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Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Re: Re: Sacrifice on 12/20/2012 04:55:31 MST Print View

“And how do you know what the effects of very strict gun control would be if you've never had that kind of gun control? Every single post by Americans who've never experienced living in that kind of society, both pro and against, are purely conjecture. You simply can't know until you've tried it.”

Miguel – I’m not an American, but a Canadian living in the UK. I’ve seen the gun laws in Canada and here in the UK first hand. I have a police officer cousin from Manchester who I met the first time I visited the UK some 20 + years ago. At the time, hand guns were legal but the police didn’t carry them. They frequently encountered armed criminals and had to wait for a special armed response team. 20 years later and hand guns are banned and my cousin is Police Inspector. I recently asked him what effect the ban had. His response – honest people no longer have guns, but there has been little impact on a criminal’s access to guns.

You statement above is BS.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Perspective on 12/20/2012 06:12:33 MST Print View

"And how do you know what the effects of very strict gun control would be if you've never had that kind of gun control? Every single post by Americans who've never experienced living in that kind of society, both pro and against, are purely conjecture. You simply can't know until you've tried it.”

Actually we have areas in America where gun control laws are extremely strict so we have experienced it. Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. It also has one of the highest murder rates in the nation. I have lived in some areas where guns were very strictly controlled and didn't feel the least bit safer. Actually the only time I was at imminent risk of gun violence was in an area where guns were very regulate.

Lets keep a couple things in perspective.

-Violent Crime is down overall in America. Most credit this to better law enforcement

-Accidental gun deaths are down because of Hunter Safety classes, the NRA and other educational efforts

-"Mass" shootings are down by some measures, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the 1990s. All horrible but we are not necessarily getting worse and worse. A lot of this is credited to schools being more aware of developing problems and improving security.

-Gun violence in concentrated in certain areas and groups. A lot of it has to do with gang activities in inner city areas and drugs. Law abiding Americans who stay out of these areas are much safer then the statistics indicate.

I'm not saying we don't have a problem but I am saying we need to look at things calmly and not react out of panic. Remember the Patriot Act and the TSA? I'd hate to have the equivalent of those laws for our schools or mental health system.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
How do those cooky Brits do it? on 12/20/2012 08:09:10 MST Print View

So, if we're convinced gun regulation has no impact on the low rates of homicide in Britain, what is it they are doing right? Its really not very American of us to acknowledge that they are doing something better than us in the first place, I know. Pretty sure they don't have prayer in school. I know they have free health care, so maybe they have a little better mental health system(did I just re-open the healthcare debate?). They've got an awesome queen. But other than that, I'm not sure what they do that different than us regarding gun violence than restrict handguns. What say the Brits? I'm here to learn.

Steve G

Locale: Ohio
Re: type on 12/20/2012 09:00:15 MST Print View

" Not neccessarily. While I agree that you should always see your target, sometimes it may not be prudent to allow it to get that far.

Could such actions lead to some kind of mistake. Yes."

A big mistake that would have put her in jail. Could have been anyone. Would be hard to prove you are in danger when you have no idea who is at the door or their intentions. Someone at the door isn't an intruder.

Just goes to show there are a lot of shooters out there lacking the most basic of fundamentals.

Go to any shooting range and observe for a bit, you'll see some scary ****.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
A Scot, not a Brit. on 12/20/2012 09:00:40 MST Print View

Many years ago, my cousin from NY came over here as part of his Europe tour pre college. He was amazed at the bar room brawls he witnessed when i took him on a night on the town. Part of growing up here is taking part in a brawl or two. At least that's so from my part of town. Maybe we let our teenage hormones kick off with nothing more harmful than a broken nose or black eye, and Americans store up their aggresion?
I was surprised that he thought Scots nightlife was violent, as he was from 'murder city'.

A few years later, i made my first visit to NY. I was surprised at how quiet and peaceful it was. As i made ready to go for my first night on the town, my Scots born uncle gave me some advice. If you get in a fight Mike, and give someone the good news, leave the bar straight away. Most Americans can't take a beating, and will go home to fetch their gun and come back to the bar to get you.

As a white person, some of the best nights i had were in 'black' bars that i was warned not to go near. :-)

In Scotland, folk that carry any kind of weapon is thought of as a coward.

Just saying.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Shooting through doors on 12/20/2012 09:06:57 MST Print View

There was a shooting in Texas that made the news about 15, 20 years ago here in Scotland.
A Scots oil worker was in Texas for work reasons. It was after dark, and he was lost. He knocked on someones door to ask for directions, call a taxi or whatever, and was shot and killed through the door from the householder. The householder was never charged.
Most Scots were dumbfounded by this.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
I think you hit it on the head, Mike on 12/20/2012 09:18:11 MST Print View

The perceptions of firearms here are quite different. People have an emotional association with guns, but its quite different in the US than it is is Scotland. Its interesting that its associated with "cowardice" there in Scotland. I think most Americans would probably agree that, in the US, guns are associated with "power". I think this difference in perceptions or associations with what a gun means, on a reptilian emotional level, has much to do with both the difference in gun homicide rates and the willingness of the 2 counties to enact gun control legislation.

Can we change are perceptions of guns? I think a change in our perception of guns would make a bigger difference than any gun control legislation. Do Americans want our association with guns to change from "power" to "cowardice"?

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: A Scot, not a Brit. on 12/20/2012 09:20:58 MST Print View

"I was surprised that he thought Scots nightlife was violent, as he was from 'murder city'."

