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Thread: Should US have gun control?

  1. #61
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katia View Post
    After publication of addresses of gun-owners some of them were killed. And couple were nearly burglarized by people who wanted to get their guns.
    There is something ironic about that. Why didn't the gun owners use their guns to protect their lives and property? Isn't that the whole point?

  2. #62
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    If the newspaper publishes their addresses, telephone numbers and all data? I think one must be prepared, mentally and physically to the fact that your own data - where do you live, , who are you, what do you own is published in the newspaper and realize that one is a target for some "serious" people. Guns are needed for "normal" protection and not when one is unknowingly and suddenly, thanks to liberal journalists, target for criminals.

  3. #63
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I agree with that. Not so much the part about nefarious journalists, but the part about "ordinary" versus "serious."

    If you become the target of serious people you are dead meat, gun or no gun. But you might be able to scare off a teenaged burglar who sneaks in to steal your TV for drug money, thinking no one is home.

    The goal should be to get the guns out of the hands of the serious criminals -- but that seems to be impossible.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    The government has a standing army of 2,000,000 trained soldiers.
    1,458,219 Active personnel
    567,299 Reserve and National Guard personnel
    1,129,283 total
    Tha's data from 'Wikipedia. However Huffington Post quoting Reuters is saying that "The size of the active-duty Army would be trimmed to 490,000 over five years from its wartime peak of 570,000 in 2010 and the size of the Marine Corps would fall to 182,000 from its high of about 202,000."
    So I think you got somewhat carried out.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I agree with that. Not so much the part about nefarious journalists, but the part about "ordinary" versus "serious."

    ....... But you might be able to scare off a teenaged burglar who sneaks in to steal your TV for drug money, thinking no one is home.

    The goal should be to get the guns out of the hands of the serious criminals -- but that seems to be impossible.
    Well, the people who were nearly burglarized, weren't. They had guns and they prevented burglaries. In one case burglars wanted to steal the guns, but the guns were in good safe so the burglars did not get it.
    I did not say "nefarious" journalists. I wrote "liberal, anti-gun-activist journalists"
    The goal ,as you wrote, is impossible, because it is impossible to eliminate all crime. However, it may be somewhat much more possible if the government (Department of Justice) did not help the criminals, for example by selling guns to Mexican drug barons who of course used these guns on US territory.

  6. #66
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katia View Post
    True, but it will be a crime, even if it will not be a homicide. And furthermore you are using similar tactics here like that guy telling people that "according to him" Plushchenko did not have an operation - may be he had may be he had not. Don't you? Why not believe that there are people who attack the guards? And if you are doubting guards, why believe police or the government? How are they better (or worse) then the guards? Is it only because they are bureaucrats?
    Under "Stand Your Ground" you can kill someone, and it is not a crime. Of any kind. All you have to do is convince the powers that be that you felt threatened. If you felt threatened, and are in a public place or your own home (with some limitations which vary by state), you can shoot somebody dead and it is up to the police to prove you did not feel threatened.

    I kid you not.

    There was a particularly sad case where an exchange student knocked on the door of the wrong house, looking for a Halloween party, and the home owner was frightened of him and shot him dead. No crime.

    There was a case where the guy lived. He and a neighbor, who had a legal gun, got into an argument over how many garbage bags the neighbor had put out on the street. The neighbor shot him, told him, "That will teach you not to get in arguments with a policeman," and left him for dead on the street, calling neither the police nor 911. Fortunately for the guy, someone else called 911, and he lived. The off duty cop with the gun was not charged with anything, including depraved indifference, because he said he felt threatened.

    So you can kill anybody you want in Florida, as long as you have a legal gun, and carry it concealed. Just know the right story to tell.

    A 20 something guy in Sarasota county was chased down by a an off duty cop. The kid & a friend were playing the old "ring and run" joke. The cop chased the boys, caught one and killed him. No crime was charged.

    The most revealing was 2 drug gangs who got into a gun fight in, I believe Tampa area. Both gangs had carry permits. Both gangs said, "The other guy was firing at me, and I felt threatened (probably true, too)" All of them got off scot free.

    I would bet that most guns that people get shot with are legal guns, mainly because it is so darn easy to get guns in the US. 40% are by mail order without background check. How hard is that? The guy at the Sandy Hook school had legal guns, for example.

    If you'd like to look at Stand your ground cases in FL, have a look at the Tampa Bay Times database. Have a look at the causes. If you click on any one, it goes to the article on the case.

    http://www.tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/data

  7. #67
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    I remember that story of the kids going trick-or-treating. I think the dead boy was from Japan, and the combination of the language barrier and the culture gap between the two participants in the tragedy was too much to overcome.

