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Poll
Ban Guns?
Yes 36%
Maybe 3%
No 33%
None of the above 0%
All of the above 3%
Roses are red 0%
Violets are blue 6%
Guns don't kill people 8%
NRA members do 8%

Votes: 60

 Ban All Guns Now!

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 07, 2001
 Comments:
America's fascination with guns is well-known throughout the more civilized world. Our enlightened brothers and sisters in Europe have already banned handguns in their countries and may wonder why we have not done the same in the US, especially with the rising crime rate and handgun violence statistics.

Now with terrorism, the threat of gun violence is even more real. Why do USians persist in their love affair with guns?

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It all goes back to an obscure centuries-old document called the "Constitution of the United States of America." Specifically, there is a part of this document (a late addition, not part of the original text) known as the "Second Amendment." It goes something like this:

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

It seems obvious that the authors of this document intended this amendment to be used to supply guns to the Army. At no point does it suggest that the average man off the street with no military training should be permitted to own a gun!

Nevertheless, many right-wing members of today's United States have interpreted this amendment to mean that every citizen has the right to "keep and bear arms." Absurd? Perhaps. But uneducated people in our society (such as members of Congress) can still be fooled into believing this absurdity.

Let's examine some of the other ways right-wingers try to justify their ownership of deadly weapons:

  • Self-defense

    Perhaps the most common justification is that of "self-defense." Rather than relying on our highly trained police force, these people believe in some sort of vigilante justice, not unlike cowboys and robbers in the old west. Books such as More Guns, Less Crime argue for this.

    Suppose a person breaks into your house at night and attacks you with a knife. Now, according to the right-wing point of view, you would be justified in shooting him with the gun you keep hidden under your pillow.

    However, it is impossible to truly understand the circumstances leading up to this person's breaking into your house. Perhaps he is a minority. Maybe he was made fun of in school for being a homosexual. He is probably poor. Knowing these facts, how can you, an upper middle class exploiter, be justified in ending this man's life? The answer is: you can't.

    In fact this man is homeless and was merely looking for some food to feed his starving family. By killing him in so-called self-defense you are no better than a common murderer.

  • Hunting

    The white-tailed deer. The antlered god, Cernunnos. What could be a stronger symbol of nature's might and virtue?

    Unsuprisingly, the deer is one of the hunters' primary targets. Man has been subjugating nature since the Biblical Genesis, and hunting is a symbol of this endless terrorism against nature.

    Don't believe me? Imagine the typical day of the white male hunter:

    The hunter gets up early, before daybreak. While shaving, he cuts his face. He tastes the blood and it is good. His desire for the prey has become sexual.

    Later that morning, the hunter enters the forest with his phallic firearm, and stalks the great horned beast. He sees one innocently drinking water from a stream, and raises his phallus-gun to his shoulder. Pulling the trigger he releases his sperm-bullet into the innocent mammal. But rather than life, his sperm-bullet spreads death. The deer grunts in surprise, and falls to the ground, dead.

    Death and devastation, the eternal relationship of man versus nature.

  • Recreation

    We have all heard of the Eric S. Raymond-type who shoots at targets for fun. Some also shoot at "clay pigeons" or perhaps even bags of groceries. They argue that we have no right to deprive them of their "hobby." "Who could oppose such harmless fun? Only liberals." they argue.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    There is nothing "harmless" about firing a deadly weapon in even the safest of environments. It is just too risky. A stray bullet could richochet and hit someone. A poorly-maintained weapon could explode in the owner's hands. A child could accidently swallow a shotgun shell. Are these risks you are willing to take in the naive pursuit of "fun?" I certainly hope not.

  • Revolution

    The one thing a right-winger fears even more than God is the government. It is a common belief among them that the government is run by a Zionist UFO Cult. By owning guns, they will be able to fight off the alien baby-stealers.

    Oddly enough, evidence for this is lacking, and perhaps a mental examination is needed for anyone who argues for this point.

Conclusion

This has just been a short overview of the right-wing's arguments. As you can see, any reasonable person would support the banning of all guns. It is time we put these gun-toting extremists in jail where they belong!

To learn more, check out these quality websites.


How could you forget bragging rights? (none / 0) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 09:54:26 AM PST
I notice that nowhere in your article do you make mention of the fact that many people (especially those wretched right-wingers) simply collect guns to show them off. This is a twofold problem.

1) It provides revenues to gun manufacturers, who in turn produce more guns that could potentially kill all of us.

2) It presents a very tempting target for vagrants and thieves (who think that everything should be free) to steal them and use them for their own evil purposes.

It seems clear to me that gun collecting, while innocent on the surface, is really just an excuse for stockpiling weapons so they can go a "revolution" and terrorize us law-abiding citizens.


