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While we are waiting

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This is is for our American members..In light of the most recent shootings in the US. Has your opinion changed on gun ownership? I ask because, as I understand it there is a large proportion of people in the US dead set against any sort of gun reforms.

Many times I get envious of you guys being able to fire off a few rounds from WWII weapons. Then I see and read about some of the incidents in the US involving guns. It makes me glad that the UK has strict controls.

As an example, I just read that an African American was shot ten times and killed by a police officer whilst he was allegedly trying to get assistance after his car broke down. The recent Navy Yard shooting,the killing of Trayvon Martin and what seems like many many more..

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This is is for our American members..In light of the most recent shootings in the US. Has your opinion changed on gun ownership? I ask because, as I understand it there is a large proportion of people in the US dead set against any sort of gun reforms.

Many times I get envious of you guys being able to fire off a few rounds from WWII weapons. Then I see and read about some of the incidents in the US involving guns. It makes me glad that the UK has strict controls.

As an example, I just read that an African American was shot ten times and killed by a police officer whilst he was allegedly trying to get assistance after his car broke down. The recent Navy Yard shooting,the killing of Trayvon Martin and what seems like many many more..

The killing Trayvon Martin was self defense, Navy Yard shooting was in a gun free zone, just about all mass shootings are in gun free zones. Gun Control will not help prevent any mass shootings, Gun Control just targets law abiding citizens, because if a criminal wants a gun he is going to get a gun from a shady dude down the street selling handguns for inflated prices.

The government just wants to disarm the people who go against their agenda.

An armed society is a polite society.

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Not a bit.

Quite a few shootings would not have happened at all if those around the shooter had been armed. A gun is a tool. it's the man using it that's the problem (or the solution).

A couple cases in point: When I lived in Arizona, an open carry state (anyone who can legally own a gun can carry it openly without a permit) you didn't normally hear anything about home invasions, etc. If someone wanted to burglarize your house, they made darn-sure you weren't home. Some gang members out of Los Angeles went to Phoenix and tried to start their crap there, and do home invasions. After they were all shipped home in body bags, it stopped. Same thing with car jackings. When they started that, the state senate passed an amendment to the justifiable homicide law to specify the right to shoot to protect oneself in a car jacking. Car jackings dropped 90% starting the next day. The City of Phoenix enacted laws limiting the carry of firearms, the gangs have now moved in.

Currently there is a big push in the U.S. by the government to ban gun ownership, so these stories are being pushed to the front to try and stir people up. The media coverage then encourages idots to do these things to make a name for themselves and enjoy the media spotlight, and the cycle continues.

An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject. The U.S. Constitution does not give us our rights, it protects our God-given rights as free men that we already have, and limits governmental authority. Many in our government would do well to remember that.

Even though I talked about crime prevention, our right to bear arms is fundamental to the balance of power, in that since the government can have an army and armed police, the citizens have guns to deter those forces from being used for the wrong things. A propaganda blitz doesn't change that.

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The killing Trayvon Martin was self defense, Navy Yard shooting was in a gun free zone, just about all mass shootings are in gun free zones. Gun Control will not help prevent any mass shootings, Gun Control just targets law abiding citizens, because if a criminal wants a gun he is going to get a gun from a shady dude down the street selling handguns for inflated prices.

The government just wants to disarm the people who go against their agenda.

An armed society is a polite society.

That's about right. Statistically, the law-abiding owners (I'm one) don't commit these crimes. By far, most are committed by nutters/criminals who could care less what the gun laws are.

And +1000 to what Faelwolf said.

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The killing Trayvon Martin was self defense, Navy Yard shooting was in a gun free zone, just about all mass shootings are in gun free zones. Gun Control will not help prevent any mass shootings, Gun Control just targets law abiding citizens, because if a criminal wants a gun he is going to get a gun from a shady dude down the street selling handguns for inflated prices.

The government just wants to disarm the people who go against their agenda.

An armed society is a polite society.

I see, but many millions of you are armed(to the teeth in some cases)yet these killings still occur. Also and i may be wrong here, but it's not the criminals going on mass shooting sprees but law abiding citizens. Why are you guys so fearful of your government? I am sorry but i can't get my head around the idea that you have to be armed to the teeth to save you from Uncle Sam. What do you guys think will happen if you did not have your weapons?

