Gun Control?

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Do you think Guns Should be Banned?

• Current Gun Laws are just fine-Thank you

• Total voters
34
"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-- Thomas Jefferson Papers

EL
aeroegnr said:
Handguns are necessary and useful. If just a couple of teachers in columbine had handguns, what happened could not have unfolded the way it did.
Are you serious you want to send your kids to a school where the teachers are wearing guns?

russ_watters
Mentor
aeroegnr said:
I can do more damage with my car than I could do with any small arm (rifle, pistol, shotgun, even fully automatic).
Certainly, but only if you use it incorrectly.
I can buy as much potentially explosive equipment as I want, without any safety regulations (gasoline, fertilizer, chlorine, name it). I can think of all sorts of interesting ways to kill people,
Certainly, but again, only if you use these things in ways that were not intended.
Why is a shotgun an ideal weapon when typical shotguns have a spread pattern? Wouldn't a safer weapon have a tight group so that you can accurately hit exactly what you are aiming at?
The spread pattern makes it easier to hit what you are aiming at. The same goes for the fact that its large and has a stock - I don't know if you're a shooter, but for an unskilled shooter, a handgun is extremely difficult to aim. Shotguns also have "stopping power."
Right now, North Koreans citizens sure could use some form of weaponry more sophisticated than their military.
Whoa now - "more sophisticated than their military"? You're suggesting civilians should be allowed to own machine guns, tanks, and rocket launchers?
If handguns and concealed carry are banned, watch out in dark alleys. Every single criminal out there will know you are unarmed. Ever seen reports of the extreme violence in England because citizens aren't allowed to carry weapons to defend themselves?
If you check England's murder rate, you'll find it does not support your assertion.
"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
Said in 1795 or thereabouts, when the most powerful/sophisticated weapons that existed were a muzzle-loaded bal-shot musket and a cannon. Clearly, this provision of the 2nd amendment (and the general principle being discussed here of defense against your government) is long obsolete.

Averagesupernova
Gold Member
EL said:
Well your posts have definitely cleared things up for me. I hadn't realized the most important use of guns: chopping trees...
That's a really good argument for everyone to by a couple of guns... :yuck:
I gave it as an example which is what the poster asked. I'm not the one who picked it apart. Your smart a$$attitude is not helping your cause. I don't want to "send" my kids to school anyway, but that's irrelevant. Yeah, I would prefer to have my kids in a school where somebody could do something if the school was being taken over. In some places STUDENTS can bring GUNS to school (rifle clubs). russ_watters said: Certainly, but only if you use it incorrectly. Certainly, but again, only if you use these things in ways that were not intended. The spread pattern makes it easier to hit what you are aiming at. The same goes for the fact that its large and has a stock - I don't know if you're a shooter, but for an unskilled shooter, a handgun is extremely difficult to aim. Shotguns also have "stopping power." I'm not suggesting everyone will be able to go buy a handgun and shoot burglars in the head with 100% accuracy, but that's what shooting ranges are for. If you can't aim a pistol, stay away from them. I've shot them before and didn't find them particularly difficult. Whoa now - "more sophisticated than their military"? You're suggesting civilians should be allowed to own machine guns, tanks, and rocket launchers? If you check England's murder rate, you'll find it does not support your assertion. Said in 1795 or thereabouts, when the most powerful/sophisticated weapons that existed were a muzzle-loaded bal-shot musket and a cannon. Clearly, this provision of the 2nd amendment (and the general principle being discussed here of defense against your government) is long obsolete. Sure. A few tanks and assualt weapons in the right civilian hands in North Korea could change the country into something better almost immediately. Or do you want the defenseless starving civilians to keep dying? Jean Francois Revel said: Nevertheless, apart from its Soviet-supplied nuclear and missile technologies, North Korea is one of the weakest nations in the world. It is economically moribund, devastated by the collectivist scourge. Experts estimate that from one to two million people have died of starvation since 1990, out of a population of twenty-two million. Flocks of orphaned children search amid the refuse for scraps of food. In one decade, life expectancy declined by six years. And this while the country was receiving generous aid: by May of 2001, Washington had delivered 100,000 metric tons of food and the E.U. had spent 200 million euros on relief. But again we see what little likelihood there is of aid actualy getting to populations in need. There is every reason to think that these donations have served instead to boost the regime's military arsenal: in 1994, at the height of the famine, North Korea purchased forty submarines from Russia. The military is so ridiculously powerful compared to the ordinary citizen that nothing is going to happen until weapons of war are captured for a revolt, or a country declares war on North Korea. EL Science Advisor Averagesupernova said: I gave it as an example which is what the poster asked. I'm not the one who picked it apart. Your smart a$$ attitude is not helping your cause.
So give me a better example then...or even harder...try to give me a good example not based on "fear".

