Bowling for Columbine

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Bowling for Columbine

Postby Jamie on Wed Nov 06, 2002 12:11 pm

Bowling for Columbine

Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Moore, (Roger and Me, TV Nation), this documentary chronicles the love and obsession Americans have with their guns. Moore, a life long member of the NRA, doesn
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Postby Kanaeda Kuonji on Wed Nov 06, 2002 12:20 pm

I personally would look to a test of reasonableness in gun ownership. Most states now require safety training in order to get permits. In addition, those who commit violent felonies would not be allowed access to firearms...even then, a case can be made for those who have served their time and are believed to have sincerely reformed.

I saw an article with a proposed constitutional amendment concerning the issue of firearms. I shall see if I can find it.
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Postby einstien5201 on Wed Nov 06, 2002 3:47 pm

Personally, I believe in moderate gun-control legislation, but nothing TOO severe. I think that things such as waiting periods and background checks are good, but the banning of firearms is, I think, a bit too much. If we make gun ownership criminal, then the only people with guns will be the criminals. And I don't think that that's something we want.
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Postby Ogredude on Wed Nov 06, 2002 3:52 pm

argh.

Okay, do I jump into this topic tooth and nail, or do I politely bow out of it because my opinions are *EXTREMELY* strong on this subject?

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

What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand?

[edited to note that I have not seen the film and probably will not be able to see the film unless I can download it on the internet as it's not airing in this area at all and probably none of the video stores will ever get a copy of it for rental. What I saw of the clips on the website pretty much disgusts me, though.]
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Postby einstien5201 on Wed Nov 06, 2002 4:01 pm

Which of course, begs the question, what defines a 'well-regulated Militia'? Yes, I'm playing Devil's advocate here.
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Postby Jamie on Wed Nov 06, 2002 5:26 pm

I believe in the second amendment and the constitution as a whole very strongly. However, I don
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Postby zodo on Wed Nov 06, 2002 5:41 pm

I personally do not intend to own a gun, not because I dislike them, but because I know I have a hot temper.

That said, I don't think that the proper way to prevent tragedies like Columbine is not to put huge restrictions on the purchase of firearms. I believe that owners of guns should be required to be properly educated in their care and safety, and should also teach that safety to their children.

Personal responsibility seems to have become taboo in this day and age, when everyone wants to blame someone else for the problems they see. If I ever have children, I won't try to shelter from anything that potentially resembles harm, but will instead teach them right from wrong, as well as fantasy from reality.

A gun is a tool, not a toy, and should be treated as such. It is not a danger if held in the hands of a properly trained person who respects the tool, and knows how to be safe with it.

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Postby Darth Paradox on Wed Nov 06, 2002 9:34 pm

One of the problems is, as einstien said, how to define "well-regulated". I don't deny that people in general should have the right to own guns. However, I believe that restrictions on the types of guns available to the general public are needed. As an example - the gun used by the sniper last month was (afaik) a gun made specifically for killing people at long range. There's really no justification for people in general to be able to own and use that sort of a gun, other than an attempt to generalize the 2nd amendment to require that all people have access to all guns.
Another example is the sorts of automatic weaponry, assault rifles and the such, that seem to be made specifically for killing large volumes of people quickly and with relative ease.

Banning guns in general is unconstitutional, and probably not that useful. Banning certain guns in specific is, I think, neither unconstitutional nor a bad idea.

(Note however that countries where citizens do not have the explicit right to own guns have a far lower percentage of gun-related deaths. The "only outlaws will have guns" argument doesn't really work that well, here.)
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Postby Ogredude on Wed Nov 06, 2002 11:19 pm

actually the "well-regulated" part of that amendment does NOT refer to rules and regulations, but rather "well-regulated" as in "smoothly operating" like a well-regulated watch.

that amendment was put into place because the founders of this country ended up having to fight their government for freedom, with private citizens and privately-owned weapons. When they designed the government for the new country, they decided that the right of the citizens to carry weapons roughly equivelant of those of the average foot soldier was too important a right to give up, that being the final check and balance.