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"Has your opinion changed on gun ownership?"

No. I have safely enjoyed target shooting and hunting since I was a child (many years):D

Good Senator Feinstein has never changed her opinion either, "If I could've gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them -- Mr. and Mrs. America turn 'em all in -- I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here."

I truly wish there was meaningful action on mental illness in the USA. This will not happen. Reforming mental health care will cost billions and there is no political clout to get significant votes for genuine reform.

I have seen literally hundreds of gunshot wounds and many (hundreds) of gunshot deaths in my medical profession capacity. I have had weapons shot in my direction with harmful intention. I have had weapons pointed at me with threats of injury. I have never returned fire and hope I never have to.

Much of the recently proposed "anti gun" legislation would do nothing to reduce criminals or mentally ill from using weapons to harm others but would restrict law abiding citizens their ability to own or even protect themselves with a gun if they must to survive.

I watched many many hours of congressional gun reform debate after Sandy Hook. It is disgraceful how many anti gun senators either do not understand what they are speaking / legislating about or simply provide misleading information as a basis for their plans to address gun violence and "mental illness".

So no. Responsible gun ownership and usage is a good thing.

para, "Also and i may be wrong here, but it's not the criminals going on mass shooting sprees but law abiding citizens."

para, you missed the mentally ill part of mass shooting / suicide. Criminals have little business reasons to do mass shootings. Criminals usually have targeted business reasons to kill.

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Mass shootings occur all over the world, and in many of the recent ones in the US were in places where gun control laws didn't allow guns...hence no armed person to intervene. I read somewhere an estimate that approx 700,000 crimes were prevented by civilians who pack heat, but I don't recall where I read it, and whether that was per year or since whenever those statistics started being compiled.

By far the vast majority of gun crimes are committed by those with previous records, even many mass shooters. But one thing all of the mass shooters have in common is (severe) mental illness. If a nutter steals a gun and goes to a school bent on killing, not much one can do about it.

By the way, I just enjoy targeting shooting, and have since I was a pup. Plus, i have hoe protection if nneeded. I have no particular beef with my government, or fear of it (though of course many do). All of my family and friends that own guns happen to feel the same--plus many of them hunt. It's a right protected by the US Constitution, so people get understandably upset when measures are taken or proposed that would appear to restrict or remove that freedom. That's one reason why people get concerned with registration, since some communities have "mandatory gun buy-back" laws, forcing people to sell their guns to the government for destruction. If your guns are registered, then the govt would know you have one (or more) to "sell back" or otherwise confiscate.

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Not being an American I think it is my right to tell you what to do. But I believe as long as Americans want to own tons of guns they will have to live the random school massacre every few months.

BTW, personally I have never fired a gun, but I would love to, actually.

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Every killer is not criminal, every killer is not mentally ill. Wouldn't you want to live in a place were you do not have to worry about someone being able to fire off hundreds of rounds in a school or a theatre?

Why are people against the most basic controls? why does someone need to have semi automatic weapons? large magazines? none or practically no background checking?

I am not trying to offend anyone. I just find it amazing that you guys will fight tooth and nail to keep an arsenal of weapons some of which only the military should only have.

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That's about right. Statistically, the law-abiding owners (I'm one) don't commit these crimes. By far, most are committed by nutters/criminals who could care less what the gun laws are.

And +1000 to what Faelwolf said.

Surely, that's a self-defeating argument. Most of the mass shootings, as far as the reportage that reaches this side of the Pond goes, are committed by people whose only serious criminality is the mass shooting itself. A number of the recent ones have been committed by people who arguably should have been determined incompetent to legally hold a firearm, but because the control laws are liberal (no checks on purchasers, for example, or no checks on how securely held they are at home) have been able to acquire a firearm or two without having to resort to that shady underclass armourer.

