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Archive through November 04, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » The Monkey Hole » Sniper suspects arrested » Archive through November 04, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Mogan_David
Posted on Monday, November 4, 2002 - 7:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

So you guys all sleep with handguns and Chinese war swords under your beds! If that's how bad things are then thank fuck I don't live in the USA. I don't know anyone who keeps a weapon of any sort under their bed at night. Most people I know feel safe in their own homes.



It's not that I don't feel safe in my home HG.

I have handguns for the same reason that I carry fire insurance, medical insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and life insurance. I also have a burglar alarm, fire alarm, and a carbon monoxide alarm.
I don't expect any of these disasters, but I love my family enough to be sure that they are protected should the worst happen.

The idea of me or my wife investigating a noise in the house at night with anything less than a firearm is as irresponsible as not paying my insurance premiums.
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 12:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

A further clarification on the question of prior criminal records of murderers. The percentage of murderers with ADULT criminal records for violent felonies or burglaries turns out to be more like 75%, according to the FBI, BUT more than half of the other 25% are still juveniles, so they don't have an adult record yet. Murder is rarely a person's first crime, and the average murder convict has six years of prior criminal activity.


Quote:

If that's how bad things are then thank fuck I don't live in the USA.



It isn't that bad, actually. The crime rate in the US is as low as it was in 1917, and lower than it has been since the 1950's. As a matter of fact, the robbery, assault and particularly burglary rates in London are higher than in most US cities. We just like to be prepared, is all. It comes down to a fundementally different approach to government, I think. We don't look at the government as a higher power that protects us, but as an empolyee that performs certain services. We don't want the police to have to protect us.


Quote:

Perhaps more burglars carry guns because the people in the houses they are breaking into carry guns?



T'other way around there, sir. The fact is, there are totally different cultures of crime in our two countries. The FIRST thing most American crooks would do, finding themselves in a country where the police don't usually carry guns, is to GET A GUN. Penalties, schmenalties. Dealing drugs can get you a mandatory life sentence here, but it doesn't seem to scare anybody. Besides, they'll have a hard time catching you if they can't return fire.

From what I understand, however, the criminal culture in British cities is changing as the immigrant population grows, and these newer arrivals aren't quite as averse to guns, and as you find yourselves with large, marginalized communities of racially and culturally distinct minorities, you are beginning to see the same things we have.

I didn't intend to imply that Northern Ireland was a 1-to-1 parallel to the US. I was trying to illustrate that social and cultural factors play a much larger role in the nature of violence in a country than the legal availibility of guns. If you look at coutries (even "industrialized" ones)with high levels of gun violence (and there are many worse than the US), you won't find a real pattern regarding the severity of their gun laws. What you will find is nations with deep-rooted cultural, ethnic, racial or class conflicts and large, marginalized underclasses.

Some interesting cases: Taiwan has a very high murder rate, higher per capita than the US or Northern Ireland, yet almost NONE of those murders are performed with guns. Taiwan has very strict gun laws, which might well be keeping people from using guns to kill, but they are still killing. France and Finland have almost as many gun DEATHS per capita as the US, not because of murders, but suicides (which make up 65% of gun deaths in the US, but 87% in Finland). Norway has almost as high a per-capita rate of gun ownership as the US, yet has almost no gun murders. Finland may well have more handguns, per-capita, than the US, and while it has a high homicide rate for Europe, firearm homicides are rare.

In the western world, in fact, there is a stronger correlation between the rates of CAR ownership and gun homicide in a country than there is between the rates of GUN ownership and gun homicide. (Which isn't to suggest an actual relationship between car ownership and gun crime, but it illustrates how weak the correlation for gun ownership is.)
Drinky_Crow
Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 9:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Not a very collegial tone, Mr. Crow.




Check his own tone in his words of greeting me to this board. He deserves no better. You pointed out very well why what he wrote was STUPID; I wasn't inclined to spoon feed him so.


Quote:

I do believe you are confusing the world as it is with the world as it should be




There you have it. That is the Liberal disease. To put it another way, they suffer from the "Somebody Else" syndrome.

"Who will protect my lilly white ass when a bad man comes?"

Somebody else.

"Who will pay for my medical care?"

Somebody else.

"Who will keep me from being stupid with a gun by locking it up where I can't get it?"

Somebody else.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 9:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

So you guys all sleep with handguns and Chinese war swords under your beds! If that's how bad things are then thank fuck I don't live in the USA. I don't know anyone who keeps a weapon of any sort under their bed at night. Most people I know feel safe in their own homes.

