I'm going to buy a baseball bat right now to hit flies, bees, hit the floor and maybe even the air!!!!!!
The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. - Thomas Paine
Honestly, I think a lot of non-US may have kind of a skewed view of what life in the States can be like. Granted, I actually lived in the murder-capital of the US growing up (I believe that "honor" now resides in Detroit or Flint, MI, correct?), but you honestly had to be careful every second of the day. There are a lot of places where they actually openly advise women to only walk from their car to their apartment while it's still daylight out. And honestly, things are only getting worse, and they're getting their quickly.
Speaking for myself, I actually live in a decent neighborhood now, and have for a few years, so I never really considered owning a gun; I've known too many people I went to school with get shot, so I figured I was better without one. That mindset came into question last year, when some guy tried to break-in, when it should've been obvious somebody was there. I yelled out at him, grabbed a knife, and called the cops. Logically, I still probably don't need a gun (and for the record, I still don't have one), but when you're actually faced with very real danger, anything less just feels inadequate.
Yeah I totally see where these people who think guns are the problem are coming from. I mean, let's just ban guns because they only kill and are never necessary. Then we can watch as humanity regresses to using string-drawn projectile weapons again and other bladed melee weapons along with maybe even bludgeoning weapons as the norm. And then deaths related to those weapons will go way up because, well, it's easier to kill people that way than to just beat them with your fists. So then we can blame those weapons and ban them too, and then people will start killing each other with rocks or other every day objects. Because you know, that's what people did before guns; and it's what would happen again.
People who want to kill others will find a way to kill them. Banning the tools doesn't stop the animals of humanity from doing this. To think that it will is to be naive and ignorant to history. America in particular has a gun culture that is here for many reasons that have been discussed already. And you know, some of us live in areas where violence is much more prevalent. We don't all live in culdesacs in rich neighborhoods far from crime-ridden slums and such. We don't all live in places in the world where the prevailing mentality of the locale is such that guns are flat out unnecessary 100% of the time. So as for me, I'll go about being a responsible gun owner and know that I have the means to protect myself should the need ever arise. And if it doesn't, that's fine too. But damned if I won't be prepared.
I have nothing against people owning guns in general. But somethings should probably be done to make it safer.
As alot of people have said, most guns the criminals have are stolen. So surely if someone loses their gun or had it stolen, they should be reviewed and stripped of their license for x-years, because if it was stored correctly the gun should not be stolen (if its in a safe then you can question whether the safe was fit for its requirements or if it wasn't in a safe then its their fault)
Tier the licences; so its max 2 guns if licence held for <5 years, max 5 guns if licence held for 5-10 years etc. or have the type of guns you can own dependent of how long the licence is held.
Where Do Crime Guns Come From
Virtually every gun starts out as a legally manufactured product, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) points to three common ways guns move from legal distribution channels to the criminal market:
---Corrupt federally licensed gun dealers: Federally licensed gun dealers send more guns to the criminal market than any other single source. Nearly 60% of the guns used in crime are traced back to a small number—just 1.2%—of crooked gun dealers. Corrupt dealers frequently have high numbers of missing guns, in many cases because they’re selling guns “off the books” to private sellers and criminals. In 2005, the ATF examined 3,083 gun dealers and found 12,274 “missing” firearms.
---Straw purchasing: Straw purchasing is the most common way criminals get guns, accounting for almost 50% of trafficking investigations. A straw purchaser is someone with a clean record who buys guns on behalf of someone legally prohibited from possessing guns. Straw purchasers are often the friends, relatives, spouses or girlfriends of prohibited purchasers. The two Columbine High School shooters recruited friends to buy guns for them at Colorado gun shows. One of the buyers admitted she would not have bought the guns if she had been required to submit to a background check.
---Gun Shows and private gun sales: Gun shows have been called “Tupperware parties for criminals” because they attract large numbers of prohibited buyers. A loophole in federal law allows unlicensed or “private” sellers, many of whom work out of gun shows, to lawfully sell or transfer guns without conducting a criminal background check. Gun show dealers have been known to advertise to criminals with signs that read “no background checks required here.”
As you can see, this comes from an Anti-gun site. (And I don't really agree with their coloring of gun shows). But anyway...
It's not people breaking in and stealing guns to use in crimes. I'm sure for them that's just a bonus. They already have the guns, either through their own internal network, or through straw buys. The 300,000 or whatever guns that are reported stolen every year is nothing compared to the other sources.
---------- Post added 2012-11-28 at 08:07 PM ----------
Last edited by Porcell; 2012-11-28 at 08:08 PM.