Whatever. (none / 0) (#43)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 08:29:10 PM PST
Your pinko European left wing opinions come from countries that can't produce a gun that works in the mud. So ban them. Right. The reason that the USA will never give up personal handgun rights is because that is an enourmous advantage against a conventional warfare invasion.

You should be able to own guns until the judge tells you otherwise. Not the other way around. No one would be making this argument if there ever was a threat of invasion. But apparently Europeans aren't afraid of other people with guns, after all, they haven't had a bad history with agressors.




boo (none / 0) (#44)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 02:35:06 AM PST
Your pinko European left wing opinions come from countries that can't produce a gun that works in the mud. [...] The reason that the USA will never give up personal handgun rights is because

I'm sorry, there is not now nor has there ever been any personal handgun rights in the USA. You must be confusing the Supreme Court and the Constitution with the NRA and the Libertarian Party platform, respectively. Incidentally, when the Constitution was written (for your continued USian misinterpretation, evidently) there were no gun manufacturers in the USA at all. Not one at all. All guns were imported from Europe, allowed to rust in the US and badly repaired by American blacksmiths.


you are mis-informed (none / 0) (#45)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 9th, 2001 at 07:45:16 AM PST
God-fearing German immigrant gunsmiths were crafting rifled muskets in Pennsylvania and Kentucky at least a century before the Revolutionary War. The capability for indigenous manufacture of longarms was well entrenched in the American colonies. In fact, the availability of rifles (as opposed to the smoothbore muskets favored by European Continental armies) was one of the things which permitted American Colonial guerilla tactics to overcome the better supplied British Army soldiers.

On the other hand, cannon were sorely lacking for the Colonial troops -- hence the raid on Fort Ticonderoga to secure approximately one hundred brass cannon.

http://corpsoflongriflemen.homestead.com/longriflehistory.html

http://adam.cheshire.net/~shbp/wizzl.html

http://www.webpub.com/~jhagee/ky-lr.html



 
Not True (none / 0) (#49)
by Right Hand Man on Tue Nov 13th, 2001 at 06:08:08 PM PST
I am unsure of the specific country to which you are referring so I may be off base here. I own two firearms manufactured in Germany by Heckler & Koch that, while I have never actually immersed them in mud, are designed to function under adverse conditions. (The HK91 and the MP5) Both are of excellent quality and have never failed to function perfectly.




-------------------------
"Keep your bible open and your powder dry."

 
What bothers me most about gun owners .. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 10:01:38 AM PST
.. is the extent to which they hate children. They fight tooth-and-nail against trigger locks, even though trigger locks are proven to dramatically reduce accidental shootings. The gun owners would rather have children shooting themselves than have to store their guns responsibly. They also want all schoolteachers to be heavily armed, ostensibly as a "deterrent" against future Columbine-like incidents. Of course they ignore the fact that using violence as a deterrent against violence never works (look how well the death penalty has cut the murder rate in the U.S.) By arming schoolteachers their true agenda is to increase the amount of children removed from society as a result of accidental shootings.

Trust me on this, I was a fundamentalist gun owner for several years. Believe me when I say that in the gun culture, children are considered to be a major problem that needs to be dealt with. From the gunnies' perspective, if it wasn't for children then they wouldn't have to worry about things like locked gun cabinets and trigger locks and all of these things that they perceive to be "assaults on their liberty." That's why when incidents like Columbine happen, gun clubs across the country get together and celebrate (very discreetly, of course) because there are that many less children in the world to meddle with their gun practices. I've seen it more times than I'd like to admit. I got out of the gun cult 3 years ago and would encourage others to do the same.


they hate policemen even worse! (none / 0) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 10:17:42 AM PST
Yeppers. Firemen too. One must conclude they hate heros in general, most probably because they are cowards without their guns and utter cranks with them. See here:
Militia leader killed, deputy wounded during attemped arrest
Associated Press/The Arizona Republic
Nov. 06, 2001 12:20:00

EAGAR - A national leader of the militia movement has been killed and an Apache County sheriff's deputy wounded in a shootout, authorities said.

William Milton Cooper, 58, of Eager, had hosted a talk show broadcast on the Worldwide Christian Radio out of Nashville, which receives it via phone from his home in St. Johns. He had millions of listeners worldwide, including Timothy McVeigh.

The deputy, whose name was being withheld by authorities, was shot twice in the head while trying to arrest Cooper, a state Department of Public Safety spokesman said today. Cooper was killed by another officer.

Several deputies were attempting to arrest Cooper, who was armed with a handgun, said Officer Steve Volden, a spokesman for the DPS, which was investigating the shooting.

He said details of the shooting would be released later today.

The deputy was in critical condition at a Phoenix hospital early today, Volden said.

Cooper was one of the most widely known prophets of the "patriot movement," railing at the federal government and talking of doomsday omens in his radio broadcast.

