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Sunday, August 25

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Fuel

Thurston / April 25, 2007 11:06 AM

I lived in the UK for a while last year, and the big national worry was the increase in knife attacks. Knives! Not to marginalize anyone harmed by knives, but I was jealous of how effective their gun control is that knives are the most worrisome weapon.

So I guess you could say I am into gun control. I think most people who really love guns see it as an extension of their penis and don't want to give them up for that reason.

Joseph J. Finn / April 25, 2007 11:10 AM

That we don't have enough of it. Tax the hell out of guns and ammo, place severe limitations on weapons production and start choking the problem at the source so we can start a degradation of the amount of murder weapons on the street.

Mikey / April 25, 2007 11:21 AM

I'm all for gun control. Leave the guns to the military, the police and hunters...

As I understand it, the constitutional "right to bear arms" in a historical context was intended to allow the citizens to defend themselves against the government should it ever try to seize absolute power and personal property. This would have been a major concern at a time when rule under the monarchy was still fresh in the minds of the former colonists...

And I think the idea of concealed weapon laws is absolutely ludicrous. As if there aren't enough wackos, hotheads and road-ragers out there. I can only imagine how it would redefine barfights...

Hal / April 25, 2007 11:21 AM

I support the right to bear hunting rifles and shotguns, but not handguns or assault weapons.

the pet / April 25, 2007 11:27 AM

I'm for it.

But I feel like any laws passed are going to mainly affect the law-abiding, responsible, sane gun owners.

We could pull an Australia and get as many of them off the street as we could, but that would take a while. I wouldn't be opposed to that, but I think that far too many people would be, and it wouldn't work.

d. / April 25, 2007 11:43 AM

until recently i hadn't thought much about it, but you know, if gun control was very strict i bet we'd see a lot less heartbreaking things we see on the news every day.

or better yet, has anybody seen the chris rock skit where he proposes that each bullet costs $5000 dollars?

then nobody would shoot each other...unless it was for a REALLY good reason!

Cliff / April 25, 2007 11:46 AM

Gun Control means using both hands.

And keeping your hands off off my guns.

How about we enforce the laws on the books before we get all crazy and legislate unnecessarily?

Judy / April 25, 2007 11:48 AM

um,
""right to bear arms" in a historical context was intended to allow the citizens to defend themselves against the government should it ever try to seize absolute power and personal property."

yes, exactly.
you think this doesn't happen anymore? Or won't in the future? Please. Don't be so naive.

If more people own guns, and everyone knows it, fewer people use them - why? because anyone could be packing.

I am in favor of more gun /education/ and training. "bad" people who want guns will always find a way to get them. Why should I be a sitting duck?

I grew up in the country and kids grow up with a knowledge and respect for guns that city kids don't have. Education is key.

Cliff / April 25, 2007 11:50 AM

As far as the argument for gun control goes, for over 20 years the city of Chicago has banned owning handguns in the city. I really don't think gun control, bans, voluntarily surrendering firearms, or any other plan works.

The legal owners of firearms are not causing the problems.

Cheryl / April 25, 2007 11:53 AM

We've been going about this the wrong way for a long time. Rather than gun control, we should license people and their guns the way we license drivers and their cars. You have to pass a test to get your shooting license and there's a fee and it gets renewed regularly. If you want to buy a gun, it gets a tag like a car's license plate, there's a fee and it has to be renewed regularly.

Mike / April 25, 2007 11:53 AM

Interesting that this little survey falls exactly on the lines of the regular gun control debate. Most Americans are in favor of reasonable gun control, and a few very vocal, confrontational folks (like Cliff) think that any laws that prevent gun violence are aimed directly at their firearms ownership.

So yeah, I think we need some stronger gun laws. There's no reason we should all be forced to deal with this insane violence just so guys like Cliff can get their shootin' kicks.

Carrie / April 25, 2007 11:56 AM

For it. I can't believe it's still so easy to buy a gun.

I saw the most amazing idiot at a baseball game this past weekend. Apparently his new hobby was gun collecting and when some poor kid accidentally tapped his beer (or so the idiot claimed) he threatened to put "a hole in his head". He should not be allowed near a gun. We should have people to follow new gun owners around and see how they are when they're drunk or angry.

Anyway, we're definitely not strict enough with our gun laws. It might help if there were more severe consequences for hurting or killing someone with a gun. And I'm sure someone will say that you can kill someone with a fork so maybe we should ban forks, but when was the last time someone threw a fork at a house and it killed someone watching tv?

vise77 / April 25, 2007 11:57 AM

I don't mind higher taxes on ammo (though that would be unfair to hunters, I guess), or extensive and regular training/re-certification for gun owners, and severe penalties for those who use guns in, uh, harmful/criminal/reckless ways (including letting kids get at them). As well, I see no reason why citizens need military-style weapons.

But I also find it naive when some of my fellow citizens apparently trust the government enough to advocate for total or near-total bans on guns. I am not a militia type by any means--nor do I own a gun yet--but I certainly don't trust our government. Just because we've been getting along relatively well for 200 years (glossing over the Civil War and a few other events, of course) doesn't mean that will always be the case. Had we suffered another major and clear terrorist attack within a month or so after 9/11 (I am discouting the anthrax attacks for various reasons), I have little doubt we would have had at least a taste of martial law.

I realize that other democratic countries seem to get along fine without guns, and have murder rates I am envious of. Still, I just don't trust our government enough, nor some of the darker tendencies of our still rather immature society when it comes to political control. And I do believe that in the deepest parts of their souls, would-be despots do at least concede that an angry, well-armed population is not to be taken lightly. This is not to glorify violence or the threat of violence, only to bow my head to the realities of history.