In the UK anyway most burglars don't carry hand-guns (getting convicted of burglary carries a vastly smaller sentence than getting convicted of breaking into a house carrying a firearm). Perhaps more burglars carry guns because the people in the houses they are breaking into carry guns?
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 9:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Blackjack,

The violence in Northern Ireland is an entirely scenario. It is not carried out by individual owners of illegaly held firearms, it is in basically a war between the British Army and guerilla armies who arm themselves by sophisticated methods. The average member of the public in Northern Ireland has virtually no chance of getting hold of an illegal gun. As gun laws in Northern Ireland are intended to stop ordinary members of the public holding guns, then these laws work very well. Northern Ireland is not awash with freely available guns, the paramilitaries and the armed forces hold all the guns.

If guns were legally available in Northern Ireland then every bigot (and there are loads of bigots in Northern Ireland) would have one available to shoot Catholics or Protestants who live a few streets away (thankfully for now they are happy to beat the shit out of each other with hurlings sticks and baseball bats). If you think freedom for the public to bear arms should be applied to Northern Ireland then you're off your fucking rocker.
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2002 - 7:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I forgot about the training part. In Virginia, you must go through a training course (or have military/police experience) before getting your concealed carry permit as well. However, the license fee is more like $50 in most counties, and the VA Supreme Court ruled that local municipalities can't make it prohibitively expensive.


Quote:

So 1 in 5 murderers would be entitled to legally own a firearm (and carry it around in many States).



Not exactly, when you take into account the demographics of murder, including the fact that a disproportionate percentage of them take place in urban areas, and most major cities in the US have strict controls on gun sales and ownership.

LH, let me give you a little more perspective on the nature of murder in the US. MOST, and I mean the plurality, of murders committed in the US are committed by young, low income, urban black men who are involved in the drug trade or gangs. Most of the VICTIMS of murders, not incidentally, are also young, low income urban black men. If you removed that single demographic from our murder statistics, our murder rate is no higher than Portugal's.

Why do I point this out? Not to villify black men (who are, as I pointed out, also the VICTIMS) but to demostrate that there is a very specific set of social and economic circumstances which is contributing to the level of violence in our country. The presence of legally-availible guns is irrelevant to the issue. In fact, many of the areas with the highest rates of gun crime (e.g., Washington DC) have gun laws more strict than those in the UK.

What I'm saying is this: the large majority of Americans, of all races and creeds, who are NOT involved in the drug trade or gangs, manage to own guns without murdering each other any more frequently than people do in places where guns are strictly controlled. Gun control won't solve the violence here any more than the gun laws in Northern Ireland have stopped the violence there, because in both cases the violence is rooted in much deeper social issues.

One last thing. You mentioned "protect[ing] the public". Well, in the US each year, about 2.5 MILLION people use a firearm to protect themselves or their property from criminals. (That isn't a statistic from the NRA. It's from a study done by a respected Florida criminalogist, Gary Kleck, who is an ACLU-member, and a lifelong Democrat.) Even the lowest estimates (based on FBI numbers) put the number of defensive uses at about 110,000. Now, I can't say how many lives were saved (since most of these incidents were cases where an intruder fled when the presence of the gun was made clear) but it certainly makes a strong statment for the contribution guns make to "protecting the public".

And I'd probably meet an intruder with a da-dao (Chinese war sword), just because it's easier to fit under the mattress than my Winchester. I figure the sight of 230-pounds of naked punk-rock ass swinging a giant machete around is probably enough to do the job...
Crosby
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 10:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dianne Feinstein has a carry permit. Rosie O'Donnell, who thinks none of us should have guns and uses her TV show to promote her message, pays an armed body guard to protect her and her kid. Fucking hypocrites.
Mogan_David
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 4:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

If you took out this element, I do think that gun clubs with a quartermaster and a secure storage space are not a bad idea. Not to 'control' the guns, but to protect them. A major source of illegal guns is burglary from private homes.



I don't want a handgun so that I can plink at cans at the local gun club. I have a handgun to protect my home and family. Locking up my handgun with some quartermaster would defeat the purpose of even owning one.

I watch a lot of movies where the bad guy breaks in and the homeowner comes out with a broomstick or sometimes a ball bat.

This is fucking absurd to me.

Is this what liberal people do? Is that what people like Dianne Feinstein want me to do when some stranger breaks into my home?

I'm curious HG and PV, what would you do if someone broke into your home in the middle of the night?
Is it the broomstick, steak knife or the ball bat?
Of course, HG you are a big strong man. What are your wife and kids supposed to do if you are away when the break in occurs?

