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Damn, gun grabbers!!!

Marcus Green
arch rival
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Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
Jason said:
A handgun has never murdered anybody. Noe pwople have used handguns to murder people. They've also used knives, cars, rope, candlesticks, axes, and a million other things.
Marcus replied
Unlike knives, cars,ropes or bananas, guns are specifically designed for killing. Thus if a society has a convenient supply of guns they may use them (and I emphasise the may) to kill each other with them. You can defend yourself with a rope, a big stick or a large heavy vegetable and the adversaries are quite likely not to kill each other. With a gun it is likely that someone is going to get killed.
Marcus Said:If those statistics are correct, or even approximatly correct then it should be possible to come up with a theory to explain the difference.
Jason said
I would say that availability is the main reason.
Marcus replied
That is a common theory in favor of gun control, however, if the statistics on Candada have any validity then availability may not be a guiding factor.
Jason said: However if we are comparing the rate of violent crime amongst different nations, the tool of violence really isn't that important. Of much more relevance is the overall rate.
Marcus Replied
Indeed ant according to common lore the US is a very violent society. The result of an extremly brief web search bought up
http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html
Which posits that the US is not particularly violent society. However it rates the US as having a homicide (that is overall not gun related)
of
5.7
by comparison with the UK of
1.41
And the UK does not have the lowest ranking. A rate of 5.7 is not remotely near the top but it does indicate a tendancy to kill each other and one of the popular ways to do it is with a gun.
Jason said:
I don't personally care more one way or the other whether I'm shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned. My concern is that violence was perpetrated on me in the first place, not how it was done.
Marcus said:
It may be that the two things that influence how likely you are to be the subject of violence is the attitude in the society (fear, anger, acceptance) and the convenience of commiting that violence. Thus it may be that the ease of access to lethal weapons in a society conditioned to use them results in more violence.
Marcus said: People in the US do kill each other disproportionatly with guns.
Jason responded: Is it really disproportionate? I honestly don't know. But in order to know, we would have to compare handgun availability to make such a determination.
Marcus respnded
My original quote was that people in the US kill themselves disproportionatly with handguns and I was making the point that in Candada with a comparable gun ownership ratio, and apparently similar society apparently has a much lower rate of gun homicide. This appears to beg the question, why?
Marcus said: I recently saw the Michael More movie Bowling for Columbine which is a documentry about this issue. The cinema was full and the audience clapped at the end. This was a movie, note Mr Moore was not in the country to my knowledge, but the audience clapped.
Jason said: While I'm not surprised by the theater's reaction over there, I have to point out that Michael Moore is an absolute idiot. Check out this article.

Marcus responded: I'm not convinced that calling Michael more an absolute idiot undermines the value of his movie to the debate on this topic.
If I can quote from that link
"Advances in Web page caching, most notably from Google, have made taking down a page into a more controversial act"
Anyone else consider removing one of your own web pages a "contraversial act"....


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Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
Unlike knives, cars,ropes or bananas, guns are specifically designed for killing. Thus if a society has a convenient supply of guns they may use them (and I emphasise the may) to kill each other with them. You can defend yourself with a rope, a big stick or a large heavy vegetable and the adversaries are quite likely not to kill each other. With a gun it is likely that someone is going to get killed.

I would not take much comfort knowing that while I'm less likely to be killed in a violent crime I'm much more likely to be involved in a violent crime. More on this in a bit.
That is a common theory in favor of gun control, however, if the statistics on Candada have any validity then availability may not be a guiding factor.

I think we could easily find statistics that indicate that in many places, incidences of violent crime rise accordingly with population density. Would you doubt that incidences of gun violence are higher in California than they are in say Wyoming? I wouldn't be surprised if more people in Wyoming were gun owners, at least guns per capita. Same thing with Canada. We are much more densely populated than they are. Sounds like as good of an explanation as any at least.
Indeed ant according to common lore the US is a very violent society. The result of an extremly brief web search bought up
http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html
Which posits that the US is not particularly violent society. However it rates the US as having a homicide (that is overall not gun related) ...

You should have read the site closer. See http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html which is linked from that page. Basically the gist of it is that these figures do not even remotely come close to being able to draw any conclusions regarding the influence of gun levels or handgun availability on violence rates.
It may be that the two things that influence how likely you are to be the subject of violence is the attitude in the society (fear, anger, acceptance) and the convenience of commiting that violence. Thus it may be that the ease of access to lethal weapons in a society conditioned to use them results in more violence.

If this were true, the UK would not have a violent crime rate that is higher than that of the US. Which brings me back to my earlier statement. If I'm involved in a violent crime here in the US, it would seem that there is less of a chance that I will live to tell about it than you would in the UK. However, living in the UK, you are much more likely to be involved in a violent crime in the first place.
My original quote was that people in the US kill themselves disproportionatly with handguns and I was making the point that in Candada with a comparable gun ownership ratio, and apparently similar society apparently has a much lower rate of gun homicide. This appears to beg the question, why?

Too many numerous factors boil it down to any one.
Marcus responded: I'm not convinced that calling Michael more an absolute idiot undermines the value of his movie to the debate on this topic.

While calling him an idiot may not undermine it, he is still of little value to this topic. He is an extreme-left winger with an agenda. He has a platform that he can use to foist his slanted views on others, without any need to resort to fact. The entire purpose of his movie, any movie for that matter, is to emotionally manipulate the audience. Just because he has political views which are attractive to some, doesn't mean what he has to say is any more valid than what George Lucas has to say in his Star Wars films. But his way of thinking plays better to some audiences than others, and like-minded people are much more willing to throw themselves on his altar and buy into what he has to say. This may account for the reaction you described.
Anyone else consider removing one of your own web pages a "contraversial act"....