EL
aeroegnr said:
I don't want to "send" my kids to school anyway, but that's irrelevant.
Yes. Think you got what I ment anyway.

Yeah, I would prefer to have my kids in a school where somebody could do something if the school was being taken over. In some places STUDENTS can bring GUNS to school (rifle clubs).
Ok, I would be a lot more frightened by the thought of that guns ending up in some kids hands...

The utility of gun ownership benefits society even when the gun is not being held or even fired. In fact, the utility of gun ownership benefits society even when a particular household does not in fact contain a gun owner, but merely might. When one imagines a society that loses its mind and posts huge signs in every neighborhood ("THIS NEIGHBORHOOD IS GUARANTEED NOT BE ARMED OR YOUR MONEY BACK"), the 'utility' of mere possible/not actual gun ownership is apparent.

Nobody here is mistaking a government ban on firearms with an actual firearm free society, just as nobody here would mistake a goivernment ban on drugs with a drug free society. So, the conclusion as to who would be armed/registered, and who would not be armed/registered, in all of these goofy 'we need more gun control in the Nerf World' debates, is apparent.

The firearms that may or may not be in my posession have been successfully 'used' 24/7/365.

My car, on the other hand, gets used much less often, and serves no utility at all to society when parked in my garage. In fact, it's utility to society is mere convenience, unless you count those among us who use their cars to deliver much needed human organs across town for transplants. In fact, 100% of us when actually 'using' our cars are more aptly described as increasing the odds that organ doners will be created. The actual deployment of a few million ft-lbfs of destructive energy in the name of getting home from the gym in time to watch Felicity will do that.

Ask yourself this question(again): Before a perfect stragner is permitted to actually deploy a million ft-lbfs of destructive energy, and aim it at a target mere feet from me and my loved ones, shouldn't society even have to ask what the reason is for actually deploying the event?

Running a human heart across town to the transplant operation?

On a jaunt across town for the really, really good Italian Ice?

Heading out to the quarry to blast some rocks with your merely few hundred ft-lbf capable little popgun?

Conveniently living 20 miles from my non-defense rated job at The Gap as a matter of choice, because I didn't want to work on the farm?

Driving to the gym--for my workout?

Forget mere 'bazookas'; 17 year old girls and boys regularly head on out to the highway actually deploying(not, owning)the destructive energy equivalent of 5000 .45 caliber 230g 'cop killer' bullets, fired continuously, and aimed at targets mere feet and sometimes inches from each other.

All of that, for as long and as far as their pre-ban 20 gallon gas tanks will let them.

500+ such kids killed every month due to the 'usage' of DUI; teen drug dealers killing other teen drug dealers over drug turf wars, and counted as 'children' don't even come close to that kind of carnage.

russ_watters said:
Re, the 2nd Amendment: Its horribly, horribly written, perhaps on purpose. My interpretation is "a well regulated militia" is the National Guard, the modern incarnation of the militias that really were just farmers with personal guns. "The right to bear arms," is far from absolute, and needs to be heavily restricted.
In the context of the times the amendment was written, the 'Regulars' were trained, professional soldiers.

Why the use of that word 'regular' to refer to trained, professional soldiers, who were distinguished from plain militia by the fact that they were 'regulars?' Why the use of that same word to refer to militia in the 2nd Amendment?