On a personal protection note, no I do not carry a weapon because I fear violence. I carry a weapon because I know that violence may someday involve me, and I wish to be as prepared as possible to get myself (and my family) out of that violent situation. Much the same reason that the trunk of my car contains survival gear, like a tarp, tent, sleeping bag, space blanket, water, food, firestarting equipment, spare parts, gas can, and enough tools to take the car to pieces wherever I may be.

I'd rather have my weapon and never need it, than need my weapon and not have it. But, be assured, I will not hesitate to use it if that becomes necessary (though it is, of course, a last resort)
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Postby Darth Paradox on Thu Nov 07, 2002 1:37 am

Ogredude wrote:actually the "well-regulated" part of that amendment does NOT refer to rules and regulations, but rather "well-regulated" as in "smoothly operating" like a well-regulated watch.

that amendment was put into place because the founders of this country ended up having to fight their government for freedom, with private citizens and privately-owned weapons. When they designed the government for the new country, they decided that the right of the citizens to carry weapons roughly equivelant of those of the average foot soldier was too important a right to give up, that being the final check and balance.

On a personal protection note, no I do not carry a weapon because I fear violence. I carry a weapon because I know that violence may someday involve me, and I wish to be as prepared as possible to get myself (and my family) out of that violent situation. Much the same reason that the trunk of my car contains survival gear, like a tarp, tent, sleeping bag, space blanket, water, food, firestarting equipment, spare parts, gas can, and enough tools to take the car to pieces wherever I may be.

I'd rather have my weapon and never need it, than need my weapon and not have it. But, be assured, I will not hesitate to use it if that becomes necessary (though it is, of course, a last resort)


See, I think that's just fine. I'm assuming you carry a handgun or pistol or whatever the actual term is for the non-automatic, small-clip guns? You don't need a sniper rifle for personal protection; they just aren't used that way.

I've considered, myself, getting a gun in a few years, once I'm out of college, in a steady job, and having the time to properly train in the use and safety of such a thing. No way in hell am I gonna carry a gun without knowing EXACTLY how to use it - and I don't think there's anyone on either side of the gun-control debate who's gonna argue with that.
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Postby Arrus on Thu Nov 07, 2002 7:35 am

I've always considered that if I really need to protect myself, I'll consider something like a taser. Or, hell, a tranquilizer. I don't know if I could kill someone in self-defense, and for me to have a gun around would be bad thing in general (clinical depression and easy way out? No thanks). I recently did a debate about this very topic though, and it's a difficult one. If we do get rid of guns, or limit them severely, what's to keep everyone else from taking advantage? And if we don't, well...

I don't think the problem is the guns themselves. I do think something of an approval period makes sense, and a limit on certain types of firearms("Ooo...let's go hunting with semi-automatic weapons!"). Also, high prices on bullets would be a damned fine move :wink:. But the biggest problem isn't the guns themselves, because whatever we do, they'll never go away completely. It's the treatment of them, and people's reaction. Casual use of them, all sorts of things like that.

Censorship doesn't help this. No, hear me out here. While I'll for freedom of most things, I also feel that there are some things that children shouldn't be exposed to. On the other hand, there are some things that they could be exposed to, realistically, and learn to deal with. When you ban guns on TV, or ban showing the effects they can have, we don't really get it. Perhaps if the real effects of violence were to be shown, in a non Lifetime movie of the week or ABC afterschool special fashion, it might help things.

But then...the media isn't going to be going there any time soon. There are very few television newscasters or stations that I respect, and relatively few newspapers I care to read. Fear tactics combined with incredible bias...It comes to the point where some of the safest stuff seems to be from The Daily Show. Jim Lehrer is respectable as well, I feel. But in an age when the media builds its own reputation up rather than giving us the stories...I don't know if we'll see much help from that sector. That's a real shame, too.