No, unless you are a public figure who has made bold and embarassing statements, and then try to cover it up after the fact when things didn't turn out the way you hoped.
[ December 19, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
One problem with trying to blame guns for increased homicides in the US is that in the 50's when gun ownership was much more common, the homicide rate was actually lower. I think the rise in homicides in the US was accompanied by an increase in drug use throughout the country. The question for marcus is, why is their increased violent crime with guns in the UK over the last few years?


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Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Jamie Robertson:

you can't be serious!! First of all, gang members respect nobody. They don't fear guns, violence, etc because they are exposed to it on a daily basis. And you think they will respect you and be fearful when pull a gun on them?? I think the other four guys that you are not pointing the gun at will reach into their pants and pull out their gun and pop a bullet up your "I am God cause I have a gun" ass! But maybe you'll be able to shoot one of them as you fall to the ground bleeding like a bucket full of holes! But really, that was probably the second gun fight that week for the gang members, which have members killed on a regular basis. Do you think you showed them a lesson?? Do you think the guy you shot was the first to die from a gun fight in the gang? Probably not. So you're dead because you thought you and your gun were invincible. Then as your laying on the ground, the gang writes down the license plate of your car, finds your family and murders them. Alright, the story is getting out of hand, but be aware that just because you are afraid of guns and respect people with them, doesn't mean other people will. When you pull out a firearm you run the risk of elevating an otherwise non-fatal situation to one of life and death. I won't even get to the part where you accidentally shoot someone reaching for gum in their pocket or when your kid accidentally plays with it.
I'm not really for gun control, but more for responsibility for your own firearm. The most dangerous person is the idiot that doesn't respect his own firearm.
Jamie


Jamie,
you do not know who I am. Why would you naturally assume that _I_ would escalate the situation if I had a gun? Contrary to what you believe, I believe that _most_ people will not escalate the situation. Most people are not natural born killers. They don't look at a gun and say, "Geeze, I have a 38 special. I am God!!! If anyone crosses me, I'm going to cap that mutherfucker!!! Yea, because I have a gun and guns make me innnnnvincible!!!"
Instead, I think people see it as a form of protection for their families and home - and for themselves. As a matter of fact, I think most people who have guns will not even tell other people about. It's not very hip/cool/respectable to have a gun. There's an image of people owning guns as "backward hill billy/white trashs", etc.
Gang member, against popular belief, do fear death, just like we all do. However, IMHO, most criminals are cowards only preying on the weak... They will take whatever society will give them. Feel free to smash up a car in the middle of the day while everyone is cowering and ignoring you, we're not going to care. Heck, just make sure you are doing it fast enough.
I didn't tell you this, but when this was happening, I saw a little girl (I assume the daughter of the parents driving the black SUV she was in)that was a car ahead of me. She peeked outside of her window to look back @ the melee. She was mesmerized by it. Sometimes, I wonder what she was thinking about... why her parents didn't raise any objections? Why other people let it happen? Why it happen in the first place? Why were people cowering?
What are we teaching our kids? Don't help, just walk away? It's not our problem?
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Garann Rose Means:

Sir, I recommend that you do some research. There's one way to win a gunfight: be the first to draw. If an armed thug sees you reaching for a gun, he's not going to back down - he's going to use his advantage while he still has it and shoot you.
Maybe if everyone was armed, more people would stick up for each other, but I kind of doubt it. People tend to put their own self preservation first, and that means not willingly getting yourself involved in potentially lethal situations. Can you say honestly that, had you been carrying a gun, you would have stopped at pulled it on the car-bashers you saw? If so, you're very brave, but I'm sure your life insurance company regrets taking your business.
It's a terrible thing to live in a society where people are victimized and the innocent have to live in fear. But guns didn't create it, and guns won't solve it. You can't eliminate immoral or sadistic people by carrying a gun - you can only provoke them.
g.

Just because people are armed, this does not automatically entail gunfights. As previously mention, I doubt the thugs would even create havoc and destruction in the middle of the day with 30 or so odd armed citizens arround them.
If the same situation occured, and the only difference was that I had a gun, you are right: I would not have pulled it out. Twisted metal, cracked rubber, and broken glass can be repaired, replaced, etc. However, if they started beating the man and his passenager, I would have no compunction using any means possible to protect him - even if it involves using the gun. Call me brave, stupid, whatever, I will incurr some risk to my life for a fellow human being. Will you??? If you didn't have a gun and he was killed in front of you... would you sleep any better thinking "there was nothing that I could have done.... oh, well, tomorrows another day"???
-Eleison
Don Kiddick
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 580
In the UK you don't get kids walking to schools with submachine guns and blowing away their school mates and teachers, which is nice....
Don Kiddick
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 580
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:

Handguns didn't murder anyone.

You ever tried to hold up a school with a knife (or a banana) ? Guns may not kill people, but guns enable people to kill when otherwise they may not be able to. Also I think it's much easier to kill someone with a gun than with a knife as it kind of removes one from the act somewhat.
[ December 20, 2002: Message edited by: Don Kiddick ]
omar khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 01, 2001
Posts: 183
One simple question.
Why would a person like to own a gun and walk with it?
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
Originally posted by OMAR KHAN:
One simple question.
Why would a person like to own a gun and walk with it?

