The Firearms Debate: Are firearms an asset or liability?

A. M.
By A. M. on Sun, Oct 13, 2013 - 1:20pm
Firearms are a liability
10% (8 votes)
Firearms are an asset
90% (74 votes)
Total votes: 82

82 Comments

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A. M.
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Firearms: Asset or Liability?

So, here it is. 
This year has watched the pot simmer and boil over on the topic of firearms; from rogue police officer Christopher Dorner to the media circus surrounding Treyvon Martin. We've seen the argument that only professionals should have guns cracked at the axis by Aaron Alexis, who used a humble pump-action shotgun to murder his way to a 'high capacity' pistol during a rampage. Our president has decided that the time is now to act against 'assault weapons', and despite his department of justice saying that the measure's he's proposed would have no effect

So, with that in mind, I want to use the words of two members in a recent thread:

Rector said: 

"I hope that you continue to live in the world of ideas and never see the face of evil up close.  If you see virtue in allowing evil men to have their way with innocents, so be it.  I for one intend to stop acts of bloodshed if I am able, and teach others to do the same."

HughK said:

"A proliferation of guns will just accelerate any collapse...  Until the Second Amendment allows for personal drones, personal tanks and RPGs, a personal multi-billion dollar electronic surveillance network, personal fighter jets and helicopters, it is very unlikely that that arming oneself is going to protect one from an overly oppressive government.

The proliferation of guns in the United States is likely to be a liability and not an asset in the event of even a partial collapse as it will make it much easier for some sectors of the society to tear other sectors apart."
 

These two opinions very clearly sum up the main points of both sides.
So, where do you stand and why? 

All I ask is that you treat one another with respect. If you do not, your opinions will only degrade and devalue your message. Keep this in mind, and keep an open mind. 
I'd also encourage anyone who is building an opinion to read here:
http://www.peakprosperity.com/poll/80513/reasonable-gun-control-what-does-mean

Cheers,

Aaron

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only a link

Dear Aaron

Thanks for setting up this thread.  I have already responded to Rector's post here and since it's a second-order response that doesn't focus on the main issue, I will decline to post it here.  But, if Rector or anyone else wishes to respond to that post here, they're welcome to do so, and I will read the response.

The only other thing I will say is that I agree with Aaron that we should try to be civil and I'm sorry if my original, Bible-quoting post was too divisive.  I will try to learn from that.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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Thank you, Hugh. I hope

Thank you, Hugh.
I hope people will use this as an opportunity to further evaluate not only guns, but the overall health of our society, its composition and how that has changed the perception of guns, gun owners and anti-gunners.

Cheers,
Aaron

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Thank You Gentlemen

Once again PP.com proves to be a place where civilized people may disagree (perhaps vehemently), but remain civil and perhaps learn a thing or two.  I am a bit short on time, but I wanted to thank HughK and A.M. for the polite manner in which they have comported themselves.

 

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$.02

I suppose that if we were cumulatively given the task of creating a perfect world, the argument that it should contain no weapons of any kind could be a plausible position.  Although, I doubt it as any rock or stick is a handy weapon, and if we assume a slightly higher level of technology, blades, arrow and spear points will exist because this hypothetical world will contain human beings.  We will always have weapons.

That being the case, the question becomes at what point we say the ordinary person cannot have more sophisticated weapons.  I don't have an easy pat answer.  Again, we are human and will always try to have a logistical advantage over the neighbor, village in the next valley, next state over or nation the other side of the world that we can't resist being enemies to.

The fact is we have guns and are legally able to own them up to the semi-auto level of lethality.  I am totally confident that there are bad guys out there who have ignored the law and possess far more lethal weapons.  But, for the most part, the bad guys are probably no better armed than most law abiding gun owners.  That's a good thing as it gives us law abiders rough parity.  To propose that law abiders should voluntarily disarm themselves is to abdicate to the bad guys who never will.

If, as many on this site believe, we will eventually reach a shtf situation, how do we wish to prepare?  My position is simple: hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  For me, the worst most decidedly includes having to defend myself, my family and my metaphoric village.  If it comes to that, I want to have numerical and logistical advantages over the bad guys.  I want my neighbors and friends to be similarly prepared.

I have a friend who we have worked with on a number of preparation activities who disagrees.  He once stated that if roving bands of bad guys come to town they should be met with a group of "strong" but unarmed men.  (I know, he's sexist and all)  I consider that position ludicrous as the bad guys would almost certainly be armed.  He doesn't want to confront that possibility, so, though he doesn't say so, is willing to sacrifice his allies.  He's a religious guy, so maybe he thinks he has some kind of divine protection.  I fundamentally disagree.

All that being said, I suppose I think of guns as assets, but only in the worst circumstances.  Otherwise, they are burdens that cost money, require maintenance, must be safely stored, require secrecy, oblige me to acquire training and might bring unwanted attention at some point down the road.

That's my long winded rationale for owning my own guns.  I don't particularly care if others share my pov and it is my sincere hope that it never becomes a real issue.  Except in settings like this, I would just as soon not discuss it with people who disagree.

Doug

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Guns are serious business

I'm Canadian so I am mostly unfamiliar with the gun culture in the US. But posting pictures of deadly weapons along with comments like "yea baby" does give me cause for concern. Sorry, but I fail to see the humor. And I agree with Hugh that in the context of deadly weapons, it shows a lack of maturity.

And I think that's understandable considering guns are serious weapons that can be used to kill. So my concern is not so much weather guns or gun ownership is good or bad, it's the celebration of guns and that kind of immature attitude of some members of PP and the gun culture that gives me cause for concern.

 

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of two worlds

I grew up mostly in NY State which has never been all that keen on people owning guns anywhere near NY City, where I worked. Hunters in upstate NY and a few hunters out on Long Island, where lived, were all I knew of "gun culture."  I respected a gun's ability to possibly prevent crime in more rural locations, since my parents were from farm country in Western PA, and my dad and paternal grandfather were hunters. When there were riots in NYC in the 70's, my dad bought a shotgun, which sat in his closet until he retired. He never used it. And the people in NYC looked down on those who owned guns, unless they were policemen or actors in the movies.

Then I moved to South Carolina. It's a different world. My new husband gave me his grandmother's antique revolver as a wedding present, and his family has a practice range on one of their farms. Teaching the younger people firearm safety is on par with teaching them how to cook, drive, or use a computer. Guns are tools here: you use them to deter thieves and poachers, or in the event of a burglary, a carjacking, or a robbery. The fact that thieves have no idea who is carrying a concealed weapon is taken for granted as a strong deterrent to crime, to the point where businesses that do not allow guns--they are clearly marked--tend to get very few customers and go out of business. People just feel safer that their fellow citizens will defend them.

The "Yee-haw" idiots with guns are despised here since they do not have a respectful attitude toward firearms as dangerous tools, despised like an idiot who would drive a car 100 miles an hour through a residential neighborhood.

Here in the Deep South, a lot of folks wonder what all the fuss concerning guns is about. Licensed and unlicensed drivers are much more lethal, statistically.

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can we add a "depends" voting button?

Like John, this Canadian has had a hard time understanding the American gun culture. I have achieved a greater level of understanding since being a member of the PP community. I posted way back when on another thread that I finally was able to get past the rather common viewpoint that Americans area  bunch of gun loving yahoos, to realize that their's is a populace that has a genuine and sometimes deeply held fear of their government. As I understand it (and please correct me if I am wrong), and in brief, the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to protect themselves against tyranny. Now, more than ever, I am seeing the light as to the relevance of that right.

Where I get lost in terms of respect is exactly that which has already been mentioned - the glorification of high end deadly assault weapons, and the "yeah baby" comment that followed. While I can understand it on a certain level (think Tim the Tool Man Taylor going ARR ARR ARR over the latest and greatest power tool...) it comes across (to me - I won't speak for others) as reinforcing the viewpoint of the gun loving yahoos. So when such things are displayed/said, those who say them weaken their cause (in my eyes) by being facetious, with the end result being loss of respect.