Wow...that was kind of ranty, and got a bit off-topic, didn't it? Sorry... Maybe I'm just unhappy over the election results.
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Postby einstien5201 on Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:21 pm

Darth Paradox wrote:(Note however that countries where citizens do not have the explicit right to own guns have a far lower percentage of gun-related deaths. The "only outlaws will have guns" argument doesn't really work that well, here.)


It's not about guns being used to kill people by criminals. The biggest use for a gun is NOT to kill somebody, it's to intimidate them into co-operating. It's much easier to control a group of people as hostages or during a robbery if you're the only one with a weapon. If there are people with guns opposing you, then the intimidation factor is lost.
Example: If a criminal (in possesion of a firearm) has a choice between robbing a bank in a state/country where guns are outlawed or one in a place where people routinely carry and know how to use concealed guns, he'll more likely choose to rob the bank where there are no guns, simply for the fact that it's MUCH less likely that any of his intended victims will surprise him with a weapon of thier own.
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Postby zodo on Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:27 pm

Just to give you a piece of advice, Arrus....

A taser is not a really good choice for personal defense. They really are not all that effective. You have to be right up close to the person to use it, and even then, it's rarely incapacitating.

Tranquilizers would get you in big trouble too, for dispensing medication without a license, and you would have to have the right dose for the size of the person you are using it on. Too small and it won't do anything, to big, and it could kill them. It also wouldn't take them down quickly, so you'd still be dealing with an angry opponent.

One of the best methods of non-lethal self defense is pepper spray, or mace. These can be used accurately at a safer distance, don't cause permanent harm, and incapacitate your opponent quickly, letting you run away.

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Postby einstien5201 on Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:37 pm

Ogredude wrote:actually the "well-regulated" part of that amendment does NOT refer to rules and regulations, but rather "well-regulated" as in "smoothly operating" like a well-regulated watch.

that amendment was put into place because the founders of this country ended up having to fight their government for freedom, with private citizens and privately-owned weapons. When they designed the government for the new country, they decided that the right of the citizens to carry weapons roughly equivelant of those of the average foot soldier was too important a right to give up, that being the final check and balance.


Which of course, brings up the next arguement as to why the Second Amendment is no longer valid. With the existance of standing armies, does ANY militia, no matter how well-trained or equipped, have the ability to overthrow a government? When the Bill of Rights was written, standing armies did not exist. When an army was needed, it was formed, usually from the town militias, and it was disbanded after the need for it was eliminated.
The weapons carried by the average soldier have also changed quite a bit. Then, soldiers had pretty much the same guns that a hunter would use to hunt food for his family. Many of the soldiers, in fact, used thier own hunting guns in the war. With the average soldier in the US Army now carrying semi-automatic assualt rifles, and with the development of tanks and planes, the chances are that any popular revolt that required the use of firearms and force would fail without the assistance of a foriegn power or the previous support of the army, the latter of which would remove the neccesity for the populace to have any guns of thier own. If you can name any successful revolt since the 1900s that was not supported by a foreign nation, I would be happy to hear it.
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Postby Ogredude on Thu Nov 07, 2002 3:00 pm

Note: This is spoken from the viewpoint of an American, about the American situation. Don't be offended if you're from another country, but gun laws in other countries are a whole other barrel of fish.

To be truthful, I don't carry at the moment. I'm waiting for the paperwork for my concealed weapons license to come in. Till then, I've just got a can of pepper spray and a 3" tactical folding knife (which are legal in this state to carry concealed)

After I get the license, I will be carrying a 9mm pistol with 10-round magazine, and a can of pepper spray. And if the time should ever come, I am ready to use the pistol. That's a big thing when carrying, you MUST have the proper mindset. You MUST be able, when the time comes, to draw and fire without hesitation, or you may as well just rid yourself of a couple pounds of metal.

Yes, it sucks to kill someone, yes if I ever have to do it, I will probably be somewhat emotionally scarred, but, goddamnit, if it's a choice between his life or mine, and he's coming at me with the ability and the intent to cause me harm, and I am directly in jeopardy of my life, then I *WILL* draw my weapon and I *WILL* fire it and he *WILL* go down. Ugly thought, but it's the truth.