Mikey / April 25, 2007 11:58 AM

Judy -

So you're arming yourself for the imminent day when Dubya declares martial law and imposes a curfew? Not that I wouldn't put it past him, but seriously, gimme a break...

Bill V / April 25, 2007 12:07 PM

I don't believe in our right to bear arms. It's silly to think that in today's society. Rifles for actual hunting, I'm ok with that. Make hanguns and machine guns! illegal, affix a long-long prison sentence to those found with guns, problem fixed.

skafiend / April 25, 2007 12:16 PM

The legal owners of firearms are not causing the problems.

The VT shooter got his guns legally... just sayin'

quack / April 25, 2007 12:33 PM

my beef is the anti-regulation freakos. I don't care what you own, as long as its registered, tracked, and you're accountable for what happens to it.

Barrel signatures, licensing and regular recertification/ re-registration is all stuff we're used to doing with our cars and our licenses to drive. the NRA loonies tend to ignore the "well regulated" part of the 2nd amendment, and we're all more at risk for it.

Leo / April 25, 2007 12:33 PM

I used to be really passionate about gun control, but I've come to realize that guns are just, on the one hand, a scapegoat and, on the other, a false idol.

The gun control debate is a distraction perpetuated by politicians (on both sides) to avoid dealing with the underlying problems that create crime, like poverty, abuse, and inequality. Even if guns were to cease existing, the social problems that breed violent crime would still exist. We would then hear more stories about knife control.

On the flip side, the argument that increased gun ownership would lead to less crime is laughable. As a friend of mine said, "It's not like the Old West; when somebody's going to shoot you they don't give you a chance to draw." A gun will seldom stop a determined criminal from firing at you, and only by freak chance would it block a bullet. If you want protection from guns, wear kevlar.

Anon / April 25, 2007 12:34 PM

The VT shooter got his guns legally... just sayin'
He didn't buy his guns legally. But the seller didn't have the information to know that he wasn't allowed to buy. From washingtonpost.com today:
Federal law, however, bars gun sales to people who have been judged "mentally defective," which includes someone who has been determined by a court, board, commission or other legal authority to be a danger to himself or others as a result of mental illness, as Cho was in 2005.
The problem was "his name was not sent to Virginia State Police and put into the computerized National Instant Criminal Background Check System." No accurate background check was possible.

David / April 25, 2007 12:35 PM

Every other Constitutionally protected right (I'm particularly fond of the Fourth Amendment) enshrines, in one way or another, the positive aspirations of our country.

Why, then, would we want to so stridently defend an amendment whose sole purpose is death?

Strictly speaking, that's what gun ownership is about: death. Whether it's you or the other guy or just the deer in the woods, guns push their owners inexorably towards death.

On a personal note, I'm proud to say I'm man enough to have never fired a gun.

Guns are for cowards.

ohk / April 25, 2007 12:41 PM

Those who don't think that governments can unlawfully seize control aren't very serious students of history. When Hitler was elected, he immediately put forward laws restricting private citizens' gun ownership. And the history of many South American countries shows what can happen when the government has all the guns. Look at what's been going on with the Chicago Police - do we really trust them to be the only ones who have guns in this city (besides every gangbanger over 13, that is)?

Guns are tools that can be useful or dangerous, just like knives, baseball bats, or a car loaded with explosives made from commonly available materials.

King of Rock / April 25, 2007 12:50 PM

Didn't y'all see Red Dawn? The first thing the Rooskies will do after they invade us is find out who has registered guns and confiscate them.

Fortunately, the millions of people who own unregistered guns will be able to win our freedumb back from the Red Menace.

hmm / April 25, 2007 12:53 PM

"If more people own guns, and everyone knows it, fewer people use them - why? because anyone could be packing."

Right, that's why Afghanistan and the Middle East are such peaceful places.

skafiend / April 25, 2007 12:56 PM

The problem was "his name was not sent to Virginia State Police and put into the computerized National Instant Criminal Background Check System." No accurate background check was possible.

"Had (special justice Paul Barnett of Virginia's Montgomery County) ordered Cho to in-patient treatment, he would have also been required to submit Cho's name to a state and federal database used to restrict gun purchases by so-called mental defectives. But Barnett told TIME Virginia law also requires him to consider the least restrictive alternatives to forced hospitalization, such as outpatient treatment. Court records show Barnett decided that Cho's mental illness was not severe enough to warrant hospitalization and that outpatient treatment would be enough to address his problems.

Cho's case raises the issue of conflict between state and federal law. While federal guidelines may stipulate who is to be blocked from buying guns, it is the states that must provide the information to make the databases work. In practical terms, it won't matter what the federal guidelines say if state law says only certain people need to be reported. "Obviously there is no way that the sellers of the gun could have known what happened in the procedure with Mr. Cho," Bonnie told TIME. "Even if it should have been entered in the database under federal law, there was no way for that to have happened in Virginia, so the sale of the gun was lawful."

Sorry for the long post...

Time article

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 1:00 PM

Skafiend, you are wrong. The VT gunman lied on a federal form (saying he hadn't been institutionalized for mental illness) when he filled them out, which is, if I am not mistaken, a felony. Just sayin'. Also, the pet, Australia's efforts at gun buybacks and banning certain categories of guns has been notoriously ineffective, and hasn't really contributed much to overall public safety, from numbers that I have seen. And finally, Bill V., the process one has to go through to own an actual "machine gun" legally (while it is possible) is so exacting that I challenge you to find even one single instance where someone has been killed with a "legal" machine gun since the mid-1980's. Doesn't happen.