McVeigh, who was executed in May for the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, listened to Cooper's broadcasts for inspiration, according to testimony by James Nichols, brother of Oklahoma bombing co-defendant Terry Nichols during a 1996 pretrial hearing.

Like some other patriot leaders, Cooper refused to get a driver's license or pay federal income taxes, saying he is willing to risk getting ticketed and has found a legal way to avoid the taxes.

The patriot movement grew during the 1990s, fed by a series of news events - the siege of Randy Weaver in Idaho, the raid on the Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas and the signing of gun-control laws.



 
Excellent (none / 0) (#37)
by Right Hand Man on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 01:26:15 PM PST
I got out of the gun cult 3 years ago

Did you get rid of all of your guns? If not, can I have whatever is left? I am in a bit of an unspoken contest with my brother to accumulate the most guns. At this point he is winning by virtue of the fact that his income handily exceeds mine, I believe he has broken the magical 100 mark. My only hope to win by locating some cache of unwanted guns.


-------------------------
"Keep your bible open and your powder dry."

 
Gun locks and evolution (none / 0) (#46)
by opivy on Sat Nov 10th, 2001 at 01:00:29 AM PST
They fight tooth-and-nail against trigger locks, even though trigger locks are proven to dramatically reduce accidental shootings. The gun owners would rather have children shooting themselves than have to store their guns responsibly.

Is this not the proper Darwinian manor in which to handle gun locks? By allowing children to play unhampered with loaded guns one is doing the best for his country, no, the best for his species - allowing evolution to take its course. Imagine how much smoother the world could run if the dumbest lot of children from each generation were to die, because of their own stupidity might I add, in gun accidents. Billions could be saved on the extra police forces, prisons, and education of these future cancers upon society. The best and the brightest would then prosper with better a education and lower crime rates, as the low IQ portion would already be removed from society. Make no mistake, when you support trigger locks you cheat nature.


"It's not the people who vote that count: only the people that count the votes" - Joseph Stalin

excellent point but... (none / 0) (#48)
by Stretch on Mon Nov 12th, 2001 at 12:16:27 PM PST
Aren't big gun supporters usually backed by conservatives (right wing)? Aren't these conservatives often times known as Christian Fundamentalists? Don't these Christians Fundamentalists reject the notion of evilution?

Just wondering.


 
anti-anti-gun nut? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by DiaphramPlatypus on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 10:42:43 AM PST
hmmmm....some of your points are valid, but you definitely show too heavy of a bias...Here's how I see it (mind you, I own no guns myself, even if my extended family does)

1) Self Defense: I know a few people who have nearly died because someone broke into their house with a knife. I don't care why they're doing it, if they threaten me or my family, then I see any form of retaliation justifiable (especially since a particular group of people from Mason, OH have threatened the lives of my entire family because my mom had a traffic accident). I could care less what their social-economic status is. What you're saying is pretty much just act pacifist and hope that they're not psychotic or scared enough to kill you.

"our highly trained police force": don't make me laugh. They can't do anything until you've already been attacked in some way. That, and not all areas have good police forces...in the area in which I normally live, they are more concerned with pulling teenagers over and arresting or giving fines to them for made-up or absurd offenses than actually doing what they're supposed to be doing. (example: my friend got his driving liscense suspended for 2 years and a $10,000 fine for going 1.5 mph over the speedlimit)

From what you say, a person who breaks into your house, is willing to cause physical harm to the occupants (why else would he have a knife?) has the right to take what they want, possibly harm you, and leave without expecting to have any risk to themselves, just because they're of a lower social status, different ethnicity, or different sexuality. I find your allocation on the importance of lives offensive.

2) Hunting: You're a vegitarian, aren't you? I don't mean to say that in a demeaning way, but that sounds like the arguemts a girl I know from high-school gave for fighting a guy who went hunting. Almost everyone in my mom's side of the family hunts. They do it for sport (even the women), but they actually use it to acquire foodstuffs.

And you act like we can exist without destroying. Two words: not possible. Even if you are a vegitarian, you are ending life to stay alive. You destroying something originating from nature in order to keep your body processes going.

3) Recreation: not much to say there...

4) Revolution: Is this such a bad thing? I could be, but it could also bring about a new era of prosperity in the aftermath. This nation was founded by a revolution, and every nation that I can think of was either formed by, or recreated by, a revolution.

I am not a UFO nut, and I don't think that the government is currently bad enough to warrant a revolution, but would you rather live in a dictatorship, being opressed totally and be helpless to a government's whim because there is no resistance than to have the relative freedom of the U.S.?

The big thing I noticed that you didn't touch on at all was the fact that if someone really wants a gun, they will get it anyway. Even though fully-automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons that are easily convertable to full-auto are illegal, people still get ahold of them. I do grant that there will be fewer crimes ingeneral, but I do not doubt it would turn into something like the prohibition, where whoever has the best gun becomes a local terrorist.