The reason was not just applicable to colonial times; the reason was cited as a factor in America's ability to mobilize for WWII. The ability to quickly train just plain folks and turn them into Regulars when the security of a free nation requires it is enhanced when just plain folks show up already familiar with arms, ie, well regulated militia, as opposed to regulars, which well regulated militia might become upon professional military training in service to the nation.

Therefore, a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Since the Articles already grant power to the federal government to federalize the militia when needed, and notwithstanding Massachusetts and Connecticuts once polite refusal(War of 1812)to federalize their militia, to believe that the 2nd Amendment applied to collective arming of militia only would be tantamount to claiming that 10% of the Bill of Rights was dedicated to forbidding the government from infringing the right to arm itself.

ie, an absurdity in the context of a 'constitution.'

The leading dependent clause is simply an enumeration of a benefit to the security of a free state which follows from not infringing a pre-existing right of the people. It is, in a sense, a justification to the gun grabbers of the day for why it is not a good thing to wax totalitarian.

Lets acknowledge that neither the 1st Amendment nor 2nd AMendment is absolute; just as we do not have the right to run into a theatre and scream 'FIRE,' nor do we have the right to run into a theatre and 'FIRE.' Well, no ****. But, does pointing out that not even the NRA advocates that we should have a right to run into a theatre and 'FIRE' support a claim that citizens should have half of their vocal cords removed, because any one of us might run into a theatre and yell 'FIRE?'

After all, we can understand each other perfectly well when we whisper to each other, and there is always the state licensed bullhorns that only the police and fire department trained operators should have, in case of a societal emergency.

Zlex said:
The utility of gun ownership benefits society even when the gun is not being held or even fired. In fact, the utility of gun ownership benefits society even when a particular household does not in fact contain a gun owner, but merely might. When one imagines a society that loses its mind and posts huge signs in every neighborhood ("THIS NEIGHBORHOOD IS GUARANTEED NOT BE ARMED OR YOUR MONEY BACK"), the 'utility' of mere possible/not actual gun ownership is apparent.
Now that is not to bad of a point, and I actually believe it. You pro gun people keep talking about these people who will kill you in dark alleys and stuff, personally I find all that bogus. I live in the worst part of my town (about 1mill pop.) and I have never had a gun pointed at me, well in a serious matter at least. This made me realize that you guys either live in crime-ridden towns, or are making these examples up to scare us, probably the latter (not to say that such a thing does not exist, or has never happened). Now Zlex has made a considerably good argument, in my case at least. Right now I think that the US is quite safe, or at least it is in my eyes. If we were to change the gun control laws it could affect, negatively, the balance. So, I would, if I could, change my vote to Current gun laws are fine.

Back to the shotgun tree example. Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought shotguns usually dispersed the pellets in a cone, or circle, pattern. This is why I thought you were close to the tree.

mattmns said:
I do not have any problem with Iraqis improvising weapons, I would probably do the same. You can not stop people from improvising, or creating weapons.
Bystander said:
We know why you shouldn't be allowed to own or be near anything that might function as a weapon --- now, tell the rest of us why we with less murderous natures should not be allowed ownership of firearms for whatever peaceful purposes we choose.
I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying. What I mean is that if I were an Iraqi and I had Americans shooting at me, then I too, would probably improvise and either make a weapon or find one. And I would like to think you would do the same.

Murderous nature? Where did you get this from? I do not own a gun, or any official weapons(yes I have knives, but they are used to butter my pancakes, or cut steak), and I have no desire to kill people. Not sure where you are getting this from, but I guess if you need to flame people to make your point, then good job!

member 5645
My platform:

1. Close the loophole, have a national database of gun transactions that is kept up to date. Justification: "Well regulated militia".

2. Concealed carry. Justification; "Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".
Honestly, I'm fine with both of those.