As to the vote, I can't cast either way, and would prefer a "depends" options. If ever there were a case for 50 shades of gray, it is gun ownership and the myriad types of guns available, and the myriad types of people who own them, along with the myriad places people live. The threats people perceive and how they feel about guns are directly proportional to these things. As we have seen all too often, deadly automatic weapons can and do fall into the wrong hands with devastating consequences. I believe that there are few people in the overall population who have the training, expertise and level headedness to use these weapons effectively, or in the manner for which they were intended, which I perceive as being "combat". From what I have read on this site there are a few PP members who may fall into that category. But I think you are more the exception than the rule. If this is truly the case then there are a whole whack of people out there who have guns they should not have.

Guns and gun ownership will always be a divisive subject. Hawks and Doves. Pros and cons. Do I see a place for them? Yes. Do I own one? No. But that has been on my mind a bit the past year. I have hunted and shot guns many times. But the basic shotguns/rifles I have fired are a far cry from some of what is being discussed here. Do I advocate for assault weapons? No I do not. If I have to protect me and mine with an assault weapon then I don't want to be here anyway. I do not want to have to become Rambo in order to survive. I take it though that not everyone has my mindset, and some want to go out guns blazing. So be it. Such is the diversity of the human condition.

I also appreciate people making the effort to be civil on this topic. It is a red button one with good reason. We all live in different places with different circumstances, and therefore our mindsets are shaped by that. A threat felt by one person may seem inconsequential to another. I do think the latter people need to cut some slack to the people who have perhaps more to contend with from a threat perspective than we can understand. It works the other way too - those who feel threats need to understand that others do not feel those same threats. It remains, as always, very difficult to put one's self in another's shoes.

Jan

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The last thing I want to do is shoot a polar bear.

I paddled the Seal River in Northern Manitoba a while back.

We decided to take bear bangers and a shotgun with solid core slugs. This seemed sensible to me considering we were paddling in polar bear country.

My paddling partner was an experienced military person so she and another member were responsible for the shotgun. I had utmost confidence in these persons because I had already known them as first rate outdoors folks in my paddling community. 

The gun was only sensible in this circumstance. And I was completely comfortable in that I knew them through many river trips as mature and competent individuals.

The gun we took was only for protection. And we choose the appropriate weapon for the circumstances. There was no ego involved. Just mature, trained and responsible folks doing what was required given our collective circumstance.

We did not encounter a polar bear. But we were sensibly prepared.

So I am not anti-gun. But I am concerned about the gun advocates here at PP. My impression is that it is about us vs them. And that the power of the gun is about ego. And about power and control. And the religious aspect of gun ownership also gives me cause for concern.

John

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ao
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don't get your panties in a bunch
John Lemieux wrote:

I'm Canadian so I am mostly unfamiliar with the gun culture in the US. But posting pictures of deadly weapons along with comments like "yea baby" does give me cause for concern. Sorry, but I fail to see the humor. And I agree with Hugh that in the context of deadly weapons, it shows a lack of maturity.

And I think that's understandable considering guns are serious weapons that can be used to kill. So my concern is not so much weather guns or gun ownership is good or bad, it's the celebration of guns and that kind of immature attitude of some members of PP and the gun culture that gives me cause for concern.

 

Well John, it doesn't surprise me that you and some others don't get the humor.  As I remarked to Hugh, the politically correct crowd tends to be a rather dour group and I don't do dour well.  I grew up in a family where we could laugh about almost anything and we didn't take ourselves too seriously.   If that's a sign of immaturity, so be it.  I can live and laugh with that.  Black humor (that doesn't mean racist for the politically correct crowd, in case they didn't know) and gallows humor have always had a particular appeal to me. But guns ARE serious business and I NEVER EVER joke around when using them.  My apologies for having offended the tender sensibilities here.  And just to show there're no hard feelings, here're a couple of humorous clips with explanations.
 
 
Explanation: this is parody, not a trivialization of Nazism or a celebration of Hitler.
 
 
Explanation: this is slapstick, not an insensitive exploitation of clumsy people, drug addicts, cutters, self abusers, or others of that ilk.
 
Enjoy!
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ao
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projection and silliness
John Lemieux wrote:

So I am not anti-gun. But I am concerned about the gun advocates here at PP. My impression is that it is about us vs them. And that the power of the gun is about ego. And about power and control. And the religious aspect of gun ownership also gives me cause for concern.

John,

It's really best if you don't project your own feelings and insecurities about the issue onto others.  In terms of your last statement, you're coming across as a religiophobe.  It was Hugh who brought religion into the matter, if you recall.

If you want to get politically  correct, why not use bear spray instead of the shotgun?  And why intrude on the environmental sanctity of polar bear territory, raising the risk of having to shoot a threatened species when there are plenty of areas you could paddle without incurring that risk?  This sounds to me like the ego of man over wilderness and power and control over an innocent animal that might happen to get in your way.  It also sounds anti-religious, that you would potentially threaten a special creature that God created.

Sounds kind of silly, doesn't it?

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we no longer have gun

we no longer have gun control, we have ammo control. think stupid think.

guns are not the problem any more than gay rights are. we are the problem....we the human.you ,me

people kill . guns sitting on a shelfdon't kill

guns in a hand don't kill ----the person pulls the trigger and kills.

people are the problem not guns

take my gun away i throw a rock to kill you, take the rock away i use a stick...take the stick away i use my hands...people use whatever is there to kill people kill....period.

we need to talk about why we kiilll and how we don't have to..

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elaborate?

John,
You said:
"My impression is that it is about us vs them. And that the power of the gun is about ego. And about power and control. And the religious aspect of gun ownership also gives me cause for concern."

Could you explain this a little more?
Specifically how the power of the gun is about ego?

I think this is an essential point and a conversational lynchpin in understanding the mindset of guns as a recreational shooting versus carrying a gun for protection. To people who do not choose to have or train in arms, its very difficult to see how guns can be both a form of recreation, as well as a very serious form of self preservation. To those who •do• shoot, its self evident, and the mentality that guns are "fun" generally comes in two forms: as a maturation process in which competency is achieve and therefore shooters can spend more time enjoying the act of shooting, and, regrettably, through the immaturity that you've noted... This type us all harm, which is why im a strong proponent of education.

Cheers,
Aaron

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Me Too

I am also concerned about the power of the gun, and if I see any religious gun ownership I will be very concerned.  Let's say we compile a list of people that concern us, have big egos (in our opinion), or seem to be gun advocates (especially if they are religious).  Then we (mature and sensible people) can make sure these others aren't armed with guns.  Anything to prevent "concern", because I would feel a lot better if only mature, trained, and responsible folks could have guns.  I just want to be sure that I get to define who is responsible and mature.

I am glad you didn't shoot any polar bears.  I know you felt the need to carry a gun because you cannot reason with a polar bear.  Sometimes polar bears tend towards power and control, and that would give me cause for concern. 

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It's A True Story, But Also An Alanogoly

Polar bears are only about being polar bears!

And humans have come to inhabit their world.

As we have come to inhabit the world of other species and races of humans. 

Like you I wish to survive,  And I do believe in protecting the vulnerable if possible.

Good Night!

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I believe guns are both an

I believe guns are both an asset and a liability. I voted asset.

I would love to live in a world where violent crime did not exist and weapons were only used to feed one's self. I would love to believe Steven Pinker's tale of our becoming globally less aggressive, but his arguments are thin. Well written but thin.

History has shown that arming oneself is a successful way of protecting against stronger aggressors, even ones that are much more sophisticated and more heavily armed. This is both on personal and societal levels. Afghani fighters against both the Russians and the Allied forces are current examples of a lesser armed society successfully fighting a better funded, better armed, larger force. The most recent studies in the US have shown that people defend themselves with firearms against violent crime, in the US, with great frequency. Something along the lines of once every 15-25 seconds, depending on the study. Mosaic, Christian and many other theist and atheist writings support defense and tell stories of it's successful use. Arming oneself with the current weapons in use is a very old and proven deterrent to colonialism and tyranny on many scales. We can read in the history books of many examples of genocide, few occurred where the populace was armed.

Where HughK envisions common-use weapons accelerating collapse, history shows the opposite has occurred in armed societies experiencing disruptions to the way of life.