I have found that generally, people who are really gung-ho about gun control have absolutely zero exposure to guns, other than perhaps watching the evening news and thinking that they are somehow all bad. That is pretty clueless. The vast, vast majority of gun owners, even those with, oh so scary handguns and "assault weapons" use them responsibly for hunting, target shooting, or blowing the ever livin' crap out of INANIMATE objects, which is really, really fun. Maybe some numbers would put it in perspective: Number of guns in US: approx. 200 million in the hands of approx. 60 million owners. Number of gun deaths per year (2004):29,569. Number of cars (cars, trucks, SUVs) in America: again, approx. 200 Million. Number of fatalities caused by auto accidents (2004): 45,113.

Just pointing out that there are more dangerous things out there than guns, which serve as a boogeyman for the uninformed or knee-jerk types.

That having been said. Do I think that we probably ought to have uniform NATIONAL gun laws, rather than a state by state patchwork. Sure. Am I opposed to waiting periods and background checks? No. I might even, if the plan seemed feasible and beneficial, go along with stricter registration and training laws. But ban them, hell no. Take my guns (including my handguns)? Only when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

Mikey / April 25, 2007 1:02 PM

Guns are tools that can be useful or dangerous, just like knives, baseball bats, or a car loaded with explosives made from commonly available materials.

A knife is a tool (and in some cases, a utensil). A baseball bat is a type of sports equipment. A car loaded with explosives is a weapon. And so is a gun...

And if the federal government ever did attempt to seize control, you'd need a lot more than a .38 handgun against M16A2 rifles, M1A1 Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters. For better or for worse, we would have to rely on the good judgement and character of U.S. military personnel not to follow orders blindly and turn on the very citizens (family and friends, included) for which they enlisted to protect...

Just sayin'... / April 25, 2007 1:07 PM

Take my guns (including my handguns)? Only when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

Fair enough. But I'll have to shoot you first.

skafiend / April 25, 2007 1:08 PM

Skafiend, you are wrong.

That entire passage is from Time magazine and in particular their online version, where they quote Richard Bonnie, chairman of the Supreme Court of Virginia's Commission on Mental Health Law Reform who says "the sale of the gun is lawful". If anyone's wrong, it's him not me. Send him a letter...

ohk / April 25, 2007 1:13 PM

Mikey,
So when someone is stabbed to death with a knife or bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat, does the press refer to the knife as the "Murder tool" and the baseball bat as the "murder sports equipment?" No, they are referred to as "murder weapons."

Point being, lots of things are deadly weapons that have legit uses, including guns & automobiles.

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 1:14 PM

Fair enough, just sayin', but at least it'd be a fair fight ;-)

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 1:20 PM

One last little point. I am a very liberal person, but, having grown up in rural western states around guns from literally as far back as I can remember, I am very, very pro gun-rights.

I am not opposed to trying to figure out ways to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. I am not opposed to certain steps and levels of responsibility for legitimate gun owners to be able to legitimately enjoy guns, which believe it or not, it is quite possible to do. I strongly encourage everyone to make the effort to go target shooting, or shoot skeet or sporting clays, or if you are a omnivore, shoot something and eat it. All of these are worthwhile pursuits, and to criticize them would be a little akin to me wanting to ban golf because I think it is a stupid pointless game and because that one Kennedy cousin beat that girl to death with a golf club.

David / April 25, 2007 1:23 PM

Ohk - The term "murder weapon" is an easy catch-all for the news media.

But your analysis oversimplified the problem. You are right, there are lots of everyday objects which can be used as deadly weapons, and there are deadly weapons which have everyday uses.

So when was the last time you used your Glock to prop up a leaning table? Used it as a doorstop? Maybe a hammer?

Point being, a gun is a single-use object. It shoots bullets, whether a few or a lot. Don't try to pretend it has any other use.

Mikey / April 25, 2007 1:29 PM

ohk -

Yes, I would agree that "...lots of things are deadly weapons that have legit uses..."

Except that outside of its primary use as a deadly weapon, a gun has no other legit use. Mind you, I'm not saying we should disarm hunters--let them keep their rifles and shotguns. I just don't see a need for ordinary citizens to own and carry handguns and assault-style rifles. The greater the number of these types of weapons in circulation, the greater the chances that at least some of them will wind up in the hands of criminals and would-be criminals, not to mention curious children...

skafiend / April 25, 2007 1:31 PM

The VT gunman lied on a federal form (saying he hadn't been institutionalized for mental illness) when he filled them out, which is, if I am not mistaken, a felony.

Again, from Time:
"Cho's purchases has been legal; he had been under a court-ordered "temporary detainment order", a psychiatric evaluation, which is not the same as an involuntary commitment. Thus nothing showed up on the instant background check at the store."

I have found that generally, people who are really gung-ho about gun control have absolutely zero exposure to guns

While I'm not "gung -ho" about gun control, I gone shooting with friends several times. Once at an outdoor shooting range in the far south suburbs near Indiana and at range a little closer to home. Got to shoot a .22 rifle, a Magnum, one of those tripod mounted Nam era rifles and one of those rifles where you tamp the powder down in them, etc. (sorry if I don't know the exact name). If I was going to voice an opinion on them, I at least wanted to have first hand knowledge of what I was talking about.

lose em / April 25, 2007 1:49 PM

I hate guns because their sole purpose is to kill...simple as that.

kado / April 25, 2007 1:50 PM

I'm w/ Dave - i'm man enoug to not have ever used a gun. As for controlling them - do it now!

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 1:51 PM

Kudos skafiend, that type of open-mindedness is what I am talking about.

But the question remains, was his purchase "legal?" I still say no.