    When you think of it, the most heavily armed people are often the least protected against gun violence: cops and teenaged gang members. (I'm not lumping them together, mind you. But it's ironic that they're in similar positions, each group being shot at so often.) For different reasons, both groups carry guns. Their body count, however, is rather high. Repeat after me: a gun is not a shield.

    One Supreme Court justice (the quote is variously attributed to several men) has said that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. If both sides worked together, people could work this out without gutting the second amendment.

    Another irony of the situation: a lot of pro-gun people say, why don't we instead look at the violence in music, movies, and video games? As Chris has pointed out on another thread, many of the action stars in excessively violent movies are staunch Republicans or conservatives. This includes Bruce Willis , Kurt Russell, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (I have no information on Quentin Tarantino's affiliation.) I guess these guys just want us to work on the mental illness aspect of the equation and leave everything else alone.
    Last edited by Olympia; 02-16-2013 at 05:50 PM.

  8. #68
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katia View Post
    1,458,219 Active personnel
    567,299 Reserve and National Guard personnel
    1,129,283 total
    Tha's data from 'Wikipedia. However Huffington Post quoting Reuters is saying that "The size of the active-duty Army would be trimmed to 490,000 over five years from its wartime peak of 570,000 in 2010 and the size of the Marine Corps would fall to 182,000 from its high of about 202,000."
    So I think you got somewhat carried out.
    I guess I was looking at this Wikipedia page, showing 2,315,958 U.S. military personnel, including reservists (2010 data), in all branched of the service combined.

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

    Anyway, one million or two, the question was whether individuals with hand guns and assault rifles in their homes would be able to protect themselves from the U.S. government, should the government start trampling on peoples' rights. This is an argument that NRA president Wayne LaPierre and the gun manufacturers lobby has offered in support of their position. I do not think this is a very compelling argument against gun control.

    About liberal newspaper people, I look at it this way.

    Suppose an armed intruder comes into your house and shoots you. The number one person that society should be mad at is the armed intruder. The next person we should be mad at is the person who supplied the armed intruder with a gun (otherwise there would have been no armed intrusion).

    Way down the list we get to liberal journalists, liberal politicians, President Obama, and liberals in general. Scoundrels one and all no doubt. But let's go after the actual criminals first.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    Anyway, one million or two, the question was whether individuals with hand guns and assault rifles in their homes would be able to protect themselves from the U.S. government, should the government start trampling on peoples' rights. This is an argument that NRA president Wayne LaPierre and the gun manufacturers lobby has offered in support of their position. I do not think this is a very compelling argument against gun control.
    Yes, for a long time this did not occur to me, but then as we were discussing things on this thread, the realization suddenly came into my mind that it's laughable to imagine that even an advanced weapon can defend against a government with an armed force that can take down entire countries (though it generally doesn't). This idea that somehow instead of being protected by a system of laws, we must once again depend solely on the survival of the fittest is neither enlightened nor conservative, unless one thinks that the Articles of Confederation are superior to the Constitution.

    I'm not saying that people shouldn't own guns. But I do think that the logic of counting on them (and on your ability to use one to defend yourself when taken by surprise by someone who bursts in already locked and loaded while you're sitting at dinner, taking a shower, or sleeping) is chancy at best.

    And now over the weekend comes news of a second suicide by gun in the same family: country singer Mindy McCready has killed herself and, apparently, her dog several months after the apparent suicide of her boyfriend. Clearly this woman had problems, including addiction of some sort. What was she doing with a gun in her home? I have no right to ask, I guess. But I'm glad she didn't have her kids in the home with her and her gun and her dog when she decided to end it all.
    Last edited by Olympia; 02-18-2013 at 12:07 PM.

  10. #70
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    There was also a recent case of an ex soldier who was being treated for ptsd, He shot a former SEAL and his friend at a gun range.