Regarding comments in posts:

I will agree that the "yee-haws" show a lack of maturity and garner my disdain, but it has been my experience that the majority of US gun owners feel likewise and work hard to teach the yahoos better manners. It takes a village......

Jan, paragraphs one and two are great. Four and five pretty great too. Part of three might show a bit of ignorance in the areas of guns and violent crime. Perhaps I can help. 

Where you said, "As we have seen all too often, deadly automatic weapons can and do fall into the wrong hands with devastating consequences." the phrase "deadly automatic weapons" appears to be fraught with emotion and light on fact. Weapons of all kinds are deadly and you used automatic in a manner which brings to mind machine guns and Al Capone with his Tommy gun.

FBI data shows that automatic weapons are used in 0% of violent crime and that military styled semi-automatic weapons are present in less than two tenths of a percent of violent crimes. Mass murders, defined as four or more persons in 24 hours, are a very small part of the US violent crime problem and mass murders comprise less than 1% of the total murders involving firearms. That same data shows that we have a lot of violent crime in the US. Lots.  That said, the US still does not lead the 17 most developed nations in violent crime. Highest murder rate by firearm yes, but not the percentage of violent crime. If you look at GB and AUS, their murder rates did not change after they enacted severe gun control and during the time period since those laws were put in place the US murder rate has dropped significantly as compared to GB and AUS. I digress...

To the deadly word... the .223 Remington is the round used in the AR-15. This round is not legal to be used for hunting deer in Canada or many of the states because it is not lethal enough. Your hunting rifle is more lethal. There was a ban on 30 round magazines in the US for a decade and it was ineffectual. Your hunting rifle is still more lethal.

My point here being that the perception that military styled semi-automatic rifles are being used in more crime and being more deadly that your basic hunting rifle is incorrect.

Jan wrote: "I believe that there are few people in the overall population who have the training, expertise and level headedness to use these weapons effectively, or in the manner for which they were intended, which I perceive as being "combat""

The military styled semi-automatic rifles are no different functionally or mechanically than Teddy Roosevelt's hunting rifle. They are designed to look like military weapons, but they are not combat weapons any more than TRs hunting rifle. TR died in 1919. One of the reasons semi-automatic rifles have remained popular since the early 1900s is their ease of use and simplicity of design. They are easy to use safely and proficiently which is why the majority of all rifles sold are of this type. Accidental death by firearm is lower than ever and in 2001 was 0.8% of all accidental deaths. With over Three Hundred Million firearms in the US, I would think that there would be many more accidents if the overall population were as unfit as your statement implies. Over the past two decades, most of the states have enacted concealed carry laws. North Carolina where I live passed concealed carry in 1995. Opponents of our law wrote that fender benders would result in shootouts and there would be blood running in the streets. The reality is that not much happened. Crime neither went up or down in relation to the rest of the states over the same period. Pretty level-headed here in the podunk South. 

I agree 100% that more people who own firearms should get more training. The training I've bought for myself and family and friends has always been enlightening and fun. I will also be more effective should I ever have to use a firearm for more than recreation because of that training.

As was stated earlier, this is a wonderful forum for civil discussion. It pains me to see obviously intelligent and enlightened people neglect the basics of who, what, when, where and why before absorbing writings and spoken word as fact and repeat it as dogma. It pains me even more when I do it myself. PP gives me hope.

 

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Stone Cold Sober.

The giving and the taking of life are sacred.

The giving of life in passion, the taking of life in cold blood. 

Do not show the knife for that is cruel. 

.

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The right to bear missiles: a 2nd amendment question

Hi all,

Well, as I said before, there was some amount of noise over content in my original post, so I'll start over.  

I will stick by my quote that Aaron posted above, which is to the effect that a proliferation of guns are likely to exacerbate any decline or collapse and that unless the Second Amendment allows individuals to be much more heavily armed, in order to truly have a chance of competing with the U.S. military, then owning even semi-automatic weapons is not enough to protect one's self from an overly oppressive government.

I have a question for the thread, but first, here is the text of the Second Amendment:

Amendment II

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

The way that I read this is that order to maintain freedom from a potentially oppressive government, the people have the right to bear arms.  So, my question is, since the US military spends more than the next 5 (at least) militaries combined, how do individual compete with that?  And, more importantly, why do we have such a strict interpretation of the the Second Amendment in the United States?  Should Idaho militias sue for the right to own military helicopters, RPGs, ground to air missiles, tanks, and more?  What about a modest nuclear warhead?

I don't ask this in an attempt to provoke anyone.  I ask because this is the major problem with the Second Amendment.  Basically, everyone agrees that the society (via the state) has to draw some line between what types of weapons are covered in the Second Amendment and what types are not.

I have never advocated further prohibition on owning handguns, shotguns or rifles.  I would be supportive of a ban on semi-automatic rifles (i.e. machine-gun-like things) but I have not followed the current debate closely enough to know if Obama's proposal for banning assault rifles is a good idea or not.  That's not the point.  The point is, why is it that we need to draw the line at semi-automatic rifles, instead of at, either

a.) handguns, shotguns, and normal rifles?        or    b.)  tanks, RPGs, ground to air missiles, and fighter jets?

So, I invite all those who believe in a more liberal interpretation of the Second Amendment to explain where to they draw the line, and on what basis.

As far as my assertion that a heavily armed society is likely to exacerbate a collapse, well, I don't really know the answer to that, and I certainly could be wrong. 

The reason that I wrote that is because it seems to me, on the most simple level, that more weapons will lead to more violent crime in a society that is destabilizing.  It's that simple, and perhaps I'm being too simplistic on that count.

Of course, there's a prisoner's dilemma there:  even if everyone agreed that society would be better with fewer guns, who gives guns up first?  The reality of this dilemma may mean that Doug or Rector choose to own some firearms in order to protect themselves from such violent crime; if the US is fairly saturated with weapons compared to other OECD countries then there is a good argument to say that's the reason why it's a good idea to own them.

Unfortunately, we will probably get to test this hypothesis out, as I would guess that both Western Europe and North America will be experiencing significantly reduced living standards by 2025.  So, I guess we will see whether or not France, Germany, and Switzerland, where I live, is suffering from greater or smaller increase in violent crime than the US if such a partial collapse/decline occurs.  

Interesting.  I just checked out the Wikipedia page on the (intentional) homicide rate by country.  It turns out that France has a murder rate of 1.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.  Germany's murder rate is 0.8.  Switzerland, where there is also more of an arms-bearing culture, as all Swiss males are required to enlist in military training and to keep a military rifle at home, has a murder rate of 0.7.  The UK's is 1.2.

The homicide rate of the US is... 4.7.  That's at least four times the rate of any of those Western European countries that I just listed.  And what about Canada, which has a lot more in common with the US than does Western Europe?  1.6, which means that in Canada there are 65% fewer murders every year than in the US.

Now, I realize that there are a whole lot of reasons why these rates are different, and I am not suggesting that the only reason is because of our more liberal gun rights and more pervasive gun culture in the US.  But, I do think that the gun culture is part of the reason why  the US is three to four times more violent than these other OECD countries.

These statistics give me renewed confidence in repeating my assertion that more guns will not help create a world worth inheriting, and that the gun culture in the US is, on balance, more of a liability than it is an asset.

Do I still think that the tone of the conversation, and the comparison of the semi-automatic weapons in the Daily Digest 10/9 thread was weird and unsettling?  Yes, I do, because it seemed like a celebration of the deadly power of those weapons.  Also, the conversation emerged in the context of Sandpuppy's speculation that the current political divide in Washington might just be cover for a move by the deep state to impose martial law.  Now, that's not really something I'm concerned about at present, but if people are concerned about that enough to compare which type of semi-automatic they have, then it seems to be quite a serious conversation.  Now, I don't have the sense that people were comparing their semi-automatics in order to say, "I'm ready for the government; bring 'em on."  I think what was really going on there was a comparison of semi-automatics for comparison's sake.  But why?  I'll leave that question for the community, and for the people who chose to showcase and compare their guns.