While he did not fail the background check (something that I would be entirely in favor of doing something about, see better NATIONAL gun laws) he did answer "no" on question f of form 4473 (the ATF form that gun buyers must fill out) which asks whether the person has "ever been adjudicated mentally defective . . . or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?" Given that a Virginia magistrate had given an order for his detention given that he posed a danger to himself or others, I think that this would constitute lying on the form, which is punishable as a felony, and certainly falls outside of legal.

If your point is it was too easy for the nut to get a gun, you're right. If your point is that it was legal, you are wrong.

skafiend / April 25, 2007 2:11 PM

Dutch, i think we're going to agree to disagree, but I have to clarify one point...

If your point is it was too easy for the nut to get a gun, you're right. If your point is that it was legal, you are wrong.

I never said it was legal, Time magazine and the Richard Bonnie, chairman of the Supreme Court of Virginia's Commission on Mental Health Law Reform did. I'm just quoting those sources. The Chairman of the commission himself it was legal. Re-read my earlier posts. Is he wrong?

Given that a Virginia magistrate had given an order for his detention given

That's the other point. Cho was never detained. From Time: "Court records show Barnett decided that Cho's mental illness was not severe enough to warrant hospitalization and that outpatient treatment would be enough to address his problems. "

But I think we agree that there needs to be stronger, uniform national laws on gun ownership and sales. I don't think we'll ever be able to get rid of them.

leah / April 25, 2007 2:49 PM

I don't think having a gun to "blow the living crap" outta stuff is reason enough to own a gun.

Are they necessary? I mean really, really necessary? Do you NEED to shoot a gun to obtain your dinner?

If we took away the hobby if 60 million people for the greater good of 300 million people, I say OK.

If it turned out that my penchant for horrible puns was harming my neighbors, I wouldn't get all up in arms about it. (ouch) I'd just suck it up & deal.

This is overly simplistic, but yes. Why are gun owners such crybabies? It seems selfish.

Making ALL owners more accountable is good, licensing is good, but I don't see guns as a necessary sometimes-evil, I just see them as a nice-to-have for some people.

leah / April 25, 2007 2:55 PM

Shoot, I also wanted to say that I recognize gun violence is a symptom of poverty, of lack of education, etc.

I recognize the guns don't cause the crime, but really, it's got to be a bazillion times harder to kill someone with a knife than a gun, no?

Illegal guns started out legal somewhere, yeah? I mean maybe they don't. Maybe Wal-Mart has an "illegal guns" aisle now.

I dunno.

chris / April 25, 2007 3:14 PM


Re guns as protection against government tyranny: In the 18th century, firearms in private hands could credibly curtail government's power. In the 21st century, the U.S. government doesn't threaten to tyrannize the citizenry by sending soldiers into people's homes and roughing them up; it threatens to tyrannize by invading privacy, controlling information, and diminishing civil liberties (almost anything's up for grabs *except* the right to bear arms). How will your handgun prevent the government from letting your social security number fall into the hands of an identity thief? How will it prevent local law enforcement from infrared-mapping your home's interior from across the street? How will it keep your name from getting mistakenly placed on a terrorist watch list? How will it keep you from dying of cancer while Medicare bureaucracy delays your treatment? If gun advocates are serious about defending against tyranny, they should be taking to the streets, unarmed, to demand sane, progressive legislation that actually will promote citizens' welfare.

Re cars as deadly weapons: Yes, U.S. society has decided the convenience of automobile travel is worth 45,000 deaths per year. Is that more rational than the decision that the right to bear arms is worth 30,000 deaths per year? Well, I suppose that depends: how valuable are the automobile's contributions to society? Cars make our lives easier in many ways; they also made possible the flight of white professionals from cities to suburbs, and in turn the blight of urban centers, and in turn the degradation of city public schools, and in turn the worsening of racial inequities. I think it's rather astonishing that we tolerate *any* technology that kills tens of thousands of people per year.

Cry me a river / April 25, 2007 3:37 PM

Chris,

Right here in the palm of my hand is the world's smallest violin and its playing for you, buddy.

vise77 / April 25, 2007 3:56 PM

Chris: Very interesting points, and you make a good suggestion.

That said, the ongong drug war shows that government can, when it wants to you, use force against citizenry. Yes, times have changed, but I am not sure they have changed all that much. I don't think America, should it sink into tyranny (whatever the hell that means) will resemble a Nazi or Stalinist terrorist state. But I don't want to gamble on it, not given the US government's history of using violence against all types of minority or unpopular groups. This violence isn't all in the distant past, either. As well, I simply don't trust the neo-totalitarian instincts of the religious nuts, many of whom hold great power in all three branches, and may or may not go quietly into the night when the time comes.

Still, thanks for pointing out the new threats, which need to be considered as well, though your health-care point goes a bit off track.

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 4:26 PM

Leah,

I just don't see where you get off calling gun owners "crybabies." A lot of people are opposed to abortions, and think that they carry far to high a societal price, and are no doubt wondering why the "baby-killers" are such "crybabies" when people start talking about eliminating that right (which, dare I point out, is a right of judicial construction, not part of the freakin' Bill of Rights).

I also would argue that it is not exclusively a "hobby." Well into the 20th century, significant portions of America's population put at least some of their food on the table with a gun. There are still plenty of people where I grew up who count on putting a couple of deer or elk in the freezer every fall.

I just don't think that there is anything to be gained in arguing to outlaw guns. Talking about improving accountability, or setting up some better federal gun laws is probably a good idea. But people need to be reasonable and recognize that demonizing guns in general and arguing for a complete ban is really no different than any other exclusively ideological stance.