Bystander
Homework Helper
Gold Member
mattmns said:
(snip)Murderous nature? Where did you get this from?
Your original statement: "Guns are designed and made to kill/destroy things, that is the problem." My inference from this statement is that it is your nature to use firearms to kill/destroy --- therefore, I really don't want to see you anywhere near such devices. Also implicit in this statement is your assessment of people who do own firearms --- little something the cranium crackers call "projection, transference," whatever else, denoting the human tendency to see themselves in others --- hence, my use of the word murderous. Not intended as a flame --- a barb, perhaps, suggesting that you might consider the possibility that there really are other uses and intents driving firearms ownership --- appreciation of art, craftsmanship, and such in my case (trash is trash, Glock is glock, and a Colt Python is a beautiful piece of machinery --- getting it tuned and maintained to punch holes in paper where it is aimed is not a trivial exercise).
I do not own a gun, or any official weapons(yes I have knives, but they are used to butter my pancakes, or cut steak), and I have no desire to kill people.
Nor a desire to "live and let live," I take it --- you stay away from my Python, and I'll stay away from your butterknife. Household defense? Uh-uh --- this house is protected by Louisville Slugger and SK Tools --- don't plan on ever playing the piano again.

Not sure where you are getting this from, but I guess if you need to flame people to make your point, then good job!

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Where are all the aussies when you need them ? Since the 90s, Australia has enforced very tight gun control laws, that met with a lot of opposition initially. What's the feeling now ?

All of you need to realize that I have no problem with responsible gun users. The problem is that there are a ton of irresponsible gun users.

Bystander said:
Your original statement: "Guns are designed and made to kill/destroy things, that is the problem." My inference from this statement is that it is your nature to use firearms to kill/destroy --- therefore, I really don't want to see you anywhere near such devices. Also implicit in this statement is your assessment of people who do own firearms --- little something the cranium crackers call "projection, transference," whatever else, denoting the human tendency to see themselves in others --- hence, my use of the word murderous. Not intended as a flame --- a barb, perhaps, suggesting that you might consider the possibility that there really are other uses and intents driving firearms ownership --- appreciation of art, craftsmanship, and such in my case (trash is trash, Glock is glock, and a Colt Python is a beautiful piece of machinery --- getting it tuned and maintained to punch holes in paper where it is aimed is not a trivial exercise).
Thank you for clearing that up.

Yes many guns look beautiful, if you collect guns for their beauty that is perfectly fine (or a collector for any other reason). I do not have a problem with gun collectors, hunters, people who target practice, etc. Like I said: I do not have any problem with people who use guns responsibly. I do, however, have a problem with people who carry a gun only to inflict harm on another human being.

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Bystander
Homework Helper
Gold Member
mattmns said:
All of you need to realize that I have no problem with responsible gun users. The problem is that there are a ton of irresponsible gun users.(snip)
How many bad apples? 10,000? 100,000? Took 15 yrs. to stir-fry Ted Bundy; Charles Manson's still dining on the taxpayers' dimes; Scott P. will be a ward of the state for years; T. Kaczynski (sp? I ain't gonna check it now) is mentally incompetent to be tried; our little friend in Texas Wednesday had how many years of jailtime accumulated but not served; and on, and on .... The question being, what is accomplished by interfering with 50M gun owners current rights without taking some steps toward dispostion of the bad apples? Revenue enhancement? Seems to be the ultimate goal of every bit of legislation directed toward solution of social problems these days. What's easier (read "easier" for more profitable in terms of revenues to be misspent)? Round up 50-100k bad apples for a stir-fry, or make a grab at 50M gun owners wallets for registration and administrative fees?

Plea bargains, sealed records, insanity pleas, juvenile court jurisdiction (no permanent record) for major crimes, time off for good behavior, parole, and the whole ABA keep 'em on the street stirring things up for ABA revenues thing might be of a tad more concern to people genuinely disturbed with the quality of life and public safety than the activities of the 50M.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
There's no conclusive evidence that death penalties are cheaper than life terms. Actually, I've only seen reports providing statistics that argue the reverse.