Again, I'm not advocating for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and I don't even advocate for a heavier regulation of shotguns or rifles.  I haven't spent any time thinking about or researching handgun laws either.  But, I do think that the ease of purchase of semi-automatic weapons, the celebration of semi-automatic weapons, and the Stand Your Ground laws are all part of a gun culture than is, on balance, more of a detriment than an asset in the United States.

Cheers,

Hugh

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2nd amendment questions

I think they had in mind personal infantry weapons, similar to what Switzerland does.  You take home your personal weapon and if something happens, you can contribute.

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i did not own a gun until i

i did not own a gun until i moved out to the country 7 years ago.my thinking before was if i don't have a gun i can't shoot anyone... now i have several. the gun i use to shoot groundhogs, is not a good self defense gun.so i need one for that.

being female and aging, firearms seemed rational ---to be able to defend myself. they also level the playing field...it puts me in an even up position with a 20something male.having said that, so does my wit....

a couple of years ago i had an intruder who parked his car in my driveway so there was no way for me to leave. 8 am the doorbell rang. he said his car broke down....he wanted to know if he could bring his car into my yard i said no and closed the door...first thing i did was grab a handgun...i knew where it was, it was loaded and quick to get.i look out the door peep hole and he is walking around my yard looking for something......he is starting to go around back. the previous week,neighborhood watch had issued info that many of the houses in the area had been broken into and during the day time.

put your self in these shoes. adrenaline was flowing that is for sure. i am 5 miles easy from any police station or town with my driveway blocked by his car, and a unknown middle aged man, with beard stubble, is walking around my yard , scoping things out..

so first thing i did was get a gun.
second i called 911 and told them i had an intruder, and i was armed inside the house.
then i opened the door and told the intruder i had called the police to come help him with his car.
he immediately went to his car and sat in it.
then i called a farmers wife, and kept her on the phone with me until the police arrived....which was 10 mnutes ....a record out here.!

it's one thing for you all to sit in nice warm secure home and type away philosphies on if come situations.,with polar bears of all things. yeah right i have 10 out back unhuh.
my question to you is how do you handle yourself in a emergency situation.? do you know yourself well ?
the only one you have to know about owning, using a gun is yourself. can you remain calm when threatened? enough to think? enough to think first? having a hand gun in my hand immediately ---gave me enough of a reassurance that allowed me to feel secure enough to be able to.think. i was familiar with the state of michigan's stand your ground law..outside of my house he was in gray territory....if he came inside, i had michigan;s blessing to defend my self with deadly force.

this was real. so was the river trip. the rests seems like chatter that misses the point. do you want to defend yourself and your families ? or argue with each other?

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GM_Man
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It has been awhile...

I feel that a firearm is an asset. 

Why?  Because the value of the few firearms I own have risen in value over the years in a reliable fashion.  Every time a Democrat makes a statement on gun control legislation or gun violence the value of my ammo goes up and my firearm value goes up.  Simple.

Is a firearm a liability?  Yes it is as ownership does not provide the owner any rights, but it does place additional responsibility on the owner.  Safe use and safe storage of a firearm and ammunition is a responsibility that as owners we all must address to protect those we love and care about.

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two different things in your post

Ferralhen,

Good on ya' for handling a tough situation well. The situation you described with your intruder is exactly why I would advocate for gun ownership. However, the point we are getting at here is what type of gun ownership is appropriate. You having a handgun and using it in this situation is perfectly reasonable and acceptable. Likewise picking up the rifle used for gopher hunting would also send a strong message to the intruder. Now if you had said you picked up your semi-automatic gun with its clip full of lord knows how much ammo, then I would see this in a different light. The perception becomes one of overkill (excuse the pun), and the image in my mind becomes one of a paranoid radical. This perception is neither right nor wrong. It just is.

You can condemn the chatter all you want but debating and talking things out is how people learn, shape their values and their decision making. Thinking and evaluation must precede action especially on a subject such as lethal weapons. The last thing we need is people running out to arm themselves to the teeth because a few folks were, in their manner of having fun, comparing notes on some rather serious weaponry, and it sounds like great fun to have one of these things to play with. Without a doubt there are some individuals who treat shooting guns as being fun and a form of recreation. To each unto his own.

It is good to have a debate around this, and the more we can drill down to mine info, the better chance we have of ensuring our own individual preparations are relevant to the specific situations in which we find ourselves.

Jan

 

 

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Hi Hugh, I'll attempt to

Hi Hugh,

I'll attempt to answer some of your questions.

First three paragraphs after the 2nd A quote: It is not against federal law to own any of your listed items, save the nuke, by civilians. It simply takes a background check and a $200 tax stamp. 

The line between fully auto and semi-auto was drawn in 1934 with the National Firearms Act which came about due to the violence between gangs which were fighting over turf during prohibition. The St. Valentines Day Massacre was the tipping point.

In a US collapse, we can look to examples like the LA/ Rodney King riots where the police fled and Koreatown was protected by it's inhabitants effectively. Lots of video on how that went down. You are correct, we won't for sure know until it happens. Outside the US, there are also examples. Much has been written on Argentina's collapse and crime and guns.

In the US we've been experiencing the beginning throes of collapse, gun ownership is growing at a rate of more than ten million annually and both overall violent crime and murder rate are dropping. Is it coincidence or causational? I don't know. 

You wrote: "... the US is three to four times more violent than these other OECD countries."

This is incorrect. The US is not even close to the top in OECD violent crime. Murders yes, overall violent crime, no.

In my opinion, one of the definitions of quality of life is a lower fear of violent bodily harm. I am much less afraid of being beaten and robbed in DC than London or Paris. 

You wrote:"Again, I'm not advocating for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and I don't even advocate for a heavier regulation of shotguns or rifles.  I haven't spent any time thinking about or researching handgun laws either.  But, I do think that the ease of purchase of semi-automatic weapons, the celebration of semi-automatic weapons, and the Stand Your Ground laws are all part of a gun culture than is, on balance, more of a detriment than an asset in the United States."

I'll repeat: The use of rifles of any type, even semi-automatic, are a tiny percent of overall crime and murders in the US. Tiny I say! Prove me wrong.

Stand your ground laws state only one thing and one thing only - You are no longer required by law to flee your attacker. That's it. Until just a couple of years ago, in North Carolina, if a man broke into my home and began raping my wife, I would be charged, tried and possibly found guilty of assault and probably murder if I did not flee my wife's attacker. Our Castle Doctrine, like the other stand your ground laws fixed that. I must still prove to the officers, the DA, and possibly a jury, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was not the aggressor, and that I or another was in danger of immediate impending death or grave bodily harm.

 

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It's the lunatic fringe that I'm concerned about

Aaron,

As I and some others have clearly stated, its not the responsible ownership and use of guns that gives us cause for concern.

Rather it is the celebration of guns (yea baby!) and posting huge pictures of weapons to the general readership of PP as if these persons think it's cool to brag and show off their superior fire power. That's what I mean by ego and a lack of maturity.

I'm also concerned with comments that bring religion into the issue.

In this video Chris Hedges also raises these same concerns.

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Line in the sand

HughK

I would love to live in a world free of guns and violence, but we don't. I would hope you realize that a lot of violence and crimes don't get reported. You need to look further into the gun and crime reports and look at locations and neighborhoods. Talk to most police officers and they will tell you most crime happens from the company you keep or where you live. What happens when food stamps run out or economy gets worse? They will come to your neighborhood.

I accept you being against guns but would hope you can understand how I see it as another part of being prepared for the future. I would urge you to at least take a class and learn to safely use one in case the worst happens.

Lets talk about tanks, missiles and the US military. Yes they have some unbelievably nasty weapons but unless they are going to lay waste to everything then you have to bring in the ground troops. You also have to get Americans to kill Americans! Take a look at history. Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam really didn't turn out like we wanted and they did not have high tech weapons.

I have little control over a lot of corruption, theft and lies coming from our current situation and this where I will draw my line. 

 
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Trying to be pragmatic

 

                I have to cast my vote with Jan.  It depends.   Guns can be very useful tools and can be horrible instruments of death and terror.