Someone mentioned trigger locks. I agree with the use of those, but again, if anyone is determined enough (even a child...especially a child) will find a way to get into it


yeah, but (none / 0) (#16)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 10:53:08 AM PST
Self Defense: I know a few people who have nearly died because someone broke into their house with a knife.

Maybe you know stupid people who fancy themselves heros? Who breaks into houses to kill the occupants instead of commit robbery? Unless your friends keep their guns loaded and cocked by their side at all times, how does owning a gun make them any safer? In my country, robbers dont work with guns because they know the occupants arent armed. In your country, everyone is such a yahoo that they'll challenge twitchy criminals thinking those criminals cannot possibly outdraw them, even though the criminals have the advantage by virtue of the element of surprise.

WTF?


ah, a reply (none / 0) (#18)
by DiaphramPlatypus on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 11:06:58 AM PST
Heros do not exist; they are a social construct. Most of the people I know also know this.

And they don't challenge someone who broke into their house. Most of them are ex-military (some even ex-spec-ops). If anyone were to break into their house, they'd get their weapon, which is unloaded on the nightstand, load it with nearby ammunition, then attempt to stop the burglar. They would try to determine if the person was armed, and then act accordingly.

And those people who were hurt did not have weapons of their own. They were asleep. Their daughter woke up because she heard a noise. She went to her parents' room and woke them up. My friend went to check it out, got stabbed, the wife was closeby and she got stabbed as well. I presume this is because the person feared they would be identified if caught and there were still witnesses left in the house.

Moral of this story: don't make assumptions about people whom you know nothing about.


Oh dear (none / 0) (#20)
by Mendax Veritas on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 11:21:49 AM PST
Heros do not exist; they are a social construct.
So are criminals. Proof: Laws are social constructs; crime is defined by laws; therefore criminals (people who commit crimes) are social constructs.
If anyone were to break into their house, they'd get their weapon, which is unloaded on the nightstand, load it with nearby ammunition
Assuming the criminals didn't get to it first. Which is always a possibility when you consider that burglaries generally happen while the occupants are asleep (or out).


bravo (none / 0) (#21)
by DiaphramPlatypus on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 11:32:12 AM PST
I was wondering if anyone would pick out any of those points.

Those are very true, but I personally find it to be an acceptable risk, as do many people.


 
gotcha (none / 0) (#30)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 05:02:51 PM PST
If anyone were to break into their house, they'd get their weapon, which is unloaded on the nightstand, load it with nearby ammunition, then attempt to stop the burglar.

You know, if I had to live like this, I'd emigrate elsewhere. Somewhere civilized where people dont sleep next to guns unless at war with The Great Satan.


 
revision (none / 0) (#17)
by DiaphramPlatypus on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 10:56:16 AM PST
I just realized my part about the gun blackmarket was ambiguous. I thought faster than I typed, so it did not flow correctly, I appologize.

What I was trying to say is that groups would get ahold of weapons and act out their power upon those who do not have guns (instead of some rogue just going nuts or something), because they would have the means to intimidate people with the threat of death, and the people would have no defense against it; much like the prohibition went, with gang wars occuring over who got to smuggle alcohol, and threatening/destroying anyone they feared would go against them.


 
Various comments (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by Mendax Veritas on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 11:13:06 AM PST
my friend got his driving liscense suspended for 2 years and a $10,000 fine for going 1.5 mph over the speedlimit
That's hard to believe. Also hard to believe that he didn't fight it. One could simply note in court that the margin of error on both speedometers and radar guns is greater than 1.5 mph. So a more accurate assessment would have been, "He was driving 1.5 mph, plus or minus 3 mph, over the speed limit, and he had reason to believe that he was driving no slower than 1.5 mph below the speed limit." In other words, it's completely indefensible to give out a speeding ticket for less than 3 mph over the posted speed limit. In actual fact, most policemen of my acquaintance won't do it for less than 5 mph over.
You're a vegitarian, aren't you? I don't mean to say that in a demeaning way [...]
Why not? I would have.
This nation was founded by a revolution
This has to be the most ignorant, least believable statement in your whole comment. We call it a "revolution", but it was actually a war of independence, which is quite a different matter. We weren't overthrowing a local government, we were kicking out representatives of a foreign colonial power, sort of like they did in India in the 1940s (though Indian independence didn't involve as much shooting; the Brits had learned their lesson by then). Revolutions, as a rule, lead to chaos and either anarchy or despotism. Think France in the 1790s, or Russia in the 1920s and 1930s, or China in the 1950s and 1960s.
would you rather live in a dictatorship, being opressed totally and be helpless to a government's whim because there is no resistance than to have the relative freedom of the U.S.?
That's a false choice. We have a legal system in this country that is designed to prevent dictatorship. That's much better defense than a nation full of Timothy McVeighs and Eric Raymonds.
The big thing I noticed that you didn't touch on at all was the fact that if someone really wants a gun, they will get it anyway.
You can't get rid of all the guns in this country overnight, but given time and suitable enforcement of gun control laws, you could eventually get rid of them, and things would be a bit better every year until we finally reached that goal.