Carrie / April 25, 2007 4:49 PM

While cars can cause death, that isn't their main point. The main point of a gun is to kill.

leah / April 25, 2007 5:06 PM

Hi Dutch101 ,

Ok, "crybabies" was a poor choice of words. When I think of gun owners getting salty about the thought of someone taking their gun away, the mental image is that of a toddler being asked to share a toy & the toddler clutching it tighter & shouting "MINE!"

In my brain I think legal guns, more guns.

Illegal guns, fewer guns.

And that makes maths to me. This in an ideal world, I suppose.

However abstinence-only programs don't equate fewer teenage pregnancies, we all know that, so you may have me here.


Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 5:12 PM

Carrie, do you, or anyone in your family hunt? Enjoy target shooting, or skeet?

You people are showing your lack of knowledge saying that the main point of a gun is to kill.

Though I can't back it up with numbers, I would venture a guess that the majority, if not the vast majority of all guns in the US (even handguns) are never pointed or fired at a living thing. Most guns are fired at paper or steel targets or clay pigeons. Many others are designed to kill deer, elk, geese, pheasants, turkeys and other delicious animals, which I think is just fine. While I whole heartedly support your right not to eat meat, if that is your thing, I don't think that you have the right to TELL (you can try to persuade, but shouldn't TELL) other people what to eat, or how to get that food, as long as they are acting in a way that doesn't actually harm you.

p / April 25, 2007 5:18 PM

i say get some plywood and paint and put up signs that say: No Guns In Chicago- as you enter the city limits. And if you're not an officer of the peace and you're caught with a gun you get your ass whooped by gene hackman. if you're still sore about it after your whooping- gene will shoot you.
guns are fun to shoot but have no business in metropolitan areas. i'm as proficient with a bat and a screwdriver as a north dublin knacker so don't get any ideas trying to rob my home of my electronics and sports card collections tho. the rest of you may protect your loved ones and jewels with similar home-made weoponry. but no guns. make penalties stiff as you want i could care less about bearing arms in the city.
And get out of here w/ that counting on hunting for your supper bologna, holmes. u know u don't shoot your own rabbits for dinner and u don't make your own oreos either.
if u really want to fire a gun for kicks after the gene hackman decree goes into effect- you can go drinking with a cop and shoot out some mad dog 20/20 bottles in a "out drinkin' with my copbuddy and i want to shoot stuff" designated prairie or something if you buy him at least 3 drinks.

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 5:20 PM

Heh heh, I couldn't have made that "abstinence only" point any better, leah.

I really am not opposed to some common sense measures, and would agree that the "well regulated militia" part of the 2nd Amendment is often sort of shunted aside, but the reality of the fact is that it counterproductive (not to mention complete, and I do mean complete, fantasy) to argue for a complete ban on guns. As such, I think people should educate themselves, try to see things from the other persons perspective, and try to find real solutions and common ground.

One more nugget for those who would completely ban guns: You just can't cherry pick rights. Think about when the last time you petitioned your government from redress, or enjoyed your home without having to quarter troops. Haven't used those rights lately? Want to give them up? Just because you aren't keeping and bearing arms, doesn't mean that we should get rid of that right.

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 5:27 PM

p-

I haven't shot and eaten anything for years, true. But I used to, I still know people who do, and I know for an absolute fact that some people back where I grew up, and in other rural Western states, do count on (as in budget for and plan for) having a supply of game meat for food.

Again, my point is simply, try not to fall into the trap of thinking that your reality is the only valid one out there.

leah / April 25, 2007 5:28 PM

yay p, you're awesome.

Dutch101, you don't have to go being petty...calling someone ignorant for saying the point of a gun is to kill. sheesh.

If the right to own a gun were taken away, the people who ordinarily shoot animals, could find other ways. I think it's bow & arrow turkey season in certain counties in Iowa right now--I'm just sayin'.

unmake / April 25, 2007 5:30 PM

It's disingenuous t argue that guns aren't made for killing - they are, whether or not they're actually used for that purpose, or for scratching someone's butt.

I don't know how many people depend on hunting as their primary source of income or sustenance, ie. can legitimately claim they _need_ guns, but for the rest of the populace the loss of a hobby doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Not like its one or the other, but realistically, outlawing the sale of cigarettes would do a lot more good than outlawing guns - not tobacco - just manufactured, ready-to-smoke stuff.

Steve / April 25, 2007 5:32 PM

I think the more valid reality is the one that would do away with handguns. Though really -- rifles and shotguns are needed for hunting? Where's the challenge? Put a mere short bow in Blagg's hands and he'll bring you back a 12-point.

Best line ever on the subject of hunting came out of the mouth of Bears cornerback Peanut Tillman of all people: "Hunting is the only sport where one side doesn't know that it's playing."

C-Note / April 25, 2007 5:44 PM

Half of y'all are idiots. In any case, all that matters is whether the Supreme Court grants cert to the case out of the D.C. Circuit that invalidated D.C.'s handgun ban. If they grant cert and affirm that ruling, Chicago's ban on handguns is going down, and the question will be not whether guns are a good idea, but do you want one?

C-Note Is A Bigger Idiot / April 25, 2007 6:24 PM

I wouldn't count on it. So get back to your bong and let the adults continue their spirited debate.

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 9:29 PM

Leah,

I didn't call anyone "ignorant" in a petty manner, I just pointed out that it is rather one sided (a perspective which is probably born of a lack of exposure/experience with the alternative perspective). In a way, I would say that it is born of "ignorance" or perhaps a misplaced sense of moral superiority. I am advancing a valid argument and an opinion that is shared by, at a bare minimum, a fifth of my fellow Americans and the founding fathers themselves (whose foresight and wisdom impress me more the more I learn about them).