  11. #71
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Ref: We are the government. Not any more, sadly. I have to agree with Al Gore in his new book. Democracy has been highjacked by industry and people of wealth. Politicians dont need your vote. They need big bucks to run TV commercials to win elections. One buck, one vote.
    Ref: Blink so it can come and get us. Ask the patriots at Lexington...ask the Native Americans at Wounded Knee...ask the US citizens of Japanese descent. Ask the survivors of the camps in Poland. Ask the state troopes I know who are buying their own weapons and asking me how to store ammo, etc. Ask the state Sherrifs organizations that are telling Obama they wont inforce his laws.
    Ref: the American citizens that had "their rights taken away" during an hysteria that was inforced unevenly. And were later apologized to and offered a bit of compensation. I guess they trusted their government. I dont trust anyone who puts me 17 trillion in debt. People and the supreame court didnt challange FDR cause of fear and racism. And yes, there were some Germans who did challange Hitler over the Jews. God bless them.
    Ref: the Jews. I am no expert on their religion. I dont know what they would have done at the time they were rounded up even if they had guns. But I do know some did get guns and fight in the Warsaw ghetto.
    And I do know that a bunch of very bravel people formed a country called Israel and they knew that the only way to keep that country was to arm their citizens and fight anyone who dared to take away their freedom.
    I guess my question to every person in the US of Jewish faith is this. If I were to ask a death camp survivor today, with historical perspective in their minds, if they now wished they had possessed an assault rifle with a 30 round mag
    on the day they were taken away on those awfull trains...what would they say? I say this. You wanna save lives? Take away alcholhol, tobacco, and cellphones that text. They are not needed and you will save lots of lives doing so.
    Unfortunately, guns for honest citizens are a necessity. People are shot in Spokane and there is major crime every day due to gangs and drugs, just like in Chicago. We live in a society we have made because great evil was done when
    good people did nothing....where 40 million copies of just one violent video game are sold to people like the Sandy hook shooter...where morning show anchors laugh at video of Bruce Willis machine gunning people...where states like
    Massechuttsets wont give the government any information about their mentally ill so they can be stopped from buying guns. I have worked for and with Policemen for 30 years. I dont think I have met one that thinks guns are not a nessesity
    anymore. I would urge you to not listen to the police cheifs on tv....they are appointed by politicians and have to answer to them....so, do I trust my government? No. If they take away guns and not alchohol and tobacco, they are trying to
    control me, not save lives. As a side note, those of you that did not live through the Vietnam war where LBJ went mad and killed 58,000 American kids for no reason by faking the Gulf of Tonkin incident might not understand "not trusting the govt."
    But that is OK. The German People trusted Hitler too cause he brought them out of depression and made them feel good about Germany again...but look what happened....so sad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I don't like the word trust in this context, Chris. The government isn't a group sitting out there waiting for us to blink so it can come and get us. We are the government. It works as long as we keep an eye on it. If you think the government is the enemy, take a look at countries where there is no functioning government. What kind of a life could you have there, even if you had an arsenal--or a private militia? Ask someone from Lebanon.

    Thinking about Mirai and her family, and Kristi's family (who actually were interned--Mrs. Yamaguchi was born in a camp): the Issei and Nisei didn't have their guns taken away. They had their rights taken away by law. There were years of restrictive immigration laws, and then during the War, California and other states (interestingly, not Hawaii) rounded up Japanese-Americans under the authority of a new law, Executive Order 9066. If the Japanese-Americans had stood up with arms, the army would have come in and mowed them down. Also, I am sorry to say, most of the country did not leap to their defense. In fact, most of the country seems to supported rounding them up, because people in those days were scared and suspicious after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and they were also a lot more ignorant about diversity than we are today. (This shows that we have progressed, which is good news.) That's why I think that this hot-button issue isn't a useful argument in this case.

    As for Jews during that time, the difference between America and Europe wasn't the fact that Jews in America were armed and Jews in Europe were not. I am Jewish, and my family was the classic immigrant family, growing up in urban tenements. My grandfather was even a tailor. Their guns were not taken away. They didn't have guns. They didn't even have pets. They had food for the next day. They had books, in English, Hebrew, maybe Russian, and Yiddish, and (because learning was the way to success) in French, German, and Latin. It wasn't guns that protected them. It was laws. By contrast, the laws in Europe in 1941 were the Nuremberg laws. European Jews with guns fought, in places like Warsaw and Vilna, but when things come to the point of hiding in ruined buildings and firing on the greatest army in Europe, the odds will not favor the freedom fighters. Most of them died with their guns in their hands. I honor them in memory--I may have been related to some of them--but I would far rather they had had the law on their side, not an extra rifle, or even a rocket launcher.

    Government in a democratic country isn't evil. It's inefficient. It's especially inefficient in a country with 300 million people who all disagree with one another. There are people who want to get richer than other people, who manipulate the laws in their favor if they're not closely watched. There are of course criminals. If you feel safer with a supply of guns in your home, be my guest. But I don't think any amount of armaments will protect you against "the government." As you know, they also have an air force.

    The Second Amendment isn't going to be removed from the Constitution. Guns are part of American history and consciousness. But are we not to be allowed to ask questions about regulating gun ownership? Of course, we need to think about how we treat the mentally ill, and how violence is used for fun in movies and video games. But we do need to talk about the easy availability of guns.