                I have lived all my life in southeast New England.  Gun owning was not common and was more looked down upon than valued.  Random violence was very rare.  I may have been naive, but I traveled though out our small city and surrounding towns with almost no concern for my, or others’, safety.  I have not owned a gun and have only fired one a few times.

                Two years ago we purchased a camp in the woods of northern New England.  Complete reverse. Guns are visible everywhere.  People carry.  Shotguns are visible in the back of pickups.  Sitting on our porch you can often hear gunfire off in the woods.  The second weekend we owned the place I saw the neighbor across the road go out for an early morning walk.  On his return I waived him in to have a cup of coffee.  He arrived with his revolver at his hip.  It was the first “armed” breakfast of my life.

                My two younger sons (early twenties) are taking advantage of our new acres by purchasing pellet guns and setting up a target range.  They are learning to shoot and about gun safety.  In February their older brother will be returning home from a five year stint in the army and two tours in Afghanistan.  They have already talked about finding a target range so the veteran can impart his knowledge.  I know the youngest is saving money to buy a quality rifle.   My oldest daughter is married to a man from coal country in Pennsylvania.  He has a collection of hunting rifles and probably has at least one hand gun.  Being aware of the social disapproval of guns in southern New England he has only spoken about guns and hunting a couple of times in the years I have known him and even then, only in answer to a direct question.

                I would prefer to live in a world without guns.  I am not sure I would ever carry as part of my daily routine.  I do see however that society is getting courser and rougher.  The civil compact that kept most of us living quiet, orderly lives is melting away.  I watch in horror each Black Friday as people stampede and trample each other to death merely to get twenty dollars off a phone or television.  What would they do for food?  For water?  For medicine?  I watch my sons making very deliberate decisions to become competent in using guns and I cannot fault them, nor will I attempt to stop them.  My sense is that their lives will be full of much more upheaval and violence than mine has been.  Part of me is proud and relieved that they are building the competency to protect themselves, my grandchildren, and even my wife and I as we grow older.

                It is a difficult thing to accept some times, but the role of self-protection and protection of others is changing with the other paradigm shifts we are experiencing.  I certainly don’t espouse a gun toting rough and ready, shoot em’ up society.  On the other hand I see the need to be self-sufficient and able to protect yourself and those around you as becoming more and more necessary.  In terms of what types of weapons should or should not be allowed I have little experience on which to base a decision.  Reason tells me however that preventing the “good guys” from having the same or superior fire power as the “bad guys” is like asking a boxer to fight with one hand tied behind his back.

 

HughK's picture
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Thanks, Tycer and Petey

Tycer and Petey,

Thanks for your comments.  Tycer, I especially appreciate the additional info on the legality of owning different types of weapons such as tanks and RPGs.  While that seems hard to believe, for now I'll take your word for it, as I really don't know a lot about this topic.

My concern about the Stand Your Ground laws comes primarily from the fact that no one was held legally accountable for the killing of Trayvon Martin.  I still haven't heard anyone explain why the Stand Your Ground law in Florida is a good idea in light of this case, but again, I acknowledge that I still have a lot to learn on this topic.

I'm OK with seeing how my initial beliefs on this topic may have been incorrect or ill-informed.  Actually, that's a very important experience, although a little hard on the ego.  :)  It's also an interesting experience to be very much in the minority at PP as far as my concern about our gun culture in the US.  I'm ok with that too, and I will try to listen to what the majority here thinks and see if I need to change my ideas.

So, I'll keep reading and learning.

Cheers,

Hugh

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If you can afford it you should be able to have it...
Hugh K wrote:

... the effect that a proliferation of guns are likely to exacerbate any decline or collapse and that unless the Second Amendment allows individuals to be much more heavily armed, in order to truly have a chance of competing with the U.S. military, then owning even semi-automatic weapons is not enough to protect one's self from an overly oppressive government.

I think your second part of the above statement is not assured.  First, 2.2M military members in the US.  47% of 115M households have at least 1 gun.  That's 54M armed households.   Even with advanced weaponry, would a 25-1 (assuming only 1 person in each household would use a weapon) advantage by numbers make a difference? It's estimated that there are 266M firearms in private US hands, that means each of those 54M armed households has an average of 5 weapons. Also, if it came to it, how many of the military would side with the citizens versus the government?  There are Sheriffs here that are refusing to enforce new federal gun laws and some states are pushing back.

But no matter what the outcome might be, would you rather be able to put up resistance or prefer to just roll over and die?  How about if your on the states target of undesirables?

HughK wrote:

Should Idaho militias sue for the right to own military helicopters, RPGs, ground to air missiles, tanks, and more?  What about a modest nuclear warhead?

I don't ask this in an attempt to provoke anyone.  I ask because this is the major problem with the Second Amendment.  Basically, everyone agrees that the society (via the state) has to draw some line between what types of weapons are covered in the Second Amendment and what types are not.

I would say, if you can afford it you can own it.  Why should governments have a monopoly on being able to mass kill?  Are they more moral?  I think we have a lot of evidence to the contrary.  Besides, I think Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that a vastly military overwhelmed adversary can still but up quite the fight.  Didn't the soviets also have overwhelming military advantage in Afghanistan?

Hughk wrote:

I have never advocated further prohibition on owning handguns, shotguns or rifles.  I would be supportive of a ban on semi-automatic rifles (i.e. machine-gun-like things) but I have not followed the current debate closely enough to know if Obama's proposal for banning assault rifles is a good idea or not.

Ahh, but you have already fallen for the "ban the big scary guns" argument.   Since a semi-automatic riffle is not a "machine-gun" like thing.  At least if you are going to discuss these things you should at least learn the terminology so that you aren't simply passing on propaganda.  Basically the "anti-gun" crowd wants to define any scary looking, industrial looking, gun as military use only.  I suggest looking at the definitive firearms thread.  A few years ago I think "Dogs in a Pile" posted a really good glossary, or wikipedia works.

HughK wrote:

Interesting.  I just checked out the Wikipedia page on the (intentional) homicide rate by country

...

Now, I realize that there are a whole lot of reasons why these rates are different, and I am not suggesting that the only reason is because of our more liberal gun rights and more pervasive gun culture in the US.  But, I do think that the gun culture is part of the reason why  the US is three to four times more violent than these other OECD countries.

Interesting, you think that more liberal gun rights in the US leads to more violent crime, but you live in Switzerland with a lower crime rate almost half that of the UK but with 7 times the gun ownership rate?  Also, why did you not compare the US to Mexico?  The US has 6 times more guns/capita with 5 times less homicide rate.

Perhaps this will help: Gun Ownership Neither Increases nor Decrease Crime Rate

Also, you seem to neglect looking to see if more strict gun laws actually help or hurt?  In the UK and Australia, no significant safety increase after guns were tightly controlled. (source)

HughK wrote:

But, I do think that the ease of purchase of semi-automatic weapons, the celebration of semi-automatic weapons, and the Stand Your Ground laws are all part of a gun culture than is, on balance, more of a detriment than an asset in the United States.

I guess it's a good thing you don't live in the US.  However, since you are Swiss, I'm guessing you do have a gun in your home.  Is it a detriment to you and your country?  If you do have a gun at home, why do you think you have any right to advocate disarming of the American public particularly when you have professed and shown lack of knowledge on the subject?

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HughK
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Hi rhare

Hi rhare,

Thanks for your post.  I'm an American citizen, working and living in Switzerland, originally from Columbia, Missouri.  I don't own a gun here in Switzerland because I have never been a member of the Swiss military (having moved here in my mid-30's) and I have not attempted to buy any firearm since I first came here.  When you say, "then I guess it's a good thing that you don't live in the US," are you saying that you only want people living in the US who think the way you think, either on this issue, or in general?

I have already shared the fact that I need to learn more on the subject and that I might need to change my mind on some aspects of this topic.  None of us have perfect information on any public policy issue, yet we tend to form preferences on a number of issues without such perfect information.  It might be helpful if you consider the various issues on which you have less than perfect information yet still have an opinion, and then consider what else you would need to learn in order to have a more informed perspective.  That's what I am in the process of doing here. 