"Elimination of the death penalty would result in a net savings to the state of at least several tens of millions of dollars annually, and a net savings to local governments in the millions to tens of millions of dollars on a statewide basis." –Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the California Legislature, Sept. 9, 1999
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/MassCostTestimony.pdf

But this is not really germane to the present discussion. I apologize for the digression.

current gun laws are way to harsh...
if you read jefferson's memoirs he implies(to me anyway) that the people need to be armed in the same ways the government is armed. This makes his every few decade revolution possible. IMO the gun laws, even in place, are un-constitutional. there is no choice in the poll for me

my preffered choice would be... "the current gun laws are unconstitutional"

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buildertech@sti.net
What do you mean you don't know why people want to carry CCW???? It is obvious that you do not educate yourself as you should. Just get up and turn on the news once in a while or read the papers or, or , or ??? You must have meant "you could not understand why people would not want to carry a gun" legally of course!. It is not like it used to be, times have changed. Folks need to change with them unfortunately if they want to survive.

Bart

buildertech@sti.net
In our county, we are all pro-gun. The Sheriff encourages its law abiding citizens to "pack heat". They even train the applicants with their own coarse adminitered by Deputies as the "Range Masters". We don't have any, (or so very little that it does not register) major problems involving guns or violent crimes because a lot of us have CCW permits. That enables us to protect ourselves without having to depned on the police to get there first. The police almost always get there just in time to fill out a report for investigation. Very seldom do they get there in time to stop the agressor or criminal before someone is hurt or killed. This is true everywhere. Even most ignorant folks know this but obviously, not all of them know this yet. Just read some of the statements being made and you will see what I mean. Yep, the dumb ass that tries to rob and/or harm most of those in our community is going to get a BIG surprise. In most cases, about 230 grains worth. It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it, right? No one wants to have to use it, most of all me. But we will not allow the criminal element to take advantage of our citizens either. And we have the hardware and training to stop them.

With this corrupted, fascist government in power, every truly patriotic American needs guns more than ever,just in case.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
This argument is a straw-man. It misses the point. Guns are a tool: they are a tool designed for killing things and they are highly effective at it. Had the kids at Columbine only had access to knives, how many people would they have succeeded in killing? Could Oswald have hit Kennedy with a knife from 300 yards? If gun control laws had been just a tiny bit weaker and the Columbine kids had succeeded in acquiring the .50 cal machine gun they had their eye on, how many people would they have succeeded in killing?

My view on guns is this:

-Home defense is important. For this, the ideal weapon is a pump-action shotgun: short range, high power, easy to aim, and you can use it as a club if you need to.
-Hunting is a reasonable use: hunting rifles are ok (even semi-auto).
-Handguns are not ok for civilians - expecially not concealed. The usual case study of "what if you were mugged and you had a gun..." doesn't have the outcome most people think: if you are mugged by someone with a gun and try to pull yours, odds are pretty good, you'll be dead.
-Guns, being what they are, require heavy safety regulation. Currently, they are about the least regulated of any consumer product. Many are designed in such a way as to make them easy to modify for nefarious purposes. We require licensing before people are allowed to operate a common tool that if used properly is perfectly safe: there is no reason not to require it for a tool that even if used correctly, results in a death.

Re, the 2nd Amendment: Its horribly, horribly written, perhaps on purpose. My interpretation is "a well regulated militia" is the National Guard, the modern incarnation of the militias that really were just farmers with personal guns. "The right to bear arms," is far from absolute, and needs to be heavily restricted.
This is precisely my view on gun control as well (with the possible exception of home defense)! I have no problem with guns owned for hunting (shotguns or rifles), but find concealed carry laws disturbing.

I also find that the argument that criminals have handguns so we need them too to be weak. The reason it is weak is that laws prohibiting ownership of handguns gets them out of the hands of criminals in two ways: 1) they can't legally buy them, 2) homes won't have them for them to illegally obtain through theft. The average law-abiding citizen who wants to own a gun for "protection" is also going to be more likely to hesitate to pull the trigger than the criminal is. End result, one dead citizen, one live criminal. If I hear someone breaking into my house, I'm heading out the back door or a window, let them take the jewelry and TV, it's not worth my life.