  12. #72
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    PBS is broadcasting various shows about different aspects related to Newtown dialog - American society, psychology, etc. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/ar...5p4lofm/y8s2IA

  13. #73
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Lots of stuff on the news about psychology and mass murderers now....
    Apparently, many if not most of them are on SSRIs
    http://www.ssristories.com/index.php?p=school
    Since they change brain chemistry, I can well believe it. There were few school shootings before SSRIs...that doesnt prove much but it is worth looking into....

    Quote Originally Posted by heyang View Post
    PBS is broadcasting various shows about different aspects related to Newtown dialog - American society, psychology, etc. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/ar...5p4lofm/y8s2IA

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    I agree about the medication, Chris, and I always wonder about pollutants in the air and soil and also chemicals in foods.

    Chris, I don't disagree with everything you said earlier, and I'm not trying to argue with you, but I don't agree with all of your solutions. I suppose I'd say that I think there's a difference between not trusting what the government is doing (or allowing to be done) and not trusting the government. I trust our system of government, because I don't see many other forms that are better. (I equate parliamentary democracies with our three-branch setups for the purposes of this argument.) The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil, and I think that unfortunately there's a lot of money in play in our country, and this is the source of many of our problems. Also, we're very big, both in terms of economic power and (these days) in terms of sheer population, which means that we're both unwieldy and very influential all over the place. It's a bit of a shock to realize it, but I think we're now the most populous country behind China and India, though they're each far bigger than we are.

    One of my points is that having a household gun isn't going to protect you against those big forces. Certainly if you feel that you need guns at home to protect your household from crime, you're more than entitled. I don't think that most anti-gun people want to wipe guns off the face of the continent--that's unrealistic. You have cited groups such as the Jews in Europe and the Japanese here in the war years as examples of defenseless people, and I once more say that a gun in everyone's hands would not have gotten them out of their predicament. Maybe a few would have escaped into the hills, but most would have been mowed down where they stood. I concede that this instant death would have been better than what the Jews faced in the camps, but the Japanese were interned and not put to death, and they mostly survived. So having a gun, or many guns, is not the answer in any of those circumstances, and it would not be the answer today. None of us are the Maccabees. Remember that the only thing that doomed many of the Maccabees (in the Bible) was that the Syrian army just had a lot more people; they were not technologically superior to the Maccabees. These days, and in the days of Hitler, national armed forces are way superior to any individuals or any small groups. Airplanes, remember?

    So what I'm saying is that arming yourself isn't a solution to any problems you perceive. What ends up happening with the breakdown of public safety is that you get a lot of militias and scattered groups, and as always, the richest people are the safest, because they have private armies. If anyone wants to see how that works, look at Lebanon or the chancier cities in Brazil. Why would we throw away one of the most beautifully designed government systems to live like that?

    Another thing you say in your argument is that the government wants to take away guns but not alcohol or cigarettes. Well, the government did try to take away alcohol. The Volstead Act was enshrined in the Constitution, the eighteenth amendment. Prohibition didn't work that well. And if this is a democracy, taking away alcohol or cigarettes is as unlikely as taking away guns. Democracy is messy. That's its weakness and its glorious strength.

    You know that I agree with you about the glorification of violence in movies, music, and video games. I honestly don't know what to do in a democracy. Or in a world where the Internet can't be regulated. I wish that we could somehow just change public opinion, and maybe that can someday be done. Look at how smoking has decreased among the hip and the cool, and how even Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a seat belt in his car.

    I also agree with you (and probably everyone here, certainly including Tonichelle) about the situation with the mentally ill. No one benefits from current rules. Parents of mentally ill young adults have gone on record as trying fruitlessly to get help for their sons, but everyone's hands are tied. These parents are often the first ones killed if the young person snaps. I don't know how we get from point A, where we are, to point B, where the mentally ill can be protected from their illness and their own actions, and we can be protected from them. It's definitely part of the problem, especially when you look at the recent spree killings, just about all of which were perpetrated by people with uncontrolled mental illnesses. (Of course, not every mentally ill person is violent, but it's easier to be violent when there's a gun around--one of my fears about guns.)