Yes, it takes some time to master the use of a firearm. However, not as much as you'd think! A good practical pistol course can introduce you to the basics in an afternoon, and from there on out it's just practice practice practice. I usually spend about an hour twice a month practicing with my pistol, and about the same amount of time practicing with both my rifle and my shotgun. But if you're just needing a weapon for self-defense, then an hour or two a month isn't really that much time investment.

As far as making the bullets cost a lot... time to get into screaming mode on this one... What the HELL are you thinking? You say that guns are OK if people know how to use them. However, the ONLY way to know how to use a firearm and to gain competence with it is to PRACTICE!!!. This means LIVE FIRE PRACTICE, people! How the HELL are you supposed to practice (usually considered at least 100 rounds through the weapon) if your ammunition costs $4.00 per round? Congratulations, you have just relegated weapons to the extremely rich (and criminal)! Not a good idea.


Then there's the idea of national defense. Did you know that in most (if not all) states, at least "every able-bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45" is considered part of the state's Irregular Militia? (In some states like New Jersey, the gender is not specified and you women are part of the militia as well). So what does this mean, you're part of your state's militia? Well, pardon the language, it means that if the shit really hits the fan, you (and you) may be called upon to aid in the defense of this country.

No, you don't get provided training. No, you don't get provided weapons. The revolutionary war (you remember that one? The one where we fought for our FREEDOM from Britain? Yeah, that's the one) was fought almost entirely by the irregular militia... Private citizens, using privately-owned weapons. After that war, the Founding Fathers talked about it for a while and they came to the realisation that they had just fought oppression and tyrrany with a private force using privately-owned weapons. They also realised that history tends to repeat itself, and so therefore put into place in the document that defined the new country's government the idea that the government should NOT interfere with the pre-existing right of the people to own weapons, carry weapons, and use weapons. This means that hopefully tyrrany will never take hold in America, as the PEOPLE as a last check and balance, can remove the government by force.

"When the government fears the people, this is freedom. When the people fear the government, this is tyrrany." -- Some guy I don't remember the name of.

So NO, I do not believe in any laws which either prevent us from owning particular weapons (umm, the 1994 assault rifle ban, perhaps?) nor laws which turn weapons ownership from a RIGHT into a PRIVILEDGE (gun licensing) since priviledges can be easily taken away by a nasty government getting ready to throw down a nice bit of tyrrany.



Registration of weapons... This is a borderline issue. I know a lot of people are in favor of weapons registration, but I am not.

People say that weapons registration is good because it keeps track of all these guns (which seem to kill people all by themselves) and allows recovery of stolen weapons, and keeps scumbags from having weapons.

All fine and dandy, I say, but I really don't see how you're going to get the criminals to register the guns they just bought for cash money on the black market... Face the facts, people, there will *ALWAYS* be a black market, *ALWAYS*. The ONLY way to ensure that no psycho criminal crazy has a gun is to destroy *EVERY SINGLE GUN ON THE PLANET* and make the penalty for construction of any projectile-firing weapon DEATH. GUN CONTROL DOES NOT WORK, THE CRIMINALS WILL ALWAYS BE ABLE TO FIND AND PURCHASE WEAPONS!

The second issue with registration is a more paranoid issue but one we definitely need to look at.

When you register all your guns, the government now has a nice little database of who owns which guns. Now, this isn't a really big deal in a properly-working government, but what if, just what if, we get a ruler in our country who turns out to be not what we expected at all? This ruler instigates martial law, sets up an authoritarian government, and starts movements to disarm the populace. Hmm, how's he gonna know which houses have guns in them? Oh, wait, we've got all these nice little yellow forms! Here come the jackbooted thugs!

I personally feel that this scenario is a greater danger than privately-held weapons are. I do NOT want the jackbooted thugs pounding on my door, thank you very much.

