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## What has the US done to tackle gun shootings?

I've only skimmed through this thread, and for that, I apologise. But I was moved to post after having digested the news of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre by that Nazi crazy. An incident like that simply would not have happened if civilians were barred from owning and carrying guns (and the law was strictly enforced).

I can already foresee some of the counter-arguments the pro-gun faction might make. Like, for example, that instead of curtailing gun ownership, gun ownership and marksmanship training should be made universal (this argument has actually been used before in the aftermath of other shooting tragedies). The problem with this line of thinking is that most people would be understandably reluctant to carry firearms in a sacrosanct place of worship, and even more reluctant to actually use them. So what's the alternative? Guards and metal detectors at the entrances of places of worship? Not only might this offend religious sensibilities, it is a very oppressive measure indeed. *That* would be like building a police state, which is ironically the very thing that liberal gun ownership laws are ostensibly in place to protect against. There is almost no one who doesn't find modern air travel security to be a royal PITA. Do you really want to see that sort of system proliferate throughout every arena of your daily lives?

The fact remains that, unless guns are kept out of the hands of *all* civilians who don't have an official need to arm themselves, this sort of tragedy is going to recur again and again. Background checks are pretty useless, and there is no way to accurately assess a person's current intent, let alone predict his future state of mind. Excluding people with a history of mental illness is not going to do much either - the man who shot those innocent Sikhs was likely not "crazy", just an evil psychopath who knew exactly what he was doing. He was evil, just like Anders Behring Breivik is evil.

Let's take the second amendment arguments. I think they're old hat, frankly. Do you think there's really a need for a "well-regulated militia" to ensure the security and freedom of the State? What does that say about your opinion of how shaky the foundations of US democracy and liberty are? If you truly believe it's necessary for every citizen to go around armed (or at least own one firearm at a minimum) in order to preserve the sanctity of the State, then there's something very wrong with your opinion of how stable your country is.

OK, let's, for the sake of argument, play devil's advocate here, and take that guff about the necessity of gun ownership to defend your freedoms from the hideous State apparatus at face value. So what's the sticking point at which you'd personally be prepared to mount an armed defence? A tax increase? Increased video surveillance? Phone taps or internet-traffic surveillance enforced nationwide? A lot of these things have been introduced in one form or another in recent history, yet there's no massive armed revolution in the offing.

How about if the police or Feds come to arrest you on a charge you know yourself to be completely innocent of? Would you defend yourself with your trusty gun? There's a chance they could be fabricating those charges (just the sort of thing a corrupt State might resort to) and once they get you away from your guns, they could potentially detain you in lockup indefinitely, and basically do whatever the heck they wanted with you. Would these thoughts be running through your mind, and would you, as a law-abiding, gun-owning, second-amendment-supporting citizen, take pre-emptive action against the *potentially* corrupt State official at your doorstep demanding you surrender your immediate freedom to his custody? Well, I should hope not - if you're sane. You're probably thinking it's an honest mistake, which can be cleared up with the help of legal counsel and the due process that's your guaranteed right in America. But *why*, exactly are you thinking this instead of assuming the paranoid worst-case scenario? The answer is simple: because, deep down, you're convinced the system still functions as it should. That social justice still prevails. And this deeply-held conviction makes your strident belief in the need to own guns for reasons stated in the Second Amendment all the more incongruous.

Let's take it up a notch. What if your government decided, through duly enacted process of law, to make all personal firearms illegal and started requiring you to surrender your weapons to the nearest police station? Would this be seen as a gross violation of your personal freedom? Would you resist it passively by simply ignoring the new law and holding onto your gun(s) (knowing that eventually, agents of the State will come for your firearms, and you, for having broken the law)? Or would you put up an active armed resistance, seeing it as the beginning of the end of "true freedom" in your country?

The point I'm trying to make is that there's no clear-cut line in the sand that most people (let alone everyone) can agree upon as the threshold beyond which personal freedoms have to be defended from the State using firearms. The collapse of your civil liberties is not going to happen abruptly like a "Red Dawn" scenario (I'm referencing the Patrick Swayze movie here) where a militia becomes the last beacon of hope and the last bastion of the American way. If it happens, it's more likely to happen slowly and gradually, and indeed many feel it IS already happening with the insidious erosion of your civil liberties since 9-11 and the passing of the Patriot Act. Like the well-worn cliche of the frog in water brought to a slow boil, you won't feel the heat till its too late. Since noone is likely to be defending their own Constitutional freedoms using their guns, why bother with them?