Thomas, Jason, and Cindy have covered my opinions quite well, so I havent' felt a need to jump in on the political debate.
As someone who does occasionally carry a concealed weapon (although not as often as I used to) I feel qualified to answer this question. I do it when I am going somewhere that I do not feel safe. I have learned to avoid those places more (which is why I don't carry as often), but sometimes it is unavoidable. Lately, crime has been getting more common where I live and I have been considering carrying again. I know that there is no guarentee that my gun will save my life, but there is a guarentee that it won't if I don't have it around.


Matthew Phillips
Pakka Desi
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Joined: Oct 11, 2002
Posts: 177
Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:
One reason for allowing arms in the US is that many people own large farms and ranches and properties. In many residential areas away from cities and downtowns, the houses are far away from each other. It may take atleast 5-10 minutes for the neighbours to arrive for help, the cops may take longer. In such cases they need guns to protect themselves in case of emergencies- from thugs who break into their house or from wild animals if they are living near such areas.
In heavily crowded cities and towns, where people live in apartments or houses very close to each other, where there are so many people around everywhere for the most part of the day, chances are less that you need guns to deter criminals. Because these criminals won't harm you in broad daylight if their sole intension is to mug you. And if you see them hitting someone during day, then that is most probably because of some previous enimity and there are gangs involved. And since you as a stranger dont know who's who on either side (as in the case of that car incident), you dont want to pull your gun at either side.
Moreover, if such cases are happening in crowded cities, then it is the duty of police to solve them. Further, in big cities, you dont want every one to own guns and take law in his/her own hands. People will soon loose all respect for cops and the law and order in the city. And you will always in constant fear because the guy sitting next to you in the train, in the bus, in the restaurant, may have a gun, may be drunk, may be short tempered, may be a psyco, etc. What if someone pulls the trigger at the railway station or in the restaurant? Pleople all over the place will start shooting at each other. It will be like jungle law: Whoever has a better and faster gun wins.
So I guess it all depends on the area and population density whether or not one should own arms for self-defence. You may keep a thug from breaking into your house, but as for the organized criminals, they will always be one step ahead of the general populace to acheive there goals.

I think this post hits right on the spot. One common gun law may not suit all. For example, if we allow everybody to carry gun in metros like NewDelhi/Bombay, I can imagine multiple bloodbaths happening in no time. There, quarrels break out so easily...on the bus, on the train, there are just so many people trying to make their ends meets. A small provocation such as stepping on somebody's foot in an over crowded bus causes a big quarrel.
On the other hand, in the villages of certain states such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, they still face the terror of decoits (yes, decoits with rifles on horses). There is no police to protect the villagers. In such a case, it makes perfect sense for them to own guns for their protection. Same is the case with people in Kasmir... the Army is giving arms training to villagers to protect themselves from the terrorists.
Of course, the examples are very extreme and the situation in the US is very different but I think the point that "the conditions should determine the gun law" would be valid here too.


I'm just saying...it's right there!
Don Kiddick
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 580
Originally posted by Cindy Glass:

We wanted to never again be put in a position where the general population should be afraid of it's own military. If the general population has arms, then there would be a chance of controlling the military if it/someone decided to try something stupid.

Good luck controlling your military with their high tech weaponary with your handguns, shotguns, peashooters and bananas.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Don Kiddick:
Good luck controlling your military with their high tech weaponary with your handguns, shotguns, peashooters and bananas.

It's a matter of escalation. One could see troops rounding up unarmed civilians. It is hard to believe that American troops would fire on American civilains without provocation which they would have to when faced with an armed group.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Don Kiddick:
In the UK you don't get kids walking to schools with submachine guns and blowing away their school mates and teachers, which is nice....

That is because your society is the pinnacle of enlightenment and we are savage barbarians. But aside from that, these very rare instances have not involved "submachine guns" afaik, but I get the jibe anyway.
When I lived in the UK, it was not uncommon to witness assaults occuring on the streets, even in broad daylight. Of course, this was usually outside of a pub, but not always. If we went on a pub crawl we did our best to stay in groups because it was not all that uncommon for one or two Americans out having a drink to get attacked by a pack of locals. Our joke at the time was that "Brits love to fight, they're just not very good at it." I also know that other forms of violent crime happen there, just as it does here. So please don't even begin to pretend you live a place that is anymore Utopian than here. Violence is violence, whether with the end of a broken beer bottle, a knife, a stone, or a gun.
You ever tried to hold up a school with a knife (or a banana) ?

No, have you? I am aware however that eight people, mostly six and seven year old children, were killed in a knife attack on a school in Japan not all that long ago. Good thing they have strict gun laws in Japan.
Also I think it's much easier to kill someone with a gun than with a knife as it kind of removes one from the act somewhat.