Again, the above may sound a bit isolationist and paranoid (a bit? Hell, it sounds VERY MUCH SO!). It is not meant to be that way. It is meant to paint a bleak picture of what may happen sometime in the future. It happened before in other countries. Cambodia, Germany, China, it's happened before, folks. I don't want it to happen to this country. I will fight with all I have to preserve the freedoms that Americans have, and to restore the freedoms that Americans have lost.


(Just as a side note, EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of genocide in this century has been IMMEDIATELY preceeded by the disarming of the general populace. Think about this.)


Don't worry, I'm not out of things to say yet.

Note: I am simply expressing my opinions here. I am *NOT* trying to ridicule any individual, and I am *NOT* trying to change your mind. If you get offended at what I say, then maybe you should step back and take a look at your own thoughts.
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Postby Ogredude on Thu Nov 07, 2002 3:04 pm

einstien5201 wrote:If you can name any successful revolt since the 1900s that was not supported by a foreign nation, I would be happy to hear it.


As recently as 1946, American citizens were forced to take up arms as a last resort against corrupt government officials.

http://www.jpfo.org/athens.htm

The Battle of Athens Tennessee. Read it and know why we still have irregular militias.
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Postby Ogredude on Thu Nov 07, 2002 3:07 pm

Darth Paradox wrote:(Note however that countries where citizens do not have the explicit right to own guns have a far lower percentage of gun-related deaths. The "only outlaws will have guns" argument doesn't really work that well, here.)


Bull.

http://www.reason.com/0211/fe.jm.gun.shtml

Read it.
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Postby Kanaeda Kuonji on Thu Nov 07, 2002 6:23 pm

I have to comment that Ogredude has a point.

The day they ban guns is the day I buy 10. Why? Look at the results of gun restrictions in Great Britain. gun crimes have only escalated, and even Law enforcement has a hard time accessing firearms.

Maybe it is because I am from West Virginia, where most households have firearms in one form or another. But then, WV has the 2nd lowest crime rate in the States as well. Gun laws are very lax here.

Also, I propose an experiment. Take a pistol, have it loaded, safety off, and leave it on the table for about two hours.

Point? Guns are merely tools, at the whim of those who use them.
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Postby Ogredude on Sat Nov 16, 2002 8:45 am

Oh, I also feel that a large-magazine, semi-automatic rifle (what you call an "assault rifle") is an essential part of my overall home defense (and country defense) scheme, as is a scoped, accurate, bolt-action rifle (what you call a "sniper rifle"), as well as a shotgun.

Let's look at it from a strictly home-defense aspect, and leave out the country defense for now.

Situation 1) A mean nasty stray dog comes onto my property and menaces my family and/or livestock (yes, I'm a farm boy.)
I want my scoped rifle so that I can remove this dangerous animal from my property with the minimum of fuss. If I had to use just my handgun, I'd have to let the dog approach me to within about 25 yards (handguns aren't really that useful past that range), thereby putting myself at higher risk, and lowering my chances of dispatching the animal humanely. With the scoped rifle, I can be well out of harm's way, and carefully place a shot where it needs to be in order to dispatch the animal with a minimum of pain.

Situation 2) A band of thugs decide that they want to forcefully take what I own.
Here's where the semi-automatic rifle comes in to play. Assuming for the moment that they don't leave me and my family alone when I point the thing at them and tell them firmly to go away, I'm going to need the capacity of the weapon to deal with the multiple targets. No, I probably won't need all three 30-round magazines, but once again, better to have them and not need them...

Situation 3) Burglar enters my home.
Shotgun time. A short pump-action shotgun (18" barrel) loaded with #4 birdshot or #0 buckshot is one of the best weapons for defending yourself within your home. The sound of a shell racking into the chamber is enough to give all but the most determined burglar reason to change his underwear, and the pellets won't penetrate walls with very much force, thereby putting the rest of my family at far higher risk. This goes double for apartment dwellers -- you don't want to accidentally hit your neighbor.