Personally, I sympathise with those law abiding citizens who wish to retain the right to keep at least weapon class (bare handed/muscle powered/chemical powered) parity with the crims (the horse has well and truly bolted over there in the USA, when it comes to controlling the access of the Bad Guys to firearms), but I don't understand why anyone could think that letting dangerously unstable people buy guns easily and legally (at gun fairs) is sensible. I see the perception of the danger of "Government" using any restriction to broaden restriction, but that's what pressure groups are to push back on. As it stands, the NRA just look like a bunch of gun-lovin' dickheads to outsiders, wanting to arm the mad and not-of-age for dogmatic reasons that have nothing to do with the safety and security of the public from either criminals or the depradations of the state.

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Um, actually murderers are criminals. (A few posts up.) The UK's gun laws did not prevent a soldier from being hacked to death in a busy street. If someone wants to live with strict gun laws they can move to any number of nations. If a 90 year old widow wants to protect herself afainst an intruder, she can hope that she can get to a phone and wait for the police or she can equip herself so she can take on any intruder on an equal footing. Her choice, not someone else's.

The media ignores car-induced carnage.

Those are just a couple points. Others have already hit the highlights.

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para "...live in a place were you do not have to worry about someone being able to fire off hundreds of rounds in a school or a theatre..."

Where would that be?

para, ".. keep an arsenal of weapons some of which only the military should only have."

This is the argument the anti-gun legislators particularly good Senator Feinstein have put forth based on their misunderstanding (from ignorance or intentional) about weapons systems.

The mentally ill DC shooter had a shotgun and hand gun and killed 12 people on a Military Base!

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An equally unproductive thread would discuss the usurious tax rates in Europe. (Eusurious?) However, like US gun laws/rights, it would only inflame passions. This is a polite discussion but I don't think it can stay that way. Perhaps best to let it go?

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What do you guys think will happen if you did not have your weapons?

Growing passivity in the face of an ever encroaching gov't. Historically, democracy took root in societies dominated by well-armed yeoman farmers with an independent mind set: Greece, Rome, the American colonies. As Rome, for example, transitioned into an empire power hungry elites gradually centralized power. You had proliferating state agencies, remote and inaccessible rulers and a disarmed populace by the 3rd cent. The yeoman farmers had been replaced by sprawling latifundia, their numbers diluted by immigration into the empire. (Rome was the world's first great multi-cultural city) Europe and America have a history of an armed citizenry . The strategy of western elites has been to gradually erode this right-tricky in the U.S. because of the Bill of Rights- with appeals to reason and heartbreaking horror stories in the press. Or, if persuasion fails, to simply replace the electorate with a more pliant and state dependent one.

(oops, is this political? ;))

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First, gun crime in the US is down by half in the last 20 years. Press coverage and reality generally have nothing to do with each other, and your perceptions of a problem's existence or scale have more to do with shifting press fads than underlying social realities. (The main causes of that change are stricter sentencing / less parole on the law enforcement side, and the end of the fad specifically for crack cocaine on the social side).

Virtually all gun crime in the US is committed with handguns by young men from teenage to mid 30s, and it skews heavily urban and minority. (For those unaware, in the US specifically long gun ownership skews heavily rural and white). Gun crime among white Americans or women is no higher than in western Europe or Japan; among male minorities it is as high as in Latin America. (For all those "this side of the pond" comments, you don't have the same population mix America does; Swedes in the US do not commit gun crimes either). Demographic mix explains half of all variance in the incidence of gun crime; gun ownership rates explain none of it (statistically insignificant). These are not small, 10 and 25% effects. Homicide is *230 times* more common among minority young men than women over age 35, for example.

None of the proposed legislative changes would have had the slightest effect on any of the headline incidents that supposedly motivate those calling for those changes. Legal access to guns that would be unchanged under those proposals either sufficed, or the criminals obtained the weapons violently and illegally under existing laws. The control supporters no doubt try to tailor their proposals narrowly thinking that helps make them seem reasonable, but the direct consequence is that they would not do anything in any of these cases. They are pure "feel good" reactions by pols wanting to be seen as "doing something", but they are rationally pointless.

The actual tendency of all the proposals is instead directed at creating a two tiered society of state agents who are as heavily armed as the military, and a disarmed general population. This is a utopia to some and anthema to others for purely political reasons having nothing to do with gun crime, or crime generally. Emotions generated by headline incidents are just tools in that independent (and pretty pointless) political conflict.

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para "...live in a place were you do not have to worry about someone being able to fire off hundreds of rounds in a school or a theatre..."