Okay, I have to ask... Is your experience with firearms pretty much limited to what you see on TV or in the movies? Maybe a kind uncle took you hunting once when you were but a wee lad?
Have you ever had to carry a handgun or rifle for the protection of yourself or others? Have you ever been in a situation where you knew there was a decent chance you might have to pull the trigger on somebody? I may very well be mistaken, I highly doubt you are in a position to judge how easy it is or how removed from the act you are. That is of course assuming you are a sane and rational person who values life, which I'm sure you are. People who are not sane and rational and do not value life will kill with any tool available to them.
Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
Jason said
..
"When I lived in the UK, it was not uncommon to witness assaults occuring on the streets, even in broad daylight. Of course, this was usually outside of a pub, but not always. If we went on a pub crawl we did our best to stay in groups because it was not all that uncommon for one or two Americans out having a drink to get attacked by a pack of locals. Our joke at the time was that "Brits love to fight, they're just not very good at it."
Marcus replied
Yes,we find it much harder to kill each other as we rarely have the right tools for the job at hand.
In my entire 42 years of life in the UK (including 8 years in the East End of London) the number of violent incidents I can recall seeing can be counted on the fingers of my two hands. I used to be a musician in the pubs and it always amazed me how many violent arguments broke out at closing time but they rarely actually reached the stage where violence was committed.
The interesting thing about homicide statistics is that they are more reliable than general crime statistics. Dead bodies tend to get reported. Thus 30 or 40 years ago there was apparently no "domestic violence" in the UK. There was apparently much less burgalry, (sp), but then again there was less home contents insurance.
Improving the quality or quantity of your police force can apparently make the overall crime figures go up as confidence improves that they might do something, people are more likely to report a crime, they rarely make the figures for homicide go up however.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Marcus Green:
The interesting thing about homicide statistics is that they are more reliable than general crime statistics. Dead bodies tend to get reported. Thus 30 or 40 years ago there was apparently no "domestic violence" in the UK. There was apparently much less burgalry, (sp), but then again there was less home contents insurance.
Improving the quality or quantity of your police force can apparently make the overall crime figures go up as confidence improves that they might do something, people are more likely to report a crime, they rarely make the figures for homicide go up however.

Both good points. You can always assume that violent crime is greater than the statistics show, whie homicide is probably pretty close.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
The Difference Between The Liberal and Conservative "Debate" Over The
War On Terrorism:
Question: You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two
small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife
comes around the corner and is running at you while screaming obscenities. In
your hand is a .357 Magnum and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds
before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?
Liberal Answer:
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question! Does the man
look poor or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that is
inspiring him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about
the kids? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife
out of his hand? What does the law say about this situation? Is it possible
he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me or
would he just be content to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold
on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me? This is all so
confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for a few days to try to come to
a conclusion.
Conservative Answer:
Shoot the son of a bitch! Then take your family to a baseball game, eat
some hot dogs with apple pie, sing the national anthem, go to church and
praise the Lord for one more day of freedom.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
The Difference Between The Liberal and Conservative "Debate" Over The
War On Terrorism:

That's good. It would be really funny thought if it weren't so accurate.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Oh bite me, you two. Any red-blooded man would sooner kill than watch his family be killed. I no more imagine a liberal would take a stabbing in sympathy for his attacker than a conservative would start in on a hot dog before the Magnum even cooled off. No party affiliation overrides love of family and you know it.
Now grow up and wish everyone a safe holiday season, or I'll be forced to taunt you a second time.
Merry Christmas to both of you, and I'd say that straight to your face if I had the chance.
[ December 21, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
Oh bite me, you two.

How would you know that it was two people you invited to bite you and not violent criminals threatening your life with their sharp, pointy, bitey teeth.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Son I've spent a life reading people's faces; knowing what the cards were by the way they held their eyes...

Merry Christmas to you too, whippersnapper.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Waaah Waaah Waah. So it is humor when about conservatives but boo hoo when about liberal stereotypes.
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Some one once did a comparison of the murder rates in Seattle, Washington with Vancouver, Canada. Seattle had the much higher murder rate; so the study was taken as proof of the effectiveness of handgun control laws. (Though Canadians have as many guns, fewer of them are handguns.)
Then someone pointed out that when the statistics were broken down into ethnic groups, it turned out that among Asians and non-hispanic whites the murder rate was no higher in Seattle than in Vancouver. The murder rate in Seattle was very high among hispanic immigrants and blacks, who did not have much of a presence in Vancouver.
Whatever the reason for the ethnic disparity, it's probably the same reason for the high murder rates in Mexico and Jamaica (where handgun laws are extremely strict). In fact, American blacks have a much lower murder rate than Jamaicans (even though that 12% of our population provides 50% of our murderers and murder victims), and Mexican-Americans have a lower murder rate than Mexicans in Mexico. (Oddly enough, Japanese Americans commit murder at a rate lower than the Japanese in Japan, too. Among the Jews I know in New Orleans there is a _much_ greater rate of handgun ownership than among Jews in New York or Chicago, but I've not heard of any Jews committing murder in this city.)
So I suspect that a population's murder rate is primarily driven not by the legality of handguns, but rather by individuals' beliefs about the justifiability of homicide in various situations. The main determinant as to whether one commits murder (or suicide) is whether one chooses to do it. If you can select the time and place and surprise the victim, it's probably pretty easy even with an improvised weapon -- humans being so soft, pink and thin-skinned.

As for my personal experience, when I moved to New Orleans 13 years ago it had a very high murder rate, mainly among the poor, and a growing problem with street robberies and carjackings. Seven years ago Louisiana got a law forcing police to issue handgun carry permits to people with clean records who take training (comparable to that required by private armed security guards). Our murder rate today is comparable to what it was before, but the robbing of people in the streets and in their automobiles and the abduction, rape and murder of middle-class women by strangers is _way_ down.
For countries that simply consider individual armed self-defense uncivilized, I suggest an alternative. Pass a law forbidding _any_ kind of resistance to rape or robbery, and offer amnesty to any criminal who provides proof of a victim's resistance so he/she can be prosecuted. Then criminals won't need guns to commit rape and robbery; a video camera to record the victim's resistance will be all they need to force compliance. Rape and robbery will thereby be made safer for everyone.
Nevertheless, criminals will always need guns, if only for dealing with other criminals. If necessary, they will kill policemen to take their guns. To prevent that, police will always allow the black market a sufficient supply, regardless of the law.
Melvin Menezes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
Just because people are armed, this does not automatically entail gunfights. As previously mention, I doubt the thugs would even create havoc and destruction in the middle of the day with 30 or so odd armed citizens arround them.