    One piece of hope I give you is the civil rights movement. I know that you lived during that time, as I did, but I didn't appreciate its audacity until I had to study it for work. It is astonishing what was achieved with nonviolent direct action. And it took less time than any movement of "armed struggle" that began around that same time. (I think of the generations of the IRA actions, and the continuing violence in the Middle East.) And the opposition to integration, to simple human dignity was not only entrenched but incredibly violent and powerful. I once had the privilege of talking on the phone to F.D. Reese, who in 1965 was the head of a black teachers' organization in Selma, Alabama. At that time, holding that position, he was not allowed to register to vote. Look up what the power structure in Mississippi was like from the 1880s to the 1960s. It was basically a fascist state. When federal authorities went hunting for Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner in the swamps of Mississippi where they had disappeared, they found more than half a dozen bodies of other people who had just been taken away in the night and dispatched through the years, no questions asked. And yet today, people can vote, run for Government office...the Governor of Louisiana is the son of immigrants from India.

    It's more difficult to effect change using the methods of public opinion, positive action, and calling people in power to account, but it's the only way that really works.

  15. #75
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    OK, finally had the time to watch the PBS special, Guns in America...while full of inaccuracies (the ex com. of NYPD saying the street sweeper held 100 round when it really holds 12) there were truths also. Given the gangs of Spokane and Chicago have guns illegally, what good does passing more laws do? You make people responsible for their actions. Just like people misusing alchohol and cell phones, which is much more likely to get a non gang members killed than an honest person owning a gun, we need to
    turn into a responsible society. 10s of thousands of people fail the gun buying backround check every year, including the newtown shooter and the fireman shooter...yet the government does nothing to stop these folk that purger themselves on a witnessed government form. The liberal state of Mass. refuses to give the backround check system a list of its most mentally ill people. And they are not the only state. Felons who own guns are not delt with harshly. I am a civilian who got a 6 week backround check by the state patrol for my job. Then I got another one for my concealed carry permit. I believe in backround checks if used responsibly. (You cant even buy ammo in Illinois without an FOI card. ) I also believe that we should not be kicking out know violent humans back into society.
    But the biggest problem with the special is ignorance/bias of the producers. They failed to talk about all the Sherriff's associations that have wrote the President telling him they refuse to enforce his laws. Secondly, they know nothing about weapons. A fully auto M-16, if you could steal one or go through the procedure to become a class 3 weapons dealer, etc. will empty its 30 round mag of .22 cal projectiles in a little over 2 seconds. Pretty awesome killing machine? Huh? Yet a Winchester 1897 shotgun (along with the Mod 1912) will put out 27 .22 cal projectiles in about one second. With another 27 projectiles in the magazine. This weapon was so feared by the WWI German Army that they officially complained about us using it in the trenches and threatened to punish any soldier that had one. (These were the same folks that used poison gas first) And yet, this weapon is a curio and relic and can be sold without a backround check. ) We used this weapon right through Vietnam. Realistically, there is no difference between an AR with one ten round mag and an AR with two ten round mags, except a two second mag change. There is really no differnece between a six shot revolver and an auto pistol. its the person shooting it that makes the difference. The Sandy Hook shooter used four pistols to do his evil. A civil war Cav. Officer very often carried two or more.
    Remember that 17 shot Winchester 1866 rifle in the story? You would be suprised at how fast that gun shoots. A gun is a gun and a bottle of gin is a bottle of Gin. Both will kill you in the wrong hands. If your interest is saving lives, work on alchohol, tobacco and cell phones. If your interest is only gun violence, make the feds who refuse to enforce the laws they have accountble and get rid of the gangs. And ask yourselves about the parents of the kids who refuse to raise them or who let their children sit in a darkened basement playing violent games alone and worshipiing Norwegian mass killers. And a society that refuses to treat its mentally ill. A gun is a gun and a car is a car and booze is booze. And there should be some regulation. Just like for violent porn video games.
    I do have to comment on Doris' remarks. Even though in WA state I have great power over life and death, I and my retired trooper friends know the consequences. While we all have guns, we are very reluctant to use them. And that is the way it should be.
    I have only had to pull my gun twice against people to defend myself, and once on a wild dog pack, and in the two former cases, the mear presence of my willingness to defend myself against violence stopped violence and the perps ran. I am here to tell you that it is not a good feeling to have to pull a gun on a person, but I am also here to tell you I am sooooo glad I had a gun at the time. Druggies breaking into occupied homes is not rare. Sometimes they are so high they have no idea where they are or who they hurt.... Men stealing women's cell phones (Apple Picking) and even pushing the women off of subway platforms in the act, is not rare. If you chose to not own/carry a gun, then I would at least consider a small can of OC10/Mace (get the stream kind) or a taser. Its better than nothing.
    Personally, I dont carry a gun when I go walking...I do use OC10. Steal my car and you can have it. But Try to break into my house or my car while I am in them, and its a different story. Try to hurt my wife,and you will find out about my moral code. I dont know one police officer that feels different. If or how you chose to defend yourselves is your private decision. But there can be no doubt that valid threats exist.

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