Gun "rights" activists like to talk about the "culture of guns" in this country, and how that will make it impossible to get rid of all the guns. At the same time, they admit that only a small percentage of US homes have guns. In other words, this "culture of guns" is not the US population in general, but just the lunatic-fringe gun advocates who talk about the US having a "culture of guns". So this "culture of guns" is really just a tiny nut-cult, posing no more hindrance to the elimination of guns from our country than the Branch Davidians or the so-called Republic of Texas.


heh, this is fun (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by DiaphramPlatypus on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 11:51:15 AM PST
"That's hard to believe. Also hard to believe that he didn't fight it. "

He did fight it. He lost. Then you consider this is the same court that is punishing my mom for practicing her due right to appeal a trial decision. She was charged with vehicular homocide because of said accident...they even went so far as to say that her original punishment was not strong enough as it didn't punish the rest of her family enough for the accident. The court is corrupt, but it's hard to dislodge...

"That's a false choice. We have a legal system in this country that is designed to prevent dictatorship. That's much better defense than a nation full of Timothy McVeighs and Eric Raymonds. "

I was not vindicating these peoples' actions. What they did was pontless loss of life. What I was saying was IF the government went dictatorship I would like the ability to fight it. You cannot depend on the legal system forever. Technically all the President has to do is declare Martial Law, and this is suspended.

The final point; I was more concerned with immediate reaction in this respect. Because America is so gun-oriented, we would have major problems if you tried to take them away. It would be possible for a gradual disarmament of the public (which we are seeing already, since we have gun control at all), but it is a long and difficult path since it is so ingrained in our society


whose jurisdiction? (none / 0) (#24)
by cp on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 12:49:22 PM PST
?


 
I Have to Call Bullshit (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by egg troll on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 02:25:33 PM PST
He did fight it. He lost.

There's no way someone gets a $10,000 fine for going 1.5mph over the speed limit. Either there are some severe extenuating circumstances you're not telling us about (ie: he was also drunk and shooting his 30-06 at traffic signs) or else you've totally made this whole story up just to give a little strength to your very weak point.


Posting for the love of the baby Jesus....

Wake up - the courts really ARE corrupt (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by Ravnos on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 01:44:36 PM PST
... and for a sufficiently talented laywer are very easy to manipulate. And courts do hand out vindictive, biased, or outright unjust decisions all the time. I've been on both ends of them. I've seen courts convict a man in direct defiance of what the law states. And I've seen even more vindictive punishments handed out for appealing unjust decisions.

Criminal law as a while is a farce - it doesn't work. Period. Any system that seeks punishment of an individual for "wrongs" committed against noone but the law itself is not interested in peace or equality, but in being able to control and manipulate it's citizens.

- Ravnos
---------------
www.freespiritmind.com
---------------


Yup (none / 0) (#39)
by egg troll on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 02:31:04 PM PST
Yeah, like I said I was right in calling bullshit. But hey, keep fighting the power there, Moon Beam!


Posting for the love of the baby Jesus....

Doesn't anyone realize... (none / 0) (#51)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 12:48:36 PM PST
The military and governement have far more "intellegent" and sophisticated weapons than the average gun nut? Don't these gun nuts realize that if war broke out between the government and a handeful (even a large handful) of the population, the population would be murdered in a huge huge way. The age of violent revolution against our government is LONG LONG gone.


If you limit (none / 0) (#52)
by Mendax Veritas on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 11:35:43 PM PST
the definition of "anyone" to "loony right-wing gun nuts", then the answer is "no". For some other possible definitions of "anyone", the answer may be different.


 
impossible to get rid of all guns (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 04:37:41 PM PST
You can't get rid of all the guns in this country overnight, but given time and suitable enforcement of gun control laws, you could eventually get rid of them, and things would be a bit better every year until we finally reached that goal.

no no no, you can't get rid of all the guns in this country _ever_. Want proof? look at the war on drugs.. Unless guns are banned worldwide then you can't get rid of all guns, and even then a relativly skilled machinist can make his own anyway. Also, guns are harder to get rid of then drugs because the military will still have them and there's no-way your going to convince the police to get rid of their guns either, so there will always be guns that are being stolen/bribed away from them..


 
About your comments... (none / 0) (#61)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Dec 14th, 2001 at 05:03:50 PM PST
Self Defense: Why is it necessary to have guns to defend yourself? Aren't kitchen knives enough? Ok, I get the point of self defense but in my opinion there would be no need for guns for self defense if guns were banned.