Listen cars kill more people than guns, tobacco kills more people than guns, FAST FOOD kills more people than guns.

Maybe for most people they are just a hobby, but for a LAW ABIDING person (read the vast, vast majority of gun owners) why should they have to give up something they enjoy just because YOU don't participate. To me that seems selfish.

Finally, even though the arguments about defending yourself against the government are pretty archaic, the intent is still totally solid. That amendment was put in there as the 2nd amendment at least partially to make a statement that there are some rights that the government CAN'T (and ought not) eliminate, and that if they try, the populace should have the right, and means, to tell them to fuck off. I still generally agree with that premise.

Again, I am not opposed to common sense restrictions, waiting periods, other things, if in fact an argument can be made that they will be effective in preventing very bad things from happening. But when talk turns to banning guns, I will have no part of it.

Dutch101 / April 25, 2007 9:35 PM

Also, I hope that I have at least provided food for thought. I know that I probably won't change any (or many) minds on this issue, and no one is going to change mine. I will let it rest now.

Seacrest, out.

??? / April 25, 2007 9:46 PM

Who was that masked man?

spook / April 25, 2007 10:27 PM

I sure hope those commies don't take away my rights to shot rabbits, deer, and cans, with my Caliber 14.5x115 mm Machine Gun that weights 161.5 kg on wheels, is 2000 mm (on a wheeled mount)long with a barrel 1350 mm long that shots 40 rounds belt in boxes at rate of fire: 550 round per minute, cause
as an America this is just my mentality in the 21st Century as it is with millions of others of my fellow Americans, its sooo important to us!
No excuse me while I go brush my one yellowed tooth!

leah / April 25, 2007 10:43 PM

Hi Dutch101/seacrest,

No, totally. I hear what you're saying.

I appreciate the friendly discussion. Taken all to heart.

peace.

unmake / April 26, 2007 1:25 AM

Just a thought: If it ever came down to some kind of righteous armed insurrection against the government, I doubt lack of proper licenses would prevent the 'freedom fighters' from being armed and destructive.

Dave / April 26, 2007 7:54 AM

I may not know much but I do know if you buy/own a gun you're far more likely to shoot something. This seems to be when all the fun starts.

skafiend / April 26, 2007 9:19 AM

Spook, that was mean...

kinda funny, but mean....

Carrie / April 26, 2007 9:36 AM

Dutch101, I would never tell someone not to eat meat. It's my choice not to eat it, it's their choice to eat it. I'm not one of "those" vegetarians. And no, hunting is not one of my favorite "sports", but I don't have as much of an issue with it if people do eat the meat. People like our awesome VP who go "hunting" in a controlled setting are the kind of hunters I don't really like. (I feel like that was my Chris Farley living in a van down by the river paragraph. Nice use of quotes, me)

I knew someone in HS who came home for the weekend and was shot in the neck for no reason. He was going to college on a full scholarship and some coward came up and killed him. It's people like that who don't deserve guns and if we made it harder for them to get guns maybe he'd still be alive. And no, his killer hasn't been caught.

And while I haven't ever shot at clay pigeons, I honestly don't know if I'd find it entertaining. I'll keep my trap shut though b/c what I find fun, others don't. So if someone finds that activity fun, then fine.

fluffy / April 26, 2007 9:50 AM

When I was young, my father had a gun for protection. I knew where he kept it hidden.
After a lifetime of his abuse, the thought of using it on him or myself crossed my mind more than just a couple of times.

My opinion: people should go through gun training like they do with driving. They should carry a license to own one/use. Only people who have had a background check, gone through training and passed/received their license should own guns. Just guns and rifles- no machine guns or heavy duty shit.

Even then, there are always the 'cleaning the gun and it went off and killed the little girl down the street' possibilities.

I say we go back to spanking each other and duke it out that way.

jj / April 26, 2007 10:58 AM

The thing I have never understood is people who claim to own guns for protection against burglars. In order to be a responsible gun owner, especially if you have kids around, you must necessarily create a situation that makes it impossible to get your gun in time to shoot an invader... for example, lock it up, lock up ammunition separately, trigger locks, etc - all the things that keep it out of your curious ten year old sons or depressed sixteen year old daughter's hands, or those of burglars who break in while you are out. So how effective is that, really? I'm curious as to what you gun owners do, really.

Not to mention the fact that the chances of someone breaking in while you are home and trying to actually kill you (rather than just stealing your xbox, which personally I wouldn't shoot a burglar over) are probably so stastically slim that it doesn't make sense weighted against the risk of accident or theft. Any risk statisticians in the audience?

As far as the government imposing martial law goes, I seriously doubt a Hitler-style takeover could happen here, given our position as the ecnomic superpower of the world, which requires political stability. Regardless, if it did happen, people would resist tyranny the way people throughout history always have. Enough of us have copies of the Anarchist Cookbook at home, don't we?

David / April 26, 2007 11:09 AM

Since everybody loves statistics, here's a few. Of the 14,209 people murdered in the United States in 1998, a whopping 64.9% of them were killed with guns. The next highest percentage is for "Cutting or stabbing," which clocks in at 13.3%. After that come things like ""Blunt Objects" and "Personal Weapons," like hands and feet.

Guns don't kill people; they just make it ridiculously easy to do so.

Carrie / April 26, 2007 12:05 PM

"Personal Weapons," like hands and feet.-- that made me giggle because my initial thought was someone being bitch-slapped to death or kicked in the shins to death.