Okay, look, I don't want ALL guns to be banned, I want guns to be banned for citizens, because, apparently, a lot of people don't know how to use them or use them recklessly.
Yes, it's easier to kill a person with your first or a knive.
And oh god, no one should use guns because it's so hard to use one and they don't kill things or people as easily as your fists or knives!!!!
If you own a gun because you want to protect yourself should the government ever come to take away your rights, then I think you need to have your gun taken away.
Anyone that crazy is mentally unfit to own a gun.
Originally Posted by Statue of Liberty
I can't speak for everywhere else, but here in Canada, we don't live in fear like this. In fact, by our standards, you all seem a little paranoid.
We don't feel the need to be armed in order to 'protect our home, family and self'. It's not that we rely on the police - we understand that they are, as you said (paraphrasing here), not going to appear out of thin air in a crisis - it's that we don't seem to feel some omnipresent danger.
Granted, we do have our fair share of property crime; but the overwhelming majority of it does not end up in violence. Yes, occasionally it does; but I would venture a guess that in the bulk of those cases, it wouldn't make a difference if there was a gun involved or not.
Of course, there are a few cases where it would have made a difference - and it is this distant possibility that most Americans use to justify their gun ownership. "I don't want to be a statistic", or something like that.
I don't think that is a realistic fear. We're talking about an infinitesimally small likelihood that it would save your life, versus the significantly higher likelihood that the gun would lead to tragedy. There is a very real and alarmingly high number of gun owners (or their families) who are hurt and/or killed by accident with their own firearms. There are other tragedies all across the United States, where someone got so pissed off, that an otherwise law-abiding and normal citizen took it upon themselves to fire a gun - because when they felt threatened, their first reaction was to shoot first and ask questions later.
These are all tragedies that could have been avoided simply by not owning a firearm. You'll note that someone - even in the United States - who has never owned a gun will never accidentally shoot their son, believing they are an intruder. Or will never unload a magazine into a truck full of kids just because they don't like their music.
Yes, there is still a propensity for violence within all people - Americans, Canadians, Europeans -- anyone. However, if you remove guns from the equation, what you have are (typically) non-lethal situations. It's why cities like Toronto (with a population of nearly 6 million) have fewer murders in a year than any major US city (any metropolitan area of 1 million or higher) have in a month.
The false peace of mind bought by gun ownership is not worth the very real and very terrible cost. I know you have been programmed (lacking a better term) to believe that at any moment, an intruder is going to break into your house and rape your wife and kill you and your children. You hear of terrible crimes committed all the time, and think, "Well, I'm safe because I have a gun." But the statistics are quite clear; you are less safe - and your illusion of safety comes with an attached danger to others.
Now here's the part that'll really send your head for a loop:
In most of these countries - Canada, the UK - guns are not universally illegal.
There are a lot of hunters here in Canada. Our indigenous people celebrate their hunting prowess, and a great deal of Canadians enjoy hunting - myself included (although I haven't been in some time.) Long guns - rifles, shotguns - are permitted, as long as you have a permit. This permit is dependent upon completion of a safety course. Handguns are for the most part restricted - requiring special permits even to own - and are typically only permitted for use at gun ranges.
In fact, for the most part, you aren't allowed to use your gun for self-defense. Only in some rare cases - such as living in remote areas far away from police accessibility - are you permitted to do so. There is also an "authorization to carry" permit, which is issued to police or armed security - where you are allowed to carry a handgun in a holster - although this typically comes with the provision that you can only do so while in uniform. Obviously in these cases, you are allowed to use it for protection, as that is its purpose. There are no other circumstances, however, in which you are allowed to do so.
Firearms must be stored separate from ammunition (you don't have to lock up your ammunition, but you have to lock your gun up away from the ammunition), and where possible the bolt removed or a trigger lock used. They must be transported like this too.
There are millions of legitimate gun owners in Canada who utilize their firearms for legitimate purposes - target practice, hunting, profession-related self-defense - and we ensure the safety of ourselves and others in so doing.
The point of all this is, is if you have a legitimate use for a gun (read: something other than ending human life), in most places, you can still use it.
It's when you decide, "Well, I need the capacity to take a life in order to feel secure" where most of us have a problem.
Ultimately, I think this may be futile. The fear of some nondescript but nevertheless omnipresent danger is something with which most Americans are indoctrinated from an early age. But my point in all of this is, your paranoia comes at a terrible cost to your communities.
You are not safer having guns for protection; you are less safe.