I have an alarm system that's monitored by a service that calls the police in case anything happens. We can run away if the opportunity presents itself, and if it comes down to it, my family has one other alternative.
There's a handgun on either side of my bed so that if I'm away my wife has one she can easily reach.
Most of the people I know live this way and Its hard for me to imagine people who don't value their loved ones enough to keep a firearm around for their protection.

MD
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 11:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not a very collegial tone, Mr. Crow.

But Hob, I do believe you are confusing the world as it is with the world as it should be. I do not believe the police are my friends, however good their intentions, and I do not like the idea of the police knowing where every single gun is stored, so that they can quickly seize them if and when they decide to crack down on the populace.

If you took out this element, I do think that gun clubs with a quartermaster and a secure storage space are not a bad idea. Not to 'control' the guns, but to protect them. A major source of illegal guns is burglary from private homes.
Drinky_Crow
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 10:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

the gun should be stored under highly secure conditions and the police should be aware of the gun's whereabouts




If only this enlightened policy had been in place 200 years or so ago, Americans would still be British subjects. It worked very well in Germany more recently, too. Please see my profile and take full advantage of the invitation.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 1:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

MD

There was a case a few months ago where an English family coming back from a holiday in the USA had a 'replica gun' confiscated before being allowed to board the plane. The 'gun' in question was a 2 inch long plastic toy gun which belonged to an 'action man' doll that their young son had bought while on holiday. All in the interests of public security. How ridiculous is that?
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 12:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Something on the order of 60% of murders are committed by people with previous convictions for violent crimes, and 80% are committed by people with criminal records."

That still leaves 40% of murders being committed by people with no previous convictions for violence and 1 in 5 murders committed by people with no criminal record at all. So 1 in 5 murderers would be entitled to legally own a firearm (and carry it around in many States). These are not exactly insignificant figures and we impose laws and restrictions to protect ourselves against much smaller risks to our well-being than this.

My view is that if you want to use a gun to shoot for recreation at targets in a secure gun club then fair enough. But to protect the public the gun needs to remain under highly secure conditions at the gun club. The exceptions to this would be game-keepers, farmers etc who use guns to control animal populations, pests etc. and when not in use the gun should be stored under highly secure conditions and the police should be aware of the gun's whereabouts.
Bob_Chong
Posted on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 10:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"and they must pay a couple hundred dollar license
fee"

When will the gummint stop pretending with all the symbolic language and just fucking admit it already that this is a TAX. Plain and simple.
Mogan_David
Posted on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 2:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You gotta agree with Blackjack on this one. In fact if there had been any increase in violent crime in the states where gun laws were loosened the anti-gun lobby would be crowing loudly. Their silence on this issue is more convincing than anything I could add to BJ's comments.

The rules for carrying a concealed handgun in Texas require the applicant to be a non-fellon, have completed training on handgun safety and the law concerning handguns, and they must pay a couple hundred dollar license fee. People who do these things rather than just carry illegally are the kind of people who care about their reputations and respect the law. These are exactly the kind of people who should be allowed to carry a firearm if they choose to.

Your comment about the reaction in the UK to the Dunblane Massacre reminds me of the United States reaction to 9-11. We now confiscate people's nail clippers at airport security. Sometimes we feel we aren't safe unless we act silly. The sillier we act the safer we must become. A kung-fu master who could hijack an airliner with a pair of nail clippers probably could do just as good a job of without them.
So we search old ladies handbags and x-ray the shoes of businessmen. We don't reinforce the doors to the cockpit, nor do we allow pilots to carry guns. Based on the silliness factor, we can't get any safer than we are now.

I heard that they took an old lady's knitting needles away from her before allowing her to board an airplane. They were afraid she might knit an Afghan.

MD
_Blackjack
Posted on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 2:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In most states in the US, people are NOT allowed to carry guns unless they have gone through a rigorous licensing process. Oddly, those states (like my own) where one can carry after a simple background check (to confirm you are not a felon or have not been involuntarily committed) have seen no increase in gun crimes since they loosened their rules, and some have seen a marked DECREASE in things like robberies. In fact, only two or three people who have been licensed to carry in these states have used their guns in crimes.

Your "Joe Public" stance is not wholly accurate. Something on the order of 60% of murders are committed by people with previous convictions for violent crimes, and 80% are committed by people with criminal records. There are 80 million people in this country who manage to own guns without ever shooting anybody.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, November 1, 2002 - 10:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

MD,

"The point that I've been trying to make is that not only is it a bad idea to ban guns, but that it's impossible."

It's impossible to ban anything so why bother with laws then?

Anyway I'm not too extreme on this issue I'm just slightly on the other side of the fence.

