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Guns and Aggression.

  1. Oct 7, 2005 #1
    There was a discussion in another thread about guns and legality of carrying these. I posted objections, without substantiating them. I think this would be the better place.

    A long time ago I read the book “On Aggression” by Konrad Lorentz, once a famous animal shrink, renowned for analysing the behaviour of ducks and geese. I’m talking about the mid 1970ties. His contention was that animals, who carry lethal weapons (fangs, tusks, horns, etc) also have build-in mental blocks that prevents them from killing members of their own species. When a wolf is beaten in a fight for the leadership of the packs, he offers his most vulnerable part to his victor, his neck. The winner could easily kill him now, but he won’t, he is mentally blocked to do that. Translated to human behaviour, this would be called chivalry. Other species that are not equipped with lethal weapons, don’t have that mental block. When ever there is a quarrel, the loser would not be in danger. He can simply run. If not, like two doves in a cage, the conqueror will kill the defeated, slowly and mercilessly, because he does not have that mental block and the loser cannot run.

    Humans are not naturally equipped with lethal weapons hence their mental block to kill fellow species members, is not that well developed. And we all know what some adrenaline and aggressive testosterone can do, when observing the soccer games, So carrying lethal weapons (guns) without the required mental block not to kill seems not to be a good idea.

    Thoughts? Scientific progress on this subject?
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2005 #2


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    I used to own several rifles, I hunted deer for many years, I also carry a pocket knife. I have never felt the urge to use them in an aggressive fashion against another human. Simply owning a weapon does not necessarily modify the basic nature of a human. Humans have ALWAYS had weapons they are as much a part of our survival as the fangs and claws of animals. Like aggressive dogs, aggressive humans are not born, but are raised. An aggressive human will SEEK weapons, but the weapons are the not cause of the aggression they are an effect. There have always been, and there always will be aggressive humans, they are simply the result of being human.

    But we need to study and understand the conditions which create aggressive individuals, perhaps then we can create environments which can better guide them. Even so, I dread the thought of a society which would attempt to eliminate such basic elements of human nature. That very act would be a form of aggression of the worst kind.

    It would seem that our current world condition is generating many aggressive indivduals, and aggression breeds aggression.
  4. Oct 7, 2005 #3


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    oddly enough... and i must say this is odd... I was more aggressive before i possessed firearms then I am now. I think you start to realize that since you are now capable of taking a life and have the tools to quickly do so, you must learn to control your emotions. Kinda like sayen the day you unpack your emotions while you unpack your rifle is the day you die.

    Most responsible people buy their firearms once they have their emotions in check. They don't get their emotions in check by buying a firearm. Although I must say target practice to relax is very helpful to a lot of people. I'm personally against that whole idea because I wouldn't want to be mad and near a gun because that could be the one day out of my whole life that I lose control of an emotion or 2 and boom boom boom!
  5. Oct 10, 2005 #4
    My swisstool victorinox has an interesting control feature. Pull out the blade and it doesn't go back until you push up on the lock.

    Aggressive behavior increased in me? Nah, I just got more skillful with guns. Now if I want to take over the town with a gun, I know how to point.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  6. Nov 1, 2005 #5
    I have owned and carried personal firearms for defense, defense of my own self but also defense of others.

    When some of us were children and we played "Guns" or "War" or "Cops and Robbers" we played games with no intention of injuring someone, and we learned, on our own, lessons in strategies and tactics inre the use of guns for defense, but we always had the knowledge that the guns were not real and those "killed" would come back to life at suppertime.

    All this changed when a real gun became available. I became intensely aware of the responsibility and finality involved in using a gun to control another human being who was acting in a criminally aggressive manner. My primary concern is to avoid having to use the gun to solve a problem, but because the gun is available I am now ready to stop criminal activity when necessary.

    I have used a gun twice on record, and numerous times off record to defend myself and others. No one was hurt, and the problems were solved with the threat of violence but without any actual violence, and in one case criminals were charged and convicted of misdemeanors.

    In any criminal activity, there is (A) a criminal, who intends to injure (B) a victim, an innocent individual, an individual who does not intend to injure anyone who does not intend to injure him or any other innocent individual, and potentially (C) a rescuer, someone who intends to protect the victim, and (D) an eyewitness, someone who sees/hears/etc. the criminal attack the victim but who, for any reason, does not act to stop the criminal. A victim may be his own rescuer.

    If by laws guns are taken away from responsible individuals who could by victims who could rescue themselves or rescuers of victims, then criminals will become emboldened to attack victims, as has happened in England and Australia in the mid-90s. As proven by John Lott in More Guns, Less Crime, gun crime statistics clearly show that victims and rescuers do in fact use guns wisely to defend victims against criminal behavior. Criminals have admitted that they fear armed victims and rescuers and therefore tend to avoid confrontations with gun owners/users. Gun owner/users have identified criminals as well as and in many cases better than trained police officers; they have also shot as effectively as and in many cases better than trained police officers. Responsible gun owners/users are therefore as effective trained police officers in not becoming potential accidental shooters or mishandlers of guns.

    The brute fact is criminals will always be able to buy guns.