Just a note for all you folks who think that a handgun is bad because the bad guy may take it away and use it against you... If he does this, then you did not have the proper mindset. When you draw the weapon, you'd better be ready to use it. If you let the bad guy get close enough to you to take your weapon away, you've waited too long and it's your own durn fault. When I'm out and about, I'm always in "Condition Yellow" -- alert and ready to deal with anything that happens to me. If I notice suspicious behavior around me, I'll go to "Condition Orange", an escalated sense of awareness. I'll start paying much closer attention and will ready myself for a possible attack. If I have to draw my weapon, I go into "Condition Red" and be prepared for an imminent attack.

One night a few weeks ago, I actually went into Condition Orange. I was walking home from the convenience store when this kid with a crew cut and wearing a ragged T-shirt rode past me on his bicycle. He said "Whud up G" and proceeded to zig-zag about 15 feet ahead of me in the road. I had that feeling where the hair on the back of your neck stands on end, and moved from Yellow to Orange. I slipped my hand down to my pocket and withdrew my knife, but didn't open it, just held it in my hand ready to open. Apparently the kid saw this, because he did one more zig-zag and zoomed away. I stepped back down to Yellow and put the knife back in my pocket. If I'd been carrying a handgun at that point, I would have simply opened up the thumb break (the strap which keeps the weapon in its holster) but wouldn't have drawn. If he'd made any further aggressive moves, I would have flicked the blade out and told him to go away (or drawn the weapon and tell him to go away). Past that, I really couldn't say what I'd do, just whatever it was that I needed to do in order to protect myself.

Owning a weapon of any sort is a commitment. You must commit yourself to knowing how to safely use the weapon, and you must commit yourself to knowing WHEN to use it. If you don't feel comfortable with this responsibility, then don't carry a weapon. I've heard far too many stories of people who carry a gun because "If anyone goes to attack me I'll point it at them and they'll go away." Nope, it doesn't work this way. About three quarters of the time, they WILL go away when a weapon is drawn. But in that remaining quarter of the time, you may very well have to use it, and you MUST be prepared for that possibility.

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Postby AltheaMorgan on Sat Nov 16, 2002 12:06 pm

I just saw Bowling for Columbine last night. I was really surprised that Moore belonged to the NRA; I didn't know that.
If I hear Heston's voice saying "from my cold dead hands" one more time, I'm going to scream.
I was in Littleton a few months after the shooting happened. (I got lost in Colorado.) Everyone there was still really on edge about, well, everything. It was kind of strange, to ask where I was and get the response of "Littleton," and then this man who was there, he thought he was in Crystal Waters, and he flipped out about it. I guess he was uncomfortable there. It's just a normal little town, though.
But I thought it was a good movie, and highly recommend it.
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Postby Darth Paradox on Sat Nov 16, 2002 10:01 pm

Ogredude wrote:
Darth Paradox wrote:(Note however that countries where citizens do not have the explicit right to own guns have a far lower percentage of gun-related deaths. The "only outlaws will have guns" argument doesn't really work that well, here.)


Bull.

http://www.reason.com/0211/fe.jm.gun.shtml

Read it.


Hooboy. I seem to have been seriously misled by statistics.

That article truly frightens me, largely in that I'm wondering what the holy living hell England is thinking. Common sense and reason are in direct contradiction to the laws and precedents that England has set forth in the past several years.

"An armed society is a polite society." -Robert Heinlein

Ogredude wrote:As recently as 1946, American citizens were forced to take up arms as a last resort against corrupt government officials.

http://www.jpfo.org/athens.htm

The Battle of Athens Tennessee. Read it and know why we still have irregular militias.


That's just incredible - I'm seriously wondering why I haven't heard of it before. This should be taught in history classes with the Revolution - proof that some concepts of the time are still in effect in modern times.