What about those who want to keep guns for hunting or target practice? There are ways to achieve this without the need for guns to be stored at home. There could be gun clubs with well-protected armouries to hold the guns and ammo. Members of these clubs could book these guns out, use them within a defined area (which might include designated hunting grounds away from populated areas), then return them to the armoury after they're done. No guns or ammo can be brought outside the limits of the club. RFID tags and metal detectors can be used to enforce this. No matter which way you cut it, there's really no *need* as such to have guns at home, where children can get at them with disastrous results.

My last point is this: if stalwart gun rights advocates still insist on the need to hold onto their guns, why stop there? Why not allow grenades or rocket launchers at home? Why not personal weapons of mass destruction - like that clever reference in a Futurama episode to "mutated Anthrax for duck-hunting"? Where should the line be drawn, and more importantly, who are you to decide the line is drawn at firearms, but no further?

For these reasons (and others I won't be getting into), I think it's high time that liberal gun ownership is scrapped in the USA. Other countries are getting on fine despite strict gun control laws, and I don't see the US as being any safer. Quite the reverse, actually.

(I'm not going to enter into a debate about using guns for defending one's home, property or person because, if gun control is properly (even harshly) enforced, then even criminals won't be able to get hold of them, so there shouldn't be a need to use firearms for personal defence to counter this threat. Admittedly, doing this is going to be a very messy task in the US, where guns are pretty rampant, but it has been done successfully in other countries. My own country has the automatic death penalty for crimes committed with a firearm. Draconian? Sure, but coupled with strict border controls, it does the job.)

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 Quote by Curious3141 An incident like that simply would not have happened if civilians were barred from owning and carrying guns (and the law was strictly enforced).
And knives. And a list of other objects too long to fit in this post.

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 Quote by Jimmy Snyder And knives. And a list of other objects too long to fit in this post.
How many people can you kill per minute with a knife, before you're taken down or otherwise neutralised?

Now compare that with a firearm (even a handgun), and you'll see how silly your argument is.

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 Quote by Curious3141 How many people can you kill per minute with a knife, before you're taken down or otherwise neutralised? Now compare that with a firearm (even a handgun), and you'll see how silly your argument is.
People per minute? What's that got to do with it? He killed six and wounded three. Here is an example where the killer used a knife to kill 8 and wound 15.
Wiki, and therefore unreliable.

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 Quote by CAC1001 Again though, machine guns are already illegal, minus a few exceptions. To own a machine gun, you have to go through all manner of legal arm-twisting, and the weapon must be registered pre-1986. It also will cost you an arm-and-a-leg to acquire. Otherwise, the fastest rate-of-fire for a weapon is semi-automatic (semi-automatic (one round fired for each trigger pull).
Sure, but do you agree with the law?

 I explained what the word "arms" in the Second Amendment means. It does not extend to machine guns or nukes or anything in between. Those are not arms commonly owned by citizens that they'd bring to militia duty with. Also, I wasn't referring just to warfare, but the question of whether there is a need for people to still own arms in modern societies. My point was the existence of modern liberal democracies does not mean that people no longer need guns. Liberal democracies still have violent criminals and are fragile systems in which law and order can break down during certain natural disasters, economic disasters if severe enough, or where even the government could collapse in extreme cases.
I think people need to have something at least as strong as a pistol, a moderate rifle, and shotguns. A pistol levels the playing field as far as size. A women could defend herself against a huge guy with a pistol. The others are useful for hunting. But I do consider public risk when deciding what types of weapons or components of weapons should or should not be sold for domestic use. How does a weapon effect gangs and lone wolf terrorist?