Agreed. They won't create havoc openly. They will not use a baseball bat or a hockey stick to beat the man and the passenger in the car. But since normal citizens are armed, you can be 100% sure, those criminals are heavily armed too. They'll use their guns, finish the job, and run away. We cannot expect a quick response and a great presense of mind from those 30 armed citizens around to save the victim by using their own guns.

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
However, if they started beating the man and his passenager, I would have no compunction using any means possible to protect him - even if it involves using the gun. Call me brave, stupid, whatever, I will incurr some risk to my life for a fellow human being. Will you???
-Eleison

Do you seriuosly think that it is practical for someone to do that? How would you help?
Will you roll down the window, poin the gun, and shout on the top of your voice warning them from within the car? Or will you roll down the window and just shoot at the gang (ok, below their hips, not the head) from within the car?
Or will you get out of your car and run to the spot where the gangsters are commiting the crime?
In either of the cases, how do you know the gang does not have a good back-up? Some of the gang members may be standing in a nearby telephone-booth, watching from a nearby restaurant? They will all be shooting at you from far away, the moment they spot a trouble.
Are you assuming that the other 30 or so armed-good-citizens-who-are-passing-by will also come to the rescue and so you will not be alone? And even if they did gather over there, how do you know which of those 30 guys pointing a gun are a member of the opposite gang or just some good samaritans like you trying to avoid the crime, only that they reached the spot seconds before you did? It will not be long before a gunfight breaks out.
Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
If you didn't have a gun and he was killed in front of you... would you sleep any better thinking "there was nothing that I could have done.... oh, well, tomorrows another day"???

Wouldn't it be better to stay within the car, doors and windows locked, and help by calling 911 from cell phone or a phone booth a few blocks away?
Using a gun for self-defense is one thing. Using it to solve crimes on streets is like undermining the authorities and taking the law in your own hands. And that is an offense too. It would be better to join the police force instead.
IMHO!
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:

Wouldn't it be better to stay within the car, doors and windows locked, and help by calling 911 from cell phone or a phone booth a few blocks away?
Using a gun for self-defense is one thing. Using it to solve crimes on streets is like undermining the authorities and taking the law in your own hands. And that is an offense too. It would be better to join the police force instead.
IMHO!


Melvin Menezes,
you do make some good points. A lot of "What if's"... Too much for me though - but valid (as in _could_ happen). I cannot say whether the thugs would be better armed, if they would have backup, if they would have backup of backups. If they would "raise the stakes" with machine guns, rocket launchers, tanks, etc.... Or if the good citizen of the world, even armed, would walk away.
Let's assume it is you in the car and they were cutting you up with a knife and smashing your head in with a bat (Too bad you didn't have a gun handy in your car). With your line of reasoning, I guess it would be okay for me to just call 911 and do nothing to help you (even if I was armed). Hopefully, within the 5-10mins that it takes the police to come, Melvin Menezes will still be alive. Cheers.... Later @ my nice and safe home, lying on my soft and safe pillow, I will somewhat feel terrible if you died, but hey I didn't join no "police force"..... Good idea Melvin... Screw them all... What in the world does Eleison have to do with Melvin and his brains getting spattered every which way? It's his problem, the police's and the criminals' - NOT MY PROBLEM... why risk MY life when criminals could be packing guns.. rocket launchers... etc..

-Eleison
PS. running for the DEM non for president on the "IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM" platform. The "if you are in trouble - SCREW you!!!" :-)
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
All this "what-ifs" and theoretical arguments about how many gunfighters can dance on the head of a pin are all very interesting but...
In the US we have major cities that allow people to carry concealed weapons and those cities do not have more gunfights or shootouts than cities that don't allow concealed weapons. Rather than argue about what you think might happen, why not look at what is actually happening?
Melvin Menezes
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Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
Melvin Menezes,
you do make some good points. A lot of "What if's"... Too much for me though - but valid (as in _could_ happen). I cannot say whether the thugs would be better armed, if they would have backup, if they would have backup of backups. If they would "raise the stakes" with machine guns, rocket launchers, tanks, etc.... Or if the good citizen of the world, even armed, would walk away.

Thanks for agreeing with me, even if partly. Honestly, when I as a red-blooded human being myself think about it, even I feel that if I have a gun and if I see some bad guys smashing an innocents's head, I will shoot them right there without a second thought.
All those 'what-ifs' in the previous post were just to support my arguement that a gang-stlye street-crime situation is not usually as simple as it may sound. And those what-ifs are only partly valid in that particular hypothetical car-smashing situation. In other situations (e.g. holdup at a gas station, stabbing and holding hostages in a theatre, or a fight in a liquor bar) those "Set of 'what-ifs'" change quickly.
I personally would love to own a gun myself and be prepared all the time, but again that is only as far as I can envision those situations in my mind. I am really not sure how I would actually react in a real-life case, because an incident in a real-life will definately be different than all the ifs-and-elses that I can possibly imagine and be prepared for. Besides, I cannot devote time to practice shooting often, and so I can't shoot from the hip and am not a sharp-shooter (that my very first bullet will hit the target and not anyone/anything else). [b]And that is precisely what the COPS are specifically trained for.[/i] There are special teams that collect crime data, analyse the patterns, and provide the cops with the best possible training to tackle the worst.
Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:

Let's assume it is you in the car and they were cutting you up with a knife and smashing your head in with a bat (Too bad you didn't have a gun handy in your car). With your line of reasoning, I guess it would be okay for me to just call 911 and do nothing to help you (even if I was armed).

