this use if you are not prepared to use it and deal with the consequences of taking a human life.

If you are wandering around under the foggy illusion that all you need to do is show the gun and scare the person off, you should not touch it or own it. You've not considered the actual consequences of using a weapon that can and will kill someone, and are a bloody hazard to yourself and people around you.


The problem is, as usual, the people who most need to learn and understand this are not the people who will listen and understand the full ramifications of what they are hearing.

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Gale
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I figured that John Stephen's post was referring to the fact that Arizona (like Texas) used to be part of Spain and subject to their laws. Since we are no longer part of Spain, he was implying that we no longer cared what the country of Spain feels about gun control in this part of the world.

I could be wrong. While not the most sensitive response to Jaimie, nor in keeping with the spirit of the topic, I don't think it was necessarily racist.

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