 Education is what keeps a liberal democracy a liberal democracy, but if the liberal democracy fails and a tyrannical government forms, then education isn't going to mean anything at that point. That is where firearms ownership comes in. And I believe firearms ownership could very much stop a tyrannical government. Look at the fighting occuring in Syria. Those people never had a right to bear arms and were going up against tanks, artillery shellings, attack helicopters, and all the works, but still are fighting there. In America, this is assuming said tyrannical government would be able to maintain complete control of the existing military, which probably would not be the case. A lot of military would probably either defect or aid the resistance movement (or individual states might break off while retaining their own National Guard units). And yeah I know all that is a highly-improbably scenario, but highly improbable doesn't mean impossible.
A bad government isn't going to get formed or continue to exist unless it has the will of a majority. These governments were created because people wanted them by and large. And even in oppressive areas today, you'll find a great deal of internal support for those governments.

As far as Syria is concerned, it had defectors from the military. In addition, what makes you think that the rebels are going to install some freedom loving government? From where I sit, the new government may be just as bad or worse then the existing one.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...gime-condemned

 Arms then as the Founders intended meant the weapons commonly owned by citizens that would be used to form up a militia.
We already have a standing army with its own support. Solders don't need to bring their own weapons anymore.

 The problem with that interpretation is that then one could say the First Amendment only meant the communications mediums of that time as well. If the Founders had meant the arms of the day, I think they would have explicitly written muskets, not arms. Arms is a general term as advancements in weapons can occur as years go by.
The courts generally decide if new communication mediums should be protected based upon the principles of the constitution.

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Quote by rootX
As a non-local, I have no clue what is been done in the US to prevent shootings from reoccurring. What keeps on happening in the US, most people up here call it insanity. The shooting news catch international attention yet prevention measures and actions from the governments don't come in the international news.

We had two shootings here recently. Politicians acted reasonably to tackle the violence issue.

 "The fact of the matter is, most of the guns that end up in the hands of young criminals are illegal guns and they're coming from south of the border," McGuinty said, noting that the prime minister indicated "he's going to take another look at that." ... The mayor, who has already met with Toronto's police chief and McGuinty regarding the recent shootings, declared a "huge victory" Monday after he was assured by the premier that the province would ensure that $5 million in permanent funding would be earmarked to fund a special police squad to curb violence. ... McGuinty also pledged$7.5 million in permanent funding for the provincial anti-violence intervention strategy (PAVIS), the provincial extension of TAVIS, which funds similar units in several other Ontario municipalities.

Has US also pledged any money to reduce the gun violence or created organizations to prevent random shootings?

...
Why do you believe pledging money on strategies and "special ...squads" is an example of politicians "acting reasonably", as opposed to political pandering?

If you accept that guns largely enter Canada illegally across its southern border as the quote suggests, what do you suppose would stop guns entering the US illegally across its southern border should the US somehow end private gun ownership?

 Quote by russ_watters So then we should think about the Now implications of having a gun policy that is based partly/largely on a highly improbable possibility. Is it worth it? That was one of the purposes of the militia.
What kind of gun policy would you suggest? And while for resisting tyranny and invasion, the Second Amendment isn't solely about those things. Codifying into the Constitution the right to bear arms wasn't solely about preservation of the militia, but preservation of the militia was seen as very important as governments historically had disbanded the militia by disarming the people and then forming their own militias to oppress people.

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 Quote by mheslep Why do you believe pledging money on strategies and "special ...squads" is an example of politicians "acting reasonably", as opposed to political pandering?
They acted reasonably as in responding to the massacre rather than not responding to it. It appears US politicians did not act at all to the recent gun shootings. It was an opinionated post. Otherwise, it's very hard to come up with reasonable actions, backed by proper analysis study, required to deal with abuse of the guns by unfit people.

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 Quote by Jimmy Snyder People per minute? What's that got to do with it? He killed six and wounded three. Here is an example where the killer used a knife to kill 8 and wound 15. Wiki, and therefore unreliable.
Your example is a poor one. The circumstances were different in the two cases. In the case of the Sikh temple shooting, the targets (and indeed the victims) were mostly adults. The knife massacre in Japan involved children, and children are far more susceptible to mortal injury - they tend to be less mature in recognising a deadly threat, they may be slower to react correctly to it, they are physically weaker and slower to defend themselves, and, finally, because of their physiology, they exsanguinate (bleed out) faster and are more susceptible to the effects of rapid blood loss.

All I'm asking you to do is to recognise that guns are far more efficient at dispatching targets than knives. If you disagree, then ask your military and police to switch from guns to knives.
 Mentor Blog Entries: 4 This thread has gone way off topic.

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