I especially emphasize the need for training to go along with licensing. In days past, fathers passed down to sons this training when they would go out hunting (yes, that sounds sexist, but it is more or less how things were done). Somewhere this broke down. I know when I was a kid, my dad was an avid hunter (bow, rifle, and shotgun), and eventually, he gave up because there started to be too many idiots out who didn't care what (or who) they shot at, and it got too unsafe to be out in the woods with them. To own something with such a deadly function, spending a few weekends going through a safety training class and skill test seems a small expectation to obain a license. I would further recommend that if the gun is to be stored in the home, every person in that home be given gun safety training, not just the one person planning on going hunting with them.

I wish we would go back to banning some guns because my collections of pre ban wepons has lossed value. But I have a ton of fun going to the range a shooting my guns. Concealed carry is a safe way for me to go back a forth from the range and the gun shop ect. without having to leave my guns out in the open on my car seat for all to see I think this could prove too tempting for some to break into my car or some stupid thing. This way no one has to know that I have a gun but me.

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Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
ptex said:
I wish we would go back to banning some guns because my collections of pre ban wepons has lossed value. But I have a ton of fun going to the range a shooting my guns. Concealed carry is a safe way for me to go back a forth from the range and the gun shop ect. without having to leave my guns out in the open on my car seat for all to see I think this could prove too tempting for some to break into my car or some stupid thing. This way no one has to know that I have a gun but me.
If they were banned altogether or you stored them at the range, this wouldn't be an issue. However, I admit this isn't something I had considered with respect to concealed carry laws. I thought concealed carry referred to carrying it on your person. Is a locked box in your trunk still considered concealed carry? I work on a medical school campus, so the restrictions that apply to both a university and to hospitals apply to us in terms of not being allowed to carry concealed weapons (when they passed the law allowing concealed weapons here, which was only this past year, it was rather disturbing suddenly seeing the no firearms signs appearing all over entrances to buildings). The rules, as were distributed on campus, are that if someone has a weapon, they must leave it in a locked box in their car or not carry it onto campus at all. So, I assumed a locked box was an exception to what is considered concealed carry. Is that not the case, or not the case everywhere?

I wouldn't have a problem with people keeping a handgun stored in the equivalent of a safety deposit box in a secured vault of a shooting range for the purpose of target practice. To me, if your only use is to participate in a bit of sport shooting targets, that's fine, as long as the guns never go anywhere where they are intended for use against another person, and are not removed from a secured facility where they could accidentally (or intentionally) get into the hands of either a child or a criminal.

I bought a gun this year-- 30-06 w/ scope. Makes me very happy just to hold it & slide the bolt up & down, and I can see Jupiter's moons throught the scope. Generally, guns are poorly regulated but I really dont care. Handguns are just as protected by the Constitution as rifles & shotguns. You have to draw the line somewhere though-- people should probably not be allowed to have their own JDAMS. Yet the self-defence argument-- that guns should only be kept and beared for protection & hunting-- does not hold up constitutionally. Virtually anybody with a lathe and a few other machining tools can modify a semi-auto bushmaster to be a full-auto silenced SMG. As this hypothetical illegal gun would be illegal, it would not be noted or regulated would it?
However, the counter argument to legal full-auto assault weapons is obvious: those devices will inevitably fall into the hands of those who will use them. They'll get stolen and terrorist cells within the US will wipe out a shopping mall. Do the benefits of free armamants outwiegh the costs and risks? Can we protect our national interests from foreign invaders or internal coup without liberalized gun laws? With the regular military weakened and overextended ovseas, it is a compelling argument that citizens ought to fill the national security void and gun laws should be somewhat liberalized.

From the perspective of someone who tries (but usually fails) to express precisely what he means, I find the US second amendment to be poorly constructed:

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed..

Why put in the first clause at all? Is the "Militia" seperate from "the people"? Does the right to bear arms apply to people who form a well regulated militia, or to people in general? If the latter, then why include the first clause at all?

Madison's original version of the second amendment went something like this:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

This is even worse. Congress changed Madison's original version, and swapped the order of the "militia" clause and "right to bear arms" clause. I have no idea why they did that.

Another thing that confuses me is that the second amendment is not binding on the states, or in other words, the fourteenth amendment doesn't apply to it. So states can (and do) make any gun laws they like. There are cities and towns which have banned guns altogether.