So I suppose, then, that your answer to the problem of violent crime is that one should be capable of defending oneself against attackers without the aid of society. And as for those unable to defend themselves? Apart from the young and the infirm, there are people who are just psychologically incapable of wielding a weapon effectively. Since it seems to be largely up to the individual to defend oneself, how do we ensure that those unable to are still safe?
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Postby Ogredude on Sun Nov 17, 2002 7:01 am

Darth Paradox wrote:So I suppose, then, that your answer to the problem of violent crime is that one should be capable of defending oneself against attackers without the aid of society. And as for those unable to defend themselves? Apart from the young and the infirm, there are people who are just psychologically incapable of wielding a weapon effectively. Since it seems to be largely up to the individual to defend oneself, how do we ensure that those unable to are still safe?


Close. The point I was actually trying to make is that you have the RIGHT to defend yourself without the aid of society, and I don't believe that RIGHT should be infringed. At all. If you don't want or cannot defend yourself, then the defense provided by society (i.e. police) is there as a backup (if they can make it in time)

If you are willing and able to defend yourself, then by all means you should have access to any and all tools you may care to have toward that purpose. Sir Jamie's comment about neighbors having nukes is a valid point. However, nukes are not generally useful for defending one's self, and not even really useful for defending one's country. I am firmly opposed to all forms of nuclear weapons as they do as much harm to the side that uses them as they do to the side they are used on.


Remember the rule of non-agression: No one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against any person.
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Postby Ogredude on Sun Nov 17, 2002 7:05 am

Here's a whole slew of information about gun control and use of guns in self-defense that may interest you folks. With sources, even.

http://www.gunowners.org/fs0101.htm

Enjoy.
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Postby Montrose on Fri Nov 22, 2002 5:59 am

Greetings, all.

If you pull the emotion-laden words "gun," and "Control," out of the discussion and attack it from a different point of view, you can see the following issues at play:
--Personal responsibility: Any tool, especially powerful tools like table-saws, cars, computers, and gas ovens, require responsibility to use safely and appropriately. If a man crashes his car into a house and kills the child inside, he his held criminally liable for the death, but no one seeks to ban cars. Morevoer, a child growing up in a house with such appliances or tools is taught from a very young age to be safe and responsible around such tools. The tools are not hidden from sight, nor do child safety services come and take the child away because he or she is raised in such an environment. If, however, the child blows up the house with the gas oven, hacks the FBI website, cuts off his own own fingers on the table saw, etc, then the parents are held liable for the damage, because they were irresponsible with their child.
--The use of tools: A person must have the right tools for the job for which they are responsible. If a government has deemed itself not responsible for an issue (like personal safety: the Supreme Court ruled that it is NOT the responsibility of the police to "protect"), then it is the responsiblity of the individual citizens. As an engineer, I keep my tools close at hand.

If we go ahead and add the words back in (this time as generic "weapons control", for the sake of argument), let's look at Japan:
Japan had the most far reaching historical weapons control program back in their fuedal days. Only the samurai caste were allowed to carry swords, the finest weapon of the day, much like today's M-16. They were the only ones allowed to own weapons of any kind. three things arose from this:
The Ninja, an assassin trained specifically to kill samurai,
The Yakuza, organized crime formed of Ronin, to keep the general populace safe from marauding bands of Samurai,
The Martial arts, including not only the way of the empty hand, but development of "poor-man's weapons" from farmer's implements, like Sai, Nunchaku, primitive spears, jo sticks (designed specifically to break the katana), etc.
So if any government seeks to comprehensively control weapons, three things are going to happen: the populace will become exceedingly creative in how they defend themselves, crime will increase, and so will the deadliness of the criminal.

My opinion is worth what you paid for it, but is open to scrutiny and logical deconstruction. Cheers, everyone.
Nathan Webb, CI

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Postby Rei on Sat Nov 23, 2002 1:30 am

this is interesting reading

has anyone considered the difference between freedom to and freedom from? I often feel that it is in basing your position in one or the other of these freedoms that the wildly differing opinions on many volitile issues arise.

for example: freedom to - I should have the right to bear arms
or: freedom from - I should have the right to expect to be safe from armed violence

i don't really have a position on gun control, though i have seen some very interesting points put forward. But I don't think that the two positions are mutually exclusive.

no, i don't think I have a point either. I'm just rambling ;)
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