Generally, I don't understand the US gun laws. I don't live in the US, but it's perfectly clear that the freedom of owning guns is a very significant factor in crime. The more guns around in unresponsible hands, the bigger possibility to get your head blown off for no reason. Just look at the other countries, people manage without guns under their pillows. And I bet that has something to do with lower crime rates as well.
I'm just saying that is the freedom of having guns really worth it? Does it bring more good than bad with it? I really doubt that. Guns are made for killing. Nowadays, mostly for killing PEOPLE. I think there's something very wrong in the system if bearing guns is considered necessary/needed.




 
Europeans (none / 0) (#23)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 12:13:10 PM PST
I'm a European pinko liberal, but I'm not convinced we have got it totally right. In the UK we actually have an exemption from the gun laws for Northern Ireland so the right wing Protestant gangsters can legally keep their weapons to protect them from the unspecified-wing non-Sinn Fein supporting Republicans. The US equivalent would be to let the inner-city gangsters and the right-wing extremists keep their guns, but then isn't that what happens in practice anyway?
IMHO none of our societies seem to have got their heads around the concept that guns should be kept away from people who are barking, mentally feeble, or just plain vicious, and to do this requires some sensible control laws and some serious crime enforcement.
Look at the Swiss: armed to the teeth, but they all get training in the militia (and I suspect they weed out the nutters and don't give them anything bigger than a water pistol).
...mind you, a Swiss nutter almost wiped out Zug cantonal council the other week. Not perhaps a good counter example.


No! (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by yellownumber5 on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 06:43:36 PM PST
You mean that, by virtue of being European alone, you aren't endowed with perfection? Come off it man!


No - but it helps. (none / 0) (#50)
by KoC on Wed Nov 14th, 2001 at 04:30:40 AM PST
The old chestnut "if guns were outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" doesn't seem to be working here in the UK. If somone breaks into your home here, you can be 99.999% sure that they don't have a gun. You can also be 95% sure that they will f*ck off rather than risk a confrontation (OK, I am 6'2" and 220lbs). A few years ago when the farmer Tony Martin got convicted of murder (he shot a 16 year old in the back as he was running away) they did interview some criminals. The, almost universal, response was, "well, if the householders have guns, then we're going to have to get guns too". Like a lot of people I felt sorry for Tony Martin (he'd been robbed a few times), but, no matter how you look at it, the verdict was correct (I know it's been overturned now).

To summarise, if guns aren't outlawed, then outlaws will have guns as well. Too late for the US though.



 
switzerland? (none / 0) (#26)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 02:50:56 PM PST
guns [weapons, for that matter, be it a gun or a baseball bat] are like drugs are like prostitution .. you will never ever rid the world of them.

[ okay, going from memory here, so it may not be right .. use info at own risk :) ]
Far better to be like switzerland, where you MUST spend 2 years in the military, and thus learn to respect, treat, use, clean, store your gun responsibly. From what I understand, most swiss households have guns, but since the entire population is FORCED to accept them as part of their society, it becomes like .. a car, or a bat: capable of much damage, but since everyone has access to them, the use of them as a weapon is significantly lower than in other parts of the world.

Same goes for drugs and prostitution: some level of legalization and 'educational conscription' would minimize the damage they cause to society far more than any 'if they didnt exist' tunnel-vision approach. Methadone clinics in the UK are the best example of this being implemented, while prohibition and the current drug market are the best examples of doing it the authors way.

Mind you, I believe the social climate in the states (instant gratification being the single most dangerous value in a society where you impart the responsibility of weapons/drugs/whatever on your people) would probably have to undergo a radical shift before this sort of approach worked on western soil. (Less tenure on The Word of God might help too.)

Can anyone bring anything to this idea?


Close, but no kewpie doll (none / 0) (#27)
by egg troll on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 04:07:06 PM PST
Far better to be like switzerland, where you MUST spend 2 years in the military, and thus learn to respect, treat, use, clean, store your gun responsibly.

Here, here. Timothy McVeigh was in the Army. Even tried out for Special Forces. He had so much military-taught respect for his gun, that he couldn't bring himself to use it, and had to settle for fertilizer.


Posting for the love of the baby Jesus....