Where would that be?

para, ".. keep an arsenal of weapons some of which only the military should only have."

This is the argument the anti-gun legislators particularly good Senator Feinstein have put forth based on their misunderstanding (from ignorance or intentional) about weapons systems.

The mentally ill DC shooter had a shotgun and hand gun and killed 12 people on a Military Base!

Here in the UK

I am not ignorant of the fact that assault rifles with large magazines do a hell of a lot of damage. In a very short space of time because he does not have to do a lot of mag changes.

So even though, quite a few people around him had guns or quick access to guns he still managed to kill 12 people (soldiers?)

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Surely, that's a self-defeating argument. Most of the mass shootings, as far as the reportage that reaches this side of the Pond goes, are committed by people whose only serious criminality is the mass shooting itself. A number of the recent ones have been committed by people who arguably should have been determined incompetent to legally hold a firearm, but because the control laws are liberal (no checks on purchasers, for example, or no checks on how securely held they are at home) have been able to acquire a firearm or two without having to resort to that shady underclass armourer.

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So even though, quite a few people around him had guns or quick access to guns he still managed to kill 12 people (soldiers?)

The Navy Yard is more "military offices" than a "military base".

When I took a Boy Scout crew there for a tour a few years ago (of the Navy Yard computer systems), if I recall correctly, the only armed people I saw were the guards at the gate.

Once inside the buildings, it was essentially the same as any other office building where folks in their 40's and 50's work.

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para - the only assault rifles involved were the ones the cops used to take him out. He brought one gun to the scene - a bog standard 12 gauge shotgun, for which he had only 15 shells. He entered with a valid pass, his bag was not checked. The gun was broken down in a bag. He assembled it in the men's room. He then shot a guard and took the guard's 9mm handgun. He later got into a shootout with another officer and took his 9mm handgun as well. It took 3 minutes for the police to get a report, and then took them 7 minutes to get a SWAT team to the scene. They did not take him down until 20 minutes later. The people he shot were almost all civilians and only 1 guard and 1 police officer among them were armed, and the first was apparently hit "cold", at the start.

US military personnel on a military base do not carry arms unless they are military police. There is a Marine barracks just north of the Navy Yard, and the Marines there had rifles (for their training etc), but they had no ammunition for them. The reality is, the facility had only its modest security personnel with side arms, and checkpoint procedures that were all "gated" by a simple ID card swipe - and he had a valid ID card to enter the building.

His purchase of the shotgun a week or so earlier, in Virginia, was legal under existing and would be under every proposed law. He passed an instant FBI background check to make that purchase. He also received a security clearance renewal as recently as July of this year, passing that much more stringent background check. He had serious past legal issues and current mental health ones - the Veterans Administration was treating him for mental issues as recently as this year - but none of those raised the red flags they should have. Laxity in treatment of both ordinary crime (he was twice arrested for firing a gun illegally before, but not prosecuted either time), mental health, and unbelievably lax security (giving him clearances, his card, not checking the bag, the disarmed people on base, the Marines with no ammunition) are all culpable in this specific incident. Gun laws of any kind are not.

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If you really wanted to solve the problem in this country with guns in the hands of the wrong people, then any new laws to enact would need to address the correct problems.

Gun laws according to me if I could be in charge.

Law 1 – All citizens have the right to own a gun (if and only if they have passed a gun safety course and background check). To drive a car we require a license which requires class study and passing a written and driving test – it is about time to do the same with guns – to force people to earn their right to own a firearm.

Law 2 - if in possession of a firearm without being licensed, strict penalties which can and are enforced. Personally I would like a hand cut off if someone is found with a stolen weapon, but that might create an even more depended welfare state of the non-productive part of our society. So 1 year in jail sounds good.

But now let’s fix the prison system

So let’s start making forced labor prisons and get these guys building infrastructure in this country and stop being concerned about overcrowded prisons. Dig ditches, build roads, and whatever else we can use their labor for.

There, with just a few changes, see how much I solved. Too bad the world is full of fools that have lost sight of simple solutions – most of which have been used and worked in the past.

:)

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slysniper - you haven't solved anything, as I hope you know. The whole conceit that the content of imaginary edicts changes anything about the real world is just completely childish.

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