Your points on comparative gun and homicide statistics by country are valid, and I will continue to read and follow the arguments on this thread.

Cheers,

Hugh

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To Buy or Not To Buy

We live in a predominantly fear-based society. Humans have been killing each other from the beginning. The various religions that have sprung up over the centuries all say not to kill each other. They advocate a love-based way of living instead. I personally prefer the love-based way. But I live in a world of duality where there is a constant play of right and wrong, good and bad, help and hurt.

I don't like guns any more than I like anything else that is used to harm another. It's fear, greed etc. that causes humans to use a weapon in an aggressive way - to take a life, to take something that doesn't belong to us and so on. But it can also be used to protect against aggression whether it is on the personal or the societal level. I think that is what the Founders had in mind with the 2nd Amendment. They saw the havoc caused when tyranny takes hold and the people are left defenseless against state aggression. Their solution was to allow guns to try to even the odds. One can debate the merits of that decision but it's the one they chose. Now, Hugh has a point when he talks about the enormous difference between the modern American military and the type of weapons available to the populace. Add to that the way surplus military equipment has been given to police departments, and we are SO outgunned. So despite the 2nd Amendment, the balance of power is still overwhelmingly in favor of those in power. Big surprise there. Look at what happened to the Occupy movement. Those in power will do whatever they must to stay in power because they are afraid of losing it. Their grip just tightens as their fear increases. History shows us this over and over again.

So while guns may not be much use against a more powerful state (at least directly), they can help to even the odds against personal aggression as in ferrelhen's situation. That is the only reason why we bought a gun. Because we don't agree to be doormats. Our hope is to never use it. But the world is what it is, not what I want it to be. As collapse worsens, people will become desperate and we want to be able to defend ourselves should the need arise. Even so that may not be enough. We will have to take our chances along with everyone else. So I am a reluctant gun owner, but I am also realistic.

There are those who argue that we must change our ways and become more love-based in our dealings with each other and the planet. That would be wonderful. I would love to see that. I know there are people trying to make it happen. Despite the odds, they are trying to show that there is another way to be. And there is. We can choose love over fear. Some have expressed hope that any who may survive the coming chaos will have learned from our mistakes. However, as I look around at the depth and breath of the destruction we've wrought, I wonder if it isn't too late for us. I'm not optimistic about our chances.

For me, guns and other weapons represent a failed way of being in the world. The one based on fear, aggression and separation from the whole of Life. It pains me to be in a position of feeling the need to have a weapon in order to defend myself. But that is the way things are. To deny that would be to live in a fantasy world. So I compromise by having a gun. Like an insurance policy I hope never to need. But along with that, I focus on living from a consciousness of love and respect for Life in all its many forms. It is a holding of opposites because we live in a universe of opposites. So, are guns an asset or liability? But of course, in a such a world, they are both depending on how they are used.

So buy a gun or not. It's up to everyone to evaluate their own situations. If we weren't facing collapse, I don't think I would have one. But we are. The veneer of civilization drops quickly when people are in fear for their lives. So I acknowledge that it is my own fear that motivates me to have one.

Joyce

 

 

Doug's picture
Doug
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Hugh

I'm curious how you feel about Switzerland's requirement that it's enlisted militia members keep their fully automatic military rifles (Sig 550) in their homes.  Apparently the officers are required to keep semi-auto pistols (Sig 226) as well.  Since about 2/3 of Swiss males are qualified and required to serve, there are something like 420,000 fully automatic weapons in people's homes.  Yet, they have a much lower gun violence rate than the US.  How does that figure into your calculations?

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

Doug

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murder rates tied to population age

Don't ignore average age of population when looking at murder rates.

I recall reading a study some time ago that correlated our increasing average age of the US population to the decline of the violent crime & murder rate.  I don't have that study handy, but here's a "murder rate by age" breakdown from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6128a8.htm

This ties in with Tuchman's book on the 14th Century - A Distant Mirror - where the decades of incessant wars were at least partially explained by the average age of the population (including the leadership) being 18.

My theory: the people of Greece aren't engaging in violent Regime Change because the people there, even though they are really suffering, are old. In most of the MENA, they are quite young:

Greece: 43

United States: 37

Egypt: 25

Libya: 25

Syria: 22

Iraq: 21

Sudan: 19

Yemen: 18

Afghanistan: 18

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A. M.
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Necessary Evils

In addition to age, there are two other major elephants in the room;  Race and Population Density.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-3

This is murders, and there are some pretty important details in here...

Between 13 years old to 24 years old, young black men are almost twice as likely as a white to commit a murder. This isn't to place blame or incite any sort of conflict - but there are serious issues within ethnic communities in the U.S. that have to be mentioned when discussing firearms, murder and crime in general.

Finding a solution requires that we evaluate the problem (in this case, most of the problem stems from lack of economic opportunity and social mobility). I believe that to allow African American communities to stagnate in such a situation is to absolutely deny a very capable population the opportunity to contribute to the American way of life - that's practically criminal. So, it's very sensible that people who see such violence amongst the inner cities want to remove guns. The problems on display here is certainly not something any of us want to see, and guns are the 'golden ticket' to making killing easy. That makes them an easy scapegoat that is easier to address than fixing public education, providing equal opportunities and encouraging media that promotes less violent systems of values...

But there's a huge disparity going on here: 12.6% of the population is committing 37% of the firearms murders, and that's indicating a very specific problem that if we stop with the political correctness, we can identify and fix. Also, implicit in this is that half of the young people murdered are African Americans, and about 10% of them are under 18.

Again, this is a pretty intolerable situation to allow any of our fellow citizens to fall into.
But I believe that this introduces a concept that bears scrutiny:

There is no "one" gun culture in the U.S. 

Most young black men are exposed to guns through media - not tradition - or through influences that view guns as a source of power, rather than responsibility. This of course extends to Whites and Hispanics as well, but we can tie the problem together the most cleanly with African Americans, as they've been historically the most impacted by racial issues.

We should, at this point, be able to definitively say that since the 1980's, the "anti-gun" agenda to get firearms out of the urban centers and impoverished areas has failed, and this results in a dangerous mix between a culture that has little opportunity, a generally more difficult experience in life and media that not only condones violence, but encourages it as a form of power, that carries prestige. The narrative that banning guns is going to reduce crime in high population areas is a way of saying "We don't want to deal with the political 'Gordian Knot' of race and poverty, so we'll treat the symptoms, not the cause". 

What needs to happen is a change in culture, and that requires that we address the influence that are causing young men in general to act out violently.

It's also worth noting that since the lapse of the 1994 "assault weapons ban", crime rates have plunged;
http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

Further, while the actual information fluxuates, it's fairly commonly held that violence with firearms is predominately an urban problem. A study by Medscape said the following:

Quote:

in general, homicide gun deaths in the United States are more of an urban than a rural problem. "Half of all homicides occurred in 63 cities with 16% of the nation's population; within those cities, homicides were largely clustered in certain neighborhoods."[7] For example, in Milwaukee, two inner-city zip codes, 53204 and 53215, have homicide rates of 89.1 per 100,000 and 38.8 per 100,000, respectively, compared with a homicide rate of 10.5 per 100,000 for the state in general

At this point, we need to clearly articulate that there is something that's "working" in culture that has a tradition of firearms ownership (rural) and an abysmal failure in curbing firearms through practices of restrictions in urban areas. Also, if you skimmed that quote, read it again: 89.1/100,000 and 38.8/100,000 in the inner city, as compared to 10.5/100,000 for the state in general. This is huge.

Also, interestingly enough, in 2011, people in the U.S. were almost 4 times as likely to use a knife in self defense than they were to use a rifle:
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-15

So, we can't logically deduce that assault rifles are really contributing to self defense or crime in any significant capacity - they remain, for the time being, a 'trump' card in the citizens arsenal against a corrupt government, without influencing to any real degree, the amount of murders being committed. They simply make a better story when someone *does* use them.