In the UK it used to be possible to own a hand-gun (although it could only be kept and used in a registered gun club which I think is a sensible precaution). After the Dunblane massacre a total hand-gun ban was implemented as a knee-jerk reaction to appease public opinion (which is anti-gun in the UK). Have shootings involving hand-guns decreased since the ban? No, they've increased (in line with the general increase in violent crime). All this ban did was stop members of gun clubs using hand-guns for recreation in a safe, secure environment.

Where I oppose gun ownership is when people are allowed to carry them around with them on the streets. Just because someone legally owns a hand-gun does not necessarily make him a model, law-abiding member of society. Crimes of violence are committed by people who are part of our society, not by some easily recognisable under-class.

Crimes of violence are carried out by Joe-public, so I'd rather Joe-public wasn't allowed to legally walk around carrying a gun. I've twice been attacked by a baseball bat (and twice just with fists) after supposedly 'cutting someone up' on the road. All of these people looked perfectly respectable, law-abiding types. If they had been carrying legally held guns (at least the baseball bat wielders anyway) I doubt if I'd be around today. As for the argument that if I had a legally held gun I'd be OK, well I don't really fancy the idea of engaging in shoot-outs and, as I've got better things to do with my time than go to a target practice range, I'd probably be a lousy shot anyway and come off worst.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 5:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Note entirely true. Some debates are so domnated by people rushing towards the middle that nothing ever gets done...
Pataphysician
Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 1:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Fill in the blank with any issue you can think of and this sentence will always be true:

The main problem with the _______ debate in the US is that it is so dominated by the extremists on both sides that it is impossible for anything sensible to happen.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 1:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Which is of course bullshit, because even if everybody did have guns, most college campuses would never allow people to carry them, licensed or not, for liability reasons.

The main problem with the gun debate in the US is that it is so dominated by the extremists on both sides that it is impossible for anything sensible to happen. The gun-control nuts are bent on eventually eliminating private ownership of firearms, and the gun nuts refuse to accept ANY gun legislation beause they are afraid it is a prelude to said elimination of private ownership.

So instead ofcommon-sense laws that would help keep guns out of the hands of felons, we end up with laws that ban guns for being black and scary-looking, demands for technologically impossible "smart guns", ballistic fingerprinting schemes which would require millions of man-hours (the BATF's ballistic fingerprinting lab has a huge backlog for testing guns actually involved in criminal cases. Testing every gun made or imported would be absurd) or forcing trigger-locks on people who have no children.

I've said it before: I don't worry about gun control, because (for reasons detailed below) I know if I ever really needed a gun, I could get one, and if I needed it that badly, I wouldn't care if it was illegal.
Pataphysician
Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2002 - 11:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

From the Associated Press:

"TUCSON, Arizona -- The National Rifle Association went ahead with a rally two days after a failing student who collected guns shot three professors to death before killing himself, four miles from where the rally took place.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre defended the event saying that there was no connection between the gunman's actions and what the NRA stands for.

'I honestly think that if a madman had driven a car into a crowd and if there was a car convention scheduled, they wouldn't cancel the convention,' LaPierre said.

'That tragedy would not have happened if more people had guns,' said Mike Middono, who attended the rally."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
_Blackjack
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 12:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not many Hell's Angels were skilled organic chemists until there was a big profit in it. And making guns, like making drugs, does not require a great deal of UNDERSTANDING of what one is doing, just the ability to duplicate a process. In the case of making guns, you aren't even risking blowing yourself up in the process of learning, either.

If there was a total ban on the sale and ownership of guns in the US tomorrow, there would be illegal gun manufacturing within months.

This doesn't even begin to broach the question of what you would do about the 200 million legally-owned firearms which suddenly became illegal. Unless we were planning to do massive house-to-house searches, I can guarantee that a good portion of those would never be turned in.
Pataphysician
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 11:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

...and landed in John Connally's wrist?
Head_Prosthesis
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Was that the bullet that
then pierced the ovaries
of a Confederate soldiers
young wife causing her to
become pregnant?
Mogan_David
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 10:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Unfortunately, a few assholes would ruin it by littering, or changing their oil, or playing hacky sack on it, etc., crimes for which the armed citizens would be forced to shoot them, so we're back to guns anyway.



Did you have to bring up that unfortunate incident? I told you I was aiming for the HACKEY sack, when I hit the nutsack. He still has one good testicle, so get off my back!
Drinky_Crow
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 - 9:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

This country is ALL about landowners...




True. It would be nice if we had preserved the concept of Commons, or common land, belonging to no one in particular and available to all.

Unfortunately, a few assholes would ruin it by littering, or changing their oil, or playing hacky sack on it, etc., crimes for which the armed citizens would be forced to shoot them, so we're back to guns anyway.

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