I would wish you shoot at each one of them and save my life and I would shoot at them too if we were in reverse position. But as I said before, the basic assumption here is that you as normal citizen have a gun and those criminals are carrying a knife and a bat. How plausible is that?

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:

Hopefully, within the 5-10mins that it takes the police to come, Melvin Menezes will still be alive. Cheers....

If such incidents are happening very often in a city, then I would say there is something wrong with the city's administration. They probably need someone like Rudy Giuliani as their Mayor. But I dont see the rest of the peace-loving citizens carrying guns around as a substitute for efficient administration.
Melvin Menezes
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Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
All this "what-ifs" and theoretical arguments about how many gunfighters can dance on the head of a pin are all very interesting but...
In the US we have major cities that allow people to carry concealed weapons and those cities do not have more gunfights or shootouts than cities that don't allow concealed weapons. Rather than argue about what you think might happen, why not look at what is actually happening?

This is what actually happened in NYC. You may ofcourse find other similar or opposite cases.
----------------------------------------------
Date June 19, 2000
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced today that the City of New York will become the first jurisdiction in the state of New York and the 32nd local government in the nation to sue the gun industry.
...
"New York City has some of the nation's strictest gun laws," said Dennis Henigan, Director of the Legal Action Project...
Source
http://www.bradycampaign.org/press/release.asp?Record=267
----------------------------------------------
As Mayor, Rudy Giuliani has returned accountability to City government and improved the quality of life for all New Yorkers. Under his leadership, overall crime is down 57%, murder has been reduced 65%, and New York City - once infamous around the world for its dangerous streets - has been recognized by the F.B.I. as the safest large city in America for the past five years.
New York City's law enforcement strategies have become models for other cities around the world, particularly the CompStat program, which won the 1996 Innovations in Government Award from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. CompStat allows police to statistically monitor criminal activity on specific street corners as well as citywide, holding precinct commanders accountable for criminal activity in their neighborhoods. Because this data is updated constantly, it enables the police to become a proactive force in fighting crime, stopping crime trends before they become crime waves that negatively effect the quality of life for neighborhood residents.
Source :
http://www.nyc.gov/html/rwg/html/bio.html
Organized criminals need organized police forces.
Individual armed citizens are no match. Anyday.
Just my $0.02. cheers
[ December 24, 2002: Message edited by: Melvin Menezes ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:
This is what actually happened in NYC. [/URL]
Yes, but this had nothing to do with stronger gun control laws because NY already had the strongest gun control laws in the country when Rudy became mayor. It had everything to do with stronger law enforcement and support of the police department from the mayor's office.
Melvin Menezes
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Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Yes, but this had nothing to do with stronger gun control laws because NY already had the strongest gun control laws in the country when Rudy became mayor. It had everything to do with stronger law enforcement and support of the police department from the mayor's office.

Ok agreed. So do we both now agree atleast on one thing, that stronger law enforcement and support of the police department from the mayor's office did help reduce the crime rate in NYC, and it is one example that crime-rates can be reduced without arming regular citizens?
Eleison Zeitgeist
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Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:

Ok agreed. So do we both now agree atleast on one thing, that stronger law enforcement and support of the police department from the mayor's office did help reduce the crime rate in NYC, and it is one example that crime-rates can be reduced without arming regular citizens?


I agree with this statement. However, you have not convinced me that arming the general public would not have also lowered NYC crime rate even more. Most research that I have seen, has shown that armed public do lower the crime rate... (debate all you want, but _most_ scholars will agree with this when confronted with cold hard stats).
The fundamental question here I think is the following: Why are people so against giving the average joe the ability to protect himself? I was thinking about the for a while... I have come to this conclusion(IMHO): people who are pro-gun control have never owned one. They do not trust themselves with one. Nor do they trust their fellow human beings. They feel that if they have a gun, there will be an animalistic urgh to shoot things at the first provocation. They have seen too many dirty harry movies, and cowboy and indian stuff...
I have used a gun before. I have seen, first hand, how firearms can be used as a deterent. I have seen other people handle a gun. To me, I have trusted people (your average joe) to responsibly use their firearms..... it is just like a car.. a tool that one uses... no less no more...

-Eleison
Eleison Zeitgeist
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Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:

I personally would love to own a gun myself and be prepared all the time, but again that is only as far as I can envision those situations in my mind. I am really not sure how I would actually react in a real-life case, because an incident in a real-life will definately be different than all the ifs-and-elses that I can possibly imagine and be prepared for. Besides, I cannot devote time to practice shooting often, and so I can't shoot from the hip and am not a sharp-shooter (that my very first bullet will hit the target and not anyone/anything else). [b]And that is precisely what the COPS are specifically trained for.[/i] There are special teams that collect crime data, analyse the patterns, and provide the cops with the best possible training to tackle the worst.
If such incidents are happening very often in a city, then I would say there is something wrong with the city's administration. They probably need someone like Rudy Giuliani as their Mayor. But I dont see the rest of the peace-loving citizens carrying guns around as a substitute for efficient administration.