An interesting article that ties this all in together nicely can be read here:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/01/gun-violence-us-cities-compared-deadliest-nations-world/4412/

It compares the most deadly cities in the world to various areas of the United States.
Especially for our non-American readers - please note that the places that are predominately rural, and have a cultural tradition of firearms ownership (see: Responsible use) have murder rates so low that they can't be compared to the "most violent" places. That might still mean that their rates of firearms deaths are higher than other European countries, but murder in general are very tough to compare, since there is no 'standard' for recording this data.

So, as the debate discussing firearms as a liability or an asset goes forward, I strongly urge people to consider the "who, what, how and why" of murders - they really are the lynchpin, and as I said before, firearms are a symptom of the cause. 

With this in mind, I've frequently challenged the authority of people who've lived in "collapsed" societies and claim some sort of primacy of knowledge: People, we have 3rd world conditions for a portion of our citizens. Places where people cannot safely go outside after dark. Endless expanses of industrial wasteland, polluted water and economic hardship that most of us don't really understand. Places ruled by drugs and violence. They exist, right here, in our own states. Detroit, portions Washington D.C., Atlanta, and New Orleans are monuments to everything being discussed here.

Some of America has collapsed. Guns in these places have been both an asset and a liability, and I'm happy to see so many people claiming they are both. They are arbitrary. The condition that we need to scrutinize is how humans with guns behave, and I believe that is a matter of culture and education. The unfortunate fact is because people who view life as having little value are armed, people who value life must likewise be armed.

Perhaps I'll post later on my thoughts regarding the disparity in arms between citizens and governments, but suffice to say, technology is only as good as the people using it. I'd also suggest that people who protect you, or in theory, could be oppressive towards you, are paid employees.

This might provide insight as to my thoughts on that:
http://therightscoop.com/if-there-ever-was-an-argument-for-owning-a-gun-this-is-it/

Cheers,
Aaron

Boomer41's picture
Boomer41
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Posts: 135
More Logic Less Emotion

Guns are both an asset and a liability. They are an asset because they level the playing field; allowing small women to defend themselves from large rapists, homeowners to defend their homes from invaders and The People to defend themselves from totalitarian government. They are a liability because they impose upon their owners the responsibility to handle them with care and prevent them from falling into the hands of those who would use them to commit crime or injure themselves or others.

This is an emotional issue, mainly because those who are against guns appear to be afraid of them and just wish they would somehow go away. This clearly isn't going to happen. Even in countries where guns of all types have been legislated away, they continue to exist - only the ownership shifts from law abiding citizens to outlaws.

English and Australian gun ownership abolitionists rightly point to the fact that their efforts resulted in a reduction in gun crime, but conveniently overlook the unintended consequence of an overall increase in violent crime.

There does exist a scientific, peer reviewed study of the subject which proves beyond reasonable doubt that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens reduce violent crime, usually by a huge amount. 'More Guns, Less Crime' by Dr. John Lott is that research in book form. Anyone who reads it and still wants to ban scary black guns has an ulterior motive.

ferralhen's picture
ferralhen
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Posts: 151
westcoast jan writes: It is

westcoast jan writes: It is good to have a debate around this, and the more we can drill down to mine info....
what;'s for me to drill down and find???? i;ve been in a real life test situation...have you? has any of you?

i handled this situation just fine, and under stress. because i took the time to think things thru.

i actually took the time to figure out what i might do if something happened...i got quiet and thought things thru by myself.and i was ready...if you know anything about guns, you would know that one bullet of any caliber is enough to kill someone if placed correctly

.to want discussion beyond this seems ridiculous and just wanting to hear oneself talk.not wisdom just talk

.so much other irrelevant material is being pulled into owning a gun for self defense that isn't necessary.. and seems to me it's only value is to hear oneself talk. and wait for a challenge and then hear oneself talk again.

.yes there is wisdom in many elders...but not all opinions have value. i;d like to hear about other;s experiences with real life situations not hypothetical what ifs or what if nots.

ok i give up...i will shoot my intruders, and you all can talk them to death.

go read doug's first post on this thread , he gets it. so does jdye51 and so does aurthur.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Posts: 2368
"Getting it"

Ferrelhen said,
";d like to hear about other;s experiences with real life situations not hypothetical what ifs or what if nots.

ok i give up...i will shoot my intruders, and you all can talk them to death."

FWIW, I've been attacked with everything between hands and mortars. Been in situations with death on quite a few occasions. Most folks here know im a proponent of gun ownership and training, but that really doesn't say the half of it. In almost every situation I've ever been in, firearms were an option, but not the one I chose. The times I did use firearms, lethal force wasn't required. Im pretty proud of that.

Guns are a part of a much larger, more comprehensive plan - if respected and kept in their proper place. Too often, they're viewed as a talisman or a source of power to dominate. Guns make people lazy and sloppy... If they're not respected.

I guess the school of thought I subscribe to is that the paramount is situational awareness and adaptability. The ability to effectively use guns is a part of that, but so is trauma medicine, defensive driving, physical fitness, security and SERE skills, woodsmanship, and perhaps most importantly - treating people good. Not all problems can be solved this way... Those high risk altercations might require you to meet aggression head on. Sometimes the problems require you to do things you didn't expect, or they call on you to do things in addition to fighting. I dont think many people are disagreeing ferrelhen, much the opposite. Most here agree guns are an asset. But I dont think people have a realistic view of just how difficult it is to navigate situations in which another human means you harm, or how much that compounds when its more than one. I can elaborate later if anyone wants.

In short...
Being mentally prepared and capable is always going to be preferable to the opposite, IMHO.

Cheers,
Aaron

troof's picture
troof
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Posts: 39
I'm concerned about anyone who believes this video
John Lemieux wrote:

Aaron,

As I and some others have clearly stated, its not the responsible ownership and use of guns that gives us cause for concern.

Rather it is the celebration of guns (yea baby!) and posting huge pictures of weapons to the general readership of PP as if these persons think it's cool to brag and show off their superior fire power. That's what I mean by ego and a lack of maturity.

I'm also concerned with comments that bring religion into the issue.

In this video Chris Hedges also raises these same concerns.

It's the ignorant lunatic fringe who believes the hard core leftist propaganda in this video.  It defies reality.  It smacks of fear mongering and hatred.  For example, most Tea Party members are quiet, mild mannered, gainfully employed, middle class, salt-of-the-earth people who are much farther removed from violent intentions and actions than the lefties who believe these fabricated lies.  Furthermore, everyone he cites is a leftie.  The greatest murderers in history were socialist lefties who took away guns and God from their citizens before proceeding to murder them by the millions.  More people have died from their godless demicide than from all the gun crimes in history.  I can't imagine anyone with a smattering of knowledge of history would really believe this foolishness.  It has parallels to the idiocy spouted by those who say all wars are caused by religion.  Was the American Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War 1, World War 2, Korean War, or Vietnam War caused by religion?  This is caca.  Arrgghh!  I go to wash my eyes after watching this caca.         

gillbilly's picture
gillbilly
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Posts: 423
How much attention

do we want to give this topic. I haven't watched the news in years because I don't want to give my attention to what the news decides is news. What we give attention to often elevates the priority of what we give our attention to, and a truth on one side of the issue does not negate the truth on the other side. The above survey will not tell us anything about who we are as people. There will be no account of those who, like me, refuse to take it. Don't get me wrong, I've read good posts on either side of this issue, but we must question the attention we bring to this and wonder what that attention brings to the issue at hand. I am not giving an opinion on this topic either way ( I gave one months ago), and this will be my last post on the subject, but I'm merely posing the idea and question that the more attention that is given to this, the more importance and divisive it will become in our society. As our beloved Treebeard says, "roll up your sleeves and get (back) to work."

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Posts: 2368
Gillbilly

Feel free to sit it out.
It continually reoccurs, and as such requires discussion. If you're not interested, you can be so in one of the many other forums dedicated to topics you find more engaging.

A practical account of what guns mean to people and how they are used is fundamental in facilitating dialog regarding the problems and benefits associated with them.

Thanks,
Aaron

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Rector
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Posts: 505
Great Scott!

Well researched and well written.  Bravo Aaron!

Jim H's picture
Jim H
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Posts: 2385
The politicians who want to take away guns are not quiet...