 
You obviously don't understand history (none / 0) (#31)
by Friendlyfire on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 05:24:22 PM PST
When the constituional convention was being being held and the articles of the confederation were being modified in 1783 many were against a federal government and a standing army. The anti federalist feared that a standing army could be used to deprive people of their liberty since they would have all the weapons and be manned buy young people who didn't have very much materialy and would be tempted to use their power. Madison howevered assuaged their fears with the following argument(I am paraphrasing): "An standing army of 20-30,000 men would not be able to stand against a militia of 300,000 men whose officiers would be chosen democratically from that group." Besides the preamble refers to the "we the people" as the people of the United States. So when the second the Second Amendment says "The people have the right to bear arms" therefore it would be logical to assume from the above statements that the founders in fact did intend for the "people"(as defined in the preamble as the people of the United States) to have the RIGHT to bear arms. In fact Gun Control legislation actually stems from this interpretation, when the National Firearms Control Act of 1928 was challenged because a man was convicted for having a saw offed shotgun the supreme court upheld it on the grounds that it a sawed off shotgun was not a "standard military weapon".
As far as social stability is concerned the rise of bioterrism makes even most dangerous maniac with an AK-47 hardly more dangerous than slingshot when you can attack hundreds to millions of people with chemical and or biological weapons. When someone uses a gun they have to be at the scene,when someone uses antrax they can be halfway around the world. Your right the second amendment is archaic but not for the reasons you might imagine, with the advance of biotechnology we are living in an age that the writers of the constitution could hardly imagine,I hope we survive. Welcome to the 21st baby.


solution (none / 0) (#41)
by Stretch on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 05:00:19 PM PST
It is clear to me that the 2nd amendment needs to be updated for the 21st century just like you said. Due to the Constitution's age and the present interpreting "arms" as guns and munitions, not chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, citizen's of the United States are letting the founder's intentions of the 2nd amendment be squandered (the intent of course being to protect citizen's from an opressive governments, domestic or abroad...not to defend against someone raping your wife).

The problem with biological weapons is that they aren't in the hands of the people, they are in the hands of foreign governments and gov't sponsored terrorists. What we need to do is allow every US citizen to purchase agent orange, anthrax, weapons grade plutonium and whatever else necessary to deter terrorists from attacking us. If they do attack us, the citizen militia, as authorized by the consitution, will rise and defend this great nation.

I want to stress that I do agree with you that the Second Amendment is outdated.


 
Wait a second... (none / 0) (#32)
by noah Oneye on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 09:31:47 PM PST
guns are like drugs are like prostitution ... learn to respect, treat, use, clean, store your gun responsibly ... Same goes for drugs and prostitution

Finally, another brave soul willing to come out in favor of teaching our nation's youths to respect, use and clean prostitutes. In fact, I myself have adopted several youngsters and have already begun instilling in them the values that should accompany a proper appreciation of the world's oldest profession.

Seriously, though, guns do make America safer. That's why we Americans murder a whopping 5.7 per 100,000 annually while Australians can only manage a paltry 1.8 homicides per 100,000. That's 14,693.6 dead American's a year! Because we can buy guns at Wal Mart, we are able to kill almost 15,000 drug dealers, burglars and other unsavories. This not only improves our quality of life, but saves tax papers money that would otherwise have been spent incarcerating these hooligans.

I was going to point out that as a result of the handgun enhanced safety of America, I, as an American, have chosen to live in Taiwan. However, in researching this insightful and well-written comment, I found that Taiwan has over 8 homicides per 100,000, so my point is lost. In my defense, however, most of these murders are committed using blunt objects, which aren't nearly as efficient as handguns. Owell...


"...and in your free time you can make me sandwiches..."

 
Guns are good. (none / 0) (#28)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 04:24:03 PM PST
Those who give up their guns to make plows, will plow for those who don't


Uh (none / 0) (#33)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 03:35:40 AM PST
You meant to type:<p>
Those who beat their swords to plowshares will plow for those who don't.<p>
The readership of Adequacy is generally intelligent enough to make the mental connection.


 
Why can't we beat our guns into plowshares... (none / 0) (#34)
by elenchos on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 11:25:16 AM PST
...and if a gang of bandits shows up with guns, we'll just call the police?


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


because (none / 0) (#35)
by alprazolam on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 12:33:58 PM PST
the police will obviously have turned to a sissified peacenik society of apologists, who would probably get gang raped by the gunowners. duh


Score one for the cops! Woo hoo! (none / 0) (#40)
by elenchos on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 04:38:10 PM PST
Au contraire!

I feel far better entrusting my safety and freedom to our beloved heroes in uniform (warts and all) than to a gaggle of beer-gutted, Libertarian gun kooks. Sure nothing is perfect, but given a choice, who the hell would cast their lot with those freaks?