I agree that there are many things that can occur in any given situation. However, most rational people prepare for the most reasonable (high likelyhood of happening). It is like saying don't wear a seatbelt because in a car accident many things can happen. The seat might trap you in your car. The seatbelt might strangle you. The seatbelt could be useless if you're hit from behind, etc... In the situation with the crooks, the odds of them using a rocket launcher is very low --- obviously, this does not mean it could happen. However, should people prepare for it? And if they don't, does this mean that they are ill-prepared?
I agree that you may not be a good candiate with owning a gun because, as you stated, you [B] "cannot devote time" on learning how to use one. However, why limit people who will/can devote some time in learning how to use one in hopes of protecting their families?
Cops are no different than most people. Underneath the badge, they are still human. If you look at some of the stat about them, most of them don't even have a college education. As a matter of fact, I have met a texas cop, and to the best of his knowledge there is nothing "magical" about the training that he had receive... btw, I have hear most of them agree that citizens should be allowed to own guns to protect themselves.
Eleison
[ December 29, 2002: Message edited by: Eleison Zeitgeist ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:
... and it is one example that crime-rates can be reduced without arming regular citizens?
I have never claimed that arming the populace will reduce the crime rate. What I say is that there is no evidence that disarming the populace will reduce the crime rate. It seems to me that taking away guns from law abiding citizens is a cop-out used by clueless politicians so they can pretend they are doing something to fight crime.
Melvin Menezes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
I agree with this statement. However, you have not convinced me that arming the general public would not have also lowered NYC crime rate even more.

My quick answer is: if it is possible to reduce the crime rates by either of the two ways
a) Allowing citizens to arm themselves
b) Without allowing citizens to arm themseles but by using other means (compstat program of NYC for example)
Isn't better to use option b? Now whether option a reduces crime 'even more' and faster, and maintains peace longer, than option b, is debatable unless either of us can convince the other, with substancial evidence.

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
Most research that I have seen, has shown that armed public do lower the crime rate... (debate all you want, but _most_ scholars will agree with this when confronted with cold hard stats).

If you can provide with some links that show detailed analysis of the statistics done by scholars (analysis that take into consideration- crime rates, population density, city/village's proximity to industrial/business areas, poverty, unemployment, average incomes, etc.(the whole demograhics that make every place different from the other), then I would be more than happy to go over them before I make any comment on this.

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
The fundamental question here I think is the following: Why are people so against giving the average joe the ability to protect himself? I was thinking about the for a while... I have come to this conclusion(IMHO): people who are pro-gun control have never owned one. They do not trust themselves with one. Nor do they trust their fellow human beings. They feel that if they have a gun, there will be an animalistic urgh to shoot things at the first provocation.

You got me there! Yes I haven't owned or used one myself. But I can't speak for all who are pro gun-control though. The fundamental reason (IMHO) is the differences in the way we look at it.
Case 1:
A free world is the one where everyone has a right to own a gun to protect himself/herself and his/her family/interests. Everyone trusts the other fellow human beings that they will not shoot because they fear others might retaliate.
Case 2:
A free world is the one where everyone is free of fear and worries about protecting himself. Everyone trusts the other fellow human beings and hence do not need to keep guns and are happy to know others are also unarmed because they trust them in return.
In which case do you think are we building more trust among fellow beings and proceeding towards a better society?
Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
They have seen too many dirty harry movies, and cowboy and indian stuff...

And I was thinking the same about pro-gun-owners that they probably watched too many Clint Eastwood and Van Cleef movies identifying themselves as the saviors of the world

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
I have used a gun before. I have seen, first hand, how firearms can be used as a deterent. I have seen other people handle a gun.
To me, I have trusted people (your average joe) to responsibly use their firearms..... it is just like a car.. a tool that one uses... no less no more...

We cannot compare cars and guns in any way, not atleast in this context. There is a vast difference between the necessities of the two inventions. The primary use of a car is transportation. The primary use of a gun is to kill. The analogy doesn't exist.

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
I agree that there are many things that can occur in any given situation. However, most rational people prepare for the most reasonable (high likelyhood of happening). It is like saying don't wear a seatbelt because in a car accident many things can happen. The seat might trap you in your car. The seatbelt might strangle you. The seatbelt could be useless if you're hit from behind, etc... In the situation with the crooks, the odds of them using a rocket launcher is very low --- obviously, this does not mean it could happen. However, should people prepare for it? And if they don't, does this mean that they are ill-prepared?

Again, we cannot compare seatbelts and guns in any way. The primary use of a seatbelt is to protect you from sudden-jerks which are results of your own driving; Getting trapped in seatbelts is merely a co-incidence that does not happen always. The primary use of a gun is to kill. The analogy simply does not exist.
And I am sure the insurance companies are studing and researching on seatbelts, ABS, etc. constantly. They will mandate the use of a different device the day seatbelts start prooving hazardous.

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
I agree that you may not be a good candiate with owning a gun because, as you stated, you [B] "cannot devote time" on learning how to use one. However, why limit people who will/can devote some time in learning how to use one in hopes of protecting their families?

As I said before, I am not against people owning guns for self-defense, or those who keep them handy to protect their houses, ranches and farms, etc. But I certaninly do not want anyone interfering with the authorities in public places. Better keep out of their teritories and do not step on their toes.

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
Cops are no different than most people. Underneath the badge, they are still human.
As a matter of fact, I have met a texas cop, and to the best of his knowledge there is nothing "magical" about the training that he had receive...