So why should we be?  As with many here, including Joyce, who said it best I think.. I never thought about guns until I started to understand the probable collapse that is ahead.. at which point I thought about them quite alot.  I can now discuss the penetrating capability of Hornady critical duty ammo with the best of them.    

For now, my home in Westchester County, NY is as safe as ever.. I would hazard a guess that I am more likely to get hit by lightening than suffer a home invasion.  The guns are safely locked up.. .and will only come out if the SHTF, or if I am going to the range with my son and/or daughter.  

As for the politicians... my local County exec's November challenger is actually centering their campaign SOLELY on the gun debate.. .apparently the incumbent was against the new, more restrictive gun laws that swept NY after Sandy Hook, and he even allowed guns shows to occur in the county.  Oh my.. how scary.  If anti-Constitutional gun grabbers will shut up, then I will shut up.. but for now, I am the guy at the party that will stand up and say, "wait a minute, I own guns, and I will tell you why".  I have ruined a lot of parties.           

rhare's picture
rhare
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Posts: 1325
What is the motive behind gun control? The right question...
HughK wrote:

When you say, "then I guess it's a good thing that you don't live in the US," are you saying that you only want people living in the US who think the way you think, either on this issue, or in general?

I probably shouldn't have had that line in there.  I was tired and just hit send without giving it enough thought. So, I'm saying if you don't like guns, don't live in the US because I don't think it's going to change, at least not without some serious incidents.

I also say, if you don't like a gun, don't own one, that's your choice, but please don't presume to tell me how I have to live my live or what I am allowed to own or not own.  As long as I'm not committing crime with it, what do you care?  Stealing from me (gun confiscation) or limiting my ability to protect myself or my rights, over something some idiot does (and would just use a baseball bat instead if the guns were taken away) is much more of an offensive stance. 

But I'm the staunch Libertarian on the site. devil  I pretty much take the stance that if I'm doing you no direct harm, you have no right to tell me how to live, what I must do with the fruits of my labor, or how to think.  You can try to convince me, but using violence through proxy of government to force your will on others is by far a worse offense than owning some inanimate object that in 99.999% of the cases will cause no harm.  Keep in mind 244M guns in the US private hands, 32,000 gun crimes/year.  And if you look at those big scary black guns that are all the concern, your impacting probably more like %99.9999 of the population to solve a %0.0001 problem.   You can pick almost any other social issue and you would have a far larger impact than gun control, so as Boomer41 says, if you aren't solving the problem your claiming to solve, what is the ulterior motive?

 

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
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Posts: 458
Quotes from Gandhi on

Quotes from Gandhi on Non-Violence:

"He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor.  He who can do neither of the two is a burden."

"If the capacity for non-violent self defense is lacking, there need be no hesitation in using violent means."

"So long as one wants to retain one's sword, one has not attained complete fearlessness."

Just one man's thoughts.  I keep that book next to my gun safe, along with Ayoob's "In the Gravest Extreme". 

Aloha, Steve.

 

aladinangel's picture
aladinangel
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Posts: 11
difference

I read somewhere a little line that got stuck in my head

"An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject."

Coming from a country which used to be one of the most oppressive dictatorship in good old Europe, I was shocked by this simple truth expressed in so few words. Yes, in my native country not only guns were totally forbidden (and inaccessible) to ordinary people, but typewriters had to be registered and "fingerprinted" with the local police.

Now a citizen of a western democracy, a country with its own share of problems but still free for the time being, I feel better having a shotgun in my home.

aladinangel's picture
aladinangel
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Asset - the great equalizer

The Gun is Civilization

by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

"Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it. In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act. "

jtwalsh's picture
jtwalsh
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Posts: 268
Missing the Point

 

Just a thought to follow up on Jim H and his assessment of the present political climate.

Sandy Hook and Aurora Colorado, among other tragic situations, are being used by the anti-gun lobby to rally people to their side. The raw emotions at play in the aftermath of such horror are easy to manipulate and to use to prod people out of their usual indifference.

We have been on notice since the Oklahoma City Bombing and Columbine that something is amiss in the raising of a number of our young men and in preparing them for adult life.  There is something mentally and/or morally missing in a young man who can methodically plan a massacre and carry it out without empathy for the victims or regard of the consequences. 

Timothy McVey in Oklahoma and the Tsarnaev Brothers in Boston make it very clear that guns are not the issue.  Fertilizer and heating oil were plenty deadly in the first instance.  Even more chilling, a pressure cooker, nails and some over the counter fireworks were frighteningly sufficient in the later.

For our political class gun control is an easy issue on which to win points.  Who can possibly be against preventing the shooting of innocent children?  Here in the northeast a large portion of the population already agrees with elimination of all guns.  

Unfortunately it is much more difficult to even assess and define the larger question of “Why would someone even think of doing this?” Until we begin to work on that question these horrors will continue, guns or no guns.

 

ferralhen's picture
ferralhen
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
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Posts: 151
thanks aaron...for saying:

thanks aaron...for saying: But I dont think people have a realistic view of just how difficult it is to navigate situations in which another human means you harm, or how much that compounds when its more than one

i'd like to hear about more than one , if not on the thread then in a PM

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Navigating Violence

Ferrelhen,

I suppose the best way that I can put it is by ordering some things that are commonly misunderstood:
1. Criminals are *not* stupid. They're opportunists. They don't want to die, they don't charge in alone on suicide mission crime sprees unless they're under the influence of something strong.

2. Criminals don't want to fight you. They're not interested in what gun-schools you've gone to, they don't care if you've got a purple belt in some martial art and they're not about to put their fists up to challenge you to a duel for your wallet. 

If you do get victimized, it'll be because you fell for a ruse, were overwhelmed by multiple attackers or theives or were a very convenient target of opportunity (generally because you were fixated on your cell phone, or some other non-essential task that's distracting you from paying attention to what's going on around you). 

3. If you *are* attacked in a random situation, you cannot control most of the elements of the attack. When talking situations over, you hear a lot of "well, I'd just do _____". Truth is, you could be shot in the back while running or assaulted in your vehicle by a drunk prior special operations Marine.

We can talk until we're blue in the face about these things, but what it comes down to is that you can never be "ready" for all situations. You've simply got to be able to adapt to rapid changes in your surroundings and circumstances. This requires Situational Awareness (did you notice that the Marine's seat belt was off and his door was open?) and a willingness to do whatever you have to in order to keep yourself alive. If the cab driver had pulled a gun, he'd have had it take away and fed to him. 

However, if that guy could have gotten away and created some space, he might have been able to get a position in which the Marine had to sober up or face being shot.
There are a few ways he could have done that, and starting with a good understanding of assaults and the cues that go along with them, and some familiarity with these kinds of situations goes a long way in preparing yourself to deal with the monsters that lurk around out there.

Guns aren't always the answer, but they definitely have a place. Knowing that place, and how to either get their as quickly as possible, or avoid it all together is what this is all about. 

Cheers,

Aaron

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2011
Posts: 344
The first thing

I notice is how far into hostile dealings people have become used to - comfortable with even.  Where I'm from, in my life, I'd have been out that cab long before G.I. Asshole got to his mental redline.  But, a cab driver in a big city....just another fare.  I'm just saying many of us, maybe all of us, have 'waded into the water' more than we realize and when trouble erupts it might end badly.  Just a thought.

phecksel's picture
phecksel
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2010
Posts: 204
Who is going to protect your

Who is going to protect your from a person with criminal intent?  The quick easy answer is the police.  they will protect us, right?

Wrong gun powder breath

Quote:

Law enforcement generally does not have a federal constitutional duty to protect one private person from another. For example, if a drunk driver injures a pedestrian or a drug dealer beats up an informant, agencies and their officers usually would not be liable for those injuries because there was no duty to protect.

http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=341&issue_id=72004

This came to a head in my own personal life when my wife, kids, and dogs were attacked by a loose pit bull while out walking.  Nobody was injured, but two things clicked on the lightbulb in my head.

  1. There was nothing I did or could do to stop this essentially wild animal
  2. In my ultra small town, it still took the police 45 minutes to respond.  This we done and over with by the time they finally were able to show up.

 

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