RobJ / April 26, 2007 12:26 PM

I don't have a problem with hunters owning rifles and shotguns, and even certain handguns, but I definitely think we need stricter licensing and background checks, and there needs to be better federal standards for how that's done. And how about we bring back the assault weapons ban, which the congress shamelessly allowed to expire in 2004.

A little reported fact from the Virginia Tech massacre: had it happened before 2004, Seung-Hui Cho would have been limited to 10 rounds in each clip for his semi-automatic Glock pistol. I've seen different reports on this, but it appears he had anywhere from 15 to 30 rounds in each clip. Would a smaller clip have made a difference? We'll never know, but maybe. Maybe he would have had to reload more frequently and someone could have jumped him. The point is: why does a hunter, or someone who buys a gun for defensive purposes, need a semi automatic weapon with such a large clip? They don't.

A coward is an idiot / April 26, 2007 12:29 PM

What matters is not your opinion, but what the law is. This is not a democracy. Handguns are legal most places outside of D.C. and Chicago, and the laws banning handguns in those cities will most likely fall. This information is more important than what you think about guns -- think about it. What would cause more change in Chicago: "C-note is a bigger idiot's" opinion, or the opening of gun shops and issuance of permits to carry concealed weapons?

fluffy / April 26, 2007 1:53 PM

to 'coward':

scroll up; read the question, babe. It asks for our opinion.

skafiend / April 26, 2007 1:59 PM

RobJ...
the answer I got about the "why do they need semiautomatic guns" from a pro gun guy was that those guys are "collectors" and those guns are just part of their "collection"..

I collected baseball cards as a kid and I kept them in a book under protective vinyl and didn't bring them out and stick them in the spokes of my bike. I don't understand why a gun "collector" has to have a working model of a semiautomatic gun if it's just for "collectible" purposes. Put the thing in a frame on the wall and call it a day...

ken / April 26, 2007 2:39 PM

I don't own a gun and probably never will. Not that I'm against law abiding citizenry owning them. I am entirely for training and education, it should be mandatory. Proper background investigation and registration I believe can work.

As for those who don't think our gov't wouldn't turn towards dictatorship, think again. A recent story (Dateline, I think, I don't have time right now to look it all up) details our current administration's usage of mercenaries for hire. These are the types of things we as citizens should be worried about. It is not that the gov't will do it, but those who have the capital to finance the backing. There are a lot of exmilitary and current military that would and probably will follow when the time comes and the price is right. This isn't fear mongering it is simply common sense for the times we live, warlords are everywhere worldwide, just not active here - yet.

Removing weapons from law abiding citizens, guns or otherwise does not keep them from those who desire to cause harm.

Sorry for the long post. I could say more but cannot because I've got to work - so I can hire some mercenaries to take over the world - Bwaaahahaha.

Fluff- I like the spankin' idea!

Dutch101 / April 26, 2007 2:54 PM

Couldn't resist commenting on jj's post above, and absolutely agreeing with him. They do make some kinds of quick access safes and stuff that I suppose would make it possible to both store a loaded gun and keep it out of the reach of those who shouldn't have access to it, but I would say that there are probably way more idiots who have them stuck under the mattress or in a drawer. That is dumb, and I am not going to try to defend that.

You are also, to the best of my knowledge, correct about the slim odds of a) having someone break in b) while you are home and c) in a situation where you can or have to shoot the person. Does happen though, there was that guy in Winnetka or Glencoe that shot an intruder a couple of years ago.

Finally, quick response to RobJ. While you are right that under the LETTER of the law prior to 2004, the truth was that the law did almost nothing to actually stem the tide of high cap. magazines, which is one of the reasons it was allowed to lapse (ie, it was a worthless, toothless law). That having been said, even I don't really see the necessity for people having large cap. magazines for rifles or handguns. I would welcome anyone with REASONABLE ideas as to how to stuff that particular genie back in the bottle, however.

Dutch101 / April 26, 2007 3:01 PM

Also, I think skafiend is misquoting me. I addressed someone talking about "machine guns" not semi-autos. Those people are collectors. In many countries, collectors of these types of arms do have to "de-mil" or de-activate fully automatic weapons. In this country, after you have gone through what is, to my knowledge, one of the most thorough vetting and licensing processes we have, you are allowed to have fully functional, fully automatic weapons. And hey, if you live on a 35,000 acre ranch, where your neighbors can't even hear you, and you enjoy shooting watermelons (ala Mr. Majestek) or targets, or whatever with a fully automatic firearm (as is the case with a collector I know back home), then hey, who am I (or you) to say that is wrong?

Cheryl / April 26, 2007 4:41 PM

(which, dare I point out, is a right of judicial construction, not part of the freakin' Bill of Rights).


You mean like Article 9?

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

spook / April 26, 2007 5:01 PM

How it works in America

Two students, Harris and Kleebold, kill 13 wound 24/
kill themselves

Weeks 1 & 2
Gun lobby in over drive

Gun lobby makes sure President ads “right to bare arms”
in his first words of “sorrow” to the nation.

President’s speech mourns victims but affirms “right to bear arms”

Grief, shock, horror set in around the Nation/ World.

Eye witnesses give accounts of the tragedy that stuns the world

Traumatized families/ friends hold memorial celebrations with candles broadcasted around the world
Funerals for the dead broadcast on CNN

Week 2 & 3
“Thoughtful balanced” NPR call for reflection, suggests possible need for greater gun control legislation?

Kennedy type Senators call for weak legislation like “gun locks”

Voices in the wilderness call for real reform

Meek reform proposals drowned out by thousands of cliqued voices saying "Guns don't kill people, people do

Europe wonders what’s wrong with America?