Are you trying to say that anyone can put on the uniform and a badge and handle all the stuff like the cops do without any training? AFAIK, there are various levels of cops, various team specializing in different types of crimes, and are given widely different trainings. They are trained not just how to shoot, but also how talk, how to negotiate, and how to keep their cool. I can't say anything about the particular texas cop that you met, but I guess he was probably just being humble by saying that.
A very important point is that, you and me have an 8 hours job, we need 8 hours to sleep, and the rest 8 hours to spend with our families/recreation/etc. I cannot expect that there will be an Eleison around at every street whenever required. And a single cop does the same things as we do, that is, job/sleep/family. But protecting is part of his job. And, when made up of several people taking turns, an organized police force becomes a 24 x 7 functioning unit.
Another important point is that I refuse to trust any tom, dick and harry acting as a super hero on the streets without proper authorization. An ordinary armed passer-by witnessing a crime does not receive any commands from anyone and is not answerable to anyone if something goes wrong on his part or if he miscalculates the situaltion and jeopardizes the safety of other ten citizens in trying to save one.
The cops, on the other hand, are selected by the authorities. There are vigilance officers to monitor their performance. They are answerable to their superiors which in turn are answerable to their superiors. Ultimately it goes up to the offices that we elect during the election. If you find them inefficient, then you have a chance in the next election. After all, part of the money that we pay as taxes is spent on those trainings and protecting civilians, Isn't it?

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:
If you look at some of the stat about them, most of them don't even have a college education. btw, I have hear most of them agree that citizens should be allowed to own guns to protect themselves.

I can't comment on this one as I have not seen any such stats or heard any cops saying one way or the other. I give you the benefit of doubt. (But, only for the sake of arguments; I don't buy that religiously:-))
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
There are three things that can happen by allowing guns to be owned by law-abiding citizens:
1) crime will decrease
2) crime will remain the same
3) crime will increase
If either of the first two occur, (and the evidence I have seen seems to point to either 1 or 2 being the case) then why would we take guns from law-abiding citizens?
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
why would we take guns from law-abiding citizens?

Particularly since the US Consitution states otherwise. An inconvenient point for gun-control advocates.
Melvin Menezes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
Aren't we repeating the same things over and over again?
Law abiding citizens can keep guns for self-defense and I agreed to this several times before. They can keep them in their OWN properties for their OWN protection- place of residences or place of work such as behind the cash counter of a large grocery store.
But a system that allows law abiding citizens to carry concealed guns in public places in crowded cities such as trains/buses/or even in their car and while walking on the streets so that they can use it when required is a self-defeating system. I am refering to the incident happened in Chicago described by Eleison in the very first message of this thread.
For example, NYC does allow people to keep guns in their houses, does not allow to carry concealed guns in trains and subways.
------------------------------------
Wish you all a peaceful New Year!
Melvin Menezes
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Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 156
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Particularly since the US Consitution states otherwise. An inconvenient point for gun-control advocates.

I guess you are refering to the Second Amendment
"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."
There have been very interesting arguements on both sides about the meaning of the terms 'regulated', 'militia' and 'people' refered over here, whethere it means individual citizens or regualted body such as National Guards. But I got to go now and so we'll continue this next year
Happy New Year!
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:
But a system that allows law abiding citizens to carry concealed guns in public places in crowded cities such as trains/buses/or even in their car and while walking on the streets so that they can use it when required is a self-defeating system.
I'm not saying you are wrong, but before I want to take away someone's rights I want to see proof that it serves some public good. Is there any real evidence that not allowing people to carry firearms will reduce crime?
Matthew Phillips
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Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
I think that along the way I missed some point. It seems that we are talking about whether or not law-abiding citizens carrying guns should be illegal.
By default a law-abiding citizen is not a murderer, rapist, armed robber, etc. It seems that the focus should be whether or not to prevent law breakers from carrying guns. In that case, a law to prevent this still isn't sufficient deterent to someone who is already willing to break other, more serious, laws.
Why punish someone for being law-abiding? A law to prevent such a person from carrying a concealed weapon would certainly prevent a law-abiding citizen from doing so. It will in no way stop a criminal from carrying a concealed weapon. It seems obvious that laws to prevent carrying weapons are not about making the streets safer.
Randy Motluck
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 19, 2002
Posts: 10
All,
This is an interesting thread. Both sides make good points. I feel the argument against guns is weak.
If people were really interested in outlawing items that kill people or harm society, cigarettes, alcohol and cars would have to be on the top of the list. These should go far above guns in the list.
But it is really a matter of utility. A friend that is a lawyer pointed this out to me, and I seem to agree. People that complain the most about guns and violence don't own any guns and seem not to have ever used one (sports, recreation, or otherwise). If you have no use for a gun, fine. Don't tell everyone that they can't have one either.
Cars kill massive amounts of people in the US but no one every ponders making autos contraban. Every one "needs" a car; therefore the utility factor has a role. Gun control advocates always say nobody really needs a gun! It seems bizarre to me. Maybe everyone who advocates gun control should give up their cars for a year or two...
Living 200 miles from Chicago, I don't see tons of gang-land violence. I do live in a suburban area, though. This state requires its own ID card for purchase of firearms and ammunition. Stricter laws will not change intent people from obtaining guns, through whatever measures.
In this area of the country, hunting is a popular sport. Shooting clay targets is also popular.
Eliminating guns would hamper these sports.
Knives are also used in murder. Soon, are we going to ban fillet knives from fishermen?
I think the real issue is that people, in general, are not as willing to take responsibilty for their own actions these days. Governments in many areas of the world are condoning this behavior - including the US.
Everyone has some kind of problem whether it is drug abuse, alcoholism, irritating family, rude coworkers, or just a bad disposition. That is not an excuse and we in the US don't really need to find a scape goat in guns.
Eliminating guns will not eliminate the need for people to maintain self control.
Maybe the answer could fall in a test: Make 1/2 of some country gun free and the other half a place where responsible citizens are allowed to have guns. Give it ten years are check out where you would want to live.
That is just my $.02,
BTW check out this bit on Paramedics being issued body armor! I found it through Google.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/england/2117592.stm
 
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subject: Damn, gun grabbers!!!