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


 
People are far more dangerous than guns (none / 0) (#47)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Nov 10th, 2001 at 06:08:30 AM PST
The main flaw with gun control is that it fails to address the key source of danger in society:people themselves. The most stark and grisly example of this is Rawanda where a genocide of epic proportions took place where uncles killed nephews with just machetes, which is why machetes are controlled in a Singapore. Or look at the IRA in Northern Ireland. At first in the early 1970's the IRA decided to go "Dodge City" on the British military by engaging British soldiers in firefights. After a while they realized that using guns against British troops was a loser's game because the British were better trained and more numerous. So then the bombing campaign began and the IRA was able to bring the British to the negotiating table. It's no wonder that Jerry Adams supports voluntarily handing over guns!!!! They really didn't bring the British to the negotiation table anyway! Or look at the great Anthrax scare of 2001, I don't think even the most vicious, ruthless and well armedinner city gangs could cause half as much fear.
In all the above cases controlling guns would do nothing to prevent the senseless death, carnage and mayhem which would insue. Gun control is flawed because it simply detracts us from the real problem:moderating human viciousness. It's too easy to blame the gun,remember even a thousand AK-47s are harmless if human beings do not use them on another. As we continue into the 21st century moderating "human viciousness" should be our goal because the technology for creating mayhem and death is becoming more accessible and effective regardless of firearms availability. Gun violence in essence is simply one symptom of a disease:man's potentional for mayhem and evil. Until we treat the disease curbing only one symptom will blind us to the true scope and nature of the problem at hand.


Rwanda (none / 0) (#59)
by em on Sun Nov 18th, 2001 at 08:40:07 PM PST
The most stark and grisly example of this is Rawanda where a genocide of epic proportions took place where uncles killed nephews with just machetes

Which were bought by and distributed by the government. And the massacres were coordinated by the authorities. That is, the key to the devastating effect of the genocide was not the weapons, but the government infrastructure that allows the material and organizational means to simultaneously slaughter hundreds of thousands of persons throughout the country. The key was not the machetes.
--em
Associate Editor, Adequacy.org


 
Well.... (none / 0) (#53)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Nov 15th, 2001 at 01:55:24 AM PST
You miss an important point about self-defense; the reasoning behind the constitutional right to bear arms is to retain the possibility of armed insurrection against the state. All part of the checks and balances.

And a point against your argument about entertainment: give us the numbers. How many people die a year in the following activities:
cooking
football
recreational gun shooting




that depends. (none / 0) (#54)
by nathan on Thu Nov 15th, 2001 at 07:29:17 AM PST
Whose recreation are we talking about?

Nathan
--
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

 
Armed insurrection (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by Mendax Veritas on Thu Nov 15th, 2001 at 11:13:56 AM PST
The idea of a bunch of right-wing gun nuts armed with rifles and pistols going up against the world's most modern, best-equipped, best-trained army is so pathetically sad it's almost funny.

You're right that the framers of the Constitution intended to leave this possibility open, but that was in a very different age, when the best miltary hardware in existence was black-powder rifles and the occasional cannon (a powerful but very hard to maneuver object). Today, the Army has fighter jets, rocket launchers, and any number of other weapons that it's already illegal for private citizens to own. Armed insurrection by the populace is not a realistic concern anymore; it's a mad fantasy that no one but a paranoid gun nut could take seriously.


 
The simple fact is... (1.00 / 1) (#56)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 16th, 2001 at 05:41:35 AM PST
That you should not be able to tell anyone else what they can/cannot do as long as they aren't hurting you or someone else.

You think that we will be better off without guns, but you can really only decide for yourself, not everyone else. What if someone decided that smoking marijuana in your own home without hurting anyone was a crime, and then made those opinions into policy? Oh, wait...

The point is, that if there is no violation of someone else's human rights, then there is no problem.


Only thing is, its not that simple. (none / 0) (#57)
by dmg on Fri Nov 16th, 2001 at 09:36:58 AM PST
That you should not be able to tell anyone else what they can/cannot do as long as they aren't hurting you or someone else.

They are hurting other people, or we would have no argument. The more guns are in circulation, the more chance there is that it will be discharged accidentally. I don't see why gun-crazys should be allowed to carry potentially lethal toys.

By exercising their freedom, they are diminishing my freedom to live in a world where there is a low risk of being accidentally shot.

Gun owners should be forced by law to take out insurance against accidentally killing people.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

 
It's not absolute (none / 0) (#58)
by Mendax Veritas on Fri Nov 16th, 2001 at 11:19:23 AM PST
Society outlaws many things because of the potential they have for being harmful by accident. This is why, for example, you're not allowed to experiment with fissionable materials in a residential neighborhood no matter how careful you are about it; the consequences of an accident would be too severe.


 
Ban all guns now! (none / 0) (#60)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Dec 8th, 2001 at 05:38:29 PM PST
So we here in the UK practically have banned all guns-but the politcians seemed to have forgotten to tell the criminals.The rate of gun crime is rising sharply,and if the UK joins the European Union(God forbid)-the illegal importation of firearms over open borders,will increase even more rapidly.The era of the unarmed(sadly not always,these days) British "bobby",will have disappeared for ever.I presume,by the way,from your "front page",and from the remarks about Canadians,that this is a U.S.based website.That is why,if I can`t discern the origin of a North American accent,I always ask if they are Canadian-because I don`t mind insulting Americans,but not the other way round.


 

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