Week 4
We all forget
Until next tragedy…..

Shooting in an Amish school in Pennsylvania,
Virginia Tech, etc, etc, etc, etc……….

Mikey / April 26, 2007 5:08 PM

Spook...

Aren't you going to need guns for the revolution, or are you planning a bloodless coup?

gate / April 26, 2007 5:32 PM

If the right to bear arms is intended to allow us to protect ourselves from our own government then it obviously needs to be updated. The weapons we can legally purchase and own are nothing compared to those of the "insurgency" and they can barely harm our government's forces without the use of IEDs. Therefore we should replace the right to bear arms with the right to bear IEDs but IEDs must be at least as large as a 55 gallon garbage can. That way lunitics can't just carry one into a school, church, bank, convenience store, or any of the other place guns show up and cause harm in our society. I assure you that hunting will be just as much fun if not more.

what about... / April 26, 2007 7:28 PM

We're not powerless against the big bad American military. That's what they'd like you to think, but how powerful have they been in Iraq? And what army are they fighting there? That's right, it's just the people.

Our right to bear arms is just as important as our right to say whatever we want on this forum. One day it may be what protects these rights.

spook / April 26, 2007 8:14 PM

Honestly Mikey, I belive the Revolution will take place or spark in inner city classrooms and be "bloodless" but I do believe in keeping my options open, so if need be we would just knock off the Armory on the Gold Coast and score a few horses while we’re at it

Power to the People!

spook / April 26, 2007 8:19 PM

"... One day it may be what protects these rights."

Some how I bet
"what about..." has wet dreams about that "One day" I wonder who plays his leading lady?
Probably some body from the Red Dawn VHS tape he still own/watches

And I thought my Zombie
Armageddon fantasies are immature! At least I don’t believe it could actually happen…..do I?

fluffy / April 26, 2007 9:09 PM

I know someone whose uncle was wasted one night and he accidentally tried to open the door to the wrong house and POW! he was shot right in the face by his neighbor who was 'protecting himself'.

d'oh!

mike-ts / April 26, 2007 11:16 PM

Instead of banning firearms, take a chunk off of the sentence of someone committing a crime who didn't use a firearm. Say you baseball bat someone to death instead of shooting him, half off the sentence. Rob someone with a knife instead of sticking him up, same. You may not get guns confiscated, but they may end up collecting dust and cob webs on shelves as people get more creative.

A guy burns five people to death in Quincy Illinois and a woman is indicted in the fire death of four in Wrigleyville, and these nine deaths are lucky to get local coverage. If these people used firearms, this would've been national news on all networks for a week. Gun confiscators don't care about people dying, they care about what tool is used. It has nothing to do with making us safer, it has everything to do with bossing us around in yet another way.

Heck, if they ban guns, give the public a break on something else, like letting people carry daggers and swords again. Imagine the gangs going all Three Musketeers on each other. Two cars going down the street as they swordfight out the windows. Numchucks would be pretty cool to legally carry, too.

That's why I admire the girl who brought a mace to school in Gary, Indiana recently to protect herself. When she planned to go medieval, she wasn't going to be figurative about it. ^5, massive props, and boucous credit to her for not grabbing a gun. If someone goes to attack you, wind up and whack him in the nads with a mace, and you done stopped the attacker.

Dutch101 / April 26, 2007 11:38 PM

Easy there Cheryl, I'm on your side on that one, but really, right to choose is about two steps removed from being enshrined, as #2 in a list of rights that some very intelligent and far-thinking dudes (say what you will about the men, their logic is undeniably impressive) felt were important enough to be specifically enumerated.

Dutch101 / April 26, 2007 11:43 PM

Oh yeah, and my point was, generally, that it is an ideologically driven point, not necessarily one where people who are rabidly pro- or anti- are apt to listen to reason or change their view based on actually thinking about the reality of the issue.

I try to avoid that pitfall. I concede that there are some things that could, or should, be done to regulate guns and gun owners, but in the end, I really strongly believe that we should have the right to keep and bear arms if we want to.

charlie / April 27, 2007 9:30 AM

Gun control? Yeah, i can never seem to hold the damn thing steady. Any tips would be appreciated.

Judy / April 27, 2007 10:13 AM

"For better or for worse, we would have to rely on the good judgement and character of U.S. military personnel not to follow orders blindly and turn on the very citizens (family and friends, included) for which they enlisted to protect..."

are you really this naive? the whole idea of the military is to follow orders. puh-leeze.

My grandmother gave me mace when I drove cross-country when I was 17.

I was totally against guns, until I decided to really think about it. Once I did, took some classes, I knew I wasn't against them any more. I know it seems "far fetched" that our gubment would impose martial law and all, but it is feasable and possible. I won't be a sitting duck.

I continued to take classes to become a better shooter. I took a series of classes that were defensive based: someone comes at you, here's what you do....

The reason I was anti-gun before was because I hadn't taken the time to really research the subject. It was purely based on what other people had told me.
I didn't know if I'd come out still against guns or change my mind, and I'm glad I put in the time.

I think you should too.

jj / April 27, 2007 10:41 AM

Okay, who's going to fund the mercenaries and military that are going to take over? And, even if it is funded, can you tell me what ideology this supposed coup is going to have that will not conflict with military family's love of freedom and cause them to go against everything they have ever believed about America? And, even if THAT does happen, how is your handgun, or even your machine gun, going to protect you against the best funded and best equipped military in the history of the world? This is why gun control advocates such as myself cannot take the 2nd amendment defenders seriously when they bring up this argument - everyone recognizes that the world has changed since 1777, and our laws have changed to adapt to it... why not this one?

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