Why doesn't Scotland pass laws to stop the senseless fighting in bars? I say 10 years in prison for the first fight and then life for the second fight.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re on 12/20/2012 09:24:48 MST Print View

Guns aren't really a problem here Ben. The penalties are too severe. Knives are the Scots weapon of choice. In a bid to stop knife carrying, a 2 year sentence is now standard for carrying a knife without good reason.
You are thought a coward though, if you can't sort it 'man on man'.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
@Brad. on 12/20/2012 09:25:52 MST Print View

Fighting is fun. :-)

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: @Brad. on 12/20/2012 09:33:45 MST Print View

"Fighting is fun. :-)"


Well that sounds crazy to me, but normal to you. Go figure. Different cultures. Made myself a note that if I visit Scotland to bring some big friends along for support.

I read that 82% of the all the murders in Scotland where committed by people who were either drunk or under the influence of drugs. If you guys would just pass laws outlawing alcohol and drugs you could cut your murder rate by 82%. Why wouldn't you make that sacrifice?

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: A Scot, not a Brit. on 12/20/2012 09:42:27 MST Print View

The situation in the UK could hardly be more different: ALL handguns were banned in 1997 after a school shooting incident the year before. I believe shotguns and rifles for hunting may be licenced to those who can demonstrate reason for having them. Incidently many types of knives are also banned and carrying any "offensive weapon" in a public place is illegal.

Nonetheless, there are some illegal guns (and replica guns) among the criminal fraternity, but shootings are very rare. Knife crime is a bigger problem, but fatal stabbings are not frequently reported.

FWIW, my view is that trying to prevent access to weapons just to those with mental health problems will never work. Where do you draw the line? Psychopaths who take a bad turn can kill with a baseball bat, yet those who have gone on a shooting spree can appear almost normal, but have a deep seated grudge or resentment that has been eating away at them for a considerable time.

Edited by Scunnered on 12/20/2012 09:54:13 MST.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
@Brad on 12/20/2012 09:47:50 MST Print View

Seriously, it's a quiet life in Scotland. Any fighting happens in town centres amongst the young folk. It's a right of passage that you grow out of. You can go for a quiet beer or two without any worries. :-)
Maybe young Americans need some place that they can go to let off steam?

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: @Brad. on 12/20/2012 09:59:56 MST Print View

Fighting takes place in the US bars, on the freeways, in the school yard, in the octagon. The US has a massively violent culture.

The biggest difference is that those in a fight in the US are more likely to pull their guns.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
@Dave on 12/20/2012 10:11:17 MST Print View

I've seen both Dave, and the US is pretty quiet when it comes to bar room brawls.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Scots brawl on 12/20/2012 10:18:25 MST Print View

A Dundee social evening. :-)
My point is, young males are violent. Don't give them the means to do catastrophic damage.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re on 12/20/2012 10:47:54 MST Print View

Folk need to let off steam. I didn't post that video for simple entertainment.
Karl Marx called football (soccer) the opium of the masses. At that time in Europe, there was no place to congregate apart from football (soccer) games. Mass brawls were/are common at football.
When the masses are unhappy with government, the mass becomes a ready to erupt mob. The controlling elite need to let the 'mob' loose at times.
The Romans were expert at this with their 'bread and circuses'.

The US has many unhappy folk, and reality TV and livetime war isn't proving to be enough of a circus.

James Castleberry
Meds and Men on 12/20/2012 11:10:22 MST Print View

Guns are not the only common factor in these cases. All involve men. All involve meds. These factors deserve at least as much blame/consideration.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: on 12/20/2012 11:20:07 MST Print View

Maybe young Americans need some place that they can go to let off steam?

The US is an increasingly belligerent society on the roads and everywhere else it seems, ... people willing to shoot others, drive them off the road, or play "chicken" in autos on the interstate at 65 mph (~80 kph). I see the later about once a month on my commute to work, so that may be the form of blowing off steam. Not that we have a monopoly on mass murders as tragedies in Scotland, Australia, and elsewhere have shown, but it usually takes a lot of payola to move our national Congress, unless they could possibly be threatened by violence, as the response to the McVeigh bombing - try buying certain agricultural chemicals in the US - or 9/11 shows.

The irony is for all the talk from some of our Congress-critters about how having concealed pistols makes people safer, one wonders why then Congress doesn't allow them in their chambers?

Our own Capitol Hill shows what a "gun-free" zone really should look like. All entrance points, only through a metal detector, with armed law enforcement at the ready (donut break later). That's what all federal buildings have had also btw since the late 1980's when I had to enter for business (miss the line and they'd come down hard like an episode of Miami Vice).

It's a big enough country that sane, non-violent people should be able to own firearms - some people still subsist on squirrels - but school districts should guard their most vulnerable public spaces (namely schools) like we guard Congress, ... maybe let some capable administrators carry, etc... Add that in a diverse country like the US, we have very different urban, suburban, and rural areas, with different patterns of crime/gun-ownership ... so those school districts with the state need to be the lead in figuring it all out (once the board members are done doling out no-bid construction and testing contracts to their buddies, that is). Also we need to reverse Reagan's emptying out of the nation's loony bins.

ed: add

Edited by hknewman on 12/20/2012 11:35:53 MST.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Keeping things in perspective on 12/20/2012 11:53:16 MST Print View

Any needless killing is one too many, but let's make sure of our facts.

The overall trend in violent crime and homicides in this country has been trending down dramatically since it's peak in about 1991.

children run a much greater risk (between 50 and 100 times greater) of being murdered away from school than at school...killings on school property (and murders of children in general) have been declining since the early 1990s.

What's probably going to come out of this is a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and a limitation on gun magazine size. What's not going to come out of this is a gun ban in the U.S. The supreme court has ruled, the overwhelming majority of citizens don't want it.

Protect the children? Absolutely, but it makes sense to me to focus first on what's going to save the most lives. According to the CDC, obesity kills about 13 people PER HOUR in the U.S. It just doesn't make as good of a headline.