    Confiscating guns from responsible owners/users will not stop criminals from being able to buy guns, and will not reduce both gun-related crime and non-gun-related crime (England/Australia are examples of this fact).

    Police officers are not always available precisely when and where they are needed, which is why criminals will initiate attacks on victims.

    Victims and rescuers must have the option of carrying/using guns in self defense and the defense of others.

    Dictators have learned/known that taking guns away from citizens reduces the capabilities of citizens to resist oppressive government tactics. That fact alone should stop gungrabbers from clamoring for anti-gun laws.

    Armed Americans can defend America if necessary, and because Americans have the Second Amendment rights to bear arms and to use them in self defense and the defense of others.

    If you take my guns away from me, then I will not have the tools you would need me to have to defend you, your spouse, your children, your loved ones, your family members, your friends, your neighbors, your town, your state, and your country from criminals, from loss of life, limb, liberty, and property.

    Without guns you will not have the Eutopia you think you will have.

    By my carrying a gun you have the benefit of the possibility that I might be able to help you.

    In general, in those states which permit, and encourage, concealed carry of personal firearms for self defense and the defense of others, crime rates are less than the crimes rates in those states which do not permit concealed carry of guns for defense.

    If you would not want me to own/use a gun to protect you and those you love from criminals, because of some naive need you have to protect the criminal from injury, or to 'understand' the criminal's motives and to 'forgive' the criminal for acting in response to some previous offenses, something is wrong with you, because those you love most likely will not want you to protect/'understand' criminals by denying those you love or me the tool they or I will need to defend them from a criminal's attack. When victims need to defend themselves or to be rescued, defended, then that is the time to defend and protect the victims, not the criminals.

    George Washington is on record as having noticed that when men carry guns they tend to be more civil to each other.

    I have enjoyed peace-of-mind knowing that when I carry my gun for peaceable purposes I at least have the choice of taking action to defend myself and others, and therefore criminals will not necessarily be able to successfully attack victims when I have the tool I will need, and they, the victims, will need me to have, to defend them.

    I know that inre acting aggressively but responsibly towards criminals my ownership/usage of guns has encouraged me, emboldened me, but my ownership/usage of guns has not encouraged/emboldened me to act aggressively towards innocent victims.

    I encourage everyone concerned with the effectiveness of armed citizens to deal with criminals to read, and study, the statistical information available in More Guns, Less Crime.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2005
  7. Nov 1, 2005 #6


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    It is not uncommon for hippopotamuses, lions and many other animals kill same-species young that have a different father, they want their genes to go down the line, not other males'.

    Probably the reason that sometimes one becomes less aggresive, or civilized with guns, is because once you shoot, there's no going back. If you punch somebody you can still retain a friendship with that person. If you shoot your friend he won't live to be your friend, and if he doesn't he probably won't be very friendly.
  8. Aug 4, 2008 #7
    I could use this somewhere if you could give me an internet source.
  9. Aug 4, 2008 #8


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    I think this argument is stacking the deck. We'll preferentially observe lethal animals not killing their competitors, and preferentially observe nonlethal animals killing their competitors.

    Question: When all the data is added up, do wolves actually kill other wolves less often than pidgeons kill other pidgeons?
  10. Aug 4, 2008 #9


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    Wolves may be a special case, since the alpha male and female are afforded priority in feeding and breeding. I can attest that other animals who will not kill are willing to others die rather than sustain them. We often see animals like dogs that are domesticated and well-cared-for that are willing to "adopt" animals that their birth mothers will willingly abandon. When you see Siberian tiger pups suckling on a Goldren retriever *****, that's got to give you pause.
  11. Aug 4, 2008 #10


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    BTW, I have been shooting since a little child, hunting since maybe 10 or less, and am an enthusiastic owner/user of firearms. I like to practice shooting with friends and family, and my wife is about as good with a pistol as I am, with the exception of my Glock 20 (10mm Auto) - that gun has too much recoil for her small hands, though she can handle a Colt Python in .357 magnum with no problem.
  12. Aug 5, 2008 #11
    Interesting rule of thumb, but not always true: Male lions kill cubs.

    From wiki: "Male lions reach maturity at about 3 years of age and, at 4–5 years of age, are capable of challenging and displacing the adult male(s) associated with another pride. They begin to age and weaken between 10 and 15 years of age at the latest,[88] if they have not already been critically injured whilst defending the pride (once ousted from a pride by rival males, male lions rarely manage a second take-over). This leaves a short window for their own offspring to be born and mature. If they are able to procreate as soon as they take over a pride, potentially, they may have more offspring reaching maturity before they also are displaced. A lioness often will attempt to defend her cubs fiercely from a usurping male, but such actions are rarely successful. He usually kills all of the existing cubs who are less than two years old. A lioness is weaker and much lighter than a male; success is more likely when a group of three or four mothers within a pride join forces against one male"
  13. Aug 7, 2008 #12


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    This thread was started a LONG time ago, when our forum guidelines were different than they are now. Thus, I'm locking it now. If folks would like to continue a discussion on aggression, please start a new topic that conforms to our current forum guidelines.
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